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London, October 5, 2015 -- The newly-created Oktoberfest Classic Invitational Pace will go this Friday night at The Raceway in London, Ontario as part of the first ever Oktoberfest harness racing celebration which is happening at the Western Fair District over the course of the next two weekends. Six starters have been confirmed so far for the $50,000 event, including a pair of Molson Pace starters from this past May - Evenin Of Pleasure and Lets Drink On It. The latter is coming off a strong third-place finish behind State Treasure in this past weekend's $180,000 Dayton Derby. Joining the pair will be recent Little Brown Jug finalist Rockin In Heaven and this year's Wall Of Fame Pace winner at The Raceway Champagne Phil. Also confirmed are Push Back, a regular in the WEG Preferred ranks and local pacer Buckeroo who has twice been a winner in 1:50.2 this season at Mohawk. The race office will finalize the final two spots prior to Tuesday morning's draw. The Oktoberfest Classic is part of a fun-filled night that will include 850 Scratch N Win prize giveaways, The 'Dachshund Dash' weiner dog races, German food offerings and First Bet Is On Us and Wanna Drive teams both on hand. Each program purchase will also entitle customers to reduced admission into the Oktoberfest Beer Hall next door at the Western Fair District's Metroland Media Agriplex. For full event details, visit Greg Blanchard

London, Ontario, October 1, 2015 -- Trainer Mark Horner of St Marys, ON said he and other horsepeople are hoping The Raceway at The Western Fair District’s 2015-16 live harness racing meet can build on momentum achieved last season when overall and per race wagering were up nearly 20 per cent. “They’re really pushing the handle and getting the bet in the right place,” Horner said. Tuesday night (Oct. 6), racing will return to the London, ON half-miler and Horner said he couldn’t be happier his home track is re-opening. “It’s good for horseman in the western end (of Ontario),” Horner said of The Raceway, which is the signature track that covers that region. “The proximity is good and they treat everyone as fair as they can and the management works really hard… They try. I think they’re really interested in racing horses and that’s first and foremost for us.” The Raceway will feature live racing three days a week through 2015 with cards on Mondays and Tuesdays with a 6:15 p.m. first race post and Fridays with a 7:15 p.m. starting time. The plan currently calls for racing to be held four-days-a-week at The Raceway in 2016. Tuesday’s Opening Night card will feature customer appreciation draws, the track’s popular Survivor Handicapping Challenge and the opening of the Annex to preview some of the new food items that will be available for Monday night cards being dubbed Pub Night. The Friday, Oct. 9 card will feature the inaugural $50,000 Oktoberfest Classic Invitational Pace for the best local aged pacers and a long list of promotions, including German food offerings at the Top Of The Fair and Homestretch Grill, a special keg tapping ceremony with selected fans, a Dachshund Dash wiener dog race and 850 ‘scratch and win’ prizes with the purchase of a race program. As well, the First Bet Is On Us team will be site and the Wanna Ride team will give fans a chance to tour the oval in a two-seated jog cart. The Oktoberfest Classic is part of a larger Oktoberfest celebration being held at The Western Fair District for the first time. Raceway Manager Greg Blanchard said a new state-of-the-art video board should be placed and operational before the end of October. It’s part of some $1 million in renovation upgrades that will be made at The Raceway this year. Horner said The Raceway made big gains last meet by writing “quality cards and putting the best out there they can. It got the handle going in the right direction.” The trainer said he likes just about everything about The Raceway, including the convenience of the paddock and the talent of race caller Shannon “Sugar” Doyle, who spent the summer calling thoroughbreds at Fort Erie. “We missed Sugar in the summer,” Horner said. “He has really caught on there as a top-notch race-caller and I think he’s really helping the product. It shows and now people are following the races. It makes you feel good. Horner said he’s excited about Tuesday’s Opening Night for more reasons than a 30-minute proximity to his farm. “You’re busting around all summer to places that don’t seem to have the same following,” he said, adding there is a positive vibe at The Raceway these days. “Everything’s working in the right direction, everything’s going well. Important Dates this Fall at The Raceway: October 6 – Opening Night for Live Racing October 9 – Oktoberfest Classic October 12 – Thanksgiving Day Racing October 23 – Forest City Preview October 25 – Forest City Yearling Sale December 26 – Boxing Day Racing December 31 – New Years Eve Racing   Greg Blanchard Racing Manager 519-428-7203 (ext. 239)      

OCT. 2, 2015 - Woodbine Racetrack fans got a preview of next week's Super Final as the three-year-old pacing colts delivered a pair of impressive performances on Friday evening in the last regular season event on the Gold Series calendar. Six of the top 10 point earners lined up on the starting gate in the second $105,000 Gold division and six of the nine starters had their accelerators down early. Physicallyinclined and driver Paul MacDonell won the first battle, reaching the opening quarter in a snappy :25.3. The pair looked under threat from Go Daddy Go and fan favourite Reverend Hanover in the outer lane, but Go Daddy Go made a break that pushed Reverend Hanover into the middle of the racetrack and allowed MacDonell to sneak in a quick breather for his colt. Reverend Hanover caught Physicallyinclined just before the :54.1 half and led the field to a 1:22.3 three-quarters. As the colts squared up for the stretch drive, Guelph, ON resident MacDonell fired Physicallyinclined out of the pocket and the Mach Three son rocketed down the stretch to a one-half length win in 1:50.2. Reverend Hanover settled for second after his interrupted tour of the racetrack and Drachan Hanover was three lengths back in third. "He's a tough horse," said Dr. Ian Moore of Physicallyinclined. "We got him ready in a hurry, we had no choice really, he has nothing left after these two races." After posting a record of four wins and two seconds in his first seven starts this season, Physicallyinclined suffered an injury in mid-July that saw him miss two months of action on the Gold Series circuit. The colt requalified on Sept. 18 at Mohawk Racetrack and made his first start since the injury in a Sept. 25 overnight event at Mohawk, posting a 1:51.2 win. Tied for ninth in the division standings heading into the regular season finale, Physicallyinclined secured a berth in the Oct. 10 Super Final with Friday's win, his first in Gold Series action. "All the owners were up, so they were very pleased," said Dr. Moore, who conditions the North America Cup Consolation winner for Bruce McGean of Stewiacke, NS and Sterling Feener of Sydney, NS. "We're looking forward to next week." The Guelph, ON resident noted that Physicallyinclined had an easier tour around the Woodbine oval than a number of his peers and said he will have to be back at the top of his form for next Saturday's $250,000 Super Final test. "He should be fairly fresh, but Reverend Hanover is going to be fresh too. There are several good colts in that division, it's not going to be a cakewalk for anybody," said the trainer. "It will be a tough race, that's for sure." The sophomore pacing colts also delivered a thrilling finish in the first $105,000 division, with His Boy Elroy prevailing by one-half length over Mr Carrotts and Moonwriter in 1:52. Starting from Post 5, driver Mike Saftic settled His Boy Elroy into the fourth spot and watched as Sportsmanship rang up a :26.3 quarter and :55.3 half. Just after the halfway marker Saftic sent His Boy Elroy up the outside and the Jeremes Jet son was leading the charge up the outer lane at the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Shifting into high gear in the stretch, His Boy Elroy powered by the leaders to claim his first Gold Series trophy, adding it to the Grassroots hardware he won at Mohawk on July 31. Third in the Grassroots Championship at Mohawk on Sept. 26, His Boy Elroy is not eligible to the Super Final, but runner-up Mr Carrotts and pacesetter Sportsmanship both qualified for the lucrative post season. Campbellville, ON resident Saftic engineered His Boy Elroy's fifth win in 23 starts for trainer Jean Guy Belliveau of Cambridge, ON and owner Dan MacRae of Baddeck, NS. His Boy Elroy The top 10 point earners from all eight trotting and pacing divisions will spend the next eight days preparing for the $2 million Super Finals at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 10, and if Friday's regular season finale was any indication, fans are in for a night of outstanding racing. Ontario Horse Racing

OCT. 1, 2015 - Harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon says Tessa Seelster may not be the prettiest filly to watch on the racetrack, but when it comes to grit and heart the three-year-old pacing filly has no equal. "She's a very gutsy mare, because she almost died as a two-year-old," explained Rockwood, ON resident Baillargeon. "She was on the operating table for colic surgery and the small bowel ruptured so they had to sew it by hand, and the chance of her surviving was about slim and none." Not only did Tessa Seelster survive the surgery, she went on to race as two-year-old, posting two victories in seven starts, and on Thursday evening she captured her first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy in Gold Series action at Flamboro Downs. Starting from Post 3 in the first $105,000 division, driver Mario Baillargeon of Milton, ON settled Tessa Seelster into fourth as fan favourite Solar Sister fired off the starting gate to a :27.1 opening quarter. The resinman kept Tessa Seelster in fourth through the :56.1 half and then sent the daughter of Shadow Play up the outside, reaching the 1:24.4 three-quarters with a narrow lead. Tessa Seelster stayed game down the stretch, holding off Maplelea for a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.1. Capela was well behind the leaders in third. "The half-mile is not her best asset, and she still made it today, so I am very pleased with the result," said Baillargeon, who conditions the filly for Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, QC. "Very pleased with the result and looking forward to next week." Tessa Seelster and the other nine leading point earners from the five regular season Gold events will make their next start in the $250,000 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 10. "She will try her heart out anyway, because she's a very gutsy mare," noted Baillargeon. Among the fillies joining Tessa Seelster on the starting gate at Woodbine will be Thursday's other division winner, Glamour Seelster. With Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair in the race bike Glamour Seelster fired off the starting gate from Post 2 and landed third on the rail as fan favourite Wrangler Magic led the field to a :28.1 opening quarter. The pair continued to sit third as Wrangler Magic paced by the half in :57, then circled around the leaders to take command before the 1:25 three-quarters. From there Glamour Seelster cruised home a one and one-half length winner in 1:53, with Ms Mac N Cheese and Wrangler Magic crossing the finish line in her wake. "She's a high speed filly, she can pace as fast as any horse I've driven for a piece," said McNair. "She's getting better every week." The driver's father, Gregg McNair of Guelph, conditions Glamour Seelster for Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, MI. The win, her first in Gold Series action, improved the Jeremes Jet daughter's record to seven wins, one second and one third in 11 starts and boosted her earnings to $155,033. In addition to the sophomore pacing fillies' last regular season Gold event, Flamboro Downs also hosted the regular season finale for the two-year-old pacing colts on Thursday. Two-time Grassroots winner Continual Hanover made the move to the Gold Series level look easy, reeling in pacesetter Arsenic in the stretch to post a three-quarter length victory in 1:55.1. Fan favourite Nocturnal Bluechip was hot on Arsenic's heels in third. "He's always been right on the cusp of the Gold, but it was a bit easier to stay with the Grassroots," said driver Jody Jamieson of Continual Hanover. "Tonight he was real good, and dodged (division leaders) Voracity, Betting Line and Nvestment Bluechip, which is always good." Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON owns and trains Continual Hanover, who qualified for the freshman pacing colt Super Final with Thursday's victory. The Bettor's Delight colt will require a new driver for the Oct. 10 test as Jamieson is already committed to division point leader Nvestment Bluechip, but the Moffat, ON resident says the colt is a legitimate player in the season finale. "I think he's got a good chance with the right trip," said Jamieson of Continual Hanover's prospects. "He's peaking at the right time." In the second pacing colt division, Semi Automatic earned his second Gold trophy with an effortless six and one-half length score over New Talent and Cruise Patrol. The fan favourite and driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON hit the wire in 1:55. "Semi was great tonight. He has had a great year," said MacDonald of the Badlands Hanover son. "Tonight he was pacing great, drew well (Post 2), so I moved him to the front and he controlled the race and won pretty handy." MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Puslinch, ON and his partners Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL and J and T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY. The win bumped Semi Automatic into second spot in the division standings with 142 points from two wins, one second, one third and one fifth in the five regular season Gold events. The Gold Series regular season wraps up at Woodbine Racetrack on Friday, Oct. 2 with two $105,000 divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, and then the Toronto oval will welcome the best horses from each division for the $2 million Super Final Night on Oct. 10. Ontario Horse Racing

TORONTO, October 1 - Two-year-old trotter Moonlight Cocktail crossed the wire first in Thursday night's opening race at Woodbine Racetrack to kick off the Fall-Winter harness racing meet. Trained by John Bax, Moonlight Cocktail and driver Steve Byron stopped the timer in 2:00 to capture the $14,000 two-year-old trotting event. The first race Thursday was not only the opening race of the meet, but also the first leg of the brand new Pick-5 wager. A new addition to the Woodbine Standardbred wagering menu, the Pick-5 starts each evening in the first race and requires horseplayers to select the winner of the evening's first five races. The wager features a $0.20 minimum and a 15 per cent takeout. The inaugural Pick-5 Thursday generated a pool of $16,950 and a five out of five ticket returned $125.83 for a $0.20 wager. Live harness racing will take place every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the Woodbine Fall-Winter meet. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 1 - The Mohawk Race Office would like to advise horsepeople of changes to the qualifying schedule. Beginning next week, qualifiers will be held on Monday and Thursday mornings at Mohawk Racetrack. Following the qualifying session on Monday, October 12, the Monday qualifiers will be dropped and Thursday will become the lone qualifying day of the week. Qualifiers will remain at Mohawk Racetrack until further notice. The draw for Monday qualifiers will take place on Saturday mornings, while the draw for Thursday qualifiers will be held on Wednesdays. Here is the qualifying schedule for the month of October. Friday, October 2 - 10 a.m. Monday, October 5 - 10 a.m. Thursday, October 8 - 10 a.m. Monday, October 12 - 10 a.m. Thursday, October 15 - 10 a.m. Thursday, October 22 - 10 a.m. Thursday, October 29 - 10 a.m. Mark McKelvie

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway wrapped up its 12th live harness racing season on September 30. The track raced one extra day over 2014, but carded a total of seven fewer races in 2015. Despite this factor, total wagering on Grand River Raceway is up 36 percent, from $6.9 million in 2014 to $9.5 million this year. This figure represents an all-sources wagering increase of 38 percent per race over 2014. On-track handle saw a two percent increase in the amount wagered per race. "This wagering increase reflects successful efforts by Woodbine Entertainment Group as administrator of the Standardbred Alliance," explained Dr. Ted Clarke, General Manager of Grand River Raceway. "These efforts have provided an increase in the distribution of the racing signal and improved access to pertinent racing information on our website. "We also credit the continued support of owners and trainers entering horses at Grand River Raceway, committed efforts by the onsite staff to both produce and deliver our product, and most importantly, a both loyal and increasing customer base. Thank you to all involved," said Clarke. The 49-day meet featured many new and annual events, including the 25th anniversary edition of the track's marquee celebration, Industry Day. Fans wagered an event record handle of $312,548 during the afternoon card on August 3. New initiatives included the first annual Wiener Dog Races, showcased between the horse races on August 28. The 30 entrants drew a crowd which packed the tarmac, rivaling Industry Day proportions. In cooperation with the Hands On Horses Program, more than 600 people drove a Standardbred racehorse on the track during events such as the annual Open House, provincial Doors Open, and Wanna Drive nights. An ambitious renovation project which began prior to the season-opener will conclude this autumn. Racing guests enjoyed several upgraded amenities including painting, lighting, flooring and new furniture. The rejuvenation areas include the Simulcast Lounge, upper lobby, Wellington Room, Board Room, Captain's Quarters Dining Room, and Lighthouse Restaurant. A new Guest Care Counter (GCC) was featured in the main lobby, acting as an information hub on race nights. The GCC was just one component in an initiative to transform guest care at the facility throughout the year based on comprehensive research, development and staff training. The race season saw two new track records: Covert Operative trotted to a new best of 1:57 for 3-year-old geldings on July 15 and Semi Automatic set a track record and Canadian season's record of 1:53.4 for 2-year-old pacing geldings during his Battle Of Waterloo elimination division on July 27. Three drivers recorded career milestones at Grand River Raceway in 2015: Paul MacKenzie became the 28th winningest driver in the history of harness racing with his 8,000th win on June 3. Robert Shepherd notched win 2,500on June 8 and Gord McKnight reached the 1,000 marker on August 5. Driver Bob McClure of Elora topped the driver standings for the duration of the meet, and held off a late-closing Scott Coulter. McClure finished the season with 46 wins over Coulter's 43. McClure, 25 is currently third (for wins) in the national standings with 242 wins and $1.5 million in purse earnings. This is his first Grand River Raceway title. Richard Moreau of Puslinch took back-to-back training honours with 22 wins from 76 starts at Grand River Raceway - 13 wins better than his closest competitor. Moreau was the 2014 O'Brien Award-winner for top Canadian trainer, and is currently ranked number one in the nation for wins (192) and purse earnings ($2.5 million). During the shoulder season, Grand River Raceway continues to provide simulcast wagering seven days/nights a week. The track's Meetings & Events Services also operate year-round, offering unique rental spaces and amenities with complete catering options for business and social gatherings. The off-season special events line-up includes Musical Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre productions in December (of 2015), January, March, May, September, November and December (of 2016). A Zombie-Pitch (3-pitch) Tournament is slated for October 24 in the track's infield and the second annual Sno-Pitch Tournament will take place in early 2016. The 2016 live racing season is tentatively set to kick-off at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, June 1. Kelly Spencer

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 30 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced wagering numbers were up for the 2015 Mohawk Standardbred meet, which concluded on Tuesday, September 29. The 2015 Mohawk meet, which began on April 9, featured 118 race cards and an "all-sources" betting total of $181,432,431, an 18.9 per cent increase over 2014. The average per race handle of $138,603 showed a 4.2 per cent increase over the 2014 average of $132,958. The 2015 meet, which featured 16 more race dates than 2014, was highlighted by wagering increases on several of Mohawk's signature race dates. The Pepsi North America Cup card on Saturday, June 20 generated the highest-handle in North America Cup history, as $4,292,777 was wagered on the 15-race card. Wagering on the 2015 Pepsi North America Cup card was up 24.9 per cent in comparison to the 2014 edition. A crowd of over 11,000 helped raise the on track handle for the event 20.6 per cent. Canadian Trotting Classic night on Saturday, September 19 also saw an increase in wagering in 2015. A total of $2,664,628 was wagered on the Canadian Trotting Classic card, a 12.3 per cent increase in comparison to the 2014 total of $2,372,215. "We had another successful Mohawk meet," said Jamie Martin, Executive Vice-President of Racing. "We were pleased with our big race nights, which featured strong attendance and wagering numbers. Beginning the meet in April went well and we offered a high quality product to our customers and racing opportunities to our horsepeople over the course of the six-month meet." Sylvain Filion led all drivers in wins with 160 victories during the meet. Carmen Auciello, last year's leading trainer on the WEG Circuit, sent out 55 winners to lead all trainers. The Woodbine Fall-Winter Standardbred meet kicks-off on Thursday, October 1. Mark McKelvie

There were some new faces in the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening as the two-year-old trotting colts and three-year-old trotting fillies closed out their Gold Series regular season. After finishing second in three Gold Legs and third in the other, Will Take Charge finally found his way to the winner's circle in the second of three $70,000 trotting colt divisions. The Kadabra gelding and driver Paul MacDonell took command of the race past the half-way marker and cruised home four length winners in 1:57.2. Mass Balance was second and Midnight Toker finished third. "He just had second-itis," said trainer John Bax wryly. "He's been pretty good all along, just an easy on himself kind of horse, I can't really complain about him," continued the Campbellville, ON resident. "He kind of just does whatever you want and does it right." Bax shares ownership of the trotter with Gordon Wright of Charlotte, MI, Don Allensen of Wyoming, ON and John Hayes of Sharon, ON. In 10 starts Will Take Charge has tallied one win, four seconds, one third and $123,590. Tuesday's Gold win puts him in a tie for third in the division standings with 137 points. Will Take Charge will make his next start in the Oct. 10 Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack, and Bax is hoping the gelding's consistency carries on through the $250,000 post-season showdown. "One more start," said the trainer. "Hope it keeps going." In the first division, Tony Soprano moved to the top of the point standing with his third Gold Series win, touring the Mohawk oval in a personal best 1:56.2. Hall of Fame driver John Campbell guided the Kadabra son to the win for Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON and his partners Mardon Stables of Loretto, ON, Paradox Farm Inc. of Caledon East, ON and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. Dreamliner and Willyorwonthe rounded out the top three, more than 10 lengths behind Tony Soprano. The victory improved Tony Soprano's freshman record to three wins, one second and two thirds in nine starts and boosted his earnings to $161,430. He leads the parade of freshman trotting colts into the $250,000 Super Final with 187 points. The third trotting colt division saw Dunvegan Don earn his second Gold trophy, sailing along on the front end to a five and one-half length win in 1:58.1. Nofear Blue Chip and Dia Monde trotted into second and third. Doug McNair of Guelph, ON engineered the win for trainer Herbert Holland of Milton, ON and his partners Jim Fielding of Toronto, ON, Guy Polillo of Brantford, ON and Kevin McKinley of Holland Landing, ON. In seven starts Dunvegan Don has accumulated three wins and one third for earnings of $85,900. The Cornaro Dasolo son wrapped up the regular season in fifth spot with 115 points. In the first three-year-old trotting filly division, 2014 Grassroots Champion Second Sister garnered her first-ever Gold Series trophy with a 1:55.4 effort. Starting from Post 1, the Deweycheatumnhowe daughter and driver Rick Zeron of Oakville, ON tucked in behind fan favourite Muscle Baby Doll and stayed on that filly's heels as she moved into the outer lane heading for the halfway marker. After using Muscle Baby Doll as a wind break, Second Sister was able to power past the favourite in the stretch to a one and three-quarter length win. Muscle Baby Doll settled for second and pacesetter All That Sparkles was third. "She's been pretty consistent all year, but it was nice to win one," said trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON. Much like Will Take Charge, Second Sister had been close in the first four Gold Legs, posting two seconds, one third and one sixth-place result. Tuesday's win boosted her from sixth to third in the division standings with 115 points. Through all 13 of her sophomore starts the filly has two wins, four seconds, three thirds and earnings of $146,660. "She's just been a nice solid mare, doesn't do much wrong," said McNair, who conditions the filly for Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI . "Hope she draws kind of decent over at Woodbine, and go from there I guess." In spite of suffering her first defeat in Gold Series company Muscle Baby Doll remained atop the division standings with 175 points, followed by Elegant Serenity, who picked up her second Gold trophy with a 1:55 effort in the second division. The Kadabra daughter took command of the race heading for the half-way marker and stayed game to the wire, holding off Youre Majestic and Danielle Hall by one-half length. Roger Mayotte of Mississauga, ON trains and drives Elegant Serenity for owner-breeder Doug Millard of Woodstock. In 10 sophomore starts the daughter of former Ontario Sires Stakes star Elegantimage has tallied six wins, one second and two thirds for earnings of $356,665. In four Gold Series starts the filly posted two wins, one second and one fifth-place result for a total of 130 points. The top 10 point earners in all eight trotting and pacing divisions will now begin preparing their battle plans for the Oct. 10 Super Finals at Woodbine Racetrack, where a total of $2 million will be on the line. Ontario Horse Racing

Mohawk Racetrack hosted an Ontario Sires Stakes double header at the harness racing meeting on Monday night as the three-year-old trotting colt and two-year-old pacing filly Gold Series competitors wrapped up their regular season over the Campbellville oval. Last year's two-year-old trotting colt champion Dont Rush had captured one Grassroots and two Gold Series trophies heading into Monday's contest and the Infinitif son captured a fourth with a 1:54.4 effort that trainer Dustin Jones felt was his best of the campaign. "That was his best race of the year. He was first over off a slow half and trotted his last quarter in :27.4," said Jones. "I am real happy with his effort." From Post 3 Dont Rush and driver Chris Christoforou of Campbellville got away fifth and the fan favourites started to advance on pacesetter Hemi Seelster heading for the :58 half. Hemi Seelster continued to lead the field at the 1:26.3 three-quarters, with Dont Rush closing the gap on the outside, and when the pair straightened out for home they were separated by a neck. Hemi Seelster put up a fierce battle, but Dont Rush was able to find an extra gear, reaching the wire one-quarter length ahead of his rival. Caulfield finished three and three-quarter lengths behind the battling leaders in third. "He trotted his last half in :55 and change, " noted Waterdown, ON resident Jones, who shares ownership of Dont Rush with Greg Judson of Athens, ON. In 11 starts this season Dont Rush has posted four wins and two thirds for earnings of $161,116. Monday's win bumped him to the top of the division standings with 155 points. Dont Rush Rubber Duck finished the regular season the same way he started, capturing a Gold Series trophy with a first over effort. From Post 2, driver Jack Moiseyev settled Rubber Duck in fourth as Olympic Son rolled out to a :28 opening quarter. When fan favourite Luck O The Irish took over heading toward the :57 half Moiseyev sent Rubber Duck up the outside and the pair were just one-half length behind the pacesetter at the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Powering off the final turn Rubber Duck accelerated away to a four and one-quarter length victory in 1:54.4. Winning Wizard closed hard to grab second, leaving Luck O The Irish to settle for third. All three colts finished in the top 10 and will advance to the Oct. 10 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack. Moffat, ON resident Moiseyev engineered Rubber Duck's third win of the season for trainer Julie Walker of Carlisle, ON and owners Blair and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, AB. The Muscle Mass son also has one second, four thirds and earnings of $139,724 in 13 sophomore starts. Rubber Duck The other three-year-old trotting colt Gold division saw Setanta go gate-to-wire in 1:54.4 for his first-ever Ontario Sires Stakes victory. Milton, ON resident Steve Condren guided the Kadabra son to the one-half length victory over favourite Muscle Up The Goal and Stormont Wizard on behalf of trainer Alan Richardson of Kirkfield, ON and his partner Jeffery Ruch of Innisfil, ON. The win boosted Setanta from thirteenth to ninth in the division standings, earning him one of 10 spots in the $250,000 Super Final on Oct. 10. Setanta The two-year-old pacing filly divisions saw a pair of sharp front end performances laid down by division star L A Delight and relative newcomer Good Will Hanover. Starting from Post 6 in the first $105,000 division, L A Delight and driver Randy Waples of Milton took command of the race before the :56.4 half and never faced a challenge, cruising home one and one-half length winners in 1:53.3. Free Show was content to trail along behind L A Delight into second and Twin B Thong completed the top three. The victory was L A Delight's tenth straight, a win streak which started in a Grassroots division at Mohawk on July 9 and has extended through two Gold Legs, a leg and the final of the Whenuwishuponastar Series, divisions of the Eternal Camnation and Champlain Stakes, and the elimination and final of the Shes A Great Lady Stake. The Bettors Delight daughter is trained by Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON, who also bred and owns the winner of $579,335 in partnership with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON. L A Delight In the second freshman pacing filly division Good Will Hanover and driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON fired straight to the front from Post 4 and reeled off fractions of :27, :56.2 and 1:24.4 on their way to a three and one-quarter length victory in 1:52.3. Heavenly Hill and Maniana paced into second and third. "The owners are all up here. It's the first time they came up, so they're very happy," said Dr. Ian Moore, who conditions Good Will Hanover for GLB Stable of Lakeview, NS. "We're very pleased and we're looking forward to the Super Finals," added the Guelph resident. "She's the only one we have in any of the Finals this year." The win was the first in Gold Series action for Good Will Hanover, who captured a Grassroots division at Mohawk on Aug.24 and finished second in her Gold Series debut at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 7. In her other three starts, the Big Jim daughter posted a pair of overnight victories at Mohawk and finished second in the Champlain division captured by L A Delight. The feisty filly moved from fifteenth to eighth in the division standings with the win, and Moore is hoping she can deliver a strong effort in the Super Final in spite of the additional challenges she will face at Woodbine. "Those planes are pretty loud and we have to keep her plugged up so she hears nothing, so hopefully that won't become an issue,' said the trainer. "And I can time it so that I get here (Mohawk) say 25 minutes before we need to go out and just throw the harness on and go out, so she doesn't have time to get worked up. Well you can't do that at Woodbine, you've got to be there a little earlier because of the traffic obviously, so I don't know, we'll do what we can do and hopefully she won't tear herself apart. "She's got lots of energy and hopefully she'll conserve it for the race," he added. Good Will Hanover On Tuesday evening the two-year-old trotting colts and three-year-old trotting fillies will have their last opportunity to qualify for Super Final night. The trotters are featured in Races 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 on the Mohawk Racetrack program, which gets under way at 7:25 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

The following is a summary of local winning horses and/or harness racing people during the races on the date below. Sept 28th /2015 The top local horseman for Monday night at Grand River Raceway was Kyle Reibeling. Kyle was the trainer of Race 2 runner-up, Girls Come First, and the winner of Race 8, LMC Mass Oak. LMC Mass Oak is posting a solid rookie campaign with 4 wins and over $20,000 in purse money earned. The win was Kyle's 18th of the year. Kyle is a Drayton native but now resides in Campbellville. He had been training racehorses for over two decades and is now enjoying a career year. He is on pace to set new career highs of wins (26 in 1999) and purse money ($192,000 in 2005, currently at $176,000). Grand River Raceway's final night for the 2015 season will be this Wednesday, September 30th. Complete schedule info at . Kelly Spencer

SEPT. 27, 2015 - Adding trotting hopples to Devils Advocate's equipment bag paid immediate dividends for harness racing trainer Jack Darling and driver Ron Waples as the filly rocketed around Flamboro Downs to a track and Ontario Sires Stakes record during the Dundas oval's OSS Celebration on Sunday. In spite of a recall that delayed the start of the first $105,000 Gold division, Devils Advocate kept her mind on her job and led the field of two-year-old trotting fillies through fractions of :28.3, :58.1 and 1:28 on her way to the record setting 1:57.4 result. Magical Wonder finished three lengths behind Devils Advocate in second and One Too Many was six more lengths back in third. "The funny thing is, she really wasn't very relaxed warming up, she was kind of back to her old self, but we snugged up the hopples a little bit and she was fine," said Cambridge, ON resident Darling, who also owns the filly. "It's all really a testament to Ron Waples. He's been working for me for a while and that's his baby. He just knows her inside and out, trains her and drives her, and it's all working out pretty good." Darling said Guelph, ON resident Waples kept Devils Advocate calm during the delay by walking her around on the grass in the centre of the racetrack, but as soon as the starter called the fillies back to the gate she was raring to go. "He had her on the grass there trying to keep her calm, walking around, and she was fine, and then they called her to the gate again and geez she goes right up in the air a couple times just like 'Hi-Ho Silver'," said the trainer. "She got behind the gate and then she was fine the rest of the way." The impressive mile obliterated the Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:59.2 set by Miss Aultsville at Grand River Raceway in 2013 and the Flamboro Downs record of 1:59.3 set by Birminghim in 2005 and matched by Charmed Life in 2012. Through eight freshman starts Devils Advocate now boasts two Gold Series wins and three seconds for earnings of $135,625. Sunday's win moved her into a tie for top spot in the two-year-old trotting filly division standings with 175 points. The Manofmanymissions daughter will make her next start in the Oct. 10 Super Final and, if she continues to behave, also has the Breeders Crown on her calendar. "I think it's about two weeks to the Super Final, so that works out good, and then after that, if all goes well, we've still got the Breeders Crown," said Darling. "The best fillies this year are Ontario Sired, the best in North America, and I just think she's one of them, so hopefully we get a chance to find out." Like Devils Advocate, Levitator made her debut with trotting hopples at Flamboro on Sunday and, like Devils Advocate, she emerged victorious from the second $105,000 Gold division. Starting from Post 4, Levitator was eased off the starting gate by driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON and watched from third as High Heels led the field to a :29 opening quarter and :59.3 half. Heading for the 1:29.4 three-quarters Henry sent Levitator up the outer lane and the filly sailed home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:59.4. Las Vegas Seelster trotted into second and High Heels was eight and three-quarter lengths back in third. The win was the first in four starts for Levitator, who is trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman for Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. The daughter of Kadabra and Shesa Priority is a full-sister to $870,153 winner Prestidigitator and was a $120,000 purchase from the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. With one win and one second in Gold Series action, Levitator accumulated 75 points, good enough for eighth spot in the division standings and a berth in the Oct. 10 Super Final at Woodbine Racetrack. Flamboro Downs wraps up its 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Thursday evening with the last Gold Series events for the two-year-old pacing colts and three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

Mohawk Raceway was the place to be on Saturday evening as RUS Ontario put on the first annual Harlequin RUS Invitational. Before an enthusiastic harness racing crowd the race participants, sans two that were scratched, post paraded and headed to the mobile starting gate. The race was carded as race two and was set to be a full field of ten, however A Penny Earned was scratched lame and Funny Photo was scratched transportation. Eight others went to the gate for the first ever wagering RUS event at Mohawk Raceway. Leaving sharply from the rail Cool Creek Valley and Finnish native Marrta Smura were quickly covered up by Santo Domingo being reined by Philippe Masschaele. Trotting strongly past the quarter marker in .28 flat the field settled behind the leader and bided their time. Hidden Identity and rider Marielle Enberg inherited the loose pocket when Cool Creek Valley miscued. Wine Photo, and Mad Barn Equine Nutrition sponsored Sarah Town, eased along on the outside. Evelyn Harms and Twin B Excalibur held ground along the rail with Broadway Prince and Stephanie Werder content to sit some ten lengths off the pace. After a breather second quarter movement began as Werder loosened the reins on Broadway Prince moving from 5th to second with long, confident strides. Meanwhile Hidden Identity suddenly gave up several lengths, but as the field straightened for home the tandem recovered strong strides and began to chase down the leaders eventually hauling down Broadway Prince, but falling short of the winner who cruised to victory in a North American RUS race record 1:56.4. WATCH THE RACE Crossing the wire well in hand for the win was Santo Domingo and Belgium Monte legend Masschaele, who added another win to his lifetime total wins which including driving wins are numbered 1376. The duo returned to the chaotic winners circle were trainer Mike Guitard and owners Jalade Investments Ltd, Deanmar Sons Stable and Peter Miskolczi accepted the trophy from Geoff Maltby, trainer of race namesake Harlequin, and family. In addition to the trophy and winners share of the purse the connections also received a blanket courtesy of Greenhawk Tack and a gift bag compliments of Jackie's Mobile Tack. Hidden Identity was making just his second start under saddle for owners William Cripps, Charles Gazzola and trainer/owner Pat Hudon and is looking good to earn his way into the $10,000 RUS Ontario Finale being held October 31 at Flamboro Downs with the second place finish tonight. Rounding out the win, place, show spots were Broadway Prince and Swedish Monte star Stephanie Werder for owner Tor Jan Larsen and trainer Per Henrickson. The remaining checks were taken by Wine Photo for owners Rebecca & Jeffrey Williamson and Twin B Excalibur for owners Randall Fulmer and Phillip Katcher. While presenting the beautiful crystal trophy to Santo Domingo's owners Geoff Maltby and family received a framed double photo of their prize trotter Harlequin from RUS Ontario President Julie Walker. RUS racing continues on Saturday October 3rd at Flamboro Downs, where the $100,000 Ellamony Mares Invitational and the Horse Festival will be taking place with a first post of 6:00 PM. Bob Coole

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 26 - Venus Delight and harness racing driver James MacDonald surged to the lead in deep stretch to capture the $300,000 Milton Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A five-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight, Venus Delight captured her Milton Stakes elimination last week and started from post three in Saturday's rich event for older pacing mares. The Jeff Bamond Jr. trainee got away fifth in the early stages for MacDonald, while Lady Shadow and driver Doug McNair touched down on the front at the opening-quarter in :26. Lady Shadow and McNair were able to dictate the pace and took the field by the half in :54.4. Down the backstretch, Yagonnakissmeornot and Jody Jamieson came first up from fourth, allowing MacDonald to catch cover and situate Venus Delight second-over heading into the final turn. Lady Shadow paced by the three-quarter pole in 1:22.3 and appeared to create a few lengths of separation on her rivals at the top of the lane. Venus Delight flipped off cover in the lane and took aim at tracking down Lady Shadow. Several mares began to close in on the leader, but Venus Delight had the most pace and powered by in deep stretch to win by half a length over Lady Shadow in 1:50.1. Sandbetweenurtoes finished third, while Katie Said was fourth to round out the Superfecta. The driving victory with Venus Delight in the $300,000 event is one of the biggest triumphs to date for MacDonald. "I feel great," said MacDonald in the winner's circle. "You always feel great after a win, but after a $300,000 win it's pretty special." The Milton Stakes victory gives Venus Delight seven wins from 16 starts this season. "The trip was great, I wasn't sure what was going to happen," said MacDonald. "I was worried maybe I would get stuck first up, but when Jody didn't go out of there and I caught his cover I was more than happy. "She stalled a little bit in the last turn and I got taken out a bit, but a good horse can overcome a bad trip." Owned by Bamond Racing LLC., Venus Delight has earned over $500,000 this season to bring her career earnings to $758,133. Saturday's victory was her 24th lifetime. A $2 win ticket on Venus Delight returned $6.30. Mark McKelvie

Hanover Raceway closed out its 2015 harness racing season with its season ending awards and prize draws.  Ron Stewart of Walkerton and Lisa Meyer of Ripley won Lazy-Boy Recliners courtesy of 92.3 The Dock and Leons of Owen Sound, and Sasha Schaefer of Walkerton won the season ending draw for a 50 inch TV courtesy of HDTV in Walkerton and Hanover. On the Track, Bruce Richardson won 3 races but was 1 shy of J Bradley Harris who finished the season with 32 wins.   Harris also won the award for the top percentage driver. Eleven year old Chasin Jiffy was the Claimer of the year, while Holiday Holly owned by Callie Rankin and Laurence Baker of Alberton won the Trotter of the year award. Jen Rankin who trained Holiday Holly among others for her father was the Ray and Lue Leifso Trainer of the year, and the A B Fleishauer Horse of the year was Preppy Art, owned, trained and driven by Terry Fritz of Walkerton. Fritz said his 3 year old was big and lanky as a 2 year old so he took him time with the colt and qualified him back in May.  After winning his first start at Grand River, he won 5 times in a row at Hanover and is now getting some time off to rest after a busy rookie year. Live Racing returns to Hanover Raceway Saturday June 4th, 2016.  Post time is 7:15pm. Simulcast racing continues 364 days a year, with a winter handicapping contest planned starting in the new year.   More details will be released on in the coming months. Gord Dougan  

ELORA, ON - When Grand River Raceway wraps up its 2015 live harness racing season on September 30, the popular Jackpot Hi-5 wager will offer a mandatory payout. The rotating Jackpot Hi-5 wager was featured all race season, held between the Elora oval and Georgian Downs (until the season conclusion), then Flamboro Downs. The wager requires a horseplayer to correctly select the top-five finishers in order. If there are multiple winning tickets, 50 per cent of that evening's pool is split among the winning tickets, while the other half is carried over to the following card, or distributed entirely on a declared mandatory payout night. There's a 20-cent minimum wager and a takeout of 15 per cent. On September 30, the entire carryover is split among the evening's winning tickets. As of press time (September 25), the Jackpot Hi-5 carryover is $8,166.54. In this inaugural year of offering the Jackpot Hi-5 wager, the biggest winner was an on-track player at Grand River Raceway who cashed for $31,383.73. The track's 49th and final card of 2015 will determine a hotly contested race for Top Dash-Winning Driver. Bob McClure is looking to secure his first Grand River Raceway title with 45 wins from 284 starts. Scott Coulter is closing in with 42 wins from 250 starts. Richard Moreau will take back-to-back training honours with 21 wins from 75 starts - 12 wins better than his closest competitor. Racing continues Monday (September 28) and concludes September 30. Post time is 6:30 p.m. Kelly Spencer

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