TORONTO, December 18 - At the age of 10, Kindly Poet is hard not to consider the ultimate war horse on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit. The veteran pacer has been a star at the Rexdale oval and has gone on to earn 44 career victories and is a mere $7,640 shy of surpassing $1 million in career earnings. On top of that great accomplishment, the talented pacer etched a new 1:49.4 career best this season at age 10. Kindly Poet will look to become harness racing's newest millionaire with a victory in Saturday's sixth race at Woodbine. Sylvain Filion will guide veteran from post six in the $16,000 condition event. Trained throughout his career by Murray Brethour, who also owns a piece with Scarff Legacy Stables, Donald Varcoe and Daniel Sarafian, Kindly Poet has raced 214 career starts with all but 12 of them on the WEG Circuit (Woodbine & Mohawk). Not bad for a horse that was never supposed to set hoof on the racetrack. "He had a broken shoulder as a weanling and the veterinarian said that he would never race," Brethour, a resident of Sunderland, recalled. "As a yearling, we just broke him and turned him out. We brought him in the barn at two, but only started to come around at three. To this day he still has a fairly large bump on his shoulder, but he races with it." Kindly Poet quickly overcame all odds and made his qualifying debut on March 6, 2006 at Kawartha Downs. The result was a victory in 2:00.1 with Brethour in the bike. "At the time, I was just happy he made it," Brethour said, with a chuckle. "He gradually got better and better and climbed the ladder." Kindly Poet began his racing career two weeks later at Georgian Downs with a third place finish before finishing second in the next three dashes. He won his first race when he shipped into Woodbine and got up in time in 1:53.4 with Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren in the bike. Since then, Kindly Poet has made 40 more trips to the winner's circle either at Woodbine or Mohawk with multiple victories at the Open/Preferred level. "He's just tough and has a lot of class to him," Brethour said. "At home, he knows he is king. He's very set in his ways and knows when it's time to race. When he makes the type of money he does, he can do whatever he wants," Brethour said, with a laugh. Looking back on Kindy Poet's career, he has certainly overcome all odds and provided many thrills for Brethour. "He just loves to win and did it all the hard way," he said. "His largest payday was winning the Cam Fella final back in 2007 when the purse was $67,000. "He's just a warhorse and there's really no better way to describe him," Brethour continued. "He's raced pretty much his entire career at Woodbine or Mohawk and was your typical Saturday night horse. As a trainer, you can't ask much more than that." Randy Waples, who was a frequent pilot behind Kindly Poet, agrees with Brethour. "He was just a gentleman to drive," Waples said. "He was very accommodating to drive. He had a big motor, terrific manners and an absolute pleasure to drive. He left it all on the racetrack every night and always put forth a terrific effort." As for the future of Kindly Poet, he isn't going too far from home. "He'll race at Woodbine and Mohawk until he's no longer competitive," Brethour said. "Once he's done racing, he'll have a home for life on the farm. My daughter rides him so he's certainly a pet and part of the family." It's been hard work, good fortune and a personal touch from his trainer that has certainly paid off for Kindly Poet. No one can ask for more than that. by Greg Gangle for WEG
TORONTO, November 29 â€“ Woodbine Racetrack was the host of four Autumn Series finals on Friday evening, featuring sophomores of both gaits and sexes. In the $34,700 glamour boy final, Thorn In Your Side and Anthony Macdonald got the jump on their rivals down the stretch to score in a career-best clocking of 1:51. MacDonald and Thorn In Your Side were the first leaders, but allowed Grantor Hanover (Randy Waples) to command at the quarter in a quick :26. The lead wouldnâ€™t last long as Thorn In Your Side quickly retook command and laid down middle-half speed of :55 and 1:22. Turning for home, MacDonald and Thorn In Your Side appeared to get the jump on co-favourite Alexas Jackpot (Jody Jamieson), who had stalled cover from the half on. Down the stretch, MacDonald was in an all-out drive on Thorn In Your Side as he got the jump on his rivals to win for the tenth time on the year. Alexas Jackpot closed well to finish second, with Sea Harrier (James MacDonald) finishing third. Trained by Carmen Auciello for owner High Stakes Stable Inc, Thorn In Your Side earned his sixth win in seven starts as he increased his lifetime earnings to $98,327. Thorn In Your Side finished first and second in both preliminary rounds. The son of Mach Three paid $4.60 to win. Be Winnin, driven by Chris Christoforou, posted the 35-1 upset as she defeated heavily-favoured Samira Hanover in the final strides to take the $33,600 final for sophomore trotting fillies. The daughter of Angus Hall sat In The Pocket throughout the mile as Samira Hanover laid down panels of :27.4, :58.2 and 1:27.3, before Be Winnin angled out to wear down the tempo-setter to score in 1:55.4 - a new stakes record. Fathers Amiga (Mike Saftic) finished third. Trained by Glenn Lalonde for owner/breeder Bob Key, Be Winnin increased her bankroll to $55,448 as she celebrated her fourth career tally. The trotting lass enjoyed a new career best in the process before returning $61.80 to her backers. In the $33,600 trotting colts and geldings division, Popeda and Sylvain Filion provided the 5-1 minor upset in 1:55.3. Popeda was in no hurry off the start as heavily-favoured Doubledown Gass (Reg Gassien) was the first leader through the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. Doubledown Gass continued to lead past the mid-way point in :56.4, before Popeda angled out of fourth and began the first over attack around the final turn. Doubledown Gass continued to lead past three-quarters in 1:27, but Popeda quickly surged to command down the stretch and held off a late challenge from Lets Leavem (Chris Christoforou), who enjoyed a pocket trip throughout the mile. Doubledown Gass stayed for third. Owned by Overseas Farms Ltd and trained by Richard Moreau, Popeda enjoyed his fourth career victory as his lifetime earning now sit at $58,676. The son of Ken Warkentin celebrated a new lifetime best as he returned $13.60. Machnbyrd Princess and Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren clicked in the $35,300 pacing filly final in 1:53.1. Putmeintogo (Roger Mayotte) was the leader throughout most of the mile as she laid down panels of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:25.2. Condren used first-over tactics with Machnbyrd Princess around the final turn and was within striking range of the tempo-setter turning for home. Down the stretch, Machnbyrd Princess, Putmeintogo and Lyonssweetie (Randy Waples), who enjoyed a pocket trip, were all heads apart with Machnbyrd Princess getting the upper hand on her rivals in the final strides. Post time favourite Lyonssweetie finished second, with Putmeintogo completing the triactor. Shawn Robinson trains the six-time winner for owner Canamerica Capital Corp and Hyatt Holdings. The daughter of Mach Three increased her bankroll to $91,360. She paid $9.50 to win as the third choice. Videos of all races are attached. Greg Gangle WEG Communications
Three-year-old fillies found themselves in the spotlight Thursday evening at Woodbine Racetrack, as the Rexdale, Ontario oval hosted the opening leg of the Autumn Series for pacers and trotters. A pair of divisions for trotters and a trio of splits – each of them worth $15,000 - went postward on the 12-race card, and wind was a hindrance to those fillies in the final quarter of their respective assignments. Samira Hanover, who made breaks in her last two pari-mutuel outings, was forced to requalify on October 30 for trainer Mike Keeling. She was on her best behaviour that morning at Mohawk Racetrack, and she was just as much of a professional in this evening’s pari-mutuel assignment under the lights. The daughter of Kadabra-Southern Puff got away sixth from her Post 7 starting spot, and that allowed Alluring K to hustled to the front and chop out splits of :28.2, :59 and 1:28.2. Samira Hanover tipped out to catch cover in the backstretch before making a three-wide moving at the mid-way point of the final turn for driver Paul MacDonell. She kicked home in a :29-second clip to win by 2-1/2 lengths over Candida in 1:58.3. Fathers Amigo trotted home late to finish third. P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc, William B Weaver III, Steve D Organ and A K Malik Stable share ownership on the photogenic filly who improved this year’s record to 4-2-4 from 13 starts with the win. Her share of the $15,000 purse lifted her lifetime loot to $59,980. Be Winnin also used an off-the-speed approach to winning her division for the tandem of driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Glenn Lalonde. The daughter of Angus Hall-Brenda B Winnin got away fourth and watched Ocean Mist Beauty sail through fractions of :29, :59.1 and 1:28. Be Winnin was third at the half, and improved to be second on the outside at the three-quarter pole before using a :30-second kicker to win by 1-1/2 lengths over I Like My Kaddy in 1:58.1. Ocean Mist Beauty faded late and settled for third. Owned and bred by Robert J Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, Be Winnin won for just the second time this season in 14 starts. The three-time winner has banked $37,448 to date. In the first division for the pacing fillies it was Lutetia Semalu pulling off a 10-1 upset for the team of driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Richard Moreau. The daughter of Million Dollar Cam-Signature Semalu powered to the lead from Post 6 and threw down an opening quarter of :29.3 before taking a brief tuck into the two-hole behind Stonebridge Adore. Filion came right back around that foe for the re-take and after clearing she led through middle panels of :56.3 and 1:25.4 before using a :28.2 closing quarter to win by 2-3/4 lengths over Parade Route. Race favourite Stonebridge Adore had to settle for third. Zoom And Fish Stable Inc of Laval and Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc of Montreal, Quebec own the sophomore who won for just the second time in her career. She’s 2-for-24 in her career, but those two wins have come in her last four starts since moving to Moreau’s outfit. Machnbyrd Princess was 1-9 on the toteboard, and she proved to be 1-9 the best in the second division for driver Steve Condren. He got away fourth with the Shawn Robinson pupil while D Gs Pesquero blasted to the lead and laid down a :27.3 opener. Condren had Machnbyrd Princess on the move in the backstretch and she cleared without a fight shortly past the half in :56.3. She was in charge at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 and used a :29.1 closing quarter to win by 6-1/4 lengths over Call It Courage in 1:53. D Gs Pesquero weakened late and settled for the show dough. The Mach Three-Respectednbeloved homebred races for Canamerica Capital Corp and Hyatt Holdings Inc of Milton, Ontario, and so far this season she’s put together a sterling record of 5-2-0 from just seven trips to the track – a far cry from the 0-for-7 record she established last year. The filly, who clearly was worth waiting on, has potted $73,710. Panstakingly and trainer/driver Donald Jobin clicked for an 18-1 upset in the final division. The daughter of No Pan Intended-Pantathlon was nowhere to be found in the early stages of the mile, but she had plenty of speed to chase thanks to Hippie Chic, Its No Secret and Putmeintogo who took turns on the engine through fractions of :27.2, :57.1 and 1:25.1. Panstakingly kicked off cover turning for home and used a :28.4 closing panel to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Mach It A Par. Race favourite Putmeintogo was third. Jobin shares ownership on the four-time winner with Danielle Belisle of Clarence Creek, Ontario. Together, they’ve watched the filly put together a 4-7-4 record from 22 trips to the track this season. The lion’s share of the purse bumped her cash stash to $43,853. To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca
Toronto, November 1 - Round two of the Autumn Series continued Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack with five divisions contested. Divisions were held for rookie colts and geldings of both gaits. Aventure will look for the series sweep after an impressive 1:57.3 victory to start the 13-race programme. The trotting son of Muscle Mass sat third in the early going past the opening quarter in :29.2. From there, driver Sylvain Filion pulled on the right line and marched the three-time winner to the front at the half in :59.1. The Bill Budd trainee led his six rivals past three quarters in 1:28.2, before edging away from his rivals in deep stretch to score the victory. Longshot Theresademoninme (Steve Condren) finished second with Kremlin (Riina Rekila) third. Owned by Orville Rursch, Aventure increased his bankroll to $24,250. He paid $7 to win. In the other trotting split, Hitchin A Ride and Jack Moiseyev got under the wire first as the heavy 1/9 favourite. Moiseyev guided the son of Angus Hall into the pocket spot before the opening station in :28.2, before pocket-pulling the three-time winner at the half in :58.2. Moiseyev and Hitchin A Ride continued to lead five rivals past three-quarters in 1:27.4 and never looked back en route to a 1:58.2 victory. Wire Me Cash (Anthony Macdonald) finished second with Yoooukilis (Paul Macdonell) finishing third. Trained by Tom Durand for his wife, June, along with Allan Smith and Catherine and Lynn Baker, Hitchin A Ride increased his rookie earnings to $33,428. He paid $2.30 to win. Major Starlight, driven by Paul Macdonell, pulled off the 7/2 minor upset in the first of three pacing divisions. The son of Major In Art enjoyed a three-hole trip through panels of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:25.2, before MacDonell was able to find racing room late in the mile to win in 1:54.3. Vegas Rich (Sylvain Filion) finished second with even-money favourite Pop Pop Joe (Chris Christoforou) settling for third. Trained and co-owned by Allen Tomlinson along with Thomas Phillips, Major Starlight earned his second career victory. The brown gelding increased his bankroll to $19,155 and paid $9.70 to win. In the next division, Allstar Seelster and Mike Saftic prevailed as the heavy favourite in 1:54.1. The four-time winner was first to the front well before the opening station in :28, before releasing a parked-out Brodys Scrapper (Randy Waples). Saftic and Allstar Seelster quickly regained the lead and marched past the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.2, before edging away from his rivals in deep stretch to win by one and three quarter lengths. Brodys Scrapper stayed for second over Royal Ashton (James MacDonald). Trained and owned by Jack Darling, Allstar Seelster now has three straight wins and will look for the series sweep next Friday evening at Woodbine. The talented youngster increased his bankroll to $43,443. He paid $3.70 to win. In the final division, heavily-favoured Prince Clyde found the wire first in 1:53 for driver Keith Oliver. The son of Camluck overtook command past the opening station in :27, before allowing Shadios (Billy Davis, Jr.) to command. Prince Clyde sat In The Pocket as Shadios controlled the pace past the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.2. Oliver angled Prince Clyde off the pylons before the top of the stretch and the four-time winner cruised to an effortless victory. King Royalty (Randy Waples) came from well off-the-pace to finish second, over Shadios. Trained by Tony Montini for his wife, Albina, and Holland Racing Stable, Prince Clyde increased his bankroll to $38,038. He paid $3.30 to win. All four $25,000E Autumns Stakes finals for two-year-olds of both gaits and sexes will take place next Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack. Due to the Breeders Cup, tomorrow night's 12-race programme will have a special 7:55 p.m. post time. Videos of all races attached Greg Gangle
Toronto, October 23 - Beginning tonight Woodbine Racetrack will be playing host to the Autumn Series featuring two-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters as well as three-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. Each series will consist of two preliminary legs and a final. A quartet of divisions kicked off on Thursday evening. Two divisions for two-year-old filly trotters and a pair for rookie pacing fillies highlighted the 12-race programme. Trainer Ron Parsons and owner/breeder Bob Key took both trotting divisions to sweep the daily double. In the opening dash, Wonderland Snow, driven by Trevor Henry, let gate-to-wire in 2:00.1. The daughter of Angus Hall led through panels of :29, 1:00.1 and 1:31.2, before using a :28.4 final frame to seal the victory. Post time favourite Aphrodity (Rick Zeron) finished second with Andrea Lea (Per Henriksen) finishing third. onderland Snow, a two-time winner from 10 career starts, increased her rookie bankroll to $25,300. She paid $5.20 to win as the second choice. In the next race, Sweetie Hearts came from behind to score the win in 1:57.3. Mario Baillargeon guided the daughter of Angus Hall off the speed through panels of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:28.4, before showing his charge clear racetrack down the stretch to win by half a length. Torches Star (Steve Condren) finished second with Capturethememory (Scott Zeron) third. Sent off as the heavy favourite, Sweetie Hearts also enjoyed her second career victory as her lifetime earnings increased to $13,900. She paid $3 to win. Filly pacers were up next and Witch Dali, driven by Jack Moiseyev, kicked off the Early Pick 4 in the fourth with a 1:53.2 score. The heavily-favoured daughter of Dali cleared to the front past the :27.4 opening quarter and never looked back through the middle-half of :57 and 1:25.1 before sailing to an open length victory. Zenobia Blue Chip (Scott Zeron) finished second with Exhilarated (Sylvain Filion) completing the triactor. Trained and co-owned by Tony Alagna along with Aaron Waxman and Gaetan Hebert, Witch Dali increased her rookie bankroll to $28,320. She paid $3.20 to win. In the final division, Noble Jilly and Jody Jamieson found the wire first in 1:54.1. The daughter of Jeremes Jet came from well off the pace through fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25, before picking up all the pieces in deep stretch to seal the win. Stellllllla (Scott Zeron) finished second with Artful Impulse (Randy Waples) grabbing third. Trained by Harry Poulton for owner/breeder Banjo Farms, Noble Jilly now has back-to-back wins and $29,854 in career earnings. The pacing miss celebrated a new lifetime best in the process and paid $6.30. The Autumn Stakes returns to Woodbine tomorrow night with six divisions on the 13-race card. Post time is scheduled for 7:25 p.m. Greg Gangle
LONDON, ON - Ontario's two-year-old Grassroots competitors wrapped up the 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes season on an impressive note at The Raceway at Western Fair District on Tuesday evening. Next season's provincial stars gave London fans several heart-pumping finishes and one track record equaling mile in the eight $20,000 Grassroots Consolations. The record went to two-year-old pacing gelding Regal Babe, who rocketed home to a 1:54.4 triumph in the ninth race. The clocking equaled the track record for a two-year-old male pacer at The Raceway and gave Regal Babe his second win of the season. Gregg McNair conditions Regal Babe for owner-breeder Rob Chapple of Chatham, ON and driver Doug McNair crafted the come-from-behind victory, which saw Regal Babe hit the wire five and one-half lengths ahead of Concert Artist and fan favourite King Royalty. The win boosted the Stonebridge Regal son's earnings to $23,983 through nine freshman starts. Driver Jody Jamieson picked up two Grassroots Consolation victories on Tuesday, with the first coming aboard freshman pacing filly Stellllllla in the third race. Jamieson guided the Mister Big daughter to a two and one-half length victory in 1:58.2, besting Hare To Eternity and Girlsgotmachzie. Daryl Sherman of Elmore, OH bred and owns Stellllllla and David Menary trains the two-time Grassroots winner, who was sent off as the favourite by London fans. The other pacing filly Consolation was captured by Brookdale Shadow and driver Sylvain Filion in 1:57.1. Jamieson's second visit to the winner's circle came in the last Grassroots Consolation with pacing colt Allstar Seelster. The duo reeled in pacesetter Hunch Man in the stretch to claim the one and one-quarter length victory in 1:56. Opening Line was another length back in third. Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON owns and trains Artistic Fella son Allstar Seelster, who posted a record of two wins, three seconds and two thirds in 11 starts this season. The Grassroots Consolation program got under way with a nail biting finish by the two-year-old trotting fillies that saw Just Call Me Lady reel in pacesetter Bit A Magic to score her second Grassroots victory. Just Call Me Lady hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of Bit A Magic in a personal best 2:02.1. Majestic Jewel was two more lengths back in third, while fan favourite Lenny Mac settled for fourth after making an early miscue. Cambridge, ON resident Blake Macintosh trains Angus Hall daughter Just Call Me Lady for his partners Anne Campbell and Stephen Waldman of North York, ON, and Trevor Ritchie piloted the filly to both of her Grassroots wins. Trevor Henry piloted Wonderland Snow to a commanding 2:01.3 triumph in the other trotting filly Consolation. Trotting colts Crowningcrest and Rival Seelster also battled to a tight finish, with Crowningcrest prevailing by a neck over the favourite in 2:02.3. Conway Escape rounded out the top three. Scott Coulter engineered the win for trainer Susanne Kerwood and owner-breeder Langcrest Farm of East Garafraxa, ON. The win was the Mutineer gelding's second straight and his third on the season. The other trotting colt trophy went home with Ramas Last Son, who was piloted to a 2:02.1 win by Steve Condren. The two-year-old trotters and pacers will now enjoy a winter break from provincial racing action before they begin preparations for the 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes campaign. For complete results For up to date point standings, race replays, and more Sandra Snyder
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Trainer Bob McIntosh will harness a total of six starters on Saturday’s $400,000 Grassroots Championship program at Mohawk Racetrack, including four of the top freshman trotters in the province. Two-year-old trotting colts Pasadena Star and Tyrone Haji finished first and third in their division, while trotting fillies Chelseas Chance and Lenny Mac finished one-two. McIntosh says the trotters, all offspring of Kadabra, trained well this week and are ready for a serious run at their respective division titles. “We were real lucky this year to have four nice trotters,” says the Windsor resident, who sends out Pasadena Star and Tyrone Haji from Posts 2 and 3 in the first of the eight Grassroots Championships on Saturday. Pasadena Star finished fourth in the June 29 season opener at Kawartha Downs, but the gelding has not been bested in Grassroots action since. In addition to his four Grassroots victories, the homebred son of former Gold Series competitor Pasadena Princess ($202,019) also captured his division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk on Aug. 30 and finished third in a leg of the Gold Series at Georgian Downs on Aug. 17. “He’s a very nice colt. He’s really not done a thing wrong since the day we started with him,” says McIntosh, who bred and owns the gelding in partnership with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. “He’s two fingers to drive; you can take him off or put him on the front end.” Stablemate Tyrone Haji was a winner in the Aug. 18 division at Clinton Raceway and finished second in his other four Grassroots outings. McIntosh shares ownership of the gelding with breeder Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and is expecting continued improvement from the long-legged youngster. “He’s a nice big colt and he’s got some talent,” notes McIntosh, a seven time winner of the Johnston Cup as the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. “He trained good on Wednesday and I expect he’ll race good. We made a little bridle change, opened him up a bit.” Randy Waples will pilot Pasadena Star and Steve Condren will steer Tyrone Haji in the second race and the Milton residents will also be in the race bikes behind trotting fillies Chelseas Chance and Lenny Mac. Chelseas Chance put together a regular season record of four wins and one second in five Grassroots starts for McIntosh and C S X Stables. The division point leader and Waples will start from Post 8 on Saturday and McIntosh is expecting her to be in the hunt. “She trained extremely well on Wednesday,” says the trainer. “She’s got a really high burst of speed. She can go as fast as a hoppled pacer for an eighth of a mile.” While Chelseas Chance has impressive tactical speed, McIntosh says the other half of his trotting filly entry is more of an endurance athlete. “She’s a nice size filly, she’s great gaited and she can go the distance. The more they move along the better she is,” says the Hall of Fame horseman of Lenny Mac. “She has a good set of lungs on her.” Lenny Mac posted three wins, one second and one fourth in her five regular season starts to finish 42 points behind her stablemate. McIntosh shares ownership of the filly with Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken and Condren will send her after a share of the $50,000 purse from Post 1 in Race 5. In addition to his impressive contingent of trotters, McIntosh will also have a starter in the two-year-old pacing colt and three-year-old pacing filly Championships. Rather Swell and Randy Waples take on a talented group of freshman pacing colts from Post 1 in the fourth race. In five regular season starts the Western Maverick son delivered one win, two seconds and two thirds to finish sixth in the point race. “He tries very hard; he’s had a couple of issues,” says McIntosh, who owns Rather Swell with Dave Boyle. “I think he’ll be a Gold colt next year.” Western Empress will wrap up the evening for the McIntosh stable, making her bid for the sophomore pacing filly crown from Post 3 in the sixth race. In four Grassroots starts the filly, also by Western Maverick, posted two wins and two thirds for McIntosh, Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington and Larry Pollard of Harrow. “She has a super drive to her, a heart to her,” says McIntosh. “I look for her to race good Saturday.” Waples guided the filly to her 1:51.3 personal best over the Mohawk oval in an Aug. 23 overnight contest and the pair will be looking to match that on Saturday. Post time for Mohawk Racetrack’s Saturday evening program is 7:25 pm and the Grassroots Championships will be featured in Races 2 through 6 and 8 through 10. For complete entries Sandra Snyder
ELORA, ON — Just two days after scoring a Grassroots double at Hanover Raceway, Hall of Fame reinsman Steve Condren added two more Grassroots wins to his resume in Monday evening’s two-year-old trotting colt action at Grand River Raceway. The Milton resident struck early, guiding division point leader Pasadena Star to a commanding seven length victory from Post 7 in the first $15,000 division. Hetties Commander and Strike It Big battled into second and third in the mile, which was clocked in 2:01.1. Windsor trainer Bob McIntosh bred and owns the Kadabra gelding in partnership with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. Through seven starts this season Pasadena Star has recorded five wins and one third for earnings of $79,763. Condren was back in the winner’s circle following the eighth race, carving another winning trip out from Post 7 for long shot Ramas Last Son. The Majestic Son gelding reeled in pacesetter Rival Seelster in the stretch to claim the three-quarter length victory in 2:02.2. Verdi was well back in third. The win was the first in seven outings for Ramas Last Son, who is trained by Edward Peconi Jr. for Garry Patterson of Kirkfield. In his first two Grassroots appearances the gelding made errors and finished ninth and tenth, so he will not advance to the Sept. 21 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack. Local colt Warrawee Promesse will advance, however, after scoring a 2:03.4 victory from Post 7 in the final division on Monday. Trainer Wayne Henry guided the son of Windsong Espoir to the four and one-quarter length win over Aventure and favourite Passed Dat Point. The Arthur resident shares ownership of Warrawee Promesse with Fred Brayford of Alliston. R Choochoo Charlie will join Pasadena Star and Warrawee Promesse in the post season after clocking a 2:03.2 win, but the other two winners, Illseeuincourt (2:04.1) and Crowningcrest (2:03.4), did not accumulate enough points prior to Monday’s test to land them in the Grassroots Championship. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Grand River Raceway this week with the regular season Grassroots finale for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Wednesday and the second last Gold Series event for the two-year-old pacing colts on Friday evening. For complete results For up to date point standings, race replays, and more Sandra Snyder
Steve Condren made his first visit to Hanover in close to a decade but he remembered where the finish line was, as the WEG driver won two of the five Ontario Sires Stakes Divisions on the evening. Condren’s first win was in the opener driving 2 year old Lenny Mac. The Kadabra daughter got a pocket trip to the quarterpole behind Balanced Image final qualifier, Charstruck and Luc Blais in 29.1, but took over the lead before a half in 1:00.1, and led past three quarters in 1:31.2 and won by 4 lengths in 2:01.4. Condren also won his final start of the night with Chelseas Chance in Race 9. Both fillies were Kadabra daughters and both were owned by Bob Mcintosh stables of Windsor. Mcintosh shares ownership of Lenny Mac with Earl Hill Jr of Oshweken, and Chelseas Chance with CSX Stables of Liberty Centre, Ohio. Other OSS winners were Rutherford Lass for driver Wayne Henry and owners Henry Stables of Arthur and the estate of Daniel McCann of Parkhill in 2:01.3, Bit of Magic for driver Trevor Henry and owner Herbert Martin of Oshweken, and Just Call Me Lady was a winner for driver Trevor Ritchie and owners Blake Macintosh of Cambridge, Anne Campbell and Stephen Waldman of North York. Hanover Raceway gave away dinner for 4 to the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Finals at Mohawk to Ray Stanley of Hanover, and Jean McCauley of Holland Centre won 1 of 2 season ending prizes, a 2500 dollar home renovation courtesy of Hanover Rona. Hanover Raceway closes its 2013 season next Saturday with its season ending awards for horse, driver and trainer of the year, as well as its final major prize draws. 2 people will win 1 of 2 lazy-boy chairs courtesy of 92.3 The Dock and Smittys fine furniture and someone will win a 3,000 dollar vacation voucher courtesy of Hanover Travel and Cruises, Nolitours and Transat Holidays. Post time for the final race card of the season is 7:15pm. Gord Dougan
CLINTON, ON — Fans packed Clinton Raceway on Sunday for the half-mile oval’s popular Legends Day program and the two-year-old trotting colts did their part to entertain the masses in five Grassroots divisions. Solar Son and trotting specialist Trevor Ritchie clocked the fastest Grassroots mile, halting the Clinton teletimer at 2:03 in the seventh race. The Majestic Son gelding bested Southernfriedsting and fan favourite Strike It Big. David Frey of Acton owns and trains Solar Son, who jumped up the standings with his second Grassroots victory and sits in second spot heading into the last regular season event. Tyrone Haji also made a move up the standings, finally finding his way to the winner’s circle after three straight runner-up finishes in the Grassroots program. One of Legends Day’s featured reinsman, Steve Condren, piloted Kadabra son Tyrone Haji to the 2:03.1 clocking for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partner, breeder Dave Boyle of Bowmanville. The other three division winners were also first time visitors to the Grassroots winner’s circle. Windsong Kinley clocked a 2:04.1 mile in the first $18,000 division, Conway Escape hit the wire in 2:09.2, and Passed Dat Point trotted home in 2:05 to wrap up the Grassroots show. In addition to the Grassroots battles, Clinton Raceway fans were treated to the Jack Campbell Memorial Pace, captured by Trevor Henry and Daniel Semalu in 1:56, and the Legends Day Trot, which saw Hall of Fame horseman Ray Remmen steer former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor The Northern Dude to a 1:59 triumph. The two-year-old trotting colts make their final regular season Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 9, while Clinton Raceway wraps up its 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes season on Sunday, Sept. 8 with a visit from the three-year-old pacing colts in their final Grassroots test. For complete results For up to date point standings, race replays, and more. Sandra Snyder
He has been an integral part of Clinton Raceway’s Legends Day since its inception back in 2001 and will be back again this year on Sunday, August 18. But Ron Waples still can’t get used to the thought of being considered a harness racing ‘living legend’. Those who have followed the incredible career of the double Hall Of Famer would say otherwise. Waples has driven just shy of 7,000 winners and has posted career purse winnings of more than $75 million in the process. Along the way, he has been blessed to sit behind some of the greatest horses ever to look through a bridle – horses like Ralph Hanover, Sugarcane Hanover, Peace Corps, No Sex Please, Dream Maker and Presidential Ball, just to name a few. He has won almost every major race in the sport along the way, including the Hambletonian, Little Brown Jug, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and nine Breeders Crown titles. “At the time, it’s all just another day at the office,” recalls Waples. “But now, when I reflect back on things, I realize just how fortunate I was to be associated with so many great horses and great people and to enjoy the success that I did.” Waples will be looking to capture his second Legends Day Trot this year after winning the 2003 edition with Carrland Buddy in a then track record of 1:58.2. This will be his seventh consecutive Legends Day appearance and he says it is an experience that never gets old. "I don’t really think of myself as a legend but it’s definitely very special to be asked to take part in something like this. I’m still a fan too and I’ve got to spend this day with some of the guys I’ve idolized myself like the late Buddy Gilmour for example. “It’s always a great day and I love the atmosphere,” he explains. “I am amazed at how many fans come out and they’ll stand in line for a couple of hours just to get autographs. The folks at Clinton go above and beyond on this day and they’ve raised a lot of money for local charities too over the years which makes it even more special.” In fact, the previous six Legends Day events have provided $132,000 that go directly to benefit local charities in the Clinton area. The Legends Day roster this year will include Waples along with Herve Filion, John Campbell, Bill O’Donnell, Ray Remmen, Keith Waples, Dave Wall, Clint Galbraith, Bud Fritz, Jim Doherty, Doug Brown and Steve Condren – a group with combined purse winnings of well over half a billion dollars. The $15,000 Legends Day Trot and Ontario Sires Stakes action for two-year-olds will be the highlight races for the afternoon. Fans will have an opportunity to meet this year’s legends and receive autographs starting at 2:30 p.m. There will also be live entertainment and pony rides in the park. The Pineridge Barbecue Chicken dinner is scheduled from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. (tickets $15 each) and Legends T-shirts will be on sale for just $2. All proceeds, along with those from the silent auction that day, will go to the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. For complete details visit www.clintonraceway.com . by Jessica Carnochan
Shelliscape won for the second time this season from just her eight starts in the $30,000 Preferred Pace at Mohawk tonight Friday the 9th of August. The daughter of Artiscape was driven by Steve Condren for harness racing trainer Bob McIntosh. Shelliscape beat Mach A Wish and hot shot Voelz Hanover in a time of 1:50.4 and took her stake earnings lifetime to just over the $630,000 mark. Videos for all races are attached.
He has been a part of many battles on the racetrack over his outstanding 30-plus year driving career but the biggest battle of all for Steve Condren has come away from the track. The Milton resident was diagnosed with Colon cancer in 2011 and that very well could have meant the end to his storied career. But, with the steely determination and steady focus he has become known for, Condren has battled his way back into the race bike and back to prominence on the national stage. The man in green and gold is also getting set to take part in his first ever Legends Day at Clinton Raceway on Sunday, August 18, and says he is all systems go and looking forward to the experience. “The doctor gave me a clean bill of health the last time I saw him and I’m feeling good,” he explains following a recent golf outing where he shot a round of 75. “I’ve worked hard to get back driving and I certainly realize how fortunate I am to be able to be back doing what I love. I’m going to fully enjoy the day and the whole experience.” Condren’s other passion is golf which gives him much of the exercise he requires to stay healthy along with a regular workout routine. After three months of excruciating chemotherapy treatments in the Fall of 2011, the veteran reinsman was forced to slowly and methodically get himself healthy and back into good enough condition to return to the race bike. That patience, and attention to detail, are attributes that have helped him in the race bike too and made him one of the most respected drivers this country has produced. “I’d like to think that one of my strengths is looking at the big picture with young horses and trying to show them how to race the right way,” he admits. “Being versatile has also helped me and having a pretty good sense of how to react to situations that arise in a race. When I look back now, I have to be satisfied with my career to this point and what I’ve accomplished.” As a young driver starting out his career, Condren looked up to several prominent Ontario Jockey Club stars including the late Bill Wellwood and Ron Feagan. He also greatly admired another future Hall Of Famer named Ron Waples – a former Legends Day Trot winner who will be taking part as well this year for the seventh consecutive time. Some of the best horses Condren has driven in his career were ones that he partially owned including Canadian champions Pure Ivory and Elegantimage – the namesake of one of WEG’s premier trotting stakes. His biggest career victory came in 1989 when he guided Goalie Jeff to a dramatic upset win in the North America Cup at Greenwood. Condren has amassed impressive career totals of more than 6,600 victories and purse winnings in excess of $110 million but enjoys the opportunity to get back to the smaller tracks and personally interact with the fans. “I drove in Clinton last Spring for the first time in a long time and it’s a great atmosphere,” he says. “I think that the folks there have a true appreciation of the sport and it’s going to be fun to be a part of. To be asked to join a group of guys like this is a real honour.” The Legends Day roster this year will include Waples along with Herve Filion, John Campbell, Bill O’Donnell, Ray Remmen, Keith Waples, Dave Wall, Clint Galbraith, Bud Fritz, Jim Doherty, Doug Brown and Steve Condren – a group with combined purse winnings of well over half a billion dollars. The $15,000 Legends Day Trot and Ontario Sires Stakes action for two-year-olds will be the highlight races of the afternoon. Fans will have an opportunity to meet this year’s legends and receive autographs starting at 2:30 p.m. There will also be live entertainment, pony rides and face painting for the kids. The Pineridge Barbecue Chicken dinner is scheduled from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. (tickets $15 each) and Legends T-shirts will be on sale for just $2. All proceeds, along with those from the silent auction that day, will go to the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. For complete details visit www.clintonraceway.com. Jessica Carnochan
CLINTON, Ontario . . . Clinton Raceway has added one of the most legendary Canadian drivers of all time, Herve Filion, to their Legends Day line up on Sunday, August 18. He will be driving for Dave Wall who injured his shoulder in a training accident last week. A member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame for more than three decades, Filion will come out of retirement to join other Hall of Famers: Steve Condren, Ray Remmen, Doug Brown, Bill O’Donnell, Ron Waples, John Campbell, Dave Wall, Clint Galbraith, Keith Waples, Bud Fritz and Jim Doherty at Clinton. For many years Filion held the record for the most races won by any driver in North America, a total of 15,180. That number was surpassed last year by Dave Palone, who idolized Filion in his youth. Filion was the youngest driver to ever be inducted into both the Canadian Hall of Fame (1976) and its US counterpart (1975). As the great Billy Haughton once said: “There are a lot of good harness drivers, a few great ones … and then there is Filion.” A recipient of numerous awards on both sides of the border, including the prestigious Lou Marsh as Canada’s Professional Athlete of the Year in 1971, Filion hung up his silks last year with a total of 15,183 wins to his credit. He has graciously agreed to dust them off to compete in the always popular Legends Day Trot. by Jessica Carnochan
INNISFIL, ON — Chelseas Chance earned her second Grassroots victory at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening and jumped back to the top of the two-year-old trotting filly division standings. The Kadabra daughter and driver Steve Condren of Milton eased away from Post 1 in the fifth $15,000 Grassroots division and tucked in fourth on the rail as Erin Hall led the field through fractions of :28.2, :59.1 and 1:28.4. Turning for home Condren asked the fan favourite for an extra gear and Chelseas Chance responded with a smart finishing kick that propelled her to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:58.4. Supreme Monarch closed well to be second, leaving Erin Hall to settle for third. Windsor resident Bob McIntosh conditions Chelseas Chance for his partner, and fellow breeder, C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. Through four Grassroots appearances the filly has three wins and one second for a point tally of 175. Condren and McIntosh also teamed up to earn Lenny Mac her second Grassroots win. Another homebred daughter of Kadabra, owned by McIntosh and Earl Hill Jr. of Ohsweken, Lenny Mac cruised along on the front end to a five and one-half length victory in a personal best 2:00.3. The victory, over Mount Juliette and Majestic Jewel, boosted Lenny Mac into third spot in the division standings, behind her stablemate and Muscle Girl, whose Grassroots win streak was halted at three when she made a miscue in the fifth race and finished seventh. Taking advantage of Muscle Girl’s error was Serendipitous, who looked very impressive in her first lifetime start, circling around the leaders and trotting down the stretch to a four and one-half length victory in 1:58.4 for driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat. Jamieson engineered the win for his father, trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, and Thomas Kyron of Etobicoke. Pocket sitter Jayport Princess and Oceana rounded out the top three. The other Grassroots divisions were captured by Danica (2:00); My Kind Of Pretty (2:00.2); and Jamandra (2:00.2). The two-year-old trotting fillies make their fifth Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on August 14, and Ontario Sires Stakes action will be back at Georgian Downs next Tuesday, Aug. 13 with the fourth Grassroots event for the three-year-old trotting colts. For complete results please Click here.
Diamonds For Life sharp in second Grassroots win CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - The second showdown between two-year-old trottingfillies Chelseas Chance and Diamonds For Life resulted in the fastest of five Grassroots divisions at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, July 29. After finishing one-two in the July 6 season opener at Kawartha Downs, the fillies squared up for their second battle in Race 9 and engaged in an early tussle for the lead with Diamonds For Life reaching the quarter in :29.1 and Chelseas Chance taking over before the :58.4 half. Fan favourites Chelseas Chance and driver Steve Condren of Milton sailed on to a 1:29 three-quarters and were more than one length ahead when they hit the stretch, but reinsman Trevor Ritchie and Diamonds For Life were sitting on a little extra speed. When Acton resident Ritchie asked his filly for one last charge, Diamonds For Life powered by Chelseas Chance to score a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:59.2, matching the personal best they recorded in the July 13 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs. Ritchie engineered the Angus Hall filly's second straight victory for trainer Mark Steacy and owners Frank Spagnolo and Frank Schimizzi of Ottawa. Diamonds For Life and Chelseas Chance are now tied for second in the point standings, trailing Muscle Girl, who picked up her Third Straight Grassroots win in the sixth race. Driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville guided the filly to a 1:59.3 win off a front-end trip for Ray Paquette of Port Hope, who bred, owns and trains the Muscle Mass daughter. Valencia Sol recorded her first lifetime win in the first $18,000 division, circling out three-wide to grab the 2:01.4 victory. Greg Dustin of Strathroy trains and drives the Amigo Hall miss for Jackie Drysdale of Orangeville and Darlene Hayes of Carlisle. The other Grassroots divisions were captured by Bit A Magic (2:00.4) and Wawona (2:00.4). The two-year-old trotting fillies make their fourth Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on Aug. 6. On Monday, Aug. 5 Mohawk Racetrack will host the second Mid-Summer Challenge of the 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes season, welcoming the top 20 two-year-old trotting colts and fillies from the Gold Series division. For complete results. For up to date point standings, race replays, and more. Sandra Snyder