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Jason and Susan Skinner's BJ's Sweetheart ($3.20, Tony Morgan) notched her seventh win of the year in 1:52.4 in the $12,500 Mares Open II at the harness racing meeting at Harrington Raceway.  Trained by co-owner Jason Skinner, the 5-year-old No Pan Intended mare assumed command near the half-mile and never relented from there in her open length win over A La Notte Hanover and a hard charging Matinee Dragon.  It was one of four wins on the program for Morgan.  George Dennis had a trainer/driver double.    Wednesday's (September 23) program at Harrington Raceway will support the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition as horse bracelets and other merchandise with be made available for purchase in the paddock and grandstand lobby areas. All proceeds will go to benefit the DBCC. The seventh race on the 12 race program was named in the DBCC's honor. To learn more about DBCC, please visit Matt Sparacino

Panocchio (No Pan Intended) scored another Open Pace harness racing victory on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The defending Pacer and Horse of the Year at the Spa is having another terrific season and was the co-favorite in Saturday's feature. Gerry Mattison moved the versatile Panocchio out to the early lead and the five year old never had an anxious moment while wiring the field in 1:51.1. One of the winners in a three horse dead heat last weekend, Panocchio scored for the sixth time in the $18,000 local Open this year as he held off pocket-sitting Hot Roddy (Bruce Aldrich Jr), who finished second in his first try in the feature, and Burkentine Hanover (Stephane Bouchard), one of the trio of winners in last Saturday's Open, who earned the show spot. Panocchio's quest to repeat as Pacer of the Year and perhaps Horse of the Year was furthered by registering his fastest score thus far this season for co-owners Emile Johnson Jr. and trainer Jimmy Mattison. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at the Spa with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella  

Ontario's talented two-year-olds put on an impressive show at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening as the top 20 point earners in each division were whittled down to 10 in Grassroots Semi-Final action. Muscles For Life kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes post season, sprinting down the stretch to a 1:57.3 personal best in the first trotting colt Semi-Final. The Muscle Mass son and driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON bested Money Mission and United BI by two and three-quarter lengths to secure their spot in next weekend's Grassroots Championship. "He was a little late getting started, he made a few mistakes and then we had to put the hopples on him," said trainer Gregg McNair about Muscles For Life, who finished the regular season with one win, one second, one fourth and one eighth in four outings. "He's raced pretty good every time. He's got a lot of trot. "He got a good trip, but he's got fairly good talent," added the Guelph resident, who trains Muscles For Life for Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI. Fourth and fifth-place finishers Cool Creek Victory and Muscle Time also advanced to the Sept. 26 Grassroots Championship. Muscles For Life The first trotting filly Semi-Final was the first of three captured by Trevor Henry, who is in a fight for top spot in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver standings with Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion. Henry teamed Myretirementticket to a 1:57.1 personal best ahead of fan favourite and division point leader Magical Steph and Jangone. Myretirementticket hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of her rivals. "She's getting better every week," said Henry. "She does everything right, she's a sweetheart to drive." Henry engineered the win for Eli Wagler of Ingersoll, ON who bred, owns and trains the daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and Shine Again. Very Classy and Dayliner rounded out the qualifiers for the Championship. Myretirementticket Arthur, ON resident Henry faces a tough choice for the Championship, as he also piloted the winner of the second trotting filly division. Traviata cruised home a four and one-half length winner; matching Myretirementticket's 1:57.1 clocking. The fan favourite bested Mariana, Liseberg, Malia and Tough Affair. "She's pretty nice too, it's going to be tough to be pick," said the reinsman, who engineered the Kadabra daughter's fourth straight victory for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman of Allentown, NJ and Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON. Traviata Henry's third win came with pacing filly St Lads Smokin Hot, who powered down the stretch to a 1:53.1 personal best. Noone To Depend On finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second, favourite and division point leader Sports Expert was third, with Selling The Dream and Miss Print completing the top five. Puslinch, ON resident Richard Moreau trains St Lads Smokin Hot for Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-On-The Lake, ON. The No Pan Intended daughter finished the regular season with a pair of wins - both over half-mile ovals - two thirds and one sixth in five starts. St Lads Smokin Hot Gerries Sport captured the first pacing colt Semi-Final with a 1:53 personal best for trainer Robert Robinson and owner-breeder Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, QC. The Mach Three son and driver Rick Zeron of Oakville, ON controlled the tempo for much of the race and cruised home three and one-quarter length winners over Print Media, Blue Zombie, Bingo Ingo, and division point leader St Lads Moonwalk. "He's a nice little colt," said Zeron. "He had a little confusion when we first started going with him so we were pretty conservative with him and let him pace into where he wanted to be to get his form going, and as the summer went on he's gotten smarter and better." Gerries Sport Moffat, ON resident Jack Moiseyev piloted two Semi-Final winners, starting with pacing filly Mayhem Seelster in Race 8. The fan favourites pressed the pace in the outer lane through much of the mile before getting up for a one-half length win in a personal best 1:53. Im In Luv, Buttermilk Hanover, pacesetter Southwind Shania and No Shadows completed the top five. Moiseyev engineered the win for trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Cambridge, ON and owner Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton, ON. The Mach Three miss was a two-time winner and one-time runner-up in three regular season Grassroots starts. Mayhem Seelster One race later Moiseyev was back in the winner's circle with the only division point leader to add a Semi-Final win to their resume. Trotting colt Georgies Pockets sprinted from seventh to first through the final quarter, reaching the finish in 1:58.4, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Dynamic Edge and Willyorwonthe. Gonna Fly and Asterix finished fourth and fifth. Mike Vanderkemp of Hillsburgh, ON conditions Georgies Pockets for owner-breeder M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. In five regular season starts the Muscle Mass son posted an impressive record of three wins and two seconds to top the freshman trotting colt division. Georgies Pockets The last of the Grassroots Semi-Final trophies went home with Kokanee Seelster, who prevailed in the second pacing colt split. The Camluck colt and driver Phil Hudon of Guelph controlled the temp from start to finish, reaching the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Tango Star in 1:53. Favourite King Of Sports was third, just ahead of Azul Pool and Only Half Bad. Anthony Montini of Acton, ON trains Kokanee Seelster for Ming Siu of Richmond, BC and Edmund Lui of Parkhill, ON. The pacer posted two wins and one second in three regular season Grassroots starts. Kokanee Seelster The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will now begin preparations for next Saturday's (Sept. 26) $50,000 Grassroots Championships. They will be joined by their three-year-old peers, who will wage their Semi-Final battles at Mohawk on Friday, Sept. 18. The sophomores are featured in Races 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11 on the program, which gets under way at 7:25 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

SEPT. 9, 2015 - Southwind Shania clocked the quickest mile in a quartet of harness racing Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening. In rein to Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry, favourite Southwind Shania fired straight to the front from Post 4 and sailed through fractions of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:26.3 on her way to a 1:56.3 clocking. Dancin Inthe Nude and Northern Prima were three lengths back in second and third. "Hopefully tonight is a step in the right direction for her," said trainer Casie Coleman. "She trained down like a real good filly, I thought like a Gold and maybe open calibre, and things haven't panned out. She's been disappointing so far." Coleman shares ownership of Southwind Shania with her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, ON, Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL and Steve Calhoun of Chatham, ON. Wednesday's victory was the Sportswriter daughter's first in nine starts, with three of them coming in the Grassroots program and two at the Gold Series level. With just one win, one third and one fourth in her Grassroots appearances, Southwind Shania finished short of the cut off for the Grassroots post season. Coleman said the filly will have an opportunity to maintain her forward progress in a few more overnight events before being sold in November. "She is a nice filly, but I don't believe Grand Circuit, so she will be sold in Harrisburg," said the Cambridge resident. Driver Trevor Henry also piloted St Lads Smokin Hot to a win in the final Grassroots division of the evening. Also starting from Post 4, Henry settled St Lads Smokin Hot into third as Noone To Depend On rolled out to a :28.3 opening quarter. Heading for the :58.2 half Henry tipped the fan favourite into the outer lane and St Lads Smokin Hot had taken control before the 1:27.3 three-quarters. From there the filly cruised home to a two length victory in 1:57.2, besting Endless Legacy and Buttermilk Hanover. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON conditions St Lads Smokin Hot for Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON. In five Grassroots starts the No Pan Intended daughter posted two wins, two thirds and one sixth for a point total of 127, good enough for fifth spot in the division standings. "She's a big filly that only gives as much as she has to, but she is game and they will know she is there next week," said Henry, who will steer the filly in one of two $20,000 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 17. The largest margin of victory on the evening went to Divas Image, who hit the wire 10 and one-half lengths ahead of the third division field in a sharp 1:56.4. Stonebridge Pearl and Tempus Seelster followed the fan favourite down the stretch into second and third. Guelph, ON resident Paul MacDonell crafted the win, the filly's second of the season, for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and his partners Bannon Stables of Napanee, ON and Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB. The partners also bred and raised the daughter of Bettor's Delight and Rocknroll Diva. "She is a real sweetheart of a filly that we bred because we really believed in her mother, but she was injured badly at two," explained Steacy. "Although she's small, Diva has a great gait and lots of brains," the trainer continued. "We have raced her from off the pace in most of her races and I think it has allowed her to develop into a very nice filly who should go into the Semi-final very brave." Divas Image finished the regular season with one win, two seconds, two thirds and one fifth in six Grassroots starts, earning 129 points and putting her in fourth spot in the standings. The other $18,000 Grassroots division was captured by Im In Luv who tipped out of the outer lane turning for home and paced under the wire a one length victor in 1:58.1. Pocket-sitter Glorious Delight finished second and the leader of the outer lane parade, Specialcelebration, finished third. "She got a perfect trip and she responded well," said Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson, who guided the filly to her second Grassroots victory. "Semi-finals next." Jamieson's father Carl of Rockwood, ON trains Im In Luv and shares ownership of the Badlands Hanover daughter with Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON and George Harrison of Preston, England. In six Grassroots outings the filly posted two wins, two fourths and two fifths for a total of 126 points and sixth spot in the standings. Wednesday's event completed the regular season events for all eight Grassroots divisions. The top 20 point earners from each two-year-old division will battle in Semi-final action at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 17 and the three-year-olds on Sept. 18. The top five finishers from each Semi-final will make their way back to Mohawk on Sept. 26 for the Grassroots Championships. The Ontario Sires Stakes program makes one more stop at Grand River Raceway, a Gold leg for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Monday, Sept. 21. Ontario Horse Racing

Panocchio (No Pan Intended) prevailed in the Open Pace on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway for the fourth time this season. The track's defending Horse of the Year, Panocchio was the 9-5 second choice in the wagering in Saturday's feature and driver Gerry Mattison powered the star pacer out to the early lead in a sizzling 26.2 opening quarter. The fractions stayed fast for the Jimmy Mattison-trainee who cruised through a half in 55.3 before clicking off three quarters in 1:23.3. Panocchio, as he so often does, dug in when briefly confronted and paced away to score in 1:51.2. Longshot Martial Bliss (Jim Devaux) sat the pocket behind the winner and finished a strong second while Jin Dandy (Austin Siegelman) came on for third. It was the 30th victory in 71 career starts for Panocchio who paid $5.90 to win. The exacta in the $18,000 Open returned $66 while the triple came back $278. Panocchio is co-owned by Emile Johnson Jr and trainer Jimmy Mattison. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga beginning at 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

Dublin, Ireland – New Zealander Dexter Dunn made his presence known in Ireland and the UK as the visiting harness racing reinsman won three races at Portmarnock Raceway Saturday. In addition, there were two track records set at Portmarnock Saturday. One in an elimination division of the Vincent Delaney Memorial for two-year-old pacers and the other in an elimination division of the Oakwood Stud 3YO Derby. It didn’t take Dexter Dunn long to find the winner’s circle at Portmarnock, it came in the second race on the program, a one and half mile handicap trot with the six-year-old French mare, Valse De Fourches. “She was on the bit,” Dunn said, “and she did all the work.” Getting right to the front, Valse De Fourches led every step of the way, scoring by two lengths in 3:09.5. Sired by Ipson De Mormal, Valse De Fourches is trained and owned by Sean Kane. “It’s so great to be here,” Dunn said. “This first race was so easy as she is a good mare.” New Zealand trainer Cran Dalgety put it best. “He has silk hands,” Dalgety said of Dexter Dunn. “Dexter is use to these extra distance races. It looked like he just held the mare together and Dexter put a little extra polish on her.” Dunn then added his second straight win with Carmel Camden in the first of two elimination divisions of the Oakwood Stud eliminations The filly division, going one and one-half miles, saw Dunn and Carmel Camden wire the field with ease in 3:06.7, romping by six open lengths. The daughter of No Pan Intended is trained and co-owned by James Delaney with his brother Derek. “This was the first time that she (Carmel Camden) ever went an extra distance race and Dexter did great with her.” James Delaney said. “If she races like that tomorrow in the final for Dexter we will be in the hunt for sure.” The third win on the day for Dexter Dunn came in the last race, the Fletcher Metals FFA Pace. Dunn once again sent the top pacer Dean’s Alibi to the front and never looked back, wiring the field in 1:56.8. Sitting on his back the entire mile was the grey, Oakwood Outlaw with USA’s George Brennan in the bike but they could not keep up in the stretch as Dean’s Alibi won with ease by four lengths. One of the top three-year-old pacers in Great Britain, Rewrite History, rewrote another track record as he won his division of the Oakwood Stud for colts at one and one-half miles in 3:03.8. Driven by Gordon Gilvear, Rewrite History also wired the field. The son of Sportswriter is trained by John Gilvear and is owned by Steven Gilvear. John and Steven are brothers and Gordon is John's son. The first track record on the day was in the first of three eliminations divisions of the Vincent Delaney Memorial. The colt division saw Miraculous and driver Patrick Kane, Jr. sit patiently in third place as Meadowbranch Titus (John Richardson) cut the mile and Party At The Spa (Alan Haythornthwaite) was in second place. The action picked up at the three-quarter mile marker as Haythornthwaite came first-over with Party At The Spa and Miraculous followed the outside flow, then tipped three-wide on the turn and then was able to collar both horses in the stretch to win by a half-length in 2:00.9. That clocking rewrote the track and stakes record of 2:01.7 set last year by the top colt, Titanium. Miraculous is sired by Arts Conquest and is trained by Sally Teebook and owned by Amie Flower. The second colt division saw the impressive Newtown Rock and driver Alan Wallace, Jr. wire the field by a half-length in 2:01. The filly elimination division was a hotly contested battle between race favorite Gabriela Camden (Hugh Menzies) and Meadowbranch Queen (John Richardson). Gabriella Camden cut most of the mile but in the backstretch the second time, Meadowbranch Queen moved to the lead but broke stride on the final turn for home. Alertly driver John Richardson was able to get his filly back on stride and she went on to win by a half-length in 2:04.9. Meadowbranch Queen is sired by Kikikolt and is trained by Wiliam Flanagan for the Meadowbranch Stable. Track Notes: On a sad note it was reported this afternoon that the top three-year-old pacer, Titanium, was put down this morning. The 2014 winner of the Vincent Delaney Memorial and the all-time fastest three-year-old in the UK, had an emergency colic operation and did not survive.  Saturday attendance was the best in track history with a reported crowd of over 1,500 in attendance. Sunday’s post time for the 12 race program is 2:00 pm and featured will not only be the finals of both the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial and the Oakwood Stud 3YO Derby, but the final Inter-Dominion heat to decide who will represent the UK/Ireland in Australia. Visiting guest announcer, Hall of Famer Roger Huston of the USA, will call his 170,000th career race Sunday at Portmarnock. By Steven Wolf

Panocchio (No Pan Intended) won his third Open Pace of the season at the harness racing meeting at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday night. The Jimmy Mattison trainee is the Spa's defending Horse of the Year and looked every bit the part in Saturday's $18,000 feature. Driver Gerry Mattison moved Panocchio out to the early lead and got a soft opening half in 57.3. The five year old pacer fended off the challenge from the first over favorite Musselsfrmbrussels (Billy Dobson) while sprinting his final half in 55.2 to prevail in 1:53 . It was the fifth victory in twelve seasonal tries for Panocchio who scored sixteen wins in 2014. Pocket sitting Ser Jon (Brian Cross) finished as the runner up to Panocchio on Saturday night while Musselsfrmbrussels held on for third. Panocchio returned $7.00 to win and led an exacta that paid $44.00 and triple that came back $240.00. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Sunday with a matinee beginning at 12:45pm. Melissa Simser

Panocchio (No Pan Intended) closed up the passing lane to win the Saturday night harness racing open pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The defending Horse of the Year at the Spa, Panocchio worked hard to secure a pocket trip despite sizzling early fractions. RU Ready To Rock (Bruce Aldrich Jr) raced parked to the quarter in 26 seconds flat before bypassing Panocchio to become the race's frontrunner. Enduring multiple challenges along the way, RU Ready To Rock held firm before getting edged at the wire by the Jimmy Mattison-trained Panocchio. The mile and a 1/16 time was 1:58.4 after the first mile was paced in 1:51.2. Panocchio, who bested runner up RU Ready To Rock by just a half length, was the race's 6-5 public choice and led an exacta that paid $22.60 and a triple that came back $172.50 with Memory Game (Frank Coppola Jr) finishing third. It was the second win in the local Open thus far this year for Panocchio who was piloted to the victory by Gerry Mattison. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at the Spa with a matinee beginning at 12:45pm. Mike Sardella  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Jason and Susan Skinner's BJ's Sweetheart ($6.20, Tony Morgan) recorded her fifth win of the year Tuesday in the harness racing featured $10,000 conditioned pace for mares at Harrington Raceway in 1:54.2. The 5-year-old No Pan Intended mare held off all comers in a wire-to-wire score over favorite A La Notte Hanover and Outrageous Delight N. Bj's Sweetheart is no stranger to the winner's circle as she notched her 21st career win in just 67 lifetime starts for trainer Jason Skinner. Driver George Dennis had three wins on the program. Jim Morand, Vince Copeland and Victor Kirby each had a driving double. Wednesday's program will feature a $5,000 guaranteed pool pick four (races 3-6), buoyed by an $1,395 carryover from Tuesday. Matthew Sparacino    

Defending Horse of the Year Panocchio (No Pan Intended) scored his first local Open win of the harness racing season on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Jimmy Mattison-trained five year old was the Spa's standout last year and wound up earning the awards for top pacer and horse of the year. Following a fourth place finish in his return to Saratoga last week, Panocchio showed early speed when bet down to be the $18,000 Open's 3-5 public choice on Saturday night. Driver Gerry Mattison got a soft second quarter for the star pacer en route to a first half in 57.3. From there, Panocchio would not be denied, holding off challenges from Talking Blues (Jim Devaux) and Upfront Countryboy (Bruce Aldrich Jr) in the stretch to secure his third win of the '15 campaign after prevailing in Pompano's Open twice this spring. Panocchio moved his career earnings to over the $200,000 mark with the Saturday score which came in 1:54.3. Talking Blues completed the $13.80 exacta while the triple with Upfront Countryboy third came back $51.00 Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at the Spa with a matinee beginning at 12:45pm. Mike Sardella  

Pompano Beach, FL...April 5, 2015...In a classic harness racing battle to the wire, Panocchio, driven by Bruce Ranger, held on to score a narrow decision in Pompano Park's $13,000 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night--ironically, by a "nose!" The five year-old altered son of No Pan Intended, owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, scored his first win of the season in his second start, pinning the narrow defeat on Duc Dorleans and Donald Dupont in 1:50.4. Neptune, with Aaron Byron handling the lines, was a fast closing third, a length away, while E Z Noah finished fourth in his second start of the 2015 seaosn. Northern Companion, last in the early stages of the event, rallied for fifth in the septet. At the outset, Duc Dorleans, leaving from post four, was on the engine along with Panocchio, post six, with the latter reaching the top spot prior to the opening panel in a sharp :26.2. A well rated :29.1 breather in quarter two brought Panocchio half way through the mile in :55.3 but Ranger revved up Panocchio on the backside as E Z Noah began his sprint, moving to the saddle pad of the leader around the final bend with three-quarters on the board in 1:23. In the lane, Panocchio did sprint clear of E Z Noah, allowing Duc Dorleans some room to roan late and the "Duc" began gnawing into Panocchio's lead, these two hitting the wire in "it could go either way" finish. In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger said, "Man, I didn't know who got it! Yes, my horse went a great mile, especially considering it was only his second start...but so did Duc Dorleans. When (John) MacDonald's horse (E Z Noah) made his bid, we had already began revving up because Panocchio can brush hard a long way--well, tonight he came home in :55.1. He kinda brushed the whole mile! Gotta give credit to Jim and Vicki (Mattison) who are so wonderfully patient with their horses. Their care is impeccable and always give the driver an opportunity to win!" The victory was the 25th lifetime for Panocchio in only 55 lifetime starts, sending his career bankroll to $181,145 to go along with his mark of 1:49.3. As 9 to 5 second choice on the tote-board, Panocchio paid $5.60 to his faithful followers. In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 event, Hurricane Howard was a gate to wire winner in a new lifetime best effort of 1:51.2 for Tom Sells keying a $1,386.06 payoff for the 20 cent consolation ticket. With four tickets out on the 5-6-4-10-1 combo, the carryover for Pompano's special Easter Sunday program is edging close to $100,000--$98,024 to be exact. Post time is 7:30 for the Easter program. by John Berry for Pompano Park.

After closing out his 2014 campaign in style at Yonkers, Pancetta has returned to California for harness racing trainer Lino Pacheco and will make his seasonal debut in Saturdays featured Open Pace. The 6-year-old son of No Pan Intended races for Richard Morita and David Yamada and will be guided by Luke Plano, who has gone many a winning mile with the pacer. A 1:51 1/5 winner at Pocono Downs two years ago, a first-place check on Saturday would put Pancetta at the $400,000 earnings plateau. He got back here in early November and everything has been on schedule, Pacheco related. He had an easy qualifier with Jen (Sabot), then picked it up nicely in last weeks qualifier with Luke, who said he was very sharp. Pancettas most recent victory came in mid-October over the half-mile Yonkers oval, getting the job done from the difficult No. 7 post while racing against some of the best pacers on the grounds. He can go from anywhere and do anything you ask, Pacheco noted. Thats one of the things that makes him such a tough horse. Hes small, but hes got a very big heart and hes one of the best weve ever had at the barn. Pancetta will leave from the rail Saturday night while taking on a pretty tough group, including the streaking A Real Miracle, and will be spotting his rivals the edge when it comes to recent activity. When asked for a prediction, Pacheco was very diplomatic. Lets let the horse speak for himself, he said. Duly noted. Open Pace brings out A Real Miracle A Real Miracle, who has posed for pictures following four of his last five appearances; gets top billing in Saturday nights featured Open Pace at Cal Expo. There will be 10 races with a first post of 6:40 p.m. The headliner is set to go as the third event on the card with A Real Miracle squaring off against Pancetta, China King, Windsong Jack J C Onthebeach. A Real Miracle is a 5-year-old homebred son of Real Desire out of the Givemewhatineed mare I Need A Miracle who races for Junior Wilkinson, Billie Schwartz and Ivan Axelrod with Wilkinson the conditioner and James Kennedy in the sulky. The razor-sharp performer comes into this assignment eyeing his fourth straight trip to the winners circle, the first two with Luke Plano and most recently with Kennedy at the helm. In his most recent outing at the head of the class, A Real Miracle sat last in the compact field for a half, rallied second-over on the final bend and then ignited when the question was asked to be up a neck over favored Windsong Jack while lowering his mark to 1:51 2/5 in the process. Windsong Jack is a 5-year-old son of Santanna Blue Chip who was making his first start of the year in that February 14 affair and lost a heartbreaker after carving out all the fractions. Gene Vallandingham trains for Little Bapa LLC with Chip Lackey handling the lines. ********* This week finds the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, February 20-22. By Mark Ratzky        

TORONTO, January 23 - The first two stake finals of 2015 took place Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack and it was the Sylvain Filion show. The veteran harness racing reinsman could be poised for another big year, as he took home both the $45,000 Snowshoe Series and $40,000 Blizzard Series finales. The Snowshoe Series final appeared to be wide-open on paper, as seven different horses won divisions during the first two legs. Kindofabigdeal and Filion came into Friday's final as the most consistent horse in the ten-horse field and left with another big effort. The Richard Moreau trainee got the cue to leave hard from Filion and sprinted out to the quick lead, but was quickly challenged for the front by A Boy Named Suuzz. Filion allowed the outside challenger to clear and got a perfect two-hole trip for Kindofabigdeal. Kindofabigdeal sat patiently in the pocket until Filion made his move at the top of the lane. In the stretch, Kindofabigdeal overtook the lead by the eighth-pole and paced away to win in 1:53.3. Bad Bug came on late to make it close and finish second by half a length, while A Boy Named Suuzz held on to hit the board in third. A four-year-old son of No Pan Intended, Kindofabigdeal has been on a roll over the last few months at Woodbine, but has recently been unable to come through in series finals. The Moreau trainee won a leg of the Autumn Series, but finished second in the November final. Last month, Kindofabigdeal won the opening two legs of the Valedictory, but finished third as the favourite in the Boxing Day finale. The series final victory Friday gives the pacer seven career wins from 13 starts and pushes his bankroll over $88,000 for owner Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc. Kindofabigdeal paid $5.70. Kindofabigdeal In the Blizzard Series final, heavy favourite Artistic Fusion completed the series sweep with a 1:54.4 victory. Trained by Joe Agostino, Artistic Fusion and Filion got away in fourth and came first up down the backstretch to challenge the leader A Fearless Affair. Those two mares would battle side-by-side past the three-quarter pole in 1:25.2, but Artistic Fusion was too much to handle for A Fearless Affair in the lane. Artistic Fusion wasted no time leaving her rivals behind and cruised home to win by 2 ¾ lengths. Badlands Love got up for second, while A Fearless Affair dug in to finish third. A four-year-old daughter of Artistic Fella, Artistic Fusion has been firing on all cylinders over the last few months in series action. The Agostino trainee won the Autumn Series final in November, finished second in the Niagara Series final on Boxing Day and has now swept the Blizzard Series. Artistic Fusion surpassed the $100,000 mark in career earnings with her eighth career win Friday night for owner Mike Foote. She returned $2.60 to win. Artistic Fusion Mark McKelvie

Toronto, ON --- The stage is set for the first two stakes finals of 2015 this Friday (Jan. 23) at Woodbine Racetrack. The $45,000 Snowshoe Series and the $40,000 Blizzard Series finals have been carded as races six and nine on Friday’s 11-race harness racing card. The Snowshoe for 3- and 4-year-old pacers featured seven divisions over the opening two legs and saw seven different winners prevail. All seven winners will return to make up a wide-open ten-horse series finale. Four of the seven winners, Ramblingamblinman (post one, Rick Zeron), Kindofabigdeal (post four, Sylvain Filion), A Boy Named Suuzzz (post five, Jonathan Drury) and P L Heavenly (post 10, Anthony MacDonald), also had a second place finish in a separate leg. The other three division winners were Vegas Rich (post two, Paul MacDonell), Decisive Destiny (post three, Trevor Henry) and Whistle Jimmy K (post eight, Doug McNair). The Richard Moreau trainee Kindofabigdeal has been a top performer on the stakes series scene over the last few months. The 4-year-old son of No Pan Intended won a leg and finished second in the final of the Ontario Sired Autumn Series. The gelding followed that up by capturing the first two legs of the Valedictory, but finished third in the final on Boxing Day. The connections of Kindofabigdeal will hope the third time is the charm to capture a series title, but they will have their hands full with a stack of challengers, including the speedy Ramblingamblinman. Trained by Rick Zeron, Ramblingamblinman joined the Zeron barn in late November and turned in an eye-catching career best performance of 1:51.4 in a non-winners of two event on Dec. 15. The 4-year-old son of Lis Mara finished second in the opening Snowshoe leg and followed that up with a 5-1/4 length victory in round two. The second leg victory was the largest margin of victory in the first two rounds of the series. The Snowshoe Series was first staged in 1978 and has been a launching pad for successful older horses, including Modern Legend, last year’s Canadian Pacing Derby champion, who won the series back in 2012. Unlike the Snowshoe, the Blizzard Series for 3- and 4-year-old pacing fillies and mares has been dominated by one horse. Artistic Fusion (post five, Sylvain Filion) has stamped herself as the horse to beat in the ten-horse final, after winning in both of the first two legs, including a more than seven length victory in round one. The Joe Agostino trainee won the Ontario Sired Autumn Series final on Nov. 28 and finished second to Witch Dali in the Niagara Series final on Boxing Day. A 4-year-old daughter of Artistic Fella, Artistic Fusion won five of 19 starts last year and will look to improve to three for three in 2015 by sweeping the Blizzard Series for owner Mike Foote. Mappos Moenhay (post three, Mike Saftic), A Fearless Affair (post eight, Simon Allard) and Deuces For Charity (post nine, Paul MacDonell) were all division winners that also finished second in another leg and will be looking to block the broom of Artistic Fusion. The Blizzard Series was first raced in 1980 and has been won by several mares that went on to be Open class competitors, including Art's Secret (1998) and Numeric Hanover (2003). In order to be eligible to both the Snowshoe and Blizzard Series, the 3- and 4-year-olds had to be non-winners of two races or C$30,000 lifetime as of Oct. 31, 2014. Post time for Friday night’s card is 7:25 p.m. Here are the complete fields for Friday’s stakes finals. Race 6: Snowshoe Series Final–Purse: C$45,000 Post-Horse-Driver 1. Ramblingamblinman–Rick Zeron 2. Vegas Rich–Paul MacDonell 3. Decisive Destiny–Trevor Henry 4. Kindofabigdeal–Sylvain Filion 5. A Boy Named Suuzz–Jonathan Drury 6. Bad Bug–James MacDonald 7. American Island–Trevor Henry 8. Whistle Jimmy K–Doug McNair 9. Ys Lotus–Simon Allard 10. P L Heavenly–Anthony MacDonald AE: Newbie–Randy Waples Race 9: Blizzard Series Final–Purse: C$40,000 Post-Horse-Driver 1. P L Hurricane–Chris Christoforou 2. Onyourmarknatava–Rick Zeron 3. Mappos Moenhay–Mike Saftic  4. Badlands Love–Sylvain Filion 5. Artistic Fusion–Sylvain Filion 6. Doc's Hollywood–Phil Hudon 7. Bettim Jenny–Roger Mayotte 8. A Fearless Affair–Simon Allard 9. Deuces For Charity–Paul MacDonell 10. All The Ladies–James MacDonald Woodbine Entertainment Group

TORONTO, January 9 - Round one of the Snowshoe Series continued winter series action Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Four $16,000 divisions of the series for three and four-year-old pacers that were non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014 were contested Friday evening. In the first division, Vegas Rich went gate to wire to pick up the victory as the second choice on the board. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Vegas Rich cut the mile and set fractions of :28.4, :58.4 and 1:27, before pacing home in :28.3 to score a 1 ¾ length victory in 1:55.3. P L Heavenly, the heavy 3/5 favourite, was first up around the final turn, but had to settle for second. Dragon Seelster finished third. A four-year-old son of Million Dollar Cam, Vegas Rich is trained by David Gibson, who shares ownership with David Goodrow Stable and Glenn Traver, and is now one for one this year. Vegas Rich now has three career victories and pushes his bankroll to over $40,000 with the victory Friday night. He returned $6.40 to win. Kindofabigdeal did not disappoint as the 1/5 favourite and won the second division in 1:56. Also driven by Filion, Kindofabigdeal picked up second over cover around the final turn and capitalized off that trip to pace by his rivals and score a three-quarters of a length victory over Ramblingamblinman. Newbie finished in the show spot. A four-year-old son of No Pan Intended, Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc and is now one for one in 2015. Last season, Kindofabigdeal won five of 10 starts and banked more than $53,000. Friday night's victory pushes his career earnings over the $60,000 mark. Kindofabigdeal paid $2.70 to win. Another favourite delivered a victory in the third division, as Whistle Jimmy K picked up his fourth win in his last five starts. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Whistle Jimmy K got a two-hole trip and followed closely behind American Island until just before the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, American Island tried to hold off Whistle Jimmy K, but the favourite eventually pushed his way by in the final eighth to prevail over American Island by a length and a half in 1:55.4. Mittcent Van Gogh finished third. A four-year-old son of Mach Three, Whistle Jimmy K is trained by Ben Wallace and had won his final three starts of 2014 before finishing second last week in his 2015 debut. Whistle Jimmy K now has four career victories and earnings of over $26,000 for owners Brad Grant and Wallacestandardbreds Inc. A $2 win ticket returned $3.70. In the final division, Decisive Destiny and Trevor Henry scored an impressive victory in 1:55.2. A four-year-old son of American Ideal, Decisive Destiny got away sixth and was able to get in the outer flow on the way to the half. Around the final turn, Decisive Destiny was third-over and just a little more than three lengths off the lead. In the stretch, Henry showed Decisive Destiny a clear path and he paced right by his rivals to record a 3 ½ length victory. A Boy Named Suuzz finished second, while Bad Bug got up for third. Decisive Destiny is trained by Shawn Robinson for Robert Hamather and was making his second start of 2015. Last year, the son of American Ideal won three of 20 starts for earnings of just under $40,000. Friday night's victory was his fourth career triumph and pushes his career bankroll over $47,000. Decisive Destiny paid $8.70 to win. The second leg of the Snowshoe Series will take place next Friday (January 16). Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications

TORONTO, December 19 - A long shot and a repeat winner prevailed in round two action of the Valedictory Series Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Two $15,000 divisions of eight starters were contested in the second leg of the three-week series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. In the first division, Verbalize and Roger Mayotte pulled off a 66-1 shocker in 1:53.1. American Island sprinted to the lead, but a parked out Major Deagan would over take him for the front at the opening quarter in :26.3. American Island wasted no time going right back to the lead in the second quarter and would carry the lead into the stretch after posting fractions of :54.3 and 1:23.1. In the stretch, the outer flow around the final turn would close in on American Island and Verbalize, who was seventh and third over at the three-quarter pole, had the most speed to sprint by them all to score a two length victory. Ransom Demand took the place spot, while Mittcent Van Gogh finished third. A son of Tell All, Verbalize is trained by Edward Galinski for owner Ronald Dale Randall of Berlin Center, Ohio. Verbalize now has four career victories and four wins in 21 starts this season. The winner's share of the purse boosts his career earnings to over $23,000. Sent off as the longest shot on the board, Verbalize returned $134.40 to win. The second division featured a matchup between the two leg one winners Kindofabigdeal and Company Man. A showdown between the two never materialized, as Kindofabigdeal went straight to the front and never looked back. A son of No Pan Intended, Kindofabigdeal was put on the front by driver Sylvain Filion, while Company Man got away last and over 14 lengths from the lead. Kindofabigdeal posted fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24, before sprinting home in :28.2 to score a two length victory over Rural Art in 1:52.2. Company Man got into the outer flow down the backstretch and was third over around the final turn. The son of American Ideal paced a strong last quarter of :27.2 to finish third. Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. The three-year-old has now won five of nine starts this year in his first season racing. His bankroll currently sits at just under $50,000. Kindofabigdeal paid $4.50 to win. The top ten money earners from the first two legs to enter the final will contest the $35,000 Valedictory Series finale next Friday afternoon (December 26) at Woodbine. Post time for the Boxing Day card is 1 p.m. Live racing continues Saturday night with an 11-race card beginning at 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

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