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
TORONTO, January 24 - A pair of $15,000 divisions of the second round of the Blizzard Series highlighted the Friday evening programme at Woodbine. Rock N Roll Xample and Murrayfield provided victories in their respective divisions. In the first split, Rock N Roll Xample and Randy Waples got under the wire first in 1:56.2. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover laid parked on the outside at the opening quarter in :28.1, before clearing to the front and allowing post time favourite Miss Poppycock (Chris Christoforou) to brush to command in the second quarter. Miss Poppycock would continue to lead past the half in :58 with Stonebridge Classy (Phil Hudon) parked on the outside. Rock N Roll Xample would continue to enjoy a pocket trip through three-quarters in 1:26.3, before making her move down the stretch. Miss Poppycock was still in command turning for home, but in deep stretch the talented mare began to drift off the rail allowing Rock N Roll Xample a clear passing lane. Rock N Roll Xample continued her ground-saving trip and edged by her rival to win by one and three quarter lengths. My Victorino (Roger Mayotte) came from off-the-pace to finish third. Trained by Shawn Robinson for owner/breeder Robert Hamather, Rock N Roll Xample enjoyed her third career victory and a new lifetime best. Her career earnings now sit at $16,340. She paid $10.10 to win. After finishing second by a neck in last week's first leg of the series, even-money favourite Murrayfield and Keith Oliver went gate-to wire in 1:55.1 to take the second division. The daughter of Jeremes Jet led through panels of :28.4, :57.4 and 1:26.2, before fending off a challenge from pocket sitter Lyonsaura (Randy Waples) to win by one and a quarter lengths. Lyonsaura finished second, with Winbak Ella (Sylvain Filion) third. Trained by Murray Brethour for owner/breeder Dr. Huw Llewellyn, Murrayfield enjoyed her fifth career victory as her bankroll climbed to $50,860. She paid $4.10 to win. The Blizzard Series is for three- and four-year-old fillies and mares, who are non winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime as of November 30, 2013. The $30,000 (added) final is scheduled for Friday, January 31. Videos of all races are attached. Greg Gangle - WEG Communications
OK…we made up for prior losses last week picking four of seven winners and hitting three cold exactas. Now that we are back on a roll it is time to rally with some long shots. Weather could be a big factor so make sure to take that into account before wagering. This weekend we have seven races spanning the East with three at Woodbine, three at Yonkers and one at Pompano. No Meadowlands until after the Super Bowl. Good luck! $10,000 Pace Open Handicap Pompano Park 3rd race Saturday – With Prairie Jaguar not in the race it becomes much more competitive. I think Northern Companion, despite being handicapped with the outside post eight is the horse to beat in here. Even being 0 for 3 in 2014 is not a factor as this one is rarely ever out of the money. He has great closing speed, can go first-over and with any live cover will be flying at the end of the mile. Use Thebestofjoel and Electric Lad in exotic plays. $20,000 Trot F/M NW/$150,000 Life Woodbine 3rd race Saturday – Two races in a row I am trying my luck with horses in the eight-hole. Samira Hanover came up short with not much trot last week which was totally uncharacteristic of her. Gets Scott Zeron in the sulky and should be able to return to her winning ways. Use Magic Will Work and Standing My Ground in exotic plays. $33,000 Pace Open Handicap Yonkers Raceway 6th race Saturday - Both Bettor’s Edge and Money Twitch A were sharp winners in their last start but because they have drawn posts 8 and 7 respectively I am going with another return winner in Lumberjack Willie. Won in this class last out off perfect two-hole trip. May not have good inside post like last week but prior starts show he has a knack for working out trips and winning. Use Bettor’s Edge and Money Twitch A in exotic plays. $22,000 Pace NW/$18,000 Last 5 Starts Woodbine 6th race Saturday – I like his name, I really like his morning line odds and I like that fact that he is moving up in class again after two straight wins. Bold Decision has the rail in a very tough field but last two starts in tough conditions he just goes to the front and wins for fun. Will be high in odds but either cuts the mile again or gets great cover to win off of. Use Thorn In Your Side and Wazzup Wazzup in exotic plays. $22,000 Pace NW/$32,000 Last 6 Starts Yonkers Raceway 8th race Saturday – I really like it that Yonkers puts on extra distance races as it mixes it up and makes for tougher handicapping. Tonight we have two return winners from 1 1/16 mile races that I think shows they could be a touch better than the morning line says. I like Life Up Front who has won his last two starts at extra distances and can win from either on or off the pace and shows he can win at a mile too. Use Escape The News and Nob Hill High in exotic plays. $28,000 Pace NW/$28,000 Last 5 Starts Woodbine 10th race Saturday – After decent try in Preferred class last week, Grande Seelster drops and will hopefully pop as he did two starts back. He won then on the front end from post seven with ease. Gets Randy Waples in the bike as Sylvain Filion has his own horse in the race who is also a contender. Use Mystician and McKinney in exotic plays. $20,000 Pace N/W $25,000 Last 6 Starts Yonkers Raceway 11th race Saturday – Returning from a brief layoff, Glass Prince was solid in his qualifying race. He is leaving the claiming ranks to go into this Conditional event, which is actually moving up in class but I think from an inside post he shows he can get the job done even if he has to grind it out. Use Shortstacked and Hypnotist in exotic plays.
In the latest statistics from the United States Trotting Association, harness racing driver Andy Miller is just 11 wins away from scoring is 8,000th career win. Back on December 16, 2013 Miller surpassed $100,000 million in purse earnings. Other drivers nearing career milestones include George Napolitano, Jr., Randy Waples and Chris Boring. Driver Wins First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Andy Ray Miller 7,989 $100,177,499 M 1/18/2014 George Napolitano Jr 5,985 $48,525,282 PPk 1/19/2014 Randall W Waples 5,973 $103,859,048 Wdb 1/18/2014 Norman Chris Boring 3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Timothy W Curtin 2,985 $20,936,317 May 6/6/2013 Gene G Vallandingham 2,982 $13,388,293 CalX 1/18/2014 David Floyd Carey 2,978 $2,438,403 Truro 12/8/2013 Rodney J Bolon 1,995 $9,403,415 Mea 1/16/2014 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 1,973 $9,414,915 FlmD 11/20/2013 James R Mc Donald 997 $2,952,835 PPk 12/1/2013 Kody Ray Massey 997 $3,048,872 SpCk 12/31/2013 DANIEL R OBRIAN 996 $2,149,761 FlmD 1/19/2014 Darren R Crowe 992 $1,477,381 Truro 12/8/2013 Allan W Davis 988 $9,466,183 DD 1/20/2014 Stephen K O'Toole 986 $2,423,974 PRc 9/3/2012 RONALD I MATHESON 986 $1,052,903 Chrtn 1/18/2014 John J De Long 982 $5,083,079 BmlP 12/29/2013 Clayton Faurot Jr 981 $2,456,655 Mea 11/14/2013 GORDEN A MCKNIGHT 979 $2,893,718 FlmD 1/18/2014 Joseph Ricco Jr 978 $3,728,352 MR 10/31/2013 Trent P Stohler 976 $5,581,230 HoP 11/9/2013 John D Finn 975 $3,616,740 BmlP 11/24/2013 Rocky Joe Loney 973 $2,411,599 Leb 11/23/2013 Nick Royce Roland 972 $3,086,220 Whtn 9/22/2013 Yves Gauthier 972 $3,957,968 RidC 12/12/2013 Jeffrey A Smith 971 $2,731,609 Leb 11/12/2013 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 8,546 $129,637,704 Wdb 1/18/2014 Paul J MacDonell 5,130 $99,869,700 Wdb 1/18/2014 David R Magee 11,730 $99,692,391 BmlP 12/28/2013 Brett A Miller 6,401 $49,627,387 Mea 1/17/2014 Raymond W Schnittker 2,642 $39,934,643 M 1/10/2014 Scott Richard Zeron 2,208 $29,830,085 YR 1/20/2014 Trevor S Henry 5,135 $29,673,410 FlmD 1/19/2014 Brian William Zendt 2,296 $19,988,642 Mea 1/17/2014 Michael A Forte 3,274 $19,982,085
Ontario Success doubled up in the Snowshoe Series thanks to a 1:54 score in Monday’s second-leg assignment at Woodbine Racetrack, and his perfect record in the preliminary legs figures to make him a popular item in next week’s rich final. With Chris Christoforou at the lines, Ontario Success survived a first turn park out before grabbing the lead as the field moved into the backstretch. He led the field to the half in :57, but was overtaken going into the final turn by Meetyouatmidnight. That foe sprinted to the three-quarter pole in 1:25.4, but his wheels started to wobble as the field entered the stretch. Ontario Success used a :27.4 closing to re-rally to the lead, and he managed to fend off a late-rushing KG Dragonator by a neck in 1:54. Tex finished third. The four-year-old son of Lis Mara-Loving Success, who was sent off as the 3-5 favourite, resides in the barn of trainer Tony O’Sullivan for owner/breeder Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, Ohio. The four-time winner pushed his lifetime earnings to $44,884 with the victory. Sanattle Slew turned a second-over trip into a 1:55.1 tally in the second division for the tandem of driver Billy Davis, Jr. and trainer/owner/breeder Jeff Gillis. Brother John shot to the lead and threw down panels of :27.2, :57.4 and 1:27, but he couldn’t last on the lead. Sanattle Slew tracked cover behind Allcardsallthetime, and when Davis flipped him off cover Sanattle Slew charged home in :27.4 to win by a length over Hopiesdragninthedo in a career-best clocking of 1:55.1. Third prize went to Dreydl Hanover. Sent off at odds of 8-1, Sanattle Slew won for just the second time in his career. The lion’s share of the $15,000 purse boosted his bankroll to $25,990. The $34,600 final of the Snowshoe Series is scheduled for Monday, January 27 at Woodbine Racetrack. In other Monday evening action at the Rexdale oval, Catch The Dream took home weekly bragging rights in the $34,000 Preferred Trot. Randy Waples came first-over with the Bruce MacDonald trainee, and the six-year-old son of Cash Hall-Anything But Love gelding got up to win by three-quarters of a length over the tempo-setting Take My Picture in 1:55.2. Watkins came on late to grab the show dough. It was the second consecutive victory for the 21-time winner, who pushed his lifetime earnings past $260,000 in the process. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Apprentic Hanover made a triumphant four-year-old seasonal debut Saturday at Woodbine, posting his fifth straight victory, this time after a three-week layoff in winning the $34,000 Preferred Pace. After ending his three-year-old season with four consecutive wins, including victories in Northfield Park's Cleveland Classic and a Preferred pace on December 28 at Woodbine, Apprentice Hanover made it five in a row with a 1:52 effort. Driven by Jody Jamieson, the heavy 4-5 favourite left from post one and settled away third as Casimir Jitterbug (Doug McNair) and then outsider Modern Legend (Jack Moiseyev) sprinted by into a :27.1 opening quarter. Modern Legend continued to control the pace past the half in :56.1 and three-quarters in 1:24 while Mystician (Billy Davis Jr.) moved underway from the backfield and up to apply pressure around the final turn and into the stretch. However, Jamieson tipped Apprentice Hanover wide down the stretch and soared by to steal the spotlight. Mystician edged out Modern Legend for the runner-up honours two lengths behind. The son of Somebeachsomewhere, who was named United States Trotting Association's Horse of the Month in December 2013, is trained by Ben Wallace and owned by Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. The win was his 12th in 30 career starts and boosted his bankroll to $529,474. Apprentice Hanover paid $3.80 to win. Trainers Carmen Auciello and Corey Johnson and driver Randy Waples led all winners on Saturday's 13-race card with three wins each. From WEG publicity department
TORONTO, January 17 - The opening round of the Blizzard Series got underway on Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack. Twenty-eight three- and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares were showcased in three $15,000 divisions. In the opening division, Sayitall BB and Jody Jamieson won in a nail-biter for trainer Ron Burke in 1:54. With the victory, the swift pacer remains undefeated in six career starts as she set a new lifetime best in the process. Jamieson and Sayitall BB were parked on the outside through the opening panel in :26.4, set by Miss Poppycock (Chris Christoforou). As soon as Sayitall BB cleared to the front, Miss Poppycock quickly regained command to lead past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:26. Turning for home, the pair of heavy favourites separated themselves from their rivals and began to duke it out down the stretch. In the end, Miss Poppycock gave way to Sayitall BB in the final strides to win by a nose. Ignite The Nite (Randy Waples) finished third. Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Sayitall BB increased her bankroll to $29,350. She paid $3.70 to win. Sent off as the post time favourite, An Angel Shes Not, in rein to Paul Macdonell, came from off-the-pace to win in 1:56.3 to take the second division. Zip Car (Doug McNair) was parked to the opening quarter in :26.3 and would continue to set the pace past the half in :56.2. Lookers Destiny (Larry Small) remained parked on the outside for the mile, which gave cover to An Angel Shes Not as Zip Car led past three-quarters in 1:26.3. Down the stretch, Zip Car began to tire on the front end as An Angel Shes Not continued to grind away on the tempo-setter in deep stretch before getting up in the final strides. Twin B Amour (Jody Jamieson) finished third. Trained, owned and bred by David Snowden, An Angel Shes Not earned herself a new career best as she celebrated her second lifetime victory. Her bankroll now sits at $19,724. She paid $5.70 to win. Lyonsaura and Randy Waples provided the 3-1 minor upset to take the final division in 1:54.1. The pacing miss led from start to finish through panels of :27.4, :57.4 and 1:26.4, before fending off post time favourite Murrayfield (Keith Oliver) down the stretch to score. Rock N Roll Xample (Billy Davis, Jr.) was a distant third. Trained by Corey Johnson for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound, Lyonsaura celebrated her second career victory as she earned a lifetime best. The daughter of Camluck now has earnings of $15,000. She paid $8.90 to win. The Blizzard Series is for three- and four-year-old fillies and mares, who are non winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime as of November 30, 2013. The second leg of the series is scheduled for Friday, January 24 with the $30,000 (added) final on Friday, January 31. Videos of most races attached. Some still pending. Greg Gangle
The three-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended "Lyonssweetie" won the Niagara Final at Woodbine Raceway tonight the 26th of December for trainer Corey Johnson and harness racing driver Randy Waples. D Gs Pesquero was second and Envious Hanover was third. Randy Waples and trainer Corey Johnson completed a Boxing Day sweep of stakes, taking the $33,900 Valedictory with Somebeachsomewhere colt Yucatan. Videos of all races attached.
TORONTO, December 18 - At the age of 10, Kindly Poet is hard not to consider the ultimate war horse on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit. The veteran pacer has been a star at the Rexdale oval and has gone on to earn 44 career victories and is a mere $7,640 shy of surpassing $1 million in career earnings. On top of that great accomplishment, the talented pacer etched a new 1:49.4 career best this season at age 10. Kindly Poet will look to become harness racing's newest millionaire with a victory in Saturday's sixth race at Woodbine. Sylvain Filion will guide veteran from post six in the $16,000 condition event. Trained throughout his career by Murray Brethour, who also owns a piece with Scarff Legacy Stables, Donald Varcoe and Daniel Sarafian, Kindly Poet has raced 214 career starts with all but 12 of them on the WEG Circuit (Woodbine & Mohawk). Not bad for a horse that was never supposed to set hoof on the racetrack. "He had a broken shoulder as a weanling and the veterinarian said that he would never race," Brethour, a resident of Sunderland, recalled. "As a yearling, we just broke him and turned him out. We brought him in the barn at two, but only started to come around at three. To this day he still has a fairly large bump on his shoulder, but he races with it." Kindly Poet quickly overcame all odds and made his qualifying debut on March 6, 2006 at Kawartha Downs. The result was a victory in 2:00.1 with Brethour in the bike. "At the time, I was just happy he made it," Brethour said, with a chuckle. "He gradually got better and better and climbed the ladder." Kindly Poet began his racing career two weeks later at Georgian Downs with a third place finish before finishing second in the next three dashes. He won his first race when he shipped into Woodbine and got up in time in 1:53.4 with Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren in the bike. Since then, Kindly Poet has made 40 more trips to the winner's circle either at Woodbine or Mohawk with multiple victories at the Open/Preferred level. "He's just tough and has a lot of class to him," Brethour said. "At home, he knows he is king. He's very set in his ways and knows when it's time to race. When he makes the type of money he does, he can do whatever he wants," Brethour said, with a laugh. Looking back on Kindy Poet's career, he has certainly overcome all odds and provided many thrills for Brethour. "He just loves to win and did it all the hard way," he said. "His largest payday was winning the Cam Fella final back in 2007 when the purse was $67,000. "He's just a warhorse and there's really no better way to describe him," Brethour continued. "He's raced pretty much his entire career at Woodbine or Mohawk and was your typical Saturday night horse. As a trainer, you can't ask much more than that." Randy Waples, who was a frequent pilot behind Kindly Poet, agrees with Brethour. "He was just a gentleman to drive," Waples said. "He was very accommodating to drive. He had a big motor, terrific manners and an absolute pleasure to drive. He left it all on the racetrack every night and always put forth a terrific effort." As for the future of Kindly Poet, he isn't going too far from home. "He'll race at Woodbine and Mohawk until he's no longer competitive," Brethour said. "Once he's done racing, he'll have a home for life on the farm. My daughter rides him so he's certainly a pet and part of the family." It's been hard work, good fortune and a personal touch from his trainer that has certainly paid off for Kindly Poet. No one can ask for more than that. by Greg Gangle for WEG
Santanna Blue Chip was a household harness racing name back five years ago in 2008 when the excellent son of Art Major won $1.6 million. He raced successfully in his three-year-old season against none other than Somebeachsomewhere, Art Official, Shadow Play and Dali. Well, he’s back and back winning again too! Returned to racing after a four year stint as a stallion, Santanna Blue Chip rewarded his backers in his third start, winning the fourth race $16,000 n /w pace and at a price of 9-1! In his first two start, and now he is eight years old, Santanna Blue Chip, driven by Billy Davis, Jr., enjoyed a third-over trip behind Real Rocker (Randy Waples) who was following the first-over Lennon Blue Chip (Jonathan Drury) as they were coming on to challenge pacesetter Kindly Poet (Sylvain Filion) with My Man Charley (Anthony Macdonald) sitting the two-hole trip. At the three-quarters in 1:24.4, Davis sent Santannta Blue Chip three-wide and he looped the field and then held on in the stretch to win by a half length in 1:53 over late closing The Ladies Man (Mike Saftic) and Lennon Blue Chip. He is trained and owned by Jeff Gillis of Hillsburgh, Ontario and paid a generous $18.90 to win. As a stallion he bred 123 mares last year in New Zealand. Click here for a recent article on Santanna Blue Chip on Harnesslink. Videos of all races are attached. by Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
TORONTO, December 13 - The $15,000 opening round of the Valedictory Series highlighted the Friday card at Woodbine with J C Onthebeach capturing the fastest of two divisions. Driven by Jonathan Drury, J C Onthebeach earned himself a new lifetime best as he got under the wire first in 1:52.2. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere was first to the front at the opening station in :27, but allowed a parked-out Tauranga (Chris Christoforou) to clear to the position of command heading to the half. Drury quickly regained the front, but was in the pocket once again as heavily-favoured Americhi (Jody Jamieson) took control past the half in :56. Americhi would continue to lead past three-quarters in 1:23.4 and into the stretch, but couldn't fend off a late challenge from J C Onthebeach in deep stretch. Yucatan (Randy Waples) finished third. Trained by Therese Vrablic for owner Bruce Soulsby, J C Onthebeach is a perfect two-for-two since arriving in the Vrablic barn. The pacing sophomore celebrated his seventh career tally as his bankroll now sits at $45,034. He paid $10.80 to win. In the other split, favoured Alexas Jackpot and Jody Jamieson stopped the timer in 1:53.3. Jamieson put Alexas Jackpot in the three-hole in the early stages as Avatartist (Mike Saftic) wanted command from the post one to lead past the opening quarter in :27.3. Saftic and Avatartist would continue to lead past the half in :56.3, before Alexas Jackpot began the first-over journey. Avatartist marched past three-quarters in 1:25.1, but Alexas Jackpot was hot on his heels down the stretch and eventually wore down the tempo-setter en route to victory. Hes A Sensation (Phil Hudon) came from off-the-pace to finish second, with Pappys Pal (Keith Oliver) finishing third. Trained and co-owned by Marty Fine along with Highland Thoroughbred Frm, Alexas Jackpot enjoyed his fifth career score as his bankroll climbed to $56,700. The son of Million Dollar Cam now has a 5-3-2 record from 16 starts this season. He paid $3.60 to win. The Valedictory Series is for three-year-old colts and geldings, who are non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31. The second $15,000 leg will go postward on Friday, December 20. The $30,000 (added) final will take place on Boxing Day (December 26), which holds a special 1:00 p.m. first-race post time. Videos of all races attached. Greg Gangle
TORONTO, November 29 â€“ Woodbine Racetrack was the host of four Autumn Series finals on Friday evening, featuring sophomores of both gaits and sexes. In the $34,700 glamour boy final, Thorn In Your Side and Anthony Macdonald got the jump on their rivals down the stretch to score in a career-best clocking of 1:51. MacDonald and Thorn In Your Side were the first leaders, but allowed Grantor Hanover (Randy Waples) to command at the quarter in a quick :26. The lead wouldnâ€™t last long as Thorn In Your Side quickly retook command and laid down middle-half speed of :55 and 1:22. Turning for home, MacDonald and Thorn In Your Side appeared to get the jump on co-favourite Alexas Jackpot (Jody Jamieson), who had stalled cover from the half on. Down the stretch, MacDonald was in an all-out drive on Thorn In Your Side as he got the jump on his rivals to win for the tenth time on the year. Alexas Jackpot closed well to finish second, with Sea Harrier (James MacDonald) finishing third. Trained by Carmen Auciello for owner High Stakes Stable Inc, Thorn In Your Side earned his sixth win in seven starts as he increased his lifetime earnings to $98,327. Thorn In Your Side finished first and second in both preliminary rounds. The son of Mach Three paid $4.60 to win. Be Winnin, driven by Chris Christoforou, posted the 35-1 upset as she defeated heavily-favoured Samira Hanover in the final strides to take the $33,600 final for sophomore trotting fillies. The daughter of Angus Hall sat In The Pocket throughout the mile as Samira Hanover laid down panels of :27.4, :58.2 and 1:27.3, before Be Winnin angled out to wear down the tempo-setter to score in 1:55.4 - a new stakes record. Fathers Amiga (Mike Saftic) finished third. Trained by Glenn Lalonde for owner/breeder Bob Key, Be Winnin increased her bankroll to $55,448 as she celebrated her fourth career tally. The trotting lass enjoyed a new career best in the process before returning $61.80 to her backers. In the $33,600 trotting colts and geldings division, Popeda and Sylvain Filion provided the 5-1 minor upset in 1:55.3. Popeda was in no hurry off the start as heavily-favoured Doubledown Gass (Reg Gassien) was the first leader through the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. Doubledown Gass continued to lead past the mid-way point in :56.4, before Popeda angled out of fourth and began the first over attack around the final turn. Doubledown Gass continued to lead past three-quarters in 1:27, but Popeda quickly surged to command down the stretch and held off a late challenge from Lets Leavem (Chris Christoforou), who enjoyed a pocket trip throughout the mile. Doubledown Gass stayed for third. Owned by Overseas Farms Ltd and trained by Richard Moreau, Popeda enjoyed his fourth career victory as his lifetime earning now sit at $58,676. The son of Ken Warkentin celebrated a new lifetime best as he returned $13.60. Machnbyrd Princess and Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren clicked in the $35,300 pacing filly final in 1:53.1. Putmeintogo (Roger Mayotte) was the leader throughout most of the mile as she laid down panels of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:25.2. Condren used first-over tactics with Machnbyrd Princess around the final turn and was within striking range of the tempo-setter turning for home. Down the stretch, Machnbyrd Princess, Putmeintogo and Lyonssweetie (Randy Waples), who enjoyed a pocket trip, were all heads apart with Machnbyrd Princess getting the upper hand on her rivals in the final strides. Post time favourite Lyonssweetie finished second, with Putmeintogo completing the triactor. Shawn Robinson trains the six-time winner for owner Canamerica Capital Corp and Hyatt Holdings. The daughter of Mach Three increased her bankroll to $91,360. She paid $9.50 to win as the third choice. Videos of all races are attached. Greg Gangle WEG Communications