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DUNDAS, ON - OCT. 2, 2019 - Scoring her second straight Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series victory on Wednesday evening at Flamboro Downs, Wine Rack Hanover has established herself as one of the two-year-old harness racing trotting fillies to watch heading into the post season. Starting from the advantageous Post 1, driver Sylvain Filion wanted to control the tempo and, on her best behaviour, Wine Rack Hanover complied. The filly laid down fractions of :30, 1:00.2 and 1:31.1 and, without facing a challenge, sailed home a one and three-quarter length winner in 2:00.1. Princesspartypants finished second and Alpina was third. Fan favourite Jula Shes Magic made an early break and finished well back in fifth. "When you've got the rail on a half-mile you've got to try and hold your position and hope for the best, but I knew at from the start when she left the gate that she felt solid and I was pretty confident," said Filion. "She did it pretty easy, well in hand. She's still learning, but I mean she's come a long way from how she started off to how she is now." Wine Rack Hanover started her Ontario Sires Stakes on a strong note, winning her July 14 Grassroots division at Georgian Downs, but struggled mid-season with breaks. Filion first sat behind the Kadabra daughter when trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman re-qualified her on Sept. 17. Wine Rack Hanover won that qualifier with a 1:56.1 effort and then earned her first Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 24. Regular reinsman Trevor Henry was in the bike for that start but is currently in Lexington, KY, so Filion was happy to fill in for Wednesday's outing. "I had a chance to qualify her a few weeks ago and I really liked her," said Milton, ON resident Filion. "She had a tendency to make breaks, so they kind of changed the gear and she qualified real good, and then she raced good and tonight, well Trevor's gone away, so they asked me to come and drive her and I said, 'Sure, absolutely'." Norman trains Wine Rack Hanover for Pinske Stables of Plato, MN and Bridgette Jablonsky of Hanover, PA. In nine starts the filly now boasts a record of three wins and two thirds for earnings of $133,238 and heads into the Oct. 12 Super Final in fourth spot in the division standings. Warrawee Vicky will lead the two-year-old trotting fillies into the post season after scoring her third Gold Series win Wednesday. Starting from Post 4, the fan favourite tucked in third early as Trina led the field of seven to a :30 quarter and a 1:00.2 half. Heading for the 1:30.4 three-quarters driver Doug McNair sent Warrawee Vicky up the outside to the lead and although Trina went off-stride McNair kept the pedal down and Warrawee Vicky powered home to a six and one-quarter length victory in 1:59.3. Pocket-sitter She Rocks Kemp finished second and Ride To Justice recovered from an early break to be third. "She raced good last week and real good again tonight," said McNair, who was making his second appearance in Warrawee Vicky's race bike. "She's flawlessly gaited and absolutely perfect to drive. It gives you lots of options." McNair crafted the win for trainer Scott McEneny of Puslinch and owner Brad Grant of Milton, ON. In addition to Wednesday's win Warrawee Vicky was also victorious in the July 11 Gold event at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the July 24 Gold event at Grand River Raceway. In nine lifetime starts the Royalty For Life daughter boasts a record of five wins and one second for earnings of $173,265. The top 10 point earners from the regular season will now advance to the Oct. 12 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Wednesday's event wrapped up Flamboro Downs' 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which was highlighted by an Ontario Sires Stakes and track record performance by three-year-old pacing filly Sunny Dee in Gold Series action on Sept. 22. Complete results from Wednesday's program are available at Flamboro Downs Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - September 20, 2019 - Harness racing fans will want to arrive early to Woodbine Mohawk Park this Saturday (September 21) to collect the third and final t-shirt in the 'Road to the Breeders Crown' giveaway series.   Sylvain Filion is the next driver to have his racing colours incorporated into a t-shirt. The four-time O'Brien Award winning Driver of the Year will be set up on the main grandstand floor beginning at 6 p.m. this Saturday (September 21) to giveaway t-shirts and sign autographs.   The $750,000 Metro Pace is the main event for this Saturday's stakes-filled card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment      

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 13, 2019 - His rivals took a run at him on Friday night, but three-year-old pacing colt Century Farroh proved up to the challenge and wrapped up the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series regular harness racing season with a perfect record of five wins in five starts. Bronx Seelster pressed Century Farroh through Woodbine Mohawk Park's opening turn, challenging the division leader for the early lead, but Century Farroh refused to cede his Post 1 advantage and led the field of seven to a :27 opening quarter. After allowing Century Farroh to cruise to a :55.3 half Stag Party mounted a serious challenge heading for the 1:23 three-quarters and the colts turned for home neck-and-neck. However, driver Sylvain Filion simply asked Century Farroh for another gear and the fan favourite pulled away to a three-quarter length victory in 1:50. Bronx Seelster closed to be second and Stag Party finished third. "I was very impressed with Casie's (Coleman) horse tonight (Stag Party). He took a run at him, and kept going too, and so did Bronx Seelster in the first turn and in the stretch, but he's just a very determined animal. He fights them off," said Century Farroh's trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "I hope we can get one more. That's the one that really counts, the Super Final." Cambridge, ON resident Moore trains Century Farroh for Ratchford Stables NS of North Sydney, NS. Trainer and owner now face the task of mapping out the Mach Three colt's schedule leading up to the $225,000 Gold Series Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, Oct. 12. "There's probably only going to be one race, I would say, in the four weeks," said Moore. "It could be next week (Sept. 20) in Hoosier in the Jennas Beach Boy or it would probably have to be an overnight here. You have to supplement him to Hoosier, so we might, and then he won't race until the Super Final. He's been off before and he seems to do well on it. He had almost two weeks here too." The $150,000 Jennas Beach Boy at Harrah's Hoosier Park in Indiana requires a $12,500 (US) supplement to make Century Farroh eligible. The same situation exists for the Breeders Crown in late October at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the Matron Pace and Progress Pace in late November at Dover Downs should Moore and the Ratchfords choose to extend the Mach Three colt's season beyond the Super Final. "At this point in time with any horse really it's week-to-week basically, when you get near the end of the season. I mean he started training back in late January I believe, early February, so it's been a long old road," said Moore. "Mr. Ratchford has already stated - he's had numerous offers again recently and also stallion offers too - he's already stated that he wants to race him as a four-year-old, so if he does then you've got to take care of them a little bit. So it will be week-to-week and we'll keep going until he shows signs that he's had enough. Good horses always show you that. Shadow Play told me when it was time to stop with him and this guy will too." Shadow Play would earn a total of $1.5 million in his racing career, retiring to stallion duty in 2009 after his four-year-old season. The horse is just one of several notable pacers that have resided in the Moore stable in the last two decades and while Century Farroh has not had the same stakes opportunities as some of his predecessors the trainer still ranks him among the top performers. "He's a horse that loves his work, he loves his business, and he's a very, very determined animal," said Moore. "I've had the good fortune of being associated with a lot of good horses over the last 15 years I've been doing this and he's right up there with all of them, that's for sure." Following in the footsteps of their older peers, the two-year-old pacing colts will wrap up their Grassroots season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, Sept. 16, competing in Races 3, 4, 7 and 9 on the program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. Complete results from Friday's program are available here. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

CLINTON, ON - SEPT. 1, 2019 - Clinton Raceway wrapped up its 2019 season on a high note Sunday afternoon with the 39th annual Charity Driver's Challenge and four OSS $22,800 Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old harness racing pacing colts. The first seven races were dedicated to the driver's challenge, which benefitted the Royal Canadian Legion branches in Clinton, Seaforth, Wingham and Brussels. The top four drivers from Clinton Raceway, Colin Kelly, Scott Wray, Natasha Day and Ryan Holliday, competed against four of the top drivers from Woodbine Mohawk Park, Sylvain Filion, Louis-Philippe Roy, Jonathan Drury and Jody Jamieson, with each driver looking to amass the most points through seven starts Louis-Philippe Roy got off to a quick start, winning the first two races, and finishing second to defending champ Jody Jamieson in the third. Canada's leading reinsman Sylvain Filion romped to an 11 length win in the fourth race and Natasha Day edged out Roy for the win in the fifth. Roy looked to have things well in hand, but the early leader finished last in the final two legs and Filion finished first. Filion took the win with 175 points through the seven races, Roy was second with 158 and Jamieson was third with 117. Once Filion had been crowned the winner of the Charity Driver's Challenge, which raised over $12,000 for the Royal Canadian Legion branches, the freshman pacing colts stepped to centre stage. Bettorbuckleup and driver Mike Saftic won the first $22,800 division with a sharp front end effort from Post 3, sailing home two and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:57.2. Usurper finished second and Twin B Watch Me was third. "He's been in the Gold a couple times, but he's just kind of a fringe payer in the Gold," said trainer Eric Adams. "He's got all kinds of go, but he's not quite a Gold horse so we're going to tackle the Grassroots and see if we can get to the Grassroots Semi-Final." Adams trains the son of Bettors Delight for Millar Farms of Stouffville, ON. The win was the colt's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action and his second through seven starts. In his three Gold Series appearances Bettorbuckleup's best finish was a second at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 15. Century Grizzly has competed in all four of the Grassroots Legs this season and earned his first provincial victory with a track record equalling effort at Clinton on Sunday. With Jody Jamieson in the race bike the fan favourite controlled all the fractions, cruising through a :28.3 quarter, :59 half and 1:28 three-quarters on his way to the 1:57 victory. Sundown Kid was one and one-half lengths back in second and Bee Two Bee was three lengths back in third. The mile matched the 1:57 track record set by Thinkofagameplan in Grassroots action on Aug. 31, 2014. "He's turned the corner a bit. He was a slow starter, but he's figuring it out," said Jim Ritchie, who trains the Sunshine Beach colt for Paul Ritchie of Mono, ON. "He was always fast but he was goofy, like playing around and whinnying at horses, but he's starting to figure it out." After finishing no better than third in his first four starts, Century Grizzly recorded his first victory on Aug. 22, touring Woodbine Mohawk Park in 1:54.1. Sunday's win bumped him up among the top 20 point earners heading into the last regular season Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 16. The top 20 point earners from the five regular season events will advance to the Sept. 27 Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final earning a berth in the Oct. 5 Grassroots Championship. In the third division, Doc Fanelli also took a front-end tour to the Grassroots winner's circle, battling down the stretch to a three-quarter length victory in 1:58.4. Fan favourite Gentry Seelster settled for second and Walk It Talk It rounded out the top three. Sunday's win was the Badlands Hanover son's second. He also won his career debut at Georgian Downs on June 29. "He was kind of lazy horse training down and after his first qualifier it just kind of clicked," said owner-trainer Kyle Bossence of Arthur, ON. "Great gaited, paced without the hopples right from Day 1, he just did what you asked him to do. He wasn't an overachiever, but he's kind of catching the hang of it now and wanting to go a little more." Colin Kelly, who finished the 2019 meet as Clinton Raceway's top reinsman, drove Doc Fanelli to the win. The reinsman - along with Clinton's leading trainer Andrew McCabe - was presented with his trophy just before he drove Doc Fanelli to the win. Captivate Hanover wrapped up the fourth Grassroots Leg and the 2019 Clinton meet with a 1:57.3 victory in the last division. The Bettors Delight son and driver Phil Hudon sat behind pacesetter Needless To Say through fractions of :29, :57.3 and 1:28.2 before sprinting down the stretch to a one and one-half length victory in 1:57.3. Mr Cheeseman finished second and Disneyman was third. "He put in a big effort, that's for sure. He got a little steppy from time to time, but he's quick and everything so he was able to make up for it," said trainer Shawn Steacy of the fan favourite. "He's just a nice horse. He comes to play all the time, so that's why we like him." Steacy trains Captivate Hanover for Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC, Stephen Klunowksi of North York, ON and James Feeley of Pine Bush, NY. The colt was also victorious in the July 5 Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park and currently sits second in the division standings with 116 points. In addition to supporting the Royal Canadian Legion through a bake sale, 50-50 draw and silent auction, fans wagered a total of $67,417 on the races, the biggest handle of Clinton Raceway's 2019 meet. Complete results for Sunday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0901clntnn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - AUG. 9, 2019 - Two-year-old harness racing trotting fillies took centre stage at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday and for the second straight evening driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Ake Svanstedt struck Gold with a first-time Ontario Sires Stakes starter. On Thursday night Filion guided Svanstedt trainee Moon Bridge to victory in freshman trotting colt Gold Series action and on Friday the Milton resident teamed up with Winter Olympics. The fan favourites left smartly from Post 6 and settled into third as Jula Shes Magic rolled out to a :29.1 opening quarter. Feeling confident in Winter Olympics through the opening stages, Filion pointed her toward the front heading for the :58.3 half and the filly carried on unchallenged through the 1:27.4 three-quarters. Turning for home She Rocks Kemp shifted into high gear and started to reel in Winter Olympics, but the tempo setter had enough left in the tank to secure a three-quarter length victory in 1:56.3. She Rocks Kemp finished second and Jula Shes Magic was two more lengths back in third. "I was just being extra careful leaving the gate, I didn't want to get caught in a speed duel," said Filion. "I just waited until things settled down to re-move to the front, and from there she did the rest on her own." Both Winter Olympics and Moon Bridge made one start south of the border before shipping to Woodbine Mohawk Park for this week's Ontario Sires Stakes action. Sarah Svanstedt briefed Filion on the duo Thursday afternoon and the driver said both youngsters lived up to their advance billing. "She told me that they were pretty high on them, and I guess they were right," said Filion. "That's a very nice filly. Big and strong, and she can do everything right. She was a little green on the front end, but there was still lots left," he added. "She really impressed me the way she travels. She looks like she's walking out there and she's still going pretty fast." Wrightstown, NJ resident Ake Svanstedt also owns Winter Olympics, who is a daughter of Muscle Mass and Olympic Dreams. Intense Justice clocked the second fastest mile of the three Gold Series divisions Friday, touring the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval in 1:56.4. The filly and regular reinsman Chris Christoforou got away third from Post 2 and watched heavy favourite Warrawee Vicky lead the field to a :28.3 opening quarter. Warrawee Vicky continued to lead at the :58.4 half, but Christoforou had circled around pocket sitter Jasmine Volo and dropped in behind the pacesetter, who reached the three-quarters in 1:27.3. In the stretch Christoforou angled out around Warrawee Vicky and asked Intense Justice for a burst of speed. The Justice Hall daughter responded and pulled away to a one and three-quarter length victory. Warrawee Vicky finished second, her first loss in five lifetime starts, and Wine Rack Hanover was third. "She showed me a lot of talent the first time I sat behind her," said Christoforou, who has driven the filly in all of her starts, beginning with a June 8 qualifier. "She has a great turn of foot and a very nice gait. She's a very good feeling filly and once the gate opens she's all business." Dany Fontaine of Terrebonne, QC trains Intense Justice for owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. Friday's win was the filly's second in Gold Series action this season and boosted her lifetime earnings to $103,182. The filly's elder brother Only For Justice is also a two-time Gold Series winner this season. "Dany does a fantastic job with her and all his horses, he's patient and a very intelligent horseman," said Christoforou, who makes his home in Campbellville, ON. "I'm very happy for her owner-breeder Mr. Bono. If you look at the numbers, he is an excellent judge of pedigree and has done a brilliant job with his breeding program. It's been an absolute pleasure to drive for them." The other $73,067 Gold Series division went to Sheer Energy, who went gate-to-wire from Post 6, stopping the clock at 1:58.1. Modern Mass was three and one-quarter lengths back in second and Th Present was two more lengths back in third. Guelph, ON resident Louis-Philippe Roy engineered the win for trainer George Ducharme of Norfolk, MA and owner W. J. Donovan of Delray Beach, FL. The filly, a half-sister to $1.2 million winner Manofmanymissions, was the $187,000 sale topper at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale and now has two wins to her credit through three starts. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Gold Series start on Sept. 24 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Complete results from Friday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0809wbsbsn.dat. On Monday, Aug. 12 Woodbine Mohawk Park will host Gold Series action for the three-year-old trotting colts. The colts will square off in Races 2 and 8 on the program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - AUG. 2, 2019 - Century Farroh reaffirmed his position as king of the three-year-old pacing colt class with his third Ontario Sire Stakes Gold victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday evening. With regular reinsman Sylvain Filion of Milton in the race bike, Century Farroh left well from Post 3, landing in second and tipping out to take aim on early leader Sportsline before the :26.1 quarter. Once he reached the front Century Farroh led the field through a :55 half and a 1:22.4 three-quarters and then dug in down the stretch to secure a neck victory over Bronx Seelster and Best In Show in 1:49.4. "I really think that the time off did him some good. It seemed to rejuvenate him a little bit, not that he was really worn out, but he just seemed to be a totally different horse tonight. I needed ear plugs in him warming up tonight, he was grabbing me that bad," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore who started the colt just once, in a July 6 overnight at Woodbine Mohawk Park, between Friday's test and his last Gold Series win on June 29. "He had 10 days right off in the paddock after his last race and he was still on full feed and he put weight on and filled out a little bit more. I trained him in 1:51 at the farm last Wednesday, 10 days ago. That's all he had from July 6." The win in Friday's $158,000 Gold Series division was Century Farroh's eighth in nine starts this season. The son of Mach Three and Beachy Girl suffered his only sophomore loss in his June 8 North America Cup elimination where he finished seventh. The Grassroots champion at two, Century Farroh has banked $321,700 competing against the top colts this season for owner Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS. Century Farroh will make his tenth start in the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in Ohio next Saturday, August. 10. It will be the colt's first trip south of the border and Moore said it will likely be the lightly staked colt's only out of province outing. "It's not that long a ship to Northfield, so it shouldn't be too bad. This will be his only one," said Cambridge, ON resident Moore, who plans to send the colt to Ohio on Friday, Aug. 9. "Now, you know, half-mile track, you've got to draw good, right," the trainer added. "Draw anywhere near the outside down there you're out right from the start, that's all there is to it, period." Following the Carl Milstein Memorial Century Farroh and his Ontario Sired peers will be back in Gold Series action at Georgian Downs on August 18. Next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park's provincial stakes schedule are the two-year-old trotting colts competing in five Grassroots divisions on Tuesday, Aug. 6. The colts will kick off the Tuesday evening program at 7:10 pm and also compete in Races 2, 5, 6, and 9. Complete results for Friday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0802wbsbsn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, July 16, 2019 - Harness racing driver Sylvain Filion put on a driving clinic Tuesday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park by winning six-races. The Milton, Ontario resident scored six wins in 10 drives with four of his victories coming in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Filion busted into the win column in the evening's third-race with rookie pacing colt Allywag Hanover ($2.70) for trainer Casie Coleman. The veteran reinsman proceeded to post victories in the following two-races, both OSS Grassroots events, with Tabloid Writer ($13.20) for Ben Baillargeon and Quick Tour ($10.20) for Mark Horner. After a one-race break from the winner's circle, Filion kicked off his second natural Hat-Trick of the card with Kevin McMaster trainee Dontblvmejustwatch ($3.40) in an OSS Grassroots contest. His fifth and sixth victories of the card came with six-year-old trotting mare P L Jill ($2.90) for Baillargeon and two-year-old gelded pacer My Land ($9.20) for Gerard Demers in an OSS contest. Filion nearly made it seven-wins on the evening, as he finished second in the finale with rookie pacing colt Better B Swift. The six-win night gives Filion 150 victories this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park and a 34-win lead in the driver's standings over nearest rival Louis Philippe Roy. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, JULY 16, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park held 10 races on Tuesday evening and harness racing driver Sylvain Filion won six, including four wins in the second Grassroots leg for the two-year-old pacing colts. "It was one of those nights when nothing goes wrong you know, and even a bad drive, my horses were so good they overcame it," said the Milton resident, who teamed freshman pacers Tabloid Writer, Quick Tour, Dontblvmejustwatch and My Land to Grassroots victories and finished second in the other two divisions with Twin B Watch Me and Better B Swift. Filion collected his victories in stretches of three and kicked off the first in Race 3, an overnight race for two-year-olds he won with Allywag Hanover, followed by a pair of Grassroots victories in Races 4 and 5. In the fourth race Filion and Tabloid Writer got away fifth from Post 3 and were able to slip into the outer lane behind Three Trick Gainer heading for the :59.1 half. The colts advanced steadily on pacesetter Twin B Frenchtoast and turning for home Filion shifted Tabloid Writer into a bigger gear and the colt sprinted to a one length victory in 1:55.3. Three Trick Gainer finished second and Twin B Frenchtoast settled for third. "He's a nice little horse. He's not very big, but he's all there, he's all guts and perfectly gaited," said the driver. "I thought he raced real big." Ben Baillargeon of Guelph trains Tabloid Writer for Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, QC. The son of Sportswriter was an $80,000 purchase from last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Tabloid Writer Filion and Quick Tour were saddled with Post 10 in the third $23,500 Grassroots division, but the Mach Three son left smartly from the gate to find a spot in fourth on the rail. Filion soon had the gelding aiming for the lead and the pair was in command before the three-quarter mark. From there Quick Tour battled hard to hold off My Bettors Del and fan favourite Better Take It and earn the 1:54.1 victory for trainer Mark Horner of St. Marys and his partner R A W Equine of Burlington, ON. "He (Horner) told me before the race he's better covered up, but from the outside post, I guess I had him a little too wound up and when I got in the four-hole there he started getting a real big hold of me. I didn't want to take any chances and I moved him back to the front," explained Filion. "Once at the front he kind of got lost, but he dug in hard. That was a great mile for him, a great, great effort." A $7,000 bargain at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Quick Tour finished second in the Grassroots season opener to Tattoo Artist, who went on to win a Gold Series division on Monday night. Quick Tour After an off-the-board finish in Race 6, Filion kicked off another three-race win streak with Dontblvmejustwatch, who clocked the quickest mile of the six Grassroots divisions. Starting from Post 3 Filion and Dontblvmejustwatch landed in sixth and Filion asked the fan favourite to reel in the leaders heading by the :57 half. Once they took control the outcome was never in doubt, Dontblvmejustwatch cruised home a one and three-quarter length winner in 1:53.1. Usurper finished second and Colima was three more lengths back in third. "That's a nice little horse, he's a sweetheart. I guess they didn't really think much of him as of like a month ago, but he's been improving every start and my god he was good tonight," said Filion. "I had him in the bad position, I was far off the lead, and he made a quick brush to the front and he made it pretty easy. He's not very big, but he's slick and he's very, very fast." Filion drives the Hes Watching gelding for trainer Kevin McMaster and fractional ownership group TheStable Dontblvmejstwtch of Guelph, ON. Through three starts the youngster has now delivered one win, one second and one third for his delighted owners. Dontblvmejustwatch The driver then won another overnight event with aged trotting mare P L Jill before returning to the Grassroots winner's circle with My Land, who went gate-to-wire from Post 1 in 1:54.2. Night Watchman finished two and one-quarter lengths back in second and Wilsons Vinner was two more lengths behind in third. "That's a horse I raced last time and I was caught back in the field. There was no flow and he still come home pretty good, so tonight I wanted to make sure with the rail that I was going to be, maybe not in front but in the two or three-hole," said Filion. "So anyway, I left hard and ended up on the front end and I was able to get a soft middle half and he sprinted home pretty good and got the job done." Gerard Demers trains My Land for La Ferme Tag Inc. of Papineauville, QC, who offered up $10,000 for the Badlands Hanover son at the 2018 London Selected Yearling Sale. My Land The other two divisions went to fan favourites National Sport and Poseidon Seelster. Sportswriter son National Sport and driver Louis-Philippe Roy caught Filion and Twin B Watch Me in the stretch and pulled away to a three and three-quarter length win in 1:54.2 for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and owner 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, ON. Bettor Focus rounded out the top three. National Sport  Both Bob McClure and Poseidon Seelster and Filion and Better B Swift used late charges in the final division, but Poseidon Seelster had the bigger kick and claimed the 1:54.1 victory by three-quarters of a length. Century Grizzly completed the top three. McClure piloted Sunshine Beach colt Poseidon Seelster to the win for trainer Matthew Dupuis and owner Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, ON. Poseidon Seelster Tuesday's quartet of victories and pair of runner-up finishes will edge Filion closer to current leader Trevor Henry in the race for the Lampman Cup, awarded each year to the top driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Filion is a five-time winner of the honour, and he has also chalked up the occasional six-win night in his decorated driving career. "Not very often, not often enough," said the reinsman with a laugh. "I'll take it." The two-year-old pacing colts will make their third Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 15. Next up on the Campbellville oval's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are six Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies and two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies on Thursday, July 18. The freshman pacing fillies will open Thursday's program at 7:10 pm in the first race and will also be featured in Races 4 through 7 and Race 9. The trotting lasses will battle in Races 3 and 8. Complete results for Tuesday's program are available here.. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R harness racing track, the Quebec Jockey Club is hosting the Ben Hur Cup II, featuring world-class drivers Doug McNair from Ontario against Louis-Philippe Roy of Quebec. And who better to comment on the race competition than the inaugural Ben Hur Cup Champion, Sylvain Filion. He won the eight-race competition last year with four wins, but due to prior obligations, could not defend his title this year. "I am sorry not to be able to attend this year," Filion explained. "It is a great competition and I hope to get invited back next year. But you do have two top drivers for this year." It was not a romp until the last of the eight races last year. Filion had the lead going into the last race and sealed it with a big romp. "What I remember most from last year," Filion said. "Were the race fans. There were so many people that came out for the competition, I got to see so many friends, family and faces from the past and they really loved the tournament too. It was fun. "Also, in the last race last year I did not know what kind of filly I was driving," Filion explained. "She had just won her maiden in 2:04.3, her name was All You Can Dream and she was so perfect, we won by 24 lengths over LPR. He needed the win to take the competition but that did not happen." Filion really likes the pairing of Doug McNair and Louis-Philippe Roy for the Ben Hur Cup II. "These are two well-matched drivers," Filion said. "They are excellent drivers. Both are about the same size, same age. They have each won big stakes races and have an aggressive style of driving. It will be a really good competition." And, for the biggest question of the story, who does Sylvain Filion feel will win the Ben Hur Cup II on Sunday? "I think they are both excellent drivers," Filion said. "I would want to see who draws the most power and I will leave it at that. The draw means so much," Filion added. "Last year I had some powerful horses that drew well and made it easy for me to win. Power means everything." Sunday's program will also feature the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacers. Post time on Sunday at H3R is 1:00 pm. For a free race program or additional information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

JUNE 5, 2019 - Three-year-old trotting colt Esa's path to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle was a winding one, but the harness racing youngster finally made it with a 1:58.4 effort in the first $22,800 Grassroots division at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening. Sold for $145,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, the regally bred youngster encountered his first trial soon after arriving at trainer Jimmy Takter's New Jersey farm. "The first day he got to Jimmy Takter's farm he went through four or five fences and he ended up in the next village. They had to stich his face, all kinds of trouble," said Guelph, ON resident Ben Baillargeon, who took over training duties on Esa last fall. "Then he got sick all year last year and by the time I got him last year - he was finally healthy - Jimmy said race him a few times and see what he's made off." Esa would race a total of eight times at two, two for Takter in July and six more for Baillargeon in October and November, recording one win and five thirds. The son of E L Titan and Christiana Hanover made his sophomore debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 27, finishing seventh in a field chock full of Gold Series horses, so rather than joining those colts in the Goodtimes Stake eliminations this Friday Baillargeon opted to send Esa to Wednesday's Grassroots test on the Elora half-mile. The decision proved fruitful as Esa and driver Mario Baillargeon of Acton, ON left smartly from Post 6, traded places at the front with fan favourite LA Magic through the first half and then took command of the race, cruising home to a two and one-quarter length victory over the rain soaked oval. LA Magic settled for second and Warrawee Usain was three more lengths back in third. "Last week I was pleased with his first race. He raced real good. I was expecting a good race today and that was a very good mile over there today, 1:58.4, and he did it handy with the plugs in," said Baillargeon, who trains the colt for Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John Fielding of Toronto, ON, R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, ON and Hatfield Stables of Columbus, OH. "I don't know how good he'll get, but there's a lot more in him than he did today, because he did it handy." Driver Sylvain Filion piloted the winners of the last two Grassroots divisions, using a front-end strategy with both heavy favourites. Starting from Post 2 in the third division with Encarnacion, Filion sent the Archangel son straight to the front and the pair never had to look over their shoulders, romping home to a six and one-quarter length victory in 2:01.1. The Great Farini trotted into second and Titan M Up completed the top three. "He's a real nice horse. He's real handy and he can leave the gate like a rocket. I knew if I could get on the front without rushing him too much I had a really good chance of winning that race," said Filion, who drives Encarnacion for trainer Rod Boyd of Cambridge and numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. "And it's funny, for a big horse, he gets around the turns like nothing. He's really big and rugged, but he seems to like the half-mile." The Milton, ON resident picked up his second Grassroots win of the night, and third overall, with Raising Royalty. The pair took command before the halfway marker and cruised home to a two and one-half length victory in 1:59.4. King For Life, owned by trainer-driver Bruce Richardson of Fergus and his partners Peter Irwin of Ayton and Joseph Coffey of Orangeville, ON, finished two and one-half lengths back in second, just ahead of Super T. "He's been very nice so far this year. Last year he showed a lot of potential but he had a hard time keeping it together," said Filion of Raising Royalty. "He's matured a lot and he's much better now. He still has his little things he needs to work on, but he's got tons of speed and he's way handier than last year." Wednesday's win was the fourth in four sophomore starts for Raising Royalty, who also swept his elimination and the final of the City of London Trotting Series at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Stephen Bossence of London trains the Royalty For Life son for Stephen Palermo of Etobicoke, ON. The other division went to E L Titan son Gold Edition, who was steered to a 1:58.3 score over Priceless Ruler and Herbs Journey by Alfie Carroll of Iona Station, ON. Carroll crafted the win for trainer Blair Burgess and his wife Karin Olsson Burgess of Campbellville, ON and their co-owner Stirling Fisher of Waterloo, ON. The three-year-old trotting colts will make their second Grassroots start of the season at Clinton Raceway on June 23. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on July 3 with the second Gold Series event for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Complete results from Wednesday night's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0605grvrn.dat.     OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

MILTON, ON - November 3, 2018 - Nocturnal Bluechip scored his third Woodbine Preferred win of the season by the narrowest of margins on Saturday night at Mohawk Park. A field of eight pacers, including three-year-old The Downtown Bus, clashed in the weekly $34,000 top-class event. The Preferred opened with Always A Hotshot making the top and posting a :26.1 opening-quarter before Easy Lover Hanover found the pylons and the top spot entering the backstretch. Nirvana Seelster moved out from fourth ahead of the half and charged up to poke a neck in front at a :54.4 half. Nirvana Seelster cleared to the top and led around the far turn. Physicallyinclined pressed first-up with a trio of followers in the outer-flow, including Nocturnal Bluechip and driver Sylvain Filion, who were fourth-over and six-lengths from the top turning for home. Nirvana Seelster attempted to grind out the victory on the front after reaching three-quarters in 1:22. In the stretch, American Wiggle came charging from second-over with Jeff Gillis' duo of The Downtown Bus and Nocturnal Bluechip rallying on the far outside. Nocturnal Bluechip would reach up in the shadow of the line to win by a nose over American Wiggle, while The Downtown Bus finished third. A five-year-old gelding, Nocturnal Bluechip now has three wins in his last five starts with all coming at the Preferred level. The Gillis trainee now has 10 wins and $132,350 earned in 27 starts this season for owner Nlg Racing Stable. Nocturnal Bluechip improved his career numbers to 17 wins and $427,551 earned with his victory Saturday. He paid $11.40 to win. Saturday evening's card also saw Woodbine Mohawk Park recognize driver Louis Philippe Roy and trainer Carmen Auciello for recently capturing the Championship Meet driving and training titles. A gift and sign presentation was conducted for Roy and Auciello in the winner's circle. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications                  

MILTON, ON - November 2, 2018 - Sophomore pacing filly Kendall Seelster stole the show Friday at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a stunning victory in the $30,000 Mares Preferred. The daughter of Shadow Play defeated eight older rivals by charging home from a third-over seventh to track down Sandebetweenurtoes with a :27.1 final-quarter for a 1:52 victory. Sylvain Filion steered Kendall Seelster to victory for trainer Rod Boyd, who has now taken over the training of the standout three-year-old. Her first-career Preferred score improves her sophomore numbers to six wins and $226,165 earned in 17 starts. Kendall Seelster now has 10 wins and $680,150 in career earnings for owner 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario. Sandbetweenurtoes finished second after cutting the mile and holding a sizable advantage off a 1:23.1 three-quarter clocking. Windsongmagnifique crossed the wire third, while Exhilarated for fourth. Kendall Seelster paid $16.60 to win. Friday's card also saw the start of the Harvest Series for Ontario Sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Mach Three gelding Phantom Seelster was a convincing winner in the evening's first of two $17,000 divisions. Bob McClure steered the sophomore to victory for trainer Richard Moreau. Phantom Seelster and McClure got away second and would stay inside while P H Hippie made a second-quarter move from third to take the lead from Hes Got Swagger. The initial leader made a move back to the top going into the far turn, which gave McClure his cue to make his move and swept to the lead at three-quarters in 1:24.4. The stretch drive saw Phantom Seelster wave goodnight to his rivals and pull away to win by five lengths. Dismissal Slip finished second, while Shadow Moon was third. Phantom Seelster entered the Harvest Series winless in 14 starts this season. The three-year-old gelding has now earned $23,020 this season to bring his career numbers to four wins and $66,685 earned for owners Gestion Mastel Inc., Conrad Leber and Marcel Barrieau. A $2 win ticket on Phantom Seelster returned $6.80. Camluck gelding Westslucky Terror turned in a strong performance to win the second split for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Frank Baker Jr. Westslucky Terror got away second before circling to the lead at the half. Bit Of Luck came charging first-up to battle with the leader on the far turn and the sophomores were on even-terms at three-quarters. In the stretch, Westslucky Terror turned aside his rival to win by a length in 1:55. Bit Of Luck had to settle for second, while Stratosphere was third. The Harvest Series first-leg victory improves Westslucky Terror to six wins and $48,375 earned in 19 starts this season for owners Baker Jr. and Paul Chapman. The Camluck gelding was unraced at age two. Westslucky Terror paid $7.50 to win. The Harvest Series was open to Ontario Sired three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018. Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

MILTON, ON - October 15, 2018 - Charmbo Brie will have a chance at a Harvest Series sweep following a second-leg victory on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Betterthancheddar two-year-old filly and driver Mike Saftic battled through a strong headwind in the lane to win the first of two $17,000 divisions in 1:58.1 for breeder/owner/trainer John Rier. Charmbo Brie converted off a two-hole trip to defeat Princess Layla by a length. Salutation crossed the wire in third. The second-leg victory gives Charmbo Brie back-to-back victories and improves her rookie record to three wins and $34,321 earned in 12 starts. She paid $7.80 to win. Bettors Delight filly Thats Incredible was a convincing winner in the second split. The Bob McIntosh trainee and driver Trevor Henry circled from second to first before the half and proceeded to pull away in the lane for a 1:57 score. Twin B Tipster finished second, beat 3 ¼ lengths, while Erikas Shadow was third. Thats Incredible finished second in last week's opening leg to Green Point, who finished sixth this week. A homebred for Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Dave Boyle, Thats Incredible now has two wins and $25,338 earned in 10 starts. She paid $12.40 to win. Ontario sired two-year-old pacing fillies, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. The Harvest Series final for two-year-old pacing fillies will take place on Thursday, October 25. Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The second-leg of the Harvest Series for two-year-old trotting fillies will headline a 10-race card. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - October 11, 2018 - Round one of the Harvest Series came to a close Thursday with Ontario sired two-year-old colts and geldings in action at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 21 pacers were split into three divisions, while 17 trotters were separated into two divisions. Each of Thursday's round one divisions went for $17,000. Sportswriter gelding Mantario and driver Sylvain Filion were able find room in the lane to split rivals for a half-length score in 1:54.1. The Scott McEneny trainee received a two-hole trip and despite being stuck behind a tiring leader at three-quarters, slid off the rail and shot through for his third win of the season. Shadow Tail was second, while Better Than Some was third. Mantario has now earned $22,128 in 10 starts this season for owners M And L Of Delaware LLC. The $60,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase matched his career-best of 1:54.1. He paid $7.90 to win. Sunshine Beach colt Millenium Seelster and driver Chris Christoforou captured the second division in gate to wire fashion. The Charalambos Christoforou trainee stopped the clock in 1:55.2 to break his maiden. Lifetime Delight was second, beat two-lengths, while Better Than Cash was third. Millenium Seelster's maiden-breaking score came in his fifth start and pushes his earnings to $10,418 for owners Charalambos Christoforou and Banjo Farms. The $42,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase paid $15.10 to win. Sunshine Beach colt Carlisimo rallied from third-over to win the third pacing division in 1:55.2. The James 'Friday' Dean trainee left well to get away second, but got shuffled back in the middle-half before sliding off the rail into a third-over spot. Joe Mcdude crossed the wire second, beat half a length, while Rousseau was a close third. Carlisimo now has four wins in 10 starts and has earned $42,148 for owner Reginald MacPherson. The $13,000 Atlantic Classic sale purchase paid $5.30 to win. Archangel gelding All Wrapped Up picked up his second consecutive coast-to-coast victory to take the first split for rookie trotters. The Rob Fellows trainee and driver Trevor Henry won by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:58. Cool Clifford finished second, while Cousin Peter was third. All Wrapped Up is now two for six with $15,250 earned for owners Fellows, Arpad Szabo, Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister. The $11,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase paid $4.20 to win. Angus Hall gelding Sinful muscled his way to a career-best 1:58.2 victory in the second trotting split. The Jack Moiseyev trainee and driver Chris Christoforou popped out from second nearing three-quarters, taking the lead at the top of the lane and trotting off to a length and a half score. Scarlett Raider finished second, while Jmr Pinarello was third. Sinful's tally improves his rookie numbers to two wins and $20,780 earned in eight starts. The $17,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase is owned by Friends Forever Racing, Emma Christoforou, All You Gotta Know Stable and Pamela Schmidt. The Moiseyev trainee Sinful paid $17.50 to win. Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. The next leg for colts and geldings goes next Thursday (October 18). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

There was very little movement in the point standings as the two-year-old trotting colts and fillies gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening for their last regular season Gold event. Three of the four Gold Series divisions were captured by the favourites and the fourth went to the fans' second choice, Presto Change O. Starting from Post 3 driver Sylvain Filion eased the often fractious Presto Change O away from the starting gate and settled in third behind Cambridge Kate, who led the field of trotting fillies to a :28.4 opening quarter. Filion continued to sit third with Presto Change O as Cambridge Kate carried on to a :58.3 half, but heading toward the 1:28.1 three-quarters the veteran reinsman tipped his charge into the outer lane. Presto Change O stayed focussed on the wire and sailed home to a three and one-quarter length victory in 1:57.1. Pocket-sitter Mercedes Talma was second and Tommi Canu Hearme completed the top three. "Sometimes she loses her focus and she just jumps it off. She's learning, but she's a slow learner," said Filion. "She's full of potential though. If she stays at it and she keeps her focus she's probably the best in there, but it's always a question if she behaves you know. She keeps me on my toes." The Milton resident drives Presto Change O for trainer Paul Reid and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The pair was also victorious in the July 27 Gold event at Woodbine Mohawk Park and picked up a third in the Aug. 10 event at the Campbellville oval. As a result the Kadabra daughter heads into the Oct. 13 Super Final ranked third in the division with 115 points. "Paul Reid did a heck of a job to have her still going," said Filion. "I wouldn't think at the beginning of the year she'd be still going at this time, she was so big and immature, but he worked hard with her and it paid off." Driver Louis Philippe Roy captured the other $96,400 trotting filly division with fan favourite HP Titania Runner. Like Filion, Roy eased his filly away from Post 2 and settled in the middle of the pack as Petro Hall recorded a :28.1 quarter and :58.3 half. Roy send HP Titania Runner up the outside behind Teddys Littleangel and the challengers had overtaken the pacesetter by the 1:27.1 three-quarters. A strong finishing kick propelled HP Titania Runner to a narrow 1:56.4 victory over Teddys Littleangel, with Petro Hall five lengths back in third. "She's got as much talent as Dream Nation, for example, but she's always had something that happened to her that meant she couldn't show that talent," said Roy of the E L Titan daughter. "She win her two first Gold and then she got some breaking issues so Rene (Bourassa) finally decided to go with the trotting hopples, so I think that's what makes her a little bit safer." After the filly made breaks in three of her last four starts trainer Rene Bourassa added hopples to HP Titania Runner's equipment bag and qualified her on Sept. 27. The filly was flawless in the qualifier and Thursday's effort lowered her personal best by almost one second. Bourassa conditions HP Titania Runner for owner-breeders Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, Quebec. The filly will lead her peers into the $225,000 Super Final with 151 points. Roy also piloted two-year-old trotting gelding Dream Nation to a 1:55.3 personal best in the first $98,800 Gold division for the gents. As he did with HP Titania Runner, Roy settled the gelding in mid-pack from Post 5 and then made his way up the outer lane as Southwind Avenger and Only For Justice traded blows through the :27.2 quarter and :56.2 half. By the 1:26 three-quarters Dream Nation had drawn level with Only For Justice and he trotted down the stretch to a three-quarter length win in 1:55.3. Southwind Avenger finished second and Okeanos closed hard to be third. "From Day 1, from the first time I was at Jacques Dupont's farm training him, he never did anything wrong," said Roy. "He's actually I think as good, or probably the best he's been so far over the year, so he's not tired yet." Thursday's victory was Dream Nation's third in Gold Series action and puts him in second in the standings with 187 points. In nine starts the son of Archangel has finished no worse than third, scoring six wins and banking $187,290 for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy, Gestion C. Levesque 2005Inc. of St-Hyacinthe and Marc Camirand of Montreal, QC. The last trotting colt Gold division went to Forbidden Trade, who also travelled up the outer lane and reeled in the pacesetters to record his fourth Gold Series win in 1:58.2. Fingals Wave and CT Conabra were two and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite in second and third. Bob McClure piloted Forbidden Trade to his sixth win in eight starts for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. The Kadabra son sits atop the division standings with 208 points and McClure is looking forward to taking on the best-of-the-best in the Oct. 13 Super Final "I couldn't feel better," said the driver. "He's in tip-top form and is a real professional." The top 10 point earners from both the trotting colt and trotting filly divisions will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their lucrative Super Finals on Oct. 13. Joining the trotters in the season finale will be the two-year-old pacing colts and fillies, who wrap up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, Oct. 6. The colts will compete in Races 2 and 8, while the fillies battle in Races 3 and 6. Post time is 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

As he often does on the Ontario Sires Stakes program's biggest nights, driver Sylvain Filion made multiple trips to the Woodbine Mohawk Park winner's circle on Saturday evening as the best Grassroots competitors gathered for their $400,000 season finale. The Milton resident opened the Grassroots Championship program with a win, guiding two-year-old trotting filly At Will to a two and three-quarter length score over Nifty Trick and Eramosa Magic in 1:58.4. "She raced awesome tonight. She had to go first-over, which I didn't really like, but she raced her guts out. That's her best race so far this year," said Filion of the fan favourite. "They've done a really good job with her, keeping her sound and healthy, and having her in top form for tonight." Filion drives At Will for trainer Julie Walker of Carlisle and her partners, breeder Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke, and Ron Piers of Georgetown, Ontario. The Kadabra filly's win was Walker's first in the Grassroots Championships and just her second in post-season action, the first coming in last week's Semi-Final. Filion, the reigning Lampman Cup champion as the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, was back in the winner's circle after the fourth $50,000 Grassroots Final. The reinsman piloted two-year-old pacing filly point leader Sports Flix to a 1:54 victory, two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Shadow Sparks and Freya Seelster. "I drove her last week for Gregg McNair for the first time. I ended up first-over, but she really impressed me the way she did it and I knew if I could get her in a position to win, she had a good shot," said Filion. "When I saw the nine-hole I said, oh my god, that will be tough, but she left the gate good, we got a two-hole trip and she just win easy. "It is always nice to win for Gregg McNair, we go way back, it's a good feeling," the reinsman added. Guelph resident McNair conditions Sports Flix for James Fraleigh of Dresden, who purchased the daughter of Sportswriter and former Gold Series competitor Moving Pictures at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale for $13,000. Filion completed the Grassroots Championship hat trick in the second last final, steering three-year-old trotting filly Stormont Charlotte to a front-end victory in 1:56.2. Magics Lucky Charm finished one and three-quarter lengths behind the favourite and Zorgwijk Sophia was five more lengths back in third. "She raced awesome last week, sat in the two-hole and she just moved by them when I got clearance. So tonight with the six-hole I thought if I could ease her off the gate and try to get to the front and control the pace I had a really good shot, and that's exactly what happened," said Filion, who steers the Justice Hall filly for trainer John Gouveia and owner Alan Fair of Ancaster, Ontario. "It doesn't happen often that it goes the way you think it's going to go, but that's exactly how I wanted it to go." Driver Jonathan Drury scored two victories on the championship card, with the most meaningful coming in the three-year-old pacing colt and gelding final with Pretty Handsome. The pair was awarded the Grassroots title last season when one of their competitors committed interference and was placed from first to ninth, but on Saturday they commanded the race from the start to the 1:50.3 finish. Casimir Richie P was three and one-half lengths back in second, and Luka Shenko was five lengths behind in third. Andrew McCabe trains the Mach Three gelding for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, Ontario and says the pacer will make a few more sophomore starts before beginning preparations for his four-year-old campaign. "JD (Drury) seems to think he can maybe race against some of these aged horses here with the miles he's been putting up," said McCabe. "One race that would maybe be in his backyard would be the Confederation Cup I think. He's got gate speed and he gets around a half really well." Drury's second victory came with three-year-old pacing filly Machnhope, who bested Azure Seelster and I Shadow U in 1:53.1. The Guelph resident crafted the win for trainer Bill Robinson, owner-breeder CMR Farms of Hagersville, and co-owners David Serwatuk of Hamilton and BC Reichheld Stables of Caledonia, Ontario. Driver Scott Young scored his first-ever Grassroots Championship victory with two-year-old trotting gelding Lariat Seelster. The Kadabra son got a head in front of Bob McIntosh trainees Judge Ken and A Royal Line to record the 1:58.1 score. "First time ever in the Finals, so to get a win on one that's awesome," said Young, who also piloted Rebellious Lady to a fifth-place result in the two-year-old trotting filly final. "I said at the beginning of the night if I could get money with both I'd be happy, so a win sure is nice." Guelph resident Bob Young conditions Lariat Seelster for his partners Robert Deveau of Toronto, Frank Chiaravalloti of Downsview and Jaftica Stable of Guelph, Ontario. Trainer Mark Steacy finished first and second in the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding final with Jammin Jack and Majestic Fire, who were separated by a head at the 1:55.4 finish. TBarrr rounded out the top three. "At the start of the year I wouldn't have gave a whole lot for either one of them horses. They were a lot of work. They didn't show a whole lot, they didn't even show a lot of speed early on, especially Jammin Jack," recalled Steacy, who trains Angus Hall son Jammin Jack for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. "But as the year progressed he just got more confidence and he showed speed and he's got a good kick coming for home. James (MacDonald) got to know him really good, that really helped too." Century Farroh and driver Trevor Henry captured the two-year-old pacing colt and gelding final in commanding style, going straight to the front from Post 4 and cruising home a seven length winner in 1:53. Wager On Me and The First Step finished second and third behind the fan favourites. Dr. Ian Moore conditions Mach Three son Century Farroh for Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park next week as the two-year-old trotters and pacers wrap up their Gold Series regular seasons in preparation for the Oct. 13 Super Finals. The trotters will compete in their last regular season Gold event on Thursday, Oct. 4 and the pacers will wrap things up on Saturday, Oct. 6. Post time for both programs is 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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