Day At The Track
Search Results
49 to 64 of 182

Dave Drew enjoyed his biggest thrill in harness racing last year when Modern Legend won the Canadian Pacing Derby. He hopes the horse can add to his legend with another strong campaign this season. Modern Legend - the only horse Drew owns - races in Sunday's inaugural $150,000 Jerry Taylor Invitational for older pacers at Harrah's Philadelphia, where he will face a group that includes Levy Pacing Series champion Domethatagain and millionaires Clear Vision and Dancin Yankee. Modern Legend and driver James MacDonald will start from post eight. The race is part of a star-studded card that also features the $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for older trotters - where Dan Patch Award-winners Bee A Magician, Father Patrick, Classic Martine and Market Share make up half the field - and the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers. Seven-year-old Modern Legend heads to the Jerry Taylor Invitational off a second-place finish by a nose to JK Endofanera in last Saturday's opening round of the TVG Free For All Pacing Series at the Meadowlands. For the year, Modern Legend has posted two wins, a second and a third in four starts. He has won 21 of 67 career races and earned $916,192 for Drew, who also bred and trains the gelding. "I feel very good about him," said Drew, a 63-year-old from Ontario. "We'll do our best with (the post position). He's raced very well so far this year, so I'm certainly hoping for the best on Sunday in the Jerry Taylor. "Having a horse like him, it's something that's beyond anything I could have expected in racing," he added. "It's just been a real thrill to have this horse." Drew owned horses while working fulltime at General Motors in Ontario for 33 years. He began training after he retired from GM a dozen years ago. Modern Legend is a son of Modern Art out of the mare Ruby Cam. Drew and his brother, Greg, raced Ruby Cam, winning six of 11 races including the Middlesex County Pacing Series championship in 2003. Last season, Modern Legend and driver David Miller captured the $583,280 Canadian Pacing Derby at odds of 66-1, winning by three lengths over Foiled Again. "That's absolutely the highlight of racing for me," Drew said. "To have this horse and win the Canadian Pacing Derby was just outstanding. To be a part of this horse, he's just a fantastic animal. He did a great job. I couldn't be prouder of him." Drew is not alone. His wife Nancy and daughters Lisa and Stephanie are the horse's biggest fans. "They probably cheer the loudest of anyone when he's racing," Drew said. "They're avid fans. And they're very supportive of what I'm doing." Modern Legend, who was unraced at age 2 by design, put together an eight-race win streak bridging his 3- and 4-year-old seasons during which he swept the Autumn, Snowshoe and Cam Fella series. He was injured as the result of interference in the Cam Fella final and sidelined nine months, but returned to earn $229,469 at age 5. Last year, he banked a career-best $405,514, with five wins in 23 starts, and established his career mark of 1:47.2. He won four of his final 11 races and in the seven remaining starts lost only once by more than 1-3/4 lengths. "He closed out last year very well," Drew said. "I took it easy with him over the winter, kept him jogging and swimming. Swimming is part of his regular routine. I was hopeful coming into this year. He's probably started out at least as well as I would have expected for this season. I'm very happy with that. "He's staked somewhat comparable to last year. His next stakes engagement is the Ben Franklin at Pocono. Hopefully he'll fit in there and be ready to go for that." Following is the field for the Jerry Taylor Invitational in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Doctor Butch, John Campbell, Linda Toscano 2. Sapphire City, Mark MacDonald, Paul Blumenfeld 3. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard 4. Great Vintage, David Miller, Jimmy Takter 5. Mach It So, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr. 6. Dancin Yankee, Brett Miller, Josh Green 7. Clear Vision, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 8. Modern Legend, James MacDonald, David Drew Following is the field for the Betsy Ross Mare Invitational in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 2. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr. 3. Radar Contact, John Campbell, Noel Daley 4. Jerseylicious, David Miller, Wayne Givens 5. Table Talk, Andy Miller, Bart Dalious 6. Yagonnakissmeornot, Simon Allard, Rene Allard 7. Ooh Bad Shark, Allan Davis, William Wiggins 8. For The Ladies N, Brian Sears, Peter Tritton Following is the field for the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller 2. DW's NY Yank, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke 3. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman 4. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano 5. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter 6. Melady's Monet, John Campbell, Kevin McDermott 7. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick/George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes 8. Bourbon Bay, John Cummings Jr., Megan Wilson by Ken Weingartne Harness Racing Communications USTA

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 9 - J Js Delivery brought his 'A' game Saturday night to Mohawk Racetrack to win a harness racing action-packed final of The Diplomat. A field of nine three-year-old pacing colts and geldings clashed Saturday evening for the $60,000 final of The Diplomat series. Fresh off a victory in leg two, The Wayfaring Man was sent off as the 4/5 favourite, while leg one winner J Js Delivery was the second choice at 5/2. J Js Delivery and James MacDonald were the quickest off the gate and sprinted to the opening-quarter in a speedy :26.2. The Wayfaring Man and Jack Moiseyev wasted no time moving from fifth in the second-quarter to challenge the leader. The pace was hot down the backstretch and The Wayfaring Man did not clear by J Js Delivery until reaching the half in :54.3. The public's choice kept the speed going by pacing a :27.4 third-quarter to get the field down to that station in 1:22.2. In the stretch, J Js Delivery came off the rail for MacDonald to tango with The Wayfaring Man. The two favourites went toe-to-toe down the lane, but J Js Delivery had just a bit more fight and was able to edge by The Wayfaring Man to win in a career-best 1:50.1. The Wayfaring Man finished a game second and was beat by a length and a quarter. American Rock finished third, while Good Friday Three was fourth. J Js Delivery is trained Dave Menary for Robert Hamather and was the only horse in that final that did not race in the second leg. Following the race, MacDonald said he wanted to be near the front. "He's got a lot of speed and I just wanted to get him up close," said MacDonald. "I thought if I could cut it he would be good or if I could find a good hole." A son of Jeremes Jet, J Js Delivery now has four wins from six starts this season. Saturday's victory was the sixth of his career and pushes his career earnings to $98,686. J Js Delivery paid $7.90 to win. J Js Delivery In order to be eligible to The Diplomat, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2014. Cast No Shadow comes up big in Princess final Cast No Shadow turned in a stakes record performance to win the $59,600 Princess Series final Saturday night at Mohawk. A field of six three-year-old pacing fillies lined up to contest the Princess final and on paper it appeared to be a three-horse race between leg one winner Moonlit Dance, leg two winner Maplelea and Cast No Shadow. The top three fillies on paper were the top three fillies Saturday night. Moonlit Dance made a move from second to overtake the lead in the second-quarter, but was quickly confronted by Cast No Shadow and Chris Christoforou from third. Cast No Shadow cleared to the front just after the midway point of :55.2. Around the final turn, Maplelea came first up from fifth to situate the top three fillies in the top three spots at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2. In the stretch, Cast No Shadow was able to put away the pressure from her rivals and paced on to a 1 ¾ length victory in a stakes record clocking of 1:50.4. Moonlit Dance was able to battle by Maplelea on the inside to finish second. "I wanted to be in control coming around the last turn because I wanted to get away from Rick's (Zeron) filly, Maplelea," said Christoforou following the race. "She can sprint so fast, so when I heard them come he was about two or three lengths behind on the turn and I just pulled the trigger and hoped I could hold on." A daughter of Shadow Play, Cast No Shadow is trained by Nick Gallucci for owner Millard Adams and now has a 2015 record of six wins from eight starts. The Princess Series final victory pushes her bankroll over $80,000. Cast No Shadow returned $5.90 to win. Cast No Shadow In order to be eligible to the Princess Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2014. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 25 - The conditions might have been a bit chilly, but Etruscan Hanover was sizzling Saturday night to a Don Mills harness racing stakes record at Mohawk Raceway. A field of eight four- and five-year-old trotters took to the track Saturday evening for the $44,400 final of the Don Mills Trotting Series. The series finale appeared to be a competitive contest on paper, but Etruscan Hanover would turn the final into his own personal showcase. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Etruscan Hanover sprinted off the gate to the front and posted a speedy opening-quarter of :26.4. The fast first-quarter would be a sign of things to come, as Etruscan Hanover carved out fractions of :55.1 and 1:24 to bring the field into the stretch. Bourbon Bay, the 4/5 favourite, appeared to be getting a nice two-hole trip in behind the leader, but would be not match for Etruscan Hanover in the lane. Etruscan Hanover and Baillargeon trotted home in :28.2 to score a 3 ¼ length victory over Bourbon Bay and established a new Don Mills stakes record of 1:52.2. Exemplar finished third, while Wild And Crazy Guy was fourth. A five-year-old son of Donato Hanover, Etruscan Hanover is trained by Ben Baillargeon, who shares ownership with Santo & Nunzio Vena and Claude Hamel. The gelding trotter has had breaking issues throughout his career, but continually posts successful results when he minds his manners. Etruscan Hanover now has a record of three wins from nine starts this season. The Don Mills final triumph is the tenth career victory for the Baillargeon trainee and increases his bankroll to over $87,000. The stakes record clocking of 1:52.2 knocks more than three-seconds off Etruscan Hanover's previous career-mark. A $2 win ticket on Etruscan Hanover returned $6.80. In order to be eligible to the Don Mills series, the four- and five-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2014. Etruscan Hanover J Js Delivery on time in Diplomat opener J Js Delivery shot up the rail late to pull off a 23/1 upset in the first leg of The Diplomat Saturday night at Mohawk. A field of nine three-year-old pacing colts and geldings lined up Saturday for the first round of The Diplomat series. J Js Delivery and driver James MacDonald were the quickest off the gate and posted a solid opening-quarter of :26.1. American Rock, the Youthful series winner and 9/5 second-choice, was parked around the first turn and would overtake the lead as the field rolled into the backstretch. The Wayfaring Man, the 3/2 favourite, came charging first up from fourth around the final turn to tango with the leader down to the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1. In the stretch, Good Friday Three came off the cover of The Wayfaring Man to pace by the leaders and appeared to be on his way to victory. However, MacDonald would find room up the rail in deep stretch to allow J Js Delivery to charge through and score a  length victory over Good Friday Three in 1:52.2. Star Cover come on late to finish third, while The Wayfaring Man and American Rock had to settle for fourth and fifth, respectively. A son of Jeremes Jet, J Js Delivery was making his second start for new trainer Dave Menary Saturday night. The three-year-old gelding is now two-for-two out of the Menary barn and has a record of three wins from five starts in 2015. J Js Delivery, who is owned by Robert Hamather, now has five career victories and earnings of $66,686. The clocking of 1:52.2 drops more than a full-second off of the gelding's previous career-mark. J Js Delivery paid $49.50 to win. J Js Delivery In order to be eligible to The Diplomat, the sophomore pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2014. The second leg of The Diplomat will take place next Saturday (May 2). Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 24 - Moonlit Dance and harness racing driver James MacDonald made a bold statement with a 1:52 victory in the opening leg of the Princess Series Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Just a single $20,000 division, featuring a field of eleven, was needed for the first leg of the three-week Princess Series for three-year-old pacing fillies. Moonlit Dance, the 9/5 favourite, turned in a razor-sharp performance to strike first in the series-opener. Driven by MacDonald, Moonlit Dance got away early in fourth and would be right lined to the outside in the second-quarter. The daughter of Art Major would eventually clear to the front before the final turn and took the field down to the three-quarter pole in a speedy 1:23.4. In the stretch, Moonlit Dance quickly created several lengths of separation on her rivals and cruised home in :28.1 to score her first victory of the season by four-lengths. Maplelea paced a :26.4 final-quarter to come from tenth at the three-quarter pole to finish second, while Twin B Honour finished third. Moonlit Dance is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owner David Goodrow Stable. The sophomore pacing filly came into Friday night's race having finished second in all three of her starts this season. The 1:52 victory is the second victory of her career and establishes a new career-mark. Moonlit Dance's career bankroll now sits at $44,354. She returned $5.80 to win. In order to be eligible to the Princess Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2014. The second leg of the Princess will take place next Friday (May 1) and series action continues Saturday night at Mohawk with the first leg of the Diplomat for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 21 - A field of nine three-year-old pacing colts and geldings squared off in the WEGZ final including first leg winner Dialamara and J Js Delivery who impressed in the second leg while making his seasonal debut. Dialamara, trained by Pat Fletcher for owner John Lamers, spoiled his two-hole trip a week ago by making a break at the three-quarter pole. This week, however, the Lis Mara colt made no mistakes tracking the early pace of J Js Delivery from third position through a half in :57, advancing confidently into second position through the turn. James Macdonald allowed Dialamara a quick breather at the top of the lane before digging in with a powerful closing kick to reel in J Js Delivery in the final stride.  Dialamara stopped the clock in 1:54.1. Dialamara The WEGZ Series is for Ontario-sired three-year-olds that were non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. Maplelea completed a sweep of the Horseplayer Interactive series on Saturday night capturing the $39,400 Final with ease as the harness racing 1-9 mutuel favourite in 1:55.3. Maplelea, owned and trained by Andrew Moore, now has five wins from seven starts in 2015. The Sportswriter filly won the opening leg of the HorsePlayer Interactive series by five lengths on March 6 and nearly doubled that margin of victory a week later to take the second leg by 9 1/4-lengths.   Rick Zeron steered Maplelea into third position in the HPI final as Mega Machsy notched the opening quarter in :28.2 with Missy Tap Tina chasing her early pace. Maplelea took command down the backstretch marking the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:25.2. War Filly, runner-up in the second leg, advanced through the turn to take a run at Maplelea but had to settle for place. Wake N Bake closed to complete the triactor. Maplelea paid $2.10 to win.   Maplelea     In order to be eligible to the Horseplayer Interactive, the Ontario sired sophomore pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. Dialamara arrived in the nick of time to collar favoured J Js Delivery and win the $42,400 WEGZ Final on Saturday night at Woodbine. Woodbine Communications Office

TORONTO, March 9 - Kate Smith scored an upset harness racing victory to get the Lifetime Dream series underway with a bang Monday night at Woodbine. A field of eight four- and five-year-old trotting mares, including defending series winner Samira Hanover, contested the $20,000 first leg of the Lifetime Dream. Sent off as the heavy 3/5 favourite, Samira Hanover made a costly break before the start and spotted the field many lengths. Seawind Pascale left the quickest off the gate to the front and posted an opening quarter of :27.1. Down the backstretch, a pair of breakers in mid-pack allowed Kate Smith and driver James MacDonald to slide up into fourth. Around the final turn, Seawind Pascale was confronted first up by Standing My Ground, while Meadowview Vicky and Kate Smith followed closely in behind. In the stretch, Seawind Pascale turned aside the first up challenger, but MacDonald showed Kate Smith open racetrack on the far outside and the 50/1 longshot powered past the leader to score the upset win by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.3. Meadowview Vicky got up for third, while Standing My Ground took fourth. Following the race, Kate Smith's 50/1 shocker became a 25/1 upset victory, as the favourite Samira Hanover did not reach the fair start pole and was refunded. A four-year-old daughter of Cornaro Dasolo, Kate Smith was making her first start of 2015 for trainer Herb Holland and owner Carolyn Mac Issac. Last year, she won four of 18 starts and banked just over $106,000, while taking a mark of 1:55.2 in her first season on the track. Kate Smith paid $54.90 to win. In order to be eligible to the Lifetime Dream, the trotting mares had to be non-winners of $200,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. The second round of the Lifetime Dream is set for next Monday (March 16). Mark McKelvie

ELORA, ON - Cujo's Cubs captured the inaugural edition of the Grand River Raceway Snow-Pitch Tournament, staged in the harness racing track's infield on January 24. Nine co-ed recreational teams battled under an overcast, and eventually foggy sky. As sunset approached, Cujo's Cubs held a three-run lead over The Roasters heading into the final inning. They held on to win by a single run. Cujo's Cubs include several harness racing participants and today's victorious line-up featured: Rob Doyle, Scott Lecain, James MacDonald, Jacqueline Ellis, Jared Bothwell, Stephanie Yorke, Julie Walker, Don Johnson, Lee Ibey and Boyd Wilson. The team is normally captained by Curtis (Cujo) MacDonald. The champs won $300 plus a team party for Dinner & Races in the Captain's Quarters tiered dining room at Grand River Raceway during the 2015 race season, which begins June 1. Grand River Raceway extends its gratitude to all of the tournament teams: GREAT In KW Meet Up, Booze On First, Cold Blooded, Sons of Pitches, Not The Benders, Where My Pitches At, The Zieglar's, The Roasters, and Cujo's Cubs Kelly Spencer

TORONTO, December 26 - A pair of Christmas presents were handed out a day late in the Valedictory and Niagara Series finals on Friday afternoon's Boxing Day card at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of seven three-year-old pacing fillies went behind the gate in the $34,800 Niagara Series final, while a group of ten three-year-old pacing colts and geldings battled it out in the $35,000 Valedictory Series final. In the Niagara final, Witch Dali completed the dominating series sweep with a 1:51.2 victory. For the third week in a row, Witch Dali's opponents only saw the back of her and driver Jody Jamieson as they went straight to the front and never looked back. Sent off as the 1/9 favourite, Witch Dali posted fractions of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:23.2, before kicking home in :28 to win by 2 ½ lengths over Artistic Fusion. Double Joy took the show spot, while Saucy B finished fourth. A daughter of Dali, Witch Dali is trained by Tony Alagna and has now won all four of her starts in 2014. Witch Dali did not make her first start of the season until December 5th and has since rattled off four wins in four weeks. She is owned by Alagna Racing LLC. and Brad Grant. Witch Dali now has a career record of seven wins in 14 starts and earnings of $74,220. The clocking of 1:51.2 is a new career mark for Witch Dali and also broke the Niagara Series record by a full second. She returned $2.20 to win. In the Valedictory, Company Man turned in a career best effort to win the series final in 1:51.3. Driven by James MacDonald, Company Man got away in fourth, while the favourite, Kindofabigdeal, made a quick move in the first turn to swing around to the lead from second. Down the backstretch, MacDonald decided not to wait long and sent Company Man hard after the lead and cleared around Kindofabigdeal just after the half of :55. Company Man would continue to keep the tempo honest with a :27.3 third quarter to bring the field into the stretch with Kindofabigdeal following close in behind. In the stretch, Company Man dug in to turn aside Kindofabigdeal, who could only get to his wheel, and held off a late push from So Bad Im Good to win by half a length. So Bad Im Good took the place spot, while Kindofabigdeal and Ransom Demand finished third and fourth respectively. A son of American Ideal, Company Man is trained by Allen Tomlinson for owner Dan Mitchell. Company Man won a first leg division of the Valedictory and followed that up with a third place effort in round two last Friday. Friday's series final victory is his fourth victory from 19 career starts and boosts his career bankroll to over $74,000. The clocking of 1:51.3 is also a new career mark for the three-year-old gelding. Company Man paid $6.50 to win. The final card of the 2014 racing season at Woodbine will take place Saturday night with first post set for 7:25 p.m. Live racing will resume a week later with the first card of 2015 on Saturday, January 3rd. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

Trotting mare Out Of The Hat ($3.00) notched her 15th win of the year and kicked off a training triple for Stephane Pouliot on Sunday night in the co-featured $6,500 Winners Over Handicap Trot at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The 1-2 favourite retook the lead from early challenger and eventual runner-up Four Starz Speed after the :28.2 opening quarter and cruised through middle splits of :58.3 and 1:27.2 en route to the three length triumph in 1:57.2. The win was her second in a row and fourth in her last five starts. Michelangelo finished third. Out Of The Hat was the top trotter for wins in North America last year with 18 victories and the daughter of Kadabra and has followed that season up with another impressive campaign this year racing for Meadowgem Farm and 9096 9205 Quebec Inc. Rose Run Nash currently tops the trotting leaderboard with 19 wins in 2014. To view the rest of this story click here. Wire-to-wire for Brocks Fortune at Flamboro Brocks Fortune led from start to finish while delivering on his pari-mutuel promise in the featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Pace for horses and geldings on Sunday night at Flamboro Downs. Driver James MacDonald sent 6-5 favourite Brocks Fortune ($4.40) to the lead off the gate and never looked back, carving out fractions of :27, :56.4 and 1:25, then holding off the pocket-pulling Mach Pride down the stretch to win by half a length in 1:54. Goldstar Badlands came from last to show, just over one length behind. John Cecchin trains the four-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal, who has won eight races and $80,000 in purses this season, for Mark Austin Stables Inc., Noblock Racing Stable and breeder Robert Chapple. To view the rest of this story click here. Accident but no major inuries at Fraser Serious injuries were avoided in an accident that took place during the sixth race at Fraser Downs on Sunday. Wild About Eagle (Travis Bowman) broke stride while racing in sixth place around the first turn and fell near the head of the stretch, causing interference to the trailing horses, including Judges Acenthehole (Jim Marino), Wishful Luck (David McKellar) and Kim Chee (Brandon Campbell). Bowman and Campbell were unseated during the incident, but returned to action and fulfilled their driving duties later on the card. Early reports from Fraser Downs indicate the drivers and horses involved in the accident suffered only superficial injuries. To view the rest of this story click here.

TORONTO, December 12 - Three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were in the spotlight Friday night for the first leg of the Valedictory Series at Woodbine Racetrack. 19 sophomore colts and geldings were split into two $15,000 divisions for the opening leg of the three-week series. In the first division, Kindofabigdeal, the heavy favourite, lived up to his billing with a three length victory in 1:52. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Kindofabigdeal was second at the opening quarter, but quickly scooted to the lead in the second quarter and never looked back. The son of No Pan Intended set honest fractions of :55.4 and 1:24, before rolling home in :28 to score the opening leg victory. Mittcent Van Gogh took the place spot, while Ideal Shadow finished third. Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc. The three-year-old has now won four of eight starts in his first season of racing for earnings of over $42,000. He paid $3.60 to win. Kindofabigdeal In the second division, Company Man pulled off an 18-1 upset with James MacDonald in the bike. Rural Art, the even-money favourite, was first up around the final turn pressing at the leader So Bad Im Good. Meanwhile, Company Man was third over following closely behind Ransom Demand. In the stretch, Rural Art could not get by So Bad Im Good, but Ransom Demand and Company Man swept by the top two on the far outside. At the wire, Company Man got the best of Ransom Demand to score a two length victory in 1:52.2. So Bad Im Good held off Rural Art to round out the top three. A son of American Ideal, Company Man is trained by Allen Tomlinson for owner Daniel Mitchell. Company Man, who had been racing south of the border over the last few months, has now won three times from 16 starts this year and now has earnings of over $45,000 in career earnings. The clocking of 1:52.2 is a new career mark for Company Man. He paid $39 to win. Company Man In order to be eligible to the Valedictory Series, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. The second leg of the Valedictory will take place next Friday (December 19). Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie WEG Communications 

TORONTO, December 11 - A snow covered Woodbine Racetrack played host to the first leg of the Niagara Series Thursday night. 18 three-year-old harness racing pacing fillies were split into two $15,000 divisions for round one of the three-week series. More than a dozen centimeters of snow blanketed Woodbine Thursday afternoon and into the evening, but the track crew had the surface in 'Good' shape for some fast fillies. In the first division, Witch Dali, the 4/5 favourite, took care of business winning in 1:53. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Witch Dali was sent straight to the lead and posted fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:25 before pacing home handily in :28 to win by half a length over Artistic Fusion. Saucy B, who got on even terms with the winner around the final turn, finished third. A daughter of Dali, Witch Dali is trained by Tony Alagna and was making only her second start of the year. The three-year-old filly won her 2014 debut last week at the Meadowlands after an almost 13 month layoff. Witch Dali is now a perfect two for two this season and five for 12 in her career for earnings of over $40,000. She is owned by Alagna Racing LLC and Brad Grant. Witch Dali paid $3.80 to win. Another favourite would deliver an impressive victory in the second division. Mach Some Noise and James MacDonald made a backside brush to the lead and never looked back scoring a 2 ¼ length victory in 1:54.3. Trained by Tony O'Sullivan, Mach Some Noise came into round one of the Niagara Series after a third place finish in the Autumn Series on November 28 ended her four-race win streak. The daughter of Mach Three has now won all five of her career victories in her last six starts for owners O'Sullivan Racing Inc, Kirk McKinnon and David Goodrow Stable. In her first season of racing, Mach Some Noise has banked over $50,000 in 11 starts. Double Joy got up in a place photograph to take second over Val Di Noto, while Mappos Moenhay finished fourth. Mach Some Noise paid $4.20 to win. In order to be eligible to the Niagara Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31. The second leg of the Niagara Series will take place next Thursday (December 18) at Woodbine. Series action continues Friday night at Woodbine with leg one of the Valedictory Series. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Whether you're a horseman from Canada or the USA, one major sport the harness racing community enjoys is the National Hockey League. With the NHL All Star game roughly 7 weeks away, I thought it would be interesting to find out some opinions on who will win the Stanley Cup and who will win the Hart Trophy. One thing is for certain, if a horseman's favorite team loses, he will be razzed, that's for sure! PJ Fraley who hails from Michigan has a soft spot for the Detroit Red Wings. That being said, PJ is a massive Rangers fan and believes Rick Nash will win the Hart. There are many horsemen who are fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs... ''for better or worse'' says Greg Blanchard who hasn't lost faith in his Buds but think Stamkos has a good chance at the Hart Trophy. You can add Doug McNair, Bob McClure, Taylor Spitzig, Bruce Richardson and Carmen Auciello as fans of the Maple Leafs. Carmen Auciello adds, "I bleed blue!! This is the Leafs' year! Phil Kessel will be the MVP". Carmen isn't alone in his belief that Kessel earns the Hart Trophy, Doug McNair agrees! Everyone knows the Maple Leafs haven't won since 1967, Leafs fans are constantly reminded by those who favor recent winners or those who simply enjoy taunting fans of the Maple Leafs for fun. Enter Anthony Haughan and Bern Lavigne! Bern is a diehard Ottawa Senators fan and thinks Erik Karlsson will be league MVP and is enjoying the play of the Nashville Predators as his Senators are not looking too good. Bern adds, "I think the Leafs are the weakest team in the NHL!!!" "I'm not a big hockey fan" says Anthony Haughan, "but I still like to torture the rest of the poor Leafs fans around here." Anthony Haughan continues, "I guess I like the Blackhawks and they seem to be tough every year. I think Toews is the best player in the league." Bob McClure agrees with Anthony that Toews will win the Hart Trophy. Sugar Doyle is also impressed with the Blackhawks play and Sugar adds his favorite player is Bryan Bicknell. "I'll be sticking with them come playoff time for a Stanley Cup run." Sugar's favorite team growing up was the NY Islanders and they are looking good. When it comes to league MVP, Sugar agrees it's tough to go against Crosby however he believes Tyler Seguin and Filip Forsberg could be long shot entries. Duane LeBlanc, a Montreal Canadiens supporter, favors the Blackhawks to win as well. Duane adds, "It's tough to say for the MVP so early but I would go with Crosby." There are quite a few horsemen who believe Crosby has a good chance at holding the Hart Trophy for the 2014-15 season. James MacDonald, a diehard Penguins fan is "very confident" Sid the Kid will win it all! You can count Michael Burke and Harnesslink's Steve Wolf in on that sentiment too, though Steve still loves his NJ Devils, though he has not forgiven the Devils management for trading away Martin Brodeur. Travis Henry thinks it will be either Crosby or Ryan Getzlaf who wins the Hart Trophy. Though Travis's favorite team is the Washington Capitals, he likes either the St Louis Blues or the Anaheim Ducks to raise Lord Stanley's Cup. Anthony Macdonald, Scott Young and Bob McClure share the same thought that the Boston Bruins will be skating around the rink hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2015. Anthony Macdonald sees the big Z, Zdeno Chara raising the Hart Trophy eight feet into the air by season's end. I can't wait for the playoffs to start, though every week in the NHL is a rush in itself. Just like going to the races. We're coming up to the half mile marker and anything can happen! By Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com

TORONTO, November 6 - It was not a good night to be a favourite in the Autumn Series finals Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The Autumn Series for Ontario sired two-year-olds came to a close with the finals for two-year-old colts and geldings. Full fields of ten contested both the $33,600 final for the trotters and the $35,800 final for the pacers. In the trotting final, a break by One Direction, the 3/5 favourite, opened the door for Baudron and Riina Rekila to pull of a 70-1 shocker. Leaving from post one, Baudron was taken back early by Rekila and trotted by the opening quarter in ninth. A couple of breakers in the second quarter allowed Baudron to pick up second over cover behind Olympic Son and trot up closer to the leaders. After following that cover to the top of the stretch, Rekila showed Baudron open racetrack and he trotted by the leaders and on to a length and three-quarters victory in 1:58. Olympic Son took the place spot, while Rubber Duck got up for third. A son of Infinitif, Baudron, who is also trained by Rekila, entered the Autumn Series final having yet to taste victory in ten career starts. The rookie trotter had finished second in the opening leg and seventh in the second leg. The Autumn Series final victory increases Baudron's bankroll to $23,890 for owner Overseas Farm Limited. A $2 win ticket on Baudron returned a generous $160.00. Baudron On the pacing side, Robert Hill completed the Autumn Series sweep with a 1:54 victory. Driven by James MacDonald, Robert Hill left hard from post two to take the early lead, but would quickly get shuffled back to third in the second quarter, as Frankie Boy and J Js Delivery battled on the front end. Meanwhile, Sugarsam, the even-money favourite, was able to find second over cover behind The Battle Begins at the half, while pacing along in sixth. Around the final turn, Sugarsam failed to keep up with The Battle Begins and drifted out towards the centre of the track. He would eventually finish ninth. At the top of the lane, J Js Delivery had a narrow lead on The Battle Begins, while Frankie Boy, who was in the two-hole, made break. Frankie Boy's break would clear space for Robert Hill to get out into the three-wide path and take his shot at the leaders. It took to nearly the final stride, but Robert Hill got up just in time to defeat The Battle Begins by half a length and J Js Delivery by a length and a quarter. The final leg victory was an Autumn Series sweep for Robert Hill and he did it with a flare for the dramatics. The son of Jeremes Jet never won an Autumn Series leg by more than half a length and won last week's second leg by only a nose. Trained by Tony Alagna for owner Tom Hill, Robert Hill has now won five of 12 career starts and has earnings of $64,050. He returned $10.50 to win. Robert Hill  Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Qualifiers to stay at Mohawk until end of the month TORONTO, November 6 – The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to advise horsepeople that qualifiers will continue to be held at Mohawk Racetrack until the end of the month. Weather permitting, qualifying sessions will be held each Friday morning at 10 a.m. for the remainder of November. Horses must be entered by 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays to qualify on Fridays. Along with qualifiers remaining at Mohawk, the track will also remain open for training until the end of the month. Training is available at Mohawk on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The track closes on training days at 12:30 p.m. Here is a full schedule of qualifying dates at Mohawk.  Friday, November 7 Friday, November 14 Friday, November 21 Friday, November 28 Mark McKelvie    

TORONTO, October 30 - Another action packed round of the Autumn Series took place Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A trio of $14,000 second leg divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings and the freshmen trotting colts and geldings were contested. In the first division for the trotters, One Direction repeated him impressive performance from leg one to win in 1:58.2. Sent off as the 1/5 favourite, One Direction dropped in third and came first up in the middle half for driver Chris Christoforou. After leading the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:28.4, One Direction cruised home under a hand drive from Christoforou to win with ease. Rubber Duck was a hard closing second, while Jayport All Muscle finished third. A son of Deweycheatumnhowe, One Direction broke his maiden last week in the first leg and has now won twice in six career starts. Trained by Dustin Jones for owner Ernst Gerbaulet of Germany, One Direction lowered his lifetime mark by a fifth of a second and increased his earnings to $14,800. He returned $2.70 to win. In the second division, Irish Scotch and Jody Jamieson were able to capitalize on a break by the favourite to win in 1:58.1. Olympic Son, the 1/2 favourite, made a break as the wings of the gate folded allowing Jamieson to send Irish Scotch to the lead. After control the tempo to his liking, Irish Scotch was never in any danger in the stretch and trotted home in :29.4 to win by a length and a quarter over Olympic Son. However, Olympic Son would be placed from second to sixth for failing to lose ground while making his break at the start. William Star became the new second place finisher, while Duh Bubbees was bumped from fourth to third. A son of Muscle Mass, Irish Scotch is trained by Don Lindsey for owner Paul Lindsey The second leg victory was a maiden breaking score for Irish Scotch and pushes his career earnings to $14,495. He returned $6.70 to win. Muscles All Over had a rough start, but kept it together to take the final division in 1:59. Driven by Daniel Potvin, Muscles All Over was a little rough gaited at the start, but was still able to leave and get the front. Around the final turn, Delcrest Massy came charging first up to challenge Muscles All Over and the pair dueled by the three-quarter pole in 1:27.3. In the stretch, Delcrest Massy backed off and tried to re-rally up the rail, but Muscles All Over would not relinquish the lead and held on to win by a length and a quarter. Don Jarvis got up to take the show spot. A son of Muscle Mass, Muscles All Over is owned and trained by Ivan Gallant. The two-year-old trotter, who finished second in the first leg, broke his maiden with the victory Thursday night.  Muscles All Over has now earned $24,840 in 12 starts. He paid $5.50 to win. Sugarsam rode the rail to victory in the first of three divisions for the rookie pacing colts and geldings. Driven by Jamieson, Sugarsam left hard to take the early lead, but would allow The Battle Begins to overtake the lead in the second quarter. After sitting patiently in the two-hole, Jamieson would shoot Sugarsam up the inside in the stretch and power on to a 2 ¼ length victory in 1:53.1. Lancaster Park, who was first up, finished second, while Pan Street Usa followed him to a third place finish. A son of Sportswriter, Sugarsam is trained by Corey Johnson for owner Sotirios Anastasopoulos. The two-year-old was a winner a week ago in the first leg and now has five wins in 11 starts for earnings of $32,475. He returned $6.40 to win. In the second division, Jamieson would find the winner's circle once again to reach a career milestone. Frankie Boy and Jamieson made a break before the start and spotted the field five lengths as the gate took off. Antar Phil, the public's choice at 6/5, would also make a break before the opening quarter. Three different horses would hold the lead in an action packed opening three-quarters, setting things up for the back of the pack to come to life. Frankie Boy, who was ninth at the three-quarter pole, turned in a :27.2 last quarter to sweep by the field and win by a length in 1:54.4. His Boy Elroy finished second, while Red Pine was third. Frankie Boy's victory was Jamieson's third win on the card and his 7,000th career victory. A son of Artistic Fella, Frankie Boy is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owners Lomangino Standardbreds and Leo Lomangino. The second leg victory was the first win in six starts for Frankie Boy and increases his earnings to $9,580. He returned $30.00 to win. In the final division, Robert Hill had to dig deep to pull out his Third Straight victory in 1:54.2. Driven by James MacDonald, Robert Hill got away third and was sent to the lead in the second quarter. Around the final turn, Robert Hill would be challenged hard by Three Rivers Dell and posted a third-quarter of :27.4. Despite the big third panel, Robert Hill turned aside Three Rivers Dell and dug deep to just hold off J Js Delivery, who got a second over trip, to win by a nose. Halton Hurricane, a leg one winner, finished third. A son of Jeremes Jet, Robert Hill, who won a division of the first leg a week ago, has now won three starts in a row and four of 11 this season. Trained by Tony Alagna, Robert Hill now has career earnings of $46,150 for owner Tom Hill. Robert Hill paid $5.60 to win. The finals for both gaits will go next Thursday, November 6. The top ten money earners that enter will contest next week's finales. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

Harness racing two-year-old pacing colts bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, the undefeated Reverend Hanover and the bargain yearling Drachan Hanover, captured both $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions tonight at Mohawk. The final division saw the lightly raced Reverend Hanover extend his unbeaten record to three with another impressive effort. In that split Mike Saftic and Seaforth were on top by the opening quarter in :26.1 but not for long as Chris Christoforou and Reverend Hanover quickly took over well before the :55.1 half. That colt opened up by the three-quarters in 1:23.4 and could not be caught down the stretch as he won handily in 1:51.4. Manny In Sports (Badlands Hanover) and Bob Ben And John (Sportswriter) were next across. A son of Sportswriter owned by West Wins Stables, Cambridge, Steve Calhoun, Chatham and Anthony Beaton, Waterdown, Ontario, Reverend Hanover has yet to taste defeat in his young career. This was the second OSS Gold win for the $24,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg and upped his earnings to $93,000 in just three starts. His paddock mate from Hanover Shoe Farms, Drachan Hanover, took the other division which saw Fighttothefinish fight for the lead and get on top by the first quarter in :26.3. Steve Condren and Go Daddy Go took over well before the :54.3 half and were at the three-quarters in 1:23. Drachan Hanover, who’d been stalking first up, took over the lead as they headed down the stretch and was at the wire first in 1:51.4 for Rick Zeron. Moonwriter and Sportskeeper, both sons of Sportswriter, were next across. A mere $4,500 yearling purchase at Harrisburg last fall, Drachan Hanover has now earned $95,150 from seven starts this year for owners Lloyd MacLean and Ken Rankin of Nova Scotia and trainer Marcel Barrieau. The colt is from a full sister to Driven To Win ($991,000). Two $105,000 divisions for the rookie pacing fillies were also contested tonight. Capela drove out quickly from post six in the second and quickest division but I Wonder Why had collared her by the opening quarter in :27.1. I Wonder Why continued to lead at the half in :55.4 and the three-quarters in 1:24.4. In mid stretch James MacDonald found clearance from the pocket spot for Capela and that filly managed to haul down the pacesetter and trip the timer in 1:53.1. I Wonder Why (Ponder) was right there for second with Palette Tina (Allamerican Native) taking third. It was the first lifetime victory for Capela who had two seconds and two thirds heading into tonight’s contest. Trained by Tony O’Sullivan for owners Let It Ride Stable of Florida and RBH Ventures of New York, the Sportswriter filly is a half-sister to Machapelo ($593,000) and Resistance Futile ($277,000). The first division saw an upset when Sylvain Filion put Wrangler Magic on top and never looked back through splits of :26.4, :56.2, 1:25.2 and were home in 1:53.3. Aintsheasweetie took second while Solar Sister was third. The top three finishers are all daughters of Mach Three. Heavy favourite and leading point earner Sports Chic mounted a three wide rally in the final turn but tired and finished seventh. It was the second lifetime win in seven tries for Wrangler Magic owned by breeder Dr. Maurice Stewart of Alberta along with Tom Kyron of Toronto and Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms of Quebec. These were the final regular season Gold events for both divisions. The top performers will return for the Super Finals on October 11 back at the Campbellville oval. Results for tonight’s program may be viewed through Mohawk Results - September 30. Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON - Monday (September 29) marks the final live race card of the year at Grand River Raceway, but it's already proven to be a successful year at the track. Despite fewer races and fewer cards, the average bet per race jumped 10.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013 and total wagering on Grand River is up 4.8 per cent from just under $6.5 million in 2013 to nearly $6,786,149 this year through Wenesday's card. All this despite a decrease in the number of races per card of nearly 10 per cent. On the track, nothing topped Hall of Fame driver John Campbell and Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh teaming up to win the $217,140 Battle of Waterloo Aug. 4 with McIntosh's two-year-old homebred pacing colt Go Daddy Go. It was the first Battle of Waterloo victory for both men. "I haven't started that many in it, but it feels tremendous," McIntosh said in the winner's circle. "It's a real thrill." Campbell said the victory felt great. "It's been a fun day for me and it's capped off extremely well," he said. This year also marked Campbell's first trip to Grand River and he liked what he saw. "I got a tour before the races started here and it's very efficient and very convenient for fans. It looks like a very nice plant," Campbell said. The Grand River meet also saw rising star James MacDonald win his first premier stakes race at the track when he drove 20-1 longshot Win The Gold to victory in the Battle of the Belles for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. In August, Grand River's general manager Dr. Ted Clarke was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in the builders' category. That same month, Jet Airway set a track record for three-year-old pacing colts when he buzzed the Grand River oval in 1:51.1. Five other horses also set Canadian seasonal records at the track. On the drivers' side, Trevor Henry was again crowned the top Grand River driver for both wins and money. Casie Coleman was Grand River's top money-winning trainer and Richard Moreau led all trainers in wins at the track by a wide margin. And this year, we also learned important information such as what three people driver Scott Coulter would enlist to thwart a zombie apocalypse. "I'm going to take Clint Eastwood," Coulter said, "Superman and throw Sly Stallone in there, too. Why not?" We also discovered what Randy Waples would be doing if he wasn't driving horses for a living -"At one time, being a surfer sounded pretty good. I likead the idea of that." - what music trainer Casie Coleman thinks Satan has playing on repeat in her version of hell - "Anything country, probably." - and what James MacDonald does better than his two famous driving brothers, Anthony and Mark - "Golf, that's for sure, because they're both horrible." To hear our conversation with some of the most prominent drivers and trainers in the game, check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway Final Training Day at Grand River Raceway  Grand River Raceway will remain open for training every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon, with all horses vacated by 1:00 p.m. This schedule will remain in effect until the final training day on October 9. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway  

49 to 64 of 182