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MILTON, January 12, 2018 – Kendall Seelster continued her dominance of the Mares Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a 1:53.2 harness racing victory Saturday evening. The now four-year-old daughter of Shadow Play converted off a perfect second-over trip from driver Sylvain Filion for her fourth consecutive score in the $30,000 top-class. Exhilarated was the quickest away and led the field of seven to the opening-quarter in :28.1. Request For Parole made a second-quarter move to the lead from fourth and led the field by the half in :58.1. P L Hurricane angled out at the half from third to commit first-up, which provided cover for Kendall Seelster from fifth. Request For Parole led by just under a length at three-quarters in 1:26. In the stretch, Kendall Seelster powered off cover and charged home in :27 to secure her fourth win in a row. Double A Mint rallied from sixth at the head of the lane to edge out Just Her Luck for second, while P L Hurricane was fourth. Kendall Seelster moved up to the Preferred-level in late-October and capped off her sophomore campaign with several victories over aged rivals. The Rod Boyd trainee is now undefeated in two starts this season after winning nine of 23 and earning $283,465 in 2018. Saturday’s victory brings Kendall Seelster’s career stats to 15 wins and $767,450 earned for owners 1187422 Ontario Inc. She paid $2.60 to win. Kendall Seelster Along with Saturday’s $30,000 feature, millionaire pacer Sintra collected his second consecutive win after a layoff with a strong 1:52.1 victory in a $27,000 event. The six-year-old gelding sat second-over turning for home and powered by rivals in the lane for driver Jody Jamieson. Trained by Dave Menary, Sintra returned to the races last week for the first-time in over three-months and won in 1:53.1. The 2017 Canadian Pacing Derby champion was moving up to face tougher company Saturday, including a trio exiting the Preferred, and prevailed for his 20th career victory. Sintra is owned by Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc. Sintra Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   Mark McKelvie - Woodbine Communications

Jolene Jolene might not be much when it comes to socializing in the barn, but trainer Jonas Czernyson doesn't mind as long as she is the life of the party on the racetrack. The 2-year-old filly trotter heads to Saturday's C$385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack with a three-race win streak, including a 1-1/2 length triumph over Juanitas Fury in 1:55.1 in her elimination last weekend. She will start the final from post three with driver David Miller. "She's very tough," said Czernyson, who trains Jolene Jolene for owner Bill Donovan. "She's good on the track, but in the barn, you don't walk into her stall without asking if it's OK. You open the gate and ask if today is a good day to come and visit. She will let you know if it is or not. But she's good on the track. "The fillies should have some attitude to them," he added. "I like them to have it. The good ones all have some quirks to them that you have to try to work around." Jolene Jolene, who has won three of six races and is 6-1 on the morning line, will have her work cut out for her in the Peaceful Way, which features Merrie Annabelle Stakes winner Mission Brief. Last weekend, Mission Brief won her Peaceful Way elimination in a world-record 1:52.1 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. She starts the final from post five and is the 3-5 choice. "I think she's a freak," said Czernyson, who has watched Jolene Jolene twice finish second to Mission Brief, beaten a total of 14 lengths. "She went (1:)52 under wraps up there. She looked very strong doing that. "I think we can go with her, but of course we've got to have luck. We've been in (1:)54 and she's been in (1:)52, so we've got to drop a few more seconds, but (Jolene Jolene) is coming into herself pretty good and she's pretty brave right now. I'm just hoping for a little bit of luck and hoping we can go with her." Jolene Jolene is a daughter of 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill out of the mare Celebrity Speedie, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Celebrity Sweedie. Jolene Jolene was purchased for $87,000 at last November's Standardbred Horse Sale. Her extended family includes Dan Patch Award winners Banker Hall and Broadway Hall. "I liked the way she was put together and everything," Czernyson said. "She had a presence about her. You could see already at the yearling sale that she was tough. It took us a little longer to get her broke, but she's been doing everything right. "I never thought she was going to be what she is. She was doing what we asked her to do, but she never did anything more. She trotted nice, but there was never a 'wow' (moment). Most of the time, those are the ones that turn out to be good too. They do exactly what they have to do and don't waste anything." Following the Peaceful Way, the plan is to send Jolene Jolene to Lexington's Red Mile for the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. She also is eligible to the Matron and Breeders Crown, both in November. "I'm hoping we can finish the year pretty good and put her away and hope for next year," Czernyson said. "We're just going to take it one step at a time and see where she's at. She was in the Merrie Annabelle and that's a long season if we're going to race through it all. But as long as she stays healthy and fresh we're going to keep on going." Following is the field for the Peaceful Way with listed drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Stubborn Belle, Paul Macdonell, John Bax, 5-1; 2. Danielle Hall, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson, 12-1; 3. Jolene Jolene, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson, 6-1; 4. Elegant Serenity, Roger Mayotte, Roger Mayotte, 20-1; 5. Mission Brief, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-5; 6. Southwind Champane, Stephen Byron, John Bax, 20-1; 7. Dynamite Dame, Sylvain Filion, R. Nifty Norman, 20-1; 8. Amoureuse Hanover, Doug McNair, John Smith, 20-1; 9. Juanitas Fury, Steve Condren, John Bax, 15-1; 10. Lady Caterina, Phil Hudon, Rod Boyd, 20-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

There wasn’t a whole lot of pari-mutuel love given to Battle River Storm in Friday evening’s eighth race at Woodbine Racetrack, but that didn’t stop him from engineering the biggest upset on the Friday evening card. In rein to Mike Saftic, the six-year-old son of Freedoms Pass-Presidential Jenna dropped into an early five-hole and sat there through first-half fractions of :27.4 and :57.2. He was backed up to be sixth at the three-quarter pole, but Mike Saftic found him some clearance between rivals in deep stretch and Battle River Storm shot through and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:58. Beeeyouuuuuu was second, with Matts Delivery rounding out the top three finishers. The Rod Boyd pupil, who was sent off at odds of 54-1, returned $111.60 to his backers and added $3,500 his own bank account. Timothy McCoy of Edmonton, Alberta owns the pacer who won for the first time in six starts this season. The victory was one of three on the card for driver Mike Saftic. He and Jody Jamieson led the way with driving triples, while Phil Hudon notched a driving double on the 11-race card. To view results for Friday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Friday Results – Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Ontario’s two-year-old trotting colts return to Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, Aug. 8 for the fourth Grassroots stop on their 2013 schedule. In his first two appearances at the Campbellville oval — in the July 4 Gold Series season opener and the July 15 Grassroots leg — Yoooukilis made early breaks that knocked him out of contention. The addition of trotting hopples to his equipment bag saw the gelding log a steady qualifier at Mohawk on July 24 and then power to a 2:02 victory at Georgian Downs in the July 30 Grassroots leg, bumping him to tenth spot in the division point race. The son of Ken Warkentin is the third foal from Jeff Boyd’s broodmare Tymal Francesca, a multiple Grassroots winner during her $107,928 career. The Cambridge resident and his brother and co-owner, trainer Rod Boyd of Cambridge, have gifted each of the mare’s foals with names saluting their beloved Boston Red Sox. Yoooukilis, named for Gold Glove-winning first baseman Kevin Youkilis, has already outshone elder half-brothers Papelbon and Pedroia. Trotting specialist Trevor Ritchie engineered the July 30 victory and the Acton resident will be back in the race bike behind Yoooukilis on Thursday evening, steering the gelding from Post 2 in the fourth $12,857 division. Among the competition are three other colts that have captured a single Grassroots leg. Striking Patrick, currently ranked fifth in the division point standings will start from Post 1, while Deweykeepumnwhy and Hetties Commander, who are currently tied with Yoooukilis for tenth, will start from Posts 6 and 7, respectively. Division point leader Pasadena Star will be looking for his third straight Grassroots victory from Post 6 in the ninth race for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH and driver Randy Waples of Milton. The two-year-old trotting colts kick off the Thursday evening program at Mohawk Racetrack at 7:25 pm and will also compete in Races 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. For complete entries please click here.  

ELORA, ON — The stage is set for the July 29th elimination rounds of Grand River Raceway’s signature race, the 16th annual Battle Of Waterloo and its sister dash, the fifth annual Battle Of The Belles. The top nine finishers for each of these elimination events for Ontario-sired two-year-old pacers, advance to their respective finals during the track’s 23rd annual harness racing celebration, Industry Day, on August 5 (post time 1:30). Battle Of Waterloo Trainer Wayne McGean paid $12,500 to supplement Steady Warrior into the $125,000 Battle Of Waterloo and drew the rail in the third of four eight-horse divisions. The Royal Mattjesty colt is still on the hunt for his maiden win, but has racked up $61,300 in four starts, including a pair of runner-up finishes and a third in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold Series. McGean and co-owner Michael Gouthro paid just $5,000 for the pacer as a yearling. He finished a half-length behind Arthur Blue Chip in the $150,000 OSS Gold Mid-Summer Challenge at Mohawk Racetrack on July 19.    But Steady Warrior won’t face Arthur Blue Chip on Monday night. The Ian Moore trainee will start from post six in the third division (race six). A winner of two from three starts, Arthur Blue Chip set a personal best of 1:52.4 in the OSS Mid-Summer Challenge. He has banked $110,000 and was a $135,000 yearling for the Shadow One Stable of Guelph, ON. Moore won the 2009 Battle Of Waterloo with Wellthereyougo. National speed leaders Rather Swell, Falcon Justice and Boomboom Ballykeel will also start in race six, from posts three, seven and eight respectively. Falcon Justice (Mister Big) is currently the quickest rookie gelding in the country. The Rod Boyd trainee won his first career start on June 20 at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:53.1. Boomboom Ballykeel holds the distinction on a half-miler after his maiden win at Hanover Raceway in 1:56.4 on July 20. He’s conditioned by Canada’s current leading trainer, Richard Moreau, and driven by the nation’s top dash driver, Trevor Henry. A maiden score of 1:54.4 in an OSS Grassroots division on July 6 at Georgian Downs made Rather Swell the quickest rookie pacing gelding over a five-eighths mile track. The Robert McIntosh homebred is a son of Western Maverick. Lucky King, in the first division, also holds a current Canadian speed record. The Camluck son’s most recent win at Georgian Downs on July 6 in 1:54.1 makes him the quickest rookie colt over a five-eighths surface in 2013. He starts from post seven in race four for trainer Andrew McCabe. Cluster Hanover starts to the right of Lucky King for trainer/owner Jack Darling. Still chasing his maiden win in this fifth start, Cluster Hanover has banked $40,725 and finished third in the OSS Mid-Summer Challenge. Darling purchased the Badlands Hanover gelding as a yearling for $95,000. Three-time Battle Of Waterloo champ Jody Jamieson will steer. Titus Seelster looks to double-up in the final boys’ division (race 10). The pacer captured his first lifetime victory in 1:53.1 with a driving-away win by seven lengths in the $50,000 OSS Mid-Summer Challenge Consolation on July 19. Stephane Larocque trains the Artistic Fella colt, a winner of $38,125 in two starts. Battle Of The Belles Eliminations for the $75,000 Battle Of The Belles will be contested by 24 fillies in three divisions (races 2, 3 and 5). Lady Shadow headlines the first group. She is represented by the Guelph, ON father-son, trainer-driver duo of Gregg and Doug McNair, winners of the 2008 Battle Of Waterloo with Trail Boss. Gregg McNair is also on-point to secure his second consecutive Johnston Cup (for leading trainer in the OSS). He has a stronghold on the standings, thanks to the likes of Lady Shadow. She leads this elimination field for earnings with $51,500 in three starts and a mark of 1:54.4. The McNairs also have Momara — the current leader for OSS Grassroots earnings ($17,356). She enters the second Belles division hoping for a hat-trick. She won by seven and nine lengths respectively in her last two OSS Grassroots outings. Performing Art leads all OSS freshman pacing fillies with $52,500 banked in three OSS starts. She also holds the current season’s record for her division over a five-eighths mile track with a 1:54.2 score at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 11. She starts from post four in the second division for trainer Otis Hall. Alibi Seelster starts from post seven for Jack Darling in race five. The Shadow Play miss was third in the $150,000 OSS Mid-Summer Challenge. A winner of two from four, she was a $27,000 yearling who has already paid her way with $61,000 banked and a mark of 1:53.3. Finalists & Post Position Draw Post positions for the finals will be drawn as follows: • Post Position Draw for the Battle Of The Belles: Drawn live on the Tarmac Show after race 6 on July 29. (Top three finishers from each of the three elimination divisions advance to the final on August 5.) • Post Position Draw for the Battle Of Waterloo: Drawn live on the Tarmac Show after race 11 on July 29. (Top two finishers from each of the four elimination divisions, plus one of the third-place finishers — as drawn by lot — advance to the final on August 5.) Post time for race one on Monday, July 29 is 7:05 p.m. For complete Industry Day details, visit www.IndustryDayCelebration.com Kelly Spencer

Falcon Justice enjoyed the fairest weather and fastest surface at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, July 8 and the two-year-old pacing colt took full advantage, employing a sharp finishing kick to capture the first of four harness racing $52,500 Gold Series divisions.

It was just a week ago that this reporter did a story with harness racing trainer Rod Boyd about the top two-year-old in his barn named Falcon Justice.

On Saturday morning it was qualifying day for a goodly number of two-year-olds just beginning their harness racing career at the races. But there was only horse that was really a standout, someone to take note of for the future and his name is Falcon Justice.

Grand River Raceway kicked off its 2013 harness racing season on June 3 and the night was highlighted by Battle River Storm in the fourth annual Local Biz Night Race.

Harness racing driver Dave Boughton has driven in nearly 19,000 races but confesses he never considered calling one. Adding the venture to his bucket list and knocking it off in the same night, Boughton is the seventh reinsman to take the mic in Grand River Raceway's guest announcer series, From Bike To Mic.

Twenty one of Ontario's finest freshmen trotting colts made their way to Mohawk this evening to compete in a pair of harness racing $40,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold eliminations. The Game Plan and Il Mago were victorious in their eliminations to advance to next weeks $130,000 final.

Harness racing freshman trotter The Game Plan delivered a convincing victory in the first of two $40,000 Gold Eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening.The Kadabra gelding and driver Jack Moiseyev left smartly from Post 4 and were part of the early scrum into the turn, settling into fourth by the time Pokerface It reached the :28.3 opening quarter.

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