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TORONTO, November 21 – Ontario three-year-old harness racing colts and geldings kicked off their Autumn Series with four divisions Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A total of 18 pacers and 20 trotters made up four $18,000 round one divisions. Mach On The Beach kicked off the night with a 1:52.2 victory in the first pacing division. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Mach On The Beach flashed early speed aiming for the front, while Twin B Sportsman was pacing hard early looking for the lead. Mach On The Beach got to the pylons first and Filion opted to stretch Twin B Sportsman out by the opening-quarter in :26.2. Filion eventually released the challenger at the top of the backstretch. After a half of :55.1, Mach On The Beach came to the outside and surged by Twin B Sportsman to take the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1. In the stretch, Mach On The Beach left his rivals in his dust and paced away to an easy-looking four-length victory. The Rock finished up with a strong final-quarter to come from eighth to finish second. Sports Lightning finished third, while Windsong Lightning was fourth. A son of Mach Three, Mach On The Beach is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. The sophomore gelding now has seven wins from 24 starts in his first season of racing. Mach On The Beach pushed his earnings to over $60,000 with the victory Saturday, while also lowering his career-mark by more than two-seconds. The Moreau trainee paid $3.90 to win. Mach On The Beach In the second division, Cajon Lightning came first up to win in 1:52.4. Driven by Mike Saftic, Cajon Lightning got away fifth in the early stages, while Doctor Royal and Major Dan took turns on the lead through panels of :26.1 and :56.1. Saftic sent Cajon Lightning first up around the final turn and the even-money favourite was second and less than two-lengths from the front at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Cajon Lightning powered by Doctor Royal and paced home strong in :27.2 for a length and a half victory. Jack Reacher finished second, while Naturescape finished third just ahead of Doctor Royal. Another son of Mach Three, Cajon Lightning is trained by Scott Bell for owner John Taylor. Saturday’s victory was the third from 16 starts this season for the gelding. Cajon Lightning has now earned over $48,000 in his first season of racing. The clocking of 1:52.4 matched his career-mark taken October 12 at Woodbine. Cajon Lightning paid $4.10 to win. Cajon Lightning On the trotting side, Stormont Wizard took the first division in 1:56.1 at odds of 3/5. Driven by James MacDonald, Stormont Wizard trotted out strongly to grab command at the opening-quarter in :28. Down the backstretch, Win The Day came first up from fifth at the half to challenge the leader. MacDonald kept his trotter moving well and turned aside the first-over challenger to lead the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:26.1. In the stretch, Stormont Wizard sealed the deal with a :30 final-quarter to score a two and a quarter length victory. P L Icabod finished second, while Lmc Mass Oak was third. Win The Day rounded out the Superfecta in fourth. A son of Kadabra, Stormont Wizard is trained by Kevin Benn for Stormont Meadows. The sophomore gelding now has two wins in 12 starts this season. Last year, Stormont Wizard scored a single victory in seven starts, while hitting the board five-times. The Benn trainee has banked over $48,000 this season and $74,000 lifetime. Stormont Wizard paid $3.40 to win. Stormont Wizard Love Hunter turned a two-hole trip into a victory in the second trotting division. The Nick Gallucci trainee left quickly for driver Trevor Henry to challenge for the lead, however Gronk, the even-money favourite, pushed forward for the lead and forced Henry into the pocket. After setting fractions of :26.4, :57.3 and 1:27.1, Gronk carried the lead into the lane with Love Hunter on his back. In the stretch, Love Hunter came to the outside and waged war with Gronk, eventually edging by in deep stretch to win by half a length in 1:57. Freddie closed with good speed for third, while Thoughtful Leader was fourth. A son of Holiday Road, Love Hunter entered Saturday’s contest with one win in 10 starts this season. The Autumn Series division victory pushes the gelding’s earnings in 2015 to over $34,000. Love Hunter paid $12.20  to win. Love Hunter In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-olds had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2015 as of September 30, 2015. The second round of the Autumn Series for the colts and geldings will take place next Saturday (November 28).

Heading into Saturday's $400,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack just one point separates drivers Sylvain Filion and Trevor Henry in the Ontario Sires Stakes Lampman Cup race. Filion has 498 points earned from 204 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) starts, 40 wins, 28 seconds and 25 thirds, while Henry has accumulated 497 points in 215 starts, scoring 29 wins, 32 seconds and 35 thirds. In the weeks leading up to the Grassroots post season the race between Filion and Henry had been close, but Henry closed the gap when he captured four Semi-Finals last weekend and the Arthur, ON resident is optimistic about Saturday's prospects after drawing inside posts with four of his five Championship mounts. "I drew pretty good I thought," said Henry. "The one filly (Traviata) didn't draw too good, she drew the nine-hole, but I think she can overcome that." Henry won both two-year-old trotting filly Semifinals, guiding Myretirementticket and Traviata to identical 1:57.1 clockings, and the reinsman chose Richard "Nifty" Norman trainee Traviata for the Championship in spite of her outside post. Henry will also steer two-year-old pacing filly Semi-Final winner St Lads Smokin Hot from Post 3, three-year-old trotting colt and gelding Semi-Final winner Duh Bubbees from Post 2, three-year-old pacing filly Stonebridge Quest from Post 2 and three-year-old pacing colt Win One Soon from Post 5. After getting nudged aside by Henry following the two-year-old Semi-Finals, Filion reclaimed his narrow lead in the standings when he captured a three-year-old trotting filly Semi-Final with Meadow Seelster. That filly will make her bid for a third straight win from Post 5, with Filion's other mounts - two-year-old trotting gelding Dynamic Edge, three-year-old trotting gelding Buzz, three-year-old pacing filly Aniston Seelster and three-year-old pacing colt Western Bayama - starting from Posts 1, 9, 1, and 8, respectively. "I think it might be a tough assignment for me, but you never know. Hopefully we'll get lucky," said Milton, ON resident Filion, who also had to overcome outside posts with Buzz and Western Bayama in the Semi-Final round. "We'll need some points." This is the second time Henry and Filion have been neck-and-neck in the race for the Lampman Cup, which is awarded annually in memory of long time Ontario Jockey Club harness racing publicist Jim Lampman. The duo also battled for top spot in 2012, with Filion capturing what would be the first of back-to-back titles. While he was bested by Filion in 2012, Henry is no stranger to the title, having won the point race in 1996 and 2007 What has changed for Henry this time around is the way he has accumulated points. Three years ago the reinsman was plying his trade at the province's smaller ovals - Grand River Raceway, Hanover Raceway, Clinton Raceway and Western Fair Raceway - but in the fall of 2014 he made the decision to race full-time at Mohawk and Woodbine, where Filion has been a fixture among the top reinsman since relocating from Quebec in 2008. "I wanted to slow down and not drive as much as I used to, just drive four or five days a week instead of seven," said Henry, while admitting that peak OSS season remains a seven-day a week commitment. "In the summer it's pretty much every day anyways, with the Sires Stakes and that. I think the other day was the first day off I had in, it was almost three months," added the 44-year-old reinsman. "It's more in the winter-time, in the winter they only race four days at Woodbine." While they are in a virtual dead-heat in the OSS driver's race, Filion is sitting on a comfortable lead in the Mohawk/Woodbine driver standings with 152 wins, 111 seconds, 113 thirds and earnings of $3,353,366 as of Sept. 21. Henry currently sits fifth, with 83 wins, 92 seconds, 117 thirds and $1,795,318 in earnings. "I had a really good start of the year, it's kind of tailed off a bit at the end, but I can't complain," said the 41-year-old Filion. "It's been a very good year." While Saturday's Championship marks the end of the OSS season for the Grassroots competitors, Filion and Henry will continue to duel through the Oct. 10 Gold Super Finals. Both resinmen have impressive mounts at the Gold level, with Filion the regular pilot for top sophomore pacing filly Wrangler Magic and two-year trotting filly Emoticon Hanover and Henry the regular guide for two-year-old trotting colt division leader Deweylovernleaver and his stablemate Smoke Monkey. While Filion and Henry are duelling on the racetrack Saturday, fans can test their Ontario Sires Stakes knowledge in the Spin & Win Trivia game, where every correct answer earns an OSS prize. In addition, fan arriving early for the Grassroots Championship program will receive a special gift with their program purchase and each program contains a ballot for a Super Final Dining and Wagering package for four. The two-year-old colt and gelding trotters kick off the Grassroots Championship at 7:25 pm and the other seven Championships go behind the Mohawk Racetrack starting gate in Races 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 11. Ontario Horse Racing

Ontario star’s Randy Waples and Trevor Henry will be making the trip to Delaware, Ohio to drive Split The House and Rockin In Heaven, respectively, in the first elimination. This will be the first starter for harness racing driver Trevor Henry in the Little Brown Jug. Corey Callahan will drive Arque Hanover from post #6 in the second elimination. Matt Kakaley will get the call on the Ron Burke trained Paparazzi Hanover. The complete Jug field: $108,320 First Elimination Post – Horse (Trainer/Driver) Morning Line Odds 1. Lost For Words (Brian Brown/David Miller) 2-1 2. Rockin In Heaven (Dr. Ian Moore/Trevor Henry) 4-1 3. Yankee Bounty (Ron Burke/Yannick Gingras) 6-1 4. Dude’s The Man (Jessica Okusko/Corey Callahan) 5-2 5. Trading Up (Tony Alagna/Scott Zeron) 15-1 6. Cooperstown (Ron Burke/Matt Kakaley) 15-1 7. Split The House (Chris Oakes/Randy Waples) 10-1 $108,320 Second Elimination Post – Horse (Trainer/Driver) Morning Line Odds 1. Artspeak (Tony Alagna/Scott Zeron) 5-2 2. Paparazzi Hanover (Ron Burke/Matt Kakaley) 20-1 3. Rise Up Now (Brian Brown/Tim Tetrick) 10-1 4. My Hero Ron (Ron Burke/Yannick Gingras) 4-1 5. Wiggle It Jiggleit (Clyde Francis/Montrell Teague) 4-5 6. Arque Hanover (Casie Coleman/Corey Callahan) 15-1 7. Revenge Shark (Tony Alagna/Brett Miller) 6-1 8. Blood Brother (Jimmy Takter/David Miller) 20-1 $324,960 Second Heat (first four finishers from eliminations) $135,400 Race-Off (if necessary) The 2015 Little Brown Jug presented by Fazoli’s will air nationwide on CBS Sports Network on Thursday, September 24 from 5:00 – 6:30 PM. Race officials have pushed back the start of the 19 race card on Thursday, September 24 to 12:00 Noon. The first elimination of the Little Brown Jug presented by Fazoli’s will go postward at 4:08 PM and he second elimination at 4:31 PM. The top four finishers in the eliminations will come back for the second heat with a 6:13 PM post. Jay Wolf

Not that there is ever a bad time to be racing well, but for Rockin' in Heaven, he's certainly picked a dandy time to get good. The 3-year-old son of Rock N' Roll Heaven looms a player Saturday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the New York Night of Champions (Part I). Four $225,000 sire stakes finals of soph boys and girls, pacers and trotters go as races 5 through 8 (first post 7:10 PM), with each race sponsored by a prominent Empire State breeding farm. Rockin' in Heaven landed post position No. 2 in the last of the quartet, Blue Chip Farms Pace. Dr. Ian Moore, the man behind the likes of Shadow Play and State Treasurer, co-owns (with Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte and Gordon McComb) and trains. The Good Doctor has imported one of Ontario's leading chauffeurs, Trevor Henry, for a rare Yonkers appearance. According to the U.S. Trotting Association's Anne Chunko, Henry has one previous career Westchester work night, a 2010 excursion driving an eight-hole, 90-1 shot (Quantum Cashman) in a NYSS event. So, why is Henry crossing the border Saturday? 'Cause Rockin' in Heaven is good. He enters with three wins in his last four starts, including an 11-1 upset in the $290,000 final of the Empire Breeders Classic (Tioga, life-best 1:50). Henry himself did the recent honors, a wire-to-wire, 1:53 NYSS effort at Batavia where he was parked three-deep making the lead. "He's a nice horse," Henry said en route to Mohawk Thursday night. "He can be lazy and he never wins by much, but he's progressed. "When Ian (Moore) first started with him, he said he couldn't get a lot out of him," Henry said. "I think it wasn't until his win in (June's division of the) Somebeachsomewhere (Mohawk, 1:50.3) that we finally started to see the sort of colt he was." Enough to get his driver to cross customs, at the very least. For the season, Rockin' in Heaven-a $40,000 Harrisburg yearling-has eight wins, four seconds and a third in 15 starts ($310,565). His current form spree began here, sticking his tongue out at the wire in an $84,187 NYSS sire stakes division early last month. Rockin' in Heaven has certainly learned his craft well after a three-win, $14,000-plus season as a frosh. New York Night of Champions (Part II), with four, $225,000 sire stakes finals for the 2-year-olds, goes Saturday, Sept. 26th. This is the first-time in the NOC's 26-season history that it has been a two-night production. Frank Drucker

SEPT. 9, 2015 - Southwind Shania clocked the quickest mile in a quartet of harness racing Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening. In rein to Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry, favourite Southwind Shania fired straight to the front from Post 4 and sailed through fractions of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:26.3 on her way to a 1:56.3 clocking. Dancin Inthe Nude and Northern Prima were three lengths back in second and third. "Hopefully tonight is a step in the right direction for her," said trainer Casie Coleman. "She trained down like a real good filly, I thought like a Gold and maybe open calibre, and things haven't panned out. She's been disappointing so far." Coleman shares ownership of Southwind Shania with her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, ON, Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL and Steve Calhoun of Chatham, ON. Wednesday's victory was the Sportswriter daughter's first in nine starts, with three of them coming in the Grassroots program and two at the Gold Series level. With just one win, one third and one fourth in her Grassroots appearances, Southwind Shania finished short of the cut off for the Grassroots post season. Coleman said the filly will have an opportunity to maintain her forward progress in a few more overnight events before being sold in November. "She is a nice filly, but I don't believe Grand Circuit, so she will be sold in Harrisburg," said the Cambridge resident. Driver Trevor Henry also piloted St Lads Smokin Hot to a win in the final Grassroots division of the evening. Also starting from Post 4, Henry settled St Lads Smokin Hot into third as Noone To Depend On rolled out to a :28.3 opening quarter. Heading for the :58.2 half Henry tipped the fan favourite into the outer lane and St Lads Smokin Hot had taken control before the 1:27.3 three-quarters. From there the filly cruised home to a two length victory in 1:57.2, besting Endless Legacy and Buttermilk Hanover. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON conditions St Lads Smokin Hot for Holland Racing Stable of Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON. In five Grassroots starts the No Pan Intended daughter posted two wins, two thirds and one sixth for a point total of 127, good enough for fifth spot in the division standings. "She's a big filly that only gives as much as she has to, but she is game and they will know she is there next week," said Henry, who will steer the filly in one of two $20,000 Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 17. The largest margin of victory on the evening went to Divas Image, who hit the wire 10 and one-half lengths ahead of the third division field in a sharp 1:56.4. Stonebridge Pearl and Tempus Seelster followed the fan favourite down the stretch into second and third. Guelph, ON resident Paul MacDonell crafted the win, the filly's second of the season, for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and his partners Bannon Stables of Napanee, ON and Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB. The partners also bred and raised the daughter of Bettor's Delight and Rocknroll Diva. "She is a real sweetheart of a filly that we bred because we really believed in her mother, but she was injured badly at two," explained Steacy. "Although she's small, Diva has a great gait and lots of brains," the trainer continued. "We have raced her from off the pace in most of her races and I think it has allowed her to develop into a very nice filly who should go into the Semi-final very brave." Divas Image finished the regular season with one win, two seconds, two thirds and one fifth in six Grassroots starts, earning 129 points and putting her in fourth spot in the standings. The other $18,000 Grassroots division was captured by Im In Luv who tipped out of the outer lane turning for home and paced under the wire a one length victor in 1:58.1. Pocket-sitter Glorious Delight finished second and the leader of the outer lane parade, Specialcelebration, finished third. "She got a perfect trip and she responded well," said Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson, who guided the filly to her second Grassroots victory. "Semi-finals next." Jamieson's father Carl of Rockwood, ON trains Im In Luv and shares ownership of the Badlands Hanover daughter with Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON and George Harrison of Preston, England. In six Grassroots outings the filly posted two wins, two fourths and two fifths for a total of 126 points and sixth spot in the standings. Wednesday's event completed the regular season events for all eight Grassroots divisions. The top 20 point earners from each two-year-old division will battle in Semi-final action at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 17 and the three-year-olds on Sept. 18. The top five finishers from each Semi-final will make their way back to Mohawk on Sept. 26 for the Grassroots Championships. The Ontario Sires Stakes program makes one more stop at Grand River Raceway, a Gold leg for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Monday, Sept. 21. Ontario Horse Racing

Deweylovernleaver heads to Friday's eliminations for the William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at Mohawk Racetrack with a three-race win streak, not to mention the admiration of trainer/co-owner Chris Beaver. "He could be as good as anything I've trained, from what I can tell right now," Beaver said. "He does it all very easy. He moves very easy; he's not pushing himself to do what he's doing. And he's very easy on himself in the barn. "He doesn't do anything wrong. He's a very complete horse all the way around." Deweylovernleaver, who has won three of five races for owners Beaver, Synerco Ventures Inc. and Leo Fleming, is in the first of two seven-horse Wellwood eliminations on Friday. He will be driven by Trevor Henry and is 9-1 on the morning line. Brooklyn Hill, who has finished second to Southwind Frank in three consecutive starts, including the Peter Haughton Memorial, is the 9-5 favorite in the division. David Miller will drive the colt for trainer Jonas Czernyson. Interestingly, Millstream Inc., which is Czernyson and his wife Christine, is the breeder of Deweylovernleaver. Southwind Frank is the 1-5 favorite in the second Wellwood elimination. He has won six of seven races this year for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. Beaver-trained Smoke Monkey is also in the second division. He is 20-1. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the C$373,000 final on Sept. 19 at Mohawk. Deweylovernleaver is a son of stallion Deweycheatumnhowe out of the mare Solovesick. Beaver bought the colt for $12,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. He finished third in his debut and fourth in his next start, when he was beaten by only a half-length despite racing on the outside for most of the mile. Since then, Deweylovernleaver has won three in a row on the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit. "He wasn't getting great trips his first few starts; Trevor was taking it easy with him off the gate," Beaver said. "He had a tendency to grab on a little bit, so he was teaching him to race off the pace. His last few races he's gotten right into it and had it his way." Deweylovernleaver, who has earned $88,046 in purses, was scratched from a division of the Champlain Stakes on Sept. 4 at Mohawk because of illness. "We didn't want to take a chance," Beaver said. Smoke Monkey, a son of Majestic Son out of the mare Nashotah, has two wins in seven starts and is owned by Synerco Ventures. He went off stride in two consecutive Ontario Sire Stakes races, but has since posted a win, two seconds and a third in four starts. He has earned $46,434 overall. "We had a little trouble with him going in a straight line," Beaver said about Smoke Monkey, who was purchased under the name Sal's Son for $9,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. "He was kind of a snaky horse, but very talented. I've got him rigged straight right now and he's staying off himself and trotting right now." Beaver was looking at a different yearling when he spotted Smoke Monkey at the sale. "I was looking at something and he walked by and caught my attention," Beaver said. "I watched his video and the video was really good. The dam hadn't produced anything yet, but I saw it was a different cross than the mare had seen before. I just liked the looks of him. I wouldn't say he's a fantastic looking horse, but he's better than average." In addition to the two Wellwood eliminations, Mohawk on Friday hosts two eliminations for the Elegantimage Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters. Mission Brief is the 1-5 morning line favorite in the second division, with Gingras driving for Burke, and Wild Honey is the 8-5 choice in the first division, with Gingras at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the C$404,000 final on Sept. 19. Mission Brief, who finished second in the Hambletonian Stakes, has won five of seven races this year. Wild Honey has won four of nine races this season, including the Hambletonian Oaks. Beaver's Smokinmombo is 8-1 in the first elimination. A daughter of Explosive Matter-Horizontal Mombo, she won four of her first six starts this year before finishing fifth in her Hambletonian Oaks elimination and seventh in the final. She has a win and a third in three starts since then. "She was getting a little sore in a stifle, getting a little out of rhythm," Beaver said. "I think she lost her confidence a little bit. She's very sound now, but I had to snug the hobbles back tight on her to get her confidence back. It took her a few trainings and starts to have it come back together for her. "We drew pretty tough (Friday). Mission Brief isn't in there, but everything else is pretty good in that race." Following are the fields for the Wellwood eliminations in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line odds. Elimination One: 1. Deep Impact, Steve Condren, Brad Maxwell, 5-1; 2. Frankly Speaking, Randy Waples, Mark Steacy, 12-1; 3. Deweylovernleaver, Trevor Henry, Chris Beaver, 9-1; 4. Will Take Charge, James MacDonald, John Bax, 7-1; 5. Brooklyn Hill, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson, 9-5; 6. Tony Soprano, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 9-2; 7. Lean Hanover, Paul MacDonell, Mike Keeling, 3-1. Elimination Two: 1. Im A Mate, Don Dupont, Marie Dupont, 20-1; 2. Willyorwonthe, Mike Saftic, William Megens, 15-1; 3. Southwind Frank, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 1-5; 4. Marion Marauder, John Campbell, Mike Keeling, 6-1; 5. Adored By Masses, Sylvain Filion, Erv Miller, 10-1; 6. Zlatan, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 10-1; 7. Smoke Monkey, Trevor Henry, Chris Beaver, 20-1. Following are the fields for the Elegantimage eliminations in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line odds. Elimination One: 1. Wild Honey, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-5; 2. Juanitas Fury, Paul MacDonell, John Bax, 15-1; 3. Tymal Illbthere, Mario Baillargeon, Ervin Abdulov, 20-1; 4. Gatka Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Ron Burke, 7-1; 5. Smokinmombo, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver, 8-1; 6. Elegant Serenity, Roger Mayotte, Roger Mayotte, 7-2; 7. Bee The Queen, John Campbell, George Ducharme, 15-1; 8. Muscle Baby Doll, Doug McNair, Tony O'Sullivan, 5-2. Elimination Two: 1. Mission Brief, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 1-5; 2. Speak To Me, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 5-1; 3. Danielle Hall, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson, 10-1; 4. Magic Marker, Tim Tetrick, R. Nifty Norman, 15-1; 5. Stubborn Belle, Paul MacDonell, John Bax, 20-1; 6. Piscean, Jack Moiseyev, Clark Beelby, 20-1; 7. You're Majestic, Sylvain Filion, Tony O'Sullivan, 15-1; 8. Amoureuse Hanover, Mike Saftic, Brian Peterson, 20-1. Ken Weingartner 

Batavia, NY---There was no doubt who the best New York bred 3-year-old colt competing at Batavia Downs was on Sunday (Aug. 30) after Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) tied the track record of 1:51.2 for sex and gait in winning his division of the $120,400 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS). After taking an easy lead from post one, Betting Exchange (Jason Bartlett) extended his advantage to two lengths over The Spy (John Cummings Jr.) at the quarter as post time favorite Artistic Major (Jim Morrill Jr.) got away poorly and was gapped a distant third. The leader was cruising along untested until Morrill rushed Artistic Major up by half-time and alongside Betting Exchange into the turn. The challenge continued up the backside and to three-quarters in 1:24 but it was there the race was decided. Bartlett gave Betting Exchange his head and he simply paced away from the field. At the wire he was 10 lengths the best in 1:51.2, pacing the back half in a dazzling :55 flat. The winning time tied the track record for 3-year-old pacing colts set by All Bets Off in 2014 and was also just one-fifth off the all-time track record of 1:51.1 set by Aracache Hanover in 2011. After the race, Jason Bartlett commented "He raced super. I let him roll on the turn and he opened up. He's really a nice one." It was the second win in 14 starts for Betting Exchange ($4.50) and it pushed his 2015 earnings to $318,475 for owners Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz and Tom Fanning, who also does the training. In the first division, Rockin In Heaven (Rock N Roll Heaven-Tropic's Beachgirl) overcame a fast battle for the lead and two subsequent challenges to hold on for an impressive victory. Off the wings, no one played nice when Americanprimetime (Jason Bartlett), K-Rock (Matt Kakaley) and Rockin In Heaven (Trevor Henry) went three-abreast to argue for the lead. The trio motored up the backstretch and eventually seated with Rockin In Heaven taking the lead in a speedy :26.3. Positions remained unchanged to the half when Americanprimetime pulled first over from third to go after the leader. With Americanprimetime outside prompting Rockin In Heaven past three-quarters in 1:24.1, K-Rock was sitting the perfect trip behind the pair waiting for his chance. When they hit the head of the lane it was obvious Rockin In Heaven had put away Americanprimetime but then had to fight off K-Rock who made his way into the passing lane. This was accomplished with a strong finishing kick as Rockin In Heaven won in 1:53 by a half-length. "I wanted to get him out of the starting gate and to the lead. He dug in well when I called upon him" said Trevor Henry in the winner's circle. It was the eighth win in 15 starts for Rockin In Heaven ($2.60) and it boosted his earnings to $310,565 for 2015. The colt is owned by Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte, Gordon McComb and Dr. Ian Moore, who also trains the horse. There were two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior Series "A" also on the card that went for a combined $30,000. The first event was won by the heavily favored Masterson (Bettor's Delight-Tug River Princess) in 1:54 and it was the fourth straight win for the gelding owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock. Masterson ($3.20) was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Tracy Brainard. In the second split, Pop Icon (Bettor's Delight-Pop Queen) overcame a slow start and breaking horses to win in 1:56.3. It was the second Excel "A" win this year for Pop Icon ($11.80) who is owned by Ken Weckstein, Richard Rubin and Gary Messenger, who also trains the horse. Jim Morrill Jr. did the driving. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Sept. 2) with post time set at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

AUGUST 29, 2015 - Georgian Downs wrapped up their 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes season on Saturday evening with four impressive Grassroots performances from the harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies. Stonebridge Quest paced the quickest mile of the four $18,000 divisions, rocketing around the Georgian Downs oval to a one and one-half length victory in 1:51.4. The Camluck daughter and driver Trevor Henry powered away from Post 7 as the heavy favourites and controlled the pace from start to finish, ringing up fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:23.3 on their way to the win. Warrawee Qually and Brown Brinny finished second and third. Arthur, ON resident Henry engineered Stonebridge Quest's third Grassroots win of the season for trainer Andrew McCabe and owners Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph, ON and Angie Stiller of Arva, ON. The Grassroots Championship winner at two, Stonebridge Quest currently sits second in the division standings with 150 points, assuring her of a berth in the Semi-finals. The top 20 point earners following the last regular season event, at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 7, will compete in the Sept. 18 Semi-finals, also at Mohawk, and the top five finishers from each Semi-final will return to the Campbellville oval for the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 26. In addition to the win with Stonebridge Quest, Henry also piloted Evas Girl to victory in the last Grassroots division. Evas Girl also lined up behind the number seven on the Georgian Downs starting gate, but Henry opted for a different strategy with the Rambaran daughter, easing away from the start and landing on the rail in fifth. From that vantage point Henry watched Nationalize lead the field to a :26.4 quarter and a :55.3 half and then decided to send Evas Girl into the outer lane. When the fillies leading the charge up the outer lane failed to make any gains on the leader, Henry sent Evas Girl out three-wide and the filly had a short lead by the 1:24.2 three-quarters which she had increased to five lengths by the finish. The 1:53.2 clocking was a personal best for Evas Girl. I Wonder Why and Windsun Chanel completed the top three. Isaac Waxman of Dundas, ON trains Evas Girl for Aaron Waxman of Hamilton, ON, Alan Alber of Thornhill, ON and Crawford Partners LLC of Syracuse, NY. In three Grassroots starts the filly now has two wins and one third for a total of 112 points and a share of fourth spot in the standings. Division leader Dublin Rose captured her third Grassroots trophy in the third division at Georgian Downs on Saturday. The Major In Art daughter delivered an impressive effort that saw her pressing pacesetter Machmeter for most of the mile before pulling away to a one-half length victory in the stretch. Much Adoo and Twin B Honour finished second and third in the 1:53 mile. Purchased by Finksburg, MD resident Jerry Clark from breeder Allen Tomlinson of Mason, MI following her Aug. 14 Grassroots start, Saturday's outing was Dublin Rose's first from trainer Dave Menary's Rockton, ON barn. Driver Robert Shepherd of Cambridge, ON steered the fan favourite to the win. With three wins and one second in the first four Grassroots events, Dublin Rose has accumulated 175 points. The other Grassroots division saw Lovely Erin earn the first Grassroots trophy of her career with a hard fought effort that saw her pressed through every step of the mile. The Sportswriter daughter hit the wire a neck in front of Got Some Spark and War Filly in 1:54.1 to secure the win. London, ON resident Nick Steward piloted Lovely Erin to the win for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle, ON and owner 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, ON. Third in her Grassroots debut at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 14, Lovely Erin has 62 points and will be looking to pad that total in the last regular season event. In addition to the four Grassroots divisions, Georgian Downs fans were also treated to the $100,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot, which was captured by Rockin With Dewey in 1:53.2. Bob McClure of Orangeville, ON crafted the win for trainer Benoit Baillargeon of Rockwood, ON and his partner Diane Ingham of Mount Pleasant, ON. Ontario Horse Racing

AUGUST 14, 2015 - Grand River Raceway hosted Ontario Sires Stakes Fan Celebration Night on Friday and fans that placed their trust in harness racing driver Trevor Henry did a whole lot of celebrating. The Arthur, ON resident won a pair of two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series divisions, finished second in the other Gold division, and won three overnight races on the 11 race program. "I haven't driven there in a while, so it was nice to have a good night," said Henry, who switched his focus from driving at the province's smaller ovals to driving at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks in 2014. Henry kicked off his evening with a runner-up finish in the first $70,000 Gold division, ringing up fractions of :28.3, :59 and 1:29.1 with Smoke Monkey before being caught in the stretch by Dunvegan Don. Fan favourite Adored By Masses finished third. "He's a nice colt. They had a lot of problems with him steering, he would always run in on the turns and he wasn't easy to drive, but Chris has got him figured out now," said Henry, who piloted Smoke Monkey for trainer Chris Beaver of Delaware, OH and Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON. "Tonight was the best he ever drove so he'll probably only get better from now on." Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair piloted Dunvegan Don to his first victory, halting the Grand River teletimer at 1:58.2. Herbert Holland of Milton, ON owns and trains the Cornaro Dasolo colt, who finished third in the Aug. 7 Gold Leg at Mohawk Racetrack after a pair of disappointing outings in the first two Legs. "That horse has been quick since the start of the year, but was a little choppy gaited," explained McNair. "The last two starts he's been almost perfect. Herb has done a good job on him." The Trevor Henry show got under way in earnest in the second race when he piloted Ground Shaker to a win in a claiming event and then went back to the paddock to climb into the race bike behind two-time Gold Series winner Deweylovernleaver. Starting from Post 2 Henry fired the colt to the front and controlled the tempo through a :29.3 quarter, 1:00 half and 1:30.1 three-quarters. Henry then hit the accelerator and Deweylovernleaver accelerated down the stretch to a one and one-quarter length victory in a track record equalling 1:58.1. Fan favourite Tony Soprano settled for second and Unitaliano BI completed the top three. "He didn't have to work too hard, he kind of got everything his own way, but he trotted home a last quarter in :28," said the reinsman, adding that he feels the colt has not yet tapped his full potential. "He's a nice horse to drive and he doesn't do anything wrong." Chris Beaver trains Deweylovernleaver for his partners Synerco Ventures Inc. and Leo Fleming of Campbellville, ON. The Deweycheatumnhowe son boasts a record of three wins and one fourth in Gold Series action and currently sits atop the two-year-old trotting colt division standings with 158 points. In the final Gold Series division Henry also lined up behind Post 2 with Mass Balance and opted for the same strategy. Taking early command, Henry and Mass Balance got away with a :30 quarter, 1:01.1 half and 1:32 three-quarters on their way to a 2:01.2 victory. Nofear Blue Chip was one and one-quarter lengths back in second, and favourite Will Take Charge was two lengths to the rear in third. Synerco Ventures Inc. also owns Mass Balance, who is trained by Rob Fellows of Rockwood. The Muscle Mass son started his season in the Grassroots program where he was a winner in the July 11 season opener at Georgian Downs. Moving up to the Gold Series level Mass Balance finished third at Georgian Downs on July 21 and fifth at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 7. "He's a nice colt," said Henry, adding that he appreciates the investment Synerco Ventures has made in the Ontario Sires Stakes program in recent years. "I drive a lot for Synerco Ventures, Costa (Athanassoulias), I've got to know him over the last couple years and I've driven quite a few horses for him." The reinsman completed his five-win evening in the seventh and eighth races, both claiming events, with Tomei Seelster and Delcrest Flexyhall. In addition to the Gold Series divisions and the driving clinic put on by Henry, 100 fans were treated to Ontario Sires Stakes t-shirts autographed by first-crop sire Big Jim and Hall of Fame stallion Camluck, who passed away recently at the age of 28, and all fans enjoyed the creativity on display in the Horse Name Costume Game. After some difficult deliberations judges Gayle O'Brien from DAVE-FM, Jenna Knox from Grand River Raceway's Booking Department and driver Ryan Holliday selected one adult and one 15 and under winner. In the adult category Becky Koeslag got the nod for her representation of Gold Series competitor Bee In Charge and Paula Turnbull was the judge's choice in the youth category for her Coal Black Shadow costume. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Grand River Raceway next Wednesday, Aug. 19 with two $105,000 Gold divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

AUGUST 7, 2015 - Deweylovernleaver eked out a second straight Gold Series harness racing victory by less than a length at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening. The two-year-old trotting colt and driver Trevor Henry hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of Dewey Dont Cheat and Zlatan in the second of three $70,000 Gold Series divisions. The fan favourites controlled the tempo for much of the mile and halted the Mohawk teletimer at 1:57.1, a new personal best for the young trotter. "I think he is a little bit lazy," said trainer Chris Beaver of the trotter's narrow margin of victory. "He can grab onto the bit pretty good, but once he gets into the mile he does seem like he only gives you what he needs to." Deweylovernleaver earned his first Ontario Sires Stakes trophy in the second Gold Leg at Georgian Downs on July 21, reaching the wire just a head in front of Will Take Charge in 1:57.4. In the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk on July 13 the Deweycheatumnhowe son was a hard-closing fourth, and in his only other outing he finished third in a two-year-old conditioned event at Mohawk on July 2. A $12,000 purchase out of the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the colt has already accumulated $80,080 in earnings. "He's always been real good, he's been a pretty easy horse to train, and he's always shown a lot of talent," said Beaver, who shares ownership of Deweylovernleaver with Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON and Leo Fleming of Campbellville, ON. "I thought back in February that he was the best colt I had." Based on the colt's performance in early season training miles, Beaver and his partners left the door open for Deweylovernleaver to tackle the best in North America this fall. "He's well staked," said the Delaware, Ohio-based trainer. "I guess we'll take that as we go, but he's staked to the Wellwood, and the Breeders Crown, and I believe even the Matron, so he's got lots. I thought he was good all along, we staked him well." Before he gets takes a run at any open stake events, Deweylovernleaver - and his two-year-old trotting colt peers - will make his fourth Gold Series start at Grand River Raceway on Aug. 14. Deweylovernleaver All three colts that captured Gold Series trophies at Mohawk on Friday had already enjoyed success in the Ontario Sires Stakes this season. A winner in the season opener, Adored By Masses returned to the Mohawk winner's circle with a late sprint that powered him past pacesetters Smoke Monkey and V For Victory. In rein to Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion, Adored By Masses hit the wire two and one-half lengths on top in 1:57.4. Erv Miller conditions Adored By Masses for Anthony Lombardi of Morris, IL, Paymaq Racing of Long Grove, IL and Mystical Marker Farms LLC of Dyer, IN. In addition to his July 13 victory, the son of Muscle Mass and Armbro Adored posted a runner-up result in the July 21 Gold event and won two conditioned events, the first at Pocono Downs on June 21 and the second at Georgian Downs on July 4. Adored By Masses With two wins and a second in Gold Series action, Adored By Masses leads the two-year-old trotting colt division with 125 points. He is followed by Tony Soprano, the winner of the third division on Friday, with 112 points, and Deweylovernleaver with 108 points. Tony Soprano posted the quickest mile of the three Gold Series divisions on Friday, sailing along on the front end to a one and one-quarter length victory over Will Take Charge and Dunvegan Don in a personal best 1:56.4. Milton resident Randy Waples engineered the Kadabra son's second straight Gold victory for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Mardon Stables of Loretto, ON, Paradox Farm Inc. of Caledon East, ON and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. In his only other start, the July 13 Gold opener at Mohawk, Tony Soprano finished third. Tony Soprano The talented two-year-old trotting colts have two events remaining on their regular season calendar, August 14 at Grand River Raceway and Sept. 29 at Mohawk. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Aug. 10 with five Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

Doug McIntosh missed out on a piece of the eight-foot long cake, but the Wheatley resident still left the harness racing meeting at Dresden Raceway on Canada Day in a celebratory mood after Cincinnati Miss delivered an impressive victory in her $18,000 Grassroots division. "It's now one race at a time, but she kind of made us believers, and I'm very, very happy," said McIntosh. "It worked out great." Sent off as the narrow favourites over Allies Gift and Luc Ouellette, Cincinnati Miss and driver Trevor Henry sprinted away from Post 4 and took early control of the race. As the pair rolled through fractions of :29, :57.3 and 1:28 with Allies Gift tucked in behind them, McIntosh worried the tempo might be too quick, but Cincinnati Miss found another gear in the stretch and pulled away to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:58.2. "I was a little concerned that the fractions were pretty heavy," admitted McIntosh, who shares ownership of Cincinnati Miss with Ivey Pharm Stable of Cincinnati, Ohio. "But you know what, she made us proud in the stretch, she just dug in and got the job done, and within two-fifths (of a second) of the track record." The win improved the Kadabra daughter's sophomore record to two wins, two seconds and one third in five starts and boosted her season earnings to $25,160. The consistent young trotter will make her next start in the July 14 Grassroots event at Georgian Downs. "I can't say enough for Bob's team, they've done a great job," said McIntosh, who retired from training horses in the spring and handed care of Cincinnati Miss off to his brother Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON. "Daryl (Wayne) that looks after her is a very, very efficient groom, she's had a lot of experience and she knows what to do. She's very, very proud." McIntosh was also pleased to see the enthusiastic crowd gathered at Dresden Raceway to celebrate Canada Day and the Grassroots trotting fillies. In addition to Cincinnati Miss, the fans greeted six other fillies as they returned triumphant to the Dresden winner's circle. The aptly named Summers Jewel kicked things off with a 1:59.2 score in the first Grassroots division, circling out three-wide to claim a two length victory over Pointe Of Inquiry and JLs Too Hot Taj. Mario Baillargeon piloted the fan favourite to her first win of the season for his brother, trainer Benoit Baillargeon of Rockwood, ON, who also owns the daughter of Angus Hall. In the second division Hope Rises tracked down pacesetter Misslarissa heading for the three-quarters and accelerated away to a three and one-half length victory in 2:01. Fan favourite Lady Caterina settled for second, with Misslarissa hanging on for third. Sylvain Filion drove the Windsong Espoir daughter to her first win of the season for trainer Kelly Goodwin and owner-breeders Deborah Spike-Pierce of Lexington, KY and Madelon Spike of Jerome, MI. Local filly Judy The Beauty, owned by Randy Zhok of Dover Centre, had fans on their feet in the stretch of the third division, but finished one-quarter length behind winner Flexceptional in the 2:01 mile. Dave Tyrrell trains Flexceptional for Michael Casalino Jr. of Freehold, NJ and Anthony MacDonald piloted the Federal Flex daughter to the win. Tymal Fireitup rounded out the top three. La Bella Rosa's late sprint in the fourth division paid dividends, as she hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of Giona and fan favourite Kaddy. The Holiday Road filly gave driver Sylvain Filion his second win of the afternoon. Filion engineered the 1:59.4 win for trainer Reaume Bouvier and owners Bella Fortuna Stable of Laval, QC and Patricia McGuirl of Guelph, ON. Kadabra daughter Wing Flash displayed an impressive turn of foot in the fifth division, sailing along on the front end to a seven and one-half length victory in 1:58.2. Sheguindah and Stay In Touch completed the top three. Trainer-driver Wayne Henry of Arthur, ON shares ownership of Wing Flash with Daylon Farms of Komoka, ON. The final Grassroots division saw Trevor Henry make his second appearance in the Dresden winner's circle, guiding Muscle Mass daughter Sumthintotalkabout to a three and one-quarter length win for trainer Stephen Bossence of London, ON and his partner Stephen Palermo of Brampton, ON. Ill Stay Here and fan favourite Oh My Magic finished second and third in the 1:59.3 mile. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on July 14, with each of the Canada Day winners hoping to add a few more points to their total in pursuit of a berth in the post season. Ontario Horse Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 6 - Dudes The Man and Rockin In Heaven scored victories in their respective $78,767 divisions of the harness racing Somebeachsomewhere Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 19 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions of "The Beach." For many of the sophomores, they were using the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes as a final prep for next week's Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. In the first division, Dudes The Man and Corey Callahan were first to the line in 1:50.2 to win at 6-1 odds. A son of American Ideal, Dudes The Man was able to get situated in fifth early, while 60-1 shot Penji Hanover cut out an opening-quarter of :26. Oneisalonelynumber circled around Penji Hanover to take the lead in the second-quarter, but was quickly confronted first up by Maxdaddy Blue Chip. However, Maxdaddy Blue Chip made a break at the half-mile pole just as Dudes The Man was moved to the outside, which left Callahan and his charge first up around the final turn. Dudes The Man and Oneisalonelynumber went toe-to-toe around the final turn and posted a three-quarter time of 1:23. In the stretch, Dudes The Man was filled with pace and quickly separated himself from his rivals en route to a length and three-quarter victory in 1:50.3. Penji Hanover came back on late to finish second, while Trading Up finished third. Following the race, trainer Howard Okusko talked about the equipment change he made with Dudes The Man going into the Somebeachsomewhere. "Paul MacDonell drove him last week and he thought around the last turn he lost a couple lengths, he thought maybe slipping or touching a knee," said Okusko. "We put a pair of aluminum (shoes) on him, opened him up a little bit and he's a fast colt he just has to get a little luck." Dudes The Man is owned by M and L of Delaware LLC and Victoria Dickinson. The son of American Ideal now has two wins from three starts this season and four victories in his career. The Somebeachsomewhere victory pushes his career bankroll to $89,934. Dudes The Man, who is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup, returned $14.30 to win. Dudes The Man In the second division, Rockin In Heaven powered by in the final-eighth to win in 1:50.3 at odds of 11-1. Driven by Trevor Henry, Rockin In Heaven showed early speed and was able to touch down on the front at the opening-quarter in :26.4. Henry allowed Go Daddy Go to clear in the second-quarter and was quickly shuffled back to third when Drachan Hanover overtook the lead at the half in :54.1. After Drachan Hanover reached the three-quarter pole in 1:22.1, Go Daddy Go and Rockin In Heaven edged to the outside to take a shot at the leader in the stretch. Rockin In Heaven had the most pace in the lane and charged by his rivals to win by a length and a quarter in 1:50.3. Go Daddy Go finished second, while Drachan Hanover fought to the wire to finish third. A son of Rock N Roll Heaven, Rockin In Heaven was one of six starters in the Somebeachsomewhere that was not made eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. "He finished his season off very well last year as a two-year-old and we staked him kind of heavily," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore following the race. "He trained down very well this spring until he got near racing speed and he just sort of bottomed out and I took him out of the last payment of the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace." Rockin In Heaven is owned by Moore, Douglas Polley, Francois Lecomte and Gordan McComb. He now has four wins from five starts this season and seven triumphs in his career. "I don't like being proven wrong," said Moore. "But I guess I'm proven wrong tonight and I'm liking it maybe too." Rockin In Heaven now has career earnings of $77,215 and paid $24.30 to win. Rockin In Heaven Many of the Somebeachsomewhere starters will return next Saturday (June 13) for the eliminations of the Pepsi North America Cup. The $1 million NA Cup final will take place on Saturday, June 20. Mark McKelvie

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2015 - Everything went according to plan for driver Trevor Henry and three-year-old trotting colt Olympic Son as the duo captured the first Gold Series Leg of the 2015 season at the harness racing meeting at The Raceway at Western Fair District on Wednesday evening. Starting from Post 3 in the $52,500 contest, Henry sent Olympic Son directly to the front and the colt cruised along unchallenged to a two and one half length victory in 1:58.2. Luck O The Irish and fan favourite Covert Operative finished second and third. "I kind of wanted to be on the front with him," said Henry of the Majestic Son colt. "I know he's good on a half - I won at Hanover with him last year - so that's kind of where I wanted to be." A two-time winner at the Grassroots level last season, Olympic Son is trained by Paul Reid for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The second division saw local favourite El Diablo Hall match the 1:58.2 clocking, sailing under the wire four and one-half lengths ahead of Namesmuscle and Concept. El Diablo Hall is trained by Anthony Montini for London's Dale Hunter, Rick Podolinsky of Alvinston, Albina Montini of Acton and Paul Giammichele of Burlington. The win marked the first start of the season for Windsong Espoir son El Diablo Hall, who was the Grassroots Final runner-up at two. Lightly rated Winning Wizard and driver Paul MacDonell conjured up a win in the third division, reeling in the favourites down the stretch to claim the 1:57.1 victory. Favourite Hemi Seelster finished one-quarter length back in second with Alacrity rounding out the top three. Richard "Nifty" Norman conditions Winning Wizard and Neven Botica of Perth, Australia owns the gelded son of Kadabra, who was making his first appearance in an Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle. Fan favourite Rubber Duck took home the final Gold Series trophy of the evening, halting the teletimer at 1:57.3 in his Ontario Sires Stakes debut. Platoon Seelster and Jayport All Muscle completed the triactor. Sylvain Filion engineered the win for trainer Julie Walker and owners Blair and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, AB. The 1:57.3 win established a new personal best for the son of Muscle Mass. The three-year-old trotting colts make their second Gold Series stop at Mohawk Racetrack on June 30, while Ontario Sires Stakes action races back to The Raceway at Western Fair District this Friday, May 29. As part of Friday's Molson Pace night, Ontario's exciting three-year-old pacing colts will warm up the crowd in three $70,000 Gold Series divisions before the country's top aged pacers take the track in the evening's $150,000 finale. In addition to the outstanding racing - highlighted on the large trackside video board - fans can enter to win prizes, try their luck at four guaranteed pool wagers, and join the Molson Party on the Patio. Post time for Friday's festivities is 7:15 pm. Ontario Horse Racing - Check site here - www.ontariohorseracing.caF

Clinton -- Two years ago, James MacDonald was winning Clinton Raceways' annual harness racing drivers challenge heading into the final race when Trevor Henry pulled off a last second victory. MacDonald got his revenge a year ago, winning his first title with a decisive victory over Jody Jamieson. Henry was third. On Sunday, May 31, the trio, along with five other top reinsmen, will suit up against each other again as the 35th annual Drivers Challenge hits the track in support of the Clinton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. "Legions are having a tough time financially across the province. Every cause is a good one, but we think this will be a nice tie-in for us," said Clinton Raceway general manager Ian Fleming. Though it's a fun, relaxed atmosphere in which all proceeds of the day, including the drivers' fees, will go to the Legion, MacDonald said the drivers don't take the competition lightly. "Everyone's really competitive," he said. "You put a bunch of egos in together and one's a winner and you're going to get people trying pretty hard. There's no favours there, that's for sure." Henry, a finalist for the O'Brien Award for Canada's driver of the year in 2014, said pride is on the line. "It's always nice to have the bragging rights," Henry said, "But it's just a lot of fun. It's a good day out." The Drivers Challenge will pit Clinton's top three drivers of 2014 -- Henry, Ryan Holliday and Bruce Richardson-- against MacDonald, Jamieson, Doug McNair and Mike Saftic from the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit and Canada's leading dash winner, Alfie Carroll, who turned 30 in early May, and is leading the nation with nearly 200 wins already in 2015. For the first time in its long history, the Drivers Challenge is being held at the beginning, rather than at the end of the season, to make room for the eighth edition of Clinton Raceway's biannual Legends Day classic that will close out the track's 16-race season on Sept. 6 in support of the Clinton Public Hospital. Henry, long the king of Ontario's smaller tracks and now a regular fixture on the WEG circuit, said he's a big fan of Clinton Raceway. "It's just good to go there and give back to the town of Clinton," Henry said. "They do a lot of good there. It's a good town and a nice track and a good spot." MacDonald said he likes making the trip to Clinton because the Drivers Challenge usually draws a huge crowd and, "the people there seem to appreciate it and they put on a good show." MacDonald currently ranks a close second on Canada's driver earnings list with over $1.35 million made in 2015. McNair is a close third ($1.23 million), following by Henry in fifth ($1.09 million), Jamieson in sixth ($980,000) and Carroll in eighth ($890,000). In the wins department, after Carroll, McNair currently ranks sixth in the nation with 90 wins, followed by MacDonald in seventh (88) and Henry tied for ninth (80). The eight reinsmen participating in the Drivers Challenge have more than 26,300 career wins between them and combined career earnings of around $300 million.     Jessica Carnochan

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 20 - Three-year-old trotters were on display Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack in a trio of Tie Silk harness racing series first leg divisions. A group of 23 sophomore trotting colts and geldings were split into three $15,000 divisions for the first round of the Tie Silk. The trotters not only had to battle with each other Monday evening, but also heavy winds blowing in their face down the lane. In the first division, the Pennsylvania invader Great Magic was victorious in 1:58.3. Driven by Trevor Henry, Great Magic grabbed the early lead and would face his first challenger down the backstretch in the form of Raising Richard and trainer/driver Eddie Green. Raising Richard would be unable to get by the leader and would eventually make a break nearing the three-quarter pole. After putting away the first up challenger, Great Magic open up several lengths on his rivals in the lane and trotted on to a 3 ¼ length victory. Guscrest got up for second, while Amityville Lindy overcame a pair of breaks to finish third. A son of Kadabra, Great Magic shipped up north from the Meadows for the Tie Silk and into the care of trainer Paul Reid for owner Robert Key. The sophomore trotter came into Monday evening's contest with three wins in his last four starts. Great Magic, who did not win a race in two starts as a rookie, now has a 2015 record of four wins from nine starts. His earnings now exceed $44,000. Great Magic paid $6.40 to win. Tarot and driver Randy Waples scored a 1:56.4 victory as the 7/5 favourite in the evening's second division. A son of Taurus Dream, Tarot trotted out to the early lead, while Arrakis was to his outside around the opening turn. Waples would make a give and go move by allowing Arrakis to clear in the second-quarter, but circled back to the lead with Tarot. The favourite would look strong around the final turn and reach the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. In the stretch, Tarot was under no pressure and trotted home to win by a comfortable two lengths over Hemi Seelster. In Secret, the 9/5 second choice, finished third. Tarot, who is trained by Dave Tyrrell for owner Michael Casalino Jr, failed to win a race in 11 starts last season, but the gelding's luck has turned right around this year. The Tyrrell trainee now has five wins from 9 starts and earnings of over $46,000 in 2015. A $2 win ticket on Tarot returned $4.80. In the third and final division, Waples would pick up his second Tie Silk victory of the night with 1/9 shot Covert Operative. The heavy favourite got away in third and would trot along in that position until about the midway point. Covert Operative and Waples came first up around the final turn to challenge the leader Duh Bubbees. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:29.3, the two trotters would come off the final turn and battle it out down the stretch. Duh Bubbees tried his best to fend off the heavy choice in the lane, but Covert Operative would ultimately overtake the lead and prevail by a length in 1:59.2 Its Huw You Know, the longest shot on the board at 45/1, finished third. A son of Deweycheatumnhowe, Covert Operative is trained by Per Henrisken for owners Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc. and Asa Farm. The gelding trotter came into Monday night's Tie Silk opening leg with two wins from three starts this season. Covert Operative now has a career bankroll of $32,650. The Henriksen trainee paid $2.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Tie Silk series, the three-year-old colt and gelding trotters had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2014. The second leg of the Tie Silk will take place next Monday night (April 27). Changes to Mohawk qualifying schedule The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to inform harness racing people of upcoming changes to the Mohawk qualifying schedule. Beginning on Monday, April 27, two qualifying sessions will be held each week at Mohawk Racetrack. Qualifiers will take place every Monday and Friday until the end of May. Starting in June, the qualifying schedule will shift to Tuesdays and Fridays. Two-year-old baby races will be added to the qualifying lineup beginning on Saturday, June 6. Baby races will take place each Saturday, except June 20, until July 4. Post time for all qualifying sessions is 10 a.m. Below is a list of upcoming qualifying dates at Mohawk. Thursday, April 23 - 10 a.m. Monday, April 27 - 10 a.m. Friday, May 1 - 10 a.m. Monday, May 4 - 10 a.m. Friday, May 8 - 10 a.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILE, April 18 - The photo finish camera got put to work to decide a highly entertaining second leg of the harness racing Don Mills Trotting Series Saturday night at Mohawk. A field of 11 four and five-year-old trotters battled it out in the lone $20,000 division and all eyes were on the 2/5 favourite Bourbon Bay. The heavy-favourite came into Saturday's Don Mills second leg off a victory in round one and was undefeated in six starts this season on the WEG circuit. However, that undefeated streak would come to an end Saturday, as Exemplar at odds of 23/1 got up just in time to nail Bourbon Bay at the wire and prevail by the narrowest of margins. Driven by Mike Saftic, Bourbon Bay showed early speed to grab his usual position on the front-end. Down the backstretch, Wild And Crazy Guy, the other first leg winner, came up to engage the favourite and would eventually overtake the lead through a solid opening-half of :55.4. Around the final turn, Exemplar and driver Trevor Henry came off the rail from their position in fourth to make a move on the outside, while Bourbon Bay came out of the two-hole nearing the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Bourbon Bay had retaken the lead and tried to take off from his rivals. Exemplar didn't appear to be a big threat towards the leader halfway down the lane, but the 23/1 longshot dug deep and trotted up the middle to nail Bourbon Bay at the wire in 1:53.3. The photo finish camera confirmed that Exemplar had prevailed by a nose to hand Bourbon Bay his first loss on the WEG circuit. Etruscan Hanover finished second, while Sheer Flex was fourth. A five-year-old son of Andover Hall, Exemplar, who finished third in an opening leg division, is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc. and Asa Farm. The 1:53.3 victory is a new career-mark for Exemplar and is the ninth win of his career. The gelding now has a 2015 record of three wins from 11 starts and earnings of $34,400. Exemplar's career bankroll now sits at over $121,000. The Moreau trainee returned $48.50 to win. The Don Mills Trotting Series will come to a close next Saturday with the $44,400 final. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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