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AUGUST 9, 2015 - Nine divisions of two-year-old pacing fillies invaded Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon and in the eighth Grassroots split Bourbon Seelster rewrote the half-mile oval's harness racing history books. Starting from Post 5, driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON sent Bourbon Seelster straight to the front and rang up evenly-rated early fractions of :30.1 and 1:00.2. Heading for the three-quarters Saftic picked up the tempo, reaching the marker in 1:29.4, but when fan favourite Divas Image mounted a challenge in the stretch Bourbon Seelster really poured it on, sprinting home in :27.2 to reach the wire in a track record 1:57.1. Divas Image settled for second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner, and Where Are We rounded out the top three. The win was the second in Grassroots action for Bourbon Seelster, who posted her first in the July 19 contest at Georgian Downs. Watford, ON resident Robert Manders conditions the daughter of Camluck for Scott and Keith Manders, also of Watford, who purchased her for $14,000 from the Forest City Yearling Sale. Trainer Dave Menary won three of the nine Grassroots divisions, teaming up with driver James MacDonald for two and Kevin Sizer for the third, and also picked up one second and one third with his six starters. "It was pretty lucky," said the Cambridge, ON resident. "It would be nice to have six Gold fillies, but we were the masters of Clinton today." Menary and MacDonald's first victory came in the second division with Twin B Virtue, who battled to a neck victory over Jimmys Little Girl in 1:58.4. Life Book finished two and one-quarter lengths behind the duelling leaders in third. "Her last two starts she's been right on the front and end and I really think this filly's a lot better off a helmet or off a little trip, but when you're racing on a half-mile track you can't always work that out," noted Menary. "She got run at and headed the whole way, and dug in, and I was super happy with the filly." Menary shares ownership of Twin B Virtue with Brad Gray of Dundas, ON and Michael Guerriero of Puslinch, ON. The partners acquired the daughter of Badlands Hanover for $32,000 from the Canadian Yearling Sale last fall and through four starts the filly has returned $20,600. The trainer and driver were back in the winner's circle after the fifth division with Rosy Outlook. Starting from Post 2 Guelph, ON resident MacDonald put the Badlands Hanover daughter on the front end and she led through all stations on the way to her first lifetime victory in 1:59.4. Fan favourite Selling The Dream closed hard, but fell one-quarter length short, while Kyrstal C was well back in third. "Today she raced very greenly," said Menary, who added that MacDonald felt her attention wavered significantly through the final quarter. "I definitely have faith in the filly that she's going to get better." Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. of Wallkill, NY own Rosy Outlook, who was a $10,000 purchase out of the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. After debuting in the Gold Series on July 6, where she finished eighth, Rosy Outlook finished third in the July 19 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs. Menary's third victory came in the last Grassroots division when driver Kevin Sizer of Morriston, ON took Norcross Blue Chip gate-to-wire for her first win. The Bettors Delight daughter finished two lengths ahead of Endless Legacy and favourite State Of Joy in 1:58.1. "This is a filly that I thought was one of my best all winter. She had little problems with the efficiency of her gait, so I spent a lot of time going with this filly, and Kevin Sizer's done a great job with this filly -he works for me - he's done a great job with this filly and he did a great job today," said Menary. "She's been behind all the way, but catching up rapidly." The trainer shares ownership of Norcross Blue Chip with Michael Guerriero, Denis Breton of Welland, ON and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. A $30,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the filly has two starts under her belt, Sunday's win and a fourth in a July 31 conditioned event at Grand River Raceway. The other Grassroots divisions were captured by Trilife, St Lads Smokin Hot, P L Jasmine, My Rhythm Of Rhyme and Miss Babe Delight. Trilife kicked things off in the first division with a 1:58.1 score for driver Anthony MacDonald of Guelph, trainer Larry Ainsworth of Petrolia, ON and owner-breeder William Boden of Vancouver. The Mach Three lass hit the wire two and one-quarter lengths ahead of Menary trainee No Shadows and Northern Prima to record her first Grassroots victory. St Lads Smokin Hot recorded her first lifetime victory in the third division, sailing along on the front end to a 2:00.2 win over Sports Expert and This Day Forward. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry engineered the No Pan Intended daughter's successful effort for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. A gritty first-over trip netted P L Jasmine her second straight victory, and first Grassroots trophy, in the fourth division. The Badlands Hanover daughter and driver Scott Coulter of Brantford, ON cruised home five and one-half lengths ahead of Watt Machs Me Win and Menary trainee Green Light in 1:58.3. Robert McMillan of Beaverton, ON conditions P L Jasmine for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON. Paul MacDonell and My Rhythm Of Rhyme never faced a challenge on their way to a two and one-quarter length win in the sixth division. The Shadow Play daughter stopped the Clinton teletimer at 1:59.1, besting Dancin In the Nude and favourite Boozer Bruiser. Guelph resident MacDonell shares ownership of first-time winner My Rhythm Of Rhyme with his wife Lynn MacDonell. Miss Babe Delight also made winning look easy, pacing home three lengths ahead of Action Big and Bad Lightning in Race 7. Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion piloted the Bettors Delight filly to her first win in 1:58.2 for trainer Dany Fontaine of Lachenaie, QC and owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. The two-year-old pacing fillies start the second half of their Grassroots season at Mohawk Racetrack on August 24. Ontario Horse Racing

Louisville, KY ---He is not a loaded gun. He is, however, a 2-year-old colt that paced in 1:53.4h in his third lifetime start for a seasonal Canadian record. Therefore, harness racing trainer Tony O’Sullivan is thrilled with the potential that Semi Automatic possesses. Especially since this guy did not stand out training down. “Eric Cherry was responsible for the deal that brought him to us,” said O’Sullivan. “I have trained some horses for him before and he asked if I was willing to take a chance on this one. He was purchased privately because he was a smallish individual and not a horse that was one for the sales. He was sound all winter but had a lot of health problems. He didn’t really come around until February and then he just blossomed the more we trained him.” The son of Badlands Hanover and the D M Dilinger mare Topgun Lady, who is owned by Cherry's Let It Ride Stables, O’Sullivan and J&T Silva Stables, will take aim on his opponents in the C$227,397 Battle of Waterloo final at Grand River Raceway on Monday (Aug. 3) in the 11th and last race on the card. Unfortunately, his triumph in his elimination did not carry enough weight to have his nose on the gate. Semi Automatic will trail the field from post nine with James MacDonald steering him for the mile. “He has only three starts and has improved with each one,” O’Sullivan said. “It was like something changed in him when he qualified. Like he knew what he was supposed to do and enjoyed it.” Although he wasn’t exactly the best looking colt or the most physically gifted, Semi Automatic, with a record of 3-1-1-1 and just under $30,000 in the bank, has the pedigree to be any kind of horse. His dam never made it past a qualifying race, but his granddam, the Albatross mare Keystone Trinidad, earned $181,787 on the racetrack and produced Invitro (by Camluck) p,4,1:50s ($1,983,077) and Bigtime Ball (by Presidential Ball) p,5,1:48.2s ($1,558,519). “He definitely has the pedigree to be a nice horse,” O’Sullivan said. “But he also has such a nice mind. He is so willing. He wears no boots or headpoles and still came home his last quarters in his first two races in :26.2. His second race he even had the nine hole and still raced very well.” Semi Automatic was third and second in his two qualifying races on June 27 and July 4 at Mohawk Racetrack. In his career debut on July 11 over the same surface he was again a bridesmaid in a $55,300 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold contest. His second start, in an $80,850 Sires Stakes Gold engagement on July 18, was a third place finish after an outside trip. In his Battle of Waterloo elimination, which was his third trip to the post, the colt showed he had plenty of ammunition in reserve. O’Sullivan was concerned as he watched the race unfold and was fearful of how his horse would finish. “(A time of) 1:53.4 is a serious mile for any horse on a half-(mile track) let alone a 2-year-old,” he said. “I saw those fractions when he went to the front and was very nervous. He had never shown gate speed. I knew he had it because he is an easy horse and doesn’t show everything, we just had not seen it yet, but he had never been on the front before. I was not sure he was that kind of horse to be able to do it cutting out the mile. James (MacDonald) said after the race was over he did it well within himself. He never even realized he was going that fast.” Despite his obvious prowess during the latter stages of his fledging career, Semi Automatic will only compete in Ontario Sires Stakes contests throughout 2015. “Because he was sick so often and small we did not stake him to anything other than those races,” O’Sullivan said. “It was also a significant amount to make him eligible because payments were not made on him when he was a weanling. There is plenty of money to be made in these events and if we decide we want to supplement him to other races we always can. It depends on him. “I did take note of how he looked after his race last week. He’s not a flashy horse, but he is well put together. All his parts are in the right places and it looks like he could be a really nice horse. Anything in this business is a risk and Eric asked me if I was willing to take a chance on him. This is one occasion where the risk was worth the reward.” Below is the field, with drivers, trainers and morning line, for the Battle of Waterloo final. C$227,397 Battle of Waterloo Horse-Driver-Trainer 1. Think On It by Ponder - John Campbell-Robert McIntosh-9-2 2. Stonebridge Beach by Mach Three - Stephane Pouliot-Stephane Larocque-8-1 3. A Bettors Risk by Bettor's Delight - Jonathan Drury-Casie Coleman-5-1 4. Carolina Hurricane by Sportswriter - Sylvain Filion-Ronald Adams-12-1 5. Continual Hanover by Bettor's Delight - Mike Saftic-Jack Darling-15-1 6. Imsporty by Sportswriter - Jody Jamieson-Carl Jamieson-3-1 7. Magnum J by Big Jim - Doug McNair-Gregg McNair-5-2 8. Chalk Player by Camluck - Bob McClure-Jeffrey Gillis-20-1 9. Semi Automatic by Badlands Hanover - James MacDonald-Tony O’Sullivan-8-5 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

JULY 25, 2015 – Even before his three-year-old pacing geldings Robert Hill and J Js Delivery swept the Gold Series divisions at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, harness racing trainer Dave Menary was having a pretty amazing weekend. ‘I’m pretty pumped. I wasn’t at the races tonight myself. I was watching them at home on TV, because yesterday morning I had a daughter born,” explained the rural Cambridge, ON resident. “Julie and I, my fiancé, we had a beautiful baby girl born yesterday morning. We just come home from the hospital tonight.” As if in celebration of daughter Mikayla’s birth, the Menary Stable had an extraordinary evening at Mohawk. In addition to sweeping the Gold divisions, the trainer captured an overnight event and posted three seconds and one third. “I had seven in to go, including three colts in the Sires Stakes, and it couldn’t have gone any better,” said the trainer. “Everything we raced tonight has been unbelievable.” Adding another touch of the extraordinary to the evening was the fact that James MacDonald was in the race bike behind both of Menary’s Gold Series winners, just one night after being involved in an accident at Mohawk that sent him to the hospital for stitches in his arm. In the first $105,000 Gold test MacDonald and Robert Hill started from Post 6 and were sitting seventh when Shoe Shine reached the opening quarter in :26.4. At the :54.1 half and 1:22.1 three-quarters clocked by fan favourite Drachan Hanover, Robert Hill was still at the back of the pack, although MacDonald had moved him into the outer lane. At the top of the stretch Drachan Hanover still had a short lead and another Menary other starter, Sportsmanship, looked poised for victory, but when MacDonald gave Robert Hill a clear look at the wire the gelding powered down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:51.1. Sportsmanship finished second, giving Menary a one-two sweep, and Thinkofagameplan rounded out the top three. “Last week I think Sportsmanship went the mile of his life, and tonight when they come up to the head of the stretch I was cheering for him, but then all of sudden, when he was getting conquered it was by my other horse, so I had to change cheering,” said Menary. “I had to jump off one bandwagon and get on the other bandwagon.” Menary conditions Jereme's Jet son Robert Hill for Tom Hill of Lancashire, GB and Sportswriter son Sportsmanship for Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, ON, Denis Breton of Welland, ON, Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON and Parkinson Farms of Lucan, ON. Robert Hill In the second Gold division MacDonald and J Js Delivery also lined up at Post 6, but the Guelph, ON resident hustled the Jeremes Jet son away from the starting gate, reaching the opening quarter in :26.1. The duo yielded to Go Daddy Go through the :53.2 half, but were back out and powering toward the front at the 1:21.1 three-quarters. J Js Delivery turned for home with a narrow lead and had to battle all the way down the stretch to secure the victory, keeping a neck in front of Go Daddy Go and Star Cover. The 1:49.4 clocking was a personal best for J Js Delivery, who had posted one second and one third in the first two Gold Legs. Bob Hamather of Exeter, ON owns J Js Delivery, who is a half-brother to $1.1 million winner Secrets Nephew. J Js Delivery “It’s been a non-sleep week. I’m lucky I have a good staff around me,” said Menary. “Everything has just fallen into place, partly because of luck, partly because of the people, but mostly because of the horses.” Joining J Js Delivery in the winner’s circle was lucky “Be A Winner” contestant Nick Toltl, who had his photo taken with the gelding and driver MacDonald. In addition, Toltl will be back at Mohawk for the Sept. 26 Grassroots Championships enjoying dinner for four and a $100 wagering voucher. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their fourth Gold Series start at Georgian Downs on August 25. Next on Mohawk Racetrack’s active Ontario Sires Stakes calendar are six Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting colts on Tuesday, July 28. The colts will battle in Races 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 10 on Tuesday’s program, which kids off at 7:25 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

Clinton -- Two years ago, James MacDonald was winning Clinton Raceways' annual harness racing drivers challenge heading into the final race when Trevor Henry pulled off a last second victory. MacDonald got his revenge a year ago, winning his first title with a decisive victory over Jody Jamieson. Henry was third. On Sunday, May 31, the trio, along with five other top reinsmen, will suit up against each other again as the 35th annual Drivers Challenge hits the track in support of the Clinton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. "Legions are having a tough time financially across the province. Every cause is a good one, but we think this will be a nice tie-in for us," said Clinton Raceway general manager Ian Fleming. Though it's a fun, relaxed atmosphere in which all proceeds of the day, including the drivers' fees, will go to the Legion, MacDonald said the drivers don't take the competition lightly. "Everyone's really competitive," he said. "You put a bunch of egos in together and one's a winner and you're going to get people trying pretty hard. There's no favours there, that's for sure." Henry, a finalist for the O'Brien Award for Canada's driver of the year in 2014, said pride is on the line. "It's always nice to have the bragging rights," Henry said, "But it's just a lot of fun. It's a good day out." The Drivers Challenge will pit Clinton's top three drivers of 2014 -- Henry, Ryan Holliday and Bruce Richardson-- against MacDonald, Jamieson, Doug McNair and Mike Saftic from the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit and Canada's leading dash winner, Alfie Carroll, who turned 30 in early May, and is leading the nation with nearly 200 wins already in 2015. For the first time in its long history, the Drivers Challenge is being held at the beginning, rather than at the end of the season, to make room for the eighth edition of Clinton Raceway's biannual Legends Day classic that will close out the track's 16-race season on Sept. 6 in support of the Clinton Public Hospital. Henry, long the king of Ontario's smaller tracks and now a regular fixture on the WEG circuit, said he's a big fan of Clinton Raceway. "It's just good to go there and give back to the town of Clinton," Henry said. "They do a lot of good there. It's a good town and a nice track and a good spot." MacDonald said he likes making the trip to Clinton because the Drivers Challenge usually draws a huge crowd and, "the people there seem to appreciate it and they put on a good show." MacDonald currently ranks a close second on Canada's driver earnings list with over $1.35 million made in 2015. McNair is a close third ($1.23 million), following by Henry in fifth ($1.09 million), Jamieson in sixth ($980,000) and Carroll in eighth ($890,000). In the wins department, after Carroll, McNair currently ranks sixth in the nation with 90 wins, followed by MacDonald in seventh (88) and Henry tied for ninth (80). The eight reinsmen participating in the Drivers Challenge have more than 26,300 career wins between them and combined career earnings of around $300 million.     Jessica Carnochan

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

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