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JUNE 1, 2019 - Of the 26 three-year-old pacing fillies that gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night for their first Gold Series harness racing event of the season, 11 were making their Ontario Sires Stakes debut and it was the debutantes that emerged victorious in all three divisions. Unraced at two due to an injury, Sunny Dee made her career debut on January 17 and had a flawless record of seven wins in seven starts heading into Saturday's first $73,867 Gold division. As a result, Woodbine Mohawk Park fans sent her off as the heavy favourite and the Bob McIntosh trainee did not disappoint, cruising to an effortless 1:52.3 victory over a rain-soaked track rated one second slower than normal. Deb and Chocolatemilktoast finished three and three-quarter lengths back in second and third. "She was really good tonight, but she has been, she's a special filly," said Trevor Henry, who drives Sunny Dee for Windsor resident McIntosh and his fellow owner-breeders Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The Sunshine Beach daughter, who bumped her career earnings to $172,578 with her eighth win, is eligible for the Fan Hanover Stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park next Saturday, June 8 and Arthur resident Henry is looking forward to tackling the best sophomore pacing fillies in North America with the talented youngster. The second division saw a trio of first-time OSS starters ranked as the fans' top choices and it was Betcha Baby who hung on for a nose victory over a hard charging Lovely Donna and Sports Flix. Milton resident Sylvain Filion drove Betcha Baby to the 1:54.1 victory for trainer Nick Gallucci of Brantford, ON and owner-breeders Velocity Standardbreds of Lebanon, OH. The win was the Bettors Delight daughter's second in seven lifetime starts and lowered her personal best by two-fifths of a second. Unlike Sunny Dee and Betcha Baby, Boadicea made five starts as a two-year-old, but trainer Bill Budd raced the long-legged filly exclusively at Woodbine Mohawk Park and opted to skip the freshman OSS events. However, with a trio of qualifiers and two starts under her belt this season, including a win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 20, Budd and driver Jonathan Drury were confident Boadicea was ready for the provincial stage. Boadicea scored the fastest win of the June 1 Gold Series opener for three-year-old pacing fillies, stopping the Woodbine Mohawk Park teletimer at 1:51.3 for driver Jonathan Drury.      ---New Image Media Starting from Post 6 Drury sent Boadicea to the lead and rolled through fractions of :27.2 and :55 before yielding to favourite Powerful Chris in the backstretch. After drafting behind the favourite through the 1:23.3 three-quarters Drury tipped his filly out in the stretch and Boadicea powered home to an impressive 1:51.3 victory. Powerful Chris settled for second, two and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Summer Charm was five more lengths back in third. "She's a big filly, a big filly. She's about 17 hands. She was growing so much we quit with her as a two-year-old," said Budd. "She's just, everything is push button about her, she takes care of herself. She's all heart and go." Budd trains the Big Jim daughter for Charles and Gordon Lawrence of Blenheim and was pleased to see Boadicea score a win for the owner-breeders. Unlike Sunny Dee, Boadicea is not eligible to the Fan Hanover stake so her next opportunity to shine will come in the second Gold Series event, June 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where Budd is confident she will deliver another strong effort. "She loves her job," said the Waterdown, ON resident. "She's always got the ears up looking for something, just especially to race, she loves it." In addition to the Gold Series event for the three-year-old pacing fillies, Woodbine Mohawk Park also hosted two divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday night and Ontario Sired horses delivered impressive results. Recent Gold Series winner Century Farroh extended his unbeaten streak to eight with a 1:52.4 victory in the first $80,000 division, holding off fellow OSS competitor Caviart Rockland by a neck. Better Up made it an Ontario Sired sweep with his third-place effort. Sylvain Filion piloted Mach Three son Century Farroh to the win for trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge and the Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS. In the second division Bettors Delight sons Best In Show and Stag Party finished second and third behind American-bred Tyga Hanover, who stopped the clock in 1:52.1. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park this week as the Campbellville oval welcomes the three-year-old trotting fillies for their Gold Series opener Monday and their Grassroots opener on Tuesday. Post time for both programs is 7:10 pm.   Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

Dresden, ON – The last time harness racing driver Gene Piroski got his picture taken in the winner’s circle was September 29, 2012, but Sunday could change that. The Cottam teamster scored his last win behind St. Lads Zoom at Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia. Piroski’s trademark black colors with white polka dots was a fan favorite at Dresden Raceway, but when Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal Government reneged on their memorandum of understand with Ontario Horsepeople and cancelled the Slots at Racetracks Program, he saw the writing on the wall and left the business. “It was pretty obvious that the harness racing industry was going to suffer and I didn’t want my family to suffer. I had to feed them the best way I know how, so I changed professions without having to pick up and move my family.” Piroski said. The 46-year-old driver left Ontario and worked out west for two years before coming back and landing a job at Chrysler in Windsor, but something was missing in his life. “I’ve been in this business my whole life and I love it. Leamington is just 15 minutes down the road and tracks like Dresden and Sarnia are perfect. I’m excited to be back in the bike and hope that I can hit 2,000 wins before I’m done,” he added. Piroski’s lifelong passion for harness racing never died and now he is back driving ready to build on his 1,686 victories and more than $9 million in purses earned. “It’s almost perfect that I can work all week, and then on weekends, I can drive horses.  It’s so nice to be back,” he said with a big smile. Piroski will be at the controls for 2-1 morning line favorite Darktwistedfantasy in the second race at Dresden Raceway. Darktwistedfantasy is looking to break the C100,000 lifetime earnings mark for Megan Meekison of Belmont with a win. The 8-year-old Artistic Fella mare has carded 21 wins and has C$98,986 in the bank. Sunday is Legion Day at Dresden Raceway as Legion members will be honored with the first 50 Legion members receiving free hats as well as a race named in their honor. Post time for the 10-race card is set for 1:30 p.m. By Dan Leary

MAY 31, 2019 - So Much More has not quite settled into her new digs at the Beatson farm in Granton, but the three-year-old pacing filly made herself right at home at The Raceway at Western Fair District on Friday night, scoring an impressive harness racing victory in her $22,450 Grassroots division. "She raced great, she raced awesome," said Ken Beatson, who shares ownership of the recently acquired So Much More with his father, trainer Don Beatson of Granton, and nephew Cole England of Exeter. "We've got a farm at our place out in Granton, and we've got lots of paddock area with lots of grass, but she hasn't really even settled down enough that we feel comfortable turning her out on her own yet." In the fourth race of the London oval's action-packed Camluck Classic program So Much More and driver Tyler Borth fired out to the lead from Post 2 and never looked back, controlling the tempo through fractions of :28, :58.2 and 1:26.2 before sailing home to a three length victory in 1:54.4. Cinderella Delight finished second and New Writer was third. "If she was good enough to make it to the front we were hoping that she could cut it," said Beatson, adding that the first turn was a bit of a worry. "Having raced here all our lives, we know that the first time here a lot of horses, especially ones that are a little bit heavy or hot or hyper, which she seems to be, can break in the first turn if you roll into it too fast. So we were just wanting to roll into that first turn and steady her around it. Survive the first turn and then go from there." The win was So Much More's fourth straight this season, but her first for the Beatson family, who purchased the filly from Prince Edward Island resident Doug MacPhee on May 21. Her first three wins came at the Charlottetown Driving Park in PEI and Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, NB. "That's kind of been our model for the last 15 years or so; to find a nice horse out East that is racing well, has proven themselves, but hasn't necessarily made a whole lot of money, because the purses are smaller out there," Palgrave resident Beatson explained. "So then we bring them over here and they fit the non-winners classes. We were hoping that this one would be good enough to maybe make a stake filly as well, and it looks like she is." Big Jim daughter So Much More will now have a few weeks to settle into her new home before the next Grassroots event, which does not go postward until June 20. A three-time Grassroots winner at two, Freya Seelster kicked off her sophomore campaign with another victory, going gate-to-wire from Post 4 in the first division. The Sunshine Beach daughter reeled off sharp fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.2 and battled through the wire to best Manhattan Night and Full Moon Fix in 1:55. "I was expecting that style of race," said trainer Shawn Steacy. "I was hoping the fractions wouldn't be as hot as what they were, :27 flat is a big quarter here for sure. That was a big mile and there were some other really nice fillies in there that almost got to her, but not today." Guelph resident Steacy shares ownership of Freya Seelster with his mother Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Guy Haskell of Guelph, ON and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, AB. Louis-Philippe Roy was in the race bike for Friday's victory, the filly's first in three tries this season. Driver Trevor Henry scored two Grassroots wins, guiding Pazza Hanover to a 1:58 win for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland and his partners Noblock Racing Stable and Wayne Carleton of Collingwood, ON and Crisp Mane to a 1:56.4 victory for trainer Gerald Lilley and owners Bill Manes of Rockwood and William Cripps of Acton, ON. The other divisions went to Charmbo Brie, driven to a 1:57.3 score by Mike Saftic for owner-trainer John Rier of Kitchener, Royalty Again, who was driven to a narrow 1:54.4 victory by Jody Jamieson for trainer Stephanie Jamieson and owner Lasvegas Stables Inc. of Toronto, ON, and Behavenmyself. Robert Shepherd drove Behavenmyself to the 1:56.3 win for trainer Gerard Demers and owners Les Ecuries GLD Inc. of St-Andre-Avelin and Jean Roch Marois of St-Joachim-de-Shefford, QC. After seven thrilling Grassroots races and four City of London finals, fans welcomed the Camluck Classic entrants to the racetrack in Race 12 and watched as The Wall delivered a thrilling upset, reeling in pacesetter and heavy favourite Done Well in the stretch to score a 1:52 victory. Rockin Speed and defending champ Rockin Ron also closed hard to finish second and third in the $157,000 contest, leaving Done Well to settle for fourth. Joe Bongiorno piloted Somebeachsomewhere son The Wall to the half-length victory for trainer Nicholas Surick and owner J L Benson Stables Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, FL. The win was the five-year-old gelding's fourth of the season and bumped his 2019 earnings to $216,720. Friday's program wrapped up The Raceway at Western Fair Raceway's spring meet. Racing will resume on October 4, when the London oval will welcome the top two-year-old pacing colts in Ontario for the last Gold Series Leg of their season. Complete results from Friday's Camluck Classic program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0531lonn.dat.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

Friday, May 31, 2019 - The Wall and driver Joe Bongiorno posted an upset harness racing win in the $157,000 second edition of the Camluck Classic Invitational on Friday night at The Raceway. Things got tense in the first turn as favourite Done Well and post-one starter Ideal Jimmy tussled for command with the later getting roughed gaited and rolling off stride. The pacer caused confusion to Southwind Amazon who was in behind him and left Done Well to establish an easy lead. In the meantime, stablemate Rockin Ron got away in the pocket position with The Wall settling away third in the : 27 second first quarter. Done Well got an easy first half of :56 seconds and it was at that point that The Wall began his move to the outside to challenge, pressing Done Well through three-quarters in 1:23.4. The top pair were matching strides on the final turn with longshot Rockin Speed in close pursuit in third and poised in the second-over spot. In the stretch, The Wall overtook the pacesetter and was able to fend off the late rush of Rockin Speed. Defending champion Rockin Ron came through for third with Done Well tiring late to finish fourth in the 1:52 mile. The victory was the fourth of the season for the five-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere who went over the $178,000 in seasonal earnings and $400,000 lifetime for the J.L. Benson Stables Inc. of Florida and trainer Nick Surick.                                                                                          ---Jake MacDonald photo The program wrapped up the 2019 Spring Meet at The Raceway with live racing returning to the London oval in October.   From WFD Media

MILTON, May 30, 2019 - Trainer Linda Toscano is hoping she's headed towards the top of harness racing's glamour boy division as she sends out the morning-line favourite Best In Show in the second division of the $160,000 Somebeachsomewhere Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Toscano, who hit career highs earlier in the decade with millionaires Chapter Seven, Market Share and Heston Blue Chip, once again has a shot at a million-dollar prize as she heads towards the Pepsi North America Cup with Best In Show off the heels of retiring Walner, who was considered the Hambletonian favourite in 2017, due to injury. "Walner broke my heart--I thought I had the best trotter in the world," Toscano said, "We kind of danced around a bit since then. We've had a couple of nice horses but for the most part I've had some pretty nice trotters recently and I haven't had a nice pacing colt in a while so this will be fun." Best In Show, a homebred son of Bettors Delight for Richard and Joanne Young out of their millionaire-mare Put On A Show, has only six starts on his record--three as a two-year-old and three so far this season. However, Toscano and the Youngs decided to send Best In Show to Tony O'Sullivan for his freshman season. "I just had a lot of horses," Toscano said. "I broke him, trained him and having one Ontario-sired horse that had to race [in the Sires Stakes] was a hard thing for me to do and try to do it right. We talked about it, the owner and I, and he didn't really want to ship him back and forth. "We had a horse or two with Tony before and he felt comfortable with Tony, so I was fine with that--Tony does a good job--so we shipped him up to Tony to race for us." Off two baby races in early July, Best In Show shipped north and debuted in a division of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold, where he finished fourth behind Bettors Wish, who recently won the $300,000 Art Rooney, and Stag Party, who went on to win the Metro Pace. He then won a preliminary of the Dream Maker series and finished second in the final. Rookie soreness developed and prompted Toscano to shut him down for the year by late August. "He was kind of following the plan exactly as we had hoped it was going to go but then he just came up sore after that last start," Toscano said. "I was up there for the Grand Circuit and went over him and made a decision that he was a quality horse and we thought we'd just shut him down and bring him back this year." The colt has since grown and developed enough to the point that the travel is no longer a concern. "He certainly didn't have a clue last year training down, and that's still an issue; he's a green colt," Toscano noted. "He's come a long way considering he's on a bit of a slow learning curve. I find with those Bettors Delights that's kind of the best part about them: they have good mouths and that Cam Fella line tends to get better and better. "The shipping is a funny thing. Back in the day, we didn't ship horses--we shipped them to the place and they stayed. Nowadays, the trailers are much more sophisticated, the roads are great, we know the traffic patterns for the most part and horses are used to shipping. Bottom line is if he had been a difficult horse to ship--if he'd been fractious or anything like that--he'd be here." Toscano isn't sure she will continue to ship Best In Show back and forth each week from her base in New Jersey. "If he does really well I might stay up there next week and go that route, so I'm going to take it week to week and decide what to do." Best In Show will start from post four in his division of the Somebeachsomewhere, carded as Race 6, with Bob McClure driving. He again faces Bronx Seelster and Stag Party, both of whom he beat last week with a career-best equaling 1:50.3 mile in a $108,800 division of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold. "With the field he's in against this week, he deserves a shot because he had a conditioning edge on those two colts last week, I knew that going in," Toscano said. "I knew this was a week he was going to beat them and I had a funny feeling he was going to have to do it on the lead because I figured Casie [Coleman] wasn't going to want to race [Stag Party] down the road and I figured the same with Bronx Seelster. Now you throw Captain Ahab into the mix and that's a pretty solid field of three-year-olds right there. If he can go with these then he deserves a shot at [the North America Cup]." Toscano has approached Best In Show's campaign going week to week, but the North America Cup has always been the goal for the inexperienced colt. "I think [that's] probably the case but you'll never get me to admit those kind of things," Toscano said with a laugh. "That's not who I am. I just try hard to let the horse tell me what to do and, God willing, he'll come out of it good and we'll take it to next week." Post time for Saturday's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7:10 p.m.   By Ray Cotolo for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, May 30, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park has released the qualifying and training schedule for the month of June, including two-year-old qualifying dates. Qualifiers will be held three-days-a-week during the month of June with two days each week reserved for two-year-olds. Qualifiers for three-year-olds and up will be held each Tuesday, while two-year-old qualifiers will take place at the end of the week. The Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) will sponsor the live stream of all qualifier during the month of June. A link to the live stream will be available at www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com and throughout the various Woodbine Standardbred social media accounts. Below are the qualifying dates for June. Tuesday, June 4 (3-year-olds & up) Friday, June 7 (2-year-olds) Saturday, June 8 (2-year-olds) Tuesday, June 11 (3-year-olds & up) Thursday, June 13 (2-year-olds) Friday, June 14 (2-year-olds) Tuesday, June 18 (3-year-olds & up) Friday, June 21 (2-year-olds) Saturday, June 22 (2-year-olds) Tuesday, June 25 (3-year-olds & up) Thursday, June 27 (2-year-olds) Friday, June 28 (2-year-olds)   Post time for qualifiers is 10 a.m. Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform horsepeople of a change to the training schedule.   The track and paddock will now be closed every Sunday and Monday. Training will also not be available on Wednesday, June 5 and Saturday, June 15 to allow for maintenance ahead of the Pepsi North America Cup. The track and paddock will be open all other days of the week.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications  

MAY 29, 2019 - A must-attend event on the Ontario horse racing calendar for almost 50 years, this Friday's $458,650 Camluck Classic program at The Raceway at Western Fair District is loaded with some of the best harness racing talent in North America. Seven Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies and four City of London Finals will serve as a prelude to The Raceway's season finale, the $157,000 Camluck Classic Invitational for aged pacers. Trainer Gregg McNair will start two fillies in the Grassroots divisions and one pacing gelding in the last City of London final and the veteran horseman is confident fans will be treated to an exciting night of racing. "Oh it's a big night. I've been there a lot of times," said McNair, who won the Camluck Classic predecessor, the Molson Pace, in 2008 with Eagle Luck. "We've raced a couple horses in it, I think we were second in it one year and we won it one time. It's a big honour to race in it." While McNair does not have a starter in this year's signature race, he can claim a connection to Southwind Amazon, a son of the race's namesake who will start from Post 4 for current trainer Paul Holzman and Hall of Fame driver Dave Palone. "I actually had him at one time. I hate to say it, but we raced him in the Grassroots and now he's in the Camluck," said a rueful McNair, who campaigned Camluck son Southwind Amazon during his two and three-year-old seasons in 2012 and 2013. "He's come along to be a good horse." Trainer Gregg McNair                  -- (Iron Horse Photo) Before the top aged pacers go behind the starting gate for the Camluck Classic, McNair will send out three-year-old pacing fillies Kylie Seelster and Sugar Shadow in the sixth and seventh $22,800 Grassroots divisions. Kylie Seelster will start from Post 4 in the ninth race and the daughter of Big Jim heads into the race off two sophomore starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, a sixth-place result in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association stake on May 11 and a runner-up finish on May 20. "That's a good position for her. She's a good filly. She gets around a half good too," said the Guelph resident, who shares ownership of Kylie Seelster with Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples of Durham and London, ON veterinarian Dr. Chris Robson. "We were kind of wishing she would have been in at Mohawk Saturday night (in the Gold Series), but we decided to go to the Grassroots." Kylie Seelster captured a Grassroots division over the Grand River Raceway half-mile in her OSS debut last summer and her connections are hoping that she and driver Trevor Henry can deliver a similar result in the sophomore season opener. Shadow Play daughter Sugar Shadow will start from Post 3 in the tenth race, with Jody Jamieson in the race bike for owner-breeder Robert Chapple of Chatham, ON. The fillies' stablemate Balder Son was a handy winner of his City Of London Series elimination on May 22, touring The Raceway half-mile in 1:55.3. The Betterthancheddar son will be hampered by Post 7 in the $31,400 final, but McNair hopes driver Billy Davis, Jr. can still map out a trip. "He's as good as anything in there, post position is probably going to be a little tough on him, but he's a nice horse and the turns don't bother him much either," said the horseman, who trains three-year-old pacing gelding Balder Son for Roderick Smith of Inverness, NS. "Not that you'd be thinking about cutting out the mile or anything, but he usually races better following horses anyway. "Hope he just doesn't have to follow them the whole way, that's all," added McNair with a chuckle. Post time for the Camluck Classic program is 6:55 pm with the Grassroots divisions going postward as Races 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10, the City of London Finals slated as Races 1, 3, 7, and 11 and the marquee event wrapping things up in Race 12. Fans will also enjoy live music from Sarina Haggarty and Connor Morand, food and drink specials and a variety of give-aways throughout the evening. Complete details for the Friday, May 31 Camluck Classic are available at https://www.westernfairdistrict.com/camluckclassic. Entries for the event are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0531lonn.dat. In addition to Friday's Grassroots event, The Raceway at Western Fair District will also host a Gold Series Leg for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Friday, Oct. 4. Find The Raceway's complete OSS schedule at http://www.ontariosiresstakes.com/schedule/schedule_loc.html#LON.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

LONDON...Driver Brent Holland will be making his first trip to Canada in more than a decade and the Illinois native will be making his driving debut at The Raceway at Western Fair District this Friday night. Holland, who has over 5,000 driving victories, will team up with trainer Erv Miller aboard Ideal Jimmy in the $157,000 edition of the Camluck Classic. "He's a very, very talented horse," Holland said. "He's not an overly big horse, but he's got a big set of lungs and can handle the turns very well which is a big asset to have on the half-mile." When the post position draw was announced Monday afternoon on the pre-game show, Holland was pleased with the outcome. "Erv (Miller) texted me and said 'we have the rail,' it couldn't have worked out any better," said Holland. When asked how the race might play out. Holland was quick to respond. "Well, I have Plan 'A', Plan 'B' and Plan 'C' and they are all the same plan. Take no prisoners," he said with a chuckle. "My horse is so good on the front. Actually I don't think he's been beat on the front this season." Holland last drove in Canada back in 2008 aboard Pop Z Pop in the $185,000 edition of the Des Smith for trainer Miller. "I've only been to Canada three times I believe and I'm excited to visit again," he said. "I was talking with Joe Bongiorno just the other day about the race and he told me what a great event it is. I'm excited to be a part of it."   Below is the complete field in post position order:   1. Ideal Jimmy 2. Done Well 3. The Wall 4. Southwind Amazon 5. Sintra 6. Rockin Speed 7. Trump Nation 8. Rockin Ron   Camluck Classic night will also offer a powerful undercard that will include eight divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies along with a quartet of City Of London Series finals. Visitors will once again have a chance to enjoy the action from the confines of the giant Infield Tent, which was a hit with guests last year. It offers a unique vantage point and entertainment experience with fantastic food and beverage offerings for just $50 plus tax. Tickets to the Infield Event are currently on sale with limited tickets available. The Party on the Patio will be back this year, and bigger and better than ever. Along with the delicious food and beverage offerings that will be available, popular local entertainers Sarina Haggarty and Connor Morand will be on hand performing their unique mix of new material and cover songs throughout the evening. To stay up to date on the Camluck Classic and everything happening at The Raceway, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com.   Greg Gangle

Rexdale, Ont. Can.--Sylvain "not Jacques" Grenier knew what he had . He waited patiently to pull the chord and unleash favored Musical Spell and rally his veteran harness racing gelding to a stunning come-from-behind victory in the $11,000(c)Billings trot at Woodbine Mohawk on Monday evening, May 27. After getting away slowly from the six- hole in the 10-horse race , Grenier had the patience of a saint sitting back in 8th place some 15 lengths off the lead at the halfway point as Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and Utopia cut the early fractions and led the field by the quarter in :28.1 and past the half in :57. As the field approached the three quarters Grenier and Musical Spell were still 8-1/2- lengths behind Utopia but slowly moving up on the outside. Even at the top of the stretch Musical Spell was fifth as Constantino and Tony "The Capo" Verruso got first call after cruising along in third place for most of the mile. But as the field headed for paydirt Utopia faded and as Musical Spell and Presquille (T. "Marielle" Enberg) emerged as the strong horses. But Musical Spell was not to be denied as the altered son of Kadabra zipped home a length and a quarter winner over taking Verruso's Constantino in the final strides. Although Presquille flatened-out in the deep stretch he still earned the show dough. Musical Spell is owned by Haryott Stables and trained by Michael Guitard. Sent off as the odds-on favorite he paid $3.10.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

London, May 27, 2019 -- A victory behind pacer Jake Parrish is always special for harness racing driver Nick Steward but was particularly so on Monday night at The Raceway at Western Fair District as it marked the 2000th career trip to the winner's circle for the London reinsman. Jake Parrish is a family favourite who is conditioned by recent Wall Of Fame inductee Larry Fitzsimmons who is also the grandfather of Steward. In Monday's first race, Steward sent his charge straight to command from post one and was able to wire the field in a sharp clocking of 1:56.1 for the milestone win. It was the third win this season and 27th lifetime for the seven-year-old gelded son of Whosurboy who sits with close to $160,000 in career earnings. Fans are reminded that the final card of the season at The Raceway goes this Friday night, featuring the $157,000 Camluck Classic Invitational Pace. The card gets underway at 6:55 p.m. and full details are available at www.camluckclassic.com.   Greg Blanchard

Hamilton, Ont. Can.--The CKG Billings Harness Driving Series moved north of the border on Sunday, May 26, for a harness racing contest at Flamboro Downs in Hamilton, Ont. There only two Americans who ventured to Canada for the $6000(C) pacing event there which was dominated by the hometowners, who drove six of the eight pacers in the contest. But there was no stopping Frederick "Frenchy" Bourgault when he put his charge,Sly Baran, in high gear as the field approached the three-quarters and they drew-off to a comfortable four-length victory in 1:58.4 over Mr Yokassippi, driven by T. 'Marielle" Enberg. When the starter said "go" Isaac "Izzy" Waxman sent Bettors Mark to the lead but he was challenged on the outside by A Yankee Feeling and driver "Fast Phillipe" Trudeau and the two leaders zipped by the quarter in :28. They kept the pedal to the metal as they passed the halfway point in :57.2. At that point the eventual winner was some six lengths in the rears but up the backside Bourgault wheeled his charge three -deep and they circled all in front of them and rolled home an easy winner. Bettors Mark, after constant pressure, tired in the lane and was overtaken for second money by Ms Enberg's Mr Yokassippi, a 26-1 shot. Owned by Frederick and Richard Bourgault, Sly Baran, a the 6-year altered son of Rambaran , is trained by his driver. He paid $7.80. Last year Bourgault won a Billlings contest at Grand River Raceway. On Monday, May 27, the Canadian Billings action moves north to Woodbine Mohawk for a 10-horse trot later this evening.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

MAY 25, 2019 – There are developmental milestones in every young horse’s career and Saturday night’s Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park was a significant one for the province’s best harness racing three-year-old pacing colts. Over the next three weeks the top colts in North America will gather at the Campbellville, ON oval for the Somebeachsomewhere stake and the Pepsi North America Cup. An impressive effort in the Gold Series opener will often launch a local colt into those prestigious open stake events, and on Saturday the winners of both $108,800 Gold divisions proved to their connections that they have the talent to battle the best. In the first division driver Bob McClure sent Best In Show to the front from Post 6 and the colt cruised through fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.2 on his way to a three-quarter length victory in 1:50.3. Bronx Seelster made a valiant late charge but could not reel in the pacesetter, settling for second, and fan favourite Stag Party was three lengths back in third. “I was very happy (to be asked to drive), and have been watching him for a few weeks,” said Elora, ON resident McClure, who had some time on his hands to watch Best In Show while recovering from a broken pelvis suffered in a qualifying race at Woodbine Mohawk Park on April 25. “He’s a very strong, powerful horse and will only get better with experience.” It was the second straight win for Best In Show, who is trained by Linda Toscano for owner-breeders Richard Young of Boca Raton, FL and Joanne Young of Coconut Creek, FL. The Bettors Delight son now has three starts under his belt this season to go along with three freshman starts. Toscano said the plan is to send the lightly raced colt to the June 1 Somebeachsomewhere and then re-evaluate before the June 8 Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge, ON is taking the same approach with Century Farroh, who delivered an uncontested 1:50.2 effort in the second Gold division Saturday. “He’s really pleased us so far, that’s for sure,” said Dr. Moore, who trains the colt for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS. “He’s super, so they’re hopeful for a good season. They hope he can compete with the big boys next week. That’s what our plan is for now.” Also starting from Post 6, driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON put Century Farroh on the front just after the :26.2 opening quarter and the colt simply paced away from the field, sailing through a :54.2 half and 1:23 three-quarters on his way to an eight length victory. Better Up and No Ordinary Man battled through the wire for second and third. Century Farroh has not been bested in a race since last August. The Mach Three son finished his freshman season with four straight victories, including his Grassroots Semi-final and the Championship, and then kicked off his sophomore campaign with a pair of wins earlier this month. “He finished his year very well last year. He wasn’t raced real hard, reasonably lightly, and he grew and filled out and matured quite a bit over the winter,” said Dr. Moore. “He grew a lot. I let his hopples out three inches and his head out five holes. A lot of the gear that he had on last year, he doesn’t wear it anymore, I took it all off. All he’s got is a head pole now on the inside, that’s it.” Dr. Moore expects Best In Show and Century Farroh will be joined in the Somebeachsomewhere by a number of their peers, including Bronx Seelster and Stag Party, who both made their first start of the season in the first Gold division. Following the open stake events in the coming weeks, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will return to Ontario Sires Stakes action, competing in their second Gold Series Leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 29. Complete results from Saturday’s Gold Series event are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0525wbsbsn.dat.   Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

MILTON, May 25, 2019 - Lather Up returned to the scene of his biggest harness racing victory to win Saturday's $34,000 Preferred in 1:49 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 2018 Pepsi North America Cup champion headlined a field of seven for the top-class event and was sent off as the 2/5 favourite with Jody Jamieson steering for the first-time. Physicallyinclined took the early-battle to seize the lead and post solid opening fractions of :26 and :53.4. Lather Up and Jamieson angled out from fourth at the half and came first-up on the far turn to lead by a neck at three-quarters in 1:21.4. Lather Up stormed home effortlessly in :27.1 to win by just under five-lengths in 1:49 with the ear plugs still in. Go West Go Fast finished second, while Traceur Hanover was third and Physicallyinclined fourth. A four-year-old son of Im Gorgeous, Lather Up provided his connections with a strong bounce-back performance after failing to make the final of the Confederation Cup in his most recent start. The Clyde Francis trainee now has two victories and $40,250 earned in three starts this season. Lather Up is a homebred for Gary and Barbara Iles and now sports career numbers of 17 wins and $1.1 million earned. The Francis trainee is now expected to compete in next Saturday's Graduate Series leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

LONDON...The field for this year's $157,000 Camluck Classic has now been finalized. Back to defend his Camluck Classic title in the Ron Burke trainee Rockin Ron. The $1.7 million harness racing winner put together a sizzling performance last year when he set a new track record of 1:50.1. The seven-year-old gelding will have Louis Roy aboard. Rockin Speed, trained by Jared & Joe Seekman, is the final starter for this years rich classic. The son of Rockin Image is fresh off a fourth place finish in the Confederation Cup after finishing second in his elimination. The Indiana Sires Stakes graduate had a mark of 1:50.2 taken this year at Miami Valley. Billy Davis is expected to drive. Rockin Ron                                                    --Jake MacDonald photo Also confirmed starters and drivers this year are: Done Well (Dexter Dunn) Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland) The Wall (Joe Bongiorno) Trump Nation (Jason Bartlett) Sinta (Jody Jamieson) Southwind Amazon (Dave Palone) The post position draw for this year's Camluck Classic will be held live this Monday afternoon on The Raceway pre-game show, which airs at 5:45 p.m. (E.T.). Race fans can tune into a special online broadcast of the Camluck Classic from The Raceway beginning at 10:30 p.m. The one-hour broadcast is part of a three-race series sponsored by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA). The broadcast will be streamed on the Standardbred Canada website and aired via the Flamboro Downs, Grand River Raceway and Raceway at Western Fair District Facebook pages. Camluck Classic night will also offer a powerful undercard that will include the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, a quartet of City Of London Series finals and several Preferred races. Visitors will once again have a chance to enjoy the action from the confines of the giant Infield Tent, which was a hit with guests last year. It offers a unique vantage point and entertainment experience with fantastic food and beverage offerings for just $50 plus tax. Tickets to the Infield Event are currently on sale with limited tickets available. The Party on the Patio will be back this year, and bigger and better than ever. Along with the delicious food and beverage offerings that will be available, popular local entertainers Sarina Haggarty and Connor Morand will be on hand performing their unique mix of new material and cover songs throughout the evening. There will be many other contests and giveaways that night with more details to come. To stay up to date on the Camluck Classic and everything happening at The Raceway, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com.   Greg Gangle

MILTON, May 23, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced the Milton District Hospital Foundation as the official charity partner for the Pepsi North America Cup on Saturday, June 15 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Milton District Hospital Foundation (MDHF) raises funds to purchase essential medical equipment and services at Milton District Hospital by building awareness and inspiring giving in the local community. Woodbine Cares and the MDHF will team to run a 50/50 draw during this year's Pepsi North America Cup. Proceeds from the draw will go towards the MDHF. The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup is Canada's richest harness race. The event began in 1984 at Greenwood Raceway in Toronto and moved to Woodbine Mohawk Park in 2007. This year's event features live racing, live music, food trucks, a beer garden and more. Admission to the Pepsi North America Cup is $10 and tickets can only be purchased in advance onsite. Full event details can be found by visiting www.Woodbine.com/MohawkPark.   ABOUT THE MILTON DISTRICT HOSPITAL FOUNDATION Transforming Giving. Transforming Care. It may surprise you to know that government funding does not support equipment purchases. That means 100% of essential medical equipment required for Milton District Hospital must be funded through donations from our community. The Milton District Hospital Foundation (MDHF) is proud to work with the community of Milton to support Milton District Hospital. MDHF raises funds to help purchase essential medical equipment and technology, and improve the facilities through annual fundraising initiatives, community events and a combination of various other programs. Together, we are transforming healthcare in Milton now, and for generations to come.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

MILTON, May 21, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment today released the final list of eligible horses for this year's $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. A total of 50 three-year-old pacers remain eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup following the final sustaining payment on May 15. Canada's richest harness race is scheduled for Saturday, June 15 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Eliminations will take place a week prior on June 8. Dan Patch Award winner Captain Crunch delivered a major statement to the other 49 eligible horses with a stunning 1:49.1 victory over a sloppy track on Sunday night at Pocono. The Nancy Johansson trainee was making his season debut and is scheduled to compete again this Sunday in another Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division at Harrah's Philadelphia. O'Brien Award winner Stag Party will make his season debut this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division. The Casie Coleman trainee has qualified three-times this season, most recently winning in 1:53 on May 17 at Mohawk Park. Fans can check out full event details for the 36th Pepsi North America Cup by visiting www.Woodbine.com/Mohawk. Below is the full list of remaining eligible horses to this year's Pepsi North America Cup.   AFLAME HANOVER AIR FORCE HANOVER ARTIES IDEAL BEST IN SHOW BETTORS WISH BLANK CANVAS BLOOD MONEY BRONX SEELSTER BUDDY HILL CAPITANO ITALIANO CAPTAIN AHAB CAPTAIN CRUNCH CAPTAIN TREVOR CAPTAIN VICTORIOUS CAVIART ROCKLAND CAVIART STETSON CENTURY FARROH CHINATOWN BEACH COVERED BRIDGE CRUISE CAPTAIN CRUSHER Q DE LOS CIELOS DEO FABRICE HANOVER FAST N FIRST FIXED IDEA GOLDBERG HURRIKANE EMPEROR LOVE ME SOME LOU LYONS JOHNNYJNR LYONS NIGHT HAWK MAJOR DECEPTION MELODIES MAJOR NO MAS AMOR PERKINS PROOF PYRO QUATRAIN BLUE CHIP SEMI TOUGH SHADOW OF A DAUT SHAKE THAT HOUSE STAG PARTY STIENAMS BEACH SUGAR FACTORY TWIN B JAYS TYGA HANOVER VAN DIESEL VOLLEY BALL BEACH WORKIN ONA MYSTERY WORLD ON EDGE YACHT WEEK   Total Nominations: 82 Sustaining Payment #1: 78 Sustaining Payment #2: 68 Sustaining Payment #3: 50     Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

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