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CAMPBELLVILLE, June 20 - Winning five-races in a night at Mohawk Racetrack is no easy task, but for the second consecutive evening, a harness racing driver was able to do just that. James MacDonald made five trips to the winner's circle on Tuesday's 10-race card. The Guelph, Ontario resident teamed up with trainer Mark Steacy for three of his five victories. The duo of MacDonald and Steacy scored their victories with a pair of three-year-old trotting fillies (Ticket To Seattle and Majestic Kat) and six-year-old trotter Harper Blue Chip, who's first victory of the season boosts his career earnings to $933,012. MacDonald's two other victories on the evening came with six-year-old pacer E L Wild Spirit and six-year-old trotter O Narutac Perfetto. MacDonald's five wins were recorded from nine drives on Tuesday's program. This season at Mohawk, MacDonald has recorded 31 victories and driven the winner's of over $500,000. His totals numbers for 2017 currently sit at 64 wins and earnings of $1.1 million. MacDonald is the second driver this week to post a five-win night, as Trevor Henry scored a handful of victories on Monday evening's card at Mohawk. The three-win night for Steacy gives him 11 wins this season at Mohawk and vaults him up to sixth in the trainer standings. Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 19 - Carrying momentum over from last week, Trevor Henry posted five driving victories on Monday evening's 10-race harness racing card at Mohawk Racetrack. The Arthur, Ontario resident led all Mohawk drivers during the week of June 11-17 with eight victories and is well on his way to another strong week after his five-win night Monday. Henry started things off by capturing the first-race with four-year-old pacing mare Wild Dorthy at odds of 12-1 for trainer Matt Harvey. His second victory was registered in the third-race with Kyle Reibeling's three-year-old trotter Yo Yo Mass. Continuing with the trend of winning the odd number races, Henry scored victories in the fifth-race with Jamie Copley trainee and five-year-old pacer Sports Lightning and the seventh-race with Victor Puddy trained four-year-old pacer Bank Shot Hanover. Henry completed his five-win evening in the ninth-race by guiding Puddy trainee and six-year-old pacer Next Thing Smoken to a blowout victory. While young guns Louis Philippe Roy and Doug McNair have been dominating the driver standings this season, Henry has led all drivers during the last month at Mohawk with 31 wins since May 19. Roy, who was held winless Monday, leads all Mohawk drivers with 59 victories, while Henry now sits second with 46 wins. McNair holds the third spot with 42. Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

If civil actions had bookies, these horse folks might be 100-to-1 longshots. Three years ago, a group of Ontario racehorse breeders took Kathleen Wynne’s government to court over claims the province made a “bad faith” decision in 2012 to abruptly end a lucrative revenue-sharing agreement with the horse racing industry. The standardbred breeders allege cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program damaged their livelihoods. But the rural plaintiffs — who in 2015 notched a legal victory in obtaining government documents tied to the agreement cancellation, as court-ordered disclosure — continue to battle the government. On Monday, the sides are back in a Guelph courthouse. Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Emery will hear motions from the province and co-defendant Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. to quash summonses for 13 witnesses — including Wynne, her predecessor Dalton McGuinty, former finance minister Dwight Duncan and economist Don Drummond. “The evidence shows that these are the folks who are the only ones who can bring any level of transparency to the decision that was made and imposed in 2012,” said Toronto lawyer Jonathan Lisus, who represents the breeders seeking $65 million in damages. “They were directly and personally involved in the decision, its implementation and the response to the harm that was caused.” The province and the OLG deny all allegations of wrongdoing in their statements of defence. Earlier this year, both filed motions to have the case summarily dismissed, a matter scheduled for a November hearing. Emilie Smith, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General, said in a written statement that “Ontario has brought a summary judgment motion” to proceed in Superior Court “to have the action dismissed on the basis that it does not raise a genuine issue for trial.” “After Ontario confirmed that it would be bringing a summary judgment motion, the plaintiffs served fifteen summonses to witness,” Smith said. “Ontario has brought a motion to quash thirteen of the fifteen summonses on the basis that the evidence of the summonsed witnesses is not relevant to the summary judgment motion and that the summonses are an abuse of process.” She continued: “As this matter is subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further.” OLG also declined comment. “It would be inappropriate for OLG to comment on matters before the courts,” said spokesperson Tony Bitonti. The defendants have already deposed 17 plaintiffs. Lisus said his clients want the opportunity to examine current and former senior government officials on their witness list, under oath. “I understand the government may not want this decision-making process to be scrutinized but it (ending the slots agreement) caused a lot of harm to a lot of people,” Lisus said. “The documents and evidence demonstrate they (the defendants) knew it would cause a lot of harm to a lot of people.” Around 1998, the slots agreement grew out of the Ontario government’s interest in installing the machines at racetracks. In 2012, then-finance minister Dwight Duncan announced the revenue-sharing deal would be scrapped. With a year’s notice to the horse racing industry, it officially ceased in 2013. Up to that point, horse racing’s share of slots revenue was about $4 billion. A key component of the breeders’ allegations hinges on the five-to-seven-year cycle needed to produce a standardbred racing horse from conception to the start gate. They claim the breeding cycle was well-known to the defendants, who also understood that breeders plan their businesses on this timeline. Lisus said the government’s one-year notice to end the slots deal devastated breeders, noting “the value of horses completely halved overnight.” “It’s not the plaintiffs’ position that the revenue share had to continue forever or could never be renegotiated,” the lawyer said. “The way the government did it, which was to essentially give no notice and say revenue sharing is going to stop, caused the bottom to fall entirely out of the market, and it never came back,” Lisus continued. “The documents show they knew that would happen.” The breeders claim that information contained in the court-ordered disclosure shows senior government officials were planning to cancel the slots program “without warning” even while the province was reassuring the horse industry that the partnership would continue, according to the plaintiffs’ responding factum to the motion to quash summonses. The disclosure documents also contain emails between government officials. Another aspect of the civil action pertains to the government compensating racetrack owners and not those who produce the racing animals after the slots deal was scrapped. “Ontario and OLG paid $80.6 million in compensation to those racetrack owners, while refusing to even discuss compensation for the standardbred breeders,” are among the allegations contained in the breeders’ statement of claim. The standardbred breeders were not a party to the slots contracts, which were signed by individual racetrack owners and OLG. However, Justice Emery, in his 2015 decision to order broad document access for the plaintiffs, wrote that “reports by (the Ontario Racing Commission) and other publications reflected the long-term nature of the commitments Ontario and OLG were making to racetracks and stakeholders in the horse racing industry.” The province, in its statement of defence filed by the attorney general’s office, denied “all allegations of liability and wrongdoing referred to in the plaintiff’s claim” and said at all times “the Crown acted in the public interest.” In addition, government decisions “made in relation to the implementation and termination of the Slots at Racetracks Program were core policy and fiscal decisions made in the public interest and made at the Ministerial and Cabinet level of government and are, accordingly, immune from suit,” according to defence pleadings filed by the attorney general’s office. The province also contends: “If the plaintiffs suffered any losses, which the Crown denies, those losses resulted from something other than actions of the Crown.” By Mary Ormsby Reprinted with permission of The Star        

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 10 - Fear The Dragon, driven by David Miller, defeated the harness racing bettor's choice Huntsville by a three-quarters of a length to capture the prestigious $1 million Pepsi North America Cup in 1:48.4, Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Trained by Delaware, Ohio's Brian Brown, Fear The Dragon, gave his conditioner his first Cup victory and his driver back-to back Cup wins. Miller, who now has two trophies, won last year's edition with Betting Line. Stablemate Downbytheseaside, who is also trained by Brown, finished a third. "It's unexplainable; you would have to ask the guys that win these races regularly," said Brown following the race. "This is my first time, I don't know what to say, it's incredible that were even here with two horses and to come away with a win is just something that is unexplainable." Sports Column and driver Chris Christoforou was quickest off the gate from post five and grabbed the front on the rail. Classic Pro and driver Trevor Henry was close on his heels from post six, making a rush for the lead from the outside. Classic Pro was able to take command at the quarter pole posting a flashy :25.2 opening panel. The speed revved up in the backstretch. Filibuster Hanover and driver Louis Philippe Roy came first-over from third to clear to the front but a stalking Downbytheseaside, driven by Brian Sears, caught second-over cover and was quick to steal the lead at the midway point. Downbytheseaside posted a scorching :52.1 half, the fastest half-mile in Mohawk history. The 4-5 favourite, Huntsville, driven by Tim Tetrick, was on the move first-up from fifth before the half. Fear Of The Dragon followed behind the advancing 4-5 favourite. Downbytheseaside remained in command past the three-quarters in 1:19.3 and into the lane. All three Cup elimination winners--Downbytheseaside on rail, Huntsville in the middle and Fear The Dragon on the outside--battled into the stretch. It then became a two-horse duel between Huntsville and Fear Of The Dragon, but it was the Brian Brown trainee who crossed the wire first, taking a new lifetime mark in the process. Huntsville was second and Downbytheseaside was third. "My horse was having a hard time keeping up," said Miller of the quick fractions. "He was gapping and I was chasing him and he didn't really get into contention until right at the head of the stretch and then he dug, he fought, Huntsville he kept fighting and it was a battle right to the wire." Fear The Dragon remains unbeaten as a three-year-old with six victories from six outings. He notched his 11th lifetime victory in 17 starts. The son of Dragon Again and Armbro Cinnamon picked up $750,000 for winning the Cup, which increases his career earnings to $1,075,844 for owner Emerald Highlands Farm. Fear The Dragon paid $4.90, 2.60 and $2.10, combining with Huntsville ($2.40, $2.10) for a $8.60 (4-3) exactor. A 4-3-2 (Downbytheseaside, $2.80) triactor was worth $19.90, while a $1 superfecta [4-3-2-6 (Classic Pro)] returned $59.55. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON-- Lady Shadow overcame a first-up trip to win the $365,000 Roses Are Red Final for the third year in a row Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:48.4. Lady Shadow floated off the gate towards the center of the field while Call Me Queen Be was sent for the front in :25.3. Soon overtaken by Nike Franco N midway down the backstretch, Lady Shadow soon edged off the rail and began a first-over advance towards the leader while Wrangler Magic struggled to find room, causing traffic issues through a :54 half. Pacing three-quarters 1:21.3, Lady Shadow edged past Nike Franco N in the stretch to take the lead and began to drift while she tried to sprint away from Wrangler Magic. Call Me Queen Be angled out of the pocket and chased behind while Lady Shadow held off Wrangler Magic to win, with Call Me Queen Be getting third and Nike Franco N holding onto fourth. A six-year-old Shadow Play mare from the Camluck mare Lady Camella, Lady Shadow won her 32nd race in 59 tries, compiling $2,108,662 in earnings. Competing for the interests of David Kryway, Carl Atley, Ed Gold, and Bfj Stable, trained by Ron Adams, and driven by Yannick Gingras, Lady Shadow paid $3.60 to win. "I had to move her over a little bit [while Wrangler Magic struggled for room] and I just hoped to get back to the two-path," Yannick Gingras said. "It was clear sailing after that. "I thought I had everyone pretty much where I wanted them [in the final turn]. I assumed, the way I saw [the issues in] the backstretch that Louis Phillippe[-Roy on Wrangler Magic] would be disqualified. I knew I had the field stacked up behind me, and I knew I could've gone by Timmy [Tetrick on Nike Franco N] earlier and let her do her thing in the stretch. "She's so tough. She has big lungs and is real tough. No doubt I would've rather been on the lead tonight, but there was plenty of action and a lot of horses would've tried to take their shot at her; she was the horse to beat. I think tonight she proved that she's the best." Lady Shadow paid $3.60 to win. Mark McKelvie / Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications  

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 17 - Bettors Up, driven by Doug McNair, pulled off a 11-1 upset by a mere nose in the $440,000 Fan Hanover Final for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, part of the Pepsi North America Cup undercard. Bettors Up got away third while Agent Q and Al Mar Got A Fever battled for the early lead into the first turn. A parked out Agent Q stuck the front as they blasted by the quarter pole in :26.4. Bettors Up then made a quick rush to the lead before the :55.1 half. The 9-5 heavy favourite, Idyllic Beach, who was sitting fourth, was hoping to catch second-over cover so when Al Mar Got A Fever made a bid for the lead from third, the bettor's choice followed. Bettors Up remained the leader as they passed the three-quarter marker in 1:22.1. Agent Q, who was sitting second, was fed open racetrack and added pressure to Bettors Up. The pair dueled strides before the wire but Bettors Up poked a nose in front to score the victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:49.4. Agent Q was second in the photo finish and Tequila Monday finished third. Idyllic Beach was advancing from fourth to third but broke stride momentarily, which resulted in her finishing fourth. "I thought (she held on)," said McNair. "I got my hopes up a little bit after and I kind of had to relax a bit. She is not a very big filly so I wasn't quite sure." "There wasn't a lot of leavers," he added. "I actually tried to get away in the two-hole behind Dave [Miller and Agent Q]. It didn't work out. But it actually worked out the right away for us. I had to revoke her back to the lead and she did the rest." The daughter of Bettor's Delight and Fresh Idea, who is trained by Scott McEneny, notched her second victory of the season and eighth career triumph. With the win, the filly lifts her career earnings to $456,499 for Bradley Grant, Teresa Davidson and Michelle McEneny. "She had a good week," said trainer McEneny. "She drew well and she raced really tough last week so I was very happy with her race last week. Things worked out tonight." Bettors Up finished second her in her elimination behind Tequila Monday. Bettors Up paid $24.40, 10.40 and $4.80, combining with Agent Q ($10.40, $5.50) for a $280.40 (1-7) exactor. A 1-7-5 (Tequila Monday, $2.60) triactor was worth $782.70, while a $1 superfecta [1-7-5-4 (Idyllic Beach)] returned $3,649.35. Mark McKelvie / Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications  

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 17 - Lindy Farms' International Moni captured the winner's share of the $251,000 Goodtimes Stakes purse on Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Driver Scott Zeron was able to engineer a second-over trip for the Frank Antonacci trainee to come through and win in 1:52.4. Enterprise, the 3/5 favourite, made a second-quarter move to the lead and posted middle-fractions of :56.1 and 1:24.3 to lead into the lane. International Moni, who was racing sixth in the early stages, caught the cover of stablemate Shake It Off Lindy heading around the far turn. International Moni surged to the lead in the lane and was able to hold off a late-rally from Mass Production, driven by Scott's father, Rick, to win by _ lengths. "I didn't mind where I got away, my horse is really handy," said Scott Zeron about getting away sixth. "I was very happy with where I was sitting...and when I angled him over I felt like I was an easy winner and I didn't even pull the plugs, but good thing I can hear my Dad screaming behind me, so I pulled them and he went on again." Seven And Seven came on to finish third, while Enterprise dropped back to finish fourth. A son of French Stallion Love You and former Horse of the Year Moni Maker, International Moni is now two for two this season to bring his career numbers to three wins and over $330,000 earned for owners Moni Maker Stable. International Moni paid $7.60 to win. Mark McKelvie / Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications  

A $10-million investment to bring year-round harness racing to Mohawk Racetrack has been met with mixed emotions in the local standardbred community. This according to Ontario Harness Horse Association general manager Brian Tropea. “I think the feeling’s split. On the one hand there’s the convenience of travel, but what does it mean when we’ll have no presence at the largest market in Canada (Woodbine),” he told the Champion, responding to Tuesday’s announcement of the major upgrades set for the Campbellville track, where harness racing will be held exclusively following construction that’s scheduled to be complete by next spring. “I think it’ll be detrimental to the growth of the industry.” Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson sees things differently. “This has been well thought out for 24 to 30 months and we’re extremely comfortable with our decision. Milton’s the fastest-growing community in Canada. The population increase is off the chart,” he said, adding that 75 per cent of wagering is now done online. “We’ve done our homework. Anyone with concerns about the Toronto market don’t have access to our numbers.” Lawson said the ‘critical threshold’ in the plan was the OLG’s commitment to providing a new gaming partner at Mohawk for the next 21 years. “That was a game changer for us.” Said seasoned local trainer Ben Wallace, “I’ll miss being in the central core of Toronto, but I think this is a plus for everyone. I just hope the commitment is as flamboyant as it could be.” On Tuesday, Woodbine Entertainment announced plans to winterize the grandstand, paddock and maintenance facilities at Mohawk. However, “Investment in the Milton track is not limited to the construction projects and plant upgrades,” said Woodbine Entertainment in a release. The company also unveiled a new corporate branding with plans to unify its racetracks under one brand, Woodine. “The Woodbine track will retain its name while Mohawk will become Woodbine at Mohawk Park, set to be implemented when harness racing returns to the site full-time in May 2018,” said the company. While Milton-area horse people will no doubt see a financial benefit in terms of travel and shipping expenses once year-round racing begins at a soon-to-be-winterized Mohawk, Wallace said those costs are nothing compared to what his New York-based colleagues deal with. “Try going from south New Jersey to somewhere like Yonkers. We’re in horse paradise here.” Tropea describes Mohawk as the superior facility for standardbred racing — with fans much closer to the action. However, he questioned if people will be lining the fence in the winter, even with the upgrades planned. He suggested the announcement has more to do with benefiting the thoroughbred industry at Woodbine, where a full casino could be built and supporting transit put in place — further bolstering the Toronto track as the premiere destination in Ontario. Tropea also expressed concerns about changes to racing’s revenue sharing agreement — with a split of the breeds. Currently Mohawk offers live racing from April to October, with its biggest card — the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup, set for tonight (Saturday). by Steve LeBlanc Reprinted with permission of the Inside Halton site

Columbus, OH --- She and her husband already have Delaware champion Logan’s Girl, stand-out Newborn Sassy, the top-class Purrfect Bags, the 2015 North America Cup winner in Wakizashi Hanover and a former New Zealand Horse of the Year in Christen Me, but there is one other horse in the care of Jo Ann Looney-King and Jim King Jr. who is intent on accumulating her own accolades rather than linger in the shadows of her harness racing barnmates and that is Nike Franco N. The New Zealand-bred, who competed in Australia, collected $321,393 from 33 trips to the post, with 18 victories, established several track records and has defeated males on multiple occasions. She has yet, however, to capture her first stakes final on her new continent and will seek to accomplish that task on Saturday (June 17) in the C$365,000 Roses Are Red final at Mohawk Racetrack. “She is just her own woman,” said Looney-King. “That is about the best way to size her up and she knows she is her own woman. She just takes everything as it comes and goes about her business.” Like Christen Me, Nike Franco is owned by Richard Poillucci and will be steered by her regular reinsman, Tim Tetrick, on Saturday. The duo will leave from post position three in the field of 10. Although the formidable Lady Shadow is the morning line favorite at 6-5, Nike Franco is the second selection at 2-1 off her powerful 1:49.2 performance in her elimination last week. “We knew she would race well like she always does, but we did not expect that,” said Looney-King. “Just watching her was impressive and Timmy always puts her, like he does with all the horses he drives, in the right spot to win. She certainly was ready last week and we hope to see that again from her, but this is a tough group of mares, especially with Lady Shadow in there, so she will need to be at her best. Nike raced great at Chester against her (second in the Betsy Ross Invitational) but she just could not catch her.” In fact, one of the reasons Tetrick is so enamored with this mare is directly related to the determination she demonstrated in that event to finish a swiftly-charging second. “I love Nike Franco,” he said. “I think she’s a great mare. I don’t think people in America have seen what she can do yet. I’m a very firm believer in her and I don’t think anybody knows (how good she can be). All I know is when I ask her to do something, she does it. Even at Chester when I was in a terrible spot she kept digging. She made up five lengths at Chester in a (1):49 mile being three-wide around the last turn. I race there all the time and horses do not do that.” Since her intercontinental transition, Nike Franco has compiled a record of 10-7-2-0 and earned $131,625. The only time she has failed to hit the board was a seventh place finish in the first leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway on March 17, but she certainly had an excuse. “We were really looking forward to racing her in that series, but she ended up being pretty sick and we just weren’t going to push her,” Looney-King said. “It’s a long season and that’s what we try to do is keep the horses happy and healthy as they go through it.” Nike Franco also has regal blood flowing through her veins as the daughter of McArdle's dam, Nearea Franco, was a New Zealand champion and her granddam No Paba, is a half-sibling to 1990 Horse of the Year Beach Towel. King claims the 7-year-old mare even has her own fan club. “She attracts attention wherever she goes,” Looney-King said. “In fact, there are still people in Australia that are watching her over here and the girl who used to take care of her, Amanda Grieve, makes sure she is plugged in to her every move. She’s just a bay mare with her own way about her. Jim and I are just very lucky to have horses like her and all our horses this year. We remind ourselves every day how fortunate we are with them and for our family.” As her fans prepare to witness Nike Franco's second performance North of the Border, her driver is counting on her to illustrate just why those that come in contact with her become so attached. “Last week she won in (1):49 just as easy as you would want a horse to win,” Tetrick said. “It’s a very tough group. Lady Shadow is the horse to beat, but in my heart, if I can keep close to her, I think mine (this mare) can out-kick her; if I can just stay close to her.” * * * * * * Two-time defending champion Lady Shadow heads to this year’s Roses Are Red final off a 1:50.2 victory in her elimination last week, pushing her win streak to six races dating back to last year. She has won 14 of her last 16 races, a stretch that began with her triumph in her Roses Are Red elim last June. She won last year’s final in 1:48.1, just one-fifth of a second off Anndrovette’s stakes record. With a victory Saturday, Lady Shadow would join Anndrovette as the only three-time winners of the Roses Are Red. Anndrovette accomplished the feat from 2012-14. “She’s vicious,” said Lady Shadow’s driver Yannick Gingras. “I think she’s the one to beat. I’m very confident in her. She’s got big lungs. She can go those :27 quarters all day long. She’s got six of them in her. She never gets tired.” Lady Shadow was fifth at the opening quarter of her elimination before embarking on a first-over march to victory. “Sometimes you over-think stuff,” Gingras said. “I was trying to race her easy and get her a covered-up trip and it kind of worked against me. She had to work harder coming first up than if I’d just put her on the front. She was really good.” Lady Shadow, a 6-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Lady Camella, has won 31 of 58 career races and earned $1.72 million. She is owned by David Kryway, Carl Atley, Ed Gold, and BFJ Stable and trained by Ron Adams. “Let’s face it, Lady Shadow has been tremendous,” said Tom Fanning, who trains Frost Damage Blues, the winner of the first of last week’s three eliminations. “Nike Franco is really good. I think there are a couple other ones, us included, that if things work right can be very competitive in there. It’s a competitive bunch this year.” Frost Damage Blues, owned by blueberry magnate Bill Augustine, won her elimination in 1:50.1 with a rally from mid-pack at the race’s midpoint. James MacDonald handled the driving and will be back in the sulky for the final. “She got a great trip,” Fanning said. “She likes those trips; she’ll fire off of that for sure.” A 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Art Matters, Frost Damage Blues has won 14 of 28 career races and earned $180,938. She finished third in last year’s Breeders Crown Mare Pace. “She’s been good,” Fanning said. “She’s filled out. I’m happy with how she is. The best thing about her is she just tries hard. Most of them don’t try as hard as they can. She is one of the few that does.” Following is the field for the Roses Are Red. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-Bernadette-David Miller-Ron Adams-20/1  2-Frost Damage Blues-James MacDonald-Tom Fanning-6/1  3-Nike Franco N-Tim Tetrick- Jo Ann Looney King-2/1  4-Lady Shadow-Yannick Gingras-Ron Adams-6/5  5-Wrangler Magic-Louis-Philippe Roy-Rene Allard-8/1  6-Call Me Queen Be-Scott Zeron-Tony O'Sullivan-10/1  7-Witch Dali-Doug McNair-Richard Moreau-20/1  8-Penpal-Patrick Lachance-Patrick Lachance-15/1  9-Pure Country-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-8/1  10-Prairie Sweetheart-Matt Kakaley-Tony O'Sullivan-20/1 by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor  Ken Weingartner also contributed to this report

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 16 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) is pleased to announce that Lou Lamoriello, General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be making the winner's circle presentation for this Saturday's $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack. A native of Rhode Island, Lamoriello became exposed to harness racing during his 28 years as the General Manager of the New Jersey Devils. During his time in the Garden State, Lamoriello led the Devils organization to three Stanley Cups, five conference titles and nine division titles. In July of 2015, Lamoriello was named the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and recently led the organization to a playoff appearance. Lamoriello was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009. The $1 million North America Cup features the continent's finest three-year-old pacers and is Canada's richest harness race. This year's event marks the 34th edition of the North America Cup. Lamoriello, who recently attended the North America Cup eliminations, will present the prestigious trophy to the connections of the winning horse along with Michael Hall, Director of Business Development for PepsiCo. The Pepsi North America Cup is carded as Race 12 on Saturday's 15-race card. Live racing begins at 6:30 p.m., with the North America Cup scheduled for approximately 10:40 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Idyllic Beach spent a lot of time near the front of a lot of races last year, but harness racing driver driver Yannick Gingras says the filly doesn't need to be setting fractions to be successful. "I really like her versatility," said Gingras, who will drive the award-winning Idyllic Beach in Saturday's C$440,000 Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers at Mohawk Racetrack. "As a 2-year-old maybe she was a little ahead of the other ones early on. I think I maybe got caught up racing on the front too many times and at the end of the year she was a little tired. "But she can do it either way. She's got huge speed, but you can use her anytime you want. If I can race her from behind I think she's better chasing down horses. But if it's a slow pace we'll take it." Last year Idyllic Beach won eight of 14 races and never finished worse than third on her way to $647,678 in earnings for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc., and Marvin Katz. She received Dan Patch and O'Brien awards for best 2-year-old filly pacer in the U.S. and Canada. Idyllic Beach led at the first quarter of six races last year and was in front at the half-mile point 11 times. Only once was she worse than second at the half, when she rallied from sixth to win her elimination for the She's A Great Lady Stakes at Mohawk. A week later she captured the final to join her dam, Idyllic, as a winner of the event. This year, Idyllic Beach is unbeaten in two starts. She won her Fan Hanover elimination by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:51. She was fourth at the half. "She was very good," said Gingras, who won the 2006 Fan Hanover with Darlin's Delight. "She needed the start. I think it will do her a lot of good and she'll be even better this week." Idyllic Beach, a daughter of stallion Somebeachsomewhere, is the 9-5 second choice on the morning line behind favorite Tequila Monday at 8-5. Takter has won four of the last six editions of the Fan Hanover, including last year's with Pure Country. He has five Fan Hanover trophies overall. Tequila Monday won her Fan Hanover elimination in 1:50.4 with Brian Sears driving for trainer Chris Oakes and owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey. Tequila Monday has won seven of 10 career races, including last year's New York Sire Stakes championship and this year's Lismore Pace, and never finished worse than second. She has earned $303,853. "The race could go a lot of different ways; I'm not really sure," Gingras said, adding with a laugh, "If it's a slow pace I'm racing on the front, if it's a fast pace I'm racing from behind. So we'll see how that goes. "Tequila Monday was really good too last week, but I'm confident in my horse. She's got a big-time shot in there." Saturday's card at Mohawk also includes the C$1 million North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers, C$365,000 Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers, C$253,000 Armbro Flight Stakes for older female trotters, and C$251,000 Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. Following is the field for the Fan Hanover Stakes. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-Bettor's Up-Doug McNair-Scott McEneny-6/1 2-Al-Mar-Got A Fever-Trevor Henry-Mike Weller-10/1 3-She's Watching-Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna-12/1 4-Idyllic Beach-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-9/5 5-Tequila Monday-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes-8/5 6-Action Majesty-Sylvain Filion-Gregg McNair-15/1 7-Agent Q-David Miller-Aaron Lambert-10/1 8-Future Headlines-Tim Tetrick-Colin Johnson-25/1 9-Roaring To Go-Brett Miller-Kevin Lare-15/1 10-Dancing Shadows K-Randy Waples-Rod Boyd-25/1   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 15 - Mohawk Racetrack has released admission, entrance and harness racing event details for Saturday's $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids (ages 12-17) and children under 12 are free. Tickets will be on-sale beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and doors will open at 4 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Main Entrance and East Gate Entrance using cash, credit or debit. To avoid line-ups, fans are urged to purchase their tickets in advance through TicketMaster. A Will-Call table will be set up outside the Main Entrance for guests with reservations in the Terrace Dining Room and Lounge. Signage will be posted to direct guests with reservations to Will-Call. The pre-race concert with Kira Isabella begins at 5 p.m. The rising country star will also be performing the national anthems at 6:15 p.m. Jojo Mason will take the stage at approximately 7 p.m. and will be performing between races. Post time for Saturday's 15-race card is 6:30 p.m. There will also be several special food and drink options for fans to enjoy. A beer tent will be set up in the concert area (at the East End), while Woodbine's brand-new Food Truck will also be on-site The popular "First Bet on Us" promotion is back and the first 2,500 fans to sign up will receive a 2017 Pepsi North America Cup hat. The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup is carded as Race 12 and will go postward at approximately 10:40 p.m. The $100,000 All-Stakes Pick-4 starts in Race 9 and features the Fan Hanover, Goodtimes, Roses Are Red and Pepsi North America Cup. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.NorthAmericaCup.com   Mark McKelvie

Freehold, NJ --- When he first began racing, Enterprise sometimes looked for the quickest way to exit the track. Over time, though, he seems to have settled for the fastest way to the harness racing winner’s circle. Enterprise is 5-for-5 in his career as he heads to Saturday’s C$251,000 Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. Last week the Marcus Melander-trained colt won his Goodtimes elimination by two lengths over AWOL Hanover in a lifetime-best 1:53.1. The Goodtimes is one of the major stakes on the road to August’s $1 million Hambletonian. Last year’s Goodtimes winner, Marion Marauder, went on to win the Trotting Triple Crown (Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, Kentucky Futurity) and received awards for Trotter of the Year in the U.S. and best 3-year-old male trotter in Canada. Nine of the 10 Goodtimes finalists are eligible to the Hambletonian: Enterprise and fellow elimination winner International Moni as well as Shake It Off Lindy, Jake, Southwind Woody, Seven And Seven, Southwind Cobra, AWOL Hanover, and Guardian Angel As. Saturday’s card at Mohawk also includes the C$1 million North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers, C$440,000 Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers, C$365,000 Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers, and the C$253,000 Armbro Flight Stakes for older female trotters. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. Enterprise will start the Goodtimes from post four with driver Tim Tetrick. The colt, owned by Courant Inc., raced only once last year, winning by 9-1/2 lengths in 1:58.1 at Harrah’s Philadelphia in December, and worked his way through conditioned-level competition before facing stakes-caliber foes. “He was very immature,” said Melander, who began training Enterprise in late summer last year. “When he saw an exit (from the track) he wanted to go out. I trained him on the straight track all fall and in November he felt great and ready to go. He felt like a good horse but I wanted to race him once to see how he was. He was still very immature in that race. If you take a look at it, you’ll see he was going like a snake down the stretch. But he had plenty left.” A son of Chapter Seven out of the mare Shes Gone Again, Enterprise is a half-brother to New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Guess Whos Back and his family includes Dan Patch and O’Brien awards winner Poof She’s Gone. Enterprise was purchased for $100,000 at the 2015 Lexington Selected Sale. Enterprise prepped for the Goodtimes with wins in conditioned races at the Meadowlands before capturing a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs. “I didn’t mind that he didn’t race much last year,” Melander said. “If he wasn’t ready, he wasn’t ready. It was good in a way because he didn’t have to race against the best ones right away, even if he probably could. He needed the experience, that’s for sure. He’s behaving pretty good; at Mohawk (last week) he was perfect. I’m very happy with how his races have been going so far. It’s exactly how we planned. “He moves so easy, even though he’s a pretty big horse. He’s got speed, but he never gets tired. Of course that will happen when he faces tougher horses; maybe it will happen in the final on Saturday. But he’s a very strong horse. He’s got the tools to be a good horse.” The 25-year-old Melander trains 30 horses in central New Jersey. In addition to Enterprise, he has a Hambletonian hopeful in colt Long Tom, who earlier this season won the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. Melander’s uncle, Stefan, won the 2001 Hambletonian with Scarlet Knight. “It’s still several weeks until the Hambletonian and anything can happen,” Melander said. “But I wouldn’t trade either of my horses for anyone. I couldn’t be happier right now. We’ll see what happens. I try to not think about the Hambo, I just try to think about the next race. I feel pretty calm about that. We just take one race at a time because I know a lot of things can happen on the way. Of course, that’s what we’re aiming for. But you never know what will happen. It’s a long road.” Following is the field for the Goodtimes with listed drivers and trainers. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer 1 - Shake It Off Lindy - Crazed - Brett Miller-Frank Antonacci 2 - International Moni - Love You - Scott Zeron-Frank Antonacci 3 - Jake - Muscle Hill - Sylvain Filion-Luc Blais 4 - Enterprise - Chapter Seven - Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander 5 - Southwind Woody - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 6 - Seven And Seven - Chapter Seven - David Miller-Tom Durand 7 - Mass Production - Muscle Mass - Rick Zeron-Rick Zeron 8 - Southwind Cobra - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 9 - AWOL Hanover - Donato Hanover - James MacDonald-Luc Blais 10 - Guardian Angel As - Archangel - Brett Miller-Anette Lorentzon ROAD TO THE HAMBLETONIAN A look at open stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and state-restricted stakes featuring Hambletonian eligibles Date – Track – Event – First – Second – Third May 6 – Freehold – Dexter Cup – Lord Cromwell – Gustavo Fring – Southwind Cobra May 19 – Meadowlands – NJSS – Long Tom – Yes Mickey – Deacon Tony May 19 – Meadowlands – NJSS – What The Hill – Southwind Cobra – New Jersey Viking May 20 – Meadows – PASS – Sortie – Giveitgasandgo – High Glider May 20 – Meadows – PASS – Andy M – Gustavo Fring – Stealth Hanover May 20 – Meadows – PASS – Common Parlance – Brown Bear – Brand New Key May 29 – Vernon – NYSS – Stick With Me Kid – Bill’s Man – Top Flight Angel May 29 – Vernon – NYSS – Devious Man – Lord Cromwell – Aces And Eights May 29 – Vernon – NYSS – Enterprise – Swell Chap – Meetmeinthemiddle June 2 – Meadowlands – NJSS Final – Long Tom – King On The Hill – What The Hill June 3 – Meadows – Currier & Ives – Fraser Ridge – Meme Hanover – Muay Hanover June 3 – Meadows – Currier & Ives – Moonshiner Hanover – Giveitgasandgo – Lars Perry June 3 – Meadows – Currier & Ives – Sortie – Dover Dan – Always A Good Time June 9 – Mohawk – Goodtimes Elim – International Moni – Guardian Angel As – Jake June 9 – Mohawk – Goodtimes Elim – Enterprise – AWOL Hanover – Shake It Off Lindy June 9 – Vernon – EBC Elim – Bill’s Man – Such An Angel – Stick With Me Kid June 9 – Vernon – EBC Elim – Devious Man – Swell Chap – Lord Cromwell June 10 – Pocono – PASS – Rubio – Muscles Jared – Di Oggi June 10 – Pocono – PASS – Dover Dan – Moonshiner Hanover – Sir John F June 10 – Pocono – PASS – Giveitgasandgo – President Lindy – Andy M June 17 – Mohawk – Goodtimes – June 18 – Vernon – Empire Breeders Classic – June 24 – Pocono – Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Elims – July 1 – Pocono – Earl Beal Jr. Memorial – July 9 – Pocono – PA All Stars – July 15 – Meadowlands – Stanley Dancer Memorial – July 22 – Meadowlands – Tompkins-Geers – July 29 – Meadowlands – Reynolds – Aug. 5 – Meadowlands – Hambletonian – Hambletonian eligible in bold by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 14 - The Mohawk Race Office would like to inform harness racing horsepeople that this week's two-year-old qualifiers will be held on Thursday and Friday. Thursday's qualifiers will be for two-year-old trotters and two-year-old pacing fillies. Friday's qualifiers will be for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Qualifiers begin each day at 10 a.m. Also, there will be no training available at Mohawk this Saturday (June 17) due to Pepsi North America Cup preparations. Mark McKelvie

JUNE 13, 2017 - While three-year-old trotting filly Literally may not be poised to follow in the footsteps of her illustrious elder brother Dont Rush, the Dustin Jones harness racing trainee earned her second Ontario Sires Stakes trophy with a Grassroots win at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening. A Justice Hall half-sister to two-time Ontario Sires Stakes division champion Dont Rush, who is closing in on $700,000 in career earnings, Literally sprinted from seventh to first through the final quarter of the first $19,500 Grassroots division on Tuesday. With Jones in the race bike the filly hit the wire in a personal best 1:57.2, two and one-quarter lengths ahead of pacesetter and favourite Expose Yourself. Hudsons Ya Ya also closed well to finish third. "Wayne Henry's filly (Expose Yourself) qualified pretty good, I didn't know whether I would be able to beat her or not, but I thought just following along she'd be as good as they were, as good as the rest," said Waterdown, ON resident Jones, who bred, owns, trains and drives Literally. Tuesday's outing was the filly's first of the season and marked her second lifetime trip to the Grassroots winner's circle; she was also victorious in the Grassroots season opener as a two-year-old. Following that victory Jones moved Literally up to the Gold Series level for the remainder of the season, but he does not expect her to follow the same path this year. "She has a conformation issue that probably stops her from being like her brother," Jones explains. "She's got the heart that she wants to overcome it, but when they have interfering issues it's hard to. She won't probably be able to be competitive in the Gold because of that." Literally Looking ahead to the second Grassroots event of the season, on July 1 at Dresden Raceway, Jones is hoping at least one of Tuesday's division winners decides to make the move up to the Gold Series. Gisele Treelane and driver Jack Moiseyev of Moffat, ON laid down a :27.3 final quarter to take the second split for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland, ON and owner-breeder Patricia Whittaker Trust of Aspers, PA in a sharp 1:55.3. "Lucky I wasn't in with Murray Brethour's filly, I might hardly get a cheque," said Jones. "That's like a Gold filly." Like Literally, Gisele Treelane reeled in the pacesetter and fan favourite through the final quarter, storming from fifth to first. The Daylon Magician daughter hit the wire one length ahead of You Cant Afford Me with Hilarious Honey eight lengths back in third. The win was Gisele Treelane's second in four lifetime starts and her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Gisele Treelane The third division saw Bustingattheseams and Randy Waples find a sliver of daylight in the stretch and sprint under the wire to a 1:56.3 victory, three-quarters of a length ahead of Ticket To Seattle and favourite and pacesetter Anikadabra. Milton resident Waples engineered the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partner Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. The win was the Kadabra daughter's third straight and her first in provincial competition. Bustingattheseams The final Grassroots battle saw another charge from the backfield as Delcrest Magicstar roared home to a 1:56.1 triumph over Crystal Gumdrop and Millers Song, who went off as the fan's top choice and did all the work on the front end. "She got away in a good spot and the trip worked out great, you know it usually doesn't, but today it did and luckily she was good and we capitalised on it," said driver James MacDonald, who landed the filly in sixth from Post 10 and was able to tuck in behind P C Pipe Dream for the journey up the outer lane. "She was stepping down the lane," MacDonald continued. "Last year she was green, she'd kind of blow by and pull up a little bit when she'd clear, and tonight she didn't, she felt like a real horse, she blew by and kept trotting ahead." Guelph resident MacDonald shares ownership of Delcrest Magicstar with Peter Porter of Port Dover and Johnathan McKinnon of Guelph, ON. A winner of two Grassroots trophies last season, including one in the Semi-final, the daughter of Majestic Son and Stars Balance is trained by Lansdowne, ON resident Mark Steacy. Delcrest Magicstar Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, June 22 with the second Grassroots event of the season for the three-year-old pacing colts. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, Ont. — Brian Brown isn't the least bit concerned about not having the harness racing favourite for the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup. Brown will have two horses — Fear The Dragon and Downbytheseaside — in Canada's richest harness event at Mohawk Racetrack. Although both are coming off impressive wins in their respective elimination races last weekend, the horse to beat Saturday night will be Huntsville, the early 8-5 favourite. Huntsville posted the fastest time in the three elimination races. The son of 2008 Cup winner Somebeachsomewhere earned a 4 1/4-length victory in one minute 49.1 seconds, the third in four starts this season for U.S. racing's top two-year-old pacing colt last year. "I thought (Huntsville) should've been the favourite as good as he raced the other day," Brown said Tuesday after the race draw at Mohawk Racetrack. "I'm not a gambler of any type, I couldn't even tell you what three-to-five pays. "I'd like to be the favourite in every race I was ever in but in the end, to me, the odds don't mean anything. You just go out and race and hope everything works with no one getting into any trouble and everyone has a clean race." Fear The Dragon and Downbytheseaside aren't exactly chopped liver either. Both are undefeated this season, with Fear The Dragon winning all five starts in 2017 while Downbytheseaside has won four straight.  David Miller drove both American-owned and bred horses to their elimination wins, leaving him with a tough decision regarding which one he'd take Saturday night. Brown said Miller will drive Fear The Dragon in the Cup with fellow American Brian Sears replacing Miller with Downbytheseaside. While Brown handles preparations for the horses to race, he'll leave the driving to Miller and Sears on Saturday night. Miller won last year's Cup with Betting Line. "When I give the lines to David and Brian, I shut up," Brown said. "I don't want any opinions in their head but their own. "I expect other horses from the outside will be leaving hard for position. I think when the dust settles into the quarter, two or three of us will be moving on, trying to get to the front. I just hope I'm in a good spot by the half with both horses." Huntsville, trained by Ray Schnittker and driven by Tim Tetrick, will go from post No. 3, flanked by Downbytheseaside (No. 2) and Fear The Dragon (No. 4). Fear The Dragon gave Brown some anxious moments in his elimination win. Leading in the deep stretch, Fear The Dragon jumped over a fallen racing head number and broke stride. Miller managed to get Fear The Dragon pacing again just steps before crossing the wire. "He was going right over it, he saw it and just stepped over it and got tangled up and made a break," Brown said. "Thankfully he recovered." Fortunately, Brown said the horse is none the worse for wear. "When we took his bandages off, there were no marks, no swelling," he said. "We jogged him (Monday) and today he seems like himself, everything looks fine." Despite Downbytheseaside's winning ways, the horse also has his issues. Brown said the richest horse in Saturday's field ($848,616) sometimes has difficulty running with the lead. "He just waits on the other horses when he gets away from them," Brown said. "But in this race, they're all going to be together and whoever is on the front, somebody is going to be right at their throat the whole step. "I feel good but I'm not overly confident. I feel I should get good money if I don't win but the object is to come here to win. I saw that Cup 20 years ago when I was up here and I've been eyeing it ever since." The remainder of the 10-horse field, with post, driver, (and hometown if Canadian), includes: 1) Ocean Colony, Yannick Gingras of Sorel, Que.; 5) Sports Column, Chris Christoforou of Campbellville, Ont.; 6) Classic Pro, Trevor Henry of Arthur, Ont.; 7) Ozone Blue Chip, Brett Miller; 8) Filibuster Hanover, Matt Kakaley; 9) Western Hill, Doug McNair of Guelph, Ont.; 10) Miso Fast, Matt Kakaley. Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press Reprinted with permission of the Nanaimo News Now

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