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Dresden, July 6, 2015 - Dresden Raceway has been granted approval by the Ontario Racing Commission to conduct a special twilight program of harness racing on Friday, July 17, with a first post of 5:15 p.m. The program has been scheduled as a make-up date due to the cancellation of racing on opening day, Sunday, May 31. Fans will be treated to half-price hot dogs, $1 race programs and plenty of prize giveaways on the July 17th program. Dresden Raceway will host five more race programs this season with lots of special events planned, including Dresden Derby Hat Day (July 12), Twilight Racing (July 17), Kids Day (July 19), BIA Day (July 26 and Closing Day/Free Corn Giveaway Day (August 3). For information and program downloads, visit www.dresdenex.com. Dresden Raceway Media

July 6, 2015 - Seventeen harness racing fans qualified for the Hanover Raceway and Country 93 Survivor handicapping Contest on Saturday night. Hanover Raceway fans are asked to pick a horse in 4 designated races and if all 4 of their horses finish in the money,  they qualify for the final. The Survivor finale will be held on Saturday August 15th with prizes for the top 3 finalists including a high def TV,  golf passes to Cobble Beach near Owen Sound, and 200 dollars in Hanover Chamber bucks to spend in Hanover stores. The first week qualifiers were; Vi Swannel John Dossel Marilyn Richards Don Richards Harold Fleet Becky Geisel Mary Lou Thompson Shelly Johnston Merry Francis Joe Allison Ross Kaufman John Lamoureux Judy Lougheed Shawn Hyatt George Teeple Tom Welsh Patricia Calhoun Fans have three more chances to qualify for the final, and fans can qualify more than one time Hanover Raceway

JULY 5, 2015 - Just over two years ago Brian Peterson made the leap from harness racing fan to yearling owner and four weeks ago he made his first start as a trainer, winning an overnight event with three-year-old trotting filly Amoureuse Hanover. On Sunday Peterson shipped Amoureuse Hanover to Rideau Carleton Raceway for the second Gold Leg of the season and the filly delivered a track record equalling 1:55.3 effort to give the Port Hope, ON resident his first training win in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "My wife and I just started going to Kawartha Downs to watch the races about six years ago, and I just kept on getting more and more interested in it and decided I wanted to give it a go," said Peterson of his transformation from fan to owner. Peterson purchased two yearlings from Hanover Shoe Farms in the spring of 2013 and, with the help of his friend and long-time horseman John Smith, started to teach them the basics of racing. One year later Amoureuse Hanover was ready to qualify and the daughter of Pilgrims Taj and A Youre Adorable proved good enough for the Gold Series. Racing out of Smith's barn, the two-year-old Amoureuse Hanover posted one win and two seconds in Gold Series action, and finished fourth in her elimination and the final of the Peaceful Way at Mohawk Racetrack, for freshman earnings of $102,435. With an additional year of knowledge under his belt, Peterson stepped into the training role in time for Amoureuse Hanover's second start this season, and the filly rewarded him with a 1:56.3 victory at Mohawk Racetrack. In the June 18 Gold Series opener one week later the filly finished fifth for her newly minted trainer and driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON. "She was good as a two-year-old, and this year she just seems to have matured," said Peterson. "She just wasn't quite as driveable. Last year she was just to the front, to the front and there was no stopping her. This year she's learned to race. "Mike's done a great job driving her this year, an awesome job." Amoureuse Hanover showed off her maneuverability in Sunday's Gold Leg, circling out three-wide at the three-quarters and accelerating home to reel in the leaders and fend off a late challenge from runner-up Lady Ping. Fan favourite Stubborn Belle rounded out the top three in the 1:55.3 mile, which matched the three-year-old trotting filly track record set by the great Peaceful Way in 2004. While Amoureuse Hanover has been a full-blown success for the novice horseman, Peterson has not been so lucky with the pacing colt he acquired. "He hasn't made it to the races yet. He's got some leg issues that I've been dealing with, so he's still unraced," explained Peterson. "Gary (Oliver), I board my horses at his place now, he says, 'You've got the one percent and you've got the 99 per cent,'" Peterson added with a laugh. One percenter Amoureuse Hanover will attempt to continue her successful season in the third Gold Leg at Mohawk Racetrack on July 16. Joining her will be division leader Muscle Baby Doll, who won her second straight Gold Series trophy in the other $105,000 division at Rideau Carleton on Sunday. Starting from Post 1, driver Doug McNair allowed Muscle Baby Doll to float away from the gate into fifth spot while Juanitas Fury battled her way to the :28.2 opening quarter. Heading for the :58 half McNair tipped the heavy favourite to the outside and Muscle Baby Doll made a powerful move to the front and had opened up a two length lead before the 1:26.2 three-quarters. LMC Marshmellow attempted to catch Muscle Baby Doll in the stretch, but the leader refused to yield and hit the wire three-quarters of a length on top in 1:56. Juanitas Fury finished third. Guelph, ON resident McNair engineered the win for trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Cambridge, ON and owners F. Bellino And Sons LLC of Bronxville, NY. The victory was Muscle Baby Doll's fourth in five starts this season, boosting the Muscle Mass daughter's earnings to $127,640, and giving her sole ownership of top spot in the division with 100 points. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Thursday, August 13 with a unique program that will feature both the Grassroots and Gold Series divisions of two-year-old pacing colts. Ontario Horse Racing

Jody Jamieson had the winning touch at the harness racing meeting at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening, piloting four sophomore pacing colts to Grassroots victory. Jamieson kicked off his successful evening in the first $18,000 Grassroots division, guiding Dialamara to a three and one-quarter length triumph over Feeling Cam Lucky and Naturescape. The 1:51.1 clocking was the quickest of the seven Grassroots divisions and was a new personal best for Dialamara. "Dialamara was really good," said Moffat, ON resident Jamieson. "He stepped around the leader there in two strides and was strong right to the wire." The Lisa Mara son started his Ontario Sires Stakes season with a third-place result in the Gold Series opener, but trainer Patrick Fletcher of Hagersville, ON moved him down to the Grassroots for the June 21 event at Clinton Raceway and Dialamara finished fifth. Saturday's victory was Dialamara's first on the provincial stakes circuit, although he was the winner of the WEGZ Final at Woodbine Racetrack on March 21, and the runner-up in both the Count B and Youthful Finals at the Toronto oval this spring. John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON owns the winner of $129,032. Jamieson made his second trip to the winner's circle with his own gelding, Make Some Luck, in the third Grassroots division. The pair circled out three-wide at the three-quarters and powered down the stretch to a half-length victory over favourite His Boy Elroy and Legion Of Boom. The 1:52.3 clocking was a personal best for the Camluck gelding. "I have yet to give him a decent drive, but he has overcome it almost every time," said Jamieson, who was forced to regroup at the start when Make Some Luck went off-stride briefly after making contact with the gate. "We couldn't be happier with his effort." Jamieson's father Carl conditions Make Some Luck, who now boasts two wins and one third in Grassroots action and is currently tied for second spot in the three-year-old pacing colt standings with 112 points . Three regular season events remain on the three-year-old pacing colt and gelding calendar. The reinsman's third win came in the fifth division with Antar Phil, who cruised home a five and one-half length victor in 1:53.2. Windsong Lord and fan favourite Artful Way settled for second and third. "He started from a tough spot in the nine-hole but the trip worked out perfect, there was lots of movement," noted Jamieson. "We ended up being second over up the backside and I swung him over and he just sprinted home from there. He was really good." The win was Antar Phil's second straight, but his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. The Sportswriter son is trained by Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Jamieson completed his driving quartet in the final Grassroots division with his father's horse Sporting The Look. The fan favourites tipped out of the outer lane and sprinted home to a 1:52.1 victory, two and one-quarter lengths ahead of The Fire Within and Bob Ben And John. The fifth-ranked horse in the province last season, Sporting The Look had failed to find the winner's circle in his first four starts this season, so Jamieson was pleased to see the Sportswriter son's luck change. "He's been run into, or I've run into somebody else, in every start this year with him. He's hooked wheels twice, got run into once, that's three starts, so he was due," Jamieson said. "He got a perfect trip too and paced hard to the wire, so it was real good." Rockwood, ON resident Carl Jamieson shares ownership of Sporting The Look with 30 Plus Stable of Trenton, ON and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. In addition to his wins, Jamieson's other two Grassroots mounts, Sports Lightning and Win One Soon, finished second and third. "I had some horses that were favoured and it worked out," reflected the driver. "Lots of times it doesn't work out, and tonight it did." The other three divisions went to Mach Code, Western Bayama and Deetzy. Mach Code and driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON were one length winners over Sports Lightning and Regal Sight, stopping the Georgian Downs teletimer at 1:52.4. Jeff and Lori Thomson bred, own and train the Mach Three gelding, who sits tied for second in the division standings with Make Some Luck. Western Bayama battled to a head victory over Sports Bettor and Lancaster Park in the fourth division. The Lis Mara son hit the wire in a personal best 1:53.4 for driver Anthony MacDonald of Guelph, ON, trainer Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON and owner-breeders Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. Deetzy also won a nail-biter, getting a neck in front of Southwind Indy and Win One Soon at the 1:53.2 finish. Thornton, ON resident Stephen Byron engineered the Jeremes Jet son's first lifetime victory for trainer Ken Sucee of Bowmanville, ON and Shelby Novick of Delray Beach, FL. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings make their fourth Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 31. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, July 7 with the Grassroots debut of the two-year-old trotting fillies. Five divisions of novice trotters will be featured, going postward as Races 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 on the 7:15 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

Split The House stepped in fresh to the second leg of the Summertime Series Saturday night at the harness racing meeting at  Mohawk Racetrack and delivered a 1:51 winning performance. A field of eight three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, including leg one winner Rockin In Heaven, contested the $18,000 second round of the three-week Summertime Series. The James 'Friday' Dean trainee Split The House, who skipped round one, was making his first start since a fourth-place finish in the $75,000 Pepsi North America Cup Consolation. The son of Rocknroll Hanover came into Saturday night with four wins from six career starts and the public sent him off as the even-money choice. Rockin In Heaven, who won last week's first leg on the front end, sprinted off the gate to the front for driver Sylvain Filion. However, Split The House and driver Randy Waples rejected a spot along the pylons in fifth and drove on in the second-quarter to overtake the lead from the round one winner. After panels of :56 and 1:24.2, Split The House kicked it into sprint mode for the stretch drive and paced home in :26.3 to hold off Rockin Heaven by a length. A hard-closing Poisonous finished third. Owned by Scott Horner, Peter Milligan and Dean, Split The House increased his career earnings to $52,000 with his seventh career victory Saturday night. The sophomore pacing colt paid $4.20 to win. Split The House and Rockin In Heaven will likely meet in a rematch in next Saturday's (July 11) $50,400 Summertime Final. The $48,600 Town Pro Final will also be contested next Saturday. Mark McKelvie

JULY 3, 2015 - With 15 events completed Sylvain Filion currently leads all harness racing drivers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program with 115 Lampman Cup points, and the Milton resident added a few more to his total guiding two sophomore trotters to Grassroots victory at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening. Filion's first Grassroots appearance came in the second $18,000 division with Duh Bubbees, who opened his three-year-old campaign with a fifth-place result at the Gold Series level. Starting from Post 2, Filion sent Duh Bubbees straight to the front and the duo controlled the tempo through fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26.2, holding on at the wire for a half-length victory over former Grassroots division winners Call Me Richard and Kadabrasnewrecruit. Duh Bubbees hit the wire in 1:55.2, the quickest of the five Grassroots divisions and a new personal best for the homebred son of Up Front Ben and Nothing To Justify. Trainer Jamie Wilson of Huron Park, ON bred the gelding and conditions him for Chris Wilson of Huron Park. Through 10 starts this season Duh Bubbees has two wins and one second for earnings of $27,295. Filion was back in the winner's circle after the last race, delivering a confident performance with fan favourite Its Huw You Know from Post 8. After getting away fourth, Filion sent the Holiday Road gelding to the front and Its Huw You Know cruised home a one length winner over P L Intimidator and Delcrest Massy in a personal best 1:56.4. Keith Jones of Midland, ON conditions Its Huw You Know for Douglas McCarthy of Holland Landing, ON. Filion also guided the gelding to a Grassroots win in the June 24 event at Grand River Raceway, and adding his fourth-place result from the June 4 season opener at Mohawk gives Its Huw You Know a total of 108 points and sole ownership of second spot in the standings at the halfway mark in the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding Grassroots schedule. A two-time winner of the Ontario Sires Stakes driving title (2012 and 2013), Filion finished third in his only other Grassroots start on Friday, unable to catch the fourth division favourite New Muscle AS with his mount Buzz. After getting caught at the wire in the Grand River event, Oakville resident Rick Zeron opted to race New Muscle AS from off the pace and the Muscle Mass gelding responded with an impressive 1:56.2 personal best, powering down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length victory over Stormont Wizard and Buzz. Anette Lorentzon trains New Muscle AS, who finished second in both of his early season Grassroots starts, for ACL Stuteri AB of Paris, KY and Kjell Johansson of Sosdala, Sweden. Friday's win bumped the gelding into a tie for third spot in the standings with 100 points and puts him in an excellent position to earn a berth in the lucrative post season. Pilgrims Joy also leapt up the standings with an impressive performance in the third Grassroots division. After getting away near the back of the field from Post 7, driver James MacDonald of Guelph sent Pilgrims Joy up the outside and the colt accelerated past the leaders and opened up a five-length margin heading into the stretch that he maintained all the way to the wire, besting Ontheroad De Vie and Lets Be Honest. The 1:56 performance was a personal best for Pilgrims Joy, who is trained by Johnathan McKinnon of Guelph and owned by breeder Len Kordy of Kingston, ON. The Pilgrims Taj son made a break and finished eighth in his Grassroots outing at Grand River and logged a second-place result in the season opener for a total of 76 points. The other Grassroots trophy awarded at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening went home with Namesmuscle, who delivered a two and one-quarter length victory in the first division for driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON, trainer Pam Forgie of Goderich, ON and owner John Patterson of Bayfield, ON. Parkhill Lancelot and Thoughtful Leader completed the triactor. Like Duh Bubbees, Namesmuscle started his sophomore campaign at the Gold Series level, finishing second in a division of the season opener at Western Fair Raceway on May 27. Friday's 1:56.3 triumph was the Muscle Mass son's first of the season and boosted his lifetime earnings to $49,019. With just 50 points, Namesmuscle and Duh Bubbees will be looking to add to their tally in the fourth Grassroots event on the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding calendar, July 18 at Kawartha Downs. Mohawk Racetrack kicks off the two-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes season on Monday, July 6 with three Gold Series divisions for the pacing fillies. The fillies are featured in Races 3, 6, and 9 on the 7:25 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 3 - A determined Riveting Rosie turned in a career-best effort for an upset harness racing victory Friday night in the $40,000 Miss Versatility second leg at Mohawk Racetrack. A talented field of seven older trotting mares contested the second round of the Miss Versatility under perfect conditions at the Campbellville oval. The public placed the bulk of their support behind Indiana invader Allie Labrook, who was sent off as the 4/5 favourite, and the Dave Menary trainee Charmed Life, who was the second choice at 8/5. However, Riveting Rosie at odds of 23/1 played the role of spoiler in Friday's second leg. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Riveting Rosie sprinted to the lead and posted an opening-quarter of :27.4. Allie Labrook got away in second, while Charmed Life followed her in third. The two favourites followed along through the middle-half, as Riveting Rosie posted fractions of :56.4 and 1:25. In the stretch, Allie Labrook tipped to the outside and Charmed Life swung out to the far outside to take their best shot at the leader, but Riveting Rosie showed her grit and dug in to fight off the favourites and win by a neck in 1:52.4. Charmed Life edged ahead of Allie Labrook in the final strides to finish second. A star graduate of the Ontario Sires Stakes program, Riveting Rosie has now won two of six starts in her four-year-old season for trainer John Bax. She is owned by Bax's Parkhill Stud Farm, Don Allensen, J And T Stable and John Hayes. A daughter of Muscle Mass, Riveting Rosie now has career earnings of $943,153 and 13 career victories. The clocking of 1:52.4 established a new career-mark for Riveting Rosie. She paid $49.30 to win. Riveting Rosie The Miss Versatility Series will now shift to The Meadowlands for the third leg on July 18. The series will also make a stop at Tioga Downs on September 7, before wrapping up with the final at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Little Brown Jug day. Caviart Scarlett delivers 105-1 shocker in Town Pro Series The Canada Day fireworks may have been Wednesday, but Caviart Scarlett put on her own fireworks show Friday night at Mohawk with a 105-1 upset victory in the second leg of the Town Pro. A field of ten three-year-old pacing fillies battled it out Friday in the $18,000 second leg division. The Frank Antonacci trainees Lindys Old Lady and Imagine Dragon captured the first leg divisions, but just a single division was a necessary Friday night. Lindys Old Lady was sent off as the 8/5 favourite and made a second-quarter move to the front. The favourite posted middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.3 with Southwind Geisha pressing at her first over and Fan Hanover elimination winner Moonlit Dance placed second over. Meanwhile, Caviart Scarlett paced along in seventh for the majority of the mile, but was angled to the far outside for the stretch drive. In the stretch, Moonlit Dance did not fire off her cover and it appeared Lindys Old Lady was going to go all the way, but in the late stages of the mile Caviart Scarlett came charging from the back to pick off the public's choice and deliver a stunning upset in 1:52. Lindys Old Lady had to settle for second, while Moonlit Dance was third. A daughter of Sportswriter, Caviart Scarlett is trained by Richard 'Nifty' Norman for owner Caviart Farms. The sophomore pacing filly was unraced at age two and was coming into her fifth career start Friday off a maiden breaking win on June 23 at Mohawk. The second leg victory established a new career-mark for Caviart Scarlett and doubled her earnings to $18,640. A $2 win ticket on Caviart Scarlett paid an incredible $211.20. Caviart Scarlett The $48,600 final of the Town Pro Series will take place next Saturday (July 11) at Mohawk, along with the $50,400 Summertime Final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Mark McKelvie

Top local harness racing horseman Bruce Richardson was at Grand River Raceway on Friday night. Bruce was the winner of two races. He was able to steer Richlyn Ombretta (rich-lin om-bretta) to an upset victory in the 6th race and was aboard Distinctive Rusty in the 10th race. Bruce is a career winner of over 3100 races. Bruce is a native of Arthur and is one of the top drivers at Grand River Raceway year in and year out. Grand River Raceway features live harness racing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights all summer. Complete schedule info at www.grandriverraceway.com . Kelly Spencer

 JULY 2, 2015 - Solar Sister took command of the three-year-old pacing filly division with a 1:50.3 victory in her harness racing Ontario Sire Stakes Gold division at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. Starting from Post 2 in the second $105,000 Gold split, fan favourite Solar Sister landed on the rail behind number two choice Ms Mac N Cheese and watched contentedly from the pocket as the pacesetter zipped to fractions of :26.1 and :54.4. Rolling toward the 1:23.2 three-quarters, driver Doug McNair tipped Solar Sister into the outer lane and the filly reeled in her Ontario Sires Stakes rival, earning a half-length victory in a personal best 1:50.3. Ms Mac N Cheese and driver Sylvain Filion settled for a hard fought second, with Capela and driver James MacDonald well behind the duelling leaders in third. "I figured Sylvain (Filion) would be pointing her (Ms Mac N Cheese) out of there and trying to either cut it out or sit on my back," said McNair after the race. "We went out of there pretty fast; his filly was rolling right along to the half. I could have come back around, but I was pretty content to where I was at. It looked to me like a two horse race when the draw came out, so I was happy to be following her. I knew she'd get me to where we had to go." Guelph resident McNair engineered Solar Sister's second Gold Series victory for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and owner-breeders David Willmot of King City and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto. The win bumped the daughter of Mach Three and $1.4 million winner Cabrini Hanover to lifetime earnings of $485,690 and gives her a sophomore record of five wins, one third and one fourth in seven starts. "She's just getting to be a really nice mare. You can race her any way, on the front or from the back or in the middle," added the reinsman. "Them type of mares are horses that make it a lot easier for me, you can kind of judge the speed and make up your mind as you go, and she's happy to race any way. "She's a big filly, good gaited, a nice bred filly, I'm glad we got her." Solar Sister With wins in the first two Gold Legs, Solar Sister sits alone atop the three-year-old pacing filly division standings with 100 points. Ms Mac N Cheese, also a winner in the June 6 season opener at Mohawk Racetrack, falls to second spot which she shares with the winner of the first division, Wrangler Magic. Fan Hanover champions Wrangler Magic and Sylvain Filion went off as the heavy favourites from Post 4 in the first Gold Series contest and, as he would later do with Ms Mac N Cheese, the Milton reinsman opted to take command of the race. Wrangler Magic rolled easily to a :27 quarter, fended off a challenge from Delightful Hill heading by the :55.1 half, and was comfortably in charge at the 1:23.1 three-quarters. Turning for home, however, things got decidedly less comfortable for the pacesetter. Facing pressure from all sides, Wrangler Magic had to battle all the way to the wire, securing a 1:51 victory by a scant nose over Cast No Shadow. Delightful Hill sprinted into third, three-quarters of a length behind the leaders. Owners Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON, Dr. Maurice Stewart of Leduc, AB, Brian Paquet of Quebec, QC and Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC now have a Gold Series trophy to display alongside the Fan Hanover trophy Wrangler Magic earned at Mohawk on June 20. Through six sophomore starts the Mach Three daughter has tallied two wins, two seconds and two thirds and Thursday's win boosted her lifetime earnings to $513,894. Stephane Larocque conditions the talented young pacer, who was also a Gold Series winner at two. Wrangler Magic Solar Sister, Wrangler Magic and their peers will now enjoy a brief break in their provincial stakes schedule before it resumes at Grand River Raceway on August 3. Mohawk Racetrack fans have a much shorter interlude before the next Ontario Sires Stakes event at the Campbellville oval. On Monday, July 6 the two-year-old stakes season gets under way with three Gold Series divisions for the freshman pacing fillies. The fillies will be featured in Races 3, 6 and 9 on the 7:25 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

Three months after moving to Campbellville after nearly 40 years in Peterborough, the veteran Ontario trainer’s Ontario-sired trotter Hemi Seelster pulled off a stunning 76-1 upset in the Goodtimes Stakes on the Pepsi North America Cup harness racing undercard.   Pepsi North America Cup Night was surreal for John Bax of Campbellville on a number of fronts. Not only did his Ontario-sired pupil Hemi Seelster pull off a stunning 76-1 upset in the $233,000 final of the Goodtimes Stakes against top Grand Circuit horses, the veteran Ontario trainer then presented the trophy to himself. The Goodtimes, for sophomore trotting males, is named for Bax’s former trotting great, a longtime warrior in the open trot at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004 after earning more than $2 million on the track. Bax, 60, said he was numb as he headed for the winner’s circle on June 20 after the Goodtimes. “I just handed (the trophy) to my wife, Vicky. I was there to give it, so I certainly had no trouble standing on the other side and taking it,” Bax said, laughing. Adding to the surreal nature of the night, it took just five minutes for Bax to make the trip home after the races, rather than the usual two- or three-hour trek. In April, Bax moved to the site of the famed standardbred breeding outfit Glengate Farms in Campbellville that ceased breeding operations in 2005. Until April, Bax had been based in Peterborough for his entire 38-year training career — a stint in which he trained the winners of well more than $17 million (trainer records weren’t kept for the first 16 years of his career) and earned a berth in the Peterborough and District Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. “I drove a lot down the road, wore out a lot of trucks,” Bax said. “There were nights when I was heading home at midnight and they’ve got the 401 shut down in the middle of Toronto and you’re sitting there until 1:30 or 2 in the morning trying to get through and back home.” Needing to be up at the crack of dawn to train his stable compounded the wear and tear on the trainer. “I figured it out that if I was coming (to Mohawk) five days a week in the summer, that’s 20 hours plus (on the road),” Bax said. Bax said the move to the west side of Toronto, and closer to Ontario’s most lucrative tracks, only made sense because his 25-year-old son, Matt, is also a trainer. John also credits Matt for Hemi Seelster being in the Goodtimes in the first place. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t even realize at first that (Hemi Seelster) was in the Goodtimes. Matt slipped one by me. He was always high on him,” John said. “It’s his baby and he sometimes, in his youth, gets a little over-stimulated or high on a horse, whereas I’ve been down that road before.” Hemi Seelster, a son of Holiday Road out of Hollywood Beauty bred by Seelster Farms in Lucan, ON, was a $19,000 yearling purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale in London — the exact same price John paid for Goodtimes as a yearling in 1992. Hemi Seelster is owned by John, Matt, John Houston of Cobourg, ON and the Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough. John Bax pegged the gelding as more of an Ontario Sires Stakes horse than a top stakes horses. In against 1-5 favourite Canepa Hanover and 3-1 second choice French Laundry — both from the powerful Jimmy Takter stable — John said he was hoping for a fifth-place cheque with Hemi Seelster in the Goodtimes. But when Canepa Hanover and later French Laundry broke stride, John said he began counting horses in front of Hemi Seelster. “I really wasn’t paying so much attention to who was in front of us so much as the number there were… I don’t know if I breathed down the stretch,” John said. It was the first victory for Hemi Seelster in seven starts this year. All of this comes on the heels of one of John’s best years in the business. In 2014, John trained the winners of some $1.6 million. Two of John’s trainees — two-year-old trotting filly Stubborn Belle and three-year-old trotting filly Riveting Rosie — earned O’Brien Awards as the top horses in their division in Canada. Only 2001, when John earned some $1.85 million, won a Breeders Crown with Duke Of York at Woodbine and earned the O’Brien Award as Canada’s Trainer of the Year, was better, statistically, than last year. Beyond Goodtimes and Duke Of York ($900,000 lifetime), John has trained a long string of Ontario-sired trotting stars over his career, including: Define The World ($1.65 million), Charmed Life ($830,000), Northern Bailey ($775,000), Pepi Lavec ($650,000), Summer Indian ($435,000), Oaklea Odessa ($410,000), Oaklea Omega ($400,000), Elegant Supreme ($380,000) and Aimees Image ($230,000) Though Hemi Seelster is bound mostly for the Ontario Sires Stakes program this summer — of which John Bax is both a huge proponent and, historically, one of its most successful trainers — he said he might take a shot at the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks with Ontario-sired Stubborn Belle (Taurus Dream—Musetta Hanover) in August at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. He said he hopes Ontario-sired Riveting Rosie (Muscle Mass—Rose De Vie Stena) can overcome allergy issues in time to race in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine in October. For now, the trainer is happy to enjoy an easier commute, easy access to Mohawk Racetrack to train horses and Hemi Seelster’s surprising Goodtimes victory. “I suppose at the end of the day it makes that $1,000 or $2,000 entry fee a little more bearable. It gives you a little hope,” he said. Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Horse Racing standardbrednews@ontariohorseracing.ca (519) 782-7178   Please visit: www.ontariohorseracing.ca

Doug McIntosh missed out on a piece of the eight-foot long cake, but the Wheatley resident still left the harness racing meeting at Dresden Raceway on Canada Day in a celebratory mood after Cincinnati Miss delivered an impressive victory in her $18,000 Grassroots division. "It's now one race at a time, but she kind of made us believers, and I'm very, very happy," said McIntosh. "It worked out great." Sent off as the narrow favourites over Allies Gift and Luc Ouellette, Cincinnati Miss and driver Trevor Henry sprinted away from Post 4 and took early control of the race. As the pair rolled through fractions of :29, :57.3 and 1:28 with Allies Gift tucked in behind them, McIntosh worried the tempo might be too quick, but Cincinnati Miss found another gear in the stretch and pulled away to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:58.2. "I was a little concerned that the fractions were pretty heavy," admitted McIntosh, who shares ownership of Cincinnati Miss with Ivey Pharm Stable of Cincinnati, Ohio. "But you know what, she made us proud in the stretch, she just dug in and got the job done, and within two-fifths (of a second) of the track record." The win improved the Kadabra daughter's sophomore record to two wins, two seconds and one third in five starts and boosted her season earnings to $25,160. The consistent young trotter will make her next start in the July 14 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs. "I can't say enough for Bob's team, they've done a great job," said McIntosh, who retired from training horses in the spring and handed care of Cincinnati Miss off to his brother Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON. "Daryl (Wayne) that looks after her is a very, very efficient groom, she's had a lot of experience and she knows what to do. She's very, very proud." McIntosh was also pleased to see the enthusiastic crowd gathered at Dresden Raceway to celebrate Canada Day and the Grassroots trotting fillies. In addition to Cincinnati Miss, the fans greeted six other fillies as they returned triumphant to the Dresden winner's circle. The aptly named Summers Jewel kicked things off with a 1:59.2 score in the first Grassroots division, circling out three-wide to claim a two length victory over Pointe Of Inquiry and JLs Too Hot Taj. Mario Baillargeon piloted the fan favourite to her first win of the season for his brother, trainer Benoit Baillargeon of Rockwood, ON, who also owns the daughter of Angus Hall. In the second division Hope Rises tracked down pacesetter Misslarissa heading for the three-quarters and accelerated away to a three and one-half length victory in 2:01. Fan favourite Lady Caterina settled for second, with Misslarissa hanging on for third. Sylvain Filion drove the Windsong Espoir daughter to her first win of the season for trainer Kelly Goodwin and owner-breeders Deborah Spike-Pierce of Lexington, KY and Madelon Spike of Jerome, MI. Local filly Judy The Beauty, owned by Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, had fans on their feet in the stretch of the third division, but finished one-quarter length behind winner Flexceptional in the 2:01 mile. Dave Tyrrell trains Flexceptional for Michael Casalino Jr. of Freehold, NJ and Anthony MacDonald piloted the Federal Flex daughter to the win. Tymal Fireitup rounded out the top three. La Bella Rosa's late sprint in the fourth division paid dividends, as she hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of Giona and fan favourite Kaddy. The Holiday Road filly gave driver Sylvain Filion his second win of the afternoon. Filion engineered the 1:59.4 win for trainer Reaume Bouvier and owners Bella Fortuna Stable of Laval, QC and Patricia McGuirl of Guelph, ON. Kadabra daughter Wing Flash displayed an impressive turn of foot in the fifth division, sailing along on the front end to a seven and one-half length victory in 1:58.2. Sheguindah and Stay In Touch completed the top three. Trainer-driver Wayne Henry of Arthur, ON shares ownership of Wing Flash with Daylon Farms of Komoka, ON. The final Grassroots division saw Trevor Henry make his second appearance in the Dresden winner's circle, guiding Muscle Mass daughter Sumthintotalkabout to a three and one-quarter length win for trainer Stephen Bossence of London, ON and his partner Stephen Palermo of Brampton, ON. Ill Stay Here and fan favourite Oh My Magic finished second and third in the 1:59.3 mile. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on July 14, with each of the Canada Day winners hoping to add a few more points to their total in pursuit of a berth in the post season. Ontario Horse Racing

JUNE 30, 2015 - Twelve days ago harness racing trainer Dustin Jones made an unanticipated return to the race bike behind his top trotting colt Dont Rush, a return that had a direct impact on Tuesday evening's Gold Series event at Mohawk Racetrack. "Chris (Christoforou) had got hurt that night in the parade, and I wasn't really prepared to drive him," said Jones of his last minute return to the race bike in the June 18 overnight. "Chris wanted me to leave with him and I said, you know what, if I leave with him and I get parked I'm going to be mad at myself. I said, I'll just put him in the back." Jones eased Dont Rush off the gate from Post 6 in the three-year-old conditioned event and the pair raced along well behind the leaders before closing hard to finish two and one-half lengths back in third. The mile may not have been the one Christoforou would have crafted, but it did cause Jones to firm up a decision he had been toying with since the start of Dont Rush's sophomore season. "He did trot his last half in :56.1, but I thought he was working too hard, his legs were going fast and he wasn't grabbing the track good enough, so I changed his shoes," said the Waterdown, ON resident. "I've been debating about that all year because I knew he was going to have to gain a few seconds, because he's not a very big horse." Jones switched Dont Rush's front footwear from steel to aluminum, which lowered the colt's gait a little bit, and the result was immediately apparent to Christoforou as he rolled in behind the gate for Tuesday evening's $105,000 Gold Series division. Lining up at Post 9 the Campbellville, ON resident opted to send Dont Rush to the front and the trotter looked every inch a division champion as he cruised home to a four length victory in a personal best 1:54.3. "Dustin made a great change and lightened his front shoes, and the colt's gait was much more efficient," said Christoforou after the race. "I have never raced him that way before, but with 11 horses in the field, and having the 9 hole, I was reluctant to risk getting him caught in traffic. He responded well and showed his class tonight." The win gives Dont Rush one Gold trophy, one Grassroots trophy, and one third-place result in overnight action through three sophomore starts and boosts his season earnings to $63,900. Jones, who shares ownership of the homebred son of Infinitif and Color Me Pretty with Greg Judson of Athens, ON, says last year's division champion will now begin preparations for the July 15 Gold Leg at Grand River Raceway. Dont Rush One race after guiding Dont Rush into the Mohawk winner's circle, Christoforou paraded onto the racetrack with another trotter benefitting from a recent equipment change. Like Dont Rush, Muscle Up The Goal captured his Grassroots division at Mohawk on June 4, but when the colt made a break in his Goodtimes elimination at the Campbellville oval on June 12 trainer Rob Fellows decided to add trotting hopples to his equipment bag. Christoforou and Muscle Up The Goal gave the hopples a test run in a June 23 qualifier at Mohawk, posting a two and one-half length win in 1:57.2, which had fans sending the duo off as their fourth choice in Tuesday's second Gold division. Starting from Post 1, Christoforou allowed the trotter to coast away from the starting gate and the pair was sitting fifth at the :27.2 opening quarter clocked by Raising Richard. With Olympic Son and Rubber Duck serving as a wind break, Muscle Up The Goal stepped into the outer lane heading for the :57.3 half and maintained that position through the 1:27.2 three-quarters. When Christoforou asked the Muscle Mass son for an additional gear, Muscle Up The Goal kicked home to a one and one-quarter length win in a personal best 1:55.4. "Muscle Up The Goal showed a lot of ability early last year then got hurt. It's been a long road back for him, but the addition of trotting hopples has seemed to help him tremendously," said Christoforou. "He got a nice trip tonight and raced very good." Rockwood, ON resident Fellows conditions Muscle Up The Goal for Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON. Before being injured early in his freshman campaign the trotter scored two Gold Series victories. In just seven lifetime starts Muscle Up The Goal now has four wins and earnings of $150,600. Muscle Up The Goal Like Dont Rush, Muscle Up The Goal will now turn his attention toward the third Gold Series event of the three-year-old trotting colt calendar on July 15 at Grand River Raceway. After a break for Canada Day, Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, July 2 with two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

JUNE 29, 2015 - It was an evening of harness racing upsets at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday as the province's top three-year-old pacing colts and geldings competed in a pair of $105,000 Gold Series divisions. Lightly regarded Big Moment and driver Trevor Henry kicked things off in the first division, sprinting down the stretch to nab pacesetter J Js Delivery in a photo finish. Just a nose separated Big Moment, J Js Delivery and Mr Carrotts, with all three colts hitting the wire in 1:51.2. Fan favourite Go Daddy Go, Big Moment's stablemate in the Bob McIntosh barn, finished one length back in fifth after spending much of the mile in the outer lane. "He's got one real fast brush to him," said Arthur, ON resident Henry after the race. "You can use it in the middle of the mile or late in the mile. Tonight it worked out better late in the mile." Starting from Post 8, Henry and Big Moment sat near the back of the field through much of the race, closing from sixth at the top of the stretch to claim their first Gold Series win. A regular competitor on the Grassroots circuit last season, with two wins and a fourth-place result in the year-end championship, Big Moment made his Gold Series debut in the May 29 season opener at Western Fair Raceway, finishing fourth. "They qualified him, I think it was three times, and he just got better and better," noted Henry, who drives the homebred son of Camluck for Hall of Fame horseman McIntosh of Windsor, ON and his partner Max Newham of Merlin, ON. "He's a nice big horse." Monday's victory boosted Big Moment's sophomore record to two wins, one second and one third in six starts for earnings of $74,760. Big Moment While not an upset of the same magnitude, the other Gold division saw second choice Drachan Hanover reel in heavy favourite Physicallyinclined in the stretch. Starting from Post 6, driver Rick Zeron fired Drachan Hanover to the front before the :26.2 quarter, but allowed Physicallyinclined and driver Paul MacDonell to take over heading for the :55 half. Content to follow the favourite through the 1:23 three-quarters, Zeron waited until the top of the stretch to ask his colt for another gear. Drachan Hanover responded in impressive fashion, sailing home to a 1:50.2 personal best. Physicallyinclined settled for second, one and three-quarter lengths behind the winner, with Robert Hill well back in third. "He got a little excited last week in the consolation of the North America Cup. He had the rail, and I was trying to rate him into the gate, and he threw his head in the air and I lost him, so (trainer) Marcel Barrieau did some changes on him and he said he'd be better tonight," said Zeron after the race. "Marcel did a great job with him and the colt was right on point tonight. "I knew we had a big hill to climb to beat Physicallyinclined, Paul MacDonell's, but I thought if I could stay close to him I'd have a shot at him at the head of the lane, so it was a picture perfect race. He's a great horse, he's a great colt." The win was the first in five starts for Drachan Hanover, who was the number two colt in the freshman pacing division last season with one Gold Leg win and a runner-up result in the Super Final. Barrieau, of Les Cedres, QC, trains the Jeremes Jet son for Lloyd MacLean of Inverness, NS and Kenneth Rankin of Port Morien, NS, who offered up a modest $4,500 to acquire the colt at the 2013 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. "He was a real good horse last year, he just needed to put a few things together," noted Oakville, ON resident Zeron. "He's full of himself this colt. "He's getting better and stronger every week. In the Somebeachsomewhere I told Marcel that I'd like to race him up near the front end and he gave me the green light to go, and he got a little tired coming for home and two horses got by him," Zeron continued. "We drew bad in the NA Cup elimination, lost him in the Consolation, so it's quite rewarding having him bounce back tonight going for $105,000. He's back on track now and hopefully we don't have to have any more bumps in the road." Drachan Hanover Like Big Moment, Drachan Hanover finished fourth in the May 29 season opener and their wins on Monday put the pair at the top of the three-year-old pacing colt standings with 58 points. The duo will have to wait until July 25 to add to their point tally, when the sophomore pacing colts return to Mohawk Racetrack for their third Gold Leg. Next up on the action-packed Mohawk Racetrack Ontario Sires Stakes calendar are the three-year-old trotting colts, who will battle in a pair of Gold Legs on Tuesday, June 30. Ontario Horse Racing

Longtime local harness racing horseman, George Ketros, was able to steer his horse, Majestic Mystic, to victory in race four on Monday night at Grand River Raceway. Not only was it George's first training and driving win of the year but also the Majestic Son geldings first. George and wife, Mary who is the owner of Majestic Mystic, are natives of Arthur, ON and have been regulars of the local harness racing scene for over 20 years. Grand River Raceway features live harness racing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights all summer. Complete schedule info at www.grandriverraceway.com . Kelly Spencer

JUNE 29, 2015 - Dresden Raceway will ring in Canada Day with exciting prize draws, an eight-foot long cake and seven Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions for the talented three-year-old trotting fillies. It will be the first Ontario Sires Stakes event at the historic half-mile since September 2013 and Dresden fans are looking forward to seeing the province's best in harness racing action. "The races themselves are kind of a highlight for us," says General Manager Greg Blanchard. "They haven't had OSS races there in quite some time, so I think there's a lot of excitement around there for that." Among the fillies heading to Dresden for the 1:30 pm program is Cincinnati Miss, co-owned by Wheatley resident Doug McIntosh. Cincinnati Miss posted a third-place result in the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on June 22 and McIntosh likes her chances from Post 5 in Wednesday's sixth race. "I was saying, the four or five is perfect at Dresden," McIntosh explains. "But there's a couple in there that can go pretty good too. The Grassroots is not easy racing now, it's pretty solid. It's a good quality of racing, and that's what we're after." McIntosh shares ownership of Cincinnati Miss with breeder Ivey Pharm Stable of Cincinnati, Ohio, and his brother Bob McIntosh of Windsor trains the filly. Through four starts this season the daughter of Kadabra and Livias Image has tallied one win, two seconds and one third for earnings of $16,160. "We don't know what we've really got," adds McIntosh, who retired from training horses in the spring to focus on his business, McIntosh Pro Line. "I think she'll be a nice filly and I think there's life for her beyond (the OSS), as a four-year-old. I think she'll get better." In addition to the seven Grassroots divisions, racing for a total of $126,000 in provincial purse money, early arriving Dresden Raceway fans will be treated to an OSS t-shirt with their program purchase and OSS ball caps will be tossed to the crowd between divisions. Fans can also enter to win a variety of prizes from local sponsors and enjoy a piece of the eight-foot long Canada Day cake. "There will be lots of prizes and giveaways - and cake to celebrate - throughout the day," says Blanchard. Dresden Raceway's Canada Day program gets under way at 1:30 pm with seven $18,000 Grassroots divisions followed by three overnight events. Ontario Horse Racing

June 29, 2015 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) announced its support of the Milton DistrictHospital's (MDH) expansion project with the donation of $100,000 to the MDH Foundation's Our Home Our Hospital Campaign, in a special celebration with community members at Mohawk Racetrack on June 27. WEG's $100,000 gift to the MDH Foundation's capital campaign will be matched by the Orlando Corporation through a matching challenge of up to $5 million. "The MDH continues to have a significant impact and importance on the many people who depend on the hospital," Helen Vatistas, Executive Director, MDHF. "Everyone in the area and surrounding communities is influenced by the hospital and the services it offers. Through the generosity, kindness and longtime support of organizations like WEG, we will be able to provide even more critical services to people in need." To recognize WEG's support in the expansion of the Milton DistrictHospital, the Fracture Room, part of the hospital's Emergency Department, will be named, "Woodbine Entertainment Group." "We are extremely proud to support both the MDH and the community in this critical expansion of the hospital," said Jim Lawson, CEO, WEG. "Through our WEG Cares program, we are able to leverage the power of horse racing to assist and work within the communities in which we operate to create better places to live, learn and gather together." The MiltonDistrictHospital expansion will add 330,000 square feet of space to the existing 125,000 square foot hospital. The project will address the needs of all with a focus on meeting the needs of those living in Milton, the fastest-growing community in Canada. Project highlights include the expansion of emergency and surgical services, medical/surgical inpatient units, critical care, maternal newborn and diagnostic imaging and support services, overall capacity increase from 63 to 129 inpatient beds, and the addition of the hospital's first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine. About Woodbine Entertainment Group (www.woodbineentertainment.com) WEG is the largest horse racing operator in Canada offering world-class horse racing at both Woodbine (Toronto) and Mohawk (Milton) racetracks. WEG, part of the Standardbred Alliance, and single operator of Teletheatres and Account Wagering in Ontario, operates off-track wagering at its Champions teletheatres throughout the province. Remote wagering is also available to customers through HBIbet, the company's telephone, internet and mobile account wagering service. WEG operates HPItv, a CRTC licensed digital television channel that broadcasts its racing product into homes across Canada. About MiltonDistrictHospital Foundation: Milton District Hospital Foundation (MDHF) is a registered charity that works to raise funds for the Milton DistrictHospital, site of Halton Health Care Services. The MDHF raises funds to help purchase vital medical equipment and improve the facilities.   Mark McKelvie

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