This weekend may not be as exciting as the last one for Peterborough, Ontario, trainer John Bax who enjoyed a huge night at Mohawk this past Saturday when his two-year-old trotting fillies finished one-two-three in the $380,000 Peaceful Way final and his champion from last year, Riveting Rosie, was an impressive second in the $409,000 Elegantimage final. Rosie, who captured the Peaceful Way final last year at two, was dominant among the freshman trotting fillies last season and was named Canada’s Two Year Old Trotting Filly of the Year at the conclusion of the season. This year she’s had her share of issues but she’s still be able to compile a summary of 1-2-2 in 11 starts for $171,000 in earnings, $640,000 lifetime from just 19 career starts. Bax’s Parkhill Stud shares ownership of the daughter of Muscle Mass with Don Allensen, Wyoming, J And T Stable, Newmarket and John Hayes of Sharon, Ontario. “It’s just been one thing after another with her this year. Every time you think you’ve got everything straightened out something else happens to her,” noted Bax following the Elegantimage where Rosie finished nine lengths behind winner Shake It Cerry. “I was really happy with her. If she could have gotten out earlier, she wouldn’t have been nine lengths behind. It was the first race where she put it all together, she left hard and finished well. “I think she’s better on the front or first up because then she can get her stride going. She doesn’t trot as pretty when she’s doubled up, in a hole. Having said that, she got away with that at two (intimidating her opposition) and usually you find out at three you’ve got to race. It’s a learning process and I like it when they learn when we’re going for $400,000,” he laughed. Riveting Rosie won’t have much time to rest on her most recent accomplishment as she’s back in to race this Sunday at Flamboro in the first of two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions. She’s drawn post one in the first split, race three with her usual pilot Paul MacDonell in the sulky. Right alongside in post two is this division’s leading point earner, White Becomes Her with Mario Baillargeon at the lines for brother Ben who trains for owner Twilight Stables of Brampton, Ontario. The filly with the second highest number of points in this division, Muscle Babe, has post five in the second division which goes postward as the 10th race on the program. James MacDonald will guide the Muscle Mass daughter for owner Kjell Andersen of Norway and trainer Dave Menary. Riveting Rosie currently sits in third in the point standings, but that all may change after her performance on Sunday. What will also change within the next few months is the time it takes for her trainer to truck to race at many of Ontario’s tracks. “I’m in the process of buying the main farm at Glengate Farm (just outside of Campbellville, about five minutes from Mohawk). Every time I drive by it I think, ‘gee, in five minutes I’d be home instead of two hours. The wear and tear of going up and down the road, it wears on you that’s for sure. Hopefully it will be settled this fall and we’d like to move in next spring.” This is the next to last OSS Gold event for this group who will meet once more, on September 30 at Mohawk, before the October 11 Super Final. To view the complete card for Flamboro on Sunday, which starts at 6 p.m., please click the link Flamboro Entries - September 21. OSS News
The best performers in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots this year, pacers and trotters, colts and fillies, will be on display at Mohawk Racetrack Friday and Saturday night. Two $20,000 Semi-Finals will be raced for each division to determine the starters for next week’s $50,000 Grassroots finals. The horses earned their way into the Semi-Finals through their performances in the Grassroots races in their divisions throughout the course of the OSS season. The top 20 point earners entered into the Semi-Finals are eligible to compete. The two-year-olds are in the spotlight on Friday night with the trotting fillies kicking things off in races one and two. Leading point earner Summers Jewel, who has yet to finish worse than third in her young career, has drawn post two for breeder/owner/trainer Ben Baillargeon of Rockwood, Ontario, whose brother Mario will be in the sulky. The Angus Hall miss has started in all six Grassroots events this year with three wins, a second and two thirds. The rookie pacing colts are next up in the third and fifth races. The top two colts in the division, Thinkofagameplan and Jeb will square off in the third race from posts six and eight respectively. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario and his cousin Al McIntosh of Leamington, Ontario, bred and own Thinkofagameplan, a son of Ponder who has captured four of six Grassroots events this year. A horse to watch in the fifth race is Moonwards Hanover, who comes into the contest riding a three race winning streak, all in Grassroots events. From the red hot first crop of Sportswriter, Moonwards Hanover is owned and trained by Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, who also trained her dam, Mouse Hanover. He’s drawn post four with Paul MacDonell aboard. MacDonell will also be up behind Call Me Richard, the leading point earner among the rookie trotting colts, in the next race. Trained by Clare Bradshaw for owner Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ontario, the Muscle Mass son has won his last two races, both OSS events. The two-year-old pacing fillies are featured in races seven and 10 on Friday’s program with top point earner Ms Mac N Cheese departing from post four in the first split. The Badlands Hanover daughter owned by David Ratchford of Nova Scotia has been on a real roll lately with three straight victories on her scorecard. Sylvain Filion will drive from post four. On Saturday’s card it’s the three-year-old trotting fillies getting the Semi-Finals underway. Torches Star tops the point standings in this group and has post five in race five with regular pilot Steve Condren in the race bike for trainer Ben Wallace and owner Brad Grand of Milton, Ontario. The Angus Hall filly is the second foal from former OSS star Torch, a winner of $357,000 in her career. Their colt counterparts get things rolling in race two and come right back in race three for their two Semi-Finals. Aventure, the leader in this bunch, drew post nine in the third race with Trevor Henry up for trainer Bill Budd. Owned by Orville Rursch of Illinois, Aventure is 4-1-0 in five OSS starts this year. The glamour boy division, the three-year-old pacing colts, are featured in races six and nine on Saturday evening. Top point earner Shadow Place has post three in race six with Henry at the lines for trainer Richard Moreau. Regal Babe, who is less than 10 points behind in second in this division, has post five in race nine. The pacing fillies close out the card in races eight and 10. The latter finds Her Own Land in post five with James MacDonald at the helm for trainer Dave Menary. The leading point getter in this category, the Blissfull Hall filly has three wins and a second in her most recent starts, all Grassroots events. Saturday’s card also features the $286,000 Milton final for pacing mares with three Ontario-sired performers, Monkey On My Wheel, Camille and Voelz Hanover, taking part. To view the entries for Friday and Saturday night at Mohawk, please use these links Mohawk Entries - September 19. Mohawk Entries - September 20. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 13 - The Peaceful Way Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack was 'As easy as 1-2-3' for harness racing trainer John Bax. The Bax trainee Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell captured the $385,000 final, while Juanitas Fury and Southwind Champane took the place and show spot to make it a 'Bax Triactor'. The entire complexion of the rich final changed before the field could even reach the eighth pole when Mission Brief, the 1/5 favourite, made a break. The costly break by the favourite allowed Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell to step out to the lead and control the tempo. After posting fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:26.2, Stubborn Belle dug in down the stretch to hold off a late charge from stablemate Juanitas Fury to win the Peaceful Way Stakes by half a length in 1:56. The other Bax trainee, Southwind Champane, was able to get up for third to complete the first-ever 1-2-3 finish for a trainer in Peaceful Way Stakes history. Stubborn Belle's victory also gives Bax and MacDonell back-to-back Peaceful Way crowns after the duo teamed up to win last year's edition with Riveting Rosie. "My hat has to go off to John Bax here," said MacDonell. "To come in 1-2-3, I know we were up against Mission Brief and we knew we were up against it, but he had these horses prepared and ready to go tonight." Bax has now won three Peaceful Way Stakes titles. His first victory came in 2002, when the race was known as the Oakville Stakes, with Aimees Image. MacDonell praised Bax for his touch with trotters. "He's just a perfect guy with a trotter, he's relaxed, he doesn't get anxious and worried about how they are coming along at any time of the year. He knows things will fall into place and my hats off to him." The costly break by Mission Brief not only stung for her connections, but the horseplayers who bet almost $18,000 of the $26,377 in the Win pool and the $33,581 of the $41,991 in the Show pool on her. "I didn't expect it, but you have to think about it because if she was going to get beat she was likely going to beat herself," said MacDonell of the break by Mission Brief. "I'm upset for those people, she's still a great filly, but we had to take advantage of it when the time came." Stubborn Belle, who finished second to Mission Brief in their elimination, has now won four of her eight career starts. The daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover is owned by Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm and now has a bankroll of $308,786. Stubborn Belle paid $19.50 to win. The Peaceful Way Stakes Mark McKelvie
Mohawk Racetrack offers a stakes laden harness racing card Saturday evening anchored by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic which has two top Ontario-sired colts taking on five very talented sophomores. The card also features the $385,000 Peaceful Way final with several OSS fillies in contention, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial with one lone Ontario-sired colt, and the $409,000 Elegantimage final with four OSS girls vying for their turn in the winner’s circle. In addition to those great trotting races, the program will also headline the top pacing mares in North America in two eliminations for the Milton Stakes which feature three OSS graduates including a Breeders Crown winner. In the showcase event Harper Blue Chip will attempt to duplicate his sire, Majestic Son’s, 2006 Canadian Trotting Classic victory. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario, trained Majestic Son, who won the ’06 CTC by more than six lengths over a very talented field, and also conditions Harper Blue Chip. A son of Angus Hall, Majestic Son was a dominant force in the OSS during his sophomore season, winning seven of 10 OSS events. In total, he won $622,000 in the provincial program during his career. Majestic Son now stands at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, and Harper Blue Chip, with $547,000 in earnings, is his second richest performer to date, behind only Charmed Life ($592,000). So far this year Harper Blue Chip has a summary of 4-2-2 in 10 starts and although he’s won two OSS Gold events and swept the Canadian Breeders, he’s best known for finishing third in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian last month at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian winner, Trixton, is also slated to start in the CTC final, with post five. Trainer Jimmy Takter will drive the colt who has won eight of 10 starts this year. Tatker’s other talented colt in this division, Father Patrick (also eight for 10) is right alongside in post six. It’s a formidable duo facing Harper Blue Chip whose driver Sylvain Filion is cautiously optimistic, especially given that the colt has finally drawn a decent starting position, post two, compared to post 10 in the Goodtimes final and post nine in the Hambletonian. “He’s been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post,” Filion noted earlier this week. “We’ve got a tough bunch of horses to race against, but he’s very good right now. I’m hoping for a good, close to the front trip and hopefully some top horses won’t be on their game, because we’ll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It’s a very high quality group.” The other OSS colt joining Harper in the CTC final is Muscle Matters, a son of Muscle Mass who will start beside Harper Blue Chip in post three. Mario Baillargeon will be at the lines for his brother Ben who handles the colt’s training. Yet to win a race this year, Muscle Matters has been close, with five second place finishes in six starts, three of those to Harper Blue Chip. The CTC final goes as race nine on the card. In the third race, the $385,000 Peaceful Way final, there are six OSS fillies in the mix including a pair trained by John Bax, Stubborn Belle (post one, Paul MacDonell) and Juanitas Fury (post nine, Steve Condren). Both fillies have two OSS wins to their credit this season and both finished second in their respective Peaceful Way elims. Stubborn Belle was aptly named according to Bax. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to.” Despite that the Taurus Dream daughter, owned by Bax of Peterborough and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario, has set two records so far this year – a track record at Rideau Carleton (1:55.4) in an OSS Gold event and a stakes record in a Champlain stake (1:54.2). Bax also starts the Muscle Hill filly Southwind Champagne in the Peaceful Way final. She has post six with Steve Byron at the controls. The other OSS rookies attempting to capture the event named for one of the greatest Ontario-sired trotting mares of all time, $3.2 million winner Peaceful Way, include Daneille Hall (post two, Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (post four, Roger Mayotte), Amoureuse Hanover (post eight, Doug McNair) and Lady Caterina (post 10, Phil Hudon). The dam of Elegant Serenity, Elegantimage, is the namesake for the seventh race on the program. A star of the OSS in the late 1990s, Elegantimage earned just shy of a million dollars during her impressive racing career. A quartet of three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies will attempt to capture the $409,000 event including Bax’s Riveting Rose (post three, Paul MacDonell), Tosca (post two, Per Henriksen), Sweetie Hearts (post eight, Randy Waples) and Muscle Babe (post 10, James MacDonald). The other major trotting stake on the program is named for one of Canada’s most respected horsemen of all time, the late William Wellwood, a member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a successful participant in the OSS since its inception 40 years ago. The only Ontario-sired rookie colt in contention for this event is a son of Infinitif, Dont Rush who has drawn post four with Chris Christoforou in the bike. The colt captured a division of the first Gold event for this group in early July which surprised his trainer/owner and breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario. “If you had told me in October he was going to win a Gold the first week of July I don’t think I would have believed you,” laughed Jones. “He’s exceeded my expectations since I brought him in the barn.” The OSS graduates competing in the two Milton eliminations are Monkey On My Wheel, a Breeders Crown winner at three and 10-2-6 in 24 starts this year for owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ontario. The winner of $1.5 million to date in her career has post seven in the sixth race which also features the Camluck mare Camille ($1.1 million to date) in post four. Voelz Hanover ($1.5 million lifetime) is the lone Ontario-sired distaffer in the second Milton elim, race 10. In addition to all of the on-track action, Mohawk is also celebrating their fans with Fan Appreciation Night Saturday featuring a first bet on the house, giveaways after each race and a $5 food voucher to the first 1,000 fans. To view the full card please click Mohawk Entries - September 13.
The regular harness racing season for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series concluded on Friday (September 12) night at Mohawk Racetrack with five $18,000 divisions, and Moonwards Hanover and Thinkofagameplan both kept their Grassroots win streaks intact. Competing in the opening event, Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who came into this race off Grassroots successes on August 24 at Georgian Downs and August 31 at Clinton Raceway, circled from third to first before the :56.3 half. He would go on to post three-quarters in 1:26.1 and then kicked home in :28.4 to win by half a length over a closing Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair). There was a dead-heat for third between Big Moment (Randy Waples) and Ballybunion (James MacDonald). Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now three-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $36,000, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples), the points leader in this group, was behind the gate in the second Grassroots split, and he would pull out of the pocket to take command after the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan, who was second in a division of the Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes at Mohawk in his last try, would then click off the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 en route to a 1:54.3 score. He defeated runner-up Mybestolxfriendray (Phil Hudon) by a length and three-quarters with Ace Of Clubs (Doug McNair) back in third. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fourth win (all in Grassroots competition) from eight attempts and pushed his earnings to $76.440, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. While those familiar faces were victorious, the other three Grassroots flights were all won by horses who hadn’t yet tasted a win in the provincial program this season. Mr Carrotts (Phil Hudon) was the first to break through as he won the third section in 1:54.2. He was first at the :27.2 opening quarter and the :56.4 half, but first-over challenger Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) put a head in front at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Mr Carrotts would battle back on the inside in the lane, and he would go on to beat Star Cover by a length at the finish line with Windsong Lord (Chris Christoforou) in third. Murray Brethour trains Mr Carrotts, a colt by Mach Three, for owner-breeder Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Ontario. Mr Carrotts broke his maiden in his fifth trip behind the gate, and he has now put away $10,000. He’s the fourth foal out of the Run The Table mare Cueless ($466,638), who was a three-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Robert Hill (James MacDonald) had been picking up minor shares against Gold Series competition, but a drop to the Grassroots level made him a 1:54.1 winner on this night. He left from post eight in the fourth Grassroots test, and he was up to grab the front after the :27.4 opening quarter. Robert Hill would go on to put the :56.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters on the board before a :28.3 final kicker sealed his two and a quarter length triumph. Halton Hurricane (Rick Zeron) was second and Pace Seelster (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a Jeremes Jet colt, for owner Thomas Hill of England. Robert Hill, who was bred by Perretti Farms and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, picked up his first win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $19,220. He’s the seventh foal out of the Caprock mare Smooth Latin N ($217,884), which makes him a half-brother to two six-figure earners in McApulco ($365,942) and Mcaracas ($170,579) and to three-year-old Shadios, who has won twice in Grassroots competition this year for the Alagna/Hill combination. In the nightcap it was Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) who chopped out the :26.4 first quarter, but he would be overtaken by both Pier Ho Temptation (Chris Christoforou) and Shippen Out (Doug McNair) prior to the :56.2 half. Shippen Out then got to three-quarters first in 1:25, fighting off a first-over test by Jeb (Phil Hudon) in the process. Shippen Out put away Jeb for good early in the stretch drive and then held his pursuers at bay late in the mile to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54. Mystical Jet (Jody Jamieson) came in second and Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) took third. Blair Burgess trains the victorious Badlands Hanover colt for owner Karin Olsson-Burgess of Milton, Ontario. Shippen Out won for the first time in eight starts, and he has now earned $16,150. Winbak Farm bred Shippen Out, who fetched $9,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s the first foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Shipps Bikini ($410,500), who won a Grassroots division herself as a two-year-old. The two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will return to Mohawk next Friday (September 19) to compete in their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of this Friday’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912mohsn.dat.
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 12 - A two-year-old filly trotting a mile in 1:53 would ordinarily grab headlines. Unfortunately for freshman trotter Stubborn Belle, her 1:53 mile was only good enough for second, 3 Â¾ lengths behind Mission Brief's 1:52.1 World Record clocking, in last week's Peaceful Way Stakes elimination. "I was thrilled with the way she raced," said trainer John Bax. "It's no shame to finish second to that filly." Over the last few weeks, Stubborn Belle has shown speed that would normally have her at the top of the two-year-old trotting filly ranks. She won the Champlain Stakes on August 28 in a stakes record time of 1:54.2 and last week, her mile of 1:53 would've broken the previous track record by three fifths of a second. Her 1:53 mile was also more than two seconds faster than the other elimination, won by Jolene Jolene in 1:55.1. While Mission Brief's speed show overshadowed a great mile by Stubborn Belle, the daughter of Taurus Dream - Musetta Hanover will get another crack at the World Champion in Saturday's $385,000 Peaceful Way final at Mohawk Racetrack. The elimination victory allowed Mission Brief's connections to select post five for her on Saturday evening, while Stubborn Belle went into the open draw and was assigned the rail. "We'll find out what the rail does, it's better than the ten-hole," said Bax. Stubborn Belle has won three of her last five starts, but the smooth-speedy filly that has been showing up in recent weeks is also the filly that made breaks in her first two starts. "She's a lot like her name," said Bax. "She was touching a little bit and kind of wanted to do everything her own way." Bax said his filly 'just had to grow up a litte bit' and noted the faster the race goes, the easier she is to handle. Once Stubborn Belle started to put it all together, Bax said she started to reach the potential he saw when training her down. "I'm not going to say (she showed) :53 speed, but she was always big, strong and looked like a colt." Stubborn Belle sold for $85,000 as a yearling and has already earned more than $116,000 for owners Al Libfeld and Parkhill Stud Farm. On Saturday, Stubborn Belle, who will be driven by regular pilot Paul Macdonell, has a big opportunity to increase that bankroll and give her trainer his second consecutive Peaceful Way Stakes victory. Stubborn Belle is not Bax's only shot at a repeat, he will also send out Southwind Champane. A daughter of Muscle Hill - Caerphilly, Southwind Champane finished fourth in her elimination with driver Steve Byron. The duo will leave from post six in the final. Although Southwind Champane hasn't shown the extreme speed to compete with her stablemate, Bax is still thrilled by what she has shown on the track. "I'm tickled with her, trot a mile in :54 and your not good enough. Where she started out the year I had to back up with her a bit, she had a chip taken out, so I'm real happy with her." While Stubborn Belle and Southwind Champane will look to give their trainer the repeat in the Peaceful Way, the filly that put Bax in the winner's circle last year will also be in action on Saturday night. Almost a year to the date, Bax will once again send out Riveting Rosie in a big money event. The daughter of Muscle Mass - Rose De Vie Stena will start from post position three in Saturday's $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes. Last season, Riveting Rosie dominated as a two-year-old, but this year she has not been able to find the same success at the age of three. "It's been a tough year with her," said Bax. "Every time you think you've got everything straightened out something else happens to her." Riveting Rosie, who will also be driven by MacDonell, isn't being given much of a chance with morning line odds of 15-1, but Bax isn't ruling her out to be a factor. "If she is on her game she is competitive." Post time for Saturday night's card, which will be highlighted by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, is 7:25 p.m. Saturday is also 'Fan Appreciation Night'. The first 1,000 fans on-track will receive a free $5 food voucher and prizes will be given away after every race. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Mohawk Racetrack had four $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series contests for rookie pacing fillies on their Thursday (September 11) harness racing program, and Sassafras Girl took the fastest time as she won the third flight in 1:53.3. With Phil Hudon handling the driving chores, Sassafras Girl shot to the lead from her post three starting position, and she would click off fractions of :27, :56, and 1:25. The fillies sprinted for home off that 59 second middle half, and Sassafras Girl kicked out a :28.3 final panel to seal the win by two and a quarter lengths over Twin B Honour (Trevor Henry). Little Miss Artist (Doug McNair) was third. Murray Brethour trains Sassafras Girl, a Badlands Hanover filly, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sassafras Girl, who is now four-for-eight overall and has banked $31,280, was bred by Winbak Farm. She’s out of the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della ($219,395) and a half-sister to the likes of Rub N Tug ($433,999). This was Sassafras Girl’s third Grassroots success of the season, joining her wins on July 10 and August 11 at Mohawk. Back in the Grassroots opener public choice Southwind Luna (Billy Davis Jr.) carved out fractions of :27.2, :56.4, and 1:26.2, and at the eighth pole she was clear by over three lengths. However, she began to falter inside the final sixteenth, and pocket-sitter Marachere (Jonathan Drury) took advantage, getting up in the shadow of the wire to prevail by half a length in 1:54.4. Southwind Luna had to settle for second and OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Marachere, a filly by Lis Mara, broke her maiden in her third try and pushed her earnings to $15,660. Trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville, Ontario, also co-owns Marachere with partners Robert Watson of London, Armando Cappuccitti of Maple and Mike Bartram of Ingersoll, Ontario. Marachere, who was bred by Ervin Miller Stable Inc., is the second foal out of the Cole Muffler mare Cherry Tree Coco, a full sister to Home Bed Advantage ($574,535). Race favourite Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson) had her backers smiling after a 1:54.4 triumph in the second Grassroots flight. She was in the lead at the 27 second opening quarter, the :55.3 half, and the 1:24.4 three-quarters on her way to a three-quarter length decision over Dublin Rose (Paul MacDonell). Amazing Control (Mike Saftic) checked in third. Ride Away Shark, another Winbak Farm-bred filly, has a trio of victories from eight attempts and has put away $28,480 for trainer Scott McNiven and owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Thomas Brodhurst of London, Ontario. Those connections took Ride Away Shark, a daughter of Classic Card Shark, out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $7,000. She’s the first foal out of the Dream Away mare Freedom Away. This was Ride Away Shark’s second Grassroots win of the year as she was also victorious on August 11 at Mohawk. The Grassroots nightcap was brought to you by the number three as Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) posted her third consecutive Grassroots win and breeder Winbak Farm won for the third time. Ms Mac N Cheese worked her way around Machin Marley (Billy Davis Jr.) for the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter, and she would go on to post a :56.2 half and a 1:25.4 three-quarters. Ms Mac N Cheese padded her advantage through the stretch and then coasted home late to win by two and a half lengths in 1:54 flat. She was followed across the finish line by Evas Girl (Peter Core) and OK Heavenly (Doug McNair). Richard Moreau trains the victorious Badlands Hanover filly for owner L. David Ratchford of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She has five wins from seven attempts this season, and she has earned $33,467. The second foal out of the Artiscape mare Mr Delis Filly, Ms Mac N Cheese was sold for $10,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Tonight’s races concluded the Grassroots regular season for two-year-old pacing fillies. They will return to Mohawk on September 19 for their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of Thursday night’s events at Mohawk from the Ontario Sire Stakes
Jolene Jolene might not be much when it comes to socializing in the barn, but trainer Jonas Czernyson doesn't mind as long as she is the life of the party on the racetrack. The 2-year-old filly trotter heads to Saturday's C$385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack with a three-race win streak, including a 1-1/2 length triumph over Juanitas Fury in 1:55.1 in her elimination last weekend. She will start the final from post three with driver David Miller. "She's very tough," said Czernyson, who trains Jolene Jolene for owner Bill Donovan. "She's good on the track, but in the barn, you don't walk into her stall without asking if it's OK. You open the gate and ask if today is a good day to come and visit. She will let you know if it is or not. But she's good on the track. "The fillies should have some attitude to them," he added. "I like them to have it. The good ones all have some quirks to them that you have to try to work around." Jolene Jolene, who has won three of six races and is 6-1 on the morning line, will have her work cut out for her in the Peaceful Way, which features Merrie Annabelle Stakes winner Mission Brief. Last weekend, Mission Brief won her Peaceful Way elimination in a world-record 1:52.1 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. She starts the final from post five and is the 3-5 choice. "I think she's a freak," said Czernyson, who has watched Jolene Jolene twice finish second to Mission Brief, beaten a total of 14 lengths. "She went (1:)52 under wraps up there. She looked very strong doing that. "I think we can go with her, but of course we've got to have luck. We've been in (1:)54 and she's been in (1:)52, so we've got to drop a few more seconds, but (Jolene Jolene) is coming into herself pretty good and she's pretty brave right now. I'm just hoping for a little bit of luck and hoping we can go with her." Jolene Jolene is a daughter of 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill out of the mare Celebrity Speedie, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Celebrity Sweedie. Jolene Jolene was purchased for $87,000 at last November's Standardbred Horse Sale. Her extended family includes Dan Patch Award winners Banker Hall and Broadway Hall. "I liked the way she was put together and everything," Czernyson said. "She had a presence about her. You could see already at the yearling sale that she was tough. It took us a little longer to get her broke, but she's been doing everything right. "I never thought she was going to be what she is. She was doing what we asked her to do, but she never did anything more. She trotted nice, but there was never a 'wow' (moment). Most of the time, those are the ones that turn out to be good too. They do exactly what they have to do and don't waste anything." Following the Peaceful Way, the plan is to send Jolene Jolene to Lexington's Red Mile for the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. She also is eligible to the Matron and Breeders Crown, both in November. "I'm hoping we can finish the year pretty good and put her away and hope for next year," Czernyson said. "We're just going to take it one step at a time and see where she's at. She was in the Merrie Annabelle and that's a long season if we're going to race through it all. But as long as she stays healthy and fresh we're going to keep on going." Following is the field for the Peaceful Way with listed drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Stubborn Belle, Paul Macdonell, John Bax, 5-1; 2. Danielle Hall, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson, 12-1; 3. Jolene Jolene, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson, 6-1; 4. Elegant Serenity, Roger Mayotte, Roger Mayotte, 20-1; 5. Mission Brief, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-5; 6. Southwind Champane, Stephen Byron, John Bax, 20-1; 7. Dynamite Dame, Sylvain Filion, R. Nifty Norman, 20-1; 8. Amoureuse Hanover, Doug McNair, John Smith, 20-1; 9. Juanitas Fury, Steve Condren, John Bax, 15-1; 10. Lady Caterina, Phil Hudon, Rod Boyd, 20-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
The 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots regular season for two-year trotting fillies came to a close on Tuesday night (September 9) at Mohawk Racetrack as the Campbellville harness racing oval played host to six $18,000 divisions. Sires Kadabra and Deweycheatumnhowe dominated the action with Kadabra picking up a trio of winners and Deweycheatumnhowe grabbing two credits. Magical Lass was the first winner for Kadabra as she took the opener in 1:59.1 for driver Paul MacDonell. She swept from third to first prior to the 1:30.1 three-quarters and then held sway through the lane to prevail by half a length over public choice Mass Rail (Trevor Henry). Lmc Marshmellow (Jack Moiseyev) checked in third. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Magical Lass, who is the first foal out of the Cantab Hall mare Priceless Lass, for co-owner/breeder Mel Hartman of Ottawa and co-owner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. Magical Lass broke her maiden in her fifth attempt, and she has now earned $11,875. The Murmuring Pan then made it a "Kadabra Daily Double" as she won the second race in 1:58.2 with Hall of Famer Steve Condren in the bike. The Murmuring Pan made a first-over move into the lead at the 1:00 half and didn’t look back from there on her way to a five and a quarter length decision. Giona (Wayne MacLean) was the runner-up and Desis Dream (Steve Byron) nabbed third. Paul Reid trains The Murmuring Pan for owner/breeder Peter Pan Stables Inc. of Pepper Pike, Ohio. She is now two-for-four in the win column with earnings of $18,000. Both of her wins have come in Grassroots competition as she also clicked at Mohawk on July 31. The Murmuring Pan is the second foal out of $448,000 earner Epangeline (Conway Hall). The final Kadabra winner was Wing Flash, who got up out of the pocket in the stretch to win the fifth Grassroots flight in 1:57.3 for trainer/driver Wayne Henry. Stay In Touch (Randy Waples), the leader at the head of the lane, had to settle for second and Hape (Riina Rekila) finished third. Henry Stable of Arthur and Daylon Farms Ltd. of Komoka, Ontario, own Wing Flash, who was bred by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm, and Donald Robinson and sold for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Wing Flash has a pair of victories from seven attempts, and she has now put away $30,725. A winner in Grassroots action on August 17 at Clinton Raceway, Wing Flash is the fourth foal out of the Andover Hall mare Armbro Everlasting. The dam is a half-sister to the likes of millionaire Armbro Keepsake. As for Deweycheatumnhowe, his initial siring triumph came with Tymal Illbthere (Chris Christoforou) in the third section. She followed the cover of divisional point standings leader Summers Jewel (Mario Baillargeon) and then got around her late in the mile to win by a neck in 1:57.1. Muscle Kit (Randy Waples) was third, more than 14 lengths behind the top two finishers. Erv Abdulov trains Tymal Illbthere for co-owner/breeder Tymal Farms of Oldcastle, Timothy Varey of London, and Shawn Dixon of London, Ontario. Tymal Illbthere won for the first time from six trips behind the gate, and she has now pocketed $37,660. She’s the first foal out of the Kadabra mare Ill Be There ($398,603), a six-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Solar Sister provided Deweycheatumnhowe with his other tally as she rallied from sixth at three-quarters to take the fourth division by a neck in 1:58.1. Magic Shelley (Trevor Henry) was up for second and Railee Priti (Steve Byron) collected third. Gregg McNair trains Second Sister, who has two triumphs from six starts and a bankroll of $29,160, for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm LLC., Second Sister was purchased for $32,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She’s the seventh foal out of the Yankee Glide mare Sister Sammy, and Second Sister is a half-sister to the likes of $210,000 earner Unshakeable. Second Sister also won in the Grassroots Series on July 15 at Mohawk. The other winner on the night was Bistrobistro Taj (Rick Zeron). Competing in the nightcap, Bistrobistro Taj popped the pocket to take command past the :27.3 opening quarter . She then reached the half in :58.1 and the three-quarters in 1:28.2 before she kicked away to win by three and three-quarters lengths in 1:57.3. Mets Life (Mario Baillargeon) was next, followed by Judy The Beauty (Bob McClure). Zeron also trains Bistrobistro Taj, a filly from the first crop of former Breeders Crown champion Pilgrims Taj, for owner 9215 6447 Quebec Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. Bistrobistro Taj, who was bred by Gestion Belvidere Inc., was successful for the second time from five starts, and she has now banked $58,250. Bistrobistro Taj, who also prevailed in Grassroots action on July 15 at Mohawk before she stepped up to take on Gold foes in her next few attempts, is the second foal out of the Angus Hall mare Freda Hall. The two-year-old trotting fillies of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will be back in action on September 19 at Mohawk Racetrack as they clash in their Semifinal round. Click here for full results Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 9 - The $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic headlines an outstanding harness racing stakes filled card this Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Along with this year's 'Trotting Classic', the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial and the $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes are also carded for Saturday night. In total, over $2 million in purses are up for grabs on the 13-race card. The Canadian Trotting Classic is annually Canada's richest race for trotters. Established in 1976, the 'Trotting Classic' has been won by some of harness racing's greatest trotters, including Armbro Goal ('88), Yankee Paco ('00), Windsongs Legacy ('04), Donato Hanover ('07), Deweycheatumnhowe ('08) and Muscle Hill ('09). Leading the group of seven for this year's 'Trotting Classic' is the Jimmy Takter trained duo of Father Patrick and Trixton. Father Patrick (PP6), last year's Two-year-old Trotter of the Year on both sides of the border, has won 18 of his 21 career starts and is coming into the 'Trotting Classic' off victories in the $340,000 Zweig Memorial and the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship. A son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream, Father Patrick, who will be driven by Yannick Gingras, won last year's William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk and is undefeated in three starts over the Campbellville oval. Father Patrick enters the $682,000 'Trotting Classic' with career earnings of more than $1.5 million. Trixton (PP5), this year's $1 million Hambletonian winner, is looking to defeat his stablemate once again in a rich stakes event and continue his dominance at Mohawk. Driven by trainer Jimmy Takter, Trixton captured this year's Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but never got the chance to go head-to-head with his stablemate as Father Patrick made a break at the start. A son of Muscle Hill - Emilie Cas El, Trixton has had plenty of success at Mohawk this season. He won the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14 and most recently captured the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes on August 30. He also holds the Mohawk Track Record for a three-year-old trotter of 1:51.3. Trixton has won 12 of 18 career starts and is approaching millionaire status with $961,876 in career earnings. Takter is seeking his third Canadian Trotting Classic title as a trainer and second as a driver. He trained and drove Red Xing to victory in 1997 and conditioned the great Kadabra in 2002. While most of the fanfare will surround the Tatker duo, local standout Harper Blue Chip will be looking to steal the spotlight. Trained by Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip (PP2) has dominated the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and has held his own against Grand Circuit company. Harper Blue Chip finished third in the Hambletonian, won by Trixton, and fourth in the $500,000 Beal Memorial at Pocono, which was won by Father Patrick. Steacy will be looking for his second 'Trotting Classic' crown after he won the 2006 edition with Harper Blue Chip's sire, Majestic Son. Most recently, Harper Blue Chip made a rare appearance off the board when he finished fourth in the Simcoe Stakes, but driver Sylvain Filion was happy with the way his colt raced. "I thought he raced really well. He had a real bad post (post position ten)," said Filion. "He trotted large down the lane and had lots of trot at the wire." The luck of the draw was on Harper Blue Chip's side in the 'Trotting Classic', as he will start from post two and Filion hopes to build off that luck. "There's a lot of good horses in there, but we drew good and with a lucky trip you never know." As for what kind of trip Harper Blue Chip will need, Filion believes in a small field of seven the closer the better. "I think you've got to try and be close, especially in a short field like that. If you stay back there probably won't be a lot of early speed, so you will need to be close to the front." The son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin has won eight of 18 career starts and has a bankroll of $547,749. The other four starters in this year's Canadian Trotting Classic are E L Titan (PP1 - Chris Christoforou), Muscle Matters (PP3 - Mario Baillargeon), Il Sogno Dream (PP4 - Aaron Merriman) and Damfoolrmillionair (PP7 - Randy Waples). The 'Trotting Classic' is carded as Race 9 this Saturday night. The $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, which has normally been contested in June, will be making it's Canadian Trotting Classic night debut. 11 of the sport's best sophomore trotting fillies will contest the rich final. Just like the 'Trotting Classic', Jimmy Takter sends out the favourite in the Elegantimage. Shake It Cerry (PP7) has won 16 of 21 career starts and banked over $1.2 million in career earnings. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry was a Breeders Crown champion as a two-year-old and this year has won events such as the Del Miller Memorial and Zweig Filly Trot. Takter will also send out Scream And Shout (PP6 - Brett Miller) and has already won the Elegantimage three times with Southwind Allaire ('03), Pampered Princess ('07) and Lantern Kronos ('08). Completing the field are Demanding Sam (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Tosca (PP2 - Per Henriksen), Riveting Rosie (PP3 - Paul Macdonell), Vanity Matters (PP4 - Scott Zeron), Chivaree Hanover (PP5 - Doug McNair), Sweetie Hearts (PP8 - Randy Waples), Heavens Door (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt), Muscle Babe (PP10 - James MacDonald) and Designed To Be (PP11 - Sylvain Filion). The Elegantimage Stakes is carded as Race 7. The top freshman trotters will also be on display Saturday night. The $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes, for two-year-old filly trotters, features a World Champion in the group of ten that will line up behind the gate. Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill, won her elimination last week in a World Record time of 1:52.1. Trained by Ron Burke, Mission Brief had equaled the World Record in the Merrie Annabelle Stakes on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but in her Peaceful Way elimination she took sole possession of the World Record with her 3 Â¾ length victory. Following the elimination, driver Yannick Gingras said she could've gone even faster. "She had plenty left, she is scary scary fast," said Gingras. "When she raced in the Merrie Annabelle I told Ronnie (Burke) after the race I still have another second...believe me she could've won in 1:51 and change tonight." Mission Brief's connections selected post position five as her starting spot on Saturday night. The other elimination was won by Jolene Jolene, a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jonas Czernyson, in a career best equaling 1:55.1. Driven by David Miller, Jolene Jolene has won three consecutive starts and finished second to Mission Brief in the Merrie Annabelle. She will start from post position three on Saturday evening. Completing the field for the Peaceful Way Stakes are Stubborn Belle (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Danielle Hall (PP2 - Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (PP4 - Roger Mayotte), Southwind Champane (PP6 - Steve Byron), Dynamite Dame (PP7 - Sylvain Filion), Amoureuse Hanover (PP8 - Doug McNair), Juanitas Fury (PP9 - Steve Condren) and Lady Caterina (PP10 - Phil Hudon). The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 3. Two eliminations were contested last Saturday to decide which ten two-year-old colts and geldings would advance to the final of the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry, won the first elimination in a career best time of 1:54.4. Trained by Takter, Uncle Lasse has won three of six career starts and has never been worse than third. He will start from post position three with driver Ron Pierce. The second elimination went to Lookslikeachpndale, a son of Muscle Hill trained by Luc Blais, in a career best 1:56.2. The 'elim' victory broke the maiden of Lookslikeachpndale and allowed his connections to select their post for the final. Lookslikeachpndale will start from post position two with driver Sylvain Filion. Completing the field for the William Wellwood Memorial are Gifted Way (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Dont Rush (PP4 - Chris Christoforou), Aldebaran Eagle (PP5 - Doug McNair), Habitat (PP6 - Yannick Gingras), Jetpedia (PP7 - Mike Saftic), Southwind Stryker (PP8 - Steve Condren), Wheels Ah Smoking (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt) and Big Rich (PP10 - Steve Condren). The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 5. Also on Saturday, two $35,000 eliminations for the Milton Stakes will be contested. 16 of the sport's finest pacing mares have been split into two eight horse eliminations (Races 6 and 10). The first elimination features millionaire pacing mares Drop The Ball (PP2 - Corey Callahan), Camille (PP4 - Yannick Gingras), Krispy Apple (PP6 - Tim Tetrick) and Monkey On My Wheel (PP7 - Chris Christoforou). Completing the field are Aunt Caroline (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Mattie Terror Girl (PP3 - Scott Zeron), Summertime Lea (PP5 - Yannick Gingras) and Jerseylicious (PP8 - Brett Miller). In the second elimination, Rocklamation (PP8 - Yannick Gingras), last year's Milton Stakes winner, is back to defend her title. Trained by Ron Burke, the six-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover has earned over $2 million in her career. However, Rocklamation is not the richest mare in the field as that honour is held by Anndrovette (PP7 - Tim Tetrick). Trained by PJ Fraley, Anndrovette, who won the Roses Are Red Stakes back in June for the third consecutive year, has career earnings of more than $3 million. The other seven mares in the field are Charisma Hanover (PP1 - Yannick Gingras), Radar Contact (PP2 - Jack Moiseyev), Voelz Hanover (PP3 - Randy Waples), Ferrari Sena (PP4 - Sylvain Filion), Yagonnakissmeornot (PP5 - Jody Jamieson) and Shelliscape (PP6 - Tim Tetrick). The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $286,000 final on Saturday, September 20. This Saturday night, Mohawk will also be holding 'Fan Appreciation Night' The first 1,000 fans on-track will receive a $5 food voucher and prizes will be given away after every race. More details are available at www.MohawkRacetrack.com Post time this Saturday is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 6 - Grand Circuit week wrapped up with a bang Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Two divisions of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers and two divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers of both sexes highlighted the 12-race card. In the first $106,038 Simcoe Stakes division, Dancin Hill and driver Scott Zeron picked up the victory in a career best clocking of 1:50.1 Trained by Tony Alagna, Dancin Hill sat off the early pace as the lead changed hands a few times in the opening half mile. In the third quarter, Zeron fired up Dancin Hill and brought him first up to challenge the leader Western Vintage. After a three-quarter time of 1:22.3, Dancin Hill powered by Western Vintage in the lane and paced strong to the wire to win by 2 ¼ lengths over Winds Of Change. Carracci Hanover took the show spot. A son of Rocknroll Hanover - Beyonce Blue Chip, Dancin Hill has now won two of his last three starts and improved his seasonal record to three wins in 12 starts. "I was very happy with him," said Alagna following the race. "I felt good at the head of the lane because I know he always kicks home hard and Scott (Zeron) said he was super." Dancin Hill is owned by Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain and has now won five races in his career for earnings of more than $133,000. He paid $3.80 to win. Melmerby Beach and Paul Macdonell scored their second victory in back-to-back weeks to take the second $107,538 division. Melmerby Beach sprinted off the gate to grab the lead and paced by the opening quarter in :26.4. After putting up fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.1, Melmerby Beach led the field into that lane, while Play It Again Sam was sticking close first up and Jet Airway was second over. In the stretch, Melmerby Beach dug in and held off Play It Again Sam to win by half a length in 1:50.2. Jet Airway couldn't find his best stride and finished third, while Surprise Hanover got up for fourth. A son of Somebeachsomewhere - Db Blue Chip, Melmerby Beach has now won three of his last five starts. "The last few weeks we've been leaving with him pretty good and haven't really done that much most of the year," said MacDonell following the race. "He seems to be responding to that style of racing so far." MacDonell also said that Melmerby Beach may be better suited for the cooler weather. "I think the fall weather is going to help him. He suffered a bit of allergy symptoms most of the summer and he is just getting stronger and better and we are hoping for a good fall season with him." Trained by Brent MacGrath for Schooner II Stable, Melmerby Beach has now won six of his 14 starts this year and seven in his career for earnings of more than $159,000. He paid $6.50 to win. 18 freshman pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions of the Champlain Stakes. In the first $123,120 division, Lyons Levi Lewis delivered a 1:52.1 victory as the 3/5 favourite. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Lyons Levi Lewis got away in fourth and made a second quarter brush and touched down on the lead at the half in :55.1. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2, Lyons Levi Lewis kept his rivals away to win by a length. Thinkofagameplan finished second, while Some Power was third. Following the race, Filion explained his strategy with the heavy favourite. "Leaving the gate I just didn't want to get caught up in the speed duel," said Filion. "Let them settle and then retake the lead down the backside and control the pace." Lyons Levi Lewis, who is owned by Joseph Lyons Mound, has now won twice in eight starts for earnings of more than $265,000. He paid $2.70 to win. As the field approached the start in the first division, Sports Bettor fell down and tossed driver James MacDonald to the track. Sports Bettor was caught outside the paddock, while James MacDonald was able to get up under his own power and continued driving on the remainder of the card. If You Want Fire and Chris Christoforou benefited from hot fractions in the second $123,120 division to come from sixth at three-quarter pole and pace by his rivals to win in 1:52.2. A first quarter battle saw Kona Kid, Southwind Indy and Mitt Jagger fly by the opening quarter in :26. Mitt Jagger, who was three-wide around the first turn, finally took the lead, but Lyons Again paced up from fourth to take control at the half in :54. Lyons Again reached the three-quarter pole in 1:22.2 to lead the field into the stretch, while Traceur Hanover sat two lengths back in second. In the stretch, Lyons Again began to tire and needed the wire, but couldn't hold on as If You Want Fire surged by the favourite to win by three-quarters of a length. Lyons Again held on for second over a late charging Mikes Powerhouse. A son of Bettors Delight - Dream Of Treasure, If You Want Fire lost the first four starts of his career, but has now won three races in a row for earnings of over $75,000. Trained by Casie Coleman, If You Want Fire is owned by West Wins Stable, Ron Broadstone, Leslie Halsted and Dr. Fred Kruszelnicki. He paid $8.60 to win. 14 two-year-old pacing fillies were also on display in two divisions of the Champlain Stakes. Happy Becky and Chris Christoforou made a second quarter move to the lead and never looked back to win the first $117,557 division. A daughter of Cams Card Shark - Happy Doris, Christoforou sent Happy Becky from fourth to the lead in the second quarter. Happy Becky paced by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 and then paced a strong final quarter to fight off Shakai Hanover, who was stuck in the two-hole, and Shes A Hot Mess, who came first up in the third quarter. Trained by Casie Coleman, the clocking of 1:52.2 is a new career best for Happy Becky. Following the race, Christoforou said racing luck just hadn't been a friend of Happy Becky in her most recent starts. "She had a little bad luck in her last couple starts...she got locked in last time and just circumstances," said Christoforou. "I wanted to give her the best chance I could, so that's how it worked out." Happy Becky is owned by West Wins Stable, J Robert Darrow, Ron Broadstone and Dave Miller. She has now won five of her first seven starts and has earnings of more than $104,000. Happy Becky paid $6.00. The Show Returns and Scott Zeron took the second $117,557 division in 1:52. Coming into the Champlain Stakes off a victory in the Shes A Great Lady Stakes consolation, The Show Returns grabbed the early lead over Sports Chic and Solar Sister. Solar Sister made a move to the lead in the second quarter and carried that lead to the three-quarter pole as The Show Returns sat in the two-hole. In the stretch, Zeron found room for The Show Returns and powered past Solar Sister to win by a length. Sports Chic took second, while Solar Sister held on for third. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Stienams Place, The Show Returns was making her debut in the Tony O'Sullivan barn. Owned by Richard and Joanne Young, she has now won three times in eight starts for earnings of more than $90,000. She paid $4.90 to win. The final rounds of the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes concludes Grand Circuit week, but harness racing's finest will return next Saturday night for the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. Also on next Saturday's card is the Elegantimage Stakes, William Wellwood Memorial and the Peaceful Way Stakes. Post time is 7:25 p.m. and more information can be found at www.MohawkRacetrack.com. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 5 - Hot off the heels of a successful Canadian Pacing Derby night, Mohawk Racetrack will play host to another stakes filled card tomorrow night. Grand Circuit week will wrap up with the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers and the Champlain Stakes for the two-year-old pacers of both sexes. Lyons Levi Lewis (PP4), the runner-up in last Saturday's $667,000 Metro Pace, headlines the first $123,120 Champlain Stakes division for two-year-old pacers. Trained by Ron Burke, Lyons Levi Lewis finished 3 Â½ lengths behind Artspeak in the Metro, but paced his final quarter in a solid :26.3. A son of Well Said - Tongue In Cheek, Lyons Levi Lewis has one win in seven starts, but has finished second on four of those occasions. Owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound, Lyons Levi Lewis will team up with driver Sylvain Filion for the first time tomorrow night and is listed as the 5/2 morning line favourite. Also in the field of eight is Freedomformysoul (PP2) for trainer Nancy Johansson and driver Marcus Johansson. A son of If I Can Dream - Hello Grin, Freedomformysoul has shown a lot of promise with two victories in the New York Sires Stakes, but has not been able to find consistency in his performances. "He is wicked fast that one, but he is kind of green," said Marcus Johansson, "You don't know what side he wakes up on, but if he wake up on the right side he can go as fast as any horse I've ever sat behind." Freedomformysoul sold for $12,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and has earned more than $35,000 in six career starts. In the second $123,120 division, another Ron Burke trainee is the 5/2 morning line choice. Lyons Again (PP1) races for the same connections as Lyons Levi Lewis and just like his stablemate took home a big chunk of the Metro Pace purse when he finished third in last Saturday's final. A son of Dragon Again - A Filly To Fear, Lyons Again has yet to win in six career starts, but has finished second three times, along with two third place finishes. A consistent performer, Lyons Again has the highest earnings ($130,821) in the field of nine despite having never won a race. Starting beside Lyons Again is Nassagaweya Stakes division winner Traceur Hanover (PP2). Trained by Normand Bardier Jr, Traceur Hanover finished fourth in the Metro Pace final and has won three times in six career starts. Randy Waples will drive the son of Western Ideal. Two divisions of the Simcoe Stakes will also take place for the three-year-old pacers. The first $106,038 division will feature a small, but talented group of six lining up behind the gate. Western Vintage (PP1) has been installed as the 7/5 morning line favourite for trainer Nancy Johansson and driver Marcus Johansson. After a successful two-year-old campaign, Western Vintage's three-year-old season hasn't gone exactly as planned with only one win in seven starts, but he is coming off a good second place effort in last week's three-year-old open. Marcus Johansson noted the son of Western Ideal had a bit of a health issue earlier in the season that was holding him back. "We had a little trouble with his blood in the beginning of the year," said Johansson. "But he seems like he is getting better now and hopefully he can put a good effort in." Western Vintage was just a $7,000 yearling purchase and has earned more than $412,000 in his career. Also in the field of six is the Tony Alagna trainee, Dancin Hill (PP4). Dancin Hill won two starts back in a conditioned event at Mohawk and last week finished third in the three-year-old open. The son of Rocknroll Hanover has picked up a cheque in all eleven starts this season and will once again team up with driver Scott Zeron. Starting from post six in the opening division is On Golden Ponder for trainer Bob McIntosh and driver Randy Waples. On Golden Ponder most recently won the $175,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes final last Sunday night at The Red Mile. Rounding out the field is Winds Of Change (PP2), Carracci Hanover (PP3) and Major Deagan (PP5). Seven three-year-old pacers will contest the second division for a purse of $107,538. Ontario Sires Stakes star Jet Airway (PP2) is the 7/5 morning line favourite. Before finishing fourth in last week's three-year-old open, Jet Airway had won three starts in a row, including a seven length blowout victory in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg on August 4 at Grand River. Trained by Tony Alagna, regular pilot Randy Waples will be at the controls. Looking to build off his victory in last week's three-year-old open is Melmerby Beach (PP5). Last week's victory earned a new career mark for Melmerby Beach of 1:50. Melmerby Beach races for the same duo that raced his sire, Somebeachsomewhere, trainer Brent MacGrath and driver Paul Macdonell. The other five starters in the second division are Three Of Clubs (PP1), Victor Bayama (PP3), Somewhere Fancy (PP4), Play It Again Sam (PP6) and Surprise Hanover (PP7). 14 freshman pacing fillies have been split into two Champlain Stakes divisions. Despite having three starters from last week's $480,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes final, the first $117,557 division could be the breakout party for a filly making her Grand Circuit debut. Shes A Hot Mess (PP3) broke her maiden last Friday at Mohawk in a dazzling 1:52.1. Trained by Tony Alagna, Shes A Hot Mess struggled in her first two starts, but after a few weeks off those issues appear to be put to rest as she won by seven lengths last week. Scott Zeron will sit behind the daughter of American Ideal - Sure Fun Tryin, who is the second choice on the morning line at 3-1. Shakai Hanover (PP7) is the morning line favourite at 2-1 and is coming into the Champlain off a third place finish in the Shes A Great Lady. Trained by Carl Jamieson and driven by Jody Jamieson, Shakai Hanover won a division of the Eternal Camnation Stakes at Mohawk on August 16. The daughter of Well Said - Shes A Fan has two victories in six career starts and earnings of over $139,000. The second $117,557 division appears to be a wide open affair. Sports Chic, the 5/2 morning line choice, has been having a ton of success racing on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit. A daughter of Sportswriter - Vesta Blue Chip, Sports Chic is trained by Blake Macintosh and has won four times in six starts, while never finishing worse than second. Jody Jamieson will sit behind Sports Chic who has earned more than $139,000 in her young career. Looking to build off her victory in the Shes A Great Lady consolation is The Show Returns (PP6). A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Stienams Place, The Show Returns broke her maiden in a leg of the Whenuwishuponastar Series on July 24, but was never better than fourth in her next three starts. Last Saturday night, The Show Returns got back on track with a career best victory of 1:52. This week, the filly moves into the Tony O'Sullivan barn and will be driven by Scott Zeron. Originally scheduled for tomorrow night, eliminations were not needed for the Canadian Trotting Classic as the field of seven trotters will head straight to the rich final on Saturday, September 13. Post time for tomorrow night's stakes filled card is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 4 - Mission Brief came to Mohawk Racetrack Thursday night as a co-World Record holder and left the Campbellville oval as the fastest two-year-old trotter in harness racing history on a one mile track. The sport's best freshman trotting fillies were at Mohawk Thursday night to contest two $30,000 eliminations for the Peaceful Way stakes. 16 two-year-old trotting fillies were split into two eliminations with the top five finishers earning a spot in the $385,000 final on September 13. Mission Brief, the Merrie Annabelle winner, went off as the 2/5 favourite in the second elimination and certainly lived up the hype as she won in a World Record clocking of 1:52.1. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Mission Brief left the gate with good speed to grab the front and trotted by the opening quarter in :27.1. After cruising by the half in :55.4 and the three-quarter pole in 1:24, Mission Brief looked dominant as she trotted home in :28.1 under minimal urging from Gingras to win by 3 ¾ lengths. Stubborn Belle turned in an impressive mile to finish second as she followed right behind Mission Brief the entire mile and was the only filly to keep up with the winner. Danielle Hall took the show spot, while Southwind Champane and Dynamite Dame finished fourth and fifth respectively. Trained by Ron Burke, Mission Brief equaled Designed To Be's World Record for a two-year-old trotter when she won the Merrie Annabelle Stakes in 1:52.2 back in early August at the Meadowlands. Mission Brief's 1:52.1 mile destroyed Win Missy B's Track and Canadian Record of 1:53.3 and now stands alone as the fastest mile ever by a two-year-old trotter. "She had plenty left, she is scary scary fast," said Gingras. "When she raced in the Merrie Annabelle I told Ronnie (Burke) after the race I still have another second, I told him that after the elimination and believe me she could've won in 1:51 and change tonight." A daughter of Muscle Hill - Southwind Serena, Mission Brief sold for $150,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, J and T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. Mission Brief has now won five of her seven career starts and the Peaceful Way elimination victory boosts her career earnings to more than $270,000. She paid $2.90 to win. In the first elimination, Jolene Jolene and David Miller did not disappoint as the 3/5 favourite winning in 1:55.1. Spirit To Win, the 8/5 second choice, made a break before the start and was out of contention before the field left the gate. Amoureuse Hall at 60-1 stormed out to the early lead and hung up a speedy opening quarter of :27.2. Jolene Jolene made a brush to the lead in the second quarter and cleared to the front at the half in :58.1. Jolene Jolene led the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:27.2 and trotted her last quarter in :27.4 without much of a challenge from her rivals to win by a length and a half over Juanitas Fury. Elegant Serenity finished third, while Amoureuse Hanover and Lady Caterina finished fourth and fifth to secure a spot in the final. Jolene Jolene has now won three starts in a row for trainer Jonas Czernyson and owner William Joseph Donovan. By winning her elimination, the connections of Jolene Jolene earned the advantage of being able to select their post position for the final. "That's a big edge knowing where you are going to be because there is always that chance of drawing the nine or the ten and that's a big handicap," said Miller following the race. Jolene Jolene has won her last two starts by doing the work on the front end, but Miller said that isn't her best game. "I still think she races better following. She gets the lead and gets a little bit lost. She seems pretty strong and I think she probably (has) got a little more in her." A daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie, Jolene Jolene sold for $87,000 last November at Harrisburg and has now earned more than $166,000 in six career starts. She paid $3.30 to win. The $385,000 final of Peaceful Way Stakes will take place Saturday, September 13 as part of the Canadian Trotting Classic card. Following the eliminations, the draw for the rich final took place in the paddock. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post position for the final. Here is how they will lineup for the $375,000 final on Saturday, September 13. PP/Horse/Driver 1. Stubborn Belle - Paul Macdonell 2. Danielle Hall - Jody Jamieson 3. Jolene Jolene - David Miller 4. Elegant Serenity - Roger Mayotte 5. Mission Brief - Yannick Gingras 6. Southwind Champane - Steve Byron 7. Dynamite Dame - Sylvain Filion 8. Amoureuse Hanover - Doug McNair 9. Juanitas Fury - Paul Macdonell 10. Lady Caterina - Phil Hudon AE: Lock Down Lindy - Scott Zeron by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
The 2014 racing season at Clinton Raceway came to a close on Sunday afternoon (August 31), and six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions were contested on the program. The star of those races was Thinkofagameplan, who moved into sole possession of the top spot in the Grassroots point standings with a 1:57 track record performance in the third split. With Randy Waples handling the driving assignment, Thinkofagameplan overtook leader Pan Street USA (Doug McNair) from first-over past three-quarters and then drew away in the stretch to win by four lengths in the new track record clocking. Pan Street USA wound up second with Pair Of Deuces (Paul MacDonell) back in third. The 1:57 effort dropped the track record for a two-year-old pacing colt by a fifth of a second. It had belonged to Front Row since he won a Grassroots division in 1:57.1 on September 21, 2003. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his third win (all in Grassroots competition) from six attempts and pushed his bankroll to $36,660, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. In other action three horses picked up their second Grassroots wins of the season. The first to do it was Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who backed up his victory last Sunday at Georgian Downs with a 1:59.2 tally in the Grassroots opener. He was followed up by Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon), who bagged the fourth section in 1:58 after a two-hole trip, and The Fire Within (Jody Jamieson) was the last to double up as he snagged the fifth flight in 1:58.4. Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now two-for-five in the win column with a bankroll of $30,500, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Joe Hudon, who resides in Acton, Ontario, also co-owns Twin B Scandal, a gelded son of Mach Three-Twin B Intrigue (McArdle), with partner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. Twin B Scandal now has a pair of triumphs from seven efforts, and he has banked $28,440. The dam of Twin B Scandal is out of Daylon Magic, who won 18 times in Ontario Sires Stakes competition between her two- and three-year-old seasons. Twin B Scandal, who brought $32,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale, was bred by Twinbrook Limited and James Kirk. The Fire Within is a gelding by Whosurboy and out of the Big Towner mare Mollie Hanover ($311,480). The half-brother to millionaire Illusionist picked up his third win from six attempts and ran his rookie season earnings to $23,620 for breeder, owner, trainer Fred Drouillard of Dutton, Ontario. Also winning in Grassroots competition today were: --Star Cover (Jody Jamieson, 1:57.3). This son of Royal Mattjesty is owned and trained by Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario. Star Cover has won twice from seven trips behind the gate, and he has put away $14,060. He was bred by Winbak Farm and fetched $4,500 at the 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale. Star Cover’s dam is the Dexter Nukes mare Armbro Rosebud ($721,057), an Ontario Sires Stakes superstar who won 11 times from 14 attempts during her OSS career. --Charlottes Colony (Trevor Henry, 1:58). An Art Colony colt, Charlottes Colony broke his maiden in his fifth try and boosted his output to $16,800. Charlottes Colony is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Thomas McGuffog of Hanwell and Geoffrey Macneish of Douglas, New Brunswick. Charlottes Colony, whose dam is the Mohican Pride mare OGs Starlett ($536,647), was bred by Dan Belliveau and was hammered down for $4,200 at last year’s Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale. The next Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event for rookie pacing males will take place on September 12 at Mohawk Racetrack. From the Ontario Sire Stakes and Clinton Raceway
The 2014 harness racing season at Clinton Raceway came to a close on Sunday afternoon (August 31), and six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions were contested on the program. The star of those races was Thinkofagameplan, who moved into sole possession of the top spot in the Grassroots point standings with a 1:57 track record performance in the third split. With Randy Waples handling the driving assignment, Thinkofagameplan overtook leader Pan Street USA (Doug McNair) from first-over past three-quarters and then drew away in the stretch to win by four lengths in the new track record clocking. Pan Street USA wound up second with Pair Of Deuces (Paul MacDonell) back in third. The 1:57 effort dropped the track record for a two-year-old pacing colt by a fifth of a second. It had belonged to Front Row since he won a Grassroots division in 1:57.1 on September 21, 2003. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his third win (all in Grassroots competition) from six attempts and pushed his bankroll to $36,660, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. In other action three horses picked up their second Grassroots wins of the season. The first to do it was Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who backed up his victory last Sunday at Georgian Downs with a 1:59.2 tally in the Grassroots opener. He was followed up by Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon), who bagged the fourth section in 1:58 after a two-hole trip, and The Fire Within (Jody Jamieson) was the last to double up as he snagged the fifth flight in 1:58.4. Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now two-for-five in the win column with a bankroll of $30,500, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Joe Hudon, who resides in Acton, Ontario, also co-owns Twin B Scandal, a gelded son of Mach Three-Twin B Intrigue (McArdle), with partner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. Twin B Scandal now has a pair of triumphs from seven efforts, and he has banked $28,440. The dam of Twin B Scandal is out of Daylon Magic, who won 18 times in Ontario Sires Stakes competition between her two- and three-year-old seasons. Twin B Scandal, who brought $32,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale, was bred by Twinbrook Limited and James Kirk. The Fire Within is a gelding by Whosurboy and out of the Big Towner mare Mollie Hanover ($311,480). The half-brother to millionaire Illusionist picked up his third win from six attempts and ran his rookie season earnings to $23,620 for breeder, owner, trainer Fred Drouillard of Dutton, Ontario. Also winning in Grassroots competition today were: --Star Cover (Jody Jamieson, 1:57.3). This son of Royal Mattjesty is owned and trained by Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario. Star Cover has won twice from seven trips behind the gate, and he has put away $14,060. He was bred by Winbak Farm and fetched $4,500 at the 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale. Star Cover’s dam is the Dexter Nukes mare Armbro Rosebud ($721,057), an Ontario Sires Stakes superstar who won 11 times from 14 attempts during her OSS career. --Charlottes Colony (Trevor Henry, 1:58). An Art Colony colt, Charlottes Colony broke his maiden in his fifth try and boosted his output to $16,800. Charlottes Colony is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Thomas McGuffog of Hanwell and Geoffrey Macneish of Douglas, New Brunswick. Charlottes Colony, whose dam is the Mohican Pride mare OGs Starlett ($536,647), was bred by Dan Belliveau and was hammered down for $4,200 at last year’s Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale. The next Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event for rookie pacing males will take place on September 12 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results and charts click here. Ontario Sire Stakes
Clinton Raceway will end their 2014 harness racing season this Sunday with a jammed packed card which includes Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action for two-year-old pacing colts, the track’s 34th annual Charity Drivers’ Challenge and a fundraiser for Childcan. The eight drivers participating in the drivers’ challenge, Trevor Henry, Bruce Richardson, Ryan Holliday, Chris Christoforou, Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair, Phil Hudon and James MacDonald, have all generously donated their driving fees from the competition to Childcan. “We’ve had a great season in 2014 and I’d like to thank all of our horse people, fans and staff who have contributed to its success. We’re very appreciative of the drivers who have donated their fees from Sunday’s card to our fundraiser. We’re looking forward to another great season next year,” noted Clinton’s General Manager Ian Fleming. In addition to participating in the driving challenge, all of the drivers will also be piloting colts in the six OSS divisions. Jamieson, MacDonald and Henry have drives in all six splits. McNair has five OSS steers, Christoforou is listed on four colts, Hudon has three OSS mounts while Holiday and Richardson will each guide one. The first OSS division, race four, features two colts who won a Grassroots event in their most recent outing. The simply named Jeb was a winner at Georgian on August 24 and will leave from the rail with Hudon driving for trainer James ‘Friday’ Dean and owners Wilma and Jim MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ontario. The Camluck son is looking for his third OSS victory this year having also won the first event for this group at Mohawk in early July. Jeb is tied as the leading point earner in this division with 137 points. Big Moment, who also has 137 points, has drawn post three in the second division, race five. Randy Waples will be at the lines as usual for trainer Bob McIntosh behind the son of Camluck who has won three Grassroots to date and was second in another. Moonwards Hanover will also look for his second straight Grassroots win in the first split. He won at Georgian in a life best 1:54. Paul MacDonell will be up behind the son of Sportswriter owned and trained by Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario. The third division, race six, finds two colts vying for their third straight Grassroots win. Thinkofagameplan, who has won his last two events, will leave from post two with Waples up for trainer McIntosh. The son of Ponder, owned by McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario and his cousin Al McIntosh of Leamington, Ontario, has yet to finish off the board in five starts to date. Pair Of Deuces has also captured his last two Grassroots outings, at Georgian and Mohawk, for trainer Nifty Norman and owner/breeder Pinske Stables. The son of Badlands Hanover will depart from post six with MacDonell at the lines. The two-year-old pacing colts are featured in races four, five, six, nine, 11 and 12 on Sunday’s card. To view the full program, please click Clinton Entries - August 31. Ontario Sire Stakes