CAMPBELLVILLE, October 16, 2014 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that overall wagering and average per race handle on the 2014 Mohawk Standardbred meet, which concluded Monday, October 13, were up over last year. The Campbellville track held 102 race cards and recorded an "all-sources" betting total of $152,503,221, a 15.8 per cent increase over last year's $131,622,569 from 84 race cards. The average per race of $132,958 in 2014 showed a 2.6 per cent increase over the $129,550 bet per card in 2013. The meet's marquee events also showed growth. Wagering on the Pepsi North America Cup and Canadian Pacing Derby/Metro Pace cards were especially strong. "Pacing Derby" night handle of $5,006,896 was the highest handle figure ever recorded on one program at the 51-year-old Campbellville track. It was third highest mark ever recorded on the WEG Standardbred circuit, behind only 2002 Breeders Crown card ($5.4 million) and 2001 Breeders Crown program ($5.2 million), both at Woodbine. On "Cup" night, the $3,437,037 wagered was the highest since the race moved to Mohawk in 2007. "We had an excellent Mohawk meet," said Jamie Martin, Executive Vice-President of Racing. "We're especially pleased with our big race nights, which featured strong crowds in an excellent setting. We also offered a high quality day-to-day meet to racing fans and customers with plenty of racing opportunities for horsepeople." The Woodbine Fall-Winter session kicks off Thursday, October 16. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
CAMPBELLVILLE, October 13 - The 2014 Mohawk summer meet came to close Monday evening and hardware was handed out for the meet's leading driver and trainer. In acknowledgment of their tremendous seasons, the Woodbine Entertainment Group presents the top trainer and driver of the meet with a Movado watch. Chris Christoforou picked up two victories Monday night to finish off the Mohawk summer meet as the leading driver with 117 victories. A resident of Campbellville, Christoforou finished 22 wins ahead of his nearest rivals Randy Waples and James MacDonald. Christoforou, who is approaching 6,000 career wins and $100 million in career earnings, finished the meet as the top earning driver with over $3 million banked during the five-month meet. Following the evening's second race, Christoforou was presented with a sign and his Movado watch recognizing him as the top driver of the 2014 Mohawk summer meet. On the training side, Tony Alagna captured his first Mohawk training title with 41 victories from just 144 starts. Alagna finished seven wins ahead of Carmen Auciello and Corey Johnson. A native of Urbana, Illinois, Alagna's tremendous meet was highlighted by Artspeak's victory in the $667,000 Metro Pace on August 30. One of the top trainer's in the sport, Alagna's stable has earned more than $3.5 million this season, with over $1.5 million of that earned during the Mohawk summer meet. Alagna will be presented with his watch at a later date. Racing now moves over to Woodbine Racetrack beginning Thursday night. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Three Of Clubs fought off challenges early and late on his way to an authoritative 1:51.1 harness racing triumph in the $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for sophomore colt and gelding pacers on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Driver Doug McNair shot Three Of Clubs to the front from post position six, and he would chop out the opening quarter in 27 seconds flat. Silverhill Shadow (Chris Christoforou), who started from post ten, was unable to find an inside position, and he was forced to press on. McNair wasn’t about to let him clear, though, and left him on the outside through the 55 second half. Victor Bayama (Sylvain Filion) elected to tip three-wide on the far turn to try and get around Silverhill Shadow, and public choice Jet Airway (Randy Waples) tracked that move. However, they were both still very wide and still clearly behind Three Of Clubs as he cruised through three-quarters in 1:23.1. Pocket-sitter Play It Again Sam and a wide Jet Airway had clear aim at Three Of Clubs the entire length of the stretch, but they didn’t have the pace to track him down, and Three Of Clubs went on to win by two lengths in 1:51.1. Play It Again Sam was the runner-up and Jet Airway had to settle for third. Prince Clyde (Trevor Henry) was the fourth-place finisher and Victor Bayama wound up fifth. “He had great gate speed last year, but we’ve had trouble with him all year,” McNair said of Three Of Clubs, who is headed to the Windy City Pace at Maywood Park in suburban Chicago. “He was getting bad gaited near the end of the mile. Kudos to the guys who work for dad, Dad (winning trainer Gregg McNair), and all the vets, they got this horse ready for the end of the year and they did a great job. I thought he had a good shot as long as he was good gaited. He can get off the wings good. It’s too bad he’s had trouble all year because he should have twice amount the money on his card he’s got.” Gregg McNair of Guelph, Ontario, also co-owns Three Of Clubs, a colt by Mach Three, with Hall of Famer Keith Waples of Durham and Tony Lawrence of Hanover, Ontario. Three Of Clubs got his second win from 12 efforts this year, and he now has six career victories. He has earned $255,480 on the campaign and $462,097 lifetime. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News
October 11, 2014. Harper Blue Chip, who was third in the Hambletonian and the Canadian Trotting Classic this season, capped off a four-for-four Ontario Sires Stakes campaign with a hard-fought 1:54.3 victory in tonight’s $250,000 Super Final for harness racing three-year-old male trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Harper Blue Chip settled in fourth while Maximuscle (Rick Zeron) flexed some muscle from the far outside post ten starting position and cleared the field before the 27 second opening quarter. Filion then sent Harper Blue Chip on the attack up the backstretch, but he was still on the outside of Maximuscle at the :56.2 half. Maximuscle and Zeron kept the pedal to the metal around the far turn, leaving Harper Blue Chip parked out all the way around the turn and over to the 1:24.1 three-quarters. Harper Blue Chip forged his way around Maximuscle early in the stretch despite the wide journey, and none of the closers were able to track him down as Harper Blue Chip reported home with a two length victory. Ole Jack Magic (Chris Christoforou) was up for second and Verdi (Paul MacDonell) split horses to collect third. P L Hercules (Randy Waples) got fourth and Maximuscle finished fifth. “The trip didn’t work out the way I think Sylvain and I anticipated,” said winning trainer Mark Steacy, who noted that Harper Blue Chip will be heading to the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs before the going to the Breeders Crown at Meadowlands Racetrack. “We were hoping maybe to clear to the front a lot earlier than that. We didn’t know we’d have to come first-up that hard. This horse, he’s stepped up to the bell every time he’s gone behind the gate this year. The season’s been great. “He’s not a flashy horse or anything and he’s not probably the quickest horse. He just has a big heart, just like his dad (Steacy trainee Majestic Son). He just wants to win. He likes to make money and he seems to be able to get it done.” Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie, and George Judson of Athens, Ontario, own Harper Blue Chip, who has won six times from 13 starts this year and ten times in his career. Out of the Muscles Yankee mare Winning Jonlin, the three-year-old colt was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and Ray Schnittker and was purchased for $40,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale. Harper Blue Chip has earned $606,942 in 2014 and $803,825 lifetime. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News
October 11, 2014. Reverend Hanover, called the mirror image of his sire Sportswriter by his trainer and co-owner, remains unbeaten in his rookie season as he captured tonight’s $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for harness racing two-year-old pacing colts with ease at Mohawk Racetrack to give him four wins in as many starts in his young career. Several of the rookies left hard at the start with Make Some Luck gaining control early and pacing by the opening quarter in :27. His stablemate Sporting The Look tried to pass but Make Some Luck wouldn’t comply and meanwhile three wide came Reverend Hanover who took over control and never looked back. He reached the half in :55, the three-quarters in 1:24.3 and could not be caught down the lane as he hit the wire in 1:52.1. Drachan Hanover made a valiant effort and settled for second while Manny In Sports was third. Casie Coleman trains and co-owns the winner, a son of her former stable star Sportswriter whose first crop has been performing impressively all season. “The whole way training down this colt trained like a real great colt. I did have him staked to everything, the Metro, Breeders Crown and Governor’s Cup. He bucked a shin right when we got home from Florida. That’s a Thoroughbred injury, it’s not very common in Standardbreds but he did it. I didn’t think he’d race much this season but he healed real quick and we got him ready and did a little racing this season,” explained Coleman. “He’s just like his old man, he’s so much like Sportswriter, you go watch Sportswriter’s replays, then watch Reverend Hanover, it looks like you’re watching the same horse. (He has a) great attitude, great gait, everything about him – he’s just a sweetheart to work around. He’s identical to his father. “He’s going to be turned out now and get ready for the next season.” Purchased by West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatham and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, Ontario for $24,000 at the Harrisburg Sale, Reverend Hanover was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. His dam, Razzle My Dazzle, is a sister to Mystical Mike, Cut Throat and Artistry who have all won more than $300,000 in their careers. Coleman actually had five colts entered into tonight’s Super Final but two had to be scratched due to sickness. The other two, Sportskeeper and Bob Ben And John finished fourth and fifth. She noted she was thankful that the three that did race didn’t get sick as well. Christoforou has been the primary driver on many of Coleman’s youngsters this year. “I needed a driver and he wasn’t committed and it’s been very successful,” said Coleman. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News
Dont Rush, who came about thanks to a free breeding, closed from off-the-pace to capture Saturday night’s $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for harness racing two-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. The final time of the mile was 1:57.1. In the early going Rise Up Rise Up (Mike Saftic) and Caulfield (Trevor Henry) battled, with the former forcing the latter to drop into the pocket before the :27.3 opening quarter. Alacrity (Eddie Green) had been in fifth at that point, but Green sent him to the outside in the backstretch, and Alacrity joined and then cleared Rise Up Rise Up for the top spot at the :57.2 half. When Alacrity cleared that left Luck O The Irish (Sylvain Filion) first-over, and he would move up on the rim to engage with the leader at the 1:27 three-quarters. Platoon Seelster (Jack Moiseyev) slipped off the rail to grab the second-over trip behind Luck O The Irish, and Dont Rush (Chris Christoforou) was positioned third-over as the field spun for home. Luck O The Irish managed to work his way into the lead in the lane, but Christoforou had Dont Rush in high gear out in the centre of the racetrack, and Dont Rush would go by the leaders inside the final sixteenth on his way to the win by a couple of lengths. Platoon Seelster was up to finish second and Luck O The Irish grabbed third. Also taking home part of the purse were A Little More Love (Randy Waples) and Caulfield. “He’s done really well, and he’s won his last three starts. Usually if I have a colt that does well, they stay well all year long,” offered winning trainer Dustin Jones. “I bought the mare as a yearling in Kentucky. I’ve raised a few colts out of her but nothing like this. This was the result of a free breeding from Jean-Pierre Dubois, so I have to thank him a lot. I was just hoping he was going to be a good Grassroots horse. He really surprised me.” Jones of Waterdown, Ontario, also bred and now co-owns Dont Rush, an Infinitif colt, with partner Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. Dont Rush, who won in Gold Series action on July 13 at Georgian Downs, on September 30 at Flamboro Downs, and on September 30 at Mohawk, is now four-for-11 in the win column with earnings of $296,985. He’s the sixth foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Color Me Pretty, a half-sister to the likes of Best Image (Balanced Image, $104,110), who was three-for-three during her OSS career. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News
October 11, 2014. “Down by the wire tonight I was asking her to go and she was looking at me like ‘we’ve got it won bud, just relax,’ And we did.” That’s how harness racing driver Jody Jamieson described the end of his trip with Danielle Hall who parlayed a perfect pocket trip to score a mild upset over favourite Stubborn Belle in tonight’s $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies at Mohawk. It was the first of eight Super Finals on the card wrapping up the 2014 OSS season. Paul MacDonell and Stubborn Belle protected their rail position as the race got underway with Jamieson tucking Danielle Hall (who left from post two) right behind. Stubborn Belle reached the first quarter in :27.1, the half in :56.1 and the three-quarters in 1:25. As the field trotted around the final turn Jamieson pulled the right line on Danielle Hall and she managed to get by Stubborn Belle and hit the wire first in 1:54.1. The time was just two-fifths of a second off the OSS record established by Bee A Magician. Muscle Baby Doll was able to get up for second for Doug McNair while Stubborn Belle held on for third. Steve Condren managed to work out a rather impossible trip for Stubborn Belle’s stablemate from the John Bax barn to grab fourth. Mischief Smile earned the final cheque. It was win number seven in 10 tries this year for Danielle Hall, a daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe owned by trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, and Winnipeg Racing (Tom Kyron) of Concord, Ontario. She now has $378,000 earned this year. “I really didn’t see the race turning out like that. I thought that Mac (MacDonell) would let a couple go and re-move but his filly got off on a real good foot tonight. I was a little bit behind the eight ball making sure I closed up the two hole when it was there following Stubborn Belle there was no other trip,” explained Jody Jamieson. “I wasn’t confident in pulling that early but Dougie (McNair) was coming with a really nice filly (Muscle Baby Doll), trained by Tony O’Sullivan, she’s been sprinting by me or close to me all year. My mare felt so good I just I said ‘well, it’s now or never.’ She showed tonight she’s a pretty nice animal. “She’s just so smart, a couple of times I’ve won with her here and turned her around, just like I did tonight, and walked her down the rail and she’s got her ears up looking around. She’s very smart, that’s one of her best attributes.” Danielle Hall was a $21,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select Sale from breeder Walnut Hall of Lexington, Kentucky. She is the third foal from $247,000 winner Debbie Hall. Carl Jamieson reports she'll head next to the Goldsmith Maid followed by the Breeders Crown if all goes well. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11.
October 11, 2014. Harness racing driver Paul MacDonell has won more Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals than any other driver and he showed exactly why in tonight’s $250,000 Super Final for two-year-old pacing fillies with Code One Hanover who picked the perfect time to produce the best race yet of her career. Code One Hanover grabbed early control for MacDonell but was covered by Capela before the :27 first quarter. That filly wasn’t there long though as Wrangler Magic took over well before the :56.3 half. Steve Condren had I Wonder Why first up and pressuring at that point leading several fillies in the outside lane but Wrangler Magic was managing to hold them off. The three-quarters was reached in 1:24.4 and down the lane MacDonell had Code One Hanover in high gear up the inside and at the wire she and Wrangler Magic seemed to reach it at the same second with Code One Hanover getting the nod in the photo. Akissfromtheart took third while Sports Chic was fourth. The time of the mile was 1:54.1. “There’s no question about it we were going to need a trip no matter how things unfolded. She was able to get out of the gate well and get away third and things worked out for her,” explained MacDonell who was notching his 15th Super Final victory since the championship races were introduced in 2000, and notched his 16th in the very next race with Riveting Rosie. “She won her race at Grand River earlier in the summer (an OSS Gold event) fairly handily, she qualified well early but she did tail off mid season and we were a little concerned about her, but she came right back around tonight. Everything worked in our favour.” Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, trains and owns the winner, a daughter of Sportswriter he purchased as a yearling last year at the Lexington Select Sale for $75,000. This was the second win in 10 tries for Code One Hanover who has earned $182,000 so far in her young career. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, the filly is from the $380,000 winner Current Hanover. "That's the end of her season," noted Darling. She'll have a rest before getting prepped for her sophomore campaign. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News
October 11, 2014. Riveting Rosie backed up her Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final victory last year by doing the same thing this year, winning the $250,000 test for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:55. Driver Paul MacDonell sighted Riveting Rosie at the front from her post nine starting position, and she would stroll through fractions of :27.4, :57.1, and 1:26.2 while never facing a threat to her outside. The fillies began to fan out behind Riveting Rosie in the lane, but they just couldn’t get to her as she reached the wire half a length ahead of Margie (Sylvain Filion). Sweetie Hearts (Randy Waples), who had the pocket trip behind the eventual winner, snagged third. White Becomes Her (Mario Baillargeon) overcame post ten to get fourth and Muscle Babe (James MacDonald) finished fifth. “She got good at the right time of the year. We’re pretty happy with her,” said winning trainer John Bax. “She had an accident at the farm (explaining her slow start to her sophomore campaign) – scraped up her legs – with all the scar tissue; just little things were bothering her. She’s gotten through it. The race at Flamboro (September 21), when she won in the mud there in 1:57, she looked pretty good. I thought everything’s good. “She’s eligible down in Hoosier Park for the Moni Maker and she’s also eligible for the Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands.” Bax’s Parkhill Stud Farm of Peterborough, Ontario, also co-owns the victorious daughter of Muscle Mass with partners Don Allensen of Wyoming, J And T Stable of Newmarket, and John Hayes of Sharon, Ontario. Riveting Rosie, who was bred by Schare Adams and fetched $17,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, won for the fourth time from 14 attempts this year, and this was her tenth career victory. She has earned $401,680 in 2014 and $870,293 lifetime. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News
There was no denying Skippin By her harness racing title as Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion in tonight’s $250,000 three-year-old pacing filly final at Mohawk. Skippin By, with Randy Waples at the lines as usual, blasted by the opening quarter in :26.1 and the half in :54.1. Lady Shadow got hung out on the outside when she was unsuccessful in her try for the top as Skippin By was not about to give it up. She hit the three-quarters in 1:22.2 and was home comfortably in 1:51.3. Brescia Seelster was second with Sectionline Aqua taking third. Corey Johnson took over the filly’s training at the beginning of August. “She had quite a few starts under her belt. They told me she was a nice filly but had just been having some difficulties. She surprised us all, she’s wonderful, I can’t say enough about her,” he said. With respect to the trip he noted he didn’t think she’d have to do that much work so early to hold off Lady Shadow. “Lady Shadow’s had a huge year, she’s a wonderful filly as well. I think it was our race to lose. My one concern was not to overdo it, and see how things panned out. Randy did a wonderful job, I can’t say enough.” As to what makes the filly so good, he praised: “She’s got a wonderful attitude. She’s all about her job, she loves to win. There’s no end to her.” Owned by Wall Bros. Stable and Bruce Soulsby of Ohio, Skippin By’s earnings for the season climbed over $373,000 with tonight’s effort. Soulsby indicated that the owners are seriously considering supplementing her to the Breeders Crown as she wasn’t kept eligible. Bred by the respected bloodstock expert, the late Bart Glass, Skippin By, a daughter of Shadow Play, sold for a mere $5,000 at the Lexington Select Sale as a yearling. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. Ontario Sire Stakes
We have a busy weekend of racing around North America. I have selected choice races from Mohawk's Super Final Night, Balmoral's American National Night, Scarborough Downs Maine Sire Stakes Finals card and then on Sunday it's off to Harrah's for the Goshen Cup Stakes. Good Luck! $85,001 Pace Maine Sire Stakes Championship Scarborough 9th race SATURDAY - After her first two starts this year in defeat, Mary Rose Of Topaz has not missed a beat in the Maine Sire Stakes circuit and goes into her rich final on a ten-race winning streak. She has been awesome and can conclude her 2014 season with another score in here. Use Pembroke Lynn and Your Special in exotic plays. $250,000 Trot Ontario Sire Stakes Final Mohawk Raceway 3 rd race SATURDAY - When he does not get to the front Harper Blue Chip doesn't win, plain and simple. With post two he should have it easy getting to the front and control the pace. If he is not pressed early on he can wire the field. Use Maximuscle and See The Wind in exotic plays. $203,000 Trot American National 3YO Colts Balmoral Park 4 th race SATURDAY - Was not impressed with his lack of closing speed last week in Lexington, but Father Patrick has drawn into an easier group here and thus should be able to rebound and go for his eleventh win this season. Use Odds on Amethyst and Rompaway Galaxu in exotic plays. $150,000 Trot American National 3YO Fillies Balmoral Park 6th race SATURDAY - Jimmy Takter's two great trotting fillies go head and head in what could be a great matchup. Shake It Cerry is the class of the field but I think her stable mate Lifetime Pursuit drew better for this race and can nip her at the wire and you must beware of Cee Bee Yes getting another great trip and stalking these two. Use Shake It Cerry and Cee Bee Yes in exotic plays. $250,000 Pace Ontario Sire Stakes Final Mohawk Raceway 10th race SATURDAY - Provided that Jet Airway, who has drawn well with the rail, can work his magic and get the much needed live cover he shows he can win off of, then he is the horse to beat in here. If not then the race become wide open. Use Three Of Clubs and Play It Again Sam in exotic plays. $166,300 Trot American National Older Horses Balmoral Park 9th race SATURDAY - The top trotters in the nation (except for Sebastian K) go head to head in this rich Grand Circuit Stake and I have to give the edge to Creatine. He has the gate speed to secure good position to strike from just like he did in Lexington last week and if he gets the cover he can win again but he won't be 31-1 like last week. Use Archangel and Market Share in exotic plays. $173,500 Pace American National 3YO Fillies Balmoral Park 10th race SATURDAY - Great group of fillies go head and head in here. I think that Gettingreadytoroll, who was used hard last week but still held for third at Lexington can rebound for Burke Stable and take this field. She just need live cover and not have to grind it out herself. Use Act Now and Precocious Beauty in exotic plays. $227,000 Pace American National 3YO Colts Balmoral Park 11th race SATURDAY - Looks like a handicapped pace as the three best in here all drew the outside posts. Limelight Beach is the best in the country right now and with his gate speed I see him going right to the front, then getting cover from JK Endofanera and come on in the stretch for his fourth straight win. Use JK Endofanera and Unlocked in exotic plays. $178,000 Pace American National Older Horses Balmoral Park 12th race SATURDAY - Looks like the Burke Stable has to fight off the revived State Treasurer once again after he wove his way through the field and upset last week in Lexington. Game Canadian pacer took lifetime mark in 1:48.1 last week for his eighth win this year and is once again in perfect spot for a repeat score. Use Foiled Again and Bettor's Edge in exotic plays. $34,126 Pace Goshen Cup 2YO Colts Harrah's Philadelphia 5th race SUNDAY - In The Arsenal has come back from illness with a vengeance with two impressive wins and will be all out trying to knock off Yankee Bounty from his eight-race unbeaten streak. But I don't think he can do it. Yankee Bounty is a game competitor and this will be a great race and I have to go with the unbeaten colt to stay that way. Use In The Arsenal and Sicily in exotic plays. $34,626 Pace Goshen Cup 2YO Colts Harrah's Philadelphia 7th race SUNDAY - Super competitive field here that is wide open but I think that Hall Of Terror gets the edge off his big score at Lexington. He does have gate speed so don't be surprised if he leaves and gets perfect position to score from. Use Stover and ASAP Hanover in exotic plays.
CAMPBELLVILLE, October 10 - Harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon will send out a quartet of starters in this Saturday's $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals at Mohawk and will be looking for a little bit of luck along the way. The post position gods weren't kind to Baillargeon as his two best chances Saturday evening drew posts nine and ten, while his other two starters drew post position seven. However, bad post positions or not, Baillargeon's starters all appear to have a chance to be a factor on Saturday evening. The first horse Baillargeon will send forward Saturday is the three-year-old colt trotter Muscle Matters, who will start from post position nine. Despite having not recorded a victory in eight starts this season, the son of Muscle Mass has finished second six times and banked over $165,000. "He's very shy of the winner's circle this year," said Baillargeon. "He had bad luck early in the spring and it's been a tough year." Baillargeon is hopeful that Muscle Matters, who won last year's Super Final as a two-year-old, can finally get the job done on Saturday. "A race is a race, like he's been there, but he doesn't win, but hopefully that might change and this Saturday would be the time." In order to defend his title, Muscle Matters will have to defeat the divisional standout Harper Blue Chip, who has yet to lose a Sires Stakes event this season in three starts. Baillargeon's second starter on Saturday evening won't have to deal with a powerhouse like Harper Blue Chip, but instead will meet a very even group of two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Lets Be Honest (PP7), a son of Deweycheatumnhowe, will be looking to break his maiden in style on Saturday evening. In his most recent start on September 30, Lets Be Honest finished fourth after being off since August 5. "Last week was his first start in six or seven weeks and I sent him back to the owners in between," said Baillargeon. "I know he hurt himself and he didn't do too much in between." Baillargeon believes the son of Deweycheatumnhowe will be better in his second start off the shelf. "He should be tighter, he should race well and he trained real well on Wednesday." Baillargeon's final two starters on Saturday evening will lineup in the three-year-old filly trot Super Final. White Becomes Her (PP10), a daughter of Angus Hall, was an early season standout in this division and has banked over $244,000 this year. Meanwhile, Miss Liv, a daughter of Kadabra, has yet to win this year, but has quietly earned over $122,000. Both fillies have put together solid seasons, but Baillargeon knows they will have their hands full with another filly in the race. "They've been two nice mares, but they need luck. Riveting Rosie is razor sharp right now and I got lucky at the beginning of the year she wasn't that great and mine (White Becomes Her) was real good back then, but it's a race." White Becomes Her captured a division of the first two Gold legs of the season, while Riveting Rosie won a division of the final three legs. Ben's brother Mario will handle the driving duties behind Muscle Matters, Lets Be Honest and White Becomes Her, while Steven Condren will drive Miss Liv. The veteran conditioner has his quartet set for Saturday evening and will now just need a little bit of help. "Everybody's healthy and everything looks okay, so we just need luck." Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications
The fields have now been established for this Saturday’s eight $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals at Mohawk Racetrack, which will showcase the top performers in the provincial program and provide an exciting conclusion to the 2014 OSS season. The races have been carded as Race 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10. To view the entries, click here. For a free, printable program page, courtesy of TrackIT, click here. Another special race on Saturday is the Wendy Hoogeveen Memorial (Race 6), in honour of the Ontario Racing Commission’s director of industry development and support, who passed away in August at the age of 56. In addition to all of the exciting races on track, there will be a multitude of activities to enjoy off track, including EquiMania, a youth education program presented by the University of Guelph. Designed to delight horse enthusiasts of all ages, EquiMania features games, workbooks, fun materials and true to life displays and offers a unique hands-on adventure into the wonderful world of horses. It will be a jam-packed evening at the Campbellville racetrack on October 11, with lots of entertainment for the family, live music, contests, exhibits, great food and of course, some outstanding racing by the very best colts and fillies in the province. The fun will begin at 5:30 p.m. with racing starting at 7:25. Admission and parking are free. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Calipari climbed the class ladder Monday evening looking to double up for trainer Rod Boyd, who watched the suddenly-streaking square-gaiter rally for a 5-1 upset in the $34,000 Preferred Trot at Mohawk Racetrack. In the midst of a downpour, the six-year-old son of Ken Warkentin-Sheena Hall rallied from out of the clouds – storm clouds, that is – to win by a half-length margin for driver Phil Hudon who timed his move just right with the gelding. Calipari got away last in the field of seven, and he remained seventh all the way to the three-quarter pole. Doubledown Gass, as per tradition, whacked out panels of :27 and :55.4 before coming under heavy fire from Dancehall Mistress in the third quarter. That mare picked the wrong dance partner to tango with, however, as she quickly faded out the picture. To view the rest of this story click here. The Raceway feature to Kendal Gustav Kendal Gustav did most of the heavy lifting for driver Lorne House en route to a comfortable score in Monday’s $7,000 Preferred 3 for pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District. House hustled Kendal Gustav to the top and had the field chasing him past the quarter pole in :27. Cluster Hanover popped the pocket shortly past the opening panel and took over the lead without a tussle. He led the field to the half in :56.4, before being overtaken in the backstretch by Kendal Gustav. House and Kendal Gustav sizzled by the three-quarter pole in 1:26.3 before using a :30.1 closing quarter to win by 1-3/4 lengths over Lawmen Reign in 1:56.4. Third prize went to race favourite Account Rollover. To view the rest of this story click here. Post time change Sunday at 3R Officials with the Quebec Jockey Club have announced that there is post-time change for an upcoming card of racing at Hippodrome 3R. First-race post time for the Hippodrome 3R’s card this Sunday, October 12 will now be 2 p.m. Qualifying races will be held at 1 p.m.
After competing at Flamboro Downs on Sunday (Oct.5) the Billings Series action in Canada continued on Monday(Oct. 6) at Mohawk Raceway where Michiganders, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and Mike "the Mortgage Man" Mitchell, each emerged victorious in their respective divisions; Oldford with Bold Strike and Mitchell with Unabating. The two-day trip marked the second time this season that Billings members raced in Canada, initially competing over a weekend in early September at two racetracks in the Maritimes. Although going into his contest on Monday as the leading point-earner in the lengthy amateur driving series, Oldford added even more points to his seasonal total after reining his own Bold Strike to a gate to wire triumph in a time of 1:58:4. Second place went to Kelly "Sky" Walker who rallied ProtÃ©gÃ© Seelster from 13- lengths back at the quarter pole to finish second, a length behind the winner. Once again, Canada's own Howie the Horse" Gelfand took home the show dough-as he did yesterday at Flamboro Downs-this time with Back To Peace. "I had the rail and sent my horse to the lead and we went down the road. I got to steal a few fractions along the way and my horse was still strong in the stretch," Oldford related. "It was fun, but then again, it's always fun when you win." Bold Strike, owned by Oldford, paid $7.40 for win. Oldford's traveling companion, Mike Mitchell, was also victorious but his triumph came behind a catch - drive.. In that contest Mitchell had the heavy favorite, Unabating from the two hole, and they got away slowly -fifth at the first panel 13 lengths back-allowing "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello with BWT Taj to lead the field by the quarter in :27. Still on the engine at the halfway point in :56.3, as Zuccarello headed to the third stanza Mitchell began to move closer to the lead and with a three-deep move on the final turn Unabating trotted by BWT Taj and breezed home a solid winner in 1:56. "I was told that my horse would not leave (the starting gate) good but once the race got underway I'd be able to do anything I want with him," Mitchell said. "Still being so far behind in the early going made me a little nervous. But we caught the leaders and in the lane my horse finished like the favorite he was." Zuccarello and BWT Taj finished second while yet another Michigander, "Jerry the Jet" Mihelich was third with Natural Forces. by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Driver Series
Dapper Dude left well for early position and prevailed off a ground-saving trip in the $34,000 Preferred Pace featured on Saturday night's harness racing card at Mohawk Racetrack. Driver Randy Waples hustled Dapper Dude off the gate from post six to establish the early lead over the popular inside starter Dovuto Hanover (Sylvain Filion), but Apprentice Hanover (Chris Christoforou) was parked out and drove on to claim the leading role past the :26.4 first quarter mark. Down the backstretch, 3-5 favourite Dovuto Hanover made his move and edged by Apprentice Hanover at the midway mark in :54.2. He cleared to command and raced to three-quarters in 1:22.1 while Duc Dorleans (Phil Hudon) tipped out from fourth and fanned wide as Apprentice Hanover popped back out of the pocket spot. To view the rest of this story click here. Travis Cullen trainees 1-2 at Alberta Travis Cullen's trainees Feelin Flush and Sing Like An Angel dominated this week's $8,400 Fillies & Mares Open Pace at Alberta Downs, finishing first and second in the Saturday feature for the 22-year-old horseman. G Ts Selene and driver Bill Tainsh Jr. tried to go wire-to-wire, leading the six-horse field through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27, but had to settle for third after the Cullen mares swept by down the stretch. Feelin Flush, the overwhelming 1-5 favourite, kicked home in :27.1 off a three-hole trip to prevail by more than three lengths. Sing Like An Angel and Philip Giesbrecht circled up from last, briefly catching cover from her stablemate, on her way to securing the runner-up honours. To view the rest of this story click here.