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JULY 21, 2016 - Mohawk Racetrack hosted the second Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting fillies on Thursday evening and harness racing fans welcomed three first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winners back in front of the grandstand. In the first $18,000 Grassroots division, Mohawk fans wisely overlooked the mistake made by Inner Drive in the July 10 season opener and sent the Bob McIntosh trainee off as their top choice. The Kadabra daughter trotted smoothly away from Post 2 and was sitting second when Parkhill Nocredit hit the opening quarter in :29.4. Driver Paul MacDonell opted to send the favourite to the front, but Inner Drive was only in command briefly before Hab Faith came calling. Hab Faith took control just past the 1:00 half and continued to lead the field to the 1:29.1 three-quarters, but once the fillies squared up in the stretch Guelph resident MacDonell tipped Inner Drive out of the pocket and the long-legged lass was able to reel in Hab Faith and secure a neck victory in 1:59.4. Parkhill Nocredit was two and one-quarter lengths back in third. "She's a nice big filly with a great pedigree who should improve with each start," said trainer McIntosh of Inner Drive, whose mother, Urge To Splurge, is a half-sister to former Ontario Sires Stakes superstar Text Me, who was the Super Final champion in both 2010 and 2011 and earned $931,853 in his career. Windsor resident McIntosh bred and shares ownership of Inner Drive with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. In three starts the filly has tallied one win, one second and $12,500. Inner Drive The second Grassroots division saw the fan's second choice, Powerful Mission, reel in fan favourite Man Shes Hot to earn her first victory. The Manofmanymissions daughter and driver Phil Hudon sprinted down the stretch to a 1:59.2 clocking, three lengths ahead of Man Shes Hot and pacesetter Whole Lot Of Sugar. "She's a nice filly. She run last week, but I liked her a lot," said Guelph resident Hudon, who salvaged a fifth-place finish in an overnight event at Mohawk on July 14 after the filly made an early miscue. "She has a great attitude and trots nice, she was well in hand." Michigan-based trainer Kevin St. Charles conditions Powerful Mission for owner E C S Racing LLC of Rockford, MI. Thursday's outing was Powerful Mission's second start and her first appearance in the Grassroots program. Powerful Mission The final Grassroots trophy went home with Anikadabra, who got a confident steer from driver Rick Zeron. Starting from Post 7, Zeron sent Anikadabra straight to the front and never looked back, cruising through fractions of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:29.4 en route to a 1:59.3 victory. Fan favourite P C Pipe Dream was three lengths back in second and Late Shift was another length back in third. "She's a real nice filly, very, very nice," said Oakville resident Zeron, who pilots Anikadabra for trainer Rob Fellows of Rockwood, ON. "Very sensible, very knowledgeable, very smart, everything you ask her to do she does. "Rob had said to me that he was really, really high on this filly. He really likes her a lot, and it showed tonight that Rob was right, that she's a real nice filly," the reinsman added. "She just does everything you ask her to do. She can leave the gate like a pacer, which is great because you're never going to get yourself in any trouble, and you know every time she heard a horse behind her coming, and the guys barking at their horses, she just took off by herself. I was just sitting in the cart with her tonight." A Kadabra half-sister to $1.2 million winner Resolve, Anikadabra is owned by her breeders, Edward Wilson of Seagrave, ON and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. The filly is a second generation product of the partner's breeding program. Her mother Anikawiesahalee is a half-sister to their former Gold Series winner Wilsonator ($496,049) and Grassroots champion Legzy ($277,660). Anikadabra Thursday's outing was Anikadabra's second; she finished fourth in the Grassroots opener at Georgian Downs on July 10. The freshman trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on Friday, July 29. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on both Friday and Saturday evening. Friday's program features six $18,000 Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies and Saturday's card will see the third Gold Series battle between the three-year-old pacing colt titans. Post time for both events is 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

JULY 20, 2016 - Long before two-year-old trotting colt Kitarro made his Grand River Raceway debut in the second of four Grassroots divisions on Wednesday evening, trainer Kyle Reibeling thought the youngster might find success on the Elora harness racing oval. "Once he got rolling and we got him working in our sets, I thought this is kind of a nice little half-mile type horse," recalled Reibeling. "He's handy, he's a professional. I'm not going to say he's a world champion, but he's a handy little horse that's going to produce and make some money." Kitarro proved Reibeling right on Wednesday, adding a Grassroots win to the third-place result he posted in the July 9 season opener. In rein to Puslinch resident Paul Mackenzie, Kitarro left smartly from Post 4 and settled into third as Northern Dazzle and fan favourite Critical Mass tussled through a :31.1 opening quarter. The pair continued to sit third as Critical Mass led the field of five to a 1:02.3 half, but joined driver Alfie Carroll and My Big Kadillac in the outer lane heading for the 1:33 three-quarters. As Mackenzie tipped Kitarro out three-wide for the stretch battle, My Big Kadillac's race bike wheel snagged Critical Mass's wheel, which took both colts out of the running. Clear of the confusion, Kitarro coasted home an eight length winner in 2:03.2. Northern Dazzle was second and Critical Mass third. "Paul did an excellent job, he had him in position, he was right up tight on Alfie's (Carroll) back and he was swelling up around the last turn," noted Reibeling, whose late father Norman served as the long-time paddock blacksmith at Elmira and Grand River Raceways. "It's hard to say what would have happened had they not hooked up, but he was in full flight when he tipped him off Alfie's back and he kind of looked like he was going to go on by anyway, and he was pretty well in command once he did." The win gives Kitarro a total of 62 points in the race toward a Grassroots post season berth and ups his earnings to $11,160, more than recouping the $8,500 BenBar Stables of Oakville offered up to bring the Southwind Lustre son home from the 2015 Canadian Yearling Sale. "The BenBar Stables, they actually picked him out as a yearling, and they're good guys," said Reibeling, who acquired a share in the colt before his first start. "It's really nice to produce results for such good people." Kitarro and his peers will make their next Grassroots start on July 28 at Mohawk Racetrack, and while Reibeling anticipates that the colt will deliver his best results over smaller ovals, he is confident the trotter will be ready for battle. "I expect this colt will get a little better as he goes on. I'm not sure Mohawk, his next sires stakes, will be his forte because he's a small colt that's quite handy," said the Campbellville resident. "But we'll just have to race him accordingly over the big track." Two of Wednesday's Grassroots divisions went to colts that had already acquired Ontario Sires Stakes trophies for their owner's display cases. Rosberg scored his second straight win in the first division, going gate-to-wire in 2:01.3 for driver Jack Moiseyev of Moffat, trainer Julie Walker of Carlisle and her partners Ronald Piers of Georgetown and Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke, ON. Zorgwijk Rocket and Mr Marshmellow finished behind the fan favourite in second and third. Manofmanymissions son Rosberg has also repaid his purchase price of $13,000 US from the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale, netting a total of $19,000 with his Grassroots victories. In the third division Themanofmydreams made his second appearance in the Grassroots winner's circle with a front-end effort that saw him hit the wire in 2:03.3. Little Lion Man and Lexus Gilmore rounded out the top three. Denis St. Pierre drives Themanofmydreams for trainer Tiffanee Staley of Guelph, ON and her partners Alexandre and Christian Pilon of St-Eustache, QC and Jesse Legault of Lorraine, QC. The Muscle Mass son was a $22,000 acquisition from the Canadian Yearling Sale. The final Grassroots division went to the colt that finished fourth behind Kitarro in the July 9 season opener at Georgian Downs. Starting from Post 1 in Wednesday's test, Tougher Than Ever sat third through the first half of the mile, following Dontcrampmystyle and favourite Warrawee Shipshape, then stepped into the outer lane and powered past the leaders to a two and one-quarter length victory in 2:02.2. "He was very good," said Guelph resident James MacDonald, who engineered the Kadabra colt's first victory for New Jersey-based trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Mel Hartman of Ottawa, ON, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL. "He is very green, but he has a big motor. He didn't seem to mind being first up and was strong right to the wire." Warrawee Shipshape settled for second and pacesetter Dontcrampmystyle was third. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Friday, July 29 with Grassroots action for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Racing

JULY 18, 2016 - From the moment Soiree Seelster arrived in Tony O'Sullivan's barn she was so laid-back the Puslinch resident occasionally wondered if something was wrong with the harness racing two-year-old pacing lass. "I was actually talking to Sylvain (Filion) about it tonight, she's, you know, she's just really, really relaxed, she always has been. She just takes everything in stride; she doesn't shy away from anything," O'Sullivan explained. "She worries me sometimes, because she's so quiet at home you think there's something wrong with her, but there's not. "When she gets to the races she sharpens up a bit, but even then, she's just very, very professional," he added. "Her attitude is really, really good." On Monday evening Soiree Seelster did her best to calm all of O'Sullivan's worries with a victory in her $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold Series division at Mohawk Racetrack. In rein to Milton resident Filion, Soiree Seelster eased away from the centre of the starting gate and was sitting fifth when Royal Point paced by the quarter pole in :27.3. Heading for the :57.1 half Soiree Seelster stepped into the outer lane behind fan favourite Sir Native and Thorne Seelster, and the trio of fillies made steady gains on the leader through the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Turning for home Soiree Seelster was less than two lengths behind the leader and a sharp finishing kick propelled the filly to a two length victory in 1:54.2. Thorne Seelster finished second and Royal Point was five more lengths back in third. "Sylvain's taught her how to race in both the qualifiers, plus her two races," noted O'Sullivan. "Obviously we got the win tonight, but I love the way he's bringing her along." Monday's outing was Soiree Seelster's second in the Gold Series. The daughter of Big Jim and Smilesplace finished a hard-closing third in her July 5 OSS debut after logging a second in qualifying action on June 25 and a third on June 10, all three over the Mohawk Racetrack oval. O'Sullivan shares ownership of Soiree Seelster with Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton and Lorne Keller of Exeter, ON. The group purchased the filly out of the 2015 Forest City Yearling Sale for $53,000 and have recouped $47,600 through two starts. "She was a really good looking strong filly, as you can see on the track, and we kind of liked the pedigree and the cross and decided to just take a swing on it," recalled O'Sullivan. "She never really had a bad day - I mean I never get very high on them until they qualify - but we liked her all winter." Soiree Seelster will make her third lifetime start in the August 12 Gold Series event at Mohawk. Soiree Seelster The other two Gold Series divisions on Mohawk's Monday evening program were captured by Future Headlines and Blameitonthenight, both piloted by Milton resident Randy Waples. Sent off as the favourite in the first division, Future Headlines took command heading by the three-quarters and powered home a one and one-half length winner in 1:55. Windy Sport and Bid Writer rounded out the top three, making it a sweep for daughters of Sportswriter. Waples engineered the win for trainer Colin Johnson of Repentigny, QC and his partners Thomas Kyron of Toronto and David Heffering of Port Perry, ON. Monday's outing was Future Headlines' first, coming after a 1:54.4 win in a July 8 qualifier at Mohawk. Future Headlines Blameitonthenight captured the third Gold division, controlling the tempo for much of the mile and then waging a fierce duel with Yaris Bayama in the stretch, hanging on for a neck victory in 1:53.2. Out Of Sight finished third, three lengths behind the duelling leaders. Trainer Tony Alagna of Manalapan, NJ shares ownership of Blameitonthenight with Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, NY and Donna Ozment, also of Manalapan. The Mach Three daughter is now two-for-two after capturing an overnight event at Mohawk on July 12. Blameitonthenight Many of the fillies in Monday's Gold Series event will make their next start in the Battle of the Belles eliminations at Grand River Raceway on July 25, with the final slated for Aug. 1. The freshman pacing fillies will return to Gold Series action, and Mohawk Racetrack, on Aug. 12. On Tuesday, July 19, the Campbellville oval will welcome the two-year-old trotting fillies for their second Gold Series start. The fillies will face off in Races 2, 3, and 8, with racing getting under way at 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

JULY 14, 2016 - Conditions were not ideal for their third Grassroots event, but Ontario's three-year-old trotting fillies still turned in some impressive harness racing performances at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. The 11 fillies in the third $18,000 division paraded onto the racetrack in the driving rain, but neither the weather nor Post 9 kept Myretirementticket from picking up her second straight Grassroots trophy. In rein to Moffat resident Jody Jamieson, the fan favourite watched from the outer lane while second choice Powerful Glare carved out the mile, then powered down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length win in 1:59.3. Powerful Glare stayed game for second and Silky Flashy Nfast closed hard to be third. "I actually went over after the race to say 'Hi' to her and she wasn't happy to see me at all. I think it was because of the trip I gave her," quipped Jamieson. "She didn't see the rail the whole way, but I was never more confident in a horse as she sloshed along in the pouring rain." Eli Wagler of Ingersoll bred, owns and trains Myretirementticket. The daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and Shine Again was also victorious in the July 1 Grassroots event at Dresden Raceway and finished second in the June 14 season opener at Mohawk, giving her 125 points and top spot in the division standings. In seven sophomore starts the filly now has two wins, one second, two thirds and earnings of $24,468. As a two-year-old Myretirementticket was a three-time Grassroots winner, including her Semifinal, and finished third in the season-ending Championship. "She's a sweetheart to drive and I'm hoping Eli (Wagler) gives the Gold a try soon," Jamieson added. Myretirementticket Two races later, Haileysgonedancing jumped up the point standings with her very first Ontario Sires Stakes win. Although the rain had stopped, the racing surface was still rated sloppy, three seconds slower than normal, but that fact did not deter driver Sylvain Filion from sending Haileysgonedancing straight to the front from Post 9. The Manofmanymissions daughter slogged through fractions of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:28 on her way to a one and one-half length win in 1:58 over Sunrise Avenue. Very Classy finished third. "She's a good honest filly, she gives everything she's got," said trainer Tony O'Sullivan. "She's honest as the day is long." The Puslinch resident shares ownership of Haileysgonedancing with Kirk McKinnon of Brampton and Lorne Keller of Exeter, ON. Although she missed the board in the Grassroots season opener, the filly was a hard fought second in the Dresden event and Thursday's victory moves her into fourth spot in the division standings with 78 points. "The Grassroots is a good spot for her," noted O'Sullivan. "She's done a good job." Haileysgonedancing Flanking Haileysgonedancing in the point standings are Could It Be Magic and Magical Steph, who also captured their Grassroots divisions on Thursday. Could It Be Magic kicked things off in the first $18,000 division, reeling in pacesetter Trumpets in the stretch and reaching the wire in 1:59.4. Majestic Mistress closed hard to finish second, one and one-half lengths behind the fan favourite, while Trumpets held on for third. Wayne Henry of Arthur drives, trains and shares ownership of Could It Be Magic, who was a three-time Gold Series winner at two, with Fred Brayford of Alliston, ON. Thursday's win was the first of the season for the Kadabra daughter, and combined with her runner-up finish in the Grassroots season opener gives her a total of 75 points. Could It Be Magic Henry's brother Trevor piloted Magical Steph to victory in the second division, sending the heavy favourite to the front before the halfway marker and cruising home in 1:59.2. Pocket-sitter Stonebridge Peace finished one and three-quarter lengths back in second and Profound Patience recovered from an early break to be third. It was the second straight Grassroots win for Magical Steph, who is trained by Gary Lance for GL Racing Inc. of Port Perry, ON. The Kadabra daughter currently sits second in the standings with 108 points, 17 behind Myretirementticket. Magical Steph The evening's final Grassroots contest went to Anneli Hanover, who sprinted down the stretch to reel in favourite Magical Valentine and Traviata in a personal best 1:58.1. Guelph resident James MacDonald engineered the two and three-quarter length win for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne and owners Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Landmark 8 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall and Barry White of Ottawa, ON. "I didn't really want to cut it, because I saw she got beat a couple times on the front," said MacDonald, who was making his first appearance in the Majestic Son daughter's race bike. "So I landed in the two-hole, and I ended up in the three-hole, but around the last turn she felt good and when she got room she just flew, she won very easily." The win was the filly's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, but her fourth on the season. After going winless at two, Anneli Hanover boasts a sophomore record of four wins and one second in nine starts for earnings of $22,500. Anneli Hanover The sophomore trotting fillies will return to Mohawk Racetrack for their fourth Grassroots start on August 9. On Friday's program Mohawk puts the spotlight on the two-year-old pacing colts, who will wage their second Grassroots battles in Races 2, 7, and 8. Post time for the first race at the Campbellville oval is 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

JULY 14, 2016 - Two-year-old pacing fillies take centre stage at Clinton Raceway on Sunday as the Ontario Sires Stakes program makes the first of three stops at the half-mile oval. Trainer Gregg McNair will harness two fillies in the Grassroots contest, and Loves Angel has already tested her skills over the Clinton surface. "I qualified them about a week earlier than we normally do so I was kind of looking for a race for her," explained the trainer. "I knew she was going to race there, so I thought I'd just see how she got around the place." In spite of competing against a group of older fillies and mares, and starting from the outside Post 7, Loves Angel finished second in the June 26 test. The filly's next start came in the July 8 Grassroots opener at Mohawk Racetrack where she led for most of the mile before fading to eighth in the stretch. "She really didn't race that good. We were kind of disappointed in her, but we've had some sickness going through our barn," explained McNair, adding that the filly seems to have bounced back from her bout of sickness and should be back on form for Sunday's test. "She trained down good, she's a good bred mare too," noted McNair, who purchased the half-sister to $292,179 Sir Lehigh Z Tam from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $20,000. "She's on the small side, but she done everything pretty good all winter." The Guelph, ON resident shares ownership of Loves Angel with Jim Newton of Thornhill, ON and Kenneth Newton of Biggar, SK. McNair's son Doug will steer the filly from Post 6 in the first $18,000 Grassroots division. McNair's second entry, Shewearsthepants, will start from Post 3 in the second division. A recent arrival in Ontario, the Big Jim daughter was sent to McNair from Pennsylvania-based trainer Roly Mallar. "I asked him how she'd be in Clinton, and he said he always trains over a half. He said it shouldn't be a big problem with her," says McNair, who will get his first good look at the filly's ability on Sunday. "She's flighty enough, she'll likely be worked up fairly good there Sunday, so I hope she does all right. Time wise she looks like she's got enough speed to maybe contend with them." Before shipping north Shewearsthepants clocked a 1:55.1 mile in a July 8 two-year-old event at The Meadowlands. Anatolia Farm LLC of New Holland, PA bred and owns Shewearsthepants, a half-sister to $136,164 winner Gymokee Jerry. Fans can get involved in Sunday's Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) action by entering the "Be A Winner" contest. One finalist will be selected from each of the "Be A Winner" ballot boxes representing the horses in the contest race. Finalists receive an OSS t-shirt, ball hat, and lanyard badge along with a $15 win-place-show wager on their selected horse, and will gather trackside to cheer home their chosen filly. The finalist representing the winning filly will join her connections in the winner's circle celebrations and receive a trophy, an OSS jacket and golf shirt, a commemorative photo and a $50 wagering voucher. In addition to playing the "Be A Winner" contest and watching the freshman fillies battle in Grassroots action, fans can also enjoy the barbecue and bake sale being hosted by the major atom and major peewee Huron Perth Lakers. The Huron Perth Lakers Day at the Races also features a raffle and 50-50 draw. The first race on Clinton Raceway's action-packed Sunday afternoon program goes behind the starting gate at 1:30 pm and the two-year-old pacing fillies will star in Races 2, 6 and 9. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 11, 2016 - Less than two weeks after they made their 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) debut, Mohawk Racetrack welcomed back the harness racing three-year-old trotting colts on Monday for two $105,000 Gold Series divisions and crowned a pair of first-time OSS winners. Impressed with his runner-up effort in the season opener, fans sent Muscle Hustle off as their top choice from Post 3 in the first division. The colt and driver Randy Wales responded with a confident move to the front just past the :27.4 quarter, a spot they refused to relinquish when pressured by last year's division champion Tony Soprano heading for the :56.4 half. Having dealt with the initial challenge Muscle Hustle pulled away from the field by the 1:24.2 three-quarters and powered across the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Sass and Smoke Monkey. The 1:52.4 clocking lowered the colt's personal best by almost two full seconds. "He's never been there before, and that's a big mile for any three-year-old trotter this early in the year," said Milton, ON resident Waples from the winner's circle. "He just seems to be getting a little bit better each week too. He started out good, but each week he seems to get even a little bit more better than he was, so it'll be interesting to see what he does down the road." Waples drives the son of Muscle Mass and Crown Laurel for trainer Per Henriksen and owner Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood, ON. In seven sophomore starts Muscle Hustle has tallied five wins and one second for earnings of $112,100. The trotter made just three starts last season, posting one win and one third-place result. Muscle Hustle The second division saw June 27 winner Will Take Charge established as the heavy favourite and driver Paul MacDonell also chose to the put the colt on the front, leaving strongly from Post 6 and taking command just after the :27 quarter. Will Take Charge went unchallenged through a :56 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters, but Warrawee Roo had been stalking the pace from the outer lane and when the field squared up in the stretch and driver Sylvain Filion asked for another gear, Warrawee Roo sprinted by the pacesetter to a 1:53.3 victory. Will Take Charge settled for second and Dia Monde was third. "Tonight I thought he was maybe second best with the nine-hole, but it turned out he raced really huge and he dug in," said Filion. "He's a really, really nice horse." Warrawee Roo looked poised to win his division in the opening leg of the Gold Series, but skipped off-stride and finished seventh. He also made a mistake in his sophomore debut, but in between he was flawless, scoring three victories between May 19 and June 16. Milton resident Filion pilots Warrawee Roo for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC and gives high praise to Blais for the work he has done on the colt. "Luc's working very hard with him and trying to figure him out, all his little problems," noted the reinsman. "If he ever gets him 100 per cent, he's the best in there, in that category anyway." Warrawee Roo The three-year-old trotting colts will square off in their third Gold Series event on August 10 at Grand River Raceway. On Tuesday evening the Grassroots colts will take over where their Gold Series peers left off, arriving at Mohawk Racetrack for five $18,000 divisions. Racing begins at 7:30 pm and the sophomore trotting colts and geldings will battle in Races 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9. Ontario Racing  

JULY 9, 2016 - Georgian Downs showcased the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Saturday evening and Innisfil area harness racing fans were treated to impressive performances by the Ontario Sires Stakes program's future stars. Three $70,000 Gold Series divisions and four $18,000 Grassroots divisions went postward and Mass Production kicked things off in the first race with a commanding 1:59 victory for trainer-driver Rick Zeron. The heavy favourites finished two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Lucys Man and Northern Major to earn the Gold Series trophy. "I was very confident in my colt," said Zeron after the front-end victory. "He's been a great colt since the day we put the harness on him. He's very versatile I can do whatever I like with him; I can go to the front with him, I can race him out of a hole, whatever it is, he just responds so well, he's like driving a four-year-old horse." The Oakville resident shares ownership of Mass Production with James Walker of Port Perry and Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON. The trio purchased the Muscle Mass son for $32,000 from last fall's Canadian Open Yearling Sale and he has already banked $42,000 in two starts, winning both. "I'm very pleased with him and I know he will step up in the near future and trot in 1:55," added Zeron. "I'm quite pleased with him and I'm real happy for my partners Jim Walker and Bruno Dipoce, really happy for them, because, you know, it's a long winter when you buy your yearlings and you take your time." Rose Run Speedster captured the second Gold Series division, with driver Anthony MacDonald employing come-from-behind tactics to land the Windsong Espoir son in the winner's circle. The colt sprinted down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 2:00.1. Life Well Lived was second, edging out favourite Uknow What To Do. "This colt has never had a shortage of speed, and has never had to be shown how to win," said MacDonald. "I'm very excited to race this colt all summer." MacDonald's wife Amy conditions Rose Run Speedster for the Rose Run Speedster Stable of Guelph, one of the fractional ownership groups in the couple's new business venture, thestable.ca. "Obviously Amy and I are very pleased to see thestable.ca get its first major stakes win," said the Guelph resident. "Rose Run Speedster was inexpensive in Harrisburg at $14,000, but he has shown just why fractional ownership is so important for horse racing - a large group of owners at the track and in the winner's circle who would have otherwise been at home tonight." Rose Run Speedster also has two starts under his belt, with Saturday's victory and a fifth in a June 21 overnight event at Mohawk Racetrack giving him an earnings total of $9,700. The final Gold Series division saw trainer-driver Luc Ouellette go straight to the front from Post 1 with Speedycrest and sail through fractions of :29, :58.4 and 1:29.4 on the way to a 1:59 victory, six lengths ahead of One Of The Few and favourite Clarion Hall. "He minded his manners tonight, because he's shown a couple times that at the gate he could make a mistake, but I guess he's learning," said Ouellette. "He went a good mile, we're real happy with him." Owned by Ecuries Richelieu Inc. of Venise-En-Quebec, QC, Speedycrest learned his early lessons under the tutelage of Joliette, QC resident Claude Beausoleil. After a pair of qualifiers and one overnight test at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres, making a break behind the gate and being pulled up on May 28, scoring a 2:00.3 win on June 14, and recovering from an early break to be second on June 26, Beausoleil sent Speedycrest to Ouellette's Campbellville, ON facility. "They've been mentioning to me for the last two months how good he's been training, and they were saying that he would do well in the first Gold, and they were right. They sent him, and he was ready, and he did well in the first Gold," said Ouellette. "He got here 10 days ago and he's done nothing but nice things, he's one of those horses that whatever you want to do, he's game for. "I think he's just learning all the time and good experiences will lead to better things," added the horseman. Angus Hall son Speedycrest and his peers will make their second Gold Series start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 25. In the Grassroots divisions, Tycoon Seelster opened the season with a 2:02.3 effort for driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown and owner Chris Storms of Picton, ON. The Angus Hall son overcame an early break in stride to best Pennant Seelster by three-quarters of a length and Kitarro by two and one-quarter lengths. A $23,000 purchase at the Forest City Yearling Sale, Tycoon Seelster is a full-brother to $658,058 winner Traverse Seelster. The well-bred youngster had just one qualifier under his belt heading into Saturday's test, a third-place result at Mohawk Racetrack on July 1. The second Grassroots split saw trainer-driver Ondrej Gois and Mr Marshmellow go gate-to-wire in 2:02.1, hitting the finish five and three-quarter lengths ahead of LMC Mass Gem and six more ahead of My Big Kadillac in a race that was cut down to five starters due to scratches related to sickness. Rockwood, ON resident Gois also owns Mr Marshmellow, a son of Federal Flex and Ultra Chic. The colt made an error in his first qualifier on Jun 24 at Mohawk, then finished second in his July 1 effort, just ahead of Tycoon Seelster. Veteran reinsman Jack Moiseyev also chose to control the tempo with Rosberg in the third Grassroots division. The Moffat, ON resident put Rosberg on the front heading for the half and never needed to glance over his shoulder, sailing across the finish line two lengths the best in 2:02.2. More Than Majestic and favourite Motown Jackpot completed the top three. Moiseyev crafted the win for trainer Julie Walker of Carlisle and her partners Ronald Piers of Georgetown and Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke, ON. The Manofmanymissions son, a $13,000 purchase from the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale, prepped for his Ontario Sires Stakes debut with June 24 and July 1 qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack, finishing seventh and second, respectively. Fan favourite Themanofmydreams also cruised to an effortless victory in the last Grassroots division. The Muscle Mass son hit the wire in 2:02.3, four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Critical Mass and Yo Yo Mass, also sons of Muscle Mass. Denis St. Pierre of Guelph, ON piloted Themanofmydreams to the win for trainer Tiffanee Staley of Guelph and her partners Alexandre and Christian Pilon of St-Eustache, QC and Jesse Legault of Lorraine, QC. Like many of his peers, the Muscle Mass son had two qualifiers under his belt, both at Mohawk, a sixth-place result on June 24 and a 2:03 win on July 1. Themanofmydreams was a $22,000 purchase from the Canadian Open Yearling Sale. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings make their second Grassroots start on July 20 at Grand River Raceway. Having enjoyed the freshman trotting colt showcase on Saturday night, Georgian Downs fans will get a look at the two-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday night as they compete in their first Grassroots event. Post time is 7:15 pm and the fillies will test their skills in Races 3, 5 and 7. Ontario Racing

Winning is the only thing L A Delight and Lay Lady Lay have in common. Saturday's Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions at Mohawk Racetrack were captured by two very different harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies. The first $105,000 division was captured by L A Delight, the Ontario Sires Stakes division and O'Brien Award winning freshman star that trainer Bob McIntosh calls a "truly professional race filly." The second division went to first time Ontario Sires Stakes winner Lay Lady Lay, a long-legged lass that trainer Chris Matthews refers to, affectionately, as "a pain in the butt." Both fillies used similar race tactics to accomplish their Gold Series victories. Leaving from Post 1, driver Randy Waples allowed rivals Chris Christoforou Jr. and Good Will Hanover to reach the quarter first, in :27, but then the Milton, ON resident sent L A Delight to the front. The fan favourites rolled to a :55.3 half and 1:23.3 three-quarters and then powered home to a three and one-half length victory in 1:51.2. Good Will Hanover and Party In Rome dead-heated for second. "She's rounding into mid-season form. We couldn't be happier with her at this point," said trainer Bob McIntosh, who shares ownership and breeding credit on the champion filly with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. "She makes us all look good." The victory was L A Delight's third in six sophomore starts. The Bettor's Delight daughter also captured her division in the June 4 Gold Series opener at Mohawk and has now banked $187,420 for her owners this season, adding to the $704,335 she amassed at two. L A Delight's next start will be in the Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands on July 16, where she will once again take on North America's best. In the Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk on June 18 she finished a hard-closing third, just one length behind winner Pure Country, who is also expected to compete in the Mistletoe Shalee. L A Delight Three races later it was Christoforou who allowed his rivals a brief moment of pacesetting before sending Lay Lady Lay to the front. The filly was well in command before the :55.3 half and sailed through a 1:23.4 three-quarters before reaching the wire in a personal best 1:52. Fan favourite Cracklin Rosie finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second, two lengths ahead of third-place finisher Windsun Glory. Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou engineered the victory, Lay Lady Lay's first in Ontario Sires Stakes competition, for trainer Chris Matthews and his partners in the 1Posse2Steves4Brothers Stable of Guelph, ON. "He drove her twice last year, he's never been beat with her now, actually, so he knows the filly," said Matthews of Christoforou's race strategy. "She's a little bit easier to drive this year than she was last year, so yeah, he was full of confidence that's for sure." Lay Lady Lay made seven starts last season, appearing once in the Ontario Sires Stakes at the Grassroots level, and posted three wins and one second. This season she has emerged as one of the top fillies in the province, posting three wins, two seconds and three thirds in 10 starts for earnings of $153,029. "We always knew she had potential, we had a couple setbacks, but we knew she'd be better at three, she was so big and growthy," explained Matthews. "She hasn't had a lot of luck, but we always thought she'd be pretty competitive with this group of fillies." While it may be an advantage on the racetrack, Matthews notes that it is the Up The Credit daughter's size that has caused many of the issues for her long-suffering handlers. "She can be a handful," said the Guelph resident. "She's just so big, she doesn't even know what she's doing, she doesn't care." Any bumps and bruises the filly had inflicted in the days leading up to Saturday's victory were quickly forgotten when she captured her first Gold Series trophy, rewarding the creatively named ownership group that has waited patiently for her to display her true potential. "When we bought her I started getting phone calls that everybody wanted a piece of her," recalled Matthews. "The one posse is myself and two of my friends I grew up with (Jeff Bryan and Desmond Scott). My group of friends I grew up with they used to call us the Orangeville posse, so we went with that, and then two of my partners on the horse are Steve Bastead and Steve Byers, so that's two Steve's, and the three brothers are Gordie, Gary and Glen Lyon, so that formed the three brothers. "They all wanted in so we split her up between everybody, just to keep everybody happy, and they are," said the horseman. "Everyone is enjoying it and having some fun." Lay Lady Lay The three-year-old pacing fillies' Gold Series fun will continue on Civic Holiday Monday (Aug. 1) when they are part of the Industry Day celebrations at Grand River Raceway. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, when the Campbellville oval welcomes the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings for their second Gold Series event. Post time is 7:30 pm and the Gold Series battles will take place in Races 3 and 7. Ontario Racing

Harness racing colts take first steps down path blazed by successful siblings Four Grassroots divisions of two-year-old pacing colts went postward at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening and a quartet of well-bred youngsters took home the Ontario Sires Stakes hardware. Leading off in the first division, Bet On Brett and driver Mike Saftic took immediate control of the race from Post 1 and laid down fractions of :27.2, :57.3 and 1:27 on their way to a 1:54.4 victory. Streakavana closed hard to be second, one and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Mach Déjà Vu was hot on his heels in third. "He left the gate really sharp and then settled down nicely," said Campbellville, ON resident Saftic. "He got home very strong." Saftic qualified two other colts in the first division, including runner-up Streakavana, but chose the Marcel Barrieau trainee as his mount for the Grassroots season opener. "He looked more mature than the other two at this point," explained Saftic, who had not driven Bet On Brett before Thursday's contest. Barrieau prepped the Sportswriter son for his provincial stakes debut with a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk on June 17 and 25, finishing fourth in both outings. The Cambridge, ON resident shares ownership of Bet On Brett with Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueuil, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. The partners acquired the half-brother to three $150,000-plus winners for $80,000 at the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Bet On Brett In the second Grassroots division driver Mario Baillargeon also opted to control the pace, putting Play For Gold on the lead heading by the :28.1 opening quarter and carrying on through fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.1. Under fierce pressure from fan favourite Aston Hill Dave in the stretch, Play For Gold dug deep and kept a nose in front to secure the 1:543 victory. Aston Hill Dave settled for second and Silverinyourpocket closed hard to be third. Milton, ON resident Baillargeon crafted the win for trainer Jacques Dupont of Repentigny, QC and his partners in Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc., along with numbered company 9099 3833 Quebec Inc. of Sorel-Tracy, QC and Gestion C Levesque 2005 Inc. of St-Hyacinthe, QC. The group selected the Shadow Play son Play For Gold out of the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale, offering up $20,000 for the half-brother to two $100,000-plus winners. Play For Gold Sent off as the heavy favourite in the third division, driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON chose to continue the front-end trend, sending Mc Mach after the lead from Post 2. The Mach Three son powered through a :28.2 quarter, :57.1 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters before accelerating away to a two length victory in 1:54. Down On My Luck and Tremendous Play followed Mc Mach from start to finish, earning the second and third-place share of the $18,000 purse. MacDonell drove Mc Mach to the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and Randy Liepa of Livonia, MI. Like the first two winners, Mc Mach has several successful half-siblings, including former Grassroots regular Western Empress, a winner of $229,915 in her career to date. "He's improved nicely since his first qualifier," said MacDonell, who piloted the colt to a fourth-place results in a June 25 qualifier and a win in a July 1 effort, both at Mohawk. "He may step up to the Gold level before year's end." Mc Mach The final Grassroots division saw the only come-from-behind effort of the evening. Starting from Post 5, driver Sylvain Filion settled Yogi Bayama in the middle of the pack and watched as rivals Kingston Seelster and Master The View battled to a :27.1 first quarter. Favourite Master The View took over heading for the :57 half and continued to lead the field through the 1:26.1 three-quarters as Filion and Yogi Bayama stepped into the outer lane behind Pop N Liam. Turning for home Pop N Liam and Yogi Bayama were matching strides with Master The View, but when Filion asked his colt for another gear Yogi Bayama pulled away to a two length win in 1:54.1, leaving Master The View and Pop N Liam to settle for second and third. Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON trains Yogi Bayama for owner-breeder Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. The Sportswriter half-brother to $168,610 winner Urbana Bayama qualified at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 15, finishing fourth, and at Mohawk Racetrack on June 25, finishing sixth. The colt made his debut in a two-year-old overnight event at Mohawk on July 1, finishing second. "He's all right, he looked good tonight," said Bayama Farms' Yves Filion, who piloted the colt in his first qualifier. "He had a perfect trip and he looked like he win it kind of easy, but we don't know if he's going to be a good Gold or not. "A few more starts we'll know better how good he is," added the horseman, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame on August 3. "So far he looks all right. We hope for the best." Yogi Bayama Yogi Bayama and his peers will have their next opportunity to prove just how good they are when Mohawk hosts the second two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots leg on Friday, July 15. Mohawk Racetrack's two-year-old showcase continues tomorrow, July 8, as the Campbellville oval hosts the freshman pacing fillies in four Grassroots divisions. The first race goes in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm and the fillies will show off their skills in Races 3, 5, 7, and 9. Ontario Racing

JULY 5, 2016 - Two-year-old trotting fillies were the stars of the show at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, making their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts in a trio of $70,000 Gold Series divisions. Winter Sweet Frost kicked things off in the first race with an effortless front-end tour of the Innisfil oval, clocking fractions of :30.2, :59.3 and 1:29.4 on her way to a 1:59.3 victory. Lady Justice closed to within one-half length of the pacesetter to secure second-place honours and Gravitator was a length back in third. "She raced good tonight," said driver Doug McNair. "The track hasn't been that fast up there, so to go a mile in 1:59.3, I think that's a pretty good mile for a two-year-old trotting filly's first lifetime start." The Guelph, ON resident piloted Winter Sweet Frost to victory for trainer Paul Reid of De Leon Springs, FL and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The Kadabra daughter was sent off as the fan favourite after winning a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 10 and 24, and McNair said he was impressed with the filly long before she made her public debut. "The main thing about her is she's nice gaited and she's smart," said McNair, who first sat behind Winter Sweet Frost in a spring training mile. "You can make a lot of money with one's like that, rather than a high speed one that's half crazy." After finishing third with Gravitator, driver Sylvian Filion found the winner's circle in the second Gold division, piloting On A Sunny Day to a come-from-behind victory in 1:59. The duo reeled in pacesetter Sweet Of My Heart and pocket sitter Im Peekers, reaching the wire one-half length the best. "She really impressed me," said Filion, who crafted the victory for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and Determination of Montreal, QC. "That was the first time I sat behind her, but Luc always told me he really, really liked her and you know what, he was right. She was real impressive tonight." Blais also bred the daughter of Muscle Mass, who prepped for her Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) debut with qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack on June 16 and 24, finishing fourth and second, respectively. "Her last baby race she came a last quarter in :27.1," noted Milton, ON resident Filion. "She's a handy filly, she's pretty easy to drive, she's pretty mature for her age, and she's got wicked speed, so it's a good combination." Filion, who was the leading reinsman in the OSS in 2015, was also impressed with Gravitator's third-place result. "I really liked the way she raced tonight, we got interfered with, were gapped, and she was still only beat a length and a half or something like that," said the reinsman. "She came a very good last half." Blais trains the Kadabra daughter, a full-sister to former OSS star and $870,153 winner Prestidigitator, for Determination. She was an $80,000 acquisition from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The final Gold division was captured by Janderson and driver Paul MacDonell, who swept by duelling leaders Mass Psychology and Majestic Kat in the stretch and pulled away to a three length victory in 1:59.3. "The race set up kind of nice for her, she got away third in a nice spot there, and then the first and second horses went at it kind of hard down the backstretch, which kind of made the race for her," said MacDonell. "In her only qualifier she did have a lot of trot on the end of her mile, so I was a little bit confident," added the reinsman, who tipped the filly out three-wide around the final turn to take clear aim on the finish line. MacDonell pilots the Muscle Mass filly for trainer Mike Keeling of Cambridge and owners Dr. Roly Armitage of Dunrobin and James Armitage of Carp, ON. A $14,000 purchase from the Canadian Open Yearling Sale, Janderson learned her early lessons from the Armitage's before making the move to Keeling's barn. "They trained her down in the Ottawa area and then they sent her to Mike just recently," noted MacDonell. "They did a good job with her, a very nice job. "They were pretty pumped, it was a big win for them," the Guelph, ON resident added. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start on July 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. This Saturday, July 9, Georgian Down will welcome the two-year old trotting colts to Innisfil for their Gold Series debuts. The evening's first race gets under way at 7:15 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 4, 2016 - Mohawk Racetrack hosted the first two-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes event of the season on Monday and the freshman pacing colts delivered a pair of impressive harness racing performances. In the first $105,000 Gold Series division driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON sent Calvin K to the front from Post 5 and the colt sailed through fractions of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:24.3 on his way to an uncontested 1:52.3 victory. Shadow Rouge finished three lengths back in second and Big Bad Bill was another length back in third. "Jody just figured it was a short field, and he wanted to try and control it, or have him up close, if he could and not put him in a bad spot," said trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Calvin K's front end effort. "And it worked out." A half-brother to $1.5 million winner Mypanmar, Calvin K arrived in O'Sullivan's barn in mid-May after spending the winter with Jeff Fout, the racehorse trainer for owner-breeder Winbak Farms of Chesapeake City, MD . "Jeff had said that he had acted like he was a nice colt all winter and the first time I trained him you could tell that there was a fair bit of speed there," noted O'Sullivan. Prepping for Monday's Ontario Sires Stakes event, Calvin K qualified at Mohawk on June 10 and raced in a two-year-old overnight event at the Campbellville oval on June 20, delivering off-the-pace victories in both. Those off-the-pace efforts were intentional steps in the Classic Card Shark son's education, and O'Sullivan expects to see more of that as the season progresses. "He's probably a colt that's going to need to race off the pace a little bit, he gets a little bit full of himself," said the Puslinch, ON resident. In addition to Calvin K's victory, O'Sullivan also earned runner-up honours in the second division with Happy Trio, a Mach Three colt he owns in partnership with Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton and Lorne Keller of Exeter, ON. "My little bull dog. He's a stout colt," said O'Sullivan with a chuckle. "He was pretty unassuming down to about 2:20, and then the first couple times we asked for a bit of speed you could just kind of tell that there was some there, and the more we trained him the more interested he got." Knowing he had two potential Gold colts in his barn, O'Sullivan put Calvin K in Jamieson's hands and assigned Happy Trio to last year's top OSS reinsman Sylvain Filion. In rein to the Milton, ON resident, Happy Trio won his June 10 qualifier and finished fourth to his stablemate in the June 20 overnight test. On Monday Happy Trio finished second to heavy favourite Sports Column, who wrested control of the race from Happy Trio just after the :27.3 opening quarter and then sailed along to a :57 half and 1:25.1 three-quarters before reaching the finish one and one-quarter lengths on top in 1:52.1. Classic Pro rounded out the top three, making it a sweep by Winbak Farm-breds. Campbellville resident Chris Christoforou Jr. piloted Sports Column to the win for trainer Blake MacIntosh of Cambridge, ON and Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. "He was my best colt training down, but... I thought he was a pretty special horse, but you never know until you get them there, we've been fooled before," said MacIntosh of the Sportswriter son. MacIntosh prepped Sports Column with a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk, on June 10 and 17, and the colt won both. On June 27 the youngster, a $20,000 acquisition from the 2015 Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale, made his debut in an overnight event for two-year-olds, where things did not go quite as smoothly. "He'd had the rail in both his qualifiers and then he was behind the car (Post 6) and he wouldn't go up behind the car," MacIntosh explained. "So he (Christoforou) backed him off, and then there was just no flow. It was just unfortunate luck in his first race." Sports Column and Christoforou still managed to salvage a second-place result, but the colt's connections were delighted to see him return to form on Monday. "Training down he was a very nice horse, hopefully, if everything goes right, we'll have a great season with him," said MacIntosh. Sports Column and Calvin K will have their second shot at a Gold Series trophy when the program returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, July 16. Tomorrow evening (July 5) the Campbellville oval welcomes the two-year-old pacing fillies for their Gold Series debuts. The pacing fillies will be featured in Races 8 and 9, with the action getting under way at 7:30 pm. Calvin K  Sports Column Ontario Racing

Betting Line returned to Ontario Sires Stakes action at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night and the North America Cup champion powered to a one and one-quarter length Gold Series victory in 1:49.4. Starting from Post 4, driver Jonathan Drury of Guelph, ON eased Betting Line away from the starting gate and settled into fourth as Nocturnal Bluechip and Sintra sprinted out to a :26.3 opening quarter. Heading for the :55.1 half Drury and Betting Line advanced up the outside on Sintra and driver Jody Jamieson, but Jamieson put his foot on the accelerator and Drury opted to hold his position rather than battle for the front end. Sintra led the field to the 1:22.3 three-quarters, but Betting Line was able to power by the pacesetter in the stretch, leaving Sintra to settle for second. War N Munn closed hard to be third in the $105,000 contest. "He raced good, as he always does," said trainer Casie Coleman of her star pupil. "JD (Drury) did a good job with him because he had a live splint bothering him and we were too close to the race to treat it." Coleman added that Betting Line is scheduled for a visit to the veterinarian on Monday to treat the splint, which caused the colt to run in slightly in the stretch, and should be back in fine form for the July 23 Gold event at Mohawk. "He's done that (run in) to me before with splint issues," noted the Cambridge, ON resident. "But we'll get it fixed up for the next Gold in three weeks' time." Following the July 23 Gold Series event, the reigning Ontario Sires Stakes champion heads south of the border for the Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park on August 13 and the Battle of Brandywine at Pocono Downs on August 20. Saturday's victory extended Betting Line's win streak to five, with his only loss of the season coming in his May 14 debut, where he was second. The Bettors Delight son has banked $1,172,422 in his career to date for owners Coleman, Ross Warriner of Burlington, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON. Magnum J captured the other Gold Series division, controlling the tempo for much of the race before cruising home a two and three-quarter length winner in 1:51. The mile time was a new personal best for the Big Jim son. Nvestment Bluechip and Voracity finished second and third. Doug McNair of Guelph piloted Magnum J to the win for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and his partners Tony Lawrence and William Brown of Hanover. The partners also raised a Gold Series trophy in the season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District on May 27. With two Gold Series victories Magnum J has sole ownership of top spot in the division standings with 100 points and will look to pad that lead when the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings return to the Campbellville oval on July 23. On Monday, July 4 Mohawk Racetrack will kick off the Ontario Sires Stakes two-year-old season with two Gold Series divisions for the freshman pacing colts. The newcomers to the provincial program will make their debuts in Races 2 and 3. First race post time is 7:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 1, 2016 - Driver Steve Byron provided the fireworks on Dresden Raceway's Canada Day harness racing program Friday, winning four of five Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions. The Thornton, ON resident opened the afternoon with an effortless score aboard Magical Steph, cruising along on the front end to a 1:58.1 victory, just one-fifth of a second off the all-age track record for trotters. The fan favourites hit the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Devils Advocate and Traviata. "I drove her some last year and she always had lots of go. Today Gary had her good and she win that race pretty handy," said Byron, who piloted the three-year-old trotting filly for trainer Gary Lance and GL Racing Inc. of Port Perry. "She's a very talented mare." Byron piloted Magical Steph to four Grassroots wins last season in a freshman campaign that saw the Kadabra daughter post a record of five wins, two seconds and earnings of $72,400. Friday's victory was the filly's first in three sophomore starts. In the second $18,000 Grassroots division Byron teamed up with P C Cantore for the first time and the duo popped out of the pocket in the stretch to reel in local favourite True Muscle, who had carved out fractions of :29.3, :1:01.2 and 1:33.1. P C Cantore hit the wire in 2:01.4, one-half length ahead of True Muscle, to claim her second straight Grassroots trophy. The Power Of Many completed the top three. "I didn't know what to expect, I'd never driven her before, but she raced great," said Byron of P C Cantore. "We got a good trip and she finished up strong. She's definitely one of the better ones too, I believe." Byron crafted the win for trainer, owner and breeder Peter Clements of Dobbinton, ON. The daughter of Cornaro Dasolo and former Grassroots winner Balladeer now boasts a record of five wins in eight starts and has sole ownership of top spot in the Grassroots point standings. Byron sat out the third Grassroots division and Jody Jamieson guided Myretirementticket to a 1:58.3 score, going gate-to-wire from Post 3. Haileysgonedancing finished one and one-quarter lengths back in second and fan favourite Moonlight Cocktail was four more lengths back in third. Moffat, ON resident Jamieson engineered the win for trainer, owner and breeder Eli Wagler of Ingersoll, ON. It was the first in six sophomore starts for the Cornaro Dasolo daughter, who won three Grassroots events at two, including her Semifinal. Back out on the Dresden half-mile for the fourth division, Byron guided Windsongmusclelady to an 11 and one-half length win over Malia and Its All About Sam in 2:01. The race was marred by an accident that saw driver Per Henriksen unseated, but fortunately resulted in no significant injuries to either Henriksen or his mount Smash Hit. It was the second win of the season for Byron and Windsongmusclelady, who is trained by John Bax of Campbellville, ON for his partners The Brabant Stable of London, ON. "She was real good today and she's just a great mare, she tries all the time," said Byron of the Muscle Mass daughter. Another Bax trainee carried Byron to his fourth win of the afternoon. Starting from Post 4 Byron put Miami Magic on cruise control and the Kadabra filly sailed through fractions of :30, 1:01.4 and 1:32.2 on her way to a 2:02.2 score, five and one-quarter lengths ahead of Onatopp and P L Jade. "I really like her, she's just a handy mare and when the favourite (Magical Valentine) made a break, she win pretty easy after that," said Byron of Miami Magic. "She's as good as any of them as far as I'm concerned." Bax, Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Gaelic Stable of Sharon and Don Allensen of Wyoming, ON share ownership of the filly, who bumped her sophomore record to four wins, two seconds, two thirds and earnings of $41,540 through 14 starts. "They all raced great," summed up Byron. "I liked their chances going in to tell you the truth. I wasn't surprised in any of them winning. "It was just a great day." Byron's next opportunity to sit behind his talented three-year-old trotting filly mounts will come on July 14 when the fillies make their third Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack. Ontario Racing

JUNE 30, 2016 - North America Cup champion Betting Line makes his return to the Ontario Sires Stakes program on Saturday evening and if the talented three-year-old pacing colt can extend his four-race win streak one lucky Mohawk Racetrack fan could find themselves in the winner's circle with a champion. Trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, ON says the colt enjoyed an easy week following his June 18 North American Cup triumph and has been gearing back up for Saturday's test. "I gave him an easy week the week after the NA Cup. He just went about four or five miles a day jogging," said Coleman, who shares ownership of the Bettor's Delight colt with Ross Warriner and Mac Nichol of Burlington, and Christine Calhoun of Chatham, ON. "Then I trained him up a couple trips on Tuesday and he's in to go Saturday in the Gold." Betting Line and driver Jonathan Drury of Guelph, ON will start from Post 6 in the eighth race, which is the featured race for the Ontario Sires Stakes "Be A Winner" contest. Fans can place their "Be A Winner" ballot in the box representing Betting Line or one of his rivals (from the rail out) Carolina Hurricane, War N Munn, Gerries Sport, Nocturnal Bluechip, Cruise Patrol, Sintra and Piranha. One ballot will be selected from each horse's box and those "Be A Winner" finalists will be treated to an OSS t-shirt, ball cap and lanyard badge, and a $15 win-place-show wager on their chosen horse. After cheering their horses home the finalist representing the winning horse will be welcomed into the winner's circle where they will have their picture taken with the horse and his connections and receive a trophy, an OSS jacket and golf shirt, and a $50 wagering voucher. Should Betting Line prevail in his first OSS start of the season the lucky "Be A Winner" contestant could have a memorable souvenir of the colt's sophomore campaign. Just the third Ontario Sired colt to win the North America Cup, Betting Line has stakes engagements on both sides of the border this season after racing exclusively in Ontario as a two-year-old. "He actually has a three week break after Saturday and then he'll go to the Gold again - it's at Mohawk again - and then after that he has two in the States. He's invited to a race at Northfield Park, it's called the Milstein (Memorial) I believe, and then he goes to Pocono Downs the following week for the (Battle of) Brandywine," noted Coleman. "Then he comes home I believe there's another Gold, the Simcoe and then the (Little Brown) Jug. "Going his fifth start of the year in 1:47.4 there the other day, I think he's definitely ranking right up there with my best ones I've had," added Coleman, who also trained 2010 North America Cup winner Sportswriter. "We'll see what he does as the season keeps progressing, but he's pretty talented." Mohawk Racetrack's Saturday evening program begins at 7:30 pm and the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their second Gold Series starts in Races 6 and 8. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Harness racing driver Mike Saftic picked up an extra mount 45 minutes before the first three-year-old trotting colt Grassroots division went behind the gate at Georgian Downs on Tuesday and turned the unexpected opportunity into an Ontario Sires Stakes driving double. Stepping into Parkhill Maximus's race bike for the first time, Saftic eased the gelding away from Post 4 and then found cover behind Ulysses Bi as that colt powered up the outside. Turning for home Saftic asked Parkhill Maximus for another gear and the Federal Flex son sprinted away from the field to a 1:59 victory. KFB Amigo Cool was two and one-quarter lengths back in second and Red Monster was third. "The trip set up good, he was second over and the other horse cleared. He got a nice little trip," said Saftic, who piloted Parkhill Maximus to the win for trainer Bill Shaw and owner Patricia Gibb of London, ON. The victory was the fifth trip to the winner's circle in 20 sophomore starts for Parkhill Maximus, and the gelding's first Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) victory. One race later Saftic was back in the winner's circle with one of his regular mounts, Bow Ties N Bourbon. The fan favourites led from start to finish, laying down fractions of :29.3, :59 and 1:29 before battling down the stretch to hold off UF Musclemass Star by a head in 1:59.3. Classical Son was three lengths back in third. "He showed some heart down the lane and got the job done," said Saftic. "He's a little bit of a trappy-gaited guy, and he was a little rolly today, but he hung on. "They were happy owners, put it that way," the Campbellville, ON resident added. "That's what it's about." Saftic piloted Bow Ties N Bourbon to his second win of the season, and first OSS victory, for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and owner Dona McDonald of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Trainer John Bax of Campbellville, ON made a rare appearance in the race bike in the third division, guiding Manofmanyimages to a 1:57.4 score for owners Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA, T L P Stable of Kearny, NJ and Joseph Lozito Jr. of Wayne, NJ. The pair finished one length ahead of Chestnut Schofield and four lengths ahead of Wildwild Men. A Grassroots winner at Georgian Downs last season, the Manofmanymissions son had been winless in three sophomore starts before Tuesday's triumph. The fourth division saw Holiday Party and driver Paul Mackenzie control the tempo with fractions of :28, 58.3 and 1:28.1 on their way to a one length score in 1:58. The Land Shark and favourite Muscles For Life, last year's Grassroots champion, finished second and third. Puslinch, ON resident Mackenzie engineered the win for trainer Dany Fontaine of Lachenaie, QC and owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. The win was the second straight for the Holiday Road gelding. Sylvain Filion, last year's leading reinsman in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, piloted JLs Bad Moon Risin to a win in the fifth division, guiding the Muscle Mass son to a 1:57.1 personal best. Favourite Donicus and P L Jerico, piloted by Saftic, rounded out the top three. Filion, who makes his home in Milton, ON, drove JLs Bad Moon Risin to the second Grassroots win of his career for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner Gestion J Y Blais Inc. of Montreal, QC. The final Grassroots trophy went to Georgies Pockets and trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev, who delivered a commanding four and one-half length victory over Asterix and Stormont Esquire. The 1:57.3 clocking was a personal best for Georgies Pockets, who was a four-time winner in the Grassroots as a two-year-old, including his Grassroots Semifinal. Moffat, ON resident Moiseyev conditions the son of Muscle Mass for owner-breeder M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. The three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will make their second Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 12, while Georgian Downs gets set to host the Gold Series debuts of the two-year-old trotting fillies on July 5 From the Ontario Sire Stakes

For the second straight year Dresden Raceway's annual Canada Day celebrations will feature some of Ontario's most talented three-year-old trotting fillies as the half-mile oval hosts five $18,000 Grassroots divisions. "People really look forward to the OSS," said Dresden Agricultural Society President Lucille Laprise. "And for them to come on Canada Day makes it that much more special." The trotting fillies will kick things off at 1:30 pm on Friday, July 1 and will also be featured in Races 2, 3, 5, and 7. In addition to the on-track excitement Dresden fans will enjoy a variety of give-aways, the Ontario Sires Stakes "Be A Winner" contest and the raceway's traditional eight foot long Canada Day cake. "We're encouraging people to wear their red of course, and we'll have our cake and our great give-aways - we've got red and white t-shirts that we're giving away," added Laprise. "And the drivers are going to be doing some tossing of the OSS t-shirts." Fans have an opportunity to win even more OSS apparel by entering the "Be A Winner" contest. Each finalist receives an Ontario Sires Stakes shirt, ball cap and lanyard badge, along with a $15 win-place-show wager on their selected horse, while the grand prize winner will take home a trophy, an official OSS jacket and golf shirt, a winner's circle photo with their chosen horse, and a $50 wagering voucher. Among the trotting fillies hoping to take home an OSS trophy is locally-owned True Muscle. The Muscle Mass daughter is owned by Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, ON and will benefit from Post 1 in the second Grassroots division. True Muscle scored her first lifetime win in the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on June 14, circling the seven-eighths mile oval in 1:57.1. She heads into Friday's test off a third-place finish in the Alliance Series Final at Georgian Downs on June 19. Keith Jones of Barrie, ON conditions True Muscle and the winner of $19,040 will be driven by the Ontario Sires Stakes program's leading reinsman, Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON. "We're quite grateful for the community support, and for all the great horses that come to race here in Dresden, and the drivers and the trainers and everybody," said Laprise. Dresden Raceway's Canada Day program gets under way at 1:30 pm, with the three-year-old trotting fillies featured in Races 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7. In addition to the Grassroots battles, contests, give-aways and cake, the final race of the afternoon will introduce fans to Racing Under Saddle (RUS), capping off another memorable Canada Day celebration at the Dresden oval. "We're hoping to have great weather and great horses and great fans and a great Canada Day," summed up Larprise. "You can't ask for any better." ched: True Muscle, pictured in her June 14 Grassroots win, will be hoping to earn a second trophy for owner Randy Zhok of Dover Centre when the Ontario Sires Stakes program stops at Dresden Raceway on Canada Day. (New Image Media photo) From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

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