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CAMPBELLVILLE, November 10 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced the final wagering numbers for the recently concluded Standardbred harness racing meet at Mohawk Racetrack. The 2016 Mohawk meet, which began on April 7, featured 144 race cards, 26 more than 2015, and had an "all-sources" wagering total of $215,022,527, an 18.5% increase over the 2015 "all-sources" wagering total of $181,432,465. The average per-race handle showed a 1.07% increase from 139,135 in 2015 to $140,629 in 2016. The 2016 meet was highlighted by a record-setting evening on Mohawk's signature night. The Pepsi North America Cup card on Saturday, June 18 generated the highest handle in both the history of the event and Mohawk Racetrack, as $5,241,508 was wagered on the 15-race card. Wagering on the 2016 Pepsi North America Cup card was up an impressive 22% in comparison to 2015. This was the second consecutive year that the Pepsi North America Cup card handle record was broken, while the previous Mohawk Racetrack single-card handle record of $5,006,896 set in August of 2014 was surpassed by $234,612. A record crowd of 17,602 passed through the entrances on June 18 and saw three-year-old pacer Betting Line win the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. Fans also witnessed the fastest mile in the 53-year history of Mohawk, as Always B Miki captured the Mohawk Gold Cup in 1:47.1 on the undercard. For the second consecutive season, Sylvain Filion led all drivers in victories during the Mohawk meet with 192. Richard Moreau topped the trainer standings with 94 wins. The leading owner for the meet was Serge Godin's Determination stable with 30 victories and over $1.2 million in earnings. Live Standardbred racing now shifts to Woodbine Racetrack for the Fall-Winter meet beginning Thursday. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, November 11 - The 2016 Mohawk harness racing meet is set to close Monday evening and there will be zero drama in the race for top driver and top trainer. On Saturday evening, Sylvain Filion and Richard Moreau were recognized as leading driver and trainer, respectively, during the 2016 meet. Filion leads all drivers with 190 wins entering Monday's final card of the meet. Trevor Henry sits second in the standings with 143 victories. Filion's large lead in the wins category is topped by his impressive advantage in the earnings category. The Milton, Ontario resident has driven the winners of over $5.1 million during the Mohawk meet, $2.1 million more than Henry ($3 million). Over on the training side, Moreau enters the final card of the Mohawk meet with 93 victories, 36 wins ahead of nearest rival Carmen Auciello. Moreau's stable has earned over $1.8 million this season at Mohawk, which is second only to Jimmy Takter's earnings of $2 million. Filion and Moreau's strong numbers during the Mohawk meet have them well-ahead to capture their second consecutive WEG Driving and Training titles. An 11-race card will wrap up the 2016 Mohawk meet Monday. Filion has 10 drives on the card, while Moreau has five horses scheduled to compete. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, November 4 - Mohawk Racetrack played host to nine qualifiers Friday morning, featuring a solid group of harness racing two-year-olds putting in final preparations for next week's Fall Four eliminations. The sun was shining, the temperature was comfortable and the track was 'Fast' for the qualifying action. Two-year-old pacing colts Ideal Wheel and Deadly Action both scored qualifying victories in prep for the Governor's Cup. A son of American Ideal, Ideal Wheel made a second-quarter move to the lead and went on to pace a :57.1 back-half for a 1:55.4 score. Jonathan Drury was in the bike behind the Casie Coleman trainee. Ideal Wheel's last pari-mutuel start was a runaway victory in the Champlain Stakes on September 10. He has won three of six starts this season for $157,505 in earnings. Deadly Action was making his first appearance Friday since a New York Sires Stakes event on September 3 and reached the wire first in 1:56.1. The son of Art Major sat third throughout for driver Drury and was asked dig in during the stretch drive to fight off three-year-old pacing filly Stylish Beachwhere by a neck. Trained by Colin Johnson, Deadly Action is one for seven as a rookie with $20,905 earned. On the pacing filly side, Candlelight Dinner took care of business with a solid 1:55.2 victory for Drury and Coleman. The daughter of American Ideal brushed to the front in the second-quarter to reach the half in :58.4 and three-quarter pole in 1:27.2. Candlelight Dinner responded to some mild urging in the lane to pace home comfortably in :28 for the victory. A four-time winner from seven starts with $139,844 earned, Candlelight Dinner is eligible to the Three Diamonds. Goldsmith Maid eligible trotting fillies, Gravitator and Southwind Tesla, finished one-two in 1:58.4. Gravitator and driver Sylvain Filion circled to the lead just after the half and led the field by three-quarters in 1:30.1, while Southwind Tesla marched up from fourth to second on the far turn to sit a couple lengths back for driver Paul MacDonell. Both trotting fillies finished up strong in the lane, with Gravitator finishing a length and a half ahead of Southwind Tesla. A daughter of Kadabra, Gravitator most recently finished second in the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final on October 15. The Luc Blais trainee has one win in eight starts with earnings of $162,250. A daughter of Chapter Seven, Southwind Tesla's most recent outing was a 1:56.2 maiden-breaking score in a Late-Closer at The Red Mile on October 6. The Rene Dion trainee has hit the board in four of eight starts this season and earned $15,470. The Fall Four Stakes (Governor's Cup, Three Diamonds, Valley Victory and Goldsmith Maid) is the last Grand Circuit stop for two-year-olds in 2016. All four events will feature a purse of $400,000 plus, with the Governor's Cup potentially going for a purse north of $500,000. The Fall Four eliminations are scheduled for next Friday (November 11) at Woodbine Racetrack with the finals to take place on Saturday, November 19. Also on Friday morning, six-year-old gelding Vegas Vacation returned to make his first appearance since July of 2015. The 2013 Little Brown Jug champion used a strong stretch-kick to rally from fifth for a 1:53.3 qualifying victory. Vegas Vacation surged by proven overnight competitors Thunder Steeler and The Rev to score the victory by a neck, with a charted final-quarter of :26.2 Trained by Casie Coleman, Vegas Vacation had a tremendous three-year-old season in 2013, but was sidelined for the entire 2014 campaign. The son of Bettors Delight returned in 2015 to make six starts, but suffered another injury and was shut down after the Ben Franklin Stakes on July 4, 2015. Vegas Vacation is an 11-time winner from 36 career starts with earnings of over $1.2 million and a mark of 1:48.3. The final weekend of the 2016 Mohawk meet begins Friday evening with an 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, November 3 - A six-pack of Ontario Sired Autumn Series first leg divisions for harness racing three-year-old colts and geldings highlighted Thursday night's card at Mohawk Racetrack. Each division was contested for a purse of $18,000 with 24 sophomore trotters and 29 three-year-old pacers competing over six divisions. Georgies Pockets was last at the quarter, but first at the wire to capture Thursday's first division for trotters. The Jack Moiseyev trainee was sent off as the heavy-favourite and didn't disappoint. Georgies Pockets was moved to the outside in the second-quarter by Moiseyev and calmly grinded his way up to second and a little more than a length off the lead at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Georgies Pockets pulled away from his rivals with ease for a 5¾ lengths victory in 1:56.1. Jls Bad Moon Risin finished second, while French Bastille was third. A son of Muscle Mass, Georgies Pockets now has four wins in nine starts this season after winning six of nine as a rookie. The sophomore trotting colt has banked $44,000 this season to bring his career total to $138,650 for owner M T Pockets Stables. Georgies Pockets paid $2.60 to win. Georgies Pockets Moonstar Mission showed some grit in winning the second split in 1:56.3. Trained and driven by Tom Durand, Moonstar Mission made a second-quarter move to the lead from fourth to take the field by the half in :58.4. The gelded son of Manofmanymissions led the field into the lane, but was challenged by Windsun Missile, who pulled to within a neck of the lead with an eighth of a mile to go. Moonstar Mission turned aside the challenger in deep stretch to score the victory by 1¾ lengths. Windsun Missile had to settle for second, while Mostinterestingman was third. Owned by June & Tom Durand and Allan Smith, Moonstar Mission was making his first start since July in Thursday's Autumn Series opener. The sophomore trotter now has two wins in six outing this season after going winless in three starts and earning $1,440 as a two-year-old. Moonstar Mission increased his career earnings to $20,940 with the victory. He paid $12.60 to win. Moonstar Mission United Bi went to the front and got the job done in the final division, but not without a fight. The Shannon Henry trainee was sent to the front by Trevor Henry and called all the shots. In the stretch, The Land Shark came out of the two-hole to take his crack at the leader and took a slight lead over United Bi halfway down the lane. However, United Bi fought back and turned aside the public's choice before reaching the wire just in time to hold off a charging Rose Run Rudi by a neck in 1:58.2. The Land Shark was third. A gelded son of Manofmanymissions, United Bi now has two wins from 12 starts this season after winning twice in eight outings during his rookie campaign. The three-year-old trotter has earned $21,200 this season to bring his career earnings to $54,540 for owners Nick Petrusich and Trevor Henry Stables Inc. United Bi paid $5.80 to win. United Bi Over on the pacing, Senior K picked up his second consecutive victory with a 1:53 score in the opening division. The son of Bettors Delight sat fourth throughout the early going before coming first up on the far turn for driver Doug McNair. Senior K overtook the lead at the top of the lane and then fought off a pesky Mayfield Duke to win by half a length. Sure Fired Bet was third. Trained by Gregg McNair, Senior K now has back to back victories to bring his season's record to two wins from seven starts. The sophomore pacing colt is owned by Keith Waples and now has $22,500 banked this season to bring his career total to $33,940. Senior K paid $5.50 to win. Senior K Think On It came up with a strong effort to win the second division in 1:54. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Think On It was blasted towards the front to grab command in the first turn. After surrendering the lead, MacDonell was back out to circle around to the front at the half. Think On It powered his way around the final turn and into the stretch, but had to give everything he had to hold off a late charging P L Jackson by a head. Tango Star was third. A gelded son of Ponder, Think On It now has three wins from 10 starts this season after winning one of five last year. The Bob McIntosh trainee increased his seasonal earnings to $22,060 and his career earnings to $41,890 with his victory Thursday. Think On It is owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, Dave Boyle and James Walker. He paid $14.40 to win. Think On It Mach Power needed to go 12 rounds to win the final Autumn Series division of the evening. The Carmen Auciello trainee got away fourth with driver Jonathan Drury, who moved the sophomore pacing gelding to the outside in the second-quarter. Mach Power drove first up to confront the leader Bugatti and the three-year-old pacers threw down in a far turn battle. Mach Power eventually won the battle and took the lead in the stretch, but his evening was far from done. Drury had to ask the Auciello trainee for everything to fend off an outside challenge from Archangel Three and an inside bid from Speedling. Mach Power reached the wire first in 1:53.3 by half a length over Speedling, while Archangel Three was only beat three-quarters of a length lengths in third. A gelded son of Mach Three, Mach Power picked up his seventh victory of the season in his 25th start. Owned by David Snowden, Mach Power has banked $65,630 in his first season of competition. The Auciello trainee paid $5.30 to win. Mach Power In order to be eligible to the Ontario Sired Autumn Series, the three-year-old colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2016 as of September 30, 2016. The sophomore colts and geldings will return for the second leg next Thursday at Woodbine Racetrack. Just three cards remain on the calendar for the 2016 Mohawk meet. Post time Friday, Saturday and Monday is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 31 - Harness racing driver Sylvain Filion became the newest member of the $100 million club on Halloween night at Mohawk Racetrack. The 47-year-old resident of Milton, Ontario entered Monday's card $8,807 away from $100 million in career earnings and used a pair of second-place finishes in $18,000 Autumn Series divisions to reach the milestone. Filion was out of town last weekend at The Meadowlands for the Breeders Crown and earned $150,500 in four championship races to quickly pull up on the $100 million mark. The veteran reinsman is in the midst of another strong season with 283 wins, including two on Monday, and over $7.1 million in earnings. The 2016 Mohawk meet is currently in the final week of the season and Filion has already locked up another driving title. Following Monday's card, Filion is 48 wins ahead of nearest rival Doug McNair. Filion, a winner of 8,327 races, has driven the winners of over $5 million in eight consecutive seasons and his 2016 earnings total is currently only second to his single-season best of $8.6 million in 2012. The Woodbine Entertainment Group will have a presentation for Filion to recognize his $100 million milestone and his Mohawk meet driving title later this week. Autumn Series action for Ontario Sired three-year-olds made up nearly half the card Monday night. The first leg for filly pacers featured three divisions, while filly trotters clashed in a pair of preliminaries. Trilife reached up just in time to win the first leg for three-year-old pacing fillies. The Ben Wallace trainee was guided to victory by Jonathan Drury, who put the daughter of Mach Three on the front from post-eight. Trilife surrendered the lead in the second-quarter and sat in the two-hole until the lane. Never Any Doubt took the lead after driving first up on the far turn and appeared to have a victory in sight, but Trilife hit her best stride late and got up in time to win by a nose in 1:53.3. Owned by Wallacestandardbreds Inc and William Boden, Trilife now has four wins in 14 starts this season for earnings of $34,100. The sophomore pacing filly's most recent triumph gives her six career wins and a career bankroll of $53,660. Trilife paid $13.50 to win. Trilife Docs Sausalito was last at the opening-quarter, but first at the wire for driver Travis Cullen and trainer Nick Gallucci in the second pacing filly division. The daughter of Art Colony was put into the outside flow heading to the half and was eventually sixth, but just a little over three-lengths from the lead at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Docs Sausalito powered by her rivals to take the second division by a length in 1:54.3. Queenofthejungle finished second, while Acefourtyfour Alex was third. Docs Sausalito now has four wins in 17 starts and $46,990 earned this season for owner Dr. Andrew Roberts. Monday's victory increases the pacing filly's career totals to five wins and $48,072 earned. The Gallucci trainee paid $11.70 to win. Docs Sausalito Top Royal grinded out a 1:54.1 victory in the third and final pacing filly division. Driven by Phil Hudon, Top Royal got away fourth and followed a second-quarter brushing Tempus Seelster towards the front. Top Royal did not overtake Tempus Seelster on the backside and had to grind away first over for the duration of the mile. Top Royal muscled by Tempus Seelster in the lane, but then had to fight off a charging Jimbelina to get the job done by a neck. Tempus Seelster finished third. A daughter of Royal Mattjesty, Top Royal is trained by Heather Toll, who shares ownership with Brydown Farms Inc. The sophomore pacing filly had just one win in 18 starts this season prior to Monday's contest. Top Royal's career record now sits at 8 wins and earnings of $85,410. She paid $13.60 to win. Top Roya l The opening leg of the Autumn Series for three-year-old trotting fillies featured a pair of big-fields. Fittingly on Halloween, I Want Kandy overcame a miscue at the start to come from behind for a 1:57.3 score. Driven by Rick Zeron, I Want Kandy made a break before the start and was off-stride until nearly the opening-quarter. The Anthony Montini trainee was 25 lengths from the lead at the opening-quarter. I Want Kandy did her best to rejoin the group and things would ultimately work out for her. The daughter of Angus Hall was ninth and about nine-lengths from the front turning for home, but her rivals weren't offering much trot in the lane and she rallied by to win by a length and a half. Devils Advocate finished second, while Dayliner was third. The AGCO Judges reviewed the break made by I Want Kandy for several minutes, but determined the filly lost ground while on a break and made her the official winner. Owned by Albina Montini, Paul Giammichele, Vincent Albanese and Kwong Sum Low, I Want Kandy is now a five-time winner from 16 starts this season and a seven-time winner in her career. The sophomore trotting filly has banked $34,870 this season to bring her career earnings to $69,370. I Want Kandy paid $5.10 to win. I Want Kandy Majestic Presence didn't overcome a break to win, but the Dagfin Henriksen trainee rallied from ninth turning for home to win the second division. The daughter of Majestic Son was off the pace throughout the early stages in a field of 11. Trainer/driver Henriksen got the filly off the pylons on the far turn, but was about eight-lengths from the lead at the top of the lane. In the stretch, Majestic Presence charged by her rivals on the far outside to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:57.3. Whambamthankumaam finished second, while Trumpets was third. Owned by Gerald Haggerty, Majestic Presence was winless this season in 15 starts prior to her triumph Monday. She now has two career victories and a bankroll of $29,850. Majestic Presence paid $9.90 to win. Majestic Presence Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Mohawk with Autumn Series action for three-year-old colts and geldings on tap. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 27 - Harness racing rookies were in the spotlight Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack for a quartet of Ontario Sired Autumn Series finals. The temperature teetered around the freezing mark during Thursday's card, but the action got off to a hot start. You Cant Afford Me and Roger Mayotte were able to capitalize after a break by the heavy-favourite to win the $28,200 Autumn Series final for two-year-old trotting fillies at odds of 30-1. Powerful Mission, the 1/9 favourite, was seeking a series sweep, but made a miscue when asked to circle around from second to first by driver Phil Hudon just after the opening-quarter. Jilona continued to lead the field after Powerful Mission's break and posted fractions of :28.4, 1:00 and 1:31. You Cant Afford Me, who originally got away sixth, was along the pylons and only three-lengths from the front turning for home. Jilona drifted off the pylons in the lane while attempting to maintain the lead and this allowed Mayotte to send You Cant Afford up the cones for the victory. Tymal Reign was trotting well on the far outside and made it a photo finish for win, but came up a head short. Jilona was able to hold on for a third-place finish. You Cant Afford Me was winless in 11 prior starts heading into Thursday's final, but the Scott McEneny trainee picked the perfect time to break her maiden "I was just trying to get her off the gate quiet when Sylvain (Filion) run and delayed me a bit," said Mayotte. "I saw Phil (Hudon), the big favourite, run so I was liking that. "I decided to stay inside because I knew Trevor's (Henry) horse (Jilona) was probably second best and he drifted a little off the rail and I was able to sneak up and get it." A daughter of Angus Hall, You Cant Afford Me is owned by Michelle McEneny and Teresa Davidson. The rookie trotting filly now has earnings of $39,700. You Cant Afford Me paid $67.50 to win. You Cant Afford Me Trainer Per Henriksen showed once again why he is a wizard with trotters, as his student Resita captured the $28,200 two-year-old colt and gelding trot Autumn Series Final at 5-1. Henriksen pulled the shoes on Resita, sending the rookie out to race barefoot, while also changing his bridle from an open to a Swedish blind. The gelded son of Manofmanymissions responded by winning in a career best 1:58.1. Scene A Magician, who was aiming for a series sweep, made a big second-quarter move from fourth to first and cleared to the front just after reaching the half in :58. Resita, who was fifth at the half, was moved to the outside by driver Randy Waples and got up into third at the three-quarter pole. Scene A Magician was trying to finish the job after trotting by three-quarters in 1:27.2, but the 3/5 favourite couldn't fight off Resita, as the Henriksen trainee marched by to win by a length and a half. Noble Prize finished third for driver Mayotte. Resita came into the Autumn Series final off back to back third-place finishes in the preliminary legs, but driver Waples was confident a victory was within reach. "Last week he got some bad cover and I had to move him early and he was kind of coming towards Jack's (Moiseyev) horse (Scene A Magician) last week," said Waples. "I said to Per's guys that if I can stay kind of close with him, I'm pretty sure he will win and he did." Owned by Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc. and Asa Farm, Resita now has two wins in seven starts for earnings of $27,660. The Henriksen trainee paid $12.90 to win. Resita Waples carried his momentum over to the next final and was once again back in the winner's circle. Out Of Sight left from the rail with Waples and got away fourth, but was quickly moved to the outside at the quarter. The Bob McIntosh trainee got to the front and never looked back. Out Of Sight took the field by the half in :57.4 and by three-quarters in 1:27.1. The daughter of Mach Three opened up three-lengths on the field at the top of the lane and paced home comfortably for a 3¾ lengths score in 1:57.2. Manhattan Play, the 3/2 favourite, finished second, while Sports Leader was third. Out Of Sight entered the $28,600 two-year-old pacing filly final off a second-place finish in last week's second leg. Waples noted that the filly wasn't on top of her game last week, despite the runner-up finish. "She seemed like she was a little bit better (tonight), I think she came out of her last race a little bit sick," said Waples. "With the rail it was hard to kind of get her out of there and keep some of the others out, so I thought I would move her early...she was really good tonight, so it worked out good." Owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc, Out Of Sight now has two wins in 11 starts and earnings of $46,500. Out Of Sight paid $11.70 to win. Out Of Sight Just like Waples, McIntosh also doubled up in Autumn Series action Thursday night, as Mc Mach took the $29,200 two-year-old pacing colt final with ease. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Mc Mach left hard from post four to grab command and lead the field by the opening-quarter in :27.1. The McIntosh trainee and 1/9 favourite kept the tempo honest and stormed by the half in :55.4. Mc Mach opened up close to fourth lengths on his rivals at three-quarters in 1:24.1 before coasting home for a 5¼ lengths victory in 1:54.4. Throwoutofbetter finished second, while Osborne Seelster was third. Mc Mach entered Thursday's final off a blowout victory last week in the second leg. The son of Mach Three didn't compete in the first leg and had previously been racing against Grand Circuit and Sires Stakes company. "He's really come into himself the last month or so," said MacDonell. "He had fought a few issues there in the mid-summer and it cost him a couple races, but Bob's got him right on his game right now and I could see him being a real good three-year-old." Mc Mach now has five wins in 12 starts and earnings of $77,050 for owners Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc and Randy Liepa. Mc Mach paid $2.30 to win. Mc Mach In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2016. Live racing continues Friday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 20 - Autumn Series preliminary round action concluded Thursday with three second leg divisions for harness racing two-year-old colts and geldings at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 11, originally 12, two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions, while nine freshmen trotting colts and geldings competed in a single division. Each division was contested for a purse of $16,000. The two-year-olds not only had to deal with each other, but also a 'Sloppy' racing surface, as rain fell all-day Thursday in Campbellville. After finishing second as the public's choice last week, Bills Fella bounced back for a convincing victory in the first pacing division. Driven by Mike Saftic, Bills Fellas got away third in the early stages, while Sauble Shadow cut an opening-quarter of :28.3. Saftic gave the public's choice his cue to move in the second-quarter and the rookie responded by clearing to command just before hitting the half in :58.1. Bills Fella never looked back once taking the lead and finished off the victory by pacing a :29.1 third-quarter and a :29 final-quarter over the off-going for a 1:56.2 score. Osborne Seelster got to the winner's wheel, but had to settle for second, while Red John finished a little more than seven-lengths back in third. A gelded son of Artistic Fella, Bills Fella now has two wins in 10 starts this season. A homebred for trainer Gregg McNair and co-owner Ian Fleming, Bills Fella has now earned $28,160 in his rookie season. He paid $3.20 to win. Bills Fella Exiting out of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold action, Mc Mach lived up to the 3/5 hype with a dominating victory in the second split. The Bob McIntosh trainee did not compete in last week's first leg, but quickly made up for lost time. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Mc Mach fired out to grab the early lead and it was lights out from there. Mc Mach posted fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:25 before drawing away for a 7 ¼ lengths victory in 1:54.1. Dreamfair B J, who won a first leg division last week, finished second, while Thrownoutofbetter was third. Mc Mach now has four wins in 11 starts with his previous three victories all coming in OSS Grassroots action. The Mach Three colt has banked $62,450 this season for owners Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc and Randy Liepa. The McIntosh trainee paid $3.40 to win. Mc Mach Scene A Magician proved last week's big victory was no trick by taking Thursday's lone Autumn Series division for rookie trotting colts and geldings in 1:58.4. Driven by Jack Moiseyev, Scene A Magician left from post eight and was pointed towards the front. The two-year-old gelding was parked around the first turn, but quickly cleared to command entering the backstretch. As Scene A Magician grabbed the front, Vesuvio Bi came first up from fourth for driver Mario Baillargeon. However, Vesuvio Bi could not get around Scene A Magician despite urging from Baillargeon and was left out for the duration of the middle-half. Scene A Magician stayed focused despite the outside challenger and trotted the field by the half in :59.1 and three-quarters in 1:29. In the stretch, Scene A Magician stretched out his lead to a few lengths and trotted home in :29.4 to score the victory. Upvote Hanover rallied up the rail at 35-1 to finish second by three-quarters of a length. Resita finished third. A son of Daylon Magician, Scene A Magician improved his record to a solid four wins in seven starts with his 1:58.4 score Thursday. The rookie gelding has banked $49,020 this season for trainer Jennifer Pinkerton, who shares ownership with Daylon Farms Ltd and Gordon Yeo. Scene A Magician will now have an opportunity to sweep the Autumn Series in next Thursday's final. He paid $6.70 to win. Scene A Magician The Autumn Series for two-year-olds will wrap up next Thursday with the finals for all four divisions taking place on the October 27th card. The Autumn Series final for pacing colts and geldings will go for a purse of $29,200, while the final for pacing fillies will be contested a purse of $28,600. The finals for trotting colts and geldings and trotting fillies will both go for a purse of $28,200. In order to be eligible to the Ontario sired Autumn Series, the two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2016. Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 18 - Powerful Mission will have an opportunity to sweep the Autumn Series for harness racing two-year-old trotting fillies after a 1:57.1 victory Tuesday at Mohawk Racetrack. A field of 10 rookie trotting fillies clashed in a single $16,000 Autumn Series second leg division. The first leg featured two six-horse divisions, which were captured by Powerful Mission and Lady Eagle. Driven by Phil Hudon, Powerful Mission got away fifth and sat there until things quieted down on the front end. Hudon gave the rookie her cue to march up in the second-quarter and the 2/5 favourite was a first over and a couple lengths from leader Gaelic Lass at the half in :57.2. Mario Baillargeon was not in a giving mood, as he turned up the tempo with Gaelic Lass on the far turn, forcing Powerful Mission into the two-hole. After reaching three-quarters in a snappy 1:26.2, Gaelic Lass could not sustain the momentum and surrendered the lead to Powerful Mission, who angled from the two-hole and trotted by to win by four-lengths. Gaelic Lass held on for second, while Jilona was third. Lady Eagle finished eighth. A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Powerful Mission now has four wins in 10 starts and earnings of $39,200. She is trained by Kevin St. Charles for owners E C S Racing LLC. Powerful Mission paid $2.80 to win. The final of the Autumn Series for Ontario sired two-year-old trotting fillies will take place on Thursday, October 27. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 17 – Daenerys Hanover and Manhattan Play turned in sharp efforts to capture the harness racing second leg divisions of the Autumn Series Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. An original group of 13 two-year-old pacing fillies were split into two $16,000 divisions. Sheer Talent, the winner of leg one, looked poised for another score Monday, but Daenerys Hanover had other plans in the first division. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Daenerys Hanover got away fifth in the field of six and sat in that spot for the opening three-quarters of the mile. Sheer Talent grabbed command in the second-quarter and posted fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.1 to lead into the stretch. Daenerys Hanover was six-lengths from the lead turning for home, but quickly erased that deficit in the lane and surged by her rivals to win in 1:56. Out Of Sight, who got a two-hole trip, finished second by just a neck, while Sheer Talent surrendered the lead and finished third. A daughter of Camluck, Daenerys Hanover is trained by Sean Mehlenbacher for owner John Mehlenbacher. The rookie pacing filly, who finished second in last week’s first leg, now has three wins in nine starts this season for earnings of $35,620. Daenerys Hanover paid $6.40 to win. Daenerys Hanover Manhattan Play scored a strong 2¾ lengths victory in the second division for driver Mike Saftic and trainer Nicky Comegna. The daughter of Shadow Play, who finished fourth last week, was put right on the front and went coast to coast for a 1:55.2 maiden-breaking score. Ask For Me finished second, while Sporty Gussie was third. Manhattan Play posted fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:26 before a :29.2 kicker to secure the victory. The Comegna trainee was winless in eight previous starts heading into Monday’s Autumn Series leg. Owned by Bruno Comegna, Manhattan Play now has earnings of $30,236. She paid $3.30 to win. Manhattan Play The two-year-old pacing fillies will get extra time to rest up before the series final, as it will take place along with three other Autumn Series finals on Thursday, October 27. Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Mohawk with round two of the Autumn Series for rookie trotting fillies headlining the 10-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

OCT. 15, 2016 - Super Final night 2016 served as a coronation for several of the Ontario Sires Stakes program's harness racing stars and a coming out party for others. Leading reinsman Sylvain Filion, who had locked up his fourth Lampman Cup title well before the post season got under way, piloted three of his eight Super Final mounts to victory on the $2 million program at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday. The Milton, ON resident guided two-year-old pacing filly Yaris Bayama, three-year-old trotting colt Warrawee Roo and three-year-old trotting filly Emoticon Hanover to victory in their respective division finals. "Every race means something, but Finals like that, it's even more," said Filion. "Like that Yaris Bayama, my dad raised her, on the farm where I was raised, so that made it quite special. I'm sure you can see many examples like that here tonight; it sure does make it special." Off a trip up the outer lane, Yaris Bayama sprinted home to a one length victory over Fade and Aint Three OK in 1:53. Carlisle, ON resident Stephane Larocque conditions the filly for Yves Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. The daughter of Sportswriter wrapped up her freshman season with a record of five wins, one second and two thirds in 10 starts for earnings of $231,820. Filion teamed up with trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC for his second and third Super Final victories. In the three-year-old trotting colt battle Filion, who is also a three-time winner of the O'Brien Award as Canada's leading driver, once again used come-from-behind tactics to guide Warrawee Roo to a one length victory over Will Take Charge and Dia Monde in 1:53.4. "I feel good for them guys, they were real disappointed with the filly, she made a break, she was heavy favourite, and you know the grooms, the trainer Luc Blais, they work hard all year on them horses and it's not as easy as it looks, there's a lot of work, a lot of hours behind that," said Filion, who had finished at the back of the field with two-year-old trotting filly favourite On A Sunny Day three races earlier. "So that one there feels real good with that horse. He's always shown me a lot of talent, but he's been making breaks. Luckily tonight Luc put it all together and he was real strong." Majestic Son colt Warrawee Roo boosted his three-year-old record to five wins, one seconds and one third in 14 starts with the Super Final victory, giving him a total of $246,421 in earnings. One race later Filion stalked fan favourite Caprice Hill until the head of the stretch, when he detected a chink in the defending champion's armour and sent Emoticon Hanover after the win. The filly hit the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Caprice Hill, who was one length ahead of Wanaka, in a personal best 1:53.1. "Turning for home I saw Timmy (Tetrick) kind of chasing his filly and I said maybe we have a shot," said Filion. "She's a real decent filly. She can leave the gate real fast and she stuck to Timmy's helmet. I think maybe Caprice Hill wasn't quite herself tonight, that's why we got to beat her." Emoticon Hanover, a daughter of Kadabra and former Ontario Sires Stakes star Emmylou Who, will make her next start in the Oct. 22 Breeders Crown Eliminations at The Meadowlands, aiming to make the Oct. 29 Final. Saturday's victory boosted her sophomore record to seven wins, two seconds and two thirds in 13 starts for earnings of $485,418. Mohawk Racetrack fans remained glued to their seats until the very last Super Final, waiting to see if three-year-old pacing colt Betting Line could extend his win streak to 14 from the outside Post 10, and the son of Bettors Delight did not disappoint. Driver David Miller and Betting Line were almost five lengths back at the three-quarters, but the heavy favourite rocketed home in :26.3 to defend his Super Final title, hitting the wire one length ahead of pocket-sitter Gerries Sport and pacesetter Sintra in 1:49.3. "A little bit worried at the head of the lane there," admitted trainer Casie Coleman in the winner's circle. "But Betting Line does that once in a while. He knows where the wire is. I've never had a horse that knows where the wire is as much as Betting Line. He just digs right in when he hits the flag poles there and makes sure he's on front at the wire." Cambridge resident Coleman and Betting Line's other owners Ross Warriner of Burlington, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON lingered in the Mohawk winner's circle following his Super Final victory, the colt's last outing on Canadian soil. He will compete in the Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands at the end of October and in the Hap Hansen Pace at Dover Downs in November and then move into his new accommodations in the stallion barn at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania. Betting Line leaves home with a lifetime record of 20 wins, three seconds and two thirds in 27 starts and earnings of $2,238,518. Sophomore pacing filly L A Delight also defended her Super Final title, battling to a head victory over a hard-closing Bad As Leader in 1:50.3. Party In Rome rounded out the top three. "She does a lot of her own talking on the racetrack," said trainer Bob McIntosh of the filly, who went undefeated in her Ontario Sires Stakes career. "She's just a good filly, and she just wants to win, and that's something you can't teach them, it's bred right in them." "It's her attitude. She wouldn't let them by," added driver Randy Waples of Milton, who piloted the filly to the win. "But credit where credit is due, as great as she is, for him to keep her the way he has for two straight years - and every time that she's raced for big money he's had her exactly the way you want her to be - it says a lot for the trainer." Windsor resident McIntosh bred and owns L A Delight with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. In her 27 career starts the daughter of Bettors Delight and West Of L A has recorded 20 wins, two seconds and two thirds for earnings of $1,351,663. Like Betting Line, her next start will come in the Breeders Crown, but McIntosh added that, so long as she remains strong and healthy, fans will see her back on the racetrack in 2017. Fans will also be looking forward to seeing two-year-old trotting colt Mass Production back in action next season. The son of Muscle Mass and All Time Favorite closed out his freshman campaign with an Ontario Sires Stakes record performance, sailing home eight and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:54.4. Tycoon Seelster and Dream Massive finished in second and third behind the fan favourite. Trainer Rick Zeron of Oakville piloted Mass Production to the win for his partners Jim Walker of Port Perry, Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON and Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA. In nine starts the gelding posted five wins, one second, one third and earnings of $285,673. "There was some stuff going on there that, you're kind of wincing, hoping that your horse can stay out of the trouble or not have anybody run into him or make a break; all those things are possible with two-year-old trotters," said co-owner Jim Walker of the race, which saw two colts make early errors. "But it was great, and, you know, we enjoyed it all year. He won three of the five Golds and this, there's nothing more you could ask for in an Ontario Sired horse; it's a great program." Winter Sweet Frost captured the two-year-old trotting filly Super Final title with a 1:55.4 personal best in a race that also saw several youngsters make miscues. In rein to Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair, Winter Sweet Frost cruised home a one and one-half length winner over Gravitator and Holiday Promise. Paul Reid conditions the daughter of Kadabra for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. Driver Jonathan Drury recorded his first Super Final victory in the two-year-old pacing colt division, guiding longshot Arsenal Seelster to a come-from-behind 1:53 score. Drury and Arsenal Seelster hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Yogi Bayama, who was one length ahead of Machin A Trick. "It was very unexpected actually," said Drury, who crafted the win for trainer Colin Johnson of Repentigny, QC and his partners Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON, Brian Paquet of Quebec, QC and Ecurie JGC Enrg. of Laval, QC. "I thought I was maybe a little too far out of it at one point, but they kind of bunched up at the head of the lane and my colt kicked home strong." The Guelph, ON resident had a career-best year on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit in 2016 and is hoping to be back among the top drivers next season after recovering from a Nov. 25 shoulder surgery that will see him sidelined for three to six months. The reinsman has until May before the 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes season gets under way, with this year's two-year-olds hoping to reclaim their championship form and a new crop of pacers and trotters aiming to carve out a place in the provincial history books. Mass Production L A Delight Yaris Bayama Warrawee Roo Emoticon Hanover Arsenal Seelster Betting Line Ontario Racing  

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 13 - Rookie harness racing colts and geldings of both gaits were on display Thursday night in a quartet of Ontario Sired Autumn Series divisions at Mohawk Racetrack. Each division, two for pacers and two for trotters, carried a purse of $16,000 with 14 horses competing in each category. Mach Deja Vu broke his maiden in gate-to-wire fashion to win the first pacing division for driver Chris Christoforou and trainer Dany Fontaine. The son of Mach Three blasted to the front and proceeded to post fractions of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:26.2. In the stretch, Mach Deja Vu extended his lead to about three-lengths before crossing the wire in 1:55.3 for a two-length score. Osborne Seelster grabbed second, while Tremendous Play was third. Mach Deja Vu was winless in nine starts heading into the Autumn Series first leg. The Fontaine trainee's maiden breaking score gives him $22,047 in earnings for owners Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. The son of Mach Three paid $9.40. Mach Deja Vu In the second division, Dreamfair B J crushed his rivals by six-lengths in 1:54 for driver Billy Davis Jr. and trainer Pat Fletcher. The son of Big Jim got away sixth before getting his cue from Davis Jr. to march his way up to within a length of the lead at the half in :57.2. Dreamfair B J edged away from his rivals on the far turn to pace by three-quarter in 1:26. The Fletcher trainee finished off the victory with a solid :28 kicker. Bills Fellas crossed the wire second, while Brave World was third. Dreamfair B J was coming into the Autumn Series off a fourth-place finish in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Championship on September 24. He now has two wins in eight starts and earnings of $28,650 for owner John Lamers. Dreamfair B J paid $5.30. Dreamfair B J On the trotting side, Scene A Magician was a blowout winner in the first division for driver Jack Moiseyev and trainer Jennifer Pinkerton. The son of Daylon Magician got to the front just after the opening-quarter and proceeded to crush his rivals with a six-length victory in 1:57.4. Scene A Magician set fractions of :58.2 and 1:28.1 before trotting home in :29.3 for the win. Lmc Mass Gem finished second, while Noble Prize was third. Scene A Magician entered Thursday's contest with two wins in five starts. He now has three wins and $41,020 earned for owners Daylon Farms Ltd, Gordon Yeo and Pinkerton. The son of Daylon Magician paid $6.30 to win. Scene A Magician Vesuvio Bi captured the second division for driver Mario Baillargeon and trainer Martin Lachance. The son of Manofmanymissions led the field by the quarter in :29, but surrendered the lead in the second-quarter to Charmbo Chrome. The new leader led the field through middle-half fractions of :58.2 and 1:28.4. Vesuvio Bi was angled from the two-hole at three-quarters and went on to trot by and score a maiden breaking victory by three-lengths in 1:58.2. Charmbo Chrome held on for second, while Resita was third. Vesuvio Bi was making just his second career start Thursday evening. His maiden breaking score gives him $9,120 earned in two starts for owners Lachance Racing Stable and Don Mogridge. The Lachance trainee paid $5.70 to win. Vesuvio Bi In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2016. The second round of the Autumn Series for rookie colts and geldings will be contested next Thursday (October 20). Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

OCT. 12, 2016 - Mohawk Racetrack hosts the $2 million Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals on Saturday, Oct. 15 and trainer Mark Steacy will cap off a career best year in the harness racing program by sending out starters in four of the eight division championships. With 263 points, Steacy is poised to capture his first Johnston Cup title as the top trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Heading into the season finale Steacy has a 39 point lead on reigning title-holder and eight-time winner Robert McIntosh and sits 42 points ahead of three-time winner Gregg McNair. He and his staff have harnessed 128 starters in the provincial program to date for 14 wins, 13 seconds, 20 thirds, 28 fourths, 12 fifths and earnings of $573,540. "I'm pretty proud of that," said Steacy of his career-best statistics. "Again, that's not just me, that's the staff too. "First of all you've got to have the great owners and then you've got to have the great help," the horseman added. "These guys work hard, and if it wasn't for them the results wouldn't be the same." In addition to his season-long Ontario Sires Stakes success, Steacy achieved a major milestone in August when his career earnings surpassed $20 million. Both accomplishments are part of a decade-long evolution in Steacy's operation that started when son Shawn joined the business. "It all happened probably in the last 12 years; we were kind of low key until about 12 years ago," said Steacy, a lifelong horseman who was introduced to harness racing by his father Clarke, Sr. "After Shawn graduated out of school and came on with me I was able to keep horses and race them rather than sell them, which I used to do before. I used to develop them, race them a few times in Ottawa or Montreal, and then sell them." For several years Shawn supervised a temporary operation near Mohawk during the peak months of the Ontario Sires Stakes season, but last fall father and son decided it was time to establish a more permanent base at the First Line Training Centre in Nassagaweya, ON. "Shawn was up here all winter this year. We've come up before with half a dozen or 10 horses and stayed for three or four months, and we've done that for 10 years or so, but we've never stayed all winter until this year," explained Steacy, who was honoured with the O'Brien Award for Horsemanship in 2007. "We're going to be here again all winter. I'll do my babies at home in Lansdowne, but we'll keep the older horses up here." Steacy has already acquired 18 yearlings and expects that number to climb as high as 25 before the sales season wraps up. While Shawn, who now makes his home in Guelph, ON, handles the older horses, Steacy will have the support of his younger son Clarke, Jr. when it comes time to start the yearlings. "I have Clarke on board too," said Steacy, adding that Clarke, Jr. has decided to switch his focus from catch-driving to training for the time being. "He's actually running the Lansdowne outfit right now, and so I think that's going to help us to even get to another level." All three men are currently focussed on finishing the Ontario Sires Stakes season on a high note, ensuring Dream Massive, Sass, Royal Charm and Nocturnal Bluechip are in peak shape for their respective $250,000 Super Finals on Saturday. Two-year-old trotting colt Dream Massive will kick things off from Post 6 in the first Super Final, and his connections are hoping the son of Muscle Mass minds his manners after making breaks in his last two Gold Series starts. "We trained him this morning (Wednesday), and he trained good, so hopefully," said Steacy, who conditions the colt for Michael Soehnlen of Dalton, OH. "I thought we had him sorted out there and he went out and made a mistake again last time. He just got bully in the hole. Off and on he's showed that he does have quite a bit of ability, but he can be his own worst enemy." Three-year-old trotting colt Sass gets Post 3 in the fifth Super Final of the card and Steacy is hoping the Kadabra colt has bounced back from a viral infection that showed up after the Oct. 6 Gold Leg at Mohawk. "He still got fourth, but that was his worst start," noted Steacy, who put the colt on a course of antibiotics after the race. "Hopefully he'll be good to go on Saturday; I think a healthy Sass has got a shot. Obviously you've got to have that thing called luck on your side, but if it is then I think he's got a shot." Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC bred and owns Sass, who has earned $177,980 in his career to date. Sophomore trotting filly Royal Charm landed Post 4 for her last Ontario Sires Stakes start and will be looking to continue the hot streak she has been riding through the last six weeks. After a pair of third-place finishes in the Simcoe Stakes and her Elegantimage Elimination, the daughter of Steacy's former superstar Majestic Son scored an upset win in the $436,000 Elegantimage Final and then finished second in the last Gold Leg. "She's finally coming together for us. We always knew she had a lot of go to her, and she's been behaving herself, touch wood, lately," noted Steacy. "As long as she does that, she's not a big horse getting off the gate, but she can always kick home good. "If she races respectable I think then she is eligible to the Breeders Crown, and I think the Matron, so it's possible that we could finish the year off with that," added the trainer, who conditions the winner of $341,462 for David McDonald of Cornwall, ON, Shelly MacMillan of Waterloo, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stables Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY. "We'll just have to see how Saturday goes first." Steacy's final entry comes in the three-year-old pacing colt showdown with Nocturnal Bluechip lining up at Post 9, alongside the reigning division champion Betting Line, who gets the outside Post 10. "He's got a tough post and he probably needs a better post more than them all," said Steacy of the Bettors Delight son. "He's been kind of a letdown this year, you know, a horse that's got lots of speed but just hasn't done what we expected of him. The way he's going, he's going to have to trip out really well." Landmark 8 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Jane Phair of Thornbury, ON and NLG Racing Stable of Wallkill, NY share ownership of Nocturnal Bluechip, who heads into the Super Final with lifetime earnings of $225,901. Guelph resident James MacDonald will steer Nocturnal Bluechip, Dream Massive and Sass, while Paul MacDonell, also of Guelph, pilots Royal Charm. Mohawk Racetrack's first race goes postward at 7:30 pm on Saturday, with the eight $250,000 Super Finals slated as Races 2 through 5 and 7 through 10. In addition to the on track excitement, Mohawk fans will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes ball cap when they purchase a program and can play the fun-filled OSS Trivia Spin and Win game for more great prizes. Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 11 - Rookie trotting fillies took their turn Tuesday for round one action of the harness racing Ontario Sired Autumn Series at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 12 two-year-old trotting fillies were split into two $16,000 opening leg divisions. Powerful Mission lived up to her name by scoring a dominate 4¾ lengths victory in the first division for driver Phil Hudon and trainer Kevin St. Charles. The daughter of Manofmanymissions got away fourth and came first up in the middle-half. Powerful Mission pulled right up along side Jilona on the far turn and the rookies slugged it toe-to-toe by the three-quarter pole in 1:28.1. In the stretch, Powerful Mission quickly pulled away from her rival and ultimately scored an open lengths victory in a career best 1:57.1. Jilona finished second, while You Cant Afford Me was third. Powerful Mission now has three wins in nine starts and $31,200 earned in her rookie season. She is owned by E C S Racing LLC. The St. Charles trainee paid $4.90 to win. Powerful Mission Lady Eagle took the second division in 2:00.1 for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Rob Fellows. The daughter of Muscle Mass was one of three fillies to remain trotting the entire mile and Filion took his time before unleashing the filly. Lady Eagle got away third and made a move towards the lead on the far turn to pull to within a neck of the front at three-quarter pole in 1:31.2. In the stretch, Lady Eagle powered by to take a clear lead and pull away for a 3¼ lengths score. Princess Julieann finished second, while Gaelic Lass was third. Lady Eagle was making her Mohawk and Fellows barn debut Tuesday after beginning her career in Iowa. She now has three wins in six starts and earnings of $13,775 for owners Mark King and Caroll Huffman. Lady Eagle paid $5.70 to win. Lady Eagle In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired two-year-old trotting fillies had to be non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2016. The rookie trotting fillies will return for the second leg of the series next Tuesday (October 18). Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 10 - The annual Ontario Sired Autumn Series got underway Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack with harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies squaring off. Sheer Talent rallied from off the pace to defeat nine rivals in the $16,000 first leg for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Carmen Auciello. The lead changed hands several times during the early stages of Monday's contest. Sports Leader, who was parked for three-eighths, finally cleared to the front ahead of Manhattan Play, the even-money favourite, and led the field by the half :56.4. Manhattan Play popped the pocket and circled back to command on the far turn to pace by three-quarters in 1:27. Sheer Talent, who got away eighth, got into the outer flow on the far turn and sat third-over, five lengths from the front turning for home. Daenerys Hanover, who was first up at three-quarters, pressed at Manhattan Play in the lane, while Sports Leader was also in the mix. However, Sheer Talent had the most pace of any filly in the lane and rocketed by on the far outside to win by a length and a quarter in 1:56.2. Daenerys Hanover finished second, while Sports Leader finished half a length ahead of Manhattan Play for third. A daughter of Badlands Hanover, Sheer Talent now has three wins in 10 starts this season. The rookie pacing filly was purchased for $20,000 at last year's Forest City Yearling Sale and has banked $29,700 in her first season for owner Robert Burgess. A $2 win ticket on Sheer Talent returned $8. In order to be eligible to the Ontario Sired Autumn Series, the two-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2016. The rookie pacing fillies will meet up again next Monday (October 17) for round two. Autumn Series action continues Tuesday with two first round divisions for two-year-old trotting fillies. Mark McKelvie

OCT. 6, 2016 - After finishing third in five straight Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series starts, stretching back to September 2015, three-year-old trotting gelding Dia Monde grabbed a win in the last regular season harness racing event of his career at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. In rein to Milton resident Randy Waples Dia Monde left smartly from Post 6 and landed second behind early leader Dunvegan Don, who led the field to a :27 opening quarter. Waples continued to sit on the rail as fan favourite Bee In Charge took control heading for the :57.1 half, and then tipped Dia Monde into the outer lane heading by the 1:26.1 three-quarters. With a clear look at the finish line, Dia Monde shifted into overdrive and powered under the wire a one and three-quarter length winner in 1:54. Tony Soprano also closed well to be second, leaving Bee In Charge the third-place finisher's spoils. "He raced good, we're pretty tickled with him finally getting that win," said Puslinch resident June Durand, who shares ownership of Dia Monde with her husband, trainer Tom Durand, and Allan Smith of Oakville, ON. The victory boosted Dia Monde into fourth spot in the division standings, with 98 points, heading into the Oct. 15 Super Final. Through all 13 of his sophomore starts the son of Deweycheatumnhowe and Lady Bar has three wins, two seconds, five thirds and earnings of $163,612. Dia Monde is the second foal out of Lady Bar - a half-sister to former Durand trainee Clarice Marie ($313,400) - that Smith and the Durand's have owned, and it was their long familiarity with the family that first drew the partners to Dia Monde. "We had Littlejack Hanover and he was small, he was a Donato (Hanover), and then when we went to look at this colt he was twice the size, a big, strong colt," recalls June Durand. "And the thing we liked about him is, Looking Hanover ($1,125,136) was the other good horse out of the family and he's a Muscles Yankee and Deweycheatumnhowe is out of Muscles Yankee, so it's kind of going back to that same cross, and he's a big beautiful horse. We paid lots for him, but I think he was worth it." The gelding was a $70,000 purchase at the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, and Smith says he has repaid their investment in ways that cannot be reflected on a balance sheet. "We've been fortunate enough we've had some good stakes horses and done well financially, but it's more the fun of winning," said Smith. "Being with Tom and June - all the work they do to pick out the right horses and get them where they do with a small stable - I'm pretty impressed with what they do and I've always supported it and always will." Dia Monde The partners will be hoping Dia Monde can continue his winning ways into the $250,000 Super Final, where he will face division point leader Muscle Hustle, the winner of the other $105,000 Gold division on Thursday. Sent off as the fan favourite, and also in rein to Waples, Muscle Hustle took control just after the :28 opening quarter and rolled through a :58.1 half and a 1:26.3 three-quarters without facing a challenge. Muscle Hustle hit the wire one length ahead of Holiday Party and two more up on Will Take Charge in 1:54.1. "Muscle Hustle, he was awesome, last quarter :27.3, won fairly handy, and everything is good with him," said trainer Per Henriksen of the division point leader. "He's healthy and everything." Thursday's outing was Muscle Hustle's first in just over a month, he was sidelined with his second bout of sickness this season following a third-place result in the Sept. 3 Simcoe Stakes, but Norwood resident Henriksen expects the colt to be in top shape for next week's finale. "He didn't race for four weeks, but his race here should make him even better," said the horseman, who conditions the son of Muscle Mass and Crown Laurel for Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood. In his five Gold Series starts Muscle Hustle logged three wins, one second and one fifth for 180 points, and trotted to an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:52.2 over the five-eighths mile surface at Georgian Downs. Through 12 starts this season he has tallied seven wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $239,832. Henriksen also trains Bee In Charge, who finished third behind Dia Monde, and said the fan favourite tested sick after the race. "Bee In Charge didn't race as good as I thought he was gonna do, and we scoped him and he had some mucous so he is obviously a little sick," said Henriksen. "We've just got to get him healthy for the Super Final." Muscle Hustle Heading into the Super Final off wins aboard both Muscle Hustle and Dia Monde puts Waples in the difficult position of choosing between two horses that appear to be prime shape for the post season. "They're both really nice horses. I really haven't made up my mind. It'll probably just go by post position, I think that's the way it will go anyways," said Waples. "We'll see what happens, see how they come out of it. "I was really happy with the pair of them you know. I thought Muscle Hustle was the best in his class as long as things went his way and he was healthy," the reinsman continued. "And Dia Monde, I know that horse can beat anybody out there, but he just hasn't really been putting it all together his last couple, but tonight he really showed up, he put a big, big effort in tonight." Waples is also the regular reinsman for superstar sophomore pacing filly L A Delight and trotting filly Caprice Hill. Both fillies were victorious in their freshman Super Finals and both head into this year's test undefeated in regular season Gold Series action. With a total of $2 million up for grabs in eight divisions, Super Final night gets under way at 7:30 pm at Mohawk on Saturday, Oct. 15.. Ontario Racing

The second and final day of the CKG Billings Amateur Drivers Series Canadian road trip on Monday, October 3rd saw Howard "Howie The Horse" Gelfand bring accolades back to Canada after he won the Billings trot at Mohawk Racetrack with Cracker Zack in a 1:58.3 clocking. Gelfand was one of four Canadian sportsmen participating in the Mohawk harness racing event. The first race of that Billings Travel Series was Sunday and the USA's David "Poppa" Glasser emerged victorious. In the Billings event on Monday Gelfand had drawn the favorite in the race and drove him as such. When the wings of the mobile gate folded he ducked Cracker Zack down along the pylons in fourth position. As the 10-horse field approached the halfway point Gelfand moved his trotter out to challenge the leaders and at that point they got first call. Once on top Cracker Zack trotted away from the others and at the third stanza he had an eight-length lead. From there it was catch me if you can and nobody could as the 7-year-old Angus Hall gelding trotted home an easy five-length victor. Second place went to Most Wanted Lindy driven by "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello while Sherwin "Smiley" Edwards garnered the show dough with Little Stuie. The winner, owned by Richard Moreau, Don Beanland and Fred Handelaar, is trained by Moreau. He paid $5.00 for win. Gelfand, a sales agent from Mississauga, Ont. and longtime participant in the Billings Series, notched his first seasonal triumph and although he has been driving sparingly in recent years still it was his 36th driving victory in a career which began in the late 1980's. Next Billings action will be back in the States on Sunday, Oct 9 at Saratoga Raceway. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

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