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CAMPBELLVILLE, August 25 - The present and future of harness racing's pacing ranks will be on display Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack for the eliminations of the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady. An All-Star group of 18 older pacers have been split into two $40,000 eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby. The Metro Pace for two-year-old pacing colts has attracted 23 rookies separated into three $40,000 eliminations, while 12 two-year-old pacing fillies will contest a pair of $35,000 eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady Stakes. The Canadian Pacing Derby is Canada's oldest harness race and annually serves as one of the premier events in the sport. This year's 'Pacing Derby' once again has attracted the finest older pacers in the sport. The first elimination Saturday is highlighted by the red-hot State Treasurer (PP4, David Miller). The Dr. Ian Moore trainee enters his Derby elimination off back-to-back victories in the U.S. Pacing Championship and the Roll With Joe Stakes. State Treasurer has won six of 12 starts this season and earned over $500,000 to bring his career bankroll to north of $1.4 million. The Ron Burke trainee All Bets Off (PP7, Matt Kakaley) also enters the first elimination with plenty of confidence. The four-year-old pacer captured the Prix D'Ete last Sunday in Quebec and has hit the board in four of his last five starts. All Bets Off has banked over $400,000 this season to bring his career total to over $1.5 million. The second elimination features the richest Standardbred of all-time Foiled Again (PP5, Yannick Gingras). A winner of over $7.1 million, Foiled Again won the 2012 edition of the Canadian Pacing Derby and a top-five finish in this Saturday's elimination will secure the 11-year-old his fifth appearance in the 'Pacing Derby' final. The Burke trainee finished second in last year's Derby and has finished no worse than third in his four Derby appearances. The second split will also feature the hottest horse on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit Shamballa (PP1, Rick Zeron). The Rick Zeron trainee has been dominating the Preferred level at Mohawk and enters his elimination on a five-race win streak. Known for his wicked closing speed, Shamballa will be making his first career Grand Circuit start. The five-year-old gelding has eight wins in 11 starts this season for $138,000 in earnings. Another notable in the second elimination is four-year-old JK Endofanera (PP7, Brett Miller), who will be making his first start at Mohawk since capturing the 2014 Pepsi North America Cup. The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final on Saturday, September 5. The eliminations have been carded as races five and seven on Saturday. The Metro Pace has annually been the top race for two-year-old pacers and has severed as a launching pad to impressive careers for many greats. The first elimination Saturday will feature Ontario Sires Stakes standout Voracity (PP5, Randy Waples). The son of Sportswriter is fresh off a victory in a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes and has three wins from four starts this season. Voracity is trained by Tony Alagna, who captured last year's Metro Pace with Artspeak. Alagna also sends out American Passport (PP6, Scott Zeron) in the first elimination and three other rookies (Highlandbeachycove, Racing Hill, Mindtrip) in the final two eliminations. The undefeated colt Control The Moment (PP6, Randy Waples) highlights the second elimination. A son of Well Said, Control The Moment captured his Nassagaweya split last Saturday with ease to improve to five for five. The Brad Maxwell trainee is the only undefeated rookie of the 23 entered in this year's Metro eliminations. The third and final Metro elimination will feature a field of seven rookies. The Catamount Kid (PP6, Jody Jamieson) will look to carry the momentum from his victory in last Saturday's Nassagaweya into his preliminary. The son of Well Said comes into the Metro on a two-race win streak for trainer Carl Jamieson. Casie Coleman trainee Betting Line (PP3, Tim Tetrick), a two-time OSS Gold series winner, will look to rebound from a break in his most recent start in the final elimination. The son of Sportswriter has won three of five starts to begin his career. The top-three finishers from each elimination and a fourth-place finisher drawn by a lot will advance to the $685,000 Metro Pace final on Saturday, September 5. Two-year-old pacing fillies will also share the spotlight Saturday in a pair of eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady Stakes. Thatsoveryverynice (PP5, Jody Jamieson), an Eternal Camnation division winner, will highlight the first elimination. The daughter of Vintage Master has won three of four starts for trainer and co-owner Tony Alagna. The second split features Bob McIntosh trainee L A Delight (PP2, Randy Waples). The daughter of Bettor's Delight won her division of the Eternal Camnation Saturday to extend her current win streak to six starts in a row. The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $455,000 Shes A Great Lady final on Saturday, September 5. The winners of each elimination Saturday will earn the right to select their post position for the final of their respective race. Post time for Saturday's star-studded 12-race card is 7:25 p.m. The full fields for all the stakes eliminations can be found below. PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer Canadian Pacing Derby - Elimination 1 - Race 5 1. Ellis Park - Randy Waples - Brad Maxwell 2. Piston Broke - Tim Tetrick - Rob Fellows 3. Bettorever - Corey Callahan - Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 4. State Treasurer - David Miller - Dr. Ian Moore 5. Mcwicked - David Miller - Casie Coleman 6. Captive Audience - Andrew McCarthy - Colin Johnson 7. All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke 8. Luck Be Withyou - Luc Ouellette - Bill Cass 9. Bettors Edge - TBA - Ron Burke Canadian Pacing Derby Elimination 2 - Race 7 1. Shamballa - Rick Zeron - Rick Zeron 2. Mach It So - Corey Callahan - Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 3. Evenin Of Pleasure - Sylvain Filion - Richard Moreau 4. MelmerbyBeach - Paul MacDonell - Paul MacDonell 5. Foiled Again - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke 6. Nirvana Seelster - Sylvain Filion - Bill Budd 7. JK Endofanera - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter 8. LimelightBeach - TBA - Ron Burke 9. Clear Vision - Brett Miller - Ron Burke Metro Pace - Elimination 1 - Race 6 1. Bank Shot Hanover - Mark MacDonald - Daniel Renaud 2. Blayde Hanover - Sylvain Filion - Tony O'Sullivan 3. StonebridgeBeach - Stephane Pouliot - Stephane Larocque 4. Check Six - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke 5. Voracity - Randy Waples - Tony Alagna 6. American Passport - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna 7. Cruise Patrol - Sylvain Filion - Jimmy Takter 8. Nvestment Bluechip - Jody Jamieson - Dave Menary Metro Pace - Elimination 2 - Race 8 1. Carter Beach - Jody Jamieson - Carl Jamieson 2. Highlandbeachycove - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna 3. Sossys King Kong - Doug McNair - Richard Norman 4. Ideal Rocky - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen 5. Manny - Corey Callahan - Howard Okusko Jr. 6. Control The Moment - Randy Waples - Brad Maxwell 7. Racing Hill - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna 8. Manhattan Beach - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke Metro Pace - Elimination 3 - Race 10 1. Mindtrip - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna 2. Talk Show - John Campbell - Steve Elliott 3. Betting Line - Tim Tetrick - Casie Coleman 4. Pretty Boy Hill - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke 5. Rodeo Rock - Randy Waples - Don Swick 6. The Catamount Kid - Jody Jamieson - Carl Jamieson 7. Real Kid - Doug McNair - Larry Ainsworth Shes A Great Lady - Elimination 1 - Race 2 1. JK Fannie - Matt Kakaley - Nancy Johansson 2. Upside Surprise - Andrew McCarthy - Tony O'Sullivan 3. Albany Girl - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter 4. Thisorthat Hanover - Tim Tetrick - James Dean 5. Thatsoveryverynice - Jody Jamieson - Tony Alagna 6. Highland Rocksolid - TBA - Marty Fine Shes A Great Lady - Elimination 2 - Race 3 1. Ivy League - Brett Miller - Jimmy Takter 2. L A Delight - Randy Waples - Bob McIntosh 3. Show Time Hill - Andrew McCarthy - Tony Alagna 4. Three Dreams - James MacDonald - Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 5. Darlinonthebeach - David Miller - Nancy Johansson 6. Blue Moon Stride - Andrew McCarthy - Mark Harder Mark McKelvie

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Betting by Jockeys/Drivers in NZ - The revelations that one of New Zealand's leading jockeys David Walker was taking head to head bets against horses that he was riding is just another setback for the image of racing in New Zealand. Australasia Frozen Semen - We note in Australasia this season that there are at least 34 stallions who are only available through frozen semen. A lot of the stud fees seem reasonable but as anyone who has used frozen semen can testify, the on farm vet fees can easily run into four figures. Lack of Smoken Up Coverage - Former Herald-Sun writer Adam Hamilton has criticized his old work place for the lack of coverage on Smoken Up’s retirement. Hamilton took to Twitter to express his disappointment, stating: “Staggered @heraldsunsport couldn't find room for Smoken Up story in 3.5 racing pages in sport section today. Champion deserved better”. Stallion Review – Andover Hall - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Andover Hall, 2,1:56.2,3,1:51.3 ($870,510). Hope we all learned from this debacle - On Labor Day the judges at Mohawk Raceway made a unique decision on the 9th race that Monday night that has soured even people who had winning wagers on it. What a classy show put on by Mohawk Raceway - Kudos must go out the Mohawk Raceway management team for their superb presentation on Metro Pace Night Saturday, August 30. Not being able to go and cover the races live, we were forced to watch it all via computer simulcasting, but the Mohawk crew made it such a great evening. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Lack of Smoken Up Coverage - Former Herald-Sun writer Adam Hamilton has criticized his old work place for the lack of coverage on Smoken Up’s retirement. Hamilton took to Twitter to express his disappointment, stating: “Staggered @heraldsunsport couldn't find room for Smoken Up story in 3.5 racing pages in sport section today. Champion deserved better”. Australasia Frozen Semen - We note in Australasia this season that there are at least 34 stallions who are only available through frozen semen. A lot of the stud fees seem reasonable but as anyone who has used frozen semen can testify, the on farm vet fees can easily run into four figures. Betting by Jockeys/Drivers in NZ - The revelations that one of New Zealand's leading jockeys David Walker was taking head to head bets against horses that he was riding is just another setback for the image of racing in New Zealand. Stallion Review – Andover Hall - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Andover Hall, 2,1:56.2,3,1:51.3 ($870,510). Hope we all learned from this debacle - On Labor Day the judges at Mohawk Raceway made a unique decision on the 9th race that Monday night that has soured even people who had winning wagers on it. What a classy show put on by Mohawk Raceway - Kudos must go out the Mohawk Raceway management team for their superb presentation on Metro Pace Night Saturday, August 30. Not being able to go and cover the races live, we were forced to watch it all via computer simulcasting, but the Mohawk crew made it such a great evening. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Stallion Review – Andover Hall - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Andover Hall, 2,1:56.2,3,1:51.3 ($870,510). Hope we all learned from this debacle - On Labor Day the judges at Mohawk Raceway made a unique decision on the 9th race that Monday night that has soured even people who had winning wagers on it. What a classy show put on by Mohawk Raceway - Kudos must go out the Mohawk Raceway management team for their superb presentation on Metro Pace Night Saturday, August 30. Not being able to go and cover the races live, we were forced to watch it all via computer simulcasting, but the Mohawk crew made it such a great evening. Lack of Smoken Up Coverage - Former Herald-Sun writer Adam Hamilton has criticized his old work place for the lack of coverage on Smoken Up’s retirement. Hamilton took to Twitter to express his disappointment, stating: “Staggered @heraldsunsport couldn't find room for Smoken Up story in 3.5 racing pages in sport section today. Champion deserved better”. Betting by Jockeys/Drivers in NZ - The revelations that one of New Zealand's leading jockeys David Walker was taking head to head bets against horses that he was riding is just another setback for the image of racing in New Zealand. Australasia Frozen Semen - We note in Australasia this season that there are at least 34 stallions who are only available through frozen semen. A lot of the stud fees seem reasonable but as anyone who has used frozen semen can testify, the on farm vet fees can easily run into four figures. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Hope we all learned from this debacle - On Labor Day the judges at Mohawk Raceway made a unique decision on the 9th race that Monday night that has soured even people who had winning wagers on it. What a classy show put on by Mohawk Raceway - Kudos must go out the Mohawk Raceway management team for their superb presentation on Metro Pace Night Saturday, August 30. Not being able to go and cover the races live, we were forced to watch it all via computer simulcasting, but the Mohawk crew made it such a great evening. Lack of Smoken Up Coverage - Former Herald-Sun writer Adam Hamilton has criticized his old work place for the lack of coverage on Smoken Up’s retirement. Hamilton took to Twitter to express his disappointment, stating: “Staggered @heraldsunsport couldn't find room for Smoken Up story in 3.5 racing pages in sport section today. Champion deserved better”. Betting by Jockeys/Drivers in NZ - The revelations that one of New Zealand's leading jockeys David Walker was taking head to head bets against horses that he was riding is just another setback for the image of racing in New Zealand. Australasia Frozen Semen - We note in Australasia this season that there are at least 34 stallions who are only available through frozen semen. A lot of the stud fees seem reasonable but as anyone who has used frozen semen can testify, the on farm vet fees can easily run into four figures. Stallion Review – Andover Hall - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Andover Hall, 2,1:56.2,3,1:51.3 ($870,510). Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 3 - It was a fun and entertaining evening of racing at Mohawk on Saturday. Ask any fan.   The Canadian Pacing Derby/Metro Pace card showcased many of the sport's stars and featured a 66-1 longshot winner in the Canadian Pacing Derby, while the Jackpot Hi 5 was paid out on the final race.   Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) also considers the 2014 event a stunning success, in record style.   A total of $5,006,896 was wagered on the 12-race card, the highest handle figure ever recorded for one program at the 51-year-old Campbellville track. The previous mark was $4,648,478 for the 2000 Breeders Crown card.   It was third highest handle ever recorded on the WEG Standardbred circuit, behind only 2002 Breeders Crown card ($5.4 million) and 2001 Breeders Crown program ($5.2 million), both conducted at Woodbine.   "We offered a terrific on-track event and a fantastic card, and we are extremely pleased with the record results," said Jamie Martin, Executive Vice-President of Racing. "Customers enjoyed great music, excellent food and were entertained by the finest horses in the sport, including arguably the best two-year-olds around, Artspeak and JK Shesalady. Modern Legend added a dash of drama with his 66-1 upset in the Canadian Pacing Derby."   The Jackpot Hi 5 continues to prove to be a hit with racing fans. The wager, which offered a carryover of $647,331.71 and a mandatory payout, had a total pool of $2,522,851 after $1,875,520 was bet on Saturday evening. Each winning 20-cent ticket paid $1,347.36 after Resistance Futile romped. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact order.   "The Jackpot Hi 5 certainly helped the card achieve record status, but without it, we were still up 30 per cent over last year's program," said Martin.   The next major card at Mohawk features the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. It is slated for September 13.   by John Siscos, for WEG  

Unbeaten two-year-old pacing colt, Artspeak, stamped himself as the top freshman colt in harness racing as he strolled to a five length triumph in capturing the $667,000 final of the Metro Pace at Mohawk Raceway Saturday. The race began with Lone Survivor (David Miller) left from post nine and was able to get to the lead with Lyons Again (Yannick Gingras) also leaving from post eight and getting the two-hole trip as they went to the opening quarter mile in :26.3. They raced that way to the half mile marker in :55.3 and that was when the action began to heat up as John Campbell came first-over with Go Daddy Go and following their outside cover was the 1/9 race favorite Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron. To the three-quarters in 1:23.3 Lone Survivor was still in command but coming off the final turn, Zeron tipped three-wide with Artspeak and without raising his whip nor lifting his lines for encouragement, Artspeak took off and left the field in his wake, winning in a romp in 1:50.2. Lyons Levi Lewis (Sylvain Filion) was second with Lyons Again third. “When we had Captaintreacherous and his career and he was such an amazing horse and to come back right after that with this colt is amazing,” said winning trainer Tony Alagna. “I talked to Scott (Zeron) last fall and talked with him about making the change and coming to the United States to drive. I told him if he was willing to come down and drive that I was willing to give him a shot. He’s made the commitment. He comes to the farm to train, baby racing and training before qualifiers and he deserved this win.” Sired by Western Ideal, bred and co-owned by Brittany Farms with Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and The Gym Partners, it was the sixth straight win for Artspeak. He paid $2.30 to win. “The primary ownership group for this horse is the same as Captaintreacherous,” said co-owner Marvin Katz, who has won the Metro final three times now, “Tony had trained the mare (The Art Museum, dam of Artspeak) and he loved the family and thought the mare would throw a good one. He selected the colt in Lexington and we put together the same partnership as Captaintreacherous. This never gets old I was telling Tony (Alagna). When you can win these types of races, this is a thrill and to be enjoyed.” “I really stuck my neck out going all by myself to New Jersey,” said winning driver Scott Zeron, “I worked as hard as I could this year. It’s Tony Alagna and Myron Bell. The two of them together made it happen. They helped me with the move. And this is reason I did it. To come back home and win a race like this with a great horse like this. This is once in a lifetime. “To be second over was a perfect trip for this horse,” Zeron said. “He follows horses so well. I have always had to put him on the front because he is 1/9. Today I was able to trip him out behind this really good horse of John’s (Campbell) and coming down the lane he was game. He is a freak of nature. He probably came home in :26.2 and I didn’t even chirp to him.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 30 - On Saturday evening's 12-race program at Mohawk, Woodbine Entertainment Group offered a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi 5. Over the past few months, a carryover has been building since there has not been just one winning ticket on a Jackpot Hi-5 wager. When there is more than one winning ticket, 50% of the pool is carried over to the next card. As of a result of the carryovers, $647,331 was carried over into Saturday's Canadian Pacing Derby/Metro Pace program. Scheduled as the last dash of the evening, the Jackpot Hi 5 attracted an additional $2,026,548, giving the pool a total of $2,673,879. The result was a payout of $6,736.80 on a $1 wager ($1,347.36 on a $.20 cent wager) after Resistance Futile found the wire first in 1:49.1 at odds of 8/5. The top five finishers are as follows: 1. Resistance Futile 2. American Gi 3. Apprentice Hanover 4. Michaels Power 5. Cobble Beach The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the first five finishers in exact order on the last race of the program. The wager, which offered 20-cent minimum, also had a takeout of 15 per cent, a continent-equaling low.​ by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 29 - Lifetime Pursuit continued her incredible hot streak Friday night at Mohawk by winning a division of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. 13 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into two Simcoe Stakes divisions worth more than $103,000. Lifetime Pursuit picked up her fourth win in a row in the second $105,344 division. Leaving from post six with driver Brett Miller, Lifetime Pursuit was parked fourth around the first turn and followed Cantabs Fortune to the front in the second quarter. As soon as Cantabs Fortune touched down on the front, Lifetime Pursuit cleared to take control at the half-mile pole in :56. Lifetime Pursuit trotted by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4 and turned for home without much challenge from her six other rivals. In the stretch, the daughter of Cantab Hall - Queen Of Grace never allowed her rivals to get any closer than a few lengths and strolled home to win by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:53.4. Sweetie Hearts finished second, while Chivaree Hanover was third and My Inspiration was fourth. Lifetime Pursuit is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Brittany Farms. Following the race, Myron Bell, the racing manager for Brittany Farms, noted that Lifetime Pursuit is a third generation filly for the farm. "We bought a daughter of Me Maggie back about 20 years ago and her name was Prime Mistress and she won about $20,000 on the racetrack and had a record of about :58," said Bell. "Her daughter is the dam of this filly and three generations later it's paid off." Lifetime Pursuit has now won four stake races in a row dating back to the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on August 2. The Simcoe Stakes victory was her sixth win in 11 starts this year, the 12th win of her career and pushes her career earnings over $760,000. She paid $2.10 to win. In the first $103,845 Simcoe Stakes division, Designed To Be broke her streak of three second place finishes to win in a stakes record equaling time of 1:52.3. Scream And Shout was sent hard to the lead by Brett Miller and posted an opening quarter of :27.1, while Designed To Be and Sylvain Filion followed along in fourth. Miller didn't slow down the tempo in the middle half as Scream And Shout opened up a good sized lead on the field trotting by the half in :56.1 and the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2. In the third quarter, Filion right lined Designed To Be to the outside and she began the first over journey. Designed To Be would erase Scream And Shout's sizeable lead and trot by her half way down the lane to win by 3¼ lengths. Muscle Babe finished third, while Tosca was fourth. "Brett (Miller) was trying to give us the slip, but we caught him in the nick of time," said Designed To Be's trainer Julie Miller in the winner's circle. "The way the races are setting up she needs a target and she's willing to follow and attack." Miller trains the daughter of Donato Hanover - Sheer Soul Be for owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz. The Simcoe Stakes victory was Designed To Be's third win in seven starts this season and the eighth win of her career. She now has career earnings of more than $500,000. Designed To Be paid $2.10 to win. The three-year-old trotting fillies will be back in action next Friday at Mohawk for the eliminations of the $365,000 Elegantimage Stakes. Also on Friday night, two divisions were contested of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters. Habitat and Sylvain Filion took the first $124,621 Champlain division. A son of Conway Hall - Habits Best, Habitat, who was the 3/5 favourite, was put right on the front by Filion and set fractions of :27.4, :58. and 1:26.3. After opening up a sizable lead on the final turn, Habitat strolled home under wraps in :28.2 to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:55. Muscle Diamond and Rick Zeron trotted a big last quarter of :27. to come from seventh to finish second. Aldebaran Eagle finish third, while Jetpedia rounded out the Superfecta. "He's not very big, but he's very powerful," said Filion following the race. "Turning for him he kind of got a little lost out there on the front end on a big track like this and I could hear Ricky (Zeron) coming at me, so I just asked him a bit and he took off right away." Trained by Ron Burke, Habitat is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. Habitat was a $50,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. He has now won three times in five career starts and has earnings exceeding $94,000. Habitat paid $3.40 to win. In the second $124,621 division, another heavy favourite came through as French Laundry and Brett Miller won in 1:55.4. Sent off as the 3/5 favourite, French Laundry got away in fourth as the field made their way by the opening quarter marker. In the second quarter, French Laundry followed Lookslikeachipndale, who made a first up move to the lead, right to front to take control at the half in :57.4. After trotting by the three-quarter pole in 1:27.2, French Laundry quickly opened up a couple lengths at the top of the lane and trotted home under a confident hand drive from Miller to win by 2 ¾ lengths. Don't Rush, who was first over around the final turn, trotted a good final clip to finish second, while Lookslikeachipndale and Southwind Stryker were third and fourth respectively. "I've raced against him (French Laudnry) many times and he looks like a Cadillac to drive and he is," Miller said following the race. "I just kind of waited for the dust to settle and moved him to the front and he was very good." A son of Muscles Yankee - Creamy Mimi, French Laundry is conditioned by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. A $115,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, French Laundry has now won four time in his six career starts. The Champlain Stakes victory pushes his earnings over the $100,000 mark. He paid $3.40 to win. Next up for the two-year-old trotters is the eliminations for the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial next Friday. Grand Circuit action continues tomorrow night with the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, the $667,000 Metro Pace, the $480,000 She's A Great Lady Stakes, the $207,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and the $218,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

This Week: Canadian Pacing Derby final, Metro final, She's A Great Lady final, Champlain Stakes and Simcoe Stakes, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Zweig Memorial, Zweig Memorial Filly and Crawford Farms Trot, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; and Cane Pace, Shady Daisy and Miss Versatility, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Aug. 28) at Mohawk Racetrack with three divisions in the C$253,114 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Aug. 29) card at Mohawk features two divisions in the C$249,242 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the C$209,189 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. The big Saturday (Aug. 30) program is highlighted by the C$667,000 Metro final for 2-year-old colt pacers, the C$634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final for open pacers, the C$480,000 She's A Great Lady final for 2-year-old filly pacers, the C$218,076 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters and the C$207,689 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action will take place at Vernon Downs on Friday night (Aug. 29) with the $340,000 Zweig Memorial main event and $60,000 consolation for 3-year-old male trotters, the $150,000 Zweig Memorial Filly for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot for older open trotters. On Monday (Sept. 1), Tioga Downs will host a trio of Grand Circuit events, led by the $437,325 Cane Pace, the first leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Tioga will also feature the $125,000 (est.) Shady Daisy for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $40,000 (est.) fourth leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday night with eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Metro Pace and the She's A Great Lady. Sweet Lou was a 1:48.1 winner in his Canadian Pacing Derby elimination. Leaving no doubt as to his current superiority, Sweet Lou powered his way to victory in the first Canadian Pacing Derby elimination in preparation for this week's Canadian Pacing Derby final. With Ron Pierce simply a passenger, Sweet Lou, the prohibitive 1-9 choice, was initially tucked in third as Thinking Out Loud clocked the first quarter in a blistering :25, before blowing by the leader and taking the field to the half in :53.3. After opening a couple of lengths on his pursuers while reaching three-quarters in 1:22, Sweet Lou easily prevailed by one length in a stretch drive over the determined veteran Foiled Again, the world's richest pacer, and Domethatagain in 1:48.1. It was Sweet Lou's 10th consecutive win of the year on a 2014 resume which includes victories in the Dan Patch at Hoosier Park, U.S. Pacing Championship and William Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands and the Ben Franklin at Pocono Downs. Trained by Ron Burke, Sweet Lou, a 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, has banked more than $3 million, but has enjoyed more success this year than in past seasons, including his 2-year-old campaign in 2011 when he won 10 of 12 starts, capped by the Breeders Crown, and was named divisional champion. Clear Vision, with Brett Miller, nailed stablemate Bettor's Edge at the wire to take the second elimination. The top two finishers are both trained by Ron Burke. Bettor's Edge, the even money choice, had things all his own way for all but the final strides, cutting out leisurely fractions of :26.3, :56.2 and 1:24.3. But somehow Clear Vision, who finished second by a nose to A Rocknroll Dance in last year's Canadian Pacing Derby, came flying late from last for the nose win in a three-horse photo in 1:50.3. State Treasurer finished a neck behind the winner in third. It was only the fourth win in 19 starts this year for the 8-year-old gelded son of Western Hanover, but by doing so, he went over the $2 million mark in career earnings with his 27th lifetime victory. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 826; 2. Tim Tetrick - 514; 3. Ron Pierce - 396.5; 4. David Miller - 369.5; 5. Brian Sears - 245. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,171.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 569; 3. PJ Fraley - 204; 4. Ray Schnittker - 199; 5. Julie Miller - 180. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 258.6; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 231.1; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 162; 4. Bamond Racing - 156.5; 5. Robert Key - 125. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Tioga Downs and Mohawk Racetrack. Tioga will host the Reynolds Memorial events for 2-year-old trotters. Mohawk will offer the Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers, Champlain Stakes races for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage for 3-year-olds and William Wellwood and Peaceful Way for 2-year-olds. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 28 - When John Campbell turns Go Daddy Go to the gate in the $667,000 Metro Pace final Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack, he's hoping it will prove to be another successful chapter in a partnership with trainer Bob McIntosh of LaSalle, Ont. that goes back nearly 40 years. A week after winning his Metro elimination by one-and-a-quarter lengths over Lyons Levi Lewis in a career-best 1:52.4, Go Daddy Go will leave from the two hole in an effort to deliver the first Metro title to McIntosh and the fifth for Campbell. The Metro is race 7 on a card that kicks off at 7:25 p.m. "He's a tough guy," McIntosh said of Go Daddy Go. "He doesn't mind being first up. He's versatile that way. He's maybe not the best on the front end, yet. He's a little green. But, coming at horses he's awfully impressive. He reminds me a lot of his dad, Ponder. There wasn't a tougher horse around. He was as game as they came." Go Daddy Go, who is also owned by Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, hasn't been off the board in his seven lifetime starts. He sports a 3-3-1 record, with wins in the $200,000 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway and a strong second in his $90,000 Nassagaweya test on Aug. 14 at Mohawk that convinced McIntosh to take a shot at the Metro. "He hasn't gone a bad race," Campbell said. "He's figuring it out as he goes. He's got the desire part. You can't teach that... He keeps improving and doing his work. He's just a very solid colt." Campbell, 59, and McIntosh, 62, are both Hall of Famers in Canada and the United States that have teamed up on innumerable champions. "The oldtimers are still at it - him and I," McIntosh said, laughing. "Over the years we've had some good ones. It's been a great run and John's still driving like a young guy. He's still the best. He hasn't lost a beat." Saturday, Campbell will drive all four of the horses McIntosh has entered on the stakes-rich card. He'll pilot Lasting Appeal in the $207,689 Simcoe, Thinking Out Loud in the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and Dapper Dude in the $34,000 Preferred. The first horse Campbell drove for McIntosh was a $5,000 claiming mare named Brilliant Bonnie in 1977 at Windsor Raceway. "She was an orangutan," McIntosh said. "She was no fun to drive. I do remember that," Campbell said. "She was no Go Daddy Go." Go Daddy Go is a homebred colt out of McIntosh's mare San Francine. She has also produced Daddy Mac ($600,000), Change Your Luck ($180,000) and Miss Maverick ($230,000). "She'd made me a lot more money breeding than racing," McIntosh said of San Francine. McIntosh also bred San Francine, a mare sired by Artsplace, who, in 1990, became the first of Campbell's four Metro winners. At the time, Artsplace was trained by Gene Riegle. Later in the colt's career, McIntosh trained Artsplace. In 1999, Campbell won the Metro with The Firepan and denied McIntosh his first Metro victory. The trainer was a close second and third that year with Intrepid Seelster and Richess Hanover. Two years later, Campbell and McIntosh were on the verge of winning the Metro together with Western Shooter when the talented colt made a late break in deep stretch. "That was my fault. That was a whip break," Campbell said. Further tragedy struck when Western Shooter died before he could begin a promising sophomore campaign. "Yeah, we've had a lot of success over the years and some really good horses, but I think the first one that would come to (McIntosh's) mind and mine as well is Western Shooter," Campbell said. "He passed away between his two- and three-year-old year, but that might have been the best horse we had and we never got to prove it. He was just tremendous, just so strong. He just kept getting better all year. We really had high hopes for him." Go Daddy Go might not be in Western Shooter's class just yet, but John Campbell would dearly love to win the Metro for Bob McIntosh. "I know Artspeak will be the huge favourite," McIntosh said. "But there's a reason they hook them up and race them because anything can happen." by Dave Briggs, for WEG

August 24, 2014 - In the final two legs before the mid-season break of HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Josi Verlingieri dominated her fellow competitors with a net profit of $1,886.25, more than $1,000 ahead of the rest of the pack. While Verlingieri leapfrogged from 8th to 4th place with her performance, Brandon Valvo remains on top at the mid-season break, leading his fellow handicappers with a net profit of $3,604.50, $1,395.80 ahead of his closest competitor, Bob Zanakis Other handicappers had less profitable, though significant weekends. Overall leader Brandon Valvo ended the final weekend of the summer portion of the competition with a weekly net profit of $830 edging out Earl Paulson who had a net profit of $800. As for key wagers for the weekend, after starting off with a $70 loss in Leg 22 (August 15), Verlingieri reversed her fortunes dramatically with a profit of $1,956.25 in Leg 23 (August 16) by going all in with a $125 Win and Place wager on Solar Sister ($27.50, $7.80) in the 3rd leg of the Eternal Camnation at Mohawk Racetrack. For Leg 22, the inaugural Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park, Earl Paulson netted a profit of $662.50 thanks primarily to a $25 Exacta box of three horses ($155 total) which returned $835. Valvo managed a $609 profit in Leg 22 with a $50 Win, Place wager on Milstein Memorial Consolation winner National Debt which returned $475 plus a $10 Trifecta part-wheel ($60) on the Milstein Memorial with its $294 dividend while scoring a $221 profit in Leg 23 primarily with his $10 Trifecta box ($60) in the Joe Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga Raceway which returned $206. Paulson scored a $600 profit in the Friday night leg of the competition primarily with a $25 Exacta three-horse box ($150) which returned a gross of $835 and a $137.50 profit on Saturday evening with a $5 Exacta box ($30) in the 3rd division of the Eternal Camnation which returned $252.50. Other performances worth noting were Sally Hinckley's $386.50 profit in the Saturday evening stanza with a $20 Trifecta key ($240) in the 3rd division of the Nassagaweya which returned $600 while Rusty Nash scored a $230 profit thanks to a $353 return on a $20 Win, Place wager on the 3rd division of the Eternal Camnation. The current standings at the break are: As of August 16, 2014 - Leg 23 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Brandon Valvo $830.00 $3,604.50   2nd Bob Zanakis ($500.00) $2,208.70 $1,395.80 3rd Earl Paulson $800.00 $744.90 $2,859.60 4th Josi Verlingieri $1,886.25 $614.15 $2,990.35 5th Derick Giwner ($143.00) ($44.23) $3,648.73 6th Brian McEvoy ($12.50) ($177.50) $3,782.00 7th Ray Garnett $0.00 ($622.15) $4,226.65 8th Mark McKelvie ($500.00) ($624.00) $4,228.50 9th Rusty Nash $18.52 ($1,624.11) $5,228.61 10th Sally Hinckley $216.10 ($1,671.90) $5,276.40 11th Ann Stepien ($240.00) ($1,749.11) $5,353.61 12th Gordon Waterstone ($500.00) ($1,900.30) $5,504.80 13th Garnet Barnsdale ($498.00) ($2,226.00) $5,830.50 14th Dennis O'Hara ($463.00) ($3,046.70) $6,651.20 15th Ray Cotolo ($500.00) ($4,548.40) $8,152.90 by Allan Schott, for HANA

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 23...Heavily-favoured Artspeak, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Scott Zeron, kept his perfect record intact with another facile triumph, this time in the second Metro Pace elimination Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The victory, his fifth in five outings so far in a monstrous juvenile campaign, stamped the son of Western Ideal as the one to beat in next Saturday's 667,000 final. His smallest margin of victory has been one and three-quarter lengths. Lyons Again set the early fractions of 27 seconds flat and :56.2, before Zeron popped the favourite from fourth to take over approaching the far turn. But Lyons Again wouldn't fade, parking the choice through early stretch after three-quarters in 1:23.3. Despite being out in the middle of the track, Artspeak then pulled away for the easy four and one-half length score in 1:51. Lyons Again held second, with Pierce Hanover third, Amora Beach fourth and Traceur Hanover fifth, all of whom will come back for the final. "He's an absolute freak," said Zeron, about Artspeak. "I knew I wasn't going to clear (before the three-quarters). I needed maybe a fraction of an inch to do it. So I just decided to sit with him and when we came off the top turn I chirped to him once and he was gone. I didn't have to pull the plugs. "He's progressed amazingly. Tony did a great job starting him in New Jersey Sires Stakes so it was a little bit easier competition. We were able to race him off the pace and do it the right way, second-over trips, come 26 on the end. He showed us right off the bat he's the real deal." Along with first elim winner Go Daddy Go, the win by Artspeak, who was coming off a sharp score in a Nassagaweya division last week, provided his connections with the opportunity to select a post position for the final before the balance of the field was drawn. In the last 10 years, the Metro, the richest race on the continent for two-year-olds, has been won by such champions as Captaintreacherous (2012), Sportswriter (2009), Somebeachsomewhere (2007) and Rocknroll Hanover (2004). Alagna, of course, is the trainer of Captaintreacherous, while Zeron will be seeking his first Metro win. Sent postward the 1-9 choice, Artspeak paid $2.20 and $2.10 (no show wagering), combining with Lyons Again ($2.50) for a $5.10 (5-6) exactor. A 5-6-2 (Pierce Hanover) triactor returned $38 while a $1 Superfecta [5-6-2-3 (Amora Beach)] was worth $82.65. Artspeak Go Daddy Go, with Hall of Famer John Campbell, got up in late stretch Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack to win the first $40,000 eliminations for next week's rich Metro Pace final. Go Daddy Go, trained by another Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh, was winning his third race in seven outings in a career best 1:52.4 and has been a gem of consistency, with three seconds and one third as well. The biggest win so far this year for the son of Ponder was the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway in Elora on August 4. Sent postward a close second choice to favoured Asap Hanover, Go Daddy Go was moved up from fifth by Campbell around the far turn, after Lyons Levi Lewis had led the way through a half in :55.1, before reaching three-quarters in 1:23.4. By mid-stretch, though, Go Daddy Go had collared the leader and went on to post a gritty one and one-quarter length tally. Lyons Levi Lewis held second, with Lone Survivor third, Dudes The Man fourth and Trading Up fifth, to also qualify for the final. Asap Hanover wound up last of seven. "He just doesn't pay attention as much as he does when he's coming at horses," revealed Campbell. "We just kind of fell to the front last week (when finishing second in a Nassagaweya division). This week I made a conscious effort to have him coming at horses and he responded well. "He raced very well (the first time Campbell drove him, July 7), even though he was third. He paced a big back half and was still pacing at the wire. I told Bob (McIntosh) at the time that I thought he had a future. Since then, he's gotten sounder and easier to drive. But you never know when you come out of a Sires Stakes program just how they are going to do at the open level. But we were pretty sure he wasn't going to embarrass himself and would at least be competitive. So far he proved that. But next week will be a bigger test." By winning his elim, Go Daddy Go earned his connections the right to choose a post position for the final before the balance of the field was drawn. In the last decade, the Metro has been won by such champions as Captaintreacherous (2012), Sportswriter (2009), Somebeachsomewhere (2007) and Rocknroll Hanover (2004). Campbell is a four-time winner of the Metro while McIntosh, who also raced sire Ponder with Great Success, earning over $1.6 million, will be looking for his first win. Go Daddy Go paid $6, $3.10 and $2.50, combining with Lyons Levi Lewis ($3.70, $2.90) for a $16.30 (3-1) exactor. A 3-1-4 (Lone Survivor, $3.30) triactor returned $65.30, while a $1 Superfecta [3-1-4-5 (Dudes The Man)] was worth $264.30. Go Daddy Go Following the eliminations, the post postions were drawn for next week's final. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post positions. PP/Horse/Driver 1.Dudes The Man - Ron Pierce 2. Go Daddy Go - John Campbell 3. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 4. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 5. Trading Up - Scott Zeron 6. Lyons Levi Lewis - Yannick Gingras 7. Pierce Hanover - Paul Macdonell 8. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 9. Lone Survivor - David Miller 10. Amora Beach - Tim Tetrick AE: Sports Bettor - Randy Waples​ by Jeff Timson, for WEG  

Trainer Tony Alagna is best known for his skill as a trainer of pacers thanks to the exploits of champion Captaintreacherous who was scheduled to compete in an elimination tonight at Mohawk for the Canadian Pacing Derby, Canada’s oldest harness stake race, but was scratched earlier today due to sickness. However, Alagna still has eight starters into go at the Campbellville oval this evening, all pacers. He has two starters in the eliminations for the Metro Pace, including the undefeated colt Artspeak, and four fillies competing in the Shes A Great Lady eliminations. To switch things up, tomorrow night, Alagna sends out a trotter in the form of Mystical Wishes who has been rounding into form since shifting to his stable last month. The Muscle Mass lass has won all three starts since Alagna took over her conditioning, two overnights at Mohawk and an Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event at the same track on August 12 which she won by more than three lengths in 1:55.1, her life mark to date. Mystical Wishes has drawn the rail in the second of five $18,000 OSS Grassroots divisions for three-year-old trotting fillies Sunday evening at Rideau Carleton Raceway. Mario Baillargeon will catch drive for Alagna and owners Mystical Marker Farms, who also bred the filly, and Peggy Hood of Indiana. Among her competition is locally owned Diamonds For Life, a daughter of Angus Hall who will leave from post four with one of Rideau’s top pilots, Gord Brown, in the bike. Mark Steacy trains the filly who had some issues with breaks earlier this season but seems to have that resolved and finished third in the Grassroots event at Mohawk on August 12. Owned by Frank Spagnolo and Frank Schimizzi of Ottawa, Ontario, Diamonds For Life was bred by Tom Porchak of Woodstock Ontario. She is the first foal of his $116,000 winning mare Jayportcashforlife, a full sister to $743,000 winner Susies Magic. Porchak also bred another starter in the same division, Jayport Princess who has post eight with Anthony MacDonald slated to steer. Trained by Chris Beaver who co-owns with Synerco Ventures Inc., of Toronto and Glenview Livestock, Ltd., of Guelph, Ontario, the daughter of Kadabra is making her first 2014 OSS appearance. She’s raced exclusively at Scioto Downs this year but competed in the OSS last year at two. Jayport Princess is the first foal from $172,000 winner Jayport Sweetheart, by Balanced Image, an OSS winner at three. This division’s leading point earner, Torches Star, has post one in race eight. Steve Condren has the driving assignment behind the Angus Hall filly owned by Brad Grant of Milton, Ontario and trained by Ben Wallace. Torches Star has accumulated 105 points in this division to lead the way. The second placed filly, Love Detective, has drawn into the same division on Sunday night. She’ll leave from post three with MacDonald up for trainer Jimmy Takter. Racing at Rideau gets underway at 6:30 Sunday night with the OSS gals features in races one, four, six, eight and nine. The full card may be viewed through this link Rideau Entries - August 24. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 23 - Captaintreacherous, the 2013 Pepsi North America Cup winner and two-time Pacer of the Year, has been scratched from tonight's Canadian Pacing Derby elimination. Trainer Tony Alagna confirmed to the WEG media department Saturday morning that Captaintreacherous has been removed from Saturday night's race due to sickness. "After jogging yesterday, we ran a scope down him because he was off his feed and he had a lot of mucus," said Alagna. "We pulled the blood on him, he is fighting off an infection and we just didn't think it was in his best interest to race him if he's not a hundred percent." A four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere - Worldly Treasure, Captaintreacherous raced last Saturday night at Mohawk, winning the Preferred pace in preparation for the Canadian Pacing Derby elimination. Alagna noted it's disappointing to have to pull out of the race as 'The Captain' is undefeated is six career starts at Mohawk. "Disappointing, but we don't want to compromise the rest of the year or the horse if he isn't a hundred percent," Owned by Captaintreacherous Racing and bred by the White Birch Farm, 'The Captain' has 23 career victories and career earnings of over $3.1 million. Captaintreacherous glamorous resume includes victories in the Woodbine Entertainment Group's signature races for two and three-year-olds. As a freshman in 2012, Captaintreacherous won the $1 million Metro Pace in a stakes recording equaling 1:49.2. Last year as a three-year-old, 'The Captain' returned to Mohawk to capture the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. Alagna did confirm what the next move will be for 'The Captain'. "We are going to ship him to Lexington and get him ready for the Winbak Pace at Delaware (September 18)." by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 22 - Randy Waples is heading into this weekend's Metro Pace eliminations in an enviable position. The 49-year-old reinsman is not just in both eliminations, he is sitting behind Nassagaweya Stakes winners. Last Saturday night, Waples guided Traceur Hanover and Sports Bettor to victory lane in their respective Nassagaweya splits, setting him up with two contenders for this Saturday's Metro eliminations. The victory with Traceur Hanover did not come as a surprise to many as the son of Western Ideal - Transference had shown a lot of promise and had won two of his first three starts heading into last Saturday's race. However, Sports Bettor's maiden-breaking victory in the Nassagaweya came as a surprise to the public, as he was 69-1, and a mild surprise to his driver "I didn't really know what to expect," said Waples. "I liked him right from the very beginning, but then it seemed like he didn't really seem to get a whole lot better from when he was baby racing." Sports Bettor is trained by Mark Austin for owner-breeder Frank Gentile and had shown a ton of promise in his two baby races by winning both of them with good final quarter speed. A son of Sportswriter - Shellys Delight, Sports Bettor finished second in his first three races before finishing a disappointing eighth in the Battle of Waterloo final on August 4. In his last start before the Nassagaweya at Georgian Downs in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg he finished off the board, but Waples said he was filled with pace. "At Georgian he got locked in and finished fourth, but he had all kinds of go, so I thought if he got a good trip he could definitely get there." Sports Bettor got a two-hole trip in the Nassagaweya and was able to nail a tiring Lyons Levi Lewis at the wire for the upset victory in a career best 1:53.2. Sports Bettor will start from post seven in the first $40,000 elimination Saturday night. In the second elimination, Waples will sit behind arguably the most consistent two-year-old on the local scene, Traceur Hanover. Trained by Normand Bardier Jr. for owner Richard Berthiaume, Traceur Hanover has shown high end talent since his first baby race on July 8. After baby racing twice, Traceur Hanover won his first two starts at Mohawk July 22 and 29. "He's been great since the time he baby raced," said Waples. "Smart colt, you can do anything you want with him." After suffering his first defeat, a second place effort with a :27 last quarter on August 7 at Mohawk, Traceur Hanover turned in another brilliant effort in the Nassagaweya Stakes. The $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase got a perfect two-hole trip and grinded by Go Daddy Go in the stretch to win in career best 1:53.3. In just four career starts, Traceur Hanover has shown Waples he can be a grinder, but that he does have quick speed. "He's just a perfect all-around nice horse." Traceur Hanover's toughest challenge to date will come this Saturday in his elimination for the Metro Pace and Waples believes he will be up to the task. "He's one of those horses that just does what he has to do, so he's never going to do it flashy or anything like that," said Waples. "He's got a big motor and his desires good, so if he gets the right kind of trip he should be good." Traceur Hanover will start from post seven in a field of eight for his Metro Pace elimination. The duo of Sports Bettor and Traceur Hanover offer Waples a great one-two punch to get to the $667,000 final on Saturday, August 22. If Waples' pair can get through this Saturday, he will be set up for a great shot at capturing his first Metro Pace. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

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