Saturday nights’ pari-mutuel monte handicap contest at Georgian Downs carried a C$5,000 purse and went to the Sarah Town ridden Muscle Matters (5g Muscle Mass-Sister Mary Lindy-Conway Hall), trained by Benoit Baillargeon and co-owned by the trainer with Nunzio Vena, Santo Vena and Richard Thompson. The winner prevailed in a solid 2:01.1f with a final half mile in 1:00,1 in a gate to wire score. Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) closed well with a final :29.3 panel to be second for Evelyn Harms and Marit Valstad teamed Massive Muscles home third. C$8,435 was wagered on the monte event, off as race three on a ten race program on which C$78,391 was handled. by Thomas H. Hicks
JULY 5, 2016 - Two-year-old trotting fillies were the stars of the show at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, making their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts in a trio of $70,000 Gold Series divisions. Winter Sweet Frost kicked things off in the first race with an effortless front-end tour of the Innisfil oval, clocking fractions of :30.2, :59.3 and 1:29.4 on her way to a 1:59.3 victory. Lady Justice closed to within one-half length of the pacesetter to secure second-place honours and Gravitator was a length back in third. "She raced good tonight," said driver Doug McNair. "The track hasn't been that fast up there, so to go a mile in 1:59.3, I think that's a pretty good mile for a two-year-old trotting filly's first lifetime start." The Guelph, ON resident piloted Winter Sweet Frost to victory for trainer Paul Reid of De Leon Springs, FL and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The Kadabra daughter was sent off as the fan favourite after winning a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 10 and 24, and McNair said he was impressed with the filly long before she made her public debut. "The main thing about her is she's nice gaited and she's smart," said McNair, who first sat behind Winter Sweet Frost in a spring training mile. "You can make a lot of money with one's like that, rather than a high speed one that's half crazy." After finishing third with Gravitator, driver Sylvian Filion found the winner's circle in the second Gold division, piloting On A Sunny Day to a come-from-behind victory in 1:59. The duo reeled in pacesetter Sweet Of My Heart and pocket sitter Im Peekers, reaching the wire one-half length the best. "She really impressed me," said Filion, who crafted the victory for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC. "That was the first time I sat behind her, but Luc always told me he really, really liked her and you know what, he was right. She was real impressive tonight." Blais also bred the daughter of Muscle Mass, who prepped for her Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) debut with qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 16 and 24, finishing fourth and second, respectively. "Her last baby race she came a last quarter in :27.1," noted Milton, ON resident Filion. "She's a handy filly, she's pretty easy to drive, she's pretty mature for her age, and she's got wicked speed, so it's a good combination." Filion, who was the leading reinsman in the OSS in 2015, was also impressed with Gravitator's third-place result. "I really liked the way she raced tonight, we got interfered with, were gapped, and she was still only beat a length and a half or something like that," said the reinsman. "She came a very good last half." Blais trains the Kadabra daughter, a full-sister to former OSS star and $870,153 winner Prestidigitator, for Determination. She was an $80,000 acquisition from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The final Gold division was captured by Janderson and driver Paul MacDonell, who swept by duelling leaders Mass Psychology and Majestic Kat in the stretch and pulled away to a three length victory in 1:59.3. "The race set up kind of nice for her, she got away third in a nice spot there, and then the first and second horses went at it kind of hard down the backstretch, which kind of made the race for her," said MacDonell. "In her only qualifier she did have a lot of trot on the end of her mile, so I was a little bit confident," added the reinsman, who tipped the filly out three-wide around the final turn to take clear aim on the finish line. MacDonell pilots the Muscle Mass filly for trainer Mike Keeling of Cambridge and owners Dr. Roly Armitage of Dunrobin and James Armitage of Carp, ON. A $14,000 purchase from the Canadian Open Yearling Sale, Janderson learned her early lessons from the Armitage's before making the move to Keeling's barn. "They trained her down in the Ottawa area and then they sent her to Mike just recently," noted MacDonell. "They did a good job with her, a very nice job. "They were pretty pumped, it was a big win for them," the Guelph, ON resident added. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start on July 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. This Saturday, July 9, Georgian Down will welcome the two-year old trotting colts to Innisfil for their Gold Series debuts. The evening's first race gets under way at 7:15 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Track record holder Wildwild Men made a triumphant return to the Hippodrome 3R in capturing the third race first division of the opening round of the Breeders Cup Series with a 1:59 victory for driver Robert Shepherd. The series, for three-year-old trotting colts and fillies, features four weeks of preliminary competition with the top eight point earners returning Sunday, September 4 for their respective $65,000 finals. It was KFB Amigo Cool and driver Guy Gagnon battling with Shepherd and Wildwild Men for control of the early lead with KFB Amigo Cool winning the early battle to the opening quarter mile in a quick :27.4. Gagnon then backed back the speed, going to the half mile in :59 as Slyflex and driver Rheo Filion came first-over and boxed in Wildwild Men. They raced that way thru the three-quarters in 1:28.1. Then in the stretch, Shepherd moved Wildwild Men to the passing lane and they shot right by KFB Amigo Cool and went on to win by one and one-half lengths with Skyflex second and KFB Amigo Cool third. It was the first win in five starts this year for Wildwild Men. The gelded son of Muscle Mass is trained by Isabella Darveau for co-owners Catheline Pelletier and breeder Chantal Gravel of QC. He paid $3.10 to win. The second colt division was a non-wagering race that saw Chatemup Bill and driver Stephane Brosseau parked out Holiday Party and driver Pascal Berube to the opening quarter mile in :28. But once in command of the race, Berube and Holiday Party held the field at bay, cutting the mile to the half in :58.1 and the three-quarters in 1:29.2 before opening up on the field and scoring an eleven and one-half length romp in 1:59.1. Stablemate Andovers Choice (Guy Gagnon) was second with Chatemup Bill third. It was the third straight win and fourth victory in eight starts this year for Holiday Party. The Holiday Road gelding is trained by Dany Fontaine for Ecurie Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal, QC. In the sixth race filly division, Y A Jailhouse Jodi posted her third straight victory, but it was a nail bitter to the wire. The race started off with SOS Christina and driver Gaetan Lamy parking out Y S Suzanne and trainer/driver Carl Duguay to the opening quarter mile in :29.2 before letting Y S Suzanne take command. They led the field past the half mile in 1:01.1 and then in the backstretch, Stephane Gendron was on the move with Y A Jailhouse Jodi, who settled into second place behind Y S Suzanne to the three-quarters in 1:31.4. Then in the stretch, Gendron and Y A Jailhouse Jodi came after Y S Suzanne and Duguay and those two separated from the field and battled neck and neck, head and head to the wire with Y A Jailhouse Jodi getting up in the final strides to win by a neck in 2:02. Éclair Chocolat (Mario Charron) was third. Sired by Andover Hall, it was the third win in five starts this year for Y A Jailhouse Jodi. She is trained by Michel Allard for co-owners Yves Sarrazin and Rene Allard of QC and paid $3.00 to win as the betting favorite. Live racing resumes Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R with the second rounds of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacing colts and fillies, post time 1:30 pm. For a free race program and live video feed of the 3R races, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club
A brief look at some of the happenings from the past week in the world of harness racing. POUTAMA CLOSES IN ON 100 Popular North Island junior driver, Andre Poutama moved to within striking distance of his 100th career winning drive with a victory on Reine Des Gitans on Friday night at Alexandra Park. The Pukekohe based junior took his season tally to 29, a personal best, in the process. Currently fourth on the national junior drivers’ premiership, Poutama is just two wins behind his closest rival, Craig Ferguson with less than a month of racing remaining in the season. MUSCLE MASS AVAILABLE DOWN UNDER Nevele R Stud were pleased to announce that they have secured the rights to provide frozen semen from outstanding trotting sire, Muscle Mass to New Zealand breeders this breeding season. The sire of the 2YO Ruby quinella last month in Custodian and Heavyweight Hero, Muscle Mass is expected to be in high demand and already Nevele R has insisted breeders book early as only a limited amount of semen is being made available to both New Zealand and Australia. LIVE TO TELL LEADING IRON HORSE Burnham pacer, Live To Tell, has one hand on the title of the 2015-2016 season’s Iron Horse. The Bruce Negus trained pacer, who raced twice at Forbury on Friday night, has lined up on 40 occasions so far this season - has won twice and placed on four occasions. She will race again on Thursday night at Addington as will her closest rivals, Hudson Sally who has had 38 starts. Hudson Sally is also nominated for the Oamaru meeting on Sunday. DUAL ROLE FOR ONE OVER DA MOON Brilliantly bred trotter, One Over Da Moon will be available to breeders this season. The highly talented square gaiter who won the Ashburton Trotters’ Flying Mile earlier this season will serve a dual role for his owners Lex and Heather Williams. As well as spending time in the breeding barn, he will also continue to race - initially with Paul Nairn before returning to the the North Island and into the care of Tony Herlihy. A son of brilliant mare, One Over Kenny, One Over Da Moon lacks for nothing in the breeding department and will hold strong appeal for breeders across Australasia. DJOKOVIC CHASING FOUR IN A ROW While his namesake might have bowed out of Wimbledon earlier this week, it’s full steam ahead for Djokovic on Friday night. The Luk Chin trained trotter will be looking to go one step further than the usual game, set and match when he shoots for his fourth consecutive win against a handy field of trotters at Alexandra Park. The son of Sundon will have his 80th start on Friday night. MILESTONE WATCH A number of horseman around the country are currently sitting close to notable milestones in their careers. Jimmy Curtin is just two wins shy of 1500 driving wins in New Zealand, Phil Williamson is four wins short of 500 while Dean Taylor is currently on 492 training wins. In the North Island, Steven Reid is on 990 career wins. On Friday night at at Forbury Park, popular Southland horseman, Brent Barclay reached 600 driving wins for his career with a double. He reached the target when he won the Forbury Sprint Series with Risk Factor before Bettor Go Hurry took him to 601 wins. SOUTH OF THE WAITAKI SERIES KICKS OFF Nominations for the first heat of the Macca Lodge Trained South of the Waitaki Series which is this Friday night at Addington are strong. 14 horses have been nominated for the event, which is open to horses who are three-year-old and older and handicapped at C1 and below prior to nominations closing for the first heat provided they were trained south of the Waitaki river prior to May 1 this year. There are three rounds of heats held over the month of July with an $11,000 final at the end of the month. The first ever series, held last season, was won by Tact Tate. HRNZ MEDIA
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, July 4, 2016 - The trotters claim the stage at the Hippodrome 3R Tuesday night with the opening round of the Breeders Cup for three-year-old colts and fillies. There are four weeks of preliminary round competition with the top eight point earners from each division returning on Sunday, September 4 for their respective $65,000 finals. The colts start off the stakes action in the third race where track record hold and last year's two-year-old champion, Wildwild Men, returns to 3R for trainer Isabelle Darveau and driver Robert Shepherd. Last year Wildwild Men tore up the 3R half mile oval, sweeping the series and setting a track record 1:58.2 in the Quebec-Bred series finale. He ended 2015 with five wins and one second place finish in nine starts and will start from post six Tuesday. Co-owned by Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel with breeder Chantal Gravel of St-Cyrille-De-Wendover, QC, this son of Muscle Mass is not off to the greatest of starts this year. He is winless in four tries, even won in 2:00.1 at Grand River Raceway, only to be placed sixth by the judges. He will be put to the test on Tuesday, having to face some stiff competition in KFB Amigo Cool (post five), who ships in from Ontario Sire Stakes action at Georgian Downs where he was second for $18,000, timed in 1:59.2. Skyflex (post 4), invades from Rideau Carlton where he has been first or second in seven of his eleven starts this year, the fastest a 2:00.1 triumph. Between the fifth and sixth race is a non-wagering second division for the colts. The race was taken off the betting card due to the entry from the Dany Fontaine Stable of Andovers Choice and Holiday Party. Holiday Party starts from post four for driver Pascal Berube and ships in from Georgian Downs where last week he won an $18,000 division of the Ontario Sire Stakes in 1:58. The start before the gelded son of Holiday Road took his lifetime mark with a 1:57 triumph. Andovers Choice will start from post two for driver Guy Gagnon and comes to 3R from Mohawk Raceway where he has been facing older rivals and has two second place finishes in both his starts this year, the fastest timed in 1:57.1. The fillies do battle in the sixth race where last year's series champion, Y S Suzanne starts from post four for trainer/driver Carl Duguay. This daughter of Angus Hall was winless last year until her final start of the season when she won the $55,000 final. She is winless in three starts this year but has been racetimed in 2:00.2-2:01 recently. Other contenders in the field include Y A Jailhouse Jodi from post two, who has won her last two starts for trainer Michel Allard, Eau Naturelle (post 5) and Ã‰clair Chocolat (post 6). Post time Tuesday evening is 7:00 pm. For a free race program and live video feeds of the race card visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club
Nevele R Stud, in conjunction with Kentuckiana Stallion Management, is pleased to announce that Muscle Mass - the stallion currently taking juvenile trotting by storm in both NZ and Australia - will be available to Australasian breeders for the first time since 2012 this coming harness racing breeding season. Currently the leading sire of 2-year-old trotters in both NZ and Australia, Muscle Mass has had a sensational season with his first crop of any real size, siring the first two runners home (Custodian and Heavyweight Hero) in the Group 1 Harness Jewels 2YO Ruby last month and across the Tasman Group 1 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic winner Illawong Shimmer, as well as the exciting Group 2 Tatlow Stakes winning youngster and recent Vicbred Super Series Final runner-up Illawong Byron, along with the Group 1 place-getter Sval Queen. Available just the once previously (through frozen semen in 2009), Muscle Mass's first Australasian crop of only nine live foals has produced six winners to date including the current season Tontine Trotters Series winner K D Muscles 1:56.8 ($98,760, 6 wins) and the Group 2 Bacardi Lindy Mares Trot runner-up Zhenya ($69,607, 10 wins). Muscle Mass was himself a world champion 2-year-old trotter, winning all seven of his juvenile starts including the Final of the American-National Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and International Stallion Stakes, before injury curtailed his career at three. A real trotting blue-blood, Muscle Mass is a son of the breed-shaping, champion stallion Muscles Yankee out of the multiple juvenile stakes-winning Pine Chip mare Graceful Touch, who has also left the Hambletonian winner Muscle Massive 1:51 ($1,245,297) and Merrie Annabelle Trot and New Jersey Sires Stakes winner Thatsnotmyname 1:55 ($340,730) to date. His second dam Act Of Grace 1:52.6 ($403,525) was a top flight race-filly from the same crop as the freakish Continentalvictory and like her also raced the top colts and geldings on numerous occasions. From just two foals Act Of Grace left World Trotting Derby and Zweig Memorial winner Cobol 1:54 ($417,457), along with Graceful Touch. With four crops of racing age in North America, Muscle Mass has established himself as the leading trotting sire in Ontario and has sired multiple Ontario Sires Stakes Gold champions including the O'Brien 2YO and 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year Riveting Rosie 1:52.8 ($973,336) and Muscle Matters 1:53.2 ($487,972). Muscle Mass's service fee for the coming season is NZ$7,000 + GST (AU$7,700 incl. GST) and in good news for breeders, and a first for a Nevele R frozen semen sire, Muscle Mass will be included in the Stud's standard multiple mare discounts. His service fee is payable on positive test. Nevele R General Manager Ged Mooar encourages breeders to book early as there is limited semen available in both countries. Bookings will be taken on a first-in-first-served basis and can be made online through the Nevele R website – nevelerstud.co.nz or alternatively by emailing email@example.com, phoning the office 03 349 8627, Nikki Reed 0274 346 401 or Freephone 1800 150 855 from Australia.
JULY 1, 2016 - Driver Steve Byron provided the fireworks on Dresden Raceway's Canada Day harness racing program Friday, winning four of five Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions. The Thornton, ON resident opened the afternoon with an effortless score aboard Magical Steph, cruising along on the front end to a 1:58.1 victory, just one-fifth of a second off the all-age track record for trotters. The fan favourites hit the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Devils Advocate and Traviata. "I drove her some last year and she always had lots of go. Today Gary had her good and she win that race pretty handy," said Byron, who piloted the three-year-old trotting filly for trainer Gary Lance and GL Racing Inc. of Port Perry. "She's a very talented mare." Byron piloted Magical Steph to four Grassroots wins last season in a freshman campaign that saw the Kadabra daughter post a record of five wins, two seconds and earnings of $72,400. Friday's victory was the filly's first in three sophomore starts. In the second $18,000 Grassroots division Byron teamed up with P C Cantore for the first time and the duo popped out of the pocket in the stretch to reel in local favourite True Muscle, who had carved out fractions of :29.3, :1:01.2 and 1:33.1. P C Cantore hit the wire in 2:01.4, one-half length ahead of True Muscle, to claim her second straight Grassroots trophy. The Power Of Many completed the top three. "I didn't know what to expect, I'd never driven her before, but she raced great," said Byron of P C Cantore. "We got a good trip and she finished up strong. She's definitely one of the better ones too, I believe." Byron crafted the win for trainer, owner and breeder Peter Clements of Dobbinton, ON. The daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and former Grassroots winner Balladeer now boasts a record of five wins in eight starts and has sole ownership of top spot in the Grassroots point standings. Byron sat out the third Grassroots division and Jody Jamieson guided Myretirementticket to a 1:58.3 score, going gate-to-wire from Post 3. Haileysgonedancing finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second and fan favourite Moonlight Cocktail was four more lengths back in third. Moffat, ON resident Jamieson engineered the win for trainer, owner and breeder Eli Wagler of Ingersoll, ON. It was the first in six sophomore starts for the Cornaro Dasolo daughter, who won three Grassroots events at two, including her Semifinal. Back out on the Dresden half-mile for the fourth division, Byron guided Windsongmusclelady to an 11 and one-half length win over Malia and Its All About Sam in 2:01. The race was marred by an accident that saw driver Per Henriksen unseated, but fortunately resulted in no significant injuries to either Henriksen or his mount Smash Hit. It was the second win of the season for Byron and Windsongmusclelady, who is trained by John Bax of Campbellville, ON for his partners The Brabant Stable of London, ON. "She was real good today and she's just a great mare, she tries all the time," said Byron of the Muscle Mass daughter. Another Bax trainee carried Byron to his fourth win of the afternoon. Starting from Post 4 Byron put Miami Magic on cruise control and the Kadabra filly sailed through fractions of :30, 1:01.4 and 1:32.2 on her way to a 2:02.2 score, five and one-quarter lengths ahead of Onatopp and P L Jade. "I really like her, she's just a handy mare and when the favourite (Magical Valentine) made a break, she win pretty easy after that," said Byron of Miami Magic. "She's as good as any of them as far as I'm concerned." Bax, Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Gaelic Stable of Sharon and Don Allensen of Wyoming, ON share ownership of the filly, who bumped her sophomore record to four wins, two seconds, two thirds and earnings of $41,540 through 14 starts. "They all raced great," summed up Byron. "I liked their chances going in to tell you the truth. I wasn't surprised in any of them winning. "It was just a great day." Byron's next opportunity to sit behind his talented three-year-old trotting filly mounts will come on July 14 when the fillies make their third Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack. Ontario Racing
For the second straight year Dresden Raceway's annual Canada Day celebrations will feature some of Ontario's most talented three-year-old trotting fillies as the half-mile oval hosts five $18,000 Grassroots divisions. "People really look forward to the OSS," said Dresden Agricultural Society President Lucille Laprise. "And for them to come on Canada Day makes it that much more special." The trotting fillies will kick things off at 1:30 pm on Friday, July 1 and will also be featured in Races 2, 3, 5, and 7. In addition to the on-track excitement Dresden fans will enjoy a variety of give-aways, the Ontario Sires Stakes "Be A Winner" contest and the raceway's traditional eight foot long Canada Day cake. "We're encouraging people to wear their red of course, and we'll have our cake and our great give-aways - we've got red and white t-shirts that we're giving away," added Laprise. "And the drivers are going to be doing some tossing of the OSS t-shirts." Fans have an opportunity to win even more OSS apparel by entering the "Be A Winner" contest. Each finalist receives an Ontario Sires Stakes shirt, ball cap and lanyard badge, along with a $15 win-place-show wager on their selected horse, while the grand prize winner will take home a trophy, an official OSS jacket and golf shirt, a winner's circle photo with their chosen horse, and a $50 wagering voucher. Among the trotting fillies hoping to take home an OSS trophy is locally-owned True Muscle. The Muscle Mass daughter is owned by Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, ON and will benefit from Post 1 in the second Grassroots division. True Muscle scored her first lifetime win in the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on June 14, circling the seven-eighths mile oval in 1:57.1. She heads into Friday's test off a third-place finish in the Alliance Series Final at Georgian Downs on June 19. Keith Jones of Barrie, ON conditions True Muscle and the winner of $19,040 will be driven by the Ontario Sires Stakes program's leading reinsman, Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON. "We're quite grateful for the community support, and for all the great horses that come to race here in Dresden, and the drivers and the trainers and everybody," said Laprise. Dresden Raceway's Canada Day program gets under way at 1:30 pm, with the three-year-old trotting fillies featured in Races 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7. In addition to the Grassroots battles, contests, give-aways and cake, the final race of the afternoon will introduce fans to Racing Under Saddle (RUS), capping off another memorable Canada Day celebration at the Dresden oval. "We're hoping to have great weather and great horses and great fans and a great Canada Day," summed up Larprise. "You can't ask for any better." ched: True Muscle, pictured in her June 14 Grassroots win, will be hoping to earn a second trophy for owner Randy Zhok of Dover Centre when the Ontario Sires Stakes program stops at Dresden Raceway on Canada Day. (New Image Media photo) From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, June 27 - A return to his local track turned into yet another convincing harness racing victory for Musical Rhythm Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Ben Baillargeon trainee was a four-length winner in Monday's eight-horse $34,000 Preferred Trot. Musical Rhythm is now six for six at Mohawk this season and a perfect 11 for 11 on the WEG Circuit in 2016. The four-year-old son of Cantab Hall was making his first start Monday since finishing sixth in a leg of the Graduate Series at Tioga Downs on June 12. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Musical Rhythm trotted along in mid-pack until getting his cue to march on first up around the final turn. Fearless Man, who had made a second-quarter move to the lead, led the field around the far turn and held a narrow advantage over the first over challenger at the three-quarter pole in 1:24. In the stretch, Musical Rhythm powered right on by Fearless Man and pulled away from his rivals with ease. The Baillargeon trainee trotted home in :28.2 for the comfortable victory. Whiskey Tax, who led at the opening-quarter, finished second, while Olympic Son was third. Musical Rhythm now has 11 wins from 13 starts this season for earnings of just under $200,000. He is owned by Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon. Monday's victory is the 20th career score for Musical Rhythm and pushes his career earnings over $295,000. He paid $3.20 to win. Musical Rhythm Top trotters were the main attraction Monday evening, but it was a pair of overnight performances that caught the attention of many. Five-year-old gelding Domitian Hall won the evening's fifth-race, a $20,000 overnight event, by just over 10 lengths in a stunning 1:51.2. The clocking was a new career-best for the son of Justice Hall and became the nation's fastest trotting mile of the season by an older male trotter. However, the same class was split into two races and four-year-old Rubber Duck would match Domitian Hall's mark with his own 1:51.2 mile later in the evening. The son of Muscle Mass knocked more than three-seconds off his previous career-best with the national season's record-equaling mile. In the fifth race, Domitian Hall and Jonathan Drury got away seventh and marched their way towards the front in the middle-half, ultimately grabbing command at the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3. The five-year-old finished off his mile with a :26.4 final-quarter for the blow out victory. In the ninth race, Rubber Duck sat in the three-hole until making a move to the front around the final turn for driver Jack Moiseyev. The five-year-old had to deal with Cash For Gold pressing him throughout the lane, but the Julie Walker trainee was game and held him off with a :28 final-quarter. Domitian Hall was making his debut for new trainer Carmen Auciello Monday night. He now has five wins in 21 starts this season and 14 throughout the course of his career. Rubber Duck picked up his second win in six starts this season Monday. His impressive mile gives him six career victories. Musical Rhythm held the previous season's mark for an older male trotter of 1:52, taken on March 7th at Woodbine. The fastest trotting mile overall this season in Canada is 1:51, posted by Hannelore Hanover in the Armbro Flight Final on June 18th at Mohawk. Monday's card also featured three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for sophomore trotting colts and geldings. Bee In Charge took advantage of a stretch break by the leader to win the first division in a career-best 1:54.3. The gelded son of Manofmanymissions is a half-brother to the great Bee A Magician. Chris Christoforou guided the Per Henriksen trainee to his third win of the season. Zagster was able to convert off a second over trip from driver Trevor Henry to win the second split in 1:55.2. The gelded son of Muscle Mass is trained by Shannon Henry and now has two wins on the season. The final division featured a trio of horses (Will Take Charge, Dia Monde and Tony Soprano) coming out of the Goodtimes Final. Will Take Charge, who finished second in the Goodtimes, grabbed command in the second-quarter and never looked back en route to a career-best 1:53 score. The gelded son of Kadabra was driven to his third win of the season by Paul MacDonell for trainer John Bax. Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk with another 10-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, June 24, 2016 - Harness racing trainer/driver Carl Duguay is looking for a big racing day at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday as he has two horses competing in the $120,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series. Each of the four finals for four and five-year-olds pacers and trotters race for a purse of $30,000 and Duguay and his family-owned Chaleurs Breeding Farm have the morning line race favorite in one division and the fourth choice in another division. "I like the posts that we drew for Sunday." Duguay said. "It is a good post for Viva Bayama (post 6). I am glad she drew that one. And post two for Chaleurs Fantasy is very good. That is perfect for her. "We have been in the harness racing business for many years." Duguay explained. "My father, Gaston, is 73 and has been in the business for most of his life. It is a family business as my brother Eric is also involved along with myself. "I have just 5 racehorses with me near Trois-Rivieres to race at the Hippodrome 3R." Duguay said. "I train them at We have another 20 horses at our farm in Port-Daniel, Quebec, mostly broodmares and younger horses that Dad and Eric care for. When they are ready to race they send them to me. "The breeding farm name of Elevage Baie Des Chaleurs comes from the region outside of Quebec called Chaleurs Bay." Duguay explained. "It is the arm of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence between Quebec and New Brunswick. It is where we are from in Port-Daniel. "We bred Chaleurs Fantasy and I raced her at age 2 and 3 until after the Quebec-Bred Series at 3R. Then I send her to the USA to Hedi Rohr at Saratoga Raceway and she did very well with her. After the final this Sunday I will send her back to Hedi. She (Chaleurs Fantasy) is the best horse we have ever bred and raced from Chaleurs Farm. A daughter of Omar Khayam, Chaleurs Fantasy has over $100,000 in earnings. Last year she won ten times with a record of 1:53.1. This year she has three wins in four starts. Her only loss was by a slim head in the Quebec-Bred Series to Miss Bro. Last week in the final preliminary round, Duguay and Charleurs Fantasy led from start to finish in 1:57.1 by two and one-half lengths. Duguay sends Viva Bayama out on Sunday as a mild 4-1 long shot from post six in the sixth race final for trotting mares. This daughter of Muscle Mass is also a $100,000 career winner, but not for Duguay, who bought the mare at the end of the season last year. "I claimed Viva Bayama last year after she was done racing in the series at 3R." Duguay explained. "They were racing her in claimers and I got her for $10,000. I was very happy to have her in my stable." Not only has Viva Bayama won the series finals the last two years, she also set the 3R track record at age 3 in 2014. But she has not been as good now at age 5, having just one win in eleven starts. Fortunately, that victory came in a division of the series to enable her to make it into Sunday's finale. "I think she will do very well on Sunday." Duguay said. "I am not driving her. I put Denis St Pierre on her because he knows the mare. He won the final with her last year." So what is this ability that Carl Duguay seems to have with the fillies and mares over the colts and horses?" "I like the mares," Duguay said. "I talk with them," Duguay joked. "They need lots of attention. I think my key to success with the mares is patients. You must have lot of patients with horses, especially mares. You have to really know and understand them." So what does the future hold for the Duguay Stable after this Sunday's Quebec-Bred Series Finals? "I think I have the best three-year-old trotting filly for the Breeders Cup Series that starts at 3R on July 3." Duguay proudly said. "Her name is Y S Suzanne and I predict that she will break the track record at 3R this season." Duguay added, "And not just the filly trot record of Viva Bayama she did last year in 1:59.2, but the colt record too! (Lukes Pierre 1:58.2 in 2003) as I think she is that good. After making only six starts at age 2, Duguay purchased the daughter of Angus Hall from owner/breeder Yves Sarrazin. Her lone victory was a big one last year, in the $41,000 Quebec-Bred Series final at 3R in 2:03.3. "I see this filly has such ability." Duguay said. "I already schooled her at 3R in 2:00 and she gets better every start." And if just one of Carl Duguay's mares win on Sunday or if both can win. What will Carl Duguay do to celebrate? "Ha Ha Ha," Duguay laughed. "If we do well or not on Sunday we will go out to dinner after the races with family and friends and have a very good time!" TRACK NOTES: Post time Sunday is 1:30 pm for the ten race program. The four $30,000 Quebec-Series Finals are races #3 (Horse Trot), race #6 (Mares Trot), Race #8 (Mares Pace) and Race #9 (Horse Pace). There is a free race program and free live video feed for Sunday's races available at www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club
The big names in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series two-year-old colts and geldings trotters' division have drawn the front row and are en route to a formiddable showdown in next Friday night's harness racing final. At Tabcorp Park Melton on the Super Series semi-final night for pacers, the trotters' barrier draw saw Deltasun claim the pole mark and Illawong Byron draw barrier six, giving a relatively direct route into their next big showdown. Fillies heat winners Yankee Redback (barrier two) and Illawong Shimmer (barrier five) also both drew the first row. Illawong Byron’s standing was only reaffirmed at last Tuesday night's heats at Ballarat when the two-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass out of Illawong Blush dominated and won by 41.6m. Showing gate speed from barrier six, the result was never in doubt for Bacchus Marsh trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan. “I am very happy with him,” Quinlan said. “I was a little disappointed that he overraced, but he has always shown above average ability and I couldn’t be happier with him on that score, he is a classy animal.” Quinlan partly attributed Illawong Byron’s overracing to the gelding coming to the end of a very impressive campaign. “He is still quite green. He is a fairly reliable two-year-old trotter, but he probably overraces and in an ideal world he would probably go to the paddock, but he has a few important races to run yet,” she said. The other colts and geldings heat was won by Deltasun (Tennotrump/Deltasu), a $1.04 favourite who took the honours by 14.6m for Ararat trainer Terry Young and Bacchus Marsh driver Gavin Lang. “There’s no doubt the horse to beat is Deltasun and the barrier will be important," Quinlan said. "But (Illawong Byron) is a good, versatile horse and can also run well from behind.” While it could be argued the colts and geldings shapes as a two-horse race, the two-year-old fillies presents as much more open. Ross Sugars’ Illawong Shimmer (Muscle Mass/Shining Sun) was impressive in leading and winning the first heat by 3.4m from Maree and John Caldow’s hope Valsue. But heat two proved more open, particularly once Anton Golino’s $1.60 favourite Sval Queen broke in the running. Yankee Redback, the only horse in hobby trainer Michael Scandolera’s Kilmore stable, took advantage, with driver Michael Bellman drawing her off leader Kyvalley Kyrie’s back to win by 7.7m. “She had a lot of luck. I thought she was about the third or fourth best horse in the race, but the others galloped and she didn’t,” Scandolera said. “She has beautiful manners. She’s just a natural. “When we broke her in she had a lot of fire, and still has a lot of fire. She’s a very intelligent horse and I let her do her own thing.” Scandolera said if things fell Yankee Redback’s way in the final she could take advantage. “She goes away very quick and very safely, and if she leads she can make her own race, but if she doesn’t and has to go back she can still go all right.” Barrier draws: Two-year-old colts and geldings 1: Deltasun 2: Prosthesis 3: Bootleg Bert 4: Kheiron 5: Me Pat Malone (emg) 6: Illawong Byron 7: Endsin A Party 8: Needabacardi 9: Aldebaran Pirate 10: Carnera 11: Just Oscar 12: Red Rustler (ODM) Two-year-old fillies 1: White House Sweet 2: Yankee Redback 3: Ten Spanners 4: Watts Up Rainbow 5: Illawong Shimmer 6: Star In Sight 7: Downtown Miss 8: Kyvalley Kyrie 9: Derrie Aire 10: Midnightpinevale (ODM) 11: Myrniong Rainbow (ODM) 12: Betty Hall (ODM) 13: Valsue (ODM)
JUNE 14, 2016 - Six $18,000 Grassroots divisions were featured on Mohawk Racetrack's Tuesday evening program as the harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies opened their 2016 season. Things got off to a quick start as Magical Valentine and trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev fired to the front before the halfway marker and sailed home to a 1:56.2 personal best in the first division. In just her fourth lifetime start, Magical Valentine bested a pair of freshman Grassroots winners, Traviata and Dewdle All Day. Moffat, ON resident Moiseyev conditions the daughter of Kadabra for M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. The win boosted Magical Valentine's sophomore record to two wins, one second and earnings of $19,500 in three starts. The sharp tempo was maintained in the second division as favourite Magical Steph and Myretirementticket battled through fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:26.1 before yielding in the stretch to a hard-closing Royal Charm. After pushing out three-wide to get a clear look at the leaders, Royal Charm and trainer-driver Mark Steacy powered down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:55.4. Myretirementticket stayed game for second and Its All About Sam trotted into third. "Royal Charm is a well-bred filly that has always shown a lot of speed, but has been hampered by tie-up problems and immaturity," said Steacy of the Majestic Son-Queen Of Grace daughter. "Hopefully her problems are now behind her so we can continue to see what she can do." The Lansdowne, ON resident conditions Royal Charm for Shelly MacMillan of Waterloo, ON, David McDonald of Cornwall, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stables Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY. Tuesday's win was the filly's first in six outings. Fan favourites Dayliner and Paul Walker also delivered a sharp mile in the third division, trotting under the wire in 1:56, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Powerful Glare and Silky Flashy Nfast. The win - a new lifetime mark for the Muscle Mass daughter - was Dayliner's second in 16 appearances. Walker trains and drives the filly for his wife Brenda Walker of Owen Sound, ON. The first-time winner trend continued in the fourth division as Jody Jamieson stepped into the race bike behind True Muscle and guided the filly to a one and one-half length victory in 1:57.1. Fan favourites Could It Be Magic and I Want Kandy settled for second and third behind the first time winner. "She's just a sweet OSS filly that seems to want to do everything you ask," said Jamieson, who piloted the Muscle Mass daughter to the win for trainer Keith Jones of Barrie, ON and owner Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, ON. "I liked her so much that I'm going to go to Georgian Downs to drive her in the Alliance Final on Sunday (June 19)," added the Moffat resident. P C Cantore earned her first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy in the fifth Grassroots division, reaching the Mohawk Racetrack finish line two lengths ahead of Smash Hit and Zorgwijk Queen. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry piloted the daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and Balladeer to the 1:57.2 victory for owner-breeder-trainer Peter Clements of Dobbinton, ON. Unraced at two, P C Cantore now has four wins in six starts and earnings of $21,592. The final Grassroots trophy was awarded to Majestic Mistress, who hung on for a neck victory after battling pacesetter Absolut Seelster from the halfway marker onward. Majestic Mistress and driver Ryan Holliday stopped the teletimer at 1:58.1, holding off favourite P L Jill and second choice Magical Wonder. The win was the Majestic Son daughter's first in seven outings. "It was nice to get the monkey off our back with her," said driver Ryan Holliday of Mount Forest, ON. "She can trot enough; it's just a matter of keeping her at task. I think she's getting the hang of it." Holliday's father Dave, also of Mount Forest, conditions Majestic Mistress for owner-breeder Ron Corbett of St. Jacobs, ON. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Grassroots start on July 1, during Dresden Raceway's Canada Day celebrations. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack this week, with the three-year-old pacing colts taking centre stage on Thursday with six Grassroots divisions and the three-year-old pacing fillies stepping to the forefront on Friday with seven Grassroots splits. Post time for both programs is 7:30 pm. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing
Nichols, N.Y. -- Harness Racing Driver John Cummings, Jr. enjoyed a banner Saturday (June 11) at Tioga Downs, taking the lone $7,500 second-round Williams Auto Group late-closing preliminary race with Makers Mass ($3.70, part of entry) as part of a four-win night. Makers Mass used a first-over blitz on approach to the far turn to wear down and sprint off from Thats a Bad Boy (Tyler Freese) at the eighth pole. The 3-year-old Muscle Mass gelding drew off by 3-1/2 lengths for a decisive 1:55.3 triumph over Thats a Bad Boy, while Golden Son (Gary Clark) stalked the winner's cover loosely en route to a third-place finish. Megan Wilson trains Makers Mass for owner-breeder Alan Hainsworth. Later in the evening, Cummings found a seam up the pegs on the far turn with Allen Sisco trainee Stratocaster ($8.40), sprinting through for a 1:51.1 win in the featured $9,000 Open 2 Pace over Mortal Zin (Aaron Byron) and Pierce (Nick Surick). Cummings also teamed up with DC Flashback ($9.80, 1:56.2) and Ang's Delight ($4.00, 1:54.1) on the 13-race card. The top trotting event of the evening, an $8,200 upper-level conditioned event, saw Prairie Fortune ($13.80) sweep clear off a far-turn duel, drawing off by 2-3/4 lengths for a 1:55.1 victory in rein to Jim Meittinis. The 50¢ Pick 5 was hit for $288.25, nearly five times what the corresponding win parlay would yield. The sequence closed with an authoritative front-end 1:57.1 win from odds-on favorite Brandos Muscle Man and driver Monica Banca in a $6,000 C.K.G. Billings event for amateur drivers. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 12) afternoon, with a blockbuster 15-race card due to begin at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec – Me The Boss and harness racing driver Louis-Philippe Roy put in a game first-over effort and was able to not only collar Maximuscle, but beat him to the wire in capturing the third leg of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series Tuesday at the Hippodrome 3R. Louis-Philippe Roy was sensational in the sulky Tuesday as he won six of the eleven races he competed in, taking the lead in the driver standings away from Gaetan Lamy, 12 to 11. Competing in a non-wagering division of the series for four and five-year-old trotters, Maximuscle and driver Mario Charron were parked out early by Promesses Imperial (Jerome Lombart) to the opening quarter mile in :29.1. Charron was able to give Maximuscle a breather on the lead as they went to the half mile in :59.3, but then the action again picked up as Roy had Me The Boss on the move first-over and they collared Maximuscle by the three-quarters in 1:30.1. Using the inside position, Charron regained the advantage on the final turn but then in a dramatic stretch drive, Roy was able to urge Me The Boss on in the stretch and gun down Maximuscle at the wire to win by a head in 1:59.2. Promesses Imperial was third. It was the fourth win in 17 starts this year for Me The Boss. The five-year-old gelded son of Keystone Nortic is trained by Francis Richards for the Lacrocque Racing Stable of Thornhill, Ontario. It was a night for upsets in the Quebec-Bred Series with the race favorites both failing to make it back to the winner’s circle in the two divisions for trotting mares. It was SOS Afterthestorm, at odds of 12-1, who took full advantage of an early break by the 1-4 favorite SOS Striking Monte (Charron) and not only went to the early lead for 3R’s leading driver this year, Gaetan Lamy, but scored in a romp by five open lengths in 2:03. Leaving from post three, Lamy sent the five-year-old daughter of Justice Hall right to the front, cut fractions of :29.3 and 1:02 before Charron was able to come back first-over with SOS Striking Monte, but after collaring SOS Afterthestorm, SOS Striking Monte could not keep up the press at the three-quarters in 1:31.4 as Lamy’s mare started to pull away. The pocket-sitting Bambie Benjo (Louis-Philippe Roy) was second with SOS Striking Monte third. SOS Afterthestorm paid $26.40 to win. It was the first win in five starts this year for SOS Afterthestorm, who is trained by Francine Morrissette and owned by Caalum Ian Anderson Macdonald of Halifax, NS. Then in the second mare division of the series, also a non-wagering race, Viva Bayama regained her winning form for trainer/driver Carl Duguay with a game neck triumph over SOS Revange (Gaetan Lamy) in 2:02.2. Kim Sorel (Martin Gingras) was third. Kim Sorel cut the mile with Double Chance (Sylvain Lacaille) in the pocket seat to the quarter in :30 and the half mile in 1:01.2. The action picked up as Lamy came first-over with SOS Revange and then by the three-quarters in 1:31.1, Duguay was second-over following Viva Bayama. Those two horses raced head and head down to the wire with Viva Bayama getting her first win in ten starts this year. She is owned by Elevage Baie De Chaleurs of Port-Daniel, QC. TRACK NOTES: In addition to winning six races on the program, Tuesday, driver Louis-Philippe Roy scored the highest priced winner of the season at 3R when he gave Iron Phil a perfect second-over trip in the ninth race at odds of 48-1, winning in the final strides and paying $99.40 for the victory. Live racing resumes at 3R on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm with the third round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers. For more information, free race programs and live racing via the internet, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club
Secret Muscle owned trained and driven by Charlie Ward of Hanover got the night rolling winning the first race of the harness racing season as the 4/5 favorite. The 4 year old son of Muscle Mass got away second from the outside post and stayed behind Attitude to Burn until just before the ¾ pole when he took over the lead. The 2 trotters battled down the stretch with Secret Muscle coming out on top by just under a length. There were several great finishes on the Saturday card including a 4 wide battle down the stretch in Race 5 eventually won by Lawmen Reign, owned trained and driven by Ross Battin of Monkton. Bruce Richardson, Brad Forward and Clark Stacey each piloted 2 horses to victories on the night, and the Tendr-pizza mile was won by Terry Fritz who owns trains and drives last year's horse of the year, Preppy Art who won the nightcap in easy fashion in 1:58.4. Hanover Raceway plays host to Pepsi night at the races next Saturday June 11th. Close to 2,000 dollars in prizes will be given away include a Patio Set, BBQ, Lawn Mower, Golf Equipment and more. Post time next Saturday night is 7:15pm.
Harness racing driver and co-trainer Mark Purdon, directed all the praise for today's win in the $100,000 Mitre 10 Mega Cambridge 2YO Ruby, to New Brighton Roddy Butt. The former trainer and major owner of Custodian, sold a large amount of the 2yo Muscle Mass gelding a few weeks back to a Syndicate set up by Sydney based trainers Nathan Jack and Amanda Turnbull. “Roddy deserves the praise here, he arrived in great condition and all we had to do was keep him fit” said Mark Purdon. The race was thrown into disarray early, with heavliy backed favourite Enghien galloped behind the gate and adding 50m onto his task. While he tacked on and still looked a massive chance with a lap to run, he jumped out of his gait again, when Ricky looked to put him into the race at the 800m mark. Meanwhile Mark Purdon has Custodian with great cover early, but was out and around to find the spot outside the leader inside the final lap, before wearing his opposition into the ground at the top of the straight. “I sold a large share in him recently to Nathan Jack and Amanda Turnbull, and they asked if I would be offended if they sent the horse to the All Stars barn. I said of course not, they are the leading trainers for a reason and off he went” said Roddy Butt. Winning Time & Margin: 1-59.67 MR, 57.5, 28.8, with a short head back to Heavyweight Hero (Todd Macfarlane) in 2nd and 1 ½ lengths back to Habibi Inta in 3rd. Andrew Fitzgerald