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JULY 14, 2016 - Two-year-old pacing fillies take centre stage at Clinton Raceway on Sunday as the Ontario Sires Stakes program makes the first of three stops at the half-mile oval. Trainer Gregg McNair will harness two fillies in the Grassroots contest, and Loves Angel has already tested her skills over the Clinton surface. "I qualified them about a week earlier than we normally do so I was kind of looking for a race for her," explained the trainer. "I knew she was going to race there, so I thought I'd just see how she got around the place." In spite of competing against a group of older fillies and mares, and starting from the outside Post 7, Loves Angel finished second in the June 26 test. The filly's next start came in the July 8 Grassroots opener at Mohawk Racetrack where she led for most of the mile before fading to eighth in the stretch. "She really didn't race that good. We were kind of disappointed in her, but we've had some sickness going through our barn," explained McNair, adding that the filly seems to have bounced back from her bout of sickness and should be back on form for Sunday's test. "She trained down good, she's a good bred mare too," noted McNair, who purchased the half-sister to $292,179 Sir Lehigh Z Tam from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $20,000. "She's on the small side, but she done everything pretty good all winter." The Guelph, ON resident shares ownership of Loves Angel with Jim Newton of Thornhill, ON and Kenneth Newton of Biggar, SK. McNair's son Doug will steer the filly from Post 6 in the first $18,000 Grassroots division. McNair's second entry, Shewearsthepants, will start from Post 3 in the second division. A recent arrival in Ontario, the Big Jim daughter was sent to McNair from Pennsylvania-based trainer Roly Mallar. "I asked him how she'd be in Clinton, and he said he always trains over a half. He said it shouldn't be a big problem with her," says McNair, who will get his first good look at the filly's ability on Sunday. "She's flighty enough, she'll likely be worked up fairly good there Sunday, so I hope she does all right. Time wise she looks like she's got enough speed to maybe contend with them." Before shipping north Shewearsthepants clocked a 1:55.1 mile in a July 8 two-year-old event at The Meadowlands. Anatolia Farm LLC of New Holland, PA bred and owns Shewearsthepants, a half-sister to $136,164 winner Gymokee Jerry. Fans can get involved in Sunday's Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) action by entering the "Be A Winner" contest. One finalist will be selected from each of the "Be A Winner" ballot boxes representing the horses in the contest race. Finalists receive an OSS t-shirt, ball hat, and lanyard badge along with a $15 win-place-show wager on their selected horse, and will gather trackside to cheer home their chosen filly. The finalist representing the winning filly will join her connections in the winner's circle celebrations and receive a trophy, an OSS jacket and golf shirt, a commemorative photo and a $50 wagering voucher. In addition to playing the "Be A Winner" contest and watching the freshman fillies battle in Grassroots action, fans can also enjoy the barbecue and bake sale being hosted by the major atom and major peewee Huron Perth Lakers. The Huron Perth Lakers Day at the Races also features a raffle and 50-50 draw. The first race on Clinton Raceway's action-packed Sunday afternoon program goes behind the starting gate at 1:30 pm and the two-year-old pacing fillies will star in Races 2, 6 and 9. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Harness racing driver Doug McNair will be making his NA Cup driving debut and trainer Casie Coleman will be looking for her second Cup triumph when they send out Ontario Sired pacers Magnum J and morning line favourite Betting Line, respectively, in the $1 million race. Casie Coleman said she isn't the least surprised there are two Ontario Sired horses in Saturday's (June 18) $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack, including her trainee Betting Line, the 5-2 morning line favourite, and Magnum J trained by Gregg McNair. "We've got great stallions, we've got great broodmares. We've got a really good program," Coleman said of the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "Here we are with two Ontario Sired horses in the final of the $1 million North America Cup -- two out of 10 with all those Somebeachsomewheres and other American sires that are very, very expensive... Hopefully, they show themselves well and people are wanting to buy Ontario Sired more." Betting Line, a son of Bettor's Delight out of Heather's Western, won the faster of the two NA Cup eliminations on Saturday, June 11 with a 1:49.1 victory that was three-quarters-of-a-length better than Lyons Snyder. Winning the elimination gave Coleman the right to pick her post for the final. She selected the post three on behalf of driver David Miller and her fellow owners Ross Warriner, Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol, all from Ontario. They purchased Betting Line for $60,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sales Company's 2014 yearling sale in Harrisburg, PA. Coleman, a resident of Cambridge ON, won the 2010 Pepsi North America Cup with Sportswriter, now a leading stallion in Ontario that stands at Tara Hills Stud in Port Perry, ON. "I'm lucky enough that I've been in enough of these big races now that it's just another race," she said when asked about the pressure a trainer feels the week of a big race. "Obviously, it's a million-dollar race, so it's a big one and we want to make sure we don't mess anything up, but it's the same daily routine that we always go through." Coleman said Betting Line, the winner of his Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Super Final a year ago, is primed and ready for Saturday's $1 million final. "He had a really good week," she said Thursday. "I trained him on Tuesday a couple of trips. He trained great and I went into the vet after he trained and everything looked really good. Blood was good and he's sharp, sound and healthy. Everything seems A1 right now." Magnum J will have a tougher assignment for the father-son training and driving team of Gregg and Doug McNair of Guelph, ON. The son of Big Jim out of Jamirotoy will start from post 10 in the 10-horse field. Doug will be making his North America Cup driving debut. "First or last it's going to be a good experience," Doug said. Even though the pressure's off having the outside post, Doug said he would "rather have had the pressure of having the one or two or three hole... than to have to come from the outside. But, I guess, it's only where you're starting from." Magnum J was purchased for $10,000 by Gregg McNair and Hanover, ON residents Tony Lawrence and William Brown at the 2014 Forest City Yearling Sale in London, ON. In 2015, the gelding won one of the premier events for Ontario Sired horses when he captured the $200,000 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway in Elora, ON. The pacer was saddled with the seven-hole in that race and Doug said Magnum J has been particularly unlucky with post positions. In Magnum J's last two starts, Doug has had to craft money-winning trips from far outside starting spots. Magnum J was fourth in his $75,000 Somebeachsomewhere division at Mohawk on June 4 from the 10-hole. A week ago, he started in the closed from eighth at the top of the stretch to be fourth in his $50,000 NA Cup elimination. "He couldn't race any better than he did the last two starts. He came home in :25.4 one day and he was probably six, seven wide in the stretch. Then last week he came home in:26.2 into a big, strong headwind," Doug said. As for working out a winning strategy in the $1 million final, Doug said he'll have to see how things unfold off the gate. "He can leave as fast as you want him to leave, but going for a million dollars you know they won't leave you alone on the front end. Everything is different behind the gate. It would be nice to get away at the back and have them go big fractions, but sometimes that's not the way it goes either. Play it by ear and hopefully we get lucky," he said. "It's just a bad post. He's as good as any horse in there, I think." Regardless, Doug said he's determined to make his first NA Cup drive a good experience. "I've got a bunch of my buddies coming out to watch. I still have a lot of high school buddies around. They don't understand racing, but they'll have fun being there. The race is on TSN2 and (Magnum J) is in the race. You've got no shot if you're not in it. It's the 10-hole, but it's better than being also eligible." Doug said he's also looking forward to driving Ontario Sired four-year-old pacing mare Solar Sister (Mach Three--Cabrini Hanover) in the $370,000 Roses Are Red final for owners and breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Horner of Toronto. Solar Sister won her Roses Are Red elimination on Saturday (June 11). "She's been really good, but that's a tough race. There's some good mares in there, but I got lucky and won it last year (with Lady Shadow) so it would be nice two years in a row," Doug said. As for Coleman, she said she is relishing Betting Line's success even more after deciding to downsize her stable. "Right now these smaller numbers are working for me. I'm actually making more money on my bottom line with smaller numbers. It's a lot less stress, less staff, fewer owners and fewer horses. I'm really enjoying how I'm doing it now," she said, adding she will enjoy herself even more if Betting Line wins the big one on Saturday. "Now he just needs the trip to work out and we'll see if we can get out picture taken," she said. by Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Racing

Deo Galileo became Canada's first harness racing two-year-old pari-mutuel race winner of 2016 with a strong maiden-crushing performance at Grand River Raceway on June 13. Leaving from post five, the colt cruised wire-to-wire to finish one-and-three-quarter lengths the best over eight sophomores in 2:00.1 . Driven by Doug McNair for trainer Gregg McNair, the son of If I Can Dream was a $22,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg for owners Wayne Mac Rae and Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. Kelly Spencer

Hannelore Hanover and Solar Sister notched Grand Circuit victories on closing day of the 2016 Miami Valley Raceway harness racing meet on Sunday (May 8).   The pair of $100,000 races were highlights of the 88th and final program of Miami Valley's third season, its most successful to date with huge increases above 20% in both average handle and total purses.   Hannelore Hanover kept her 2016 season perfect in her fifth start by wiring a classy field of North America's best older trotting mares in 1:52.3, a new track record for 4-year-old female squaregaiters. Despite facing a full field with lifetime earnings north of $4 million in the $100,000 Miami Valley Distaff, the winning daughter of Indiana sire Swan For All was dispatched as a prohibitive favorite, and driver Ricky Macomber Jr. guided her accordingly. Speeding off the wings of the starting gate, Hannelore Hanover and Macomber stopped the first-quarter beam in :27.1 and never looked back through subsequent fractions of :55.4 and 1:23.3. At the head of the lane, it looked briefly as if the taxing fractions might doom the Ron Burke trainees fate, but when Macomber asked for a bit more Hannelore Hanover responded with a :29 flat final panel to seal a 1-3/4 length victory.   Charmed Life (Jody Jamieso) gave futile chase to finish second, while Daylon Miracle (Daniel Dube) raced gamely to finish just a quarter-length further back in third.   Hannelore Hanover increased her career bankroll to $405,324 with her 14th win in 26 lifetime starts. She is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Frank Baldachino.   Solar Sister had to survive a lengthy judge's inquiry before being named the official upset winner of the $100,000 Chip Noble Memorial for the continent's top pacing mares. Although it appeared that Solar Sister and driver Doug McNair may have forced at least one other horse wider when they vacated the pylons down the backstretch, the judges ultimately decided that the confusion was caused by a tiring frontrunner (Lady Shadow) who was simultaneously drifting into the outer flow.   The winner left with alacrity to drop in behind Lady Shadow (Aaron Merriman) before the :26.2 quarter, then enjoyed a pocket ride through a :55.2 half before pulling going to the three quarter station. Solar Sister was first-over in second when the field sped past that 1:22.3 marker, then emerged victorious following a thrilling stretch drive that resulted in a three-horse photo finish in 1:51.2. Favorite Yagonnakissmeornot (Dube), who won the inaugural Noble Memorial in 2014 and still holds the distaff track record, was parked much of the mile and finished just a head behind, with Purrfect Bags (Victor Kirby) third across the wire, just another head behind in her first seasonal start.   Gregg McNair trains the winning 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three for David Willmot and Clay Homer. She now sports 11 career triumphs and $681,387 in earnings.   A pair of $20,000 Opens were also contested on the getaway matinee card.   Il Mago (Trace Tetrick) topped Penn (Josh Sutton) and Cimeronken (Kyle Ater) in the trotting feature, clocked in 1:55.. It was the sixth win in a dozen 2016 starts for the 7-year-old son of Kadabra, who is owned by CC Racing LLC and trained by Tyler George.   Addys Way (Dan Noble) emerged from a stride-for-stride stretch duel with Igottafeelinfran (Kayne Kauffman) to cop the top local pacing mares event in 1:52.1. OK Hallelujah (Jason Brewer) collected the show dough. Perkins Racing Stable LLC owns Addys Way, an 8-year-old Cambest mare, also trained by Noble. She now has an impressive 47 victories from 189 starts and is nearing $400,000 in bank deposits.   Gregg Keidel    

Legion of Boom lowered the boom with a 42/1 harness racing upset in the Ontario Boys Series final Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A compact field of six competed in the $45,000 final of the three week series event for Ontario sired four-year-olds. Headlining the group of six was a pair of Richard Moreau trainees. Cajon Lightning entered the final off a victory in leg one and a third in leg two, while Rafa looked to turn the tables after finishing second in both preliminary legs. Legion Of Boom and driver Doug McNair left hard off the gate, but Rafa and Sylvain Filion also had the same strategy. McNair opted to drop in behind Rafa and take the two-hole trip. Rafa, who was 8/5, posted an opening-quarter of :27.1 and a half of :56. Outside challengers developed around the final turn with Mach Code first up and Cajon Lightning, the 4/5 favourite, second over. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:24, Rafa led the field into the stretch looking for the gate-to-wire victory. In the stretch, McNair came off the pylons with Legion Of Boom and the 42/1 longshot grinded away at Rafa. Cajon Lightning also came charging with late speed and Half A Billion was flying from the back to make it a four-across finish. Legion Of Boom hit the wire first in 1:53.1 to win by a head over Cajon Lightning. Half A Billion finished a neck back in third, while Rafa was defeated by just a half a length, but finished fourth. A four-year-old son of Artistic Fella, Legion Of Boom had just one win in six starts this season entering the Ontario Boys final. He finished sixth in both preliminary legs. Legion Of Boom is co-owned by driver Doug McNair, who shares ownership of the gelding with Equus Standardbreds Inc. Gregg McNair is the conditioner of the four-year-old. Saturday's victory was the sixth career win for Legion Of Boom and it increases his career earnings to over $92,000. The clocking of 1:53.1 also established a new career mark for the son of Artistic Fella. Legion Of Boom paid $86.20 to win. Legion Of Boom In order to be eligible to the Ontario Boys, the Ontario sired four-year-olds had to be non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Mark McKelvie

A few fresh faces along with the top stallions in Atlantic Canadian harness racing dot the list of eligible horses for the 2016 Atlantic Sires Stakes breeding season. A total of 21 studs are paid into the program with the deadline on Jan. 31 to pay horses in for the breeding season, though late nominations can be made. On the trot side, the sire of the top money earning two-year-old trotter of the 2015 season is back in the game after a one-year hiatus from the program. Neal is back at stallion duty for Meridian Farms of Milton after siring top two-year-old trotter High Bid. From just his first racing crop in 2015, Neal, a grand circuit stakes winner in his own right, sired five stakes winners from just eight foals. A new addition to the program for 2016 is Striking Lindsey, standing at Blair Campbell's Camco Farms in North Wiltshire. The 10-year-old son of Striking Sahbra was a winner of 18 races and $628,128 in purses while taking a mark of 1:54.1 at Mohawk Raceway. He was trained exclusively by Gregg McNair in his career, while winning a $120,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final and finishing second in the $300,000 O.S.S. Super Final. The horse is owned by Howmac Farms of North Wiltshire. Tad The Stud returns to stud for another year at Meridian Farms. The Windsong's Legacy stud has his first crop of 12 two-year-olds currently training down while he bred 14 mares last season. Millionaire trotter Armbro Barrister also returns at Meridian Farms for 2016. The richest son of Malabar Man, Armbro Barrister bred 26 mares during the 2015 season. Black River stands in Kensington for owners Sandra and Garth Cole. The 19-year-old son of Donerail has a long list of top stakes performers, including Maritime champions like 2005 champion two-year-old trotter Maple Leaf Noble, 2004 champion Dunmore TCB, 2006 champion Dunmore TKO and 2004-2005 champion Rustico Red River. The trotting side has a real rarity as the sires of both 2015 Atlantic Breeders Crown trot final winners are not paid into the program for the 2016 breeding season. Paymenowpaymelater captured the three-year-old Atlantic Breeder's Crown trot last season but her sire, Northern Bailey, is no longer standing stud on P.E.I. and is not paid into the program after being sold to Wisconsin. Northern Bailey had been one of the most successful trot stallions in the past eight years of the program with Maritime champions Waiting On A Woman, Oceanview Kate, Seanchai, JK Blaze, Tyne Valley, My Daisy Duke and Rash Statement. Not to mention Est Non Ila Dulcis, the fastest Maritime Bred trotter ever in the Maritimes. Northern Bailey bred 11 mares in 2015 while standing at Camco Farms. Last year's two-year-old trot winner Glencove Zani also has his father, Bo W, absent from the program this breeding season. Owned by Carl Bagnall of Stratford, Bo W had just one foal in 2015 and was bred to four mares. Besides Glencove Zani, Bo W has also sired 2012 Maritime Champion Sweetwater Rukkus. Also missing from the program after standing in 2015 is Delcrest Julian. Last season was the first year at stud for the son of Oaklea Julian, who bred just four mares while stationed at Meridian Farms. Next week, we will take a look at the pacing side of the 2016 stallion roster. Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at nicholasoakes@hotmail.com. By Nicholas Oakes Reprinted with permission of the theguardian.pe.ca  website  

TORONTO, December 4 - Brinkers Dream and Aniston Seelster won their respective harness racing Autumn Series Finals Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The $36,800 three-year-old filly trot and $37,800 three-year-old filly pace Autumn Series Finals highlighted Friday's 11-race card. A pair of scratches, including leg one and two winner The Murmuring Pan, left a field of eight for the filly trot final and Brinkers Dream seized the opportunity at 24/1. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Brinkers Dream trotted out strong to take the lead and post an opening-quarter of :28.2. Tymal Fireitup, a leg two division winner, was sent off as the heavy 1/5 favourite and got away fourth in the early stages. Brinkers Dream got her own way in the second-quarter and took the field by the half in :58. Around the final turn, MacDonell opened up a sizeable lead with Brinkers Dream and the leader stormed the third-quarter in :27.4 to hold a six length lead turning for home over a first over Tymal Fireitup. Brinkers Dream strides shortened in deep stretch, but her big lead was too much for her rivals to overcome, as she scored a 1¾ length victory in 1:56.1. Aspen California rallied from the back to nose out Tymal Fireitup for second. A daughter of Taurus Dream, Brinkers Dream entered the Autumn Series Final off a fifth and a second in the preliminary legs. She is trained by John Bax and owned by Bax Stable and Dave Hudson. The Autumn Series victory is the second win in 23 starts this season for Brinkers Dream. Her career earnings now sit at over $55,000 and the clocking of 1:56.2 knocked a fifth of a second off her previous career-mark. A $2 win ticket on Brinkers Dream returned $51.10. Brinkers Dream Aniston Seelster had to work for the lead early, but that was the spot to be in the $37,800 pacing filly final. Driven by Doug McNair, Aniston Seelster, the 6/5 favourite, sprinted off the wings of the gate with Much Adoo, the second-choice at 2/1, matching each stride to her inside. The two favourites went toe-to-toe for the length of the stretch, before Aniston Seelster edged by to take command at the opening-quarter. Aniston Seelster had to pace a :25.4 first-quarter to get the lead, but that turned out to be the winning move. McNair was able to get middle-fractions of :56.2 and 1:27.2 to set up a final-quarter sprint. In the stretch, Aniston Seelster powered home in :28.3 and was able to hold off Much Adoo from the two-hole and a late surge from Pinky Tuscadero up the rail for a three-quarter length victory in 1:56. Pinky Tuscadero, who was eighth turning for home, charged up the rail to nose out Much Adoo for second. A daughter of Mach Three, Aniston Seelster is trained by Gregg McNair for owners Lindsey and Connie Rankin. The sophomore pacing filly finished first and second in the Autumn Series preliminary legs. Aniston Seelster now has seven wins in 21 starts this season after going winless in five starts as a rookie. The Autumn Series final victory pushes the Rankin's filly over the $100,000 earnings mark to $107,840. The McNair trainee paid $4.50 to win. Aniston Seelster In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-old fillies had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2015 as of September 30, 2015. Mark McKelvie

There are 27 Ontario Sired Breeders Crown finalists racing at Woodbine Saturday night, including homebred elimination winner Solar Sister trained by Gregg McNair and driven by his son, Doug, who are both looking for their first harness racing Breeders Crown victory. Veteran Ontario trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph said he would love nothing more than to win the Breeders Crown with his son, Doug, in the sulky and ultra-talented Ontario Sired three-year-old pacing filly Solar Sister leading them to the winner’s circle Saturday at Woodbine. It would be the first Crown victory for either McNair. “I’ve had a few Breeders Crown starts and it’s awfully good to just have them race well and get money, but with that horse and with Doug driving her, it would be a great thrill to win it,” Gregg said. Solar Sister is one of 27 Ontario Sired horses racing in the 12-race, $7.6 million Breeders Crown at Woodbine and one of the best. No horse, regardless of gait or gender, earned more money in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program in 2015 than Solar Sister, which is only fitting since she’s the product of a royal Ontario family going back to her Ontario Sired graddam Cathedra, one of the greatest mares in the history of harness racing. “You don’t have to be up on the horses too much to know the family,” Gregg said. Solar Sister, a homebred owned by David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Horner of Toronto, earned $317,150 of her seasonal total of $507,494 in the OSS competition, where she won three Gold Series legs and the $250,000 Super Final on Oct. 10 at Woodbine Racetrack. But after a lacklustre fourth-place finish on Oct. 1 in a Gold Series leg at Flamboro Down, Gregg said he knew something was wrong. At first he thought it was the fact the daughter of Mach Three out of the millionaire Cabrini Hanover had not raced in almost a month. Then he discovered a foot injury. “It was quite a mess,” Gregg said. “Either some gravel or maybe she hit it one time in the field or something. I don’t know what it was, but she was really sore on it. You wouldn’t have been able to race her. She wasn’t just a little off, she was a lot off.” Gregg said the injury healed the week before the Super Finals. “Touch wood, she’s been good ever since,” he said. Last Saturday, Solar Sister posted a one-length victory over Frost Damage Blue in 1:52.1 in their Crown elimination. “We didn’t have a lot of work in her before the Super Finals,” Gregg said. “We didn’t have her quite as tight as she should have been, so I’m expecting a pretty good effort Saturday.” Solar Sister will start from post three in the fourth race, going for a Breeders Crown purse of $648,700. She’s the second choice in the morning line at 7-2 behind Joe Holloway’s trainee Divine Caroline (2-1). Solar Sister will not only be trying to win a first Crown for the McNairs, she will also be trying to avenge her mother’s two Breeders Crown defeats. In 2005, Cabrini Hanover, finished second by a neck to Belovedangel in the Breeders Crown three-year-old filly pace at the Meadowlands. The year before, she was leading at the top of the stretch in the Crown final for two-year-old pacing fillies and finished fifth. Cabrini Hanover was originally purchased for $350,000 as a yearling at the 2003 Standardbred Horse Sales Company sale in Harrisburg, PA by Willmot and his close friend Bob Anderson of St. Thomas, ON. When Anderson died in 2010, Horner bought into Cabrini Hanover. Shortly after that, the decision was made to breed Cabrini Hanover to Mach Three. The resulting foal was Solar Sister, named after a clean energy movement for women in Africa. Willmot also has an advanced solar energy project at his Kinghaven Farm. “We were coming off a pretty good season and she was bred in Ontario, so we got the opportunity to train her. It’s sure something to train something out of that family,” said Gregg, who hadn’t trained for Willmot or Horner prior to Solar Sister. “I would say we raced her a few times early as a two-year-old probably thinking she was fairly average. We really didn’t know she was having a tie-up issue. We were part way through her two-year-old season when we figured it out. She finished off really good last year as a two-year-old… She was fairly close to (U.S. and Canadian Horse of the Year) JK Shesalday at the end of the year.” Solar Sister did indeed finish second, one-and-a-half lengths behind JK Shesalady in the $424,000 final of the Three Diamonds on Oct. 25, 2014 at Woodbine. She ended the year with a record of 2-3-4 in 13 starts, earnings of $214,828 and a mark of 1:54. This year, she is 8-2-1 in 15 starts and a mark of 1:50.3 earned at Mohawk on July 2 in a Gold leg. “Obviously David and I are very pleased with her season and in particular her last two starts,” Horner wrote in an email. “She loves Woodbine (two wins this year and her two seconds to JK Shesalady in Three Diamonds last year) and has a great post.” If she does win the Breeders Crown, Solar Sister would enhance her chance to win an O’Brien Award as Canada’s top sophomore pacing filly of 2015. “If she is fortunate enough to win the O'Brien, she would be the third straight generation on the female side to win, which would be very special,” wrote Horner, adding it would be the sixth O’Brien Award in Solar Sister’s talented clan, counting the male side. Dave Briggs Ontario Horse Racing

SEPT. 6, 2015 - Harness racing's father and son team Gregg and Doug McNair sent a pair of two-year-old trotting colts out in the last regular season Grassroots event on Sunday evening and landed both colts in the Flamboro Downs winner's circle and the post season. Heading into the event Dynamic Edge and Muscles For Life were sitting twenty-fifth and thirty-seventh, respectively, and in need of a victory to extend their season through the Sept. 17 Grassroots Semi-finals. "I figured they had to be close, but he never said nothing, so no pressure, no added pressure," said driver Doug McNair about his pre-race conversation with his father Gregg, who trains the colts. First out of the barn for the McNair Stable was Dynamic Edge, who lined up at Post 5 in the fourth Grassroots division. The younger McNair sent the Muscle Mass son directly to the front and Dynamic Edge reached the opening quarter in :29.3 and the half in 1:02.2. Heading for the 1:32.3 three-quarters Weve Had Enough mounted a challenge and it looked as though Dynamic Edge would have to settle for second, but the gelding found another gear late in the stretch and dug in for a neck victory in 2:02.4. Weve Had Enough was second and Northern Bruiser was one and one-quarter lengths back in third. "He's a little green sometimes," explained the driver. "He pulls up once in a while and he did again today a little bit, but then he battled back on in the stretch. "He's just a just a little funny. He trots perfect, he's great gaited, but he just pulls up sometimes," added the Guelph, ON resident. "It would be nice if he could get out of that, he maybe will as a three-year-old." Gregg McNair, also of Guelph, shares ownership of Dynamic Edge with numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Gloucester, ON. A $28,000 acquisition at last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale, the gelding wrapped up the post season with one win, one second, two thirds, one sixth and 102 points in five Grassroots starts, jumping from twenty-fifth to tenth in the standings with Sunday's win. In the last Grassroots division, Doug McNair also opted for a front-end strategy with Muscles For Life. The pair went to the front from Post 4 and controlled the tempo through fractions of :30.2, 1:02.3 and 1:33.2, hitting the wire three-quarters of a length in front of favourite Georgies Pockets in 2:02.1. Muscle Hustle was well behind the leaders in third. With all of his starts coming in the Grassroots program, Muscles For Life now boasts a record of one win, one second, one fifth and one eighth. Sundays win boosted his point total to 81 and moved him from thirty-seventh to seventeenth. "He trots real nice when he trots, sometimes he just gets out of gear, like if you don't have him paying attention he won't trot for you," said Doug McNair of Muscles For Life, also a son of Muscle Mass. "But when he pays attention he can trot; he's one of the better Grassrooters. "Last start (Aug 11) I just wanted to make sure I got him around without him running and he trotted home in 28 seconds, that's a pretty good quarter for a green trotter," the reinsman added. Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI owns Muscle For Life, who was a $35,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The other three division winners also secured their position among the top 20 point earners. Romeo and driver Skip Jay De Mull captured the first Grassroots trophy, tipping out of the pocket heading for the three-quarters and trotting by pacesetter Derivative and on to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:59, the quickest of the five divisions. Fan favourite Money Mission finished second and Magic Missions was third. Kevin St. Charles of Whitmore Lake, MI trains Romeo for E C S Racing LLC of Rockford, MI. In six Grassroots starts the Muscle Mass gelding tallied one win, two thirds, one fifth, one sixth and one eighth for 83 points. Division two went to Cool Creek Victory and Iona Station, ON resident Alfie Carroll, who also popped out of the pocket to reel in the favourite. Cool Creek Victory stopped the Flamboro Downs teletimer at 2:01, one-half length ahead of United Bi and Classical Son. The win was the second in Grassroots action this season for Cool Creek Victory, who also posted two thirds and one seventh, wrapping up with 126 points. The Windsong Espoir son is trained by Mountain, ON resident Victory Puddy for Bill Manes of Rockwood, ON, Limco Inc. of Chateauguay, QC, and Otnevram Inc. of Saint Leonard, QC. After four second-place finishes JLs Bad Moon Risin finally found the winner's circle, going gate-to-wire in 2:04 for driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON. The Muscle Mass colt bested Clone The Tone by one-half length, with Eyeseenow well back in third. Puslinch, ON resident Richard Moreau conditions JLs Bad Moon Risin for Gestion J Y Blais of Montreal, QC. Sunday's win gave the colt 158 points and a share of second-place in the division standings. The top 20 point earners will now battle in a pair of Semi-final races at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 17, with the top five finishers from each Semi-final returning to the Campbellville oval on Sept. 26 for the $50,000 Grassroots Championship. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Flamboro Downs on Sunday, Sept. 27 when the two-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their Gold Series regular season. Ontario Horse Racing

AUGUST 27, 2015 - A few strides from the wire in Thursday's ninth race it looked as though Solar Sister's perfect Gold Series season would come to an end at Mohawk Racetrack, but the gritty harness racing three-year-old pacing filly fought to the end and extended her Ontario Sires Stakes win streak to four. "I think he backed her off a little around the last turn, hoping to get some room there, and then next thing he knew Mario (Baillargeon) was gone on him, so he had to gain a fair bit of ground to catch her," said trainer Gregg McNair of the race crafted by son Doug McNair. "She raced good, she's a good mare." Starting from Post 1, Doug McNair and Solar Sister had early command of the race, reaching the opening quarter in :26.3. However, a parked out Mario Baillargeon and Tessa Seelster decided the front end was more appealing than a spot among the followers and McNair chose not to disagree, allowing the challengers to take the lead before the :54.4 half. Fan favourites McNair and Solar Sister watched from the pocket as Baillargeon and Tessa Seelster reached the three-quarters in 1:23 and turning for home they were hemmed in by Maplelea mounting a charge in the outer lane. Once the fillies straightened out in the stretch, McNair was able to maneuver Solar Sister into an open lane, but it took every ounce of stubborn determination the filly possessed to reel in Tessa Seelster. The fillies hit the wire almost as one, with Solar Sister a narrow winner in 1:50.4. Capela was three lengths back in third. The victory was Solar Sister's fourth straight in Gold Series action, giving her a perfect score of 200 points in the sophomore pacing filly standings, a division Gregg McNair predicts will only get more interesting through the final Gold Leg and Super Final. "There's some good mares in there. I'd say there's a couple new ones there that nobody was looking for that much earlier in the year. They're just starting to pop out here now," said the Guelph, ON resident, adding that he was impressed with Tessa Seelster's effort. "The nice thing about her, she was parked around the first turn, so she raced a heck of a trip, then the ones that were one-two in the first division raced big," continued the horseman, whose Glamour Seelster was the runner-up in the first division, in her first Gold Series start. "It's shaping up to be a different looking division than it was two weeks ago." With the next Gold Leg not taking place until Oct. 1 at Flamboro Downs, many of the three-year-old pacing fillies will be battling in open stake events in the coming weeks. Among the races McNair is considering for Solar Sister are the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk on Sept. 5 and the Jugette at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio on Sept. 23. "She's going to the Simcoe, then she'll go to, possibly, the Jugette," said McNair, who conditions the daughter of Mach Three and $1.4 million winner Cabrini Hanover for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. "We'll see how she comes out of tonight and see how she races in the Simcoe. "We'd like to have her good for the Breeders Crown (Oct. 17 and 24) is what we'd like to have her good for, but it's a hard race to have them good for, because it's later on," added the trainer. "It's hard to keep them good all year, and she's been consistent here all year." Through 11 sophomore starts Solar Sister has accumulated seven wins, one second, one third and $384,112, giving her a two-season total just shy of $600,000. In addition to her flawless Gold Series record the filly swept her elimination and the final of the WEG-SBOA Stake in May and finished third in the Fan Hanover Final in June. Solar Sister The first $105,000 Gold division also featured a fierce stretch duel between fan favourite Wrangler Magic, pocket-sitter Cast No Shadow and McNair trainee Glamour Seelster. Wrangler Magic and driver Sylvain Filion took early command of the race, reeling off fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1 with Cast No Shadow and Randy Waples tucked in behind them. Rolling off the final turn Waples tipped Cast No Shadow out and the filly accelerated past Wrangler Magic and held off a late charging Glamour Seelster to secure a one-quarter length victory in 1:51. Glamour Seelster earned the runner-up cheque, with Wrangler Seelster settling for third. The win was the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for Cast No Shadow, but not her first in stakes competition. The daughter of Shadow Play and $374,152 winner Hypnotize captured two legs of the Blossom Series and the final of the Princess Series in the spring. Through 15 starts she boasts a record of eight wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $185,544. Nick Gallucci of Brantford, ON conditions Cast No Shadow for owner Millard Adams of Carlisle, OH. Cast No Shadow Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Aug. 31 with five Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts. The freshman pacers will be featured in Races 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10 on the 7:25 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

Local father-son harness racing duo Gregg and Doug McNair captured their third Battle Of Waterloo victory during the 25th anniversary edition of Grand River Raceway's Industry Day celebration on August 3. The Guelph, ON residents won the race in 2008 with Trail Boss and again in 2013 with Three Of Clubs. A winner in his elimination division one week ago, Magnum J went off at odds of 3-1 leaving from post seven in the $227,397 final. Doug McNair, 25, guided the two-year-old pacer straight to the front of the nine-horse field and never looked back, maintaining the lead in the stretch against a fast-closing Stonebridge Beach with driver Stephane Pouliot. Magnum J finished a half-length the best in 1:55.3. Gregg McNair purchased Magnum J for $10,000 from last year's Forest City Yearling Sale for co-owners Tony Lawrence and William Brown. The black gelding's share of the 18th annual Battle Of Waterloo brings his career bankroll to $126,799. The McNairs also nailed back-to-back wins in races two and three of the 11-race card. Solar Sister was the betting favourite heading into the first of two $105,000 Gold Series divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS). Doug McNair dominated gate-to-wire, scoring the sophomore pacing filly's sixth win from nine season starts. The victory pushes her career bankroll to $540,190 for owners David Willmot and Clay Harland Horner. The 1:53.2 clocking set a new Canadian season's record and was just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Team McNair was back to the winners circle in the next dash for the Battle Of The Belles Consolation. Stonebridge Pearl was sixth in last week's elimination division but scored handily in today's $15,000 contest. The Mach Three filly's maiden win clocked in at 1:57.3 for Gregg McNair who co-owns with Terry & Jake Davidson. In the Battle Of Belles final, trainer David Menary and driver Jody Jamieson teamed up for their second stakes win. The pair won the 2012 edition with Macharoundtheclock. This year's $141,246 final was all Free Show as she scored her second career win after last week's victory in the eliminations. Jamieson finished a length the best in 1:56.3 for Hutt Racing Stable, who paid just $14,000 for the Badlands Hanover filly as a yearling. She has now earned $110,623 in five career starts. The second OSS Gold Series division of the day was won by Ms Mac N Cheese. Driver Sylvain Filion fired the Badlands Hanover filly up the passing lane to win by a length over Sports Chic in 1:55.3. Richard Moreau trains Ms Mac N Cheese for David Ratchford. This is her fifth win in eight season starts. On the lighter side, driver James MacDonald stole the half-time show with an incredible repeat performance in the Industry Day Drivers' Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes. The Guelph, ON reinsman has won the event for the past five consecutive years. Fellow drivers Ryan Holliday, Tyler Moore and Travis Henry put up a good fight, but simply could not stack up against the unstoppable MacDonald. "Everyone's got their thing," said MacDonald in a post-race interview. "Gretzky had hockey and I've got the bounce." The Best In Show competition sponsored by the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) awarded $1,500 to the caretakers of horses racing on the Industry Day card. Fifteen prizes of $100 were presented to the top five in each of the following categories: Best Of Show Head-To-Toe; Horse & Groom; Above & Beyond (braids, sparkles, etc.). The winners were: Sharleen MacDonald, Brandy Jamieson, Marylou Gingras, Nancy O'Hagan, Alexis Hebert, Ethan Gagnon, Laura Ireland, Leanne Murphy, Kellie Browne, J. Richards, Rick Welsh, Kelley McNiven, Gabriella Sasso, Jeff Williams, and Patty Drury. A crowd of approximately 5,000 people wagered $93,110 on-track. The total handle was $312,548.  Battle Of The Belles race video Battle Of Waterloo video  Bouncy Pony Stakes race video Kelly Spencer

Rural Guelph residents Gregg and Doug McNair had another outstanding afternoon during their local oval's annual showcase of harness racing. The father-son duo - the top trainer and driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program in 2014 - took four horses to Grand River Raceway on Monday for the 25th Industry Day program and went home with three wins and one third. Kicking off Team McNair's impressive afternoon was three-year-old pacing filly Solar Sister, who captured the first $105,000 Gold Series division in 1:53.2, just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Starting from Post 1 the Mach Three filly and driver Doug McNair took command of the race just past the :26.3 opening quarter and carried on to a :54.4 half and a 1:24 three-quarters before hitting the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Wrangler Magic. Stonebridge Quest finished two and one-half lengths back of the favourites in third. "She drew good and took advantage of it," said Gregg McNair, who conditions Solar Sister for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. "It was a big mile. We had a lot of rain around here yesterday so the track, it's good now, but it'll likely even get faster by the end of the day." "They done a good job, this morning I was up here and it had a few ruts in it," he added. "They did quite a bit of work." The win was Solar Sister's third in Gold Series action this season, giving her a perfect 150 points and top spot in the division standings. Through nine sophomore starts the filly boasts a record of six wins and one third for earnings of $325,362. In addition to her Gold Series trophies she also captured the SBOA Stake Final at Mohawk Racetrack on May 30 and finished third in the Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk on June 20. Doug and Gregg McNair returned to the Grand River Raceway winner's circle one race later, with two-year-old pacing filly Stonebridge Pearl, who sprinted down the stretch to a 1:57.3 score in the Battle Of The Belles Consolation. Doug McNair and the Mach Three daughter, who is a Gold Series regular, bested Miss Babe Delight and favourite Twin B Virtue by a length. Gregg McNair trains Stonebridge Pearl for his partners Terry and Jake Davidson of Walkerton, ON. Five-year-old trotting gelding Buddy Hally, who was a Grassroots Champion at two and a Gold Series Consolation winner at three, was the next horse out of the McNair barn and he posted a third-place result in the Doug Gamsby Memorial Trot, behind 1:58.2 winner Extracurricular and Stormont Kate. Gregg McNair shares ownership of Buddy Hally with Howmac Farms Ltd. of North Wiltshire, PEI, Reginald MacPherson of Stratford, PEI and Wayne MacRae of Fall River, NS. The McNair's capped off their spectacular afternoon by capturing their third Battle Of Waterloo title with Magnum J, who rocketed away from Post 7 and around the half-mile oval to a 1:55.3 victory. Stonebridge Beach closed hard to finish one-half length back in second and Carolina Hurricane rounded out the top three. From the first crop of Ontario stallion Big Jim, Gold Series regular Magnum J is owned by Gregg McNair and Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover, ON. The other Gold Series division went to Ms Mac N Cheese and driver Sylvain Filion. The fan favourites landed in second spot from Post 4 and stalked pacesetter Sports Chic through fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26 before sprinting up the inside in the stretch to a 1:55.3 triumph. Sports Chic settled for second, one length behind the winner, and Ride Away Shark completed the top three. "I really thought I could maybe cut it out but I could see that Jody wanted to cut it out," said Filion. "I didn't mind the two-hole, and she just responded great. "She's pretty much a push-button filly," added the Milton, ON resident. "She showed today she was real good." Filion engineered Ms Mac N Cheese's second Gold Series win for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner David Ratchford of North Sydney, NS. The Badlands Hanover daughter currently sits second in the division standings with 125 points from two wins and one second in three Gold Series starts. Second by a neck to Solar Sister in the SBOA Stake Final, Ms Mac N Cheese boasts a record of five wins, two seconds and one third in eight starts for earnings of $210,805. The three-year-old pacing fillies make their fourth Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 27. Rounding out the stakes action on the 25th anniversary Industry Day program was the Battle Of The Belles, which went home with driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary for the second time since its inception in 2009. Moffat, ON resident Jamieson piloted Badlands Hanover daughter Free Show to an effortless 1:56.3 score over Betty Hill and Golden Idol for Cambridge, ON resident Menary and owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Friday, Aug. 14 with the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting colts. August 14 is Ontario Sires Stakes Fan Celebration night at the Elora oval and fans can dress up in the likeness of one of the freshman trotting colt's names for a shot at $500 in prizes, or receive an OSS t-shirt autographed by some of the province's top sires and racehorses. Ontario Horse Racing

 JULY 2, 2015 - Solar Sister took command of the three-year-old pacing filly division with a 1:50.3 victory in her harness racing Ontario Sire Stakes Gold division at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. Starting from Post 2 in the second $105,000 Gold split, fan favourite Solar Sister landed on the rail behind number two choice Ms Mac N Cheese and watched contentedly from the pocket as the pacesetter zipped to fractions of :26.1 and :54.4. Rolling toward the 1:23.2 three-quarters, driver Doug McNair tipped Solar Sister into the outer lane and the filly reeled in her Ontario Sires Stakes rival, earning a half-length victory in a personal best 1:50.3. Ms Mac N Cheese and driver Sylvain Filion settled for a hard fought second, with Capela and driver James MacDonald well behind the duelling leaders in third. "I figured Sylvain (Filion) would be pointing her (Ms Mac N Cheese) out of there and trying to either cut it out or sit on my back," said McNair after the race. "We went out of there pretty fast; his filly was rolling right along to the half. I could have come back around, but I was pretty content to where I was at. It looked to me like a two horse race when the draw came out, so I was happy to be following her. I knew she'd get me to where we had to go." Guelph resident McNair engineered Solar Sister's second Gold Series victory for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and owner-breeders David Willmot of King City and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto. The win bumped the daughter of Mach Three and $1.4 million winner Cabrini Hanover to lifetime earnings of $485,690 and gives her a sophomore record of five wins, one third and one fourth in seven starts. "She's just getting to be a really nice mare. You can race her any way, on the front or from the back or in the middle," added the reinsman. "Them type of mares are horses that make it a lot easier for me, you can kind of judge the speed and make up your mind as you go, and she's happy to race any way. "She's a big filly, good gaited, a nice bred filly, I'm glad we got her." Solar Sister With wins in the first two Gold Legs, Solar Sister sits alone atop the three-year-old pacing filly division standings with 100 points. Ms Mac N Cheese, also a winner in the June 6 season opener at Mohawk Racetrack, falls to second spot which she shares with the winner of the first division, Wrangler Magic. Fan Hanover champions Wrangler Magic and Sylvain Filion went off as the heavy favourites from Post 4 in the first Gold Series contest and, as he would later do with Ms Mac N Cheese, the Milton reinsman opted to take command of the race. Wrangler Magic rolled easily to a :27 quarter, fended off a challenge from Delightful Hill heading by the :55.1 half, and was comfortably in charge at the 1:23.1 three-quarters. Turning for home, however, things got decidedly less comfortable for the pacesetter. Facing pressure from all sides, Wrangler Magic had to battle all the way to the wire, securing a 1:51 victory by a scant nose over Cast No Shadow. Delightful Hill sprinted into third, three-quarters of a length behind the leaders. Owners Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON, Dr. Maurice Stewart of Leduc, AB, Brian Paquet of Quebec, QC and Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC now have a Gold Series trophy to display alongside the Fan Hanover trophy Wrangler Magic earned at Mohawk on June 20. Through six sophomore starts the Mach Three daughter has tallied two wins, two seconds and two thirds and Thursday's win boosted her lifetime earnings to $513,894. Stephane Larocque conditions the talented young pacer, who was also a Gold Series winner at two. Wrangler Magic Solar Sister, Wrangler Magic and their peers will now enjoy a brief break in their provincial stakes schedule before it resumes at Grand River Raceway on August 3. Mohawk Racetrack fans have a much shorter interlude before the next Ontario Sires Stakes event at the Campbellville oval. On Monday, July 6 the two-year-old stakes season gets under way with three Gold Series divisions for the freshman pacing fillies. The fillies will be featured in Races 3, 6 and 9 on the 7:25 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

JUNE 6, 2015 - Solar Sister and Ms Mac N Cheese established themselves as the early stars of the harness racing three-year-old pacing filly division with impressive outings in their respective $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Legs at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening. Ms Mac N Cheese opened the Ontario Sires Stakes action with a commanding front end performance that saw her roll through fractions of :26.3, :56.2, and 1:24 without facing a significant challenge. In rein to Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion, fan favourite Ms Mac N Cheese sailed under the wire one length ahead of Evas Girl and Dublin Rose in a personal best 1:52.1. The win was the third this season for Ms Mac N Cheese, who was also victorious in an overnight event on May 15 and in her elimination for the WEG-SBOA Stake on May 23, both over the Mohawk oval. In her only other sophomore start the Badlands Hanover daughter finished second by a neck to Solar Sister in the WEG-SBOA Final on May 30. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON conditions Ms Mac N Cheese for David Ratchford of North Sydney, NS, who acquired the filly for $10,000 from the 2013 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. At two Ms Mac N Cheese was a star on the Grassroots circuit, winning three regular season events and her Grassroots Semifinal before being edged out in the Grassroots Final by Stonebridge Quest. The filly's successful Gold Series debut boosted her lifetime earnings to $181,882. Solar Sister also controlled the tempo in the second Gold Series division, but the Mach Three daughter faced heavier pressure on the way to her one length, 1:51.2 victory. Driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON sent Solar Sister to the front heading for the half way marker, and the fan favourite first turned away a challenge from Tessa Seelster, then held off Wrangler Magic and Delightful Hill to extend her sophomore win streak to four. Gregg McNair conditions the talented youngster, who started her win streak in an overnight event at Mohawk on May 15, then swept her elimination and the final of the WEG-SBOA Stakes before landing her first Ontario Sires Stakes win. The Guelph, ON resident trains Solar Sister for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. The filly is the most successful offspring to date from their $1.4 million winning mare Cabrini Hanover. Although she did not earn an Ontario Sires Stakes trophy last season, Solar Sister did capture an elimination of the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway and a division of the Eternal Camnation Stake at Mohawk, earning $214,828. Saturday's win bumped the filly's lifetime earnings to $378,658. Solar Sister and Ms Mac N Cheese will attempt to maintain their position atop the three-year-old pacing filly leaderboard when the Gold Series returns to Mohawk Racetrack on July 2. Ontario Sires Stakes

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 23 - Ontario sired three-year-old fillies were out in full force for the harness racing eliminations of the WEG-SBOA Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A pair of $25,000 eliminations were contested for both pacing and trotting divisions to determine the fields for next Saturday's finals. A group of 22 sophomore trotting fillies were split into two 11-horse divisions. In the first elimination, Stubborn Belle, last year's O'Brien Award winner, made her 2015 debut a winning effort in 1:55.2. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Stubborn Belle made a move from third to first in the second-quarter to take control at the half in :57.1. After posting a third-quarter of :28.2, Stubborn Belle trotted home under minimal urging to win by 2 ¼ lengths. Meadow Seelster, who made a break after the start, made a huge comeback to finish second. Summers Jewel, Battle Mage and Tymal Illbthere rounded out the top-five to secure spots in the final. A daughter of Taurus Dream, Stubborn Belle is trained by John Bax and owned by Al Libfeld and Bax's Parkhill Stud Farm. The sophomore trotting filly won five of 14 starts last season and compiled earnings of over $524,000. Stubborn Belle returned $2.90 to win. Stubborn Belle The second elimination saw Danielle Hall, last year's Ontario Sires Stakes champion, sent-off as the heavy favourite in her season debut, but an early break from the star filly tossed the division up in the air. Second Sister and driver Doug McNair showed early speed to grab the lead. Once on the front, McNair got to call all the shots and set fractions of :29, :58.1 and 1:26.4. In the stretch, Second Sister cruised home in :28.1 to win by three-lengths over first-up challenger Kaddy in 1:55. Yanks Ball Girl, Magic Shelley and Sumthintotalkabout picked up the remaining cheques to earn a spot in the final. Following her break, Danielle Hall caught the field and was able to finish sixth. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Second Sister is trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks. The trotting filly finished third last week in her season debut. Last season, Second Sister won three of eight starts and earned $55,760. Her clocking of 1:55 Saturday night established a new career mark. Second Sister paid $26.70 to win. Second Sister On the pacing side, a total of 20 three-year-old fillies were split evenly into two ten-horse eliminations. In the first elimination, Ms Mac N Cheese was able to overcome post-ten to win in 1:52.4. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Ms Mac N Cheese, the 2/1 favourite, sprinted off the gate and was able to make the front from the far outside. The public's choice set fractions of :26.4 and :55.4 before being challenged around the final turn. Ms Mac N Cheese reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1 with a first-over challenger at her wheel. In the stretch, the favourite turned aside all rivals to create some separation and paced home in :28.3 to win in 1:52.4. Code One Hanover, who got a two-hole trip, was able to close in on the leader in late stretch to finish second and narrow the margin of victory down to a length. Wrangler Magic, Capela and Southwind Ginger finished in the money to earn the final three spots in next week's final. A daughter of Badlands Hanover, Ms Mac N Cheese is trained by Richard Moreau for owner David Ratchford. The sophomore pacing filly is now two for two this season and nine for 12 in her career with over $84,000 in earnings. Ms Mac N Cheese lowered her career-mark by a fifth of a second with Saturday night's victory. She returned $6.10 to win. Ms Mac N Cheese In the second elimination, Solar Sister, the even-money choice, made it a sweep of the pacing eliminations by post-ten starters with a 1:53 victory. Driven by Doug McNair, Solar Sister sprinted to the front from post-ten and was able to reach the pylons at the opening-quarter in :26.2. The public's was then able to call the shots and posted fractions of :56 and 1:24.4. In the stretch, Solar Sister kept her momentum going and held off her rivals with a :28.1 final-quarter to win by a length. Delightful Hill came charging from the back to finish second. Win The Gold, Much Adoo and Twin B Honour rounded out the top-five. A daughter of Mach Three, Solar Sister is trained by Gregg McNair for owners David Willmot and Clay Horner. Her elimination victory improves her 2015 record to a perfect two for two and was the fourth win of her career. Last season, Solar Sister won two of 12 starts and banked over $214,000. Saturday's clocking of 1:53 established a new career mark for the McNair trainee. A $2 win ticket on Solar Sister paid $4.30. Solar Sister The post position draw for both finals was conducted following the eliminations. The elimination winners earned the right to select their posts. The $129,661 WEG-SBOA Stakes final for trotting fillies and the $127,661 WEG-SBOA Stakes final for pacing fillies will take place next Saturday (May 30.) Here is how they will lineup in next week's finals. WEG-SBOA - Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly Final 1. Kaddy - Steve Condren 2. Stubborn Belle - Paul MacDonell 3. Second Sister - Doug McNair 4. Summers Jewel - Mario Baillargeon 5. Battle Mage - Jack Moiseyev 6. Meadow Seelster - Jody Jamieson 7. Sumthintotalkabout - Rick Zeron 8. Yanks Ball Girl - Randy Waples 9. Tymal Illbthere - Trevor Henry 10. Magic Shelley - Chris Christoforou AE: Danielle Hall - Jody Jamieson WEG-SBOA - Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly Final 1. Much Adoo - Paul MacDonell 2. Ms Mac N Cheese - Sylvain Filion 3. Solar Sister - Doug McNair 4. Wrangler Magic - Yves Filion 5. Twin B Honour - Trevor Henry 6. Win The Gold - James MacDonald 7. Code One Hanover - Paul MacDonell 8. Southwind Ginger - Jody Jamieson 9. Delightful Hill - Jody Jamieson 10. Capela - James MacDonald AE: I Wonder Why - Steve Condren Mark McKelvie

ELORA, ON - A local father-son harness racing duo is sponsoring up to 20 children to run in the upcoming Giddy Up and Gallop Kids Fun Run held at Grand River Raceway on June 12, 2015. Trainer Gregg McNair and son driver Doug McNair are generously covering race registration fees for children from the Community Resource Centre of North & South Wellington (CRCNSW). The CRCNSW is a community benefit agency located in nearby Fergus. The efforts of CRCNSW are designed to fill gaps in community service, including transportation, outreach and support programs, childcare and Ontario Early Years. The McNairs are top performers in the sport, each with their own accomplishments. The pair flourished in the prestigious Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) last year, both receiving the stakes' most prestigious awards. Gregg has been the leading trainer in the OSS, receiving the sought-after Johnston cup in 2012, 2013 and 2014 while his son Doug received his first top OSS driving award, the Lampman Cup, in 2014. "Sports have always been important to me and I was glad to offer assistance to these kids when Grand River Raceway approached me with the idea," said driver Doug McNair. "Everyone should have the opportunity to take part in some sort of organized sport," added Doug's father Gregg. In past years, the Giddy Up and Gallop Fun Run has raised funds for the Friends Of We Care, Standardbred Racetrack Chaplaincy, The Children's Wish Foundation, the Chase MacEachern Foundation and The Equestrian Association for the Disabled. Event Details: If you're between the ages of 5 and 14, this is your chance to see if you are the fastest half mile runner in Ontario. Bring your family and friends to cheer you on from the Grandstand and tarmac. The race will be televised on in-house monitors and shown as part of the track's live broadcast, streamed at grandriverraceway.com. Runners will receive a great t-shirt, post-race refreshments and the winners will be awarded unique horseshoe trophies. The running race will be staged as part of Grand River Raceway's popular Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Night. A portion of the funds raised at the run will benefit the CRCNSW. Afterwards, runners and their entourage can enjoy a full night of live horse racing entertainment, which includes plenty of dining options, contests on The Tarmac Show, and free kids' horse education and activities in The NEIGHbourhood under the Tarmac Tent Kit pick-up starts at 5:30 p.m. under the Tarmac Tent. Post time for the first of 12 horse races is 6:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies and the running race kick-off at 6:45 p.m. There will be a warm up and a special Mascot Race at a distance of 50 metres before the race. Following the run, there will be a complimentary snack and awards ceremony for all participants. Click here to register. The cost to participate is $20 if you sign up before May 30. After May 30, the cost increases to $25. Registered runners will receive a free souvenir t-shirt. For race information, contact Kathy Wade Vlaar at kwvlaar@standardbredcanada.ca. For sponsorship information, or to donate a prize to the event, contact Kelly Spencer at kspencer@grandriverraceway.com. For information about the CRCNSW, contact Karen Goodman at kgoodman@communityresourcecentre.org. Kelly Spencer

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