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JANUARY 26, 2021 - In response to the current suspension of live Standardbred racing due to the provincial stay-at-home order, Ontario Racing has announced that 2021 Ontario Sires Stakes sustaining payment deadlines for both harness racing two and three-year-olds will be extended by one month. The deadline to sustain three-year-olds (foals of 2018) to the 2021 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program will be extended from February 15 to March 15. The deadline to sustain two-year-olds (foals of 2019) to the OSS program will be extended from March 15 to April 15. Sustaining payment forms will be sent to the owner of record at the time of mailing and can be downloaded from the OSS website here. The late nomination deadline for two-year-olds (foals of 2019) which were not nominated to the program as yearlings will not be extended and remains March 15. In addition, the yearling nomination deadline for foals of 2020 remains May 17. For additional information about the program please visit the Ontario Sires Stakes website or contact Ashley Douglas at OSS Program Information For rules, notices, program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

MILTON, OCT. 10, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park showcased Ontario's top harness racing Grassroots competitors on Saturday night and the division stars were shining bright as six of the eight $75,000 championships were captured by favourites, including defending champions Lovedbythemasses and Mayhem Hanover. In the three-year-old trotting colt showdown, Lovedbythemasses and driver Mike Saftic took control heading for the half and never needed to look back, sailing home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:53.4. Semi-Final winner Ripped And Ready was second and division point leader Mikey Mass trotted into third. "He was real good last week and he was good today, good and strong. He's probably at the top of his game right now," said Campbellville, ON resident Saftic. "All night long they were coming off the pace, the front end wasn't holding very good, but I kind of landed about the four-hole and coming up the backside I didn't want to let them get too cheap of a half and be first over so I brushed to the front. He was good." Saftic steers Lovedbythemasses for trainer Ed Peconi of Peterborough and his co-owners Nicholas Peconi of Lakefield, ON and Wade Peconi of Stanchel, PEI. The win was the Muscle Mass gelding's fourth in Grassroots action this season and the ninth of his career. One race later three-year-old pacing colt Mayhem Hanover defended his Grassroots title, sprinting home off a first-over trip to deliver a commanding two and one-half length win in a personal best 1:50. Bettorbuckleup, who caught Mayhem Hanover in the Semi-Final, finished second and Poseidon Seelster was third. "He raced great tonight. He couldn't have raced any better," said driver Doug McNair. "Last week, it's kind of my own fault, I started him up real early and he just got picked off late. He should have never got beat last week I didn't think. The drive didn't look much better tonight, but he just kind of idled his way up to the lead. I didn't make him pace as fast as he can until the top of the stretch and he paced right to the wire." Gregg McNair of Guelph trains Mayhem Hanover for Scott and Clay Horner of Toronto, ON, who also watched the Sportswriter son try his hand against the Gold and Grand Circuit horses this summer before returning to the Grassroots program. Three-year-old pacing colt Mayhem Hanover and driver Doug McNair Division point leaders Four Wheelin and Profound Paragon also capped off their impressive Grassroots seasons with a championship title. Two-year-old trotting colt Four Wheelin kicked off the evening with a two length score in a personal best 1:56.4. In rein to Louis-Philippe Roy the Wheeling N Dealin son got away fourth as Lifelong Wish sprinted out to a :27.2 quarter and then swept to the lead heading for the :57.3 half. The fan favourite did not face a challenge through the 1:26.2 three-quarters and pulled away to a two length victory over Warrawee Windsor and Tymal Chrome. "I expected it to be a two-horse race pretty much," said Roy, who was concerned about the other Semi-Final winner Highland Mowgli and driver Bob McClure. "At first I wasn't really happy because the horse I had to beat was sitting on my back, but when (Mike) Saftic (with Lifelong Wish) slowed, I was able to re-move and get mine in a better position and get Bob's horse in a bad position. The last three starts I never used him. He did it all by himself and was never tired so I knew he had a little more left in the tank." Saturday's win was Four Wheelin's fifth in five Grassroots starts. Trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueil, QC share ownership of the talented youngster, who boosted his career earnings to $101,002. Like many of her peers, three-year-old trotting filly Profound Paragon used a come-from-behind trip to score her fifth Grassroots win, and her twelfth of the season, in 1:55.4. Sonadora Deo finished one length behind the fan favourite and Chelseas Magic was third. "She's been amazing," said trainer Julie Walker. "There's not too many horses that win that many races, when you consider the overnights and Grassroots, and at every race track in Ontario, so it's been fun." Carlisle, ON resident Walker shares ownership of Profound Paragon with breeder Steven Titus of Manalapan, NJ and Jean Bernard "Bert" Renaud has driven the Muscle Mass daughter through her successful sophomore season. Second Bruiser capped off a perfect Grassroots season with a championship title in the two-year-old pacing colt showdown. The Believeinbruiser son and driver James MacDonald took command heading for the half and never faced a serious challenge, cruising home one and one-quarter length winners in 1:51.4. Proline finished second and Semi-Final winner Take Control was third. "It was awesome," said trainer Vernon Cochrane. "I was a little bit worried about the front end. He'd never got to the front that early before and he's always trained better off a helmet, he likes to chase them home, but a good horse can do it any way, right." Fergus resident Cochrane shares ownership of Second Bruiser with breeder Stefan Piekos of Palgrave, ON. The gelding made four appearances in the Grassroots program, two regular season legs, the Semi-Final and final, and won all three in identical clockings of 1:51.4. Fan favourite HP Mama B also rewarded her backers in the two-year-old trotting filly championship. In rein to Sylvain Filion HP Mama B powered from sixth to first in the final quarter, trotting under the wire one length ahead of Doing It All and division point leader Top Of The Bar in 1:57.3. "That mare raced good. I am a happy man. When they win it's always nice," said trainer Ben Baillargeon who also bred the filly. "I got rid of the broodmare, and I even sold half of that one when she was a year old and I gave the rest of it to my wife, so she's happy. I haven't seen a dime of what that mare made so far. I don't think I'll see a penny out of that, but that's okay, my wife will put it to good use probably." Baillargeon's wife Guylaine Picard of Guelph shares ownership of HP Mama B with Celine Paquin of Ayers Cliff, QC. The win boosted the Royalty For Life daughter's career earnings to $76,087. Louis-Philippe Roy was back in the winner's circle after the three-year-old pacing filly showdown, guiding Mia Culpa to victory from Post 10. The Shadow Play daughter sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:51.4. Semi-Final winner Lyons Tilt Hanover and Free Flyin Ticket also closed hard to be second and third. "Jean Tourigny did a good job making her peak at the right time. She's as good now as she was two months ago. She's not tired and I was really happy with the trip I got with her," said Guelph, ON resident Roy. "I raced her a few times on the front, but she's not really that type of horse." Jean Tourigny trains Mia Culpa for Roland Trudel of Becancour, Michel Damphousse of Louiseville and Guy Lavoie of Terrebonne, QC. The win was the filly's fifth of the season and just her second in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Jonathan Drury and two-year-old pacing filly Cyclone Sister opted to follow in the footsteps of the fillies that preceded them, getting away sixth from Post 1 and advancing toward pacesetter Ourlittlemiracle through fractions of :28.2, :57.1 and 1:24.4. Rolling out three-wide at the three-quarters, Cyclone Sister kicked home to a one and one-half length win in a personal best 1:53.2. Fan favourite Chiefs Dream Girl was second and Semi-Final winner Amini was third. "She raced great. Jonathan gave her a perfect trip. The first four or five starts she always kicked home really well and I was kind of hoping she could have that kick one more start and she did," said owner/breeder George Millar of Stouffville, ON. "I'm thrilled. I was just saying to my wife (Sondra), we were so close to selling the mare in foal with Cyclone Sister, I'm kind of glad there was no buyers and I ended up keeping her." Nick Gallucci trains Cyclone Sister, who started her career with two wins at the Grassroots level and then took two runs at the Gold Series fillies before returning to the Grassroots program. Saturday's boosted the Shadow Play daughter's earnings to $99,682. Complete results from Saturday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Videos: Race 2 - Four Wheelin; Race 3 - HP Mama B; Race 4 - Mia Culpa; Race 5 - Cyclone Sister; Race 6 - Lovedbythemasses; Race 7 -Mayhem Hanover; Race 8 - Profound Paragon; Race 9 - Second Bruiser OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

MILTON, SEPT. 8, 2020 - Two-year-old pacing colts took their turn in the harness racing spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday, Sept. 8, competing for a total of $117,500 in five Grassroots divisions. Stonebridge Rex and driver Doug McNair captured the first $23,500 division with a bold move at the five-eighths marker that saw them sail to the front and power away from the field to a six and one-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:52.3. Big Bang Bang was second and Last Bet was two more lengths back in third. "He's a nice horse. He steers funny sometimes, but other than that he's handy," said McNair of the Control The Moment gelding who started from Post 5. "He tied up in Sarnia (Aug. 22), but he bounced back tonight." The win was Stonebridge Rex's second in Grassroots action. He was also victorious in the July 20 leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, breeder Angie Stiller of Arva and their co-owner Gary Colter of Mississauga, ON. With two wins, a sixth in the season opener and a seventh-place result at Sarnia's Hiawatha Horse Park on Aug. 22, Stonebridge Rex has 105 points and sits second in the division standings with one regular season event remaining. The next three divisions saw Finkle Is Einhorn, No Plan Intended and Proline get their first Grassroots win and make significant jumps up the point standings. Fan favourite Finkle Is Einhorn left smartly from Post 5, let two rivals circle to the front and then delivered a late sprint to the wire to claim a head victory in 1:55.1. Pacesetter Mustang Beach settled for second and Kyoquot was five lengths behind the leaders in third. "He's a nice horse. He was a little too aggressive last time (Aug. 31), but the trainer added ear plugs and he was more relaxed tonight," said driver Sylvain Filion. "He just flew home when we had room." Milton resident Filion piloted Finkle Is Einhorn to the win for trainer Duncan Brewer of Waterdown and his co-owner Randell Urquhart of Hamilton, ON. With one win and one third in Grassroots action, the Sunshine Beach gelding has a total of 62 points and jumped from fortieth into a three-way tie for eleventh in the standings. The top 20 point earners at the end of the regular season advance to the Oct. 1 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and the top five finishers from each Semi-Final move on to the $75,000 Grassroots Championship on Oct. 10. In the third division driver Jody Jamieson eased No Plan Intended away from Post 1, settling in fifth as Big Teddy rang up a :26.4 quarter and fan favourite Cadillac Bayama led the field to a :55.4 half. As they swept by the half-mile marker Jamieson tipped No Plan Intended to the outside and started to advance on the pacesetter. Cadillac Bayama held the challenger at bay through the 1:24.2 three-quarters, but No Plan Intended had a bigger kick in the stretch and pulled away to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:52.2. Big Teddy snuck up the inside to be second and Cadillac Bayama settled for third. "He's a homebred colt that trained down well and just ran into some health issues and lost some time,' said driver Jody Jamieson of the gelding, who missed the July 20 Grassroots leg due to sickness. "But he has since come back with two seconds and now a fast win." Stephanie Jamieson trains No Plan Intended for Carl Jamieson of Puslinch, ON and Brian Paquet of Quebec, QC, who also bred the son of Up The Credit. With one win, one second and one sixth in Grassroots action No Plan Intended has 78 points and moved from twenty-fifth to fifth in the standings. Proline was able to advance up the outside behind cover in the fourth division before unleashing a :26.4 final quarter to post a two and one-quarter length win in 1:53.3. Watch My Beverage also closed hard to be second, leaving pacesetter Brilliant Corners to settle for third. "That was a great bounce back," said driver Bob McClure, who piloted Proline to a disappointing sixth in the Aug. 22 Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park. "Hopefully he keeps trending in that direction." Rockwood resident McClure steers Proline for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Tuesday's win launched the Sportswriter son from sixty-fifth to seventeenth in the standings with 53 points. Second Bruiser made his Ontario Sires Stakes debut in the last division, and driver James MacDonald would not be surprised to see him make his second provincial start against the Gold Series colts. Starting from the outside Post 9, Second Bruiser sprinted off the gate to a :27.1 quarter, yielded to fan favourite Saratoga Blue Chip, who took the field to a :56.1 half and 1:25 three-quarters, and then tipped out in the stretch and rocketed home to a four and one-half length win in 1:51.4. Saratoga Blue Chip settled for second and Shazam Blue Chip rounded out the top three. "He's awesome. I think Vern will likely try the next Gold with him. Some of them are starting to get tired and he is razor sharp right now, so I expect good things from him," said MacDonald. "He's a Cadillac, steers good, paces good. The one issue he had qualifying (Aug. 25), he got jammed up, that's young horse stuff, that's nothing to worry about. He was very strong tonight." Guelph resident MacDonald engineered the win for trainer Vernon Cochrane of Fergus and breeder Stefan Piekos of Palgrave, ON who share ownership of the son of Believeinbruiser. Tuesday was just the gelding's second lifetime start after sickness took him out of action for most of August. The two-year-old pacing colts will make their last regular season Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 17, while the Gold Series colts go postward Oct. 4 at Flamboro Downs, meaning Cochrane and Piekos will have to choose which level to compete at before the Sept. 14 draw for the last Grassroots leg. Horses need two Grassroots starts to be eligible for the Grassroots postseason, while one win can make them eligible for the $250,000 Gold Series Super Final. Complete results for Tuesday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Grassroots point standings can be found on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing

MILTON, AUG. 28, 2020 - With the first half of the Prospect Series season in the books, competition is heating up for a spot in the harness racing finals at Grand River Raceway on Friday, Sept. 25. Radical J J currently has an eight point lead atop the two-year-old trotting filly division after a win at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, Aug. 26. The daughter of Muscle Mass is trained by Shawn Steacy, who said the Prospect Series has offered a positive introduction to racing for the late-blooming youngster. "She was a little slow getting started this year for us," said Steacy, who conditions the filly for David Reid of Sydenham, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, Carmen Chrysdale of Mississauga and Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON. "So that's kind of why we got her started just in the Prospect Series rather than the Ontario Sires Stakes right off the get go." Although there have been a limited number of starters in the two-year-old trotting filly division through the first four legs, Steacy expects to see a few more heading to Flamboro Downs for the regular season finale on Sunday, Sept. 13. "With the last legs coming up, you might see, rather than just getting five, six horse fields, you might get a couple eight horse fields going in the last leg or two," said the Brantford resident, who leads all trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "It's a good tool, I think, overall. I think (Ontario Racing) did a good thing by putting that in play." The Steacy stable also scored a second-place finish at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday with Teacup Hanover. With 25 points from her runner-up result and five points from entering a leg that did not fill, the Crazed daughter has a total of 30 points, 28 behind her division leading stablemate. Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC, Robert Macmillan of Waterloo, ON, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, AB and Dale Larson of Kent City, MI share ownership of Teacup Hanover, who has also made three starts at the Grassroots level. The top nine point earners from each division will battle for a purse of $15,000 in the Prospect Series Finals on Sept. 25. Horses are only required to have entered one Prospect Series leg to be eligible for the Final, but those that have participated at more than one level, like Teacup Hanover, can only compete in one Final, either Prospect Series or Grassroots. Complete information about the program and current point standings can be found on the Ontario Racing Prospect Series page. Prospect Series September Schedule: TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS: Sunday, Sept. 6 - Leamington Raceway Tuesday, Sept. 15 - Flamboro Downs TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS: Sunday, Sept. 13 - Leamington Raceway TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES: Saturday, Sept. 5 - Kawartha Downs Saturday, Sept. 12 - Hiawatha Horse Park TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES: Sunday, Sept. 13 - Flamboro Downs THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS: Sunday, Sept. 6 - Leamington Raceway Friday, Sept. 18 - Grand River Raceway THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS: Sunday, Sept. 6 - Flamboro Downs Sunday, Sept. 13 - Flamboro Downs THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES: Thursday, Sept. 3 - Flamboro Downs THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES: Thursday, Sept. 17 - Flamboro Downs ALL DIVISIONS, SERIES FINALS: Friday, Sept. 25 - Grand River Raceway Prospect Series Administration Ontario Racing

HANOVER, AUG. 27, 2020 - Hanover Raceway kicks off two straight weeks of Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action this Saturday, Aug. 29 with three divisions of two-year-old trotting fillies battling for a total of $66,650. The first $22,450 division goes postward in Race 2 and trainer Mark Etsell is hoping Top Of The Bar can bounce back from sickness to add a few more points to the 62 she accumulated in her first two Grassroots starts. The daughter of Muscle Mass finished third in the July 13 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park and won her division in the July 29 leg at Grand River Raceway before missing the Aug. 17 event. "We just went through a bout of the sickness, that's why we missed the last Grassroots, so I qualified her there Tuesday (Aug. 25) just to tighten her up a bit, so hopefully we're coming in good," said Hanover native Etsell. "We had 15 out of 17 sick there, so it was pretty rough." Etsell, who currently calls Rockwood home, shares ownership of Top Of The Bar with Robert Newton of Walkerton, Graham Hopkins of Chesley and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. The partners offered up $25,000 for the filly at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Top Of The Bar and driver Bob McClure will line up at Post 2 on Saturday, alongside local filly Charmbo Princess, who starts from Post 3 for driver Mike Saftic and owner/breeders Randy Rier of Hanover and John "Jack" Rier of Kitchener, ON. In her Grassroots appearances, Charmbo Princess has tallied one win and one fourth for a total of 58 points and also missed one leg due sickness. "We're hoping she's a little sharper. She was sick, she was off five weeks before she raced two weeks ago there (Aug. 17) and I'm hoping she's a little sharper, we were able to get her trained a little better and stuff like that," said Randy Rier of the homebred daughter of Royalty For Life and Hetties Charm. "So we'll keep our fingers crossed." The other two $22,100 Grassroots divisions will go postward as Races 5 and 7 on the Saturday afternoon program, which gets under way at 2 pm. Next Saturday, Sept. 5 the Hanover half-mile will host the last regular season Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Competition will be fierce as the fillies vie for one of 20 spots in the Oct. 2 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Although in-person attendance is limited to 100 people for both Grassroots events, fans can download a program and find links to the live stream on the Hanover Raceway website. For the full program click here OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SARNIA, AUG. 22, 2020 - Hiawatha Horse Park welcomed the two-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, Aug. 22 for four $23,000 Grassroots divisions and driver Bob McClure kicked off the harness racing program with wins in the first two splits. Starting from Post 1 in the first division, McClure and Next Big Thing got away second behind Lil Red Sportsstar, who led the field of eight to a :28 quarter. The driver sent Next Big Thing to the front before the :56.4 half and the gelding fought off a sustained challenge from fan favourites No Plan Intended and driver Jody Jamieson through the 1:26 three-quarters before pulling away to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:54.4. No Plan Intended settled for second and Beef N Cheddar was third. "I watched the Gold that he was in when Desperate Man won (July 3) and he was locked and loaded and he went a very big mile that night and I thought he was going to be very legit," said McClure, who had not driven the gelding before Saturday's contest. "After that, I guess he doesn't really like the front and he ended up on the front a couple times, and they said he had some sickness issues, so it looks like they've got everything ironed out now because he was lethal today." McClure engineered the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his co-owner/breeders Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The Shadow Play gelding started his Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) career at the Gold Series level, finishing third in both the July 3 season opener and the July 18 leg, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "He was going against the Gold colts and just coming up a little short so, confidence is a big thing, and I decided to drop him down and see if we couldn't braven him up. I did make a big change, he had a blind bridle on and once he made the front he would get lost and just let a couple by him, but I put an open bridle on him and I trained him in the open bridle and he was much better," said McIntosh. "Today, I just watched it on the Hiawatha website there, but if he had the blind bridle on he probably would have let Jamieson go by, but with an open bridle he fought him off. "I think with the open bridle on he might go back to the Gold. He'll be proud of himself now." McClure was back in the winner's circle after the second Grassroots division with fan favourite Adrenaline Rush, who took command just after the midway point and opened up to a three and one-half length victory in 1:57. All Cheddar was second and Hez My Buddy finished third. "He's been off a month, I didn't know what to expect," said Rockwood, ON resident McClure. "When I moved him out first-up he was coming, and then he cleared the front, and you know what, he took care of the rest from there, but that was a surprise because I thought he'd be a bit short." The win was the second straight in Grassroots action for McClure and the Royal Mattjesty gelding. The pair was also victorious in the July 20 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on behalf of trainer Kevin McMaster and fractional ownership group TheStable Adrenaline Rush of Guelph, ON. Saturday's win moved Adrenaline Rush to the top of the division standings with the win with a total of 102 points. Cantstoplying claimed the third Grassroots title, outsprinting Next Big Thing's stablemate Last Bet for a neck victory in 1:55.1. Finkle Is Einhorn was one length behind the battling leaders in third. Louis-Philippe Roy piloted Sunshine Beach gelding Cantstoplying to his first lifetime win for trainer Nick Gallucci and owner/breeder Millar Farms of Stouffville, ON. "I was really happy with how he beat the horse down the stretch. It looked like he might have been second there, but he fought back and won the race, so I was really impressed with that," said Gallucci. "He's still learning; every race he seems to get a little bit better. He's very fast, it's just a matter of getting his mind more into being a racehorse and I think that will come with time." Take Control claimed the final Grassroots division, overtaking pacesetting favourite Proline on the final turn and romping home to a 15 length victory in 1:54.3. Mustang Beach, who led the main pack as a distant Proline rang up fractions of :26.4, :53.1 and 1:23.4, finished second and Marlboro Seelster was third. Anthony Haughan engineered Take Control's first lifetime win for trainer Dan Lagace of Cambridge and his co-owner Ben Mudry of Toronto, ON. The partners were delighted with the result and with the progress the Control The Moment son has shown through his five lifetime starts. "He's a nice little colt. Ben was kind of looking for a Control The Moment colt because he owned Control The Moment and so he had approached me in the fall about looking at some babies," recalled Lagace. "So this colt was in London (Selected Yearling Sale) and I said I'd go to $15,000 on him and Ben's like, 'Well you know when you say $15,000 they always go for $20,000'. And I said, 'Well I'm only buying a quarter, you're buying three-quarters so if we go to $20,000 I don't care'. So I went in and made one bid and bid $8,000. "You know that commercial where the girl is leaving Walmart and she's leaving the building and she's like, 'Start the car!' I said that's the way I felt," said Lagace with a laugh. "He's not a great horse or anything, but you know he's maturing into a nice horse. And for $8,000 you can't go wrong; $8,000 is my wheelhouse." The two-year-old pacing colts will make their last two Grassroots starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 8 and 17. The top 20 point earners through the five regular season events will then move on to the Oct. 1 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Complete results for Saturday's program are available at Hiawatha Horse Park Results. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

ELORA, AUG. 19, 2020 - Harness racing fans that tuned into the Grand River Raceway program on Wednesday, Aug. 19 were treated to not one, not two, but three record setting performances by Ontario's top two-year-old trotting fillies and three-year-old trotting colts. Fox Valley Liza kicked off the speed show in the first $107,200 two-year-old trotting filly Gold Series division. Starting from Post 1 the fan favourite settled in fourth as Blackout Riley led the field to a :29 opening quarter. Around the second turn driver Sylvain Filion sent Fox Valley Liza after the lead and the filly had taken command by the :58.4 half. Rubys Are Nice mounted a challenge heading by the 1:28 three-quarters, but Filion was unconcerned and in the stretch Fox Valley Liza drew away to a five and one-half length victory in 1:57.4. You Will Be Queen finished second and Pixies Lady was elevated to third due to errors by two of her peers. The mile bettered the Grand River Raceway track record by one second and equalled the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) and Canadian record set by Devils Advocate at Flamboro Downs in 2015. "She raced real good, she raced tough," said trainer Ben Baillargeon. "She made a big move at the quarter mile and she held on tight with the plugs in. She raced real good." Baillargeon conditions the Muscle Mass daughter for Anthony Lombardi of Morris, IL, Henshaut Stable of Montgomery, IN and George Golemes of Oak Brook, IL. The win was Fox Valley Liza's second in Gold Series action; she was also victorious in the July 12 season opener at Georgian Downs. "She won easy the first Gold at Georgian and Sylvain said she was very fast and then we got side-tracked for a little bit. I raced her in the Pure Ivory (July 23), she run at the gate, the next Gold (July 31) she was a little sick and she was very grabby, she finished fifth," said Baillargeon. "We treated her up and last week (Aug. 11) she had the nine-hole and she got in all kinds of road trouble and she still trotted her last half in :56. Doug McNair did a real good job for me, he babysat her and I even told Doug tonight, I said, 'Thank you for not hurting my filly last week'. She was real strong last week and so we were, I was anxious to race her tonight. I liked my chances." Fox Valley Liza's tenure in the Grand River Raceway record books was brief however, as Imextraspecial and Trevor Henry stormed to the lead from Post 1 and never looked back, rolling to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:57.3. Fan favourite Up And Ready settled for second and Fuzzy Angel was four lengths back in third. The mile gave Imextraspecial the track, OSS and Canadian record for a two-year-old trotting filly on a half-mile track. "The track was hard and fast tonight," said Henry. "She raced great, got off the gate extra great. She handles the turns so well. Paul (Walker) has done a great job with her, all I've got to do is keep her out of trouble." Henry drives the Muscle Mass daughter for trainer Paul Walker of Owen Sound and owner Keith Coulter of Mono, ON. The win was Imextraspecial's third in OSS action, with the other two coming in the Grassroots program. In the evening's finale, nine of the province's best three-year-old trotting colts squared up to the gate for a $157,200 Gold Series division and, from Post 1, Sylvain Filion and Hayek simply said catch me if you can. The pair fired off the wings and, pressed by Moon Bridge, rang up a :27.3 quarter and a :56 half. As Moon Bridge started to fade Hot Wheelz took up the challenge and pushed Hayek through a 1:25 three-quarters. The pressure did not trouble the co-favourites however and Hayek pulled away to a four and one-quarter length victory in a spectacular 1:53.3. Hot Wheelz finished second and the other co-favourite, Pemberton, was third from the outside Post 8. The mile was the fastest ever recorded by a trotter, of any age, on a half-mile track in Canada. It lowered the Grand River Raceway all-age record and the OSS thee-year-old trotting colt record by almost a full second. "He's not an easy horse, but he's very fast. Tonight he was pretty wound up when I warmed him up and we had the rail, and when he came out of the turn he charged that gate and I said, 'Go gate, get out of the way'. I closed my eyes going into the first turn," said Ben Baillargeon with a chuckle. "He was pretty handy. Sylvain said he wasn't all out though. They come after him all the mile. Bob (McClure with Moon Bridge) come and then Jody (Jamieson with Hot Wheelz) came, they all come and he fought them all." The Guelph resident shares ownership of Hayek with Teresa Davidson of Milton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Nunzio Vena of Bolton, ON. The win was the E L Titan gelding's second in Gold Series action and his fourth of the season. So long as they remain happy and healthy Hayek and his stablemate HP Royal Theo, who made a break in the first turn and finished at the back of the field, will make their next start in the Aug. 28 Goodtimes eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "Theo, he run last year here in the first turn and he did the same thing this year. He just seems like he's not comfortable, so we're going to put an 'X' on that race and we're going to focus on the Goodtimes next week, that's all you can do. We're going to regroup a little bit with Theo and the other one, well I'm just going to try and control his speed," said Baillargeon. "I would like to see him race in a hole in the future, but listen, for $150,000 tonight, come and get me." The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 21, while the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings resume their Gold Series rivalry at the Milton, ON oval on Sept. 28. On Sept. 4 Grand River Raceway will welcome the two-year-old pacing fillies back to Elora for their fourth Gold Series event. Complete results from Wednesday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results.   Video: Race 4 – Fox Valley Liza; Race 7 – Imextraspecial; Race 11 – Hayek   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

MILTON, AUG. 17, 2020 - Ontario's two-year-old trotting filly division continues to be a wide open affair as three first-time harness racing winners triumphed in Grassroots action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, Aug. 17. The freshman fillies opened the program in the first race and Mag N Lady rolled out to a :28.3 opening quarter, followed closely by HP Mama B from Post 1, who did not stay tucked in the pocket for long. At the three-eighths marker driver Sylvain Filion sent HP Mama B to the front and the filly cruised to a :59.4 half and a 1:28.4 three-quarters before drawing away from the field in the stretch to a 1:57.1 victory. Mag N Lady was five lengths back in second with three more lengths back to Ban Ban Deo in third. "It was just a matter of time before she goes straight. She used to come out of the last turn and kind of throw herself into the middle of the racetrack," said trainer Ben Baillargeon, who also bred and raised the daughter of Royalty For Life and Winters Jewel. "She showed speed a few times, like a last quarter in :27.4, and even in Grand River (July 29) she run, but we knew exactly why she run, and I kind of worked on it the last couple weeks and it paid off tonight, 1:57.1, last quarter :28.2. And she did it pretty easy, but she always had the speed, all winter she showed speed." Guylaine Picard of Guelph, ON and Celine Paquin of Ayers Cliff, QC share ownership of HP Mama B, who finished ninth in the Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 13 and second in the July 29 leg at Grand River Raceway. Rain fell in sheets before the second $23,500 Grassroots division, changing the racetrack's rating from 'fast' to 'sloppy', but that did not seem to hamper Stonebridge Strong, who powered down the stretch to a five and one-half length score in 2:00.4. Starting from the trailing Post 10, Stonebridge Strong was able to follow Kadillac Girl up the outer lane before powering off the final turn to her first victory. All R Wishes also closed well for second and pocket-sitter Snowfalla was third. "I've liked her every time I've drove her. I know she was 10 to 1 and everything tonight, but it really wasn't a surprise to me that she raced like that," said driver Ryan Holliday, noting that the filly missed the July 29 leg due to sickness. "We qualified her six days ago (Aug. 11) and he said she was good and fit for this one and I kind of did expect her to race good." Holliday steers Stonebridge Strong for trainer Paul Megens and owners Saltwater Stables of Moffat, ON. The Muscle Mass daughter's only other start came in the July 13 season opener, where she finished sixth, but still managed to impress Holliday. "I know Paul and everybody was kind of disappointed with her first start, but I kind of chalked it up just to being not that fit, because she was quite a while in between her first start and her qualifier (June 19) and it's just not the same training them as racing," said Holliday. "So I expected her to be better tonight and she was, so that's good." By the last Grassroots division the surface had dried up enough to improve the racetrack's rating to 'good' and Edgewater powered away from Post 8 to a :29 quarter. Starting from Post 7, driver Stephen Byron had eased Lifeintheslammer away from the gate and was 12 lengths back in eighth. As Edgewater rang up a 1:00.1 half and 1:30.2 three-quarters Lifeintheslammer was steadily making her way up the outer lane, and rolling out wide off the final turn she kicked into gear and collared the leaders on her way to a one and one-half length victory in 2:00.3. All Muscle N Sass closed hard to claim second and pocket-sitter Warrawee Welcome finished five lengths back in third. "We're pleased, relieved," said trainer John Bax. "She's still mad at the world and we just have to get her mad at the other horses in the race. She was, we can get her loaded now, but she was one of those ones where she missed the first couple training sessions because we couldn't get her on the trailer." The fractious daughter of Royalty For Life and Tequila Slammer made her debut in the July 12 Gold Series opener at Georgian Downs, where she finished fifth, but a ninth place result in the July 31 Gold leg convinced Bax and his co-owners Bax Stable of Campbellville, Glengate Farms of Erin, Brad Grant of Milton and Gaelic Stable of Sharon, ON that the filly might be better suited to the Grassroots program. "She doesn't know anything about racing yet and she wasn't learning anything in the Gold, she really wasn't in the race," explained Campbellville resident Bax. "I trained her mother and her mother was a pretty nice filly and she's got a brother that was pretty good down in the States so, yeah we're pretty high on her. It's just one of those deals where I think the head has to come along, and I think once she matures enough and maybe grows up physically she won't be so mad and she'll learn to race." Lifeintheslammer, Stonebridge Strong and HP Mama B will have an opportunity to continue their positive progress in the fourth Grassroots Leg, on Aug. 29 at Hanover Raceway. Complete results from Monday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday, Aug. 18 with two $106,400 Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. The fillies will compete in Races 2 and 8, with the program getting under way at 7 pm. Video: Race 1 - HP Mama B; Race 4 - Stonebridge Strong; Race 6 -- Lifeintheslammer OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

OTTAWA, AUG. 16, 2020 - Thirty-eight of the finest harness racing three-year-old pacing colts in Canada descended on Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 16 to compete in two $104,800 Gold Series divisions, three $22,00 Grassroots splits and a single $7,100 Prospect Series division and, in spite of a drenching, the colts put on an impressive show. Sunday's Gold divisions served as a final North America Cup tune-up for top ranked Tattoo Artist and Beaumond Hanover and both colts looked ready to take on the continent's best in the Aug. 22 eliminations. In the first Gold split Tattoo Artist and driver Bob McClure cruised through fractions of :27.2, :55 and 1:23.1 on their way to a 1:50.4 victory, two lengths ahead of Beach Blanket Book. Bettorbuckleup was three more lengths back in third. One race later Beaumond Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson laid down a :27.4 quarter, :55.2 half and 1:23.2 three-quarters on their way to a 1:50.2 clocking, matching the Rideau Carleton Raceway track record for sophomore pacing colts and geldings. Aneto finished two and three-quarter lengths back in second and Tattoo Artist's stablemate Denali Seelster was four more lengths back in third. "It's making for quite a story. I don't know how those two draw apart from each other all the time," said Dr. Ian Moore, who trains Tattoo Artist. "But anyway, they are two nice colts. Those are wicked miles both of those two went tonight." Yet to face each other in Gold Series competition, Tattoo Artist and Beaumond Hanover are both three-for-three in the provincial program this season. While Beaumond Hanover was the quicker over Rideau Carleton Raceway's five-eighths mile, which was rated one second slower than normal due to the rain, Tattoo Artist has the edge on the Woodbine Mohawk Park seven-eighths, winning the July 4 Gold Series opener in 1:48.2. Cambridge, ON resident Moore conditions Tattoo Artist for Frank Cannon of Sanford, FL and Let It Ride Stables of Boca Raton, FL. In addition to his trio of Gold Series victories, the Hes Watching son also has a pair of wins in overnight action on his resume this season and has not been bested since his June 6 sophomore debut. At two, Tattoo Artist won a Grassroots division, two Gold legs and the season ending Super Final in an eight race campaign. Jack Darling owns and trains Beaumond Hanover, who missed out on his freshman Ontario Sires Stakes season due to an injury. Since making his debut last fall, the son of Sportswriter has posted nine wins in 12 starts. Like Tattoo Artist, he has a pair of overnight wins to his credit this season and has not been collared since late June. Unlike Tattoo Artist, he had never ventured away from Woodbine Mohawk Park and that fact caused Darling a few moments of concern on Sunday. "I was a little nervous because he was pretty worked up tonight, just being in a different environment and all the new surroundings. He was a handful to get calmed down and get him warmed up, but it didn't seem to hurt him in the race," said the Cambridge, ON resident. "He's just kind of a superior animal." Both colts will have a few days rest before beginning preparations for the North America Cup eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 22. In addition to Tattoo Artist's victory, Dr. Moore also captured the $7,100 Prospect Series division with Usurper and the first $22,100 Grassroots division with The Wild Card. Usurper and driver Trevor Henry controlled the tempo for most of the mile and were comfortable winners in 1:55.2. P H Impulse finished two lengths behind the fan favourite and Journalistic completed the top three. Next Generation Stable of Stratford, PEI owns the Sportswriter son, who had been winless in eight starts this season. In rein to Doug McNair, fan favourite The Wild Card also controlled the tempo and held off Sunshine List in the stretch to record a one-half length win in 1:54.1. Truffle Dog finished three lengths behind the leaders in third. Moore shares ownership of The Wild Card with R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NB and Serge Savard of St-Bruno, QC and said the partners are thoroughly enjoying the Bettors Delight son's sophomore success. Sunday's win was The Wild Card's third in the Grassroots program and gives him sole ownership of top spot in the division standings. "He's been a great little horse this year. It's been a very enjoyable experience with him this summer so far," said Moore. "I won't be putting him up in the Gold that's for sure, but he's a very nice Grassroots horse to have around, no doubt about that. "Very pleased with all four of them, actually, it will make the drive home a little bit nicer." Drivers Jody Jamieson and Trevor Henry also notched two stakes wins on Sunday's program. Jamieson piloted fan favourite Sports Obsession to a win in the second $22,450 Grassroots division for his wife, trainer Stephanie Jamieson, father, co-owner Carl Jamieson of Puslinch, ON, and George Harrison of Wanes Walton, England. The Sportswriter son powered along on the front end to a 1:54.1 victory, hitting the wire one length ahead of Beach Demon and Delightful Terror. Henry settled Sundown Kid in the pocket behind favourite Twin B Frenchtoast and then tipped the Sunshine Beach son out coming off the final turn in the last $22,450 Grassroots split. Sundown Kid powered home to a 1:52.1 victory, one and one-half lengths ahead of Twin B Frenchtoast. Rhett Seelster finished third. Henry engineered the win, the gelding's first in Grassroots action, for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his co-owners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The three-year-old pacing colts make their next Grassroots start on Sept. 7 and their next Gold Series appearance on Sept. 18, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The fourth Prospect Series division goes postward Sept. 6 at Leamington Raceway. Complete results for Sunday's program are available at Rideau Carleton Raceway Results. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

MILTON, AUG. 14, 2020 - Harness racing driver Bob McClure won a trio of Grassroots divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday, Aug. 14, guiding two-year-old pacing fillies Nightlife Seelster, Joliette Hanover and Come On Sun to their first provincial victories. McClure and Nightlife Seelster kicked things off in the first $23,150 division, going gate-to-wire from Post 1 in a sharp 1:52.4, the quickest mile of the five Grassroots splits. Amini finished second, three and one-half lengths behind the fan favourite, and Spittin Chicklets was three more lengths back in third. "I'd say that she'll probably go out and try the Gold now. She's a pretty serious filly," said McClure. "I was pretty impressed by her. She's got all the weapons to be something really nice - a real nice gait, real nice attitude and drives like a sports car." Shawn Steacy trains Nightlife Seelster for Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC, Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, AB. The partners purchased the Sunshine Beach daughter at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale, offering up $72,000 for the half-sister to $1.2 million winner Nirvana Seelster. Friday was Nightlife Seelster's first appearance in the Grassroots program and her second lifetime start. She finished second to Joliette Hanover in her Aug. 7 debut over the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval. In the third $23,150 division McClure allowed Joliette Hanover to ease away from Post 7 and settle in fifth as Annies Legacy battled to a :28 quarter. Chiefs Dream Girl led the field of nine to the :57.3 half, and McClure had already angled the fan favourite into the outer lane. Joliette Hanover had a head in front at the 1:26.3 three-quarters and opened up a three and one-quarter length margin on her peers by the finish, clocked in 1:54.1. Shes A Sassy Beach and Jackieofalltrades finished second and third. "She's just a really nice filly, you know. She's not very big, she hasn't got a lot of tools going for her, but she just always goes forward and loves her work, and she's really nice to drive, a nice mouth and everything," said Rockwood, ON resident McClure. "She's about as nice a little filly as you can drive and it's remarkable how mature she is for just her second lifetime start." McClure engineered Joliette Hanover's second straight win and her first Grassroots victory for trainer Casie Coleman Herlihy of Cambridge and her co-owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON, James Clarke Sr. of York, PA and Robert Darrow of Dublin, OH. The Sportswriter daughter was a $50,000 purchase out of the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Two races later, after leaving strongly from Post 8 and landing in fourth, McClure had Come On Sun on the lead by the :57.2 half and the filly battled down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:54.4. Better Kissthe Men finished second and favourite Sports Drink recovered from a mid-race miscue to be third. "She's a very, very fast filly, but they've clearly been trying to manage her a little bit, because she feels like she'd have a tendency to get hot," noted McClure. "I just kind of let the dust settle and then let her work her way to the front, and she kicked home really good. I was really happy with her too, maybe not quite as strong as her stablemate, but right up there." The win gave trainer Shawn Steacy of Brantford, ON his second of the program and was the second lifetime and first Grassroots victory for Come On Sun. The trainer's parents, Katherine and Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, share ownership of the Sunshine Beach filly with Stephen Klunowski of North York, ON. The partners offered up $13,000 for Come On Sun at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Friday was Come On Sun's second start in the Grassroots program. She finished sixth in the July 17 event at Grand River Raceway after suffering interference at the midway point. McClure almost added a fourth win to his collection in the final division, finishing second with favourite Sportsfire behind Control The Thong. Control The Moment daughter Control The Thong reeled in Sportsfire coming off the last turn and powered down the stretch to a two and one-half length win in 1:53.3 for driver Jody Jamieson, trainer Dominic Gladu and owners Roger Bourgeois of Rawdon, QC and Francois Dupuis of St-Alponese Roderiguez, QC. Sports Duchess rounded out the top three. "The other filly, that Jody was driving, I drove last week and she's a very nice filly with a really nice attitude, but I'd already won a couple races with Sportsfire, so I felt like I owed it to her to stick with her," said McClure, who piloted Control The Thong to a runner-up result in an Aug. 7 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "And given the fact Sportsfire had a month off and left hard and had to move to the front, I thought she put in a really great effort. I mean a mile in 1:53 off a half in :57.1, she certainly didn't do anything wrong, and maybe it will even her playing field if they're both race tight." With two wins and a second in the first three Grassroots events, Sportswriter daughter Sportsfire currently sits atop the division standings with 125 points. Shiatzu Seelster captured the other Grassroots division with a 1:54 effort for driver Louis-Philippe Roy of Guelph, who engineered the win for his co-owner 1876472 Ontario Inc. of Guelph and trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON. Patina Seelster finished a head behind the State Treasurer daughter and fan favourite Voelz Delight was three-quarters of a length back in third. The two-year-old pacing fillies will make their fourth Grassroots start at Clinton Raceway on Sept. 6. Complete results from Friday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Video: Race 1 - Nightlife Seelster; Race 4 - Shiatzu Seelster; Race 6 - Joliette Hanover; Race 8 - Come On Sun; Race 9 - Control The Thong OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

FRASERVILLE, AUG. 13, 2020 - Over $114,000 is up for grabs in stakes action at Kawartha Downs on Saturday, Aug. 15 as Ontario's top three-year-old trotting colts arrive at the Fraserville harness racing oval for the third leg of their Grassroots campaign. Local colt Awesomedabra heads into the event with a flawless record of two wins in the first two legs for a share of top spot in the division point standings. In his most recent start the Kadabra gelding finished second in the Aug. 1 Dream Of Glory Final at Hanover Raceway, drawing in off the also eligible list after two horses were forced to withdraw from the final due to sickness, something owner-trainer Gary Lance was dealing with before the elimination. "He was sick the week before and he just wasn't himself," said Port Perry, ON resident Lance. "Luckily he drew in. He was the second also eligible and he drew in, you don't see that happen very often, and he raced good. Chris has done a great job with him." Awesomedabra will be without regular pilot Chris Christoforou, currently sidelined with injuries suffered at the beginning of the month, but top Kawartha Downs reinsman Nick Boyd will step in to steer the gelding from Post 4 in the fourth Grassroots division. The pair face a stiff test, starting in between last year's Grassroots champion and current Gold Series regular Lovedbythemasses, trained and co-owned by Peterborough resident Ed Peconi, at Post 3 and Dream Of Glory champion and division co-leader Remember Titans at Post 5. "We kind of drew in a little tough on Saturday, but you never know. That's why they give the money out after the race," said Lance with a chuckle. "Hopefully we'll have some luck." So long as Awesomedabra emerges happy and healthy from Saturday's start he will embark on a new adventure next week. The gelding was bred and raised in Kentucky and as a result he is also eligible to that state's sires stakes program. "I'm going to send him down to Anette Lorentzon. There's only 46 colts eligible and I've be been keeping track of them all spring and summer, so I think he'll be competitive. He'll go down there probably Monday or Tuesday and then he's got three races, and hopefully he'll make the final, and then he'll be back here for the (Grassroots) Semi-final (Oct. 2)," explained Lance. "I just wanted to do it for the experience. I go to the sale all the time and watch the races during the Grand Circuit and I would have just loved to go down there and race one, but unfortunately with this COVD it's not worth taking the chance." Before heading south, Awesomedabra will look to pad his Grassroots point total in Saturday's fifth race. The other Grassroots divisions are slated as Races 1, 2, 4, and 6 on the program, which also features a single $7,200 Prospect Series division for Ontario Sired two-year-old trotting fillies in Race 8. Post time for the stakes laden program is 4 pm. With on-track attendance limited to 100, fans can download a program and catch all the stakes action via the live stream on the Kawartha Downs website. In addition to Saturday's stakes action, Kawartha Downs also has three more Prospect Series legs on its 2020 calendar. The two-year-old trotting colts and three-year-old pacing fillies will battle in their fourth leg on Saturday, Aug. 22 and the two-year-old pacing fillies will square off in leg four on Saturday, Sept. 5. Kawartha Downs Race Date Post Time Age/Sex/Gait Race Type           Saturday, August 8 4 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Prospect Series           Saturday, August 15 4 pm 3-year-old Colt Trot Grassroots Series           Saturday, August 15 4 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Prospect Series           Saturday, August 22 4 pm 2-year-old Colt Trot Prospect Series           Saturday, August 22 4 pm 3-year-old Filly Pace Prospect Series           Saturday, September 5 4 pm 2-year-old Filly Pace Prospect Series           Ontario Racing Follow the OSS on Social Media!  @ONTSSNews

MILTON, JULY 25, 2020 - Tattoo Artist collected his second Gold Series and fourth straight victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, July 25 as the harness racing three-year-old pacing colts met for the second time in their Ontario Sires Stakes season. Lining up at Post 1 with Bob McClure in the race bike, Tattoo Artist took a brief spin in the pocket as Aneto led the field of six to a :26.4 opening quarter, but was soon heading for the front where he rang up a :54.2 half and 1:21.1 three-quarters. Down the stretch the fan favourite had to contend with a hard closing Beach Blanket Book, hanging on for a neck victory in 1:49.1. Indictable Hanover finished two lengths back in third. "I think that three weeks hurt him a bit," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore, noting that Tattoo Artist had not raced since the Gold Series season opener on July 4. "I think that good horses have got to be trained or raced pretty well right to where they're going to go, or else if you don't and they have too big a gap there, they may struggle a little bit. And he certainly got a little tired on the end there tonight, which is uncharacteristic of him." Tattoo Artist and his peers face the same three week gap before the next Gold Series event, at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Aug. 16, and the North America Cup eliminations are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22. The North America Cup has been circled in red on Tattoo Artist's calendar for months, so Moore is a bit undecided about how the coming weeks will play out for the Hes Watching son. His preference would be to race the colt at Woodbine Mohawk Park in preparation for the North America Cup, but he also does not fancy putting the sophomore in against more experienced competition, which may see him make the trip to Rideau Carleton and head into the elimination on short rest. "I'll have to start looking somewhere and see what we come up with. I'm not taking him across the border anywhere, so we'll see if we can find something here for him," said the Cambridge, ON resident, who conditions Tattoo Artist for Frank Cannon of Sanford and Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL. "They don't want to train this time of year, they want to race now. Earlier on they're gung ho to train, and then once the racing starts they look forward to that, any competitive horse does, and he's a good competitive horse and he looks forward to it, so it's difficult. You want to keep their mind fresh and their body in good shape and ready to roll when it's time." Tattoo Artist The second $104,800 Gold division saw heavy favourite Beaumond Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson land in fourth from Post 2 as Rhythm In Motion rolled out to a :26.3 quarter. Jamieson sent Beaumond Hanover to the front heading by the :54.2 half and the colt cruised through a 1:22.4 three-quarters and one to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:49.2. Rhythm In Motion stayed game for second and Springbridge Jim sprinted into third. "He caught the softer division, so I thought if everything goes right he should win it," said owner-trainer Jack Darling. "It all worked out good. He (Jamieson) was just kind of sitting there chilly through the lane." The win was also Beaumond Hanover's second Gold Series win and fourth of the season. The Sportswriter son prepped for Saturday's test with a 1:49.4 win in a July 18 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but, like Moore, Darling is also considering his options heading toward the North America Cup. "It's just turned out, because of the situation this year, that the schedule isn't good, because you've got, like for my horse I've got a Gold at Rideau, which you hate to miss that, and then you've got the NA Cup, the elims and the final, then the week after is the Somebeachsomewhere, the week after that is the Simcoe, both good races, and then the week after that is another Gold, so it's just going to be tough to map out," said the Cambridge, ON resident. "If you're going to skip the NA Cup, then the schedule is just fine, but it's hard to skip the million dollar race." While Darling considers his options, Beaumond Hanover will maintain his usual routine, which Darling says has not varied much even as the racing season heats up. Beaumond Hanover "I try to train him light, but he's such a good trainer he seems to have to go a certain speed, or it's like he's done nothing," Darling explained. "I train him faster than I would another horse, but it's actually easier on him, he just needs to roll along. He just always feels good, always trains great. He's just a real pleasure to have around." Beaumond Hanover Complete results from Saturday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Video: Race 1 - Tattoo Artist; Race 8 - Beaumond Hanover OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

MILTON, JULY 24, 2020 - Delightful Terror kicked off the second leg of the three-year-old pacing colt harness racing Grassroots Series in impressive fashion on Friday, July 24, circling Woodbine Mohawk Park in a personal best 1:49.3. In rein to Louis-Philippe Roy, Delightful Terror got away sixth from Post 7, tucking in behind fan favourite Bettorbuckleup as Messier Seelster led the field of nine to a sharp :25.2 opening quarter. Taking over the lead, Sunshine List maintained the brisk tempo through the :53.1 half while Delightful Terror started to advance up the outer lane behind Bettorbuckleup. Bettorbuckleup had a head in front of Sunshine List at the 1:22 three-quarters, but when Roy asked Delightful Terror for another gear the colt unleashed his trademark finishing kick and sprinted home to a two and one-quarter length victory. Bettorbuckleup settled for third and Bettor In Cash also closed well to be third. "He was great tonight. I knew he was sitting on a big effort, because he has been racing well against tougher competition," said trainer Shawn Steacy of Brantford. "A hot pace to chase helped, but he put in a very good effort." The win was the first of the sophomore campaign for Delightful Terror, who finished third to Bettorbuckleup in the June 27 Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Bettors Delight son, who was also a Grassroots winner at two, is owned by Shelly and Robert MacMillan of Waterloo, breeder Doug Millard Farms of Woodstock and Vivian Bell of St. Thomas, ON. Delightful Terror The win was the first of three for Roy on the Grassroots program. The Guelph resident was back in the winner's circle after the second and sixth divisions. In the second split the reinsman put heavy favourite Twin B Frenchtoast on the front from Post 2 and never looked back, rolling through fractions of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:24 on the way to a 1:51.2 victory. Delightful Terror's stablemate Truffle Dog was three and one-half lengths back second and My Bettors Del completed the top three. Richard Moreau conditions Twin B Frenchtoast for William Wood of Denton, MD, William Dittmar, Jr. of Langhorne, PA, Stephen Iaquinta of Havertown, PA and Toby Rekoon of Westfield, NJ. Friday's victory was the Sunshine Beach colt's fourth of 2020 and his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Twin B Frenchtoast Roy completed the Grassroots hat trick with a front end effort aboard YS Mathis in the last $23,150 division. The pair took control heading by the :27.1 quarter, rang up a :56 half and a 1:23.2 three-quarters, and then held off Sundown Kid and fan favourite Mayhem Hanover in the stretch for a neck victory in 1:51. Puslinch resident Moreau also trains Sportswriter son YS Mathis for owner-breeder Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation, QC. YS Mathis, a two-time winner at the Gold Series level as a two-year-old, earned his first win of the sophomore season in the June 27 Grassroots event. YS Mathis "All three are good Grassroots horses. They're really nice colts. It shows how deep the three-year-old pacing colt division is this year. I couldn't tell you which one of the three is the best right now," said Roy of his Grassroots winners. "This division will probably bring us a nice competitive race when it comes time for the Finals." Driver Jody Jamieson recorded a Grassroots driving double, guiding Sports Obsession and Cold Creek Cabo to wins in the fourth and fifth divisions. Sports Obsession, also a Gold Series competitor at two, went gate-to-wire from Post 6, hitting the wire in a personal best 1:51.3. Bettor At Hightide finished four and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite and Illbewatchingu was third. "He's sort of a hard luck three-year-old," said Jamieson, whose wife Stephanie Jamieson trains the Sportswriter son for Carl Jamieson of Puslinch, ON and George Harrison of Wanes Walton, England. "He's big and strong, but he just couldn't go with the Gold colts this year. The Grassroots helped tonight as he got it his own way and jogged, really." Sports Obsession In the fifth division Jamieson left smartly with Cold Creek Cabo from Post 4 and led the field to a :26.4 quarter, then yielded to fan favourite Mack, content to sit in the pocket through a :55.2 half and a 1:23.3 three-quarters. In the stretch Jamieson gave the Dali gelding a clear look at the finish and Cold Creek Cabo kicked home to a one-half length win in 1:51.4. Mack settled for second and Day Delight was third. "He just got a great trip and turned it into a win," said Moffat resident Jamieson. "He's a real green colt, but he knows where the wire is." The win was Cold Creek Cabo's first, in just his fifth lifetime start. William Slack trains the youngster for breeder Daniel Walker and Debora Stokes of Grafton, ON. Cold Creek Cabo The other division went to The Wild Card and driver Doug McNair who went gate-to-wire in 1:52.2 for trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge, ON and his co-owners R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NB and Serge Savard of St-Bruno, QC. Gonnahaveonemore and Lous Delight finished three and one-half lengths back in second and third. The win was The Wild Card's second in Grassroots action, putting him in a tie for top spot in the division point standings with YS Mathis. The next opportunity for the three-year-old pacing colts to pad their Grassroots point tally comes August 16 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The Wild Card Complete results for Friday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. On Saturday evening (July 25) the three-year-old pacing colts will square off in Gold Series action at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The talented pacers will battle in Races 2 and 8 on the program, which gets underway at 7 pm. Video: Race 1 - Delightful Terror; Race 2 - Twin B Frenchtoast; Race 4 - The Wild Card; Race 6 - Sports Obsession; Race 8 - Cold Creek Cabo; Race 9 - YS Mathis OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

MILTON, JULY 21, 2020 - Paul Walker has had some nice horses in a career that spans five decades, but the harness racing trainer thinks three-year-old trotting gelding Pemberton has the potential to top the list. On Tuesday at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the gelding was so impressive in his Ontario Sires Stakes debut that even the trainers of his rivals were calling him the one to beat on the Gold Series circuit. Starting from Post 4 driver Trevor Henry eased Pemberton away from the starting gate and watched from fourth as Hayek led the field of six to a :27.1 quarter and a :56.4 half. Henry sent Pemberton up the outer lane heading for the 1:25 three-quarters and the Wheeling N Dealin son laid down a :27.1 final quarter on his way to a personal best 1:52.2. Hayek finished two and one-half lengths back in second and Blue Cupertino was three more lengths back third. "It's been a while since we had one like him, that's for sure. Well, I don't know if I ever have," said Walker. "I've had some good ones, but he's starting to look like he might be the best one. It's kind of a surprise, a nice one." Unraced at two due to a minor injury, Pemberton returned to training when Walker and his wife Brenda made the move to their winter base in Georgia late last fall. Walker said the gelding always did what he was asked, but they did not really know how much ability he had until his second lifetime start on June 16 when he blazed home in :25.4 to record a 1:55.4 victory against his non-winners of one race peers. Following that effort the gelding scored two more wins in overnight action before Tuesday's successful leap to the Gold Series. "To trot a quarter like that in a mile in 1:55, yeah I was surprised, and he's done nothing but surprise us ever since," said Walker. "I mean when I trained him in Georgia - as I said, I trained him in 2:01 before we left there, and well under wraps - you know, you 're thinking, well at least we've got something that we're going to be able to race if nothing happens." Brenda Walker and Christine Walker of Tara bred and own Pemberton, whose next Gold Series start is Aug. 19 at Grand River Raceway. The only other stake the gelding was made eligible to was the Dream Of Glory Trot at Hanover Raceway, but with eliminations slated for this Saturday, July 25, the Walkers opted to skip that event. "Being as he's racing here tonight, I said to Brenda, 'He's going to leave the track tired tonight no matter where he finishes, racing with that bunch, so we're not going to take him back to Hanover on Saturday'. I'm glad I didn't, he's just a little gelding and that's enough for him," said the Owen Sound resident, adding, "He could have come out of there tonight with a third or fourth and we'd have been pretty near just as happy, because you just never know, it's a big jump up." Pemberton made the jump look so easy even trainer Ben Baillargeon, who finished second with Hayek, was impressed. "Right now he sure is a freak that Pemberton. I think he's the horse to beat right now," said Baillargeon. "He come first up and he come home in :27.1, and we got beat and he won easy." Pemberton Guelph resident Baillargeon, who swept the first Gold Series event of the season, captured the other $105,600 division on Tuesday with HP Royal Theo, who also hit the wire in 1:52.2. The fan favourite and driver Louis-Philippe Roy took control of the race heading by the :55.2 half and fought off a challenge from Hot Wheelz in the stretch to score their second Gold Series and third straight victory. Pemberton's stablemate Horse Trader finished third. "Theo, he looked like he missed a start, but he raced real good," said Baillargeon, noting that neither HP Royal Theo or Hayek had raced since their wins in the June 28 season opener. "I wanted to race them and Theo, I thought he fit the non-winners of five races and he didn't, but I didn't really want to put him in the non-winners of seven yet, so I said, 'Ah, we'll wait, we'll race like that'. He did well, I'm very happy." Driver Roy said the Royalty For Life son may have been short a race, but he demonstrated the kind of grit in Tuesday's win that sets good horses apart from great ones. "I knew the horse was fast with a good set of lungs, but tonight he also proved to me he was a fighter. I thought he was getting a little short down the lane, but when Jody's (Jamieson with Hot Wheelz) horse came to him, he wasn't going to let him go by," said Guelph resident Roy. "He's definitely a special horse. I'm happy for the connections." Baillargeon trains HP Royal Theo for breeder Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and his co-owner Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. Tuesday's win boosted HP Royal Theo's lifetime earnings to $403,040 and put him at the top of the three-year-old trotting colt standings with a perfect 100 points through two events. Hayek sits second with 75 points and Pemberton is tied for third with Hot Wheelz at 50 points. HP Royal Theo Complete results for Tuesday's event are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday, July 24 with six Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts. The colts kick off the evening at 7 pm in Race 1 and will also battle in Races 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

INNISFIL, JULY 19, 2020 - Bet On Becky extended her win streak to three on Sunday with an effortless 1:53.3 harness racing victory in the first $108,000 two-year-old pacing filly Gold Series division at Georgian Downs. The Bettors Delight daughter and regular reinsman Jody Jamieson eased away from Post 2 and settled fifth as stablemate Ring Of Kerry led the field of 10 to a :27.2 quarter. Heading by the grandstand for the first time Bet On Becky buzzed to the front, reaching the half in :56.2, and it was smooth sailing from there for the fan favourite. Off a three-quarters in 1:25, Bet On Becky cruised home a three and one-quarter length winner in 1:53.3 City By The Bay finished second and Ring Of Kerry was third. "I even think we could do okay with (driving) her," joked trainer Tony Beaton. "She did it with relative ease again, by the looks of things. Jody was real happy with her too, so that's good." In the July 7 Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Bet On Becky delivered an impressive 1:50.4 victory, still the fastest mile clocked by a two-year-old in North America this season. She also posted a 1:54.4 win in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 26. With those two starts and a June 19 qualifier under her belt, Beaton gave his fledgling star a mini-vacation before prepping her for Sunday's test. "We kind of gave her an easier week there last week and then we trained her up pretty good there the other day and tried to make sure we had them ready for tonight," said Beaton. "She showed she was ready anyway and, actually all four of them raced pretty good tonight. I was happy with all of them, but obviously Becky just stands out." In addition to Bet On Becky and Ring Of Kerry, Beaton trainees Turning The Table and Best Keepsake finished third and fourth in the other Gold Series division. All of the fillies save Best Keepsake are eligible for the July 27 Battle Of The Belles eliminations at Grand River Raceway and Beaton said that will be their next start so long as they remain happy and healthy. Bet On Becky is eligible to all of the major two-year-old pacing filly stakes in Ontario and has an action-packed schedule ahead if she continues to find the winner's circle with the ease she has demonstrated in her first three starts. "Becky is going to have a long, long season ahead of her if everything goes good. She's paid into stuff right to the Breeders Crown," said Beaton, adding that filly will not be able to appear in every stake she is eligible for. "We don't want to over race her, we've got to pick our spots. We'll take it week-to-week and go from there. We've got to stay healthy and sound before we do anything else." Waterdown resident Beaton trains Bet On Becky for Larry Menary of Branchton, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Alan Alber of Thornhill and Michael Guerriero of Brampton, ON. The partners offered up $70,000 for the filly at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and have recouped $97,633 through her first three starts. Andra Day also picked up her second Gold Series victory with a front end effort in the other $108,000 division. Starting from Post 5, Andra Day left smartly and was moving forward from third when Turning The Table reached the :27.3 quarter. Comfortably in front at the :57.4 half, Andra Day soon faced pressure from fan favourite Best Keepsake, who challenged her through the 1:26.1 three-quarters. Andra Day remained resolute however, and held off all challengers to score a three-quarter length victory in 1:54.1. Scarlett Hanover closed hard to be second and pocket-sitter Turning The Table was third. "She's small, but very tough and very, very gritty," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "She is very fiery, and just all go, so we're very pleased with how she's done." Cambridge resident Moore trains the Shadow Play daughter for Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC of Boca Raton, FL. Guelph resident Doug McNair was in the race bike for Sunday's victory and her 1:54.1 win in the Gold Series season opener. Like Bet On Becky, Andra Day is eligible to the Battle Of The Belles, but Moore is not sure if the filly will compete in the eliminations or look ahead to the next Gold Leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 18. "I'll be talking with the owners. She might be the only one, because she's small and probably will handle the half. I won't take the other one because she's a great big filly," said Moore of Andra Day and stablemate Alumni Seelster, who finished fifth to Bet On Becky Sunday after winning her division in the opening leg. "It's a possibility, but right now I'd say 50-50." Complete results from Sunday's program are available at Georgian Downs Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs on Sunday, Aug. 16 with the third Grassroots Leg for the three-year-old trotting fillies. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

MILTON, JULY 18, 2020 - One was a trainer's worst nightmare, the other a harness racing dream, but both Springbridge Duel and Desperate Man have done nothing but win since making their Ontario Sires Stakes debut two weeks ago. Back in Gold Series action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, July 18, the geldings were sent off as heavy favourites in their respective $107,200 divisions and proved that their victories in the season opener had nothing to do with luck. Starting from the outside Post 9, Springbridge Duel got away fourth as Twin B Heart Throb led the field to a :26.3 quarter. Next Big Thing took over on the front before the :57 half, but driver Bob McClure was content to let Springbridge Duel hover in fourth waiting for a wind break that came from Twin B Fighter heading for the 1:25.1 three-quarters. Just over five lengths behind the leader at the top of the stretch, Springbridge Duel eventually shifted into high gear and sprinted away from his peers to a two length victory in 1:53.1. Avion Seelster closed well for second and Next Big Thing stayed game for third. "Once Bob got his attention, he was really motoring that last eighth, but he definitely scared me at the head of the lane where it looked like he was kind of hanging little bit," said trainer Casie Coleman Herlihy. "But I've got to remember he's green too, he doesn't know what he's doing." After Springbridge Duel's 1:51.3 win on the front-end in the July 3 season opener, Coleman Herlihy opted to switch him to an open bridle in an effort to keep the fractious youngster calm, cool and collected. While she was pleased with his effort, she is not sure the new equipment will remain in place for the Big Jim son's next start in the Battle Of Waterloo eliminations at Grand River Raceway on July 27. "I was kind of worried he was too quiet," admitted the Cambridge resident. "I'm not a trainer that ever uses an open bridle much, I like a horse up on the rigging and I like keeping their attention, but saying that this horse is extremely hot, he's hard to handle, and when he gets mad he'll get chucking his head and he will make a break if you get fighting him. So you've got to keep him happy and kind of do things the way he wants so he doesn't get upset with you. "Bob gave him a perfect trip, he couldn't have got a better trip, where we finally we got to sit for a while and then come second over, that was a really good learning experience for him," she added. "Now I've just got to figure out a happy medium with the horse." Coleman Herlihy trains Springbridge Duel for West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Heimbecker of Conestogo, ON and Mark Kantrowitz of Delray Beach, FL. The partners offered up $40,000 for the gelding at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and wondered all winter whether they would even see the horse race, let alone recoup any of his purchase price. "Casie sent me two really funny videos - funny now that the colt has shown what he can do - and he was not a friendly animal at the start and we really didn't have any high aspirations for him," said Heimbecker. "He's definitely proven us wrong. I'm very excited to see what this colt can do for the rest of the year. And I know it's a little early to say, but I am excited about next year too." Springbridge Duel Arthur, ON residents Kathy and John Cecchin and their daughter and son-in-law Nicole and Paul Davies are also excited to see what else is in store for Desperate Man after the Shadow Play son cruised to a three length victory in Saturday's second $107,200 division. Starting from Post 4 with regular reinsman Trevor Henry in the race bike, Desperate Man got away fifth and watched the fans' second choice Uncontrollable reach the quarter in :27.2. As the pace eased Henry sent Desperate Man after the lead, achieving that goal just after the :57.1 half. On top by two and three-quarter lengths at the 1:24.3 three-quarters, Desperate Man sailed down the stretch to the three length victory in 1:52.3. Ucanttouchthis was second and Socrates Blue Chip finished third. "I don't think that we really ever thought, I mean John liked him and everybody liked him, but you know when you go to baby race you find out that everybody's got a super nice colt, so we really didn't have those kind of expectations at all," said trainer Kathy Cecchin. "We're happy that we have him and we really like him, but there's a lot of nice colts out there and we'll just hope for the best." Where Springbridge Duel was a headache for Coleman Herlihy and her team all winter, Desperate Man was a model student for the Cecchin's, learning his lessons almost effortlessly. "Super smart, John said all winter he's much more like a four-year-old than he is like a two-year-old," said Cecchin. "He just doesn't do anything wrong really. He wears two head poles, but he doesn't wear any big equipment, he's just a pretty easy-going guy." The son of Shadow Play was a $20,000 acquisition at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, with Henry, John MacLeod and Jim Fleming responsible for bidding on the youngster for the Cecchin's, and son after he arrived in Arthur the couple gave half-ownership of him to the Davies' as a wedding gift. "We were looking for a horse from the family of Outlawgrabbingears, and his mother is a sister to Outlawgrabbingears mother. Outlawgrabbingears is their good horse, maybe a horse of a lifetime, and so I said, 'Dad and I will give you money when you buy a house or we'll give you half of the colt, whatever you want', and they said that they wanted half of the colt so that's what they got," said Cecchin. "They're pretty pleased about the whole thing I think. But like I said, it could have legitimately been half of nothing, because you don't know, right." Desperate Man, in rein to Trevor Henry Through just two starts Desperate Man has earned $106,000, and while he is not eligible anything other than the Ontario Sires Stakes, he will have ample opportunity to pad the Davies' down payment fund. His next start comes on Aug. 21 when the two-year-old pacing colts return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their third Gold leg. Complete results from Saturday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Video: Race 1 - Stonebridge Duel; Race 6 - Desperate Man OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

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