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Plainville, MA---Although there were two Open Handicap trots on the Thursday afternoon (Aug. 17) harness racing card at Plainridge Park, the best performance of the day came from a mid-level conditioned contest. And the one constant no matter what race was run; Greg Merton remains on fire. In the first $15,000 Open trot, Seeking Steven moved up in class for the third week in a row yet extended his winning streak, all while being let go at 11-1 by the bettors. Guiltywithanexcuse (Jim Hardy) was cutting the mile with little resistance until Black Broadway (Greg Merton) pulled at the half, bringing Seeking Steven (Chris Long) and Bloodstockshalltab (Jim Whittemore) with him. After the two tiers tripped the three-quarters in 1:26.1, Seeking Steven tipped three-wide at the top of the far turn and with Long bouncing up and down like he was sitting on a spring, Seeking Steven flew down the lane and held off a fast closing Bloodstockshalltab to win by a neck in 1:56.1. It was the third straight win for Seeking Steven ($22.20), two of which were at Plainridge Park. The 5-year-old son of Muscle Mass is owned by Arthur Mergenhagen and is trained by Dan Hennessey. In the co-featured $14,000 Open trot, Buff executed a personal best effort while easily putting away his six competitors. Buff (Greg Merton) got away second behind Dial A Chic (Joe DiStephano) and their positions remained stagnant through quarters timed in :26.4, :56.2 and 1:25.2. At that point Buff pulled and trotted alongside the fading leader through the turn. By the time they hit the head of the stretch, Buff had opened up a three-length advantage and with no serious bids behind him, trotted home a winner in 1:54.4. Buff ($4.20) scored his eighth win of the season and the 1:54.4 time also gave him a new lifetime mark. He has now earned $54,901 in 2017 for his owners Bill Reepmeyer, the Jackie Rousse Stable LLC, Frank Witz and Jill Witz. The winner is trained by Jackie Greene. But the fastest trot of the day came in the first race where early-season Plainridge Open winner Tag Up And Go dropped in class and toyed with the field, getting him closer to his third $100,000+ earnings year. Tag Up And Go (Greg Merton) sat a loose third while Tuscanelle (Jim Hardy) took the race to the half in a speedy :55.4. Merton sat and waited until the five-eighths pole when he yanked the right line and put his horse in gear. Tag Up And Go trotted around Maximus Deo (Pat Curtain) and then drew alongside Tuscanelle and those two drew off around the last turn. But when they hit the straight, Tag Up And Go got up and went; down the lane with Merton sitting stoic, to a very impressive five-length win in 1:53.4. It was the sixth win of the year for Tag Up And Go ($2.40) and a new seasonal mark. The win pushed his bank for the year to $79,660 for owners Lester Gelardi Jr. and Anthony Passafaro. Monique Cohen trains Tag Up And Go. Driver Greg Merton keeps rolling merrily along at The Ridge as he chalked-up another six-win afternoon. There were smiles all around as the following horses had their pictures taken with "Mass-Merton": Tag Up And Go (1:53.4, $2.40), Olivia's Z Tam (1:53.3, $3.20), Fire N Diamonds (1:55, $7.00), Well Wishers (1:54.2, $5.60), Buff (1:54.4, $4.20) and Paparazzi Prince (1:54, $8.80) Merton now has 140 wins for the meet, more than double the number of his nearest competitor. He also continues to perform at an extremely high level in every driving category including a .450 UDR, 31% win and 61% in the money percentages. Not to be overlooked in the day's proceedings, Chris Long had a driving double while conditioners Monique Cohen and Jackie Greene each sent two students to the winner's enclosure. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon with post time set for 4 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

The Big Muscle and harness racing trainer driver Joe Nassimos) would come flying late to steal the featured trot ($5,100) at Vernon Downs on Friday night (August 4). Gottalottacredit (John MacDonald) controlled all the early fractions :27.4, :58.1, 1:28.1, but would die out in the stretch. The Big Muscle (Muscle Mass) who is owned by Brian Bain and Pamela Miller and trained by Nassimos would end up in a blanket finish with She's Uncorked (Chris Lems) and Williams Wish (Leon Bailey). The Big Muscle ($8.80) would win by a neck in the end in 1:57.3. It was the fourth win of the season for the 5 year-old gelding. She's Uncorked, would settle for second and Williams Wish finished third. Leading driver John MacDonald followed up his six wins from Thursday night with three more wins on Friday. He would win with On The Tab ($3.80), Divination ($56.50), and Ozzymandias ($6.40). Vernon Downs returns with a 10 race card on Saturday (August 5) staring at 6:45. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - It has been said in harness racing that a young trotter is better off building up stamina, strength and be sure of foot, and that the speed will soon follow. That analogy will again be put to the test at the Hippodrome 3R on Tuesday evening with the second round of the C$220,000 Future Stars Series for two-year-old trotting colts and fillies. In the opening round of the series last week, the old proverb came true for 76-year-old owner and driver Rosaire Renaud as his newest star of the stable, Y A Muscle Mass, beat eight rivals and will try it again on Tuesday. Last week Y A Muscle Mass and Renaud went right to the lead and never looked back, winning by three-quarters of a length in a slow time of 2:09.4 over a fast track. But there is no prize money for speed, only for those that stays on gait and cross the finish line first. That's what Y A Muscle Mass did last week. The son of Muscle Mass goes from the rail on Tuesday for trainer Manon Renaud and provided his minds his manners and stays on-stride, can win again. His rivals have good speed but were unable to stay on-stride last week and are back to try again. Nobodynosjustice (Stephane Brosseau) was the favorite last week and won already this season in 2:02.2. But he failed to stay trotting at the start last week and was up the track. Nobodynosjustice goes from post six. Yankee Photo starts from post five and last week he did stay on gait, but was sent first-over by driver Pascal Berube against Y A Muscle Mass and could not get to him and was third. SG Goliath King goes from post three and last week was a game second to Y A Muscle Mass. The fillies drew ten entries and according to the rules of the Quebec Racing Commission, must split into two fields of five that will be held as non-wagering races during the Tuesday program. The first division takes place after the third race and is headed by Luckys Dream (post four) and Stand For Justice (post one). The second division goes after the fifth race and features last week's return winner, Precieuse CC, who starts from post five. Last week this daughter of Angus Hall was able to lead from post eight for driver/trainer Claude Beausoleil, take a tuck in third place and then brush to the lead in the backstretch, going on to win by two open lengths in 2:06, the last quarter in a very impressive :29.4. Also in the race is Yves Filion's Magic Lady, who starts from post two. She was the betting favorite last week, followed Precieuse CC in the backstretch, but could not catch her, finishing second. There is another competitive field set for the Invitational Trot Tuesday in the ninth race. Four Starz Speed (post 4) returns off his wire-to-wire victory for trainer/driver Kevin Maguire. Also back is Unabating, who was the race favorite last week, but suffered broken equipment and was never in the hunt. Caroluzzo returns after a week's rest, but drew post eight for driver Stephane Gendron. Rideau Carlton invader, Ghirardelli Lindy, brings his two-race win streak to H3R, as does Dance Hall George (post one), who is moving up the ranks to the top trot. Post time Tuesday is 7:00 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Before coming to the Hippodrome 3R back on June 20, the three-year-old trotting filly, HP Run Like Mom, was winless in seven starts, never even finishing in the top three. The daughter of Kadabra then moved into the barn of trainer Jean Tourigny for breeder Claude Hamel, who co-owns HP Run Like Mom with Michel Damphousse, and the switch to racing at H3R has resulted with five straight wins. Tuesday evening was the third and final preliminary round of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old filly and colt trotters. There were three divisions, all non-wagering races due to short fields. HP Run Like Mom was in the first non-wagering division and driver Stephane Brosseau wasted no time going right to the lead and holding the field at bay by five lengths at the opening quarter mile in :29.4. Then HP Run Like Mom switched into high gear, pulling away from the field to lead by ten lengths at the half mile in :59.3, then 24 lengths at the three-quarters in 1:29.3 and cruised home to win by the length of the stretch, 25 and one-half lengths in a lifetime best clocking of 1:59.4. Lindas Jewell (Mario Lachance) was a distance second with Southern Queen (Mario Charron) third. The time of the race was just two fifths of a second from tying the track record for three-year-old trotting fillies. "She (HP Run Like Mom) was a normal filly as a youngster," Claude Hamel said. "As a yearling, she gave us a fright with a shoulder injury but that healed up well. "So, we then we sent her as a two-year-old to Toronto to Benoit Baillargeon to train since she was eligible for the stakes there," Hamel explained. "Benoit considered her to be special, but she only qualified once at age 2 and we were disappointed. Then at age three, she showed some speed on occasion, one mile in 1:58.4, the last quarter in :28.4, but still not good. It was then that Benoit advised us to bring her back to Quebec and that was the right decision. Jean (Tourigny) took her on and the results have been instantaneous," Hamel said. "Five straight wins, new record of 1:59.4. I think now we will consider sending her to a few stakes in Ontario while we wait for the final here on September 3." The second non-wagering division for colts saw Capteur De Reve post his first win of the 2017 season for driver Pierre Luc Roy with a hard-fought victory over undefeated Kinnder Danerous (Justin Filion) in 1:59.4. It was Bastiano and driver Stephane Gendron going to the early lead with Kinnder Dangerous sitting the pocket trip through a :29.3 first quarter and then backed it down to the half mile in 1:01. That forced driver Pierre Luc Roy come first-over with Capteur De Reve, who collared Bastiano by the three-quarters in 1:30.4 with Filion then moving three-wide on the final turn with Kinnder Dangerous. All three-horses then made it a dash to the wire with Capteur De Reve the strong horse, winning by a neck over Kinnder Dangerous with Batiano third. Sired by Muscle Mass, Capteur De Reve was the series champion last year. He is trained by Maxime Velaye for the Provoquante Stable of Mirabel, who also bred the colt. In the second filly division, it was the team of driver Pierre Luc Roy and trainer Maxime Velaye returning to the winner's circle, this time with Affirmee. Affirmee shot out to the early lead with Taurus P V (Jocelyn Gendron) following right on their heels as those two horses pulled away from the field by 15 lengths at the opening quarter mile in :29.2. They raced that way past the half mile and the three-quarters with Affirmee pulling away at the finish to win by five open lengths in 2:04.1. Taurus V P was second with Magestic M (Kevin Maguire) third. It was the second straight win for Affirmee, a daughter of Angus Hall, who was also bred and is owned by the Provoquante Stable. The opening round of the C$220,000 Future Stars Series for two-year-old trotting fillies and colts got underway Tuesday. In the first division for fillies, it was Precieuse CC and trainer/d river Claude Beausoleil coming first-over against pacesetter Luckys Dream (Jerome Lombart), taking command at the three-quarters and winning by two lengths in 2:06 over race favorite Magic Lady (Yves Filion) with Justice Rules (Stephane Brosseau) third. It was the maiden victory for Precieuse CC, a filly by Angus Hall, owned by Marie Andree Counoyer of Chicoutimi. She paid $20.80 to win. Owner, trainer and driver Rosaire Renaud of Mirabel at age 76, made his first drive of the 2017 a winning one with a big upset score in the colt division with Y A Muscle Mass. Leading from start to finish, Renaud and Y A Muscle Mass was able to hold off SG Goliath King (Sylvain Grenier) by three-quarters of a length to win in 2:09.4. Yankee Photo (Pascal Berube) was third. Sire by Muscle Mass, Y A Muscle Mass was overlooked by the bettors and went off at odds of 22-1, paying $46.20 to win. Track Notes: Driver Stephane Brosseau was the top driver of the night, winning four races on the program. It is the first time he has achieved that feat this season. Brosseau widened his lead in the driving standings over Stephane Gendron, 29 to 24. Four Starz Speed, the "old man" of the field in the Invitational Trot Tuesday, showed his heels to his younger rivals, leading from start to finish for driver/trainer Kevin Maguire in 1:59.4, paying $8.70 to win. Live racing resumes at H3R on Sunday afternoon, first race post time at 12:30 pm. Featured will be the opening round of the C$220,000 Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - The trotters own the spotlight at the Hippodrome 3R Tuesday with the opening round of the C$220,000 Breeders Cup series for three-year-old's. And taking center stage will be last year's colt champion, Capteur De Reve (Dream Catcher in English), who starts from post five in the fifth race. Trained by Maxime Velaye for the Provoquante Stable, who owns and bred Capteur De Reve, the son of Muscle Mass is primed and ready to have another big season. "He (Capteur De Reve) did fill out a bit over the winter," said trainer Maxime Velaye. "But pretty much looks the same as last year." Last year, Capteur De Reve did very well in the Future Stars Series at H3R. He captured an elimination division and was second in another, but was at his best in the C$65,000 final, winning with ease by two and three-quarter lengths. Capteur De Reve has had tough in his first two starts this year, having to race in the Invitational Trot at H3R against older horses. He has been forth both times, but his trainer Maxime Velaye is OK with that. "It is not easy to race a three-year-old against older horses," Velaye said. "but at least he did have some starts before the series begin and I was OK with it, but the last start I was expecting a better performance especially they only went 2:00. "I am confident that he will race good on Tuesday," Velaye explained. "It's not going to be easy. I see some of the horses improved a lot from last year, but my horse will be ready for the fight, and think he get the job done on Tuesday." Capteur De Reve's main rival will be Sometimes When in post two for driver Guy Gagnon. Also sired by Muscle Mass, Sometimes When has been second in his last two starts at Rideau Carlton, the fastest a neck loss in 1:58. Sometimes When was second to Capteur De Reve last year in the Future Stars Final. Other contenders include Bastiano (post six) and Kinnder Danerous (post one). The trotting fillies are in the limelight in the seventh race, headed by HP Run Like Mom in post five for driver Stephane Brosseau. Unraced at age two, HP Run Like Mom has found her winning ways as of late for trainer Jean Tourigny, and is on a two-race winning streak. She is sired by Kadabra and is bred and co-owned by Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff with Michel Damphosse of Louisville. In her last start, HP Run Like Mom, won by the entire length of the home stretch, the official margin was 19 and one-quarter lengths in 2:00.4. Her main rivals in the race will be Affirmee (post four) and the entry from trainer Daniel Martin of Muscle Do (post two) and Moskido (post three). Post time Tuesday evening is 7:00 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

JULY 1, 2017 - Trainer Rene Allard and driver Michael Whelan teamed up to win a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions on Hiawatha Horse Park's Canada Day harness racing program Saturday. Three Grassroots trophies were up for grabs and Allard and Whelan captured the first and last divisions with Rose Run Speedster and Clarion Call, both sons of Windsong Espoir. Starting from Post 7, Whelan sent Rose Run Speedster straight to the front and the pair never saw a challenge, rolling through fractions of :27.4, :59.3 and 1:29.4 on their way to a four and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2. Fan Favourite Motown Jackpot and Upvote Hanover rounded out the top three. "We're pretty happy to see him returning to form," said Guelph, ON resident Anthony MacDonald, who shares ownership of Rose Run Speedster with Allard and members of the fractional ownership group Rose Run Speedster Stable, also of Guelph. "We had some good luck with him last year and he really helped put thestable.ca on the map. A lot of owners new to the game in 2016 are very happy right now, and that's good for the industry." A two-time Gold Series winner at two, Rose Run Speedster is now is sole possession of top spot in the sophomore trotting colt Grassroots standings after posting wins in the first two legs of the series. The colt boosted his lifetime earnings to $136,050 with Saturday's victory. Whelan employed the same tactics to land Clarion Call in the winner's circle in the last $19,150 division. Hustling away from Post 2 Clarion Call rang up a :27.3 quarter, :58.1 half and 1:28.1 three-quarters on his way to a three and one-half length win in 1:58.4. Favourite Santini was second and Tougher Than Ever trotted into third. Also a Gold Series winner at two, Saturday's appearance marked Clarion Call's debut in the sophomore provincial program. Allard, who makes his home in Matamoras, PA, shares ownership of Clarion Call with Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation, QC and Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, ON. The other Grassroots trophy went home with trainer Mark Steacy, who had already captured a trio in three-year-old trotting filly action at Dresden Raceway earlier in the day. Starting from Post 2 with Iona Station, ON resident Alfie Carroll in the race bike, Dontcrampmystyle left smartly and reached the quarter in :28.2. Carroll allowed Jayport Buddy and Steve Byron to take control heading for the :58.4 and shadowed the new pacesetter through a 1:29 three-quarters before hitting the gas in the stretch. Dontcrampmystyle reeled in Jayport Buddy by three-quarters of a length with Enchanted Mission closing well to be third in the 1:59.3 mile. "We picked him up in the spring and he's had issues which we have been working on," said Lansdowne, ON resident Steacy, who conditions Dontcrampmystyle for owner-breeder Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, ON. "He always tries hard and seems to be getting healthier." The win was the Muscle Mass son's third of the season and his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. He and the other sophomore trotting colts will make their third Grassroots start next Sunday, July 9 at Clinton Raceway. In addition to the exciting on-track action Hiawatha Horse Park fans enjoyed red velvet Canada Day cupcakes and giveaways including Ontario Sires Stakes ball caps and Ontario Racing flip-flops. Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey presented the Grassroots winners with their trophies and enjoyed the Canada Day festivities with the Hiawatha fans. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - After scoring an impressive victory last week in the Invitational Trot at the Hippodrome 3R, Theregoesthegroom will try and make it two straight Tuesday evening. A five-year-old stallion by Muscle Mass, Theregoesthegroom starts from post three in the sixth race feature for trainer/driver Denis Filion, who co-owns Theregoesthegroom with Jules Sigler. Last week Filion and Theregoesthegroom were able to grind it out against Four Starz Speed on the final turn as those two battled neck and neck down the stretch with Theregoesthegroom winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.4. It was the first win in just two starts this year for Theregoesthegroom, who was made the 3-1 second choice in the race. The honors of being the 5/2 morning line favorite goes to Caroluzzo from post two for driver Stephane Gendron. It is the best inside post position that Caroluzzo has seen all season long. The eight-year-old son of Musclesextrodinair is the only horse to have won the Invitational Trot at H3R twice this year. Last week he was third to Theregoesthegroom. Caroluzzo is trained by Daniel Martin for owner Michael Cote Gagnon and has been first, second or third all season long in the top trot. Spicey Victor, after two straight wins in lower classes, moves back up to take on the best trotters and drew post one for driver Jocelyn Gendron and trainer Yves Tessier. He has shown in his last two starts that he can win from either on or off the pace. Rounding out the field are Four Starz Speed, who was a game second to Theregoesthegroom last week and starts from post four for driver/trainer Kevin Maguire. Capteur De Reve is the lone three-year-old in the field taking on much older rivals. He was the Future Stars Series Champion last year and is prepping for the upcoming Breeders Cup Series at H3R that begins in July. He starts from post six for driver Pierre-Luc Roy. Rocky Boy rounds out the field from post five for driver Marc Belanger and last won the Invitational Trot back on April 30 in 1:57, the fastest trotting mile this year at H3R. Post time Tuesday evening is 7:00 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - After the third race on Sunday, the management and horsemen and women at the Hippodrome 3R, paid tribute to harness racing legend Herve Filion, who passed away Thursday at age 77. A native of Angers, Quebec, Filion went on to become a harness racing icon in the sport. He came to the United States in 1961 and was the North America's leading driver 16 times, earning his first title in 1968 and last in 1990. He retired with 15,179 wins and had career earnings of $88.4 million. Many of the horsemen and women participating on the racing card, came out to the winner's circle, along with track management and racing fans. Handicapper Daniel Delisle read about Filion's illustrious career in both French and English, followed by a moment of silence. All of the infield flags on Sunday were lowered to half-mast. On the racetrack Sunday was the $30,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotting mares and horses. The horses were first in the limelight in the sixth race and no one was going to pass by Wildwild Men and driver Robert Shepherd when the starting gate pulled away. Shepherd sent Wildwild Men right to the front with KFB Amigo Cool (Stephane Brosseau) leaving from post six and grabbing the two-hole spot. After a fast :28.3 opening quarter mile, Shepherd was able to back off the pace by the half mile marker in 1:00 as the field remained in Indian-style format with no one willing to try and come first-over. When Wildwild Men got to the three-quarters in 1:29.3, Shepherd let the five-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass have his head and they held the field at bay, winning with ease by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:59.1 as Shepherd raised his whip in triumph coming to the wire. KFB Amigo Cool held for second place with last year's champion, Holiday Party (Pascal Berube) third. "He really behaved himself today." Said Robert Shepherd. "It feels good when you can open up in the stretch like he did today." As a two-year-old, Wildwild Men set the track record for his age at H3R in winning the Future Stars Final and now has added his second Final in capturing the Quebec-Bred Series. Trained by Isabelle Darveau, it was the second win in five starts this year for Wildwild Men, who has yet to finish worse than second place this season. He paid $2.80 to win. Wildwild Men was bred by Chantal Gravel of St-Cyrille-De-Wendover and she co-owns the horse with Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel. Rains came in and turned the track surface from fast to good by the ninth race $30,000 final for the trotting mares. Carl Duguay's Y S Suzanne left sharply for driver Stephane Gendron to take command with EAU Naturelle (Simon Delisle) getting the two-hole trip to the opening quarter mile in :30.1. Y S Suzanne then led the field to the half mile in 1:02 as Artemis Duharas and driver Raymond Gingras boldly came first-over to challenge. As the field reached the backstretch, EAU Naturelle went off-stride in the two-hole, but Gingras did not want to stop the moment of his mare and they stayed on the outside and were able to collar Y S Suzanne past the three-quarters in 1:32.2 and around the final turn. As they started down the stretch, Artemis Duharas would not be denied as Gingras urged his mare on to victory by one and one-half lengths in 2:03.1. Second was the 30-1 long shot, Grace And Claire (Francis Picard) with Y A Jailhouse Jodi (Guy Gagnon), who was unable to get into the flow of the race, rallied to be third. Sent off at odds of 9/2, Artemis Duharas paid $9.40 to win. It was the first victory in four starts this year for the four-year-old mare by Andover Hall. She is trained by Manon Levasseuri for owner/breeder Haras De L Estri, Inc. of Dunham. Track Notes: For the first time this season, not one driver or trainer on the race program could win more than one race. All ten races on the program were won by a different driver and trainer. The racing action continues at the Hippodrome 3R on Tuesday evening. First race post time is 7:00 pm and the feature event is the 6th race Invitational Trot headlined by return winner, Theregoesthegroom, taking on Caroluzzo, Four Starz Speed and Spicey Victor. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - The Invitational Trot at the Hippodrome 3R has been the toughest race to win this season and once again it was a newcomer that won the top trot Tuesday evening. This week the honors went to Denis Filion's Theregoesthegroom, who was able to take advantage of a misshape in the backstretch and turn it into a neck triumph. The sixth race feature saw Rocky Boy and driver Marc Belanger fly out to the early lead with last week's return winner, Commissioner Daley and trainer/driver Guy Gagnon grabbing the two-hole spot as they went to the opening quarter in a speedy :28.1. They raced Indian-style until the half mile marker in :57.4 as Caroluzzo and driver Stephane Gendron started up first-over from fifth place but was not gaining ground on the leader. But as Rocky Boy approached the three-quarter pole, he made an uncharacteristic break and driver Marc Belanger has to take him to the outside and out of the race. Guy Gagnon was moving to the outside with Commissioner Daley and was blind switched by both Theregoesthegroom and Filion on the outside and on the inside, it was Four Starz Speed and driver/trainer Kevin Maguire shooting up along the cones and taking the lead as they passed the three-quarters in 1:28.3. Then in a dramatic stretch drive, Theregoesthegroom battled head and head with Four Starz Speed with Theregoesthegroom getting up at the wire by a long neck in 1:59.4. Caroluzzo was third. It was only the second start and first win of the season for Theregoesthegroom, a five-year-old stallion by Muscle Mass, who is co-owned by Denis Filion with Sonia Moderie and Jules Sigler. He paid $12.00 to win. Live racing resumes at H3R on Sunday afternoon, first race post time at 12:30 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, June 18, 2017 - Westchester Sundays returned (June 18th), with an out-every-step Rubber Duck ($47) with harness racing driver Joe Bongiorno in the bike, winning Yonkers Raceway's $68,000 Open Handicap Trot. The Father's Day marquee trot was the first race of the afternoon, one of four 'French' trots going at the mile-and-one-quarter distance. It looked much different early as 3-4 choice Hemi Seelster (Jason Bartlett) jumped it off from the pocket. Meanwhile, there were four different leaders through the first half-mile (:28.1, :57) including Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton), Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube), Not Afraid (Matt Kakaley) and Opulent Yankee (Ake Svanstedt). As for Rubber Duck from post position No. 7, he was quite wide into the first turn, then able to join the second tier from third-over after a rival broke. He sat outside Opulent Yankee in and out of a 1:25.4 three-quarters and 1:55.2 mile before wearing that rival down early in the lane. Rubber Duck had enough to hold Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammmer) at bay, winning by three-quarters of a length in 2:26 for the added distance. Red Hot Herbie lost the place photo, while Springbank Sam N and a recovering Hemi Seelster settled for the remainder. For eighth choice Rubber Duck, a 5-year-old son of Muscle Mass co-owned by Albertans Blair & Erna Corbeil and trained by Richard Johnson, it was his third win in a dozen seasonal starts. The exacta paid $472, with the triple returning $2,494. The latest installment of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 2-Divine Miss Grey (Belmont's 3rd race) and 1-Jericho (Yonkers' 7th race) paid $10.20 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $4,390. Frank Drucker

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Slowly but surely harness driver Stephane Gendron has been nipping away at the wins during his career and on Tuesday evening at the Hippodrome 3R, he may very well achieve a special career milestone, win number 4,000. Gendron, who first started driving back in 1989, has been a popular figure in Quebec racing, especially at H3R, throughout his career. Come Tuesday, Gendron hopes to get his 4,000th career win in one of the two drives he has on the program. And his chances, based on last week's performance, look pretty good. Gendron will be driving the odds-on favorite, Carl Duguay's Y S Suzanne, in the sixth race, second division of the $100,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters. Y S Suzanne starts from post six and is on a three-race winning streak for owner/trainer Duguay. The four-year-old mare by Angus Hall is at her best with five wins already this season. Last week in the opening round of the Quebec-Bred Series, Gendron and Y S Suzanne were parked out going for the lead, but once on top she held the field at bay and pulled away in the stretch for a four and one-half length triumph. Other hopeful contenders in the field include Y A Jailhouse Jodi in post three for driver Guy Gagnon. They were second to Y S Suzanne last week, along with Grace And Claire (post eight) and Artemis Duharas (post seven). And if Y S Suzanne does not give Gendron his 4,000th win, then he comes right back in the 7th race Invitational Trot, where he will drive the always game Caroluzzo from post eight. He has won his last two starts at H3R in the top trot for Gendron. The older horses do battle in the Quebec-Bred Series in the 4th race, where track record holder Wildwild Men is the overwhelming race favorite after his impressive victory in the opening round last week. Driven by Robert Shepherd for trainer Isabelle Darveau, last week Wildwild Men posted his first win in three starts this year, looking super impressive in wiring the field by three and one-half lengths in 1:58.3. Bred by Chantal Gravel and co-owned with Catheline Pelletier, Wildwild Men is an entry with stablemate and older brother, Seeyou Men, who is age 5. Both brothers are sired by Muscle Mass. Wildwild Men starts from post four with his older brother starting alongside in post five for driver Guy Gagnon. Hoping to rebound from making a costly break at the start last week is Quebec-Bred Champion last year, Holiday Party. He starts from the rail for driver Pascal Berube while last week's second place finisher, KFM Amigo Cool, starts from post two for driver Stephane Brosseau. First race post time Tuesday evening is 7:00 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

June 3, 2017 - Saturday the V75 harness racing action was at Mantorp, Sweden, headed by the Ina Scots (300,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart). Victory was secured by 29/1 Muscle Hustle (4m Muscle Mass-Crown Laurel-Cantab Hall) driven by trainer Robert Bergh. Bergh co-owns this one with Ecurie des Charmes. Brittany Farms bred the 1.12.3kr timed winner. 3.3/1 Policy Of Truth (4g Explosive Matter-Champagne-Supergill) was second for Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Reijo Liljendahl, with the third spot going to 15/1 Baron Gift (4m Gift Kronos-Countesse Photo-Fast Photo) for trainer/driver Rikard Svanstedt. Also at Mantorp was the V75 Gold (150,000SEK to the winner, 2640 meters autostart), taken by 1.12.3kr timed and 1.9/1 favorite Carabinieri (6m Wellino Boko-Dew Princess-JR Broline) with trainer Peter Untersteiner aboard. 9/1 Alfas da Vinci (9g Orlando Vici-Hilary Clinton-And Arifant) was second for trainer/driver Joakim Lovgren, and third was 7/1 Anna Mix (7f Ludo de Castelle-Ires-Tenor de Baune) with Ulf Ohlsson up for trainer Sofia Aronsson and owner Franck Leblanc. Billy Flynn, a US import, finished fourth. Thomas H. Hicks

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The trotters were in the spotlight for the first live harness racing program of the 2017 season at the Hippodrome 3R Tuesday night with the opening round of the $100,000 Quebec-Bred Series for trotters. There were two divisions of the series for four and five-year-old mares and horses Tuesday. There are three weeks of preliminary action with the top eight money earners returning on June 25 for the $30,000 finals. Both race winners were very impressive with the fastest division going to track record holder, Wildwild Men, in the fifth race for older horses. Driven by Robert Shepherd from post three, Wildwild Men shot to the early lead with KFM Amigo Cool (Stephane Brosseau) grabbing the two-hole spot to the opening quarter mile in :29.1. Second choice in the race, track record holder Holiday Party (Pascal Berube) made a costly break at the start of the race. To the half mile in :59.3 and the three-quarters in 1:29.3, Shepherd then let Wildwild Men pull away in the stretch to win with ease by three and one-half lengths in 1:58.3. KFB Amigo Cool was second with stablemate, Seeyou Men (full older brother to Wildwild Men) third for driver Guy Gagnon. It was the first win in three starts this year for Wildwild Men. The four-year-old gelded son of Muscle Mass is trained by Isabelle Darveau for breeder Chantal Gravel, who co-owns the winner with Catheline Pelletier. He paid $2.70 to win. In the second race division for mares, it was all Y S Suzanne for driver Stephane Gendron. With EAU Naturelle (Simon Delisle) leaving from post seven to the early lead, Shepherd wasted no time retaking the lead before the opening quarter mile and then held the field at bay the rest of the one mile race, winning by four and one-half lengths in 2:00.4. Y A Jailhouse Jodi (Guy Gagnon) was second with Grace And Claire (Sylvain Lacaille) third. Trained and owned by Carl Duguay, it was the third straight win and fifth victory on the season for Y S Suzanne. The four-year-old mare by Angus Hall paid just $2.50 to win. TRACK NOTES: With his victory aboard Y S Suzanne, driver Stephane Gendron moved within one victory of scoring his 4,000th career win. Driver Richard Simard led all drivers Tuesday with three winners on the night including an impressive seven and one-half length romp with Raising Richard ($2.80) in the Invitational Trot in 1:59.1. The post-position draw for the second annual All-Star Drivers Tournament at H3R this Sunday takes place Wednesday afternoon. Featured will be Yannick Gingras, Daniel Dube, Scott Zeron, Sylvain Filion, Hall of Famer David Miller, last year's champion Jody Jamieson, Stephane Bouchard and H3R leading driver, Louis-Philippe Roy, all competing in eight races. There will be a special meet and greet autograph session with all the drivers at 11:30 am. And H3R's new Sunday post time of 12:30 pm goes into effect on Sunday. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Pompano Beach, FL...March 7, 2017...Explosive Muscles, driven by Dave Ingraham, definitely lived up to his name on Tuesday night (March 7) by using his explosive muscle power in the final stages to score a well-earned 1:55.3 win in Pompano Park's $10,000 harness racing trotting feature.   The seven year-old gelded son of Muscle Mass out-dueled Lugar, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, heading into the opening turn and went on to post panels of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.2 before a :29.1 finale held off Pocket Trip and driver Fern Paquet, Jr. by a neck.   Fleetwood Hall, with Rick Plano handling that gelding's lines, closed fastest of all in the classy octet to finish third, just a length off the winner, while Lugar was another three-quarters of-a-length in fourth.   Kabu finished fifth to pick up the nickel while My Revenuer, Commentary and Southwind Stryker completed the order of finish, with the latter, off at even money, making a miscue at the start.   After the race, driver Dave Ingraham related, "I didn't see much happening when the gate sprung and this horse likes to be in the hunt from the get-go, so I did what he likes to do and went for the top.   "He made is rather easily and he was nice and relaxed the middle part of the mile. We really didn't have much of a challenge on the backside so I thought we had a chance to get home tonight.   "Fern's (Paquet) trotter was going some at the end but the wire came and that was that!"   Owned by Rebecca Uppal along with trainer Casandra Uppal, the ultra-consistent Explosive Muscles sent his 2017 scorecard to 3-2-2 in 10 starts, good for earnings of $21,820. Lifetime,   Explosive Muscles has reached the winner's circle on 26 occasions and now has a career bankroll of $166,664.   As second choice at 9 to 5, Explosive Muscles paid $5.80 to win.   Mares were in the spotlight in the night's co-feature for the trotters and it was Bad Angel scoring a handy win for Wally Hennessey in a lifetime best 1:54.2.   The eight year-old daughter of Valley Victor, owned and trained by George Coblentz, won the early fist fight with She's All In (Rick Plano) and Celebrity Artemis (Marcello Spano) and posted subsequent fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:25.2 before her :29 sprint home left her nearest challenger, She's All In, 2½ lengths away. Celebrity Artemis did finish third while Total Freedom, saving ground all the way, snuck up the inside to finish fourth, just a nose better than McKenzie's Star, who picked up the minor award in the field of seven.   In a post race interview, Hennessey remarked, "I was in a race last week with Serendipitious and this mare was in there and, when I looked at the replay, noticed she had some good, strong trot at the end. I saw that she can leave a bit, too, so, with the five post, it was the perfect spot to send her.   "She was mighty strong tonight and never let up one ounce at any time during the mile.   "I'm happy to have done this for George (owner-trainer Coblentz). He's really done a great job turning this mare around to be what she is today."   Bad Angel now has three wins in nine starts this semester and earnings of $16,705. Career-wise, Bad Angel boosted her bounty to $107,341.   Off as the even-money tote-board favorite, Bad Angel paid $4.00 to her multitude of $2 faithful.   Racing continues on Wednesday night with pacing mares in the limelight as Sweet Bet, a $6,000 claim two months ago, steps up the ladder again to the top level in the $11,000 Open Pace for the ladies.   Wild Wanda, OK Heavenly, Goldstar Rockette, Godiva Seelster and Misssomebeach Blue complete a very talented sextet.   Godiva Seelster has been installed as the 9 to 5 morning line favorite and will have the driving services of Pompano Park's leading driver, Wally Hennessey.   Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, January 15, 2017- Harness racing favored Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno, $3.50) did not disappoint Sunday afternoon, handily winning Yonkers Raceway's $56,000 Open Handicap Trot. Forwardly-placed from post position No. 6, in his featured trot debut (three of the 11 starters broke early), Rubber Duck was actually beaten to the early punch. Red Hot Herbie, starting directly outside of 'Duck,' had the first lead before yielding to the subject of this story. Rubber Duck made his lead just at a :29.4 opening quarter-mile, then rated a :59.3 half and 1:29.2 three-quarters. There was a minimal challenge from Luck O The Irish (Matt Kakaley) going toward the 1:58.2 milepost, but Rubber Duck disposed that and opened a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. He widened in the lane, defeating 'Herbie' by 2¼ lengths in 2:27.3 for the mile-and-a-quarter. Lily's Swan Pond (George Brennan), Tweet Me (Pat Lachance) and Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton) rounded out the payees. For Rubber Duck, a now-5-year-old son of Muscle Mass co-owned by Albertans Blair and Erna Corbeil and trained by Richard Johnson, he's won both of his season starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $65.50 and the superfecta paid $405. Sunday's Pick 5 wager, beginning with a double-carryover of $6,426.84, attracted $11,029 of fresh investments. The winning quintet (1/2/2/7/3) returned $14,698.75 for the single winning half-a-buck selector. Sunday also offered the first 'New York, New York Double' of the season, with the winning combination of 5-Lockdown (Aqueduct's 3rd race) and 1-Lo Rail Crossing (Yonkers' 6th race) returning $14.70 for every correct $1 wager (total pool $6,553) Frank Drucker

K D Muscles proved her toughness yesterday at Gunbower when she scooped up a second harness racing win in three days, having won at Melton on Friday and then Sunday’s Cohuna Car Sales Bill Poxon Memorial Gunbower Trotters Cup over 2630m. The Muscle Mass six-year-old mare, who lead throughout in Friday night’s Haras Des Trotteurs Trot, received a penalty from her Melton win and in the Cup started outside of the 20m mark, instead of the inside. After stepping safely, she worked forward into the box seat before Kate Gath came three-wide at the bell. After pressuring 2015 winner Dead Cat Bounce at the 1200m, K D Muscles found the lead but copped pressure from Aleppo Sunrise and Tenno Dance. In Gath’s hands she found some breathing space with a 28.2 third quarter, holding off second-placed  Aleppo Sunrise in the straight to win by 6.1m in a 2:03.4 mile rate. Trainer Andy Gath heaped praise on his “really nice mare”. “She has a good turn of speed with a really good gait about her,” Gath said. “(She) has come a long way in a short space of time since we’ve had her, and just about every run she has had has been pretty good. “She’s a really strongly built mare with a really good constitution and recovers well all the time, so she’s a perfect racehorse really”. New Zealand born K D Muscles, who was bred by Grant Beckett, joined the Gath stable in February this year. “She came on the market, took a lot of persuading for my owner, Norm Jenkin, to buy as she only had the one win in New Zealand and he was put off by that a bit, but she was up against nice horses,” Gath said. “We were able to purchase her for a pretty reasonable price and she’s earned some nice money since and she has more to offer.” Gath mentioned her next run is likely to come at Melton on Saturday week in a TM1-M3 mobile in favour of the The Weekly Advertiser Stawell Trotters Cup the following day. Gath’s other runners  at Gunbower were Star Of Dionysis in the Gunbower Family Hotel Gunbower Pacing Cup, who finished last as an odds-on favourite, and Yackandandah, who finished third in the Easy Ride Sulky Gunbower Club Pace. “At this stage Star Of Dionysis has pulled up all right, there are no alarm bells going off to say there’s something wrong, but maybe the hot weather got to him,” Gath said. “Yackandandah had to come quite wide and I was happy with him, he’s a good honest horse.”  Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

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