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Natural Disaster is one of the State’s most promising pacers, but so far winning a feature harness racing event has eluded the son of American stallion Shadow Play. However, his recent outstanding form is a strong indication that he will break through at Gloucester Park on Friday night for a well-deserved victory in the $25,000 Kerry Clarke Westbred final, a listed classic for four and five-year-olds. Natural Disaster, a four-year-old bred and owned by Rob Tomlinson’s Oz-West Pacing and trained and driven by Justin Prentice, warmed up for this week’s assignment in splendid fashion with his fast-finishing third behind Motu Premier and Mach Time in the Chandon final, a listed classic, last Friday night. That followed wins at his three previous outings, at Bunbury and Gloucester Park in May and at Gloucester Park early last month. He is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line on Friday night and Prentice should have the gelding in a commanding position throughout. Natural Disaster, a winner at nine of his 27 starts, finished second to Johnny Disco in the group 3 Country Derby at Pinjarra in March 2016, third behind New World Order in the group 1 $100,000 Westbred Classic in July 2016, third behind Chicago Bull in the McInerney Ford Classic in November 2016 and fourth behind Soho Tribeca in the Golden Nugget two weeks later. He is closely related to former smart pacer Hy Falutin, whose 18 wins from 43 starts included the Christmas Gift in 1999 and the Celebrity Mile in December 2001. Natural Disaster’s most serious rival looms large as five-year-old Military Master, who will start from the No. 4 barrier. Trainer Ross Olivieri is confident of a bold showing from Military Master, a winner of ten races from 30 starts. The stallion was a disappointing in finishing sixth behind Thereugo last Friday week. But Olivieri explained that there were excuses for that run, saying: “He was a bit below par and then I found that he was affected by a greasy heel. I’ve fixed that and, hopefully, he goes better this week. I’m very pleased with him and his form has been top-class. “Three starts ago Military Master ran the fastest quarter (26.4sec.) that I can remember at Gloucester Park for any quarter of any race.” In that event, Military Master set the pace and had to withstand a spirited challenge for the lead in the first lap, during which he sped over the first 400m section of the final mile in 26.4sec. He wilted only over the final stages and finished fourth behind Zach Maguire. Argyle Red, Fanci A Dance, Tommy Be Good and Abraxas Blues will have plenty of admirers in Friday night’s 2130m event.   Argyle Red, trained at Pinjarra by Rob MacDonald, will be making his first appearance for four months. He is the only runner off the back line and will be handled by Morgan Woodley. He impressed in winning a 2185m Pinjarra trial at a 1.57.7 rate last Sunday when he dashed over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.3sec. Fanci A Dance, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett, has won at six of his past ten starts and is capable of overcoming the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier seven. Tommy Be Good and Abraxas Blues warmed up with excellent efforts at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Ken Casellas

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - There was no world record set in the special two-mile race at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday, but there was plenty of racing action in the four-lap event. Sea Donkey and driver Pascal Berube took the early lead away from Northern Juno (Denis Audet) after the opening quarter in :28.2. Then Audet came right back to the front with Northern Juno and led the field to the half mile in 1:00.2 and the three-quarters in 1:32. Then Louis-Philippe Roy came first-over with Ninoscredit before the mile in 2:03.2, but was unable to take command away from Northern Juno as they went 2:35.4 to the 1 ¼ mile. At the 1 ½ mile mark in 3:07, the action heated up as Stephane Brosseau took CF Sting Rei three-wide in front of the grandstand. They were followed by Mister Big Top (Stephane Gendron) and Tiguan Seelster (Stephane Lareau). In the backstretch the final time, it was the three Stephane's in command with CF Sting Rei (Brosseau) clearing to the lead, leaving Mister Big Top first over at the 1 ¾ mile mark at 3:36.3 and Tiguan Seelster trying to follow his cover. Then Gendron urged Mister Big Top and they blew right by CF Sing Rei and pulled away from the field to win by six and three-quarter lengths. CF Sting Rei was second with Tiguan Seelster third. The time of the race was 4:06.1, well off the world record set last year by Strokin in 4:02.4. For Mister Big Top, it was the fourth win this year for the five-year-old gelded son of Mister Big. He is trained by Yves Tessier and is owned by Francois Morin of Beauceville, paying $4.80 to win. There were six divisions of the second round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old colt and filly pacers. Each sex had three divisions. The fastest mile of all the freshman pacers took place in the 12th race, the last race of the program. Power Fog and driver Jocelyn Gendron was able to grind out the early lead over Challenge Magic (Louis-Philippe Roy) to the opening quarter mile in :29.1. Then had things their own way until Lucky Match (Yves Filion) came first-over after the half mile in 1:00, then as the pace picked up, dropped in behind Power Fog, getting a breather to the three-quarters in 1:30.1. Then the action heated up as Filion pulled out of the pocket and came after Power Fog, but Gendron's colt was able to dig in after a torrid stretch drive to win by a half-length in 2:00. Big Mach (Mario Charron) was third. Sired by Power Park, it was the second win in four starts for Power Fog, who is trained by Dominic Gladu for owner/breeder Gilbert Sauve, paying $5.10 to win. In the fifth race, Louis-Philippe Roy and Phil Dorleans, the full brother to $800,000 winner Duc Dorleans, was able to lead from start to finish and hold off a bold three-wide move by G A Speed Sammy (Alain Garrier) in the backstretch, to win in 2:01.3. Leader Tonight (Mario Charron) was third. A son of Shanghai Phil, it was the maiden win for Phil Dorleans, who is trained by Jacques Dupont for owner/breeders Dorleans Stable and Gestion Levesque. He paid $2.40 to win. The seventh race division saw Louis-Philippe Roy return to the winner's circle with a colt that his co-owns with trainer Kevin Maguire named El Muchacho. Following pacesetter Kinnder Jackson (Justin Filion) in second until the backstretch, Roy then moved first-over with El Muchacho, clearing to the lead and winning by one and three-quarter lengths in 2:02. Kinnder Jackson was second with last week's winner, Chloes Master, the heavy favorite, finishing third. It was the second win in four starts for the colt by Goliath Bayama, who went off at odds of 9-1 and paid $20.50 to win. The fastest of the fillies was D Gs Shadowbell, who notched her second straight win for driver Jonathan Lachance and trainer Mario Lachance in the third race. The heavy favorite, Hammering Haley (Louis-Philippe Roy), cut the mile early on but Lachance came first-over with D Gs Shadowbell and took command for good before the half mile marker and went on to win by one and three-quarter lengths in 2:00.4. Hammering Haley was second with Liisawithtwoeyes (Stephane Gendron) third. The daughter of Shadow Play is owned and bred by Daniel Surprenant and paid $9.20 to win. Next came a real nail-bitter to the in the fourth race as return winner Le Balafre and driver Stephane Brosseau went right to the lead from post seven. Following their cover was the 4/5 favorite Katniss S BG and trainer/driver Yves Filion. Filion was content to sit the pocket trip until the three-quarters, when they came first-over to challenge. Those two battled neck and neck around the final turn along with the fast closing Lit De Rose (Pierre Luc Roy). As they came to the wire, Katniss S BG just got up by a neck over La Balafre with Katniss S BG third by a half-length in 2:01.1. It was a lifetime mark for the Mach Three filly, who was bred and is co-owned by Sylvain Descheneauz and Gaston Bibeau, paying $3.60 to win. Katniss S BG, is named after the Katniss Everdeen character in the very popular Hunger Games. The last filly division was the eighth race where Road To Lea (Stephane Brosseau) led early in the mile, then gave way to a determined Miss Rockadali (Yves Filion) until the backstretch, when Butterfly GB (Stephane Gendron) came first-over and cleared to the lead. Then Brosseau found clearance with Road To Lea and moved three-wide and was able to not only collar race favorite, Butterfuly GB, but pass them by and went on to win by four lengths in 2:01.2. Lune Bleu (Pierre Luc Roy) was second with Butterfly BG third. Sired by Holiday Road, it was the maiden victory for Road To Lea. She is trained by Dany Fontaine for breeder/owner Gaetan Bono Stable and paid $6.60 to win. Track Notes: Stephane Gendron has the hot hands for the afternoon, scoring three winners on the card. All six of the Future Star Series saw lifetime marks for the winners. This was the last Sunday race card as the Hippodrome 3R takes a two-week break while the Grand Prix auto races take place in Trois-Rivieres. Live racing resumes on Wednesday, August 16 when H3R hosts the fourth leg of the World Driving Championship with a special first race post time of 7:15 pm. Then on Sunday, August 20 is the fourth revival of the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete with a special first race post time of 2:30 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Classic Pro might be the easiest horse to identify in Saturday's $738,550 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace for harness racing 3-year-old pacers, but not because of any markings or equipment --- or even a number --- on the colt. It is because what Classic Pro will be missing: hobbles. Classic Pro, trained by Dr. Ian Moore, has raced free legged this year and enjoyed a fair amount of success along the way. The son of former Moore standout Shadow Play has won three of seven races and earned $101,975 this season for owners Moore, R G McGroup Ltd., and hockey legend Serge Savard. In fact, excluding one race in which Classic Pro went off stride prior to the start, the only 3-year-olds to finish ahead of the colt this season are Fear The Dragon, Huntsville, and Downbytheseaside. Those three horses are ranked Nos. 1, 6 and 7, respectively, in the sport's Top 10 poll. Last year, Classic Pro was winless in 11 races but finished third on six occasions and earned $93,272. "He was a nice colt last year," Moore said. "He raced against some of the best ones last year. He just drew bad or just the way things went in the race. He never had a win but he still made a nice bit of money for us. "He's filled out more and got bigger and stronger. I trained him down free legged and he seemed good so we thought we'd try it. He seemed so much happier and had a big longer gait to him, especially behind. So we just left him alone and that's the way he's been." Moore can recall racing two other horses free legged during his training career. The first was in the mid-1970s. The second, Astronomical, was a decade ago. In 2007, Astronomical became the fastest free-legged pacer in history when he won in 1:50 at Georgian Downs. Classic Pro has a mark of 1:52.1 this year, which came in a conditioned race at Mohawk. Moore accepted a bye for Classic Pro to advance directly to the Meadowlands Pace final rather than race in last weekend's elimination for the event. The bye was based on seasonal earnings. The connections of Downbytheseaside and Miso Fast also accepted byes. Huntsville won the Meadowlands Pace elimination by 2-1/4 lengths over Blood Line in 1:48.4. Ray Schnittker, who trains and co-owns Huntsville, turned down a bye. "At first I thought we would go and race," Moore said. "Then I got thinking about it. He's free legged and you never know if something might happen and he might not make the final. And I figured Huntsville was going to race because he hadn't raced in two weeks, so I decided to take the bye. I trained him on Saturday and he should be ready to roll." Moore's decision to race Classic Pro without hobbles is not without trepidation since the colt went off stride in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes on June 3 at Mohawk. Moore drove the horse in a qualifier three days later and the horse made a break behind the gate again, this time wearing hobbles. "The little bump we did have, he started to get pretty hot behind the gate," Moore said. "After he got a few wins this year, it seemed to change his temperament a little bit. He's getting a bit more aggressive now. "He started getting geared up behind the gate. He hit the stirrups of the bike (sulky) and it was driving him crazy. We got a big bike for him now and have got ear plugs in him. He seems much better. But it's still kind of an adventure at that level with that speed." Classic Pro will start the Meadowlands Pace from post nine with Trevor Henry in the sulky. The horse is Moore's second Meadowlands Pace finalist and Henry's first. Moore finished seventh with State Treasurer in 2012. "That's the way it goes," Moore said about drawing post nine in the 10-horse field. "It would have been nice to draw better. There are at least three good ones there in Huntsville, Downbytheseaside and Miso Fast. After that it's kind of open a bit. We'll just hope to get a little bit of racing there." Following is the field for the $738,550 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-old pacers in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-Blood Line-Somebeachsomewhere-Mark MacDonald-Jimmy Takter-5/1 2-Mac's Jackpot-Somebeachsomewhere-David Miller-Jim Campbell-15/1 3-Boogie Shuffle-Well Said-Scott Zeron-Mark Harder-30/1 4-Huntsville-Somebeachsomewhere-Tim Tetrick-Ray Schnittker-1/1 5-Downbytheseaside-Somebeachsomewhere-Brian Sears-Brian Brown-4/1 6-Miso Fast-Roll With Joe-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-10/1 7-Filibuster Hanover-Somebeacsomewhere-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-10/1 8-Santafe's Coach-Bettor' Delight-Corey Callahan-Leo Iordan-20/1 9-Classic Pro-Shadow Play-Trevor Henry-Dr. Ian Moore-15/1 10-Talent Soup-American Ideal-Eric Abbatiello-Bruce Saunders-30/1 Scheduled post time: 9:34 p.m. Ken Weingartner

JULY 9, 2017 - Percy Bluechip was the top selling yearling at last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale and on Sunday evening the daughter of Shadow Play and Advantest set a Canadian record for harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies at Georgian Downs. Starting from Post 2 in the first of two $96,400 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions, Percy Bluechip got away from the starting gate in second, allowing Kendall Seelster to take the field of eight fillies to a :27.2 opening quarter. Kendall Seelster's tenure on the front end was brief however, as driver Trevor Henry quickly had Percy Bluechip on the move. In control before the :56 half, Percy Bluechip sailed through a 1:23.2 three-quarters and then powered home to a four and three-quarter length victory in 1:51.2. Kendall Seelster finished second and Sudden Passing completed the top three. The 1:51.2 clocking established a Georgian Downs track record and a Canadian record for a two-year-old pacing filly on a five-eighths mile oval. The former Canadian record of 1:51.3 had been set by Ontario Sired Voelz Hanover at Hiawatha Horse Park in 2007 while the 1:53.2 Georgian Downs track record had been shared by Idyllic (2010), Thisorthat Hanover and L A Delight (2015). "It's kind of fast for this time of year, but she did it all on her own according to Trevor," said the filly's trainer, Dr. Ian Moore. "Trevor calls her a natural, says she just sprung the gate on her own and he didn't have to ask her very much, if any really." Moore, who shares ownership of Percy Bluechip with his partners in the Shadow Two Stable of Puslinch, ON, James and Wilma Mackenzie of Ennismore, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC, said the filly was a pleasure to work with all season, and that she had really come into her own in recent weeks. Prior to Sunday's Gold Series opener the filly had qualified twice at Mohawk Racetrack, winning in 1:57.2 on June 15 and 1:54.3 on June 26. Moore also noted that filly reminds him a great deal of her full-brother Arthur Blue Chip, who he trained to earnings of $552,759 between 2013 and 2016. "So many things she does remind me of him, and the most particular is the gait. She's got a kind of a real, long lope-y, very light-footed gait to her and he did too. He was a big horse, but he didn't hit the ground very hard," explained the Puslinch, ON resident. "It just seemed like while I was training him, and she was the same, that they cover so much ground you don't think you're going as fast as you go, you look at your watch at the quarter and say, oh did I go that fast." While Percy Bluechip is well staked, befitting her $110,000 purchase price, Moore said he and his partners will take each start one at a time. "With all two-year-olds it's week-to-week, so we'll see what tomorrow brings and what the week after brings, but we're planning on the Gold at Mohawk (July 24) and then we'll go from there I guess." Big Thong captured the other two-year-old pacing filly Gold division with a sharp late sprint that saw her reach the wire two lengths on top in 1:54.2. Fan favourite and pacesetter Lady Ella finished second and Machnhope was third. Guelph resident James MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Scott McEneny and his wife Michelle McEneny of Waterdown and their partners Teresa Davidson of Milton, Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga and Cora Marshall of Jarvis, ON. In contrast to Percy Bluechip, Big Thong was a modest $20,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. "She wasn't a flashy filly, she kind of had a little bit of her winter hair on her already at the sale and, you know, she was just a plain Jane," recalled McEneny. "But she was put together well, and I liked her." McEneny says the filly showed a tendency to be aggressive, so he asked MacDonald to handle her carefully through the June 10 qualifier where she finished fifth and her June 22 debut where she finished second. MacDonald eased her off the gate again Sunday, sitting mid-pack through the early going. "We're just kind of making sure we don't get her close to the front right off the bat, we don't want to get her too hot," noted the trainer. "She was a little bit warm there when we got her trained down, so I just made sure James was being a little careful with her." Fordham Road won the sole two-year-old trotting colt Gold division, sailing to his second lifetime victory in 1:57.1. Winning American finished one and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite with pacesetter Levitation three more lengths back in third. Trainer Richard Beinhauer piloted the Holiday Road colt to the win for his wife Regina Beinhauer of Venetia, PA and the colt's breeder T L P Stable of Kearny, NJ. Prior to Sunday's $124,200 Gold Series test Fordham Road had posted a pair of qualifying wins, in 2:01.3 on June 2 and 1:58.3 on June 8, at The Meadows in Pennsylvania and a 1:59.1 overnight victory at Mohawk Racetrack on June 29. The wo-year-old trotting colts will make their second Gold Series start on August 1 at Mohawk Racetrack. Next up on Georgian Downs Ontario Sires Stakes calendar is the Grassroots opener for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Tuesday, July 11. The fillies will compete in Races 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9. Post time for Tuesday's program is 7:15 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON-- Lady Shadow overcame a first-up trip to win the $365,000 Roses Are Red Final for the third year in a row Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:48.4. Lady Shadow floated off the gate towards the center of the field while Call Me Queen Be was sent for the front in :25.3. Soon overtaken by Nike Franco N midway down the backstretch, Lady Shadow soon edged off the rail and began a first-over advance towards the leader while Wrangler Magic struggled to find room, causing traffic issues through a :54 half. Pacing three-quarters 1:21.3, Lady Shadow edged past Nike Franco N in the stretch to take the lead and began to drift while she tried to sprint away from Wrangler Magic. Call Me Queen Be angled out of the pocket and chased behind while Lady Shadow held off Wrangler Magic to win, with Call Me Queen Be getting third and Nike Franco N holding onto fourth. A six-year-old Shadow Play mare from the Camluck mare Lady Camella, Lady Shadow won her 32nd race in 59 tries, compiling $2,108,662 in earnings. Competing for the interests of David Kryway, Carl Atley, Ed Gold, and Bfj Stable, trained by Ron Adams, and driven by Yannick Gingras, Lady Shadow paid $3.60 to win. "I had to move her over a little bit [while Wrangler Magic struggled for room] and I just hoped to get back to the two-path," Yannick Gingras said. "It was clear sailing after that. "I thought I had everyone pretty much where I wanted them [in the final turn]. I assumed, the way I saw [the issues in] the backstretch that Louis Phillippe[-Roy on Wrangler Magic] would be disqualified. I knew I had the field stacked up behind me, and I knew I could've gone by Timmy [Tetrick on Nike Franco N] earlier and let her do her thing in the stretch. "She's so tough. She has big lungs and is real tough. No doubt I would've rather been on the lead tonight, but there was plenty of action and a lot of horses would've tried to take their shot at her; she was the horse to beat. I think tonight she proved that she's the best." Lady Shadow paid $3.60 to win. Mark McKelvie / Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications  

Narcian Jewel (Mike Merton) steals the harness racing Fillies and Mares Open II on Friday night at Tioga Downs. Tempus Seelster (Tom Jackson) would forge to the lead just before the first -quarter (26.3). Shutthefrontdoor (Mike SImons) would be parked out first-over and would duel with Tempus Seelster all the way to three-quarters. Narcian Jewel ($12.00) who is trained by Al Annunziata would go three-wide at the top of the stretch. Owned by Blindswitch Racing Stable, Dolne FM Services, Frascella and Farina, the 6 year-old mare by Shadow Play would charge right by to win in 1:52.1. K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) would come on late to finish second. Goldstar Rockette (Aaron Byron) would end up third. Merton would have two more winners on the night. His first win was during race two with Highly Thought Of ($9.40) holding off the late running Always Dee One (Jim Taggart Jr.) in 1:53.1. Merton's third win came with Caviar Hall ($13.00) taking the 3 year-old filly from fifth to first in the stretch just nipping Just Like Bud (Corey Braden) in 1:59.3. Tioga Downs return to action Saturday night with a 10 race card starting at 6:50 P.M. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. John Horne for Tioga Downs.    

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 1 - Following a two-year-old season rife with bad trips and bad posts, Classic Pro returns to the harness racing Grand Circuit stage and will attempt to tap into his potential in the first of two $70,000 Somebeachsomewhere divisions on Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. "He was a pretty nice colt as a two-year-old, but he never got the chance to impress," trainer Dr. Ian Moore said. "He raced against all of the good ones in the Metro, the Champlain and in all of those other races. We thought that [with those trips] we left a lot in the tank for him." Competing for Dr. Moore, who owns with partners R G McGroup and Serge Savard, Classic Pro has won two races in 14 starts, compiling $140,904 in earnings. However, the Shadow Play colt from the Astreos mare Kattimon was winless as a two-year-old, racing 11 times and finishing no better than third. "During his season, he drew a lot of bad posts and had more than one driver, which I do not like," Moore said. "I like to have a regular, but as a result of that, he seemed to have gotten more test drives and got trips where he didn't pull when he could have pulled, so on." Leading up to his 2017 debut, Moore opted to remove hopples from Classic Pro, qualifying him free-legged twice in Florida before shipping to Mohawk to win his first race of the year, a 1:57.3 maiden-breaking score in the slop. "He has grown to be a nice big colt," Moore said. "He had wide strides last year, but now he's even wider now that I've taken the hopples off. He exhibited a lot of good stuff free legged last year training. "This year, he would take off on some days free legged and I thought 'we'll train him down as far as he can go [without hopples].' We got him trained down to [1]:54 before we qualified him, so I thought we'd give him a shot [free legged]. He seems a lot happier." The decision about whether to use hopples or not remains a debate among Moore and the connections. "I did get him a pair of light hopples, but when we put them on him, he would not go onto the track," noted Moore. "Ron, Serge, and I, have been back and forth about whether to kick the hopples off or not. If something were to happen in a big race that causes him to make a break, I'm probably going to be in trouble. But right now he's doing well free legged." Classic Pro was a regular in Ontario Sires Stakes action last season, but Moore opted to skip this year's opening leg and focus on the Grand Circuit. "I intentionally did not take him to London for the Ontario Sires Stakes, being that it's a tight track, because I want to give him every chance to prove that he is a top-level colt. He's a natural pacer." Classic Pro was steered by WEG driving sensation Louis Philippe Roy in his first two starts this season, winning both as the favourite. However, in his most recent start on May 22, Trevor Henry, who drove the Shadow Play colt twice last season, picked up the drive and finished second. "In his last race, we had a perfect two-hole trip for him, didn't have to move until the head of the stretch, and he never got moved," Moore said. "He had to wait an eighth-of-a-mile before he finally got clearance up the inside and meanwhile another horse came by on the outside. He could've easily been three-for-three instead of second. Those two wins can 'braven' some horses, though, so I think they were good for him emotionally." Moore will use Henry again behind Classic Pro from post-three in the first of two Somebeachsomewhere divisions on Saturday. "I don't think [Henry] realized how good [Classic Pro] is when he drove him last week. I was actually kind of disappointed in Louis Philippe Roy--he drove the horse to two wins, but then bailed pretty quickly. I like a horse to have a driver that knows their ability, knows what they're like, knows what they can do, and treats them accordingly." The combination of Moore and Henry has had success in the past, especially in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. "I've been a friend of Trevor and his family for many years; I raced against his father in the '70s and '80s," recalled Moore. "[Trevor] won for us with Rockin In Heaven in the Somebeachsomewhere two years ago as a long shot and we decided to stick with a local driver so we'd have an opportunity to have a consistent driver every week." Moore has opted to use American drivers in the past with Grand Circuit horses, but finding a local driver for Classic Pro makes the most sense to the veteran conditioner, as the Ontario Sires Stakes schedule can potential cause conflicts when trying to bring in an out of town driver. From the Somebeachsomewhere, Classic Pro will be taking on the challenge of tackling the division leaders, such as Downbytheseaside and Huntsville, in the Pepsi North America Cup. "We're basically untested," Moore said. "[Classic Pro] paced probably [1]:50, [1]:51 at his fastest last year, but like I've said, I feel we didn't get to the bottom of his tank as a two-year-old, so it will be interesting to see how he matches up." Here are the fields for Saturday's Somebeachsomewhere Stakes. $70,000 Somebeachsomewhere (Division #1 - Race 4) 1. Sports Column by Sportswriter (Chris Christoforou - Blake MacIntosh) 2. Some Attitude by Somebeachsomewhere (David Miller - Bob McIntosh) 3. Classic Pro by Shadow Play (Trevor Henry - Dr. Ian Moore) 4. Lawrencetown Beach by Somebeachsomewhere (Paul MacDonell - Paul MacDonell) 5. Southwind General by Sportswriter (Jody Jamieson - Jack Darling) 6. American Sportsman by Somebeachsomewhere (Doug McNair - Gregg McNair) 7. Beyond Delight by Bettor's Delight (Sylvain Filion - Tony O'Sullivan) 8. Red John by Mach Three (Trevor Henry - Victor Puddy) 9. Hurricane Beach by Somebeachsomewhere (Louis Philippe Roy - Luc Blais) 10. Manceiver by Sportswriter (Jody Jamieson - Howard Okusko Jr.) 11. Who Said Not To by Well Said (James MacDonald - Mark Steacy)   $70,000 Somebeachsomewhere (Division #2 - Race 8) 1. Makasi by Shanghia Phil (James MacDonald - Mark Steacy) 2. Ideal Wheel by American Ideal (Louis Philippe Roy - Casie Coleman) 3. Streakavana by Big Jim (Sylvain Filion - Scott McEneny) 4. Stealth Bomber by Rocknroll Hanover  (Brett Miller - Tony O'Sullivan) 5. Richard Hill by Mach Three (Doug McNair - Richard Moreau) 6. Mc Mach by Mach Three (Paul MacDonell - Bob McIntosh) 7. Frontier Seelster by Artistic Fella (Jody Jamieson - Jack Darling) 8. Rock This Way by Rocknroll Hanover (Mario Baillargeon - Ben Baillargeon) 9. Macs Jackpot by Somebeachsomewhere (David Miller - Jim Campbell) 10. Henry The Dragon by Custard The Dragon (Montrell Teague - Clyde Francis) 11. Arsenal Seelster by Artistic Fella (Jonathan Drury - Colin Johnson)   Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred

Consistent three-year-old pacer Playing Arkabella delivered another outstanding harness racing performance to emerge triumphant in the $40,000 Group 3 Bandbox Stakes over 2200 metres in Launceston on Friday night. The Paul Hill-trained filly won the two-year-old version of the sires stakes series last season (Evicus Stakes) so to capture the three-year-old edition puts her in elite company. Playing Arkabella had her colours lowered in the Bandbox Prelude by El Jays Mystery that edged her out in the last stride but with a more favourable barrier draw and a heady drive from Rohan Hillier she justified the punters' faith in the daughter of Shadow Play. The filly was heavily backed to start the $1.80 favourite courtesy of drawing barrier three on the front line while her archrival El Jays Mystery had to start from the outside of the second row courtesy of being out of the draw in mobile events. The Todd Rattray-trained Harshali began well from gate five and eventually worked to the lead from rank outsider Safari Oakey ($126) but Hillier was content to send Playing Arkabella around the field to face the breeze from where he could dictate the pace of the race. Ricky Duggan sent El Jays Mystery three-wide to challenge 600 metres out but she was making hard work of it while Harshali looked to be travelling easily and put three metres on the favourite turning for home. But when Hillier called on his filly for the big effort she dug deep and went on to defeat the fast-finishing Huiffier by two metres with El Jays Mystery hanging on for third ahead of Harshali and Halo Henry that dead-heated for fourth. Peter Staples

Andrew Bublitz and Shapeshifter have issues – so much so the Cambridge harness racing trainer recently wanted to give the 4-year-old Shadow Play mare away for free. “We don’t get on. Our personalities clash. I even offered to give her away for free recently but no-one would take her. And now that’s she’s won my wife (Libby) won’t let me sell her. She wants to use her as an amateur horse,” Bublitz said. “In saying that I am allowed to sell to Australia the wife said,” he added. Bublitz notched up his first training success of the season when Shapeshifter and Dylan Ferguson won the second race at Manawatu Raceway on Tuesday) - the $8,000 Paul Claridge Maiden Pace. It was Shapeshifter's first win in nine starts and Bublitz's first training success since the best horse he has trained - Robert The Bruce - won at Manawatu Raceway in February last year. "This win means more than any race stake to me. It's the first time Libby and I have owned and bred a winner. I'm very proud of that, considering I wanted nothing to do with this horse a couple of weeks ago," said Bublitz. Ferguson situated Shapeshifter three back on the outside and then pounced at the top of the lane. They held on to beat a fast-finishing favourite, Itsokbeingbetter (Stephen Doody). Shapeshifter was the $7.20 fourth favourite and paced the 2000m mobile in 2:32 even (mile rate 2:02.9) and came home in 61.1 and 30.4. "We didn't really deserve to win that race because Dave's (Marshall) horse got pushed back and rattled home late to get within half-a-head of us. "I'm sure that if he didn't cop that Itsokbeingbetter would have beaten us by two lengths, but I'll take it because it's a very special training, owning and breeding victory," said Bublitz. Shapeshifter is the first foal out of Bublitz's one-win Dream Away mare, Bonnie Maguire. The broodmare has left three foals and is currently in foal to Sweet Lou. Bublitz said he never gave Ferguson any driving instructions, except to just ‘drive what’s in front of you’. “I’m not the sort of person to hand out instructions to drivers because so much can happen at the start and during a race. She did go into yesterday’s race with a nice third at Cambridge last week though. “She will start again at Manawatu tomorrow and that will be her third start in a week. I’ll see how she’s come through the race but I think she’s up to it, even from barrier six,” Bublitz said. “I think she can place on Thursday,” he added. Bublitz believed Shapeshifter would be better suited to a bigger stable. “I think her personality would suit lots of horses around her. We just don’t get on, but now she’s won I can’t see my wife letting her go. It’s just a matter of wait and see I guess,” Bublitz said. The Leamington horseman also has Shapeshifter's little 2-year-old half sister, Lady Liberty (by American Ideal) in work. "I'll be looking to qualify her soon," said Bublitz, who owns his own transport company. Bublitz has been training since 1991 and has conditioned six winners from 127 starters,. He's also had 19 placings and netted $49,657 in career stakes. He has trained two winners twice in a season - in 2015-2016 and 2010-2011. The second day of the Manawatu Harness Racing Club’s meeting Thursday will operate a $40,000 Pick6 from race two on. By Duane Ranger

WILKES-BARRE PA - Skippin By, forced to go a fast first half by Yes You Can, held off that foe by ¾ of a length at the wire to emerge triumphant in the $16,500 harness racing featured mares pace Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   Matt Kakaley got away fourth with the daughter of Shadow Play, then made a quarter-move, which turned out to be an elongated one as Yes You Can also sought the top past the 27 quarter. Yes You Can did make the lead in front of the stands and then yielded to Skippin By, but not before forcing a 54.4 half.   Unusually for Pocono, the third quarter (28.1) was the slowest in the race, which meant that Skippin By, after reaching the ¾ in 1:23, still had plenty in the tank, and the favored winner of over $700,000 careerwise was good enough to thwart the potential pocket rocket in winning for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Wall Brothers Stable, and Bruce Soulsby.   There was a pair of $16,000 paces for distaffs in the co-featured position. The quicker went to the Rock N Roll Heaven mare Angels Rockn Pink, who quarter-moved for driver Marcus Miller and went on to a 1:52.2 victory by 2½ lengths for trainer John Butenschoen and Crawford Farms Racing. In the other, the Well Said filly I Wish You Well tied her 1:52.3 lifetime best set last week, rallying from the pocket to catch odds-on Miss Jones by 1¼ lengths for trainer/driver Pat Lachance and the ownership of Luc Ouellette Incorporated and Alan Alber.   PHHA / Pocono

Hit The Lights had 28 starts before he emerged triumphant but as often is the case with horses that take forever to win a race just two starts later the Mark Geeves-trained gelding was back in the harness racing winner's circle. The gelded son of Shadow Play registered his second win in a C1 over 2090 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart last Sunday night. With Adrian Duggan in the cart, Hit The Lights settled near the rear of the field but when the pace slackened the driver made the race-winning move to allow his charge to roll around the field and face the breeze from where he could help dictate the pace of the race. Hit The Lights stormed to the lead in the home straight and went on to score comfortably from Last Guy Standing and Pop The Cork. Hit The Lights is owned by Geeves and his long-time friend and fellow hobby trainer Eric Blomquist. Geeves purchased the gelded son of Shadow Play from Queensland about 16 months ago and when he arrived at his stables he immediately showed promise but a back ailment prevented him from realising his potential. "Because he showed so much when he first arrived (in Tasmania) we pushed on to try and win a three-year-old event but I discovered the back problem so I tipped him out and gave him a decent spell," Geeves said. Now that Hit The Lights has found form Geeves expects the gelding to remain competitive as he makes his way through the lower classes. Peter Staples  

So far she’s gone through the series unnoticed, but Black Silhouette is ready to step out of the shadows. That’s the call from harness racing trainer Sam Dimarco after his promising filly drew perfectly in Saturday night’s Ladbrokes Australian Pacing Gold Final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Third in her heat at Menangle a fortnight ago, Black Silhouette was fourth in her semi won by unbeaten youngster Molly Kelly last weekend. With the daughter of Shadow Play to begin from the pole in the $322,000 decider, Dimarco is positive Black Silhouette is ready to surprise her more fancied rivals. “It’s great to get a draw like that with her,” Dimarco said. “Coming from there puts her right in the mix. “She has done a good job to get to the Final and has improved with every run. “Last week she pulled a little in the semi during that slow middle quarter, but with such a strong field this week, the pace should remain consistent, which will help her. “She’s come through the run in great order and has settled in well down here at Vince’s (Vallelonga) place. “I worked her this morning and she felt great. She’s ready to run a big race.” Owned by his wife Michelle, daughter Marissa, her partner Tim and his mother Norma, Black Silhouette found her way into Dimarco’s stable via prominent horseman Ricky Alchin. “Ricky bought her at the Sydney APG Sale and was preparing her for the Ready To Run Sale, but we bought her off him before that,” Dimarco explained. “Marissa picked her out and particularly liked her because she is by Shadow Play. “We won our first Group One with Shadow Runner, which is also by Shadow Play, so Marissa likes his stock.” APG Media

Hits the Lights finally delivered on the potential he showed when he first arrived in Tasmania by powering his way to an impressive harness racing win in the Green Electrical Pace over 2090 metres at Luxbet Park Hobart last night. The Mark Geeves-trained four-year-old faced the breeze for over a lap but proved too strong for his rivals at the business end of the race to score by 5-1/2 metres from Peteri Mic with Really Frank a half-neck away third. Geeves purchased the gelded son of Shadow Play from Queensland about 16 months ago and when he arrived at his stables he immediately showed promise but a back ailment prevented him from realising his potential. "Because he showed so much when he first arrived (in Tasmania) we pushed on to try and win a three-year-old event but I discovered the back problem so I tipped him out and gave him a decent spell," Geeves said. "He's come back in good order and his runs leading up to this race were good but we had to drive him differently tonight to make sure it wasn't going to be a sit and sprint. "I'm not sure how many more wins he's got in him but we've got one at least." Geeves, who considers himself a boutique trainer these days with only one or two horses in work at any one time. Hit The Lights ($7.50) was well driven by Adrian Duggan who settled the gelding three-back in the one-out line but when the pace slackened 1200m from home he sent the gelding around the field to face the breeze. He forged to the lead leaving the back straight the last time and went on to score comfortably. "We wanted to make sure he was up on the speed so that we could play to his strength," Duggan said. "He's done a good job tonight and on that run he'll definitely win again." Peter Staples  

A commanding performance on debut on Tuesday of last week by Play The Boys stamps the impressive colt as the winner of the $95,000 Clipsal By Schneider WA Sales Classic for harness racing two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Play The Boys, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, was assured of favouritism when he drew ideally at barrier No. 2 on the front line in the 1730m classic. He looks set to lead or to race in a prominent position and should carry too many guns for the opposition. He overcame the disadvantage of a wide barrier (No. 8) in last week’s race when he settled in sixth position before starting a three-wide move to the breeze outside Hughey The Hammer, who had assumed control after 550m. Play The Boys got his head in front of Hughey The Hammer at the 100m mark and went on to win by a neck, but in good style, from that colt, rating 1.56.2 after final quarters of 28.7sec. and 28.5sec. Play The Boys, by American stallion Shadow Play, is out of Hello Boys, who raced 55 times for 12 wins, 17 placings and stakes of $89,541. Hello Boys, an elder sister to Party Date (111 starts for 25 wins, 27 placings and $256,003) is also the dam of Kiss Chasey, who has earned $146,358 from 16 wins and 15 placings from 59 starts. Kohli, trained by Bryan Cousins and to be driven by Kim Prentice, will have many admirers, particularly after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line. Kohli has finished second at each of his two starts (over 1730m at Gloucester Park) and shows excellent potential. He raced in the one-out, one-back position when second to Pocket More For Less and then raced without cover when a fighting second to Rock Me Over. He is bred to be a winner, being by former champion New Zealand pacer Courage Under Fire and out of Elegant Eyes, whose elder full-sister Innocent Eyes earned $421,875 from 18 wins and 17 placings from 62 starts. Innocent Eyes won four group 1 events --- the Victoria and Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley in July 2005, the Chariots of Fire at Harold Park and the Vicbred Super Series for four-year-old mares the following year. Rock Me Over, a good winner at each of his past two starts for trainer Katja Warwick and reinsman Gary Hall jun., has drawn awkwardly at barrier six, but cannot be left out of calculations. He was untroubled to lead throughout from the No. 1 barrier and win by more than two lengths from Kohli on Tuesday of last week after racing in the one-out, one-back position and winning easily from Mistersandman at Pinjarra at his previous outing. Rock Me Over, by American sire Rock N Roll Heaven, is a half-brother to Handsandwheels, the winner of the WA Derby last Friday week. He is also closely related to several smart pacers, including Suave Stuey Lombo (110 starts for 33 wins, 23 placings and stakes of $587,032) and Miss Trick In Lombo (109 starts for 15 wins, 29 placings and $230,312). Ken Casellas

IT is often said that good things come to those who wait – and boy was Geoff Simpson’s wait rewarded with a good thing. Thirty-one years after the Lithgow trainer-driver took part in the first staging of the Bathurst Harness Racing Club’s Gold Crown series, he got his hands on the coveted trophy. He did it with a $24.70 outsider called Castalong Shadow and the 1:55.2 winning mile rate was the fastest in crown history. It was far different expression on his face than Simpson wore after the inaugural Gold Crown Final for two-year-old colts and geldings in 1987.  In that decider his chance Too Rich finished 37 metres off the pace in ninth. “I waited long enough,” Simpson said. “Since Lithgow shut this has been my home track, so I am very grateful to win this race. It means everything to me.” While Simpson could not have dreamed of a better finish to the Group 1 final, the 1,730 metres trip was not all smooth sailing. His start from barrier six was not the best, but Simpson was able to duck across to the pegs. There he found himself in the trail behind Maximus Red. As the bell sounded hot $1.10 favourite Divine State – a horse who had already twice beaten Castalong Shadow – rolled up to take the lead, shuffling Simpson back into third. After a hot 56.4 seconds first half of the last mile, Divine State managed to put two lengths on the chasing pack. At that point Simpson thought the ‘Team Tritton’ gelding would go on to win. “I thought I might still battle on and get a place when I saw it go,” Simpson admitted. But Castalong Shadow did more than just snag a minor placing. Both Maximus Red and Castalong Shadow gave again and not only caught the favourite, but ran straight past him. Castalong Shadow continued to give and went on to win by 7¼m, the Shadow Play x Leslie Jay colt taking his record to three wins from five starts. In a local trifecta, the Bernie Hewitt trained, Mat Rue driven Mackeral ($50.70) found the line well to place second, with 4m back to Steve Turnbull’s Maximus Red ($9.50) with Amanda Turnbull in the gig. “I missed the start actually, he got out a little bit slow. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because Amanda’s horse and that one of Tritton’s went pretty hard in the first bit,” Simpson said. By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Annabeth (Shadow Play) pulled off a mild harness racing upset in the Thursday feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Melissa Beckwith-trained six year old was dismissed at odds of 8-1, the longest shot on the board in the field of five in the $12,000 Fillies and Mares Open. Annabeth was a beaten favorite in last week's Open and sat third on the rail on Thursday before surging up the passing lane to edge out front-runner Bye Bye Michelle (Dan Cappello Jr). Annabeth paid $19.80 while winning for the second time in five seasonal starts. The exacta with Bye Bye Michelle second returned $60. Milky Way Rae (Billy Dobson) finished third to extend her stretch of hitting the board to four. Annabeth, who stopped the timer in 1:54.1, was driven to victory by Mark Beckwith who piloted five winners on the matinee card, four for conditioner Melissa Beckwith. Live racing continues on Friday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

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