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AUGUST 14, 2017 - Mohawk Racetrack hosted the second leg of the harness racing World Driving Championship on Monday evening and Ontario's talented three-year-old trotting fillies showed off their skills to the international audience in four $19,150 Grassroots divisions. Reigning Grassroots champion Anikadabra opened the program with her first victory of the season, touring the Mohawk oval in 1:56.4. Sent off as the fan favourite, the Kadabra daughter controlled the tempo for most of the mile, reaching the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Kuil Diva and Millers Song. Oakville resident Rick Zeron piloted Anikadabra to the win for trainer Rob Fellows of Rockwood and owner-breeders Edward Wilson of Seagrave, ON and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. Bested just once in Grassroots action as a two-year-old, Anikadabra now has one win and one third under her belt in two sophomore starts. Anikadabra The second division saw Hudsons Ya Ya earn her first Ontario Sires Stakes win, powering out of Post 7 to take control of the lead and trot home a three-quarter length winner over favourite Inner Drive and Late Shift in 1:57. Guelph resident Paul MacDonell crafted the victory for trainer John Bax of Campbellville, Glengate Farms of Mississauga, Don Allensen of Wyoming, ON and Dave Hudson of Dallas, TX. "She always had a lot of potential," said Bax. "She's from a pretty good mare, and we thought a lot of her - we paid a lot for her - but I hope now that she's kind of over the hump. "She's got lots of power, she's a big strong mare, but now she seems to be getting a little racier and a little more sure-footed." The daughter of Kadabra and $224,136 winner Angostura was a $70,000 purchase out of the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. She made eight starts last season, four of them in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, and recorded one win and one third in overnight action. This season she has made 10 starts and now has two wins and two thirds to her credit for lifetime earnings of $38,691. "She had a bunch of issues last year and she was a little slow getting going this year. I've had a viral issue in the barn for most of the spring and part of the summer," explained Bax, "The bloods are just starting to get back to normal, so I'm hoping that it's onward and upward from here." Hudsons Ya Ya Moffat resident Jack Moiseyev piloted Gisele Treelane to her second Grassroots win of the season in the third division, closing from fifth to first through the final quarter. The fan favourites stopped the timer at 1:55.4, one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Whole Lot Of Sugar and Moni Justice. Murray Brethour of Sunderland, ON trains the daughter of Daylon Magician for owner-breeder Patricia Whittaker Trust of Aspers, PA and bumped the filly up to the Gold Series level after she won her division of the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk on June 13. One fifth and one third-place finish prompted the return to the Grassroots and Monday's win boosted Gisele Treelane into third spot in the Grassroots point standings. The top 10 point earners after six regular season events will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk on Sept. 30. Gisele Treelane In the evening's final division, Bustingattheseams moved into second place in the point race with her second Grassroots win. Another daughter of Kadabra, Bustingattheseams hit the wire in a personal best 1:55.2, three-quarters of a length ahead of Crystal Gumdrop and Ticket To Seattle. Milton resident Randy Waples steered Bustingattheseams to the victory for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partner Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. Bustingattheseams In addition to competing in the four races that contributed to their World Driving Championship rankings, four of the drivers also made an appearance in the Ontario Sires Stakes events. Canada's representative James MacDonald of Guelph had mounts in all four divisions, finishing third twice (Late Shift and Ticket To Seattle), fourth and eighth. Marcus Miller, representing the United States, finished fifth in the first division, Bjorn Goop, who represents Sweden, finished sixth in the third division and Dexter Dunn, the defending world champion from New Zealand, finished seventh in the last division. The World Driving Championship makes its third stop at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, with a first race post time of 7:15 pm. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their fifth Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on August 27, while their Gold Series peers arrive at Mohawk Racetrack for their fourth leg on Thursday, August 17. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

AUGUST 13, 2017 - Rideau Carleton Raceway harness racing fans were treated to an impressive display of speed and skill as the Ontario Sires Stakes arrived in the nation's capital on Sunday evening. With almost $250,000 on the line all six Gold and Grassroots winners recorded new personal bests, Try Try Again established a new speed record for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, and the reigning Lampman Cup champion, Sylvain Filion, captured two Gold Series divisions and four overnight events. Try Try Again opened the Gold Series competition in the evening's second race and the fans' second choice delivered a commanding front-end performance that saw him lower the track record to 1:54.4. Magic Night finished one and one-half lengths back in second while Life Well Lived was well behind the leaders in third. "He got off the gate well in third, I removed him to the front and he was very strong from there," said Try Try Again's regular reinsman Chris Christoforou, Jr. "He was very good tonight." Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou engineered the mile for trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON and his partners Ecuries Daniel Plouffe Inc. of Bromont, QC, Noblock Racing Stable of Collingwood, ON and Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc. of Lakefield Gore, QC. The clocking took three-fifths of a second off the former track record for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, set by Ontario Sired superstar Arch Madness in a 2007 Gold Series contest, and lowered Try Try Again's personal best by two-fifths of a second. With two wins and one second in three Gold Series starts, the son of Kadabra and Sweetspellosuccess currently sits second in the division standings with 125 points and is assured of a berth in the $225,000 Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack on Oct. 14. Filion piloted the winners of the other two Gold Series divisions, taking the first with LMC Mass Gem and the second with Capteur De Reve. Starting from Post 4, LMC Mass Gem led from start to finish, sailing across the wire in a personal best 1:55. Mister Muscle was one and one-quarter lengths back in second, with Head Turning Jag two more lengths behind in third. With two wins and two thirds in four Gold Series starts, LMC Mass Gem sits third, just one point behind Try Try Again, in the division standings. Nick Gallucci of Brantford trains the homebred son of Muscle Mass and Hornby Gem for Loredana Cirillo of Kleinburg, ON. Capteur De Reve enjoyed a ground-saving trip behind pacesetter On First in the last Gold division, tipping out in the stretch and trotting home to a one length victory in a personal best 1:56.1. On First settled for second and Try Try Again's stablemate Northern Major rounded out the top three. Filion crafted the win for trainer Max Velaye and Ecuries Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. It was the Muscle Mass son's second of the season and came in his 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes debut. Euro Gap posted the fastest win of the three Grassroots divisions, sprinting down the Rideau Carleton Raceway stretch to a 1:55.4 personal best ahead of Yo Yo Mass and Santini. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry piloted Euro Gap to the victory, his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. "He looked good today. Trevor (Henry) said he was really good," said trainer Scott McEneny, who had to watch the gelding's winning effort on his phone after a delayed flight saw him arrive in Ottawa just 10 minutes before post time. "He's got a lot of talent; he's just had his days. His gait's not the best, he's a little pacey, and sometimes the track just doesn't suit him because of his feet." McEneny conditions Euro Gap for his wife Michelle McEneny of Waterdown and Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON. The win was the third lifetime for the son of Manofmanymissions, who has also made two appearances at the Gold Series level this season. The other two Grassroots divisions went to Federal Flex son Bred For Greatness and Manofmanymissions son Vesuvio Bi, who trotted under the wire in 1:58.2 and 1:56.4, respectively. Bred For Greatness reeled in Radical Road and Motown Jackpot in the stretch to score his first lifetime victory for driver Bob McClure of Elora, trainer Shane Weber of Welland and owner-breeders Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, ON, while Vesuvio Bi took command at the half and sailed home a three and one-quarter length winner over Short Term Memory and Masster Blue. Travis Henry of Embro, ON drove Vesuvio Bi to the win for trainer Martin Lachance of Guelph, ON and owners Lachance Racing Stable of Millstone Township, NJ and Dan Mogridge of Hillsdale, ON. The Grassroots colts and geldings will now head to Hanover Raceway on August 26 for the fifth event of their season, while the Gold Series competitors make their last regular season start at Mohawk Racetrack on September 25. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 10, when the two-year-old pacing fillies will compete in their last regular season Grassroots event. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

AUGUST 11, 2017 - Ontario's best three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will roll into Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday evening to compete for almost $250,000 in three harness racing Gold and three Grassroots divisions. The Ontario Sires Stakes program's leading trainer, Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON, will send out one Gold Series starter and two Grassroots contenders in Sunday's event, with Dream Massive helping to kick things off in the first $65,600 Gold Series division. "He's been good. He seems to show up, especially in most of his sires stakes, he holds his own quite well," said Steacy about the Muscle Mass colt, who will start from Post 7 in Race 2. "He's not real flashy, but he always seems to get the job done. Unfortunately he drew a tough post in a tough division this time, but I'm sure he'll do well." Dream Massive faces a field of six that includes the top three point earners in the division, Magic Night at Post 4, R First Class at Post 2 and Try Try Again at Post 1. With one win, one third and one fourth through the first three Gold Series events, Dream Massive currently sits fifth in the standings with 70 points. The colt's regular reinsman, James MacDonald, is representing Canada in the World Driving Championship which gets under way August 12 at Alberta's Century Downs, so Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry will pick up Dream Massive's lines in Sunday's contest. "Trevor should be a good back-up plan," said Steacy, who trains Dream Massive for Michael Soehnlen of Dalton, OH. "I think he'll fit that horse good." Steacy's Grassroots starters, More Than Majestic and Dontcrampmystyle, will compete in the second and third divisions, lining up behind Posts 2 and 7, respectively. "They both should like Rideau I think," said Steacy. "I know that More Than Majestic will, because he's been over it a couple times now." More Than Majestic shipped into Ottawa in mid-July and has a hard-closing second and a win to his credit in two starts over the Rideau Carleton oval, on July 27 and August 3. The August 3 win was the Majestic Son gelding's second lifetime and came in a personal best 1:58.4. "Again, he's not a real flashy horse either, but he's always knocking on the door and he raced good last week," said the trainer. "I think he'll do okay." Steacy's son Clarke, who also makes his home in Lansdowne, will steer More Than Majestic in Sunday's sixth race for owners Landmark 9 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY. Like Dream Massive, Dontcrampmystyle will be hampered by Post 7 in his quest for a second Ontario Sires Stakes victory. Another son of Muscle Mass, Dontcrampmystyle has one win, one second and one seventh through the first three Grassroots events and currently sits third in the standings with 77 points. "I'm not sure what he's in against, but he did get one OSS win and it's possible he could do that again," said Steacy, who conditions the gelding for owner-breeder Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, ON and will hand the lines over to Trevor Henry in the ninth race. "He's always kind of the same way, knocking at the doors, and if somebody makes an error he'll be there." The Grassroots competitors will be featured in Races 1, 6 and 9, with the Gold Series colts showing off their skills in Races 2, 8 and 13. The first race goes in behind the starting gate at 6:30 pm. In addition to the Ontario Sires Stakes battles, Rideau Carleton Raceway fans will also be treated to a Racing Under Saddle (RUS) contest in the fourth race. Among the trotters that will don a saddle and rider rather than a race bike and driver are three former Ontario Sires Stakes competitors, Thor Seelster, Amityville Lindy and Lets Leavem. Thor Seelster, who will start from Post 2 with Clinton, ON resident Natalie Elliott aboard, was a two-time RUS winner in 2015, Amityville Lindy makes his RUS debut from Post 4 with Stacey Reinsma, of Cambridge, ON, in the saddle, and Lets Leavem comes into Sunday's contest off an August 4 RUS victory at Grand River Raceway. Freelton, ON resident Sarah Town piloted Lets Leavem to the August 4 win and will be back in the saddle on Sunday, guiding the Angus Hall son from Post 5. Racing Under Saddle volunteers will be on hand all evening to answer questions about the program and fans are invited to meet the riders following the fifth race. More information about Racing Under Saddle is available at Fans will also have an opportunity to win one of 10 Ontario Sires Stakes prize packages, with ballots available in the program. The first 100 people to arrive for the evening's festivities will receive a $2 betting voucher with their program purchase and all programs contain a coupon for a $2.50 hot dog and pop combo. In addition to Sunday's Ontario Sires Stakes event, Rideau Carleton Raceway will also host the final regular season Grassroots event for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday, Sept. 10. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

AUGUST 7, 2017 - Grand River Raceway's harness racing  Industry Day got off to a thrilling start for owner-breeder Michael Kwietniowski when three-year-old pacing gelding Kazimoto captured his first-ever Ontario Sires Stakes victory. Starting from Post 2, Kazimoto and driver Alfie Carroll of Iona Station, ON were fourth through the early going and then tipped into the outside lane heading for the half. Steadily advancing on pacesetter and fan favourite The Dark Shadow, Kazimoto had a nose in front when the colts turned for home and had expanded that to one and one-half lengths by the 1:56 finish. Rebel Voyager closed well to be second, leaving The Dark Shadow to settle for third. "He's been getting better and better and seems to be, he was always bad gaited on a half, and he seems to be good now," said Erin, ON resident Kwietniowski. "It was our first win in the Sires Stakes, hopefully we can keep him good until the end of the year for the Final." The win was Carroll and Kazimoto's fourth straight and boosted the Caseys Bonanza gelding up the division point standings into third. Vic Puddy of Mountain, ON conditions the gelding, who will be looking for one of 10 spots in the season ending Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 30. "I'm just pumped. I bred him and everything," added Kwietniowski. "I'm just ecstatic right now." Division point leader Dream Of Luck scored his second Grassroots win in the second $18,800 division, cruising through fractions of :28.2, :58.1 and 1:27.1 on his way to a 1:55.1 score over Play For Gold and Thrownoutofbetter. "He won easy today. He got fractions his own way, but he was real good, strong at the wire, good last quarter," said Guelph-Eramosa Township resident Doug McNair, who crafted the win for trainer Jeff Gillis of Everett, ON and his partners Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. "They actually weren't that high on him for a while, but he's getting a lot better each start I think, hopefully that'll braven him up." With two wins, one second and one fourth in Grassroots competition, the son of Camluck and Dream Of Mimi has 133 points and has virtually assured himself of a spot in the Grassroots Championship. The final Grassroots trophy went home with Cambridge, ON resident Jack Darling, whose Southwind General battled to a 1:56.4 score over Ugottobinittowinit and Heza Big Dealer, surviving interference in the first turn and hanging on in the stretch for the one-half length victory. The win was Southwind General's second of the season, he also captured the Grassroots season opener over the Flamboro Downs half-mile on May 21. "He qualified great, and his first start at Flamboro he was a beast, and since then he's just been kind of there. So it's nice to get a win with him finally," said driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON. "I guess it was since the last Grassroots at Flamboro when he won on a half-mile, it seems like he can hide a bit in the turns when they can't get going on him, and he can hold them off a bit in the stretch." "He's a huge horse, he's almost 17 hands, but he gets around a half good," added Darling, who owns and trains the son of Sportswriter, currently sitting second in the standings, nine points behind Dream Of Luck. In the $139,250 Battle of the Belles for Ontario Sired two-year-old pacing fillies, Grand River Raceway's leading driver, Bob McClure scored his first victory in one of the Elora oval's signature events, piloting elimination winner Play The Bell to a 1:54.4 stakes record. After sitting in the outer lane through much of the mile, McClure and Shadow Play daughter Play The Bell hit the wire six and one-quarter lengths ahead of Rendezvous Hanover and Lady Bubbles. "I actually I didn't mind my mare - she's pretty tough and she's handy - so I was happy coming first up," said McClure. "I really felt I had the best filly and I just wanted to keep her out of trouble." The Elora resident crafted the win for trainer Casie Coleman and her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Mac Nichol of Burlington and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, ON. It was the second stakes win of the long weekend for the driver, who also captured the Dream Of Glory Trot Final at Hanover Raceway on Saturday. "It was a great weekend, and you know what, I attribute it all to some really great people who put me down to drive, and some really nice horses, and a lot of racing luck, and that's what you need in this game," said the 26-year-old McClure. "Obviously it's easy to do my job when horses like that filly of Casie's are so well prepared. She drives like a car and really it makes life a lot easier." In the afternoon's finale, the $200,200 Battle of Waterloo, driver Corey Callahan copied McClure's strategy, sending Simple Kinda Man up the outer lane and holding on for a three-quarter length victory in 1:55. Lightly rated Hudson Phil and fan favourite Burning Midnight rounded out the top three. Scott McEneny of Waterdown, ON trains Simple Kinda Man for M And L Of Delaware LLC. The win was the Sportswriter colt's second in six lifetime starts. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 21 - The finest Ontario sired harness racing three-year-olds will be on display for nine Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold divisions on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. An action-packed 13-race card will offer fans and horseplayers the opportunity to see the best Ontario sired sophomores in each division strut their stuff. The three-year-old pacing colt division generally grabs the headlines and Saturday it'll lead the way with 25 colts and geldings split into three $66,400 divisions. Dr. Ian Moore trainee Classic Pro is the headliner in the division and returns to Mohawk fresh off a third-place finish in last week's Meadowlands Pace. The son of Shadow Play captured a Gold division back on Canada Day, which was his first start since finishing fourth in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. A winner of $222,045 this season, Classic Pro and driver Trevor Henry will leave from post six in the opening division (Race 2). The other two divisions are carded as Races 5 and 9. A group of 19 sophomore trotting colts and geldings have been split into a pair of divisions going for purses of $98,000 and $97,200. Try Try Again is undefeated in OSS action and five for six in his young career heading into Saturday's second division for trainer Dustin Jones. The son of Kadabra started his career this season with five consecutive victories, including scores in a Grassroot and Gold, before finishing second in his most recent outing (a Non-Winners of Four event). Try Try Again's pedigree supports his results this season, as his second dam is Spellbound Hanover, the dam of Trotting Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder. Chris Christoforou will steer the Jones' trainee from post-seven in Race 8. The first division is carded as Race 6. The sophomore pacing fillies will be on display later in the evening, as 15 of them have been split into two divisions ($96,400 and $95,600) carded as Races 11 and 12. Tony O'Sullivan trainee Soiree Seelster currently leads the OSS Standings with $71,900 banked over two previous Gold legs. The daughter of Big Jim captured a division on June 1 at Mohawk and most recently finished second in a leg at Grand River on June 26. Soiree Seelster has banked $213,782 in nine career starts (four wins). She'll start from post-five in the first division with Sylvain Filion in the sulky. The three-year-old filly trot division will feature 16 fillies split into a pair of $96,400 divisions carded as Race 1 and 3. With the top two horses (Magic Presto and Paradise Image) in the OSS Standings not competing Saturday, and the next two in line competing in the same division, the door is wide open for a filly to breakthrough. Sweet Of My Heart and On A Sunny Day are the only two fillies with Gold victories this season racing in Saturday's leg and both will compete in the first split. A daughter of Angus Hall, Sweet Of My Heart has won two of six starts this season after winning two of five and never missing the board as a rookie. The Paul Reid trainee most recently saw a two-race win streak snapped when she made a break in her last outing. Louis Philippe Roy will team up with Sweet Of My Heart to start from post-two. On A Sunny Day carries an impressive six for 10 record into Saturday's contest for trainer Luc Blais. The Muscle Mass filly has two wins and a second in four starts this season and most recently captured a Gold leg at Georgian on July 2. Sylvain Filion will steer the Blais trainee from post-six. The OSS action won't be the only fun going on Saturday evening. Fans on-track can sign up for "Drive With Us" for a chance to take part in sulky rides between races. The sign-up for "Drive With Us" is available at the Customer Service/Program desk and is available on a first come, first serve basis. Spots do fill up quickly, so fans are encouraged to inquire immediately upon arrival. There will also be a drawing Saturday evening for a Pepsi North America Cup poster autographed by all 10 drivers from this year's race. Ballots will be available at the Program desk and the drawing will take place after Race 6. Doors open Saturday at 5:30 p.m., with the Terrace Dining Room and Trackside Bar opening at 6:30 p.m. Live racing begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday's racing program can be downloaded by clicking here. Mark McKelvie

JULY 21, 2017 - A total of $779,200 will be up for grabs at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night as the Campbellville oval showcases the best of the Ontario Sires Stakes sophomore crop. Harness racing pacers and trotters, colts and fillies will line up behind the Mohawk starting gate in nine Gold Series divisions. "All the best three-year-olds are there," said the program's leading driver Sylvain Filion. "I think fans will enjoy watching all the good three-year-olds in the same night. They should have one heck of a race card to watch." The three-year-old trotting fillies will kick things off at 7:30 pm in the first race and the absence of division heavyweight Magic Presto, currently competing stateside, gives the other fillies a chance to pad their point tally in the quest for a season ending Super Final berth. Filion will drive one filly in each of the $96,400 divisions, guiding July 7 Gold Leg winner On A Sunny Day from Post 6 in the first race and last year's division champion Winter Sweet Frost from Post 3 in the third. "I feel lucky to get the opportunity to drive them two fillies," said the Milton, ON resident, who is the regular pilot for On A Sunny Day and will make his debut in Winter Sweet Frost's race bike. "On A Sunny Day, she raced real big last time at Georgian (July 2); that was one heck of a trip. She fought off Trevor Henry's, Nifty Norman's, filly there (Magic Presto). That was a really, really super mile." Filion will also steer trotting colts Magic Night, Post 6 in Race 6, and R First Class, Post 6 in Race 8, pacing colts Yogi Bayama, Post 3 in Race 2, and Tymal Peacemaker, Post 8 in Race 9, and pacing fillies Soiree Seelster, Post 5 in Race 11, and Yaris Bayama, Post 2 in Race 12. The four-time winner of the Lampman Cup award as the top driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes, Filion noted that Tymal Peacemaker could be poised for a big effort in the third pacing colt division. The Stephane Larocque trainee heads into the event off a 1:51.2 victory in an overnight event at Mohawk on July 15. "Tymal Peacemaker really raced good his last start. His first Sires Stakes this year (July 1) I shut his air off, so he didn't race that good that night, but he bounced back pretty good, and he felt really good the other night," said Filion. "I know he drew the outside post (8), but I think if he races the way he did last time he should be really tough to beat in there." Looking at the nine Gold Series events, Mohawk announcer Ken Middleton sees a variety of interesting wagering propositions for fans looking for selections beyond the expected favourites. "Saturday's card should offer a number of value play possibilities in the Gold Series events. Especially with horses that are on a roll, but have yet to prove themselves at this elite level," said Middleton. "A prime example of a horse that fits the bill is Bills Fella (Post 2 in Race 5). He's a bit of a late bloomer who has started to come into his own in recent weeks for trainer Gregg McNair. "He'll hook up with two of last year's big name pacing colts in Sports Column and Arsenal Seelster, but it looks like he might be catching them at a good time," Middleton continued. "He's one I'd take a rip at if the price was 4-1 or higher." Saturday's contest marks the midway point in the sophomore Gold Series season, so all 74 hopefuls should be in top form as they battle for points toward a berth in their respective $225,000 Super Final. The top 10 point earners from each division will qualify for a spot in the Oct. 14 Super Finals at Mohawk. Post time for Saturday's talent-laden event at the Campbellville oval is 7:30 pm, with the three-year-olds starring in Races 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing  

JULY 18, 2017 - Mohawk Racetrack hosted the second Grassroots event of the season for the harness racing two-year-old trotting colts on Tuesday evening and both Ontario Sires Stakes trophies went home with first time winners. The first $18,800 division saw Jula Downton, a winner in the July 8 Grassroots season opener, sent off as the fans' top choice. As the starting gate pulled away from the field of eight, Smart Pick was out the fastest, reaching the quarter in :29.3. Delcrest Holiday, also a winner in the season opener, was on his heels, with Jula Downton third and Leaderofthepack fourth. Smart Pick handed the lead over to Delcrest Holiday heading for the :59.4 half and the fan's second choice rang up a 1:29.4 three-quarters. Jula Downton and Leaderofthepack started up the outside around the final turn, but as the colts entered the stretch the favourite skipped off stride, leaving Leaderofthepack with a clear view of the finish. The first-time starter found another gear and trotted under the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of a hard closing Stormont Ventnor and Delcrest Holiday in 1:59.4. "He exceeded the expectations tonight, we thought he was okay, but he definitely exceeded what we thought he could do tonight, anyway," said Ryan Holliday, who drove Leaderofthepack to the win for his father David and brother Ben Holliday, all of Mount Forest, ON. "He got a nice trip, and he knew what to do actually when he got the room, so that was nice to see." The homebred son of Angus Hall and Kats Crown was scheduled to make his debut in the July 8 season opener at Georgian Downs, but developed an abscess in his hoof before the race and had to be scratched. After a brief rest to recover from the abscess, Leaderofthepack prepped for Tuesday's test with a schooling mile at Mohawk on Friday, July 14. "He was quite a bit better today than he was even the other day, so he's going the right direction, that's the main thing," noted Holliday. "He was quite strong tonight at the wire, he's very green yet, obviously, but he was well within himself." Leaderofthepack In the second Grassroots division trainer-driver Dagfin Henriksen and North And South enjoyed a near identical trip to the one that propelled Leaderofthepack to the winner's circle. Also starting from Post 4, Henriksen and North And South dropped onto the rail in fourth, sitting behind fan favourite Say You Do, as second choice Radical Attempt rolled through fractions of :28.2 and :57.3. When Say You Do moved to the outside Henriksen sent North And South out in his wake and when Say You Do went off stride past the 1:29 three-quarters, North And South had an open lane to the finish. The fan's third choice powered home to a one and one-quarter length win over pocket-sitter Speed N Glide in 1:59.3. Chief Justice closed hard to be third. "It worked out perfect for him," said Henriksen. "I was ready to pull on the right line just when Doug (McNair with Say You Do) made a break so I kind of had to wait a little bit, but he picked up the lines as soon as I asked him. "It worked out perfect. Little bit of luck, you always need a little bit of luck with those baby races I find," added the Cambridge, ON resident. Henriksen shares ownership of North And South with Dr. Brett Anderson of Port Hope, ON and Kyle Anderson of Edmonton, AB. The partners acquired the son of Southwind Lustre and Queen Nora for $10,000 at last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and Henriksen said the colt showed talent from his earliest lessons. "At the sale he had an outstanding video, that's kind of what sold us on him, his yearling video was just amazing, so that's kind of why we figured he was worth a shot," recalled Henriksen. "He's been excellent; he hasn't done a thing wrong. He's been so light on his feet all winter. I never pushed him. It was the end of April, beginning of May, before I started kind of pushing him. He did everything by himself all the way up to then." North And South qualified twice at Mohawk in June, finishing third on June 15 and second on June 24, so Henriksen and his partners decided to test the colt in the July 9 Gold Series event at Georgian Downs. The colt finished seventh in the Gold contest, won by Fordham Road in 1:57.1, and his connections decided a shift in strategy was in order, a decision that paid off with Tuesday's victory. "I think we did the right decision in going to the Grassroots with him," said Henriksen. "I'd rather have him as a really nice three-year-old than pushing him too hard this year." North And South North And South and Leaderofthepack will have an opportunity to double the size of their win columns when the two-year-old trotting colts return to Mohawk Racetrack on August 3 for their third Grassroots test. Next up on the Campbellville oval's action-packed Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are the two-year-old pacing colts, competing in Gold and Grassroots action on Thursday, July 20. The Grassroots colts will square off in Races 1, 5, 6, 8, and 10, while the Gold level colts battle in Races 3 and 9. Thursday's first race goes postward at 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing        

JULY 16, 2017 - Trotting filly Stonebridge Rhyme may not have earned back all of her $29,000 purchase price, but on Sunday night the harness racing  two-year-old gave owner Arpad Szabo something almost as a valuable, an Ontario Sires Stakes victory at his local oval Georgian Downs. Starting from Post 1, Stonebridge Rhyme and driver Sylvain Filion were in front for most of the mile, trotting under the finish wire in 2:02.1 to take the second $19,500 Grassroots division of the evening. Division point leader Christmas Candy and fan favourite Kant Afford It were one length behind Stonebridge Rhyme in second and third. "He's a great guy and he deserves to have a nice little horse. He's from up in Bradford there so all his family was there tonight. He just loves the game, he loves the game," said Rob Fellows, who trains Stonebridge Rhyme for Szabo. "That win - at his home track, on his home turf, with all his family - that will be worth him buying that horse, and, you know, maybe she'll have a nice career ahead of her." Fellows said the daughter of Kadabra and Stonebridge Ballad has been a pleasure to train and chalked up a break in the July 6 Grassroots opener at Mohawk Racetrack to inexperience. The filly quickly resumed trotting and finished fourth, so her connections were hopeful she would rebound with a positive effort Sunday. "When she qualified the first time she kind of threw her head a little bit going into the first turn, but kept trotting. But her first race, when they were cutting over in front of her, just being green, she just tossed her head and went off stride," explained the Rockwood, ON resident. "She was better this week so hopefully she can keep going. "You always worry about them getting a little aggressive and that kind of stuff, especially trotting fillies, you have to worry about every step they take," he added. The third Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting fillies goes postward July 30 on Clinton Raceway's Legends Day program, and Fellows hopes Szabo has another opportunity to gather his family in the winner's circle before the end of the campaign. "This is a nice little filly, I don't know if she has any total package speed to be a 1:54 trotter or anything like that as an aged horse, but right now, in this stage, she's had two starts and she's stayed trotting in one of them and she's won it, so I'm happy," said Fellows. "If I keep her in the Grassroots and manage her properly she might develop." Thornton, ON resident Stephen Byron captured the other Grassroots division with fan favourite Yokomotion in a sharp 2:00.3. The John Bax trainee sailed home two and one-half lengths ahead of Bonnie Breeze and another length in front of her stablemate Gradabra. Like Stonebridge Rhyme, Yokomotion made an early break in the July 6 Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack and had to settle for fifth, but Byron said she was solid, if a little aggressive, in her second lifetime start. "Last week she hit the bike and this week they put a different bike on her, but in saying that she was still a little excitable. She remembered it," Byron noted. "She was a little keener than I would want, but she did race great." Campbellville resident Bax shares ownership of Yokomotion with Goin To The Show Stable and Kenneth Andrews of Peterborough and Happy Trails Stables of London, ON. The partners acquired the daughter of Justice Hall and Yoko Hanover for $22,000 at last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and she returned $9,750 with Sunday's victory. "She did that pretty easy," said Byron. "She's a big, strong, fast mare, so hopefully she keeps doing it." The Ontario Sires Stakes returns to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, August 15 with the fifth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing  

JULY 13, 2017 - Heading into Thursday's three-year-old pacing colt Grassroots event at Mohawk Racetrack The Dark Shadow had delivered nine top five finishes in Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action without ever visiting the winner's circle. That dubious streak came to an end in the third $18,800 Grassroots division Thursday as The Dark Shadow paced out of the fog in front of the pack and sailed home to a 1:53.1 victory. Tremendous Play finished four lengths back in second and Lyons William was another one and one-half lengths back in third. "He's been getting the worst trips and had the worst luck of any horse I've driven this year," said Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson, who has driven The Dark Shadow in the bulk of his 16 lifetime starts. "He finally got the trip to score easily." Starting from Post 5, Jamieson moved The Dark Shadow sharply away from the starting gate and landed in second behind Tremendous Play, who led the field through fractions of :26.3, :56.3 and 1:24.3. The colts disappeared into the thickening fog as they paced around the final turn, but it was The Dark Shadow who emerged with the lead in the stretch and sprinted home to the convincing victory. Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON owns and trains the son of Shadow Play and Bestofbothworlds, who boosted his career earnings to $78,997 with the win, his second lifetime. "He's got to be the best colt in the division, but he's had no chance to show that form until tonight," added Jamieson. "That should spring his confidence and start him winning regularly in the Grassroots." The Dark Shadow Jamieson piloted another Darling trainee, Southwind General to a third-place result in the first Grassroots division, finishing four lengths behind their co-favourites London Seelster and Louis-Philippe Roy. Thrownoutofbetter and driver Phil Hudon were second. Starting from Post 7, Roy hustled London Seelster away from the starting gate and reached the quarter pole on top in :27.2. London Seelster controlled the pace to the :57.4 half and then yielded to Oak Island, sitting behind that colt through the 1:26 three-quarters. In the stretch Roy asked London Seelster for another gear and the Camluck son delivered, sprinting off to a four length victory in a personal best 1:54.2. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON conditions London Seelster for Gaston Bibeau and numbered company 9099 3833 Quebec Inc. of Sorel-Tracy, QC and Eric Bibeau of Ste-Victoire-de-Sorel, QC and the trainer said the partners were delighted with the victory. "They are the best owners; this was their first Grassroots win. I'm happy for us, and I love Louis-Philippe like he is my own son," quipped Moreau, adding that he was not 100 per cent confident London Seelster would emerge victorious from his first Grassroots start of the season. Through four sophomore outings the gelding now boasts a record of three wins and earnings of $16,800. London Seelster The other trophy also went home with a first-time Grassroots winner. Dream Of Luck and driver Doug McNair took control of the second division before the halfway marker and proceeded to lead the field to the wire, posting a three-quarter length victory over Kazimoto and Mach Deja Vu in 1:53.4. "He raced good tonight," said McNair. "He has a lot of speed, but you have to make him do it. I think he would finish better off a helmet." It was the third win of the season, and the first Grassroots victory, for Dream Of Luck, who is owned by trainer Jeff Gillis of Everett, ON, Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The win boosted the Camluck son's lifetime earnings to $46,709. Dream Of Luck The three-year-old pacing colts will make their fourth Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 7, part of the Elora oval's signature Industry Day event. Ontario Sires Stakes action is back at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday, July 18 when the two-year-old trotting colts will go postward at 7:30 pm in their second Grassroots test. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

JULY 10, 2017 - Phantom Seelster caught the eye of many yearling shoppers at last fall's harness racing Forest City Sale, and on Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack the roan pacing colt proved he has talent to go along with his looks. Starting from Post 1 Phantom Seelster sat briefly in third, but soon after the :27.3 quarter driver Rick Zeron sent the fan favourite after the lead and Phantom Seelster never looked back, rolling through fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.1 on his way to a four and one-half length victory in 1:53.1. Avalon Hanover finished second and Bo Mach was third. "He's a pretty serious colt, I'll tell you," said Zeron. "Boy, he impressed the living jeezus out of me tonight. "Jody (Jamieson with Avalon Hanover) chased me a little bit coming out of the top turn and I just spoke to him and hit the wheel disk a couple of times and he was gone," the Oakville, ON resident continued. "He enjoys his work immensely and every time I spoke to him he responded to a T, he responded right to what I needed him to do, and he took care of himself the rest of the race." Zeron drove Phantom Seelster to his first lifetime win for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and his partners Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueuil, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. The reinsman also piloted the son of Mach Three and Pantecostal in his July 4 debut at Mohawk Racetrack, where they finished a fast closing second and Zeron suggested that Barrieau had a Gold level competitor on his hands. "I said, Marcel I think you've got a Gold colt here, and he says, well I'm just going to take my time with him," Zeron recalled. "Marcel's a pretty sharp veteran trainer, he knows what's right and what's wrong, and he did the right thing, he put him in the Grassroots instead of going in the Gold." Barrieau and his partners, who purchased Phantom Seelster for $74,000 from the Forest City Yearling Sale last fall, will now have to decide whether to continue in the Grassroots or make the move up to the Gold Series for leg two. The second Grassroots and Gold Series events will both go postward at Mohawk on July 20. Phantom Seelster The second $19,150 Grassroots division went to Stock and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON, who hit the wire two and one-quarter lengths ahead of favourite Howmac Dancer and Letjimmytakeover in 1:55. Dany Fontaine trains Stock, a son of Sportswriter and Whycantiforgetyou, for breeder Sotirios Anastasopoulos of Sainte-Therese, QC and Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. Stock Master Of Love made a late charge in the third division to earn a Grassroots trophy for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owner-breeder Alfred Ross of South Dartmouth, MA. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry crafted the come-from-behind victory, which saw the Vintage Master son reel in pacesetter Wind Blast and pocket-sitter P H Hippie for a one-half length victory in 1:55.3. Master Of Love Bob McClure gave up a full slate of drives at Grand River Raceway to make one appearance in the race bike at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening and fans took notice, sending his mount, Northern Rebel, off as the top choice in the fourth division. The favourites did not disappoint, rolling to a two length victory in 1:56. Phil Dorleans finished a closing second and Lucky Michael was two more lengths back in third. It was the second straight win for Northern Rebel and Elora, ON resident McClure, who also posted a 1:56.3 victory at Grand River on July 3. "He seems to get better every week. He has one heck of a brush, I don't know how far he can carry his speed yet, but I guess throughout the course of the year we'll find out," said McClure, who has made five appearances in the colt's race bike, starting with a schooling mile in early June. "Rene's done a really great job getting him ready and he's just like an aged horse to drive, he's really sweet. So as long as he stays sound and healthy he should have a really good year." Rene Bourassa of Fergus, ON trains Northern Rebel and shares ownership of the colt with Roland Trudel of Becancour, QC and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. The partners offered up $22,000 for the son of Sportswriter and $1 million winner Southwind Madonna at last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and have recouped $12,750 through the colt's first three starts. Northern Rebel The final Grassroots trophy went home with Shadow Moon, who rang up fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:25.4 on his way to a 1:53.4 victory. Trevor Henry picked up his second Ontario Sires Stakes win of the evening with the fan favourite, who finished three lengths ahead of JM Jack Of Hearts. Blue Moose was three more lengths back in third. Dr. Ian Moore of Puslinch, ON trains Shadow Moon for his partners R G McGroup of Bathurst, NB, Serge Savard of St-Bruno, QC and Gordon McComb of Fall River, NS. The group purchased the son of Shadow Play and Lofty Yankee for $60,000 US at the 2016 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Shadow Moon Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, July 13 with the third Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing colts. The first race gets under way at 7:30 pm and the pacing colts will compete in Races 3, 6, and 8. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

JULY 8, 2017 - Driver Stephen Byron and trainer John Bax teamed up for one win and one second in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots opener for the two-year-old trotting colts at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening. The pair captured the second $18,450 Grassroots division with Delcrest Holiday, who toured the Innisfil oval in 2:03.1. Starting from Post 4 Byron eased the novice trotter off the gate and settled in fourth as Smart Pick took the field to a :31 quarter. Heading for the 1:03.2 half Delcrest Holiday was challenging for the lead and once he reached the front Byron was able to set the cruise control, reaching the three-quarters in 1:33.3 and sailing home a three and one-half length winner. Smart Pick settled for second and Audacious closed to be third. "It was his first start," said Byron of Delcrest Holiday. "They really like the colt, he'd qualified real well, and he did everything right again tonight, so hopefully he keeps going. "He's got some natural speed, he should get better," the Thornton, ON resident added. Trainer Bax shares ownership of Delcrest Holiday with Gaelic Stable of Sharon and Ken Bax of Cavan Monaghan, ON. The trio acquired the son of Holiday Road and Northern Kitti from the 2016 Canadian Yearling Sale for a modest $9,000 after the colt impressed Bax in the paddock at breeder Doug Delaney's Acton, ON farm last summer. "I went out to Doug Delaney's farm and he turned him out - and Doug's on a pretty hilly property - and he just trotted up and down the hill and I said, wow I've got to have him," recalled Bax. "And I actually, I raced the second dam (Northern Fuchsia). Anyway, I didn't mind the family, I knew the family, and I don't mind Holiday Road, I've had a little success with them, and I just liked the way he carried himself. I was shocked that I got him for $9,000. "Doug was here tonight too," Bax continued. "It was really good to see him, his wife (Betty) just passed away a few weeks ago, and so it was a nice thing for him." Both breeder and owners will be hoping Delcrest Holiday can replicate Saturday's solid effort when the two-year-old trotting colts head to Mohawk Racetrack for their second Grassroots event on July 18. Bax and Byron will also be hoping for another solid effort from Chief Justice, who stayed on task as two-thirds of the first division field self-destructed and trotted home to the runner-up's share of the $18,100 purse. Jula Downton took the victor's spoils, reaching the wire 10 lengths ahead of Chief Justice in 2:02.4. Spin the Vinyl recovered from a break near the mid-way point to finish third. "He stayed trotting so he picked up a second. It was a good night," said Campbellville, ON resident Bax about Chief Justice, who is owned by Midnight Sun Partners Inc. of Delray Beach, FL. Like Delcrest Holiday, Jula Downton was making his first lifetime start after a single qualifier and the son of Kadabra and $225,757 winner Abbey Craig was flawless for trainer-driver Per Henriksen of Norwood, ON. Henriksen conditions the colt for Jula Racing Inc. of Delray Beach, FL, who offered up $30,000 for the trotter at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Georgian Downs on Sunday, July 9 as the Innisfil oval hosts the Gold Series debut for both the two-year-old trotting colts and the two-year-old pacing fillies. The trotting colts will test their skills in Races 5 and 9, while the fillies compete in Race 7. Post time for Sunday's program is 6 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

JULY 7, 2017 - Sons of Ontario sire Sportswriter put on a show at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening in the first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series event for harness racing two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. A total of 10 Sportswriter offspring went postward in two $97,200 Gold Series divisions and it was Dancin Doug who emerged from the first battle with a Gold trophy. Starting from Post 4 the colt, in rein to Doug McNair, landed third and watched from a respectful distance as fan favourite Taste Of History and second choice Simple Kinda Man rocketed out to a :25.3 opening quarter, a :53.4 half and a 1:22.3 three-quarters. Rolling off the last turn McNair tipped Dancin Doug around the exhausted leaders and the fans' third choice paced down the stretch to a one-length win in 1:52.2. Western Passage and Lucky Sport, also sons of Sportswriter, closed well to finish second and third. "I actually thought I had him up too close because the speed was real hot," said McNair. "But he kept up and he did everything I needed him to do." McNair crafted Dancin Doug's first lifetime win for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle and owners David Kryway of Amherstburg and numbered company 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, ON. The partners acquired the half-brother to $1.5 million winner Dancin Yankee at the 2016 Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale for $95,000 and have recouped $50,280 through the youngster's first two starts. Thursday's outing was the fourth time McNair has sat in a race bike behind Dancin Doug and the Guelph, ON resident has been slightly more impressed with the colt after each outing. "I schooled him about a week before he qualified. They told me to go in 2:05 and I went in 2:00, but he just did it so handy," McNair recalled. "And then - I knew he had a little go to him, I didn't know how much go he had - and then after the first qualifier (June 10) obviously, last quarter in :26 flat, you know that's pretty good speed. A lot of horses can go in :27 and a piece or :28 last quarter, but :26 flat in the first start is pretty impressive. "He's a big horse, he's nice gaited and he's smart. I mean it's still early, but he's doing everything right." Dancin Doug Four races later the second group of novice pacers lined up behind the Mohawk Racetrack starting gate and once again it was Sportswriter sons crossing under the wire first. Fan favourite Goth Hanover took control early and led a parade of colts through a :27 quarter, :55.3 half and 1:23.4 three-quarters. Goth Hanover was being shadowed by Atomic Seelster and Sports Legend and as the leader squared up in the stretch both colts were preparing their charge. Laying down a :27.4 final quarter, it was Sports Legend who reeled in Goth Hanover, scoring a one-half length victory in 1:52.2. Atomic Seelster, a son of Shadow Play, finished third. Like Dancin Doug, Sports Legend prepped for Thursday's Gold test with a two-year-old event at Mohawk on June 30, finishing second, but Mohawk fans overlooked the gelding, sending him off as their seventh choice. Even trainer Richard Moreau admitted that he was a bit surprised by the pacer's victorious effort. "They deal with the babies all winter and they had good expectations for this horse," said the Puslinch, ON resident, who conditions Sports Legend for Gestion J Y Blais Inc. of Montreal, QC and welcomed the gelding to his barn just before his June 24 qualifier at Mohawk. "I didn't really believe until tonight." Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion piloted Sports Legend to the win and noted that the gelding was significantly improved over his maiden outing. "Last week he raced pretty good, but he got bumpy late because he lost his momentum, if he doesn't do that last week he's way closer to the leader you know," explained Filion from the winner's circle. "But tonight he was pacing way better and he raced big." The first foal from $258,417 winner Island Terror, Sports Legend was a $50,000 purchase from the 2016 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and has earned $52,100 in his first two starts. Sports Legend The two-year-old pacing colts will return to Mohawk Racetrack for their second Gold Series event on July 20. In the meantime the Campbellville oval plays host to the first Grassroots event for the two-year-old pacing colts on Monday, July 10. The freshman pacers will kick things off in Monday's first race, post time 7:30 pm, and will also be featured in Races 3, 6, 7, and 9. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

JULY 6, 2017 - Mohawk Racetrack hosted the first two-year-old event of the Ontario Sires Stakes season on Thursday, July 6 and 32 freshman trotting fillies invaded the Campbellville harness racing oval for two Grassroots and two Gold Series divisions. Local filly Kadabra Queen kicked off the trotting fillies Gold Series season with a 1:59 victory over fan favourite Illusioneesta and Zorgwijk Sophia. Starting from Post 3, Kadabra Queen landed behind favourite Illusioneesta, watching a :29.3 quarter from second and a 1:00.3 from third, and then followed that filly up the outside heading for the 1:30.3 three-quarters. Coming off the final turn driver Scott Coulter asked Kadabra Queen for another gear and the daughter of Kadabra and Queen Street powered past Illusioneesta to a one length victory. Brantford resident Coulter piloted the filly to the win for trainer Chad Milner of Campbellville, co-owner and breeder Harness Horsepower Inc. of Campbellville and co-owner Frank Monte of Markham, ON. It was the second time Coulter had driven Kadabra Queen and he was even more impressed than he had been in her June 27 debut at Georgian Downs, where she finished a closing third. "They brought her there (Georgian Downs) just to give her the start and she was so well mannered and she finished in hand there, and he (Milner) said, you know what, she's kind of surprising me that she's got as much trot late as she does and I said, she felt fantastic. So he said, I'm going to try her in the Gold, and I said, well why not," said Coulter with a laugh. "And then here we are." Through Kadabra Queen's first two starts Coulter has been most impressed with her manners and her intelligence, two qualities that are essential for young trotters. "Tonight, the same thing, she did what she had to do; she showed up, she put her head down, and she's so very smart and that makes her really, really useful," said the reinsman. "She's a pleasure to drive." Kadabra Queen The other $96,400 Gold Series division went to Sorceress Seelster, who posted the fastest mile of the four freshman trotting filly events. The daughter of Holiday Road and Self Desire delivered an impressive effort, sprinting away from Post 4 to a :27.4 opening quarter, then backing things off en route to a :59.4 half, sitting in the pocket behind Gotta Pay To Play to a 1:29.4 three-quarters and then carving through a narrow opening to reel in her peers and post a two length victory in 1:58.4. Miss Mimi finished second and Shamrock Shaker was third. Trevor Henry of Arthur piloted the fan favourite to the win for owner-trainer Jack Wray of London and his partner Thomas Wray of Schomberg, ON, who offered up $13,000 for the filly at last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale. Henry, one of the top drivers at Mohawk and a two-time winner of the Lampman Cup as the leading reinsman on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit, is expecting a strong season from Sorceress Seelster. "She was real hot off the gate tonight, she come out of there pretty fast. Once she made front, then she was fine," Henry said from the winner's circle. "I didn't really want to cut it with her because she could get hot, you know, so when Wayne (Henry and Gotta Pay To Play) came I was happy just to cover her up for a bit because I didn't want to rush her too much. "Once she got room she was gone," Henry continued. "She's a nice filly; she's going to be all right." Sorceress Seelster and her Gold Series peers will make their second start back at Mohawk on July 25. Sorceress Seelster Henry also scored a Grassroots win, going gate-to-wire with Christmas Candy in the second $18,450 division. The daughter of Angus Hall and Solange Kosmos hit the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Warrawee Trip and favourite Ladys Intuition in 2:02.1. Ian Downey of St. George-Brant, ON conditions Christmas Candy for owner-breeder S S G Stables of North Boston, NY. Christmas Candy The first two-year-old trophy of the 2017 season went to P L Layla, who took control of the first Grassroots division before the half-way marker and never looked back, cruising home a two and one-half length winner in 1:59.4. Dalliance Seelster finished second and fan favourite Kant Afford It was third. Milton resident Randy Waples crafted the winning trip for trainer Matthew Dupuis of Rockwood and owner-breeders Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON. P L Layla The Grassroots fillies will make their second start on July 16 at Georgian Downs. Two-year-old action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday, July 7 with two $97,200 Gold Series divisions for the pacing colts. The colts will make their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts in Races 4 and 8. Post time for Friday's program is 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

JUNE 30, 2017 - Fans heading to Dresden Raceway, Hiawatha Horse Park and Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday will be treated to a variety of Canada Day festivities, including Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action. Dresden Raceway opens the Ontario Sires Stakes Canada Day celebration at 1:30 pm on Saturday with four Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Trainer Mike Carther will send out Style Spotlight in the second $18,450 Grassroots division and the Dresden resident is hoping the filly delivers a solid effort in front of the hometown crowd. "She's, knock on wood, never made a break in her life," noted Carther. "And with these tight turns, some of the other ones might be bigger, it might pay off." St. Marys resident Mike Horner will steer Style Spotlight for owners Malcolm and Robert McPhail of Dover Centre, ON, lining up at Post 3 with the daughter of Windsong Espoir. "It's costing nothing for gas," said Carther with a chuckle. "We're not hoping for a whole lot, just having fun on Canada Day and hoping for the best." The Grassroots winners will receive their hardware from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton, who will join Dresden Raceway fans for the Canada Day celebrations, which include the traditional eight-foot long Canada Day cake and a variety of prizes and giveaways, among them Ontario Sires Stakes ball caps and Ontario Racing flip-flops. Dresden Raceway's program gets under way at 1:30 pm and the three-year-old trotting fillies will show off their skills in Races 2, 5, 8 and 9. At 6:30 pm Hiawatha Horse Park will continue the Canada Day fun, showcasing the three-year-old trotting colts in a trio of $19,150 Grassroots divisions, slated as Races 2, 4 and 8. Among the hopefuls in the first division is Rose Run Speedster, who competes for trainer Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA and the Rose Run Speedster Stable of Guelph, ON. Rose Run Speedster was a two-time Gold Series winner at two and comes into Saturday's test off a win in the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on June 6. "I think we all just assumed he'd be a Gold horse forever and the fact that he has to go in the Grassroots isn't a bad thing. Hopefully he uses it as a stepping stone to get back to where we thought he belonged, but again, that will be up to him. And, having said that, he certainly doesn't owe us anything," said Anthony MacDonald, who purchased the colt as a yearling and set up the Rose Run Speedster Stable through his fractional ownership endeavour, "Rose Run Speedster put on the map last year, at least helped to, and for that we'll be forever grateful," MacDonald continued. "He's played a huge role in the start of what we've built." Dundas, ON resident Michael Whelan will steer Rose Run Speedster from Post 7 in the first division, and the Windsong Espoir colt's connections will be hoping to receive their second Grassroots trophy from Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey, who be on hand for the Canada Day celebrations. Hiawatha Horse Park fans will also be treated to Canada Day cupcakes and giveaways including Ontario Sires Stakes ball caps and Ontario Racing flip-flips, along with $1 programs and pop and $2 jumbo hot dogs. Mohawk Racetrack's Canada Day celebrations start at 7:10 pm with the singing of 'O Canada' by Danielle Falls, followed by a commemorative mile by Mohawk's parade marshal Joanne Colville and Wroxeter, ON resident Jim McKague and his 13-year-old Ontario Sired Standardbred mare, A Promise Made. A Promise Made will be hitched to a circa 1885 high wheeled sulky and during the mile fans will enjoy a video commemorating 250 years of horse racing in Canada. The long tradition of horse racing across the country will also be commemorated by the Preferred class horses in the third race, which has been designated the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing Pace. Harness racing's future will be celebrated in Races 2, 6 and 8 when Ontario's top three-year-old pacing colts square off for the second Gold Series battle of their season. In addition to the on-track action fans will enjoy a Canada Day cake upon arrival, and following Race 2, the first Ontario Sires Stakes division, special red velvet Canada Day cupcakes will be available by the bottom of the main escalators. First race post time for Mohawk Racetrack's Canada Day card is 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

JUNE 27, 2017 - Harness racing driver Louis-Philippe Roy piloted two Ontario Sires Stakes winners at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening during a sophomore trotting colt contest that saw all three winners collect their first-ever Gold Series trophy. Roy's first victory came in the second $67,200 Gold division with LMC Mass Gem, who survived a tough trip to secure his second lifetime and first Ontario Sires Stakes victory. Starting from Post 9, LMC Mass Gem never saw the rail, touring the Mohawk oval alongside pacesetter and fan favourite R First Class through fractions of :27.1, :55.2 and 1:24.3. In the stretch LMC Mass Gem managed to trot away from a tired R First Class to a two and one-half length victory in a personal best 1:55.1. Dream Massive finished third. "I probably gave him the worst trip you can have and he kept going on," said Roy, with a rueful chuckle, from the winner's circle. "He (does) not have a real lot of speed, but he can carry on that speed for a while. "In the stretch I thought in my mind I was probably going to beat Sylvain (Filion with R First Class), because I seen his horse was a little bit more tired than mine, and I knew mine can carry his speed, like I said, for long," added the Mont-Joli, QC native. "But I thought that some were going to come too, but I didn't hear them until late stretch, so I was happy with the win." Roy crafted the victory for trainer Nick Gallucci of Brantford and owner Loredana Cirillo of Kleinberg, ON. A Grassroots competitor during his two-year-old season, LMC Mass Gem finished third in the sophomore Gold Series season opener at Flamboro Downs on May 21, which puts the son of Muscle Mass in a three-way tie atop the leaderboard with 62 points. LMC Mass Gem Roy, who currently leads all drivers in both the Ontario Sires Stakes and Mohawk Racetrack standings, scored his second win in the last Gold Series division, guiding Magic Night to an identical 1:55.1 clocking from Post 9. The Kadabra colt led from start to finish, posting fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26.3 on his way to a three and one-half length triumph over Scene A Magician and Northern Major. "He's got so much talent, I think if he change his manners he might be probably the best one, going a little bit faster than what he showed tonight," said Roy of Magic Night, adding that the gelding can be a handful on the racetrack. While Mohawk fans may have been surprised with Magic Night's victory - he went off as their fourth choice - trainer Susanne Kerwood had been expecting a strong outing from the young trotter. "He didn't surprise me. I told a few people that I think he can win tonight, actually," said Kerwood. "When he had the ten-hole a couple weeks ago (June 5) here at Mohawk he went right to the top. He just got beat at the wire in 1:55, which I thought was pretty impressive. That's when he really started to impress me." Kerwood conditions Magic Night for fellow Rockwood, ON resident Tommy Andersson, who prepped the gelding for his sophomore season in Florida. Winless in seven starts, at both the Grassroots and Gold Series levels, and plagued by miscues as a two-year-old, Magic Night seems to have found his groove this season. He finished fourth in the Gold Series opener and currently has sole ownership of fourth spot in the standings with 58 points. Although he was a modest $17,000 yearling purchase for Andersson at the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Magic Night has success in his DNA. His mother Bedtime Songs is a half-sister to $1.7 million winner Pampered Princess and $824,457 Ontario Sired star Was It A Dream. "He's a nice big horse, big strong horse, and he's a beautiful animal, just a beautiful animal," added Kerwood, noting that her entire team has contributed to the gelding's current success. "I'm just fortunate to have him in training." Magic Night The other Gold Series trophy went home with Try Try Again, who extended his win streak to five for driver Chris Christoforou Jr. of Campbellville, ON, trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON and his partners Ecuries Daniel Plouffe Inc. of Bromont, QC, Noblock Racing Stable of Collingwood, ON and Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc. of Lakefield Gore, QC. The colt was also a Grassroots winner at Mohawk on June 6. Starting from Post 4 Christoforou and Try Try Again were sitting fourth at the :27.2 quarter rung up by On First and heading for the :56.4 half they looked to be in perfect position, following favourite Mass Production up the outside. Unfortunately, for both fans and Try Try Again, the colt was left without a windbreak when Mass Production went off stride. In spite of that set back, Try Try Again was alongside On First by the 1:25.4 three-quarters and the Kadabra son held off Parkhill Nonstop by a length to record the 1:55.3 victory. On First settled for third. "He got a little sleepy there," said Jones from the winner's circle. "Chris thought he was going to draw away and he got a little sleepy at the wire, but he won by a length so that was good. "We've got him covered pretty good, his ears are blocked and that, so I think it's time to put a set of pull-out ear plugs on him," added the trainer. Try Try Again will be looking to make it six straight when the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings return to Mohawk Racetrack for their third Gold Series event on Saturday, July 22. Next up on the Campbellville oval's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are the three-year-old pacing colts, who will compete in their second Gold event on Mohawk's Canada Day program this Saturday, July 1 at 7:30 pm. The colts are slated to battle in Races 2, 6 and 8. Try Try Again OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

JUNE 22, 2017 - Thursday, June 22 was an emotional day for harness racing driver Sylvain Filion. In the early morning hours the Milton, ON resident learned that his uncle, the legendary horseman Herve Filion, had passed away after a prolonged illness. Hours later Sylvain Filion was at Mohawk Racetrack, where he was scheduled to drive in nine of 10 races. In the first race he finished last, but he was the runner-up in the second and before the night was over he would record four victories, including one Grassroots triumph with three-year-old colt pacer Doc Semalu. "It was a pretty emotional day for me," admitted Filion at the end of the 10-race program. "I knew it was coming, we knew he was very sick, but it's always a shock when you hear that, you know." Filion's victories came in the fourth race with Toxicity, a three-year-old pacing gelding co-owned by his father Yves' Bayama Farms, in the sixth race with three-year-old trotting filly Royal Witch, in the seventh race with Grassroots competitor Doc Semalu, also co-owned by Bayama Farms, and in the ninth race with seven-year-old pacing gelding Crocadile Canyon. In addition to the four victories, Filion also recorded three runner-up finishes. Of the four victories, Filion's Grassroots triumph was particularly impressive, coming from Post 10 in Doc Semalu's first Ontario Sires Stakes start of the season. The pair was able to find a spot on the rail in fifth and held that position through fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.3 before finding space coming off the final turn. Manoeuvered into an open lane in the stretch, Doc Semalu sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory over Dream Of Luck and Master The View in a personal best 1:54. "He's got a few issues, but he's got lots of go in him, and we were lucky enough to find a spot there closer to the front and everything opened up in the lane," said Filion. "It worked out good for us. He showed some grit." The win was the Mach Three son's second straight, the first coming at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 15 with Yves Filion in the race bike. Stephane Larocque trains Doc Semalu for the elder Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC and Zoom And Fish Stable Inc. of Mont-Royal, QC. Doc Semalu Filion came close to making it five victories with Tremendous Play in the final $19,500 Grassroots division. After battling for the lead through the first two quarters the Shadow Play son did not have enough in reserve to secure the victory in the stretch, yielding to a fast closing Oak Island. Fan favourite Lindy The Kid also went by Tremendous Play, but caused interference while on a break and was placed back to seventh, elevating Tremendous Play to second and Bills Fella to third. "I thought he raced really, really good," said Filion of Tremendous Play, who is trained by Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon for Claude Gendreau Stable Inc. of Buffalo Grove, IL. "He raced tough tonight, real tough." Oak Island was piloted to the three and one-half length victory by Elora, ON resident Bob McClure. The 1:53.2 victory was the Vintage Master colt's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, and also marked trainer Justin Darling's first win in the provincial program. The Cambridge, ON resident conditions Oak Island for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Oak Island The other Grassroots trophy went home with Nascar Seelster, who got a head in front of Mach Déjà Vu and favourite Southwind General at the wire. Milton resident Randy Waples crafted the come-from-behind 1:53.1 score for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Mardon Stables of Loretto and James Walker of Port Perry, ON. Like Doc Semalu and Oak Island, Thursday marked Mach Three son Nascar Seelster's debut in the Grassroots winner's circle. All three colts will have an opportunity to add to their trophy collection in the third Grassroots event on July 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Nascar Seelster Filion's successful evening was a fitting tribute to his uncle Herve, whose talent and prodigious work ethic saw him finish many days with multiple wins, often at more than one racetrack. Inducted into both the Canadian and US Harness Racing Hall of Fames, Angers, QC native Herve Filion won an impressive 16 seasonal dash titles and was the world's leading money-winning driver seven times during a career that spanned six decades and 15,180 victories. Knowing that his uncle was at peace, free of pain, and that he would soon gather with family to share memories and offer support allowed Filion to concentrate on his evening's work, but at the end of the program the third-generation horseman was simply looking forward to heading home. "I'm just happy this night is over, you know," he said on his way back to Milton. "I'll go kiss my daughter." Mohawk Racetrack will host its seventh Ontario Sires Stakes event on Tuesday, June 27 with the three-year-old trotting colts preparing to battle in their second Gold Series event. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

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