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WALES, UK - Tir Prince Raceway management are delighted to announce that they will be holding six Le Trot races at Tir Prince in 2016. The Le Trot Series has been underway for three seasons now as both the UK and Ireland. Every year more and more trotters from France have been purchased to race in the series and continue to grow in numbers every year. The dates for the Le Trot Series at Tir Prince this season are: Saturday 18th June Tuesday 26th July Tuesday 9th August Saturday 20th August Saturday 3rd September Saturday 15th October “We at Tir Prince are really looking forward to seeing the trotters who are imported from France grace the track this season,” said Eric Witherspood, Racing Director. “We feel that the facility at Tir Prince gives them the ideal opportunity to showcase their talents. Roll on June! Or as The French would say "Rouler Su Juin!" Purses are estimated at £2,000 sterling ($3,000 US) depending on the number of entries each week. For more information visit http://www.tirprince.co.uk/racing/harness-racing-the-facts/ by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Dublin, IRELAND – Records are made to be broke, but every single year? For the fourth straight season, the number of two-year-olds entered for the prestigious Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial at Portmarnock Raceway has shattered the record books once again. A whopping 80 harness racing pacing colts and fillies have been nominated for the endurance weekend of racing that takes place Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14, 2016. “This year,” said race developer Derek Delaney of Oakwood Stud, “thanks to the generous sponsorship by USA’s Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm, there is a first time final for fillies only and with that addition, the record of 59 entered in 2015 fell quickly to the wayside.” Of the record 80 royally bred 2-year-old harness racing pacers that have now staked their claim on the 5th annual Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Cup weekend, 44 are colts and 36 are fillies. “If they were all to the make the races this year,” Delaney said, “We will have to add a race card on the Friday, just to hold the elimination races. Wouldn’t that be grand?” The Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial total purses are estimated at over €40,000 in 2016. It is by far the richest harness racing event in the history of both Ireland and the UK. The increase in nominations was a very positive 33% over last year. To win the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial, two-year-olds must race in elimination heats on the first day and then return the next to compete in the finals. Also on the program that weekend are three other signature events, the Oakwood Stud Derby for three-year-old pacers, the Paul Murtaugh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds and the Irish-American Junior Free-For-All. In addition there are other special trotting and pacing events on the program each day. The race series and festival weekend was developed by Derek and his brother James Delaney, as a tribute to their younger brother Vincent, who tragically died of a massive heart attack at age 26 in 2011. “Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin on August 13th and 14th is going to be the place to be at,” Said Delaney. “We had thousands of patrons come out last year and expect to increase on that in 2016. We already have racing fans from around the globe coming to our venue in Ireland, traditionally dubbed as the land of a thousand welcomes.” For more information visit www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial 2016 Vincent Delaney Memorial Colt Nominees link http://www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com/race-eligibles/index.php?pid=race-eligibles&raceno=2 2016 Vincent Delaney Memorial Filly Nominees link  http://www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com/race-eligibles/index.php?pid=race-eligibles&raceno=1      

Dublin, Ireland – Newtown Stud was proud to recently welcome their newest addition to their farm, the top pacer Total Truth, who will be standing stallion for the 2016 season. Total Truth has become the richest Standardbred stallion to stand in the UK and Ireland. He is a career winner of $2,022,433 and had a race record of 1:48.3. The royally bred son of Jenna’s Beach Boy’s accomplishments include  at 2, winner of the Smullin Memorial, Niatross, and an elimination of the Kentucky Sire Stakes at Lexington.  At 3, he was the winner of the North America Cup, Hoosier Cup, Progress Pace, Cane Pace, Burlington Pace and a Matron Stake elimination. Total Truth was named the 3-year-old Pacing Colt of the Year and Pacer of the Year in 2006. In 2008, Total Truth was sold at Tattersalls for $900,000, a record for a male pacer.  He has settled in well at Newtown Stud and the farm is looking forward to a super breeding season with him. Newtown Stud was established in 1978 and is run by the Wallace family, who are into the harness racing business since the 1960’s. They have had numerous top class horses over the years that have raced both locally and internationally. Currently they have in training 7 French trotters, three 2yos, one 4yo and three 3yo pacers. They have 12 top bred broodmares, six yearlings, and two world champion stallions now available for stud. Total Truth will stand the 2016 season for a fee of €1000. Their other stallion is Allamerican Captor, who stands for a fee of €700.   Newtown Stud has an all-weather half mile training track and is located in the North side of Dublin, just a few minutes’ drive from the International Dublin Airport. Their contact number is +353 87 634 8862 and they are on facebook at https://m.facebook.com/NewtownStud/. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

York, England – In a shocking announcement Wednesday, the British Harness Racing Club (BHRC) announced that Michael Welling, the owner of York Harness Raceway, has decided to withdraw all 2016 fixed dates for racing at the track. In a statement, the BHRC said, “The BHRC appreciates entirely all the determination, hard work and funding, Mr. Welling has injected into York Harness Raceway and also the extent of what has been achieved there in promoting the racing and the sport. The loss of which is a colossal blow to the BHRC and harness racing. In his letter to the BHRC Council, Welling wrote; “It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that I wish to inform the BHRC Council of my decision to withdraw the racing dates with immediate effect for York Harness Raceway, which I have submitted for 2016 season. Over the past ten years I have invested quite a considerable amount of my own personal money into the track and racing, upgrading the surface, providing new equipment etc., and promoting racing, with very little or no help from the racing fraternity. Running York Raceway and Promoting Harness Racing takes up quite a considerable amount of my time, which in turns means I have to spend all my time living at the track. As you can all appreciate in this day and age it is not wise to leave a property unattended for any length of time. I no longer wish to live this existence. As most of you know I have now retired and I would like to spend more time with my family, running York Raceway prevents me from doing so. Therefore I am moving away from Harness Racing to pursue other interests, this decision wasn’t taken lightly.” “York is the only purpose-built hard track in England,” said Sarah Thomas, an avid horsewoman in Scotland and a reporter for Harnesslink, “There has been and will be this year a fixture at Wolverhampton Racecourse aka Dunstall Park, however this is a Thoroughbred track so technically classed as dual purpose plus they only stage one meeting. “Tir Prince now serves the north of Wales and all of England as a good hard track for harness racing,” Thomas explained, “and Amman Valley is then based in South Wales and serves Wales and the English counties i.e. Herefordshire). Corbiewood is the most northern track (being in Scotland) that's a hard track.” The loss of the harness racing meetings at York has been a “hot topic” on social media throughout the UK and Ireland. Questions to be answered include where the races scheduled at York will be held in 2016. Speculation ranges that they will be “farmed out” to tracks such as Tir Prince and Corbiewood. Also the York Mixed Horse Sale, which has grown from just being the Camden Stud Sale, to a sale for yearlings, broodmares, stallions and racehorses from across the UK and Ireland, will need to find a new home. “This will have a massive knock on effect with regard to the Le Trot Series (Trotteur Francais purchased under a three year agreement with Le Trot with races to be based at York),” Thomas added, “however Trot Britain had the foresight to tender out their races when York initially indicated that only 4 fixtures would be staged at York in 2016.” “Around the York area are where some of the UK’s biggest trainers are based,” said Sterling’s Andrew Dick, a horse owner, “Top trainer/drivers Mick Lord and John Gill will literally need to drive past York Raceway just to get to Tir Prince. “Along with Tir Prince, York is the only real decent hard track we have in the UK,” Dick said, “There are many big time and small time trainers around that area and York would be their base. You will likely find that some small time trainers will sell up as they won’t really have anywhere to race. York has also held some major independent stakes races over the years for big money. “It's a very bad time for the sport and with Corbiewood in its current state,” Dick said, “and with no real security with Tir Prince, the future really is bleak in the UK.” It has also been said that the track is for sale and many are praying that somebody within racing will purchase the track and continue racing. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Dublin, Ireland – At the stroke of midnight on Monday, February 1, all nominations for the 2016 Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial, the Oakwood Stud Derby and the Paul Murtagh Senior Memorial, are due. Please check out the new promo video for the 2016 festival weekend at https://youtu.be/mZUcaeuLvsw.  Nominations can only be made online at http://vincentdelaneymemorial.com/index.php?page=race. For 2016, the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial (VDM) for two-year-old pacers will feature a filly division that is sponsored by Diamond Creek Farms in the USA. The first nomination fee is only €150 for both fillies and colts. The VDM is entering its fifth season and continues to be the richest harness racing stakes event in all of the Ireland and the United Kingdom. This year there will be €40,000 guaranteed in total purses and prizes over the two days of racing. Race dates for the VDM in 2016 is Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14 at Portmarnock Raceway. The first nominations for the Oakwood Stud Derby is just €100 and is open to just three-year-old pacers.  Both the elimination heats and the final will be raced at 1.5 mile distance. There will be elimination heats on Saturday, August 13 and the final on Sunday, August 14. The final for the Oakwood Stud Derby is guaranteed at €12,000. The first nominations for the Paul Murtagh Senior Memorial is also just €100 and is open to only four-year-old pacers.  Both the elimination divisions and the final will be raced at 1.5 mile distance. There will be elimination divisions on Saturday, August 13 and the final on Sunday, August 14. The estimated total purses for the Paul Murtagh Senior Memorial is estimated €8,000. “Both my brother James and myself are really looking forward to this year’s VDM weekend,” said Oakwood Stud’s Derek Delaney. “Who would have thought when we first came up with the idea of a special race in memory of our younger brother Vincent, that is would develop into such a big event. “The addition of a filly division this year,” Delaney said, “thanks to sponsors Diamond Creek Farms and Adam Bowden, will make the VDM weekend even greater. I have already been contacted by people from around the world that want to come out for this weekend. I guess you could say we have come up with Ireland’s own version of the Little Brown Jug and the Gold Cup & Saucer!” For any additional information about the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend, visit their website at www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Festival

Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the States Harness Writers Associations president, Steven Wolf, has announced that one additional award will be presented at the association's 25th annual Silver Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on Friday, February 19, 2016 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort and Spa in Pompano Beach. In addition to Allen Saul, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to trainer Gerald "Jerry" Nelson. Nelson, 83, who now resides in Coconut Creek, was born in Truro, Nova Scotia, and started working with Standardbreds as a young boy and then when to California with the great Joe O'Brien, rising to the ranks of second trainer. Nelson also was first trainer with Archie McNeil, Ron Waples, Joe Pavia, Jr. and Wally Hennessey, working much of his career at Pompano Park. "Jerry has been around horses all his life," said Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey, "He was always reliable, super with the horses, he was the whole package and to this day, grooms at Pompano Park always ask how he is doing. Everyone has nothing but the upmost respect for him." Elected to the chapter's Hall of Fame, which recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years and who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry, are veteran trainer/drivers Wally Ross, Jr. of Coral Springs and Tom Sells of Margate, former Pompano Park race secretary Ken Marshall of Livonia, Michigan, and the top trotting sire, Basil, who is retired at James Gluhm's farm in Trenton. In addition to the Florida USHWA chapter's awards, presentations will also be made by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association to the owners of the top 2 and 3-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers from the 2015 season and the annual Breeder of the Year Award. The Florida Amateur Driving Club will also present their year-end awards. Tickets are $80 per person for the full course dinner that begins at 6:00 pm with a one-hour open bar with appetizers. Tables of ten are available. For more information, to purchase tickets, or place a congratulatory ad in the program book, please contact Rosie Huff at the Florida Standardbred Breeders Office at 954-972.5400, rhuff@myfsboa.com, or Steven Wolf at 954-654-3757, stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. From the Florida Chapter USHWA    

Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the States Harness Writers Associations president, Steven Wolf, has announced the Hall of Fame inductees and the annual award winners for the 2015 harness racing season. They will be honored at the association's 25th annual Silver Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on Friday, February 19, 2016 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort and Spa in Pompano Beach. Elected to the chapter's Hall of Fame, which recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years and who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry, are veteran trainer/drivers Wally Ross, Jr. of Coral Springs and Tom Sells of Margate, former Pompano Park race secretary Ken Marshall of Livonia, Michigan, and the top trotting sire, Basil, who is retired at James Gluhm's farm in Trenton. For the first time in the history of the Florida Chapter of USHWA, both the Stanley Dancer Award, which recognizes achievements of a trainer who has been continuously outstanding in the development of young trotters, and the William Popfinger Award for developing outstanding juvenile pacers, will go to the same person, and that is Mike Deters of Coconut Creek. It is the second time that Deters has won both awards, but never in the same year. Winner of the Delvin G. Miller Award, which recognizes someone or an organization whose life in harness racing reflects dedication and integrity furthering the growth of the sport, goes to longtime owner/breeder and popular equine author, Victoria M. Howard of Boca Raton. The Frances Dodge Van Lennep Award, which recognizes an outstanding female who has made great contributions to the sport, goes to Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, who is the farm manager of the South Florida Trotting center and the wife of trainer/driver Dan Daley. The winner of the Allen J. Finkelson Award recognizes an individual in the sport who has contributed to the positive promotion of the Standardbred industry and being honored this year is longtime owner/breeder and Harnesslink.com writer, Thomas H. Hicks of Pompano Beach. Winner of the R.D. Ricketts Award, presented to an owner whose contributions to Florida racing have been outstanding, is Richard Dunmire of North Fort Myers. The winner of the Dana Irving Award for breeding excellent juvenile performers in 2015 is Laurie Poulin of Okeechobee. The Peter Haughton Award for the best newcomer to Pompano Park ended for the first time in a dead heat with the award going to both John Cummings, Jr. of Nichols, NY and John MacDonald of Fredericton, New Brunswick. The Dan Gawlas Good Guy Award, presented annually to an outstanding individual who has always contributed positively to the sport, goes to amateur driver Dein Spriggs of Jupiter. The Florida USHWA Chapter's Lifetime Achievement Award goes to longtime trainer/driver Allen Saul of Pompano Beach. The annual Caretaker of the Year Award will be presented to an outstanding individual who, over his or her career, has dedicated untiring time and efforts caring for the horses in the stable(s) they worked for. This year's winner is Tracey O'Leary of Pompano Beach, who has worked many years for the Mike Deters Stable and is now with the Dan Clements Stable. In addition to the Florida USHWA chapter's awards, presentations will also be made by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association to the owners of the top 2 and 3-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers from the 2015 season and the annual Breeder of the Year Award. The Florida Amateur Driving Club will also present their year-end awards. Tickets are $80 per person for the full course dinner that begins at 6:00 pm with a one-hour open bar with appetizers. Tables of ten are available. For more information, to purchase tickets, or place a congratulatory ad in the program book, please contact Rosie Huff at the Florida Standardbred Breeders Office at 954-972.5400, rhuff@myfsboa.com, or Steven Wolf at 954-654-3757, stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. From the Florida Chapter USHWA  

Racing's newest podcast "Post Time with Mike and Mike" will have a very special trifecta of guest this week. Steve Wolf, the Director of Operations North America and Europe for Harnesslink.com and Vice President Sales/Operations for 20winsamillion.com, will be talking about what took place at the Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming in Arizona. Anthony MacDonald from thestable.ca will  join us, as well as Brandon Valvo, who will talk about racing action overseas. Also James Clouser Jr. will be featured on our Stable Spotlight segment.  Post Time with Mike and Mike is co-hosted by Track Announcers Mike Bozich and Mike Carter. It can be heard at blogtalkradio.com Thursday nights at 7:00 PM Eastern. If you miss the show, archives are available immediately following the live broadcast.  Post Time with Mike and Mike will also be holding their very own year end awards. Categories include Race Call Of The Year, The Iron Horse Award, Race Fan Of The Year, Small Stable Of The Year, The Upset Of The Year, and Horsewoman of the year. If you would like to nominate someone for any or all of the categories above, email ptmikeandmike@yahoo.com, and please include a brief explanation of why. Nominations close Saturday, Dec. 19th, at 11:59 PM. We will announce the nominations on Wednesday, December 23rd's broadcast at 7:00 PM Eastern. Post Time's award show will take place on Thursday, December 31st at 6:00 PM Eastern.  Post Time with Mike and Mike's mission is to positively promote harness racing. Every hoof that hits the racetrack, whether a claimer or a stakes horse, has a story to tell. The show's goal is to tell these stories. Follow them on Twitter @ptmikeandmike1 and like them on Facebook at Post Time with Mike and Mike. by Mike Bozich, for the Mike And Mile Show

The staff at Harnesslink salute’s our own Steven Wolf, Director of Operations for North America, Europe and UK/Ireland, on finishing runner-up in the inaugural Innovator’s Circle Award competition for the best “ideas pitch” at the 42nd Annual Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming held in Tucson, Arizona Monday to Wednesday. The competition was conducted by the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program, which runs the symposium. Wolf, a veteran award winning harness racing publicist, teamed with partner Joel Benson, owner of the J L Benson Stable and founder of EventnetUSA, a major events promotion agency, and were one of the five finalists selected from more than 80 applications submitted from five continents. Both reside in Broward County, Florida. Wolf and Benson introduced their new “pitch”, 20 Wins A Million, a free online game promotion, sponsored on pari-mutuel track websites, and allows players to select winners from Thoroughbred, Standardbred, Quarter Horse or Greyhound Racing, with prize incentives including a $1,000,000 Grand Prize for picking 20 winners in a row. Players building their win streak are awarded prizes from the track and national sponsors. Prizes include anything from free wagers, track apparel, clubhouse dinner for two, a new car, etc. If a player loses a race, their streak goes back to zero and they can start over again. Those wishing to test drive 20 Wins A Million, can register and play the demo website at www.20winsamillion.com. Wolf and Benson said that the game should be ready to debut by March, 2016. Any pari-mutuel racetrack interested in the innovative new product can email info@20winsamillion.com or call 1+954-654-3757. SWOP Stakes, a racing jackpot based on multiple race outcomes, developed in Australia by Shaun Pyrah, won the $15,000 first place cash prize. Judges for the Innovators’ Circle competition were John Ford, CEO of BAM Software & Services, LLC; John Hartig, Chairman and CEO of the Daily Racing Form; and Mike Tanner, executive vice-president and CEO of U.S. Trotting Association. By John Curtin, for Harnesslink

Pompano Beach, FL -- The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Racing Writers Association, has announced the recipients of its 2015 Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Awards. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Mr. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park, longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization and an inductee to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame as a Communicator. Each student received $1,000. This years' recipients include Sarah Birkhold of Sarasota, FL, a junior at the University of Florida (Gainesville) majoring in animal science biology with a minor in management agri-business. Sarah is a 2015 member of the Golden Key honor society. She is actively involved in the equine industry, training Standardbreds, participating in rodeo events and involved in equine reproduction. Rebecca Soodeen of West Palm Beach, FL is also a scholarship recipient. This junior and honor student at the University of Florida (major in health science; minor in business administration) has been involved in equine related activities such as being a research assistant for the UF Wildlife Department and volunteer assistant for Bit by Bit Medical Theraputic Riding. "We are delighted to assist Sarah and Rebecca with financing their academic pursuits and wish them continued success," said Florida USHWA Chapter president Steven Wolf. "They are outstanding students and worthy of the scholarships." For 2016, the Finkelson Scholarship program continues with preference for these scholarship awards given to students majoring in journalism, communications or equine related studies. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Fully completed applications must be postmarked no later than July 15, 2016. By Thomas H. Hicks, for the Florida Chapter USHWA

United Kingdom – The UK/Ireland’s leading trainer in 2015, Alexis Laidler, has been dealt an 12 month suspension from racing plus fines from the Stewards of the British Harness Racing Club (BHRC). On Saturday August 22, 2015 at Tir Prince Racecourse, a blood sample was obtained from the horse Merrington CheckM8. Following this sampling, the blood was tested by Laboratoire Des Courses Hippiques (LCH) where the substance Triamcinolone Acetonide was identified, reported and confirmed. The presence of this substance being in breach of Y18 of the BHRC Rules and Regulations. Mrs. Laidler informed the panel that the horse had been treated by a Vet, who had recorded such at the time in the passport, and due to various issues she had entered the horse to race without giving the horse the recommended withdrawal period. In addition to the 12 month suspension from racing, which began on September 20, 2015, Mrs. Laidler is to pay £1500 in fines, all costs to cover testing and hearing expenses and the horse, Merrington CheckM8, must pass a BHRC integrity test prior to being eligible to be entered for racing. The BHRC stated that the original six additional months of suspension that was originally reported in this story, was suspended and thus the suspension is for just 12 months.   Mrs. Laidler has been the leading trainer in the BHRC for the last eight straight years. In 2013 she became the first BHRC trainer to achieve over 100 wins in one season. She is married to William “Rocker” Laidler, who is the leading driver in the UK. According to William Laidler on Facebook, Alexis Laidler did appeal the decision but the Stewards denied the appeal. She will be eligible to return to racing in September 2016. By Steven Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Even Mother Nature with rains that turned the track sloppy could not put a damper on the final live harness racing card of the season at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday. It was a special day for Mirabel resident, Maxime Velayel, as he won his first training title at the Hippodrome 3R. The driving title came down to the very last race on the program and Denis St Pierre, who was not driving on the card, still won the title in a dramatic finish over Mario Charron, 48-47. Charron had a driving triple at 3R Sunday. For Pierre, it is his second straight driving title at the Hippodrome 3R. Velayel came into the final race program of the season leading all trainers with 19 wins. Then with both of Jean Tourigny's (18 wins) horses entered on Sunday late scratches, Velayel won the title before the race program got underway. He closed out the season with 20 wins. "This is my first training title ever," said Velayel. "And how great it is. This is my first season back in Quebec after seven years in Ontario. So great to win this, coming back home and doing what I love. "I had only wished that Mario (Charron) was able to win the last race," Velayel said. "Then he would have been tied for the driving title and we could celebrate our titles together." In the eighth Open Trot feature, Charron and three-time Quebec-Bred Series champion, Maximuscle, showed their heels to the field. They took the lead away from Beer Mags (Kevin Maguire) after an opening quarter mile in a speedy :28.4. They backed off the pace, held the field at bay and then poured it on down the stretch to win with ease by three and one-half lengths. Beer Mags held for second with Vial Angus (Jocelyn Gendron) third. Time of the race was 2:04.1. It was the ninth win on the year for Maximuscle. The four-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall posted trainer Maxime Velayel's 20th win of the season. Maximuscle is owned and was bred by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC and paid $3.30 to win as the wagering favorite. That victory for Charron put him within one win, 47, of tying Denis St Pierre at 48 for the driving title at 3R. With three wins already on the card, Charron needed only to win the 12th and last race on the program to tie for the title. He was driving Cliff Drummond, the 1/5 favorite and led nearly the entire mile race, losing to a first-over and very determined Montezuma Bluechip and driver Stephane Gendron, by a half length. The tenth race Open Pace was the fastest mile on the sloppy track as race favorite, D Gs Woodstock (Pascal Berube) just held off the pocket-sitting The Platinum Guy (Jonathan Lachance), to win by a short head in 2:01. Akoya (Jocelyn Gendron) was third. It was the seventh win on the year for D Gs Woodstock, an eight-year-old gelded son of Yankee Cam who is trained by Guylaine Fertiel for owner Daniel Surprenant of Saint-Valentin, QC and paid $3.60 to win. The Hippodrome 3R will be open for simulcasting seven days a week featuring the best Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing action in North America. For the simulcast calendar schedule go to www.quebecjockeyclub.com. By Steven Wolf, for the Quebec Jockey Club

 TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, October 31, 2015 - Both the year-end leading harness racing driver and trainer titles are on the line at the Hippodrome 3R this Sunday, which is also the last day of the 2015 live race meet. Denis St Pierre currently leads Mario Charron for the driving title by just four wins, 48 to 44. St Pierre will not be at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, which opens the door for Charron to take a shot at winning the title. Charron has horses to drive in ten of the 12 races on the program. Just last week Charron became the first driver of the entire season to win five races on one program. This Sunday Charron has a very good chance of surpassing St Pierre for the driving title as he is listed on seven horses that are either the first or second choice on the morning line odds. As for the training title it will be a dogfight between Maxime Velaye, who holds a slim one win lead (19) over Jean Tourigny at 18. Velaye is sending out three horses from his stable on Sunday, the best chance of them for a victory is Maximuscle, who is the race favorite in the 8th race feature trot. Tourigny has just two horses entered, but one of them is the tough filly, Pop Goes Theweasel in the fourth race pace. She is trying for her fourth straight win. It is a very strong 12-race program on Sunday with nine starters in most of the race. Plus the competition for both the driving and training titles will add to the excitement throughout the afternoon. First race post time Sunday is 1:30 pm. After Sunday's program is completed, the Hippodrome 3R will be open seven days a week featuring the best Thoroughbred and Standardbred race programs in North America via simulcasting. For more information go to www.quebecjockeyclub.com. by Steven Wolf, for the Quebec Jockey Club

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Pop Goes Theweasel popped for another big harness racing score Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R as the three-year-old filly romped to her third straight victory. Driver Mario Charron was on fire Sunday as he scored five victories on the day and is now four wins away from catching Denis St Pierre (48 wins) for the 2015 driving title at 3R. Currently for the training title Maxime Velaye holds a slim one win lead (19) over Jean Tourigny at 18 wins going into the final day next Sunday. Driven confidently by regular reinsman, Louis-Phillipe Roy, Pop Goes Theweasel started from the rail in the third race feature pace and got away in second place as Classic Breeze (Pascal Berube) shot to the early lead from post six. But by the opening quarter mile in :29.4 on a rain-soaked track with a two second variance, Roy was on the move with Pop Goes Theweasel and the daughter of Mach Three was in command for the rest of the one mile race. Roy was able to slow down the pace with Pop Goes Theweasel to the half mile in 1:01.4 as Monster Magic (Steeven Genois) came first-over with Bemmol Kalie (Gaetan Lamy) following the outside cover. Down the backstretch Monster Magic began to fade and Gamy moved three-wide with Bemmol Kalie and cleared by the three-quarters in 1:32.2. But it was too little too late as Roy merely just raised the lines on Pop Goes Theweasel and the filly pulled away from the field in the stretch to win by seven and one-quarter lengths in 2:01.1. The pocket-sitting Classic Breeze was able to come on for second place with Bemmol Kalie third. It was the seventh win this year for Pop Goes Theweasel. She is owned by Roland Trudel of Becancour, QC and paid $4.20 to win. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. By Steve Wolf, for the Quebec Jockey Club  

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, October 24, 2015 - It is rare that a horse does not have a good story, usually unknown to the masses. This is the case of the three-year-old pacing filly, Pop Goes Theweasel, who goes for her third straight win at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday. The daughter of Mach Three, who has finished first or second in her last four races, starts from the rail in the third race co-feature for trainer Jean Tourigny and will be driven by Louis-Phillipe Roy. Pop Goes theweasel is owned by Roland Trudel of Becancour, QC and that is where the story begins. In 2012, Trudel went to the Forest City Standardbred Sale looking for bargains as he admits he loves to do. He had already purchased a Kadabra filly that he had a crush on, Sarakadabra. When the bidding was done he had his filly for $10,000, a bit more than he would have liked to have paid, but nonetheless he wanted the filly. It was Claude Beausoleil who was to bring the filly home and Roland was to pick her up the following morning. "I brought my check book," Trudel explained, "Because Claude had bought that Sunday a filly by Mach Three that he had paid $2,500 for. I had the opportunity to see her video and I liked her' swing ' in the paddock. "Once there, I told Claude that I wanted to see her again and what I saw I liked. Give me $500 more and she is yours Claude said. So sooner said than done, I came back with two fillies instead of one. "This year," Claude said, "it's true that sometimes bargains come good. After all, when considering the pedigree of the filly, one is impressed and pleased that her mother had been prolific. My Bell Ami, a Artsplace filly, was sold for $55,000 as a yearling, and has already to her credit three foals, all fillies, with average earnings of over $100,000. "Three out of five in that time," Trudel added. "So this is an excellent family and Mach Three is probably the highest rated stallion in Ontario. So yes, we can speak of a bargain for Claude and me then." The genealogy enthusiasts will also noticed that the brother of Pop Goes Theweasel sold for $26,000 last week in Lexington. Of course, the filly is named after the popular children's nursery rhyme. Unraced at age two, Pop Goes Theweasel has been making up for lost time and last week she blossomed big time. Starting from the rail for Roy, she was given great cover and then came out in the stretch and blew by the field to win going away by two and one-quarter lengths in 1 :57.4. It was her sixth win of the season and a lifetime mark. Pop Goes Theweasel is the 5/2 morning line favorite on Sunday. She will have her work cut out as she faces a steller field that includes recent 3R winners Pro Play (post 2), Classic Mondiale (post five) and Classic Breeze (post six). With just two race days left to the meet at 3R, Denis St Pierre still leads the drivers with 48 wins, which would be tough for either Mario Charron (39) and Stephane Brosseau (37) to catch up to him for the driving title. There is a five-way battle for the trainer title. Maxime Velaye has a slight lead with 18 wins, but Jean Tourigny (17), Dany Fontaine (15), Yves Tessier (15) and Andre Champagne (11), all have a shot at winning the title. This Sunday is the second to last day of live harness racing action at the Hippodrome 3R. The final card of the meet will be Sunday, November 1. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. By Daniel Delisle and Steven Wolf for the Quebec Jockey Club

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Patience's is a virtue and harness racing driver Pascal Berube listened to that proverb Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R in the fifth race feature trot and he came away with a victory aboard SOS Striking Monte. Starting from the rail, SOS Striking Monte got away in second place as the top mare, Kim Sorel (Martin Gingras), left quickly to take early command of the race. By the opening quarter mile in :30.1, Kim Sorel was already under pressure on the outside from The Great Bambino (Jonathan Lachance), but The Great Bambino went off-stride. That allowed Gingras to back off the early speed and slow the field down to the half mile marker in 1:03.3. Then it was that Force Naturelle and trainer/driver Simon Delisle coming three-wide in the backstretch to push Kim Sorel to the three-quarters in 1:34.4 and was gaining ground on the final turn. But once they straightened out in the stretch for the final drive to the wire, the very patient Pascal Berube moved SOS Striking Monte to the passing lane and they shot by the race leaders and went on to win by two and one-quarter lengths in 2:04.4. Kim Sorel held for second over Force Naturelle. Trained by Guy Royl and owned by Frances Proulex of Saint-Pie-De-Guire, QC, it was the third win this year for SOS Striking Monte. The four-year-old mare by Striking Sahbra paid $5.70 to win as the betting favorite. Two drivers, Stephane Brosseau and Steeven Genois each had the 'hot hands' at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday, each winning three races on the program. Next Sunday will be the final day of the season for live racing at the Hippodrome 3R. The track will be open seven days of a week for simulcasting all year long. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. By Steven Wolf, for the Quebec Jockey Club 

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