“He impreses me every time I sit behind him, I can’t ask any more than what he does. He’s very efficient. I love this horse; he’s very easy to drive and that makes my job a lot easier.” That was driver Sylvain Filion praising Harper Blue Chip moments after their victory in the second of three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting colts tonight at Rideau Carleton Raceway Thursday, the home track for Harper’s ownership group and trainer Mark Steacy. In fact it was at Rideau where Harper Blue Chip made his first start in June of last year. The colt earned his victory this night, over a track rated sloppy from heavy rains during the afternoon at the Ottawa oval. He was parked until after the opening quarter, reached in :27.4 by Ole Jack Magic, and took over command before the :58 half. Down the backside Muscle Matters came up to challenge and that pair reached the three-quarters in 1:26.3. Harper Blue Chip repelled that challenger and opened up down the lane to win by more than four lengths in 1:56.1. Muscle Matters took second while Sheer Flex was third. It was the fourth win in nine starts, and second straight Gold victory, for the son of Majestic Son owned by Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. The first Gold test also found Filion posing in the winner’s circle. It was Verdi and Steve Byron first off the gate and they hit the opening quarter in :29.3 and the half in a sedate 1:02.2. Entranced passed the leader before the three-quarters in 1:31.1 but he was quickly passed by Mr Lover and Filion who pulled away in the stretch to win in 2:00.1. Lucky Mass closed well to get second while Verdi held for third. Filion’s father, Yves, trains the winner, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe for owner/breeder Ecuries Belanger of Laval, Quebec. It was Mr Lover’s first win in four tries this year. Yves had also trained Mr Lover’s dam, Norway No Day, a winner of $337,000 in her career. The third and final Gold division saw heavy favourite Maximuscle make a break leaving. Meanwhile Jack Litten and Doug McNair hit the quarter in :28.3 and the half in :58.4 where he had company in the form of Warrawee Promesse on the outside. That colt had a slight lead past the 1:27 three-quarters and held off Massive Talent to win in 1:57.1. Jack Litten was right there for third. Trainer Wayne Henry was up behind the winner, a son of Windsong Espoir he co-owns with Fred Brayford of Alliston, Ontario. Warrawee Promesse now has five wins in nine attempts. Tonight’s effort was his fifth consecutive win. The first of three $18,000 Grassroots events for three-year-old trotting colts saw Tyrone Haji control the tempo for Trevor Henry through splits of :28.3, :59.3, 1:29.3 and hold on to win in 1:59.3 over Massacaia and American Superman. Bob McIntosh trains and co-owns the winner with breeder Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ontario. A gelded son of Kadabra, Tyrone Haji was recording his third win in a dozen starts this year. “He’s been a lot of first up trips, if I could get to the front earlier he’d be one of the best,” noted Henry afterwards. The second Grassroots test saw favourite Totally Ripped gain control well before the :57.3 half. Jody Jamieson had Justcallmeronald on the move before the 1:26.3 three-quarters and that colt and Totally Ripped raced as a team through the stretch with Justcallmeronald getting up for the win in 1:57.2. Windsun Cobra took third. Tony O’Sullivan trains the winner, a son of Muscle Mass owned by Patrick Ryan of London, Ontario. “He was a little tired at the wire. His former trainer was here telling me how to drive him so that helped,” said Jamieson of the colt’s former conditioner and Rideau regular Robert Robinson. Jamieson also captured the final Grassroots event of the evening, using a three wide move on the final turn with Massive Pockets to win by open lengths in 1:57.3 and defeat Stonebridge Rich and Kremlin. Owned by breeder MT Pockets Stables of Florida and trained by Chantal Mitchell, the son of Muscle Mass was recording his second win in 11 tries. This was Rideau Carleton’s turn to celebrate the OSS’s 40th anniversary and the trotting colts put on a good display of the talent in the Program for the fans. The next Gold event for this group goes postward on September 22 while the Grassroots boys will hook up on September 1. Both events are at Mohawk. To view the full results from tonight, please clickRideau Results - August 21. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Harness racing can always throw up the unexpected from time to time and the Safely Kept mare Cyclone Vance would seem to fit that description beautifully. Cyclone Vance is from the Vance Hanover mare Cyclone Betsi who is from a family that has produced some very smart pacers in the last 30 years such as Running On Faith 1:56.1 ($326,890) Thunder Storm 1:51.8 ($343,340) and Atlas Alliance 1:53.4 ($138,623) to name just three. Not a trotter to be found anywhere but Cyclone Vance wanted to trot and was quite handy at it to boot, winning six races and $44,983 on the track. Then when she went to stud, Cyclone Vance was bred to high class trotting sires and the results have been a succession of talented trotters. Her first foal was the Muscles Yankee horse Cyclone Jake 1:55.6 ($173,342) and that was followed by the son of Dream Vacation in Cyclone Dream 2:00 ($74,734) The next winner from the mare was another son of Dream Vacation in the very talented Cyclone U Bolt 1:54.5 ($240,393) and the fourth winner was the promising son of Majestic Son in Glenferrie Typhoon 2:01.1 ($45,144) who is in the 4 year Trotters final of the Breeders Crown on Sunday at Melton. The latest foal from Cyclone Vance to hit the track is Cyclone Lucky Seven who made his debut tonight at the Harness Racing Waikato meeting at Cambridge. Trained by Todd Macfarlane and Craig Sharpe and driven tonight by Todd, Cyclone Lucky Seven stepped away well from barrier one in the 2700 meters standing start event. After leading early the son of Majestic Son ended up three back on the inner for most of the journey, Off the back straight, the horse in the trail broke allowing Cyclone Lucky Seven to get up on to the leaders back. From there Cyclone Lucky Seven shot up the passing lane for a stylish win on debut. Cyclone Lucky Seven trotted the 2700 meters from a stand in 3:40.8 with closing sectionals of 61.2 and 30. Going by his faultless debut performance, this won't be the last time that Cyclone Lucky Seven is seen in the winners circle. Harnesslink Media
John-Michael (6g Dream Vacation-Imatagtoo-Tagliabue) won Tuesday's $2,000 NY State Monte Fair Final at Trumansburg. Reined by Tara Hynes for trainer Michael Miller and owner Terry Miller, John-Michael scored in 2:09.1h over the Karen Isbell trained and ridden Truth In Action with My Irish Molly third for Jocelyn Lavigne in the field of six. At Georgian Downs, their pari-mutuel monte contest for C$3,200 went to a previous monte winner Radical Dreamer (5f Majestic Son-Paidindreams-Royal Strength) with Marit Valstad aboard for trainer and co-owner Ron O'Neill of Cambridge. Well-known breeder/owner Doug Millard of Woodstock is the other co-owner. Radical Dreamer scored in 2:00.4f by a head over Hettie's Honey with Tymal Oh So Nice home third in the nine horse field. C$9,540 was wagered on the monte contest including exactor, superfecta and triactor wagers. by Thomas H. Hicks
Youre Majestic, Danielle Hall and Juanitas Fury were victorious in the three $70,000 Gold divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies tonight at Mohawk. Youre Majestic was sent off as the favourite in the first division and she didn’t disappoint her backers, winning in 1:57.1. The daughter of Majestic Son, driven by Doug McNair, got away in fourth as Sheguindah hit the opening quarter in :28.2. Just past that point Amoureuse Hanover took over the lead but that didn’t last long as McNair had Youre Majestic moving quickly to take command before the :59.3 half. She remained on top by the 1:28.2 three-quarters and opened up down the stretch to win comfortably over Amoureuse Hanover (Pilgrims Taj) and Railee Priti (Muscle Mass). Owned by Frank Bellino and Sons LLC of New York and trained by Tony Sullivan, Youre Majestic has yet to finish off the board in her young career. Her summary now is 3-1-1 in five lifetime starts for $92,000 in earnings. This marked her second Gold victory. In the second division it was The Grand Filly showing the girls the way and hitting the opening quarter in:27.4. She was quickly covered up by Muscle Baby Doll but Danielle Hall and Jody Jamieson took over before the :57 half. At that point favourite Stubborn Belle made a break. At the three-quarters it was Danielle Hall in 1:26.2 and she could not be caught down the stretch, winning in 1:56 over The Grand Filly and Muscle Baby Doll, both by Muscle Mass. Stubborn Belle recovered from her miscue to take fourth. It was the fourth win in five lifetime starts, and third Gold win, for Danielle Hall (she was second in the other start), a daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe owned by trainer Carl Jamieson and Winnipeg Racing of Concord, Ontario. Juanitas Fury was back in the Gold winner’s circle following the third division. Paul MacDonell was up behind the daughter of Kadabra who got away third in the early going as Mystical Brat took the field by the quarter pole in :28.1. MacDonell then right lined Juanitas Fury who was on top by the half in :58.1. She passed the three-quarters in 1:28 and held off several rivals to hit the wire in 1:57.1. Tymal Illbethere (Deweycheatumnhowe) was right there for second with Nordic Holiday (Holiday Road) a close third. It was the third win, and second OSS Gold victory, in five starts this year for Juanitas Fury co-owned by trainer John Bax with Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Don Allensn of Wyoming and Gaelic Stable of Sharon, Ontario. The next Gold test for this division is set for September 25 back at Mohawk. To view the complete results from tonight’s card please click Mohawk Results - August 18. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Long shots seemed to be the rule of the day at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday afternoon for the opening round of the Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old trotters and pacers. The series features three weeks of preliminary rounds of competition with each division racing for a purse of $7,500. The top eight point earners after the preliminary rounds will return for the $55,000 finals in each class on Sunday, September 7. Also on that day will be the $65,000 finals for the three-year-olds. Mother Nature did not cooperate Sunday as intermittent rain storms gave way to sunshine sporadically throughout the racing card. The two-year-old trotting fillies provided long shot winners in both their divisions. The first race saw SOS Harddrive and driver Pascal Berube take no prisoners as they led from start to finish by one length in 2:06.4. The daughter of Tarus Dream is undefeated in three starts and her clocking was a lifetime mark for trainer Jean Teller and owner/breeder Les Ecuries SOS Bedford, Inc. of Stanbridge Station, QC. Notrouble Dechafra (Stephane Brosseau) was second with C L Magic Road (Marie Auger) third. Overlooked by the betting public, SOS Harddrive went off at odds of 11-1 and paid $24.10 to win. The fifth race second division was captured by 13-1 Chamane and driver Marie Auger with an impressive three-wide move on the final turn and then out trotted the field home to win by one and one-half lengths in 2:08.3. D Espoir (Stephane Brosseau) was the race favorite and raced that way, going right to the early lead with Sunrise Linda (Yves Filion) sitting the pocket trip. Double Chance (Serge Nadeau) came first-over at the half mile marker and that gave Chamane perfect second-over cover to tip three-wide from after the three-quarters en route to her maiden victory. Sired by Majestic Son, Chamane is trained by Eric Valiquete for owner/breeder Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. She paid $29.60 to win. The third long shot winner in the series came in the third race, the first division for two-year-old pacing colts. Western Bayama and trainer/driver Yves Filion sat in fourth place throughout the mile as HO Bushido Dragjet (Stephane Brosseau) cut the mile and Classic Breeze (Pascal Berube) sat the pocket trip. Then as the field came around the final turn, Filion made his move with Western Bayama and the son of Lis Mara came on with a burst of speed to win by one length over late closing T S Joe (Jocelyn Gendron) with HP Bushido Dragjet third. The time of the race was a lifetime mark of 1:59 in just the second career start for Western Bayama, who was bred and is owned by Filion’s Bayama Farms. Sent off at odds of 10-1, he paid $22.90 to win. The sixth race second colt division saw race favorite Clinton Panic and driver/trainer Yves Filion make it a driver/trainer double on the day as they were able to led from start to finish with a one length triumph in 2:03.1 in a driving rain storm. Mr. Sunshine Boy (Pascal Berube) inherited the pocket-trip when Rocky Beach (Marie Auger) tried a first-over move in vain at the half mile marker as Mr. Sunshine Boy finished second with Rocky Beach third. It was the maiden win in two starts for Clinton Panic, a son of Major In Art, who paid $9.90 to win. He was bred and is owned by Brian Paquet of Quebec, QC. The two-year-old pacing fillies competed in the second and fourth races. The first division saw Kinnder Elegance and driver Jocelyn Gendron hold the field at bay as the daughter of Allamerican Native led by three to four lengths the entire mile, winning by two and one-quarter lengths in 2:00.3. The pocket-sitting Voodoo Charm (Yves Filion) was second with Godiva Bella Oya (Mario Charron) third. It was the first pari-mutuel victory for Kinnder Elegance, who paid $2.30 to win for owner/breeder Dentiza Petrova of Les Cedres, QC. After trading the early lead control with Miss Bro, Anna Santanna and driver Marie Auger stayed in command after the opening quarter mile and won with ease by two and three-quarter lengths in 2:00.4. Miss Bro (Stephane Brosseau) was second with HP Rubis Joyce (Mario Charron) third. Sired by Santanna Blue Chip, it was the maiden victory after four starts for Anna Santanna, who paid $3.90 to win. She is trained and owned by Marie Auger of Trois-Rivieres, QC. Live racing resumes Tuesday evening with first race post time at 7:00 pm. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club
Six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots dashes for harness racing rookie trotting colts and geldings were the marquee events on Saturday night (August 16) at Georgian Downs. The first three races on the card were all Grassroots races, and driver Trevor Henry won all of them to get his night started off on the right foot. Henry won the opener with Kadabrasnewrecruit in 2:01.4. Racing over a surface left sloppy and two seconds off due to rain, Kadabrasnewrecruit came from well off-the-pace to gain the lead in the stretch and then stepped away to win by two and a half lengths over Angels Kid (Keith Oliver). Muscles All Over (Eddie Green) finished third. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ont. owns Kadabrasnewrecruit, a gelded son of Kadabra. Kadabrasnewrecruit, who was bred by Tymal Farms, broke his maiden in his second attempt, and he has now earned $13,500. He’s the fifth foal out of the Mr Lavec mare Keystone Alberta, who was third in the $100,000 Grassroots final when she was a two-year-old. Olympic Son then gave Henry the double, leading through panels of :30, 1:01.2, and 1:32.1 on his way to a four and three-quarter length victory in 2:02.1. Parkhill Lancelot (Steve Byron) crossed the finish line in second, but was off-stride in doing so, and following a judges’ inquiry, he was moved back to third, elevating original third-place finisher Covert Operative (Per Henriksen) to runner-up status. Paul Reid trains Olympic Son, a colt by Majestic Son, for owner/breeder Bob Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania. Olympic Son picked up his first win from three attempts and he has now put away $13,320. The winner is the second foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Graceful Sister ($104,714). Snapshot Springs overcame post nine to give Henry the hat trick. Snapshot Springs had command through splits of :29.4, 1:01.4, and 1:33.1 en route to a 2:03.1 triumph. Numbers Game (Kevin Sizer) came in second, beaten a length and a half by the winner, and Jayport All Muscle (Keith Oliver) nabbed third. The Striking Sahbra-Spring Photo gelding is owned and bred by trainer Richard and Regina Beinhauer of Venetia, Pennsylvania. The win was his second (consecutive) in five starts and lifted his earnings to $22,500. In other action, Mandeville now leads the Grassroots point standings for the group after a 2:01.3 tally in the fifth Grassroots flight with Scott Coulter driving. He also went all the way on the lead, clicking off fractions of :30.4, 1:02, and 1:31 before he trotting a :30.3 final kicker to prevail by one and a quarter lengths over Stormont Wizard (Oliver). Top Dollar (Byron) collected third. Trainer Wayne Langille of Harley, Ont. also co-owns the victorious Majestic Son gelding with Brett Burleigh of Paris, Ont. Mandeville, who has won three times in Grassroots competition and banked $31,500, was bred by Dr. John Brown of Granton, Ont. and was purchased for $10,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. Mandeville is the fifth foal out of the Yankee Paco mare My Charmer, making him a half-brother to Grassroots winner Momentous (Mr Lavec). Coulter also clicked in the Grassroots nightcap with Call Me Richard. Call Me Richard circled from third to first after the :30-second opening quarter, and after he reached the half in :59.1 and the three-quarters in 1:30.3, he romped to a 12 length decision in 2:01.3. Ontheroad De Vie (Robby Robinson) was next, followed by Concept (Oliver). Call Me Richard, who picked up his other career win in Grassroots action on July 12 at Georgian Downs, is trained by Clare Bradshaw. Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ont. owns Call Me Richard, whose dam is Andover Hall mare Olympic Dreams. Call Me Richard, now an earner of $23,940, was bred by Tri Star Farms Ltd. of Brantford, Ont. and was hammered down for $11,500 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. The other Grassroots winner was El Diablo Hall and Keith Oliver, who led at the :29.4 opening quarter, the 1:00.2 half, and the 1:31 three-quarters in the fourth Grassroots race. He had a stern challenge from pocket-sitter Freddie (Trevor Henry) through the lane, but El Diablo Hall held sway, prevailing by a head in 2:00.4. Now Thats Scary (Wayne Henry) finished third. Tony Montini trains the winner, a Windsong Espoir gelding, for Ontario owners Albina Montini of Acton, Paul Giammichele of Burlington, and Rick Podolinsky of Alvinston. Dale Hunter of London, Ont., the former head coach of the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, also co-owns El Diablo Hall, who has now won six times from seven tries and banked $26,000. He’s the third foal out of the Andover Image mare EL Mistress Chesea, meaning he’s a half-brother to multi-time Grassroots winner Erin Hall. The next Grassroots event for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters will take place on September 6 at Hanover Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Harper Blue Chip made a triumphant return to the Ontario Sires Stakes tonight at Mohawk as he won the first of three $70,000 Gold divisions handily for Sylvain Filion. It marked the three-year-old trotting colt’s first 2014 harness racing appearance in the OSS and his first start since finishing third in the prestigious Hambletonian on August 2. In that race Moonlight Espoir hit the opening quarter first in :28.1 but was covered up by heavy favourite Harper Blue Chip, who was parked from the start, well before the :57 half. Up to challenge at the 1:26.4 three-quarters was Keystone Trevor but that colt couldn’t catch the leader who cruised to the finish line in 1:56.1. Ole Jack Magic, last in the early going, closed well to edge out Keystone Trevor for second. Mark Steacy trains the winner, a son of his former champion Majestic Son, for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. It marked the third win in eight tries this year for Harper Blue Chip and upped his 2014 bankroll to $298,000. Lifetime he’s just shy of the half million mark in earnings. The second division saw Mr Lover on top early to hit the opening marker in :28.1. P L Hercules took over and was settled on top by the :57 half. Filion popped out of the pocket briefly with Mr Lover but P L Hercules wasn’t going to let him go by so he tucked back in. P L Hercules, with Doug McNair catch driving, hit the three-quarters in 1:26.2 and drifted out quite a bit down the lane but managed to hold off a late charging Windsun Revenge to narrowly win in 1:56. In the blanket finish for third it was a dead heat between Verdi and Jitterbug. Another son of Majestic Son, P L Hercules was recording his third straight win for owner/ breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, Ontario and trainer Matt Dupuis. P L Hercules is the first foal from a daughter of $543,000 winner Corinas Mission, a winner of the OSS Super Final as a three-year-old in 2002. In the third, final and fastest division three colts miscued behind the gate leaving the remaining five colts on their own early. Maximuscle hit the first quarter in :28 and the half in a sedate :58 for Jody Jamieson. Mario Baillargeon then pulled favourite Muscle Matters out from second and was neck to neck with the leader at the 1:26 third panel. That pair battled through a thrilling stretch drive with a determined Maximuscle holding on in 1:54.3. Muscle Matters had to be content with second once again – he’s finished in that spot in all four of his starts to date this year. See The Wind was third. It marked the first start in Ontario this year for Maximuscle, a son of Angus Hall bred and owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, Quebec and trained by Eric Valiquette. The colt, a half-brother to $379,000 winner Puissant, has yet to finish off the board this year with six wins and one second and one third in eight starts. The next Gold event scheduled for this group is slated for September 22 back at Mohawk. The complete results from tonight’s races may be viewed through this link Mohawk Results - August 14. Ontario Sire Stakes
Rookie colts, trotters and pacers, will star in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots harness racing action over the next two nights at Mohawk Racetrack and Georgian Downs. On Friday night Mohawk will host the pacing colts and the following night the action shifts for Georgian for the trotting rookies. A total of seven $18,000 divisions for the freshman pacers are slated for Friday night. This is the third Grassroots of the season for this group and two of the starters are looking to remain undefeated in this division as they come in riding two race winning streaks. Single White Sock has been victorious in both previous Grassroots tests, at Mohawk and Grand River, winning his first lifetime OSS outing by more than six lengths in 1:56.2 early last month. He followed that up with a 1:56 two length score in the next event and will attempt the hat trick from post nine in race nine, the sixth OSS test of the night. Barry Treen trains the son of Badlands Hanover for Len Gamble of Etobicoke, Ontario who purchased him for $24,000 at the Canadian Classic Sale. Bred by Tanya Prescott of Southwold, Ontario, the colt is a half-brother to $1.1 million winner Ramegade Bruiser. The only other colt two for two in the OSS thus far entered in Friday’s tilts is Half A Billion who has drawn post three in the seventh and final division, race 11. Mike Saftic will be back at the lines behind the Sportswriter colt trained by Marcel Barrieau for breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable of Quebec. Half A Billion’s only career starts have both come in the OSS and resulted in wins in 1:54.3 at Mohawk and 1:57.3 over Grand River’s half-mile oval. Their contemporaries, the rookie trotting colts, have seen more action so far this season as Saturday’s outing marks their fifth Grassroots event. The colt with the best OSS record to date competing at Georgian is Mandeville who has two wins and a second on his OSS resume thus far. His only off the board finish came on July 20 when he made a break. Trainer Wayne Langille of Harley, Ontario co-owns the son of Majestic Son with Brett Burleigh of Paris, Ontario. Mandeville has drawn post two in race six. Alongside him in post three is Top Dollar, a half-brother to Snow White, a very talented rookie trotter back in 2007 who made $1.4 million from just 19 lifetime starts. Well known New York horseman Ray Schnittker and the Top Dollar Stable co-own the colt who finished third in his Grassroots test on August 8 at Mohawk after starting in the Gold division initially. Mohawk’s Friday night card kicks off at 7:25 p.m. with the pacing colts featured in races one, two, five, seven, eight, nine and 11 while Georgian’s first post is 7:15 p.m. the following evening featuring the OSS boys in races one, two, three, five, six and eight. The full program for each is available through these links Mohawk Entries - August 15. Georgian Entries - August 16.
Harper Blue Chip will make his first Ontario Sires Stakes start of 2014 tomorrow night in the first of three $70,000 Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting colts at Mohawk. It will also be the first start for the colt since the most lucrative outing of his career, in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands. Driven by Brian Sears, Harper Blue Chip, the only Ontario-sired competitor in the talented field, finished third to earn his thrilled connections $106,247. It was more than many of them expected. "It was quite a decision about whether to go; it's not inexpensive to get in the race. But we agreed that we thought he was fifth best in the field and if he finished there we would make a little money. Some even thought maybe fourth best but when he drew post nine we were hoping for fifth,” explained Howard Pearce who manages a group of people who make up the colt’s co-owner Landmark 6 Racing Stable. "As it turned out we were all wrong and the race turned out great for Harper. There were some pretty happy people." For several years Pearce, who is retired from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, has brought together groups of people to share ownership in colts and fillies trained by Mark Steacy of nearby Gananoque. The Landmark name comes from Steacy and the town where his training stable is located, Lansdowne. Pearce acts as syndicate manager and administrator. The group which co-owns Harper Blue Chip, the sixth iteration of Landmark, includes Joe Loring, Jane Phair, Mike Grace, Conrad Leber, Shaun Finucane, Diane Bertrand, Robert Gilhespy, Barry White, Diane McPerson, Mitche Donoghue, David Reid, Rick Karper, Craig MacKay and Pearce. The other owners on the colt are David McDonald of Cornwall and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. Reid, an accountant from Kingston, also owns an additional share along with his Landmark cut. The Landmark syndicates, which have included owners from just about every province and several states, allow people to share ownership of a horse at a reduced cost, but still enjoy the excitement of owning a harness horse. To have one of their charges reach a coveted race like the Hambletonian, and even better, earn a substantial cheque in such a rich event, is a dream come true for anyone who has ever owned a Standardbred. Harper Blue Chip, who won two OSS events last year at two, is a son of Steacy’s former champion Majestic Son, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2006. He was bred by noted New York horseman Ray Schnittker and Blue Chip Farms and sold as a yearling for $40,000 the Harrisburg sale. In addition to racing in the OSS this year, he’ll also have an opportunity to compete against the elite of this division in North America in next month’s Canadian Trotting Classic. The richest race for this division in Canada, the final goes September 13 at Mohawk for an estimated $685,000. When he lines up behind the gate tomorrow night at Mohawk Harper will start from post three with Sylvain Filion at the lines. It’s a pattern for the colt – he seems to either draw way outside or post three this year. In eight starts he’s had post 10 once, post nine three times (including the Hambo) and the three spot on three occasions. The three OSS events are featured in races two, six and 10 at the Campbellville oval. The full card may be viewed through this link . Ontario Sire Stakes
Whenever you are assessing a trotting race at any harness racing meeting in New Zealand, the first thing to check for is the name of Phil Williamson as trainer alongside any of the runners names. You can guarantee that any of Phil's runners will be well educated and ready to rumble. That was the reality facing punters at the first meeting of the new season at Invercargill today (August 10th) when Phil lined up Kylie Castleton in the Southland Harness Awards trot over 2200 meters from a stand. The 4 year old daughter of Majestic Son has a reputation as a progressive horse courtesy of some smart trial performances prior to starting her racing career. Away safely from barrier three, driver and owner Brad Williamson sent Kylie Castleton to the front after 300 meters and from that point the race was in safe keeping. With Brad sitting as quiet as a church mouse,Kylie Castleton coasted down to the line for an easy win. She trotted the 2200 meters from a stand in 2;58.3 in the cold conditions, a mile rate of 2:10.4 with closing sectionals of 61.1 and 30.2 Kylie Castleton is bred to be good as she is from the Sundon mare Castleton's Jewel ($20,836) who is a full sister to Castletons Mission ($237,242) and a half sister to Castleton's King ($115,395). The third dam of Kylie Castleton is a half sister to none other than the former champion trotter Sir Castleton ( 44 wins) ($302,043) It was a real Williamson family occasion as not only does Phil train Kylie Castleton, but she is owned and was driven by his son Brad and was bred by his wife Bev. Going by todays win, there are plenty more in store for this talented mare.
Pilgrims Joy trotted to his second straight Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots victory in the sixth and final $18,000 division for harness racing two-year-old trotting colts tonight at Mohawk. The Pilgrims Taj colt was sent off as the favourite in his event which saw Muscles All Over set the tempo of :29.2, 1:01.1 and 1:31.2. James MacDonald had Pilgrims Joy first up and advancing past the half and once field came out of the final turn he took over to win in 2:00.3. Stormont Wizard closed well on the far outside to take second while Secret Muscle was third. Johnathan McKinnon trains the winner for owner/breeder Len Kordy of Kingston, Ontario. Pilgrims Joy is the final foal from the Incredible Abe mare Joys Incredible. Pilgrims Joy The quickest of the half dozen OSS events belonged to Mandeville who hauled down pacesetter El Diablo Hall to win in 1:58.2 for Steve Condren. El Diablo Hall stayed for second while Angels Kid took third. Wayne Langille of Harley, Ontario, trains the winner, a son of Majestic Son he co-owns with Brett Burleigh of Paris, Ontario. Mandeville Two other colts were just a tick off that time, winning in 1:58.3 for their first lifetime victory. Party On The River hit that time for Doug McNair in his division defeating Parkhill Lancelot and Top Dollar. It was the first lifetime win for the Kadabra colt trained by Gregg McNair for Harmon Racing Stable of New Jersey. Party On The River The other colt to score in 1:58.3 was Snapshot Springs who was a whisker better than Kadabrasnewrecruit in the close finish. Trevor Henry was at the controls behind the Striking Sahbra gelding owned and bred by Regina and Richard Beinhauer, Pa. Richard handles the training of Snapshot Springs who visited the winner’s circle for the first time in four tries. Snapshot Springs Tonight’s other winners were Freddie (Majestic Son) in 2:01 for Randy Waples and trainer Corey Johnson and owners Debbie Element and Fred Brayford and Caulfield (Kadabra) in 2:01.1 for Chis Christoforou, trainer Chris Beaver and owners Synerco Ventures of Toronto. Freddie Caulfield The next Grassroots event for this group is schedule for August 16 at Georgian Downs. To view the results for tonight’s program, please click Mohawk Results - August 8. Ontario Sire Stakes
Scarborough, Maine (Friday, August 08, 2014) - Maine Sire Stakes harness racing action returned to Scarborough Downs on Friday (8-8) as the two-year-old trotting state-breds headlined the late summer performance, only to once again find the roster of the Valerie Grondin Stable stealing the spotlight. Pembroke Mistress was first to score, taking the early lead and never looking back, spinning a performance that would cause her name to become etched in the Scarborough Downs record books. The youngster claimed her share of the track record for two-year-old fillies on Friday, joining a fellow Maine-bred, Iza Bella (Ivan Davies) who had established the standard of 2:03 during the freshman Sire Stakes Finals of 2010. The daughter of CR Power Glide continued along her now familiar course as she grabbed the lion's share of the $9615 purse while remaining undefeated in stakes competition, running her string of success to six straight wins. Owned and bred by William Varney of Bangor, Maine, the precocious filly has yet to face any serious threat to her superiority, winning on Friday by an unhurried 5-3/4 lengths as driver Heath Campbell only briefly allowed her her head. Rhonwen (Ivan Davies) secured her third consecutive runner-up placing while Comcast (Mark Athearn) once again this week settled for third best. Bibidi Boo nearly matched her stable mate's record setting accomplishment while dominating action in the $9614 second division of fillies with driver Heath Campbell calling the shots from his customary seat. She mimicked the front end strategy of her barn roommate and extended out to a 3-3/4 length margin at the wire only missing her share of the track record by a mere fifth of a second. Owned in partnership by William Varney and Lynn-Marie Plouffe, the daughter of Noble Venture remains undefeated on her career as she secured her sixth consecutive score on the picture perfect afternoon. Jazz Show Shirley (Michael Graffam) grabbed the runner-up placing as she made her first career appearance sturdied by the addition of trotting hobbles. Kisses (Kim Ireland) recovered from an early misstep to rally for third place honors. The Grondin juggernaut ended at that point as the freshman colts took over center stage in their segregated $10,129 stakes split. Sampsonofravencast effortlessly tread the boards on Friday as he glided to his second consecutive stakes victory in a lifetime best of 2:04.2 for driver/trainer and co-owner Ron Cushing. The son of Current Cast remains as solid as Sears, having now finishing either first or second in all lifetime appearances, much to the delight of her other co-owner, Joseph Trice. Half Time (Ivan Davies) held firm at the wire for the place while Broadway Cast (Mark Athearn) turned near tragedy into a respectable third place effort as he recovered from an early bobble to rally into the number. In other track news, the trotter Orderingin eradicated one of Scarborough's oldest divisional track records on Friday as the four-year-old mare became the fleetest of her age and sex ever to cross the wire on top at the Downs. Driven by Heath Campbell for owner Kyle Gibbs, the daughter of Majestic Son stopped the clock in 1:59.4 eclipsing the standard of 2:00 established by D D's Copter and driver Raymond Tremblay in the 1993 version of the Legislators Trot, which was, in those days, the richest trotting event in Maine. The old record had been most recently matched by Jennys Jammies and driver Rob Dinning in 2009. Live racing continues throughout the summer at Scarborough Downs with the Friday and Saturday cards scheduled to get underway at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) and the popular Sunday matinees kicking off at 1:05 p.m. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs
Top trotting occurred last weekend through yesterday at various venues in Sweden. The most prestigious event was the August 2nd Ego Boys Gold Division at Rattvik that resulted in victory for Beer Summit and reinsman Ulf Ohlsson. The five year-old son of Cantab Hall-Prime Mistress-Super Bowl scored in 1.11.1kr over 1640 meters to earn 150,000SEK first money. He earned his 11th win in 42 starts now with earnings of 3,900,064SEK, with five victories this year in ten outings. Kadett CD (7m Scarlet Knight) was second for Robert Bergh. The same card showcased the Sommartstravet Final, a Gr. II UET Masters Series event for 300,000SEK first prize contested over 2140 meters turning start. Poker Kronos (5g Viking Kronos-Frances Lavec-Tenor de Baune) won in 1.12.9kr for Torbjorn Janssen and trainer Robert Bergh, his fourth win in six 2014 starts and he now has eight wins in 18 career appearances. Venkatesh (5g Varenne) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom and former Elitloppet winner Nahar (9g Love You) a rallying third after being handicapped 40 meters. The 10.3SEK million career winner was timed in 1.11.7kr and driven by trainer Bergh. Rattvik also included on their card the Silver Final for 125,000SEK first money over 1640 meters autostart. BBS Sugarlight (5g Super Light-Sugarsweet Sid-Sugarcane Hanover) scored in 1.09.9kr for Peter Untersteiner, his ninth 2014 win in 12 starts. The 110,000SEK first prize Bronze Final over 1640 meters autostart, went to Curtsy Hanover (4f Cantab Hall-Chiptease-Pine Chip) for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Roger Walmann. Curtsy Hanover now has seven wins in 21 career starts as she defeated the Jorma Kontio driven Trixam (by Pearsall Hanover). The 100,000SEK first money Montesserie Final (monte) went to Bearable (7g Rite On Line-Armbro Kewpie-Speedy Crown) and Anna Ronning. They scored over 2140 meters turning start in 1.15.5kr, the winner's 11th win in 42 starts. Muskelmann GT (9g Muscles Yankee-Aino Lady-Dallas Lobell) overcame a 20 meter handicap to end second for Siv Emilie Lovvold. Yesterday at Aby, Veijo Heiskanen scored a triple and Linda Allercrantz had a driving double with Jerry Riordan trainees. Heiskanen won with Neron Bigi (7m Power To Charm-Edea-Atlas Fighter L in 1.12.3kr over 1640 meters autostart to earn 70,000SEK; Daryl Boko (4g Majestic Son-Insider Trade-Donerail) in 1.14.1kr over 2640 meters autostart for 60,000SEK first prize; and Fabuleux BR (3m SJ's Photo-Fantasia-Speedy Soma) in 1.15.8kr over 2140 meters autostart for 35,000SEK. Allercrantz and Riordan won with Rare Wise As (4f Varenne-In Wise As-SJ's Caviar) in 1.13.7kr over 2140 meters autostart to earn 60,000SEK and also with Ready To Glide (4f Yankee Glide-Chelemark Ginger-Super Pleasure) in 1.12.9kr over 1640 meters autostart. This winner earned 30,000SEK and is owned by Holger Ehlert. The Aby card also included an Aby Stora Pris prep that went to October Kronos (6m Varenne-NordicGoldNovember) in 1.13.2kr for Adrian Kolgjini. He earned 70,000SEK over the 2140 meters autostart course. His 11th lifetime win in 29 starts. At Solvalla, the Victory Tilly, worth 75,000SEK to the winner over 2140 meters autostart, went to Claes Boko (5m Varenne-Salma Boko-Express Ride) and driver Erik Adielsson. The pair were timed in 1.12.8kr. The Gay Noons for 100,000SEK first prize over 2140 meters autostart, went to Lord Flax (3m Love You-Lady de Villeneuve-Pearsall Hanover) and reinsman Frederik Soderberg. The well-bred mare D'One (4f Donato Hanover-Giant Diablo-Supergill) won a 40,000SEK first prize event over 1640 meters autostart in a quick 1.11kr. Roger Walmann trains the ten time winner in 17 starts. Also winning in 1.11kr over the same distance, in an aged event, was Bon Frecia (6m Steinlager-Fabiola Safir-Lindy's Crown) with Jorma Kontio up. He narrowly defeated Chapeau (6m Love You-Crown Tess-Crowntron) with Erik Adielsson aboard. Thomas H. Hicks
The three best male two year old trotters in Australia landed in the same Breeders Crown heat at Maryborough this afternoon and the least favoured of the trio upset his more fancied competitors and made a real statement with the final only three weeks away. Shared Interest, a son of Angus Hall was a runners chance before todays race but now looms as a genuine winning chance on August 24th. Hot favourite Eljaykay Phoenix ($110,569) who had won his last six straight sped to the lead from barrier five for driver Joshua Aiken while Shared Interest and Nathan Jack lobbed the trail from barrier one. Illawong Armstrong ($49,012) who had won four from six this season before today, dropped back early from barrier seven for trainer/driver Jodi Quinlan. Eljaykay Phoenix upped the tempo with a lap to go at the same time that Illawong Armstrong tried to improve from well back in the field. Why he made it up to Eljaykay Phoenix's wheel at the 500 meters mark, the son of Majestic Son was under pressure soon after and turning for home Eljaykay Phoenix looked to have the race in safe keeping. However why all this was going on, Shared Interest had managed to hold the back of Eljaykay Phoneix and once they straightened for home he sprinted through on the inner to good effect for a notable victory. It was the first victory for Shared Interest at just his third lifetime start and breathed some life back into the Breeders Crown final which up to today had appeared Eljaykay Phoneix's to lose. Shared Interest trotted the 2190 meters from the mobile in 2:46.8, a mile rate of 2:02.6 with smart closing sectionals of 57.6 and 28.8. Illawong Armstrong battled away in the home straight but was over 20 meters back in third. Angus Hall had a great day all round with his stylish 2 year old filly Endsino winning her Breeders Crown heat comfortably earlier in the day. The way the heats are playing out, Angus Hall could be in for a huge day at the Breeders Crown finals. Shared Interest Endsino Harnesslink media
Maryborough was a happy hunting ground for trainer Andy Gath today – the Long Forest harness racing horseman qualifying two horses for the two-year-old trotting fillies Breeders Crown final. Gath’s rising stars Endsino (by Angus Hall out of Jauriol) and Naked Majesty (by Majestic Son out of Starcus) both saluted in their crown heats, with Andy’s wife Kate driving both winners. Endsino started long odds-on in her heat and never looked like getting rolled, leading all the way in a mile rate of 2:04.2 to score a 7.7-metre win over Glenferrie Burn. Naked Majesty won by 3.3m in her heat, overpowering early leader Meadow Valley Road late in the race. Gath sat quietly aboard Naked Majesty behind the leader, the filly peeling to the outside in the stretch to win in a rate 2:05.7. Fabrication recorded a half-neck win in the second heat of the two-year-old colts and geldings crown, defying a fierce challenge from runner-up Kyvalley Boomerang in the home stretch. Driven by Daryl Douglas for Tatura trainer David Abrahams, Fabrication found the front early and controlled the race before Kyvalley Boomerang launched his claim late. Kyvalley Boomerang got on terms with the leader 100 metres from home but it wasn’t to be, the early leader kicking on gamely to earn a ticket into the crown final. King of the trotters, Chris Lang, prevailed victorious with One Over Da Moon in the three-year-old trotters second heat. The colt by Majestic Son cruised around the field early to find the lead before going to the line with a 2.1-metre advantage over runner-up Four Lillies, with underrated Coimadai Lodge hitting the line hard out wide for third. Shared Interest announced himself a major player in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ division with a comfortable heat win over race favourite Eljaykay Phoenix. Driven by Nathan Jack, Shared Interest cruised up to the long odds-on elect at the 400m, eventually peeling into the sprint lane to shoot clear for a 3.3m win. Eljaykay Phoenix battled on for second, but has clearly come back to his rivals somewhat after dominating throughout the Vicbred Super Series, while Illawong Armstrong was third beaten 22.1m. Our Twentyten took out the final Breeders Crown heat for the day, the Brent Lilley trained and Rodney Petroff driven son of Muscles Yankee 3.7 metres too strong for Claudys Princess in their three-year-olds heat. Filly Claudys Princess punched the breeze throughout and battled on gamely for second, while Asdenro secured a beaut run on the leader’s back and was a clear third. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 2 - The top pacers and trotters on the WEG circuit were on display Saturday night in the $34,000 Preferred pace and trot at Mohawk. A strong group of ten pacers got the Preferred action underway in the evening's seventh race. Just like two starts back, Ellis Park unleashed his wicked late kick to win the Preferred pace in a wild finish that saw all 10 horses within 4 Â½ lengths at the wire. For the second week in a row, Fool Me Once was sent to the lead and hung up solid fractions of :26.3, :54.1 and 1:21.4. As the field came off the final turn, Fool Me Once continued to hold onto the lead with his challengers fanning out six wide for a furious charge to the finish. Bestofbest Hanover, who was third over on the final turn, paced by Fool Me Once deep in the stretch, but Ellis Park, who was fourth over coming off the turn, immediately bumped 'Bestofbest' into the place spot as he paced by him in the final strides to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:49. Ellis Park paced his final quarter in :26. and his back half in :52.3 to pick up the victory. Modern Legend, who was ninth at the three-quarter pole, came flying into the wild finish with a :25.3 final quarter to nail Fool Me Once for third. Steve Condren guided Ellis Park to his second Preferred win in his last three starts and third win in ten starts this season. A five-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover - Roller Cam, Ellis Park is trained by Brad Maxwell for owner David Goodrow Stable. The Preferred victory was the 13th of Ellis Park's career and boosts his career earnings to over $210,000. He paid $17.00 to win. On the trotting side, a field of eight, including Maple Leaf Trot starters Flanagan Memory and Wheeling N Dealin, lined up for the Preferred trot, but a mare stole the show. Charmed Life, a four-year-old daughter of Majestic Son - Christina, and driver Jody Jamieson scored their second victory in a row off a long second over trip Flanagan Memory got away in the two-hole and was moved to the lead in the second quarter by driver Chris Christoforou. As the field made their way around the final turn, Windsong Geant, who was fifth in the early stages, grinded his way up to Flanagan Memory on the outside towing Charmed Life around the turn second over. In the stretch, Windsong Geant overtook the lead, but drifted out enough for Jamieson and Charmed Life to trot by on the inside and score a 1 Â¾ length victory in 1:53.0. Windsong Geant held on for second, while Catch The Dream and Whiskey Tax came on late to grab third and fourth respectively. The Preferred victory was the fourth win in ten starts this season for the Dave Menary trainee and her eleventh victory of her career. Charmed Life is owned by Menary Racing Inc, Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero. She now has career earnings of over $545,000. Charmed Life paid $4.70 to win. Live racing continues Monday night at Mohawk with a 12-race card featuring the $43,200 final of the Dream Maker Pacing Series and the opening leg of the Pure Ivory Series. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie