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AUGUST 25, 2015 - After coming close in each of his previous Gold Series starts, three-year-old pacing gelding Mr Carrotts scored a narrow victory in front of a hometown crowd at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening. Owned and bred by Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Mr Carrotts trailed fan favourite Go Daddy Go in the outer lane for much of the mile and then sprinted down the stretch to get a whisker in front of Sportsmanship for his first Gold Series win. It was also a close contest for third, with pacesetter Star Cover holding off Robert Hill. Mr Carrotts and driver Paul MacKenzie of Puslinch, ON stopped the Georgian Downs teletimer at 1:53.2 over a "Good" track rated one second slower than normal. "He always showed talent, but he's lazy," said Murray Brethour, who conditions the Mach Three gelding for Thornton resident Melvyn Varcoe and actually sold the horse's dam, Cueless, to Varcoe's father Clarence in 2001. "I bought the mother as a yearling and then I got out of racing and I sold her," explained the Sunderland resident. "She was a good mare." Cueless earned $466,638 in her racing career and produced $240,028 winner Card Hustler in her first mating. Mr Carrotts is her fourth foal and to date he has banked $116,318, with all but $10,000 coming this season. Through 13 sophomore starts the gelding has tallied two wins, three seconds, five thirds and three fifths. With a five and one-half week break before the fifth and final Gold Leg, Brethour says Mr Carrotts will likely enjoy a mini-vacation before beginning preparations for the regular season finale and, hopefully, the Super Final. The top 10 point earners from the regular season advance to the Super Final and Tuesday's victory boosted the gelding up the point standings from thirteenth to fifth. "We'll give him a couple of weeks off, freshen him up," said Brethour. "He's very laid back. It takes a little while to jog him, he don't get too excited, you're out there for half an hour. "Only bad thing about him - I don't own him," concluded Brethour, with a chuckle. In addition to Mr Carrotts' hometown win, Tuesday's Gold Series contest also featured the return of 2014 freshman pacing colt champion Reverend Hanover. Sidelined by an injury in May, the son of Sportswriter missed the first three Gold Legs and was looking to make up for lost time from Post 2 in the second $105,000 division. With Hall of Famer Steve Condren in the race bike, Reverend Hanover controlled the race from start to finish, sailing home two and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:51.4. Pocket-sitter Drachan Hanover earned the second-place share and early challenger J Js Delivery was third. Milton, ON resident Condren crafted the win for trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, ON and owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, ON and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, ON. With Tuesday's victory under his belt, Coleman said the winner of $224,500 has a number of open stakes engagements on his calendar before the next Gold Leg. "He is fully staked up, and there are still enough dances on his plate to rack up some money," said the trainer. "The next big one would be Sept. 12 at Mohawk, the Simcoe, and I wouldn't mind a three-year-old open next Saturday (at Mohawk) if they can fill one." Through three starts in his two-year-old campaign and Tuesday's triumph, Reverend Hanover remains undefeated in Gold Series action. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings make their final regular season Gold Series start at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 2 and the $250,000 Super Final will also be contested at Woodbine on Oct. 10. Georgian Downs wraps up its 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the fifth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

In the last few weeks Harnesslink has begun to update all of our stallion reviews on the Stallion Sphere. Even though it is only twelve months since we did the initial stallion reviews, the changes in the statistics is quite pronounced with the four stallions we have updated to date.   Mach Three is a good example with the son of Matts Scooter having added over $15,000,000 to his bankroll in that time.   He has also added a couple more millionaires on the card in that period and all of a sudden the statistics from twelve months ago look terribly outdated.   That is often the way with the more established stallions who once they have reached the elite level at stud tend to get overlooked a bit with the emphasis mostly centered on newer stallions trying to get established.   The statistics we updated for the other three stallions had changed just as much.   Somebeachsomewhere continues to be the benchmark as a stallion with his first crop closing in on $19,000,000, which is an increase of nearly $6,000,000 in twelve months.   Shadow Play and Sportswriter are two young sires we have updated and again the changes in their averages and percentages are quite significant.   Both have made big strides in the last twelve months and the extent of that change did surprise us.   Harnesslink has two more updates on stallions in the next issue of Insider Access which is free to Harnesslink followers as long as you have signed up to receive it.   You can do so by signing up below; Sign up to "Insider Access" Full Name Email Subscribe

Tioga Downs invader, Mach It A Par, tried to extend her winning streak at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs last week but fell under the weather and was scratched. That only delayed the inevitable as she bounced back with a vengeance this week in the $9,500 mares Open feature pace on Wednesday night (Aug. 19). Three horses left as the seventh race began. Eyemajet (Shawn Gray) and Ugly Betty (Drew Monti) both went for the front but not without an argument from Badlands Love (Jim McNeight). When the dust settled, Ugly Betty took her regular spot on top in :28 flat putting Eyemajet in the pocket. The field then stayed in single file to the half in :58.4 before the outer flow began. Past five-eights, Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) pulled first-over and enticed Mach it A Par (John Cummings Jr.) to leave last place and follow. At that point, Ugly Betty picked up the pace and widened her leader's gap to two-lengths at the 1:28.1 three-quarter pole. When Country Delight stalled, Cummings Jr. swung Mach It A Par three-wide and paced by everyone to win by a length in 1:56.2. The mare hoofed her last quarter in :27.2 over a track rated as "good". It was the ninth win in 16 starts this year for Mach It A Par ($3.60) including five in a row and seven out of her last eight. The 5-year-old daughter of Mach Three has now amassed $60,090 in 2015 earnings for owner Dan Clements. The winner is trained by Renaldo Morales III. Drivers John Cummings Jr. and Drew Monti both scored driving triples on the night with Ray Fisher Jr. nabbing a double. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night with post time at 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

Yearlings by many of the world’s greatest sires will go up for auction at the Shepparton Mixed Sale, to be held at the Shepparton Racing Complex on Sunday September 6.   The 18-strong yearling contingent features yearlings by 14 different sires headed up by champion sire Mach Three and leading trotting sire Majestic Son, as well as Modern Art, Shadow Play (3 lots), Artistic Fella, Jet Laag, Village Jolt (3 lots), Major In Art, Tell All and Mister Big.   Several exciting, young sires will be represented by their first crop and they include  USA 2YO of the Year Big Jim, the $1.6million winner Betterthancheddar, dual NZ Horse of the Year Auckland Reactor and NZ 2YO of the Year Smiling Shard.   The catalogue comprises youngsters out of 2:00 winning mares and 2:00 winner producers.   There’s colts out of the former 3YO Filly of the Year Yeronga Songbird, Melbourne winners Room With A View (1:56) and Our Favourite Girl, Got The Gold (6 wins) and Closetomyheart (Tr 2:04.2) and fillies from the USA Stakes winner Out Of Sight  1:52.4 ($200,142), the NSW Oaks placegetter Lahaini (1:57.5) and the Melton winner Kiss And Fly (1:58.4).   The sale also highlights half-sisters to   *The Youthful Stakes winner Vista Bella 1:57.9 ($110,021)   *The smart racemares Twirling ($105,707) and Golden Grinder 1:55.6 ($90,340)   * Half-brothers to the Moonee Valley winner Stormwarning, Boston Yankee (1:56.6) and The Lombo heat winner Rosemay.   For a catalogue or further information contact Shepparton Harness Racing Club manager Ian McDonald on phone 0428 231 403 or email shepparton@hrv.org.au    Pedigrees can be downloaded from the website www.sheppartonhrc.com.au   Click on the News link. Pedigrees are also available on the Shepparton HRC Facebook page.   Peter Wharton

Rideau Carleton Raceway fans were treated to six outstanding battles by the two-year-old pacing colts at the harness racing meeting on Thursday as the province's best Grassroots and Gold Series competitors brought their "A" game to the Ottawa oval. The Grassroots colts kicked things off in Race 3 and Sporty Mercedes set the tone for the evening, ringing up a :27.4 quarter, :57 half and 1:25.1 three-quarters and then battling favourite Vegas Dream all the way to the wire to score a neck victory in 1:55.1. Shadows Pro was well back in third. The win was Sporty Mercedes' first in three Grassroots appearances. "He raced tough," said Guelph, ON resident McNair of Sporty Mercedes. "They liked him early and he got a little pouty, so they gelded him. He seems to be much better." McNair piloted the Sportswriter son to the win for trainer Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, ON and his partners Dan and Kim Sergeant of Straffordville, ON. In six starts Sporty Mercedes now has two wins and one second for earnings of $14,840. The win was one of two for McNair, who also piloted the winner of the first Gold Series division. Starting from Post 5 the reinsman hustled Nvestment Bluechip out to an early lead and then allowed Voracity to take control before the :28 quarter. Inspiration View went to the front before the :57.2 half and the colts continued to sit one, two, three en route to the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Randy Waples elected to tip Voracity to the outside to challenge Inspiration View, so McNair opted for the passing lane and the colts stormed under the wire in a crowd. After careful review Nvestment Bluechip was determined to have a scant nose in front of Voracity, and Matchplay Hanover was three-quarters of a length back in third. "He was still pacing halfway down the lane, but so was Randy's horse." "I didn't think I could catch him," said McNair. "I still didn't think I won after the race." The win was McNair's first appearance in Nvestment Bluechip's race bike and the driver -- last year's leader in the Ontario Sires Stakes program -- was impressed with the Dave Menary trainee. "He dug in tough to win," said the driver. "He's a smart colt, very relaxed." The win was Nvestment Bluechip's second in Gold Series action. The Shadow Play son also captured his division in the July 11 season opener at Mohawk Racetrack for owners Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, ON, Michael Guerriero of Puslinch, ON, Denis Breton of Welland, ON and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. The other $105,000 Gold division at Rideau Carleton on Thursday went to Semi Automatic, who also arrived in the winner's circle by way of the passing lane. Starting from Post 2 driver James MacDonald landed the colt on the rail in second behind pacesetter Heavymetal Hanover and followed that colt through fractions of :26.4, :56.2 and 1:24.2 before bursting through in the stretch and accelerating away to a two length victory in 1:54. Heavymetal Hanover settled for second and Stonebridge Beach was third. "The horse was amazing tonight," said Guelph, ON resident MacDonald. "I got a good helmet to follow and the horse did the rest." Puslinch resident Tony O'Sullivan conditions Semi Automatic for his partners Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL and J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY. In five starts the Badlands Hanover gelding now has two wins, one second and one third, with his other victory coming in elimination action for the Battle Of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway on July 27. The quickest mile of the four Grassroots divisions was clocked by Blue Zombie, whose 1:54.2 score salvaged an otherwise unprofitable evening for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Casie Coleman. Coleman asked the New Jersey-based Tetrick to make the trip north to steer two Gold Series colts and Blue Zombie, but both Betting Line and A Bettors Risk made breaks in their respective Gold divisions. Blue Zombie however, dominated the fourth Grassroots split, firing straight to the front from Post 2 and laying down fractions of :28, :57.1 and 1:25.3 on his way to a five and one-half length win in 1:54.2. Kokanee Seelster and Azul Pool rounded out the top three. "He gets better every start, so we are really happy with him every week right now," said Coleman, adding that the colt is being prepped for the Metro Pace Eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack on August 29. The Cambridge, ON resident shares ownership of Blue Zombie with her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge and Adriano Sorella of Milton, ON. In four starts the Bettors Delight gelding now has two wins and one third, all in Grassroots action. The other Grassroots trophies went home with St Lads Moonwalk and Secrecy. St Lads Moonwalk sprinted down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:56 in the second division, besting fan favourite Print Media and Bingo Ingo. The Mach Three son was piloted to his first lifetime win by Campbellville, ON resident Mike Saftic for owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge. Secrecy and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton took command heading for the three-quarter pole and never glanced back, cruising home one and one-quarter length winners over Continual Hanover and Day Trade Hanover. The Mach Three gelding's first lifetime win was clocked in 1:55.3. Eric Adams conditions Secrecy for Millar Farms of Newmarket, ON. The Gold Series competitors now have a six and one-half week break in their Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, while the Grassroots colts make their fourth start at Georgian Downs on August 23. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Rideau Carleton Raceway this Sunday on OSS Family Fun Night, featuring four Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies and a host of fun-filled activities for families. Ontario Horse Racing

When it comes to tight track harness racing the Weidemanns take command. The reigning champion at the Royal Queensland Show, Lola Weidemann got off to a flying start to defend her title, winning two of the three Ekka harness racing finals raced so far at this year's show. The other final was won by her niece Stacey Weidemann with all three horses trained by Lola’s sister and Stacey’s aunty, Julie Weidemann. Lola Weidemann won the Friday night Final driving Ghost Gum (Jet Laag – Eagle Street) with the striking 3yo grey pacer finding the lead early to go unheaded over the four laps of the 1609 metre standing start pace. On Saturday Lola and Stacey Weidemann shared the heat wins with Aviators Dream, Mister Armageddon and Mac Sweet winning, then on Saturday night Stacey made it three wins for the day steering Aviators Dream (Mr. Aviator – Milady Bistro) to victory in the Final. On Sunday, the heat wins were shared around a little more evenly between the stables supporting the show. In front of the big weekend crowd Dutch Cream (Steve Burke) won heat one, Blessed Is The Boy (Narissa McMullen) took out heat two and Jacks A Smarty (Stacey Weidemann) won the third heat. Then on Sunday night with the stands around the main arena full to capcity, Lola Weidemann was back in the winner’s circle winning the day's final on last year’s Grand Final winner Lonesome Mach (Mach Three – Little Pheobe). The Weidemann’s are on track to win their fourth Final at the Ekka with two heat winners this afternoon and three runners in tonight’s final. Heat one today went to Emargee (Ricky Gordon). Heat two was won by Mister Armageddon (Lola Weidemann) and the third heat went to Mac Sweet (Lola Weidemann). Harness Racing continues all week at the Ekka with the $10,000 Garrard's - Big Dog Grand Final raced on Sunday. David Aldred

Local father-son harness racing duo Gregg and Doug McNair captured their third Battle Of Waterloo victory during the 25th anniversary edition of Grand River Raceway's Industry Day celebration on August 3. The Guelph, ON residents won the race in 2008 with Trail Boss and again in 2013 with Three Of Clubs. A winner in his elimination division one week ago, Magnum J went off at odds of 3-1 leaving from post seven in the $227,397 final. Doug McNair, 25, guided the two-year-old pacer straight to the front of the nine-horse field and never looked back, maintaining the lead in the stretch against a fast-closing Stonebridge Beach with driver Stephane Pouliot. Magnum J finished a half-length the best in 1:55.3. Gregg McNair purchased Magnum J for $10,000 from last year's Forest City Yearling Sale for co-owners Tony Lawrence and William Brown. The black gelding's share of the 18th annual Battle Of Waterloo brings his career bankroll to $126,799. The McNairs also nailed back-to-back wins in races two and three of the 11-race card. Solar Sister was the betting favourite heading into the first of two $105,000 Gold Series divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS). Doug McNair dominated gate-to-wire, scoring the sophomore pacing filly's sixth win from nine season starts. The victory pushes her career bankroll to $540,190 for owners David Willmot and Clay Harland Horner. The 1:53.2 clocking set a new Canadian season's record and was just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Team McNair was back to the winners circle in the next dash for the Battle Of The Belles Consolation. Stonebridge Pearl was sixth in last week's elimination division but scored handily in today's $15,000 contest. The Mach Three filly's maiden win clocked in at 1:57.3 for Gregg McNair who co-owns with Terry & Jake Davidson. In the Battle Of Belles final, trainer David Menary and driver Jody Jamieson teamed up for their second stakes win. The pair won the 2012 edition with Macharoundtheclock. This year's $141,246 final was all Free Show as she scored her second career win after last week's victory in the eliminations. Jamieson finished a length the best in 1:56.3 for Hutt Racing Stable, who paid just $14,000 for the Badlands Hanover filly as a yearling. She has now earned $110,623 in five career starts. The second OSS Gold Series division of the day was won by Ms Mac N Cheese. Driver Sylvain Filion fired the Badlands Hanover filly up the passing lane to win by a length over Sports Chic in 1:55.3. Richard Moreau trains Ms Mac N Cheese for David Ratchford. This is her fifth win in eight season starts. On the lighter side, driver James MacDonald stole the half-time show with an incredible repeat performance in the Industry Day Drivers' Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes. The Guelph, ON reinsman has won the event for the past five consecutive years. Fellow drivers Ryan Holliday, Tyler Moore and Travis Henry put up a good fight, but simply could not stack up against the unstoppable MacDonald. "Everyone's got their thing," said MacDonald in a post-race interview. "Gretzky had hockey and I've got the bounce." The Best In Show competition sponsored by the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) awarded $1,500 to the caretakers of horses racing on the Industry Day card. Fifteen prizes of $100 were presented to the top five in each of the following categories: Best Of Show Head-To-Toe; Horse & Groom; Above & Beyond (braids, sparkles, etc.). The winners were: Sharleen MacDonald, Brandy Jamieson, Marylou Gingras, Nancy O'Hagan, Alexis Hebert, Ethan Gagnon, Laura Ireland, Leanne Murphy, Kellie Browne, J. Richards, Rick Welsh, Kelley McNiven, Gabriella Sasso, Jeff Williams, and Patty Drury. A crowd of approximately 5,000 people wagered $93,110 on-track. The total handle was $312,548.  Battle Of The Belles race video Battle Of Waterloo video  Bouncy Pony Stakes race video Kelly Spencer

Rural Guelph residents Gregg and Doug McNair had another outstanding afternoon during their local oval's annual showcase of harness racing. The father-son duo - the top trainer and driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program in 2014 - took four horses to Grand River Raceway on Monday for the 25th Industry Day program and went home with three wins and one third. Kicking off Team McNair's impressive afternoon was three-year-old pacing filly Solar Sister, who captured the first $105,000 Gold Series division in 1:53.2, just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Starting from Post 1 the Mach Three filly and driver Doug McNair took command of the race just past the :26.3 opening quarter and carried on to a :54.4 half and a 1:24 three-quarters before hitting the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Wrangler Magic. Stonebridge Quest finished two and one-half lengths back of the favourites in third. "She drew good and took advantage of it," said Gregg McNair, who conditions Solar Sister for owner-breeders David Willmot of King City, ON and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. "It was a big mile. We had a lot of rain around here yesterday so the track, it's good now, but it'll likely even get faster by the end of the day." "They done a good job, this morning I was up here and it had a few ruts in it," he added. "They did quite a bit of work." The win was Solar Sister's third in Gold Series action this season, giving her a perfect 150 points and top spot in the division standings. Through nine sophomore starts the filly boasts a record of six wins and one third for earnings of $325,362. In addition to her Gold Series trophies she also captured the SBOA Stake Final at Mohawk Racetrack on May 30 and finished third in the Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk on June 20. Doug and Gregg McNair returned to the Grand River Raceway winner's circle one race later, with two-year-old pacing filly Stonebridge Pearl, who sprinted down the stretch to a 1:57.3 score in the Battle Of The Belles Consolation. Doug McNair and the Mach Three daughter, who is a Gold Series regular, bested Miss Babe Delight and favourite Twin B Virtue by a length. Gregg McNair trains Stonebridge Pearl for his partners Terry and Jake Davidson of Walkerton, ON. Five-year-old trotting gelding Buddy Hally, who was a Grassroots Champion at two and a Gold Series Consolation winner at three, was the next horse out of the McNair barn and he posted a third-place result in the Doug Gamsby Memorial Trot, behind 1:58.2 winner Extracurricular and Stormont Kate. Gregg McNair shares ownership of Buddy Hally with Howmac Farms Ltd. of North Wiltshire, PEI, Reginald MacPherson of Stratford, PEI and Wayne MacRae of Fall River, NS. The McNair's capped off their spectacular afternoon by capturing their third Battle Of Waterloo title with Magnum J, who rocketed away from Post 7 and around the half-mile oval to a 1:55.3 victory. Stonebridge Beach closed hard to finish one-half length back in second and Carolina Hurricane rounded out the top three. From the first crop of Ontario stallion Big Jim, Gold Series regular Magnum J is owned by Gregg McNair and Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover, ON. The other Gold Series division went to Ms Mac N Cheese and driver Sylvain Filion. The fan favourites landed in second spot from Post 4 and stalked pacesetter Sports Chic through fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26 before sprinting up the inside in the stretch to a 1:55.3 triumph. Sports Chic settled for second, one length behind the winner, and Ride Away Shark completed the top three. "I really thought I could maybe cut it out but I could see that Jody wanted to cut it out," said Filion. "I didn't mind the two-hole, and she just responded great. "She's pretty much a push-button filly," added the Milton, ON resident. "She showed today she was real good." Filion engineered Ms Mac N Cheese's second Gold Series win for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner David Ratchford of North Sydney, NS. The Badlands Hanover daughter currently sits second in the division standings with 125 points from two wins and one second in three Gold Series starts. Second by a neck to Solar Sister in the SBOA Stake Final, Ms Mac N Cheese boasts a record of five wins, two seconds and one third in eight starts for earnings of $210,805. The three-year-old pacing fillies make their fourth Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 27. Rounding out the stakes action on the 25th anniversary Industry Day program was the Battle Of The Belles, which went home with driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary for the second time since its inception in 2009. Moffat, ON resident Jamieson piloted Badlands Hanover daughter Free Show to an effortless 1:56.3 score over Betty Hill and Golden Idol for Cambridge, ON resident Menary and owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Friday, Aug. 14 with the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting colts. August 14 is Ontario Sires Stakes Fan Celebration night at the Elora oval and fans can dress up in the likeness of one of the freshman trotting colt's names for a shot at $500 in prizes, or receive an OSS t-shirt autographed by some of the province's top sires and racehorses. Ontario Horse Racing

Last night Port Pirie stepped onto harness racing's big stage when it hosted this years finals of the $60,000 Southern Cross series. The two year old finals were like chalk and cheese with the fillies looking a one horse race while the colts and gelding section looked a lot more even. South Australian reinsman Mark Billinger was the star of the show winning both two year old finals Two year old colt/geldings final  The two best horses here on paper both drew poorly and as a result the race was thrown wide open. The Art Major gelding Rap Artist drew three on the second line while the Mach Three gelding  Presidentmach drew five on the second line which really evened up the contest. The Big Show from barrier three lead early while trainer / driver Mark Billinger followed him through from the second line with Rap Artist but was left parked out three wide for over 600 metres before finding the death seat. Danni Hill settled Presidentmach back early but took off three wide with a lap to go and ranged up outside the leaders at the 400 metres mark. As they turned for home The Big Show still had the front but was grabbed by a very game Rap Artist 50 metres out who then just held off an equally game Presidentmach who just kept coming. To make it more interesting, Jumping Jolt flashed late for a very close third just in front of The Big Show who battled on gamely. The mile was cut out in 1:58.3 with closing sectionals of 59.2 and 30.1. It was a great race with the first two home putting up huge efforts. Two year old fillies final On paper this looked a one horse affair and thats how it panned out. The Rock N Roll Heaven filly Rocknroll Magic from the Emma Stewart barn drew beautifully at barrier three and driver Mark Billinger let her work to the front under her own steam after 300 metres and from there it was a one horse show. Given her head by Mark at the 500 metres mark, Rocnkroll Magic raced away and won easing down by a huge 23 metres. The Rocknroll Hanover filly Rockfromcork ran home well along the inner for second in front of the Union Guy filly, Little Miss Piggy who battled on for third but the winner was in a class of her own She paced the mile in a smart 1:57.8 with closing sectionals of 57.4 and 29.1 and won with a lot in hand. The task of Rocknroll Magic was made a touch easier when stablemate and second favourite Celebrity Guest was involved in an early skirmish which extinguished her chances. Rocknroll Magic has now won eight from eleven in her debut season and looks a filly of the highest class. Harnesslink Media  

On a night dominated by close finishes it was the blow-out margin in the last tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton that had many harness racing pundits salivating. San Carlo (Mach Three/Bridge Player) mightn’t have beaten a field glistening with stars, but he did it in style taking out the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series A Final and remains unbeaten in four trips to the races. Reinswoman Bec Bartley alluded before the score-up on Sky Racing to the fact she and trainer Stephen O’Donoghue rated the Kialla four-year-old. “We’ll just keep pushing forward," she said, then suggesting the fans would know more about what the gelding was capable of post-race. San Carlo ambled away from barrier six at the 2240-metre start and Bartley kept him clear of harm’s way out wide before trekking forward. Once San Carlo was in front the $1.20 he started with the bookies looked about right. And, after a first half of 62.4secs in-the-run odds makers would have shut up shop. Quickening up through the third stanza (28.6secs) San Carlo slipped into another gear and put his rivals to the sword. Importantly, however, while tonight’s rivals were clearly not in the same league as the winner, San Carlo basically cruised to the line hard held. His fourth quarter was 28.9secs and he romped clear to win by 32.8 metres, but Bartley didn’t budge a muscle and caller Dan Mielicki even suggested the mercy rule be enacted. San Carlo rated 1:59.4. The winner’s dam Bridge Player (by Classic Garry) ran second in the 1997 Sires final at Moonee Valley at two (beaten narrowly by Belinda) and all four of her progeny which have made it to the track have won races. by Cody Winnell

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, July 26, 2015 - Three-year-old pacers were featured Sunday afternoon at Hippodrome 3R, with an event for each sex in the fourth and final preliminary round of their Quebec-Bred series, with the top horses advancing to their respective $65,000 final on September 6. Trainer Dany Fontaine probably wishes the final was next week, as his Mach On The Beach has really found himself in his last three starts, on Sunday taking a new mark of 1:54.3 in winning the final $7500 colt/gelding elimination. Driver Pascal Berube sent the Mach Three gelding swiftly out of the gate, with the rest of the field of five in a post positional lineup. (Western Bayama, the division's defending champion, was scratched; in fact, trainer Yves Filion had a scratch in each Q-series event -- filly Wanda Bayama, who had won two prelims, was also withdrawn.) Sitting next-to-last early didn't sit too well with odds-on favorite Sugarsam, though, and the meet's leading driver, Denis St Pierre, moved him out midbackstretch to rush at the leader by the 28.1 quarter. Berube played some hardball, though, and while challenging in the middle of the second turn, Sugarsam took some nasty steps and drifted wide (not unprecedented behavior for him), finally settling back in last as Mach On The Beach got to the half in 56.2. At a bad positional disadvantage but game as can be, Sugarsam made another move frontward from about the same spot he had done a half-mile earlier, getting to Mach On The Beach by the 1:25 3/4s. Sugarsam behaved himself around the final bend this time, but he could not get by the determined pacesetter in a bitter stretch duel, with Mach On The Beach hanging on by a neck on the wire. Mach On The Beach didn't race at two and had been off the board in his first 10 career starts in Ontario until making the switch to 3R, where he has a record of 3-2-1-0, and he has shown that he should be competitive in the Championship for Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. Nine of the originally-programmed ten horses went postward in the filly division for $8250, with Voodoo Charm, winner of two of her prelim starts, also favored by the Quebec bettors at 2-5. (In the Quebec program, nine or fewer horses as entrants dictate a purse of $7500; if ten, one division goes for $8250; if 11 or more, the event is split for $7500 a division.) Unlike Sugarsam, Voodoo Charm did get to visit Victory Lane -- but only after a seven-minute inquiry into the action early on the second turn, the turn which had also plagued Sugarsam earlier. Big Bertha and Sylvain Lacaille left the gate quickly to get the lead before the 27.2 opening split, with Mario Charron moving just before the quarter from third with "Voodoo." As Voodoo Charm, who had made an early break in her previous start, started to go around Big Bertha to the lead into the second curve, the two came in very close quarters, and Big Bertha took a small stumblestep, which was the source of the inquiry, but no reason for placing was eventually found. Voodoo Charm went on to post splits of 57.2 and 1:27.4, and despite bearing out slightly in the lane she was strong to the wire, winning by a clear margin over Big Bertha in 1:57.2. The meet's leading trainer, Maxime Velaye, combined with Charron, who earlier had swept the Daily Double, to establish this filly as the favorite for her final for owners Yvan Mondoux, Guy Corbeil, Alexandre Morin, and Francois Laverdiere. Hippodrome 3R will now shift its focus to another type of horsepower for the next two weeks, as the Trois-Rivieres Grand Prix auto race will be the focus the next two weeks. The casino and simulcast wagering will be available at 3R during this period, and on the return card Wednesday, August 12, two-year-old trotters will begin their preliminaries in the Quebec-Bred series. Quebec Jockey Club  

Deliciouslynaughty (Mach Three) poked her nose out in time to win a close photo in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Stephane Bouchard piloted the eight year old mare for trainer Andy Sardella and worked out a second over journey for the race's 7-5 betting favorite. Fanning three wide around the final turn, Deliciouslynaughty charged hard in the final strides to photo with longshot Palm Beach (Wally Hennessey) who wound up finishing second in the $15,000 Spa Mares I Handicap. The race's front-runner Mcever (Billy Dobson) held on for third. It was the ninth victory of the year for the veteran Deliciouslynaughty who stopped the timer in 1:54.2 in Friday's feature. Live racing continues on Saturday night with the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace highlighting a program with more than a half million dollars in purses. Track record holder Dancin Yankee returns to the Spa for the first time since dazzling in 1:48.4 to win last year's Gerrity. There is a commemorative t-shirt giveaway with the purchase of the Saturday Saratoga program. First post time is set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

Nichols, N.Y. -- Tracking live cover on the backstretch, Dan Clements's Mach It a Par ($3.00) showed immediate response at the top of the stretch once again, taking Friday (July 24) evening's $12,000 Mares Open Pace at Tioga Downs in decisive--and well-measured--fashion.   Getting away last in the field of six, John Cummings, Jr. angled the 5-year-old Mach Three mare second-over to track the live cover of Shutthefrontdoor (Vern Smith) well off a :55.4 half mile. Mach It a Par was towed into midfield on the backstretch as Shutthefrontdoor turned up the pressure on leader K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.) past three-quarters in 1:24. K J's Caroline ultimately gave way midway on the far turn, but Shutthefrontdoor's new-found lead was in jeopardy at head-stretch. Mach It a Par tipped off cover just upon cornering, and surged to the fore in mid-stretch. She was taken in hand with 70 yards to go, and she prevailed by a measured half-length in 1:52.2. Shutthefrontdoor held second, and K J's Caroline checked in a worn-down third.   Renaldo Morales, III trains Mach It a Par, now a 14-time winner.   Cummings led all drivers on the evening, notching three wins on the 10-race card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 26) afternoon, with first post scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

JULY 23, 2015 - Mohawk Racetrack fans can get into the winner's circle this Saturday during the Ontario Sires Stakes "Be A Winner" contest. The Campbellville oval hosts two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, and the second $105,000 division will see a "Be A Winner" semi-finalist assigned to each horse. Each semi-finalist and one guest will be invited to tour the race paddock and watch the Gold Series colts battle from the winner's circle, and the semi-finalist who was assigned to the winning horse will be able to join in the post-race celebrations. The victorious semi-finalist will also receive a digital copy of the winner's circle photo, dinner for four during the Grassroots Championships at Mohawk on Sept. 26, and a $100 wagering voucher for the Sept. 26 program. Hoping to greet the "Be A Winner" victor after the eighth race is Guelph, ON resident Dr. Ian Moore, who will send out the division's number-three ranked colt Physicallyinclined. The Mach Three son and driver Paul MacDonell, also of Guelph, will start from Post 1, looking for their first Gold Series win after a pair of runner-up finishes in the first two Legs. "Hopefully his luck turns around this week," said Dr. Moore. "He's a very, very game, tough individual. "And actually this will be one of the first times that he's drew close to the rail in all his starts," the trainer continued. "He's been outside or in the middle in most all of them." Physicallyinclined boasts a sophomore record of 4 wins and two seconds through 7 starts, with his biggest win to date coming in the North America Cup Consolation at Mohawk on June 20. Owners Bruce McGean of Stewiacke, NS and Sterling Feener of Sydney, NS have attended all the colt's stakes starts and will be at Mohawk for Saturday's Gold Series test, hoping to share their enthusiasm for Physicallyinclined with the successful "Be A Winner" contestant. "He's the only horse they have and they're really, really excited," said Dr. Moore. "North America Cup Consolation night we're going up to the winner's circle, and I went to shake Bruce's hand and he's crying. He said. 'I can't help it'. He's a real good guy and it's nice to see people like that have success with their horses." In addition to Physicallyinclined, Moore will also send out Shoe Shine in the first Gold division. It will be the Shadow Play son's Ontario Sires Stakes debut and Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry will steer him from Post 3 in the sixth race. "He's been a surprise actually. He had a bad heel crack in one foot and we got that fixed up and it seemed to have made a big difference," said Dr. Moore, who still spends his afternoons working at his veterinary practice. "Now I know it's a little tougher in the Gold, but they wanted to try him and I was okay with that, so away we go on Saturday." Wayne Whebby of Dartmouth, NS and R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NS share ownership of Shoe Shine and Whebby trained the colt before leaving him with Moore following his first Mohawk start on June 29. Since arriving in Ontario the pacer has posted three wins and one fourth in four outings, starting in non-winners of $7,000 and moving up to non-winners of $25,000. "Both of those two colts have been pleasant surprises for all of us associated with them," noted Dr. Moore. "So hopefully we have a little more luck." Fans who do not reach the semifinals of the "Be A Winner" contest can still catch an Ontario Sires Stakes ball cap during the trackside hat toss, and the first 200 fans arriving for Saturday's festivities can have an OSS T-shirt autographed by their favourite drivers. The first race rolls in behind the Mohawk Racetrack starting gate at 7:25 pm on Saturday and the three-year-old pacing colts will be featured in Races 6 and 8. Ontario Horse Racing

On Monday night, 17 colts and 25 fillies will vie for a spot on center stage at the harness racing meeting at Grand River Raceway's marquee event, Industry Day. While the 25th anniversary of the horse racing industry celebration is on August 3, finalists in the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be decided on July 27, as the Elora, ON track hosts a total of five elimination rounds. BATTLE OF WATERLOO Two elimination divisions of the Battle Of Waterloo (for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing colts) are carded for races two and seven. The top four finishers from each division, plus one of the two fifth-place finishers (as determined by draw) will advance to the $207,397 final of the 18th annual Battle Of Waterloo on August 3. Trainer Bob McIntosh and driver John Campbell won the 2014 Battle Of Waterloo with Go Daddy Go, and look to double-up with Think On It in the first division. The homebred son of Ponder won an Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Grassroots event at Mohawk in 1:54 on July 10. He was fourth a week later in a Gold Series event at the same locale. This will be his first race on a half-mile track and he'll start from post position one. Sizing him up from post two is the Tony O'Sullivan starter Semi Automatic. While still on the hunt for his maiden-breaking win, the Badlands Hanover son has amassed $30,100 with a runner-up and third-place finish in two OSS Gold Series events. James MacDonald will steer. With $44,870 banked in three starts, Carolina Hurricane is the most accomplished earner of the bunch. He'll start from post six for trainer Ron Adams. The Sportswriter gelding was a speedy runner-up in his last two assignments. In race seven, Cambridge, ON trainer Casie Coleman conditions the 2-1 early favourite, A Bettors Risk. The Bettors Delight son made a costly miscue getting away from the gate in his career debut at Mohawk Racetrack on July 17 but made a massive recovery in that mile to finish second. He'll start from the coveted rail position in Monday's second division. To his right, Stonebridge Beach will be on the hunt for his first win in four starts. Stephane Pouliot will drive the pacer for trainer Stephane Larocque. Stonebridge Beach rallied nicely to finish third in an OSS Gold Series event on July 18. The freshman is a Mach Three brother to the late great Art Colony (a winner of $863,000 in 13 races) and commanded a yearling price of $48,000 at the 2014 Forest City Sale. Jimmy Takter hopeful Cruise Patrol will start from post three. The Bettors Delight colt qualified in 1:56.1 over The Meadowlands and finished a close second in his first start at the New Jersey track a few weeks later. He had a rough trip in last week's Canadian debut in the OSS Gold Series at Mohawk Racetrack, but finished fifth just three lengths behind the winner. Cruise Patrol was a $60,000 yearling purchase in Lexington, KY. BATTLE OF THE BELLES Three elimination divisions of the Battle Of The Belles (for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing fillies) are carded for races one, three and six. The top three finishers from each division will advance to the $140,246 final of the 7th annual Battle Of The Belles on August 3. Heavenly Hill is one of five starters in the Belles elims for Cambridge, ON trainer Dave Menary, who won the final in 2012 with Macharoundtheclock. Jody Jamieson will steer Heavenly Hill from the trailing position (post #9) in the first division. The duo finished second in an OSS Grassroots event last week at Georgian Downs, and won the filly's maiden trip in 1:54.2 on July 9 at Mohawk Racetrack. Menary's others hopefuls are: second division starters Free Show - the early favourite and richest of the field with earnings of $35,000 - and OSS Grassroots winner Twin B Virtue starting from outside post #8; third division starters Vermillion Bird (post #3) and outside starter Maniana which was a lapped-on runner-up in last week's OSS Gold Series event. Twenty Three Red is the early favourite from post seven in the first division. The Mach Three miss let a late lead slip away in her most recent OSS Gold Series start and settled for third. Monday will mark her first start in the barn of Cambridge, ON trainer Joe Pereira. Among her competitors, Boozer Bruiser boasts the quickest mile to date with an impressive 1:54.1 clocking in an OSS Grassroots maiden win at Mohawk Racetrack. She was a runner-up last week for trainer Louis Eftimiadis and driver Mike Saftic, who will send her from post #2 on Monday. Bold Amoretto was the winner of last week's OSS Grassroots event in 1:56.1. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, the Big Jim filly was a $52,000 yearling purchase. Her dam, Armbro Amoretto, was Canada's top two-year-old filly in 2002 and winner of $1.6 million during her own illustrious career. Bold Amoretto will start from post four in Monday's second division. Trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Puslinch, ON and driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON won the 2014 edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Win The Gold. The pair are vying to replicate that victory with Win The Gold's full sister, Golden Idol. She was a solid runner-up in a sharp clocking two starts ago, but finished fifth by eight lengths in last week's OSS Gold Series event. The Sportswriter filly starts from post #1 in Monday's final division. Keystone Paula has earned $40,600 in just two career starts for trainer Ervin Miller. She's the richest of all 25 fillies after a two-length OSS Gold Series win in 1:54.1 at Mohawk Racetrack on July 6. She was fourth in her follow-up two weeks later. The projected early favourite of race six, she'll start from post position five with driver Sylvain Filion. POST POSITION DRAW Starting positions for the finals of the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be determined during a post position draw which will be conducted and broadcast live following race eight on July 27. Grand River Raceway's Industry Day Celebration on August 3 features a 12-race card which also includes racing under saddle, consolation races for the Battles, and a Gold Leg for three-year-old pacing fillies in the Ontario Sires Stakes. Festivities and the TV broadcast kick off at 1:00 p.m. Post time for the first race is 1:30 p.m. For complete event details, visit http://industrydaycelebration.com/ Post time for race one of Monday's elimination races is 6:30 p.m. Kelly Spencer

Drouin harness racing co-trainers Gary and Debbie Quinlan were successful in taking out the Hygain 2-Y-0 Pace over 1609 metres at Tuesday’s Cranbourne fixture with Bettors Delight/Modern Girl filly Magical Delight. Driven by Chris Alford,  Magical Delight having her seventh appearance at the races showed plenty of speed from gate six to lead, before being restrained to take a trail on Maree Caldow’s well supported Courage Under Fire colt Madeeba which started outside her. After a cosy passage, Magical Delight used the sprint lane to gain the day by a nose in the thrilling finish after the pair drew clear of their rivals in the straight. Pablo Santanna (one/two – three wide at bell) finished third 13.2 metres in arrears of the winner. The mile rate was 1-59. Lemnos (Goulburn Valley) based Amanda Turnbull who spends many hours travelling backward and forward to her home town of Bathurst on a regular basis, combined with partner Nathan Jack to land a training double at the meeting with two Kiwi breds – boom Mach Three/Maikona colt Oh Jonny B Good the Condo’s Horse Transport Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2080 metres and Monarchy/Amanda’s Gem 4-Y-0 mare Beta Hanoverdakash the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2110 metres. Oh Jonny B Good driven by Amanda, a prohibitive $1.40 favourite, was eased from inside the second row to settle at the rear, with speedy gelding Terra Beau leading from gate three. Following Lucky VC three wide at the bell which crossed to be in the open for the last lap before striding clear on the final bend, Oh Jonny Be Good joined Lucky VC on turning, with the pair moving away to fight out the finish. Gaining the upper hand as the winning post came into view, Oh Jonny B Good scored by a comfortable 5.8 metre margin in 1-59.6, with Holdonsu 4.5 metres away in third place after following the winner home. Beta Hanoverdakash pinged straight to the front from the pole and after being rated a treat by Nathan, was never headed in accounting for Soh Filthy Rich (barrier four) which trailed by 4.9 metres. Always Treasure was 7.2 metres away in third place after following the pair. The mile rate was 2-08.3. Beautifully bred Grinfromeartoear/Counterfiet Girl gelding Fake Smile made it two from two when greeting the judge in the Blue Hills Rise 3-Y-0 Pace over 2080 metres with Greg Sugars in the sulky. Raced by Paul Sequenzia who had so much success with multiple Derby winner Sushi Sushi, Fake Smile trained at Sunbury by Ahmed Taiba  settled four back in the moving line from gate three on the second line, with Lombo Medlyn Miss flying away from outside the front line to lead. Moving forward three wide uncovered at the bell, Fake Smile crossed to lead the outside division in the back straight, but was pushed three wide again approaching the home turn after the leader hung off the track allowing Blue Chipped to obtain an inside passage momentarily. Dashing to the front on straightening, Fake Smile registered an easy 3.8 metre victory in advance of Another Broadway (one/one last lap) and Dependlebury (one/two) in a mile rate of 2-01.3. Whittlesea trainer Charlie Farrugia and reinsman nephew Darren Zahra have enjoyed a fruitful season with a handy limited team and snared the Devilish Smile @ Elderslie Farm Stud Pace for C1 class over 1609 metres with Major Minor, a five year old gelded son of Attorney General and Gay And Bright in a rate of 2-00.6. Given a sweet trip from the pole trailing the heavily backed Ian Dornauf trained Royal Shootout (gate three), Major Minor angled into the clear on turning to just hold on by a half head from sprint laner Village Me (four back the markers) and Royal Shootout in a slugging finish. The Caldow’s made amends for Madeeba’s narrow defeat earlier in the night when Bettors Delight/Millwood Touche filly Millwood Brandy scored in the Decron Pace for C0 class over 2080 metres. Sent forward from gate four to cross Bay Tint (gate two) shortly after the start, John Caldow elected to allow Phantom Rockstar (gate five) which had been three wide to assume control hitting the back straight on the first occasion. Enjoying a charmed passage, Millwood Brandy used the sprint lane to register a 3.9 metre victory over Phantom Rockstar and Lombo Idle Belief third after racing in the open from last for the final circuit. The mile rate was 2-02.8. Melton trainer Beau Tindale’s Sportswriter/Full Pleasure 3-Y-0 gelding Egodan chalked up his fifth success (four this season), when victorious in the Hyland Harness Colours Pace for C1 class over 2080 metres. With regular reinsman Rod Petroff in the sulky, Egodan settled with most of the field ahead of him after starting from the extreme draw, with Amanda Turnbull’s Airbournemagic circling the field from gate four on the second line to lead. Set alight racing for the bell, Egodan led for the last lap in defeating Cullen Regent from mid-field and Airbournemagic in a mile rate of 2-01. The margins being 6.1 X 4.8 metres. Melton mentor Lance Justice presently sidelined with a nasty heel injury after being involved in a freak accident at Geelong the week before, landed the Seelite Windows & Doors Pace for C4 & C5 class over 1609 metres with ex-Kiwi 5-Y-0 Sands A Flyin/Zwish gelding Phil Monty much to the delight of the large number of stable clients who share in the ownership. Driven by the stable’s Jason Hackett, Phil Monty was revved up from gate six to lead and allowed to bowl, ran his rivals ragged to score by 7.6 metres from Blitzsuzy off a three wide trail on the back of the third placegetter United Legacy. The mile rate was 1-59.1. Len Baker

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