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Very often a young girl dreams of getting a pony for her very own. But how about a harness racing stakes winning stallion? Denitza Petrova of Melbourne, Quebec had those dreams of getting a horse as a child in Communist Bulgaria. Later her family moved to Quebec where she started riding lessons and eventually turned to harness racing where she had become a blossoming owner, trainer and breeder. Then came the stallion Northern Escort and Denitza fell head over heels for the Ontario Sire Stakes champion. Sired by Kadabra, Northern Escort was a top three-year-old on the Ontario circuit, winning eight times with earnings of more than $200,000 in 2012. Having to overcome injuries the next few years, Northern Escort ended his racing career in 2016 with lifetime earnings of $280,000, 17 wins and a record of 1:55.3 at Yonkers Raceway's half mile oval. To see Northern Escort win the Ontario Sire Stakes Championship Final click on this link, https://youtu.be/DRpKoovvPag Denitza first saw Northern Escort at Yves Filion's Bayama Farms in 2013. "Yves had given him a break," Deniza explained of Northern Escort. "And he had bred a couple of his mares to him. I always followed him racing when he was two and three. I liked him. He never made breaks and raced well. "I had bred my mare Majestic Joy to Justice Hall," Denitza said. "But it did not take. It was mid-July and I wanted to get my mare bred, so Yves son, Justin Filion, who was training the horse, suggested I breed her (Majestic Joy) to Northern Escort. But he was not a commercial stallion, just resting from an injury. "So, I went to see the stallion and fell in love with him," Denitza said. "He was the gentlest stallion you could ever be around. He was charming, perfect looking and I knew I loved this horse. Even without knowing how well his foals would race for me." "The resulting breeding was Kinnder Dangerous and I was so happy with this perfect foal at birth, Denitza added. "So, as I raised him, he was just a perfect example of what we wanted in a trotter. And despite being a late foal, he made the races." Kinnder Dangerous went on to become a Quebec champion, taking a record of 1:58.1h at the Hippodrome 3R and earning more than $75,000 before he tragically passed away. "I liked him (Kinnder Dangerous) so much," Denitza explained. "That I wanted to find Northern Escort and buy him, but he had been sold, but I found him. I wanted him (four years ago) as my stallion. "I ended up getting another breeding to him in Indiana for Majestic Joy," Denitza said. "And that next foal was Kinnder Dangerzone." The two-year-old son of Northern Escort went undefeated in four starts this year, taking a record of 2:01.1h, earning $38,200 and was the Quebec-bred champion for his age group. But wait, more credit needs to go the broodmare Majestic Joy as between Kinnder Dangerous and Kinnder Dangerzone, when Denitza did not know where Northern Escort was, there were two other foals born. The second foal was named Kinderunbelievable, sired by Archangel. She went on to become a Quebec Champion too last year, taking a record of 1:59.3h with earnings of $52,000. Then there is the beautiful chestnut filly that Denitza named Kinnder High Class and she was sired by Royalty For Life. Although winless in seven starts as a two-year-old, Kinnder High Class showed she had promise as she was second in the $55,000 Quebec Championship. She then blossomed into a stakes winner at age three this season, winning seven times, earning more than $68,000, and setting a track record in capturing her Quebec Championship final (one race after her half-brother won his division), with a lifetime mark of 1:58.1h. Majestic Joy is now a 100% producing mare with four Quebec Champion foals and more on the way. Denitza has a yearling filly by Lindy's Tru Grit from Majestic Joy. There is also a foal by her side, a colt, sired by Wheeling N Dealin and she is safe in foal to Muscle Mass and will, of course, be bred back to Northern Escort this winter. "I always had in the back of my mind that I would own him one day," Denitza said of Northern Escort. "And now I am amazed how great his foals are for me. I wanted to get him somehow. "I had told my boyfriend about Northern Escort," Denitza laughed. "Maybe 20 times a day how much passion I had for him. He said "go get him, you love him so much. Follow your heart, go ahead. And I did it. I am so thankful he said this. And all this took place before Kinnder Dangerzone even raced and won the final. "I asked him to be a partner with me on the horse," Denitza said. "And he said yes." Her boyfriend is Franck Innocenti, who happens to be the owner of Apzara, which runs national equestrian shows. "So, I searched and found Northern Escort in New York," Denitza said. "And I made a deal with the owner to purchase him and he was shipped to Toronto. Franck and I drove to Toronto and we picked him up. And then my dream came true when we brought him back to the farm. "You could not imagine how happy I was," Denitza said. "Like a ten-year-old girl getting her first pony. "I have so much confidence in Northern Escort," Denitza explained. "As much as any stallion in breeding commercially. We now want to get a few broodmares to breed to him and we want our foals to be both Ontario and Quebec eligible. I do not know yet if we will just breed our mares or breed outside mares. "When I first had Northern Escort four years ago my friend, Mona Lisa Pagliericci, who was managing her breeding farm in Quebec," Denitza said. "She wanted to see if he could mount a dummy and get his semen tested. When he came off the truck, Mona Lisa saw him and she said he was such a beautiful stallion. "Then the next week," Denitza added. "Mona Lisa said he was just a sweetheart, took right to the dummy and was the gentlest horse and despite never being in the breeding shed before, he was perfect and also that his semen was very strong. Mona Lisa said that aside from her top stallion, Garland Lobell, he was the next best stallion she had ever worked with. I had to sell him and he went to Indiana. That was when I was able to breed him again to Majestic Joy and that foal was Kinnder Dangerzone." So, the stallion of Denitza Petrova's dream is now back in her barn and the next week his son goes undefeated and wins the Quebec Championship Final at the Hippodrome 3R. "I would dream of how great Kinnder Dangerzone could be and now before the Quebec finals," Denitza explained. "I get the stallion and then win two finals. I was just so ecstatic that I cried for happiness. It was all so emotional, and both foals from the same mare. She now has three Quebec champions from two different stallions. "What I also love about Northern Escort is that his foals have the same attitude as he does," Denitza said. "Being gentle and wanting to race with a smart head. I bred one mare, who was very hot on the racetrack, yet her foal is calm, just like her father. "I am just so excited to be able to now breed my mares to him," Denitza said. "And to get another broodmare or two to join the band. It's as if all my dreams have come true these past two weeks." And for those who do not know Denitza Petrova, she names all her foals Kinnder. Why, because as a child Denitza loved the Kinder Candy Eggs that come with a little toy inside. She has an extensive collection of all the toys and still giggles in excitement when she gets a new egg. Just like she does when she talks about getting her dream stallion. by Steven Wolf, for the Quebec Jockey Club    

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Mag N Lady not only crushed the field in winning her $10,000 division for the Future Stars Series at the Hippodrome 3R Friday, but also smashed the track record for two-year-old trotting fillies by nearly two seconds. Starting from post one for trainer-driver Jean Francois Maguire in the non-wagering race, Mag N Lady led every step of the one-mile race, cutting fractions of :28.4, :58.3 and 1:28 before rolling away from the field, winning by 14 and one-half lengths in 1:59.2. Finishing a distance second was XOXO (Jerome Lombart) with New Road (Steeven Genois) third. The previous track record for two-year-old trotting fillies was 2:01.1 and was co-held by Meganou (2014) and Claudi PV (2018). For Mag N Lady, it was her third straight win in the Future Stars Series. The Royalty For Life daughter is owned by Maguire with Julie Malenfant and Richard Legris and Pascale Maguire. She will now headline her $55,000 division of the Super Sunday Quebec Championship finals on Sunday, Sept. 27 at H3R. All eight of the finals will take place next week with more than $500,000 in total purses. In the first race $10,000 third leg division for the two-year-old trotting colts, undefeated Kinnder Dangerzone also made it a clean sweep of the three preliminary rounds, leading from start to finish. With Pierre-Luc Roy in the sulky, Kinnder Dangerzone was parked first-over past the opening quarter mile in :29.2 before taking command with Incredible Hall (Stephane Brosseau) following them in second place. They raced that way the rest of the mile with Kinnder Dangerzone holding off Incredible Hall to win by one length in 2:03.2. Hall Win (Kevin Maquire) was third. Sired by Northern Escort, it was third straight win for the unbeaten Kinnder Dangerzone, who is trained, owned and was bred by Denitza Petrova of Melbourne. He paid $3.60 to win. In the sixth race, Streakazana ($5.80) and driver David Pilon swept three-wide in the backstretch, was parked out around the final turn and still was able to beat older pacers with a 1:58.4 triumph. It was her third straight win and fifth of the season. She was prepping for her $65,000 final next week at H3R. Petrova and Roy made it a double at H3R Friday as Kinnder Dangerzone's half-sister, Kinnder High Class, beat older rivals in the seventh race trot. The three-year-old filly by Royalty For Life chewed up a field of older trotting foes, winning with ease in 2:00 by three and one-half lengths. She paid $4.30 to win. Track Notes: H3R's leading driver Pascal Berube extended his lead Friday with a driving triple. Live racing resumes at H3R on Sunday, which is National Caretakers Appreciation Day. All caretakers will be announced with their horses in each post parade and each caretaker will receive a coupon for a free meal in the Paddock Restaurant. Post time Sunday is 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3R.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

DUNDAS, ON - Flamboro Downs opens its 2020 Ontario Sires Stakes season this Thursday, Sept. 17 with three Grassroots divisions of two-year-old trotting fillies competing for a total of $67,000. Trainer John Bax will start a pair of fillies in the Grassroots regular season finale, Doing It All from Post 5 in the second $22,450 split and Lifeintheslammer from Post 7 in the third. Doing It All heads into the Flamboro event off a Grassroots win at Hanover Raceway on Aug. 29 and Bax is hoping the filly can continue her forward momentum. "She's getting a little more racy every start, and she's handy on a half-mile, so we're hoping she keeps improving. We're kind of looking for next year, but we'd like to end this year on an upbeat note," said the Campbellville, ON resident, who trains Doing It All for Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, KY. "We're progressing in the right direction." The Kadabra filly's results have improved with every Grassroots outing, starting with a seventh in the season opener and followed up by a fifth, a fourth and then the Aug. 29 win. With a total of 65 points, Doing It All currently sits tied for fifth in the division point standings and will advance to the Oct. 1 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Lifeintheslammer started her Ontario Sires Stakes career with two starts at the Gold Series level before joining Doing It All in the third Grassroots leg. The Royalty For Life daughter was victorious in that Aug. 17 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but then made a break and finished sixth in the fourth leg at Hanover Raceway. "With her there's something every time. Fortunately she went that one good race and showed us that the potential is there," said Bax. "She's got a mind of her own, but talent, definitely, definitely talent enough to be a player, and next year I'm hoping that she's a little easier to live with and grows up mentally, and a little bit physically." With 53 points, Lifeintheslammer is tied for eleventh in the standings, so owners Bax Stable of Campbellville, Glengate Farms of Erin, Brad Grant of Milton and Gaelic Stable of Sharon, ON are hoping she can pad that total on Thursday. Among the fillies hoping to prevent Lifeintheslammer from adding another win to her resume is division point leader Tipsy In Dixie, who will be looking for her third straight Grassroots victory from Post 6 in the third $22,450 division. "She's just fun, it's great," said Katherine Hedley of Canfield, ON, who owns one per cent of Tipsy In Dixie through fractional ownership group TheStable.ca. "We have watched all of her races that have been open. We've been to Grand River twice to watch her and two weeks ago when she was in Hanover." With spectators unable to attend the races in person on Thursday, Hedley and her fellow owners will be tuning in to watch the Flamboro Downs live stream and hoping Muscle Mass daughter Tipsy In Dixie can extend her Grassroots win streak. In addition to the Grassroots divisions, which go postward in Races 1, 5 and 6, Flamboro Downs is also hosting two $7,000 Prospect Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies, which are programmed as Races 8 and 10. All of the action gets under way at 6:35 pm and fans can download a program and watch the live stream on the Flamboro Downs website. From the Ontario Sire Stakes Flamboro Downs Race Date Post Time Age/Sex/Gait Race Type           Thursday, Sept. 17 6:35 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Thursday, Sept. 17 6:35 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Prospect Series           Sunday, Sept. 20 6:55 pm 3-year-old Colt Pace Grassroots Series           Sunday, Sept. 27 6:55 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Gold Leg           Sunday, Oct. 4 6:55 pm 2-year-old Colt Pace Gold Leg           Thursday, Oct. 8 6:35 pm 2-year-old Colt Trot Gold Leg                                  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - It took the photo finish camera to declare Babidibou the winner over Frido PV by a nose in the third leg of the Breeders Trophy Series for three-year-old trotters at the Hippodrome 3R Friday. The top eight point earners in the series will now return on Sunday, September 27 for the $65,000 finals and that means another rematch between Babidibou and Frido PV. The first race was the colt division of the series for a purse of $10,000 and as expected it was Frido PV and trainer-driver Yves St Jacques shooting to the early lead by the opening quarter mile in :30. Avoiding breaking horses, Babidibou and driver Stephane Gendron were able to move into second place and follow the live cover as Frido PV led past the half mile in an easy 1:01.2. Down the backstretch Tuscan Titan (Stephane Brosseau) challenged first-over past the three-quarters in 1:31.2 before going off-stride. On the final turn Gendron came out with Babidibou and they hooked up again Frido PV in a stride-for-stride race to the wire with Babidibou getting up by a nose in the final surge at the wire. The time of the race was 2:00. M Rosaire DLV (Martin Gingras) was third. For Frido PV it was the second time the son of Muscle Mass has lost a photo finish to Babidibou. Babidibou, the 2019 Quebec Champion, it was his second straight win and fourth victory of the year. The gelded son of Royalty For Life is trained by Maxime Velaye and co-owned by Isidore Russo of Montreal and Guy Corbeil of Mirabel. He paid $2.60 to win. There was a full field of nine three-year-old trotting fillies in the $10,000 fifth race but none could hold a candle to Kinnder High Class, who pulled away from the field at the three-quarters to win by seven and one-half lengths. The started off with a fast pace as 50-1 Muscle Fern Jacky (Francis Picard) flew out of post eight to take the early lead and parked out a stubborn 99-1 Judys Program (Martin Gingras) to the first quarter mile in :28.3. As they came to the half mile in :59.4, Kinnder High Class with Pierre Luc Roy started up first-over with Miss Melodie (Stephane Gendron) grabbing the second-over cover. Down the backstretch driver Richard Simard took Lindas Pride three-wide and then at the three-quarters in 1:30.1, Roy asked Kinnder High Class for more and she responded with a burst of speed, winning in a romp in 1:59.4. Lindas Pride was second with HP Starlette (Stephane Brosseau) third. It was a lifetime mark for Kinnder High Class. The Royalty For Life filly notched her fifth win in eight starts this year for trainer, owner and breeder, Denitza Petrova of Melbourne. She paid just $2.10 to win. Track Notes: The H3R oval was in peak condition Friday as five of the eight race winners registered lifetime marks. Pierre Luc Roy led all horse people with a driving double. Live racing resumes at H3R on Sunday at 1:00 pm with an 11-race program and featured will be the final leg of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies. There are two $10,000 division. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Last year's two-year-old harness racing Quebec-Bred Champion, Babidibou, was able to outkick race favorite Frido PV to the wire in capturing Friday's $10,000 division of the Breeders Trophy Series at the Hippodrome 3R. It took a lifetime best record for Babidibou and driver Stephane Gendron to beat Frido PV in the second race second leg of the series for three-year-old colt trotters. Frido PV (Richard Simard) cut all the fractions and they were fast in the one-mile event. Leaving from post three, Frido PV took the field to the opening quarter mile in :27.3, the half in :56.3 and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 before Gendron pulled from third place to go after the race leader. Those two ended up locking horns as the came down the stretch with Babidibou eking out a neck triumph at the wire in 1:57.2 with the pocket-sitting Laval Titan (Pascal Berube) third. It was the third win in six starts this year for reigning champion Babidibou, a gelded son of Royalty For Life. He is trained by Maxime Velaye for co-owners Isidoro Russo of Montreal and Guy Corbeil of Mirabel. He paid $6.90 to win. The $10,000 filly division featured nine starters in the fourth race with the red-hot stable of Denitza Petrova taking top honors. As expected, Anotherdeal and driver Sylvain Lacaille were the first one on the lead from post seven with Kinnder High Class and driver Pierre Luc Roy making the most of the rail to sit the pocket trip early in second place. Roy wasted no time in moving Kinnder High Class to the lead after an opening quarter mile in 1:00.4. For the rest of the race no one could pass Kinnder High Class as Lindas Pride (Richard Simard) tried coming first-over, but by the three-quarters in 1:30.4 they ended up dropping into the two-hole spot. On the final turn Roy let Kinnder High Class have her head and she trotted away from the field, winning with ease by three lengths in 2:00.3. Lindas Pride was second with the race favorite HP Starlette (Stephane Brosseau) third. Also sired by Royalty For Life, it was the fourth win in six starts this year for Kinnder High Class. She was bred and is owned and trained by Dentiza Petrova of Melbourne and paid $5.40 to win. Unbeaten Enavant ($2.50), the winningest horse at H3R this season, notched his seventh straight win at H3R Friday in the seventh race pace for driver Stephane Gendron and trainer Maxime Velaye with a 1:54.4 triumph. Track Notes: Stephane Gendron had the hot hands Friday scoring a driving triple. Both Maxime Velaye and Francis Richard had training double. Live harness racing resumes at H3R on Sunday with first race post time at 1:00 pm. Featured will be the second round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacers with four divisions, two for colts and two for fillies. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

MILTON, ON - AUG. 13, 2020 - Thursday night marked the midway point in the three-year-old trotting filly Gold Series season and it was a pair of first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winners who emerged from the fray at Woodbine Mohawk Park. In the opening $108,000 division Trina hustled away from Post 10 behind division point leader Warrawee Vicky and followed that filly through the fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24.3 rung up by pacesetter GP Dreamin. When Doug McNair swung Warrawee Vicky into the outer lane around the final turn, Robert Shepherd and Trina were hot on their heels and soon overtaking the two-time Gold winners. Down the stretch Trina opened up a three and three-quarter length margin on her peers, trotting under the wire in 1:53.4. Warrawee Vicky finished second and She Rocks Kemp closed well to be third. "Shep gave her a great drive. He didn't give up the three-hole and it was just a perfect drive for her," said trainer Blake MacIntosh of St. George, ON. "I was really worried about the 10-hole because she can get real grabby on the gate, and then she wants to leave a thousand miles out of there. That's why we opened her up a little bit, just to try and keep her a little calmer, and it seemed to help her a lot. And Shep did a great job getting her out right behind Dougie (McNair) and sitting in the three-hole the whole way. Not a lot of guys can get them away well out of the ten-hole, trailing." MacIntosh made the switch from a blind bridle to Swedish blinds after Trina delivered a lacklustre performance in an Aug. 6 overnight at Woodbine Mohawk Park. That effort came as a surprise to the trainer and his co-owners Stan Klemencic and 30 Plus Stable of Trenton, ON, because the Muscle Mass daughter had finished second in the track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record mile recorded by P L Notsonice in the July 26 Gold leg at Rideau Carleton Raceway. "She qualified great, both times (July 14 and 21), we took her up to Ottawa and she finished second in that record mile up there and last week we raced her in non-winners of two and she just had no fire, she just had nothing," said MacIntosh. "I'm not too sure what happened, we pulled her blood, but everything came back good, she just had nothing, so we were really concerned about it." Thursday's victory, a personal best, certainly allayed her owners' concerns. The win was Trina's first for the group, who offered up $59,000 for the filly at last fall's Harrisburg Mixed Sale, her first win of 2020 and her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. In the second $108,000 division driver Louis-Philippe Roy rolled Royalty Deal away from Post 6 and landed in second behind Talahasse Seelster as that filly rang up a :27.4 opening fraction. Roy and Royalty Deal continued to sit behind Talahasse Seelster heading by the :56 half, but had stepped into the outer lane by the 1:24.4 three-quarters. Royalty Deal found another gear in the stretch and was able to keep a neck in front of Magic Cape at the 1:53.4 finish. Modern Mass completed the top three. "I didn't know much about how the filly was until Clark (Beelby) told me before the race that she could be aggressive on the track. I just made sure she stayed quiet during the post parade and going on the gate, and then everything developed for her," said Roy. "She's a big and fast filly." Roy engineered the win for trainer Clark Beelby and owners Coyote Wynd Farms of Vancouver, BC, who purchased the daughter of Royalty For Life and Cha Cha Glide for $50,000 at the 2018 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale from breeder Stan Klemencic, giving the Trenton, ON resident an interest in both division winners. Thursday's appearance was Royalty Deal's first in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. The filly made just one start at two and developed her skills in six starts against conditioned competition at Woodbine Mohawk Park this season before joining the Gold Series fillies for Thursday's third leg. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Gold Series start at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 27. Complete results from Thursday's program, which also featured the finals of the Millard Farms and Pure Ivory Series', are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at the Milton oval on Friday, Aug. 14 with five Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. The fillies open the program at 7 pm and will also compete in Races 4, 6, 8 and 9. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The harness racing stakes season continues at the Hippodrome 3R this Friday with the opening round of the Breeders Trophy Series for three-year-old trotters and trainer Denitza Petrova has high hopes for her Kinnder High Class. Petrova, who has emerged into a top trainer on the Quebec circuit, starts her three-year-old filly in the third race $10,000 first division of the Breeders Trophy Series. Her Kinnder High Class, whom she bred, owns and trains, starts from post six and is the morning line favorite as the beautiful chestnut filly by Royalty For Life is unbeaten this year with three straight wins. "I always had lots of confidence in Kinnder High Class from day one," said Petrova. "She was not an easy trotter to shoe, but my blacksmith did a really great job, we worked together hours and hours. As a two-year-old, Kinnder High Class was winless in seven starts. "Last year she missed her first elimination," Petrova explained, "So time was against us. But she made just enough points to make it to the $55,000 final. And she finished a very strong second." Kinnder High Class is from one of Petrova's top broodmares, Majestic Joy, who has been a 100% producer as her first two foals were stakes winners Kinnder Dangerous 4,1:58.1 ($80,000) and Kinderunbelievable 3,1:59.3 ($52,000), who last year was the Breeders Trophy Final champion. And there is also a two-year-old, Kinnder Dangerzone, who will be racing soon in the Future Stars Series. Petrova also owns another top broodmare named Witch Way. "She (Kinnder High Class) was always in the shadows," Petrova said. "Not noticed by anyone but me, which is okay since I knew her dam (Majestic Joy) gives big talented trotters and they really get it together as three-year-old's, just like Kinder Unbelievable did. That's why I don't push them as two-year-olds. "Kinnder High Class ended her two-year-old season sound and fresh, very few starts," Petrova explained. "And she had a very nice last race, can't ask for better. She grew a lot during the winter and got a lot more mature mentally also. She is a beautiful intelligent chestnut filly, even though they are not liked by many (chestnut trotting fillies), she is going well for now." Well that might be an understatement when it comes to Kinnder High Class. Her first start was nothing to brag about, coming from off the pace and winning in 2:05. Then her next start she wired the field in a respectable 2:02.2. Then her last start, all at H3R, she cut loose for driver Pierre Luc Roy and cruised to a 2:00.1 triumph. "Can she beat her own record this Friday" Petrova pondered. "Only time will tell. Her half-brother Kinnder Dangerzone, who is also a full brother to Kinnder Dangerous (R.I.P), is also a very big massive colt. The biggest one of the dam. If things go well for him, he should qualify soon, but I will be very conservative with him, as he is to me very talented." And what does Kinnder High Class's driver have to say about the filly? "This filly is much more mature and focused on the job at hand," Roy said. "Last year she was more fragile at the start of the race while at age three she is strong from start to finish. This is why she finished strong at age 2, but was still far from the leaders. "Yes, she will get better this season I'm sure. Roy added. "It's the last quarter and her last half mile strength that makes me think so." Kinnder High Class faces some competition in the race from recent winner Miss Melodie (post 5), Anotherideal (post 1) and SOS Playhard (post 3). The colts get underway in their $10,000 opening round division in race six where Kenogami Coco heads the way from post five for driver Stephane Brosseau. Last year this gelded son of Wheeling N Dealin posted three wins with earnings of nearly $50,000 for trainer Dany Fontaine. He has prepared for the start of the series with a qualifying win at Mohawk Park in 1:56.4 and in his last start at Hanover Raceway, was third in his elimination for Dream Of Glory Series. The local favorite will be last year's $55,000 Future Stars Series Final winner, Babidibou, from post two for driver Stephane Gendron. This gelded son of Royalty For Life has won his last two starts, the fastest in a lifetime mark of 2:00.2 last week at H3R for trainer Maxime Velaye. Another standout is Rideau Carleton Raceway invader Frido PV in post six for trainer/driver Yves St Jacques. This son of Muscle Mass comes into the race off a 1:57 lifetime mark. Other horses to watch in the race include the entry of Laval Titan (post 3) and Tuscan Titan (post 8). There are three preliminary rounds of competition with the top eight-point earners from each division returning to H3R on Sunday, September 27 for their respective $65,000 finals. Track Notes: Undefeated Enavant goes for his fifth straight win on Friday. He starts from post nine in the seventh race pace. On Sunday the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacers gets started at H3R with four opening round divisions. Post time Friday is 4:00 pm and Sunday is 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

What Cheer, IA - As they do most summer weekends, Tom and Kathy Shipley made the trek from Kahoka, MO to a fairground in Iowa. This Friday (July 10) their pair of 2-year-old harness racing trotting fillies were entered in the first and third races of opening day at the Keokuk County Fair in What Cheer, IA. Operation Shipley and She'll Dew had both started 2020 strong, each winning half of their starts. Both drew into competitive fields in the Rex Wilkening Memorial Trot for Iowa-Registered 2-year-olds. Three fields of competitors, two fields of fillies and one field of colts, vied for the trophy which would go to the fastest heat. Each filly has a story that began before they entered for Friday's races at What Cheer, and even before they joined the Shipley stable. Operation Shipley was born in early April 2018 to Chantilly Hall, a Deweycheatumnhowe mare, on the farm of Ura Gingerich in Seymour, IA. Tom and Kathy happened to be at the farm the day. "We were there the day she was born," said Tom. "She wouldn't eat." Tom and Kathy helped with the new foal until she was nursing. Unbeknowst to them, Gingerich named the filly Operation Shipley after the time they spent with her that day. The filly was put in a sale late in her weanling year. "We didn't know until later that they named her after us," said Tom. "When we saw that, we knew we had to buy her if we could." Tom and Kathy came home from the sale with their namesake Lou's Legacy filly. They've been high on her ever since. "I've liked Operation Shipley from the time we got her going," said Kathy. Kathy also liked She'll Dew from the moment she saw her. Shipleys had travelled to Andy and Julie Merritts to look at another horse when they first saw the Canadian-bred Iowa-Registered filly. "We didn't want any more horses - we had all that we could handle - then Gingerich's told us about this horse Andy Merritt had, so we had to go look at him," said Tom. While Tom was checking out the colt they had come to see, Kathy noticed She'll Dew. "I saw the mare standing in the stable and he (Andy) started telling me about her." said Kathy. She'll Dew is a Royalty for Life filly out of the Plesac mare Frosty Flirt. Kathy had an instant connection. "When I was still out messing with the gelding, Kathy wrote the check for the mare,"said Tom. "When Tom got back I handed him the check and said 'Here, give this to Andy'," said Kathy. Luckily Tom liked her too. "She was a nice looking mare. She just floated over the ground when I was jogging her. " The Shipleys are known for their trotting fillies. "Honestly I'd rather have a filly than have a colt. I think they're a little more mature," said Tom. They have had top trotters including two-time Iowa champion filly Bankn-On-Emily who just won in 1:57.4 at the Meadows on July 8. Shipleys remain modest. "We've had years where we didn't have anything," said Kathy. "It's just luck," Tom agrees. Shipleys luck has continued with a strong start to the 2020 season. With four starts and two wins, Operation Shipley was coming off a winning 2:09.4 mile at Humboldt last weekend. She'll Dew has racked up three wins in six starts, with her last win two weeks ago at this same track at What Cheer in 2:07.1, coming a last quarter in 30.1. "I was pretty nervous about She'll Dew because she made a break last week," said Tom. He added a headpole for her race today. The Shipleys have teamed up with driver Royal Roland in most of the fillies' starts, and he's driven in all of their winning miles. Shipleys don't have any special instructions for him. "Royal gets long with them really well," said Kathy. Both fillies won their respective heats. She'll Dew won in a gate-to-wire 2:06.1 performance. Operation Shipley, missing part of her front right shoe, clocked in the fastest 2-year-old trot of the day in 2:05.1, winning the Rex Wilkening Memorial Trot blanket. Since they were foaled in Iowa, Tom and Kathy can race the fillies through the end of September in the state, but they'd like to see She'll Dew make her way up to Canada as she's paid into some bigger races there. Operation Shipley and She'll Dew will have next weekend off for the Iowa Sires Stakes, with their next opportunity to hold off the competition at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds in Oskaloosa in two weeks on July 27. by Gretchen Roland, for the for the Iowa Harness Horse Association

CLINTON, JULY 5, 2020 – Forty-eight sophomore harness racing trotting fillies descended on Clinton Raceway Sunday afternoon and the track record at the half-mile oval fell not once, but twice as the fillies battled in six $22,800 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions. As the program got underway the three-year-old trotting filly track record stood at 1:59.3, set by Gotta Pay To Play in a July 2018 Grassroots event. That speed mark was erased in the third division when Moana wore down pacesetter Credits Celebrity and out-sprinted fan favourite Alexa Blue Chip to claim a two length victory in 1:59.2. Alexa Blue Chip settled for second and Credits Celebrity was third. “I knew she’d be pretty good there compared to some of the other ones, because she gets around the turns like a hoop around a barrel, so I knew that would play in her favour overall,” said trainer Shawn Steacy. “And James had been taking her back and racing her conservatively the last couple starts, so I figured he’d be pressing pretty good off the gate and trying to be aggressive with her today.” James MacDonald engineered the Muscle Mass daughter’s first win of 2020 for owners Landmark 12 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Moana was a two-time Grassroots winner at two, including a win in her Grassroots Semi-final, and Steacy hopes the filly is poised to match or better her freshman success this season. “She’s always been a little bit on the aggressive side and I thought we were going to have trouble training her back with her aggression this year, but once we got about 10 or 15 training miles into her she settled right in and she trained back a lot better, a lot easier on herself, than I expected her to be,” Steacy explained. “In the long run of things she’ll be better because she’ll be able to conserve a lot more of her energy that way.” Moana’s name would stay in Clinton’s record book for less than two hours however as Profound Paragon and driver Jean Bernard Renaud laid down a gate-to-wire 1:59 effort in the final division. Another daughter of Muscle Mass, Profound Paragon hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of fan favourite Hickman County and Sheer Energy. The win was Profound Paragon’s second straight and her fourth of the sophomore campaign. A late bloomer, the filly did not make her first start until after the Ontario Sires Stakes season was complete last fall, but she showed enough promise that trainer Julie Walker and her co-owner Steven Titus of Manalapan, NJ were confident she would be a player on the Grassroots circuit this summer. “We were going to give her the month of February off so that we didn’t tire her out for the Sires Stakes season and with that month off and COVID on top of that, she really got thick, she grew up a lot. She’s not really tall, but she got strong,” said Walker. “With the little break and everything we were able to take the trotting hopples off her, and like I said she just kept getting stronger and better. “Our plan was always just the Grassroots because I’m not sure if she’s a high speed filly, but like you see today, she can go around any shape and size track and that’s kind of fun to have,” added the Carlisle, ON resident. “And she’s very smart, even going to the races today, it’s hot, and she just sits and falls asleep in the cross-ties, and just likes to do her job.” Dancing Queen kicked off the Grassroots action with a 2:01 score for driver Brett MacDonald, trainer Ron MacDonald and owner Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON. St Helens and No Angel Here finished one and one-quarter lengths behind the Royalty For Life daughter, who was making her Ontario Sires Stakes debut. The second split went to Validation and driver Colin Kelly, who controlled the tempo from start to finish, sailing under the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of fan favourite Chelseas Magic. Incredible Hally was five lengths back in third. “She trained down so well and then she just kind of got into a couple bad habits where she’d get excited behind the gate. She just needed some time. She’s very big and growthy so she just needed some time to mature I think,” said Kelly, who piloted the Muscle Mass daughter to her second sophomore win for trainer Rick Zeron of Oakville and his partner Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA. “She did everything well within hand today, she didn’t seem overly stressed and she seemed to do everything pretty easy and relaxed. Hopefully she just kind of builds on that and she can have a good season going forward.” The Present captured the fourth division with a 2:02.4 effort for Bob McClure, trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge and his partner Gestion Mastel of Longueil, QC. Peppas Angel finished three lengths back in second and Queen M was three more behind in third. “She’s a very square-gaited trotter, perfect for a track like Clinton,” said McClure of the Royalty For Life daughter. “It’s tough to beat her on the small tracks.” The fifth Grassroots battle went to a hard-charging Noblesse Duharas, who overcame an early break caused by interference to claim the 2:02 victory. Need An Alibi finished second and fan favourite Highland Foxytrotr was third. “She raced super today. She got interfered with in the first turn and got mixed up, but then raced fantastic to come back and win,” said Scott Young, who piloted the Muscle Mass daughter to the win for trainer Denis Gueriel and owner Haras De L’Estrie Inc. of Dunham, QC. “I was super happy with her performance today.” The focus shifted to the three-year-old pacing fillies at the end of the program as the $64,700 Kin Pace Final went postward in Race 10. A big closing effort by Watch My Speed and driver Jody Jamieson saw them claim the victor’s spoils as favourites High Roller Duke and Tuggingoncredit hooked wheels in the stretch, interfering with eventual runner-up Century Gianna and taking themselves out of the race. Preeminence recovered from an early break to finish third. While they could not be trackside to cheer on the fillies, Clinton Raceway fans wagered just over $88,000 on the program. Complete results can be found at Clinton Raceway Results. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Grassroots start on July 26 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON - JULY 1, 2020 - After sweeping the three-year-old trotting colt Gold Series season opener, trainer Ben Baillargeon turned his attention to the Grassroots Series at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening and delivered two more victories. The Guelph resident kicked off the Canada Day program with a victory as No Time To Play and driver Sylvain Filion rolled through fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:29.1 on their way to a 1:59.1 score in the first $22,800 division. Hetalkstoangels finished three and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite in second and Mr Arch rounded out the top three. "He's still very green, very dumb, and you can quote me on that too. I told Sylvain, 'Be careful when you come on the track I don't know if he'll go straight or turn'. The trot is there 100 per cent, the trot is there, he trots nice, but his mind wanders around," said Baillargeon. "I didn't know how to rig him tonight when I came here, and I changed the rigging after I warmed him up. I said, 'Well, if we get through the first turn then we're okay'. I think he's got everything to be a very nice horse down the road you know, like a four-year-old. He's got the speed, he trotted 1:55.4 his second lifetime start." Wednesday's outing was just No Time To Play's third lifetime start. He made his debut in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 9, finishing fourth, then delivered a second-place effort on June 16. Baillargeon trains the son of Kadabra for Ecuries Daniel Plouffe Inc. of Bromont, Jean Dessureault of Candiac and Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, QC. Eight races later Baillargeon and Filion capped off the evening with their second victory. Like his stablemate, Ongoing Royalty controlled the tempo from start to finish, posting fractions of :29.2, 1:00 and 1:29.1 before hitting the wire three lengths the best in 1:59.1. Dart Guy finished second and King Of Hearts was three more lengths back in third. "A friend of mine (Sylvio Ravary) owns him, we were raised together, and he said Ben I have this colt and he might be okay and this and that. They sent him to me about five, six weeks ago. They had him trained on the farm track in Quebec in 2:06," said Baillargeon. "He raced real good tonight. He's still a very green colt, but a good gaited colt and willing to do it, so that's nice." Les Cedres, QC resident Sylvio Ravary shares ownership of the Royalty For Life son with Andre Desrochers of St-Hughes, QC. While No Time To Play and Ongoing Royalty were making their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts on Wednesday, the other three division winners were regulars on the Grassroots circuit last season. The second division winner, Ripped And Ready, was a Grassroots winner at two and qualified for the Semi-finals. Grand River fans sent the colt off as their top choice and driver Guy Gagnon engineered a front-end effort that saw Ripped And Ready hold off a charging Fit Bitt in the stretch to record a 1:58 victory. Franks Angel rounded out the top three. Thierry Vandenplas trains Muscle Mass son Ripped And Ready for owner-breeder Dr. Ruth Irving of Russell, ON. The winner of the third split, Awesomedabra, was a two-time Grassroots winner as a freshman, with one of those wins coming in the Semi-finals. On Wednesday the Kadabra son had to overcome a mid-race miscue and lay down a :28.4 last quarter to get a head in front of Pot Stock at the 1:59 finish. Titans Dream finished one length back in third. "Unfortunately he made a break going to the half on a loose part of the track, luckily he was strong enough to overcome it," said Chris Christoforou, who drove the gelding to the win for owner-trainer Gary Lance of Port Perry, ON. "He got back into contention at the head of the stretch - he got out wide in the lane where the footing was better - and had enough to get his head in front at the wire. He raced very good." Unlike Ripped And Ready and Awesomedabra, Remember Titans never found his way to the winner's circle in his freshman campaign, but the E L Titan son was consistent enough to make it all the way to the Grassroots Championship. On Wednesday, he finally visited the winner's circle with a front-end effort in the fourth $23,150 division. Crossfit Mouse was three lengths back when Remember Titans halted the teletimer at 1:58 and The Reins Of Titan was another length and one-half back in third. "Until tonight he was the best maiden in Canada I think," said trainer Shawn Steacy with a chuckle. "He's just a solid trotter. Until tonight he didn't have a nose for winning, that's all. But ultra-consistent, can get around any size track and kind of will do as much as what any horse around him will do. I'm hoping that he starts to like this winning thing, hopefully it becomes a habit." Steacy trains Remember Titans for Landmark 12 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, ON and Dale Larson of Kent City, MI. James MacDonald piloted the colt to his first lifetime win. The three-year-old trotting colts will make their second Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 16. On Friday, June 17 Grand River Raceway will host its second Ontario Sires Stakes event of the 2020 season, welcoming the two-year-old pacing fillies to Elora for their second Grassroots leg. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

MILTON, ON - November 16, 2019 - Series finals, a milestone and Jackpot score headlined an eventful harness racing Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. An 11-race card featured a trio of main events with a pair of Harvest Series finals for Ontario sired three-year-old colts and geldings and a $34,000 Preferred Pace. Easy Lover Hanover became harness racing's newest millionaire with 1:51.4 victory in the $34,000 Preferred Pace. The Ben Wallace trainee scored his eighth win of the season and 42nd in 106 career starts to cross the $1 million mark. Sitting second-over at three-quarters, Easy Lover Hanover displayed the determination that fans have become accustomed to seeing by charging down the centre of the track and overtaking the lead in the final-eighth to win for driver Bob McClure. A six-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, Easy Lover Hanover has competed in several of the sport's top pacing events during his career with his biggest victory coming in the Progress Pace as a three-year-old. Brad Grant is the owner of racing's new millionaire. 'Easy Lover' was made the 4/5 favourite in Saturday's Preferred, returning $3.70 for a $2 win ticket. Tony O'Sullivan trainee Angers Bayama took off on rivals racing to three-quarters to secure a 4 ½ length victory in the $49,600 Harvest Series final for pacing colts and geldings. Sylvain Filion guided the gelded son of Big Jim to the career-best 1:50.4 victory for the series sweep. The First Step, who had victories in each of the preliminary legs, finished second. Prestige Seelster and Bettor B Going completed the Superfecta. Angers Bayama is now on a six-race winning streak to bring his career record to six for 14 with $78,655 earned for owner Bayama Farms Inc. The six wins have all come since joining the barn of O'Sullivan. A $2 win ticket on Angers Bayama returned $3. Lifetime Royalty claimed the top at the opening-quarter and never looked back for a 10-1 upset victory in the $47,800 final for trotting colts and geldings. Jody Jamieson was the driver behind the gelded son of Royalty For Life for trainer Scott McEneny. Okeanos trotted a :27.3 final-quarter to challenge Lifetime Royalty, coming up just a neck short for a runner-up finish to the 1:54.4 winner. Arcanum and A Royal Line rounded out the top-four. Lifetime Royalty's experience in the Harvest Series was an up and down ride, as the McEneny trainee captured a first leg division, finished seventh in the second leg and then rebounded for the victory Saturday. The sophomore gelded is now two for 16 this season and three for 25 overall after his career-best victory to bring his career earnings to $99,231 for owners Brad Grant, McEneny and Martwest Racing Stable. Lifetime Royalty paid $22.90 to win. The Harvest Series was open to Ontario sired three-year-old colts and geldings, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2019 as of September 30, 2019. Saturday's final race saw the Jackpot Hi-5 taken down, as a horseplayer from Chicago had the only winning ticket for a score of $92,381.06 (USD). The 6/5 favourite Mc Pat captured the final-race, but the top-five also included the two-longest shots in the race. The top-five finishers are listed below: 1st: #5 Mc Pat (6/5) 2nd: #10 Cliffhanger (5/1) 3rd: #9 St Lads Thriller (46/1) 4th: #1 Mighty Mach (110/1) 5th: #3 Cortez The Killer (12/1) The $0.20 winning ticket cost $134.40 and was built 5,10/5,10/ALL/ALL/ALL. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment              

Plainville, MA --- Monday (Sept. 30) was the second day of the $1.8 million (est.) Massachusetts Sire Stakes (MASS) at Plainridge Park featuring the 2-year-old harness racing performers and that group picked up where their 3-year-old counterparts left off on Sunday (Sept. 29); breaking records. Topping the list were Life Is A Feast and Han Solo who put on brilliant performances in their non-betting events and etched themselves into the Massachusetts record books. In the $38,500 trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings, Life Is A Feast (Howard Parker) went gate to wire uncontested, and pulled away in the last half of the race to be the easiest of winners by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:55.4. Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) not only extended his current win streak to three, he also took a new lifetime mark, set a new MASS stake record and a new Plainridge Park track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings. Both former marks were 1:56.3 set by Hashtagmadeyalook in 2017. Life Is A Feast is owned by Al Ross and Paul Fontaine and is trained by George Ducharme. Karen Carroll bred the gelding. Then in the first $22,100 division of 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings, Han Solo (Kevin Switzer Jr.) undertook an identical race strategy by taking the front, leading at every station and maintaining a 1-1/4 length lead to the wire where he stopped the timer in 1:54.4. Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) is now on a four-race win streak and with this victory, set a new MASS stake record for 2-year-old pacing colts. He broke the former mark of 1:56 set by Ideal Smile in 2011 and later matched by Twelve in 2017. Monique Cohen bred, owns and trains Han Solo. The next three stake races were on the regular pari-mutuel card and they returned some healthy payoffs for the betting faithful. In the second $22,450 division for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings the 38-1 Spatterdash (Mike Stevenson) got away sixth while the heavily favored R Maddy Blue Chip (Gary Mosher) cut all the fractions. Stevenson pulled Spatterdash second-over behind Kevmarvelous (Kevin Switzer Jr.) at the three-quarters, then tipped three-deep into the stretch and barreled down the lane to beat a fast closing McBeantown (Mitchell Cushing) at the wire in 1:56.3. It was the first lifetime win and mark for Spatterdash ($78.00) who is owned and trained by Ralph Anderson. Anderson also bred Spatterdash (Deuce Seelster-Poster Hanover). The $41,300 pace for 2-year-old fillies was a full field of nine that I Am Wonder Woman (Wally Watson) took to the half in :56.4. Odds On Orlando (Drew Monti) was out and rolling at that point and she continued to grind around the second turn, up the backstretch and to the three-quarters where she found welcomed cover from the favored Ry's Red Rocket (Matty Athearn) who popped the pocket for the advance. Positions remained the same until the top of the stretch where Ry's Red Rocket opened up a two length lead. However Odds On Orlando was relentless in pursuit, tracking her down and catching the leader at the wire to win in 1:56.1. It was the first lifetime win and mark for Odds On Orlando ($28.40) who is owned by Odds On Racing and trained by Tony Alagna. Lindy Farms of Connecticut bred Odds On Orlando (Captaintreacherous-Lindys Old Lady). The only favored winner of the day came in the $39,900 2-year-old filly trot where Without A Warning (Shawn Gray) got away 10-lengths behind the front-running RT's Warrior (Matty Athearn). She eventually tripped-out a gapped third-over from the half to the three-quarters where the field finally bunched in 1:27.4. Gray tipped Without A Warning three-deep into the last turn and proceeded to make up ground. At the head of the lane Without A Warning fanned five-wide and was in full stride; flying down the lane under a hand drive from Gray and passing everyone at the wire in 1:58.4. Without A Warning ($2.20) scored her first lifetime win for owner Ray Campbell Jr. and trainer George Ducharme. Campbell also bred Without A Warning (RC Royalty-Concentration). After only nine races in the first leg of the MASS this year, three stake and two track records have already been rewritten between the two age groups. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes will continue with the second leg of the series next week at Plainridge Park. On Sunday (Oct. 6) the 3-year-olds will compete in divisions worth $35,000 (added) and on Monday (Oct. 7) the 2-year-olds will reconvene and go for purses of $35,000 (added) each. Post time for both days is 2 p.m. The next day of live racing at Plainridge Park is Thursday (Oct. 2) with post time for the first race at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Plainville, MA --- The $20,000 Wood End Light Trot and $20,000 Nauset Light Pace finals, both for 2-year-old harness racing starters, were held at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 23) and both winners were Massachusetts-bred horses. In the Wood End Light, Life Is A Feast (Royalty For Life-Luau Hanover) went off the prohibitive favorite and didn't let his backers down. Driver Howard Parker cut fractions of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:27 with a gapped two-length advantage going into the last turn. Life Is A Feast hit the top of the stretch all alone and trotted home a wrapped-up 3-1/2 length winner in 1:56.3. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner and also tied the track record for 2-year-old trotting geldings set by Hashtagmadeyalook (also bred in Massachusetts) in 2017. It was the second straight win for Life Is A Feast ($3.00) and owners Al Ross and Paul Fontaine. Karen Carroll bred the winner. Later in the Nauset Light another Mass-bred, Han Solo (Mister Big-Leah) scored his third win in a row after leading the whole race by a length while stopping the timer in :27.1, :57.4 and 1:25.4. Around the last turn and into the stretch driver Kevin Switzer Jr. sat confidently in the bike as Han Solo paced sharply and hit the wire on top by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:55.4. Han Solo ($4.00), who set the track record of 1:54.1 for 2-year-old pacing colts two weeks ago, is owned by Monique Cohen who also bred and trains the horse. Life Is A Feast and Han Solo should be considered early favorites in their prospective divisions of the $1.8 million Massachusetts Sire Stakes which get under way this Sunday afternoon (Sept. 29) at Plainridge Park. The weekly featured $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace was won by the 1-9 Bettors Fire N (Ron Cushing) who led every step of the way. After backing the half down to :56.4 with no one pushing the pace, Bettors Fire N brushed home in :55 flat going away in an easy 1:51.4 victory. It was the eighth win of the year for Bettors Fire N ($2.10) who now has banked $144,470 in 2019 for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi. Heidi Gibbs is the trainer. Mitchell Cushing, Drew Monti and Jim Hardy all had driving doubles on Monday and Hardy also trained both of the horses he won with. The Wicked Hi-5 carryover pool continues to grow and will be worth $42,450 in the sixth race on Thursday when racing resumes at Plainridge Park at 2p.m. by Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts 

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

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