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INNISFIL, ON — Champagne Phil uncorked a personal best effort at Georgian Downs on Saturday night to capture his second Grassroots division. The three-year-old pacing gelding and driver Brad Forward sat third through the early going while fan favourite Regal Hope rolled through fractions of :26.2 and :55.3. Heading for the three-quarter marker Forward sent Champagne Phil to the front and the gelding cruised to a 1:23 three-quarters before pulling away to a two length victory in a personal best 1:51.4. OK Ferrari and Southwind Amazon rounded out the top three. Kenneth Oliver conditions Champagne Phil for ICR Racing of Pefferlaw. Through nine starts this season the Shanghai Phil son boasts three wins, two of them in Grassroots action. Cambridge resident Forward also piloted Classic Gent to a 1:51.3 victory in the third $15,000 division for trainer Stanley Malec and Classic Farms of Belle River. Driver Robert Shepherd of Cambridge and trainer Dave Menary of Cheltenham combined to capture the first two Grassroots divisions with No Pan Intended sons Panpero Firpo and Panongahela. Last season’s Grassroots champion Panpero Firpo hit the wire in 1:53 off a front end effort, and Panongahela used similar tactics to clock a 1:52 victory. Peter Pan Stables of Pepper Pike, OH owns both colts. Not wanting to break the pattern, driver Jean Rene Plante guided the winners of the last two Grassroots divisions. The Burlington resident eked out a quarter length victory for George Jettison in the ninth race, halting the teletimer at 1:53.4. Jack Darling of Cambridge owns and trains the Jeremes Jet son. Plante’s margin of victory in the final division was also narrow as Maddysonofagun held a head in front of Berkshire Bear and Can He Go to score a 1:54 victory. Jim Ainsworth of Sarnia conditions the Modern Art son for his partners Shelley Ainsworth of Sarnia and Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga. The three-year-old pacing colts make their third Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 9. Next up on the Georgian Downs Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are the two-year-old trotting colts in their third Grassroots appearance on Tuesday, July 30. For complete results.           Sandra Snyder  

When David Menary and Robert Shepherd swept the two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots Semifinals last week it put harness racing driver Shepherd in the difficult position of having to choose which talented young pacer to drive in this Saturday's $100,000 Grassroots Championship.

A busy Fun & Frivolity Friday Night at Grand River Raceway saw six wins for harness racing driver Robert Shepherd and a race call debut for WEG TV personality Greg Gangle.

Ontario's talented two-year-old pacers stopped at Georgian Downs on Tuesday night (September 11) and for the second straight week harness racing trainer Dave Menary and reinsman Robert Shepherd teamed up to capture a pair of Grassroots trophies.

After two battles against the top two-year-old trotting fillies in the province, Bop Too The Top moved into the Grassroots Series on Sunday afternoon (July 29) and circled the Dresden Raceway harness racing oval faster than any of her peers.

Arthur resident Trevor Henry piloted not one, but two sophomore pacing fillies to track record performances in the harness racing Grassroots season opener at Hanover Raceway on Saturday evening.

The Robert Shepherd (Cambridge, Ontario) trained and driven Hornswoggle recorded the fastest mile in the last of the 12 races at tonight's (Thursday May 31) harness racing meeting at Mohawk.

The four finals of the Middlesex County Series were the highlight of the harness racing card at The Raceway at Western Fair District tonight where all but one of the events saw a horse who had won their two preliminary legs also capture the final for a series sweep.

There were some surprise claims laid during Georgian Downs' Gold Rush event on Saturday evening (July 9) as the harness racing favourites failed to pan out in three of four $130,000 Gold Finals.

Only minor injuries were sustained by horses and harness racing drivers involved in an accident in race 11 at Grand River Raceway on June 17. The incident occurred when Arch Rival (Robert Shepherd) broke stride coming into the last turn. Tropical Grey (Travis Henry) appeared to go over the arch of the bike of Arch Rival.

Rob Shepherd drove two winners at Grand River Raceway yesterday but the promising harness racing driver would love to even better that achievement with four wins from his four drives at Western Fair Raceway today (Tuesday May 17).

Robert Shepherd, one of Ontario's busiest harness racing drivers, will be Greg Blanchard's guest prior to Western Fair Raceway's card tomorrow, Wednesday, February 9.

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