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INNISFIL, ON — Champagne Phil uncorked a personal best effort at Georgian Downs on Saturday night to capture his second Grassroots division. The three-year-old pacing gelding and driver Brad Forward sat third through the early going while fan favourite Regal Hope rolled through fractions of :26.2 and :55.3. Heading for the three-quarter marker Forward sent Champagne Phil to the front and the gelding cruised to a 1:23 three-quarters before pulling away to a two length victory in a personal best 1:51.4. OK Ferrari and Southwind Amazon rounded out the top three. Kenneth Oliver conditions Champagne Phil for ICR Racing of Pefferlaw. Through nine starts this season the Shanghai Phil son boasts three wins, two of them in Grassroots action. Cambridge resident Forward also piloted Classic Gent to a 1:51.3 victory in the third $15,000 division for trainer Stanley Malec and Classic Farms of Belle River. Driver Robert Shepherd of Cambridge and trainer Dave Menary of Cheltenham combined to capture the first two Grassroots divisions with No Pan Intended sons Panpero Firpo and Panongahela. Last season’s Grassroots champion Panpero Firpo hit the wire in 1:53 off a front end effort, and Panongahela used similar tactics to clock a 1:52 victory. Peter Pan Stables of Pepper Pike, OH owns both colts. Not wanting to break the pattern, driver Jean Rene Plante guided the winners of the last two Grassroots divisions. The Burlington resident eked out a quarter length victory for George Jettison in the ninth race, halting the teletimer at 1:53.4. Jack Darling of Cambridge owns and trains the Jeremes Jet son. Plante’s margin of victory in the final division was also narrow as Maddysonofagun held a head in front of Berkshire Bear and Can He Go to score a 1:54 victory. Jim Ainsworth of Sarnia conditions the Modern Art son for his partners Shelley Ainsworth of Sarnia and Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga. The three-year-old pacing colts make their third Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 9. Next up on the Georgian Downs Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are the two-year-old trotting colts in their third Grassroots appearance on Tuesday, July 30. For complete results.           Sandra Snyder  

The Patrick Shepherd (Cambridge, Ontario) trained Rashabec recorded the fastest mile at tonight's (Thursday Februyary 21) harness racing meeting at Woodbine Racetrack in Ontario, Canada.

Work is about to get real serious for Canadian harness racing driver, Jean Rene Plante. At a time when most reinsmen are winding down for the year, Plante is going all out in December in an attempt to win his first driving title at Flamboro Downs.

Harness racing fans at Grand River Raceway on Friday evening were treated to seven impressive performances by Ontario's talented three-year-old pacing fillies.

Harness racing trainer Bruce Goit and driver J. R. Plante dominated the final leg of the Slots Cup Series, staged July 22 at Grand River Raceway. Dr Dew left from post two in the first division, took control of the field at the half and managed his first win of the season in 1:55.2.

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