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EDMONTON, AB - The 2014/2015 Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino harness racing season came to close this afternoon with a 10-race card at the Edmonton oval. "Northlands Park is alive with action 363 days a year and the harness racing season captures some of the most exciting three months in the racing calendar," said Tim Reid, President and CEO, Northlands. "The 2014 and 2015 harness racing season was no exception, as some of the best Standardbreds, trainers and drivers in the nation came to the track to give our guests a great experience." The season's two biggest races at Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino were the Western Canada Pacing Derby on December 6, 2014 and the Northlands Filly Pace on December 13, 2014. Rummys Command trained and driven by Keith Clark won the $70,000 Northlands Filly Pace while Outlaw Gunpowder, driven by Philip Giesbrecht and trained by Kelly Hoerdt, took the $95,000 Western Canada Pacing Derby. The 2014/2015 harness season showcased the continued dominance of the 2013 O'Brien Award winner for Rising Star, Travis Cullen. He was the runaway winner in both the trainer and driver categories, never being challenged from the outset. A few career milestones were also set at the meet. Driver Brandon Campbell recorded his 1,000th victory in the sulky, and trainer Doug Shaw recorded his 1,000th win conditioning horses. Driver and trainer Jamie Gray recorded his 1,500th training victory while closing in on his 2,300th driving win. To round out the 2014/2015 harness racing season, Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino is proud to celebrate Alberta's champions for 2014 at the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association Awards Night on Sunday, February 1 in the Paddock Theatre. Harness racing in Alberta will resume after a short break on March 28 at the all new Century Downs racing facility near Calgary. Horse racing returns to Northlands Park when the 77-day thoroughbred meet kicks off on Friday, May 1 with a 6:30 p.m. post time. Chris Roberts

Trainer/driver Jamie Gray swept both Alberta Sires Stakes Marquis eliminations with three-year-old pacing fillies Mothers Melody and Eliseuinthedust during Saturday afternoon's harness racing card at Alberta Downs, which also featured freshmen in a pair of ASHA Filly Stakes. In the first of two the $10,000 ABSS eliminations, Mothers Melody sat seventh for most of the mile before storming home on the far outside in :28.1 for the 1:56.3 triumph to deliver on her pari-mutuel promise. She prevailed by half a length over Smilys Amira (Tyler Redwood), with Nighttraintovegas (Brandon Campbell) finishing over four lengths back in third. Pacesetter Make Three Wishes crossed the wire 10 lengths in arrears after leading through fractions of :28, :57.3 and 1:27. Gray shares ownership of Mothers Melody with Neil Malloch. The Camystic filly also won her eliminations of the Alberta Princess and Diamond legs before finishing third in each of those finals. She is also an ASHA Filly Stakes winner and is five-for-13 in her debut year with $34,911 in purse earnings. To view the rest of this story click here. Training triple for Sparling at Northside Downs Greg Sparling enjoyed a training triple at Northside Downs and added to his successful Saturday also driving John Hawco trainee Boknows Momngranny to victory in the afternoon's top class. Boknows Momngranny went wire-to-wire in the $1,100 feature pace, winning in 1:58.2 by more than one length over favourites Junebugs Baby and Silver Dragon. The victory was the 100th of Hawco's career and 11th of the season for the seven-year-old Bo Knows Jate gelding, who is owned by Thomas Hawco Jr. of Sydney, N.S. Sparling also drove Saturday winners Elm Grove Harley and Tymal Torrance from his stable. In addition, Island Reactor picked up her second straight win for the Sydney, N.S. horseman with John Kennedy catch-driving. Forest City Sale underway Sunday The Forest City Sale, Canada's premier sale for Standardbred yearlings, gets underway this weekend at Western Fair District in London, Ontario. Held in the newly renovated Agriplex, the sale will start at 12 noon on Sunday. The yearlings are available for inspection beginning Saturday, October 11 at 10 a.m. The yearling video theatre will be available in the Agriplex lobby beginning Saturday and will be available during the sale on Sunday. As well, a live webcast of the sale will be broadcast on the website forestcitysale.com The 149 yearlings include offerings from first crops sires Big Jim (9), Manofmanymissions (7), Roll With Joe (1), Up The Credit (5), and Vintage Master (8). Bruce Allen Kemp passes at 85 Bruce Allen Kemp, a founding member of the Quinte Driving and Riding Club, passed away at the Trent Valley Lodge Nursing Home, Trenton on Thursday, September 25 at the age of 85. Son of the late Harry and Evelyn Kemp (nee Wessels). Beloved husband and best friend of 66 years to Doreen Kemp (nee Johnston). Loving father to Sharon Wark (Howie), Joanne West (John), Cathy Clarke (Ron) and Julie Alexander (Steve). Missed by grandchildren Tracey Allin (Chris), Bradley West (Carrie), Trisha Sizer (Brad), Travis Clarke (Kristie), Karlie and Dakota Alexander and six great-grandchildren. Predeceased by brother Jack Kemp and brother-in-law Jerry Johnston. Survived by sister-in-laws Marg McPherson and Joan Tuck (late Ernie). Bruce’s passion was standardbred horses. He owned, trained and drove horses in and around Belleville for many years. In keeping with Bruce’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service was held at the Belleville Cemetery Columbarium Wall on Thursday, October 2. For online condolences, please visit the John R. Bush Funeral Home website at www.rushnellfamilyservices.com.

Undefeated two-year-old pacing filly Fire Watch streaked to a new lifetime mark of 1:56.4 in the Alberta Sires Stakes Stardust leg on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs. My Villas On Fire won the first of the two $24,300 Stardust divisions in an identical time of 1:56.4, picking up her first stakes victory for trainer/driver Jamie Gray. Leaving from the outside post six, favourite Outlaw Smartypants and Philip Giesbrecht controlled the pace and led the fillies through panels of :29, :58.2 and 1:27 without facing any challengers until the stretch drive. Down the lane, Cam Finish and Keith Clark pulled the pocket while Gray rolled My Villas On Fire out wide from third with the latter sweeping by for a career-best triumph. Cam Finish followed two and a half lengths behind and Outlaw Smartypants finished third. My Villas On Fire paid $12.50 as the 5-1 fourth choice in the field. The Blue Burner-My Villa filly is owned by breeder Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy, both of Edmonton, Alta. She earned her second win in five pari-mutuel starts. To view the rest of the story click here. MHHI Mares Stake at Killarney Smoky Moon completed a sweep of the elimination and final of the MHHI Mares Stake at Killarney on Saturday for the hot-handed Don Howlett and trainer Richard Rey. Favourite Smoky Moon and Howlett pulled the pocket in Saturday's $3,000 final to take over the lead from Down Home Stylish and Richard Remillard after the half and cruised home to a two length victory in 2:02. Gottaluckydeal, in rein to Cory Manning, came on for second and Real Pretty, driven by George Isman, finished third over Down Home Stylish. Rey trains the four-year-old Fort Apache mare, who earned her third win in five starts on the Manitoba circuit this year, for Winnipeg, M.B. owners Trevor and Michael Williams. To read the rest of the story click here. All Turain takes Chippin Memorial Defending champion All Turain ($7.60) fought off favourite D Gs Camme to win this year's $7,000 Jennie & Joe Chippin Memorial Pace and close out an action-packed Saturday card of harness racing at Fredericton Raceway. Driver Mike Stevenson and All Turain left from post three in the featured finale and were on top through fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:25.3 while D Gs Camme and Gilles Barrieau applied heavy pressure and edged out in front. However, All Turain battled back down the stretch to prevail in 1:55.2 by a quarter-length. Joseph Michael (Todd Trites) edged out Modern Xhibit (Dale Spence) for third and Schooner (Clare MacDonald) completed the field. Wade Sorrie trains the five-year-old Tell All gelding, who is now six-for-nine on the year, for owners Lee Hicken of Charlottetown, P.E.I. and Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile, Que. All Turain earned his 22nd career win while making his 70th start and bumped his bankroll to $84,917. To view the rest of the story click here. Hawco Stable has triple at Northside Downs Boknows Momngranny wrapped up a perfect Saturday afternoon at Northside Downs for trainer John Hawco with a repeat win in the top class. The Hawco stable went three-for-three on the 11-dash card beginning with Melissa Hawco's homebred sophomore colt Gigolos Boozer scoring a maiden-breaking 2:03.4 triumph in the opener and Melissa and Kortney Hawco's seven-year-old gelding Lils Destiny taking the eighth race in 1:59.3 -- both in rein to Colin Kelly. Two races later, Boknows Momngranny overcame an outside post seven start in the featured $1,100 Winners Over Pace and romped to a two and a half length triumph in 1:57.3 with Greg Sparling at the lines. The seven-year-old gelding is owned by Thomas Hawco Jr. Silver Dragon came on for second while pocket-sitter Putnams Power finished third. To read the rest of the story click here.

Blue Eyed Cowboy overcame back-to-back post eight starts to sweep the elimination and Sunday's $50,700 final of the Alberta Sires Stakes Marksman leg for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Alberta Downs. Incognito Cowboy (Keith Clark) worked his way to the front of the field around the first turn, but early leaver Comes Home First (Jim Marino) retook the lead just past the :28-second first quarter mark. Favourite Comes Home First continued on to the half in :57.3 while last year's Super Final champion Blue Eyed Cowboy and Bill Tainsh Jr. began to advance first up from fifth. Those two elimination winners battled on top to three-quarters in 1:26.2 with Blue Eyed Cowboy taking over in the stretch and drawing away, despite baring out, for the six and a half length victory in 1:53.3. Son Of Anarchy (Rod Hennessey) came on for second beating out the recovering early breaker, Alberta Plainsman champion Sotally Tober (Jamie Gray), in a photo. "He worked a little more today than he did last week," noted trainer/owner Rod Starkewski of Lamont, Alta. after the race. To view the rest of this story click here.

Barona Mercedes completed a sweep of the Alberta Sires Stakes Diamond leg for three-year-old pacing fillies with a dominate victory in the $51,300 final on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs. Barona Mercedes established the lead from post two and was never seriously threatened as she raced past panels of :28.2, :57.4 and 1:26 en route to the three length triumph in a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1. She was the 4-5 favourite after winning her elimination by five lengths in 1:53.4 last weekend and returned $3.70 to her backers at the betting windows. Another elimination winner and 8-5 second choice, Nighttraintovegas (Brandon Campbell), was tipped first over from third down the backstretch and chased Barona Mercedes home in second-place, with Mother Melody (Jamie Gray), also an elimination winner, closing for third. To view the rest of this story click here.

Three-year-old pacing fillies Great Desire and Rollin Deep were victorious in a pair of $10,000 eliminations for the Ralph Klein Breeders Stake as they both put forth career-best efforts on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs. Great Desire was an upset winner in the first elimination, prevailing at odds of 11-1 in 1:53.2 with Blake Piwniuk in the sulky for trainer Michelle Danroth. Leaving from post four, Great Desire crossed over in front of insider Triple Action (Jamie Gray) during the :27.3 first quarter. Triple Action then swept back around the roan filly during the second panel and led the field through middle splits of :57 and 1:24.3. But Great Desire had the last laugh as she kicked home in :28.3 to prevail by one length. Sweet Sugar (Jim Marino) finished third and Rummys Command (Keith Clark) was fourth. To view the rest of this story click here. 

Big money and big speed were both on display during the Sunday matinee at Alberta Downs. The big money was the $51,900 up for grabs in the ABSS Plainsman Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, while the big speed came in the form of a record-equaling performance in the $8,400 Open Pace. Sotally Tober fended off a late challenge to take home the ABSS Plainsman Final for trainer/driver Jamie Gray, who co-owns the gelding with Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy of Edmonton, Alberta. Sotally Tober left hard from Post 9, but found himself parked past the quarter pole in :27.3. He brushed past the early leader, Outlaw Last Chance, and proceeded to chop out middle panels of :56.3 and 1:25 before finding another gear and sprinting home in :28.1 to secure the win by a head over Comes Home First in 1:53.1. Pass The Port sat a ground-saving trip throughout the mile and finished third. To view the rest of this story click here.

The Alberta Sires Stakes spotlight shifted to the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Sunday afternoon at Alberta Downs as they faced off in three $6,667 eliminations of the Alberta Plainsman. In the first elimination, favourite Outlaw Last Chance ($3.30) overcame the outside post seven starting spot and cruised wire-to-wire to score his first win of the season by open lengths in a career-best 1:55.3 with Brandon Campbell aboard. Get Thereovernight and Donttelldaddy finished second and third. The grey Brandons Cowboy-Red Star Muffin colt is trained by Joe Ratchford for owners Gordon Baxter and Miranda Logan. Jamie Gray's Sotally Tober ($3.50) released the parked outsider Oh Yeah after a speedy :26.4 opening panel before moving back out for the retake in the second elimination. The favourite then took a second quarter breather before beginning to draw away from the field with Comes Home First chasing him to the wire in 1:54.2, matching his lifetime mark. Regina Beach finished back in third. Gray co-owns the As Promised-Rain Drop Hanover gelding, who has now earned back-to-back victories, with Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy. To read the rest of the story click here. 

Three-year-old pacing fillies were in the spotlight on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs as they faced off in three Wild Rose Stakes divisions. Barona Mercedes circled a field of seven to win the first $13,333 division in a career-best 1:56.1 clocking by four lengths for trainer/driver Kelly Hoerdt and his partners Amy Henry of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. and Blair Corbeil of Beaumont, Alta. Favourite Rummys Command (Keith Clark) battled three-wide early on for the lead before carving out fractions of :28, :58.3 and 1:27. Meanwhile, second choice Barona Mercedes advanced from the back of the pack and ducked into the pocket around the final turn before re-emerging to wear down the pacesetter in the stretch. Triple Action (Jamie Gray) finished nearly nine lengths back in third. To read the rest of this story click here.

Smooth Criminal repeat as a gate-to-wire winner from post one in the $9,000 Open Pace at Northlands Park on Saturday, but this time in a career-best clocking for trainer/driver Bill Tainsh Jr. The five-year-old Alberta-sired gelding by Blue Burner is owned by Willie Wychopen of St. Paul and Edmonton's Walter Moroz. Smooth Criminal cruised through fractions of :27, :54.2 and 1:22.1 en route to the 1:52.3 triumph. Timberline Court (Gerry Hudon) closed up the rail to finish one length behind in second. Pocket-sitter Rock Allstar (Jamie Gray) prevailed in a photo for show over outsider Who Doesnt (Travis Cullen), who was parked the entire mile after challenging early for the lead. To read rest of story click here.

Favourite Who Doesn't converted off a perfect pocket trip to nail last week's Open Pace winner Smooth Criminal at the wire in Saturday's feature race at Northlands Park. Trained and driven by Canada's 2013 Future Star Award winner Travis Cullen, Who Doesn't established a new lifetime mark with his latest victory, clocked in 1:52.1, on a -17 degree afternoon in Edmonton. Who Doesn't followed Smooth Criminal and Bill Tainsh Jr. through fractions of :28, :56.1 and 1:23.3 in the $9,000 Open before kicking home in :28.2 to steal the spotlight. Despite drifting out in the stretch, Who Doesnt prevailed in a photo finish by a head over the pacesetter while Flak Jacket and Jamie Gray finished nearly seven lengths behind in third. Who Doesn't, who now has two wins and two seconds in six seasonal starts, paid $4.70 to win as the 6-5 bettors' choice. Cullen shares ownership of the five-year-old Mach Three gelding with his family -- Jeanne, Kenneth and Jodie Cullen. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Northlands Park. Repritned with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Jamie Gray was in the zone Saturday at Edmonton’s Northlands Park. The horseman recorded five driving victories on the 10-race card – three of which came from his own stable. Gray got things underway in Race 1 when he drove his student, Red Star Tiger ($12.00), to a head win in 1:57 off a pocket trip. Gray was back at it in Race 5, as he steered another of his pupils, Fancy Camelot ($4.40), to victory in a gate-to-wire 2:00.2 mile. The Jamie Gray Show continued in Race 6, as he steered the Joe Ratchford-trained Shyster Hanover ($8.40) to a three-quarters-of-one-length victory in 1:59.3 after having sat third throughout the duration of the mile. Race 7 saw Gray win with another one of his pupils, Dreamway Confed ($3.60), in 1:59.3. The seven-year-old No Pan Intended gelding was fifth by two and three quarter lengths at the head of the lane, but was able to get up for the half-length victory when all was said and done. Gray was all business in Race 8, as he left from Post 8 with the Lance Ward-trained Pedal Steel ($9.20) and made every pole a winning one with a gate-to-wire 1:59.3 victory. To view the harness racing results for Saturday at Northlands, click the following link: Saturday Results – Northlands Park. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

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