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JULY 22, 2016 - Six divisions of sophomore pacing fillies battled at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening and Noone To Depend On captured her second Grassroots trophy to retain control of harness racing's top spot in the division standings. Starting from Post 3 in the second $18,000 Grassroots division, Noone To Depend On dropped into second behind Twin B Thong and stayed on the pacesetter's heels through fractions of :26.4, :56.3 and 1:25. Turning for home driver Jody Jamieson asked Noone To Depend On for another gear and the filly powered by Twin B Thong to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:53.1. Kays Shadow finished third. "'Nina', as she's called in the barn, was back to herself tonight," said driver Jamieson. "She's a pure and simple 'trip horse', like many are, but she seems to fire every time she gets a good one. "I'm very happy for my sister," added the Moffat resident, who steers Noone To Depend On for his father, trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, and sister, Brandy Jamieson of Milton, ON. The win was the Santanna Blue Chip daughter's second in Grassroots action this season and, combined with her third-place finish in the other leg, gives her a total of 112 points and sole ownership of top spot in the division standings. Noone To Depend Pursuing Noone To Depend On in the point race are two fillies who also picked up their second Grassroots trophies on Friday. Bourbon Seelster kicked things off in the first race with an impressive effort that saw her leave sharply from Post 9, lead the charge up the outer lane, circle out three-wide heading by the three-quarters and then hold off a late charge from Bernadette to secure a one-half length victory in 1:53. Southwind Tango was three and one-quarter lengths back in third. The Camluck filly is a perfect two-for-two in Grassroots action, having skipped the second leg in favour of the July 9 Gold Series event at Mohawk. Bourbon Seelster finished a closing fourth in her Gold division, but trainer Robert Manders and owners Keith and Scott Manders of Watford, ON decided a return to the Grassroots program was in order. Friday's win gives the filly 100 points in the race for a berth in the Grassroots post season. Bourbon Seelster Also pursuing Noone To Depend On is Forever Liza, who got a confident steer from James MacDonald in the fourth division. Fourth through the early going, MacDonald sent Forever Liza to the front before the halfway marker and then repelled a challenge from fan favourite Westsluckycam at the three-quarters. Once she had disposed of the favourite Forever Liza powered home to a four length victory in 1:53. Queenofthejungle and Bad Lightning rounded out the top three. "She was very good tonight," said Guelph, ON resident MacDonald. "I moved her to the front and she was a bit green there, but when Jody (Jamieson and Westsluckycam) got up beside her she just took off. "She is a nice big, strong filly," added MacDonald, who piloted Forever Liza to the win for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and owner Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Like Noone To Depend On, the Bettor's Delight daughter won her division in the Grassroots season opener, and two wins plus the fourth-place result she recorded in the July 11 event give her a total of 108 points. Forever Liza The fastest mile of the six Grassroots divisions was record by Tonightimlovingyou, who went gate-to-wire in 1:52.4 to best Active Lady and Glorious Delight in Race 5. "She was good tonight," said driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON. "I think she was going to be second in her last Gold, but she made a break at the three-quarter pole. I was happy we got the win with her tonight." A full-sister to $1.5 million winner See You At Peelers, Tonightimlovingyou started her season at the Gold Series level, finishing seventh in the June 4 opener and then making a break and finishing ninth in the July 9 event. Wanting to restore the filly's confidence, trainer Ciaran Morrison of Harley, ON decided a move to the Grassroots level was in order and the decision paid off with the Bettors Delight daughter's third win of the season. Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John and Jim Fielding of Toronto, ON and Goran Falk of Allentown, NJ share ownership of Tonightimlovingyou. Tonightimlovingyou The other two divisions also went to first time Grassroots winners, Maxim Seelster and Evangelin Seelster. Fan favourite Maxim Seelster sprinted down the stretch to post a neck victory over Tahiti Seelster and Top Royal in the fifth division. Milton resident Sylvain Filion engineered the 1:53.2 win for trainer Rene Bourassa of Fergus and owner M & S Racing Stable Inc. of Rockwood, ON. The win was the Big Jim daughter's second in eight starts and boosted her earnings to $25,200. Maxim Seelster The final trophy went home with Evangelin Seelster, who also employed a late rush to get a nose decision over Docs Diva. HP Sissy was two lengths back in third. The 1:53.4 clocking was a personal best for the Camluck daughter, who was driven to victory by Trevor Henry of Arthur. Andrew McCabe of Guelph-Eramosa trains Evangelin Seelster for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein. Evangelin Seelster All six of Friday's winners will be looking to maintain or improve on their position in the division standings when they make their fourth Grassroots start at Mohawk on Aug. 5. On Saturday evening, July 23, the Campbellville oval hosts the third three-year-old pacing colt Gold Series showdown. The colts, including North America Cup winner Betting Line, will battle in Races 6 and 8. Post time for Saturday's program is 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 21 - Art Major filly Candlelight Dinner turned in an impressive six-length victory in the opening leg of the Whenuwishuponastar harness racing series Thursday at Mohawk Racetrack. A field of seven rookie pacing fillies met up for the $14,000 first leg of the Whenuwishuponastar. The annual series has produced many top fillies, including last year's winner L A Delight. Casie Coleman trainee Candlelight Dinner entered the opening round off a strong 1:54.1 victory in her career debut July 5. With a strong debut to go with a pair of impressive qualifiers, the betting public made the Art Major filly 1/9. Driven by Jonathan Drury, Candlelight Dinner left from post five and was unhurried into the first turn. The Coleman trainee was parked around the opening bend, but cleared to the front with ease before three-eighths. After reaching the half in :58.3, Candlelight Dinner surrendered the lead to a blasting Touching Thought, who paced up from sixth to first. The new leader's time on the front end was short-lived, as Drury angled the heavy-favourite to the outside at the three-quarter pole in 1:27. Retaking the lead at the top of the lane, Candlelight Dinner pulled away from her rivals with ease and cruised home in :27.2 for a 1:54.2 victory. Black Jack Pat, who sat on the back of the favourite, finished second. Moment To Ponder was third, while Touching Thought dropped back to finish fourth. A Lexington Selected Yearling Sale graduate, Candlelight Dinner was purchased for $110,000 last fall. She is the eighth foal out of Jate Lobell mare Time N Again and a full-sister to millionaire pacing mare Romantic Moment. Candlelight Dinner is owned by Mac Nichol, Let It Ride Stables Inc., and Howard Taylor. She now has two wins in two starts and $14,000 in earnings. The second round of the Whenuwishuponastar Series will take place next Thursday (July 28). Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

JULY 21, 2016 - Mohawk Racetrack hosted the second Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting fillies on Thursday evening and harness racing fans welcomed three first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winners back in front of the grandstand. In the first $18,000 Grassroots division, Mohawk fans wisely overlooked the mistake made by Inner Drive in the July 10 season opener and sent the Bob McIntosh trainee off as their top choice. The Kadabra daughter trotted smoothly away from Post 2 and was sitting second when Parkhill Nocredit hit the opening quarter in :29.4. Driver Paul MacDonell opted to send the favourite to the front, but Inner Drive was only in command briefly before Hab Faith came calling. Hab Faith took control just past the 1:00 half and continued to lead the field to the 1:29.1 three-quarters, but once the fillies squared up in the stretch Guelph resident MacDonell tipped Inner Drive out of the pocket and the long-legged lass was able to reel in Hab Faith and secure a neck victory in 1:59.4. Parkhill Nocredit was two and one-quarter lengths back in third. "She's a nice big filly with a great pedigree who should improve with each start," said trainer McIntosh of Inner Drive, whose mother, Urge To Splurge, is a half-sister to former Ontario Sires Stakes superstar Text Me, who was the Super Final champion in both 2010 and 2011 and earned $931,853 in his career. Windsor resident McIntosh bred and shares ownership of Inner Drive with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. In three starts the filly has tallied one win, one second and $12,500. Inner Drive The second Grassroots division saw the fan's second choice, Powerful Mission, reel in fan favourite Man Shes Hot to earn her first victory. The Manofmanymissions daughter and driver Phil Hudon sprinted down the stretch to a 1:59.2 clocking, three lengths ahead of Man Shes Hot and pacesetter Whole Lot Of Sugar. "She's a nice filly. She run last week, but I liked her a lot," said Guelph resident Hudon, who salvaged a fifth-place finish in an overnight event at Mohawk on July 14 after the filly made an early miscue. "She has a great attitude and trots nice, she was well in hand." Michigan-based trainer Kevin St. Charles conditions Powerful Mission for owner E C S Racing LLC of Rockford, MI. Thursday's outing was Powerful Mission's second start and her first appearance in the Grassroots program. Powerful Mission The final Grassroots trophy went home with Anikadabra, who got a confident steer from driver Rick Zeron. Starting from Post 7, Zeron sent Anikadabra straight to the front and never looked back, cruising through fractions of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:29.4 en route to a 1:59.3 victory. Fan favourite P C Pipe Dream was three lengths back in second and Late Shift was another length back in third. "She's a real nice filly, very, very nice," said Oakville resident Zeron, who pilots Anikadabra for trainer Rob Fellows of Rockwood, ON. "Very sensible, very knowledgeable, very smart, everything you ask her to do she does. "Rob had said to me that he was really, really high on this filly. He really likes her a lot, and it showed tonight that Rob was right, that she's a real nice filly," the reinsman added. "She just does everything you ask her to do. She can leave the gate like a pacer, which is great because you're never going to get yourself in any trouble, and you know every time she heard a horse behind her coming, and the guys barking at their horses, she just took off by herself. I was just sitting in the cart with her tonight." A Kadabra half-sister to $1.2 million winner Resolve, Anikadabra is owned by her breeders, Edward Wilson of Seagrave, ON and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. The filly is a second generation product of the partner's breeding program. Her mother Anikawiesahalee is a half-sister to their former Gold Series winner Wilsonator ($496,049) and Grassroots champion Legzy ($277,660). Anikadabra Thursday's outing was Anikadabra's second; she finished fourth in the Grassroots opener at Georgian Downs on July 10. The freshman trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on Friday, July 29. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on both Friday and Saturday evening. Friday's program features six $18,000 Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies and Saturday's card will see the third Gold Series battle between the three-year-old pacing colt titans. Post time for both events is 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

JULY 19, 2016 – On A Sunny Day and Winter Sweet Frost put some distance between themselves and the rest of the harness racing two-year-old trotting filly field with repeat Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series wins at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening. On A Sunny Day made it clear from the start of the first $70,000 division that she was looking for her second Gold trophy. The Muscle Mass daughter and driver Sylvain Filion left smartly from Post 7 and reached the opening quarter in :28. The fan favourites continued to lead through the :57.4 half and then held off challenger Literally through the 1:28.1 three-quarters before accelerating away to a one and one-half length win in a personal best 1:57.2. Former Grassroots winner Literally had to settle for second in her Gold Series debut, with Tropicana AS earning a third-place result in her first lifetime start. “She was a little more aggressive tonight,” noted Milton resident Filion. “There was no taking back, I had to go forward with her, but once she cleared the front she relaxed and she came back to me nice, and she was well in hand at the wire.” The leading reinsman in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, Filion drives On A Sunny Day for trainer-breeder Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. The filly is a perfect two-for-two and has banked $70,000 for her connections. In the second division driver Doug McNair employed a similar strategy with favourite Winter Sweet Frost. After watching Mass Psychology ring up a :29 quarter, McNair put Winter Sweet Frost on the front and the Kadabra daughter cruised effortlessly through a :59.1 half and 1:29 three-quarters on her way to a two and one-half length victory over Gravitator and Expose Yourself. The 1:58.2 clocking was a new personal best for Winter Sweet Frost, who is also flawless through two starts. “She raced good, I was happy with her,” said McNair. “I don’t think she’s been at her best yet though.” The Guelph resident steers Winter Sweet Frost for trainer Paul Reid of De Leon Springs, FL and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The final division saw first-time starter Magic Presto demonstrate some of the potential trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman had glimpsed through the winter. Starting from Post 5 the Kadabra daughter and driver Trevor Henry landed fourth as fan favourite Sweet Of My Heart led the field to a  :28.3 quarter, then moved up to third when Hudsons Ya Ya broke stride in front of them before the :59.4 half. Heading for the 1:29.2 three-quarters Henry sent Magic Presto after the leader and was able to tuck the filly in for a brief breather behind Sweet Of My Heart before making a final charge for the wire. Employing an impressive :27.3 final quarter, Magic Presto reeled in Sweet Of My Heart and hit the wire one length the best in 1:57.2. Lady Justice was well back in third. “She trained down really good all winter, she’s always been one of our better ones,” said Norman. “She’s really good gaited and very good mannered, and the only thing that we were concerned about was she was so big and so growthy.” The New Jersey-based trainer prepped Magic Presto for her Ontario Sires Stakes debut with a pair of qualifiers at The Meadowlands, where she finished sixth in 2:02.2 on June 25 and third in 2:00.2 on July 2. “Her qualifiers had been just a little bit average at The Meadowlands. I was a little disappointed in her, she was a little weak,” admitted Norman. “But, like I said, she’s very big and very growthy, and I think she’ll just get better as we go, as she gets stronger. Good things to come hopefully.” Mel Hartman of Ottawa, ON, breeder Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY share ownership of Magic Presto, who was a $160,000 yearling purchase from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The filly is a full-sister to former Gold Series winner Could It Be Magic, who has earned $213,156 in her career to date. The two-year-old trotting fillies will return to Mohawk Racetrack in two weeks, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, for their third Gold Series start while their Grassroots peers arrive at the Campbellville oval on Thursday, July 21 for the second event on their calendar. The Grassroots trotting lasses will battle in Races 3, 6, and 10. Post time is 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

JULY 18, 2016 - From the moment Soiree Seelster arrived in Tony O'Sullivan's barn she was so laid-back the Puslinch resident occasionally wondered if something was wrong with the harness racing two-year-old pacing lass. "I was actually talking to Sylvain (Filion) about it tonight, she's, you know, she's just really, really relaxed, she always has been. She just takes everything in stride; she doesn't shy away from anything," O'Sullivan explained. "She worries me sometimes, because she's so quiet at home you think there's something wrong with her, but there's not. "When she gets to the races she sharpens up a bit, but even then, she's just very, very professional," he added. "Her attitude is really, really good." On Monday evening Soiree Seelster did her best to calm all of O'Sullivan's worries with a victory in her $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold Series division at Mohawk Racetrack. In rein to Milton resident Filion, Soiree Seelster eased away from the centre of the starting gate and was sitting fifth when Royal Point paced by the quarter pole in :27.3. Heading for the :57.1 half Soiree Seelster stepped into the outer lane behind fan favourite Sir Native and Thorne Seelster, and the trio of fillies made steady gains on the leader through the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Turning for home Soiree Seelster was less than two lengths behind the leader and a sharp finishing kick propelled the filly to a two length victory in 1:54.2. Thorne Seelster finished second and Royal Point was five more lengths back in third. "Sylvain's taught her how to race in both the qualifiers, plus her two races," noted O'Sullivan. "Obviously we got the win tonight, but I love the way he's bringing her along." Monday's outing was Soiree Seelster's second in the Gold Series. The daughter of Big Jim and Smilesplace finished a hard-closing third in her July 5 OSS debut after logging a second in qualifying action on June 25 and a third on June 10, all three over the Mohawk Racetrack oval. O'Sullivan shares ownership of Soiree Seelster with Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton and Lorne Keller of Exeter, ON. The group purchased the filly out of the 2015 Forest City Yearling Sale for $53,000 and have recouped $47,600 through two starts. "She was a really good looking strong filly, as you can see on the track, and we kind of liked the pedigree and the cross and decided to just take a swing on it," recalled O'Sullivan. "She never really had a bad day - I mean I never get very high on them until they qualify - but we liked her all winter." Soiree Seelster will make her third lifetime start in the August 12 Gold Series event at Mohawk. Soiree Seelster The other two Gold Series divisions on Mohawk's Monday evening program were captured by Future Headlines and Blameitonthenight, both piloted by Milton resident Randy Waples. Sent off as the favourite in the first division, Future Headlines took command heading by the three-quarters and powered home a one and one-half length winner in 1:55. Windy Sport and Bid Writer rounded out the top three, making it a sweep for daughters of Sportswriter. Waples engineered the win for trainer Colin Johnson of Repentigny, QC and his partners Thomas Kyron of Toronto and David Heffering of Port Perry, ON. Monday's outing was Future Headlines' first, coming after a 1:54.4 win in a July 8 qualifier at Mohawk. Future Headlines Blameitonthenight captured the third Gold division, controlling the tempo for much of the mile and then waging a fierce duel with Yaris Bayama in the stretch, hanging on for a neck victory in 1:53.2. Out Of Sight finished third, three lengths behind the duelling leaders. Trainer Tony Alagna of Manalapan, NJ shares ownership of Blameitonthenight with Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, NY and Donna Ozment, also of Manalapan. The Mach Three daughter is now two-for-two after capturing an overnight event at Mohawk on July 12. Blameitonthenight Many of the fillies in Monday's Gold Series event will make their next start in the Battle of the Belles eliminations at Grand River Raceway on July 25, with the final slated for Aug. 1. The freshman pacing fillies will return to Gold Series action, and Mohawk Racetrack, on Aug. 12. On Tuesday, July 19, the Campbellville oval will welcome the two-year-old trotting fillies for their second Gold Series start. The fillies will face off in Races 2, 3, and 8, with racing getting under way at 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 18 - Just two nights after Control The Moment captured the Meadowlands Pace, the series that helped launch his harness racing career kicked off its 2016 edition at Mohawk Racetrack. The Dream Maker Series for two-year-old pacers began Monday evening with a field of nine colts and geldings clashing in the $14,000 opening leg. The Dream Maker has had many notable winners of the years and last year Control The Moment swept the series to add his first of many accomplishments to his resume. Scott McEneny trainee Bettors Dream was a good looking 1:53.1 winner in his career debut last week and the public took notice, as they made him the 3/5 favourite for Monday's first leg. Driven by Doug McNair, Bettors Dream left from post eight and was pointed towards the front. After being parked by the quarter in :27.4, the public's choice cleared to the lead, but was quickly confronted by a rival. Officer Blue Chip brushed from fourth to first and led the field by the half in :56.2. The Casie Coleman trainee fronted the field around the final turn with Bettors Dream enjoying a two-hole ride. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:25.4, Officer Blue Chip drifted out a few lanes at the top of the lane. McNair had open racetrack along the rail for the stretch drive and Bettors Dream quickly retook the lead. The son of Bettor's Delight was never really challenged in the lane and looked cool pacing home in :28.3 for the 1:54.3 victory. Soccer Hanover came first up around the final turn and battled hard in the lane to finish second, two-lengths behind the winner. Beyond Delight came from third over on the final turn to finish third, while Always Rock N Roll was fourth. A Lexington Selected Yearling Sale graduate, Bettors Dream was purchased for $45,000 last fall. The Bettors Delight gelding is now two for two to start his career for owners John Fielding, Domenic Chiaravalle and McEneny. Bettors Dream is the sixth foal out of Dream Away mare Enduring Delight, who has produced two winners of over $400,000. A $2 win ticket on the McEneny trainee returned $3.20. The second leg of the Dream Maker will take place next Monday (July 25).   Mark McKelvie

JULY 16, 2016 - Mohawk Racetracks fans enjoyed a double feature of Ontario Sires Stakes action on Saturday evening as both the three-year-old trotting fillies and two-year-old pacing colts competed in a pair of $105,000 Gold Series divisions. First up were the trotting fillies and 2015 division champ Caprice Hill was an easy winner in the opener. The Kadabra daughter and driver Randy Waples took command before the half and were on cruise control for the remainder of the mile, reaching the finish in 1:54. Pocket-sitter Emoticon Hanover was one length back second and Flowers N Songs was three more to the rear in third. "She's just a one of those special animals that just come around every once in a while in a guy's career," said Milton, ON resident Waples from the winner's circle. "She has no flaws; she's perfect gaited, she does everything you want her to do, and she loves her job. And she's got a big motor in her." Waples engineered Caprice Hill's third win in four sophomore starts for New Jersey-based trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill of Hamilton, ON. The winner of $754,377 has only been bested once in seven Ontario Sires Stakes starts and only four times in 14 career starts. While Caprice Hill picked up her sixth Gold Series trophy, the second division went to a filly earning her very first. Starting from Post 7 in the seven-filly field, driver Jody Jamieson allowed Jarette AS to ease away from the starting gate and settle in at the back of the pack while Radiant Beam, Jangone and Tymal Tempest skirmished for position at the front. Radiant Beam won the early battle, reaching the quarter in :28.2, but fan favourite Tymal Tempest took over before the :56.3 half. Catch A Mission started the forward march from the backfield, pursued by Jarette AS and Royal Charm and it was those two fillies who thrilled fans with their late stretch combat, battling through the wire in 1:53.2. Jarette AS emerged the winner by a head, leaving Royal Charm with the second-place finisher's spoils. Catch A Mission was three and one-half lengths back in third. "She's a nice little filly. She wasn't the smoothest until she got into full gear in the stretch, and then she just trotted by," said Moffat, ON resident Jamieson. "I was real impressed" Jamieson added that he felt fortunate to be asked to drive Jarette AS for trainer Anette Lorentzon and owners ACL Stuteri AB of Paris, KY and Kjell Johansson of Sosdala, Sweden. The Striking Sahbra daughter made her first five sophomore starts south of the border, shipping north after a July 10 contest at Pocono Downs. A Grassroots winner at two, Jarette AS now boasts a sophomore record of three wins, one second and earnings of $70,675 through six starts. The second OSS feature saw Streakavana kick things off with an impressive victory for new owners Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton and trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown, ON, who acquired the two-year-old pacing colt on July 10. In rein to Sylvain Filion, Streakavana left smartly from Post 2, allowed The Dark Shadow to control the pace to the :27.1 quarter, but then went straight back to the front. Brave World and driver Doug McNair came calling heading for the :56.3 half, but Filion opted to maintain his position and urged Streakavana forward to the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Once the Big Jim son had shifted into overdrive he simply pulled away from the field, reaching the wire four and one-quarter lengths the best in 1:52.2. "I was hoping to get covered up by one of the favourites, but nobody showed up, just Dougie (McNair) kind of come late and his horse got a little steppy, so I decided to keep going," explained Filion. "And when I pulled the plugs at the top of the stretch, he just took off." The Dark Shadow followed Streakavana into second and Yogi Bayama was driven into third-place by Yves Filion, Sylvain Filion's father. The Milton resident had driven Yogi Bayama to a Grassroots victory at Mohawk on July 7 and encouraged his father to move Yogi Bayama up to the Gold Series level. "He was a little upset when I told him I was going to try the other colt, but he understands," said Filion of the conversation with his father, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame on August 3. Similar conversations may continue to take place over the remainder of the season, as Filion also captured the second Gold Series division with Tony O'Sullivan trainee Happy Trio. The colt fired away from Post 5 to reach the quarter in :27 and then allowed Sports Column to take command heading for the :57 half. Sports Column continued to lead the field through the 1:25.3 three-quarters, but when Happy Trio stepped out of the pocket he was able to accelerate past the heavy favourite and claim a neck victory in 1:53.2. Sports Column settled for second and Big Bad Bill was well back in third. "My horse raced great," said Filion of Happy Trio, who had finished second to Sports Column in the Gold Series season opener. "I couldn't get to him(Sports Column) last time, and tonight we were able to go by him. It's either his wasn't 100 per cent or mine's getting better." Puslinch resident O'Sullivan conditions the Mach Three colt for his partners Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton and Lorne Keller of Exeter, ON. In three starts Happy Trio has tallied one win, one second and earnings of $79,870. "They're both nice colts, they're both very nice colts," said Filion of Streakavana and Happy Trio. "They're still green, they're still learning, so I expect they'll go even faster miles next time out." The two-year-old pacing colts will make their third Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 11, while the three-year-old trotting fillies head to Georgian Downs on August 7. On Monday evening, July 18, the two-year-old pacing fillies will return to Mohawk for their second Gold Series event, facing off in Races 2, 4, and 9. The first race rolls in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 15, 2016 - On Friday evening the two-year-old pacing colts made their second Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack and Silverinyourpocket made the most of his second tour around the harness racing Campbellville oval. Starting from Post 3 in the second $18,000 Grassroots division, driver Sylvain Filion of Milton sent Silverinyourpocket to the front. Through fractions of :28, :56 and 1:25 the fan favourites never faced a challenge, cruising down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:53.3. Aston Hill Dave and Kentucky Nick followed Silverinyourpocket into second and third. "I look forward to the next couple starts, because he showed lots of potential today," said trainer Richard Moreau, who took over training duties from owner David Ratchford in early July. North Sydney, NS resident Ratchford qualified Silverinyourpocket twice over North Side Downs in June and then sent the Badlands Hanover colt to Moreau in time for the July 7 Grassroots opener. The colt finished a hard-closing third from Post 8 in the season opener and impressed Mohawk fans enough to earn favourite status on Friday. "They deal with the horse back home in the Maritimes, and once they think they work well or they're ready, they come my way, which is perfect," said Moreau, who also trains $504,072 winner Ms Mac N Cheese for Ratchford. "I talked to Sylvain, and he said he's still green, but he likes him, no problems. I think he made me look good," added the Puslinch-based trainer. Silverinyourpocket was a $19,000 purchase out of the Forest City Yearling Sale last October and is the second foal from $195,252 winner Fillys Victory. With one win and one third, the colt currently sits atop the Grassroots standings with 62 points. Silverinyourpocket The third foal from regally-bred L A Confidential captured the first Grassroots division on Friday. Test Ride, a Mach Three son out of the full-sister to $1.9 million winner Thinking Out Loud, hit the wire one-half length ahead of Mach Déjà Vu and Tigers Way to earn his first victory. Guelph resident Paul MacDonell piloted Test Ride to the 1:55.4 win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The gelding was sixth in the Grassroots season opener, giving him a total of 53 points and a share of second spot in the standings along with the third Grassroots division winner, All It Takes. Test Ride Starting from Post 5, All It Takes left the gate strongly and driver Doug McNair had the gelding on the lead before the :56.3 half. All It Takes led the field to a 1:25.4 three-quarters and had enough in the tank to hold off a late charge from Filion and Moreau trainee One Source. Tremendous Play rounded out the top three in the 1:55.1 mile. Gregg McNair of Guelph conditions All It Takes for his partners, and the gelding's breeders, William Switala and James Martin of Clarence Center, NY. The son of Mach Three and Camber Hanover won two qualifiers at Mohawk in June, but struggled in his first two starts, finishing tenth in an overnight on June 27 and sixth in the July 7 Grassroots event. "He qualified great," said driver Doug McNair, "But he had some breathing troubles his last few starts. He got a little hot and we had to change equipment to quiet him down. "He showed tonight he has a little go to him," added the Guelph resident. All It Takes Friday's division winners will look to pad their Grassroots point totals when the program stops at Georgian Downs for the third leg on August 9. On Saturday evening Mohawk Racetrack welcomes the three-year-old trotting fillies and two-year-old pacing colts, each competing in a pair of $105,000 Gold Series divisions. The trotting fillies will square off in Races 2 and 3 while the pacing colts battle in Races 7 and 8. Racing gets under way at 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

JULY 14, 2016 - Conditions were not ideal for their third Grassroots event, but Ontario's three-year-old trotting fillies still turned in some impressive harness racing performances at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. The 11 fillies in the third $18,000 division paraded onto the racetrack in the driving rain, but neither the weather nor Post 9 kept Myretirementticket from picking up her second straight Grassroots trophy. In rein to Moffat resident Jody Jamieson, the fan favourite watched from the outer lane while second choice Powerful Glare carved out the mile, then powered down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length win in 1:59.3. Powerful Glare stayed game for second and Silky Flashy Nfast closed hard to be third. "I actually went over after the race to say 'Hi' to her and she wasn't happy to see me at all. I think it was because of the trip I gave her," quipped Jamieson. "She didn't see the rail the whole way, but I was never more confident in a horse as she sloshed along in the pouring rain." Eli Wagler of Ingersoll bred, owns and trains Myretirementticket. The daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and Shine Again was also victorious in the July 1 Grassroots event at Dresden Raceway and finished second in the June 14 season opener at Mohawk, giving her 125 points and top spot in the division standings. In seven sophomore starts the filly now has two wins, one second, two thirds and earnings of $24,468. As a two-year-old Myretirementticket was a three-time Grassroots winner, including her Semifinal, and finished third in the season-ending Championship. "She's a sweetheart to drive and I'm hoping Eli (Wagler) gives the Gold a try soon," Jamieson added. Myretirementticket Two races later, Haileysgonedancing jumped up the point standings with her very first Ontario Sires Stakes win. Although the rain had stopped, the racing surface was still rated sloppy, three seconds slower than normal, but that fact did not deter driver Sylvain Filion from sending Haileysgonedancing straight to the front from Post 9. The Manofmanymissions daughter slogged through fractions of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:28 on her way to a one and one-half length win in 1:58 over Sunrise Avenue. Very Classy finished third. "She's a good honest filly, she gives everything she's got," said trainer Tony O'Sullivan. "She's honest as the day is long." The Puslinch resident shares ownership of Haileysgonedancing with Kirk McKinnon of Brampton and Lorne Keller of Exeter, ON. Although she missed the board in the Grassroots season opener, the filly was a hard fought second in the Dresden event and Thursday's victory moves her into fourth spot in the division standings with 78 points. "The Grassroots is a good spot for her," noted O'Sullivan. "She's done a good job." Haileysgonedancing Flanking Haileysgonedancing in the point standings are Could It Be Magic and Magical Steph, who also captured their Grassroots divisions on Thursday. Could It Be Magic kicked things off in the first $18,000 division, reeling in pacesetter Trumpets in the stretch and reaching the wire in 1:59.4. Majestic Mistress closed hard to finish second, one and one-half lengths behind the fan favourite, while Trumpets held on for third. Wayne Henry of Arthur drives, trains and shares ownership of Could It Be Magic, who was a three-time Gold Series winner at two, with Fred Brayford of Alliston, ON. Thursday's win was the first of the season for the Kadabra daughter, and combined with her runner-up finish in the Grassroots season opener gives her a total of 75 points. Could It Be Magic Henry's brother Trevor piloted Magical Steph to victory in the second division, sending the heavy favourite to the front before the halfway marker and cruising home in 1:59.2. Pocket-sitter Stonebridge Peace finished one and three-quarter lengths back in second and Profound Patience recovered from an early break to be third. It was the second straight Grassroots win for Magical Steph, who is trained by Gary Lance for GL Racing Inc. of Port Perry, ON. The Kadabra daughter currently sits second in the standings with 108 points, 17 behind Myretirementticket. Magical Steph The evening's final Grassroots contest went to Anneli Hanover, who sprinted down the stretch to reel in favourite Magical Valentine and Traviata in a personal best 1:58.1. Guelph resident James MacDonald engineered the two and three-quarter length win for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne and owners Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Landmark 8 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall and Barry White of Ottawa, ON. "I didn't really want to cut it, because I saw she got beat a couple times on the front," said MacDonald, who was making his first appearance in the Majestic Son daughter's race bike. "So I landed in the two-hole, and I ended up in the three-hole, but around the last turn she felt good and when she got room she just flew, she won very easily." The win was the filly's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, but her fourth on the season. After going winless at two, Anneli Hanover boasts a sophomore record of four wins and one second in nine starts for earnings of $22,500. Anneli Hanover The sophomore trotting fillies will return to Mohawk Racetrack for their fourth Grassroots start on August 9. On Friday's program Mohawk puts the spotlight on the two-year-old pacing colts, who will wage their second Grassroots battles in Races 2, 7, and 8. Post time for the first race at the Campbellville oval is 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

JULY 12, 2016 - Georgies Pockets was never worse than third in seven harness racing Grassroots starts last season and the trotting colt has picked right up where he left off, scoring his second straight sophomore Grassroots victory on Tuesday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Starting from Post 8 in the third of five $18,000 Grassroots divisions, Jack Moiseyev allowed Georgies Pockets to float away from the gate and was sitting sixth when United Bi reached the opening quarter in :27.3. Heading for the :57.2 Georgies Pockets had stepped to the outside, picking up a wind break from Defi Normand, and had closed to within four lengths of the leaders by the 1:26.4 three-quarters. Turning for home Moiseyev gave the fan favourite a clear look at the finish line and Georgies Pockets reeled in four colts on his way to a 1:55.4 victory. Chestnut Schofield finished one and one-half lengths back in second, holding off a charging Mission Man. "He's not a real big, big horse, but he's got a beautiful gait on him," said Moffat, ON resident Moiseyev. "He was a nice little two-year-old last year and he's come back to be a nice three-year-old." Last season Georgies Pockets led the division point standings, scoring three wins and two seconds in regular season action. The Muscle Mass son won his Semifinal, but was bested in the Championship by Muscles For Life. His $52,000 in Ontario Sires Stakes earnings topped all Grassroots competitors. The colt has made three starts since returning to Moiseyev's barn in early June, finishing off the board in his June 20 debut and then winning his June 28 Grassroots division at Georgian Downs in a personal best 1:57.3 and Tuesday's division in another personal best. "He went south with Bruce and Brooke Nickells and they got him ready. They did a really, really good job getting him ready to go," noted Moiseyev, who conditions the colt for owner-breeder M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. "They sent him to me, I'm going to say, about two weeks before we raced him." With two wins under his belt Georgies Pockets is right back at the top of the Grassroots point standings, sharing top billing with Manofmanyimages, who picked up his second win with a 1:56 effort from Post 10 in the last division. James MacDonald of Guelph, ON piloted the Manofmanymissions son to the win for trainer John Bax of Campbellville, ON and owners Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA, T L P Stable of Kearny, NJ and Joseph Lozito Jr. of Wayne, NJ. Mostinterestingman and P C Foreign Affair completed the top three. Also emerging victorious at Mohawk was Georgies Pockets' freshman rival Muscles For Life. The two-year-old Grassroots champion cruised to an impressive seven length victory over JLs Bad Moon Risin and Muscles Bound in a personal best 1:55.1. Father and son duo Gregg and Doug McNair of Guelph handle training and driving duties on the Muscle Mass son for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI. The win was the colt's second of the sophomore campaign and improved on the third-place result he posted in the Grassroots season opener. Last season Muscles For Life and Georgies Pockets faced off on three occasions, with Muscles For Life prevailing twice and Georgies Pockets once. Moiseyev expects the rivals, who both enjoy an off-the pace trip, will be well-matched again this season. "He looked good too," said the horseman of Muscles For Life. "Just depends on how they draw and how the trip goes I guess." The other two Grassroots divisions were captured by Golden Son and Gonna Fly. Golden Son and driver Sylvain Filion kicked off the evening with a front-end effort that saw them hit the wire six lengths ahead of Dynamic Edge and Heineken Seelster in 1:56.1. The Milton resident piloted the Majestic Son gelding to the win for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owners Gary and Fay Clark of Oriskany Falls, NY. Golden Son now boasts a record of five wins, one second and three thirds in 10 starts and has recorded victories in his last three starts. Gonna Fly started his sophomore campaign at the Gold Series level, finishing sixth in his June 27 division. Off that effort trainer Bob McIntosh decided a return to the Grassroots was in order and Gonna Fly responded with a hard fought victory in the second division. The Kadabra son got a neck in front of Rose Run Rudi, trotting under the wire in a personal best 1:56. Manwithamission finished third. Paul MacDonell piloted Gonna Fly to the win for Windsor resident McIntosh and his partner Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, ON. The three-year-old trotting colts will also make their third Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack, facing off on Monday, Aug. 8. On Thursday, July 13 the three-year-old trotting fillies will arrive at the Campbellville oval for their second Grassroots test. The fillies will battle for Grassroots points in Races 2, 5, 6, 8, and 10, on a program that gets under way at 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing  

JULY 11, 2016 - Less than two weeks after they made their 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) debut, Mohawk Racetrack welcomed back the harness racing three-year-old trotting colts on Monday for two $105,000 Gold Series divisions and crowned a pair of first-time OSS winners. Impressed with his runner-up effort in the season opener, fans sent Muscle Hustle off as their top choice from Post 3 in the first division. The colt and driver Randy Wales responded with a confident move to the front just past the :27.4 quarter, a spot they refused to relinquish when pressured by last year's division champion Tony Soprano heading for the :56.4 half. Having dealt with the initial challenge Muscle Hustle pulled away from the field by the 1:24.2 three-quarters and powered across the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Sass and Smoke Monkey. The 1:52.4 clocking lowered the colt's personal best by almost two full seconds. "He's never been there before, and that's a big mile for any three-year-old trotter this early in the year," said Milton, ON resident Waples from the winner's circle. "He just seems to be getting a little bit better each week too. He started out good, but each week he seems to get even a little bit more better than he was, so it'll be interesting to see what he does down the road." Waples drives the son of Muscle Mass and Crown Laurel for trainer Per Henriksen and owner Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood, ON. In seven sophomore starts Muscle Hustle has tallied five wins and one second for earnings of $112,100. The trotter made just three starts last season, posting one win and one third-place result. Muscle Hustle The second division saw June 27 winner Will Take Charge established as the heavy favourite and driver Paul MacDonell also chose to the put the colt on the front, leaving strongly from Post 6 and taking command just after the :27 quarter. Will Take Charge went unchallenged through a :56 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters, but Warrawee Roo had been stalking the pace from the outer lane and when the field squared up in the stretch and driver Sylvain Filion asked for another gear, Warrawee Roo sprinted by the pacesetter to a 1:53.3 victory. Will Take Charge settled for second and Dia Monde was third. "Tonight I thought he was maybe second best with the nine-hole, but it turned out he raced really huge and he dug in," said Filion. "He's a really, really nice horse." Warrawee Roo looked poised to win his division in the opening leg of the Gold Series, but skipped off-stride and finished seventh. He also made a mistake in his sophomore debut, but in between he was flawless, scoring three victories between May 19 and June 16. Milton resident Filion pilots Warrawee Roo for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC and gives high praise to Blais for the work he has done on the colt. "Luc's working very hard with him and trying to figure him out, all his little problems," noted the reinsman. "If he ever gets him 100 per cent, he's the best in there, in that category anyway." Warrawee Roo The three-year-old trotting colts will square off in their third Gold Series event on August 10 at Grand River Raceway. On Tuesday evening the Grassroots colts will take over where their Gold Series peers left off, arriving at Mohawk Racetrack for five $18,000 divisions. Racing begins at 7:30 pm and the sophomore trotting colts and geldings will battle in Races 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9. Ontario Racing  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 11 - Returning to Mohawk after a pair of stakes engagements south of the border, Flanagan Memory turned in a stunning harness racing performance Monday night. A field of seven competed in the $34,000 Preferred Trot with Flanagan Memory headlining the field as the heavy 1/5 favourite. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Flanagan Memory made a second-quarter move to the front from third to overtake Whiskey Tax, who cut a big opening-quarter of :26.2. The public's choice grabbed command to post a half-mile clocking of :54.4. After a third-quarter of :29, Flanagan Memory quick separated himself from his rivals at the top of the lane pulled cleared to big advantage. The Rene Dion trainee cruised home confidently in :27.3 to win by nine lengths in 1:51.2. Whiskey Tax finished second, while the lone mare in field, Charmed Life, was third. A six-year-old son of Kadabra, Flanagan Memory was making his Mohawk return Monday after finishing second in the Cutler Memorial at The Meadowlands on June 24 and third in the Hill Memorial at Scioto Downs on June 11. The veteran trotter surpassed $1 million in career earnings for owners Liette Flanagan and Dion with his runner-up finish in the Cutler. Flanagan Memory now has three wins in six starts this season and a 2016 bankroll of $125,200. The Dion trainee had only two wins last season, but banked nearly $300,000 in 15 starts. Flanagan Memory, who now has 16 career victories, established a new career-mark with his 1:51.2 mile on Monday. The clocking also equaled Domitian Hall and Rubber Duck's national season's mark. Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie  

Winning is the only thing L A Delight and Lay Lady Lay have in common. Saturday's Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions at Mohawk Racetrack were captured by two very different harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies. The first $105,000 division was captured by L A Delight, the Ontario Sires Stakes division and O'Brien Award winning freshman star that trainer Bob McIntosh calls a "truly professional race filly." The second division went to first time Ontario Sires Stakes winner Lay Lady Lay, a long-legged lass that trainer Chris Matthews refers to, affectionately, as "a pain in the butt." Both fillies used similar race tactics to accomplish their Gold Series victories. Leaving from Post 1, driver Randy Waples allowed rivals Chris Christoforou Jr. and Good Will Hanover to reach the quarter first, in :27, but then the Milton, ON resident sent L A Delight to the front. The fan favourites rolled to a :55.3 half and 1:23.3 three-quarters and then powered home to a three and one-half length victory in 1:51.2. Good Will Hanover and Party In Rome dead-heated for second. "She's rounding into mid-season form. We couldn't be happier with her at this point," said trainer Bob McIntosh, who shares ownership and breeding credit on the champion filly with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. "She makes us all look good." The victory was L A Delight's third in six sophomore starts. The Bettor's Delight daughter also captured her division in the June 4 Gold Series opener at Mohawk and has now banked $187,420 for her owners this season, adding to the $704,335 she amassed at two. L A Delight's next start will be in the Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands on July 16, where she will once again take on North America's best. In the Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk on June 18 she finished a hard-closing third, just one length behind winner Pure Country, who is also expected to compete in the Mistletoe Shalee. L A Delight Three races later it was Christoforou who allowed his rivals a brief moment of pacesetting before sending Lay Lady Lay to the front. The filly was well in command before the :55.3 half and sailed through a 1:23.4 three-quarters before reaching the wire in a personal best 1:52. Fan favourite Cracklin Rosie finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second, two lengths ahead of third-place finisher Windsun Glory. Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou engineered the victory, Lay Lady Lay's first in Ontario Sires Stakes competition, for trainer Chris Matthews and his partners in the 1Posse2Steves4Brothers Stable of Guelph, ON. "He drove her twice last year, he's never been beat with her now, actually, so he knows the filly," said Matthews of Christoforou's race strategy. "She's a little bit easier to drive this year than she was last year, so yeah, he was full of confidence that's for sure." Lay Lady Lay made seven starts last season, appearing once in the Ontario Sires Stakes at the Grassroots level, and posted three wins and one second. This season she has emerged as one of the top fillies in the province, posting three wins, two seconds and three thirds in 10 starts for earnings of $153,029. "We always knew she had potential, we had a couple setbacks, but we knew she'd be better at three, she was so big and growthy," explained Matthews. "She hasn't had a lot of luck, but we always thought she'd be pretty competitive with this group of fillies." While it may be an advantage on the racetrack, Matthews notes that it is the Up The Credit daughter's size that has caused many of the issues for her long-suffering handlers. "She can be a handful," said the Guelph resident. "She's just so big, she doesn't even know what she's doing, she doesn't care." Any bumps and bruises the filly had inflicted in the days leading up to Saturday's victory were quickly forgotten when she captured her first Gold Series trophy, rewarding the creatively named ownership group that has waited patiently for her to display her true potential. "When we bought her I started getting phone calls that everybody wanted a piece of her," recalled Matthews. "The one posse is myself and two of my friends I grew up with (Jeff Bryan and Desmond Scott). My group of friends I grew up with they used to call us the Orangeville posse, so we went with that, and then two of my partners on the horse are Steve Bastead and Steve Byers, so that's two Steve's, and the three brothers are Gordie, Gary and Glen Lyon, so that formed the three brothers. "They all wanted in so we split her up between everybody, just to keep everybody happy, and they are," said the horseman. "Everyone is enjoying it and having some fun." Lay Lady Lay The three-year-old pacing fillies' Gold Series fun will continue on Civic Holiday Monday (Aug. 1) when they are part of the Industry Day celebrations at Grand River Raceway. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, when the Campbellville oval welcomes the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings for their second Gold Series event. Post time is 7:30 pm and the Gold Series battles will take place in Races 3 and 7. Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 9 - Sintra and Lindys Nightmare turned in outstanding harness racing performances to win their respective series finals Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The $47,000 Summertime Series and $48,800 Town Pro Series finals helped make up a solid 11-race card Saturday evening at the Campbellville oval. A field of eight sophomore pacing colts and geldings clashed in the Summertime final, but all eyes were focused squarely on Dave Menary trainee Sintra. The gelded son of Mach Three entered the Summertime final with just a single loss on his card this season and he kept it that way with an easy 1:50 victory. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Sintra got away third and made a second-quarter brush to the front to reach the half in :55.2. The Menary trainee ramped up the tempo in the third-quarter to reach that marker in 1:23 and finished off the mile with comfortable :27 kicker to win by four-lengths. Major Hill finished second, while Blayde Hanover grabbed third. After going winless in an injury-shortened rookie season, Sintra now has seven wins in eight starts this season. "He's just been a great horse all year," said Jamieson following the race. "They were high on him last year and when the horse moved over from Dan Lagace's barn, who did a great job prepping him last year, he just took a bad step at Grand River and got hurt, but Dave (Menary) has given him lots of time and brought him back the right way." Sintra's only loss this season was a runner-up finish to Pepsi North America Cup champion Betting Line in an OSS Gold event last week. "You can't really call it a blemish when Betting Line beats you in the stretch," noted Jamieson. "But that's his only blemish so far this year and he's just been a monster and tonight was no different." Owned by Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc, Sintra now has $136,250 earned this season to bring his career earnings to $145,400. The clocking of 1:50 shaved three-fifths of a second off his previous career-best. A $2 win ticket on Sintra returned $2.20. Sintra The Town Pro Series final for three-year-old pacing fillies saw another impressive victory by a heavy-favourite. Lindys Nightmare followed up her 1:50.4 victory in the opening leg with an open lengths score in 1:51.2 Saturday night. Driven by Rick Zeron, the 1/5 favourite moved from fourth to the front in the second-quarter, ultimately clearing to command at the half in :54.4. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2, Lindys Nightmare waved goodbye to her rivals and pulled away for a seven-length victory. Queen Ideal edged out Southwind Tango for second, while Shes Lights Out was fourth. "I was pretty confident with her," said Zeron post-race. "She did get used a bit going to the half, but she kicked into gear in the lane and was all by herself." A daughter of Western Terror, Lindys Nightmare didn't race at age two and now has four wins in five starts this season. Her career earnings sit at $46,400 for Lindy Farms of Connecticut following Saturday's victory. Lindys Nightmare paid $2.50 to win. Lindys Nightmare For both the Summertime and Town Pro Series, three-year-olds that were non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of March 31, 2016 were eligible. Mark McKelvie

JULY 8, 2016 - Daughters of Ontario pacing sire Sportswriter made a splash at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday night, capturing all four $18,000 divisions in the first Grassroots event of the season for harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies. Treasures Pearl and driver Sylvain Filion claimed the first trophy, with an off-the-pace effort that saw them three-wide at the three-quarter pole before they reeled in pacesetter Mystical Moon. Treasures Pearl sprinted down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 1:55.1. Mystical Moon settled for second behind the fan favourite and Southern Heart completed the top three. "Last time she raced she turned up sick, that's why the line doesn't show that good, but the week before she was pretty good, she was timed in 1:56 and a piece," noted Filion, who drove Treasures Pearl to the win for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle and owner-breeder Donald Leschied of South Woodslee, ON. "Ronnie told me that she turned up sick after her last effort and that he treated her all week and that she should be better, and he was right, she went a very good trip, because I was kind of far off and she covered a lot of ground turning for home." Prior to her lacklustre performance in the July 1 two-year-old conditioned event, Filion piloted the daughter of Sportswriter and $209,445 winner St Lads Treasure in a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk. On June 17 the petite filly finished fourth and on June 25 she finished third, pacing her own mile in 1:56.3. Two races later a second Sportswriter daughter graced the Mohawk winner's circle as Bid Writer cruised through fractions of :29, :59.1 and 1:28 on her way to an effortless two length victory in 1:55.3. Stellenbosch and Lotus Seelster followed behind Bid Writer into second and third, with fan favourite Talbot Chanel settling for fourth. "She's a real pro, she felt like an aged horse just rolling along the whole way, and when I called on her at the top of the stretch she was all business," said driver James MacDonald. "She was very well within herself." The Guelph, ON resident guided the filly from Post 8 to the win for trainer Jeff Gillis of Everett, ON and his partners Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The group offered up $52,000 to acquire the daughter of $387,216 winner Bust Out The Bid - who has already produced three $170,000-plus winners - from the 2015 Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale. Bid Writer had just one qualifier under her belt before Friday's test, a 1:58.3 win at Mohawk on July 1. Yaris Bayama continued the Sportswriter trend in the third division, and gave Milton, ON resident Filion his second Grassroots win of the evening. Filion took a page from MacDonald's book and sent Yaris Bayama straight to the front from Post 8, reeling off fractions of :28.1, :56.4 and 1:25.4 en route to an impressive 1:53.3 triumph. Royal Point finished one and three-quarter lengths back in second and fan favourite P L Karis was well back in third. "We schooled her and she did everything right, she did everything we asked her, but we never really got the feeling that she was that good, you know," said Filion. "Tonight she really showed me that she might be something special. And the way she did it, you know, it was like a walk in the park for her, so that was really impressive. "I don't easily get impressed, but she did impress me tonight," added the reinsman. Filion piloted Yaris Bayama to the win for trainer Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON and his father Yves Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. A homebred out of $173,325 winner Lucky Josie, Yaris Bayama finished third and second in her June 15 and 25 qualifiers and fourth in the July 1 overnight event in which Treasures Pearl finished ninth. In the final division Sports Beauty completed the Sportswriter sweep when she and MacDonald roared down the stretch to a one and one-quarter win over P L Kahluaa and Casimir QT. The filly hit the wire in 1:56. "She was on the bit behind the gate so I just let her float out a little bit and I got a spot," said MacDonald. "Around the last turn I moved her and I caught some cover, and down the lane when I took her off cover she gave me a good kick." Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON trains Sports Beauty for owner-breeder Frank Gentile of Beaconsfield, QC. The filly, a full-sister to $198,107 winner Sports Bettor, finished third in her June 25 qualifier and second to Bid Writer in her July 1 qualifier, both over the Mohawk oval. "Mark just said try and give her a trip, she's not very big, so try not to overdrive her if you can," said MacDonald, who had not driven either Bid Writer or Sports Beauty before Friday's Grassroots event. "It worked out perfect." The two-year-old pacing fillies will make their second Grassroots start at Clinton Raceway on Sunday, July 17. After a week spent featuring Ontario's top two-year-olds, Mohawk Racetrack welcomes back the three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday evening for their second Gold Series event. The talented fillies will battle in Races 3 and 6. Racing action gets under way at 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing  

Harness racing colts take first steps down path blazed by successful siblings Four Grassroots divisions of two-year-old pacing colts went postward at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening and a quartet of well-bred youngsters took home the Ontario Sires Stakes hardware. Leading off in the first division, Bet On Brett and driver Mike Saftic took immediate control of the race from Post 1 and laid down fractions of :27.2, :57.3 and 1:27 on their way to a 1:54.4 victory. Streakavana closed hard to be second, one and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Mach Déjà Vu was hot on his heels in third. "He left the gate really sharp and then settled down nicely," said Campbellville, ON resident Saftic. "He got home very strong." Saftic qualified two other colts in the first division, including runner-up Streakavana, but chose the Marcel Barrieau trainee as his mount for the Grassroots season opener. "He looked more mature than the other two at this point," explained Saftic, who had not driven Bet On Brett before Thursday's contest. Barrieau prepped the Sportswriter son for his provincial stakes debut with a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk on June 17 and 25, finishing fourth in both outings. The Cambridge, ON resident shares ownership of Bet On Brett with Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueuil, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. The partners acquired the half-brother to three $150,000-plus winners for $80,000 at the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Bet On Brett In the second Grassroots division driver Mario Baillargeon also opted to control the pace, putting Play For Gold on the lead heading by the :28.1 opening quarter and carrying on through fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.1. Under fierce pressure from fan favourite Aston Hill Dave in the stretch, Play For Gold dug deep and kept a nose in front to secure the 1:543 victory. Aston Hill Dave settled for second and Silverinyourpocket closed hard to be third. Milton, ON resident Baillargeon crafted the win for trainer Jacques Dupont of Repentigny, QC and his partners in Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc., along with numbered company 9099 3833 Quebec Inc. of Sorel-Tracy, QC and Gestion C Levesque 2005 Inc. of St-Hyacinthe, QC. The group selected the Shadow Play son Play For Gold out of the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale, offering up $20,000 for the half-brother to two $100,000-plus winners. Play For Gold Sent off as the heavy favourite in the third division, driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON chose to continue the front-end trend, sending Mc Mach after the lead from Post 2. The Mach Three son powered through a :28.2 quarter, :57.1 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters before accelerating away to a two length victory in 1:54. Down On My Luck and Tremendous Play followed Mc Mach from start to finish, earning the second and third-place share of the $18,000 purse. MacDonell drove Mc Mach to the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and Randy Liepa of Livonia, MI. Like the first two winners, Mc Mach has several successful half-siblings, including former Grassroots regular Western Empress, a winner of $229,915 in her career to date. "He's improved nicely since his first qualifier," said MacDonell, who piloted the colt to a fourth-place results in a June 25 qualifier and a win in a July 1 effort, both at Mohawk. "He may step up to the Gold level before year's end." Mc Mach The final Grassroots division saw the only come-from-behind effort of the evening. Starting from Post 5, driver Sylvain Filion settled Yogi Bayama in the middle of the pack and watched as rivals Kingston Seelster and Master The View battled to a :27.1 first quarter. Favourite Master The View took over heading for the :57 half and continued to lead the field through the 1:26.1 three-quarters as Filion and Yogi Bayama stepped into the outer lane behind Pop N Liam. Turning for home Pop N Liam and Yogi Bayama were matching strides with Master The View, but when Filion asked his colt for another gear Yogi Bayama pulled away to a two length win in 1:54.1, leaving Master The View and Pop N Liam to settle for second and third. Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON trains Yogi Bayama for owner-breeder Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. The Sportswriter half-brother to $168,610 winner Urbana Bayama qualified at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 15, finishing fourth, and at Mohawk Racetrack on June 25, finishing sixth. The colt made his debut in a two-year-old overnight event at Mohawk on July 1, finishing second. "He's all right, he looked good tonight," said Bayama Farms' Yves Filion, who piloted the colt in his first qualifier. "He had a perfect trip and he looked like he win it kind of easy, but we don't know if he's going to be a good Gold or not. "A few more starts we'll know better how good he is," added the horseman, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame on August 3. "So far he looks all right. We hope for the best." Yogi Bayama Yogi Bayama and his peers will have their next opportunity to prove just how good they are when Mohawk hosts the second two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots leg on Friday, July 15. Mohawk Racetrack's two-year-old showcase continues tomorrow, July 8, as the Campbellville oval hosts the freshman pacing fillies in four Grassroots divisions. The first race goes in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm and the fillies will show off their skills in Races 3, 5, 7, and 9. Ontario Racing

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