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Ron Burke is hoping to see a change in Hannelore Hanover for Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot final. Mike Keeling is hoping to see no change in Marion Marauder. Hannelore Hanover, the 2017 Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada, enters the C$651,000 Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters at Woodbine Mohawk Park off three consecutive third-place finishes after beginning her campaign with six straight wins. She was beaten by 2-3/4 lengths by Ariana G in her Maple Leaf Trot elimination. A 6-year-old mare, Hannelore Hanover is one of three mares in the final, with 4-year-old Ariana G and 5-year-old Emoticon Hanover. Hannelore Hanover won last year's Maple Leaf Trot and is trying to become the first repeat winner of the event since San Pail, who captured three consecutive trophies in 2009 through 2011. Hannelore Hanover, who has won 42 of 67 career races and $2.75 million, will start from post seven with regular driver Yannick Gingras and is 4-1 on the morning line. She is one of only two horses returning from last year's race. Warrawee Roo is the other. "My horse hasn't been good; I need a big turnaround," said Burke, who trains Hannelore Hanover and owns the mare with the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. "We haven't gotten a handle on it yet. She's gone through little lulls before in her career and we've always figured it out. She's a good horse. We'll figure it out. She'll come back around. It's just that I want her to be back by Saturday and I don't know yet what it's going to be. "Post seven doesn't bother me. She can put herself in position, but she needs to be better. End of story." Marion Marauder, trained by the Canadian-based husband-and-wife team of Mike Keeling and Paula Wellwood and owned by Devin Keeling and Jean Wellwood, won his Maple Leaf Trot elimination by a length over Dancer Hall in 1:53.1. He will start the final from post three with regular driver Scott Zeron and is the 3-1 morning-line favorite. "He's having a great week," Mike Keeling said. "He's happy, he's sharp, he's healthy. The weather has been up and down, and that always scares you. We've had some extreme heat and now we've chilled right off. But we can only control what we can control and we're really pleased with how he's going into it." Following Marion Marauder's elimination, Zeron said in the winner's circle he let his horse "coast" to the finish. "It was not a stressful race for him," Keeling said, adding with a laugh, "It was probably more stressful for us to watch than it was for the horse. Scott is so relaxed with him. "He came out of the race fantastic. When you don't have to go to the bottom of the well just to win an elimination it certainly bodes well going into a final." Marion Marauder's appearance in the elimination was the 5-year-old stallion's first race in Canada since an eighth-place finish in last year's Maple Leaf Trot eliminations, when he failed to advance to the final. He has competed in Canada only five times in 30 starts since winning the Goodtimes Stakes at age 3. "He doesn't get to perform as much at home," Keeling said. "It means a lot to win at home. It would be kind of special to do that. This is a great race with a great history. I think only great horses have ever won it. It's a race that means a lot historically and personally. It's not an easy race to win. None of the top ones are, but this one seems really difficult. "This is a really good bunch of trotters. There's early speed, late speed, everything in there. It's interesting for sure." Ariana G, a two-time Dan Patch and O'Brien awards-winner, won her Maple Leaf Trot elimination in 1:52.4 by a neck over Will Take Charge. She is one of two horses in the race for trainer Jimmy Takter, with 2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman. Saturday's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park also includes the C$600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers, where New Zealand-bred sensation Lazarus is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. Racing begins at 7:10 p.m. (EDT). The Canadian Pacing Derby is race eight, set for 9:45 p.m., and will air on TSN GO during a 9:30-10 p.m. broadcast. The Maple Leaf Trot is race 10, with a 10:35 p.m. post time. Following is the field in post-position order for the Maple Leaf Trot. The connections of elimination winners selected their starting spots. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Crazy Wow-Jody Jamieson-Marcus Melander-10/1 2-Dancer Hall-Sylvain Filion-Paul Reid-5/1 3-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Mike Keeling-3/1 4-Ariana G-David Miller-Jimmy Takter-9/2 5-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-7/2 6-Warrawee Roo-James MacDonald-Luc Blais-10/1 7-Hannelore Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-4/1 8-Emoticon Hanover-Bob McClure-Luc Blais-12/1 9-Guardian Angel AS-Brett Miller-Anette Lorentzon-12/1 10-Pinkman-Andy McCarthy-Jimmy Takter-20/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Southwind Chrome is still finding his way as a harness racing horse, but trainer Paula Wellwood likes the direction he is heading. Unraced at age 2 because of an injury, Wellwood has tried to expose the colt to a variety of racing styles in preparation for Saturday's appearance in the 93rd Hambletonian at The Meadowlands Racetrack. Southwind Chrome has won once in seven races and finished second on four occasions. One of his runner-up efforts came in the final of the Empire Breeders Classic, which was won by Six Pack by a half-length. Six Pack is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the second of Saturday's two $100,000 Hambletonian eliminations. Southwind Chrome is in the same division and is 5-1. The top-five finishers from each elimination return later in the day for the $1 million final. Coverage of the Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters will air live from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT) on CBS Sports Network. First-race post time for Saturday's stakes-filled card at the Meadowlands is noon. "We're maybe not as seasoned as the other horses," said Wellwood, who won the 2016 Hambletonian with Marion Marauder. "It's only his eighth lifetime start. But what he did in the Empire Breeders (final) in his third start was unbelievable. He's a pretty quick study, but he is still a little green and trying to figure out his style of racing. We've tried to expose him to all different styles, so we'll see how that goes. "That's up to the driver." That would be Scott Zeron, who will drive Southwind Chrome in his elimination. Zeron, who won for Wellwood with Marion Marauder on their way to the Trotting Triple Crown, may not be available for the final as he also will be driving filly Atlanta in the first elimination. Atlanta, the lone filly in the race and 3-1 second choice in her heat, is trained and co-owned by Zeron's dad Rick. "If we get lucky enough to make the final I know we'll be looking for a driver, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Wellwood said. "(Zeron) likes Chrome, too. He commented that he's got two nice horses. He's not underestimating him." Southwind Chrome is owned by Dreamville Stable, which is Wellwood, her husband Mike Keeling, son Devin Keeling, and mom Jean Wellwood. Devin and Jean are the owners of Marion Marauder. Southwind Chrome, a son of Chapter Seven out of Counter Pointe, was purchased for $60,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. "We had some of the family and always liked the mare," Wellwood said. "We looked at (Southwind Chrome) and really liked him. He was our first Chapter Seven that we bought, and the fact he was a Chapter Seven was an added bonus." Southwind Chrome was lightly staked, but it was not because of a lack of talent. "We gave him a lot of time and brought him back and he struggled a little bit," Wellwood said. "That's why he's not heavily staked. He had a couple of struggles in the winter training down with his gait, but once he got to qualifying, he just changed. He started to excel. "We wanted to make sure the Hambletonian was on his card because he always showed a lot of ability. We started him out and he exceeded our expectations, he's never let us down." He also never gets down. "He's a very honest, happy horse," Wellwood said. "He's just a very pleasant horse. He's not a big horse but he's a very strong horse. He doesn't seem to get tired. That's one of his keys. He's just done everything right, so we thought we would take a chance. He's raced very well. We felt he deserved a shot." And hope he finds his winning style. * * * * * * Another horse that is still learning is Classichap, from the stable of 2004 Hambletonian winner Trond Smedshammer. Classichap, a half-brother to 2012 Hambletonian champ and two-time Dan Patch Award honoree Market Share, was winless in four races in 2017, but finished second to Fourth Dimension in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Saratoga. Three of Classichap's starts were on the New York circuit. "I knew he had a lot of talent," said trainer Smedshammer, who also drives Classichap for owner Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables. "He wasn't staked too much; I wasn't planning on racing him on the Grand Circuit. I raced him a few times in New York and he showed me enough to back off and give him some time to mature." Classichap is 6-1 in the second Hambletonian elimination. His most recent three races were at the Meadowlands in preparation for the event. He was third-placed-second in a conditioned race and then posted his first win with a gate-to-wire 1:51.1 triumph by a head over Tactical Landing in a conditioned race on July 6. His final start prior to the Hambletonian was a second-place finish to Wolfgang in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 14. "He was good the start before the Dancer and he was pretty good in the Dancer," Smedshammer said. "I didn't think he was as good in that race, but he's getting some experience. I think the big track suits him better, the Meadowlands-style racing, than up in New York in his previous starts earlier in the year. "He's still green and learning, but he's got a big engine. If he gets the right trip and things work out, he's shown he can cut a mile in (1):51 on his own. Not every horse can do that. We'll see where he fits in with those top horses." In addition to Classichap, Smedshammer trains Hambletonian Oaks contender Phaetosive. The filly won her Oaks elimination and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind Manchego. Smedshammer trained 2008 Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi. * * * * * * Hat Trick Habit has raced four times for new connections, with mixed results. But trainer Scott DiDomenico is hoping the trotter has got it figured out after a second-place finish behind Crystal Fashion in his final Hambletonian prep, the Reynolds Memorial. The horse went off stride in his two prior races. "We're going to give it a shot," DiDomenico said. "I think he is on the way up again. We've been having trouble with his feet, they've been aggravating him some, and I think that's been part of the reason he's been jumping. That's been one of my biggest concerns and I think we've sort of got it under control. I hope it works out OK." Hat Trick Habit debuted for new owners John McGill and Brian Carsey with a career-best 1:52.3 win at the Meadowlands on July 7. He was acquired by McGill and Carsey at the end of June. The horse was owned previously by Fred Monteleone, who passed away in October. For his career, Hat Trick Habit has won six of 17 races and earned $205,054. The colt is 12-1 in the first Hambletonian elimination, starting from post eight with three-time Hambletonian-winning driver Brian Sears. "All things considered, it's probably a little bit of a shot, but how many times are you going to have a shot to race a horse of this caliber in this kind of race," DiDomenico said about racing in the Hambletonian. "We're excited about it and getting the shot to make some money in there. That's a pretty neat feeling. It's cool. I've never been there before, never had a horse that I even considered putting in that race. Now that I do, it's special." * * * * * * Met's Hall, who is 10-1 in the first Hambletonian elimination, was slow to return to the races for his 3-year-old season, not making his debut until July 14. He qualified three times prior to that race, twice in June and once in July. "It's been challenging," trainer Julie Miller said. "He had a lot of health issues starting out the year that made my job difficult. But hopefully it's coming together at the right time. I'm very fortunate that (owner) Natalia Stroy has been patient with me and the horse. "We'll just point him toward next week and hope all our efforts pay off. We're going to need a lot of luck, too. Met's Hall was a stakes-winner in 2017, with his victories including a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile, where he trotted a career-best 1:52.4. He followed that win with a second-place finish behind Fourth Dimension in a track-record 1:54 mile in their Breeders Crown elimination at Hoosier Park and a week later was second to Fiftydallarbill in the $600,000 final. He made his 2018 debut in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands, where he finished fourth with regular driver Andy Miller, Julie's husband. His next start resulted in a third-place finish in the Tompkins-Geers at the Big M before notching his first win of the year in a division of last weekend's Reynolds Memorial. He won in 1:53 with a :26.4 final quarter and :55.2 back half after a :57.3 first half. "Off that slow half, I thought it was a good back half," Miller said. "When Andy had to kind of check him in the lane he was real handy there. "Every time Andy gets off the bike, after each qualifier, after each race, he says I'm getting there. Now if I can just shed three seconds in the next week," she added with a laugh. Met's Hall has won six of 14 career races and $311,908. The Millers have had consecutive top-three finishes in the Hambletonian, with Devious Man third-placed-second in 2017 and Sutton third, beaten only a neck, in 2016. by Rich Fisher, for the USTA Following are the fields for the Hambletonian eliminations. Hambletonian Elimination One PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Shoshie Deo-George Brennan-Dewayne Minor-10/1 2-Evaluate-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-15/1 3-Met's Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 4-Lawmaker-David Miller-Andrew Harris-8/1 5-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 6-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-7/2 7-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron-3/1 8-Hat Trick Habit-Brian Sears-Scott DiDomenico-12/1 9-Zephyr Kronos-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-10/1 Hambletonian Elimination Two PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Fashionwoodchopper-David Miller-Jim Campbell-10/1 2-Patent Leather-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-15/1 3-Classichap-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-6/1 4-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon-10/1 5-Fourth Dimension-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-10/1 6-Southwind Chrome-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-5/1 7-Tactical Landing-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-4/1 8-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1 9-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-2/1  

Hightstown, NJ --- Two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Marion Marauder will open his 5-year-old season Sunday (May 20) by traveling to a harness racing track he’s never visited previously, even if it is still in North America rather than Scandinavia. Marion Marauder will head to Harrah’s Philadelphia, where he meets six rivals in the Great Northeast Open Series for older trotters. There was hope during the winter that Marion Marauder would get the opportunity to head overseas for May races in Europe, including the famed Elitlopp at Sweden’s Solvalla Raceway. The past two years, a direct flight was offered from New York to Sweden in the hopes of attracting North American horses, but the flight was discontinued this year. “We didn’t have him a hundred percent ready, so it probably wouldn’t have worked fitness-wise for him,” said Mike Keeling, who trains Marion Marauder with his wife, Paula Wellwood. “But the real problem was logistics; without a direct flight it turns into a bit of a milk run. Early in the season, you can’t do that. You’re jeopardizing far too much. “Maybe we can make it work someday. We’d really like to participate in it, and be competitive in it. I think everybody would like that opportunity once.” Marion Marauder, who was the 2016 Trotter of the Year, won three of 10 races last year and earned $769,182 on his way to receiving the Dan Patch Award for the sport’s best older male trotter. His victories included the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate Series championship and he was second in the Yonkers International Trot. In 2016, Marion Marauder won 10 of 15 starts and became the ninth Trotting Triple Crown winner -- and first since 2006 -- by sweeping the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, and Kentucky Futurity. For his career, the stallion has won 14 of 38 races, hit the board a total of 30 times, and earned $2.53 million. He is owned by Devin Keeling and Marion Jean Wellwood. Marion Marauder heads to Philly off two wins in qualifiers. He will start Sunday from post seven with regular driver Scott Zeron and is 10-1 on the morning line. Crazy Wow, who in his most recent start on May 5 was third in the Cutler Memorial, is the 5-2 favorite. The remainder of the field is Lagerfeld, Melady’s Monet, Fearless Man, Opulent Yankee, and Crazshana. “He qualified great and he’s coming into the season nice and sound,” Keeling said about Marion Marauder. “We kind of got handicapped for the first start, but it will be a good test for him and that is what matters most, that he gets stretched out. If he gets himself in position he’ll be accountable. Our first start or two we’ve just got to see what Scott plans for him and go from there. “We enjoy it (racing Marion Marauder). We know that he’s always going to give us a great effort, that’s what matters. If he shows up, he’s going to win his share.” Harrah’s Philadelphia also hosts two divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series for older female pacers on Sunday. Blue Moon Stride is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the first division and three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Pure Country is the 5-2 choice in the second division. Racing begins at 12:40 p.m. (EDT). For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

CAMPBELLVILLE, May 26 - Trotting Triple Crown champion Marion Marauder made his return to harness racing Friday morning in qualifying action at Mohawk Racetrack. The now four-year-old son of Muscle Hill turned in a strong performance in his first qualifier of 2017 with a 1:56.1 victory over a track listed two-seconds "off" and still recovering from significant rainfall on Thursday. Roger Mayotte sat behind Marion Marauder for the qualifier. The star trotter floated out to the early lead and posted an opening-quarter of :30. Six-year-old trotter Maximuscle, who was parked on the first turn, rushed up to take command in the second-quarter, which allowed Marion Marauder to get a two-hole trip through the majority of the middle-half. Maximuscle reached the half in :58.4 and three-quarters in 1:28.2, while Marion Marauder followed closely behind and was tipped out just before the third-marker. In the stretch, Marion Marauder displayed his impressive final-quarter abilities and trotted home with powerful strides in :27.3 to win by 16 lengths. Trained by the team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, Marion Marauder moves up to join the older ranks this season after winning 10 of 15 starts during his magical three-year-old season. The champion son of Muscle Hill carries career numbers of 11 wins, a mark of 1:51.3 and over $1.9 million earned into his four-year-old year for owners Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. Marion Marauder's four-year-old debut could come on home soil in next week's Graduate Series leg at Mohawk. The Triple Crown champion is eligible to the event restricted for four-year-olds.   Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18...Marion Marauder, driven by Scott Zeron, rallied off a perfect second-over trip to score the $268,000 Goodtimes final for harness racing three-year-old trotters on Saturday evening at Mohawk, part of the Pepsi North America Cup undercard.   At odds of 8-1, the Michael Keeling trainee sat fifth past the first quarter in :27.4, as the parked-out 1-2 favourite, Dayson, battled with the early leader, Will Take Charge. Dayson was able to overtake Will Take Charge into the backstretch, but before Dayson marched past the half in :56.3, Tony Soprano was on the move from fourth. Marion Marauder tracked his cover. While Dayson and Tony Soprano duelled in the turn, the bettor's choice broke stride as they went by the three-quarter pole in 1:25. As the field of 10 turned for home, Marion Marauder fanned off cover and used a :27.2 final kick to trot past his rivals and take a new 1:52.4 lifetime mark by half a length. Will Take Charge finished second and Blenheim railed for third. "I was confident in him so I pushed him out of the gate and I was able to land a spot where I saw John [Campbell] floating on the outside with a really nice horse of [trainer Bob] McIntosh's," Zeron said regarding Tony Soprano. "So, I was happy to have that cover and finally be in the right spot-be within two lengths at the three-quarter pole, and he delivered." Marion Marauder notched his second victory of the season and third lifetime. With the win, the son Muscle Hill and Spellbound Hanover lifts his career earnings to $495,234 for owners Marion Jean Wellwood, of Stratford, and Devin Keeling, of Cambridge. Marion Marauder returned $18.40 to win. Mark McKelvie

Harness racing fillies dropping down from the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division to the Grassroots level proved successful in several of today’s $18,000 divisions at Clinton Raceway. That moved proved the ticket for Gee Okeeffe in the opening division. She traded the top position with Dewy Take A Selfie through fractions of :31, 1:03, 1:32.2 and was home first with a two length cushion in 2:03. Superbowl Sunshine closed well to take second while Dewy Take A Selfie was third. Chris Beaver trains the winner, a daughter of Holiday Road he co-owns with breeder Wilbur Lang of Ohio. Gee Okeeffe was notching her second win in five tries this year, winning a Gold division on July 23 at Grand River Raceway. That same shift also proved beneficial for Desis Dream who made her first Grassroots appearance after three Gold starts. She went gate to wire for Steve Byron in :30, 1:02.3, 1:32.4 and held off Giona to win by a neck in 2:03.4. Dolce Far Niente was third. John Bax of Peterborough, Ontario, trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, with breeder Glengate Farm of Campbellville, Ontario. This was Desis Dream’s first lifetime win in five tries. In the third division the field was reduced to five starters with the scratches of Magical Lass and Magic Dancing. Summer Jewel and Mario Baillargeon set the early tempo of :30.4, 1:03 and 2:04.4. Judy The Beauty came up to challenge past the half and kept pressure on the leader the rest of the way but Summers Jewel hung tough to win in 2:04.4. Judy The Beauty had to settle for place while Moon Dance took third. Baillargeon’s brother Ben of Rockwood, Ontario, trains and co-owns the winner, a daughter of Angus Hall who was recording her second straight Grassroots victory and third overall. She came into today’s event sitting third in the Grassroots standings with 124 points behind Stay In Touch and Judy The Beauty who were tied for first with 137. Mario was back on top early in the next split with first time starter Flexyandiknowit who hit the opening quarter in :31.3. Just past that marker Mass Rail was taken out from third to challenge the leader and overtook her just past the half in 1:03. However, she quickly had a challenger in My Mini Snickers by the 1:33.3 third panel. Mass Rail fought back but was hauled down late by My Mini Snickers and James MacDonald who hit the wire first in 2:03. Mass Rail was second with Tymal Fireitup third. It was the second straight Grassroots victory for the Muscle Mass daughter owned by Ron Phillips of Illinois and trained by Ryan Maxwell. It was the same scene in the fifth division as Mario had Zorgwijk Philly on top early and hit the opening panel in :31. Dustin Jones sent Pinky The Intern up to challenge before the half but Zorgwijk Philly maintained the lead and was by the third panel in 1:32. Despite pressure on the outside and inside Zorgwijk Philly was at the wire first in 2:05 over Delcrest Flexyhall and Pinky The Intern. It was the first OSS start and first win for the Southwind Lustre daughter owned and trained by Wayne Langille of Harley, Ontario. Other winners amongst the Grassroots divisions this afternoon were Winem, a daughter of Kadabra trained by Mike Keeling for owner Paula Wellwood of Cambridge, Ontario and driven by Mike Saftic and Wing Flash, also by Kadabra, who went gate to wire for trainer Wayne Henry, who co-owns with Daylon Farms of Komoka, Ontario, to win in 2:04. This group will meet again in Grassroots action on September 9 at Mohawk. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

TORONTO, April 21 - Samira Hanover found the line when it counted the most as she notched her first win of the season in the $43,200 final of the Lifetime Dream final on Monday evening at Woodbine. The trotting miss, driven by Paul Macdonell, stopped the clock in a stakes record time of 1:53.3 at odds of 28-1. MacDonell left alertly in the early stages as he settled Samira Hanover in third, behind the two favourites Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) and Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) at the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. As the field of 10 headed towards the half, Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) made a brush to the lead at the half in :56.2. That left Frisky Magic first over around the final turn, which allowed Samira Hanover to angle to the outside to catch cover. Heavily-favoured Rose Run Oriana popped out of the two-hole before three-quarters in 1:25 and quickly took over command. Down the stretch, Rose Run Oriana was in an all-out drive from Waples, but MacDonell showed his charge open road and Samira Hanover wore down the tempo-setter in deep stretch to win by half a length. Rockin With Dewey split horses late in the mile to finish third. Trained by Mike Keeling for P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc, Steve Organ, William Weaver and A K Malik Stable, Samira Hanover increased her career bankroll to $104,280. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra celebrated her sixth career victory. She paid $59.40 to win. The Lifetime Dream Series is for four and five-year-old trotting mares, who are non-winners of $200,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2013. Also on Monday's programme, the opening round of the Tie Silk Series kicked off with a pair of $15,000 divisions. Driver Mike Saftic guided both Musical Spell and Entranced to victory in their respective connections. Sent off as the co-favourite at odds of 2-1, Musical Spell Mike Saftic went gate-to-wire in 1:57.2 to capture the first division. The son of Kadabra laid down panels of :27.2, :58.4 and 1:29.1, before fending off a late challenge from the other co-favourite Windsun Revenge (Chris Christoforou) to stop the clock in 1:57.2. Gangio (Keith Oliver) finished third. Trained by Mike Guitard for owner Haryott Stables Inc, Musical Spell remains a perfect two-for-two to start his 2014 campaign. The bay gelding increased his bankroll to $15,500. He paid $6.80 to win. One race later, Saftic used the same tactics as Entranced stopped the clock in a speedy 1:54.4, a North American season's record. The Garth Gorden trainee cruised through panels of :27.1, :56 and 1:25.1, before scoring a comfortable one and a half length win. So Not Cool (Mario Baillargeon) came on for second, over even-money favourite Verdi (Paul Macdonell). Gorden also co-owns the son of Kadabra with Gary Green and Bernard Tobin. After banking $21,000 as a rookie last season, Entranced celebrated his second career victory and new lifetime best. He paid $11.90 to win. The Tie Silk Series is for three-year-olds trotters, who are non-winners of $30,000 in 2013. More stakes action continues on Thursday night as two $15,000 divisions of the Tie Silk kicks off in the opening round. Post time is set for 7:25 p.m. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, November 21 - After a comfortable victory in the second round of the Autumn Series, Samira Hanover has established herself as the horse to beat heading into the $33,600 final next Friday at Woodbine. The trotting miss captured her division in the opening round last week before cruising to a new lifetime best of 1:55 to kick off the Thursday programme. Keith Oliver and Magic Peach were first to the front before the opening station in :28, but Samira Hanover and Paul Macdonell quickly gained the lead well before the half in :57.4. MacDonell and the heavily-favoured daughter of Kadabra cruised past three quarters in 1:26.1, before dashing away from her rivals to win by one and a half lengths. Magic Peach stayed for second, with Katla (Sylvain Filion) finishing third. Trained by Mike Keeling for owners P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc, Steve Organ, William Weaver III and A K Malik Stable, Samira Hanover increased her bankroll to $67,480. She paid $2.40 to win. In the other split, Ocean Miss Beauty and Jody Jamieson provided the upset to complete the early double. Jamieson guided the daughter of Kadabra led from start to finish through panels of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:26.2, before fending off a late challenge from I Like My Kaddy (Paul Macdonell) to win in 1:57. Candida (Pat Hudon) finished third. Trained by Rene Dion for owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc, Ocean Mist Beauty celebrated her first career tally as her bankroll climbed to $40,372. She paid $10.90 to win. Four Autumn Series divisions took place in total, featuring a pair for sophomore trotting fillies and two for three-year-old old pacing fillies. On the pacing side, Putmeintogo and Lyonssweetie stamped themselves into the $35,300 final with victories in their respective divisions. Putmeintogo, driven by Roger Mayotte, posted a 1:53.4 victory in the first division as the favourite. Mayotte put Putmeintogo on the front past the quarter in :26.4 and continued to lead past the middle-half in :57 and 1:25.2. Turning for home, Mayotte asked his charge for more pace and the four-time winner responded with a :28.2 final quarter to win by two and a quarter lengths. Stonebridge Adore (Doug McNair) finished second, with Miss Poppycock (Jody Jamieson) finished third. Trained/owned and bred by Robin Morley, Putmeintogo increased her lifetime earnings to $54,300. She paid $5.20 to win. In the other split, Lyons Sweetie and Randy Waples found the wire first in 1:52.3. Waples and the daughter of No Pan Intended were first to the front before the opening station in :27.1, but allowed Lutetia Semalu (Sylvain Filion) to pocket-pull their way to the front. As Lutetia Semalu marched towards the half in :56.2, heavily-favoured Machnbyrd Princess (Roger Mayotte) angled out of fifth and aimed towards the front, but couldn't pass the tempo-setter. Lyonssweetie continued to enjoy a perfect, pocket trip around three-quarters in 1:24.2, before wearing down the tempo-setter en route to victory. Lutetia Semalu stayed for second, over Panstakingly (Donald Jobin) finished third. Trained by Corey Johnson for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound, Lyonssweetie increased her bankroll to $53,210. She paid a handsome $23.80 to win. All four Autumn Series finals for three-year-olds of both gaits and sexes will take place next Friday, November 29. Videos of all races attached. Greg Gangle WEG Communications

Three-year-old fillies found themselves in the spotlight Thursday evening at Woodbine Racetrack, as the Rexdale, Ontario oval hosted the opening leg of the Autumn Series for pacers and trotters. A pair of divisions for trotters and a trio of splits – each of them worth $15,000 - went postward on the 12-race card, and wind was a hindrance to those fillies in the final quarter of their respective assignments. Samira Hanover, who made breaks in her last two pari-mutuel outings, was forced to requalify on October 30 for trainer Mike Keeling. She was on her best behaviour that morning at Mohawk Racetrack, and she was just as much of a professional in this evening’s pari-mutuel assignment under the lights. The daughter of Kadabra-Southern Puff got away sixth from her Post 7 starting spot, and that allowed Alluring K to hustled to the front and chop out splits of :28.2, :59 and 1:28.2. Samira Hanover tipped out to catch cover in the backstretch before making a three-wide moving at the mid-way point of the final turn for driver Paul MacDonell. She kicked home in a :29-second clip to win by 2-1/2 lengths over Candida in 1:58.3. Fathers Amigo trotted home late to finish third.   P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc, William B Weaver III, Steve D Organ and A K Malik Stable share ownership on the photogenic filly who improved this year’s record to 4-2-4 from 13 starts with the win. Her share of the $15,000 purse lifted her lifetime loot to $59,980. Be Winnin also used an off-the-speed approach to winning her division for the tandem of driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Glenn Lalonde. The daughter of Angus Hall-Brenda B Winnin got away fourth and watched Ocean Mist Beauty sail through fractions of :29, :59.1 and 1:28. Be Winnin was third at the half, and improved to be second on the outside at the three-quarter pole before using a :30-second kicker to win by 1-1/2 lengths over I Like My Kaddy in 1:58.1. Ocean Mist Beauty faded late and settled for third.   Owned and bred by Robert J Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, Be Winnin won for just the second time this season in 14 starts. The three-time winner has banked $37,448 to date. In the first division for the pacing fillies it was Lutetia Semalu pulling off a 10-1 upset for the team of driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Richard Moreau. The daughter of Million Dollar Cam-Signature Semalu powered to the lead from Post 6 and threw down an opening quarter of :29.3 before taking a brief tuck into the two-hole behind Stonebridge Adore. Filion came right back around that foe for the re-take and after clearing she led through middle panels of :56.3 and 1:25.4 before using a :28.2 closing quarter to win by 2-3/4 lengths over Parade Route. Race favourite Stonebridge Adore had to settle for third.   Zoom And Fish Stable Inc of Laval and Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc of Montreal, Quebec own the sophomore who won for just the second time in her career. She’s 2-for-24 in her career, but those two wins have come in her last four starts since moving to Moreau’s outfit. Machnbyrd Princess was 1-9 on the toteboard, and she proved to be 1-9 the best in the second division for driver Steve Condren. He got away fourth with the Shawn Robinson pupil while D Gs Pesquero blasted to the lead and laid down a :27.3 opener. Condren had Machnbyrd Princess on the move in the backstretch and she cleared without a fight shortly past the half in :56.3. She was in charge at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 and used a :29.1 closing quarter to win by 6-1/4 lengths over Call It Courage in 1:53. D Gs Pesquero weakened late and settled for the show dough.   The Mach Three-Respectednbeloved homebred races for Canamerica Capital Corp and Hyatt Holdings Inc of Milton, Ontario, and so far this season she’s put together a sterling record of 5-2-0 from just seven trips to the track – a far cry from the 0-for-7 record she established last year. The filly, who clearly was worth waiting on, has potted $73,710. Panstakingly and trainer/driver Donald Jobin clicked for an 18-1 upset in the final division. The daughter of No Pan Intended-Pantathlon was nowhere to be found in the early stages of the mile, but she had plenty of speed to chase thanks to Hippie Chic, Its No Secret and Putmeintogo who took turns on the engine through fractions of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:25.1. Panstakingly kicked off cover turning for home and used a :28.4 closing panel to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Mach It A Par. Race favourite Putmeintogo was third.   Jobin shares ownership on the four-time winner with Danielle Belisle of Clarence Creek, Ontario. Together, they’ve watched the filly put together a 4-7-4 record from 22 trips to the track this season. The lion’s share of the purse bumped her cash stash to $43,853. To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission from

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — After enduring a winless freshman season, Pounce Hanover finally found his way to the victor’s circle on July 20, in his second sophomore start, and the trotting gelding seemed to find the experience to his liking. Since that 1:57.4 score at Georgian Downs, Pounce Hanover has added two more to his resume, including a Grassroots win back at Georgian Downs on Aug. 13. Making their second Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, Aug. 22, Pounce Hanover and trainer-driver Rick Zeron will be looking to stretch their win streak to four from Post 7 in the eleventh race. Oakville resident Zeron shares ownership of the Majestic Son gelding with The Brabant Stable of London and James Walker of Port Perry. The trotter recorded his 1:57.2 personal best at Mohawk on Aug. 1, winning a non-winners of two races contest. Zeron and Pounce Hanover will face two other winners from the Georgian Downs Grassroots event, Doubledown Gass from Post 8 and Cabertoss from Post 10. The colts lining up behind the starting gate for the first $18,000 Grassroots division face a stiff test as Mid-Summer Challenge champion Flanagan Memory will be joining them at Post 1. Opting to skip the Gold Series event over Grand River Raceway’s half-mile oval, Flanagan Memory will make it tough for colts like Muscle On Broadway to score their second Grassroots victory. Currently sitting tenth in the Grassroots points standings, Muscle On Broadway will be looking to pad his point total from Post 3 in Race 1. The Muscle Mass colt is trained by Cambridge resident Mike Keeling for P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc. of Cambridge and Steve Organ of Aurora. The three-year-old trotting colts will engage in their second last regular season Grassroots battle in Races 1, 5, 10 and 11, with the first division rolling in behind the Mohawk Racetrack starting gate at 7:25 pm. For complete entries.      For up to date point standings, race replays, and more.          Sandra Snyder  

SUDBURY, ON — Twin B Alibi kicked off Sunday afternoon’s Grassroots event with a hard fought victory over the Sudbury Downs half-mile. With trainer Wayne Henry in the race bike, Twin B Alibi fired out of Post 3 to a :29 opening quarter and then led the field to a :59.1 half. Heading for the 1:29.2 three-quarters longshot Standing My Ground started to pressure the pacesetter, but Twin B Alibi stayed game, battling all the way to the wire for a three-quarter length victory in 2:00.3. Standing My Ground settled for second, one length ahead of favourite Twiggys Twick. Arthur resident Henry shares ownership of Twin B Alibi with Daylon Farms of Komoka and the Estate of Daniel J. McCann of Parkhill. With two wins and one second in the first three Grassroots events, the Angus Hall daughter shares ownership of top spot in the division standings with the filly that won the second $18,000 Grassroots event on Sunday. Like her rival, Muscle Magic went straight to the front from Post 2 and rolled to a commanding four length victory in 1:59.4. Favourite Orderingin hit the wire second while Bop Too The Top rounded out the top three. Baillargeon pilots the filly for his brother, trainer Benoit Baillargeon of Rockwood, Nunzio Vena of Bolton and Santo Vena of Brampton. Like Twin B Alibi, the Muscle Mass daughter has two wins and one second to her credit for a total of 125 Grassroots points. Mario Baillargeon picked up a second Grassroots victory in the third division, guiding Legzy to a 2:01.3 victory over Katla and Georgia Baby. The win was the first this season for Amigo Hall daughter Legzy, who was a Gold Final winner last season for trainer Robert Don Fellows and owner-breeders Edward Wilson of Seagrave and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. The final Grassroots division went to Armstead Kyra and driver David Boughton, who stopped the clock at 2:02.3 for trainer Mike Keeling and owner-breeder Dr. Roland Armitage of Dunrobin. The talented three-year-old trotting fillies make their fourth of six Grassroots stops at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 19. For complete results please go to by Sandra Snyder  

INNISFIL, ON — Georgian Downs hosts eight Grassroots divisions of three-year-old trotting colts on Tuesday, Aug. 13 and owner Steve Organ of Aurora will have starters in three of them. The trotting colts begin their battles in Race 2 and Organ’s first starter, Just Make Believe, will be making his bid for a top finish from Post 1. The son of Kadabra and former Ontario Sires Stakes star Porsche Hall finished third in the June 10 Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack and then made the move up to the Gold Series level, where he finished sixth. Following two more off-the-board finishes against the top tier colts, trainer-driver Per Henriksen opted for Tuesday’s return to the Grassroots program. Organ shares ownership of Just Make Believe, who was a $65,000 purchase out of the 2011 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, with Darryl Drain of Tweed, Henriksen’s ASA Farm of Norwood and Thomas Nurmi of Washington, DC. The second $11,250 Grassroots division features Organ’s second hopeful, Northern Nandi, who will start at Post 7 with Scott Coulter in the race bike. Northern Nandi kicked off his sophomore campaign at the Gold Series level, finishing fourth in the May 28 season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District, but trainer Mike Keeling switched to the Grassroots in time for the July 1 contest at Clinton Raceway where the gelding logged a runner-up finish. With a fifth in the July 19 event at Grand River Raceway, the Muscle Mass son has tallied 30 points and will be looking to accumulate a few more on Tuesday for Organ and P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc. of Cambridge. Organ and P C Wellwood Enterprises also own Muscle On Broadway, who currently ranks eighth in the division standings after scoring one win and one third in Grassroots action. The Muscle Mass colt will make his bid for another top finish from Post 8 in the sixth race, with trainer Keeling once again handing the lines over to Coulter. Muscle On Broadway faces a tough challenger in Creampuff Macdaddy, who won his elimination and finished sixth in the Yonkers Trot Final at Yonkers Raceway in New York last month. Creampuff Macdaddy starts from Post 4 in the sixth race. Post time for Georgian Downs’ Tuesday evening program is 7:25 pm, with the three-year-old trotting colts featured in Races 2 through 7, 10 and 11. For complete entries        For up to date point standings, race replays, and more.   Sandra Snyder        

The weather was 10 degrees cooler and she started one spot closer to the rail, but other than that three-year-old trotting filly Sugar Wheeler's second harness racing tour of Grand River Raceway looked much the same as the first.

When harness racing driver Paul MacDonell rolled in behind the Grand River Raceway starting gate for last week's Gold Elimination he was not expecting to rewrite the Ontario Sires Stakes record book, but as soon as the wings folded he knew Sugar Wheeler was going to deliver a big mile.

Ontario's talented three-year-old trotting fillies graced the Grand River Raceway oval on Wednesday evening (October 3) and the balmy October weather resulted in another new track record being etched into the Elora harness racing oval's history books.

Paul MacDonell qualified two Mike Keeling trained trotting fillies for Thursday night's $130,000 Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack, but the harness racing driver had committed to Sugar Wheeler well before he engineered the results of last week's eliminations.

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