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MONTICELLO, NY- The CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series is truly an international competition aided by the fact that on Monday, June 18 some of the Canadian members convened in Ontario, Canada at Grand River Raceway to compete in a trotting contest on the betting card and despite finishing with broken equipment Majestic Mystic was hustled home a five-length winner for "Fabulous Freddie" Bourgault. For the Quebec native it was his first winning drive in Ontario. Sent off as second choice in the eight-horse field Bourgault was content to find a spot in fourth position along the pylons when the wings of the gate folded. But when the pace of the race slowed as the field headed to the halfway point Bougault was out and going and when they passed the third stanza Majestic Mystic had command, albeit by just a head, over the pacesetter Happy Holidays, driven by "Gentle Ben" Hollingsworth). When the field straightened for paydirt Majestic Mystic began to ease away from his competition and finish some five lengths in front of Overcomebyvictory,("Sir Issac" Waxman) in a time of 2:00.4. Third under the wire was Extrapolate in rein to Shane "The Freelton Flash" Arsenault. The winner, a 9-year-old Majestic Son gelding, is owned by Mary Ketros and trained by George Ketros. Sent off at odds of over 3-1 Majestic Mystic paid $9.10 for win. by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Driving Series  

Three-year-old Majestic Son trotter Winterfell has given the harness racing All Stars stable six wins on Jewels day by taking out the Gr1 $125,000 Ruby Trot at Cambridge Raceway this afternoon. Trainer driver Mark Purdon had Winterfell in front from the start and the big gelding was never in danger of defeat cruising to victory and beating the Nicky Chilcott trained filly Monaro Mia by three lengths at the line. Australian visitor Wobelee held third a further half a length away after sitting parked for the duration of the race. Trainer Mark Purdon said after the race he did it easy.  "He felt strong in the running and was trotting good and solid. He was little bit rocky on the turn but never felt like he would have broken. "I think he will furnish into a lovely open class horse next season," he said The winner trotted the mile in 1-58.9 with a last half run in 57 seconds. The final 400m was cut out in 28.1 secconds. Interview with owner Trevor Casey Winterfell WHAT THE HILL 3YO RUBY (MOBILE TROT) (Gr1), $125,000, 3YO, 1609m   For 3-year-old trotters. Video  Weather: Overcast     Track: Fast      Race History     Plc Bk Horse Barrier Hcap Stakes Fav Time Margin Driver Trainer 1 1 Winterfell 1 fr 64,462.50 1/1 1-58.9   Mark Purdon M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 2 9 Monaro Mia 9 fr 19,378.00 4/4 1-59.5 3.00 S W Abernethy Miss N A Chilcott 3 8 Wobelee 8 fr 12,814.00 2/2 1-59.6 3.60 C A Alford Mrs A M Alford 4 12 Stress Factor 12 fr 5,472.00 8/8 1-59.9 5.00 T M Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 5 4 Sundees Son 4 fr 4,033.50 9/9 2-00.2 6.20 J R Dunn R J Dunn 6 13 All American 13 fr 3,140.00 10/10 2-00.3 6.90 S J Lawson J W Dickie & J I Dickie 7 2 Renezmae 2 fr 3,140.00 5/5 2-00.5 8.00 D J Dunn J D Harrington 8 3 Valloria 3 fr 3,140.00 7/7 2-00.7 9.00 G D Smith R J Dunn 9 6 Rachmaninov 6 fr 3,140.00 11/11 2-01.2 11.30 T J Grant T J Grant 10 7 Majestic Man 7 fr 3,140.00 3/3 2-01.6 13.30 Brad Williamson P M Williamson 11 5 Sex On Fire 5 fr 3,140.00 6/6 2-13.5 72.90 J I Dickie J W Dickie & J I Dickie $125,000.00   Scratchings SCR 10 Puma Road 10               SCR 11 Girls On Film 11                     Divs: $1.40. $1.20. $2.20. $1.70. Quinella $5.50. Trifecta $25.20. First4 $175.90. Margins: 3 lengths, 1/2 length, 1 1/2 lengths Times: Mile Rate: 1-58.9 Last 800m: 57.0 Last 400m: 28.1 Placed Horses:       Winterfell 2014 3 Br g Majestic Son - Una Bromac   (by Live Or Die)    Trainer: M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen, Rolleston    Owner: T G Casey    Breeder: T G Casey    Monaro Mia 2014 3 B f Imperial Count - Monaro Miss   (by Wrestle)    Trainer: Miss N A Chilcott, Cambridge Raceway    Owner: J B Brinsdon, Mrs M J Robertson    Breeder: M J Wharton,Mrs H L Wharton    Wobelee 2014 3 B g Down Under Muscles - Tupenny Bit   (by Sundon)    Trainer: Mrs A M Alford, Victoria    Owner: C W Murphy    Breeder: Bromfield Park Pty. Ltd.

Australian harness racing owners Danny Zavitsanos and his wife Joanne have won their first Group one race with exciting trotter Enhance Your Calm at Cambridge today. The exciting trotter who was formerly trained by Gavin Smith won the Gr1 $125,000 2yo Ruby for trotters to make it two jewels in a row on the day for leading trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rassmussen after they also won the first Jewels Race of the day with Princess Tiffany.   Danny Zavitsanos said on trackside after the race that he had had over 500 winners but this was his first group one so he was really excited.   "Mark rang me up and said I have got a horse for you if you are interested so I thought about it and bought it.   " I am just really rapt. Mark and Natalie and the team do such a great job," he said   "I had to sell a kidney to buy the horse but happy I can could get it back now the horse has won today," he joked.   Enhance Your Calm (Majestic Son-All Settled Down) led from the start for driver Mark Purdon and was never in danger of defeat winning untouched in 1-59.44 for the mobile 1609m distance.   Mark Purdon gave a lot of the credit to Gavin Smith after the win.   "I give Gavin a lot of the credit, he made the horse and did a super job with him.   "The horse travelled well out there and I put the pressure on at the 600m and he was just too good for them," he said.   Harnesslink Media   Listen to the interview with Danny and Joanne Zavitsanos Enhance Your Calm HARCOURTS TE AWAMUTU 2YO RUBY (MOBILE TROT) (Gr1), $125,000, 2YO, 1609m    (Qualifying Time: 2-11.1)   For 2-year-old trotters. Video  Weather: Overcast     Track: Fast      Race History     Plc Bk Horse Barrier Hcap Stakes Fav Time Margin Driver Trainer 1 4 Enhance Your Calm 4 fr 64,462.50 1/1 1-59.4   Mark Purdon M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 2 3 Full Noise 3 fr 19,378.00 4/4 2-00.3 4.40 B G Barclay B R Gray 3 5 Cheerful 5 fr 12,814.00 6/5 2-00.4 5.10 T M Williams M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 4 6 Sunnys Little Jestic 6 fr 5,472.00 10/10 2-00.8 6.90 B M Mangos B M Mangos 5 9 Vatican Hill 9 fr 4,033.50 11/11 2-05.3 29.60 T A Macfarlane Ms M J Wallis & B P Hackett 6 12 Oscar Bonavena 12 fr 3,140.00 2/2 2-08.5 45.60 N C Rasmussen M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen 7 7 She Reigns 7 fr 3,140.00 7/7 2-08.6 46.10 T W Mitchell G A Rogerson 8 8 Tickle Me Pink 8 fr 3,140.00 3/3 2-09.2 49.20 R T May A G Herlihy MNZM 9 13 You Really Got Me 13 fr 3,140.00 5/6 2-13.9 72.70 J R Dunn R J Dunn 10 1 Adelle 1 fr 3,140.00 8/8 2-16.7 86.60 A P T Poutama D W & Mrs C McGowan Disq 11 Doff Your Cap 11 fr 3,140.00 9/9 2-04.3 24.70 C T Jones (J) Mrs L M Jones $125,000.00   Scratchings SCR 2 Splitting Image 2               SCR 10 Tonique De Feu 10                     Note: Doff Your Cap disqualified from 5th Divs: $1.70. $1.10. $2.00. $5.90. Quinella $6.80. Trifecta $107.50. First4 $904.10. Margins: 4 1/2 lengths, 3/4 length, 1 3/4 lengths Times: Mile Rate: 1-59.4 Last 800m: 58.3 Last 400m: 28.7 Placed Horses:       Enhance Your Calm 2015 2 B g Majestic Son - All Settled Down   (by Sundon)    Trainer: M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen, Rolleston    Owner: D Zavitsanos, Mrs J Zavitsanos    Breeder: Mrs S A Smith    Full Noise 2015 2 B g Majestic Son - Knapdale Girl   (by Sundon)    Trainer: B R Gray, Ryal Bush    Owner: Baynes Racing Limited    Breeder: Baynes Racing Limited    Cheerful 2015 2 B f Muscles Yankee - Superbowlcheerleader   (by Sundon)    Trainer: M Purdon & Ms N C Rasmussen, Rolleston    Owner: B J Whitelock, Mrs C J Whitelock    Breeder: Mrs S Grainger,Studholme Bloodstock Limited    

HARRINGTON, DE. - Zippett Racing Stable's Murmur Hanover ($15.60, Montrell Teague) was an upset winner in 1:55.4 in the $17,500 Open Trot Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. The 8-year-old Majestic Son gelding notched his fourth win of the year in wire-to-wire fashion over I Like My Boss and Theresademoninme. Trained by Jay Gannon, Murmur Hanover earned his 28th career win and added to his healthy career bankroll of more than $780,000 lifetime. It was the second win on the card for Teague. Mike Cole had three wins. Driver Mike Rossi had a consecutive driving double with All Shoes on Deck ($4.20) and Skyway Gladiator ($15.20). Art Stafford Jr. and Ross Wolfenden also had two wins on the program. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

HARRINGTON, Del. - Zippett Racing Stable's Murmur Hanover ($4.60, Victor Kirby) was a 1:56.3 winner Wednesday at Harrington Raceway in the $15,000 harness racing 'Open' Trot. The 8-year-old Majestic Son gelding notched his 27th career win over Classic Belisima and Gillie The Kid. The Jay Gannon-trainee pulled from the pocket and cleared leader I Like My Boss at the top of the stretch and drew away from the field. Murmur Hanover boosted his lifetime bankroll to more than $770,000 in his career. In the final race on the card, Iron Mine Branch's Fight The Truth ($2.40, Art Stafford Jr.) won his fourth straight race in 1:55.3 for trainer Greg Haverstick. Matthew Sparacino

Millionaire trotter Charmed Life (Majestic Son) made her harness racing seasonal debut on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Rene Allard trainee, who has over $1.3 million in career earnings, had two winning qualifiers as preps for her try in the $12,000 Spa Open on Sunday and wound up as the public's 3-5 betting favorite. Billy Dobson moved Charmed Life out to the early lead and the race's lone lady cruised through a first half in 58 seconds. Feeling just mild pressure, the eight year old classmaster kicked away from her rivals around the final turn before drawing off to win in 1:55.2. The final time matched last week's effort by Open trotter Ulster as the fastest of the season for a trotter at the Spa. On Sunday, longshot Piercewave Hanover (Jordan Derue) sat the pocket to Charmed Life and finished second while Cash Me Out (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot. The exacta and triple in the feature paid $38.40 and $133.50, respectively. Charmed life now owns 31 victories in 128 lifetime starts. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time of 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Golden son (Mike Simons) wins the Tioga Downs open trot Saturday night (June 3). The 4 year-old Majestic Son gelding road in the pocket following the favorite Sweet Thing (Fern Paquet Jr.). Sweet Thing led the field hitting the first quarter in :27.4, the half in :56.4 and three quarters went in 1:25.1. Simons waited patiently in the stretch for an opening. Once he got it he guided Golden Son ($8.30) to the front for a three length win in 1:54.1. Golden son who is owned John Devito and Rocco Maniello while trained by Jenny Melander won for the 6th time this season. Sweet Thing finished second with Another Breath (Jim Meittinis) getting third. Mickey Mc Nichol continues to soar at Tioga Downs this season. The 68 year-old trainer, driver has had a stellar start at Tioga Downs this season. On May 14, 2007, he piloted Maxdaddy Blue Chip to a mile in 1:49.3 during the Open Pace. On Monday (May 29), he had another great drive when he guided the 31-1 long shot Good Luck to victory. Owned by Fred Monteleone, Good Luck escaped the pocket at the top of the stretch and surged by For A Bettor Time for an easy win in 1:52.0. Tonight (June 3) he would add two more wins. In race number two Mc Nichol guided Blueberry Heaven ($7.90) to a win in 1:52.1. Race number nine he was victorious with the favorite Massive Lightning ($4.00). Fred Monteleone owned both horse who were trained by Mc Nichols as well. Tioga Downs returns to action with an 11 race card on Sunday afternoon (June 4) at 1pm. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Lebanon, OH---Charmed Life spoiled the coming-out party for defending Dan Patch Older Mare Trotter of the Year, Hannelore Hanover, with a half-length, 1:53.2 win in the $86,400 Miami Valley harness racing distaff Sunday afternoon (May 7) at Miami Valley Raceway. Leaving from post 7, Charmed Life and driver Chris Page took back to sixth off the gate as Barn Girl (Aaron Merriman) went to the lead from post 6. After the quarter-mile marker, reached in 28.1, track record holder Kestrel (Josh Sutton) tipped out and took the lead before the 56.3 half. Past the grandstand for the first time, Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras), the 1-5 favorite, began to make her move from fourth, but picked up cover from Churita (Trace Tetrick) from third. Churita challenged Kestrel to the three-quarters in 1:24.2, with Hannelore Hanover second-over and Charmed Life third-over. "I was following the horse to beat, so I thought I was in a good spot," said Page. "The wind was a factor today and I was hoping she could overcome it." In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover fanned three-wide around Churita with Charmed Life even further out. Charmed Life hit the wire first, followed by Hannelore Hanover, Churita, and Barn Girl. "It was her first start of the year," said Yannick Gingras of Hannelore Hanover. "We qualified her pretty easy. Maybe she was a little short and maybe I could have qualified a little harder. It's a long season." Trained by Rene Allard for co-owners Allard Racing, Yves Sarrazin, and VIP Internet Stables, the 7-year-old Charmed Life won for the third time in four starts in 2017. The win pushed the Majestic Son - Christina M mare's lifetime earnings past $1.1 million. She paid $21 to win. "Rene said if I can just sit chilly, [she has] one run and will have a big kick on the end of it," Page said. "Boy, was he right!" Gregg Keidel

Charmed Life (Majestic Son) cruised to victory in the Sunday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Rene Allard trainee was the public's overwhelming favorite in the wagering as she made her second start of the season while coming off a win at Pocono Downs earlier in the month. Billy Dobson drove Charmed Life in the $14,500 Open Trot and moved her out to the early lead, a lead she would never relinquish. The 1-5 favorite coasted to victory in 1:55.1, the fastest mile for any trotter thus far at the Spa this year. Cash Me Out (Jimmy Devaux), already a two-time Open winner this season, had to settle for second on Sunday while longshot Lucid Thoughts (Shawn Gray) earned the show spot. The seven year old Charmed Life, who has career earnings of over $1 million, is now two-for-two in 2017. Live racing resumes on Thursday with a 4:00pm first post time. Mike Sardella

Persistence and patience blended with talent to see Glenferrie Typhoon win the Pryde’s Easifeed $300,000 Great Southern Star, a super harness racing training and driving performance by Andy and Kate Gath. After a season plagued by disappointing runs, Glenferrie Typhoon’s undoubted talent spilled on to Tabcorp Park Melton with a blistering run, stopping the clock at a 1:58.0 mile rate, 1.5 seconds under the old track record. The all-the-way win gifted the $300,000 feature, the richest trotting race in Australasia, to a proud group of owners and a triumphant local stable. “It’s a huge thrill,” Andy Gath said. “I know he had the draw and everything, but he still had to do it. “I’ve always had a great affinity with the trotters and they have really emerged in Victoria, there are so many good trotters around and it’s such a great race to win and great to have it on like this with the Hunter Cup. Such a big night and it’s a huge thrill.” Sharing that delight was his wife, Kate Gath, who had been put through the ringer as Glenferrie Typhoon battled to re-find form. The Majestic Son gelding ran second in this feature last year amid an outstanding run, made all the meritorious by the fact he was suffering from a bladder stone. He resumed late in 2016 but two poor performances saw him tipped out for another spell. A sixth placing in The George Gath at Shepparton preceded a win against far more modest competition at Melton on January 30, when Glenferrie Typhoon appeared to switch off and have his considerable lead gobbled up.  “He’s done my head in over the last couple of months, I did everything I could to get him trotting,” Kate Gath said. “I haven’t conceded. I tried a few different things again on Monday and he couldn’t trot it out up the straight. I didn’t know what else to do, I know he’s got the ability and thank goodness we got it right on the night that we needed to get it right on.” From gate one Glenferrie Typhoon held off Maori Time’s advance to find the front, but the pressure was persistent with one challenger after the next coming to the breeze to press forward. Josh Dickie then guided favourite and reigning champion Speeding Spur on to Glenferrie Typhoon’s back and when they hit the straight it became a race in two. “If I got a lot of pressure I was going to play it by ear and see how I felt, but he just travelled so good the whole way I couldn’t hand handed up if I wanted too,” Kate Gath said. “When Speeding Spur got on my back I thought “oh no, this isn’t good, this wasn’t part of the plan”. “(Glenferrie Typhoon) was just travelling so well the whole way. When I got to the corner he was still travelling and I know he can get a bit hot in the straight and I thought, all right, we’re going to run now, they are going to have their chance but they are going to have to catch me.” And in the match-race between Glenferrie Typhoon and Speeding Spur it was the Victorian who held on by a half-neck. “His ability’s always been there, we know how good he is, so it’s just fantastic that he was able to get the job done tonight,” Kate Gath said. “All the owners are here, absolutely over the moon.” Sunny Ruby ran a brave third for Sam Smolenski, having been the best runner from deep to finish 9m shy of the leader. Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

John Cremin has set himself a New Year’s resolution. The former Albion Park harness racing metropolitan winning premiership reinsman is heading south and he’s taking his new prized recruit with him. Cremin will head off tomorrow (Sunday) bound for Victoria with his stable star, talented trotter Melpark Royal Son. The recent winner of the Gr.2 $40,000 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship winner at Albion Park, the Majestic Son – Melpark Maid gelding will be set for a number of trotting features during the Melbourne summer carnival. “It’s a good opportunity for a working holiday; he’s paid his way for a trip so Tanya (wife) and I are heading off to compete in a few nice races while catching up with a lot of our friends we have down there which will be great fun.” Cremin said. Melpark Royal Son capped his southern campaign with a resounding romp at Albion Park yesterday (Friday) in a time of 2:00.4 for the 2138m mobile start event. Since being purchased from Glenn Conroy earlier this year, Melpark Royal Son has found a new lease of life in the sunshine state while Cremin’s astute farrier skills have also played a part in his success. In 13 starts for Cremin, Melpark Royal Son has won five times while being placed on a further 7 occasions. His only unplaced effort came on October 29 at Albion Park when fourth behind Blue Don, beaten 3.7 metres. “My only other trotter was Dicky Dewar and I enjoyed working with him so I was keen to get another one in time, this guy came up and I‘ve got to thank Glenn for everything because he’s helped me a heck of a lot since he’s arrived at my stables. “The Conroy family is well known for their success with the trotters and Glenn has been excellent with his advice. I’m looking at the Horsham Trotters Cup on January 8 as his first target, it’s a 2700m stand start which will suit him nicely. “His biggest asset is his speed, he can really turn it on and sprint and I believe he’s still working it all out because he’s still very lightly raced for a trotter. I think this trip away will be a good learning curve for both of us.” The last time Cremin ventured south with a horse was back in 1995 when he headed to Harold Park with Brendans Mate. But given his busy schedule as a farrier, he’s rarely had time to work horses, let alone travel with them. Cremin is the chief farrier for Queensland’s largest stable, Grant Dixon while supporting a number of other stables on the south side of Brisbane. Chris Barsby

Serendipitious, driven by Wally Hennessey, pulled off a minor upset in Pompano Park's $8,500 trotting feature for harness racing mares on Monday night (December 12), covering the mile in a lifetime best 1:54.2. A recent purchase by Paul and Patricia O'Neil and now in the Hennessey Stable, Serendipitious, a five year-old daughter of Majestic Son, won a fierce early battle with the 1 to 2 favorite, She's All In (Rick Plano) and proceeded on through panels of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before her :29.1 sprint home left her untouched throughout the lane. Her margin of victory was 1¾ lengths over She's All In with Pinky The Intern (John Mac Donald) third, four lengths away. Bad Angel finished fourth while Oceana finished fifth in this quintet--her journey marred by a break before the start. In a post-race interview, driver Wally Hennessey related, "we found out that this mare was for sale and we liked her at lot. After this mile we really like her a lot. "She went the best trip of her life tonight. I drove her the last couple of times and she was handy and professional. "I really was intent on taking the lead here to try and control the pace and I was hoping that the quick opening quarter didn't take too much out of her. She never let go of the bit at any time and I am very well please with her tonight." Serendipitious won for the seventh time this year in 32 starts pushing her 2016 bounty to $47,582. Lifetime, she banked $123,704. Her 1:54.2 clocking easily eclipsed her former best of 1:57.1 over Batavia's half-miler last August. Although Serendipitious was the morning line favorite at 6 to 5, she went off as the second choice at 2 to 1 when the bell rang and returned $6.80 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Prairie Fortune the early favorite to repeat in the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot. Explosive Muscles, Tater Twister, Commentary and Sooo Handsome complete the classy field. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park              

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - With the 1-9 favorite Caprice Hill being locked at the pylons for the entire mile, Royal Charm capitalized off a third-over trip to win the harness racing $436,000 Elegantimage stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:54.4 at 33-1. Dream Child secured the lead off a :27 quarter, sweeping by Emoticon Hanover towards the pylons. Side Bet Hanover raced in third alongside Celebrity Eventsy, who inched towards leader Dream Child off a :55.4 half. Into the final turn, Celebrity Evensty pressured Dream Child, while Flowers N Songs and Royal Charm followed from second and third over, keeping Caprice Hill stuck at the inside racing seventh. Celebrity Eventsy slid by Dream Child passed the three-quarters in 1:24.4. Caprice Hill had some room to sling up the inside, but, after having to evade Dream Child fading to the back, she was caught behind a wall of horses that enveloped stretch-leader Celebrity Eventsy. Flowers N Songs had tipped off her cover as well as Royal Charm and Dewdle All Day. Royal Charm edged by Flowers N Songs as Dewdle All Day rushed down the centre of the track. Royal Charm held on at the wire, with Dewdle All Day finishing second, Flower N Songs third, and Emoticon Hanover sneaking up the inside to finish fourth. Royal Charm, a three-year-old filly trotter by Majestic Son from the Yankee Glide mare Queen Of Grace, is owned by David McDonald, Shelly Macmillan and Bridle Path Stables, trained by Mark Steacy, and was driven by Paul MacDonell. Winning her sixth race in her 18th career start, Royal Charm has amassed $315,212 in earnings. "It never feels bad when you win a race like this," MacDonell said. "It's a prestigious race, and I'm just happy to win it for Mark [Steacy] and his connections. They've been supporting this filly right through. She was coming up to a good race and did it tonight." "She doesn't leave very well," MacDonell also said. "It's been a thing for her all year where she struggles to get away from the gate. As it turned out tonight, she was within five lengths at the quarter pole and then the flow started to develop on the outside, so she got up third over, and she always has a good kick coming home." "Caprice [Hill] is really good, and fortunately for us she got locked in," Steacy said. "You got to be lucky to be good, too." Royal Charm returned $67.50 to win and $122.50 to place; there was no show wagering. Dewdle All Day, finishing second at 91-1, paid $314.00, producing a $2 exactor that returned $1,299.40. Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

JULY 29, 2016 - It took longer than expected, but Delcrest Magicstar finally made her debut at Grand River Raceway on Friday and the two-year-old trotting filly went home with a harness racing Grassroots trophy and the fastest clocking of the three Ontario Sires Stakes divisions. Starting from Post 1 with co-owner James MacDonald in the race bike, Delcrest Magicstar eased away from the starting gate and was sitting fourth when Late Shift reached the opening quarter in :30.3. The filly continued to watch from fourth as fan favourite Hab Faith took over top spot, leading the field to a 1:00.4 half, but heading for the 1:31.4 three-quarters MacDonald tipped Delcrest Magicstar to the outside and the filly had a chance to show off her skills. Powering around the final turn Delcrest Magicstar grabbed control from Hab Faith and accelerated down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 2:02.1. Late Shift stepped out of the pocket to claim the second-place share of the $18,000 purse and Hab Faith settled for third. "We were really happy with her," said MacDonald, who was joined in the winner's circle by the victorious "Be A Winner" contest finalist. "She trots beautiful, she's built like a tank, she looks like a good horse when you look at her, so hopefully she keeps progressing." Friday's outing was Delcrest Magicstar's first, following a win and a second in qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 16 and July 1. The filly was originally heading for the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs, but a bout of sickness pushed her debut back by three weeks. "She got brutal sick," said MacDonald, who shares ownership of the filly, a $30,000 purchase from the Canadian Yearling Sale, with trainer Johnathan McKinnon of Guelph and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. "She was yellow snot pouring out of her, and coughing, and it was two weeks before he (McKinnon) could get it cleaned up, two different kinds of antibiotics, and she was off her feed. It was horrible." The filly finally started to rebound from the sickness last week and when they trained her in preparation for Friday's test McKinnon and MacDonald knew she was back on her game. "She trained awesome the other day," said the Guelph, ON resident. "I trained with Johnny and she blew by me down the lane and so we were kind of hoping she'd put together a good performance." Now that she is healthy, the only obstacle standing in Delcrest Magicstar's way could be her attitude. MacDonald said the daughter of Majestic Son and Stars Balance has a beautiful gait, but is not naturally inclined to give the extra effort that often separates the top horses from those in the lower tier. "She's got a bit of an attitude. Johnny always went with her and he was really high on her, but she just doesn't do anything extra," explained MacDonald. "After she qualified, I said, 'She's right on the verge of being a real nice horse, or not a very good horse.'" The second Grassroots division also saw a filly making her debut trot into the winner's circle. Starting from Post 6 with fan favourite Crystal Gumdrop, Grand River Raceway's leading driver Bob McClure employed a strategy similar to MacDonald's. The pair sat fourth as Parkhill Nocredit reached the quarter in :30.1, and had rolled to the outside before the 1:02.2 half. By the 1:33.2 three-quarters Crystal Gumdrop had pulled to within one length of the pacesetter and when McClure asked her for another gear the Angus Hall miss powered away to a three and one-quarter length victory in 2:03.3. Parkhill Nocredit settled for second and Man Shes Hot was four more lengths back in third. "She's a nice filly. She behaved very well for her first lifetime start," said Elora, ON resident McClure. "I didn't push her until late, but she had a lot of pop when I did." McClure crafted the win for trainer Jeff Gillis of Everett and his partners Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The trio acquired the daughter of Angus Hall and Crystas Dream for $13,000 from last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The last division saw Inner Drive record her second straight Grassroots win with a gate-to-wire romp in 2:07.1. Hopeswishesndreams finished two and one-half lengths back in second and Oh Miss Sophie recovered from an early break to take third. Alfie Carroll of Iona Station engineered the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The homebred daughter of Kadabra and Urge To Splurge boasts a record of two wins and one second in four starts for earnings of $21,500. She sits atop the two-year-old trotting filly Grassroots standings with 102 points. The freshman trotting fillies make their fourth Grassroots start at Hanover Raceway on August 6. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 1 as part of the track's signature Industry Day program. The three-year-old pacing fillies will battle for Gold Series glory in Races 2 and 6, warming up the crowd for the $107,800 Battle of the Belles Final for two-year-old pacing fillies in Race 10 and the $159,500 Battle of Waterloo Final for two-year-old pacing colts in Race 11. The afternoon's festivities kick off at noon, with the first race going to the gate at 1:30 pm. For more information about Industry Day visit http://grandriverraceway.com/industry-day-2/. Ontario Racing

JUNE 14, 2016 - Six $18,000 Grassroots divisions were featured on Mohawk Racetrack's Tuesday evening program as the harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies opened their 2016 season. Things got off to a quick start as Magical Valentine and trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev fired to the front before the halfway marker and sailed home to a 1:56.2 personal best in the first division. In just her fourth lifetime start, Magical Valentine bested a pair of freshman Grassroots winners, Traviata and Dewdle All Day. Moffat, ON resident Moiseyev conditions the daughter of Kadabra for M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. The win boosted Magical Valentine's sophomore record to two wins, one second and earnings of $19,500 in three starts. The sharp tempo was maintained in the second division as favourite Magical Steph and Myretirementticket battled through fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:26.1 before yielding in the stretch to a hard-closing Royal Charm. After pushing out three-wide to get a clear look at the leaders, Royal Charm and trainer-driver Mark Steacy powered down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:55.4. Myretirementticket stayed game for second and Its All About Sam trotted into third. "Royal Charm is a well-bred filly that has always shown a lot of speed, but has been hampered by tie-up problems and immaturity," said Steacy of the Majestic Son-Queen Of Grace daughter. "Hopefully her problems are now behind her so we can continue to see what she can do." The Lansdowne, ON resident conditions Royal Charm for Shelly MacMillan of Waterloo, ON, David McDonald of Cornwall, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stables Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY. Tuesday's win was the filly's first in six outings. Fan favourites Dayliner and Paul Walker also delivered a sharp mile in the third division, trotting under the wire in 1:56, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Powerful Glare and Silky Flashy Nfast. The win - a new lifetime mark for the Muscle Mass daughter - was Dayliner's second in 16 appearances. Walker trains and drives the filly for his wife Brenda Walker of Owen Sound, ON. The first-time winner trend continued in the fourth division as Jody Jamieson stepped into the race bike behind True Muscle and guided the filly to a one and one-half length victory in 1:57.1. Fan favourites Could It Be Magic and I Want Kandy settled for second and third behind the first time winner. "She's just a sweet OSS filly that seems to want to do everything you ask," said Jamieson, who piloted the Muscle Mass daughter to the win for trainer Keith Jones of Barrie, ON and owner Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, ON. "I liked her so much that I'm going to go to Georgian Downs to drive her in the Alliance Final on Sunday (June 19)," added the Moffat resident. P C Cantore earned her first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy in the fifth Grassroots division, reaching the Mohawk Racetrack finish line two lengths ahead of Smash Hit and Zorgwijk Queen. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry piloted the daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and Balladeer to the 1:57.2 victory for owner-breeder-trainer Peter Clements of Dobbinton, ON. Unraced at two, P C Cantore now has four wins in six starts and earnings of $21,592. The final Grassroots trophy was awarded to Majestic Mistress, who hung on for a neck victory after battling pacesetter Absolut Seelster from the halfway marker onward. Majestic Mistress and driver Ryan Holliday stopped the teletimer at 1:58.1, holding off favourite P L Jill and second choice Magical Wonder. The win was the Majestic Son daughter's first in seven outings. "It was nice to get the monkey off our back with her," said driver Ryan Holliday of Mount Forest, ON. "She can trot enough; it's just a matter of keeping her at task. I think she's getting the hang of it." Holliday's father Dave, also of Mount Forest, conditions Majestic Mistress for owner-breeder Ron Corbett of St. Jacobs, ON. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Grassroots start on July 1, during Dresden Raceway's Canada Day celebrations. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack this week, with the three-year-old pacing colts taking centre stage on Thursday with six Grassroots divisions and the three-year-old pacing fillies stepping to the forefront on Friday with seven Grassroots splits. Post time for both programs is 7:30 pm. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing  

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 2 - Harness racing six-year-old trotting mare Charmed Life reached the $1 million earnings mark in style Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Dave Menary trainee was able to convert off a three-hole trip from driver Jody Jamieson to score her first win of the season and reach the $1 million mark. Charmed Life entered Thursday's race less than $5,000 away from the milestone and picked the perfect time to win in a $24,000 Fillies & Mares Trot. The daughter of Majestic Son is owned by Menary Racing Inc., Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero. Charmed Life has been a standout on the WEG circuit since her Ontario Sires Stakes days. Trained by John Bax until 2014, the classy trotting mare has tackled and defeated her male counterparts on multiple occasions in the Preferred. Charmed Life has also had success on the Grand Circuit with a victory in the Miss Versatility and runner-up finishes in the Armbro Flight and Miami Valley Distaff. The Menary trainee banked over $209,000 last season and finished third in the Breeders Crown Mare Trot at Woodbine. Thursday's 1:54.1 victory was the 19th career win for Charmed Life, who sports a career-mark of 1:52.2. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Charmed Life and all her connections on becoming harness racing's newest millionaire. Mark McKelvie

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