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MILTON, ON - OCT. 10, 2019 - On Super Final night, Saturday, Oct. 12 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, each Ontario Sires Stakes Gold harness racing division has been whittled down to the very best. Post position will matter, and racing luck may play a role, but when it comes down to which horse is crowned champion the deciding factor is often something that is not so easily measured. "If you could see it and just buy it, the person with the deepest pockets would always have the best horses, but because of that intangible that we cannot see - whether that horse has that drive, desire, that 'It' that we can't see - sometimes it comes down to the athlete," said trainer Rob Fellows, who will send out three-year-old trotting colt All Wrapped Up in the seventh of the eight Super Final divisions. "You look at some of the horses this year, like obviously the good horse of Nancy Johansson's (Tall Dark Stranger) everybody loved him, everybody saw that 'It' and they paid a lot for him, but the little one that Chantal (Mitchell, Alicorn) has, everybody overlooked her because of her size, but she had that 'It' in her." All Wrapped Up will start from Post 7 in the $225,000 Super Final for Rockwood resident Fellows and his co-owners Arpad Szabo of Bradford, ON and Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister of Beaumont, AB where the Archangel son will pit his competitive desire against division point leader and Hambletonian champion Forbidden Trade. In 10 Gold Series starts over the last two years Forbidden Trade has only been bested twice. The son of Kadabra was the two-year-old trotting colt Super Final champion and will look to defend his title from Post 9 in the ninth race on Saturday. Trainer Luc Blais will also start a trio of young hopefuls in the two-year-old trotting colt and gelding Super Final for owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Crossfit Mouse will start from Post 1, division point leader Port Perry gets Post 2 and Threefiftytwo will start from the outside Post 10 in the sixth race. "It's a long process to bring a horse to the races you know. It's lots of training, lots of work, and you try to build the best way you think," said Blais, adding that Forbidden Trade started to show his potential as a two-year-old when the training miles started to get serious. "It was easy for him to do that, very easy, we didn't know how good he was going to be, but it was easy. You can feel he's got power, you can feel that, but what he's going to do with that power, you can't feel that." Blais has won at least one Super Final every year since 2016 and says each one of his provincial champions - Forbidden Trade, On A Sunny Day, Warrawee Roo and Emoticon Hanover - had a different quality that made them successful. "They are different. They are all different," said the Campbellville resident. "Every athlete is different, every athlete has got a story and those horses they are very unique. They've got personality and they are very unique, but one thing they've got the same, they are very professional." Dr. Ian Moore will start three horses in two Super Final divisions on Saturday and the Cambridge resident said that a professional, positive attitude might be the biggest early indicator of success. "The go-ahead attitude, the right attitude, will show fairly early, as well as the wrong attitude," said Dr. Moore. "And sometimes, in my experience with young horses, that doesn't change. If they've got kind of a so-so or poor attitude from the get-go it often follows from there." Moore will send division point leader Century Farroh out from Post 3 in the three-year-old pacing colt and gelding Super Final and Denali Seelster and Tattoo Artist from Posts 6 and 7 in the two-year-old pacing colt and gelding test. Denali Seelster and Tattoo Artist will benefit from the absence of undefeated Tall Dark Stranger in the two-year-old pacing colt and gelding showdown. Trainer Nancy Johansson opted to skip the Super Final and focus the Metro Pace winner's preparations toward the Oct. 18 Breeders Crown eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Only five horses have stepped up to face Century Farroh and Meadowlands Pace winner Best In Show in the sophomore pacing colt battle. Century Farroh heads into Race 8 on a streak of eight wins in Ontario Sires Stakes action, three of them at the Grassroots level as a two-year-old, where he was the season-ending champion, and five of them in the Gold Series this season. "He was just an average two-year-old, but then at the end of his two-year-old season he started changing in his body structure and his mental ability and the last four starts he got really good," said Dr. Moore, who conditions Mach Three son Century Farroh for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS. "Good horses have a tremendous will and desire and competitive spirit to want to beat everything that's around them. Some horses show that fairly early in training, where other horses may take a little while to mature mentally as well as physically before they'll show you that. It might take a couple races, it might take a whole summer season - as in Century Farroh's case last year - or it could show up very early." In the case of two-year-old pacing filly Alicorn, that will and desire emerged in her first lifetime start when she closed in :26.2 to finish second by a nose. Since then the daughter of Bettors Delight has recorded six wins and two more seconds in 10 starts, including three Gold Series wins, two of them in Ontario Sires Stakes record time. She will make a bid for a seventh win from Post 6 in Saturday's second race. "To me, the thing that kind of sets her apart from another horse is she's just so smart. In a race, for example, you can put her on the front, you can take her back, you can do whatever you want and she's smart," said trainer Chantal Mitchell. "She's got that little bit of character, that little bit of grittiness where she's going to bite, and she's going to kick at you and she's going to push you around, but then when you go to walk her to the paddock or something she walks like a little puppy dog beside you, she's not silly, she doesn't do anything crazy, nothing gets her worked up." Hamilton resident Mitchell trains the division point leader for Windermere Stable of New York, NY and Robert Muscara of Ivyland, PA and said, like many other exceptional racehorses, there is no nonsense to Alicorn when it comes to the business of racing. "It's like they're born to do it, their brain, their mindset never changes. Any time I've had a good horse, whether it was mine or someone else's, that's usually what it is, they're just automatically professionals and I think that's what sets the good ones apart," said Mitchell. "And I think that's where I put her - she's there to do her business and she doesn't think anything more of it, she does what she has to do and that's it. And when she's racing she wants to win, she wants to do her job and she's happy to do it." The first of eight provincial champions will be crowned in Saturday's first race, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. The other Super Finals will be featured in Races 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 on the $1.8 million Woodbine Mohawk Park program. Complete entries for Saturday, Oct. 12 are available at Super Final Entries. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

LONDON, ON - The curtain opened on The Raceway at Western Fair District on Friday evening as the harness racing track began it's 2019/2010 fall meet. The half-mile oval unveiled its newly renovated Top Of The Fair restaurant along with its High Definition broadcast. The Raceway was also pleased to host a pair of $104,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Divisions for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Denali Seelster, driven by Sylvain Filion, set a new track record of 1:54.4 in the first split. The son of Sunshine Beach went gate-to-wire for trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Ratchford Stables. The youngster increased his season earnings to north of $90,000. In the other division, Beach Blanket Book came from last-to-first in 1:57.3 for driver Chris Christoforou and trainer Blake MacIntosh. The son of Sportswriter increased his bankroll to over $115,000. The former $17,000 yearling purchase is owned by Hutt Racing Stable along with Mac And Heim Stable. The Raceway was also pleased with its overall wagering on the evening. A total of $349,350 was wagered on the night, which marks a 59% increase from opening night last season. Live Racing resumes on Monday evening with a 6:15 p.m. post time. For full results and entries click here. by Greg Gangle, for The Raceway

DUNDAS, ON - OCT. 2, 2019 - Scoring her second straight Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series victory on Wednesday evening at Flamboro Downs, Wine Rack Hanover has established herself as one of the two-year-old harness racing trotting fillies to watch heading into the post season. Starting from the advantageous Post 1, driver Sylvain Filion wanted to control the tempo and, on her best behaviour, Wine Rack Hanover complied. The filly laid down fractions of :30, 1:00.2 and 1:31.1 and, without facing a challenge, sailed home a one and three-quarter length winner in 2:00.1. Princesspartypants finished second and Alpina was third. Fan favourite Jula Shes Magic made an early break and finished well back in fifth. "When you've got the rail on a half-mile you've got to try and hold your position and hope for the best, but I knew at from the start when she left the gate that she felt solid and I was pretty confident," said Filion. "She did it pretty easy, well in hand. She's still learning, but I mean she's come a long way from how she started off to how she is now." Wine Rack Hanover started her Ontario Sires Stakes on a strong note, winning her July 14 Grassroots division at Georgian Downs, but struggled mid-season with breaks. Filion first sat behind the Kadabra daughter when trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman re-qualified her on Sept. 17. Wine Rack Hanover won that qualifier with a 1:56.1 effort and then earned her first Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 24. Regular reinsman Trevor Henry was in the bike for that start but is currently in Lexington, KY, so Filion was happy to fill in for Wednesday's outing. "I had a chance to qualify her a few weeks ago and I really liked her," said Milton, ON resident Filion. "She had a tendency to make breaks, so they kind of changed the gear and she qualified real good, and then she raced good and tonight, well Trevor's gone away, so they asked me to come and drive her and I said, 'Sure, absolutely'." Norman trains Wine Rack Hanover for Pinske Stables of Plato, MN and Bridgette Jablonsky of Hanover, PA. In nine starts the filly now boasts a record of three wins and two thirds for earnings of $133,238 and heads into the Oct. 12 Super Final in fourth spot in the division standings. Warrawee Vicky will lead the two-year-old trotting fillies into the post season after scoring her third Gold Series win Wednesday. Starting from Post 4, the fan favourite tucked in third early as Trina led the field of seven to a :30 quarter and a 1:00.2 half. Heading for the 1:30.4 three-quarters driver Doug McNair sent Warrawee Vicky up the outside to the lead and although Trina went off-stride McNair kept the pedal down and Warrawee Vicky powered home to a six and one-quarter length victory in 1:59.3. Pocket-sitter She Rocks Kemp finished second and Ride To Justice recovered from an early break to be third. "She raced good last week and real good again tonight," said McNair, who was making his second appearance in Warrawee Vicky's race bike. "She's flawlessly gaited and absolutely perfect to drive. It gives you lots of options." McNair crafted the win for trainer Scott McEneny of Puslinch and owner Brad Grant of Milton, ON. In addition to Wednesday's win Warrawee Vicky was also victorious in the July 11 Gold event at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the July 24 Gold event at Grand River Raceway. In nine lifetime starts the Royalty For Life daughter boasts a record of five wins and one second for earnings of $173,265. The top 10 point earners from the regular season will now advance to the Oct. 12 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Wednesday's event wrapped up Flamboro Downs' 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which was highlighted by an Ontario Sires Stakes and track record performance by three-year-old pacing filly Sunny Dee in Gold Series action on Sept. 22. Complete results from Wednesday's program are available at Flamboro Downs Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 26, 2019 - Ontario's top three-year-old harness racing trotters wrapped up their Gold Series regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening and division stars Bright Eyes M and Forbidden Trade padded their division leading point totals. The trotting fillies kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes action in the fifth race with 10 hopefuls lining up behind the starting gate in the $158,800 division. Blue Magic, Angies Luckeylady and Bright Eyes M left smartly from Posts 1, 6 and 8 and wound up first, second and third on the rail going by the :27.1 opening quarter. Blue Magic's tenure on the lead was brief however, as driver Stephen Byron soon had Bright Eyes M aiming at the lead. Ahead by just over a length at the :55.4 half, Byron and Bright Eyes M had extended that to two lengths by the 1:24.2 three-quarters and three lengths at the top of the stretch. The field rallied late, but Bright Eyes M stayed game to the wire, securing a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.4. Teddys Littleangel finished second and Angies Luckeylady was another length back in third. "She seems to get off the gate a little better out there," said trainer John Bax of the filly's effort from Post 8. "She seems to be more comfortable, and then Steve can kind of make his decision, like tonight he kind of dropped into the three-hole and then as soon as everybody got settled away he was able to move her again, so it worked out good." Campbellville, ON resident Bax has conditioned the daughter of Kadabra to a record of six wins, two seconds and one third in 13 starts this season with five of those starts and four of the wins coming in Gold Series action. Thursday's victory pushed the filly's sophomore earnings to $312,925 for owner Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, KY. The win was Bright Eyes M's first since July 19. Her last three starts had been against some of the best sophomore trotting fillies in North America, where her best finish was a third in the Sept. 6 Simcoe Stakes, and Bax was happy to see the trotter back in the winner's circle. "She had lost her, maybe lost a little confidence. She had been sick and was on one line a little bit and so she wasn't at her best," said the trainer. "She's been good the last couple weeks training and jogging and the last race I thought she raced a lot better, I thought she was coming around again. And of course now she's racing with her own, so it sets up good for the Super Final." Bright Eyes M leads the three-year-old trotting fillies into the Oct. 12 Super Final with 208 points, 25 points ahead of Teddys Littleangel. The top 10 point earners will advance to the $225,000 Super Final. Two races later the sophomore trotting colts and geldings paraded onto the racetrack for their $158,000 test and fans sent Hambletonian champion Forbidden Trade off as their top choice for the sixth time in his Ontario Sires Stakes career. Starting from Post 7 Forbidden Trade and driver Bob McClure powered away from the gate and took command just past the :27.1 quarter. Through a :56.2 and 1:25 three-quarters the duo were unchallenged and a sharp :27.2 final quarter sealed the deal. Forbidden Trade hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of early leader Manatlas in 1:52.2. Only For Justice was five and one-half lengths back in third. "He pretty well speaks for himself, he was bionic tonight," said McClure. "I never asked him, he did it all on his own. He made us proud, like he always does. "I'm glad he's over whatever was bugging him last week," the Rockwood, ON resident added, referring to the colt's atypical outing in the Sept. 14 Canadian Trotting Classic where he was placed from third back to fifth for interfering with Only For Justice in the stretch. McClure steers Forbidden Trade for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Prior to his Canadian Trotting Classic result Forbidden Trade had finished no worse than third and he now boats a sophomore record of seven wins, three seconds and one third in 12 starts for earnings of $958,691. He leads the trotting colts into the Super Final with 175 points, 17 points ahead of Southwind Avenger. Before the top Gold Series horses take centre stage in the Super Finals, the Grassroots stars will face off in Semi-Final action at Woodbine Mohawk Park this Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28. The two-year-olds will compete in Races 2, 3, and 5 through 10 on Friday's 7:50 pm card, while the three-year-olds battle in Races 1, 3, 5 through 9, and 11 on the Saturday evening program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. Complete results for Thursday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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

DUNDAS, ON - SEPT. 22, 2019 - Ontario's top harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies waged an epic battle at Flamboro Downs on Sunday night as they wrapped up their Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series regular season in a single $158,000 division. Top point earners Sunny Dee, Boadicea and Powerful Chris lined up at Posts 2, 4 and 10 in the 10-filly field and when the gate swung away all three were mixing it up through a sharp :26.3 opening quarter. Thats Incredible took a brief turn on the lead, followed by Summer Charm, but it was Sunny Dee who clocked the first fraction. Powerful Chris followed Sunny Dee away from the gate, keeping Boadicea out three-wide through the first turn before yielding to the fan favourite. Boadicea matched strides with Sunny Dee going by the :54 half, but driver Trevor Henry was able to regain a length advantage in the turn. Heading by the 1:22.2 three-quarters Boadicea again pressed the leader, but on the final turn Henry hit the accelerator and Sunny Dee turned for home with a clear advantage which she extended to two lengths by the 1:51.1 finish. Boadicea was an impressive second for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Bill Budd and Summer Charm finished third for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary. "I didn't really think Billy's (Budd) horse might get around the turns as good as she does on the big track. Half-mile racing's a little different than mile racing," said Henry of his race strategy. "Sunny Dee's so good gaited I knew she wouldn't have a problem. "I tried to get away on JD (Drury) in the last turn because I knew his was struggling on the turns, so I got a few lengths on him," the Arthur, ON resident continued. "His horse raced well too, she was out the whole way and still was second, she's a hell of a filly too." The 1:51.1 clocking was an Ontario Sires Stakes and Flamboro Downs track record. The previous track record of 1:52 was set by Michelles Power in 2007, while the former Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:52.2 was established by Chancey Lady at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in 2008. Bob McIntosh trains Sunny Dee and the Windsor resident and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH also bred the filly, who is a half-sister to $1.7 million winners Somewhere in L A and L A Delight. Henry has driven Sunny Dee in all but one of her 18 lifetime starts and the pair was also victorious in the June 1 Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Sunshine Beach filly was second twice and third once in her other three Gold Series starts, giving her a total of 162 points and ownership of third spot in the division standings behind Boadicea and Powerful Chris. The top 10 point earners will now begin preparations for the $225,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 12. "It's a good field of fillies. It's a pretty tight bunch, they've raced tough all summer," said Henry of the top point earners, adding that the championship will likely come down to racing luck. "It'll definitely be the best trip, I think." The Ontario Sires Stakes program makes one more stop at Flamboro Downs before the regular season comes to a close. The Dundas half-mile will host the two-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday, Oct. 2 for their last Gold Series event. Complete results from Sunday's program are available at Flamboro Downs Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 13, 2019 - His rivals took a run at him on Friday night, but three-year-old pacing colt Century Farroh proved up to the challenge and wrapped up the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series regular harness racing season with a perfect record of five wins in five starts. Bronx Seelster pressed Century Farroh through Woodbine Mohawk Park's opening turn, challenging the division leader for the early lead, but Century Farroh refused to cede his Post 1 advantage and led the field of seven to a :27 opening quarter. After allowing Century Farroh to cruise to a :55.3 half Stag Party mounted a serious challenge heading for the 1:23 three-quarters and the colts turned for home neck-and-neck. However, driver Sylvain Filion simply asked Century Farroh for another gear and the fan favourite pulled away to a three-quarter length victory in 1:50. Bronx Seelster closed to be second and Stag Party finished third. "I was very impressed with Casie's (Coleman) horse tonight (Stag Party). He took a run at him, and kept going too, and so did Bronx Seelster in the first turn and in the stretch, but he's just a very determined animal. He fights them off," said Century Farroh's trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "I hope we can get one more. That's the one that really counts, the Super Final." Cambridge, ON resident Moore trains Century Farroh for Ratchford Stables NS of North Sydney, NS. Trainer and owner now face the task of mapping out the Mach Three colt's schedule leading up to the $225,000 Gold Series Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, Oct. 12. "There's probably only going to be one race, I would say, in the four weeks," said Moore. "It could be next week (Sept. 20) in Hoosier in the Jennas Beach Boy or it would probably have to be an overnight here. You have to supplement him to Hoosier, so we might, and then he won't race until the Super Final. He's been off before and he seems to do well on it. He had almost two weeks here too." The $150,000 Jennas Beach Boy at Harrah's Hoosier Park in Indiana requires a $12,500 (US) supplement to make Century Farroh eligible. The same situation exists for the Breeders Crown in late October at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the Matron Pace and Progress Pace in late November at Dover Downs should Moore and the Ratchfords choose to extend the Mach Three colt's season beyond the Super Final. "At this point in time with any horse really it's week-to-week basically, when you get near the end of the season. I mean he started training back in late January I believe, early February, so it's been a long old road," said Moore. "Mr. Ratchford has already stated - he's had numerous offers again recently and also stallion offers too - he's already stated that he wants to race him as a four-year-old, so if he does then you've got to take care of them a little bit. So it will be week-to-week and we'll keep going until he shows signs that he's had enough. Good horses always show you that. Shadow Play told me when it was time to stop with him and this guy will too." Shadow Play would earn a total of $1.5 million in his racing career, retiring to stallion duty in 2009 after his four-year-old season. The horse is just one of several notable pacers that have resided in the Moore stable in the last two decades and while Century Farroh has not had the same stakes opportunities as some of his predecessors the trainer still ranks him among the top performers. "He's a horse that loves his work, he loves his business, and he's a very, very determined animal," said Moore. "I've had the good fortune of being associated with a lot of good horses over the last 15 years I've been doing this and he's right up there with all of them, that's for sure." Following in the footsteps of their older peers, the two-year-old pacing colts will wrap up their Grassroots season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, Sept. 16, competing in Races 3, 4, 7 and 9 on the program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. Complete results from Friday's program are available here. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

MILTON,  ON - AUG. 30, 2019 - On Friday evening two-year-old pacing filly Alicorn rewrote the Ontario Sires Stakes history books for the second time this summer, rocketing around Woodbine Mohawk Park in 1:50.3 for her second Gold Series victory. Starting from Post 3, regular reinsman Louis-Philippe Roy eased the heavy favourite away from the gate and settled in fourth as Kat took the field of nine to a :27.1 opening quarter. Karma Seelster quickly took control of the lead, but Alicorn was hot on her heels and had taken control by the :55.1 half. Once they had control, Alicorn and Roy stepped up the tempo and powered through a 1:22.4 three-quarters on their way to the 1:50.3 victory. Karma Seelster and Kat finished second and third, two and one-quarter lengths behind the winner. "She's just a big beast in a small body," said Guelph, ON resident Roy. "I was a little concerned with the way I had to use her to get to the front at the half, but when I pulled the plugs down the lane she let me know it was game over." "I was glad to see her get away fourth. Even though she only sat in until just about the quarter pole and then he removed her, I was glad to see her do that. I didn't want to see her get too aggressive behind the gate, because she can take a good hold of you behind the gate," added trainer Chantal Mitchell. "She's always been like that, she knows what she's there to do when she gets in behind the starting car, but when she makes the front she kind of goes to sleep. So it's a Catch-22 with how you want to race a horse like her really, but every time you ask her she gives you more." The mile lowered the filly's own Ontario Sires Stakes record by two-fifths of a second. She won her July 19 Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park in 1:51. Friday's victory was Alicorn's second straight at Woodbine Mohawk Park, she captured her Eternal Camnation division last weekend, and her fourth of the season. In seven starts the Bettors Delight daughter has banked $216,889 for owners Windermere Stable LLC of New York, NY and Robert Muscara of Ivyland, PA. "I feel like she's getting stronger and stronger. She's feeling better and better after every start," said Hamilton, ON resident Mitchell. "When she gets to the racetrack she just knows how to turn it on, because at home she's a nice quiet little filly and when she gets to the track she's got her game face on." The two-year-old pacing fillies will wrap up their Gold Series regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 30, but before that Alicorn is also eligible to the Champlain Pace on Sept. 7 and the Shes A Great Lady, which sees eliminations on Sept. 14 and the final on Sept. 21. "We'll just see how she comes out of it (Friday's race), because it's a pretty tight schedule from here on to the end of the year," said Mitchell about whether the filly will race in both the Champlain and Shes A Great Lady. "If she were to race in every race she's got, she'd only be getting one week off between now and the end of the Breeders Crown." The other $107,200 Gold Series division went to Temagami Seelster and driver Yannick Gingras, who used a similar strategy from Post 5. The fan favourites got away third, watching P L Notorious roll out to a :26.4 opening quarter, and then followed Rose Run Vantage up the outside, overtaking that filly heading by the :55.1 half. Temagami Seelster led the field to a 1:23.4 three-quarters and when Rose Run Vantage and Peaky Sneaky tried to reel her in down the stretch the filly dug in and held on for a head victory in 1:52. Rose Run Vantage and Peaky Sneaky had to settle for second and third. "About halfway down the lane it looked like they were going by her on the inside and the outside, and then he kicked the plugs and she dug right back in," said trainer Wayne McGean. "She's got a heart, that's for sure." The win was Temagami Seelster's first in Gold Series action. In the first three Gold legs the Sunshine Beach daughter finished second twice and third once. In nine starts the filly has only missed the top three on two occasions, earning $144,913 for McGean, who hails from Sydney Mines, NS and his partners David Mercer and Joseph Lewis of Sydney, NS. "She was riding under the radar," said the trainer. "This evening I told Yannick she's a nice filly. He said, 'Yeah, you drew away from some of the tougher ones', and I said, 'Yeah, but I think she's a tough one too. I think she's a real nice filly.' He said, 'Okay'. And he drove her like she was the best. "She knows what it's all about now I think. She kind of proved tonight that she knows what it's all about," he added. "She was beat halfway down the lane, you know that and I know that right, but once he pulled the plugs then she dug back in." Like Alicorn, Temagami Seelster is eligible to the Champlain and Shes A Great Lady stakes and McGean is also taking a wait and see approach. Both fillies are currently among the top five point earners in the Gold Series division and will be assured of a berth in the Oct. 12 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Complete results from Friday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0830wbsbsn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - AUG. 27, 2019 - Each year Tammy McNiven enrolls every member of the Twinbrook Farms broodmare band in the Ontario Resident Mare program. The Embro, ON resident enrolls both the mares bred to Ontario sires and those bred to US-based stallions. Those producing Ontario Sired horses are eligible for breeders rewards related to the Ontario Sires Stakes program and both sets of mares are eligible for the breeders rewards connected to the Grand Circuit stakes races hosted by Woodbine Mohawk Park. "It's like a stake payment in a way. That's all it is; I'm staking my bet that we'll have something come back and race in Ontario, for the American-breds anyways. For the Ontario-breds you're silly not to pay it, because that's a lot of money that could go towards a new mare," said McNiven. "That's what we try to do with all our breeder's awards, we usually try to buy a new mare, a new young mare and bring her to Ontario." A total of $1.1 million is distributed to breeders each year in the form of Ontario Bred Rewards. Each top five finish by the two and three-year-old offspring of an Ontario Resident Mare in Ontario Sires Stakes or Grand Circuit stakes action contributes to their breeder's awards. "We're going to get the benefit if - small word, big meaning - if that horse comes back and races in those stakes that are eligible," said McNiven. "And usually, if that happens, my breeder's awards basically pay for the whole next year broodmare band, to enroll. If we get somebody even that finishes about fifth in the Shes A Great Lady or something like that, we might get $3,000, which always helps to go toward your bottom line." Breeders can enroll their mares at any point before September 1 of the current foaling year, but enrollment before the mare foals lowers the cost to $100. After foaling, and before September 1, the fee increases to $300 and third party proof of residency must be provided. "I like to pay mine as soon as possible. I like to pay mine in the fall so then I know they are done for the next year," said McNiven. "If a mare comes up empty or aborts I'm out $100, but I've wasted more money frivolously." In 2018 there were 1,109 broodmares enrolled in the Ontario Resident Mare program. In order to be eligible mares must reside in Ontario for a minimum of 180 consecutive days and mares must be enrolled every year prior to the September 1 deadline. More information about the Ontario Resident Mare program is available on the Ontario Racing website at Ontario Resident Mare Program. Further questions can be directed to program co-ordinator Kathie Wilkinson at ontariomare@ontarioracing.com or 416-477-5529. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

OTTAWA, ON - AUG. 25, 2019 - Rideau Carleton Raceway hosted a battle of the three-year-old pacing filly heavyweights on Sunday evening and harness racing fans were treated to a championship display in the $158,000 Gold Series division. Division leaders Boadicea, Powerful Chris and Sunny Dee were sent off as the top choices in the 10-filly field, with Powerful Chris getting the slight edge over her rivals. Starting from Post 5 with regular driver Bob McClure in the race bike, Powerful Chris left sharply and led the field to a :26.1 opening quarter. Boadicea and driver Jonathan Drury took over heading for the :54.1 half and continued to set the tempo through the 1:21.4 three-quarters with Powerful Chris in the pocket and Sunny Dee and driver Trevor Henry looming on the outside. Boadicea turned for home with a one and one-quarter length margin, but McClure hit the accelerator when Powerful Chris reached the passing lane and the fan's top choice sprinted by the pacesetter to a one length victory in a track record 1:50.2. Boadicea finished second and Sunny Dee was another length back in third. "What can I say? She's amazing. Such a pleasure to drive," said McClure, who steers Powerful Chris for trainer John Pentland of Dorchester and his partners Jack Darling Stables Ltd. of Cambridge and Syllabus Stable of Georgetown, ON. "John (Pentland) has done an excellent job and she keeps improving." The mile took almost one full second off the former three-year-old pacing filly track record of 1:51.1, set by Michelles Power in an August, 2007 Gold Series event. "She's just got so many tricks, this filly. That's the beauty of her," said trainer Pentland. "She can race from off the pace, absolutely, but we rarely, rarely leave with her. I don't think it's a surprise to anybody that she's that capable of leaving, it's just not something we use very often." Sunday's victory was Powerful Chris's third in Gold action this season and boosted her lifetime earnings to $412,255. The Betterthancheddar daughter was also victorious over the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval on June 22 and July 27. Heading into the last Gold Series event on Sept. 22 at Flamboro Downs, Powerful Chris and Boadicea are tied for top spot in the division standings with 175 points. The top 10 point earners from the regular season will compete in the $225,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 12 and Pentland said Powerful Chris will make a couple more overnight starts in between the remaining Ontario Sires Stakes events. "She'll race once or twice. She won't be over raced for sure, but she hasn't raced a lot this year. I just want to make sure I keep her up," said the trainer. "She loves her work, she loves to race. She's funny, she loves being in her stall and played with and she's okay for half an hour out in the paddock, but she gets bored fast, she wants to come in and she knows she can jog, she loves jogging. She's kind of a hard-working homebody." In addition to the Gold Series fillies, Rideau Carleton also hosted four $22,800 Grassroots divisions for the sophomore pacing lasses and they were dominated by father and son team Gregg and Doug McNair. The McNair's kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes action in the first Grassroots division as Doug McNair guided Sports Flix to a 1:54.1 gate-to-wire effort from Post 1. Saulsbrook Jessie finished two and one-quarter lengths back in second leaving fan favourite Springbridgevision to settle for third. The Grassroots champion at two, Sports Flix did not get off to the start the McNair's expected as a three-year-old and after her July 25 Grassroots start trainer Gregg McNair decided a complete break was in order for the Sportswriter daughter. "We were expecting pretty big things out of her this year. We started her off in the Fan Hanover and she raced real big in the elimination and boy she was no good in the consolation and the next Gold," recalled the elder McNair, who trains Sports Flix for James Fraleigh of Dresden, ON. "We ended up giving her three weeks off and put the antibiotics to her. She really didn't have a lot of work in her for this start, because she'd had such a long time off, but she was real good tonight." Two races later the McNair's were back in the winner's circle with fan favourite Kylie Seelster, who floated off the gate from Post 5 and watched Freya Seelster post a :27 opening quarter. Doug McNair sent Kylie Seelster to the front before the :56 half and the Big Jim daughter fended off a challenge from Premier Cabernet heading by the 1:24 three-quarters and then repelled a second challenge in the stretch to grab a head victory in 1:52.2. Premier Cabernet settled for second and Freya Seelster was third. Guelph resident Gregg McNair shares ownership of Kylie Seelster with Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples of Durham and Dr. Chris Robson of London, ON and the two-time Grassroots winner has been a pleasant surprise for the partners this season. "She's been a bit of a surprise, she's come back better than we thought she was. I think she has anyways," admitted the trainer. "She's been a nice filly all year. Even in the overnight races she's raced good." The McNair's capped of the night of Ontario Sires Stakes action in the last Grassroots division with heavy favourite Swift Ally who took control early from Post 1 and never looked back, cruising to a three length victory in 1:53.4. Behavenmyself finished second and Red River Jane was third. Gregg McNair and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON bred and own Swift Ally, who was unraced at two due to an injury and the Big Jim daughter has been another pleasant surprise. "We had no idea what kind of a filly she was last year, so she's just been kind of like a pleasant surprise," said the horseman, a three-time winner of the Johnston Cup as the top trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes. "She's been good. She's a nice big mare and everything. "She trained in Florida last year, all three of them did. They trained back good all of them, but we had no idea they were going to work out to be decent fillies like this," he added. The other Grassroots division went to first-time OSS winner Deb, who stopped the clock at 1:52.3 for driver Trevor Henry, trainer James Dean and owners Wilma and James MacKenzie of Ennismore, ON. Crisp Mane was one and one-quarter lengths behind the Sportswriter daughter in second and favourite Twin B Tipster was another length back in third. The Grassroots fillies will wrap up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 10 and then the top 20 point earners will return to the Campbellville oval for the Sept. 28 Grassroots Semi-Finals. All four of Sunday's winners are currently in contention for a post season berth, with Swift Ally leading the division with 150 points. Complete results from Sunday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0825ridcfn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

MILTON, ON - AUG. 16, 2019 - Tall Dark Stranger made his harness racing debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday evening and padded his growing resume with a seemingly effortless three length victory in 1:51.2. Lining up at Post 8 in the second $108,000 Gold Series division, driver Yannick Gingras eased Tall Dark Stranger away from the starting gate and settled in fifth as Bettor At Hightide rolled out to a :26.3 opening quarter. Heavy favourites Gingras and Tall Dark Stranger started their advance up the outer lane heading for the :56 half and at the 1:24 three-quarters they matched strides briefly with Bettor At Hightide before taking command and sailing home to a comfortable victory. Pocket-sitter Sports Obsession finished second and YS Mathis closed well to claim third-place honours. "He's been pretty easy to train and he's always kind of done what he's supposed to do, for the most part, so it makes my job a little bit easier for sure," said trainer Nancy Johansson of the colt, who is now perfect through two qualifiers and three races, with all three races clocked in 1:51.3 or faster. Tall Dark Stranger The son of Bettors Delight and $869,920 winner Precocious Beauty was a $330,000 purchase from last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and Friday's win boosted his early career earnings to $68,000 for owners Marvin Katz of Toronto, ON, Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, NY, Caviart Farms of Vienna, VA and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA. Tall Dark Stranger started his career at The Meadowlands, near Johansson's Allentown, NJ base, but he has taken up residence at Classy Lane Training Centre in Puslinch in preparation for the next Gold event and the Sept. 14 Metro Pace eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "I have nine horses at Classy Lane, so I have a few up here and some of my staff stays up here with them. And I've been spending essentially Tuesday through Saturday in Canada," said Johansson. "I think we might race him in the Gold on the 31st, we'll race him that Gold and then he'll go to the Metro from there, most likely. Obviously he needs to stay healthy and sound and everything." Gingras, who also calls Allentown, NJ home, has been in the race bike for all of Tall Dark Stranger's appearances and Johansson does not expect the reinsman to miss any of the colt's starts, which she expects will number 12 or 13 by the end of the season. "We got lucky there were no conflicts tonight, so that he was able to come up, but I do really like to keep the same driver on a two-year-old, so that they get comfortable with each other and confidence in each other," said Johansson. "And obviously Yannick is one of the top drivers in our sport, so if he wants to come and drive him, I'm not going to fight him not to do it. "I think it will probably be in his best interest too, to keep showing up," she added with a chuckle. While Tall Dark Stranger has been straightforward to train and a gentleman to work with, that was not the case for the winner of the other Gold Series division. In the weeks after Examiner Hanover arrived at Casie Coleman's winter base in Florida last November the trainer was so unimpressed with the $80,000 yearling she suggested owners Brad Grant of Milton and Steve Heimbecker of Conestogo, ON should either send him back to breeder Hanover Shoe Farms or give him to another trainer. The son of Hes Watching was extremely difficult to work with and seemed physically unable to learn his early lessons. "He was so bad that I actually tried to give him back to Hanover Shoe Farms, saying this horse can't even, like I can't do anything with him, he can't function. I even told Brad Grant, 'If they won't take him back just try him with one of your other trainers or something, because I can't figure this horse out'," Coleman recalled. "He ended up having a lot of chiropractic issues basically, so I don't know if something happened on the ship or what, but they got fixed up and then he was training down like a beast. He couldn't have trained any better all winter once we figured that part out." Examiner Hanover continued to train well when Coleman returned to Ontario in the spring and delivered two sharp qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 14 and 22, but things went off the rails for a second time in July 6 Gold Series opener when the gelding's knee boots slid down his legs. "He went the entire mile with two knee boots down, and he got all hot and rattled up because of that," said Cambridge resident Coleman. "He qualified great, I was thrilled with him, then his first few starts weren't so good at all." After a fourth-place result in the second Gold Leg, Examiner Hanover rebounded with an overnight win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 26 and then finished fourth to Tall Dark Stranger in the Dream Maker Series on Aug. 5. In Friday's Gold Series test driver Bob McClure settled Examiner Hanover in fifth through the :28.1 opening quarter and then sent the gelding up the outside heading for the :57 half. The pair was able to follow Wind Blown to the 1:24.4 three-quarters and then sprint home for a neck victory over Rhythm In Motion and Aneto in 1:52.3. Examiner Hanover "He went from a disaster, to awesome, to a little bit of a disaster again, to good again now," said Coleman with a chuckle. "Hopefully he's on the track right now." Complete results from Friday's program are available by clicking on this link. Next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are four Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, Aug. 17. Post time for Saturday's program is 7:10 pm and the colts will compete in Races 3, 5, 7 and 8. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA,ON -  Battle Of The Belles champion Karma Seelster returned to Grand River Raceway for Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action on Wednesday, Aug. 14 and picked up her third straight win at the Elora oval. With Post 4 in the second $72,267 Gold division, driver Doug McNair fired Karma Seelster off the starting gate and led the field of two-year-old pacing fillies to a :28.3 opening quarter. From there the fan favourites rolled along to a :58.1 half and 1:27.2 three-quarters before cruising down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length win in 1:56.3. Temagami Seelster got up for second, edging pocket-sitter Got Power into third. "She was good again. She got a lot easier trip than last week (Aug. 5 Belles Final)," said Guelph resident Doug McNair, who piloted the filly to all three wins. "She's great gaited and she's handy off the wings, so that really helps for this track. She got to pick up some pretty good money the last couple weeks here." The driver's father Gregg McNair, who also calls rural Guelph home, trains Karma Seelster for Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples, his wife Eileen Waples and their daughter Karen Hauver of Durham, ON. The Waples family purchased the half-sister to $824,150 winner Kendall Seelster for $127,000 from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale and in her first five starts she has banked $155,251. "A bunch of the owners were out there. I'm not sure if it was grandkids, but they were cheering for her and stuff before, so that was a lot of fun," added the driver, who stopped by the rail before the race so Karma Seelster could acknowledge her fans. "They had a fan club there." The fans cheered Karma Seelster on to her first win in Gold Series action which, added to the second and third she recorded in her first two provincial starts, puts her in second spot in the two-year-old pacing filly standings with 87 points. Driver Bob McClure won the other two Gold Series divisions, the first boosting Off The Press into top spot in the standings and the second earning P L Notorious her first Ontario Sires Stakes victory. Starting from the advantageous Post 1 in the first division, McClure allowed fan favourite Sound Idea to take early control and settled Off The Press in second. Sound Idea carried on through fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:26.1 while Off The Press watched comfortably from the pocket. In the stretch McClure sent Off The Press up the inside and the filly powered home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:55.3. Sound Idea settled for second and Keystone Kalimba was third. "Bobby gave her a great trip," said Paul Reid, who trains Off The Press for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. "He's a good young driver. It's always good when you can get somebody that's hot, it definitely helps the game. And it's always nice to see one that we had all winter do well. We've had luck in the past couple of years with picking up horses when we got up here that did well for us, but it's nice to have one that's good for Bob Key." Off The Press finished a disappointing seventh in the Battle Of The Belles elimination won by Karma Seelster, but Reid said the Sportswriter daughter came up sick after the race. After a bit of rest and a round of antibiotics the filly rebounded and a training mile over the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval assured Reid that she would be ready for Wednesday's test. "She trained back good there last weekend, I took her into Mohawk and trained her and she trained real well so I was pretty confident coming in that she was back to herself, but you still never know what everybody else is going to be up to," said the horseman, who is based in Florida through the winter. "There's plenty of racing, there's no doubt, so to miss one here and there is not the end of the world," he added. In addition to the remaining regular season Gold events on Aug. 30 and Sept. 30, and the Oct. 12 Super Final, Off The Press is eligible to all of the open stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the coming weeks - the Eternal Camnation on August 24, Champlain Stakes on Sept. 7 and Shes A Great Lady eliminations and final on Sept. 14 and 21. In the last division McClure once again lined up at Post 1 with P L Notorious and the Rockwood resident sent the fan favourite straight to the front. P L Notorious sailed through fractions of :28.3, :58.3 and 1:27 and then held off Rose Run Vantage for a three-quarter length win in 1:55.4. Lady Natasha rounded out the top three. "She is a big, fast filly with a really nice gait," said McClure of the Sunshine Beach daughter. "And she continues to get smarter." Rod Hughes of Dunsford trains P L Notorious for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON. Wednesday's win was the filly's first in Gold Series action after a fifth and a sixth-place result in the first two legs. She was also a winner in overnight action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 5. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0814grvrn.dat. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Grand River Raceway on Monday, Sept. 4 with the fourth Grassroots Leg for the two-year-old trotting fillies. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

INNISFIL, ON - AUG. 13, 2019 - Three-year-old trotting filly Teddys Littleangel made the second trip of her career to Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening and delivered the same result as she did in last summer's harness racing debut, an open length victory in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold action. "She likes this track. She's always raced good up here," said trainer Ted MacDonnell. "She won her first lifetime start up here." Driver Doug McNair fired Teddys Littleangel away from Post 6 and led the field of seven Gold Series hopefuls to a :27.4 opening quarter. Carrying on to a :57.2 half and a 1:26.1 three-quarters, Teddys Littleangel was never seriously threatened and she opened up a three and one-half length margin on her peers in the stretch before stopping the clock at 1:55. Royal Esteem closed well for second, just ahead of third-place finisher Royal Rhythm and fan favourite Bright Eyes M, who settled for fourth. "Dougie (McNair) said that's the best she's been. She was exceptional tonight," said MacDonnell, who trains the filly for owner-breeder Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, ON. "That was a good trip. She had to work pretty hard to get front and then she had enough left. We're really happy with her." The win was the Archangel daughter's third straight in Gold Series action. She was also victorious at Grand River Raceway on July 3 and Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 18. Unlike most of her peers, Teddys Littleangel did not race in between Tuesday's start and the July 18 Gold Series event. MacDonnell gave the filly some time off and then qualified her at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 6. "I didn't want to race her in with old horses and that's the only place that she could race. We tried to get her in at Mohawk and the class, three-year-old fillies, didn't fill," explained Allenford, ON resident MacDonnell. "It worked out fine. I really wasn't too concerned with the lay off because she keeps herself pretty fit." MacDonnell also opted for the lay off because, if she stays happy and healthy, Teddys Littleangel is looking at an action-packed schedule at Woodbine Mohawk Park over the coming weeks. The Simcoe Stakes goes postward on Sept. 6, followed by the Elegantimage on Sept. 14. The last Gold Series event is slated for Sept. 26 and the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will compete in the Super Final on Oct. 12. With Tuesday's win Teddys Littleangel has 158 points and currently shares top spot in the Gold Series division standings with Bright Eyes M. Last year's Gold Series champion HP Titania Runner scored her second win of the season in the other $106,400 division on Tuesday. Starting from Post 6, driver Louis-Philippe Roy eased HP Titania Runner away from the starting gate and settled in sixth as Mattys Smilin reached the opening quarter in :28. Mattys Smilin handed off to Champagne Jane before the :56.3 half and Roy sent HP Titania Runner up the outer lane, beginning their advance on the leaders. Fan favourite Haveoneforme circled from third to first heading by the 1:26 three-quarters and Roy hit the accelerator on HP Titania Runner. Coming off the final turn Haveoneforme and HP Titania Runner were bridle-to-bridle, but HP Titania Runner pulled away in the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:55.3. Haveoneforme settled for second and Angies Luckeylady closed well to be third. "I think she's coming back to what she was last year. Her last few starts were good and tonight she raced large," said Guelph, ON resident Roy. "Credit to her and the team that's working with her every day." Roy drove the E L Titan filly to the win for trainer Raphael Bourassa of Fergus, ON and owner-breeders Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. Georgian Downs wraps up its 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule this Sunday, Aug. 18 with the fourth Gold Series Leg for the three-year-old pacing colts. The colts will be part of the Family Day program, which is highlighted by the annual Hon. Earl Rowe Trot. Post time for Sunday's card is 6 pm. Complete results from Tuesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0813geodfn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - AUG. 9, 2019 - Two-year-old harness racing trotting fillies took centre stage at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday and for the second straight evening driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Ake Svanstedt struck Gold with a first-time Ontario Sires Stakes starter. On Thursday night Filion guided Svanstedt trainee Moon Bridge to victory in freshman trotting colt Gold Series action and on Friday the Milton resident teamed up with Winter Olympics. The fan favourites left smartly from Post 6 and settled into third as Jula Shes Magic rolled out to a :29.1 opening quarter. Feeling confident in Winter Olympics through the opening stages, Filion pointed her toward the front heading for the :58.3 half and the filly carried on unchallenged through the 1:27.4 three-quarters. Turning for home She Rocks Kemp shifted into high gear and started to reel in Winter Olympics, but the tempo setter had enough left in the tank to secure a three-quarter length victory in 1:56.3. She Rocks Kemp finished second and Jula Shes Magic was two more lengths back in third. "I was just being extra careful leaving the gate, I didn't want to get caught in a speed duel," said Filion. "I just waited until things settled down to re-move to the front, and from there she did the rest on her own." Both Winter Olympics and Moon Bridge made one start south of the border before shipping to Woodbine Mohawk Park for this week's Ontario Sires Stakes action. Sarah Svanstedt briefed Filion on the duo Thursday afternoon and the driver said both youngsters lived up to their advance billing. "She told me that they were pretty high on them, and I guess they were right," said Filion. "That's a very nice filly. Big and strong, and she can do everything right. She was a little green on the front end, but there was still lots left," he added. "She really impressed me the way she travels. She looks like she's walking out there and she's still going pretty fast." Wrightstown, NJ resident Ake Svanstedt also owns Winter Olympics, who is a daughter of Muscle Mass and Olympic Dreams. Intense Justice clocked the second fastest mile of the three Gold Series divisions Friday, touring the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval in 1:56.4. The filly and regular reinsman Chris Christoforou got away third from Post 2 and watched heavy favourite Warrawee Vicky lead the field to a :28.3 opening quarter. Warrawee Vicky continued to lead at the :58.4 half, but Christoforou had circled around pocket sitter Jasmine Volo and dropped in behind the pacesetter, who reached the three-quarters in 1:27.3. In the stretch Christoforou angled out around Warrawee Vicky and asked Intense Justice for a burst of speed. The Justice Hall daughter responded and pulled away to a one and three-quarter length victory. Warrawee Vicky finished second, her first loss in five lifetime starts, and Wine Rack Hanover was third. "She showed me a lot of talent the first time I sat behind her," said Christoforou, who has driven the filly in all of her starts, beginning with a June 8 qualifier. "She has a great turn of foot and a very nice gait. She's a very good feeling filly and once the gate opens she's all business." Dany Fontaine of Terrebonne, QC trains Intense Justice for owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. Friday's win was the filly's second in Gold Series action this season and boosted her lifetime earnings to $103,182. The filly's elder brother Only For Justice is also a two-time Gold Series winner this season. "Dany does a fantastic job with her and all his horses, he's patient and a very intelligent horseman," said Christoforou, who makes his home in Campbellville, ON. "I'm very happy for her owner-breeder Mr. Bono. If you look at the numbers, he is an excellent judge of pedigree and has done a brilliant job with his breeding program. It's been an absolute pleasure to drive for them." The other $73,067 Gold Series division went to Sheer Energy, who went gate-to-wire from Post 6, stopping the clock at 1:58.1. Modern Mass was three and one-quarter lengths back in second and Th Present was two more lengths back in third. Guelph, ON resident Louis-Philippe Roy engineered the win for trainer George Ducharme of Norfolk, MA and owner W. J. Donovan of Delray Beach, FL. The filly, a half-sister to $1.2 million winner Manofmanymissions, was the $187,000 sale topper at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale and now has two wins to her credit through three starts. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Gold Series start on Sept. 24 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Complete results from Friday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0809wbsbsn.dat. On Monday, Aug. 12 Woodbine Mohawk Park will host Gold Series action for the three-year-old trotting colts. The colts will square off in Races 2 and 8 on the program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON -  AUG. 8, 2019 - Port Perry took sole control of top spot in the two-year-old harness racing trotting colt standings with his second Gold Series victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening. The long-legged Port Perry moved sharply away from Post 6 and once he took control the outcome was never in doubt. Rolling through fractions of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:28.4 Port Perry and driver Bob McClure were never threatened and in the stretch the colt hit a whole different gear, pulling away to a seven and one-half length victory in 1:56.2. Blue Cupertino finished second, edging out fan favourite Horse Trader who settled for third. "He's improved amazingly in the last few weeks. He was bionic tonight," said McClure of the Kadabra colt. "In the last 100 feet he pulls away, reminds me of Warrawee Roo." McClure steers Port Perry for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC, who also train and own top aged trotter Warrawee Roo, a winner of $781,640 in his racing career. In spite of his success however, Warrawee Roo is not the most celebrated horse in the Blais-Determination stable at present. That honour belongs to Kadabra son Forbidden Trade who captured the $1 million Hambletonian Final at The Meadowlands on Aug. 3. "It was an exciting moment that's for sure. It's a big event, the Hambo," said Blais. "Everything - you know Bob (McClure) drove him good, the horse was feeling good - I think that day you need to be perfect everywhere if you want to win." Forbidden Trade, last year's Ontario Sires Stakes champion, was flawless in three starts leading up to the Hambletonian and will be looking to add to his win tally when he returns to Woodbine Mohawk Park for Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action on Monday, Aug. 12. Port Perry's commanding victory in Thursday night's Gold Series test might have some dreaming of the 2020 Hambletonian, but Blais said he was not looking much further ahead than Friday morning with the strapping youngster. "I'm going to see tomorrow, see how he comes back from that," said the trainer. "He looked good again today, looked like he was strong today. He's a big strong horse, you know, he needs lots of room, and I think he feels comfortable on that track (Mohawk Park)." Thursday's win was Port Perry's second in Gold Series action. He also captured a division of the July 4 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and then finished second by a head to Blue Cupertino in the July 23 leg at Georgian Downs. An $85,000 yearling purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Port Perry has banked $133,200 in his first three lifetime starts and sits atop the freshman trotting colt Gold Series standings with 125 points. The other $105,600 Gold division was captured by Moon Bridge in near identical fashion. Taking control from Post 6 the fan favourite and driver Sylvain Filion rang up fractions of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:27.3 before drawing away to a five length victory in 1:57. HP Royal Theo finished second and Scamp was another length back in third. "He was a little green, he never raced on the front probably," Filion told Woodbine Mohawk Park's Chad Rozema in the winner's circle. "He was looking at stuff, birds and stuff, but he kept racing to the wire, and he was trotting through it, and he was real strong." Thursday's appearance was Moon Bridge's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, but the E L Titan colt logged a runner-up finish in a July 26 overnight event at The Meadowlands before making the trip north. Ake Svanstedt trains Moon Bridge for breeders Esa Lahtinen and Janne Korpi of Cambridge, ON and their partner Jussi Hietalahti of Turku, Finland. The two-year-old trotting colts will make their fourth Gold Series start over the Grand River Raceway half-mile on Sept. 23. On Friday evening (Aug. 9) Woodbine Mohawk Park welcomes the two-year-old trotting fillies for their third Gold Series event. The fillies will battle in Races 3, 6, and 8 on the Friday evening program, which gets under way at 7:50 pm. Complete results from Thursday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0808wbsbsn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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