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TORONTO, January 26 - Not even the cold temperatures could cool off the red-hot harness racing trainer Richard Moreau Monday night at Woodbine. Moreau's stable sent out seven starters in six races over the course of Monday's 10-race card and visited the winner's circle an impressive five times. Driver Sylvain Filion teamed up with Moreau to drive four of the five winners. The Moreau barn didn't waste anytime winning races, as they swept the first three races of the night. Trotter Big Package, a first time starter for the Moreau stable, won the opener with Filion in the bike in 1:57.1. In the second race, three-year-old pacer Camvicted also won in his Moreau barn debut to remain unbeaten in two career starts. Trevor Henry piloted the sophomore to victory in 1:54.1. Trotter Tymal Colossus kept the barn's hot streak going by easily winning the third race with Filion in 1:57. Moreau didn't send out his next starter until the sixth race, but he picked up right where he left off. Pacer Arrived Late and Filion turned in a big last-quarter to track down and defeat the favourite Velocity Headlight in 1:56. Moreau would next send out a pair of trotters in the top-level conditioned trot and score his fifth victory in upset fashion. Filion was able to get the veteran trotter Watkins to the wire first for a 13-1 upset in 1:55.2. The other Moreau starter, Cracker Zack, finished fourth. Moreau's final starter on the evening, Gonna Rock N Roll, finished out of the money in the final race of the night. The five win evening for Moreau catapults him ahead of Joe Cirasuola for top spot in the WEG trainer's standings. Moreau has won 15 races from 74 starters in 2015 at Woodbine. The veteran conditioner is a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada'a top trainer in 2014. The O'Brien Awards will take place on Saturday, February 7. Moreau will look to keep the hot streak going when he sends out three starters Thursday night at Woodbine. Richard Moreau's five winners Race 1 - Big Package Race 2 - Camvicted Race 3 - Tymal Colossus Race 6 - Arrived Late Race 9 - Watkins Mark McKelvie

London, January 25, 2015 -- Harness racing fans of the Super Hi-5 wager at The Raceway will have another massive pool to go after on Monday night's program. The late Super Hi-5 on Friday night did not produce a winning ticket, triggering a big carryover of more than $7,200. The Raceway will offer an instant guarantee on the gross pool for Monday night's early Super Hi-5 of $15,000. The early Super Hi-5 is offered on race 7 and asks fans to select the first five finishers in order. If no one correctly selects all five, then the pool gets carried over to the next Super Hi-5 race. The popular wager has produced some huge payouts of late, including a record return of $15,182.00 on a single .20 cent winning ticket in Friday's early Super Hi-5. Free programs and Free live streaming video are available at www.westernfairdistrict.com. Greg Blanchard                                                                          

ELORA, ON - Cujo's Cubs captured the inaugural edition of the Grand River Raceway Snow-Pitch Tournament, staged in the harness racing track's infield on January 24. Nine co-ed recreational teams battled under an overcast, and eventually foggy sky. As sunset approached, Cujo's Cubs held a three-run lead over The Roasters heading into the final inning. They held on to win by a single run. Cujo's Cubs include several harness racing participants and today's victorious line-up featured: Rob Doyle, Scott Lecain, James MacDonald, Jacqueline Ellis, Jared Bothwell, Stephanie Yorke, Julie Walker, Don Johnson, Lee Ibey and Boyd Wilson. The team is normally captained by Curtis (Cujo) MacDonald. The champs won $300 plus a team party for Dinner & Races in the Captain's Quarters tiered dining room at Grand River Raceway during the 2015 race season, which begins June 1. Grand River Raceway extends its gratitude to all of the tournament teams: GREAT In KW Meet Up, Booze On First, Cold Blooded, Sons of Pitches, Not The Benders, Where My Pitches At, The Zieglar's, The Roasters, and Cujo's Cubs Kelly Spencer

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

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

One of the first things you quickly learn in the harness racing industry is never put a stallion up on a pedestal too soon and don't hasten to pull him down in a hurry either. So many factors can affect the productive life of a stallion that it always pays to take a long term view with regards to any pronouncements with regards to their worth or lack of. One stallion that has had hugely different results from his first two crops is the son of The Panderosa in Shadow Play.  A standout performer at two, three and four on the track where he took a record of 1:47.4 and earned $1,559,882, Shadow Play was syndicated by Blue Chip Farms on his retirement from the track and stood his first year at Winbak Farms in Ontario in 2010. Shadow Play served a large book of 163 mares which resulted in an initial foal crop of 111 foals which hit the track in Canada in 2013. To say they took the racing scene by storm would be an understatement with the Shadow Plays dominating the Ontario Sires Stakes programme that season. The flagbearer was undoubtedly the very smart Arthur Blue Chip 2 1:51.2 ($400,120) who won a division of the Nassagaweya on his way to the Metro Pace. He then won his heat of the Metro in 1:51.2 in impressive fashion and was made the pre post favourite for the $683,000 final before having to be scratched due to sickness. He came back to win a $105,000 final of the Ontario Sires Stakes Series before being beaten a head in the final of the $534,500 Governors Cup at the Meadowlands. Arthur Blue Chip was proof that Shadow Play could sire grand circuit horses horses and along with several other smart performers  sired by Shadow Play propelled him to fifth on the North American Sires List and he was the second leading first season sire. The world looked his oyster and in the next breeding season Shadow Play served 162 mares in North America and 385 mares in Australasia on the back of the performance  of his first crop. That first crop would carry on at three in North America and he had another great year finishing eighth on the North American Sires List but he was badly handicapped by Arthur Blue Chip missing the whole year. Plenty of others stepped up such as Lady Shadow 1:49.2 ($477,679)  Skippin By 1:50.2 ($409,970) and Play It Again Sam 1:52 ($316,394) but there is no doubt that a fit Arthur Blue Chip would have had him a lot further up the list. At the same time as this was going on, the second crop of Shadow Play were hitting the tracks and they were very disappointing to put it mildly. The second crop numbered 75 foals and earned just $227,942 as two year olds in the 2014 season which was a big letdown after the heroics of his first crop. No Shadow Play earned over $30,000 from the second crop and only three went under 1:55 which is poor in 2014. So here you have a sire whose first two crops are like chalk and cheese and it is hard to know which one to judge him by. Shadow Play did get a great book of mares in his initial season which was diluted bigtime in season two by the arrival of Sportswriter on the stud scene in Ontario so that would have had an effect. Shadow Play's first Australasian crops hit the tracks last season and were ok without looking anything special. In Australia, Shadow Play had a first crop of 91 foals which finished 13th on the two year old sires list last season but he currently sits eighth on the three year old sires list and still has his best two year old from last year in Morior Invictus ($40,807) yet to start at three so he could finish a lot higher by season's end. In New Zealand the first crop of Shadow Play numbers just 19 foals but has produced the very talented Brilliant Strike who has won four of his eight starts to date and looks a legitimate Derby chance in the autumn. Overview Shadow Play is one of those stallions that polarizes people and you either really like him or really dislike him. Supporters can point to his first crop to support their view while detractors can point to his second crop to support theirs. We fall somewhere in the middle.  We know he can produce that elite performer like Arthur Blue Chip and Brilliant Strike but he has yet to strike that consistentcy needed at the top level. How Shadow Play ends up as a sire is still many years away from being resolved in our view and until then any final conclusions either way are premature and likely to be wrong. Harnesslink Media  

The surprising thing when you look at the siring charts for the two-year-olds in the 2014 harness racing season in North America is the small number of new sires that cracked the top twenty list. As the season is now history we thought it would be a good time to review the impact the new sires had and how we think they performed. Only three stallions who were first season sires made last years top twenty list and they were: Sportswriter -- 1:48.3 ($1,649,411) Rocknroll Heaven -- 1:47.3  ($2,774,478) Rockin Image - 1:48.2 ($903,424) All three have plenty to recommend themselves as far as pedigree goes. Sportswriter is by Artsplace from Precious Beauty 1:53 ($112,842) who has also left the top Art Major filly in Precocious Beauty 1:50.1 ($778,196) Rocknroll Heaven is by Rocknroll Hanover from Artistic Vision 1:50.2 ($644,623) who is also the dam of Clear Vision 1:48.2 ($2,318,598) Rockin Image is by Rocknroll Hanover from Kikikatie 1:50.3 ($1,415,566) whose five live foals have all gone in 1:50 or better As they all stood in completely different states and sire stakes programmes it is hard to compare them and you end up having to make some judgments for better or worse. Sportswriter Stood his first season in 2011 in Ontario in the midst of the great broodmare exodus from Canada. With the access to the "pokie" money denied, there was a lot of doom and gloom in the Canadian breeding industry and a lot of the top end mares were relocated to the USA due to the fear that the  sire stakes programmes in Canada would be substantially reduced. They still continue to race for great money and recents agreements mean the stakes are set to improve again Even allowing for the problems at the time Sportswriter served a huge book of quality mares which resulted in a foal crop in 2012 of 154 (largest in North America) which raced as two- year-olds last season in Ontario. They took the Ontario Sires Stakes programme by storm and dominated a lot of the races throughout the season. His first season statistics make great reading Foals -- 154 Starters -- 89 Winners -- 48 Sub 1:55 -- 21 Sub 1:53 -- 5 Total Stakes -- $2,489,354  We thought we would take a look at the maternal families of his top five stake earners for the season to get a line on weather Sportswriter is lifting pedigrees. Sports Chic 1:54.2 ($241,389) is from Vesta Blue Chip (unraced) who amongst her many winners has also left the champion mare Rainbow Blue 1:49.2 ($1,600,012) Reverend Hanover - 1:51.1 ($218,500) is from Razzel My Tazzel 1:58 ($13,026) who already has four $250,000 earners but Reverend Hanover looks like he might be the best of them Code One Hanover - 1:54.1 ($182,325) is from the very smart racemare Current Hanover 1:50.3 ($380,248) and is her second $100,000 winner to date Sporting The Look - 1:53 ($178,594) is the fourth foal and best winner to date from the smart racemare Lyons Mandi 1:53 ($162,482) while the grand-dam is the talented Merci 1:55.3 ($264,938) Bob Ben And John - 1:53 ($149,996) is from My Best Girl (lightly raced) who is a half sister to the top horse Calypso Beat 1:52.1 ($828,361)  From that close look Sportswriter is obviously not hurting pedigrees. The one negative and one that is repeated frequently to us when we talk to clients and owners in North America is his lack of a real superstar to go with all the winners. Sports Chic finished 15th on the 2014 seasons money won list while Reverend Hanover finished 22nd on the same list so for Sportswriters two best winners to be so far down the list is a concern  No Sportswriters were in the 2014 versions of the  Metro Pace or the She's A Great Lady Finals even though those races were in their backyard at Mohawk. Reverend Hanover was a late arrival in the later part of the season who did look a touch special but never got the chance to prove it. Comment - A great first season all round but did have several things in his favour namely the 154 foals and the lack of competition in the Ontario Sires Stakes programme means it is very hard to get a real handle on how Sportswriter stacks up. The numbers on there own are great but he does need some grand circuit performers to emerge at three or the naysayers will be out in force.  Rocknroll Heaven When Rocknroll Heaven went to stud he did so with a fanfare not accorded many stallions. Everything about the horse suggested this was a horse that could be a great sire if you listened to a lot of the breeders and owners in North America. He had a great racetrack career to go with his looks and a maternal family to die for. His dam Artistic Vision had won $644,623 and taken a mark of 1:50.2 and had also produced Clear Vision 1:48.2 ($2,318,598) Consequently he served a big book of the best mares in the standardbred world but that was balanced a bit in our opinion due to the fact that he stood at Blue Chip Farms in New York That meant that his progeny would be in the same Sires Stakes programme as Art Major, Bettor's Delight and American Ideal. Without doubt the toughest Sires Stakes programme to compete in during 2014 was New York so any success that Rocknroll Heaven had was going to be well earned.  Rocknroll Heaven's first crop was noticeable for the fact that his best four performers were all fillies headed by the brilliant Sassa Hanover 1:50.1 ($485,591) Foals -- 103 Starters -- 62 Winners -- 33 Sub1:55 -- 16 Sub 1:53 -- 3 Total Stakes -- $1,731,306 Again we have a look at the maternal families of the five biggest stakes earners  from his first crop Sassa Hanover 1:50.1 ($485,591) is the first foal from Sayo Hanover 1:54.2 ($45,317) who is a half sister to Sharky Osbourne 1:49.4 ($900,660)  Shadyshark Hanover 1:47.4 ($771,172) and Shaky Hanover 1:51.2 ($500,189) Band Of Angels 1:51.3 ($184,373) is from Time N Again 1:54 ($60,186) which makes her a half sister to the outstanding filly Romantic Moment 1:50.1 ($1,077,352) Divine Caroline 1:53.1 ($142,597) is the second foal from Loving Caroline 1:52 ($197,059). The first foal is Aunt Caroline 1:51.3 ($230,382) while the second dam of Divine Caroline is Best Laid Plans 1:50.4 ($401,085) Heavenly Bride 1:50.3 pl ($119,345) is the first foal from the former outstanding racemare in Native Bride 1:50 ($707,493) Arque Hanover 1:52.2 ($66,820) is the first foal from A Pippin Hanover 1:52.4 ($104,230) who is a half sister to Appleoosa Hanover 1 52.1 ($519,187) What is very obvious from just those five examples is the quality of the mares Rocknroll Heaven served in his debut season. The performance of his fillies is a big bonus for breeders but there must be some concern that his best son only earned $66,820 Still his sons and daughters were racing in the toughest Sires Stakes programme on the planet so they performed creditably overall. Comment - Given every chance to prove himself with the quality of the mares he served in his first season but more than delivered in the tough New York environment. Able to produce a standout filly in Sassa Hanover (3rd on stakes won list) and several other smart fillies as well but the lack of a real top line colt is a concern. Rockin Image While not a real star on the track, Rockin Image was a very talented racehorse nevertheless. He won in 1:50.4 at two and 1:48.2 at three and banked $901, 756. The big plus is a pedigree without peer with the dam Kikikatie 1:50.3 ($1,415,566) having the unbelievable record of all her five live foals having gone 1:50 or quicker and earned $3,098,977 between them. Rockin Image ended up at stud at Victory Hill Farm in Indiana alongside the state's leading sire in Always A Virgin whose three- year-olds had such a great season last year. He served a large book of good mares who while probably not in the same class as those mares served by Rocknroll Heaven, they have still got a lot of credits to their name with plenty of smart horses on the pedigree page. Rockin Image had 107 foals in his first crop and they did a stellar job in their debut season in the Indiana Sires Stakes programme. He had a good mixture of fillies and colts in his better performers and finished the season in 8th place on the North American 2 year old sires chart which was a great result for a stallion based in Indianna. Foals -- 107 Starters -- 60 Winners -- 29 Sub 1:55 -- 19 Sub 1:53 -- 4 Total Stakes -- $1,339,063 Again we have a look at the maternal families of his five biggest stake earners. Freeky Feet Pete 1:50.3 ($261,950) is from Skyway Lori 1:54.1 ($56,663) who  already has six $100,000 winners apart from this colt. Rockin Good 1:53.2 ($181,250) is from Do Me Good 1:52.4 ($435,346) and the dam is a half sister to Another Mile 1:50.1($641,587) and Do Me Justice 1:53.2 ($412,844) Camturo Rock 1:52.3 ($100,980) is from the smart racemare Camturo 1:52.2 ($190,715) and the dam is a half sister to Matt Damon 1:51.2 ($261.205) Image Of Felicia 1:53.2 ($91,926) is from the smart racemare Keep Your Pans Off 1:51.1($298,441) who has three $100,000 credits as a broodmare including Pans Culottes 1:54.3 ($318,472) Rock The Look 1:54.4 ($88,020) is from Halle Go Lightly 1:54.2 ($65,660) and the dam is a half sister to Trade Sign 1:50.4 ($484,030) and Whogoesfirst 1:49.3 ($357,325) while the grand dam is Go Lightly 1:53.4 ($242,666) A nice group of mares who seem to have clicked with Rockin Image with most of these five on track to be the best winner produced by the dam.  Freeky Feet Pete was the eight fastest 2 year old produced in North America last year and has the look of a horse who will be a great flag bearer for his young sire as a 3 year old. Took the mantle of top 2 year old sire in Indiana off Always A Virgin at his first attempt, which given the success of that stallion on the national stage lately is no mean feat. Comment  - Did a huge job when you take everything into consideration and to finish eighth overall in North America in season one from a base in Indianna is a great result. Has smart fillies and colts and they seem genuine types which is a big plus. We will surely see a couple of the Rockin Image's on the grand circuit as 3 year olds. Harnesslink Media

TORONTO, December 27 - The 2014 harness racing season concluded Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack and although there was little drama for the WEG driving title, the final card was needed to decide the season's top trainer. Chris Christoforou entered Saturday evening with a comfortable eight win lead over Jody Jamieson in the driver's standings, but Carmen Auciello came into the final card with only a two win lead over Richard Moreau for the training title. Both trainers sent out a plethora of horses Saturday evening, with Auciello's barn sending out eight starters and Moreau's sending out ten. The Moreau trained Ray Hall captured the first race of the evening to get his trainer to within a win of the top spot, but the Auciello trained Camaes Fellow would extend the lead back to two with a victory in the seventh race. Montreal Phil would come through in the tenth race with a victory to get Moreau back to within a win of Auciello with both trainers sending out their final starter in the next race. In the eleventh race, the Moreau trained Naked City left hard to grab the early lead, while the Auciello trained Glammit came first up down the backstretch to battle with the leader. In the stretch, Naked City would relinquish the lead late in the mile to finish third, but Glammit dug in to score the first over victory and secure the training title for Auciello. Auciello finished the 2014 WEG season with 95 victories, while Moreau's two victories Saturday night gave him a total of 93 wins. Auciello, 34, is wrapping up a career best season. The Stouffville resident's starters banked more than $2.6 million this year, with $1.6 million of those earnings coming on the WEG circuit. This is Auciello's first WEG training title. As for the driving title, Christoforou completed his 2014 resurgence with his first WEG driving title since 2003. Christoforou, 43, picked a single victory Saturday night to finish the 2014 season with 226 victories at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks. Jamieson, who won two races Saturday evening, finished second with 219 wins and Sylvain Filion, the reigning driving title champion, finished third with 201 wins. Filion led all drivers in earnings for 2014 on the WEG circuit with over $5.3 million in earnings, while Christoforou drove winners of over $4.8 million. The 2014 WEG driving title is one of several accomplishments for Christoforou this season, including surpassing 6,000 wins and $100 million in earnings. Christoforou was also recently named a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada's Driver of the Year. Live racing resumes next Saturday, January 3rd at Woodbine Racetrack and continues on a four-nights-a-week schedule of Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday in 2015. Post time each evening is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred

TORONTO, December 12 - Three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were in the spotlight Friday night for the first leg of the Valedictory Series at Woodbine Racetrack. 19 sophomore colts and geldings were split into two $15,000 divisions for the opening leg of the three-week series. In the first division, Kindofabigdeal, the heavy favourite, lived up to his billing with a three length victory in 1:52. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Kindofabigdeal was second at the opening quarter, but quickly scooted to the lead in the second quarter and never looked back. The son of No Pan Intended set honest fractions of :55.4 and 1:24, before rolling home in :28 to score the opening leg victory. Mittcent Van Gogh took the place spot, while Ideal Shadow finished third. Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc. The three-year-old has now won four of eight starts in his first season of racing for earnings of over $42,000. He paid $3.60 to win. Kindofabigdeal In the second division, Company Man pulled off an 18-1 upset with James MacDonald in the bike. Rural Art, the even-money favourite, was first up around the final turn pressing at the leader So Bad Im Good. Meanwhile, Company Man was third over following closely behind Ransom Demand. In the stretch, Rural Art could not get by So Bad Im Good, but Ransom Demand and Company Man swept by the top two on the far outside. At the wire, Company Man got the best of Ransom Demand to score a two length victory in 1:52.2. So Bad Im Good held off Rural Art to round out the top three. A son of American Ideal, Company Man is trained by Allen Tomlinson for owner Daniel Mitchell. Company Man, who had been racing south of the border over the last few months, has now won three times from 16 starts this year and now has earnings of over $45,000 in career earnings. The clocking of 1:52.2 is a new career mark for Company Man. He paid $39 to win. Company Man In order to be eligible to the Valedictory Series, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. The second leg of the Valedictory will take place next Friday (December 19). Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie WEG Communications 

TORONTO, November 6 - It was not a good night to be a favourite in the Autumn Series finals Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The Autumn Series for Ontario sired two-year-olds came to a close with the finals for two-year-old colts and geldings. Full fields of ten contested both the $33,600 final for the trotters and the $35,800 final for the pacers. In the trotting final, a break by One Direction, the 3/5 favourite, opened the door for Baudron and Riina Rekila to pull of a 70-1 shocker. Leaving from post one, Baudron was taken back early by Rekila and trotted by the opening quarter in ninth. A couple of breakers in the second quarter allowed Baudron to pick up second over cover behind Olympic Son and trot up closer to the leaders. After following that cover to the top of the stretch, Rekila showed Baudron open racetrack and he trotted by the leaders and on to a length and three-quarters victory in 1:58. Olympic Son took the place spot, while Rubber Duck got up for third. A son of Infinitif, Baudron, who is also trained by Rekila, entered the Autumn Series final having yet to taste victory in ten career starts. The rookie trotter had finished second in the opening leg and seventh in the second leg. The Autumn Series final victory increases Baudron's bankroll to $23,890 for owner Overseas Farm Limited. A $2 win ticket on Baudron returned a generous $160.00. Baudron On the pacing side, Robert Hill completed the Autumn Series sweep with a 1:54 victory. Driven by James MacDonald, Robert Hill left hard from post two to take the early lead, but would quickly get shuffled back to third in the second quarter, as Frankie Boy and J Js Delivery battled on the front end. Meanwhile, Sugarsam, the even-money favourite, was able to find second over cover behind The Battle Begins at the half, while pacing along in sixth. Around the final turn, Sugarsam failed to keep up with The Battle Begins and drifted out towards the centre of the track. He would eventually finish ninth. At the top of the lane, J Js Delivery had a narrow lead on The Battle Begins, while Frankie Boy, who was in the two-hole, made break. Frankie Boy's break would clear space for Robert Hill to get out into the three-wide path and take his shot at the leaders. It took to nearly the final stride, but Robert Hill got up just in time to defeat The Battle Begins by half a length and J Js Delivery by a length and a quarter. The final leg victory was an Autumn Series sweep for Robert Hill and he did it with a flare for the dramatics. The son of Jeremes Jet never won an Autumn Series leg by more than half a length and won last week's second leg by only a nose. Trained by Tony Alagna for owner Tom Hill, Robert Hill has now won five of 12 career starts and has earnings of $64,050. He returned $10.50 to win. Robert Hill  Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Qualifiers to stay at Mohawk until end of the month TORONTO, November 6 – The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to advise horsepeople that qualifiers will continue to be held at Mohawk Racetrack until the end of the month. Weather permitting, qualifying sessions will be held each Friday morning at 10 a.m. for the remainder of November. Horses must be entered by 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays to qualify on Fridays. Along with qualifiers remaining at Mohawk, the track will also remain open for training until the end of the month. Training is available at Mohawk on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The track closes on training days at 12:30 p.m. Here is a full schedule of qualifying dates at Mohawk.  Friday, November 7 Friday, November 14 Friday, November 21 Friday, November 28 Mark McKelvie    

TORONTO, October 25 - The finest two-year-olds in harness racing were on display Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack for the Fall Four Stakes. Consisting of the Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid, the Fall Four Stakes has been an annual showcase of the best freshmen in the sport. A costly miscue and a giant upset got the action underway in the $464,000 Goldsmith Maid for two-year-old trotting fillies. Mission Brief, the 3/5 heavy favourite, made a break leaving the gate throwing the fate of the rich final up into the air. Capitalizing on the public's choice break was 70-1 longshot Smexi and driver Corey Callahan. A daughter of Explosive Matter, Smexi got a two-hole trip behind Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell and was able to come off the leaders back in the stretch and trot on to a length and a half victory. Stubborn Belle held on for second, while Juanitas Fury finished third. "Leaving out of there I looked over and saw that she (Mission Brief) had made a break," said Callahan following the race. "We got really lucky Paul and I, we just kind of got things on our own up there, nobody really moved and it worked perfect for me." Trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman, Smexi had only one victory in eleven starts heading into the Goldsmith Maid. Takter, who drove Smexi in her elimination last week, handed the lines over to Callahan and told the driver his filly was ready and to put her in the race. "Tonight before the race he (Takter) pulled me aside and told me listen she was a little rough on me last week," said Callahan. "But I warmed her up tonight and she was really sharp and on her toes." The Goldsmith Maid victory pushes Smexi's career bankroll to over $364,000. Smexi paid $159.30 to win, while a $2 exactor paid just under $1,200. Smexi Fall Four night quickly became the Takter show in the $521,000 Valley Victory for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Takter trainees finished first, second, fourth and fifth to almost take the entire purse home in the rich final Pinkman and driver Sylvain Filion were able to convert off a second over trip to narrowly defeat stablemate Uncle Lasse by a head in 1:55.4. The heavy 3/5 favourite, Habitat, finished third wedge between Takter starters, as The Bank and Walter White finished fourth and fifth respectively. A son of Explosive Matter, Pinkman was making only his sixth career start in the Valley Victory final, but has now won four of those starts for earnings of over $330,000. Following the race, Takter explained why Pinkman was a little late getting to the races. "We castrated him after his baby races, he kind of didn't pay attention where he was suppose to," said Takter. "He had a very complicated castration, so it took a little bit of a long time for him to get where he (is), but he has surprised me a lot." Takter also said the son of Explosive Matter wasn't on his radar as a superstar training down. "Average, he did everything right, but I had quite a few horses that I thought were a lot better, but these horses that have the good willing to want to do it, especially at this time of year, can get it all." Pinkman is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. He returned $16.60 to win. Pinkman Artspeak, this year's Metro Pace winner, bounced back in impressive fashion to win the $565,000 Governors Cup for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Leaving from post position six, Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron got away sixth and were able to get into the outer flow on the backstretch, as Lost For Words hung up a big half of :54.3. As the field rounded the final turn, Pierce Hanover cleared to the front leaving Artspeak second over on the back of Lyons Again, as the field ripped by the three-quarter pole in 1:21.4. In the stretch, Artspeak came off his cover and powered by his rivals to take the lead and score a solid length and a half victory in 1:50.4. Go Daddy Go got up to finish second, while Pierce Hanover held on for third. A son of Western Ideal, Artspeak is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The GYM Partners. Heading into the Governors Cup final, Artspeak had made a break in two consecutive starts for the first two losses of his career. Following the race, Alagna spoke about the recent miscues from the two-year-old and getting him ready for the final. "I came up Tuesday, trained him up Wednesday and he trained fantastic at the farm, so I thought we had the kinks worked out," said Alagna. "Most people know that if I didn't have confidence the horse was ok, with the connections that own the horse he would've never been here to race, so I was very happy that he showed us the redemption that everybody thought he should." After training Artspeak earlier in the week, Alagna said he told the connections at dinner that he had full confidence in the horse. "I told them that night at dinner, he's back on his game, we've got our horse back." By adding the Governors Cup to his resume that already includes the Metro Pace, Artspeak has now won the two richest events of the season for two-year-old pacers. His record now stands at eight wins from ten starts for career earnings of just over $805,000. Artspeak paid $3.50 to win. Jk Shesalady improved to a perfect ten for ten with another victory in the $424,000 Three Diamonds for two-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at Woodbine. Sent off as the heavy 1/5 favourite, Jk Shesalady and Yannick Gingras got away fifth and sat along the rail until the midway point of the race. Around the final turn, Gingras sent Jk Shealady first up to challenge the leader, The Show Returns, as the fillies were on even terms at the three-quarter pole in 1:24. Jk Shesalady came off the turn and quickly created separation with the field and cruised home to an impressive looking length and a half victory in 1:52.1. Solar Sister took the place spot, while Ideal Nuggets finished third. The Three Diamonds victory was the tenth win in a row for the undefeated Jk Shealady. Following the race, Gingras talked about racing her first up once again Saturday night. "It seems to be working for her, so no sense in changing anything," said Gingras. "She likes to relax in the first half and she's got a huge brush for the second half." A daughter of Art Major, Jk Shesalady is trained by Nancy Johansson for owners 3 Brothers Stable. Jk Shesalady has now banked over $669,000 in her rookie season and has earned herself consideration in Horse of the Year talk. She returned $2.50 to win. Mark McKelvie

Three Of Clubs fought off challenges early and late on his way to an authoritative 1:51.1 harness racing triumph in the $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for sophomore colt and gelding pacers on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Driver Doug McNair shot Three Of Clubs to the front from post position six, and he would chop out the opening quarter in 27 seconds flat. Silverhill Shadow (Chris Christoforou), who started from post ten, was unable to find an inside position, and he was forced to press on. McNair wasn’t about to let him clear, though, and left him on the outside through the 55 second half. Victor Bayama (Sylvain Filion) elected to tip three-wide on the far turn to try and get around Silverhill Shadow, and public choice Jet Airway (Randy Waples) tracked that move. However, they were both still very wide and still clearly behind Three Of Clubs as he cruised through three-quarters in 1:23.1. Pocket-sitter Play It Again Sam and a wide Jet Airway had clear aim at Three Of Clubs the entire length of the stretch, but they didn’t have the pace to track him down, and Three Of Clubs went on to win by two lengths in 1:51.1. Play It Again Sam was the runner-up and Jet Airway had to settle for third. Prince Clyde (Trevor Henry) was the fourth-place finisher and Victor Bayama wound up fifth. “He had great gate speed last year, but we’ve had trouble with him all year,” McNair said of Three Of Clubs, who is headed to the Windy City Pace at Maywood Park in suburban Chicago. “He was getting bad gaited near the end of the mile. Kudos to the guys who work for dad, Dad (winning trainer Gregg McNair), and all the vets, they got this horse ready for the end of the year and they did a great job. I thought he had a good shot as long as he was good gaited. He can get off the wings good. It’s too bad he’s had trouble all year because he should have twice amount the money on his card he’s got.” Gregg McNair of Guelph, Ontario, also co-owns Three Of Clubs, a colt by Mach Three, with Hall of Famer Keith Waples of Durham and Tony Lawrence of Hanover, Ontario. Three Of Clubs got his second win from 12 efforts this year, and he now has six career victories. He has earned $255,480 on the campaign and $462,097 lifetime. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News

October 11, 2014. Harper Blue Chip, who was third in the Hambletonian and the Canadian Trotting Classic this season, capped off a four-for-four Ontario Sires Stakes campaign with a hard-fought 1:54.3 victory in tonight’s $250,000 Super Final for harness racing three-year-old male trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Harper Blue Chip settled in fourth while Maximuscle (Rick Zeron) flexed some muscle from the far outside post ten starting position and cleared the field before the 27 second opening quarter. Filion then sent Harper Blue Chip on the attack up the backstretch, but he was still on the outside of Maximuscle at the :56.2 half. Maximuscle and Zeron kept the pedal to the metal around the far turn, leaving Harper Blue Chip parked out all the way around the turn and over to the 1:24.1 three-quarters. Harper Blue Chip forged his way around Maximuscle early in the stretch despite the wide journey, and none of the closers were able to track him down as Harper Blue Chip reported home with a two length victory. Ole Jack Magic (Chris Christoforou) was up for second and Verdi (Paul MacDonell) split horses to collect third. P L Hercules (Randy Waples) got fourth and Maximuscle finished fifth. “The trip didn’t work out the way I think Sylvain and I anticipated,” said winning trainer Mark Steacy, who noted that Harper Blue Chip will be heading to the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs before the going to the Breeders Crown at Meadowlands Racetrack. “We were hoping maybe to clear to the front a lot earlier than that. We didn’t know we’d have to come first-up that hard. This horse, he’s stepped up to the bell every time he’s gone behind the gate this year. The season’s been great. “He’s not a flashy horse or anything and he’s not probably the quickest horse. He just has a big heart, just like his dad (Steacy trainee Majestic Son). He just wants to win. He likes to make money and he seems to be able to get it done.” Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie, and George Judson of Athens, Ontario, own Harper Blue Chip, who has won six times from 13 starts this year and ten times in his career. Out of the Muscles Yankee mare Winning Jonlin, the three-year-old colt was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. and Ray Schnittker and was purchased for $40,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale. Harper Blue Chip has earned $606,942 in 2014 and $803,825 lifetime. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News

October 11, 2014. Reverend Hanover, called the mirror image of his sire Sportswriter by his trainer and co-owner, remains unbeaten in his rookie season as he captured tonight’s $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for harness racing two-year-old pacing colts with ease at Mohawk Racetrack to give him four wins in as many starts in his young career. Several of the rookies left hard at the start with Make Some Luck gaining control early and pacing by the opening quarter in :27. His stablemate Sporting The Look tried to pass but Make Some Luck wouldn’t comply and meanwhile three wide came Reverend Hanover who took over control and never looked back. He reached the half in :55, the three-quarters in 1:24.3 and could not be caught down the lane as he hit the wire in 1:52.1. Drachan Hanover made a valiant effort and settled for second while Manny In Sports was third. Casie Coleman trains and co-owns the winner, a son of her former stable star Sportswriter whose first crop has been performing impressively all season. “The whole way training down this colt trained like a real great colt. I did have him staked to everything, the Metro, Breeders Crown and Governor’s Cup. He bucked a shin right when we got home from Florida. That’s a Thoroughbred injury, it’s not very common in Standardbreds but he did it. I didn’t think he’d race much this season but he healed real quick and we got him ready and did a little racing this season,” explained Coleman. “He’s just like his old man, he’s so much like Sportswriter, you go watch Sportswriter’s replays, then watch Reverend Hanover, it looks like you’re watching the same horse. (He has a) great attitude, great gait, everything about him – he’s just a sweetheart to work around. He’s identical to his father. “He’s going to be turned out now and get ready for the next season.” Purchased by West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatham and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, Ontario for $24,000 at the Harrisburg Sale, Reverend Hanover was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. His dam, Razzle My Dazzle, is a sister to Mystical Mike, Cut Throat and Artistry who have all won more than $300,000 in their careers. Coleman actually had five colts entered into tonight’s Super Final but two had to be scratched due to sickness. The other two, Sportskeeper and Bob Ben And John finished fourth and fifth. She noted she was thankful that the three that did race didn’t get sick as well. Christoforou has been the primary driver on many of Coleman’s youngsters this year. “I needed a driver and he wasn’t committed and it’s been very successful,” said Coleman. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News

Dont Rush, who came about thanks to a free breeding, closed from off-the-pace to capture Saturday night’s $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for harness racing two-year-old colt and gelding trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. The final time of the mile was 1:57.1. In the early going Rise Up Rise Up (Mike Saftic) and Caulfield (Trevor Henry) battled, with the former forcing the latter to drop into the pocket before the :27.3 opening quarter. Alacrity (Eddie Green) had been in fifth at that point, but Green sent him to the outside in the backstretch, and Alacrity joined and then cleared Rise Up Rise Up for the top spot at the :57.2 half. When Alacrity cleared that left Luck O The Irish (Sylvain Filion) first-over, and he would move up on the rim to engage with the leader at the 1:27 three-quarters. Platoon Seelster (Jack Moiseyev) slipped off the rail to grab the second-over trip behind Luck O The Irish, and Dont Rush (Chris Christoforou) was positioned third-over as the field spun for home. Luck O The Irish managed to work his way into the lead in the lane, but Christoforou had Dont Rush in high gear out in the centre of the racetrack, and Dont Rush would go by the leaders inside the final sixteenth on his way to the win by a couple of lengths. Platoon Seelster was up to finish second and Luck O The Irish grabbed third. Also taking home part of the purse were A Little More Love (Randy Waples) and Caulfield. “He’s done really well, and he’s won his last three starts. Usually if I have a colt that does well, they stay well all year long,” offered winning trainer Dustin Jones. “I bought the mare as a yearling in Kentucky. I’ve raised a few colts out of her but nothing like this. This was the result of a free breeding from Jean-Pierre Dubois, so I have to thank him a lot. I was just hoping he was going to be a good Grassroots horse. He really surprised me.” Jones of Waterdown, Ontario, also bred and now co-owns Dont Rush, an Infinitif colt, with partner Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. Dont Rush, who won in Gold Series action on July 13 at Georgian Downs, on September 30 at Flamboro Downs, and on September 30 at Mohawk, is now four-for-11 in the win column with earnings of $296,985. He’s the sixth foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Color Me Pretty, a half-sister to the likes of Best Image (Balanced Image, $104,110), who was three-for-three during her OSS career. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News

October 11, 2014. “Down by the wire tonight I was asking her to go and she was looking at me like ‘we’ve got it won bud, just relax,’ And we did.” That’s how harness racing driver Jody Jamieson described the end of his trip with Danielle Hall who parlayed a perfect pocket trip to score a mild upset over favourite Stubborn Belle in tonight’s $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies at Mohawk. It was the first of eight Super Finals on the card wrapping up the 2014 OSS season. Paul MacDonell and Stubborn Belle protected their rail position as the race got underway with Jamieson tucking Danielle Hall (who left from post two) right behind. Stubborn Belle reached the first quarter in :27.1, the half in :56.1 and the three-quarters in 1:25. As the field trotted around the final turn Jamieson pulled the right line on Danielle Hall and she managed to get by Stubborn Belle and hit the wire first in 1:54.1. The time was just two-fifths of a second off the OSS record established by Bee A Magician. Muscle Baby Doll was able to get up for second for Doug McNair while Stubborn Belle held on for third. Steve Condren managed to work out a rather impossible trip for Stubborn Belle’s stablemate from the John Bax barn to grab fourth. Mischief Smile earned the final cheque. It was win number seven in 10 tries this year for Danielle Hall, a daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe owned by trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, and Winnipeg Racing (Tom Kyron) of Concord, Ontario. She now has $378,000 earned this year. “I really didn’t see the race turning out like that. I thought that Mac (MacDonell) would let a couple go and re-move but his filly got off on a real good foot tonight. I was a little bit behind the eight ball making sure I closed up the two hole when it was there following Stubborn Belle there was no other trip,” explained Jody Jamieson. “I wasn’t confident in pulling that early but Dougie (McNair) was coming with a really nice filly (Muscle Baby Doll), trained by Tony O’Sullivan, she’s been sprinting by me or close to me all year. My mare felt so good I just I said ‘well, it’s now or never.’ She showed tonight she’s a pretty nice animal. “She’s just so smart, a couple of times I’ve won with her here and turned her around, just like I did tonight, and walked her down the rail and she’s got her ears up looking around. She’s very smart, that’s one of her best attributes.” Danielle Hall was a $21,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select Sale from breeder Walnut Hall of Lexington, Kentucky. She is the third foal from $247,000 winner Debbie Hall. Carl Jamieson reports she'll head next to the Goldsmith Maid followed by the Breeders Crown if all goes well. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11.

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