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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.

October 11, 2014. Harness racing driver Paul MacDonell has won more Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals than any other driver and he showed exactly why in tonight’s $250,000 Super Final for two-year-old pacing fillies with Code One Hanover who picked the perfect time to produce the best race yet of her career. Code One Hanover grabbed early control for MacDonell but was covered by Capela before the :27 first quarter. That filly wasn’t there long though as Wrangler Magic took over well before the :56.3 half. Steve Condren had I Wonder Why first up and pressuring at that point leading several fillies in the outside lane but Wrangler Magic was managing to hold them off. The three-quarters was reached in 1:24.4 and down the lane MacDonell had Code One Hanover in high gear up the inside and at the wire she and Wrangler Magic seemed to reach it at the same second with Code One Hanover getting the nod in the photo. Akissfromtheart took third while Sports Chic was fourth. The time of the mile was 1:54.1. “There’s no question about it we were going to need a trip no matter how things unfolded. She was able to get out of the gate well and get away third and things worked out for her,” explained MacDonell who was notching his 15th Super Final victory since the championship races were introduced in 2000, and notched his 16th in the very next race with Riveting Rosie. “She won her race at Grand River earlier in the summer (an OSS Gold event) fairly handily, she qualified well early but she did tail off mid season and we were a little concerned about her, but she came right back around tonight. Everything worked in our favour.” Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, trains and owns the winner, a daughter of Sportswriter he purchased as a yearling last year at the Lexington Select Sale for $75,000. This was the second win in 10 tries for Code One Hanover who has earned $182,000 so far in her young career. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, the filly is from the $380,000 winner Current Hanover. "That's the end of her season," noted Darling. She'll have a rest before getting prepped for her sophomore campaign. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. By OSS News

There was no denying Skippin By her harness racing title as Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion in tonight’s $250,000 three-year-old pacing filly final at Mohawk. Skippin By, with Randy Waples at the lines as usual, blasted by the opening quarter in :26.1 and the half in :54.1. Lady Shadow got hung out on the outside when she was unsuccessful in her try for the top as Skippin By was not about to give it up. She hit the three-quarters in 1:22.2 and was home comfortably in 1:51.3. Brescia Seelster was second with Sectionline Aqua taking third. Corey Johnson took over the filly’s training at the beginning of August. “She had quite a few starts under her belt. They told me she was a nice filly but had just been having some difficulties. She surprised us all, she’s wonderful, I can’t say enough about her,” he said. With respect to the trip he noted he didn’t think she’d have to do that much work so early to hold off Lady Shadow. “Lady Shadow’s had a huge year, she’s a wonderful filly as well. I think it was our race to lose. My one concern was not to overdo it, and see how things panned out. Randy did a wonderful job, I can’t say enough.” As to what makes the filly so good, he praised: “She’s got a wonderful attitude. She’s all about her job, she loves to win. There’s no end to her.” Owned by Wall Bros. Stable and Bruce Soulsby of Ohio, Skippin By’s earnings for the season climbed over $373,000 with tonight’s effort. Soulsby indicated that the owners are seriously considering supplementing her to the Breeders Crown as she wasn’t kept eligible. Bred by the respected bloodstock expert, the late Bart Glass, Skippin By, a daughter of Shadow Play, sold for a mere $5,000 at the Lexington Select Sale as a yearling. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. Ontario Sire Stakes

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 10 - Harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon will send out a quartet of starters in this Saturday's $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals at Mohawk and will be looking for a little bit of luck along the way. The post position gods weren't kind to Baillargeon as his two best chances Saturday evening drew posts nine and ten, while his other two starters drew post position seven. However, bad post positions or not, Baillargeon's starters all appear to have a chance to be a factor on Saturday evening. The first horse Baillargeon will send forward Saturday is the three-year-old colt trotter Muscle Matters, who will start from post position nine. Despite having not recorded a victory in eight starts this season, the son of Muscle Mass has finished second six times and banked over $165,000. "He's very shy of the winner's circle this year," said Baillargeon. "He had bad luck early in the spring and it's been a tough year." Baillargeon is hopeful that Muscle Matters, who won last year's Super Final as a two-year-old, can finally get the job done on Saturday. "A race is a race, like he's been there, but he doesn't win, but hopefully that might change and this Saturday would be the time." In order to defend his title, Muscle Matters will have to defeat the divisional standout Harper Blue Chip, who has yet to lose a Sires Stakes event this season in three starts. Baillargeon's second starter on Saturday evening won't have to deal with a powerhouse like Harper Blue Chip, but instead will meet a very even group of two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Lets Be Honest (PP7), a son of Deweycheatumnhowe, will be looking to break his maiden in style on Saturday evening. In his most recent start on September 30, Lets Be Honest finished fourth after being off since August 5. "Last week was his first start in six or seven weeks and I sent him back to the owners in between," said Baillargeon. "I know he hurt himself and he didn't do too much in between." Baillargeon believes the son of Deweycheatumnhowe will be better in his second start off the shelf. "He should be tighter, he should race well and he trained real well on Wednesday." Baillargeon's final two starters on Saturday evening will lineup in the three-year-old filly trot Super Final. White Becomes Her (PP10), a daughter of Angus Hall, was an early season standout in this division and has banked over $244,000 this year. Meanwhile, Miss Liv, a daughter of Kadabra, has yet to win this year, but has quietly earned over $122,000. Both fillies have put together solid seasons, but Baillargeon knows they will have their hands full with another filly in the race. "They've been two nice mares, but they need luck. Riveting Rosie is razor sharp right now and I got lucky at the beginning of the year she wasn't that great and mine (White Becomes Her) was real good back then, but it's a race." White Becomes Her captured a division of the first two Gold legs of the season, while Riveting Rosie won a division of the final three legs. Ben's brother Mario will handle the driving duties behind Muscle Matters, Lets Be Honest and White Becomes Her, while Steven Condren will drive Miss Liv. The veteran conditioner has his quartet set for Saturday evening and will now just need a little bit of help. "Everybody's healthy and everything looks okay, so we just need luck." Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

Kentucky Futurity Day showcased North America’s monte racing as six harness racing entrants contested the $10,000 exhibition event Sunday. Therese Lindgren piloted In Nomine Patri to victory with a rallying 2:00.3 win, last quarter in a sharp :27.2. The winner, a six year-old gelded son of Credit Winner-Blue Skies Hanover-Donerail, is trained by Liisa Vatanen, co-owner with American Dream Racing Stable. Pacesetter Chinese Cuisine was a solid second for Tina Duer with Flowing James home third for Tara Hynes. In Nomine Patri Ontario monte action also continued with Western Fair’s pari-mutuel test on October 3rd. The $3,000 purse event went to Lexus Hawkeye (5g Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu-Angus Hall) and N. Elliott. Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad)  and Twin B Excalibur (E. Harms) trailed the 2:04.3h winner. Next up in Ontario monte action is October 12 at Leamington. monteamerica.com Thomas H. Hicks

Riveting Rosie was the standout harness racing two-year-old trotting filly in Canada last season but she struggled for that same dominance this year – until recently that is. The three-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass has had to overcome a number of issues this season including some nasty cuts to her back legs from a training accident prior to the start of her 2014 campaign which trainer John Bax treated with Manuka honey on the advice of his vet. “It’s been one thing after another with her this year, I’d love to see her finish the year strong,” Bax said shortly after Rosie finished second to the top filly Shake It Cerry in the Elegantimage final earlier this month. It would appear Bax is getting his wish. In her next race after that appearance, a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division, Rosie went to the top and never looked back to win by more than six lengths in 1:57 which equaled the track record despite the track being rated good. Tonight at Mohawk, in the final OSS Gold event for this division, Riveting Rosie was once again the best of her group by open lengths, winning in a new life best of 1:54, again over an off track. Rosie left from post six in the compact field of a half dozen in the second of two divisions and she was quick to the first quarter in :27. Rosie pulled Paul MacDonell to the half in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:26. White Becomes Her came up to challenge in the final turn, and tucked in behind the leader down the stretch as she could not gain on Rosie who was home with more than four lengths to spare over White Becomes Her and Mayberry. Bred by Schare Adams of Kentucky, Riveting Rose sold for $17,000 at the Lexington Select Sale to Bax, Don Allensen, Wyoming, J And T Stable, Newmarket and John Hayes, Sharon, Ontario. Rosie’s summary on the year now reads 3-2-2 in 13 starts for $276,000 earned this year and $745,293 lifetime. In the first division Muscle Babe powered to the front early to hit the opening quarter in :27. Randy Waples pulled Sweetie Hearts out from second just past that point and she trotted by the half in :57. Miss Liv came up on the outside to challenge and that pair were neck and neck at the 1:26.2 third panel. Sweetie Hearts put away that challenger and was home first easily in 1:55. Kate Smith closed a ton to take second while Miss Liv held for third. Bob Key of Leechburg, Pa., bred and owns the winner, a daughter of Angus Hall who has four wins in 15 trips behind the gate this year for $280,000 in earnings. Ron Parsons trains the filly whose second dam is a full sister to American Winner, Super Pleasure, Jonlin, etc. The top fillies from the division will meet one more time in OSS action, on Super Final night, October 11, back at Mohawk. To view the results from tonight’s event, please click Mohawk Results - September 30. By OSS News

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway staged its final race night of the 48-day harness racing meet on September 29. Despite fewer races and fewer cards, the average bet per race jumped 17.8 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. Total wagering on Grand River Raceway is up 6.7 percent from just under $6.5 million in 2013 to $6.9 million this year, based on the first 48 race dates of 2013. Leona Ruddock of Kitchener, ON was the grand prize winner in the finale of the track's handicapping contest. The Grand River regular beat 109 fellow handicappers to claim a spot in the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship at The Meadowlands Racetrack in April 2015. Ruddock scored a bankroll of $92.90 with hypothetical $2 win and place bets on races two through seven. A 23-1 whopper in race six solidified Ruddock's win when trotter Lady Is A Pirate and Tyler Borth lit up the toteboard with a three-quarter length score in a new season's best of 2:00.2. Finishing second through fifth in the contest and winning a $50 HorsePlayer Interactive cash card were John Dametto, Stuart Perry, Thomas Lane and Larry Lougheed. Live racing returns to Grand River Raceway on June 1, 2015. Kelly Spencer

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 25 - Harness racing driver Driver Anthony Macdonald was recognized Thursday evening for recently surpassing $25 million in career earnings. On Sunday evening at Flamboro Downs, MacDonald guided Kate Smith to victory in a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event to surpass the $25 million mark. On Thursday evening, MacDonald was presented with a sign from Bill McLinchey, Manager of Racing Operations, recognizing his recent accomplishment after guiding pacer Nine Lives Hanover to victory in the evening's eighth race. MacDonald, 37, is a resident of Guelph, Ontario and is in the midst of his tenth consecutive season with over $1 million in earnings and more than 100 victories. This season, MacDonald has 105 victories and earnings of more than $1.3 million. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Anthony on his accomplishment and wish him continued success. Mark McKelvie

Two-year-old trotting colt Caulfield recorded his third straight harness racing victory in the third and final $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division tonight at Flamboro Downs. In that division Wilbur Eden was very quick at the start, hitting the opening marker in :29.3 for Trevor Henry. As they reached the half in 1:00.3 he had company from Holiday My Way and three wide came Alacrity as they reached the third panel in 1:30.1. Holiday My Way broke stride in the final turn and down the stretch Caulfield and Chris Christoforou closed a ton to win in 1:59.3. Wilbur Eden held for second while Winning Wizard was third. A son of Kadabra owned by Synereco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, and trained by Chris Beaver, Caulfield was notching his fourth win in six career starts and third in a row. Bred by Jeff Ruch of Innisfil and Ted MacDonnell of Allenford, Ontario, Caulfield sold for $20,000 at last year’s Harrisburg sale. Christoforou was also victorious in the first division where the two outside horses left quickest. Boli (post six) and Infiniti AS (post seven) got away first and second as the gate left with Boli leading the group by the first quarter in :30.3 and the half in 1:02.1. Luck O The Irish took over well before the 1:31.2 third panel as Boli went offstride. He soon had company in the form of Dont Rush and that pair battled down the lane with Dont Rush narrowly winning in 2:00.3. Luck O The Irish had to be content with the bridesmaid spot while Amityville Lindy survived an inquiry to take third. Christoforou was up behind the winner, a son of Infinitif owned and trained by breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario who recently sold a share in the talented colt to Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. This was the second lifetime win for Dont Rush who improved his summary to 2-3-1 in nine lifetime starts for $136,000 in earnings. Three colts broke early in the second split which saw Namesmuscle by the first panel in :28.1. Just past the :59.2 half A Little More Love was neck and neck with the leader and managed to get a head in front by the 1:29.1 three-quarters. Three wide came Platoon Seelster and those three were close at the finish with Platoon Seelster prevailing, despite an early break in stride, in 1:59.4 for Ryan Holliday. A Little More Love, the leading point earner in this division coming into tonight’s contest, was a close second with Namesmuscle third. A lightly raced son of Holiday Road, Platoon Seelster was making just his fourth career start for trainer David Holliday and owners Caroline Holliday of Mount Forest and Dennis Hannath of Harriston, Ontario. Bred by Seelster Farms of Lucan, Ontario, the colt has yet to finish worse than second with two wins and two seconds in his young career. This group has one more Gold event to contest before the October 11 Super Final. That will take place one week from tonight, September 30, at Mohawk Racetrack. To view the complete results from tonight’s program, please click Flamboro Results - September 23. OSS News

Three-year-old trotting colt Harper Blue Chip has made three starts in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division this year and has won them all including the second of two $105,000 divisions tonight at Mohawk. Harper Blue Chip was sent off as the heavy favourite and quickly showed why as he flew up from sixth to grab early control and was well settled by the opening quarter in :27.2. He clicked off the half in :56.3 and was at the three-quarters in 1:25.4 and could not be caught down the stretch, winning easily in 1:55.3 for Sylvain Filion. Keystone Trevor closed well to take second while British Steel was third. Trained by Mark Steacy for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald, Cornwall, David Reid, Glenburnie and George Judson, Athens, Ontario, Harper Blue Chip was recording his fifth victory in a dozen starts this year for $481,000 in earnings. Lifetime his bankroll sits at $708,000. His victory tonight puts him squarely atop the point standings in this OSS division. A son of Steacy’s former champion Majestic Son, the colt is from the Muscles Yankee daughter Winning Jonlin and was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock of New York which also bred the winner of the first division which saw Muscle Matters and Mario Baillargeon establish the tempo through fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:26. However, he could not hold off See The Wind and James MacDonald in the stretch as that colt took over to hit the wire first in 1:54.2. Muscle Matters held for second with Sheer Flex taking third. Chris Beaver of Delaware, Ohio, trains and co-owns the winner, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe, with Synerco Ventures of Toronto, Ontario, and Wilbur Lang of Ohio. Tonight’s effort was the second win in 12 attempts for See The Wind, bred by Blue Chip. A $10,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg, See The Wind is from a half-sister to $386,000 winner Bramasole. This was the final regular season Gold event for this group. The top point earners will hook up once more in the season ending OSS Super Final on October 11 back at Mohawk. To view the results from tonight’s program, please click Mohawk Results - September 22. OSS News

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