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TORONTO, April 21 - Samira Hanover found the line when it counted the most as she notched her first win of the season in the $43,200 final of the Lifetime Dream final on Monday evening at Woodbine. The trotting miss, driven by Paul Macdonell, stopped the clock in a stakes record time of 1:53.3 at odds of 28-1. MacDonell left alertly in the early stages as he settled Samira Hanover in third, behind the two favourites Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) and Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) at the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. As the field of 10 headed towards the half, Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) made a brush to the lead at the half in :56.2. That left Frisky Magic first over around the final turn, which allowed Samira Hanover to angle to the outside to catch cover. Heavily-favoured Rose Run Oriana popped out of the two-hole before three-quarters in 1:25 and quickly took over command. Down the stretch, Rose Run Oriana was in an all-out drive from Waples, but MacDonell showed his charge open road and Samira Hanover wore down the tempo-setter in deep stretch to win by half a length. Rockin With Dewey split horses late in the mile to finish third. Trained by Mike Keeling for P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc, Steve Organ, William Weaver and A K Malik Stable, Samira Hanover increased her career bankroll to $104,280. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra celebrated her sixth career victory. She paid $59.40 to win. The Lifetime Dream Series is for four and five-year-old trotting mares, who are non-winners of $200,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2013. Also on Monday's programme, the opening round of the Tie Silk Series kicked off with a pair of $15,000 divisions. Driver Mike Saftic guided both Musical Spell and Entranced to victory in their respective connections. Sent off as the co-favourite at odds of 2-1, Musical Spell Mike Saftic went gate-to-wire in 1:57.2 to capture the first division. The son of Kadabra laid down panels of :27.2, :58.4 and 1:29.1, before fending off a late challenge from the other co-favourite Windsun Revenge (Chris Christoforou) to stop the clock in 1:57.2. Gangio (Keith Oliver) finished third. Trained by Mike Guitard for owner Haryott Stables Inc, Musical Spell remains a perfect two-for-two to start his 2014 campaign. The bay gelding increased his bankroll to $15,500. He paid $6.80 to win. One race later, Saftic used the same tactics as Entranced stopped the clock in a speedy 1:54.4, a North American season's record. The Garth Gorden trainee cruised through panels of :27.1, :56 and 1:25.1, before scoring a comfortable one and a half length win. So Not Cool (Mario Baillargeon) came on for second, over even-money favourite Verdi (Paul Macdonell). Gorden also co-owns the son of Kadabra with Gary Green and Bernard Tobin. After banking $21,000 as a rookie last season, Entranced celebrated his second career victory and new lifetime best. He paid $11.90 to win. The Tie Silk Series is for three-year-olds trotters, who are non-winners of $30,000 in 2013. More stakes action continues on Thursday night as two $15,000 divisions of the Tie Silk kicks off in the opening round. Post time is set for 7:25 p.m. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

After being sidelined from harness racing for six month’s, $3.1 million career winner, San Pail, was not his former world champion self in his 2014 debut at Woodbine Racecourse Saturday, making a break in the two-hole and finishing seventh. The 9th race $34,000 Preferred Trot feature saw Slip Into Glide and driver Mario Baillargeon shoot to the early lead with San Pail (Randy Waples) using their inside position to grab the two-hole spot. Past the opening quarter mile in :28 and then to the half mile marker in :57.2, Slip Into Glide seemingly held the field at bay with a two and one-half length lead. Race favorite San Pail could not keep up and when approaching the three-quarters, make a break that took him out of the race. Slip Into Glide pulled away after the three-quarters in 1:25.4 and then glided home a five and three-quarter length winner in 1:53.3. Boogie Woogie (Keith Oliver) was second with Burnin Money (Jonathan Drury) third. It was the third win this season for Slip Into Glide, a six-year-old gelded son of Yankee Glide, who is trained and co-owned by Benoit Baillargeon with Craig Turner. Slip Into Glide paid $6.20 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The field for the 2014 Ontario Regional Driving Championship scheduled for Friday, May 9 at The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ont. has been confirmed. The participating drivers are: • Alfie Carroll • Scott Coulter • Billy Davis Jr. • Trevor Henry • Jody Jamieson • James MacDonald • Doug McNair • J.R. Plante The top two drivers from the eight-race competition will join six other drivers at the 2014 National Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. Several drivers declined invitations to take part due to other commitments, including Sylvain Filion, Canada’s Driver of the Year for 2013, Randy Waples and Scott Zeron. To read the rest of the story click here.

TORONTO, April 14 - After failing to find the winner's circle in both preliminary legs, Reasonable Force found his best stride when it counted the most as he captured this year's edition of the $36,200 Youthful Series final Monday at Woodbine. In doing so, the Doug McNair-driven sophomore returned $33.00 to his backers. McNair and Reasonable Force were in no hurry off the gate as Account Rollover (Randy Waples) cleared to the lead past the opening station in :27.1. Account Rollover, who found the wire in the first leg of the series, continued to lead his nine rivals past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. McNair began the first-over attack around the final turn and was within striking distance of the tempo-setter turning for home. Down the stretch, McNair asked his charge for more pace and the three-time winner responded with a two length win. Post time favourite Andreios Kardia (Steve Byron) finished second, with Dragon Seelster (Paul Macdonell) finishing third. Trained by Tony Montini for owners Doug Dunbar and Steve LeBlanc, Reasonable Force lifted his career earnings to $44,840. The son of Shadow Play now has a 2-2-1 record from eight starts this season. Also on Monday's program, the second round of the Lifetime Dream series continued with two $18,000 divisions. Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) kicked-off the 10-race programme with a 1:54.2 score in the first division. The daughter of Trainforthefuture enjoyed a new career best in the debut for trainer Corey Johnson. Waples led gate-to-wire with the 15-time winner through panels of :28, :57 and 1:25.3, before fending off 3/5 favourite Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) in deep stretch to win by one and a half lengths. Samira Hanover (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Owned by Rolling Hills Racing Stables, Rose Run Oriana will look for the series sweep next week as her bankroll increased to $134,717. She paid $4.90 to win. One race later, Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) enjoyed her fifth career score at odds of 3-1. The daughter of Majestic Son laid parked on the outside at the quarter in :28.2, before clearing to the lead before the half in :57.2. From there, the trotting miss led her five rivals past in 1:26.1 before fending off a late challenge from Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) to win by a nose. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Trained by Russell Bax for Baxmar Holsteins Ltd, Her Name Is Lola increased her bankroll to $85,560. She paid $8.70 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, April 11 - Rock N Roll Xample didn't disappoint the betting public on Friday evening at Woodbine as the heavily-favoured filly completed the Blossom Series sweep. After capturing both preliminary legs, Rock N Roll Xample and Randy Waples scored an open-length victory to take the rich $36,000 final in 1:53. Waples and the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-R Xample sat in the two-hole for most of the mile as Violet Bayama (Sylvain Filion) controlled the pace through fractions of :26.3, :56 and 1:25.1. As the field of six turned for home, Waples angled his charge off the pylons and the nine-time winner did the rest as she exploded past the tempo-setter en route to victory. Wildcat Magic (Chris Christoforou) came on to finish second over Violet Bayama. Trained by Shawn Robinson for owner/breeder Robert Hamather, Rock N Roll Xample increased her bankroll to $84,090. She paid $2.40 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO , April 7 - Thirteen trotting mares made their way to Woodbine Racetrack Monday evening to kick off the opening round of the Lifetime Dream Series. Rockin With Dewey looked every bit the part of a 1/5 favourite as she captured the first $18,000 division in 1:56.1. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Rockin With Dewey scored by a commanding five and a quarter lengths to celebrate her tenth career tally. Baillargeon was first to the front in the early stages, but allowed Justasmalltowngirl (Paul Macdonell) to the lead at the opening quarter in :26.4. Rockin With Dewey quickly regained the front and led her six rivals past the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.1, before dashing away from her rivals en route to victory. Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) came on for second, over Bop Too The Top (James MacDonald). Trained and co-owned by Ben Baillargeon along with breeder Diane Ingham, Rockin With Dewey increased her bankroll to $219,300. She paid $2.50 to win. In the other split, 3/5 favourite Rose Run Oriana and James MacDonald got under the wire first in 1:57.2. Over a track rated as 'Good,' MacDonald elected to sit in the two-hole behind Be Winnin (Jody Jamieson) before the opening quarter in :26.3. Marabou (Jonathan Drury) angled out of third and was quickly on the move as they took over command before the :57.1 half. Rose Run Oriana quickly engaged the tempo-setter and was the new leader heading toward the three-quarter pole. MacDonald and Rose Run Oriana led their six rivals past three-quarters in 1:27.2 and fended off all comers down the lane en route to the victory. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished second, with Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) third. Trained by Joe Cirasuola for owner Shirley Halas, Rose Run Oriana enjoyed her 14th career victory as her bankroll now sits at $125,717. She paid $3.40 to win. The Lifetime Dream series is for four and five-year-old trotting mares, who are non-winners of $200,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO , April 7 - Sophomore pacing colts and geldings were showcased Monday evening at Woodbine in the second round of the Youthful Series. Andreios Kardia, driven by Steve Byron, captured the first of two divisions in 1:55.4 over a 'Good' track. Byron was in no hurry at the start as Regal Son (Randy Waples) made his way to the front to lead the field of six past the first quarter in :27.2. As the talented pacers headed towards the half, Paul Macdonell elected to send second-choice Dragon Seelster to the front before the half in :58. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack around the final turn, giving live cover to 4-5 favourite Andreios Kardia. Kuchar and Dragon Seelster matched strides past three-quarters in 1:27.3, but down the lane Byron showed Andreios Kardia open racetrack and the son of Badlands Hanover exploded in deep stretch to capture his third career victory. Trained by James Madill for owner Ina Madill, Andreios Kardia increased his bankroll to $28,480. With the track down-graded to 'Sloppy,' Highland Tartan and James MacDonald captured the second division as the favourite in 1:56.2. MacDonald elected to sit in the two-hole in the early going as Reasonable Force (Jody Jamieson) made their way to the front past the opening quarter in :27.1. Highland Tartan was then angled to the outside and crossed over to command to lead past the middle-half in :59.1 and 1:29.1. As the field turned for home, Reasonable Force angled out of the pocket, but could only reach the leaders saddle pad as Highland Tartan prevailed in deep stretch to score the narrow win. Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) enjoyed a ground saving trip to finish third. Trained and co-owned by Marty Fine along with Mary Clark, Highland Tartan enjoyed his second career victory as his lifetime earnings now sits at $15,200. The son of Major In Art paid $4.90 to win. The Youthful Series is for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, who are non-winners of three races of $15,000 in 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, March 31 - It was a memorable night for Milton resident Randy Waples as the veteran driver notched his 6,000th career win. Waples guided Account Rollover to a 1:52.3 victory in the second of two Youthful series divisions for Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh to capture the milestone. "It's such a special feeling to reach any milestone let alone 6000," Waples said following the win. "It was even extra special because it was one of Bob's (McIntosh) horses. We've had a lot of success together, won a lot of major races and been friends for years. That was really the icing on the cake." Waples, who began his driving career in 1984 has over $114 million in purse earnings. Dragon Seelster (Paul Macdonell) was the first leader past the opening station in :27.3. As the field settled and headed towards the half, American Island (Doug McNair) made their way to the front and led past the half in :56.3. Waples and Account Rollover came first-over and cleared to the front before three-quarters in 1:24.2. From there, the son of Rocknroll Hanover fended off a late challenge from Dragon Seelster to capture the win. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) finished third. Account Rollover increased his bankroll to $41,810 for McIntosh along with co-owners Al MacIntosh Holdings Inc, and CSX Stables. Unraced as a rookie, the bay gelding has a 5-2-1 record from eight starts this season. Twomickeytrip and Paul Macdonell teamed up to win the other $15,000 division as the pair got under the wire first in 1:56.3. Reasonable Force (Jody Jamieson) was hard-used to earn the front past the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. As the sophomores headed towards the half, Glory Beach (Sylvain Filion) angled out of third and took over command to lead past the mid-way point in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:25.3. Regal Son (Randy Waples) began the first-over attack around the final turn, giving live cover to Twomickeytrip. Turning for home, GloryBeach was still in command, but the backfield began to close on the tempo-setter. MacDonell showed Twomickeytrip open racetrack and the four-time winner responded as he wore down the tempo-setter in deep stretch en route to victory. GloryBeach stayed for second, over Royal Reception (Chris Christoforou). Trained and co-owned by Richard Fife along with Grace George, Twomickeytrip increased his bankroll to $50,080. The bay gelding has a 3-1-1 record from nine starts this season. He paid $9.20 to win. The Youthful Series is for three-year-old colts and geldings, who are non winners for three races or $15,000 in 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG  

Harness driver Randy Waples is just one victory away from scoring his 6,000th career victory. Also of note is that Stephane Bouchard is just 15 wins away from his 8,000th career win. Driver Wins First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Stephane L Bouchard   7,985 $70,837,095 Stga 3/30/2014 Randall W Waples   5,999 $104,309,052 Wdb 3/29/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Gene G Vallandingham   2,987 $13,408,006 CalX 3/29/2014 Timothy W Curtin   2,985 $20,936,317 May 6/6/2013 David Floyd Carey   2,978 $2,438,403 Truro 12/8/2013 Lemoyne D Svendsen   2,974 $9,469,252 CalX 3/29/2014 Rodney J Bolon   1,995 $9,408,721 Mea 3/25/2014 Ron Paul Wrenn   1,995 $6,069,816 SpCk 10/2/2013 Todd G Trites   1,993 $2,824,943 EPR 12/8/2013 Jerry G E Landess   1,980 $2,037,837 Green 8/23/2013 Kelly R Sheppard   1,971 $9,409,954 FlmD 11/20/2013 DANIEL R                             OBRIAN        997 $2,165,944 Wdb 3/17/2014 Darren R Crowe   992 $1,477,417 Chrtn 2/7/2014 John J De Long   990 $5,155,722 BmlP 3/30/2014 RONALD I MATHESON   988 $1,054,352 Chrtn 2/7/2014 Stephen K O'Toole   986 $2,423,974 PRc 9/3/2012 GORDEN A MCKNIGHT   984 $2,907,989 FlmD 3/29/2014 Clayton   Faurot Jr 981 $2,458,705 Mea 3/5/2014 Joseph   Ricco Jr 978 $3,728,352 MR 10/31/2013 Trent P Stohler   976 $5,584,413 HoP 3/29/2014 John D Finn   975 $3,616,740 BmlP 2/19/2014 anthony P Haughan   974 $6,885,076 FlmD 3/29/2014 Rocky Joe Loney   973 $2,411,599 HoP 3/29/2014 Nick Royce Roland   972 $3,086,220 Whtn 9/22/2013 Yves   Gauthier   972 $3,959,060 RidC 2/23/2014 Jeffrey A Smith   971 $2,731,809 MVR 3/12/2014 Steven B Norris   970 $2,548,332 RidC 9/19/2013                 Driver earnings First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Michel   Lachance   10,387 $189,836,627 BmlP 11/9/2013 Luc R Ouellette   8,548 $129,687,731 Wdb 3/29/2014 David R Magee   11,736 $99,725,900 BmlP 3/30/2014 Raymond W Schnittker   2,643 $39,945,723 M 3/29/2014 PHILLIP Alan HUDON   3,794 $39,706,278 Wdb 3/29/2014 Trevor S Henry   5,210 $29,978,678 FlmD 3/29/2014 Michael A Forte   3,279 $19,998,367 MR 3/26/2014 Jonathan W Roberts   2,467 $19,955,492 DD 3/30/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Thomas D Strauss   2,552 $19,687,609 Wdb 3/29/2014 Darrell L Coville   6,581 $19,635,066 RidC 3/27/2014 Randy T Tharps   4,643 $19,618,610 MVR 3/30/2014 Jay L Randall   3,696 $19,563,860 Stga 3/29/2014 Allan W Davis   1,036 $9,976,990 DD 3/30/2014 Richard Lee Farrington   1,250 $9,971,066 HoP 11/7/2013 Below that are trainers who may be approaching win milestones. USTA started tracking trainer statistics in 1991, so the trainers listed in green may have had training starts and wins prior to 1991, so the Life Wins column for those trainers may not be accurate. Trainers Milestones First Middle Last Name suffix Life Wins Life Earnings Last Track Last Start DOB Roger R Hammer   1980 $17,027,784 PcD 3/30/2014 2/18/1946 Edgar R Clarke   999 $5,418,525 PPk 3/30/2014 12/6/1955 Dirk   Simpson   976 $10,688,518 May 2/7/2014 8/2/1957 Leo   Tourigny   974 $8,178,091 RidC 11/28/2013 6/5/1939 Trond   Smedshammer   971 $41,599,710 YR 3/28/2014 3/22/1967 Gabriel   Boily   971 $2,628,603 RidC 3/27/2014 4/26/1949  Statistics from Anne Chunko at USTA

TORONTO, March 28 - Thirteen sophomore pacing fillies made their way to Woodbine Racetrack on Friday evening to contest in the opening round of the harness racing Blossom Series. Heavily-favoured Rock N Roll Xample and Violet Bayama captured there respective $15,000 splits in races one and two. Sent off at 1/5, Rock N Roll Xample and Randy Waples was much the best in 1:54.1. Waples elected to sit in the pocket past the first quarter as Noble Jilly (Jody Jamieson) led through the :27.4 opening split. Rock N Roll Xample was then quickly on the move and took over command to lead her six rivals past the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:26.2. Turning for home, Rock N Roll Xample and Noble Jilly separated themselves from their rivals and battled through the stretch, but Noble Jilly couldn't match strides of the Rock N Roll Xample, who won by three-quarters of a length. Deuces For Charity (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Trained by Shawn Robinson for owner/breeder Robert Hamather, Rock N Roll Xample enjoyed her fifth win from 10 starts in 2014. The daughter of Rocknroll <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /> Hanover now has 58,590 in career earnings. She paid $2.50 to win. One race later, Violet Bayama fended off a late challenge from 1/5 favourite Missevil to win in 1:55.3. The talented daughter of Somebeachsomewhere went gate-to-wire through panels of :28.2, :58.1 and 1:27.1, before putting away Missevil in deep stretch en route to victory. Wildcat Magic (Chris Christoforou) finished third. Trained by Stephane Laroque for owner/breeder Bayama Farms and Jacques Damours, Violet Bayama celebrated her third career victory as her bankroll now sits at $40.280. She paid $7.30 to win as the 5/2 second choice. The Blossom Series is for sophomore pacing fillies, who are non-winners of three races or $15,000 in 2014. Greg Gangle Rock N Roll Xample Violet Bayama 

Chris Christoforou is one of the premier names in harness racing, and if a fan does not recognize his name it's most likely they are new to the sport. Chris has quite the extensive resume from winning the Little Brown Jug in 2000 with Astreos, to winning the Breeders Crown in 1993 aboard Earl. Chris won the Breeders Crown two more times, in 1999 and 2002. Chris has won pretty much every major stake race between Woodbine Racetrack, (Toronto, ON) and Mohawk Racetrack, (Campbellvile, ON). This includes the Canadian Breeders (twice), the Don Mills (twice), the Oakville Stakes (twice), the Burlington, the Fan Hanover and both the Champlain Pace and Trot which combining both Champlain series wins gives him a lucky seven victories (4 times in the Pace and 3 times in the Trot). Acknowledging these major wins is the tip of the iceberg and there's at least two dozen more stake wins. That's a pretty big iceberg that could take down the Titanic once again. What is left for Chris to win? Pretty much every race where he's driving and despite the success, Chris maintains a strong and focused drive to continuously reach the Winner's Circle. "The Hambletonian..." says Chris, "...is one I would love to win given the opportunity." With the future uncertainty that looms for harness racing in Ontario, (with the Ontario Government cancelling the slot revenue agreement), Chris remains passionate about wanting to stay close to home. "It depends on the future here in Ontario," Chris says, "but I have no plans to leave. I'd really like to stay here, it's my home, it's my family... and hopefully I can. "I enjoy my life, I enjoy my career and we make a living." Chris explained, "It's tough at times but I would never discourage anyone from wanting to get into the (racing) business." Chris is fine with the thought of his children following in his footsteps as well as his father's. Chris won his first race in 1990 at Flamboro Downs driving Delias Star to the Winner's Circle. In all this time, Chris continually keeps it fresh by maintaining a positive attitude and keeping things light whenever possible. "I find if you are enjoying what you are doing, people catch that vibe from you and it rubs off on them." Chris explains, "The guys I drive with, we all get along and it's a good group of guys here (at Woodbine Racetrack). It's not easy when you are competing with guys night in and night out, but I thing we do a really good job of (having fun)." Asking Chris if he had a memory of a special time where the drivers meshed cohesively and were quite successful, he says "It was strong in the WEG circuit (Woodbine Entertainment Group), in the 80's and up til now it's been very strong." "The top 5 or 6 guys here can drive with anyone in the world as far as I'm concerned. From Campbell to Sears to Lachance, just because we drive here (at Woodbine/Mohawk), it doesn't mean we are any less skilled. Put up Jody Jamieson, Randy Waples or Paul MacDonnell and they can drive with anyone and they have proven that in the past." Talking with Chris is quite fulfilling, and not in terms of generic terms or metaphors, but the open honesty of how good his fellow drivers are, no matter where they race. A perfect example is Chris paying respect to Dave Palone who drives predominantly at the Meadows (located in Washington, PA). Yes, it is a different size track than others, it's a 5/8th mile oval but according to Chris regardless of the type of track, Dave Palone can drive with the best no matter where. Chris is quick to point the good and talent in others. With Chris you get the sense that there is always a silver lining. "Take the top 50 drivers in North America and it's a very slim margin as to who is better." Chris looks to the horses that make up the difference, "Give the 50th guy the best horse and the top guy the fifth best horse and I am pretty sure, 90% of the time the guy with the best horse wins. To that point, it's all horse power." When driving any horse, Chris looks at past performance to see how to best deal with the horse during the race. However "...tactics can switch in a split second. If the horse is moving from a low percentage barn to a higher percentage barn, you are more likely to be more aggressive." "An extreme chess match" Chris says, "very very fast chess game." Horse racing has its strains like any other career, and Chris is grateful to his wife, Camilla, for being so supportive. "It's tough when the kids are off for two months in the summer and I'm busy racing." Chris says. How does Chris balance the intensity of work with family, "every now and then in the summer if I'm in a slump, we'll jump in the car for two days and go to Niagara Falls, ON, change things up and get a refresher." It's all about quality time. In any job, business and career one thing that's constant is communication. Flat out, it's a requirement. During a race when fans are standing at the fence, the sound of the horses charging to the wire is intoxicating. Along with the ground vibrating you can hear faint sounds coming from drivers, but not all the discernable. At the start of the race, Chris explains very little, if any is being said. "You hear drivers hollering down the stretch for sure but the only thing a driver hears, and I don't think drivers even realize it, you can hear if a horse is getting rough, or if his gait is changing." Chris explains, "The sound pattern the horses make when their gait is changing, short stepping. A lot does get blocked out, you're in the zone." "At Woodbine, if a driver's horse is getting rough, he starts screaming and it's usually a sound of panic so everybody knows what's coming and tries to avoid that guy. We all know what each other's voice sounds like, so even if you can't see him and he's three or four horses ahead of you, you know who it is." When it comes to pacers or trotters, Chris would have taken the pacer over the trotter in his early days. Now with his experience, Chris will opt for racing a trotter, not only for the strategy but for the technique involved. When it comes to any game outside of horse racing, Chris' favorite sport is soccer and he loves the English Premier League. His team is Manchester United aka the Red Devils. "We're having a tough year, with a new manager and the team wasn't left in the best shape. There's some older players that need to retire, it's been a slow process." Chris thinks Manchester United will give team manager David Moyes a couple of years to figure things out. "Ferguson (Sir Alex Ferguson was the previous manager) has his back and picked him as his replacement. So they will give Moyes time to work things out." If you're planning to come over to his place to watch the Derby where rivals Manchester United and Manchester City square off, you better be wearing the right colors. No City fans allowed. Ok well, Chris being the nice guy he is may let you in but I think that's just the Canadian politeness poking through. Let's just say United fans only. With a laugh Chris says there's a driver/trainer at Flamboro Downs, Anthony Haughan, who gives Chris a hard time as Anthony is a supporter of another Manchester United rival, Liverpool. "He sent me about 5 messages yesterday about how bad my team is. We have a lot of fun with it." Chris says. Being the soccer fan he is Chris is cheering for England in the 2014 World Cup taking place in Brazil. "My mother is English... so I got to cheer for them. I think Germany has the best team this year and are probably the favorites and Brazil to." What's the one sporting event Chris has on his bucket list that he definitely wants to cross off? It's the World Cup. It's tough for him to go, because June is part of the peak season for horse racing, but when he retires, that's one of his first trips. So long as it's taking place somewhere warm! By Roderick Balgobin, www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova  

Harness racing driver Andy Miller is just four wins away from scoring his 8,000th career victory. Provided Mother Nature cooperates, he had a great shot at reaching this milestone event at the Meadowlands this week. It was just last season that he surpassed $100,000 million in purse earnings. Also on the cusp of reaching special milestone victories include George Napolitano, Jr. who has 5,993 wins and Randy Waples, who is at 5,983 wins. Drivers approaching milestone wins from the USTA First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track   Andy Ray Miller   7,996 $100,248,909 M   Tim A Tetrick   7,972 $140,851,834 DD   George   Napolitano Jr 5,993 $48,564,242 PPk   Randall W Waples   5,983 $104,046,384 Wdb   Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP   Timothy W Curtin   2,985 $20,936,317 May   Gene G Vallandingham   2,983 $13,395,055 CalX   David Floyd Carey   2,978 $2,438,403 Truro   Rodney J Bolon   1,995 $9,403,415 Mea   Ron Paul Wrenn   1,995 $6,069,816 SpCk   Todd G Trites   1,993 $2,824,943 EPR   Jerry G E Landess   1,980 $2,037,837 Green   Kelly R Sheppard   1,973 $9,414,915 FlmD   Allan W Davis   997 $9,588,764 DD   James R Mc Donald   997 $2,952,835 PPk   Kody Ray Massey   997 $3,048,872 SpCk   DANIEL R                             OBRIAN        996 $2,154,133 Lon   Darren R Crowe   992 $1,477,417 Chrtn   RONALD I MATHESON   988 $1,054,352 Chrtn   Stephen K O'Toole   986 $2,423,974 PRc   John J De Long   982 $5,083,079 BmlP   Clayton   Faurot Jr 981 $2,456,655 Mea   GORDEN A MCKNIGHT   981 $2,900,180 Lon   Joseph   Ricco Jr 978 $3,728,352 MR   Trent P Stohler   976 $5,581,230 HoP   John D Finn   975 $3,616,740 BmlP   Rocky Joe Loney   973 $2,411,599 Leb   Nick Royce Roland   972 $3,086,220 Whtn   Yves   Gauthier   972 $3,957,968 RidC   Jeffrey A Smith   971 $2,731,609 Leb   Steven B Norris   970 $2,548,332 RidC     Drivers nearing milestone earnings from the USTA First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track   Michel   Lachance   10,387 $189,836,627 BmlP   Luc R Ouellette   8,546 $129,645,909 Wdb   Paul J MacDonell   5,132 $99,895,721 Wdb   David R Magee   11,730 $99,692,391 BmlP   Brett A Miller   6,419 $49,781,436 Mea   Raymond W Schnittker   2,642 $39,934,643 YR   Trevor S Henry   5,147 $29,734,509 FlmD   Michael A Forte   by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

TORONTO, February 6 - The always entertaining Randy Waples, a three-time O'Brien Award winner as the nation's outstanding driver, will be the guest on Woodbine Racing Live's pre-game show this Saturday, February 8, beginning at 6:45 p.m. Waples, 49, is quickly closing in on 6,000 career wins and currently has over $113 million earned as a driver. Some of his biggest triumphs include Thinking Out Loud's $1.5 million North America Cup victory in 2010 and guiding San Pail to three Maple Leaf Trot victories along with a Breeders Crown title. The Milton resident will join WEG's Greg Gangle and offer his thoughts on the 11-race program and much more. First race post time is slated for 7:25 p.m. by Greg Gangle for WEG    

Apprentice Hanover continued his winter win streak on Saturday evening, earning his sixth straight in the featured $34,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Racetrack for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Ben Wallace. Thepaninsulahotel (Randy Waples) was the first to the front through a :27-second opening panel, but his lead was short-lived as the pocket-pulling Casimir Jitterbug (Doug McNair) swept by with Apprentice Hanover hot on his heels after getting away third. Apprentice Hanover took over command at the half in :56.3 and proceeded to lead his six rivals past the third quarter station in 1:24. He cruised into the stretch while building up a six length lead to make his 1:51.2 victory look effortless. Sent postward as the heavy 2-5 favourite, Apprentice Hanover paid $2.90 to win. Mckinney (Sylvain Filion), the longest shot on the board at odds of 28-1, closed off cover in :26.4 for the runner-up honours over two lengths behind while early leader Thepaninsulahotel edged out first over Mystician (Billy Davis Jr.) and Frankies Dragon (Chris Christoforou) for third. Apprentice Hanover's win streak began at the end of November at Woodbine and includes a victory in the $126,000 Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park in mid-December. The four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere now boasts 13 wins in 31 career starts with earnings climbing to $546,474 for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

TORONTO, January 31 - Trainer Murray Brethour had much to be thankful for on Friday night at Woodbine as his stable stars finished first and second in the $34,000 final of the Blizzard Series. After finishing second in both preliminary legs, Miss Poppycock scored the 10-1 upset for Brethour with stablemate Murrayfield finishing second in 1:54.1. Rock N Roll Xample (Billy Davis, Jr.) was the quickest to the front before the opening station in a quick :26.4. Heading towards the half, Lyonsaura (Randy Waples) angled out of third to take over command to lead past the mid-way point in :55.3. Shutthefrontdoor (Mike Saftic) began the first-over attack heading to three-quarters, giving live cover to post time favourite - and the undefeated - Sayitall BB (Jody Jamieson). Brethour's entries were also coming from off the pace with Murrayfield sitting third-over and Miss Poppycock fourth-over. Lyonsaura led her nine rivals past three-quarters in 1:24.1 and into the stretch, but her strides began to shorten as Sayitall BB, Murrayfield and Miss Poppycock were coming from the backfield. Miss Poppycock had the most momentum in deep stretch and was able to convert the winning effort over stablemate Murrayfield by half a length, with Winbak Ella (Sylvain Filion) finishing third. Miss Poppycock, a four-year-old daughter of Mach Three, is owned by Scarff Legacy Stables. The pacing miss celebrated her biggest victory in her career as her bankroll now sits at $86,085. She has amassed a 2-2-0 record from four starts this season. She paid $22.50 to win. by Greg Gangle for WEG    

Sent postward at odds of 12-1, the class-climbing Lucky Terror upset the popular millionaire, Mystician, in a final quarter sprint to take the top conditioned class at Woodbine Racetrack on a cold Saturday night. With Jack Moiseyev catch-driving, Lucky Terror prevailed by a nose in the 10th race for non-winners of $28,000 in the last five starts (also eligible non-winners of $175,000 lifetime). Mckinney (Sylvain Filion) set up shop on the front-end after leaving from post three and led the field of seven through fractions of :27.1, :55.3 and 1:24.2. Meanwhile, Lucky Terror moved underway from fifth at the half with 3-5 favourite Mystician (Scott Zeron) following his cover. Lucky Terror battled the leader around the final turn, eventually edging by, while Jeff Gillis trainee Mystician launched his late attack to make it into the win photo in a 1:52.3 mile. Lucky Terror paid $26.40 to win. Third-place honours went to Mckinney, who held off Frankies Dragon (Chris Christoforou) and Grande Seelster (Randy Waples) over a length and a half behind. Lucky Terror is trained by Shaun McDonald and owned by Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, Ont. and Leonard Christopher of Acton, Ont. The win was the seven-year-old Western Terror gelding's 28th lifetime and the lion's share of the $28,000 purse lifted his career bankroll to $254,683. Lucky Terror pulled off the biggest upset on the 12-race card, which only saw three post-time favourites make it to the winner's circle. The fastest mile of the -10 degree night was 1:51.4, posted by post 10 starter Alexas Jackpot ($18.10) and Jonathan Drury in the fourth race for conditioner Marty Fine. The winner upset another popular Gillis-trained and Zeron-driven starter, Speed Again, who cut fractions of :26.2, :55, and 1:23 from post nine. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Videos of all races are attached. Printed with permission of Standardbred Canada

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