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MILTON, ON - September 14, 2019 - Hp Royal Theo came off the final turn three-wide and stormed by rivals to win the $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old harness racing trotters on Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   The Ben Baillargeon trained Hp Royal Theo and driver Louis Philippe Roy flipped the script after a narrow loss in last week's elimination to defeat elimination winner Capricornus by a length and three-quarters in a career-best 1:54.2.   The opening-quarter of the race saw fireworks with several leavers, including Port Perry and Beyond Kronos from near the outside of the gate. Beyond Kronos claimed the top spot at an opening-quarter of :27.2, while Port Perry sat second with elimination winner Back Of The Neck right behind and Nylander left parked.   Beyond Kronos led the field up to the half in :56.1. Hp Royal Theo moved out from mid-pack to sit second-over behind Nylander, while Capricornus sat on the eventual winner's back.   The third-station was reached in 1:25.2 with Beyond Kronos creating separation to lead by two-lengths. Nylander began to fade approaching three-quarters, forcing Roy to go three-wide with Hp Royal Theo.   In the stretch, Hp Royal Theo found his best stride and muscled by rivals with a :28.2 last-quarter for the victory. Changing roles from last week, Capricornus couldn't track down his rival and finished second. Back Of The Neck was third, while Port Perry was fourth. Beyond Kronos dropped back to finish sixth.   "He's a freak, I call him the freak," said Baillargeon of Hp Royal Theo. "He doesn't mind fighting. His first qualifier he went :28 the first-quarter and :28 the last-quarter, the speed was always there we just had to manage him. Now he's controlled it and we're going to try to keep it that way."   Hp Royal Theo   A son of Royalty For Life, Hp Royal Theo was bred by Claude Hamel, who shares ownership of the gelding with Michel Damphousse. The rookie moved into the barn of trainer Baillargeon following his qualifying debut with original trainer Jean Tourigny.   "Jean Tourigny did all the ground work and after that we had to work a few quirks he had," said Baillargeon, who also gave credit to his trotter's drivers. "He was a little aggressive, but between Sylvain (Filion) and Louis (Roy) we got it done and now we have a great horse."   Hp Royal Theo is now two for six with $227,600 earned and returned $15.40 to win.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Don't try and say his name three times fast, but Babidibou was the fastest Friday in three divisions of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old trotters at the Hippodrome 3R. The favorite over rival Major Bay in the third race, first of two $7,500C colt divisions of the Future Stars, Babidibou and driver Stephane Gendron settled into the pocket seat behind leader Major Bay (Jocelyn Gendron) after the start of the race. The two favorites pulled away from the field by the opening quarter mile and the half mile. Tuscan Titan (Stephane Brosseau) came first-over but was unable to gain ground on the leaders. Then on the final turn, Stephane Gendron pulled Babidibou and came after Major Bay. Those two battled down the stretch with Babidibou coming out on top by a neck in 2:04. Tuscan Titan was third. Babidibou and Major Bay have now faced his other twice and each have won. Their next matchup will be in the $55,000C Future Stars final on Sunday, September 8. That is when all eight finals will take place at H3R with total purses at $480,000C. It was the second straight win for Babidibou, a son of Royalty For Life, who is trained by Maxime Velaye and co-owned by Isidore Russo of Montreal and Guy Corbeil of Mirabel. He paid $3.40 to win. The fifth race second colt division saw race favorite Kenogami Coco and driver Stephane Brosseau easily handle the field, going wire-to-wire with a two and three-quarter length triumph in a mild 2:06.4. HP Muscle Dancer (Jocelyn Gendron) was second with Frido PV (Yves St Jacques) third. Sired by Wheeling N Dealin, it was the second career win for Kenogami Coco, who is trained by Dany Fontaine, bred by Jean Francois, who co-owns the gelding with Marie Claude Reid of Anjou. He paid $2.60 to win. The fillies raced in just one division of the Future Stars with nine starters going for a purse of $10,000C. After a recall caused by race favorite, Emotions Durables (Tyler Jones), who was going for her fourth straight win, she went off-stride again as the gate pulled away. This allowed Miss Sofia (Stephane Gendron) to scoot right out to a quick early lead, only she broke stride before the opening quarter. It was HP Starlette and drive Stephane Brosseau who stayed on stride and then led the field the rest of the one-mile trot, winning with ease by five and three-quarter lengths in 2:04.4. Noblesse Duharas (Denis Gueriel), a 99-1 long shot, was second with Emotions Durables making a big comeback to finish third. Sired by Muscle Mass, it was the first career victory in four starts for HP Starlette. She is trained by Daniel Martin for breeder/owners Claude Hamel of Ayer'S Cliff and Guy Desautels of Montreal. She paid $12.50 to win. Track Notes: H3R's leading driver, Stephane Gendron, Pascal Berube and Stephane Brosseau all had driving doubles. H3R's leading trainer, Francis Richard, Denis Gueriel and Maxime Velaye each had training doubles. On Sunday, the Hippodrome 3R hosts the last preliminary round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacers with three divisions on the ten-race program. First race post time is 1:00 pm. For a free race program or to view the races live for free, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

SARNIA, ON - AUG. 10, 2019 - Five divisions of freshman harness racing trotting fillies stepped to centre stage at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening, competing for a total of $117,500 in the third Grassroots Leg of their season, and a trio of fillies scored their first-ever victories in the Ontario Sires Stakes event. The fillies kicked things off in the first race and Enjoyin My Life picked up her first lifetime victory with a 2:00 effort. Starting from Post 8, Enjoyin My Life left the gate smartly and was sitting fourth when Peppas Angel reached the quarter pole in :28.1. After following the leaders to the :59.1 half, driver Ryan Holliday decided to send Enjoyin My Life up the outer lane and the filly had a head in front of Peppas Angel at the 1:29.2 three-quarters. Trotting strongly down the stretch, Enjoyin My Life pulled away to a four and one-half length victory. Peppas Angel finished second and Craving You was four more lengths back in third. "She was good, very professional," said Holliday, who was making his first appearance in the Royalty For Life daughter's race bike. "Nice filly. Trotted good, did everything you'd want." Isabelle Darveau of Flamborough trains Enjoyin My Life for numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. The half-sister to former Gold Series winner Okeanos was a $44,000 purchase at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. Highland Foxytrotr got her second straight Grassroots win in the second $23,500 division. Starting from Post 7 Highland Foxytrotr and driver Alfie Carroll led the field to a sharp :27.4 opening quarter and then yielded to fan favourite Canadian Titan. After following that filly through a :58.4 half and 1:29 three-quarters, Carroll gave Highland Foxytrotr a clear lane and the filly nabbed Canadian Titan at the wire by a nose in 1:59.3. Zebs Flur finished third. "She's a really nice, solid filly and Amanda (Fine) had her sharp," said Carroll, who drove Highland Foxytrotr to the win for trainer Amanda Fine of Guelph and owner-breeder Highland Thoroughbred Farm of Inglewood, ON. "She raced tough." In the third division driver Paul MacDonell employed an off-the-pace approach from Post 10 with first-time winner Mckees Angel. Sitting sixth as Emily Antoinette rang up a :28.4 quarter and 1:00.4 half, MacDonell sent Mckees Angel up the outer lane heading for the 1:29.4 three-quarters. Accelerating off the final turn Mckees Angel was able to circle the leaders and hold off fan favourite Yen for a three-quarter length victory in 200.2. Susies Lady closed hard to be third. "She was really good tonight, excellent," said Ted MacDonnell of Allenford, ON who trains the Archangel daughter for owner-breeder Legendary Standardbred Farms of Mt. Morris, NY. "She's just been a work in progress. Each week she's getting a little better and a little better. She's always shown a nice bit of ability and a nice bit of trot, so we knew it was there. "She has a great pedigree, she's out of a really good family that filly, so we're hoping for things to continue," the trainer added. "Paul's (MacDonell) done a great job with her, so fortunate to be able to have him come here." A full-sister to $860,719 winner Top Flight Angel, Mckees Angel had finished off the board in her first two lifetime starts, a July 23 overnight and the July 30 Grassroots Leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Mag N Roses picked up her second straight Grassroots win in the fourth division, going gate-to-wire from Post 4 in 2:00.3. Warrawee Vulcan finished two and three-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite in second and Credits Celebrity was another length back in third. Mario Baillargeon drove Mag N Roses to the win for trainer Jean Francois Maguire of Carlisle and his partners Julie Malenfant of Carlisle, ON and Richard Legris of St-Charles-Borromee, QC. The Royalty For Life daughter was a $17,000 acquisition from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. In the final division Need An Alibi got a calm, cool steer from Stephen Byron to earn her first-ever victory. Starting from Post 4, Byron eased the filly away from the starting gate and was near the back of the pack when Haven Seelster reached the :28.3 quarter. Moving up the outer lane, Need An Alibi had halved the distance between her and the pacesetter by the 1:01.1 half and as horses started to make mistakes around them Byron simply kept the filly focussed on her work. Third at the 1:31.3 three-quarters posted by Queen M, Need An Alibi was on top as the field turned for home and stayed game for a one-half length victory in 2:02.2. Fan favourite Eternal Jewel finished second and Queen M was third. "She sat on the outside the whole mile," said trainer John Bax. "Going to the three-quarter pole a horse runs on the inside, thinks about coming out and doesn't, the horse in front of us runs, goes out, so it was just kind of like parting of the seas and we went straight through. "He (Byron) just sat there kind of cool and allowed everything to happen around him and he didn't jerk her sideways or grab her up or anything and him being relaxed, she was relaxed," the trainer added. "It was a pleasant surprise. She wasn't the one we thought would pay for the diesel fuel." Bax Stable of Campbellville shares ownership of Need An Alibi with Brilo Farms of Sharon, ON and Dave Hudson of Dallas, TX. The partners purchased the E L Titan daughter for $52,000 at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The two-year-old trotting fillies will return to Grassroots action on Sept. 4 at Grand River Raceway, the fourth of their five regular season events. Complete results for Saturday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0810sarfn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Plainville, MA --- The Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) are still about two months away, but horses eligible to the $1.8 million (est.) series are already preparing to compete in that stake in competition at many tracks. At Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon a pair of 3-year-olds, one on each gait, moved one step closer to being ready after adding solid wins in their respective races. RFL's Lord Command (Royalty For Life-Tetiana) put in a gutsy performance in the $10,000 conditioned event for 5-year-old and younger trotters and continues to build an impressive body of work as a sophomore. RFL's Lord Command (Jim Hardy) sat third to the quarter and then pulled by the half to pressure the leading Pembroke Monet (Drew Campbell) for the next half-mile. After hitting the three-quarters in 1:27.1, RFL's Lord Command took control from Pembroke Monet but still wasn't in the clear. He then had to deal with Valentin (Wally Watson) who was trotting up a storm on the outside. Valentin got within a head of RFL's Lord Command at the top of the lane but the leader would not submit and RFL's Lord Command stayed tough to the wire, winning by 1/2 length in 1:57. It was the fifth win in only nine starts this year for RFL's Lord Command ($4.00) for owner/breeder Al Ross. Jim Hardy trains the winner. RFL's Lord Command is a 3/4 brother to Muscles Jared who was a 2-year-old MASS champion in 2016. On the pacing side, Good Heavens (Rock N Roll Heaven-Ms Pininfarina) scored an equally impressive win in the $10,000 conditioned event for 5-year-old and younger side-wheelers and kept his winning streak alive in the process. Good Heavens (Drew Campbell) left for position from post eight and dropped in fifth by the quarter. But that pylon position was vacated after they hit the front straight as Campbell brought Good Heavens first up to challenge Radical (Jim Hardy) who was cutting the mile. By the time they hit the half these two tangled eye to eye and were pacing strong up the backside in a :27.1 split. At the three-quarter, Good Heavens cleared and opened up a length advantage in the final bend. But as they were heading down the stretch, Radical found new life on the outside and was barreling down on the leader. The two hit the wire together, but Good Heavens hit it first by a neck in 1:54.2. It was the third straight win for Good Heavens ($4.80) and the winning time equaled the geldings lifetime mark set just last week. Nancy Longobardi owns Good Heavens who is trained by Ivan Davies. The gelding was bred by Frederick Hertrich III. Drew Campbell had a driving Grand Slam on Friday, pushing him to 72 wins for the meet at Plainridge. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (Aug. 5) with post time at 4 p.m. and there will be a $16,715 carryover in the sixth race Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta jackpot wager. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

MILTON, ON - The Royalty For Life filly P L Molly broke her maiden with a 1:59 victory in Tuesday's second leg of the Harvest Series at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of eight rookie harness racing trotting fillies clashed in the $17,000 second-round of the three-week Harvest Series. P L Molly and driver Bob McClure made a strong third-quarter move from fifth to second and after dropping in behind leader Nifty Trick at the top of the lane, proceeded to power by in the final-eighth for a 1:59 score. Nifty Trick, who lost by three-quarters of a length, finished second for the fourth-consecutive start. Order Mattie crossed the line third, while Briarwood Belle was fourth. Eramosa Magic, who went off as the 2-1 favourite, made a break well-before the start. She finished eighth, but with broken equipment. Trained by Matt Dupuis, P L Molly came into the Harvest Series second-leg off a fifth-place finish in the first-leg and was winless in seven starts. She has now earned $21,297 for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres. A $2 win ticket on P L Molly returned $12.70. Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. All four Harvest Series finals for two-year-olds will take place on Thursday, October 25. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications      

After making waves in open harness racing stake action in recent weeks, the two-year-old trotting fillies returned to Gold Series competition at Flamboro Downs on Tuesday for the second last event of the regular season. Blue Magic captured the first $96,400 division, rocketing away from Post 4 and playing catch me if you can with the field of eight. On top by three and one-half lengths at the :27.4 quarter, driver Louis Philippe Roy kept his foot on the accelerator to the :57.1 half and the 1:27 three-quarters. Pocket-sitter Witches N Angels started to close on Blue Magic around the final turn and looked like she would storm by the pacesetter in the lane, but Blue Magic dug in for a neck victory in a personal best 1:59.4. Fan favourite Teddys Littleangel was eight lengths back in third. "I don't know much about the filly, I sat behind her only twice, but she's well-gaited and goes around turns perfectly. She likes the half-mile track," said Roy. "Most of the time I drive for Susie Kerwood and Rene Dion I'm happily surprised with the result." Susie Kerwood trains Blue Magic for Tommy Andersson of Rockwood, Ontario. The win was the Kadabra daughter's second this season - she was also victorious in the Aug. 7 Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park - and boosted her earnings to $68,221. With one regular season event remaining, Blue Magic sits in tenth spot in the division standings with 53 points, 50 more than she had on Tuesday morning. The top 10 point earners advance to the season ending Super Final. Tommi Canu Hearme also bolstered her point total with a 2:01.2 win in the second $96,400 division. Starting from Post 8, driver Chris Christoforou dropped the filly into fourth on the rail as Petro Hall rolled out to a :29.4 quarter and a :59.4 half, opening up a six length lead on the field of eight. Heading for the 1:29.3 three-quarters pocket-sitter Champagne Jane and Tommi Canu Hearme started to narrow Petro Hall's lead and the fillies turned for home ready to battle. Champagne Jane attacked on the outside and Christoforou sent Tommi Canu Hearme up the inside and on to the one length victory. Petro Hall hung on for second and Champagne Jane was third. "Chris is so good, he's just so calm out there. He just got her away out of the eight-hole into the four-hole and then went up the passing lane," said trainer Dustin Jones. "It worked out good, because we needed a win for points." Tommi Canu Hearme won her Champlain Stakes division at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 30, but before Tuesday she had not enjoyed much luck in the Gold Series, finishing fifth in the first two legs and eighth in the third. "What happened was, she had two fifths and then she had the rail and made a break, and then I qualified her with the trotting hopples," explained Jones. "I should have probably had the trotting hopples on her sooner, but she just kept showing that she could go good without them and I just figured that she would get going, but then it was getting too late in the year. We couldn't take any more chances." Jones shares ownership of Tommi Canu Hearme with Hebert Horses Inc. of Saint Sauveur, Quebec and Sjoblom Stable of Jakobstad, Finland. The Waterdown, Ontario resident went to last year's London Selected Yearling Sale specifically to purchase the daughter of Royalty For Life and Tommi My Girl and has never regretted that decision. "I went back on the Sunday and I waited all day to buy her because she was (hip number) 300 and something," recalled Jones. "I was hoping to buy her around $35,000 and somebody was bidding against me $1,000 a shot up until $41,000. Forty-one thousand was my last bid, and I was stretching myself then, but then I ended up selling pieces of her after. "She trained great all winter, she was my best trotting filly all winter, my best trotter actually I thought, the one that had the most speed," he added. "I'm pretty proud of that little trotter." With 61 points Tommi Canu Hearme currently sits eighth in the division standings and will be looking to add to that in the regular season finale on Oct. 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Ontario's exciting two-year-old trotting colts and geldings were in the spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening and delivered thrilling finishes in all three $19,500 Grassroots divisions. Royale Elite opened the stakes program with 1:58.3 victory from Post 3 that saw him roar down the stretch to nab fan favourite and pacesetter Judge Ken at the wire by a neck. Arcanum was well back of the duelling leaders in third. "The other divisions went faster, but the way he won tonight, it was very impressive," said driver James MacDonald. "It got backed up pretty good in the last turn, I had to back him out around, and usually with an aged horse if you have to back them up it's tough to get them rolling again, and he did it just like a pro. I backed him out around and as soon as he saw daylight he took off. I was really impressed with the way he fought right to the wire." "He's a nice colt, great gait, and you can do whatever you want with him," added the Guelph resident, who crafted the win for trainer Mark Steacy and owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The mile was a personal best for Royale Elite, who also scored Grassroots victories in the July 17 season opener at Georgian Downs and in the Aug. 11 event at Hiawatha Horse Park. A third in the July 31 contest at Woodbine Mohawk Park gives the Royalty For Life son a total of 162 points and ownership of top spot in the division standings. In the second division fan favourites A Royal Line and driver Trevor Henry left smartly from Post 5 and tucked in behind second choice Windsong Patriot through fractions of :28, :58.1 and 1:27.4. Turning for home Henry tipped A Royal Line to the outside and the chestnut gelding steadily reeled in the leader, reaching the wire one-half length on top in a personal best 1:56.4. Cousin Peter was well back in third. "Royal is getting better every week, stronger and smarter," said Henry, who was also part of the stretch duel in the first division aboard Judge Ken. "Judge Ken raced well too. He just got picked off, but that's racing." Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh conditions A Royal Line for his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. Windsor resident McIntosh also bred the son of Royalty For Life and Direct Dial. Like Royale Elite, A Royal Line was victorious in the July 17 and Aug. 11 Grassroots events, but he tried his hand in the Gold Series for the second event so sits behind Royale Elite in the standings with 150 points. As the gate swept away from the field in the third division it was Lariat Seelster and Magical Journey from Posts 8 and 9 that led the way into the first turn. Magical Journey took the early lead, reaching the quarter in :28.2, then yielded to Lariat Seelster heading for the :57.4 half. Lariat Seelster hit the three-quarters in 1:28 and as the pair turned for home Magical Journey mounted his attack. The pair battled tooth and nail down the stretch, with Lariat Seelster holding on by a stubborn head in a personal best 1:57.4. Rap Royalty was two lengths back in third. "Not gonna let that guy by me, you know, so that's good," said trainer Bob Young. "We've been waiting for him to break loose, and tonight he broke loose." Roger Mayotte piloted the Kadabra gelding to his second straight win for Guelph resident Young and his partners Robert Deveau of Toronto, Frank Chiaravalloti of Downsview and Jaftica Stable of Guelph. The long-legged youngster, a $54,000 acquisition from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale, was also victorious in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 27. "He's a Mohawk horse. I told my guys that own him, he's not going to any track but Mohawk, he's just too big a horse," said Young of his decision to race the colt in an overnight rather than in the Aug. 11 Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park. "That was our game plan from day one and that's what we've done." With Monday's victory and a fourth-place result in the July 31 Grassroots event at the Campbellville oval, Lariat Seelster has accumulated 58 points, which should assure him of a berth in the Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 20. The gelding's peers will have one last opportunity to accumulate points in the regular season finale over Grand River Raceway's half-mile surface on Sept. 12. The top 20 point earners following the last event will advance to the Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final earning a berth in the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship. The three-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their Grassroots regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park this Thursday, Sept. 6, competing in Races 1, 9 and 10. The fillies will kick things off at 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - August 23, 2018 - Harness racing driver Trevor Henry was the star of the show in Thursday's two-year-old trotting series finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Arthur, Ontario resident guided Royal Rob to a narrow victory in the $33,200 Define The World and Sette Deo in the $35,200 Pure Ivory. Royal Rob went off as the 2/5 favourite in the Define The World Series finale. The Bob McIntosh trainee did the heavy-lifting up front against four rivals and led into the stretch off a 1:28.1 three-quarter time. In the stretch, Smart As Hill angled from the two-hole and got up alongside the leader for an entertaining stretch battle. Royal Rob was able to hold off the challenger to prevail by a head in 1:56.4. Cesar Duharas finished third, while Clothier Hanover was fourth. A gelded son of Royalty For Life, Royal Rob came into the final with two wins in three starts. His only defeat came in last week's second leg after making an early break. "He's as good a colt as there is around," said Henry post-race. "If he stays as good as he was tonight, he'll have a chance." Royal Rob was bred by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., who co-own the rookie with Dave Boyle, Gordon Wright and Randy Liepa. The Royalty For Life gelding is currently the nation's fastest rookie trotter with a mark of 1:56.1 taken in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event on July 31. A $2 win ticket on Royal Rob paid $2.80. Sette Deo stepped up at the right time to break her maiden in the Pure Ivory Series final. The Ben Baillargeon trainee and driver Henry, who was steering for the first time, came first up from third on the far turn and proceeded to march right by with a :28.4 final-quarter for a 1:57.4 score. Race-favourite Dark As A Pocket, who entered on a three-race win streak, made the front at the opening-quarter and led the fillies into the lane before making a break after surrendering the lead. Minor Obsession, who won the second leg, battled Sette Deo down the lane and crossed the wire second, beat three-quarters of a length. Confession Session finished third. A daughter of Chapter Seven, Sette Deo had hit the board only once in three starts entering Thursday's dash. The Baillargeon trainee finished third in the first leg and fifth in last week's second round. "She trained good all winter, but for some reason I'm just late with a few of these babies this year," said Baillargeon following the race. "Mario (Baillargeon) did a great job teaching her to go the last two times he drove her...tonight I told Trevor 'Lets race, we're going for some money, so make sure we race.'". Sette Deo is owned by Baillargeon, Claude Hamel and Nunzio & Santo Vena. She was a $42,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. The Chapter Seven filly paid $11.50 to win. Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park with this season's first meeting between star fillies Atlanta and Manchego headlining the action in the $136,000 Casual Breeze. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

AUGUST 11, 2018 - Sons of first-year sire Royalty For Life swept the two-year-old trotting colt and gelding Grassroots divisions at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening. Royal Elite led off with a 2:02 score in the first $18,800 division, going straight to the front from Post 5 and laying down fractions of :27.4, :59.1 and 1:30.2 on his way to the one and one-half length victory. Cousin Peter closed hard to be second and Never Tell rounded out the top three. "Royal Elite is coming along nicely," said trainer Mark Steacy, who conditions the colt for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. "He gives a good effort every time." The trainer's son, Shawn Steacy, piloted Royal Elite to his second Grassroots victory. The colt was also victorious in the July 17 season opener at Georgian Downs and logged a third-place result in the July 31 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. With a total of 112 points Royal Elite currently sits atop the division standings with two regular season events remaining. Hot on Royal Elite's heels is the second division winner, A Royal Line. Like his rival the gelding fired out of Post 7 and rolled through a :28.3 quarter, 1:00.4 half and 1:30.4 three-quarters before pulling away from the field to a four length victory in a personal best 2:00.4. Priceless Ruler and fan favourite Rap Royalty finished second and third. Hiawatha Horse Park's leading reinsman Garrett Rooney engineered A Royal Line's second Grassroots win for trainer-breeder Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. Like Royal Elite, A Royal Line posted his first win in the Grassroots season opener, but then tested the Gold Series waters in the second leg, finishing third in his division at Georgian Downs on July 29. He is currently in sole possession of second spot in the Grassroots standings with 100 points. The final division went to first-time Grassroots starter Radical Roy, who also employed front-end tactics from Post 5. In rein to Stephen Byron, Radical Roy trotted through fractions of :28.3, :58.1, and 1:30 on his way to a two and one-half length victory in 2:01.2. Warrawee Usain finished second and Debt Collector was third. "Sometimes you're better to be the big fish in the small pond than to be a small fish in a big pond," said trainer John Bax of Radical Roy's late entry into the Grassroots. The gelding made his first two Ontario Sires Stakes starts at the Gold Series level, finishing sixth on both July 16 and 29. "It will be a confidence builder for him, and he certainly fit there." Bax and his son Matt share ownership of Radical Roy with Don Allensen of Wyoming, Peter Porter of Port Dover, Ontario and Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The Campbellville resident admitted that he was a little worried about how Radical Roy would fare on Saturday due to a recent wave of sickness that has impacted a number of two-year-olds in the barn, including the gelding's turn-out partner Magical Journey, who finished fifth in his Gold Series division on Thursday evening. "I've had two in the last week have a high white count, two-year-olds, so I was a little nervous at the three-quarter pole, hoping that he didn't have the bug," said Bax. "His partner (Magical Journey) had a high white count after the last race. He stopped up pretty good." Bax has not decided whether Radical Roy will return to the Gold Series or remain in the Grassroots program for the remainder of his freshman season. Saturday's victory gives the gelding 50 points, which puts him among the top 20 point earners with two regular season events remaining. He would need one more Grassroots start to qualify, but the top 20 point earners will compete in two $20,000 Semi-finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on September 20. In his two Gold Series starts Radical Roy tallied six points, well outside the top 10 finish needed to land a berth in the season ending Super Final. The next Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings is September 3 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, while the Gold Series event is September 24 at Grand River Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 16, 2018 - Grey skies parted to reveal a double rainbow and Ontario Sires Stakes hopefuls evolved into Gold Series winners as the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings made their provincial debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening. Capturing the first $52,200 Gold Series division was Lifetime Royalty and driver Doug McNair, who eased away from Post 7 and used a late sprint to propel them to a one and one-quarter length victory in 2:01. Fan Favourite Knight Angel also closed well over the rain-soaked surface to be second, while pocket-sitter Isnt He An Angel was third. "We paid for him to be a good colt, and he trained down like a good horse all winter. I was always very high on him," said trainer Scott McEneny, who offered up $100,000 for the youngster at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. "That's a good way to start the season." The Waterdown resident shares ownership of Lifetime Royalty with Brad Grant of Milton and Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga, Ontario. The son of Royalty For Life and Cha Cha Glide has two relatives that have earned more than $1 million - American-bred What The Hill and former Ontario Sires Stakes star Majestic Son - and McEneny had a bold circle around his name in the Lexington sales catalogue. "I loved him, he was a gorgeous colt at the sale, and I just said to Brad, I said I'd really like to take him home, and we did," the trainer recalled. "We had to pay for him - $100,000 for first crop Ontario Sired was pretty good money -but he was just gorgeous, he looks the part, and he always has been the part." Prior to Monday's victory, Lifetime Royalty had posted runner-up finishes in his June 25 and July 3 qualifiers and in a July 9 two-year-old conditioned event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, giving him an early season bank balance of $29,600. The second division saw driver Louis Philippe Roy employ similar tactics with Dream Nation from Post 5. The pair got away near the back of the pack and then advanced up the outer lane, taking control around the final turn. Through the stretch the fan favourites drew away to a four and one-half length victory in 1:59.4. Tymal Tullo was second and Tennessee Titan finished third. "There's some young trotters that can get aggressive a little bit, so they drive you more than you drive them, but this one, he'll do what you want," said Roy, who drove the Archangel gelding to the win for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy, Gestion C. Levesque 2015 Inc. of St-Hyacinthe and Marc Camirand of Montreal., Quebec. "I trained him maybe four or five times with Jacques, even before qualifying him, and every time, just perfect attitude, doing what you want." Flawless through his June 25 qualifier and a July 2 two-year-old conditioned event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Dream Nation has earned back $33,100 of his $42,000 purchase price from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The third division saw another come-from-behind performance from fan favourite Southwind Avenger and driver Trevor Henry, who sat fifth through the first half of the mile and then accelerated up the outer lane to a three and one-half length victory in 1:59.4. Henry engineered the victory from Post 8 for New Jersey-based trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Mel Hartman of Ottawa, Ontario, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida and Little E LLC of New York, New York, and the veteran reinsman found the victory uniquely satisfying. "I always liked the colt, when he was a yearling I went and looked at him at the sale, but I knew we wouldn't be able to afford him," explained the Arthur, Ontario resident. "I always had in the back of my head, at least if he turns out I'll have shot to drive him, because I liked the colt, I watched videos of him, I really liked him." The hammer fell at $77,000 for Southwind Avenger at the Lexington sale and the colt delivered a pair of qualifying victories at Harrah's Philadelphia before shipping north to compete in the Ontario Sires Stakes. The final division saw an impressive late sprint by Forbidden Trade land reinsman Bob McClure in the Gold Series winner's circle for the first time in his career. Starting from Post 8, McClure and the son of Kadabra and former Ontario Sires Stakes superstar Pure Ivory hit the wire in 1:59.2, reeling in Tymal Houdini and fan favourite Jumpshot. "I've had about six seconds, but no (Gold) wins," explained the 27-year-old reinsman, who drove the colt to the win for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. "He almost over trotted coming out of the turn, but it's his first lifetime start, and once he got his head down and going he was doing some trotting." A $110,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Forbidden Trade delivered a 28 second last quarter to earn the victory. All four colts will have an opportunity to add to their provincial resume in the second Gold Series event on July 29 at Georgian Downs. On Thursday the three-year-old trotting colts make their first Grassroots stop at Woodbine Mohawk Park, competing in Races 5 and 8. Thursday's first race goes behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Harness racing owner Al Ross acquired Tetiana three years ago with an eye toward breeding the mare to his 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life. Muscles Jared has turned out to be a welcomed bonus as part of that purchase. Muscles Jared, a 2-year-old male trotter born five months after Ross bought Tetiana in foal to Muscle Massive, has won four of eight races this year and earned $103,816. All four of the gelding's victories have come since trainer George Ducharme added trotting hobbles following breaks in the horse's first two starts. On Thursday, Muscles Jared competes in the fourth of five $56,000 International Stallion Stakes divisions at Lexington's Red Mile. Muscles Jared and driver John Campbell head to the race off a second-place finish by a half-length to New Jersey Viking in a division of last week's Bluegrass Stakes. "From the time George started breaking this horse, he said we've got a real nice horse here," said Ross, who lives in South Dartmouth, Mass., and has a farm in nearby Westport. "He's been a different horse (with the trotting hobbles). He really hasn't gone a bad race since then. He's just a nice animal. "I expect big things from him next year; not that this season is over. This upcoming race will determine whether I go into the Breeders Crown. I'm pretty sure I will. He's got a lot of determination. I don't see why we wouldn't be going to the Breeders Crown because I expect him to race well again this week." Tetiana, by Kadabra, is from a family that includes O'Brien and Dan Patch award-winning Armbro Keepsake as well as Dan Patch Award winners Armbro Devona and Donerail. Ross, who bred Royalty For Life, purchased Tetiana for $8,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale after receiving input from Dean Hoffman, a former executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine and harness racing historian. "He has an excellent memory for bloodlines, and with me being involved in the game for just 15 odd years, I felt I needed some expert advice in matching the stallion to mares," Ross said. "He gave me his opinion and I liked what I saw. I liked her very much and bought her. "I'm just thrilled. She also has two more foals on the ground. The first was by RC Royalty and the second by Royalty For Life. They both are outstanding looking. I got lucky. I got her very cheap and I've wound up with a pretty nice producing broodmare." Muscles Jared is named after police officer Jared White, whose wife Jackie runs the breeding operation at Ross' farm. "Jared helps at the farm too," Ross said. "He's a very muscular type and when the baby was born I said we were going to name him Muscles Jared." Among Muscles Jared's four wins are three victories in preliminary rounds of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, including a track-record triumph at Harrah's Philadelphia. Muscles Jared finished fourth, beaten two lengths, in the sire stakes championship on Sept. 11 and then received time off until the Bluegrass. Ross said the respite gave Muscles Jared an opportunity to regain some weight he lost while traveling during the hot summer months. "It did him a world of good," Ross said. "I was really happy with him last week. He got locked in a bit at the top of the stretch and didn't have a chance to get out and get in full stride. Once he did, he was picking the winner up with every stride, I thought. I think he'll be even better this week. "I really like the way that he and Campbell get along," Ross added. "From the time we put Campbell on him, it was like a well-fitting glove. They understand each other. Whenever Campbell asks him to go, he goes. He's got a real nice burst of speed when you ask him for it and he can race either way." Another horse Ross expects to see improve is Patton, whom he shares in ownership with Ducharme and Paul Fontaine. Patton has won three of nine races this year and earned $23,673. He races in the second International Stallion division, where the field includes Bluegrass winner Snowstorm Hanover. Last week, Patton (Conway Hall-Penny Dream) finished third in his Bluegrass division. "I was happier with the way Patton raced than Muscles, because we've had so many problems with Patton, whether it be post positions or having a few foot problems here and there," Ross said. "Every time George thought he had him straightened out, something else would pop up. "If he improves off that last race, he could also be very tough this week." The first International Stallion division features New Jersey Viking. Other Bluegrass winners returning this week are Long Tom (third International Stallion division), Dover Dan (fourth division), and Fly On and Shake It Off Lindy (fifth division). For Thursday's complete Red Mile card, click here. Ken Weingartner

Royalty For Life Tr 3, 1:51.6 ($1,620,166), the 2013 Hambletonian champion, Canadian Trotting Classic winner and USA 3YO Trotting Colt of the Year, will be available for breeders in Australia and New Zealand for the first time this year. He is a striking individual in every respect. The frozen semen of the exciting, young sire – he was foaled in 2010 – is available through Stallions Australasia Pty Ltd whose lineup includes former champion racehorse and now highly successful sire Muscle Hill and international trotting star Wishing Stone. Royalty For Life recently completed his first northern hemisphere season at the prestige Tara Hills Stud, Ontario where he was fully booked for a fee of $6,000. His service fee in Australia will be $4,950 incl. GST and in NZ $4,500 plus GST. Royalty For Life raced only at 2 and 3 years, compiling the excellent record of 14 wins and seven placings from 30 starts for $1,620,166 – an average of $54,000 per start! As a two-year-old he displayed tremendous early speed, winning seven and being four times placed from 14 starts. He captured the $328,000 International Stallion Stakes at Lexington in 1:54.4, five New Jersey Sire Stakes event and finished runner-up in both the elimination and $600,000 final of the Breeders Crown. Royalty For Life really came into his own as a three-year-old, winning seven of his 14 starts and a whopping $1,277,130 in stakes. His victories included the $1.2-million Hambletonian in straight heats of 1:52 and 1:52.2, the $686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic in a stakes record equalling 1:54.4, the $360,000 Zweig Memorial, the $294,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial in 1:52 and an elimination of the $527,000 Kentucky Futurity. Champion USA driver Brian Sears, who handled Royalty For Life in all his major triumphs was high in his praise for the horse “He’s a beautiful horse, he just covers the ground." "He lets you know when he’s good." "He’s just so talented," Brian said. Royalty For Life is a most interestingly bred horse. He is the richest son of the former top young trotter RC Royalty (Tr 3, 1:55.2), one of the best of the progeny left by the champion American sire Credit Winner (Tr 1:54). Sons of Credit Winner are now coming to the forefront as sires in America such as Chocolatier and Crazed. Bourbon N Grits, the dam of Royalty For Life, has left three winners from four foals, while the grand-dam, Texas Winner ($128,323), produced six winners from six foals and the third dam, Texas Starlette, nine winners from 14 foals. Royalty For Life is a Super Bowl line horse – that which produced the leading Australian trotting sire RC’s Dee Jay – from a prolific winning family of trotters, and boasts a 3x3 cross to American Winner and three strains of Super Bowl blood. He should prove an ideal outcross to the host of mares by Sundon, Earl, Armbro Invasion, Dream Vacation, Keystone Salute and others. For further information contact Stallions Australasia manager Peter O’Rourke on phone 0011 64 21 346 401. Peter Wharton

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