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JUNE 27, 2019 - Driver James MacDonald and trainer Shawn Steacy teamed up for two wins and two seconds in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday night. The duo kicked off the Grassroots program in the fourth race with fan favourite Moonshine Kisses, who took command of the race before the halfway marker and powered home a five length winner in 1:50. Balder Son closed well to finish second and pocket-sitter Silver Beast was third. "I was really pleased with his effort because I think he's got a great attitude. His attitude has come a long way from last year and that's what's made him a better horse. He's more focused, he's more willing to put in a full effort," said Steacy. "And 1:50 was a real big mile. I think that's the fastest Sunshine Beach there is now, if I'm not mistaken." Steacy shares ownership of the Sunshine Beach colt with his mother Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy of Edmonton, AB. The win was Moonshine Beach's third of the season and, added to his runner-up finish in the May 19 Grassroots opener, gives him a total of 75 points and a share of second-place in the division standings. Guelph, ON residents MacDonald and Steacy were back in the winner's circle one race later with OK Kudo, who reeled off a :27 last quarter to score his first lifetime win in 1:52. Dreamfair Moxy was one-half length back in second and Missile Seelster was one more length back in third. "OK Kudo I was really happy with. He's been waiting to win, he's about three weeks overdue that horse," said the trainer. "So many times I thought tonight was his night, tonight was night, and he'd let me down. Tonight he just had to prove that he could do it." Another son of Sunshine Beach, OK Kudo had recorded one second, two thirds and two fourths in overnight action and a seventh in the Grassroots season opener since making his sophomore debut in early May. Breeder Oak Knoll Stables of Campbellcroft, ON and Stephen Downey of Quispamsis, NB share ownership of the colt. Steacy and MacDonald's other two Grassroots starters, also sons of Sunshine Beach, finished second in their divisions. Phils Sun battled Sportsline down the stretch, but was unable to reel in the heavy favourite. Sportsline stopped the Woodbine Mohawk Park teletimer at 1:50.3, reaching the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Phils Sun, with Jay Eye Em another length back in third. Trevor Henry piloted Sportsline to his eighth win in nine sophomore starts for trainer Jim Watt of Clinton and his co-owner Harry Parrott of Goderich, ON. With two wins in Grassroots action the Sportswriter son currently shares top spot in the division standings with 100 points. "Phils Sun, he raced a huge mile and only got tired in the last couple steps and got beat by a horse that's, in my mind, a super horse for a Grassroots horse," said Steacy of Sportsline. In the last division fans sent MacDonald and Priceless Beach off as the top choice, but the pair was unable to catch pacesetter The Regulator in the stretch. After moving to the front at the :54.1 half, The Regulator reeled off a 1:22.1 three-quarters and then sprinted home to a 1:49.4 victory. Priceless Beach was two and three-quarter lengths behind in second, one-half length ahead of third-place finisher Better Moonon Over. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry picked up his second Grassroots win aboard The Regulator, steering the Bettors Delight son to victory for trainer Victor Puddy of Mountain, Dale Towle of Leamington and Michael Horwood of Tecumseh, ON. The win was the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for The Regulator, who dropped down from the Gold Series level for Thursday's test. "Sportsline's a nice colt. He's got a quick turn of foot. Jim just has to figure out how to stop him from drifting in the stretch. The Regulator is just a nice colt. I can't believe he paid as much as he did his first time in the Grassroots," said Henry of his winning mounts. The other $23,850 Grassroots division went to Sugartown, who also recorded a personal best with his 1:51.2 victory. Sugartown finished three-quarters of a length ahead of fan favourite Cliffhanger and that much more ahead of third-place finisher Carlisimo. Doug McNair piloted Sugartown to his second straight Grassroots win for trainer Richard Moreau and owner W J Donovan of Delray Beach, FL. With two Grassroots wins under his belt, the Sportswriter son shares top spot in the division standings with Sportsline. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their third Grassroots start on August 5 at Grand River Raceway, where MacDonald and Steacy will attempt to replicate Thursday's success. "We had a real good night," said Steacy. "We can always think about Golds maybe later on with some of them, but they seem to be very comfortable where they are, so we'll probably just race some overnights and prepare for the next one." The Gold Series three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will square off in their second event on Saturday, June 29 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The $159,600 Gold division is slated as Race 5 on Saturday's program, which gets under way at 7:55 pm.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park

Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA/BetAmerica, is excited to announce the line-up for Thursday morning (May 16th) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Dr. Jeffrey Greenstein, Katricia Adams, James MacDonald, and Andrew 'Shades' Demsky. In a special Pacing For The Cure segment, Mike Bozich had a chance to sit down with well-known immunologist Dr. Jeffrey Greenstein. Greenstein has been integral in finding a cure for not only for Multiple Sclerosis, but for other autoimmune diseases as well. It will be the second of a two-part interview. Part one aired last Thursday (May 9th). Trainer Katricia Adams will also join the program. Adams, trainer of Indiana State Champion Fiftydallarbill, will talk about the 4-year-olds progress thus far this season. She will also talk about her career and how she got started in the sport of harness racing. Mike and Mike will also be joined by Driver James MacDonald, who picked up his 2,000th career win Monday (May 13th) at Woodbine Mohawk. He will chat about his career in the sport and what the future holds. MacDonald won the World Driving Championship at Red Shores Charlottetown in 2017. Also joining the show will be Andrew Demsky, best known as 'Shades' for wearing stylish sunglasses during his stint as public handicapper for Tampa Bay Downs. Demsky was recently hired by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association to be their new Director of Digital Media and Creative Services. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA/BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN.   Mike Bozich  

MILTON, May 13, 2019 - James MacDonald posted a Grand Slam Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park to reach 2,000 career driving wins. The Guelph, Ontario resident entered the evening three wins shy of the harness racing milestone and came through with the number he needed, plus one, by steering Marquis Volo, Cue Hall, Fast N First and Rockin Wizard to victories. MacDonald's milestone score saw three-year-old pacing colt Fast N First display plenty of grit to hold off challengers in the lane for his second win of the season. The Blake MacIntosh trainee is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. MacDonald, who started driving in 2009, has posted six 200-plus win seasons during his career and topped $3 million in earnings in each of the last five years. His 2019 numbers now sit at 52 wins and over $900,000 in earnings. The 2,000 win milestone comes just 11 days before MacDonald competes in the 2019 World Driving Championship. The 33-year-old is heading to Sweden as the defending champion after winning the 2017 event on home soil. Fans can meet MacDonald and fellow driver Doug McNair, who is also competing in the World Driving Championship, on Saturday evening at Mohawk Park during a meet and greet from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

MILTON, ON - October 11, 2018 - Round one of the Harvest Series came to a close Thursday with Ontario sired two-year-old colts and geldings in action at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 21 pacers were split into three divisions, while 17 trotters were separated into two divisions. Each of Thursday's round one divisions went for $17,000. Sportswriter gelding Mantario and driver Sylvain Filion were able find room in the lane to split rivals for a half-length score in 1:54.1. The Scott McEneny trainee received a two-hole trip and despite being stuck behind a tiring leader at three-quarters, slid off the rail and shot through for his third win of the season. Shadow Tail was second, while Better Than Some was third. Mantario has now earned $22,128 in 10 starts this season for owners M And L Of Delaware LLC. The $60,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase matched his career-best of 1:54.1. He paid $7.90 to win. Sunshine Beach colt Millenium Seelster and driver Chris Christoforou captured the second division in gate to wire fashion. The Charalambos Christoforou trainee stopped the clock in 1:55.2 to break his maiden. Lifetime Delight was second, beat two-lengths, while Better Than Cash was third. Millenium Seelster's maiden-breaking score came in his fifth start and pushes his earnings to $10,418 for owners Charalambos Christoforou and Banjo Farms. The $42,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase paid $15.10 to win. Sunshine Beach colt Carlisimo rallied from third-over to win the third pacing division in 1:55.2. The James 'Friday' Dean trainee left well to get away second, but got shuffled back in the middle-half before sliding off the rail into a third-over spot. Joe Mcdude crossed the wire second, beat half a length, while Rousseau was a close third. Carlisimo now has four wins in 10 starts and has earned $42,148 for owner Reginald MacPherson. The $13,000 Atlantic Classic sale purchase paid $5.30 to win. Archangel gelding All Wrapped Up picked up his second consecutive coast-to-coast victory to take the first split for rookie trotters. The Rob Fellows trainee and driver Trevor Henry won by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:58. Cool Clifford finished second, while Cousin Peter was third. All Wrapped Up is now two for six with $15,250 earned for owners Fellows, Arpad Szabo, Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister. The $11,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase paid $4.20 to win. Angus Hall gelding Sinful muscled his way to a career-best 1:58.2 victory in the second trotting split. The Jack Moiseyev trainee and driver Chris Christoforou popped out from second nearing three-quarters, taking the lead at the top of the lane and trotting off to a length and a half score. Scarlett Raider finished second, while Jmr Pinarello was third. Sinful's tally improves his rookie numbers to two wins and $20,780 earned in eight starts. The $17,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase is owned by Friends Forever Racing, Emma Christoforou, All You Gotta Know Stable and Pamela Schmidt. The Moiseyev trainee Sinful paid $17.50 to win. Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. The next leg for colts and geldings goes next Thursday (October 18). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - September 27, 2018 - The duo of driver James MacDonald and trainer Mark Steacy are sitting pretty heading into Saturday's $400,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Championships at Woodbine Mohawk Park. MacDonald, who sits sixth in the Lampman Cup standings, has a drive in all eight of Saturday's $50,000 finals and will team up with Johnston Cup leading trainer Steacy in five of the finals. The Steacy/MacDonald duo is clicking at a winning percentage of nearly 20 per cent with more than 350 starts this season on the Woodbine circuit and those numbers could rise with several legit contenders in Saturday's finals. Rookie trotting colt Royale Elite (Race 2, PP5) enters his Grassroots final off a hard-fought second-place finish to A Royal Line (PP2, Henry/McIntosh) in his Semi-Final. The sons of Royalty For Life battled the length of the stretch with A Royal Line prevailing by a head. "He drew the rail unfortunately last week and I just kind of got him in a tough spot," said MacDonald of Royale Elite. "He's been handy and anyone that's been watching sees his times maybe haven't been the best, but the lengths he's made up down the lane in some of those races and the way he won at Grand River (September 12) in my mind he's still the one to beat, him and McIntosh's horse." Royale Elite has won four of seven starts this season and earned $45,232 for owner/breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable. He has been saddled with morning-line odds of 9/2. Rookie pacing filly Freya Seelster (Race 5, PP4) is one of two morning-line choices for MacDonald and Steacy in the Grassroots finals. A daughter of Sunshine Beach, Freya Seelster charges into the final on a four-race win streak, which started with a 1:53 maiden-breaking score on August 20 at Mohawk Park. "She's been dominant in the Grassroots this year," said MacDonald. "They were hoping she would learn to be a Gold filly and I think she probably will next year. She's a big long-legged filly and she's been winning pretty easy." A $26,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Freya Seelster has won four of six starts and earned $42,005 for owners Katherine Steacy, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell. "I know there are a couple good ones in there," noted MacDonald. "But I think if I can find her somewhat of a comfortable trip she'll give us a good effort." Augus Hall gelding Jammin Jack (Race 6, PP8) has overcome recent breaking issues and is the 5/2 morning-line choice in thee-year-old colt and gelding trot final. Unraced as a two-year-old, Jammin Jack has five wins and $51,312 earned in 16 starts this season for owner Hutt Racing Stable. The Steacy trainee has been streaky with stretches of top-results, but also breaking issues in consecutive starts. Jammin Jack made consecutive breaks in starts on August 26 and September 10. Despite the miscue on September 10, the Steacy trainee recovered to pick up the victory and then qualified two-days later for a clean line to enter the Semi-Final. The Angus Hall gelding captured his Semi-Final in 1:59.2 and will seek a third-consecutive victory in Saturday's Championship. "He's a little bumpy, but you just got to take your time with him," said MacDonald. "He's got a big engine and he loves doing it. He drew the eight-hole and if I can get him somewhat in a striking spot turning for home or somewhere easy I think he's the one to beat as well." MacDonald and Steacy will also team up in Saturday's finals with two-year-old trotting filly Pyrrha (Race 1, PP1) and three-year-old pacing filly Lady Bubbles (Race 3, PP10). Not one to get ahead of himself, MacDonald is excited for Saturday's Grassroots Championships. "It should be a good day for hopefully Mark and I and the crew." Post time for Saturday's $400,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Championships is 7:10 p.m. To download a free program for Saturday's card, click here. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

There were few surprises at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday night as the top two-year-old trotting colts and geldings padded their point totals in the last Grassroots event of the regular season. After finishing second twice and third once, Cousin Peter finally found the winner's circle in the first $18,450 Grassroots division. Starting from Post 1 driver Louis Philippe Roy settled Cousin Peter in the pocket behind Priceless Ruler and followed the pacesetter through fractions of :28.4, :59.3 and 1:29.4. In the stretch Roy slid Cousin Peter into an open lane and the colt reeled in Priceless Ruler and first-up challenger Magical Journey to score a neck victory in 1:59.2. Fan favourite Magical Journey was second and Priceless Ruler settled for third. "He's a horse that doesn't really look fluid when you sit behind him, but he wants to try and has a big heart that makes him forget his little issues," said Roy. "I might be wrong, but he's a horse that I expect to improve a lot between two and three years old." Roy steers the Johnny William son for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Sergis Racing Stable LLC of Canton, NY and Saverino Spagnolo of Ottawa, Ontario. With a total of 122 points the consistent Cousin Peter finished the season in third spot and will be among the favourites in the Sept. 20 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The second division saw point leader Royale Elite get a pocket trip behind Archway, who led the field to fractions of :29.4, 1:02.1 and 1:33.2. Coming off the final turn driver James MacDonald tipped Royale Elite out from behind the pacesetter and the colt powered home to a two length win in 2:02.4. Archway finished second and fan favourite Judge Ken recovered from an early break in stride to be third. "The trip worked out great; no stress," said trainer Mark Steacy. "We'll keep to the same schedule for next week and hope to stay sound and healthy." Wednesday's win was Royale Elite's fourth in Grassroots action. He was also victorious at Georgian Downs, Hiawatha Horse Park and Woodbine Mohawk Park. His only loss came at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the July 31 event where he finished third behind two colts that are ranked among the top 10 Gold Series competitors. With his near perfect record, Royale Elite leads his peers into the post-season with 212 points. Steacy trains Royale Elite for owner-breeders Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec and the conditioner's concerns about keeping the Royalty For Life son healthy are more than just lip service. His stablemate Rap Royalty, ranked fifth in the standings, was scratched out of Wednesday's first division due to sickness. "We're hoping Rap can rebound to race next week," noted Steacy, who currently leads all trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes standings in pursuit of his third straight Johnston Cup title. The final division saw LA Magic record his first victory in just his second lifetime start. The Kadabra son and driver Jody Jamieson stormed away from Post 2 and never looked back, reeling off fractions of :29.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30.3 on their way to a one and one-half length win in 2:01.2. Lightly rated Fitzgibbons trotted into second, leaving fan favourite A Royal Line the third-place spoils. "I've schooled him and qualified him and he is naturally gifted with a flawless gait," said Jamieson. "I really thought he could ambush them off the gate tonight and win, and that's exactly what he did." Jamieson crafted the win for trainer Duane Marfisi and owner Gary Morritt of London, Ontario. With a fifth-place result in his Sept. 3 debut, LA Magic finishes the season with a total of 55 points and heads into the Semi-Final tied for ninth spot, but Jamieson is expecting him to be a serious player. "He'll be the freshest horse in the Semis next week," pointed out the driver. "Hopefully he'll use the light schedule to his advantage." The top 20 points earners with at least two starts in the Grassroots program will advance to next week's Semi-Final. The top five finishers from each $20,000 Semi-Final will earn a berth in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Rain and fog greeted the three-year-old trotting colts and two-year-old pacing fillies as they gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday night for their last regular season Grassroots events. Driver James MacDonald piloted one winner on each gait and said the rain-soaked track, which officials rated five seconds slower than normal, was tiring and difficult to navigate for both the trotters and pacers. "They were all struggling," said the Guelph resident. "It was deep and heavy." The trotting colts kicked things off in the first race and MacDonald had a few a stressful moments as Jammin Jack went off stride at the start. Fortunately the fan favourite recovered quickly and caught up with the field as they rolled into the first turn. A total of three horses made breaks before Legend Within reached the :30.1 quarter and two more went off stride heading for the 1:02 half, which left Jammin Jack sitting fifth. Heading for the 1:33.1 three-quarters MacDonald sent the gelding up the outside behind Daylon Phantom and Mister Magic and at the top of the stretch Jammin Jack found another gear, digging in to score a neck victory in 2:02.3. Mister Magic was second and Legend Within held on for third. "I was very worried, because he usually doesn't re-set like that, that was the first time I've ever seen him re-set that quick," said MacDonald of Jammin Jack's early miscue. "I thought he was the best horse in the race if he didn't get beat up too bad. After he run and he landed back, and I caught the field right away, I was confident he could still win." The win was Jammin Jack's first-ever in Grassroots action and his fourth of the season. The Angus Hall son is conditioned by Mark Steacy for owner-breeder Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. With the victory, Jammin Jack boosted his point tally to 68 and moved up to fifth spot in the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding Grassroots standings, earning him a berth in the Sept. 21 Semi-Final. The only hiccup is that, because he also made a break at the start in the August 26 Grassroots event at Rideau Carleton Raceway, Jammin Jack will have to requalify before Steacy can enter him in the Semi-Final. The entry is due Tuesday, Sept. 18 by 10:30 am. "There's a chance he might not get to race in the Semi-Final," noted MacDonald, pointing out that the trotter will need to lay down a flawless qualifier before Tuesday morning. "But if we can get him qualified I think he'd be one of the horses to beat for sure. And Majestic Fire, same thing, if I can get him qualified. I think they both have a real good shot to get real good money in the final." Jammin Jack's stablemate Majestic Fire, who also went off as the fans' top choice, made a break heading for the three-quarters in the second $19,150 sophomore trotting colt division, just before Barney Mac unleashed a finishing kick that propelled him to a two and three-quarter length victory in 2:03.1. Say You Do finished second and pacesetter T Barrr held on for third. Campbellville resident Chris Christoforou piloted Barney Mac to the victory for trainer Per Henriksen and owners Tor Jan Larsen of Norwood, Ontario and Adv Racing Stable LLC of Pawling, NY. The win was the Cornaro Dasolo son's second of the season and his first in Grassroots action. Barney Mac made his first four starts of the Ontario Sires Stakes season at the Gold Series level, so he will not be eligible to compete in the Grassroots Championship in spite of Monday's victory. Horses are required to start in at least two regular season events in order to compete in the post-season. MacDonald and Steacy were back in the winner's circle after the second $19,150 pacing filly division as Freya Seelster picked up her second Grassroots, and third straight, victory. The Sunshine Beach daughter delivered an impressive effort over the rain-soaked surface, sitting on the outside throughout the mile and refusing to yield in the stretch. The fan favourite hit the wire a neck ahead of Lyons Javelin in 1:58.4. Karans Choice completed the top three. "She raced huge, huge," said MacDonald. "I had put her on the lead her last two, so I was hoping I could find her a nice trip. I moved her first up, just grinding away slow, and when I called on her at the top of the track she really responded well." Freya Seelster is owned by Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. In just five starts the filly has tallied three wins, one second and one third and heads into the Semi-Final in a three-way tie for third with 100 points. The other two pacing filly divisions were captured by Shadow Sparks and Turncoat, who both made their first visit to the Woodbine Mohawk Park winner's circle. Louis Philippe Roy piloted Shadow Sparks to her first lifetime victory for trainer Paul Reid and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The Shadow Play daughter paced under the wire in 1:59, one length ahead of fan favourite Free Exchange. Lady Driver was third. Shadow Sparks will advance to the Semi-Final round with a total of 55 points. Turncoat completed the stakes events in the tenth race, cruising home a two and one-half length winner in 1:59.4. Moffat resident Jody Jamieson piloted the daughter of Badlands Hanover to the win for owner-trainer Matthew Waltz of Clayton, MI. Buckingham and Twin B Friendly finished second and third behind the fan favourite. Monday marked Turncoat's debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, so she will not be eligible to the post-season. The top 20 point earners with two regular season starts from the two-year-old pacing filly division will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, Sept. 20 for two $20,000 Semi-Finals. The trotting colt and gelding Semi-Finals go postward on Friday, Sept. 21. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to their respective $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Saturday, Sept. 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trois-Rivieres, QC - A packed house came out Sunday afternoon to the Hippodrome 3R for the tracks richest harness racing program of the season headed by eight Quebec Series Finals for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers. For Super Sunday there was $512,000 in total purses over the 12-race program. Here is a breakdown of each of the eight championship divisions. $65,000 3YO Colt Pace - The fasted mile on the afternoon came in the colt division that turned out to be a two-hole race between Kinnder Jackson (Louis Philippe Roy) and track record holder Hudson Phil (James MacDonald). It was Kinnder Jackson that was first on the lead with Stock (Stephane Brosseau) in second place past the opening quarter in :27.3. MacDonald came first-over with Hudson Phil and going past the half mile in :56.4, nearly got the lead, but Roy kept them parked out. Then in the backstretch, the dogfight continues with Hudson Phil a head up on the outside at the three-quarters in 1:25. But on the final turn Kinnder Jackson took the lead back and was up over a length as they started down the stretch. It was then that Hudson Phil found another gear for MacDonald and they collared Kinnder Jackson before the wire to win by a half length in 1:54.1. Stock was third. Trained by Mark Steacy, it was the fifth win this year for Hudson Phil, who was bred and is owned by Tony Infilise's Hudson Standardbred Stable of Hudson. He paid $5.10 to win. $65,000 3YO Filly Pace - Driver Stephane Brosseau left quickly with All You Can Dream with race favorite Katniss S BG and driver Louis Philippe Roy sitting in second place as they went by the opening quarter mile in :27.2 and the half mile in :57.1. Then in the backstretch, Roy pulled the pocket and sent Katniss S BG to the front with Sharks Summershandy (Pascal Berube) following on the outside past the three-quarters in 1:27.2. Then in the stretch Katniss S BG was an easy winner by two lengths in 1:57. Sharks Summrshandy was second with Butterfly BG (Guy Gagnon) third. Sired by Mach Three, it was the fifth win this year for Katniss S BG. She is trained by Richard Moreau and was bred and is co-owned by Sylvain Descheneaux and Gaston Bibeau of Sorel-Tracy. She paid $3.40 to win. $65,000 3YO Colt Trot - It was race favorite Nobodynojustice and driver Guy Gagnon who was not going to let anyone take the lead away from them. SOS Irresistable and driver Daniel Laflamme tried early on and those two played hardball, neck and neck, to the quarter mile in :29 and the half mile in :58 with neither horse giving way. Then in the backstretch, SG Goliath King and trainer/driver Sylvain Grenier got into the mix first-over and at the three-quarters in 1:29.4 they could not pass Nobodynojustice. As they came down the stretch Nobodynojustice could not maintain the lead and SG Goliath King came on to win by a half length in 2:02. SOS Irresistable was third. Owned and bred by Grenier of Saint-Rene, it was the fourth win this year for the son of Lucky Fool. SG Goliath King paid $7.20 to win. $65,000 3YO Filly Trot - Montanaalaska and driver Guy Gagnon was first on the lead with Precieuse CC and driver/trainer Claude Beausoliel following in second place as they went to the quarter in :29.2, the half mile in 1:00.2 and the three-quarters in 1:32.1. With no one challenging from the back of the pack, Beausoliel waited until the final turn and pulled Precieuse CC from the pocket and came after Montanaalaska. Those two locked horns coming down the stretch with Precieuse CC the stronger horse, going on to win by one length in 2:03.3. Montanaalaska was second with Stand For Justice (Stephane Brosseau) third. It was the second win and a lifetime mark for Precieuse CC, who is sired by Angus Hall and is owned by Marie Andree Cournoyer of Chicoutimi. She paid $6.10 to win. $55,000 2YO Colt Pace - It was Ginness Panic and driver Louis Philippe Roy who shot out to the early lead and cut fast fractions of :27.1 and :55.4 with Dernier Essai (Sylvain Filion) trying to keep up in second place. Then in the backstretch Stephane Gendron came first-over with YS Sunshine and the not only collared Guinness Panic, but past them by before the three-quarters in 1:25.1. YS Sunshine then kicked in another gear for Gendron and pulled away in the stretch to win by three and one-quarter lengths in 1:55, a track record for two-year-old pacing geldings. GA Speed Gary (Guy Gagnon) was second with Guinness Panic third. It was the fourth win this year for YS Sunshine. The son of Sunshine Beach is trained by Michel Allard and was bred and is owned by Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation. He paid $3.30 to win. The previous track record was 1:56.4 set by Sugarsam in 2014. $55,000 2YO Filly Pace - The biggest upset of the day came when Cooking The Speed and driver Stephane Gendron won at odds of 18-1. Hurryupatthebeach (Pascal Berube) cut the mile with Cooking The Speed sitting the pocket seat through fractions of :27.4 and :57.3. Jody Jamieson was already on the move with Better Now and as he approached the leaders in the backstretch, Gendron pulled the pocket with Cooking The Speed and the action heated up past the three-quarters in 1:27.3. All three horses were stacked three-wide around the final turn and as they started down the stretch, Hurrayupatthebeach began to fade as Cooking The Speed found another gear, winning by one length over Better Now in 1:57.3. Hurryupatthebeach was third. It was a lifetime mark for the daughter of So Surreal who is trained by Michel Allard and is co-owned and bred by Allard Racing of Saint-Esprit. She paid $38.90 to win. $55,000 2YO Colt Trot - The 1/5 favorite, Cesar Dunharas and trainer/driver Stuart Sowerby went right to the lead with Mister Sky (Francis Picard) trying to follow the live cover in second place to the opening quarter mile in :30. Then at the half mile marker in 1:01.1, Stephanie Brosseau came first-over with Only For Justice but was unable to gain ground as Cesar Dunharas went to the three-quarters in 1:31. On the final turn Only For Justice found another gear and gained on Cesar Dunharas, collared him in the stretch and came on to win by a quarter length in 2:01.3. Mister Sky was third. It was the second straight win and a lifetime mark for Justice For All. The gelded son of Justice Hall is trained by Dany Fontain for breeder/owner Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal. He paid $14.30 to win. $55,000 2YO Filly Trot - Claudi P V and driver Pascal Berube were the only one in the field to stay trotting and thus was an easy winner by five and one-half lengths in 2:01.1. Stablmate My Lady Hall (Jocelyn Gendron) was second with the 1/9 favorite, Kenogami Darling (Guy Gagnon), who was going for her fourth straight win, broke at the start. My Lady Hall led the field through fractions of :29.1, :59.2 and 1:29.3 with Claudi P V in pursuit. Then coming down the stretch, My Lady Hall made a break and Claudi P V blew by her for the win by 15 and one-quarter lengths. It was the second win and a lifetime mark for the daughter of Holiday Road, who is trainer and co-owned and bred by Serge Nadeau with Marcel Brouillard of St-Marcel-De-Richelieu. She paid $9.70 to win. The Open Handicap Pace saw former Quebec Series Champion, Atomic Million AM ($3.80) and driver Guy Gagnon wire the field with ease in 1:54.2. Another Quebec Series Champion, Capteur De Reve ($6/90) and driver Pierre Luc Roy, were able to wire the field in winning the Open Handicap Trot in 1:59.1. Track Notes: Driver Stephane Gendron and trainer Michel Allard each had two wins in the championship finals and driver Louis Phillipe Roy has two wins, one in the finals. Live harness racing resumes at H3R next Sunday, September 16, first race post time at 12:50 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club        

Ontario's exciting two-year-old trotting colts and geldings were in the spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening and delivered thrilling finishes in all three $19,500 Grassroots divisions. Royale Elite opened the stakes program with 1:58.3 victory from Post 3 that saw him roar down the stretch to nab fan favourite and pacesetter Judge Ken at the wire by a neck. Arcanum was well back of the duelling leaders in third. "The other divisions went faster, but the way he won tonight, it was very impressive," said driver James MacDonald. "It got backed up pretty good in the last turn, I had to back him out around, and usually with an aged horse if you have to back them up it's tough to get them rolling again, and he did it just like a pro. I backed him out around and as soon as he saw daylight he took off. I was really impressed with the way he fought right to the wire." "He's a nice colt, great gait, and you can do whatever you want with him," added the Guelph resident, who crafted the win for trainer Mark Steacy and owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The mile was a personal best for Royale Elite, who also scored Grassroots victories in the July 17 season opener at Georgian Downs and in the Aug. 11 event at Hiawatha Horse Park. A third in the July 31 contest at Woodbine Mohawk Park gives the Royalty For Life son a total of 162 points and ownership of top spot in the division standings. In the second division fan favourites A Royal Line and driver Trevor Henry left smartly from Post 5 and tucked in behind second choice Windsong Patriot through fractions of :28, :58.1 and 1:27.4. Turning for home Henry tipped A Royal Line to the outside and the chestnut gelding steadily reeled in the leader, reaching the wire one-half length on top in a personal best 1:56.4. Cousin Peter was well back in third. "Royal is getting better every week, stronger and smarter," said Henry, who was also part of the stretch duel in the first division aboard Judge Ken. "Judge Ken raced well too. He just got picked off, but that's racing." Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh conditions A Royal Line for his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. Windsor resident McIntosh also bred the son of Royalty For Life and Direct Dial. Like Royale Elite, A Royal Line was victorious in the July 17 and Aug. 11 Grassroots events, but he tried his hand in the Gold Series for the second event so sits behind Royale Elite in the standings with 150 points. As the gate swept away from the field in the third division it was Lariat Seelster and Magical Journey from Posts 8 and 9 that led the way into the first turn. Magical Journey took the early lead, reaching the quarter in :28.2, then yielded to Lariat Seelster heading for the :57.4 half. Lariat Seelster hit the three-quarters in 1:28 and as the pair turned for home Magical Journey mounted his attack. The pair battled tooth and nail down the stretch, with Lariat Seelster holding on by a stubborn head in a personal best 1:57.4. Rap Royalty was two lengths back in third. "Not gonna let that guy by me, you know, so that's good," said trainer Bob Young. "We've been waiting for him to break loose, and tonight he broke loose." Roger Mayotte piloted the Kadabra gelding to his second straight win for Guelph resident Young and his partners Robert Deveau of Toronto, Frank Chiaravalloti of Downsview and Jaftica Stable of Guelph. The long-legged youngster, a $54,000 acquisition from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale, was also victorious in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 27. "He's a Mohawk horse. I told my guys that own him, he's not going to any track but Mohawk, he's just too big a horse," said Young of his decision to race the colt in an overnight rather than in the Aug. 11 Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park. "That was our game plan from day one and that's what we've done." With Monday's victory and a fourth-place result in the July 31 Grassroots event at the Campbellville oval, Lariat Seelster has accumulated 58 points, which should assure him of a berth in the Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 20. The gelding's peers will have one last opportunity to accumulate points in the regular season finale over Grand River Raceway's half-mile surface on Sept. 12. The top 20 point earners following the last event will advance to the Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final earning a berth in the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship. The three-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their Grassroots regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park this Thursday, Sept. 6, competing in Races 1, 9 and 10. The fillies will kick things off at 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

LAZARUS’ dominant debut US win certainly didn’t surprise former world champion driver James MacDonald. In fact, MacDonald is already strongly tipping a repeat dose in the $600,000 Canadian Derby at Woodbine Mohawk on Sunday morning NZ time. “This race is no harder than last time. I’d expect the same result. He’s drawn better and should be fitter. McWicked would be the danger again if he can get the right trip,” he said. “Lazarus earnt so much respect last start the way he won. If Yannick wants to press for the front or gets headed and wants to re-take, he’s got that respect now.” So where will another win this week sit Lazarus on the scale of North America’s best pacers, which is essentially the world’s best? “These are the best of the best he’s facing this week. There might be a few others here and there, but it won’t get harder than this,” MacDonald said. “If he keeps going the way he is, he will be the best over here. “The sky is the limit for him knowing Yannick (Gingras, driver) told me he should keep getting better as he gets fitter and adapts more to the style of racing.” MacDonald’s opinion of Lazarus was in high demand at home given he had the opportunity to watch the megastar win the Perth Inter Dominion in the flesh while he contested some invitational driver races at Gloucester Park last December. “I told everyone I’d never seen a horse do what he did in that final, sit parked and run past them like he did,” he said. “I think he was a bit under-estimated when he got here, but not anymore. Not after that first win. “My only query was how would acclimatise to the shorter speed racing and how fast he could get off the gate, but he answered both those things in that first win.” Adam Hamilton

MILTON, ON - August 16, 2018 - The Pure Ivory and Define The World Series resumed Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The second-leg of each event saw a single $14,000 divisions with six competitors. The Pure Ivory for fillies did not feature round one winner Dark As A Pocket, while Smart As Hill was attempting to repeat his first-leg score. Mark Steacy trainee Minor Obsession was a front-end winner in her Pure Ivory Series debut. The daughter of Muscle Mass and driver James MacDonald floated away before trotting on to secure the front entering the first-turn. Minor Obsession hung up fractions of :29.4, 1:02.1 and 1:32.2 before stepping home in :28 for a 2:00.2 victory. Grimmie Hanover finished a length and a quarter back in second, while Angel For Life was third. A $17,500 Goshen Yearling Sale purchase, Minor Obsession picked up her first-career victory in her third start Thursday. The Steacy trainee finished second in her debut on July 26 at Woodbine Mohawk Park before finishing sixth in a New York Sires Stakes leg on August 3 at Tioga Downs. Minor Obsession pushes her earnings to $10,500 for owners Mark Steacy and Salt Hill Farm Limited. She paid $5.10 to win. Smart As Hill may have won the first leg of the Define The World, but the Mike Keeling trainee didn't receive much respect at the windows and went off at odds of 10/1. Royal Rob entered Thursday's second leg undefeated in two starts, which included an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division score. The Bob McIntosh trainee was the talk of the toteboard at 1/5, but unfortunately for his connections made a break after the start. Steuben Hanover, who got nailed at the wire by Smart As Hill in round one, went off as the 3/1 second-choice. The Luc Blais trainee made a break at three-quarters when moving on the outside from fourth. Meanwhile, Smart As Hill and driver Roger Mayotte enjoyed a perfect two-hole trip behind Cesar Duharas, who posted fractions of :30, 1:00.2 and 1:30.4. Mayotte angled Smart As Hill from the two-hole just before three-quarters and proceeded to trot by the leader and go on to a 1:59 victory. Blazing Trail finished a length back in second, while Cesar Duharas was third. A son of Muscle Hill, Smart As Hill improved to two for four with his second leg score and will now have an opportunity at a series sweep. The Keeling trainee was a $70,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. Smart As Hill has earned $19,180 in four starts for owners Dreamville Stable and Harbor Racing Stable LLC. He paid $23.30 to win. The finals of the Pure Ivory and Define The World will take place next Thursday (August 23). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

JULY 17, 2018 - James MacDonald and Mark Steacy teamed up to win two-thirds of what was a very regal night of Grassroots action at Georgian Downs on Tuesday. MacDonald opened the two-year-old trotting colt and gelding Grassroots season with a victory behind Rap Royalty in the first $18,450 division. Starting from Post 7 the pair moved strongly off the gate and sat briefly in third before circling around to second as Northern Tailwind logged fractions of :31, 1:01.3 and 1:32. Coming off the final turn MacDonald turned Rap Royalty loose and the co-favourite held on for a neck victory over H A Houston, stopping the teletimer at 2:03.2. Zorgwijk Tim, the other fan favourite, finished third. "Rapper was good. I got him off the gate good and then I had to move him first up a little bit, but I got to tuck in and draft for a little while and pop out just before they got to the stretch," noted Guelph, Ontario resident MacDonald. "He was a little green still, like he went by them and then he kind of let up when he cleared, but they're two-year-olds, everything's new to them still, so I was pleased." Steacy conditions the son of Kadabra for Landmark 11 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, David Reid of Glenburnie, Ontario, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec, and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. The gelding was a $60,000 purchase out of the 2017 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Six races after their first visit to the winner's circle MacDonald and Steacy were back in front of the Georgian Downs fans with Royal Elite. Starting from Post 2 in the third division, MacDonald employed a similar strategy with the Royalty For Life son, sitting third early and then advancing up the outer lane heading by the three-quarter pole. Never Tell rolled along on the front end through fractions of :30.4, 1:01.3 and 1:32, but could not hold off Royal Elite when MacDonald asked for another gear. The colt trotted home a 2:02 winner, one and one-half lengths ahead of Never Tell and fan favourite Judge Ken. "He's a homebred from a hard luck Muscles Yankee mare (Day Dream) we bought several years ago. This is her first live foal and he has been good from the time we broke him," said Lansdowne resident Steacy, who trains Royal Elite for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. "We're hoping for a couple of Grassroots starts and then maybe, if he keeps improving, a Gold try would be nice. He raced very game tonight, moving first up to win." The colt also impressed MacDonald, who had driven both Royal Elite and Rap Royalty in their pre-season qualifiers. "He was a little better today. He's got high speed, he just needs to learn how to do it right, like sometimes he wants to go when he shouldn't and doesn't want to go when you want him to," explained the driver. "He's just green, and I was really pleased with him." Rounding out the trio of regally-named winners was A Royal Line, who captured the second division in 2:02.4. Starting from Post 2 driver Robert Shepherd settled A Royal Line in fourth as MacDonald sent Steacy trainee In The Will out to a :30.3 quarter and 1:02.1 half. When In The Will skipped off stride heading for the 1:32.2 three-quarters, A Royal Line was advancing up the outside to the lead, a lead he had extended to four and three-quarter lengths by the wire. Y A Titan finished second and Sweet Lou Wittaker was third. Flamborough resident Shepherd crafted the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. McIntosh also bred the son of Royalty For Life and Direct Dial. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will make their second Grassroots start on July 31 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Georgian Downs this week as the Innisfil oval welcomes the three-year-old trotting fillies for their third Gold and Grassroots events this Saturday, July 21. Saturday's first race goes postward at 7:15 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - July 7, 2018 - The popular pacer Nickle Bag surpassed $1 million in career earnings with his 38th career victory Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Known for his gritty performances, Nickle Bag did it all on the front to score a 1:52.2 victory in a $13,000 event. James MacDonald guided the classy pacer, who was just $2,120 shy of $1 million, for trainer Bill Robinson. A gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag was making his 198th career start Saturday with his racing debut coming back all the way back on August 24, 2012 at Mohawk Park. All 198 starts have taken place at Woodbine Racetrack and Mohawk Park. Nickle Bag has spent a large portion of his career racing in the Preferred and took on the sport's heavyweights in the 2016 Canadian Pacing Derby, finishing fifth. A true warrior, Nickle Bag has hit the board in 118 of his 198 starts. His career-mark is 1:49, taken on April 30, 2016 at Mohawk Park. Nickle Bag continues to grind away at the age of eight and now has four wins and nine "on the board" finishes in 23 starts this season. The Robinson trainee paid $2.60 to win Saturday. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

TRURO, N.S. – The Red Shores broadcast team is on the road for a special presentation as the top drivers in Atlantic Canadian harness racing converge on Truro Raceway Friday evening. The Bible Hill, N.S., oval will play host to the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship with P.E.I. sending a team of four drivers for the eight-person competition. All the action will be broadcast live on www.Redshores.ca, while hosted by Red Shores’ Lee Drake and Peter MacPhee along with Truro Raceway’s Joe Kelly and Brad McCallum.  The competition kicks off in race 1 Friday night at the Nova Scotia half-miler with a 6:30 P.M. opening post time. Each driver will compete in races 1-7 and race 9 while starting from each post position once on the eight-wide starting gate. The top two point earning drivers will advance to the National Driving Championship in September at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ont., where the winner of that event will represent Canada at Sweden in the 2019 World Driving Championship. Defending World Driving Champion James MacDonald, a native of Kingston, P.E.I., will also be at the world event in 2019 after winning the championship in 2017 and earning Canada the right to send a second representative. Drake, manager of Marketing, Brands and Playwise with Red Shores, is excited to be part of the action at the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship Friday night. “The team at Truro Raceway has put together an outstanding card for the regional qualifier with Red Shores more than happy to help out and host the worldwide broadcast,” Drake said. “The action is sure to be nonstop all evening and hopefully one of the Atlantic representatives will go all the way to the World Driving Championship joining P.E.I.’s own James MacDonald in the top echelon of the sport.” Drivers in the Atlantic Regional qualified off of 2017 statistics with the two leading reinsmen on red soil garnering the first invitations. The ‘King’ of Island harness racing, Marc Campbell of Winsloe, will headline the Island team fresh off an O’Brien award winning season where he smashed nearly every record available to him in Atlantic Canadian harness racing. Stratford resident Jason Hughes also gets a call to attend as the popular trainer-driver is back in second place at the Red Shores Summerside driving standings so far in 2018. Gilles Barrieau is also part of team P.E.I., as the New Brunswick driver moves his stable to the Island province during the summer racing season and finds himself continually near the top of the driving standings at Red Shores Charlottetown. The final P.E.I. driver at the event is Harrington resident Ken Murphy, who finished a solid third in the 2017 Summerside driving standings and just recently went over $1 million in career earnings in the race bike. Other drivers in the event are John Gerard Kennedy, Redmond Doucet and Darren Crowe from Nova Scotia and Todd Trites representing New Brunswick. The card also features a $2,500 preferred pace in race 8 headlined by top P.E.I. pacer Mr Irresistible with Hughes training and driving for owner Danny Birt of Stratford. by Nicolas Oakes, for Red Shores

MILTON, January 15, 2018 - James MacDonald, the 2017 Harness Racing World Driving Champion, has been announced as a special guest for the upcoming Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction. The 16th annual Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction is coordinated by the Milton Chamber of Commerce and will be held on February 6 at Rattlesnake Point Golf Club. A top-five driver at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks, MacDonald represented Canada and captured the 2017 World Driving Champion this past August. The Guelph, Ontario resident is now in his 10th season of driving and has won 1,745 races and driven the winners of over $23 million. MacDonald joins an impressive list of celebrity athletes attending the event, including Hockey Hall of Fame members Yvan Cournoyer, Geraldine Heaney and Billy Smith, Toronto Maple Leaf legend Ron Ellis, NHL great Dennis Maruk and Canadian Olympic wrestler Korey Jarvis. Ken Reid of Rogers Sportsnet will host the evening's festivities. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction has become one of Milton's most talked about events, raising the profile of the Milton Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Scholarship Fund. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction brings together sports heroes and sports enthusiasts alike. Organized by a volunteer committee of Chamber members, the evening's program includes an autograph signing session, a cocktail reception, a gourmet meal and a silent and live auction. Bidding on the live auction items, which in past years has featured golf packages, spa packages, autographed jerseys and sports memorabilia, is one of the highlights of the evening. The festivities conclude with the celebrity athletes gathering on stage for a question and answer session led by Reid. Proceeds from the event go towards the Chamber Scholarship Fund, which helps fund post-secondary education for local high school students. Woodbine Entertainment is a proud sponsor of the Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased by clicking here. Mark McKelvie

TOP local driver Gary Hall Jr had to be content with second in the Inter Dominion aboard Chicago Bull, but still snared a Group 1 win on the night. Hall Jr teamed with his father, Gary Hall Sr, and classy mare Ideal Alice to win the $125,000 Group 1 Mares’ Classic (2536m) at Gloucester Park. And it came courtesy of a typically brilliant Hall Jr driver to extricate Ideal Alice from a three-peg run rounding the final bend, find clear air and storm over the top of a super gallant Ameretto to win by a head in a slick 1min55.5sec mile rate. The NZ-bred Ideal Alice is now in foal herself and will soon be retired to return to her homeland. The win was her 20th from 63 starts with another 20 placings and earnings over $400,000. “She’s been a wonderful mare. I wasn’t sure her recent form was quite up to the likes of Ameretto and A Piccadilly Princess going into these big mares’ races, but she had three nice runs for two seconds and now this big win,” Hall Sr said. It was almost unfair to see Ameretto beaten after Kerryn Manning’s star worked three-wide for more than a lap to finally get outside the heavily-backed leader, Eden Franco, and kick away with what looked a winning break on the home bend. Eden Franco raced a little keen at times, making her vulnerable over the longer trip, and she tired late for fourth. The hardluck story, just as she was last year, was the All Stars’ A Piccadilly Princess. Mark Purdon got the gun through behind the leader and had to decide with a just over a lap to go whether to stay on the pegs and risk being pocketed or move outside the leader. Purdon stayed in, the run never came and A Piccadilly Princess hit the line hard-held in fifth spot. _______________________________________________________________________________________ FREELANCE driver Chris Voak is such a breath of fresh air. An effervescent personality, Voak is also a serious driver and shown by his two big wins in support races as well as a close fourth on roughie Vultan Tin in the Inter Dominion final last Friday night. An $85 shot, the locally-bred Vultan Tin just missed snatching third spot from the leader Tiger Tara. Voak then produced a dashing front-running drive on former Victorian trotting mare Itsgettingcalder to win the $50,000 Group 1 Trotters’ Cup (2503m). He then caused a minor upset on $12.60 shot Costa Del Maginifico to win the last race of the night for trainer Ross Olivieri. “It’s been fantastic o be part of the Inter Dominion series with Vultan Tin, who did us all proud tonight. And to win a couple of other races on the night, especially the big trot, was fantastic. It’s been a great few weeks,” Voak said. _______________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER Olympic hockey gold medallist Michael “Mouse” Brennan already has sights set on the next Inter Dominion. Brennan thinks his emerging star Mista Shark will fly his stable flag in the Melbourne Inter Dominion next year. “He’s going places. Look at the way he won his heat and the final of this (San Simeon) series,” Brennan said. “He’ll be my Melbourne Inter Dominion horse in 12 months time.” Mista Shark sat parked to win his San Simeon heat at Bunbury last Tuesday week, then found the front in a dashing drive by Michael Grantham before easily holding-off the classy El Jacko to win in a 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2130m. Shane Tritton’s buzz former Kiwi mare Reaza Grunter made an early break, just as she did on night one, and lost all chance in the final. But her win on middle Friday of the Inter Dominion series showed why Tritton’s thinks she is potentially one of Australia’s best mares. Back to Brennan and he had another reason to celebrate on the big night when stable favourite The Bucket List overcame plenty of trouble to win the Inter Dominion consolation with Grantham in the cart. “I wish it had been six heats and a final because he’s only hitting his straps now,” Brennan said. “He’s not quite up to those very best ones, but that was a super win tonight to overcame the check he got early and come from so far off them.” Former top class Kiwi pacer Ohoka Punter also showed a glimpse of his best with former with a huge second after burning midrace around the field to take the lead and fight on well for a close second. _______________________________________________________________________________________ NEWLY-CROWNED World Champion driver James MacDonald admitted to getting a huge buzz from his win aboard Skippy Rascal in one of the Sky Racing Drivers’ series heats at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Macdonald escaped a pocket from behind the leader straightening for home and Skippy Rascal picked-up quickly to rundown the leader, Simba Bromac, and win by 1.3m in a 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2130m. “I needed that,” MacDonald smiled. “The first night didn’t go so well.. “We’ve had such an amazing time over here, everyone has looked after us so well, and to land a winner on Inter Dominion final night adds to it.” The other guest international driver, US-based Marcus Miller, finished third in the race aboard Wrappers Delight. _______________________________________________________________________________________ IT was an all local finish in the Invitation Lady Drivers’ race at Gloucester Park. Talented young local Kiara Davies made the most of the pole draw on favourite Dior Mia More to lead throughout and beat Kristy Sheehy on Bettor Bling and Jocelyn Young aboard Madame Meilland. Kerryn Manning, Lauren Tritton and US visitor Hannah “Hurricane” Miller were among the beaten brigade. _______________________________________________________________________________________ LET’S hope Shadow Sax stays sound. Emma Stewart’s injury-plagued star made it six wins on end – and 16 wins from just 24 career starts – when he won the Geelong Cup last Saturday night. It was closer than expected though with former classy there-year-old Cant Refuse running a great race for third and old-stager Messini a close fourth in a 1min57sec mile rate for 2570m. _______________________________________________________________________________________ A QUEENSLAND raid is paying dividends for the KerryAnn Turner and Robbie Morris team. They snared the feature, the Christmas Cup, at Albion Park with their classy gelding Aztec Bromac, who just nabbed remarkable veteran Avonnova. They landed a treble on the night with Smokey Quartz and Come Cullect winning easily as well. _______________________________________________________________________________________ MACH Doro is enjoying Tiger Tara being away in Perth. The classy Craig Cross-trained pacer, who contested last season’s Victoria Cup, opened this campaign with a good second to Tiger Tara at Menangle on November 4. Since then he’s brilliantly won both free-for-alls he’s contested, the latest in a blazing 1min51.9sec mile at Menangle last Saturday night. Trainer-driver Jarrod Alchin landed the feature at the Menangle meeting when Ima Mystery Girl won the Group 3 Teeny Teeny Stakes for mares’ in a 1min52sec mile. The talk of the race was the flop of Mark Jones’ star Kiwi mare Rocker Band, who finished second-last, prompting stewards to open an inquiry into the performance.   Adam Hamilton

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