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TORONTO, April 21 - Samira Hanover found the line when it counted the most as she notched her first win of the season in the $43,200 final of the Lifetime Dream final on Monday evening at Woodbine. The trotting miss, driven by Paul Macdonell, stopped the clock in a stakes record time of 1:53.3 at odds of 28-1. MacDonell left alertly in the early stages as he settled Samira Hanover in third, behind the two favourites Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) and Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) at the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. As the field of 10 headed towards the half, Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) made a brush to the lead at the half in :56.2. That left Frisky Magic first over around the final turn, which allowed Samira Hanover to angle to the outside to catch cover. Heavily-favoured Rose Run Oriana popped out of the two-hole before three-quarters in 1:25 and quickly took over command. Down the stretch, Rose Run Oriana was in an all-out drive from Waples, but MacDonell showed his charge open road and Samira Hanover wore down the tempo-setter in deep stretch to win by half a length. Rockin With Dewey split horses late in the mile to finish third. Trained by Mike Keeling for P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc, Steve Organ, William Weaver and A K Malik Stable, Samira Hanover increased her career bankroll to $104,280. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra celebrated her sixth career victory. She paid $59.40 to win. The Lifetime Dream Series is for four and five-year-old trotting mares, who are non-winners of $200,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2013. Also on Monday's programme, the opening round of the Tie Silk Series kicked off with a pair of $15,000 divisions. Driver Mike Saftic guided both Musical Spell and Entranced to victory in their respective connections. Sent off as the co-favourite at odds of 2-1, Musical Spell Mike Saftic went gate-to-wire in 1:57.2 to capture the first division. The son of Kadabra laid down panels of :27.2, :58.4 and 1:29.1, before fending off a late challenge from the other co-favourite Windsun Revenge (Chris Christoforou) to stop the clock in 1:57.2. Gangio (Keith Oliver) finished third. Trained by Mike Guitard for owner Haryott Stables Inc, Musical Spell remains a perfect two-for-two to start his 2014 campaign. The bay gelding increased his bankroll to $15,500. He paid $6.80 to win. One race later, Saftic used the same tactics as Entranced stopped the clock in a speedy 1:54.4, a North American season's record. The Garth Gorden trainee cruised through panels of :27.1, :56 and 1:25.1, before scoring a comfortable one and a half length win. So Not Cool (Mario Baillargeon) came on for second, over even-money favourite Verdi (Paul Macdonell). Gorden also co-owns the son of Kadabra with Gary Green and Bernard Tobin. After banking $21,000 as a rookie last season, Entranced celebrated his second career victory and new lifetime best. He paid $11.90 to win. The Tie Silk Series is for three-year-olds trotters, who are non-winners of $30,000 in 2013. More stakes action continues on Thursday night as two $15,000 divisions of the Tie Silk kicks off in the opening round. Post time is set for 7:25 p.m. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, April 17 - More harness racing stakes action took place Thursday evening at Woodbine Racetrack as sophomore trotting fillies were showcased in a pair of Celias Counsel Trotting Series divisions. Tosca and Just Call Me Lady kicked off the series opener with victories in their respective $15,000 divisions. With heavily-favoured Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) making a miscue in the first division, Tosca and driver/trainer Per Henriksen made the most of her first start of the season. K D Bella (Mike Saftic) was the tempo-setter for most of the mile through panels of :27, :57 and 1:27.4. Around the final turn, Serendipitous (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack giving cover to Tosca. Henriksen angled his charge three-wide at three-quarters and wore down K D Bella in deep stretch to win by three quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Wings Of Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Tosca, a daughter of Muscle Mass, is owned by Asa Farm and Steve Organ. The trotting lass increased her bankroll to $35,400 with the win. She paid $16.50 to win. One race later, Just Call Me Lady posted the minor upset in 1:57.2 at odds of 3-1. In doing so, driver Trevor Ritchie enjoyed his first win of the season since arriving back in Ontario after wintering in Florida. Do The Wheelhouse (Jody Jamieson) was the first leader past the opening station in :27.1. As the field of 10 marched towards the half, Chippentail (Paul Macdonell) pulled out from third and marched to the front past the mid-way point in :58.2. Fashion Goddess (Jonathan Drury) was next to pull on the right line heading towards three-quarters with Just Call Me Lady following the speed. As the field trotted past three-quarters in 1:28.1, Just Call Me Lady was well spotted sitting second-over and the talented filly marched past her rivals down the stretch en route to victory. Post time favourite Miss Everything (Sylvain Filion) came from behind to finish second, with Do The Wheelhouse claiming third prize. Trainer Blake Macintosh co-owns the youngster with Anne Campbell and Stephen Waldman. Just Call Me Lady increased her lifetime earnings to $35,549 with the victory The daughter of Angus Hall paid $8.10 to win. Greg Gangle

The field for the 2014 Ontario Regional Driving Championship scheduled for Friday, May 9 at The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ont. has been confirmed. The participating drivers are: • Alfie Carroll • Scott Coulter • Billy Davis Jr. • Trevor Henry • Jody Jamieson • James MacDonald • Doug McNair • J.R. Plante The top two drivers from the eight-race competition will join six other drivers at the 2014 National Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. Several drivers declined invitations to take part due to other commitments, including Sylvain Filion, Canada’s Driver of the Year for 2013, Randy Waples and Scott Zeron. To read the rest of the story click here.

TORONTO, April 14 - After failing to find the winner's circle in both preliminary legs, Reasonable Force found his best stride when it counted the most as he captured this year's edition of the $36,200 Youthful Series final Monday at Woodbine. In doing so, the Doug McNair-driven sophomore returned $33.00 to his backers. McNair and Reasonable Force were in no hurry off the gate as Account Rollover (Randy Waples) cleared to the lead past the opening station in :27.1. Account Rollover, who found the wire in the first leg of the series, continued to lead his nine rivals past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. McNair began the first-over attack around the final turn and was within striking distance of the tempo-setter turning for home. Down the stretch, McNair asked his charge for more pace and the three-time winner responded with a two length win. Post time favourite Andreios Kardia (Steve Byron) finished second, with Dragon Seelster (Paul Macdonell) finishing third. Trained by Tony Montini for owners Doug Dunbar and Steve LeBlanc, Reasonable Force lifted his career earnings to $44,840. The son of Shadow Play now has a 2-2-1 record from eight starts this season. Also on Monday's program, the second round of the Lifetime Dream series continued with two $18,000 divisions. Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) kicked-off the 10-race programme with a 1:54.2 score in the first division. The daughter of Trainforthefuture enjoyed a new career best in the debut for trainer Corey Johnson. Waples led gate-to-wire with the 15-time winner through panels of :28, :57 and 1:25.3, before fending off 3/5 favourite Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) in deep stretch to win by one and a half lengths. Samira Hanover (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Owned by Rolling Hills Racing Stables, Rose Run Oriana will look for the series sweep next week as her bankroll increased to $134,717. She paid $4.90 to win. One race later, Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) enjoyed her fifth career score at odds of 3-1. The daughter of Majestic Son laid parked on the outside at the quarter in :28.2, before clearing to the lead before the half in :57.2. From there, the trotting miss led her five rivals past in 1:26.1 before fending off a late challenge from Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) to win by a nose. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Trained by Russell Bax for Baxmar Holsteins Ltd, Her Name Is Lola increased her bankroll to $85,560. She paid $8.70 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, April 11 - Rock N Roll Xample didn't disappoint the betting public on Friday evening at Woodbine as the heavily-favoured filly completed the Blossom Series sweep. After capturing both preliminary legs, Rock N Roll Xample and Randy Waples scored an open-length victory to take the rich $36,000 final in 1:53. Waples and the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-R Xample sat in the two-hole for most of the mile as Violet Bayama (Sylvain Filion) controlled the pace through fractions of :26.3, :56 and 1:25.1. As the field of six turned for home, Waples angled his charge off the pylons and the nine-time winner did the rest as she exploded past the tempo-setter en route to victory. Wildcat Magic (Chris Christoforou) came on to finish second over Violet Bayama. Trained by Shawn Robinson for owner/breeder Robert Hamather, Rock N Roll Xample increased her bankroll to $84,090. She paid $2.40 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO , April 7 - Thirteen trotting mares made their way to Woodbine Racetrack Monday evening to kick off the opening round of the Lifetime Dream Series. Rockin With Dewey looked every bit the part of a 1/5 favourite as she captured the first $18,000 division in 1:56.1. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Rockin With Dewey scored by a commanding five and a quarter lengths to celebrate her tenth career tally. Baillargeon was first to the front in the early stages, but allowed Justasmalltowngirl (Paul Macdonell) to the lead at the opening quarter in :26.4. Rockin With Dewey quickly regained the front and led her six rivals past the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.1, before dashing away from her rivals en route to victory. Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) came on for second, over Bop Too The Top (James MacDonald). Trained and co-owned by Ben Baillargeon along with breeder Diane Ingham, Rockin With Dewey increased her bankroll to $219,300. She paid $2.50 to win. In the other split, 3/5 favourite Rose Run Oriana and James MacDonald got under the wire first in 1:57.2. Over a track rated as 'Good,' MacDonald elected to sit in the two-hole behind Be Winnin (Jody Jamieson) before the opening quarter in :26.3. Marabou (Jonathan Drury) angled out of third and was quickly on the move as they took over command before the :57.1 half. Rose Run Oriana quickly engaged the tempo-setter and was the new leader heading toward the three-quarter pole. MacDonald and Rose Run Oriana led their six rivals past three-quarters in 1:27.2 and fended off all comers down the lane en route to the victory. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished second, with Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) third. Trained by Joe Cirasuola for owner Shirley Halas, Rose Run Oriana enjoyed her 14th career victory as her bankroll now sits at $125,717. She paid $3.40 to win. The Lifetime Dream series is for four and five-year-old trotting mares, who are non-winners of $200,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

Favourite Cougar Hall earned his second consecutive win over the game Machal Jordan in the featured $34,000 Preferred Pace on Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Driven by Jack Moiseyev, Cougar Hall matched his 1:51.4 season's mark that he established while winning the top class by half a length over Machal Jordan last Saturday. In this evening's Preferred, J J Shark (Sylvain Filion) forced the leaving post eight starter Lucky Terror (Jonathan Drury) to settle for the pocket spot during a :26.3 first quarter battle. Dali (Luc Ouellette) got away third with 6-5 favourite Cougar Hall following in fourth. As the field headed into the backstretch, Dali moved underway from third and took over the lead before hitting the half-mile marker in :55.3. The stallion was then confronted by Cougar Hall, who cleared to command past the 1:23.4 third quarter station and began to open up multiple lengths on the field to secure the victory. The late-closing Machal Jordan (Roger Mayotte) narrowed the winning margin to one and a quarter lengths. In Commando (Chris Christoforou), a half-length winner over Cougar Hall in his last outing two weeks ago, finished third.   Cougar Hall now has four wins in six starts during his four-year-old campaign and a seasonal bankroll totalling $60,100. The grey son of Somebeachsomewhere is owned by trainer Jeff Gillis, Gerald Stay, Mac Nichol, Thomas Kyron and Carl Jamieson. Cougar Hall paid $4.40 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, March 31 - It was a memorable night for Milton resident Randy Waples as the veteran driver notched his 6,000th career win. Waples guided Account Rollover to a 1:52.3 victory in the second of two Youthful series divisions for Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh to capture the milestone. "It's such a special feeling to reach any milestone let alone 6000," Waples said following the win. "It was even extra special because it was one of Bob's (McIntosh) horses. We've had a lot of success together, won a lot of major races and been friends for years. That was really the icing on the cake." Waples, who began his driving career in 1984 has over $114 million in purse earnings. Dragon Seelster (Paul Macdonell) was the first leader past the opening station in :27.3. As the field settled and headed towards the half, American Island (Doug McNair) made their way to the front and led past the half in :56.3. Waples and Account Rollover came first-over and cleared to the front before three-quarters in 1:24.2. From there, the son of Rocknroll Hanover fended off a late challenge from Dragon Seelster to capture the win. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) finished third. Account Rollover increased his bankroll to $41,810 for McIntosh along with co-owners Al MacIntosh Holdings Inc, and CSX Stables. Unraced as a rookie, the bay gelding has a 5-2-1 record from eight starts this season. Twomickeytrip and Paul Macdonell teamed up to win the other $15,000 division as the pair got under the wire first in 1:56.3. Reasonable Force (Jody Jamieson) was hard-used to earn the front past the opening quarter in a quick :26.4. As the sophomores headed towards the half, Glory Beach (Sylvain Filion) angled out of third and took over command to lead past the mid-way point in :56.3 and three-quarters in 1:25.3. Regal Son (Randy Waples) began the first-over attack around the final turn, giving live cover to Twomickeytrip. Turning for home, GloryBeach was still in command, but the backfield began to close on the tempo-setter. MacDonell showed Twomickeytrip open racetrack and the four-time winner responded as he wore down the tempo-setter in deep stretch en route to victory. GloryBeach stayed for second, over Royal Reception (Chris Christoforou). Trained and co-owned by Richard Fife along with Grace George, Twomickeytrip increased his bankroll to $50,080. The bay gelding has a 3-1-1 record from nine starts this season. He paid $9.20 to win. The Youthful Series is for three-year-old colts and geldings, who are non winners for three races or $15,000 in 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG  

The more and more I have the opportunity to speak with people within the harness racing industry, the more and more my view on humanity changes for the good. For all the negatives in the world that grab the headlines, a shadow is cast on what should be the brightest of headlines, which is the horsemen and women that form harness racing. Despite the uncertain future of horse racing in Ontario, many within the industry remain positive and hope for the best. The best being the Ontario Government will come to terms with the racetracks to ensure further growth, such as we see south of the border in states like New York and Ohio. Having to deal with these issues over the years is one of Canada's top harness racing drivers, Sylvain Filion. "In 1999 I came here to Ontario and after three years I went back to Quebec. I was there for five years and then came back here." Sylvain explains. Making a big move from his native hometown in Quebec, Sylvain Filion made the move to Ontario as racing in Quebec declined and became virtually nonexistent. "They quit racing in Montreal" says Sylvain. "The racing was very good there, but when they quit racing I came to Ontario." "It sounds kind of like what is happening here" Sylvain notes. "They had money from the slots and then the Government took the money away and that is what killed harness racing. So hopefully that won't happen here." It must be deja vu for Sylvain. There is one positive rumor circulating that the government may have a plan to help the horse racing industry. There is word that negotiations are under way that will ensure the success of harness racing for the next five years, if not longer. Speaking with Sylvain, he's currently feeding his adopted daughter, Stella-Rose and little Stella-Rose will be turning one in a few days. Sylvain and his wife Dominic adopted Stella-Rose eight months ago and they could not be happier. The cheerfulness is Sylvain's voice radiates of pride and joy all due to the new edition to the Filion family. Will Sylvain and Dominic adopt another baby so Stella-Rose may have a brother or sister? Sylvain says possibly but it's too soon to say for sure. "It's about time I became something" Sylvain says with a laugh. "Right now it's my greatest achievement. My wife and I couldn't have a baby and we have wanted a baby for over twenty years so we adopted and it has worked out. We are very very happy!!" Sylvain comes from a family with deep roots in the horse racing world. "I was born with horses all around me. My father still has that farm in Quebec and my grandfather had 5 or 6 horse as well. That's how my father and uncles got started." Sylvain says. Sylvain's father, Yves won the North America Cup and the Prix d'Ete with Runnymede Lobell in 1988. One is of his uncles, Herve, is the world renowned Hall of Fame horsemen. "There's still a lot I want to do, there's big races I'd like to win, like the North America Cup, (which takes place at Mohawk racetrack). I came second once and my father won it. The Meadowlands Pace and the Little Brown Jug are ones I would like to win." "At the start of each year, we cross our fingers and hope a horse comes through that can have us do great things." Sylvain says about any potential break out horses. Sylvain does not train any horses, as he puts it, he is 100% focused on driving. If he had to pick one of his favorite horses out of all he's driven, he feels Breeders Crown winner Goliath Bayama is the favorite. As for Sylvain preference for track type and style, he says he enjoys the one mile tracks like the Meadowlands compared to the 7/8th mile tracks. Yes, that one eight makes a difference. "When you're on the 7/8th, you have the whole stretch to get into position and at the mile tracks, when you leave the gate you have an eighth of a mile until you hit the first turn" is how Sylvain describes the flow. "If you decide to leave hard, you might have a long drive going into the first turn." Meaning you're stuck on the outside leading to a longer trip for the horse and burning unnecessary horse power. During the warm months, Sylvain loves to play golf and is an avid fan of the sport. The one golfer he admires most is 'The Lefty', Phil Mickelson. "I like his aggressive style, every time he goes for broke when he plays." Sylvain says. When the weather turns cold, Sylvain and his wife Dominic usually head south for a vacation getaway. This year was a tad different as the happy parents were basking in the warmth of their new bundle of joy, Stella-Rose. Happy Birthday Stella-Rose! When Sylvain decides to hang it up and call it a great career, what he hopes to do with his family is travel. "I like Costa Rica, the wildlife there is pretty amazing. I'd like to go to Europe. I was there once to train a horse and that was at 9/11." Sylvain went to France to work with and train a horse he was set to drive in a big trotting race in Montreal, the Trot Montreal. "They invited horses from all over the world to race in Montreal." Sylvain explains. "I was a little anxious to come back because I was stuck there for an extra five days." Sylvain was telling me about how much fun the drivers have amongst themselves. Once they're in the bike and on the track, it's strictly business and game on, "Here at Woodbine we take our jobs very seriously. Once we are out there on the track we are all professionals and may the best horse win." However between drives and/or races, the horsemen really know how to keep the atmosphere light. "There are jokes amongst the drivers" Sylvain says. "We spend so much time together. Especially in the summer when we are driving five or six nights a week, we get to the Paddock for 6:30pm and we are there until 11:30pm. So we have to find a way to have a bit of fun and enjoy ourselves." Some examples of jokes played on one another; a driver, who has a couple of races off, may grab a pair of gloves from another driver and tie knots in the fingers of those gloves. So when the owner of those gloves grabs them to head out, that driver has to go out without any gloves on or has to rush and get a pair from a trainer. For fun, sometimes baby powder is put into the helmet of an unsuspecting driver. As you may guess, when the helmet goes on, that drivers' entire head and face is covered. Another prank is putting shoe polish around the goggles of another driver where that said driver is left with rings of polish around his eyes for the rest of the night. They must be tearing up with laughter at times! Sylvain admits, one prank that happened to him is when someone tied his shoe laces "into 2000 knots so I had to cut out all the laces before I left to go home after the races." Priceless! Sometimes they tease one another, "You have to be able to laugh at yourself" says Sylvain. "You have to remain humble. When a guy is parked out the whole mile and he comes in last, he's asked if 'he's caught a cold out there?'...we are a tough group, but a fun group." By Roderick Balgobin, for Supernova Sports Club www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova        

Woodbine Racetrack's current leading driver Jody Jamieson was in the hot seat on Saturday night as a guest host of the Woodbine Racing Live broadcast to offer up some insight on his drives for handicappers and discuss his 2013 racing season. During the pre-game show, Jamieson declared his 11th race mount, Carmen Auciello trainee Champagne Phil, as his "most probable winner" on the card and proved to be correct. "I really drove him bad [last week]," explained Jamieson. "He's been at Yonkers and they didn't like the trips he's been getting there. They weren't trying him as much as they wanted him to be tried so I gave him a shot and I actually over-drove him and I'm not planning on doing the same thing tonight. I believe there is some competition in there...but I really like Champagne Phil in there tonight. I think it's his race to win." In the evening's finale, Jamieson sent Champagne Phil first over from fourth down the backstretch and wore down early leader Roethblissberger to win by a head in 1:51.3. Icr Racing's four-year-old Shanghai Phil gelding was backed by the bettors and paid $5.40 to win as the 8-5 favourite. The victory was his first in five starts this year. During the interview, the three-time O'Brien Award winning driver also reflected on his 2013 campaign in which he ranked second nation-wide for earnings ($5,338,101) behind 2013 Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion and third for wins (337). "I had a great year," said Jamieson. "This biggest disappointment for me was I had a lot of seconds in major races and classic races. It took me until the middle of December to win the Cleveland Classic with a great horse, Apprentice Hanover, who you folks are well adhered to right here at Woodbine. He's got seven [wins] in a row now dating back to the Cleveland Classic or the week before. He's just a hell of a horse and he seems to be getting better as we go forward." While the Preferred class in which Apprentice Hanover has been dominating of late was not carded on Saturday, Jamieson catch-drove another "ultra consistent horse" to victory lane in a top conditioned event. "I think he was in over his head last week," Jamieson said of Lucky Terror, who finished sixth in the Preferred on Feb. 15. "He's not an Open horse, but he is, however, a very decent, middle of the road, conditioned horse and this is his class." The $22,000 ninth race was indeed Lucky Terror's class as he closed from second over and edged out a from-last Grin For Money to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.2. The win was his second in six starts this year and gives him a seasonal bankroll of $27,560. Trained by Shaun McDonald and owned by Glenview Livestock Ltd. and Leonard Christopher, the seven-year-old gelded son of Western Terror paid $9.10 to win. In Commando's 1:51.1 score in the 10th race co-feature was the fastest of the night and one of the biggest upsets as he rallied home from third over at odds of 10-1 for driver Chris Christoforou. The class-climbing Camluck gelding paid $22.80 for his second straight win. He prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Joshua My Boy, who closed from the back of the pack to place. Don Lindsey trains and co-owns the winning five-year-old pacer with Paul Kleinpaste, William Alempijevic and Dennis Mavrin. In Commando now has three wins and one second in five seasonal starts to add $31,000 to his career bankroll. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

The annual Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) Awards banquet honoured the breeders of the top Ontario Sires Stakes performers of 2013 on Saturday night at the Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre. The evening included cocktails, dinner, a silent auction, a stallion auction and the awards presentations. The award winners are listed below. Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly Performing Art, bred by Bob Young, David Garrett, Premier & Associates 2013 OSS Earnings: $182,600 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt/Gelding Bugger Bruiser, bred by Gerald Mijal 2013 OSS Earnings: $206,100 Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly Riveting Rosie, bred by Schare Adams 2013 OSS Earnings: $232,750 Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt/Gelding Muscle Matters, bred by Reg and Donna Higgs 2013 OSS Earnings: $216,300 Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly Pan Luis Obispo, bred by Peter Pan Stables Inc. 2013 OSS Earnings: $165,000 Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt/Gelding Mach It So, bred by Enviro Stables Ltd. 2013 OSS Earnings: $215,000 Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly Bee A Magician, bred by White Birch Farm 2013 OSS Earnings: $280,000 Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt/Gelding Flanagan Memory, bred by Michel Flanagan 2013 OSS Earnings: $271,500 Masterfeeds Awards - Outstanding Pacing Broodmare Teig N Riley, owned by Ballykeel Racing Masterfeeds Awards - Outstanding Trotting Broodmare Beehive, owned by White Birch Farm Lampman Cup Sylvain Filion Johnston Cup Gregg McNair Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award Canadian Sportsman Chris Van Bussel Memorial Award Cool Creek Farms - Harry Rutherford and Diane Ingham Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Apprentice Hanover cruised to his seventh straight win on Saturday night in the $34,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Racetrack despite Wazzup Wazzup's surprise attack late in the mile. Leaving from post six with Jody Jamieson at the reins, Apprentice Hanover worked his way to lead and cleared into the first turn before hitting the first quarter mark in :26.4. Apprentice Hanover took a second quarter breather to the half in :56 with McKinney (Sylvain Filion) content to sit a pocket trip behind the heavy 1-5 favourite and Wazzup Wazzup (Jonathan Drury) on his back. As Apprentice Hanover led his six rivals to the next marker in 1:24.4, 50-1 longshot Lucky Terror (Jack Moiseyev) made the first over sacrifice from the backfield, but began to back away as they turned for home. Apprentice Hanover looked strong on the lead in the stretch, but 25-1 shot Wazzup Wazzup made things a little more interesting, sneaking up the inside late in the lane. However, Apprentice Hanover managed to keep him at bay to earn his seventh straight win in 1:52.2. Wazzup Wazzup came up a neck short while McKinney rounded out the top three finishers one and a half lengths behind. Apprentice Hanover is now three-for-three this year with his win streak stretching back to November 2013. He now has 14 wins in 32 career starts -- his richest in Northfield Park's $126,000 Cleveland Classic on Dec. 14 -- for lifetime earnings of $563,474. Ben Wallace trains the four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont. Apprentice Hanover paid $2.40 to win. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

"He is the fastest and gutsiest horse I ever sat behind," Sylvain Filion stated. Panther Hanover established himself as one of the fastest pacers in the history of the sport. His career cut short by injury was brilliant. During his short career Panther Hanover won eight of fourteen starts and banked more than $365,000, while taking a mark of 1:47.2 at the Meadowlands. His three-year-old campaign was highlighted by victories in the Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic and the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. Owned by Jim Carr, Panther Hanover will now stand stud at Win Place and Show Farm in New York State, just one mile from the Canadian/U.S. border. Stud fee for 2014 will be $3,000 with a multiple mare discount available. A two mare discount is available for $3,000 for the first live foal and $1,000 for the second live foal. Foals will be eligible to the lucrative New York State Sire Stakes Program. Sam and Carolyn Trombley own and manage the picturesque Win Place and Show Farm. "We have already has a lot of inquiries about him. He is easy to manage and handle and knows when it is time to perform. His personality and attitude is terrific." Sam Trombley said. James Dean trained Panther Hanover for his racing career. "He was wicked fast and if he had stayed sound there is no telling how fast he would have gone," James Dean said. "He went in 1:47.2 in the New Jersey Classic. It was the fourteenth race of the day. Had he raced earlier in the day he would have gone in 1:46 and change. By the time of our race a wind kicked up pretty good in the backstretch. Earlier in the day there was no wind at all. If he had stayed sound he could have been the fastest horse I ever trained.” Owner Jim Carr is looking at a book of over 75 mares. "He was an awesome looking horse who had the look of a thoroughbred," Carr said. "He had the gift of great gate speed and a tremendous brush. He could sit the pocket if needed. He had a great attitude and was well mannered. For Quebec mares we have a special opportunity. If you bring your mare to the farm nearby (50 miles), and the horse is bred at the farm, you can now race both in the enhanced Quebec Sire Stakes Program and the New York Sire Stakes Program. You can get in on the ground floor of the fifth fastest horse in harness racing history and the fastest son of Rocknroll Hanover. He was bred to be great and his paternal family shows it. Panther Hanover is a half brother to outstanding performers Pan Hanover, Philos Hanover, Platinum Hanover and Passmaster Hanover, who are the winners of over one million dollars in purses. Remember all of his foals are eligible for the rich New York Sire Stakes Program. To contact Sam and Carolyn Trembley call (518) 297-3506. The farm is Win, Place & Show Farm, 474 Hayford Road, Champlain, NY 12919 and their website is http://winplaceandshowfarm.com/arrival. By Brian McEvoy, for Harnesslink.com

TORONTO, February 14 - Sylvain Filion, the 2013 O'Brien Award winner as Canada's top driver, will be the guest on Woodbine Racing Live's pre-game show this Saturday, February 15, beginning at 6:45 p.m. Filion, a resident of Milton, finished as the leading money-winning driver on the WEG circuit in 2013 with over $5 million in purse earnings. The talented reinsman also led all drivers in the nation in purse earnings with $6.1 million. Filion's biggest thrill in 2013 came in the $683,000 Metro Pace as he steered Boomboom Ballykeel to a 10-1 upset victory. The Quebec-born driver will join WEG's Greg Gangle and offer his thoughts on winning back-to-back O'Brien Awards along with the 11-race program. by Greg Gangle, for WEG  

Ideal Shadow was bet off the board in Monday’s debut effort at Woodbine under the guidance of trainer/co-owner Ben Baillargeon, and the betting public was bang on in its assessment of the lightly-raced youngster. Purchased by Baillargeon and partners Nunzio & Santo Vena for $45,000 from the 2014 January Select Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands, Ideal Shadow appeared to barely break a sweat in what was just his second lifetime start. After making a break and failing to crack the top three in his first lifetime start on January 18 for former trainer Erv Miller, the three-year-old son of American Ideal-Shadow Baby cruised to an easy win by lengths in 1:54.3. Mario Baillargeon got away third with the new recruit, and the pacer maintained that position to the quarter pole before brushing his way to the lead in the backstretch. He cleared to the top without a tussle and successfully chopped out panels of :57.4 and 1:26.2 before using a :28.1 closing quarter to win by a pair of lengths in 1:54.3. Monday’s 11-race card also saw pacer All Chrome extend his personal winning streak to six thanks to a 1:54.4 score in come-from-behind fashion for the tandem of driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Corey Johnson. Filion got away fifth with the five-year-old son of Tell All-Ever Western before advancing the gelding on the rim in the middle stages of the mile. The 4-5 favourite then used a :28.4 final frame to prevail by a half-length margin over Canbec Kingkazimir, with third prize going to Rock N Go. Brian Paquet of Quebec owns the photogenic pacer who is now three-for-three this season after having gone 4-for-12 last year. The 10-time winner pushed his lifetime earnings over $50,000 with the victory. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Woodbine Racetrack. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Standardbred Canada has announced the winners of the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event, the annual Black Tie Gala was held in Charlottetown, PEI, at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel and PEI Convention Centre. The awards are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. O’Brien was born in Alberton, PEI. Bee A Magician who was perfect in her 2013 season, was the unanimous choice in the Three-Year -Old Trotting Filly division and was also voted Canada’s Horse of The Year. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her races last season and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore campaign. The daughter of Hall of Fame sire Kadabra took a mark of 1:51 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The invincible filly’s stakes victories included the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Sylvain Filion successfully defended his Driver of The Year title. In 2013 he led all reinsmen in the nation in terms of purse earnings, as his mounts banked $6,111,736. Filion finished as the leading money-winning driver on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk Racetrack and Woodbine Racetrack. The resident of Milton, Ont. earned the Lampman Cup for the second straight year, as he topped the Ontario Sires Stakes standings for drivers. Filion celebrated his richest win of the season while steering Boomboom Ballykeel to a 10-1 upset victory in the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Richard Moreau was voted Trainer of The Year following an impressive season that saw his stable win 279 races and earn $3,623,805 in purses. The resident of Puslinch, Ont. earned training titles across Ontario at Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack. Moreau topped the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. The 2013 season marked the 14th consecutive year that his stable has surpassed the $1-million mark in purse earnings. Alberta’s Kelly Hoerdt won the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship. Hoerdt is a successful driver/trainer who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. The 2013 season was another productive year for Hoerdt, as he trained 82 winners and horses to $623,000, and drove 66 winners and horses that earned over $490,000. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in terms of earnings at Alberta Downs. His stable was led by sophomore pacing colt Premium Attaction, a multiple stakes winner that rattled off six wins in 11 races and over $111,000 Precocious Beauty was honoured as Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year. Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, $462,912 in purses and took a mark of 1:50.1 which tied a world record for a one-mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. The two-year-old pacing colt title went to Arthur Blue Chip, who scored six wins in 11 starts and bankrolled $400,120 for his connections. The son of Shadow Play took a mark of 1:51.2 in his Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk before being scratched ‘sick’ from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore in 2013 and added another O’Brien (Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year) to her trophy case. The talented filly boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner up finish in the American National. Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation took the hardware home as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of The Year. Vegas Vacation gave his connections the ride of a lifetime in 2013. Conditioned by Casie Coleman, the son of Bettors Delight put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 from 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses. He wheeled off victories in his first four races which included the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and an elimination of the Pepsi North America Cup. On September 19 he captured the Little Brown Jug in straight heats – both timed in 1:50. ‘Vegas’ finished his sophomore season with a win in the Matron Stakes to put his bankroll at just over $976,000. Anndrovette continued to dominate the pacing mare ranks in 2013, and, for the third consecutive year, was crowned Canada’s Older Pacing Mare of The Year. The daughter of Riverboat King was on the board in all but three of her 21 races. Some of her major wins included three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway along with the Roses Are Red and Breeders Crown eliminations. On July 20 at Mohawk Racetrack she captured the Roses Are Red final in a career best 1:48. The talented mare now has 35 lifetime wins and a career bankroll of almost $2.6 million. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again was voted Canada’s Older Pacing Horse of The Year. Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season, as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final, as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final for his third straight million-dollar campaign. He entered the year within reach of the all-time earnings record for pacers, and he managed to obliterate that mark by adding $1.4 million to his bank account while visiting 11 different racetracks along the way. He closed the season by sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at the Meadowlands. Riveting Rosie was the winner in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Riveting Rosie closed out her rookie campaign with six wins in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Her major victories included the Peaceful Way Final, her Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain Stakes. In the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division, it was Father Patrick who took the O’Brien trophy. He topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Series. Flanagan Memory was voted Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year after a productive season which saw him win seven of 11 races and $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning his Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Maven was voted Canada’s Older Trotting Mare of The Year. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She added wins in the Miss Versatility Trotting Series, an elimination and final of the Armbro Flight, and the Allerage. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her bankroll. For the second consecutive year, Mister Herbie captured the title as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse of The Year. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in stakes competition, including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067 in purses. Seelster Farms, of Lucan, Ont. was honoured as the Armstrong Breeder of The Year. In 2013, Seelster-bred horses scored 248 wins and $2.1 million in earnings. In the Future Star category, the winner of this first-time award was trainer/driver Travis Cullen. The 21-year-old Alberta-based horseman closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the final card of the meet while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. The complete list of winners follows. 2013 O’BRIEN AWARD WINNERS PACERS Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer - Precocious Beauty owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Arthur Blue Chip owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer - I Luv The Nitelife owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Vegas Vacation owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare - Anndrovette owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Older Pacing Horse - Foiled Again owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL TROTTERS Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Riveting Rosie owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Father Patrick owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Bee A Magician owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Flanagan Memory owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Older Trotting Mare - Maven owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse - Mister Herbie owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY PEOPLE AWARDS O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Armstrong Breeder of The Year Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of The Year Sylvain Filion, Milton, ON Trainer of The Year Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB STANDARDBRED CANADA MEDIA EXCELLENCE AWARDS The Media Excellence Awards program, established by Standardbred Canada in 2008, is aimed at honouring exceptional work that covers Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. Outstanding Written Work Paul Delean ’Reaching Improbable Heights’ 'Reaching Improbable Heights', written by Paul Delean, was published in the December, 2012 issue of Trot Magazine. It tells the story of trotter Intimidate’s incredible journey from obscurity to harness racing’s biggest stage and the ride of a lifetime that two smalltime owners from Quebec are still pinching themselves over. Outstanding Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group North America Cup HD Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group’s North America Cup broadcast aired across Canada on The Score television network on Saturday, June 26, 2013. The one-hour special of the $1-million North America Cup was the first live high definition broadcast of a standardbred race in Canada. The show featured live race coverage of the main event, a feature on Marvin Katz (co-owner of eventual winner Captaintreacherous) and a profile of a very special racing fan – Sydney Weaver. The broadcast was a production of WEG’s broadcast department, produced by Rob Platts and directed by Kris Platts. Outstanding Photography Clive Cohen Clive Cohen captured the sunset behind trainer Rene Dion warming up Ocean Mist Beauty on September 19, 2013 at Mohawk Racetrack. The image was published on WEG’s Facebook page later that night. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

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