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Plainville, MA --- The harness racing District 9 event for Plainridge Park based pacers with a Trackmaster of 87 or less known as "The Gronk" continued for a second week with a $17,500 purse on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 5) with Bet You claiming the winner's share of the purse. Driver Kevin Switzer Jr. floated out third to the quarter with Bet You while Waves (Nick Graffam) took the lead. But once Waves settled, Bet You made a brush for the lead in front of the stands and then got to the half in :55. Tisadream N (Drew Monti) pulled first-over at that point and would proceed to push the leader for the rest of the mile. Heading up the backside Tisadream N slowly made up ground despite the :27.1 pace set by Bet You, and by the top of the stretch he was within 1-¼ lengths of the front runner. Heading down the stretch the lead continued to diminish as Tisadream N dug in, but Bet You was tough and closed out the mile on top by three-quarters of a length in 1:51 flat. It was the third win of the year for Bet You ($8.00) who is owned by Scott Dillon. Joe Nelson is the trainer. The track record for 3-year-old pacing colts was tied on Thursday in the $15,000 condition for 5-year-old and under pacers by newcomer Sports Obsession (Drew Monti) who shipped-in to Plainridge from Woodbine/Mohawk Park after a 27 day layoff and overcame post seven to go gate to wire and win by 1-¾ lengths in 1:51.1. The time was also a new lifetime mark for the winner.   Sports Obsession ($5.00) is a son of Sportswriter-Hayworth Blue Chip that is owned by Joseph Trice and trained by Jimmy Nickerson. Monti and Nickerson were a hot tandem on Thursday combining for three wins on the card. Besides Sports Obsession, the pair also sent OK Kudo (1:53.1, $8.60) and Givenupdreaming (1:51.4, $3.00) to the winner's circle. Monti ended up with the driving Grand Slam adding GD Cruise For Gold (1:55.1, $5.00) to his tally for the afternoon. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (Nov. 6) with post time at 1 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

HARRINGTON, DE - It was quite a successful harness racing night for horsemen whose initials are CC Tuesday at Harrington Raceway. Driver Corey Callahan (4 wins) and trainer Chuck Crissman (3 wins) had the hot hand on the 12-race program. Callahan and Crissman teamed up with Bret Sliwka's Shezallapples A ($48.40), who was an upset winner in the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open in 1:53.4. The 7-year-old Sportswriter mare surged off cover in deep stretch for a one length win over Artful Dancer and Lil O'Reilly. It was her 6th win of the year for the Crissman trainee. Race favorite Artrageous led the field through fractions of 27.2 and 56.4 before receiving heavy pressure from Abuelita Hanover to three-quarters in 1:24.4.   Meanwhile, Shezallapples A gathered momentum third over on the outside and fanned wide at the top of the stretch before drawing clear by a length at the wire. Montrell Teague also had a driving double. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

LONDON, ON -  After a sharp training mile with Beaumond Hanover over The Raceway at Western Fair District last week, owner/trainer Jack Darling was looking forward to the three-year-old pacing colt Gold Series finale at the London harness racing oval on Friday, Oct. 9. Unfortunately Darling's confidence took a hit when the post position draw was published on Tuesday. Beaumond Hanover landed the outside Post 7 while rival Tattoo Artist got the inside Post 1 in the sole $155,600 Gold division. "When you draw the seven like that, with the way things set up, you're pretty well toast," said Cambridge, ON resident Darling. "It will be up to Jody (Jamieson) to see what happens behind the gate, but it's not good." In the first four Gold Series legs Beaumond Hanover scored three wins and one second, getting bested for the first time by Tattoo Artist at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 18. The son of Sportswriter has only missed the top three once in 11 starts, finishing sixth, less two lengths behind the winner, in his Aug. 22 North America Cup elimination. In addition to Tattoo Artist, both colts that were victorious over the London half-mile in two-year-old Gold Series action will also start to the left of Beaumond Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson. Beach Blanket Book gets Post 2 and track record holder Denali Seelster will start from Post 5. "He'll be very tough on the half, because I think he can go just as fast on the half as he can on the big track, pretty close anyways," said Blake MacIntosh, who trains Beach Blanket Book for Hutt Racing Stable of Malvern, PA and Mac And Heim Stables of St. George, ON. "We had thought about taking him to the (Little Brown) Jug and just decided against it because he'd gone four or five weeks in a row between all the stake races. So we just gave him a couple weeks off, gave him a couple easy weeks, and he needed a little tightener for the Gold and so we qualified him at Flamboro." Beach Blanket Book romped along all by himself in the Oct. 3 qualifier at Flamboro Downs, reaching the wire 27 lengths ahead of the field in 1:54.2. The Sportswriter son sits third in the sophomore pacing colt standings, behind Tattoo Artist and Beaumond Hanover, with 66 points from two seconds and two fourths. Last October Beach Blanket Book scored a 1:57.3 victory in his Gold Series division at The Raceway at Western Fair District, dealing Tattoo Artist the only loss he has ever suffered in Ontario Sires Stakes action. "Last year Denali (Seelster) broke the 10 year old track record for two-year-olds and Tattoo (Artist) actually struggled last year, he was third," said Dr. Ian Moore, who trains both colts. "Hopefully we have some good weather (Friday) and away we go, see what happens." Like his rivals, division point leader and reigning champion Tattoo Artist took a spin around a half-mile track last week to sharpen his skills for Friday's regular season finale. The colt will be looking to wrap up his sophomore season with a perfect record of five wins in five Gold Series starts. "I'd taken him to Flamboro and trained him on Thursday (Oct. 1), he trained superb, just to make sure he's okay with the half still, and I just went one trip with him today (Oct. 6) and he just seems as fresh as a daisy still," said Cambridge resident Moore. "Sometimes it's hard when you drag them on to three week breaks, I find that difficult sometimes, especially late in the year, but he seems to be taking it in stride no problem." Frank Cannon of Sanford, FL and Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL share ownership of the Hes Watching son Tattoo Artist and Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS own the Sunshine Beach colt Denali Seelster. The colts face off in the last regular season Gold event of their careers in Race 7 on Friday's program, which gets underway at 6:15 pm. Fans can download a program and watch the live stream on The Raceway at Western Fair District website. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 30, 2020 -- Crisp Mane thwarted the first-over challenge of Always Giggling en route to victory in Wednesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $10,800 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Crisp Mane and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. used their rail position effectively, powering to the point and seating Amelias Courage A and Always Giggling. Always Giggling charged hard near the three-quarters, but Crisp Mane turned her away by 1/2 length in 1:52.4. Amelias Courage A completed the ticket.   Ron Burke trains Crisp Mane, a 4-year-old daughter of Sportswriter-Designated Leader who pushed her career bankroll to $181,910, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Brady Brown collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the 13-race program features a $45,551.33 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $4,528.66 carryover in the Pick 5 (race 8). First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Sitting on a pair of runner-up finishes since moving barns, Mantario will seek the top spot in Thursday's pacing feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The Thursday evening programs features a full slate of 14 dashes with the $2,900 featured pace lining up in race 13. Mantario leaves from post 3 in the field of seven with David Dowling in the seat for co-owner and trainer Jennifer Doyle and co-owner Danny Birt of Earnscliffe. Doyle and Birt purchased the four-year-old son of Sportswriter a month ago and has campaigned him to a pair of second place finishes while rallying from off-the-pace. Cowboy Logic has post 2 in the feature as he looks for win number 10 of the season for driver Steven Shepherd and trainer Harold Shepherd. Governor's Plate consolation winner Soccer Hanover will leave from post 6 with Corey MacPherson at the lines of the hard closing son of Dragon Again for trainer Leith Waite. The far outside post 7 belongs to Brandons Glory riding a two-race win streak into the event for the team of driver Dale Spence and trainer MacKenzie MacInnis. Peter MacPhee with the Post Time Picks places Mantario on top of his Thursday selections. "Mantario has been razor sharp in his last two just missing both times. He'll likely be coming from the back and with the way he can finish could come calling late and get the gold." Other featured entrants are Burn Out Hanover (Driven by Gilles Barrieau), Best To Hurst (Jason Hughes), and Rockin Indy (Adam Merner). Mile Hill Willie headlines the Open trot in race 9. The $2,400 class has Brodie MacPhee picking up the catch drive on Mile Hill Willie for trainer Paul Morrison as the Armbro Barrister stallion searches for his fourth Open trot victory. Mile Hill Willie's regular driver Gilles Barrieau will steer his own trainee, Cheeky Little Minx, from post 4 fresh off a 1:58.4 victory last week in Charlottetown. Post 3 belongs to Freddie with Marc Campbell at the lines after an 11-length romp last week down one class on the ladder. Catch all the action online at Redshores.ca and wager at HPIBet.com. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - On top at every call there was no stopping Simple Kinda Man's advance to the winner's circle as the post time harness racing favourite in Saturday night's $3,000 preferred pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. It was one of three wins for reinsman Jason Hughes, as he cruised the five-year-old son of Sportswriter to the front from post 5 in the main event and laid down splits of 27.4, 57.2 and 1:26.3. The Chris MacKay trained pacer fended off a late advance from eventual second place finisher Freddy Bear (Driven by Marc Campbell) in 1:54.3 with JJ Powerball (Gilles Barrieau) rallying for third. D Racing Stable of Middletown, N.Y., holds the ownership papers of the Gold Cup and Saucer finalist with Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge. Hughes' other victories came with Tempo Seelster stopping the clock in 1:56.1 from the Gary Poulton Stable of Charlottetown and in the second straight win for Persist Blue Chip, this time in 1:57.1 for Saul Lanigan of Montague. Cowboy Logic continued his domination in race 10 of the program in 1:57.1 for his fifth straight win with Steven Shepherd at the lines for trainer and co-owner Harold Shepherd and Island co-owners Angus Birt, Maurice McCabe and Gerard Ellsworth. Trainer Tom Weatherbie had a double from his Charlottetown outfit as Jenna Grace (Mark Bradley) scored a maiden breaking win in 2:01.4 and Temagami Seelster (Kenny Arsenault) remained undefeated on P.E.I. with a 1:56.4 clocking. Total wager was $40,193. Go to Redshores.ca for race replays and more. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores  

CHESTER, PA - A hard rainstorm came through southeast Pennsylvania just before the $11,600 featured pace on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, turning the track to "sloppy +2," and when the feature was raced, the stretch battle between the two even-money favorites had that applecart upset by the 14-1 Sportswriter mare Shezallapples A, who rallied up the inside for a 1:50.3 victory despite the off going. The two favorites were Eclipse Me N, racing on the lead, and Apple Bottom Jeans, who came at her with a vengeance first-over nearing the 1:23.3 three-quarters. Eclipse Me N looked like she had fought off her game rival in midstretch, but then she bore out a bit. Shezallapples A, coming on from the pocket, paced her own last split in :26.4 with Montrell Teague's guidance and won by half a length over Eclipse Me N, with Apple Bottom Jeans another neck back in third. Completing the checkgetters were Ponder The Odds and yet another "Apple" horse, Apple Hanover. Shezallapples A has now won just over a quarter of her lifetime starts (23 of 91 - 25.3%), and has earnings of $270,319. Chuck Crissman Jr. trains the mare for owner Bret Sliwka. She paid $31.20 to win. George Napolitano Jr. drove six winners during the Wednesday card, stretching his lead in the win derby over Tim Tetrick to 68-55. Two of "George Nap"'s winners were for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen, who is now just one behind Ron Burke at the top of the conditioners; crown chase at 27-26. Amigo Hall, coming off a fourth in the Hambletonian, and EL Ideal will look to notch their second Pennsylvania Sire Stakes victories when the three-year-old trotting colts come to town on Sunday afternoon. Both of the winners of $500G+ are in the $94,967 sixth race division; the other section, for the same amount, is in race eleven, and like the sixth it contains three members of the Ã…ke Svanstedt barn, with Svanstedt having the misfortune to draw the outside posts seven and eight in both divisions. From here, this Sire Stakes division will spend their next two Mondays at The Meadows completing their Sire Stakes prelims before returning here on Sunday, September 6 to be part of the $1,000,000+ Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Three-Year-Old Championship card. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Trois-Rivieres, QC - After her very impressive victory last week in the Mares Preferred-Handicap Pace at the Hippodrome 3R, Wild River Swan has returned to take on the top mares again on Sunday afternoon. Last Sunday, Wild River Swan was letting no one pass her by in leading from start to finish for driver Francis Picard. She just hung on at the wire to win by a neck in 1:56, her fastest winning time in two years. Trained and owned by Dr. John Bradbury of Cookshire-Eaton, Wild River Swan is a seven-year-old mare by Sportswriter. She is a full sister to Quebec bred champion Wildriverbumblebee p.3.1:51.2 ($117,000). Last week's triumph was just the third start of the year for Wild River Swan, who had shown improvement in each of her first two starts. "I was very pleased with her mile last week, said Dr. John Bradbury. "Surprised, yes and no. She trained super all spring. "For Wild River Swan there is no secret to her training," Bradbury added. "Keep her happy and she'll race good for you. Mrs. Swan has her routine which consists of spending a major part of her day outside. Right now, because of the hot weather she sleeps out. So far everything seems good for tomorrow." Looking to rain on Wild River Swan's parade Sunday will be invader D Gs Fairy Stars. She starts from post six for driver Stephane Brosseau and two starts back at Rideau Carleton, she came from off the pace to win in a lifetime best 1:55.3. Other contenders in the field include Y C Easy (post 8) and Godiva Mackiavelyc (post 7), both of whom were victorious two starts back at H3R. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

MILTON, JULY 25, 2020 - Tattoo Artist collected his second Gold Series and fourth straight victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, July 25 as the harness racing three-year-old pacing colts met for the second time in their Ontario Sires Stakes season. Lining up at Post 1 with Bob McClure in the race bike, Tattoo Artist took a brief spin in the pocket as Aneto led the field of six to a :26.4 opening quarter, but was soon heading for the front where he rang up a :54.2 half and 1:21.1 three-quarters. Down the stretch the fan favourite had to contend with a hard closing Beach Blanket Book, hanging on for a neck victory in 1:49.1. Indictable Hanover finished two lengths back in third. "I think that three weeks hurt him a bit," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore, noting that Tattoo Artist had not raced since the Gold Series season opener on July 4. "I think that good horses have got to be trained or raced pretty well right to where they're going to go, or else if you don't and they have too big a gap there, they may struggle a little bit. And he certainly got a little tired on the end there tonight, which is uncharacteristic of him." Tattoo Artist and his peers face the same three week gap before the next Gold Series event, at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Aug. 16, and the North America Cup eliminations are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22. The North America Cup has been circled in red on Tattoo Artist's calendar for months, so Moore is a bit undecided about how the coming weeks will play out for the Hes Watching son. His preference would be to race the colt at Woodbine Mohawk Park in preparation for the North America Cup, but he also does not fancy putting the sophomore in against more experienced competition, which may see him make the trip to Rideau Carleton and head into the elimination on short rest. "I'll have to start looking somewhere and see what we come up with. I'm not taking him across the border anywhere, so we'll see if we can find something here for him," said the Cambridge, ON resident, who conditions Tattoo Artist for Frank Cannon of Sanford and Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL. "They don't want to train this time of year, they want to race now. Earlier on they're gung ho to train, and then once the racing starts they look forward to that, any competitive horse does, and he's a good competitive horse and he looks forward to it, so it's difficult. You want to keep their mind fresh and their body in good shape and ready to roll when it's time." Tattoo Artist The second $104,800 Gold division saw heavy favourite Beaumond Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson land in fourth from Post 2 as Rhythm In Motion rolled out to a :26.3 quarter. Jamieson sent Beaumond Hanover to the front heading by the :54.2 half and the colt cruised through a 1:22.4 three-quarters and one to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:49.2. Rhythm In Motion stayed game for second and Springbridge Jim sprinted into third. "He caught the softer division, so I thought if everything goes right he should win it," said owner-trainer Jack Darling. "It all worked out good. He (Jamieson) was just kind of sitting there chilly through the lane." The win was also Beaumond Hanover's second Gold Series win and fourth of the season. The Sportswriter son prepped for Saturday's test with a 1:49.4 win in a July 18 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but, like Moore, Darling is also considering his options heading toward the North America Cup. "It's just turned out, because of the situation this year, that the schedule isn't good, because you've got, like for my horse I've got a Gold at Rideau, which you hate to miss that, and then you've got the NA Cup, the elims and the final, then the week after is the Somebeachsomewhere, the week after that is the Simcoe, both good races, and then the week after that is another Gold, so it's just going to be tough to map out," said the Cambridge, ON resident. "If you're going to skip the NA Cup, then the schedule is just fine, but it's hard to skip the million dollar race." While Darling considers his options, Beaumond Hanover will maintain his usual routine, which Darling says has not varied much even as the racing season heats up. Beaumond Hanover "I try to train him light, but he's such a good trainer he seems to have to go a certain speed, or it's like he's done nothing," Darling explained. "I train him faster than I would another horse, but it's actually easier on him, he just needs to roll along. He just always feels good, always trains great. He's just a real pleasure to have around." Beaumond Hanover Complete results from Saturday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Video: Race 1 - Tattoo Artist; Race 8 - Beaumond Hanover OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Harness racing driver Pascal Berube stole the show at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday afternoon, scoring a driving triple. It was his first hat-trick of the 2020 season. There was plenty of racing action in the second race pace for two-year-old colts and fillies. The 1-2 race favorite Platine Alpha (Carol Voyer) was first on the lead with 16-1 Write One (Pascal Berube) sitting the pocket seat and then with a bold three-wide move, Too Soon BG and driver Stephane Brosseau took command by the opening quarter mile in :29.1. Right away Berube came out and to the lead with Write One, who led to the half mile in :59.4. Then in the backstretch, Platine Alpha came first-over and collared Write One by the three-quarters in 1:29.3. Those two fillies then duked it out on the final turn and in the stretch, Write One proved to be the best, winning by one and one-quarter length in 1:59.1 over Platine Alpha with Full Power Sena (Steeven Genois) third. It was the second lifetime start and first pari-mutuel victory for Write One. The Sportswriter filly from the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della, is trained and owned by Francois Leconte of Hyacinthe and paid $34.30 to win. She is the 12th foal from the mare and a half-sister to Rub N Tug p,1:50.3 ($474,000), Della Cruise p,1:50.3 ($312,000) and a full sister to Bet On Brett p,1:50.1 ($168,000). Berube also won with Pez Dispencer in the 6th race pace in 1:56.4 and the 5th race pace with PLD Needy in a lifetime best 1:59.1. Another big battle took place in the seventh race Mares Preferred-Handicap Pace and the photo finish camera was needed to declare the winner. Shemaksmefelunreal and driver Stephane Brosseau took command early with Hammering Haley (Francis Picard) in the two-hole spot to the opening quarter mile in :29.1. Sieras Rose (Pierre Luc Roy) came first-over at the half mile in :59.3, giving Y C Easy (Steeven Genois) second-over cover. Then in the backstretch, Genois sent Y C Easy three-wide by the three-quarters in 1:28.2. Those three horses continued to battle it out on the final turn and then in the stretch Y C Easy and Genois looked to move ahead but Hammering Haley was not done yet and those two had to wait for the photo finish in 1:58.1. Y C Easy won by a nose over Hammering Haley with Sieras Rose third by a half-length. It was the first win in nine starts this year for Y C Easy, a five-year-old mare by Sportswriter, who is trained and owned by Carl Duguay of Trois-Rivieres. She paid $14.40 to win. Track Notes: Undefeated Mickeymaksomespeed (Stephane Gendron) posted his fourth straight win Sunday with a 1:58.1 triumph for breeder, owner and trainer Michel Allard. Three of his wins have come at H3R, tying him with Zar E IP and SOS Turbo as the winningest horses this meet. Live racing resumes at the Hippodrome 3R next Friday at 4:00 pm. Friday's card kicks-off another three-day weekend of live racing. Saturday will be the second round of the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit. Saturday and Sunday's race cards begin at 1:00 pm. For more information, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club

ELORA, ON - JULY 17, 2020 - CL Sportsextreme, Cyclone Sister and Sportsfire solidified their standing at the top of the two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots harness racing division with convincing victories at Grand River Raceway on Friday, July 17. CL Sportsextreme kicked off the second leg of the freshman fillies' Grassroots season with a 1:57 victory from Post 9 that impressed driver Bob McClure. The Sportswriter daughter sat third through the :28.3 opening quarter, but was aiming for the front by the :58.4 half. After cruising through a 1:27.3 three-quarters, CL Sportsextreme pulled away from her peers to hit the wire three lengths ahead of Shiatzu Seelster and Spittin Chicklets. "I was surprised how slick gaited she was, but I was pretty happy with the way the trip worked out too," said McClure of the fan favourite. "She's a real handy little filly and she was nice, because the nine-hole is not an easy spot to get a baby away from, and she snapped out of there and then made a move to the front, and from there it was kind of an armchair ride." McClure drove CL Sportsextreme to her second Grassroots victory for trainer Dany Fontaine and owner-breeder Ecuries C. LeBlanc Inc. of Saint-Eustache, QC. In the second $23,150 division McClure employed a near identical strategy with Cyclone Sister, who was fourth at the :29 quarter, moving to the lead past the :58.3 half, comfortably in front by the 1:27 three-quarters and well ahead at the 1:55.4 finish. Barefootnpregnant finished seven lengths back in second and Feisty Betty was another length and three-quarters back in third. "Obviously, the trip, you couldn't plan that much better for a one to nine shot," said McClure. "She's a little flighty about her head, so I wanted to get her at least three-eighths of a mile on a helmet and teach her, kind of educate her a little bit, but I knew once I moved her, she's so fast, she hits high gear in a hurry. So I knew I'd make the front, it was just whether I could make it there easily and relax her once she did get settled onto the front end, and she did. She settled down and she came a big last quarter and she still had a lot left; should be a lot of fun this summer with her." Nick Gallucci conditions the homebred daughter of Shadow Play for Millar Farms of Stouffville, ON and the trainer said, as long as she bounces back well from Friday's effort, Cyclone Sister's next start will come back at Grand River Raceway in the July 27 Battle Of The Belles eliminations. "That was kind of like a tune-up today, so we'll see how she comes out of it and hopefully have her entered for next Monday," said Gallucci. "She's always showed a lot of speed, just a couple tendencies we've had to keep an eye on, but for the most part we never really had any complaints about her. She always showed a lot of ability." Like CL Sportsextreme, Friday's victory was Cyclone Sister's second in the Grassroots program. The other filly to repeat as a Grassroots winner on Friday was Sportsfire, who took a tour in the outer lane to secure her 1:57.3 victory. The fan favourite sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory over French Shaker and Halleyslittlecomet. Anthony Haughan drove the Sportswriter daughter to the victory for trainer Dan Lagace and owner-breeder Fred Brayford of Alliston, ON. "I don't usually take horses late when I come back from Florida, but I have another horse with Fred so I said, 'Yeah I'll take her', and now we're kind of glad we did," said Lagace. "We picked her up on a Friday and the Saturday Fred and a friend of his came to see her, and I thought I'll just brush her out free-legged. I came off and I said, 'Fred, she seems like she's got some talent, but she was very, very hot and it's tough to beat good horses when you're this aggressive'. But my son Brady's been going with her a lot and he's got her settled down and driving really, really nice." Sportsfire clocked the fastest mile in the July 10 Grassroots leg, circling Woodbine Mohawk Park in 1:53.2, and while some of her peers made the leap up to the Gold Series for Leg 2, Lagace felt it would be better for the filly to stick with the Grassroots. "After last week some of the horses that finished second and third, they moved up to the Gold, but I had talked to Fred and I said, 'You know, I think this filly's got some good talent, but she's growing lots'. I said, 'I think if we stick to the Grassroots and give her time to grow up and mature, I think she'll do you really, really good', and he did what was right for her and agreed to it." The other two divisions saw Annies Legacy and Amini record their first Grassroots victories. Annies Legacy and driver Paul Mackenzie did most of the work on the front end on the way to a one-half length victory in 1:56. Favourite Miss Shannon Beach was second and Celia Bayama was third. Robert Fellows trains the Control The Moment daughter for Leonard Rosene of London, ON, who purchased the filly for $26,000 at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. Amini went gate-to-wire from Post 6 for driver Jean Rene Plante in the last $23,150 division. The Sportswriter daughter stopped the teletimer at 1:56.4, one and three-quarter lengths ahead of The Kings Queen. Drinks All Round was well back in third. Isaac Waxman trains the $8,000 purchase from the London Yearling Sale for Tessa Waxman of Ridgeville and David Morgan of Hamilton, ON. The two-year-old pacing fillies make their third Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 14. Complete results from Friday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. Next on Grand River Raceway's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is the second Grassroots leg for the two-year-old trotting fillies, on Wednesday, July 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CLINTON, ON - JULY 2, 2020 - Three-year-old fillies will be the stars of the show this Sunday at Clinton Raceway as the half-mile oval plays host to six $22,800 Grassroots Series divisions for the sophomore trotting fillies and the $64,700 Kin Pace Final for their pacing counterparts. Trainer Marcel Barrieau will start Th Present in the Grassroots season opener and send out elimination winner Preeminence in the Kin Pace Final. Th Present will benefit from Post 1 in the fourth Grassroots split, while Preeminence will have to overcome the outside Post 7 to take home the 2020 Kin Pace title. "Somebody's got to get it, but I wished it would have been somebody else," said Barrieau of the elimination winner's post position draw. "But what can you do." Bob McClure piloted Preeminence to a 1:58 score last Sunday, the quickest of the three eliminations, and will be back in the race bike for the final. The other elimination winners, Marzannk Hanover and High Roller Duke, will start from Posts 4 and 8, respectively. Working in the Sportswriter daughter's favour is her familiarity with the half-mile surface and her experience with outside post positions. At two she only saw the inside half of the starting gate three times in nine starts. "She trains on a half-mile track so she's used to them," said Barrieau, who trains Preeminence for Claude Baril of Mascouche, QC, Gilles Caouette of Sudbury, ON and Michel Daneault of Terrebonne, QC. "She's got a few little quirks, like you know when she tries to get in gear quick you've got to watch her, but she's got a good motor, she can go the distance and she's surely competitive with that bunch." Both Preeminence and Th Present were regulars on the Grassroots circuit last season, winning two legs each and finishing among the top five point earners in their respective divisions, but Barrieau said trotting lass Th Present was much tougher to race. "She was hard to manage. She wanted to go 100, and she wasn't easy on herself, and that's why sometimes she'd go on the run, because you couldn't control her," explained the trainer. "But she seems like this year she's so much better, so I hope - and her too, she's been trained on a half-mile track, she loves the half-mile track - so I think she'll be a good start there." Barrieau said the improvement Th Present has shown through her first two sophomore starts - both flawless, one trotted in 1:57 the other in 1:57.4 - came partly through physical and mental maturity and partly through hard work and repetition. "She grew up physically, she's stronger for sure, and then mentally I worked on her all winter to try to calm her down, and she responded pretty good," said the veteran horseman. "Last year she was a handful going to the gate and everything, now she just puts her nose on the gate and she goes at her business." Bob McClure will also steer Th Present, as he did in her June 16 and 23 starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, for Cambridge, ON resident Barrieau and his co-owner Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueil, QC. Th Present and her three-year-old trotting filly peers will compete in Races 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 9 while Preeminence and the other seven Kin Pace finalists will wrap up the Sunday afternoon program in Race 10. The first race goes in behind the Clinton Raceway starting gate at 1:30 pm. While fans cannot be on hand to cheer for their favourite fillies, a complete live stream is available on the Clinton Raceway website and fans can download a program to play along. In addition to Sunday's Ontario Sires Stakes event Clinton Raceway will also host the two-year-old pacing fillies in Grassroots action on Sept. 6 and two Prospect Series divisions for Ontario Sired youngsters, the two-year-old trotting fillies on July 12 and the three-year-old pacing colts on July 19. A complete schedule can be found below. Clinton Raceway Race Date Post Time Age/Sex/Gait Race Type           Sunday, July 5 1:30 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Sunday, July 12 1:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Prospect Series           Sunday, July 19 1:30 pm 3-year-old Colt Pace Prospect Series           Sunday, Sept. 6 1:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Pace Grassroots Series           From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A Maritime Champion faces off with a grizzled harness racing veteran in the Thursday evening top trot at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 11-dash Thursday card kicks off at 6 P.M. with the $2,500 featured trot lining up in race 7. The fastest Maritime bred trotter ever on the East Coast, Daisy River, will leave from post 2 in the class with Walter Cheverie back in the bike for owner-trainer William Lanigan of Montague. The five-year-old daughter of Nikes Image set the record two starts back winning in 1:58.1, then followed it up with a third place dead-heat finish against the boys the next week. Star Photo has post 5 in the field for trainer-driver Jason Hughes after putting together a string of top three finishes the last three weeks but has so far been unable to knock off 'trotting King' Freddie, who is not entered to race this week. Glider Man gets the respect of morning line favourite from post 4 for driver Kenny Arsenault and conditioner Jennifer Doyle after a front-end mission in his latest to finish second in 1:58.3. Race analyst Les MacIsaac will side with Star Photo for the win column in light of Freddie's absence. "Star Photo has gone three starts this year without a win which is an eternity for one as photogenic as he is," MacIsaac said. "We'll look for him to dispose of that goose egg tonight. "Other entries are Hop Up (To be driven by Corey MacPherson) and Missionoftheheart (David Dowling). The top pace of the evening lines up behind the gate in race 10 for a $2,200 pot with Southwind Ion dropping out of the Open Fillies and Mares class to earn the title of morning line favourite. Driven by Hughes for trainer Doyle, the six-year-old daughter of Sportswriter is owned by Danny Birt of Earnescliffe in partnership with Doyle. Much Adoo has garnered minor shares in all four of her East Coast starts, all at the Open level, and drops down a notch on Thursday for driver Brodie MacPhee and trainer Ron Matheson. Sophist leaves from post 4 in the class as rookie driver Taylor Doyle will look for his first lifetime win in Charlottetown. Go to Redshores.ca for race programs and live video and wager online at HPIBet.com. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Quebec Jockey Club saw sunny skies and perfect temperature for the opening day of the 2020 harness racing season at the Hippodrome 3R Wednesday afternoon. There were eight races held without any spectators allowed at the track. Horse people in the race paddock followed all safety protocols as mandated by the Quebec Racing Commission. The seventh race Preferred Pace was the spotlight of the racing card and the overwhelming 2/5 favorite, Sports Authority, did not let his fan down. Driven by Tyler Jones for trainer Cassandra Lecourt, Sports Authority scooted to the early lead with Lookin Ata Winner (Martin Morel) sitting the pocket trip. Bali (Stephane Brosseau) was caught first-over early and had to back off the pace after the opening quarter went in :27.2. Past the half mile in :57.1, Jones was still in control of the race with Sports Authority as G A Speed Sammy and driver Pascal Berube came first-over to challenge and they raced head and head to the three-quarters in 1:25.4. Once on the final turn, Sports Authority put away G A Speed Sammy and tore away from the field, winning in a romp by six and one-half lengths in 1:54.4. G A Speed Sammy held for second with Appleby Hanover (Richard Simard) third. It was the first win in three starts for Sports Authority. The seven-year-old gelded by Sportswriter is owned by the trainer, Cassandra Lecourt of Mirable. He paid $2.90 to win. Track Notes: Both Pascal Berube and Jonathan Lachance had driving doubles on the day. The very first race showed that the H3R oval is in great condition as the pacer Mickeymaksomespeed and driver Dany Mainguy wired the field in 1:57.1. It was the first pari-mutuel start for the three-year-old colt by Mickey Hanover that was bred and is owned by Michel Allard of Saint Espirt. Live racing resumes at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday. First race post time is 1:00 pm. For more information, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

MILTON, ON - FEB. 12, 2020 - Seelster Farms topped all harness racing participants in the Ontario Resident Mare Program in 2019, earning a total of $370,026 in breeders' rewards from the efforts of offspring from their Resident Mares. Pacing filly Karma Seelster topped all Seelster-breds competing in 2019, contributing $75,727 to the Lucan, ON nursery's bottom line. In her freshman campaign the daughter of Sportswriter and Kiddie Cocktail won an Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold Series leg and finished third in the Super Final, captured her elimination and the final of the Battle of Waterloo, and finished second in her Eternal Camnation leg for a record of four wins, three seconds, three thirds and earnings of $262,205 in 11 starts. "It's encouraging to be able to see a horse that you bred go on and achieve," said Walter Parkinson, assistant farm manager at Seelster Farms and president of the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. "You can do well here in Ontario when everything is done here, from the breeding and the raising to the actual racing." Seelster Farms enrolled almost all of their mares in the Ontario Resident Mare Program (ORMP) in 2016 and 2017, and a total of 28 two and three-year-old starters from 22 different mares contributed toward their 2019 breeders' rewards. Of the $370,026 total, $359,039 came in the Ontario Sires Stakes with the remainder from open stakes. "Generally we're breeding on average about 60 mares that are farm owned each year. Certainly every one of them gets enrolled in the resident mare program when she's in foal, with the hope that we'll be able to participate once they hit the track as two and three-year-olds," said Parkinson. "There might be years where it's slightly higher or slightly lower, but I think it's a fairly good representation of OSS performers that we had in the 2019 stakes season." From his perspective as SBOA president, Parkinson feels the breeders' rewards are both an excellent incentive for Ontario breeders to upgrade their operations and a tangible acknowledgement of the investments those breeders have made in the province's Standardbred industry. "I think it's a tremendous bonus to have these breeders' rewards allocated towards the performance of the offspring. I think it encourages breeders to continually invest in their breeding stock, to upgrade, and to reward them for producing horses that perform," he explained. "Certainly this year's standout was Century Farroh, so a horse like that, who is an Ontario Bred horse, versus Alicorn, who was not, the earning potential for the breeder is substantial. Both great horses, both had great seasons, but one is Ontario Bred and one is not." All horses produced by Ontario Resident Mares are considered Ontario Bred and their earnings in eligible races contribute toward their breeder's rewards. Prior to foaling mares that meet the eligibility requirements can be enrolled in the program for $100. After foaling and before September 1, the enrollment fee is $300 and third party proof of residency is required. For complete information about the Ontario Resident Mare program please visit Ontario Resident Mare Program. Further questions can be directed to program co-ordinator Kathie Wilkinson at ontariomare@ontarioracing.com or 416-477-5529. Top 10 Ontario Breeders' Rewards Recipients in 2019 [Breeder/Top Performer/Total Breeders' Rewards] Seelster Farms Inc. (Karma Seelster, Sportswriter-Kiddie Cocktail, $75,727)............................... $370,026 Century Spring Farms (Century Farroh, Mach Three-Beachy Girl, $180,386)............................... $193,159 Charles and Gordon Lawrence (Boadicea, Big Jim-Rose Seelster, $138,281).............................. $138,287 Warrawee Farm (Warrawee Vicky, Royalty For Life-The Tall Poppy, $72,736).............................. $129,677 Robert McIntosh Stables Inc./ CSX Stables / Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. (Sunny Dee, Sunshine Beach-West Of L A, $106,542)....................... $119,637 Tymal Farms (Haveoneforme, Kadabra-All Filled Up, $98,607)................................................... $110,941 Glengate Farms (Scorched Romance, Kadabra- Tequila Slammer, $32,990)............................... $100,033 Bet Max Stables Inc. (Bright Eyes M, Kadabra-Motown Muscle, $87,159)................................... $87,556 Leonard Gamble (Teddys Littleangel, Archangel-Pine Knolls, $63,973)....................................... $64,125 Winbak Farm (Hetalkstoangels, Archangel-J Marie, $23,496)..................................................... $62,399 From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - November 14, 2019 - Thru The Wickets and Lady Driver took home the gold in Thursday evening's Harvest Series harness racing finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The $47,500 final for trotting fillies and $50,200 final for pacing fillies wrapped up the three-week event for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies. Thru The Wickets tipped three-wide from fifth shortly before three-quarters and powered down the centre of the track to win the trotting final by a length and three-quarters in 1:57.1. Trevor Henry guided the daughter of Kadabra to victory for trainer Shane Weber. Warrawee Ultra shot from the rail and led by open-lengths to three-quarters in 1:26.1. The leader was all done at the head of the lane, allowing rivals from well-back to pick up the pieces. Thru The Wickets took the top spot over runner-up Northern Royale, who rallied from eighth, while Club Belvedere crossed the line third after racing a few lengths behind Warrawee Ultra throughout the opening three-quarters. The Harvest Series victory is the second win in 12 starts for Thru The Wickets, who was unraced at age two and had last collected a victory on August 1. She now has $38,152 earned for owners Tom & Elizabeth Rankin. Thru The Wickets paid $16.90 to win. To see the race replay, click here. Lady Driver converted off a two-hole trip behind Esprit Dequipe to best that rival by a pair of lengths and win the pacing final in 1:54.2. Jonathan Drury steered the Sportswriter filly to victory for trainer Carmen Auciello. The top-two at the finish were the same two leading at every call in the $50,200 event. Lady Driver left from post-seven and cleared Esprit Dequipe at the opening-quarter at :27.3. The fillies flipped positions racing to the half with Esprit Dequipe posting fractions of :57 and 1:25.1. The stretch drive saw little drama, as Lady Driver angled out and powered by for the score. Jessicas Legacy was third, while race-favourite Free Exchange was never in the mix and finished fourth. Lady Driver improves her three-year-old record to six wins and $74,055 earned in 22 starts. Her career numbers escalate to eight wins and $110,360 banked for owners Michael Hall, Ctc Stable and Our Three Sons Stable LLC. A $2 win ticket on Lady Driver returned $6.70. To watch the race replay, click here. The Harvest Series was open to Ontario sired three-year-old fillies, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2019 as of September 30, 2019. Live racing resumes Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:50 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

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