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MILTON, OCT. 1, 2019 - HP Royal Theo rebounded from an uncharacteristic break in his last start to post an impressive harness racing victory in the second of two $106,400 two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday evening. Starting from Post 7 in the eight-horse field, driver Louis-Philippe Roy eased HP Royal Theo away from the gate and the fan favourites were sitting seventh when Port Perry hit the quarter in :28.1. As Port Perry marched on to a :58.3 half Roy sent HP Royal Theo into the outer lane behind Beyond Ordinary and Simsalabim, and all eight horses maintained their position through the 1:28 three-quarters. Port Perry turned for home three and one-half lengths ahead and stablemate Threefiftytwo looked poised to mount a challenge from third, but once Roy got HP Royal Theo squared up the William Wellwood Memorial champion found a gear that shocked even his driver. Sprinting home in :26.4, HP Royal Theo hit the wire one-half length ahead of Port Perry in 1:56.2. Threefiftytwo finished third. "He really impressed me a lot tonight. Going in the last turn I honestly thought he couldn't win from there, but the colt wanted to prove me wrong. I'm just happy he did," said Guelph, ON resident Roy. "He goes into the Super Final at his peak thanks to (Jean) Tourigny's and (Ben) Baillargeon's team that managed him well." Jean Tourigny qualified HP Royal Theo for breeder Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and his partner Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC and then sent the son of Royalty For Life to Ben Baillargeon, who has started the gelding eight times. Tuesday's win was HP Royal Theo's third of the season, but his first in Gold Series action and Baillargeon was relieved to see the youngster pad his point total and guarantee himself a berth in the Oct. 12 Super Final. "He was awesome. Louis did a great job keeping him calm, and he came from behind and that's what I asked him to do, not to panic," said Guelph resident Baillargeon, who watched the race from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. "We needed to get some points because we were tenth. We needed to get points and I wanted him to race good, and the win is very nice." Baillargeon is hopeful that the confidence HP Royal Theo gained in Tuesday's start will result in another impressive result in the $225,000 Super Final, where he will face off against nine other top point earners. HP Royal Theo Among the horses vying for the Super Final title is Blue Cupertino, who recorded his second Gold Series win in the first division on Tuesday. Easing away from Post 1, Blue Cupertino and driver Doug McNair landed fourth as fan favourite Horse Trader led the field to a :28.2 quarter. Just past the :57.2 half McNair sent Blue Cupertino into the outer lane and the colt was starting to press Horse Trader by the 1:27 three-quarters. Catching Horse Trader halfway down the stretch, Blue Cupertino then held off the charging Your Still Up for a one-half length victory in a personal best 1:56.2. Hetalkstoangels came up the inside to be third. "My horse raced good tonight, first over, he had to do all the work," said McNair. "You used to have to watch him on the gate, with the rail tonight I watched him again, but he's a lot better on the gate than he used to be, so that way you can get away a little closer and you're not trying to make up as much ground." The Guelph resident drives Blue Cupertino for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, McKinlay & Fielding of Toronto, ON and Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, NY. In four Gold Series starts the Kadabra colt posted two wins and two seconds and wraps up the regular season in a tie for top spot in the standings with Port Perry. McNair expects another solid effort from Blue Cupertino in the Super Final, a race he expects will be hotly contested. "It's kind of wide open I think. I think there's five or six that look pretty decent. That one of Louis' (Roy) he just kind of sits back there, he (HP Royal Theo) can make up a lot of ground in the stretch," said McNair, while noting that he likes Blue Cupertino's chances. "I wouldn't trade him for too many, that's for sure." Blue Cupertino Before the top Gold horses gather at Woodbine Mohawk Park for Super Final Night, the Campbellville oval will play host to the very best Grassroots horses in the province. The Grassroots Championships go postward on Saturday, Oct. 5 with a total of $600,000 up for grabs in the eight division finals. The first race gets under way at 7:10 pm. Complete results from Tuesday night's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

ELORA, SEPT. 23, 2019 - Neither of the harness racing favourites in Monday night's two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series divisions enjoyed their trip around Grand River Raceway, but Major Bay and Threefiftytwo thoroughly enjoyed all of the Elora oval's amenities, including the winner's circle. In the first $105,600 division fans sent Horse Trader off as their top choice and the colt made an early break that left him 15 lengths behind the field as Major Bay led them to the quarter in :28. Hetalkstoangels took over command heading by the :59.2 half and continued to set the pace by the 1:28.1 three-quarters, but driver Louis-Philippe Roy was biding his time in the pocket and once he gave Major Bay an open lane the colt reeled in the leader to claim the 1:59.2 victory. Hetalkstoangels was one and one-quarter lengths back in second and Babidibou was three lengths back in third. Horse Trader settled for fourth. "I thought he had shot, especially with the way he raced last week (Sept. 16). He knows the half-mile so he has no problem with the half-mile, and the trip worked and everything worked out good," said trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph, ON, who sent the colt out from Post 7. "The one horse, he was the big favourite, he made a break too, that Horse Trader, and we ended up getting the job done." Major Bay earned his place on the gate in Monday's Gold event with a 1:56.3 fourth-place effort in the Sept. 16 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. That outing was the colt's first for Baillargeon and his first in Ontario. Major Bay's first six starts, including three wins, came at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres for owner-trainer Francis Richard. "He won in 2:04 in Three Rivers, but the big track stepped him up last week," said Baillargeon. "He's a little bit left and right, he's got a little bit of a rubber-neck to him, he's in and he's out, but he's got some go. He's a very gutsy horse and he has a perfect gait, so you can't ask for anything more with him because he trots, and that's all he does, he trots." With Monday's win Major Bay earned 50 points, but he needs a second Gold Series start to be eligible for the Oct. 12 Super Final, and Baillargeon is looking forward to racing the Amigo Hall son in the last regular season event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 1. "He trotted 1:56.3 his first start at Woodbine and he was kind of boxed in there. He wasn't done in 1:56.4, he was running out of room a little bit, let's put it this way," said the trainer. "I'm anxious to race him next week and see what happens." In his first seven starts Major Bay had banked $12,525 for owners Ferme Auclair of St. Antoine De Tilly, Ecurie Francis Richard Inc. of Becancour and Jean-Christophe Auclair of Saint-Apollinaire, QC. Monday's win boosted that total to $65,325. Major Bay After the pleasant surprise of Major Bay's victory, Baillargeon and Roy were looking for the sweep with second division favourite HP Royal Theo, but the reigning William Wellwood Memorial champion skipped off-stride heading into the first turn and was 24 lengths behind pacesetter Threefiftytwo when he reached the :29.1 quarter. After his successful start from Post 6, Threefiftytwo carried on through a :59.2 half and 1:29.2 three-quarters and held off Your Still Up in the stretch for a three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2. Tuckers Out was well back in third and HP Royal Theo further behind in fifth. "I was a little worried that Louis (Roy) would try and re-take the lead, and I was worried about it because I knew full well I wouldn't be able to let him go, because mine, once he gets the front it's there's not much letting people go. He's not quite that manageable yet," said driver Bob McClure, who was quite happy Roy and HP Royal Theo never reached his wheel. "He's a really fast horse, but we're just trying to keep him well-mannered because he's pretty high strung." Rockwood resident McClure steers Threefiftytwo for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Monday's win was the Royalty For Life son's second in Gold Series action and his 130 points vaulted him over stablemate Port Perry to the top of the division standings heading into the regular season finale. The long-legged Port Perry skipped Monday's event. The win was also Threefiftytwo's second straight - following a 1:55.4 personal best effort in the Sept. 16 race where Major Bay finished third - and McClure is hoping the speedy youngster can maintain his positive momentum through the last regular season Gold event and the Super Final. "When he's on his game he can go some real wicked fast miles, it's just keeping his head on straight," said McClure. "His problem is not his gait, when he runs he gets throwing his head around, but once he's off and trotting, he's perfect, he's one of the best gaited horses. You couldn't ask him to be any better gaited, like he's almost flawless." Threefiftytwo Monday's event wrapped up Grand River Raceway's 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which saw the Elora oval host four Gold and four Grassroots events. Complete results for Monday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

MILTON, SEPT. 16, 2019 - For both Night Watchman and Mayhem Hanover, Monday night's harness racing Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park was a must win situation. Both two-year-old pacing colts sat below the cut off for a berth in the post season and to ensure their Ontario Sires Stakes campaign lasted another week they needed to grab the lion's share of the points in their respective divisions. Night Watchman kicked things off in the first $23,500 division and got away sixth from Post 3 as Delightful Terror led the field to a :27.3 opening quarter. Heading for the :56.1 half driver Trevor Henry tipped Night Watchman into the outer lane behind fan favourite National Sport and Wilsons Vinner. By the 1:24.2 three-quarters National Sport was leading the way and Night Watchman was circling out three-wide and shifting into high gear. One-half length ahead turning for home, Night Watchman opened up a two and one-half length lead on his peers by the 1:52 finish. Early leader Delightful Terror closed hard to be second, leaving National Sport to settle for third. "We had high hopes for him, but he qualified really well and then he got sick on me so I missed the first two Sires Stakes," said trainer Craig Barss. "And then he had a couple little gait issues, he was putting in steps and we couldn't figure it out, but now he's finally put it all together." Monday's win was the He's Watching son's first in six lifetime starts. Combined with a second and third from his other two Grassroots starts Night Watchman finished the season with 87 points, boosting him from twenty-fourth in the standings into a tie for sixth. Cobourg resident Barss and his partner Nurko Sokolovic of Waterloo, ON bred and own Night Watchman. The colt is the first foal from their former race mare Midnight Jet, whose siblings include $778,474 winner Stolen Car and $502,290 winner Ideal Jet. "His mother we raced and raised her, his grandmother I raced and she's been very good to me, so we decided to breed one of the daughters that wasn't that successful as a racehorse and got him," said Barss. "He's a very good size. He's very relaxed, super easy to get along with, he really doesn't do anything wrong." Night Watchman All four of Monday's winners made at least one start in the Gold Series this summer, but Mayhem Hanover spent an extended stretch battling the top colts in the province. After a runner-up effort in the Grassroots season opener the Sportswriter colt made three appearances in the Gold Series, finishing sixth twice and fifth once. Facing the prospect of not advancing to the Gold Series post season, trainer Gregg McNair opted to return the Sportswriter son to the Grassroots level for the regular season finale. Lining up at Post 2 in the last division Mayhem Hanover tucked into third as Better B Swift and Day Delight battled to a :27.1 opening quarter, but was soon aiming at the lead. On top by one and three-quarter lengths at the :55.1 half, Mayhem Hanover and driver Doug McNair maintained a comfortable advantage through the 1:24.2 three-quarters and then shifted into a bigger gear as Day Delight revved up on the outside. Mayhem Hanover refused to yield, pacing under the wire one-half length ahead of Day Delight in a personal best 1:52. Better B Swift was two lengths back in third. "He's been a nice colt all along. I just didn't want to beat him up too much when I raced him in the Golds," said Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair of the fan favourite. "He keeps getting better every start. I hope he continues it next year." Scott and Clay Horner of Toronto, ON own Mayhem Hanover, who moved from thirty-second in the standings into a tie for ninth with 75 points. The colt has tallied three wins and one second in seven lifetime starts for earnings of $36,905. Mayhem Hanover The other two divisions saw point leaders Quick Tour and My Land cruise to their third Grassroots victories. In spite of starting from the outside Post 10, Quick Tour and driver Louis-Philippe Roy carved all the fractions in the second division, ringing up a :26.4 quarter, :56 half and 1:25.2 three-quarter on their way to a one and one-quarter length win in 1:53.3. Mission Bay finished second and Better Take It rounded out the top three. "He's super gaited, just wears a pair of shin boots, and he's real smart, and mental maturity for a two-year-old is a big thing," said trainer Mark Horner. "To go race he's like an old racehorse. Some two-year-olds, it holds a lot of them back, they're not mentally mature enough to handle it." St. Mary's resident Horner conditions the homebred son of Mach Three for his partner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, ON. In four Grassroots starts the gelding delivered three wins and one second for a division leading 175 points. Quick Tour My Land took command of the $23,850 third division from the start and led the field through fractions of :27, :55.1 and 1:23.4 on his way to a 1:52.3 victory. Tabloid Writer finished three lengths back in second, just ahead of Bettorbuckleup. Phil Hudon piloted the fan favourite to the win for trainer Gerard Demers and owner La Ferme Tag Inc. of Papineauville, QC. With three wins and one fourth in Grassroots action, Badlands Hanover son My Land finished second in the standings with 158 points. The top 20 point earners will now battle in Semi-Final action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 27, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final returning to the Campbellville oval for the Oct. 5 Grassroots Championship. The three-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their Grassroots regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday evening, competing in Races 2, 6 and 8 on the 7:10 pm program. Complete results from Monday's program are available here OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

INNISFIL, AUG. 18, 2019 - Ontario's top three-year-old pacing colts co-headlined Sunday's harness racing Family Day event at Georgian Downs - sharing top billing with the older trotters competing in the Honourable Earl Rowe Invitational Trot - and they delivered a blockbuster performance in the $156,400 Gold Series event. Meadowlands Pace champion Best In Show was sent off the slight favourite over division point leader Century Farroh, and driver Bob McClure sent the fan's choice straight to the front from Post 3. Century Farroh dropped in behind Best In Show and was quickly hemmed in by Bronx Seelster powering up the outer lane. Through the :26.4 opening quarter and :55 half, not much changed; Best In Show led the field, Century Farroh was breathing down McClure's neck in the pocket and Bronx Seelster was menacing from the outer lane. As Best In Show paced toward the 1:23.1 three-quarters Bronx Seelster seemed to stall and the colts behind him ranged out three and four-wide, but Bronx Seelster battled back and kept Century Farroh pinned to the rail as the colts turned for home. In the stretch Best In Show drifted ever so slightly off the rail and driver Sylvain Filion did not waste a moment, sending Century Farroh surging toward the wire. Best In Show and Century Farroh finished in lock step and it took a magnifying glass to determine that Century Farroh's nose was in front. Stag Party closed hard to take third in the 1:51.1 mile. "I thought, oh we're in trouble here, because Bronx Seelster just hung on enough that he couldn't get out. I thought, oh boy, but he just got out very late," said Century Farroh's trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "Sylvain was coming in the gate, he didn't think he won, that's how close it was. Two noses on the line together. "I saw the photo there, they both had their nose on the line; I guess we had a little bit more of it." Century Farroh has been flawless through the first four Gold Series Legs this season and his Ontario Sires Stakes win streak extends back to last August. As a two-year-old the son of Mach Three and Beachy Girl finished up his Grassroots campaign with two regular season wins and a victory in the Grassroots Championship. Through all 10 of his sophomore starts, Century Farroh has only been bested twice. He finished seventh in his North America Cup elimination on June 8 and last Saturday (Aug. 10) he finished third in the Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in Ohio. "We were pleased, he got $44,000 American so it was worth the trip down," said Moore. "It's the only time he's going to be away from home really, he's not staked to anything else." Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS owns Century Farroh, who boosted his career earnings to $510,633 with Sunday's victory. The colt will make his next start in the Aug. 31 Simcoe Stake and then finish up the Gold Series regular season on Sept. 13, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top 10 point earners will then compete in the season ending Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 12. "He can use a week off again, that's three in a row for him," said Moore. "With that level of horse you've got to give them time off, you can't keep racing their guts out all the time, very few of them will survive at the same level. "I'd like to have him still good for the Super Final, he must have made the Super Final by now," added the Cambridge, ON resident with a chuckle. Following Century Farroh's thrilling victory, eight of the top aged trotters stepped onto the track for the $75,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Invitational Trot and the two mares in the field gave fans another thrilling battle. P L Jill and Dream Together both left smartly from Posts 1 and 4 and the pair started their battle heading by the :56.4 half, Dream Together on the inside, P L Jill pressing her from the outer lane. Through the 1:24.1 three-quarters the mares went head-to-head and down the stretch they continued to battle tooth and nail with P L Jill getting by late for a three-quarter length score in 1:53.1. P L Jill Mario Baillargeon drove Kadabra daughter P L Jill to the win for trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph and owners Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON, Jill Coleman of New York, NY and Alan Christensen of Calgary, AB. Prince Lee Acres also bred the mare, who now has seven wins and $177,620 in earnings in her six-year-old season. Complete results for Sunday's program are available by clicking on this link.    OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

MILTON, JULY 27, 2019 - Boadicea continued her domination of the harness racing three-year-old pacing filly division with a third Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday evening. Starting from Post 6 with regular driver Jonathan Drury in the race bike, Boadicea had control of the race before the :27.1 quarter and never let her peers get close enough to challenge. After a :54.4 half and a 1:21.3 three-quarters Boadicea opened up a four and one-quarter length margin the stretch, pacing under the wire in 1:49 to match her own Ontario Sires Stakes speed record. Sunny Dee followed Boadicea around the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval into second and Lovely Donna was third. "You shouldn't get worried, but you never know, eh," said trainer Bill Budd, admitting to a few nerves before the heavy favourite clinched her seventh straight win. "She's just a wonderful mare." Boadicea and Drury were greeted by a large crowd in the winner's circle as owner-breeders Charles "Chuck" and Gordon Lawrence of Blenheim, ON were joined by their family. Many of the elder Lawrence's five children, nine grandchildren and great-grandchildren were on hand to greet the filly that Gordon, the eldest grandchild, called every horseman's dream. "He had the whole family here I think, the whole family," said Waterdown, ON resident Budd of the winner's circle celebration. "I'm very happy for them." With another month until the next Gold the daughter of Big Jim and Rose Seelster will maintain her daily routine - an hour of paddock time at 6 a.m., followed by a jog or the occasional training mile and then an afternoon of leisure - interspersed with one or two overnight races. "I'll just nurse her along. She takes care of herself pretty good anyway," said Budd, who raced the filly twice between her June 22 Gold event and Saturday's test. "She's very easy on herself. You could put her on the cross-ties and she'd still be there with her head down when you come back up from whatever you were doing." With her flawless record in Gold Series action Boadicea sit atop the sophomore pacing filly standings with 150 points, 25 more than Powerful Chris, who picked up her second Gold Series win in the second $105,600 division. Boadicea Like Drury, regular reinsman Bob McClure sent Powerful Chris to the front early from Post 5 and the fan favourites rolled through fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24 on their way to a one-half length win in 1:50.3. Grassroots regular So Much More finished second in her first Gold Series start and Chocolatemilktoast was three lengths back in third. "I never talk to Bob about how he's going to drive. I never talk to a driver ever about how they're going to drive, because I don't want to ever put something in their head, but I guess I wasn't surprised in there that he went to the front," said trainer John Pentland. "I think in a short field like that he knew he was going to be able to get to the front easy enough and control it." The win was the Betterthancheddar daughter's second of her sophomore campaign and pushed her lifetime earnings to $324,6115 for Dorchester resident Pentland and his co-owners Jack Darling Stables Ltd. of Cambridge and Syllabus Stable of Georgetown, ON, whose principal John McClure is thoroughly enjoying the filly's exploits in his 93rd year. "He's so enthusiastic about it and having such a fun time. He is really enjoying this ride," said Pentland of the elder McClure. "We're certainly keeping her past her three-year-old season; she's not on any auction block at all. Everybody is having a lot of fun with her. "It's a great group that we have here, that own her and everybody involved, Scotty (Barr) and the guys that work for me, everybody has had a hand in this and we're just having a lot of fun." Like Budd, Pentland will be looking for an overnight race or two to keep Powerful Chris sharp heading into the fourth Gold Series event on August 25 at Rideau Carleton Raceway, where he hopes to avoid Boadicea for a third straight time. The fillies met in the June 1 Gold Series season opener, Powerful Chris's second start of the sophomore season and Boadicea's third, and Boadicea prevailed by two and one-half lengths in 1:52. "It's eventually going to happen, but I guess maybe it's like (Muhammad) Ali and (Joe) Frazier, they'd rather go and just fight everyone else and not have to meet," said Pentland with a chuckle. Powerful Chris Next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are six Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies on Tuesday, July 30. The trotting lasses will be featured in Races 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9 on the card, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. Complete results for Saturday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0727wbsbsn.dat. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

MILTON, JULY 25, 2019 - Father-son harness racing duo Gregg and Doug McNair captured two $23,500 Grassroots divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening with three-year-old pacing fillies Swift Ally and Kylie Seelster. The Guelph, ON residents kicked off the event in the first race, with driver Doug McNair and Swift Ally lining up behind Post 2 in the field of nine. The fan favourites sat mid-pack as Green Point and Manhattan Night battled to a :27 opening quarter and a :54.1 half. Heading for the 1:22.4 three-quarters McNair tipped Swift Ally into the outer lane and the filly sprinted off the final turn and down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length win in 1:51.3. Free Exchange finished second and Green Point held on for third. "Things set up pretty good for her," said trainer Gregg McNair. "She wasn't really running away on them, but she raced good. She got the job done anyways." McNair and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON bred and own Swift Ally, who is a Big Jim daughter out of $398,464 winner Claires Apache. Unraced at two, the filly started her Ontario Sires Stakes career at the Gold Series level, finishing seventh in the June 1 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. That result prompted McNair and Fleming to drop the filly down to the Grassroots level, where she is now undefeated through two starts. "She probably won't see, unless she changes around, she probably won't see any more Gold action. They're a tough bunch this year the Golds," said the trainer. "She's better off in the Grassroots." Swift Ally In the fourth division Doug McNair and Kylie Seelster started from Post 7 and were sitting fifth when Cinderella Delight reached the quarter in :26.3. McNair moved the filly to the outside heading for the :55.3 half and rolling into the final turn Kylie Seelster turned on the afterburners, opening up a five length lead by the 1:23 three-quarters. Runner-ups Cinderella Delight and Just My Shadow ate up some of that margin in the stretch, by Kylie Seelster hit the wire a comfortable two length winner in 1:52. "She has a real big kick and was in a good spot to get the job done," said Doug McNair. "She's been good her last few starts against some tough fillies." "She was following something pretty good (Better Be Donna N) there two starts ago (July 8), of course she wasn't going to get to her, but she wanted to go three-wide around the last turn," recalled Gregg McNair. "Doug wouldn't let her, it wouldn't have worked out good for her, but she kind of thought she could. That's where she kind of likes to roll a little, on that turn." The elder McNair shares ownership of Kylie Seelster with Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples of Durham and Dr. Chris Robson of London, ON. The daughter of Big Jim and Kiddie Cocktail is a half-sister to $813,650 winner Kendall Seelster, who was the first sophomore pacing filly to record a sub-1:50 mile in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Thursday's win was Kylie Seelster's third of the sophomore campaign and her first in Grassroots action. Kylie Seelster The other three Grassroots divisions were captured by Twin B Tipster, Lady Finetune, both first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winners, and Springbridgevision. In the second division Twin B Tipster and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON rocketed down the stretch to nab pacesetter Crisp Mane in 1:51.4. Crisp Mane settled for second behind the fan favourites, with Saulsbrook Jessie rounding out the top three. "She likes to race from off the pace, she could never cut a mile," said trainer Scott McEneny of Puslinch, who shares ownership of the Bettors Delight daughter with Brad Grant of Milton, ON. "We're very happy with the way she is racing right now." Twin B Tipster One race later Lady Finetune slipped out of third coming off the final turn and powered home to a 1:52.2 win for driver Bob McClure of Rockwood, ON. Pacesetter Affluent Seelster finished second and fan favourite Freya Seelster was third. McClure crafted the win, the Badlands Hanover daughter's third straight, for trainer Robert Fellows and owner Alan Bodin of Rockwood, ON Lady Finetune Springbridgevision and driver James MacDonald used a sharp :26.4 last quarter to circle the field and claim a head victory over Be Best and Quebec Blue Chip in the last division. The fillies hit the wire in 1:52.1. Guelph resident MacDonald drove Springbridgevision to her second Grassroots win for trainer Andrew Moore of Russell, who shares ownership of the Shadow Play daughter with Allan Moore of Stratford, Charles Farrell of Spencerville, ON and Tommy Godfrey of Charlottetown, PEI. Springbridgevision The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their fourth Grassroots start at Rideau Carleton Raceway on August 25. Their Gold Series peers are next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, competing in two divisions this Saturday, July 27. Saturday's first race goes postward at 7:10 pm and the Gold fillies will be featured in Races 2 and 8. Complete results for Thursday evening's program are available here. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

FRASERVILLE, JULY 20, 2019 - A collaborative effort between Per Henriksen and Richard Moreau put two-year-old trotting colt Ripped And Ready in the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots harness racing winner's circle at Kawartha Downs on Saturday evening. After Ripped And Ready made a break and finished eighth at the Gold Series level in the July 4 season opener, trainer Moreau enlisted the help of friend and mentor Henriksen. The men have often worked together on horses each is having trouble with, so Norwood, ON resident Henriksen was happy to turn his trotting specialist eye on Ripped And Ready and also agreed to steer the colt from Post 2 in Saturday night's fourth $23,150 Grassroots division. Ripped And Ready left the gate cleanly and proceeded to pull away from the field with every step, rolling through fractions of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:27.4 before reaching the finish 13 lengths ahead of his peers in 1:57.2, just shy of the Kawartha Downs track record. Fan favourite Gamblin Road settled for third, just ahead of French Twist. "All the power to Per," said Moreau. "It's a pleasure teaming up with him. I'm still learning every day." "All I did was - he was ready - all I did was give him a little trotting touch you know, I changed his shoes a little bit and he was a different horse," said Henriksen, who also drove two other trotters for Moreau, finishing fifth with The Reins Of Titan and sixth with Freedom Express. "I am just happy he asked me to drive them and give him feedback if there was anything I saw," said the horseman. "And they stayed trotting and everybody is happy." Moreau and owner-breeder Dr. Ruth Irving of Russell, ON will now have to decide whether Ripped And Ready, a Muscle Mass colt out of $297,969 winner Cumin First, will remain in the Grassroots or go back to the Gold Series for his third Ontario Sires Stakes start. The Grassroots colts compete at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 6 and the Gold colts on August 8. Henriksen was not the only local reinsman to grace the Grassroots winner's circle on Saturday, Doug Hie and Doug Brown also won divisions. Fraserville resident Hie kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes festivities in the first split with Lovedbythemasses. The pair replicated their July 13 qualifying effort over the Kawartha Downs oval, floating away from Post 5 into fifth spot by the :30 quarter, shifting into the outer lane heading for the 1:02.1 half and taking command before the 1:31.3 three-quarters. From there Hie never had to look over his shoulder as the Muscle Mass son cruised home a three length winner in 2:00.4. Remember Titans finished second and Our Van Gogh was well back in third. Peterborough resident Edward Peconi Jr. trains Lovedbythemasses for his co-owners Nicholas Peconi of Lakefield, ON and Wade Peconi of Stanchel, PEI. Saturday's outing was the gelding's first lifetime start. Bowmanville, ON resident Brown gave Chocolate Pie a textbook pocket steer in the third Grassroots division, getting away second from Post 3 and stalking Tuscan Titan through fractions of :29, :59.3 and 1:29.4 before getting a head in front at the 2:00.1 finish. "Chocolate Pie is a very nice colt. He does everything right; very smart, good gaited, going to be a very nice little guy," said Brown of the Archangel colt owned and trained by Kyle Bossence of Arthur, ON. "Kyle does well, so I expected him to be good." Like Ripped And Ready, Saturday's victory served as a bit of redemption for Chocolate Pie, who made a late break in the July 7 Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs and finished ninth. With a runner-up finish in his June 30 debut at Georgian Downs the colt, who was a $17,000 purchase out of last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale, has now earned $13,200. The other Grassroots division went to Fit Bitt and driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON who took command before the half and sailed home two length winners in 2:00.3. Rubbleonthedouble finished second and fan favourite Aussie Lover was third. Henry engineered the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON who shares ownership and breeding credit with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. With Saturday's win and his runner-up finish in the Grassroots season opener the son of Muscle Mass and $462,826 winner Armbro Affair currently sits atop the freshman trotting colt standings with 75 points. Complete results for Saturday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0720kdfn.dat. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

OTTAWA, JULY 19, 2019 - Rideau Carleton Raceway raises the curtain on its 2019 harness racing Ontario Sires Stakes season this Sunday, July 21, featuring the province's top three-year-old trotting colts in three Grassroots and three Gold Series divisions. With a flawless record of two wins in two Gold Series starts, Southwind Avenger heads into Sunday's test atop the sophomore trotting colt standings and co-owner Mel Hartman is hoping the gelding can maintain his momentum from Post 5 in the second $71,467 Gold division. "It should be good racing this week, I see they have three divisions there," said the Ottawa, ON resident. "He's not the greatest trucker in the world, but hopefully he's fine. We'll keep our fingers crossed and hope that he races good." Southwind Avenger will be heading to Ottawa on Sunday from trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman's Ontario base in Cambridge. The E L Titan son made a foray south of the border last weekend for the July 13 Stanley Dancer at The Meadowlands where he finished fourth, 12 lengths behind heavy favourite Greenshoe. "His last start he raced with Greenshoe, who's probably going to be the best trotter of all time," said Hartman of the gelding's New Jersey start. "He was eligible to the Hambletonian (at The Meadowlands), but we brought him back home to race him in the Ontario Sires. In Ontario he's very competitive, and he's a pleasure to own, that's for sure." Regular reinsman Trevor Henry will make the trip to Rideau Carleton to steer Southwind Avenger for Hartman and his partners David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. The pair will face off against five challengers in the ninth race, including third-ranked point earner Magical Journey from Post 6 and fifth-ranked Dream Nation from Post 3. Southwind Avenger seen here with an upset score in the Valley Victory at The Meadowlands The other two Gold Series divisions go postward as Races 6 and 12 while the Grassroots competitors will battle in Races 1, 4 and 7. The colts will kick off Rideau Carleton Raceway's Sunday evening program at 6:30 pm. Complete entries are available here. In addition to Sunday's contest the Ottawa oval will also Gold and Grassroots action for the three-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday, August 25. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com. For feature stories, photographs, background information and/or contact details for local Ontario Sires Stakes participants contact Sandra Snyder at 519-572-0167 or news@ontariosiresstakes.com. Ontario Racing

FRASERVILLE, JULY 18, 2019 - Kawartha Downs will roll out the red carpet for the Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing program this Saturday, July 20, welcoming four divisions of two-year-old trotting colts and geldings for the second Grassroots start of their campaign. Among the youngsters vying for a share of the $91,900 in Ontario Sires Stakes purse money is Tymal Tarot, who took a victorious test run over the Kawartha Downs oval last Saturday. The son of Kadabra and Rod Hughes were elevated to the win when Meeas Dream was placed back for causing interference, but Hughes was still pleased with his protégé’s second lifetime start. "Not the way you want to do it, but we'll take it," said the Dunsford, ON resident with a chuckle. "He's very calm, does everything you want. Really hasn't done much wrong all winter training down," added Hughes, who owns, trains and drives Tymal Tarot. "He's done nothing wrong so far, so hopefully Saturday doesn't put a blip on that." Hughes and Tymal Tarot will line up at Post 4 in the third $23,150 Grassroots division, facing off against a group of eight rivals including J Cs Royal Tease who was a 2:02.3 winner in the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs on July 7. Tymal Tarot made his debut at the Gold Series level at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 4, but floundered against the province's top colts, finishing ninth. "I think, just looking back, he's probably just two or three weeks behind everyone that's stabled up near Mohawk, just lacking a little bit of experience," said Hughes. "I do still think he has more potential, but yeah, maybe jumped in a little over our head there the first time. He just got a little lost when he got gapped out in that Gold." The gelding will be looking to find his place amongst the Grassroots regulars on Saturday and gain enough points over the four remaining events to qualify for the post season. In addition to the freshman trotting colts, Kawartha Downs will also roll out the red carpet for NHL legend Darryl Sittler this Saturday. Sittler will be on hand to sign autographs and take photographs with fans and, along with the regular Saturday night prize draws, there will be a signed No. 27 Toronto Maple Leafs sweater up for grabs. Saturday's program gets under way at 7 pm and the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will battle in Races 2, 4, 7 and 9. Complete entries for the Kawartha Downs program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0720kdfn.dat. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit www.ontariosiresstakes.com For feature stories, photographs, background information and/or contact details for local Ontario Sires Stakes participants contact Sandra Snyder at 519-572-0167 or news@ontariosiresstakes.com. Ontario Racing

MILTON, JULY 16, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park held 10 races on Tuesday evening and harness racing driver Sylvain Filion won six, including four wins in the second Grassroots leg for the two-year-old pacing colts. "It was one of those nights when nothing goes wrong you know, and even a bad drive, my horses were so good they overcame it," said the Milton resident, who teamed freshman pacers Tabloid Writer, Quick Tour, Dontblvmejustwatch and My Land to Grassroots victories and finished second in the other two divisions with Twin B Watch Me and Better B Swift. Filion collected his victories in stretches of three and kicked off the first in Race 3, an overnight race for two-year-olds he won with Allywag Hanover, followed by a pair of Grassroots victories in Races 4 and 5. In the fourth race Filion and Tabloid Writer got away fifth from Post 3 and were able to slip into the outer lane behind Three Trick Gainer heading for the :59.1 half. The colts advanced steadily on pacesetter Twin B Frenchtoast and turning for home Filion shifted Tabloid Writer into a bigger gear and the colt sprinted to a one length victory in 1:55.3. Three Trick Gainer finished second and Twin B Frenchtoast settled for third. "He's a nice little horse. He's not very big, but he's all there, he's all guts and perfectly gaited," said the driver. "I thought he raced real big." Ben Baillargeon of Guelph trains Tabloid Writer for Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, QC. The son of Sportswriter was an $80,000 purchase from last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Tabloid Writer Filion and Quick Tour were saddled with Post 10 in the third $23,500 Grassroots division, but the Mach Three son left smartly from the gate to find a spot in fourth on the rail. Filion soon had the gelding aiming for the lead and the pair was in command before the three-quarter mark. From there Quick Tour battled hard to hold off My Bettors Del and fan favourite Better Take It and earn the 1:54.1 victory for trainer Mark Horner of St. Marys and his partner R A W Equine of Burlington, ON. "He (Horner) told me before the race he's better covered up, but from the outside post, I guess I had him a little too wound up and when I got in the four-hole there he started getting a real big hold of me. I didn't want to take any chances and I moved him back to the front," explained Filion. "Once at the front he kind of got lost, but he dug in hard. That was a great mile for him, a great, great effort." A $7,000 bargain at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Quick Tour finished second in the Grassroots season opener to Tattoo Artist, who went on to win a Gold Series division on Monday night. Quick Tour After an off-the-board finish in Race 6, Filion kicked off another three-race win streak with Dontblvmejustwatch, who clocked the quickest mile of the six Grassroots divisions. Starting from Post 3 Filion and Dontblvmejustwatch landed in sixth and Filion asked the fan favourite to reel in the leaders heading by the :57 half. Once they took control the outcome was never in doubt, Dontblvmejustwatch cruised home a one and three-quarter length winner in 1:53.1. Usurper finished second and Colima was three more lengths back in third. "That's a nice little horse, he's a sweetheart. I guess they didn't really think much of him as of like a month ago, but he's been improving every start and my god he was good tonight," said Filion. "I had him in the bad position, I was far off the lead, and he made a quick brush to the front and he made it pretty easy. He's not very big, but he's slick and he's very, very fast." Filion drives the Hes Watching gelding for trainer Kevin McMaster and fractional ownership group TheStable Dontblvmejstwtch of Guelph, ON. Through three starts the youngster has now delivered one win, one second and one third for his delighted owners. Dontblvmejustwatch The driver then won another overnight event with aged trotting mare P L Jill before returning to the Grassroots winner's circle with My Land, who went gate-to-wire from Post 1 in 1:54.2. Night Watchman finished two and one-quarter lengths back in second and Wilsons Vinner was two more lengths behind in third. "That's a horse I raced last time and I was caught back in the field. There was no flow and he still come home pretty good, so tonight I wanted to make sure with the rail that I was going to be, maybe not in front but in the two or three-hole," said Filion. "So anyway, I left hard and ended up on the front end and I was able to get a soft middle half and he sprinted home pretty good and got the job done." Gerard Demers trains My Land for La Ferme Tag Inc. of Papineauville, QC, who offered up $10,000 for the Badlands Hanover son at the 2018 London Selected Yearling Sale. My Land The other two divisions went to fan favourites National Sport and Poseidon Seelster. Sportswriter son National Sport and driver Louis-Philippe Roy caught Filion and Twin B Watch Me in the stretch and pulled away to a three and three-quarter length win in 1:54.2 for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and owner 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, ON. Bettor Focus rounded out the top three. National Sport  Both Bob McClure and Poseidon Seelster and Filion and Better B Swift used late charges in the final division, but Poseidon Seelster had the bigger kick and claimed the 1:54.1 victory by three-quarters of a length. Century Grizzly completed the top three. McClure piloted Sunshine Beach colt Poseidon Seelster to the win for trainer Matthew Dupuis and owner Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, ON. Poseidon Seelster Tuesday's quartet of victories and pair of runner-up finishes will edge Filion closer to current leader Trevor Henry in the race for the Lampman Cup, awarded each year to the top driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Filion is a five-time winner of the honour, and he has also chalked up the occasional six-win night in his decorated driving career. "Not very often, not often enough," said the reinsman with a laugh. "I'll take it." The two-year-old pacing colts will make their third Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 15. Next up on the Campbellville oval's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are six Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies and two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies on Thursday, July 18. The freshman pacing fillies will open Thursday's program at 7:10 pm in the first race and will also be featured in Races 4 through 7 and Race 9. The trotting lasses will battle in Races 3 and 8. Complete results for Tuesday's program are available here.. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

INNISFIL, JULY 7, 2019 - Twenty-eight freshman harness racing trotting colts invaded Georgian Downs on Sunday night as the Innisfil oval played host to the first Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots event of their season. Coming into the event off a June 28 win in qualifying action, fans sent Horse Trader off as one of the favourites and the young trotter did not let them down. After starting from Post 6, Horse Trader sat second last through much of the mile as Enduring Strength rang up fractions of :29.2, :59.3 and 1:29.1. Coming off the final turn trainer-driver Paul Walker sent Horse Trader out three-wide, and when the colt squared up in the stretch he shifted into high gear and sprinted by the field to a one and one-quarter length victory in 2:00.1. Lifeisgood Hanover also closed well to be second, leaving pacesetter Enduring Strength to settle for third. "We were wondering at the three-quarter pole if he was going to be able to do a lot, but he trotted home like a champion," said Dr. David Grant, whose Oaklea Farm Inc. bred and owns the son of Wheeling N Dealin and Oaklea Wand. "He was down in Georgia and Paul did tell me that he had a big motor right away, but I've learned not to get too excited," said Grant. "And he's a late May colt so I thought that if we could race him a bit at two that would be great." Horse Trader also used a late kick to win his qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park by three-quarters of a length in 2:01.4. With that effort and Sunday's Grassroots win under his belt, the colt looks poised to exceed Grant's modest expectations. "He just loves to be on the track. I've never actually had a horse that was so much like that," said the Simcoe, ON resident. "His barn manners aren't maybe the best, he's a bit of a twerp, but as soon as he gets on the track he's perfect. We're very lucky to have a colt like that." The second $23,150 division went to local colt Aussie Lover, who left smartly from Post 7, took command heading for the half and went on to a one length victory in 2:01.4. Remember Titan closed well to be second and pocket-sitter Lexus Markus completed the top three. Thornton, ON resident Stephen Byron drove Aussie Lover to the win for owner-trainer Gino Cicero of Melancthon, ON. Byron also piloted the Angus Hall colt in his first lifetime start, a fifth-place finish in a June 30 two-year-old race at Georgian Downs, and said that outing helped Cicero prep Aussie Lover for his Grassroots debut. "I thought last week there he raced good, but I didn't think he was getting a hold of the track, so they changed a few things on him and it turned out to work, so that was good," said Byron. "He raced well. He's going to be a steady horse, he might not be the fastest, but I think he'll be a steady horse," the driver added. JCs Royal Tease rounded out the Grassroots winners with a 2:02.3 effort in the last $23,500 division. Like Aussie Lover, the Royalty For Life colt left sharply from Post 6 and led the field to a :30.1 quarter. Driver Trevor Henry and JCs Royal Tease then watched from the pocket as Fit Bit and Tuscan Titan battled for control through the 1:01.2 half and 1:32.1 three-quarters. In the stretch Henry sent JCs Royal Tease after the leaders and the colt powered home to a one and one-half length win in 2:02.3. Fit Bit and Tuscan Titan settled for second and third. "He should make a nice horse," said Arthur, ON resident Henry, who leases the colt in partnership with his wife, trainer Shannon Henry. "He has a few driving issues, but can go fast for a piece." JCs Royal Tease also qualified at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 28, finishing third, 12 lengths behind Horse Trader. The pair may meet up again when the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings head to Kawartha Downs for the second Grassroots event of their season on July 20. The Ontario Sires Stakes will be back at Georgian Downs next Sunday, July 14 with the first Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Post time for Sunday's program is 6 pm. Complete results from Sunday's Grassroots event are available here. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

MILTON, JULY 6, 2019 - Twenty-one harness racing freshman pacing colts launched their Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series careers at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night and it was Bettor At Hightide and YS Mathis who emerged triumphant. In the first $108,000 division Bettor At Hightide got a confident steer from trainer-driver Paul MacDonell to secure the victory. Starting from Post 2 MacDonell and Bettor At Hightide got away fourth and watched Sylvain Filion and Denali Seelster grab the early lead. When the fan favourites put up a tepid :28.1 first quarter MacDonell opted to take command of the race and Bettor At Hightide rang up a :56.4 half and 1:25.3 three-quarters. Denali Seelster launched an attack in the stretch, but went briefly off-stride, leaving Bettor At Hightide to cruise home a one and three-quarter length winner in 1:53.1. Velocity Rukkus finished second and Noch Ten edged out Lottery Winner for third. "We've been happy with his progress so far. He's come along the right way," said MacDonell. "He's the kind of colt that learns quick, and it makes your job easier when you've got a good pupil like that. He learns and aims to please, I guess is the main thing he wants to do. Guelph, ON resident MacDonell trains and drives Bettor At Hightide for owner-breeders Schooner II Stable of Truro, NS. Saturday's outing was the Bettors Delight son's second lifetime, he finished third in a June 29 two-year-old race at Woodbine Mohawk Park after a pair of qualifying outings at the Campbellville oval. "I thought he qualified really well two weeks ago and then he raced exceptional last week, I thought. He got a little check around the last turn and still came a pretty nice last half," noted MacDonell, who also drove the colt's mother, Queensland Beach, and his grand-sire, the great Somebeachsomewhere. "Brent MacGrath and Schooner Stables, they had the mare and they had the grandmother," MacDonell told Woodbine Mohawk Park's Chad Rozema in the winner's circle. "This colt, he was trained in Florida by Brent, he did a great job. I just got him in May so I've got to give a lot of credit to what he's done with him." Bettor At Hightide While Bettor At Hightide did his racing on the front end, YS Mathis took a radically different path in the second division. Starting from Post 5 with Louis-Philippe Roy in the race bike, the Sportswriter colt got away fourth as Southwind Dredge hustled out to a :26.4 quarter. Southwind Dredge soon handed the lead over to Sports Obsession and MacDonell, who dialed things back to a :56.3 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters. While Sports Obsession did the work up front, YS Mathis continued to sit on the rail in mid-pack and appeared to be locked in tight as a parade of horses powered up the outer lane. However, as the field squared up in the stretch the horses directly in front of YS Mathis found a bit of racing room to the right and pacesetter Sports Obsession started to drift off the rail. The opening was small, but Roy was able to squeeze YS Mathis through and after bursting into open space the colt sprinted off to a one and one-half length victory in 1:54. The Amazingsando and Aneta also closed hard from the back of the pack to claim the second and third-place share of the $108,000 purse. "He doesn't need a lot of racetrack to show his talent. He's pretty quick for a little piece," said Roy, who drives the colt for trainer Jacques Dupont and owner-breeder Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation, QC. "I just hope he keeps on improving and turns into a really nice colt." Saturday's outing was the second for YS Mathis, who also finished third in his debut, a June 27 two-year-old race at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Prior to that he made two appearances in qualifying action at the Campbellville racetrack, a third on June 14 and a win on June 22. "Last week he was a little too aggressive and he wouldn't relax during the mile," noted Roy. "Jacques did a few adjustments on him and he was way more relaxed this week." YS Mathis Bettor At Hightide, YS Mathis and their freshman pacing colt peers will be back at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 15 for their second Gold Series event. On Monday, July 8 the two-year-old pacing fillies take over the spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park, competing in a trio of Gold Series divisions. The evening's first race goes postward at 7:10 pm and the fillies will be showcased in Races 3, 4 and 6. Complete results for Saturday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0706wbsbsn.dat. Ontario Racing  

MILTON, JULY 5, 2019 - It was the two-year-old pacing colts' turn to shine at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday evening and the novices impressed harness racing fans in five $23,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions. The two quickest miles came in the first and last splits as Hes Watching sons Tattoo Artist and One For Julius delivered 1:54 and 1:52.4 victories for their connections. With Milton resident Sylvain Filion in the race bike, Tattoo Artist left sharply from Post 2 and took command of the tempo before the :57.2 half. Without seeing a challenge, Tattoo Artist sailed by the three-quarters in 1:26 and down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length win in 1:54. Quick Tour closed well to be second, getting by pocket-sitter Day Delight, who settled for third. "It's always very gratifying and satisfying to take a baby from scratch and go out and win the first race There's no other feeling in harness racing I don't think," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "Especially this guy, because when we got him we couldn't catch him in the stall, we couldn't get a halter on him, he was half wild. And I didn't see him until December the tenth, he was late, and he had a pretty dramatic injury there about mid-May." While training, Tattoo Artist spooked and stepped on his left front ankle, slicing it up enough to require several staples. Fortunately, the injury was largely superficial and the colt was soon back training. After a June 28 qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where Tattoo Artist was a two length winner in 1:56.3, Moore and owners Frank Cannon of Sanford, FL and Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL briefly considered starting the colt at the Gold Series level before deciding on Friday's Grassroots event. "We opted to start him in the Grassroots, no harm doing that, and we'll just see how much they go tomorrow (in the Gold Series)," said Moore. "I think the track was off a little bit tonight. It rained hard about an hour or so before we got there and it certainly wasn't fast, that's for sure. So it was a pretty good mile." Tattoo Artist By the time One For Julius paraded onto the racetrack for the last division in Race 8, the track was a bit drier and the tempo of the race was faster from the start. Morneau led the field to a :27.2 opening quarter and then handed off to Journalistic before the :55.4 half. Driver Chris Christoforou had watched the early lead changes from third, where he and One For Julius landed after getting off the gate well from Post 3, and heading toward the 1:25.1 three-quarters he sent the colt after the pacesetters. Once One For Julius got rolling he quickly pulled away from his peers, hitting the top of the stretch with a three and one-half length lead. After sailing down the lane he stopped the teletimer at 1:52.4, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of hard-closing favourite Mayhem Seelster. Dontblvmejustwatch was two more lengths back in third. Campbellville resident Christoforou crafted the win for trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown and owner-breeder Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc. of Lakefield Gore, QC. One For Julius Christoforou also guided Sirjamesthegreat to victory in the third Grassroots division. From Post 2, the Big Jim colt went straight to the front and never relinquished control, cruising home a one and three-quarter length winner in 1:56. Gentry Seelster and Century Gigalo rounded out the top three. Guelph resident Dagfin Henriksen trains Sirjamesthegreat for his co-owner Gary Volpe of St. Thomas. Sirjamesthegreat Bettor Focus captured the second division in 1:56 for driver Bob McClure of Elora, trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge and her partners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Brad Grant of Milton, McKinlay & Fielding of Toronto and Teresa Davidson of Milton. Twin B Frenchtoast and Usurper did their best to catch Bettor Focus, but the winner fought back in the stretch to secure a neck victory. "I was very happy with him. He's still green and learning," said Coleman of the Bettors Delight son. "It's not often one gets passed and comes back on to win. He showed some guts and grit tonight." Bettor Focus The other division went to Captivate Hanover and driver James MacDonald who used a late sprint to secure the 1:56.2 victory, one-half length ahead of Social Theories. Giddy Up Max was another length back in third. All three colts are by sire Bettors Delight. "That was a pleasant surprise," said Guelph resident Shawn Steacy, who conditions Captivate Hanover for Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC, Stephen Klunowski of North York, ON and James Feeley of Pine Bush, NY. "We always knew he was quick, but didn't know how moving up to the big track for the first time, and a race situation, would work out." Captivate Hanover The two-year-old pacing colts will make their second Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 16. Their Gold Series peers take centre stage on the Campbellville oval Saturday night, squaring off in a pair of $108,000 divisions, slated as Races 5 and 8 on the 7:10 pm program. Complete results from Friday's program can be found here. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JUNE 29, 2019 - Century Farroh delivered his second Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series victory of the season with an impressive harness racing effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday evening. In spite of starting from Post 12 in the second tier, driver Sylvain Filion was able to map out a clear path to the winner's circle for the three-year-old pacing colt. With Stag Party ahead of them at Post 2, Filion and Century Farroh were able to follow the fan favourite off the starting gate and into the flow up the outer lane. When Fast N First tucked onto the rail heading by the :26.4 half and left him an open lane, Milton resident Filion sent Century Farroh after pacesetter Best In Show, reaching the lead by the :54.2 half. No Ordinary Man applied pressure from the outside on the way to the 1:22.1 three-quarters and Best In Show mounted a challenge in the stretch, but Century Farroh battled to a one-half length victory in 1:49.4. Best In Show finished second and No Ordinary Man earned the third-place share of the $159,600 purse. "He got a very masterful driver from Sylvain, there's no doubt about that. That had to happen in order to win that race tonight," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore, who conditions the colt for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS. "He was all out at the end - with that kind of trip they're going to be - but he dug in and hung on, so you can't ask for anything more." The win was the Mach Three son's second straight and his sixth in seven sophomore starts. Century Farroh's only off-the board finish came in his June 8 elimination for the North America Cup where he finished seventh, failing to advance to the final. The youngster restarted his win streak in the North America Cup Consolation on June15, but Moore said it may be a while before he attempts to extend that streak to three. "We'll have to race at some point in July, but I'm just not sure where or what," said the Cambridge, ON resident, noting that the lightly staked Century Farroh's next scheduled engagement is the August 2 Gold Series event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We'll have to figure out a plan what we're going to do here with him over the next month. There's going to be some time off there somewhere for sure, I'm not too sure where. It's a shame he doesn't have any stake races, but that's the way it goes." Following the August 2 Gold event, Century Farroh has been invited to the Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park on August 10, then it would be back to Gold Series action on August 18 at Georgian Downs before wrapping up the month with the Simcoe Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 31. While Century Farroh's schedule will be busy through August, Moore said they do not intend to miss any of the Gold Series events. The trainer is confident the pacer will be able to handle the full slate of races, noting that there is a first-class team working to keep the colt in top physical shape. "He's a tough colt and his groom Dustin Boyd, he's done a great job with him this year," said the trainer. "And Sylvain has done a great job of driving him. It takes a team to put a horse on top, to be good, and we've got a good team going there I think, so it's all worked out." Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, July 4 with the first two-year-old event of the season. The two-year-old trotting colts will compete in Gold Series action on the Thursday evening program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

TORONTO, March 4, 2019 /CNW/ - Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Union (OPSEU), is concerned with the behaviour of Ontario Racing and the not-for-profit Woodbine Entertainment Group, who have been entrusted by the Ontario Liberals to manage nearly $2 billion dollars over twenty years that is supposed to support horse racing in rural Ontario. Recently, Woodbine Entertainment Group and Ontario Racing gave the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) just sixty days notice that the organization will no longer be responsible for managing the health, insurance and retirement benefits of standardbred horsepeople in Ontario. Instead, Ontario Racing has mandated that the Woodbine-created Central Ontario Standardbred Association, which presently only represents horsepeople at Woodbine Mohawk Park, will now be responsible for all standardbred horsepeople in Ontario. This decision was made without a democratic vote by horsepeople or any consultations on the topic. OHHA was founded in 1962 and has passionately represented the interests of standardbred horsepeople across the province since, including in negotiations with racetracks and all levels of government. OHHA's work has sustained tens of thousands of agricultural jobs for a diverse set of men and women across rural Ontario that support horse racing, and encouraged billions to be reinvested in rural communities.  "Horsepeople in Ontario rely on the Ontario Harness Horse Association to fight for the interests of their industry and negotiate to protect the wellbeing of standardbred horsepeople across the province. What Woodbine Entertainment Group and Ontario Racing are doing is no different than union busting, and they need to be stopped," said Kent Baker, longtime owner, trainer, and breeder in Ontario. "OHHA fights for the interests of the men and women who work hard each and every day across this province to support horse racing. Many of these individuals are excellent at what they do, but lack easily transferable employment skills. They will be the casualties of a Woodbine centric horse racing industry." "The government's first mistake was entrusting Woodbine Entertainment Group, an organization whose handling of funds meant to support horse racing have long been the subject of intense scrutiny by media and government, to look after the interests of all horse racing money for the government. They probably could not have come up with a less responsible party in the industry to manage those funds if they had tried", said Smokey Thomas, President of OPSEU. "This is worse than asking the fox to watch the hen house. The previous government forced the hens to move in with this fox. Doug Ford has claimed to care about rural Ontario, well this is his chance to prove it," Thomas added. OPSEU is joining OHHA's call for Ontario Racing and Woodbine Entertainment Group to withdraw their April 1, 2019 direction and are asking the provincial government to intervene if Ontario Racing and Woodbine Entertainment Group won't do the right thing. SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) For further information: Lindsay Macaulay, The Broadview Team, 647-748-3300 NEWS PROVIDED BY Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

John Hayes is chairman of Ontario Racing, a group founded in December of 2017 that aims to represent all the sport's players in the province to present a unified voice in marketing the sport and lobbying lawmakers. Its board includes representatives (or seats) of Ontario's Thoroughbred and Standardbred tracks, Quarter Horse breeders, Standardbred breeders, Thoroughbred breeders (position currently not filled by Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society representative), Standardbred horsemen, and Thoroughbred horsemen. Its five committees include an executive committee, a Horse Improvement Program committee, governance committee, horseplayer and customer committee, and a committee on equine welfare. Hayes recently met with BloodHorse.com editor Frank Angst to discuss its marketing and legislative efforts, a plan to commit a larger percentage of HIP money to Thoroughbreds, and to address concerns from breeders that money could be shifted from breeder bonuses and stallion awards to purses. In 2013 the government cancelled the Slots at Racetracks Program and slot machines located at the tracks are now controlled by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. In May 2018, Ontario committed up to a $105 million annual contribution to racing—total for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds—into 2038. That commitment is about a third of the previous SARP commitment. In June Hayes was elected independent chairman of the Ontario Racing board. Hayes has served in finance and administration positions with General Electric, Black & Decker, and Home Depot. He has more than 25 years of experience as a Standardbred owner. and previously served as gaming director with Ontario Lottery and Gaming, with operational responsibilities at Georgian Downs, Ajax Downs, Grand River Raceway, Woodbine and other racetracks across the province. He most recently served as an at-large director of Ontario Racing. Ontario Racing took full shape when the Standardbred Alliance voted in December of 2017 to merge the organizations. BloodHorse: Could you describe Ontario Racing, how it came together? John Hayes: Following the cancellation of the SARP program, the Ontario government was looking for a unified, cohesive body responsible for horse racing in the province. It's non-profit, includes all the breeds, breeders, horse people, and racetracks, in essence to be the one voice of and for racing in the province. I ended up being on the initial Ontario Racing board as a director at-large. With the formation of the new board in March and April, they asked if I would be the independent chair of the board. BH: I understand racing has been part of your life for many years? JH: I was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, basically in the shadow of the Peterborough racetrack (Morrow Park) to the point I would be there every night in the summer. I came to love horse racing, both Standardbred and Thoroughbred. From the Thoroughbred side, I remember being at Woodbine for Secretariat's last race (the grade 2 Canadian International Championship Stakes)—I still have the uncashed show ticket.  When I started my working career, most of the jobs I had involved extensive travel and I always made it a point, whether it be California, Florida, Chicago, Kentucky—to hit the racetracks during the down times at work. I'll confess to being a small time bettor, but I just love the thrill of horse racing. Working at the General Electric plant in Evendale (Cincinnati area), a few of us went to the Kentucky Derby. I've been a fractional owner in harness racing for 25 years, all with the same trainer, John Bax. I think that says a lot, being with the same trainer for so long. I absolutely love the sport. BH: What are some of your goals for this organization? JH: We want to serve as a single voice for all facets of racing. Over the past nine months, we've made numerous trips to the Ontario government to push racing's agenda and make sure they're aware of exactly what they have here. In Ontario there's about 45,000 jobs that in some way, shape, or form are related to racing. Our estimates are there's about $2 billion in economic activity that horse racing generates within the province. We directly employ about 17,500 people. It's a fairly big company, a big operation. That represents everybody from the Sunday afternoon races at the fair tracks to Mohawk and Woodbine on the upper side of it.  We're there to promote the industry. Horse racing got shuffled as casinos populated themselves throughout North America. In my opinion, racing handle suffered some because of that. We want to get out there and promote the business.  We want to determine our own destiny. We believe that there's a path to self sufficiency in the province. Through the short-term, we need the government as a big supporter for policy development and allow us to make the big decisions on racing as we move forward. Economic Impact of Horse Racing in Ontario BH: What were the reasons the Thoroughbred Improvement Program (component of HIP) was moved under the Ontario Racing umbrella? JH: This year we will receive in excess of $100 million from the provincial government. The idea is to be fully transparent. We already were operating the Standardbred program and the Quarter Horse program. We had contracted with the CTHS to do the Thoroughbred program, which we're going to move back in house—all under one roof—nothing to hide, not that it was an issue with the CTHS or anything. Just for transparency purposes and to have one unified voice, especially when we're speaking with government. It's all under one roof. (The CTHS) in essence still administer the funds based on what the committee determines.  BH: So you don't see any big changes there? JH: No. BH: The CTHS expressed concern that the 25% commitment of TIP money to stallion awards and breeder bonuses could be moved to purses. Where is Ontario Racing on that issue? JH: It would be a committee decision if that happens and the breeders are on the committee. I don't see any big changes in the way those funds are administered right now. I think the board and the committee are both fairly comfortable with the way the money's being spent at this point in time. BH: On a different topic, in December Ontario Racing made a small change beginning this year to add a slightly larger percentage of HIP money on the Thoroughbred side. JH: We have decided to change the breed allocations. It had been 50-50 between Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds. Over the next three years we will be moving to 55% Thoroughbred and 45% Standardbred of the total funds. That basically just reflects wagering in the province on horse racing. BH: How will that change affect Thoroughbred racing? JH: Hopefully it will provide some certainty. It's a business where I think everybody understands risk. We are, as most jurisdictions in North America, facing lower horse populations. The idea would be to provide some certainty for owners and breeders to continue breeding horses, maintaining sale prices, getting the horses to the races, and having the races available for them to race. BH: Do you see some opportunity for growth? JH: Given my background working for the Ontario Lottery Group, the ideal would be expanding betting through the lottery network, which is at every gas station, convenience store, and supermarket in the province basically. It wouldn't be so much that they'd handle bets on every race, but maybe featured races or one race a week just to drive some volume. BH: What are some of the promotional ideas Ontario Racing has put forward? JH: Within the province, Ontario Lottery and Gaming administers horse racing. Part of that mandate is promoting horse racing. We have had a pretty impactful promotional campaign—television anyway. Ontario Racing also helps at the individual tracks but the province-wide campaign is to get new people to the track and enjoying horse racing. VIDEO BH: What do you think are the advantages of having a group like this in place for Ontario racing? JH: It is a unified group; conversely and I don't know how well it worked in the past, but you'd have like three to five groups all lobbying—that might be too strong a word—with government. This allows us to promote racing as a whole. ... It just provides a unified force to serve as the single voice of racing in the province. Racing basically had no unified presence before Ontario Racing was formed.  BH: Is there an initial message your group wants to get across to lawmakers? JH: We're here to promote the business because it is vital to Ontario. As I said earlier, 17,500 direct jobs and 45,000 indirect jobs. As each day passes, we're becoming more and more entwined with government. We're down at the legislature over the last few months at least once a week. We're meeting individually with representatives, providing them with updates, asking for their support; I believe it's getting there.  We have hired Katherine Curry as president of Ontario Racing Management and she has assembled the administrative team to execute the plans that Ontario Racing has. You think you know a lot about (horse racing), but it's a business in this province with many moving parts. If you get one part that sinks, the whole thing can grind to a halt. We just want to keep moving forward. BH: Does that message on jobs and economic impact get lawmakers' attention? JH: I would go so far to say that when the government originally cancelled the SARP program, it was the grassroots horse people that basically brought them to their senses (leading to HIP) because all of a sudden the government realized how many votes, especially outside the urban areas, were horse racing supporters.  By Frank Angst Reprinted with permission of Bloodhorse

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