Day At The Track
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Mike Keeling is heading to Clinton Raceway on Sunday with a trio of three-year-old trotting colts hoping to pad their Grassroots harness racing schedule resumes.

'He's all business.' When harness racing co-owner Marc Hanover receives the status report on his prized pacer, Machapelo, from trainer Linda Toscano, it's those same three words he hears again and again. A homebred son of Mach Three-Capelo Rose, Machapelo enjoyed a profitable rookie campaign last season with a record of 3-5-2 from 14 starts with earnings of $504,243.

Coming into the 2011 harness racing season, Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks weren't exactly sure what they had in their two-year-old pacer Machapelo, but after a victory in the Battle of Waterloo earlier this year and a recent OSS Gold Final victory, they are now well aware of their prize.

When prominent American harness racing owner, breeder, and yearling sales regular Gordon Banks tells you that Machapelo is the best colt he has raced then you can't help but think this young colt could develop into something special.

Monday night's (September 26) Gold Final result made it official - Machapelo is the harness racing king of the two-year-old pacing colt heap when it comes to competition at Grand River Raceway. Squaring off against reigning Gold Final champion I Found My Beach and two-time Gold Final champion Warrawee Needy, Machapelo fired off the starting gate from Post 6 and wrestled control from early leader Addwater before the :57.1 half.

A pair of freshman harness racing trotters lit up the tote board Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack when longshots Talbotcreek Jewely and Mr Ridgetaker captured their respective $50,000 consolations.

Two Champlain divisions for harness racing two-year-old colt pacers and a lone division for two-year-old filly pacers were contested Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack, with the fillies putting up a big mile to set a new stakes record.

Ill Be There set a quick tempo at Kawartha Downs on Thursday evening, posting a 1:59.4 victory in the first of seven $24,000 Grassroots divisions for the province's talented harness racing two-year-old trotting colts. In rein to World Driving Champion Jody Jamieson, Ill Be There led the field through fractions of :29.1, :59.4 and 1:30 on his way to the two and one-quarter length victory over Coe Leader and Tymal Stellar.

Strike The Cheque picked up his second Grassroots trophy with an impressive effort from Post 7 at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon. In rein to Monkton resident harness racing driver Ross Battin, the two-year-old trotting colt powered away from the starting gate to reach the opening quarter in :32.1.

The harness racing stage is set for the elimination rounds of Grand River Raceway's signature race, the 14th annual $300,000 Battle of Waterloo, and its companion race, the third annual $150,000 Battle of the Belles.

Flawless summer weather arrived just in time for Canada Day and the three-year-old pacing colt Grassroots battle at Mohawk Racetrack. Under a cloudless sky the harness racing colts delivered seven impressive miles, with the fastest clocked by Jody Jamieson and Sonic Dancer in the eighth race.

Twenty-one three-year-old trotting colts and geldings are gearing up for their first 2011 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold harness racing event on Sunday, May 22 at Mohawk.

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