It’s been almost 20 years since the acronym HIPAA entered the American lexicon. Shorthand for the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, HIPAA was promulgated to, among other things, regulate the use and disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) and standardize electronic health care transactions for billing, reimbursement and other purposes. Everyone has been exposed to HIPAA. When filling out those numerous clipboard information forms in the doctor’s waiting room, a HIPAA release form is included. With some limited exceptions, a doctor may not speak about a patient’s condition or treatment with anyone, including family members and friends, without the patient’s express consent. Do the privacy aspects of the HIPAA statute make sense? It’s obvious that our health is one of our most guarded secrets. Like it or not, certain conditions and illnesses like depression, cancer and alcoholism carry public stigma, our enlightened 21st century society notwithstanding. Moreover, aspects of human dignity must be considered. Think about two doctors in a hospital elevator nonchalantly talking about the hopeless prognosis for the elderly lady in bed 602, not aware that her daughter is riding the elevator with them. Pre-HIPAA, such unfortunate breaches were commonplace. Making sure our confidential health information is judiciously safeguarded has its place. Should racehorse veterinary records be afforded HIPAA-like privacy protection? Do reports regarding the administration of medication or the performance of therapeutic procedures qualify as protected health information? If the questions sound somewhat absurd, consider that equine health records are treated as rather secretive data, the disclosure of which generally can’t be compelled. This summer, the issue of veterinary record transfer was discussed at theGrayson-Jockey Club Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit. The conversation mostly involved the claiming realm. When a trainer successfully claims a racehorse on behalf of an owner, he or she gets the horse, and nothing else. The conditioner receives no information about any special feed or vitamin regimens, quirks or idiosyncrasies; much less any information about prior illnesses and surgeries. Inasmuch as veterinary records are the property of the owner, it is it’s generally believed that vets can’t turn over treatment records to new owners without the permission of the owner who authorized the treatments. Interestingly, this may not legally be the case. In New York, for example, Education Law § 6714 governs the disclosure of treatment records. The relevant subdivision states: “Upon written request from the owner of an animal which has received treatment from or under the supervision of a veterinarian, such veterinarian shall provide to such owner within a reasonable time period a copy of all records relating to the treatment of such animal. For the purposes of this section, the term "records" shall mean all information concerning or related to the examination or treatment of the animal kept by the veterinarian in the course of his or her practice…” Nothing in the subdivision appears to prohibit a veterinarian who previously treated a horse from disclosing those records to the animal’s new owner. In fact, it might mandate it if a request is made. Of course, identifying the horse’s previous treatment providers might prove difficult. This is especially true in the harness realm, as many of our horses are on private farms and training centers, as opposed to the backstretch of a racetrack where a trainer’s choice of vet is open and well known. Here are some points to ponder before you decide what’s best for the industry: Horseracing, like other professional sports, is a competitive endeavor. Why should trainer Smith be obligated to turn over a horse’s records to trainer Jones, who might subsequently race the horse against one of the other horses in trainer Smith’s stable? Unlike virtually all other professional sports, however, wagering on the outcome of contests is perfectly legal. Why shouldn’t trainer Jones have all available prior veterinary information at his disposal in order to assist the horse to compete to his maximum ability? After all, isn’t that level of performance what the betting public expects? Isn’t the health and safety of the animal always paramount? While there should be no requirement to tell anybody anything about the horse while in trainer Smith’s possession, once control is transferred to trainer Jones, shouldn’t the new conditioner be able to do everything possible to promote the horse’s wellbeing? Horses can’t talk, but the human previously charged with supporting the animal’s health can offer much in the way of assistance. Once the claim is consummated, why can’t trainer Smith’s vet disclose to trainer Jones exactly what he’s gotten his owner into, thereby assisting Jones’ vet to properly maintain the horse? Some trainers are known to be specialists at getting horses to the winner’s circle first time off the claim. The lack of the horse’s health history certainly doesn’t hamper these trainers as much as others. The key to victory might just be trainer Jones’ unique husbandry, which is performed without, and possibly in spite of, whatever trainer Smith thought the horse needed. If you’ve read this far, you’ve already thought about the metaphorical elephant in the room: How many treatments, procedures and administrations are done under the radar, such that there are no records in anyone’s possession regarding their performance? Whether accomplished by a phantom vet or the unscrupulous trainer Smith himself, no amount of mandated rules will help trainer Jones know what has really been done to the horse. In this realm, couldn’t incomplete records be worse than no records at all? Stated another way, if trainer Jones can’t justifiably rely on the records provided, do they have much value at all? On this last point, if trainer Jones later discovers that the records provided are incomplete, can Jones’ owner sue Smith’s owner for damages, or even void the claim? Would the legal issue only trigger if the records were found to be substantially incomplete? Materially incomplete? Consider the damage this would do to the claiming game. In this same vein, what about yearling auctions? Inasmuch as there are absolutely no warranties for anything, save some express limited guarantees regarding freedom from certain conditions and procedures, why should the turnover of information be required? If every illness, injection or surgery is to be disclosed, would nondisclosure, innocent or otherwise, trigger lawsuits? In effect, would the traditional “buyer beware” nature of auctions be forever changed? Assuming the propriety of the mandatory exchange of veterinary information, a broader discussion involves just how it would be accomplished. Vets keep records, so should a rule simply state that every vet who previously treated a horse is required to turn over data to a new owner on request? Such a protocol would seem cumbersome, as all prior vets, including those of owners remotely in the horse’s past performance chain, would need to be identified. Rather, should regulated disclosure involve an electronic database repository, such that a racing commission could review the information at any time? In New York, trainers or their veterinarians must report all corticosteroid joint injections within 48 hours through an Equine Steroid Administration Log. Should this form of reporting be expanded to include every administration of a substance or completion of a procedure? While on the subject of horse health, should the database include records of vaccinations, shoeing and teeth floating? Who would bear the expense for such reporting and database maintenance? What would such a system do to the cost of veterinary care? Moreover, given the multistate nature of Standardbred racing, such a protocol would need to come by way of interstate compact to be efficacious. For example, assume Pennsylvania has a record disclosure rule. If I claim a horse at Pocono Downs, what good would the rule do me if the horse spent the majority of its career in a state where no similar rule existed? Finally, if the formidable task of populating and maintaining a database is to be undertaken, shouldn’t it simply become information freely accessible in real time to handicappers? While betting on football isn’t legal, player injury reports are openly disseminated. Since the bettors know if a horse got a Lasix® shot this afternoon, shouldn’t they also know about the epiglottic entrapment corrective procedure the horse underwent last year? Why can’t the savvy punter research whether a horse’s dam ever foundered, or whether his sire suffered a bowed tendon as a 2 year old? In fact, shouldn’t veterinary reporting extend to treatment of breeding stock? To be clear, the USTA doesn’t have any pronounced opinion or official position on any aspect of this subject. The issue is presented because it has been recently raised in a public forum. As folks who care about this industry, your opinion about what should or shouldn’t happen is important. Think about it, and let us know how you feel. Chris E. Wittstruck is an attorney, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and a charter member of the Albany Law School Racing and Gaming Law Network.
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
The best 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers in the Bluegrass State will be out in full force at The Red Mile on Sunday night, Aug. 31, as the historic Lexington racetrack hosts the $2 million Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) Championship Night. Each of the eight divisions for 2- and 3-year-old trotters and pacers will vie for a purse of $175,000. All four 2013 KYSS 2-year-old champions will be on the track in their respective finals on Sunday in hopes of repeating. Last year's champion colt pacer On Golden Ponder has cruised to a pair of preliminary victories with driver John Campbell. The son of Ponder was on the sidelines all year until KYSS action, and he returned with scores in 1:57.2 and 1:54.3. Defending filly trot champ Petticoat Affair has finished second and third in both her preliminaries, which have been won by Dress For Success and Twice Too Nice. Petticoat Affair is sandwiched between the two on the starting gate in post 2, with Dress For Success in post 1 and Twice Too Nice in post 3. The final for sophomore filly pacers features defending divisional champ Somethinincredible and Rollin Deep, both daughters of Ponder. Somethinincredible may have her work cut out for her to repeat as she has finished second to Rollin Deep in both preliminaries. Campbell drives Somethinincredible while fellow Hall of Famer Mike Lachance sits behind Rollin Deep. The 3-year-old gelding trotter Sorrento Hall rounds out the returning champions, and he starts from post 6 in Race 7 with driver Lachance. The son of Groton Hall's lone win last year came in the KYSS final and he has yet to taste victory this year in six attempts. Both of that division's early rounds have been won by Tinder. In the finals for 2 year olds, four daughters of Groton Hall are in the five-horse filly trot, including preliminary winner Armatrading and Janey Eyre. Groton Hall's lone representative in the race for male trotters is Cinnabar Hall, likely the odds-on favorite after capturing both preliminaries. Bestbestraight, a son of Third Straight, bested his rivals in both preliminaries for freshman male pacers, the latter score a career-best 1:54.2. Dave Palone, the sport's all-time winningest driver, will be in the sulky from post 3. Cielle, also a daughter of Third Straight, will start from post 1 in the six-horse KYSS final for 2-year-old filly pacers and has six wins and two seconds in eight career starts, with her victories including a sweep of the KYSS preliminaries. Post time for Sunday's Kentucky Sires Stakes Championship night is 7 p.m. There is a guaranteed Pick-4 pool of $10,000 offered on races 6-9. Concession-stand specials Sunday include $1 hot dogs, soft drinks and beer. The clubhouse is also open for fine dining, with reservations made by calling (859) 233-0814. From the Red Mile press box
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 28 - When John Campbell turns Go Daddy Go to the gate in the $667,000 Metro Pace final Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack, he's hoping it will prove to be another successful chapter in a partnership with trainer Bob McIntosh of LaSalle, Ont. that goes back nearly 40 years. A week after winning his Metro elimination by one-and-a-quarter lengths over Lyons Levi Lewis in a career-best 1:52.4, Go Daddy Go will leave from the two hole in an effort to deliver the first Metro title to McIntosh and the fifth for Campbell. The Metro is race 7 on a card that kicks off at 7:25 p.m. "He's a tough guy," McIntosh said of Go Daddy Go. "He doesn't mind being first up. He's versatile that way. He's maybe not the best on the front end, yet. He's a little green. But, coming at horses he's awfully impressive. He reminds me a lot of his dad, Ponder. There wasn't a tougher horse around. He was as game as they came." Go Daddy Go, who is also owned by Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, hasn't been off the board in his seven lifetime starts. He sports a 3-3-1 record, with wins in the $200,000 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway and a strong second in his $90,000 Nassagaweya test on Aug. 14 at Mohawk that convinced McIntosh to take a shot at the Metro. "He hasn't gone a bad race," Campbell said. "He's figuring it out as he goes. He's got the desire part. You can't teach that... He keeps improving and doing his work. He's just a very solid colt." Campbell, 59, and McIntosh, 62, are both Hall of Famers in Canada and the United States that have teamed up on innumerable champions. "The oldtimers are still at it - him and I," McIntosh said, laughing. "Over the years we've had some good ones. It's been a great run and John's still driving like a young guy. He's still the best. He hasn't lost a beat." Saturday, Campbell will drive all four of the horses McIntosh has entered on the stakes-rich card. He'll pilot Lasting Appeal in the $207,689 Simcoe, Thinking Out Loud in the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and Dapper Dude in the $34,000 Preferred. The first horse Campbell drove for McIntosh was a $5,000 claiming mare named Brilliant Bonnie in 1977 at Windsor Raceway. "She was an orangutan," McIntosh said. "She was no fun to drive. I do remember that," Campbell said. "She was no Go Daddy Go." Go Daddy Go is a homebred colt out of McIntosh's mare San Francine. She has also produced Daddy Mac ($600,000), Change Your Luck ($180,000) and Miss Maverick ($230,000). "She'd made me a lot more money breeding than racing," McIntosh said of San Francine. McIntosh also bred San Francine, a mare sired by Artsplace, who, in 1990, became the first of Campbell's four Metro winners. At the time, Artsplace was trained by Gene Riegle. Later in the colt's career, McIntosh trained Artsplace. In 1999, Campbell won the Metro with The Firepan and denied McIntosh his first Metro victory. The trainer was a close second and third that year with Intrepid Seelster and Richess Hanover. Two years later, Campbell and McIntosh were on the verge of winning the Metro together with Western Shooter when the talented colt made a late break in deep stretch. "That was my fault. That was a whip break," Campbell said. Further tragedy struck when Western Shooter died before he could begin a promising sophomore campaign. "Yeah, we've had a lot of success over the years and some really good horses, but I think the first one that would come to (McIntosh's) mind and mine as well is Western Shooter," Campbell said. "He passed away between his two- and three-year-old year, but that might have been the best horse we had and we never got to prove it. He was just tremendous, just so strong. He just kept getting better all year. We really had high hopes for him." Go Daddy Go might not be in Western Shooter's class just yet, but John Campbell would dearly love to win the Metro for Bob McIntosh. "I know Artspeak will be the huge favourite," McIntosh said. "But there's a reason they hook them up and race them because anything can happen." by Dave Briggs, for WEG
Wagering on the first of two Little Brown Jug future wagering pools will start at 12-noon Thursday, August 28 and continues through 11 p.m. Sunday, August 31 at racetracks and internet sites throughout North America and Europe. The second future pool will be from 12 p.m. Sunday, September 14 through 11:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 17. The minimum future wager is $1.00 and all future wagers are win wagering only. The winner of each pool will be determined by the official first place finisher in the 2014 Little Brown Jug presented by Fazolis to be raced Thursday afternoon, September 18. A team of harness racing analysts and handicappers have selected a group of 23 colts and geldings. Each colt and gelding has been assigned morning line odds based on the selection order. The horses in each of the pools are listed in alphabetical order. "This is the ninth year for the Jug Future Wager and our fans have been supporting this effort year after year," said Phil Terry, marketing manager for the Little Brown Jug. "The future wager gives you an opportunity for potentially higher pay-offs than on the actual second heat of the Jug." Last year Jug champion Vegas Vacation paid $11.00 in the first pool, $4.20 in the second pool and paid $3.40 in the second heat. The Casie Coleman trainee McWicked been tapped as the 7-2 morning line favorite in Pool #1. McWicked won the $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial and the $400,000 Adios Pace and owns a lifetime mark of 1:47.3. The bay son of McArdle is owned by the SSG Stable. With a win, Coleman will be the first conditioner with three straight LBJ training victories. World champion Hes Watching is a very close second choice at 4-1. The son of American Ideal won the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace in a world record time of 1:46.4 on July 12. Hes Watching was originally purchased for a meager $3,000 as a yearling and has earned Menary Racing, Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing more than $983,000. The mutuel field consists of the remaining horses eligible to the 69th edition of the pacing classic. Past performance lines for the Little Brown Jug Future Wagering event will be available free of charge on the Little Brown Jug website, www.littlebrownjug.com. 2014 LITTLE BROWN JUG FUTURE WAGERING POOL #1 HD Horse ML Odds 1. At Press Time 15-1 2. Beat The Drum 12-1 3. Boomboom Ballykeel 20-1 4. Cammikey 6-1 5. Carracci Hanover 25-1 6. Doo Wop Hanover 12-1 7. Friskie Adam 25-1 8. Hes Watching 4-1 9. Ideal Fashion 25-1 10. Jet Airway 15-1 11. Lets Drink On It 8-1 12. Limelight Beach 8-1 13. Mattamerican 15-1 14. Maxi Bon 20-1 15. McWicked 7-2 16. On Golden Ponder 20-1 17. Sometimes Said 10-1 18. Somewhere In LA 6-1 19. Spaghetti Eddie 30-1 20. Tellitlikeitis 8-1 21. Twin B Speedo 20-1 22. Western Vintage 10-1 23. Wicked Business 30-1 24. Field 6-1 by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug
Eight $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots contests for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers were staged on Sunday night (August 24) at Georgian Downs, and the last of those eight splits saw a new track record of 1:52.2 turned in by Seaforth. Driven by Mike Saftic, Seaforth was up to grab the lead away from Pan Street USA (Randy Waples) after the :27.2 opening quarter. From there, Seaforth hit the half in :56 and the three-quarters in 1:23.4 before he paced a final quarter in :28.3 to seal the win and the record. Pan Street USA held second, beaten just over a length by the winner, and Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair) finished third. The clocking lowered the previous rookie gelding pace record of 1:53.1 set earlier this year by Southwind Indy, and also is better than Sportskeeper’s colt record of 1:52.3 by a fifth of a second. Eric Adams trains Seaforth, a No Pan Intended gelding, for owner/breeder Millar Farms of Newmarket, Ont. This was Seaforth’s second win from six starts and he has now earned $38,260. He’s the first foal out of the Western Hanover mare Chocolate Truffle, a half-sister to five six-figure earners, including multi-time Grassroots winner Rare Copy (Grinfromeartoear, $158,213). Driver Paul MacDonell also enjoyed a fine trip to Georgian Downs as he racked up three Grassroots wins, including a pair for trainer Jack Darling. Darling and MacDonell connected for the first time in the sixth flight withMoonwards Hanover (1:54) and then came right back in the next dash with York Seelster (1:54). MacDonell also prevailed in the fifth division with Pair Of Deuces (1:54.1). Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ont. owns both Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter, and York Seelster, a Mach Three gelding. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who broke his maiden in his fourth try and pushed his bankroll to $21,500, 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. York Seelster, bred by Seelster Farms Inc. and sold for $55,000 at the 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale, is now one-for-five in the win column to go with earnings of $24,900. The fourth foal out of the Artsplace mare Yankee Athena, York Seelster is a half-brother to Yoselin Seelster (Shadow Play, $109,432), an OSS Gold winner last season for two-year-old pacing fillies. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Pair Of Deuces, MacDonell’s other winner, for owner/breeder Pinske Stables of Plato, Minnesota. The Badlands Hanover colt is now a two-time winner from five trips behind the gate and he has stashed away $19,500. He’s the first foal out of the Pinske’s Dragon Again mare Pacific Dragonette, a sister to horses like Doubleshotascotch ($683,773). In other action Jeb (Phil Hudon, 1:54.3) and Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples, 1:54.2) both posted their second victories in Grassroots competition this season. Jeb, a colt by Camluck, is trained by James “Friday” Dean for owners Wilma and James MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ont. Jeb, who has banked $26,160 to go with his pair of wins, was bred by Seawind Amg Stbs 2005 Inc. and was taken out of the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale for $22,000. He’s the second foal out of the Western Hanover mare Keystone Treasure, a half-sister to a pair of former OSS standouts in Invitro (Camluck, $2,383,597) and Bigtime Ball (Camluck, $1,625,073). Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his second win from five attempts and pushed his bankroll to $27,660, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ont. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. The other Grassroots winners on Sunday night were: --Midnight Play (Shadow Play), a 1:54.2 maiden-breaking winner for driver Jonathan Drury, trainer Bill Cass, and owner John Craig of North York, Ont. Bred by Winbak Farm, he was sold for $72,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Midnight Play’s dam Midnight Art (Artsplace) is a half-sister to the likes of Manchine ($257,361). --Fightmaster (Art Colony, 1:55). He also won for the first time in his career with James MacDonald at the controls for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owners Jack Quinn and Michael McGuigan of Charlottetown, P.E.I. Fightmaster was bred by Charlotte Ranch and Caneast Standards Inc. and fetched $24,000 at the 2013 Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale. His dam is the Bo Knows Jate mare Ardor Chymes ($497,707), a multiple-time OSS winner in her racing career. The two-year-old male pacers of the OSS Grassroots will be back in action next Sunday afternoon (August 31) at Clinton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 23...Heavily-favoured Artspeak, trained by Tony Alagna and driven by Scott Zeron, kept his perfect record intact with another facile triumph, this time in the second Metro Pace elimination Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The victory, his fifth in five outings so far in a monstrous juvenile campaign, stamped the son of Western Ideal as the one to beat in next Saturday's 667,000 final. His smallest margin of victory has been one and three-quarter lengths. Lyons Again set the early fractions of 27 seconds flat and :56.2, before Zeron popped the favourite from fourth to take over approaching the far turn. But Lyons Again wouldn't fade, parking the choice through early stretch after three-quarters in 1:23.3. Despite being out in the middle of the track, Artspeak then pulled away for the easy four and one-half length score in 1:51. Lyons Again held second, with Pierce Hanover third, Amora Beach fourth and Traceur Hanover fifth, all of whom will come back for the final. "He's an absolute freak," said Zeron, about Artspeak. "I knew I wasn't going to clear (before the three-quarters). I needed maybe a fraction of an inch to do it. So I just decided to sit with him and when we came off the top turn I chirped to him once and he was gone. I didn't have to pull the plugs. "He's progressed amazingly. Tony did a great job starting him in New Jersey Sires Stakes so it was a little bit easier competition. We were able to race him off the pace and do it the right way, second-over trips, come 26 on the end. He showed us right off the bat he's the real deal." Along with first elim winner Go Daddy Go, the win by Artspeak, who was coming off a sharp score in a Nassagaweya division last week, provided his connections with the opportunity to select a post position for the final before the balance of the field was drawn. In the last 10 years, the Metro, the richest race on the continent for two-year-olds, has been won by such champions as Captaintreacherous (2012), Sportswriter (2009), Somebeachsomewhere (2007) and Rocknroll Hanover (2004). Alagna, of course, is the trainer of Captaintreacherous, while Zeron will be seeking his first Metro win. Sent postward the 1-9 choice, Artspeak paid $2.20 and $2.10 (no show wagering), combining with Lyons Again ($2.50) for a $5.10 (5-6) exactor. A 5-6-2 (Pierce Hanover) triactor returned $38 while a $1 Superfecta [5-6-2-3 (Amora Beach)] was worth $82.65. Artspeak Go Daddy Go, with Hall of Famer John Campbell, got up in late stretch Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack to win the first $40,000 eliminations for next week's rich Metro Pace final. Go Daddy Go, trained by another Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh, was winning his third race in seven outings in a career best 1:52.4 and has been a gem of consistency, with three seconds and one third as well. The biggest win so far this year for the son of Ponder was the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway in Elora on August 4. Sent postward a close second choice to favoured Asap Hanover, Go Daddy Go was moved up from fifth by Campbell around the far turn, after Lyons Levi Lewis had led the way through a half in :55.1, before reaching three-quarters in 1:23.4. By mid-stretch, though, Go Daddy Go had collared the leader and went on to post a gritty one and one-quarter length tally. Lyons Levi Lewis held second, with Lone Survivor third, Dudes The Man fourth and Trading Up fifth, to also qualify for the final. Asap Hanover wound up last of seven. "He just doesn't pay attention as much as he does when he's coming at horses," revealed Campbell. "We just kind of fell to the front last week (when finishing second in a Nassagaweya division). This week I made a conscious effort to have him coming at horses and he responded well. "He raced very well (the first time Campbell drove him, July 7), even though he was third. He paced a big back half and was still pacing at the wire. I told Bob (McIntosh) at the time that I thought he had a future. Since then, he's gotten sounder and easier to drive. But you never know when you come out of a Sires Stakes program just how they are going to do at the open level. But we were pretty sure he wasn't going to embarrass himself and would at least be competitive. So far he proved that. But next week will be a bigger test." By winning his elim, Go Daddy Go earned his connections the right to choose a post position for the final before the balance of the field was drawn. In the last decade, the Metro has been won by such champions as Captaintreacherous (2012), Sportswriter (2009), Somebeachsomewhere (2007) and Rocknroll Hanover (2004). Campbell is a four-time winner of the Metro while McIntosh, who also raced sire Ponder with Great Success, earning over $1.6 million, will be looking for his first win. Go Daddy Go paid $6, $3.10 and $2.50, combining with Lyons Levi Lewis ($3.70, $2.90) for a $16.30 (3-1) exactor. A 3-1-4 (Lone Survivor, $3.30) triactor returned $65.30, while a $1 Superfecta [3-1-4-5 (Dudes The Man)] was worth $264.30. Go Daddy Go Following the eliminations, the post postions were drawn for next week's final. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post positions. PP/Horse/Driver 1.Dudes The Man - Ron Pierce 2. Go Daddy Go - John Campbell 3. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 4. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 5. Trading Up - Scott Zeron 6. Lyons Levi Lewis - Yannick Gingras 7. Pierce Hanover - Paul Macdonell 8. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 9. Lone Survivor - David Miller 10. Amora Beach - Tim Tetrick AE: Sports Bettor - Randy Waplesâ€‹ by Jeff Timson, for WEG
This Week: Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Cane Pace eliminations and Kindergarten leg, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Saturday (Aug. 23) when Mohawk Racetrack hosts two C$40,000 eliminations in the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers, two C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old pacing colts and a trio of C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old pacing fillies. More information on those races can be found by clicking on this link. On Sunday (Aug. 24), Tioga Downs will host a pair of Grand Circuit events, led by the $100,000 eliminations for the Cane Pace, the first leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Tioga will also feature second round action in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. Complete entries for the races at Tioga are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Northfield Park and Saratoga Casino and Raceway this past weekend with a pair of lucrative stakes for pacing males. All Bets Off used the passing lane to score in 1:50.3 in the Carl Milstein Memorial. All Bets Off, overlooked by the betting public at odds of 7-1, took advantage of a perfect trip to win the inaugural $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers on Friday night (Aug. 15) at Northfield Park. Matt Kakaley was in the sulky for trainer Ron Burke as the son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope won for the seventh time in 10 season's starts, while his share of the purse took his 2014 earnings to $511,175. All Bets Off is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, The Panhellenic Stable and Rosemary Shelswell. Kakaley steered All Bets Off ($16.60) into the passing lane and he easily went by the tiring leader, McWicked, to reach the finish line on top by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.3. McWicked and Luck Be Withyou finished in a dead head for second. Stevensville was fourth and Let's Drink On It finished fifth. Dancin Yankee set a world record of 1:48.4 in capturing the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace on Saturday night (Aug. 16) at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The time was the fastest ever for an older pacing stallion on a half-mile track, breaking the mark of 1:49 previously shared by Jet Laag and Ponder. It was also the fastest mile ever paced at Saratoga. Dancin Yankee set a world record of 1:48.4 in capturing the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace. Dancin Yankee is a 6-year-old stallion by Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest, owned by Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo. Amber Buter is the trainer and Tyler Buter was in the sulky. The victory was the 15th in 23 season's starts for the bay pacer who lifted his 2014 bankroll to $457,640. Dancin Yankee ($3.90) started from post position three and went right to the front and was never caught through fractions of :25.4, :53.4 and 1:21, before pacing home in :27.4 for the record mile in 1:48.4. Heston Blue Chip (Marcus Miller) sat In The Pocket the entire mile and finished second, 3-1/4 lengths behind the winner. Foiled Again (Matt Kakaley) made a first over bid for the front down the backstretch, but could never catch the leader and ended up third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 686; 2. Tim Tetrick - 512; 3. Ron Pierce - 386.5; 4. David Miller - 307.5; 5. Brian Sears - 245. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,071.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 529; 3. PJ Fraley - 204; 4. Ray Schnittker - 189; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 172. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 242.25; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 216; 3. Bamond Racing - 156.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 132; 5t. Robert Key - 105; 5t. Knutsson Trotting - 105. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Vernon Downs with Zweig Memorial races for 3-year-old male trotters and 3-year-old filly trotters, along with the Crawford Farm Trot for older open trotters. Mohawk Racetrack will offer the finals in the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Metro and the She's A Great Lady, along with Champlain Stakes events for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters and Simcoe Stakes events for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and 3-year-old filly pacers. Tioga Downs will contest the final of the Cane Pace for 3-year-olds, along with the Shady Daisy for sophomore filly pacers and a leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
The harness racing driver-trainer combination of Randy Waples and Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh connected for victories in two of the seven $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots events for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers on Friday night (August 15) at Mohawk Racetrack. Their first winner was Big Moment, a colt by Camluck who just got up near the wire after a second-over trip to take the fourth Grassroots split by a neck in 1:55.1. Pan Street USA (Steve Condren) had taken the lead in the lane after a two-hole trip but just fell short at the finish, and heavy favourite Seaforth (Mike Saftic), the leader at the top of the stretch, had to settle for third. Big Moment Big Moment, also a winner in Grassroots competition on July 21 at Grand River Raceway, is now three-for-five in the win column overall with earnings of $26,160 for McIntosh, who also bred the colt with C S X Stables. McIntosh’s stable of Windsor, Ontario, and partner Max Newham of Merlin, Ontario, own Big Moment, the fourth foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Breathtacular. Breathtacular is related to two six-figure earners in Breathdefying and Lucky Encounter. Waples and McIntosh came right back to annex the fifth division with Thinkofagameplan. He moved to the lead before the :56.4 half, put away a first-over try from Supersonic Jet (Paul MacDonell) before the 1:25.2 three-quarters, and then paced a :28.4 final kicker to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54.1, which was the fastest of the seven Grassroots sections. Red Pine (Jody Jamieson) was up for second and Mac Raider (Mike Saftic) finished third. Thinkofagameplan Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his first win in four attempts and pushed his bankroll to $18,660, is a homebred for McIntosh 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. The excellent first season for sire Sportswriter also continued as he picked up two more victories. Sportsmanship was a 1:54.3 winner for driver Jody Jamieson in the third Grassroots flight, and Sports Lightning grabbed top honours in the six split, stopping the clock in 1:55.4 for driver Mike Saftic. Sportsmanship was sent out by trainer Dave Menary for the ownership group of Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Denis Breton of Welland, Tom Kyron of Toronto, and Parkinson Farms of Lucan, Ontario. Parkinson Farms also bred Sportsmanship, who broke his maiden in his fourth trip behind the gate. Now an earner of $12,500, Sportsmanship is the second foal out of the D M Dilinger mare Lady D M ($634,732), a two-time Ontario Sires Stakes Gold final winner. Sportsmanship Sports Lightning posted his second victory from four starts for co-owner/trainer Alvin Bowman of Markdale, Ontario. He shares ownership with Robert Nobes of Stayner, Ontario, Veral Robert Bowman of Deerfield Beach, Florida, and Donald Warden of Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Sports Lightning, who has now put away $19,600 for his connections, is the sixth foal out of the Camluck mare Cohenikova. Sports Lightning Also winning in Grassroots action tonight were: Mybestolxfriendray (Cheyenne Rei-Baywatch-Keystone Raider), a 1:56.1 victor for driver Phil Hudon, trainer Kevin St. Charles, and owner Dr. Andrew Roberts of Lexington, Kentucky. The winner was bred by Bonley Farm Inc. Mybestolxfriendray Pair Of Deuces (Badlands Hanover-Pacific Dragonette-Dragon Again), who halted the clock in 1:55.3 for driver Rick Zeron, trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman, and owner/breeder Pinske Stables of Plato, Minnesota. Pair Of Deuces Twin B Scandal (Mach Three-Twin B Intrigue-McArdle), who tallied in 1:56.1 for co-owner/trainer/driver Joe Hudon of Acton and R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. 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 was bred by Twinbrook Limited and James Kirk. Twin B Scandal The next Grassroots test for the rookie pacing colts and geldings is on August 24 at Georgian Downs. For full results of Friday night’s events at Mohawk, please click here. Ontario Sire Stakes
The harness racing action heats up on Saturday (August 16th) at Mohawk Raceway when the eliminations for the Eternal Camnation and Nassagaweya Stakes are held. There are three divisions for both the Eternal Camnation and The Nassagaweya and picking a standout in either series is tough at this point. In the first division of the Eternal Camnation, Happy Becky 1:53 looks a big chance from barrier two. The daughter of Cams Card Shark is trained by Casie Coleman and is to be driven by David Miller. In the second division of the Eternal Camnation, J K Shesalady 1:52 looks the toughest to beat although her draw of seven evens things out a bit. The daughter of Art Major is trained by Nancy Johansson and will have the brilliant Yannick Gingras in the bike. In the third division of the Eternal Camnation it is a very even field with perhaps A Plus 1:54.1 just getting the nod here. The daughter of American Ideal is trained by Tony Alagna and will have Scott Zeron in the bike on Saturday night. The most heavily represented sire in the Eternal Camnation elimanations is Art Major with four with Western Ideal next best with three. In the first division of the Nassagaweya Stakes, two of the smarter colts so far this season square off with The Wayfaring Man and Asap Hanover locking horns. The Wayfaring Man 1:52.2, a son of Dragon Again is trained by Nicky Comenga and will have the great Jack Moiseyev in the bike. Asap Hanover 1:52, a son of Somebeachsomewhere is trained by Linda Toscano and will have the outstanding Ti Tetrick in the bike. The second division of the Nassagaweya Stakes looks a bit more clear cut with the Battle Of Waterloo winner Go Daddy Go 1:54 looking the one to beat. The son of Ponder is trained by Bob McIntosh and will driven by the legendary John Campbell. The third division of the Nassagaweya Stakes contains the fastest horse in the three heats and likely favourite in Artspeak 1:50.4. The son of Western Ideal is another one from the barn of Tony Alagna and will be driven by Scott Zeron. The most heavily represented sire in the three divisions of the Nassagaweya eliminations is Somebeachsomewhere with five with the next best being Western Ideal with four. All up we have six great races to look forward to on Saturday night. For the fields click here. Harnesslink Media
Harness racing two-year-old pacers of both sexes competed in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action on Sunday evening at Georgian Downs, and the top performance was turned in by Sportskeeper, who established a new track record of 1:52.3 for a rookie pacing colt. Each race went for a purse of $70,000. Sportskeeper (Jody Jamieson) competed in the first division for pacing colts and geldings, and he would be in the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter. He then yielded the front to Bob Ben And John (Chris Christoforou), and that one would go on to click off the half in :56.2 and the three-quarters in 1:24.4. Bob Ben And John brought the field into the stretch, but Jamieson angled his charge to the outside, and he would get up late in the mile to prevail by half a length. Bob Ben And John was the runner-up and Physicallyinclined (Jack Moiseyev) nabbed third. The time shaved a fifth of a second off the existing track record, which had belonged to Funny Bones since he won a Gold Series elimination in 1:52.4 on June 17, 2006. Trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, Ontario, also bred and co-owns Sportskeeper, a Sportswriter colt, with partner Merlin Howse of Langton, Ontario. Sportskeeper, who has won three times from four starts and earned $53,000, is the third foal out of the Nuclear Flash mare Keeper Flying, which means Sportskeeper is a half-brother to former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Keepers Destiny (Intrepid Seelster, $712,747). Coleman also won the second section for colt and gelding pacers with Southwind Indy (Christoforou). Southwind Indy led to the :27.4 opening quarter, the :57.3 half and the 1:25.2 three-quarters before he sprinted home in :27.4 to triumph by half a length in 1:53.1. Jamieson had a pocket trip again in this event with Make Some Luck, but he fell half a length short this time. Drachan Hanover (Mike Saftic) tried the eventual winner from first-over past the half, but wound up third. It was the second win in five tries for Southwind Indy, a colt by Sportswriter who is owned by West Wins Stable, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ontario, and Southwind Farms LLC. of Pennington, New Jersey. Southwind Farms also bred Southwind Indy, who was purchased for $45,000 out of the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Southwind Indy, who shows earnings of $88,497, is the first foal out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Its Only Rocknroll. Its Only Rocknroll’s dam is Armbro Wallflower (Village Jasper), a multiple-time OSS winner at two and three, including the Super Final for three-year-olds in 2002. Jamieson did return to win the final contest for the male pacers with Sporting The Look. He had Sporting The Look on the engine through splits of :28.3, :58.1, and 1:26.3, and although pocket-sitter Dialamara (Randy Waples) made things interesting late, Sporting The Look held sway to score by a quarter of a length in 1:54.2. Mikes Powerhouse (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Sporting The Look, who is trained by Carl Jamieson, finished off a siring sweep of the colt divisions for Sportswriter. The elder Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, also co-owns Sporting The Look, who has been victorious in half of his six starts, with breeder 30 Plus Stable of Trenton and Tom Kyron of Toronto, Ontario. Sporting The Look, the third foal out of The Panderosa mare Lyons Mandi ($162,482), did go through last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he brought $72,000. As for the pacing fillies, Cowgirl Tough (Moiseyev) won the first section in 1:54.2, brushing from fifth at three-quarters to a two length victory in 1:54.2. Heavy favourite Southwind Mischief (Christoforou) led through fractions of :27.1, :57.4, and 1:25.2, but had to settle for second in the end, and Betty And The Jets (Jamieson) grabbed third. Joanne Colville and Emma Christoforou of Moffat, Ontario, and Sigrid Velten of Hochheim, Germany, bred the victorious daughter of Ponder, and now Colville and Christoforou share ownership. Also trained by Moiseyev, Cowgirl Tough broke her maiden in her fourth try, and she has now earned $35,960. She’s the first foal out of the Astreos mare Almost A Lady ($185,980). Public choice Sports Chic (Jamieson) didn’t disappoint in the second filly flight, posting panels of :28.2, :58.3, and 1:27.1 on her way to a 1:54.2 victory. Capela (Waples) tracked the winner from the pocket but fell three-quarters of a length short and Northern Starlet (Filion) was up to finish third. Trainer Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario, also co-owns Sports Chic, a daughter of Sportswriter, with partner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sports Chic has a four wins from six trips behind the gate, and she has now earned $139,500. Sports Chic, a Winbak Farm-bred filly who fetched $35,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, is the 15th foal out of the On The Road Again mare Vesta Blue Chip, which means Sports Chic is a half-sister to the great Rainbow Blue ($1,600,012), the 2004 Canadian Horse of the Year. In the final filly dash, Code One Hanover (Saftic) broke on the first turn, leaving I Wonder Why (Steve Condren) in the lead at the 29 second opening quarter. Code One Hanover then regained her stride and went back to the lead before the 57 second half. Code One Hanover had opened up a two length lead at the 1:25.2 three-quarters but then went on the gallop again, dropping the top spot back to I Wonder Why. She wouldn’t lose control this time, winning by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:53.4. Win The Gold (James MacDonald) was next, followed by Shesastarreporter (Jon Drury). Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, also co-owns I Wonder Why, another filly by Ponder, with partner Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. I Wonder Why, who is now two-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $42,440, was bred by Doug Ackerman Stables Inc. of Aberdeen, North Carolina, and sold for $12,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is the third filly out of the Magical Mike mare Model A. The next Gold Series event for rookie pacing colts and geldings will occur on September 16 at Mohawk Racetrack while the two-year-old pacing fillies will race the night before at Mohawk. For full results and charts of Sunday’s races at Georgian Ontario Sire Stakes
ELORA, ON - Upsets stole the show in both of the biggest races of Grand River Raceway's 24th annual Industry Day celebration on August 4. The afternoon card featured 12 races worth $655,640, including the 17th annual Battle Of Waterloo. BATTLE OF WATERLOO Legendary Hall Of Fame driver John Campbell made his Grand River Raceway debut in last week's elimination races for the Battle Of Waterloo. This afternoon, the New Jersey based Ontario native posted a 7-1 win with Go Daddy Go in the $217,140 final. The score also gave fellow Hall Of Famer, trainer Robert McIntosh, his first Battle Of Waterloo victory. McIntosh bred and co-owns the chestnut colt by Ponder with Dave Boyle. Go Daddy Go finished nearly two lengths ahead of race favourite Sporting The Look with Jody Jamieson in the bike for five-time Battle Of Waterloo winning trainer Carl Jamieson. Trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge had four horses in the race, which finished third through sixth. The Battle Of Waterloo is contested by two-year-old Ontario-sired pacing colts. Go Daddy Go BATTLE OF THE BELLES In the fillies' sixth annual Battle Of the Belles, it was Guelph, ON driver James MacDonald at the helm in a 20-1 whopper with Win The Gold for trainer Tony O'Sullivan and owner/breeder Emerald Highlands Farm. Leaving from post two, the Sportswriter daughter moved first-over at the halfway marker and powered home in the stretch to overtake betting favourite Sports Chic and Jody Jamieson, winning by a neck. Capela and John Campbell rounded out the top three. The $138,000 race marked Win The Gold's maiden win in three career starts. Win The Gold ONTARIO SIRES STAKES Jet Airway set a new track record for sophomore pacing colts with a 1:51.1 score in the first of three $70,000 divisions of sophomore pacing colts in a Gold Leg of the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS). Driven by Randy Waples for trainer Tony Alagna, it was the colt's fifth win from 11 starts this year. The former record of 1:52.1 was set by Champagne Phil in August 2013. Play It Again Sam and James MacDonald were the even-money favourites in the second division where the Shadow Play colt led at every step in the mile, holding off to finish a neck over Speckled Door (with Doug McNair) and Falcon Justice (with Paul Macdonell) in 1:53.1. Play It Again Sam is a winner of two races this season for trainer Ian Moore and owners Wayne Eric Whebby and R G McGroup Ltd. Moore was back in the winners circle for the final OSS dash with Silverhill Shadow who cruised gate-to-wire to win by two lengths in 1:53.2. Last year's Battle Of Waterloo champ Three Of Clubs was the runner-up with driver Doug McNair, followed by Victor Bayama and Sylvain Filion. CONSOLATION RACES The Industry Day race card also featured a $30,000 consolation race for the Battle Of Waterloo and the $25,000 consolation for the Battle Of The Belles. In the Battle Of The Belles Consolation, Billy Davis Jr. steered Delightful Hill to her second career win with a half-length margin over Northern Starlet and Akissfromtheart in 1:56.1 for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill. Seaforth made a strong comeback after last week's break in stride in his elimination division for the Battle Of Waterloo. He won the $30,000 Battle Of Waterloo Consolation dash by one-and-three-quarter lengths over Lyons Jimmydean and Jet Settin Mitt. Mike Saftic steered the homebred Eric Adams trainee for Millar Farms. It was the colt's first career win in four starts. RACING UNDER SADDLE The International Trot presented by Racing Under Saddle (RUS) Ontario featured riders from Canada, Sweden, US, Finland, Norway and Belgium. Saara Jalasti of Finland was the champ, scoring her first Canadian win. She rode eight-year-old Tragically Shipp to a four-length win over Angies Lucky Star (Philippe Masschaele of Belgium) and Hetties Honey (Anna Humphris of Canada). The Monte Trot was Tragically Shipp's first win of the season for trainer Lee Watson and owners Lynne and David Magee. BOUNCY PONY STAKES Other Industry Day highlights included the tenth annual Drivers' Edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes. Boldly predicting a huge win during a pre-race interview, James MacDonald won for the fourth consecutive year, finishing a mere nose over his brotherly rival, Anthony Macdonald. Ryan Holliday and RUS rider Sarah Town rounded out the field Bouncy Pony Stakes HALL OF FAME PRESENTATION The Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame made a special presentation to Grand River Raceway General Manager Dr. Ted Clarke, who will be inducted into the Hall Of Fame in the Builders Category on August 6. The congratulatory banner was signed by hundreds of fans and horsepeople and was presented by Linda Rainey of the Hall Of Fame, and Paul Walker, President of the Grand River Agricultural Society. OHHA'S BEST OF SHOW The Ontario Harness Horse Association held their annual Industry Day Best Of Show Competition, awarding $500 in prize money to the top horses and caretakers racing on Industry Day. The winners were: Best Of Show Head-To-Toe: 1st: Maria Flink ($100) | 2nd: Kathy Edwards ($50) | 3rd: Amy Cruise ($25) Horse & Groom: 1st: Linda Coleman ($100) | 2nd: Stacey Reinsma ($50) | 3rd: Amy Turcotte ($25) Harness Shine: Amy McNair: $75 Above & Beyond (bling): Tiffany Stein: ($75) The Industry Day on-track handle was $102,773 - an increase of 11 percent over 2013. Photos from the afternoon can be viewed on the Grand River Raceway Facebook page: Kelly Spencer
ELORA, ON - Monday afternoon at Grand River Raceway, John Campbell will attempt to scratch one more stakes race off the very short list of ones he's never won when he goes to post in the 17th edition of the Battle of Waterloo behind Go Daddy Go. The Ailsa Craig, ON native is considered by many to be the greatest driver in harness racing history. His $287 million in earnings is far and away the most by any driver in the sport. He is a Hall of Famer in both Canada and the United States and he is one of only 10 people with more than 10,000 career wins. Yet, the 59-year-old, who has lived and worked in New Jersey since the late-1970s, has never won the Battle of Waterloo. In fact, he had never even been to Grand River Raceway until he drove in the eliminations last week and qualified homebred Go Daddy Go for the $217,000 Battle of Waterloo for trainer Bob McIntosh, a man who shares Campbell's distinction of being a Hall of Famer on both sides of the border. "Bob McIntosh called me about Go Daddy Go. I raced him in a Sires Stakes at Mohawk and he raced very well. He wanted to know if I would come up and try him in (the Battle of Waterloo) and I said, 'Sure.' We're not that busy through the week in New Jersey and he's a nice colt," Campbell said. Last Monday, before driving Go Daddy Go (Ponder-Sanfrancine) to a second-place finish in the first of two Battle of Waterloo eliminations - and also qualifying filly Capela for the $138,000 final of the Battle of the Belles - Campbell took a tour of Grand River and answered questions submitted by fans via social media. Asked what race he'd most like to win that he hasn't, yet, added to his long resume, Campbell told winner's circle interviewer Greg Blanchard, "right now my focus is on the Battle of Waterloo. I haven't won that and I want to next week." Go Daddy Go finished behind Sporting The Look in the first of two Battle of Waterloo eliminations. Sporting The Look was driven to victory by three-time Battle of Waterloo champ Jody Jamieson for his father, Hall of Fame trainer Carl Jamieson, who has won the Battle of Waterloo a record five times. Jody also won the other Battle of Waterloo elimination with a horse named Sportskeeper the same day his wife, Stephanie, gave birth to their daughter, Siara June Jamieson. "We just barely made it to the hospital for her to come out, but it was all good in the end," Jamieson said. "It was a trying morning, but she's here, she's healthy and I got a text today saying I was a prolific sire. I'm not really sure how to take that, actually." Speaking of prolific sires, Sporting The Look and Sportskeeper are both sons of red-hot sire Sportswriter, who also fathered two of the three winners of the eliminations for the Battle of the Belles. In all, 10 of the 18 finalists for the two stakes are sons or daughters of Sportswriter - with five Sportswriters in each race. Casie Coleman of Cambridge owns and trained Sportswriter. Monday, she will send out four Battle of Waterloo finalists and two fillies for the Battle of the Belles. Sportswriter sired all but one. "Right now it's unreal how every one of them are just like their old man," Coleman said. "I've trained a lot of babies and some of them have similarities of the stallions, but not every similarity. I've got nine Sportswriters and every one of them has a great attitude, great gait, great temperament. They want to win, they don't like being beat. It's just unreal." The Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of the Belles are all part of Grand River Raceway's annual Industry Day Celebration that gets underway on the Civic Holiday Monday with a 1:30 post time. The 12-race, $655,000 card will also feature a Racing Under Saddle event and a wide variety of family-friendly activities, including: a $5 all-access Kid's Pass for face painting, balloon artists, bouncy castles and pony rides (1-5 p.m.) the 10th annual drivers edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes (after race 5) a chance to meet race mare Paula Seelster and her foal and participate in a contest to name that foal (1-3 p.m.) Standardbred Canada's I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club will present an online handicapping challenge Cheerleading squads presenting $250 to the fan selected to represent the winning Battle of Waterloo horse and $250 for the patron who helps cheer the Battle of the Belles winner to victory. Parking and admission are free. For more information, visit www.IndustryDayCelebration.com To hear our conversation with John Campbell, Jody Jamieson and Casie Coleman check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway
The $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie has drawn an impressive field of eight horses [field summary below] and goes postward this Saturday evening, July 19 as Northfield Park's twelfth race. Approximate post time for this event is 11:00 p.m. The Battle is a contest for North America's top open pacers. Superfecta wagering has been added to Saturday's twelfth race, the Battle feature. Saturday's first race post time is 6:00 p.m. Since its inception in 1986, the Battle of Lake Erie has drawn the best veteran pacers the sport has to offer. Past Battle Champions include racing greats Falcon Seelster, Quite A Sensation, Jaguar Spur, Dorunrun Bluegrass, Cambest, Riyadh, Gallo Blue Chip and Maltese Artist. Foiled Again has drawn post 7 in Saturday's feature and has been named the 3-1 slight morning-line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. Foiled Again will appear in the Battle an unprecedented six times, and Saturday will reveal if he is successful in becoming the first horse in Northfield Park history to win this event three times. The 10 year-old son of Dragon Again (2000 Battle Champion) won in 2009 and 2011, joining Jaguar Spur (winner in 1988-89), Peruvian Hanover (winner in 2002-03) and Maltese Artist (winner in 2005 and 2007) as the only four horses to win the Battle of Lake Erie twice. Age does not seem to be slowing Foiled Again. He has paced his last four races in under 1:50. Foiled Again is trained by Ronald Burke and has garnered 80 career victories and sports earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in the history of harness racing. The 2014 $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie Field: #1 - Night Pro enters this race with a six-race win streak, the last four all being paced sub-1:50, and earnings of $308,929. He is the son of Pro Bono Bests (Sire of Bono Bests, 2008 Battle of Lake Erie champion). His dam, Midnight Jewel was a standout race mare at Northfield Park and throughout the Midwest. This four year-old has won 21 of 28 career starts and is 9 of 11 this year. He makes his second local appearance. He won his career debut here in a $2,000 NW1 in 1:57.4 in March of last year. Dale Decker of Temperance, Michigan owns and trains this horse, who has been terrorizing his competition in Michigan and Indiana. He has a career best of 1:49 (HoP 7/8) and Peter Wrenn, who won the Battle with Dare You To in 1991, has been given the driving assignment with a morning line of 4-1. #2 - Beach Memories is one of two sons of Somebeachsomewhere in this year's edition of the Battle of Lake Erie. He has won 11 of 39 career races, taking a 1:48.3 (ScD 5/8) mark and bankrolling $450,214. This four year-old is owned by the partnership of Strollin Stables of Marion, Ohio, AWS Stables of Lima, Ohio, King McNamara of Naples, Florida and Country Club Acres of Findlay, Ohio. Beach Memories is the winner of last year's $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Final. He is conditioned in Delaware, Ohio by Brian Brown and was victorious in his most recent effort in the Buckeye State in a $20,000 Open at Scioto Downs in June. Brown has enlisted Northfield Park's leading driver, Josh Sutton, to drive this 15-1 morning line contender. #3 - Bolt The Duer sports career earnings of $1,770,095 and is one of three millionaires in this year's Battle of Lake Erie field. He has 54 lifetime starts and 20 career victories. He is a five year-old son of Ponder with a lifetime mark of 1:47.4 (Mea 5/8). Bolt The Duer is owned by All Star Racing, Inc. of Towaco, New Jersey and is trained by Peter Foley. This is the second local appearance for Bolt The Duer, who won the $130,000 Cleveland Classic here is 2012. His richest win came in the $500,000 Adios Final at The Meadows in 2012. He has been assigned a morning line of 7-2 and is scheduled to have the driving services of Canadian Mark Mac Donald. #4 - Clear Vision is one of two starters from the powerful barn of Ron Burke. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania and The Panhellenic Stable Corp. of Oyster Bay, New York. He has won 25 and has been on the board in 80 of 151 career races, taking a 1:48.2 (TgDn 5/8) mark and bankrolling $1,912,868. 2014 marks Clear Vision's second Battle of Lake Erie appearance, finishing third in last year's edition. His richest victory was in the $223,500 Bobby Quillen Memorial Harrington Raceway in 2013. Burke has named Ohio-native Brett Miller to drive this 9-2 morning line competitor. #5 - Fool Me Once will start for Canadian owners Mark Austin Stables of Fergus, Ontario and Daniel Smith of London, Ontario. He has 16 career victories in 32 lifetime starts. This four year-old son of Art Major has career earnings of $654,371 and enters this race off of two straight wins at Mohawk, where he took his 1:48.1 lifetime mark. Fool Me Once is last year's New York Sires Stake Champion, winning the $225,000 final at Yonkers Raceway. This 6-1 morning line selection is trained by Mark Austin and is scheduled to be driven by North American leading driver, Aaron Merriman. #6 - Twilight Bonfire is owned by Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania. This four year-old has 49 career starts, winning 10 races. He has earned a 1:50.1 (Mea 5/8) lifetime mark and has career earnings of $965,140. Twilight Bonfire makes his second local appearance. He started as the favorite, but ended as the runner-up in last year's $126,000 Cleveland Classic. This Richard Gillock trainee's biggest win was at Dover Downs in the $165,975 Matron Stakes in 2012. Buckeye-native Tony Hall has been called upon to drive this 12-1 morning line starter #7 - Foiled Again is attempting to become the first horse to win this even three times and makes his sixth Battle of Lake Erie appearance. He won this event in 2009 and 2011, finished third in the 2010 and was second in this event in 2012. Ron Burke trains foiled Again for owners Burke Racing Stable of Fredricktown, PA, Weaver Bruscemi of Canonsburg, PA and JJK Stables of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Foiled Again has garnered 80 career victories and has been in the money 161 times in 210 career starts, earning a mark of 1:48 (PcD 5/8) and earnings of $6,313,068. Those career earnings rank him as the richest pacer in history. Yannick Gingras is scheduled to pilot this 3-1 slight morning line favorite. #8 - Apprentice Hanover is the 2013 Cleveland Classic Champion and makes his second local appearance. The $126,000 Classic also represents his richest triumph. He has 43 lifetime starts and 17 career victories. He is a four year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere with a lifetime mark of 149.4 (Mea 5/8) and career earnings of $824,675. Apprentice Hanover is owned by Bradley Grant of Milton, Ontario, Canada and is trained by Benjamin Wallace. He has been assigned a morning line of 10-1 and is scheduled to have the driving services of Dan Noble. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park
Every year some of North America's best three-year-old harness racing pacers come together and compete for one race; The Pepsi North America Cup! For on this night; records are broken, victories are celebrated and the price of glory is high! And where the list of champions grows and grows... This night is one of harness racing’s most anticipated events. It’s the event of the year that top trainers, owners, drivers, and fans alike come together to watch history being made! You can feel the atmosphere of the grandstand change as the crowds begin to file in with spectators young and old; first time enthusiasts and experienced pros, as they all wait to catch a glimpse of the harness racing’s superstars. The races are always more intense on this night, and you can feel it as the trumpets blare and the race is called to post. The horses don’t know that it’s a bigger night; all that they know is that they are here to win! And the driver’s feel the pressure; because they know what glory lies beyond the finish line. The horse’s line up behind the gate, all of them ready to take one of the many champion titles to on the card. The gate lets the horses (and drivers) go, my heart begins to pound in time with the horse’s hooves hitting the dusty track. I undo my seatbelt, getting ready to stand up when they turn for home! I don’t want to miss a second of the action. But for now I’m on the edge of my seat. I watch the horses race past me, I’m in awe. I tune everything else out. At the same time, I’m also watching the fractions go up on the toteboard. As they come off the turn I know the time has come! I grip the rail, the blood rushing through my body. I look to my mom, and she knows that means I’m going to be standing up. I stand up as my eyes are locked on the stretch. I fight the urge to sit; my legs begin to shake, but I tell myself I’m not going to sit until they cross the wire. I grip the rail tighter. I begin to scream louder than I have all of the race as they draw near. My lungs begin to feel dry because I’m screaming so loud. The horses make a final graceful dash for the wire; all of them wanting to be number one; with one trying to outstretch the other. My concentration only breaks when I hear the announcer say with great excitement “...and that’s a new track record! After the winner returns to the Winner’s Circle. I watch attentively as the blanket is draped over him like the cape of a king. I watch as the winning connections hold the trophy high with pride and joy, as the cameras click and flash away! No matter how many North America Cups I attend, the same magic, wonder, and awe still exists; it never gets old and never will! Each year the horses get faster and faster, but the fierce competition remands the same. I have actually had the honor of being in the 2011 North America Cup Winner’s Circle. It was such an amazing experience, and one of which I will never forget. It all started a week before at the eliminations. I was along the rail when a gentleman came up to me and said “Sydney, if my horse wins next week, you can come out and have your picture taken.” I was so honored and excited. Then a few minutes later another gentlemen came up to me and said “No, no Sydney; if my horse wins next week, you make sure come out and get your picture taken with my horse!” Now I was even more excited! Now I wanted to know who was going to win the final! Was I going to have the honor of being in the Winner’s Circle? All of these questions would be answered next week. But next week seemed so far away. As I sat along the rail dreaming of next week, another gentleman named Carl Jamieson came up to me and said “ Sydney, don’t listen to those two” (referring to the gentlemen I had just been speaking to.) “When my horse wins next week make sure you come out for your picture!” So now I had three invites to the Winner’s Circle! Now I was really looking forward to the final! I could hardly wait to see who would be crowned the 2011 champion! A week later the final of the 2011 North America Cup was here! It was a beautiful summer evening and there was a warm breeze blowing through; and the air was buzzing with excitement. As everyone pondered the same thought, who will win the 2011 North America Cup? The entire night I was looking forward to that one race- The North America Cup! Would I have the honor of being in the Winner’s Circle? If so who would it be with? These were all the questions floating through my mind. But before I could find out any of the answers, someone had to win the North America Cup! The race was making my heart pound faster than it ever had before! The anticipation and excitement was growing with every turn they passed. I was also cheering for three horses at the same time; which as I learned that day is easier said than done. I had my seat belt undone, ready to stand when the horses rounded the final turn. As they turned for home I was practically jumping up and down. One of the horses I could go to the Winner’s Circle with was going to win! Up The Credit would be crowned the 2011 winner of the North America Cup! I quickly sat back down in my chair, buckled my seat belt the fastest I ever have, and my dad and I ran to the gate of Winner’s Circle waiting for Jody Jamieson to turn Up The Credit into the Winner’s Circle! Once there I met Carl Jamieson, I wished him a big congratulations on his win and gave him a hug! And then we all packed into the Winner’s Circle; all overjoyed with the evenings events! After the majority of pictures had been taken, Carl Jamieson came over to me and said “Sydney! Here hold it, and we’ll take a picture!” I replied “No, but thank you!” I was so nervous and I did not want to drop the North America Cup! So Carl (Jamieson) held it on my lap, and we had our picture taken holding the North America Cup! It was a pretty amazing feeling. And to this day that picture hangs on the wall in my living room... After I was back at my spot on the rail, Jody ( Jamieson) was walking back to the paddock signing autographs, as he walked by me I stuck my hand through the bars in the rail and said “ congratulations Mr. Jamieson!” He stopped, shook my hand, and said to the gentleman standing beside my mom and me, “Can I borrow your marker?” The gentleman agreed. My mom turned to grab our program for him to sign. Jody (Jamieson) said “that’s okay! I can do better then that!” He took off his North America Cup baseball cap, signed it, and placed it on my head; and he continued to walk back to the paddock. I was in shock; I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I lowered my head and the tears began to fall, not because I was upset, but because I was so genuinely touched but what Jody Jamieson had done! For the rest of the night I wore that hat with such pride! I will forever treasure that hat. In fact that night I slept with it like a teddy bear! And I kept waking up because I didn’t want to lose it! Today, that baseball cap hangs on a rack above my bed. And every night before I fall asleep, I look up at that very special baseball cap. And it brings me to that very special night and all the lasting memories that were created... This story is a collection of only a few of the memories I have from the North America Cup! Each year new memories are created; all of which I will always hold near and dear to my heart! Sydney Weaver is 14 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, grooms horses, jogs them on the track, co-owns a racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals.