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AUGUST 9, 2016 - Harness racing driver Alfie Carroll and trainer Bob McIntosh captured two of four Grassroots divisions for the freshman pacing colts at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening. Starting from Post 5 in the first $18,000 Grassroots division, Carroll fired Mc Mach off the gate and the heavy favourites were two lengths in front of the field at the :27.3 opening quarter. Mc Mach maintained control through the :58 half and 1:26 three-quarters and then sailed down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 1:55. Heza Big Dealer and Thrownoutofbetter finished second and third. "He showed being on front in Toronto (July 7 at Mohawk Racetrack) and so I figured he'd probably end up cutting the race out, because he was favourite and showed being good on front. So it was kind of easy," said Carroll with a chuckle. "He does it all on his own, I didn't have to urge him at all really." Carroll engineered the win for Windsor resident McIntosh and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and Randy Liepa of Livonia, MI. The homebred son of Mach Three and Northern Empress now has two Grassroots wins to his credit and currently sits third in the division standings with 100 points. Carroll also employed a front end strategy with Test Ride in the second division. From Post 1 the favourites controlled the tempo through fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:25.3 before accelerating away from the field to a four and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:55.2. Kentucky Nick finished second and Brave World was four more lengths back in third. "They said he had lots of talent, he just hadn't been giving 100 per cent, but he raced real good tonight," noted the Iona Station, ON resident. "He had some pressure, a horse first up pressured him, but he fought him off good. "I was pretty confident, he's just a little bit on the lazy side, but he felt good," added Carroll. "I was happy with both of them." Tuesday's win was also Test Ride's second in Grassroots action, and the son of Mach Three and L A Confidential sits just ahead of his stablemate in the standings with 103 points. Bob and Al McIntosh bred and share ownership of the gelding with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. Down On My Luck claimed the third Grassroots trophy, powering out of the pocket to a neck victory in 1:55. Fan favourite Tigers Way settled for second and pacesetter One Source was third. London resident Nick Steward piloted Down On My Luck to his first lifetime victory for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle and owners 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor and David Kryway of Amherstburg, ON. The son of Camluck and False Alert was a modest $10,000 purchase from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and has banked $13,500 in his first four starts. The final Grassroots division went to Silverinyourpocket and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON, who motored up the outer lane to a three-quarter length decision in 1:55. Tremendous Play settled for second after serving as a wind break for Silverinyourpocket and pocket-sitter Master The View finished third. "This colt has got talent. We don't pretend he's a Gold, but for sure a decent Grassrooter," said trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON. "We're looking forward to his next race." Moreau conditions the son of Badlands Hanover and Fillys Victory for David and Marguerite Ratchford of North Sydney, NS. The colt was a $19,000 acquisition from the Forest City Yearling Sale and boasts a record of two wins and two thirds in five starts. A pair of wins and one third in Grassroots action has Silverinyourpocket atop the division standings with 112 points. The two-year-old pacing colts will make their fourth Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on August 17. Next up on Georgian Downs' Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is the fifth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing colts on Tuesday, August 23. Ontario Racing

AUGUST 7, 2016 - Georgian Downs hosted the three-year-old harness racing pacing colts and trotting fillies in Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series action on Sunday evening and the Innisfil crowd were witness to four impressive performances, including the seventh straight victory by North America Cup champion Betting Line. Betting Line and driver Jonathan Drury rolled off the gate from Post 1 in the second $105,000 three-year-old pacing colt division and settled in third as Sintra powered out to a :27.3 opening quarter. Drury opted to put Betting Line on the lead before the :56 half and continued to lead the field through the 1:25.1 three-quarters. Sintra mounted a late challenge, but Betting Line surged forward in the lane to secure his seventh straight victory in 1:51.4. Sintra finished one length back in second and Voracity finished three and one-half lengths back in third. "The horse was awesome, as he usually is," said trainer Casie Coleman of her star pupil. "When I got to Georgian I was not happy at all with the track condition. The water truck broke and the track was really loose and dusty. I talked to JD (Drury) and we were going to scratch him because of it, but then they got a rental water truck in and the track got better, but not great. "I told JD, be really careful and baby him," Coleman continued. "But JD came through and got over it awesome. He was steering and pacing perfect tonight. I'm really happy with him; now off to Northfield." Undefeated since May 14, Betting Line has wins in his Somebeachsomewhere division, his elimination and the final of the North America Cup, and three Gold Legs on his resume this season. The son of Bettor's Delight will make his next start in the Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park on August 13. Cambridge resident Coleman shares ownership of the winner of $1,277,422 with her partner in the West Wins Stable, Ross Warriner of Burlington, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON. The first pacing colt Gold division went to Gerries Sport, who went gate-to-wire, laying down fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:24.1 before battling down the stretch to a neck victory in 1:52.3. Fan favourite Magnum J closed hard to be second and War N Munn was just one-half length back in third. "Gerrie, he raced good. He got out of the wings real fast and he felt real comfortable, so we just kept going and he held on," said driver Sylvain Filion. "He was a little tired at the end, but that was a great effort in that track condition, and the weather was pretty windy too, so it wasn't perfect conditions. I thought it was a very good effort on his part." Filion engineered the victory for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner-breeder Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, QC. It was the Mach Three son's first-ever Gold Series win, and his fifth victory of the season. Milton, ON resident Filion was back in the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle after the first three-year-old trotting filly Gold division, piloting Emoticon Hanover to a commanding three and three-quarter length victory in 1:55. Catch A Mission and Dewdle All Day finished behind the fan favourite in second and third. "I was a little concerned, because last year she made a break at Georgian. So I kind of had that in the back of my head, so I was trying to be very careful around the first turn and the last turn," noted Filion. "My only anxious moment was when I let Chris Christoforou (with Dewdle All Day) go past the quarter. My mare didn't want to let him go and she kind of chucked her head a little bit, so I had to be real gentle with her to let Chris go, and then as soon as I re-moved she was on her own and we were never tried. "She was real comfortable, she was trotting perfect around the turns, so I was very happy," the reinsman added. Luc Blais of Lochaber Quest, QC conditions Emoticon Hanover for Determination of Montreal, QC. The win was the Kadabra daughter's second in Gold Series action this season and her fourth lifetime. In six starts this year the filly now has three wins, one second and one third. The second trotting filly Gold division was captured by Wanaka and Trevor Henry, who charged up the outer lane to reel in fan favourite and pacesetter Radiant Beam and then powered through the stretch to claim the win in a personal best 1:56. Jangone closed hard to finish one-half length back in second and Dottie was three lengths back third. "She's a nice filly, we just had to get her healthy," said Henry. "She is very fast for a piece and has the manners to go with it. "She was out five weeks," said the driver about the filly's battle with sickness. "I was just hoping she was over it and I think she is." The Arthur resident's wife Shannon Henry conditions Wanaka for their partner, numbered company 1035840 Ontario Inc., also of Arthur, ON. Sunday's victory was Wanaka's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action and boosts the daughter of Manofmanymissions sophomore record to six wins, four seconds and two thirds in 16 starts. The three-year-old trotting fillies will be back in Gold Series action on August 18 at Mohawk Racetrack, while the three-year-old pacing colts make their final regular season start on Sept. 3 at Mohawk. Ontario Sires Stakes action is back at Georgian Downs on Tuesday, Aug. 9 with four Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts. The colts will wage their third Grassroots battles of the season in Races 2, 4, 6, and 8. Post time is 7:15 pm. Ontario Racing

Saturday nights’ pari-mutuel monte handicap contest at Georgian Downs carried a C$5,000 purse and went to the Sarah Town ridden Muscle Matters (5g Muscle Mass-Sister Mary Lindy-Conway Hall), trained by Benoit Baillargeon and co-owned by the trainer with Nunzio Vena, Santo Vena and Richard Thompson. The winner prevailed in a solid 2:01.1f with a final half mile in 1:00,1 in a gate to wire score. Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) closed well with a final :29.3 panel to be second for Evelyn Harms and Marit Valstad teamed Massive Muscles home third. C$8,435 was wagered on the monte event, off as race three on a ten race program on which C$78,391 was handled. by Thomas H. Hicks  

JULY 10, 2016 - Georgian Downs wrapped up its weekend showcase of harness racing two-year-old talent with three $18,000 Grassroots divisions for the novice trotting fillies, and Sunday's outing may be the only time this season fans will see the division winners compete at the Grassroots level. All three winners controlled the tempo and all three impressed their trainers, starting with Man Shes Hot in the first division. In rein to Chris Christoforou, Jr., Man Shes Hot powered away from Post 5 and took control just past the :30.1 opening quarter. From there the pair laid down a 1:00.2 half and a 1:30.3 three-quarters before drawing away from the field to a two and three-quarter length win in 2:01. Hab Faith finished second and Whole Lot Of Sugar was four more lengths back in third. "From the first day I got her after the sale - the first day I put the harness on her and the bike and everything - every day, every training, she never run, she always was a business girl," said trainer Dany Fontaine. "And I always say to my owners, I don't know if she'll be a very good filly, but I know one thing, she do everything right, all winter, mile after mile, week after week, training after training." Fontaine prepped the Manofmanymissions daughter for Sunday's Grassroots debut with two qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack, on June 3 and 10, and two overnight races, on June 21 and 30. Man Shes Hot improved steadily with every outing, impressing both Fontaine and Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou. "Chris Christoforou told me all the time, he said Dany, we're better to have her quiet than too crazy, because when they're too crazy they run from nothing or they scare," Fontaine added. "Her, she's never scared, she's nice and she only trot, so I can't complain about her. I'm very happy about her." The Lachenaie, QC resident shares ownership of Man Shes Hot with Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC, Marco Manna of Laval, QC and Jean Francois Reid of Anjou, QC. The partners acquired the filly from last fall's Canadian Open Yearling Sale for $25,000 and in three starts she has returned $10,120. The second division saw P C Pipe Dream and driver Curtis Clements get away second from Post 2 and take over from Late Shift just after she put up a :31.3 quarter. P C Pipe Dream went on to a 1:03.2 half and 1:33.3 three-quarters and then fought off a challenge from Kendras Coco to claim the 2:02.4 victory by three-quarters of a length. Kendras Coco finished second and Late Shift was two more lengths back in third. "She's a nice filly, she's got a little bit of speed," said Dobbinton, ON resident Clements. "She can leave a little bit and she shows a little bit of class. I hope that she can maybe move up in class, maybe in another start or two, and we'll kind of go from there." Clements pilots the filly for his father Peter Clements, also of Dobbinton, who bred, owns and trains the daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and P C Dreams. P C Pipe Dream arrived at Georgian Downs with just one qualifier under her belt, a runner-up finish at Mohawk on June 24. Finishing behind P C Pipe Dream in that qualifier was the winner of Sunday's third Grassroots division, Literally. Like her peers in the first two splits, Literally and Dustin Jones got away well from Post 5 and took command before the :59.2 half. Literally cruised to a 1:29 three-quarters and then powered home to a 1:58.1 victory, four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Stormont Royalty. Oh Miss Sophie was well back in third. "She sort of surprised me," admitted Jones. "I knew she was fast, because when I qualified her she came back in :27.3, but I didn't think she was that fast. She's pretty good." The Waterdown resident bred, owns and trains Literally, who is a Justice Hall half-sister to his 2014-15 Ontario Sires Stakes champion trotting colt Dont Rush. Jones was originally pointing the filly toward the July 5 Gold Series event at Georgian Downs, but she came up sick after her June 24 qualifier and needed the extra five days to recover from the bug that has impacted many two-year-olds in recent weeks. "She trained really good, and then I qualified her once, and then she got sick, so that's why I didn't put her in the Gold, but her next start will be in the Gold," said the horseman. "She's a pretty nice filly." Jones says the filly is a similar size to her half-bother, who was never known for his height, but has a decidedly different gait pattern. "He had more of a gait that he was in the air a lot, and her she's a more low to the ground gait, more like a Valley Victory gait or something like that," Jones explained. "She doesn't waste as much motion as he did." If they return to the Grassroots program, Sunday's division winners will make their second Ontario Sires Stakes start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 21. If their connections opt to jump up to the Gold Series, they will compete at Mohawk on July 19. Ontario Sires Stakes action does not return to Georgian Downs until Sunday, Aug. 7 when the Innisfil oval welcomes the exciting three-year-old pacing colts and geldings for their fourth Gold Leg. Ontario Racing

JULY 9, 2016 - Georgian Downs showcased the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Saturday evening and Innisfil area harness racing fans were treated to impressive performances by the Ontario Sires Stakes program's future stars. Three $70,000 Gold Series divisions and four $18,000 Grassroots divisions went postward and Mass Production kicked things off in the first race with a commanding 1:59 victory for trainer-driver Rick Zeron. The heavy favourites finished two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Lucys Man and Northern Major to earn the Gold Series trophy. "I was very confident in my colt," said Zeron after the front-end victory. "He's been a great colt since the day we put the harness on him. He's very versatile I can do whatever I like with him; I can go to the front with him, I can race him out of a hole, whatever it is, he just responds so well, he's like driving a four-year-old horse." The Oakville resident shares ownership of Mass Production with James Walker of Port Perry and Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON. The trio purchased the Muscle Mass son for $32,000 from last fall's Canadian Open Yearling Sale and he has already banked $42,000 in two starts, winning both. "I'm very pleased with him and I know he will step up in the near future and trot in 1:55," added Zeron. "I'm quite pleased with him and I'm real happy for my partners Jim Walker and Bruno Dipoce, really happy for them, because, you know, it's a long winter when you buy your yearlings and you take your time." Rose Run Speedster captured the second Gold Series division, with driver Anthony MacDonald employing come-from-behind tactics to land the Windsong Espoir son in the winner's circle. The colt sprinted down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 2:00.1. Life Well Lived was second, edging out favourite Uknow What To Do. "This colt has never had a shortage of speed, and has never had to be shown how to win," said MacDonald. "I'm very excited to race this colt all summer." MacDonald's wife Amy conditions Rose Run Speedster for the Rose Run Speedster Stable of Guelph, one of the fractional ownership groups in the couple's new business venture, thestable.ca. "Obviously Amy and I are very pleased to see thestable.ca get its first major stakes win," said the Guelph resident. "Rose Run Speedster was inexpensive in Harrisburg at $14,000, but he has shown just why fractional ownership is so important for horse racing - a large group of owners at the track and in the winner's circle who would have otherwise been at home tonight." Rose Run Speedster also has two starts under his belt, with Saturday's victory and a fifth in a June 21 overnight event at Mohawk Racetrack giving him an earnings total of $9,700. The final Gold Series division saw trainer-driver Luc Ouellette go straight to the front from Post 1 with Speedycrest and sail through fractions of :29, :58.4 and 1:29.4 on the way to a 1:59 victory, six lengths ahead of One Of The Few and favourite Clarion Hall. "He minded his manners tonight, because he's shown a couple times that at the gate he could make a mistake, but I guess he's learning," said Ouellette. "He went a good mile, we're real happy with him." Owned by Ecuries Richelieu Inc. of Venise-En-Quebec, QC, Speedycrest learned his early lessons under the tutelage of Joliette, QC resident Claude Beausoleil. After a pair of qualifiers and one overnight test at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres, making a break behind the gate and being pulled up on May 28, scoring a 2:00.3 win on June 14, and recovering from an early break to be second on June 26, Beausoleil sent Speedycrest to Ouellette's Campbellville, ON facility. "They've been mentioning to me for the last two months how good he's been training, and they were saying that he would do well in the first Gold, and they were right. They sent him, and he was ready, and he did well in the first Gold," said Ouellette. "He got here 10 days ago and he's done nothing but nice things, he's one of those horses that whatever you want to do, he's game for. "I think he's just learning all the time and good experiences will lead to better things," added the horseman. Angus Hall son Speedycrest and his peers will make their second Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 25. In the Grassroots divisions, Tycoon Seelster opened the season with a 2:02.3 effort for driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown and owner Chris Storms of Picton, ON. The Angus Hall son overcame an early break in stride to best Pennant Seelster by three-quarters of a length and Kitarro by two and one-quarter lengths. A $23,000 purchase at the Forest City Yearling Sale, Tycoon Seelster is a full-brother to $658,058 winner Traverse Seelster. The well-bred youngster had just one qualifier under his belt heading into Saturday's test, a third-place result at Mohawk Racetrack on July 1. The second Grassroots split saw trainer-driver Ondrej Gois and Mr Marshmellow go gate-to-wire in 2:02.1, hitting the finish five and three-quarter lengths ahead of LMC Mass Gem and six more ahead of My Big Kadillac in a race that was cut down to five starters due to scratches related to sickness. Rockwood, ON resident Gois also owns Mr Marshmellow, a son of Federal Flex and Ultra Chic. The colt made an error in his first qualifier on Jun 24 at Mohawk, then finished second in his July 1 effort, just ahead of Tycoon Seelster. Veteran reinsman Jack Moiseyev also chose to control the tempo with Rosberg in the third Grassroots division. The Moffat, ON resident put Rosberg on the front heading for the half and never needed to glance over his shoulder, sailing across the finish line two lengths the best in 2:02.2. More Than Majestic and favourite Motown Jackpot completed the top three. Moiseyev crafted the win for trainer Julie Walker of Carlisle and her partners Ronald Piers of Georgetown and Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke, ON. The Manofmanymissions son, a $13,000 purchase from the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale, prepped for his Ontario Sires Stakes debut with June 24 and July 1 qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack, finishing seventh and second, respectively. Fan favourite Themanofmydreams also cruised to an effortless victory in the last Grassroots division. The Muscle Mass son hit the wire in 2:02.3, four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Critical Mass and Yo Yo Mass, also sons of Muscle Mass. Denis St. Pierre of Guelph, ON piloted Themanofmydreams to the win for trainer Tiffanee Staley of Guelph and her partners Alexandre and Christian Pilon of St-Eustache, QC and Jesse Legault of Lorraine, QC. Like many of his peers, the Muscle Mass son had two qualifiers under his belt, both at Mohawk, a sixth-place result on June 24 and a 2:03 win on July 1. Themanofmydreams was a $22,000 purchase from the Canadian Open Yearling Sale. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their second Grassroots start on July 20 at Grand River Raceway. Having enjoyed the freshman trotting colt showcase on Saturday night, Georgian Downs fans will get a look at the two-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday night as they compete in their first Grassroots event. Post time is 7:15 pm and the fillies will test their skills in Races 3, 5 and 7. Ontario Racing

JULY 5, 2016 - Two-year-old trotting fillies were the stars of the show at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, making their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts in a trio of $70,000 Gold Series divisions. Winter Sweet Frost kicked things off in the first race with an effortless front-end tour of the Innisfil oval, clocking fractions of :30.2, :59.3 and 1:29.4 on her way to a 1:59.3 victory. Lady Justice closed to within one-half length of the pacesetter to secure second-place honours and Gravitator was a length back in third. "She raced good tonight," said driver Doug McNair. "The track hasn't been that fast up there, so to go a mile in 1:59.3, I think that's a pretty good mile for a two-year-old trotting filly's first lifetime start." The Guelph, ON resident piloted Winter Sweet Frost to victory for trainer Paul Reid of De Leon Springs, FL and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The Kadabra daughter was sent off as the fan favourite after winning a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 10 and 24, and McNair said he was impressed with the filly long before she made her public debut. "The main thing about her is she's nice gaited and she's smart," said McNair, who first sat behind Winter Sweet Frost in a spring training mile. "You can make a lot of money with one's like that, rather than a high speed one that's half crazy." After finishing third with Gravitator, driver Sylvian Filion found the winner's circle in the second Gold division, piloting On A Sunny Day to a come-from-behind victory in 1:59. The duo reeled in pacesetter Sweet Of My Heart and pocket sitter Im Peekers, reaching the wire one-half length the best. "She really impressed me," said Filion, who crafted the victory for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC. "That was the first time I sat behind her, but Luc always told me he really, really liked her and you know what, he was right. She was real impressive tonight." Blais also bred the daughter of Muscle Mass, who prepped for her Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) debut with qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 16 and 24, finishing fourth and second, respectively. "Her last baby race she came a last quarter in :27.1," noted Milton, ON resident Filion. "She's a handy filly, she's pretty easy to drive, she's pretty mature for her age, and she's got wicked speed, so it's a good combination." Filion, who was the leading reinsman in the OSS in 2015, was also impressed with Gravitator's third-place result. "I really liked the way she raced tonight, we got interfered with, were gapped, and she was still only beat a length and a half or something like that," said the reinsman. "She came a very good last half." Blais trains the Kadabra daughter, a full-sister to former OSS star and $870,153 winner Prestidigitator, for Determination. She was an $80,000 acquisition from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The final Gold division was captured by Janderson and driver Paul MacDonell, who swept by duelling leaders Mass Psychology and Majestic Kat in the stretch and pulled away to a three length victory in 1:59.3. "The race set up kind of nice for her, she got away third in a nice spot there, and then the first and second horses went at it kind of hard down the backstretch, which kind of made the race for her," said MacDonell. "In her only qualifier she did have a lot of trot on the end of her mile, so I was a little bit confident," added the reinsman, who tipped the filly out three-wide around the final turn to take clear aim on the finish line. MacDonell pilots the Muscle Mass filly for trainer Mike Keeling of Cambridge and owners Dr. Roly Armitage of Dunrobin and James Armitage of Carp, ON. A $14,000 purchase from the Canadian Open Yearling Sale, Janderson learned her early lessons from the Armitage's before making the move to Keeling's barn. "They trained her down in the Ottawa area and then they sent her to Mike just recently," noted MacDonell. "They did a good job with her, a very nice job. "They were pretty pumped, it was a big win for them," the Guelph, ON resident added. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start on July 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. This Saturday, July 9, Georgian Down will welcome the two-year old trotting colts to Innisfil for their Gold Series debuts. The evening's first race gets under way at 7:15 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Harness racing driver Mike Saftic picked up an extra mount 45 minutes before the first three-year-old trotting colt Grassroots division went behind the gate at Georgian Downs on Tuesday and turned the unexpected opportunity into an Ontario Sires Stakes driving double. Stepping into Parkhill Maximus's race bike for the first time, Saftic eased the gelding away from Post 4 and then found cover behind Ulysses Bi as that colt powered up the outside. Turning for home Saftic asked Parkhill Maximus for another gear and the Federal Flex son sprinted away from the field to a 1:59 victory. KFB Amigo Cool was two and one-quarter lengths back in second and Red Monster was third. "The trip set up good, he was second over and the other horse cleared. He got a nice little trip," said Saftic, who piloted Parkhill Maximus to the win for trainer Bill Shaw and owner Patricia Gibb of London, ON. The victory was the fifth trip to the winner's circle in 20 sophomore starts for Parkhill Maximus, and the gelding's first Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) victory. One race later Saftic was back in the winner's circle with one of his regular mounts, Bow Ties N Bourbon. The fan favourites led from start to finish, laying down fractions of :29.3, :59 and 1:29 before battling down the stretch to hold off UF Musclemass Star by a head in 1:59.3. Classical Son was three lengths back in third. "He showed some heart down the lane and got the job done," said Saftic. "He's a little bit of a trappy-gaited guy, and he was a little rolly today, but he hung on. "They were happy owners, put it that way," the Campbellville, ON resident added. "That's what it's about." Saftic piloted Bow Ties N Bourbon to his second win of the season, and first OSS victory, for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and owner Dona McDonald of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Trainer John Bax of Campbellville, ON made a rare appearance in the race bike in the third division, guiding Manofmanyimages to a 1:57.4 score for owners Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA, T L P Stable of Kearny, NJ and Joseph Lozito Jr. of Wayne, NJ. The pair finished one length ahead of Chestnut Schofield and four lengths ahead of Wildwild Men. A Grassroots winner at Georgian Downs last season, the Manofmanymissions son had been winless in three sophomore starts before Tuesday's triumph. The fourth division saw Holiday Party and driver Paul Mackenzie control the tempo with fractions of :28, 58.3 and 1:28.1 on their way to a one length score in 1:58. The Land Shark and favourite Muscles For Life, last year's Grassroots champion, finished second and third. Puslinch, ON resident Mackenzie engineered the win for trainer Dany Fontaine of Lachenaie, QC and owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. The win was the second straight for the Holiday Road gelding. Sylvain Filion, last year's leading reinsman in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, piloted JLs Bad Moon Risin to a win in the fifth division, guiding the Muscle Mass son to a 1:57.1 personal best. Favourite Donicus and P L Jerico, piloted by Saftic, rounded out the top three. Filion, who makes his home in Milton, ON, drove JLs Bad Moon Risin to the second Grassroots win of his career for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner Gestion J Y Blais Inc. of Montreal, QC. The final Grassroots trophy went to Georgies Pockets and trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev, who delivered a commanding four and one-half length victory over Asterix and Stormont Esquire. The 1:57.3 clocking was a personal best for Georgies Pockets, who was a four-time winner in the Grassroots as a two-year-old, including his Grassroots Semifinal. Moffat, ON resident Moiseyev conditions the son of Muscle Mass for owner-breeder M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. The three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will make their second Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 12, while Georgian Downs gets set to host the Gold Series debuts of the two-year-old trotting fillies on July 5 From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 28 - The deadline for nominations to the Alliance Spring Series is this Monday (May 2). A total of 11 events will be contested as part of the Alliance Spring Series. Flamboro Downs, The Raceway at Western Fair, Clinton Raceway, Grand River Raceway and Georgian Downs will all host series races. The Alliance Spring Series offer racing opportunities for $6,000 and $12,000 claimers, along with four-year-olds and younger who are non-winners of $5,000. Flamboro Downs will host two series finals on Confederation Cup night (May 15), while Western Fair will also host a pair of series finals on Molson Pace night (May 27). The nomination fee for each series is $100 ($75 USD) and the Woodbine Entertainment Group will handle all payments. To view the full conditions for each series and nomination form to the Alliance Spring Series, click here. To make payments online, click here. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

AUGUST 29, 2015 - Georgian Downs wrapped up their 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes season on Saturday evening with four impressive Grassroots performances from the harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies. Stonebridge Quest paced the quickest mile of the four $18,000 divisions, rocketing around the Georgian Downs oval to a one and one-half length victory in 1:51.4. The Camluck daughter and driver Trevor Henry powered away from Post 7 as the heavy favourites and controlled the pace from start to finish, ringing up fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:23.3 on their way to the win. Warrawee Qually and Brown Brinny finished second and third. Arthur, ON resident Henry engineered Stonebridge Quest's third Grassroots win of the season for trainer Andrew McCabe and owners Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph, ON and Angie Stiller of Arva, ON. The Grassroots Championship winner at two, Stonebridge Quest currently sits second in the division standings with 150 points, assuring her of a berth in the Semi-finals. The top 20 point earners following the last regular season event, at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 7, will compete in the Sept. 18 Semi-finals, also at Mohawk, and the top five finishers from each Semi-final will return to the Campbellville oval for the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 26. In addition to the win with Stonebridge Quest, Henry also piloted Evas Girl to victory in the last Grassroots division. Evas Girl also lined up behind the number seven on the Georgian Downs starting gate, but Henry opted for a different strategy with the Rambaran daughter, easing away from the start and landing on the rail in fifth. From that vantage point Henry watched Nationalize lead the field to a :26.4 quarter and a :55.3 half and then decided to send Evas Girl into the outer lane. When the fillies leading the charge up the outer lane failed to make any gains on the leader, Henry sent Evas Girl out three-wide and the filly had a short lead by the 1:24.2 three-quarters which she had increased to five lengths by the finish. The 1:53.2 clocking was a personal best for Evas Girl. I Wonder Why and Windsun Chanel completed the top three. Isaac Waxman of Dundas, ON trains Evas Girl for Aaron Waxman of Hamilton, ON, Alan Alber of Thornhill, ON and Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, NY. In three Grassroots starts the filly now has two wins and one third for a total of 112 points and a share of fourth spot in the standings. Division leader Dublin Rose captured her third Grassroots trophy in the third division at Georgian Downs on Saturday. The Major In Art daughter delivered an impressive effort that saw her pressing pacesetter Machmeter for most of the mile before pulling away to a one-half length victory in the stretch. Much Adoo and Twin B Honour finished second and third in the 1:53 mile. Purchased by Finksburg, MD resident Jerry Clark from breeder Allen Tomlinson of Mason, MI following her Aug. 14 Grassroots start, Saturday's outing was Dublin Rose's first from trainer Dave Menary's Rockton, ON barn. Driver Robert Shepherd of Cambridge, ON steered the fan favourite to the win. With three wins and one second in the first four Grassroots events, Dublin Rose has accumulated 175 points. The other Grassroots division saw Lovely Erin earn the first Grassroots trophy of her career with a hard fought effort that saw her pressed through every step of the mile. The Sportswriter daughter hit the wire a neck in front of Got Some Spark and War Filly in 1:54.1 to secure the win. London, ON resident Nick Steward piloted Lovely Erin to the win for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle, ON and owner 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, ON. Third in her Grassroots debut at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 14, Lovely Erin has 62 points and will be looking to pad that total in the last regular season event. In addition to the four Grassroots divisions, Georgian Downs fans were also treated to the $100,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot, which was captured by Rockin With Dewey in 1:53.2. Bob McClure of Orangeville, ON crafted the win for trainer Benoit Baillargeon of Rockwood, ON and his partner Diane Ingham of Mount Pleasant, ON. Ontario Horse Racing

AUGUST 25, 2015 - After coming close in each of his previous Gold Series starts, three-year-old pacing gelding Mr Carrotts scored a narrow victory in front of a hometown crowd at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening. Owned and bred by Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Mr Carrotts trailed fan favourite Go Daddy Go in the outer lane for much of the mile and then sprinted down the stretch to get a whisker in front of Sportsmanship for his first Gold Series win. It was also a close contest for third, with pacesetter Star Cover holding off Robert Hill. Mr Carrotts and driver Paul MacKenzie of Puslinch, ON stopped the Georgian Downs teletimer at 1:53.2 over a "Good" track rated one second slower than normal. "He always showed talent, but he's lazy," said Murray Brethour, who conditions the Mach Three gelding for Thornton resident Melvyn Varcoe and actually sold the horse's dam, Cueless, to Varcoe's father Clarence in 2001. "I bought the mother as a yearling and then I got out of racing and I sold her," explained the Sunderland resident. "She was a good mare." Cueless earned $466,638 in her racing career and produced $240,028 winner Card Hustler in her first mating. Mr Carrotts is her fourth foal and to date he has banked $116,318, with all but $10,000 coming this season. Through 13 sophomore starts the gelding has tallied two wins, three seconds, five thirds and three fifths. With a five and one-half week break before the fifth and final Gold Leg, Brethour says Mr Carrotts will likely enjoy a mini-vacation before beginning preparations for the regular season finale and, hopefully, the Super Final. The top 10 point earners from the regular season advance to the Super Final and Tuesday's victory boosted the gelding up the point standings from thirteenth to fifth. "We'll give him a couple of weeks off, freshen him up," said Brethour. "He's very laid back. It takes a little while to jog him, he don't get too excited, you're out there for half an hour. "Only bad thing about him - I don't own him," concluded Brethour, with a chuckle. In addition to Mr Carrotts' hometown win, Tuesday's Gold Series contest also featured the return of 2014 freshman pacing colt champion Reverend Hanover. Sidelined by an injury in May, the son of Sportswriter missed the first three Gold Legs and was looking to make up for lost time from Post 2 in the second $105,000 division. With Hall of Famer Steve Condren in the race bike, Reverend Hanover controlled the race from start to finish, sailing home two and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:51.4. Pocket-sitter Drachan Hanover earned the second-place share and early challenger J Js Delivery was third. Milton, ON resident Condren crafted the win for trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, ON and owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, ON and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, ON. With Tuesday's victory under his belt, Coleman said the winner of $224,500 has a number of open stakes engagements on his calendar before the next Gold Leg. "He is fully staked up, and there are still enough dances on his plate to rack up some money," said the trainer. "The next big one would be Sept. 12 at Mohawk, the Simcoe, and I wouldn't mind a three-year-old open next Saturday (at Mohawk) if they can fill one." Through three starts in his two-year-old campaign and Tuesday's triumph, Reverend Hanover remains undefeated in Gold Series action. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings make their final regular season Gold Series start at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 2 and the $250,000 Super Final will also be contested at Woodbine on Oct. 10. Georgian Downs wraps up its 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the fifth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

Ontario's top two-year-old harness racing fillies took centre stage at Georgian Downs on Saturday night and trotter Could It Be Magic landed Fred Brayford in the winner's circle at his local oval for the second time this summer. Starting from Post 4 in the third $70,000 Gold division, trainer-driver Wayne Henry sent Could It Be Magic directly to the front and the filly sailed along through fractions of :29, :58.4 and 1:27.3. Major Muscle mounted a challenge through the final quarter, but favourite Could It Be Magic accelerated away to a one and one-quarter length win in 1:56.4. Major Muscle settled for second and I Want Kandy completed the triactor. "She's very natural, knew what she was doing from Day 1," said Henry, who shares ownership of the filly with Alliston resident Brayford. "She's pretty plain and simple." The win was Could It Be Magic's third in Gold Series action. In addition to Saturday's victory and her win in the July 12 season opener at Georgian Downs, the Kadabra daughter was also successful at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 4. In her other provincial outing, Could It Be Magic finished fifth in the July 23 Gold Leg at Mohawk, giving her a total of 155 points and sole ownership of second in the division standings. Henry selected the filly out of the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $18,000 and in her first five starts Could It Be Magic has earned $106,750. "The first day I looked at two and she was up first. I didn't think I'd be able to get her for that kind of money, and for some reason I got her cheap," noted Henry, adding that it was a combination of the filly's pedigree, size and good looks that caught his eye at the sale. The two-year-old trotting fillies now have a six-week break before their next Gold Series start and Could It Be Magic and several of her peers will be competing in open stake events at Mohawk Racetrack. "She has the Champlain (Sept. 3) and the Peaceful Way (Sept. 10 and 19) - and the Balanced Image (Aug. 22 and 29), but that's going to make it too tight, so I think we'll keep her out of that," said Arthur, ON resident Henry. "They've only got so many starts in them." Division point leader Caprice Hill will be joining Could It Be Magic on the open stakes circuit after posting her third Gold Series victory on Saturday. In spite of a brief hiccup at the start when she accelerated into the gate and went off stride, the heavy favourite took command at the three-quarter marker and cruised home a two length winner in 1:56.1. Devils Advocate and Dewdle All Day finished second and third. Yannick Gingras engineered the win for trainer Tony Alagna of Manalapan, NJ and owner Tom Hill of Hamilton, ON. The Kadabra daughter, a $55,000 acquisition at Harrisburg last fall, boasts a record of three wins and one second in four starts for a division leading point total of 175 and earnings of $113,750. High Heels captured the other trotting filly Gold trophy, digging in down the stretch for a three-quarter length win over Silky Flashy Nfast and favourite Its All About Sam. The 1:59 score was engineered by Rick Zeron for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John and Jim Fielding of Toronto, ON and Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL. The win was the Kadabra daughter's first in four outings and gives her a total of 82 points toward a berth in the season ending Super Final. A $115,000 purchase at Harrisburg, High Heels had scored one fourth and two thirds in the first three Gold Legs. Yannick Gingras earned owner Tom Hill a second Gold Series trophy when he guided Heavenly Hill to a 1:54.3 victory in the third pacing filly division. Gingras sent the Art Colony daughter to the front heading for the halfway marker and Heavenly Hill hit the wire two lengths ahead of Danish N Coffee and Golden Idol. Heavenly Hill benefited from an early miscue by division point leader Thatsoveryverynice and an error by challenger Kays Shadow at the three-quarters, but Cambridge, ON resident Dave Menary conditions the homebred for Hill and said he was expecting a solid effort from the young pacer. "I expected her to race good, I just didn't expect to get paid that much," said Menary. "Yannick let the dust settle and then moved her, and a couple horses made mistakes and we didn't make any mistakes tonight. "I'm really happy with tonight's performance," he added. Heavenly Hill started her Ontario Sires Stakes career in the Grassroots program, scoring one win and one second before making the leap up to the Gold Series on Saturday. In four lifetime starts she has earned $48,500. Thisorthat Hanover was awarded the trophy in the first $70,000 pacing filly division after she was knocked off stride by a drifting Bernadette in the stretch. Bernadette crossed the wire first, but was placed back to second and Thisorthat Hanover was promoted from second to first. Free Show finished third in the 1:53.1 mile. Randy Waples drives Thisorthat Hanover for trainer James "Friday" Dean and owner Scott Horner of Toronto. In four starts the Sportswriter daughter, who was a $110,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, boasts a record of two wins, one second and one third for earnings of $67,900. The second pacing filly division saw Waples return to the winner's circle with L A Delight, who hit the wire one length ahead of Twin B Thong and Betty Hill in 1:53.2. The win was L A Delight's fifth straight and her second in Gold Series action. Bob McIntosh of Windsor trains the homebred Bettors Delight daughter for his partners C S X Stables of Liberty Centre, OH and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON. The two-year-old pacing fillies also have a break in Ontario Sires Stakes action during the fall Grand Circuit Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack, returning to Gold Series action at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 21. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs on Sunday, Aug. 23 with the fourth Grassroots event for the two-year-old pacing colts. Ontario Horse Racing

Magical Steph scored her third straight win in Grassroots action at the harness racing meeting during Georgian Downs' celebration of the Ontario Sires Stakes program on Saturday evening. The two-year-old trotting filly and driver Steve Byron of Thornton, ON powered away from Post 7 and sat third through fractions of :28 and :59, then moved to take command of the race heading for the 1:28.3 three-quarters. One and three-quarter lengths ahead of the field turning for home, Magical Steph hit the wire three lengths ahead of her peers in 1:58.1. Dayliner and Wonder Wand earned the second and third place shares of the $18,000 Grassroots purse. "Some of the guys in our barn, they joke that she's been push button right from the start," said owner-trainer Gary Lance with a chuckle. "A Kadabra - push button." Magical Steph qualified at Georgian Downs on June 27 and made her racing debut in the first freshman trotting filly Gold Leg at the Innisfil oval on July 12. The daughter of Kadabra and I Like Stephanie finished a closing fourth, but Lance felt a stint at the Grassroots level would serve as a better platform for the filly's long term development. "She was a late foal, she's a May foal, and we lost a little bit of time with her in the spring." "We knew going into the start of the Sires Stakes that she was a little bit behind the other fillies, probably a good month, so that's kind of why we just thought we'd try her in the Gold and see how she was," explained Lance. "She's getting better every week and these races in the Grassroots have really helped her develop." Since moving down to the Grassroots level, Magical Steph has posted a 2:02.1 quarter length victory at Grand River Raceway on July 22, a four and three-quarter length 1:57.1 personal best at Mohawk Racetrack on July 30 and Saturday night's victory at Georgian Downs. Through four starts she has banked $31,200. Once the filly has a had a few days to recover from Saturday's contest, Lance will decide whether her next start will be the fifth Grassroots event at Rideau Carleton Raceway on August 16 or the fourth Gold Series event, back at Georgian Downs on August 15. "We'll see how she comes out of this, we haven't decided what we're going to do next week, whether we're going to go to Ottawa," said the Port Perry, ON resident. "It's kind of a long hike up to Ottawa, so we just might stay local around here and try the Gold." A $50,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale last fall, Magical Steph is a full-sister to Lance's good trotter Cold Certified, who was a three-time Gold Elimination winner in his 2012 sophomore season. Since then the colt has gone on to earnings of $436,478 and currently competes out of the Jeff Brewer barn at Scioto Downs. "We raced the full brother to her, Cold Certified, I bought him off Robert and Owen Coblentz from Double Spring Farm in Ohio," said Lance "She's kind of like the spitting image of him, looks just like him and travels the same way on the track like him." Lance, who works full-time as a maintenance manager at Ontario Power Generation, currently has one other trotter in his barn in addition Magical Steph and says the support of family and friends have been instrumental to both the filly's and her brother's success. "This is our hobby, and we always have a good contingent of people that come with us and support us." "My buddy Brian Samis and his son Ryan, they come to almost every race," said Lance. "We always have fun when we go to race, we always enjoy it." "I think it's kind of a boys night out for us because we don't race very often, and when we go out we really enjoy it and we enjoy each other's company." "We have a great time when we do race." "And my son helps out quite a bit, Trevor (Lance), he helps around the barn and comes and helps us race and he helps with the daily activities at the barn, he's quite involved as well." Other ownership groups that were celebrating at Georgian Downs on Saturday were those connected to Dewdle All Day, Its All About Sam, Majestic Presence, Smash Hit, Liseberg and Mariana. Dewdle All Day popped out of the pocket to win the first division for trainer-driver Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON and his partners 9177 8720 Quebec Inc. of Saint-Sauveur, QC and Greg Judson of Athens, ON. The Deweycheatumnhowe daughter hit the wire in a personal best 1:59.3, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of favourite I Want Kandy and Shezastrikin Loral. Its All About Sam picked up her third Grassroots trophy in the second division, cruising home a two and three-quarter length winner in 1:58.3. Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON crafted the win for trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown, ON and owners Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON and Michelle McEneny of Waterdown. Tough Affair and Chapel Hall finished second and third behind the Angus Hall daughter. Majestic Presence went gate-to-wire in 1:58.4 to record her first lifetime victory for trainer-driver Anthony MacDonald of Guelph, ON and owners Brenda Selwyn Waxman and Isaac Waxman of Dundas, ON, Rene Allard of Milford, PA and Danielle Henri of Saint-Esprit, QC. The Majestic Son daughter bested Trumpets and Jarette AS by four and one-half lengths. Smash Hit also earned her first victory with a 1:59.2 score in the fifth division. The Kadabra filly and trainer-driver Per Henriksen of Norwood, ON hit the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Traviata and Anneli Hanover. Steve Organ of Aurora, ON and Asa Farm of Norwood share ownership of Smash Hit. Owner, trainer and driver Dagfin Henriksen of Peterborough, ON guided Liseberg to her first win in Race 6, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Cadillac Sally and Malia. The Johnny William daughter controlled the tempo from start to finish, reaching the wire in 1:58.1. The final Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with Mariana, who sprinted down the stretch to a 1:59.3 victory over Malibu Seelster and T C Sno Massive. Riina Rekila of Campbellville, ON trains and drives Manofmanymissions daughter Mariana for Overseas Farms Ltd. of Campbellville. Next Saturday, August 15 Georgian Downs hosts Gold Series action for both the two-year-old pacing fillies and two-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

Georgian Downs celebrates the Ontario Sires Stakes on the harness racing program on Saturday evening with seven divisions of Grassroots action for the two-year-old trotting fillies, the "Be A Winner" contest and "Wanna Drive" program. The freshman trotting fillies kick things off at 7:15 pm and compete in the first seven races on the program. Among the hopefuls is Darling Diva, co-owned by Beeton, ON resident Warren Casely, who makes her fourth Grassroots start from Post 7 in the third $18,000 division. "She's my first trotter, we've got a number of pacers, but she is the first trotter," said Casely, who shares ownership of the filly with trainer Rene Laarman of Guelph, ON. "And we like her. I mean she's just been a lot of fun so far." "Right now she's holding her own, she's not wining, but that's okay, winning's not everything," he added. In her first three Grassroots starts Darling Diva has recorded one third, one fourth and one sixth-place result, banking $3,600. In each start the young trotter has minded her manners and lowered her finishing time, giving her connections hope that she will eventually find her way to the winner's circle. "We just, we keep getting in the wrong division; we keep getting the fast division." "I'm trying to get the slower divisions please," said Casely with a chuckle. "But you know what, it's the luck of the draw and for her it's experience, and it's good experience." An $8,000 purchase out of last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the Deweycheatumnhowe daughter makes her second appearance of the season at Georgian Downs on Saturday and Casely is looking forward to catching this outing in person. "Her first lifetime (start) was at Georgian as a matter of fact, and sadly her first lifetime was the one that I wasn't at," admitted the owner. " We had another horse running at Mohawk - we try to get to all the races - so I went to Mohawk with her and my wife went to Georgian to watch Diva race." Paul Mackenzie will steer Darling Diva from Post 7 in the third race, lining up alongside two-time Grassroots winner Magical Steph, who gets Post 8 for driver Steve Byron of Thornton, ON and trainer Gary Lance of Port Perry, ON. In the seventh race one lucky fan will have an opportunity to join in the winner's circle celebrations as part of the Ontario Sires Stakes "Be A Winner" contest. Through the earlier races fans will have an opportunity to place "Be A Winner" ballots in the box belonging to the horse they believe will win the final Ontario Sires Stakes division. One ballot will be selected for each horse competing in the seventh race and those semi-finalists will be invited down trackside where they will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes golf shirt and ball cap and a $10 win wager on their chosen horse. The semi-finalist whose horse is victorious in Race 7 will join the winner's circle celebrations and add an Ontario Sires Stakes jacket, a photograph with the winning horse, and a $50 wagering voucher to their collection of prizes. Fans who want to get even closer to the action can participate in the "Wanna Drive" program. In a two-seated jog cart alongside an experienced driver fans can experience first-hand the thrill of driving a retired Standardbred racehorse. "We look forward to a great evening of OSS Grassroots racing, coupled with the ever popular Wanna Drive," said Bruce Barbour, Executive Director of Ontario Racing Operations for Georgian Downs parent company Great Canadian Gaming. Finally, fans can top off their evening by catching some OSS-wear during the trackside t-shirt and ball cap toss. T The Ontario Sires Stakes celebration gets under way at 7:15 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

Ontario's two-year-old trotting colts kicked off the second half of their Grassroots season at the harness racing meeting at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening with six impressive performances. "There were some good miles out there," said Thornton, ON resident Steve Byron. "They're getting their second or third start and they're starting to figure it out, a lot of them, and they're getting a lot better for sure." Byron piloted Manofmanyimages to a win in the fifth $18,000 Grassroots division, going gate-to-wire from Post 4. The duo rolled through fractions of :30.1, 1:01 and 1:30.4 without facing a challenge, cruising home two length winners in 2:00.4. Dynamic Edge and Cooper finished second and third. "He's a big strong colt, but he doesn't pay attention all the time," noted the reinsman. "He seems to be getting a little better." "He's a fast enough horse I think." Tuesday evening was the second time Byron has piloted the Manofmanymissions son for trainer John Bax of Campbellville, ON and owners Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA, T L P Stable of Kearny, NJ and Joseph Lozito Jr. of Wayne, NJ. In their first Ontario Sires Stakes outing, at Mohawk Racetrack on July 28, Manofmanyimages made a late break as Byron sent him up the outside after the lead and the pair had to settle for fourth. "They had some issues just rigging him up properly and they were trying some things on him, but he's (Bax) got him pretty much sorted out now I think," said Byron. "Like I said, if he minds his manners and pays attention to everything he can trot." A $70,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Manofmanyimages moved into Bax's barn in early July after being qualified twice by New York-based trainer Ed Hart. With one fourth and one win in his first two Grassroots starts the colt has accumulated 58 points toward a berth in the post season. In addition to his win with Manofmanyimages, Byron recorded a runner-up finish with Rose Run Rudi, finishing in a dead-heat for second with Grego. Byron steers Rose Run Rudi for his brother David Byron of Thornton, James Cantelon of Thornton, David Cantelon of Bolton, ON and Craig Wallwin of Barrie, ON. The colts hit the wire four and one-half lengths behind Willyorwonthe, who recorded his second straight Grassroots victory for driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville and trainer, owner and breeder Bill Megens of Puslinch, ON. The heavy favourites took control heading for the :59.2 half and cruised home unchallenged in 1:58.4. The win was the Angus Hall son's third in five starts. Saftic also scored a win in the first Grassroots division, sprinting down the stretch with Money Mission to claim a one-half length victory over favourite Georgies Pockets in 1:59.2. Cool Creek Victory was two and three-quarter lengths back in third. Oakville, ON resident Rick Zeron conditions Money Mission for his partners Cool Cat Racing Inc. of Bryn Mawr, PA and Paul Marion of Marionville, ON. The Manofmanymissions son also has a second and a fifth to his credit through three Grassroots appearances. Thee Desperado picked up his second Grassroots trophy in the second division, squeezing up the inside to a neck victory over JLs Bad Moon Risin. Windsun Missile was one and one-half lengths behind the duelling leaders in third. Milton, ON resident Steve Condren engineered Thee Desperado's 2:00.2 victory for trainer Brent Belore of Embro, ON and owners Karen and Daniel MacIntyre of London, ON, Joshua McKibbin of Tillsonburg, ON and Nancy Newport of Ingersoll, ON. Another son of Manofmanymissions, Thee Desperado has a perfect 100 points through two Grassroots starts. Muscle Time added another win to his resume in the third division, leading the field by as many as nine lengths before sailing under the wire two lengths on top in 2:00.1. Fan favourite United BI settled for second, with Defi Normand rounding out the top three. Darryl Laver of Petrolia, ON bred, owns, trains and drives Muscle Time, who is a Muscle Mass son from his former race mare Spare Time Rozie. The last Grassroots trophy of the evening was captured by Wildwild Men, who jumped to the top of the division standings with a 2:00.3 score over Magic Missions and Sass. Robert Shepherd of Cambridge, ON crafted the gate-to-wire victory for trainer Isabelle Darveau of Cambridge, ON and owners Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel, OC and Chantal Gravel of St-Cyrille-de-Wendover, QC. Through the first four Grassroots events the Muscle Mass son has tallied two wins, one second and one fifth for a point total of 130. Wildwild Men will attempt to hold onto top spot when the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their fifth Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack next Tuesday, August 11. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Saturday, August 8 in the shape of the two-year-old trotting fillies, who will battle in their fourth Grassroots event. Ontario Horse Racing

Hall of Fame driver John Campbell made his first appearance at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, making the trip up from his New Jersey home to partner two-year-old trotting colt Tony Soprano in Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action. "I got to Grand River last year, and this is my first trip to Georgian Downs," said Campbell, who is considered one of the leading reinsmen of all time. "Very impressed with the plant, it's really a nice paddock and a nice grandstand and everything, just very impressed with that and glad to be here for the first time to see it." Making the trip even more enjoyable was its successful outcome. Lining up at Post 2 in the second $70,000 Gold division, Campbell guided Tony Soprano to a 1:57.3 victory. The pair bested fan favourite Adored By Masses by one-quarter length, with Im A Mate well back in third. Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh trains Tony Soprano for his partners Mardon Stables of Loretto, ON, Paradox Farm Inc. of Caledon East, ON and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON, and it was at his request that Campbell made the trip to Georgian Downs. "He had told me early in the spring that he had a trotting colt that he really liked and that he'd keep me posted on his progress," explained Campbell. "Once he got qualified he asked me to come up last week and we both were happy with the horse, he did all he could in the situation, so I think he's off to a good start." In the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on July 13 Campbell and Tony Soprano tried to squeeze up the rail in the stretch and found themselves short of room before the wire. The colt finished third, one-half length behind the leaders in the 1:57.4 mile. "I didn't get him in a very good spot," Campbell admitted. "I had him in a bad spot, drove him bad, but the colt was good." On Tuesday Campbell and Tony Soprano sat fourth through the early going then started to press pacesetter and fan favourite Adored By Masses going by the three-quarter pole. The colts battled all the way to the wire, with Tony Soprano digging in through the final strides for the win. "He went a really professional race, very happy with him. I got him in a better spot this week," said Campbell with a chuckle. The son of Kadabra and $1.2 million winner Windsong Soprano was a $90,000 purchase by Windsor, ON resident McIntosh and his partners at last fall's Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale. Tuesday's victory put his earnings, after two races, at $47,600. Campbell also piloted Nofear Blue Chip in the season opener, and was back behind the gelding in the first division on Tuesday for trainer Paul Reid and owner Norah Parks of New Lowell, ON Although he did not guide Nofear Blue Chip to the winner's circle, finishing third behind Deweylovernleaver and Will Take Charge, Campbell was pleased with the progress the youngster had made since July 13. "Paul didn't get to work him as much last week as he would have liked going into the race and he really improved off of that race in Mohawk, because he trotted more here than he did in Mohawk," noted the reinsman.  "So I was very happy, and he was stronger his last quarter than he was last week." Deweylovernleaver circled out from the back field turning for home and sprinted down the stretch to a head victory in 1:57.4 for driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON, trainer Chris Beaver of Delaware, OH and his partners Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON and Leo Fleming of Camp Bellville, ON. The Deweycheatumnhowe son was a $12,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, and finished fourth, just behind Tony Soprano, in the season opener. The final division was captured by Unitaliano BI and trainer-driver Dustin Jones, who went gate-to-wire in 1:58.3 Pukka and Mass Balance finished four and one-quarter lengths back in second and third. "It would be nice to be able to race him out of a hole, but that's the way he wants to race, so it's better than fighting with him," said Jones, ruefully. "He actually trained great all winter. I thought he was a top colt all winter, but then as we got closer to race we were having a hard time to control him," the Waterdown, ON resident continued. "He wouldn't sit in a hole, he'd get mad. If you put anything on him to hold him, he'd get mad and he'd fight you. And he's such an intelligent horse in the barn; he's like a little kitten in the barn." Jones shares ownership of the stubborn youngster - who made an early break and finished fifth in the season opener - with Noblock Racing Stable of Collingwood, ON and William Jones of Lexington, KY. The trio acquired the Manofmanymissions son from the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale for $20,000. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their third Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 7, while their Grassroots counterparts journey to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, August 4. Ontario Horse Racing

JULY 19, 2015 - Reigning Lampman Cup champion Doug McNair earned his first Ontario Sires Stake hat trick of the harness racing season at Georgian Downs on Sunday evening. The 25-year-old made his first trip to the Georgian Downs winner's circle in the third of nine Grassroots divisions, guiding two-year-old pacing filly Mattjestic Tempo to an impressive 1:54.3 score over Bad Lightning and Vermilion Bird. After sitting fourth for much of the mile, McNair tipped Mattjestic Tempo into the outer lane heading by the half and the Royal Mattjesty daughter sprinted home to a two length victory. "She raced in the Gold last week and got a piece of it so I figured she had a big shot at winning," said McNair of the Blake MacIntosh trainee. "That was a big mile tonight. It was really, really windy up here tonight; a big head wind. "It was really windy down the backside, pretty much wore the ones on the front, and the ones first up, out," added the reinsman. "The weather wasn't as good as it looked on TV, that's for sure." Waterdown, ON resident MacIntosh shares ownership of Mattjestic Tempo with Stuart McIntosh of Essex, ON and Brett Authier of Wheatley, ON. The partners anted up $9,000 to acquire the daughter of $448,335 winner Daylon Tempo from last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale. With a runner-up finish in her career debut, her fifth-place result in the July 6 Gold event, and her Grassroots victory the filly has already earned $16,000. One race later McNair was back in the winner's circle, this time with a filly hammered down for $92,000 at the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale to owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON. Starting from Post 7, McNair and Life Book paced by the quarter pole in the outer lane, found a spot on the rail heading by the half and then were three-wide at the three-quarters before accelerating down the stretch to the half-length victory. Life Book stopped the Georgian Downs teletimer at 1:56.4, reeling in pacesetter Active Lady and favourite Miss Print. "She went a pretty good trip too, she was three wide early," said McNair. "I thought she may be third at the head of the stretch, but she mowed them down." The daughter of Shadow Play is out of $133,217 winner Give Me Life, who has already produced three $200,000-plus winners. Life Book made her debut in the July 9 Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack, finishing fifth. McNair completed the driving hat trick with MacIntosh trainee Sports Expert, who captured her first lifetime start in 1:56.1, besting My Rhythm Of Rhyme and No Shadows. Starting from Post 1 Sports Expert landed in third through the early going, and McNair sent her after the leader heading for the halfway marker, reaching the front before the 1:26.4 three-quarters. "I didn't want to drive her like that tonight, but I just got away in a bad spot - being first up and battling the one all the way down the backside - and she won pretty handy," noted the Guelph, ON resident. "She's going to be a pretty nice filly I think." MacIntosh, Touch Stone Farms of Guelph, and 30-Plus Stable of Trenton, ON purchased the Sportswriter filly, a full-sister to last season's multiple Gold Series winner Sporting The Look, from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $20,000. "I'm happy with the ones I'm driving," said McNair. "I've got some nice ones." The other six divisions also featured some well-bred, talented fillies. Bourbon Seelster kicked things off, capturing the first division in 1:58.1 for driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON, trainer Robert Manders and owners Scott and Keith Manders of Watford, ON. The Camluck miss - a $14,000 yearling purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale - bested Machioda and Icthelight Hanover. Twin B Virtue and driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON captured the second split, with a 1:56.2 effort, over Selling the Dream and Cracklin Rosie. It was the first lifetime start for the Badlands Hanover daughter, a $30,000 purchase out of the Canadian Yearling Sale by trainer Dave Menary of Cambridge, Brad Gray of Dundas and Michael Guerriero of Puslinch, ON. The filly is out of $116,833 winner What An Attitude, who has already produced six $100,000-plus winners. Dr. Ian Moore of Guelph, Sally MacDonald of Souris, PEI, Paul MacDonald of Toronto, ON and Shirley Yeung of Toronto offered $52,000 for Bold Amoretto at the Harrisburg Sale, and the daughter of Big Jim and $1.6 million winner Armbro Amoretto captured her first Grassroots trophy on Sunday. The filly and driver Chris Christoforou of Campbellville hit the wire in 1:56.1, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Boozer Bruiser and Jimmys Little Girl. Milton resident Sylvain Filion steered Mayhem Seelster to a 1:57.2 win over Noone To Depend On and Rosy Outlook in the sixth tilt. Tony O'Sullivan of Cambridge trains the Mach Three daughter for Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton, ON, who selected her from the Forest City Yearling Sale for $55,000. Division eight went to Dewar N Soda and Mike Saftic, who went gate-to-wire in 1:56.1 for trainer Marcel Barrieau and owners Joseph Wilkie and Wayne MacRae of Fall River, NS. The daughter of Badlands Hanover and $233,166 winner Hasty Dewar was a $16,000 purchase at Harrisburg. Glorious Delight and Divas Image finished second and third. Tempus Seelster and trainer-driver Travis Henry captured the final Grassroots trophy of the evening with a 1:55.3 effort, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Heavenly Hill and Buttermilk Hanover. Benbar Stables of Oakville, ON Glen Wark of St. Catharines, ON and Craig Wood of Waterdown share ownership of the daughter of Big Jim and The Patriot ($623,324), acquiring her for $10,000 from the Harrisburg Sale. The two-year-old pacing fillies make their third Grassroots start at Clinton Raceway on Aug. 9. Ontario Sires Stakes action keeps rolling at Georgian Downs, with three Gold Series divisions of two-year-old trotting colts slated for Tuesday, July 21. The trotters are featured in Races 1, 4, and 8 on Tuesday's program, which gets under way at 7:15 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

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