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Dont Rush, who came about thanks to a free breeding, closed from off-the-pace to capture Saturday night’s $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for harness racing two-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. The final time of the mile was 1:57.1. In the early going Rise Up Rise Up (Mike Saftic) and Caulfield (Trevor Henry) battled, with the former forcing the latter to drop into the pocket before the :27.3 opening quarter. Alacrity (Eddie Green) had been in fifth at that point, but Green sent him to the outside in the backstretch, and Alacrity joined and then cleared Rise Up Rise Up for the top spot at the :57.2 half. When Alacrity cleared that left Luck O The Irish (Sylvain Filion) first-over, and he would move up on the rim to engage with the leader at the 1:27 three-quarters. Platoon Seelster (Jack Moiseyev) slipped off the rail to grab the second-over trip behind Luck O The Irish, and Dont Rush (Chris Christoforou) was positioned third-over as the field spun for home. Luck O The Irish managed to work his way into the lead in the lane, but Christoforou had Dont Rush in high gear out in the centre of the racetrack, and Dont Rush would go by the leaders inside the final sixteenth on his way to the win by a couple of lengths. Platoon Seelster was up to finish second and Luck O The Irish grabbed third. Also taking home part of the purse were A Little More Love (Randy Waples) and Caulfield. “He’s done really well, and he’s won his last three starts. Usually if I have a colt that does well, they stay well all year long,” offered winning trainer Dustin Jones. “I bought the mare as a yearling in Kentucky. I’ve raised a few colts out of her but nothing like this. This was the result of a free breeding from Jean-Pierre Dubois, so I have to thank him a lot. I was just hoping he was going to be a good Grassroots horse. He really surprised me.” Jones of Waterdown, Ontario, also bred and now co-owns Dont Rush, an Infinitif colt, with partner Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. Dont Rush, who won in Gold Series action on July 13 at Georgian Downs, on September 30 at Flamboro Downs, and on September 30 at Mohawk, is now four-for-11 in the win column with earnings of $296,985. He’s the sixth foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Color Me Pretty, a half-sister to the likes of Best Image (Balanced Image, $104,110), who was three-for-three during her OSS career. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News

Nat A Virgin and driver Jody Jamieson worked out a third-over trip into a trip to the winner’s circle in capturing the $110,000 first division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial for three-year-old pacing fillies. Sweetnsinful (Mark MacDonald) was the first on the lead and then gave way to a determined It Was Fascination (Scott Zeron) after the opening quarter mile in :26.4. Then it was the race favorite, Gettingreadytoroll and driver Yannick Gingras coming first-over to challenge at the half in :55.1 and following their outside cover was Southwind Silence (Matt Kakaley) and then Nat A Virgin. Past the three-quarters in 1:23.1, Jamieson fanned out with the 5-1 Nat A Virgin and they were able to not only collar the race leaders in the stretch, but pass them by, all except for Uffizi Hanover and driver David Miller. They were charging down the stretch but Nat A Virgin held on for a head triumph in 1:50.3. Gettingreadytoroll was third. “I wasn’t sure how the race was going to go,” said Jody Jamieson, “Just as the gate folded away it looked like a bunch of leavers so I tried to wrestle her back. I really had to wrestle her back. She wanted to go. I had to wait going into the last turn and I released her a little early but she paced right to the wire.” It was the third win this year for Nat A Virgin. The daughter of Always A Virgin is trained by Dustin Jones and was bred and is owned by the Dustin Jones Stable and William Jones. She paid $12.40 to win. Nat A Virgin Act Now traveled wire-to-wire in the second division of the Glen Garnsey, winning in 1:50.1. Uncontested on the lead, Act Now set quarters of :28.1, :55.1 (:27), and 1:22.3 (:27.2). Allstar Rating rode the pocket, with Ali Blue racing third. The only challenge towards Act Now came from Allstar Rating at the eighth-pole, attempting to slingshot to the front. Yet, Act Now was stern and progressed to the finish in front, forcing Allstar Rating to settle for second, and Precocious Beauty finished third. Owned by Joe Davino and Patrick O’Brien, trained by Nik Drennan, and driven by Brian Sears, the Western Ideal-Cpa-Real Desire filly has earned $374,106 in her career. She paid $4.00 to win. “He [Brian Sears] just took a shot,” trainer Nik Drennan said. “He said nobody was leaving, so he went to the front. We’ve been racing her off the back, and she hasn’t been getting it done, so we changed it up and it worked out.” “Absolutely,” Nik Drennan also said, in regards to his filly’s tendency to come to a halt in the midst of a bid. “She really should have won her last six starts. She’s cleared, she’s opened up, and then, down by the wire, she kind of just lets the horse get her. It’s pretty frustrating.” Act Now Live racing resumes on Sunday, October 5 with the $89,000 Allerage Filly and Mare Trot, $90,000 Allerage Filly and Mare Pace, $173,000 Allerage Open Trot, $160,500 Allerage Open Pace, $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, and the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity. Post time for closing day of The Red Mile’s meeting is set for 1:00pmEDT. By Steven Wolf with Ray Cotolo, for Harnesslink.com

Three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series events for two-year-old male trotters were staged on Tuesday night (September 30) at Mohawk Racetrack. Heavy fog rolled in throughout the harness racing card, leaving those watching with a clear view of only the first division. That opening split was won by 6-1 shot Rise Up Rise Up (Mike Saftic), who came out of the pocket inside the final eighth and wore down leader and public choice Infiniti As (Billy Davis Jr.) to win by half a length in 1:57.1. Gronk (Jody Jamieson) came on in the lane to collect third. This was the first win in five tries for Rise Up Rise Up, a gelded son of Holiday Road. Now an earner of $46,900, Rise Up Rise Up is trained by Sue Marie Gangell for the ownership group of Tony Di Matteo of Stoney Creek, Mark Searles of Caledonia, and 648885 Ontario Limited of Caledonia, Ontario. Rise Up Rise Up, who was bred by Dr. Robert Boyce and Joan Boyce, is the 11th foal out of the Super Pleasure mare Dixieland Jazz, making him a half-brother to half a dozen six-figure earners, including former OSS Grassroots Championship winner Lexus Lulu. By the time the second Gold Series flight went behind the gate visibility was limited. A Little More Love (Randy Waples) led the field into the first turn and to the :28.3 opening quarter, but when the field emerged out of the fog inside the final eighth, 11-1 shot Alacrity (Eddie Green) was on the lead, and he would go on to win by just over a length in 1:57.4. A Little More Love was second and Caulfield (Chris Christoforou) came in third. Green also trains Alacrity, a gelding by Pilgrims Taj, for owner Kristine Green of Ohsweken, Ontario. Alacrity, a Gold Series winner on August 5 at Mohawk, scored his second win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $136,850. Alacrity, who was bred by Wilbur Lang and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, is the fifth foal out of the San Pellegrino mare Elena ($414,731). Elena won three times during her OSS career, including two Gold Finals. Fractions of :28.2, :57.4, and 1:27 went on the board in the last Gold Series dash, and when the two-year-old male trotters came out of the soup in deep stretch, public choice Dont Rush (Chris Christoforou) was open lengths in front of his nearest rival in a 1:57.3 performance. Luck O The Irish (Tom Durand) was the runner-up and Nightontheroad (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario, also bred and now co-owns Dont Rush, an Infinitif colt, with partner Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. Dont Rush, who also won in Gold Series action on July 13 at Georgian Downs and on September 30 at Flamboro Downs, is now three-for-10 in the win column with earnings of $171,985. He’s the sixth foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Color Me Pretty, a half-sister to the likes of Best Image (Balanced Image, $104,110), who was three-for-three during her OSS career. This concluded the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series regular season for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. They do have one provincial event remaining on their calendar – the Super Final on October 11 at Mohawk Racetrack. Full charts and results from the foggy Tuesday night at Mohawk will be available here - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0930mohsn.dat.

Two-year-old trotting colt Caulfield recorded his third straight harness racing victory in the third and final $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division tonight at Flamboro Downs. In that division Wilbur Eden was very quick at the start, hitting the opening marker in :29.3 for Trevor Henry. As they reached the half in 1:00.3 he had company from Holiday My Way and three wide came Alacrity as they reached the third panel in 1:30.1. Holiday My Way broke stride in the final turn and down the stretch Caulfield and Chris Christoforou closed a ton to win in 1:59.3. Wilbur Eden held for second while Winning Wizard was third. A son of Kadabra owned by Synereco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, and trained by Chris Beaver, Caulfield was notching his fourth win in six career starts and third in a row. Bred by Jeff Ruch of Innisfil and Ted MacDonnell of Allenford, Ontario, Caulfield sold for $20,000 at last year’s Harrisburg sale. Christoforou was also victorious in the first division where the two outside horses left quickest. Boli (post six) and Infiniti AS (post seven) got away first and second as the gate left with Boli leading the group by the first quarter in :30.3 and the half in 1:02.1. Luck O The Irish took over well before the 1:31.2 third panel as Boli went offstride. He soon had company in the form of Dont Rush and that pair battled down the lane with Dont Rush narrowly winning in 2:00.3. Luck O The Irish had to be content with the bridesmaid spot while Amityville Lindy survived an inquiry to take third. Christoforou was up behind the winner, a son of Infinitif owned and trained by breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario who recently sold a share in the talented colt to Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. This was the second lifetime win for Dont Rush who improved his summary to 2-3-1 in nine lifetime starts for $136,000 in earnings. Three colts broke early in the second split which saw Namesmuscle by the first panel in :28.1. Just past the :59.2 half A Little More Love was neck and neck with the leader and managed to get a head in front by the 1:29.1 three-quarters. Three wide came Platoon Seelster and those three were close at the finish with Platoon Seelster prevailing, despite an early break in stride, in 1:59.4 for Ryan Holliday. A Little More Love, the leading point earner in this division coming into tonight’s contest, was a close second with Namesmuscle third. A lightly raced son of Holiday Road, Platoon Seelster was making just his fourth career start for trainer David Holliday and owners Caroline Holliday of Mount Forest and Dennis Hannath of Harriston, Ontario. Bred by Seelster Farms of Lucan, Ontario, the colt has yet to finish worse than second with two wins and two seconds in his young career. This group has one more Gold event to contest before the October 11 Super Final. That will take place one week from tonight, September 30, at Mohawk Racetrack. To view the complete results from tonight’s program, please click Flamboro Results - September 23. OSS News

Mohawk Racetrack offers a stakes laden harness racing card Saturday evening anchored by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic which has two top Ontario-sired colts taking on five very talented sophomores. The card also features the $385,000 Peaceful Way final with several OSS fillies in contention, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial with one lone Ontario-sired colt, and the $409,000 Elegantimage final with four OSS girls vying for their turn in the winner’s circle. In addition to those great trotting races, the program will also headline the top pacing mares in North America in two eliminations for the Milton Stakes which feature three OSS graduates including a Breeders Crown winner. In the showcase event Harper Blue Chip will attempt to duplicate his sire, Majestic Son’s, 2006 Canadian Trotting Classic victory. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario, trained Majestic Son, who won the ’06 CTC by more than six lengths over a very talented field, and also conditions Harper Blue Chip. A son of Angus Hall, Majestic Son was a dominant force in the OSS during his sophomore season, winning seven of 10 OSS events. In total, he won $622,000 in the provincial program during his career. Majestic Son now stands at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, and Harper Blue Chip, with $547,000 in earnings, is his second richest performer to date, behind only Charmed Life ($592,000). So far this year Harper Blue Chip has a summary of 4-2-2 in 10 starts and although he’s won two OSS Gold events and swept the Canadian Breeders, he’s best known for finishing third in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian last month at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian winner, Trixton, is also slated to start in the CTC final, with post five. Trainer Jimmy Takter will drive the colt who has won eight of 10 starts this year. Tatker’s other talented colt in this division, Father Patrick (also eight for 10) is right alongside in post six. It’s a formidable duo facing Harper Blue Chip whose driver Sylvain Filion is cautiously optimistic, especially given that the colt has finally drawn a decent starting position, post two, compared to post 10 in the Goodtimes final and post nine in the Hambletonian. “He’s been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post,” Filion noted earlier this week. “We’ve got a tough bunch of horses to race against, but he’s very good right now. I’m hoping for a good, close to the front trip and hopefully some top horses won’t be on their game, because we’ll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It’s a very high quality group.” The other OSS colt joining Harper in the CTC final is Muscle Matters, a son of Muscle Mass who will start beside Harper Blue Chip in post three. Mario Baillargeon will be at the lines for his brother Ben who handles the colt’s training. Yet to win a race this year, Muscle Matters has been close, with five second place finishes in six starts, three of those to Harper Blue Chip. The CTC final goes as race nine on the card. In the third race, the $385,000 Peaceful Way final, there are six OSS fillies in the mix including a pair trained by John Bax, Stubborn Belle (post one, Paul MacDonell) and Juanitas Fury (post nine, Steve Condren). Both fillies have two OSS wins to their credit this season and both finished second in their respective Peaceful Way elims. Stubborn Belle was aptly named according to Bax. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to.” Despite that the Taurus Dream daughter, owned by Bax of Peterborough and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario, has set two records so far this year – a track record at Rideau Carleton (1:55.4) in an OSS Gold event and a stakes record in a Champlain stake (1:54.2). Bax also starts the Muscle Hill filly Southwind Champagne in the Peaceful Way final. She has post six with Steve Byron at the controls. The other OSS rookies attempting to capture the event named for one of the greatest Ontario-sired trotting mares of all time, $3.2 million winner Peaceful Way, include Daneille Hall (post two, Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (post four, Roger Mayotte), Amoureuse Hanover (post eight, Doug McNair) and Lady Caterina (post 10, Phil Hudon). The dam of Elegant Serenity, Elegantimage, is the namesake for the seventh race on the program. A star of the OSS in the late 1990s, Elegantimage earned just shy of a million dollars during her impressive racing career. A quartet of three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies will attempt to capture the $409,000 event including Bax’s Riveting Rose (post three, Paul MacDonell), Tosca (post two, Per Henriksen), Sweetie Hearts (post eight, Randy Waples) and Muscle Babe (post 10, James MacDonald). The other major trotting stake on the program is named for one of Canada’s most respected horsemen of all time, the late William Wellwood, a member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a successful participant in the OSS since its inception 40 years ago. The only Ontario-sired rookie colt in contention for this event is a son of Infinitif, Dont Rush who has drawn post four with Chris Christoforou in the bike. The colt captured a division of the first Gold event for this group in early July which surprised his trainer/owner and breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario. “If you had told me in October he was going to win a Gold the first week of July I don’t think I would have believed you,” laughed Jones. “He’s exceeded my expectations since I brought him in the barn.” The OSS graduates competing in the two Milton eliminations are Monkey On My Wheel, a Breeders Crown winner at three and 10-2-6 in 24 starts this year for owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ontario. The winner of $1.5 million to date in her career has post seven in the sixth race which also features the Camluck mare Camille ($1.1 million to date) in post four. Voelz Hanover ($1.5 million lifetime) is the lone Ontario-sired distaffer in the second Milton elim, race 10. In addition to all of the on-track action, Mohawk is also celebrating their fans with Fan Appreciation Night Saturday featuring a first bet on the house, giveaways after each race and a $5 food voucher to the first 1,000 fans. To view the full card please click Mohawk Entries - September 13.

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 27 - Harness racing's finest is taking over Mohawk Racetrack. The annual Grand Circuit week begins tomorrow evening (August 28) with the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies and wraps up next Saturday (September 6). The Champlain Stakes for two-year-olds and Simcoe Stakes for three-year-olds are staples on the Grand Circuit schedule every year. "Having North America's top two and three-year-olds come to Mohawk is exciting and something we all look forward to," said Scott McKelvie, WEG's Racing Secretary and Director of Racing. "The Grand Circuit's annual visit is always a highlight of the racing season." Thursday night three Champlain divisions for more than $83,000 will take place for the freshman trotting fillies. Spirit To Win (PP3), the winner of this year's Pure Ivory Series, leads the group of eight in the first division. A daughter of Cantab Hall - Celebrity Spirit, Spirit To Win has won three times in four career starts for trainer Dustin Jones. The second division features Ontario Sires Stakes standout Danielle Hall (PP6) for the trainer/driver duo of Carl and Jody Jamieson. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe - Debbie Hall, Danielle Hall has won four of her five career starts for earnings of over $137,000. Jolene Jolene (PP1) is the 4-5 morning line favourite in the third and final division. Trained by Jonas Czernyson, Jolene Jolene is a daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie and has one win in four career starts. She was the runner-up in the $352,050 Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands on August 2. The stakes action will continue on Friday night with two divisions of more than $103,000 of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and two $124,621 divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters. World champion Lifetime Pursuit, the winner of this year's Hambletonian Oaks, headlines the group of 13 three-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Lifetime Pursuit will start from post six in the second Simcoe Stakes division (Race 9) with driver Brett Miller. She is coming off a stakes record victory of 1:52.1 in the Casual Breeze Stakes last Friday at Mohawk. Miller and Takter will also team up in the second Champlain Stakes division with freshmen trotting colt French Laundry. A son of Muscles Yankee - Creamy Mimi, French Laundry has won three of his five career starts and will start from post three. On Saturday evening, the $207,689 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters will take place as part of the massive Canadian Pacing Derby card. Precocious Beauty leads a group of nine three-year-old pacing fillies in the Simcoe Stakes. Last year's She's A Great Lady Stakes winner, Precocious Beauty will start from post four for the trainer/driver team of Gregg and Doug McNair. A large field of 12 three-year-old trotters starring this year's Hambletonian winner Trixton will meet in their Simcoe Stakes division. Trixton, who has drawn post eleven in the second tier, will be making his first start since capturing the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 2. Trixton will also be making his first start at Mohawk since he set the track record of 1:51.3 in the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14. Trainer Jimmy Takter will take his usual position in the bike behind Trixton on Saturday evening. After a busy weekend, the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes action will resume next Saturday (September 6) with the $260,000 Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers, the $240,000 Champlain Stakes for the two-year-old pacing fillies and the $240,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers. Racing fans can stay up to date with the Grand Circuit by visiting their Facebook page www.Facebook.com/TheGrandCircuit and all of Mohawk's racing action at www.MohawkRacetrack.com by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

The feature race of the evening Saturday at Georgian Downs saw Swan In A Million and trainer/driver Dustin Jones get great cover and come home strong to win the $100,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot in 1:52.4. The time of the race set a Canadian season's record for trotters over a five-eighth-mile track. Swan In A Million got away fourth at the pylons through a :27.4 opening quarter and flushed out cover in the form of pocket-sitting Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) approaching the half, which was clocked in :57.1. In the stretch, he rallied by race favorite Natural Herbie and tempo-setter R Raised Emotions (Mario Baillargeon), who fronted the field past three-quarters in 1:24.2, and held off the quick-closing Intimidate (Rick Zeron) for the half-length victory. Charmed Life (Robert Shepherd) finished three-quarters of a length behind off a three-hole trip. There were five $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots events for two-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday night and the last split was the quickest as Southwind Luna toured the five-eighths mile oval in 1:54. With driver Billy Davis Jr. calling the shots, Southwind Luna was in the lead through panels of :27.2, :56.3, and 1:24.3. Faithful Friend (Rick Zeron) took a shot out of the pocket in the final quarter, but Southwind Luna held sway to prevail by half a length. Wicked Speed (Scott Young) finished third. Otis Hall trains Southwind Luna, a Sportswriter filly, for owner Nasussito Racing Inc. of Ayr, Ontario. Southwind Farms bred Southwind Luna, who has won twice from five starts and has earned $23,540. Southwind Luna, the first foal out of Lil Presto Hanover, a The Panderosa half-sister to $2.6 million earner McArdle, sold for $20,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Drivers Rick Zeron and Trevor Henry split up the other four Grassroots sections, with each of them winning two. Zeron scored with Mister Big filly Show Some Leg in 1:54.4 for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman and Shadow Play daughter Chase The Shadows in 1:54.2 for trainer Dave Menary. Henry’s victories came courtesy of Vic Puddy trainee Twin B Honour (1:55) and Richard Moreau pupil Ms Mac N Cheese (1:54.2). The feature race of the evening saw Swan In A Million and trainer/driver Dustin Jones get great cover and come home strong to win the $100,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot in 1:52.4. The time of the race set a Canadian season's record for trotters over a five-eighth-mile track. The next Grassroots test for rookie pacing fillies comes on September 2 at Flamboro Downs. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Harness racing fillies dropping down from the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division to the Grassroots level proved successful in several of today’s $18,000 divisions at Clinton Raceway. That moved proved the ticket for Gee Okeeffe in the opening division. She traded the top position with Dewy Take A Selfie through fractions of :31, 1:03, 1:32.2 and was home first with a two length cushion in 2:03. Superbowl Sunshine closed well to take second while Dewy Take A Selfie was third. Chris Beaver trains the winner, a daughter of Holiday Road he co-owns with breeder Wilbur Lang of Ohio. Gee Okeeffe was notching her second win in five tries this year, winning a Gold division on July 23 at Grand River Raceway. That same shift also proved beneficial for Desis Dream who made her first Grassroots appearance after three Gold starts. She went gate to wire for Steve Byron in :30, 1:02.3, 1:32.4 and held off Giona to win by a neck in 2:03.4. Dolce Far Niente was third. John Bax of Peterborough, Ontario, trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, with breeder Glengate Farm of Campbellville, Ontario. This was Desis Dream’s first lifetime win in five tries. In the third division the field was reduced to five starters with the scratches of Magical Lass and Magic Dancing. Summer Jewel and Mario Baillargeon set the early tempo of :30.4, 1:03 and 2:04.4. Judy The Beauty came up to challenge past the half and kept pressure on the leader the rest of the way but Summers Jewel hung tough to win in 2:04.4. Judy The Beauty had to settle for place while Moon Dance took third. Baillargeon’s brother Ben of Rockwood, Ontario, trains and co-owns the winner, a daughter of Angus Hall who was recording her second straight Grassroots victory and third overall. She came into today’s event sitting third in the Grassroots standings with 124 points behind Stay In Touch and Judy The Beauty who were tied for first with 137. Mario was back on top early in the next split with first time starter Flexyandiknowit who hit the opening quarter in :31.3. Just past that marker Mass Rail was taken out from third to challenge the leader and overtook her just past the half in 1:03. However, she quickly had a challenger in My Mini Snickers by the 1:33.3 third panel. Mass Rail fought back but was hauled down late by My Mini Snickers and James MacDonald who hit the wire first in 2:03. Mass Rail was second with Tymal Fireitup third. It was the second straight Grassroots victory for the Muscle Mass daughter owned by Ron Phillips of Illinois and trained by Ryan Maxwell. It was the same scene in the fifth division as Mario had Zorgwijk Philly on top early and hit the opening panel in :31. Dustin Jones sent Pinky The Intern up to challenge before the half but Zorgwijk Philly maintained the lead and was by the third panel in 1:32. Despite pressure on the outside and inside Zorgwijk Philly was at the wire first in 2:05 over Delcrest Flexyhall and Pinky The Intern. It was the first OSS start and first win for the Southwind Lustre daughter owned and trained by Wayne Langille of Harley, Ontario. Other winners amongst the Grassroots divisions this afternoon were Winem, a daughter of Kadabra trained by Mike Keeling for owner Paula Wellwood of Cambridge, Ontario and driven by Mike Saftic and Wing Flash, also by Kadabra, who went gate to wire for trainer Wayne Henry, who co-owns with Daylon Farms of Komoka, Ontario, to win in 2:04. This group will meet again in Grassroots action on September 9 at Mohawk. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 8 - Spirit To Win turned the tables on Southwind Champane in leg two of the Pure Ivory Series Monday night at Mohawk. A field of five lined up to contest the $12,000 second leg of the trotting series for harness racing two-year-old fillies. Southwind Champane, the leg one winner, trotted out to the early lead, with Spirit To Win, the runner-up in leg one, following close behind in second. After setting fractions of :30.2, 1:01.2, 1:31.1, Southwind Champane and driver Steve Byron were challenged by Spirit To Win and driver Chris Christoforou for the stretch drive. Spirit To Win overtook the lead part way down the lane and cruised to victory in 1:58.2. Southwind Champane made a break late in the stretch and through the wire, but despite going off stride still finished second. Elegant Serenity, who finished third, was the only trotter of the other three starters not to make a break. The leg two victory was the second win in three starts for Spirit To Win and was a new career best. The daughter of Cantab Hall - Celebrity Spirit is trained by Dustin Jones for owners Frederick Hertrich and Noblock Racing Stable. Spirit To Win was a $35,000 yearling purchase last fall at the Harrisburg Sale. She paid $3.40 to win. The $45,800 final of the Pure Ivory Series will take place next Monday night (August 18) at Mohawk.   Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

Trainer Dustin Jones' homebred Fan Hanover eligible Nat A Virgin set a new Canadian season's record for three-year-old pacing fillies with a 1:50.3 triumph on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. After breaking stride in her first two starts of the year, Nat A Virgin put the pieces together on Friday and lowered the 2014 national division record by more than one full second in an $18,000 conditioned pace. The time also matched the fastest mile by any female pacer this season, which nine-year-old Voelz Hanover set in a top class Preferred event on May 9 at Woodbine Racetrack. Nat A Virgin, with driver Rick Zeron aboard, was the first to get a call in the evening's fifth race as she sprinted across the track from post seven and cleared to command before the first turn. She race by the quarter pole in :27.1 before 2-5 favourite Major Dancer swept up from fourth to take over during the second panel. The new leader cleared at the half in :55.3 and continued to lead past three-quarters in 1:23.3, but Nat A Virgin blew by in the stretch, kicking home in :26.3. To read the rest of the story click here.

TORONTO, May 5 - The timing couldn't have been more perfect for So Not Cool on Monday evening at Woodbine. The trotting son of Muscles Yankee posted the minor 6-1 upset in this year's $35,800 Tie Silk final, and in doing so the youngster celebrated his first career win. At the hands of driver Mario Baillargeon, So Not Cool laid off the speed in the early stages as The Muscler (Dustin Jones) took command past the quarter in :26.4. Entranced (Mike Saftic), the 1/5 favourite, made a quick brush to the lead before the half in :56.4 and continued to lead at three-quarters in 1:25.4. Turning for home, first-over attacker Justcallmeronald (Jody Jamieson) was stalking on the outside and continued to battle down the stretch with So Not Cool on his helmet. In deep stretch, Entranced was collared by Justcallmeronald, but So Not Cool had the most momentum as he found the wire first in 1:55.3. Justcallmeronald finished second over Entranced. Trained by Ben Baillargeon for owner Awesome Acres Stbds, So Not Cool celebrated his biggest payday as is bankroll now sits at $23,650. He paid $15.60 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, April 28 - A familiar face was found back in the winner's circle at Woodbine Racetrack on Monday evening as a pair of $15,000 divisions took place in the second round of the Tie Silk Series. Entranced, driven by Mike Saftic, will aim for the series sweep after turning back all rivals in a 1:56.4 victory. The talented son of Kadabra led from gate-to-wire through panels of :27, :58 and 1:28.3, before kicking home with a :28.4 final quarter to seal the victory in 1:56.4. Musical Spell (Jack Moiseyev) finished second, with Verdi (Paul Macdonell) third. Trained and co-owned by Garth Gordon along with Gary Green and Bernard Tobin, Entranced enjoyed his second victory in three starts this season. . The bay gelding increased his bankroll to $36,000, while paying $3.50 to win. After capturing his division in the opening round of the series, Entranced will look for the series sweep on Monday, May 5 in the rich $25,000 (added) final The Muscler, owned, trained and driven by Dustin Jones, took the other division in the opening dash on the 11-race program with a 1:56 victory. Jones guided the gelded son of Cantab Hall gate-to-wire through panels of :26.1, :56.3, 1:26.3, before fending off Tyrone Haji (Randy Waples) in deep stretch to win by a length. Alerthemedia (Eddie Green) finished third. The Muscler earned his third career tally from six starts this season and increased his bankroll to $20,940. He paid $7.70 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

ANDERSON, Ind.—October 2, 2013—For the third time in one week, the track record was lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval on Wednesday, October 2, marking the 21st track record that has been re-established throughout the 2013 racing season. Nat A Virgin, with Brad Hanners at the lines, became Hoosier Park’s newest track record holder when she powered home a winner in 1:52.4 in the second round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies. In just the sixth start of her freshman season, Nat A Virgin used a determined rally late in the lane to defeat a field of ten and score her third win of the season. The previous track record of 1:53 was established by U R It BB and Brett Miller in the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final on September 11. Leaving from the rail, Nat A Virgin was away a worrisome seventh while the rest of the field battled for early position. Always Dee One and Ricky Macomber Jr. were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :27.4 but their lead was short lived as Sam Widger had Tough Rose out and firing. Tough Rose dictated fractions of :56.1 and 1:25 before the rest of the field closed in. As the field rounded the final turn, Hanners tipped Nat A Virgin three-wide and she responded with a :27.2 final panel to win by two lengths. U R It BB battled gamely to finish second while Color’s A Virgin got up for the third place finish. As the heavy betting favorite, Nat A Virgin returned $4.20 to her backers at the window. Sired by Always A Virgin, the freshman filly scored her second consecutive victory after posting a win in a late closing event at The Red Mile in a lifetime best effort of 1:52.2 last week. Trained by Bobby Brower, Nat A Virgin has now earned $28,066 for her connections of Dustin Jones Stable Inc., and William Jones. The third round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies is slated for Wednesday, October 9 at Hoosier Park. Live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet began on April 2 and will conclude on November 9. By Emily Gaskin  

Harper Blue Chip might not be as speedy as his father, former trotting star Majestic Son, at this stage of his career, but trainer Mark Steacy thinks he could become one of his majestic sons. The 2-year-old Harper Blue Chip is among the 10 finalists in Saturday's C$365,000 William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt has won three of six races this season, including his most recent two. Last weekend, he won his Wellwood elimination in 1:56.1 and on Aug. 30 he won a division of the Champlain Stakes in 1:56. Saturday's card also includes the C$374,000 Peaceful Way Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters and the C$686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old male trotters. Harper Blue Chip and driver Sylvain Filion will start the Wellwood from post three. Once-beaten favorite Father Patrick, who won his elim in 1:55.3 from post 10, starts from post four with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Jimmy Takter. "He's had a good week so far," said the Ontario-based Steacy, who owns Harper Blue Chip with Landmark 6 Racing Stable, David McDonald and David Reid. "One thing about him, he's always full of himself. He's a good-feeling horse and seems to enjoy life. "Father Patrick is one talented horse. Unless he makes some kind of mistake, he looks pretty much unbeatable. But it's a horserace and anything can happen. The way my horse has been getting better and better every week, I'm hoping we're not at the bottom of the well with ours. If we get a good trip anything can happen." Steacy trained Majestic Son, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 2006. Harper Blue Chip's mother, Winning Jonlin, produced stakes-winners Medusa Blue Chip and Vibe Blue Chip and is a full-sister to stakes-winner Myolin. The family also includes two-time Horse of the Year honoree Mack Lobell and Hambletonian champion American Winner. Harper Blue Chip sold for $40,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. "He had fairly decent conformation," Steacy said. "He might have been just a little bit toe-out, but nothing drastic. I don't mind that on a trotter anyway. He had a nice rear end on him and a good shoulder and I really liked that. I could see similarities in a few respects to what his father had. "I thought this one was probably bred better than most Majestic Sons on the mother's side. That's what Majestic Son has always lacked; he's never bred these kinds of mares before. The ones I've had have all been decent horses with lesser pedigree. I figured this one has got a little more pedigree and a little more body to work with, so maybe he could be OK. After that you've just got to get lucky." Steacy saw other similarities between Harper Blue Chip and Majestic Son. "They're both very smart horses," Steacy said. "Majestic Son was just a little more than ordinary training to get to the races, but he always did it right. Just as Majestic Son did, this guy seems to be getting better with every start. I think Majestic Son showed just a little more raw speed than this one does at this point. "(Harper Blue Chip) was good gaited and didn't make very many mistakes at all. He didn't show any big speed training down, he was just kind of the same quarters all the time; nothing flashy. But after he got started to race, the speed started to come. And it's coming a little bit more with each start. You like to see a little go to them, but with a young trotter at that point I'm just as concerned about seeing a good gait." Steacy brought Harper Blue Chip along slowly and gave him his first three starts in the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Series. He didn't face open stakes company until the Champlain. "That's kind of my policy; I try to give them as many easy starts before I start getting in against tougher competition," Steacy said. "I always believe they're a better horse if you can get a couple easy starts into them, get them brave and make them think that they're good." Following is the field for the Wellwood Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Massive Talent, Scott Zeron, Nifty Norman; 2. Raise The Curtain, Tim Tetrick, Dustin Jones; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Sylvain Filion, Mark Steacy; 4. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 5. Il Sogno Dream, Paul Macdonell, Chris Beaver; 6. P L Hercules, Chris Christoforou, Matthew Dupuis; 7. Odds On Amethyst, Dan Daley, Daley; 8. Credit Fashion, Brian Sears, Jim Campbell; 9. Damfoolrmillionair, Randy Waples, Brad Maxwell; 10. Muscle Midas, John Campbell, Gates Brunet. SUNSHINE BEACH TO MISS LITTLE BROWN JUG Trainer Mark Steacy said Wednesday that Battle of the Brandywine winner Sunshine Beach would miss the Little Brown Jug because of a health issue. Sunshine Beach, ranked third in the current Road to the Little Brown Jug Top 10, has won five of 12 races and $494,885 for owners Hudson Standardbred Stable, Conrad Leber and Diane Bertrand. He handed Captaintreacherous his only loss this year with a world-record-equaling 1:47.4 mile in the Battle of the Brandywine on Aug. 17 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He was eighth against older horses on Aug. 31 at Mohawk and second to Vegas Vacation in a division of the Simcoe Stakes last weekend at Mohawk. The Little Brown Jug, the second jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown, is Sept. 19 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. "We made the call last night," Steacy said. "We thought hard about it because we really wanted to go. We just felt it was too much for him. I wouldn't say he's been sick, but his blood has been a little low the last week or two; I think he was just a little anemic for the last two races. "I just don't think I can get him healthy enough to race in the Jug and then Lexington and the Breeders Crown. I'd like to win the Little Brown Jug as much as anybody, but we have to put the horse before ourselves. Something had to give and I thought I'd take an extra week to make sure he's real healthy for Lexington." Vegas Vacation, who won his Simcoe division in a stakes-record 1:48.3, is the No. 1-ranked horse in the Road to the Little Brown Jug ratings. Sunshine Beach, who led the Simcoe from the start until yielding to Vegas Vacation in the stretch, has won six of 18 career races and earned $531,565. "After he came back from Pocono, I think it did take just a touch out of him," Steacy said. "That said, I thought he raced really good in the Simcoe. I think if we can get him back to 100 percent, like he was, he's going to race that much better. You've got to be at your peak for sure." by Ken Weingartner for USTA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. _ Royalty For Life, Wheeling N Dealin and Corky are the favorites in the three Hambletonian eliminations on Saturday afternoon at The Meadowlands Racetrack. The wide-open field of 23 was divided into three $70,000 heats. The top three finishers in each heat, along with the highest money-earner among the fourth place finishers, return later that afternoon for the $1 million final for 3-year-old trotters, the richest race in harness racing. Unlike other heat races, the winner does not have to win twice on the same day. The winner of the final is the Hambletonian champion. This marks the first time since 1996 that Hambletonian heats and final will be raced on the same afternoon. In recent years, Hambletonian eliminations were held one week before the final. Royalty For Life is the 8-5 favorite from post 8, the outside slot, in the first heat. He won the Stanley Dancer at the Meadowlands earlier this month and has captured his last two races. Brian Sears will drive for trainer George Ducharme. Wheeling N Dealin, last season’s champion 2-year-old trotter, is the 2-1 favorite from the rail in the second elimination with eight starters. Sylvain Filion will be in the sulky for trainer Dustin Jones. Seven line up for the third and final heat where Corky, winner of the Beal Memorial at Pocono Downs, is the 2-1 favorite from post 5 with David Miller at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. Post time for the Hambletonian final is 4:41 p.m. Eastern. The live card starts at 11:50 a.m. The CBS Sports Network will present a 90-minute live telecast starting at 3:30 p.m. This year’s Hambletonian lacks a clear standout, adding to the drama heading into Saturday. Royalty For Life might get a slight nod as the overall favorite. After starting the season making costly breaks, Royalty For Life appears to have turned the corner in the nick of time. “Now that he’s had a few more starts, he’s starting to behave himself,” Ducharme said. “I really believe we’re back on the right track. I think we’re headed on the right path.” This will be Ducharme’s first Hambletonian starter.   immy Takter is old Hambletonian hand, having already won the race twice with Malabar Man (1997) and Muscle Massive (2010). The Hall of Fame trainer sends out a starter in each heat: High Bridge (first), Dontyouforgetit (second) and Corky. “Going into this race is always special,” Takter said. “This is what we’ve been working for.”   Chuck Sylvester can make history with Spider Blue Chip in the third heat. Sylvester has already won four Hambos, one shy of the record held jointly by Billy Haughton, Stanley Dancer and Ben White.   John Campbell looks for more Hambletonian glory with Possessed Fashion in the third heat. Campbell has driven a record six Hambletonian winners. Bee A Magician is the overwhelming 2-5 favorite in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the companion event for 3-year-old filly trotters. She is a perfect 8 for 8 this year, and was an easy winner in last week’s Oaks eliminations. Bee A Magician starts from post 2 with Brian Sears driving for trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman, winner of last year’s Oaks with Personal Style in a 57-1 stunner. Mistery Woman, winner of the other Oaks elimination, is the 9-2 second choice from post 4 with David Miller at the lines for trainer Jonas Czernyson. Hambletonian Day will be the final live standardbred program contested before the original Meadowlands grandstand. The facility, witness to so much harness racing history, gets a grand sendoff with a stellar 15-race card that includes 14 stakes. In addition to the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks, the spectacular lineup includes the $321,700 Merrie Annabelle for 2-year-old filly trotters; the $318,350 John Cashman Memorial, formerly the Nat Ray, for older trotters; the $280,500 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old trotters; the $250,000 Anthony Abbatiello SBOA New Jersey Classic for 3-year-old pacers; the $217,100 Lady Liberty for Free-For-All pacing mares; the $213,650 U.S. Pacing Championship for Free-For-All pacers; the $125,000 Thomas D’Altrui SBOA Miss New Jersey for 3-year-old filly pacers; the $75,000 Vincennes Free-For-All trot and the $55,000 Ima Lula for 4-year-old trotting mares. Fans can follow all the action at www.meadowlandsracetrack.com, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and on Twitter at #Hambo13. by Rachel Ryan  

East Rutherford, NJ – The stage is set for the 2013 88th edition of the Hambletonian Trot, harness racing’s most prestigious race with 23 three-year-olds entered. The Hambletonian is the second leg of the trotting Triple Crown and features purses totaling more than $1.4 million. The three first heat eliminations will each be contested for a purse of $70,000. The first three horses in the official order of finish from each race will return for the final, plus the one horse finishing fourth with the highest lifetime earnings, to provide 10 horses for the $1.2 million final. It is a true test of stamina as the ten horses in the final will have raced twice in one day. Featured in the seventh race first elimination heat will be Dewycolorintheline for owner/trainer/driver Ray Schnikkter from post three.He is the only possible contender for the Trotting Triple Crown after winning the first jewel, the Yonkers Trot, last Saturday at Yonkers Raceway for a purse of $450,000. The early favorite in the race is Royalty For Life in post eight. He has won his last two starts impressively. Other contenders include High Hope and Smilin Eli. The eighth race second elimination heat is headed by the 2012 Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year, Wheeling n Dealin, who drew post position 1. Undefeated in nine starts last year, Wheeling n Dealin is winless in three outings so far in 2013. But last week was a close second to High Bridge at the Meadowlands. Other standouts include Dontyouforgetit and Aperfectyankee. In post four is Jacks To Open, who was sold on Sunday at the Meadowlands Summer Mixed Sale for $122,000 and the new owners promptly entered him in the Hambletonian. The ninth race final elimination heat features Corky (post 5) and Spider Blue Chip (post 6), both of whom have won their last start, All Laid Out and Lauderdale, who was third last week to Dewycolorintheline in the Yonkers Trot. Post positions for both the Hambletonian and the companion Hambletonian Oaks for fillies were drawn at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Below are the fields, in post position order, with listed drivers and trainers.. First Elimination Hambletonian Race 7 est. off: 2:24 pm Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Punxsutawney-Tim Tetrick-John Butenschoen 2-Smilin Eli-Tim Tetrick-David Smith 3-Dewycolorintheline-Ray Schnittker -Schnittker 4-High Bridge-Yannick Gingras -Jimmy Takter 5-Super Classic-Brian Sears -Greg Peck 6-Dreams Of Thunder-George Brennan-Jonas Czernyson 7-E L Rocket-Yannick Gingras -Ron Burke 8-Royalty For Life-Brian Sears-George Ducharme Second Elimination Hambletonian Race 8 est. off: 2:51 p.m. Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Wheeling N Dealin-Sylvain Filion-Dustin Jones 2-Aperfectyankee-Jim Oscarsson-Oscarsson 3-Your So Vain-Andy Miller -Julie Miller 4-Jacks To Open-Jim Morrill, Jr.-Nick Surick 5-Celebrity Maserati-Tom Jackson-Susanne Strandqvist 6-Caveat Emptor-Steve Smith-Ray Schnittker 7-Dontyouforgetit-Yannick Gingras -Jimmy Takter 8-Creatine-Mike Lachance-Bob Stewart Third Elimination Hambletonian Race 9 est. off: 3:18 pm Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Possessed Fashion-John Campbell-Tom Fanning 2-Murmur Hanover-Randy Waples-Normand Bardier, Jr. 3-Banco Solo-Ron Pierce-Ken Oscarsson 4-All Laid Out-Tim Tetrick -Noel Daley 5-Corky-David Miller -Jimmy Takter 6-Spider Blue Chip-Ron Pierce-Chuck Sylvester 7-Lauderdale-Corey Callahan-Jonas Czernyson $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks Race 11 est. off: 4:14 pm Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Fashion Athena-John Campbell -Jim Campbell-30-1 2-Bee A Magician-Brian Sears-Nifty Norman-2-5 3-Classic Martine-Ron Pierce-Chris Oakes-15-1 4-Mistery Woman-David Miller-Jonas Czernyson-9-2 5-Coffeecake Hanover-Jim Morrill Jr.-Ron Burke-20-1 6-Frau Blucher-Jim Morrill Jr.-Chris Oakes-8-1 7-To Dream On-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-12-1 8-Time To Kill-Simon Allard-Ross Croghan-50-1 9-Handover Belle-Mike Lachance-Tony Alagna-50-1 10-Ma Chere Hall-Corey Callahan-Jonas Czernyson-10-1 By Steve Wolf  

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