CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - The Peaceful Way Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack was 'As easy as 1-2-3' for harness racing trainer John Bax. The Bax trainee Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell captured the $385,000 final, while Juanitas Fury and Southwind Champane took the place and show spot to make it a 'Bax Triactor'. The entire complexion of the rich final changed before the field could even reach the eighth pole when Mission Brief, the 1/5 favourite, made a break. The costly break by the favourite allowed Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell to step out to the lead and control the tempo. After posting fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26.2, Stubborn Belle dug in down the stretch to hold off a late charge from stablemate Juanitas Fury to win the Peaceful Way Stakes by half a length in 1:56. The other Bax trainee, Southwind Champane, was able to get up for third to complete the first-ever 1-2-3 finish for a trainer in Peaceful Way Stakes history. Stubborn Belle's victory also gives Bax and MacDonell back-to-back Peaceful Way crowns after the duo teamed up to win last year's edition with Riveting Rosie. "My hat has to go off to John Bax here," said MacDonell. "To come in 1-2-3, I know we were up against Mission Brief and we knew we were up against it, but he had these horses prepared and ready to go tonight." Bax has now won three Peaceful Way Stakes titles. His first victory came in 2002, when the race was known as the Oakville Stakes, with Aimees Image. MacDonell praised Bax for his touch with trotters. "He's just a perfect guy with a trotter, he's relaxed, he doesn't get anxious and worried about how they are coming along at any time of the year. He knows things will fall into place and my hats off to him." The costly break by Mission Brief not only stung for her connections, but the horseplayers who bet almost $18,000 of the $26,377 in the Win pool and the $33,581 of the $41,991 in the Show pool on her. "I didn't expect it, but you have to think about it because if she was going to get beat she was likely going to beat herself," said MacDonell of the break by Mission Brief. "I'm upset for those people, she's still a great filly, but we had to take advantage of it when the time came." Stubborn Belle, who finished second to Mission Brief in their elimination, has now won four of her eight career starts. The daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover is owned by Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm and now has a bankroll of $308,786. Stubborn Belle paid $19.50 to win. The Peaceful Way Stakes Mark McKelvie
Mohawk Racetrack offers a stakes laden harness racing card Saturday evening anchored by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic which has two top Ontario-sired colts taking on five very talented sophomores. The card also features the $385,000 Peaceful Way final with several OSS fillies in contention, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial with one lone Ontario-sired colt, and the $409,000 Elegantimage final with four OSS girls vying for their turn in the winner’s circle. In addition to those great trotting races, the program will also headline the top pacing mares in North America in two eliminations for the Milton Stakes which feature three OSS graduates including a Breeders Crown winner. In the showcase event Harper Blue Chip will attempt to duplicate his sire, Majestic Son’s, 2006 Canadian Trotting Classic victory. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario, trained Majestic Son, who won the ’06 CTC by more than six lengths over a very talented field, and also conditions Harper Blue Chip. A son of Angus Hall, Majestic Son was a dominant force in the OSS during his sophomore season, winning seven of 10 OSS events. In total, he won $622,000 in the provincial program during his career. Majestic Son now stands at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, and Harper Blue Chip, with $547,000 in earnings, is his second richest performer to date, behind only Charmed Life ($592,000). So far this year Harper Blue Chip has a summary of 4-2-2 in 10 starts and although he’s won two OSS Gold events and swept the Canadian Breeders, he’s best known for finishing third in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian last month at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian winner, Trixton, is also slated to start in the CTC final, with post five. Trainer Jimmy Takter will drive the colt who has won eight of 10 starts this year. Tatker’s other talented colt in this division, Father Patrick (also eight for 10) is right alongside in post six. It’s a formidable duo facing Harper Blue Chip whose driver Sylvain Filion is cautiously optimistic, especially given that the colt has finally drawn a decent starting position, post two, compared to post 10 in the Goodtimes final and post nine in the Hambletonian. “He’s been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post,” Filion noted earlier this week. “We’ve got a tough bunch of horses to race against, but he’s very good right now. I’m hoping for a good, close to the front trip and hopefully some top horses won’t be on their game, because we’ll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It’s a very high quality group.” The other OSS colt joining Harper in the CTC final is Muscle Matters, a son of Muscle Mass who will start beside Harper Blue Chip in post three. Mario Baillargeon will be at the lines for his brother Ben who handles the colt’s training. Yet to win a race this year, Muscle Matters has been close, with five second place finishes in six starts, three of those to Harper Blue Chip. The CTC final goes as race nine on the card. In the third race, the $385,000 Peaceful Way final, there are six OSS fillies in the mix including a pair trained by John Bax, Stubborn Belle (post one, Paul MacDonell) and Juanitas Fury (post nine, Steve Condren). Both fillies have two OSS wins to their credit this season and both finished second in their respective Peaceful Way elims. Stubborn Belle was aptly named according to Bax. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to.” Despite that the Taurus Dream daughter, owned by Bax of Peterborough and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario, has set two records so far this year – a track record at Rideau Carleton (1:55.4) in an OSS Gold event and a stakes record in a Champlain stake (1:54.2). Bax also starts the Muscle Hill filly Southwind Champagne in the Peaceful Way final. She has post six with Steve Byron at the controls. The other OSS rookies attempting to capture the event named for one of the greatest Ontario-sired trotting mares of all time, $3.2 million winner Peaceful Way, include Daneille Hall (post two, Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (post four, Roger Mayotte), Amoureuse Hanover (post eight, Doug McNair) and Lady Caterina (post 10, Phil Hudon). The dam of Elegant Serenity, Elegantimage, is the namesake for the seventh race on the program. A star of the OSS in the late 1990s, Elegantimage earned just shy of a million dollars during her impressive racing career. A quartet of three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies will attempt to capture the $409,000 event including Bax’s Riveting Rose (post three, Paul MacDonell), Tosca (post two, Per Henriksen), Sweetie Hearts (post eight, Randy Waples) and Muscle Babe (post 10, James MacDonald). The other major trotting stake on the program is named for one of Canada’s most respected horsemen of all time, the late William Wellwood, a member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a successful participant in the OSS since its inception 40 years ago. The only Ontario-sired rookie colt in contention for this event is a son of Infinitif, Dont Rush who has drawn post four with Chris Christoforou in the bike. The colt captured a division of the first Gold event for this group in early July which surprised his trainer/owner and breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario. “If you had told me in October he was going to win a Gold the first week of July I don’t think I would have believed you,” laughed Jones. “He’s exceeded my expectations since I brought him in the barn.” The OSS graduates competing in the two Milton eliminations are Monkey On My Wheel, a Breeders Crown winner at three and 10-2-6 in 24 starts this year for owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ontario. The winner of $1.5 million to date in her career has post seven in the sixth race which also features the Camluck mare Camille ($1.1 million to date) in post four. Voelz Hanover ($1.5 million lifetime) is the lone Ontario-sired distaffer in the second Milton elim, race 10. In addition to all of the on-track action, Mohawk is also celebrating their fans with Fan Appreciation Night Saturday featuring a first bet on the house, giveaways after each race and a $5 food voucher to the first 1,000 fans. To view the full card please click Mohawk Entries - September 13.
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 12 - A two-year-old filly trotting a mile in 1:53 would ordinarily grab headlines. Unfortunately for freshman trotter Stubborn Belle, her 1:53 mile was only good enough for second, 3 Â¾ lengths behind Mission Brief's 1:52.1 World Record clocking, in last week's Peaceful Way Stakes elimination. "I was thrilled with the way she raced," said trainer John Bax. "It's no shame to finish second to that filly." Over the last few weeks, Stubborn Belle has shown speed that would normally have her at the top of the two-year-old trotting filly ranks. She won the Champlain Stakes on August 28 in a stakes record time of 1:54.2 and last week, her mile of 1:53 would've broken the previous track record by three fifths of a second. Her 1:53 mile was also more than two seconds faster than the other elimination, won by Jolene Jolene in 1:55.1. While Mission Brief's speed show overshadowed a great mile by Stubborn Belle, the daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover will get another crack at the World Champion in Saturday's $385,000 Peaceful Way final at Mohawk Racetrack. The elimination victory allowed Mission Brief's connections to select post five for her on Saturday evening, while Stubborn Belle went into the open draw and was assigned the rail. "We'll find out what the rail does, it's better than the ten-hole," said Bax. Stubborn Belle has won three of her last five starts, but the smooth-speedy filly that has been showing up in recent weeks is also the filly that made breaks in her first two starts. "She's a lot like her name," said Bax. "She was touching a little bit and kind of wanted to do everything her own way." Bax said his filly 'just had to grow up a litte bit' and noted the faster the race goes, the easier she is to handle. Once Stubborn Belle started to put it all together, Bax said she started to reach the potential he saw when training her down. "I'm not going to say (she showed) :53 speed, but she was always big, strong and looked like a colt." Stubborn Belle sold for $85,000 as a yearling and has already earned more than $116,000 for owners Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm. On Saturday, Stubborn Belle, who will be driven by regular pilot Paul Macdonell, has a big opportunity to increase that bankroll and give her trainer his second consecutive Peaceful Way Stakes victory. Stubborn Belle is not Bax's only shot at a repeat, he will also send out Southwind Champane. A daughter of Muscle Hill - Caerphilly, Southwind Champane finished fourth in her elimination with driver Steve Byron. The duo will leave from post six in the final. Although Southwind Champane hasn't shown the extreme speed to compete with her stablemate, Bax is still thrilled by what she has shown on the track. "I'm tickled with her, trot a mile in :54 and your not good enough. Where she started out the year I had to back up with her a bit, she had a chip taken out, so I'm real happy with her." While Stubborn Belle and Southwind Champane will look to give their trainer the repeat in the Peaceful Way, the filly that put Bax in the winner's circle last year will also be in action on Saturday night. Almost a year to the date, Bax will once again send out Riveting Rosie in a big money event. The daughter of Muscle Mass - Rose De Vie Stena will start from post position three in Saturday's $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes. Last season, Riveting Rosie dominated as a two-year-old, but this year she has not been able to find the same success at the age of three. "It's been a tough year with her," said Bax. "Every time you think you've got everything straightened out something else happens to her." Riveting Rosie, who will also be driven by MacDonell, isn't being given much of a chance with morning line odds of 15-1, but Bax isn't ruling her out to be a factor. "If she is on her game she is competitive." Post time for Saturday night's card, which will be highlighted by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, is 7:25 p.m. Saturday is also 'Fan Appreciation Night'. The first 1,000 fans on-track will receive a free $5 food voucher and prizes will be given away after every race. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
The three-year-old trotting fillies completed their Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots regular season Thursday at Flamboro Downs in five $18,000 divisions. The fastest division was dominated by Stormont Kate and Bruce Richardson who got the girls by the opening marker in :29, the half in :59.2 and three-quarters in 1:28.3 and were home easily in 1:58.2. Chelseas Chance was second followed by Torches Star. Richardson, of Arthur, Ontario, owns and trains the winner, a daughter of Kadabra who was recording her fourth win this year. Stormont Kate is the second foal from a half-sister to $912,000 winner Lord Stormont. KD Bella was the early leader in the first division, getting the field by the first quarter in :29.2, the half in :59.2 and three-quarters in 1:28.4. As the field was half-way through the final turn KD Bella went offstride allowing Viva Bayama to inherit the lead but Flexible Woman closed hard through the stretch to win in 1:59.3 for Steve Byron. Viva Bayama was a neck behind in second while Magic Factory was a close third. John Bax trains the winner, a daughter of Federal Flex he co-owns with breeder Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Ontario. This was the third win of the year for Flexible Woman. The second division saw Erin Hall and Travis Henry in the lead early and that pair trotted by the opening quarter in :28.2 and the half in :59.2. Serendipitious took over the lead by the 1:29.2 three-quarters but was overtaken in deep stretch by Mystical Wishes who hit the wire first in 1:59. Serendipitious held for second while Ja El Diamond was third. A daughter of Muscle Mass trained by Tony Alagna for owners Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood of Indiana, Mystical Wishes was notching her seventh win in 12 starts this year. Lenny Mac and Scott Coulter went to the top first in the third division, and never gave up that position through fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1, 1:30.2 and was home easily in 2:00. Osprey Impact took second while Do The Wheelhouse finished third. Trainer Bob McIntosh bred and co-owns the winner, a daughter of Kadabra, with Earl Hill of Ohsweken, Ontario. This was Lenny Mac’s third win of her sophomore campaign. The final split was controlled the entire mile by Northern Secret who was by the first panel in :28.4, the half in :59.2, the three-quarters in 1:29.1 and was home first in 1:59.1. Doweeypuffandhow was second followed by Wawona. Mario Baillargeon was up behind the winner, trained by his brother Ben who co-owns with Nunzio Vena of Bolton and Santo Veno of Brampton, Ontario. The Angus Hall miss earned a new life record with tonight’s effort, her second win this year. This was the final Grassroots event for this group. The top point earners will now face off in the Semi-Finals on September 20 at Mohawk. To view the complete results from tonight’s races, please clickFlamboro Results - September 11. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Driver Trevor Henry was the star of the show on Saturday night at Hanover Raceway as he won five of the six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series events for two-year-old male trotters that were staged and added an overnight victory to give him a total of six triumphs on the ten-race program. Henry teamed up with trainer Paul Reid for a pair of his wins. That duo struck for the first time in the third division with Snapshot Springs, who led through fractions of :31, 1:04.1, and 1:34.4 on his way to a 2:04.3 victory, and they were back for another win photo after Olympic Son overcame an early break and a first-over trip to win the nightcap by half a length in 2:03.1. Snapshot Springs, a Striking Sahbra gelding, is a homebred for Rick and Regina Beinhauer of Venetia, Pennsylvania. He has won half of his six starts this year, with all his victories coming in Grassroots company, and he has earned $31,500. He’s the eighth foal out of the S Js Photo mare Spring Photo ($246,089). Reid trains Olympic Son, a colt by Majestic Son, for owner/breeder Bob Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania. Olympic Son picked up his second win from four attempts, and he has now put away $22,320. The winner is the second foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Graceful Sister ($104,714). Henry also swept the early daily double, which was comprised of Grassroots races, with Rob Roy, who led at every call on his way to a 2:03.4 tally, and Kadabrasnewrecruit, who turned a first-over journey into a 2:01.2 score. Henry then bagged the fourth split with Call Me Richard in 2:02. Rob Roy is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Mike Wassilyn of Rockwood, Ontario. Rob Roy, an Angus Hall colt, broke his maiden in his fourth try and pushed his bankroll to $10,550. Roy Roy, who was bred by Mike Sparks, fetched $5,500 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. He’s the first foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Callisto Blue Chip. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, owns Kadabrasnewrecruit, a gelded son of Kadabra. Kadabrasnewrecruit, who was bred by Tymal Farms, is two-for-three in the win column, and he has now earned $22,500. He’s the fifth foal out of the Mr Lavec mare Keystone Alberta, who was third in the $100,000 Grassroots final when she was a two-year-old. Call Me Richard, who picked up his third win in Grassroots action, is trained by Clare Bradshaw. Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ontario, owns Call Me Richard, whose dam is Andover Hall mare Olympic Dreams. Call Me Richard, now an earner of $32,940, was bred by Tri Star Farms Ltd. of Brantford, Ontario, and was hammered down for $11,500 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. The only horse to stop Henry’s run was Parkhill Lancelot, who prevailed by a head in 2:02.4 in the fifth Grassroots tilt. Steve Byron drove the victorious Muscle Mass gelding for co-owner/breeder Parkhill Stud Farm of Peterborough, and co-owner Marshall Bax of Mississauga, Ontario. John Bax trains Parkhill Lancelot, who has won once from six trips behind the gate and earned $24,660. Parkhill Lancelot’s dam is Harlequin Seelster (Duke Of York), a three-time OSS winner in her racing career. This concluded the Ontario Sires Stakes season at Hanover Raceway and the regular season for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters in the Grassroots Series. The next time they compete will be in the Grassroots Semifinals on September 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results and charts of Saturday night’s races at Hanover Raceway From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 2 - Seven three-year-old trotters were entered Tuesday morning for the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic on Saturday, September 13. With only seven horses entered, eliminations are not required for this year's edition of the 'Trotting Classic.' Headlining the group of seven is the Jimmy Takter trained duo of Father Patrick and Trixton. Father Patrick is coming into the Canadian Trotting Classic off a victory last Friday night in the $340,000 Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs. A son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream, Father Patrick has won 17 of his 20 career starts, including capturing last year's William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk in a Track and Canadian record time of 1:53.4. Father Patrick was named last year's Two-year-old Trotting Colt of the Year on both sides of the border and has earned $1,452,396 in his career. The other half of the Takter duo, Trixton, most recently won the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes last Saturday night at Mohawk. A son of Muscle Hill - Emilie Cas El, Trixton won this year's $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 2. He also found success earlier this season at Mohawk when he won the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14 in a Track and Canadian record clocking of 1:51.3. Trixton has 12 victories in 18 career starts for earnings of more than $960,000. Also joining the Takter duo in the rich final is Ontario Sires Stakes star Harper Blue Chip. Trained by Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip won this year's Canadian Breeders Championship and finished third in the Hambletonian. A son of Canadian Trotting Classic winner Majestic Son, Harper Blue Chip has visited the winner's circle eight times in his career for earnings of more than $547,000. The other four horses in this year's Canadian Trotting Classic field are Damfoolrmillionair, E L Titan, Il Sogno Dream and Muscle Matters. Established in 1976, the Canadian Trotting Classic has been won by many great trotters including, Joie de Vie, Giant Victory, Yankee Paco, Kadabra, Mr Muscleman, Windsongs Legacy, Donato Hanover, Deweycheatumnhowe and Muscle Hill. Also on Tuesday morning, 11 three-year-old trotting fillies were entered for this year's Elegantimage Stakes. Those 11 fillies will go directly to the $409,000 final on Canadian Trotting Classic night (September 13). Leading the group of fillies is Shake It Cerry, a winner of more than $1.2 million, from the Jimmy Takter barn. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry is coming off a victory in the $150,000 filly edition of the Zweig Memorial last Friday at Vernon Downs. Shake It Cerry has won 16 of 21 career starts and has won many notable stakes events, including the Del Miller Memorial back in July and last year's two-year-old filly trot Breeders Crown. Also highlighting the group of 11 is the Julie Miller trained Designed To Be. The daughter of Donato Hanover - Sheer Soul won a division of the $103,845 Simcoe Stakes last Friday night at Mohawk. Designed To Be has won three times and has never been worst than third in seven starts this season. She has seven career victories for earnings of more than $593,000 and has only missed board once in 15 career starts. Muscle Babe and Riveting Rosie are two of four Ontario sired fillies in the field. Trained by Dave Menary, Muscle Babe has won four times in 10 starts this season, including the $178,287 SBOA Stakes on May 31 at Mohawk. She has six wins in 18 career starts and career earnings exceeding $248,000. Riveting Rosie was last year's Two-year-old Filly Trotter of the Year in Canada. She only lost twice last season in eight starts and captured $374,000 Peaceful Way Stakes at Mohawk. Trained by John Bax, Riveting Rosie has not had nearly as much success this season, but recently picked up her first win of 2014 in a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event at Grand River Raceway on August 13. Riveting Rosie has won seven times in 18 career starts for earnings of more than $550,000. Here is the full field for the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes on Saturday, September 13. Chivaree Hanover Demanding Sam Designed To Be Heavens Door Muscle Babe Riveting Rosie Scream And Shout Shake It Cerry Sweetie Hearts Tosca Vanity Matters Along with the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage Stakes finals on September 13, Mohawk will also have the finals for the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial and the $385,000 Peaceful Way. Also on that evening, Mohawk will be hosting customer appreciation night. Visit www.MohawkRacetrack.com for more details in the coming days. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 28 - Grand Circuit week got underway with the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies Thursday night at Mohawk. 26 freshman fillies were split into three divisions worth more than $83,000. Stubborn Belle captured the first division in style with a 1:54.2 stakes record performance. A daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover, Paul Macdonell sent the filly to the lead and posted an opening quarter of :27.3 and a half mile time of :57.1. As the field made their way to the half, Speak To Me, the second choice at odds of 7/5, made a break while racing along in fifth. In the third quarter, Spirit To Win, the even money favourite, was sent first up to challenge Stubborn Belle and the fillies went toe-to-toe as they reached the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. In the stretch, Stubborn Belle turned aside the favourite and trotted away by two lengths to win the first division in a stakes and career best 1:54.2. Spirit To Win held on for second, while Summer Jewel took the show spot. Speak To Me recovered to finish up her mile strong and pick up a fourth place cheque. Trained by John Bax for owners Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm, Stubborn Belle was bought as a yearling at Harrisburg for $85,000. Stubborn Belle has had success on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and has now won three times in six career starts for earnings of over $108,000. She paid $9.70 to win. Stubborn Belle In the second division, Danielle Hall cut the mile and showed a lot of heart to win in 1:55.1. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe - Debbie Hall, Danielle Hall was sent to the lead by driver Jody Jamieson, while Lock Down Lindy, the 1/2 favourite, got away in seventh. As the field reached the half, Southwind Champane was brought off the pylons from fourth allowing Lock Down Lindy to pick up cover second over. In the third-quarter, Southwind Champane challenged Danielle Hall, while Smexi sat in the two-hole and Lock Down Lindy gapped her cover a bit. In the stretch, Danielle Hall put away Southwind Champane, allowing Smexi to come out of the two-hole to take a challenge at the leader. Lock Down Lindy made a bid on the far outside, while Smokinmombo came up the rail to make it a close four horse finish. At the wire, Danielle Hall held off Smexi by a neck in 1:55.1, while Lock Down Lindy and Smokinmombo finished third and fourth respectively by three-quarters of a length. Carl Jamieson trains and co-owns Danielle Hall with Winnipeg Racing. Danielle Hall sold for $21,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and has now won five times in six career starts. Three of her five victories have been in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events. The winner's share of the $84,871 purse increases Danielle Hall's earnings to over $179,000. The clocking of 1:55.1 was also a new career mark. She paid $9.80 to win. Danielle Hall The final division went to Jolene Jolene and David Miller. A daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie, Jolene Jolene, the 1/2 favourite, got away third and made a quick move to the lead in the second quarter. After posting a half-mile time of :58.1 and a three-quarter time of 1:27., the two-year-old filly trotted strong down the lane under a hand drive from Miller to win by three lengths in 1:55.1. Juanitas Fury finished second, while Dynamite Dame was third. Trained by Jonas Czernyson for owner William Joseph Donovan, Jolene Jolene was entering the Champlain Stakes off a victory in the Tompkins Stakes at Tioga. Jolene Jolene was purchased for $87,000 last fall at Harrisburg and has now won two times in five career starts. She has never finished off the board and has earnings of over $151,000. She paid $3.10 to win. Jolene Jolene Grand Circuit action continues tomorrow night at Mohawk with two divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters and two divisions of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Youre Majestic, Danielle Hall and Juanitas Fury were victorious in the three $70,000 Gold divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies tonight at Mohawk. Youre Majestic was sent off as the favourite in the first division and she didn’t disappoint her backers, winning in 1:57.1. The daughter of Majestic Son, driven by Doug McNair, got away in fourth as Sheguindah hit the opening quarter in :28.2. Just past that point Amoureuse Hanover took over the lead but that didn’t last long as McNair had Youre Majestic moving quickly to take command before the :59.3 half. She remained on top by the 1:28.2 three-quarters and opened up down the stretch to win comfortably over Amoureuse Hanover (Pilgrims Taj) and Railee Priti (Muscle Mass). Owned by Frank Bellino and Sons LLC of New York and trained by Tony Sullivan, Youre Majestic has yet to finish off the board in her young career. Her summary now is 3-1-1 in five lifetime starts for $92,000 in earnings. This marked her second Gold victory. In the second division it was The Grand Filly showing the girls the way and hitting the opening quarter in:27.4. She was quickly covered up by Muscle Baby Doll but Danielle Hall and Jody Jamieson took over before the :57 half. At that point favourite Stubborn Belle made a break. At the three-quarters it was Danielle Hall in 1:26.2 and she could not be caught down the stretch, winning in 1:56 over The Grand Filly and Muscle Baby Doll, both by Muscle Mass. Stubborn Belle recovered from her miscue to take fourth. It was the fourth win in five lifetime starts, and third Gold win, for Danielle Hall (she was second in the other start), a daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe owned by trainer Carl Jamieson and Winnipeg Racing of Concord, Ontario. Juanitas Fury was back in the Gold winner’s circle following the third division. Paul MacDonell was up behind the daughter of Kadabra who got away third in the early going as Mystical Brat took the field by the quarter pole in :28.1. MacDonell then right lined Juanitas Fury who was on top by the half in :58.1. She passed the three-quarters in 1:28 and held off several rivals to hit the wire in 1:57.1. Tymal Illbethere (Deweycheatumnhowe) was right there for second with Nordic Holiday (Holiday Road) a close third. It was the third win, and second OSS Gold victory, in five starts this year for Juanitas Fury co-owned by trainer John Bax with Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Don Allensn of Wyoming and Gaelic Stable of Sharon, Ontario. The next Gold test for this division is set for September 25 back at Mohawk. To view the complete results from tonight’s card please click Mohawk Results - August 18. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Harness racing fillies dropping down from the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division to the Grassroots level proved successful in several of today’s $18,000 divisions at Clinton Raceway. That moved proved the ticket for Gee Okeeffe in the opening division. She traded the top position with Dewy Take A Selfie through fractions of :31, 1:03, 1:32.2 and was home first with a two length cushion in 2:03. Superbowl Sunshine closed well to take second while Dewy Take A Selfie was third. Chris Beaver trains the winner, a daughter of Holiday Road he co-owns with breeder Wilbur Lang of Ohio. Gee Okeeffe was notching her second win in five tries this year, winning a Gold division on July 23 at Grand River Raceway. That same shift also proved beneficial for Desis Dream who made her first Grassroots appearance after three Gold starts. She went gate to wire for Steve Byron in :30, 1:02.3, 1:32.4 and held off Giona to win by a neck in 2:03.4. Dolce Far Niente was third. John Bax of Peterborough, Ontario, trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, with breeder Glengate Farm of Campbellville, Ontario. This was Desis Dream’s first lifetime win in five tries. In the third division the field was reduced to five starters with the scratches of Magical Lass and Magic Dancing. Summer Jewel and Mario Baillargeon set the early tempo of :30.4, 1:03 and 2:04.4. Judy The Beauty came up to challenge past the half and kept pressure on the leader the rest of the way but Summers Jewel hung tough to win in 2:04.4. Judy The Beauty had to settle for place while Moon Dance took third. Baillargeon’s brother Ben of Rockwood, Ontario, trains and co-owns the winner, a daughter of Angus Hall who was recording her second straight Grassroots victory and third overall. She came into today’s event sitting third in the Grassroots standings with 124 points behind Stay In Touch and Judy The Beauty who were tied for first with 137. Mario was back on top early in the next split with first time starter Flexyandiknowit who hit the opening quarter in :31.3. Just past that marker Mass Rail was taken out from third to challenge the leader and overtook her just past the half in 1:03. However, she quickly had a challenger in My Mini Snickers by the 1:33.3 third panel. Mass Rail fought back but was hauled down late by My Mini Snickers and James MacDonald who hit the wire first in 2:03. Mass Rail was second with Tymal Fireitup third. It was the second straight Grassroots victory for the Muscle Mass daughter owned by Ron Phillips of Illinois and trained by Ryan Maxwell. It was the same scene in the fifth division as Mario had Zorgwijk Philly on top early and hit the opening panel in :31. Dustin Jones sent Pinky The Intern up to challenge before the half but Zorgwijk Philly maintained the lead and was by the third panel in 1:32. Despite pressure on the outside and inside Zorgwijk Philly was at the wire first in 2:05 over Delcrest Flexyhall and Pinky The Intern. It was the first OSS start and first win for the Southwind Lustre daughter owned and trained by Wayne Langille of Harley, Ontario. Other winners amongst the Grassroots divisions this afternoon were Winem, a daughter of Kadabra trained by Mike Keeling for owner Paula Wellwood of Cambridge, Ontario and driven by Mike Saftic and Wing Flash, also by Kadabra, who went gate to wire for trainer Wayne Henry, who co-owns with Daylon Farms of Komoka, Ontario, to win in 2:04. This group will meet again in Grassroots action on September 9 at Mohawk. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Last year’s two-year-old trotting filly of the year in Canada, Riveting Rosie, recorded her first 2014 victory in the second of two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old harness racing trotting fillies tonight at Grand River Raceway. A winner of $468,000 last year, the daughter of Muscle Mass had a rough start to her three-year-old season when she cut both of her back legs fairly seriously this spring and it took her awhile to recover from those injuries. Given her impressive effort tonight, she now seems to be fully healed. It was a compact group in her division with just five fillies competing. The simply named Margie and Sylvain Filion controlled the tempo early, hitting the opening panel in :29.2 and the half in :59.1. As the field trotted down the backside Paul MacDonell pulled the right line on Riveting Rose from third and she took over by the three-quarters in 1:29.2. Riveting Rosie opened up to win comfortably in 1:58.1 over Miss Liv and Stormont Kate, both daughters of Kadabra. For Rosie it was her first win in eight tries this year for trainer John Bax of Peterborough who co-owns with J and T Stable of Newmarket, Don Allensen of Wyoming and John Hayes of Sharon, Ontario. Tonight’s efforts put Rosie’s life earnings over $550,000. Bred by Schare Adams of Kentucky, Rosie was a $17,000 yearling at the Lexington Select Sale. In the first division three fillies were determined to control the tempo and were three wide early with White Becomes Her, the furthest wide, gaining the top by the first quarter in :27 for Mario Baillargeon. She had a breather in the next quarter, hitting the half mile marker in :57 and trotted by the three-quarters in 1:27 but was collared midway down the stretch by Sweetie Hearts and Jody Jamieson who hit the wire first in 1:57.4. Mayberry managed to nip White Becomes Her for second. It was the second win in 10 tries this year for the daughter of Angus Hall trained by Ron Parsons for owner/breeder Bob Key of Pennsylvania. The filly hails from one of Key’s top maternal families as her second dam is a sister to American Winner ($1.3 million), Super Pleasure ($827,000), etc. It’s also the immediate family of Ontario-sired Harper Blue Chip who finished third in this year’s Hambletonian. This group now has more than a month off before their next Gold test on September 21 at Flamboro. To view the full results from tonight’s card click here. Ontario Sire Stakes
Rideau Carleton’s track record for two-year-old trotting fillies took a beating tonight first by Danielle Hall then Stubborn Belle in two harness racing $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes divisions, the track’s first OSS events of the year. In the first division Railee Priti grabbed early control for Steve Byron but she was covered up before the :28.2 first quarter by Danielle Hall. That filly trotted by the half in a sedate :58.2 and had company in the form of Muscle Baby Doll at the 1:27.3 third quarter. Danielle Hall was up to the challenge though and held strong through the stretch to win in 1:56.2 over Muscle Baby Doll and Juanitas Fury. It was the third win in four lifetime starts for Danielle Hall, a daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe owned by trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario along with Winnipeg Racing of Concord, Ontario. “Carl told me she was a nice filly; he was right,” praised Mario Baillargeon who guided the filly to the victory. “We got a little breather from the quarter to the half. She felt pretty good in the last turn, I tried to get away from Dougie (McNair aboard Muscle Baby Doll) and I did just enough to keep him at bay in the lane.” Bred by Walnut Hall Ltd. Of Kentucky, the filly was a $21,000 yearling purchase. Tonight’s win put her over $100,000 in earnings in her young career. She is the third foal from the $247,000 winner Debbie Hall, and a full sister to Danica Hall who earned $108,000 from just six starts last year at two. The time took almost a full second off the previous track standard of 1:57.1 set two years ago by Seeuinthespring but it didn’t last two races as Stubborn Belle reduced it further in the second OSS test. In that division it was Allies Gift and Trevor Henry showing the way past the opening quarter in :27.1 and the half in :57 but up came Stubborn Belle who took over before the 1:26 three-quarters for Paul MacDonell and never looked back to win by more than five lengths in 1:55.4. Bistrobistro Taj was second followed by Youre Majestic. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to. I think Paul let her do her own thing tonight,” noted trainer John Bax who shares ownership of the Taurus Dream daughter with Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario. “I set a world record here with Goodtimes many years ago in the Frank Ryan so I always like coming back here,” he added. Goodtimes’ mark of 1:53.3, set in 1999, still stands at the Ottawa track. As for the plans for the filly bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and sold for $85,000 last year at Harrisburg, Bax said: “I think she’ll take on the Grand Circuit back at Mohawk in September and if everything goes well I’m hoping to start her in the Breeders Crown.” The next Gold event for this group is set for August 18 at Mohawk. To view the complete results from tonight’s program at Rideau, please click Rideau Results - August 10. Ontario Sire Stakes
For the next seven days Peterborough, Ontario harness racing horseman John Bax will be spending a lot of time in his second office, behind the wheel of his truck. Starting Friday he has colts and fillies racing in Ontario Sires Stakes events for seven straight days, then there’s a break of one day and then right back at it. “I used to complain that the OSS season was too long when it went into November, so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining now that it’s too short. There’s an upside and downside to the way its structured now (going from late May to mid October),” noted Bax. “If your horse is ready there’s a lot of opportunity but if you have one that’s injured or sick, you can miss a lot just being off a month. Ideally I think it could be spread out just a bit more.” Bax currently sits in third in the trainers’ standings in the OSS program. He’s had 18 starters to date, 11 of which will be going postward over the next four days. Tonight he starts three colts among the six $18,000 Grassroots divisions for two-year-old trotting colts at Mohawk, a two hour trek from his farm south of Peterborough. Among those is Parkhill Lancelot, a homebred son of Muscle Mass he owns along with son Marshall. Bax trained his dam, a daughter of Duke Of York (another of his former top trotters) named Harlequin Seelster. “She had a :55 hind end and a 2:10 front end,” the trainer laughed. “But she had the pedigree so we bred her. I try to have a couple of broodmares around.” Parkhill Lancelot will be making his fourth lifetime start on Friday night where he’s drawn post one in the eighth race. The colt has finished a close second in his previous two efforts, both Grassroots events. The following day Bax’s team will be making another two hour truck, this time to Georgian Downs, for six $18,000 OSS events for rookie trotting fillies where he has a pair of starters. Fiery Eyes, who has a first and second in her last two Grassroots races, has post eight in race four. Flexceptional, who has one Grassroots victory in as many lifetime starts under her harness, leaves from post four in race six. Both will be driven by Steve Byron. On Sunday Bax’s rig will be headed east for a change for the first OSS event of the season at Rideau Carleton Raceway near Ottawa, an approximate six hour round trip from their base. There he starts a pair of fillies in both $105,000 Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting misses. In the fourth race he has Juanitas Fury (post two) and Railee Priti (post four). In the second division it will be Desis Dream (post three) and Stubborn Belle (post five) carrying the Bax colours. Monday finds the Bax brigade in Elora, Ontario, for Grassroots for three-year-old trotting colts where he has a pair of entrants, Illseeuincourt in race two and Kiwi Pres in the sixth and final of the six $18,000 divisions, race nine. “When you see a week like this one coming up you don’t feel so bad about spending a few months of the winter in Florida during the off season,” joked Bax whose barn consists solely of young horses. “I certainly wouldn’t mind another Goodtimes or Define The World,” he said of former stable stars raced well beyond their OSS seasons and earned $2.2 million and $1.7 million respectively. “But for the most part it just makes sense to stay with the young horses. “The Ontario Sires Stakes program is still better than most others, and I think you get the best bang for your buck in Ontario,” he added. Which is a good thing as he’ll be seeing a lot of the province and the OSS Program over the next few days. The entries for the upcoming OSS events at Mohawk, Georgian Downs, Rideau Carleton Raceway and Grand River are available through the links below. Mohawk Entries - August 8. Georgian Downs Entries - August 9. Rideau Carleton Entries - August 10. Grand River Entries - August 11. Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 7 - Jetpedia drew first blood in the opening leg of the Define The World Series for two-year-old trotters on Thursday night at Mohawk. Formerly known as the Bridger, the series was renamed this year in honour of the John Bax trainee, Define The World, who earned more than $1.7 million dollars during his seven-year racing career. The opening leg saw a group of eight battle for a purse of $12,000. Jetpedia, the 6/5 favourite, turned in a dominating gate-to-wire victory to break his maiden in 1:59. Driven by co-owner Mike Saftic, Jetpedia left hard off the gate for a comfortable lead at the opening quarter in :28.2. Saftic slowed things down in the middle half leading through a half of 1:00. and a three-quarter time of 1:30.1. In the stretch, Jetpedia cruised away from rivals with a last quarter of :28.4, under a Saftic hand drive, to win by 3 Â½ lengths. Homen Dry, who was second over on the final turn, took second, while Monopoly Blue Chip was third. Jetpedia is a son of Muscle Hill - Baker Black Jet and is trained by Gregg McNair, who shares ownership with Saftic. The maiden breaking score came in the two-year-old gelding's second start of his career. Jetpedia's clocking of 1:59. was a second slower than his career mark of 1:57.4, which was taken in a qualifier on July 22. The second leg of the Define The World Series takes place next Thursday (August 14) at Mohawk. Mark McKelvie
The Wayfaring Man and harness racing driver Jack Moiseyev turned in a big 1:52.2 mile to capture the $43,200 Dream Maker Series Final Monday night ( August 4th) at Mohawk. A compact group of six two-year-old pacers contested the final leg of the three-week series. Read The Proposal left hard off the gate to take the early lead, but was overtaken on the way to half by leg one winner Pierce Hanover and driver Paul Macdonell at a solid half-mile time of :55.3. On the way to the three-quarter pole, Amora Beach was sent first up from third by driver James MacDonald providing cover for Moiseyev and The Wayfaring Man on MacDonald's back. In the stretch, The Wayfaring Man capitalized off his second over trip pacing by the top two in the final eighth of the mile to win by a length and a quarter, with a last quarter of :27.4. The clocking of 1:52.2 is the fastest mile by a two-year-old pacer this year in Canada. Amora Beach edged by Pierce Hanover to take the place spot. Late Night and driver Doug McNair finished fourth. A son of Dragon Again - Armbro Wichita, The Wayfaring Man finished second in a dead-heat in the opening leg before breaking his maiden in the second leg. The series finale victory was the second win in a row and a new lifetime best for The Wayfaring Man. The Wayfaring Man is owned by Bruno Comenga and trained by his son Nicky. The son of Dragon Again was a $62,000 yearling purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and has now earned $29,820 in three career starts. He returned $3.70 to win. The Wayfaring Man is eligible to the Nassagaweya Stakes on August 16, which is one week before the eliminations for the Metro Pace, the top stake race for two-year-old pacers. This year's edition of the Dream Maker Series was dedicated to the memory of Antonio Chiaravalle. Chiaravalle, who passed away in June, owned many great standardbreds including the series namesake, Dream Maker. The Wayfaring Man Also on Monday night, the opening leg of the Pure Ivory Series for two-year-old trotting fillies was contested. Southwind Champane defeated six other rivals in a sparkling 1:56.3 for driver Steve Byron and trainer John Bax. A daughter of Muscle Hill - Caerphilly, Southwind Champane got away in second and was quickly right lined to the front in the second quarter. Around the final turn, Spirit To Win, the 1/2 favourite, came first up to confront Southwind Champane and was a length off the lead at the three-quarter pole. After a :28.3 third-quarter, Southwind Champane continued to trot strong down the lane holding off Spirit To Win by a quarter of a length to win with a final panel of :28.2. Allies Gift took the show spot, while Drinksonthehouse finished fourth. The 1:56.3 clocking is the fastest mile by a two-year-old trotter this season in Canada. Southwind Champane is owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Glengate Farms and Gordon Wright. She cost $32,000 at last year's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Southwind Champane's first leg victory improves her record to two for two in her young career. She paid $11.90 to win. Southwind Champane The second leg of the Pure Ivory Series takes place next Monday night (August 11) at Mohawk. This Thursday night, series action continues with the $37,800 final of the Whenuwishuponastar Series for two-year-old pacing fillies at Mohawk. Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred
Some things change, and some things stay the same. That was the case when two-year-old trotting fillies made their way to Mohawk Racetrack for Thursday’s septet of OSS Grassroots divisions. The duo of trainer John Bax and driver Paul MacDonell has been lethal with young trotters since Lassie was a pup, and they proved it once again during Thursday’s 12-race card. Flexceptional had a shaky start in her assignment, but she had a perfect finish for the tandem of MacDonell and Bax. The filly was stacked up third-over going into the final turn, but when MacDonell tipped her off cover turning for her she used a :29.2 closing quarter to win by three-quarters of a length over Dewy Take A Selfie in 2:01. Third prize went to Its A Hotty. Sent off at odds of 16-1, the daughter of Federal Flex-Maurel Hanover won at first asking for owner Dave Hudson of Dallas, Texas. The youngster was purchased for $10,000 from last year’s Lexington Select Yearling Sale. To view the rest of the story click here.
Seven $18,000 divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters took place on Wednesday (July 30) at Grand River Raceway, and Hemi Seelster padded his lead atop the group with a 2:02 victory in the sixth split. With Steve Byron in the bike, Hemi Seelster was well clear of his rivals through opening-half fractions of :29.1 and 1:00.4. Pocket-sitter Tarot (Riina Rekila) made up ground in the third quarter, but Hemi Seelster was still on the point at the 1:31.4 three-quarters. In the stretch, Tarot looked to get around the tempo-setter, but Hemi Seelster proved too tough for Tarot, drawing off to win by two and a quarter lengths. Olympic Son (Anthony MacDonald) finished third. Hemi Seelster is trained by John Bax for his Parkhill Stud Farm, Matthew Bax, and Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough, Ont., along with John Houston of Cobourg, Ont. He is now a perfect three-for-three in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series action and has won three of his four starts overall, earning $27,000 in the process. Sired by Holiday Road, Hemi Seelster was bred by Seelster Farms Inc. of Lucan, Ont. and sold for $19,000 at last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale. His dam is Hollywood Beauty, who is by Angus Hall. Hollywood Beauty scored a victory in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series elimination as a two-year-old. To view the rest of the story click here.