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AUGUST 30, 2016 - After a fierce battle down the Georgian Downs stretch on Tuesday evening, local harness racing filly Sheer Talent rewarded her connections' faith with her first Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots victory. Starting from Post 6 in the third $18,000 Grassroots division, Sheer Talent eased off the starting gate and was sitting fifth when fan favourite Village Jamie reached the quarter in :28.1. Driver Jonathan Drury soon sent the two-year-old pacing filly up the outside and Sheer Talent had taken control of the front-end before the :57.2 half. After rolling through a 1:25.4 three-quarters, Sheer Talent fought off Village Jamie's stretch drive challenge and hung on for a one-half length victory in 1:55.2. White Dancer finished third. "She showed a lot of her inexperience and her quirks tonight," said trainer Carmen Auciello. "She didn't want to sit in a hole, but Jonathan handled her very well with the move to the front. She looked a little green on the front, but once she hit the head of the stretch and JD was able to chase her a bit, she dug back in." The win was the second this season and the first in Grassroots action for Sheer Talent, who is owned by Robert Burgess of Cedar Valley, ON. The Badlands Hanover daughter, a $20,000 acquisition from last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale, had finished fifth, sixth and eighth in her first three Grassroots starts. "She's not a world beater, but I'm confident we still haven't seen the best of this filly," added Stouffville, ON resident Auciello. Tuesday's victory boosted Sheer Talent into the top 20 with one regular season Grassroots event remaining. After the six regular season events the top 20 point earners will advance to the Sept. 15 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack, with the top five finishers from each Semi-final earning a berth in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk on Sept. 24. After three runner-up performances, Odysseus finally took home a Grassroots trophy from the first division. Starting from Post 1, the Mach Three daughter and driver Doug McNair stalked fan favourite Shanghai Sugar from the pocket and then accelerated past the pacesetter in the stretch to record a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:55. Shanghai Sugar settled for second and Dudesalady rounded out the top three. "She's always had speed, she just took a little longer to relax and learn how to race," said McNair of the three-time bridesmaid. The Guelph resident piloted Odysseus to her first victory for trainer Ted MacDonnell of Allenford and his partner Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, ON. A full-sister to $628,083 winner I Found My Beach, Odysseus was a $17,000 purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale. Tuesday's victory boosted her earnings to $22,900 and moved her into second spot in the division standings with 127 points. The only filly ahead of Odysseus in the point standings is P L Kahluaa, and the division leader captured her third straight Grassroots trophy at Georgian Downs on Tuesday. In rein to Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion, P L Kahluaa led the field to a :28.2 quarter from Post 6, ceded control to Anderson Seelster through a :58 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters, and then powered back to the front to record a 1:54 personal best. Anderson Seelster finished three-quarters of a length back in second and Amulet Seelster was five more lengths back in third. "She's amazing, she still surprises me," said trainer Richard Moreau. "I'm very fortunate to have her in my barn." The Puslinch, ON resident conditions P L Kahluaa for numbered company 9303 3868 Quebec Inc. of Blainville, QC. In six starts the Sportswriter daughter now has three wins, one second and earnings of $32,784 and sits well out in front of her peers in the Grassroots point race with 180. The two-year-old pacing fillies will wrap up their Grassroots regular season on Sept. 8 at Flamboro Downs. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

AUGUST 29, 2016 - Georgian Downs will wrap up its 2016 live harness racing schedule on Tuesday by giving fans an opportunity to visit the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle. Fans can select their favourite horse in the third two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots division by placing their "Be A Winner" contest ballot in the horse's ballot box. One "Be A Winner" finalist will be selected from each ballot box and each finalist will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) t-shirt, ball cap and lanyard badge, along with a $15 win-place-show wager on their chosen horse. After cheering home the sixth race contestants, the finalist representing the victorious filly will join in the winner's circle celebrations for a commemorative photograph. The winning finalist will also receive a trophy, an OSS jacket and golf shirt, and a $50 wagering voucher. Among the fillies hoping to be part of the "Be A Winner" celebrations is Sheer Talent, who will start from Post 6 in the third $18,000 Grassroots division. The Badlands Hanover daughter heads into the race off a locked-in sixth-place result in the August 22 Grassroots event at Mohawk Racetrack, and trainer Carmen Auciello believes she is poised for a big outing. "Actually, I think she's good enough to win," said the Stouffville, ON resident. "Last week, if she gets room anywhere, she's probably in the top three easy. So I'm looking forward to seeing her at Georgian, because she can get around any size track, and I think she's a real nice filly." Robert Burgess of Cedar Valley, ON owns Sheer Talent, who was a $20,000 purchase at last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale. The filly was a 1:56.2 winner in an overnight event at Mohawk on August 4, but has yet to crack the top three in three Grassroots outings. "Two of the Grassroots at Mohawk she was locked in, and never had a chance to get out, I think we had a fifth and a sixth, and the one time we did give her a shot she came up sick," said Auciello. "So if you look at her lines, she's a lot better than her lines show." Jonathan Drury will steer Sheer Talent in the sixth race, and the Guelph, ON resident will also be aboard her stablemate Mystical Moon from Post 1 in the second Grassroots division. "She kind of needs it, she has a bit of gate speed, but not quite enough to overcome a tough post," said Auciello of the filly's advantageous starting position. "Looks like she's going to be right beside the favourite (Anderson Seelster) and hopefully follow her all the way around, that would be nice." After a second-place result in the July 8 Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack, Mystical Moon tested the Gold Series waters, finishing eighth in the July 18 event at Mohawk. Back at the Grassroots level the Mach Three daughter made a break and finished ninth at Mohawk on August 11 and was sixth in the August 22 event at the Campbellville oval. "She's a racehorse," said Auciello about Mystical Moon, a $14,000 yearling purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale who he co-owns with Stephen Klunowski of North York, ON. "I mean she's never been real flashy, she's a little bit lazy, but she looks like she's one that might develop into a nicer three or four-year-old once she fills out. Right now, she has the speed; she's just still learning what it's all about. "Sheer Talent's a better filly right now, she's just a lot more developed and a lot more mature," added the trainer. "If you look at her, she looks like a four-year-old, whereas the other one (Mystical Moon) looks like a two-year-old, so physically she's a lot more developed. I wouldn't say mentally she is, that's kind of what's holding her back. She can look at something and jump over it or just make breaks for no reason, that's her only downfall." Tuesday's test is the fifth on the two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots calendar, with the regular season finale slated for Sept. 8 at Flamboro Downs. The top 20 point earners at the conclusion of the regular season will advance to the Sept. 15 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack, with the top five finishers from each Semi-final earning a berth in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk on Sept. 24. The fillies will compete in Races 3, 5 and 6 on Tuesday's program, with the first race rolling in behind the Georgian Downs starting gate at 7:15 pm. In addition to the Grassroots and "Be A Winner" excitement, Georgian Downs will also announce the winner of the season-long Habitat for Humanity 50/50 draw and treat fans to $1 hot dogs and pop starting at 6 pm. Ontario Racing

AUGUST 28, 2016 - The second straight night of Ontario Sires Stakes action at Georgian Downs featured five $18,000 Grassroots divisions for the harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies. Windsong Magic opened the festivities with her first ever Grassroots victory, taking control of the race before the halfway marker and sailing home one and one-quarter lengths ahead of her peers. The 1:57.4 clocking was a personal best for Windsong Magic, who was piloted to the victory over Treasure Gifts K and Stonebridge Peace by Thornton, ON resident Steve Byron. "She's a lineman, not a wide receiver," said trainer John Bax. "So she can go all day, but she's not going to go any 26 second quarters, that's for sure. "She's just had a lot of bad luck and had a few issues," Bax added. "But things worked out finally." In the five starts prior to Sunday's outing, Windsong Magic had drawn three Post 10s and two Post 7s at Mohawk Racetrack and finished no better than fourth. Sunday's victory vaults the daughter of Kadabra and Diamond Image up the point standings and with one regular season event remaining, Bax hopes the sister to $765,386 winner Windsong Espoir can earn a berth in the Grassroots post season. "I don't know how that does with the points, but we'll try to get in the top 20," said the Campbellville, ON resident, whose other four starters all finished third. "The next Grassroots is at Flamboro, and if she draws the rail, that'll help." Breeder Paulette Loyens of London shares ownership of Windsong Magic with Kristine Hill of Ohsweken, ON. Through 17 starts the filly has tallied five wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $46,240. The quickest mile of the five Grassroots divisions was clocked by Magical Valentine in Race 4. In rein to trainer Jack Moiseyev, Magical Valentine powered to the front just past the half and accelerated away from the field to a 10 and one-half length victory in 1:56.2. P C Cantore and Bax trainee Windsongmusclelady finished second and third. "She impressed me tonight," said Moffat, ON resident Moiseyev of the filly's first start on Lasix. "She made a big move up the backside and kept trucking." The win was Magical Valentine's second in Grassroots action this season and moved her into second spot in the division standings with 138 points. The daughter of Kadabra and Renees Pockets is owned by breeders M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL and improved her record to three wins, two seconds and one third in eight sophomore starts, for earnings of $36,520, with Sunday's win. "She's learned how to settle down and sit in a hole a little better and learned how to be a racehorse," said Moiseyev of the filly, who made just one start as a two-year-old. "She's a pleasure to be around all week, nice on the track, just a good attitude." Magical Valentine could make her next start against open stake competition in the Sept. 2 Simcoe Trot at Mohawk Racetrack, which would leave the door open for several of her peers to pad their point totals in the Sept. 4 Grassroots event at Flamboro Downs. In addition to Windsong Magic, Roadmapper, Traviata and Trumpets all scored their first Grassroots victories at Georgian Downs on Sunday evening. Roadmapper and driver Rick Zeron of Oakville took control just after the half and then held off fan favourite Magical Steph in the stretch to secure the one-half length victory in 1:57.2. Bax trainee Miami Magic was four and three-quarter lengths back in third. Zeron engineered Roadmapper's first Grassroots win, in just her second provincial start, for trainer Robert Robinson and owners Jacqueline Dinelle of Metcalfe, ON and David Reid of Briarcliff Manor, NY. In 22 starts the Holiday Road daughter has five wins, three seconds and five thirds for earnings of $33,846. In the fourth division Traviata benefitted from a pocket trip behind True Muscle, stepping out in the stretch to best the pacesetter by one-half length in 1:58. Bax trainee Very Classy was six more lengths back in third. Norwood resident Per Henriksen piloted Kadabra daughter Traviata to the first Grassroots win of her three-year-old campaign for trainer Ann Karin Larsen of Norwood and her partners Steve Organ of Aurora, Tor Jan Larsen and Stig Westrum of Norwood. The final Grassroots trophy was awarded to Trumpets, who pulled away from the field at the half and trotted home to a four and one-quarter length victory in 1:57.3. Pointe Shoes and Bax trainee Moonlight Cocktail finished second and third. Joe Pereira conditions Trumpets for The Merks Stable of New York, NY and Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry piloted the Holiday Road daughter to her second win of the season. The three-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their regular season at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 4, with the top 20 point earners at the end of the six regular season events advancing to the Sept. 16 Semi-final at Mohawk Racetrack. The top five finishers from each Semi-final will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk on Sept. 24. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, Aug. 30 with three Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies and the "Be A Winner" contest. The first race goes in behind the gate at 7:15 pm and the freshman pacing fillies will compete in Races 3, 5, and 6. Ontario Racing

AUGUST 27, 2016 - Trainer Per Henriksen and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. had a golden map to the winner's circle at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening, sweeping both $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions for the harness racing three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. First off the gate from the Henriksen stable was Bee In Charge, who was sent to the front from Post 5 by Christoforou. The pair hit the quarter in :29 and then sailed on through a :57.4 half and 1:26.2 three-quarters. Reigning division champion Tony Soprano pressed the pace through the final quarter, but Bee In Charge dug in and trotted under the wire one and one-half lengths on top in 1:54.3 Tony Soprano finished second and fan favourite Sass was third. "Bee In Charge has raced well this season and continued that tonight," said Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou. "He got off the gate well, made the front and was a very strong winner. He's a very smart colt and has a strong pedigree. He has improved quite a bit in the last three months." Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL share ownership of Bee In Charge, who is a Manofmanymissions half-brother to their $3.9 million winning mare Bee A Magician. Saturday's win was the gelding's second in Gold Series action this season, he and Christoforou were also victorious at Mohawk Racetrack in the June 27 season opener. From five wins, two seconds and one third in 10 sophomore starts Bee In Charge has earned $153,940. On the advice of Henriksen, Christoforou employed similar tactics in the second Gold division, sending Muscle Hustle to the front from Post 1. The colt roared through fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.3 and stayed game to the wire for a head victory in a track, Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) and Canadian record 1:52.2. Warrawee Roo was a game second and Dia Monde was just one-half length back in third. "I knew I had two good horses and I thought the first one (Bee In Charge), I thought he was going to win, and the second one (Muscle Hustle), I talked to Chris and I said, I think this horse is very good, I said send him to the front and park them, you've got no friends out there," said Henriksen of the front-end effort. "I knew that Muscle Hustle was a very good horse." Muscle Hustle's 1:52.2 mile lowered the 1:53.4 OSS and Canadian record B Strike Three had set at Georgian Downs in a Gold Final in June 2008. "I don't think any horse every trotted faster, any three-year-old, trotted faster on a five-eighths mile track," noted Henriksen. "I got him last year and understood quite early that he had quite a bit of talent." Henriksen conditions Muscle Hustle for Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood, ON. In 10 sophomore starts the Muscle Mass son boasts a record of six wins and two seconds for earnings of $174,850. He was also victorious in Gold Series action at Mohawk Racetrack on July 11. Through the first four Gold Series events Bee In Charge and Muscle Hustle sit atop the three-year-old trotting colt division standings with 133 and 130 points, respectively. The colts will make their last Gold Series start on Oct. 6 at Mohawk Racetrack and the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will then compete in the $250,000 Super Final at Mohawk on Oct. 15. So long as they remain healthy, Bee In Charge and Muscle Hustle will spend their Gold Series break competing against the best trotters in North America. On Saturday, Sept. 3 Mohawk Racetrack hosts the Simcoe Trot, and eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic are slated for Saturday, Sept. 10 with the $700,000 Final going postward on Saturday, Sept. 17. "They were sick when the Hambletonian went so we've just got to look forward and hope they stay healthy, and then they will make pretty good money," said Henriksen. "They are both pretty big size, good looking horses, and with a nice gait to them both, and they don't have very many issues health-wise." Both colts had abbreviated two-year-old seasons due to sickness, two starts for Bee In Charge and three for Muscle Hustle, but Henriksen said their limited number of starts and future schedule are the extent of the similarities between the two trotters. "They're different horses. Bee In Charge you can do anything to. He don't care what you do to him, he's laid back, and the other one is a little more high strung and wants to have it his way, and that's also the reason he is a little ignorant and stubborn sometimes," noted the Norwood, ON resident. "That's the reason he is heading for that opening in the first turn sometimes." Muscle Hustle made a break in the August 10 Gold event at Grand River Raceway, attempting an early return to the paddock on the first turn and making a break when driver Randy Waples disagreed with the plan. Christoforou said the colt was flawless on Saturday and expects big things from the trotter through the last two months of stakes action. "Muscle Hustle was tremendous tonight," said the reinsman. "He does have a tendency to try and pull himself up at times, but was all business tonight. Hopefully he's getting over that now and will finish off the season minding his manners. I think he's going to go some big trips before the year is over and proved tonight he is a top flight colt, and not just in the OSS." In addition to Muscle Hustle's three-year-old trotting colt record, Georgian Downs fans also witnessed an all age track and Canadian record in the Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot. Lookslikeachpndale, in rein to Paul MacDonell, scorched under the wire in 1:51.3 to win the $100,000 contest for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Charmed Life was second and Il Sogno Dream was third. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs on Sunday evening, with five $18,000 Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. The fillies kick off the Aug. 28 program at 6 pm and will also compete in Races 4, 6, 8, and 9. Ontario Racing

AUGUST 23, 2016 - Harness racing driver Jody Jamieson made the trip to Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening to drive a quartet of three-year-old pacing colts in their second last regular season Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots start and scored two wins, one second and one third. Jamieson posted his first win with Piranha, guiding the Badlands Hanover son to a front-end victory in a sharp 1:50.4. The gelding hit the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Arsenic, who pursued the fan favourite from the pocket. Tango Star finished third in the $18,000 Grassroots division. "That was the first time I've driven Piranha and he was ultra-impressive," said Jamieson. "That was a huge mile at Georgian." Jamieson crafted the win for trainer Raymond Farmer of Erie, MI and owner John Turigliatto of Temperance, MI. It was Piranha's second appearance in the Grassroots winner's circle this season; the gelding was also victorious in the season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on June 16. With 100 points earned through those two Grassroots victories, Piranha is assured of a berth in the Sept. 16 Semi-final at Mohawk Racetrack and Jamieson expects him to earn a shot at the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 24. "He'll be tough to beat come the Semi-finals and Final of this series," said the Moffat, ON resident. Jamieson's second victory came with Continual Hanover in the last Grassroots division. After an early skirmish that took them by the quarter in :26.4, Jamieson settled Continual Hanover in behind fan favourite Blaise Mm Hanover and stalked the pace through a :55.3 half and 1:23.4 three-quarters. Turning for home Jamieson pointed Continual Hanover at the wire and the colt sprinted by the pacesetter to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:51.1. "Continual was back to his harder-trying self," noted Jamieson. "He's been hit and miss this year, with a bit more miss than hit lately. Tonight he beat a well-meant favourite in Blaise Mm Hanover, so I'm hoping he stays with this form until, at least, I'm driving a different horse, most likely his stablemate St Lads Moonwalk or maybe even Piranha." Jamieson pilots Continual Hanover for owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON. The Bettors Delight colt was victorious in the Grassroots season opener and in the July 1 event at Mohawk, but finished third on July 30 at Hanover Raceway and fourth on Aug. 13 at Kawartha Downs. In spite of his mid-season misses, Continual Hanover sits second in the three-year-old pacing colt division with 170 points, five points behind stablemate St Lads Moonwalk. Sent off the favourite in the first division on Tuesday, Jamieson and St Lads Moonwalk had to settle for the runner-up spot as Red Dog Saloon sprinted up from the backfield to grab a head victory in a personal best 1:51.4. Sports Authority finished three-quarters of a length back in third. Erin, ON resident Steven Hudon owns, trains and drives Red Dog Saloon, who jumped into third spot in the division standings with his second Grassroots win of the season. The Mister Big gelding was also victorious in the July 1 event at Mohawk Racetrack. The other Grassroots trophy went home with first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winner Big Place, who watched a speed duel between Wichita Lineman and Day Trade Hanover from the middle of the pack and then powered by the tiring leaders to a one-half length victory in a personal best 1:53. Bettor Memories also closed well to take the runner-up spot away from Jamieson and Wichita Lineman, who settled for third. Alfie Carroll of Iona Station piloted Big Place to his first Grassroots win for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON and owner Roderick Smith of Inverness, NS. In his first four provincial starts the Big Jim colt had posted one second, two fourths and one sixth, giving him a point tally of 94 and a shot at the Grassroots post season. The three-year-old pacing colts will wrap up their regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 1, and then the top 20 point earners will begin preparations for the Sept. 16 Semi-finals. The top five finishers from each Semi-final will secure a berth in the Sept. 24 Grassroots Championship. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs this Saturday, Aug. 27 as the Innisfil oval celebrates Customer Appreciation Night with Gold Series action for the three-year-old trotting colts and the Honourable Earl Rowe Trot. Saturday's action-packed program gets under way at 7:15 pm. Ontario Racing

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, "Obviously Amy and I are very pleased to see 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

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