Day At The Track
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Georgian Downs celebrates the Ontario Sires Stakes on the harness racing program on Saturday evening with seven divisions of Grassroots action for the two-year-old trotting fillies, the "Be A Winner" contest and "Wanna Drive" program. The freshman trotting fillies kick things off at 7:15 pm and compete in the first seven races on the program. Among the hopefuls is Darling Diva, co-owned by Beeton, ON resident Warren Casely, who makes her fourth Grassroots start from Post 7 in the third $18,000 division. "She's my first trotter, we've got a number of pacers, but she is the first trotter," said Casely, who shares ownership of the filly with trainer Rene Laarman of Guelph, ON. "And we like her. I mean she's just been a lot of fun so far." "Right now she's holding her own, she's not wining, but that's okay, winning's not everything," he added. In her first three Grassroots starts Darling Diva has recorded one third, one fourth and one sixth-place result, banking $3,600. In each start the young trotter has minded her manners and lowered her finishing time, giving her connections hope that she will eventually find her way to the winner's circle. "We just, we keep getting in the wrong division; we keep getting the fast division." "I'm trying to get the slower divisions please," said Casely with a chuckle. "But you know what, it's the luck of the draw and for her it's experience, and it's good experience." An $8,000 purchase out of last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the Deweycheatumnhowe daughter makes her second appearance of the season at Georgian Downs on Saturday and Casely is looking forward to catching this outing in person. "Her first lifetime (start) was at Georgian as a matter of fact, and sadly her first lifetime was the one that I wasn't at," admitted the owner. " We had another horse running at Mohawk - we try to get to all the races - so I went to Mohawk with her and my wife went to Georgian to watch Diva race." Paul Mackenzie will steer Darling Diva from Post 7 in the third race, lining up alongside two-time Grassroots winner Magical Steph, who gets Post 8 for driver Steve Byron of Thornton, ON and trainer Gary Lance of Port Perry, ON. In the seventh race one lucky fan will have an opportunity to join in the winner's circle celebrations as part of the Ontario Sires Stakes "Be A Winner" contest. Through the earlier races fans will have an opportunity to place "Be A Winner" ballots in the box belonging to the horse they believe will win the final Ontario Sires Stakes division. One ballot will be selected for each horse competing in the seventh race and those semi-finalists will be invited down trackside where they will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes golf shirt and ball cap and a $10 win wager on their chosen horse. The semi-finalist whose horse is victorious in Race 7 will join the winner's circle celebrations and add an Ontario Sires Stakes jacket, a photograph with the winning horse, and a $50 wagering voucher to their collection of prizes. Fans who want to get even closer to the action can participate in the "Wanna Drive" program. In a two-seated jog cart alongside an experienced driver fans can experience first-hand the thrill of driving a retired Standardbred racehorse. "We look forward to a great evening of OSS Grassroots racing, coupled with the ever popular Wanna Drive," said Bruce Barbour, Executive Director of Ontario Racing Operations for Georgian Downs parent company Great Canadian Gaming. Finally, fans can top off their evening by catching some OSS-wear during the trackside t-shirt and ball cap toss. T The Ontario Sires Stakes celebration gets under way at 7:15 pm. Ontario Horse Racing

Driver Jody Jamieson made the most of his 12 drives Friday evening at Mohawk Racetrack as he scored six victories. Jamieson, who sits a top of Woodbine Entertainment Group's (WEG) driver standings, started his night off right with a victory in the second race.

Classic Rock Nroll, Piece Of The Rock and Dreamlands Art all made it into the Little Brown Jug on behalf of Canadian connections. Classic Rock Nroll won his elimination for Canadian harness racing trainer James Dean, while Piece Of The Rock finished second in his elimination for trainer Bob Young and driver Paul MacDonell and Dreamlands Art finished third.

The Rene Laarman trained and Rick Zeron driven Dreamlands Art returned a scintillating harness racing performance at Mohawk racetrack tonight (Tuesday August 25) winning his $20,000 mile in a slashing 1:49.3.

Grand River Raceway hosted the Gold Series season opener for the two-year-old pacing fillies, and harness racing fans will get a second look at the youngsters on Wednesday, Aug. 11 as they head to the Elora oval for six $24,000 Grassroots divisions.

The Rene Laarman trained Dreamlands Art recorded the quickest winning mile at the Woodbine harness racing meeting today (Monday May 2). The 3-year-old colt stopped the clock at 1:51.1 with prior sectionals of 27, 55.1, and 1:23.

The Rene Laarman trained and Steve Condren driven Dreamlands Art was an impressive winner at the Mohawk harness racing Qualifiers this week (Monday April 19). The 3-year-old colt paced his mile in 1:55.1 with previous quarters of 29, 58.3, and 1:27.2.

When Rene Laarman heads to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday with three-year-old trotting filly Abby Kadabra, the trainer has one advantage that none of the other horseman with fillies the race can match.

The lightly raced Knight Of Intrigue is a vastly improved trotter since undergoing surgery for a breathing problem (a trapped epiglottis) earlier this year, according to his trainer Rene Laarman, who sends the 4-year-old colt postward in Saturday's $638,580 Breeders Crown Trot at Mohawk.

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