Winter harness racing action ramped up Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack with round one of The Count B and Ontario Girls Series. Each series featured a pair of divisions for their opening leg. A group of 14 sophomore pacing colts and geldings were split into two $17,000 The Count B divisions, while 15 Ontario sired four-year-old pacing mares competed in two $18,000 Ontario Girls splits. The Count B Series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings saw the first split go to a newcomer north of the border. War N Munn went gate to wire for a 1:54.1 victory. The son of Stonebridge Regal shipped in from the Kerin Warner barn into the care of trainer Carmen Auciello. Driven by Jonathan Drury, War N Munn fired out to the front and got to dictate the pace. After posting panels of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:25.2, War N Munn opened up several lengths of separation and cruised home in :28.4 for a 6¾ lengths victory. St Lads Charger, who sat fourth for the majority of the mile, finished second, while New Standard came from last to finish third. War N Munn is owned by George Munniksma. The sophomore pacer was making his 2016 debut after winning two of nine starts as a rookie for earnings of $43,011. War N Munn established a new career mark with his 1:54.1 victory. He paid $10.10 to win. War N Munn The combination of Drury and Auciello appeared to have a good shot to sweep The Count B first leg, as they teamed up with the 3/5 favourite Big Bang Boom in the second split. Drury stepped on the accelerator at the start and blasted Big Bang Boom to the lead. The Auciello trainee went untouched through solid fractions of :26.2, :55.3 and 1:24.1 to lead by almost five-lengths turning for home. Three Truths, the 7/2 second choice, came out from fifth around the final turn for driver Sylvain Filion and sat seven-lengths off the lead at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Big Bang Boom ran out of steam at the eighth-pole and was swallowed up by a hard-charging Three Truths, who stopped the clock in 1:55.1. Gotti finished two-lengths back in second, while Big Bang Boom held on to hit the board in third. A son of Shadow Play, Three Truths is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Ratchford Stable and Brian Shebib. The Count B opening leg victory is the first win in four starts this season for the sophomore pacer. Three Truths won three of eighth starts last season and now has a career bankroll of $23,060. Friday's clocking of 1:55.1 established a new career mark for the son of Shadow Play. Three Truths paid $9.50 to win. Three Truths The Ontario Girls Series kicked off with a fantastic stretch duel in the first division. Much Adoo, the 9/5 favourite, got away second, but was quickly circled to the lead in the second-quarter by driver Doug McNair. Fresh off her Blizzard Series victory, Double Olives found a seat in fourth and sat there until angling out first-over just after the half. Much Adoo posted middle-fractions of :57 and 1:25, while Double Olives pulled to within less than a length of the lead turning for home. In the stretch, the public's top two choices went toe-to-toe with Much Adoo holding off a battling Double Olives to win by a length in 1:54. Pinky Tuscadero, who sat second-over turning for home, finished third. A daughter of Classic Card Shark, Much Adoo picked up her second win in three starts this season for trainer Cody Henry. She is owned by Aaron Waxman and Alan Alber. Much Adoo increased her career earnings to over $97,000 with her seventh career victory Friday. She paid $5.90 to win. Much Adoo In the second division, Amazing Control came through as the even-money favourite for a 1:55.1 victory. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Amazing Control was able to get a pocket trip in behind Twin B Sweetheart. The leader cut out fractions of :27.2, :57.4 and 1:26.3, while Amazing Control was primed to pop the pocket in the lane. In the stretch, Jamieson pulled on the right line and Amazing Control powered by Twin B Sweetheart to win two-lengths. Tilkum finish third. A daughter of Shadow Play, Amazing Control is trained by Meg Crone for owners Hutt Racing Stable. The four-year-old pacing mare now has two wins in four starts this season. Amazing Control increased her career earnings to over $83,000 with her fourth career victory Friday. She paid $4.20 to win. Amazing Control The Count B and Ontario Girls Series resume next Friday (February 12) with round two. In order to be eligible to The Count B, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of three races or $40,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Ontario sired four-year-old pacing mares, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015, were eligible to the Ontario Girls Series. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine with the opening leg of the Ontario Boys Series. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
There are some athletes, who are to their sport — like jam is to peanut butter. They come together like eggs to bacon. They blend. They become one, an osmosis in the world of sweat — like Jordan and basketball; a puck and Gretzky, baseball with The Babe. One without the other is intellectually indigestible. So, it is, that harness racing has always had its Filion and a Waples. Or two. Jody Jamieson is a multiple O’Brien Award winner and John Campbell is regarded with a reverence rarely heard this side of a Gordie Howe conversation. Some, such as Sylvain Filion, who leads the drivers’ standings with Canada’s top harness circuit moving to Mohawk Thursday from Woodbine, continue to hold the standard high for the old world order. But, look close enough, and it is evident that standardbred racing is also coming into a new age. The twitter generation is making its move. A younger, perhaps bolder more aggressive, and evidently a talented wave of young drivers has taken a foothold in the industry. Perhaps never before has so much young blood lined up horses behind a starting gate. “I think it has changed quite a bit,” says Doug McNair, who at age 25, sits second in the driver’s standings behind only Filion. “Even if you go back just a few years, most guys had to be in their 30s before they could race (on the Woodbine/Mohawk circuit) full-time. Me, Jon Drury, and a couple others, all came in about the same time and I think it’s good for the sport. “When you have the younger drivers well, they tend to hang out with a younger crowd and I think it might get more younger people ... a new generation of people coming out to the track.” There is certainly a new generation taking over on the track. With the switch-over to Mohawk, three of the five top drivers have yet to see a 30th candle lit on their birthday cake. Drury, from Rockwood, Ont., is fifth with 37 wins. McNair, has 62 wins in 332 starts, just six behind Filion. James MacDonald, who at age 28 recorded his 1,000th lifetime win last season, sits in third spot with 44 wins. “I think I’ve got a lot of good years ahead. Most of the better, older drivers didn’t get to their best until their mid-30s,” said MacDonald, who grew up in a racing family in Prince Edward Island. “A younger group is starting to break through ... a few of us have gotten noticed.” Noticed is a modest way of putting it. McNair surpassed the 2,000-win mark last year and ranked as the top Ontario Sires Stakes driver. In 2008, at age 18, he became the youngest driver in harness-racing history to win a $300,000 purse in the Battle of Waterloo. Horses, he has always realized, would be his life. His father Gregg, one of Canada’s top conditioners with over $31 million in career earnings, got him started in the sport. “I was only five or six years old maybe when it happened, but there’s a picture in my bedroom of me sitting on a bike in the winner’s circle after (Filion) won a race with one of my dad’s horses. Now I’m 25 and I’m getting a chance to go out there every night with some of these guys. How great is that. Sure, I have my bad days sometimes and I’m not happy when I leave the track — but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing,” said Doug, “lots of four- and five-year-old kids dream of going to the NHL. I always dreamt of going to the track and racing.” Like McNair, Drury and MacDonald both grew up in racing families. Unlike McNair, Drury and MacDonald had to find, or rediscover, their passion for racing after some alternative adolescent diversions. “I played hockey, I played baseball. You name it, I played it,” said MacDonald, who enjoyed his job at the track canteen in Charlottetown, but rarely hung out at the family or track barns. Both his parents worked at the local track, the family was into the breeding business and his brothers Mark and Anthony were already on track to successful careers as drivers. “My brothers were always obsessed with the horses. I wasn’t,” said MacDonald. After graduating Grade 12, he worked a summer in Campbellville for his brother Anthony but, “I didn’t enjoy it that much to be honest” and he returned to college in P.E.I. Everything changed the following summer when he went back to Campbellville and his brother put him on a bike. “I don’t really know what changed. Maybe I was older. Maybe it was just I knew people and had more friends but I loved it.” And, the game, it turned out, loved him back. Last year, he drove Muscle Babe to a stakes-record performance in the $178,287 Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association final for three-year-old filly trotters in an impressive 1:54. His purse earnings this season already top $800,000. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. Even if I’m having a bad night and I go to the gate I still believe I’ve got the best job in the world.” Drury could be building racetracks rather than racing on them. While he also grew up in a racing family — his father Barry worked at Mohawk, still trains horses and once worked for the legendary Ron Waples as an assistant trainer at the old Meadowlands — he toyed with the idea of becoming an architect. “I really enjoyed it, and woodworking in high school. I thought about going to university but I ended up finishing high school and ... well, racing kind of took over. I guess it was just in my blood.” He started at a small track in Woodstock, his father gave him a leg up with a few horses. “Mostly it’s about opportunity. You have to get a chance to drive some decent horses ... when people see you winning at the smaller places they start to be more willing to let you go to the big tracks,” said Drury. A move to Kawartha Downs a few years later and teaming up with top trainers Corey Johnson and Carmen Auciello was the birth of his “Made It” moment. “I was a regular driver there (Kawartha Downs) and they started using me and we developed a relationship and it just snowballed from there,” said Drury, who also raced at Pocono for Auciello. “It was a great experience. I think it really helped me to be to where I am at today. It’s a different style of racing (at the Poconos), it taught me a lot and I think its made me a better driver now.” Since then he has become an integral part in the development of O’Brien Award winner Vegas Vacation, guiding the colt to victory in his first lifetime start at Mohawk Racetrack. Ultimate goals: For MacDonald? “You try not to look at the standings but you do ... It would be to win a drivers title at WEG,” he said. “To me the biggest thrill is still to have a full card against the best drivers that I grew up idolizing. We’re young ... at this age you’re eager to prove (yourself). We want to win and be like the guys who’ve been in this sport a long time.” Thursday, McNair has six races on the opening card at Mohawk in a season in which he is off to his best career start, and one he hopes will culminate with his ultimate dream: The O’Brien Trophy (awarded annually to Canadian harness-racing’s best and brightest) and a driving championship. “I picked up some good horses to start the year and it just seems to have snowballed from there,” said McNair. “In 2013 I got nominated, along with Filion, for driver of the year. He was always one of the guys I idolized when I was a kid. When that happened I felt like I belonged.” They have taken different paths to get to where they belong, but standardbred’s young guns are arriving at the finish line together. Said Drury: “When you’re racing at Woodbine and Mohawk you’re obviously doing something right. Just knowing I’m racing with the best is kind of a special feeling ... In the past, owners have always gone with the experienced guys. It’s nice to see some of the younger guys get a shot, with good horses, because I do think it’s good for the sport. By Bill Lankhof for the Toronto Sun Reprinted with the permission of the Toronto Sun
TORONTO, April 4 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group offered a mandatory payout on the harness racing Jackpot Hi-5 wager Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The Jackpot Hi-5 wager requires a horseplayer to select the top five finishers in order. If there are multiple winning tickets, 50% of the evening's pool is paid out to the winning tickets, while the other half is carried over to the following card. The last single winner to take home the entire 'Jackpot' was on December 8, 2014. As a result, a record carryover of $847,458.26 had accumulated over the past several months and was offered in a mandatory payout on Saturday's card. Scheduled as the last race on the 11-race program, the Jackpot Hi-5 had $2,581,505 (before takeout) of new money wagered Saturday night, bringing the total pool size to $3,041,738. The result was a payout of $4,317.55 on a $1 wager ($863.51 on a $0.20 wager) after the son of Mach Three, Camaes Fellow and driver Jonathan Drury came away with the victory at odds of 4/5. Camaes Fellow The top five finishers are as follows: 1. #4 Camaes Fellow - 4/5 2. #2 Bilbo Hanover - 4/1 3. #8 Cougar Hall - 7/1 4. #12 Regal Son - 12/1 5. #6 The Rev - 11/1 The Jackpot Hi-5 wager, which was added to the WEG betting menu in October 2013, has a $0.20 minimum bet and a takeout rate of 15 per cent. The Jackpot Hi-5 will now start from scratch on Monday evening's card at Woodbine.McNair doubles up in Youthful. Mark McKelvie
Pacer Topcornerterror and trotter Spartan Victory were both wire-to-wire winners in a pair of $7,000 Preferred 3 events co-featured on Sunday night's harness racing card at Flamboro Downs. Topcornerterror ($4.40) romped to a 10 length victory in the $7,000 Preferred 3 Pace for horses and geldings, stopping the clock in 1:56.1 over the "good" track. Jonathan Drury drove the nine-year-old Western Terror gelding for trainer Des Tackoor and his partners Don Lee and Tony Valentini. Justa Camilion (J.R. Plante) and Get Around Town (Bob McClure) rounded out the top three finishers. To view the rest of this story click here. Sterling Cooper romps at Fraser Downs Sterling Cooper made his first start from the Bill Davis barn a winning one as he drew away from the competition by four lengths over a sloppy track in Sunday afternoon's $10,500 Open Pace at Fraser Downs. Sterling Cooper made a quarter-pole move sweeping up from fourth to take the lead after the :26.3 opening panel. The 1-2 favourite began to separate himself from the rest of the field through middle panels of :57.3 and 1:26.1 and cruised home for the 1:57.1 triumph with Gable Blue Chip (J.F. Gagne) and Lizard King (David Hudon) following in second and third, respectively. To view the rest of this story click here.
Camaes Fellow ($16.80) was a dominant wire-to-wire winner in Saturday night's $30,000 top conditioned pace at Woodbine Racetrack and was the first half of a double for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Carmen Auciello. Camaes Fellow sprinted out the lead from post four in the eighth race, forcing eventual third-place finisher Calgary Seelster to take back into the two-hole through a hot :25.2 first quarter. He led by four lengths through middle splits of :54 and 1:21.4 and cruised home for the 1:50.1 triumph. Nickle Bag stormed home from last to place with :26.2 final quarter speed. The final margin was two and a half lengths. Auciello and Stephen Klunowski claimed the six-year-old Mach Three gelding for $50,000 in his first start this year on Oct. 11 at Mohawk and he has since won half of his six starts while earning $41,200 for his new connections. The win was Camaes Fellow's 25th lifetime and bumped his bankroll to $866,570. To view the rest of this story click here.
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
Bruce Aldrich, Jr.and Bob Lounsbury are at it again. Two years ago here at Monticello Raceway that driver/trainer combination had 18 consecutive victories with a claiming pacer by the name of Tracy's Song, and currently they're running another string with Burlesque, also a claiming pacing mare. On the Monday afternoon card of Sept. 22 Aldrich guided the Lounsbury-trained Burlesque to an easy 1:57.3 victory over Rusty's Flying (Jimmy Marohn, Jr.) which was the mare's seventh win in-a-row. It's true that seven is a long way from 18 but, as Aldrich said referring to the mare's winning journey, "we'll take it one step at a time, although honestly, it'll be nearly impossible to win that many in a row." Actually Burlesque showed shades of brilliance earlier in her career but she could never could get it all together. She amassed nearly $100,000 in purse money at two and three but wins as came sparingly. "Phil (Schultz) claimed Burlesque for $12,500 in Canada earlier this year but he was not happy about with her after he claimed her, "Lounsbury said. "She didn't want to race so finally Schultz sent her to his other trainer, Mike Watson, and told him to put her in at Monticello Raceway for a $4000 claiming tag." Watson also trained Diamond Tiara for Schultz but he stables his horses in Wind Gap, Pa. some 90 miles from Monticello Raceway. "With shipping bills around $200 every time she raced at Monticello it didn't pay Phil to have Watson keep trucking her here since she wasn't racing very well," Lounsbury explained. "I've trained horses for Phil before so he sent her to me to stop the shipping costs. "She didn't race well for me either, at first. I know she was sour because she'd try to runoff the track when we jogged her so we began feeding her 'Dr. Green' (turning her out in a pasture) a few days a week and that she seemed to sweeten up." Lounsbury won his first race with Burlesque on June 10 when Aldrich sat a two hole with the 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three and then rallied her to a 1:56.4 victory. Her only other triumph prior to that was a 1:53.3 mile on February 24 for Jonathan Drury while racing for a $12,500 tag at Woodbine. However, after Schultz claimed her, Burlesque refused to race at all so he sent her to Mike Watson and he told him to put her in for $4000 (claimer) at Monticello Raceway. "She (Burlesque) only picked up a few small checks in her first three starts for Mike so he sent her here to me so there would be no more shipping costs," Lounsbury explained. Once at the Mighty M and under the tutelage of Lounsbury, Burlesque won her first race on June 10 and since then she has won 9 more times for Lounsbury-Aldrich combination, every time racing for a tag which was continually magnified by her being a mare and a four year old. "She's not a mean mare but she's temperamental and being here where she can get away for the race track a few days a week helps to sweeten her up," Lounsbury added. "She has a mind of her own but Bruce(Aldrich) gets along real well with her." by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway
Dancin Caroll and Sports Chic, who are both half-sister to famous performers, are making themselves known as well after winning the pair of $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series contests for two-year-old pacing fillies on Monday night (September 15) at Mohawk Racetrack. Both races were conducted over a racetrack rated good and two seconds off due to rainy conditions. In the first division it was Wrangler Magic (Sylvain Filion) in the lead at the :27.4 opening quarter. She would yield the top spot to a parked-out I Wonder Why (Steve Condren) past that marker, and then I Wonder Why gave up command to public choice Win The Gold (James MacDonald) before the :56.3 half. Win The Gold would go to hit three-quarters in 1:26.1, but she was under a first-over attack from Southwind Mischief (Chris Christoforou), who towed Dancin Caroll (Randy Waples) into contention from second-over. In the stretch Southwind Mischief forged her way by Win The Gold, but a host of fillies, including Dancin Caroll began to close in inside the final sixteenth. Dancin Caroll proved best though, as she reached the finish line half a length in front of a re-emerging Wrangler Magic. Akissfromtheart (Jody Jamieson) rushed from seventh to third in the final quarter. The final time of the mile was 1:55.2. Tony Alagna trains Dancin Caroll, a daughter of Sportswriter, for owners Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, Illinois, Greg Gillis of Alliston, Ontario, and George Golemes of Oak Brook, Illinois. This was her second win from eight starts, and she has now earned $75,900. Dancin Caroll was bred by Elizabeth Wagner and was sold for $90,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is the third foal out of the Cambest mare Dancewiththebest, which makes her a half-sister to world champion Dancin Yankee ($1,060,422). The second OSS Gold test saw Solar Sister (Doug McNair) work her way from post nine to first at the :26.2 opening quarter. She let longshot Palette Tina (Randy Waples) go to the top prior to the :55.3 half, but then McNair had his charge back out of the pocket on the far turn, and she regained the advantage well before the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Business As Usual (Christoforou) tried to challenge the pace-setter from first-over at that time with Northern Starlet (Sylvain Filion) positioned second-over and Sports Chic (Jody Jamieson) third-over. Jamieson fanned Sports Chic out wide for the stretch drive, and she caught Solar Sister at the eighth pole. Sports Chic powered her way past the leader for good past that marker, and she would go on to defeat a closing Little Miss Sporty (Jonathan Drury) by a length and three-quarters in 1:54.4. Cowgirl Tough (Jack Moiseyev), owned in part by 7th grade student Emma Christoforou (story here), came in third. Trainer Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario, also co-owns Sports Chic, a daughter of Sportswriter, with partner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sports Chic, who has five wins from eight trips behind the gate overall, is a perfect four-for-four in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series competition and leads the point standings for her group. Sports Chic, now an earner of $221,389, was also second against Grand Circuit company in a Champlain Stakes division at Mohawk. Sports Chic, a Winbak Farm-bred filly who fetched $35,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, is the 15th foal out of the On The Road Again mare Vesta Blue Chip, which means Sports Chic is a half-sister to the great Rainbow Blue ($1,600,012), the 2004 Canadian Horse of the Year. The two-year-old pacing fillies of the OSS Gold Series have one remaining event in their regular season, and it will occur on September 29 at Mohawk Racetrack. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Mohawk Racetrack had four $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series contests for rookie pacing fillies on their Thursday (September 11) harness racing program, and Sassafras Girl took the fastest time as she won the third flight in 1:53.3. With Phil Hudon handling the driving chores, Sassafras Girl shot to the lead from her post three starting position, and she would click off fractions of :27, :56, and 1:25. The fillies sprinted for home off that 59 second middle half, and Sassafras Girl kicked out a :28.3 final panel to seal the win by two and a quarter lengths over Twin B Honour (Trevor Henry). Little Miss Artist (Doug McNair) was third. Murray Brethour trains Sassafras Girl, a Badlands Hanover filly, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sassafras Girl, who is now four-for-eight overall and has banked $31,280, was bred by Winbak Farm. She’s out of the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della ($219,395) and a half-sister to the likes of Rub N Tug ($433,999). This was Sassafras Girl’s third Grassroots success of the season, joining her wins on July 10 and August 11 at Mohawk. Back in the Grassroots opener public choice Southwind Luna (Billy Davis Jr.) carved out fractions of :27.2, :56.4, and 1:26.2, and at the eighth pole she was clear by over three lengths. However, she began to falter inside the final sixteenth, and pocket-sitter Marachere (Jonathan Drury) took advantage, getting up in the shadow of the wire to prevail by half a length in 1:54.4. Southwind Luna had to settle for second and OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Marachere, a filly by Lis Mara, broke her maiden in her third try and pushed her earnings to $15,660. Trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville, Ontario, also co-owns Marachere with partners Robert Watson of London, Armando Cappuccitti of Maple and Mike Bartram of Ingersoll, Ontario. Marachere, who was bred by Ervin Miller Stable Inc., is the second foal out of the Cole Muffler mare Cherry Tree Coco, a full sister to Home Bed Advantage ($574,535). Race favourite Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson) had her backers smiling after a 1:54.4 triumph in the second Grassroots flight. She was in the lead at the 27 second opening quarter, the :55.3 half, and the 1:24.4 three-quarters on her way to a three-quarter length decision over Dublin Rose (Paul MacDonell). Amazing Control (Mike Saftic) checked in third. Ride Away Shark, another Winbak Farm-bred filly, has a trio of victories from eight attempts and has put away $28,480 for trainer Scott McNiven and owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Thomas Brodhurst of London, Ontario. Those connections took Ride Away Shark, a daughter of Classic Card Shark, out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $7,000. She’s the first foal out of the Dream Away mare Freedom Away. This was Ride Away Shark’s second Grassroots win of the year as she was also victorious on August 11 at Mohawk. The Grassroots nightcap was brought to you by the number three as Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) posted her third consecutive Grassroots win and breeder Winbak Farm won for the third time. Ms Mac N Cheese worked her way around Machin Marley (Billy Davis Jr.) for the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter, and she would go on to post a :56.2 half and a 1:25.4 three-quarters. Ms Mac N Cheese padded her advantage through the stretch and then coasted home late to win by two and a half lengths in 1:54 flat. She was followed across the finish line by Evas Girl (Peter Core) and OK Heavenly (Doug McNair). Richard Moreau trains the victorious Badlands Hanover filly for owner L. David Ratchford of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She has five wins from seven attempts this season, and she has earned $33,467. The second foal out of the Artiscape mare Mr Delis Filly, Ms Mac N Cheese was sold for $10,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Tonight’s races concluded the Grassroots regular season for two-year-old pacing fillies. They will return to Mohawk on September 19 for their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of Thursday night’s events at Mohawk from the Ontario Sire Stakes
A trio of $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series dashes for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers were the marquee races on Sunday evening (September 7) at Rideau Carleton Raceway, and heavily favoured Shadowbriand, Titus Seelster, and Shadow Place did not disappoint their legions of backers in their respective divisions. In the first Grassroots split it was Arrived Late (Sylvain Filion) who chopped out fractions of :26.4, :55.3, and 1:23.3 while Shadowbriand (Mike Saftic), who had gotten away third, was able to get himself into the pocket spot just past the half. Shadowbriand would remain in that position until the passing lane became available at the top of the stretch, and once it did, Saftic guided Shadowbriand to the clearance. Shadowbriand had plenty of pace to go with the space, and he would go on to prevail by two and a quarter lengths in 1:53.3. Major Homer (Gord Brown) was up for second and Sanattle Slew (Billy Davis Jr.), who wound up first-over in the final half, was third. Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, owns and trains Shadowbriand, a three-year-old gelded son of Shadow Play. This was Shadowbriand’s third win from 15 starts this year and his fourth career victory. He has earned $91,608 in 2014 and $152,293 lifetime. This was Shadowbriand’s first OSS win of the year. Last year he won once in OSS competition, that coming in a Gold Series event at Mohawk Racetrack. The second Grassroots flight saw Titus Seelster (Filion) on the point through panels of :27.3, :57.4, and 1:25.1. Titus Seelster would put away a first-over try from Star Messenger (Trevor Henry) past three-quarters, and then he left the remainder of his foes in arrears through the stretch as he reported home two lengths to the good over Shadios (Davis Jr.) in a final time of 1:52.2. High Flier (Jonathan Drury) checked in third. Stephane Larocque trains the victorious son of Artistic Fella for owners Brian Paquet of Quebec City and Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, Quebec. Titus Seelster, making his tenth trip behind the gate this year, has three wins this season, and it was his fourth lifetime tally. He has banked $41,187 this year and $81,312 lifetime. Titus Seelster also won in Grassroots competition on August 3 at Hanover Raceway and on August 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) also went right down the road in the Grassroots nightcap. He was hustled to the lead before the :26.1 opening quarter and then went on to reach the half in :55.2 and the three-quarters in 1:23.4. Blacktree (Doug McNair) gave way from first-over before the top of the stretch, and although pocket-sitter Cluster Hanover (Mike Saftic) had room in the passing lane, it was to no avail as Shadow Place went on to triumph by a pair of lengths in 1:52.3. Cluster Hanover was the runner-up and OK Galahad (Davis Jr.) nabbed third. Richard Moreau trains Shadow Place, a son of Shadow Play, for owners 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. of St-Janvier-Mirabel, Les Ecuries Bruce of Piedmont, and Henri Hebert Jr. of Papineauville, Quebec. Shadow Place has now won four times from 11 tries this year, and he has six career victories. He has put away $43,840 in 2014 and $71,922 lifetime. This was Shadow Place’s third Grassroots success this year, joining his victories on August 3 at Hanover Raceway and August 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. Tonight concluded the Ontario Sires Stakes season at Rideau Carleton Raceway and the regular season for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series. The next time they will be in action is in their Semifinal events on September 20 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results and charts of Sunday evening’s races, please visit – http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0907ridcfn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Batavia, NY---It was bombs-away at Batavia Downs Sunday (Aug. 31) when the heavily favored Major Dancer came up just short at the wire as 40-1 Ken Doll J pulled the surprise in a $39,900 division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Off the gate Sweetnsinful (Jimmy Whittemore) took an uncontested lead around the turn and up the backside before the 1-2 Major Dancer (Jonathan Drury) rushed and took over the top as they hit the quarter in :27.1. After a pedestrian second split of :30.1, Table Talk (Jim Morrill Jr.) started the outer flow and Ken Doll J (Aaron Byron) followed in swift fashion. Feeling the heat, Drury stepped on the gas and tried to pull away to the three-quarters with a :28 flat third panel. But the strategy was ineffective as the chasing pair continued to make up ground through the turn and into the stretch. From that point on it was a real horse race with a tiring Major Dancer coming back to Table Talk, who was outside of her and Ken Doll J, who was three-wide. When they hit the wire, Ken Doll J just got up in the final stride to win in 1:54 and light up the board. The winner paid $83.00. Table Talk was second and Major Dancer hung on to be third. This was the second win of the year for Ken Doll J (Bettor's Delight-Normajeankillean) and also a seasonal mark. The victory brought her earnings up to $74,882 for owner Ken Jacobs. Ken Doll J is trained by Linda Toscano. After the race, Byron said "Everything just worked out. I got a great trip and I didn't really have to do much to half. The filly was real good down the lane." In the first $39,900 division, Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) was the beneficiary of a patient steer and came away with a three-quarter length victory as a result. Up Front Elizabeth (Mark MacDonald) flew off the wings and led the field through a quick and gapped :27 quarter in post-position order. The story remained the same to the half in :56.3 when Carlota Blue Chip (Jack Flanigen) pulled and tried to apply some heat. She was only able to get up to third on the outside before stalling with two other horses behind her at the three-quarters in 1:25. When the outer flow faded around the last turn it allowed the rail-riding Barefoot Beauty (Jimmy Whittemore) to come off the pylons and that in turn left a spot for Just Add Vodka (Jim Morrill Jr.) to shoot up inside. At the head of the stretch, the bearing-out Up Front Elizabeth was in the middle with Barefoot Beauty to her right and Just Add Vodka to her left. The three battled to the wire with Just Add Vodka getting the advantage at the end to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2. Barefoot Beauty was second and Up Front Elizabeth was third. It was the third win of the year for the Julie Miller trained filly that also happened to be a new lifetime mark. The victory boosted the seasonal earnings of Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) to $94,233 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Steven Demeter, Herbert Burns III and Nahuel Agosti. Morrill praised both the horse and trainer saying "I can't believe how much better she was today. Julie did a great job getting her ready." In the second $39,200 split, Spreester (Jason Bartlett) made quick work of a short field and two breaking horses to register a five-length romp in the fastest of the three divisions. As the field went into the first turn, Delightful Dragon (Mark MacDonald) made an uncharacteristic break and watched as the rest of the field pulled away. Sky Artist (Kevin Cummings) was on the point but Medusa (Aaron Byron) was pushing the issue outside at the quarter in :26.4. But Medusa appeared to get foul-gaited and Byron took her back to the wood fourth. Then Blush Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) pulled from second to challenge but also made a break before the half in :56.1. So with two of the three favorite guilty of miscues, Spreester, who had been sitting second through it all, pulled past the five-eighths, circled and cleared the leader before they hit the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3. When she got back to the pylons, Bartlett popped the plugs and became a passenger as Spreester shifted gears and simply paced away from everybody. She hit the wire a five-length wrapped-up winner in 1:53.3. The winner paid $5.60 to her supporters. Delightful Dragon recovered from the early break to be second and Sky Artist hung on for third. This was the sixth win in 14 starts for Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) and the Paul Zabielski trained filly topped off her bank at $134,680. Spreester is owned by Kimberly Zabielski. Bartlett commented "I really didn't want to sit in the two-hole but they kept blowing up around me. She just exploded down the lane." The results of today's NYSS contests were important in the point's standings leading into the Night of Champions finals. Spreester took over the top spot, Just Add Vodka moved from fifth to third and Ken Doll J vaulted herself from twelfth to seventh. There was also an Excelsior leg contested and was won by Expose who was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in 1:56.3. The winner paid $6.80. Expose is trained by Linda Toscano and is owned by Linwood Higgins, Stake Your Claim Stable, Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered a four-win afternoon and Mark MacDonald scored a double. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday (Sept. 1) with a special Labor Day matinee card slated to start at 1:15. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY---On Sunday afternoon (Aug. 31) the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old pacing fillies come to town to compete for their cut of $119,000 in purses. The group is highlighted by Major Dancer (Art Major-Two Steppin' Sally), who is currently the fourth highest money earning 3-year-old pacing filly in North America with $201,644 in the bank. She is a seven-time winner in twelve attempts and has only finished out of the money once this year. She won the $46,248 Town Pro stake at Mohawk Raceway earlier this year in her lifetime best time of 1:51.2 as well as an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs in 1:51.4. She finished second in the $244,875 final to Precocious Beauty in a 1:51.1 mile. Major Dancer will be driven by Jonathan Drury for trainer Casie Coleman. She is listed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in the third $39,900 NYSS division carded as the eighth race that also features A La Notte Hanover driven by Matt Kakaley and Table Talk with Jim Morrill Jr. at the lines. A La Notte Hanover (Art Major-All Night Long) starts for the powerful Ron Burke stable and is a two-time winner in 2014. She won her last outing at Yonkers in NYSS action with an impressive 1:55 wire-to-wire victory that brought her bankroll up to $87,733 for the year. She also competed in the Empire Breeders Classic and finished close despite having a lot of traffic to deal with in both of those races. Table Talk (Bettor's Delight-Place At The Table) took an early seasons mark of 1:51.4 at Mohawk and has competed in the $420,900 Fan Hanover Stake and $212,150 Mistletoe Shallee where she paced back-to-back 1:49 miles for driver Tim Tetrick. She has been plagued with some bad posts and a breaking issue of late but looks to be in a good spot here for trainer Brad Dalious. In the first $39,900 division carded as the fourth race, Ron Burke and Julie Miller have the one-two punch going to post. Burke sends out Jaded Dream and Miller counters with Just Add Vodka. Jaded Dream (If I Can Dream-Jaded Gal) put forth a handy effort at Yonkers in her last, winning a NYSS leg there in 1:54.4. It was a welcome sight after a series of poor post draws and the resulting tough trips. She has three wins in 13 starts and $62,586 in the bank. Matt Kakaley is back in the bike behind her for the first time since June 18. Just Add Vodka (Art Major-Regal Wish) only has two wins this year but has been consistently in the money; 13 out of 16 starts and that made her $74,283 for the year. Her mark of 1:55.3 was at Monticello but she has paced considerably faster than that in defeat on several occasions. Jim Morrill Jr. who has driven her several times over the summer gets the assignment. The second $39,200 division which goes as the seventh race has three very tough competitors going post-ward and looks to be the most closely contested event. It features the first, second and fourth leading points leaders for this sex and gait in the NYSS this year. Blush Hanover (Art Major-Brissonte Hanover) currently tops the leader board and comes into this race sporting five 2014 wins for trainer Linda Toscano. She finished a strong third in the Empire Breeders Classic final after a very rough parked-out trip. She has a 1:52 mark at the Meadowlands and has only failed to hit the board once out of 14 starts this year. Her $168,831 in earnings is tops in this field and she looks to add to that total in here with Jim Morrill Jr. at the helm. Spreester (American Ideal-Rodeo Spree) is second in points despite also having recorded five victories. This filly can race on the front or from behind and that versatility makes her a formidable foe. Her $115,080 in earnings is also second highest in the field and driver Jason Bartlett who has driven this filly twice before with winning outcomes, opted to driver her today for trainer Paul Zabielski after having been down to steer two horses in this same race. Medusa (Bettor's Delight-Mythical) ranks fourth in points among the group but is not that far behind the leaders. She has seven wins in 14 starts and $102,723 stashed away. The Paul Kelley trainee has a lifetime mark of 1:51.2 at Vernon Downs and also had two good efforts in the Empire Breeders Classic races. Tioga Downs regular Aaron Byron gets the drive tonight from Tim Tetrick who had been at the lines for her last three starts. Post time for Sunday's races is 1:15. Batavia Downs also has a special Labor Day matinee 12-race card on tap for Monday (Sept. 1) with a 1:15 post. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Eight $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots contests for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers were staged on Sunday night (August 24) at Georgian Downs, and the last of those eight splits saw a new track record of 1:52.2 turned in by Seaforth. Driven by Mike Saftic, Seaforth was up to grab the lead away from Pan Street USA (Randy Waples) after the :27.2 opening quarter. From there, Seaforth hit the half in :56 and the three-quarters in 1:23.4 before he paced a final quarter in :28.3 to seal the win and the record. Pan Street USA held second, beaten just over a length by the winner, and Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair) finished third. The clocking lowered the previous rookie gelding pace record of 1:53.1 set earlier this year by Southwind Indy, and also is better than Sportskeeper’s colt record of 1:52.3 by a fifth of a second. Eric Adams trains Seaforth, a No Pan Intended gelding, for owner/breeder Millar Farms of Newmarket, Ont. This was Seaforth’s second win from six starts and he has now earned $38,260. He’s the first foal out of the Western Hanover mare Chocolate Truffle, a half-sister to five six-figure earners, including multi-time Grassroots winner Rare Copy (Grinfromeartoear, $158,213). Driver Paul MacDonell also enjoyed a fine trip to Georgian Downs as he racked up three Grassroots wins, including a pair for trainer Jack Darling. Darling and MacDonell connected for the first time in the sixth flight withMoonwards Hanover (1:54) and then came right back in the next dash with York Seelster (1:54). MacDonell also prevailed in the fifth division with Pair Of Deuces (1:54.1). Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ont. owns both Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter, and York Seelster, a Mach Three gelding. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who broke his maiden in his fourth try and pushed his bankroll to $21,500, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. York Seelster, bred by Seelster Farms Inc. and sold for $55,000 at the 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale, is now one-for-five in the win column to go with earnings of $24,900. The fourth foal out of the Artsplace mare Yankee Athena, York Seelster is a half-brother to Yoselin Seelster (Shadow Play, $109,432), an OSS Gold winner last season for two-year-old pacing fillies. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Pair Of Deuces, MacDonell’s other winner, for owner/breeder Pinske Stables of Plato, Minnesota. The Badlands Hanover colt is now a two-time winner from five trips behind the gate and he has stashed away $19,500. He’s the first foal out of the Pinske’s Dragon Again mare Pacific Dragonette, a sister to horses like Doubleshotascotch ($683,773). In other action Jeb (Phil Hudon, 1:54.3) and Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples, 1:54.2) both posted their second victories in Grassroots competition this season. Jeb, a colt by Camluck, is trained by James “Friday” Dean for owners Wilma and James MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ont. Jeb, who has banked $26,160 to go with his pair of wins, was bred by Seawind Amg Stbs 2005 Inc. and was taken out of the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale for $22,000. He’s the second foal out of the Western Hanover mare Keystone Treasure, a half-sister to a pair of former OSS standouts in Invitro (Camluck, $2,383,597) and Bigtime Ball (Camluck, $1,625,073). Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his second win from five attempts and pushed his bankroll to $27,660, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ont. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. The other Grassroots winners on Sunday night were: --Midnight Play (Shadow Play), a 1:54.2 maiden-breaking winner for driver Jonathan Drury, trainer Bill Cass, and owner John Craig of North York, Ont. Bred by Winbak Farm, he was sold for $72,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Midnight Play’s dam Midnight Art (Artsplace) is a half-sister to the likes of Manchine ($257,361). --Fightmaster (Art Colony, 1:55). He also won for the first time in his career with James MacDonald at the controls for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owners Jack Quinn and Michael McGuigan of Charlottetown, P.E.I. Fightmaster was bred by Charlotte Ranch and Caneast Standards Inc. and fetched $24,000 at the 2013 Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale. His dam is the Bo Knows Jate mare Ardor Chymes ($497,707), a multiple-time OSS winner in her racing career. The two-year-old male pacers of the OSS Grassroots will be back in action next Sunday afternoon (August 31) at Clinton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Regal Babe earned the top spot in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots point standings for harness racing three-year-old pacing colts with his victory in the first of four $18,000 divisions tonight at Mohawk Racetrack. Chattanooga Jim was the early leader in the first division, hitting the first marker in :26.2. Littlebitaclass took over the lead just past that point and was at the half in :56. Moving up to challenge was favourite Regal Babe who was neck and neck with the leader at the 1:25.1 three-quarters. Regal Babe, a son of Stonebridge Regal, took over through the lane for Doug McNair and held on to win in 1:52.3 over Shadowbriand and Recharge. An ultra consistent performer, Regal Babe has three wins and nine seconds in 13 starts this year for trainer Gregg McNair and owner/breeder Robert Chapple of Chatham, Ontario. With leading point earner Regal Son, another Stonebridge Regal son, not competing tonight after three Grassroots victories, Regal Babe earns the top spot for point earnings in this group. Titus Seelster was first to the top in the second split, hitting the quarter in :26.1 for Sylvain Filion, the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.2. He had several lengths on his rivals heading down the stretch and could not be caught, hitting the wire first in 1:51. Atomic Million AM closed well to take second while Waterside Light earned show. It was the second straight Grassroots victory for Titus Seelster, a son of Artistic Fella owned by Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms of Quebec and trained by Stephane Larocque. The Optimist led the way to the :26.2 first quarter in the third division for Paul MacDonell. Some Major Beach was alongside at the :54.2 half and that pair raced as a team towards the third panel but were passed by a three wide Shadow Place who hit the three-quarters in 1:23 and opened up down the lane to win comfortably in 1:51.1 for catch driver Jonathan Drury. Waco Bruiser got up for second while The Optimist held for third. Shadow Place, a son of Shadow Play, was recording his third win in eight starts this year for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Henri Hebert Jr., Les Ecuries Bruce and a numbered company all from Quebec. The fourth and final test had Hope For Hopelands leading the group through a :26.1 opener but Cluster Hanover quickly took over and he was then passed by VIP Bayama before the :54.4 half. VIP Bayama hit the three-quarters in 1:23.1 but was hauled down in the late going by Hall Bro and Luc Ouellette who hit the wire first in 1:52.1. In the blanket finish it was OK Galahad second and Andreios Kardia third. Owned by breeder Ferme Brodeur of Terrebonne, Quebec, Hall Bro was notching his sixth win in 13 trips behind the starting gate this year. This group will meet up again at Rideau Carleton Raceway on September 7. To view the complete results from tonight’s card at Mohawk, please click Mohawk Results - August 19. Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 19 - The spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday night as two Canadian Pacing Derby eliminations, two Metro Pace eliminations and three She's A Great Lady eliminations will take centre stage. The Canadian Pacing Derby has a rich history as the oldest stakes race in Canada for standardbred racehorses and on Saturday night the sport's top stars will bring their talents north for a pair of six-horse eliminations. 2013 Pepsi North America Winner Captaintreacherous and driver Tim Tetrick will start from post five in the second $40,000 elimination. A two-time Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous has had to make the tough transition from age three to four this season, but has still shown his grit and determination facing the big boys. Last Saturday night, 'The Captain' won the $34,000 Preferred in prep for the Canadian Pacing Derby and trainer Tony Alagna was delighted with his performance. "I was happy with his effort, it was a confidence builder he needed going into this week's elimination," said Alagna. "We drew away from Sweet Lou, but we caught Bettors Edge who has been racing really well, so hopefully the short field helps and he gets a fair shot again." 'The Captain' is a big fan of Mohawk Racetrack as he has never lost in six career starts over the Campbellville oval. "He's always been his best up here," said Alagna. "We've had him up here for major races, so he's always been on his game when he came up here. He likes the atmosphere and he seems happy up here." 'The Captain' has two wins in seven starts this season and has never finished out of the money for seasonal earnings topping $176,000 The top horse this season on the WEG circuit, State Treasurer, will line up two spots inside Captaintreacherous. State Treasurer has won the WEG Preferred six times this season and has won seven of his 12 starts for earnings of over $296,000. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, State Treasurer will be driven by WEG's leading driver Chris Christoforou. The hottest horse in harness racing headlines the first elimination. The Ron Burke trainee, Sweet Lou, enters his elimination on a nine-race win streak and having won his last seven starts in 1:47.4 or better Sweet Lou has drawn post two in his elimination and will have his regular pilot Ron Pierce in the sulky. A five-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser, Sweet Lou has made over $3 million in his career, but joining him in his elimination is the richest standardbred in the history of the sport, Foiled Again. Also trained by Ron Burke, Foiled Again has earned over $6.3 million and continues to compete at the top level at the age of ten. Foiled Again, who will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras, is also a previous Canadian Pacing Derby winner having won the 2012 edition. The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $650,000 final on Saturday, August 30. Elimination winners may choose their post position for the final. 15 of the sport's brightest freshman pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of eliminations for the chance to race in the $685,000 Metro Pace Final on Saturday August 30. Leading the group of 15 is the Alagna trainee, Artspeak, who is undefeated in four career starts and enters the Metro elim fresh off a victory in the Nassagaweya Stakes last Saturday night. Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron will start from post position five in the first $40,000 elimination. Alagna said he was happy with how Artspeak came out of the Nassagaweya Stakes. "Artspeak jogged back super, everything checks out good," said Alagna. "We are really happy with the way he drew and hopefully he has another good shot this week and takes another step towards the Metro final." The son of Western Ideal - The Art Museum was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase and is owned by the Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The GYM Partners. One of the top local rookies, Traceur Hanover, will meet up with Artspeak for the first time. Trained by Normand Bardier Jr., Traceur Hanover enters this weekend's elimination with three wins in four starts and is also coming off a victory in his Nassagaweya split. Randy Waples sits behind the son of Western Ideal - Transference for owner Richard Berthiaume, who bought Traceur Hanover for the same price as Artspeak at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The other $40,000 elimination appears to be a wide-open affair, with seven rookie pacers looking to be in the top five to secure a spot in the rich final. Sports Bettor, who will start from post position seven, is coming off a 69-1 upset victory in his division of the Nassagaweya last Saturday night. Trained by Mark Austin for owner-breeder Frank Gentile, Sports Bettor broke his maiden in style with the Nassagaweya upset. Before his breakthrough in the Nassagaweya, Sports Bettor had finished second in three of his five career starts. Randy Waples will drive the son of Sportswriter - Shellys Delight. Also in the field of seven is this year's Battle of Waterloo winner, Go Daddy Go, who will start from post three for the Hall of Fame connections of driver John Campbell and trained Bob McIntosh. The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $685,000 final on August 30, with elimination winners earning the right to select their post position for the final. The She's A Great Lady has attracted 25 rookie pacing fillies that have been split into three eliminations. Shakai Hanover, a division winner of last Saturday' Eternal Camnation Stakes, headlines the first $35,000 elimination. Trained by Carl Jamieson and driven by Jody Jamieson, Shakai Hanover will start from post position three and has won twice in four career starts. The daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan set a new career mark with her Eternal Camnation victory of 1:52.4 and has earned just under $83,000. The second elimination features undefeated filly Band Of Angels from the Ron Burke barn. A daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Time N Again, Band Of Angels has won her first five starts of her career, with all five victories coming in New York Sires Stakes events. She will start from post six with driver Yannick Gingras and ships north with over $133,000 in earnings and a mark of 1:52.3. The final elimination stars another undefeated filly that will have Yannick Gingras in the bike. JK Shesalady won her division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes last Saturday to improve her record to four for four. Trained by Nancy Johansson for owners the 3 Brothers Stable, JK Shesalady has a speed badge of 1:52 and earnings exceeding $68,000. The top three finishers from each elimination and one third place finisher drawn by lot will advance to the $450,000 final on Saturday, August 30. All three rich finals will take place Saturday, August 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The party will start at 6 p.m. and first race post time is 7:25 p.m. Here are the fields for Saturday night's stakes eliminations. PP/Horse/Driver Race 3 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Thinking Out Loud - John Campbell 2. Sweet Lou - Ron Pierce 3. Captive Audience - James MacDonald 4. Domethatagain - Ron Pierce 5. Sunshine Beach - Chris Christoforou 6. Foiled Again - Yannick Gingras Race 8 - Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. Ellis Park - Steve Condren 2. Bettors Edge - Matt Kakaley 3. State Treasurer - Chris Christoforou 4. Modern Legend - James MacDonald 5. Captaintreacherous - Tim Tetrick 6. Clear Vision - Brett Miller Race 6 - Metro Pace Elimination One - Purse: $40,000 1. Lyons Levi Lewis - Yannick Gingras 2. Trading Up - Scott Zeron 3. Go Daddy Go - John Campbell 4. Lone Survivor - David Miller 5. Dudes The Man - David Miller 6. Asap Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Sports Bettor - Randy Waples Race 11 - Metro Pace Elimination Two - Purse: $40,000 1. The Wayfaring Man - Jack Moiseyev 2. Pierce Hanover - Paul Macdonell 3. Amora Beach - Tim Tetrick 4. Some Power - David Miller 5. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 6. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 7. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 8. Rollin Ring Afire - Matt Kakaley Race 4 - She's A Great Lady Elimination One - Purse: $35,000 1. The Show Returns - Tim Tetrick 2. Bedroomconfessions - Scott Zeron 3. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson 4. Strut My Stuff - John Campbell 5. Palette Tina - Yannick Gingras 6. Aria Hanover - Tim Tetrick 7. Bettor Be Steppin - Corey Callahan 8. Kays Dragon Lady - Matt Kakaley Race 9 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Two - Purse: $35,000 1. Solar Sister - Doug McNair 2. Divine Caroline - Corey Callahan 3. Missy Tap Tina - Tim Tetrick 4. Cashaway - Tim Tetrick 5. Jk Shesalady - Yannick Gingras 6. Well Hello There - Matt Kakaley 7. Southwind Mischief - Chris Christoforou 8. Shesastarreporter - Jonathan Drury 9. Ideal Nuggets - John Campbell Race 10 - She's A Great Lady Elimination Three - Purse: $35,000 1. Float On By - Tim Tetrick 2. Macarena Mama - Chris Christoforou 3. A Plus - Scott Zeron 4. Bin N Heaven - Doug McNair 5. Betty And The Jets - Doug McNair 6. Band Of Angels - Yannick Gingras 7. Happy Becky - David Miller 8. Dancin Caroll - Jack Moiseyev by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications.
Turning for home, it was a two horse breakaway in the 55th running of the $75,000 Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer with Bigtown Hero and driver Brad Forward battling past Wazzup Wazzup in a track and Canadian record equalling performance to close out Old Home Week at Charlottetown Driving Park on Saturday night. Scott Rocks (Jonathan Drury) fired to the lead, but trial winner and even-money favourite Aracache Hanover (Marc Campbell) was on the move early, sweeping around that foe during a :26.4 opening quarter. Take It Back Terry (Gilles Barrieau) began to advance from mid-pack with Forward rolling Bigtown Hero out three-wide as they passed the midway mark in :55.2. Meanwhile, Wazzup Wazzup (James MacDonald) swept up from third to take over the lead from Aracache Hanover. Wazzup Wazzup raced past three-quarters in 1:23.3 with the wide rallying Bigtown Hero advancing into second and those two took off turning for home. Bigtown Hero kept on rolling and edged by Wazzup Wazzup in deep stretch for the 1:50.4 victory. The winner's stablemate, Island Jet (Robert Shepherd), came on from the back of the pack to finish third, over seven lengths behind. To read the rest of the story click here.