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In what could only be described as the claim of the year in western New York, Thunderbolt Jaxon who was taken for $12,500 on October 1, has now won his third straight $9,500 Open harness racing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec.3). Thunderbolt Jaxon (Ray Fisher Jr.) left sharply and eventually took the lead after being parked out by Inthenameofjames (Drew Monti) to the quarter. When the field settled in, they stayed single file to the half when Shady City (Larry Stalbaum) pulled and started an outer flow with Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) on his heels. Feeling the heat, Fisher let his charge out a notch up the backside and put some space between him and the attackers as they sped by three-quarters in 1:26.1. At the head of the stretch, Inthenameofjames popped out of the two-hole and took a quick shot at the leader. But that challenge was swiftly turned away as Fisher rocked and knocked in perfect timing and Thunderbolt Jaxon sped away to an easy two-length victory in 1:55.1. It was the sixth win in nine starts since being claimed, and 10th win of the year for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($10.80). He has now accrued $53,846 in annual earnings, the bulk of which has benefited his current owner Mike Torcello. The 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three is trained by Gerry Sarama. In the co-featured $8,600 Open II pace, P H Hellcat (Shawn Gray) led from the quarter pole until about 200 feet from the wire; that's when the pocket-sitting Brees Creek (Drew Monti) paced on by him to win by a neck in 1:56. Brees Creek ($8.70) is owned by the Resilient Racing Stable and trained by Rose Russo. Several horse people had multiple win performances on Saturday night, led by Drew Monti who had a driving triple. Shawn Gray had a driving double while Sean McDonough was victorious with two horses he both drove and trained. And trainers Rose Russo and JD Perrin each sent two students to the Purple Haze Winner's Circle for pictures. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Dec. 7) with post time at 6:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, December 2, 2016 - Mach it a Par (Jordan Stratton, $11.40) uncoiled her usual late rush Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Beating only a breaker for much of the mile, Mach it a Par - from post position No. 7 stormed home when it counted. She whipped a lane-finding, 17-10 fave Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.2, with pace-setting Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) faltering late to third. It was Krispy Apple leaving from outside her seven rivals, having to go wide around that early misbehave of Moma's Got a Gun (Brent Holland) before securing the throne. After intervals of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:25, Krispy Apple had a couple of lengths into the lane, but tired in search of a fifth consecutive victory. A first-up Regil Elektra (George Brennan) and Village Jessica (Dan Dube) rounded out the payees. For third choice Mach it a Pair, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her 12th win in 37 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $33, the triple returned $124 and the superfecta paid $414. Frank Drucker

Batavia, NY---With another dark and stormy night as the backdrop, Thunderbolt Jaxon didn't despair over the wet harness racing track; he reveled in it as he won his second straight $10,500 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 26). It was basically a two-horse race from the word go. Thunderbolt Jaxon (Ray Fisher Jr.) left and parked Sam Hill (Kevin Cummings) to the quarter in :27.3 before letting him overtake. Once settled in, Sam Hill looked strong on the front and took the group to the half in :56.3. With Thunderbolt Jaxon safely tucked in second, Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) came first over past the half and tried to mount a challenge. He did draw alongside the leading pair at three quarters but faded from contention by the top of the lane. There, Thunderbolt Jaxon shot into the passing lane and began eroding Sam Hill's lead with each stride, eventually sneaking by him at the wire by a short neck in 1:55.4. It was the ninth win of the year for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($15.00), five of which were accomplished for owner Mike Torcello who claimed the 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three on October 1. Gerry Sarama trains the winner. In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, Southwind Torque ($7.80) made a four-wide move around the last turn to nose out the front running Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the wire in 1:57.3. It was a four-horse photo finish that saw six horses within one length of each other at the wire. Southwind Torque is owned by Vogel & Wags Nags Stable and Jack Rice and is trained by Maria Rice. Shawn Gray and Larry Stalbaum both had the hat trick on Saturday while Ray Fisher Jr. settled for a pair. On the training side, Kim Asher and Maria Rice both sent two horses for pictures. The early Pick-5, which was part of the USTA's Strategic Wagering program on Saturday paid $4,365 for the 1-1-3-5-8 combination. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 30) at 6:15 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 19, 2016--The Real One (Pat Lachance, $8.70) etch-a-sketched his name into Yonkers Raceway's harness racing annuals, setting an all-age track record in winning Saturday night's $45,000 Open Handicap Pace. Sitting chilly from post position No. 4, The Real One watched a pole-sitter Melmerby Beach (Dan Dube) took no prisoners, as in early fractions of :26.4 and :55.1. Rank outsider Santa Fe Beachboy (Brent Holland) was pocketed and slight 2-1 choice First Class Horse (Jason Bartlett) moved from third. That one went up and over a non-resistant 'Melmerby' right after the 1:22.1 three-quarters. The Real One was perched behind that move as First Class Horse opened a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. The stalker ducked in and whipped his tow by a neck in 1:50 flat, a tick faster than the previous Westchester standard. That mile unceremoniously knocked a quintet--Crombie A, Forty Five Red, Limelight Beach, Go Daddy Go and Americanprimetime--out of the record books. Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) wound up a best-of-the-rest third--beaten 4¼ lengths--with Take it Back Terry (George Brennan) and Santa Fe Beachboy rounding out the payees For third choice The Real One, a 6-year-old Mach Three trained by his driver for owner Helene Filion, it was his eighth win in 30 seasonal starts (career earnings past $700,000). The exacta paid $62, the triple returned $215 and the superfecta paid $706. "That's his trip," Lachance said. "He chases other horses. Melmerby Beach did all the dirty work and we showed up at the end." Stratton's two-win night moved him within one of 3,000 career victories. No one took down Saturday night's Pick 5 wager, so Sunday morning's gimmick (first post 11:30 AM) begins with a carryover of $2,043.93 (50-cent base wager, races 6 through 10). Frank Drucker

Batavia, NY---Old man winter reared his ugly head on Saturday night (Nov. 19) as high winds and driving rain greeted the night's harness racing competitors. However the extremely sloppy conditions couldn't dissuade Thunderbolt Jaxon from his best effort as he splashed to a gate to wire victory in the $10,500 Open pace at Batavia Downs. Thunderbolt Jaxon (Jim Morrill Jr.) left and took the front by the quarter as the rest of the field ducked for cover. The leader and a close-following Spender Hanover (Drew Monti) led pedestrian fractions of :29.2 and :59.1 as an outer flow started to chase. Shady City (Larry Stalbaum), who had been parked out from the start and Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) constituted that bid but neither could sustain up the backside. Around the last turn, it was Thunderbolt Jaxon who could sense the win as he strode out and paced away from Spender Hanover down the lane and crossed the wire well in hand in 1:57.2. It was the first Open class win for Thunderbolt Jaxon ($5.60) at Batavia Downs since being claimed on October 10, and his eighth overall win of the year. He has now earned $43,846 in 2016. The 4-year-old gelded son of Mach Three is owned by Mike Torcello and is trained by Gerry Sarama. Since Larry Stalbaum started racing regularly at Batavia Downs, he's been winning races at a hurried pace. That trend continued Saturday as he scored a grand slam on the card. And the winning horses gave Kim Asher the training grand slam as well. The two teamed up in the winner's circle with Story Book ($5.30), Itsonlyrocknroll A ($2.50), Steuben Patriot ($31.20) and Box Car Johnnie ($3.50). Jim Morrill Jr. had another three-win night to remain the Downs leading dash driver, now with 112 wins. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 23) with post time at 6:15 p.m. Please note that a double draw will take place on Tuesday (Nov. 22) for race cards to be held on Friday (Nov. 25) and Saturday (Nov. 26). The entry box will close at the normal time of 9:00 a.m. For more information please visit the horsemen's link at www.bataviadownsgaming.com. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

The Forest City Sale took one to the gut when the Ontario Liberal Government leaked its intention to terminate SARP by March, 2013. The 2012 sale saw 257 yearlings average $10,519. The previous year 263 averaged more than $18,000. As contingency plans for the industry were assembled and assurances of continuity dished out from above, things began to settle down: in 2013 32 fewer head were sold but the average increased to $13,524. And in 2014 it kicked up to $15,294. Last year the average stepped up again to $23,207, although the number sold dropped by almost half since 2011. On Sunday 133 yearlings sold for an average of $26,308. That’s an increase of almost 12% from last year and 60% from the deep, dark days of 2012. And the gross was up $302,000 on three fewer yearlings sold. Let’s look inside. Shadow Play, who outdid Sportswriter at the Canadian Yearling Sale, managed to do so again—on a grander scale. The 11-year-old is selling his fifth crop, and up until Sunday his only $100,000 plus yearling was Arthur Blue Chip, from crop number one. He was a big time outlier at $135,000. On Sunday that one’s full sister brought $110,000 while a colt sold for $100,000. And another colt brought $82,000. The sire of world champion Lady Shadow saw 28 average $33,786, up 19% from last year and up 54% since 2013. Five, or 18%, topped $50,000; 14, or 48% beat $25,000 and 19, or 65.5% exceeded $20,000. So, while the son of The Panderosa, who has seen his fee hold steady at $4,000 (cdn) the last three years, made a splash at the top, almost half of his offering failed to beat $25,000. Sportswriter, the two-year-old division champ in the US and Canada, had more of a presence at Forest City than he has had in the past; he sold eleven for an average of $29,091. This after only selling a pair each in 2014 and 2015. This year’s sale crop is very large at 141 yearlings. Contrast that with last year when there were only 57. He had a good year in the OSS, finishing second on the leader board with the likes of Yaris Bayama, Yogi Bayama and Sports Column. Sportswriter stands for $6,500 (cdn). Nineteen by the son of Artsplace averaged $22,500 at the Canadian Yearling Sale. Seventeen-year-old Mach Three, who was selling his twelfth crop, has seen younger stallions come and go in Ontario but he still rules the roost—until next year when Bettor’s Delight starts selling Canadian breds again, anyway. Fourteen averaged $40,286. That’s up 14% from 2015 and up 22% since 2013. There were no $100,000 sales; the highest was a roan colt that went for $74,000. However, his prices were good across the board. More than 28% topped $50,000; 86% broke $25,000; and none of them dropped below $20,000. There are 103 in this crop. He shows no sign of slowing down. Camluck, who retired in the fall of 2014 and passed in August of 2015, had been a key figure in Ontario racing for decades. And the sire of Michael’s Power, Dreamfair Eternal, Burning Point and Giddy Up Lucky, finished strong with his final crop. Eight averaged $31,375, down only 6% from the 15 he sold last year. Badlands Hanover stood for eight years in Delaware before relocating to Ontario. He’s selling his sixth Canadian crop. Seven sold for a $16,000 average, up almost 4% from last year when he sold 14 at Forest City. Only two cracked $20,000 and four of them sold for less than $15,000. This offering is from a crop of 61 registered foals. There were 44 last year. Twnty-year-old Badlands bred more than 150 mares in each of his first four years in Ontario. Royal Mattjesty is another wheel-spinner. Eleven averaged $15,545. And that’s up more than 16% from last year. Beyond that, his average is up almost 53% since 2014, when four averaged $7,375. There are only 16 registered foals in the crop selling this year. There were 10 in the crop that sold last year and 12 in 2013. He’s not exactly a high volume stallion. Royal Mattjesty stands for $3,500 (cdn). The Western Ideal stallion, Big Jim, sold six for a $25,167 average—up 27% over last year when 11 sold. His average is up 29% since his first crop sold in 2014. Seven averaged $25,885 at the Canadian Yearling Sale, where Brad Grant paid $45,000 for a colt and Tony O’Sullivan paid $44,000 for another. Three at Forest City topped $25,000 while three failed to break $15,000. He’s number four in the OSS thanks to Streakavana and Magnum J. Big Jim stands for $4,000 (cdn). Vintage Master sold seven for a $10, 857 average. That’s down 25% from his $14,667 average for six sold last year. Eight averaged under $10,000 in 2014. Six sold for less than $15,000 at Forest City. Freshman filly Thatsoveryverynice won a split of the Eternal Camnation and a couple of Golds last year, but she’s been no factor at three. Trotters only represented 24% of the yearlings sold at Forest City. Muscle Mass is selling for the NYSS market this year and Kadabra is not a big Forest City guy: he only sold two Sunday, none last year and three in 2014. The sire of Caprice Hill, Emoticon Hanover, Winter Sweet Frost and Will Take Charge sold a filly for $80,000 and another for $29,000. Twenty-year-old Angus Hall, who saw his fee drop from $10,000 to $6,000 in the face of the SARP crisis in 2013, sold nine for a $23,333 average, up 28% from 2015 and up 45% from 2014. One topped $50,000; four of the nine broke $25,000; and 5, or 55%, fell short of $20,000. Triple Crown winner Glidemaster was shipped to Canada a couple of years ago after standing for seven years in Pennsylvania. Maven is his crown jewel, and the drop-off is precipitous after that. Blue Porsche closed his freshman season in promising fashion but wasn’t healthy enough to go on and the ill-fated Punxsutawney was killed in an accident. Glidemaster’s last two crops in Pennsylvania consisted of 17 and 14 foals. He sold a dozen for a $17,167 average at Forest City. Only one topped $25,000. Eight brought less than $20,000. Holiday Road sold five for a $23,600 average from a crop of 31 registered foals. Last hear he only sold one from a crop of 18. Majestic Son sold a pair of fillies for $36,000 and $26,000. Again, there are only 29 in the crop they came from. Let’s hope Muscle Mass, E L Titan and Archangel are going to turn out large numbers, because these small crops that sell at reduced prices are a problem. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for  http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/.  Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

St Lads Moonwalk (Mach Three) prevailed in his local harness racing debut on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Jackie Rousse trainee went coast to coast in the evening's Open Pace. St Lads Moonwalk joined the Rousse stable a few weeks ago and following a win and a third place finish at Vernon Downs took part in the $18,000 Open at the Spa over a sloppy track on Saturday. The three year old pacer marched out to the early lead and after posting honest first half fractions of 27 and 56.1 felt pressure for the first time as he paced towards three quarters. St Lads Moonwalk held off the late surge from pocket sitter RU Ready To Rock (Jay Randall) before stopping the timer in 1:52.2. RU Ready To Rock was the runner up while longshot Sassy Hanover (Billy Dobson) finished third. The early speed held in the Open and resulted in a line-up number that paid $54.50 (exacta) and $341.50 (triple) in the exotics. St Lads Moonwalk is the third Rousse trainee to win the Open Pace this year at Saratoga joining stablemates Artful Way and Titus Seelster. St Lads Moonwalk returned $11.20 to win in the mild upset with leading driver Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 21, 2016 - A from-last Mach it a Par and harness racing driver Brian Sears swept away her sorority sisters Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. It was a repeat performance for Mach it a Par, who cut the mile a week ago. Here, remanded behind the eight-ball (though in one notch after a inside defection), she saw polester Southwind Roulette (George Brennan) either seat 'em or park 'em. Hung for their troubles were Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) and Purrfect Bags (Jordan Stratton), while Jungle Genie N (Brent Holland) was pocketed. After early intervals of :26.2 and :55.4, 13-10 choice Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) launched a wide bid going toward a 1:24 three-quarters. She couldn't sustain it, however, as 'Roulette' maintained a tenuous lead into the lane. Enter Mach it a Par, who was last at three-quarters and fifth in and out of the final turn. She rallied widest and fastest, going away by 2½ lengths in 1:52.3. Jungle Genie N closed inside for second, with Moma's Got a Gun (Tyler Buter), Southwind Roulette and Krispy Apple settled for the remainder. For second choice Mach it a Par, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her 11th win in 33 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $94, with the triple returning $667. Frank Drucker

Talented intermediate grade pacer Tenacious One was responsible for one of the fastest harness racing miles at Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday). The free-running gelding scorched the 1000m oval in a time of 1:51.6 – splits of 26.6, 29.8, 27.8 and 27.6 seconds. Winning driver Chris Petroff was left shocked following the powerful front-running display. “He’s a talented horse but that was an awesome mile; given he was coming off a let-up and without the benefit of a trial, he did a remarkable job. He looks set for a strong campaign.” Petroff said. The track record belongs to retired champion Im Themightyquinn at 1:50.4 – who set his mark when successful in the 2014 Sunshine Sprint. And upon further investigation, only one other pacer has gone faster than Tenacious One with dual Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova recording a mile rate of 1:51.3 when he proved successful in the 2015 Sunshine Sprint. Open class pacer and multiple feature race winner Ultimate Art has also recorded a 1:51.6 mile at Albion Park. So, Tenacious One joins an elite list. Formerly prepared in Victoria, the Mach Three – Miss Astronomical pacer has always been blessed with abundant ability but his headstrong ways have caused a few headaches. Since joining the stables of Redcliffe horseman Donny Smith, Tenacious One has been restricted to short course trips and allowed to run in his races. And the results have flowed. Tenacious One has won 7 of his 12 starts in the sunshine state. Assessed a metropolitan maiden, Tenacious One could find himself heading to Sydney at some point this campaign chasing the strong prizemoney on the bigger track. “Donny does an excellent job with his team and he’s got good options whichever was he wants to go with this horse, a possible Sydney trip makes strong appeal but Donny will make the call when the time comes. “He’s not the easiest horse to drive and I’ve found it’s best to work with him rather than trying to fight him, he can hold his speed really well and he proved that again yesterday.” Meanwhile, exciting three-year-old Maestro Bellini trained by Petroff is back in work and aiming at a southern campaign with the Victoria Derby an early target in the New Year.    by Chris Barsby

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 14, 2016 - Odds-on harness racing favorite Mach it a Par (Brian Sears, $2.80) took advantage of a generous getaway locale Friday night, easily winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play from post position No. 5 (after winning the 5-through-8 draw), she wasted no time claiming her territory. Mach it a Par worked around Regil Elektra (Joe Bongiorno), then started what became a two-speed number (:27.4, :57.2, 1:25.1, 1:52.2). The final margin was a handy length-and-a-quarter, with Jungle Genie N (Brent Holland) a best-of-rest third. Al Raza N (Mark MacDonald) and Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) rounded out the payees. For Mach it a Pair, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Rich Banca, it was her 10th win (29th lifetime) in 32 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.90, with the triple returning $61.50. Saturday's rare day card (first post 1:10 PM) is highlighted by the million-dollar International Trot. Ten of the world's best trotters test the mile-and-a-quarter distance. U-S representatives Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras), Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) and Obrigado (MacDonald) start from post position Nos.1, 2 and 6, respectively. The International goes as race six as part of the 13-race card, which also features a pair of $250,000 Invitationals, led by Bit of a Legend N and Wiggle It Jiggleit (posts 1 and 8 in the flat-mile Pace) and Barn Doll and a returning Bee a Magician (posts 1 and 2) in the 1¼-mile Trot). Frank Drucker

Vernon, N.Y. -- The Kellogg Racing Stables, LLC's St Lads Moonwalk ($3.80) made his Miracle Mile debut a winning one, capturing Saturday (October 8) evening's harness racing featured $7,900 pacing event at Vernon Downs in decisive fashion.   The 3-year-old Mach Three colt enjoyed success in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series through the summer, earning his two most recent preliminary-event wins from off the pace. Tonight, Chris Lems put him in play from the outset, working clear of Major War (Truman Gale) after a :26.2 first quarter, rating a :57 middle half, and sprinting clear of the competition upon cornering for home. St Lads Moonwalk evaded his three foes by 4-1/4 lengths, prevailing in 1:51.2 in his first start for trainer Jackie Rousse. Modern Gesture (Fern Paquet, Jr.) captured second off a conservative stalking journey, and Flying Cowboy (Mike Merton) stayed even for third while Major War faded in the home straight off a failed bid from the pocket.   For St Lads Moonwalk, the win was the 12th of his fledgling career. For Lems, the win was the cornerstone of a driving grand slam following his five-win night on Friday. Lems additionally paired up with Gary Gibson trainee Some Major Beach ($4.80, 1:54.2) as well as Jordan Hope trainees Flashy Trick ($3.90, 1:53.1) and Hurrikane Bud K ($10.60, 1:54.1).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday (October 13) evening; post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, October 7, 2016 - Two of the winningest horses at the Hippodrome 3R during the 2016 harness racing season, SOS Mach Xtreme and Beach Runner A M, renew their rivalry Sunday afternoon in the eighth race feature pace. Sporting nine wins already this season, SOS Mach Xtreme starts from post eight for driver Stephane Brosseau. The six-year-old gelded son of Mach Three until last week when he finished third, has reeled off four straight wins, the fastest a 1:56.3 score two starts back. Beach Runner A M just missed by a neck last week in losing to Killer Thriller in 1:54.1 and with drawing post nine in the second tier for driver Sylvain Lacaille, could well be on his way to scoring his seventh win of the season at 3R, to put him in the lead for honors as the winningest horse of the season. Sooner said than done and in this well-matched field are some additional rivals looking to have their photo taken in the winner's circle. Rainbow Palace, the lone mare in the field against eight male rivals, has done super this season with five wins for trainer Dominique Picard and driver Francis Picard. The four-year-old mare by Royal Mattjesty comes into the race off a six and one-half length romp last week at 3R in 1:56.1. The race favorite in the eighth is Solid Performance from post two for driver Gaetan Lamy. Despite having just two wins this year, Solid Performance has been close at the finish against top horses this season and will take full advantage of his inside post position. Other contenders in the field include return winner D G's Machbeach (post one), Washington Hanover (post three) and Bazinga Brad (post four). The late blooming two-year-old pacer, Reposession, goes for his third straight win in the second race. This son of Forclosure N beat eight older rivals last week for driver Stephane Gendron, and seems posed to score again, starting from the rail. Hats off to the 14-year-old Pablo Angus who starts from post five in the tenth race trot. This is his final season of racing and the class of field has more than $818,000 in lifetime earnings. He was a top young stakes winner at ages two, three and four with a record of 1:53.2. He has raced every year since he was age 2 and has won nearly every year except in 2011, when he made just one start and was third. Pascal Berube will be driving Pablo Angus, who may be one of the greatest trotters ever bred and foaled in Quebec. First race post time Sunday is 1:30 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, September 24, 2016 - With eight race days left to the harness racing meet at the Hippodrome 3R, the weekly battle continues this Sunday to see who will be the winningest horse of the season. Four horses are competing in two of the feature races at 3R Sunday who are all vying for the title. In the ten race pace the three favorites in the race are all contenders. SOS Mach Xtreme leads the field on the strength of nine wins this year, five of them at 3R. He starts from post four for driver Stephane Brosseau and trainer Francis Richard and comes into the race on a four-race winning streak. The six-year-old gelding by Mach Three was super last week at 3R for Brosseau, leading from start to finish by six open lengths in 1:56.3 and earlier this season scored a lifetime mark of 1:55. Beach Runner A M goes from post eight for driver Sylvain Lacaille and of his seven wins this year, six of them have come at 3R, which ties him with St Kitts, as the leading winning horses this season. Two starts back the nine-year-old gelded son of Beach Of Faith also wired the field at 3R in 1:56.3 and the prior week won in 1:56 for trainer Alain Martin. Bali goes from post six for driver Mario Charron and this five-year-old gelding by Bali sports an impressive ten wins in 21 starts this year, five of them at 3R. Bali has raced the last few weeks on the Quebec Fair Circuit and comes back to 3R on a two-race winning streak for trainer Marie Claude Auger. Now comes the 11th race pace where St Kitts puts her two-race winning streak on the line. She has started nine times this year, all at 3R and has six wins. St Kitts is just a three-year-old filly by Somebeachsomewhere who did not race at age 2. Trained by Maxime Velaye, St Kitts starts from the rail for driver Stephane Brosseau and when she minds her manners on the racetrack, is very tough to beat. According to Velaye, St Kitts has a bit of an attitude and must be handled with care before the start of the race as she has in the past refused the starting gate. Last week Brosseau, driving St Kitts for the first time, was able to get her not only up to the gate, but led the field from start to finish, winning in a moderate slow time of 1:59.1, but winning none the less and having to race against older competition. Her rival from last week, Sagawi, also a three-year-old gelding, starts alongside in post two for driver Jocelyn Gendron and figures to be in the hunt once again. The race favorite is D G's Ninja from post four for driver Jonathan Lachance. Also only age three, D G's Ninja has been racing against the best sophomore pacers in Quebec this season and has just one win in nine starts for trainer Guylaine Fortin, but he has been race timed in 1:56 in his last start. Also a contender in the race is Magster (post three) and return winners Windsong Louis (post eight) and Clinton Panic (post five). Missing from the driver's colony on Sunday is 3R's leading driver Louis-Philippe Roy and veteran reinsman Gatean Lamy. First race post time Sunday is 1:30 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - September 23 - A fantastic group of older pacing mares will square off Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack in the $311,000 Milton Stakes. Division leader Lady Shadow headlines the field of 10 and is seeking her ninth win of the season. The Ron Adams trainee is looking to add a Milton Stakes victory to go along with her Roses Are Red score from earlier this season. The last horse to sweep both of Woodbine Entertainment's signature events for pacing mares in the same season was Moving Pictures in 2007. Lady Shadow has earned more than $556,000 this season and is nearing $1.4 million in career earnings. Last Saturday, she won her elimination for the Milton by a pair of lengths in 1:51. Yannick Gingras has been the regular driver this season behind Lady Shadow, but will not be at Mohawk this Saturday to drive her in the Milton. James MacDonald will instead get the driving assignment behind the 8-5 morning line favourite. MacDonald is no stranger to the Milton Stakes, as last season he won the event with Venus Delight. He also has driven Lady Shadow in two of her starts this season along with qualifying her on a pair of occasions. Lady Shadow's rival and former stablemate Solar Sister will start to her right in post position four. Solar Sister got the better of her rival in their last meeting on August 28th at Tioga Downs in the Artiscape. The Gregg McNair trainee came first up and grinded away at Lady Shadow before eventually taking the lead in the stretch. A four-year-old daughter of Mach Three, Solar Sister is having an outstanding season in her first campaign against older horses. The McNair trainee has won four of 12 starts and has only missed the board once all season. Solar Sister, a winner of over $1.1 million in her career, finished third in her Milton elimination and will have her regular tag-team partner Doug McNair in the sulky. While Lady Shadow was an expected winner in her elimination last week, Wrangler Magic stunned many at 52-1 in the other split. The former Ontario Sires Stakes standout has had her ups and downs in her four-year-old season, but may be finding her best stride at the right time for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Stephane Larocque. Wrangler Magic, a winner of nearly $800,000, will start from the rail. The 10 mares in Saturday's Milton Stakes have combined to earn $8,356,008 during their careers. Yagonnakissmeornot ($1.4 million) and Venus Delight ($1 million) join Lady Shadow and Solar Sister as the four millionaires in the field. The Milton Stakes has been carded as Race 7 on Saturday's 11-race program. The $400,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Championships are also taking place Saturday at Mohawk. Fans at Mohawk Saturday will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes T-Shirt with the purchase of a live racing program. The Ontario Sires Stakes will also be giving away prizes throughout the night with their Trivia Spin and Win game on the main floor of the Grandstand. Post time for Saturday's stakes card is 7:30 p.m. Below is the full field for the Milton Stakes. $311,000 Milton Stakes 1. Wrangler Magic - Sylvain Filion - Stephane Larcoque 2. Yagonnakissmeornot - Louis Philippe Roy - Rene Allard 3. Lady Shadow - James MacDonald - Ron Adams 4. Solar Sister - Doug McNair - Gregg McNair 5. Storm Point - Jonathan Drury - Casie Coleman 6. Frost Damage Blues - Jack Moiseyev - Tom Fanning 7. Sandbetweenurtoes - Jody Jamieson - Richard Moreau 8. Waasmula - Trevor Henry - Bruce Goit 9. Bedroomconfessions - Randy Waples - Tony Alagna 10. Venus Delight - Chris Christoforou - Jeff Bamond Jr. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

Nichols, N.Y. -- Solar Sister ($9.50) stole the show in the final 150 yards of Sunday (August 28) afternoon's stakes-laden harness racing card at Tioga Downs, dueling down prohibitive favorite Lady Shadow for a 1:49.4 triumph in the $200,000 Artiscape distaff pace. Favorites were upended in the Empire Breeders Classics as well, as No Clouds Bluechip ($7.00) and Fresh Cut ($36.00) both took top honors in their respective events for New York-sired 3-year-old pacers. On the undercard, trainer-driver Ãke Svanstedt swept a trio of W. N. Reynolds Memorial events for 2-year-old trotters. Tasked with a second-row start in a field of 10, Solar Sister sat just of a contested pace in the initial stages of the Artiscape, working into fifth early as Lady Shadow (Yannick Gingras) pushed clear of Table Talk (Andy Miller) after a :26.2 first quarter. On approach to the clubhouse turn, Doug McNair angled Solar Sister first-over, only offering mild progress into a :54 half mile. The 4-year-old Mach Three mare did her best work up the far side, working to within a length of Lady Shadow through a :27.2 third quarter and subsequently dueling with the 1-1/8-mile world record holder. The two drew off from a fading Table Talk, and Solar Sister dueled to the fore in mid-stretch. Solar Sister's 1:49.4 mile time gives her a share of the track record for 4-year-old pacing mares that was established by Anndrovette five years ago. Lady Shadow would have to settle for runner-up honors as the 2-5 favorite, while Devil Child (David Miller) sustained a massive three-wide bid off the far turn to capture third. Gregg McNair trains the homebred Solar Sister for Ontarians David Willmot and Clay Horner. Favorites were upended in both Empire Breeders Classic events as well, with No Clouds Bluechip and Fresh Cut both prevailing off cozy stalking trips. In the $239,225 Filly Classic, Brett Miller pushed No Clouds Bluechip into play with just over a quarter mile to go, overtaking a fading Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) before engaging Wishy Washy Girl (Jim Morrill, Jr.) on approach to the far turn. The Roll With Joe filly edged clear authoritatively, sprinting off by 4-3/4 lengths en route to a 1:50.1 triumph as the second favorite. Wine Snob (John Campbell) posted belated uncovered gains to take second at 59-1, while even-money favorite Penpal (Pat Lachance) could only overcome stale early cover enough to save third down the grandstand side. John Berger trains No Clouds Bluechip for owners Richard Carney, Farrell Carney, and Barbara Berger. The development of the $240,475 Classic for colts and geldings came as no surprise, but the outcome stunned. Marcus Miller pushed forward early with Fresh Cut and ultimately established a cozy pocket trip with a circuit to go after yielding to 1-4 favorite American Passport (Scott Zeron) at the winning post. While the shape of the race held true to expected form, Fresh Cut's strong turn of foot from the pocket in the final eighth of a mile proved plenty to reel in American Passport and also stave off a late bid from 41-1 runner-up Stolen Glimpse (Yannick Gingras) for a 1:51.1 victory. American Passport ultimately faded to third after he was gathered in. Erv Miller trains Fresh Cut, a son of American Ideal, for the Bay Pond Racing Stable. Svanstedt and Muscle Hill sweep Reynolds Already renowned for his mastery in the kingdom of trotting, Svanstedt revealed why that contention possesses such veracity as he conditioned and steered New Jersey Viking (Muscle Hill-Hall Of Wishes), Ice Attraction (Muscle Hill-The Ice Queen) and Evelyn (Muscle Hill-Viva Las Lindy) to victory in their respective splits. While both New Jersey Viking ($2.90) and Ice Attraction's journeys ($3.10) to the wire in their contests, which are relegated solely to 2-year-old colts and fillies, were quite straightforward, Evelyn's ($5.20) provided a much more extensive amount of drama. Commencing his mile from post position eight, New Jersey Viking went right to the fore and was never threatened as he cruised around the Nichols oval. Owned by Knuttson Trotting and Little E LLC, the colt collected his second career triumph from five trips to the post. Two of his previous engagements were fourth-place finishes in the Peter Haughton Memorial and New Jersey Sire Stakes final. New Jersey Viking tripped the timer in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark, and increased his bankroll to more than $69,268. Southwind Moody (Yannick Gingras) and Bill's Man (Corey Callahan) were second and third respectively. While not quite as dominant as her male counterpart, Ice Attraction demonstrated why she merits respect. The public's selection was content to sit in the pocket while Overdraft Volo (Andy Miller) cut the mile, until Svanstedt pulled his charge on the far turn. There was never a doubt who would be appearing in the winner's enclosure as the filly always had her rival measured. Owned by her trainer, Douglas Sipple, Mal and Janet Burroughs and Little E LLC, Ice Attraction strode across the finish line in 1:56, a new lifetime best, and scored her second career win to improve her resume to 6-2-1-1. Her earnings now stand at $35,300. Overdraft Volo and Caviart Wonder (Matt Kakaley) came home second and third, respectively. Although Evelyn's trip around the track was not without its impediments, the filly persevered after being shuffled back to fourth from second. Once pulled three-wide at the three-quarter pole, Evelyn passed her dueling colleagues Southwind Avanti (Marcus Johansson) and Treviso (Charlie Norris) to break her maiden in her sixth attempt. The filly, owned by Svanstedt, Little E LLC, Borge Nasstrom and JT45, equaled the track standard for her age, sex and gait with a final clocking of 1:55.2. Her record now stands at 6-1-1-1 and she has earned $47,310. Despite not winning prior to today, Evelyn had displayed talent with a sixth in the James Doherty Memorial and a second in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final. Southwind Avanti outlasted Treviso for second. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Monday (August 29) evening, with the first of nine races scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

Machinthesand in line to Norris Rogers used a first over journey to overpower fraction setter Motorino, to take the Wednesday harness racing feature at Red Shores Summerside. The seven-year-old son of Mach Three positioned himself in the three-hole from post six before making his move just past the half and stopping the clock in 1:55.3. It was Machinthesand's six win of the season for the Noonan Holdings Ltd., Russell and Karen Noonan. Hughie Murphy handles the training duties. Motorino laid down fractions of :28,:58 and 1:26.3 and held tough to be second, Painted Desert picked up the show prize. Veteran free-legged pacer Blu Meadow Willie added his name to an elusive category when he crossed the finish line first in Race 6. The 12-year-old son of Drop Off picked up his 60th lifetime victory in his 282nd lifetime start for co-owners Bob and Brenda MacInnis. Walter Cheverie engineered the winning trip getting up by a neck to win in 2:01.4. Cheverie picked up the driving double scoring in Race 7 with the Alex Sobey trainee Sendmeasign. Corey MacPherson also scored a driving double, winning first with Minor Wisdom for Kristina McCourt and closing out the card with his own trainee Useful Hanover. Racing returns to Red Shores Summerside on Sunday with a 1 p.m.start. The card will feature the 2-year-old colts and fillies in the Joe O'Brien and Lady Slipper Stakes. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca. By Bo Ford

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