WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 21, 2016 -- Skippin By had to work hard for the early lead but never was threatened thereafter as she coasted to a 1:53 harness racing victory in Monday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Skippin By hadn't won since an Aug. 29 triumph at The Meadows, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Since then, she's faced a steady diet of elite mares and grabbed a fifth-place check in the Breeders Crown final. On Monday, she dominated the field for Dave Palone after wresting the early lead from Spreester, downing the first-over Classic Carpet by a length. Spreester finished third. Ron Burke trains Skippin By, a 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Southern Magnolia who boosted her career bankroll to $670,604, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Wall Bros. Stable and Bruce Soulsby. Palone and owner Bob Key enjoyed triples on the 14-race card while Shawn Johnston collected two wins as a driver and another as a trainer. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
East Rutherford, N.J. -- After patiently tracking an exacting pace, odds-on harness racing favorite Tessa Seelster ($3.00) was able to chase down pocket rival Inittowinafortune to capture Friday's (November 18) featured $17,500 top-level distaff pace at The Meadowlands. Tessa Seelster was anxious to move forward when the gates folded in, but Yannick Gingras was able to wrangle the 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play into a tracking spot behind pacesetter Nat a Virgin (David Miller) and the pocket-sitting Inittowinafortune (Corey Callahan) through early splits of :26.3 and :53.4. With five-sixteenths to go, Tessa Seelster angled second-over behind Inittowinafortune, who powered clear of a taxed Nat a Virgin approaching head-stretch. While Inittowinafortune edged away by nearly four lengths in upper stretch, she too began to tire in the final sixteenth, just nosed out in the last yards of a 1:50 mile by Tessa Seelster. Icommandmyspirit (Jim Marohn, Jr.) rallied belatedly to save third, 2-3/4 lengths in arrears of the top pair. Ron Burke trains Tessa Seelster for the Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Jonathan Newman. Always B Miki retired in trackside ceremony World champion Always B Miki made one final visit to the Big M winner's enclosure for a special retirement ceremony after he capped his career with a resounding win in the $400,000 TVG Free-For-All Pace last weekend. The fastest Standardbred to ever set foot on a racetrack concluded his career with 30 wins in 53 career starts, over $2.7 million in earnings, and a career mark of 1:46 taken at the Red Mile in October. Always B Miki will transition from the Jimmy Takter stable to assume stud duty at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. Live racing returns to The Meadowlands with an 11-race card slated for Saturday (November 19) evening, and a last-race Jackpot Super Hi-5 carryover of $38,181.74. Post time is 7:15 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Meadowlands
East Rutherford, N.J. - Lady Shadow ($2.40) asserted her superiority in the $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace at The Meadowlands, pushing clear of arch rival Solar Sister early and evading her foes en route to a 1:49.4 harness racing victory, her 11th of the season. The 5-year-old Shadow Play mare stalked the top flight from the two-path on approach to the first turn before pushing to the fore after Solar Sister (Doug McNair) won an early duel with Frost Damage Blues (Brett Miller) through a :27 first quarter mile. Once clear, Yannick Gingras maintained a strong and consistent pace with Lady Shadow through middle sectionals of :54.2 and 1:21.4, in fact edging away upon approaching the home straight. Despite all-out encouragement in the final eighth while now contending with a prevailing headwind, Lady Shadow maintained 2-1/4 lengths clearance over Sassa Hanover (Matt Kakaley), who rallied off stalled cover to claim the runner-up spot. Frost Damage Blues found room to vacate traffic in mid-stretch to save third over the tiring Solar Sister. Trainer Ron Adams was more than pleased with how Lady Shadow has matured from her 4-year-old campaign. "She's had a good year this year, a career year, actually," remarked Adams. "She had issues when she was younger, made miscues behind the gate, and it cost her a lot of money early on in her career. But she's put that behind her, she's turned in to a really nice mare. She likes the big track and she likes the speed. Speed is her game and she gets to use it here." Lady Shadow, now a 27-time winner, is owned by the partnership of Kryway, Atley, Gold, and the BFJ Stable. For Gingras, the winning drive earned him his second Breeders Crown title of the night. In July, Lady Shadow set the world record for pacers at 1-1/8 miles, winning the Golden Girls in a scintillating 2:00.3. by James Witherite, Meadowlands
The Forest City Sale took one to the gut when the Ontario Liberal Government leaked its intention to terminate SARP by March, 2013. The 2012 sale saw 257 yearlings average $10,519. The previous year 263 averaged more than $18,000. As contingency plans for the industry were assembled and assurances of continuity dished out from above, things began to settle down: in 2013 32 fewer head were sold but the average increased to $13,524. And in 2014 it kicked up to $15,294. Last year the average stepped up again to $23,207, although the number sold dropped by almost half since 2011. On Sunday 133 yearlings sold for an average of $26,308. That’s an increase of almost 12% from last year and 60% from the deep, dark days of 2012. And the gross was up $302,000 on three fewer yearlings sold. Let’s look inside. Shadow Play, who outdid Sportswriter at the Canadian Yearling Sale, managed to do so again—on a grander scale. The 11-year-old is selling his fifth crop, and up until Sunday his only $100,000 plus yearling was Arthur Blue Chip, from crop number one. He was a big time outlier at $135,000. On Sunday that one’s full sister brought $110,000 while a colt sold for $100,000. And another colt brought $82,000. The sire of world champion Lady Shadow saw 28 average $33,786, up 19% from last year and up 54% since 2013. Five, or 18%, topped $50,000; 14, or 48% beat $25,000 and 19, or 65.5% exceeded $20,000. So, while the son of The Panderosa, who has seen his fee hold steady at $4,000 (cdn) the last three years, made a splash at the top, almost half of his offering failed to beat $25,000. Sportswriter, the two-year-old division champ in the US and Canada, had more of a presence at Forest City than he has had in the past; he sold eleven for an average of $29,091. This after only selling a pair each in 2014 and 2015. This year’s sale crop is very large at 141 yearlings. Contrast that with last year when there were only 57. He had a good year in the OSS, finishing second on the leader board with the likes of Yaris Bayama, Yogi Bayama and Sports Column. Sportswriter stands for $6,500 (cdn). Nineteen by the son of Artsplace averaged $22,500 at the Canadian Yearling Sale. Seventeen-year-old Mach Three, who was selling his twelfth crop, has seen younger stallions come and go in Ontario but he still rules the roost—until next year when Bettor’s Delight starts selling Canadian breds again, anyway. Fourteen averaged $40,286. That’s up 14% from 2015 and up 22% since 2013. There were no $100,000 sales; the highest was a roan colt that went for $74,000. However, his prices were good across the board. More than 28% topped $50,000; 86% broke $25,000; and none of them dropped below $20,000. There are 103 in this crop. He shows no sign of slowing down. Camluck, who retired in the fall of 2014 and passed in August of 2015, had been a key figure in Ontario racing for decades. And the sire of Michael’s Power, Dreamfair Eternal, Burning Point and Giddy Up Lucky, finished strong with his final crop. Eight averaged $31,375, down only 6% from the 15 he sold last year. Badlands Hanover stood for eight years in Delaware before relocating to Ontario. He’s selling his sixth Canadian crop. Seven sold for a $16,000 average, up almost 4% from last year when he sold 14 at Forest City. Only two cracked $20,000 and four of them sold for less than $15,000. This offering is from a crop of 61 registered foals. There were 44 last year. Twnty-year-old Badlands bred more than 150 mares in each of his first four years in Ontario. Royal Mattjesty is another wheel-spinner. Eleven averaged $15,545. And that’s up more than 16% from last year. Beyond that, his average is up almost 53% since 2014, when four averaged $7,375. There are only 16 registered foals in the crop selling this year. There were 10 in the crop that sold last year and 12 in 2013. He’s not exactly a high volume stallion. Royal Mattjesty stands for $3,500 (cdn). The Western Ideal stallion, Big Jim, sold six for a $25,167 average—up 27% over last year when 11 sold. His average is up 29% since his first crop sold in 2014. Seven averaged $25,885 at the Canadian Yearling Sale, where Brad Grant paid $45,000 for a colt and Tony O’Sullivan paid $44,000 for another. Three at Forest City topped $25,000 while three failed to break $15,000. He’s number four in the OSS thanks to Streakavana and Magnum J. Big Jim stands for $4,000 (cdn). Vintage Master sold seven for a $10, 857 average. That’s down 25% from his $14,667 average for six sold last year. Eight averaged under $10,000 in 2014. Six sold for less than $15,000 at Forest City. Freshman filly Thatsoveryverynice won a split of the Eternal Camnation and a couple of Golds last year, but she’s been no factor at three. Trotters only represented 24% of the yearlings sold at Forest City. Muscle Mass is selling for the NYSS market this year and Kadabra is not a big Forest City guy: he only sold two Sunday, none last year and three in 2014. The sire of Caprice Hill, Emoticon Hanover, Winter Sweet Frost and Will Take Charge sold a filly for $80,000 and another for $29,000. Twenty-year-old Angus Hall, who saw his fee drop from $10,000 to $6,000 in the face of the SARP crisis in 2013, sold nine for a $23,333 average, up 28% from 2015 and up 45% from 2014. One topped $50,000; four of the nine broke $25,000; and 5, or 55%, fell short of $20,000. Triple Crown winner Glidemaster was shipped to Canada a couple of years ago after standing for seven years in Pennsylvania. Maven is his crown jewel, and the drop-off is precipitous after that. Blue Porsche closed his freshman season in promising fashion but wasn’t healthy enough to go on and the ill-fated Punxsutawney was killed in an accident. Glidemaster’s last two crops in Pennsylvania consisted of 17 and 14 foals. He sold a dozen for a $17,167 average at Forest City. Only one topped $25,000. Eight brought less than $20,000. Holiday Road sold five for a $23,600 average from a crop of 31 registered foals. Last hear he only sold one from a crop of 18. Majestic Son sold a pair of fillies for $36,000 and $26,000. Again, there are only 29 in the crop they came from. Let’s hope Muscle Mass, E L Titan and Archangel are going to turn out large numbers, because these small crops that sell at reduced prices are a problem. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.
LONDON, Ontario . . .Noted Canadian trainer Dr. Ian Moore is looking to replace his recently retired champion harness racing pacer State Treasurer and he took the first steps this afternoon at the Forest City Yearling Sale as he purchased the two sale toppers, both sired by another one of his outstanding performers, Shadow Play. Dr. Moore shelled out $110,000 for Percy Bluechip who was consigned by Preferred Equine as agent for breeder Blue Chip Farms of New York. Percy is a full brother to Arthur Blue Chip who earned more than $550,000 for Moore and his partners a few years back. The colt is also a half-brother to $1.5 million winner Kenneth J. The second highest price at the sale was the $100,000 Moore paid for Atomic Seelster. Consigned by breeder Seelster Farms of Lucan, Ontario, the colt is a half-brother to two $100,000+ winners including Aniston Seelster ($193,000). It was announced last week that State Treasurer, last year’s Horse of the Year in Canada, would begin stud duties at Seelster starting in 2017. A great crowd was on hand to watch a total of 133 colts and fillies go through the sales ring today at Western Fair’s Metroland Media Agriplex in London for an average of $26,308 which is up approximately 11 per cent from last year’s $23,507 average for 136 sold. “I think the sale reflected a show of optimism for the industry and confidence in the product. The industry seems to be turning a corner especially with the incentives now being offered,” noted sale manager Ann Straatman. “It appears that breeders are looking at offering quality over quantity. “I’d like to thank auctioneers Ryan Dorran Marketing, now in their fourth year with FCYS, all of the staff of the sale and Randy Manges and Bruce Brinkerhoff for assisting with inspections,” she added. In addition to the sale of many of Ontario’s best bred yearlings, the weekend also included The Forest City Preview at The Raceway which were four divisional races open to three-year-old trotters and pacers who raced in the Ontario Sires Stakes this season. Thanks to the sponsorship from Ontario Lottery and Gaming and Ontario Racing, Forest City Yearling Sale and Western Fair District put together an innovative Info Zone for fans and owners. A number of organizations presented information on fractional ownership, horse registration and licensing, pedigree interpretation, Ontario's new owners' bonus and life after racing for our equine athletes. Complete sales results are available here.
Last season's premier harness racing trainer and Halwes Medalist Ben Yole is already on target to deliver the same result in 2016-17. As well as being voted the Halwes Medal for his outstanding achievements through the season Yole prepared 108 winners to easily win his first trainer's title and on Sunday night he was at it again with three winners on the nine-event card. While most of Yole's winners end up starting favourite because of the strong wagering support for his stable, his trio of winners were all outsiders on Sunday. Regmondo ($18 into $12.20) was making his debut and after settling fifth his driver Mark Yole sent him around the field at the bell to face the breeze outside of The Village Thief. When Yole called on Regmondo (Shadow Play-Cher Mon Amour) for the big effort he forged to the lead and held out all challengers in the straight to easily score from What Went Wong and Augural. The long shots continued to roll in when Yole's seven-year-old Sir Dasher Dee made light of an outside second-row draw to salute at good odds. Sir Dasher Dee, with Todd Rattray in the cart, came from well back to outgun Palmisano that faced the breeze throughout with Barooga Buster flashing home late to grab third ahead of the favourite Ebonyallstarzzz ($2.80) that is a stablemate to the winner. Yole brought up his treble when Roxburgh Way ($13.30), that settled one-out-two-back, powered home to score an impressive win by three metres from Su You Too. Yole has already taken a stranglehold on the 2016-17 trainer's premiership with 10 winners to be six ahead of Todd Rattray while Gareth Rattray leads the way in the driver's premiership with nine wins to be two clear of Ricky Duggan and Mark Yole who is the reigning premier reinsman. Peter Staples
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 24 - Lady Shadow continued her outstanding harness racing season with a powerful 1:50 victory in the $311,000 Milton Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A strong group of 10 older pacing mares, with more than $8.3 million in combined career earnings, battled it out for the Milton Stakes crown. Lady Shadow has been at the top of the division all season and to no surprise was wagered down to 2-5 in Saturday's rich final. The five-year-old pacing mare showed early speed to get away near the front for driver James MacDonald. Wrangler Magic sprinted off the wings of the gate to grab command and forced a charged up Frost Damage Blues into the two-hole. After a :26.4 opening-quarter, Wrangler Magic continued to motor along down the backstretch for driver Sylvain Filion. MacDonald gave Lady Shadow her cue to move out from third at three-eighths and the heavy favourite sprinted up to take a slight lead at the half in :54.4. Filion did his best to stretch out the favourite, but Lady Shadow would clear to the front entering the far turn and ripped off a :27 third-panel to reach three-quarters in 1:21.4. In the stretch, Lady Shadow created some separation on her rivals and paced home in :28.1 for a 2¼ lengths victory. "I know with Sylvain (Filion) he wanted to stretch me out a little bit, but it doesn't matter to her" said MacDonald, who also won last year's Milton Stakes with Venus Delight. "I've seen her go some of the craziest trips you could ask a horse to go this year and she got stung pretty hard tonight and she's just such a good mare, she overcame it." Yagonnakissmeornot was able to finish second after getting away fourth and staying inside until three-quarters. Waasmula charged home for third, while Bedroomconfessions closed well from the back for fourth. Wrangler Magic faded back to finish ninth. A five-year-old daughter of Shadow Play, Lady Shadow has now won nine of 16 starts and earned over $700,000 this season for trainer Ron Adams and owners David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold and BFJ Stable. "She's definitely having a career year," said Adams. "She's just been tough and stayed tough the whole year and she's just getting better I think every start." Lady Shadow became the first mare Saturday since Moving Pictures in 2007 to win both the Milton Stakes and Roses Are Red Stakes in the same season. She now has 25 career wins and career earnings of over $1.5 million. Adams noted in the winner's circle that Lady Shadow will now head to Lexington, Kentucky to race on Sunday, October 9th during the Grand Circuit at The Red Mile. "Hopefully it's a nice day and we can maybe go a big mile." A $2 win ticket on Lady Shadow returned $2.90, while the $2 Exacta with the winner and Yagonnakissmeornot paid $46.80. Mark McKelvie
YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 23, 2016-Tessa Seelster (George Brennan, $7.70) again proved best Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play from her 'inside' post position No. 5 (posts 5 thru 8 were drawn), Tessa Seelster easily worked around pole-sitting, slight 2-1 favorite Devil Child (Eric Goodell). After a :27.3 opening quarter-mile, a :29.1 second substation (:56.4 intermission) served her well. Secret's Out N (Tyler Buter) took out of fourth and was originally pacing in place. She did eventually make steady advances in and out of a 1:24.1 three-quarters, though the leader maintained a length-and-a-quarter advantage entering the lane. 'Tessa' found the wire a half-length before Devil Child in 1:51.3. Secret's Out N held third, with Rock N Roll Xample (Dan Dube) and Tipitina (Brent Holland) settling for the minors. For third choice Tessa Seelster, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jonathan Newman, it was her ninth win in 19 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $24.80, with the triple returning $121. Saturday's card is enveloped by the 27th New York Night of Champions, the $1.8 million culmination of the sire stakes season. The Empire State's richest night of racing features eight, $225,000 NYSS, for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. They go as the first eight races during the 13-race card, with first post the usual 7:10 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 16, 2016 - A resurgent Tessa Seelster and harness racing driver George Brennan, proved best Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Away fourth from her assigned post position No. 6, 'Tessa' saw pole-sitting Jungle Genie N (Brent Holland) seat everyone early. 'Genie' paid a :27.1 price for the privilege before 11-10 favorite Rock N Roll Xample (Dan Dube) made her second move. Leaving into a three-hole, she went by Jungle Genie N right at the quarter-mile, then led the ladies through a :55.4 intermission. Tessa Seelster then made her second move, out to engage the fave down the backside. Rock N Roll Xample continued to lead in and out of a 1:24 three-quarters, where it appeared she put her stalker away. The lead was a length-and-a-half in and out of the final turn, but Rock N Roll Xample was about to fade from the scene. Tessa Seelster found renewed life, though, getting the better of Jungle Genie N by a length in 1:52.2. Mach it a Par (Brian Sears), last of the seven entering the lane, rallied for third, with Secret's Out N (Tyler Buter) and Al Raza N (Mark MacDonald) rounding out the payees. Rock N Roll Xample tired to sixth. For second choice Tessa Seelster, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jonathan Newman, it was her eighth win in 18 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $144, with the triple returning $574. YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $2,400 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Sept. 17) Pick 5 wager begins with a carryover of $2,422.49. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Frank Drucker
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, September 9, 2016 - This Sunday six two-year-old pacing fillies will battle it out at the Hippodrome 3R in the annual Lucien Bombardier Stakes, going for a purse of $30,600. One of the "pioneers" of horse racing in Canada, but especially Quebec, Lucien Bombardier devoted his entire life to the industry. Born and raised near Bedford, QC, Bombardier retired in 1992 after 16 years on the board of directors of the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society. The following year, at age 86, Bombardier became the first honorary director of the CSHS. His appointment by the board of directors in January 1993 was in recognition of achievement and contribution to the Society and the Standardbred industry. Bombardier was also honored in 1985 when he was recognized for his life-long devotion to the industry when he was the recipient of the Society's General Achievement Award for his excellence, leadership and contribution to the breeding industry and by his election into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame the following year. Bombardier started training and driving harness horses at agricultural fair meetings in Quebec at an early age. In the early 1940s he left a business career to open a large racing stable at Richelieu Park in Montreal and in 1953 he accepted an executive position with Blue Bonnets (now Hippodrome de Montreal). During 25 years in racetrack management he played a role in developing many changes and innovations that helped make harness racing a major sport industry and earned him an enviable reputation on both sides of the border. He also served as a director of Harness Tracks of America and the Canadian Trotting Association. At age 68 Bombardier retired from Blue Bonnets and embarked upon a new career when he became an executive with Angus Farms in Bedford, Que., one of the province's most successful breeding establishments. Bombardier died in 1995 and was honored each year at Hippodrome de Montreal with the running of the Lucien Bombardier Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies. With sponsorship from Standardbred Canada and the Quebec Jockey Club, the Hippodrome 3R revived the stakes race in 2011. This year's stakes event takes place in the third race and features a newcomer to 3R, Future Headlines. This daughter of Sportswriter is trained by Colin Johnson, who co-owns the filly with Thomas Kyron and Dived Heffering. She starts from post two and has three starts this year, all at Mohawk Raceway. In her first pari-mutuel start, a $70,000 Ontario Sire Stakes, Future Headlines was an easy winner in 1:55. She was then fourth in a two-year-old stake and then in her last start, in a $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes, she was third, race timed in a blazing 1:52.3. She will be driven Sunday by 3R's leading reinsman, Louis-Philippe Roy. Her main competition will come from D G's Elsa in post four driver Jonathan Lachance. This filly by Shanghai Phil may be winless in five starts, but she sports four straight second place finishes, all in the Future Stars Series at 3R for trainer Guylaine Fortin. Last week in the $55,000 Future Stars Series Final, D G's Elsa was able to follow pacesetter Queen Elsa right to the wire, losing by just three-quarters of a length in 1:57.1. Another newcomer to 3R is Crazy Alice from post three for the Rick Zeron Stable. Although winless in five starts she has been race timed in 1:56.2 in her last start at Mohawk Raceway and Rick Zeron will be driving the daughter of Shadow Play. Rounding out the field are Chaleurs Melodie (post one), Vee Breeze (post five) and Kinnderuntouchable (post six). Post time Sunday is 1:30 pm, For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Both track record holders from last week, Makasi and Yaris Bayama, were able to repeat with victories in their respective divisions of the Future Stars Series at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday. It was the fourth and final week of competition in the series for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies. Now the top eight point earnings from the four legs will return on Sunday, September 4 for their respective $55,000 finals. Also that day will be the $65,000 finals for the three-year-old trotters and pacers. Next Sunday will be the richest day of the year at 3R with more than $500,000 in total purses for their Super Sunday Finales Day with eight stakes races on the program. Makasi stole the show last week at 3R with his 1:55.2 triumph in the colt division of the Future Stars Series. That mile as the fastest ever in the history of the Hippodrome 3R for a two-year-old. He did not have to go as fast this Sunday, but still was very impressive. Leaving from post five in the eighth race colt division, driver Stephane Brosseau, handling the homebred son of Shanghai Phil for the first time, had little trouble getting the early lead and going to the opening quarter mile in :28. They led to the half mile in :57.4 with C L Sportsaction (Jonathan Lachance) sitting in second place and Mach DÃ©jÃ vu (Pascal Berube) stuck first-over from the start of the race and Yogi Bayama (Yves Filion) second-over. Then in the backstretch, the action heated up as driver Gaetan Lamy took Histoire Enchantee three-wide in the bold move and was able to clear into first-over against Makasi at the three-quarters in 1:27.1. That move woke up Brosseau, who just lifted the lines on Makasi, who started to scoot away from the field and held them at bay down the stretch, easing up at the wire to win by a half length in 1:56.3. The 45-1 long shot, Majo Lou Beka (Mario Lachance) was able to close well for second place with Wildriverbumblebee (Louis-Philippe Roy) third. It was the second straight win in just four lifetime starts for Makasi. He was bred and is owned by Tony Infilise's Hudson Standardbred Stable of Hudson, QC and paid $2.80 to win. Yaris Bayama, who last week set the track record for two-year-old pacing fillies, nearly rewrote her own record in the sixth race, the second division of the Future Stars Series for fillies. Facing only three rivals after two late scratches in the race, Filion sent the daughter of Sportswriter right to the front. She then cut fractions of :29.1 and :59 to the half before she received a first-over challenge from Queen Elsa (Steeve Genois) with D G's Elsa (Jonathan Lachance) sitting comfortably in second place behind Yaris Bayama. Past the three-quarters in 1:28.4, Yaris Bayama looked very comfortable as Queen Elsa was unable to gain any ground on the race leader. But as they came down the stretch, it became a horse race as Lachance urged D G's Elsa to the passing lane and was gaining ground on Yaris Bayama. But the effort was not good enough, as Yaris Bayama kicked in a :28.1 last quarter mile to win by a half-length in 1:57. Queen Elsa was third. That time was just one-fifth of a second from Yaris Bayama's track record mile last week. It was the third straight win and fourth victory in six starts for Yaris Bayama. The Bayama Farms homebred filly paid just $2.20 to win as the overwhelming 1/9 race favorite. In the fourth race, first division of the Future Stars Series for fillies, HP Celina Shadow and driver Louis-Philippe Roy was able to sit a pocket-seat behind pacesetter Vee Breeze (Gastan Lamy) as race favorite, Chaleurs Melodie (Carl Duguay) made a costly and uncharacteristic break going for the lead on the first turn. Sitting patiently in second place after the opening quarter and then to the half mile, Roy then made his move with HP Celina Shadow at the three-quarter mile marker. They raced as a tandem against Vee Breeze and Lamy around the the final turn. As they stared down the stretch, HP Celina Shadow started to pull away, winning by three and three-quarter lengths in 2:01.3. Vee Breeze was second with Loulou P V (Yves St Jacques) third. It was the pari-mutuel maiden victory for HP Celina Shadow. The daughter of Shadow Play is trained by Jean Tourigny for breeder Claude Hamel of Ayers'S Cliff, QC who co-owns the filly with Michel Damphousse. She paid $5.90 to win. TRACK NOTES: Louis-Philippe Roy, the leading driver at 3R this season, increased his lead towards the dash winning title with a driving quadruple Sunday. He now leads all drivers with 51 wins, 25 more than his nearest rival, Pascal Berube at 26 wins. Roy's most impressive win on the day was in the 10th and final race on the card, a 1:54 lifetime mark with Terror Suspect. Tuesday will be the final night racing card of the season at 3R. First race post time is 7:00 pm for the ten race program. From the Quebec Jockey Club
YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 26, 2016 - Favored Tessa Seelster (George Brennan, $5.60) just held off a stubborn Mach it a Par (Brent Holland) Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare harness racing open handicap pace. Put in play from her assigned post position No. 5, 'Tessa' had to wait her turn at the outset. She sat outside while Jonsie Jones (Tyer Buter) stuffed Inittowinafortune (Jon Bongiorno) in behind. Tessa Seelster then found an unimpeded path to the front, though she a paid a zippy :26.3 price for the opening-quarter privilege. After a rated :56.2 intermisision, she saw Mach it a Par, who tried it first-up from seventh. Tessa Seelster found a 1:24 three-quarters, taking a length-and-three-quarter lead into the lane. She lost everyone save for Mach it a Par, who did not go away quietly. Tessa Seelster did close the sale, however, winning by a nostril in 1:51.4. Rock N Roll Xample (Dan Dube) was a crisp, ground-saving third, with Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) and Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) settling for the minor awards. For Tessa Seelster, a 4-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Jonathan Newman, it was her seventh win in 15 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $100.50, with the triple returning $671.50. Saturday night's card includes a pair of stakes for 3-year-old fillies, the $118,574 Hudson Trot and $109,050 Lady Maud Pace. Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder also hits town, leading the lone, $40,000 elimination for Yonkers Trot No. 62. Frank Drucker
Columbus, OH --- When an harness racing O’Brien Award winner becomes available for purchase most people would not hesitate to sign their name on the dotted line. Howard Taylor, however, had to be persuaded to place his name on the check to buy a piece of harness racing mare Lady Shadow. “I thought she was too expensive,” he said. “That is when I called up Ed Gold and asked him what he thought. He said she was worth it and even if she did not race well she was worth what they were asking in residual value as a broodmare. “Also, I already owned a filly, Sudoku, that had beat Lady Shadow up in Canada. I felt she was much faster and we thought we could win the Jugette with her, but we had some problems keeping her head together and eventually bred her. If it wasn’t for Ed, I don’t think I would have bought into Lady Shadow.” Co-owned by Taylor's BFJ Stable, Gold, Carl Atley and David Kryway, the daughter of Shadow Play and the Camluck mare Lady Camella was Canada’s 3-year-old pacing filly champion and is the reigning champion older mare in that nation. It appears she is on her way to collecting another divisional title, as the 5-year-old places her five-race winning streak on the line in the $200,000 Artiscape at Tioga Downs on Sunday (Aug. 28). Lady Shadow, who is conditioned by Ron Adams, will commence her journey from post three and will have the services of Yannick Gingras. Her task, however, will not be a simple one as the field includes Dan Patch Award winners Venus Delight (post two), Anndrovette (post five) and Divine Caroline (post eight). Other rivals of note in the contest are fellow Canadian champion Solar Sister (post 10) and the always competitive Devil Child (post nine). “The plan this year was to keep her down here with Josh Green,” Taylor said. “He was the one that found her for us, but he called me up and suggested Ron Adams take her because he just could not get her to go. We put her in the Blue Chip Matchmaker series (at Yonkers) and thought she would be tough to beat, but she did not do well (seventh in the final). Then Josh put her in the Chip Noble (at Miami Valley) where she was seventh again. That is when he suggested the change. I have to give him credit for admitting she was not working out for him and she was fifth in her first start for Ron, but since then she has been rolling along.” Lady Shadow has been a model of consistency throughout her career. As a 2- and 3-year-old she was in Gregg McNair’s barn and earned $189,892 and $259,635, respectively. She was also trained by McNair until being purchased by her new connections in May of last year. Lady Shadow collected $286,034 last season, while under the care of Adams in 11 of her 14 starts, en route to championship honors. “I need to learn to listen to Ed more often,” Taylor said. “I was concerned about her price and then right after we got her she went out and won the Roses Are Red final. She paid for herself within weeks of us having her.” Since switching her home base from the United States to Canada this spring, Lady Shadow has been absolutely stellar. She won her second Roses Are Red title in June, then added the $229,900 Golden Girls to her resume in a world record 2:00.3 clocking (1-1/8th mile distance) which lowered the standard Always B Miki had established earlier on the card. She then captured the $235,950 Lady Liberty on Hambletonian Day, where it appeared she would draw off to another facile victory, but Solar Sister possessed another plan and came on late to make it interesting in the end. Ultimately, Lady Shadow, with more than $1.16 million in the bank, prevailed. To prepare for her journey to Western New York, the mare qualified in 1:52.2 on Aug. 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. “She still has a long season left of racing and is staked to everything,” Taylor said. “The end goal is, of course, the Breeders Crown and we are hoping she has another championship season, which it seems at this point, she is right in the hunt for divisional honors. “I’m not sure what it is about Canada that agrees with her, because with her being stabled up there it will involve more shipping for her, which was why we wanted her down here with Josh, but for some reason being with Ron and being in that stall in that barn is what she wants to do. If that is what makes her happy we are all for it and like I keep saying this is one of the many times I’m really glad I called Ed Gold.” Below is the field for the $200,000 Artiscape. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer 1. Empress Deo - Rocknroll Hanover - Jonathan Roberts-Wayne Givens 2. Venus Delight - Bettor's Delight - Jason Bartlett-Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 3. Lady Shadow - Shadow Play - Yannick Gingras-Ronald Adams 4. Regil Elektra - Mark Three - Mark MacDonald-Keith Armer 5. Anndrovette - Riverboat King - Tim Tetrick-Jeffrey Bamond Jr. 6. Stacia Hanover - Western Ideal - Brett Miller-Steve Elliott 7. Table Talk - Bettor's Delight - Andy Miller-W. Bart Dalious 8. Divine Caroline - Rock N Roll Heaven - Corey Callahan-Joe Holloway 9. Devil Child - American Ideal - David Miller-Chris Oakes 10. Solar Sister - Mach Three - Douglas McNair-Gregg McNair by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor
FRASERVILLE – Mike Wade, who has raced horses at Kawartha Downs for many years, celebrated his hometown track’s 44th anniversary with a milestone of his own Saturday – his 500th victory as a harness racing trainer. In the fifth race on the card Rick Webb drove Wade’s three-year-old pacing filly Elegant Gift to a two length 1:59 score to record the milestone. Wade, who is best known for such standout performers as Billyjojimbob, Corn Cob Conch, Winning Breed, Im No Walton, etc., conditions the Shadow Play daughter for Hutt Racing Stable, Pa. It was the first of three wins on the night for Webb who won the following race with Tough Get Going and visited the winner’s circle with Cougar Gal. Reg Gassien and Tony Kerwood each notched driving doubles. A large crowd was on hand to celebrate the Fraserville oval’s birthday. The Hie family, who have raced in this area since well before Kawartha Downs introduced live harness racing in 1972, provided a myriad of items for KD fans to enjoy including the colours of patriarch Cliff, his sons Carman and Doug (who both raced horses Saturday), the late Roger and granddaughter Krissy as well as photos and newspaper stories. Racing returns to Kawartha next Saturday with a 7 p.m. start. Reprinted with permission of The Peterborough Examiner
Harness racing colts take first steps down path blazed by successful siblings Four Grassroots divisions of two-year-old pacing colts went postward at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening and a quartet of well-bred youngsters took home the Ontario Sires Stakes hardware. Leading off in the first division, Bet On Brett and driver Mike Saftic took immediate control of the race from Post 1 and laid down fractions of :27.2, :57.3 and 1:27 on their way to a 1:54.4 victory. Streakavana closed hard to be second, one and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Mach Déjà Vu was hot on his heels in third. "He left the gate really sharp and then settled down nicely," said Campbellville, ON resident Saftic. "He got home very strong." Saftic qualified two other colts in the first division, including runner-up Streakavana, but chose the Marcel Barrieau trainee as his mount for the Grassroots season opener. "He looked more mature than the other two at this point," explained Saftic, who had not driven Bet On Brett before Thursday's contest. Barrieau prepped the Sportswriter son for his provincial stakes debut with a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk on June 17 and 25, finishing fourth in both outings. The Cambridge, ON resident shares ownership of Bet On Brett with Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueuil, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. The partners acquired the half-brother to three $150,000-plus winners for $80,000 at the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Bet On Brett In the second Grassroots division driver Mario Baillargeon also opted to control the pace, putting Play For Gold on the lead heading by the :28.1 opening quarter and carrying on through fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.1. Under fierce pressure from fan favourite Aston Hill Dave in the stretch, Play For Gold dug deep and kept a nose in front to secure the 1:543 victory. Aston Hill Dave settled for second and Silverinyourpocket closed hard to be third. Milton, ON resident Baillargeon crafted the win for trainer Jacques Dupont of Repentigny, QC and his partners in Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc., along with numbered company 9099 3833 Quebec Inc. of Sorel-Tracy, QC and Gestion C Levesque 2005 Inc. of St-Hyacinthe, QC. The group selected the Shadow Play son Play For Gold out of the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale, offering up $20,000 for the half-brother to two $100,000-plus winners. Play For Gold Sent off as the heavy favourite in the third division, driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON chose to continue the front-end trend, sending Mc Mach after the lead from Post 2. The Mach Three son powered through a :28.2 quarter, :57.1 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters before accelerating away to a two length victory in 1:54. Down On My Luck and Tremendous Play followed Mc Mach from start to finish, earning the second and third-place share of the $18,000 purse. MacDonell drove Mc Mach to the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and Randy Liepa of Livonia, MI. Like the first two winners, Mc Mach has several successful half-siblings, including former Grassroots regular Western Empress, a winner of $229,915 in her career to date. "He's improved nicely since his first qualifier," said MacDonell, who piloted the colt to a fourth-place results in a June 25 qualifier and a win in a July 1 effort, both at Mohawk. "He may step up to the Gold level before year's end." Mc Mach The final Grassroots division saw the only come-from-behind effort of the evening. Starting from Post 5, driver Sylvain Filion settled Yogi Bayama in the middle of the pack and watched as rivals Kingston Seelster and Master The View battled to a :27.1 first quarter. Favourite Master The View took over heading for the :57 half and continued to lead the field through the 1:26.1 three-quarters as Filion and Yogi Bayama stepped into the outer lane behind Pop N Liam. Turning for home Pop N Liam and Yogi Bayama were matching strides with Master The View, but when Filion asked his colt for another gear Yogi Bayama pulled away to a two length win in 1:54.1, leaving Master The View and Pop N Liam to settle for second and third. Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON trains Yogi Bayama for owner-breeder Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. The Sportswriter half-brother to $168,610 winner Urbana Bayama qualified at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 15, finishing fourth, and at Mohawk Racetrack on June 25, finishing sixth. The colt made his debut in a two-year-old overnight event at Mohawk on July 1, finishing second. "He's all right, he looked good tonight," said Bayama Farms' Yves Filion, who piloted the colt in his first qualifier. "He had a perfect trip and he looked like he win it kind of easy, but we don't know if he's going to be a good Gold or not. "A few more starts we'll know better how good he is," added the horseman, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame on August 3. "So far he looks all right. We hope for the best." Yogi Bayama Yogi Bayama and his peers will have their next opportunity to prove just how good they are when Mohawk hosts the second two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots leg on Friday, July 15. Mohawk Racetrack's two-year-old showcase continues tomorrow, July 8, as the Campbellville oval hosts the freshman pacing fillies in four Grassroots divisions. The first race goes in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm and the fillies will show off their skills in Races 3, 5, 7, and 9. Ontario Racing
Casimir Luciano returned to his winning way on a harness racing Friday afternoon in the Canada Day Pace at Red Shores Summerside. Marc Campbell put the Ralph Sweet trainee on top for every call for his tenth win of the season, stopping the teletimer in 1:56.4. The win puts the seven-year old gelded son of Sir Luck over $10, 000 in earnings on the season. The first two-year-old winner of the 2016 season came in Race 5 on the afternoon courtney of Twomacsoneshadow. The two-year-old son of Shadow Play was put on top at every call by driver Gilles Barrieau winning in 1:59. Trained by Earl Watts the first win lifetime came for owners Wayne Mac Rae and the Howmac Farms LTD. The win was one of two victories for the Maritime Magic Man on the card. Drivers Terry Gallant, Jason Hughes and Ken Murphy all enjoyed driving doubles on the card. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca. By Bo Ford