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‪TORONTO, April 12 - West Side Story, driven by Chris Christoforou, provided the 6-1 upset in the lone $18,000 division in the opening round of the Don Mills Series, Saturday at Woodbine.‬ ‪The talented son of Conway Hall got under the wire in 1:54, one length ahead of 1/9 favourite Hldontghttoyurdrms (Jonathan Drury).‬ ‪Christoforou elected to use off-the-pace tactics with West Side Story as he landed fourth in the early stages as Hldontghttoyurdrms was the leader at the opening station in :27.2.‬ ‪Hldontghttoyurdrms continued to lead his 10 rivals past the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.3.‬ ‪Around the final turn, Christoforou angled West Side Story off the pylons and was within striking distance of the tempo-setter at the top of the stretch.‬ ‪West Side Story continued to gain on the publics choice and marched past Hldontghttoyurdrms in deep stretch en route to his tenth career score. Mego Moss (Jody Jamieson) finished third..‬ ‪Trained by Per Henriksen for Asa Farm and Steve Organ, West Side Story increased his bankroll to $118,657. The son of Conway Hall has crafted a 3-3-0 record from seven starts this season.‬ ‪He paid $15.30 to win.‬ by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, April 12 - Hldontghttoyurdrms, who recently captured the Horse And Groom final at The Meadowlands late last month, will headline the opening round of the Don Mills Series Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack. The talented son of Muscles Yankee will begin from post six in the lone division in race nine for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Corey Johnson. A 15-time winner in his career, Hldontghttoyurdrms has certainly made his mark on the WEG Circuit this season as the five-year-old has amassed a 5-2-0 record from nine starts, including four straight wins at the Preferred level. "He definitely looks like one of the better ones in the series," said Drury. "He's had a terrific season so far and is coming into the race in top form. I can't say enough good things about him. He makes my job look easy." After finishing fourth and second in the preliminary legs of the Horse And Groom Series, Hldontghttoyurdrms showed his true colours as he led gate-to-wire to capture the rich $60,600 final by five lengths in 1:53.4. "He wasn't himself in the first leg and wasn't trotting the best in the second round, but in the final he was on his game," Drury said. "Corey did a great job getting him right and I knew at the quarter he was back to his old self. He grabbed a hold of me like he usually does and was all business." Hldontghttoyurdrms then shipped home following the final and was entered to race at Woodbine the following Thursday in the $34,000 Preferred Trot event. Drury elected to use the same tactics with Hldontghttoyurdrms, but the result was different as the bay finished second, behind Amigo De Grande. "You can't take anything away from his effort the other night," said the young reinsman. "He was parked out past the three-eights, cleared, faced pressure right away and was still around at the wire. He also shipped home from The Meadowlands on Sunday and raced Thursday, so I'm sure that took a little out of him as well." Drury was quick to mention the attributes of the career winner of $233,015, who is owned by Frank and Saverio Spagnolo along with Frank Schimizzi. "He's such a handy horse to drive," said Drury, a resident of Rockwood. "He's got terrific gate-speed and then he'll come right back to you in the second quarter. I'm not sure where his bottom is, but he's going to go a big trip one day. I think he's better off a helmet and if solid fractions are put up, I'm not sure how fast he can go." Drury is also on pace for a career year with 61 victories to his credit along with over $600,000 in purse earnings. "It's certainly been a lot of fun this season," noted the 25-year-old pilot. "Anytime you get power it certainly helps your confidence and driving horses like Hldontghttoyurdrms and for Corey (Johnson), good things usually happen. Hopefully it continues." The Don Mills is for four and five-year-olds who are non-winners of $150,000 as of December 31, 2013. The lone $18,000 division of the Don Mills will line up as follows: 1. Its Payday Friday 2. West Side Story 3. Tough Mac 4. Mego Moss 5. Photo Mass 6. Hldontghttoyurdrms 7. Enough About You 8. Crosbys Clam Bake 9. Sixth Man 10. Our Mojo 11. Quit Smoking Now by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO , April 7 - Thirteen trotting mares made their way to Woodbine Racetrack Monday evening to kick off the opening round of the Lifetime Dream Series. Rockin With Dewey looked every bit the part of a 1/5 favourite as she captured the first $18,000 division in 1:56.1. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Rockin With Dewey scored by a commanding five and a quarter lengths to celebrate her tenth career tally. Baillargeon was first to the front in the early stages, but allowed Justasmalltowngirl (Paul Macdonell) to the lead at the opening quarter in :26.4. Rockin With Dewey quickly regained the front and led her six rivals past the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.1, before dashing away from her rivals en route to victory. Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) came on for second, over Bop Too The Top (James MacDonald). Trained and co-owned by Ben Baillargeon along with breeder Diane Ingham, Rockin With Dewey increased her bankroll to $219,300. She paid $2.50 to win. In the other split, 3/5 favourite Rose Run Oriana and James MacDonald got under the wire first in 1:57.2. Over a track rated as 'Good,' MacDonald elected to sit in the two-hole behind Be Winnin (Jody Jamieson) before the opening quarter in :26.3. Marabou (Jonathan Drury) angled out of third and was quickly on the move as they took over command before the :57.1 half. Rose Run Oriana quickly engaged the tempo-setter and was the new leader heading toward the three-quarter pole. MacDonald and Rose Run Oriana led their six rivals past three-quarters in 1:27.2 and fended off all comers down the lane en route to the victory. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished second, with Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) third. Trained by Joe Cirasuola for owner Shirley Halas, Rose Run Oriana enjoyed her 14th career victory as her bankroll now sits at $125,717. She paid $3.40 to win. The Lifetime Dream series is for four and five-year-old trotting mares, who are non-winners of $200,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

Favourite Cougar Hall earned his second consecutive win over the game Machal Jordan in the featured $34,000 Preferred Pace on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Driven by Jack Moiseyev, Cougar Hall matched his 1:51.4 season's mark that he established while winning the top class by half a length over Machal Jordan last Saturday. In this evening's Preferred, J J Shark (Sylvain Filion) forced the leaving post eight starter Lucky Terror (Jonathan Drury) to settle for the pocket spot during a :26.3 first quarter battle. Dali (Luc Ouellette) got away third with 6-5 favourite Cougar Hall following in fourth. As the field headed into the backstretch, Dali moved underway from third and took over the lead before hitting the half-mile marker in :55.3. The stallion was then confronted by Cougar Hall, who cleared to command past the 1:23.4 third quarter station and began to open up multiple lengths on the field to secure the victory. The late-closing Machal Jordan (Roger Mayotte) narrowed the winning margin to one and a quarter lengths. In Commando (Chris Christoforou), a half-length winner over Cougar Hall in his last outing two weeks ago, finished third.   Cougar Hall now has four wins in six starts during his four-year-old campaign and a seasonal bankroll totalling $60,100. The grey son of Somebeachsomewhere is owned by trainer Jeff Gillis, Gerald Stay, Mac Nichol, Thomas Kyron and Carl Jamieson. Cougar Hall paid $4.40 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

If anyone knows Jonathan Dury, aside from always being busy, they know he is truly a student of harness racing. From his time working with his father, Barry Drury, at Mohawk Racetrack, (Campbellville, ON), during the summer to picking up on slight nuisances' at all possible moments is what has driven Jonathan to the level of achievement he is currently earning as one of the top drivers at Woodbine Racetrack. Jonathan would help his dad anytime he was not in school. When Jonathan was very young, his ideal dream job would have been to drive big trucks. Moving several years down the line, when Jonathan was in high school, he contemplated having a career in architecture but due to his on-track success, that venture has been put on hold. If what we have seen of Jonathan the past few years is any indication of what lies ahead, there's a strong feeling he may put a permanent hold on entering the field of architectural design. Jonathan's dad still trains horses and Jonathan noted his dad used to work for harness racing legend Ron Waples back at the old Meadowlands as an assistant trainer. Jonathan started out at Woodstock Raceway and the first horse he drove was "a trotter for Chris Christoforou Sr. "It was my first time start and it was with a trotter" says Jonathan. "I like driving both pacers and trotters and I have had success driving trotters. A lot of trotters are trickier to drive than pacers but I still love driving trotters a lot." Away from the track earlier in his career, Jonathan enjoyed playing golf in the summer and hockey during the winter. "I was playing hockey for a few years for fun, then I broke my arm and called it quits for that..." says Jonathan with a laugh. Jonathan worked for several high caliber stables, such as Anthony Macdonald who had a lot of trotters. "I really learned a lot about how to handle a trotter" says Jonathan. Anthony Montini and Casie Coleman are two other elite trainers Jonathan worked for. "You see different ways of doing things." Jonathan explains. "Anthony Montini is a really nice guy; he even let me drive Primetime Bobcat in one of his last career starts. I can't say I learned one thing from anybody, its things you pick up and expand on when you work for someone else." It's about growing and learning while remaining humble and approachable that can you a long way in every aspect of life. As he progressed Jonathan moved on to drive at Kawartha Downs, (located in Fraserville, ON), "I really dug Kawartha Downs, I love driving on the 5/8th mile track. I spent time last summer driving at one at Pocono Downs. Kawartha was a great experience because I got to drive a lot of the better horses that went down there." Jonathan explains. "I was driving all of Corey Johnson's horses at one point and I was driving a lot of Tommy Riley's horses plus I was driving whatever Casie (Coleman) brought down there." Jonathan notes he learned a lot from driving horses for top notch trainers. How did Jonathan get to the point of driving all of Corey Johnson's horses? Well, Jonathan says he didn't know Corey at first but kept seeing his name listed to drive Corey's horses. "I was having a lot of luck down there and I was one of the top guys there driving for Tommy Riley... then the entries came out one day and I was listed to drive on three of Corey's horses and it was all trotters and I won with all three of them." Take off indeed, what was set in motion at Kawartha Downs truly snowballed for Jonathan, to the point that he was able to make a seamless transition to Canada's biggest racetracks, Woodbine and Mohawk. Winning with Vegas Vacation was special to Jonathan. "I actually spent a lot of time training him when I was working for Casie. I got to qualify him and I won with him on his first lifetime start." It holds a special spot in Jonathan's heart, especially given what Vegas Vacation has accomplished. "Vegas is a wicked horse with a ton of potential, I think he is going to get bigger, stronger and better" according to Jonathan and it is safe to say everyone would agree with his opinion. I certainly do! Jonathan admits it can difficult to get good drives and yes, if it was that easy everyone would be number one on the leader board. "I just try to work hard to get me to where I am" says Jonathan. "Carmen Auciello gave me the opportunity to go down to the Poconos to drive his horses down there and 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 down (at the Poconos), it taught me a lot and I am able to use that to my advantage now." "I love the Poconos and the track; it's a beautiful facility and a fast track that also gets a lot of good horses down there." I hear the architecture aficionado in Jonathan's voice when he's describing the facility at Pocono Downs. Jonathan was at the Meadowlands for the past three weekends driving Corey Johnson's trotter Hldontghttoyurdrms in the Horse and Groom series and expresses how much the new facility at the Meadowlands has improved. Jonathan's focus is to keep driving and learning more and more so he can better not only himself, but also better the results for the trainers and owners. His approach is to zone in on a team goal, not as an individual. "That's the best thing you can do is know as much as you can" Jonathan says when it comes to learning about other horses. "Knowing your horse, and knowing the rest of the horses, you can find ways to beat them with what you know about them." Jonathan enjoys watching elite drivers like Tim Tetrick and Brian Sears, "they can get so much out of their horse, put them in all the right places." Jonathan says. "I try to learn things from everybody to better myself." "I am very content racing horses; it's something I love doing so how can I complain about something I love?" Jonathan admits. "Horse racing has been a big part of my life, and now it is my life." "I like aggressive horses racing wise, I feel I can keep them calm" says Jonathan. When he's not driving, Jonathan will go out to his dad's barn to give him a hand or in the summers past he would help with Casie Coleman's stable. "If I have time off, I take it easy for the most part; maybe play some golf in the summer. Really I try to get some rest so I am ready to go." Jonathan explains. "I haven't raced since I was at the Meadowlands on Saturday. I had Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off and I was bored out of my mind having so many days off." In his time off, what keeps Jonathan mentally busy is music. "I'm a huge country music fan and also a huge Eminem fan. My favorite country group is Florida Georgia Line. I like all kinds of music depending on the mood I am in, but generally I listen to country." Jonathan says. As any avid music listener, Jonathan has his list of favorite concerts he has attended. The Jay Z and Eminem Home and Home tour concert, which took place in Detroit, is at the top of the list. A close second would be the concert he saw earlier this year that featured Jason Alden and Florida Georgia Line. This August, Jonathan will be rocking out to Linkin Park at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. A group he's been wanting to see live for quite some time. I posed the question to Jonathan, that if he could record a song with anyone or any group, he chose Florida Georgia Line. "Only because they look like they have a wicked time in their music videos." Jonathan says. A twist to his music curiosity is if Jonathan had the opportunity to sit down and talk with any music artist about their career, hands down it would be famed rapper, Eminem. "I've actually sat down and read through the meanings of all the lyrics to a bunch of his songs." Jonathan explains. "He's lived a very different life and gives you the courage not to give up.... He's come from a pretty rough family and battled against everything to get to where he is today. I read a documentary on him and he has boxes of papers with little groups of words scribbled on them that he just randomly has pop in his head." "And (Eminem) kept them in case he could ever use them in a song. It's really amazing what he can do with words and how each song has a meaning deep down inside the lyrics that you may not understand just listening to it." When it comes to interacting with fans, Jonathan truly enjoys the experience He's more than willing to sign autographs or give his whip away. One time at the Meadowlands, Jonathan was set to drive a couple of races and ended up giving away his whip to a fan without realizing he didn't have any more whips, as he only brought one with him to the track. Luckily Scott Zeron was there to help him out. So if you see Jonathan, don't be afraid to ask for an autograph as he is more than willing to oblige. "I wasn't expecting anyone to ask for my whip because at Woodbine the fans are so far away, you don't see them. It was shocking to see the fans up so close at different tracks. Once over a three night period at the Meadowlands, I won one race each night and gave away my whip after each race I won." How many sports can you account where the athletes and players involved give away game used items? Maybe baseball if you catch a foul ball, once in a blue moon an NFL football or a hockey puck, but in no other sport is this possible, only in harness racing where a fan can meet the people they cheer on and get an autograph on a nightly basis. by, Roderick Balgobin, www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova      

TORONTO, April 4 - After an impressive victory in the opening leg of the Blossom Series last week at Woodbine, Rock N Roll Xample repeated her effort with a convincing score in the lone, second-leg division Friday at Woodbine. The pacing miss will look for the $36,000 series sweep on Friday, April 11 at Woodbine. Outtathewheelhouse (Jonathan Drury) gunned their way to the front to lead past the opening station in a quick :26.3, ahead of Polk Dot Hanover (Billy Davis, Jr.). Heading towards the half in the $15,000 tilt, James MacDonald pulled on the right line and aimed Rock N Roll Xample out of third and to command before the mid-way point in :56.2. From there, the heavily-favoured daughter of Rocknroll Hanover guided her rivals past three-quarters in 1:24.2, before opening up on her eight rivals to score a comfortable four and three quarter length victory in 1:53.4. Noble Jilly (Jody Jamieson) finished second with Wildcat Magic (Chris Christoforou) third. Trained by Shawn Robinson for owner/breeder Robert Hamather, Rock N Roll Xample increased her bankroll to $66,090. The bay lass has a 6-2-1 record from 11 starts this season. She paid $3.90 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

On paper, the $83,000 Clyde Hirt Final appeared to be a wide open race. But on the racetrack, it was anything but. Avatartist, sent off as the 9-5 favorite, made the early lead in 26.1 prior to yielding to the pocket. Driver Dave Miller made an aggressive move down the backstretch, reclaiming the lead past a 53.3 half-mile. The Buckeye threw down the gauntlet and opened up a commanding lead heading to the top of the stretch and never had an anxious moment in the stretch winning in a stakes record 1:50.1. Alexa's Jackpot rallied very well off dull cover to be second, while Wake Up Peter came from an impossible spot to be third. The winner is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owners William Hill, Peter Harrisson, Michael Saftic and James Walker. Ironically, Avatartist is not eligible to the upcoming Whata Baron series which begins Saturday April 5th, while Alexa's Jackpot and Wake Up Peter are heading to that series next. In the $60,600 Final of The Horse & Groom, it was a perfect storm for Hldontghttoyurdrms in more ways than one. First, the 3-5 favorite Bambino Glide made a break prior to the start, never to be involved. At the start, round one winner Amigo Ranger went off-stride. Next, turning down the backstretch, with Hldontghttoyurdrms leading through a 27.3 opening quarter, pocket-sitting March Awareness broke stride, leaving the pace-setter with a six length lead heading to the half. Hldontghttoyurdrms got that half in 55.4 and three quarters in 1:24.3, while never facing a challenge and romping to an easy score in 1:53.4 for Canadian based driver Jonathan Drury. The winner had been a bit disappointing in the first two rounds of the series, but with the money down, the gelded son of Muscles Yankee got the job done. He is trained by Corey Johnson for owners Saverio Spagnolo, Frank Schimizzi and Frank Spagnolo. Longshot Magglio was second with Crosbys Clam Bake finishing third. Scott Zeron and Jim Morrill, Jr. were the Winners in Round 2 of the Legends vs. Phenoms Drivers Challenge. Scott Zeron continues to make plenty of noise at The Meadowlands as he easily led the Phenoms from gate to wire to win the second leg of the Driver Challenge with 85 points. Zeron also won the "phenom" category last week as well. While Zeron is dominating the Phenoms, the Legends category has been a battle. Tonight, Andy Miller and Jim Morrill Jr. went into the last race each with 83 points, with first round winner Dave Miller right behind with 81 points. In the end, it was Jim Morrill Jr, with 90 points winning round 2 for the Legends. For the tournament, Dave Miller (172) leads the "Legends" followed by Andy Miller (160), Jim Morrill Jr. (158), Corey Callahan (74) and John Campbell (73). Scott Zeron (163) is cruising along in the "Phenoms" category. Joe Bongiorno (90) is a clear-cut second. Rounding out the top 10 are Tony Hall (60), Jonathan Drury (54), Steve Smith (52), Jim. Marohn Jr. (49), Vincent Ginsburg (46), Tyler Smith (45), Jim Meittinis (33) and Eric Abbatiello (22). On Saturday April 26th, the top five Legends and the top five Phenoms will qualify for the Driver Challenge Final, with the winner earning $15,000. Racing resumes on Friday with the first round of the Artistic Vision series for pacing mares, with post time at 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

TORONTO, February 26 - If you take a close look at the Woodbine drivers standings this season, there is a noticeable change near the top of the leader board. Twenty four-year-old Jonathan Drury is currently in second place, three wins behind three-time O'Brien Award winner Jody Jamieson. Drury, a resident of Rockwood, has certainly made the most of his drives this season accumulating 23 trips to the winners circle and $335,471 in purse earnings. Drury is also the regular pilot behind Hldontghttoyurdrms, who has captured the $34,000 Preferred Trot for a fourth week in a row for trainer Corey Johnson. "It's definitely horse power," Drury said explaining his stellar start in 2014. "When you get that kind of power to sit behind every night and get results, obviously your confidence goes up. So far this season, everything couldn't be better and I'm very fortunate." Drury was born into the harness racing business. His father, Barry, has operated a small stable for many years. Drury, who appears poised in his yellow and blue silks, a nod to his father's colours, is thankful for the valuable lessons he learned at a young age. "All the fundamentals of this sport came from my parents," Drury said. "My dad was stabled along the Mohawk backstretch for many years and my mother (Patricia) was in the barn too. When I wasn't in school I was in the barn or on the track." Drury also ventured out to other trainers before and after getting his trainer's license and he gained valuable experience while working with such trainers as O'Brien Award winner Casie Coleman, Tracey Brainard and Tony Montini. "That was a great learning curve for me," Drury said. "I got to see other methods of training and see the way they do it and run their operation. I've worked for Casie off-and-on for the past three years and got the opportunity to drive for her, which was amazing." After gaining his license in 2008, Drury began driving at Flamboro and Georgian Downs, but the move to Kawartha Downs a few years later and teaming up with top trainers in Corey Johnson and Carmen Auciello yielded great dividends for the young reinsman. "I was a regular driver there (Kawartha Downs) and they started using me and we developed a relationship and it just snowballed from there," said Drury. "Now they both have powerful stables at Woodbine and I'm just thankful to get the work." Perhaps the most valuable experience Drury gained was a summer spent at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania where he drove regularly for Ontario-based trainer Carmen Auciello, who sent a team of roughly 12 head. "Driving with a different bunch of guys at Pocono was a lot of fun," he said. "It's a little different style of driving and I learned so much in a short period of time. That was the most valuable experience I got, especially when I came back to Ontario." Drury was also a key player in the development of O'Brien Award winner Vegas Vacation. Drury "baby-raced" the son of Bettors Delight, before guiding the colt to victory in his first lifetime start at Mohawk Racetrack. "I was working for Casie at the time and would sit behind her two-year-olds on a regular basis," Drury said. "She asked me to baby-race him and teach him in his early stages and that was a lot of fun to sit behind that type of animal." Needless to say, Drury certainly has gained a lot of experience north and south of the border at a young age, and with a little patience and a lot of talent, it appears to be paying off nicely for the man they call JD. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

Hldontghttoyurdrms was pushed to the limit in Monday’s $34,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Racetrack, but he managed to stave off a late challenge from his stablemate Nowucit Nowudont en route to winning the top class for square gaiters for the third straight start. With Jonathan Drury at the controls, Hldontghttoyurdrms was parked by Amigo De Grande past the quarter pole in :26.2 before being released to the lead. Once he crossed over to the pylons, the Corey Johnson pupil managed to whack out middle panels of :56.2 and 1:25.4 before coming under attack. Amigo De Grande sprinted out of the two-hole to come after him while Nowucit Nowudont swung wide off cover and started to go to work. Hldontghttoyurdrms used a :28.1 closing quarter to win by a nose over Nowucit Nowudont in 1:54. Amigo De Grande was a head back in third. Frank Spagnolo, Frank Schimizzi and Saverio Spagnolo share ownership on the five-year-old son of Muscles Yankee-Sweet Gabriella who won for the third time in four starts this season. The 13-time winner pushed his lifetime earnings over $170,000 with the victory. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Apprentice Hanover cruised to his seventh straight win on Saturday night in the $34,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Racetrack despite Wazzup Wazzup's surprise attack late in the mile. Leaving from post six with Jody Jamieson at the reins, Apprentice Hanover worked his way to lead and cleared into the first turn before hitting the first quarter mark in :26.4. Apprentice Hanover took a second quarter breather to the half in :56 with McKinney (Sylvain Filion) content to sit a pocket trip behind the heavy 1-5 favourite and Wazzup Wazzup (Jonathan Drury) on his back. As Apprentice Hanover led his six rivals to the next marker in 1:24.4, 50-1 longshot Lucky Terror (Jack Moiseyev) made the first over sacrifice from the backfield, but began to back away as they turned for home. Apprentice Hanover looked strong on the lead in the stretch, but 25-1 shot Wazzup Wazzup made things a little more interesting, sneaking up the inside late in the lane. However, Apprentice Hanover managed to keep him at bay to earn his seventh straight win in 1:52.2. Wazzup Wazzup came up a neck short while McKinney rounded out the top three finishers one and a half lengths behind. Apprentice Hanover is now three-for-three this year with his win streak stretching back to November 2013. He now has 14 wins in 32 career starts -- his richest in Northfield Park's $126,000 Cleveland Classic on Dec. 14 -- for lifetime earnings of $563,474. Ben Wallace trains the four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. Apprentice Hanover paid $2.40 to win. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

The betting public leaned heavily on Lady Latte in Tuesday’s $10,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 2 class at the Raceway, and the veteran distaffer didn’t disappoint her legion of pari-mutuel supporters. In rein to Jonathan Drury, Lady Latte shot to immediate command from Post 1 and cruised through panels of :29.2, :59.1 and 1:27.4 before using a :29.3 kicker to win by 2-3/4 lengths over pocket-riding Andro Madi in 1:57.2. Ostinato, who pulled off a 23-1 shocker one week earlier, rallied off cover to finish third. Gord McDonnell trains the eight-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended-Miss Jeki for Craig Turner and Mhairi Kersel of Ingersoll, Ontario. It was the mare’s second win of the season from four trips to the track, and it increased her lifetime win total to 33. The OSS graduate has now banked $428,085. Drury also mapped out the winning trip for Black Magic Eyes in the $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3. Just as he did one race earlier with Lady Latte, Drury rolled Black Magic Eyes to the top and she didn’t look back through splits of :29, :59.3 and 1:29.1. Her :30.2 closing quarter was good enough to earn her the 1:59.3 decision by 1-1/2 lengths over St Lads Zena, while 4-5 favourite Mamasaidso was third. Richard Moreau, who sent out a pair of winners on the 12-race card, trains the six-year-old daughter of Village Jolt-Western Concert for Gaston Bibeau, Eric Bibeau and Sylvain Descheneaux of Quebec. It was the mare’s first win of the season and the lion’s share of the purse boosted her overall bankroll to $116,000. To view results for Tuesday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Tuesday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Libertys Best Star notched his fifth straight victory on Friday at Woodbine Racetrack with a tough front-end effort in the evening's seventh race. Sent postward as the 5-2 favourite in the full field of $8,000 claiming pacers, Libertys Best Star ($7.10) front-stepped his way to a 1:54.2 victory with Jonathan Drury in the sulky. The 35-time career winner prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Duke Did It (Chris Christoforou) in 1:54.2 with a from-last First Impression (Sylvain Filion) closing for third-place honours. The six-year-old son of Cammibest is now six-for-seven this year. He was claimed for $5,000 two starts ago on Jan. 26 at Flamboro Downs by Jonah Moase of Cornwall, P.E.I. and is trained by Thomas Riley. Drury, who won four times on Friday's 11-race card, also teamed up with Riley to win the third race aboard Mopey Corey. His other winners were Rock N Roll Xample for trainer Shawn Robinson and Laneside Lexus for conditioner Corey Johnson. To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Since joining forces with trainer Corey Johnson, Hldontghttoyurdrms has been ultra-productive and incredibly fast. His performance in Monday’s $34,000 Preferred Trot at Woodbine Racetrack was no exception considering he became Canada’s fastest trotter of the season thanks to a 1:53 score. Hldontghttoyurdrms, who was sent off as the 3-5 favourite in the nine-horse affair, got away third while Cool Guy sprinted to the lead and supplied an opening quarter clocked in :26.4. Jonathan Drury right-lined the favourite going into the backstretch, and they cleared to the lead shortly past the mid-way point in :56.1. Nowucit Nowudont came first-over and pressed Hldontghttoyurdrms to the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4, but the leader shrugged off that challenge and drew clear to win by 1-1/2 lengths over a late-closing Catch The Dream. Nowucit Nowudont settled for third. Hldontghttoyurdrms, a five-year-old son of Muscles Yankee-Sweet Gabriella, now boasts a 2-0-0 record from three trips to the track this season. The 12-time winner, who is owned by Frank Spagnolo, Frank Schimizzi and Saverio Spagnolo, bumped his lifetime earnings to $153,615 with the victory. Steve Byron, who was sidelined from the racetrack since last May, captured his first victory since his layoff on Monday evening at Woodbine. The 51-year-old guided Andreios Kardia to an off-the-pace victory for trainer James Madill in the opening dash on the 12-race card The three-year-old son of Badlands Hanover paced in 1:55.1 and paid $4.10 to win. Byron, a resident of Thornton, Ontario, suffered a fractured left knee and ligament damage in a qualifying race at Kawartha Downs on May 20, 2013. Reprinted from StandardbredCanada and WEG

Sent postward at odds of 12-1, the class-climbing Lucky Terror upset the popular millionaire, Mystician, in a final quarter sprint to take the top conditioned class at Woodbine Racetrack on a cold Saturday night. With Jack Moiseyev catch-driving, Lucky Terror prevailed by a nose in the 10th race for non-winners of $28,000 in the last five starts (also eligible non-winners of $175,000 lifetime). Mckinney (Sylvain Filion) set up shop on the front-end after leaving from post three and led the field of seven through fractions of :27.1, :55.3 and 1:24.2. Meanwhile, Lucky Terror moved underway from fifth at the half with 3-5 favourite Mystician (Scott Zeron) following his cover. Lucky Terror battled the leader around the final turn, eventually edging by, while Jeff Gillis trainee Mystician launched his late attack to make it into the win photo in a 1:52.3 mile. Lucky Terror paid $26.40 to win. Third-place honours went to Mckinney, who held off Frankies Dragon (Chris Christoforou) and Grande Seelster (Randy Waples) over a length and a half behind. Lucky Terror is trained by Shaun McDonald and owned by Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, Ont. and Leonard Christopher of Acton, Ont. The win was the seven-year-old Western Terror gelding's 28th lifetime and the lion's share of the $28,000 purse lifted his career bankroll to $254,683. Lucky Terror pulled off the biggest upset on the 12-race card, which only saw three post-time favourites make it to the winner's circle. The fastest mile of the -10 degree night was 1:51.4, posted by post 10 starter Alexas Jackpot ($18.10) and Jonathan Drury in the fourth race for conditioner Marty Fine. The winner upset another popular Gillis-trained and Zeron-driven starter, Speed Again, who cut fractions of :26.2, :55, and 1:23 from post nine. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Videos of all races are attached. Printed with permission of Standardbred Canada

TORONTO, January 13 – Woodbine Racetrack played host to a trio of Snowshoe Series divisions as the opening round got underway for three and four-year-old colt and gelding pacers on Monday evening. Hopiesdragninthedo kicked off the 12-race programme with a 1:55 score in the first $15,000 division. Driven by Anthony Macdonald, the son of Dragon Again sat In The Pocket before the opening station in :26.4, set by Lucky Nadotremblay (James MacDonald), before taking over command. Hopiesdragninthedo continued to lead his seven rivals past the half in :56.2. Post time favourite, Brother John (Jody Jamieson), angled out from fourth to begin the first-over attack around the final turn and was stalking on the outside of Hopiesdragninthedo past three-quarters in 1:25.1. Down the stretch, the pair separated themselves from the field, but it was Hopiesdragninthedo getting the edge over Brother John in deep stretch to win by three quarters of a length. Greystone Moe (Sylvain Filion) came from off-the-pace to finish third. Trained by Carmen Auciello for owners Carolyn Jarrell and Arlene MacIntyre, Hopiesdragninthedo earned his second career tally and increased his bankroll to $28,975. The gelding has started off his 2014 season in fine form with a 1-1-0 record from two starts. He paid $5.90 to win as the second choice. Even-money favourite Ontario Success started off the Pick 4 in the second division with a 1:56 victory. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Ontario Success was in no hurry at the start as Machin Money (Jonathan Drury) was quickest to the front past the opening station in :27.3. With the field well strung out, Machin Money continued to set the pace past the half in :57. Ontario Success found himself sitting well back in sixth, 13 and a half lengths off the pace, with second-choice KG Dragonator (Phil Hudon) on his helmet. Ontario Success began a first-over attack heading towards three-quarters, while Zark (Doug McNair) angled out of the two-hole attacking Machin Money before three-quarters in 1:26.1. Turning for home, Machin Money began to tire as the backfield was quickly closing in. Ontario Success was able to split between horses and fended off challenger KG Dragonator on the outside to win by one and three quarter lengths. Meetyouatmidnight (Billy Davis, Jr.) came on for third. Trained by Tony O’Sullivan for owner/breeder Emerald Highlands Farm, Ontario Success earned his third career victory as his lifetime earnings now sits at $37,384. The four-year-old son of Lis Mara paid $4.10 to win. In the final division, heavily favoured Littlebitaclass and Jody Jamieson clicked in 1:54.4. Jamieson and the son of Santanna Blue Chip settled away in third as Tex (Roger Mayotte) quickly gained control before the opening quarter in :27.3. Heading towards the half, Littlebitaclass was pulled to the outside and marched to the front at the half in :56.4. From there, the six-time winner led his eight rivals past three-quarters in 1:25.3 and fended off a late challenge from Tex to win by half a length. Dreydl Hanover (Keith Oliver) finished third. Trained by David Menary for owner Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Howard Taylor, Littlebitaclass increased his bankroll to $25,925. He paid $4.40 to win. The Snowshoe series is for three and four-year-old colt and gelding pacers, who are non winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime as of November 30, 2013. The second $15,000 leg of the series will take place on Monday, January 20 with the $30,000 (added) final on Monday, January 27. Videos of all races are attached Greg Gangle WEG Communications 

TORONTO, December 19 - Fifteen harness racing sophomore pacing fillies made their way to Woodbine Racetrack on Thursday ev ening to contest two divisions of the $15,000 second leg of the Niagara Series. The Niagara Series is for three-year-old fillies, who are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31. After skipping the opening round of the series, U.S. invader Joe Bongiorno guided Solid Queen to victory in 1:53.3. In doing so, Bongiorno celebrated his first career win on Canadian soil. Bongiorno elected to use off-the-pace tactics as race favourite Wonderful Charm (Jody Jamieson) was first to the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. Wonderful Charm would continue to lead past the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:26.2. Dance Hall Girl (Mario Baillargeon) began the first-over attack heading to three-quarters giving live cover to Solid Queen. As the fillies turned for home, Wonderful Charm was still the leader, but Bongiorno showed Solid Queen open racetrack and the daughter of Riverboat King responded with a :27 final quarter en route to a three and three quarter length victory. Wonderful Charm stayed for second, over D Gs Pesquero (Sylvain Filion) third. Trained by Mike Russo for owner Scott Irwin, Solid Queen enjoyed her sixth career victory as her bankroll now sits at $60,667. She paid $7.70 to win. In the other split, Hands Off Hanover pulled off the 3-1 minor upset for Sylvain Filion. Putmeintogo (Roger Mayotte) was quickest to the front, but allowed Lyonssweetie to command at the quarter in :26.2. Heading towards the half, Putmeintogo retook command and laid down middle-half speed of :56.2 and 1:25.1. Turning for home, Putmeintogo was still in command, but the backfield was quickly closing in on the tempo-setter. Hands Off Hanover, who was fourth along the rail turning for home, found open racetrack in deep stretch and was able to pick up all the pieces to score the narrow victory in 1:54.1. Both Miss Poppycock and Lyonssweetie finished second in a dead heat, while Bad Girl Vegas (Jonathan Drury) finished fourth. Trained by Victory Puddy for owner Percy Elkins, Hands Off Hanover earned her fifth career victory as her lifetime earnings increased to $60,865. The daughter of Western Ideal paid $8.80 to win. The $30,000 (added) final will take place on Boxing Day (December 26), which holds a special 1:00 p.m. first-race post time.  by Greg Gangle for WEG    

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