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Reigning Grassroots champion Pretty Handsome delivered an emphatic statement at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday night, laying down a :27.4 final quarter in his 1:51.3 Semi-Final victory on a night when the wind slammed into each field as they turned for home. "It's about a three second wind really," said driver Jody Jamieson, who won two of the eight Semi-Finals, including the other three-year-old colt event. "So the trip (Jonathan) Drury's horse went was monstrous." Drury and Pretty Handsome left smartly from Post 5 in the second $20,000 pacing colt Semi-Final and were comfortably in control by the :28 quarter. Unchallenged through a :56.3 half and 1:23.4 three-quarters, Pretty Handsome seemed completely unfazed by the wind that took the steam out of many of the evening's pacesetters. Rather than slowing, the Mach Three gelding powered down the stretch to a nine and one-quarter length victory. Luka Shenko and Shadow Moon completed the top three, with Phantom Seelster and Gideon Seelster also advancing to next week's championship. "Actually, he didn't surprise me tonight," said Andrew McCabe, who trains Pretty Handsome for owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein. "A lot of horses that were leaving out into the wind and then finishing into the wind as well were getting tired, but he just seemed to accelerate in the stretch." The win was Pretty Handsome's third straight and makes him a perfect four-for-four in Grassroots action this season. A two-time Grassroots winner at two, Pretty Handsome was not the favourite in last year's final and was awarded the title when Phantom Seelster was placed from first to ninth for causing interference. Second across the line, Pretty Handsome was elevated to first. With the other two-year-old title holders failing to advance to this year's finals, the gelding is the only horse with an opportunity to repeat as champion. Hoping to prevent Pretty Handsome from repeating will be the other Semi-Final winner, When You Dance, who used a late sprint to score his 1:54.2 victory. Pocket-sitter Yacht Seelster was second while pacesetter and fan favourite Casimir Richie P settled for third. JM Jack Of Hearts and Stock also advanced. Moffat resident Jody Jamieson piloted When You Dance to the win for trainer Ben Wallace of Puslinch and his partners Daniel Plouffe of Bromont, Quebec and Birnam Wood Farms of Boca Raton, Florida. Like Pretty Handsome When You Dance is undefeated in Grassroots action this season, winning two regular season events prior to his Semi-Final victory. "He's just been a nice horse all year for us," said Wallace of the long-legged pacer. "He's had a great summer and we're looking forward to next week." Jamieson's other victory came in the pacing filly division with favourite Neon Moon, who turned for home so far ahead of her peers she was able to ease up in the stretch and still hit the wire six and one-quarter lengths the best in 1:54.4. Sunday Afternoon finished second, Lady Bubbles was third, Mittany Nicole fourth and Enchanted Eva rounded out the finalists in fifth. "She's a beast," said Jamieson, who drives the Sportswriter filly for owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario. "She's likely a Gold contender, but that division is so tough she's taking the road less travelled. With no bad luck, she should win the Grassroots Final." Guelph resident Jonathan Drury earned his second Semi-Final win in the other pacing filly contest, guiding Machnhope to a 1:54.2 victory over Princess Abie W and Azure Seelster. Sharks Summrshandy and I Shadow U rounded out the top five. Bill Robinson trains the Mach Three daughter for CMR Farms of Hagersville, David Serwatuk of Hamilton and BC Reichheld Stables of Caledonia, Ontario. In the sophomore trotting colt Semi-Finals, Say You Do was also untroubled by the wind, pulling away from the field in the stretch to record a 12 length victory in 1:58. T Barrr finished second in spite of broken equipment, Legend Within was third, Daylon Phantom fourth and Sicario fifth. "He's a big strong colt that wasn't bothered by the windy conditions tonight," said driver Paul MacDonell. "He'll be a factor in the final next week." Guelph resident MacDonell crafted the Kadabra gelding's third lifetime win for trainer Stephen Oldford, Oldford Racing LLC of Port Huron and Gene Oldford Farms LLC of St. Clair, Michigan. The other trotting colt Semi-Final went to favourite Jammin Jack and driver James MacDonald in 1:59.2. Mister Magic was second, Delcrest Holiday third, Takter fourth and Northern Ruler finished fifth. Mark Steacy trains Angus Hall son Jammin Jack for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. The trotting filly Semi-Finals went to Stormont Charlotte and Zorgwijk Sophia. Stormont Charlotte trotted to a personal best 1:57.2, finishing four lengths ahead of favourite Hopes Solo and pacesetter Ezee Tiguan. Magics Lucky Charm and Gradabra also advanced to the final. Sylvain Filion piloted the Justice Hall daughter to the win for trainer John Gouveia and owner Alan Fair of Ancaster, Ontario. Favourite Zorgwijk Sophia sailed to a 1:59 victory, five and one-half lengths ahead of Melanie G and Shotgun Sally. Stormont Chef and Gotta Pay To Play were well back in fourth and fifth. Doug McNair drove both Zorgwijk Sophia and Ezee Tiguan for trainer Lyle MacArthur and owners Linda Wellwood of St. George Brant and Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre and will have to choose between the two for the final. "Sophia is a nice little filly to drive," McNair said. "The other filly is different. Once you start her up she's tricky to get relaxed." McNair has until Tuesday to make his decision, when the top five finishers from all of the two and three-year-old Semi-Finals will be entered in the post-position draw for the finals. The eight Grassroots champions will be crowned Saturday, Sept. 29 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Woodbine Mohawk Park hosted the two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finals on Thursday and the youngsters put on a tremendous show for fans, with five of the eight races decided by less than one length. The two-year-old trotting colts set the tone in the first $20,000 contest as the division's point leaders A Royal Line and Royale Elite battled tooth and nail down the stretch. A Royal Line had controlled the tempo for much of the race and Royale Elite appeared to have him beat at the top of the stretch, but A Royal Line fought back and put a head in front as the trotters reached the wire in 1:59. Favourite LA Magic was three lengths behind the leaders in third and Northern Tailwind and Fitzgibbons also advanced to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship. "I thought A Royal Line fought hard, he was beat and he come back," said trainer Bob McIntosh. "I was pretty proud of him." The Windsor resident bred and owns the son of Royalty For Life and Direct Dial with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario and Paul MacDonell piloted the gelding to his fourth lifetime win. McIntosh, who watched the Semi-Finals from his vehicle on the way home from the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio, had reason to celebrate again following the second trotting colt Semi-Final. With Phil Hudon filling in for the scheduled Bob McClure, Judge Ken got away sharply from Post 7 and rang up fractions of :27.1, :57.2 and 1:27.3 on the way to a 1:57.4 score. Priceless Ruler finished one-half length back in second and favourite Cousin Peter was hot on his heels in third. LMC Picasso and Lariat Seelster also advanced to next weekend's final. "Pretty proud of both colts, they were gritty, they were good," said McIntosh, who bred and owns the son of Justice Hall and Barbie And Ken in partnership with Boyle and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. "It's been a good year. Hopefully we can finish it off with a bang." McIntosh's trotting fillies Splurge On Me and Nifty Trick also advanced to the Championship. Splurge On Me made an early break leaving from Post 10, but recovered to finish fifth behind heavy favourite At Will, who stopped the teletimer at 1:58.1. Eramosa Magic was three and three-quarter lengths back in second, Galaxy Seelster was third and P L Molly fourth. Sylvain Filion piloted the Kadabra daughter At Will to the win for trainer Julie Walker of Carlisle and her partners, breeder Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke and Ronald Piers of Georgetown, Ontario. Nifty Trick finished second to Rebellious Lady, who sprinted down the stretch to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.1. Royaltys Pearl was third and Pyrrha and Luckyjohanna completed the top five. Scott Young crafted the win for his father, trainer Bob Young, and owner Hugh Fitzpatrick of Guelph, Ontario. "She's always a complete pro," said the driver, who was making his first-ever appearance in the post-season winner's circle. "She always shows up and does her job. For a two-year-old Angus Hall filly, she's a pleasure to drive." The pacing filly divisions went to Freya Seelster and Jessicas Legacy, who both started from Post 1 with James MacDonald in the race bike. Freya Seelster took command before the :56.3 half and opened up a gap on the field heading by the 1:25.2 three-quarters that runner-up Free Exchange was unable to close. The fan favourite hit the wire three-quarters of a length the best in 1:53.1. Sports Flix was third, Whitehaven Beach fourth and Saulsbrook Jessie fifth. Mark Steacy trains Sunshine Beach daughter Freya Seelster for Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. Of the six freshmen Steacy started in Thursday's Semi-Finals, Freya Seelster was one of four that qualified for the Championships. Jessicas Legacy enjoyed a pocket trip behind Lady Driver, stepping out in the stretch to claim the one and one-quarter length victory in 1:53.3. Favourite Shadow Sparks was second, Twin B Friendly third, Lady Driver settled for fourth and Buckingham was fifth. MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Anthony Beaton and owner-breeder Robert Hamather of Exeter, Ontario. Chanting Hanover mounted a late charge to win the first $20,000 pacing colt and gelding Semi-Final, which saw less than two lengths separate the top six horses. The Sportswriter son and driver Louis Philippe Roy hit the wire in 1:54.1, one half length ahead of The First Step and B Stoney. Mo Bettor was third and Ahi and Sports Hero finished in a dead heat for fifth. Repentigny, Quebec resident Colin Johnson trains Chanting Hanover for Paul Johnson of Durham, England, and William Greenhorn and Andrew Dick of Stirling, Scotland. The final honour of the evening went to fan favourites Century Farroh and driver Sylvain Filion, who powered to the front early and held on for a three-quarter length victory over Wager On Me. JMs Delight was third, Boys Turn fourth and Maintenance Man fifth. Dr. Ian Moore trains the pacing colt for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, Nova Scotia and says the Ratchfords may not recognise the son of Mach Three when they arrive for next weekend's Championship. "He's grown a lot. He (Dave Ratchford) won't even know him when he sees him. He was just an average-sized colt when he came and now he's a nice, good-sized muscular colt, really solid, so we like him pretty good," said Moore of Century Farroh. "So hopefully he stays good for at least one more week." The top five finishers from each two-year-old Semi-Final will be back at Woodbine Mohawk Park next Saturday, Sept. 29 for the Grassroots Championships. They will be joined by the three-year-olds, who compete in their Semi-Finals at the Campbellville oval on Friday evening. The three-year-olds will battle in Races 2 through 7, 9 and 10 on the Friday evening program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

With a 26 point lead in the standings, Mark Steacy has all but locked up his third straight Johnston Cup title as the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Among the horses propelling Steacy toward his third honour are the 13 Grassroots competitors set to battle in this week's Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, six in the two-year-old event on Thursday and seven in Friday's three-year-old event. Three of those hopefuls lead their division after the five regular season events - two-year-old trotting colt Royale Elite, three-year-old pacing colt Hudson Phil and three-year-old pacing filly Hello Love. "(Thursday) my best chance, I think, is Freya Seelster," said the trainer of his two-year-old entries. "She's been pretty good and really hasn't done anything wrong up until now, and she drew a good post and all, so I think that she's probably my best chance." Two-year-old pacing filly Freya Seelster will start from Post 1 in the eighth race on Thursday, the first of the two $20,000 pacing filly Semi-Finals. The daughter of former Steacy trainee Sunshine Beach is a perfect two-for-two in Grassroots action and has not missed the top three in five starts. James MacDonald will steer the filly for Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. Division point leader Royale Elite will also start from Post 1 in the first freshman trotting colt Semi-Final, while Rap Royalty gets Post 1 in the second trotting colt showdown. MacDonald will pilot both youngsters, along with trotting filly Pyrrha from Post 9 in the ninth race and pacing colts Ahi from Post 2 in the tenth race and Moonshine Kisses from Post 10 in Race 12. On Friday, Steacy believes the stable has serious contenders in every division they have entrants - pacing colt, pacing filly and trotting colt. "I think in the three-year-olds (Friday) we've got a couple chances," noted the Lansdowne resident. "Hello Love, and if the trotters Jammin Jack and Majestic Fire behave themselves they look pretty good too." The horseman is also not counting out three-year-old pacing colt point leader Hudson Phil, who will be hampered by Post 9 in the tenth race. "He drew bad. I was thinking that he had a real decent shot too, and maybe still does," said Steacy. "Or maybe get fifth or fourth and make it to the final and redraw again, because he deserves better." Hudson Phil went three-for-three in Grassroots action for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. The Shanghai Phil son also captured the Quebec Breeders Cup Series Final at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres on Sept. 9. Stablemate Jonathan Quick will start from Post 7 in the other three-year-old pacing colt Semi-Final, which goes postward in Race 4. A total of three trotting colts from the Steacy barn will be looking to advance to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship. Northern Ruler and Jammin Jack will make their bids from Posts 4 and 5 in the first Semi-Final and Majestic Prince will take his shot from Post 4 in the second split. Jonathan Drury will steer Northern Ruler, while MacDonald handles the driving assignment on all the other Steacy trainees. While Steacy is optimistic about the trotters' chances now that the entries are complete, he was far less confident last week. All three colts were required to qualify after making breaks in the last regular season Grassroots event, contested over a heavy, rain-soaked Woodbine Mohawk Park oval on Sept. 10. Northern Ruler and Jammin Jack accomplished the task in one shot, touring the Grand River Raceway half-mile in 2:04 and 2:04.1, respectively, on Sept. 12, but Majestic Fire made another error on Sept. 12 and had to try again at Woodbine Mohawk Park the following day. Fortunately the second time was the charm and MacDonald teamed the trotter to a flawless 1:58.4 clocking. "Since the last qualifier we've just been quite easy on them, and hopefully they've got it down pat now," said Steacy ruefully. "Jammin Jack's always been a little tricky, but Majestic Fire has been pretty good. He's been pretty safe all along, and all of a sudden he just got out of whack there for two or three starts, right when he needed to be good. "I think they should fine, and I think they're just as fast as anything in the division as long as they behave," the trainer added. Sophomore pacing fillies Hello Love and stablemate Lady Bubbles sit one-two in the point standings and will start from Posts 5 and 3 in their respective Semi-Finals. "(Lady Bubbles) is a real trier, she just gives 100 per cent all the time and she seems to always be right there in all these Grassroots," noted Steacy. "And Hello Love, right now I think she's as good as she's been." Division leader Hello Love heads into Friday's Semi-Final on a two-race win streak and has not been worse than second since late July. The Shadow Play daughter is owned by Landmark 10 Racing Stable of Kingston, Ontario, J and T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta and Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec. Steacy said getting each of the 13 trotters and pacers to the Grassroots Semi-Finals has required countless hours of hard work and attention to detail from his first-class staff, along with a healthy dose of racing luck. As the post-season gets under way, the horseman is simply hoping the hard work pays off and there is a bit more luck to be found. Post time for both the Thursday, Sept. 20 and Friday, Sept. 21 programs at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7:10 pm. The two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finalists will compete in Races 2, 3 and 7 through 12 on Thursday while the three-year-olds wage their Friday evening battles in Races 2 through 7, 9 and 10. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will return to the Campbellville oval for the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championships. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trainer Bob McIntosh will start a quartet of custom-made harness racing trotters in Thursday's two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, qualifying A Royal Line and Judge Ken in the trotting colt division and Splurge On Me and Nifty Trick in the trotting filly category. A Royal Line finished the regular season with a record of three wins in four Grassroots starts, good enough for second in the point standings, with Judge Ken not far behind in fourth. Splurge On Me leads the trotting fillies into the Semi-Final with a record of two wins in five starts for 133 points, and Nifty Trick comes in tied for fourteenth. In addition to being trained by the Hall of Fame horseman, all four youngsters were also bred by McIntosh and his partners. "I don't know, it's just, it happened," said McIntosh of this year's success in the freshman trotting ranks. "When I breed them all and they come out of the field, that's what you get, you've got to deal with them. I don't get to go to the sale and pick out the best ones. Whatever comes out of the field is it. "But I'm still open for business if somebody wants to send me some store-bought ones," he added with a laugh. In rein to Guelph resident Paul MacDonell, A Royal Line will kick off Thursday's Semi-Final action in the second race, lining up at Post 2, alongside division point leader Royale Elite who will start from Post 1. "I like my colt," said McIntosh, who shares ownership of A Royal Line with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. "He's got a great personality and a great attitude and a great gait. I'm not saying we can beat the other horse, but he'll make a good account of himself. I think it will be a good match up." Both sons of Royalty For Life, A Royal Line and Royale Elite head into Thursday's test from the Sept. 12 Grassroots event at Grand River Raceway. Royale Elite was an easy 2:02.4 winner in his division, while A Royal Line finished third to LA Magic in a 2:01.2 mile. Ninth-ranked LA Magic will challenge the point leaders from Post 4 in the first $20,000 trotting colt Semi-Final. Judge Ken will start from Post 7 in the second trotting colt Semi-Final, slated as Race 7, and McIntosh is hoping the son of Justice Hall and Barbie And Ken can mind his manners and advance to the Sept. 29 Championship. The youngster made an early break in the Grand River event and finished third behind Royale Elite. "A couple of starts ago (July 31) they left with him out of the 10-hole and after that he got a little bit wound-up, so it's just a matter of getting him relaxed again. As far as his gait and his soundness it's good, so I wouldn't rule him out," noted the trainer. "He's his own worst enemy, he gets a little bit hyper, but there's nothing wrong with his ability." McIntosh, Boyle and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio bred and own Judge Ken, who will be driven by Elora resident Bob McClure. Trotting filly Splurge On Me will be hampered by the outside Post 10 in the third race, but McIntosh is optimistic that the division leader can still advance to the $50,000 final. "I think the 10-hole is a big handicap," admitted McIntosh. "But she's good; she trained good the other day. So I don't know if we can win it, but hopefully we will make it into the final and draw a little better, because she's a sweetheart of a filly." Louis Philippe Roy will steer Splurge On Me, who heads into the Semi-Final off an effortless three and one-half length victory in the Sept. 11 regular season finale at Woodbine Mohawk Park, clocked in a personal best 1:58.4. McIntosh and C S X Stables bred and own the daughter of Kadabra and Urge To Splurge. Nifty Trick finished up the regular season with four thirds in five Grassroots appearances and will start from Post 7 in the second trotting filly Semi-Final with Louis Philippe Roy in the race bike. "You know what, she's kind of coming around," says the trainer. "She was a little wound up training too, but she seems to have settled down, so she could be anything." McIntosh and Boyle bred and own the daughter of Kadabra and Cash Is Best. Whether his full trotting contingent advances to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship or not, McIntosh expects all four to continue their development through the winter and return to Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) action as three-year-olds. "There's no doubt about it, when you've got good two-year-olds you look for good three-year-olds. The last couple years I haven't had those, but this is a good bunch of two-year-olds," said the eight-time winner of the Johnston Cup as the top trainer in the OSS program. "I've got 27 yearlings coming in this year, homebreds, so if they show some promise it's going to make it good for the next couple years." The two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finals, worth a total of $160,000, will take place in Races 2, 3 and 7 through 12 on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Thursday, Sept. 20 program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to next week's Grassroots Championships at the Campbellville oval. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

There were few surprises at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday night as the top two-year-old trotting colts and geldings padded their point totals in the last Grassroots event of the regular season. After finishing second twice and third once, Cousin Peter finally found the winner's circle in the first $18,450 Grassroots division. Starting from Post 1 driver Louis Philippe Roy settled Cousin Peter in the pocket behind Priceless Ruler and followed the pacesetter through fractions of :28.4, :59.3 and 1:29.4. In the stretch Roy slid Cousin Peter into an open lane and the colt reeled in Priceless Ruler and first-up challenger Magical Journey to score a neck victory in 1:59.2. Fan favourite Magical Journey was second and Priceless Ruler settled for third. "He's a horse that doesn't really look fluid when you sit behind him, but he wants to try and has a big heart that makes him forget his little issues," said Roy. "I might be wrong, but he's a horse that I expect to improve a lot between two and three years old." Roy steers the Johnny William son for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Sergis Racing Stable LLC of Canton, NY and Saverino Spagnolo of Ottawa, Ontario. With a total of 122 points the consistent Cousin Peter finished the season in third spot and will be among the favourites in the Sept. 20 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The second division saw point leader Royale Elite get a pocket trip behind Archway, who led the field to fractions of :29.4, 1:02.1 and 1:33.2. Coming off the final turn driver James MacDonald tipped Royale Elite out from behind the pacesetter and the colt powered home to a two length win in 2:02.4. Archway finished second and fan favourite Judge Ken recovered from an early break in stride to be third. "The trip worked out great; no stress," said trainer Mark Steacy. "We'll keep to the same schedule for next week and hope to stay sound and healthy." Wednesday's win was Royale Elite's fourth in Grassroots action. He was also victorious at Georgian Downs, Hiawatha Horse Park and Woodbine Mohawk Park. His only loss came at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the July 31 event where he finished third behind two colts that are ranked among the top 10 Gold Series competitors. With his near perfect record, Royale Elite leads his peers into the post-season with 212 points. Steacy trains Royale Elite for owner-breeders Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec and the conditioner's concerns about keeping the Royalty For Life son healthy are more than just lip service. His stablemate Rap Royalty, ranked fifth in the standings, was scratched out of Wednesday's first division due to sickness. "We're hoping Rap can rebound to race next week," noted Steacy, who currently leads all trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes standings in pursuit of his third straight Johnston Cup title. The final division saw LA Magic record his first victory in just his second lifetime start. The Kadabra son and driver Jody Jamieson stormed away from Post 2 and never looked back, reeling off fractions of :29.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30.3 on their way to a one and one-half length win in 2:01.2. Lightly rated Fitzgibbons trotted into second, leaving fan favourite A Royal Line the third-place spoils. "I've schooled him and qualified him and he is naturally gifted with a flawless gait," said Jamieson. "I really thought he could ambush them off the gate tonight and win, and that's exactly what he did." Jamieson crafted the win for trainer Duane Marfisi and owner Gary Morritt of London, Ontario. With a fifth-place result in his Sept. 3 debut, LA Magic finishes the season with a total of 55 points and heads into the Semi-Final tied for ninth spot, but Jamieson is expecting him to be a serious player. "He'll be the freshest horse in the Semis next week," pointed out the driver. "Hopefully he'll use the light schedule to his advantage." The top 20 points earners with at least two starts in the Grassroots program will advance to next week's Semi-Final. The top five finishers from each $20,000 Semi-Final will earn a berth in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Seven Grassroots divisions were featured on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Tuesday evening program as the two-year-old trotting fillies and pacing colts wrapped up their regular season. The trotting fillies kicked things off in the first race and Splurge On Me moved to the top of the division standings with her second Grassroots win of the season. In rein to Trevor Henry, Splurge On Me sprinted away from Post 8 and controlled the race from start to finish. Unchallenged through fractions of :28.2, :59.4 and 1:29.3, the fan favourite cruised home a three and one-half length winner in a personal best 1:58.4. P L Molly and Pyrrha finished second and third. "She raced really well tonight. I hadn't drove her in a couple weeks, but she was really good tonight," said Henry. "She done it real easy, hopefully she can keep it up for the next couple weeks. Usually Bob's (McIntosh) horses just keep getting better, so hopefully she does." Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio bred and own the daughter of Kadabra and Urge To Splurge. Competing in all five regular season Grassroots events, Splurge On Me tallied two wins, one second, one fifth and one sixth for 133 points and will lead her peers into the Sept. 20 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The second $19,150 trotting filly division saw American Pageant take full advantage of mistakes by several of her peers to score her first lifetime victory. In her first start with trotting hopples, American Pageant started from Post 3 and sat on the rail in the middle of the pack for most of the race, Driver Scott Young called on her coming off the final turn and the filly trotted determinedly down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 2:01.3. Tymal Royalty was second and Galaxy Seelster trotted into third. "That was a pleasant surprise. I thought we'd get a good effort, but she hasn't really shown a ton, so it was a pleasant surprise," said Paul Reid, who trains the Angus Hall miss for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. "She's just coming around so hopefully, if she has enough points to make it to the Semis, then hopefully we can improve off of that." American Pageant will squeak into the post season with a total of 50 points from one win and one ninth in her two Grassroots appearances, tied for 14th in the standings, after starting the evening tied for last with zero points. The final trotting filly split went to fan favourite At Will, who was an easy three and three-quarter length winner in 1:58.4 for driver Sylvain Filion. Rebellious Lady and Nifty Trick completed the top three. Carlisle resident Julie Walker trains the Kadabra daughter for her partners Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke and Ronald Piers of Georgetown, Ontario. In her five Grassroots starts At Will recorded one win, one second, one third, one fifth and one sixth for a total of 95 points and sole ownership of fourth spot in the standings. Chanting Hanover delivered an upset in the first $19,500 pacing colt division, storming down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:54.3. Favourite Boys Turn settled for second and Prairie Midnight was third. James MacDonald piloted the Sportswriter son to the win for trainer Colin Johnson of Repentigny, Quebec and his partners Paul Johnson of Durham, England, and William Greenhorn and Andrew Dick of Stirling, Scotland. The win boosted Chanting Hanover from 30th up to 11th spot in the standings with 88 points. Trevor Henry picked up a second Grassroots victory in the second pacing colt division, guiding fan favourite Century Farroh to a 1:53.2 score. Starting from Post 1 in the 11-horse field, Henry settled the colt in third as Excaliber Seelster rolled out to a :27 quarter, but soon had Century Farroh on the move. After leading his peers to a :55.1 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters, Century Farroh sailed home a one and one-half length winner, besting Carlisimo and Wager On Me. "He's a good gaited colt, and he just keeps getting better every week," said Henry. "He's a nice sized horse, he looks the part, and he's very universal; you can do whatever you want with him." Dr. Ian Moore conditions Century Farroh for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. In his five Grassroots starts the Mach Three colt posted one win, two seconds, one third and one fifth for a total of 117 points and sole ownership of second-place in the standings. The last two freshman pacing colt divisions went to Maintenance Man and JMs Delight, who also advanced to the post season. Maintenance Man and driver Anthony MacDonald toured the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval in 1:54.2, hitting the wire two and one-quarter lengths ahead of Deception Seelster and Crusher Q. Harry Poulton trains the son of Bettors Delight for fractional ownership group TheStable Maintenance Man of Guelph, Ontario. JMs Delight held on for a neck victory over Bueller and favourite Bettor Moonon Over in the last event, stopping the teletimer at 1:54. Louis Philippe Roy piloted the Bettors Delight son to the win for trainer Aaron Lambert and owner Gregory Merton of Monticello, NY. The top 20 point earners in the two-year-old trotting filly and two-year-old pacing colt classes will advance to their respective Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 20. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will then advance to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship at the Campbellville oval. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Rain and fog greeted the three-year-old trotting colts and two-year-old pacing fillies as they gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday night for their last regular season Grassroots events. Driver James MacDonald piloted one winner on each gait and said the rain-soaked track, which officials rated five seconds slower than normal, was tiring and difficult to navigate for both the trotters and pacers. "They were all struggling," said the Guelph resident. "It was deep and heavy." The trotting colts kicked things off in the first race and MacDonald had a few a stressful moments as Jammin Jack went off stride at the start. Fortunately the fan favourite recovered quickly and caught up with the field as they rolled into the first turn. A total of three horses made breaks before Legend Within reached the :30.1 quarter and two more went off stride heading for the 1:02 half, which left Jammin Jack sitting fifth. Heading for the 1:33.1 three-quarters MacDonald sent the gelding up the outside behind Daylon Phantom and Mister Magic and at the top of the stretch Jammin Jack found another gear, digging in to score a neck victory in 2:02.3. Mister Magic was second and Legend Within held on for third. "I was very worried, because he usually doesn't re-set like that, that was the first time I've ever seen him re-set that quick," said MacDonald of Jammin Jack's early miscue. "I thought he was the best horse in the race if he didn't get beat up too bad. After he run and he landed back, and I caught the field right away, I was confident he could still win." The win was Jammin Jack's first-ever in Grassroots action and his fourth of the season. The Angus Hall son is conditioned by Mark Steacy for owner-breeder Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. With the victory, Jammin Jack boosted his point tally to 68 and moved up to fifth spot in the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding Grassroots standings, earning him a berth in the Sept. 21 Semi-Final. The only hiccup is that, because he also made a break at the start in the August 26 Grassroots event at Rideau Carleton Raceway, Jammin Jack will have to requalify before Steacy can enter him in the Semi-Final. The entry is due Tuesday, Sept. 18 by 10:30 am. "There's a chance he might not get to race in the Semi-Final," noted MacDonald, pointing out that the trotter will need to lay down a flawless qualifier before Tuesday morning. "But if we can get him qualified I think he'd be one of the horses to beat for sure. And Majestic Fire, same thing, if I can get him qualified. I think they both have a real good shot to get real good money in the final." Jammin Jack's stablemate Majestic Fire, who also went off as the fans' top choice, made a break heading for the three-quarters in the second $19,150 sophomore trotting colt division, just before Barney Mac unleashed a finishing kick that propelled him to a two and three-quarter length victory in 2:03.1. Say You Do finished second and pacesetter T Barrr held on for third. Campbellville resident Chris Christoforou piloted Barney Mac to the victory for trainer Per Henriksen and owners Tor Jan Larsen of Norwood, Ontario and Adv Racing Stable LLC of Pawling, NY. The win was the Cornaro Dasolo son's second of the season and his first in Grassroots action. Barney Mac made his first four starts of the Ontario Sires Stakes season at the Gold Series level, so he will not be eligible to compete in the Grassroots Championship in spite of Monday's victory. Horses are required to start in at least two regular season events in order to compete in the post-season. MacDonald and Steacy were back in the winner's circle after the second $19,150 pacing filly division as Freya Seelster picked up her second Grassroots, and third straight, victory. The Sunshine Beach daughter delivered an impressive effort over the rain-soaked surface, sitting on the outside throughout the mile and refusing to yield in the stretch. The fan favourite hit the wire a neck ahead of Lyons Javelin in 1:58.4. Karans Choice completed the top three. "She raced huge, huge," said MacDonald. "I had put her on the lead her last two, so I was hoping I could find her a nice trip. I moved her first up, just grinding away slow, and when I called on her at the top of the track she really responded well." Freya Seelster is owned by Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. In just five starts the filly has tallied three wins, one second and one third and heads into the Semi-Final in a three-way tie for third with 100 points. The other two pacing filly divisions were captured by Shadow Sparks and Turncoat, who both made their first visit to the Woodbine Mohawk Park winner's circle. Louis Philippe Roy piloted Shadow Sparks to her first lifetime victory for trainer Paul Reid and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The Shadow Play daughter paced under the wire in 1:59, one length ahead of fan favourite Free Exchange. Lady Driver was third. Shadow Sparks will advance to the Semi-Final round with a total of 55 points. Turncoat completed the stakes events in the tenth race, cruising home a two and one-half length winner in 1:59.4. Moffat resident Jody Jamieson piloted the daughter of Badlands Hanover to the win for owner-trainer Matthew Waltz of Clayton, MI. Buckingham and Twin B Friendly finished second and third behind the fan favourite. Monday marked Turncoat's debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, so she will not be eligible to the post-season. The top 20 point earners with two regular season starts from the two-year-old pacing filly division will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, Sept. 20 for two $20,000 Semi-Finals. The trotting colt and gelding Semi-Finals go postward on Friday, Sept. 21. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to their respective $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Saturday, Sept. 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

There were few surprises as the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings wrapped up their Grassroots regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday evening, with either the favourite or the fans' second choice winning all three divisions. In the first $19,150 division, second choice Casimir Richie P and driver Trevor Henry went directly to the lead from Post 5 and never relinquished control. The son of Astronomical rang up fractions of :26.2, :55.3 and 1:24.2 on his way to a personal best 1:51.2. Favourite Luka Shenko and Gold Rush finished in a dead heat for second, one and three-quarter lengths behind the winner. "He's been a really nice colt for us. Only cost me $6,000 and he must be getting close to $100,000 life now," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "He's just not quite good enough for the Gold, he got third, fourth maybe, but he seems to relish the Grassroots side. He was in record form tonight, so that was good." Cambridge resident Moore shares ownership of Casimir Richie P with his son Tyler Moore of Campbellville and Michael Goldberg of Toronto, Ontario. Through two seasons of racing the colt has earned $93,818 and will be looking to pad that in the Grassroots post season. With two wins and one third to his credit in three Grassroots starts, Casimir Richie P tallied 112 points and heads into the Sept. 21 Semi-Final ranked fourth in the division. "I gave him a week off last week and trained him on Tuesday, and he trained wicked good over the farm track, so I might give him another week off," said Dr. Moore of the colt's schedule heading into the Semi-Finals. "I'm not sure yet, I'll see how he comes out of this one." Second choice When You Dance had a much tougher trip to the winner's circle in the second $19,150 division. Starting from Post 9, the Mach Three gelding and driver Jody Jamieson were parked for much of the :26.1 first quarter and enjoyed just a brief hold of the lead before Wind Blast circled back around to the front. Tucked in second at the :54.3 half, Jamieson sent When You Dance back into the outer lane heading by the 1:23.2 three-quarters and then waged a fierce battle in the stretch with Shadow Moon before prevailing by a nose in 1:53. Shadow Moon settled for second and fan favourite Bit Of Luck was third. "It was a tough, gritty win. He was parked past the eighth in 12 seconds and cleared ,and then had to let a high odds horse go," said trainer Ben Wallace. "Then he was lucky to squeeze out in the top and take him to come again. So it was gutty win. I know they only went in 1:53, but it wasn't an easy 1:53, if you know what I mean." The Puslinch, Ontario resident owns When You Dance in partnership with Daniel Plouffe of Bromont, Quebec and Birnam Wood Farms of Boca Raton, Florida. The gelding was also victorious in his only other Grassroots start, at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 22, and heads into the post-season in sixth spot with 100 points. "He's a deserving winner, he's had a tough summer," said Wallace, adding that the gelding will not start again before the Sept. 21 Semi-Final. "He hasn't had the best luck with trips and situations and maybe showing up, when he did draw good, maybe not as healthy as he could have been, so it was a nice win." With a flawless record of three wins in three Grassroots starts, reigning division champion Pretty Handsome heads back to the post-season tied for top spot in the standings with 150 points. The Mach Three son and driver Jonathan Drury cruised to victory in the third $19,500 division on Friday, sailing home five and one-quarter lengths the best in 1:50.2. JM Jack Of Hearts followed the favourite around the oval and into second and Gideon Seelster was third. "He seems to be in top form right now, always good heading towards the Semi-Final," said Andrew McCabe, who trains Pretty Handsome for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, Ontario. "We had a little bit of a hiccup with him there. He kind of earned the chance to try the Gold and he got sick on us up there in Ottawa (July 22). "We're really trying to win a Gold in the worst way, never won one. Not ever. It's never, ever, ever worked out," McCabe added. "Every time we try and make that approach something backfires on us." Pretty Handsome finished seventh in the July 22 Gold Leg at Rideau Carleton Raceway and eighth in a second attempt against the top colts at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 4. After almost a month off, the gelding returned to action in a Sept. 1 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park and regained his winning form, touring the Campbellville oval in 1:51. Friday's victory was his seventh of the season from 11 starts. Pretty Handsome will begin defense of his division title on Sept. 21. The top 20 point earners will compete in the Semi-Final round, with the top five finishers in each Semi-Final advancing to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Thursday night marked the end of the Grassroots regular harness racing season for the three-year-old trotting fillies and Whip N Neigh Neigh wiggled up the inside and right into the post season with her first-ever Grassroots win. "The trip worked out perfect," said top Woodbine Mohawk Park driver Doug McNair. "She's been knocking at the door, so it was nice to get a win." Kicking things off in the first $18,450 division, McNair and Whip N Neigh Neigh got away fourth and sat tight as Galary Girl took the field to a :28 opening quarter and :58.1 half. Around the final turn McNair tipped Whip N Neigh Neigh into the outer lane and the filly was making steady gains on Galary Girl and pocket-sitter Melanie G as they passed the 1:28.3 three-quarters. In the stretch McNair sent Whip N Neigh Neigh up the inside and the filly hustled home to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:58.4. Fan favourite Melanie G took the right hand route around Galary Girl, who went off stride as she was being flanked, and finished second. Hay Darlene completed the top three. "With a win today she should be in the Semi-Finals. So she'll be there, race the Semi-Final, and hopefully the Final," said Per Henriksen, who trains the daughter of Cornaro Dasolo for Adv Racing Stable LLC of Pawling, NY. "She's just a sweetheart to be around and never do nothing wrong basically, and she came a long way since the beginning of the year." Whip N Neigh Neigh started the season with a tenth-place result in the June 7 event and followed that up with a fourth on July 8 and a sixth on July 21. In the August 27 event at Grand River Raceway she was sitting third when she made a late break and had to settle for fifth. Heading into Tuesday's contest she was tied for 24th, just shy of qualifying for the post-season, but the victory boosted her point tally to 66 and will see her start in a Sept. 21 Semi-Final. Joining Whip N Neigh Neigh will be the other two division winners, Pretty N Well and Hopes Solo. Pretty N Well took full advantage of an early miscue by heavy favourite Sorceress Seelster, winding up in the pocket spot behind Gotta Pay To Play just past the :28.4 quarter. Content to follow the pacesetter through the 1:00.1 half, driver Bob McClure sent Pretty N Well up the outer lane heading by the 1:29.3 three-quarters and then shifted the filly into high gear in the stretch. Pretty N Well reeled in Gotta Pay To Play and held off a late charge from Stormont Charlotte to record the neck victory in a personal best 1:58.2. Stormont Charlotte, who had also made an early error, finished second and Gotta Pay To Play settled for third. "She's a handy filly, she does everything right," said McClure. "She's really nice to drive and was able to capitalize on some breakers tonight." McClure crafted the win for trainer Mark Johnson and owner-breeder Denise Ball of Bailieboro, Ontario. The win was the Kadabra daughter's second in Grassroots action this season and puts her in fifth spot in the standings with 101 points. Fan favourite Hopes Solo also scored her second Grassroots victory on Thursday, stepping out of the pocket to catch pacesetter Magics Lucky Charm at the wire in 1:57.1. A scant neck separated the top two fillies and Miss Adam T was only one-half length back in third. "She got a nice two-hole trip and fought hard in the stretch to win," said driver Chris Christoforou, who steered the filly to her first Grassroots win in the August 27 event at Grand River Raceway. "I was very happy with her considering she had been battling some minor issues all week." The victory, the Cornaro Dasolo daughter's third in a row, gives Hopes Solo a total of 125 points and second spot in the standings behind Ezee Tiguan. Christoforou pilots the filly for his father, trainer Charalambos Christoforou, and owner Carolyn Polillo and said they will wait to see how the filly bounces back from Thursday's effort before deciding whether she will make an overnight start before the Sept. 21 Semi-Final. The top 20 point earners will advance to the Semi-Final, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final advancing to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park. On Friday night the three-year-old pacing colts and gelding will arrive at Woodbine Mohawk Park to wrap up their Grassroots regular season. The pacers will raise the curtain on the evening's festivities at 7:10 pm in the first race and will also compete in Races 6 and 10. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Ontario Sires Stakes action returned to Flamboro Downs on Tuesday evening with the fifth, and final, Grassroots leg for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Fan favourite Azure Seelster kicked things off with a gate-to-wire score from Post 5 in the first $18,800 split, reaching the finish two and one-half lengths ahead of Color Envy and Saulsbrook Beauty in 1:54.3. "She's a gorgeous black filly, she's by Shadow Play. She looks kind of just like he does -like he used to, I should say, when he was in racing form - they have the same shape," said driver Tyler Moore, whose father Dr. Ian Moore campaigned Shadow Play during his $1.5 million racing career. "She's got a lot of quick speed, she's a little high strung, but she's all-in-all a very fast racehorse." Campbellville resident Moore piloted Azure Seelster to the win for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, 2745 5815 Quebec Inc. and Sylvain Descheneaux of Sorel-Tracy, and Paul Andre Lehoux of Sainte-Marie, Quebec. Tuesday's victory was the filly's second in Grassroots action this season and gives her a final tally of 130 points, good enough for fifth spot in the standings. Hello Love delivered an impressive effort from the outside Post 8 to earn a 1:55.2 victory in the second $18,800 division. The Shadow Play daughter and driver James MacDonald got away fifth and then led the charge up the outer lane, pressing pacesetter Sunday Afternoon through the second half. Matching strides with Sunday Afternoon around the final turn, Hello Love found another gear in the stretch and pulled away to a one-length win in 1:55.2. Lifelong Dream followed the fan favourite up the outer lane into second and Sunday Afternoon settled for third. The win was Hello Love's third in Grassroots action and puts her at the top of the division standings with 183 points. Heading into the Sept. 21 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park trainer Mark Steacy and his staff will be working tirelessly to keep the filly in peak condition. "We've had a chiropractor work on her a few times, and a massage therapist work on her a little bit," said Steacy. "She's had muscle issues so we have to monitor that pretty close with her, and as long as we keep that under control she races good for us." Steacy conditions Hello Love, another daughter of Shadow Play, for Landmark 10 Racing Stable of Kingston, Ontario, J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta and Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec. The filly has not been worse than second in the last month and, as long as she maintains her current form, Steacy expects her to be among the primary contenders in the post-season. "I think Neon Moon looks very good and I think them two, right at the moment, look probably the two best," reflected Steacy. "So hopefully our mare stays healthy and we'll see what happens." Neon Moon, also starting from Post 8, delivered an equally impressive effort in the last $19,150 division. In rein to Guelph resident Jason Ryan, Neon Moon fired off the gate and took command before the :28.1 quarter and then reeled off fractions of :57.4 and 1:25.4 on her way to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:54.1. Pocket-sitter Shadow World finished second and Iveseenthefuture completed the top three. "I'm very happy with her. She's been very consistent and she always tries hard," said Cambridge resident Jack Darling, who owns and trains Neon Moon. "She has the speed to overcome a bad post like the eight-hole tonight at Flamboro. I hope she can keep it up for the Grassroots Finals." The victory was Neon Moon's second in Grassroots action and puts her in sixth with 124 points. Last season the Sportswriter daughter was the runner-up in the Grassroots Final, so Darling will be hoping she can match or better that result. The top 20 point earners will advance to the Sept. 21 Semi-Finals, and the top five finishers from each Semi-Final will earn a berth in the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Flamboro Downs has one more Ontario Sires Stakes event on the calendar this season, welcoming the two-year-old trotting fillies for their fourth Gold Series event on Tuesday, Sept. 25. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Clinton Raceway closed out its 2018 season with an outstanding afternoon of racing on Sunday featuring the 38th annual Charity Driver's Challenge and four Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Contested over the first eight races, the Charity Driver's Challenge was a fierce battle between Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair and Bob McClure. Heading into the final leg of the challenge McNair was leading with 160 points, McClure sat second with 137 and Jamieson was in third with 128 points. With a gritty first-over effort aboard Grande Seelster, Jamieson claimed the victory and with it his sixth Clinton Charity Driver's Challenge title. "To win number six today was a bit of a shock really. Some of the top young drivers in the country were here today, so you never know how it will play out," said Jamieson, who hails from Moffat, Ontario. "Fortunately, I had the best horses today and made it look quite easy." The participating drivers and Clinton Raceway fans raised just over $5,000 for the Tanner Steffler Foundation, which aims to support Huron County youth aged 12 to 24, and their families, with issues surrounding mental health and addiction, with the long-term goal of building a treatment and wellness facility within the county. All eight drivers - Natasha Day, Jonathan Drury, Ryan Holliday, Jamieson, James MacDonald, McClure, McNair and Scott Wray - were enthusiastic participants in the annual event, both for the friendly rivalry and the cause they were supporting. "I was leading until the last race and then got beat by Jody," said McNair. "But it was all for a good cause. It is important for people to realise that everyone and anyone can have mental health challenges, and no one should feel like they are different because of it, or be unable to find help." Once the challenge had come to an end Jamieson, McNair and McClure continued their dominant performances in the Grassroots events, with each reinsman piloting one two-year-old pacing filly to victory. McClure kicked things off with Lady Driver, delivering an impressive performance from Post 7 that saw them battle up the outer lane to a head victory in 1:59. Pacesetter and fan favourite Twin B Friendly settled for second and Hard Eight was third. "She's a nice little filly," said McClure, who piloted Lady Driver to the win for trainer Mike Keeling. "She's great gaited and that makes her very handy on the small tracks." The win was the first of the season for Sportswriter daughter Lady Driver, who is owned by CTC Stable of Chestnut Ridge, NY, and David Hamm and Michael Hall of Dagsboro, DE. Jonathan Drury interrupted the Jamieson-McNair-McClure show with a victory in the second $18,800 Grassroots division, guiding favourite Clearly Better to her first Grassroots victory in 2:00.3. From Post 2 the Betterthancheddar daughter controlled all the fractions and bested Better Now and Three Rocks by one and one-half lengths. Cambridge resident Blake MacIntosh conditions Clearly Better for his partners Stuart McIntosh of Essex, Ontario and Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Jamieson was back in the winner's circle following the third Grassroots division with Jack Darling trainee Free Exchange. The fan favourites took command going by the quarter and sailed home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:59. Loves Delight was second and Turn Back Time completed the top three. "Free Exchange is getting stronger with each start," said Jamieson. "She is definitely one of the best Grassrooters around and I'm glad Jack has stuck with me to drive her." The win was Free Exchange's first Grassroots victory and her second lifetime. Exeter native Darling, who now calls Cambridge home, owns and trains the Betterthancheddar daughter. McNair wrapped up the program, and the Clinton Raceway season, in thrilling fashion, steering Sports Flix to a track record effort for his father Gregg McNair of Guelph and owner James Fraleigh of Dresden, Ontario. The Sportswriter daughter came from off the pace, swinging out three-wide at the three-quarter pole, and powered down the stretch to a four and one-half length victory in 1:57. Karans Choice was second and Aumydarlin was third. "She raced really good, that's a big mile up here," said the reinsman. The clocking took one-fifth of a second off the 1:57.1 standard established by Bourbon Seelster in an August 2015 Grassroots event. Sports Flix now has two Grassroots victories to her credit and sits atop the two-year-old pacing filly division with 117 points as they head into the fifth and final regular season Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 10. In addition the Charity Driver's Challenge and Ontario Sires Stakes action, Clinton Raceway also hosted its first-ever Weiner Dog Race and the victorious canine was Zinc from Post 8. The six-year-old Zinc was cheered on to his victory by handlers Maggie and John. Racing will return to Clinton Raceway in 2019 with more Ontario Sires Stakes action, family friendly events and community fundraising activities. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Driver Ryan Holliday captured a pair of Grassroots victories at Hanover Raceway on Saturday, capping off a spectacular night that saw the Mount Forest resident win a total of six races. After rain delayed the start of the program by 20 minutes, Holliday kicked things off with a win in the first race with two-year-old pacing gelding Lil Beau Duke and was back in the winner's circle following Race 3 with two-year-old pacing filly Mae Belle Duke, both for trainer Andrew McCabe and owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. In the fourth race, the second of four two-year-old trotting filly Grassroots divisions, Holliday was aboard Angel Status from Post 4 and guided the fan favourite to an effortless four and three-quarter length score in 2:04.2. Kashe finished second and Nifty Trick completed the top three. "She raced good. She's nice and handy and I own her, that's the best part," said Holliday with a chuckle. "Actually all the fillies I drove raced good, but she's nice and handy and has got a bit of gate speed." Angel Status is trained by the driver's father David Holliday and owned by his wife Caroline Holliday, both of Mount Forest, in partnership with Dennis Hannath of Harriston. The win was the Archangel daughter's second in Grassroots action and her third of the season. In addition to her Grassroots victories, she captured her Balanced Image elimination at Hanover Raceway on August 18. With one regular season event remaining Angel Status sits second in the division standings with 105 points and has assured herself of a berth in the Sept. 20 Grassroots Semi-Finals. Holliday added to his win tally in Race 8 with aged trotting mare Flexie for owner-trainer Melville Giles and then picked up his second Grassroots win in the last division with Snooker. The pair went straight to the front from Post 3 and fended off a challenge from favourite Warrawee Ultra to secure the 2:04.2 victory. Warrawee Ultra settled for second, three and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Knickers was another length back in third. "She was good, she got control of the race and win pretty handily," said Holliday of the Gregg McNair trainee. "When you can control the race, and you know they're legit horses, and you're driving for good trainers, it makes the game a lot easier." Guelph resident McNair shares ownership of Snooker with Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. of Harriston and Brian Zong of Downsview, Ontario. The win was the E L Titan daughter's first, but with one second and one fifth in her other two Grassroots outings, Snooker currently sits fourth in the standings with 80 points and will be among the 20 fillies that advance to the Semi-Final. Holliday made it an even half-dozen with a win in the tenth race with aged pacing gelding Mid Town Mickey for Arthur residents Kevin and Patricia Lynn Bodz. The productive night extended Holliday's lead atop the Hanover Raceway driver standings and gave him three big nights on the season over the half-mile oval. "I hit seven here once earlier this year, I think I win five one other night, but this would be the first six," said the reinsman. "It was a good night. It's a lot easier when they go ahead." The other two Grassroots divisions went to Lady Gabbie and Order Mattie. Lady Gabbie scored her first-ever victory with a 2:05.1 effort in the first $18,100 division. The Archangel daughter started from Post 1 and led from start to finish, reaching the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Madam Shazam and Pyrrha. Cambridge resident Dagfin Henriksen drives and trains Lady Gabbie for his partners Gary Volpe and Steve Murphy of St. Thomas, Ontario. Order Mattie moved to the top of the division standings with her first lifetime victory, touring the Hanover half-mile in 2:06.4 for trainer-driver Doug Brown. The Angus Hall miss bested Stonebridge Swift and Msblackdiamondduke by two and three-quarter lengths to add a win to a trio of second-place results in Grassroots action. Brown trains the filly for Todd Coleman of Paris, Ontario and Jackson Wittup of Calgary, Alberta. The two-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 11. The top 20 fillies following the fifth event will advance to the Sept. 20 Semi-Final, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. From the Ontario Sire Stakes          

AUGUST 26, 2018 - Driver Chris Christoforou swept the three-year-old trotting filly Grassroots event at Grand River Raceway on Monday evening, capturing all three divisions, two for trainer Lyle MacArthur and the other for his father, Chris Christoforou, Sr. The Campbellville resident kicked off his successful evening with MacArthur trainee Zorgwijk Sophia in the second race. Starting from Post 7 the pair fired away from the starting gate and were rolling up on early leader Hay Darlene soon after the :28.3 opening quarter. Once they reached the front, Christoforou and Zorgwijk Sophia cruised through a :58.2 half and 1:29.1 three-quarters before opening up to a three and one-half length victory in 1:59. Hay Darlene followed the fan favourites to a second-place finish and Dalliance Seelster was third. "I was concerned having the seven-hole, but was lucky to float out and find a spot on the rail close to the front," said Christoforou. "Coming to the quarter I decided to remove her and she cleared easily. From there she was basically on cruise control and won handily." The victory was the Majestic Son daughter's first in Grassroots action, but extended a recent win streak to four. She has been on a roll at Woodbine Mohawk Park this month, posting wins on August 2, 13 and 20, including a personal best 1:56.2 in her August 13 victory. "She's actually surprised me a little bit lately, because she's getting a little stronger and she's finishing her miles better," said MacArthur, who trains Zorgwijk Sophia for Linda Wellwood of St. George Brant and Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre, Ontario. "She win a Gold last year, but she just got lucky, she was in with some good trotting fillies and they all made breaks. I always thought she was probably a Grassrooter, but she didn't start off this year that good. She just didn't seem like she had much pop to her, but the last while she's started to bounce back." With one win, one second, one sixth and one seventh in the first four Grassroots events Zorgwijk Sophia currently has 80 points, putting her in fifth spot in the division standings with one regular season event remaining. Stablemate Ezee Tiguan also got a confident steer from Christoforou in the second $18,800 division. Powering away from Post 7 they rang up fractions of :29.2, 1:00.2, and 1:31.2 on the way to a two and three-quarter length victory in 2:00.4. Pocket-sitter Miller Time was second while fan favourite Stormont Charlotte settled for third after making an early break in stride. "She has great gate speed," said Christoforou. "She can be a bit headstrong and wanted to keep going when she cleared, but thankfully, after some gentle persuasion, she came back to me and rated nicely from there. She loves the half-mile track." Monday's victory was Ezee Tiguan's second in Grassroots action and puts her firmly in control of the division standings with 133 points. Linda Wellwood and Tammy Aspden also own the daughter of Angus Hall, who MacArthur admits has not reached the heights he envisioned for her earlier in the season. "Halfway through the year I thought she was a way better horse than Sophia, but Sophia has kind of caught up and Ezee really didn't step ahead," said the trainer. "I really thought she'd get to be a 1:55 trotter, like over Mohawk, and she just didn't step up that extra." Both Ezee Tiguan and Zorgwijk Sophia may be absent from the fifth and final regular season Grassroots event on September 6 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, as MacArthur is considering taking one run at the Gold Series fillies when they head to the half-mile oval at The Raceway at Western Fair District on October 2. "They both are going to have a shot at making the final I think, for the Grassroots, so I am looking at that for sure, the Semi-Final and then the Final. But I am debating whether to skip the last Grassroots and maybe go in the last Gold at London, which is on a half-mile racetrack," explained MacArthur. "Some of the big trotting mares don't get around the track very good and some of them won't even go there, so I am debating about doing that. Maybe skip the last Grassroots and take a shot in the Gold with the pair of them." Christoforou finished off his Grassroots hat trick with Hopes Solo in the last $19,150 division, going gate-to-wire from Post 1. The heavy favourites cruised home one and one-half lengths ahead of Melanie G in 2:01. Impressively Done was five lengths behind the leader in third. "All the credit for Hopes Solo has to go to my wife Camilla," said the driver. "She is a flighty filly with a few quirks and Camilla worked with her all winter and spring, through to the summer, and the filly has excelled because of her hard work. "She had the rail, left well, got the lead and never looked back," he continued. "It was an uneventful trip and I was grateful for that. She won handily and, more importantly, behaved herself. Hopefully she'll continue to be productive for the rest of the season." The win was Hopes Solo's first in Grassroots action and her second straight; she logged her first lifetime victory in overnight action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 20. Chris Christoforou, Sr. conditions the Cornaro Dasolo daughter for Carolyn Polillo of Brantford. With one win and one second for 75 points, Hopes Solo is also poised to advance to the September 21 Semi-Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top 20 point earners will advance to the $20,000 Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the $50,000 Final, also at Woodbine Mohawk Park, on September 29. Next on Grand River Raceway's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, who will wrap up their Grassroots regular season over the Elora oval on Wednesday, September 12. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

AUGUST 26, 2018 - Rideau Carleton Raceway rolled out the red carpet for the three-year-old trotting colts on Sunday evening, welcoming both the Grassroots and Gold Series competitors for a total of four Ontario Sires Stakes divisions. In the first $94,800 Gold Series contest, local colt Stormont Ventnor delivered an impressive effort to claim his second Gold win of the season. Starting from Post 4 the heavy favourite spent the bulk of the mile in the outer lane as Joey Bats trotted to fractions of :29.1, :58.4 and 1:26.4, but around the final turn Stormont Ventnor caught the pacesetter and proceeded to draw away to a six and one-quarter length victory in 1:55.4. Joey Bats settled for second and Perfetto was third. Regular reinsman Phil Hudon piloted Stormont Ventnor to the victory for trainer Kevin Benn of Napanee and owner-breeder Eric Baker of Long Sault, Ontario and said the Justice Hall son is in top form heading toward the last regular season event. "He was really sharp tonight. He seems as fresh as he was when he started the season," said Hudon. "The Benn's have done a great job keeping him on his 'A' game, and I'm lucky enough to get the drive." With 126 points earned through two wins, one second and one eighth-place result in the first four Gold events, Stormont Ventnor currently sits in second spot in the division standings, 24 points behind Run Director, who captured the other $95,600 Gold division. Starting from Post 3, Run Director settled into fourth as Say You Do hit the opening quarter in :28.4. As Henderson Seelster took over top spot heading for the :59.3 half, driver Sylvain Filion tipped Run Director into the outer lane behind Mister Magic and was content to follow that horse past the 1:28.1 three-quarters. As the colts straightened up in the stretch Filion gave the heavy favourite a clear look at the finish and Run Director powered home to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:56.4. Henderson Seelster finished second and Say You Do was third. "He was awesome today. Sylvain said he wanted to go so badly he had to be careful when he moved him three deep. The colt wanted to go too fast, too quick, he wanted to make sure we stayed trotting," said Ben Baillargeon, who trains Run Director for owner-breeders Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, Ontario. "He was real good today, but he's been good all along. We didn't have too many hiccups with him, and I think the best is yet to come." The son of Kadabra and Keep The Spirit has tallied two wins and two seconds in his four Gold Series starts and will take a second run at the best sophomore trotters in North America in the September 1 Simcoe Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Run Director was third in his elimination and sixth in the final of the Goodtimes Stake in June. "We have him in the Simcoe next week, this Saturday coming up, so this race will be a good tightener for him," said Baillargeon. "He is eligible to the Canadian Trotting Classic too, but we'll go week-by-week. Our main goal is the next Gold at Mohawk (Sept. 27) and the Super Final (Oct. 13)." Having butted heads against Run Director and Stormont Ventnor through the first two legs of the sophomore campaign, Levitation made the move to the Grassroots on Sunday and found the winner's circle for the first time this season. The Kadabra gelding went gate-to-wire from Post 6 in a personal best 1:57.3 for driver Louis Philippe Roy. Daylon Phantom was one and one-half lengths back in second and Delcrest Holiday was three more lengths back in third. "He looks like a horse you have to be a bit careful with," said Roy, who made his first appearance in Levitation's race bike Sunday. "He showed me he wanted to run a few times, so I just made sure he went enough to win, making sure he was staying flat." Roy crafted the win for trainer Tony Alagna and owners David Anderson of Aurora, Ontario and Robert Leblanc of Austin, Texas. Local colt Majestic Fire captured the second $18,450 Grassroots division, getting away fourth from Post 1 and then rolling up the outside to catch pacesetter The Magic Number and claim the 1:57.3 victory by one and one-half lengths. The Magic Number settled for second and T Barrr rounded out the top three. James MacDonald drove the fan favourite to the win for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne and owners David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie, Shelly MacMillan of Waterloo and A K Malik stable of Ottawa, Ontario. "He raced great. He gives you everything he has every time he goes behind the gate," said MacDonald of the Majestic Son gelding. "I knew if I could find him a decent trip and keep him out of trouble he would give me a big effort. "The trip worked out pretty good, and when I asked him to trot at the top of the stretch he had tons left and responded really good." Majestic Fire had also tested his skills against the Gold Series colts after making his sophomore debut in the Grassroots season opener. With their victories on Sunday, Levitation and Majestic Fire currently sit among the top 20 point earners who would advance to the September 21 Grassroots Semi-Finals, meaning their connections will have to choose between remaining in the Grassroots or returning to the Gold Series for the fifth leg of the campaign. The final regular season Grassroots event is September 10, while the last Gold Leg is September 27, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

AUGUST 25, 2018 - Hanover Raceway fans were treated to an outstanding night of harness racing on the half-mile oval's annual Balanced Image program Saturday. Warming up the crowd for the Balanced Image Final were four Grassroots divisions of two-year-old pacing colts and geldings and it was local colt Sauble Play who kicked things off with a victory in the first $18,800 split. Starting from Post 3 Sauble Play and driver Stephen Byron fired directly to the front and led the field of eight through fractions of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:28. Forever Fav closed hard in the stretch, but fan favourite Sauble Play kept a neck in front to secure the 1:58 victory. Thisishowwedoit rounded out the top three. "Probably being local helped him," said Byron with a chuckle. "He raced good. It's only the second time I drove him, but he sure got around the half-mile real well and they were quite happy with him." Byron crafted the win for trainer Larry Hall and his Sauble Hill Farms of Tara, Ontario. The win was the homebred son of Shadow Play and Noble Duchess' second in Grassroots action this season and gives him a total of 108 points, good enough for third spot in the division standings with one regular season event remaining, on September 11 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top 20 point earners advance to the Grassroots Semi-Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on September 20. The second division saw Carlisimo post his first Ontario Sires Stakes victory and equal the track record for two-year-old pacing colts with a 1:56.3 score. In rein to Brett MacDonald, the fan favourite got away third from Post 2 and watched Excaliber Seelster and DA Delightful battle to a :27.3 opening quarter. Excaliber Seelster emerged on top and took the field to a :56.4 half and a 1:26.3 three-quarters, but Carlisimo was on the move around the final turn and powered down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length victory. Excaliber Seelster settled for second and Village Champ was another length back in third. "He raced tough. At the head of the lane I didn't know if he was going to get by that one on the front, but he dug in," said trainer James Dean, who conditions Carlisimo for Reginald MacPherson of Stratford, PEI. "We tried the Golds at Grand River (Aug. 15), but they're just too tough for him, so we're pretty happy with him tonight." The mile, which matched the 1:56.3 clocked by Grinning Breed in a Grassroots event in August 2007, was a new personal best for Carlisimo, who was also a winner at Exhibition Park on July 2. The son of Shadow Play and 2010 three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots Champion Putnam Mackenzie was a $13,000 purchase out of the 2017 Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale and has banked $21,186 through six starts. Fan favourite Moonshine Kisses took the third Grassroots division with a gate-to-wire effort from Post 4, sailing under the wire two and one-quarter lengths ahead of Gamblingterror and Ys Sunshine in 1:58.2. J Bradley Harris piloted the Sunshine Beach son to the win for trainer Mark Steacy and owners Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy of Guelph, Ontario, Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy of Edmonton, Alberta. "He trained down nicely and his first couple starts looked good, but the next two not as good," said Steacy of the colt's early season results. "He looked back to normal tonight, so we hope he can finish his season off nicely in the Grassroots." An $18,000 purchase out of the London Selected Yearling Sale, Moonshine Kisses finished fourth and second in the first two Grassroots events of the season, then logged a fifth in an August 7 overnight event, all at Woodbine Mohawk Park. In the August 14 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs he was edged out of the top three in the stretch, settling for fourth. Saturday's victory bumps him into the top 10 with 91 points. The pacing colts and geldings wrapped things up with a flourish as Sports Hero stripped three-fifths of a second off the track record with a commanding 1:56 performance in the last division. The son of Sportswriter and driver Paul Mackenzie finished eight lengths ahead of Boys Turn and Taragon. "We've been high on him all along. He's had some tough luck so hopefully everything is turning around," said trainer Blake Macintosh. "I've sort of been a little disappointed with the way he was finishing and so we changed his bridle up so he could see the horses more, and I think he responded good to that tonight." The win was Sports Hero's second in Grassroots action, the colt was also victorious in the July 13 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. In his other two Grassroots appearances he finished second and fourth, so Saturday's win puts him atop the division standings with 133 points. A half-brother to 2012 three-year-old pacing filly Super Final champion Mach A Wish, Sports Hero was a $60,000 purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and he may be stepping up to tougher competition for his next start. "I like the colt. He's kept eligible to the Metro and everything. I don't know if he's that type of horse, but he's a nice big horse," said the trainer. "We've taken it easy on him just trying to get him to come around to where we wanted him, and he's getting there, he's getting to the way I want him. "I imagine he'll probably try the Champlain next week and then we'll go from there," Macintosh continued. "We'll see; we'll figure it out." Macintosh conditions Sports Hero for 30 Plus Stable of Trenton, 3 Hero Stables of Cambridge and Touch Stone Farms of Guelph, Ontario. In addition to the Grassroots performances from the freshman pacing colts and geldings, Hanover fans were also treated to thrilling finishes in the Walker Memorial Trot and the Balanced Image Trot final. Vesuvio Bi closed from seventh to claim the $10,000 Walker Memorial Trot in 1:59.1, reeling in favourite Twofourroadie and Irish Thunder. Scott Coulter engineered the win aboard the Manofmanymissions son for trainer Martin Lachance and his Lachance Racing Stable of Millstone Township, New Jersey and Dan Mogridge of Hillsdale, Ontario. The win was the former Grassroots winner's sixth in his four-year-old campaign. Heavy favourite Dream Nation powered up the outside from Post 6 to capture the $53,800 Balanced Image Final for two-year-old trotters in 2:00.4. Fillies Royal Rhythm and Blue Magic were second and third. Tyler Moore piloted the Archangel gelding to his fifth win in six starts for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy, Gestion C Levesque 2005, Inc of St-Hyacinthe and Marc Camirand of Montreal, Quebec. The two-time Gold Series winner boosted his earnings over $100,000 with the victory. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

AUGUST 20, 2018 - Ontario's talented harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies were back in action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, competing in six $19,500 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions. All six winners delivered impressive performances, but none of them were more meaningful than the 1:53 effort turned in by third division winner Freya Seelster. Sent off as the fan favourites, the Sunshine Beach daughter and driver James MacDonald went gate-to-wire from Post 6, besting Free Exchange by three lengths. Whitehaven Beach was two more lengths back in third. "It was a very emotional win. She was purchased by Fred Haskell - a great person who I wish I would have known for a lot longer - along with other partners. Unfortunately, Fred passed away just before Freya qualified," explained trainer Mark Steacy. "His share has been carried on by his brother Guy. Fred would have been so excited to see her win." Freya Seelster won her first qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 17 and finished fourth in a second qualifier on July 24. In her race debut she was second by a head in a July 31 overnight event at the Campbellville oval, hitting the wire in 1:55, and then finished third in another overnight test on August 7, touring Woodbine Mohawk Park in 1:53.2. "Freya trained down very nicely and probably resembles her dad the most of all his offspring," added Steacy, who trained the filly's sire Sunshine Beach throughout his $977,438-winning career. Off Monday's victory, the fastest of the six divisions, Freya Seelster may be looking at a move up to the Gold Series for the two remaining events, a decision the trainer will contemplate in cooperation with owners Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. The fourth Grassroots event goes postward September 2 at Clinton Raceway and the fourth Gold event takes place at Woodbine Mohawk Park on September 28. Freya Seelster Several of the division's top fillies opted for Monday's Grassroots on the seven-eighths mile oval rather than the August 15 Gold Series event over Grand River Raceway's half-mile, including the first division winner Powerful Chris. Starting from Post 10 the Betterthancheddar daughter powered to the front and never looked back, cruising through fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:25.4 on her way to a 1:53.3 victory. Aumydarlin was three and one-quarter lengths behind the heavy favourite in second, with Buckingham two more lengths back in third. "I was really happy with her. She was as good as ever," said driver Bob McClure. "She really did not get along with the half-mile track, so John (Pentland) thought an easy trip in the Grassroots was best and it worked out great." Powerful Chris tested the Grand River half-mile in the Battle of the Belles, finishing second by a neck in her July 30 elimination and a well-beaten fifth from the outside Post 8 in the August 6 final. Prior to that effort she had been undefeated, posting an eight and three-quarter length victory in the Grassroots season opener on July 10 and a personal best 1:52.1 triumph in the July 20 Gold event, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Dorchester resident John Pentland trains Powerful Chris and shares ownership of the filly with Jack Darling Stables Ltd. of Cambridge and McClure's Syllabus Stable of Elora, Ontario. Powerful Chris The connections of Gold Series winners Springbridge Sassy and Deb also chose Monday's Grassroots event and went home with a green blanket. Springbridge Sassy and driver Doug McNair rolled up the outside in the fourth division and then rocketed down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:55.3. Twin B Friendly and Karans Choice finished second and third behind the heavy favourite. "She has explosive speed, but she's tricky sometimes on the turns," said McNair of Springbridge Sassy's appearance in the Grassroots. "She's very green still, but I'm excited about the rest of the year for her." McNair pilots the Sunshine Beach daughter for trainer Jim Ritchie and owner Paul Ritchie of Orangeville, Ontario. Through three starts she now has two wins and one second, including one Gold and one Grassroots victory. Springbridge Sassy Like Powerful Chris, Deb went gate-to-wire from Post 10 in the fifth division, pacing under the wire in 1:54.2. Loves Delight finished two and three-quarter lengths behind the favourite in second and Rue Hanover rounded out the top three. Randy Waples piloted Deb to the win for trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Wilma and James MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ontario. In six starts the Sportswriter daughter has tallied two wins, both in Gold Series action, and three thirds. Deb The other two divisions went to Soft Wind Hanover and Cinderella Delight. Soft Wind Hanover picked up her second Grassroots victory with a 1:55 front-end effort in the last division. In rein to Doug McNair the fan favourite paced home two and one-half lengths ahead of Erikas Shadow and Waltzing With Tina. Casie Coleman trains the Sportswriter daughter for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Mac Nichol of Burlington, Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham and Brad Grant of Milton, Ontario. Soft Wind Hanover Cinderella Delight posted her first-ever victory in the second division, sailing along on the front end to a 1:54.1 score for driver Jody Jamieson. Saulsbrook Jessie and Sports Flix were one and one-half lengths back in second and third. Dave Menary conditions Bettors Delight daughter Cinderella Delight for Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown and Bruce Norris of Caledon East, Ontario. Cinderella Delight Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, September 1 with the fifth, and final, regular season Gold Series event for the three-year-old pacing colts. Post time for the Saturday, September 1 program is 7:10 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

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