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JUNE 22, 2017 - Thursday, June 22 was an emotional day for harness racing driver Sylvain Filion. In the early morning hours the Milton, ON resident learned that his uncle, the legendary horseman Herve Filion, had passed away after a prolonged illness. Hours later Sylvain Filion was at Mohawk Racetrack, where he was scheduled to drive in nine of 10 races. In the first race he finished last, but he was the runner-up in the second and before the night was over he would record four victories, including one Grassroots triumph with three-year-old colt pacer Doc Semalu. "It was a pretty emotional day for me," admitted Filion at the end of the 10-race program. "I knew it was coming, we knew he was very sick, but it's always a shock when you hear that, you know." Filion's victories came in the fourth race with Toxicity, a three-year-old pacing gelding co-owned by his father Yves' Bayama Farms, in the sixth race with three-year-old trotting filly Royal Witch, in the seventh race with Grassroots competitor Doc Semalu, also co-owned by Bayama Farms, and in the ninth race with seven-year-old pacing gelding Crocadile Canyon. In addition to the four victories, Filion also recorded three runner-up finishes. Of the four victories, Filion's Grassroots triumph was particularly impressive, coming from Post 10 in Doc Semalu's first Ontario Sires Stakes start of the season. The pair was able to find a spot on the rail in fifth and held that position through fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.3 before finding space coming off the final turn. Manoeuvered into an open lane in the stretch, Doc Semalu sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory over Dream Of Luck and Master The View in a personal best 1:54. "He's got a few issues, but he's got lots of go in him, and we were lucky enough to find a spot there closer to the front and everything opened up in the lane," said Filion. "It worked out good for us. He showed some grit." The win was the Mach Three son's second straight, the first coming at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 15 with Yves Filion in the race bike. Stephane Larocque trains Doc Semalu for the elder Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC and Zoom And Fish Stable Inc. of Mont-Royal, QC. Doc Semalu Filion came close to making it five victories with Tremendous Play in the final $19,500 Grassroots division. After battling for the lead through the first two quarters the Shadow Play son did not have enough in reserve to secure the victory in the stretch, yielding to a fast closing Oak Island. Fan favourite Lindy The Kid also went by Tremendous Play, but caused interference while on a break and was placed back to seventh, elevating Tremendous Play to second and Bills Fella to third. "I thought he raced really, really good," said Filion of Tremendous Play, who is trained by Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon for Claude Gendreau Stable Inc. of Buffalo Grove, IL. "He raced tough tonight, real tough." Oak Island was piloted to the three and one-half length victory by Elora, ON resident Bob McClure. The 1:53.2 victory was the Vintage Master colt's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, and also marked trainer Justin Darling's first win in the provincial program. The Cambridge, ON resident conditions Oak Island for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Oak Island The other Grassroots trophy went home with Nascar Seelster, who got a head in front of Mach Déjà Vu and favourite Southwind General at the wire. Milton resident Randy Waples crafted the come-from-behind 1:53.1 score for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Mardon Stables of Loretto and James Walker of Port Perry, ON. Like Doc Semalu and Oak Island, Thursday marked Mach Three son Nascar Seelster's debut in the Grassroots winner's circle. All three colts will have an opportunity to add to their trophy collection in the third Grassroots event on July 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Nascar Seelster Filion's successful evening was a fitting tribute to his uncle Herve, whose talent and prodigious work ethic saw him finish many days with multiple wins, often at more than one racetrack. Inducted into both the Canadian and US Harness Racing Hall of Fames, Angers, QC native Herve Filion won an impressive 16 seasonal dash titles and was the world's leading money-winning driver seven times during a career that spanned six decades and 15,180 victories. Knowing that his uncle was at peace, free of pain, and that he would soon gather with family to share memories and offer support allowed Filion to concentrate on his evening's work, but at the end of the program the third-generation horseman was simply looking forward to heading home. "I'm just happy this night is over, you know," he said on his way back to Milton. "I'll go kiss my daughter." Mohawk Racetrack will host its seventh Ontario Sires Stakes event on Tuesday, June 27 with the three-year-old trotting colts preparing to battle in their second Gold Series event. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

Boom pacer San Carlo is on trial for the Queensland harness racing winter carnival. The outstanding Victorian gelding, fresh from his success last weekend at Bendigo, is being considered for the final leg of the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season – the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake on July 15. It’s the biggest event staged in Queensland, the 2680m mobile start feature takes place at Albion Park. And co-trainers Steve O’Donoghue and Rebecca Bartley are very interested in dipping their toe in the water with their rising star. A winner of 14 races from 16 starts, the Mach Three six-year-old gelding made a massive statement when he demoralised his rivals last Saturday night at Lords Paceway after sitting wide throughout before racing clear over the concluding stages. San Carlo scored easily by 5m while rating 1:55.4 for the 2150m. “That was a big step forward into making Brisbane a reality, he performed in such a great manner and Steve thinks the Blacks A Fake is a good target for him but he’s got to prove himself once more before any decision is made.” Bartley said. And that next assignment comes up next Thursday (June 22). San Carlo will start in the Leo Crameri at Maryborough, a race that has historically produced plenty of high quality performers. The event will be staged over 2190m. “That’s his next target and it’s likely he will meet plenty of classy rivals but it will also tell us if Brisbane is one or off. A victory will go a long way in making the northern trip a reality, Brisbane will be tough but it looks a good opportunity for him. “I don’t think he shocked us in anyway last week because we’ve known for some time how good he really is but to do it in the manner in which he did was the best part. He was really strong. “And that’s his best asset; he’s a very strong horse.” O’Donoghue, the boss of Morley Park (of Classic Garry fame), believes San Carlo is the best horse he has worked with and rates him higher than Barclay Court (23 wins – $99k) and Triple Vance (20 wins - $182k). San Carlo is raced by John Eichhorn. Chris Barsby

Brilliant colt Jack Mac is spot on for Friday night's $100,000 Princi Smallgoods 2YO Pearl Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park. The Group 1 feature is restricted to the 12 harness racing youngsters who qualified in the four heats run at headquarters on May 30. On that night favourite backers received an almighty scare when long odds-on favourite Jack Mac broke from his inside gate just as the starter sent the field on its way. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis didn't panic and managed to settle the son of Mach Three back into a pace and he quickly circled the field to take up the running. Jack Mac showed his class by sprinting the last 400m in a slick 27.5 - the quickest last section from the four heats - to easily account for Pocket More For Less and Liam Neil. Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, who bought Jack Mac in New Zealand, has since sent the horse to two trials and he is now back in the draw after his uncharacteristic mistake. "Chris said the horse seemed to shy at something in his heat," Howlett said. "It was just as the starter let them go and I don't know if it was something inside the track but when he looked back up the mobile maybe gave him a fright but he's all good now and I'm very happy where he's at for Friday night's race." Jack Mac has drawn gate five for the Pearl and Lewis has a few options with the horse. He has good gate speed from the machine and can be sent forward at the start or he can sit back and come with a quick turn of foot when asked. "I was in New Zealand for the Jewels series over the weekend so I didn't see Jack Mac trial at Pinjarra last Sunday," Howlett said. "But I caught up with Chris on Monday and he told me the horse went super. He ran his last quarter in 28.4 and Chris said he did it well. He's a pretty good horse and he's improved since he arrived here. I think he'll be hard to beat in the Pearl." Howlett will keep Jack Mac in work after Friday night's Pearl, providing he comes through as expected. "We'll aim for the Slipper with him in early July," he said. "Then we'll tip him out for a spell after that." Howlett, who started training pacers as a hobby, won his first Group 1 race in 1994 when Lights Above won the 2YO Fillies Final. He had to wait a further 20 years before he tasted success at the top level again when Three Blind Mice, a 20/1 outsider, led all the way for driver Matthew White and Howlett to win the $200,000 WA Derby in 2014. Race 7 PRINCI SMALLGOODS 2YO PEARL CLASSIC MS PACE (SKY 1) 8:27 PM  GROUP 1. 2C0 Or Better. 2YO Colts and Geldings. RESTRICTED TO 2YOS THAT QUALIFIED IN HEATS AT GPC 30-5-17. If you qualify for the final you must start in it otherwise normal scratching penalties will apply. ANY SUBSEQUENT WINNING PERFORMANCE WILL NOT DEEM YOU INELIGIBLE FOR THE FINAL. THE WINNER OF THIS RACE WILL BE EXEMPT FROM THE BALLOT FOR THE GOLDEN SLIPPER STAKES AT GPM 14-07-17. RBD. Prizemoney: $100,000 2130 METRES 3RD LEG QUADDIE MOBILE START   Form Horse Trainer Other Eng. Driver   Class  Hcp 1 31441 WARRIORS CODE  D Quadrio   Nathan Turvey   2C3  FR1 2 53053 OOSHTAA  H T Herbert   Gary Herbert   2C0  FR2 3 11232 ROCK ME OVER  K Warwick   Gary Hall Jnr   2C2  FR3 4 33 LIAM NEIL  D A Thompson   Dylan Egerton-Green   2C0  FR4 5 45111 JACK MAC NZ  B J Howlett   Chris Lewis   2C3  FR5 6 11252 POCKET MORE FOR LESS NZ  J K Prentice   Morgan Woodley   2C2  FR6 7 33683 JOIN THE QUE  J K Prentice   Hayden Charles   2C0  FR7 8 1 HIGHROLLER JOE  J K Prentice   Justin Prentice   2C1  FR8 9 402 BILLY BOEING  M G Brennan   Shannon Suvaljko   2C0  FR9  ---------- Second Row ----------  10 49382 NAVAL AVIATOR  M G Brennan   Michael Grantham (C)   2C0  SR1 11 57384 UNIVERSAL MAJOR  R A Olivieri   Chris Voak   2C0  SR2 12 981 ALLWOOD PEACEMAKER  D J Harper   Donald Harper   2C1  SR3 13 6564 BOLTA (Em 1)  J F Oldroyd   Clinton Hall   2C0  SR- 14 44 BAYARDO NZ (Em 2)  B J Howlett   Dylan Egerton-Green   2C0  SR- Wayne Currall

Jack Mac, a recent arrival from New Zealand, looks set to stake a strong claim for victory in the $100,000 Pearl Classic on June 9 by winning the Bruno Falconer Western Crown Classic for harness racing two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Busselton by Barry Howlett, the Mach Three colt is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line and Chris Lewis is sure to take advantage of his excellent gate speed by attempting to burst to an early lead in the 2130m event. Jack Mac made an impressive Australian debut at Bunbury last Saturday night when he began from barrier five and was trapped three wide for the first 1200m (sixth early and then in third place) before he burst to the front at the 400m and raced away to win by almost 20 metres from Antero and Mister Spot, covering the 1609m journey in 1.55.5. The quarters were covered in 29.2sec., 28.8sec., 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. That was his first outing since he finished fifth behind brilliant Art Major colt Alta Maestro in a 1700m heat of the New Zealand Sires Stakes at Cambridge on March 23. He started out wide at barrier seven and raced at the rear before running home solidly from eighth at the bell. The quarters were run in 27.9sec., 29.1sec., 28.3sec. and 28.3sec., with the winner rating 1.53.3 At his previous start, in the group 1 Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes over 1700m, Jack Mac, a $49 outsider, began speedily from the No. 2 barrier and then trailed the pacemaker Mach Shard before finishing a sound fourth to that pacer who sprinted over the final 800m in 55.4sec. Lewis opted to drive Jack Mac ahead of Fight Song, a West Australian-bred gelding he has driven to victory at his only two starts, both over 1684m at Pinjarra. Bunbury trainer John Graham has engaged Micheal Ferguson to drive Fight Song, who will start from the No. 4 barrier in the field of eight. Fight Song, by Advance Attack, enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail before winning by two lengths from Sheez Impressive on debut on January 9 before he worked hard in the breeze and won narrowly from Diamond Dove on January 23. Graham will also be represented by Mister Spot, who will start from the prized No. 1 barrier and will be handled by Morgan Woodley. Mister Spot caught the eye at Bunbury last Saturday night when he raced in tenth (and last) position before finishing solidly along the sprint lane to be third behind Jack Mac. Two starts before that Mister Spot made a good debut when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing a close second to Totally Tintin over 1730m at Gloucester Park on February 28. The Dylan Quadrio-trained Warriors Code will be driven by Nathan Turvey from barrier six. The Elsu gelding fought on from sixth at the bell to be sixth behind Jack Mac last Saturday night after scoring a smart all-the-way victory from Pocket More For Less over 1609m at Bunbury at his previous outing. Ken Casellas

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 29 - It generally takes time for a four-year-old to step up and beat top harness racing overnight horses, but that was not the case Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Four-year-old gelding Sintra won Saturday's $27,000 feature event with a large 1:50.4 performance for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary. The former Ontario Sires Stakes star was making his four-year-old debut and first start since the OSS Super Final last October. Competing against seven rivals, including proven Preferred stars, Sintra got away sixth in the early-going. The tempo was modest, as Our Sky Major N led the field by the half in :56. Despite the easy-fractions for the group, Jamieson pulled first-up and unleashed his charge heading into the final turn. Sintra delivered an impressive :26.3 third-quarter to blow right by his opponents and snag command away from Our Sky Major N. In the stretch, the Menary trainee left his rivals well-behind and cruised home in :27.2 for a 3½ lengths score. Mach Code finished second, while Erle Dale N was third. The betting public was certainly hoping Sintra was ready to roll off the bench, as the four-year-old went off at odds of 7/2 and paid $9.40 to win. Owned by Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc, Sintra won eight of 16 starts last season for earnings of $294,500. Saturday's victory improves the Mach Three gelding's career record to nine wins in 20 starts. With his four-year-old debut now in the books, Sintra's next start could be in the Confederation Cup eliminations on Sunday, May 14 at Flamboro Downs. The Menary trainee is one of 32 four-year-olds eligible to this year's event. Sintra Also on Saturday, Jins Shark posted the first sub-1:50 mile of the Mohawk meet with a 1:49.4 score in the $22,000 opening race. The Isaac Waxman trainee made a third-quarter move to the lead from fourth to front the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:23. Jins Shark proceeded to pace a :26.4 final-quarter to score a dominating 5¼ lengths sub-1:50 victory. Doug McNair guided the six-year-old gelding to his third win of the season and 16th win overall. Jins Shark paid $3.60 to win. Jins Shark Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Impressive youngster Colt Thirty One remains unbeaten. And punched his ticket for a trip south to Sydney to chase the $322,000 Australian Pacing Gold series, the harness racing final is scheduled for April 29 at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. The Grant Dixon prepared rookie sat without cover to claim the Brisbane heat of the series at Albion Park last night (Tuesday) defeating his stablemate Ark Patrol and Lucky Unlucky in a time of 1:59.2. In a race that developed into a sprint home, the last quarter was timed in 27.8 seconds. Unfortunately, the race was robbed of interest with race favourite Maywyns Courage taking no competitive part following a break in the score-up. Colt Thirty One is two for two following his debut victory at Albion Park on February 21. “He’s a nice horse with a good attitude and I was really pleased with his effort, sitting parked and then sprinting a fast last section was very good.” Dixon said. The Mach Three – Charm Personified colt was the clear favourite for the Wayne Wilson Paleface Adios Classic on March 4 before his scratching. The half-brother to Charming Allie (18 wins - $266k) had a minor issue with his hock. “His hock was up but he wasn’t lame and I wasn’t prepared to risk him for that race so I just backed off on him for a while there and now he’s back to full health. His winning trial last week in readiness for this assignment was very good and gave me good confidence. “He relaxed really well outside the leader and quickened nicely when I asked for a little more passing the 400m marker and felt strong through the line. “I’ve always rated him from an early stage and so far, so good but it’s only going to get harder going forward. It looks a very strong series judging by the results of the Sydney and Melbourne heats.” Melbourne heat winners were Lumineer, Stefsbest and Yankee Roller while the Sydney heat winners included Maximus Red, Be Major Threat and Sicario. Both Lumineer and Sicario have created plenty of interest following their ultra-impressive victories. The semi-finals of the APG are scheduled for April 22. Dixon is no stranger to success in the Australian Pacing Gold Final following his victory with Majestic Mach back in 2012. Both Majestic Mach and Colt Thirty One are bred and raced by Kevin and Kay Seymour. Chris Barsby

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Deliciouslynaughty was on her best behavior at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (April 5) and rallied late to capture the featured $8,200 pace for the harness racing mares in 1:57 over the fast track.   Getting a perfect second over trip, Deliciouslynaughty (Larry Stalbaum) went three-wide down the long Buffalo Raceway stretch and was able to surge past Who Says That (John Cummings Jr.) in the final strides to capture the victory. Susie's Delight) managed to secure the show position.   Scarlet N Silk had to tussle with Susie's Delight to grab the top and posted fractions of 28.4, 57.2 and 1:27.3.   But down the lane, Scarlet N Silk started to get leg weary while Deliciouslynaughty and Who Says That were revved up on the outside.   Who Says That enjoyed a slight advantage midway down the stretch but couldn't hold off the fast closing Deliciouslynaughty who posted the head win.   Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, it was the fourth win in 13 appearances for Deliciouslynaughty (Mach Three-Naught Enough Hare). The 10-year-old mare has now put $24,906 in the bank this year and $438,451 lifetime.   Jim Morrill Jr had a triple in the bike while Stalbaum and Kevin Cummings all had doubles. Trainer Bo Sowers picked up three wins and Asher had a pair.   Racing will resume at Buffalo Raceway on Friday night with an 11-race card set for 5 p.m. There is a $999 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Harness racing juvenile pacer Maywyns Courage produced a scintillating performance at Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday). And it augers well for an exciting freshman season for the precocious talent. Prepared by Graham Dwyer, the first starter blazed off the gate and led throughout in the Egmont Park Sprintlane Pace in a time of 1:55.2 – easily the quickest time for a two-year-old in the Sunshine State this season. Sectionals were covered in 26.8, 30.8, 29.5 and 28.4 seconds. Maywyns Courage scored by a widening margin of 15.75 metres from Lucky Unlucky and Maythehorsebewithu. The gelded son of former champion pacer Courage Under Fire is from the Mach Three mare Nonni Sheffield and bred by Denis Pangrazio. Nonni Sheffield went winless during her 7 start career before heading to the breeding barn. Maywyns Courage is the first foal from the mare. The youngster was purchased by Robert and Pam Essex at last year’s Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sale in Melbourne at a cost of $22,000. And he is closely related to Maywyns Best, a pacer that the Essex couple is racing with good success presently, the Blissfull Hall gelding is the winner of 17 races while banking more than $80,000 in prizemoney to date. The rich Australian Pacing Gold Final is scheduled for April 29 and will take place in Sydney at TABCORP Park, Menangle. A heat of the series will be staged at Albion Park on April 11. The final is worth $322,000. Maywyns Courage is also eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown plus the Vicbred series. Chris Barsby

LEBANON, OH. - Gerries Sport (Trace Tetrick) equaled the Miami Valley track record for 4-year-old male pacers with a dominating 1:50 triumph in the Saturday night (May 25) $22,000 Open I Handicap Pace. Despite a double jump up in class, Tetrick handled the talented son of Mach Three confidently, allowing a trio of gate leavers to move ahead of him early before immediately moving back to the outside following a :26.4 opening quarter mile. Clearing to the front just past the :54.3 halfway station, Gerries Sport sprinted to the three-quarters in a quick 1:21.4, then had enough left in the tank to cruise under the wire a length and a half better than Kiss Of Terror (Kyle Ater) and Franzo (Dan Noble). It was just the tenth lifetime win for Gerries Sport, from just 36 starts, but increased his career earnings to $238,371. He is owned by the partnership of Richard Lombardo, Carl Atley and Josh Green. Leading trainer Tyler George has conditioned the winner since he was sent from Ontario to Ohio in January. Evergreen Elite (Trace Tetrick) and Heisenberg Z Tam (Tyler Smith) were winners in a pair of $12,500 divisions of the first leg of the Tom Tharps Memorial late-closing series for non-winners of six pari-mutuel races or $60,000 lifetime. Tharps is one of nine deceased "Lebanon Legends" who are honored annually with memorial series in their names. In addition to being an accomplished horseman in his own right, Tom Tharps was the patriarch of the Tharps racing family, which includes his son Randy (the winningest African-American driver in history with over 6,000 victories), as well as a host of other sons and grandsons who followed in his footsteps. Evergreen Elite lived up to his odds-on favoritism, prevailing over Sossy's King Kong (Tyler Smith) and Cracker Cam (John DeLong) by four lengths in 1:50.2. Ken Rucker trains the 5-year-old Duneside Perch gelding for The Panhellenic Stable of New York. Heisenberg Z Tam upset heavily favored Hustling Charley in the second split, using a pocket trip to shove a neck in front in the final strides in 1:52. The 4-year-old Rockin Image gelding returned $30.40 at the windows. He is owned by the Z Tam Stables, also of New York, and trained by Jim Arledge Jr. Driver Josh Sutton had a Grand Slam on the Saturday program, winning four races for four different trainers. His successes came behind the trotter Extracurricular ($11.20), and pacers Holy Chip ($9.20), Yippitty Hanover ($4.00) and Achilles Blue Chip ($24.40). Gregg Keidel

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 17, 2017-Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker for high-end pacing mares began Friday night, with a trio of $40,000 divisions. The opening event saw odds-on choice Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing, $3.60) parlay a perfect pocket trip into a handy, 1:53 victory Winning the draw, Shesjustadelight N watched as Empress Deo (Matt Kakaley) grabbed the lead before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. Then, along came American Girl (Tim Tetrick), who eschewed a three-hole only to get hung for her troubles by Empress Deo. It was a :55.2 intermission and 1:23.4 three-quarters, with American Girl eventually backing away. While that was transpiring, Shesjustadelight N was enjoying the show, awaiting her close-up. Empress Deo owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but the fave was ready. Shesjustadelight N edged inside, defeating the Empress by a length-and-a-three-quarters. Change the Rulz N (Scott Zeron) rallied for third at 48-1, with 110-1 shot Quick Draft A (Mark MacDonald) and Tessa Seelster (George Brennan) rounding out the payees. "She's just super handy and I couldn't have asked for a better trip," Cushing said. "I was a bit surprised Tim (Tetrick) didn't take the seat behind me, but it ended up working out for us. "It's always good when you can just a win in this series without using a horse hard, so we're going take it.." For Shesjustadelight N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by her driver & Kevin Sywyk and trained by Heidi Gibbs, it was her first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, with the triple returning $109.50 "She's just super handy and I couldn't have asked for a better trip," Cushing said of his lass. "I was a bit surprised Tim (Tetrick) didn't take the seat behind me, but it ended up working out for us. "It's always good when you can just a win in this series without using a horse hard, so we're going take it." Friday night's second Matchmaker grouping saw another odds-on number, Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett, $3.20) prevail, though not without some angst. Away third from post position No. 2, Mach it a Par quarter-moved around Bedroomconfessions (Zeron), taking over right a :28.1 first two furlongs, There were very soft fractions after that (:57.3, 1:26), with Betabcool N (MacDonald) trying it first-up from fourth. Mach it a Par owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, then was all out to hold off Bedroomconfession by a nose in 1:53.2. Betabcool N held for a credible third, with Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton) ad Krispy Apple (Brett Miller) settling for the remainder. For Mach it a Par, a 7-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, Gandolfo & T L P Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was her second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $5.10, with the triple returning $16.20. The first round's final foray offered the fast female, as Regil Elektra (Bartlett, $8.40) lasted on the lead in a season's-best 1:52.4. From post No. 3, she hooved her way (:28.2, :57.1, 1:24.3). Regil Elektra had a length lead into the lane, then whipped a crisp rally of 22-1 Hidden Land by a half-length. Third went to a pocketed Lispatty (MacDonald), with a first-up Medusa (Kakaley) and Diva's Image (Joe Bongiorno) grabbing the minors. Nike Franco N (Tetrick), locally debuting as the 9-10 favorite, gapped second-over and wound up seventh. For second choice Regil Elektra, a 7-year-old daughter of Mach Three owned by Fred Monteleone Stable and trained by Keith Armer, it was her third win in six '17 starts. The exacta paid $133.50, with the triple returning $374. "The open draws are so big in these series, and both (Mach it a Par and Regil Elektra) had good posts, so I had to leave with them," Bartlett said. "Mach it a Par isn't a front-end sort of mare, but I thought she was good in the last quarter when she had to be. "Regil Elektra won the Open Handicap here last Friday when it was cold, and she was there again." The Matchmaker (as well as the Saturday night-beginning George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series) offer five preliminary rounds, leading to a finale, set for Saturday, Apr. 22nd . by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, March 10, 2017 - Odds-on Regil Elektra (Jason Bartlett, $3.20) held off Change the Rulz N (George Brennan) in a two-speed, inside number Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $50,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. Winning the post positions 2-through-6 draw, Regil Elektra was stung a bit by the lass to her left, making the lead before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile After a :57.3 intermission, 39-1 outsider Sail to the Beach (Dan Dube) tried it first-up from fourth. That move did nothing to advance the cause of those behind her as Regil Elektra led in and out of a 1:26 three-quarters. The fave owned a length-and-a-quarter lead entering the lane, then held off an edging-out Change the Rulz N by a neck in 1:54.4. Third went to a ground-saving Know It All (Eric Abbatiello), with Empress Deo (Matt Kakaley) and locally-debuting American Girl (Scott Zeron) settling for the minors. For Regil Elektra, a 7-year-old daughter of Mach Three owned by Fred Monteleone Stable and trained by Keith Armer, it was her second win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, with the triple returning $207.50. YONKERS' SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $1,600 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening's (March 11) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $1,676.81. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 (for programs with at least 11 races...if not, then it goes as races 6 through 10). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

St Lads Moonwalk (Mach Three) prevailed in the Open Pace as part of the double harness racing feature on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Trainer Jackie Greene had last year's local Pacer of the Year as Artful Way took home top honors after being the winningest participant in the Open Pace in 2016. This year's version for Greene could be St Lads Moonwalk who was aggressively piloted by Frank Coppola Jr. in the $13,000 Open on Sunday. The race's 5-2 second choice pocketed the favored Sassy Hanover (Billy Dobson) and held on to beat him in the stretch in a mile paced in 1:54.2. Sassy Hanover was second best while longshot Starzheaven (Jordan Derue) earned the show spot. The $12,000 Open Trot was won by Slugfest (Conway Hall). The Trotter of the Year at the Spa in both 2014 and 2015, Slugfest again had a solid '16 campaign and started out his season in style on Sunday afternoon. Always seeming to thrive in the colder months of the year, Slugfest was at his best in the second half of the double feature as driver Jay Randall marched the veteran out to the early lead, a lead he would never relinquish. The Maureen Salino trainee went coast to coast in 1:56.2 at odds of 5-2 on Sunday to record his first victory of the year. Perfect Rendition (Larry Stalbaum) came up second best while No Recess (Jim Devaux) finished third. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a matinee first post of 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Friday, February 24, 2017 - Mach it a Par (Jason Bartlett, $6) was the third and last leader Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Into the game early from assigned post position No. 7, Mach it a Par waited her turn as Empress Deo (Matt Kakaley) and Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) took turns with the lead. Mach it a Par grabbed her chance just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. After a 29-secone next substation (:56.2 half), it was 48-1 rank outsider For the Ladies N (Dan Dube) taking out of fourth. Regil Elektra (Brent Holland) was second-up, while 19-10 choice Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton), in her U-S parimutuel debut, was behind that one Mach it a Par continued her work night in and out of a 1:25 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-quarter lead into the lane. Despite drifting a bit, she held sway, negating the sharp close of Mackenzie A to win by a head in 1:52.4. Third went to Lispatty, with Empress Deo and Regil Elektra rounding out the payees. The five cashers were separated by just 1¾ lengths at the line. For second choice Mach it a Par, a 7-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, Gandolfo & T L P Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was her first win in two seasonal starts. The exacta paid $28, with the triple returning $75.50. Frank Drucker

MachThree has become one of the most influential harness racing stallions in the world. His recent sudden death was a shock to the entire Industry as his true legacy is only just starting to unfold through the deeds of his siring sons and grandsons and also his daughters. As a racehorse Mach Three was a very good two and three year old with exceptional gait and speed. He faced the starter just 27 times for 18 wins and 6 placings, taking a track record at The Meadowlands of 1:49 in the $1,000,000 Meadowlands Pace and a track record on a half mile track of 1:51.1 in a heat of the Little Brown Jug on his way to earning a total of $2,376,700. As a stallion right throughout his career he has shown the ability to leave that exceptional horse who are as dominant on the racetrack as he was. His champion son Somebeachsomewhere 1:46.4 ($3,328,755) is the hottest sire in the world right now and his Southern Hemisphere champion in Auckland Reactor 1:51.4 ($1,837,043) is being given his chance to follow suit with him serving 1,300 mares in his first four seasons at stud. Mach Three's progeny have produced a staggering earnings world-wide total of $136,000,0000. In North America his average earnings per starter is over $112,000. One of the few sires in the world today who is able to leave one as good or better than himself (a special one) both on the track and at stud. Somebeachsomewhere is reshaping the North American breeding industry with his complete dominance of his stock on the race track. Auckland Reactor is being given the same opportunity at stud in Australasia. All in all Mach Three is an outstanding and champion sire. Breckon Farms have five Mach Three yearlings for sale at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka in Auckland on Monday the February 20th. Lot 28 – Miracle Moose (bay colt, Mach Three - Minnie Moose) Miracle Moose is the second foal from the black type Bettor’s Delight mare Minnie Moose ($142,791) and is closely related to Ashcott El ($124,651), dual Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed Diamond Moose ( $75,585) and Famous Deal ($124,019). Lot 40 – Oynas (bay colt, Mach Three - Paddy Brown) Oynas is the third foal from a five win Christian Cullen mare Paddy Brown ($46,726).  The second dam is the Group 1 placed Braeside Star ($67,225) a half-sister to New Zealand Cup & Miracle Mile winner Iraklis ($1,019,042). Braeside Star has had seven to race and they’ve all won and are all Black Type performers. This is the family of 3yo Pacing Filly of the Year O Baby ($391,273) and Group 1 Great North & Victoria Derby winner and three-year-old Pacer of the Year Lavros Star (1.50m, 28 wins $534,382). Lot 112 – Macca’s (bay colt, Mach Three - Bella Me) Macca’s is a half-brother to two winners in including Eclipse Me ($83,944). The second dam Estabella (1:56.3) is the dam of three winners including Milly Me ($246,999) and the Group 3 placed Delight Me ($77,092). This is the  family of dual Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed Pocket Me ($266,979), Fear Me ($60,168), Jungle Genie ($278,090), Jungle Jewel ($221,047), Buster Me ($265,430) and Puppetandmee ($201,518). Lot 91 – Zinny Mach (bay colt, Mach Three - Zingara) Zinny Mach is from a race winning Christian Cullen sister to the dam of the top Group 1 winning mare Lauraella ($649,946). This colt is the dam's second foal with the first foal being the now race winning three-year-old Laredo Torpedo who raced in the recent Victoria Derby. Lot 95 – Gimme Hope (brown filly, Mach Three / Affairs Are Bettor) Check this page out for all the history of this Gimme Hope wich we have already covered. Harnesslink Media

Australian Pacing Gold graduate Our Little General will work towards consecutive Blue Ribands when he heads to Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Fresh from his Victoria Derby triumph a fortnight ago, Our Little General will tackle a heat of the harness racing classic for trainer Emma Stewart. Despite drawing awkwardly in barrier six, the son of Mach Three is a $1.90 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds, with Stewart confident Our Little General can justify his short price. “The draw isn’t ideal, but we couldn’t be happier with his condition,” Stewart said. “He had a good, solid trial at Ballarat during the weekend, which has really sharpened him up. “He will be in better shape this weekend than when he won the Victoria Derby at his second start from a spell.” Should all go according to plan, Our Little General will then contest next week’s $200,000 Final, which is part of a super Miracle Mile program. “Barring bad luck, he shouldn’t have any trouble making his way into the Derby,” Stewart said. “Like I said, he is in top shape, but will be better again after the heats.” The colt boasts an imposing record of nine wins and five placings from 15 starts for earnings of $360,305. APG Media  

Express Stride is the latest horse to beat the sub 1:50 mark down under with a dazzling 1:49.8 mile last Saturday night at the fastest harness racing track in the Southern Hemisphere, Tabcorp Park Menangle, just on the outskirts of Sydney in New South Wales. Express Stride was having his third start back on a new campaign winning all three races this time in to take his record to 24 starts, 9 wins, 6 seconds and 4 thirds for $191,790 in stakes with plenty more to come.  A Bettor's Delight horse from the top racemare Lauraella ($649,946) Express Stride is from the famed Black Watch family that has dominated the Yearling Sales in New Zealand for the last 30 years. This family is known as the Regina family. Express Stride winning in 1:49.8 There are a number of yearlings from the Regina family in the Australasian Classic Sale at Karaka next Monday the 20th of February. The Breckon Farms draft has several of note especially Lot 91 Zinny Mach a colt by Mach Three from a race winning Christian Cullen sister to the dam of Lauraella. This colt is the dam's second foal with the first foal being the now race winning three-year-old Laredo Torpedo who raced in last week;s Victoria Derby. Lot 91 – Zinny Mach (bay colt Mach Three / Zingara) Harnesslink Media            

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