CAMPBELLVILLE, April 20 - Three-year-old trotters were on display Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack in a trio of Tie Silk harness racing series first leg divisions. A group of 23 sophomore trotting colts and geldings were split into three $15,000 divisions for the first round of the Tie Silk. The trotters not only had to battle with each other Monday evening, but also heavy winds blowing in their face down the lane. In the first division, the Pennsylvania invader Great Magic was victorious in 1:58.3. Driven by Trevor Henry, Great Magic grabbed the early lead and would face his first challenger down the backstretch in the form of Raising Richard and trainer/driver Eddie Green. Raising Richard would be unable to get by the leader and would eventually make a break nearing the three-quarter pole. After putting away the first up challenger, Great Magic open up several lengths on his rivals in the lane and trotted on to a 3 ¼ length victory. Guscrest got up for second, while Amityville Lindy overcame a pair of breaks to finish third. A son of Kadabra, Great Magic shipped up north from the Meadows for the Tie Silk and into the care of trainer Paul Reid for owner Robert Key. The sophomore trotter came into Monday evening's contest with three wins in his last four starts. Great Magic, who did not win a race in two starts as a rookie, now has a 2015 record of four wins from nine starts. His earnings now exceed $44,000. Great Magic paid $6.40 to win. Tarot and driver Randy Waples scored a 1:56.4 victory as the 7/5 favourite in the evening's second division. A son of Taurus Dream, Tarot trotted out to the early lead, while Arrakis was to his outside around the opening turn. Waples would make a give and go move by allowing Arrakis to clear in the second-quarter, but circled back to the lead with Tarot. The favourite would look strong around the final turn and reach the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. In the stretch, Tarot was under no pressure and trotted home to win by a comfortable two lengths over Hemi Seelster. In Secret, the 9/5 second choice, finished third. Tarot, who is trained by Dave Tyrrell for owner Michael Casalino Jr, failed to win a race in 11 starts last season, but the gelding's luck has turned right around this year. The Tyrrell trainee now has five wins from 9 starts and earnings of over $46,000 in 2015. A $2 win ticket on Tarot returned $4.80. In the third and final division, Waples would pick up his second Tie Silk victory of the night with 1/9 shot Covert Operative. The heavy favourite got away in third and would trot along in that position until about the midway point. Covert Operative and Waples came first up around the final turn to challenge the leader Duh Bubbees. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:29.3, the two trotters would come off the final turn and battle it out down the stretch. Duh Bubbees tried his best to fend off the heavy choice in the lane, but Covert Operative would ultimately overtake the lead and prevail by a length in 1:59.2 Its Huw You Know, the longest shot on the board at 45/1, finished third. A son of Deweycheatumnhowe, Covert Operative is trained by Per Henrisken for owners Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc. and Asa Farm. The gelding trotter came into Monday night's Tie Silk opening leg with two wins from three starts this season. Covert Operative now has a career bankroll of $32,650. The Henriksen trainee paid $2.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Tie Silk series, the three-year-old colt and gelding trotters had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2014. The second leg of the Tie Silk will take place next Monday night (April 27). Changes to Mohawk qualifying schedule The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to inform harness racing people of upcoming changes to the Mohawk qualifying schedule. Beginning on Monday, April 27, two qualifying sessions will be held each week at Mohawk Racetrack. Qualifiers will take place every Monday and Friday until the end of May. Starting in June, the qualifying schedule will shift to Tuesdays and Fridays. Two-year-old baby races will be added to the qualifying lineup beginning on Saturday, June 6. Baby races will take place each Saturday, except June 20, until July 4. Post time for all qualifying sessions is 10 a.m. Below is a list of upcoming qualifying dates at Mohawk. Thursday, April 23 - 10 a.m. Monday, April 27 - 10 a.m. Friday, May 1 - 10 a.m. Monday, May 4 - 10 a.m. Friday, May 8 - 10 a.m. Mark McKelvie
There are some athletes, who are to their sport — like jam is to peanut butter. They come together like eggs to bacon. They blend. They become one, an osmosis in the world of sweat — like Jordan and basketball; a puck and Gretzky, baseball with The Babe. One without the other is intellectually indigestible. So, it is, that harness racing has always had its Filion and a Waples. Or two. Jody Jamieson is a multiple O’Brien Award winner and John Campbell is regarded with a reverence rarely heard this side of a Gordie Howe conversation. Some, such as Sylvain Filion, who leads the drivers’ standings with Canada’s top harness circuit moving to Mohawk Thursday from Woodbine, continue to hold the standard high for the old world order. But, look close enough, and it is evident that standardbred racing is also coming into a new age. The twitter generation is making its move. A younger, perhaps bolder more aggressive, and evidently a talented wave of young drivers has taken a foothold in the industry. Perhaps never before has so much young blood lined up horses behind a starting gate. “I think it has changed quite a bit,” says Doug McNair, who at age 25, sits second in the driver’s standings behind only Filion. “Even if you go back just a few years, most guys had to be in their 30s before they could race (on the Woodbine/Mohawk circuit) full-time. Me, Jon Drury, and a couple others, all came in about the same time and I think it’s good for the sport. “When you have the younger drivers well, they tend to hang out with a younger crowd and I think it might get more younger people ... a new generation of people coming out to the track.” There is certainly a new generation taking over on the track. With the switch-over to Mohawk, three of the five top drivers have yet to see a 30th candle lit on their birthday cake. Drury, from Rockwood, Ont., is fifth with 37 wins. McNair, has 62 wins in 332 starts, just six behind Filion. James MacDonald, who at age 28 recorded his 1,000th lifetime win last season, sits in third spot with 44 wins. “I think I’ve got a lot of good years ahead. Most of the better, older drivers didn’t get to their best until their mid-30s,” said MacDonald, who grew up in a racing family in Prince Edward Island. “A younger group is starting to break through ... a few of us have gotten noticed.” Noticed is a modest way of putting it. McNair surpassed the 2,000-win mark last year and ranked as the top Ontario Sires Stakes driver. In 2008, at age 18, he became the youngest driver in harness-racing history to win a $300,000 purse in the Battle of Waterloo. Horses, he has always realized, would be his life. His father Gregg, one of Canada’s top conditioners with over $31 million in career earnings, got him started in the sport. “I was only five or six years old maybe when it happened, but there’s a picture in my bedroom of me sitting on a bike in the winner’s circle after (Filion) won a race with one of my dad’s horses. Now I’m 25 and I’m getting a chance to go out there every night with some of these guys. How great is that. Sure, I have my bad days sometimes and I’m not happy when I leave the track — but there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing,” said Doug, “lots of four- and five-year-old kids dream of going to the NHL. I always dreamt of going to the track and racing.” Like McNair, Drury and MacDonald both grew up in racing families. Unlike McNair, Drury and MacDonald had to find, or rediscover, their passion for racing after some alternative adolescent diversions. “I played hockey, I played baseball. You name it, I played it,” said MacDonald, who enjoyed his job at the track canteen in Charlottetown, but rarely hung out at the family or track barns. Both his parents worked at the local track, the family was into the breeding business and his brothers Mark and Anthony were already on track to successful careers as drivers. “My brothers were always obsessed with the horses. I wasn’t,” said MacDonald. After graduating Grade 12, he worked a summer in Campbellville for his brother Anthony but, “I didn’t enjoy it that much to be honest” and he returned to college in P.E.I. Everything changed the following summer when he went back to Campbellville and his brother put him on a bike. “I don’t really know what changed. Maybe I was older. Maybe it was just I knew people and had more friends but I loved it.” And, the game, it turned out, loved him back. Last year, he drove Muscle Babe to a stakes-record performance in the $178,287 Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association final for three-year-old filly trotters in an impressive 1:54. His purse earnings this season already top $800,000. “I can’t imagine doing anything else. Even if I’m having a bad night and I go to the gate I still believe I’ve got the best job in the world.” Drury could be building racetracks rather than racing on them. While he also grew up in a racing family — his father Barry worked at Mohawk, still trains horses and once worked for the legendary Ron Waples as an assistant trainer at the old Meadowlands — he toyed with the idea of becoming an architect. “I really enjoyed it, and woodworking in high school. I thought about going to university but I ended up finishing high school and ... well, racing kind of took over. I guess it was just in my blood.” He started at a small track in Woodstock, his father gave him a leg up with a few horses. “Mostly it’s about opportunity. You have to get a chance to drive some decent horses ... when people see you winning at the smaller places they start to be more willing to let you go to the big tracks,” said Drury. A move to Kawartha Downs a few years later and teaming up with top trainers Corey Johnson and Carmen Auciello was the birth of his “Made It” moment. “I was a regular driver there (Kawartha Downs) and they started using me and we developed a relationship and it just snowballed from there,” said Drury, who also raced at Pocono for Auciello. “It was a great experience. I think it really helped me to be to where I am at today. It’s a different style of racing (at the Poconos), it taught me a lot and I think its made me a better driver now.” Since then he has become an integral part in the development of O’Brien Award winner Vegas Vacation, guiding the colt to victory in his first lifetime start at Mohawk Racetrack. Ultimate goals: For MacDonald? “You try not to look at the standings but you do ... It would be to win a drivers title at WEG,” he said. “To me the biggest thrill is still to have a full card against the best drivers that I grew up idolizing. We’re young ... at this age you’re eager to prove (yourself). We want to win and be like the guys who’ve been in this sport a long time.” Thursday, McNair has six races on the opening card at Mohawk in a season in which he is off to his best career start, and one he hopes will culminate with his ultimate dream: The O’Brien Trophy (awarded annually to Canadian harness-racing’s best and brightest) and a driving championship. “I picked up some good horses to start the year and it just seems to have snowballed from there,” said McNair. “In 2013 I got nominated, along with Filion, for driver of the year. He was always one of the guys I idolized when I was a kid. When that happened I felt like I belonged.” They have taken different paths to get to where they belong, but standardbred’s young guns are arriving at the finish line together. Said Drury: “When you’re racing at Woodbine and Mohawk you’re obviously doing something right. Just knowing I’m racing with the best is kind of a special feeling ... In the past, owners have always gone with the experienced guys. It’s nice to see some of the younger guys get a shot, with good horses, because I do think it’s good for the sport. By Bill Lankhof for the Toronto Sun Reprinted with the permission of the Toronto Sun
TORONTO, February 14 - The second leg of the Ontario Boys harness racing series was contested under frosty conditions Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A group of 13 four-year-old pacers were split into two $18,000 divisions for the second leg of the three-week event. Nirvana Seelster took last week's only division and was back to crush his opponents again Saturday night. Driven by Phil Hudon, Nirvana Seelster went straight to the front and never allowed his rivals to get close. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1, Nirvana Seelster separated himself from the pack in the stretch and scored an impressive 6¼ lengths victory in 1:54.3. Ramblingamblinman finished second just ahead of Mittcent Van Gogh in third. A four-year-old son of Camluck, Nirvana Seelster is trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy. The gelding now has two wins from six starts in 2015 and nine in his career. The round two victory pushes his bankroll over $133,000. Nirvana Seelster returned $6.10 to win and will now have a chance to sweep the series in next week's final. Nirvana Seelster In the first division of the night, Ideal Jet and driver Randy Waples made a second-quarter move to the front and never looked back en route to a 1:55.2 victory. A four-year-old son of Jeremes Jet, Ideal Jet finished eighth in last week's single division. The Craig Barss trainee got away third Saturday night, but was moved before the half by Waples to take the lead. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2, Ideal Jet paced home in :29 to win by a length and a quarter. P L Heavenly finished second, while Regal Babe took the show spot. Saturday's victory was Ideal Jet's first win in 2015 from five starts. The four-year-old now has four career wins and earnings exceeding $96,000 for owners Nurko Sokolovic and Barss. Ideal Jet paid $6.50 to win. Ideal Jet The $45,000 final of the Ontario Boys series is scheduled for next Saturday (February 21) and will be joined by the $44,600 final of the Ontario Girls series. Live racing continues Monday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie
Three-time O’Brien Award winning driver Randy Waples has told Trot Insider that he will be taking a short break from the race bike, effective immediately, and he will not be at Woodbine this evening (Monday, November 17). Waples, who has driven his charges to 6,129 victories and over $118-million in purse earnings, is taking the brief hiatus to rest up and overcome a few minor ailments he has been battling. “I’ve just been run down as of late and have been fighting some small issues as well as some battles with the flu,” said Waples, who was crowned Canada’s top driver in 1998, 2001 and 2010. To view the rest of this story click here. Apple Pie Angel failed to win in the first seven starts of her career, but she’s been unstoppable ever since. The three-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Darling Angel toted a four-race winning streak into her Monday evening assignment at Woodbine Racetrack, and she pushed her magic number to five thanks to a 1:55.1 victory in the card’s curtain closer. Apple Pie Angel was hustled to the lead from Post 7 by driver Chris Christoforou, who carved out panels of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:24.3 with the filly before using a :30.3 closing quarter to seal the deal by three-quarters of a length over A Fearless Affair. Third prize went to Deuces For Charity. The winning time was 1:55.1 for Apple Pie Angel. To view the rest of this story click here. Preferred Pace at the Raceway to Lawmen Reign Lawmen Reign was treated to a second-over trip in Monday’s $7,000 Preferred 3 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, and the pacer made the most of the opportunity. In rein to trainer Ross Battin, Lawmen Reign got away fourth before finding a friend to follow in the middle stages of the mile. Race favourite Apaches Cam, who supplied splits of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:27.4, came under attack on the way to the half by first-over prompter Pacific Oak. The battle took its toll on both pacers, and it left the door wide-open for the tripped-out Lawmen Reign. When Battin pulled the trigger, Lawmen Reign unleashed a :29.2 closing kick to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Machness in 1:57.3. Taking home third prize was Pacific Oak. To view the rest of this story click here.
The temperature was just above the freezing mark for an eight-pack of qualifiers Friday morning at Mohawk Racetrack. The track was listed as fast Friday, but the judges did allow a one second variant on the chilly and windy morning. Many eyes were on the seventh qualifier, as World champion Hes Watching and Milton Stakes winner Voelz Hanover lined up behind the gate. Leaving from post six in a field of six, Voelz Hanover and Randy Waples sprinted off the gate to grab the early, while Hes Watching and Jody Jamieson dropped in the two-hole. After an opening-quarter of :28, Volez Hanover kept the tempo hot with a :27.3 second-quarter to lead Hes Watching by half a dozen lengths. Voelz Hanover reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24, but Hes Watching, who was five lengths back, started to hit his best stride as they rounded the far turn. In the stretch, Hes Watching would track down Voelz Hanover, but came up half a length short at the wire in 1:53.4. Hes Watching paced his last quarter in :28.4, while Voelz Hanover's final panel was in :29.4. Hes Watching was making his second qualifying appearance in as many weeks in preparation for the Breeders Crown eliminations next weekend at the Meadowlands. The son of American Ideal is trained by Dave Menary, who shares ownership with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing Trust. Hes Watching has won five of 12 starts this season for earnings of over $837,000. His career bankroll currently sits at over $1.1 million. Voelz Hanover was making her first appearance since finishing fourth in the Fillies & Mares Preferred at Mohawk on October 10. She was entered to race the following week at Woodbine, but was a vet scratch sick. A nine-year-old daughter of Astreos, Voelz Hanover recorded the biggest victory of her career back in September when she won the $286,000 Milton Stakes at Mohawk. She is trained by Corey Johnson for owner Richard Berthiaume and has won six of 16 starts this season for earnings of over $262,000. Voelz Hanover's career record currently sits at 44 wins from 168 starts for earnings of over $1.7 million. Also making an appearance Friday morning was Valley Victory elimination winner Whataworkout. The Frank Antonacci trainee turned in a 25 length victory in 1:58. Driven by Domenico Cecere, Whataworkout was making his first appearance since making a break in the stretch of the $521,000 Valley Victory on October 25 at Woodbine. A two-year-old son of Muscle Hill, Whataworkout has won twice in his first five starts for earnings of over $32,000. He is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut. Ontario Sires Stakes standout Sports Chic was also a winner Friday morning. A two-year-old daughter of Sportswriter, Sports Chic won her qualifier by 13 lengths in 1:56.4. Driven by Jody Jamieson, this was Sports Chic's first charted line since finishing fourth in the $250,000 OSS Super Final on October 11 at Mohawk. Trained by Blake Macintosh, Sports Chic has won five times from 10 starts for earnings of over $241,000. Macintosh is also a co-owner of the filly along with Hutt Racing Stable. The full list of Friday morning's winners can be found below. Mohawk Qualifiers - Friday, November 7 Race 1 - Whataworkout (Domenico Cecere) - 1:58 Race 2 - Sports Chic (Jody Jamieson) - 1:56.4 Race 3 - Sas Warkentin (Scott Young) - 2:00 Race 4 - Century Angeldust (Mike Saftic) - 1:58.2 Race 5 - Barefoot Beauty (Doug McNair) - 1:59.1 Race 6 - Hldontghttoyurdrms (Jonathan Drury) - 2:00.2 Race 7 - Voelz Hanover (Randy Waples) - 1:53.4 Race 8 - Screen The Call (Jody Jamieson) - 1:58 Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred
There was no denying Skippin By her harness racing title as Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion in tonight’s $250,000 three-year-old pacing filly final at Mohawk. Skippin By, with Randy Waples at the lines as usual, blasted by the opening quarter in :26.1 and the half in :54.1. Lady Shadow got hung out on the outside when she was unsuccessful in her try for the top as Skippin By was not about to give it up. She hit the three-quarters in 1:22.2 and was home comfortably in 1:51.3. Brescia Seelster was second with Sectionline Aqua taking third. Corey Johnson took over the filly’s training at the beginning of August. “She had quite a few starts under her belt. They told me she was a nice filly but had just been having some difficulties. She surprised us all, she’s wonderful, I can’t say enough about her,” he said. With respect to the trip he noted he didn’t think she’d have to do that much work so early to hold off Lady Shadow. “Lady Shadow’s had a huge year, she’s a wonderful filly as well. I think it was our race to lose. My one concern was not to overdo it, and see how things panned out. Randy did a wonderful job, I can’t say enough.” As to what makes the filly so good, he praised: “She’s got a wonderful attitude. She’s all about her job, she loves to win. There’s no end to her.” Owned by Wall Bros. Stable and Bruce Soulsby of Ohio, Skippin By’s earnings for the season climbed over $373,000 with tonight’s effort. Soulsby indicated that the owners are seriously considering supplementing her to the Breeders Crown as she wasn’t kept eligible. Bred by the respected bloodstock expert, the late Bart Glass, Skippin By, a daughter of Shadow Play, sold for a mere $5,000 at the Lexington Select Sale as a yearling. The full results from tonight’s race card at Mohawk may be viewed Mohawk Results – October 11. Ontario Sire Stakes
Dapper Dude left well for early position and prevailed off a ground-saving trip in the $34,000 Preferred Pace featured on Saturday night's harness racing card at Mohawk Racetrack. Driver Randy Waples hustled Dapper Dude off the gate from post six to establish the early lead over the popular inside starter Dovuto Hanover (Sylvain Filion), but Apprentice Hanover (Chris Christoforou) was parked out and drove on to claim the leading role past the :26.4 first quarter mark. Down the backstretch, 3-5 favourite Dovuto Hanover made his move and edged by Apprentice Hanover at the midway mark in :54.2. He cleared to command and raced to three-quarters in 1:22.1 while Duc Dorleans (Phil Hudon) tipped out from fourth and fanned wide as Apprentice Hanover popped back out of the pocket spot. To view the rest of this story click here. Travis Cullen trainees 1-2 at Alberta Travis Cullen's trainees Feelin Flush and Sing Like An Angel dominated this week's $8,400 Fillies & Mares Open Pace at Alberta Downs, finishing first and second in the Saturday feature for the 22-year-old horseman. G Ts Selene and driver Bill Tainsh Jr. tried to go wire-to-wire, leading the six-horse field through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27, but had to settle for third after the Cullen mares swept by down the stretch. Feelin Flush, the overwhelming 1-5 favourite, kicked home in :27.1 off a three-hole trip to prevail by more than three lengths. Sing Like An Angel and Philip Giesbrecht circled up from last, briefly catching cover from her stablemate, on her way to securing the runner-up honours. To view the rest of this story click here.
A big pot of $150,000 was up for grabs in a single Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series event for three-year-old filly pacers on Sunday night at Flamboro Downs, and it was won by Skippin By and driver Randy Waples in 1:52.4. Jakardez (Trevor Henry) took the field of eight through opening-half fractions of :26.3 and :55.2, but Skippin By, who came first-over out of fourth before the half, would clear to command on the way to the 1:24 three-quarters. From there the 1-9 favourite poured it on, opening up to win by five lengths over runner-up Alibi Seelster (Jody Jamieson). Brookdale Shadow (Chris Christoforou) finished third. Corey Johnson trains Skippin By, a daughter of Shadow Play, for owners Wall Bros Stable of Marion and Bruce Soulsby of Powell, Ohio. Skippin By has five victories from 14 trips behind the gate this year, and this was her ninth career win. A three-time winner in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots competition last year and now a three-time Gold Series winner this season, Skippin By has earned $223,600 in 2014 and $267,098 in her life. This concluded the regular season for the three-year-old filly pacers of the Gold Series. Their final event on the calendar will be on October 11 when they compete in the Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results and charts of tonight’s races at Flamboro Downs, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0928flmdn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
ELORA, ON - Monday (September 29) marks the final live race card of the year at Grand River Raceway, but it's already proven to be a successful year at the track. Despite fewer races and fewer cards, the average bet per race jumped 10.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013 and total wagering on Grand River is up 4.8 per cent from just under $6.5 million in 2013 to nearly $6,786,149 this year through Wenesday's card. All this despite a decrease in the number of races per card of nearly 10 per cent. On the track, nothing topped Hall of Fame driver John Campbell and Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh teaming up to win the $217,140 Battle of Waterloo Aug. 4 with McIntosh's two-year-old homebred pacing colt Go Daddy Go. It was the first Battle of Waterloo victory for both men. "I haven't started that many in it, but it feels tremendous," McIntosh said in the winner's circle. "It's a real thrill." Campbell said the victory felt great. "It's been a fun day for me and it's capped off extremely well," he said. This year also marked Campbell's first trip to Grand River and he liked what he saw. "I got a tour before the races started here and it's very efficient and very convenient for fans. It looks like a very nice plant," Campbell said. The Grand River meet also saw rising star James MacDonald win his first premier stakes race at the track when he drove 20-1 longshot Win The Gold to victory in the Battle of the Belles for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. In August, Grand River's general manager Dr. Ted Clarke was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in the builders' category. That same month, Jet Airway set a track record for three-year-old pacing colts when he buzzed the Grand River oval in 1:51.1. Five other horses also set Canadian seasonal records at the track. On the drivers' side, Trevor Henry was again crowned the top Grand River driver for both wins and money. Casie Coleman was Grand River's top money-winning trainer and Richard Moreau led all trainers in wins at the track by a wide margin. And this year, we also learned important information such as what three people driver Scott Coulter would enlist to thwart a zombie apocalypse. "I'm going to take Clint Eastwood," Coulter said, "Superman and throw Sly Stallone in there, too. Why not?" We also discovered what Randy Waples would be doing if he wasn't driving horses for a living -"At one time, being a surfer sounded pretty good. I likead the idea of that." - what music trainer Casie Coleman thinks Satan has playing on repeat in her version of hell - "Anything country, probably." - and what James MacDonald does better than his two famous driving brothers, Anthony and Mark - "Golf, that's for sure, because they're both horrible." To hear our conversation with some of the most prominent drivers and trainers in the game, 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 Final Training Day at Grand River Raceway Grand River Raceway will remain open for training every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon, with all horses vacated by 1:00 p.m. This schedule will remain in effect until the final training day on October 9. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway
Three-year-old pacing colt Jet Airway has yet to taste defeat in his tough Gold division of the Ontario Sires Stakes and he’ll attempt to end the regular season on a perfect note when the glamour boys contest their final Gold event of the year Friday at Mohawk Raceway. Leading trainer Erv Miller of Pennsylvania trains the son of Jeremes Jet while he races south of the border, but during his time in Ontario Tony Alagna takes over those responsibilities. Miller co-owns the colt with Tangie Massey, Paul Sunderhaus and Larry Agle. To date Jet Airway has banked $226,000 from 14 starts this campaign which has seen him bounce successfully back and forth between the Grand Circuit events and the Ontario Sires Stakes. Bred by Spring Haven Farm of Ohio, Jet Airway sold at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $36,000. He is a half-brother to $208,000 winning mare Angel Scent who raced on the WEG circuit for trainer Ben Wallace. Jet Airway made his first OSS appearance this year in the June 28 Gold event at Mohawk, a couple of weeks after racing against the very best of this division in the North America Cup eliminations where he finished fourth and did not qualify for the million dollar final. He won the Gold event in 1:50.4 and then went on to compete once again against the top colts in North America in the Meadowlands Pace where he earned a cheque in both his elim and final. Jet Airway returned to Mohawk for another Gold event on July 28, where he won in 1:51.2. One week later he was back in OSS Gold action on Grand River Raceway’s Industry Day where he established a track record of 1:51.1 over the half-mile oval. He comes into Friday’s contest a perfect three for three in the provincial program. He’s drawn post five in the first of two $105,000 divisions, race nine, with Randy Waples at the lines as usual. The leading point earner in this division to date, Jet Airway faces the next two highest, Play It Again Sam (post seven) and Boomboom Ballykeel (post two) in the same race. The second division sees the return to the OSS of Three Of Clubs who raced last week in the coveted Little Brown Jug where he finished fifth in his heat and did not qualify for the second heat. The son of Mach Three has post two with Doug McNair at his usual position in the bike. This will be the final Gold event for all of these colts. The highest point earners will return to Mohawk Racetrack for the OSS Super Finals on October 11. To view the entries for tomorrow night’s card, please click Mohawk Entries - September 26. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Harness racing three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits set the fields for their $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series Finals with eight $20,000 Semifinals Saturday (September 20) at Mohawk Racetrack. The top five horses in each Semifinal moved on to next week’s Finals. Pacing Males High Flier (J. Harris) left out fast from his post nine starting spot in the first Semifinal, and he had the lead at the :26.1 opening quarter. Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) was in second at that point, but he moved to the outside and took control before the :55.1 half. Regal Son (Randy Waples) then rolled the dice first-over out of fourth, and he would match strides with Shadow Place at the 1:23.2 three-quarters. Regal Son forged his way around Shadow Place in the lane, but High Flier got a lane up the inside, and he took advantage, getting up to win by a head in 1:52.1. Shadowbriand (Mike Saftic) turned a second-over trip into the runner-up spot and Regal Son finished third. Some Major Beach (Doug McNair) came in fourth, followed by V I P Bayama (Sylvain Filion). Trainer David Taff of Waterdown, Ontario, shares ownership of High Flier, a Shadow Play colt, with Christopher Nicol of West Yorkshire, England. High Flier, who won at the Grassroots level on June 13 at Mohawk, has won five times from 11 attempts in 2014, and he has six career tallies. He has earned $43,436 this year and $47,386 in his life. Atomic Million AM (Rick Zeron) shot through from the pole position to take the field of ten to the :27.1 first quarter in the second Semifinal, but favoured Titus Seelster (Sylvain Filion) vacated the pocket past that marker, and he became the new front-stepper before the :56.3 half. Titus Seelster still had command at the 1:24.4 three-quarters while he felt some first-over pressure from Regal Babe (Doug McNair). Titus Seelster continued to hold Regal Babe off as they raced through the lane, but a number of horses began to close in on the leaders inside the final sixteenth, and it would be 50-1 shot Nirvana Seelster (Phil Hudon) charging up on the far outside to win the race in 1:53.4. Atomic Million AM, who lacked room for much of the stretch drive, was the runner-up and Regal Babe checked in third. Titus Seelster faded to fourth and Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) rallied to get fifth. Nirvana Seelster is a Camluck gelding trained by Bill Budd for owner Bruce Davy of Brockville, Ont. Nirvana Seelster, who was unraced at two, now has a trio of wins from 19 efforts and has put away $52,296. He was bred by Seelster Farms. Trotting Males Warrawee Promesse (Wayne Henry), who was starting from post ten and gunning for his eighth consecutive victory, took the lead away from 80-1 shot Hetties Commander (Paul MacKenzie) just after the :27.4 first quarter in the Semifinal opener for this bunch. Warrawee Promesse would go on to reach the half in :57.2 and the three-quarters in 1:27, never facing a serious challenge along the way. At the top of the lane Henry asked Warrawee Promesse to kick away, but inside the final sixteenth he was overhauled by several challengers, including Kremlin (Sylvain Filion), who rallied from next-to-last at three-quarters to the win by a quarter of a length in 1:57.1. Hetties Commander shook loose from the pocket and wound up second with Tyrone Haji (Randy Waples) nabbed third. Warrawee Promesse had to settle for fourth and Massive Pockets (Jody Jamieson) survived a tough outside journey to finish fifth. Richard Moreau trains Kremlin, a Kadabra gelding, for owner Mike Wassilyn of Rockwood, Ontario. Kremlin, a winner in Grassroots competition on June 9 at Mohawk, scored his fifth triumph from 15 efforts this season and his seventh career victory. Bred by Overseas Farms Ltd., Kremlin has put away $45,472 on the campaign and $55,352 lifetime. It looked like Totally Ripped (Steve Byron) was going to the lead in the other Semifinal, but then he went off-stride, leaving Jack Litten (Doug McNair) in first at the :27.3 opening quarter. Justcallmeronald (Jody Jamieson) then popped out of the pocket, and he would take the lead before the 58 second half-mile marker. Justcallmeronald would go on to click off three-quarters in 1:27.4, but McNair angled Jack Litten back out of the two-hole in the lane, and he would out-trot Justcallmeronald late in the mile to prevail by just over a length in 1:57.4. Justcallmeronald, Ramas Last Son (Steve Condren), Crowningcrest (James MacDonald) and Taurus Seelster (Randy Waples) rounded out the top-five finishers. Jack Litten is a Muscle Mass gelding trained by Gregg McNair for owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, Michigan. Jack Litten, who did not compete as a two-year-old, has three wins from 12 starts in 2014, and he has put away $48,962. Jack Litten, who was bred by Tony Holmes and Walter Zent, also won in Grassroots competition on June 26 and September 2 at Mohawk. Pacing Fillies 70-1 shot Stellllllla (Jody Jamieson) held the lead at the :27.2 first quarter in the Semifinal opener, but Murrayfield (Sylvain Filion) would take over the front prior to the :56.1 half. Murrayfield then came under siege from first-over challenger Regally Ready (Doug McNair), and Murrayfield and Regally Ready were head-and-head at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. In the stretch Regally Ready put away Murrayfield, but then Bet Ya (Paul MacDonell) came from off cover to duel with the new leader. Meanwhile, 3-5 favourite Dana Dearest (Chris Christoforou), who had been fourth-over at three-quarters, began to close in as well. Regally Ready managed to fight off Bet Ya, but Dana Dearest was unrelenting with her brush, and she got up to win by about a neck in 1:53.3. Regally Ready came in second and Bet Ya was third. Mea Lilley Mark (Mike Saftic) checked in fourth and Double Joy (Mario Baillargeon) finished fifth. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ontario. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going eight-for-15. She has season’s earnings of $77,820 and a career bankroll of $82,048. Dana Dearest has only been defeated once in five Grassroots starts in 2014. Her Own Land (James MacDonald), the public’s 4-5 choice, led through fractions of :26.4, :56.1, and 1:24 on her way to a 1:54 decision in the second Semifinal. She beat runner-up Shadows Wonder (Chris Christoforou) by about two lengths with Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) back in third. Fourth went to Born To Dream and Royal Mama (Steve Condren) collected fifth. Dave Menary trains Her Own Land, a filly by Blissfull Hall, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land now has five wins in Grassroots company and six wins from 14 starts overall this year. Now a seven-time winner in her career, Her Own Land has earned $77,490 in 2014 and $87,050 lifetime. Trotting Fillies In the first Semifinal for this group it would be Serendipitious (Chris Christoforou) who took the field of ten through fractions of :27.4, :58.3, and 1:28. Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) attacked the pace-setter from first-over on the final bend, and that gave a second-over tow to public choice Mystical Wishes (Doug McNair). Serendiptious put away Flexible Woman turning for home, but Mystical Wishes was sent into three-wide territory for McNair, and she would trot past the pace-setter on her way to a 1:56.4 victory. Serendiptious held second, beaten a length by the winner, and Diamonds For Life (Sylvain Filion) took third. Also securing positions in next week’s final were fourth-place finisher Missys Ga Ga (John Campbell) and fifth-place filly Chelseas Chance (Randy Waples). Tony Alagna trains the winner, a daughter of Muscle Mass, for co-owner/breeder Mystical Marker Farms LLC. of Dyer and co-owner Peggy Hood of Valparaiso, Indiana. Mystical Wishes is eight-for-13 in the win column this year after going winless in four tries as a rookie. Mystical Wishes has earned $63,990 in 2014 and $67,740 lifetime. This was Mystical Wishes’s fourth OSS win of the year, joining her successes on August 12 at Mohawk, September 2 at Mohawk, and September 11 at Flamboro Downs. Quadrophenia (James MacDonald) blasted out from post ten to take the second Semifinal field to the opening quarter in 28 seconds, but 3-5 favourite and point standings leader Torches Star (Steve Condren) trotted her way to the top before the :57.1 half. Torches Star was still the boss at the 1:27.2 three-quarters, but she didn’t have her best game on this night, and she was overtaken by first-over challenger Doweypuffandhow (Steve Byron) with an eighth of a mile to go. A host of closers were coming after the new leader, though, and trotting fastest of all was Lenny Mac (Randy Waples), who surged from third-over at the top of the lane to win in 1:57.3. Wonderland Snow (Trevor Henry) split horses to get second and Quadrophenia was third. Nickange Two (Mike Saftic) got fourth at 60-1 and Northern Secret (Mario Baillargeon) nailed down the last spot in the final. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, also co-owns Lenny Mac, a filly by Kadabra, with partner Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, Ontario. McIntosh also bred Lenny Mac with C S X Stables and Michael Kohler. Lenny Mac has four triumphs from 14 trips behind the gate this year, and this was her seventh career trip to the winner’s circle. She has banked $57,759 this season and $97,099 in her life. This was Lenny Mac’s third Grassroots win of the season, matching her total from her freshman campaign. Mohawk Racetrack will roll out the red carpet again next Saturday night with eight $50,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Finals for two- and three-year-olds. For full results of this Saturday night’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0920mohsn.dat. OSS News
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 20 - Voelz Hanover and Randy Waples converted off a two-hole trip to pull off a 30-1 upset in the $286,000 Milton Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk. With a starting spot of post six, Voelz Hanover left hard off the gate against nine of the sport's top older pacing mares, but was out sprinted by Anndrovette, who started from post seven, past an opening quarter of :26. Anndrovette would lead the field to three-quarter pole, hanging up fractions of :54.1 and 1:22.2, to bring the field into the lane. Challenging Anndrovette first up around the final turn was Yagonnakissmeornot, while Voelz Hanover sat in the garden spot waiting for the stretch. In the stretch, Yagonnakissmeornot over took the lead, but once Waples brought Voelz Hanover off the rail she powered past the leader to win by a length and a half in 1:50. Yagonnakissmeornot finished second, while Anndrovette held on for third over Krispy Apple. Following the race, Waples, a resident of Milton, Ontario, said he had a few game plans in his head before the race, but wasn't sure how things were going to play out. "There was just so many good horses in there to follow I was really half thinking about backing her off the gate for a change and following," said Waples. "Nobody was really on the gate on the inside...so off I went." Trained by Corey Johnson for owner Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Quebec, Saturday night's victory was Voelz Hanover's fifth win of the season and the 43rd of her career. The nine-year-old daughter of Astreos has earned over $1.6 million in her career, but the Milton Stakes victory is the biggest triumph of her career, since she won the $300,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final as a three-year-old in 2008 at Woodbine. Waples talked about racing against Voelz Hanover when he was driving the great mare Dreamfair Eternal several years ago. "I can remember having what I consider the best mare around here, Dreamfair Eternal, and Benoit Baillargeon had her (Voelz Hanover) and I was scared of her every week," said Waples. "She could always do damage to me. I think she was second in the (2010) Breeders Crown when Dreamfair Eternal won it and she's kept going and going." Waples, who won this event in 2010 with Dreamfair Eternal, is now a two-time Milton Stakes winner. Voelz Hanover's clocking of 1:50 just missed equaling Rocklamation's stakes record of 1:49.4. Voelz Hanover paid $68.30 to win. Mark McKelvie
Rookie pacers and trotters of both sexes competed in eight $20,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Semifinals on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The top five finishers from each Semifinal will return for the $50,000 Grassroots finals next Saturday night at Mohawk. Pacing Males The first Semifinal for this group saw Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) in front of a parked-out Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples) by half a length at the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan surged into the lead after that, and he would go on to click off the half in :57.1 and the three-quarters in 1:25.3. Through the stretch Thinkofagameplan, who led the Grassroots regular season point standings for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers, remained in charge, and he would go on to defeat Star Cover by a length and a quarter in 1:53.4. Single White Sock (James MacDonald) was third, followed by Mybestolxfriendray (Billy Davis Jr.) and Pair Of Deuces (Paul MacDonell). Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fifth win (all in Grassroots competition) from nine attempts and pushed his earnings to $86,440, 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. Thinkofagameplan has also raced against Grand Circuit two-year-old male pacers this year, finishing second in a division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk. In the other Semifinal post nine starter Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) blasted out for command, and he got around favourite Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell) at the :26.2 opening quarter. Moonwards Hanover then moved to the top, and he got to the half in :55.2 and to the three-quarters in 1:26.1. MacDonell asked the public choice to pick it up at the top of the stretch, but he didn’t have it on this night, and that set up a wild scramble to the finish line that resulted in Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair), who had drawn into the race following the scratch of Bridge Of Stone, rallying from off –the-pace and splitting horses inside the final sixteenth to beat far outside challenger Big Moment (Randy Waples) by a head in 1:56. Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon Jr.) nabbed third, The Fire Within (Jody Jamieson) got fourth and Half A Billion (Mike Saftic) snagged fifth. Rightinthekisser, a colt by Major In Art, is trained by Mark Steacy for owners Annmari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida, James Crawford of Manilus, New York, and Michael White of Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Rightinthekisser, who was bred by Martinez Equine and was purchased for $12,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale, broke his maiden in his eighth start, and he has put away $24,160. Rightinthekisser is the tenth foal out of the Pacific Fella mare Pacific Kiss, which makes him a half-brother to the likes of Pacific Mariner (Astreos, $375,166), a one-time Grassroots winner in his racing career. Trotting Males El Diablo Hall (Keith Oliver) went all the way on the lead in the first Semifinal, hitting the opening quarter in :27.1, the half in :57, and the three-quarters in 1:26.4 on his way to a two length win over Call Me Richard (Paul MacDonell). The final time was 1:57.4. Numbers Game (Mario Baillargeon) got third ahead of Olympic Son (Trevor Henry) and Grandprix Seelster (Sylvain Filion). Tony Montini trains the winner, a Windsong Espoir gelding, for owners Albina Montini of Acton, Paul Giammichele of Burlington, and Rick Podolinsky of Alvinston, Ontario. Dale Hunter of London, Ontario, who played for several years in the National Hockey League and was also head coach of the Washington Capitals, also co-owns El Diablo Hall, who has now won seven times (including a Grassroots success on August 16 at Georgian Downs) from nine tries and banked $40,500. He’s the third foal out of the Andover Image mare EL Mistress Chesea, meaning he’s a half-brother to multi-time Grassroots winner Erin Hall. Snapshot Springs (Trevor Henry) showed the way through stations of :28, :59, and 1:29.1 in the other Semifinal, but first-over challenger and favourite Freddie (Randy Waples) wore him down in the stretch to score by half a length in 1:58. Mandeville (Steve Condren) finished in third while Pilgrims Joy (James MacDonald) got fourth and Ontheroad De Vie (Rick Zeron) took fifth. Corey Johnson trains Freddie, a gelding by Majestic Son, for owners Debbie Element of Rockwood and Fred Brayford of Alliston, Ontario. Freddie, who was bred by Rossridge Stables, is three-for-seven in the win column with earnings of $36,000. Freddie, a Grassroots winner on July 30 at Grand River Raceway and on August 8 at Mohawk, is the second foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Circe Hanover. She’s a half-sister to the likes of Capriccio Hanover ($254,073). Pacing Fillies Race favourite Ms Mac N Cheese won the first Semifinal by a pair of lengths in 1:53.2 after she led the way through splits of :26.3, :56, and 1:24.3. Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson), who was stuck on non-advancing cover around the far turn, rallied to get second and Shes A Pansation (Steve Condren) collected third. Amazing Control (Mike Saftic) and OK Heavenly (Doug McNair) also secured spots in the final by finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. Richard Moreau trains the victorious Badlands Hanover filly for owner L. David Ratchford of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She has six wins from eight attempts this season, and she has earned $43,467. 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. This was Ms Mac N Cheese’s fourth consecutive victory in Grassroots competition. In the second Semifinal 40-1 longshot Bella Santanna (Tyler Moore) gave the cold shoulder to 99-1 shot Machin Marley (Billy Davis Jr.) through panels of :26.3, :56.2, and 1:27. Even-money favourite Twin B Honour (Trevor Henry) was in behind Bella Santanna in the pocket but then she made a break when doubled up before three-quarters. At the top of the stretch Stonebridge Quest (Jody Jamieson) swept around the battling longshot leaders after a third-over trip, but driver Doug McNair cut Little Miss Artist loose on the far outside, and she would hit the wire first in 1:56.2. OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) was second, beaten half a length by the winner, and Stonebridge Quest held third. Show Some Leg (Steve Condren) came in fourth and Lady Jen (Paul MacDonell) grabbed fifth. Mike Weller trains Little Miss Artist, a daughter of Artistic Fella, for breeder/co-owner DM Stables LLC. of Naples, Florida, and co-owners William Webb of Defiance, Ohio, and Denny Miller of Archbold, Ohio. Little Miss Artist posted her second victory from eight tries, and she has now pocketed $28,420. She’s the fourth foal out of the Noble Ability mare Parapanalia ($130,319), making her a half-sister to horses such as Panongahela (No Pan Intended, $224,324). He won eight times and earned over $108,000 in his OSS career. Trotting Fillies In the first Semifinal Wing Flash (Wayne Henry) popped out of the pocket past the :28.4 opening quarter, and then she went on to hit the half in 1:00.4 and the three-quarters in 1:29.3. The fillies sprinted for home off those internal fractions, and Wing Flash kicked out a :28.4 final panel to win by three-parts of a length in 1:58.2. The Murmuring Pan (Steve Condren), Tymal Illbthere (Chris Christoforou), Second Sister (Doug McNair) and Delcrest Flexyhall (Anthony MacDonald) also moved on to the final. Henry Stable of Arthur and Daylon Farms Ltd. of Komoka, Ontario, own Wing Flash, a daughter of Kadabra who was bred by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm, and Donald Robinson and sold for $30,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Wing Flash, who is also trained by Wayne Henry, has a trio of victories from eight attempts, and she has now put away $40,725. A winner in Grassroots action on September 9 at Mohawk and 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. Summers Jewel (Mario Baillargeon) was in the lead at the :27.4 front quarter in the other Semifinal, but she would give way to public choice Bistrobistro Taj (Rick Zeron) prior to the :58.1 half. Bistrobistro Taj continued to have the lead at the 1:29 three-quarters, but Summers Jewel had already moved to the outside, leaving the pocket spot open to Railee Priti (Steve Byron). In the stretch Summers Jewel forged her way past Bistrobistro Taj, but inside the final sixteenth Railee Priti, who was sent off at odds of 26-1, came up on the outside of Summers Jewel, and Railee Priti would get up to prevail by a quarter of a length in 1:58.4. Summers Jewel had to settle for second and Bistrobistro Taj wound up third. Also moving on to the final for this group were Hope Rises (Steve Condren) and Pinky The Intern (Chris Christoforou), who overcame an early break in stride. John Bax trains Railee Priti, a filly by Muscle Mass, for owner-breeder Ron Mersky of Paris, Kentucky. Railee Priti, who also won in Grassroots action back on July 22 at Georgian Downs, has two victories from eight trips behind the gate, and she has pocketed $31,720. She’s the first foal out of the Broadway Hall mare Railee Beautiful, a half-sister to horses such as Railee Possible ($386,807). Grassroots Semifinal action continues on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack when three-year-old of both sexes and gaits go behind the starting gate in eight $20,000 events. For full results and charts of Friday night's races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0919mohsn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
The father-son team of harness racing trainer Carl Jamieson and driver Jody Jamieson won two of the three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series contests for rookie colt and gelding pacers on Tuesday night (September 16) at Mohawk Racetrack. The Jamiesons' first victory came in the second division with Sporting The Look, who now leads the point standings for the group. Sporting The Look shot to the front in the early going and was ahead of a parked-out Sportskeeper (Randy Waples) by a nose at the :27.2 opening quarter. Sportskeeper would clear to the top past that post, and he would go on to reach the half in 57 seconds. Sportskeeper was under attack from a first-over Lancaster Park (Doug McNair) at the half, and those two would continue to slug it out over to the 1:24 three-quarters. In the stretch Sportskeeper put away Lancaster Park’s bid, but the fight to hold the lead took its toll inside the final eighth, and he began to drift off the rail, which gave Sporting The Look clearance to come through. Sporting The Look had plenty of pep to go with the room, and he would go on to win by a length, stopping the clock in 1:53. Seaforth (Mike Saftic) rallied from fifth to second in the final quarter, and Sportskeeper had to settle for third. The elder Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, also co-owns Sporting The Look, who has been victorious four times from nine 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. The victorious Sportswriter colt, who also won Gold Series events on July 7 at Mohawk and on August 10 at Georgian Downs, has now banked $178,594. Jody and Carl also prevailed in the Gold Series nightcap with Make Some Luck. Jody sent him to the point from his post two starting spot, and he was unchallenged through the :27.2 first quarter and the :56.3 half. Public choice Drachan Hanover (Rick Zeron) then rolled the dice first-over out of third on the far turn, but Make Some Luck was able to keep him just over a length behind at the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Drachan Hanover kept trying to get to Make Some Luck through the lane, but it was no avail as Make Some Luck maintained his lead on his way to a one and a quarter length victory in a final clocking of 1:53 flat. Bob Ben And John (Chris Christoforou) was third after a two-hole trip. Carl trains Make Some Luck, a gelded son of Camluck, for owner 1140545 Ontario Ltd. of Moffat, Ontario. Make Some Luck, who won at the Grassroots level on July 8 at Mohawk, has a pair of victories from four trips behind the gate, and he has pocketed $62,700. Make Some Luck was bred by Stan Klemencic and fetched $19,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale. Make Some Luck is the fourth foal out of the Western Hanover mare Mustang Kensley, a half-sister to horses such as Shake That Junk (Camluck, $388,610), a six-time OSS winner during her time on the racetrack. If interested, Make Some Luck has a Twitter account, which can be accessed by clicking here. The non-Jamieson winner on the night was Reverend Hanover (Chris Christoforou) in the Gold Series opener. Reverend Hanover, making his first appearance in the OSS, led through fractions of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:23.3 on his way to a one length victory in 1:51.1. Manny In Sports (James MacDonald) tracked the eventual winner the whole way from the pocket and finished second with Moonwriter (Randy Waples) back in third. Casie Coleman trains Reverend Hanover, a colt by Sportswriter, for owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatam, and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, Ontario. Reverend Hanover, who was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. and was purchased for $24,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale, is a perfect two-for-two in his life with earnings of $41,000. He’s the fifth foal out of the Cams Card Shark mare Razzle My Tazzle, who is a half-sister to the likes of Manvers Short Cut (Astreos, $263,021), a one-time OSS winner in her career. This was the next-to-last regular season event for the two-year-old male pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series. They will head back to Mohawk Racetrack on September 29 to conclude things and set the field for the Super Final. For full results of Tuesday night’s races at Mohawk By OSS News .
Dancin Caroll and Sports Chic, who are both half-sister to famous performers, are making themselves known as well after winning the pair of $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series contests for two-year-old pacing fillies on Monday night (September 15) at Mohawk Racetrack. Both races were conducted over a racetrack rated good and two seconds off due to rainy conditions. In the first division it was Wrangler Magic (Sylvain Filion) in the lead at the :27.4 opening quarter. She would yield the top spot to a parked-out I Wonder Why (Steve Condren) past that marker, and then I Wonder Why gave up command to public choice Win The Gold (James MacDonald) before the :56.3 half. Win The Gold would go to hit three-quarters in 1:26.1, but she was under a first-over attack from Southwind Mischief (Chris Christoforou), who towed Dancin Caroll (Randy Waples) into contention from second-over. In the stretch Southwind Mischief forged her way by Win The Gold, but a host of fillies, including Dancin Caroll began to close in inside the final sixteenth. Dancin Caroll proved best though, as she reached the finish line half a length in front of a re-emerging Wrangler Magic. Akissfromtheart (Jody Jamieson) rushed from seventh to third in the final quarter. The final time of the mile was 1:55.2. Tony Alagna trains Dancin Caroll, a daughter of Sportswriter, for owners Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, Illinois, Greg Gillis of Alliston, Ontario, and George Golemes of Oak Brook, Illinois. This was her second win from eight starts, and she has now earned $75,900. Dancin Caroll was bred by Elizabeth Wagner and was sold for $90,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is the third foal out of the Cambest mare Dancewiththebest, which makes her a half-sister to world champion Dancin Yankee ($1,060,422). The second OSS Gold test saw Solar Sister (Doug McNair) work her way from post nine to first at the :26.2 opening quarter. She let longshot Palette Tina (Randy Waples) go to the top prior to the :55.3 half, but then McNair had his charge back out of the pocket on the far turn, and she regained the advantage well before the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Business As Usual (Christoforou) tried to challenge the pace-setter from first-over at that time with Northern Starlet (Sylvain Filion) positioned second-over and Sports Chic (Jody Jamieson) third-over. Jamieson fanned Sports Chic out wide for the stretch drive, and she caught Solar Sister at the eighth pole. Sports Chic powered her way past the leader for good past that marker, and she would go on to defeat a closing Little Miss Sporty (Jonathan Drury) by a length and three-quarters in 1:54.4. Cowgirl Tough (Jack Moiseyev), owned in part by 7th grade student Emma Christoforou (story here), came in 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, who has five wins from eight trips behind the gate overall, is a perfect four-for-four in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series competition and leads the point standings for her group. Sports Chic, now an earner of $221,389, was also second against Grand Circuit company in a Champlain Stakes division at Mohawk. 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. The two-year-old pacing fillies of the OSS Gold Series have one remaining event in their regular season, and it will occur on September 29 at Mohawk Racetrack. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
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.