Prepping for Hambletonian Day's U.S. Pacing Championship, State Treasurer turned in a 1:48.3 triumph in the $34,000 Preferred Pace at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night. The 4-5 favourite overcame an outside post eight start for the eighth sub-1:50 victory of his career for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. Chris Christoforou drove the five-year-old son of Real Desire, who is owned by Sally MacDonald of Souris, P.E.I. and Paul MacDonald of Regina, Sask. Evenin Of Pleasure (Sylvain Filion) and Fool Me Once (Paul MacDonell) fired off the gate together with the later eventually clearing the former into a scorching :25.3 first quarter. Meanwhile, State Treasurer found a spot along the pylons in fifth and launched his attack down the backstretch, chasing Fool Me Once by the half in :53.2 and then edging a head in front by the 1:21.1 three-quarters mark. State Treasurer then drew clear of Fool Me Once into the stretch and held off the late-rallying Ellis Park (Steve Condren), who won the Preferred last week. Captive Audience (James MacDonald) closed for third over Fool Me Once. To view the rest of this story click here.
Three-year-old pacing fillies lined up in five $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series divisions on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack, and it was a host of fillies who had yet to taste Ontario Sires Stakes success in 2014 emerging with victories. Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic), who hadn’t been to the winner’s circle since last November, was the fastest winner, turning in a 1:52 spin of the seven-eighths mile oval in the Grassroots finale. After a first-over trip in the final three-eighths of the mile, Mea Lilley Mark wore down leader and favourite Artful Impulse (Steve Condren) to post the victory by half a length. An Angel Shes Not (Paul MacDonell) finished third. Sue Marie Gangell trains the victorious Whosurboy filly for owner/breeder Kimberly Mark of Simcoe, Ont. Mea Lilley Mark is a two-time winner from 21 career starts and she has earned $39,368. Driver Chris Christoforou scored a pair of off-the-pace wins, guiding Dana Dearest to a 1:53 triumph in the first Grassroots test and then overcoming post 10 to get a 1:54.4 tally with Shadows Wonder in the fourth split. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, was making her first start in the Casie Coleman stable for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ont. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going five-for-nine. She has a career bankroll of $48,148. Trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Guelph, Ont. also bred and co-owns Shadows Wonder, a filly by Shadow Play, with partners R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, N.B. and Hockey Hall of Famer Serge Savard of Saint-Bruno, Que. Shadows Wonder, who won last year’s Grassroots Championship for two-year-old pacing fillies and this year’s Kin Pace at Clinton Raceway, picked up her sixth career win and she has now put away $107,020. Murrayfield (James MacDonald) and Badlyinclined (Jack Moiseyev) were the other winners, and both of them stopped the clock in 1:53. Murrayfield, who was positioned eighth at the half and sixth at three-quarters, rallied through the lane and got up in the final stride to nail leader Alibi Seelster (MacDonell) to win by a neck while Badlyinclined led through panels of :27, :55.3, and 1:24 on her way to a half-length decision over Nefertiti Bluechip (Jody Jamieson). Ben Wallace trains Murrayfield, a Jeremes Jet filly, for owner Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont. She has seven wins from 15 career tries and she has now pocketed $78,964. John Kopas handles the training of Badlyinclined, a daughter of Badlands Hanover, for co-owner/breeder Big Als Stables Inc. of Woodbridge, Ont., Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Ont., and LLK Stable of Mississauga, Ont. She has won four times from 19 attempts in her racing career and she has banked $98,994. Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series action for three-year-old pacing fillies will take place next on August 3 at Clinton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, July 19 - A quartet of Canadian Breeders Championships for the nation's finest three-year-old pacers and trotters highlighted the undercard for Maple Leaf Trot night at Mohawk. Harper Blue Chip, with Sylvain Filion at the controls, turned in another top notch performance to win the $121,958 Canadian Breeders Championship for three-year-old colts and geldings trotters. After getting away in third, the son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin was sent to the lead approaching the half and never looked back winning by 3 Â¾ lengths in 1:55.2. Muscle Matters, the early leader, finished second, while Jitterbug finished third by a nose over Entranced. Harper Blue Chip is trained by Mark Steacy for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable, David McDonald, David Reid and George Judson. Following the race, Howard Pearce, a member of the Landmark 6 Racing Sable, said it was a sweet victory. "It's a tough year to have a really nice horse like 'Harper' because of those three nice horses down south," said Pearce. "But he's proven that he is one of the best in Canada, so that's wonderful." Pearce also mentioned that it appears Harper Blue Chip will now head south to the Meadowlands to compete in the Hambletonian. The Breeders Championship victory was the second win in five starts this season for Harper Blue Chip and the fifth win of his career. His career earnings now jump more than $350,000. He paid $2.70 to win. White Becomes Her extended her win streak to four in winning the $118,090 Canadian Breeders Championship for the three-year-old filly trotters. Mario Baillargeon moved the daughter of Angus Hall - Pursuing Keagan from the two-hole to the lead in the second quarter. After posting a three-quarter time of 1:28.1, White Becomes Her trotted away from her rivals with a :28.3 last quarter to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:56.4. Margie finished in the place spot, while Mayberry trotted into third. White Becomes Her is trained by Ben Baillargeon for owner Vince Mastrangelon. The Breeders Championship was the fifth win in eight starts this season for White Becomes Her. Following the race, Mario Baillargeon said we haven't seen the best of her yet. "I don't think so, I can't wait to race her with the American fillies and get a trip," said Baillargeon. "She loves to follow a lot more than racing on the front, so I would like to get her on a helmet behind Shake It Cerry and see what happens in the lane." White Becomes Her now has six wins and earnings of over $210,000 in her career. She returned $3.30. Silverhill Shadow repelled all comers with a smart front-end pace to win the $122,028 Canadian Breeders Championship for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Chris Christoforou blasted off the gate to demand the lead from pocket-sitting Shadowbriand marking a quarter in :27 and a half in :56.2 through a persistent drizzle over a sloppy track. Sylain Filion made a menacing move first over into the turn with Victor Bayama, but Silverhill Shadow had another gear and stepped away to a dominant win in 1:51.2. A ground saving Shadowbriand, efficiently steered by Paul MacDonnell, stayed on determinedly to earn the place photo over Victory Bayama. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, the Shadow Play colt earned his fourth win of the campaign from six starts. The conditioner noted a very important similarity to his champion sire. "Heart and desire for sure," said Moore. "He's a big strong colt and he gives you all he's got every time out." A front-end trip was always in the cards for the quick Silverhill Shadow. "Chris was asking him to get the front going the first quarter, and I thought I had him warmed up pretty good, but he was great the last half-mile and that's where it counted," said Moore. He paid $5.80 to win. Brescia Seelster pulled off a 60-1 upset in the $122,343 Canadian Breeders Championship final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Sudoku brushed to the lead under urging from Jody Jamieson down the backstretch in :56.1, but it was an amped up My Secret Belle, piloted by Joe Hudon, who took over into the turn. My Secret Belle and Sudoku battled to mid-stretch before a closing cavalry of filly pacers converged with the outside rally of Brescia Seelster the winning move for Mario Baillargeon. Performing Art, a 40-1 long shot, stormed up the rail to earn place money keying boxcar payoffs. It was the fourth win in eight starts this season for Brescia Seelster, improving on a 1-4-1 record from 10 starts a year ago. "She was a little slow in maturing and Mario has been telling us all along as this horse gets older it'll be better," said co-owner Norman Keyes. Co-owned and trained by David Keyes, Brescia Seelster paid $138.70 to win. by Mark McKelvie and Keith McCalmont, for WEG
Summerside, PE- It was June 11, 2008 at Summerside Raceway, Outlawpositivcharg was making his first start on Maritime soil. The lower-end claimer had shipped in from Edmonton to the Terry Gallant Stable. He picked up a going away victory in his first start, and what he would do over the next six years would grab the heart of every Maritime racing fan around. The 'Outlaw' would go on to win his next five races including the biggest win of Gallant's driving and training career. His first ever Governor's Plate. "There were memorable moments all the way around," as Gallant recalled his first plate win. "From my mother, to the first time winning my hometown race and it was the first time owner Fred Lamont had a horse in the Governor's Plate." That night was the last night Gallant's mother ever walked. Outlawpositivcharg landed on P.E.I. after Gallant made a call to the former Island native Lamont. Gallant was curious to see if he may have an open mare out in Alberta that would do in P.E.I, Lamont did and her name was K G Affair. "I had no idea this horse was coming when Fred put him on the truck in Edmonton, he called me two days later and said, ' I hope you have two stalls, because I sent you another horse (with K G Affair)." Gallant made some shoeing adjustments and it was straight forward from there. "In his first start I had K G Affair's hopples on him and the wrong set of harness on him, because I didn't know which harness was whose. Fred came home the next week and told me I had the wrong rigging on him." It was after his very first start Gallant knew he had a special horse on his hands. "After his first start I told Fred that I have a real horse here," he said. "The next day Dr. Ian Moore came up and he was working on another horse for me. Ian had Astronomical at the time, and I pointed at Outlaw and said, 'I'm coming for you with that horse." Four starts later, Gallant was right, Outlawpositivcharg beat Astronomical on the way to his first Governor's Plate. "Without a doubt that was my biggest win with him. There's nothing that will ever compare to that win for me, not even winning the Little Brown Jug." When Lamont purchased the horse as a three-year-old he didn't know what he had on his hands. "It never ever crossed my mind that he was that type of horse, before that race," Lamont said. The 10-year-old gelded son of Blissfull Hall - Electromagnetic is owned by Lamont of Calgary, AB. He finished his career with 155 starts, returning back to the winner circle 47 times, a lifetime mark of 1:54 over Charlottetown and banked $ 168, 818 in earnings. Although he grabbed the heart of people around the Maritime scene, it was in the winter of 2008 when he grabbed the heart of his long time groom Ashley Gamester. "I knew right from the start that he was a special horse, he had already done a lot in the Maritimes when I started to look after him," she said. "I fall in love pretty easy, but after he won his first few races in 2009, I fell for him pretty hard." Gamester said 'Outlaw' was always the boss of the barn and he knew it. "He was always first in line, whether it be the first to be fed, or the first to get out in the paddock. He loved to bunt people with his head." Outlaw was the type of horse that you couldn't take your eyes off of, she explained. "He would always have his back feet going, pretending he was going to kick you, although he never would. He always loved to chew the cords off of my radios too, I think he chewed four or five cords off the first summer I looked after him." Gamester said she didn't mind having to go buy a new radio every so often. "Being as good of a horse as he was, he got away with pretty much everything. He may have been a little spoiled." Gamester's work with Outlawpositvcharg didn't go unnoticed. "You're only as good as your help. Everyone that took care of him always done what was asked, some of them went out on a limb and done a lot more, especially Ashley," said Gallant. " She was the one that knew him the best, she'd let him do whatever he wanted." The 22-year-old Gamester credits Outlaw for teaching her some valuable lessons, not only in life but the game of harness racing too. "It was pretty special to be able to look after a horse like Outlaw. I learned so much from looking after him," she said. "I'm very thankful to Terry and Fred for giving me the opportunity to look after him. It was just an awesome feeling to walk him out of the paddock knowing he was going to give you all he had every time he went behind the gate." Gallant is proud of what Outlaw has done for six consecutive seasons, but he is very thankful that Lamont allowed him to be part of such a special horse. Lamont said the ride was one filled with many thrills. "Six years of major, major thrills. Every time you went and watched him he tried his best, most times he was the best, which made life so much more enjoyable being in the horse business." Dubbed the "East Coast Warrior" by track announcer Vance Cameron, Outlawpositivcharg's numbers while in the Maritimes, speak for themselves. He will retire as one of the toughest horses to ever race in the free-for-all ranks. While racing under the care of Gallant in the Maritimes, he picked up 42 of his 47 lifetime victories. He had over 10 invitational victories including the Exhibition Cup, Breeders Crown Invitational, Cecil Ladner and the JA Ferguson Memorial in North Sydney where he set a new track record of 1:55. He competed in the Gold Cup and Saucer in 2008 finishing fifth, the next year he was third in the James 'Roach' MacGregor, Gold Cup consolation. His last victory came on May 16, 2013 at Charlottetown in 1:56.2. "The day that horse retired, I haven't been the same horseman since the horse left the barn," said Gallant. The "East Coast Warrior" has been the driving force behind many of Cameron's 'Boom Just Like That!' race calls and he is also the only horse to ever win back-to-back Governor's Plates. "It was big because he made history, becoming the first horse to win it two years in a row. It doesn't compare to the first one. We were happy to win it don't get me wrong, we were happy to win any race with him." He tried his luck at the Plate six times and made an appearance in the final of the Governor's Plate an incredible four times, after his back-to-back victories he picked up a 3rd in 2010 and a 2nd in 2011. On Saturday July 19, 2014 the Outlaw will take one last tour around the Summerside oval that he called home. He will parade the consolation for the Governor's Plate. Outlaw will then enjoy retirement on P.E.I., which is more than deserving for the horse that grabbed every Maritime race fans heart over his six years of racing under the duo of Lamont and Gallant. Just how much did he mean to Gallant, who seen Outlaw for the first time since last August on Thursday. "When I went to pick him up there were tears in my eyes, that's what kind of a ride I was on," he said. "I don't have a son, but I'll tell you, If I had one I wish it'd be just like him." by Bo Ford, for Red Shores
CAMPBELLVILLE, July 12 - A quintet of Canadian Breeders Championship eliminations for the three-year-old pacers were contested Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Lady Shadow turned in the performance of the evening with a sizzling 1:49.2 victory in the third and final $17,477 elimination for the pacing fillies. The Gregg McNair trainee was sent hard to the front by driver Rick Zeron and never looked back. Off a three-quarter time of 1:22.1, Lady Shadow paced home in :27.1 for a 8 ¾ length victory. The 1:49.2 clocking was a new lifetime best for the daughter of Shadow Play - Lady Camella and her third win in six starts this season. Nefertiti Bluechip finished in the place spot, while Justabit Mean was third. The elimination victory boosts Lady Shadow's career earnings to over $320,000 for owners Lindsey and Connie Rankin. She paid $4.40 to win. My Secret Belle and owner/trainer/driver Joe Hudon converted off a pocket trip in the first elimination. The daughter of Mach Three - Kindly Jenna grabbed the lead early and was able to take a seat in the two-hole when Brookedale Shadow cleared to the front as the field hit the backstretch. At the top of the lane, Hudon pulled the pocket and My Secret Belle paced by Brookedale Shadow for a 2 ¾ length victory in 1:51.1. Brookedale Shadow held on for second over Artful Impulse. The win was the fifth in 17 starts this year for My Secret Belle and it pushes her career earnings to more than $110,000. She paid $3.80 to win. In the second split, Sudoku and driver Jody Jamieson turned in a 2 ½ length victory in 1:51.1. The daughter of Badlands Hanover - Mind Boggling was situated third over on the final turn and unleashed a :26.4 last quarter. Performing Art, who was second over in front of Sudoku, finished second, while Badlyinclined rallied for third. The 1:51.1 clocking was a new lifetime best for Sudoku, who is now undefeated in two starts this season for trainer Tony O'Sullivan.The victory boosts her career earnings to over $225,000 for the ownership group of Let It Ride Stable Inc, Mentally Stable Inc, Dana Parham and Howard Taylor. Sudoku returned $3.70 to win. The first $26,149 elimination for the colts and geldings went to 2013 Metro Pace winner Boomboom Ballykeel and driver Jonathan Drury in 1:50.3. The son of Mach Three - Teig N Riley took the lead approaching the half and dug in through the stretch to hold off a late charging Hunch Man by half a length. Victor Bayama finished third. The victory was the third in five starts this season for Boomboom Ballykeel and it equaled his career mark. He is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Ballykeel Racing Inc. Shadowbriand and Roger Mach Em finished fourth and fifth to secure the last two spots for next week's final. Boomboom Ballykeel now has careers earning exceeding $478,000 and he paid $7.80 to win. The second and final elimination went to the Dr. Ian Moore trained Silverhill Shadow and driver Chris Christoforou. The son of Shadow Play - Ruthie Jane made a brush to the lead down the backstretch and paced away from the field in the stretch to Prince Clyde finished second, while Speckled Door was third. The elimination victory was the second win in ten starts this season for Silverhill Shadow and increased his career earnings to over $85,000 for owner Silverhill. Lucky King and Titus Seelster clinched the last two spots in the final with fourth and fifth place finishes. Silverhill Shadow returned $4.30 to win. The finals for both divisions will be held next Saturday night (July 19) at Mohawk as part of the Maple Leaf Trot card. Following the eliminations, the post positions for both finals were drawn in the paddock. Elimination winners were able to select their own post position. Here is how they will lineup for next week's finals. Canadian Breeders Championship - 3 Year Old Pacing Filles - Purse: $122,343 1. Performing Art - Billy Davis Jr. 2. Sudoku - Jody Jamieson 3. My Secret Belle - Joe Hudon Jr. 4. Lady Shadow - Rick Zeron 5. Badlyinclined - Jack Moiseyev 6. Justabit Mean - Jonathan Drury 7. Brookedale Shadow - Chris Christoforou 8. Brescia Seelster - Sylvain Filion 9. Nefertiti Bluechip - Jody Jamieson 10. Artful Impulse - Steve Condren AE: Mea Lilley Mark - Mike Saftic Canadian Breeders Championship - 3 Year Old Pacing Colts and Geldings - Purse: $122,028 1. Shadowbriand - Paul Macdonell 2. Speckled Door - Phil Hudon 3. Silverhill Shadow - Chris Christoforou 4. Boomboom Ballykeel - Jonathan Drury 5. Roger Mach Em - Jack Moiseyev 6. Lucky King - Billy Davis Jr. 7. Prince Clyde - James MacDonald 8. Hunch Man - Mike Saftic 9. Titus Seelster - Sylvain Filion 10. Victor Bayama - Sylvain Filion AE: High Flier - Billy Davis Jr. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Springhill, N.S. native Teesha Symes has been around race horses her whole life. Now 25, she finds herself looking after the top aged pacer, in Canada, for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. “Three days after I was born we made a stop at the local track - on the way home from the hospital - and ever since then I’ve been around the horses,“ said Symes. The daughter of Charles (Chuck) and Shirley has been all over the continent working with horses and she’s had her hands on some good ones over the years. “I spent about six months working with Shadow Play back in 2008,” she says. “I’ve also looked after Royal Becquet (2009 Gold Cup and Saucer starter), Mr Perseverance (2013 Paul Bunyan Invitational winner in Bangor) and now I’m enjoying my time with State Treasurer (two-time winner of the Molson Pace in London).” State Treasurer, owned by Sally MacDonald of Souris, PE and Paul MacDonald of Regina, SK, has got to be the number one-ranked aged pacer in Canada, right now, with his four straight wins - including his latest victory - a stunning last-to-first swoop, of the field, after making a bobble at the start of the $150,000 Molson Pace. “After he made that break at the start - I found it hard to even watch the race... Especially at the half when he was still sitting last,” Symes explains. “Then he began to pick them off and I made my way closer to the TV to get a better look. For him to get up to win that race was just awesome and to do it beating Foiled Again was just mind-blowing!” Teesha recalls the second-place finish by Shadow Play to Somebeachsomewhere, in The 2008 Messenger at Yonkers, as one of her most favourite moments in racing. “That race was just so exciting... It was so close and it was a real thrill for me to be a part of that. ” It’s a horse by the name of Anybunny that will forever hold a special place in Teesha’s heart. “He was my favourite,” she says proudly. “I used to kill for the ‘BOOM’ call (Vance Cameron’s Boom! Just like that...) when racing on P.E.I... Sadly we had to put him down last season. He was sixteen then and he just wasn’t going to make it another winter.” Symes spent last summer working with her Dad in Bangor before heading to Dr. Ian Moore’s Florida operation in late October. Now in Ontario, working full-time for Moore, a normal day for Teesha consists of getting up around 5:30 am and heading to the barn - where the work normally finishes up around noon. “We’ve got an awesome team here and Ian is great to work for.” Working as a groom Symes likes to play it day by day. “It’s a lot of hoping for the best and living for the moment,” she says. “I’ve been lucky to have been mentored by my Dad,” she continued. “Guys like Mark Ford, Heath Campbell and Ian have been very good to me along the way too... Ian asked me the other day where he could get two of me, so it’s a nice feeling to get a compliment like that.” So what’s it like to look after the best aged pacer in Canada? “That question makes me nervous,” she replies. “I do my best to look after him like the other horses, but maybe he does get an extra piece of licorice or a few extra carrots now and then.” Another special horse out of the Moore camp this season is the P.E.I.-owned pacing colt Silverhill Shadow. And he’s special for Symes in a unique way too. “My Dad bought his mom (Ruthie Jane) from the Amish back in 2009. We raced her a few times in Charlottetown, PE and then sold her to Casey Gavin - who then bred her to Shadow Play. And from that came Silverhill Shadow.” Teesha likes her basketball, softball and hockey and had once worked with correctional services and the jail in Amhert, N.S., but her heart is and always has been with the horses. ”Growing up working next to Dad... Working with the horses is what I know and it’s what I love. It’s not even work for me...” So any advice to pass along to an aspiring groom? “I’d say work hard and always do your best,” she says. “Sure there are going to be some long days, but this job is so worth it.” by Shannon "Sugar" Doyle, for Western Fair District
This Week: Currier & Ives filly division, The Meadows, Washington, Pa; Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, North America Cup, Fan Hanover and Roses Are Red eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Charlie Hill Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio; and Hanover Stakes (3-year-old colt and filly trot), Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this week. Action begins on Wednesday (June 4) at The Meadows with three divisions in the $93,860 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Mohawk Racetrack will host Grand Circuit racing on Friday (June 6) with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Armbro Flight for trotting mares and two C$30,000 eliminations in the Goodtimes for 3-year-old trotting colts. The Saturday (June 7) card at Mohawk features a trio of C$50,000 eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Roses Are Red for pacing mares and the Fan Hanover for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Scioto Downs will offer its second Grand Circuit stake of the season on Saturday, with the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for open trotters, while Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Saturday with the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old colt trotters and the $35,000 (est.) Hanover Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the Meadows, Scioto Downs and Balmoral Park races can be found by clicking on this link. Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the Molson Pace for older pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District, the Art Rooney at Yonkers Raceway and the Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs. State Treasurer (#1) gets up on the outside to narrowly defeat Apprentice Hanover (#4) and Foiled Again (#7) in the Molson Pace. In one of the most exciting editions of The Raceway at Western Fair District's signature race, the $138,000 Molson Pace, last year's winner State Treasurer defended his title despite a terrible start and an inquiry on May 30 at the London half-mile track. Driver Chris Christoforou had State Treasurer three wide down the backside and picked up the cover of Apprentice Hanover and Jody Jamieson heading into the stretch. It was a great race to the finish with State Treasurer getting up on the outside to win by a neck in 1:51.4. Apprentice Hanover was a close second followed by the always game Foiled Again, just a half-length back in third. The winning connections, trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald, had to wait out an inquiry regarding the start before the race was declared official. "I sweated a little bit last year too, but this is a little different this year," noted Moore. "He's a real good little horse, he tries his heart out and he showed that tonight for sure." Odds-on favorite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $2.60) was both anxious and effective on May 31, winning the $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. All Bets Off was a 1:52.2 winner in the Art Rooney Pace. All Bets Off collared leader Maxi Bon early in the lane, then held off a rallying Some Playa by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:52.2. Maxi Bon held third. All Bets Off, a son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, is now three-for-four this season with earnings of $180,250. "Oh, yeah, I was worried," Kakaley said. "I thought giving up the lead (to Stevensville) was the right thing to do. Then I saw Danny's (Dube, with Maxi Bon) coming fast and I knew I was in trouble. I was lucky to get out. If I don't, I'm shuffled out, and probably last. "He's (All Bets Off) handy enough for the half-mile, but I think he can carry his speed to bigger tracks, too. Every start (All Bets Off) has been on his toes. Give Ronnie (Burke) and his crew an A-plus. I'm just fortunate to have the drive." Utilizing a powerful push clear in the far turn, Sweet Lou could not be caught in the $160,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace at Tioga Downs on June 1, turning in an impressive 1:48.3 victory. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser floated forward to track Bolt The Duer in the early stages, brushing to the front after a :26.2 first quarter and keeping the pace solid en route to a :53.4 half-mile. On the backstretch, Ron Pierce pushed clear with Sweet Lou, putting four lengths on the field in a :26.3 third quarter. Approaching the final 200 yards, it seemed the pace may have been too taxing, as Sweet Lou was all-out through the stretch and Heston Blue Chip found room to chase after being locked in. Sweet Lou dug in late, staving off Heston Blue Chip to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Bolt The Duer stayed on to be third. Ron Burke trains Sweet Lou for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 291; 2. Tim Tetrick - 255; 3. George Brennan - 164.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 143: 5. Brian Sears - 121. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 485.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 155; 3. Joe Holloway - 117; 4. Jimmy Takter - 95; 5. Julie Miller- 80. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 128.5; 2. Burke Racing - 111.05; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 103.55; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 60; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Mohawk and the Meadowlands next weekend. Mohawk will host its five stakes finals, led by the C$1 million North America Cup, on Saturday night (June 14), while the Meadowlands will card the Meadowlands Maturity for 4-year-old open pacers and a leg of the TVG Free For All series for open trotters on Friday (June 13). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
In one of the most dramatic come backs of the year in harness racing, State Treasurer, the 7/5 betting favorite, went off-stride at the start of the $150,000 Molson Pace at Western Fair but was able to rebound for driver Chris Christoforou, sweep three-wide from near last place on the final turn and win by a head. It was the second straight Molson Pace victory for State Treasurer and the five-year-old stallion by Real Desire posted his fourth straight win in 2014 for trainer Dr. Ian Smith and owners Sally MacDonald of Souris, PEI and Paul MacDonald, Regina, SK. The feature race began with world record holder Dancin Yankee (Brett Miller) shooting to the early lead as State Treasurer and Christoforou made a break and had to pull out of the race momentarily, regroup and start back after the field in dead last place. With Bettor’s Edge (Trevor Henry) sitting in second, Dancin Yankee led the field to the opening quarter mile in a speedy :26.1 but was collared and pasted by world champion Foiled Again and driver Yannick Gingras. The momentum picked up at the half mile pole in :54.4 as Bandolito and driver Mark MacDonald came first-over to challenge Foiled Again but they not catch up to the leader as Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) was stalking the leaders second-over. At the three-quarters in 1:23, Bandolito began to tire and Apprentice Hanover was three-wide trying to loop everyone and who was following them? None other than State Treasurer and Christoforou. Around the final turn State Treasurer fanned three-wide as Apprentice Hanover was able to collar Foiled Again but as they came to the wire, State Treasurer was on the move and won by a head in 1:51.4. Apprentice Hanover was a game second with Foiled Again close for third and Dancin Yankee fourth. Sent off as the 7/5 wagering favorite, State Treasurer paid $4.90 to win. “It feels real good for sure,” Said trainer Dr. Ian Moore about winning the Molson Pace for the second time. “He was good last year too. It wasn’t that big a problem leaving. He was on the bit pretty good. He is a good little horse and tries his hardest.” “There was a tremendous amount of worry around the first turn,” Christoforou said. “With a smaller track its harder to get around early on. I was sitting behind the right horse and I had the best horse. I think he proved that tonight. “I was hoping on the last turn going three-wide that I could get on Jody’s back (Apprentice Hanover) and it worked out good,” Christoforou explained, “That way he was not three-wide all the way around the turn. I know my horse drifts out a little in the stretch so I don’t have to steer him much to get around so I just started driving him before we hit the stretch. He kinda swooped his way by and put his head in front and I am real proud of him. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
The Raceway at Western Fair is pulling out all the stops on Friday for their special Molson Pace Night of harness racing with more than $530,000 in purses headlined by the $150,000 Molson Pace. The weather forecast for Friday’s 12-race program is clear skies and temperatures in the 50’s (10 Celsius) which will make for near perfect race conditions. In addition to the Molson Pace featuring many of the best older pacers in the sport, the track is also hosting four $52,500 Gold Divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and four finals of the City of London Series for trotters and pacers. In total, nine of the twelve races on the program are major stakes events. With such an outstanding race program, any number of track records could fall by the wayside at the Western Fair half mile oval. With the exception of perhaps Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation, the 12th race Molson Pace is a star-studded field of world class performers including two world record holders in Foiled Again and Dancin Yankee. The 3-1 morning line favorite is State Treasurer and rightly so. The local horse is trained by Dr. Ian Moore and has been on a tear at Mohawk and Woodbine, coming into the race with three straight win for driver Chris Christoforou and last week ripped off a 1:48.3 lifetime mark. Foiled Again at 4-1 is the class of the field, in fact he is the class of all of harness racing with $6.2 million in career earnings, 80 lifetime wins and comes into the race off a brief layoff but as a tune-up for this race he won a qualifier at the Meadowlands in 1:51.2 over none other than Captaintreacherous. Dancin Yankee is the nation’s speedster this year with an impressive eight wins including a world record 1:47.2 triumph in his last start at Pocono Downs. He has won three of his last four starts and has the gate speed needed to set himself in perfect scoring position. Rounding out the field are Bettor’s Edge, Bandolito, another local favorite in Apprentice Hanover, $567,000 Levy Pace Final winner P H Supercam and Captive Audience. The Molson Pace is the last race on the Western Fair program Friday evening but with such a superb undercard it will be the icing on the cake for every die hard harness racing fan. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Last year's O'Brien Award winning two-year-old colt pacer Arthur Blue Chip has been sidelined and will miss the 2014 Pepsi North America Cup. In a conversation with Trot Insider on Monday, the colt's trainer and co-owner Dr. Ian Moore reported from Florida that the son of Shadow Play suffered an unspecified stall injury a few weeks back, and that injury will keep Arthur Blue Chip off the track for an undetermined amount of time. "He incurred a stall injury and he's off the track for a little while right now. The prognosis is pretty good for full recovery." To read the rest of the story click here.
The pleasure of being a horse racing fan guarantees daily excitement. As in with other sports, you don't have to worry about lockouts (well, maybe), a fans' only worry in a day might be not being able to soak in all that is going on. To be blunt, that is never a bad situation. Getting to know people within the industry teaches you many things, such as the value of family, the value of friends and the value of hard work. Harness driver Tyler Moore took time out of his busy schedule to explain his love of the sport on route to the Western Fair Raceway, located in London, Ontario. To date, Tyler's fondest memory is winning the 53rd annual Gold Cup and Saucer, (at Charlottetown Driving Park, located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island), driving Eighteen wire to wire back in August of 2012. Not only was this a prestigious race to win but to add to the excitement, Tyler's dad, Dr. Ian Moore trained the horse and hockey hall of fame and Montreal Canadiens legend, Serge Savard, was the owner. Hence the reason the horse's name was Eighteen, Serge Savard's number. Currently, Tyler is splitting time driving at Flamboro Downs located in Hamilton, Ontario and at Western Fair Raceway grabbing as many drives possible. When posed with the question if he had to do anything other than work with horses, Tyler considered some options, but no matter what, horse racing is in his blood. "If I couldn't drive horses here I'd probably go to school for a trade, I think I would save up some money to buy a horse so I could still (be a part of racing) as a hobby". Tyler adds "it's something I see myself doing my whole life." As spring is around the corner, which if you're in Canada cannot come soon enough, several more tracks will be opening up for the summer. When asked what he's looking forward to most about the spring/summer season of horse racing, you can really feel how much passion Tyler has for the sport. Are there particular horses he's excited about driving...? "I actually look forward to driving them all" says Tyler. "Whether its good post, bad post or good shot, bad shot I'm always excited. Drives are limited for everybody, there's less races and less horses... I don't get to drive as many times as I used to, if I have one drive like I do today, I will drive an hour and a half just to go drive it". Tyler is 22 and as I listen to him explain his thoughts on the delights of horse racing; any fan would believe he's at least 10 years older. "You get a nice old class horse that's real smart and been in a lot of races and has experience,: Tyer said, "they know how to do their job and it's an enjoyment to sit behind and it's an enjoyment to drive... they do everything you ask. They don't come by too often but they are still around and when you get a horse like that, it's exciting." Racing in Canada is a constant variable. In the summer it can be intensely humid and in the winter it can be epically cold. Every driver has their preference for climate when racing, and Tyler has his, but I found his explanation of why quite intriguing; "In the winter time when it is moderate, say minus 5 to 15 (Celsius), I am fine with that.... You do stay warm, and when you race it's an adrenaline rush and your body doesn't get cold. "Your blood is pumping," Tyer explained, "your heart is going. I like late fall early winter, but a day like today when it's minus 30, that's too cold." I am pretty certain everyone can agree with Tyler on that last part, but when you love your career like Tyler does, nothing can stop you from what you're passionate about. When Tyler is not scheduled to drive, he helps out trainer Herb Holland with his stable of horses. As with any industry there are highs and lows and through it all Tyler stays focused on a baseline of values which include staying humble, being respectful, courteous and no matter the circumstance always keeping a level head. "Don't act like you care, really care" is how Tyler put its. Tyler offers advice for anyone wanting to become a harness driver and that is to always remain confident. "I find if you are more confident and calm, everything can flow at the right time;" Tyler said, "your reaction will work, you will make the right move. It's a big deal on how you can drive a horse; it's not drive two laps (on a ½ mile or 5/8 mile tracks) and go as fast as you can. It's where are you going to put your horse, where are you going to situate your horse. There can be up to ten times when you have to make a decision and that is just one race. "Whether to pull the horse or whether to go up the rail there are a ton of things you can do." Tyler added, "You can put the horse's nose up to the gate, the timing. If I had a younger brother I would say, try to find your confidence and don't lose it. Keep it as long as you can and hopefully it gets better. It's what you need to make the right decision. You make the right decision and you will make the Winner's Circle." Not only does a driver need to know their horse, but in any sport, you need to understand your competition and Tyler does a great job providing insight as to what is needed when sizing up your competition. "You got to know the horses in front of you and the horses behind you." Tyler went on, "If the best horse is behind you and you're going to pull and be first over, you are going to give the best horse a better trip and make (that horse) better than it should be.... An example of a tough decision is if you left of the gate and you are third at the rail headed to the quarter pole, let's say your horse is 'mediocre', you're rounding the second turn at the half and there are horses on the outside coming. Do you make your move? Turn outside or stay in? You need to read the program so you know who is around. That's a tough decision to make sometimes." Whether at the track or at home, Tyler enjoys being around friends. "I like the fast pace life, I don't like to sit still" Tyler says. So what would Tyler do if he had a weekend away from horse racing? "Go somewhere warm..." he says. "I'd head to Florida and take my golf clubs, enjoy a few drinks and maybe go to a party. Plain and simple, nothing over dramatic." When I asked Tyler about inspiration and who he looked to for inspiration, Tyler said it was ex-Ottawa Senators hockey player Wade Redden. When Tyler's dad was president of the Ottawa Senators farm team, back when the farm team was in Prince Edward Island prior to moving to Binghamton in the USA, Tyler's dad took Tyler and his teammates of his Lindsay Muskies Junior-A hockey team for a tour of the Ottawa Senators' NHL home arena in Ottawa, Ontario and this is where Tyler met Wade Redden. "He was one of their top defensemen at the time... he was tough player, a good player who never did anything wild but was always gritty. He was a guy I idolized up until I stopped playing hockey. When I met him I was about 10 or 11." Moving forward Tyler's outlook is to keep getting better every day and to not get ahead of himself. Tyler expresses his gratitude for every drive to date and in time he hopes to make a bigger name for himself based on his hard work and values. This summer, you can watch Tyler drive at Georgian Downs, (located in Innisfil, Ontario just south of Barrie, Ontario), Grand River Raceway, (located in Wellington, Ontario) and Mohawk Raceway, (located in Campbillville, Ontario). Tyler is another quality driver who is one big horse away from becoming a regular name. By Roderick Balgobin, for Supernova Sports Club www.supernovasportsclub.com twitter: ScSupernova
Standardbred Canada has announced the winners of the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event, the annual Black Tie Gala was held in Charlottetown, PEI, at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel and PEI Convention Centre. The awards are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. O’Brien was born in Alberton, PEI. Bee A Magician who was perfect in her 2013 season, was the unanimous choice in the Three-Year -Old Trotting Filly division and was also voted Canada’s Horse of The Year. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her races last season and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore campaign. The daughter of Hall of Fame sire Kadabra took a mark of 1:51 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The invincible filly’s stakes victories included the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Sylvain Filion successfully defended his Driver of The Year title. In 2013 he led all reinsmen in the nation in terms of purse earnings, as his mounts banked $6,111,736. Filion finished as the leading money-winning driver on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk Racetrack and Woodbine Racetrack. The resident of Milton, Ont. earned the Lampman Cup for the second straight year, as he topped the Ontario Sires Stakes standings for drivers. Filion celebrated his richest win of the season while steering Boomboom Ballykeel to a 10-1 upset victory in the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Richard Moreau was voted Trainer of The Year following an impressive season that saw his stable win 279 races and earn $3,623,805 in purses. The resident of Puslinch, Ont. earned training titles across Ontario at Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack. Moreau topped the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. The 2013 season marked the 14th consecutive year that his stable has surpassed the $1-million mark in purse earnings. Alberta’s Kelly Hoerdt won the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship. Hoerdt is a successful driver/trainer who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. The 2013 season was another productive year for Hoerdt, as he trained 82 winners and horses to $623,000, and drove 66 winners and horses that earned over $490,000. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in terms of earnings at Alberta Downs. His stable was led by sophomore pacing colt Premium Attaction, a multiple stakes winner that rattled off six wins in 11 races and over $111,000 Precocious Beauty was honoured as Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year. Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, $462,912 in purses and took a mark of 1:50.1 which tied a world record for a one-mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. The two-year-old pacing colt title went to Arthur Blue Chip, who scored six wins in 11 starts and bankrolled $400,120 for his connections. The son of Shadow Play took a mark of 1:51.2 in his Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk before being scratched ‘sick’ from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore in 2013 and added another O’Brien (Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year) to her trophy case. The talented filly boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner up finish in the American National. Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation took the hardware home as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of The Year. Vegas Vacation gave his connections the ride of a lifetime in 2013. Conditioned by Casie Coleman, the son of Bettors Delight put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 from 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses. He wheeled off victories in his first four races which included the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and an elimination of the Pepsi North America Cup. On September 19 he captured the Little Brown Jug in straight heats – both timed in 1:50. ‘Vegas’ finished his sophomore season with a win in the Matron Stakes to put his bankroll at just over $976,000. Anndrovette continued to dominate the pacing mare ranks in 2013, and, for the third consecutive year, was crowned Canada’s Older Pacing Mare of The Year. The daughter of Riverboat King was on the board in all but three of her 21 races. Some of her major wins included three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway along with the Roses Are Red and Breeders Crown eliminations. On July 20 at Mohawk Racetrack she captured the Roses Are Red final in a career best 1:48. The talented mare now has 35 lifetime wins and a career bankroll of almost $2.6 million. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again was voted Canada’s Older Pacing Horse of The Year. Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season, as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final, as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final for his third straight million-dollar campaign. He entered the year within reach of the all-time earnings record for pacers, and he managed to obliterate that mark by adding $1.4 million to his bank account while visiting 11 different racetracks along the way. He closed the season by sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at the Meadowlands. Riveting Rosie was the winner in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Riveting Rosie closed out her rookie campaign with six wins in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Her major victories included the Peaceful Way Final, her Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain Stakes. In the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division, it was Father Patrick who took the O’Brien trophy. He topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Series. Flanagan Memory was voted Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year after a productive season which saw him win seven of 11 races and $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning his Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Maven was voted Canada’s Older Trotting Mare of The Year. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She added wins in the Miss Versatility Trotting Series, an elimination and final of the Armbro Flight, and the Allerage. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her bankroll. For the second consecutive year, Mister Herbie captured the title as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse of The Year. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in stakes competition, including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067 in purses. Seelster Farms, of Lucan, Ont. was honoured as the Armstrong Breeder of The Year. In 2013, Seelster-bred horses scored 248 wins and $2.1 million in earnings. In the Future Star category, the winner of this first-time award was trainer/driver Travis Cullen. The 21-year-old Alberta-based horseman closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the final card of the meet while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. The complete list of winners follows. 2013 O’BRIEN AWARD WINNERS PACERS Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer - Precocious Beauty owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Arthur Blue Chip owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer - I Luv The Nitelife owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Vegas Vacation owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare - Anndrovette owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Older Pacing Horse - Foiled Again owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL TROTTERS Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Riveting Rosie owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Father Patrick owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Bee A Magician owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Flanagan Memory owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Older Trotting Mare - Maven owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse - Mister Herbie owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY PEOPLE AWARDS O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Armstrong Breeder of The Year Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of The Year Sylvain Filion, Milton, ON Trainer of The Year Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB STANDARDBRED CANADA MEDIA EXCELLENCE AWARDS The Media Excellence Awards program, established by Standardbred Canada in 2008, is aimed at honouring exceptional work that covers Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. Outstanding Written Work Paul Delean ’Reaching Improbable Heights’ 'Reaching Improbable Heights', written by Paul Delean, was published in the December, 2012 issue of Trot Magazine. It tells the story of trotter Intimidate’s incredible journey from obscurity to harness racing’s biggest stage and the ride of a lifetime that two smalltime owners from Quebec are still pinching themselves over. Outstanding Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group North America Cup HD Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group’s North America Cup broadcast aired across Canada on The Score television network on Saturday, June 26, 2013. The one-hour special of the $1-million North America Cup was the first live high definition broadcast of a standardbred race in Canada. The show featured live race coverage of the main event, a feature on Marvin Katz (co-owner of eventual winner Captaintreacherous) and a profile of a very special racing fan – Sydney Weaver. The broadcast was a production of WEG’s broadcast department, produced by Rob Platts and directed by Kris Platts. Outstanding Photography Clive Cohen Clive Cohen captured the sunset behind trainer Rene Dion warming up Ocean Mist Beauty on September 19, 2013 at Mohawk Racetrack. The image was published on WEG’s Facebook page later that night. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL Trotters Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY People Awards O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON
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