The best performers in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots this year, pacers and trotters, colts and fillies, will be on display at Mohawk Racetrack Friday and Saturday night. Two $20,000 Semi-Finals will be raced for each division to determine the starters for next week’s $50,000 Grassroots finals. The horses earned their way into the Semi-Finals through their performances in the Grassroots races in their divisions throughout the course of the OSS season. The top 20 point earners entered into the Semi-Finals are eligible to compete. The two-year-olds are in the spotlight on Friday night with the trotting fillies kicking things off in races one and two. Leading point earner Summers Jewel, who has yet to finish worse than third in her young career, has drawn post two for breeder/owner/trainer Ben Baillargeon of Rockwood, Ontario, whose brother Mario will be in the sulky. The Angus Hall miss has started in all six Grassroots events this year with three wins, a second and two thirds. The rookie pacing colts are next up in the third and fifth races. The top two colts in the division, Thinkofagameplan and Jeb will square off in the third race from posts six and eight respectively. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario and his cousin Al McIntosh of Leamington, Ontario, bred and own Thinkofagameplan, a son of Ponder who has captured four of six Grassroots events this year. A horse to watch in the fifth race is Moonwards Hanover, who comes into the contest riding a three race winning streak, all in Grassroots events. From the red hot first crop of Sportswriter, Moonwards Hanover is owned and trained by Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, who also trained her dam, Mouse Hanover. He’s drawn post four with Paul MacDonell aboard. MacDonell will also be up behind Call Me Richard, the leading point earner among the rookie trotting colts, in the next race. Trained by Clare Bradshaw for owner Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ontario, the Muscle Mass son has won his last two races, both OSS events. The two-year-old pacing fillies are featured in races seven and 10 on Friday’s program with top point earner Ms Mac N Cheese departing from post four in the first split. The Badlands Hanover daughter owned by David Ratchford of Nova Scotia has been on a real roll lately with three straight victories on her scorecard. Sylvain Filion will drive from post four. On Saturday’s card it’s the three-year-old trotting fillies getting the Semi-Finals underway. Torches Star tops the point standings in this group and has post five in race five with regular pilot Steve Condren in the race bike for trainer Ben Wallace and owner Brad Grand of Milton, Ontario. The Angus Hall filly is the second foal from former OSS star Torch, a winner of $357,000 in her career. Their colt counterparts get things rolling in race two and come right back in race three for their two Semi-Finals. Aventure, the leader in this bunch, drew post nine in the third race with Trevor Henry up for trainer Bill Budd. Owned by Orville Rursch of Illinois, Aventure is 4-1-0 in five OSS starts this year. The glamour boy division, the three-year-old pacing colts, are featured in races six and nine on Saturday evening. Top point earner Shadow Place has post three in race six with Henry at the lines for trainer Richard Moreau. Regal Babe, who is less than 10 points behind in second in this division, has post five in race nine. The pacing fillies close out the card in races eight and 10. The latter finds Her Own Land in post five with James MacDonald at the helm for trainer Dave Menary. The leading point getter in this category, the Blissfull Hall filly has three wins and a second in her most recent starts, all Grassroots events. Saturday’s card also features the $286,000 Milton final for pacing mares with three Ontario-sired performers, Monkey On My Wheel, Camille and Voelz Hanover, taking part. To view the entries for Friday and Saturday night at Mohawk, please use these links Mohawk Entries - September 19. Mohawk Entries - September 20. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
The father-son team of harness racing trainer Carl Jamieson and driver Jody Jamieson won two of the three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series contests for rookie colt and gelding pacers on Tuesday night (September 16) at Mohawk Racetrack. The Jamiesons' first victory came in the second division with Sporting The Look, who now leads the point standings for the group. Sporting The Look shot to the front in the early going and was ahead of a parked-out Sportskeeper (Randy Waples) by a nose at the :27.2 opening quarter. Sportskeeper would clear to the top past that post, and he would go on to reach the half in 57 seconds. Sportskeeper was under attack from a first-over Lancaster Park (Doug McNair) at the half, and those two would continue to slug it out over to the 1:24 three-quarters. In the stretch Sportskeeper put away Lancaster Park’s bid, but the fight to hold the lead took its toll inside the final eighth, and he began to drift off the rail, which gave Sporting The Look clearance to come through. Sporting The Look had plenty of pep to go with the room, and he would go on to win by a length, stopping the clock in 1:53. Seaforth (Mike Saftic) rallied from fifth to second in the final quarter, and Sportskeeper had to settle for third. The elder Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, also co-owns Sporting The Look, who has been victorious four times from nine starts, with breeder 30 Plus Stable of Trenton and Tom Kyron of Toronto, Ontario. Sporting The Look, the third foal out of The Panderosa mare Lyons Mandi ($162,482), did go through last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he brought $72,000. The victorious Sportswriter colt, who also won Gold Series events on July 7 at Mohawk and on August 10 at Georgian Downs, has now banked $178,594. Jody and Carl also prevailed in the Gold Series nightcap with Make Some Luck. Jody sent him to the point from his post two starting spot, and he was unchallenged through the :27.2 first quarter and the :56.3 half. Public choice Drachan Hanover (Rick Zeron) then rolled the dice first-over out of third on the far turn, but Make Some Luck was able to keep him just over a length behind at the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Drachan Hanover kept trying to get to Make Some Luck through the lane, but it was no avail as Make Some Luck maintained his lead on his way to a one and a quarter length victory in a final clocking of 1:53 flat. Bob Ben And John (Chris Christoforou) was third after a two-hole trip. Carl trains Make Some Luck, a gelded son of Camluck, for owner 1140545 Ontario Ltd. of Moffat, Ontario. Make Some Luck, who won at the Grassroots level on July 8 at Mohawk, has a pair of victories from four trips behind the gate, and he has pocketed $62,700. Make Some Luck was bred by Stan Klemencic and fetched $19,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. Make Some Luck is the fourth foal out of the Western Hanover mare Mustang Kensley, a half-sister to horses such as Shake That Junk (Camluck, $388,610), a six-time OSS winner during her time on the racetrack. If interested, Make Some Luck has a Twitter account, which can be accessed by clicking here. The non-Jamieson winner on the night was Reverend Hanover (Chris Christoforou) in the Gold Series opener. Reverend Hanover, making his first appearance in the OSS, led through fractions of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:23.3 on his way to a one length victory in 1:51.1. Manny In Sports (James MacDonald) tracked the eventual winner the whole way from the pocket and finished second with Moonwriter (Randy Waples) back in third. Casie Coleman trains Reverend Hanover, a colt by Sportswriter, for owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatam, and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, Ontario. Reverend Hanover, who was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. and was purchased for $24,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale, is a perfect two-for-two in his life with earnings of $41,000. He’s the fifth foal out of the Cams Card Shark mare Razzle My Tazzle, who is a half-sister to the likes of Manvers Short Cut (Astreos, $263,021), a one-time OSS winner in her career. This was the next-to-last regular season event for the two-year-old male pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series. They will head back to Mohawk Racetrack on September 29 to conclude things and set the field for the Super Final. For full results of Tuesday night’s races at Mohawk By OSS News .
This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; American-National, Balmoral Park, Crete. Ill; Kindergarten Series, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; Milton Stake final, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Centaur Trot, Kentuckiana Stallion Management and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Prix D'Ete, Hippodrome 3R, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Wednesday (Sept. 17) at Delaware with the $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $89,475 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $64,646 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 18) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $647,500 Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day are the $121,000 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $118,300 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old colt trotters, the $59,445 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters, the $58,045 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $51,000 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers. Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Wednesday with the $73,000 American-National for 2-year-old colt trotters and the $57,200 American-National for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday card at The Red Mile will feature four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 20) with the C$286,000 Milton Stake final for older pacing mares. Hoosier Park on Saturday will host the $250,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $225,000 (est.) Centaur for Open trotters, the $200,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management for 2-year-old filly trotters and the $150,000 (est.) Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers. Rounding out the busy week of Grand Circuit racing, on Sunday (Sept. 21) Hippodrome 3R will offer the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete for 4-year-old pacers, plus a C$50,000 Prix D'Ete consolation. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Canadian races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday, with the finals of four stakes, led by the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic for sophomore male trotters. Father Patrick, the 1-5 choice with driver Yannick Gingras, scored a popular 1-3/4 length victory in a time of 1:52.4. Father Patrick captured the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic in a time of 1:52.4. Trainer Jimmy Takter held more than a strong hand going into this year's renewal for 3-year-old trotters, sending out Hambletonian winner Trixton and Father Patrick, last year's divisional champion who had been expected to win the Meadowlands showcase event in August but made an unexpected early break. The toteboard reflected that, as Father Patrick was 1-5, Trixton 9-5 when they went behind the gate, while their five rivals ranged from 18-1 to 80-1. The two favorites, both of whom had won eight of their 10 starts this year, were expected to duke it out but this time it was Trixton, driven by Takter, who went off-stride at the start to eliminate himself. It wasn't a walk in the park but the win at least put aside the nightmare of this year's Hambletonian for Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream. Parked in fourth for the first half-mile, as Damfoolrmillionair took the field through a quarter in :26.4 and the half in :55.2, Gingras sent Father Patrick up to challenge the pacesetter, took over before the three-quarters was reached in 1:24, then powered home for the win in 1:52.4. E L Titan came on for second, with Harper Blue Chip third. The winner is owned by the Father Patrick Stable. On Monday (Sept. 15), the venerable 10-year-old pacing superstar Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) prevailed in the eighth annual $220,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway in 1:50.2. Foiled Again held off Clear Vision to win the Quillen Memorial in 1:50.2. Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, Foiled Again assumed command from his rail post position just past the quarter-mile in :26.3. He led the rich field of eight, whose combined lifetime bankroll is near $15 million, to the half-mile in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.1. Stablemate Clear Vision, who won the 2013 Quillen, received his marching orders from driver Brett Miller at the half-mile and battled first over but could not get closer than a half-length from Foiled Again at the wire. Bettor's Edge finished third. Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing history, boosted his lifetime bankroll to more than $6.6 million. It was his sixth consecutive year in Harrington's marquee event. Clear Vision was making his fourth consecutive start. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. 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 - 1,025; 2. Tim Tetrick - 583; 3. David Miller - 506.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 443.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 321. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,335.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 815; 3. Tony Alagna - 245: 4. Erv Miller - 244; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 222. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 291.25; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 263.75; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 187; 4. Robert Key - 185; 5. Bamond Racing - 167.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. There will be eight Bluegrass stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, as well as eliminations in the Allerage for open pacers and trotters. Scioto Downs will also be hosting a Grand Circuit event, the $200,000 (est.) Jim Ewart Memorial for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
Dancin Caroll and Sports Chic, who are both half-sister to famous performers, are making themselves known as well after winning the pair of $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series contests for two-year-old pacing fillies on Monday night (September 15) at Mohawk Racetrack. Both races were conducted over a racetrack rated good and two seconds off due to rainy conditions. In the first division it was Wrangler Magic (Sylvain Filion) in the lead at the :27.4 opening quarter. She would yield the top spot to a parked-out I Wonder Why (Steve Condren) past that marker, and then I Wonder Why gave up command to public choice Win The Gold (James MacDonald) before the :56.3 half. Win The Gold would go to hit three-quarters in 1:26.1, but she was under a first-over attack from Southwind Mischief (Chris Christoforou), who towed Dancin Caroll (Randy Waples) into contention from second-over. In the stretch Southwind Mischief forged her way by Win The Gold, but a host of fillies, including Dancin Caroll began to close in inside the final sixteenth. Dancin Caroll proved best though, as she reached the finish line half a length in front of a re-emerging Wrangler Magic. Akissfromtheart (Jody Jamieson) rushed from seventh to third in the final quarter. The final time of the mile was 1:55.2. Tony Alagna trains Dancin Caroll, a daughter of Sportswriter, for owners Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, Illinois, Greg Gillis of Alliston, Ontario, and George Golemes of Oak Brook, Illinois. This was her second win from eight starts, and she has now earned $75,900. Dancin Caroll was bred by Elizabeth Wagner and was sold for $90,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is the third foal out of the Cambest mare Dancewiththebest, which makes her a half-sister to world champion Dancin Yankee ($1,060,422). The second OSS Gold test saw Solar Sister (Doug McNair) work her way from post nine to first at the :26.2 opening quarter. She let longshot Palette Tina (Randy Waples) go to the top prior to the :55.3 half, but then McNair had his charge back out of the pocket on the far turn, and she regained the advantage well before the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Business As Usual (Christoforou) tried to challenge the pace-setter from first-over at that time with Northern Starlet (Sylvain Filion) positioned second-over and Sports Chic (Jody Jamieson) third-over. Jamieson fanned Sports Chic out wide for the stretch drive, and she caught Solar Sister at the eighth pole. Sports Chic powered her way past the leader for good past that marker, and she would go on to defeat a closing Little Miss Sporty (Jonathan Drury) by a length and three-quarters in 1:54.4. Cowgirl Tough (Jack Moiseyev), owned in part by 7th grade student Emma Christoforou (story here), came in third. Trainer Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario, also co-owns Sports Chic, a daughter of Sportswriter, with partner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sports Chic, who has five wins from eight trips behind the gate overall, is a perfect four-for-four in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series competition and leads the point standings for her group. Sports Chic, now an earner of $221,389, was also second against Grand Circuit company in a Champlain Stakes division at Mohawk. Sports Chic, a Winbak Farm-bred filly who fetched $35,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, is the 15th foal out of the On The Road Again mare Vesta Blue Chip, which means Sports Chic is a half-sister to the great Rainbow Blue ($1,600,012), the 2004 Canadian Horse of the Year. The two-year-old pacing fillies of the OSS Gold Series have one remaining event in their regular season, and it will occur on September 29 at Mohawk Racetrack. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - Father Patrick, the 1-5 choice with harness racing driver Yannick Gingras, scored a popular one and three-quarter length victory in the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. Trainer Jimmy Takter held more than a strong hand going into this year's renewal for three-year-old trotters, sending out Hambletonian winner Trixton, a son of 2009 Classic winner Muscle Hill and Father Patrick, last year's divisional champion who had been expected to win the Meadowlands showcase event in August but made an unexpected early break. The toteboard reflected that, as Father Patrick was 1-5, Trixton 9-5 when they went behind the gate, while their five rivals ranged from 18-1 to 80-1. The two favourites, both of whom had won eight of their 10 starts this year, were expected to duke it out but this time it was Trixton, driven by Takter, who went off stride at the start to eliminate himself. It wasn't a walk in the park but the win at least put aside the nightmare of this year's Hambletonian for Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream. Parked in fourth for the first half-mile, as Damfoolrmillionair took the field through a quarter in :26.4 and the half in :55.2, Gingras sent Father Patrick up to challenge the pacesetter, took over before the three-quarters was reached in 1:24, then powered home for the win in 1:52.4. E L Titan came on for second, with Harper Blue Chip third. Owned by the Father Patrick Stable, of which Torontonian John Fielding is a partner, Father Patrick had won 15 straight prior to his gaffe in the Hambletonian. Since then, he'd won two of three and was hammered down to heavy favouritism in the Classic. "It's definitely huge (winning the Canadian Trotting Classic)," said Gingras. "That race (Hambletonian) is one I'd like to forget. He's a great horse. From here on out, I think he'll be the best horse, no doubt. He went a huge trip. He was out the whole way, never saw the rail. When I made my move, it was never in doubt." Added Fielding, "It was just a fantastic effort tonight. We've always thought this colt was the best colt I've ever owned. Jimmy, his wife Christina and myself have owned many, many great horses over the years. But this colt ranks up as probably number one of all of them. It was disappointing at the Hambletonian but tonight he was fantastic. It was just a great thrill. Tonight he showed himself well." With the win, Father Patrick went well over the $1 million in earnings for the season and is now closing in on the $2 million mark in career earnings. Prior to tonight, six of the last 10 winners of the Canadian Trotting Classic, including the last two (Royalty For Life in 2013, Market Share in 2012) had also prevailed in the storied Hambletonian. Takter previously won the Classic on two occasions, but surprisingly it had been awhile. Kadabra took the 2002 edition while Red Xing won in 1997. Father Patrick paid $2.70, $2.10 (no show wagering), combining with E L Titan ($14.60) for a $45.80 (6-1) exactor. A 6-1-2 (Harper Blue Chip) triactor was worth $158.10 while a $1 Superfecta [6-1-2-7 (Damfoolrmillioinair)] came back $282.20. Mark McKelvie
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - Shake It Cerry, driven by Ron Pierce, destroyed nine harness racing rivals in the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry continued her sensational season Saturday evening with arguably her best performance to date. Sent off as the 4/5 favourite, Shake It Cerry was parked around the first turn in fourth and eventually would clear to the front as the field approached the half-mile pole. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3, Shake It Cerry found another gear and opened up on the field under a hand drive from Pierce. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Shake It Cerry cruised to a 9¼ length victory in a Track, Stakes and Canadian record equaling time of 1:52.1. "I asked her to go a little bit turning for home and she responded well and was just full of trot," said Pierce following the race. "I never turned the whip around, I never pulled her ear plugs, I just sat there, I was just a passenger. Jimmy had her tuned up and I just had to sit there." Takter's other starter in the Elegantimage final, Scream And Shout, finished second in a photograph over Vanity Matters. Shake It Cerry has now won nine of her eleven starts this season and 17 of 21 career appearances. Following the race, Takter had high praise for his star trotting filly. "I always said this is the best three-year-old filly in this crop," said Takter. "Lifetime Pursuit is quite good too, but I know with this filly she had a tough run in the Hambletonian (Oaks), but she is just a fantastic horse and bounces back every time and I think she's earned all the respect she can get." Owned by Solveig Racing Partners, Shake It Cerry increased her career earnings to $1,427,880 with her victory Saturday night. She paid $3.60 to win. Mark McKelvie
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - Habitat, driven by Yannick Gingras, wired his nine harness racing rivals to take the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial final by a widening six and three-quarter lengths, Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. On a night when the trotting stars of tomorrow shared the spotlight with the star trotters of today, Habitat announced his presence as a possible future champion. The 8-5 second choice went immediately to the front from the six-hole, chased by the 3-5 favourite Uncle Lasse, who suddenly made a break. After getting the opening quarter in 28 seconds flat, Habitat continued to motor along, reaching the half in :57.2 before sprinting away from his foes around the far turn. After three-quarters in 1:26.1, the two-year-old son of Conway Hall-Habits Best was five lengths in front and drew off for the impressive score in 1:54.2, his fourth win in seven starts for trainer and co-owner Ron Burke. Last week, he'd finished second to Uncle Lasse in one of the Wellwood elims, but when the favourite broke stride early, his main foe was eliminated. "My horse is really handy," said Gingras. "I knew the horse to beat was Uncle Lasse. Actually, I didn't realize that he run (broke stride). I've really liked him from the get-go. He's very well-mannered, good-gaited and does everything right, a real nice two-year-old." Last year, Father Patrick flashed his talent when romping in the Wellwood en route to divisional honours. He was also the heavy favourite in this year's Hambletonian but made an early break. Father Patrick was scheduled to race later Saturday night in the rich Canadian Trotting Classic. Habitat paid $5.20, $3.50 and $2.90, combining with longshot Jetpedia ($13.60, $7.60) for a $99.80 (6-7) exactor. A 6-7-8 (Southwind Stryker, $7.80) triactor was worth a huge $1,156.30, while a $1 Superfecta [6-7-8-10 (Big Rich)] came back a whopping $8,001.50. Jeff Timson - WEG Communications
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - The Peaceful Way Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack was 'As easy as 1-2-3' for harness racing trainer John Bax. The Bax trainee Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell captured the $385,000 final, while Juanitas Fury and Southwind Champane took the place and show spot to make it a 'Bax Triactor'. The entire complexion of the rich final changed before the field could even reach the eighth pole when Mission Brief, the 1/5 favourite, made a break. The costly break by the favourite allowed Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell to step out to the lead and control the tempo. After posting fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26.2, Stubborn Belle dug in down the stretch to hold off a late charge from stablemate Juanitas Fury to win the Peaceful Way Stakes by half a length in 1:56. The other Bax trainee, Southwind Champane, was able to get up for third to complete the first-ever 1-2-3 finish for a trainer in Peaceful Way Stakes history. Stubborn Belle's victory also gives Bax and MacDonell back-to-back Peaceful Way crowns after the duo teamed up to win last year's edition with Riveting Rosie. "My hat has to go off to John Bax here," said MacDonell. "To come in 1-2-3, I know we were up against Mission Brief and we knew we were up against it, but he had these horses prepared and ready to go tonight." Bax has now won three Peaceful Way Stakes titles. His first victory came in 2002, when the race was known as the Oakville Stakes, with Aimees Image. MacDonell praised Bax for his touch with trotters. "He's just a perfect guy with a trotter, he's relaxed, he doesn't get anxious and worried about how they are coming along at any time of the year. He knows things will fall into place and my hats off to him." The costly break by Mission Brief not only stung for her connections, but the horseplayers who bet almost $18,000 of the $26,377 in the Win pool and the $33,581 of the $41,991 in the Show pool on her. "I didn't expect it, but you have to think about it because if she was going to get beat she was likely going to beat herself," said MacDonell of the break by Mission Brief. "I'm upset for those people, she's still a great filly, but we had to take advantage of it when the time came." Stubborn Belle, who finished second to Mission Brief in their elimination, has now won four of her eight career starts. The daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover is owned by Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm and now has a bankroll of $308,786. Stubborn Belle paid $19.50 to win. The Peaceful Way Stakes Mark McKelvie
Mohawk Racetrack offers a stakes laden harness racing card Saturday evening anchored by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic which has two top Ontario-sired colts taking on five very talented sophomores. The card also features the $385,000 Peaceful Way final with several OSS fillies in contention, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial with one lone Ontario-sired colt, and the $409,000 Elegantimage final with four OSS girls vying for their turn in the winner’s circle. In addition to those great trotting races, the program will also headline the top pacing mares in North America in two eliminations for the Milton Stakes which feature three OSS graduates including a Breeders Crown winner. In the showcase event Harper Blue Chip will attempt to duplicate his sire, Majestic Son’s, 2006 Canadian Trotting Classic victory. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario, trained Majestic Son, who won the ’06 CTC by more than six lengths over a very talented field, and also conditions Harper Blue Chip. A son of Angus Hall, Majestic Son was a dominant force in the OSS during his sophomore season, winning seven of 10 OSS events. In total, he won $622,000 in the provincial program during his career. Majestic Son now stands at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, and Harper Blue Chip, with $547,000 in earnings, is his second richest performer to date, behind only Charmed Life ($592,000). So far this year Harper Blue Chip has a summary of 4-2-2 in 10 starts and although he’s won two OSS Gold events and swept the Canadian Breeders, he’s best known for finishing third in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian last month at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian winner, Trixton, is also slated to start in the CTC final, with post five. Trainer Jimmy Takter will drive the colt who has won eight of 10 starts this year. Tatker’s other talented colt in this division, Father Patrick (also eight for 10) is right alongside in post six. It’s a formidable duo facing Harper Blue Chip whose driver Sylvain Filion is cautiously optimistic, especially given that the colt has finally drawn a decent starting position, post two, compared to post 10 in the Goodtimes final and post nine in the Hambletonian. “He’s been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post,” Filion noted earlier this week. “We’ve got a tough bunch of horses to race against, but he’s very good right now. I’m hoping for a good, close to the front trip and hopefully some top horses won’t be on their game, because we’ll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It’s a very high quality group.” The other OSS colt joining Harper in the CTC final is Muscle Matters, a son of Muscle Mass who will start beside Harper Blue Chip in post three. Mario Baillargeon will be at the lines for his brother Ben who handles the colt’s training. Yet to win a race this year, Muscle Matters has been close, with five second place finishes in six starts, three of those to Harper Blue Chip. The CTC final goes as race nine on the card. In the third race, the $385,000 Peaceful Way final, there are six OSS fillies in the mix including a pair trained by John Bax, Stubborn Belle (post one, Paul MacDonell) and Juanitas Fury (post nine, Steve Condren). Both fillies have two OSS wins to their credit this season and both finished second in their respective Peaceful Way elims. Stubborn Belle was aptly named according to Bax. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to.” Despite that the Taurus Dream daughter, owned by Bax of Peterborough and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario, has set two records so far this year – a track record at Rideau Carleton (1:55.4) in an OSS Gold event and a stakes record in a Champlain stake (1:54.2). Bax also starts the Muscle Hill filly Southwind Champagne in the Peaceful Way final. She has post six with Steve Byron at the controls. The other OSS rookies attempting to capture the event named for one of the greatest Ontario-sired trotting mares of all time, $3.2 million winner Peaceful Way, include Daneille Hall (post two, Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (post four, Roger Mayotte), Amoureuse Hanover (post eight, Doug McNair) and Lady Caterina (post 10, Phil Hudon). The dam of Elegant Serenity, Elegantimage, is the namesake for the seventh race on the program. A star of the OSS in the late 1990s, Elegantimage earned just shy of a million dollars during her impressive racing career. A quartet of three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies will attempt to capture the $409,000 event including Bax’s Riveting Rose (post three, Paul MacDonell), Tosca (post two, Per Henriksen), Sweetie Hearts (post eight, Randy Waples) and Muscle Babe (post 10, James MacDonald). The other major trotting stake on the program is named for one of Canada’s most respected horsemen of all time, the late William Wellwood, a member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a successful participant in the OSS since its inception 40 years ago. The only Ontario-sired rookie colt in contention for this event is a son of Infinitif, Dont Rush who has drawn post four with Chris Christoforou in the bike. The colt captured a division of the first Gold event for this group in early July which surprised his trainer/owner and breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario. “If you had told me in October he was going to win a Gold the first week of July I don’t think I would have believed you,” laughed Jones. “He’s exceeded my expectations since I brought him in the barn.” The OSS graduates competing in the two Milton eliminations are Monkey On My Wheel, a Breeders Crown winner at three and 10-2-6 in 24 starts this year for owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ontario. The winner of $1.5 million to date in her career has post seven in the sixth race which also features the Camluck mare Camille ($1.1 million to date) in post four. Voelz Hanover ($1.5 million lifetime) is the lone Ontario-sired distaffer in the second Milton elim, race 10. In addition to all of the on-track action, Mohawk is also celebrating their fans with Fan Appreciation Night Saturday featuring a first bet on the house, giveaways after each race and a $5 food voucher to the first 1,000 fans. To view the full card please click Mohawk Entries - September 13.
The regular harness racing season for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series concluded on Friday (September 12) night at Mohawk Racetrack with five $18,000 divisions, and Moonwards Hanover and Thinkofagameplan both kept their Grassroots win streaks intact. Competing in the opening event, Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who came into this race off Grassroots successes on August 24 at Georgian Downs and August 31 at Clinton Raceway, circled from third to first before the :56.3 half. He would go on to post three-quarters in 1:26.1 and then kicked home in :28.4 to win by half a length over a closing Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair). There was a dead-heat for third between Big Moment (Randy Waples) and Ballybunion (James MacDonald). Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now three-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $36,000, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples), the points leader in this group, was behind the gate in the second Grassroots split, and he would pull out of the pocket to take command after the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan, who was second in a division of the Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes at Mohawk in his last try, would then click off the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 en route to a 1:54.3 score. He defeated runner-up Mybestolxfriendray (Phil Hudon) by a length and three-quarters with Ace Of Clubs (Doug McNair) back in third. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fourth win (all in Grassroots competition) from eight attempts and pushed his earnings to $76.440, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. While those familiar faces were victorious, the other three Grassroots flights were all won by horses who hadn’t yet tasted a win in the provincial program this season. Mr Carrotts (Phil Hudon) was the first to break through as he won the third section in 1:54.2. He was first at the :27.2 opening quarter and the :56.4 half, but first-over challenger Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) put a head in front at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Mr Carrotts would battle back on the inside in the lane, and he would go on to beat Star Cover by a length at the finish line with Windsong Lord (Chris Christoforou) in third. Murray Brethour trains Mr Carrotts, a colt by Mach Three, for owner-breeder Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Ontario. Mr Carrotts broke his maiden in his fifth trip behind the gate, and he has now put away $10,000. He’s the fourth foal out of the Run The Table mare Cueless ($466,638), who was a three-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Robert Hill (James MacDonald) had been picking up minor shares against Gold Series competition, but a drop to the Grassroots level made him a 1:54.1 winner on this night. He left from post eight in the fourth Grassroots test, and he was up to grab the front after the :27.4 opening quarter. Robert Hill would go on to put the :56.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters on the board before a :28.3 final kicker sealed his two and a quarter length triumph. Halton Hurricane (Rick Zeron) was second and Pace Seelster (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a Jeremes Jet colt, for owner Thomas Hill of England. Robert Hill, who was bred by Perretti Farms and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, picked up his first win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $19,220. He’s the seventh foal out of the Caprock mare Smooth Latin N ($217,884), which makes him a half-brother to two six-figure earners in McApulco ($365,942) and Mcaracas ($170,579) and to three-year-old Shadios, who has won twice in Grassroots competition this year for the Alagna/Hill combination. In the nightcap it was Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) who chopped out the :26.4 first quarter, but he would be overtaken by both Pier Ho Temptation (Chris Christoforou) and Shippen Out (Doug McNair) prior to the :56.2 half. Shippen Out then got to three-quarters first in 1:25, fighting off a first-over test by Jeb (Phil Hudon) in the process. Shippen Out put away Jeb for good early in the stretch drive and then held his pursuers at bay late in the mile to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54. Mystical Jet (Jody Jamieson) came in second and Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) took third. Blair Burgess trains the victorious Badlands Hanover colt for owner Karin Olsson-Burgess of Milton, Ontario. Shippen Out won for the first time in eight starts, and he has now earned $16,150. Winbak Farm bred Shippen Out, who fetched $9,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s the first foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Shipps Bikini ($410,500), who won a Grassroots division herself as a two-year-old. The two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will return to Mohawk next Friday (September 19) to compete in their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of this Friday’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912mohsn.dat.
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 12 - A two-year-old filly trotting a mile in 1:53 would ordinarily grab headlines. Unfortunately for freshman trotter Stubborn Belle, her 1:53 mile was only good enough for second, 3 Â¾ lengths behind Mission Brief's 1:52.1 World Record clocking, in last week's Peaceful Way Stakes elimination. "I was thrilled with the way she raced," said trainer John Bax. "It's no shame to finish second to that filly." Over the last few weeks, Stubborn Belle has shown speed that would normally have her at the top of the two-year-old trotting filly ranks. She won the Champlain Stakes on August 28 in a stakes record time of 1:54.2 and last week, her mile of 1:53 would've broken the previous track record by three fifths of a second. Her 1:53 mile was also more than two seconds faster than the other elimination, won by Jolene Jolene in 1:55.1. While Mission Brief's speed show overshadowed a great mile by Stubborn Belle, the daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover will get another crack at the World Champion in Saturday's $385,000 Peaceful Way final at Mohawk Racetrack. The elimination victory allowed Mission Brief's connections to select post five for her on Saturday evening, while Stubborn Belle went into the open draw and was assigned the rail. "We'll find out what the rail does, it's better than the ten-hole," said Bax. Stubborn Belle has won three of her last five starts, but the smooth-speedy filly that has been showing up in recent weeks is also the filly that made breaks in her first two starts. "She's a lot like her name," said Bax. "She was touching a little bit and kind of wanted to do everything her own way." Bax said his filly 'just had to grow up a litte bit' and noted the faster the race goes, the easier she is to handle. Once Stubborn Belle started to put it all together, Bax said she started to reach the potential he saw when training her down. "I'm not going to say (she showed) :53 speed, but she was always big, strong and looked like a colt." Stubborn Belle sold for $85,000 as a yearling and has already earned more than $116,000 for owners Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm. On Saturday, Stubborn Belle, who will be driven by regular pilot Paul Macdonell, has a big opportunity to increase that bankroll and give her trainer his second consecutive Peaceful Way Stakes victory. Stubborn Belle is not Bax's only shot at a repeat, he will also send out Southwind Champane. A daughter of Muscle Hill - Caerphilly, Southwind Champane finished fourth in her elimination with driver Steve Byron. The duo will leave from post six in the final. Although Southwind Champane hasn't shown the extreme speed to compete with her stablemate, Bax is still thrilled by what she has shown on the track. "I'm tickled with her, trot a mile in :54 and your not good enough. Where she started out the year I had to back up with her a bit, she had a chip taken out, so I'm real happy with her." While Stubborn Belle and Southwind Champane will look to give their trainer the repeat in the Peaceful Way, the filly that put Bax in the winner's circle last year will also be in action on Saturday night. Almost a year to the date, Bax will once again send out Riveting Rosie in a big money event. The daughter of Muscle Mass - Rose De Vie Stena will start from post position three in Saturday's $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes. Last season, Riveting Rosie dominated as a two-year-old, but this year she has not been able to find the same success at the age of three. "It's been a tough year with her," said Bax. "Every time you think you've got everything straightened out something else happens to her." Riveting Rosie, who will also be driven by MacDonell, isn't being given much of a chance with morning line odds of 15-1, but Bax isn't ruling her out to be a factor. "If she is on her game she is competitive." Post time for Saturday night's card, which will be highlighted by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, is 7:25 p.m. Saturday is also 'Fan Appreciation Night'. The first 1,000 fans on-track will receive a free $5 food voucher and prizes will be given away after every race. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Mohawk Racetrack had four $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series contests for rookie pacing fillies on their Thursday (September 11) harness racing program, and Sassafras Girl took the fastest time as she won the third flight in 1:53.3. With Phil Hudon handling the driving chores, Sassafras Girl shot to the lead from her post three starting position, and she would click off fractions of :27, :56, and 1:25. The fillies sprinted for home off that 59 second middle half, and Sassafras Girl kicked out a :28.3 final panel to seal the win by two and a quarter lengths over Twin B Honour (Trevor Henry). Little Miss Artist (Doug McNair) was third. Murray Brethour trains Sassafras Girl, a Badlands Hanover filly, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sassafras Girl, who is now four-for-eight overall and has banked $31,280, was bred by Winbak Farm. She’s out of the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della ($219,395) and a half-sister to the likes of Rub N Tug ($433,999). This was Sassafras Girl’s third Grassroots success of the season, joining her wins on July 10 and August 11 at Mohawk. Back in the Grassroots opener public choice Southwind Luna (Billy Davis Jr.) carved out fractions of :27.2, :56.4, and 1:26.2, and at the eighth pole she was clear by over three lengths. However, she began to falter inside the final sixteenth, and pocket-sitter Marachere (Jonathan Drury) took advantage, getting up in the shadow of the wire to prevail by half a length in 1:54.4. Southwind Luna had to settle for second and OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Marachere, a filly by Lis Mara, broke her maiden in her third try and pushed her earnings to $15,660. Trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville, Ontario, also co-owns Marachere with partners Robert Watson of London, Armando Cappuccitti of Maple and Mike Bartram of Ingersoll, Ontario. Marachere, who was bred by Ervin Miller Stable Inc., is the second foal out of the Cole Muffler mare Cherry Tree Coco, a full sister to Home Bed Advantage ($574,535). Race favourite Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson) had her backers smiling after a 1:54.4 triumph in the second Grassroots flight. She was in the lead at the 27 second opening quarter, the :55.3 half, and the 1:24.4 three-quarters on her way to a three-quarter length decision over Dublin Rose (Paul MacDonell). Amazing Control (Mike Saftic) checked in third. Ride Away Shark, another Winbak Farm-bred filly, has a trio of victories from eight attempts and has put away $28,480 for trainer Scott McNiven and owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Thomas Brodhurst of London, Ontario. Those connections took Ride Away Shark, a daughter of Classic Card Shark, out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $7,000. She’s the first foal out of the Dream Away mare Freedom Away. This was Ride Away Shark’s second Grassroots win of the year as she was also victorious on August 11 at Mohawk. The Grassroots nightcap was brought to you by the number three as Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) posted her third consecutive Grassroots win and breeder Winbak Farm won for the third time. Ms Mac N Cheese worked her way around Machin Marley (Billy Davis Jr.) for the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter, and she would go on to post a :56.2 half and a 1:25.4 three-quarters. Ms Mac N Cheese padded her advantage through the stretch and then coasted home late to win by two and a half lengths in 1:54 flat. She was followed across the finish line by Evas Girl (Peter Core) and OK Heavenly (Doug McNair). Richard Moreau trains the victorious Badlands Hanover filly for owner L. David Ratchford of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She has five wins from seven attempts this season, and she has earned $33,467. The second foal out of the Artiscape mare Mr Delis Filly, Ms Mac N Cheese was sold for $10,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Tonight’s races concluded the Grassroots regular season for two-year-old pacing fillies. They will return to Mohawk on September 19 for their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of Thursday night’s events at Mohawk from the Ontario Sire Stakes
Jolene Jolene might not be much when it comes to socializing in the barn, but trainer Jonas Czernyson doesn't mind as long as she is the life of the party on the racetrack. The 2-year-old filly trotter heads to Saturday's C$385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack with a three-race win streak, including a 1-1/2 length triumph over Juanitas Fury in 1:55.1 in her elimination last weekend. She will start the final from post three with driver David Miller. "She's very tough," said Czernyson, who trains Jolene Jolene for owner Bill Donovan. "She's good on the track, but in the barn, you don't walk into her stall without asking if it's OK. You open the gate and ask if today is a good day to come and visit. She will let you know if it is or not. But she's good on the track. "The fillies should have some attitude to them," he added. "I like them to have it. The good ones all have some quirks to them that you have to try to work around." Jolene Jolene, who has won three of six races and is 6-1 on the morning line, will have her work cut out for her in the Peaceful Way, which features Merrie Annabelle Stakes winner Mission Brief. Last weekend, Mission Brief won her Peaceful Way elimination in a world-record 1:52.1 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. She starts the final from post five and is the 3-5 choice. "I think she's a freak," said Czernyson, who has watched Jolene Jolene twice finish second to Mission Brief, beaten a total of 14 lengths. "She went (1:)52 under wraps up there. She looked very strong doing that. "I think we can go with her, but of course we've got to have luck. We've been in (1:)54 and she's been in (1:)52, so we've got to drop a few more seconds, but (Jolene Jolene) is coming into herself pretty good and she's pretty brave right now. I'm just hoping for a little bit of luck and hoping we can go with her." Jolene Jolene is a daughter of 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill out of the mare Celebrity Speedie, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Celebrity Sweedie. Jolene Jolene was purchased for $87,000 at last November's Standardbred Horse Sale. Her extended family includes Dan Patch Award winners Banker Hall and Broadway Hall. "I liked the way she was put together and everything," Czernyson said. "She had a presence about her. You could see already at the yearling sale that she was tough. It took us a little longer to get her broke, but she's been doing everything right. "I never thought she was going to be what she is. She was doing what we asked her to do, but she never did anything more. She trotted nice, but there was never a 'wow' (moment). Most of the time, those are the ones that turn out to be good too. They do exactly what they have to do and don't waste anything." Following the Peaceful Way, the plan is to send Jolene Jolene to Lexington's Red Mile for the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. She also is eligible to the Matron and Breeders Crown, both in November. "I'm hoping we can finish the year pretty good and put her away and hope for next year," Czernyson said. "We're just going to take it one step at a time and see where she's at. She was in the Merrie Annabelle and that's a long season if we're going to race through it all. But as long as she stays healthy and fresh we're going to keep on going." Following is the field for the Peaceful Way with listed drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Stubborn Belle, Paul Macdonell, John Bax, 5-1; 2. Danielle Hall, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson, 12-1; 3. Jolene Jolene, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson, 6-1; 4. Elegant Serenity, Roger Mayotte, Roger Mayotte, 20-1; 5. Mission Brief, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-5; 6. Southwind Champane, Stephen Byron, John Bax, 20-1; 7. Dynamite Dame, Sylvain Filion, R. Nifty Norman, 20-1; 8. Amoureuse Hanover, Doug McNair, John Smith, 20-1; 9. Juanitas Fury, Steve Condren, John Bax, 15-1; 10. Lady Caterina, Phil Hudon, Rod Boyd, 20-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
Lookslikeachpndale strutted winning form for the first time when he captured his elimination for Saturday's C$390,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at Mohawk Racetrack and driver Sylvain Filion thinks the colt can show even more. Trained by Luc Blais, Lookslikeachpndale starts Saturday's final from post two, one spot inside of last week's other Wellwood elimination winner, Uncle Lasse. The Wellwood is part of a stakes-filled card that also features the C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trotters, C$409,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old female trotters, and C$385,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old female trotters. Lookslikeachpndale has one win in five starts, but came into the Wellwood elims off two consecutive third-place finishes after twice finishing off the board. "He's been improving a lot of late," Filion said. "I feel he is still not the horse we think he'll become. He was pretty good last week and I think he is going to get better and better. There's still lots more to him than there is right now. He's still green. He doesn't really know what he's doing out there right now. That's why I think with a few more races he'll get better. He'll probably get the hang of it." A son of 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill out of the stakes-winning mare Poster Pin Up, Lookslikeachpndale was purchased for $185,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Serge Godin's Determination stable. The colt's second dam is stakes-winner Poster Princess and his third dam is Me Maggie, who was the 1990 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly trotter and is a half-sister to Lawn Tennis, the mother of standout racehorse and sire Credit Winner. Me Maggie's offspring include Prime Mistress, the dam of stakes winners The Chancellor and Beer Summit, not to mention grandmother of this year's Hambletonian Oaks winner, Lifetime Pursuit. "He's got a great family," Filion said. "He's got all the credentials for him. I know he will only get better, so that's pretty interesting." Lookslikeachpndale won his Wellwood elimination by a head over Jetpedia in 1:56.2. Uncle Lasse, who is a full brother to Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, won his division by 1-1/4 lengths over Habitat in 1:54.4. Filion also has drives in the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage and Peaceful Way. In the Canadian Trotting Classic, Filion will sit behind Harper Blue Chip. The Mark Steacy-trained colt has won four of 10 races this year and earned $335,320. He finished third in both the Hambletonian and Goodtimes stakes, both won by CTC contender Trixton. Harper Blue Chip will start from post two. Trixton, trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, leaves from post five while his stablemate, Father Patrick, is in post six. "He's been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post," Filion said. "But we've got a tough bunch of horses to race against. He's very good right now. I'm hoping for a good, close-to-the-front trip and hopefully some top horses won't be on their game, because we'll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It's a very high-quality group." Filion will drive Designed To Be in the Elegantimage, starting from the second tier in post 11. Trained by Julie Miller, Designed To Be has won three of eight races, never finished worse than third, and earned $366,299 this year. Filion has driven the filly once previously, winning the Simcoe Stakes on Aug. 29 at Mohawk. Designed To Be enters the Elegantimage off a second-place finish to Lifetime Pursuit in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship at Harrah's Philadelphia last weekend. "I was really impressed with her when I drove her," Filion said. "They told me to be careful behind the gate, which I did; maybe I was a little bit extra careful. She's got a huge engine and she can go all day. I watched her race (last week) and she raced huge. She was parked out the whole mile. "My only concern is she's going to be trailing (a horse at the start), but I guess that's better than drawing the 10 hole. I feel confident with her. I think she can overcome that. If everything goes well, there's no problem, but you're following someone leaving the gate and a lot of things can happen. That's my only concern." Million-dollar-earner Shake It Cerry, trained by Takter and driven by Ron Pierce, leaves from post seven in the Elegantimage. She enters the race off a victory in the filly division of the Zweig Memorial on Aug. 29 at Vernon Downs and has eight wins in 10 starts this season. In the Peaceful Way, Filion drives Dynamite Dame, who earlier this year won a division of the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs. Trained by Nifty Norman, she will start from post seven. Elimination winners Jolene Jolene and Mission Brief start from posts three and five, respectively. "She's a nice filly," Filion said. "She tries hard. She might not have the talent that the best ones have in there. But with racing luck we can go a long ways." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
This Week: Kindergarten Series, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y; Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial final, Peaceful Way final and Milton Stake eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Bobby Quillen Memorial final, Harrington Raceway, Harrington, Del. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 11) at The Red Mile with four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 12) program at Tioga Downs features four divisions in the $91,908 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old colt pacers and three divisions in the $77,309 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 13) with the C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$409,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$390,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old open trotters, the C$385,000 Peaceful Way final for 2-year-old filly trotters, and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton Stake for older pacing mares. On Monday (Sept. 15), Harrington Raceway will host the $200,000 (est.) Bobby Quillen Memorial final for older pacing horses. 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: Mohawk Racetrack had several Grand Circuit races during the past week. Among the most noteworthy were a pair of Simcoe Stakes divisions for 3-year-old open pacers. Dancin Hill and Scott Zeron were 1:50.1 winners in a Simcoe division at Mohawk. In the first Simcoe Stakes division, Dancin Hill and driver Scott Zeron picked up the victory in a career-best clocking of 1:50.1. Dancin Hill powered by Western Vintage in the lane and paced strong to the wire to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Winds Of Change. Carracci Hanover took the show spot. A son of Rocknroll Hanover-Beyonce Blue Chip, Dancin Hill has now won two of his last three starts and improved his seasonal record to three wins in 12 starts. Dancin Hill is owned by Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain and is trained by Tony Alagna. Melmerby Beach and Paul Macdonell scored their second victory in back-to-back weeks to take the second division. In the stretch, Melmerby Beach dug in and held off Play It Again Sam to win by a half-length in 1:50.2. Jet Airway couldn't find his best stride and finished third. A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Db Blue Chip, Melmerby Beach has now won three of his last five starts. Trained by Brent MacGrath for Schooner II Stable, Melmerby Beach has now won six of his 14 starts this year. The eighth annual Bobby Quillen Memorial stakes for older pacers commenced Monday (Sept. 8) at Harrington Raceway with a pair of $20,000 elimination divisions. Two-time Quillen champ Foiled Again was making his record sixth start in the Quillen, while 2013 champion Clear Vision was making his fourth. Those two rivals battled for a memorable finish in the 2013 event that resulted in a narrow win by Clear Vision over his stablemate. After Monday's eliminations, they appeared to be headed for a potential repeat duel as Foiled Again cruised to an effortless 1:51.3 triumph in his division, while Clear Vision was a 1:49.3 victor. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. They will lead a field of eight into the Monday (Sept. 15) final at Harrington. 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 - 966; 2. Tim Tetrick - 551; 3. David Miller - 471.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 423.5; 5. Brett Miller - 266. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,276.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 764; 3. Tony Alagna - 235: 4. Ake Svanstedt - 222; 5. Julie Miller - 210. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 274.05; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 246.55; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 182; 4. Robert Key - 175; 5. Bamond Racing - 156.5. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Balmoral Park, The Red Mile, Mohawk Racetrack, Hoosier Park and Hippodrome 3R. Delaware will be hosting ten Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Balmoral will host American-National events for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; The Red Mile will feature another leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; Mohawk will feature the final of the Milton Stake for pacing mares; Hoosier will host the Kentuckiana Stallion Management for freshman filly pacers and trotters and the Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers; and Hippodrome 3R will feature the Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
The 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots regular season for two-year trotting fillies came to a close on Tuesday night (September 9) at Mohawk Racetrack as the Campbellville harness racing oval played host to six $18,000 divisions. Sires Kadabra and Deweycheatumnhowe dominated the action with Kadabra picking up a trio of winners and Deweycheatumnhowe grabbing two credits. Magical Lass was the first winner for Kadabra as she took the opener in 1:59.1 for driver Paul MacDonell. She swept from third to first prior to the 1:30.1 three-quarters and then held sway through the lane to prevail by half a length over public choice Mass Rail (Trevor Henry). Lmc Marshmellow (Jack Moiseyev) checked in third. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Magical Lass, who is the first foal out of the Cantab Hall mare Priceless Lass, for co-owner/breeder Mel Hartman of Ottawa and co-owner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. Magical Lass broke her maiden in her fifth attempt, and she has now earned $11,875. The Murmuring Pan then made it a "Kadabra Daily Double" as she won the second race in 1:58.2 with Hall of Famer Steve Condren in the bike. The Murmuring Pan made a first-over move into the lead at the 1:00 half and didn’t look back from there on her way to a five and a quarter length decision. Giona (Wayne MacLean) was the runner-up and Desis Dream (Steve Byron) nabbed third. Paul Reid trains The Murmuring Pan for owner/breeder Peter Pan Stables Inc. of Pepper Pike, Ohio. She is now two-for-four in the win column with earnings of $18,000. Both of her wins have come in Grassroots competition as she also clicked at Mohawk on July 31. The Murmuring Pan is the second foal out of $448,000 earner Epangeline (Conway Hall). The final Kadabra winner was Wing Flash, who got up out of the pocket in the stretch to win the fifth Grassroots flight in 1:57.3 for trainer/driver Wayne Henry. Stay In Touch (Randy Waples), the leader at the head of the lane, had to settle for second and Hape (Riina Rekila) finished third. Henry Stable of Arthur and Daylon Farms Ltd. of Komoka, Ontario, own Wing Flash, who was bred by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm, and Donald Robinson and sold for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Wing Flash has a pair of victories from seven attempts, and she has now put away $30,725. A winner in Grassroots action on August 17 at Clinton Raceway, Wing Flash is the fourth foal out of the Andover Hall mare Armbro Everlasting. The dam is a half-sister to the likes of millionaire Armbro Keepsake. As for Deweycheatumnhowe, his initial siring triumph came with Tymal Illbthere (Chris Christoforou) in the third section. She followed the cover of divisional point standings leader Summers Jewel (Mario Baillargeon) and then got around her late in the mile to win by a neck in 1:57.1. Muscle Kit (Randy Waples) was third, more than 14 lengths behind the top two finishers. Erv Abdulov trains Tymal Illbthere for co-owner/breeder Tymal Farms of Oldcastle, Timothy Varey of London, and Shawn Dixon of London, Ontario. Tymal Illbthere won for the first time from six trips behind the gate, and she has now pocketed $37,660. She’s the first foal out of the Kadabra mare Ill Be There ($398,603), a six-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Solar Sister provided Deweycheatumnhowe with his other tally as she rallied from sixth at three-quarters to take the fourth division by a neck in 1:58.1. Magic Shelley (Trevor Henry) was up for second and Railee Priti (Steve Byron) collected third. Gregg McNair trains Second Sister, who has two triumphs from six starts and a bankroll of $29,160, for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm LLC., Second Sister was purchased for $32,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She’s the seventh foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Sister Sammy, and Second Sister is a half-sister to the likes of $210,000 earner Unshakeable. Second Sister also won in the Grassroots Series on July 15 at Mohawk. The other winner on the night was Bistrobistro Taj (Rick Zeron). Competing in the nightcap, Bistrobistro Taj popped the pocket to take command past the :27.3 opening quarter . She then reached the half in :58.1 and the three-quarters in 1:28.2 before she kicked away to win by three and three-quarters lengths in 1:57.3. Mets Life (Mario Baillargeon) was next, followed by Judy The Beauty (Bob McClure). Zeron also trains Bistrobistro Taj, a filly from the first crop of former Breeders Crown champion Pilgrims Taj, for owner 9215 6447 Quebec Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. Bistrobistro Taj, who was bred by Gestion Belvidere Inc., was successful for the second time from five starts, and she has now banked $58,250. Bistrobistro Taj, who also prevailed in Grassroots action on July 15 at Mohawk before she stepped up to take on Gold foes in her next few attempts, is the second foal out of the Angus Hall mare Freda Hall. The two-year-old trotting fillies of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will be back in action on September 19 at Mohawk Racetrack as they clash in their Semifinal round. Click here for full results Ontario Sire Stakes