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LEXINGTON, KY -- The Red Mile hosted four divisions of the $268,000 International Stallion Stakes (ISS) for harness racing 2-year-old filly trotters on Wednesday, Oct. 7.   Celebrity Eventsy was uncontested in her wire-to-wire effort of 1:54 in the first division of the ISS. Sent off the 1-9 favorite, the filly by Manofmanymissions, out of the American Winner mare Little Ms Queenie, held off a late challenge by first-over rallier Lookin Sharp after setting fractions of :28.2, :57, and 1:25. Finishing third was Silvia, with Encore Gold claiming fourth.   Owned by Celebrity Farms and trained by Staffan Lind, Celebrity Eventsy obtained her fourth win in nine starts this year, returning $2.20 to win. She was driven by Brett Miller.   "She really is [talented]," Staffan Lind said. "Alot of times, it looks like she's going really hard fractions, but she does them easily." When asked about the Breeders Crown as her next step, Staffan Lind said that's what he's aiming towards. With a patient drive from Dave Palone, Haughty made her victory-worthy move in the final turn to take the second ISS split in 1:55. Stalking tempo setter Hot Curry and pocket-sitter Franniegetyourgun, Haughty waited through fractions of :28.2 and :57.1 before edging off the pylons. She approached Hot Curry in a 1:26.4 third-quarter before advancing to the lead. Franniegetyourgun tipped off the pylons and attempted to pursue Haughty, but settled for second, while Hot Curry faded to third. Also sent off a 1-9 favorite, Haughty, a filly by Donato Hanover out of the Self Possessed mare Letsjustalkaboutme, paid $2.20 to win. She's owned by Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and Sam Goldband, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Dave Palone. She maintained her undefeated record, extending it to six wins in six starts. "She's just a pleasure to drive," Dave Palone said. "I didn't have to pull the plugs out. It's nice to prove the kind of horse she is." "We have confidence in Jimmy Takter," Marvin Katz said. "He was careful bringing her along, and once she started racing, he really liked her." "If she comes out of the race well, I think so [going to the Breeders Crown], but it's up to Jimmy [Takter]," Katz also said. Favorite Sunset Glider battled with Sweet Ashley T for control and faltered, allowing Dancing In Thehall to slide by with ease to a 1:55 win. In their conflict, Sunset Glider and Sweet Ashley T put up the first quarter in :29 and the half in :56.1 before Sweet Ashley T began to retreat. Hollywood Hill began to rally first-over around the far turn towards a 1:25.3 third-quarter, and Dancing In Thehall was winding up his move, which granted him the lead by the eighth pole. He slid clear of Hollywood Hill, closer Lindy's On Fire, and Sunset Glider. Paying $19.40 to win, the daughter of Cantab Hall from the Donerail mare Doin' The Town racked the second win of her season. She competes for the interests of Vanersol Inc. and trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "She raced very good last week, and it helped that they raced very fast to the half. She has the Goldsmith Maid. She's getting better with every start. The Anette Lorentzon-trained Ultimate Shopper sat off a mile pace established by Womans Will before pulling towards the center of the course and pursuing the lead en route to a 1:54 victory. Making her move after stalking a pace of :29, :58, and 1:26.2, Ultimate Shopper fanned wide of pocket-sitter and even-money favorite Kathy Parker. She was stride for stride with Womans Will about midway through the stretch until she edged by and advanced to a length and a half victory. Womans Will held on for second, Kathy Parker finished third, and Wildflower finished fourth. Owned by Acl Stuteri Ab, Anette Lorentzon, and Kjell Johansson and driven by Tim Tetrick, the filly by Yankee Glide out of the Conway Hall mare Adelaide Hall scored her first win in seven starts this season. "I mean, she almost beat Broadway Donna last week, so I knew she'd give me a good run if I could just get out," Tim Tetrick said. "The slow fractions didn't really hurt her because she's not really big and really likes to sprint fast on the end, so it actually worked out perfect for her." "She was sick [in the Peaceful Way] elimination and they [Lorentzon and owners] decided that they really like the filly and want to try to protect her and get her ready for Lexington and the Breeders Crown," Tetrick also said. Live racing resumes tomorrow, Thurs., Oct. 8, with the highlighted event being five divisions of the $264,000 ISS for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First-race post is at 1:00pm. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Celebrity Eventsy has turned a good number of her races into memorable occasions and trainer Staffan Lind hopes the 2-year-old female trotter continues to step out in style when she competes in the first of four International Stallion Stakes divisions Wednesday afternoon at the harness racing meeting at The Red Mile in Lexington. The International Stallion Stakes splits for 2-year-old female trotters kick off a busy week at The Red Mile, which also hosts five International Stallion Stakes divisions for 2-year-old male trotters on Thursday, International Stallion Stakes divisions for male and female 2-year-old pacers on Friday, and a stakes-filled card on Saturday highlighted by the Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old male trotters. Celebrity Eventsy is the 7-5 morning line favorite in her International Stallion Stakes division on Wednesday, with Brett Miller driving. A daughter of Manofmanymissions out of the mare Little Ms Queenie, Celebrity Eventsy has posted three wins and four second-place finishes in eight races. She heads to the International Stallion off a victory in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes last week at The Red Mile. "She's a tough filly," Lind said. "She has a mind of her own, but she's using it very well on the racetrack. I think anytime you have a filly that wants to go forward at all times, that's a good thing. She can go high speed and she can do it effortlessly. She has a great gait." Celebrity Eventsy is owned by Sam Stathis' Celebrity Farms. Stathis bought the filly privately in January from Caviart Farms, which had purchased broodmare Little Ms Queenie in foal to Manofmanymissions for $10,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale. The winner of $167,212 so far this season, Celebrity Eventsy has posted victories in three of her most recent four races. Her only setback during that span was a second-place finish to Caprice Hill in the Peaceful Way final on Sept. 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. Her only off-the-board finish this year came in the final of the Jim Doherty Memorial on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 8, at the Meadowlands. Celebrity Eventsy went off stride from post one at the start, which Lind attributed to being distracted by photographers at the rail. "She looks at everything," Lind said. "But other than that time, she's never made a break ever." Following the International Stallion Stakes, Celebrity Eventsy will be pointed toward the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. Eliminations for the 2-year-old female trotters will be Oct. 16 and the final is Oct. 24. "We're going to take it one start at a time, but for right now that's the plan," Lind said. The favorites in the three remaining International Stallion Stakes on Wednesday all hail from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter. Haughty (Donato Hanover-Letsjustalkaboutme), a perfect 5-for-5 this year and half-sister to stakes-winner Aldebaran Eagle, is the 6-5 morning line choice in the second division. Sunset Glider (Cantab Hall-Highland Glider), the Kentucky Stallion Management winner, is 2-1 in the third division. Kathy Parker (Andover Hall-Mallelujah), runner-up in the Doherty Memorial and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, is the 9-5 pick in the fourth division. Thursday's International Stallion Stakes for the 2-year-old male trotters is highlighted by the appearance of Southwind Frank (Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy), who has won eight of nine races this season including the Peter Haughton Memorial and William Wellwood Memorial stakes. Complete entries for the Lexington cards can be found at this link. Ken Weingartner

LEXINGTON, KY-- The opening night of the Grand Circuit harness racing meeting at The Red Mile began with two divisions of the $259,000 Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters on Wednesday night, Sept. 30.   Broadway Donna escaped defeat in a stretch-drive duel against Ultimate Shopper, winning the opening division by a nose in 1:59. The 1-9 favorite controlled the pace for a majority of the mile, circling early pacesetter I'm Outstanding, who established the first quarter in :30.4, before the half to obtain the lead. Drawing away off a half of :59.4 and three-quarters in 1:29.2, Broadway Donna led by about 5 lengths at the top of the stretch. Ultimate Shopper, sitting third for the entire mile, edged first over into the stretch and gave pursuit to Broadway Donna, coming up to her wheel by the eighth pole. However, Broadway Donna faced the challenge and claimed victory. Finishing third and fourth were Twice Is Right and Southwind Pearl.   A $2.10 winner, Broadway Donna, sired by Donato Hanover out of the mare Broadway Schooner by Broadway Hall, is owned and bred by Fashion Farms, trained by Jim Campbell, and driven by David Miller. Broadway Donna remains undefeated in nine starts this season, piling $531,286 in career earnings.   "She's been terrific all year," Dave Miller said. "Tonight might have not been a good night for her, and maybe the front [was] not a good place to be, but she held tough."   "The rail [was] pretty deep," Miller also said. "I tried to stay off the rail, but it was getting to her late."   The other split went to Celebrity Eventsy, who battled for the lead with All The Time throughout the mile, progressing to a 1:56.1 victory. The second choice at 6-5, driver Brett Miller sent Celebrity Eventsy to the lead and through a :28.3 first quarter. All The Time, the 4-5 favorite, tipped off the pylons and brushed to the top after a :58 half. Controlling the pace at three-quarters in 1:27.2, Celebrity Eventsy popped out of the pocket into the stretch and drifted in her bid after the favorite. She eventually edged past All The Time in the sixteenth pole, winning by a neck. Dancing In Thehall finished third, and Miss Tezsla was fourth.   Celebrity Eventsy, from the first crop of Manofmanymissions out of the mare Little Ms Queenie by American Winner, was bred by Kentuckiana Farms, and races for the interest of Celebrity Farms. She is conditioned by Staffan Lind and was driven by Brett Miller. She has now won three races this season, and has earnings of $167,212.   "[If] you go by the times of the rest of the races, this was a very good mile," Brett Miller said. "She raced very well in her last start in the Peaceful Way. I actually turned the guy [Could It Be Magic] loose at the half, and I'm not so sure if it didn't cost me the race. She's a very nice filly."   Grand Circuit action continues tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 1, with four divisions of the $289,000 Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters. Post time for the 10-race card is 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

SEPT. 27, 2015 - Adding trotting hopples to Devils Advocate's equipment bag paid immediate dividends for harness racing trainer Jack Darling and driver Ron Waples as the filly rocketed around Flamboro Downs to a track and Ontario Sires Stakes record during the Dundas oval's OSS Celebration on Sunday. In spite of a recall that delayed the start of the first $105,000 Gold division, Devils Advocate kept her mind on her job and led the field of two-year-old trotting fillies through fractions of :28.3, :58.1 and 1:28 on her way to the record setting 1:57.4 result. Magical Wonder finished three lengths behind Devils Advocate in second and One Too Many was six more lengths back in third. "The funny thing is, she really wasn't very relaxed warming up, she was kind of back to her old self, but we snugged up the hopples a little bit and she was fine," said Cambridge, ON resident Darling, who also owns the filly. "It's all really a testament to Ron Waples. He's been working for me for a while and that's his baby. He just knows her inside and out, trains her and drives her, and it's all working out pretty good." Darling said Guelph, ON resident Waples kept Devils Advocate calm during the delay by walking her around on the grass in the centre of the racetrack, but as soon as the starter called the fillies back to the gate she was raring to go. "He had her on the grass there trying to keep her calm, walking around, and she was fine, and then they called her to the gate again and geez she goes right up in the air a couple times just like 'Hi-Ho Silver'," said the trainer. "She got behind the gate and then she was fine the rest of the way." The impressive mile obliterated the Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:59.2 set by Miss Aultsville at Grand River Raceway in 2013 and the Flamboro Downs record of 1:59.3 set by Birminghim in 2005 and matched by Charmed Life in 2012. Through eight freshman starts Devils Advocate now boasts two Gold Series wins and three seconds for earnings of $135,625. Sunday's win moved her into a tie for top spot in the two-year-old trotting filly division standings with 175 points. The Manofmanymissions daughter will make her next start in the Oct. 10 Super Final and, if she continues to behave, also has the Breeders Crown on her calendar. "I think it's about two weeks to the Super Final, so that works out good, and then after that, if all goes well, we've still got the Breeders Crown," said Darling. "The best fillies this year are Ontario Sired, the best in North America, and I just think she's one of them, so hopefully we get a chance to find out." Like Devils Advocate, Levitator made her debut with trotting hopples at Flamboro on Sunday and, like Devils Advocate, she emerged victorious from the second $105,000 Gold division. Starting from Post 4, Levitator was eased off the starting gate by driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON and watched from third as High Heels led the field to a :29 opening quarter and :59.3 half. Heading for the 1:29.4 three-quarters Henry sent Levitator up the outer lane and the filly sailed home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:59.4. Las Vegas Seelster trotted into second and High Heels was eight and three-quarter lengths back in third. The win was the first in four starts for Levitator, who is trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman for Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. The daughter of Kadabra and Shesa Priority is a full-sister to $870,153 winner Prestidigitator and was a $120,000 purchase from the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. With one win and one second in Gold Series action, Levitator accumulated 75 points, good enough for eighth spot in the division standings and a berth in the Oct. 10 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack. Flamboro Downs wraps up its 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Thursday evening with the last Gold Series events for the two-year-old pacing colts and three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

A trio of eliminations were contested Thursday night at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack for the Peaceful Way Stakes. A group of 22 two-year-old trotting fillies were separated into three $30,000 eliminations with the top three finishers and a fourth place finisher drawn by lot advancing to the $410,000 final on Saturday, September 19. In the first division, Staffan Lind trainee Celebrity Eventsy looked like she was all by herself on the racetrack winning easily in 1:55.2. Driven by Brett Miller, Celebrity Eventsy sprinted out to lead and posted an opening-quarter of :27.4. A first turn break by Hills Angel, who sat second, left the Lind trainee on top by about ten lengths down the backstretch. After a middle fractions of :56.3 and 1:26.1, Celebrity Eventsy trotted home in :29.1 to score an easy-looking four-length victory "The only problem tonight she was pretty hot," said Miller following the race. "Going to the gate I was really worried, when I got up to the gate she pushed her face up against it and I was lucky to get her out of there trotting and once I got her out of there she was pretty hot and wanting to go fast." Ultimate Shopper inherited second thanks to the first turn breaker and never gave up that position, while Pennies From Above overtook third in mid-stretch to qualify for the final. A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Celebrity Eventsy is owned by Celebrity Farms and now has two wins from six starts to begin her career . The Lind trainee lowered her career mark by a fifth of a second Thursday evening and increased her bankroll to over $34,000. Celebrity Eventsy paid $7.30 to win. The second division featured Caprice Hill coming out on top in a great stretch battle with All The Time. Sent off as the 4/5 favourite, Caprice Hill flashed some early speed for driver Tim Tetrick, but All The Time and Yannick Gingras, at odds of 2/1, were able to power by on the outside and take command heading into the first turn. Emoticon Hanover, the third-choice, left from post two and got away third. The fillies sat in those positions through fractions of :27.4, :58.1 and 1:27.1 to set up a stretch battle. In the lane, Caprice Hill came to the outside and went toe-to-toe with All The Time. The fillies slugged it out, but in deep stretch Caprice Hill was able overtake the lead and win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55. Emoticon Hanover stayed right with the top pair and came up just a neck short of getting by All The Time for second. A daughter of Kadabra, Caprice Hill is trained by Tony Alagna for owner Tom Hill. The rookie trotting filly has drawn plenty of hype for her impressive performances this season and now has five wins from six starts. "I was happy with (the two-hole)," said Tetrick following the race. "Yannick's got a nice filly and it's always good to follow one of Takter's and take it as easy on mine this week because next week is where the big money is and hopefully that trip will pay off next week." Thursday night was Tetrick's second time driving the Alagna trainee and he was able to gain some redemption after driving the filly in her only loss on August 4. "I was kind of mad at myself or embarrassed she got beat," said Tetrick. "She should have never got beat, she's a nice filly and luckily she showed that again tonight." Caprice Hill increased her earnings to over $172,000 with the victory and lowered her career mark by two-fifths. She paid $3.70 to win. Could It Be Magic stretched her win streak to four in a row with a 1:56.4 in the final elimination. Trained and driven by Wayne Henry, Could It Be Magic, the 3/5 favourite, got away second behind High Heels, who posted an opening-quarter in :27.4. There was no switch in position through middle-half panels of :57 and 1:26.3. Could It Be Magic popped the pocket at the top of the lane and overtook the lead. Dewdle All Day tried to chase down the favourite, but she came up a length and a quarter short, as the Henry trainee scored her sixth win in seven starts. Crazy Wild Desire was able to get up late for third to advance to the final. High Heels faded back to fourth, but afterwards won the draw of fourth-place finishers to advance to the final. Following the race, Henry said Could It Be Magic is a simple and versatile filly. "She's pretty straight forward," he said. "She can do it both ways. She likes the front, but she will come from behind." A daughter of Kadabra, Could It Be Magic is owned by Henry Stable and Fred Brayford. The rookie trotting filly has banked over $164,000 in seven starts. Could It Be Magic paid $3.20 to win. The Peaceful Way final will take place on Saturday, September 19 and will be part of a stacked Maple Leaf Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic undercard. Following the eliminations Thursday, the post positions were drawn for the $410,000 Peaceful Way final. 1. Pennies From Above 2. Emoticon Hanover 3. Could It Be Magic 4. Caprice Hill 5. Celebrity Eventsy 6. Ultimate Shopper 7. High Heels 8. Crazy Wild Desire 9. Dewdle All Day 10. All The Time AE: Side Bet Hanover Mark McKelvie

Hall of Fame driver John Campbell prevailed in two of five $10,000 preliminary Kindergarten Classic events on Sunday (August 30) afternoon's harness racing program at Tioga Downs, while Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter scored a double-double--driving a pair of his own trainees to victory.   Campbell kicked off the card in style, brushing aggressively to the fore with Waitlifter K ($3.50) in the opener, edging clear on the backstretch and ultimately holding off a late challenge from pocket rival Macy's Big Boy (Jimmy Takter) for a 1:55.3 win. Chuck Sylvester trains the 2-year-old Muscles Yankee colt for Robert Key.   While Waitlifter K was the fastest of all 10 colts and geldings to take to the track, filly Celebrity Eventsy ($5.50) matched that 1:55.3 mark in the seventh race to be fastest of 19 fillies on the program. Campbell was also aboard the daughter of Manofmanymissions, sprinting through with her at the pegs to force Coco Truffles (David Miller) into the pocket, ultimately turning her aside off the far turn to prevail by 1-3/4 lengths. Staffan Lind trains Celebrity Eventsy for Celebrity Farms.   Trainer Jimmy Takter accounted for two of the five Kindergarten Classic winners at Tioga, and he drove them both to victory. He took the lead with Haughty ($2.40) through a :28.4 opening quarter in the day's fifth race, ultimately ceding control to Lookin Sharp (Mike Simons) through the middle stages before angling from the pocket on the far turn. After a brief duel, Haughty edged away to a three-quarters length win, prevailing in 1:56. Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz, and Sam Goldband own the 2-year-old Donato Hanover filly.   Takter's other winner, Gifted Lady ($8.80) wasted no time assuming command in the ninth race, turning aside a mid first-over challenge from Dream Child (Mark MacDonald) before edging clear of pocket rival Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) for a two-length triumph in 1:56. Silver Linden Farms owns the daughter of Muscle Hill.   David Miller and Nik Drennan teamed up for the other Kindergarten winner on the day, as Labatt Hanover ($14.80) crossed and cleared for an easy lead before holding off a mild late challenge from pocket rival Hillman (Jimmy Takter) for a 1:57.3 victory. Joseph Davino, Brad Shackman, and the T L P Stable co-own the Muscle Hill gelding.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (September 4) evening, with post time at 6:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Ontario's two-year-old trotting fillies journeyed to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday evening for their fifth Grassroots test and Traviata picked the perfect time to earn her first lifetime victory, touring co-owner Mel Hartman's local oval in 1:59.3. In rein to Greely, ON resident Ted McDonald, Traviata lined up behind Post 1 in the third Grassroots division and landed fourth on the rail, watching Shezastrikin Loral put up a :30.1 opening quarter. Heading for the 1:01.1 half McDonald sent Traviata after the lead and the filly led the field by the 1:29.2 three-quarters. Bahama Mama AS mounted a late challenge, but Traviata dug in to post a three-quarter length win. Bahama Mama AS finished second and Dayliner was third. "She's a nice little filly," said trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman. "She's just nice and solid, doesn't do anything special, but very solid and very reliable." Norman selected the filly out of the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, offering up $35,000 for the daughter of Kadabra and $181,741 winner Nirvana Blue Chip for his own Enzed Racing Stable Inc., and then sold a share to Ottawa resident Hartman.   "I just liked the look of her, and she wasn't crazy expensive or anything," recalled the New Zealand native, who currently resides in Allentown, NJ. "And Mel Hartman, one of my good owners, went partners with me on her." Traviata made her debut in the July 7 Grassroots opener at Georgian Downs and looked poised to collect a cheque when she made a late break in stride, finishing seventh. After missing the next two Grassroots events due to a bout of sickness that went through Norman's barn, Traviata returned to action in the Aug. 8 event at Georgian Downs and logged a second-place result. Anticipating another solid effort from the young trotter, Norman decided a local driver was his best option for Sunday's test, and handed the lines over to McDonald. "Teddy's been one of the solid drivers there for a long time, and I've met him a few times. It's always good to use a local guy I think," said Norman of his selection. "Teddy always does a good job." Sunday's win boosted Traviata's Grassroots point tally to 77, which will give her a shot at a Semi-final berth if she can earn a few more points in the last regular season event at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 8. Liseberg and Cadillac Sally virtually assured themselves of a spot in the Sept. 17 Semi-final with their second Grassroots wins in the first and second divisions on Sunday. Fan favourite Liseberg opened the evening with an impressive gate-to-wire score from Post 4, halting the Rideau Carleton Raceway teletimer at 1:58.2. The Johnny William daughter hit the wire six and one-half lengths ahead of Windsongmusclelady and Onatopp. Owned, trained and driven by Peterborough, ON resident Dagfin Henriksen, Liseberg finished third in her July 30 Grassroots debut at Mohawk Racetrack and then posted her first lifetime victory in the Aug. 8 event at Georgian Downs. She currently sits in a tie for sixth in the standings with 112 points. In the second $18,000 division, driver Alfie Carroll let favourite Cadillac Sally float away from Post 3 and watched from the pocket as Females Rule rang up fractions of :29, :59.3 and 1:28.4. Tipping out of the pocket heading by the three-quarters, Cadillac Sally accelerated away to a one length victory over Mariana and T C Sno Massive, stopping the clock in a personal best 1:58.1. Iona Station, ON resident Carroll engineered the Muscle Mass filly's second Grassroots win for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON and owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI. With two wins, one second and one third in four Grassroots starts, Cadillac Sally has 137 points and sits fourth in the standings. Like Traviata, Very Classy earned her first lifetime victory in the last Grassroots division. Starting from Post 3, the Manofmanymissions daughter got away third and driver Steve Byron tipped her into the outer lane heading for the halfway marker. When first-up The Muscle Touch made an error turning for home, Very Classy had a clear lane to the finish and trotted down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length victory over Myretirementticket and Tala Seelster in 2:01. Byron, who makes his home in Thornton, ON, drives Very Classy for trainer John Bax of Campbellville, ON, breeders Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Happy Trails Stables of London, ON and Kenneth Andrews of Peterborough. With one second, one sixth and one eighth in her first three Grassroots outings, Very Classy has now accumulated 79 points. The freshman trotting fillies were the final Ontario Sires Stakes division to visit Rideau Carleton Raceway this summer, and they will wrap up their own regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 8. Ontario Horse Racing

Magical Steph scored her third straight win in Grassroots action at the harness racing meeting during Georgian Downs' celebration of the Ontario Sires Stakes program on Saturday evening. The two-year-old trotting filly and driver Steve Byron of Thornton, ON powered away from Post 7 and sat third through fractions of :28 and :59, then moved to take command of the race heading for the 1:28.3 three-quarters. One and three-quarter lengths ahead of the field turning for home, Magical Steph hit the wire three lengths ahead of her peers in 1:58.1. Dayliner and Wonder Wand earned the second and third place shares of the $18,000 Grassroots purse. "Some of the guys in our barn, they joke that she's been push button right from the start," said owner-trainer Gary Lance with a chuckle. "A Kadabra - push button." Magical Steph qualified at Georgian Downs on June 27 and made her racing debut in the first freshman trotting filly Gold Leg at the Innisfil oval on July 12. The daughter of Kadabra and I Like Stephanie finished a closing fourth, but Lance felt a stint at the Grassroots level would serve as a better platform for the filly's long term development. "She was a late foal, she's a May foal, and we lost a little bit of time with her in the spring." "We knew going into the start of the Sires Stakes that she was a little bit behind the other fillies, probably a good month, so that's kind of why we just thought we'd try her in the Gold and see how she was," explained Lance. "She's getting better every week and these races in the Grassroots have really helped her develop." Since moving down to the Grassroots level, Magical Steph has posted a 2:02.1 quarter length victory at Grand River Raceway on July 22, a four and three-quarter length 1:57.1 personal best at Mohawk Racetrack on July 30 and Saturday night's victory at Georgian Downs. Through four starts she has banked $31,200. Once the filly has a had a few days to recover from Saturday's contest, Lance will decide whether her next start will be the fifth Grassroots event at Rideau Carleton Raceway on August 16 or the fourth Gold Series event, back at Georgian Downs on August 15. "We'll see how she comes out of this, we haven't decided what we're going to do next week, whether we're going to go to Ottawa," said the Port Perry, ON resident. "It's kind of a long hike up to Ottawa, so we just might stay local around here and try the Gold." A $50,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale last fall, Magical Steph is a full-sister to Lance's good trotter Cold Certified, who was a three-time Gold Elimination winner in his 2012 sophomore season. Since then the colt has gone on to earnings of $436,478 and currently competes out of the Jeff Brewer barn at Scioto Downs. "We raced the full brother to her, Cold Certified, I bought him off Robert and Owen Coblentz from Double Spring Farm in Ohio," said Lance "She's kind of like the spitting image of him, looks just like him and travels the same way on the track like him." Lance, who works full-time as a maintenance manager at Ontario Power Generation, currently has one other trotter in his barn in addition Magical Steph and says the support of family and friends have been instrumental to both the filly's and her brother's success. "This is our hobby, and we always have a good contingent of people that come with us and support us." "My buddy Brian Samis and his son Ryan, they come to almost every race," said Lance. "We always have fun when we go to race, we always enjoy it." "I think it's kind of a boys night out for us because we don't race very often, and when we go out we really enjoy it and we enjoy each other's company." "We have a great time when we do race." "And my son helps out quite a bit, Trevor (Lance), he helps around the barn and comes and helps us race and he helps with the daily activities at the barn, he's quite involved as well." Other ownership groups that were celebrating at Georgian Downs on Saturday were those connected to Dewdle All Day, Its All About Sam, Majestic Presence, Smash Hit, Liseberg and Mariana. Dewdle All Day popped out of the pocket to win the first division for trainer-driver Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON and his partners 9177 8720 Quebec Inc. of Saint-Sauveur, QC and Greg Judson of Athens, ON. The Deweycheatumnhowe daughter hit the wire in a personal best 1:59.3, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of favourite I Want Kandy and Shezastrikin Loral. Its All About Sam picked up her third Grassroots trophy in the second division, cruising home a two and three-quarter length winner in 1:58.3. Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON crafted the win for trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown, ON and owners Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON and Michelle McEneny of Waterdown. Tough Affair and Chapel Hall finished second and third behind the Angus Hall daughter. Majestic Presence went gate-to-wire in 1:58.4 to record her first lifetime victory for trainer-driver Anthony MacDonald of Guelph, ON and owners Brenda Selwyn Waxman and Isaac Waxman of Dundas, ON, Rene Allard of Milford, PA and Danielle Henri of Saint-Esprit, QC. The Majestic Son daughter bested Trumpets and Jarette AS by four and one-half lengths. Smash Hit also earned her first victory with a 1:59.2 score in the fifth division. The Kadabra filly and trainer-driver Per Henriksen of Norwood, ON hit the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Traviata and Anneli Hanover. Steve Organ of Aurora, ON and Asa Farm of Norwood share ownership of Smash Hit. Owner, trainer and driver Dagfin Henriksen of Peterborough, ON guided Liseberg to her first win in Race 6, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Cadillac Sally and Malia. The Johnny William daughter controlled the tempo from start to finish, reaching the wire in 1:58.1. The final Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with Mariana, who sprinted down the stretch to a 1:59.3 victory over Malibu Seelster and T C Sno Massive. Riina Rekila of Campbellville, ON trains and drives Manofmanymissions daughter Mariana for Overseas Farms Ltd. of Campbellville. Next Saturday, August 15 Georgian Downs hosts Gold Series action for both the two-year-old pacing fillies and two-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

Ontario's two-year-old trotting colts kicked off the second half of their Grassroots season at the harness racing meeting at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening with six impressive performances. "There were some good miles out there," said Thornton, ON resident Steve Byron. "They're getting their second or third start and they're starting to figure it out, a lot of them, and they're getting a lot better for sure." Byron piloted Manofmanyimages to a win in the fifth $18,000 Grassroots division, going gate-to-wire from Post 4. The duo rolled through fractions of :30.1, 1:01 and 1:30.4 without facing a challenge, cruising home two length winners in 2:00.4. Dynamic Edge and Cooper finished second and third. "He's a big strong colt, but he doesn't pay attention all the time," noted the reinsman. "He seems to be getting a little better." "He's a fast enough horse I think." Tuesday evening was the second time Byron has piloted the Manofmanymissions son for trainer John Bax of Campbellville, ON and owners Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA, T L P Stable of Kearny, NJ and Joseph Lozito Jr. of Wayne, NJ. In their first Ontario Sires Stakes outing, at Mohawk Racetrack on July 28, Manofmanyimages made a late break as Byron sent him up the outside after the lead and the pair had to settle for fourth. "They had some issues just rigging him up properly and they were trying some things on him, but he's (Bax) got him pretty much sorted out now I think," said Byron. "Like I said, if he minds his manners and pays attention to everything he can trot." A $70,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Manofmanyimages moved into Bax's barn in early July after being qualified twice by New York-based trainer Ed Hart. With one fourth and one win in his first two Grassroots starts the colt has accumulated 58 points toward a berth in the post season. In addition to his win with Manofmanyimages, Byron recorded a runner-up finish with Rose Run Rudi, finishing in a dead-heat for second with Grego. Byron steers Rose Run Rudi for his brother David Byron of Thornton, James Cantelon of Thornton, David Cantelon of Bolton, ON and Craig Wallwin of Barrie, ON. The colts hit the wire four and one-half lengths behind Willyorwonthe, who recorded his second straight Grassroots victory for driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville and trainer, owner and breeder Bill Megens of Puslinch, ON. The heavy favourites took control heading for the :59.2 half and cruised home unchallenged in 1:58.4. The win was the Angus Hall son's third in five starts. Saftic also scored a win in the first Grassroots division, sprinting down the stretch with Money Mission to claim a one-half length victory over favourite Georgies Pockets in 1:59.2. Cool Creek Victory was two and three-quarter lengths back in third. Oakville, ON resident Rick Zeron conditions Money Mission for his partners Cool Cat Racing Inc. of Bryn Mawr, PA and Paul Marion of Marionville, ON. The Manofmanymissions son also has a second and a fifth to his credit through three Grassroots appearances. Thee Desperado picked up his second Grassroots trophy in the second division, squeezing up the inside to a neck victory over JLs Bad Moon Risin. Windsun Missile was one and one-half lengths behind the duelling leaders in third. Milton, ON resident Steve Condren engineered Thee Desperado's 2:00.2 victory for trainer Brent Belore of Embro, ON and owners Karen and Daniel MacIntyre of London, ON, Joshua McKibbin of Tillsonburg, ON and Nancy Newport of Ingersoll, ON. Another son of Manofmanymissions, Thee Desperado has a perfect 100 points through two Grassroots starts. Muscle Time added another win to his resume in the third division, leading the field by as many as nine lengths before sailing under the wire two lengths on top in 2:00.1. Fan favourite United BI settled for second, with Defi Normand rounding out the top three. Darryl Laver of Petrolia, ON bred, owns, trains and drives Muscle Time, who is a Muscle Mass son from his former race mare Spare Time Rozie. The last Grassroots trophy of the evening was captured by Wildwild Men, who jumped to the top of the division standings with a 2:00.3 score over Magic Missions and Sass. Robert Shepherd of Cambridge, ON crafted the gate-to-wire victory for trainer Isabelle Darveau of Cambridge, ON and owners Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel, OC and Chantal Gravel of St-Cyrille-de-Wendover, QC. Through the first four Grassroots events the Muscle Mass son has tallied two wins, one second and one fifth for a point total of 130. Wildwild Men will attempt to hold onto top spot when the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their fifth Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack next Tuesday, August 11. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Saturday, August 8 in the shape of the two-year-old trotting fillies, who will battle in their fourth Grassroots event. Ontario Horse Racing

After having his early season derailed by allergies, two-year-old trotting colt Willyorwonthe finally found his way to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening. The colt and driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON fired away from Post 8 in the last $18,000 Grassroots division and reeled off fractions of :28.2, :59 and 1:30.1 before fending off a late challenge from The Land Shark and sailing under the wire a three-quarter length winner in 1:58.4. Sass was well behind the leaders in third. It was Willyorwonthe's first win since he turned heads with a 1:56.3 triumph in a two-year-old conditioned event at Mohawk on July 2, and the effort caused owner-trainer Bill Megens of Puslinch, ON to breathe a small sigh of relief. "He raced very good the first start," said Megens of the colt's July 2 debut. "He had a few problems with food allergies so the vet, after the first race, suggested I treat him for the allergies and it kind of back-fired, he was allergic to the treatment." Willyorwonthe broke out in a rash, his throat was inflamed and he developed a cough in response to the allergy treatment. In his first two Ontario Sires Stakes appearances, at the Gold Series level on July 13 and 21, he finished seventh and fourth without the finishing kick he had shown Megens all winter. "He'd been good all along and I couldn't figure out what the heck went wrong with him," said Megens, who learned that 30 per cent of horses have an adverse reaction to the allergy treatment. "Hopefully we've got that under control now. He's not allergic to dust or nothing, it's just some foods." Following Willyorwonthe's reaction to the allergy treatment, Megens reverted to the simple diet he had been feeding the son of Angus Hall and Mikestory since he was a foal. "No more sweet feed or any of the mixed feeds." "He's allergic to corn and soy beans both, so it makes it hard to get a feed that don't contain them, so I put him on straight oats," said the horseman, who bred both Willyorwonthe and his dam, $246,254 winner Mikestory. "When I trained him down he was on straight oats and he always was good, and then I tried to get him a little better feed and it didn't work." If Willyorwonthe continues to regain his health Megens will send him to Georgian Downs for the fourth Grassroots event on August 4, and a positive result there may see the young trotter take another run at the Gold Series colts. "Hopefully he'll stay healthy for a while," said the horseman. "We'll see after the next race, if he races well next time we'll probably try him in the Gold again." Local trotter Holiday Bro also captured his first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy on Tuesday. The son of Holiday Road and Armbro Xanadu circled out wide in the final quarter and sprinted down the stretch to a two length victory over favourite United BI and Muscle Time in 2:00.3 in the second division. "They were all hanging in the last turn, so I whipped out like 10-wide and let him trot," quipped Phil Hudon, who piloted Holiday Bro to the win for owner-trainer Ivan Gallant of Rockwood, ON. "I helped Ivan train him down and he's coming along nicely," added the Guelph, ON resident. "He's getting better every start and he's a quick learner." In his Grassroots debut, at Clinton Raceway on July 19, Holiday Bro finished second, so Tuesday's victory bumped his point tally to 75 and put him in fifth spot in the standings with three regular season events left on the two-year-old trotting colt calendar. Milton, ON resident Randy Waples won two Grassroots events, with Thee Desperado and Frankly Speaking. Starting from Post 5 in the first division, Thee Desperado recovered quickly from an early break in stride and then reeled in the leaders through the stretch to post a victory in his first lifetime start. Waples and the Manofmanymissions son hit the wire one-half length ahead of favourite Recreate and Romeo, stopping the teletimer at 1:58.3. Waples engineered the win for trainer Brent Belore of Embro, ON and owners Karen and Daniel MacIntyre of London, ON, Joshua McKibbin of Tillsonburg, ON and Nancy Newport of Ingersoll, ON. Lightly rated Frankly Speaking also used a come-from-behind move to post his first victory in the fifth division. The Angus Hall son bested Asterix and Clone The Tone by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.2. Waples piloted the colt for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and owners Frank Spagnolo of Potsdam, NY and Frank Schimizzi of Ottawa, ON. Georgies Pockets kept a neck in front of UF Musclemass Star to record his second straight Grassroots victory in the fourth split. The Muscle Mass son and driver Steve Condren hit the wire in 1:58.3. Cool Creek Victory rounded out the top three. Milton, ON resident Condren piloted the colt to his second win for trainer Melvin Turcotte of Coconut Creek, FL and owners M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. Georgies Pockets now shares top spot in the division standings with United BI. Windsun Missile captured the other Grassroots division with a 2:00 clocking for trainer-driver Per Henriksen . The duo bested JLs Bad Moon Risin and Welland Seelster. Henriksen trains the Kadabra colt for Steve Organ of Aurora, ON, Asa Farm of Norwood, ON and Darryl Drain of Tweed, ON. The two-year-old trotting colts make their fourth Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on August. 4, while their feminine peers arrive at Mohawk on Thursday evening for seven Grassroots divisions. The two-year-old trotting fillies are featured in Races 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, and 11 on the Thursday program, which gets under way at 7:25 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

JULY 23, 2015 – Ron Waples piloted two-year-old trotting filly Devils Advocate to a Gold Series win at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening, but the Hall of Fame horseman says his assignment to the Jack Darling trainee’s race bike could be a temporary one. “Well when we were training her down, and I’d just started working for Jack, we were just talking one day and I said, ‘I hope that whoever drives her just backs her off the gate a couple times to get her used to it, so she don’t get stupid,’” recalled Waples, who turned 71 on Tuesday. “And Jack says, ‘Well you’re gonna go with her.’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t be out there anymore, we’ll put somebody up that’s gonna be out there oftener than me.’ And he said, ‘No, I want you to go with her.’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll tell you what the deal is, I’ll go with her ‘til I screw up and then we’re firing me.’ “So far I’m still employed I think,” he added with a chuckle. Starting from Post 4, Waples sent Devils Advocate to the front and never had to glance over his shoulder. The Manofmanymissions daughter rolled through fractions of :28.2, :59.2, and 1:28.1, then pulled away from the field to a four and one-half length victory in 1:57. Its All About Sam and fan favourite Sky Angel finished second and third. “She’s a bit jittery you know, like she’s a kind of a nervous thing — not that she’s a puller or anything like that — but we’ve been really careful with her and it’s paying off, she’s just getting a little better all the time,” said Waples, who last appeared in the Mohawk winner’s circle on May 28, 2010. “She’s just a super gaited little thing, and you’ve always gotta pull her up at the end of her mile. She’s not a horse or a filly that just pulls itself up; you’ve got to always pull her up, which is a good sign, good wind to her.” Cambridge, ON resident Darling acquired the half-sister to $175,699 winner Unabating from last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $47,000.So far Waples, who makes his home in Guelph, ON, has piloted Devils Advocate through three qualifiers, a June 28 overnight event at Georgian Downs where she made a break, and the July 12 Gold Series season opener at Georgian Downs where she finished second. When Waples and Darling met in the winner’s circle on Thursday they pulled the race bike off Devils Advocate and held the Ontario Sires Stakes blanket up behind the jittery youngster for the trophy presentation and photograph. “I didn’t want to have the bike on her up there in the winner’s circle and her flip herself over backwards and bust the bike or something, so I said we’ll take it off and get her picture taken that way,” Waples explained. “She’s getting better, like I said, but she’s not foolproof yet. “But I think she’s worth working on, or waiting on,” he added. Devils Advocate The other two Gold Series trophies went home with first-time winner Magical Wonder and division leader Caprice Hill. Magical Wonder and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON opened the evening with a sprint to the wire that saw them snatch a neck victory away from Powerful Glare, Caprice Hill’s stablemate in the Tony Alagna barn. Northern Sweetie finished third in the 1:58.2 mile. Like Devils Advocate, Magical Wonder had started in one overnight event, logging a second-place result at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 2, and the Gold Series season opener, where she was third. The Kadabra daughter is trained by John MacMillan for owner-breeder Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc. of Lakefield Gore, QC. Magical Wonder A winner in the season opener, Caprice Hill cruised to another easy victory in the third division. The Kadabra daughter and driver Yannick Gingras — who made the trip up from his Allentown, NJ home expressly to drive Caprice Hill — sat fourth through the early going, stepped into the outer land heading for the half and had taken control by the three-quarters, pulling away in the stretch to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:56. Danish Darby and High Heels completed the top three. Manalapan, NJ resident Tony Alagna trains Caprice Hill for Tom Hill of Lancashire, GB. The half-sister to $278,868 winner Bramalea Hanover was a $55,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. With 100 points through two events, the talented youngster has a firm hold on top spot in the division point race. Caprice Hill The two-year-old trotting fillies will also make their third Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack, returning to the Campbellville oval on August 4. On Friday evening Mohawk hosts five Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies, with the Grassroots contests going postward as Races 1, 6, 7, 8, and 11 on the 7:25 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

JULY 22, 2015 - Guelph resident Anthony MacDonald took his brother's advice about an equipment change on two-year-old trotting filly Onatopp, and it paid off with a harness racing Grassroots victory at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening. "I was stubborn; I didn't want to put the hopples on her. I felt that, the few times that I put them on her, I didn't feel that she was as strong or as fast with them on, and I felt that I could keep her trotting, at least on the bigger track, without them," said MacDonald, who co-owns, trains and drives Onatopp. "And James had schooled her for me when I was away and he said, you know, I think she needs the hopples. And, you know, he was right. I put them on her and she was really, really good." Making her debut with trotting hopples from Post 9 in Wednesday's sixth Grassroots division, Onatopp was able to secure a spot on the rail in fourth as favourite Ballykeel Rocket led the field to a :31.4 opening quarter. MacDonald was content to sit fourth through the 1:04.3 half, but when Favourite Tweet stepped into the outer lane from third, he followed suit. Rolling by the 1:36 three-quarters MacDonald tipped Onatopp out three-wide and she sailed effortlessly past the leaders to the front, pulling away to a two and one-half length lead in the stretch and stopping the clock at 2:05.1. Ballykeel Rocket settled for second and pocket sitter Sweet With Heat was third. "I know she only went in 2:05.1 tonight, but she can go as fast as any Grassroots filly out there, there's no end to her speed," said MacDonald. "I mean she come a last half in :59 or something tonight and I never pulled the ear plugs, never even asked her, I just moved her out in position where she could do her work, and she was more than happy to do it." MacDonald and his partner Rene Allard of Milford, PA purchased Onatopp out of the Canadian Yearling Sale for $11,000. The filly is a Manofmanymissions half-sister to $529,825 winner Sim Brown, and the partners had high hopes for her all winter. Onatopp made her Ontario Sires Stakes debut in the July 12 Gold Series opener at Georgian Downs, but made a break and finished eighth, a result that prompted MacDonald to take his brother, James MacDonald's, advice. In addition to his brother, the horseman said a great deal of credit for Onatopp's victory falls to his wife Amy who works alongside him in their 11-horse stable. "She works really, really hard on them and she deserves a lot of the credit, a lot of the credit," he emphasized. In addition to Onatopp, six other fillies went home from Grand River Raceway with Grassroots trophies on Wednesday, with four of them also stepping down from the Gold Series for their second Ontario Sires Stakes start. Mariana and trainer-driver Riina Rekila kicked things off in the first race with a 2:04 clocking, reeling in pacesetter Shezastrikin Loral and pocket sitter Tala Seelster in the stretch. Rekila and Esa Lahtinen bred and own Mariana through their Overseas Farms Ltd. of Campbellville, ON. Rekila piloted the daughter of Manofmanymissions to a runner-up result in the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs on July 7. Trainer-driver Eddie Green piloted Malia to a 2:03 win in the second $18,000 division. The Cornaro Dasolo daughter bested Tymal Tempest and Early Decision by one-half length. Green conditions Malia for Kristine Green of Ohsweken and, like MacDonald, sent her to the Gold Series for her first provincial appearance, where she finished sixth. Guelph resident Phil Hudon crafted a gate-to-wire victory for Toss It Back in the third division. The Majestic Son filly cruised across the wire four lengths ahead of Chapel Hall and Talbotcreek Jetta. Trainer Pat Hunt of Cambridge, ON shares ownership of Toss It Back with Leo Fleming of Campbellville, ON. The win gives the filly one victory and one fourth-place result through the first two Grassroots events. Magical Steph was the second filly of the evening to step down from the Gold Series and find success, capturing the fourth Grassroots division with a late sprint past pacesetter and favourite Shes In Gear. Major Muscle rounded out the top three in the 2:02.1 mile. Steve Byron engineered the Kadabra filly's first victory for trainer Gary Lance and owner GL Racing Inc. of Port Perry, ON. In the fifth division, Deweycheatumnhowe daughter Dewdle All Day hit the wire three and one-half lengths up on Windsongmusclelady and Herbe A Loral in 2:03.3. Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON drives, trains and co-owns Dewdle All Day with partners 9177 8720 Quebec Inc. of Saint-Sauveur, QC and Greg Judson of Athens, ON. Dewdle All Day came into the test off a sixth-place result in the July 12 Gold Series event. The final Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with Myretirementticket, the fifth competitor shifting from Gold to Grassroots competition. The Cornaro Dasolo daughter and owner-trainer-driver Eli Wagler of Ingersoll, ON cruised along on the front end to a 2:01.1 victory, crossing the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Very Classy and Cadillac Sally. The two-year-old trotting fillies make their third Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 30. Grand River Raceway's next Ontario Sires Stakes event will come during the highly anticipated Industry Day program on Monday, Aug. 3. The Elora oval will host the third Gold Leg for the three-year-old pacing fillies in addition to the finals for its signature races, the Battle of the Belles for two-year-old pacing fillies and Battle of Waterloo for two-year-old pacing colts. Ontario Horse Racing

Hall of Fame driver John Campbell made his first appearance at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, making the trip up from his New Jersey home to partner two-year-old trotting colt Tony Soprano in Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action. "I got to Grand River last year, and this is my first trip to Georgian Downs," said Campbell, who is considered one of the leading reinsmen of all time. "Very impressed with the plant, it's really a nice paddock and a nice grandstand and everything, just very impressed with that and glad to be here for the first time to see it." Making the trip even more enjoyable was its successful outcome. Lining up at Post 2 in the second $70,000 Gold division, Campbell guided Tony Soprano to a 1:57.3 victory. The pair bested fan favourite Adored By Masses by one-quarter length, with Im A Mate well back in third. Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh trains Tony Soprano for his partners Mardon Stables of Loretto, ON, Paradox Farm Inc. of Caledon East, ON and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON, and it was at his request that Campbell made the trip to Georgian Downs. "He had told me early in the spring that he had a trotting colt that he really liked and that he'd keep me posted on his progress," explained Campbell. "Once he got qualified he asked me to come up last week and we both were happy with the horse, he did all he could in the situation, so I think he's off to a good start." In the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on July 13 Campbell and Tony Soprano tried to squeeze up the rail in the stretch and found themselves short of room before the wire. The colt finished third, one-half length behind the leaders in the 1:57.4 mile. "I didn't get him in a very good spot," Campbell admitted. "I had him in a bad spot, drove him bad, but the colt was good." On Tuesday Campbell and Tony Soprano sat fourth through the early going then started to press pacesetter and fan favourite Adored By Masses going by the three-quarter pole. The colts battled all the way to the wire, with Tony Soprano digging in through the final strides for the win. "He went a really professional race, very happy with him. I got him in a better spot this week," said Campbell with a chuckle. The son of Kadabra and $1.2 million winner Windsong Soprano was a $90,000 purchase by Windsor, ON resident McIntosh and his partners at last fall's Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale. Tuesday's victory put his earnings, after two races, at $47,600. Campbell also piloted Nofear Blue Chip in the season opener, and was back behind the gelding in the first division on Tuesday for trainer Paul Reid and owner Norah Parks of New Lowell, ON Although he did not guide Nofear Blue Chip to the winner's circle, finishing third behind Deweylovernleaver and Will Take Charge, Campbell was pleased with the progress the youngster had made since July 13. "Paul didn't get to work him as much last week as he would have liked going into the race and he really improved off of that race in Mohawk, because he trotted more here than he did in Mohawk," noted the reinsman.  "So I was very happy, and he was stronger his last quarter than he was last week." Deweylovernleaver circled out from the back field turning for home and sprinted down the stretch to a head victory in 1:57.4 for driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON, trainer Chris Beaver of Delaware, OH and his partners Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON and Leo Fleming of Camp Bellville, ON. The Deweycheatumnhowe son was a $12,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, and finished fourth, just behind Tony Soprano, in the season opener. The final division was captured by Unitaliano BI and trainer-driver Dustin Jones, who went gate-to-wire in 1:58.3 Pukka and Mass Balance finished four and one-quarter lengths back in second and third. "It would be nice to be able to race him out of a hole, but that's the way he wants to race, so it's better than fighting with him," said Jones, ruefully. "He actually trained great all winter. I thought he was a top colt all winter, but then as we got closer to race we were having a hard time to control him," the Waterdown, ON resident continued. "He wouldn't sit in a hole, he'd get mad. If you put anything on him to hold him, he'd get mad and he'd fight you. And he's such an intelligent horse in the barn; he's like a little kitten in the barn." Jones shares ownership of the stubborn youngster - who made an early break and finished fifth in the season opener - with Noblock Racing Stable of Collingwood, ON and William Jones of Lexington, KY. The trio acquired the Manofmanymissions son from the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale for $20,000. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their third Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 7, while their Grassroots counterparts journey to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, August 4. Ontario Horse Racing

If the performances in Sunday night's Gold Series season opener at the harness racing meeting at Georgian Downs were any indication, Ontario has produced another world class group of two-year-old trotting fillies. Caprice Hill established the lofty standard for the evening in the first $52,500 division with a commanding gate-to-wire victory in 1:55.2. Allentown, NJ resident Yannick Gingras made his first-ever trip to Georgian Downs for the race, steering the daughter of Kadabra and Bramasole to the win for trainer Tony Alagna of Manalapan, NJ and owner Tom Hill of Lancashire, GB. "I baby raced her the first time (June 15) and I told Tony I'd like to stay with her, she showed me abilities that day," said Gingras. "She has a beautiful mouth on her, and great gaited, and she had all kinds of power, so I was very high on her and she proved me right tonight." Going unchallenged around the Georgian Downs five-eighths oval, Caprice Hill hit the wire four and one-quarter lengths ahead of Sky Angel and Las Vegas Seelster. Her 1:55.2 clocking was just two-fifths of a second off the 1:55 Ontario Sires Stakes record for two-year-old trotting fillies on a five-eighths mile track, set by the great Bee A Magician at Georgian Downs in an October, 2012 Gold Series event. "She's got the whole package, let's put it that way. She's got as much speed as anything, but her manners are very, very good." "You can do whatever you want with her," added Gingras. "Last baby race (June 27) I left and let somebody go, and came back in the stretch; just whatever you throw at her she's very professional about it, so I think that's her best quality right now." Trainer Alagna selected the half-sister to $278,868 winner Bramalea Hanover out of last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and owner Tom Hill issued the winning bid at $55,000. Since then Caprice Hill has been a star pupil for Alagna and his mother Donna Lee Ozment. "She's a really special filly." "My mom trained her this winter in Chicago and she came out to us this spring and she's been fantastic from the get go," said Alagna. "I'm very happy with where we're at right now." In addition to the Ontario Sire Stakes, Alagna says Caprice Hill has a full complement of open stake races on her calendar so long as she stays healthy and continues to thrive on the racetrack. Also delivering an impressive front-end performance was locally-owned Could It Be Magic, who cruised home a 1:56.4 winner in the third division for Alliston, ON resident Fred Brayford and trainer-driver Wayne Henry of Arthur, ON. Unchallenged through fractions of :29, :59.2 and 1:28, Could It Be Magic trotted under the wire six lengths ahead of Devils Advocate and Danish Darby. "She can really get out of there off the gate, and then Wayne seems to be able to get control and they kind of respect her I guess," said Brayford. "Then when he needs the last quarter he just kind of lets her trot and so far she's been pulling away from them." Brayford and Henry acquired the daughter of Kadabra and $233,554 winner In The Mean Time for $18,000 from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale and Brayford says the filly seemed like a natural from her earliest lessons. "He (Henry) trains in Florida. I was down there for most of the winter and I used to go out and see her train, and she just seemed to be kind of a natural right from the start," explained Brayford. "She liked to trot. She didn't spend much time breaking, touch wood." Sunday's win was the second for Could It Be Magic, who also captured a conditioned event at Mohawk Racetrack on July 2. In the fourth division Emoticon Hanover stormed up the stretch to post a 1:56.3 victory and make it a hat trick for trotting sire Kadabra. The filly and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON reeled in pacesetter and fan favourite Ready Any Time and Magical Wonder to record the one and one-quarter length victory for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. The first foal from former Ontario Sires Stakes star Emmylou Who, a winner of 660,354 during her racing career, Emoticon Hanover was a $165,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The other Gold trophy went home from Georgian Downs with One Too Many, who was awarded the win when it was ruled that she was impeded by Silky Flashy Nfast in the stretch. Silky Flashy Nfast was moved back to second and Liberty Lane finished third in the 1:58.2 mile. Guelph, ON resident Anthony MacDonald drives and trains One Too Many for Rene Allard of Milford, PA, who purchased the Manofmanymissions daughter for $14,000 from the Canadian Yearling Sale. The two-year-old trotting fillies make their second Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 23, while Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, July 14 with seven Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (March 4, 2015) - She's named for the heroine in The Hunger Games, yet the racing career of Katniss has taken a bit longer than was hoped to live up to its lofty expectations. With a price tag of $260,000, Katniss was the most expensive trotting filly to sell at the 2013 Harrisburg yearling sale. She was picked out by trainer Francisco Del Cid and purchased by owner Mario Mazza. Friday, March 6, Katniss makes her long-awaited debut in the first race at the Meadowlands. The 3-year-old Credit Winner filly is a full-sister to $1.1 million stakes winner Dejarmbro and her dam, Armbro Deja Vu, is a half-sister to millionaire world champion Manofmanymissions. "She suffered a soft tissue injury on the back of her front left leg last year when she reared up over a stall gate," said trainer Julie Miller, who has taken over training of the filly. "The owner gave her plenty of time to recover and it's not bothering her now. Hopefully she turns into a nice New York Sire Stakes filly or even more of a stakes horse, especially with that pedigree." Katniss enters Friday's race off a pair of qualifiers, drew post nine and will be driven by Andy Miller. She's listed at 3/1 on the morning line. "We're hoping she has a good positive experience racing for the first time," said her trainer. "Hopefully she passes a few horses down the stretch and finishes well." Friday's 13-race card at the Meadowlands is headlined by a $27,500 Open Handicap Trot. The field of eight is led by the coupled entry of Lindy's Tru Grit and Master of Law. Lindy's Tru Grit scored a narrow victory over Master of Law two weeks ago in their last starts. "[Lindy's Tru Grit] was staked lightly this year," continued Miller, who also trains Lindy's Tru Grit. "He's not the best trainer but he sure shows up to race. He's best tracking horses and utilizing that Meadowlands slingshot move." Friday's program also features two large carryovers in the Jackpot Super High 5. The fifth race carryover is now $41,316 and the thirteenth race carryover is $148,525. By Justin Horowitz for Meadowlands Media Relations          

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Erv Miller hopes Manofmanymission’s younger brother is growing ready to take on the assignment of facing stakes-level trotters. Team Six, a 5-year-old son of stallion Yankee Glide out of the mare Armbro Vanquish, has won 12 of 35 career races and earned $136,300 so far in his career. He is a full brother to Manofmanymissions, who also was trained by Miller and won the 2010 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters and the 2011 Kentucky Futurity on his way to $1.21 million in lifetime earnings. Last week, Team Six won the B1/A1 Handicap at the Meadowlands by a half-length over Lindy’s Tru Grit in 1:53.1 at odds of 50-1. Appomattox, the favorite, was third and Spider Blue Chip fourth. On Friday, Team Six and driver Marcus Miller will start from post five in the Classified/FFA Handicap at the Big M. The field also includes Modest Prince, Odds On Amethyst, Coffeecake Hanover, Take My Picture, Lindy’s Tru Grit and Melady’s Monet. “He’s in pretty good company right now, so we’ll have to see how he gets along,” Miller said about Team Six, who was purchased for $200,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale. “That’s why we kept him, because we hoped he would come on to be an aged trotter; that he could compete at the stakes level against older competition. “Off and on he shows that kind of ability. I think he’s just coming into his own a little bit right now.” Team Six was unraced at age 2 and won three of 13 starts at 3. Last season, he won seven of 19 races and established his career mark of 1:52.4. “He’s starting to come around, I hope,” Miller said. “He’s a pretty heavy horse. Hopefully as he gets a little older, he’ll get along a little better. “He stays a lot sounder now than he did as a young horse. As a younger horse we had a little trouble keeping him sound. I think (being a heavier horse) was part of it. I think that’s what kept him from being a good 2-year-old. He was just a little too immature, a little too heavy boned, to really develop good as a young horse.” Team Six is owned by Peggy Hood, Mystical Marker Farms, Paymaq Racing and Jorgen Jahre Jr., which is some of the same group that ownedManofmanymissions. “We had good luck with that horse and those guys wanted to take a shot at the same family,” Miller said. “I’m pretty optimistic that (Team Six) could come on and be a bit of a stakes horse for us. He’s not the kind of horse that has to have a perfect trip, although that’s what he got last week. But he’s a big strong horse where I think he can endure a little work.” Miller knows Team Six will have to raise his game to compete at the top level in the older trotting division, but he’s hopeful the horse can find a place among that group. “There’s room for them if you’ve got one that’s good enough,” Miller said. Now it’s up to Team Six to accept that mission. By Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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