As a harness racing fan, I often wondered who designed a driver's helmet. Are these helmets customized or are there stock designs you could easily purchase? After doing some research, I was able to touch base with Montreal Canadians fan, Duane LeBlanc, who is located in Truro, Nova Scotia and designs helmets for the Standardbred community as well as hockey masks. Duane LeBlanc designed his first harness racing helmet for his father, Billy LeBlanc, at a very young age. "I was a kid who went to town with a paint brush" laughs Duane. "I came by it honestly; I was always at the track or barn.... I saw what was involved in becoming a driver and it didn't appeal to me." Duane explains. "I also worked as a runner for the pari-mutuals at the track." "I was always drawing as a kid and in Junior High I decided to design a helmet for my dad. You just pick away at stuff when you're younger; you're sure what you want to do and it progressed from there." Duane's dad never urged him to get into harness racing, even when Billy had his own stable back in the 80's and 90's. When Billy turned more to full time training in the 90's it was the same time Duane was in high school. Duane admits if he was a little older maybe he would have gone the driving route. When it was time to pick a college to expand his skills in graphic design, Duane chose Nova Scotia Community College. "There was only one good computer in the class" he recalls, "I still had to buy a pencil set. Now everything is computerized" "It's so different now. It seems so antiquated now, but at the time you're looking at a computer wondering what it was. We ended up playing DOOM on it for the longest time." Over the last six years, business has picked up for Duane where he's designing more for drivers with more and more individualized paint jobs including the likes of Travis Henry, Corey Callahan and Marc Campbell. One memorable design Duane created was for Rick Zeron roughly ten years ago. An artist can be their own worst critic, so it was a shock to Duane when Rick gave him a shout out on National television from the winner's circle. (This was the good old days when the WEG circuit was televised nationally on Monday nights). Marcus Miller is another driver who has a custom LeBlanc design. "I looked him up after he sent in a request" says Duane. "I saw he was a Metallica fan and kind of made it look like an old school helmet, but more with tribal designs and horses." "Todd Trite, his helmet is one of the earlier one I created that has laurels and banners to an extent. I used more designs of horses and horses in the bike to make it different." A custom helmet takes an average of two weeks for Duane to produce. One driver he would love to create a helmet for is Jody Jamieson. "Especially because he's from here" adds Duane. "That would be a cool one. I met him a few times in passing over at the Driver's Championship in late August 2014." When he is not working away, Duane kicks back in his man cave with his high school sweet heart and wife of 14 years Renee and their Shelties; Wookie, Enzo and Lycan. by Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com
TORONTO, January 9 - Round one of the Snowshoe Series continued winter series action Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Four $16,000 divisions of the series for three and four-year-old pacers that were non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014 were contested Friday evening. In the first division, Vegas Rich went gate to wire to pick up the victory as the second choice on the board. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Vegas Rich cut the mile and set fractions of :28.4, :58.4 and 1:27, before pacing home in :28.3 to score a 1 ¾ length victory in 1:55.3. P L Heavenly, the heavy 3/5 favourite, was first up around the final turn, but had to settle for second. Dragon Seelster finished third. A four-year-old son of Million Dollar Cam, Vegas Rich is trained by David Gibson, who shares ownership with David Goodrow Stable and Glenn Traver, and is now one for one this year. Vegas Rich now has three career victories and pushes his bankroll to over $40,000 with the victory Friday night. He returned $6.40 to win. Kindofabigdeal did not disappoint as the 1/5 favourite and won the second division in 1:56. Also driven by Filion, Kindofabigdeal picked up second over cover around the final turn and capitalized off that trip to pace by his rivals and score a three-quarters of a length victory over Ramblingamblinman. Newbie finished in the show spot. A four-year-old son of No Pan Intended, Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc and is now one for one in 2015. Last season, Kindofabigdeal won five of 10 starts and banked more than $53,000. Friday night's victory pushes his career earnings over the $60,000 mark. Kindofabigdeal paid $2.70 to win. Another favourite delivered a victory in the third division, as Whistle Jimmy K picked up his fourth win in his last five starts. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Whistle Jimmy K got a two-hole trip and followed closely behind American Island until just before the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, American Island tried to hold off Whistle Jimmy K, but the favourite eventually pushed his way by in the final eighth to prevail over American Island by a length and a half in 1:55.4. Mittcent Van Gogh finished third. A four-year-old son of Mach Three, Whistle Jimmy K is trained by Ben Wallace and had won his final three starts of 2014 before finishing second last week in his 2015 debut. Whistle Jimmy K now has four career victories and earnings of over $26,000 for owners Brad Grant and Wallacestandardbreds Inc. A $2 win ticket returned $3.70. In the final division, Decisive Destiny and Trevor Henry scored an impressive victory in 1:55.2. A four-year-old son of American Ideal, Decisive Destiny got away sixth and was able to get in the outer flow on the way to the half. Around the final turn, Decisive Destiny was third-over and just a little more than three lengths off the lead. In the stretch, Henry showed Decisive Destiny a clear path and he paced right by his rivals to record a 3 Â½ length victory. A Boy Named Suuzz finished second, while Bad Bug got up for third. Decisive Destiny is trained by Shawn Robinson for Robert Hamather and was making his second start of 2015. Last year, the son of American Ideal won three of 20 starts for earnings of just under $40,000. Friday night's victory was his fourth career triumph and pushes his career bankroll over $47,000. Decisive Destiny paid $8.70 to win. The second leg of the Snowshoe Series will take place next Friday (January 16). Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications
TORONTO, January 8 - It may have been a very frosty evening, but that didn't get in the way of some impressive fillies and mares in round one of the Blizzard Series Thursday night at Woodbine. A total of 24 three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares were split into three $16,000 divisions in the first leg of the three-week series for non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. The windchill throughout Thursday night's card made the conditions feel below -20 Celsius, while the Ontario Racing Commission judges allowed a two-second variant. In the opening division, Artistic Fusion lived up to her 1/9 billing, cruising to a 1:56.1 victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Artistic Fusion sprinted out quickly to grab the early lead, but would have to take back to second in the first turn, as a pesky Spiritina drove on to overtake the lead through an opening quarter of :27.2. However, Filion wasted no time removing Artistic Fusion and quickly took back the front with the four-year-old mare. After posting fractions of :58 and 1:27, Artistic Fusion put her rivals in the rearview mirror and opening up a massive advantage in the stretch and jogged to a 7 Â¾ lengths victory in 1:56.1. Deuces For Charity, who was first up in the third-quarter, finished second, while Docs Hollywood finished third. Artistic Fusion is trained by Joe Agostino and has been on a roll over the last few months. The daughter of Artistic Fella won the Autumn Series final back on November 28 and finished second in the Niagara Series final on Boxing Day. She is now one for one to start 2015 after scoring five victories from 19 starts last year for owner Mike Foote. Artistic Fusion's career earnings now exceed $78,000. She paid $2.30 to win. The second division was a battle from start to finish between the two favourites with A Fearless Affair coming out on top. Badlands Love and Sylvain Filion, the slight even-money favourite, grabbed the early lead, while A Fearless Affair and Simon Allard, the second choice at 6/5, got in the two-hole right behind the leader. Badlands Love set fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:27, but as she reached the three-quarter pole Allard popped the pocket with A Fearless Affair to take their best shot at the leader. In the stretch, A Fearless Affair took a slight advantage early in the lane, but put Badlands Love to bed in the final-eighth of the mile to score a 3 Â¼ lengths victory in 1:55.4. Badlands Love held on for second, while Onyourmarknatava got up to take the show spot. A Fearless Affair is trained by Shawn Robinson for owner Robert Hamather and is coming off a three for 15 season last year. The four-year-old daughter of Western Ideal is now one for one this year and now has four career victories and earnings of over $50,000. She returned $4.50 to win. In the third and final division, Mappos Moenhay went to the front and never looked back winning in 1:57.3. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Mappos Moenhay cleared to the front as the field hit the opening quarter in :28.3. The four-year-old daughter of Real Desire would go on to hang up fractions of :59.2 and 1:28.3, before pacing a final-quarter of :29 to hold off her rivals. All The Ladies turned in a strong final-quarter to finish second over P L Hurricane in third. Mappos Moenhay is trained by Jean Guy Belliveau for owners Carol and Hailee Campbell and is coming off a six victory season last year from 26 starts. The leg one victory is her eighth career victory and pushes her bankroll to over $42,000. The clocking of 1:57.3 equaled her lifetime mark. Mappos Moenhay returned $5.10 to win. Winter series action continues Friday night at Woodbine with the first leg of the Snowshoe Series for three and four-year-old pacers. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications
TORONTO, December 26 - A pair of Christmas presents were handed out a day late in the Valedictory and Niagara Series finals on Friday afternoon's Boxing Day card at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of seven three-year-old pacing fillies went behind the gate in the $34,800 Niagara Series final, while a group of ten three-year-old pacing colts and geldings battled it out in the $35,000 Valedictory Series final. In the Niagara final, Witch Dali completed the dominating series sweep with a 1:51.2 victory. For the third week in a row, Witch Dali's opponents only saw the back of her and driver Jody Jamieson as they went straight to the front and never looked back. Sent off as the 1/9 favourite, Witch Dali posted fractions of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:23.2, before kicking home in :28 to win by 2 Â½ lengths over Artistic Fusion. Double Joy took the show spot, while Saucy B finished fourth. A daughter of Dali, Witch Dali is trained by Tony Alagna and has now won all four of her starts in 2014. Witch Dali did not make her first start of the season until December 5th and has since rattled off four wins in four weeks. She is owned by Alagna Racing LLC. and Brad Grant. Witch Dali now has a career record of seven wins in 14 starts and earnings of $74,220. The clocking of 1:51.2 is a new career mark for Witch Dali and also broke the Niagara Series record by a full second. She returned $2.20 to win. In the Valedictory, Company Man turned in a career best effort to win the series final in 1:51.3. Driven by James MacDonald, Company Man got away in fourth, while the favourite, Kindofabigdeal, made a quick move in the first turn to swing around to the lead from second. Down the backstretch, MacDonald decided not to wait long and sent Company Man hard after the lead and cleared around Kindofabigdeal just after the half of :55. Company Man would continue to keep the tempo honest with a :27.3 third quarter to bring the field into the stretch with Kindofabigdeal following close in behind. In the stretch, Company Man dug in to turn aside Kindofabigdeal, who could only get to his wheel, and held off a late push from So Bad Im Good to win by half a length. So Bad Im Good took the place spot, while Kindofabigdeal and Ransom Demand finished third and fourth respectively. A son of American Ideal, Company Man is trained by Allen Tomlinson for owner Dan Mitchell. Company Man won a first leg division of the Valedictory and followed that up with a third place effort in round two last Friday. Friday's series final victory is his fourth victory from 19 career starts and boosts his career bankroll to over $74,000. The clocking of 1:51.3 is also a new career mark for the three-year-old gelding. Company Man paid $6.50 to win. The final card of the 2014 racing season at Woodbine will take place Saturday night with first post set for 7:25 p.m. Live racing will resume a week later with the first card of 2015 on Saturday, January 3rd. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
There was no stopping driver Alfie Carroll during the Monday evening program at The Raceway at Western Fair District, as the sulky sitter scored a touchdown and kicked the point after. Carroll had the hottest hands of them all as noted in the seven-win performance he manufactured over the course of the 14-race card. In the midst of what has been a career season, Carroll got on the scoresheet with Little Turk (1:57.3) in Race 3. He went on to win the next three races in succession thanks to wins with Monster In Law (1:56.4), Off By Heart (2:00.1) and Billy White Sell (1:59.2). To view the rest of this story click here. Driving triples for Allard-Jamieson at Woodbine The Monday evening program at Woodbine Racetrack featured a festive edition of “anything you can do, I can do better” between reinsmen Simon Allard and Jody Jamieson. The sulky sitters took turns exchanging victories on the 11-race program before each of them finished the card with three trips to the winner’s circle. Jamieson drew first blood thanks to his win with Vague Traces (1:54.1) in Race 2, and he came right back to take Race 3 with Escuela (1:54.1). Allard then got on the scoresheet thanks to his win in Race 4 behind Sky Desperado (1:51.3). He was back to victory lane in Race 7 thanks to the hard-closing skills of No Bu (1:50.4). To view the rest of this story click here.
TORONTO, December 18 - Witch Dali continued her hot streak Thursday night in the second leg of the Niagara Series at Woodbine Racetrack. Just one $15,000 division was needed for the second round of the three-week series, as ten three-year-old pacing fillies were entered in the box. However, two race-day scratches, including leg one winner Mach Some Noise, left the door wide-open for the other leg one winner, Witch Dali, to score another impressive victory. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Witch Dali, the 2/5 favourite, was sent straight to the front and got to call the shots from start to finish. The daughter of Dali set fractions of :27.2, 56.2 and 1:24.3, before cruising home in :28.1 to score a 4 Â¼ length victory in 1:52.4. Saucy B, who got a two-hole trip, finished second, while Double Joy and Artistic Fusion finished third and fourth respectively. Witch Dali is trained by Tony Alagna, who shares ownership with Brad Grant, and has now won her first three starts of the season. The three-year-old filly now has six career victories and has banked over $56,000 in 13 career starts. The clocking of 1:52.4 is a new season's mark for Witch Dali and just missed her career mark by a fifth of a second. She paid $2.90 to win. After scoring victories in the first two legs, Witch Dali can now go for the series sweep in the Niagara Series final on Boxing Day (Friday, December 26). Series action continues tomorrow night at Woodbine with two divisions in the second leg of the Valedictory for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The final of the Valedictory Series will join the Niagara Series finale on the Boxing Day card. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
TORONTO, December 11 - A snow covered Woodbine Racetrack played host to the first leg of the Niagara Series Thursday night. 18 three-year-old harness racing pacing fillies were split into two $15,000 divisions for round one of the three-week series. More than a dozen centimeters of snow blanketed Woodbine Thursday afternoon and into the evening, but the track crew had the surface in 'Good' shape for some fast fillies. In the first division, Witch Dali, the 4/5 favourite, took care of business winning in 1:53. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Witch Dali was sent straight to the lead and posted fractions of :27, :56.3 and 1:25 before pacing home handily in :28 to win by half a length over Artistic Fusion. Saucy B, who got on even terms with the winner around the final turn, finished third. A daughter of Dali, Witch Dali is trained by Tony Alagna and was making only her second start of the year. The three-year-old filly won her 2014 debut last week at the Meadowlands after an almost 13 month layoff. Witch Dali is now a perfect two for two this season and five for 12 in her career for earnings of over $40,000. She is owned by Alagna Racing LLC and Brad Grant. Witch Dali paid $3.80 to win. Another favourite would deliver an impressive victory in the second division. Mach Some Noise and James MacDonald made a backside brush to the lead and never looked back scoring a 2 Â¼ length victory in 1:54.3. Trained by Tony O'Sullivan, Mach Some Noise came into round one of the Niagara Series after a third place finish in the Autumn Series on November 28 ended her four-race win streak. The daughter of Mach Three has now won all five of her career victories in her last six starts for owners O'Sullivan Racing Inc, Kirk McKinnon and David Goodrow Stable. In her first season of racing, Mach Some Noise has banked over $50,000 in 11 starts. Double Joy got up in a place photograph to take second over Val Di Noto, while Mappos Moenhay finished fourth. Mach Some Noise paid $4.20 to win. In order to be eligible to the Niagara Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31. The second leg of the Niagara Series will take place next Thursday (December 18) at Woodbine. Series action continues Friday night at Woodbine with leg one of the Valedictory Series. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
The temperature was just above the freezing mark for an eight-pack of qualifiers Friday morning at Mohawk Racetrack. The track was listed as fast Friday, but the judges did allow a one second variant on the chilly and windy morning. Many eyes were on the seventh qualifier, as World champion Hes Watching and Milton Stakes winner Voelz Hanover lined up behind the gate. Leaving from post six in a field of six, Voelz Hanover and Randy Waples sprinted off the gate to grab the early, while Hes Watching and Jody Jamieson dropped in the two-hole. After an opening-quarter of :28, Volez Hanover kept the tempo hot with a :27.3 second-quarter to lead Hes Watching by half a dozen lengths. Voelz Hanover reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24, but Hes Watching, who was five lengths back, started to hit his best stride as they rounded the far turn. In the stretch, Hes Watching would track down Voelz Hanover, but came up half a length short at the wire in 1:53.4. Hes Watching paced his last quarter in :28.4, while Voelz Hanover's final panel was in :29.4. Hes Watching was making his second qualifying appearance in as many weeks in preparation for the Breeders Crown eliminations next weekend at the Meadowlands. The son of American Ideal is trained by Dave Menary, who shares ownership with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing Trust. Hes Watching has won five of 12 starts this season for earnings of over $837,000. His career bankroll currently sits at over $1.1 million. Voelz Hanover was making her first appearance since finishing fourth in the Fillies & Mares Preferred at Mohawk on October 10. She was entered to race the following week at Woodbine, but was a vet scratch sick. A nine-year-old daughter of Astreos, Voelz Hanover recorded the biggest victory of her career back in September when she won the $286,000 Milton Stakes at Mohawk. She is trained by Corey Johnson for owner Richard Berthiaume and has won six of 16 starts this season for earnings of over $262,000. Voelz Hanover's career record currently sits at 44 wins from 168 starts for earnings of over $1.7 million. Also making an appearance Friday morning was Valley Victory elimination winner Whataworkout. The Frank Antonacci trainee turned in a 25 length victory in 1:58. Driven by Domenico Cecere, Whataworkout was making his first appearance since making a break in the stretch of the $521,000 Valley Victory on October 25 at Woodbine. A two-year-old son of Muscle Hill, Whataworkout has won twice in his first five starts for earnings of over $32,000. He is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut. Ontario Sires Stakes standout Sports Chic was also a winner Friday morning. A two-year-old daughter of Sportswriter, Sports Chic won her qualifier by 13 lengths in 1:56.4. Driven by Jody Jamieson, this was Sports Chic's first charted line since finishing fourth in the $250,000 OSS Super Final on October 11 at Mohawk. Trained by Blake Macintosh, Sports Chic has won five times from 10 starts for earnings of over $241,000. Macintosh is also a co-owner of the filly along with Hutt Racing Stable. The full list of Friday morning's winners can be found below. Mohawk Qualifiers - Friday, November 7 Race 1 - Whataworkout (Domenico Cecere) - 1:58 Race 2 - Sports Chic (Jody Jamieson) - 1:56.4 Race 3 - Sas Warkentin (Scott Young) - 2:00 Race 4 - Century Angeldust (Mike Saftic) - 1:58.2 Race 5 - Barefoot Beauty (Doug McNair) - 1:59.1 Race 6 - Hldontghttoyurdrms (Jonathan Drury) - 2:00.2 Race 7 - Voelz Hanover (Randy Waples) - 1:53.4 Race 8 - Screen The Call (Jody Jamieson) - 1:58 Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred
Coming off a race described by trainer Dave Menary as "vicious," Charmed Life might finally be sitting pretty as she gets ready for Saturday's $178,000 Muscle Hill Stakes for older female trotters at Vernon Downs. Charmed Life drew outside starting spots in four of her previous five races, but will begin the Muscle Hill from post four with driver Jody Jamieson, who on Thursday night got career win No. 7,000. The 10-horse field features the four richest trotting mares this season: Classic Martine, Bee A Magician, Charmed Life, and Perfect Alliance. The Ron Burke-trained entry of Maven and Handover Belle was installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, followed by Bee A Magician at 3-1 and the three-part Jonas Czernyson entry of Ma Chere Hall, Mistery Woman, and D'Orsay at 9-2. Charmed Life is 8-1. "I think any race (worth) over $100,000, I haven't drawn very well with anyone this year," Menary said. "You need a little bit of luck. This worked out good for her; the four hole should be a good spot. They're all tough, but a lot of the better mares are on the outside." Charmed Life, a 4-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Christina M, has won six of 19 races this season and $186,953. She is owned by Menary Racing, Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero. The group purchased the mare in March, prior to the start of this year's campaign. "She could have had a better year with a little bit of luck, but she's a model of consistency," Menary said. "We've had a lot of fun with her and hopefully it's not over yet." Among Charmed Life's wins was a 1:52.2 victory in a preliminary round of the Miss Versatility Series at Tioga Downs. The time was the fastest trotting mile in track history. She started the $121,500 Miss Versatility Series final from post seven at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio and finished second by a neck to Classic Martine. Earlier in the season, she drew post eight for the $244,720 Armbro Flight Stakes and finished fourth. Charmed Life has hit the board in 13 of her 19 starts, and 10 of 12 since adding Lasix in July. "She's been good her whole life, and as long as we've had her, but since I put her on Lasix she's had a little bit extra kick coming home," Menary said about Charmed Life, who has won 13 of 53 career races and $629,613. "If she's in the right spot, like at Tioga, she can go with these mares." Last week, Charmed Life started from post seven in the preferred at Woodbine and rallied from ninth place at the half - a dozen lengths behind the leader - to win by two in 1:54. She trotted the second half of the race in :55. "She was vicious," Menary said. "She came from an impossible spot. She looked like she was probably a little too far back; not a lot of horses could have gotten up from there. But she really exploded. It was a good last quarter, but she really came a wicked last eighth. "I've been experimenting with her bridle the last couple starts. The week before she was kind of caught in, but still closed up good (to finish third by a nose in the preferred). It was maybe a little bit disappointing two weeks ago, but I changed her bridle again and she was vicious last week." Following the Muscle Hill, Charmed Life will be pointed toward the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. She will continue racing in 2015. "One hundred percent," Menary said. "I've contemplated racing her at home a little bit this winter. We'll just take things weeks by week." Saturday's card at Vernon Downs also includes the $178,000 Artiscape for older female pacers and Kindergarten Classic finals for 2-year-old male and female trotters. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
TORONTO, October 30 - Another action packed round of the Autumn Series took place Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A trio of $14,000 second leg divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings and the freshmen trotting colts and geldings were contested. In the first division for the trotters, One Direction repeated him impressive performance from leg one to win in 1:58.2. Sent off as the 1/5 favourite, One Direction dropped in third and came first up in the middle half for driver Chris Christoforou. After leading the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:28.4, One Direction cruised home under a hand drive from Christoforou to win with ease. Rubber Duck was a hard closing second, while Jayport All Muscle finished third. A son of Deweycheatumnhowe, One Direction broke his maiden last week in the first leg and has now won twice in six career starts. Trained by Dustin Jones for owner Ernst Gerbaulet of Germany, One Direction lowered his lifetime mark by a fifth of a second and increased his earnings to $14,800. He returned $2.70 to win. In the second division, Irish Scotch and Jody Jamieson were able to capitalize on a break by the favourite to win in 1:58.1. Olympic Son, the 1/2 favourite, made a break as the wings of the gate folded allowing Jamieson to send Irish Scotch to the lead. After control the tempo to his liking, Irish Scotch was never in any danger in the stretch and trotted home in :29.4 to win by a length and a quarter over Olympic Son. However, Olympic Son would be placed from second to sixth for failing to lose ground while making his break at the start. William Star became the new second place finisher, while Duh Bubbees was bumped from fourth to third. A son of Muscle Mass, Irish Scotch is trained by Don Lindsey for owner Paul Lindsey The second leg victory was a maiden breaking score for Irish Scotch and pushes his career earnings to $14,495. He returned $6.70 to win. Muscles All Over had a rough start, but kept it together to take the final division in 1:59. Driven by Daniel Potvin, Muscles All Over was a little rough gaited at the start, but was still able to leave and get the front. Around the final turn, Delcrest Massy came charging first up to challenge Muscles All Over and the pair dueled by the three-quarter pole in 1:27.3. In the stretch, Delcrest Massy backed off and tried to re-rally up the rail, but Muscles All Over would not relinquish the lead and held on to win by a length and a quarter. Don Jarvis got up to take the show spot. A son of Muscle Mass, Muscles All Over is owned and trained by Ivan Gallant. The two-year-old trotter, who finished second in the first leg, broke his maiden with the victory Thursday night. Muscles All Over has now earned $24,840 in 12 starts. He paid $5.50 to win. Sugarsam rode the rail to victory in the first of three divisions for the rookie pacing colts and geldings. Driven by Jamieson, Sugarsam left hard to take the early lead, but would allow The Battle Begins to overtake the lead in the second quarter. After sitting patiently in the two-hole, Jamieson would shoot Sugarsam up the inside in the stretch and power on to a 2 Â¼ length victory in 1:53.1. Lancaster Park, who was first up, finished second, while Pan Street Usa followed him to a third place finish. A son of Sportswriter, Sugarsam is trained by Corey Johnson for owner Sotirios Anastasopoulos. The two-year-old was a winner a week ago in the first leg and now has five wins in 11 starts for earnings of $32,475. He returned $6.40 to win. In the second division, Jamieson would find the winner's circle once again to reach a career milestone. Frankie Boy and Jamieson made a break before the start and spotted the field five lengths as the gate took off. Antar Phil, the public's choice at 6/5, would also make a break before the opening quarter. Three different horses would hold the lead in an action packed opening three-quarters, setting things up for the back of the pack to come to life. Frankie Boy, who was ninth at the three-quarter pole, turned in a :27.2 last quarter to sweep by the field and win by a length in 1:54.4. His Boy Elroy finished second, while Red Pine was third. Frankie Boy's victory was Jamieson's third win on the card and his 7,000th career victory. A son of Artistic Fella, Frankie Boy is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owners Lomangino Standardbreds and Leo Lomangino. The second leg victory was the first win in six starts for Frankie Boy and increases his earnings to $9,580. He returned $30.00 to win. In the final division, Robert Hill had to dig deep to pull out his Third Straight victory in 1:54.2. Driven by James MacDonald, Robert Hill got away third and was sent to the lead in the second quarter. Around the final turn, Robert Hill would be challenged hard by Three Rivers Dell and posted a third-quarter of :27.4. Despite the big third panel, Robert Hill turned aside Three Rivers Dell and dug deep to just hold off J Js Delivery, who got a second over trip, to win by a nose. Halton Hurricane, a leg one winner, finished third. A son of Jeremes Jet, Robert Hill, who won a division of the first leg a week ago, has now won three starts in a row and four of 11 this season. Trained by Tony Alagna, Robert Hill now has career earnings of $46,150 for owner Tom Hill. Robert Hill paid $5.60 to win. The finals for both gaits will go next Thursday, November 6. The top ten money earners that enter will contest next week's finales. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
TORONTO, October 30 - Driver Jody Jamieson became the newest member of the 7,000 win club Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack. In the evening's seventh race, Jamieson guide pacer Frankie Boy to victory in a division of the Autumn Series for his 7,000th career win. Jamieson, 37, entered the night three wins shy of the milestone, but quickly moved in on the 7,000 win plateau after scoring victories in the second and sixth race. The Moffat, Ontario resident has been consistently among the top drivers on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit over the last decade and was the circuit's top driver in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Jamieson has captured several of the sport's most prestigious titles including the North America Cup twice, the Little Brown Jug and the Maple Leaf Trot. In August of 2013, Jamieson reached the $100 million mark in career earnings. This season, Jamieson has recorded 254 wins and earnings of just under $5 million, while his career earnings number sits at over $107 million. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Jody on his accomplishment and wish him continued success. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
TORONTO, October 27 - Second round action of the Autumn Series got underway Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack and new faces found their way to the winner's circle. A pair of $14,000 divisions for both the two-year-old pacing and trotting fillies were contested. In the first division for pacers, Evas Girl and Jody Jamieson rebounded from a sixth place finish in the first leg to score a leg two victory in 1:53.3. A daughter of Rambaran, Evas Girl got away fourth and was sent first up around the final turn. In the stretch, Evas Girl powered to the lead and cruised to a 2 ¼ length victory. Little Miss Artist finished second, while Lady Hill took the show spot. Trained by Peter Core, the second leg victory was the second win in nine starts for Evas Girl and pushes her career earnings to over $17,000 for owner Nicolas Stoukas. Evas Girl paid $4.40 to win. In the second division, a big opening quarter might have been the turning point to allow Dublin Rose to score the victory. Tessa Seelster blasted off the gate to the front and hung up a wicked opening quarter of :25.4. As the field entered the backstretch, Dublin Rose came out and around to the lead for driver Paul Macdonell. In the stretch, Tessa Seelster came out of the two-hole, but didn't have enough to get by Dublin Rose, who scored a length and a half victory in 1:53.4. Marachere finished third. A daughter of Major In Art, Dublin Rose is owned and trained by Allen Tomlinson and had finished third in the opening leg. The second leg victory is the second win in eight starts for Dublin Rose and increases her career earnings to over $22,000. She returned $8.30 to win. Cum Laude Hall took the opening division for the two-year-old filly trotters. Trained and driven by Rick Zeron, Cum Laude Hall got away third and was pushed first up in the second quarter. After clearing to the lead just past the half, Cum Laude Hall never looked back and trotted clear to a 3 Â¼ length victory in 1:57. Magic Shelley finished second, while Battle Mage got up for third. The second round victory was a maiden breaking victory for Cum Laude Hall, who had finished third in the first leg. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Cum Laude Hall is owned by Walnut Hall Limited and now has career earnings of $24,353 in eight starts. She paid $6.40 to win. In the second division, Meadow Seelster was a gate to wire winner in 1:58.1. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Meadow Seelster set fractions of :27.4, :59 and 1:29.3, before digging in late to hold off a late surge from Hape to win by a length and a half. Yanks Ball Girl finished third, while leg one winner Mischief Smile had to settle for fourth. Trained by Bill Budd, Meadow Seelster, who finished second in the first leg, has now won three of 10 career starts. The daughter of Holiday Road is owned by William Dixon and has now earned $26,030 in her young career. She returned $6.30 to win. The Autumn Series is for Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2014. The finals for both Autumn Series categories will take place next Monday, November 3rd. Autumn Series action continues Thursday night with second leg action for the two-year-old colts and geldings. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Brian Sears, Jody Jamieson and Chris Christoforou, three of harness racing’s top reinsmen, are nearing major milestones in their career dash totals. With their busy race schedules, all three drivers should be able to hit their milestone marks by this coming weekend. Sears leads the way with 8,994 wins as of today and thus is just six away from #9,000. When he hit that milestone, Sears will become only the 16th driver in the history of harness racing in North American to achieve 9,000 wins. Jody Jamieson currently has 6,995 career wins and is just five away from #7,000 while Chris Christoforou is at 5,994 wins and six away from #6,000. Good luck to all three drivers this week! By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
TORONTO, October 15 - The Mohawk summer meet has come to a close and fall has officially arrived as live harness racing returns to Woodbine this Thursday, October 16. The Fall/Winter meet will feature four-nights-a-week of racing, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Broadcast upgrades and the return of a state-of-the-art tracking tool will change the way fans and horseplayers watch the races from Woodbine. Beginning with Thursday's opening card, the Woodbine Standardbred simulcast feed will be produced in High Definition (HD) in a production control room on the fourth floor of the Woodbine grandstand. Customers on site will be able to view the races in HD (1080p; 16:9 aspect ratio). Fans south of the border will be able to view the races in HD as TVG, the premier horse racing TV channel in the United States, will be carrying the Woodbine 1080p HD signal. As for the product on the track, driver Jody Jamieson believes the track dimensions at Woodbine allow for more upsets. "A lot of the time the best horse wins at Mohawk, but at Woodbine the turns are different, a little smaller then that big last turn at Mohawk that allows horses to get into the race," said Jamieson, "At Woodbine, the best horse can be kind of marred in traffic and get himself beat a little more often then at Mohawk." Jamieson is also a big fan of the track surface at Woodbine, which will offer purses of approximately $200,000 a night, and the speed it offers. "I love racing at Woodbine...I think the track is a faster track and maybe one of the fastest tracks in the world to race good horses on." As for an adjustment period between switching from Mohawk to Woodbine, Jamieson said it doesn't take long. "I adapt to it right away and I think most guys adapt right away to the racing style and hopefully the bettors appreciate it." While not installed for opening night, fans will also soon enjoy the return of Trakus to the Woodbine Standardbred broadcast. Trakus, the automated racehorse tracking system, is being relaunched to provide Standardbred horseplayers with the best data around. The reintroduction of Trakus to Standardbred racing will offer horseplayers the most accurate charts and information in harness racing. Trakus compiles information on each horse at every point of the race through wireless communication to a tag placed inside the saddle pad. Horesplayers will now know exactly where each horse is during the race, through the Trakus technology incorporated into the live simulcast feed. The opening weekend at Woodbine will feature the return of the Fall Four Stakes. Last contested at Woodbine in 2010, the Fall Four Stakes brings the top two-year-olds in harness racing to Toronto to contest the Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. Eliminations for the events will take place this Friday and Saturday and the finals will take place as part of a $2 million card on Saturday, October 25. Post-time for each night of live racing is 7:25 p.m. except on two special occasions. Post-time on Saturday, November 1 will be 7:55 p.m., while the special afternoon Boxing Day card on Friday, December 26 will feature a post-time of 1 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – Never count Jody Jamieson out of any harness racing driver’s tournament. There is a reason why Jamieson will be representing Canada in the world driving championship once again and he showed the harness racing fans and driving colony at the Hippodrome 3R why on Sunday as Jamieson rallies from fourth place half way through the competition to win it all in the very last race. “That is why I came here today,” Jamieson said, “To win the competition and to have some fun and I was able to have both here at 3R.” Jamieson was able to rally late in the eight-race competition, winning the eighth and ninth races to collar early leaders Stephane Gendron and Sylvain Filion. Then in the last race of the competition, Jamieson sealed the victory finishing second with Coraggio Hanover in the tenth race. At that point only Stephane Gendron could have beaten Jamieson, but he had to have won the race and Jamieson finish third. Gendron ended up finishing fourth. “Thank you Trois-Rivieres and thank you to everyone,” Jamieson said after the victory. “It has been an amazing experience today. I had my eye on this trophy earlier today and I am glad to be holding it now.” Hippodrome 3R general manager, Vincent Trudel, invited Jamieson to come back next year and defend his title. “I love being here,” Jamieson said, “I love that they have done with this place and how everyone is trying to revitalize racing harness racing in Quebec and that is near and dear to my heart and I want to be here for it. “The horses today have been just fabulous,” Jamieson said. “The guys that brought them in had them in peak condition. I have not driven a bad horse today. They have all put in their best efforts. I just can’t say enough about how great today has been. I just love being here, it rocks.” Jamieson was in fourth place halfway through the competition with Sylvain Filion, Stephane Gendron and Denis St. Pierre holding the early lead. One of the keys to Jamieson’s victory was that he scored points in all eight of the races in the competition. Then in the seventh through tenth races he won twice and was second twice and that sealed the victory. The final statistics were: Jody Jamieson 196 points Sylvain Filion 133 points Stephane Gendron 129 points Denis St Pierre 109 points Stephane Brosseau 92 points Jocelyn Gendron 61 points Mario Charron 42 points Pascal Berube 38 points The first five finishers in the competition received tournament bonus checks. Jody Jamieson received $1,500; Sylvain Filion $750; Stephane Gendron $360; Denis St Pierre $240 and Stephane Brosseau $150. Next Sunday will be the final live card at the Hippodrome 3R before the end of the 2014 race season. Next Sunday post time returns to 1:00 pm. For more information visit their website at www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club
October 11, 2014. “Down by the wire tonight I was asking her to go and she was looking at me like ‘we’ve got it won bud, just relax,’ And we did.” That’s how harness racing driver Jody Jamieson described the end of his trip with Danielle Hall who parlayed a perfect pocket trip to score a mild upset over favourite Stubborn Belle in tonight’s $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies at Mohawk. It was the first of eight Super Finals on the card wrapping up the 2014 OSS season. Paul MacDonell and Stubborn Belle protected their rail position as the race got underway with Jamieson tucking Danielle Hall (who left from post two) right behind. Stubborn Belle reached the first quarter in :27.1, the half in :56.1 and the three-quarters in 1:25. As the field trotted around the final turn Jamieson pulled the right line on Danielle Hall and she managed to get by Stubborn Belle and hit the wire first in 1:54.1. The time was just two-fifths of a second off the OSS record established by Bee A Magician. Muscle Baby Doll was able to get up for second for Doug McNair while Stubborn Belle held on for third. Steve Condren managed to work out a rather impossible trip for Stubborn Belle’s stablemate from the John Bax barn to grab fourth. Mischief Smile earned the final cheque. It was win number seven in 10 tries this year for Danielle Hall, a daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe owned by trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, and Winnipeg Racing (Tom Kyron) of Concord, Ontario. She now has $378,000 earned this year. “I really didn’t see the race turning out like that. I thought that Mac (MacDonell) would let a couple go and re-move but his filly got off on a real good foot tonight. I was a little bit behind the eight ball making sure I closed up the two hole when it was there following Stubborn Belle there was no other trip,” explained Jody Jamieson. “I wasn’t confident in pulling that early but Dougie (McNair) was coming with a really nice filly (Muscle Baby Doll), trained by Tony O’Sullivan, she’s been sprinting by me or close to me all year. My mare felt so good I just I said ‘well, it’s now or never.’ She showed tonight she’s a pretty nice animal. “She’s just so smart, a couple of times I’ve won with her here and turned her around, just like I did tonight, and walked her down the rail and she’s got her ears up looking around. She’s very smart, that’s one of her best attributes.” Danielle Hall was a $21,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select Sale from breeder Walnut Hall of Lexington, Kentucky. She is the third foal from $247,000 winner Debbie Hall. Carl Jamieson reports she'll head next to the Goldsmith Maid followed by the Breeders Crown if all goes well. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11.