Stakes-placed Gural Hanover ($2.80, part of entry) made his return to the races a triumphant one in the $25,000 Open Handicap Trot, and all-sources handle topped $3 million for the eighth consecutive harness racing card on Friday (February 26) evening at The Meadowlands. Having drawn the outside post in the field of eight, Gural Hanover took no part in the early pace, retreating to seventh as last week's Open winner Crosbys Clam Bake (Scott Zeron) sprinted to a :27.2 initial quarter before ceding the lead to Can Do (Anthony Napolitano). Midway on the backstretch, Yannick Gingras floated the 5-year-old Crazed gelding off the pegs, latching onto the live cover of B Yoyo (Joe Bongiorno) through a :55.2 half and slipstreaming a pressured third quarter before swinging three-wide off a stalled B Yoyo a quarter from home. Gural Hanover kicked clear in upper stretch as the pacesetters faded, holding sway in the end by a driven half-length in 1:54.4 over entrymates Bourbon Bay (Corey Callahan), who charged willingly down the grandstand side after being shuffled to last, and Opulent Yankee (Andy Miller), who negotiated traffic to stay on. Ron Burke trains Gural Hanover for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Little E, LLC, and the Panhellenic Stable. Burke and Gingras teamed up as well in the sub-featured $15,500 upper-level trot, as Its Huw You Know turned in a 19-1 upset in 1:54.2, kicking third-over cover to pass even-money favorite Dewycolorintheline and chase down pacesetter Hot Type in the final yards. The Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi co-own the 4-year-old Holiday Road gelding. The evening's top distaff event--a $15,000 top-level conditioned pace--went to Clear View Hanover ($7.80), a pillar-to-post winner in 1:51.4 who battled gamely to stave off a vicious first-over press from Gweneeee J. Tim Tetrick drove the 7-year-old Western Ideal mare for trainer Henrik Lundell and owners Joie de Vie Farm and Guidetti Racing. Anthony Napolitano led all drivers with four wins on the card, while Tetrick and Corey Callahan took three races apiece. Punters combined to wager $3,245,266 on the 14-race card, carrying the streak of Meadowlands programs exceeding $3 million in turnover to eight. Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Saturday (February 27) evening, with over $113,300 in combined Jackpot High 5 carryovers and $105,000 in guaranteed Pick 4 and Pick 5 pools. Additionally, four seats for the World Harness Handicapping Championship are up for grabs in a live-bankroll qualifier on-track tomorrow (the entry fee is $400, including a $200 contest bankroll). Post time for the 14-race program is 6:35 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations
TORONTO, November 21 – Ontario three-year-old harness racing colts and geldings kicked off their Autumn Series with four divisions Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A total of 18 pacers and 20 trotters made up four $18,000 round one divisions. Mach On The Beach kicked off the night with a 1:52.2 victory in the first pacing division. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Mach On The Beach flashed early speed aiming for the front, while Twin B Sportsman was pacing hard early looking for the lead. Mach On The Beach got to the pylons first and Filion opted to stretch Twin B Sportsman out by the opening-quarter in :26.2. Filion eventually released the challenger at the top of the backstretch. After a half of :55.1, Mach On The Beach came to the outside and surged by Twin B Sportsman to take the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1. In the stretch, Mach On The Beach left his rivals in his dust and paced away to an easy-looking four-length victory. The Rock finished up with a strong final-quarter to come from eighth to finish second. Sports Lightning finished third, while Windsong Lightning was fourth. A son of Mach Three, Mach On The Beach is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. The sophomore gelding now has seven wins from 24 starts in his first season of racing. Mach On The Beach pushed his earnings to over $60,000 with the victory Saturday, while also lowering his career-mark by more than two-seconds. The Moreau trainee paid $3.90 to win. Mach On The Beach In the second division, Cajon Lightning came first up to win in 1:52.4. Driven by Mike Saftic, Cajon Lightning got away fifth in the early stages, while Doctor Royal and Major Dan took turns on the lead through panels of :26.1 and :56.1. Saftic sent Cajon Lightning first up around the final turn and the even-money favourite was second and less than two-lengths from the front at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Cajon Lightning powered by Doctor Royal and paced home strong in :27.2 for a length and a half victory. Jack Reacher finished second, while Naturescape finished third just ahead of Doctor Royal. Another son of Mach Three, Cajon Lightning is trained by Scott Bell for owner John Taylor. Saturday’s victory was the third from 16 starts this season for the gelding. Cajon Lightning has now earned over $48,000 in his first season of racing. The clocking of 1:52.4 matched his career-mark taken October 12 at Woodbine. Cajon Lightning paid $4.10 to win. Cajon Lightning On the trotting side, Stormont Wizard took the first division in 1:56.1 at odds of 3/5. Driven by James MacDonald, Stormont Wizard trotted out strongly to grab command at the opening-quarter in :28. Down the backstretch, Win The Day came first up from fifth at the half to challenge the leader. MacDonald kept his trotter moving well and turned aside the first-over challenger to lead the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:26.1. In the stretch, Stormont Wizard sealed the deal with a :30 final-quarter to score a two and a quarter length victory. P L Icabod finished second, while Lmc Mass Oak was third. Win The Day rounded out the Superfecta in fourth. A son of Kadabra, Stormont Wizard is trained by Kevin Benn for Stormont Meadows. The sophomore gelding now has two wins in 12 starts this season. Last year, Stormont Wizard scored a single victory in seven starts, while hitting the board five-times. The Benn trainee has banked over $48,000 this season and $74,000 lifetime. Stormont Wizard paid $3.40 to win. Stormont Wizard Love Hunter turned a two-hole trip into a victory in the second trotting division. The Nick Gallucci trainee left quickly for driver Trevor Henry to challenge for the lead, however Gronk, the even-money favourite, pushed forward for the lead and forced Henry into the pocket. After setting fractions of :26.4, :57.3 and 1:27.1, Gronk carried the lead into the lane with Love Hunter on his back. In the stretch, Love Hunter came to the outside and waged war with Gronk, eventually edging by in deep stretch to win by half a length in 1:57. Freddie closed with good speed for third, while Thoughtful Leader was fourth. A son of Holiday Road, Love Hunter entered Saturday’s contest with one win in 10 starts this season. The Autumn Series division victory pushes the gelding’s earnings in 2015 to over $34,000. Love Hunter paid $12.20 to win. Love Hunter In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-olds had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2015 as of September 30, 2015. The second round of the Autumn Series for the colts and geldings will take place next Saturday (November 28).
Local filly Hape earned her second Grassroots trophy at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening, making up for the aggravation she caused trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev prior to the race. "She's not fun to be around all week and warming up - she kicks and pulls and grabs on - but you get in a race, she's pretty nice to drive in a race," said the Moffat resident. "Once you get her warmed up she forgets about kicking and thinks about racing." Starting from the outside Post 8 in the fifth $18,000 division, Moiseyev eased Hape away from the starting gate and the pair was sitting in the outer lane in sixth when Pointe Of Inquiry reached the :28.2 opening quarter. Fan favourite Renegade Magic took command before the :57.1 half while Moiseyev and Hape continued to watch from sixth, but heading by the 1:26.3 three-quarters Moiseyev sent the filly out three-wide and started to reel in the leaders. At the top of the stretch Hape had advanced to within two lengths of Renegade Magic, but when she straightened out Moiseyev was able to find an even bigger gear and the filly rocketed down the stretch to a two and one-half length win in 1:56.4. Division point leader Renegade Magic had to settle for second, with Pointe Of Inquiry third. "She raced real good last week too. She's very finicky, you've got to let her do what she wants and at the end she knows what to do, she takes off at the end there," said Moiseyev, who conditions the Pilgrims Taj daughter for Joanne Colville of Moffat and Nancy MacNevin of Essex, ON. "Once she straightens up she kind of takes off." In an overnight event at Mohawk on Aug. 18, the top three fillies from Tuesday's fifth Grassroots division finished in reverse order, with Pointe Of Inquiry getting the win, Renegade Magic second and Hape third. Through 14 starts this season Hape has tallied five wins, two seconds, one third and $55,750. Tuesday's win bumped the filly's Grassroots point tally to 126, virtually assuring her of a berth in the Sept. 18 Semi-final. Hape The top 20 point earners after six regular season events qualify for the Semi-final, with the top five finishers from each Semi-final returning to Mohawk to compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 26. The other four division winners also made considerable leaps up the point standings. Meadow Seelster captured the first division with a gate-to-wire effort that saw her cruise home one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Mass Rail and Oh My Magic in 1:56.2. Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON engineered the win for trainer Bill Budd of Waterdown, ON and owner William Dixon of Caledon, ON. The Holiday Road daughter was also a Grassroots winner at Georgian Downs on July 14 and currently has 112 points in the race toward a Semi-final berth. Giona scored her first Grassroots win in the second division, also controlling the tempo from start to finish. The Angus Hall miss and trainer-driver Wayne MacLean of Chelmsford, ON crossed the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of favourite Railee Priti and Roses In The Rain in 1:57.2 Jocelyne Menard of Chelmsford owns Giona, who jumped from 50 to 100 points with the win. In the third division, Allerage Star earned her first win of the season with a front-end effort that saw her sail under the wire three and one-half lengths ahead of Desis Dream and Summers Jewel in 1:56.1. The Angus Hall daughter was driven to the win by Guelph, ON resident Paul MacDonell. Howard Okukso Jr. of Vernon, NY conditions Allerage Star for Little E LLC of New York, NY, Arthur Geiger of Livingston, NJ, David Stolz of Columbus, OH and Jason Settlemoir of Cream Ridge, NJ. World Class Izzy and Mario Baillargeon of Milton, ON claimed the remaining Grassroots trophy with a come-from-behind effort that saw them sweep home to a three length win in 1:56.2 Flexceptional and Hope Rises completed the top three. The win was the first ever for World Class Izzy, who is trained by Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon for owner-breeders Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin. The victory boosted the Muscle Mass daughter's Grassroots point total to 86. The three-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their regular season at Hanover Raceway on Sept. 5. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday with a pair of $105,000 Gold divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing
Throughout his career Luck O The Irish has been a consistent player on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit, but the three-year-old trotting colt has recently found a new gear, posting his third straight victory and his first Gold Series win of the season at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday. "I'll tell you what it is, he's a big-strided colt and he's finally developed power to drive his stride," said trainer Tom Durand of the colt's win streak. "He always had the big stride, but he just couldn't power it, and it's just like all of a sudden it kind of clicked." "The combination of that and starting to race him a little more aggressively, once he saw the front end there a few starts ago he kind of woke up," added the Puslinch, ON resident, who trains the colt for his wife June Durand. Luck O The Irish found the winner's circle for the first time this season off a front-end effort in a July 28 non-winners of two races contest at Mohawk, stopping the teletimer at 1:55.2. Two weeks later he lowered his personal best to 1:54.4, winning a three-year-old conditioned event crowded with his Gold Series peers. On Monday, starting from Post 5 in the second $70,000 Gold division, driver Sylvain Filion powered the colt off the gate and landed in third on the rail. Rubber Duck rang up the :27 opening quarter, but he was not in charge for long as Milton, ON resident Filion moved Luck O The Irish to the front. The fan favourites led the field to a :55.4 half and a 1:25.4 three-quarters and then Luck O The Irish demonstrated some grit, holding off the pocket-sitting Rubber Duck to record a quarter length victory in a personal best 1:53.3. Boli finished well behind the leaders in third. "His form's coming really good, a new lifetime mark three weeks in a row now, so it probably won't happen again," said Durand with a chuckle. In 11 starts this season Luck O The Irish has tallied three wins, four seconds and one third for earnings of $80,040. At two the colt captured one Gold Leg, finished second three times and third once in nine starts, for earnings of $141,210. A homebred by Holiday Road and out of Kavita, the consistent youngster has become one of the Durand's favourites. "He was a very shy boy as a yearling, very shy." I wouldn't say nervous, but very shy." And I think for that reason I didn't have people begging to be partners on him." He didn't strike you as a brave horse that would be such a good racehorse," recalled the trainer. "Other than that he's been pretty straightforward." "He's kind of a dream horse in many ways, we kind of love him." Monday's win, added to the second, sixth and ninth Luck O The Irish posted in the first three Gold Legs, give the colt a total of 78 points and put him among the top 10 point earners with one regular season event remaining. Last year's division champion Dont Rush earned his second Gold trophy of the sophomore campaign with a three and one-half length triumph in Monday's first Gold division. The Infinitif colt lowered his personal best to 1:53.2 with the victory over Madman Hall and Olympic Son. Trainer-driver Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON shares ownership of Dont Rush with Greg Judson of Athens, ON. Through six starts this season the colt now has three wins and one third for earnings of $104,160, boosting his lifetime earnings to $401,145. With two wins and one fifth in Gold Series action, Dont Rush sits in second spot in the standings with 105 points. Eternal Quest leapt to top spot in the division standings with a 1:53.4 score in the final division. Sylvain Filion picked up his second Gold Series win, and fourth of the evening, steering Eternal Quest through deep stretch traffic to nab the neck victory over Covert Operative and Platoon Seelster. Guelph, ON resident Chad Milner conditions Eternal Quest for Murray Ferguson Jr. of Sutton West. In eight starts the Pilgrims Taj son has three wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $114,440. In four Ontario Sires Stakes appearances Eternal Quest has one Grassroots win, two Gold Series wins and one runner-up result in the Gold Series. He currently leads the division with 125 points. The three-year-old trotting colts wrap up their regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on September 28. The top 10 point earners from the regular season will return to the Campbellville oval for their $250,000 Super Final on October 10. Ontario Horse Racing
After having his early season derailed by allergies, two-year-old trotting colt Willyorwonthe finally found his way to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening. The colt and driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON fired away from Post 8 in the last $18,000 Grassroots division and reeled off fractions of :28.2, :59 and 1:30.1 before fending off a late challenge from The Land Shark and sailing under the wire a three-quarter length winner in 1:58.4. Sass was well behind the leaders in third. It was Willyorwonthe's first win since he turned heads with a 1:56.3 triumph in a two-year-old conditioned event at Mohawk on July 2, and the effort caused owner-trainer Bill Megens of Puslinch, ON to breathe a small sigh of relief. "He raced very good the first start," said Megens of the colt's July 2 debut. "He had a few problems with food allergies so the vet, after the first race, suggested I treat him for the allergies and it kind of back-fired, he was allergic to the treatment." Willyorwonthe broke out in a rash, his throat was inflamed and he developed a cough in response to the allergy treatment. In his first two Ontario Sires Stakes appearances, at the Gold Series level on July 13 and 21, he finished seventh and fourth without the finishing kick he had shown Megens all winter. "He'd been good all along and I couldn't figure out what the heck went wrong with him," said Megens, who learned that 30 per cent of horses have an adverse reaction to the allergy treatment. "Hopefully we've got that under control now. He's not allergic to dust or nothing, it's just some foods." Following Willyorwonthe's reaction to the allergy treatment, Megens reverted to the simple diet he had been feeding the son of Angus Hall and Mikestory since he was a foal. "No more sweet feed or any of the mixed feeds." "He's allergic to corn and soy beans both, so it makes it hard to get a feed that don't contain them, so I put him on straight oats," said the horseman, who bred both Willyorwonthe and his dam, $246,254 winner Mikestory. "When I trained him down he was on straight oats and he always was good, and then I tried to get him a little better feed and it didn't work." If Willyorwonthe continues to regain his health Megens will send him to Georgian Downs for the fourth Grassroots event on August 4, and a positive result there may see the young trotter take another run at the Gold Series colts. "Hopefully he'll stay healthy for a while," said the horseman. "We'll see after the next race, if he races well next time we'll probably try him in the Gold again." Local trotter Holiday Bro also captured his first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy on Tuesday. The son of Holiday Road and Armbro Xanadu circled out wide in the final quarter and sprinted down the stretch to a two length victory over favourite United BI and Muscle Time in 2:00.3 in the second division. "They were all hanging in the last turn, so I whipped out like 10-wide and let him trot," quipped Phil Hudon, who piloted Holiday Bro to the win for owner-trainer Ivan Gallant of Rockwood, ON. "I helped Ivan train him down and he's coming along nicely," added the Guelph, ON resident. "He's getting better every start and he's a quick learner." In his Grassroots debut, at Clinton Raceway on July 19, Holiday Bro finished second, so Tuesday's victory bumped his point tally to 75 and put him in fifth spot in the standings with three regular season events left on the two-year-old trotting colt calendar. Milton, ON resident Randy Waples won two Grassroots events, with Thee Desperado and Frankly Speaking. Starting from Post 5 in the first division, Thee Desperado recovered quickly from an early break in stride and then reeled in the leaders through the stretch to post a victory in his first lifetime start. Waples and the Manofmanymissions son hit the wire one-half length ahead of favourite Recreate and Romeo, stopping the teletimer at 1:58.3. Waples engineered the win for trainer Brent Belore of Embro, ON and owners Karen and Daniel MacIntyre of London, ON, Joshua McKibbin of Tillsonburg, ON and Nancy Newport of Ingersoll, ON. Lightly rated Frankly Speaking also used a come-from-behind move to post his first victory in the fifth division. The Angus Hall son bested Asterix and Clone The Tone by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.2. Waples piloted the colt for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and owners Frank Spagnolo of Potsdam, NY and Frank Schimizzi of Ottawa, ON. Georgies Pockets kept a neck in front of UF Musclemass Star to record his second straight Grassroots victory in the fourth split. The Muscle Mass son and driver Steve Condren hit the wire in 1:58.3. Cool Creek Victory rounded out the top three. Milton, ON resident Condren piloted the colt to his second win for trainer Melvin Turcotte of Coconut Creek, FL and owners M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. Georgies Pockets now shares top spot in the division standings with United BI. Windsun Missile captured the other Grassroots division with a 2:00 clocking for trainer-driver Per Henriksen . The duo bested JLs Bad Moon Risin and Welland Seelster. Henriksen trains the Kadabra colt for Steve Organ of Aurora, ON, Asa Farm of Norwood, ON and Darryl Drain of Tweed, ON. The two-year-old trotting colts make their fourth Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on August. 4, while their feminine peers arrive at Mohawk on Thursday evening for seven Grassroots divisions. The two-year-old trotting fillies are featured in Races 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, and 11 on the Thursday program, which gets under way at 7:25 pm. Ontario Horse Racing
Three months after moving to Campbellville after nearly 40 years in Peterborough, the veteran Ontario trainer’s Ontario-sired trotter Hemi Seelster pulled off a stunning 76-1 upset in the Goodtimes Stakes on the Pepsi North America Cup harness racing undercard. Pepsi North America Cup Night was surreal for John Bax of Campbellville on a number of fronts. Not only did his Ontario-sired pupil Hemi Seelster pull off a stunning 76-1 upset in the $233,000 final of the Goodtimes Stakes against top Grand Circuit horses, the veteran Ontario trainer then presented the trophy to himself. The Goodtimes, for sophomore trotting males, is named for Bax’s former trotting great, a longtime warrior in the open trot at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004 after earning more than $2 million on the track. Bax, 60, said he was numb as he headed for the winner’s circle on June 20 after the Goodtimes. “I just handed (the trophy) to my wife, Vicky. I was there to give it, so I certainly had no trouble standing on the other side and taking it,” Bax said, laughing. Adding to the surreal nature of the night, it took just five minutes for Bax to make the trip home after the races, rather than the usual two- or three-hour trek. In April, Bax moved to the site of the famed standardbred breeding outfit Glengate Farms in Campbellville that ceased breeding operations in 2005. Until April, Bax had been based in Peterborough for his entire 38-year training career — a stint in which he trained the winners of well more than $17 million (trainer records weren’t kept for the first 16 years of his career) and earned a berth in the Peterborough and District Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. “I drove a lot down the road, wore out a lot of trucks,” Bax said. “There were nights when I was heading home at midnight and they’ve got the 401 shut down in the middle of Toronto and you’re sitting there until 1:30 or 2 in the morning trying to get through and back home.” Needing to be up at the crack of dawn to train his stable compounded the wear and tear on the trainer. “I figured it out that if I was coming (to Mohawk) five days a week in the summer, that’s 20 hours plus (on the road),” Bax said. Bax said the move to the west side of Toronto, and closer to Ontario’s most lucrative tracks, only made sense because his 25-year-old son, Matt, is also a trainer. John also credits Matt for Hemi Seelster being in the Goodtimes in the first place. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t even realize at first that (Hemi Seelster) was in the Goodtimes. Matt slipped one by me. He was always high on him,” John said. “It’s his baby and he sometimes, in his youth, gets a little over-stimulated or high on a horse, whereas I’ve been down that road before.” Hemi Seelster, a son of Holiday Road out of Hollywood Beauty bred by Seelster Farms in Lucan, ON, was a $19,000 yearling purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale in London — the exact same price John paid for Goodtimes as a yearling in 1992. Hemi Seelster is owned by John, Matt, John Houston of Cobourg, ON and the Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough. John Bax pegged the gelding as more of an Ontario Sires Stakes horse than a top stakes horses. In against 1-5 favourite Canepa Hanover and 3-1 second choice French Laundry — both from the powerful Jimmy Takter stable — John said he was hoping for a fifth-place cheque with Hemi Seelster in the Goodtimes. But when Canepa Hanover and later French Laundry broke stride, John said he began counting horses in front of Hemi Seelster. “I really wasn’t paying so much attention to who was in front of us so much as the number there were… I don’t know if I breathed down the stretch,” John said. It was the first victory for Hemi Seelster in seven starts this year. All of this comes on the heels of one of John’s best years in the business. In 2014, John trained the winners of some $1.6 million. Two of John’s trainees — two-year-old trotting filly Stubborn Belle and three-year-old trotting filly Riveting Rosie — earned O’Brien Awards as the top horses in their division in Canada. Only 2001, when John earned some $1.85 million, won a Breeders Crown with Duke Of York at Woodbine and earned the O’Brien Award as Canada’s Trainer of the Year, was better, statistically, than last year. Beyond Goodtimes and Duke Of York ($900,000 lifetime), John has trained a long string of Ontario-sired trotting stars over his career, including: Define The World ($1.65 million), Charmed Life ($830,000), Northern Bailey ($775,000), Pepi Lavec ($650,000), Summer Indian ($435,000), Oaklea Odessa ($410,000), Oaklea Omega ($400,000), Elegant Supreme ($380,000) and Aimees Image ($230,000) Though Hemi Seelster is bound mostly for the Ontario Sires Stakes program this summer — of which John Bax is both a huge proponent and, historically, one of its most successful trainers — he said he might take a shot at the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks with Ontario-sired Stubborn Belle (Taurus Dream—Musetta Hanover) in August at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. He said he hopes Ontario-sired Riveting Rosie (Muscle Mass—Rose De Vie Stena) can overcome allergy issues in time to race in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine in October. For now, the trainer is happy to enjoy an easier commute, easy access to Mohawk Racetrack to train horses and Hemi Seelster’s surprising Goodtimes victory. “I suppose at the end of the day it makes that $1,000 or $2,000 entry fee a little more bearable. It gives you a little hope,” he said. Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Horse Racing email@example.com (519) 782-7178 Please visit: www.ontariohorseracing.ca
Doug McIntosh missed out on a piece of the eight-foot long cake, but the Wheatley resident still left the harness racing meeting at Dresden Raceway on Canada Day in a celebratory mood after Cincinnati Miss delivered an impressive victory in her $18,000 Grassroots division. "It's now one race at a time, but she kind of made us believers, and I'm very, very happy," said McIntosh. "It worked out great." Sent off as the narrow favourites over Allies Gift and Luc Ouellette, Cincinnati Miss and driver Trevor Henry sprinted away from Post 4 and took early control of the race. As the pair rolled through fractions of :29, :57.3 and 1:28 with Allies Gift tucked in behind them, McIntosh worried the tempo might be too quick, but Cincinnati Miss found another gear in the stretch and pulled away to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:58.2. "I was a little concerned that the fractions were pretty heavy," admitted McIntosh, who shares ownership of Cincinnati Miss with Ivey Pharm Stable of Cincinnati, Ohio. "But you know what, she made us proud in the stretch, she just dug in and got the job done, and within two-fifths (of a second) of the track record." The win improved the Kadabra daughter's sophomore record to two wins, two seconds and one third in five starts and boosted her season earnings to $25,160. The consistent young trotter will make her next start in the July 14 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs. "I can't say enough for Bob's team, they've done a great job," said McIntosh, who retired from training horses in the spring and handed care of Cincinnati Miss off to his brother Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON. "Daryl (Wayne) that looks after her is a very, very efficient groom, she's had a lot of experience and she knows what to do. She's very, very proud." McIntosh was also pleased to see the enthusiastic crowd gathered at Dresden Raceway to celebrate Canada Day and the Grassroots trotting fillies. In addition to Cincinnati Miss, the fans greeted six other fillies as they returned triumphant to the Dresden winner's circle. The aptly named Summers Jewel kicked things off with a 1:59.2 score in the first Grassroots division, circling out three-wide to claim a two length victory over Pointe Of Inquiry and JLs Too Hot Taj. Mario Baillargeon piloted the fan favourite to her first win of the season for his brother, trainer Benoit Baillargeon of Rockwood, ON, who also owns the daughter of Angus Hall. In the second division Hope Rises tracked down pacesetter Misslarissa heading for the three-quarters and accelerated away to a three and one-half length victory in 2:01. Fan favourite Lady Caterina settled for second, with Misslarissa hanging on for third. Sylvain Filion drove the Windsong Espoir daughter to her first win of the season for trainer Kelly Goodwin and owner-breeders Deborah Spike-Pierce of Lexington, KY and Madelon Spike of Jerome, MI. Local filly Judy The Beauty, owned by Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, had fans on their feet in the stretch of the third division, but finished one-quarter length behind winner Flexceptional in the 2:01 mile. Dave Tyrrell trains Flexceptional for Michael Casalino Jr. of Freehold, NJ and Anthony MacDonald piloted the Federal Flex daughter to the win. Tymal Fireitup rounded out the top three. La Bella Rosa's late sprint in the fourth division paid dividends, as she hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of Giona and fan favourite Kaddy. The Holiday Road filly gave driver Sylvain Filion his second win of the afternoon. Filion engineered the 1:59.4 win for trainer Reaume Bouvier and owners Bella Fortuna Stable of Laval, QC and Patricia McGuirl of Guelph, ON. Kadabra daughter Wing Flash displayed an impressive turn of foot in the fifth division, sailing along on the front end to a seven and one-half length victory in 1:58.2. Sheguindah and Stay In Touch completed the top three. Trainer-driver Wayne Henry of Arthur, ON shares ownership of Wing Flash with Daylon Farms of Komoka, ON. The final Grassroots division saw Trevor Henry make his second appearance in the Dresden winner's circle, guiding Muscle Mass daughter Sumthintotalkabout to a three and one-quarter length win for trainer Stephen Bossence of London, ON and his partner Stephen Palermo of Brampton, ON. Ill Stay Here and fan favourite Oh My Magic finished second and third in the 1:59.3 mile. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on July 14, with each of the Canada Day winners hoping to add a few more points to their total in pursuit of a berth in the post season. Ontario Horse Racing
JUNE 24, 2015 - Lets Be Honest battled in the Gold Series as a two-year-old, but Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon decided to start the trotter in the Grassroots this season and the decision proved a wise one as the harness racing gelding captured his first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday. Lets Be Honest and driver Mario Baillargeon of Milton, ON benefitted from Post 1 in the fifth Grassroots division and were able to sit behind pacesetter A Little More Love through fractions of :29.3, :59.4 and 1:29.4 before sneaking up the passing lane to a narrow victory. A Little More Love settled for second in the 2:00.2 mile, with Jayport All Muscle completing the top three. "He's coming along real nice," said trainer Baillargeon after the race. "He's got a little bit of talent, let's put it that way. I don't know if he'll be able to step back up to the Gold, we'll see as we go." The horseman conditions Lets Be Honest for Claude Gendreau Stb. Inc. of Buffalo Grove, IL. Through eight starts this year Lets Be Honest has tallied two wins, two seconds and two thirds for earnings of $20,318. Since finishing sixth in the Grassroots season opener on June 4, the Deweycheatumnhowe son has two wins and a third, all over Mohawk Racetrack. "So far he's done what we ask him to do," noted Baillargeon. "He's getting better every start." Baillargeon also picked up a runner-up cheque with Numbers Game in the fourth $18,000 division, while Century Behemoth made a break and finished sixth in the sixth heat. "I've got three or four (3-year-old trotting colts), they're mostly all Grassroots right now," added the trainer. "Hopefully one will step up to the Gold, but right now it's still too early." Unlike Lets Be Honest, Its Huw You Know was a regular on the Grassroots scene last year and the Holiday Road gelding picked up his second ever Grassroots trophy in the first division on Wednesday. Fan favourites Its Huw You Know and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON led from start to finish, sailing under the wire three and three-quarter lengths ahead of P L Intimidator and Mandeville. The 2:00.2 clocking shaved one-fifth of a second off the gelding's personal best. Conditioned by Keith Jones of Midland, ON for Douglas McCarthy of Holland Landing, ON, Its Huw You Know had been winless through eight starts prior to Wednesday's outing. The second Grassroots division also featured a tight finish as favourite Call Me Richard stuck a neck in front of pacesetter New Muscle AS at the wire. South Star finished third in the 1:58.2 mile. Guelph, ON resident Paul MacDonell engineered Call Me Richard's first sophomore victory for trainer Clare Bradshaw of Simcoe, ON and owner Andrea Arthur of Scotland, ON. At two the Muscle Mass colt was a three-time winner in the Grassroots program. Buzz scored his first ever victory in the third division, trotting home three and one-quarter lengths ahead of Easton Road and Innkeeper in 2:01.3. Sylvain Filion made his second appearance in the Grassroots winner's circle, guiding the Kadabra gelding home for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Top Dollar earned his second straight Grassroots victory with an impressive come-from-behind effort in the fourth split. Another son of Deweycheatumnhowe, Top Dollar sprinted from fifth at the top of the stretch to a three length victory over Baillargeon starter Numbers Game and Molon Lave, halting the teletimer at 2:00.1. Guelph, ON reinsman James MacDonald piloted Top Dollar to his third lifetime victory for trainer Ann Karin Larsen of Norwood, ON and her partners Steve Organ of Aurora, ON and Stig Westrum and Tor Jan Larsen of Norwood. Arthur, ON horseman Trevor Henry captured the sixth Grassroots trophy with lightly rated Delcrest Massy. The pair powered down the stretch to a 1:58.2 win over Tswalu and Irish Scotch. Henry was in the race bike on behalf of trainer Victor Puddy of Mountain, ON and owner Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, ON. The evening's final trophy went home with Windsor, ON resident Bob McIntosh, who will add it to the hardware Kadabrasnewrecruit earned in the Grassroots season opener. Driver Randy Waples of Milton, ON fired the Kadabra gelding straight to the front and the heavy favourites led through all stations on their way to a 1:59 victory. Ontheroad De Vie and Rebel Rebel rounded out the top three. McIntosh owns and trains Kadabrasnewrecruit, who boasts a record of two wins and two seconds in four sophomore starts for earnings of $27,250. After their second Grassroots victories, Top Dollar and Kadabrasnewrecruit share top spot in the standings with 100 points and will have an opportunity to add to their tally at Mohawk Racetrack on July 3. Rather than head to Mohawk, some of the three-year-old trotting colts may choose to return to Grand River Raceway when the Elora oval hosts the third Gold Series leg for the division on Wednesday, July 15. Ontario Horse Racing
The Canadian harness racing breeding industry had a stellar day yesterday at Mohawk with several of the day's features captured by stock sired by Canadian based stallions. Leading the way was the evergreen Mach Three who had a day to remember. His three year old daughter Wrangler Magic took out the $479,000 Fan Hanover in 1:50.2 and another daughter in Solar Sister flashed home late for an unlucky third in the same race. Physicallyinclined, a son of Mach Three who missed the North American Cup Final after having no luck in his division last week, showed he wouldn't have been out of it in the big dance when he easily won the $75,000 North American Cup consolation in a sharp 1:49 after starting from barrier eight. Mach Three progeny also won two other races on the undercard in a timely reminder to breeders of what a great stallion he is. The great trotting mare Bee A Magician was her old self once again, completely dominating the $272,000 Armbro Flight, clearing out for an easy victory in a smart 1:51.4. It was the daughter of Kadabra's 37th lifetime victory and took her earnings to $3,174,386 and it looks like there is plenty more to come. Another Canadian based sire to taste victory on the day was Shadow Play. His outstanding daughter Lady Shadow franked her good form this season with a dominant win in the $350,000 Roses Are Red in a very sharp 1:48.3 It was Lady Shadow's 14th career victory and took her earning to $692,679. The other highlight on the day for Canadian breeders was the victory by Hemi Seelster in the $233,000 Goodtimes Final for three year old trotters. A son of the first crop of the Ontario based sire Holiday Road 1:52.4 ($426,200), Hemi Seelster was aided by a couple of the favourites galloping but he still got the job done in 1:54 Those results yesterday at Mohawk were a timely to North American breeders that the Canadian based stallions can more than hold their own against all comers. Harnesslink Media
Campbellville, ON --- Hemi Seelster lit up the toteboard, upsetting at 76-1 odds after the heavily favored Canepa Hanover and French Laundry broke stride during this year’s edition of the C$233,000 Goodtimes final on Saturday evening (June 20) at Mohawk Raceway, part of the Pepsi North America Cup harness racing undercard. With the victory, it was an extra special night for the winning trainer John Bax. He not only conditions Hemi Seelster, but he was the trainer of the great trotter Goodtimes. Bax was already in the winner’s circle waiting to present the trophy to the winning connections, who happened to be him. “I am a little numb,” admitted Bax. “I always dreamed that I’d be able to give the trophy to myself and that was a little bit of a pipe dream. Yeah, this was quite a shock.” Hemi Seelster and driver Steve Byron’s trip to the winner’s circle started by getting away fifth as Rubber Duck bolted to the front in the early going. The 1-5 favorite Canepa Hanover made a bid for the lead as Rubber Duck posted the opening panel in :27. Jimmy Takter trainee Canepa Hanover broke stride just as he made the front so Rubber Duck was able to retain the lead. Covert Operative then vacated the pocket on the backstretch, passing his rival after a :57.3 half. The 5-2 second choice French Laundry, also trained by Takter, then took his turn for command, putting pressure on Covert Operative through the far turn. But French Laundry faltered as they passed the three-quarter marker in 1:25.4. Staying just off the constant action at the front, Hemi Seelster was fourth at the top of the stretch, surging past the pack with a :27.1 final quarter to score by 1-1/4 lengths over a late-closing The Bank in 1:54. Rubber Duck faded to third. "When (Canepa Hanover) made a break that sure helped, but I was just hoping to get a good trip and get away close and hopefully see what happens at the end of the mile and it worked out perfect," said Byron. "He's getting more manageable. He is a big strong horse and he showed he could compete tonight." The 3-year-old son of Holiday Road and Hollywood Beauty captured his first win in six starts this year, and his fourth career win in 16 outings. By winning the lion’s share of the purse, the brown gelding lifts his lifetime earnings to C$175,025 for Parkhill Stud Farm, Matthew Bax, John Houston, and Goin To The Show Stable. Hemi Seelster returned $155.10 and $110; there was no show wagering. from WEG Communications
WILKES-BARRE PA - JL Cruze was once again on "cruze"-control Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning his $15,000 division of the fourth and preliminary leg of the Bobby Weiss Series for male trotters in 1:52.4. JL and "JC" - Hall of Fame driver John Campbell - moved rapidly from fourth nearing the quarter to take over the lead from main challenger Opulent Yankee under the wire the first time, and the triumphant Crazed gelding was not threatened from there, sprinting home in 55.4 - 27.2 to keep the game Opulent Yankee 1¼ lengths at bay at the finish. JL Cruze, a winner of over $140,000 already this season, is now perfect in two Weiss starts for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr., and Steve Iaquinta, and already has 10 wins in but 12 seasonal starts. With no show wagering, JL Cruze attracted $8329 in a $9658 place pool, but the real value may have been the JL Cruze-Opulent Yankee exacta, which was a big overlay at $3.20. In the other Weiss section for this class, the Holiday Road colt Holiday My Way not only recorded his first Weiss score, but he also broke his maiden, and in fine fashion with a 1:56.2 personal mark. Trained by Shawn Simons and driven by his dad, "The Trot Man" Mike Simons, Holiday My Way made an early move to the lead and went on to win for Rick and Regina Beinhauer and the T L P Stable. Tuesday's Pocono card also featured the last prelim round for pacing females (both of these $30,000 Championships will be next Tuesday). The first section saw The Beach Nextdoor win her third straight in Weiss competition, with the Somebeachsomewhere mare shading 27.3 in the final panel to equal her lifetime mark of 1:53 as a "pocket rocket." Jim Morrill Jr. was again in the sulky for trainer Brewer Adams and owners Adams Racing LLC and Brian Clark. Like The Beach Nextdoor, Donttellruss used rallying tactics from the two-hole in the other cut, gaining into the 27.3 kicker to win in 1:53.3 over her stablemate in the Ron Burke barn, Allthatjazz De Vie, marking the second straight week that that pair has finished 1-2. The victorious mare by Panspacificflight was driven by Andrew McCarthy for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Kerr, and Frank Baldachino. ****************** The field has been drawn for the first of the Weiss Series Finals, this Saturday's $30,000 event for pacing males, and while two major contenders benefited from the draw, one suffered the unkindest luck of all. Getting the rail was YS Lotus, who responded to getting a full week off last Saturday by pacing to a lifetime best of 1:50.2 for driver Simon and trainer/brother Rene Allard (who teamed for seven victories on the Pocono card last Saturday). Prior to that win, "YS" had started 6 times in 18 days, competing in both the Weiss and the Sagamore Hill Series at Yonkers, but the extra racing seems to have only honed the gelding to a career edge. The other Weiss winner last week is Major Uptrend, making him 2 for 2 in the series, and he seems quite likely to be the betting favorite for trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley. The Major won in "only" 1:51.3 last week, but it was from the difficult post eight, and he has been very versatile and consistent on the bigger-sized tracks in 2015. The "unlucky" Weiss finalist is Victory At Last, who had posted victories in each of the first three prelims, but had to settle for second behind Major Uptrend last week. Also a member of the Burke stable, Victory For Last is "stuck behind the 8-ball" for Saturday's Championship. PHHA / Pocono
Three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series events for two-year-old male trotters were staged on Tuesday night (September 30) at Mohawk Racetrack. Heavy fog rolled in throughout the harness racing card, leaving those watching with a clear view of only the first division. That opening split was won by 6-1 shot Rise Up Rise Up (Mike Saftic), who came out of the pocket inside the final eighth and wore down leader and public choice Infiniti As (Billy Davis Jr.) to win by half a length in 1:57.1. Gronk (Jody Jamieson) came on in the lane to collect third. This was the first win in five tries for Rise Up Rise Up, a gelded son of Holiday Road. Now an earner of $46,900, Rise Up Rise Up is trained by Sue Marie Gangell for the ownership group of Tony Di Matteo of Stoney Creek, Mark Searles of Caledonia, and 648885 Ontario Limited of Caledonia, Ontario. Rise Up Rise Up, who was bred by Dr. Robert Boyce and Joan Boyce, is the 11th foal out of the Super Pleasure mare Dixieland Jazz, making him a half-brother to half a dozen six-figure earners, including former OSS Grassroots Championship winner Lexus Lulu. By the time the second Gold Series flight went behind the gate visibility was limited. A Little More Love (Randy Waples) led the field into the first turn and to the :28.3 opening quarter, but when the field emerged out of the fog inside the final eighth, 11-1 shot Alacrity (Eddie Green) was on the lead, and he would go on to win by just over a length in 1:57.4. A Little More Love was second and Caulfield (Chris Christoforou) came in third. Green also trains Alacrity, a gelding by Pilgrims Taj, for owner Kristine Green of Ohsweken, Ontario. Alacrity, a Gold Series winner on August 5 at Mohawk, scored his second win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $136,850. Alacrity, who was bred by Wilbur Lang and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, is the fifth foal out of the San Pellegrino mare Elena ($414,731). Elena won three times during her OSS career, including two Gold Finals. Fractions of :28.2, :57.4, and 1:27 went on the board in the last Gold Series dash, and when the two-year-old male trotters came out of the soup in deep stretch, public choice Dont Rush (Chris Christoforou) was open lengths in front of his nearest rival in a 1:57.3 performance. Luck O The Irish (Tom Durand) was the runner-up and Nightontheroad (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario, also bred and now co-owns Dont Rush, an Infinitif colt, with partner Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. Dont Rush, who also won in Gold Series action on July 13 at Georgian Downs and on September 30 at Flamboro Downs, is now three-for-10 in the win column with earnings of $171,985. He’s the sixth foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Color Me Pretty, a half-sister to the likes of Best Image (Balanced Image, $104,110), who was three-for-three during her OSS career. This concluded the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series regular season for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. They do have one provincial event remaining on their calendar – the Super Final on October 11 at Mohawk Racetrack. Full charts and results from the foggy Tuesday night at Mohawk will be available here - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0930mohsn.dat.
Two-year-old trotting colt Caulfield recorded his third straight harness racing victory in the third and final $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division tonight at Flamboro Downs. In that division Wilbur Eden was very quick at the start, hitting the opening marker in :29.3 for Trevor Henry. As they reached the half in 1:00.3 he had company from Holiday My Way and three wide came Alacrity as they reached the third panel in 1:30.1. Holiday My Way broke stride in the final turn and down the stretch Caulfield and Chris Christoforou closed a ton to win in 1:59.3. Wilbur Eden held for second while Winning Wizard was third. A son of Kadabra owned by Synereco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, and trained by Chris Beaver, Caulfield was notching his fourth win in six career starts and third in a row. Bred by Jeff Ruch of Innisfil and Ted MacDonnell of Allenford, Ontario, Caulfield sold for $20,000 at last year’s Harrisburg sale. Christoforou was also victorious in the first division where the two outside horses left quickest. Boli (post six) and Infiniti AS (post seven) got away first and second as the gate left with Boli leading the group by the first quarter in :30.3 and the half in 1:02.1. Luck O The Irish took over well before the 1:31.2 third panel as Boli went offstride. He soon had company in the form of Dont Rush and that pair battled down the lane with Dont Rush narrowly winning in 2:00.3. Luck O The Irish had to be content with the bridesmaid spot while Amityville Lindy survived an inquiry to take third. Christoforou was up behind the winner, a son of Infinitif owned and trained by breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario who recently sold a share in the talented colt to Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. This was the second lifetime win for Dont Rush who improved his summary to 2-3-1 in nine lifetime starts for $136,000 in earnings. Three colts broke early in the second split which saw Namesmuscle by the first panel in :28.1. Just past the :59.2 half A Little More Love was neck and neck with the leader and managed to get a head in front by the 1:29.1 three-quarters. Three wide came Platoon Seelster and those three were close at the finish with Platoon Seelster prevailing, despite an early break in stride, in 1:59.4 for Ryan Holliday. A Little More Love, the leading point earner in this division coming into tonight’s contest, was a close second with Namesmuscle third. A lightly raced son of Holiday Road, Platoon Seelster was making just his fourth career start for trainer David Holliday and owners Caroline Holliday of Mount Forest and Dennis Hannath of Harriston, Ontario. Bred by Seelster Farms of Lucan, Ontario, the colt has yet to finish worse than second with two wins and two seconds in his young career. This group has one more Gold event to contest before the October 11 Super Final. That will take place one week from tonight, September 30, at Mohawk Racetrack. To view the complete results from tonight’s program, please click Flamboro Results - September 23. OSS News
Not many 12-year-olds own stakes winning horses, but given Emma Christoforou’s family tree, it would be rather surprising if she didn’t have an interest in horses having been around them from birth. The grade seven student from Moffat, Ontario, owns a number of Standardbreds, including Cowgirl Tough, a starter in Monday night’s Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for two-year-old pacing fillies at Mohawk. She bred and co-owns the daughter of Ponder with her mother, Joanne Colville, the administrator of the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, owner of High Stakes Farm, director of Standardbred Canada and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association and outrider at the Woodbine Entertainment racetracks. Emma has the luxury of having two of the best drivers in North America available to drive her horses in her father, Chris Christoforou and her step-father Jack Moiseyev. The latter also handles the training for Cowgirl Tough who was victorious in her first OSS contest on August 10 at Georgian Downs, scoring by two lengths in 1:54.1. But Emma notes it was her second place finish in the Eternal Camnation Stake a week later that is her favourite to date. “I was on the sidelines watching the race and I couldn’t find her and then all of a sudden I spotted her pink browband and she was just zooming up to get second. Jack was really pleased with her and everyone was so happy,” recalled Emma who was on hand when Cowgirl Tough was born at their farm in April of 2012. “That was amazing how everything happened so quickly,” noted Emma who added that she sensed early that the filly might be something special. “She was really nice to be around but she had a look in her eye as if to say ‘game on.’ And when she was a yearling she was the biggest one in the paddock and the leader.” When it came time to name the filly with personality to spare, they decided to honour Joanne’s sister, Annemarie. “She’s had cancer a couple of times and she’s been so strong. There’s a group called Cowgirls Kicking Cancer’s Butt and Lope For Hope and that’s gave us the idea for her name. Their motto is ‘tough enough to wear pink.’” Cowgirl Tough demonstrates that sentiment through her equipment. “She wears a lot of pink,” explains Emma. “We’re now trying to find a pink harness for her.” Cowgirl Tough’s pink and Moiseyev’s familiar black, white and yellow colours, will line up behind the gate in post three in the second of two $105,000 OSS Gold divisions Monday night at Mohawk. Emma’s dad Chris is aboard the five horse in the same race, Business As Usual while next door in post six is Sports Chic, the leading point earner in this division to date. That filly will be driven by Jody Jamieson, father of Emma’s good friend, Hailey Jamieson, whose step-dad, Tony O’Sullivan, trains Capela, who has post 10 in the same race. Cowgirl Tough’s dam is Almost A Lady, who was trained throughout her career, during which she won $185,000, by Emma’s grandfather Frank Colville. Almost A Lady is sired by Astreos, the million dollar Little Brown Jug winner who was trained by Emma’s paternal grandfather Charalambos Christoforou. In fact Emma and her brother Niklas Christoforou bred and co-own a two-year-old trotting filly by Holiday Road trained by the senior Christoforou, Emmas Misty Angel who made two starts in the OSS Grassroots. “She’s taking some time to mature now,” Emma notes. In addition going to school, helping with chores and watching her horses race, Emma is also an accomplished equestrienne, competing in numerous horse shows around the province with her horse Kash, noting her favourite event is jumping. Her career aspirations aren’t surprising. “When I’m older I plan on being a vet, having a farm and working with harness horses.” Given her experience to date, she’s certainly well on her way. To view the complete card for Mohawk’s Monday card, please click Mohawk Entries - September 15. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
The sky’s were threatening but the showers held off for the $70,600 final of the Balanced Image trot Saturday night at Hanover Raceway. Three fillies and five boys took part in the final after finishing in the top 2 positions in their eliminations on August 23rd. Gee Okeeffe owned by Chris Beaver and Wilbur Lang of Ohio went off as the favorite after the 2 year old filly won her elimination the week before in 2:01.1, and has put up impressive numbers in the Gold and Grassroots Ontario Sires Stakes program this season. The 2-year-old daughter of Holiday Road got off to a quick start leading the field through the first quarter in 29.2 and the half in 1:00.2. Desis Dream owned by Glengate Farms and the Parkhill stud farms got away 2nd and stayed in the pocket forcing Caulfield, driven by Trevor Henry to come first over at the half. The son of Kadabra stayed on the outside and moved to within a head of Gee Okeeffe past the 3 quarters in 1:30.3. Despite the outside trip Trevor Henry got the most out of his gelding and slipped past the front running filly in the stretch. The hometown favorite Platoon Seelster owned by Caroline Holiday of Mt Forest and Dennis Hannath of Harriston managed to close strongly nipping Gee Okeeffe for 2nd place at the wire. Caulfield, who is trained by Chris Beaver and owned by the Synerco Ventures company of Toronto finished the mile in 2:01, less than a second off the track record. Afterwards Trevor Henry said his colt showed a lot of guts spending most of his mile on the outside trying to catch Gee Okeeffe. The perseverance paid off. In other racing notes, Ryan Holiday won the Earl Ash Memorial Trot with CR Amigo for owner Ron Corbett of St Jacobs in 2:04.4. The Ontario Sires Stakes are back at Hanover next Saturday as 2 year old Colt Trotters hit the track. Post time at Hanover Raceway on September 6th is 7:15pm. From the press box at
The final preliminary round for the $300,000 Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old trotters and pacers takes place Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R with four $7,500 divisions. After Sunday the top eight point earnings in the series will return to 3R on Sunday, September 7 for the $55,000 finals. Also on that day will be the $65,000 finals in the series for three-year-olds, making for eight championship finals on the race program. The first race features two-year-old trotting fillies and one colt in the field. Because an insufficient number of colts were entered, they have been split and will race against the fillies this week. The 5/2 morning line favorite is a filly, C L Magic Road, who starts from post five for driver Marie Auger. A winner in two of her four starts, the daughter of Holiday Road was a game second last week when National Trace set the track record at 3R. Other contenders in the field include SOS Harddrive (post 3), Chamane (post 2) and D Espoir (post six). The second division for trotters is the third race and featured is 3R’s newest track record holders, Meganou and National Trace. Both fillies set erased a 21-year-old record with their identical 2:03.2 victories last week. Meganou starts from post two and she was most impressive for driver Jocelyn Gendron last week, wiring the field and scoring a romp by eight and one-half lengths. It was her second win this year and a lifetime mark. National Trace goes from post four for diver Denis St Pierre and last week she also wired the field, winning by three-quarters of a length. It was her first pari-mutuel win but not her lifetime mark. She won a baby race earlier this season at Mohawk Racing in 2:01. There are three male rivals in the field who all may be contenders in Champagne Panic, Intouchable and Promesses Imperial along with the filly Sunrise Linda, making for quite a strong field. The two-year-old pacing colts get underway in the second race with return winner Sugarsam heading the field from post three for driver Denis St Pierre. Last week the son of Sportswriter upset the field at odds of 16-1, winning from post eight in a lifetime best clocking of 1:56.4. He will be challenged by recent winners Half A Billion, Clinton Panic and Western Bayama. The pacing fillies see action in the fourth race with a full field of nine starters featuring Anna Santanna. Last week in a classic match-up and dramatic finish, Anna Santanna lost by just a neck to Kinnder Elegance in a track record time of 1:57.4. The erased a 25-year-old track record at 3R. Sired by Santanna Blue Chip, Anna Santanna starts from post four for driver Marie Auger and in her five starts this year she has yet to finish worse than third. Other contenders in the field include Miss Bro, My Fleet Time and First Girl. From the Quebec Jockey Club