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SARNIA, ON - AUG. 10, 2019 - Five divisions of freshman harness racing trotting fillies stepped to centre stage at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening, competing for a total of $117,500 in the third Grassroots Leg of their season, and a trio of fillies scored their first-ever victories in the Ontario Sires Stakes event. The fillies kicked things off in the first race and Enjoyin My Life picked up her first lifetime victory with a 2:00 effort. Starting from Post 8, Enjoyin My Life left the gate smartly and was sitting fourth when Peppas Angel reached the quarter pole in :28.1. After following the leaders to the :59.1 half, driver Ryan Holliday decided to send Enjoyin My Life up the outer lane and the filly had a head in front of Peppas Angel at the 1:29.2 three-quarters. Trotting strongly down the stretch, Enjoyin My Life pulled away to a four and one-half length victory. Peppas Angel finished second and Craving You was four more lengths back in third. "She was good, very professional," said Holliday, who was making his first appearance in the Royalty For Life daughter's race bike. "Nice filly. Trotted good, did everything you'd want." Isabelle Darveau of Flamborough trains Enjoyin My Life for numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. The half-sister to former Gold Series winner Okeanos was a $44,000 purchase at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. Highland Foxytrotr got her second straight Grassroots win in the second $23,500 division. Starting from Post 7 Highland Foxytrotr and driver Alfie Carroll led the field to a sharp :27.4 opening quarter and then yielded to fan favourite Canadian Titan. After following that filly through a :58.4 half and 1:29 three-quarters, Carroll gave Highland Foxytrotr a clear lane and the filly nabbed Canadian Titan at the wire by a nose in 1:59.3. Zebs Flur finished third. "She's a really nice, solid filly and Amanda (Fine) had her sharp," said Carroll, who drove Highland Foxytrotr to the win for trainer Amanda Fine of Guelph and owner-breeder Highland Thoroughbred Farm of Inglewood, ON. "She raced tough." In the third division driver Paul MacDonell employed an off-the-pace approach from Post 10 with first-time winner Mckees Angel. Sitting sixth as Emily Antoinette rang up a :28.4 quarter and 1:00.4 half, MacDonell sent Mckees Angel up the outer lane heading for the 1:29.4 three-quarters. Accelerating off the final turn Mckees Angel was able to circle the leaders and hold off fan favourite Yen for a three-quarter length victory in 200.2. Susies Lady closed hard to be third. "She was really good tonight, excellent," said Ted MacDonnell of Allenford, ON who trains the Archangel daughter for owner-breeder Legendary Standardbred Farms of Mt. Morris, NY. "She's just been a work in progress. Each week she's getting a little better and a little better. She's always shown a nice bit of ability and a nice bit of trot, so we knew it was there. "She has a great pedigree, she's out of a really good family that filly, so we're hoping for things to continue," the trainer added. "Paul's (MacDonell) done a great job with her, so fortunate to be able to have him come here." A full-sister to $860,719 winner Top Flight Angel, Mckees Angel had finished off the board in her first two lifetime starts, a July 23 overnight and the July 30 Grassroots Leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Mag N Roses picked up her second straight Grassroots win in the fourth division, going gate-to-wire from Post 4 in 2:00.3. Warrawee Vulcan finished two and three-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite in second and Credits Celebrity was another length back in third. Mario Baillargeon drove Mag N Roses to the win for trainer Jean Francois Maguire of Carlisle and his partners Julie Malenfant of Carlisle, ON and Richard Legris of St-Charles-Borromee, QC. The Royalty For Life daughter was a $17,000 acquisition from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. In the final division Need An Alibi got a calm, cool steer from Stephen Byron to earn her first-ever victory. Starting from Post 4, Byron eased the filly away from the starting gate and was near the back of the pack when Haven Seelster reached the :28.3 quarter. Moving up the outer lane, Need An Alibi had halved the distance between her and the pacesetter by the 1:01.1 half and as horses started to make mistakes around them Byron simply kept the filly focussed on her work. Third at the 1:31.3 three-quarters posted by Queen M, Need An Alibi was on top as the field turned for home and stayed game for a one-half length victory in 2:02.2. Fan favourite Eternal Jewel finished second and Queen M was third. "She sat on the outside the whole mile," said trainer John Bax. "Going to the three-quarter pole a horse runs on the inside, thinks about coming out and doesn't, the horse in front of us runs, goes out, so it was just kind of like parting of the seas and we went straight through. "He (Byron) just sat there kind of cool and allowed everything to happen around him and he didn't jerk her sideways or grab her up or anything and him being relaxed, she was relaxed," the trainer added. "It was a pleasant surprise. She wasn't the one we thought would pay for the diesel fuel." Bax Stable of Campbellville shares ownership of Need An Alibi with Brilo Farms of Sharon, ON and Dave Hudson of Dallas, TX. The partners purchased the E L Titan daughter for $52,000 at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The two-year-old trotting fillies will return to Grassroots action on Sept. 4 at Grand River Raceway, the fourth of their five regular season events. Complete results for Saturday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0810sarfn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

SARNIA, ON - AUG. 8, 2019 - Ontario Sires Stakes excitement arrives at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday, Aug. 10 with five divisions of two-year-old trotting fillies competing in their third Grassroots Leg. Zebs Flur made her debut in the Grassroots program, finishing third in the July 14 season opener at Georgian Downs, and then jumped up to the Gold Series for her second Ontario Sires Stakes start where she finished second over the Grand River Raceway half-mile on July 24. The filly returns to the Grassroots for her third provincial appearance and will start from Post 1 in the second $23,500 division. "She's surprised us, let's put it that way, for the price of her and where she came from," said Wyoming resident Don Allensen, who shares ownership of Zebs Flur with Bax Stable of Campbellville and Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough, ON. The partners offered up $14,000 for the Muscle Mass daughter at last year's London Selected Yearling Sale. "She raced good the other night in Grand River (July 24), she come through the middle there and got second, so that was good." Regular reinsman Stephen Byron will steer Zebs Flur on Saturday, where she faces a tough field that includes division co-leader Canadian Titan from Post 3 and former Grassroots winner Highland Foxytrotr from Post 7. Like Zebs Flur, Highland Foxytrotr stepped up to the Gold Series for her second start and finished third behind the undefeated Warrawee Vicky. "I'm glad she drew the rail in Hiawatha," said Allensen, who will miss the filly's start at his local oval due to a prior commitment. "I think she's one that's just going to maybe surprise you if she gets the right trip and gets away good. She's got some step at the end." In addition to Zebs Flur, trainer John Bax will also send out Golden Gavel from Post 10 in the first division, Up And Trending from Post 6 in the fourth split and Need An Alibi from Post 4 in the last division. The two-year-old trotting fillies kick off Hiawatha Horse Park's Saturday evening program at 6:30 pm and will also showcase their skills in Races 2, 4, 7, and 8. Complete entries are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0810sarfn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Dresden, ON – The last time harness racing driver Gene Piroski got his picture taken in the winner’s circle was September 29, 2012, but Sunday could change that. The Cottam teamster scored his last win behind St. Lads Zoom at Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia. Piroski’s trademark black colors with white polka dots was a fan favorite at Dresden Raceway, but when Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal Government reneged on their memorandum of understand with Ontario Horsepeople and cancelled the Slots at Racetracks Program, he saw the writing on the wall and left the business. “It was pretty obvious that the harness racing industry was going to suffer and I didn’t want my family to suffer. I had to feed them the best way I know how, so I changed professions without having to pick up and move my family.” Piroski said. The 46-year-old driver left Ontario and worked out west for two years before coming back and landing a job at Chrysler in Windsor, but something was missing in his life. “I’ve been in this business my whole life and I love it. Leamington is just 15 minutes down the road and tracks like Dresden and Sarnia are perfect. I’m excited to be back in the bike and hope that I can hit 2,000 wins before I’m done,” he added. Piroski’s lifelong passion for harness racing never died and now he is back driving ready to build on his 1,686 victories and more than $9 million in purses earned. “It’s almost perfect that I can work all week, and then on weekends, I can drive horses.  It’s so nice to be back,” he said with a big smile. Piroski will be at the controls for 2-1 morning line favorite Darktwistedfantasy in the second race at Dresden Raceway. Darktwistedfantasy is looking to break the C100,000 lifetime earnings mark for Megan Meekison of Belmont with a win. The 8-year-old Artistic Fella mare has carded 21 wins and has C$98,986 in the bank. Sunday is Legion Day at Dresden Raceway as Legion members will be honored with the first 50 Legion members receiving free hats as well as a race named in their honor. Post time for the 10-race card is set for 1:30 p.m. By Dan Leary

AUGUST 11, 2018 - Sons of first-year sire Royalty For Life swept the two-year-old trotting colt and gelding Grassroots divisions at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening. Royal Elite led off with a 2:02 score in the first $18,800 division, going straight to the front from Post 5 and laying down fractions of :27.4, :59.1 and 1:30.2 on his way to the one and one-half length victory. Cousin Peter closed hard to be second and Never Tell rounded out the top three. "Royal Elite is coming along nicely," said trainer Mark Steacy, who conditions the colt for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. "He gives a good effort every time." The trainer's son, Shawn Steacy, piloted Royal Elite to his second Grassroots victory. The colt was also victorious in the July 17 season opener at Georgian Downs and logged a third-place result in the July 31 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. With a total of 112 points Royal Elite currently sits atop the division standings with two regular season events remaining. Hot on Royal Elite's heels is the second division winner, A Royal Line. Like his rival the gelding fired out of Post 7 and rolled through a :28.3 quarter, 1:00.4 half and 1:30.4 three-quarters before pulling away from the field to a four length victory in a personal best 2:00.4. Priceless Ruler and fan favourite Rap Royalty finished second and third. Hiawatha Horse Park's leading reinsman Garrett Rooney engineered A Royal Line's second Grassroots win for trainer-breeder Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. Like Royal Elite, A Royal Line posted his first win in the Grassroots season opener, but then tested the Gold Series waters in the second leg, finishing third in his division at Georgian Downs on July 29. He is currently in sole possession of second spot in the Grassroots standings with 100 points. The final division went to first-time Grassroots starter Radical Roy, who also employed front-end tactics from Post 5. In rein to Stephen Byron, Radical Roy trotted through fractions of :28.3, :58.1, and 1:30 on his way to a two and one-half length victory in 2:01.2. Warrawee Usain finished second and Debt Collector was third. "Sometimes you're better to be the big fish in the small pond than to be a small fish in a big pond," said trainer John Bax of Radical Roy's late entry into the Grassroots. The gelding made his first two Ontario Sires Stakes starts at the Gold Series level, finishing sixth on both July 16 and 29. "It will be a confidence builder for him, and he certainly fit there." Bax and his son Matt share ownership of Radical Roy with Don Allensen of Wyoming, Peter Porter of Port Dover, Ontario and Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The Campbellville resident admitted that he was a little worried about how Radical Roy would fare on Saturday due to a recent wave of sickness that has impacted a number of two-year-olds in the barn, including the gelding's turn-out partner Magical Journey, who finished fifth in his Gold Series division on Thursday evening. "I've had two in the last week have a high white count, two-year-olds, so I was a little nervous at the three-quarter pole, hoping that he didn't have the bug," said Bax. "His partner (Magical Journey) had a high white count after the last race. He stopped up pretty good." Bax has not decided whether Radical Roy will return to the Gold Series or remain in the Grassroots program for the remainder of his freshman season. Saturday's victory gives the gelding 50 points, which puts him among the top 20 point earners with two regular season events remaining. He would need one more Grassroots start to qualify, but the top 20 point earners will compete in two $20,000 Semi-finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on September 20. In his two Gold Series starts Radical Roy tallied six points, well outside the top 10 finish needed to land a berth in the season ending Super Final. The next Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings is September 3 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, while the Gold Series event is September 24 at Grand River Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JUNE 30, 2017 - Fans heading to Dresden Raceway, Hiawatha Horse Park and Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday will be treated to a variety of Canada Day festivities, including Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action. Dresden Raceway opens the Ontario Sires Stakes Canada Day celebration at 1:30 pm on Saturday with four Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Trainer Mike Carther will send out Style Spotlight in the second $18,450 Grassroots division and the Dresden resident is hoping the filly delivers a solid effort in front of the hometown crowd. "She's, knock on wood, never made a break in her life," noted Carther. "And with these tight turns, some of the other ones might be bigger, it might pay off." St. Marys resident Mike Horner will steer Style Spotlight for owners Malcolm and Robert McPhail of Dover Centre, ON, lining up at Post 3 with the daughter of Windsong Espoir. "It's costing nothing for gas," said Carther with a chuckle. "We're not hoping for a whole lot, just having fun on Canada Day and hoping for the best." The Grassroots winners will receive their hardware from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton, who will join Dresden Raceway fans for the Canada Day celebrations, which include the traditional eight-foot long Canada Day cake and a variety of prizes and giveaways, among them Ontario Sires Stakes ball caps and Ontario Racing flip-flops. Dresden Raceway's program gets under way at 1:30 pm and the three-year-old trotting fillies will show off their skills in Races 2, 5, 8 and 9. At 6:30 pm Hiawatha Horse Park will continue the Canada Day fun, showcasing the three-year-old trotting colts in a trio of $19,150 Grassroots divisions, slated as Races 2, 4 and 8. Among the hopefuls in the first division is Rose Run Speedster, who competes for trainer Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA and the Rose Run Speedster Stable of Guelph, ON. Rose Run Speedster was a two-time Gold Series winner at two and comes into Saturday's test off a win in the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on June 6. "I think we all just assumed he'd be a Gold horse forever and the fact that he has to go in the Grassroots isn't a bad thing. Hopefully he uses it as a stepping stone to get back to where we thought he belonged, but again, that will be up to him. And, having said that, he certainly doesn't owe us anything," said Anthony MacDonald, who purchased the colt as a yearling and set up the Rose Run Speedster Stable through his fractional ownership endeavour, thestable.ca. "Rose Run Speedster put thestable.ca on the map last year, at least helped to, and for that we'll be forever grateful," MacDonald continued. "He's played a huge role in the start of what we've built." Dundas, ON resident Michael Whelan will steer Rose Run Speedster from Post 7 in the first division, and the Windsong Espoir colt's connections will be hoping to receive their second Grassroots trophy from Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey, who be on hand for the Canada Day celebrations. Hiawatha Horse Park fans will also be treated to Canada Day cupcakes and giveaways including Ontario Sires Stakes ball caps and Ontario Racing flip-flips, along with $1 programs and pop and $2 jumbo hot dogs. Mohawk Racetrack's Canada Day celebrations start at 7:10 pm with the singing of 'O Canada' by Danielle Falls, followed by a commemorative mile by Mohawk's parade marshal Joanne Colville and Wroxeter, ON resident Jim McKague and his 13-year-old Ontario Sired Standardbred mare, A Promise Made. A Promise Made will be hitched to a circa 1885 high wheeled sulky and during the mile fans will enjoy a video commemorating 250 years of horse racing in Canada. The long tradition of horse racing across the country will also be commemorated by the Preferred class horses in the third race, which has been designated the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing Pace. Harness racing's future will be celebrated in Races 2, 6 and 8 when Ontario's top three-year-old pacing colts square off for the second Gold Series battle of their season. In addition to the on-track action fans will enjoy a Canada Day cake upon arrival, and following Race 2, the first Ontario Sires Stakes division, special red velvet Canada Day cupcakes will be available by the bottom of the main escalators. First race post time for Mohawk Racetrack's Canada Day card is 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 13, 2016 - Hiawatha Horse Park celebrated the Ontario Sires Stakes program on Saturday, hosting three divisions of harness racing two-year-old trotting colts in their fifth Grassroots event. After two seconds and one third in his first three Ontario Sires Stakes outings, Zorgwijk Rocket finally found his way to the winner's circle with a 2:01.2 victory in the first $18,000 Grassroots division. In rein to trainer Joe Hudon, Jr., the gelding floated away from Post 7 and landed fourth on the rail as Critical Mass and Mr Marshmellow battled to a :29.1 opening quarter. Once the dust had settled, Hudon sent Zorgwijk Rocket to the front and the fan favourite cruised through a 1:01.3 half and 1:31.1 three-quarters on his way to a one and one-quarter length victory over Yo Yo Mass. Head Turning Jag was well back in third. "He's been pretty consistent," said Hudon. "He wants to be a trotter, he don't want to be a breaker or anything like that. "If I can get them around you know they're pretty good gaited," added the horseman, wryly. Zorgwijk Rocket made his debut in the July 20 event at Grand River Raceway, where he finished second, followed that up with a third-place result at Mohawk Racetrack on July 28, and then returned to the first runner-up spot in the Aug. 4 event at Rideau Carleton Raceway. A $13,000 purchase from the 2015 Canadian Yearling Sale, the gelding has banked $20,160 in his first five starts. "This horse has got a little bit of speed, but he's not a Gold, he's just a nice Grassroots horse," said Hudon, who shares ownership of Zorgwijk Rocket with R A W Equine of Burlington, ON. "He's got a big gait, his size - he's medium for a trotter. He'll grow, he's grew like six inches since we bought him probably," the Acton, ON resident continued. "He's not very mature yet, he's lean, so once the Sires Stakes are over we'll give him a good rest so he'll mature quite a bit." Saturday's win bumped Zorgwijk Rocket's point total to 112, putting him in fourth spot in the division standings with one regular season event remaining. The top 20 point earners will earn a spot in the Sept. 15 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack. Also boosting his chances of landing a Semi-final berth was More Than Majestic, who posted a 2:03.3 victory in the second division. Starting from Post 4 with Clarke Steacy at the helm, More Than Majestic was third when fan favourite Kitarro reached the quarter in :29.2. Steacy tipped the gelding into the outer lane heading for the 1:03.2 half and continued to press the pace through the 1:33 three-quarters. Turning for home Steacy shifted More Than Majestic into another gear and the gelding powered by Kitarro to a one and one-quarter length victory. Charmbo Chrome was four lengths back in third. "He always showed some ability, but just needed some race luck," said trainer Mark Steacy of More Than Majestic's first lifetime victory. "I'm sure the Landmark 9 (Racing Stable) owners will be very happy." More Than Majestic is owned by the 42-member Landmark 9 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY. The Majestic Son gelding was a $40,000 purchase from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The final Grassroots trophy of the evening was awarded to Santini, who grabbed control of the race just after the quarter pole and never looked back, sailing home to a four and one-half length victory in 2:02.1. Persuaded and LMC Mass Gem battled it out for second and third. Richard Simard crafted the win, the colt's second straight in Grassroots action, for trainer Stephen Oldford of Croswell, MI and his partner Gene Oldford Farms LLC of St. Clair, MI. A son of Kadabra, Santini was a $40,000 acquisition from the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale, and he currently sits fifth in the division standings with 100 points. The two-year-old trotting colts will wrap up their regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 5. The top 20 point earners after the six regular season events will advance to the Sept. 15 Semi-finals, and the top five finishers from each Semi-final will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 24. Ontario Racing

AUGUST 12, 2016 - Ontario Sires Stakes action arrives at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening with three $18,000 Grassroots divisions for the harness racing two-year-old trotting colts and six OSS prize draws for fans. Mark Steacy will start colts in the first two divisions and the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program is hoping for solid performances from both Majestic Streak and More Than Majestic. Majestic Streak will start from Post 2 in the first division and makes just his second start of the season after spending the month of July battling a virus. "I kind of liked him when I qualified him. We started him in the Gold and he was kind of border-line so we dropped him down, but unfortunately he got sick. Two times he had the rail and he got sick and I had to scratch him both times," recalled Lansdowne, ON resident Steacy. "And then, because of the two scratches, we had to re-qualify and start over again, but he seems to be healthy now so I'm expecting him to do well." Steacy shares ownership of Majestic Streak with David Reid of Glenburnie, ON, and the partners also bred the Majestic Son and Throw A Party colt. The trainer's son Clarke Steacy will steer both Majestic Streak and More Than Majestic, who gets Post 4 in the second division. "I think he had the eight-hole last time at Rideau, so he never really got into the race, before that he raced a nice fourth. I think he's got a decent shot," said Steacy of More Than Majestic. "I think he fits there nice, he just needs a couple breaks to hopefully finish up a little closer." In three Grassroots outings the son of Majestic Son and Hawaiian Viva has posted one second, one fourth and one sixth. Landmark 9 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY share ownership of the gelding, who was a $40,000 acquisition from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale last fall. The freshman trotting colts will battle in Races 3, 6, and 9 on Saturday's program, and during breaks in the on-track action Hiawatha Horse Park fans will have six opportunities to win an official Ontario Sires Stakes jacket and ample time to enjoy the track's annual corn roast. In addition to the six prize draws and savoury corn, fans who purchase an official program will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes ball cap. Saturday's first race goes behind the Hiawatha Horse Park starting gate at 7 pm. Ontario Racing

AUGUST 22, 2015 - Hiawatha Horse Park hosted four Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts on Saturday evening as part of their harness racing Ontario Sires Stakes Fan Celebration. Lucky fans took home Ontario Sires Stakes t-shirts and ball caps, and division point leader Kadabrasnewrecruit took home his fourth Grassroots trophy with a commanding victory in the third $18,000 division. Starting from Post 4, driver Steve Byron put the fan favourite on the front and the pair rolled through fractions of :27.3, :58 and 1:27 before accelerating away from the field to a six and three-quarter length victory in 1:56.4. Boondock and Raising Richard rounded out the top three. Thornton, ON resident Byron piloted Kadabrasnewrecruit to his fourth Grassroots victory for owner-trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON. With one regular season event remaining, the son of Kadabra and Keystone Alberta boasts a point tally of 212, 71 points more than the second-ranked colt. Saturday's victory boosted the gelding's sophomore record to four wins, three seconds and one third in 10 starts for earnings of $54,165. Both Byron and McIntosh were also successful in another Grassroots division, McIntosh in the first and Byron in the second. McIntosh trainee A Little More Love opened the Grassroots competition with a gate-to-wire score in 1:57.1. Alfie Carroll of Iona Station ON was in the Kadabra colt's race bike, asking him to dig in down the stretch as pocket-sitter Mandeville mounted a late charge. Fan favourite A Little More Love prevailed by one-half length, with Mandeville settling for second and Ja El Storm completing the triactor. The win was the second in Grassroots action for A Little More Love, who competes for Hall of Famer McIntosh and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. The number two ranked colt in the province last season, A Little More Love has struggled to regain his Gold Series form this year, posting just two wins and one second through eight starts for earnings of $26,565. Byron's other victory came with John Bax trainee Parkhill Lancelot in the second division. Starting from Post 5, Byron settled the Muscle Mass son in third as favourite El Diablo Hall rang up fractions of :27.3 and :58.3, and then tipped into the outer lane heading for the 1:27.3 three-quarters. Parkhill Lancelot grabbed control before the colts turned for home and hit the wire one length ahead of his peers in a personal best 1:57.3. Its Huw You Know finished second with Lets Be Honest well back in third. The win was Parkhill Lancelot's first in Grassroots action this season and boosted the gelding into sixth spot in the division standings with 108 points. In 10 starts this season Parkhill Lancelot has two wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $33,540 for trainer Bax, of Campbellville, ON and his son Marshall Bax of Mississauga, ON. The final Grassroots honour was bestowed upon P L Intimidator, who trotted under the wire in 1:59 after favourites Delcrest Massy and Pilgrims Joy locked wheels in the stretch. P L Intimidator got a nose in front of Easton Road and A Rod Hall to secure his first lifetime victory. Scott Coulter of Brantford, ON engineered the win for trainer Robert McMillan of Beaverton, ON and his partners, breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON, Martin Garey of Ventura, CA and Irene McMillan of Aurora, ON. The win boosted the Kadabra son into fifth in the point standings with 113 and improved his lifetime record to one win, four seconds, two thirds and earnings of $27,225 in 14 starts. The three-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their last regular season Grassroots start at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 3. The top 20 point earners through the regular season will compete in the Sept. 18 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack and the top five finishers from each Semi-final will battle in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 26 at Mohawk. Ontario Horse Racing

AUGUST 19, 2015 - Four divisions of three-year-old trotting colts will battle at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening and the trotters are not the only ones with a chance to win Ontario Sires Stakes merchandise. Early arriving harness racing fans will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes t-shirt and throughout the evening fans trackside will have an opportunity to catch an OSS ball cap. In addition to taking home some OSS-wear, Hiawatha fans can enter "Last Chance" draws or catch a ride in the starting car.. Sophomore trotting gelding El Diablo Hall will be lining up behind number 4 on the starting gate in the second $18,000 division and will have an enthusiastic crowd of supporters on hand for his second Grassroots start. The colt is co-owned by Oil Springs native Dale Hunter, who currently resides in London, and Rick Podolinsky of Alvinston. "It's a great group of guys," said trainer Anthony Montini, who also owns a share of El Diablo Hall, along with Paul Giammichele of Burlington, ON. "It's pretty easy when they win - like that night in London there, they had a ball - but the horse did struggle a little bit and not once did I feel pressured by them to say. 'Hey what's going on, let's get this horse raced.' They left it up to me. Good owners make good trainers." El Diablo Hall started his three-year-old season in the May 27 Gold Series season opener at Western Fair Raceway and delivered a four and one-half length triumph, resulting in the fun-filled winner's circle celebration Montini referenced, but since then the colt has struggled, starting just three more times and posting third, fifth and seventh-place finishes. "I wasn't satisfied with just accepting the fact that he's maybe not that good, because I think he is, so I just did more diagnostics on him," explained Montini, adding that veterinarians at the University of Guelph's equine clinic finally zeroed in on the cause of the gelding's lacklustre efforts and seem to have him heading back toward full strength. "I think he's on the straight and narrow now," added the Acton, ON resident. "But it's always a horse race." Among the seven horses El Diablo Hall will face in Saturday's Grassroots test is two-time Grassroots division winner Its Huw You Know, who will start from Post 5. Hiawatha's leading driver Nick Steward will pilot El Diablo Hall and Montini is hoping both fans and his connections see an improved effort from the gelding. "He does everything right, he's probably the sanest trotter I've ever had," said the trainer. "He's such a - I'm going to call him a great half-mile track horse, he just zips around those turns like they're straightaways and that's really the main advantage we have." A successful outing over Hiawatha's five-eighths mile surface on Saturday would see Montini and his partners faced with the choice of returning to the Gold Series at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 29 or remaining in the Grassroots program for a trip to Flamboro Downs' half-mile oval on Sept. 3. "One hurdle at a time," said a cautious Montini about the gelding's future plans. El Diablo Hall and his peers will battle in the fifth race on Saturday, with the other three Grassroots divisions going postward as Races 4, 7, and 10. The Ontario Sires Stakes Fan Celebration festivities get under way at 7 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

Trainer Keith Cullen enjoyed a perfect night at the the track on Saturday with his starters going three-for-three during Hiawatha Horse Park's 10-race card. Cullen's trainees won three straight races mid-card using the same racing strategy. Royal Sir ($9.60) kicked off the stable streak winning the fourth race for $3,000 claiming colts and geldings in 1:56 with Jeff Mayhew working out the winning pocket trip. In the next race, Marvelous Mario ($4.20) and Tyler Borth prevailed in 1:54 off a pocket trip of their own, although the pacer was claimed from Cullen for $6,000 in the race. Coffee Black ($6) also converted off a two-hole trip to win the following $4,000 claiming trot in 2:00.2 with Alfie Carroll aboard. To view the rest of this story click here.

The Director of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has considered and approved an application for variance from Hiawatha Horse Park regarding its 2013 harness racing date schedule.

Father-son duo Gregg and Doug McNair garnered a pair of Grassroots harness racing trophies at Hiawatha Horse Park on Thursday evening (September 6). The pair got off to a quick start as Doug McNair piloted three-year-old pacing colt Lucky Jet to an impressive nine length victory in the first $24,000 Grassroots division. The son of Jeremes Jet crossed the wire in a personal best 1:50.1.

Hiawatha Horse Park wraps up its 2012 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Thursday (September 6) with four $24,000 Grassroots harness racing divisions for the lightning fast three-year-old pacing colts.

Harness racing combio Mike Saftic and Bob McIntosh put two freshman pacing fillies in the Grassroots winner's circle at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening (September 1).

Paul Ysebaert and Bob McIntosh have been buying, breeding and racing horses together for two decades and the latest product of their harness racing partnership will be lining up behind the Hiawatha Horse Park starting gate on Saturday in the fourth of six Grassroots divisions.

Hiawatha Horse Park hosted an invasion of three-year-old trotting fillies on Thursday evening (August 23), giving away $168,000 in Grassroots harness racing purse money.

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