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LEBANON, OH - A jammed harness racing leader board atop the Omar Hiteman Memorial Series standings at Miami Valley Raceway makes for an interesting championship when the top nine money winners gather on Monday (Feb. 24) for the $20,000 final. The series commenced with 27 nominees who were all non-winners of two pari-mutuel races or $20,000 lifetime. The final preliminary leg was contested in two $12,000 divisions on Monday (Feb. 17) afternoon with Friday Night Blues and Sunshine's Finest each getting their initial wins in the series and securing spots in next week's 'big dance.' Friday Night Blues (Cam McCown) scored as the favorite over longshot Fast Track (John DeLong) and Big Bank Hank (LeWayne Miller). The 4-year-old altered son of Ohio stallion Pet Rock won ten races in 2019, but all at county fairs. After an uneventful month to start the 2020 season at Woodbine Mohawk Raceway, he was returned to Ohio and the care of Jessica McCown for the Hiteman late closer. Sunshine's Finest (Brett Miller) pulled a mild upset in the second split, topping favored Fishin For Apples (DeLong) and Velocity Komodo (Mark Evers) in 1:53.2. Owned by Thestable Sunshinesfinest, the winning 4-year-old son of Sunshine Beach also started the current campaign at Woodbine Mohawk before being shipped south to the Virgil Morgan Jr. Stable for this series. The nine finalists for the Hiteman Memorial, based on series earnings, will be Fishin For Apples, Sunshine's Finest, Friday Night Blues, Captain Sunshine, American Trademark, Fast Track, E R Hotshot, Farmers Only and Spoiled Rockin. The popular Survivor Series for male $5000 claiming pacers staged its final elimination round on Monday as well. The series started with 76 horses in eight divisions, was whittled to 40 in four divisions in Round 2, and reduced to ten finalists from a pair of Round 3 elimination heats. Purses in the first three elimination rounds escalated from $5000 to $6000 to $7500, while the final next Monday (Feb. 24) will chase a $20,000 bounty. Longshot Bettor Win (LeWayne Miller, 1:56, $40.60) and favored Hit And Giggle A (Brett Miller, 1:55.2, $6.40) managed narrow decisions in the final preliminary heats. The remaining finalists hoping to be crowned the King of the Bottom Claimers will be Amasa Al, Pence Hanover, Latenite Trick, River's Crest, I Am Will, A J Corbelli, Khan Blue Chip and Creighton Hanover. From Miami Valley Raceway

LONDON, ON - The curtain opened on The Raceway at Western Fair District on Friday evening as the harness racing track began it's 2019/2010 fall meet. The half-mile oval unveiled its newly renovated Top Of The Fair restaurant along with its High Definition broadcast. The Raceway was also pleased to host a pair of $104,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Divisions for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Denali Seelster, driven by Sylvain Filion, set a new track record of 1:54.4 in the first split. The son of Sunshine Beach went gate-to-wire for trainer Dr. Ian Moore and owners Ratchford Stables. The youngster increased his season earnings to north of $90,000. In the other division, Beach Blanket Book came from last-to-first in 1:57.3 for driver Chris Christoforou and trainer Blake MacIntosh. The son of Sportswriter increased his bankroll to over $115,000. The former $17,000 yearling purchase is owned by Hutt Racing Stable along with Mac And Heim Stable. The Raceway was also pleased with its overall wagering on the evening. A total of $349,350 was wagered on the night, which marks a 59% increase from opening night last season. Live Racing resumes on Monday evening with a 6:15 p.m. post time. For full results and entries click here. by Greg Gangle, for The Raceway

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Sunday six two-year-old harness racing pacing fillies will battle it out at the Hippodrome 3R in the annual Lucien Bombardier Stakes, going for a purse of $29,400. One of the "pioneers" of horse racing in Canada, but especially Quebec, Lucien Bombardier devoted his entire life to the industry. Born and raised near Bedford, Que., Bombardier retired in 1992 after 16 years on the board of directors of the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society. The following year, at age 86, Bombardier became the first honorary director of the CSHS. His appointment by the board of directors in January 1993 was in recognition of achievement and contribution to the Society and the Standardbred industry. Bombardier was also honored in 1985 when he was recognized for his life-long devotion to the industry when he was the recipient of the Society's General Achievement Award for his excellence, leadership and contribution to the breeding industry and by his election into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame the following year. Bombardier started training and driving harness horses at agricultural fair meetings in Quebec at an early age. In the early 1940s he left a business career to open a large racing stable at Richelieu Park in Montreal and in 1953 he accepted an executive position with Blue Bonnets which then became the Hippodrome de Montreal. During 25 years in racetrack management he played a role in developing many changes and innovations that helped make harness racing a major sport industry and earned him an enviable reputation on both sides of the border. He also served as a director of Harness Tracks of America and the Canadian Trotting Association. At age 68 Bombardier retired from Blue Bonnets and embarked upon a new career when he became an executive with Angus Farms in Bedford, Que., one of the province's most successful breeding establishments. Bombardier died in 1995 and was honored each year at Hippodrome de Montreal with the running of the Lucien Bombardier Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies. With sponsorship from Standardbred Canada and the Quebec Jockey Club, the Hippodrome 3R revived the stakes race in 2011. The seventh race Sunday is the Lucien Bombardier Pace and the morning line favorite is the Bettor's Delight filly, Hit By A Bus, who starts from post six for trainer/driver and Canadian Hall of Famer, Yves Filion. Hit By A Bus has but one win this year, and that was an impressive 1:54.3 victory at Mohawk Park. She had been racing in the Ontario Grassroots and is making her first appearance at the Hippodrome 3R for owners Brian Paquet, Thomas Kyron and Bayama Farms. The hometown favorite is Acaena De Chakrika in post five for driver Pascal Berube. This daughter of Sunshine Beach was the Future Stars Series Champion, leading from start to finish in the final in 2:00.2. Trained by Daniel Martin for owner/breeder Diane Lepine of Quebec City, Acaena De Chakrika has yet to finish off the board in her eight starts this year with two wins, two seconds and four third place finishes.c Two other contenders, Tuggingoncredit (post one) and Mia Culpa (post 4) are making their debut at H3R and rounding out the field are Sophies Destiny (post two) and SOS Cupcake (post three). Post time is 1:00 pm. A free race program is available at www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

DUNDAS, ON - SEPT. 22, 2019 - Ontario's top harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies waged an epic battle at Flamboro Downs on Sunday night as they wrapped up their Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series regular season in a single $158,000 division. Top point earners Sunny Dee, Boadicea and Powerful Chris lined up at Posts 2, 4 and 10 in the 10-filly field and when the gate swung away all three were mixing it up through a sharp :26.3 opening quarter. Thats Incredible took a brief turn on the lead, followed by Summer Charm, but it was Sunny Dee who clocked the first fraction. Powerful Chris followed Sunny Dee away from the gate, keeping Boadicea out three-wide through the first turn before yielding to the fan favourite. Boadicea matched strides with Sunny Dee going by the :54 half, but driver Trevor Henry was able to regain a length advantage in the turn. Heading by the 1:22.2 three-quarters Boadicea again pressed the leader, but on the final turn Henry hit the accelerator and Sunny Dee turned for home with a clear advantage which she extended to two lengths by the 1:51.1 finish. Boadicea was an impressive second for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Bill Budd and Summer Charm finished third for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary. "I didn't really think Billy's (Budd) horse might get around the turns as good as she does on the big track. Half-mile racing's a little different than mile racing," said Henry of his race strategy. "Sunny Dee's so good gaited I knew she wouldn't have a problem. "I tried to get away on JD (Drury) in the last turn because I knew his was struggling on the turns, so I got a few lengths on him," the Arthur, ON resident continued. "His horse raced well too, she was out the whole way and still was second, she's a hell of a filly too." The 1:51.1 clocking was an Ontario Sires Stakes and Flamboro Downs track record. The previous track record of 1:52 was set by Michelles Power in 2007, while the former Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:52.2 was established by Chancey Lady at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in 2008. Bob McIntosh trains Sunny Dee and the Windsor resident and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH also bred the filly, who is a half-sister to $1.7 million winners Somewhere in L A and L A Delight. Henry has driven Sunny Dee in all but one of her 18 lifetime starts and the pair was also victorious in the June 1 Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Sunshine Beach filly was second twice and third once in her other three Gold Series starts, giving her a total of 162 points and ownership of third spot in the division standings behind Boadicea and Powerful Chris. The top 10 point earners will now begin preparations for the $225,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 12. "It's a good field of fillies. It's a pretty tight bunch, they've raced tough all summer," said Henry of the top point earners, adding that the championship will likely come down to racing luck. "It'll definitely be the best trip, I think." The Ontario Sires Stakes program makes one more stop at Flamboro Downs before the regular season comes to a close. The Dundas half-mile will host the two-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday, Oct. 2 for their last Gold Series event. Complete results from Sunday's program are available at Flamboro Downs Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

HANOVER, ON - AUG. 23, 2019 - On Saturday, Aug. 24 Ontario's talented harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies will gather at Hanover Raceway for six $22,000 Grassroots divisions, part of the Grey County oval's annual Balanced Image Final night. Shawn Steacy guided Lifeisgood Hanover to a win in last weekend's Balanced Image Trot eliminations and will send the gelding after a share of the $56,600 purse from Post 5 in Saturday's final. The trainer-driver will also send out a trio of freshman pacing fillies in Grassroots action - Noir, Bellini Seelster and In The News. "I've got three fillies, two of them especially, that Bellini Seelster and the In The News filly, they're both real handy, real slick gaited," said Steacy. "They've been able to get around the half good so far racing at Grand River and everything. "All three of those got the rail," added the Guelph resident, who will line up at Post 1 with Noir in the first race, Bellini Seelster in the second race and In The News in the sixth. "And the other filly we have there, Noir, she's a nice filly too. She's not quite as handy as the other two fillies, but I think she's got even a bigger engine in her than the first two." Sunshine Beach daughter Noir and Sportswriter filly In The News will both be looking for their first lifetime win on Saturday, while Bellini Seelster comes into the $22,450 contest off a 2:00 victory at Grand River Raceway on Aug. 16. Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC bred and owns Noir, while Katherine Steacy and Landmark 12 of Lansdowne and 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON share ownership of Bellini Seelster and Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Stephen Klunowski of North York, ON and 1187422 Ontario Inc. own In The News. Last Saturday's win was Lifeisgood Hanover's first in four career starts. The son of Royalty For Life will start inside the quickest elimination winner, Awsomedabra, who drew Post 7. The other elimination winner, Royaltys Odyssey, will start from the trailing Post 8. "He raced really good. He's a steady goer and he's good gaited too. For a young trotter that means a lot," said Steacy of Lifeisgood Hanover. "I think we drew the best out of the division winners, so I'm pretty happy with that. I like that better than the rail actually for a young trotter, because I found it was hard to get away from the rail last week." Klunowski, David Reid of Sydenham and Claus Jorgensen of Etobicoke, ON share ownership of Lifeisgood Hanover, whose resume also sports a pair of runner-up finishes in Grassroots action. The freshman pacing fillies will kick off Saturday's program at 7:15 pm in the first race and will also compete in Races 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8. The Walker Invitation Trot goes postward in Race 7 and the Balanced Image Final is slated as Race 9. Steacy expects another big crowd will be on hand to cheer on the young trotters. "Last week they had a good crowd for the eliminations," said the horseman, who currently leads all trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "Balanced Image and Dream Of Glory night always do really good up there." Complete entries for Saturday's Balanced Image night can be found at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0824hnvrn.dat. In addition to Saturday's Grassroots event for the two-year-old pacing fillies, Hanover Raceway will also host the regular season finale for the two-year-old trotting colts on Sept. 14. A complete schedule is below and can also be found at http://www.ontariosiresstakes.com/schedule/schedule_loc.html#HNVR. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trois-Rivieres, QC - There was a notable difference in the race paddock and the grandstand at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday as many horsemen and women and race fans were mourning the loss of popular harness racing driver and trainer, Mario Lachance. Lachance, 57, of Mirabel, died tragically on Saturday. His horse in the first race at H3R, DGs Frozen, was scratched. His son, Jonathan, courageously drove on this day as it is what his father would have wanted. To honor his memory, Jonathan wore his father's race colors at H3R Sunday. Mario Lachance raced most of his career in Quebec. He had 2,138 wins as a driver with purse earnings of more than $14.4 million. He also trained 313 winners with earnings of $2.9 million. Lachance leaves behind his wife Lynda Fortin, along with sons Matthieu and Jonathan, their spouses, grandsons Raphael and Timothe, and father Gilles. A full obituary and arrangements will be posted when available. On the racetrack there were four opening round divisions of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies, each division racing for a purse of $7,500. After the three preliminary rounds of the Future Stars Series are completed, the top eight point earners return for their respective $55,000 finals on Sunday, September 9. In the third race, first division of the Future Stars Series for colts, it was a bitter-sweet victory for driver Jonathan Lachance with D Gs De Vito, who was trained by Jonathan's father, Mario Lachance. The race saw Sport Emilio BG and Francis Picard go right to the early lead with SOS Nostoppinmenow (Stephane Gendron) sitting the pocket season. Then before the half mile, Lachance came first over with the 1/5 race favorite D Gs De Vito and they were able to slip into the two-hole spot by the turn. When the field reached the backstretch, Lachance moved D Gs De Vito first-over against Sport Emilio BG, and those two locked horns past the three-quarters and around the final turn. Then in the stretch, D Gs De Vito was the strong horse and with a last quarter mile in :29, beat Sport Emilio BG by a half-length in 2:03. SOS Nostoppinmenow was third. It was the second straight win for GD Gs De Vito. The unbeaten son of Sportswriter paid $2.50 to win. He was bred and is owned by Daniel Surprenant of Saint-Valentin. In the sixth race second colt division, it was all YS Sunshine. This son of Sunshine Beach from the top mare Bolero Tallia, was bred and is owned by Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation. Driven by Stephane Gendron, YS Sunshine led from start to finish, holding the field at bay and drawing off in the stretch to win by three lengths in 2:01.2. Guinness Panic (Jonathan Lachance) was second with Angelo Benjo (Rodney La Framboise) third. YS Sunshine is trained by Michel Allard and paid $2.10 to win as the 1/9 wagering favorite. The first of the filly divisions was the fifth race where undefeated Hurryupatthebeach and driver Pascal Berube led from start to finish, scoring with ease by three and one-half lengths in 2:00. Her 2:00 clocking proved to be the fastest of the four divisions. The pocket-sitting D Gs Fairystarts (Jonathan Lachance) was second with Cooking The Speed (Stephane Gendron) third. It was the third straight win for Hurryupatthebeach and a lifetime mark. The daughter of Up The Credit is trained by Pierre Leclerc, who bred and co-owns the filly with Gina Bragagnolo of Louiseville. She paid $3.80 to win. In the eighth race second division of the Future Stars Series for fillies, it was Majekyca and driver Marie Claude Auger giving the early lead away to HP Xanadu and driver Stephane Brosseau. They raced that way until Auger pulled the ear plugs on Majelyca after the three-quarters and they came after HP Xanadu, collared the leader by the top of the stretch and went on to win by one and one-half lengths in 2:02.1. HP Xanadu was second with Broncos Sena (Pascal Berube) third. Trained by Martine Biron, Majelyca is sired by Windfall Blue Chip. She is owned by Bernard Jutras of Becancour, who co-bred her with Biron. She paid $4.60 to win. Track Notes: Requested ($3.70) won the ninth race pace in 1:56 for driver Francis Picard. It was his sixth win at H3R, making him the winningest horse this season. Both Stephanie Brosseau and Stephane Gendron had driving doubles. Coming up Tuesday evening at H3R is the opening round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old trotting colts and fillies. Post time is 6:30 pm. There is a free program for Tuesday's race card by visiting www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Wallkill, NY January 2 – Blue Chip Farms is pleased to announce that the book for World-Class Harness Racing Pacer, Sunshine Beach is full and closed for 2018. “We are happy to see so many smart breeders and owners happy with Sunshine Beach’s offspring thus far and appreciate their continuing support.” said Tom Grossman, Principal at Blue Chip Farms.   Sunshine Beach bred 135 mares in Canada in 2015, 159 mares in 2016 and 199 mares in 2017. Captaintreacherous tasted defeat for the first time as a three-year-old, and much like when his father Somebeachsomewhere lost for the first time at 3 it took a world record performance to do it. Sunshine Beach and Brian Sears paced a dazzling 1:47.4 mile to equal the fastest mile ever on a five-eighths mile track   Sunshine Beach     Sunshine Beach Other world-class Blue Chip pacers are still available, including Roll With Joe and American Ideal in New York. Shadow Play and Bettor’s Delight remain open in Canada but are filling quickly. Champion Trotters, Credit Winner, Devious Man and E L Titan round out a solid Stallion roster at Blue Chip Farms this year. Credit Winner's Leading money winning son at $1.38M, Devious Man, stands for $4,000 while Muscle Hill’s son, E L Titan, stands for $6,000.    For booking inquiries, please contact Jean Brown-Clearwater, Jbrown@bluechipfarms.com or Ed Amezcua, eamezcua@bluechipfarms.com.

Blue Chip Farms is pleased to announce that the harness racing stallion Sunshine Beach’s book is full and closed for 2017. The World Champion son of Somebeachsomewhere is having a tremendous year in the breeding shed for a third year stallion with a total book in excess of 180 mares, highlighted by Fancy Creek Funny, Dam of One More Laugh ($2.6mm) This is exceptional for a third year stallion and demonstrates how pleased breeders are with his 2016 and 2017 foals, and their confidence in Sunshine Beach as the next top stallion in Canada.  On behalf of Seelster Farms and the Sunshine Beach Syndicate, Blue Chip thanks the breeding community for such strong support. Sunshine Beach beating Captaintreacherous Captaintreacherous tasted defeat for the first time as a three-year-old, and much like when his father Somebeachsomewhere lost for the first time at 3 it took a world record performance to do it. Sunshine Beach and Brian Sears paced a dazzling 1:47.4 mile to equal the fastest mile ever on a five-eighths mile track

There’s more and more talk in the breeding sector about how impressive the Sunshine Beach foals are – and little wonder when you look at the colt in the attached photos. Standing at Alabar’s farm in Auckland, Sunshine Beach’s first Southern Hemisphere foals are being born this spring. These foals are following on from his first North American crop foaled earlier this year. The rave reports about this first crop saw Sunshine Beach’s North American book grow from 135 mares in his first season to 159 this year – behind only Bettor’s Delight (166) and Sportswriter (163) amongst the Ontario based sires. A spectacular individual himself, Sunshine Beach is a world champion son of Somebeachsomewhere from the great Golden Miss family. His crowning glory on the racetrack is that he is the first horse ever to defeat the great Captaintreacherous. He did so as a three-year old in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine where he led with Captaintreacherous sitting outside him. At the end of a titanic stretch duel Sunshine Beach had his nose in front in a world record equalling 1:47.8. Sunshine Beach’s race career is even more spectacular given he battled painful kidney and bladder stones throughout his career. It’s going to be extremely exciting over the next few years to see which young sires step up to replace our industry’s aging super sires. Given his bloodlines and the quality of foals he’s producing, Sunshine Beach very much deserves to be in this conversation. $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine Harnesslink Media

Since the mid 1990s, the harness racing breeding scene in Australasia has been home to a resurgence in the Direct Scooter siring line and it shows no signs of tapering off anytime soon. From Direct Scooter line stallions such as  In The Pocket to Christian Cullen to Courage Under Fire to Mach Three, breeders have enjoyed access to some of the best siring talent available. Last years results announced the arrival of another descendant of Direct Scooter in Australasia in Somebeachsomewhere who had a sensational season down under with the brilliant Menin Gate and Waikiki Beach who each dominated their respective age groups in Australia. Somebeachsomewhere has dominated age group racing in North America in three of the last four years and is currently over $1,300,000 ahead of Bettor's Delight on the two year old siring charts this year. With Somebeachsomesomewhere only available via frozen semen and in limited supply, the market was wide open for a well performed son of Somebeachsomewhere to stand in Australasia. Alabar Bloodstock have taken the bull by the horns and have brought in the very well credentialed Sunshine Beach 1:47.8 ($977,438) From the first crop of Somebeachsomewhere in 2010, Sunshine Beach is from a very strong maternal family which keeps pumping out those elite level horses. The dam of Sunshine Beach is the unraced Artsplace mare Light Up. Apart from Sunshine Beach, Light Up has also produced horses of the quality of Safe Harbor 1:50.1 ($549,180), Warrawee Flare 1:50.3 ($524,095) and Western Moonlight 1:52.3 ($366,091 while one of her daughters in Warrawee Cammy has already produced Machal Jackson 1:50.1 ($562,715) The grand-dam is the smart Jate Lobell mare Lights On 1:54 (318,777) who has left eight winners at stud including the very smart two year old After Life 1:51.4 ($659,328) The third dam is the outstanding Flying Bret racemare Enroute 1:53.4 ($753,768) who apart from Lights On has also produced Take Flight 1:53.2 ($602,443), Flight Plan 1:50.1 ($394,251) and Bedeviled 1:55.3($326,212) It is a pedigree full of winners with several $500,000+ earners close up in the pedigree so Sunshine Beach lacks nothing in the breeding department. Sunshine Beach on the track was hindered throughout his career by kidney and bladder stones but when free from pain he produced some outstanding performances. At two, he had a handful of starts, winning in 1:52.2, running second in the $110,000 Nassagaweya Stakes and having a best placed time of 1:50.4 in his heat of the Metro Pace. Treated extensively in the break between his two and three year old seasons, Sunshine Beach came out at three and showed what a high class colt he was. His best performance was undoubtedly in the $500,000 Battle Of Brandywine Final at Pocono where he beat the champion colt Captaintreacherous in a life time best of 1:47.4 Other notable performances at three included the $284,000 Progress Pace at Dover Downs in 1:50.3, a Bluegrass Stakes win at the Red Mile in 1:48.2 plus two placings behind Captaintreacherous in time honoured classics. One was a second placing in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final by a neck in 1:49.2 and the other was a third in the $635,000 Meadowlands Pace Final in 1:48.4. Sunshine Beach faced the starter 20 times between May and December at three for eight wins and eight placings and over $900,000. In fourteen of those twenty starts Sunshine Beach broke the 1:50 barrier. The kidney and bladder stone issues came back to haunt Sunshine Beach in a big way at four and his form wasn't what it should have been. After he was retired, Sunshine Beach went on the operating table to remove the most humongous golf ball sized kidney stone you will ever see. For Sunshine Beach to have raced as well as he did with that stone annoying him every inch of the way is a testament to how genuine and tough he was. Standing in Canada in his first year at stud in 2015, Sunshine Beach was very well received by breeders, covering 135 mares at $5,000. With Alabar having set his fee at $4,000 in Australasia, Sunshine Beach would seem great value for money and it would surprise us if he didn't serve as least as many mares down under as he did in Canada during this past breeding season there. Harnesslink Media.

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