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London, ON - September 25, 2019 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District is now less than two weeks away from kicking off its 2019/20 live harness racing season and one of those anxiously awaiting its return is defending driving champion Scott Coulter. The Brantford resident has long been one of the most recognizable figures on Ontario's ''Signature' Track circuit and has amassed impressive career totals that include 5,000-plus wins and more than $34 million in purse earnings. In 2018, Coulter captured his first driving title at The Raceway and he is anxious to get back at it when racing resumes at the London oval on Friday, October 4th. "I've had a great summer and looking forward to the fall," Coulter said. "I wasn't as hard on myself or the roads as I didn't take many trips to Georgian Downs. I took a different approach with less work and more family time. That being said I'm fresh for the fall and ready to go." Coulter attributes much of the success he has had in London in recent years to the terrific support he received from owners and trainers. "I've had a lot of luck racing at London over the years," said the veteran driver. "I have a lot of great clients and horsepower always helps. I'm looking forward to having more success." Coulter says he quickly noticed the High Definition upgrade which was collectively implemented at racetracks across Ontario this season - upgrades that were made possible through the OR/OLG capital funding platform. "I can't think of any sport that warrants HD more than harness racing," Coulter said. "I've seen the positive effects thus far at Grand River, Flamboro and Georgian Downs. It's a great initiative and I think all the horse people thoroughly enjoy the new technology." The Raceway will kick off live racing beginning on Friday (Oct. 1). The weekly fall schedule features racing every Monday and Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. and Friday nights at 6:55 p.m. The popular wagering menu will once again feature a trio of guaranteed wagers. The Pick-3 will feature a $2,500 guarantee with a new $.60 cent minimum, while a pair of $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pools and a pair of Super Hi-5 wagers will be offered - all 15 percent takeout wagers. The Super Hi-5 races will be contested at the distance of one and one-sixteenth miles. Customers can also experience the newly renovated Top Of The Fair restaurant. To celebrate, The Raceway is offering a 'Two Can Dine For $59.99' promotion during the entire month of October." To make reservations at the Top Of The Fair, email topofthefair@westernfairdistrict.com or call 519-438-7203 (Ext. 252). For complete details, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. by Greg Blanchard, for The Raceway  

LONDON... Harness racing veteran pilot Scott Coulter enjoyed a special milestone when he notched his 5,000th career win on Wednesday evening at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The Brantford, Ontario resident has been a mainstay in the Ontario circuit for more than 25 years and was crowned the leading dash winning driver during the 2018 season at The Raceway. It was a fitting ending to the road to 5,000 for Coulter as he guided 2018 Horse of The Year Spicey Victor to victory in Race 9. Coulter has been primary driver behind the aged gelding for trainer Len Lalonde and his wife Kristina. Scott Coulter and Spicey Victor Greg Gangle

London, ON  - The Raceway at the Western Fair District honoured its top performers from 2018 during the annual awards night on Saturday, February 23 at the Carousel Room at the London, Ont. raceway. A capacity crown was on-hand for the event which included a reception, dinner, dancing and the awards presentation. Spicey Victor was the star of the show as the claiming trotter took home three awards, including Horse of the Year for regular trainer Len Lalonde. He was also crowned Older Trotter of the Year and Claiming Trotter of the Year. The veteran gelding scored 20 victories in 2018 with 12 of them coming at The Raceway. Driver Scott Coulter captured his first driving title at Western Fair thanks to an outstanding season in 2018. Patrick Shepherd also notched his first training title with a one-victory score over Vic Puddy. The annual Walltyme Stable Lifetime Achievement Award went to the husband and wife team of John and Linda Yake. Jennifer Pinkerton was named Ruth Herbert Horsewoman of the Year. Finally, Dillyn Jackson was crowned Caretaker of the Year. Here is a look at the complete list of the 2012 Western Fair award winners: A list of the 2018 Raceway Award winners appears below. Horse Of The Year: Spicey Victor Older Pacing Horse: Artistic Pick Older Pacing Mare: Casino Classic Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt: Maximus Power Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly: Together We Run Older Trotting Horse: Spicey Victor Older Trotting Mare: Espoir Go Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt: Cold Beer Here Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly: Miller Time Claiming Pacer: So Long Sugar Claiming Trotter: Spicey Victor Driver: Scott Coulter Trainer: Patrick Shepherd Owner: Rebecca Williamson by Greg Gangle, for The Raceway

London, ON  - The harness racing drivers' title for the 2018 season at The Raceway at Western Fair District could go right down to the final program on New Year's Eve as Scott Coulter and Robert Shepherd are stride-for-stride for wins at the half-mile oval. Coulter currently leads all drivers with 111 wins on the season while Shepherd isn't far behind with 102 trips to the winners circle. With 20 cards remaining on the calendar this year, the dash title could come down to the wire. "It wouldn't surprise me," said leading driver Scott Coulter. "'Shep' and I have enjoyed ourselves this year, but we also can't count out Alfie (Carroll) and Colin (Kelly). Those guys have been on a big run as of late." The veteran driver said his devotion to The Raceway this season is a prime reason for his success. "I really dedicated myself to Western Fair all season compared to other years," he said. It's been really paying off. I've had success and that comes from the trainers giving me their confidence and horse power. "I think I've been more patient as of late and not over-driving," he continued. "I've been able to pick up the pieces late in the mile and not be as aggressive." The Brantford resident banked over $1.6 million in earnings this season and is just one win shy of 250 trips to the winners circle. Robert Shepherd is also on the verge of a milestone as the reinsman is one win away from 300 for the year. "The main thing is staying healthy. I've had my fair share of accidents over the years," Shepherd said. "I have a young family at home so it's more important as ever to make sure I'm healthy." The Flamborough resident was quick to credit the trainers and owners. "I've had a lot of good clients all year that have stuck with me and that really means a lot. It's always nice to show up to work and have the power between the shafts." Shepherd remains nine wins back of Coulter with seven weeks of racing left. "It should be a lot of fun," said Shepherd. "Hopefully I can close the gap and make it interesting." The Raceway is entering one of its busiest times of the year, currently operating on a three-day-a-week schedule - Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. and Fridays at 6:55 p.m. Wednesday night programs will be added in the new year with a 6:15 p.m. first post. For more information, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com. by Greg Gangle, for The Raceway

There was a chill in the fall air Saturday but it did not deter an enthusiastic gathering from flocking trackside to cheer on their harness racing favourites at the 151st annual Six Nations fall fair in Ohsweken. The Ohsweken Fair, the lone fair conducting harness racing in Ontario in 2018, is one of Canada's oldest, conducting its initial fair in 1867, the year of Canadian Confederation. Veteran horsemen recall when harness racing was featured at more than 150 Ontario towns, cities and villages in the 1900's . Ohsweken, located on the Six Nations Reserve, is the largest reserve in Canada, extending six miles wide on each side of the Grand River from its northern source near Shelburne, Ont., to Lake Erie. The community's name comes from the Mohawk word "Tayoswaken" which translates to mean "the fork where one route goes to the happy hunting ground and the other leads to the place of torment. Ken Oliver scored a driving double on the four-race card with Flysantanna in the $5,000 Six Nations Elective Council Pace in the first race and Lyons Fairhanover in the Fred Hill Pace, honouring the late Fred Hill, in the second race , both trained by Ancaster horseman Alan Fair and owned by Alan and Elizabeth Fair , respectively. Mighty Mouse proved best in the third race with Scott Coulter driving the consistent seven-year-old bay mare for her eighth season victory for Brantford owners Nancy Coulter and his trainer- father Robert Paul Coulter. Morning line favourite, Vijayscam, trained and driven by veteran horseman Don Graham for Lynda Marshall of St.Thomas, reeled off a 2:02.2 winning effort in the $5,000 Earl Hill Memorial In the fourth race for his third season's tally. All participating horses received a spanking new blanket and horsepeople were treated to a tasty meal of roast beef, lasagna and other goodies in the stable area following the races.   Mohawk Marshall Joanne Colville and her daughter, Emma, led the horses in the post parades, Rob McKay presided in the judges stand, Eric Lauredson charted the races, John Chandler was Timer, and Gary Guy entertained the fans with his witty comments and exciting race calls. Albert Green, a retired iron worker and Ohsweken native, is the enthusiastic mover and shaker who organized the entire race program with the help of a hard working team of volunteers. Green was happy with the days results. "Everything went well. I am pleased with the tremendous support of the many sponsors and the fans who braved the chilly weather and bettered last year's mutuel handle of $1,994 by wagering $2,068 on the afternoon's four-race card." Band Chief, Ava Hill, daughter of Fred Hill, and a fourth generation harness racing enthusiast, welcomes the return of the trotters and pacers to Ohsweken. "Harness racing has always been a major event in our community for many years and we are so excited to have it back at the Ohsweken Fair. It brings an excitement back to the fair which can be enjoyed by our community members and the visitors we hope it will attract." With the addition of 21 new stalls, complete with modern lighting, washrooms and wash bays, the Ohsweken Fairgrounds backstretch is an excellent place for trainers to condition their horses. WILLIAM GALVIN  

LONDON, ON - May 24 - When the inaugural $150,000C Camluck Classic takes place on Saturday, May 26 at The Raceway, it would only be fitting to have a son of the late sire included in the stellar field of eight. Killer Martini, a six-year-old son of the Hall of Famer Camluck, will line up from post three in the inaugural event for owner/trainer Ricki Bucci. Killer Martini is no stranger to The Raceway having begun his career at the London oval. "We're definitely excited to come and be a part of the night," Bucci said. "I see we have a good post, so hopefully we have some luck. It should be an exciting night." The black gelding has banked $126,000 already this season from 16 starts. He captured a division of the George Morton Levy earlier this season with an impressive time of 1:52.4. The 16-time winner has earned $343,232 during his career and has been a mainstay at Yonkers Raceway at the Open level. "I'm told Camluck's get better with age and that's exactly what has happened with him," Bucci said. "I took him out of a $15K claimer a few years ago and he's blossomed for me. I'm lucky to have him in my barn and he's been very good to me." Bucci, who trains 16 horses in upstate New York, admits he's having a difficult time handicapping the rich classic. "I honestly have no idea how it's going to unfold," Bucci said. "Usually when I try and predict the trip, it goes the opposite way. Anything is possible with a great group like this on a half and do think we will see a lot of action. It should be fun to watch." Below is the complete field in post position order: 1 Sunfire Blue Chip - Trevor Henry 2 Isitfridayyet - Alfie Carroll 3 Killer Martini - Scott Coulter 4 Rockin Ron - Louis Roy 5 Easy Lover Hanover - Doug McNair 6 Evenin Of Pleasure - Joe Bongiorno 7 Dr J Hanover - James MacDonald 8 Bit Of A Legend - Jordan Stratton More than $500,000 in purses will be offered up on the 12-race program which will get underway at 6:55 p.m. A powerful undercard which includes a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies along with a quartet of City of London Series finals will also be contested that night. Below are the event details for this year's Camluck Classic program: Promotions VIP Infield Experience (tickets available online at camluckclassic.ca) Draws for Trackside Music Festival Tickets and 40-inch tv Draws for Beer and Barbecue Show tickets Molson Party on the Patio Camluck Classic Cheerleader Contest ($350 in cash to be won) Special Guest Mini Horse greeting patrons at the entrance Hat and T-shirt tosses throughout the night in the Grandstand and on the Patio National Anthem performed by rising country music star Julia Haggarty Scratch & Win programs (Hundreds of prize items to be redeemed) One-hour broadcast on Facebook Live from 10:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. in partnership with Woodbine Entertainment and Standardbred Canada Wagering Menu (15% takeout wagers) $5,000 Guaranteed Early Pick-3 $10,000 Guaranteed Early Pick-4 $15,000 Guaranteed Late Pick-4 Three Super Hi-5 Wagers (races 7, 10 and 12) 3% Cash back on wagers through HPI by Greg Gangle, for The Raceway

Nichols, N.Y. -- Scott Coulter, the leading driver at Tioga Downs with six weeks remaining in the 2016 meet, enjoyed a sweep of Sunday (August 7) afternoon's featured events, capturing both $9,000 Open 2 paces carded on the 12-race harness racing program.   In the seventh event, Coulter sustained gains with Energy Shakes ($23.20) without the aid of cover en route to a 1:53 win as the longest shot on the board. The 5-year-old Western Terror gelding gradually gained on pacesetter Pier Ho Temptation (Jim Taggart, Jr.) through the far turn, striking the front at the eighth pole and holding off a belated charge from even-money favorite Dee's Rocketman (Fern Paquet, Jr.) by half a length. Lilys Real Boy (Corey Braden) and Prairie Jaguar (Jim Meittinis) mounted rallies from well off the pace to narrowly miss the runner-up spot. Dan Morrissey trains Energy Shakes for owner Leona Morrissey.   The afternoon's tenth race saw Andreios Kardia ($4.10) return to his winning ways by way of a drastic change of tactics. While his success at the Open 2 level earlier in the season came by way of stalking and closing efforts, the 5-year-old Badlands Hanover gelding brushed to the fore with a circuit to go and maintained a rapid pace throughout. Andreios Kardia drew off easily at the top of the stretch, posting a 4-1/4 length margin of victory over the late-rallying Vangura (Braden) and Always N The Money (Jim Marohn, Jr.), who tired after chasing from the pocket. Andreios Kardia dominated in 1:50.3 for owner/breeder Ina Madill and trainer Jeffrey Byron.   A non-wagering Racing Under Saddle event was contested early in the afternoon, with Hyway Marcus making his bid off a clear tracking trip a quarter mile from home en route to a clear 9-length victory. The 5-year-old Gut Instinct gelding covered the one-mile journey in 1:59.1 with Maria Buchanan in the irons for owner Marohn Racing, LLC and trainer Patti Harmon. The Franchise (Michelle Crawford) mounted a stand-side rally to take second, while Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran) stayed on off a wide stalking trip to save third.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Thursday (August 11) evening, with post time slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern. Horsemen are advised that entries for the Thursday card close Monday (August 9) morning at 9:00 a.m.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- Pop Cop ($4.10) prevailed as the even-money favorite in Sunday (July 31) afternoon's harness racing featured $9,000 Open 2 Pace at Tioga Downs, holding off an inside charge from Vangura to earn his second consecutive win at the level.   Leading driver Scott Coulter wasted no time with the 7-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding, sprinting clear of Meadowlands invader Always N the Money (Jim Marohn, Jr.) on approach to the first turn and completing the first half of the one-mile event in :55.1. Pop Cop subsequently turned aside a first-over challenge from Owosso Flash (Jim Meittinis) up the far side, accelerating to shake free by two lengths at head-stretch after rating a slightly slower :28.1 third sectional.   With Owosso Flash fading off the far turn and two lengths clearance on the field, Pop Cop appeared home free at the eighth pole. His lead started to slip away as Vangura (Corey Braden) found a seam to rally up the pegs in the final 150 yards. Ultimately, Pop Cop held Vangura a half-length at bay, posting a 1:51.4 mile time. Always N the Money found room to split rivals off the corner, chasing well to save third.   Trainer Tony Dinges co-owns 28-time winner Pop Cop with Enos Van Stanhope, III. For Coulter, the featured win was one of three on the 12-race card. The "Tan Tornado" also teamed up with Flying Cowboy ($6.20, 1:52.3) and Ulster Hanover ($3.30, 1:54).   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 5) evening, with the first race due off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Nichols, N.Y. -- The Tioga Downs harness racing driver colony has been taken by storm. Specifically, by the "Tan Tornado".   Ontario-based driver Scott Coulter regained an outright lead in the Tioga Downs driving standings with four wins on Friday (June 10) night's 13-race card. The 45-year-old reinsman worked to a 20-18 lead over Corey Braden, teaming up with Alaskan Seelster ($11.40, 1:53.2), Justherighttouch ($18.00, 1:56.1), Fanticipation ($5.80, 1:53.4), and False Response ($8.00, 1:56.3).   In the featured $11,000 Mares Open 1 Pace, K J's Caroline ($20.40) squeezed through a lane up the pegs in the last sixteenth, overtaking dueling leaders Misssomebeach Blue (Mike Simons, 4-5 favorite) and Shutthefrontdoor (Dan Clements) for a 1:52.2 score. Jim Taggart, Jr. drove the 6-year-old Roddy's Bags Again mare for owner Scott Woogen and trainer Gary Messenger. While Misssomebeach Blue was second to pass the winning post, she was disqualified to third for bearing into the path of Shutthefrontdoor in upper stretch.   The night's sub-featured $7,500 M&J Oil & Lube late-closer preliminary saw 3-year-old trotting filly Dream Child ($5.00) make amends for her early break last week, as she sustained a first-over push through the last half of this week's lone division en route to a four-length triumph over Young Bride and Fruition in 1:57. Mike Simons drove the Muscle Hill filly for owner William J. Donovan and trainer Linda Toscano.   As no one hit the 50¢ Pick 5, $824.40 will carry over to the Saturday (June 11) program. The first of 13 races is due off at 6:30 p.m.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Longtime Ontario Signature Circuit driver Scott Coulter has quickly worked his way into prominence at Tioga Downs through the first month of the 2016 harness racing season. On Saturday (May 28) evening's nine-race card, the "Tan Tornado" copped a natural hat trick to lead all drivers.   In the evening's third race, the 45-year-old Ontarian teamed up with Littlebitaclass ($6.20), who vaulted off second-over cover en route to a 2-1/4 length win over first-level pacers in 1:54.3. Coulter followed up in the fourth race with 11-year-old trotter Red Zeppelin ($7.70), prevailing from the pocket in 1:56.4. Trevor Win For Us ($5.50) completed Coulter's hat trick in the fifth, sprinting off from his eight second-level pacing rivals for a 1:53.4 triumph.   The night's featured race, a $7,200 upper-level conditioned trot, saw owner-driver Corey Braden work Majestic Won ($14.00) to the fore with a circuit to go and never look back en route to a 1:56 victory. Stacey McLenaghan trains the 7-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding.   Later in the card, King Royalty ($5.00, Mike Simons) and RG Riptide ($10.00, Mike Merton) shared a dead-heat victory in a $5,400 third-level pace, both working away from pacesetter Si Semalu and holding clear of a late rally from 3-5 Energy Shakes in 1:52.1.   The 50¢ Pick 5 on Sunday (May 29) evening's nine-race card will have a carryover of $398.32. A pair of $62,400 New York Sire Stakes events for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings share the spotlight with the $25,200 final of the Nichols True Value late closing series for 3-year-old pacers. First post is slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern time.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Harness racing owner-trainer Mike Sinclair's Heavenly Bet ($4.60, part of entry) overcame post 8 and controlled the terms through the middle of the race en route to a 1:55 score over her stablemate Winners Over in the $23,700 Gail's Diner Series Final on Sunday (May 22) afternoon at Tioga Downs.   While Winners Over (Dan Clements) was away most sharply in the field of eight, Scott Coulter gradually worked Heavenly Bet forward through a :27.3 first quarter mile before clearing with just over a circuit to go. The two would continue at the head of the field throughout, with Heavenly Bet spared of pressure due to a failed first-over bid by Ghost Runner (Tom Jackson). After intermediate fractions of :56.4 and 1:24.4 over good going, the 3-year-old Bettor's Delight filly faced a challenge from her stablemate on the far turn. Heavenly Bet proved superior of the Sinclair pair, holding sway by 3/4 length. Well Shaded (Fern Paquet, Jr.) emerged out of traffic to take third, while Shesgotthebeat--a winner in both her preliminary events--only could manage a fourth-place finish after she was compromised by badly stalling cover on the far turn.   The afternoon's other three featured events--an $11,000 Open Pace and two $7,500 second-round divisions of the Nichols True Value Series--all went to driver Tom Jackson, who led all drivers on the 13-race program with that natural hat trick. Meadows invader Nitro Seelster ($4.40) sustained a first-over push to reel in Believe This Bob for a 1:52 Open win, while Fresh Cut ($44.80, 1:54.2) and Le Gambe ($4.30, 1:54.1) prevailed in their respective Nichols True Value splits.   No one hit the 50¢ Pick 5, resulting in a $208.67 carryover to Friday (May 27) evening's program.   Tioga Downs offers four programs next week, with a 6:30 p.m. EDT first post on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and a 1:30 p.m. EDT Memorial Day card on Monday.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Mike Sinclair's Heavenly Bet ($2.50) was heavily bet before her decisive 1:54.4 triumph in the first round of the Gail's Diner Late Closing Series for harness racing 3-year-old pacing fillies, brushing and edging clear of her six foes on Saturday (May 7) evening at Tioga Downs.   Tioga newcomer Scott Coulter moved the 3-year-old Bettor's Delight filly to the fore after tracking a :27 first quarter, working clear of Ghost Runner (Tom Jackson) with a circuit to go. Heavenly Bet faced mild pressure from the first-over Seafood Linda (Jim Meittinis) through a :57.4 middle half, but edged clear off the far turn to a three-length victory. Stirling Electra (Corey Braden) was elevated to second after she was impeded by Seafood Linda--who ducked in abruptly before giving chase--off the far turn.   Ed Hart trainee Shesgotthebeat ($13.00, part of entry) took the other $7,500 Gail's Diner split, pouncing from the pocket to defeat Winners Over (Dan Clements) by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:55.2 under Jim Meittinis.   A pair of $8,200 top-level conditioned events rounded out the Opening Night features, with B L Class Act ($5.10, John Cummings, Jr.) just wearing down Dragin the Wagon for a 1:56 score in the top trot, and Asset Management ($30.40, Fern Paquet, Jr.) holding sway after a demanding early pace to upset distaff pacers in 1:54.2.   John Cummings, Jr. and Jim Taggart, Jr. led all drivers with two wins apiece on the 11-race card.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (May 8), with the Mother's Day 13-race card due to commence at 1:30 p.m. EDT and full-card coverage on the Tioga Downs Racing Network to begin at 1:05 p.m.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

On Monday evening harness racing driver Scott Coulter stepped into the race bike behind a horse that needed a win to extend his Grassroots season and, for the third time in the last five days, the Grand River Raceway regular delivered the needed result. Starting from Post 2 in the first two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots division, Coulter opted to roll Gerries Sport off the gate for the first time in the Mach Three colt's career and the pacer responded with a :28.2 quarter, :57.4 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters before powering down the stretch to a 1:55.1 victory. Favourite St Lads Moonwalk settled for second, two lengths behind Gerries Sport, and St Lads Charger was three more lengths back in third. "I intended to race him from off the pace as they had been doing, but after looking at the inside horse I decided to let him roll off the car and he got front relatively easy," said Coulter, who currently sits second in the Grand River Raceway driver's standings. "He was just a complete professional; he made front in two steps, and he relaxed and just waited for the customers to come on the outside, and then fought them off. It was just as easy as that." The Brantford, ON resident engineered the win for trainer Robert Robinson of Metcalfe, ON and owner-breeder Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, QC. In his four previous Grassroots starts Gerries Sport had tallied one second and two thirds and went into Monday's event sitting twenty-sixth in the division standings. The victory boosted him up to tenth, with a total of 99 points, and assures him of a berth in the Sept. 17 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack. "I've had a few like that this week," said Coulter, of the colt's must-win situation. "I drove two for Shane Arsenault at Flamboro that needed to win." The reinsman piloted Shane Arsenault trainees Irish Scotch and Seeking Steven to wins in the three-year-old trotting colt regular season finale at Flamboro Downs last Thursday, advancing both colts to the Grassroots post season. Coulter also finished third in the second Grassroots division at Grand River Raceway on Monday, guiding favourite Secrecy home behind a pair of Jack Darling trainees, King Of Sports and Vegas Dream. King Of Sports earned his first Grassroots win with the 1:56 mile, which saw him control the tempo from start to finish, reaching the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of his stablemate. Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON piloted King Of Sports to the win for owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON. The Sportswriter son did not appear in the Grassroots program until the Aug. 23 event at Georgian Downs, and tallied one win and two seconds in his three appearances for a total of 100 points, putting him just ahead of Gerries Sport in the standings. "I liked him a lot early in his two-year-old training and then he just got, he was just horrible, he couldn't go any, or wouldn't go any. I think I tried to qualify him a couple times and he'd pace in 2:00, so I had to geld him, and he's made a complete turn-around," said trainer Jack Darling after King Of Sports' Aug. 23 debut. "By gelding him we got five seconds out of him, it's amazing really." The final Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with the ultra-consistent Derecho, who did not finish worse than second in five Grassroots starts this season. On Monday the Big Jim son and trainer-driver Dustin Jones cut all the fractions and then battled to the wire for a one-quarter length victory in 1:55.2. Fan favourite Perseverant finished second and Tommys Trooper was a hard-closing third. Waterdown, ON resident Jones shares ownership of Derecho with Ecuries Daniel Plouffe Inc. of Bromont, QC and Jean Dessureault of Candiac, QC. The colt wrapped up his regular season with two wins and three thirds for a total of 175 points and sole ownership of second-place in the division standings. "He raced real good, cut the mile, he held on for the win," said Jones. "That's his second win, and what's he got, three seconds in the Grassroots, so we're hoping he'll do good in the Semifinals next week. "He's a real smart horse, we're real happy with him," added the trainer. "I think he should be a nicer three-year-old, because his family seem to get better at three. It's the family of Stonebridge On Ice ($530,665) and that, so I think he should improve every year, it seems that the family does that." Grassroots action continues at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, with four $18,000 divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. The fillies will battle for a post season berth in Races 3, 5, 7, and 9 on the 6:30 pm program. Ontario Horse Racing

Driver Scott Coulter and trainer Shane Arsenault teamed up to claim two of five three-year-old trotting colt Grassroots divisions at the harness racing meeting at Flamboro Downs on Thursday evening. The pair made their first trip to the winner's circle with Irish Scotch, who earned his first-ever Grassroots trophy in the third division. Starting from Post 6, Coulter settled Irish Scotch into sixth on the rail as Muscles All Over and Ontheroad De Vie battled to a :28.4 opening quarter. Heading for the :58.1 half Coulter tipped the gelding into the outer lane and the fan favourites had circled around to take control before the 1:29.2 three-quarters. Digging in through the stretch Irish Scotch held off Delcrest Massy and Numbers Game to secure the one-half length victory in 2:00.2. "Scotty's drove him well, he's been very patient with him, and Sylvain (Filion) drove him last week at Mohawk and he raced really good too," said Waterdown, ON resident Arsenault. "Just like any young green trotter, you've got to be careful with him, and Scotty's done a great job with him." Arsenault purchased Muscle Mass son Irish Scotch from breeder Paul Lindsey in mid-August with the long-term in mind. The trainer's good trotter Lexis D J - an Ontario Sires Stakes graduate and the winner of $422,522 lifetime - turned eight this year and Arsenault is hopeful that Irish Scotch could eventually follow in the veteran trotter's footsteps. "We've got one that's getting a little long in the tooth there, he's getting a little old. You've got to think about replacing with some younger stock," explained Arsenault. "He's still racing good the other horse, but you've got to grab a young one if you can." Irish Scotch first caught Arsenault's eye when he raced against, and beat, Seeking Steven at Mohawk Racetrack in late July. On Thursday, Seeking Steven earned his own share of the limelight with a victory in the fourth Grassroots division. Starting from Post 2 Coulter sent Seeking Steven straight to the front end and the Muscle Mass gelding never relinquished control, sailing through fractions of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:28.4 on his way to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:58.4. Parkhill Lancelot and Pridecrest trotted into second and third. "He's been banging on the door, just things haven't been coming together for him, but tonight he executed it all and he made a good account of himself," said Arsenault, who conditions the gelding for owner-breeder Arthur Mergenhagen of Williston, FL. "He's kind of a nice horse. He's flawless gaited and stuff so coming to Flamboro wasn't an issue for him." Heading into Thursday's regular season finale Seeking Steven was sitting among the top 20 point earners, but Irish Scotch was thirtieth. Their victories assured both trotters a spot in the top 20 and a berth in the Sept. 18 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack. The top five finishers from each Semi-final will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk on Sept. 26. "Sometimes it works out and sometimes you wonder why you're doing it, but tonight was one of the nights where it worked, definitely," said the trainer. "They're two nice little horses." In addition to the pair of Arsenault trainees he guided to the winner's circle, Brantford, ON resident Scott Coulter also scored a win in the second division with Call Me Richard. The heavy favourites controlled the tempo from start to finish, cruising through fractions of :29.3, 1:00 and 1:29.4 before romping down the stretch to a two and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2. Raising Richard and Arrakis completed the top three. Coulter engineered the win for trainer Clare Bradshaw of Simcoe,ON and owner Andrea Arthur of Scotland, ON. The win was the Muscle Mass son's second in Grassroots action and moved him into fifth spot in the standings with 140 points. Namesmuscle captured the first Grassroots division, giving sire Muscle Mass four winners on the evening. In rein to Puslinch, ON resident Paul MacKenzie, Namesmuscle went gate-to-wire from Post 3, sailing down the rain-soaked stretch to a six and one-quarter length win in 1:58.3. Easton Road and Pilgrims Joy were second and third. Goderich, ON resident Pam Forgie trains Namesmuscle for John Patterson of Bayfield, ON. In three Grassroots appearances the gelding posted two wins and one fifth for 105 points, advancing him into the post season. The final Grassroots trophy of the evening was awarded to In Secret and trainer-driver Per Henriksen, who cruised to a 1:59 victory, five and three-quarter lengths ahead of Mandeville and South Star. Norwood, ON resident Henriksen conditions the Deweycheatumnhowe colt for Andrea Lea Racing Stales Inc. of Lakefield Gore, QC and Asa Farm of Norwood. In Secret finished short of the top 20 with 54 points. On Sunday, the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will wrap up their Grassroots regular season at Flamboro Downs, battling in Races 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. The action gets under way at 6 pm.                                           Ontario Horse Racing

The top local horseman for Monday night at the harness racing meeting at Grand River Raceway was Scott Coulter. Scott was aboard 5 winners Monday, including longshot, Zip Car, in the 6th race. The Brantford native has brought his total wins on the season to 120. Grand River Raceway features live harness racing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights all summer. Complete schedule info at www.grandriverraceway.com . Kelly Spencer    

The top local horseman for Monday night at the harness racing meeting at Grand River Raceway was Scott Coulter. Scott couldn't be beat Monday as he was the winning driver of four races. The four wins brings Scott's total to 114 for the season. Scott is a native of Cambridge. Grand River Raceway features live harness racing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights all summer. Complete schedule info at www.grandriverraceway.com . Kelly Spencer  

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