Harness racing three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits set the fields for their $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series Finals with eight $20,000 Semifinals Saturday (September 20) at Mohawk Racetrack. The top five horses in each Semifinal moved on to next week’s Finals. Pacing Males High Flier (J. Harris) left out fast from his post nine starting spot in the first Semifinal, and he had the lead at the :26.1 opening quarter. Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) was in second at that point, but he moved to the outside and took control before the :55.1 half. Regal Son (Randy Waples) then rolled the dice first-over out of fourth, and he would match strides with Shadow Place at the 1:23.2 three-quarters. Regal Son forged his way around Shadow Place in the lane, but High Flier got a lane up the inside, and he took advantage, getting up to win by a head in 1:52.1. Shadowbriand (Mike Saftic) turned a second-over trip into the runner-up spot and Regal Son finished third. Some Major Beach (Doug McNair) came in fourth, followed by V I P Bayama (Sylvain Filion). Trainer David Taff of Waterdown, Ontario, shares ownership of High Flier, a Shadow Play colt, with Christopher Nicol of West Yorkshire, England. High Flier, who won at the Grassroots level on June 13 at Mohawk, has won five times from 11 attempts in 2014, and he has six career tallies. He has earned $43,436 this year and $47,386 in his life. Atomic Million AM (Rick Zeron) shot through from the pole position to take the field of ten to the :27.1 first quarter in the second Semifinal, but favoured Titus Seelster (Sylvain Filion) vacated the pocket past that marker, and he became the new front-stepper before the :56.3 half. Titus Seelster still had command at the 1:24.4 three-quarters while he felt some first-over pressure from Regal Babe (Doug McNair). Titus Seelster continued to hold Regal Babe off as they raced through the lane, but a number of horses began to close in on the leaders inside the final sixteenth, and it would be 50-1 shot Nirvana Seelster (Phil Hudon) charging up on the far outside to win the race in 1:53.4. Atomic Million AM, who lacked room for much of the stretch drive, was the runner-up and Regal Babe checked in third. Titus Seelster faded to fourth and Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) rallied to get fifth. Nirvana Seelster is a Camluck gelding trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy of Brockville, Ont. Nirvana Seelster, who was unraced at two, now has a trio of wins from 19 efforts and has put away $52,296. He was bred by Seelster Farms. Trotting Males Warrawee Promesse (Wayne Henry), who was starting from post ten and gunning for his eighth consecutive victory, took the lead away from 80-1 shot Hetties Commander (Paul MacKenzie) just after the :27.4 first quarter in the Semifinal opener for this bunch. Warrawee Promesse would go on to reach the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:27, never facing a serious challenge along the way. At the top of the lane Henry asked Warrawee Promesse to kick away, but inside the final sixteenth he was overhauled by several challengers, including Kremlin (Sylvain Filion), who rallied from next-to-last at three-quarters to the win by a quarter of a length in 1:57.1. Hetties Commander shook loose from the pocket and wound up second with Tyrone Haji (Randy Waples) nabbed third. Warrawee Promesse had to settle for fourth and Massive Pockets (Jody Jamieson) survived a tough outside journey to finish fifth. Richard Moreau trains Kremlin, a Kadabra gelding, for owner Mike Wassilyn of Rockwood, Ontario. Kremlin, a winner in Grassroots competition on June 9 at Mohawk, scored his fifth triumph from 15 efforts this season and his seventh career victory. Bred by Overseas Farms Ltd., Kremlin has put away $45,472 on the campaign and $55,352 lifetime. It looked like Totally Ripped (Steve Byron) was going to the lead in the other Semifinal, but then he went off-stride, leaving Jack Litten (Doug McNair) in first at the :27.3 opening quarter. Justcallmeronald (Jody Jamieson) then popped out of the pocket, and he would take the lead before the 58 second half-mile marker. Justcallmeronald would go on to click off three-quarters in 1:27.4, but McNair angled Jack Litten back out of the two-hole in the lane, and he would out-trot Justcallmeronald late in the mile to prevail by just over a length in 1:57.4. Justcallmeronald, Ramas Last Son (Steve Condren), Crowningcrest (James MacDonald) and Taurus Seelster (Randy Waples) rounded out the top-five finishers. Jack Litten is a Muscle Mass gelding trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Jack Litten, who did not compete as a two-year-old, has three wins from 12 starts in 2014, and he has put away $48,962. Jack Litten, who was bred by Tony Holmes and Walter Zent, also won in Grassroots competition on June 26 and September 2 at Mohawk. Pacing Fillies 70-1 shot Stellllllla (Jody Jamieson) held the lead at the :27.2 first quarter in the Semifinal opener, but Murrayfield (Sylvain Filion) would take over the front prior to the :56.1 half. Murrayfield then came under siege from first-over challenger Regally Ready (Doug McNair), and Murrayfield and Regally Ready were head-and-head at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. In the stretch Regally Ready put away Murrayfield, but then Bet Ya (Paul MacDonell) came from off cover to duel with the new leader. Meanwhile, 3-5 favourite Dana Dearest (Chris Christoforou), who had been fourth-over at three-quarters, began to close in as well. Regally Ready managed to fight off Bet Ya, but Dana Dearest was unrelenting with her brush, and she got up to win by about a neck in 1:53.3. Regally Ready came in second and Bet Ya was third. Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic) checked in fourth and Double Joy (Mario Baillargeon) finished fifth. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ontario. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going eight-for-15. She has season’s earnings of $77,820 and a career bankroll of $82,048. Dana Dearest has only been defeated once in five Grassroots starts in 2014. Her Own Land (James MacDonald), the public’s 4-5 choice, led through fractions of :26.4, :56.1, and 1:24 on her way to a 1:54 decision in the second Semifinal. She beat runner-up Shadows Wonder (Chris Christoforou) by about two lengths with Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) back in third. Fourth went to Born To Dream and Royal Mama (Steve Condren) collected fifth. Dave Menary trains Her Own Land, a filly by Blissfull Hall, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land now has five wins in Grassroots company and six wins from 14 starts overall this year. Now a seven-time winner in her career, Her Own Land has earned $77,490 in 2014 and $87,050 lifetime. Trotting Fillies In the first Semifinal for this group it would be Serendipitious (Chris Christoforou) who took the field of ten through fractions of :27.4, :58.3, and 1:28. Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) attacked the pace-setter from first-over on the final bend, and that gave a second-over tow to public choice Mystical Wishes (Doug McNair). Serendiptious put away Flexible Woman turning for home, but Mystical Wishes was sent into three-wide territory for McNair, and she would trot past the pace-setter on her way to a 1:56.4 victory. Serendiptious held second, beaten a length by the winner, and Diamonds For Life (Sylvain Filion) took third. Also securing positions in next week’s final were fourth-place finisher Missys Ga Ga (John Campbell) and fifth-place filly Chelseas Chance (Randy Waples). Tony Alagna trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, for co-owner/breeder Mystical Marker Farms LLC. of Dyer and co-owner Peggy Hood of Valparaiso, Indiana. Mystical Wishes is eight-for-13 in the win column this year after going winless in four tries as a rookie. Mystical Wishes has earned $63,990 in 2014 and $67,740 lifetime. This was Mystical Wishes’s fourth OSS win of the year, joining her successes on August 12 at Mohawk, September 2 at Mohawk, and September 11 at Flamboro Downs. Quadrophenia (James MacDonald) blasted out from post ten to take the second Semifinal field to the opening quarter in 28 seconds, but 3-5 favourite and point standings leader Torches Star (Steve Condren) trotted her way to the top before the :57.1 half. Torches Star was still the boss at the 1:27.2 three-quarters, but she didn’t have her best game on this night, and she was overtaken by first-over challenger Doweypuffandhow (Steve Byron) with an eighth of a mile to go. A host of closers were coming after the new leader, though, and trotting fastest of all was Lenny Mac (Randy Waples), who surged from third-over at the top of the lane to win in 1:57.3. Wonderland Snow (Trevor Henry) split horses to get second and Quadrophenia was third. Nickange Two (Mike Saftic) got fourth at 60-1 and Northern Secret (Mario Baillargeon) nailed down the last spot in the final. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, also co-owns Lenny Mac, a filly by Kadabra, with partner Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, Ontario. McIntosh also bred Lenny Mac with C S X Stables and Michael Kohler. Lenny Mac has four triumphs from 14 trips behind the gate this year, and this was her seventh career trip to the winner’s circle. She has banked $57,759 this season and $97,099 in her life. This was Lenny Mac’s third Grassroots win of the season, matching her total from her freshman campaign. Mohawk Racetrack will roll out the red carpet again next Saturday night with eight $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Finals for two- and three-year-olds. For full results of this Saturday night’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0920mohsn.dat. OSS News
Regal Babe earned the top spot in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots point standings for harness racing three-year-old pacing colts with his victory in the first of four $18,000 divisions tonight at Mohawk Racetrack. Chattanooga Jim was the early leader in the first division, hitting the first marker in :26.2. Littlebitaclass took over the lead just past that point and was at the half in :56. Moving up to challenge was favourite Regal Babe who was neck and neck with the leader at the 1:25.1 three-quarters. Regal Babe, a son of Stonebridge Regal, took over through the lane for Doug McNair and held on to win in 1:52.3 over Shadowbriand and Recharge. An ultra consistent performer, Regal Babe has three wins and nine seconds in 13 starts this year for trainer Gregg McNair and owner/breeder Robert Chapple of Chatham, Ontario. With leading point earner Regal Son, another Stonebridge Regal son, not competing tonight after three Grassroots victories, Regal Babe earns the top spot for point earnings in this group. Titus Seelster was first to the top in the second split, hitting the quarter in :26.1 for Sylvain Filion, the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.2. He had several lengths on his rivals heading down the stretch and could not be caught, hitting the wire first in 1:51. Atomic Million AM closed well to take second while Waterside Light earned show. It was the second straight Grassroots victory for Titus Seelster, a son of Artistic Fella owned by Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms of Quebec and trained by Stephane Larocque. The Optimist led the way to the :26.2 first quarter in the third division for Paul MacDonell. Some Major Beach was alongside at the :54.2 half and that pair raced as a team towards the third panel but were passed by a three wide Shadow Place who hit the three-quarters in 1:23 and opened up down the lane to win comfortably in 1:51.1 for catch driver Jonathan Drury. Waco Bruiser got up for second while The Optimist held for third. Shadow Place, a son of Shadow Play, was recording his third win in eight starts this year for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Henri Hebert Jr., Les Ecuries Bruce and a numbered company all from Quebec. The fourth and final test had Hope For Hopelands leading the group through a :26.1 opener but Cluster Hanover quickly took over and he was then passed by VIP Bayama before the :54.4 half. VIP Bayama hit the three-quarters in 1:23.1 but was hauled down in the late going by Hall Bro and Luc Ouellette who hit the wire first in 1:52.1. In the blanket finish it was OK Galahad second and Andreios Kardia third. Owned by breeder Ferme Brodeur of Terrebonne, Quebec, Hall Bro was notching his sixth win in 13 trips behind the starting gate this year. This group will meet up again at Rideau Carleton Raceway on September 7. To view the complete results from tonight’s card at Mohawk, please click Mohawk Results - August 19. Ontario Sire Stakes
Warrawee Promesse and trainer/driver Wayne Henry romped to an open length victory in the $78,800 Dream Of Glory Trot for Ontario-sired three-year-old trotting colts and fillies on Sunday evening at Hanover Raceway. The Henry family swept the top three spots with Wayne driving Warrawee Promesse to the 1:58 victory over brother Trevor aboard Aventure and nephew Travis with Erin Hall. Leaving from post five, Warrawee Promesse worked his way to the lead over Erin Hall through the :28.4 opening quarter. He continued to lead past the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:28 while beginning to draw away from the rest of the field. Meanwhile, Kremlin and Billy Davis Jr. advanced first over, but stalled on the outside prompting 4-5 favourite Aventure to rally wide from the backfield in his pursuit of the leader. However, Warrawee Promesse had opened up nearly five lengths on top turning for home and could not be caught. "I left out of there and it took me a little while [to make the lead]," said Henry after the race. "I didn't want to rush him too much because he's been known to run in this first turn before. Once he made the front, he was pretty much on his own." Warrawee Promesse now boasts three consecutive wins in seven starts this year with his sophomore earnings soaring to $51,940. The Windsong Espoir gelding is owned by the Henry Stable of Arthur, Ont. and Fred Brayford of Alliston, Ont. Warrawee Promesse paid $6.30 to win as the 2-1 second choice. Track Record Set In Ontario Sires Stakes Coming into Sunday evening’s program at Hanover Raceway, the track record for a three-year-old pacing gelding was 1:55.1, established by Bandexter on July 17, 2010. Well, after the five $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots dashes that took place over the half-mile oval, the mark had been lowered to 1:53.4, and it belonged to a trio of geldings. The first gelding to smash the track record was Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) in the second section. Shadow Place came first-over past the :27.3 opening quarter and then battled on the outside of High Flier (Stu Sowerby) through the half in :56.1 and the three-quarters in 1:23.4. High Flier fought the good fight into the lane and continued to keep Shadow Place at bay, but in deep stretch Shadow Place finally forged his way past. The race wasn’t over, though, as Lucky King (James MacDonald), who had followed from second-over, lunged at Shadow Place at the wire, but in the win photo it was revealed that Shadow Place had just held on, defeating Lucky King by a nose. High Flier was third, beaten a length. Richard Moreau trains Shadow Place, a son of Shadow Play, for Quebec owners 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. of St-Janvier-Mirabel, Les Ecuries Bruce of Piedmont, and Henri Hebert Jr. of Papineauville. Shadow Place has now won twice from six tries this year, and he has four career victories. He has put away $23,440 in 2014 and $51,522 lifetime. Shadios (Billy Davis Jr.) then equaled the new 1:53.4 track record for a sophomore pacing gelding in the fourth Grassroots flight. Fresh off a fast 1:50.3 victory in Grassroots action last time out at Georgian Downs, Shadios led through fractions of :27.3, :56.4 and 1:25.1 en route to a one and three-quarter length decision over Waco Bruiser (Travis Henry). Some Major Beach (Jody Jamieson) collected third. Tony Alagna trains Shadios, also sired by Shadow Play, for Great Britain-based owner Tom Hill. Shadios has won four times from seven starts this year, and he has five career triumphs. He has earned $35,860 in his sophomore campaign and $50,150 in his life. The time of 1:53.4 also flashed up on the clock following the Grassroots nightcap. This time it was Titus Seelster(Sylvain Filion) who added his name to the record book after nosing out Blacktree (Trevor Henry) at the wire after showing the way through stations of :27.1, :57.3 and 1:25.1. Finishing in third was Arrived Late (James MacDonald). Stephane Larocque trains the victorious son of Artistic Fella for Quebec owners Brian Paquet of Quebec City and Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil. Titus Seelster, making his sixth trip behind the gate this year, broke through for the initial win of his season, and it was his second lifetime tally. He has banked $16,027 this year and $56,152 lifetime. The other Grassroots races were won by: --Little Ben (sired by Jeremes Jet), who halted the clock in 1:54.2 for driver Trevor Henry, trainer Richard Moreau, and owners Luc Ouellette Incorporated and Anita Ouellette of Campbellville, Ont. --Reasonable Force (Shadow Play), who was a 1:55.1 victor for driver James MacDonald, trainer Tony Montini, and owners Doug Dunbar of London, Ont. and Robert Leblanc of White Plains, New York. Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action for the three-year-old male pacers will resume on August 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Suzanne D'Ambrose, of Neptune, N.J, is the winner of the 2014 Stanley Dancer Award from the N.J. Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. The award honors an individual whose efforts on behalf of racing and cooperation with the media are in keeping with the example set by the late Hall of Fame driver and trainer Stanley Dancer, a native of New Egypt, N.J. D'Ambrose, a retired high school teacher and mounted police officer, has given countless hours of both her time and that of her family-friendly 13 -year-old trotter, Independent Act, aka Indy, in doing outreach events for the Standardbred industry. D'Ambrose and Indy have appeared at libraries throughout the state to help celebrate New Jersey's Month of the Horse each June. This month so far, the duo will be at the Howell Library at 6 pm on June 11, the Manalapan Library on June 30, as well as June 29 at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge, N.J. Indy has patiently been petted and fed carrots by hundreds of adults and children, many of them making their first ever equine encounter. He has often been the only "boy" at Girl Scout camps where D'Ambrose teaches horsemanship. D'Ambrose, who is a freelance equine massage therapist, also volunteers extensively with the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) on fund raising events as well as helping with adoption outreach events. She even provides complimentary massages for horses rehabilitating from racing injuries and awaiting adoption. Independent Act retired from racing at age 6 and now accompanies D'Ambrose as the two represent the breed in parades, hunter paces, Western trail classes and showmanship competition. Previous winners of the Dancer Award, since1991, were drivers John Campbell, Herve Filion, Ray Remmen and Luc Ouellette; trainers Robbie Siegelman, Kevin and John McDermott, Kelly Stackowicz and George Teague Jr.; the father-son team of Carl and Rod Allen; the duo of trainer Jimmy Takter and owner/amateur driver Mal Burroughs, the Meirs Family of Walnridge Farms for the Niatross Tour, Robert J. Sharkey, the go-to guy at Meadowlands, SBOA of New Jersey President Tom Luchento, Meadowlands General Manager Chris McErlean, the late veterinarian Dr. Pat Knapman. By Ellen Harvey, for the New Jersey chapter of USHWA
Darren Crowe is a 23 year veteran who feels blessed to have been able to be in harness racing for this long. Darren has been one of the leading drivers at Truro Raceway for many years and has made quite an impact on horsemen throughout his career, including last year's top driver, Ryan Ellis. "The last four years we've been going at it" says Darren about the competition between him and Ryan Ellis for top driver at Truro Raceway. It's definitely about bragging rights and as Darren says "we give it to each other pretty good." One thing all horsemen enjoy is joking and having fun with one another. "I enjoy my job and I love getting out of bed each morning and coming to work and a lot of people can't say that" says Darren about his passion for working with horses. Darren in past years raced in Alberta and in Ontario at Western Fair Raceway and Flamboro Downs. One key race Darren drove in was the Nat Christie in Alberta. "It was pretty cool; I just got there a couple days before I went to work for Meridian Farms. Bill Andrews, he had a couple of horses in it and one of them made the finals, so it was pretty cool to be in it. I think Hawaiian Cowboy won it that year." Darren says. Hawaiian Cowboy won the Nat Christie in 2001 by 4 ½ lengths driven by Luc Ouellette. Darren is currently the Active Director for Standardbred Canada in the Atlantic region and his goal is to voice the opinions and concerns of his fellow horsemen constructively. Darren is a family man with a two-year-old son Brennan and his wife of three years is Robyn. "We weren't going to have any children, but we decided to have one.... I love spending the afternoons with him. We have this little fella and we are happy with him so we are going to quit at one." Darren says with a chuckle. To the point, when it comes to horse racing, Darren's most proud of being able to do what he loves for this length of time. He definitely doesn't take his work for granted. "Once you have a kid your perspective on life changes a bit. Things that used to bother me, like getting parked in a race or a horse going lame... things happen and you move on. I can go home and see my little fella and hangout with him." "For example I grew up on a dairy farm" explains Darren. "My best friend growing up has a dairy farm and in the afternoon if my little fella wants to go do something we'll go hangout there and do some field work or milk some cows, he enjoys it. That's how I unwind." With Darren growing up on a dairy farm, he got into horses through his best friend's dad and grandfather, who both had horses. "I kind of took a liking to them and came up through that way, cleaning stalls and jog their horses."Darren explains. "They were friends with Phil Pinkney who was an O'Brien award winner for Horsemanship and he's in the barn next to me and I grew up around Phil, watching what he did with young horses and shoeing. I shoe horses for Phil now, probably 18-20 years and I learned so much from him in regards to shoeing and looking for soundness." "I've had great owners over the years" says Darren. "Good owners, that's the key. You have to have owners that are going to stand behind you." Through the years, Darren has had quite a few horses pass through his care that have gone on to be quite successful, but the biggest name of all would be Somebeachsomewhere! "I got to shoe Somebeachsomewhere when he was here in the Maritimes." Darren says. "That was cool, going on to be the horse he was. I got to say I got to shoe him as a yearling til his 3-year-old year when he left." "As it turned out now, nobody knew he was going to be the horse he was as a yearling. He is just a nice horse, a little rough to shoe cause he would throw you around a little bit." Darren admits. "Now that he's the sire he turned out to be its pretty cool thinking I got to shoe that horse when he was here." Darren does have a pair of Somebeachsomewhere's shoes left as a keepsake which is pretty awesome, what a piece of horse racing memorabilia to have! Darren plans on getting the shoes chromed and then displayed on a plaque. Darren likes to keep shoeing simple and not make it complicated as others try to make it. It's about having proper angles and keep the levels right. "Horses are horses and you got to keep it simple" says Darren. "A lot of people get hung up on shoeing in regards to different shoes and fancy shoes... messing with their angles. A lot of it has to do with confirmation of the horse. If the horse has good confirmation, chances are you're not going to mess with the shoeing very often. Just keep it simple and he'll be what he's going to be. God made them that way, that's how they're going to be." Darren doesn't get hung up on what races he has won or hasn't with the exception of one given that he's a Truro native. "The Exhibition Cup, that's the free for all race of the year. During the Grand Circuit week and it wasn't for a lot of money, maybe $7,500 but I had the longest shot on the board at 99-1 and the horse ended up winning that race." Darren says. One major aspect to horse racing Darren feels the sport needs is better marketing and more attention. "I always thought the show they had on Monday nights on the Score was a pretty good show. Then they changed it a little to Bet Night Live, I think people like the interaction and interviews with the drivers and trainers talking about their horses. It's not on anymore, probably due to funding." During the discussion with Darren, they idea of company sponsorship came up such as putting company names on numbers or even if Nike got into the business and designed helmets for drivers. Having the Nike logo on the back or side of helmets would be awesome and the ad revenue can go towards purses or even to drivers. With drivers including Sidney Crosby or Steven Stamkos and sporting shirts in ads and being paid to do so. What if Scott Zeron had his race jacket designed by Reebok and in billboard ads you see him sporting the jacket with the Reebok logo and the next big upcoming race featured right beside the logo and which track the race would be taken place? Even t-shirts with the Under Armour logo and the name of top horses like Foiled Again or Vegas Vacation beside it. That could be a fashion trend that could draw potentially millions of dollars for the horse racing industry. Drivers, trainers, owners and race tracks could all draw in funds in sponsorship revenue. All other sports do it, why not horse racing? Start with the biggest races and have it trickle down to the point where all tracks and all races can attract news fans through new trends. Kids might want to sport a pair of Nike Shoes that are nicknamed 'The Captain' and have Captaintreacherous' profile on the shoe, or major stake names that he's won designed in the trainer's or driver's colors. Why not? It's different and new, if it hasn't been done up to now, who says it can't work? "Look at NASCAR and what they do with their sponsorship" says Darren. "It's boring up until the last ten laps but look how much they do." In the TV show Duck Dynasty, the characters are sporting Under Armour camouflage shirts... if hunting can get that type of sponsorship, why not horse racing. "It's a great show" says Darren. "Why not? It would have to be the right sponsor and they'd have to get some kind of bang for their buck right." "There's a lot that can be done promotion wise, but I think TV would be the best route." Darren explains. "If Jody Jamieson won a race on national television and he had Nike on his suit, that's a pretty good plug for Nike." Or after certain races, the winning driver is filmed drinking Powerade or Gatorade or Chocolate Milk. Drinking Milk would help promote another farming industry as well. "Jeff Gural at the Meadowlands, he runs it his way but it seems to be working" according to Darren. "He wants people to bet and he's pretty well on the right track I think." Definitely check out the interview by Standardbred Canada's website featuring Trot Radio host Norm Borg and Meadowlands' owner Jeff Gural, (Episodes 319 and 320). It's a beautiful discussion about open communication and drawing positive attention to the sport. By, Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova
TORONTO , April 7 - Sophomore pacing colts and geldings were showcased Monday evening at Woodbine in the second round of the Youthful Series. Andreios Kardia, driven by Steve Byron, captured the first of two divisions in 1:55.4 over a 'Good' track. Byron was in no hurry at the start as Regal Son (Randy Waples) made his way to the front to lead the field of six past the first quarter in :27.2. As the talented pacers headed towards the half, Paul Macdonell elected to send second-choice Dragon Seelster to the front before the half in :58. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack around the final turn, giving live cover to 4-5 favourite Andreios Kardia. Kuchar and Dragon Seelster matched strides past three-quarters in 1:27.3, but down the lane Byron showed Andreios Kardia open racetrack and the son of Badlands Hanover exploded in deep stretch to capture his third career victory. Trained by James Madill for owner Ina Madill, Andreios Kardia increased his bankroll to $28,480. With the track down-graded to 'Sloppy,' Highland Tartan and James MacDonald captured the second division as the favourite in 1:56.2. MacDonald elected to sit in the two-hole in the early going as Reasonable Force (Jody Jamieson) made their way to the front past the opening quarter in :27.1. Highland Tartan was then angled to the outside and crossed over to command to lead past the middle-half in :59.1 and 1:29.1. As the field turned for home, Reasonable Force angled out of the pocket, but could only reach the leaders saddle pad as Highland Tartan prevailed in deep stretch to score the narrow win. Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) enjoyed a ground saving trip to finish third. Trained and co-owned by Marty Fine along with Mary Clark, Highland Tartan enjoyed his second career victory as his lifetime earnings now sits at $15,200. The son of Major In Art paid $4.90 to win. The Youthful Series is for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, who are non-winners of three races of $15,000 in 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
A round trip to the winner’s circle was celebrated by Marquise De Sarah during Friday evening’s 11-race card at Woodbine Racetrack, and that was music to the ears of owner/breeder Robert Bridges of Campbellville, Ontario. The four-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Putnam Flyingbye, who was a winner in a career-best clocking of 1:53 in her previous outing at Woodbine in what was her debut for trainer Chad Milner, took over command shortly past the mid-way point of Friday’s $28,000 assignment and drew clear to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:53.2 for driver Luc Ouellette. The suddenly-streaking lass got away third before going first-over on the way to the half-mile marker. She muscled to the front in the backstretch and took the field to the three-quarter pole in 1:25 before using a :28.2 kicker to win in 1:53.2. Hat Trick Honey was next best, with Perfectly Royal taking home the show dough. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Marquise De Sarah won for the eighth time in her career while pushing her lifetime cash stash to $133,871. To view results for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Results – Woodbine Racetrack Reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca
Thursday night's card of harness racing at Flamboro Downs featured a $10,000 Preferred 2 Trot, a $6,500 Preferred 3 Trot, as well as a moment of silence for one of the track's most popular horsemen. The top class of the night, the $10,000 Preferred 2 Trot, went to Thundering Ovation and driver Billy Davis Jr. -- but it wasn't easy. The five-year-old Thunder Road mare was pressured through the early parts of the mile by a persistent Long Ago (Bruce Richardson), with fractions of :29.2 and :58.1 over the off track. Long Ago failed to sustain that pressure along the backside and none of the other horses could get to within a length of Thundering Ovation, who tripped the timer in 1:59.4 for trainer Gerald Sloan and owners Joanne & Courtney Sloan of Harley, Ont. Pocket-sitter Keystone Orion (Dave Boughton) stayed for second with CIs Buckeye (Alfie Carroll) gobbling up racetrack late to finish third. Euro Classic found a different path than wire-to-wire to capture the $6,500 Preferred 3 Trot. Driver Per Henriksen settled Euro Classic into fourth while favoured Santo Domingo (Luc Ouellette) set out fractions of :28.3, :59.1, and 1:30.2. At the three quarter station, Henriksen was positioned second over but moved Euro Classic three-wide around the stalled cover and followed the backside brush of Holy Molie Maggie (Davis). With the pacesetter fading, Henriksen was able to follow new leader Holy Molie Maggie into the stretch and then trot on past for the 2:01 score. Ann Karin Larsen trains the six-year-old Chocolatier - Donven Fury gelding and co-owns as well along with Tor Jan Larsen of Norwood, Ont. and Odd Larsen of Joakobsli, Norway. Earlier on the card, driver Tony Kerwood took a nasty-looking tumble with pacer Santanna Man in the fifth race. The pacer fell at the half-mile point of the race and Kerwood was unseated. Officials from Flamboro reported that both horse and driver walked away from the mishap. As part of its Thursday night card Flamboro observed a moment of silence for horseman Paul Henry, whopassed away on Tuesday at the age of 48. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Sophomore trotting colt Turbo Donato continued his perfect record on the WEG circuit for the Baillargeon brothers on Friday night with a front-stepping score in Woodbine Racetrack's ninth race. Turbo Donato has now won five races in a row, with his last four at Woodbine for his new ownership group. The Donato Hanover colt was purchased for $32,000 at the Harrisburg Sale in November by Rockwood, Ont. trainer Ben Baillargeon and partners Santo Vena of Brampton, Ont., Nunzio Vena of Bolton, Ont. and Craig Turner of Ingersoll, Ont. Driven by Mario Baillargeon in Friday's $18,000 conditioned trot, 3-5 favourite Turbo Donato ($3.30) worked his way to the lead from post seven during the :27.4 opening quarter and proceeded to lead his nine rivals through middle splits of :57.4 and 1:28. As he entered the homestretch, first over Whata Donato and Per Henriksen offered up a serious challenge nearly matching strides with the tempo-setter, but Turbo Donato fought back to prevail by three-quarters of a length in 1:57 flat. Flight Of The Kiwi and Luc Ouellette edged out pocket-sitter Margarita Bi and Sylvain Filion for third nearly three lengths behind. Turbo Donato is now five-for-six in his career with earnings totalling $39,000. To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca.
Mach It Big wore down favourite Major Hottie in a tight finish to win the $10,000 Preferred 2 Pace featured on a Sunday night at Flamboro Downs for Team Shepherd. Robert Shepherd drove the five-year-old son of Mach Three for his brother, trainer Patrick Shepherd, and owner Stephen Morton of Windsor, N.S. Major Hottie (Luc Ouellette), the slight favourite at odds of 8-5, left hard from post four to establish a two length lead over insiders Bestinthebusiness (Scott Coulter) and Mach It Big. Major Hottie led the field of nine through fractions of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:27.1, but Shepherd sent Mach It Big first over at the half and moved up to pressure the leader around the final turn. Major Hottie maintained a slight lead into the stretch, but his rivals were quickly closing in. Bestinthebusiness zipped up the passing lane while Mach It Big surged by on the outside to prevail by a quarter-length in 1:57.3. Major Hottie held on for second over Bestinthebusiness while Smokin Bear (James MacDonald) made it a four-across finish with a late rally on the grandstand side. Sent postward as the 5-1 third choice, Mach It Big paid $12.60 to win. He now has 22 top three finishes from 37 starts this year, including eight wins, for earnings of $81,543. The Shepherd brothers also teamed up to win the $6,500 Preferred 3 with 8-1 shot Bad Boy Hill prevailing in another close call in 1:58.1 for Great Britain's Tom Hill. The gelded sophomore son of Stonebridge Regal sat fifth for most of the mile before sweeping wide to win by half a length over Web Cam (Trevor Henry). Im Feelin Good (Anthony MacDonald) was third. Bad Boy Hill paid $18.80 for the upset win. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Flamboro Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca.
DOVER, Del. --- The 18th renewal of the $400,000 (est) Progress Pace at Dover Downs is the highlight of the first full month of the track's 45th season. The Progress Pace is the signature event of the 2013 Dover Downs' "Novemberfest of Racing." The Progress Pace features the sport's leading three-year-olds in training in a two-week event. First, a $35,000 elimination division on Nov. 10 with the top eight finishers return for a $284,160 final on Nov. 17. Vegas Vacation, driven by Brian Sears, scored a 1:48.3 victory in this year's Matron Final. The gelding was favorite for the Progress Pace elim., but did not come out of the Matron, "100 percent," thus was scratched. Twilight Bonfire, a 20-1 longshot from post 8 with Tim Tetrick driving, pulled a major surprise in the $35,000 elim by nipping Sunshine Beach by half a neck. The Progress Pace Final on Dec. 1 is the richest race in Delaware harness racing this year. Progress Pace history The Progress Pace was created by Dover Downs' CEO Denis McGlynn in the fashion of a former state of Delaware sports' tradition - The Battle of the Brandywine - formerly the showcase event of ill-fated Brandywine Raceway. Over the years, Most of the sports leading drivers, owners and stables have participated in the Progress Pace. Hall of Fame drivers include three-time winners John Campbell and Ron Pierce, Mike Lachance, Cat Manzi, Dave Palone and David Miller. Luc Ouellette also drove three winners while Bret Pelling trained three Progress Pace champions. Sampson Street Stable has shared in three Progress Pace champions, Newman Racing is the only other with more than one winner. The first Progress Pace was carded in 1996 with a $100,000 final. The winner was Armbro Operative, owned by Tom Walsh, Jr. and Dave McDuffy, driven by Mike Lachance. It was the first of three Progress Pace winners conditioned by Brett Pelling. Pelling also trained the winners of the next two winners of the event, when Dream Away, owned by Canadian horsemen Marvin Katz, Sam Goldband and Al Libfeld won the 1997 edition and Crown Jewel Stable's Browning Blue Chip took 1998 laurels. Both winners were driven by John Campbell. Luc Ouellette drove Jeff Snyder's Royalflush Hanover to his first Progress Pace titles. The gelding overtook Grinfromeartoear on the backstretch and pulled off to win the 1999 title. The following season, Ouellette came back to drive 2000 winner Powerful Toy, owned by Newman Racing Stable, Sampson Street and Dodge A Bullet stables. Ron Pierce made the winner's circle in the 2001 event driving Peruvian Hanover for owners Sidney Korn and Alvin Jacobson. Art Major beat stablemate McArdle to win the 2002 edition. Owned by Deena Frost, Jerry Silva, Sampson Street and TLP stables, Art Major was the third Progress Pace champion driven by John Campbell, In 2003, for the second straight year and third time in Progress Pace history, Radar Sign, a colt owned in part by Sampson Street Stable and Newman Racing Stable, driven by Ouellette, won the final. The 2004 winner was longshot Holborn Hanover, with George Brennan driving for trainer Mark Harder and owners John Fielding and Canamerica Capital Corp. Holborn Hanover became the first sub-150 Progress Pace winner posting a come-from-behind 1:49.3f victory. In 2005, Gryffindor, became the first Delaware-owned and trained winner. After being purchased by Three Point Acres in time to win the Messenger Stake at Harrington Raceway, the sophomore won the 10th Progress Pace wire-to-wire in 1:50 with David Miller in the sulky. The purse was the event's all-time highest, $394,120. Another Delaware owned and conditioned colt, Total Truth, was the 2006 Progress Pace champion. The colt owned by Only Money and Teague Inc., the first of two straight for Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. Pierce returned to take 2007 Progress Pace in upset fashion. Trained by Robby Siegelman for The Cheyenne Gang, Ghee House rolled down the lane for a 1:50.4 upset victory to take the 12th edition. In November 2008, overlooked at 32-1, Cat Manzi drove Bettor Sweet to a surprise 1:52.1f victory, the second richest Progress Pace boasting a $390,000 purse. Two locally owned horses Rudy Rednose and Badlands Nitro, both trained by George Teague, finished second and third respectively. Vertical Horizon and Jim Morrill Jr. were the winning 1:50.4 team, for the 2009 edition. In 2010, Yannick Gingras guided Rockin Image to an impressive 1:50.3 victory. The 2011 winner was Westwardho Hanover, a 1:49.1 performance piloted by Dave Palone. Heston Blue Chip completed an outstanding Fall campaign to win the 2012 Progress Pace with Tim Tetrick in the bike, in event winning time of 1:49. Progress Pace Champions Year Purse Winner (Driver) Win Time 1996 $100,000 Armbro Operative (Mike Lachance) 1:53f 1997 $100,000 Dream Away (John Campbell) 1:54f 1998 $225,000 Browning Blue Chip (John Campbell)1:51.2f 1999 $225,000 Royalflush Hanover (Luc Ouellette) 1:51.2f 2000 $228,000 Powerful Toy (Luc Ouellette) 1:52.1f 2001 $337,100 Peruvian Hanover (Ron Pierce) 1:52.3f 2002 $335,000 Art Major (John Campbell) 1:51f 2003 $350,060 Radar Sign (Luc Ouellette) 1:51.4f 2004 $345,900 Holborn Hanover (George Brennan) 1:49.3f 2005 $394,120 Gryffindor (David Miller) 1:50f 2006 $348,900 Total Truth (Ron Pierce) 1:52.2f 2007 $350,900 Ghee House (Ron Pierce) 1:50.4f 2008 $390,000 Bettor Sweet (Cat Manzi) 1:51.2f 2009 $350,000 Vertical Horizon (Jim Morrill Jr.) 1:50.4f 2010 $320,000 Rockin Image (Yannick Gingras) 1:50.3f 2011 $330,000 Westwardho Hanover (Dave Palone) 1:49.1f 2012 $270,000 Heston Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick) 1:49f - event record by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs
Lucan Hanover Sweeps Summertime Pacing Series CAMPBELLVILLE, July 29 – Casie Coleman’s Lucan Hanover completed the Summertime Pacing Series sweep as the swift pacer scored at ease in the $47,000 final, Monday at Mohawk. Sent off as the 1/9 heavy favourite, Lucan Hanover also captured both preliminary legs for owners West Wins Stable and Christine Calhoun. Driven by Scott Zeron, Lucan Hanover settled away in fifth as Ahdoughnolum (Luc Ouellette) blasted to command before the opening panel in :26.3. As the pacing colts and geldings marched towards the half, Zeron made a quick brush to the front with Lucan Hanover before the mid-way point in :55.2. From there, Zeron and the son of Western Ideal cruised past three-quarters in 1:23 en route to an open-length win in 1:50.4. Manchester (Randy Waples) came on to finish second with Avatartist (Mike Saftic) third. “I didn’t want to gun him to the front. I kind of wanted to take my time with him,” Zeron said following the win. “I made the choice to power move him because the pace was slow and he can make that move and he carried his speed right to the wire. He started of at The Meadowlands this year and Casie [Coleman] wanted to bring him up here and braven him up and he’s done that” A $47,000 yearling purchase, Lucan Hanover celebrated his fifth win from nine starts this season along with $94,820 in earnings. He paid $2.20 to win. All videos for tonight's meeting are attached with Lucan Hanover's win race 10. Greg Gangle
ELORA, ON - Guelph residents Bjorn "Bernie" Noren and Garth Gordon are readying trotting colts Hope For Justice and Aggressive for an early season showdown at Grand River Raceway on Monday, July 22. Both colts were victorious in their divisions of the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on July 4 and would like to maintain their standing atop the two-year-old trotting colt leaderboard. Hope For Justice will start with a moderate advantage after landing Post 3 in the draw. The Windsong Espoir gelding and regular reinsman Luc Ouellette are heading into the event with a perfect record stretching back to a June 8 qualifier where they circled the Mohawk oval in 2:04.4. In a second qualifier at the Campbellville oval on June 22 the duo posted a 1:59.1 win, and they improved that mark to 1:57.2 in the first leg of the Gold Series. Noren shares ownership of Hope For Justice with breeder Mary Katz of Lexington, KY. Aggressive will start from Hope For Justice's right at Post 6 and Mike Saftic will steer the Kadabra gelding for Gordon and his partners Robert Lee and James Walker of Port Perry. Saftic engineered a 1:59.4 win for the gelding in the season opener and will be looking to replicate that effort in Monday's eighth race. Like Hope For Justice, Aggressive qualified twice at Mohawk before making his Ontario Sires Stakes debut, posting a fourth on June 14 and a second on June 22. Gordon and his partners acquired Aggressive at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, offering up $24,000 for the half-brother to $181,424 winner Imageofasweetday. In addition to Hope For Justice, Noren will harness three other Gold Series hopefuls in Monday's test, British Steel, Blue Mitchell and Brixton. British Steel will try and improve on his fourth-place result in the season opener from Post 4 in the third $35,000 division, one race later Blue Mitchell will make his debut from Post 4, and Brixton helps wraps up the Gold Series action in the tenth race, making his bid for a top finish from Post 3. Post time for Grand River Raceway's Monday, July 22 program is 7:05 pm and the two-year-old trotting colts will light up the Elora oval in Races 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, and 10. For complete entries For up to date point standings, race replays, and more. Sandra Snyder
Hope For Justice kicked off the harness racing two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series season opener with a sharp 1:57.2 mile over the Mohawk Racetrack oval that would prove to be the quickest of five $42,000 divisions.
Both JJ Shark and Donau were not heavily supported by the betting public on Saturday evening at Woodbine, but both sophomore pacers found the harness racing winner's circle in the first round of the $20,000 opening leg of the Valedictory Series.