On Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack, a racing rarity took place when a dead-heat for win happened. Even more rare is that both horses are homebreds, and owned by their trainers. In the evening's sixth race, a conditioned race for Ontario-sired three and four-year-olds, So Bad Im Good (Joe Hudon) tried to cut all the fractions but couldn't hold off the backfield heading into the stretch. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) and Sanattle Slew (Billy Davis, Jr.) were both poised to pounce on the pacesetter from the outer flow and both powered past, hitting the wire simultaneously. To read entire story click here.
TORONTO, February 26 - If you take a close look at the Woodbine drivers standings this season, there is a noticeable change near the top of the leader board. Twenty four-year-old Jonathan Drury is currently in second place, three wins behind three-time O'Brien Award winner Jody Jamieson. Drury, a resident of Rockwood, has certainly made the most of his drives this season accumulating 23 trips to the winners circle and $335,471 in purse earnings. Drury is also the regular pilot behind Hldontghttoyurdrms, who has captured the $34,000 Preferred Trot for a fourth week in a row for trainer Corey Johnson. "It's definitely horse power," Drury said explaining his stellar start in 2014. "When you get that kind of power to sit behind every night and get results, obviously your confidence goes up. So far this season, everything couldn't be better and I'm very fortunate." Drury was born into the harness racing business. His father, Barry, has operated a small stable for many years. Drury, who appears poised in his yellow and blue silks, a nod to his father's colours, is thankful for the valuable lessons he learned at a young age. "All the fundamentals of this sport came from my parents," Drury said. "My dad was stabled along the Mohawk backstretch for many years and my mother (Patricia) was in the barn too. When I wasn't in school I was in the barn or on the track." Drury also ventured out to other trainers before and after getting his trainer's license and he gained valuable experience while working with such trainers as O'Brien Award winner Casie Coleman, Tracey Brainard and Tony Montini. "That was a great learning curve for me," Drury said. "I got to see other methods of training and see the way they do it and run their operation. I've worked for Casie off-and-on for the past three years and got the opportunity to drive for her, which was amazing." After gaining his license in 2008, Drury began driving at Flamboro and Georgian Downs, but the move to Kawartha Downs a few years later and teaming up with top trainers in Corey Johnson and Carmen Auciello yielded great dividends for the young reinsman. "I was a regular driver there (Kawartha Downs) and they started using me and we developed a relationship and it just snowballed from there," said Drury. "Now they both have powerful stables at Woodbine and I'm just thankful to get the work." Perhaps the most valuable experience Drury gained was a summer spent at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania where he drove regularly for Ontario-based trainer Carmen Auciello, who sent a team of roughly 12 head. "Driving with a different bunch of guys at Pocono was a lot of fun," he said. "It's a little different style of driving and I learned so much in a short period of time. That was the most valuable experience I got, especially when I came back to Ontario." Drury was also a key player in the development of O'Brien Award winner Vegas Vacation. Drury "baby-raced" the son of Bettors Delight, before guiding the colt to victory in his first lifetime start at Mohawk Racetrack. "I was working for Casie at the time and would sit behind her two-year-olds on a regular basis," Drury said. "She asked me to baby-race him and teach him in his early stages and that was a lot of fun to sit behind that type of animal." Needless to say, Drury certainly has gained a lot of experience north and south of the border at a young age, and with a little patience and a lot of talent, it appears to be paying off nicely for the man they call JD. by Greg Gangle, for WEG
Woodbine Racetrack's current leading driver Jody Jamieson was in the hot seat on Saturday night as a guest host of the Woodbine Racing Live broadcast to offer up some insight on his drives for handicappers and discuss his 2013 racing season. During the pre-game show, Jamieson declared his 11th race mount, Carmen Auciello trainee Champagne Phil, as his "most probable winner" on the card and proved to be correct. "I really drove him bad [last week]," explained Jamieson. "He's been at Yonkers and they didn't like the trips he's been getting there. They weren't trying him as much as they wanted him to be tried so I gave him a shot and I actually over-drove him and I'm not planning on doing the same thing tonight. I believe there is some competition in there...but I really like Champagne Phil in there tonight. I think it's his race to win." In the evening's finale, Jamieson sent Champagne Phil first over from fourth down the backstretch and wore down early leader Roethblissberger to win by a head in 1:51.3. Icr Racing's four-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding was backed by the bettors and paid $5.40 to win as the 8-5 favourite. The victory was his first in five starts this year. During the interview, the three-time O'Brien Award winning driver also reflected on his 2013 campaign in which he ranked second nation-wide for earnings ($5,338,101) behind 2013 Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion and third for wins (337). "I had a great year," said Jamieson. "This biggest disappointment for me was I had a lot of seconds in major races and classic races. It took me until the middle of December to win the Cleveland Classic with a great horse, Apprentice Hanover, who you folks are well adhered to right here at Woodbine. He's got seven [wins] in a row now dating back to the Cleveland Classic or the week before. He's just a hell of a horse and he seems to be getting better as we go forward." While the Preferred class in which Apprentice Hanover has been dominating of late was not carded on Saturday, Jamieson catch-drove another "ultra consistent horse" to victory lane in a top conditioned event. "I think he was in over his head last week," Jamieson said of Lucky Terror, who finished sixth in the Preferred on Feb. 15. "He's not an Open horse, but he is, however, a very decent, middle of the road, conditioned horse and this is his class." The $22,000 ninth race was indeed Lucky Terror's class as he closed from second over and edged out a from-last Grin For Money to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.2. The win was his second in six starts this year and gives him a seasonal bankroll of $27,560. Trained by Shaun McDonald and owned by Glenview Livestock Ltd. and Leonard Christopher, the seven-year-old gelded son of Western Terror paid $9.10 to win. In Commando's 1:51.1 score in the 10th race co-feature was the fastest of the night and one of the biggest upsets as he rallied home from third over at odds of 10-1 for driver Chris Christoforou. The class-climbing Camluck gelding paid $22.80 for his second straight win. He prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Joshua My Boy, who closed from the back of the pack to place. Don Lindsey trains and co-owns the winning five-year-old pacer with Paul Kleinpaste, William Alempijevic and Dennis Mavrin. In Commando now has three wins and one second in five seasonal starts to add $31,000 to his career bankroll. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
There wasn’t a whole lot of pari-mutuel love given to Battle River Storm in Friday evening’s eighth race at Woodbine Racetrack, but that didn’t stop him from engineering the biggest upset on the Friday evening card. In rein to Mike Saftic, the six-year-old son of Freedoms Pass-Presidential Jenna dropped into an early five-hole and sat there through first-half fractions of :27.4 and :57.2. He was backed up to be sixth at the three-quarter pole, but Mike Saftic found him some clearance between rivals in deep stretch and Battle River Storm shot through and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:58. Beeeyouuuuuu was second, with Matts Delivery rounding out the top three finishers. The Rod Boyd pupil, who was sent off at odds of 54-1, returned $111.60 to his backers and added $3,500 his own bank account. Timothy McCoy of Edmonton, Alberta owns the pacer who won for the first time in six starts this season. The victory was one of three on the card for driver Mike Saftic. He and Jody Jamieson led the way with driving triples, while Phil Hudon notched a driving double on the 11-race card. To view results for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Results – Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
February 18 - Jody Jamieson, a two-time winner of the Pepsi North America Cup - Canada's richest harness race, will be the guest on Woodbine Racing Live's pre-game show this Saturday, February 22, beginning at 6:45 p.m. The 37-year-old is also a three-time O'Brien Award winner as Canada's top driver. Jamieson has banked over $103 million in career earnings along with 6,770 victories. He also captured the World Driving Championship in 2001 in Finland and Sweden along with a 2011 victory in the U.S. The veteran reinsman will join WEG's Greg Gangle and offer his thoughts on the entire program and much more. First race post time is slated for 7:25 p.m. by Greg Gangle for WEG
Ted Yates, from the Morning Show on Oldies 1150 CKOC, joined Flamboro Downs' Gary Guy in the announcer booth to call the third race as the track's Announcer Idol competition continued on Sunday evening. Stephen Morton's Pasta Vera ($5.30) made up a 10 length deficit in the final lap of the third race to win in 1:58.2 for brothers Robert and Patrick Shepherd. "And flying now is Pasta Vera and Pasta Vera has passed them all!" called Yates with assistance from Guy while Shepherd sent the five-year-old pacer wide from the backfield to take over command down the backstretch. "Look at that lead! Pasta Vera is going to win," said Yates as the leading horse opened up down the stretch. "Close for second, they're all there for second!" There was a five-across battle for the runner-up honours five lengths behind the winner. Pacesetter War Boots and Tyler Moore held on for second while Grissini and James MacDonald rounded out the top three finishers. The career-best win was Pasta Vera's third in a row over a span of nine days since shipping to Ontario. Andrew Gerrior from FreshFM 95.3 will take the mic for next Sunday's edition of Announcer Idol. The competition continues through March 23 with a different, local broadcast media personality calling the third race every Sunday night. Fans and patrons will get to vote for their favourite race call on the Flamboro Downs website and the winning announcer will receive a donation to the local charity of their choice, compliments of Flamboro Downs and Great Canadian Gaming. Sunday night's featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Pace was won by the repeating Nothingbutmach ($5.40), who fought off My Man Charley and Jody Jamieson for the 1:55.4 victory. Phil Hudon drove the winner for trainer Corey Johnson and owner Debbie Element. Web Cam and Scott Coulter finished third. Gaetan Hebert's homebred pacer Live And Learn ($7.30) won the $7,000 Preferred 3 in 1:57.2 with Bob McClure aboard. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Flamboro Downs. Repriinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Apprentice Hanover cruised to his seventh straight win on Saturday night in the $34,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Racetrack despite Wazzup Wazzup's surprise attack late in the mile. Leaving from post six with Jody Jamieson at the reins, Apprentice Hanover worked his way to lead and cleared into the first turn before hitting the first quarter mark in :26.4. Apprentice Hanover took a second quarter breather to the half in :56 with McKinney (Sylvain Filion) content to sit a pocket trip behind the heavy 1-5 favourite and Wazzup Wazzup (Jonathan Drury) on his back. As Apprentice Hanover led his six rivals to the next marker in 1:24.4, 50-1 longshot Lucky Terror (Jack Moiseyev) made the first over sacrifice from the backfield, but began to back away as they turned for home. Apprentice Hanover looked strong on the lead in the stretch, but 25-1 shot Wazzup Wazzup made things a little more interesting, sneaking up the inside late in the lane. However, Apprentice Hanover managed to keep him at bay to earn his seventh straight win in 1:52.2. Wazzup Wazzup came up a neck short while McKinney rounded out the top three finishers one and a half lengths behind. Apprentice Hanover is now three-for-three this year with his win streak stretching back to November 2013. He now has 14 wins in 32 career starts -- his richest in Northfield Park's $126,000 Cleveland Classic on Dec. 14 -- for lifetime earnings of $563,474. Ben Wallace trains the four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. Apprentice Hanover paid $2.40 to win. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Apprentice Hanover continued his winter win streak on Saturday evening, earning his sixth straight in the featured $34,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Racetrack for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Ben Wallace. Thepaninsulahotel (Randy Waples) was the first to the front through a :27-second opening panel, but his lead was short-lived as the pocket-pulling Casimir Jitterbug (Doug McNair) swept by with Apprentice Hanover hot on his heels after getting away third. Apprentice Hanover took over command at the half in :56.3 and proceeded to lead his six rivals past the third quarter station in 1:24. He cruised into the stretch while building up a six length lead to make his 1:51.2 victory look effortless. Sent postward as the heavy 2-5 favourite, Apprentice Hanover paid $2.90 to win. Mckinney (Sylvain Filion), the longest shot on the board at odds of 28-1, closed off cover in :26.4 for the runner-up honours over two lengths behind while early leader Thepaninsulahotel edged out first over Mystician (Billy Davis Jr.) and Frankies Dragon (Chris Christoforou) for third. Apprentice Hanover's win streak began at the end of November at Woodbine and includes a victory in the $126,000 Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park in mid-December. The four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere now boasts 13 wins in 31 career starts with earnings climbing to $546,474 for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
TORONTO, January 31 - Trainer Murray Brethour had much to be thankful for on Friday night at Woodbine as his stable stars finished first and second in the $34,000 final of the Blizzard Series. After finishing second in both preliminary legs, Miss Poppycock scored the 10-1 upset for Brethour with stablemate Murrayfield finishing second in 1:54.1. Rock N Roll Xample (Billy Davis, Jr.) was the quickest to the front before the opening station in a quick :26.4. Heading towards the half, Lyonsaura (Randy Waples) angled out of third to take over command to lead past the mid-way point in :55.3. Shutthefrontdoor (Mike Saftic) began the first-over attack heading to three-quarters, giving live cover to post time favourite - and the undefeated - Sayitall BB (Jody Jamieson). Brethour's entries were also coming from off the pace with Murrayfield sitting third-over and Miss Poppycock fourth-over. Lyonsaura led her nine rivals past three-quarters in 1:24.1 and into the stretch, but her strides began to shorten as Sayitall BB, Murrayfield and Miss Poppycock were coming from the backfield. Miss Poppycock had the most momentum in deep stretch and was able to convert the winning effort over stablemate Murrayfield by half a length, with Winbak Ella (Sylvain Filion) finishing third. Miss Poppycock, a four-year-old daughter of Mach Three, is owned by Scarff Legacy Stables. The pacing miss celebrated her biggest victory in her career as her bankroll now sits at $86,085. She has amassed a 2-2-0 record from four starts this season. She paid $22.50 to win. by Greg Gangle for WEG
While his “pedigree” indicates that Trevor Henry would have success in the business of harness racing, it is his “inner drive,” his ability to place himself in a position to win on the racetrack and then successfully guide his charge home first, that made him 2013’s winningest Canadian-based driver, with 529 trips to Victory Lane. Well, better make that both his “inner drive” and his “outer drive.” For Henry achieved victory at no fewer than ten Ontario racetracks last year, across the province from London to Rideau Carleton, and achieved over half those triumphs at Western Fair Raceway (London), which is 160km from his home base of Arthur, Ontario. (The list of how many victories he achieved at each track accompanies this article.) Arthur, within 40km of both the old Orangeville and Elmira Raceways, was their residences and home base of Trevor’s father, horseman Ross Henry, and where the family lived. The elder Henry was famous as a conditioner in Canada’s most-populous province, and with his record combining with his son/Trevor’s brother Wayne, the name “Henry” appears on the Johnston Cup, emblematic of the most success in a year’s Ontario Sire Stakes action for a trainer, as much as any other – Ross led on five occasions, and Wayne two, with their combined seven putting them equal-top with Bob McIntosh. “Ross” seems to be a good first name to have if looking for success in the Ontario Sire Stakes, as most locals know that Ross Battin, a track criss-crosser before it became fashionable, is the leading driver in the standings in the Lampman Cup – the sulky equivalent of the Johnston Cup -- also with seven wins. Two-time world driving champion Jody Jamieson is second in Lampman history with three etchings into the Cup, with Trevor tied in third place at two with what he called “a pretty good group of guys to be associated with” – Sylvain Filion, Brad Forward, Don McElroy, Dave Wall, and Terry Kerr. The far-flung nature of the Ontario program may have helped Trevor get used to traveling a lot, but staying close to home was in his early career plans: “I had my first drive at Orangeville, and my first win at Elmira.” But Orangeville closed, and when Elmira-area residents rejected the introduction of slot machines, the racing moved to nearby Elora, which now has the iron quarter gobblers – and Grand River Raceway, where Trevor had his second-biggest win haul of the past year, 122, despite their limited schedule. The Ontario track that provided the most “stable” schedule, with racing in fall, winter, and spring several days a week, came to be Western Fair, where Henry now focuses his energies, with 284 visits to the winners circle in 2013, a good many coming from the ten or so horses supervised by Henry’s wife, Shannon, at a farm relatively close to London. “It’s basically me doing all the commuting,” Henry says. He adds, “It’s just part of doing the job,” in the matter-of-fact manner that belies his talent and, to this writer, the one surprising thing in Trevor Henry’s life (though he doesn’t agree with that statement, his wife does; that tale will be told in part two). Trevor says that his Dodge Ram has “about 278,000km on it,” and “I put over 1800km on just the other week, and it’s not even stakes season.” (That’s 170,000+ miles and 1,100 miles, respectively, for the “.6215-challenged” kilometer/mile conversion folks.) When a guess was hazarded that the truck was probably between three and four years old, Henry said, “That’s right – how did you know that?”, and it was explained that it was no surprise to an “insider” just how much mileage horsemen put on their vehicles – and themselves – in the pursuit of what looks like the glamorous job of racing for two minutes then appearing all bright and shiny in victory lane – which of course is far from the truth. Some mileage was added to both man and truck when Trevor added Flamboro to his regular schedule in November, getting 50 wins in his first two months there at season’s end. (“With the way things are in Ontario these days, the uncertainty, I felt I had to branch out and add Flamboro” – which, ironically, is almost 50 miles closer to Arthur than London.) And some mileage will be added to Trevor himself very soon to the appearance of this story, as he heads to Australia for a couple of drives at the invitation of an Aussie he became friendly with while representing Canada in the 2013 World Driving Championships. “Didn’t do too good over there racing in France,” Henry remembers honestly. “After racing mostly on the half-mile track as I do, those tracks seem to go on forever – it was hard to see the grandstand from the backstretch – and also I was unlucky and had to drive a lot of …” (here he paused, trying to be diplomatic, then agreed when, in the spirit of the location, the word merde was offered as a possibility to conclude the thought, a choice with which he agreed). The trip Down Under, which is currently in its summertime (you could almost see Henry’s smile over the phone when he was reminded of the difference in seasons from Canada), will be a good visit to a warmer clime, and it is hoped will replace the memory of the clan Henry’s last journey southward – to Florida at year’s start, when Trevor’s brother Paul, a trainer at Flamboro, suddenly passed away at age 48. Paul’s passing may make passing through the Flamboro gates a little harder for Trevor, but anybody who knows him realizes he’s like the Energizer Bunny – he’ll just keep going and going and going, doing whatever he can, placing himself on the racetrack wherever he needs to (“lead, off cover … it doesn’t matter to me) in order to win. That’s the way you get to be #1 in Canada. IN PART 2 TOMORROW: Trevor breeds his 17-year-old mare to a 23-year-old Pennsylvania stallion, and has high hopes for the resultant foal … and more about Trevor’s “traveling companion” in all those miles in the truck – the same somebody who “helped Trevor name” the Pennsylvania colt. By Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com
Apprentic Hanover made a triumphant four-year-old seasonal debut Saturday at Woodbine, posting his fifth straight victory, this time after a three-week layoff in winning the $34,000 Preferred Pace. After ending his three-year-old season with four consecutive wins, including victories in Northfield Park's Cleveland Classic and a Preferred pace on December 28 at Woodbine, Apprentice Hanover made it five in a row with a 1:52 effort. Driven by Jody Jamieson, the heavy 4-5 favourite left from post one and settled away third as Casimir Jitterbug (Doug McNair) and then outsider Modern Legend (Jack Moiseyev) sprinted by into a :27.1 opening quarter. Modern Legend continued to control the pace past the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24 while Mystician (Billy Davis Jr.) moved underway from the backfield and up to apply pressure around the final turn and into the stretch. However, Jamieson tipped Apprentice Hanover wide down the stretch and soared by to steal the spotlight. Mystician edged out Modern Legend for the runner-up honours two lengths behind. The son of Somebeachsomewhere, who was named United States Trotting Association's Horse of the Month in December 2013, is trained by Ben Wallace and owned by Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. The win was his 12th in 30 career starts and boosted his bankroll to $529,474. Apprentice Hanover paid $3.80 to win. Trainers Carmen Auciello and Corey Johnson and driver Randy Waples led all winners on Saturday's 13-race card with three wins each. From WEG publicity department
TORONTO, January 18 - Prior to the races on Saturday evening at Woodbine, racing fans and customers had the opportunity to meet with some of the finest drivers on the WEG Circuit. O'Brien Award finalist Sylvain Filion, Jody Jamieson, Billy Davis, Jr. along with Anthony and James MacDonald greeted fans and offered their thoughts on the race card and beyond in a unique Q & A format. Beginning at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Woodbine grandstand, the session ran well within minutes of the first race with numerous questions being offered from fans and customers. Fans who could not attend offered their questions through Woodbine's Facebook page along with Twitter using the hashtag #AskTheDriver. Questions were also received via email (AskTheDriver@woodbineentertainment.com). The session can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the following link: http://bcove.me/afufedd6 Greg Gangle for WEG
TORONTO, January 17 - The opening round of the Blizzard Series got underway on Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack. Twenty-eight three- and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares were showcased in three $15,000 divisions. In the opening division, Sayitall BB and Jody Jamieson won in a nail-biter for trainer Ron Burke in 1:54. With the victory, the swift pacer remains undefeated in six career starts as she set a new lifetime best in the process. Jamieson and Sayitall BB were parked on the outside through the opening panel in :26.4, set by Miss Poppycock (Chris Christoforou). As soon as Sayitall BB cleared to the front, Miss Poppycock quickly regained command to lead past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:26. Turning for home, the pair of heavy favourites separated themselves from their rivals and began to duke it out down the stretch. In the end, Miss Poppycock gave way to Sayitall BB in the final strides to win by a nose. Ignite The Nite (Randy Waples) finished third. Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Sayitall BB increased her bankroll to $29,350. She paid $3.70 to win. Sent off as the post time favourite, An Angel Shes Not, in rein to Paul Macdonell, came from off-the-pace to win in 1:56.3 to take the second division. Zip Car (Doug McNair) was parked to the opening quarter in :26.3 and would continue to set the pace past the half in :56.2. Lookers Destiny (Larry Small) remained parked on the outside for the mile, which gave cover to An Angel Shes Not as Zip Car led past three-quarters in 1:26.3. Down the stretch, Zip Car began to tire on the front end as An Angel Shes Not continued to grind away on the tempo-setter in deep stretch before getting up in the final strides. Twin B Amour (Jody Jamieson) finished third. Trained, owned and bred by David Snowden, An Angel Shes Not earned herself a new career best as she celebrated her second lifetime victory. Her bankroll now sits at $19,724. She paid $5.70 to win. Lyonsaura and Randy Waples provided the 3-1 minor upset to take the final division in 1:54.1. The pacing miss led from start to finish through panels of :27.4, :57.4 and 1:26.4, before fending off post time favourite Murrayfield (Keith Oliver) down the stretch to score. Rock N Roll Xample (Billy Davis, Jr.) was a distant third. Trained by Corey Johnson for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound, Lyonsaura celebrated her second career victory as she earned a lifetime best. The daughter of Camluck now has earnings of $15,000. She paid $8.90 to win. The Blizzard Series is for three- and four-year-old fillies and mares, who are non winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime as of November 30, 2013. The second leg of the series is scheduled for Friday, January 24 with the $30,000 (added) final on Friday, January 31. Videos of most races attached. Some still pending. Greg Gangle
OK…was snake bit once again plus Woodbine canceled. Only had one $4.60 winner in six races. So now we are starting off 2014 at minus -$15.00. Weather could be a big factor so make sure to take that into account before wagering. This weekend we have seven races spanning the East with three at Woodbine, two at Yonkers, and one each at the Meadowlands and Pompano. Good luck! $20,000 NW 3 Trot Woodbine 1st race Saturday – Almost every starter in this field has missed racing for a month due to the weather. So they are all on equal ground. West Side Story hails from Per Henriksen Stable and has been on a roll with three straight wins. Is a strong closer and only needs some live cover to insure another victory. Use Standing My Ground and Five Towns in exotic plays. $30,000 A-2/FFA Handicap Pace Meadowlands 2nd race Saturday – After cutting the mile at Yonkers in their Open and coming up short but a decent second place, Bettor’s Edge returns to the Meadowlands for Burke Stable and goes on lasix for the first time. Has been very sharp at both tracks, winning two back at Meadowlands in 1:49.1 and lasix can only help so this is the horse to beat in here. Use Hypnotic Blue Chip and Arockin Hanover in exotic plays. $20,000 NW 3 Trot Woodbine 5th race Saturday - It may have been two months since this one raced last due to bad weather but based off her prior form Samira Hanover should be the one to beat. She shows winning from both on and off the pace last year at age 3 and should be seasoned enough to handle going against some male rivals in here. Use Magic Will Work and Flight Of The Kiwi in exotic plays. $33,000 Open Handicap Pace Yonkers 6th race Saturday – Pretty much a possible wide-open race but Sapphire City gets the call. Despite poor showing from post seven last week this one always races well from inside position. Has gate speed to wire the field or can quarter move to take command. Use Dallenbach Hanover and Escape The News in exotic plays. $22,000 NW/$32,000 Pace Yonkers 8th race Saturday – One of only two return winners in this field (the other has post 8) I am going with Money Twitch A. Last two starts from off the pace shows he can handle a first-over trip if need be or use live cover to score from. Inside post position will help him stay close enough to the action to make it three-straight wins. Use Here We Go Again and Uncle Goodfellow in exotic plays. $10,000 Open Pace Pompano Park 9th race Saturday – Just can’t go against Prairie Jaguar, especially in a short field. He has been super with five straight wins and he has rewarded me well in the past. He has already beaten most everyone else in this field and should have it easy getting to the front and dictating the fractions. Use Northern Companion and newcomer Eastend Eddie in exotic plays. $34,000 Preferred Pace Woodbine 11th race Saturday – Everyone in the field has missed time due to weather but Apprentice Hanover has been so sharp in his four straight wins. The team of trainer Ben Wallace and driver Jody Jamieson have been perfect on this horse and he could be developing into one of the better four-year-olds for 2014. Use Modern Legend and Frankie Dragon in exotic plays.
TORONTO, January 13 â€“ Woodbine Racetrack played host to a trio of Snowshoe Series divisions as the opening round got underway for three and four-year-old colt and gelding pacers on Monday evening. Hopiesdragninthedo kicked off the 12-race programme with a 1:55 score in the first $15,000 division. Driven by Anthony Macdonald, the son of Dragon Again sat In The Pocket before the opening station in :26.4, set by Lucky Nadotremblay (James MacDonald), before taking over command. Hopiesdragninthedo continued to lead his seven rivals past the half in :56.2. Post time favourite, Brother John (Jody Jamieson), angled out from fourth to begin the first-over attack around the final turn and was stalking on the outside of Hopiesdragninthedo past three-quarters in 1:25.1. Down the stretch, the pair separated themselves from the field, but it was Hopiesdragninthedo getting the edge over Brother John in deep stretch to win by three quarters of a length. Greystone Moe (Sylvain Filion) came from off-the-pace to finish third. Trained by Carmen Auciello for owners Carolyn Jarrell and Arlene MacIntyre, Hopiesdragninthedo earned his second career tally and increased his bankroll to $28,975. The gelding has started off his 2014 season in fine form with a 1-1-0 record from two starts. He paid $5.90 to win as the second choice. Even-money favourite Ontario Success started off the Pick 4 in the second division with a 1:56 victory. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Ontario Success was in no hurry at the start as Machin Money (Jonathan Drury) was quickest to the front past the opening station in :27.3. With the field well strung out, Machin Money continued to set the pace past the half in :57. Ontario Success found himself sitting well back in sixth, 13 and a half lengths off the pace, with second-choice KG Dragonator (Phil Hudon) on his helmet. Ontario Success began a first-over attack heading towards three-quarters, while Zark (Doug McNair) angled out of the two-hole attacking Machin Money before three-quarters in 1:26.1. Turning for home, Machin Money began to tire as the backfield was quickly closing in. Ontario Success was able to split between horses and fended off challenger KG Dragonator on the outside to win by one and three quarter lengths. Meetyouatmidnight (Billy Davis, Jr.) came on for third. Trained by Tony Oâ€™Sullivan for owner/breeder Emerald Highlands Farm, Ontario Success earned his third career victory as his lifetime earnings now sits at $37,384. The four-year-old son of Lis Mara paid $4.10 to win. In the final division, heavily favoured Littlebitaclass and Jody Jamieson clicked in 1:54.4. Jamieson and the son of Santanna Blue Chip settled away in third as Tex (Roger Mayotte) quickly gained control before the opening quarter in :27.3. Heading towards the half, Littlebitaclass was pulled to the outside and marched to the front at the half in :56.4. From there, the six-time winner led his eight rivals past three-quarters in 1:25.3 and fended off a late challenge from Tex to win by half a length. Dreydl Hanover (Keith Oliver) finished third. Trained by David Menary for owner Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Howard Taylor, Littlebitaclass increased his bankroll to $25,925. He paid $4.40 to win. The Snowshoe series is for three and four-year-old colt and gelding pacers, who are non winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime as of November 30, 2013. The second $15,000 leg of the series will take place on Monday, January 20 with the $30,000 (added) final on Monday, January 27. Videos of all races are attached Greg Gangle WEG Communications
Tucson, AZ --- Dave Palone, the 51-year-old Waynesburg, Pa., native is Harness Tracks of America’s Driver of the Year, the formidable achievement that remains the most difficult award in the sport of harness racing to win. It is the seventh time Palone has won the title! The evidence of the accomplishment is clear in the fact that of the 3,156 drivers who competed for purses in North America in 2013, only six were able to finish in the top 10 in money won, races won and UDR in-the-money percentage. Under the HTA formula, points are awarded on the basis of 25 for first down to one for 25th in the standings in money won, races won, and UDR, with a 25-point bonus for finishing in the top 25 in all three categories. Palone’s 2013 Driver of the Year trophy will be presented as part of the United States Harness Writers' 2014 Dan Patch Awards Banquet Night of Champions, on Sunday (Feb. 23) at Dover Downs in Dover, Dela. Here are the complete standings for 2013 for the top 25 drivers in North America: Drivers--Wins (Rank)--Earnings (Rank)--UDR (Rank)--Bonus--Total Points Dave Palone--645 (2T)--$6,128,869 (12)--.385 (3)--25--85.5 Yannick Gingras--537 (8T)--$14,231,476 (2)--.367 (8)--25--84.5 Tim Tetrick--582 (5)--$16,164,822 (1)--.320 (13T)--25--83.5 Brian Sears--507 (12T)--$13,737,691 (3)--.368 (7)--25--80.5 George Napolitano Jr.--551 (7)--$6,068,813 (14)--.315 (18)--25--64 George Brennan--450 (14)--$9,134,699 (7)--.311 (20T)--25--61.5 Corey Callahan--619 (4)--$9,708,323 (6)--.281--(unranked)--42 Ronnie Wrenn Jr.--714 (1)--$2,480,373 (unranked)--.361 (10)--41 Trevor Henry--529 (10)--$2,458,956 (unranked)--.392 (2)--40 Ron Pierce--537 (8T)--$11,550,300 (5)--.281 (unranked)--38.5 Michael Oosting--511 (11)--$3,535,283 (unranked)--.373 (5)--36 Jim Morrill, Jr.--343 (unranked)--$6,116,760 (13)--.383 (4)--35 Bruce Aldrich, Jr.--645 (2T)--$2,764,419 (unranked)--.316 (17)--32.5 Matt Kakaley--446 (15)--$7,527,717 (8)--.287 (unranked)--29 David Miller--388 (22)--$12,230,914 (4)--.268 (unranked)--26 Winston Campbell--321 (unranked)--$835,983 (unranked)--.416 (1)--25 Aaron Merriman--568 (6)--$4,165,510 (24)--.292 (unranked)--22 Bruce Ranger--254 (unranked)--$1,216,733 (unranked)--.369 (6)--20 Jason Bartlett--362 (24)--$7,136,699 (9)--.260 (unranked)--19 Jim Marohn Jr.--390 (21)--$1,762,040 (unranked)--.331 (12)--19 Jody Jamieson--352 (unranked)--$6,300,192 (11)--.307 (23T)--17 Andy Miller--354 (25)--$7,122,058 (10)--.254 (unranked)--17 Luke Plano--262 (unranked)--$765,014 (unranked)--.363 (9)--17 Heath Campbell--202 (unranked)--$817,779 (unranked)--.349 (11)--15 Chris Page--428 (16)--$2,478,072 (unranked)--.308 (22)--14