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HARRINGTON, Del. - On the penultimate night of the 2016 Harrington harness racing meet, Michael Casalino Jr. and Dylan Davis' Theresademoninme ($5.40, Jon Roberts) set a new lifetime best with a 1:53.4 win in the $17,700 Open Trot Wednesday. The 5-year-old Kadabra gelding notched his eighth win of the year for trainer and co-owner Davis. Theresademoninme surged in deep stretch to eventually wear down a game pace setter in Westside Lindy for the win. Westside Lindy was second with Deacons Valley third. The win time was just a fifth of a second off the track record, held by Traverse Seelster. On the undercard, Ross Wolfenden's Skyway Priss notched her third straight win in 1:56 for her owner/trainer/driver. Wolfenden, who had two wins on the card, is locked in a fierce battle for the Harrington driving title with current leader Victor Kirby (120 wins). Wolfenden currently trails Kirby by three wins. Meanwhile, trainer Joe Hundertpfund Jr., (33 wins), has clinched his second training title. Mike Hall has clinched second place with 27 wins. Both honors will be awarded on closing night, October 20. Matthew Sparacino  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 15, 2016 - She classes up the joint. Champion harness racing trotting mare Bee a Magician (Brian Sears, $3.30), in her first purse try since late May here, didn't disappoint Saturday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's $250,000 Invitational Trot. Away third from post position No. 2 in the mile-and-a-quarter event, Bee a Magician saw a couple of ladies, polester Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory) and Allerage Star (Andy Miller), plus Homicide Hunter (Eric Goodell) all offer early foot. After a :27.4 opening quarter-mile, and with Homicide Hunter finding a seat behind her, the fave was pointed forward. Bee a Magician made the lead before a :57.4 half, with second-tier Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett) first-up from sixth. That one engaged the leader through a soft 1:28 three-quarters (mile in 1:57), with Bee a Magician owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn. She held sway from there, repelling a stubborn "Melady" by three-quarters of a length in 2:25.1. Barn Doll was a pocket third, with Windofthenorth (Corey Callahan) and Lookslikeachipndale (Dan Dube) settling for the smaller envelopes. For Bee a Magician, a 6-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Herb Liverman, she's now 4-for-4 this season and 45-for-69 in her brilliant career with $4,088,395 in the bank. (real dollars) The exacta paid $26.20, with the triple returned $109.50. "To have a horse ready to go the mile-and-a-quarter against a very good field after nearly five months is a credit to Nifty (Norman) and a credit to her," Sears said. "I qualified her this past Tuesday (Meadowlands), and she was impressive. Today, she was back to her ornery self and it was good to see." Frank Drucker

Batavia, NY---After finishing second in the top local trot twice last month, Noble Legend ($25.40) blew up the tote board along with his harness racing rivals in winning the $10,500 Open trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 14). After taking last week off, Noble Legend returned to the track with a new attitude and approach. Driver Shawn Gray sent Noble Legend right to the front and took no prisoners from there. He lead the troops by two open lengths through fractions of :28.1, :57.3 and 1:26.2 while the trailers were struggling to keep up. At the top of the lane, Noble Legend was cruising under mild urging from Gray when Studio City (Dave McNeight III) who was second the whole mile, drifted off the pegs in an attempt to collar the leader. But all that did was allow BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) to slide up inside him and get into the action. Noble Legend trotted on to win in 1:56.4 by a length over the fast-closing BZ Glide and Studio City, who finished second and third respectively. It was the eighth win of the season for Noble Legend who increased his 2016 bankroll to $55,983 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags and Jack Rice. Maria Rice trains the 4-year-old son of Kadabra. In the co-featured $10,000 Open mares pace, Dontch Remember ($26.20) shook off a two-month winless streak and led the ladies wire-to-wire by gapped lengths to win her eighth race of the year in a new lifetime mark of 1:54.4. Gerry Sarama trains the 6-year-old Western Terror mare for owner Mike Torcello. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. continued his torrid pace at the Downs, winning another five races on the card. He scored with Love U Forever ($3.70, 1:58.3), The Bronx Bumper ($7.10, 1:58.4), Keystone Wild Card ($4.10, 2:02), Dontch Remember ($26.20, 1:54.4) and Son Of Nordic ($9.90, 1:58.3). The five wins and one second in eight starts gave Morrill a .694 UDR for the night. Drew Monti had a driving double and Mike Ohol had two winners on the training side. The dash driving leader board continues to be tight. Kevin Cummings, despite not visiting the winner's circle on Friday, remains on top with 67 wins. Drew Monti is second with 62 and Jim Morrill Jr. vaulted into third on the strength of his performance with 61 victories. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Oct. 15) at 6:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Lexington, KY---After witnessing a world-record performance by 2-year-old Walner (Chapter Seven-Random Destiny) at The Red Mile, it took a bit of time to wend through rush hour traffic to reach the Fasiq-Tipton Sales Pavilion, yet the quest to discover a future harness racing world champion remained evident at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale on Thursday (Oct. 6) as six yearlings were purchased for $100,000 or more, led by the trotting filly Magic Carpet Glide at the event’s third session. With last year’s third session only providing one $100,000 yearling, the sale continues to break new ground and illustrate the demand, as well as the desire, for elite Standardbreds. “Although there is generally a decrease after the first two days of the sale, I feel our next two sessions were stocked with some very nice horses,” said co-sale manager Randy Manges. “I know some people were celebrating Rosh Hashanah and could not be here for our first night. Also, some people from the East Coast like Pennsylvania and Delaware also planned on being here for the weekend, because it is an additional expense to stay for the entire event in Lexington simply because of all the things going on in the area at the same time.” The average price for all yearlings was up 26.8 percent over last year’s third day. In addition, the average price for all yearlings is up 22 percent over 2015. Even with 31 fewer yearlings walking through the ring this year, the gross sale amount is up $3,126,000. The connections of Hip No. 315, Magic Carpet Glide, past, present and future, certainly did their part to contribute to the spectacular success of this year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Purchased for $175,000 by Robert Lindstrom as agent for Lennart Agren’s SRF Stable of Boden, Sweden, this is the team that signed the ticket for the session two sale-topper for $350,000. Preferred Equine offered the Kadabra-Cha Cha Glide filly for sale. A daughter of Yankee Glide, Cha Cha Glide accumulated $14,266 in purse money and this is her first foal. She is, however, a half-sister to this year’s Peter Haughton Memorial winner What The Hill (Muscle Hill, $201,865). Magic Carpet Glide’s third dam, Celtic Contessa, by King Conch, dropped eight foals with six of them winners, including world champion and 2006 O’Brien Horse of the Year Majestic Son (Angus Hall, $1,756,883) and her granddam K T Cha Cha, also by Angus Hall, who earned $109,515. The filly’s fourth dam is Ramerizi (Face To Face, $433,344), the 1992 O’Brien Older Trotting Mare of the Year. She produced world champion Misterizi (Mr Lavec, $574,332), Lindsey-Fireyimage (Balanced Image, $203,363) and Rams Billy Brisco (Brisco Hanover, $165,677). In turn, Lindsey-Fireyimage was the dam of Striking Lindsey ($571,221), Action SJ ($197,048) and Action-Image-Hall ($105,895). The second highest-priced individual of the evening was Hip No. 275 Night Rhythm, a Muscle Hill-Tail Of Night colt, who sold for $160,000 to Great Horse MA from the Kentuckiana consignment. Night Rhythm is a half-brother to Machuca (Yankee Glide, $101,505) and his granddam, Day For Night (Donerail, $616,907) was the 2000 Dan Patch 3-year-old champion trotting filly. Just moments before Night Rhythm stepped into the ring, Crawford Farms purchased Sevenmaidsadancing for $150,000. Offered by Spring Haven Farm, the Chapter Seven-Surrey With Fringe filly is a half sibling to the 2-year-old Cresurrey (Credit Winner, $18,750) and her granddam, B Cor Peatra (Balanced Image) is a full sister to B Cor Pete ($893,076), Yorktown Gunner ($500,800) and Clarice Marie ($201,230). That mare is the dam of Corky ($1,008,000). B Cor Peata is also closely related to the dam of Wuthering Hanover ($494,440), Wide Angle Hanover ($445,708), B Cor Timgo ($641,641) and to the dam of Tom Cango ($515,930), Broadway Hall ($436,790), Looking Hanover ($1,125,136) and Banker Hall ($1,026,624). Despite trotters appearing to dominate the sale, pacing yearlings have quietly sold extremely well and possess the highest average for all gaits and genders at a stout $83,907. Complete results from the sale can be found at this link. The fourth session of the sale will commence on Friday (Oct. 7) at 7:00 p.m. and will continue through Saturday (Oct. 9). by Kimberly French, USTA Newsroom Editor

Just Make Believe (Kadabra) made his return to Saratoga Casino Hotel a winning one on Sunday afternoon. The John Di Stefano-trained Open trotter had competed out of town since winning the Saratoga Open Trot on August 9th and he quickly rediscovered his winning ways in this week's $16,000 harness racing feature. Jay Randall picked up the catch drive behind Just Make Believe who wound up first over on longshot leader Palmers Pride (Mark Beckwith). The six year old trotter powered past that rival and took over the lead turning for home before stopping the timer in 1:55.4. Palmers Pride held second while Cash Poor (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot. The top two choices in the wagering never factored in the race and Just Make Believe rewarded his backers with a win price of $17.40. The exacta returned $123.50 while the triple paid $578. The win was the tenth of the year for Just Make Believe and the third in the local Open Trot. Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga with a 4:00pm first post time. Mike Sardella

Everyone in this business longs for that horse; the one that is a harness racing world champion, a Horse of the Year and charts the course of history so their name is forever distinguished, remembered and revered. Although Magic Presto has only just begun her career, the inspiration behind her purchase was the premonition that lightning may be captured in a bottle, not once, but twice and that she could follow in the hoofprints of another filly that first served notice of her superiority with a victory in the 2012 Peaceful Way -- Bee A Magician. "She was a big, beautiful, strong yearling," said Richard "Nifty" Norman, the filly's conditioner. "My owners always support Kadabra because they have shares in him, but this filly reminded me of Bee A Magician. That is why we went to $160,000 for her." Those are exceptionally high expectations for the daughter of Kadabra-In The Mean Time, who is owned by the same connections as the horse she was compared to in Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee, along with Little E LLC. She may not be dominating the headlines, yet Magic Presto certainly has been living up to what her connections anticipate for her future. In her short career, the filly's resume stands at 5-2-2-0 and she has banked $59,677. Magic Presto will attempt to replicate the feat of her older stablemate when she leaves from post position 10 in the C$363,000 Peaceful Way final on Saturday (Sept. 17) at Mohawk Racetrack. The filly will have the services of one of Canada's best reinsman in Trevor Henry and enters this contest after a very strong second in her elimination to Thats All Moni (post two). Unfortunately, Magic Presto will have to contend with post position 10, when she takes on the likes of freshman trotting sensation Ariana G (post four). After being hampered by post nine in her elimination, Magic Presto was hung wide leaving the gate, was settled in fourth and then endured a first-over journey commencing at the three-quarter marker only to be out-finished by Thats All Moni by 2-1/4 lengths at the wire. "You can't do anything about where you draw," Norman said. "I would not have selected either post for her in the elimination and final, but was very pleased with how she performed in the elimination. She will do anything you ask of her and is so willing. To come first-over and to have that kind of finish, you can't ask anything more of her." As for Bee A Magician, the horse whose shoes Magic Presto is anticipated to fill, it is possible the 6-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Beehive will return prior to the end of the season. "She has been swimming," Norman said. "We put her back in light training this week and all seems to be well. We would like to bring her back for the Breeders Crown, but there is still some time to go before we can see what will happen. I'm not really sure what we would use for a prep race for her as it depends on what is available and how she progresses." When it comes to Magic Presto, however, the filly will have plenty of opportunities to stake her claim for divisional honors. "Kadabra is a provincial stallion," Norman said. "But my owners and I have done quite well with him and we think this filly has ability. She is cleanly gaited, you can put her anywhere you want to and she is staked to everything for the rest of the year. She will have the opportunities to progress and develop." C$363,000 Peaceful Way 2-year-old filly trotters Race 2 - Post time 7:50 p.m. (EDT) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1. Stuck In My Spanks-Paul MacDonell-Scott McEneny 2. Thats All Moni-Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter 3. Pure Kemp-Rick Zeron-Rick Zeron 4. Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 5. Cameron Hill-John Campbell-John Bax 6. Southwind Avanti-David Miller-Nancy Johansson 7. Winter Sweet Frost-Scott Zeron-Paul Reid 8. The Erm-Mike Saftic-Clark Beelby 9. Dream Together-Sylvain Filion-Luc Blais 10. Magic Presto-Trevor Henry-Nifty Norman  by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

SEPT. 7, 2016 - Facing the end of his Ontario Sires Stakes career, three-year-old trotting gelding Windsun Missile came up with his first Grassroots win of the harness racing season at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening. Starting from Post 5, trainer-driver Per Henriksen dropped Windsun Missile onto the rail in fourth as fan favourite Wildwild Men stepped out to a :28.1 opening quarter and a :58.3 half. Heading for the 1:27.4 three-quarters Henriksen was able to follow driver Steve Byron and Rose Run Rudi up the outer lane, and rolling off the final turn he shifted Windsun Missile into overdrive. The gelding fired around the leaders and hit the wire three-quarters of a length on top in a personal best 1:57.2. JLs Bad Moon Risin and Mass Balance also closed well to be second and third. "He's pretty quick off of cover like that, especially when he's good," said Henriksen. "When he's no good, he's absolutely no good, but right now he's very good." The wayward trotter picked the perfect time to improve, as Wednesday's win boosted his Grassroots point total to 71, good enough for a top 20 spot in the standings and a berth in the Sept. 16 Semi-finals. "He's just not a very smart horse," said Henriksen. "In a race he's perfect, two fingers in the race, but home training he can be a little aggressive and warming up he can be aggressive. You just put him on the gate, turn him loose, let him take care of himself, and in the race he's two fingers, absolutely perfect." Through 11 sophomore starts Windsun Missile has accumulated two wins, one second, one third and earnings of $26,280 for owners Steve Organ of Aurora, Asa Farm of Norwood and Darryl Drain of Tweed, ON. The partners acquired the son of Kadabra and Windsun Hampton from the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $40,000 as a result of Henriksen's long association with the gelding's maternal family. "The family, I love this family," Henriksen explained. "I had three or four sisters and brothers to the mother, and they keep on going forever. So I think he'll be a horse that you want to try to keep, because they seem to make money all the time, and just keep on plugging and keep on plugging." While Windsun Missile's connections were celebrating his first Grassroots win, Golden Son captured his fourth and moved to top spot in the point standings with 205 points. Starting from Post 7 in the midst of a downpour, driver Sylvain Filion sent Golden Son straight to the front and the fan favourite rang up fractions of :29.1, :59.4 and 1:30.4 on his way to a three length victory in 2:00. V For Victory finished second and Asterix was third. "To me he is the best," said trainer Richard Moreau of his star pupil. "I drove from Montreal to Grand River today and he didn't disappoint me. We are looking forward to the next one." Golden Son will lead the top 20 point earners to the Sept. 16 Semi-final at Mohawk Racetrack, where he will look to finish in the top five and advance to the Sept. 24 Grassroots Championship. Puslinch, ON resident Moreau conditions the Majestic Son gelding for Gary and Fay Clark of Oriskany Falls, NY. The other two division winners captured their second Grassroots trophies of the season at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, assuring them both of a post season berth. Dynamic Edge and driver Doug McNair went gate-to-wire in the first $18,000 division, trotting across the finish line in a personal best 1:57.1. Dewy Dont Cheat finished two lengths back of the favourites in second and Chestnut Schofield was two more lengths back in third. "He's a nice gaited, big, strong trotter," said Guelph resident Doug McNair. "He went a big trip tonight. He's been getting sharp the last three starts." The reinsman's father Gregg McNair of Guelph conditions Dynamic Edge and shares ownership of the Muscle Mass gelding with numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. Muscle Ave captured his second straight Grassroots victory in the other division, taking command just after the half and cruising home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:56.1. Fan favourite Makers Mass finished second and Tough Get Going was well back in third. Mississauga resident Roger Mayotte piloted Muscle Ave to the win for trainer Ben Wallace of Puslinch and his partner Larry Ainsworth of Petrolia, ON. The win improved the Muscle Mass gelding's sophomore record to three wins, two seconds and one third in 14 starts for earnings of $48,370. The top point earners will now begin preparations for the Sept. 16 Semi-finals, in hopes of advancing to the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 24. Both the Semi-finals and the Championship take place at Mohawk Racetrack. Grand River Raceway fans have one more opportunity to catch some of Ontario's finest in action when the Elora oval hosts the fourth Gold Series division for the two-year-old pacing colts and pacing fillies on Monday, Sept. 19. Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 7 - After each winning consecutive harness racing 'Grand Circuit' events, Caprice Hill and Emoticon Hanover will meet up in one of two Elegantimage eliminations Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Elegantimage eliminations for three-year-old trotting fillies are joined by the eliminations for the William Wellwood Memorial on Friday evening's 11-race card. Caprice Hill and Emoticon Hanover, both daughters of Kadabra, are each in the midst of fantastic sophomore campaigns. Over the last two weeks, the Ontario Sires Stakes standouts avoided each other in the Casual Breeze and Simcoe Stakes. Caprice Hill delivered powerful victories in both Grand Circuit events. The Tony Alagna trainee won her Casual Breeze division by a little over three lengths in 1:53.3 and followed that up with an emphatic 6½ length 1:53.1 score in last Friday's Simcoe. Emoticon Hanover also added the Casual Breeze and Simcoe Stakes to her list of accomplishments. The Luc Blais trained filly front-stepped her way to back to back 1:54.2 victories. The two fillies will not only meet up in the first $35,000 Elegantimage elimination Friday, but they will also line up side by side. Caprice Hill and driver Randy Waples will start from post six in the field of eight, while Emoticon Hanover and driver Sylvain Filion will start from post seven. After an O'Brien Award winning season at two, Caprice Hill has won six of nine starts this season and recently surpassed $1 million in career earnings. "Horses like her they don't come around too often," said Waples following Caprice Hill's Simcoe victory last Friday. "You got to enjoy it when you get that opportunity and she's about as professional of a racehorse as you're going to get." Emoticon Hanover won four of her first five starts last season, but ended up running into Caprice Hill in the Peaceful Way and OSS Super Final. This season, the Blais trainee has won five of nine starts, including victories in three of her last four outings, for earnings of over $272,000. "She's way stronger and way easier to drive," said Filion about Emoticon Hanover's progression from two to three. "Last year she was a little erratic and you had to be real careful behind the gate, but this year she's pretty good." The OSS stars have squared off twice this season with Emoticon Hanover finishing second to Caprice Hill on both occasions. If all goes well this week for both fillies, 'Emoticon' will likely have a pair of big stage opportunities (Elegantimage Final and OSS Super Final) to turn the tables on her rival in the next month. Another Ontario sired filly that can't be overlooked in the same Elegantimage elimination is Celebrity Eventsy. The Staffan Lind trainee has gone the Grand Circuit route this season with only a single OSS start. Celebrity Eventsy won her elimination of the Hambletonian Oaks, before finishing third in the $500,000 final. She followed up her Hambo experience with a victory in the $147,500 Moni Maker at The Meadows. The daughter of Manofmanymissions has four wins and hasn't missed the board in nine starts this season for earnings of over $253,000. Celebrity Eventsy will look to upstage her Ontario sired sisters from post two with driver John Campbell. The other Elegantimage elimination is headlined by OSS standout Flowers N Songs. The Paul Reid trained filly has eight wins this season, including victories in the $174,329 SBOA Final and $140,000 Zweig Filly Trot. In the midst of her first season on the track, Flowers N Songs has hit the board in 16 of 22 starts for earnings of over $343,000. The daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe will start from post six in a field of eight with Yannick Gingras at the controls. The top five finishers from the Elegantimage eliminations will advance to the $436,000 final on Saturday, September 17. Also on Friday, 14 two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will meet in two $30,000 William Wellwood Memorial eliminations. The first elimination has Champlain Stakes division winners Rubio (PP4, Gingras) and Signal Hill (PP7, Brett Miller) along with Peter Haughton Memorial winner What The Hill (PP5, David Miller) headlining the field of seven. The second split features the local debut of Italian bred trotter Victor Gio IT (PP4, Gingras) and Define The World Series winner Seven And Seven (PP2, Tom Durand). The top five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $350,000 William Wellwood Memorial on September 17. The Wellwood eliminations are carded as Races 2 and 3, while the Elegantimage splits are carded as Races 8 and 9 on Friday's 11-race program. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Here are the full fields for Friday's eliminations. Race 8: Elegantimage - Elimination #1 1. Worldclass Hanover - Cantab Hall - Rick Zeron - Rick Zeron 2. Celebrity Eventsy - Manofmanymissions - John Campbell - Staffan Lind 3. Southwind Pearl - Muscle Hill - David Miller - Jonas Czernyson 4. Dewdle All Day - Deweycheatumnhowe - Yannick Gingras - Dustin Jones 5. Jangone - Johnny William - Chris Christoforou - Per Henriksen 6. Caprice Hill - Kadabra - Randy Waples - Tony Alagna 7. Emoticon Hanover - Kadabra - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais 8. Wanaka - Manofmanymissions - Trevor Henry - Shannon Henry   Race 9: Elegantimage - Elimination #2 1. Pennies From Above - Cantab Hall - Mike Saftic - Dustin Jones 2. Tymal Tempest - Deweycheatumnhowe - Jonathan Drury - Carmen Auciello 3. Dream Child - Muscle Hill - David Miller - Linda Toscano 4. Royal Charm - Majestic Son - Paul MacDonell - Mark Steacy 5. Side Bet Hanover - Donato Hanover - Corey Callahan - Jonas Czernyson 6. Flowers N Songs - Deweycheatumnhowe - Yannick Gingras - Paul Reid 7. Pink Pistol - Cantab Hall - Chris Christoforou - Randy Van Meer 8. Double Exposure - Donato Hanover - Jody Jamieson - Tony Alagna   Race 2: William Wellwood Memorial - Elimination #1 1. Lucys Man - Muscle Mass - Anthony MacDonald - Tan Micallef 2. Jake - Muscle Hill - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais 3. International Moni - Love You - Scott Zeron - Frank Antonacci 4. Rubio - Cantab Hall - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter 5. What The Hill - Muscle Hill - David Miller - Ron Burke 6. Real Lucky Day - Donato Hanover - Yves Filion - Richard Moreau 7. Signal Hill - Muscle Hill - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna   Race 3: William Wellwood Memorial - Elimination #2 1. King On The Hill - Muscle Hill - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter 2. Seven And Seven - Chapter Seven - Tom Durand - Tom Durand 3. Southwind Cobra - Muscle Hill - David Miller - Ron Burke 4. Mountain Of Love - Muscle Hill - Randy Waples - Tony Alagna 5. Victor Gio IT - Ready Cash - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter 6. Soho Hanover - Cantab Hall - Doug McNair - Gregg McNair 7. Bills Man - Credit Winner - -Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen   Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 26 - Emoticon Hanover and Caprice Hill made their sire Kadabra proud with impressive harness racing victories in the Casual Breeze Stakes Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 20 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into a pair of $97,000 divisions. Emoticon Hanover was a gate to wire winner in the first division for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. The daughter of Kadabra left alertly from post two to grab the lead and it was lights out from there. Emoticon Hanover posted fractions of :28, :57.1 and 1:26.2 before firing home in :28 for the victory. Double Exposure left hard from post eight, landed the two-hole and ultimately finished a length and a quarter back in second. Jangone finished third, while Worldclass Hanover was fourth. Following the race, Filion was very pleased with the Emoticon Hanover's effort in the Casual Breeze and her progression as a three-year-old. "I wanted to get to the front and control the pace, which we did, and she did it pretty handy," said Filion following the race. "Last year she was a little tough to drive, but this year she is way handier, so that makes her much better." Owned by Determination of Montreal, Quebec, Emoticon Hanover scored her fourth victory of the season Friday in her eighth outing. She now has eight career victories and a bankroll of $436,658. The Blais trainee paid $2.80 to win. Emoticon Hanover Caprice Hill continued her fantastic season by overcoming the ten-hole to win the second division in 1:53.3. The Tony Alagna trained filly was unhurried at the start by driver Randy Waples and eventually found a spot along the rail in sixth just after the opening-quarter. Side Bet Hanover led the field to the half in :57.3, but was quickly confronted entering the far turn by a charging Caprice Hill, who took the lead before five-eighths. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:26, Caprice Hill trotted home strongly in :27.3 to win by 3 ¼ lengths. Side Bet Hanover held on to second over a charging Flowers N Songs. Also a daughter of Kadabra, Caprice Hill now has five wins in 2016 and has yet to finish outside the top two in eight starts this season. Following the race, Alagna passed along much of the credit for Caprice Hill's excellent season to his mother, Donna Lee. "Everybody who knows the filly knows that this is my Mom's pride and joy and she's done a great job with her," he said. "(Caprice Hill) is just very easy on herself, rests, does all the right things, good eater and that's why she looks as great now as she has all year." Owned by Tom Hill of Hamilton, Ontario, Caprice Hill is nearing millionaire status with $980,377 in lifetime earnings following the Casual Breeze victory. She paid $2.90 to win. Caprice Hill Up next for the three-year-old trotting fillies is the Simcoe Stakes next Friday (September 2) followed by the Elegantimage eliminations. Emoticon Hanover and Caprice Hill are both eligible to those upcoming events. Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack with the eliminations of the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady headlining the card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

AUGUST 6, 2016 – Trainer John Bax and driver Steve Byron teamed up to win three of four $18,000 Grassroots divisions at Hanover Raceway on Saturday evening. The pair had the winning touch right from the start, as Byron piloted Tymal Declan to a gate-to-wire victory in the first division, reaching the finish almost 10 lengths ahead of the field in 2:04.4. Hopeswishesndreams, who is owned by trainer Gregg McNair and Doug McNair of Guelph, Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. of Harriston and James Cantelon of Thornton, ON, finished third and Tax Savings completed the top three. “I actually really like her,” said Byron. “She missed the last Grassroots from sickness, and she was really strong tonight. I actually thought that she could get better as the year went on; she’s a nice big mare.” The win was Tymal Declan’s first. In the July 10 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs she was fifth and on July 21 at Mohawk Racetrack she was fourth. Campbellville resident Bax shares ownership of the Kadabra daughter with Anderson Family Stables of Campbellville, Happy Trails Stables of London, ON and Gordon Wright of Charlotte, MI. The group acquired the filly from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $52,000. The second Grassroots division went to division point leader Inner Drive, who also led from start to finish, hitting the wire in 2:03.3.Stritch was three and one-half lengths behind the fan favourite in third, while Byron and Bax trainee Windsong Normandie claimed the third spot. Ross Battin crafted Inner Drive’s third straight Grassroots victory for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The homebred daughter of Kadabra and Urge To Splurge boasts a five race record of three wins and one second for earnings of $30,500. Byron and Bax were back in the winner’s circle following the third Grassroots division as Parkhill Nocredit cruised around the Hanover Raceway half-mile in 2:06. Hab Faith finished second for owners Gwen McNair of Walkerton and her son, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and fan favourite Man Shes Hot settled for third. “She gets pretty fired up, but Steve said she was pretty relaxed tonight,” noted Bax. Off a :30.4 quarter, the filly laid down a 1:05.1 half and then picked up the tempo again for a 1:35.4 three-quarters. “I don’t know why. She warmed up relaxed, usually she pulls a ton, but for whatever reason she was pretty calm tonight. “I love her desire, I just wish she was a hand taller, but she sure wants to be a racehorse,” added the horseman, who also bred the daughter of Federal Flex and Harlequin Seelster. In the first three Grassroots events Parkhill Nocredit had finished fourth (July 10), third (July 21) and second (July 29), and Saturday’s victory bumps her into third spot in the division standings with 95 points. Bax shares ownership of the filly with his son Marshall Bax of Hamilton, ON and father and son were joined in the winner’s circle by Hanover Raceway’s victorious “Be A Winner” finalist Jim Spence. Spence placed his “Be A Winner” ballot in the box belonging to Parkhill Nocredit and when the filly emerged victorious he joined the Bax’s in the winner’s circle for a photo and trophy presentation. The final division saw Byron and Majestic Wanda edge out of the pocket in the stretch and reel in pacesetter Late Shift, getting a head in front to record the 2:03.4 victory. Late Shift settled for second and Hilarious Honey completed the top three. “I said to somebody before the race, ‘If Steve gets around the track, Steve will be a magician,’” recalled Bax. “She warmed up terrible. She was looking, and going sideways, and running and not paying attention. “So I wasn’t very optimistic, and I’m thinking, at least I’ve had a real good night and you know, this one, it doesn’t matter what she does, it won’t dampen it,” the trainer continued. “And then she goes ahead and does what she does, and I’m thinking, wow, I must have been a good boy this week, looking up at the stars and they’re all lined up.” Heading into Saturday’s test Majestic Wanda had made breaks in both of her previous Grassroots starts and Bax had made the rare decision to add trotting hopples to her equipment. The move, and the winning streak Byron and Bax were enjoying, convinced Hanover Raceway fans, who sent the Majestic Son daughter off as their top choice. Bax, John Houston of Cobourg, Ken Ewen of Georgetown and Bruce Norris of Caledon East offered up $25,000 for Majestic Wanda at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. In addition to the trio of Grassroots wins, Byron also appeared in the winner’s circle with pacing colt Rumour Has It Eh after the fifth race, giving the Thornton, ON resident four wins on the program. “It’s one of those nights everything went good, you keep your fingers crossed hoping for those,” said Byron. “I’ve been lucky enough to drive for John and some good trainers, they usually have them set up pretty good for me, I’m lucky that way. “I actually like driving at this track, it’s one of my favourites in Ontario,” added the reinsman. Byron and Bax will have an opportunity to replicate their Hanover Raceway success when the two-year-old trotting fillies make their fifth Grassroots start on August 15 at Mohawk Racetrack. Ontario Racing

Nichols, N.Y. -- Scott Woogen's Six Bax ($26.80) held off stern pressure to upset as the longest shot on the board in Saturday (August 6) evening's featured $11,000 Open 1 Trot at Tioga Downs, giving harness racing driver Jim Taggart, Jr. one of his four wins on the 10-race card.   The 7-year-old Kadabra gelding emerged with the early lead, forcing Don Dorado (Mike Simons) into the pocket through a :27.1 first quarter before bracing for an extended first-over challenge from Its Payday Friday (Ronnie Morales) through middle splits of :56.2 and 1:24.3. Six Bax dug in to rebuff the challenge of Its Payday Friday on the far turn and subsequently held sway of a belated rally from Oh No Three O (Jeff Long), who swung four-wide in the straight off a fourth-over trip. Six Bax prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.3, while Oh No Three O finished a neck better than Its Payday Friday to just claim second.   Gary Messenger trains Six Bax, who scored his sixth win in 16 tries this year. Messenger and Taggart also teamed up with Cool Breeze de Vie ($2.40, 1:54.4) and I'm Fabulous ($5.60, 1:57), while Steven Moore trainee Murs Son ($16.80, 2:00) rounded out Taggart's driving grand slam.   The 50¢ Pick 5 will carry over again to Sunday (August 7) afternoon's 12-race card, with $531.91 of added money on the line should anyone succeed in selecting the first five winners. Post time for the Sunday opener is set for 1:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Batavia, NY---The quickest route between two points is a straight line and that was the harness racing game plan for Noble Legend to win the $10,500 Open trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 5). Leaving from post one, Noble Legend (Kevin Cummings) fired off the gate and went right to the lead with Lutetium (Todd Cummings) prompting him from the outside. After the field passed the quarter in :29, Lutetium finally found his way clear and took the lead. From there the group remained unchanged to the half in a pedestrian 1:00 clocking. As they headed into the clubhouse turn, Shawnee Magic (Ray Fisher Jr.) came first over and drew even with Lutetium, leaving Noble Legend in the pocket with perfect cover. The two trotted in tandem by three-quarters and around the far turn to the head of the stretch when Shawnee Magic faded, Lutetium bore out slightly and Noble Legend made a bee-line straight up the pylons to a two-length victory in 1:59.1. J A T O (Mike Caprio) finished second in a furious rush coming from last and Lutetium hung on for third. It was the seventh win of the year for Noble Legend ($3.00) and it pushed his 2016 earnings to $43,238 for owners Vogel & Wags Nags and Jack Rice. The 4-year-old gelded son of Kadabra-Lovin It is trained by Maria Rice. Noble Legend was one of three winners that trainer Maria Rice sent postward on Friday. She also captured both halves of the early double with Pan Street USA ($3.60) and Schlim Schlamma ($7.80). Kevin Cummings and Jack Flanigen both had a driving triples on the night and trainer Mike Carrubba sent two horses to the winner's enclosure for photographs. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday evening (Aug. 6) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

AUGUST 4, 2016 - After trips to Innisfil, Campbellville and Elora to watch Hab Faith compete in the Ontario Sires Stakes, Walkerton resident Gwen McNair is looking forward to catching the two-year-old trotting filly in harness racing action at Hanover Raceway on Saturday. "I haven't missed her yet. I was down for the baby races at Mohawk, and I was over in Georgian, and I was at Mohawk and Grand River," said McNair. "I went over to Georgian by myself, about a two hour and 10 minute drive over to that one, lots of driving, but the roads and the weather are good. I just like to be able to say that I did it." In the first three Grassroots events, Hab Faith posted two seconds and one third, putting her in fourth spot in the division standings with 62 points. McNair bred and raised the daughter of Kadabra and Sweetmarie Ofgrace, who is a half-sister to $1 million winner Son Of Grace, and noted that the filly's runner-up results may be a product of her hot-blooded genes. "She is a handful in the paddock, she's anxious, she's pawing, but she got that from her grandmother and the mother does the same thing," explained the long-time owner and breeder. "Last Friday night (at Grand River), scoring out she was just not paying attention and was not behaving, she was doing all kinds of things. I think she wore herself out in her warm up, because she kind of packed it in a bit in the stretch. "It probably goes back in her breeding, she's a handful, but it's something to see a two-year-old filly trotter at the racetrack, let along behaving herself at all," McNair added. Hab Faith will make her fourth Grassroots start from Post 3 in the third Grassroots division, with Walkerton resident Terry Fritz in the race bike for McNair and her son, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph. Among the fillies Hab Faith will face in the sixth race are Parkhill Nocredit, who also has three runner-up results through the first three events, from Post 1, and Man Shes Hot, who has one win, one second and one third, from Post 5. "I'm hoping she does really well for the home crowd," said McNair. "But she's flighty and feisty and the whole thing, so... "It's quite a gamble, the whole thing, but I wouldn't want it any other way," she added philosophically. In addition to watching Hab Faith and her peers battle in the sixth race, one lucky Hanover Raceway fan will have an opportunity to meet the winner and her connections. Ontario Sires Stakes staff will be on hand Saturday night with the "Be A Winner" contest and by placing a ballot in the box representing their favourite filly, one fan could wind up in the winner's circle. One ballot will be selected from the boxes representing each filly in Race 6 and those finalists will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes t-shirt, ball cap, and lanyard badge, along with a $15 win-place-show wager on their chosen horse. After cheering their fillies home, the representative of the winning filly will add an Ontario Sires Stakes jacket and golf shirt to their goodie bag, in addition to receiving a trophy and commemorative photo with the winner and her connections. Finally, the winning finalist will receive a $50 wagering voucher to employ through the remaining races. Finalists of a different sort, those qualifying for the Country 93 Survivor Contest Finale, will also be paying close attention to the Grassroots divisions as they aim to accurately predict the winners in hopes of taking home one of three great prizes, topped by a 55-inch HD television. The two-year-old trotting fillies will be featured in Races 2, 4, 6, and 8 on Hanover Raceway's action-packed Saturday evening program, with all the excitement getting under way at 7:15 pm. Ontario Racing

JULY 16, 2016 - Mohawk Racetracks fans enjoyed a double feature of Ontario Sires Stakes action on Saturday evening as both the three-year-old trotting fillies and two-year-old pacing colts competed in a pair of $105,000 Gold Series divisions. First up were the trotting fillies and 2015 division champ Caprice Hill was an easy winner in the opener. The Kadabra daughter and driver Randy Waples took command before the half and were on cruise control for the remainder of the mile, reaching the finish in 1:54. Pocket-sitter Emoticon Hanover was one length back second and Flowers N Songs was three more to the rear in third. "She's just a one of those special animals that just come around every once in a while in a guy's career," said Milton, ON resident Waples from the winner's circle. "She has no flaws; she's perfect gaited, she does everything you want her to do, and she loves her job. And she's got a big motor in her." Waples engineered Caprice Hill's third win in four sophomore starts for New Jersey-based trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill of Hamilton, ON. The winner of $754,377 has only been bested once in seven Ontario Sires Stakes starts and only four times in 14 career starts. While Caprice Hill picked up her sixth Gold Series trophy, the second division went to a filly earning her very first. Starting from Post 7 in the seven-filly field, driver Jody Jamieson allowed Jarette AS to ease away from the starting gate and settle in at the back of the pack while Radiant Beam, Jangone and Tymal Tempest skirmished for position at the front. Radiant Beam won the early battle, reaching the quarter in :28.2, but fan favourite Tymal Tempest took over before the :56.3 half. Catch A Mission started the forward march from the backfield, pursued by Jarette AS and Royal Charm and it was those two fillies who thrilled fans with their late stretch combat, battling through the wire in 1:53.2. Jarette AS emerged the winner by a head, leaving Royal Charm with the second-place finisher's spoils. Catch A Mission was three and one-half lengths back in third. "She's a nice little filly. She wasn't the smoothest until she got into full gear in the stretch, and then she just trotted by," said Moffat, ON resident Jamieson. "I was real impressed" Jamieson added that he felt fortunate to be asked to drive Jarette AS for trainer Anette Lorentzon and owners ACL Stuteri AB of Paris, KY and Kjell Johansson of Sosdala, Sweden. The Striking Sahbra daughter made her first five sophomore starts south of the border, shipping north after a July 10 contest at Pocono Downs. A Grassroots winner at two, Jarette AS now boasts a sophomore record of three wins, one second and earnings of $70,675 through six starts. The second OSS feature saw Streakavana kick things off with an impressive victory for new owners Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton and trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown, ON, who acquired the two-year-old pacing colt on July 10. In rein to Sylvain Filion, Streakavana left smartly from Post 2, allowed The Dark Shadow to control the pace to the :27.1 quarter, but then went straight back to the front. Brave World and driver Doug McNair came calling heading for the :56.3 half, but Filion opted to maintain his position and urged Streakavana forward to the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Once the Big Jim son had shifted into overdrive he simply pulled away from the field, reaching the wire four and one-quarter lengths the best in 1:52.2. "I was hoping to get covered up by one of the favourites, but nobody showed up, just Dougie (McNair) kind of come late and his horse got a little steppy, so I decided to keep going," explained Filion. "And when I pulled the plugs at the top of the stretch, he just took off." The Dark Shadow followed Streakavana into second and Yogi Bayama was driven into third-place by Yves Filion, Sylvain Filion's father. The Milton resident had driven Yogi Bayama to a Grassroots victory at Mohawk on July 7 and encouraged his father to move Yogi Bayama up to the Gold Series level. "He was a little upset when I told him I was going to try the other colt, but he understands," said Filion of the conversation with his father, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame on August 3. Similar conversations may continue to take place over the remainder of the season, as Filion also captured the second Gold Series division with Tony O'Sullivan trainee Happy Trio. The colt fired away from Post 5 to reach the quarter in :27 and then allowed Sports Column to take command heading for the :57 half. Sports Column continued to lead the field through the 1:25.3 three-quarters, but when Happy Trio stepped out of the pocket he was able to accelerate past the heavy favourite and claim a neck victory in 1:53.2. Sports Column settled for second and Big Bad Bill was well back in third. "My horse raced great," said Filion of Happy Trio, who had finished second to Sports Column in the Gold Series season opener. "I couldn't get to him(Sports Column) last time, and tonight we were able to go by him. It's either his wasn't 100 per cent or mine's getting better." Puslinch resident O'Sullivan conditions the Mach Three colt for his partners Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton and Lorne Keller of Exeter, ON. In three starts Happy Trio has tallied one win, one second and earnings of $79,870. "They're both nice colts, they're both very nice colts," said Filion of Streakavana and Happy Trio. "They're still green, they're still learning, so I expect they'll go even faster miles next time out." The two-year-old pacing colts will make their third Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 11, while the three-year-old trotting fillies head to Georgian Downs on August 7. On Monday evening, July 18, the two-year-old pacing fillies will return to Mohawk for their second Gold Series event, facing off in Races 2, 4, and 9. The first race rolls in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 11 - Returning to Mohawk after a pair of stakes engagements south of the border, Flanagan Memory turned in a stunning harness racing performance Monday night. A field of seven competed in the $34,000 Preferred Trot with Flanagan Memory headlining the field as the heavy 1/5 favourite. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Flanagan Memory made a second-quarter move to the front from third to overtake Whiskey Tax, who cut a big opening-quarter of :26.2. The public's choice grabbed command to post a half-mile clocking of :54.4. After a third-quarter of :29, Flanagan Memory quick separated himself from his rivals at the top of the lane pulled cleared to big advantage. The Rene Dion trainee cruised home confidently in :27.3 to win by nine lengths in 1:51.2. Whiskey Tax finished second, while the lone mare in field, Charmed Life, was third. A six-year-old son of Kadabra, Flanagan Memory was making his Mohawk return Monday after finishing second in the Cutler Memorial at The Meadowlands on June 24 and third in the Hill Memorial at Scioto Downs on June 11. The veteran trotter surpassed $1 million in career earnings for owners Liette Flanagan and Dion with his runner-up finish in the Cutler. Flanagan Memory now has three wins in six starts this season and a 2016 bankroll of $125,200. The Dion trainee had only two wins last season, but banked nearly $300,000 in 15 starts. Flanagan Memory, who now has 16 career victories, established a new career-mark with his 1:51.2 mile on Monday. The clocking also equaled Domitian Hall and Rubber Duck's national season's mark. Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie  

JULY 5, 2016 - Two-year-old trotting fillies were the stars of the show at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, making their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts in a trio of $70,000 Gold Series divisions. Winter Sweet Frost kicked things off in the first race with an effortless front-end tour of the Innisfil oval, clocking fractions of :30.2, :59.3 and 1:29.4 on her way to a 1:59.3 victory. Lady Justice closed to within one-half length of the pacesetter to secure second-place honours and Gravitator was a length back in third. "She raced good tonight," said driver Doug McNair. "The track hasn't been that fast up there, so to go a mile in 1:59.3, I think that's a pretty good mile for a two-year-old trotting filly's first lifetime start." The Guelph, ON resident piloted Winter Sweet Frost to victory for trainer Paul Reid of De Leon Springs, FL and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The Kadabra daughter was sent off as the fan favourite after winning a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 10 and 24, and McNair said he was impressed with the filly long before she made her public debut. "The main thing about her is she's nice gaited and she's smart," said McNair, who first sat behind Winter Sweet Frost in a spring training mile. "You can make a lot of money with one's like that, rather than a high speed one that's half crazy." After finishing third with Gravitator, driver Sylvian Filion found the winner's circle in the second Gold division, piloting On A Sunny Day to a come-from-behind victory in 1:59. The duo reeled in pacesetter Sweet Of My Heart and pocket sitter Im Peekers, reaching the wire one-half length the best. "She really impressed me," said Filion, who crafted the victory for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC. "That was the first time I sat behind her, but Luc always told me he really, really liked her and you know what, he was right. She was real impressive tonight." Blais also bred the daughter of Muscle Mass, who prepped for her Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) debut with qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 16 and 24, finishing fourth and second, respectively. "Her last baby race she came a last quarter in :27.1," noted Milton, ON resident Filion. "She's a handy filly, she's pretty easy to drive, she's pretty mature for her age, and she's got wicked speed, so it's a good combination." Filion, who was the leading reinsman in the OSS in 2015, was also impressed with Gravitator's third-place result. "I really liked the way she raced tonight, we got interfered with, were gapped, and she was still only beat a length and a half or something like that," said the reinsman. "She came a very good last half." Blais trains the Kadabra daughter, a full-sister to former OSS star and $870,153 winner Prestidigitator, for Determination. She was an $80,000 acquisition from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The final Gold division was captured by Janderson and driver Paul MacDonell, who swept by duelling leaders Mass Psychology and Majestic Kat in the stretch and pulled away to a three length victory in 1:59.3. "The race set up kind of nice for her, she got away third in a nice spot there, and then the first and second horses went at it kind of hard down the backstretch, which kind of made the race for her," said MacDonell. "In her only qualifier she did have a lot of trot on the end of her mile, so I was a little bit confident," added the reinsman, who tipped the filly out three-wide around the final turn to take clear aim on the finish line. MacDonell pilots the Muscle Mass filly for trainer Mike Keeling of Cambridge and owners Dr. Roly Armitage of Dunrobin and James Armitage of Carp, ON. A $14,000 purchase from the Canadian Open Yearling Sale, Janderson learned her early lessons from the Armitage's before making the move to Keeling's barn. "They trained her down in the Ottawa area and then they sent her to Mike just recently," noted MacDonell. "They did a good job with her, a very nice job. "They were pretty pumped, it was a big win for them," the Guelph, ON resident added. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start on July 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. This Saturday, July 9, Georgian Down will welcome the two-year old trotting colts to Innisfil for their Gold Series debuts. The evening's first race gets under way at 7:15 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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