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Mohawk Racetrack offers a stakes laden harness racing card Saturday evening anchored by the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic which has two top Ontario-sired colts taking on five very talented sophomores. The card also features the $385,000 Peaceful Way final with several OSS fillies in contention, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial with one lone Ontario-sired colt, and the $409,000 Elegantimage final with four OSS girls vying for their turn in the winner’s circle. In addition to those great trotting races, the program will also headline the top pacing mares in North America in two eliminations for the Milton Stakes which feature three OSS graduates including a Breeders Crown winner. In the showcase event Harper Blue Chip will attempt to duplicate his sire, Majestic Son’s, 2006 Canadian Trotting Classic victory. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario, trained Majestic Son, who won the ’06 CTC by more than six lengths over a very talented field, and also conditions Harper Blue Chip. A son of Angus Hall, Majestic Son was a dominant force in the OSS during his sophomore season, winning seven of 10 OSS events. In total, he won $622,000 in the provincial program during his career. Majestic Son now stands at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ontario, and Harper Blue Chip, with $547,000 in earnings, is his second richest performer to date, behind only Charmed Life ($592,000). So far this year Harper Blue Chip has a summary of 4-2-2 in 10 starts and although he’s won two OSS Gold events and swept the Canadian Breeders, he’s best known for finishing third in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian last month at the Meadowlands. The Hambletonian winner, Trixton, is also slated to start in the CTC final, with post five. Trainer Jimmy Takter will drive the colt who has won eight of 10 starts this year. Tatker’s other talented colt in this division, Father Patrick (also eight for 10) is right alongside in post six. It’s a formidable duo facing Harper Blue Chip whose driver Sylvain Filion is cautiously optimistic, especially given that the colt has finally drawn a decent starting position, post two, compared to post 10 in the Goodtimes final and post nine in the Hambletonian. “He’s been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post,” Filion noted earlier this week. “We’ve got a tough bunch of horses to race against, but he’s very good right now. I’m hoping for a good, close to the front trip and hopefully some top horses won’t be on their game, because we’ll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It’s a very high quality group.” The other OSS colt joining Harper in the CTC final is Muscle Matters, a son of Muscle Mass who will start beside Harper Blue Chip in post three. Mario Baillargeon will be at the lines for his brother Ben who handles the colt’s training. Yet to win a race this year, Muscle Matters has been close, with five second place finishes in six starts, three of those to Harper Blue Chip. The CTC final goes as race nine on the card. In the third race, the $385,000 Peaceful Way final, there are six OSS fillies in the mix including a pair trained by John Bax, Stubborn Belle (post one, Paul MacDonell) and Juanitas Fury (post nine, Steve Condren). Both fillies have two OSS wins to their credit this season and both finished second in their respective Peaceful Way elims. Stubborn Belle was aptly named according to Bax. “She’s always been a lot like her name, that’s why she was named Stubborn Belle. She’s been a little hard to get to do it the way we want her to.” Despite that the Taurus Dream daughter, owned by Bax of Peterborough and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ontario, has set two records so far this year – a track record at Rideau Carleton (1:55.4) in an OSS Gold event and a stakes record in a Champlain stake (1:54.2). Bax also starts the Muscle Hill filly Southwind Champagne in the Peaceful Way final. She has post six with Steve Byron at the controls. The other OSS rookies attempting to capture the event named for one of the greatest Ontario-sired trotting mares of all time, $3.2 million winner Peaceful Way, include Daneille Hall (post two, Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (post four, Roger Mayotte), Amoureuse Hanover (post eight, Doug McNair) and Lady Caterina (post 10, Phil Hudon). The dam of Elegant Serenity, Elegantimage, is the namesake for the seventh race on the program. A star of the OSS in the late 1990s, Elegantimage earned just shy of a million dollars during her impressive racing career. A quartet of three-year-old Ontario-sired fillies will attempt to capture the $409,000 event including Bax’s Riveting Rose (post three, Paul MacDonell), Tosca (post two, Per Henriksen), Sweetie Hearts (post eight, Randy Waples) and Muscle Babe (post 10, James MacDonald). The other major trotting stake on the program is named for one of Canada’s most respected horsemen of all time, the late William Wellwood, a member of Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a successful participant in the OSS since its inception 40 years ago. The only Ontario-sired rookie colt in contention for this event is a son of Infinitif, Dont Rush who has drawn post four with Chris Christoforou in the bike. The colt captured a division of the first Gold event for this group in early July which surprised his trainer/owner and breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario. “If you had told me in October he was going to win a Gold the first week of July I don’t think I would have believed you,” laughed Jones. “He’s exceeded my expectations since I brought him in the barn.” The OSS graduates competing in the two Milton eliminations are Monkey On My Wheel, a Breeders Crown winner at three and 10-2-6 in 24 starts this year for owner/breeder Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ontario. The winner of $1.5 million to date in her career has post seven in the sixth race which also features the Camluck mare Camille ($1.1 million to date) in post four. Voelz Hanover ($1.5 million lifetime) is the lone Ontario-sired distaffer in the second Milton elim, race 10. In addition to all of the on-track action, Mohawk is also celebrating their fans with Fan Appreciation Night Saturday featuring a first bet on the house, giveaways after each race and a $5 food voucher to the first 1,000 fans. To view the full card please click Mohawk Entries - September 13.

Mohawk Racetrack had four $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series contests for rookie pacing fillies on their Thursday (September 11) harness racing program, and Sassafras Girl took the fastest time as she won the third flight in 1:53.3. With Phil Hudon handling the driving chores, Sassafras Girl shot to the lead from her post three starting position, and she would click off fractions of :27, :56, and 1:25. The fillies sprinted for home off that 59 second middle half, and Sassafras Girl kicked out a :28.3 final panel to seal the win by two and a quarter lengths over Twin B Honour (Trevor Henry). Little Miss Artist (Doug McNair) was third. Murray Brethour trains Sassafras Girl, a Badlands Hanover filly, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sassafras Girl, who is now four-for-eight overall and has banked $31,280, was bred by Winbak Farm. She’s out of the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della ($219,395) and a half-sister to the likes of Rub N Tug ($433,999). This was Sassafras Girl’s third Grassroots success of the season, joining her wins on July 10 and August 11 at Mohawk. Back in the Grassroots opener public choice Southwind Luna (Billy Davis Jr.) carved out fractions of :27.2, :56.4, and 1:26.2, and at the eighth pole she was clear by over three lengths. However, she began to falter inside the final sixteenth, and pocket-sitter Marachere (Jonathan Drury) took advantage, getting up in the shadow of the wire to prevail by half a length in 1:54.4. Southwind Luna had to settle for second and OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Marachere, a filly by Lis Mara, broke her maiden in her third try and pushed her earnings to $15,660. Trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville, Ontario, also co-owns Marachere with partners Robert Watson of London, Armando Cappuccitti of Maple and Mike Bartram of Ingersoll, Ontario. Marachere, who was bred by Ervin Miller Stable Inc., is the second foal out of the Cole Muffler mare Cherry Tree Coco, a full sister to Home Bed Advantage ($574,535). Race favourite Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson) had her backers smiling after a 1:54.4 triumph in the second Grassroots flight. She was in the lead at the 27 second opening quarter, the :55.3 half, and the 1:24.4 three-quarters on her way to a three-quarter length decision over Dublin Rose (Paul MacDonell). Amazing Control (Mike Saftic) checked in third. Ride Away Shark, another Winbak Farm-bred filly, has a trio of victories from eight attempts and has put away $28,480 for trainer Scott McNiven and owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Thomas Brodhurst of London, Ontario. Those connections took Ride Away Shark, a daughter of Classic Card Shark, out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $7,000. She’s the first foal out of the Dream Away mare Freedom Away. This was Ride Away Shark’s second Grassroots win of the year as she was also victorious on August 11 at Mohawk. The Grassroots nightcap was brought to you by the number three as Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) posted her third consecutive Grassroots win and breeder Winbak Farm won for the third time. Ms Mac N Cheese worked her way around Machin Marley (Billy Davis Jr.) for the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter, and she would go on to post a :56.2 half and a 1:25.4 three-quarters. Ms Mac N Cheese padded her advantage through the stretch and then coasted home late to win by two and a half lengths in 1:54 flat. She was followed across the finish line by Evas Girl (Peter Core) and OK Heavenly (Doug McNair). Richard Moreau trains the victorious Badlands Hanover filly for owner L. David Ratchford of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She has five wins from seven attempts this season, and she has earned $33,467. The second foal out of the Artiscape mare Mr Delis Filly, Ms Mac N Cheese was sold for $10,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Tonight’s races concluded the Grassroots regular season for two-year-old pacing fillies. They will return to Mohawk on September 19 for their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of Thursday night’s events at Mohawk from the Ontario Sire Stakes

Lookslikeachpndale strutted winning form for the first time when he captured his elimination for Saturday's C$390,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at Mohawk Racetrack and driver Sylvain Filion thinks the colt can show even more. Trained by Luc Blais, Lookslikeachpndale starts Saturday's final from post two, one spot inside of last week's other Wellwood elimination winner, Uncle Lasse. The Wellwood is part of a stakes-filled card that also features the C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trotters, C$409,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old female trotters, and C$385,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old female trotters. Lookslikeachpndale has one win in five starts, but came into the Wellwood elims off two consecutive third-place finishes after twice finishing off the board. "He's been improving a lot of late," Filion said. "I feel he is still not the horse we think he'll become. He was pretty good last week and I think he is going to get better and better. There's still lots more to him than there is right now. He's still green. He doesn't really know what he's doing out there right now. That's why I think with a few more races he'll get better. He'll probably get the hang of it." A son of 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill out of the stakes-winning mare Poster Pin Up, Lookslikeachpndale was purchased for $185,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Serge Godin's Determination stable. The colt's second dam is stakes-winner Poster Princess and his third dam is Me Maggie, who was the 1990 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly trotter and is a half-sister to Lawn Tennis, the mother of standout racehorse and sire Credit Winner. Me Maggie's offspring include Prime Mistress, the dam of stakes winners The Chancellor and Beer Summit, not to mention grandmother of this year's Hambletonian Oaks winner, Lifetime Pursuit. "He's got a great family," Filion said. "He's got all the credentials for him. I know he will only get better, so that's pretty interesting." Lookslikeachpndale won his Wellwood elimination by a head over Jetpedia in 1:56.2. Uncle Lasse, who is a full brother to Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, won his division by 1-1/4 lengths over Habitat in 1:54.4. Filion also has drives in the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage and Peaceful Way. In the Canadian Trotting Classic, Filion will sit behind Harper Blue Chip. The Mark Steacy-trained colt has won four of 10 races this year and earned $335,320. He finished third in both the Hambletonian and Goodtimes stakes, both won by CTC contender Trixton. Harper Blue Chip will start from post two. Trixton, trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, leaves from post five while his stablemate, Father Patrick, is in post six. "He's been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post," Filion said. "But we've got a tough bunch of horses to race against. He's very good right now. I'm hoping for a good, close-to-the-front trip and hopefully some top horses won't be on their game, because we'll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It's a very high-quality group." Filion will drive Designed To Be in the Elegantimage, starting from the second tier in post 11. Trained by Julie Miller, Designed To Be has won three of eight races, never finished worse than third, and earned $366,299 this year. Filion has driven the filly once previously, winning the Simcoe Stakes on Aug. 29 at Mohawk. Designed To Be enters the Elegantimage off a second-place finish to Lifetime Pursuit in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship at Harrah's Philadelphia last weekend. "I was really impressed with her when I drove her," Filion said. "They told me to be careful behind the gate, which I did; maybe I was a little bit extra careful. She's got a huge engine and she can go all day. I watched her race (last week) and she raced huge. She was parked out the whole mile. "My only concern is she's going to be trailing (a horse at the start), but I guess that's better than drawing the 10 hole. I feel confident with her. I think she can overcome that. If everything goes well, there's no problem, but you're following someone leaving the gate and a lot of things can happen. That's my only concern." Million-dollar-earner Shake It Cerry, trained by Takter and driven by Ron Pierce, leaves from post seven in the Elegantimage. She enters the race off a victory in the filly division of the Zweig Memorial on Aug. 29 at Vernon Downs and has eight wins in 10 starts this season. In the Peaceful Way, Filion drives Dynamite Dame, who earlier this year won a division of the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs. Trained by Nifty Norman, she will start from post seven. Elimination winners Jolene Jolene and Mission Brief start from posts three and five, respectively. "She's a nice filly," Filion said. "She tries hard. She might not have the talent that the best ones have in there. But with racing luck we can go a long ways." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 9 - The $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic headlines an outstanding harness racing stakes filled card this Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Along with this year's 'Trotting Classic', the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial and the $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes are also carded for Saturday night. In total, over $2 million in purses are up for grabs on the 13-race card. The Canadian Trotting Classic is annually Canada's richest race for trotters. Established in 1976, the 'Trotting Classic' has been won by some of harness racing's greatest trotters, including Armbro Goal ('88), Yankee Paco ('00), Windsongs Legacy ('04), Donato Hanover ('07), Deweycheatumnhowe ('08) and Muscle Hill ('09). Leading the group of seven for this year's 'Trotting Classic' is the Jimmy Takter trained duo of Father Patrick and Trixton. Father Patrick (PP6), last year's Two-year-old Trotter of the Year on both sides of the border, has won 18 of his 21 career starts and is coming into the 'Trotting Classic' off victories in the $340,000 Zweig Memorial and the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship. A son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream, Father Patrick, who will be driven by Yannick Gingras, won last year's William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk and is undefeated in three starts over the Campbellville oval. Father Patrick enters the $682,000 'Trotting Classic' with career earnings of more than $1.5 million. Trixton (PP5), this year's $1 million Hambletonian winner, is looking to defeat his stablemate once again in a rich stakes event and continue his dominance at Mohawk. Driven by trainer Jimmy Takter, Trixton captured this year's Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but never got the chance to go head-to-head with his stablemate as Father Patrick made a break at the start. A son of Muscle Hill - Emilie Cas El, Trixton has had plenty of success at Mohawk this season. He won the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14 and most recently captured the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes on August 30. He also holds the Mohawk Track Record for a three-year-old trotter of 1:51.3. Trixton has won 12 of 18 career starts and is approaching millionaire status with $961,876 in career earnings. Takter is seeking his third Canadian Trotting Classic title as a trainer and second as a driver. He trained and drove Red Xing to victory in 1997 and conditioned the great Kadabra in 2002. While most of the fanfare will surround the Tatker duo, local standout Harper Blue Chip will be looking to steal the spotlight. Trained by Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip (PP2) has dominated the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and has held his own against Grand Circuit company. Harper Blue Chip finished third in the Hambletonian, won by Trixton, and fourth in the $500,000 Beal Memorial at Pocono, which was won by Father Patrick. Steacy will be looking for his second 'Trotting Classic' crown after he won the 2006 edition with Harper Blue Chip's sire, Majestic Son. Most recently, Harper Blue Chip made a rare appearance off the board when he finished fourth in the Simcoe Stakes, but driver Sylvain Filion was happy with the way his colt raced. "I thought he raced really well. He had a real bad post (post position ten)," said Filion. "He trotted large down the lane and had lots of trot at the wire." The luck of the draw was on Harper Blue Chip's side in the 'Trotting Classic', as he will start from post two and Filion hopes to build off that luck. "There's a lot of good horses in there, but we drew good and with a lucky trip you never know." As for what kind of trip Harper Blue Chip will need, Filion believes in a small field of seven the closer the better. "I think you've got to try and be close, especially in a short field like that. If you stay back there probably won't be a lot of early speed, so you will need to be close to the front." The son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin has won eight of 18 career starts and has a bankroll of $547,749. The other four starters in this year's Canadian Trotting Classic are E L Titan (PP1 - Chris Christoforou), Muscle Matters (PP3 - Mario Baillargeon), Il Sogno Dream (PP4 - Aaron Merriman) and Damfoolrmillionair (PP7 - Randy Waples). The 'Trotting Classic' is carded as Race 9 this Saturday night. The $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, which has normally been contested in June, will be making it's Canadian Trotting Classic night debut. 11 of the sport's best sophomore trotting fillies will contest the rich final. Just like the 'Trotting Classic', Jimmy Takter sends out the favourite in the Elegantimage. Shake It Cerry (PP7) has won 16 of 21 career starts and banked over $1.2 million in career earnings. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry was a Breeders Crown champion as a two-year-old and this year has won events such as the Del Miller Memorial and Zweig Filly Trot. Takter will also send out Scream And Shout (PP6 - Brett Miller) and has already won the Elegantimage three times with Southwind Allaire ('03), Pampered Princess ('07) and Lantern Kronos ('08). Completing the field are Demanding Sam (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Tosca (PP2 - Per Henriksen), Riveting Rosie (PP3 - Paul Macdonell), Vanity Matters (PP4 - Scott Zeron), Chivaree Hanover (PP5 - Doug McNair), Sweetie Hearts (PP8 - Randy Waples), Heavens Door (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt), Muscle Babe (PP10 - James MacDonald) and Designed To Be (PP11 - Sylvain Filion). The Elegantimage Stakes is carded as Race 7. The top freshman trotters will also be on display Saturday night. The $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes, for two-year-old filly trotters, features a World Champion in the group of ten that will line up behind the gate. Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill, won her elimination last week in a World Record time of 1:52.1. Trained by Ron Burke, Mission Brief had equaled the World Record in the Merrie Annabelle Stakes on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but in her Peaceful Way elimination she took sole possession of the World Record with her 3 ¾ length victory. Following the elimination, driver Yannick Gingras said she could've gone even faster. "She had plenty left, she is scary scary fast," said Gingras. "When she raced in the Merrie Annabelle I told Ronnie (Burke) after the race I still have another second...believe me she could've won in 1:51 and change tonight." Mission Brief's connections selected post position five as her starting spot on Saturday night. The other elimination was won by Jolene Jolene, a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jonas Czernyson, in a career best equaling 1:55.1. Driven by David Miller, Jolene Jolene has won three consecutive starts and finished second to Mission Brief in the Merrie Annabelle. She will start from post position three on Saturday evening. Completing the field for the Peaceful Way Stakes are Stubborn Belle (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Danielle Hall (PP2 - Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (PP4 - Roger Mayotte), Southwind Champane (PP6 - Steve Byron), Dynamite Dame (PP7 - Sylvain Filion), Amoureuse Hanover (PP8 - Doug McNair), Juanitas Fury (PP9 - Steve Condren) and Lady Caterina (PP10 - Phil Hudon). The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 3. Two eliminations were contested last Saturday to decide which ten two-year-old colts and geldings would advance to the final of the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry, won the first elimination in a career best time of 1:54.4. Trained by Takter, Uncle Lasse has won three of six career starts and has never been worse than third. He will start from post position three with driver Ron Pierce. The second elimination went to Lookslikeachpndale, a son of Muscle Hill trained by Luc Blais, in a career best 1:56.2. The 'elim' victory broke the maiden of Lookslikeachpndale and allowed his connections to select their post for the final. Lookslikeachpndale will start from post position two with driver Sylvain Filion. Completing the field for the William Wellwood Memorial are Gifted Way (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Dont Rush (PP4 - Chris Christoforou), Aldebaran Eagle (PP5 - Doug McNair), Habitat (PP6 - Yannick Gingras), Jetpedia (PP7 - Mike Saftic), Southwind Stryker (PP8 - Steve Condren), Wheels Ah Smoking (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt) and Big Rich (PP10 - Steve Condren). The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 5. Also on Saturday, two $35,000 eliminations for the Milton Stakes will be contested. 16 of the sport's finest pacing mares have been split into two eight horse eliminations (Races 6 and 10). The first elimination features millionaire pacing mares Drop The Ball (PP2 - Corey Callahan), Camille (PP4 - Yannick Gingras), Krispy Apple (PP6 - Tim Tetrick) and Monkey On My Wheel (PP7 - Chris Christoforou). Completing the field are Aunt Caroline (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Mattie Terror Girl (PP3 - Scott Zeron), Summertime Lea (PP5 - Yannick Gingras) and Jerseylicious (PP8 - Brett Miller). In the second elimination, Rocklamation (PP8 - Yannick Gingras), last year's Milton Stakes winner, is back to defend her title. Trained by Ron Burke, the six-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover has earned over $2 million in her career. However, Rocklamation is not the richest mare in the field as that honour is held by Anndrovette (PP7 - Tim Tetrick). Trained by PJ Fraley, Anndrovette, who won the Roses Are Red Stakes back in June for the third consecutive year, has career earnings of more than $3 million. The other seven mares in the field are Charisma Hanover (PP1 - Yannick Gingras), Radar Contact (PP2 - Jack Moiseyev), Voelz Hanover (PP3 - Randy Waples), Ferrari Sena (PP4 - Sylvain Filion), Yagonnakissmeornot (PP5 - Jody Jamieson) and Shelliscape (PP6 - Tim Tetrick). The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $286,000 final on Saturday, September 20. This Saturday night, Mohawk will also be holding 'Fan Appreciation Night' The first 1,000 fans on-track will receive a $5 food voucher and prizes will be given away after every race. More details are available at www.MohawkRacetrack.com Post time this Saturday is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Glenn Van Camp says there are similarities between 3-year-old gelding trotter Damfoolrmillionair and his award-winning half-brother San Pail. Whether the two will have similar careers still remains unknown, but Van Camp would be happy even if Damfoolrmillionair is only half as good. Damfoolrmillionair is among seven horses competing in Saturday's C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. He will start from post seven with driver Randy Waples at the lines for trainer Brad Maxwell. The field also includes Hambletonian winner Trixton and newly crowned Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Father Patrick, both from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter. Damfoolrmillionair enters the CTC off a second-place finish to Trixton in the Simcoe Stakes on Aug. 30 at Mohawk. For the year, he has won four of nine starts and earned $96,311 for owners Glenn and Paul Van Camp, as the P G Van Camp Stables. Of course, San Pail has won $3.01 million in his career, is a three-time winner of the Maple Leaf Trot, and was 2011 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. Glenn Van Camp bred San Pail and co-owns the now 10-year-old gelding, slowed by injury the last several years, with Rod Hughes. "This fella has got four white feet and San Pail doesn't, but he's quite a bit like him," Van Camp said about Damfoolrmillionair. "If you watch a video of him and San Pail, they've got about the same gait. Which isn't a bad gait. I said if he ever were half as good, he'd be a heck of a horse. That would be awful nice. "All we can do is keep our fingers crossed. Randy says he's got a lot of similarities, so that's good. You can't get much better than to be as good as that. We're quite pleased with him so far, so that's the main thing." The Van Camps bought Damfoolrmillionair, then named Bosston Whitesocks, for $33,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale. He is a son of stallion Muscles Yankee out of the mare Village Beauty. Van Camp owned Village Beauty until 2006, when she was purchased by current owner Alvin Beiler. "Brad was down at the sale and said he kind of liked the looks of the colt, so I said buy him," said Van Camp, adding with a laugh. "We changed the name because my father-in-law, who also was in the horse business all his life, said there are only two people that can be in the horse business, either a damn fool or a millionaire." Damfoolrmillionair won one of seven starts last year and finished second to Harper Blue Chip in a division of the Champlain Stakes. He also was third in his elimination for the William Wellwood Memorial, behind Harper Blue Chip and Il Sogno Dream, but finished eighth in the final after drawing post No. 9. He finished the season with a fifth-place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes, but was beaten only 1-1/4 lengths by Outburst despite starting from post eight in the eight-horse field. This year, Damfoolrmillionair competed in conditioned races until facing a stakes field in the Simcoe. He was eligible to the Hambletonian, but Van Camp said the horse "just wasn't ready." "He was coming along slowly, but that's what we were planning on doing anyway, bringing him along slowly." Damfoolrmillionair has finished no worse than third in any start this season, and held his own despite starting inside of post seven only twice in his last seven outings. "It's a good thing there isn't 10 horses in the (Canadian Trotting Classic), otherwise we'd have the 10 hole," Van Camp joked. "It's a smaller field, but we drew exactly the way we normally do. "He's a pretty good little horse," he added about Damfoolrmillionair. "He's raced very well all year. He's been in the money every time, but this is another step up for him. When you finish second to Trixton, you're doing alright. That Trixton is a very good horse. We've got our fingers crossed for Saturday night." Following is the Canadian Trotting Classic field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. E L Titan, Chris Christoforou, Riina Rekila; 2. Harper Blue Chip, Sylvain Filion, Mark Steacy; 3. Muscle Matters, Mario Baillargeon, Benoit Baillargeon; 4. Il Sogno Dream, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver; 5. Trixton, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 6. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 7. Damfoolrmillionair, Randy Waples, Brad Maxwell. By Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

A trio of $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series dashes for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers were the marquee races on Sunday evening (September 7) at Rideau Carleton Raceway, and heavily favoured Shadowbriand, Titus Seelster, and Shadow Place did not disappoint their legions of backers in their respective divisions. In the first Grassroots split it was Arrived Late (Sylvain Filion) who chopped out fractions of :26.4, :55.3, and 1:23.3 while Shadowbriand (Mike Saftic), who had gotten away third, was able to get himself into the pocket spot just past the half. Shadowbriand would remain in that position until the passing lane became available at the top of the stretch, and once it did, Saftic guided Shadowbriand to the clearance. Shadowbriand had plenty of pace to go with the space, and he would go on to prevail by two and a quarter lengths in 1:53.3. Major Homer (Gord Brown) was up for second and Sanattle Slew (Billy Davis Jr.), who wound up first-over in the final half, was third. Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, owns and trains Shadowbriand, a three-year-old gelded son of Shadow Play. This was Shadowbriand’s third win from 15 starts this year and his fourth career victory. He has earned $91,608 in 2014 and $152,293 lifetime. This was Shadowbriand’s first OSS win of the year. Last year he won once in OSS competition, that coming in a Gold Series event at Mohawk Racetrack. The second Grassroots flight saw Titus Seelster (Filion) on the point through panels of :27.3, :57.4, and 1:25.1. Titus Seelster would put away a first-over try from Star Messenger (Trevor Henry) past three-quarters, and then he left the remainder of his foes in arrears through the stretch as he reported home two lengths to the good over Shadios (Davis Jr.) in a final time of 1:52.2. High Flier (Jonathan Drury) checked in third. Stephane Larocque trains the victorious son of Artistic Fella for owners Brian Paquet of Quebec City and Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, Quebec. Titus Seelster, making his tenth trip behind the gate this year, has three wins this season, and it was his fourth lifetime tally. He has banked $41,187 this year and $81,312 lifetime. Titus Seelster also won in Grassroots competition on August 3 at Hanover Raceway and on August 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. Shadow Place (Trevor Henry) also went right down the road in the Grassroots nightcap. He was hustled to the lead before the :26.1 opening quarter and then went on to reach the half in :55.2 and the three-quarters in 1:23.4. Blacktree (Doug McNair) gave way from first-over before the top of the stretch, and although pocket-sitter Cluster Hanover (Mike Saftic) had room in the passing lane, it was to no avail as Shadow Place went on to triumph by a pair of lengths in 1:52.3. Cluster Hanover was the runner-up and OK Galahad (Davis Jr.) nabbed third. Richard Moreau trains Shadow Place, a son of Shadow Play, for owners 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. of St-Janvier-Mirabel, Les Ecuries Bruce of Piedmont, and Henri Hebert Jr. of Papineauville, Quebec. Shadow Place has now won four times from 11 tries this year, and he has six career victories. He has put away $43,840 in 2014 and $71,922 lifetime. This was Shadow Place’s third Grassroots success this year, joining his victories on August 3 at Hanover Raceway and August 19 at Mohawk Racetrack. Tonight concluded the Ontario Sires Stakes season at Rideau Carleton Raceway and the regular season for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series. The next time they will be in action is in their Semifinal events on September 20 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results and charts of Sunday evening’s races, please visit – http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0907ridcfn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 6 - Grand Circuit week wrapped up with a bang Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Two divisions of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers and two divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers of both sexes highlighted the 12-race card. In the first $106,038 Simcoe Stakes division, Dancin Hill and driver Scott Zeron picked up the victory in a career best clocking of 1:50.1 Trained by Tony Alagna, Dancin Hill sat off the early pace as the lead changed hands a few times in the opening half mile. In the third quarter, Zeron fired up Dancin Hill and brought him first up to challenge the leader Western Vintage. After a three-quarter time of 1:22.3, Dancin Hill powered by Western Vintage in the lane and paced strong to the wire to win by 2 ¼ lengths over Winds Of Change. Carracci Hanover took the show spot. A son of Rocknroll Hanover - Beyonce Blue Chip, Dancin Hill has now won two of his last three starts and improved his seasonal record to three wins in 12 starts. "I was very happy with him," said Alagna following the race. "I felt good at the head of the lane because I know he always kicks home hard and Scott (Zeron) said he was super." Dancin Hill is owned by Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain and has now won five races in his career for earnings of more than $133,000. He paid $3.80 to win. Melmerby Beach and Paul Macdonell scored their second victory in back-to-back weeks to take the second $107,538 division. Melmerby Beach sprinted off the gate to grab the lead and paced by the opening quarter in :26.4. After putting up fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.1, Melmerby Beach led the field into that lane, while Play It Again Sam was sticking close first up and Jet Airway was second over. In the stretch, Melmerby Beach dug in and held off Play It Again Sam to win by half a length in 1:50.2. Jet Airway couldn't find his best stride and finished third, while Surprise Hanover got up for fourth. A son of Somebeachsomewhere - Db Blue Chip, Melmerby Beach has now won three of his last five starts. "The last few weeks we've been leaving with him pretty good and haven't really done that much most of the year," said MacDonell following the race. "He seems to be responding to that style of racing so far." MacDonell also said that Melmerby Beach may be better suited for the cooler weather. "I think the fall weather is going to help him. He suffered a bit of allergy symptoms most of the summer and he is just getting stronger and better and we are hoping for a good fall season with him." Trained by Brent MacGrath for Schooner II Stable, Melmerby Beach has now won six of his 14 starts this year and seven in his career for earnings of more than $159,000. He paid $6.50 to win. 18 freshman pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions of the Champlain Stakes. In the first $123,120 division, Lyons Levi Lewis delivered a 1:52.1 victory as the 3/5 favourite. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Lyons Levi Lewis got away in fourth and made a second quarter brush and touched down on the lead at the half in :55.1. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2, Lyons Levi Lewis kept his rivals away to win by a length. Thinkofagameplan finished second, while Some Power was third. Following the race, Filion explained his strategy with the heavy favourite. "Leaving the gate I just didn't want to get caught up in the speed duel," said Filion. "Let them settle and then retake the lead down the backside and control the pace." Lyons Levi Lewis, who is owned by Joseph Lyons Mound, has now won twice in eight starts for earnings of more than $265,000. He paid $2.70 to win. As the field approached the start in the first division, Sports Bettor fell down and tossed driver James MacDonald to the track. Sports Bettor was caught outside the paddock, while James MacDonald was able to get up under his own power and continued driving on the remainder of the card. If You Want Fire and Chris Christoforou benefited from hot fractions in the second $123,120 division to come from sixth at three-quarter pole and pace by his rivals to win in 1:52.2. A first quarter battle saw Kona Kid, Southwind Indy and Mitt Jagger fly by the opening quarter in :26. Mitt Jagger, who was three-wide around the first turn, finally took the lead, but Lyons Again paced up from fourth to take control at the half in :54. Lyons Again reached the three-quarter pole in 1:22.2 to lead the field into the stretch, while Traceur Hanover sat two lengths back in second. In the stretch, Lyons Again began to tire and needed the wire, but couldn't hold on as If You Want Fire surged by the favourite to win by three-quarters of a length. Lyons Again held on for second over a late charging Mikes Powerhouse. A son of Bettors Delight - Dream Of Treasure, If You Want Fire lost the first four starts of his career, but has now won three races in a row for earnings of over $75,000. Trained by Casie Coleman, If You Want Fire is owned by West Wins Stable, Ron Broadstone, Leslie Halsted and Dr. Fred Kruszelnicki. He paid $8.60 to win. 14 two-year-old pacing fillies were also on display in two divisions of the Champlain Stakes. Happy Becky and Chris Christoforou made a second quarter move to the lead and never looked back to win the first $117,557 division. A daughter of Cams Card Shark - Happy Doris, Christoforou sent Happy Becky from fourth to the lead in the second quarter. Happy Becky paced by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 and then paced a strong final quarter to fight off Shakai Hanover, who was stuck in the two-hole, and Shes A Hot Mess, who came first up in the third quarter. Trained by Casie Coleman, the clocking of 1:52.2 is a new career best for Happy Becky. Following the race, Christoforou said racing luck just hadn't been a friend of Happy Becky in her most recent starts. "She had a little bad luck in her last couple starts...she got locked in last time and just circumstances," said Christoforou. "I wanted to give her the best chance I could, so that's how it worked out." Happy Becky is owned by West Wins Stable, J Robert Darrow, Ron Broadstone and Dave Miller. She has now won five of her first seven starts and has earnings of more than $104,000. Happy Becky paid $6.00. The Show Returns and Scott Zeron took the second $117,557 division in 1:52. Coming into the Champlain Stakes off a victory in the Shes A Great Lady Stakes consolation, The Show Returns grabbed the early lead over Sports Chic and Solar Sister. Solar Sister made a move to the lead in the second quarter and carried that lead to the three-quarter pole as The Show Returns sat in the two-hole. In the stretch, Zeron found room for The Show Returns and powered past Solar Sister to win by a length. Sports Chic took second, while Solar Sister held on for third. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Stienams Place, The Show Returns was making her debut in the Tony O'Sullivan barn. Owned by Richard and Joanne Young, she has now won three times in eight starts for earnings of more than $90,000. She paid $4.90 to win. The final rounds of the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes concludes Grand Circuit week, but harness racing's finest will return next Saturday night for the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. Also on next Saturday's card is the Elegantimage Stakes, William Wellwood Memorial and the Peaceful Way Stakes. Post time is 7:25 p.m. and more information can be found at www.MohawkRacetrack.com. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Unbeaten two-year-old pacing colt, Artspeak, stamped himself as the top freshman colt in harness racing as he strolled to a five length triumph in capturing the $667,000 final of the Metro Pace at Mohawk Raceway Saturday. The race began with Lone Survivor (David Miller) left from post nine and was able to get to the lead with Lyons Again (Yannick Gingras) also leaving from post eight and getting the two-hole trip as they went to the opening quarter mile in :26.3. They raced that way to the half mile marker in :55.3 and that was when the action began to heat up as John Campbell came first-over with Go Daddy Go and following their outside cover was the 1/9 race favorite Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron. To the three-quarters in 1:23.3 Lone Survivor was still in command but coming off the final turn, Zeron tipped three-wide with Artspeak and without raising his whip nor lifting his lines for encouragement, Artspeak took off and left the field in his wake, winning in a romp in 1:50.2. Lyons Levi Lewis (Sylvain Filion) was second with Lyons Again third. “When we had Captaintreacherous and his career and he was such an amazing horse and to come back right after that with this colt is amazing,” said winning trainer Tony Alagna. “I talked to Scott (Zeron) last fall and talked with him about making the change and coming to the United States to drive. I told him if he was willing to come down and drive that I was willing to give him a shot. He’s made the commitment. He comes to the farm to train, baby racing and training before qualifiers and he deserved this win.” Sired by Western Ideal, bred and co-owned by Brittany Farms with Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and The Gym Partners, it was the sixth straight win for Artspeak. He paid $2.30 to win. “The primary ownership group for this horse is the same as Captaintreacherous,” said co-owner Marvin Katz, who has won the Metro final three times now, “Tony had trained the mare (The Art Museum, dam of Artspeak) and he loved the family and thought the mare would throw a good one. He selected the colt in Lexington and we put together the same partnership as Captaintreacherous. This never gets old I was telling Tony (Alagna). When you can win these types of races, this is a thrill and to be enjoyed.” “I really stuck my neck out going all by myself to New Jersey,” said winning driver Scott Zeron, “I worked as hard as I could this year. It’s Tony Alagna and Myron Bell. The two of them together made it happen. They helped me with the move. And this is reason I did it. To come back home and win a race like this with a great horse like this. This is once in a lifetime. “To be second over was a perfect trip for this horse,” Zeron said. “He follows horses so well. I have always had to put him on the front because he is 1/9. Today I was able to trip him out behind this really good horse of John’s (Campbell) and coming down the lane he was game. He is a freak of nature. He probably came home in :26.2 and I didn’t even chirp to him.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 29 - Lifetime Pursuit continued her incredible hot streak Friday night at Mohawk by winning a division of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. 13 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into two Simcoe Stakes divisions worth more than $103,000. Lifetime Pursuit picked up her fourth win in a row in the second $105,344 division. Leaving from post six with driver Brett Miller, Lifetime Pursuit was parked fourth around the first turn and followed Cantabs Fortune to the front in the second quarter. As soon as Cantabs Fortune touched down on the front, Lifetime Pursuit cleared to take control at the half-mile pole in :56. Lifetime Pursuit trotted by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4 and turned for home without much challenge from her six other rivals. In the stretch, the daughter of Cantab Hall - Queen Of Grace never allowed her rivals to get any closer than a few lengths and strolled home to win by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:53.4. Sweetie Hearts finished second, while Chivaree Hanover was third and My Inspiration was fourth. Lifetime Pursuit is trained by Jimmy Takter for the Brittany Farms. Following the race, Myron Bell, the racing manager for Brittany Farms, noted that Lifetime Pursuit is a third generation filly for the farm. "We bought a daughter of Me Maggie back about 20 years ago and her name was Prime Mistress and she won about $20,000 on the racetrack and had a record of about :58," said Bell. "Her daughter is the dam of this filly and three generations later it's paid off." Lifetime Pursuit has now won four stake races in a row dating back to the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on August 2. The Simcoe Stakes victory was her sixth win in 11 starts this year, the 12th win of her career and pushes her career earnings over $760,000. She paid $2.10 to win. In the first $103,845 Simcoe Stakes division, Designed To Be broke her streak of three second place finishes to win in a stakes record equaling time of 1:52.3. Scream And Shout was sent hard to the lead by Brett Miller and posted an opening quarter of :27.1, while Designed To Be and Sylvain Filion followed along in fourth. Miller didn't slow down the tempo in the middle half as Scream And Shout opened up a good sized lead on the field trotting by the half in :56.1 and the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2. In the third quarter, Filion right lined Designed To Be to the outside and she began the first over journey. Designed To Be would erase Scream And Shout's sizeable lead and trot by her half way down the lane to win by 3¼ lengths. Muscle Babe finished third, while Tosca was fourth. "Brett (Miller) was trying to give us the slip, but we caught him in the nick of time," said Designed To Be's trainer Julie Miller in the winner's circle. "The way the races are setting up she needs a target and she's willing to follow and attack." Miller trains the daughter of Donato Hanover - Sheer Soul Be for owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz. The Simcoe Stakes victory was Designed To Be's third win in seven starts this season and the eighth win of her career. She now has career earnings of more than $500,000. Designed To Be paid $2.10 to win. The three-year-old trotting fillies will be back in action next Friday at Mohawk for the eliminations of the $365,000 Elegantimage Stakes. Also on Friday night, two divisions were contested of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters. Habitat and Sylvain Filion took the first $124,621 Champlain division. A son of Conway Hall - Habits Best, Habitat, who was the 3/5 favourite, was put right on the front by Filion and set fractions of :27.4, :58. and 1:26.3. After opening up a sizable lead on the final turn, Habitat strolled home under wraps in :28.2 to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:55. Muscle Diamond and Rick Zeron trotted a big last quarter of :27. to come from seventh to finish second. Aldebaran Eagle finish third, while Jetpedia rounded out the Superfecta. "He's not very big, but he's very powerful," said Filion following the race. "Turning for him he kind of got a little lost out there on the front end on a big track like this and I could hear Ricky (Zeron) coming at me, so I just asked him a bit and he took off right away." Trained by Ron Burke, Habitat is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. Habitat was a $50,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase. He has now won three times in five career starts and has earnings exceeding $94,000. Habitat paid $3.40 to win. In the second $124,621 division, another heavy favourite came through as French Laundry and Brett Miller won in 1:55.4. Sent off as the 3/5 favourite, French Laundry got away in fourth as the field made their way by the opening quarter marker. In the second quarter, French Laundry followed Lookslikeachipndale, who made a first up move to the lead, right to front to take control at the half in :57.4. After trotting by the three-quarter pole in 1:27.2, French Laundry quickly opened up a couple lengths at the top of the lane and trotted home under a confident hand drive from Miller to win by 2 ¾ lengths. Don't Rush, who was first over around the final turn, trotted a good final clip to finish second, while Lookslikeachipndale and Southwind Stryker were third and fourth respectively. "I've raced against him (French Laudnry) many times and he looks like a Cadillac to drive and he is," Miller said following the race. "I just kind of waited for the dust to settle and moved him to the front and he was very good." A son of Muscles Yankee - Creamy Mimi, French Laundry is conditioned by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. A $115,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, French Laundry has now won four time in his six career starts. The Champlain Stakes victory pushes his earnings over the $100,000 mark. He paid $3.40 to win. Next up for the two-year-old trotters is the eliminations for the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial next Friday. Grand Circuit action continues tomorrow night with the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, the $667,000 Metro Pace, the $480,000 She's A Great Lady Stakes, the $207,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and the $218,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Clinton -- Ryan Holliday of Mount Forest, Ont. said he has extra incentive to win the 34th Annual Drivers Challenge Aug. 31 at Clinton Raceway that extends beyond trying to prove himself against a group of top drivers from Toronto. Holliday's cousin, Lindsay Foulon, has a two-year-old daughter with leukemia. While Hayden Foulon is being treated at Children's Hospital in London, her family has received support from Childcan (www.childcan.com), the charitable recipient of Clinton's Drivers Challenge for the fourth consecutive year. When Holliday, 26, was recovering from a broken elbow and wrist suffered in an accident in January at The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, he spent a few days in the same hospital where Heyden was having some tests. "We were talking there one day and my cousin told me about how Childcan helps them. I said, 'Childcan? I'm pretty sure I drive for them in the charity event.' It makes you realize a little more about the good they do. I actually saw firsthand what the money does." The Drivers Challenge will pit Clinton's top three drivers -- Trevor Henry, Bruce Richardson and Holliday -- against Chris Christoforou, Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair, Sylvain Filion and James MacDonald from the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit. "That day there's a great crowd and there's a lot of good drivers there and it makes for a good day," McNair said. "It's definitely a fun event, but we race pretty tough out there, especially that day. No one does anybody any favours out there, that's for sure. Everybody wants to win and obviously it's for a good cause." All driver fees and proceeds from the day will be donated to Childcan. The charity has already received more than $40,000 from the Clinton Raceway event. The Drivers Challenge has raised more than $275,000 for various charities since its inception in 1981. Renee Simmons is in charge of Family Support for Childcan. She said the charity helps families with simple, daily expenses while they have a child being treated for cancer. "We offer every family a (hospital) parking pass and that is theirs until their child has completed treatment," Simmons said. "When they're in-patient, we set families up with two cafeteria vouchers per day. So, they have two $10 vouchers to spend on meals. "Then, we have an emergency financial assistance fund that our families can access, especially for our families that travel... Our mission is to make sure that the parents can focus on their child's care." Simmons, along with Hayden and Lindsay Foulon are expected to be at Clinton Raceway Aug. 31 for the Drivers Challenge. The program will also feature an Ontario Sires Stakes grassroots event for two-year-old pacing colts, as well as a charity barbeque, loom bracelet sale, 50/50 draw, bake sale, various auctions and a petting zoo, bouncy castle and face painting for the kids. The card starts at 1:30 p.m. "I'm looking forward to the pig roast, I'll be honest with you," Simmons said, laughing. "I always eat very well when I'm in Clinton." Holliday said Hayden's treatment is going well. "They're monitoring her counts all the time. As long as everything's good, she'll be out for the event," he said. As for the racing, Holliday said he's looking forward to testing his mettle against the big city boys, particularly at a track he calls home. "Clinton's a great place to race," he said. "They do a really good job there. They make sure there's a good show every week for everybody. The Drivers Challenge will be no different. They seem to go the extra mile there." Holliday said he might even have a little home track edge. "I know the horses there really well," he said. "I drive them week in and week out. So, maybe I have an advantage. Even to be recognized driving against those guys is pretty cool to me in general. I'm just glad I'm at that stage." by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway  

“He impreses me every time I sit behind him, I can’t ask any more than what he does. He’s very efficient. I love this horse; he’s very easy to drive and that makes my job a lot easier.” That was driver Sylvain Filion praising Harper Blue Chip moments after their victory in the second of three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting colts tonight at Rideau Carleton Raceway Thursday, the home track for Harper’s ownership group and trainer Mark Steacy. In fact it was at Rideau where Harper Blue Chip made his first start in June of last year. The colt earned his victory this night, over a track rated sloppy from heavy rains during the afternoon at the Ottawa oval. He was parked until after the opening quarter, reached in :27.4 by Ole Jack Magic, and took over command before the :58 half. Down the backside Muscle Matters came up to challenge and that pair reached the three-quarters in 1:26.3. Harper Blue Chip repelled that challenger and opened up down the lane to win by more than four lengths in 1:56.1. Muscle Matters took second while Sheer Flex was third. It was the fourth win in nine starts, and second straight Gold victory, for the son of Majestic Son owned by Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. The first Gold test also found Filion posing in the winner’s circle. It was Verdi and Steve Byron first off the gate and they hit the opening quarter in :29.3 and the half in a sedate 1:02.2. Entranced passed the leader before the three-quarters in 1:31.1 but he was quickly passed by Mr Lover and Filion who pulled away in the stretch to win in 2:00.1. Lucky Mass closed well to get second while Verdi held for third. Filion’s father, Yves, trains the winner, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe for owner/breeder Ecuries Belanger of Laval, Quebec. It was Mr Lover’s first win in four tries this year. Yves had also trained Mr Lover’s dam, Norway No Day, a winner of $337,000 in her career. The third and final Gold division saw heavy favourite Maximuscle make a break leaving. Meanwhile Jack Litten and Doug McNair hit the quarter in :28.3 and the half in :58.4 where he had company in the form of Warrawee Promesse on the outside. That colt had a slight lead past the 1:27 three-quarters and held off Massive Talent to win in 1:57.1. Jack Litten was right there for third. Trainer Wayne Henry was up behind the winner, a son of Windsong Espoir he co-owns with Fred Brayford of Alliston, Ontario. Warrawee Promesse now has five wins in nine attempts. Tonight’s effort was his fifth consecutive win. The first of three $18,000 Grassroots events for three-year-old trotting colts saw Tyrone Haji control the tempo for Trevor Henry through splits of :28.3, :59.3, 1:29.3 and hold on to win in 1:59.3 over Massacaia and American Superman. Bob McIntosh trains and co-owns the winner with breeder Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ontario. A gelded son of Kadabra, Tyrone Haji was recording his third win in a dozen starts this year. “He’s been a lot of first up trips, if I could get to the front earlier he’d be one of the best,” noted Henry afterwards. The second Grassroots test saw favourite Totally Ripped gain control well before the :57.3 half. Jody Jamieson had Justcallmeronald on the move before the 1:26.3 three-quarters and that colt and Totally Ripped raced as a team through the stretch with Justcallmeronald getting up for the win in 1:57.2. Windsun Cobra took third. Tony O’Sullivan trains the winner, a son of Muscle Mass owned by Patrick Ryan of London, Ontario. “He was a little tired at the wire. His former trainer was here telling me how to drive him so that helped,” said Jamieson of the colt’s former conditioner and Rideau regular Robert Robinson. Jamieson also captured the final Grassroots event of the evening, using a three wide move on the final turn with Massive Pockets to win by open lengths in 1:57.3 and defeat Stonebridge Rich and Kremlin. Owned by breeder MT Pockets Stables of Florida and trained by Chantal Mitchell, the son of Muscle Mass was recording his second win in 11 tries. This was Rideau Carleton’s turn to celebrate the OSS’s 40th anniversary and the trotting colts put on a good display of the talent in the Program for the fans. The next Gold event for this group goes postward on September 22 while the Grassroots boys will hook up on September 1. Both events are at Mohawk. To view the full results from tonight, please clickRideau Results - August 21. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Regal Babe earned the top spot in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots point standings for harness racing three-year-old pacing colts with his victory in the first of four $18,000 divisions tonight at Mohawk Racetrack. Chattanooga Jim was the early leader in the first division, hitting the first marker in :26.2. Littlebitaclass took over the lead just past that point and was at the half in :56. Moving up to challenge was favourite Regal Babe who was neck and neck with the leader at the 1:25.1 three-quarters. Regal Babe, a son of Stonebridge Regal, took over through the lane for Doug McNair and held on to win in 1:52.3 over Shadowbriand and Recharge. An ultra consistent performer, Regal Babe has three wins and nine seconds in 13 starts this year for trainer Gregg McNair and owner/breeder Robert Chapple of Chatham, Ontario. With leading point earner Regal Son, another Stonebridge Regal son, not competing tonight after three Grassroots victories, Regal Babe earns the top spot for point earnings in this group. Titus Seelster was first to the top in the second split, hitting the quarter in :26.1 for Sylvain Filion, the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.2. He had several lengths on his rivals heading down the stretch and could not be caught, hitting the wire first in 1:51. Atomic Million AM closed well to take second while Waterside Light earned show. It was the second straight Grassroots victory for Titus Seelster, a son of Artistic Fella owned by Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms of Quebec and trained by Stephane Larocque. The Optimist led the way to the :26.2 first quarter in the third division for Paul MacDonell. Some Major Beach was alongside at the :54.2 half and that pair raced as a team towards the third panel but were passed by a three wide Shadow Place who hit the three-quarters in 1:23 and opened up down the lane to win comfortably in 1:51.1 for catch driver Jonathan Drury. Waco Bruiser got up for second while The Optimist held for third. Shadow Place, a son of Shadow Play, was recording his third win in eight starts this year for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Henri Hebert Jr., Les Ecuries Bruce and a numbered company all from Quebec. The fourth and final test had Hope For Hopelands leading the group through a :26.1 opener but Cluster Hanover quickly took over and he was then passed by VIP Bayama before the :54.4 half. VIP Bayama hit the three-quarters in 1:23.1 but was hauled down in the late going by Hall Bro and Luc Ouellette who hit the wire first in 1:52.1. In the blanket finish it was OK Galahad second and Andreios Kardia third. Owned by breeder Ferme Brodeur of Terrebonne, Quebec, Hall Bro was notching his sixth win in 13 trips behind the starting gate this year. This group will meet up again at Rideau Carleton Raceway on September 7. To view the complete results from tonight’s card at Mohawk, please click Mohawk Results - August 19. Ontario Sire Stakes

With her closest competition, Shadows Wonder, opting to race in the Gold Series, Her Own Land boosted her advantage in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots point standings with a 1:52.3 tally in one of five $18,000 divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday evening at Georgian Downs. Driver James MacDonald had Her Own Land up to grab the front at the :27.3 opening quarter in the fourth Grassroots split. Her Own Land then went on to hit the half in :55.2 and the three-quarters in 1:24 on her way to the victory. She defeated runner-up Bet Ya (Jack Moiseyev) by two and a half lengths with Badlyinclined (Chris Christoforou) back in third. Dave Menary trains Her Own Land, a filly by Blissfull Hall, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Her Own Land has three wins in Grassroots company and four wins from 11 starts overall this year. Now a five-time winner in her career, Her Own Land has earned $53,990 in 2014 and $63,550 lifetime. Menary also sent out Stellllllla, the winner of the Grassroots opener in 1:54 with Chris Christoforou in the bike. She took the lead from first-over before the 1:25 three-quarters and then drew away from the competition from there, eventually winning by seven lengths. Exhilarated (Sylvain Filion) finished second and Shes A Hotmama (Scott Coulter) grabbed third. The victorious daughter of Mister Big is a homebred for Daryl Sherman of Elmore, Ohio. She won for the first time from nine efforts this season and she now has four career triumphs. Stellllllla has put away $15,640 on the campaign and $52,486 in her life. Christoforou picked up another victory in the next Grassroots event as Dana Dearest turned a second-over trip into a 1:54.3 tally. Missevil (James MacDonald) came in second and Double Joy (Sylvain Filion), the leader through splits of :27.3, :56.2, and 1:25.1, held third. Dana Dearest, a daughter of Jeremes Jet, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner/breeder Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ont. Dana Dearest was winless in four starts last year, but she’s turned it around in her sophomore campaign, going six-for-12. She has season’s earnings of $53,820 and a career bankroll of $58,048. The remaining two Grassroots flights went to the father/son team of driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair. Their first victory came courtesy of Regally Ready (1:53.4) in the third section and then Momara (1:55) took the nightcap. Regally Ready is a Royal Mattjesty filly owned by Hutt Racing Stable. She has four victories from 12 attempts this year and she now has six career wins. The filly has pocketed $41,060 in 2014 and $82,398 in her life. Gregg McNair, who hails from Guelph, Ont., also bred and co-owns Momara, a daughter of Lis Mara, with partners Len Gamble of Etobicoke, Ont., Don MacDonald of Amherstburg, Ont. and David Kryway of Amherstburg, Ont. Momara scored her initial 2014 win in her eighth try and she now has seven career triumphs. She has put $22,639 in the bank for her connections this year and she has earned $94,273 lifetime. The three-year-old pacing fillies of the Grassroots Series will be back in action on August 25 at Mohawk Racetrack. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Harper Blue Chip made a triumphant return to the Ontario Sires Stakes tonight at Mohawk as he won the first of three $70,000 Gold divisions handily for Sylvain Filion. It marked the three-year-old trotting colt’s first 2014 harness racing appearance in the OSS and his first start since finishing third in the prestigious Hambletonian on August 2. In that race Moonlight Espoir hit the opening quarter first in :28.1 but was covered up by heavy favourite Harper Blue Chip, who was parked from the start, well before the :57 half. Up to challenge at the 1:26.4 three-quarters was Keystone Trevor but that colt couldn’t catch the leader who cruised to the finish line in 1:56.1. Ole Jack Magic, last in the early going, closed well to edge out Keystone Trevor for second. Mark Steacy trains the winner, a son of his former champion Majestic Son, for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. It marked the third win in eight tries this year for Harper Blue Chip and upped his 2014 bankroll to $298,000. Lifetime he’s just shy of the half million mark in earnings. The second division saw Mr Lover on top early to hit the opening marker in :28.1. P L Hercules took over and was settled on top by the :57 half. Filion popped out of the pocket briefly with Mr Lover but P L Hercules wasn’t going to let him go by so he tucked back in. P L Hercules, with Doug McNair catch driving, hit the three-quarters in 1:26.2 and drifted out quite a bit down the lane but managed to hold off a late charging Windsun Revenge to narrowly win in 1:56. In the blanket finish for third it was a dead heat between Verdi and Jitterbug. Another son of Majestic Son, P L Hercules was recording his third straight win for owner/ breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, Ontario and trainer Matt Dupuis. P L Hercules is the first foal from a daughter of $543,000 winner Corinas Mission, a winner of the OSS Super Final as a three-year-old in 2002. In the third, final and fastest division three colts miscued behind the gate leaving the remaining five colts on their own early. Maximuscle hit the first quarter in :28 and the half in a sedate :58 for Jody Jamieson. Mario Baillargeon then pulled favourite Muscle Matters out from second and was neck to neck with the leader at the 1:26 third panel. That pair battled through a thrilling stretch drive with a determined Maximuscle holding on in 1:54.3. Muscle Matters had to be content with second once again – he’s finished in that spot in all four of his starts to date this year. See The Wind was third. It marked the first start in Ontario this year for Maximuscle, a son of Angus Hall bred and owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, Quebec and trained by Eric Valiquette. The colt, a half-brother to $379,000 winner Puissant, has yet to finish off the board this year with six wins and one second and one third in eight starts. The next Gold event scheduled for this group is slated for September 22 back at Mohawk. The complete results from tonight’s races may be viewed through this link Mohawk Results - August 14. Ontario Sire Stakes

Last year’s two-year-old trotting filly of the year in Canada, Riveting Rosie, recorded her first 2014 victory in the second of two $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old harness racing trotting fillies tonight at Grand River Raceway. A winner of $468,000 last year, the daughter of Muscle Mass had a rough start to her three-year-old season when she cut both of her back legs fairly seriously this spring and it took her awhile to recover from those injuries. Given her impressive effort tonight, she now seems to be fully healed. It was a compact group in her division with just five fillies competing. The simply named Margie and Sylvain Filion controlled the tempo early, hitting the opening panel in :29.2 and the half in :59.1. As the field trotted down the backside Paul MacDonell pulled the right line on Riveting Rose from third and she took over by the three-quarters in 1:29.2. Riveting Rosie opened up to win comfortably in 1:58.1 over Miss Liv and Stormont Kate, both daughters of Kadabra. For Rosie it was her first win in eight tries this year for trainer John Bax of Peterborough who co-owns with J and T Stable of Newmarket, Don Allensen of Wyoming and John Hayes of Sharon, Ontario. Tonight’s efforts put Rosie’s life earnings over $550,000. Bred by Schare Adams of Kentucky, Rosie was a $17,000 yearling at the Lexington Select Sale. In the first division three fillies were determined to control the tempo and were three wide early with White Becomes Her, the furthest wide, gaining the top by the first quarter in :27 for Mario Baillargeon. She had a breather in the next quarter, hitting the half mile marker in :57 and trotted by the three-quarters in 1:27 but was collared midway down the stretch by Sweetie Hearts and Jody Jamieson who hit the wire first in 1:57.4. Mayberry managed to nip White Becomes Her for second. It was the second win in 10 tries this year for the daughter of Angus Hall trained by Ron Parsons for owner/breeder Bob Key of Pennsylvania. The filly hails from one of Key’s top maternal families as her second dam is a sister to American Winner ($1.3 million), Super Pleasure ($827,000), etc. It’s also the immediate family of Ontario-sired Harper Blue Chip who finished third in this year’s Hambletonian. This group now has more than a month off before their next Gold test on September 21 at Flamboro. To view the full results from tonight’s card click here.   Ontario Sire Stakes

Harper Blue Chip will make his first Ontario Sires Stakes start of 2014 tomorrow night in the first of three $70,000 Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting colts at Mohawk. It will also be the first start for the colt since the most lucrative outing of his career, in the $1,006,125 Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands. Driven by Brian Sears, Harper Blue Chip, the only Ontario-sired competitor in the talented field, finished third to earn his thrilled connections $106,247. It was more than many of them expected. "It was quite a decision about whether to go; it's not inexpensive to get in the race. But we agreed that we thought he was fifth best in the field and if he finished there we would make a little money. Some even thought maybe fourth best but when he drew post nine we were hoping for fifth,” explained Howard Pearce who manages a group of people who make up the colt’s co-owner Landmark 6 Racing Stable. "As it turned out we were all wrong and the race turned out great for Harper. There were some pretty happy people." For several years Pearce, who is retired from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, has brought together groups of people to share ownership in colts and fillies trained by Mark Steacy of nearby Gananoque. The Landmark name comes from Steacy and the town where his training stable is located, Lansdowne. Pearce acts as syndicate manager and administrator. The group which co-owns Harper Blue Chip, the sixth iteration of Landmark, includes Joe Loring, Jane Phair, Mike Grace, Conrad Leber, Shaun Finucane, Diane Bertrand, Robert Gilhespy, Barry White, Diane McPerson, Mitche Donoghue, David Reid, Rick Karper, Craig MacKay and Pearce. The other owners on the colt are David McDonald of Cornwall and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. Reid, an accountant from Kingston, also owns an additional share along with his Landmark cut. The Landmark syndicates, which have included owners from just about every province and several states, allow people to share ownership of a horse at a reduced cost, but still enjoy the excitement of owning a harness horse. To have one of their charges reach a coveted race like the Hambletonian, and even better, earn a substantial cheque in such a rich event, is a dream come true for anyone who has ever owned a Standardbred. Harper Blue Chip, who won two OSS events last year at two, is a son of Steacy’s former champion Majestic Son, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2006. He was bred by noted New York horseman Ray Schnittker and Blue Chip Farms and sold as a yearling for $40,000 the Harrisburg sale. In addition to racing in the OSS this year, he’ll also have an opportunity to compete against the elite of this division in North America in next month’s Canadian Trotting Classic. The richest race for this division in Canada, the final goes September 13 at Mohawk for an estimated $685,000. When he lines up behind the gate tomorrow night at Mohawk Harper will start from post three with Sylvain Filion at the lines. It’s a pattern for the colt – he seems to either draw way outside or post three this year. In eight starts he’s had post 10 once, post nine three times (including the Hambo) and the three spot on three occasions. The three OSS events are featured in races two, six and 10 at the Campbellville oval. The full card may be viewed through this link .      Ontario Sire Stakes

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