A lot of New Zealand harness racing trainers will vary the program of their stable stars as they head to a race such as the New Zealand Cup. Many different paths are taken, all with the intent of arriving at the second Tuesday in November in peak condition. However to say that the path taken to this years Cup by last years runner up Fly Like An Eagle is outside of the square would be a massive understatement. In a surprise move, champion trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have decided that a C2 front mobile mile on "Ladies" day at Wairio will be the starting point for Fly Like An Eagle this season. The son of Mach Three was in great from leading into last years New Zealand Cup which culminated with a close second to Terror To Love in the Cup itself but then the form of Fly Like An Eagle fell away due to a series of niggling issues especially on his Australian sojourn. Since being returned to the All Stars barn at the end of last season, Mark and Natalie have done a wonderful job in bringing Fly Like An Eagle back to the track in such great physical condition. Two trials this time in have seen him make sizzling beginnings and run big sectionals to be collared late in the piece by more seasoned runners such as Christen Me and Smolda. After yesterdays trial, the All Stars brains trust thought they even though his run had been super, Fly Like An Eagle had not been completely at the top of his game. "We are going to head to the mile at Wairio with him," said Mark "Natalie was thrilled with how he went but felt he was a bit down on confidence. He had a hard time of it in Australia last season and it has affected his confidence a touch so that is why he is at Wairio instead of Methven," he said. To be driven by in form stable reinsman Tim Williams, Fly Like An Eagle has drawn the outside barrier of seven in the small field and looks a class above them on paper. While running over a mile at Wairio might not be everyone's idea of a good lead up for a tough two mile on Cup Day, Mark and Natalie have shown again and again that they know how to get the best out of their charges. Fly Like An Eagle showed last year he was up to winning a New Zealand Cup and he looks on track to again be a major player in this years event. Harnesslink Media
Three Of Clubs fought off challenges early and late on his way to an authoritative 1:51.1 harness racing triumph in the $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for sophomore colt and gelding pacers on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Driver Doug McNair shot Three Of Clubs to the front from post position six, and he would chop out the opening quarter in 27 seconds flat. Silverhill Shadow (Chris Christoforou), who started from post ten, was unable to find an inside position, and he was forced to press on. McNair wasn’t about to let him clear, though, and left him on the outside through the 55 second half. Victor Bayama (Sylvain Filion) elected to tip three-wide on the far turn to try and get around Silverhill Shadow, and public choice Jet Airway (Randy Waples) tracked that move. However, they were both still very wide and still clearly behind Three Of Clubs as he cruised through three-quarters in 1:23.1. Pocket-sitter Play It Again Sam and a wide Jet Airway had clear aim at Three Of Clubs the entire length of the stretch, but they didn’t have the pace to track him down, and Three Of Clubs went on to win by two lengths in 1:51.1. Play It Again Sam was the runner-up and Jet Airway had to settle for third. Prince Clyde (Trevor Henry) was the fourth-place finisher and Victor Bayama wound up fifth. “He had great gate speed last year, but we’ve had trouble with him all year,” McNair said of Three Of Clubs, who is headed to the Windy City Pace at Maywood Park in suburban Chicago. “He was getting bad gaited near the end of the mile. Kudos to the guys who work for dad, Dad (winning trainer Gregg McNair), and all the vets, they got this horse ready for the end of the year and they did a great job. I thought he had a good shot as long as he was good gaited. He can get off the wings good. It’s too bad he’s had trouble all year because he should have twice amount the money on his card he’s got.” Gregg McNair of Guelph, Ontario, also co-owns Three Of Clubs, a colt by Mach Three, with Hall of Famer Keith Waples of Durham and Tony Lawrence of Hanover, Ontario. Three Of Clubs got his second win from 12 efforts this year, and he now has six career victories. He has earned $255,480 on the campaign and $462,097 lifetime. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News
Lonny Stokes and J R's Hurricane scored a decisive victory in Saturday's top-class at Exhibition Park Raceway. He was seeking his Third Straight win and Stokes was quick off the gate with the five-year-old son of Mach Three. He made every post a winning one including a final quarter of :27.3. Time of the mile was 1:58.2 as he destroyed the field by twelve and three-quarter lengths. Wave That Banner and Dance Hanover made up the top trio. For J Rs Hurricane, it was his eleventh win on the season for owner Jean Charles Belliveau. Also on Saturday, first time owner Michael Folkins won his first career race as an owner as Dale Spence Jr. guided Windemere Astro to victory in the afternoon's first race. Mark Haig had two-wins on the program as he now has twenty-eight wins on the season at Exhibition Park Raceway. Next card will be contested on the holiday Monday, October 13th at 2:00 P.M. by Scott Waddell, for HRNB
Katy Perry, voted Australian 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year after feature wins in both the $A297,000 Australasian Breeders Crown and $A50,505 Garrards Tatlow Stakes, is back in work at Kentuckiana Lodge. The precocious daughter of Bettor’s Delight and Karen Donna had five weeks out after going unbeaten in four Victorian starts, culminating in her big Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Final at Melton on August 24. “She had a week off in Australia before coming home, which was helpful,” said trainer Cran Dalgety. “I would have liked her to have given her a longer break, but there are three nice races for her at Auckland in December.” Preceeding the Group One $150,000 Sires Stakes 3YO Fillies Final at Auckland on December 31 is the Group Two $75,000 Peter Breckon Memorial Ladyship Stakes, also at Alexandra Park, on December 19. There is also a lead-in race beginning the Auckland carnival. “She’s looking fantastic. She’s really grunted up and bulked up over the rear end,” Cran said. Last term in NZ, Katy Perry won the Listed $146,250 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Final, and was the runnerup to Linda Lovegrace in the Group One $113,406 Woodlands Stud/Caduceus Club 2YO Fillies Classic, both at Auckland in May. Her 2YO successes earned connections $367,603 from seven wins and two seconds in 10 starts. Theoretically, a faster Katy Perry should return this term, wearing two less straps. The Kentuckiana Lodge mentor had to race her with spreaders in the Breeders Crown, a legacy of her shock fall in the preliminary before the Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond at Cambridge on May 31. “She ended up with a big mark on the inside knob of the knee, which she just touched and made it worse.” “Thats all good now and this time in we’ll get rid of the spreaders. She’ll have less weight to carry anyway.” The Kentuckiana Lodge trainer has a strong support cast of 3Y0 fillies this term. “Its funny how its just fallen that way,” he said. Delightful Lana, who set a NZ mobile 2600m 2YO fillies record of 3:14.6 at Timaru in May and won twice in six juvenile starts, returned to the trials last Monday. Bettor Think Twice, from the same family as Venus Serena and also good enough to race in the Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond, won once and was twice placed in eight juvenile starts. “She has improved a bit, which she has needed to do, as she was there last term, without being dominant,” Cran said. Lightning Mach, who won back-to-back Forbury starts in April-May from just four 2YO starts, and Supriya, who won once in four 2YO filly starts, are also likely to advance further this term. Then there’s diminuitive but speedy Margarita, who only began racing in July and has quickly won three from five, including a 1:57.9 Addington mile last week. “She has to keep improving to get up to the better ones but she hasn’t hit a brick wall yet,” said Cran, who trains her for wife, Chrissie. Margarita has been withdrawn from Rangiora on Sunday. She was transferred to the stand start 2600m C1 pace after her nominated mobile race was deleted. Courtesy Of Cran Dalgety Racing - Check site here
After an overpowering win last week in the afternoon's top-class, five-year-old J Rs Hurricane will be looking to repeat in this week's top conditioned harness racing event. Lonny Stokes, no stranger to driving the son of Mach Three will be holding the lines of the pacer from post-four in the five horse top-class. Man In Pink will once again have the advantage of the rail position for driver Mark Haig. Dance Hanover will have post-two for catch-driver Mike Barrieau for the Ultimate Stables of Moncton. American Captain will leave from post-four for veteran driver and trainer Mike Campbell. Wave That Banner from the Eric Wilson stable will have the outside post-five. Starters will face-off for a purse of $ 1500. This Saturday will also feature the final leg of Horse Racing New Brunswick's handicapping contest. Week twenty ( 20 ) will be contested and an overall winner announced next week. Post time for Saturday's matinee card is slated for 2:00 P.M. Scott Waddell
Seelster Farms announced today that their 2014 yearling videos are now available online at www.seelsterfarms.com Click here for the full draft of yearlings. The farm’s entire 2014 yearling consignment will sell at the Forest City Yearling Sale on October 12 at the Western Fair Agriplex in London, Ontario. Yearlings will be available for viewing at the Agriplex on Saturday, October 11. This year’s consignment features the much-anticipated first crops of World Champion & Breeders Crown winner Big Jim p, 2, 1:49.1s ($1,544,580) and North America Cup winner Up The Credit p, 2, 1:51.4s; 3, 1:49s; 1:48.3s’ 13 ($1,331,623). An impressive group of first foals are featured in this season’s consignment, including: Absolut Seelster, an Angus Hall filly from Amazing Adventure 3, 1:56.2 ($50,432), the half sister to Peach Martini 3, 1:55f ($587,319). Bourbon Seelster, a Camluck filly from the full sister to Mr Apples p, 1:49 ($668,808). Evangelin Seelster, a Camluck filly from Eagle Kelly p, 2, 1:56.4h ($118,765). Ganacus Seelster, a Big Jim colt from the half sister to Goddesss Justin p, 3, 1:49.4f ($450,438). Kokanee Seelster, a Camluck colt from Kiddie Cocktail p, 3, 1:54.2 ($47,598), the half sister to Bikini Bottom p, 3, 1:51.1 ($531,229). Las Vegas Seelster, a Kadabra filly from the full sister to Miss Wisconsin 3, 1:55 ($525,551). Mayhem Seelster, a Mach Three filly from Macapelo Rose p, 3, 1:53.3f ($50,806), the half sister to Machapelo p, 1:51.2 ($593,973), Resistance Futile p, 4, 1:49.1s’ 14 ($277,078) & 2014 OSS Gold winner Capela p, 2, 1:53.1s’ 14 ($91,690). Mayhem Seelster Standout siblings to leading 2014 performers include: Nila Seelster, the Mach Three half sister to Nitro Seelster p, 4, 1:49.4f’ 14 ($103,973) & Nirvana Seelster p, 3, 1:52.3s’ 14 ($58,296). Toureg Seelster, the Shadow Play half brother to Titus Seelster p, 3, 1:51s’ 14 ($82,912). Tala Seelster, the Muscle Mass half sister to Traverse Seelster 1:51.2f’ 13 ($594,761).
Harness racing two-year-old pacing colts bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, the undefeated Reverend Hanover and the bargain yearling Drachan Hanover, captured both $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions tonight at Mohawk. The final division saw the lightly raced Reverend Hanover extend his unbeaten record to three with another impressive effort. In that split Mike Saftic and Seaforth were on top by the opening quarter in :26.1 but not for long as Chris Christoforou and Reverend Hanover quickly took over well before the :55.1 half. That colt opened up by the three-quarters in 1:23.4 and could not be caught down the stretch as he won handily in 1:51.4. Manny In Sports (Badlands Hanover) and Bob Ben And John (Sportswriter) were next across. A son of Sportswriter owned by West Wins Stables, Cambridge, Steve Calhoun, Chatham and Anthony Beaton, Waterdown, Ontario, Reverend Hanover has yet to taste defeat in his young career. This was the second OSS Gold win for the $24,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg and upped his earnings to $93,000 in just three starts. His paddock mate from Hanover Shoe Farms, Drachan Hanover, took the other division which saw Fighttothefinish fight for the lead and get on top by the first quarter in :26.3. Steve Condren and Go Daddy Go took over well before the :54.3 half and were at the three-quarters in 1:23. Drachan Hanover, who’d been stalking first up, took over the lead as they headed down the stretch and was at the wire first in 1:51.4 for Rick Zeron. Moonwriter and Sportskeeper, both sons of Sportswriter, were next across. A mere $4,500 yearling purchase at Harrisburg last fall, Drachan Hanover has now earned $95,150 from seven starts this year for owners Lloyd MacLean and Ken Rankin of Nova Scotia and trainer Marcel Barrieau. The colt is from a full sister to Driven To Win ($991,000). Two $105,000 divisions for the rookie pacing fillies were also contested tonight. Capela drove out quickly from post six in the second and quickest division but I Wonder Why had collared her by the opening quarter in :27.1. I Wonder Why continued to lead at the half in :55.4 and the three-quarters in 1:24.4. In mid stretch James MacDonald found clearance from the pocket spot for Capela and that filly managed to haul down the pacesetter and trip the timer in 1:53.1. I Wonder Why (Ponder) was right there for second with Palette Tina (Allamerican Native) taking third. It was the first lifetime victory for Capela who had two seconds and two thirds heading into tonight’s contest. Trained by Tony O’Sullivan for owners Let It Ride Stable of Florida and RBH Ventures of New York, the Sportswriter filly is a half-sister to Machapelo ($593,000) and Resistance Futile ($277,000). The first division saw an upset when Sylvain Filion put Wrangler Magic on top and never looked back through splits of :26.4, :56.2, 1:25.2 and were home in 1:53.3. Aintsheasweetie took second while Solar Sister was third. The top three finishers are all daughters of Mach Three. Heavy favourite and leading point earner Sports Chic mounted a three wide rally in the final turn but tired and finished seventh. It was the second lifetime win in seven tries for Wrangler Magic owned by breeder Dr. Maurice Stewart of Alberta along with Tom Kyron of Toronto and Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms of Quebec. These were the final regular season Gold events for both divisions. The top performers will return for the Super Finals on October 11 back at the Campbellville oval. Results for tonight’s program may be viewed through Mohawk Results - September 30. Ontario Sire Stakes
The breeders involved in harness racing in Australasia have access in 2014 to the leading sires in the world but just three North American sires continue to dominate our breeding scene at the moment and they are Art Major, Bettor's Delight and Mach Three. Australia Art Major stands in Australia and is completely dominant on the stakes money charts in that country due in no small part to the large numerical advantage he holds over his two main opponents. The charts below show quite clearly the advantage he has. Art Major 4 year olds - 167 3 year olds - 129 2 year olds - 153 Bettors Delight 4 year olds - 56 3 year olds - 84 2 year olds - 74 Mach Three 4 year olds - 53 3 year olds - 33 2 year olds - 49 As you can see Art Major has a huge advantage and thats what you see every time you go to the track. You see Art Majors everywhere and that reinforces the message that he is on top. But the big numbers are only important if the stallion can deliver elite level racehorses and Art Major can do that in spades as he has shown over many years. New Zealand Skip across the Tasman to the home of both Bettors Delight and Mach Three and you get a completely different picture, again entirely due to foal numbers. Bettors Delight is completely dominant there on the stake money won list due in the main to huge books which have given him huge foal numbers most years. He is extremely fertile and has the added bonus of being a great filly sire as well The charts below show that huge advantage Bettors Delight has numbers wise over Art Major and Mach Three. Bettors Delight 4 year olds - 117 3 year olds - 234 2 year olds - 220 Art Major 4 years old - 98 3 year olds - 87 2 year olds - 49 Mach Three 4 year olds - 160 3 year olds - 77 2 year olds - 94 Last years three year old season in New Zealand was different from normal in so much as Mach Three had more foals than either Bettors Delight or Art Major for the first time in living memory. The result was that Mach Three won the 3 year olds stake money list quite comfortably from Bettors Delight and Art Major which proves once again that foal numbers do matter when it comes to winning sire premierships Now plenty of sires are trying to break the dominance of the big three and the latest is Sportswriter. He met the first requirement for all new stallions trying to dislodge the top three in that he had the largest crop of 2 year olds with 155 of any sire in Australia last season and he did leave 33 winners from his first crop. But when it came to the big money races, the Art Majors and Bettors Delights scooped up most of the money. So a good start for Sportswriter but not up with the big boys yet. Another stallion who has been given a big chance to join the big boys in Australia is Shadow Play who served a huge book of 295 mares last season in Australia and a further 80 in New Zealand on the back of a great first season in North America. His first crop of two year olds in Australasia were good last season without being brilliant so the jury is still out as to weather he can challenge the big three. Rock N Roll Heaven served a book of 215 mares in his first year at stud in Australia and a further 52 in New Zealand so his first crop which are two year olds in the current season will be watched with great interest. His North American results in the super tough New York Sires Stakes have been very good so the signs so far are positive. Auckland Reactor is another stallion who has been handed an opportunity to join the big three serving 212 mares in New Zealand and 182 in Australia in his first season at stud. With that number of mares, Auckland Reactor needs to make a big slash right from the start or else he will be discarded quickly. As it stands the big three continue to dominate but one thing is very clear. To compete with the Art Majors, Bettors Delights and Mach Threes is never going to be easy as they are world class sires who perform in both hemispheres. For any new sire to challenge the dominance of the three established top sires, he needs a book of mares of a comparable size and quality to what they regularly serve or he is really going to struggle. Harnesslink Media
The harness racing meeting at Cambridge last night (September25th) turned into a benefit night for leading South Auckland trainer/driver Brent Mangos. Brent reined home four winners on the nine race card and what made it even more memorable for the top reinsman was the fact that he trained the four winners as well. The first of the quartet to put his foot in the winners enclosure was Vibhuti who after doing plenty mid race, run away and hid in the straight for an easy win and Brent has a bit of time for the son of American Ideal. " He is quite a progressive horse and Cambridge suits him a lot better than Auckland as he has trouble getting around the last bend up there. I think he is getting more tractable with racing and has a bright future" he said when speaking to Harnesslink this morning. The second winner came in the Te Awamutu Cup where Rockn Ruby made full use of a lovely trail behind the pacemaking Beyond The Silence to grab him in the shadows of the finishing post for her seventh lifetime win and Brent thinks that won't be the last win for the daughter of Mach Three " She is such a lovely mare to do anything with and is so consistent. That win last night took her over the $80,000 mark and I think she has got two or three wins in her yet" he said The third winner was another daughter of Mach Three in Molly O'Shea who in her first run for the season went straight to the front from barrier one and kept up a very steady clip and then scooted away from the 400 meters for an easy victory in a very smart 3:21.6 for the 2700 meters That was her third win from just ten starts and Brent thought there were more wins in store. "She just lacks a touch of high speed to be honest but she can really stay and thats how I drove her last night. I think theres another two or three wins in her as well" he said. The fourth winner was the debut runner Justforyou who is owned in Perth by Karnup Racing Pty Ltd who raced the champion mare Bettor Cover Lover from Brent's stable. A daughter of Christian Cullen, they purchased her out of the 2013 Australasian Classic Sale for the princely sum of $10,000 which must seem like a bargain after last nights win. Justforyou settled three back on the inner early and was only angled off the inner by Brent as they turned for home from where she absolutely flew to win going away by an ever increasing 2 1/2 lengths in a performance that both surprised and impressed Brent. "She had only had a couple of trials and I didn't think she was ready to do that. She really impressed me last night and she looks to have a big future" he said. Brent Mangos has always been rated one of the best drivers in the industry in New Zealand and last nights quartet of winners was just a timely reminder of how good he is. Harnesslink Media
The first harness racing meeting for the new season at Methven comes up for decision on Sunday and as per usual for this time of year it sees the emergence of a lot of spring 3 year olds. Race 1 for the CO 3 year olds and older over 2300 meters from behind the mobile has drawn a smart field with several promising 3 year olds lining up. McArdle Star form the Ken Barron barn has drawn poorly at three on the second line but his trial runs suggest a big debut run from the son of McArdle. Brought out of the 2013 Australasian Classic Sale for $30,000 by long time stable clients Steve Thompson and Grant Dickey, McArdle Star will have the services of in form reinsman Blair Orange and looks a big winning chance. Highview Freddy from the Robert Dunn barn is another 3 year old who looks above average and from the one draw can make his own luck. A full brother to the outstanding Highview Tommy 1:55.2 ($1,021,904) Highview Freddy had four starts at two against Say My Name and company so it is a big drop back in class here. He ran a lovely fourth behind Margarita in his first run back from a spell and looks sure to be a major player with Sam Ottley in the bike. Another runner from the Robert Dunn barn is Altissimo who has drawn nicely at barrier three. She is a 3 year old daughter of Mach Three from a Beach Towel half sister to the champion pacer Elsu 1:53.6 ($2,083,352). Altissimo qualified recently on the track in very impressive fashion and has the services of leading reinsman John Dunn in the bike. Another 3 year old making his debut for the season is the Gotta Go Cullect gelding Until Further Notice from two on the second line from the Jimmy Curtin barn. Until Further Notice is a recent addition to the stable and he is now owned by long time stable client Ralph Nieper who raced his half brother Slash An Burn 1:54.7 ($277,288) from the Curtin barn. Placed twice as a two year old when racing out of the Murray Swain barn in Southland, Until Further Notice won a trial last week at Ashburton with smart closing sectionals of 56 .8 and 27.4 and looks ready to rumble. Just so all the 3 year olds don't have it all their own way, the Nigel McGrath trained and driven Western Art with four seconds in his last five starts looms as a fly in the ointment for the 3 year olds as he is well overdue to take out a maiden race. We think with his favourable draw Highview Freddy just gets the nod from us but it really is an open race and it wouldn't surprise us to see one of the other four mentioned in this article salute the judge. Harnesslink Media
Harness racing returns to Invercargill on Friday afternoon and the best race of the day is race eight for the 3 year olds and older over 2200 meters. Three first starters who have drawn barriers one, two and three look set to dominate the betting and the finish. Number one is Jetsdream who is a 3 year old by Jeremes Jet who has been burning up the tracks at trials and workouts in Southland. He won his qualifying heat by 7 lengths, last 400 meters in 28.1 and then won a CO heat on September 10th by 2 lengths with smart closing sectionals of 56.4 and 27.6 Trained by Hamish Hunter at Ryal Bush, Jetsdream is to be driven by the talented southern reinsman Shane Walkinshaw. Drawn right beside him in barrier two is Costa Del Magnifico who is a 3 year old son of Mach Three who has also impressed at trials and workouts leading into his debut. He qualified in January as a 2 year old over a mile in 1:59.3 and has had two recent trial runs to get him ready for Friday. In the first of these Costa Del Magnifico ran second to Jetsdream and then came out three days later on September 13th and showed quick improvement winning a C0-C1 heat with quick closing sectionals of 56.7 and 27.8. Trained at Invercargill by Brent Shirley, Costa Del Magnifico is to be driven by leading reinsman Nathan Williamson. Drawn at barrier three is Macs Man, a 3 year old son of promising sire Panspacificflight who has also been going great guns at recent trials. He raced very greenly when he qualified but improved quickly to win a C0 trial shortly after with smart closing sectionals of 56.5 and 28.4 At his next trial Macs Man ran a close third to Jetsdream and Costa Del Magnifico after doing plenty of work. Trained by Kirk Larsen at Branxholme, Macs Man is to be driven by champion reinsman Dexter Dunn. In the end we have gone with Jetsdream due to the fact that he has been running time at the trials but has yet to be really tested. Costa Del Magnifico for second just in front of Macs Man who has the bonus of the "Dexter " factor. To round out first fours throw in the Allan Beck trained and driven Run to Hide. Harnesslink Media
The Little Brown Jug for three-year-old pacing colts and its filly companion race, the Jugette, are highly coveted races to win and this year Guelph, Ontario-based harness racing trainer Gregg McNair has a shot in each. Both of his Ontario-sired horses are regulars on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. His filly, Lady Shadow, is the favourite in the first of three divisions of the Jugette, worth a total of $298,100, to be raced Wednesday afternoon at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. The daughter of Shadow Play, owned by Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, Michigan, has won five races and finished second in two others in 10 starts so far this year. She comes into Wednesday’s race riding a two race winning streak, both in OSS Gold events. McNair’s son Doug, her regular driver, will once again be at the lines behind the winner of $454,000 so far in her career. The other Ontario-sired filly in the Jugette is the Major In Art daughter Sectionline Aqua who has post eight in the second elimination. She’ll have hometown support as all three of her owners are from Ohio. Sectionline Aqua finished second to Lady Shadow in her last two OSS Gold outings. The Jugette and Little Brown Jug are both heat races. The top three fillies from each elimination on Wednesday will return for a second heat, the winner of which will be crowned Jugette champion. Gregg McNair, the leading trainer in the OSS program so far in 2014, has yet to win either the Jug or Jugette so far in his impressive career, but he has come close. In 2011 his filly Swinging Beauty captured her first heat of the Jugette and finished third to Idyllic in the final. In 2000 he started George Scooter in the Little Brown Jug. The Matts Scooter son was third in the first heat and came back to win the second heat but finished third in the race off to Astreos. McNair’s 2014 Jug hopeful is the Mach Three colt Three Of Clubs. McNair co-owns the colt with Tony Lawrence of Hanover, Ontario, and harness racing legend Keith Waples of Durham, Ontario. One of the most respected harness drivers in history, and a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Waples won the 1972 Little Brown Jug with Strike Out. The horse’s owner, the late John Hayes, famously said prior to the race: “I’d rather win the Little Brown Jug than go to heaven.” That victory was the first time a Canadian-owned horse won the Jug and now the 91 year-old Waples has another chance to capture the famed event with Three Of Clubs on Thursday afternoon, but it will be a big undertaking given the talent of the 16 colts entered. Three Of Clubs has drawn post three in the $103,600 first heat alongside On Golden Ponder trained by Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, who sits second to McNair in the OSS trainers’ standings. There are two colts entered in the second heat which also have Ontario trainers, Casie Coleman’s McWicked (post one) and Dave Menary’s Hes Watching (post six). The first four finishers will advance to the $310,800 second heat. A race-off, if required, will be worth $129,500. Other Ontario-sired performers racing at Delaware Wednesday include the Majestic Son daughter Yanks Ball Girl in the Standardbred Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. The second division finds OSS regular Gee OKeeffe who has two OSS wins to her credit this year. She’s owned by trainer Chris Beaver and Wilbur Lang, both of Ohio. Little Brown Jug day also finds one of the greatest mares to ever race in the OSS, Bee A Magician, competing. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra, who has drawn post six in the 17th race of the day, the $121,000 Miss Versatility Final. Horse of the Year in both Canada and the US last year, Bee A Magician has earned $2.5 million to date in her career. Starting alongside in post seven is another top OSS graduate, $592,000 winner Charmed Life. For more information on the Little Brown Jug and Jugette, please visit their website Little Brown Jug website. By OSS News
Make plans to attend the Canadian Yearling Sale Preview Day Saturday at Flamboro Downs. All yearlings set for auction on Sunday will be ready for viewing. The sale is set to start at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14. Complete sale information is available on theCanadian Yearling Sale page. Offspring from Ontario’s top stallions will be offered at the Canadian Yearling Sale, such as trotters sired by Angus Hall, Kadabra, Majestic Son and Muscle Mass, and pacers sired by Camluck, Mach Three, Shadow Play and Sportswriter. First crop Ontario-eligible stallions with yearlings available include pacers Big Jim, Bettors Delight, Up The Credit and Vintage Master, and trotter Manofmanymissions. To view the online catalogue, click the following link: Canadian Yearling Sale Online Catalogue From the Canadian Yearling Sales Company
The regular harness racing season for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series concluded on Friday (September 12) night at Mohawk Racetrack with five $18,000 divisions, and Moonwards Hanover and Thinkofagameplan both kept their Grassroots win streaks intact. Competing in the opening event, Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who came into this race off Grassroots successes on August 24 at Georgian Downs and August 31 at Clinton Raceway, circled from third to first before the :56.3 half. He would go on to post three-quarters in 1:26.1 and then kicked home in :28.4 to win by half a length over a closing Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair). There was a dead-heat for third between Big Moment (Randy Waples) and Ballybunion (James MacDonald). Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now three-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $36,000, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples), the points leader in this group, was behind the gate in the second Grassroots split, and he would pull out of the pocket to take command after the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan, who was second in a division of the Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes at Mohawk in his last try, would then click off the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 en route to a 1:54.3 score. He defeated runner-up Mybestolxfriendray (Phil Hudon) by a length and three-quarters with Ace Of Clubs (Doug McNair) back in third. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fourth win (all in Grassroots competition) from eight attempts and pushed his earnings to $76.440, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. While those familiar faces were victorious, the other three Grassroots flights were all won by horses who hadn’t yet tasted a win in the provincial program this season. Mr Carrotts (Phil Hudon) was the first to break through as he won the third section in 1:54.2. He was first at the :27.2 opening quarter and the :56.4 half, but first-over challenger Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) put a head in front at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Mr Carrotts would battle back on the inside in the lane, and he would go on to beat Star Cover by a length at the finish line with Windsong Lord (Chris Christoforou) in third. Murray Brethour trains Mr Carrotts, a colt by Mach Three, for owner-breeder Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Ontario. Mr Carrotts broke his maiden in his fifth trip behind the gate, and he has now put away $10,000. He’s the fourth foal out of the Run The Table mare Cueless ($466,638), who was a three-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Robert Hill (James MacDonald) had been picking up minor shares against Gold Series competition, but a drop to the Grassroots level made him a 1:54.1 winner on this night. He left from post eight in the fourth Grassroots test, and he was up to grab the front after the :27.4 opening quarter. Robert Hill would go on to put the :56.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters on the board before a :28.3 final kicker sealed his two and a quarter length triumph. Halton Hurricane (Rick Zeron) was second and Pace Seelster (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a Jeremes Jet colt, for owner Thomas Hill of England. Robert Hill, who was bred by Perretti Farms and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, picked up his first win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $19,220. He’s the seventh foal out of the Caprock mare Smooth Latin N ($217,884), which makes him a half-brother to two six-figure earners in McApulco ($365,942) and Mcaracas ($170,579) and to three-year-old Shadios, who has won twice in Grassroots competition this year for the Alagna/Hill combination. In the nightcap it was Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) who chopped out the :26.4 first quarter, but he would be overtaken by both Pier Ho Temptation (Chris Christoforou) and Shippen Out (Doug McNair) prior to the :56.2 half. Shippen Out then got to three-quarters first in 1:25, fighting off a first-over test by Jeb (Phil Hudon) in the process. Shippen Out put away Jeb for good early in the stretch drive and then held his pursuers at bay late in the mile to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54. Mystical Jet (Jody Jamieson) came in second and Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) took third. Blair Burgess trains the victorious Badlands Hanover colt for owner Karin Olsson-Burgess of Milton, Ontario. Shippen Out won for the first time in eight starts, and he has now earned $16,150. Winbak Farm bred Shippen Out, who fetched $9,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s the first foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Shipps Bikini ($410,500), who won a Grassroots division herself as a two-year-old. The two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will return to Mohawk next Friday (September 19) to compete in their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of this Friday’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912mohsn.dat.
A new sale concept for harness racing broodmares and mixed stock had its first outing tonight and it didn't quite go to script. All up there were 73 broodmares and 18 mixed stock that went under the hammer this evening at Addington Raceway. There was a good crowd of over 100 people in the Blossom Lady lounge at Addington when the auction began but it was soon apparent that if the broodmare had a bit of age or had a hole in her pedigree then there was absolutely no interest from the buyers present. The passed in rate was very high with only 16 of the 73 broodmares changing hands on the night although the auctioneers were confident of doubling that number from post auction sales. Top price as expected was lot 2 which was the In The Pocket mare Zenola's Princess who was sold in foal to the leading sire Art Major for $10,000. The second best price was for lot 41 which was the Christian Cullen mare Stronecullen who was sold in foal to Shadow Play for $3,500 Lot 31, the Soky's Atom mare Bionic Reign who was not in foal made $3,000 as did lot 58, the Mach Three mare Triple Sec who was in foal to Betterthancheddar. Several mares were passed in when the last bid ended up with the vendor at the rerserve price and no more bids were forthcoming. Lot 20, Glenferrie Skipper was passed in for $10,000 while lot 50 Sun Goddess was also passed in at $7,000. Two other passings of note were lot 7, A Touch Of Sun who was not in foal and lot 44 Hayley Brogden who was in foal to Mach Three. Both made $6,000 on the night but went home with their vendors but negotiations are continuing. In the mixed stock side of the sale the trend was the same as with the broodmares with the two most keenly sought lots reaching $6,000 but on their vendors bid. Both times the auctioneer announced that one more bid would buy the horse involved but no further bids were made from the buyers bench. The two lots involved were lot 1, the American Ideal filly Miss Patriot and lot 2, the Sam Bourbon colt. While there were a lot of things they would do slightly differently in hindsight, The Canterbury Standardbred Breeders are to be congratulated for trying to bring a low cost sale option to the market to try to help the average breeder. With its low entry fee and no commission and no travel involved for the lots to be auctioned, the sale concept definitely has a future. What was sadly lacking today was a lot more quality lots but that was due in no small part to the uncertainty about how the sale would pan out for the vendors. Well bred stock sold well tonight and hopefully next year a much stronger draft will be catalogued. Harnesslink Media
On a beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon, the Hippodrome 3R hosted its richest harness racing program of the 2014 harness racing season with the $425,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers. There were seven championship finals on the wagering card. It did not take long for the first track record to be rewritten on the racing card as Meganou got the job done in the very first race, the $55,000 final for two-year-old trotters. Driven by Jocelyn Gendron, Meganou left from three and never looked back. The daughter of Kadabra held the field at bay the entire one mile race, leading by four to five lengths at all times. She cut fractions of :30, 1:00.2, 1:31 and coasted home to win by three and one-half lengths in 2:01.1. Intouchable (Simon Allard) was second with Notrouble Dechafra (Stehane Brosseau) third. It was the third straight win and third straight track record performance for Meganou. Only this week Meganou became the fastest two-year-old trotter regardless of gender in the history of the Hippodrome 3R with her 2:01.1 clocking. The mile rewrote her record for fillies that she set last week of 2:02 and surpassed the trotting colt record of 2:01.3 set by Jobie Tempest more than 21 years ago in 1993. Trained by Daniel Martin and owned by Jean Picard of Orford, QC, it was the fourth win this year for Meganou, who paid $3.00 to win. In the second race $65,000 final for three-year-old trotting fillies, track record holder Viva Bayama and trainer/driver Yves Filion waited patiently in fourth place as Kim Sorel (Martin Gingras) cut early fractions of :28.4 and :58.3. Once the field entered the backstretch the second time, Filion made his move first-over with Viva Bayama and the Muscle Mass filly blew past the leaders by the three-quarters in 1:29.1 and won with ease by five open lengths in 2:00.3. Bambie Benjo (Rheo Filion) was second with Lucyll Bro (Stephane Gendron) third. Owned and bred by Filion’s Bayama Farms, Inc. of Saint-Andre D’Argenteul, QC, Viva Bayama scored her fourth win this year and paid $3.10 to win. Yves Filion did not waste any time coming back to the winner’s circle as he won the very next race, the $55,000 final for two-year-old pacing colts with Western Bayama in a lifetime best clocking of 1:58. Mr Sunshine Boy (Pascal Berube) was first on the lead with Half A Billion (Stephane Gendron) sitting on their backs to the opening quarter mile in a speedy :27.4. Gendron then came right out and took over the lead by the half mile in :58.1 as the action really heated up with Clinton Panic (Gilles Gendron) coming first-over and race favorite, track record holder Sugarsam (Denis St Pierre) second-over. Pierre then came three-wide around Clinton Panic) and by the three-quarters in 1:28 had closed the gap on Half A Billion but that was when Yves Filion and Western Bayama came into the picture and was three-wide around the final turn. Coming down the stretch, Filion was able to urge Western Bayama on to victory by one and one-half lengths with Half A Billion third and Sugarsam third. Also owned and bred by Bayama Farms, it was just the second win in five lifetime starts for Western Bayama, a son of Lis Mara who paid $6.50 to win. The only two-time Quebec-Bred Series was crowded at 3R today as Maximuscle had little trouble for driver Mario Charron in beating six rivals in the fourth race $65,000 final for three-year-old trotting colts. Clearing to the lead before the opening quarter mile in :29, Charron and Maximuscle were in easy command until after the half mile and then Charron asked for a little more from Maximuscle and the son of Angus Hall responded by kicking in another gear and leaving the rest of the field behind. By the time they reached the top of the stretch Maximuscle was up by five lengths and went on to win in a romp by nine and one-half lengths in 1:59.2. Andovers Touch (Stephane Brosseau) was second with Somoli E (Jerome Lombart) third. Trained by Eric Valiquette, Maximuscle was bred and is owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC and posted his seventh win in ten starts this year, paying $2.80 to win. Native son Daniel Dube, of the top driver in all of harness racing, came back to 3R to compete in the championship program and he did not go home empty handed in the $55,000 final for two-year-old trotting fillies. Driving the 1/5 favorite My Fleet Three from post two, Dube sent the daughter of Mach Three right to the lead and never looked back, cutting fractions of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:28 and then cruising home to win by two and one-half lengths in 1:57.1. The pocket sitting First Girl (Stephane Gendron) was second with Voodoo Charm (Yves Filion) third. The time of the race was a new track record for filly pacers as My Fleet Three erased her own mark set last week of 1:57.4. Trained by Richard Moreau for breeder/owner Gestion Mario Audet, Inc. of Yves Sarrazin, QC, it was the second win in five lifetime starts for My Fleet Three. She paid $2.60 to win. The 1/5 wagering favorite, Champagne Shower (Denis St Pierre) were unable to maintain their lead at the top of the stretch as Chaleurs Fantasy and driver Stephane Gendron were able to sneak up along the rail and post a 9-1 upset victory in the $65,000 final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Thrill Chaser (Marie Auger), who followed pacesetter Champagne Shower but elected to go to the outside in the stretch, was second with Champagne Shower fading to third place. For Chaleurs Fantasy, a daughter of Omar Khayam, the time of the race, 1:58, was a lifetime mark and the sixth win this year for the Carl Duguay trainee. She won by one and one-quarter lengths for breeder/owner Elevage Baie Des Chaleurs of Port-Daniel, QC. She paid $21.60 to win. The Hippodrome 3R scheduled the fastest division as the last one as the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings battled it out for $65,000. It was not so much as a battle as it looked to be as Atomic Million AM was made the 2/5 favorite and raced just like it for driver Sylvain Lacalle. The gelded son of Million Dollar Cam took the early lead away from rival Hall Bro (Stephane Brosseau) by the opening quarter mile in :27 and then cut fractions of :56 and 1:25.2 before hold off Hall Bro in the stretch to win by one length in 1:54. Bali (Marie Auger) finished third. It was the 9th win in 15 starts this year for Atomic Million AM. He is trained, bred and owned by Alan Martin of Gatineau, QC and paid $2.80 to win. The Hippodrome 3R has completed its Tuesday night race schedule this season and is now open just on Sunday’s. There will be one special Saturday night program on September 20, the eve of the Prix D’Ete Sunday with a 7:30 pm post time that Saturday night. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club