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MILTON, ON - OCT. 10, 2019 - On Super Final night, Saturday, Oct. 12 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, each Ontario Sires Stakes Gold harness racing division has been whittled down to the very best. Post position will matter, and racing luck may play a role, but when it comes down to which horse is crowned champion the deciding factor is often something that is not so easily measured. "If you could see it and just buy it, the person with the deepest pockets would always have the best horses, but because of that intangible that we cannot see - whether that horse has that drive, desire, that 'It' that we can't see - sometimes it comes down to the athlete," said trainer Rob Fellows, who will send out three-year-old trotting colt All Wrapped Up in the seventh of the eight Super Final divisions. "You look at some of the horses this year, like obviously the good horse of Nancy Johansson's (Tall Dark Stranger) everybody loved him, everybody saw that 'It' and they paid a lot for him, but the little one that Chantal (Mitchell, Alicorn) has, everybody overlooked her because of her size, but she had that 'It' in her." All Wrapped Up will start from Post 7 in the $225,000 Super Final for Rockwood resident Fellows and his co-owners Arpad Szabo of Bradford, ON and Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister of Beaumont, AB where the Archangel son will pit his competitive desire against division point leader and Hambletonian champion Forbidden Trade. In 10 Gold Series starts over the last two years Forbidden Trade has only been bested twice. The son of Kadabra was the two-year-old trotting colt Super Final champion and will look to defend his title from Post 9 in the ninth race on Saturday. Trainer Luc Blais will also start a trio of young hopefuls in the two-year-old trotting colt and gelding Super Final for owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Crossfit Mouse will start from Post 1, division point leader Port Perry gets Post 2 and Threefiftytwo will start from the outside Post 10 in the sixth race. "It's a long process to bring a horse to the races you know. It's lots of training, lots of work, and you try to build the best way you think," said Blais, adding that Forbidden Trade started to show his potential as a two-year-old when the training miles started to get serious. "It was easy for him to do that, very easy, we didn't know how good he was going to be, but it was easy. You can feel he's got power, you can feel that, but what he's going to do with that power, you can't feel that." Blais has won at least one Super Final every year since 2016 and says each one of his provincial champions - Forbidden Trade, On A Sunny Day, Warrawee Roo and Emoticon Hanover - had a different quality that made them successful. "They are different. They are all different," said the Campbellville resident. "Every athlete is different, every athlete has got a story and those horses they are very unique. They've got personality and they are very unique, but one thing they've got the same, they are very professional." Dr. Ian Moore will start three horses in two Super Final divisions on Saturday and the Cambridge resident said that a professional, positive attitude might be the biggest early indicator of success. "The go-ahead attitude, the right attitude, will show fairly early, as well as the wrong attitude," said Dr. Moore. "And sometimes, in my experience with young horses, that doesn't change. If they've got kind of a so-so or poor attitude from the get-go it often follows from there." Moore will send division point leader Century Farroh out from Post 3 in the three-year-old pacing colt and gelding Super Final and Denali Seelster and Tattoo Artist from Posts 6 and 7 in the two-year-old pacing colt and gelding test. Denali Seelster and Tattoo Artist will benefit from the absence of undefeated Tall Dark Stranger in the two-year-old pacing colt and gelding showdown. Trainer Nancy Johansson opted to skip the Super Final and focus the Metro Pace winner's preparations toward the Oct. 18 Breeders Crown eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Only five horses have stepped up to face Century Farroh and Meadowlands Pace winner Best In Show in the sophomore pacing colt battle. Century Farroh heads into Race 8 on a streak of eight wins in Ontario Sires Stakes action, three of them at the Grassroots level as a two-year-old, where he was the season-ending champion, and five of them in the Gold Series this season. "He was just an average two-year-old, but then at the end of his two-year-old season he started changing in his body structure and his mental ability and the last four starts he got really good," said Dr. Moore, who conditions Mach Three son Century Farroh for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS. "Good horses have a tremendous will and desire and competitive spirit to want to beat everything that's around them. Some horses show that fairly early in training, where other horses may take a little while to mature mentally as well as physically before they'll show you that. It might take a couple races, it might take a whole summer season - as in Century Farroh's case last year - or it could show up very early." In the case of two-year-old pacing filly Alicorn, that will and desire emerged in her first lifetime start when she closed in :26.2 to finish second by a nose. Since then the daughter of Bettors Delight has recorded six wins and two more seconds in 10 starts, including three Gold Series wins, two of them in Ontario Sires Stakes record time. She will make a bid for a seventh win from Post 6 in Saturday's second race. "To me, the thing that kind of sets her apart from another horse is she's just so smart. In a race, for example, you can put her on the front, you can take her back, you can do whatever you want and she's smart," said trainer Chantal Mitchell. "She's got that little bit of character, that little bit of grittiness where she's going to bite, and she's going to kick at you and she's going to push you around, but then when you go to walk her to the paddock or something she walks like a little puppy dog beside you, she's not silly, she doesn't do anything crazy, nothing gets her worked up." Hamilton resident Mitchell trains the division point leader for Windermere Stable of New York, NY and Robert Muscara of Ivyland, PA and said, like many other exceptional racehorses, there is no nonsense to Alicorn when it comes to the business of racing. "It's like they're born to do it, their brain, their mindset never changes. Any time I've had a good horse, whether it was mine or someone else's, that's usually what it is, they're just automatically professionals and I think that's what sets the good ones apart," said Mitchell. "And I think that's where I put her - she's there to do her business and she doesn't think anything more of it, she does what she has to do and that's it. And when she's racing she wants to win, she wants to do her job and she's happy to do it." The first of eight provincial champions will be crowned in Saturday's first race, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. The other Super Finals will be featured in Races 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 on the $1.8 million Woodbine Mohawk Park program. Complete entries for Saturday, Oct. 12 are available at Super Final Entries. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, March 23, 2019 - Veteran harness racing trainer Rob Fellows reached a major career milestone during Saturday evening's 10-race card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Fellows, 56, sent out eight-year-old pacer Velocity Driven to a third-place finish in Saturday's $15,000 fourth-race. The top-three finish was good enough to vault Fellows' over an impressive $20 million in career earnings. The Rockwood, Ontario resident has been a mainstay on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit for more than three decades and is a winner 1,319 races. Fellows has had seven $1 million seasons during his training career and holds a strong career UTRS of .300. The veteran trainer most recently won 40 races and sent out the winners of $791,710 last season. Woodbine Entertainment recognized Fellows' accomplishment with a presentation Saturday evening. Fellows' family and friends joined him in the winner's circle to receive a sign acknowledging his accomplishment from Scott McKelvie, Racing Secretary for Woodbine Standardbred. Saturday evening's card was the last chance for horseplayers to score the entire Jackpot Hi-5 ahead of next Saturday's mandatory payout. A total of $42,494 in new money was wagered Saturday on the Hi-5. There were multiple winning Jackpot Hi-5 tickets, which finalized a huge carryover of $525,140.23 for next Saturday's mandatory payout. Jackpot Hi-5 wagering is now suspended until next Saturday's mandatory payout. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

JUNE 30, 2015 - Twelve days ago harness racing trainer Dustin Jones made an unanticipated return to the race bike behind his top trotting colt Dont Rush, a return that had a direct impact on Tuesday evening's Gold Series event at Mohawk Racetrack. "Chris (Christoforou) had got hurt that night in the parade, and I wasn't really prepared to drive him," said Jones of his last minute return to the race bike in the June 18 overnight. "Chris wanted me to leave with him and I said, you know what, if I leave with him and I get parked I'm going to be mad at myself. I said, I'll just put him in the back." Jones eased Dont Rush off the gate from Post 6 in the three-year-old conditioned event and the pair raced along well behind the leaders before closing hard to finish two and one-half lengths back in third. The mile may not have been the one Christoforou would have crafted, but it did cause Jones to firm up a decision he had been toying with since the start of Dont Rush's sophomore season. "He did trot his last half in :56.1, but I thought he was working too hard, his legs were going fast and he wasn't grabbing the track good enough, so I changed his shoes," said the Waterdown, ON resident. "I've been debating about that all year because I knew he was going to have to gain a few seconds, because he's not a very big horse." Jones switched Dont Rush's front footwear from steel to aluminum, which lowered the colt's gait a little bit, and the result was immediately apparent to Christoforou as he rolled in behind the gate for Tuesday evening's $105,000 Gold Series division. Lining up at Post 9 the Campbellville, ON resident opted to send Dont Rush to the front and the trotter looked every inch a division champion as he cruised home to a four length victory in a personal best 1:54.3. "Dustin made a great change and lightened his front shoes, and the colt's gait was much more efficient," said Christoforou after the race. "I have never raced him that way before, but with 11 horses in the field, and having the 9 hole, I was reluctant to risk getting him caught in traffic. He responded well and showed his class tonight." The win gives Dont Rush one Gold trophy, one Grassroots trophy, and one third-place result in overnight action through three sophomore starts and boosts his season earnings to $63,900. Jones, who shares ownership of the homebred son of Infinitif and Color Me Pretty with Greg Judson of Athens, ON, says last year's division champion will now begin preparations for the July 15 Gold Leg at Grand River Raceway. Dont Rush One race after guiding Dont Rush into the Mohawk winner's circle, Christoforou paraded onto the racetrack with another trotter benefitting from a recent equipment change. Like Dont Rush, Muscle Up The Goal captured his Grassroots division at Mohawk on June 4, but when the colt made a break in his Goodtimes elimination at the Campbellville oval on June 12 trainer Rob Fellows decided to add trotting hopples to his equipment bag. Christoforou and Muscle Up The Goal gave the hopples a test run in a June 23 qualifier at Mohawk, posting a two and one-half length win in 1:57.2, which had fans sending the duo off as their fourth choice in Tuesday's second Gold division. Starting from Post 1, Christoforou allowed the trotter to coast away from the starting gate and the pair was sitting fifth at the :27.2 opening quarter clocked by Raising Richard. With Olympic Son and Rubber Duck serving as a wind break, Muscle Up The Goal stepped into the outer lane heading for the :57.3 half and maintained that position through the 1:27.2 three-quarters. When Christoforou asked the Muscle Mass son for an additional gear, Muscle Up The Goal kicked home to a one and one-quarter length win in a personal best 1:55.4. "Muscle Up The Goal showed a lot of ability early last year then got hurt. It's been a long road back for him, but the addition of trotting hopples has seemed to help him tremendously," said Christoforou. "He got a nice trip tonight and raced very good." Rockwood, ON resident Fellows conditions Muscle Up The Goal for Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON. Before being injured early in his freshman campaign the trotter scored two Gold Series victories. In just seven lifetime starts Muscle Up The Goal now has four wins and earnings of $150,600. Muscle Up The Goal Like Dont Rush, Muscle Up The Goal will now turn his attention toward the third Gold Series event of the three-year-old trotting colt calendar on July 15 at Grand River Raceway. After a break for Canada Day, Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, July 2 with two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Milton resident Randy Waples and Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh dominated the freshman trotting divisions on the $400,000 Grassroots Championship program at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Sept. 21. Kicking off the Championship action in the second race, Waples guided McIntosh trainee Pasadena Star to a commanding three and three-quarter length victory over R Choochoo Charlie and Warrawee Promesse. The two-year-old son of top trotting sire Kadabra stopped the clock at 1:58 to record his sixth lifetime victory in eight starts for Windsor resident McIntosh and his partner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. “You’re going out there with a horse that you think is very competitive, if not the best one and basically you’re just going to try not to screw things up. That’s what I was looking for, don’t screw it up, and it worked out,” quipped Waples following the victory aboard the fan favourite and division point leader. “Right from the time he went behind the gate as a baby he knew exactly what he was doing,” added the reinsman. “He was a smart horse and he’s always stayed that way. He’s got a little faster, but everything manner-wise is exactly the same.” Three races later Waples was back in the winner’s circle having achieved an identical result with two-year-old trotting filly Chelseas Chance. Once again sent off as the favourite based on a division leading record of four wins and one second in five starts, Waples engineered a come from behind trip for the Kadabra daughter that saw her pull away in the stretch to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2. Supreme Monarch and Erin Hall rounded out the top three. McIntosh and C S X Stables also bred and own Chelseas Chance, who boasts a freshman record of five wins in seven starts. The freshman pacing championships went to a pair of local horses that employed vastly different strategies to achieve their goal. Pacing colt Lucky King and driver James MacDonald of Guelph controlled the tempo from start to finish, sailing home one and one-half lengths ahead of VIP Bayama and Shadow Place in 1:52.2. Rockwood resident Andrew McCabe conditions Lucky King for Glenview Livestock of Guelph-Eramosa and Leonard Christopher of Acton, who took temporary leave of a nearby wedding to watch his horse capture a provincial championship. “We came here to see him win, and he did! He didn’t disappoint us,” said Christopher with a laugh. “It was great.” The Camluck colt, a full brother to former Grassroots winner Red Carpet Dude ($160,330), was a $14,000 acquisition out of the 2012 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and returned $59,512 to his owners with his fourth win in 10 starts. In the freshman pacing filly Championship Shadows Wonder closed from sixth at the top of the stretch to a one and one-quarter length victory over Itsa Surprise Tome and favourite Momara. The Shadow Play daughter and driver Jack Moiseyev of Moffat stopped the clock in 1:54.2. “She’s been a just a lovely filly to work with, to do anything with, all summer long, she just had some bad luck starting out,” explained Guelph resident Dr. Ian Moore. “She got the one win and then just figured, ‘Oh this is what I’ve got to do,’ and away she’s been, so it’s been great.” Moore trains and owns the filly in partnership with R G McGroup of Bathurst, NB and Serge Savard of Saint Bruno, QC. Three-year-old pacing colt Panpero Firpo wrote his name into the history books by defending the Grassroots title he claimed at two. The No Pan Intended son and driver Brett Miller achieved the rare feat by storming from the back of the pack to the front with a :26.3 final quarter. George Jettison and Sea Harrier also closed well to finish second and third in the 1:51.3 mile. David Menary of Cheltenham conditions Panpero Firpo for owner-breeder Peter Pan Stables Inc. of Pepper Pike, OH. Driver Brett Miller scored a second Grassroots Championship with sophomore pacing filly Mattys Big Day, who rolled out of the pocket to best pacesetter Betit To Getit in 1:53. Favourite Western Empress settled for third. Corey Johnson conditions Jeremes Jet daughter Mattys Big Day for Debbie Element and Ecurie JGV Enrg of Laval, QC. Reigning Lampman Cup titleholder Sylvain Filion of Milton piloted Legzy to a 1:56.3 victory in the three-year-old trotting filly Championship. The Amigo Hall miss, sent off as the fans’ top choice, bested Wind Stroll and Moms Apple Pie. Rockwood resident Rob Fellows conditions Legzy for owner-breeders Edward Wilson of Seagrave and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. The three-year-old trotting colt crown was captured in commanding fashion by Crosbys Clam Bake who rocketed down the stretch to an eight and one-quarter length victory over Photo Mass and Super Duke in 1:55.3. Guelph resident Doug McNair engineered the Kadabra gelding’s sixth lifetime win for trainer Per Henriksen of Norwood and owner Edward Lohmeyer of Cream Ridge, NJ. “Per’s done a great job getting him where he is now. He just told me, you don’t get paid at the quarter or the half,” said McNair after the race. “I could have got away last, that’s how much the best he was, as long as he stayed trotting. I knew he could win as long as he stayed trotting.” McNair and his peers will be back at Mohawk Racetrack next Saturday night, guiding the best Gold Series horses in the province on the $1,600,000 Super Final program. Videos for all races attached. For complete results         Sandra Snyder

INNISFIL, ON - Tuesday's Grassroots event at Georgian Downs will get off to a quick start as four of the top 10 sophomore trotting fillies square off in the first $18,000 division. Moms Apple Pie and Twin B Alibi are tied for second spot in the standings with 125 points and will start from Posts 2 and 6, respectively. Legzy, riding a two-race win streak, currently sits fifth with 102 points and will start from Post 5 and tenth-ranked Tymal Viva rounds out the heavy hitting line up from Post 7. Moms Apple Pie, trained by Bill Budd for William Dixon of Caledon, ON, earned her points through two wins and one second. The Striking Sahbra filly was a two and three-quarter length winner in the Aug. 19 Grassroots test at Mohawk Racetrack. Twin B Alibi also has two wins and one second to her credit, but heads into Tuesday's contest off a disappointing break and ninth-place result in the Aug. 19 event. The Angus Hall miss is trained and driven by Arthur resident Wayne Henry, who owns her in partnership with Daylon Farms Ltd. of Komoka and the Estate of Daniel J. McCann of Parkhill, ON. A Gold Final winner last season, Legzy has been sharp in her last two Grassroots appearances, recording a personal best 1:55.4 at Mohawk on Aug. 19. Rob Fellows conditions the Amigo Hall daughter for owner-breeders Edward Wilson of Seagrave, ON and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. Tymal Viva posted her sole Grassroots win in the July 20 contest at Kawartha Downs. The Muscle Mass daughter will be looking to maintain her position among the top 10 point earners for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph and his partners Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, 1443059 Ontario Inc. of Oldcastle and 1035840 Ontario Inc. of Arthur, ON. Only the top 10 point earners following the six regular season events will advance to the Grassroots Championship. Georgian Downs kicks off its Tuesday evening program at 7:25 pm and shines the spotlight on the three-year-old trotting fillies in Races 2, 3, 5, 8, and 11. For complete entries. For up to date point standings, race replays, and more.  Sandra Snyder  

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - Last year's Ontario Sires Stakes driving champion Sylvain Filion piloted a pair of two-year-old trotting colts to Grassroots victory at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, July 15. The Milton resident made his first appearance in the winner's circle following the third Grassroots division, guiding Northern Idol to a surprising one and one-half length victory. The lightly regarded son of Kadabra and $248,972 winner Independent Woman took control heading by the halfway marker and never looked back, cruising home to a 2:00.3 victory. Filion engineered the victory for trainer Rob Fellows of Rockwood and his partners Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto and Blair Corbeil of Beaumont, AB. The win was the Kadabra gelding's first in two starts. In the June 29 Grassroots season opener at Kawartha Downs, Northern Idol made a break and finished seventh. Filion's second victory came in the final $18,000 division with favourite Whichamacallit, who reeled in the leaders through the stretch to chart a one and one-quarter length victory in 2:00.2. Filion piloted the Deweycheatumnhowe son to victory in his first lifetime start for trainer Dustin Jones of Campbellville and owner Ecurie Synergie of Montreal, QC, who offered up $75,000 for the young trotter at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The wins will maintain Filion's current position atop the 2013 driver's standings, but the reinsman is under heavy pressure from Moffat resident Jody Jamieson, who piloted Maximuscle to the fastest mile of the five Grassroots divisions Monday. The Angus Hall son stopped the teletimer at 1:58.1, five and one-half lengths ahead of his peers. Eric Valiquette trains Maximuscle for owner-breeder Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. The other Grassroots division winners were R Choochoo Charlie (2:00.4) and Pasadena Star (1:59.3). The two-year-old trotting colts make their third Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on July 30. Next on Mohawk Racetrack's Ontario Sires Stakes calendar are the Mid-Summer Challenges for the two-year-old pacing colts and fillies on Friday, July 19.  Click here for complete results  by Sandra Snyder  

Harness racing driver Trevor Henry missed a few Ontario Sires Stakes races while he was representing Canada at the World Driving Championships in France, but the Arthur resident made up for lost time at Georgian Downs on Saturday night.

Four of broodmare Sahalee's offspring have earned more than $100,000 for owner-breeder Edward Wilson, and the Seagrave resident will be assessing Jamandra's potential when the two-year-old trotting filly makes her Grassroots debut at Kawartha Downs on Saturday, July 6.

Sophomore trotting fillies highlighted the Thursday evening harness racing card at Woodbine as the $60,000 Autumn Stakes final took place on the programme.

The 8th edition of the Balanced Image stakes for harness racing two-year old trotters is set to kick off on Saturday night, and in the first year of the event being split by sex, there are some impressive entries into the 2012 running of the Balanced Image.

This year's crop of two-year-old trotting fillies has been impressive since their debut, and on Thursday evening (August 2) at Mohawk Racetrack they maintained their standard of harness racing excellence in four $40,000 Gold Eliminations.

A harness racing winner by a neck in last week's Gold Elimination, Legzy's margin of victory shrank further on Thursday night (July 5 at Kawartha Downs, but the tough minded freshman trotting filly still got the job done.

Rockwood resident Rob Fellows loaded two sophomore trotting colt Grassroots trophies into his trailer at the conclusion of Grand River Raceway's Monday evening (Jully 2) harness racing program.

Up until June 1, Gold Final harness racing hopeful Legzy was officially known as Legs Go On Forever. The name seemed appropriate when the filly was born at Ted Wilson's Seagrave farm two years ago; the newborn daughter of Amigo Hall and Sahalee had legs so long the horseman wondered if she would even be able to scramble to her feet.

Two fillies with local connections earned Gold Elimination trophies at Kawartha Downs on Thursday evening (June 28) as the two-year-old trotting lasses kicked off their Gold Series harness racing careers.

Im On Cloud Nine pulled off a harness racing series sweep to retain her perfect three-for-three sophomore record in the $50,000 Celias Counsel final on Monday night (April 23) at Woodbine.

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