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Standardbred Canada reports that coming into Sunday (July 5) one win shy of reaching a harness racing milestone, trainer Richard Moreau sent out a 10-1 winner at Georgian Downs to collect his 6,000th training victory. The win came in the evening’s third race, a $6,500 conditioned pacing event. Brett MacDonald drove the three-year-old Sunshine Beach colt Rock And Twist to a 1:55.1 victory, besting 6-5 favourite Zebs Sunshine and returning $23.30 to win. Rock And Twist competes for owners Michel and Frederic Baril along with Gabriel Moreau. Moreau—a seven-time O’Brien Award winner for top trainer—became only the third trainer in the recorded history of harness racing to surpass the 6,000-win plateau. The only other trainers to achieve over 6,000 wins are Virgil Morgan Jr. and Ron Burke—the latter nearing 11,000 victories. Since beginning his career in 1988, the horseman now based in Puslinch, ON leads all trainers in the history of Canadian harness racing in wins. Though Moreau just hit a milestone, the nation’s leading trainer is already nearing another. Collecting well over $59-million in career earnings, Moreau sits just under $150,000 shy of surpassing the $60-million plateau. In earnings, Moreau currently ranks 12th all-time among trainers in North America. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Georgian Downs. From Standardbred Canada

INNISFIL, JUNE 28, 2020 - They arrived at Georgian Downs off impressive wins, harness racing fans made them the heavy favourites, and three-year-old trotting geldings Hayek and HP Royal Theo delivered the goods, cruising to victory in their respective Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series divisions on Sunday evening. Hayek led off for the Ben Baillargeon stable, starting from Post 3 in the first $105,600 Gold division, and the E L Titan son made it look easy from the moment the wings closed on the starting gate. Driver Sylvain Filion sent the gelding to the lead and Hayek rolled unchallenged through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27.1 before opening up a five and three-quarter length margin on his peers heading for the 1:55.2 finish. Your Still Up was promoted from third to second and Northern Sultan moved up from fourth to third after Port Perry made a late break in the stretch, crossing the wire second but being placed back to fourth. "He was a lot smarter tonight than he was Monday when I won with him," said Baillargeon. "I was a little bit anxious to see how he was going to behave himself, you know. He looks like he's fast enough, but he's still racing against better horses like Port Perry and company, but he was well behaved and Sylvain said, 'Geez, he was well-behaved and he was very good, very nice'. He asked him to go a little bit and he just went." The Guelph-based trainer shares ownership of Hayek with Teresa Davidson of Milton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Nunzio Vena of Bolton, ON. The partners acquired the trotter on June 8 and Hayek has now delivered two wins and $60,300 in earnings to his delighted new owners. In the second $106,400 Gold Series division, HP Royal Theo and driver Louis-Philippe Roy lined up behind Post 5. Roy eased the fan favourite away from the starting gate, allowing Horse Trader and Hot Wheelz to battle to the :28 opening quarter, and then sent HP Royal Theo to the front. Like his stablemate, HP Royal Theo was unchallenged through a :57 half and 1:26.1 three-quarters, and sailed home to a three and one-quarter length win in 1:54.1. "He's a fast horse and he's a lot more mature this year and everything," said Baillargeon. "He's pretty smart, like he could have ducked in in the four-hole, but I told Louis, 'Take your time, but don't duck. You're the best, drive him like you're the best, but take your time at the gate.' And he's getting to be very smart and very good. "I couldn't ask for anything better right now. If I can keep them both like that, with their head on their shoulders, we're going to have a good summer." Breeder Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC share ownership of HP Royal Theo. The Royalty For Life son won a Gold Leg at two and also captured the William Wellwood Memorial Final, earning $286,040. Sunday's victory boosted the gelding's lifetime earnings to $350,240. "You need some of them to pay for the ones we don't see. I have some in the field, so it's nice to get some to pay for them. It's a wheel you know, it's a big wheel. These two will keep the wheel turning for a while anyway, let's put it this way," said Baillargeon with a chuckle. "I have broodmares and I have all kinds of stuff too. Monsieur Hamel is the same thing, and Santo (Vena), he's the same thing. We dabble in about everything there is about the sport, so you need to get a few like that sometimes." The next Gold Series event for the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings takes place July 21 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, so Baillargeon said Hayek and HP Royal Theo will make one overnight start before continuing their Ontario Sires Stakes campaign. Complete results for Sunday's races are available at Georgian Downs Results. Georgian Downs will host its second Ontario Sires Stakes event on Saturday, July 11 when the two-year-old trotting colts will make their Grassroots debut. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

INNISFIL, JUNE 26, 2020 - Since harness racing resumed at the beginning of June Ben Baillargeon has been on a tear, sending out 20 winners from 54 starters, and the trainer will be looking to add to that tally when the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series season gets underway this Sunday, June 28 at Georgian Downs. Baillargeon goes into the event with the early favourites in both Gold Series divisions after his three-year-old trotting geldings Hayek and HP Royal Theo delivered a pair of impressive victories at Woodbine Mohawk Park last weekend. "They're similar, they're both fast, I can tell you that," said Baillargeon. "We all knew about HP Royal Theo, we knew that he's very good, he showed all kinds of ability last year," said Baillargeon of the Royalty For Life son who captured the 2019 William Wellwood Memorial Trot. "We cut him loose a little bit last week - not that we didn't cut him loose his first start, he trotted in 1:54.3, last quarter in :27.1, in against older horses - but last week he was ready and I needed to see what we had in the tank. So I said he (Louis-Philippe Roy) might want to let him trot a little. He didn't really let him trot, this is what's amazing about it, he didn't really let him trot and he went in 1:52.3, last quarter in :27.3. "And the other horse, Hayek, a friend of my dad said, 'This horse is for sale Ben, you should look into it, this one's for you'. So I looked into it. I called Marcus Melander and he told me what I wanted to know and that was it, we made the deal," said Baillargeon, who acquired Hayek on June 8. "And the horse looked awful good his first start. He was a little bit of a handful last week, I think he will settle down with time, but he sure has lots of speed, serious speed." Hayek and driver Sylvain Filion will be looking to replicate that June 22 effort - a seven-length gate-to-wire score in 1:53.3 - from Post 3 in the first division on Sunday, facing off against six rivals for the $105,600 purse. Baillargeon shares ownership of the E L Titan gelding with Teresa Davidson of Milton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Nunzio Vena of Bolton, ON and the trainer said Hayek enjoyed a day off after Monday's victory and will just jog and continue to settle into his new home leading up to his Ontario Sires Stakes debut on Sunday. "He came to the barn I think 10 days before I raced him last Monday and he was a little bit, not a handful, but he was a little aggressive, let's put it this way," said the Guelph resident. "Today (Thursday) he was very nice on the track. I think he's starting to like his new surroundings." HP Royal Theo will make his sophomore Gold Series debut from Post 5 in the second $106,400 division, coming into the season opener off the impressive June 20 effort that saw him cruise home three lengths the best in 1:52.3. Regular reinsman Louis-Philippe Roy will be in the race bike for owner-breeder Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. The gelding was a Gold Series winner at two, but he also made breaks in three provincial starts, so Baillargeon is hoping the trotter can kick off a more consistent provincial campaign on Sunday. "These two horses, they're sure nice," said the trainer. "That Hayek horse, he looked very good his first start and well Theo, like I said, we always knew that he was good, but he showed that he's matured a lot since last year." Georgian Downs will send the first race behind the starting gate at 6 pm on Sunday and feature the Gold Series three-year-old trotting colts and geldings in Races 5 and 8. Downloadable programs and a live stream of all the races are available on the Georgian Downs website. In addition to Sunday's Gold Series, Georgian Downs will also host two $7,100 divisions of the Prospect Series for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Saturday evening. Horses that were sustained to the 2020 Ontario Sires Stakes program are eligible for the Prospect Series, which consists of five legs contested at racetracks across Ontario leading up to a $15,000 final. Saturday's divisions will go postward as Races 1 and 7, with a 7:15 pm post time. Downloadable programs and a live stream of all the races are available on the Georgian Downs website. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit www.ontariosiresstakes.com For feature stories, photographs, background information and/or contact details for local Ontario Sires Stakes participants contact Sandra Snyder at 519-572-0167 or ossnews@ontarioracing.com. Ontario Racing

INNISFIL, AUG. 18, 2019 - Ontario's top three-year-old pacing colts co-headlined Sunday's harness racing Family Day event at Georgian Downs - sharing top billing with the older trotters competing in the Honourable Earl Rowe Invitational Trot - and they delivered a blockbuster performance in the $156,400 Gold Series event. Meadowlands Pace champion Best In Show was sent off the slight favourite over division point leader Century Farroh, and driver Bob McClure sent the fan's choice straight to the front from Post 3. Century Farroh dropped in behind Best In Show and was quickly hemmed in by Bronx Seelster powering up the outer lane. Through the :26.4 opening quarter and :55 half, not much changed; Best In Show led the field, Century Farroh was breathing down McClure's neck in the pocket and Bronx Seelster was menacing from the outer lane. As Best In Show paced toward the 1:23.1 three-quarters Bronx Seelster seemed to stall and the colts behind him ranged out three and four-wide, but Bronx Seelster battled back and kept Century Farroh pinned to the rail as the colts turned for home. In the stretch Best In Show drifted ever so slightly off the rail and driver Sylvain Filion did not waste a moment, sending Century Farroh surging toward the wire. Best In Show and Century Farroh finished in lock step and it took a magnifying glass to determine that Century Farroh's nose was in front. Stag Party closed hard to take third in the 1:51.1 mile. "I thought, oh we're in trouble here, because Bronx Seelster just hung on enough that he couldn't get out. I thought, oh boy, but he just got out very late," said Century Farroh's trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "Sylvain was coming in the gate, he didn't think he won, that's how close it was. Two noses on the line together. "I saw the photo there, they both had their nose on the line; I guess we had a little bit more of it." Century Farroh has been flawless through the first four Gold Series Legs this season and his Ontario Sires Stakes win streak extends back to last August. As a two-year-old the son of Mach Three and Beachy Girl finished up his Grassroots campaign with two regular season wins and a victory in the Grassroots Championship. Through all 10 of his sophomore starts, Century Farroh has only been bested twice. He finished seventh in his North America Cup elimination on June 8 and last Saturday (Aug. 10) he finished third in the Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in Ohio. "We were pleased, he got $44,000 American so it was worth the trip down," said Moore. "It's the only time he's going to be away from home really, he's not staked to anything else." Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS owns Century Farroh, who boosted his career earnings to $510,633 with Sunday's victory. The colt will make his next start in the Aug. 31 Simcoe Stake and then finish up the Gold Series regular season on Sept. 13, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top 10 point earners will then compete in the season ending Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 12. "He can use a week off again, that's three in a row for him," said Moore. "With that level of horse you've got to give them time off, you can't keep racing their guts out all the time, very few of them will survive at the same level. "I'd like to have him still good for the Super Final, he must have made the Super Final by now," added the Cambridge, ON resident with a chuckle. Following Century Farroh's thrilling victory, eight of the top aged trotters stepped onto the track for the $75,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Invitational Trot and the two mares in the field gave fans another thrilling battle. P L Jill and Dream Together both left smartly from Posts 1 and 4 and the pair started their battle heading by the :56.4 half, Dream Together on the inside, P L Jill pressing her from the outer lane. Through the 1:24.1 three-quarters the mares went head-to-head and down the stretch they continued to battle tooth and nail with P L Jill getting by late for a three-quarter length score in 1:53.1. P L Jill Mario Baillargeon drove Kadabra daughter P L Jill to the win for trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph and owners Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON, Jill Coleman of New York, NY and Alan Christensen of Calgary, AB. Prince Lee Acres also bred the mare, who now has seven wins and $177,620 in earnings in her six-year-old season. Complete results for Sunday's program are available by clicking on this link.    OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

INNISFIL, ON - AUG. 13, 2019 - Three-year-old trotting filly Teddys Littleangel made the second trip of her career to Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening and delivered the same result as she did in last summer's harness racing debut, an open length victory in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold action. "She likes this track. She's always raced good up here," said trainer Ted MacDonnell. "She won her first lifetime start up here." Driver Doug McNair fired Teddys Littleangel away from Post 6 and led the field of seven Gold Series hopefuls to a :27.4 opening quarter. Carrying on to a :57.2 half and a 1:26.1 three-quarters, Teddys Littleangel was never seriously threatened and she opened up a three and one-half length margin on her peers in the stretch before stopping the clock at 1:55. Royal Esteem closed well for second, just ahead of third-place finisher Royal Rhythm and fan favourite Bright Eyes M, who settled for fourth. "Dougie (McNair) said that's the best she's been. She was exceptional tonight," said MacDonnell, who trains the filly for owner-breeder Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, ON. "That was a good trip. She had to work pretty hard to get front and then she had enough left. We're really happy with her." The win was the Archangel daughter's third straight in Gold Series action. She was also victorious at Grand River Raceway on July 3 and Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 18. Unlike most of her peers, Teddys Littleangel did not race in between Tuesday's start and the July 18 Gold Series event. MacDonnell gave the filly some time off and then qualified her at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 6. "I didn't want to race her in with old horses and that's the only place that she could race. We tried to get her in at Mohawk and the class, three-year-old fillies, didn't fill," explained Allenford, ON resident MacDonnell. "It worked out fine. I really wasn't too concerned with the lay off because she keeps herself pretty fit." MacDonnell also opted for the lay off because, if she stays happy and healthy, Teddys Littleangel is looking at an action-packed schedule at Woodbine Mohawk Park over the coming weeks. The Simcoe Stakes goes postward on Sept. 6, followed by the Elegantimage on Sept. 14. The last Gold Series event is slated for Sept. 26 and the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will compete in the Super Final on Oct. 12. With Tuesday's win Teddys Littleangel has 158 points and currently shares top spot in the Gold Series division standings with Bright Eyes M. Last year's Gold Series champion HP Titania Runner scored her second win of the season in the other $106,400 division on Tuesday. Starting from Post 6, driver Louis-Philippe Roy eased HP Titania Runner away from the starting gate and settled in sixth as Mattys Smilin reached the opening quarter in :28. Mattys Smilin handed off to Champagne Jane before the :56.3 half and Roy sent HP Titania Runner up the outer lane, beginning their advance on the leaders. Fan favourite Haveoneforme circled from third to first heading by the 1:26 three-quarters and Roy hit the accelerator on HP Titania Runner. Coming off the final turn Haveoneforme and HP Titania Runner were bridle-to-bridle, but HP Titania Runner pulled away in the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:55.3. Haveoneforme settled for second and Angies Luckeylady closed well to be third. "I think she's coming back to what she was last year. Her last few starts were good and tonight she raced large," said Guelph, ON resident Roy. "Credit to her and the team that's working with her every day." Roy drove the E L Titan filly to the win for trainer Raphael Bourassa of Fergus, ON and owner-breeders Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. Georgian Downs wraps up its 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule this Sunday, Aug. 18 with the fourth Gold Series Leg for the three-year-old pacing colts. The colts will be part of the Family Day program, which is highlighted by the annual Hon. Earl Rowe Trot. Post time for Sunday's card is 6 pm. Complete results from Tuesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0813geodfn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

INNISFIL, JULY 23, 2019 - Ontario's top two-year-old trotting colts made their second Gold Series start at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening and the top two colts from the first leg swapped places in both harness racing divisions. In the first $105,600 division Hetalkstoangels hustled away from the starting gate and led the field of seven trotters to a :28 opening quarter. Favourite Port Perry led the parade up the outer lane heading for the :58.2 half, followed closely by second choice Blue Cupertino. By the 1:27.4 three-quarters the favourites had advanced to within a length of Hetalkstoangels and as the colts turned for home it was clear the pacesetter would not hold off the challengers. Port Perry turned for home with an advantage, but Blue Cupertino trotted hard down the stretch and caught the favourite at the wire, getting a head in front for the 1:57.1 victory. The result was the reverse of the July 4 opening leg, where Port Perry hit the wire first and Blue Cupertino was second. Scamp, who was fifth in the season opener, improved to third. "He's a nice little trotter. He's been a nice horse all winter," said trainer Gregg McNair of Blue Cupertino. "We had the sister (Pink Dandelions) to him last year. I probably wouldn't have bought this one without knowing a little bit about the family, that's why we took a shot at this one." Doug McNair of Guelph drove Blue Cupertino to the win for his father and the elder McNair's partners, McKinlay & Fielding of Toronto, ON and breeder Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, NY. The trip was ideal for the son of Kadabra and Rise N Shine, who needs a cautious hand on the lines. "You've got to watch him. He wears trotting hopples, they're on him for a reason," said the trainer. "He can go though, he just, he's a little lazy and then he's got to know you're wanting to ask him to go before you ask. If you just tap him or something he's apt to fly out of gear on you." A $20,000 purchase out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Tuesday's win pushed Blue Cupertino's early season earnings to $79,800. "I've had a few horses with Jim (Fielding) before and not much luck, so I'm kind of glad we got a little luck with this guy - a little luck, lots of luck," added Guelph, ON resident McNair. "They're hard to get, the Gold wins, they're real hard to get. It's a good feeling when it happens." The second $106,400 division saw driver Scott Young hustle Crossfit Mouse away from Post 2 and carve out fractions of :29.4, :59.3 and 1:29 on the way to a 1:57.2 victory. Fan favourite Threefiftytwo mounted a late charge, but could not reel in the pacesetter, finishing one length back in second. Horse Trader was two more lengths behind in third. In the season opener both Crossfit Mouse and Threefiftytwo laid down impressive last quarters, with Threefiftytwo prevailing by a head. Horse Trader started his Ontario Sires Stakes career with a win in the Grassroots opener at Georgian Downs on July 7. Guelph resident Young drove Crossfit Mouse for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC, who acquired the Muscle Mass colt after the first Gold event. Blais and Determination also acquired Threefiftytwo following the Gold Series season opener, and purchased Port Perry for $85,000 out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale last fall, giving them a powerful entry in the freshman trotting colt division this summer. "A little bit nervous you know, with a new horse, but they raced super good," said Blais of Crossfit Mouse and Threefiftytwo. "I think they're going to be two nice horses too. They showed the first start at Mohawk that they were nice horses, but that was the first time they race for us and everything turned out good. "They're all different, three horses, all different," Blais added. "Port Perry is a big horse, strong, tall. Crossfit is more stocky and low gait, and the other one looks like an athlete, Threefiftytwo. They're all different." Crossfit Mouse's victory was Young's first in Gold Series action and the 27-year-old driver was grateful to Blais and Determination principal Serge Godin for giving him the opportunity. "He's a complete professional and a beautiful colt. I was very fortunate to drive a colt like this, I'm grateful to Luc and the owner for the opportunity," said Young. "I grew up wanting to win stake races some day and to win a Gold is fantastic and completely rewarding, a dream come true." The Blais trio and their freshman trotting colt peers will make their third Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 8. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, August 13 with the fourth Gold Series Leg for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Complete results for Tuesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0723geodfn.dat.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

INNISFIL, JULY 16, 2019 - Thirty-nine of Ontario's talented three-year-old trotting fillies took a star turn at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, highlighting a harness racing card that was dedicated to fillies and mares. In the first $23,500 Grassroots division fans sent Halo Its Me off as their top choice and the Archangel daughter did not disappoint. In rein to Robert Shepherd the filly got away fifth from Post 2, watching as Blue Magic and Checkmate Titan battled through the :27.4 quarter and :56.4 half. Heading for the 1:25.4 three-quarters Shepherd sent Halo Its Me after embattled pacesetter Blue Magic and the favourite cruised down the stretch to a two length victory in 1:56.3. Blue Magic stayed game for second and Petro Hall was third. It was the third win of the season, and the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, for Halo Its Me, who is trained by Connie Chisholm. Brighton residents Connie and David Chisholm also bred and own the filly, who lowered her personal best by three seconds and boosted her lifetime earnings to $28,045 with the win. The second split saw Splurge On Me capture her sixth straight win with a front-end effort for local reinsman Stephen Byron of Thornton. The fan favourites took command just after the :27.4 quarter and cruised through fractions of :58.1 and 1:27.2 on their way to the 1:56.3 victory. Champagne Jane trotted into second and P L Molly rounded out the top three. Splurge On Me has not been defeated since a third-place result in the June 4 Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Kadabra daughter won her second Grassroots start at Dresden Raceway on July 1 and has captured four overnight events at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the last five weeks. Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh trains the winner of $90,612 and the Windsor, ON resident also bred and owns the filly in partnership with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. Scott Young drove both Blue Magic and Champagne Jane to their runner-up results in the first two divisions, but the reinsman found the winner's circle in the third. Starting from Post 1 with Absynthe Hanover, Young settled the fan favourite in third early as Magically Hip rang up fractions of :28 and :57.3 then went after the pacesetter heading for the 1:26.3 three-quarters. Absynthe Hanover easily gained control and sailed down the stretch to a three length victory in 1:56.4. Mattys Smilin finished second and Byron and Royal Rhythm closed well to claim third. "She raced great. She's been very good to me, winning the City of London and now a Grassroots," said Young of Absynthe Hanover. "I was very happy with her tonight." Young steers the Kadabra daughter for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. In addition to the May 31 City of London Final at The Raceway at Western Fair District and Tuesday's Grassroots division, the pair also has a trio of overnight wins to their credit. Young doubled his on-the-board finishes in Ontario Sires Stakes action with Tuesday's results and was grateful to trainers Blais, Susanne Kerwood and Shane Weber for the opportunity to add to his provincial point tally. "It was an excellent night for sure," said the reinsman. "Very thankful for the opportunity from the trainers to be able to drive some nice fillies." The last Grassroots division saw Order Mattie go gate-to-wire from Post 6, holding off a hard-closing Madam Shazam for a one-half length victory in 1:59.1. Victoriahasasecret completed the top three. Bowmanville resident Doug Brown drives and trains Order Mattie for Todd Coleman of Paris, ON and Jackson Wittup of Calgary, AB. Tuesday's win was the Angus Hall daughter's third of the season and her first of the sophomore Grassroots campaign. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Grassroots start at Clinton Raceway on August 11. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs next Tuesday, July 23 with the second Gold event for the two-year-old trotting colts. Complete results for Tuesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0716geodfn.dat.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

INNISFIL, JULY 7, 2019 - Twenty-eight freshman harness racing trotting colts invaded Georgian Downs on Sunday night as the Innisfil oval played host to the first Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots event of their season. Coming into the event off a June 28 win in qualifying action, fans sent Horse Trader off as one of the favourites and the young trotter did not let them down. After starting from Post 6, Horse Trader sat second last through much of the mile as Enduring Strength rang up fractions of :29.2, :59.3 and 1:29.1. Coming off the final turn trainer-driver Paul Walker sent Horse Trader out three-wide, and when the colt squared up in the stretch he shifted into high gear and sprinted by the field to a one and one-quarter length victory in 2:00.1. Lifeisgood Hanover also closed well to be second, leaving pacesetter Enduring Strength to settle for third. "We were wondering at the three-quarter pole if he was going to be able to do a lot, but he trotted home like a champion," said Dr. David Grant, whose Oaklea Farm Inc. bred and owns the son of Wheeling N Dealin and Oaklea Wand. "He was down in Georgia and Paul did tell me that he had a big motor right away, but I've learned not to get too excited," said Grant. "And he's a late May colt so I thought that if we could race him a bit at two that would be great." Horse Trader also used a late kick to win his qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park by three-quarters of a length in 2:01.4. With that effort and Sunday's Grassroots win under his belt, the colt looks poised to exceed Grant's modest expectations. "He just loves to be on the track. I've never actually had a horse that was so much like that," said the Simcoe, ON resident. "His barn manners aren't maybe the best, he's a bit of a twerp, but as soon as he gets on the track he's perfect. We're very lucky to have a colt like that." The second $23,150 division went to local colt Aussie Lover, who left smartly from Post 7, took command heading for the half and went on to a one length victory in 2:01.4. Remember Titan closed well to be second and pocket-sitter Lexus Markus completed the top three. Thornton, ON resident Stephen Byron drove Aussie Lover to the win for owner-trainer Gino Cicero of Melancthon, ON. Byron also piloted the Angus Hall colt in his first lifetime start, a fifth-place finish in a June 30 two-year-old race at Georgian Downs, and said that outing helped Cicero prep Aussie Lover for his Grassroots debut. "I thought last week there he raced good, but I didn't think he was getting a hold of the track, so they changed a few things on him and it turned out to work, so that was good," said Byron. "He raced well. He's going to be a steady horse, he might not be the fastest, but I think he'll be a steady horse," the driver added. JCs Royal Tease rounded out the Grassroots winners with a 2:02.3 effort in the last $23,500 division. Like Aussie Lover, the Royalty For Life colt left sharply from Post 6 and led the field to a :30.1 quarter. Driver Trevor Henry and JCs Royal Tease then watched from the pocket as Fit Bit and Tuscan Titan battled for control through the 1:01.2 half and 1:32.1 three-quarters. In the stretch Henry sent JCs Royal Tease after the leaders and the colt powered home to a one and one-half length win in 2:02.3. Fit Bit and Tuscan Titan settled for second and third. "He should make a nice horse," said Arthur, ON resident Henry, who leases the colt in partnership with his wife, trainer Shannon Henry. "He has a few driving issues, but can go fast for a piece." JCs Royal Tease also qualified at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 28, finishing third, 12 lengths behind Horse Trader. The pair may meet up again when the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings head to Kawartha Downs for the second Grassroots event of their season on July 20. The Ontario Sires Stakes will be back at Georgian Downs next Sunday, July 14 with the first Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Post time for Sunday's program is 6 pm. Complete results from Sunday's Grassroots event are available here. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

INNISFIL, JULY 5, 2019 - Georgian Downs kicks off its 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes this Sunday, July 7, hosting the Grassroots debut of the harness racing two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The trotters will battle in three Grassroots divisions, worth a total of $69,800, and local reinsman Stephen Byron will steer a colt in each split. The Thornton resident will guide Awsomedabra from Post 4 in the first division, Aussie Lover from Post 7 in the second and Dimante Vic from Post 2 in the third. "Everybody is just learning and green, but they qualified well by their lines so that's kind of good," said Byron of his novice mounts. Awsomedabra, a Kadabra colt owned by trainer Gary Lance of Port Perry, heads into Sunday's test off a pair of steady qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park and while Sunday will be Byron's first opportunity to drive the colt he has seen him in action on several occasions. "He's had him over Georgian training and I've seen him go. He's not a bad looking horse," said Byron of Awsomedabra, who was a $45,000 purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. "I kind of think they're quite high on him, they like him. "The other horse I am driving of Gino Cicero's, that Aussie Lover, he's been over here and I've schooled him a few times and then he raced here last week which will sure help his chances I think, just because he's used to the place," Byron added. Melancthon resident Cicero owns and trains Angus Hall colt Aussie Lover, who was a $20,000 acquisition from the London Selected Yearling Sale. The colt finished fifth in his June 30 racing debut at Georgian Downs, trotting his own mile in 2:04.3. Aussie Lover also has a third-place finish in a June 22 qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park under his belt. Like Byron's other two mounts, Dimante Vic has been behind the starting gate twice, qualifying at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 28 and July 2 for trainer John Bax of Campbellville and breeder Dave Hudson of Dallas, Texas. "They say he's good and steady too. I think he's hoping that he progresses in the speed department, but they say he just trots all the time," said Byron of the Muscle Mass colt. Byron, who currently sits eleventh in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver's standings, will appear in six of the 10 races on Sunday's program, steering five trotters and two pacers. "I've always enjoyed the trotters for some reason," said the horseman. "A good pacer is a nice thing to have too, but a good trotter is a nice animal, that's for sure." Sunday's program gets under way at 6 pm and the freshman trotting colts will make their provincial debuts in Races 5, 7 and 9. Complete entries for the event can be found here. In addition to Sunday's season opener, Georgian Downs will host two additional Grassroots events this summer, along with three Gold Series legs. A complete schedule is below and can also be found here. Ontario Racing Georgian Downs Race Date Post Time Age/Sex/Gait Race Type           Sunday, July 7 6:00 pm 2-year-old Colt Trot Grassroots Series           Sunday, July 14 6:00 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Tuesday, July 16 7:15 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Tuesday, July 23 7:15 pm 2-year-old Colt Trot Gold Leg           Tuesday, August 13 7:15 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Gold Leg           Sunday, August 18 6:00 pm 3-year-old Colt Pace Gold Leg                                

January 29, 2019 - A group of Ontario's signature race tracks - Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway and The Raceway at Western Fair District - have jointly announced a new ownership integrity stakes condition which will take effect on February 15, 2019 and will apply to some of the province's most high profile races. Those races include the Confederation Cup, Earl Rowe Memorial, Battle of Waterloo, Battle of the Belles and Camluck Classic, all administered by the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) which implemented a similar stakes condition on January 1st of this year. The new stakes condition, which has received the approval of both the AGCO and COSA, is listed below in its entirety: The Tracks Any owner who participates in an added money or invitational event with a purse greater than $50,000 and administered by Woodbine Entertainment Group on behalf of Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, The Raceway at Western Fair District, and/or Grand River Raceway with a trainer who has an outstanding Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test under appeal in any jurisdiction, shall be ineligible to participate as an owner in any of the below added money or invitational events for 12 months following the trainer's conviction, if such trainer is later found guilty relating to the Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test. (The above condition is only applicable to a positive test occurring on or after February 15, 2019.) The Races Confederation Cup conducted at Flamboro Downs Earl Rowe conducted at Georgian Downs Camluck Classic conducted at the Raceway at Western Fair District Battle of Waterloo conducted at Grand River Raceway Battle of the Belles conducted at Grand River Raceway by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment          

AUGUST 19, 2018 - Write Me A Song took control of the three-year-old pacing filly Gold division with a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record performance at Georgian Downs on Sunday evening. In rein to Paul MacDonell, Write Me A Song sprinted away from Post 2 to a :26.3 opening quarter and never relinquished control. Through a :55.1 half and 1:22.2 and three-quarters the Sportswriter daughter was completely in command and she had enough in reserve to hold off a late sprint from Quints Dream and secure the neck victory in 1:51. Stablemate Neon Moon shadowed Write Me A Song from start to finish and took the third-place share of the $125,000 purse. "Everything went pretty well," said Jack Darling, who owns and trains both Write Me A Song and Neon Moon. "It was just one of those races that was, you know the big field, and you had to take advantage of the post position and just give her a chance. She was very sharp going in, both her and Neon Moon, they were just as sharp as they can be going in. "And she's got to be, because there are just some tremendous fillies in there, very tough," the Cambridge resident added. The 1:51 clocking took one-fifth of a second off the track and Ontario Sires Stakes record set by Village Janus in a July 2011 Gold Elimination. The Canadian record had been shared by Village Janus and Michelles Power, who logged her 1:51.1 effort over Rideau Carleton Raceway's five-eighths mile oval in an August 2007 Gold Final. "I didn't know what the track record was, but it doesn't surprise me that she went in 1:51," said Darling. "Like I said, it's a tremendous group of fillies, I knew they'd go fast and I knew she was sharp, I was just hoping she could get the job done." The only three-year-old pacing filly with two Gold Series wins to her credit, Write Me A Song finished second in the May 26 season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District, third at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 23 and was victorious at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 20, giving her a total of 137 points. Shower Play, who finished fourth in Sunday's test, is 54 points back in second. Sunday's victory was Write Me A Song's fourth straight. Between the June 23 and July 20 Gold Legs she swept her elimination and the final of the Kin Pace, lowering the track record to 1:54.3 in the July 8 final. Darling opted not to race Write Me A Song between her July 20 win and Sunday's Gold Leg, instead sending her out in an August 10 qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park which she won in 1:51.3. The horseman may follow a similar strategy heading into the fifth and final Gold Leg, scheduled for September 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "I'm going to be really easy on her. I didn't race her between her last start and this one, I just wanted to kind of keep her fresh and happy and hoping for a big effort. She's got to race so tough. Whatever class she races in at WEG it's so tough, you've just got to be a little bit careful and just kind of pick your spots and manage her a little bit," noted the horseman. "I'll have to give her at least one more start before the next one (Gold). She's not eligible to the Simcoe, so I've got no other stakes for her." Sunday was Neon Moon's first Gold Series start of the season. Competing at the Grassroots level the filly, also a daughter of Sportswriter, had finished third in the first two events of the season and then delivered a track record 1:52.4 effort at Grand River Raceway in the August 6 event. With 74 points she currently sits seventh in the Grassroots standings, while the 12 points she earned in Sunday's Gold Leg put her in a tie for eleventh in the Gold standings. The top 20 point earners advance to the Grassroots Semi-Final, while the top 10 move on to the Gold Series Super Final. "I'll take a look at the situation later on. I guess I've got options, just the fact that I've got Write Me A Song in there makes me think I should probably go Grassroots with Neon Moon, but I don't know," said Darling. "I'll play it by ear, week-by-week." The three-year-old pacing fillies wrap up their Grassroots campaign at Flamboro Downs on September 4, with the Semi-Final on September 21 and the Championship on September 29, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The fillies served as the warm-up act to Georgian Downs signature race, the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitation Trot, and Dancer Hall got a confident front-end steer from Sylvain Filion to capture the 2018 title. The Deweycheatumnhowe four-year-old trotted under the wire in 1:52.2, four and three-quarter lengths ahead of B Yoyo and Catch The Dream. Paul Reid trains Dancer Hall for 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

AUGUST 14, 2018 - Ontario's talented two-year-old pacing colts and geldings put on a show for Georgian Downs fans on Tuesday night, competing in six Grassroots divisions. Classified Material and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. led off with a sharp 1:52.3 score from Post 9 in the first $19,500 division, missing the track record by one-fifth of a second. Controlling the tempo from start to finish, the Bettors Delight son hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Century Farroh. Fan favourite Machdavid was well back in third. Windsor resident Bob McIntosh trains Classified Material and the Hall of Fame horseman also bred and shares ownership of the gelding with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. The win was Classified Material's third of the season, but his first in Grassroots action. The second division also saw Maintenance Man and driver Brett MacDonald employ front-end tactics from Post 5. The fan favourites battled down the stretch to a 1:54.2 victory, three-quarters of a length ahead of Face The Challenge and Taragon. Harry Poulton trains the son of Bettors Delight for fractional ownership group Thestable Maintenance Man of Guelph, Ontario. The win was the colt's second straight at Georgian Downs. He also posted a 1:53.1 personal best in an August 5 overnight event. Tuesday's test was the pacer's first appearance in the Grassroots program after starting his season with a win and a ninth in the Gold Series. "He had a decent start to the year in the Gold Series, but came up sick in his July 23 outing," said Anthony MacDonald, who operates TheStable.ca with his wife Amy. "We opted to skip the Battle of Waterloo (Aug. 6) and stay off the half-mile tracks as he's a big colt, so tonight's race was the most logical. He raced well in Georgian last week and we couldn't be happier with how he looked tonight. "With over 20 owners, he was one of our most popular colts training down," added MacDonald, who purchased the colt for $35,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Through five starts Maintenance Man has now earned $22,280. The third division saw Bob McClure steer The First Step to his second straight victory in a personal best 1:55. The Betterthancheddar son hit the wire one length ahead of DA Delightful and favourite Thisishowwedoit. McClure engineered the victory for trainer Timothy Gillespie of Grafton and his partner Jason Churchill of Colborne, Ontario. The partners acquired The First Step from the London Selected Sale and have already recouped his $18,000 purchase price after four starts. Like Maintenance Man, Heisman Player dropped down from the Gold Series for Tuesday night's test and found his way to the winner's circle for the second straight week. The Sportswriter son and trainer-driver Rick Zeron employed a come-from-behind strategy from Post 9, pacing under the wire in 1:53.4. Deception Seelster was one-half length back in second and Silas Seelster was two more lengths back in third. "He was a little bit rammy when I first started out with him this year and we got into some trouble in the first race so we took a few steps back with him, figured everything all out, and then we raced him and he raced really good," said Zeron. "He come back and win last week (Aug. 7) in 1:53.1, and he got home in :26.4, and I was really happy with him. "Instead of taking him over to Grand River, because he's a big, long-gaited colt, I said I think I'll skip the Gold (Aug. 15) and I'll go to the Grassroots with him up in Georgian at a five-eighths and race him in there, keep him brave and get him a little bit more education," the Oakville resident continued. "Of course we drew the nine-hole, which was out nine-wide, so I floated out of there with him, got him spotted and I come third-over with him. At the head of the lane I had some room and I moved him over. He did the rest on his own." Zeron shares ownership of the $30,000 Lexington yearling purchase with Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, James Walker of Port Perry and Noblock Racing Stable of Collingwood, Ontario. The colt has banked $16,750 in his first four starts. The last two divisions were captured by colts making their first-ever appearance in the winner's circle. In the fifth split Scott Young guided Ahi to a 1:55 victory for trainer Mark Steacy and owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. Passionate Prince also closed well to be second and fan favourite Village Champ rounded out the top three. "He's a nice little horse that is improving with every start," noted Steacy. "Like his half-brothers Makasi ($181,276) and Hudson Phil ($210,332), he always gives his best." In his first two Grassroots starts the Sportswriter son finished sixth (July 13) and fifth (July 23). The final Grassroots blanket was awarded to Wager On Me, who sprinted home in :27.2 to catch pacesetter and fan favourite B Stoney. B Stoney and driver Jason Ryan hit the wire one-half length ahead of the favourite in 1:54.1, with Millenium Seelster grabbing the third-place share. Rockwood resident Carl Jamieson owns and trains Wager On Me, who was a $23,000 purchase out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The Bettors Delight son made one start in the Gold Series before moving to the Grassroots in time for the July 23 event, where he was a narrowly beaten third. The two-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their fourth Grassroots start at Hanover Raceway on August 25. Georgian Downs wraps up its 2018 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule this Sunday, August 19 when the three-year-old pacing fillies will compete in their fourth Gold Leg as part of the Earl Rowe Trot program. In addition to the on-track excitement, which gets under way at 6 pm, the evening will also feature a fun-filled lineup of activities for the whole family. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

INNISFIL, ON -  August 11, 2018 - An impressive group of trotters will be taking over Georgian Downs on Sunday, August 19 for the $75,000 Earl Rowe Trot. The signature race of the Georgian Downs racing meet is named in honour of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame member and 20th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Honourable Earl Rowe. Invitations have been extended to top older trotters to strut their stuff and vie for the winner's share of $75,000. The Earl Rowe Trot will headline an outstanding evening of fun for the entire family on August 19. A variety of free activities for kids will be available including glitter art and face painting, a bounce house and pitching cage. Keeping everyone fueled throughout the evening, special $1 food items will also be available. The popular mini-horses will be on display for an exciting exhibition between races and will also be made available for a meet and greet. The Wanna Drive team will also be onsite to provide fans the opportunity to sit behind a standardbred. Winning won't be restricted to the racetrack, as drawings for raffle prizes will take place all evening. Fans looking to enjoy the Earl Rowe Trot in style can make a reservation for the Buffet by emailing racewayreservations@gmail.com. As always, admission and parking are free. Post time is 6 p.m. Visit www.GeorgianDowns.com for more information. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

JULY 29, 2018 - Competing under fair skies and on a fast harness racing track at Georgian Downs on Sunday evening, the Ontario Sire Stakes two-year-old trotting colts and geldings took their game to a whole new level. Kicking things off in the first $67,200 division was Jumpshot, who sprinted home to a neck victory in 1:58.2, a full second faster than any of the miles clocked in the first Gold Leg, which was raced over a rain soaked Woodbine Mohawk Park oval. Starting at Post 6, Jumpshot and driver Sylvain Filion got away in the middle of the nine-horse field and watched Montevideo lead the field to a :29.3 quarter and a 1:00.1 half. Heading for the 1:29 three-quarters fan favourite Tymal Houdini took control of the pace and Filion moved Jumpshot out behind attacker Allthefixins. Turning for home less than two lengths separated the top three colts, but it was Jumpshot who closed hardest to claim the victory. Tymal Houdini settled for second and Allthefixins was one-half length back in third. "He was always a nice trotter and last time I raced him in Mohawk, when I removed to the front, he didn't really want to clear, he tried to pull up a bit," said Filion. "So tonight I was being extra careful to make sure he had cover and we were lucky enough to get a second over trip, which helped a lot, and he felt really strong." Filion drives Jumpshot for trainer Jean Francois Maguire and owner Ecuries Richelieu Inc. of Venise-En-Quebec, Quebec. The son of E L Titan finished third in the Gold Series season opener, getting caught in the stretch by Forbidden Trade and Tymal Houdini when he eased up. Prior to the July 16 season opener, Jumpstart had finished third in a June 21 overnight event and won a July 5 contest, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park, so Filion is confident that he will be able to add to his $48,544 in earnings. "He's very athletic and he's got all the abilities to go fast, he's just got to put it all together," noted Milton, Ontario resident Filion. "Like most two-year-olds, they're all still learning and they each learn at their own rate. Sometimes you need to be patient." The second division saw Dream Nation scorch around the Georgian Downs oval to a 1:56.3 victory, equalling the track record for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Southwind Avenger finished three and one-half lengths behind the fan favourite and Tymal Tullo was another half-length back in third. Louis Philippe Roy was in his usual spot in Dream Nation's race bike. Through three starts the pair has tallied three straight victories, two in Gold Series action, and $66,700 for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy, Gestion C. Levesque 2005inc of St-Hyacinthe and Marc Camirand of Montreal, Quebec. The son of Archangel and Mississippi Dream was a $42,000 purchase at the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The final division saw CT Conabra go gate-to-wire from Post 2, sailing home six and three-quarter lengths ahead of Magical Journey in 1:57.4. A Royal Line was five more lengths back in third. The win was CT Conabra's first, and came as a relief to driver Jody Jamieson, who had been alarmed when the Kadabra colt faded to sixth in the Gold Series season opener. "He's always been training down like a monster, so when he raced quite sub-par last time out I was very concerned," admitted Jamieson. "Dad (Carl Jamieson) said that he had been sick and that he couldn't train him at all between the qualifier (July 3) and the first OSS, so he felt that was the only issue. "I was as nervous for tonight's race as I can remember being for a race in a long time," the driver continued. "I always thought he was the second coming, so I felt him and I both had a lot of explaining to do if he raced sub-par again. Thankfully he was tremendous tonight and I really didn't have any anxious moments after the gate got away." The Moffat resident shares ownership of CT Conabra with his father, trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario. The elder Jamieson purchased the colt from last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $18,000 after he was sent back into the sales ring for a second time. "I wasn't really going to buy any horses at the Harrisburg Sale, I just happened to be there, putting in time, and I seen this horse come in and I looked at him and I said, geez that's a nice colt," the elder Jamieson recalled. "I didn't bid him and it was stuck at $17,000 in the back, two guys at the back had a tie bid, so they said we're selling this horse again. When they sell a horse again it's usually just between them two guys, but the horse come in to sell him and they kind of waited what seemed like five minutes, and I said $18,000 - sold. So I made one bid and got him." Once CT Conabra arrived at Jamieson's farm he soon became convinced that his impulse buy had been an excellent decision. The colt was flawless from his first day in harness. "I think I could've went in 3:00 minutes the day I broke him. He was a beautiful gaited horse, just beautiful gaited, easy, everything. I loved him," recalled the trainer. "So we paid him up in everything, the Hambletonian for next year, all that kind of stuff. He's a very nice horse." CT Conabra and his peers will have another opportunity to impress their connections in the third Gold Series leg on August 9 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, August 14 with the third Grassroots event for the two-year-old pacing colts. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JULY 21, 2018 - Georgian Downs hosted both the Gold and Grassroots legs for the thee-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday evening and Illusioneesta took sole control of top spot in the Gold Series standings with her second straight victory in the provincial program. Starting from Post 3 in the second $95,600 Gold division, Illusioneesta and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. employed their usual come-from-behind tactics, getting away in the middle of the pack and allowing Magical Lady to ring up fractions of :28, :59.1 and 1:28.4 before shifting into high gear and sprinting home to a one length victory in 1:58. Magical Lady settled for second and pocket-sitter Gotta Pay To Play was third. "That's what she do, she don't like to go early, she likes to race at the end of it, and that's where the money is," said trainer Per Henriksen of the fan favourite. She's nice, very nice, and she's made a pile of money so far this year, and quite a few Golds and the Super Final left, if everything goes right." Norwood resident Henriksen conditions Illusioneesta for Harbor Racing Stable LLC of Aurora and Asa Farm of Norwood, Ontario. Through eight sophomore starts the Kadabra daughter has tallied four wins and three thirds for earnings of $191,546. "And you know, she's just such a pleasure to be around and don't have no issues or nothing," added Henriksen. "The only thing we've got to watch with her is that we don't feed her too much, because she'd look like a drum if you'd let her." With two wins and one second through the first three Gold events Illusioneesta has accumulated 125 points, putting her almost 50 points ahead of the competition with two events remaining. In the first Gold division, Collateral Beauty earned her first-ever Ontario Sires Stakes victory with a come-from-behind trip that saw her reel in the leaders through the stretch and trot under the wire in 1:58. Apprentice M finished two and three-quarter lengths back in second and Town Hall Justice was third. "She raced phenomenal for me, I was extremely happy. She's very nice to drive," said reinsman Rick Zeron, who drove the filly to the win for trainer Herb Holland and owner Carolyn MacIsaac of Milton, Ontario. "She seems to be just getting better and better every week, and I was extremely happy for Herb and Carolyn, because they're hard-working people and they love their horses." The win was the Kadabra daughter's first through six starts this season and boosts her lifetime earnings to $79,504. Seventh in the Gold Series season opener, the win also bumped Collateral Beauty up to 52 points, putting her among the top 10 point earners. All three Grassroots divisions were also captured by first-time OSS winners. Fan favourite Stormont Charlotte led off with a 1:57.3 victory in the first $19,150 division for driver Scott Coulter and owner-trainer Alan Fair of Ancaster, Ontario. The Justice Hall daughter bested Hopes Solo and Power And Grace. In the second division Robert Shepherd steered fan favourite Pretty N Well to a 2:00.4 score for trainer Mark Johnson and owner-breeder Denise Ball of Bailieboro, Ontario. Northern Lightning finished second and Gradabra was third, giving Ontario trotting sire Kadabra a sweep of the top three spots. The final Grassroots division saw Sharpes Summer Series winner Superlative retain her hold on the Georgian Downs winner's circle. Making her Ontario Sires Stakes debut, Superlative allowed P L Layla to control the early tempo, leading the field through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27 before kicking into gear in the final quarter and storming home to a three length victory in 1:57.3. P L Layla settled for second and Frick was third. Thornton resident Stephen Byron was in Superlative's race bike for the win, as he has been for all five of her lifetime starts. After a bobble in her May 21 debut the Holiday Road daughter has been flawless, sweeping both legs and the final of the Sharpes Summer Series and Saturday's Grassroots division. Rob Walker, Jr. of Sharon trains Superlative for his partners Brilo Farms of Sharon and A J Cachia Sales Ltd. of Newmarket, Ontario. Superlative and her peers will have an opportunity to add to their Grassroots point tally in the fourth event on August 27 at Grand River Raceway, while the Gold Series fillies will compete in their fourth event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 16. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs next Sunday, July 29 with the second Gold event for the two-year-old trotting colts. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 17, 2018 - James MacDonald and Mark Steacy teamed up to win two-thirds of what was a very regal night of Grassroots action at Georgian Downs on Tuesday. MacDonald opened the two-year-old trotting colt and gelding Grassroots season with a victory behind Rap Royalty in the first $18,450 division. Starting from Post 7 the pair moved strongly off the gate and sat briefly in third before circling around to second as Northern Tailwind logged fractions of :31, 1:01.3 and 1:32. Coming off the final turn MacDonald turned Rap Royalty loose and the co-favourite held on for a neck victory over H A Houston, stopping the teletimer at 2:03.2. Zorgwijk Tim, the other fan favourite, finished third. "Rapper was good. I got him off the gate good and then I had to move him first up a little bit, but I got to tuck in and draft for a little while and pop out just before they got to the stretch," noted Guelph, Ontario resident MacDonald. "He was a little green still, like he went by them and then he kind of let up when he cleared, but they're two-year-olds, everything's new to them still, so I was pleased." Steacy conditions the son of Kadabra for Landmark 11 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, David Reid of Glenburnie, Ontario, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec, and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. The gelding was a $60,000 purchase out of the 2017 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Six races after their first visit to the winner's circle MacDonald and Steacy were back in front of the Georgian Downs fans with Royal Elite. Starting from Post 2 in the third division, MacDonald employed a similar strategy with the Royalty For Life son, sitting third early and then advancing up the outer lane heading by the three-quarter pole. Never Tell rolled along on the front end through fractions of :30.4, 1:01.3 and 1:32, but could not hold off Royal Elite when MacDonald asked for another gear. The colt trotted home a 2:02 winner, one and one-half lengths ahead of Never Tell and fan favourite Judge Ken. "He's a homebred from a hard luck Muscles Yankee mare (Day Dream) we bought several years ago. This is her first live foal and he has been good from the time we broke him," said Lansdowne resident Steacy, who trains Royal Elite for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. "We're hoping for a couple of Grassroots starts and then maybe, if he keeps improving, a Gold try would be nice. He raced very game tonight, moving first up to win." The colt also impressed MacDonald, who had driven both Royal Elite and Rap Royalty in their pre-season qualifiers. "He was a little better today. He's got high speed, he just needs to learn how to do it right, like sometimes he wants to go when he shouldn't and doesn't want to go when you want him to," explained the driver. "He's just green, and I was really pleased with him." Rounding out the trio of regally-named winners was A Royal Line, who captured the second division in 2:02.4. Starting from Post 2 driver Robert Shepherd settled A Royal Line in fourth as MacDonald sent Steacy trainee In The Will out to a :30.3 quarter and 1:02.1 half. When In The Will skipped off stride heading for the 1:32.2 three-quarters, A Royal Line was advancing up the outside to the lead, a lead he had extended to four and three-quarter lengths by the wire. Y A Titan finished second and Sweet Lou Wittaker was third. Flamborough resident Shepherd crafted the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. McIntosh also bred the son of Royalty For Life and Direct Dial. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will make their second Grassroots start on July 31 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Georgian Downs this week as the Innisfil oval welcomes the three-year-old trotting fillies for their third Gold and Grassroots events this Saturday, July 21. Saturday's first race goes postward at 7:15 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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