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The second round of the Princess Series highlighted harness racing action Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack.  Following a scratch, a group of 11 three-year-old pacing fillies competed in a pair of $20,000 second leg divisions. Leg one winner American Curves skipped the second round, which opened the door for two new winners. In the first division, Noone To Depend On scored a 16-1 upset victory in a flashy 1:51.4 for Jody and Carl Jamieson. Party In Rome, the 5-2 second choice, cut out fractions of :28 and :56.4 before Lay Lady Lay, the heavy 1-5 favourite, came out from fourth to challenge first up entering the final turn. The top two choices waged war to the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4, while Noone To Depend On and Jamieson sat patiently in third. In the stretch, Party In Rome put away Lay Lady Lay, but Noone To Depend On clearly had more energy than the roughed up leader and cruised by to score a 3 ¾ lengths victory. Party In Rome held on for second, while Lay Lady Lay was third. A daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, Noone To Depend On was winless in three attempts this season entering Friday's Princess Series leg. All three of her previous starts were in the Blossom Series. Noone To Depend On now has three victories in 21 career starts and $66,980 earned for owners Carl and Brandy Jamieson. The sophomore pacing filly established a new career-mark with her 1:51.4 victory and paid $34.90 to win. Noone To Depend SodwanaBay prevailed in a stretch battle with Divas Image to win the second division in 1:53.4 at odds of 14-1. Driven by Rick Zeron, SodwanaBay left from post two and got away second. Sports Expert and driver Doug McNair found the front and went uncontested through fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26. In the stretch, SodwanaBay came off the pylons from second and Divas Image followed from third to blow by the leader. The two fillies slugged it out to the wire with Sodwana Bay holding off her rival by a neck for the win. Danish N Coffee finished third. Trained by Eric Adams, SodwanaBay now has two victories in eight starts this season. The sophomore pacing filly is a daughter of the late No Pan Intended, who passed away Friday. SodwanaBay, who was winless in six starts as a rookie, now has a new career-mark and earnings of $30,960 for owners Millar Farms. She paid $31.90 to win. In order to be eligible to the Princess Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2015. SodwanaBay The $57,400 Princess Series Final will take place next Saturday (May 7). Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack with an 11-race program. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Wanaka overcame post position ten to win the harness racing Celias Counsel Trotting Series final Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A full field of ten three-year-old trotting fillies met up to contest the $33,200 Celias Counsel final. Trainer Paul Reid swept the second leg of the series and sent out a pair of starters, including the 4/5 favourite Flowers N Songs. However, Reid was not the only trainer to send out multiple starters, as John Box sent out 5 trotting fillies. Wanaka entered the final with a victory and third-place finish in the preliminary legs, but the Shannon Henry trainee had to deal with the far outside post-ten starting spot. The Bax trainees all pushed forward at the start looking for the front, while Flowers N Songs and driver Doug McNair dropped in seventh and Wanaka and driver Trevor Henry took back to find a seat in eighth. After an opening-quarter of :28.3, Bax trainee Hills Angel cleared to the front ahead of stablemate Moonlight Cocktail. The lead was short lived, as Treasurer Gifts K powered up from fifth to take the lead at the half in :58.2. Flowers N Songs angled to the outside trotting down the backstretch and made the long first-over journey to take the lead just before reaching three-quarters in 1:27.4. Meanwhile, Henry and Wanaka shadowed the public's choice and got a second-over trip to the top of the lane. In the stretch, Wanaka surged by Flowers N Songs to score a length and a half victory in a career-best 1:56.1. Smash Hit grabbed third, while Moonlight Cocktail was fourth. Following the race, Henry explained his winning strategy from post-ten with Wanaka. "I didn't really want to leave, there was a big entry to the inside of me and I knew there would be no favours," said Henry. "Doug's (McNair) filly I know (isn't) a big leaver, so I thought I would try and get to follow her and it just worked out." Henry noted that he was very confident in his filly, who was 7¾ lengths off the lead at the half. "I figured if I was at least six or eight lengths off at the half she would win" A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Wanaka now has five wins in 11 starts this season for owners Trevor Henry Stables Inc and 1035840 Ontario Inc. The sophomore trotting filly has only missed the board once this season after a third-place finish in two starts as a rookie. With Ontario Sires Stakes season rapidly approaching, Wanaka is primed for a big season locally, but Henry and the connections hope their filly can potentially tackle the Grand Circuit. "She's got the Elegantimage and Casual Breeze if she's good enough." Wanaka's Celias Counsel victory pushes her career earnings over $68,000. She paid $5.90 to win. In order to be eligible to the Celias Counsel, the three-year-old fillies had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2015. Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk with an 11-race card. The feature event is two $20,000 divisions of the Princess Series. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Canada's reigning Horse of the Year is set to return to the track Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Dr. Ian Moore trainee State Treasurer will look to start his 2016 harness racing campaign off on a winning note in the $34,000 Preferred Handicap. The seven-year-old son of Real Desire has been assigned the outside spot in a field of nine and will reunite with regular driver Chris Christoforou. State Treasurer put together a dream season last year with nine victories in 19 starts and just shy of $1 million in earnings. The Dr. Moore trainee posted victories in the Molson Pace, Mohawk Gold Cup, US Pacing Championship, Roll With Joe and Canadian Pacing Derby en route to being named the top older pacer in both Canada and the United States. State Treasurer enters his seven-year-old season with a milestone in sight. Just a $6,500 yearling purchase, he is just over $51,000 away from $2 million in career earnings for owners Sally MacDonald and Paul MacDonald. Although State Treasurer has yet to make a start, the veteran pacing stallion has already made headlines this season. Dr. Moore qualified State Treasurer in an eye-popping 1:49.4 on April 15 at Southern Oaks Training Center in Sorrento, Florida. The recorded fractions over the mile-oval at Southern Oaks were :26, :52.3, 1:19.4 and 1:49.4. State Treasurer's competition in Saturday's Preferred includes a stablemate and a trio of Preferred winners this season. Dr. Moore trainee Arthur Blue Chip is making his sixth start of the season from post-five in the Preferred. The five-year-old son of Shadow Play made all five previous starts at Pompano Park and scored two victories along with three runner-up finishes. Nickle Bag, who has six Preferred victories this season, will start from post-six. Ellis Park and Boomboom Ballykeel, who have each scored a Preferred victory in the last month, start from post-seven and eight, respectively. The Preferred Handicap has been carded as the tenth-race on the 11-race program. State Treasurer will not be the only Dr. Moore trainee to appear at Mohawk Saturday. The veteran conditioner sends out three starters in The Diplomat and former New York Sires Stakes standout Rockin In Heaven in an overnight event. Some Gold starts from post-two in the first Diplomat division for Dr. Moore, while Worthy Art and Sutton Seelster will leave from post position three and five in the second split. Rockin In Heaven will make his second start of the season in the evening's fourth-race. The four-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven scored victories in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and Empire Breeders Classic last season en route to banking over $367,000. The second leg of The Diplomat Series will feature two $20,000 divisions Saturday night. The Diplomat Series is for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, who were non-winners of $100,000 last season. The opening-leg of the series failed to fill, as only four horses were entered, but leg two has attracted 13 pacers. Carmen Auciello trainee War N Munn will headline the first division from the rail. The three-year-old son of Stonebridge Regal has captured both The Count B and Youthful Series finals this season to help him sport a 2016 bankroll of over $66,000. The first division field of six also includes British Columbia star Kokanee Seelster. The Ming Siu trainee made his first four starts this season at Fraser Downs and captured the $75,000 Keith Linton Memorial on April 3. Unlike War N Munn, Kokanee Seelster is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. The second Diplomat Series division features a strong field of seven Bill Budd trainee Flaherty has won four of eight starts this season and holds a mark of 1:51.3. The son of Up The Credit will start from post-two and has been made the 9/5 morning line choice. Flaherty is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. Richard Moreau trainee Gerries Sport won his season debut last week at Mohawk in 1:52.3 and is the 5/2 second-choice on the morning line from post-seven. An Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots star last season, Gerries Sport appears ready to take a big step forward in 2016 with a pair of solid qualifying efforts before capturing his season debut. The Diplomat Series divisions are carded as the third and ninth-races on Saturday's card. Post time for Saturday's 11-race program is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Trotters were in the spotlight Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack with the Tie Silk Series Final headlining the 10-race harness racing card. A field of ten three-year-old trotting colts and geldings clashed in the $32,200 Tie Silk Series Final. The sophomore trotters not only had to deal with each other, but also rainy and windy conditions. Eddie Green trainee Donicus, 6-5 favourite, was aiming for a series sweep from post-five, but right to his inside was Per Henriksen trainee Muscle Hustle, the 8-5 second choice. Henriksen opted to skip the second leg with Muscle Hustle after the son of Muscle Mass won a leg one division. Donicus and Muscle Hustle trotted out quickly at the start with the Green trainee grabbing the lead and posting an opening-quarter of :27.2. Muscle Hustle and driver Randy Waples sat patiently in the two-hole, as the favourite posted fractions of :58.2 and 1:28.2. Waples pulled on the right line to set up a stretch duel at the top of the lane. Muscle Hustle found top gear quickly and surged by to record a two-length victory in 1:56.2. Donicus' bid at a series sweep was denied, as he finished second. Greg Peck trainee Merchandiser, who won a leg two division, finished third from post-ten. Muscle Hustle was making just his second start of 2016 and fifth overall Monday. The Henriksen trainee now has three career victories and over $33,000 earned for owners Ecurie Bergh Inc. The clocking of 1:56.2 shaved nearly a second off Muscle Hustle's previous career-best. He paid $5.30 to win. Muscle Hustle Three-year-old trotters, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2015, were eligible to the Tie Silk. The weekly $34,000 Preferred Trot saw yet another older trotter find the winner's circle Monday. Charlie Is A Joker benefited from breaks by the two favourties, Fearless Man and Flanagan Memory, to win in 1:55.3 for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Ben Baillargeon. The eight-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall grabbed the early lead, before surrendering the front to Zeus Lightning in the second-quarter. Charlie Is A Joker sat in the two-hole until the top of the lane and surged by in the stretch to win by a length at odds of 9-1. Zeus Lightning held on for second, while Hldontghttoyurdrms finished third. Charlie Is A Joker now has back-to-back victories to improve his season's record to four wins in 13 starts. The veteran trotter has banked $71,000 this season for owners Thomas & Elizabeth Rankin. Monday's victory was the 32nd career score for Charlie Is A Joker and pushes his career earnings over $443,000. He paid $20.50 to win. Charlie Is A Joker While the older male trotters battled early in the card, the Late-Double started with a $24,000 Mares Trot. Many familiar older trotters, including Charmed Life, Rockin With Dewey and Bax Of Life, headlined the field, but a daughter of Muscle Mass making her four-year-old debut stole the show. Muscle Baby Doll shot through late for driver Sylvain Filion with great final-quarter speed to win in 1:54.4 at odds of 10-1. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee was making her debut against older rivals after winning eight of 15 as a three-year-old and banking over $451,000 in her first two seasons on the track. Charmed Life, who took command in the second-quarter, surrendered the lead late and had to settle for second, while Rockin With Dewey finished third. Muscle Baby Doll trotted along fourth for the majority of the mile and used a :27.1 final-quarter to win by a length and a quarter. The daughter of Muscle Mass is owned by F Bellino And Sons LLC and now has 13 career victories. Muscle Baby Doll returned $23.60 to win. Muscle Baby Doll Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Musical Rhythm scored his 10th consecutive victory Saturday night in the harness racing $42,600 Don Mills Trotting Series final at Mohawk Racetrack. The Ben Baillargeon trainee crushed his five rivals with a five and a half lengths victory in 1:52.4 to easily sweep the three-week Don Mills Series. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Musical Rhythm got away third before brushing to the front in the second-quarter. The 1-9 favourite posted fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.3 before trotting home confidently in :27.1 for his eighth victory of the season. Hillsonator finished second, while Musical Rhythm's stablemate Grana Padanno was third. Musical Rhythm was purchased for $33,000 last November at the Harrisburg Mixed Sale and has since won 11 of 12 starts and earned $152,300 for owners Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. A four-year-old son of Cantab Hall, Musical Rhythm improved his career totals to 17 wins and over $200,000 earned with his Don Mills Series final victory. Following Saturday's race, Ben Baillargeon explained what his initial expectations were for Musical Rhythm. "I liked about him that he fit the non-winners of three or $75,000 and the General Brock Series," said Baillargeon. "I thought he was a nice horse, a fast horse and he showed a quarter in :26.4 as a two-year-old, so that's what I look for at the sale, I like when they have speed. "For some reason this year he has put it together and he has been nothing but good for me. The hopple broke the one time he ran at the gate or else he would be perfect." While Musical Rhythm has exceeded expectations, his connections are enjoying the pleasant surprise and have staked him heavily to top events this season. "We put him in the Graduate Series starting in a month at The Meadowlands, so he will probably race one time before we go there," noted Baillargeon. "But this week he is going to hit the field." Musical Rhythm's victory gives Baillargeon his second consecutive Don Mills Series final win. Last year, Etruscan Hanover won the series finale in a record 1:52.2. Musical Rhythm has quickly made a name for himself in 2016 and Baillargeon noted he isn't sure just how good the four-year-old can be. "I know he's a better horse off a helmet because he wants to go when you pull on the right line, but time will tell." Four and five-year-old trotters, who were non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2015, were eligible to the Don Mills Trotting Series. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Blossom Series final will highlight the 10-race program. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 22 - A surprising mid-stretch break by the 1/2 favourite shook things up in the opening leg of the Princess Series Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A compact group of six three-year-old pacing fillies squared off in the $20,000 first round of the Princess. Ken Sucee trainee Shes Lights Out entered Friday's first leg two for two to start 2016 and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was appropriately made the public's choice. American Curves and driver Sylvain Filion floated out to the lead and posted an opening-quarter of :28.1, while Shes Lights Out paced along in third. Paul MacDonell sent the favourite to the front in the second-quarter and posted a half-mile clocking of :56.2. Shes Lights Out led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4 and appeared to be well on her way to a third consecutive victory. However, the favourite made a costly break approaching the final-eighth and American Curves inherited the lead and finished the job in 1:53.3. Party In Rome finished a length and a quarter back in second, while Westluckycam edged out Never Any Doubt for third. Shes Lights Out paced across the wire in fifth. A daughter of American Ideal, American Curves was making her second start of the season Friday after a 1:54.3 victory last week. Murray Brethour trains and co-owns the sophomore pacing filly, who made just two starts as a rookie. American Curves increased her career earnings to $17,900 in her fourth career start for owners Brethour, Doug Millard, John and Jim Fielding and Kevin McKinlay. She paid $9.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Princess, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2015. The second leg of the Princess will take place next Friday (April 29). Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 21 - The tag-team of McNair and Reid were unstoppable in Thursday's second round of the Celias Counsel Trotting Series at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 20 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into two 10-horse $16,000 divisions for the second leg of the three-week series. Driver Doug McNair and trainer Paul Reid teamed up to sweep both divisions with a pair of Bob Key homebreds. Hills Angel was looking for a repeat of her first leg win in the night's first division, but longshot Treasure Gifts K had different plans. Driven by McNair, Treasure Gifts K hustled off the wings of the gate to get away second at odds of 40/1. Miami Magic posted an opening-quarter of :28.4, but surrendered the lead in the second-quarter to Treasure Gifts K. Hills Angel, the 3/2 favourite, trotted along fourth and 10-lengths off the lead at the midway point. Treasure Gifts K posted fractions of :58.1 and 1:27.1 to lead the field turning for home, while Hills Angel was six-lengths back in third. In the stretch, Miami Magic and Hills Angel did their best to track down the leader, but Treasure Gifts K brought her 'A' game and scored a maiden-breaking victory by two-lengths in 1:56.3. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Treasure Gifts K is trained by Reid for owner Key. The sophomore trotting filly finished seventh in last week's first leg and was winless in three starts this year entering Thursday's contest. Treasure Gifts K was making her 20th career start Thursday and pushed her career earnings over $33,000 with the victory. She paid $81.70 to win. First-leg winners Windsong Magic and Wanaka headlined the second division, but just like Hills Angel, their winning momentum came to a stop thanks to McNair and Reid. Flowers N Songs left from post-ten for McNair and found an early seat in seventh, while Wanaka found the front to post an opening-quarter of :28. Windsong Magic came charging up from fourth as the tempo slowed down and took the lead at the half in :59.3. Outside flow developed entering the final-turn and McNair was able to place Flowers N Magic second-over. Windsong Magic posted a three-quarter time of 1:29.3 and led the field into the lane. In the stretch, Wanaka was trapped in behind Windsong Magic and unable to found clear racing room. Flowers N Songs was able to come off cover and surge to the lead in deep stretch for a length and a half victory in 1:57.4. Windsong Magic held on for second, while Wanaka split through late to grab third. Another daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Flowers N Songs picked up her fifth win of the season Thursday for owner/breeder Key. The sophomore trotting filly has finished either first or second in eight starts this season. Unraced as a two-year-old, Flowers N Songs has banked $46,050 this season. She paid $12.10 to win. In order to be eligible to the Celias Counsel, the three-year-old trotting fillies had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2015. The Celias Counsel will wrap up next Thursday with the $33,200 final. The top-ten earners from the preliminary legs to enter will compete in the final. Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, ONT - April 20 - The Mohawk Race Office would like to inform horsepeople that the track will not be available for training Thursday morning (April 21). Due to a high number of qualifiers and limited space, the track will only be available to horses entered to qualify Thursday. A total of 15 qualifiers will take place Thursday morning at Mohawk. Qualifiers begin at 10 a.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications  

CAMPBELLVILLE, ONT - April 19 - Spring has certainly arrived and to accommodate the numerous horses returning to the racetrack, Mohawk will soon switch to two qualifying days-a-week. Starting next week, Mohawk will offer qualifiers each Monday and Friday morning at 10 a.m. The entry box for Monday qualifiers closes on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m., while entries for Friday qualifiers are due Wednesdays by 10:30 a.m. Along with the qualifying dates, horsepeople are reminded that the track at Mohawk is available for training every day of the week except Sundays. The track opens each morning at 7 a.m. and closes at 12:30 p.m. The upcoming qualifying dates at Mohawk can be viewed below. Thursday, April 21 - 10 a.m. Monday, April 25 - 10 a.m. Friday, April 29 - 10 a.m. Monday, May 2 - 10 a.m. Friday, May 6 - 10 a.m. Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications 

CAMPBELLVILLE, ONT - April 18 - Following a 13-length blow out win last week, Donicus continued his winning streak in the second leg of the Tie Silk Series Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 16 three-year-old trotters were split into two $16,000 second leg divisions. The Eddie Green trainee Donicus had many eyes on him following a massive victory in last week's opening round and the chestnut colt didn't disappoint. Trotting out from post-eight, Donicus pushed forward for trainer/driver Green looking for the lead. Several other trotters also had eyes set on a front-end spot, which kept Donicus three-wide around the first-turn. Entering the backstretch, the Green trainee cleared to the front and said good night to his rivals. Donicus posted fractions of :58.4 and 1:28 before trotting home in :29.1 for a 2 ¼ lengths victory. Pukka finished second, while Summajestic was third. Sent off as the 1/5 favourite, Donicus improved his 2016 record to seven wins in nine starts with Monday's victory. The sophomore trotting colt now has $53,520 earned this season for owner Mona Racette. Donicus now sports career numbers of eight wins in 12 starts and career earnings of $62,680. He paid $2.50 to win. In the first division, Merchandiser reached the finish line just in time for his second career victory. A son of Muscle Hill, Merchandiser was scratched from last week's first leg and instead turned in a sharp 1:56.3 qualifier last Thursday. Trainer/driver Greg Peck had eyes on the front-end Monday and pushed the sophomore trotter towards the lead rounding the first turn. Merchandiser had to do some trotting on the outside, but eventually cleared to the front comfortably after trotting by three-eighths. The Peck trainee posted fractions of :57.2 and 1:25.4 to lead the field by close to three-lengths entering the stretch. Merchandiser maintained a decent lead for the majority of the lane, but Blenheim and driver Chris Christoforou came flying late to make things interesting. Despite the late challenge, Merchandiser found the wire first to win by a head in a career-best 1:55.3. Blenheim and P C Foreign Affair rounded out the top-three finishers. Merchandiser now has two wins in five starts this season for owners Peck, Christy Markos and Robert Burgess. His career bankroll now sits at $15,000 after six career starts. Merchandiser paid $4.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Tie Silk, the three-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2015. Donicus will now have a chance at a Tie Silk Series sweep in next Monday's (April 25) $32,200 final. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, ONT - April 16 - The buzz surrounding four-year-old trotter Musical Rhythm got even louder Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Ben Baillargeon trainee scored his ninth consecutive victory Saturday against six rivals in the $20,000 Don Mills Trotting Series second leg. A son of Cantab Hall, Musical Rhythm trotted out strong at the start for driver Mario Baillargeon and got away second. Olympic Son, who was returning to the local circuit following a stint south of the border, sprinted to the lead and posted a snappy opening-quarter of :26.2. Baillargeon wasted little time circling Musical Rhythm to the lead in the second-quarter and posted a half-mile clocking of :56. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1, Musical Rhythm charged home effortlessly in :27.2 to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:52.4. Mystery Bet rallied from sixth to finish second, while Grana Padanno, a stablemate of Musical Rhythm, finished third. A $33,000 purchase at last November's Harrisburg Sale, Musical Rhythm has won 10 of 11 starts for owners Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. The son of Cantab Hall is seven for seven this season for $91,000 in earnings. Musical Rhythm has earned $131,000 since being purchased in November. A $2 win ticket Saturday on the four-year-old returned $2.20. The Baillargeon trainee will now go for the series sweep in next Saturday's $42,600 final. In order to be eligible to the Don Mills, the four and five-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2015. Also on Saturday, Nickle Bag picked up his eighth win of the season in the $34,000 Preferred Pace. A field of seven squared off in the weekly feature event and it was a wide open contest, as three different horses (Boomboom Ballykeel, Ellis Park, Nirvana Seelster) had captured the Preferred over the previous three weeks. Nickle Bag entered Saturday winless in his last three starts after a six-race win streak. The Bill Robinson trainee found his way back to the winner's circle thanks to a second-over trip from driver Trevor Henry. Nirvana Seelster cut out fractions of :27.3, :55.3 and 1:23 to lead the field into the lane, while Nickle Bag sat second-over on the back of Ellis Park. In the stretch, Nickle Bag ripped off cover and surged by in deep stretch for the 1:50 victory. Ellis Park edged out Nirvana Seelster to finish second. A six-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag now has eight wins in 13 starts this season. Saturday's victory was his 27th career score and pushes his career earnings over $600,000 for owners Linda and Harry Loyens. Nickle Bag paid $5.90 to win. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, ONT - April 14 - Hills Angel, Wanaka and Windsong Magic scored first leg victories in Thursday night's Celias Counsel Series at Mohawk Racetrack. A total of 24 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into three $16,000 divisions for the first leg of the three-week event. Hills Angel made a second-quarter move to the lead and never looked back en route to a 2:01.3 victory in the first division. The John Bax trainee got away fourth heading into the first turn for driver Paul MacDonell. Trotting into a stiff backstretch wind, Hills Angel moved from fourth to first to lead by the half in 1:02.3. After a third-quarter of :31, Hills Angel was able to sprint home and hold off her rivals to win by half a length in 2:01.3. True Muscle finished second, while Dottie was third. A daughter of Muscle Hill, Hills Angel was making her 2016 debut after winning once in 10 starts as a rookie. She is owned by Bax Stable-Glengate Farms. Hills Angel increased her career earnings to $32,820 with the victory. She paid $3.80. The second division was a showdown between Flowers N Song, the 3/5 favourite, and Wanaka, the 3/2 second-choice. Wanaka got away second, but was quickly circled to the lead at the opening-quarter by driver Trevor Henry. The public's second-choice took the field by the half in :59.3, while Flowers N Song began to charge up from fourth for driver Doug McNair. Flowers N Song surged up to overtake the lead from Wanaka and post a three-quarter time of 1:28.1. In the stretch, Henry angled his charge off the back of Flowers N Songs and Wanaka sprinted by to win by 4 ½ lengths in 1:56.4. Flowers N Song had to settle for second, while P L Jill was third. A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Wanaka now has four wins in nine starts this season for trainer Shannon Henry. The sophomore trotting filly is owned by Trevor Henry Stables Inc. and 1035840 Ontario Inc. Wanaka surpassed $50,000 in career earnings with Thursday's victory. She paid $5 to win. In the third division, Bax trainees were front and centre again with a one-two finish. Bax pupil Miami Magic was put on the front by driver Steve Byron, while stablemate Windsong Magic and driver MacDonell followed closely behind in second. The Bax trainees switched positions heading to the half and that would be the final front-end move. Windsong Magic put up middle-fractions of :59 and 1:29.3, before trotting home in :28.2 to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:58. Miami Magic finished second, while Smash Hit was third. A daughter of Kadabra, Windsong Magic improved her 2016 record to four wins in seven starts with Thursday's victory. The sophomore trotting filly, who was unraced at two, is owned by Kristine Green and Paulette Loyens. Windsong Magic lowered her career-mark by two-fifths of a second with the victory and pushed her bankroll to $29,240. She paid $3.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Celias Counsel, the three-year-old trotting fillies had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2015. The second leg will take place next Thursday (April 21). Live racing continues Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce that all host harness racing racetracks for the 2017 World Driving Championship have now been confirmed. The event will be hosted at five different racetracks in four different provinces between August 12 and 18, 2017, which will offer the competing drivers the opportunity to see much of the country during this competition. The 2017 WDC, which will feature a field of ten of the world’s best harness drivers will kick off in the west at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Calgary, Alberta, on Saturday, August, 12 for the first leg. The drivers will then head to Ontario for the next two legs. Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville will host the second leg on Monday, August 14, and that will be followed by the third leg at Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15. The action then moves to la belle province of Quebec on Wednesday, August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg of the WDC before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island and Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on Friday, August 18. Delegates at the World Trotting Conference will be able to take in all of the action of the final leg which is one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. This event, which is held in conjunction with the WTC and which are both held every two years, will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations. Dexter Dunn of New Zealand is the defending WDC champion having been victorious in the 2015 event hosted in Australia. "I've never been to Canada so I'm really looking forward to competing in 2017," said Dunn. Canada’s driving rep will be the winner of the 2016 National Driving Championship which is scheduled for Friday, October 14 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Canada has previously hosted the World Trotting Conference and World Driving Championship in 1973, 1989 and most recently in 2003 where the WTC was hosted in Toronto and the WDC was hosted in Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ontario with the final leg at Woodbine Racetrack. Canadian drivers have won the World Driving Championship on four occasions -- Herve Filion (1970), Sylvain Filion (1999), Jody Jamieson (2001, 2011) -- but a Canadian driver has never won on home soil. Standardbred Canada will release more information about the 2017 World Trotting Conference and World Driving Championship as it becomes available. From the World Driving Championship

Heavenly Hill benefited from a front-end duel to win the harness racing Blossom Series final Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A field of ten three-year-old pacing fillies contested the $40,400 Blossom Final. Heavenly Hill was sent off as the heavy favourite after a convincing victory in last week's second leg. The public's choice got away third for driver Jonathan Drury, as 90-1 shot Radar Trap and Randy Waples made the front from post-nine to post an opening-quarter of :27.2. Jody Jamieson quickly pulled the pocket in the second-quarter with Noone To Depend On, but Waples was not in a giving mood. Radar Trap and Noone To Depend On waged war by the half in :55.2. Around the final turn, Drury angled Heavenly Hill out from third and went three-wide around the lead pair, who began to fade. The favourite posted a three-quarter time of 1:24.2 and pulled away from her rivals in the lane. Heavenly Hill stopped the clock for a three-length victory in 1:53.4. Windsun Glory finished second, while Evangelin Seelster was third. Heavenly Hill's victory was the second series final victory in three-days for owner George Munniksma and trainer Carmen Auciello. The daughter of Art Colony now has three wins in six starts this season. The Blossom final was the fifth career victory for Heavenly Hill and pushes her career earnings over $138,000. The clocking of 1:53.4 knocked two-fifths of a second off her previous career-best. Heavenly Hill paid $2.90 to win. In order to be eligible to the Blossom, the sophomore pacing fillies had to be non-winners of three-races or $15,000 in 2015. The opening round of the Tie Silk Series for three-year-old trotters also took place Monday. In the first $16,000 division, Muscle Hustle made a second-quarter move to the lead for trainer/driver Per Henriksen and never looked back. The son of Muscle Mass scored a 2¼ lengths victory in 1:57.1. Chestnut Schofield finished second, while On The Ridge was third. Muscle Hustle was making his season debut Monday and now has two wins in four career starts for owner Ecruie Bergh. He paid $20.30 to win. Donicus lived up to his heavy-favourite status and scored a blow out victory in the second division. Owner/trainer Eddie Green steered the son of Deweycheathumnhowe to a 13 length triumph in 1:56. P C Foreign Affair finished second and two-lengths ahead of Blownoutofthewater. Donicus now has six wins in eight starts this season and seven career victories overall. The Green trainee has banked $45,520 of his $54,680 career earnings this season. Donicus paid $3.40 to win. In order to be eligible to the Tie Silk, the three-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2015. Also on Monday, Fearless Man scored his second Preferred win in his last three starts. Trainer/driver Rick Zeron put Fearless Man in his usual spot on the lead and never looked back. The Zeron trainee posted solid fractions of :27, :55 and 1:23.4. In the stretch, Fearless Man trotted home in :31.1 over the 'Good' track and secured his fourth win of the year by half a length in 1:55. Hldontghttoyurdrms rallied for second, while Exemplar finished third. Owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Noblock Racing Stable, Murray Greenfield and Cool Cat Racing, Fearless Man now has four wins in 10 starts this season for earnings exceeding $93,000. The six-year-old gelded son of Elegant Man now has 26 career victories and earnings of over $465,000. Fearless Man paid $5.10 to win. Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 9 - The Youthful Series final highlighted an action-packed Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A competitive field of eight three-year-old pacers competed in the $39,800 series final. War N Munn was made the 9/5 favourite in the Youthful final and came through in the clutch for his believers with a career-best 1:52.2 victory. The Carmen Auciello trainee was driven by Jonathan Drury and found an early seat in fifth. Flaherty cut the mile and posted opening fractions of :27 and :56.1, while Easy Lover Hanover, who was going for the series sweep, sat in the pocket. The Catamount Kid came first up from fourth, which allowed Drury to catch cover and place War N Munn second-over around the final turn. Flaherty posted a three-quarter clocking of 1:24.2 with his rivals breathing down his neck. In the stretch, War N Munn fired off cover and despite drifting out, the Auciello trainee cruised home to a four-length victory over Easy Lover Hanover. Flaherty finished third, while The Catamount Kid was fourth. A son of Stonebridge Regal, War N Munn was forced to skip leg two and qualify due to miscue in leg one. Despite making a break in the first round, the sophomore pacing colt finished second. Saturday's victory gives War N Munn four wins in seven starts this season, including a second series final score. Back on February 19, the Auciello trainee captured The Count B series final. War N Munn, who is owned by George Munniksma of Washington, New Jersey, now has over $106,000 in career earnings. He paid $5.80 to win. In order to be eligible to the Youthful, the three-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of three-races or $15,000 in 2015. Also on Saturday, the first leg of the Don Mills Trotting Series and the $34,000 Preferred Pace were contested. Musical Rhythm had been the talk of the town all winter and he brought his impressive talents to Mohawk Saturday. The Ben Baillargeon trainee picked up his eighth victory in a row in the eight-horse $20,000 Don Mills Trotting Series first leg. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Musical Rhythm sprinted out to the front and never looked back. He posted fractions of :28.1, :58.1, 1:27.4 and 1:55.4 to score his sixth victory in six starts this year. Grana Padanno, who is also trained by Baillargeon, finished two-lengths back in second, while Mystery Bet was third. A four-year-old son of Cantab Hall, Musical Rhythm has now won 10 of 11 starts since being purchased by Santo and Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Baillargeon in November. Saturday's victory pushes his seasonal earnings to $81,000. Musical Rhythm now has 15 career victories and earnings exceeding $177,000. He paid $2.50 to win. In order to be eligible to the Don Mills, the four and five-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2015. Ellis Park turned in a huge performance to win the Preferred Pace in 1:51.2. A field of six competed in the top-level pace and Nirvana Seelster once again found himself on top heading into the first turn. After an opening-quarter of :27, Nickle Bag circled around from second to grab command heading down the backstretch. Ellis Park, who was 7/1, got away at the back with driver Randy Waples, but was out and gaining ground on the leader at the midway point. Nickle Bag was confronted by Ellis Park rounding the final turn and led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1. In the stretch, Nickle Bag and Ellis Park waged war with the outside challenger taking the lead part way down the lane. Nickle Bag tried to battle back up the inside, but Ellis Park would not be denied his 21st career victory and won by a head. Boomboom Ballykeel, who won the Preferred last week, finish third in a photo with Mohawk Warrior. A seven-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Ellis Park scored his second win in four starts Saturday. He is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owner David Goodrow Stable. Ellis Park now has $39,000 earned this season to bring his career total to over $400,000. The O'Sullivan trainee paid $16.50 to win. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 7 - The $39,800 Youthful Series final headlines this weekend's first Saturday night card of the 2016 Mohawk meet. A field of eight three-year-old pacers will line up for Saturday's series final and many eyes will be on the rail-starter and Ben Wallace trainee Easy Lover Hanover. The three-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere has the opportunity to sweep the Youthful Series and remain undefeated since joining the Wallace stable. Purchased for $70,000 at the Meadowlands Mixed Sale in January, Easy Lover Hanover has won six consecutive starts for his new owner Brad Grant. The sophomore pacing colt scored narrow victories of a just neck and a head in the preliminary legs of the Youthful, but driver Jody Jamieson, who has driven 'Easy Lover' in all six starts, has no concerns about the margins of victory. "He's a horse that only wins by as much as he has to and he's been proving that lately," said Jamieson. "He's just a sweet little horse and the connections have to be happy with the purchase for sure." Easy Lover Hanover made his local debut back on February 4 and proceeded to win four consecutive non-winners of two events. His fourth victory was a career-best 1:52.1 score before stepping into the Youthful. "This is the first bunch of horses that he's beaten," said Jamieson following last Saturday's leg two victory. "Mostly he's been racing non-winners of two and not a real rugged bunch, but he did go a trip in (1):52 where he had to do a lot of work and raced pretty tough." Trainer Wallace gave Easy Lover Hanover a few weeks off before his first real test in the Youthful and to this point the sophomore has risen to the challenge. While it is still only early-April, Easy Lover Hanover's connections are optimistic and hopeful the Youthful is a launching pad to bigger events. "We've got high hopes for him," said Jamieson. "They paid him into all the big races, so we will see what happens, but so far so good." The 'Easy Lover' team of Jamieson, Wallace and Grant will be looking for their second consecutive Youthful Series final victory, as they teamed up last year to win with American Rock. Although Easy Lover Hanover has been unbeatable in six local starts, he will have his hands full in Saturday's final. Bill Budd trainee Flaherty won a leg one division in an eye-catching 1:51.3, more than a second faster than Easy Lover Hanover. The Budd pupil finished fourth in the second leg, but will look to bounce back in the final from post-four. The Count B Series winner War N Munn also poses a legit threat from post-five. Trainer Carmen Auciello opted to skip leg two and qualify the son of Stonebridge Regal after finishing second to Easy Lover Hanover in round one. War N Munn will be looking to make his sire proud on Saturday, as Stonebridge Regal captured the 2005 Youthful Final in 1:51.1 for trainer Bob McIntosh. McIntosh will be represented in Saturday's final by Mach Power, who starts from post-six. The Hall of Fame conditioner has won the Youthful Series Final three-times since it was established in 1986. The 2016 Youthful Series Final has been carded as the eighth-race on Saturday's card. Here is the full field for Saturday's $39,800 Youthful Series Final. PP/Horse/Driver 1. Easy Lover Hanover - Jody Jamieson 2. Gotti - Phil Hudon 3. The Catamount Kid - Doug McNair 4. Flaherty - Trevor Henry 5. War N Munn - Jonathan Drury 6. Mach Power - Randy Waples 7. Imsporty - Ondrej Gois 8. Sporty Mercedes - James MacDonald by Mark McKelvie for WEG Communications 

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