The very first races using the new racetrack configuration in front of the brand new Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment grandstand were the Thursday morning qualifiers. Eight races in total were highlighted by several stars of the season using the races as a prep for next week’s opening in the fantastic new facility. The first qualifier was won by the accomplished older trotter Blacktuxwhitesocks, driven to a closing win from just off the pace over stable mate Bluff by his trainer Trond Smedshammer in 1:57-. The career winner of nearly $900,000 has been owned throughout his career by Wanda Polisseni’s Purple Haze Stable. Trond came right back to win the second race with his champion trotter Arch Madness in a tightner for the upcoming TVG last leg on Opening Day, November 23 and the $500,000 Final a week later. The old boy has really found his best form lately, winning the Allerage Farms Open trot elimination at The Red Mile in a career record equaling 1:50.2 and then the final of that race a week later. He trotted along on a happy lead this morning through comfortable fractions tacking a :56 final half and 27.3 last quarter on his 1:54- win. He is the pride of owners Marc Goldberg and Barry Goldstein’s Willow Pond LLC. The Kindergarten Trotting Classic final winner Southwind Spirit knocked the dust off with a 1:57.4 win, home in 28.2 for regular driver Yannick Gingras. He is one of the leading eligibles for the $430,000e Valley Victory for the Burke Stable, who owns him in partnership with Weaver & Bruscemi, LLC and Stable 45. Pacers came up in race four, with a couple of nice two year old colts sharpening up for the $500,000e Governor’s Cup. Arthur Blue Chip (Dave Miller) and Somestarsomewhere (Yannick Gingras) went right to the wire together in 1:53.3. Watching the pair of talented freshmen battle rekindled memories of watching their sires, Shadow Play and Somebeachsomewhere, square off in the 2008 Messenger Stakes. Miller had Arthur on the lead through conservative numbers and Yannick wrestled his mount into a four hole before moving first over around the final bend. Both were willing through the sprint home. Dr. Ian Moore trains Arthur Blue Chip, owned in partnership with RG McGroup and Serge Savard. Somestreetsomewhere is conditioned by Ron Burke for his own interests with Weaver & Bruscemi, M. Yanek and L Karr. Freshman pacing fillies were next, Gingras and Miller battled to the wire again with JK Molly (Gingras/Burke for 3 Brother Stable) and Delightful Dragon (Miller for Noel Daley and the Adam Victor & Son Stable) in 1:55- /28. Those two debutantes are among the top candidates for the $400,00e Three Diamonds. Western Vintage and JK Endofanera paced to the wire together in 1:54.2/28- in a tight finish between two more Governors Cup eligibles. Brian Sears had JK Endofanera forwardly placed throughout for Ron Burke, who trains the Art Major colt for the 3 Brothers Stables. Western Vintage was reserved off the pace and finished strong for Gingras. Perry Soderberg now has a partner in the good Western Ideal colt in Marvin Katz. Nancy Johansson is the trainer. The next qualifiers will be on Monday evening with a scheduled post time of 6:00pm, the box for those will close at 10:00am tomorrow (Friday). A preview of the new grandstand will be made available to horsemen with the evening qualifiers of Thursday, November 23, again at 6:00pm. More information is available on the Meadowlands Racing& Entertainment website. by Nick Salvi for the Meadowlands
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — It took two trips to Campbellville, but the province’s top two-year-old pacing and trotting colts wrapped up their Gold Series regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening. After a power outage forced the cancellation of the Friday, Sept. 20 program before all divisions of the last regular season leg could be completed, nine trotting colts and eight pacing colts returned to Mohawk for a pair of non-wagering races just before the Grassroots Championship program got under way on Saturday night. The trotters kicked things off and Guelph resident Doug McNair guided Great White Way to his first provincial victory with a come-from-behind effort. The Deweycheatumnhowe son sprinted home to a one length victory in 1:58, besting Massive Muscles and Massacaia. Richard “Nifty” Norman conditions Great White Way for Fashion Farms LLC of New Hope, PA and will be readying the colt for the Sept. 28 Super Final. The win boosted Great White Way from a four-way tie for twelfth up to second spot in the point standings. Turning for home in the pacing colt division moments later, Doug McNair looked to have a second victory locked up, but leader Three Of Clubs made an unprompted break and went from the front to the back of the field. After making his own error at the start of the race, Arthur Blue Chip took full advantage of his opponent’s miscue and powered up the stretch to a one-half length score in 1:53. Cluster Hanover also closed well to be second, with Marco De Vie completing the top three. Arthur Blue Chip, who was the winner of the Gold Series Mid-Summer Challenge at Mohawk Racetrack in July, finished at the top of the two-year-old pacing colt division with a record of three wins, one second and one sixth in five Gold Series outings. Dr. Ian Moore trains the Shadow Play son for his partners in the Shadow One Stable of Guelph. The top 10 point earners from all eight Gold Series divisions will return to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Sept. 28 for the $1,600,000 Super Final Night. For complete results Sandr Snyder
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Milton resident Randy Waples and Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh dominated the freshman trotting divisions on the $400,000 Grassroots Championship program at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Sept. 21. Kicking off the Championship action in the second race, Waples guided McIntosh trainee Pasadena Star to a commanding three and three-quarter length victory over R Choochoo Charlie and Warrawee Promesse. The two-year-old son of top trotting sire Kadabra stopped the clock at 1:58 to record his sixth lifetime victory in eight starts for Windsor resident McIntosh and his partner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. “You’re going out there with a horse that you think is very competitive, if not the best one and basically you’re just going to try not to screw things up. That’s what I was looking for, don’t screw it up, and it worked out,” quipped Waples following the victory aboard the fan favourite and division point leader. “Right from the time he went behind the gate as a baby he knew exactly what he was doing,” added the reinsman. “He was a smart horse and he’s always stayed that way. He’s got a little faster, but everything manner-wise is exactly the same.” Three races later Waples was back in the winner’s circle having achieved an identical result with two-year-old trotting filly Chelseas Chance. Once again sent off as the favourite based on a division leading record of four wins and one second in five starts, Waples engineered a come from behind trip for the Kadabra daughter that saw her pull away in the stretch to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2. Supreme Monarch and Erin Hall rounded out the top three. McIntosh and C S X Stables also bred and own Chelseas Chance, who boasts a freshman record of five wins in seven starts. The freshman pacing championships went to a pair of local horses that employed vastly different strategies to achieve their goal. Pacing colt Lucky King and driver James MacDonald of Guelph controlled the tempo from start to finish, sailing home one and one-half lengths ahead of VIP Bayama and Shadow Place in 1:52.2. Rockwood resident Andrew McCabe conditions Lucky King for Glenview Livestock of Guelph-Eramosa and Leonard Christopher of Acton, who took temporary leave of a nearby wedding to watch his horse capture a provincial championship. “We came here to see him win, and he did! He didn’t disappoint us,” said Christopher with a laugh. “It was great.” The Camluck colt, a full brother to former Grassroots winner Red Carpet Dude ($160,330), was a $14,000 acquisition out of the 2012 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and returned $59,512 to his owners with his fourth win in 10 starts. In the freshman pacing filly Championship Shadows Wonder closed from sixth at the top of the stretch to a one and one-quarter length victory over Itsa Surprise Tome and favourite Momara. The Shadow Play daughter and driver Jack Moiseyev of Moffat stopped the clock in 1:54.2. “She’s been a just a lovely filly to work with, to do anything with, all summer long, she just had some bad luck starting out,” explained Guelph resident Dr. Ian Moore. “She got the one win and then just figured, ‘Oh this is what I’ve got to do,’ and away she’s been, so it’s been great.” Moore trains and owns the filly in partnership with R G McGroup of Bathurst, NB and Serge Savard of Saint Bruno, QC. Three-year-old pacing colt Panpero Firpo wrote his name into the history books by defending the Grassroots title he claimed at two. The No Pan Intended son and driver Brett Miller achieved the rare feat by storming from the back of the pack to the front with a :26.3 final quarter. George Jettison and Sea Harrier also closed well to finish second and third in the 1:51.3 mile. David Menary of Cheltenham conditions Panpero Firpo for owner-breeder Peter Pan Stables Inc. of Pepper Pike, OH. Driver Brett Miller scored a second Grassroots Championship with sophomore pacing filly Mattys Big Day, who rolled out of the pocket to best pacesetter Betit To Getit in 1:53. Favourite Western Empress settled for third. Corey Johnson conditions Jeremes Jet daughter Mattys Big Day for Debbie Element and Ecurie JGV Enrg of Laval, QC. Reigning Lampman Cup titleholder Sylvain Filion of Milton piloted Legzy to a 1:56.3 victory in the three-year-old trotting filly Championship. The Amigo Hall miss, sent off as the fans’ top choice, bested Wind Stroll and Moms Apple Pie. Rockwood resident Rob Fellows conditions Legzy for owner-breeders Edward Wilson of Seagrave and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. The three-year-old trotting colt crown was captured in commanding fashion by Crosbys Clam Bake who rocketed down the stretch to an eight and one-quarter length victory over Photo Mass and Super Duke in 1:55.3. Guelph resident Doug McNair engineered the Kadabra gelding’s sixth lifetime win for trainer Per Henriksen of Norwood and owner Edward Lohmeyer of Cream Ridge, NJ. “Per’s done a great job getting him where he is now. He just told me, you don’t get paid at the quarter or the half,” said McNair after the race. “I could have got away last, that’s how much the best he was, as long as he stayed trotting. I knew he could win as long as he stayed trotting.” McNair and his peers will be back at Mohawk Racetrack next Saturday night, guiding the best Gold Series horses in the province on the $1,600,000 Super Final program. Videos for all races attached. For complete results Sandra Snyder
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Metro Pace winner Boomboom Ballykeel returns to Ontario Sires Stakes action on Friday, Sept. 20 at Mohawk Racetrack and the two-year-old pacing colt is in a must win situation if he is to extend his season through next weekend’s $200,000 Super Final. The Mach Three son has just five points to his credit from a fifth-place finish in the July 8 Gold Series leg at Mohawk and the current cut off for a berth in the Super Final is 38. A win, worth 50 points, would launch the Richard Moreau trainee into the post season, but a runner- up result, worth 25 points, will leave him short. “He’s got himself in a jackpot,” says owner-breeder Cam McKnight ruefully. “He is sharp, he trained in 1:55 on Wednesday (Sept. 11) at Mohawk, but then again everything has to line up,” adds the Tillsonburg resident. “You’ve got to be lucky. You don’t just have to have a good horse; you have to have a lucky horse.” Boomboom Ballykeel and regular reinsman Sylvain Filion of Milton will be looking for luck from Post 5 in the tenth race on Friday, in a division that is loaded with talent. Point leader Three Of Clubs will start from Post 3 for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph and his partners Tony Lawrence of Hanover and Shady Hill Racing Stable of Durham and Mid-Summer Challenge winner Arthur Blue Chip gets Post 7 for trainer Dr. Ian Moore and Shadow One Stable of Guelph. Two other colts ranked in the top 10, Twin B Spy, who races out of Cambridge resident Casie Coleman’s barn for West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Mac Nichol of Burlington and Adriano Sorella of Milton, and Cluster Hanover, owned and trained by Cambridge resident Jack Darling, will start from Posts 1 and 4, respectively. The other $105,000 freshman pacing colt division goes postward as Race 5. In addition to the two-year-old pacing colts Mohawk will also host the regular season finales for the two and three-year-old trotting colts. The freshmen will star in Races 1, 2 and 9 and William Wellwood Memorial runner-up Harper Blue Chip is in the same dilemma as Boomboom Ballykeel, needing a win and some luck to land in the post season. The Mark Steacy trainee, who is also piloted by Filion, will start from Post 3 in the second race. The sophomore trotting colts will wage their battles in Races 3 and 6, and division point leader Thankyoukessel will be looking to make it two in a row for trainer Joseph MacIsaac and owner-breeder Carolyn Williston of Moffat from Post 6 in the sixth race. Post time for Friday’s Ontario Sires Stakes laden program is 7:25 pm. For complete entries Sandra Snyder
ELORA, ON — Ontario’s two-year-old pacing colts return to Grand River Raceway on Friday, Sept. 13 for the first time since they thrilled fans in the 2013 edition of the Battle Of Waterloo. This year’s champion Three Of Clubs headlines the group of 19 hopefuls heading to the Elora oval for three Gold Series divisions and the colt will start from Post 7 in the second $70,000 split, aiming to get back to business after missing the Aug. 24 Metro Pace Eliminations due to sickness. Guelph resident Gregg McNair trains Three Of Clubs and shares ownership on the winner of $116,367 with Tony Lawrence of Hanover and Shady Hill Racing Stable of Durham. Through six lifetime starts the Mach Three son boasts a record of three wins and two thirds, with his 1:53.4 personal best coming in the Aug. 5 Battle Of Waterloo Final. Arthur Blue Chip won his Battle Of Waterloo Elimination and finished third in the Final, but the Shadow Play son has been flawless ever since, capturing his Nassagaweya division and Metro Pace Elimination at Mohawk Racetrack. Considered one of the favourites for the $683,000 Metro Pace Final, Arthur Blue Chip was scratched due to sickness just one day before the event went postward, so Friday’s event is also a rebounding opportunity for the winner of $194,495. Dr. Ian Moore of Guelph conditions Arthur Blue Chip and shares ownership of the colt with his partners in the Shadow One Stable of Guelph. The colt will make his eighth lifetime start from Post 2 in the last Gold division, hoping to pad a resume that includes five wins, one third and a personal best 1:51.2. In addition to their stable stars, McNair and Moore will harness three other hopefuls on Friday. McNair sends out Crafty Master from Post 6 in the third division, while Moore will start Play It Again Sam from Post 6 in the first division and Im Drinkin Doubles from Post 5 in the second. Grand River Raceway’s Friday evening program begins at 7:05 pm and the exciting two-year-old pacing colt battles will take place in Races 2, 6 and 10. For complete entries For up to date point standings, race replays, and more Sandra Snyder
ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway fans will witness a heavyweight showdown in the fourth of five two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots divisions on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Ranged along the starting gate in the eighth race will be four of the fillies currently ranked among the top 10 point earners, including division leader Momara, who has not been bested since the Aug. 2 Battle of the Belles at Grand River where she finished second to stablemate Lady Shadow. Aside from the Battle of the Belles Final Momara's only other loss through seven lifetime starts came in the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs where she finished second. The Gregg McNair trainee boasts a Grassroots point tally of 225 from four wins and one second and will take aim on win number five from Post 1 on Wednesday. Guelph resident McNair shares ownership of the Lis Mara daughter with Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, Don MacDonald of Amherstburg and David Kryway of Amherstburg. First in the group of fillies hoping to best Momara is Shadows Wonder, who will line up to the division leader's right at Post 2. The Shadow Play daughter is riding her own two race win streak in Grassroots action and is currently ranked fourth in the standings with 116 points. Dr. Ian Moore of Guelph trains Shadows Wonder for his partners R G McGroup td. of Bathurst, NB, and Serge Savard of Saint-Bruno, QC. From Post 3, Shes A Hotmama is in a fight to keep her spot in the top 10, sitting in a tie for ninth with 93 points. Only the top 10 point earners advance to the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 21. The Major Hottie daughter posted a win in the July 9 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs, but has been unable to find her way back to the winner's circle. Stephen Charlton trains Shes A Hotmama for Larocque Racing Stb Inc. of Thornhill and Kathleen Charlton of Clifford. Girlsgotmachzie is the final top 10 point earner in the eighth race and will make her bid for a second Grassroots win from Post 5. The Mach Three filly captured her July 22 division at Mohawk Racetrack for trainer Victor Puddy and owner Percy Elkins of Campbellville, then added two seconds, one fourth and one seventh to her tally for 110 points. Post time for Wednesday's talent laden program is 7:05 pm and Grand River Raceway will feature the two-year-old pacing fillies in Races 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. For complete entries Sandra Snyder
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - Shadow Play daughters Shadows Wonder and Brookdale Shadow provided Guelph resident Dr. Ian Moore with a small measure of consolation at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening as they battled to victory in their respective Grassroots divisions. The fillies' Ontario Sires Stakes success helped ease the disappointment felt in the Moore barn late last week when Arthur Blue Chip, another Shadow Play freshman, had to be scratched from Saturday night's Metro Pace Final due to sickness. The colt had been installed as one of the favourites for the $683,000 Final after capturing his Aug. 24 elimination. Shadows Wonder and driver Jack Moiseyev of Moffat started the mood-brightening in the second division with a charge around the final turn that saw them reel in the leaders and battle home to a half-length victory in 1:55. Artful Impulse paced into second, leaving pacesetter and fan favourite Somebaysomewhere to settle for third. The win was the second straight for Shadows Wonder, who is owned by Moore, R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NB and Serge Savard of Saint-Bruno, QC. The partners also bred the daughter of Shadow Play and Putnams Wonder. One race later Milton resident Randy Waples partnered with Moore's second entry Brookdale Shadow, guiding the filly to a three-quarter length win in a personal best 1:55.1. Wishful Luck and favourite Hare To Eternity rounded out the top three. Monday's outing was Brookdale Shadow's first in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Up until late August the filly had been racing in the Maritimes for owners Douglas R. and Douglas E. Polley of Amherst, NB. In the other three $18,000 divisions, point leader and heavy favourite Momara sprinted around the Mohawk oval to her fourth straight Grassroots victory, stopping the clock at 1:55.3; Stellllllla earned her first lifetime victory with a 1:54.3 effort; and favourite Skippin By paced to a personal best 1:53.4, trouncing the twelfth race field by eight lengths. The freshman pacing fillies make their last regular season Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway Sept. 11. In other action on the Monday evening program, Ontario Sires Stakes superstar Bee A Magician extended her win streak to 12 with a 1:52.3 stakes record in the three-year-old trotting filly Simcoe Stakes. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Mohawk Racetrack next Monday, Sept. 9 with the regular season finale for the three-year-old pacing fillies. For complete results For up to date point standings, race replays, and more. Sandra Snyder
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 30 – When it comes to being involved in big races, small-time Maritime trainer/owner Wayne Whebby knows exactly what it feels like. The 71-year-old veteran conditioner has raced in the Pepsi North America Cup, Breeders Crown, Adios and Governors Cup to name a few, but on Saturday he’ll have his first taste of Metro Pace pie. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia resident will send out Play It Again Sam from post nine in this year’s $683,000 edition. “It’s a terrific feeling, but we’ll have our work cut out for us,” Whebby said. “We’re very fortunate to be in it, but there are a lot of other nice colts in there too.” Play It Again Sam was a $25,000 yearling purchase from last year’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale. He was a horse that was on Whebby’s radar at the auction. “I looked at him and really liked him,” he said. “He was very late in the sale (hip 706), which was good and bad. The price might be lower, but if I didn’t get him, I might be stuck with nothing.” Whebby wasn’t looking for a partner at the time, but that soon changed. The youngster also caught co-owner Ron McLellan’s eye (R G McGroup Ltd). He was in pursuit of any offspring sired by Shadow Play, of whom he also owns a piece. “Ron and I have been friends for years and we also came across another horse by Shadow Play named Im Drinking Doubles. Im Drinking Doubles was earlier in the sale and we got him for $32,000 and we were fortunate enough to get Play It Again Sam for $25,000. That’s how Ron and I became partners.” Whebby then shipped his two new purchases home to Truro, Nova Scotia to begin their early lessons. “Emmons MacKay broke them and got them going and did an absolute terrific job,” Whebby said. “I’d come in and train with him a few days a week and oversee things, but he deserves the credit.” When Play It Again Sam was training down, Whebby never got overly confident in his youngster. “I’ve been down this road before and sometimes they pan out and sometimes they don’t,” he said. “He did everything right and we knew the speed was there, but you never know what can happen once they line up behind the gate.” When both horses were near qualifying, Whebby called upon his son, Marc. “Marc did most of the fine-tuning on both of them,” said the veteran horseman. “He put the finishing touches on them and raced them in Truro. I like it that way because Marc gives terrific feed back and makes sure everything is the way it should be. He’s also a terrific blacksmith and overall good horseman. “We have a system that we use between Emmons, Marc and I and it’s been successful, so we’re not going to change,” he continued. So far this season, Play It Again Sam has sparked the attention of his owners with a 7-0-1 record from eight starts and $55,627 this season. “We brought him along accordingly and he raced very well in Truro, but again, racing in Truro and racing at Mohawk are two different leagues. He’s progressed very well and shows that he has the speed to belong.” Whebby then shipped Play It Again Sam west to Ontario to the barn of trainer Dr. Ian Moore, another Maritmer. Moore had two entries in this year’s Metro, but Moore’s other entry, Arthur Blue Chip has been scratched due to sickness, therefore Play It Again Sam will look to be crowned this year’s champion for the Maritime connections. Looking ahead to Saturday’s Metro Pace, the richest event for two-year-olds in North America, Whebby remains optimistic about Play It Again Sam. “I think it’s a very evenly matched group of colts this year,” Whebby said. “There’s not a particular standout yet and a lot will depend on racing luck and who benefits from the best trip. I sure hope that’s us. “Between, Ron, his wife, Gail, Marc and Emmons and I, we’re having a lot of fun this season,” Whebby continued. David Miller will be at the helm from post nine in race seven on Saturday evening. by Greg Gangle
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 30 – Arthur Blue Chip, who was installed the 7/2 second choice to win Saturday's $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk, has been scratched due to sickness. The word came from trainer Dr. Ian Moore on Friday morning. “He had a terrific week up until about yesterday,” Moore said. “I took him out to train and he coughed once before he went a mile and a few times afterwards. I scoped him and he showed signs of sickness, but is five-times worse this morning.” The son of Shadow Play has banked $194,495 this season along with a 5-0-1 record from seven starts. “This would be our fifth time being in the Metro and I think our best chance to win, so it’s disappointing not to be in it,” Moore said. “We have to do what’s best for the horse. It’s not a serious issue, but could develop into one if we race him. As a veterinarian I wouldn’t recommend to any client to race, so I’m certainly not going to race my own.” The $135,000 yearling purchase is owned by Shadow One Stable. Randy Waples was listed to drive from post four. First also eligible Some Major Beach, the half-brother to 2007 Metro winner, Somebeachsomewhere, has drawn into the Metro Pace Final and will be driven by Doug McNair. by Greg Gangle
Metro Pace, Canadian Pacing Derby and Shes A Great Lady Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 24…The sports top rookie pacers were showcased on Saturday evening at Mohawk in a trio of $40,000 Metro Pace eliminations. Arthur Blue Chip, Western Vintage and Lets Drink On It captured their respective eliminations and stamped themselves as top contenders for this year’s $683,000 final on Saturday, August 31 at Mohawk. Favoured Arthur Blue Chip, with Randy Waples driving, fended off all challengers to handily win the first of three eliminations. Taking over from Luck Be Withyou after a 27.1 opening quarter, Arthur Blue Chip took the field to the half in :55.4 and three-quarters in 1.24.2. For a moment in early stretch, it looked like the pacesetter would need to repulse Tellitlikeitis and Yannick Gingras, who were rallying on the inside, but the son of Shadow Play-Advantest pulled away late for the one and one-half length tally in a career best 1:51.2. Luck Be Withyou outnodded Tellitlikeitis for second, with Some Major Beach getting up for fourth. “He’s getting to be a really nice colt now,” said trainer Dr. Ian Moore. “He’s just getting better every day. Tonight, he was quite quiet in the paddock. I thought something was wrong with him. But he came his last quarter in 27 flat, so looks like he’s okay for now. “Last week was the first time he raced off the front. I told Randy I’d leave it up to him as to how he wanted to race him tonight.” A $135,000 yearling purchase and a half-brother to Kenneth J, Arthur Blue Chip came into his elim fresh from a comfortable front-end score last week in a division of the Nassagaweya in 1:52. He’s now won five of seven starts for the Shadow One Stable of Guelph, Ontario, while pocketing $194,495. Arthur Blue Chip paid $4.20, $2.90 and $2.30, combining with Luck Be Withyou ($4.90, $3.30) for a $15.60 (4-5) exactor. A 4-5-2 (Tellitlikeitis, $2.70) triactor was worth $69.40 while a $1 Superfecta [4-5-2-7 (Some Major Beach)] returned $148.75. Odds-on Western Vintage coasted to a two length score in the second Metro Pace elim for driver Yannick Gingras. Western Vintage, a Western Ideal-Major Harmony colt, took over from Ideal Magic after the first quarter in 27.4 and blasted to the top, getting to the half in 55.2. Around the far turn and into the stretch, the favourite was pressed by Somewhere in LA after reaching three-quarters in 1:24.3, but Gingras let out another notch and Western Vintage drew off impressively in 1:51.3. Winds of Change blew by the rest of the field to collar second place, with Play It Again Sam third and Ideal Magic fourth. It was also the fourth win in five starts for the Nancy Johansson trainee, his only blemish coming last week in a Nassagaweya division, when he made a break before the start as the 7-5 choice and was distanced. “He was a little anxious last week on (driver) Marcus (Johansson), that’s why he ran,” explained Gingras. “He was a little anxious on me a little bit tonight, too. That’s why I let him do his thing. “He was full of pace. He was just waiting for me to call on him. Every time I’ve called on him so far, he’s had something left. I’ve yet to pull the ear plugs on him but I’m sure next week we’ll have to. I think he has as good a chance as anybody (next week) and he’s done nothing wrong so far.” Gingras is now undefeated on the colt in three pari-mutuel starts, including a New Jersey Sires Stake on July 13 at the Meadowlands. Just a $7,000 yearling purchase by owner Perry Soderberg of Manalapan, New Jersey, Western Vintage has now banked $117,250. Western Vintage paid $3.70, $2.70 and $2.10, teaming with Winds of Change ($7.10, $3.80) for a $21.60 (3-2) exactor. A 3-2-1 (Play It Again Sam, $2.20) triactor returned $52.20, while a $1 Superfecta [3-2-1-8 (Ideal Magic)] was worth $127.50. Favoured Let’s Drink On It gamely outfought Boomboom Ballykeel in deep stretch to post a neck decision in the third and final elimination. Boomboom Ballykeel took the field through an opening quarter in 27.2, before Let’s Drink On It was hustled to the front by driver Jim Morrill, getting to the half in a leisurely 56.1. After three-quarters was reached in 1:23.4, it looked like the chalk was home free, but Boomboom Ballykeel mounted a rail rally and appeared to put a head in front before Let’s Drink On It re-rallied for the close victory in a life best 1:51.1, the fastest of the three elims. Beat the Drum came on for third, six and one-quarter lengths behind the top pair, while Somesizesomestyle was fourth. Trained by Joe Seekman for U.S. interests, the son of Art Official, who was also trained by Seekman, was only a $12,000 Lexington yearling purchase. Art Official was the only horse to beat Somebeachsomewhere, and he did it in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace in July of 2008. “Jimmy (Morrill) said he thought tonight maybe he might be better covered up,” said Seekman. “There was a little scare in the stretch when the other horse come up the inside. But he’s two fingers. He can go anywhere. He doesn’t have to be on the front. “Art Official never won at two and this horse already has four wins. We thought we stole him (for only $12,000 at the sale).” Let’s Drink On It, winning his fourth in six starts, paid $4.70, $2.80 and $2.50, combining with Boomboom Ballykeel ($4.40, $3.60) for a $16.20 (4-7) exactor. A 4-7-3 (Beat the Drum, $3.10) triactor was worth $103.10 while a $1 Superfecta [4-7-3-1 (Somesizesomestyle)] returned $242.25. The rich classic has been won recently by a host of champions, including last year by Captaintreacherous, Sportswriter in 2009, Somebeachsomewhere in 2007 and Rocknroll Hanover in 2004. The top three finishers in each $40,000 elim, plus a fourth place finisher drawn by lot (Ideal Magic), advance to the final. The elim winners get to choose a post position before the rest of the field is drawn. 1. Boomboom Ballykeel 2. Lets Drink On It 3.Western Vintage 4. Arthur Blue Chip 5. Tellitlikeitis 6. Winds Of Change 7. Luck Be Withyou 8. Beat The Drum 9. Play It Again Sam 10. Ideal Magic Metro videos are races 5,7,9 attached Greg Gangle
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 22 – After taking two of three divisions of the Nassagaweya Stakes this past Saturday, Dr. Ian Moore’s Arthur Blue Chip and Play It Again Sam are on top of their game heading into the Metro Pace eliminations, Saturday at Mohawk. Both freshman pacers are fresh off a 1:52 career best and are sired by Shadow Play, who Moore campaigned to $1,559,822 in earnings from 2007-2009. Arthur Blue Chip, who has banked $174,495 already this season, has a 4-0-1 record from six starts for Shadow One Racing. The $135,000 yearling purchase is a half brother to Kenneth J (1:49.3 - $1,592,755). He will begin from post four in the first of three eliminations for driver Randy Waples. Moore’s other entry, Play It Again Sam, remains undefeated in seven starts this season and was a new addition to his stable within the past few weeks. The youngster was sent to Moore from longtime friend and trainer Wayne Whebby from Nova Scotia. Play It Again Sam has banked $50,827 in his young career for Whebby and R G McGroup Ltd. Waples will also steer Play It Again Sam from post one in the second elim. This morning, WEG’s Communications department spoke with Moore about his Metro Pace elimination starters. To view the interview, click the link below: http://bcove.me/yuoutmoq Greg Gangle
Two year old Shadow Play colt Play It Again Sam stepped onto the big stage for the first time tonight at Mohawk Racetrack and kept his unbeaten record in tact. The $25,000 Harrisburg purchase won for the sixth time in six starts in 1:53.2 with Marc Whebby driving for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. Play It Again Sam had won his previous starts at Truro for very little stake but was impressive in all his starts winning one race by over 15 lengths in 1:57.3. He is out of the Blissfull Hall mare Plant A Kiss.
ELORA, ON — The stage is set for the July 29th elimination rounds of Grand River Raceway’s signature race, the 16th annual Battle Of Waterloo and its sister dash, the fifth annual Battle Of The Belles. The top nine finishers for each of these elimination events for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacers, advance to their respective finals during the track’s 23rd annual harness racing celebration, Industry Day, on August 5 (post time 1:30). Battle Of Waterloo Trainer Wayne McGean paid $12,500 to supplement Steady Warrior into the $125,000 Battle Of Waterloo and drew the rail in the third of four eight-horse divisions. The Royal Mattjesty colt is still on the hunt for his maiden win, but has racked up $61,300 in four starts, including a pair of runner-up finishes and a third in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold Series. McGean and co-owner Michael Gouthro paid just $5,000 for the pacer as a yearling. He finished a half-length behind Arthur Blue Chip in the $150,000 OSS Gold Mid-Summer Challenge at Mohawk Racetrack on July 19. But Steady Warrior won’t face Arthur Blue Chip on Monday night. The Ian Moore trainee will start from post six in the third division (race six). A winner of two from three starts, Arthur Blue Chip set a personal best of 1:52.4 in the OSS Mid-Summer Challenge. He has banked $110,000 and was a $135,000 yearling for the Shadow One Stable of Guelph, ON. Moore won the 2009 Battle Of Waterloo with Wellthereyougo. National speed leaders Rather Swell, Falcon Justice and Boomboom Ballykeel will also start in race six, from posts three, seven and eight respectively. Falcon Justice (Mister Big) is currently the quickest rookie gelding in the country. The Rod Boyd trainee won his first career start on June 20 at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:53.1. Boomboom Ballykeel holds the distinction on a half-miler after his maiden win at Hanover Raceway in 1:56.4 on July 20. He’s conditioned by Canada’s current leading trainer, Richard Moreau, and driven by the nation’s top dash driver, Trevor Henry. A maiden score of 1:54.4 in an OSS Grassroots division on July 6 at Georgian Downs made Rather Swell the quickest rookie pacing gelding over a five-eighths mile track. The Robert McIntosh homebred is a son of Western Maverick. Lucky King, in the first division, also holds a current Canadian speed record. The Camluck son’s most recent win at Georgian Downs on July 6 in 1:54.1 makes him the quickest rookie colt over a five-eighths surface in 2013. He starts from post seven in race four for trainer Andrew McCabe. Cluster Hanover starts to the right of Lucky King for trainer/owner Jack Darling. Still chasing his maiden win in this fifth start, Cluster Hanover has banked $40,725 and finished third in the OSS Mid-Summer Challenge. Darling purchased the Badlands Hanover gelding as a yearling for $95,000. Three-time Battle Of Waterloo champ Jody Jamieson will steer. Titus Seelster looks to double-up in the final boys’ division (race 10). The pacer captured his first lifetime victory in 1:53.1 with a driving-away win by seven lengths in the $50,000 OSS Mid-Summer Challenge Consolation on July 19. Stephane Larocque trains the Artistic Fella colt, a winner of $38,125 in two starts. Battle Of The Belles Eliminations for the $75,000 Battle Of The Belles will be contested by 24 fillies in three divisions (races 2, 3 and 5). Lady Shadow headlines the first group. She is represented by the Guelph, ON father-son, trainer-driver duo of Gregg and Doug McNair, winners of the 2008 Battle Of Waterloo with Trail Boss. Gregg McNair is also on-point to secure his second consecutive Johnston Cup (for leading trainer in the OSS). He has a stronghold on the standings, thanks to the likes of Lady Shadow. She leads this elimination field for earnings with $51,500 in three starts and a mark of 1:54.4. The McNairs also have Momara — the current leader for OSS Grassroots earnings ($17,356). She enters the second Belles division hoping for a hat-trick. She won by seven and nine lengths respectively in her last two OSS Grassroots outings. Performing Art leads all OSS freshman pacing fillies with $52,500 banked in three OSS starts. She also holds the current season’s record for her division over a five-eighths mile track with a 1:54.2 score at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 11. She starts from post four in the second division for trainer Otis Hall. Alibi Seelster starts from post seven for Jack Darling in race five. The Shadow Play miss was third in the $150,000 OSS Mid-Summer Challenge. A winner of two from four, she was a $27,000 yearling who has already paid her way with $61,000 banked and a mark of 1:53.3. Finalists & Post Position Draw Post positions for the finals will be drawn as follows: • Post Position Draw for the Battle Of The Belles: Drawn live on the Tarmac Show after race 6 on July 29. (Top three finishers from each of the three elimination divisions advance to the final on August 5.) • Post Position Draw for the Battle Of Waterloo: Drawn live on the Tarmac Show after race 11 on July 29. (Top two finishers from each of the four elimination divisions, plus one of the third-place finishers — as drawn by lot — advance to the final on August 5.) Post time for race one on Monday, July 29 is 7:05 p.m. For complete Industry Day details, visit www.IndustryDayCelebration.com Kelly Spencer
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - While lightning circled around Campbellville on Friday evening, the top two-year-old pacers in the province lit things up at Mohawk Racetrack in the first Ontario Sires Stakes Mid-Summer Challenge. Two-year-old pacing colt Arthur Blue Chip delivered an outstanding effort in the $150,000 pacing colt challenge, coming on in the stretch to claim a one-half length victory over Steady Warrior and Cluster Hanover. The Shadow Play son stopped the teletimer in a personal best 1:52.4 over a track rated one second slower than normal. "I just told Randy (Waples), I said, he's lazy, but I said if you get him up in the rigging he'll go for you," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Guelph. "He knows what it's all about now. Randy said he was good, perfect." Milton resident Randy Waples piloted Arthur Blue Chip to the win, his second in Gold Series competition, for Moore and his partners in the Shadow One Stable. The partners purchased the colt for $135,000 from last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and have already recouped $110,000 after three starts. In addition to watching his own colt triumph over a deeply talented field, Moore also applauded the success of several other Shadow Play offspring. The horseman campaigned $1.5 million winner Shadow Play during his stellar racing career and is thrilled with the early season results the stallion is enjoying in Ontario. "It's quite a thrill for me, having had Shadow Play and now having some of his offspring to train and race, and also to see them race too," explains Moore. "Jack Darling, I was talking to him, his fillies did great - one and three right - so I'm very, very happy." Cambridge resident Jack Darling received congratulations from Moore after Shadow Play daughters Nefertiti Blue Chip and Alibi Seelster finished first and third in the $150,000 pacing filly challenge. After leading for much of the race fan favourite Alibi Seelster was edged out by her stablemate and runner-up Sudoku, leaving Darling surprised, but pleased, with the result. "I'm as shocked as anybody," admitted the trainer in the winner's circle. "Great drive, and she raced big, she came up big. Last week at Rideau she was just kind of a mediocre second, but she's been fighting off sickness and allergies, and I guess she's over it now." Moffat resident Jody Jamieson piloted Nefertiti Blue Chip to the 1:54 win, her second lifetime but first on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. Darling acquired the daughter of Shadow Play and Rising Sun at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, offering up $50,000 for the filly. Before the division heavyweights waged their battles, two $50,000 Mid-Summer Consolations were contested and Regil Meg came up with a sharp effort to capture the pacing filly event. Guelph resident Doug McNair put the Artistic Fella daughter on the front end early and simply set the cruise control button. Regil Meg sailed home unchallenged in 1:55.3, two and one-quarter lengths ahead of Goldies Mach and Jokes Jet. Dr. Reginald Westgarth of Amherstberg bred, owns and trains Regil Meg, who earned her spot in the consolation with a fourth-place finish in the July 1 season opener at Mohawk. In the pacing colt consolation Artistic Fella son Titus Seelster simply dominated his peers, sailing across the wire seven and one-half lengths on top in 1:53.1. Fan favourite Weatherly settled for second and Bugger Bruiser was third. Milton resident Sylvain Filion piloted Titus Seelster to the win for trainer Stephane Larocque and owners Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms Inc. of Quebec. The two-year-old pacing colts will make their fourth Gold Series start at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 13 and the pacing fillies return to Mohawk on the same day. The second of three Mid-Summer Challenges goes postward at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Aug. 5 and features the two-year-old trotting colts and fillies. For complete results. For up to date point standings, race replays, and more. All videos from tonights meeting are attached next to the photo Races 7-10 are still pending Sandra Snyder
Randy Waples had a harrowing drive to get to The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ontario, from Mohawk tonight in time to drive State Treasurer in the track's signature event, the $150,000 Molson Pace. But the trip proved worthwhile as his heads up drive in the race was much quicker and certainly more profitable.