Growing up in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Patrick's dream was to train harness racing horses. Patrick is working hard to make good on his dream, currently having 22 horses in his care after moving to Ontario just over 3 years ago, the biggest province for harness racing. "I wanted to be a driver when I first came here (to Ontario). I wasn't real successful at it and didn't set the world on fire by any means." Patrick says. "I was driving the long shots and driving my own horses... some horses were really nice and some weren't. That's why I decided I was only going to train horses." When Patrick decided to focus only on training that's when results started to roll in, going from training 2 horses to 22 in a relative short time frame. Speaking with Patrick, it's quite surprising to find out he's only 21. The way Patrick carries himself; you would think he's 30 or 35. To the point, he's very mature for his age. "I want to do things successfully" says Patrick. "I try really hard all the time and my goal is to win. I want to win. I will drive 5 hours to Rideau Carlton, (Ottawa, ON), to win a horse race.... I want to bring owners in." There can be so much said for what Patrick aims for and the biggest element is Patrick being able to bring in more owners, this is how the sport will grow end over end. In a way it reminds me of compound interest, earnings will be made on prior earnings. What is most gratifying to Patrick is seeing one of his horses win, more so knowing the time and work he put into working with that horse and seeing the fruits of his labor pay off. Patrick expresses how much he enjoys working with each horse, tinkering with the small things that other trainers may not notice. Back in PEI, Patrick trained horses with his father, Harold. "He taught me a lot" says Patrick. "I owe him pretty much everything. He had a full time job and I went to school and there was a time we had ten horses and we did them after work and after school, being at the barn until 11:30 at night. Then going home and doing school work. We trained horses and I was (listed) as the trainer of them. He helped me, but if I wanted to change something, he would always say, 'You're the trainer'. My dad is the one who helped me out the most, taught me how to change shoeing; he's the main man behind it all." "There were times when I did change stuff (with the horses) and it back fired. Then he would give me advice that I should have done it this way or that way. That is what helped me out a lot." Patrick explains. Listening to Patrick, his dad taught him that mistakes will be made, but what you learn from those mistakes is what matters most. We all make mistakes at one point or another, but do we take the time to learn from our mistakes? "I have a business now with help from my family, my dad, my mom and my brother Robert who pretty much got me set up here in Ontario. (Robert) got me here, he bought me a car, and he's the one who put a roof over my head. He's been good." Back in PEI, working with his dad, Patrick found working with horses to be fun despite the long hours. Patrick admits it became tougher for him once he moved to Ontario. Here in Ontario the competition is steep and fierce. Woodbine and Mohawk race tracks are the two premier tracks in the province of Ontario, however the competition at any one of the other tracks is just as fierce. "You go to Flamboro Downs and you're driving against Jody Jamison, there's Doug McNair in London (The Raceway at Western Fair)... you're always going against the top drivers anywhere. Then when I started training, I was training against the best trainers, like Richard Moreau. It was my dream to train horses and that was the hard part, facing trainers like Richard Moreau and Victor Puddy, guys that put up really big numbers." Being humble, Patrick knows he is not as established as trainers like Casie Coleman, Richard Moreau and Anthony Montini but he is willing to put in the work to reach that level of success. "I won't lie, when I first got here I thought I was a rock star" admits Patrick. "I drove in with the nice shoes and tried to live the 'life'." "I was working hard, but not putting money away. When you look at the bank account and I am walking around with nice shoes on, nice training suit... and a car my brother bought me. I paid him back as we went along but I could have paid him back (quicker). It was time to get my head on straight and let's get it going. If I am going to do it, I am going to do it now." There would be times when Patrick would be at the shopping mall and he's on his phone talking to his mom or grandmother and they want to know why he wasn't saving his money. Patrick said his grandmother gave him a great piece of advice, 'it doesn't matter how much money you have so long as your bills are paid.' That's a motto Patrick is trying to live by, day in and day out. "It's night and day" Patrick explains. "I am a different person than I was. I'm the person who was working hard in PEI with my dad. I'm not the guy who came here and thought I could just live the life. You get a reality check when you come here cause everybody else here is trying to be successful. They're trying, doing everything they can and I had to pull myself to that level." "That's the stuff I'm thankful for. My family might be in PEI but I can always talk to them. They help me get my head around, even when I am having a bad day at the track." Patrick says "...they always keep me on the straight and narrow. That's what keeps me motivated." Robert Shepherd, who is Patrick's oldest brother is someone Patrick fondly looks to for advice, whether it was back when Patrick was still in school in PEI or to present day. "When Robert was in Alberta and I was still at home in PEI, he'd always be there for me to talk to or to give me advice." Patrick says, "I have another brother Stephen, but me and Robert are close. I could always pick up the phone and call him... He's been a big brother that put me on the map." Back when Patrick was in school, instead of hanging out at the bars with friends on Saturday nights, he was at the farm working, tending to the horses. "I worked, lived and did everything at the barn" is how Patrick describes his life back then. "My mom always kept my (busy) growing up, playing hockey or curling, but I stopped all that early... because I was getting more and more into the horses. I didn't care if all my friends were going to a beach party; I was going to the races. If I was not at the races, I was in bed and sick." "There's probably one thing I missed out on and that was my prom and graduation." Patrick goes on to say, "I wish I was there for my prom and my graduation. I had everything ordered and I was supposed to be there but... I finished high school early. I had all my credits and I moved here to Ontario with half a year to go. I got here, started driving, working to get some money going." "Ya I missed my prom and graduation, but I still graduated. My mom wanted me to come back, but at the time I wanted no part of that. I wanted to stay here." Since arriving to Ontario, Patrick admits he's been quite fortunate to have owners who are willing to invest in him. Especially given the timing of his move to Ontario and what has transpired with the provincial Government and now the long term uncertainty of what lies ahead for the industry. However, this doesn't seem to faze Patrick, and it's his confidence in his abilities to persevere is what I believe draws owners to him. Owners who are willing to buy more and more horses and equipment such jog carts to ensure he has all the tools to be successful. Patrick notes that any interaction is all about respect. It doesn't matter that he is 21, all that matters is he's fully committed and handles himself and all his affairs professionally. Sure he could go out on Saturday nights with friends, but knowing that he has horses racing the next day at Flamboro Downs (Hamilton, On), Patrick has come to learn what is a priority and what can wait. Patrick will see you at Flamboro Downs. Fellow trainer Richard Moreau is someone Patrick looks to as a role model when it comes to training horses. "He does his own thing. You don't hear Richard yelling and screaming or anything like that. He's a very quiet guy, very loyal guy. I want to be like Richard and win races and win the O'Brien awards." Patrick's plan for the 2014 peak summer season is simple. It is to win, but not just win; Patrick wants to put up massive numbers. "I want things to be on the up right and keep winning, I have 22 horses now but I'd like to have 42 horses." Patrick says. There is no reason to believe Patrick can't have a stable of 50 or more and I wouldn't be shocked that one day soon Patrick will have a stable of horses numbering in the triple digits. With his mind set and desire to succeed, the sky is the limit for Patrick yet my inclination is Patrick is striving for the stars and beyond. There are plenty of reasons why I can see Patrick's name amongst the stars of the game in the near future. By: Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova
The betting public leaned heavily on Lady Latte in Tuesday’s $10,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 2 class at the Raceway, and the veteran distaffer didn’t disappoint her legion of pari-mutuel supporters. In rein to Jonathan Drury, Lady Latte shot to immediate command from Post 1 and cruised through panels of :29.2, :59.1 and 1:27.4 before using a :29.3 kicker to win by 2-3/4 lengths over pocket-riding Andro Madi in 1:57.2. Ostinato, who pulled off a 23-1 shocker one week earlier, rallied off cover to finish third. Gord McDonnell trains the eight-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended-Miss Jeki for Craig Turner and Mhairi Kersel of Ingersoll, Ontario. It was the mare’s second win of the season from four trips to the track, and it increased her lifetime win total to 33. The OSS graduate has now banked $428,085. Drury also mapped out the winning trip for Black Magic Eyes in the $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3. Just as he did one race earlier with Lady Latte, Drury rolled Black Magic Eyes to the top and she didn’t look back through splits of :29, :59.3 and 1:29.1. Her :30.2 closing quarter was good enough to earn her the 1:59.3 decision by 1-1/2 lengths over St Lads Zena, while 4-5 favourite Mamasaidso was third. Richard Moreau, who sent out a pair of winners on the 12-race card, trains the six-year-old daughter of Village Jolt-Western Concert for Gaston Bibeau, Eric Bibeau and Sylvain Descheneaux of Quebec. It was the mare’s first win of the season and the lion’s share of the purse boosted her overall bankroll to $116,000. To view results for Tuesday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Tuesday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Standardbred Canada has announced the winners of the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event, the annual Black Tie Gala was held in Charlottetown, PEI, at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel and PEI Convention Centre. The awards are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. O’Brien was born in Alberton, PEI. Bee A Magician who was perfect in her 2013 season, was the unanimous choice in the Three-Year -Old Trotting Filly division and was also voted Canada’s Horse of The Year. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her races last season and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore campaign. The daughter of Hall of Fame sire Kadabra took a mark of 1:51 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The invincible filly’s stakes victories included the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Sylvain Filion successfully defended his Driver of The Year title. In 2013 he led all reinsmen in the nation in terms of purse earnings, as his mounts banked $6,111,736. Filion finished as the leading money-winning driver on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk Racetrack and Woodbine Racetrack. The resident of Milton, Ont. earned the Lampman Cup for the second straight year, as he topped the Ontario Sires Stakes standings for drivers. Filion celebrated his richest win of the season while steering Boomboom Ballykeel to a 10-1 upset victory in the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Richard Moreau was voted Trainer of The Year following an impressive season that saw his stable win 279 races and earn $3,623,805 in purses. The resident of Puslinch, Ont. earned training titles across Ontario at Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack. Moreau topped the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. The 2013 season marked the 14th consecutive year that his stable has surpassed the $1-million mark in purse earnings. Alberta’s Kelly Hoerdt won the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship. Hoerdt is a successful driver/trainer who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. The 2013 season was another productive year for Hoerdt, as he trained 82 winners and horses to $623,000, and drove 66 winners and horses that earned over $490,000. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in terms of earnings at Alberta Downs. His stable was led by sophomore pacing colt Premium Attaction, a multiple stakes winner that rattled off six wins in 11 races and over $111,000 Precocious Beauty was honoured as Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year. Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, $462,912 in purses and took a mark of 1:50.1 which tied a world record for a one-mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. The two-year-old pacing colt title went to Arthur Blue Chip, who scored six wins in 11 starts and bankrolled $400,120 for his connections. The son of Shadow Play took a mark of 1:51.2 in his Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk before being scratched ‘sick’ from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore in 2013 and added another O’Brien (Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year) to her trophy case. The talented filly boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner up finish in the American National. Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation took the hardware home as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of The Year. Vegas Vacation gave his connections the ride of a lifetime in 2013. Conditioned by Casie Coleman, the son of Bettors Delight put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 from 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses. He wheeled off victories in his first four races which included the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and an elimination of the Pepsi North America Cup. On September 19 he captured the Little Brown Jug in straight heats – both timed in 1:50. ‘Vegas’ finished his sophomore season with a win in the Matron Stakes to put his bankroll at just over $976,000. Anndrovette continued to dominate the pacing mare ranks in 2013, and, for the third consecutive year, was crowned Canada’s Older Pacing Mare of The Year. The daughter of Riverboat King was on the board in all but three of her 21 races. Some of her major wins included three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway along with the Roses Are Red and Breeders Crown eliminations. On July 20 at Mohawk Racetrack she captured the Roses Are Red final in a career best 1:48. The talented mare now has 35 lifetime wins and a career bankroll of almost $2.6 million. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again was voted Canada’s Older Pacing Horse of The Year. Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season, as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final, as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final for his third straight million-dollar campaign. He entered the year within reach of the all-time earnings record for pacers, and he managed to obliterate that mark by adding $1.4 million to his bank account while visiting 11 different racetracks along the way. He closed the season by sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at the Meadowlands. Riveting Rosie was the winner in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Riveting Rosie closed out her rookie campaign with six wins in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Her major victories included the Peaceful Way Final, her Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain Stakes. In the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division, it was Father Patrick who took the O’Brien trophy. He topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Series. Flanagan Memory was voted Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year after a productive season which saw him win seven of 11 races and $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning his Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Maven was voted Canada’s Older Trotting Mare of The Year. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She added wins in the Miss Versatility Trotting Series, an elimination and final of the Armbro Flight, and the Allerage. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her bankroll. For the second consecutive year, Mister Herbie captured the title as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse of The Year. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in stakes competition, including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067 in purses. Seelster Farms, of Lucan, Ont. was honoured as the Armstrong Breeder of The Year. In 2013, Seelster-bred horses scored 248 wins and $2.1 million in earnings. In the Future Star category, the winner of this first-time award was trainer/driver Travis Cullen. The 21-year-old Alberta-based horseman closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the final card of the meet while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. The complete list of winners follows. 2013 O’BRIEN AWARD WINNERS PACERS Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer - Precocious Beauty owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Arthur Blue Chip owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer - I Luv The Nitelife owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Vegas Vacation owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare - Anndrovette owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Older Pacing Horse - Foiled Again owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL TROTTERS Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Riveting Rosie owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Father Patrick owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Bee A Magician owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Flanagan Memory owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Older Trotting Mare - Maven owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse - Mister Herbie owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY PEOPLE AWARDS O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Armstrong Breeder of The Year Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of The Year Sylvain Filion, Milton, ON Trainer of The Year Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB STANDARDBRED CANADA MEDIA EXCELLENCE AWARDS The Media Excellence Awards program, established by Standardbred Canada in 2008, is aimed at honouring exceptional work that covers Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. Outstanding Written Work Paul Delean ’Reaching Improbable Heights’ 'Reaching Improbable Heights', written by Paul Delean, was published in the December, 2012 issue of Trot Magazine. It tells the story of trotter Intimidate’s incredible journey from obscurity to harness racing’s biggest stage and the ride of a lifetime that two smalltime owners from Quebec are still pinching themselves over. Outstanding Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group North America Cup HD Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group’s North America Cup broadcast aired across Canada on The Score television network on Saturday, June 26, 2013. The one-hour special of the $1-million North America Cup was the first live high definition broadcast of a standardbred race in Canada. The show featured live race coverage of the main event, a feature on Marvin Katz (co-owner of eventual winner Captaintreacherous) and a profile of a very special racing fan – Sydney Weaver. The broadcast was a production of WEG’s broadcast department, produced by Rob Platts and directed by Kris Platts. Outstanding Photography Clive Cohen Clive Cohen captured the sunset behind trainer Rene Dion warming up Ocean Mist Beauty on September 19, 2013 at Mohawk Racetrack. The image was published on WEG’s Facebook page later that night. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Veteran trotter Aisling notched his first win of the season thanks to his 1:59.2 score in Thursday’s $7,000 Preferred 3 at Flamboro Downs. Purchased for $44,000 from the January Select Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands, Aisling got away fourth while Jetcrest shot to the top and supplied the field with an opening quarter clocked in :28.3. Jetcrest was still in charge of setting the speed at the mid-way point in :59.3, but Trevor Henry had Aisling moving first over. Aisling easily brushed to the top and took the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:29.1 before using a :30.1 final frame to seal the deal by 3-3/4 lengths over Spartan Victory. Jetcrest held on to finish third. Sent off as the 1-2 choice in the seven-horse affair, Aisling won for the 37th time in his career while pushing his lifetime earnings over $630,000. The 10-year-old son of Conway Hall-Heaven Tonight is owned by Ecurie Richard Moreau Inc, Jessica Alexopoulos and Sam Angelopoulos. To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Flamboro Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Canada's 2013 leading driver Trevor Henry enjoyed his second five-win performance of the weekend on Sunday evening at Flamboro Downs. The Arthur, Ont. reinsman, who earned five victories on Western Fair Raceway's Friday card of harness racing, carried his winning momentum into Flamboro's 12-race card. His final win of the night came in the 11th race feature aboard Mach Of Ballykeel ($4.50). The five-year-old Mach Three gelding, who is a full brother to 2013 Metro Pace winner Boomboom Ballykeel, fought off Justalittleluck and Web Cam in a three-way battle into the stretch to win the $6,500 Preferred 3 Pace in 1:59.2 over the 'good' track for O'Brien Award nominee Richard Moreau, Ballykeel Racing and Mach Of Ballykeel Stable. Henry's first win of the night was with another Moreau trainee, sophomore pacer Adversary Seelster ($2.90), in the fourth race. He returned to the winner's circle after eight-year-old pacer Buckbuckbuck Mach ($5.60) scored his third in a row in the following dash for conditioner Stephane Larocque. Henry also won the seventh race with pacing sophomore Easton Bound ($4.90) for Joe Agostino before going back-to-back with freshman pacer Rebel Teen ($5.80) for Leonard Lalonde Jr. and the aforementioned Mach Of Ballykeel. Henry's 2013 win total climbed to 523 -- 96 more than his nearest rival in the national standings, Flamboro leader Billy Davis Jr. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Flamboro Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca.
TORONTO, December 28 - Sylvain Filion and Richard Moreau retained their titles as Woodbine Entertainment Group's (WEG) leading harness racing driver and trainer, respectively, after the 2013 Standardbred racing season came to a close Saturday night at Woodbine. Filion finished with 248 wins at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks, five in front of Scott Zeron, who had 243 victories, while Jody Jamieson was third with 213, including a pair on the final night. Moreau collected his third WEG training title after winning 126 races. Jeff Gillis had 81 wins, while Carmen Auciello wound up third with 76 victories. Filion, who lives in Milton, had to share his first WEG driver championship with Jody Jamieson in 2012, each with 284 wins. But this year he stands alone. "This past year has been a memorable one for me both on and off the track," said Filion. "I drove many terrific horses and am very thankful for the opportunity. Winning with Boomboom Ballykeel (in the $683,000 Metro Pace for trainer Richard Moreau) was certainly unexpected and that was a great thrill. Off the track, my wife and I adopted a baby and that's something very special." The 44-year-old Filion, who also led all drivers in purse earnings on the WEG circuit with over $5.3 million, is seeking a second consecutive O'Brien Award as Canada's Top Driver, an honour he earned for the first time for his accomplishments last year. The 49-year-old Moreau, who captured his first WEG title in 2010, also led all trainers in purse earnings with over $2.5 million. The Puslinch, Ontario resident is an O'Brien Award finalist for Canada's Trainer of the Year. Live racing returns to Woodbine on Monday, January 6 and continues on a three-day-a-week schedule (Monday, Friday and Saturday). First race post time is 7:25 p.m. Videos of all Saturday night races are attached.
With a solid lead in the Canadian harness racing driver standings as the 2013 racing season nears the finish line, driver Trevor Henry is not slowing down. The Arthur, Ont. reinsman dominated Friday's harness racing card at the Raceway Western Fair winning five of the evening's 12 races. Henry was a winner right out of the starting gate, taking the opener with sophomore trotting filly Blush And Crush ($3.80), who was making her first start from the stable of Canada's leading trainer Richard Moreau. Henry then went on to win every other race through the first nine. Among his winners, freshman pacer Decroft Mr Fame ($5.40) broke his maiden in his second start for conditioner Paul Taylor. Henry also scored with Randy Marriage's five-year-old pacer Arnies Kick Start ($3.20) and John Holding's three-year-old trotting filly Hunter Valley ($8.60). Sophomore pacer J Jetstar ($5.70) was a repeat winner for Victor Puddy and completed Henry's five-bagger. Henry has dominated the driver standings at Western Fair all season long, winning 278 races at the London, Ont. oval. He boasts more than double the wins of his nearest rival, Alfie Carroll, who sits second on the local leaderboard with 110 victories. Henry also tops the charts nation-wide with a total of 518 victories on the year. Billy Davis Jr. trails 93 wins behind in second with 425. To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Western Fair. reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca.
On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL Trotters Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY People Awards O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON
Trevor Henry, the leading reinsman at The Raceway at Western Fair District and the nation’s top dash-winning pilot of 2013, swept Monday’s Preferred events at the London half-miler. Fans that backed the Arthur, Ontario-based sulky sitter in the $10,000 Preferred 2 Trot were handsomely rewarded thanks to the 22-1 upset performance of Perfect Vacation. Henry was nowhere to be found in the early stages of the mile while Natural Forces was hounded through panels of :28.1, :59.1 and 1:29.3. Henry pulled the trigger three-wide around the final with his charge, however, and the gelding responded by sweeping to the front and driving away en route to the victory in 2:01.1. Sonny Vale was next best, with Amigo Loco taking home the show dough in the eight-horse affair. Race favourite Tornado Tim, who was shooting for a fourth consecutive win, rolled off stride when kicking off cover going into the final turn and finished seventh. Richard Moreau trains Perfect Vacation for owner Sean Hibbert of Corbyville, Ontario. The 10-year-old son of Dream Vacation-Perfect Aim notched his seventh win of the season and the 41st of his career. To date, he’s stashed away earnings of $449,009. In the $6,500 Preferred 3 for trotters it was CIS Buckeye coming up huge for Henry, who guided the gelding to a six-length score in 2:01. Henry marched the five-year-old son of Ilooklikemymom-LRs Peanut to the top from Post 3 and together they led the field through fractions of :29.1, 1:00.1 and 1:30.4 before using a :30.1 closing quarter to seal the deal. Four Twenty Seven was the distant runner-up, with third prize going to Boots N Hearts. Sent off as the 1-2 favourite, CIS Buckeye won for the 10th time this season and for the 24th time in his career. Keith Cullen trains the career winner of $120,900. The Preferred sweep was completed with Smokin Bear, who used a last-to-first move to capture the $6,800 Preferred 3 for pacers. The Wayne Preszcator pupil made a bold move in the backstretch and en route to posting the one-length triumph over Button Up in 1:57.2. East Meadow rounded out the top three finishers in the action-packed affair. Preszcator shares ownership on the grey gelding with partner John Kodric of Toronto, Ontario. Together they've watched the four-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear-Smokin Pistol rack up 15 wins and purse earnings in excess of $117,000. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca
Flamboro Downs' leading trainer Victor Puddy went three-for-three at the Dundas, Ont. oval on Saturday afternoon to make 2013 his winningest season to date. Teaming up with the nation's leading dash-winner driver Trevor Henry, Puddy earned his first victory of the day in the fourth race with Keith Cassell's four-year-old pacing gelding Perfect Escape ($5.50). Puddy later went back-to-back in the eighth and ninth races scoring with his own nine-year-old pacing gelding A Sudden Twist ($7) and Macy Cassell's five-year-old trotting mare Final Straw ($5.70). A Sudden Twist's 1:55 victory was his fastest of 15 this year. Puddy currently tops the local leaderboard with 42 wins at Flamboro Downs this year. He holds a nine-win lead over Richard Moreau, who also teamed with Henry for one victory on the 12-race card. Puddy is in the midst of a career year having now sent out 121 winners from his stable for $874,430 in earnings. Prior to this year, the Mountain, Ont. horseman had posted a personal best 119 wins in 2003. Nation-wide, Puddy ranks second behind Moreau, who has won 262 races this season. Puddy will look to add to his win totals as he sends out four starters tonight at Woodbine Racetrack. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Flamboro Downs. Reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca
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
Three-year-old fillies found themselves in the spotlight Thursday evening at Woodbine Racetrack, as the Rexdale, Ontario oval hosted the opening leg of the Autumn Series for pacers and trotters. A pair of divisions for trotters and a trio of splits – each of them worth $15,000 - went postward on the 12-race card, and wind was a hindrance to those fillies in the final quarter of their respective assignments. Samira Hanover, who made breaks in her last two pari-mutuel outings, was forced to requalify on October 30 for trainer Mike Keeling. She was on her best behaviour that morning at Mohawk Racetrack, and she was just as much of a professional in this evening’s pari-mutuel assignment under the lights. The daughter of Kadabra-Southern Puff got away sixth from her Post 7 starting spot, and that allowed Alluring K to hustled to the front and chop out splits of :28.2, :59 and 1:28.2. Samira Hanover tipped out to catch cover in the backstretch before making a three-wide moving at the mid-way point of the final turn for driver Paul MacDonell. She kicked home in a :29-second clip to win by 2-1/2 lengths over Candida in 1:58.3. Fathers Amigo trotted home late to finish third. P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc, William B Weaver III, Steve D Organ and A K Malik Stable share ownership on the photogenic filly who improved this year’s record to 4-2-4 from 13 starts with the win. Her share of the $15,000 purse lifted her lifetime loot to $59,980. Be Winnin also used an off-the-speed approach to winning her division for the tandem of driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Glenn Lalonde. The daughter of Angus Hall-Brenda B Winnin got away fourth and watched Ocean Mist Beauty sail through fractions of :29, :59.1 and 1:28. Be Winnin was third at the half, and improved to be second on the outside at the three-quarter pole before using a :30-second kicker to win by 1-1/2 lengths over I Like My Kaddy in 1:58.1. Ocean Mist Beauty faded late and settled for third. Owned and bred by Robert J Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, Be Winnin won for just the second time this season in 14 starts. The three-time winner has banked $37,448 to date. In the first division for the pacing fillies it was Lutetia Semalu pulling off a 10-1 upset for the team of driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Richard Moreau. The daughter of Million Dollar Cam-Signature Semalu powered to the lead from Post 6 and threw down an opening quarter of :29.3 before taking a brief tuck into the two-hole behind Stonebridge Adore. Filion came right back around that foe for the re-take and after clearing she led through middle panels of :56.3 and 1:25.4 before using a :28.2 closing quarter to win by 2-3/4 lengths over Parade Route. Race favourite Stonebridge Adore had to settle for third. Zoom And Fish Stable Inc of Laval and Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc of Montreal, Quebec own the sophomore who won for just the second time in her career. She’s 2-for-24 in her career, but those two wins have come in her last four starts since moving to Moreau’s outfit. Machnbyrd Princess was 1-9 on the toteboard, and she proved to be 1-9 the best in the second division for driver Steve Condren. He got away fourth with the Shawn Robinson pupil while D Gs Pesquero blasted to the lead and laid down a :27.3 opener. Condren had Machnbyrd Princess on the move in the backstretch and she cleared without a fight shortly past the half in :56.3. She was in charge at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 and used a :29.1 closing quarter to win by 6-1/4 lengths over Call It Courage in 1:53. D Gs Pesquero weakened late and settled for the show dough. The Mach Three-Respectednbeloved homebred races for Canamerica Capital Corp and Hyatt Holdings Inc of Milton, Ontario, and so far this season she’s put together a sterling record of 5-2-0 from just seven trips to the track – a far cry from the 0-for-7 record she established last year. The filly, who clearly was worth waiting on, has potted $73,710. Panstakingly and trainer/driver Donald Jobin clicked for an 18-1 upset in the final division. The daughter of No Pan Intended-Pantathlon was nowhere to be found in the early stages of the mile, but she had plenty of speed to chase thanks to Hippie Chic, Its No Secret and Putmeintogo who took turns on the engine through fractions of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:25.1. Panstakingly kicked off cover turning for home and used a :28.4 closing panel to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Mach It A Par. Race favourite Putmeintogo was third. Jobin shares ownership on the four-time winner with Danielle Belisle of Clarence Creek, Ontario. Together, they’ve watched the filly put together a 4-7-4 record from 22 trips to the track this season. The lion’s share of the purse bumped her cash stash to $43,853. To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca
TORONTO, November 6 – It’s best known as “Harrisburg” in Harness racing. But to many others, it’s the Standardbred Horse Sales Company Annual Sale and the 2103 edition is underway with more than 2,100 racehorses offered at public auction. The ‘Black Book’ will feature a Select Yearling Sale held Monday through Thursday, followed by the Mixed Sale on Friday and Saturday at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Some of the sport’s brightest starts, including those who are currently racing at Woodbine, will be offered on Saturday during the Mixed Sale. Atop the list is the four-year-old Knows Nothing, who is fresh off an open-length victory in the $34,000 Preferred Trot at the Rexdale oval. Hillsborough conditioner Jeff Gillis will auction the top sales prospect. The trotting star has a terrific 5-4-2 record from 17 starts this season, along with his 1:51.4 career best. The talented son of Kadabra competed in the Grand Circuit this season when he contested in the Maple Leaf Trot, Arthur Cutler Memorial,and TVG Free-For-All Series. The Ontario Sires Stakes graduate has $729,356 in career earnings and will sell as hip number 1970. Click here to see Knows Nothing’s latest victory. Another Gillis-trainee that will sell at the Mixed Sale is Continual Velocity. The classy five-year-old has found the winner circle in 21 of 85 career starts along with $344,166 in career earnings. A regular overnight campaigner on the WEG Circuit, Continual Velocity has a 1:50.3 career best and has raced in the Fillies and Mares Preferred Pace. She will sell as hip number 1797. Cheltenham conditioner, Dave Menary will offer four top campaigners in Tarpon Hanover, Windsong Jack and Tea Party Princess and Macharoundtheclock. Tarpon Hanover, who captured the $300,000 Battle of Waterloo last season as a rookie, will sell as hip number 1947. The pacing son of Badlands Hanover has banked $503,854 in his two season of racing. Fresh off a second place finish in the $200,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final, Tarpon Hanover recently qualified at Mohawk on October 30 in 1:55.3. The brown colt has a 5-3-8 record from 24 career starts. His stablemate is another top OSS campaigner in Windsong Jack. A son of Santanna Blue Chip, Windsong Jack has banked $438,486 in his career for Menary. The brown gelding has amassed an impressive 6-7-2 record from 21 career starts along with a 1:49.4 career best. He recently qualified at Mohawk on October 30, winning gate-to-wire in 1:54. He will sell as hip number 1953. Macharoundtheclock, a daughter of Mach Three, has banked $239,837 in her young career. From 21 career starts, the bay filly has a 3-5-1 record and a 1:51.1 lifetime best. She talented filly competed in the Jugette, Shes A Great Lady, Canadian Breeders along with the OSS. She will sell as hip 1825. The richest of Menary’s offerings is Tea Party Princess, who has banked $666,934 in her career. The daughter of Art Major has found the winner circle in 18 of 73 career starts. A regular overnight competitor on the WEG Circuit, Tea Party Princess has competed in the Breeders Crown, Fan Hanover and Milton Stakes, just to name a few. The $40,000 yearling purchase will sell as hip 1836. Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh will sell top OSS graduate Pan Luis Obispo as hip 1832. The daughter of No Pan Intended enjoyed a terrific three-year-old season in 2013 with $240,833 banked from 16 starts and five wins. The pacing miss has a 1:51.4 lifetime best and was a top competitor in the Ontario Sires Stakes program this season. She was primarily driven by Randy Waples. WEG’s top conditioner Richard Moreau will sell top trotting mare Smarty Pants as hip 1807. The daughter of Kadabra banked $305,836 last season while racing primarily in the provincial program. She classy mare recently finished third in the $34,000 Preferred Trot as she took on aged pacing horses of both sexes. With career earnings of $389,017, Smarty Pants has a 1:54.3 lifetime best. She competed in the Miss Versatility, Armbro Flight, Elegantimage and Casual Breeze in her career. Greg Gangle
TORONTO, October 17 – As WEG’s harness meet resumes at Woodbine Racetrack this evening, both Scott Zeron and Richard Moreau have commanding leads in the WEG driver and trainer standings. Zeron, a resident of Oakville, currently has 229 victories this season, 31 more than his closest rival Sylvain Filion. Zeron, who was a finalist for the O’Brien Award as Canada’s top driver for the past three seasons, finished third in the standings last year behind Filion and Jamieson, who tied for the win. “There really isn’t any better feeling than being the top driver at any track let along Woodbine/Mohawk,” Zeron said. “I’m driving against guys that I’ve idolized since I was 12 years old and I’m fortunate enough to have a great support system that provides me with quality horses on a nightly basis. “As much as I focus on maintaining the lead, all I can do is show up every night and try to get into the winners circle as much as possible,” Zeron continued. The talented reinsman, who led the WEG driver standings with 123 victories when the spring meet at Woodbine concluded, is hoping to continue where he left off. “I’m looking forward to returning to Woodbine and excited to make the most of the remaining months of the year,” Zeron said. The 24-year-old has 2,172 career tallies to his credit and is approaching $30 million in purse earnings. Moreau has also separated himself from his rivals in the training standings. The Puslinch resident has 111 victories this season, 46 more than nearest rival Jeff Gillis. The veteran conditioner, who has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade, celebrated his biggest of his career this season as Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Moreau, who was a finalist for Canada’s trainer of the year in 2012, has 4,214 lifetime victories to his credit along with over $34 million in purse earnings. The Woodbine Fall-Winter-Spring Standardbred meet is now a three-day-a-week schedule, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, through December. Following its Saturday, December 28 card, Woodbine will be “dark” until Monday, January 6, when a Monday-Friday-Saturday night schedule through March, is launched. First race post-time is 7:25 p.m. The special Thursday, December 26 Boxing Day card is scheduled for 1 p.m. by Greg Gangle for WEG
CAMPBELLVILLE, October 17 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced that overall handle and average nightly handle on the 2013 Mohawk Standardbred meet, which concluded Monday, October 14, were up over last year. The Campbellville oval, which celebrated its 50th racing season with 84 race cards, recorded an "all-sources" betting total of $131,619,692, a 6.5 per cent increase over last year's $123,533,108 (81 dates). The average per night total of $1,566,901 in 2013 was a 2.7 per cent increase over the $1,525,100 bet per card in 2012. The company was especially pleased with the betting numbers on its signature event, the Pepsi North America Cup. The 'Cup' card proved successful once again with $3,001,079 wagered, while $2,988,123 was wagered in 2012. The evening's on-track handle also showed an increase with $935,630 wagered compared to $885,710 last year. "We are very encouraged to see the wagering growth during the Mohawk meet," said WEG's Executive Vice President of Racing, Jamie Martin. "The industry situation, with the cancellation of the Slots At Racetracks Program, created a difficult operating environment this summer for staff and horsepeople. I'm pleased to see everyone's effort produced positive results." When the 2013 Mohawk summer meet came to an end, a fresh face was atop the driving leaderboard. Sylvain Filion, who finished second during at the 2012 Mohawk meet, was the leading driver for the first time in his career. The Milton resident captured 114 wins in 752 starts, eight more victories than nearest rival, Scott Zeron. O'Brien Award finalist, Richard Moreau led all trainers with 48 victories from 296 starters during the meet. Moreau finished one victory ahead of conditioner Jeff Gillis. The Woodbine Fall-Winter-Spring Standardbred meet, which kicks off Thursday, October 17, offers a three day-a-week schedule, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, through December. Following its Saturday, December 28 card, Woodbine will be "dark" until Monday, January 6, when a Monday-Friday-Saturday night schedule through March, is launched. First race post-time remains unchanged at 7:25 p.m. The special Thursday, December 26 Boxing Day card is scheduled for 1 p.m. by Greg Gangle for WEG
ELORA, ON - The last time trotting filly Angies Lucky Star appeared at Grand River Raceway she cruised to an effortless Gold Series victory, and Arthur residents Shannon and Trevor Henry are hoping she can reprise that effort Sunday evening in the last start of her sophomore season. "Hopefully she throws us a good one, but if not we can't be upset," says Shannon Henry. "She's made $340,000 more than we paid for her." Angies Lucky Star will wrap up her three-year-old campaign in the $50,000 Gold Series Consolation on Sunday, lining up at Post 6 on the Grand River Raceway starting gate. A late addition to the Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, the Gold Series Consolation was open to the top nine regular season point earners who did not earn a cheque in the Sept. 28 Super Finals. Of her six Gold Series starts this season, the Super Final saw Angies Lucky Star deliver her worst result, making a pair of breaks and finishing ninth. While the Angus Hall daughter also made mistakes in both of the August vents, her other regular season Gold starts netted one win, one second and one third for Trevor Henry Stables Inc. and the Estate of Daniel J. McCann of Parkhill. In total Angies Lucky Star tallied four wins, three seconds, three thirds and $229,858 in earnings in her 13 sophomore outings. She posted a 1:53.1 personal best winning her Elegantimage Stake elimination at Mohawk in early June and finished just a head behind division superstar Bee A Magician in the June 15 final. "Even to be classified in with Bee A Magician, we'll take that," says Henry. "She just loves to race; she puts her heart into it. She just tries so hard that sometimes she overdid it trying to keep up with that other mare." Richard Moreau trained Angies Lucky Star through the bulk of her three-year-old season and Sylvain Filion handled most of the driving, but Trevor Henry will be back in the bike for Sunday's season finale. Grand River Raceway's leading driver piloted the filly in her July 3 win over the Elora oval and will be looking to repeat that effort in the evening's third race. "Trevor's driving her, he knows her and she knows him," says Henry. "I think she'll be all right going into this." Trevor Henry will also be in the race bike behind Eat Pray Trot in the three-year-old trotting colt Consolation. The Ken Warkentin son will benefit from Post 2 in the eleventh race and Henry is hopeful he can pick up a piece of the $50,000 purse. "I actually didn't expect him to get in," notes Henry, who trains the colt and sent him out just twice in Gold Series action this summer. "He can't win it, we know that, but if he gets a good piece of it we'll be happy with him." Eat Pray Trot spent most of his summer competing at the Grassroots level, but skipped both of the Grassroots events at Mohawk Racetrack in favour of the Gold events at half-mile racetracks. In the Gold Series season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District he finished third and in the Aug. 23 test at Grand River he finished fourth. "He's such a tiny, tiny little colt. He can't trot the big track," Henry explains. "But he just seems to go along where ever you put him," she continues. "We had the mare too, we raced her, and she was gutsy too. Owned by Donna Weaver and Robert Rooney's 1035840 Ontario Inc. of Arthur, Eat Pray Trot has three seconds and two thirds to his credit through 13 sophomore starts for earnings of $36,948. In addition to the sophomore trotting colts and fillies, Grand River Raceway will also roll out the welcome mat for the other six Gold Series divisions on Sunday. The $50,000 Gold Series Consolations will go postward as Races 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11, with the program getting under way at 6 pm. The on track excitement will be complimented by a $200 free-to-play Ontario Sires Stakes Survivor Handicapping Contest and $100 Cheerleading Squads after each OSS race for a total of $1,000 in cash prizes. Both contests require the on-track purchase of an Oct. 13 Grand River Raceway program. For complete entries For up to date point standings, race replays, and more Sandra Snyder