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INNISFIL, ON - AUG. 16, 2020 - Trotters were the stars at Georgian Downs on Sunday, Aug. 16 as the Innisfil oval hosted six $23,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old harness racing trotting fillies and the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitational Trot for older horses. Profound Paragon delivered the quickest mile of the Grassroots divisions, powering around the Georgian Downs oval to a four and three-quarter length in a personal best 1:56. Fan favourite Moana finished second and early pacesetter Eternal Jewel finished third. "With Moana in there we were definitely concerned with the seven-hole," said trainer Julie Walker of the filly's Post 7 starting position. "There's always good horses, so you kind of always have to just hope you don't get any road trouble and it works out, so it did, it worked out." The win was the third in Grassroots action and the sixth straight for Profound Paragon, who sits atop the division standings with a perfect 150 points. Jean Bernard "Bert" Renaud drives the daughter of Muscle Mass for Carlisle, ON resident Walker and her co-owner Steven Titus of Manalapan, NJ. Off Sunday's impressive performance, Profound Paragon may have earned a promotion to the Gold Series for the September event. "The next Gold is on a half. The Gold is tough competition, everyone knows that, but maybe being on a half we might give it a shot. We'll have to discuss," said Walker with a laugh. "We've kind of stayed away from Mohawk, because we've stayed away from the speed train to let her learn speed on her own and not push her. I think tonight was the first night that, you know, the speed keeps coming." Trainer Susanne Kerwood captured two $23,150 Grassroots divisions with fan favourites Brinys A Flight and Susies Lady. In the fourth division Brinys A Flirt and driver Robert Shepherd took command before the half and made it look easy from there, cruising along to a one and one-quarter length win in 1:58.3. Oh Lina finished second and Golden Gavel was third. The win was the Holiday Road filly's first in 12 lifetime starts. She started her sophomore Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) campaign at the Gold Series level, finishing sixth in the July 2 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and then delivered a runner-up result in the second Grassroots leg at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 26. "She's not easy, I'm telling you, she's a tough cookie. Rene (Dion), he's worked with her pretty much all winter and just tried to get her to settle down, so every time she behaves it's like, 'Phew'," said Kerwood. "She is getting better and better and better, she's learning how to go faster and she's learning how to behave, so it's all good. I mean she's out of a great mare, so if she just is a quarter as good as her we'll be all right." Brinys A Flirt is owned by breeder Terry Devos and Clarence Devos of Langton and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. The filly is out of the Devos' great race mare Snazzy Millie, who earned $1.1 million in her nine-year career. One race later Susies Lady started from Post 7 and spent most of the mile leading the charge up the outer lane. The Muscle Mass daughter had a head in front of pacesetter Highland Foxytrotr at the top of the stretch and managed to fend off Pier Ho Kado in the stretch to secure a neck victory in 1:57.4. Scott Coulter engineered the win for Acton, ON resident Kerwood and her co-owner M And L Of Delaware LLC of Wilmington, DE. The win was the filly's first in OSS action this season. Susies Lady battled the Gold fillies in the first two legs, finishing fifth in the track, OSS and Canadian record mile by P L Notsonice at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 26. "She's a nice filly, that's for sure, and she's got a great name," said Kerwood with a chuckle. "In Rideau there she had a super tough trip. And I raced her in Georgian here last week and she come up super flat and I drew blood on her and sure enough she had a high white (count). I said to the owner, 'I can't get her good in four days, it's impossible, but I may be able to get her good for Sunday and that's a Grassroots so why don't we just try her in there and we'll go from there'. I took another blood on her yesterday and she was good to go. I think the next Gold is in Flamboro, so we may try her there again. I'll talk to the owners and we'll go from there, but she was very good tonight." The three-year-old trotting fillies make their fourth Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 1 and their fourth Gold Series start at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 27. The other three Grassroots divisions went to Rockadero, Protostar and Letstaketothesky. Muscle Mass daughter Rockadero toured the Innisfil oval in 1:58.1 for driver Jonathan Drury, trainer Carmen Auciello and owner Bedrock Stables of Stouffville, ON. Favourite No Angel Here was second and Ride To Justice finished third. Protostar delivered a 1:59.2 effort for driver Ryan Desroche, trainer Dustin Jones and owner-breeder Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc. of Lakefield Gore, QC. She Must Be Magic and Chelseas Magic finished second and third behind the fan favourite, making it a Kadabra-sired sweep. Letstaketothesky and driver Anthony Haughan stopped the teletimer at 1:59.2, besting favourite Alexa Blue Chip and Peppas Angel. Trainer David Holliday and Ben Holliday of Mount Forest, ON bred and own the Wheeling N Dealin daughter. In the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitational Trot, reigning champion P L Jill defended her title with a front-end effort from Post 9. The Kadabra mare held off a charging Free Willy Hanover in the stretch, keeping a head in front for the 1:53.2 victory. Majestic Son gelding Perfetto completed the top three. Mike Saftic guided P L Jill to her second Earl Rowe Invitational title for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owners Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON, Jill Coleman of New York, NY and Alan Christensen of Calgary, AB. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Claudi P V and owner/trainer/driver Serge Nadeau of St-Marcel-De-Richelieu tipped three-wide on the final turn of the third race trot and came charging down the stretch at odds of 47-1 in winning at the Hippodrome 3R Saturday afternoon. R Rkadabra (Marc Lemay) cut the early fractions with Stonebridge Alert (Steeven Genois) dogging them from the start. When Stonebridge Alert was parked out against a determined R Rkadabra, Nadeau took advantage of the speed duel, tipping Claudi P V second over and then three-wide after the three-quarter mile marker. Despite being parked out three-wide on the final turn, Claudi P V kept her momentum going and pulled away at the finish, winning by one and one-half lengths over Stonebridge Alert with Lucky Promesses (Pascal Berube) third. The time of the one-mile race was 2:00.3, a lifetime mark for Claudi P V. She is a four-year-old mare by Holiday Road and was bred by Scott-Marcel Brouillard, who co-owns the horse with Nadeau. Across the board Claudi VP paid $96.60, $42.10 and $11.90. It was the highest win payout this season at the Hippodrome 3R and Claudi P V's first win in three starts this year. Serge Nadeau make it a training double in the very next race for two-year-old pacers. His Windfall Blue Chip filly, Nikita Sena, made her pari-mutuel debut a winning effort in a romp. She led from the start for driver Steeven Genois, scoring an eight and three-quarter length triumph in 2:04.2. She paid just $2.10 to win for owner/breeders Nadeau and Scott-Yannick Corriveau of Quebec City. The eighth race was the Ladies Driver Challenge Pace with eight-woman drivers and the contest began with a Calvary charge for control of the early lead. Driver Lena Ouellet left with Adamncam and would not let anyone pass her by as Fortune Fella (Caroline Maheux) was first-over and Old Fashioned Gal (Guylaine Gagnon) was parked out three-wide past the opening first quarter mile in :28.2. Still parked out three-wide around the second turn, Fortune Fella broke stride and carried Fortune Fella way wide and out of the race. Adamncam was alone on the lead past the half mile in :59. Then in the backstretch the race favorite Open Water with driver Johanne Letourneau came charging first-over and blew by Adamncam and Heaven For Sure (Gabrielle St Onge) by the three-quarters in 1:30 and then was home free, winning by two lengths in 2:00.3. Heaven For Sure was second with Angelo Benjo (Jessica Turenne) third. For winning driver Johanne Letourneau of St Edouard De Lotbin, it was her first victory ever at H3R. She had not driven in a race since 2008. A 12-year-old gelded son of Artiscape, it was the second win this year for Open Water. He is trained by Sylvain Fontaine and paid $3.40 to win. Track Notes: Live harness racing continues at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday with an eight-race program starting at 1:00 pm. Featured will be the third race Mare Preferred-Handicap Pace where Y C Easy (post 3) will try again for an upset victory like she did last week at 6-1 odds. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Just 48 hours after arch-rival - and 2019 Horse of the Year - Shartin N won in 1:50 at Dover Downs in her seasonal debut, Caviart Ally sizzled over a sloppy strip at the Meadowlands Friday night in her first start of 2020, taking the co-featured $30,000 Preferred for harness racing pacing fillies and mares in 1:49.4 in rainy and chilly conditions over a sloppy track with a -2 variant. "I'm very proud of her," said Caviart Ally's trainer Brett Pelling. "She is reasonably fit and race ready but there's nothing like a race to get her on her game." Let the rivalry resume. "Racing Shartin N always presents a dilemma since they both share the same racing style," said Pelling. "No matter what, posts at Yonkers will dictate [when the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series gets underway next week]." JK American Beauty, spectacular two weeks ago when she won her first start of the year in a lifetime-best 1:50.2, was on the go early and grabbed the top. After taking a brief tuck, Caviart Ally was up after the lead and cleared at the three-eighths before hitting the half in :55.1. 'Ally' was clear of JK American Beauty as Odds On St Lucie inched her way into the fray at three-quarters while first-over, but through the stretch, after some coaxing from driver Andy McCarthy, Caviart Ally hit the wire a safe neck in front of JK American Beauty. Odds On St Lucie was third.   "She was terrific," said McCarthy. "I was hoping to [come from off the pace] but I had to put her in the race. I wanted to give her a good tightener and we were in a bit of a soft bunch, so I figured we had to be close to the front anyway." Caviart Ally, a 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Allamerican Cool who is owned by Caviart Farms, returned $3.40 to win as the 3-5 public choice. She's now won 26-of-73 lifetime starts and earned $1,839,516. ANDY MAC-NIFICENT: Winning one of the features on the card wasn't enough for McCarthy, who also scored in the $30,000 Preferred for trotters, with Joey Bats, in 1:53.1. Joey Bats went parked past the quarter but eventually got around a head-strong Muscle Diamond soon thereafter before reaching the half in :55.4. Pappy Go Go, who along with Joey Bats comprised a power-packed uncoupled 1-2 punch for trainer Andrew Harris, raced fifth to the half before uncorking a burst of speed to get into contention on the far turn, but faded soon thereafter. The pocket-sitting Muscle Diamond took his shot in deep stretch but would come up a neck short. Misslarose finished third but was disqualified and placed last in the field of six for interference. Pappy Go Go finished fourth, then placed third.   "He was good," said McCarthy of Joey Bats. "I think he needs to sit off a helmet, but if I didn't go to the lead tonight, I knew I would have to come first-over. I knew I had to win tonight. I know they staked him up pretty good, so I wanted to make sure he won." "Joey is just a phenomenal horse who is still developing," said Harris. "I think he has every bit of what it takes to become a stakes winner at some point. Andy Mac just knows how to manage him." Joey Bats, a 5-year-old gelded son of Holiday Road-JN Daytona who is owned by Scott Dillon, Michele Nelson and Marc Reynolds, returned $5.20 to win as the 8-5 favorite. He's now won 18-of-58 lifetime outings and earned $329,962. Pappy Go Go, who was in search of a fifth straight Meadowlands win, did not bring his best effort. "Pappy was a little disappointing," said Harris. "He's a very talented horse and when he didn't get better position off the gate, in short fields, everyone is protecting. I knew he was going to be stuck with a tough journey." A LITTLE MORE: Drew Monti, the 25-year-old driver regularly seen on the Buffalo-Batavia circuit, upped his win total at the meeting to 12 after winning three races on the card. ... All-source handle on the 13-race program totaled $2,503,586. Wagering has now gone past the $2.5 million mark in 11 of the last 12 Big M cards. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:55 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands    

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 27, 2019 -- Delcrest Holiday extended his harness racing winning streak to three when he shot the Lightning Lane to capture Wednesday's co-feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Conditioned Trot. Delcrest Holiday let Deweyknowigotit do all the heavy lifting on the front end, but when Dave Palone pointed him to the sloppy Lightning Lane, the 4-year-old Holiday Road-Northern Kitti gelding poured through to down Deweyknowigotit by a neck in 1:56. You're Majestic finished third. Ron Burke trains Delcrest Holiday, who lifted his career bankroll to $125,457, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In Wednesday's co-feature, also a $13,500 Conditioned Trot, Dawson Springs moved determinedly first over to score in 1:56.1 and give trainer Scott Betts his third win on the 13-race card. Jim Pantaleano, who also fashioned a three-bagger, was aboard for owners Tim Betts and Stephen Moss. The 4-year-old Cantab Hall-Hot Springs gelding now boasts lifetime earnings of $165,251. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the program features a $59,505.94 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post for the 13-race card is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 20, 2019 -- Delcrest Holiday stalked the race leader from the pocket, then poured through the Lightning Lane to capture his second straight harness racing victory in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Conditioned Trot. Delcrest Holiday grabbed the early lead for Dave Palone but released Rising MVP in favor of the pocket. When Palone pointed him inside, Delcrest Holiday surged past Rising MVP to down him by 1/2 length in 1:54.4, with Deweyknowigotit third. Ron Burke trains the winner, a 4-year-old Holiday Road-Northern Kitti gelding who extended his lifetime bankroll to $118,707, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Aaron Merriman and trainer Trent Stohler teamed for a pair of victories on the 12-race card while Dan Rawlings, Mike Wilder and Palone each enjoyed a double. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday, when the program features a $46,535.23 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post for the 13-race card is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

CHESTER, PA - Joey Bats again showed his fondness for the Harrah's Philadelphia harness racing oval, notching his third straight win in recent appearances with a 1:54.1 victory in the $18,000 trotting feature Thursday at the riverside oval. The four-year-old Holiday Road gelding made every pole a winning one, rattling off splits of :27.4, :56.4, and 1:25.3, then sprinting away from his competition in the last quarter. He won by four lengths over pocketsitter Ooh Rah, giving him eight wins on the year and a career bankroll of $231,207. Andrew Harris trains the sharp trotter for Scott Dillon, Michele Nelson, and Marc Reynolds. The driver of Joey Bats, Tim Tetrick, had a very successful day at Philly as well, as the meet's leading driver won five times in all. Another Tetrick triumph came in one of two $14,500 co-featured trots, where the Explosive Matter four-year-old mare Pat Matters gave a gigantic performance, with splits of :27.3, :55.4, and 1:23.3 preceding an 8½ length domination of her opposition in 1:52.2, a new mark and only 2/5 of a second off the divisional track standard set by Classic Martine (and Tetrick) in 2014. Nifty Norman trains the winner, who was making her first start in 54 days, for the Patricia Stable. Tony Morgan, second in the all-time North American driving victory ranks, combined with Ron Burke, first in the training tables, to tally with the Kadabra gelding Mr Houdini in 1:55.1 in the other trot co-feature. On the board in his last four starts without winning, Mr Houdini sat in the pocket for the better part of the mile, came up the inside to get the lead in the lane, and then hold off Boy Meets Girl K by a neck for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. George Napolitano Jr., second in the Philly sulky success standings behind Tetrick, helped firm up his spot with victories in four of the last five races. Harrah's will host a special Friday evening card tomorrow, with the first action beginning at 6:30 p.m. Sunday will be the $1.3 million Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Two-Year-Old Championships card, with the attendant consolation races. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Favorites Spectre and Mass Fortune K both parlayed front-end trips into a victory in a $15,000 featured trot during the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The Holiday Road gelding Spectre went to the lead before the :27.3 quarter for driver Anthony Napolitano, could back off the half to :57, picked up the pace to the 1:25.2 three-quarters, then held off a threat from pocketsitting P L Ketchup to take a two length victory. Rob Harmon trains the late-developing five-year-old for Adv Racing Stable LLC. After facing the likes of Greenshoe and Green Manalishi S in his last few starts, the Muscle Massive colt Mass Fortune K responded well to the change in company, taking a new lifetime mark of 1:55 for driver Pat Berry after making two early moves and putting up fractions of :28.2, :57.2, and 1:25.4. Mass Fortune K won by 8½ lengths in posting his first seasonal score after a six-figure campaign at two for trainer Charlie Norris and owner Robert Key. In a $14,000 distaff pace, Vorst was also a favored frontstepping winner, but her path to the winners circle was much harder. The Four Starzzz Shark mare, owned and trained by Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, was parked past a :26.3 opener and went on to a :55.2 half, only to have second choice Attention Hanover come up to challenge and require a 1:22.2 three-quarters clocking. Vorst received constant last quarter urging from driver George Napolitano Jr., who had four wins on the card, and the mare responded even after being passed by pocketsitting Summer Charm in midstretch, surging back to take a half-length victory over Attention Hanover, who photoed out Summer Charm for second. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Trois-Rivieres, QC - With a very impressive first-over performance against Choo Choo Blue, Claudi P V and driver Pascal Berube scored a big upset at odds of 9-1 in the opening round of the Breeders Cup Series at Hippodrome 3R. The series features three weeks of preliminary competition for three-year-old trotters and pacers with the top eight point earners returning on Sunday, September 8 for their respective $65,000C finals. The second race first division for three-year-old trotting fillies with a purse of $10,000C saw Choo Choo Blue and driver Jocelyn Gendron shoot to the early lead after the opening quarter mile in :30 with My Lady Hall (Serge Nadeau) grabbing the two-hole spot after leading to the first quarter mile. Choo Choo Blue led to the half mile in 1:00.3 before Claudi P V and Berube started up first-over with Cor Leo (Stephane Gendron) second over. As they passed the three-quarters in 1:31, the two race favorites, Justice Society (Stephane Brosseau) and Kinderunbelievable (Justin Filion), who made early breaks in the race, came charging three-wide on the final turn to come after Choo Choo Blue. But it was Claudi P V who was the strong horse, grinding it out against Choo Choo Blue and coming on in the stretch to win by one length in 2:02.1. Cho Choo Blue was second with Justice Society third. Claudi P V paid a handsome $20.50 to win. It was the first victory in five starts this year for the daughter of Holiday Road. She is trained by Serge Nadeau and is co-owned by Nadeau with breeder Marcel Brouillard of St-Marcel-De-Richelieu. In the $10,000C fifth race division for the trotting colts, it was all race favorite Only For Justice and driver Stephane Brosseau. They sat an early pocket-seat to Triomphe Dunharas and driver/trainer Denis Gueriel and then burst to the lead after the opening quarter mile in :28. Once on top there was no looking back for Only For Justice, as Brosseau kept his colt easily on the lead, holding the field at bay to the half mile in :59 and the three-quarters in 1:28.4. In the stretch, Only For Justice kept on trotting to win with ease by five open lengths in 1:57.4. Cesar Duharas (Pascal Berube) closed to be second with Triomphe Dunharas third. Sired by Justice Hall, it was the second win in five starts for trainer Dany Fontaine and the Gaetan Bono Stable of Montreal, who also bred Justice Hall. He paid just $2.10 to win and is now a career winner of $146,469C. In the eighth and final race on the program, G A Speed Sammy and driver Stephane Gendron wore down Maracasso (Carol Voyer) in the stretch and posted a 1:54.1 lifetime mark. That mile tied G S Speed Sammy with Atomic Million AM as the co-fastest winners at H3R this season. G A Speed Sammy posted his sixth win in eight starts this year for Yves Tessier and owner-breed Alain Carrier of St-Henri-De-Levis and paid $4.20 to win. Track Notes: Two drivers, Pascal Berube and Stephane Gendron each had driving doubles Friday. On Saturday, the Quebec Jockey Club hosts the Quebec Regional Fair which will feature a family fun day at the track with 13 races beginning at 1:00 pm. Special activities on Saturday for the race fans include drawings for rides in a two-seat sulky on the racetrack, rides in the starting gate, plus drawings for dining-room packages and betting vouchers. There will be a live horse on display at the entrance to the track for fans to take photos with and specially for the children there will be balloon sculptors and face painting, etc. And all the events are FREE for the patrons. In addition to the live racing, the track will also have a special Monte Race (racing under saddle) with trotters. The Quebec-Bred Series for older horses culminates on Sunday with four $30,000C final for the trotters and pacers plus the opening round of the $470,000C Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacers. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - For the past 25 years, Pascal Berube and Isabelle Binet work side-by-side in their barn, Pascal does the driving and Isabelle the training for their harness racing stable. One of the stars of the stable is stakes champion Holiday Party, who headlines the 8th race Preferred-Handicap Trot at the Hippodrome 3R Friday evening. "Holiday feels really good this season," Berube said. "He was turned out for a while this winter and now he looks in peak form and ready to go." In three start this season, Holiday Party has a third place, second place and last week a victory in the top class at the Hippodrome 3R. That victory was an easy one for Berube, as the duo left from post five, went right to the lead and never looked back, breeze to the wire by three and one-half lengths in 2:00. When asked about the race on Friday, Berube said. "I worry a little about Talbotcreek Suzie (post 7). She shows very fast speed and may be perfect for a half mile track like Trois-Rivieres. Also, in the well-matched field is the great closer, Rocky Boy (post 8), Rideau Carleton invader, Wings Of Ballykeel and the 2019 debut of Denitza Petrova's Kinnder Dangerous. At age three, Holiday Party was a terror on the racetrack. He totally dominated the three-year-old trotting ranks. At one point he was on a six-race winning streak, mostly with Berube doing the driving. In the $65,000C Breeders Cup Final that season, not only did Holiday Party win with Berube driving, but they set the track record with a 1:58.2 triumph. Holiday Party has come a long way considering he made eight starts at age 2 and had no wins that first season of racing. He now sports career earnings of $191,000C for the Holiday Party Stable of Portneuf. As for Berube and Binet, they have a very exciting summer season ahead of them with a stable full of promising racehorses. They are also very proud of their 21-year-old son, Olivier, who is a promising hockey star. Pascal loves hockey and plays whenever he gets spare time and is a very good goalie. Earlier on the program, in the fifth race, the undefeated and winningest horse this season at the Hippodrome 3R, Sultan D Or, goes for his fourth straight victory in 2019. The ten-year-old gelded son of Newtown starts from post two for driver Jocelyn Gendron. Racing from both on and off the pace, Sultan D Or has returned this year in good form for owner/trainer Pierre Turcotte of Trois-Rivieres. Post time Friday night is at 7:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

JULY 18, 2018 - Grand River Raceway hosted its first Ontario Sires Stakes event of the season on Wednesday evening and local drivers Bob McClure and Doug McNair swept six of the nine Gold and Grassroots divisions. McClure teamed up with trainer Keith Jones of Barrie and owner Douglas McCarthy of Holland Landing, Ontario to sweep both of the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding Gold divisions. In the first $94,800 split McClure left strongly from Post 3 with Henderson Seelster and settled the colt in second as Sicario sprinted out to a :28 quarter, :58.3 half and 1:28.1 three-quarters. In the stretch McClure sent Henderson Seelster around the tiring pacesetter and the colt powered home to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:57.2. Heavy favourite Run Director was second and Barney Mac rounded out the top three. "Both of Keith's are really good on a half, he has them set up and good gaited, so half-miles are an advantage to those two for sure," noted McClure. "Henderson can get a bit hot, so the pace didn't slow down very much and when he got out, he really exploded out of the hole, I didn't expect it, but he raced super. I was really happy with him." Henderson Seelster did not race in the Ontario Sires Stakes as a two-year-old, but in three sophomore starts at the Gold Series level the son of Holiday Road has now tallied one seventh, one third and one win. Wednesday's triumph boosted the trotter's lifetime earnings to $102,454. The second $95,600 Gold division saw McClure fire Joey Bats out of Post 6 and control the tempo, laying down fractions of :28.3, 1:00 and 1:29.2 on the way to a two length victory in 1:58. Fan favourite Stormont Ventnor was second and Winning American finished third. "He's a really nice horse to drive," said McClure. "At Woodbine Mohawk (Park), the stretch sometimes gets a little long for him, but he's really good gaited and he's really manageable and, like I say, he gets around a half like a hoop on a barrel, so I expected him to race good today and he did, we were really moving going into that last turn. "He got cheap fractions, which didn't hurt, but he did race really well," the Elora resident added. "Once he got the half in a minute I figured they'd have to do some racing to catch him." Like his stablemate, Holiday Road gelding Joey Bats did not race in the Ontario Sires Stakes last season, but he now has one win, one third and one seventh to his credit through three Gold Series appearances this season, boosting his earnings to $107,140. McClure completed the Ontario Sires Stakes hat trick in the fifth $18,450 two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots division, guiding Royalty Again to her first lifetime win in a 1:59.2 clocking. Favourite Rella Tivity was one-half length back in second and Sugar Shadow, driven by Doug McNair, was third. "She had a lot of racing luck which never hurts," admitted McClure. "It couldn't have worked out any better for her, but when she did get room she paced forward, so you can't knock her, she won." McClure crafted the victory for trainer Leon Mansfield and Antonia Smith of Strathroy, Ontario, who offered up $6,000 for the Royal Mattjesty daughter at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. McNair collected his three Ontario Sires Stakes wins in the Grassroots divisions, guiding Bens Jenna, Kylie Seelster and Sports Flix to victory in the first, sixth and seventh splits. Bens Jenna recorded the quickest mile of the seven divisions, hitting the wire in 1:57.1, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Ideation Hanover and Paris Rose. Ron Adams of LaSalle conditions the Mach Three daughter for David Kryway of Amherstburg and 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, Ontario, who acquired the filly for $16,000 from the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Kylie Seelster paced home in the second fastest time, fighting off a top-of-the-stretch challenge from Whitehaven Beach to reach the wire two lengths the best in 1:57.4. Favourite Whitehaven Beach settled for second and Karans Choice was third. Gregg McNair of Guelph trains Kylie Seelster for his partner Keith Waples of Puslinch and Dr. Chris Robson of London, Ontario. The trio purchased the filly from the London Selected Yearling Sale last fall for $44,000. "The first filly is a handy little filly and she raced good, that was a good trip," said Doug McNair about Bens Jenna. "The second filly (Kylie Seelster) raced tough. She's been off a couple of weeks, so it was another impressive mile tonight." One race later the McNairs returned to the winner's circle with Sports Flix, who paced home one and one-half lengths ahead of favourite Lady Maya and Southwind Thundra, driven by McClure, in 2:00.3. James Fraleigh of Dresden, Ontario owns the daughter of Sportswriter and $1.3 million winner Moving Pictures, offering up $13,000 for her at the London Selected Yearling Sale. "She's been getting better since her first qualifier (June 29) and she got a good trip tonight," said McNair. "They didn't go as much as the rest, but she got the job done." The other three Grassroots divisions went to Better Now in 1:59.1, Jessicas Legacy in 1:58 and Twin B Friendly in 1:58.3. Heading into the evening's final race, a preferred trot, tied with three wins each, McNair and McClure put on a show for Grand River fans. First and second turning for home, McClure urged favourite Katch Kanna home to a one length victory in 1:59, leaving McNair to settle for second with pacesetter Spartan Victory. "Me and Dougie both had three going into the last. He cut the mile and I got by him late, and I was doing some chirping, I think," said McClure with a chuckle. The two-year-old pacing fillies make their third Grassroots start on August 20 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, while the three-year-old trotting colts will make their fourth Gold Series appearance on August 26 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. Grand River Raceway's second Ontario Sires Stakes event is on Monday, August 6, when the third three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots event will be part of the Elora oval's annual Industry Day celebration. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 1, 2018 - A steamy afternoon at Dresden Raceway's annual Canada Day celebration resulted in a track record equaling performance from three-year-old trotter Sicario in the first of two $18,800 Grassroots divisions. Starting from Post 1, Sicario and driver Stephen Byron never saw another horse as they rocketed along on the front end. Posting fractions of :29.1, :59.1 and 1:30, the fan favourites cruised home eight length winners in 1:59.3, equaling the record set by Starsel in a 2006 Grassroots event. Daylon Phantom overcame an early mistake to finish second and Road Tripper was third. "I didn't know (about the record) until they announced that after, but he did it very easy," said Byron. "He is good on a half, that's for sure, he trots a turn very well. Where some of them might have to be a little more careful, he can zip around them." Byron piloted Sicario to his second-straight Grassroots victory for trainer John Bax, whose Bax Stable of Campbellville shares ownership of the gelding with breeder Dave Hudson of Dallas, Texas. The son of Holiday Road and $1.04 million winner Gypsy Balance now has a record of six wins and two seconds in 15 sophomore starts for earnings of $53,400. The thermometer read 33 degrees Celsius when Sicario and his peers went to post in the fourth race and Byron said keeping the horses cool was a full-time job. "It was pretty hot on them. Matt (Bax) was just throwing cold water on them to keep them cool," said the reinsman. "Now we'll get them home where they can relax." Byron also drove Bax trainee Delcrest Holiday in the second Grassroots division, finishing a hard-closing third after a little bobble heading toward the quarter-mile marker. "(We were) going to be three-wide in the first turn so I waited, and then when I was in a spot where I had to drive on a bit he kind of ran in on me, so I had to check him, and then he just got a little bent on me," explained the Thornton, Ontario resident. "After that he was fine. He still raced well, we were happy with him." Delcrest Holiday finished behind Leaderofthepack and Edstone in the second Grassroots division, which saw Ryan Holliday emulate Byron's front-end tactics with Leaderofthepack. Powering away from Post 5, Holliday and Leaderofthepack rang up fractions of :29.1, :59.1 and 1:30.2 on their way to a five length victory in 2:00.2. "He's handy off the wings so he'd benefit on a racetrack like this where a few others wouldn't," said Holliday of the fan favourite. "He's pretty sure footed, knock on wood." A two-time Grassroots winner last season, Sunday's victory was Leaderofthepack's first on the sophomore Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. David and Ben Holliday of Mount Forest, Ontario own and train the Angus Hall son, who boosted his three-year-old record to two wins, three seconds and one third in seven starts for earnings of $22,070. The Holliday's helped Leaderofthepack cope with the heat by adding a fan to the list of equipment that usually accompanies the gelding to each race. "We brought a fan down and hooked it up and had that blowing on him all day," said Holliday, who also makes his home in Mount Forest. "I said to my brother Ben, who is with me here, that he actually didn't feel that good today in the race, he just felt a little dull, but he said he was like that warming up. He can sometimes be a bit of a handful, but today I think he was feeling the heat, just like the other seven or eight were. He'll get a couple days rest now to get over it." With two victories Sicario sits atop the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding standings with a total of 100 Grassroots points. With one win and one third-place result Leaderofthepack and Delcrest Holiday are tied for second with 62 points. All three colts will be looking to pad their totals when they meet up in the third Grassroots leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 19. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The trotters own the spotlight at the Hippodrome 3R Tuesday evening with the opening round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-olds. There are two divisions, one each for mares and horses. After three weeks of preliminary competition, the top eight point earners in the series will come back on Thursday, August 9 for the $30,000 finals. The mares are up first in the third race where Y S Suzanne, who was the Future Stars Champion at age 2, comes home to H3R from Rideau Carleton Raceway. In her last start, the five-year-old mare by Angus Hall crushed the field by nine and one-quarter lengths in 1:56.3. She has three wins this season and will start from post two for driver Guy Gagnon. HP Run Like Mom also has three wins this season, all at H3R, the fastest a 2:01.1 score. She goes from post three for driver Stephane Brosseau. Other contenders include Lucky Promesses (post five), EAU Naturelle (post one) and Vanilla Star (post four). A classic rivalry continues in the seventh horse division as Holiday Party again takes on Kinnder Dangerous and Capteur De Reve. These three have gone head to head the last tw three fo weeks with Holiday Party and Kinnder Dangerous scoring wins while Capteur De Rene, last year's three-year-old champion, finally draws a decent post five after having the eight-hole last two starts. Holiday Party comes into the race off a 1:59.1 triumph. The son of Holiday Road is now 5 and two years back from the Breeder's Cup champion at age three. He will start from post three for driver Pascal Berube. Kinnder Dangerous goes from post six for driver Justin Filion. He was a winner two starts back in 1:59.1 and was second last week to Holiday Party. Capteur De Reve will be driven by Pierre Luc Roy and should show vast improvement from his last two starts with a much better post position. Capteur De Reve was last year's three-year-old champion. Other contenders include Majesti Sweetson (post one), Orly's Dream (post two) and Sometimes When (post four). Post time Tuesday is 6:30 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

TROIS-RIVIERES, QC - Holiday Party and driver Francis Picard brought plenty of cheer to those who supported him at the betting windows Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R as the 13-1 harness racing long shot upset the field in the Invitational-Handicap Trot. The sixth race feature began with the race favorite, Kinnder Dangerous and driver Justin Filion, outdueling Caroluzzo (Stephane Gendron) for the early lead by the opening quarter mile in :28.3. Filion then led the field to the half mile marker in :59 with Kinnder Dangerous as Torches Angel (Jocelyn Gendron) came first-over to challenge with Holiday Party grabbing the second-over cover. They raced down the backstretch the final time with Torches Angel unable to gain ground on the outside against Kinnder Dangerous as they past the three-quarters in 1:29. Then on the final turn was when Picard made his big move with Holiday Park, sweeping three-wide and gaining ground on Kinnder Dangerous as Caroluzzo also found clearance as Torches Angel began to fade and he moved into the mix. The race belonged to Holiday Party as he has good momentum and went on to beat Kinnder Dangerous by one length in 1:59.1. Caroluzzo was third. It was the second victory in nine starts this year for Holiday Party. The five-year-old gelded son of Holiday Road is trained by Isabelle Binet for the Holiday Party Stable of Portneuf and paid $29.20 to win. Track Notes: In the second race pace, Flames Of Sport was making his racing debut from the rail for owner, trainer and driver, David Pilon of Berthierville. The three-year-old colt by Sportswriter went off-stride at the start, spotting the field some lengths from last place. He then was not only able to regroup and catch the field in ninth place, but Pilon took him three-wide going into the backstretch from eighth place and was able to loop the entire field, collar pacesetter and race favorite Hercule J M (Carl Duguay) and beat him to the wire to win by three-quarters of a length and pay $9.20 to win. Both Stephane Brosseau and Francis Picard had driving doubles on the program. Wildriverbumblebee, the 2017 Quebec Champion three-year-old, won his second qualifier at H3R Saturday in 158.1 for breeder, owner and trainer Dr. John Bradbury. Live racing resumes Tuesday night at H3R with first race post time at 6:30 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

JULY 8, 2017 - Driver Stephen Byron and trainer John Bax teamed up for one win and one second in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots opener for the two-year-old trotting colts at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening. The pair captured the second $18,450 Grassroots division with Delcrest Holiday, who toured the Innisfil oval in 2:03.1. Starting from Post 4 Byron eased the novice trotter off the gate and settled in fourth as Smart Pick took the field to a :31 quarter. Heading for the 1:03.2 half Delcrest Holiday was challenging for the lead and once he reached the front Byron was able to set the cruise control, reaching the three-quarters in 1:33.3 and sailing home a three and one-half length winner. Smart Pick settled for second and Audacious closed to be third. "It was his first start," said Byron of Delcrest Holiday. "They really like the colt, he'd qualified real well, and he did everything right again tonight, so hopefully he keeps going. "He's got some natural speed, he should get better," the Thornton, ON resident added. Trainer Bax shares ownership of Delcrest Holiday with Gaelic Stable of Sharon and Ken Bax of Cavan Monaghan, ON. The trio acquired the son of Holiday Road and Northern Kitti from the 2016 Canadian Yearling Sale for a modest $9,000 after the colt impressed Bax in the paddock at breeder Doug Delaney's Acton, ON farm last summer. "I went out to Doug Delaney's farm and he turned him out - and Doug's on a pretty hilly property - and he just trotted up and down the hill and I said, wow I've got to have him," recalled Bax. "And I actually, I raced the second dam (Northern Fuchsia). Anyway, I didn't mind the family, I knew the family, and I don't mind Holiday Road, I've had a little success with them, and I just liked the way he carried himself. I was shocked that I got him for $9,000. "Doug was here tonight too," Bax continued. "It was really good to see him, his wife (Betty) just passed away a few weeks ago, and so it was a nice thing for him." Both breeder and owners will be hoping Delcrest Holiday can replicate Saturday's solid effort when the two-year-old trotting colts head to Mohawk Racetrack for their second Grassroots event on July 18. Bax and Byron will also be hoping for another solid effort from Chief Justice, who stayed on task as two-thirds of the first division field self-destructed and trotted home to the runner-up's share of the $18,100 purse. Jula Downton took the victor's spoils, reaching the wire 10 lengths ahead of Chief Justice in 2:02.4. Spin the Vinyl recovered from a break near the mid-way point to finish third. "He stayed trotting so he picked up a second. It was a good night," said Campbellville, ON resident Bax about Chief Justice, who is owned by Midnight Sun Partners Inc. of Delray Beach, FL. Like Delcrest Holiday, Jula Downton was making his first lifetime start after a single qualifier and the son of Kadabra and $225,757 winner Abbey Craig was flawless for trainer-driver Per Henriksen of Norwood, ON. Henriksen conditions the colt for Jula Racing Inc. of Delray Beach, FL, who offered up $30,000 for the trotter at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Georgian Downs on Sunday, July 9 as the Innisfil oval hosts the Gold Series debut for both the two-year-old trotting colts and the two-year-old pacing fillies. The trotting colts will test their skills in Races 5 and 9, while the fillies compete in Race 7. Post time for Sunday's program is 6 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, July 2, 2017 - A pair of second-tier harness racing starters decided the issue Sunday afternoon (July 2nd), with Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett, $6.20) edging Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno) in en route to winning Yonkers Raceway's $68,000 Open Handicap Trot. Hemi Seelster, as the wagering choice, employed the sane out-every-step tact that Rubber Duck used a couple of weeks ago. From post position No. 10, he floated out seventh while Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton) and DW's NY Yank (George Brennan) took turns leading the dozen. The latter rated at cheaply (:28, :58, 1:28, 1:57) while 'Hemi' methodically moved up outside. 'DW' owned a half-length lead into the lane, but was about to give way. Hemi Seelster went by, holding off Rubber Duck-who gapped a bit down the backside-by a head in 2:25.4 for the mile-and-a-quarter distance. The smaller envelopes went to DW's NY Yank, Springbank Sam N and Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer). For Hemi Seelster, a 5-year-old Holiday Road gelding co-owned by Howard Taylor & Abraham Basen and trained by Richard Banca, it was his fifth win in a 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $66.50, the triple returned $404.50 and the superfecta paid $4,957. Hemi Seelster Prime Power N impressive in debut Prime Power N was flawless in his North American debut winning easily in 2:27 for the mile and a quarter. Rick Dane Jr trains and Jordan Stratton drove the winner of 16 races Down Under.  Prime Power N The latest installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 7-Splash of Sass (Belmont's 3rd race) and 5-Brando's Muscle Man (Yonkers' 7th race) paid $13.20 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $3,681. A reminder that live racing returns Friday night (July 7th) at the evening post time of 7:10 PM Frank Drucker

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Harness racing driver Stephane Gendron reached a major milestone in his career, scoring his 4,000th career win in the sixth race at the Hippodrome 3R Tuesday evening. Gendron, 47, of Quebec City, first started driving professionally back in 1989, scoring just 11 wins that first season. His milestone victory came aboard Y S Suzanne in a division of the second round of the $100,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters. The 6th race first saw Double Chance and driver Jocelyn Gendron shoot to the early lead from post two, but that lead was short lived by the opening quarter mile as Stephane Gendron had Y S Suzanne, the 2/5 morning line favorite, on the move and soon on the lead. From that point, Y S Suzanne and Gendron held command, despite a game first-over effort after the half mile marker and through the backstretch by Y A Jailhouse Jody ((Guy Gagnon). Coming down the stretch, Gendron and Y S Suzanne were able to hold on to the finish wire, winning by a quarter of a length in 2:01.1 over a late closing Artemis Dunharas (Raymond Gingras) with Double Chance third. Owned and trained by Carly Duguay, it was the fourth straight win and fifth victory on the year for Y S Suzanne. The four-year-old mare by Angus Hall paid $2.80 to win. "I was a little worried as my mare she was not feeling so strong tonight as she usually is," Gendron explained. "I thought that maybe the other mare (Artemis Dunharas) that she beat me, but we were ok. "I am very happy winning my 4,000th race," Gendron said. "It means a lot to me. I do not drive regular around the circuit anymore. I pretty much stay at the Hippodrome 3R, but it is nice to have achieved so many wins. Feels really good." For his career, Stephane Gendron has started in 22,518 races with 4,000 wins, 3,299 second place and 2,876 third place finishes. The horses he has driven have won $13,602,638. An upset took place in the 4th race Quebec-Bred Series for horses as the 1/9 favorite and track record holder, Wildwild Men, went off-stride at the start of the race. His stablemate and full brother, Seeyou Men (Guy Gagnon) took the early lead with KFB Amigo Cool (Stephane Brosseau) sitting second until the half mile when 5-1 Holiday Party and driver Pascal Berube came first-over to challenge and take commend in the backstretch. Wildwild Men and driver Robert Shepherd recovered and caught the field, but it was too late as Holiday Party held on to win by a half-length with Wildwild Men second and KFB Amigo Cool third. The time of the one mile race was 1:59.1. For Holiday Party, a $105,000 winner last year at age three, who set the track record for his age and gait at H3R in being the Sire Stakes Champion, it was his first win in 2017 after three starts. Sired by Holiday Road, Holiday Party is trained by Dany Fontaine for the Gaetan Bono Stable of Montreal. He paid $12.40 to win. TRACK NOTES: Driver Pascal Berube had the hot hands Tuesday, winning three races on the program. Racetrack superintendent at H3R, Sylvain Blais, who had the track surface in prime shape Sunday, saw three horses take lifetime marks also on Tuesdays program. Next Sunday, the Quebec Jockey Club will host the $30,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacing mares and horses. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

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