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On Saturday, February 2, Standardbred Canada announced the harness racing winners for the 2018 O’Brien Awards, at the 30th edition of the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala held at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale hotel in Mississauga, Ont. The O’Brien Awards honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season and are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, Ont. won his sixth consecutive title as Canada’s Trainer of the Year. He put up some incredible numbers in the 2018 season, sending 315 winners postward and training horses to more than $4.6 million in earnings, a new personal best. He was the leading trainer in both wins and earnings at Woodbine Racetrack’s final meet and at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Moreau trained O’Brien Award winner Jimmy Freight for part of the sophomore season including his victories in the Ontario Sires Stakes and Somebeachsomewhere. Other top performers from the Moreau Stable in 2018 included pacing colt Backstreet Shadow, trotting horse Big Rich, and pacing mare Witch Dali. To read the rest of this story, click here. 

MILTON, December 1, 2018 - Richard Moreau trainee Isitfridayyet picked up his first harness racing career Preferred victory in Saturday's $34,000 feature at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of eight older pacers battled over a 'Sloppy' track for this week's edition of the Preferred. The early-scramble saw Regal Son clear to the top shortly after posting a :27 opening-quarter. Physicallyinclined, who left from the rail, was on the move from third at the first-quarter and rushed up to take the lead well-before reaching the half in :56.3. The son of No Pan Intended and driver Louis Philippe Roy got away sixth from post-eighth. The eventual winner angled out at the half and was situated third-over and a little more than four-lengths from the lead turning for home. Physicallyinclined continued to lead at three-quarters in 1:25.4. The stretch-drive was a wild scene with five-horses within nearly a length of the lead at the seven-eighths pole. Isitfridayyet powered off cover and charged by on the outside to win by a length and a half in 1:53.2. Regal Son came up the inside from the two-hole to finish second, while Rockin In Heaven came from second-over to grab third. Physicallyinclined gave up the lead in the lane but battled to finish fourth. A five-year-old gelding, Isitfridayyet has gone from competing as a $15,000 claimer at Western Fair in January to winning the top-class at Mohawk Park in December. His five-year-old record now sits at 11 wins and $134,830 earned in 23 starts. Isitfridayyet joined the Moreau barn in late-February and is owned by Leonard Rosene of London, Ontario. The Preferred victory increases his career numbers to 20 wins and $176,374 earned. A $2 win ticket on Isitfridayyet returned Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie - Woodbine Communications          

JULY 22, 2018 - After two weeks spent south of the border taking on the best three-year-old pacing colts in North America, Jimmy Freight returned to the Ontario Sires Stakes program on Sunday and delivered his third straight commanding Gold Series victory, circling the Rideau Carleton Raceway oval in 1:50.3. The clocking was a new track record for three-year-old pacers. Driver Louis Philippe Roy sent Jimmy Freight directly to the front from Post 2 and the heavy favourite cruised through fractions of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:23.3 on his way to the two and three-quarter length victory. Sharp Action Money finished second and JM Jack Of Hearts was four more lengths back in third. "Louis turned around a few times to make sure he was having good control of this race, and it worked out perfect," said trainer Richard Moreau. Puslinch resident Moreau conditions Jimmy Freight for Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ontario. Through 10 starts this season the Sportswriter son has posted six wins, one second and two thirds, banking $258,439. Prior to Sunday's start he had been in New Jersey competing in The Meadowlands Pace where he finished third in his July 7 elimination and fourth in the July 14 final. "I guess he has to get used to travel now," said the trainer with a chuckle. "I think we have Mohawk next, for another Gold (August 4), and then going back to the States on the 11th. It's (Carl Milstein Memorial) an eight horse field and they go for $400,000 US." Sunday's victory made Jimmy Freight the fastest sophomore pacing colt to tour Rideau Carleton Raceway and was just one-fifth of a second shy of the 1:50.2 three-year-old track record set by Camluck gelding Michaels Power in a Gold Final on August 26, 2012. The second $96,400 Gold division was captured by The Downtown Bus, who led the field through fractions of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:23.2, fighting off challenges from Pretty Handsome and favourite St Lads Neptune before pacing away in the stretch to a two and three-quarter length victory in 1:51.1. Taste Of History and Grantmeawish closed well to secure second and third. "He raced great. I used him up a couple of times and he still held them off," said driver Doug McNair. "It was a huge effort tonight." Guelph resident McNair piloted The Downtown Bus to his first-ever Ontario Sires Stakes win for trainer Jeff Gillis of Mississauga, Ontario and Ellen Ott of Buffalo, New York. Gillis and Ott also bred the son of Mach Three. In 14 sophomore starts The Downtown Bus now has five wins, two seconds and four thirds for earnings of $103,315. In addition to the pair of Gold Series divisions, Rideau Carleton Raceway also hosted three Grassroots splits for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, and after starting their season at the Gold level, both When You Dance and Casimir Richie P found success in their respective Grassroots divisions. Fan favourite When You Dance hit the wire three and one-quarter lengths ahead of Pokerface Bluechip and Stock in 1:52. Guy Gagnon piloted the Mach Three son to the win for trainer Ben Wallace of Puslinch, Ontario, Daniel Plouffe of Bromont, Quebec and Birnam Wood Farms of Boca Raton, FL. Also sent off as the favourite, Casimir Richie P romped home to a six and one-quarter length victory in 1:52.3 for driver Tyler Moore of Campbellville, trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge and their partner Michael Goldberg of Toronto, Ontario. My Teen Idol was second and Mighty Mach third. The final $18,450 division saw Hudson Phil earn his second Grassroots victory of the season with a pacesetting 1:52.3 effort that saw him hit the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Gold Rush and Luka Shenko. Guelph resident James MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario and owner-breeders Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. Both a Grassroots and a Gold winner at two, Hudson Phil had made one appearance at each level before Sunday's victory. "Phil's always been a nice colt, but just a touch behind a few of the Gold horses, so we'll try the Grassroots for the time being," said Steacy. "He will go back to Hippodrome 3R for his next start and then return to Mohawk." On July 15 Hudson Phil captured his division of the first leg of the Coupe Des Eleveurs at Hippodrome 3R and will return to the Quebec oval for the July 29 second leg. The Gold Series colts and geldings will compete in their fourth event on August 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, while the Grassroots competitors make their fourth start at Clinton Raceway on August 5. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, August 26 with the fourth Gold and Grassroots legs for the three-year-old trotting colts. From the Ontatio Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - July 6, 2018 - Witch Dali and driver Jody Jamieson capitalized off a third-quarter tilt at the front to win the $30,000 Mares Preferred on Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of seven pacing mares squared off in the Friday feature with Richard Moreau trainees Witch Dali and Sandbetweenurtoes playing an important role. Sandbetweenurtoes fired out to the lead at the beginning and posted opening fractions of :27.2 and :55.2. Firebby, the 7/5 favourite, started first-up from fourth nearing the half and engaged in a big third-quarter battle with the leader. A third-quarter of :26.3 took a bite out of Sandbetweenurtoes and Firebby, as the mares slugged it out from the half into the lane. Witch Dali was able to benefit from the battle, as she had been situated fifth in the early stages and driver Jamieson followed Firebby's move around the far turn, sitting third on the outside, but a few lengths back of the top pair's battle. Witch Dali powered by the leaders in deep stretch, but was not the only mare passing rivals on the outside. American Sara and Sylvain Filion had tracked Witch Dali from the far turn and got up in the last stride to make it a photo finish. The photo finish camera determined that Witch Dali held on by a head to win at odds of 5/2. Firebby finished third, while Sandbetweenurtoes was fourth. A seven-year-old daughter of Dali, Witch Dali surpassed $100,000 in seasonal earnings with her fifth victory of 2018. The Moreau trainee now has five wins and nine "on the board" finishes in 12 starts this season. Owned by Brad Grant, Witch Dali is now a 28-time winner with career earnings of $582,668. She paid $7.70 to win. Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - JUNE 23, 2018 - How good is Jimmy Freight? Driver Louis Philippe Roy is not sure; he thought he had seen the best of the colt in his first six starts this season, but the three-year-old pacer stepped it up a notch in Saturday's $96,400 Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "He's always been really good, Jimmy Freight, and tonight I think he was better than he's ever been. He felt so good going down the stretch, could have gone a little bit faster," Roy told Woodbine Mohawk Park's Chad Rozema in the winner's circle. "Like I said, tonight is the best he's ever been, and if you would have asked me how he was a week or two weeks ago I would say he's very good. I didn't know he could be better than what he was actually, so tonight he really impressed me again." Starting from Post 6 Jimmy Freight got away fourth as Levis Day led the field of seven to a :26.1 opening quarter, but Roy was not content to sit for long. He had the heavy favourite on the lead before the :54.2 half and by the 1:22.2 three-quarters the pair had opened up a two length gap on the field. Making it look easy, Jimmy Freight extended that margin to six and three-quarter lengths by the finish and clocked a new personal best 1:49.2. St Lads Neptune finished second and Levis Day took home third-place honours. Roy drives the son of Sportswriter and Allamerican Summer for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and owner Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ontario. Jimmy Freight now boasts a sophomore record of five wins, one second, one third and earnings of $151,900 through seven starts. In addition to Saturday's Gold Series triumph he was also victorious in the Gold Series season opener at Flamboro Downs on May 20 and in his Somebeachsomewhere division at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 2. "He's a nice horse, I don't know what to tell you, he makes everything so easy," said Moreau. "If he races every week I never get to train him, I just jog him, that's all. "And if you jog him you wouldn't be able to say he is a stake horse or what he is, because all he does is trot out there," added Moreau with a chuckle. "You can't even push him to pace unless you put the hopples on." The easygoing Jimmy Freight will make his next Gold Series start at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 22 and has been invited to the August 11 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in Ohio. Roy also captured the $125,000 three-year-old pacing filly Gold division, steering heavy favourite Shower Play to another one of her trademark come-from-behind victories, reaching the wire one length ahead of Big Thong and Write Me A Song in in 1:51.1. "She didn't have a really good trip tonight, because I was kind of shuffled back in the last turn, so I was scared a little bit that I may be a little bit too far," Roy told Rozema. "But once I moved her, she just, just by herself, she switched to sixth gear and rally home." Rockwood resident Rene Dion conditions Shower Play for his partners Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood, Ontario and Martin Leveillee of St-Blaise-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The victory bumps the Shadow Play daughter's sophomore record to three wins and one second in four starts. In addition to Saturday's Gold Series victory, her first, the filly was also victorious in the $415,000 Fan Hanover final on June 16 and the Grassroots season opener on May 31, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. She will be back in Gold Series action on July 20 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Like Shower Play, Sharp Action Money used a late sprint to capture the other three-year-old pacing colt Gold division. Starting from Post 6 Sharp Acton Money got away seventh and tipped into the outer lane where he watched as four different horses rotated onto the front end. At the three-quarters, sitting three and one-half lengths off the pace in fifth, driver Sylvain Filion shifted Sharp Action Money into overdrive and the gelding sprinted home in :27.3 to claim a one-half length victory over Sports Legend and Taste Of History. "This horse has been racing really, really good, I wasn't just able to give him the right trip, and tonight fortunately we were able to get the right trip," said Filion from the winner's circle. "When I saw a bunch of leavers I took back, got a third-over, and it worked out pretty good." Milton resident Filion crafted the trip for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland and his partners Tony Basile of Toronto and Daniel Sarafian of Unionville, Ontario. The win was the Sportswriter son's second of the season and his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, June 25 with two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. The program gets under way at 7:30 pm and the fillies will compete in Races 3 and 8. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - June 22, 2018 - The classy Sandbetweenurtoes registered her first harness racing win of 2018 in impressive fashion Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The seven-year-old winner of more than $1 million powered to a 1:49.3 victory in this week's edition of the $30,000 Mares Preferred. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Sandbetweenurtoes made a second-quarter rush to the lead from fourth and led a field of six by the half in :54.4. Jamieson kept the foot down on the Richard Moreau trained pacing mare and smoked a :27.3 third-quarter to lead by four lengths turning for home. Sandbetweenurtoes wasn't going to be denied her first win of the season and paced home in :27.1 for the sub-1:50 score. Witch Dali, also from the Moreau barn, charged through rivals to finish second, beat three-quarters of a length. American Sara and P L Hurricane finished third and fourth, respectively. Owned by Brad Grant, Sandbetweenurtoes was making her fifth start of the season Friday and was coming in off a third-place finish, her best result of the season. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere won 12 of 30 starts and banked over $243,000 last season en route to winning an O'Brien Award. Friday's victory increases Sandbetweenurtoes career numbers to 34 wins and $1,047,782 earned. She paid $6.40 to win. Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with an 11-race card highlighted by a trio of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old pacers. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

TORONTO, March 9, 2018 - Just a month after capturing his fifth consecutive O'Brien Award, harness racing trainer Richard Moreau reached an impressive career milestone on Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Moreau, 53, entered Friday's card just $10,120 shy of $50 million in career earnings with five students set to compete. Nine-year-old pacing mare Barockey started the night off in style for Team Moreau with a victory in the $18,000 third-race to pull Moreau to within $1,120 of the milestone. After the next two Moreau trainees missed earning a cheque, seven-year-old pacing mare Bad Night Mare earned $1,440 with a fourth-place finish in the $18,000 ninth-race to push her conditioner over the career milestone. Five-year-old pacing mare Every Time was the final Moreau trainee to compete Friday and she earned $800 with a fourth-place finish to start the march towards $100 million. Moreau's stable has earned over $2 million in eight consecutive seasons, while also topping $1 million in every year since 2000. The Puslinch, Ontario resident has also led all Woodbine Circuit trainers in wins in each of the last three seasons. The five-time O'Brien Award winner has topped 200 wins in seven of the last eight seasons. Moreau's career-best season for wins and earnings came in 2012 when his trainees posted 344 wins and earned $3.6 million. The Moreau barn has been as consistent as any operation in the sport and to no surprise the trend has continued in 2018. Woodbine's leading trainer has seen his students accumulate more than $800,000 in earnings in just over two months of racing. Woodbine Entertainment would like to congratulate Richard Moreau on surpassing $50 million in career earnings. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 12, 2018 - Richard Moreau trainees Ms Mac N Cheese and Witch Dali finished one-two in Friday evening's harness racing $30,000 Mares Preferred at Woodbine Racetrack. Snowy and freezing conditions made traveling to Woodbine difficult on Friday and led to the scratch of more than a dozen horses, including millionaire L A Delight. The removal of the Bob McIntosh trained superstar, who had won the last two editions of the Mares Preferred, opened the door for one of five mares to find the winner's circle. Ms Mac N Cheese, who finished second to L A Delight on December 15, went coast to coast for her 23rd career score. The now six-year-old pacing mare was sent to the front by driver Louis Philippe Roy and got things her own way through fractions of :27.4, :57.4 and 1:27. Stablemate Witch Dali was a handful for Doug McNair, who fought to keep the winner of nearly half a million in the pocket spot until the top of the lane. In the stretch, Witch Dali took her best shot and tried to surge by, but Ms Mac N Cheese denied that bid and held her off to win by half a length in 1:55.2. Exhilarated finished third, while Request For Parole was fourth and Buttermilk Hanover fifth. Owned by Ratchford Stable Ns, Ms Mac N Cheese won five of 28 starts in 2017, finding her best stride in the later stages of the season. The Moreau trainee banked $112,880 last season and starts 2018 with $15,000 earned to bring her career earnings to $702,992. The public was behind Ms Mac N Cheese in the short field, as she paid $4.60 to win. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Race 9 - Ms Mac N Cheese 1st Ms Mac N Cheese (b,m,6 - Badlands Hanover-Mr Delis Filly-Artiscape) 2nd Witch Dali (br,m,7 - Dali-Whitesand Gem-Blissfull Hall) 3rd Exhilarated (b,m,7 - Mach Three-Animated Art-Artsplace) Race 1 - Every Time 1st Every Time (b,m,5 - Camystic-Eternal Optimism-Artsplace) 2nd Larjon Lachlan (b,m,6 - Artistic Fella-Alerts Big Girl-Albert Albert) 3rd Sodwana Bay (br,m,5 - No Pan Intended-Paradise Cove-No Nukes) Race 2 - Summit City Nate 1st Summit City Nate (b,g,6 - Justice Hall-Even Dozen-Program Speed) 2nd Natural Kemp (blk,g,6 - Muscles Yankee-Impressive Kemp-Credit Winner) 3rd Amityville Lindy (b,g,6 - Deweycheatumnhowe-Possessed By Lindy-Self Possessed) Race 3 - Mego Moss 1st Mego Moss (b,g,9 - Amigo Hall-Taras Terror-Brisco Hanover) 2nd Class Me Nice (b,g,7 - Angus Hall-Please Be Nice-Self Possessed) 3rd Lexus Rocky (b,g,7 - Amigo Hall-Conway Connie-Conway Hall) Race 4 - Rubis Prescott  1st Rubis Prescott (b,m,8 - Mach Three-Reunion-Cams Card Shark) 2nd Art Angel Baby (b,m,5 - Sagebrush-Sandys Art Angel-Artsplace) 3rd Lights Go Out (b,m,8 - Western Ideal-Lola-Artsplace) Race 5 - Warrawee Shipshape 1st Warrawee Shipshape (b,g,4 - Muscle Mass-U Can Cruise-Malabar Man) 2nd Muscle Ave (b,g,5 - Muscle Mass-Third Avenue-Ken Warkentin) 3rd Justasmalltowngirl (b,m,9 - Kadabra-Armbro Exuberant-Angus Hall) Race 6 - Emma Ivy 1st Emma Ivy (b,m,4 - Jennas Beach Boy-Empty Promises-Electric Yankee) 2nd Ok Jewel (b,m,4 - Mach Three-Whitesand Jewel-Artiscape) 3rd Reys N A Rocket (b,m,4 - Mattarocket-Allamerican Orchid-Camluck) Race 7 - Buzz 1st Buzz (b,g,6 - Kadabra-Annie Hall-Like A Prayer) 2nd Its Huw You Know (b,g,6 - Holiday Road-Lukes Elvira-American Winner) 3rd Meadowbranch Memo (b,g,5 - Explosive Matter-Wen Mars Memo-Carry The Message) Race 8 - Call It Courage 1st Call It Courage (b,m,8 - Mach Three-Tymal Princess-Grinfromeartoear) 2nd V String (b,m,4 - Somebeachsomewhere-Thong-Western Hanover) 3rd On The Minute Mark (b,m,5 - Rambaran-Nina Seelster-Camluck) Race 10 - Jens Credit 1st Jens Credit (b,m,5 - Up The Credit-Armbro Vertical-Presidential Ball) 2nd Docs Sausalito (br,m,5 - Art Colony-Docs Lioness-Cams Eclipse) 3rd E R Rhonda (b,m,7 - Moon Beam-Cinnamon Punch-Pilgrims Punch) Mark McKelvie        

TORONTO, October 27 - Witch Dali was able to get the better of harness racing stablemate Ms Mac N Cheese to capture Friday's $30,000 Mares Preferred Pace at Woodbine Racetrack. The Richard Moreau trained pacing mares finished first and second, with Witch Dali edging by in deep stretch to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:52. It was just the second win of the season for the six-year-old pacing mare, who was making her 18th start of 2017. Driven for the first-time by Bob McClure, Witch Dali was blasted to the lead in a field of seven and posted a :26.4 opening-panel. Ms Mac N Cheese made a second-quarter move to the lead from third, but didn't clear until reaching the half in :56.1. The leaders did not change positions on the far turn, which set up a stretch duel between the Moreau trainees. Witch Dali powered by on the outside for the victory, which also snapped a three-race win streak for Ms Mac N Cheese. Owned by Brad Grant, Witch Dali has now banked $74,820 this season to bring her career earnings to $423,168. Friday's victory was her 21st career score. A $2 win ticket on Witch Dali returned $6.80. Live harness racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack with the $34,000 Preferred Pace headlining a 10-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 15 - Driver Doug McNair and trainer Richard Moreau were recognized Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack for their outstanding performances during the 2016-17 Woodbine harness racing winter meet. The Woodbine winter meet, which concluded on Monday, was contested from November 10 to April 10. Doug McNair, 27, led all drivers in victories and earnings. The Guelph, Ontario resident won 126 races during the five-month meet and drove the winners of over $1.7 million. The Woodbine driving title is McNair's first driving title on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit. While McNair took home his first title, Richard Moreau, 52, added another Woodbine training title to his long list of accomplishments. Moreau, who is the four-time reigning Trainer of the Year in Canada, led all conditioners with 62 wins and earnings of over $1.2 million. Moreau's barn has been led this year by older pacer American Virgin, who's won the Preferred at WEG seven-times and banked $140,080 this season. McNair has been the driver behind the Preferred star all-season. McNair and Moreau also teamed up on Friday night to win the $30,000 Mares Preferred with Sandbetweenurtoes. The 2017 Mohawk meet is now in full swing and McNair and Moreau are both off to solid starts. Live racing is held at the Campbellville oval every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, April 8 - Richard Moreau's barn put together a fantastic evening to highlight the final Saturday night harness racing card of the Woodbine Racetrack meet. Canada's reigning Trainer of the Year sent out five winners on Saturday's 10-race card. Leading the way for Moreau's barn was American Virgin, who scored his fifth consecutive victory in the $34,000 Preferred. Driven by Doug McNair, American Virgin made a third to first move in the second-quarter and never looked back to defeat four rivals in 1:50.4. The five-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin is now 7 for 11 this season and has earned a nation leading $140,080 in 2017. Brad Grant of Milton, Ontario owns American Virgin. Driver Louis Philippe Roy piloted Moreau's four other winners on Saturday evening's card. The young reinsman from Quebec steered overnight pacers Rockin Wizard, Traceur Hanover, Twomacsonemach and Carracci Hanover to victory. Since the start of 2017, Moreau's barn has recorded 44 victories at Woodbine. American Virgin Also on Saturday, five-year-old pacer Luke And Duke and driver Steve Bryon scored a 41-1 upset victory in the Jackpot Hi-5 race. The longshot winner helped wipe all but one of the Hi-5 tickets to allow a horseplayer to hit the Jackpot. The single-winning $0.20 ticket scored a return of $141,059.11. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover, which sat at $118,631 heading into Saturday's card, had been growing since March 13. The 2016-17 Woodbine fall-winter meet comes to a close on Monday (April 10). Moreau will look to finish off the meet in style when he sends out three-starters on the 10-race card. Post time Monday is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, November 11 - The 2016 Mohawk harness racing meet is set to close Monday evening and there will be zero drama in the race for top driver and top trainer. On Saturday evening, Sylvain Filion and Richard Moreau were recognized as leading driver and trainer, respectively, during the 2016 meet. Filion leads all drivers with 190 wins entering Monday's final card of the meet. Trevor Henry sits second in the standings with 143 victories. Filion's large lead in the wins category is topped by his impressive advantage in the earnings category. The Milton, Ontario resident has driven the winners of over $5.1 million during the Mohawk meet, $2.1 million more than Henry ($3 million). Over on the training side, Moreau enters the final card of the Mohawk meet with 93 victories, 36 wins ahead of nearest rival Carmen Auciello. Moreau's stable has earned over $1.8 million this season at Mohawk, which is second only to Jimmy Takter's earnings of $2 million. Filion and Moreau's strong numbers during the Mohawk meet have them well-ahead to capture their second consecutive WEG Driving and Training titles. An 11-race card will wrap up the 2016 Mohawk meet Monday. Filion has 10 drives on the card, while Moreau has five horses scheduled to compete. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Just a week away from the start of the Ontario Sires Stakes season, three-year-old pacing colt Gerries Sport put his harness racing rivals on notice with a sizzling 1:49.2 performance Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The Richard Moreau trained colt competed in a non-winners of three-races or $75,000 lifetime event Friday night, which featured three Pepsi North America Cup eligibles, Arsenic, Bettor Memories and Nocturnal Bluechip. Gerries Sport entered Friday's race with two victories in three starts this season. His only defeat was a gritty fourth-place effort in The Diplomat Series final on May 7. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Gerries Sport left from post-five and found a spot in third, while four-year-old Asap Hanover blasted to the front just ahead of Arsenic. There was little movement early on, as Asap Hanover posted solid fractions of :26.3 and :54.2. Approaching the three-quarter pole, Filion pulled on the right line to send Gerries Sport after the leader. The challenger pulled to within less than two-lengths of the lead at the third-marker, as Asap Hanover reached that station in 1:22.1. In the stretch, Gerries Sport powered by Asap Hanover to grab clear command with an eighth of a mile to go. The Moreau trainee cruised home confidently in :26.4 to win by two-lengths in 1:49.2. Asap Hanover finished second, while Arsenic was third in his season debut. Pepsi North America Cup eligibles Bettor Memories and Nocturnal Bluechip finished fifth and seventh, respectively. A son of Mach Three, Gerries Sport competed primarily in the OSS Grassroots as a two-year-old, but appears more than ready to tackle the Gold level this season. Moreau trains the sophomore pacing colt for owner Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, Quebec. Gerries Sport's third win in four starts this season brings his career record to six wins in 16 starts for earnings of $71,453. The son of Mach Three is now North America's fastest three-year-old of 2016. His clocking of 1:49.2 lowered the previous mark of 1:50.2 set by War N Munn in The Diplomat Final on May 7 at Mohawk. Gerries Sport paid $5.90 to win. Live racing continues Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack with a special post time of 6:45 p.m. in place for Fireworks and Family Fun Night. Mark McKelvie

Canada's reigning Horse of the Year made his season debut Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but Nickle Bag spoiled the party with the nation's fastest harness racing mile of 2016. A strong field of nine older pacers competed in the $34,000 Preferred Handicap pace. State Treasurer, last year's Canadian Horse of the Year, was making his 2016 debut and started from the outside post-nine. Driven by Chris Christoforou, State Treasurer was able to float out and drop in sixth as the even-money favourite. Nickle Bag, the 8-5 second choice, left hard from post-six for Trevor Henry to grab the front and post an opening-quarter of :26. Nickle Bag kept the pace honest in the second-quarter and reached the half in :54.3. Christoforou started up State Treasurer nearing the half and the Dr. Ian Moore trainee was sent first up entering the final turn. However, cover did develop for State Treasurer rounding the final turn, as stablemate Arthur Blue Chip angled out from third at five-eighths. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:22.3, Nickle Bag brought the field into the lane and waved goodbye. The Bill Robinson trainee finished off his mile with a blazing :26.2 final-quarter to win by 4¾ lengths in a career-best 1:49. State Treasurer came off cover in the stretch, but was unable to gain any spots and finished fourth in his season debut, pacing home in :26.4. Mohawk Warrior came from sixth at the top of the lane to finish second, while The Rev turned his two-hole trip into a third-place effort. A six-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, Nickle Bag secured his ninth victory of the season Saturday. The Robinson trainee has picked up seven of his nine victories this year in the Preferred. Owned by Linda and Harry Loyens, Nickle Bag surpassed his 2015 earnings total with Saturday's victory. The veteran pacer has banked $167,860 in 15 starts this year, compared to $162,790 in 26 starts last year. Nickle Bag's victory Saturday was his 28th career triumph and it brings his career earnings to $627,490. He paid $5.30 to win. Nickle Bag Although State Treasurer was unsuccessful in his season debut, history shows that may not be a bad thing. The Dr. Moore trainee finished sixth last year in his debut (May 2, 2015 - Preferred Pace) before going onto divisional and Horse of the Year honours. Also on Saturday, the second leg of The Diplomat Series was contested. A group of 13 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two $20,000 divisions. War N Munn continued his WEG Series success with a 1:52 victory in the first division. The Carmen Auciello trainee got away fourth in the field of six for driver Jonathan Drury. Mach Power posted an opening-quarter of :28.3, but was quickly passed in the second-quarter by Shocking Image. The new leader reached the half in :57.2 and led the field around the final turn, while War N Munn charged first up to pull to within a length of the lead at the three-quarter pole. Shocking Image reached the third marker in 1:25.3, but quickly surrendered the lead in the lane to War N Munn. The 2-5 favourite rocketed home in :26.1 for a 2 ¼ length victory. Shocking Image was second, while Mach Power finished third. A son of Stonebridge Regal, War N Munn now has five wins in nine starts this season. The sophomore pacing colt has signature victories this season in The Count B and Youthful Series finals. War N Munn now has seven career victories and earnings of $119,261 for owner George Munnuiksma. His mile of 1:52 knocked three-fifths of a second off his previous career mark. The Auciello trainee paid $2.80 to win. War N Munn In the second division, Gerries Sport got his own way in the middle-half and finished up strong for an impressive victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Gerries Sport, the even-money favourite, left from post-seven and touched down on the front just after passing the opening-quarter in :26.1. Flaherty, the 7-5 second-choice, got a two-hole trip behind the favourite. Gerries Sport went unchallenged in the middle-half and posted panels of :55.4 and 1:25.1. The soft middle-half was the turning point, as the public's choice left his rivals behind and charged home in :26.4 for a 3½ lengths victory in 1:52. Flaherty maintained his position to finish second, while Worthy Art was third. A son of Mach Three, Gerries Sport is trained by Richard Moreau for Gerrie Tucker. The three-year-old colt is now two for two to start 2016 after posting three wins in 12 starts as a rookie. Just like War N Munn in the first division, Gerries Sport lowered his lifetime mark by three-fifths of a second. The son of Mach Three now sports a career bankroll of $56,845. Gerries Sport paid $4.20 to win. Gerries Sport The first leg of The Diplomat did not fail, therefore the 10 horses that earned money Saturday night have landed spots in next Saturday's $57,600 final. In order to be eligible to The Diplomat, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2015. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

The WEGZ and HPIBET.com series finals highlighted harness racing action Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Just a field of five went postward in the $55,800 WEGZ for four-year-old pacers, while a full field of ten four-year-old pacing mares competed in the $54,400 HPIBET.com. All eyes were on Mohawk Warrior in the WEGZ, as the Richard Moreau trainee aimed for a series sweep and he did not disappoint. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Mohawk Warrior got away third, while Shades Of Bay and Legion Of Boom battled for the early lead. Shades Of Bay posted an opening-quarter of :27, but was quickly overtaken by the heavy favourite. Mohawk Warrior, the 1/5 choice, put up middle-fractions of :55.4 and 1:24.3 to lead the field into the stretch. The Moreau trainee sealed the victory with a :26.3 final-quarter to win by a length and a quarter in 1:51.1. Cajon Lightning finished second, while Shades Of Bay was third. A four-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover, Mohawk Warrior has now won five of eight starts in 2016 for 13 career victories. The WEGZ Series sweep pushes his seasonal earnings to over $75,000. Owned by Brad Grant, Mohawk Warrior missed his career-mark by a fifth of a second Saturday, but paced his final-quarter in :27.1 or faster for the fifth consecutive start. His career earnings now sit at $176,461. Mohawk Warrior paid $2.40 to win. Mohawk Warrior Wanda Bayama followed up her leg two victory with a 1:51.4 score in the HPIBET.com final. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Wanda Bayama left hard from post nine and made the front at the opening-quarter in :26.1. The 8/5 second choice, Wanda Bayama continued to call the shots in the middle-half. She posted back-to-back panels of :29 to lead the field into the stretch. Our Hot Majorette, the even-money favourite, paced along fourth and was one of several horses looking to made a stretch bid at the leader. However, Wanda Bayama was clearly the best and paced home in :27.3 to win by a length and a half in 1:51.4. Much Adoo, who won leg one, finished second, while Aniston Seelster and Our Hot Majorette rounded out the top-four. Trained by Stephane Larocque, Wanda Bayama has now won two of three starts in 2016. The four-year-old pacing mare now has nine career victories and over $111,000 in career earnings for owners Bayama Farms Inc. Wanda Bayama equaled her career-mark of 1:51.4 with the victory. She paid $5.40 to win. Wanda Bayama In order to be eligible to the WEGZ and HPIBET.com, the four-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of $100,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Mark McKelvie

Mohawk Warrior will aim for a WEGZ Series sweep following a 1:51.3 harness racing victory Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of five met up for the second leg of the three-week series. Trainer Richard Moreau sent out a trio of starters, including Mohawk Warrior. Moreau trainee Rafa cut the mile with Mohawk Warrior and Jody Jamieson sitting on his back. After fractions of :27.4, :56.2, Jamieson pulled the pocket entering the final turn and sat just a neck away from the front. The stablemates were nearly on even-terms at the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3. In the stretch, Rafa continued to pace strong down, but Mohawk Warrior powered by in deep stretch to win in 1:51.3. Moreau trainee Cajon Lightning got up for third. A four-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover, Mohawk Warrior now has four wins in seven starts this season and has finished no worse than third for earnings of over $55,000. The four-year-old has 12 wins in 34 career starts and earnings exceeding $148,000. Mohawk Warrior is owned by Brad Grant. He paid $3.40 to win. In order to be eligible to the WEGZ Series, the four-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of $100,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Mohawk Warrior Also on Saturday, Nickle Bag extended his current win streak to six with a 1:50 victory. The Bill Robinson trainee was put on the front-end Saturday and never looked back. Driven by Trevor Henry, Nickle Bag posted solid fractions of :26.4, :54.3 and 1:21.4, before pacing home in :28.1 for a 3¼ length victory. Owned by Linda and Harry Loyens, Nickle Bag has now won six consecutive starts to sport a 2016 record of six wins in 8 starts. Saturday's victory was his 26th career score and pushes his career earnings to over $575,000. Nickle Bag paid $2.60 to win. Nickle Bag Live racing resumes Monday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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