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
TORONTO, Februrary 6 - The eleven-race program Friday night at Woodbine was dominated by a pair of harness racing drivers and a conditioner. Driver Trevor Henry was on fire Friday night, as the reinsman won five of his nine drives on the card. Henry kicked off the night by winning his first three drives on the card. Henry guided Dialamara and Camvicted to victories in The Count B Series in races one and three. He then completed the hat-trick in the fifth race behind trotter Hie Benny. The Arthur, Ontario resident would score his fourth victory in the seventh race behind trotter O Narutac Perfetto and then completed the high-five by winning the eighth race with pacer Rubis Prescott. While Henry had the biggest night of all on Friday, driver Sylvain Filion also had a solid night at the office. Filion won three races from ten drives on the card. His first victory came in the second race behind trotter Exemplar. The Milton, Ontario resident picked up his second victory of the evening in race six, the first leg of the Ontario Girls Series, with pacer Artistic Fusion. Filion completed his own hat-trick in the ninth race behind trotter Grande Diablo. The success for Henry and Filion also benefited trainer Richard Moreau, as WEG's leading trainer won three races from his eight starters on the card. Filion guided two of Moreau's winner, Exemplar and Grande Diablo, while Henry drove the other winner, Camvicted. Henry, who is first in the WEG driver's standings, now has 28 wins on the season, three more than Filion. Meanwhile, Moreau's training triple gives him 20 wins this season and extends his lead in the trainer's standings to six over Joe Cirasuola. Mark McKelvie WEG Communications - Standardbred
TORONTO, February 6 - A pair of winter harness racing series got underway Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The Count B Series for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings saw two $17,000 divisions contested, while the Ontario Girls Series for four-year-old pacing mares needed just one $18,000 division for the first leg of the three-week event. A field of seven battled in an eventful first division to get Count B action underway. Conversation Boy, the 4/5 favourite, got away early in fifth, but made a break as the field turned into the backstretch. The miscue was quickly resolved and driver Sylvain Filion elected to roll the favourite to the front, eventually clearing in front of the leader Newbie just after the midway point. Conversation Boy would lead the field around the final turn, but was confronted first up by Dialamara and driver Trevor Henry. Meanwhile, Legion Of Boom, the 5/2 second choice, was pacing along fourth, but made a break just before the three-quarter pole taking himself out of contention. In the stretch, Conversation Boy and Dialamara would slug it out, while Newbie came off the rail to the outside to make it a close three-horse finish. At the wire, Dialamara came away with a three-quarters of a length victory over Conversation Boy in 1:54.3. Newbie finished third. Legion Of Boom recovered from the final turn break to finish fourth, but was placed back to sixth for interference while on a break. A three-year-old son of Lis Mara, Dialamara was making his first start of 2015. The sophomore now has three career wins from nine starts for trainer Patrick Fletcher and owner John Lamers. Friday night's victory pushes his bankroll over $40,000 and the clocking of 1:54.1 lowers his lifetime mark by more than three-seconds. Dialamara returned $10.70 to win. In the second division, Camvicted went gate-to-wire to remain undefeated in three starts. Driven by Trevor Henry, Camvicted sprinted out to the lead ahead of his five other rivals and was able to call the shots without any challengers through the first three-quarters of the mile. Camvicted posted fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:26.4 and faced his first challenge when His Boy Elroy came first up from fourth around the final turn to draw within half a length of the leader as they turned into the stretch. In the stretch, Camvicted and Henry were able to fight off His Boy Elroy and Shippen Out on the far outside, while also keeping Nobettorplacetobe locked in the pocket to win in 1:56. Shippen Out finished second by a length, while Nobettorplacetobe finished third just ahead of His Boy Elroy. A three-year-old son of Camluck, Camvicted has now won the first three starts of his career in 2015 for owners Doug & Dennis Belan and Brian Fitzgerald. The sophomore pacer is trained by Richard Moreau and now has a bankroll of $22,500. A $2 win ticket on Camvicted returned $3.20. In order to be eligible to The Count B Series, the three-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of three races or $40,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. Artistic Fusion carried the momentum from her Blizzard Series sweep into round one of the Ontario Girls. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Artistic Fusion left from post nine and was parked past the opening-quarter before eventually clearing to the front in the first turn. Filion was able to tap the breaks in the second-quarter and reach the half in :58. Around the final turn, Mea Lilley Mark came first up to challenge the leader and the mares past the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. In the stretch, Artistic Fusion put away Mea Lilley Mark, but had to deal with Performing Art, who got a two-hole trip, coming at her on the inside. Artistic Fusion was able to hold off Performing Art to reach the wire first and win by a head in 1:56.1. Jakardez got up for third, while Bet Ya finished fourth. Artistic Fusion is trained by Joe Agostino and has now won four consecutive starts to remain undefeated in 2015. Friday night's win was the tenth of her career and pushes her career earnings over $115,000 for owner Mike Foote. Artistic Fusion returned $3.90 to win, In order to be eligible to the Ontario Girls, the four-year-old pacing mares had to be non-winners of $100,000 lifetime or $50,000 last year as of October 31, 2014. The second leg of both The Count B and the Ontario Girls will take place next Friday (February 13). Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, January 26 - Not even the cold temperatures could cool off the red-hot harness racing trainer Richard Moreau Monday night at Woodbine. Moreau's stable sent out seven starters in six races over the course of Monday's 10-race card and visited the winner's circle an impressive five times. Driver Sylvain Filion teamed up with Moreau to drive four of the five winners. The Moreau barn didn't waste anytime winning races, as they swept the first three races of the night. Trotter Big Package, a first time starter for the Moreau stable, won the opener with Filion in the bike in 1:57.1. In the second race, three-year-old pacer Camvicted also won in his Moreau barn debut to remain unbeaten in two career starts. Trevor Henry piloted the sophomore to victory in 1:54.1. Trotter Tymal Colossus kept the barn's hot streak going by easily winning the third race with Filion in 1:57. Moreau didn't send out his next starter until the sixth race, but he picked up right where he left off. Pacer Arrived Late and Filion turned in a big last-quarter to track down and defeat the favourite Velocity Headlight in 1:56. Moreau would next send out a pair of trotters in the top-level conditioned trot and score his fifth victory in upset fashion. Filion was able to get the veteran trotter Watkins to the wire first for a 13-1 upset in 1:55.2. The other Moreau starter, Cracker Zack, finished fourth. Moreau's final starter on the evening, Gonna Rock N Roll, finished out of the money in the final race of the night. The five win evening for Moreau catapults him ahead of Joe Cirasuola for top spot in the WEG trainer's standings. Moreau has won 15 races from 74 starters in 2015 at Woodbine. The veteran conditioner is a finalist for the O'Brien Award as Canada'a top trainer in 2014. The O'Brien Awards will take place on Saturday, February 7. Moreau will look to keep the hot streak going when he sends out three starters Thursday night at Woodbine. Richard Moreau's five winners Race 1 - Big Package Race 2 - Camvicted Race 3 - Tymal Colossus Race 6 - Arrived Late Race 9 - Watkins Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, January 9 - Round one of the Snowshoe Series continued winter series action Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Four $16,000 divisions of the series for three and four-year-old pacers that were non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014 were contested Friday evening. In the first division, Vegas Rich went gate to wire to pick up the victory as the second choice on the board. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Vegas Rich cut the mile and set fractions of :28.4, :58.4 and 1:27, before pacing home in :28.3 to score a 1 ¾ length victory in 1:55.3. P L Heavenly, the heavy 3/5 favourite, was first up around the final turn, but had to settle for second. Dragon Seelster finished third. A four-year-old son of Million Dollar Cam, Vegas Rich is trained by David Gibson, who shares ownership with David Goodrow Stable and Glenn Traver, and is now one for one this year. Vegas Rich now has three career victories and pushes his bankroll to over $40,000 with the victory Friday night. He returned $6.40 to win. Kindofabigdeal did not disappoint as the 1/5 favourite and won the second division in 1:56. Also driven by Filion, Kindofabigdeal picked up second over cover around the final turn and capitalized off that trip to pace by his rivals and score a three-quarters of a length victory over Ramblingamblinman. Newbie finished in the show spot. A four-year-old son of No Pan Intended, Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc and is now one for one in 2015. Last season, Kindofabigdeal won five of 10 starts and banked more than $53,000. Friday night's victory pushes his career earnings over the $60,000 mark. Kindofabigdeal paid $2.70 to win. Another favourite delivered a victory in the third division, as Whistle Jimmy K picked up his fourth win in his last five starts. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Whistle Jimmy K got a two-hole trip and followed closely behind American Island until just before the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, American Island tried to hold off Whistle Jimmy K, but the favourite eventually pushed his way by in the final eighth to prevail over American Island by a length and a half in 1:55.4. Mittcent Van Gogh finished third. A four-year-old son of Mach Three, Whistle Jimmy K is trained by Ben Wallace and had won his final three starts of 2014 before finishing second last week in his 2015 debut. Whistle Jimmy K now has four career victories and earnings of over $26,000 for owners Brad Grant and Wallacestandardbreds Inc. A $2 win ticket returned $3.70. In the final division, Decisive Destiny and Trevor Henry scored an impressive victory in 1:55.2. A four-year-old son of American Ideal, Decisive Destiny got away sixth and was able to get in the outer flow on the way to the half. Around the final turn, Decisive Destiny was third-over and just a little more than three lengths off the lead. In the stretch, Henry showed Decisive Destiny a clear path and he paced right by his rivals to record a 3 Â½ length victory. A Boy Named Suuzz finished second, while Bad Bug got up for third. Decisive Destiny is trained by Shawn Robinson for Robert Hamather and was making his second start of 2015. Last year, the son of American Ideal won three of 20 starts for earnings of just under $40,000. Friday night's victory was his fourth career triumph and pushes his career bankroll over $47,000. Decisive Destiny paid $8.70 to win. The second leg of the Snowshoe Series will take place next Friday (January 16). Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications
Four-year-old pacer Nickle Bag has not missed the board in the past three months racing on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit and on Saturday night he stormed home from the backfield to add another victory to his impressive 2014 campaign against a full field of Preferred competitors, including Canadian Pacing Derby champion Modern Legend. Closing from third and fourth over, Sing For Me George and Nickle Bag pulled ahead of the field down the stretch and battled to the wire in a photo finish. Nickle Bag and driver Trevor Henry ultimately prevailed in Woodbine Racetrack's $34,000 Preferred Handicap Pace by a nose in 1:50 flat for trainer Shawn Robinson and owners Linda Loyens of Denfield, Ont. and Harry Loyens of Ilderton, Ont. Leaving from post eight, Camaes Fellow (Jonathan Drury) charged to the lead over Avatartist (Mike Saftic) while the 4-5 favoured outside assignee, Modern Legend (James MacDonald), sprinted up into contention through a sizzling :25.4 first quarter. Modern Legend worked his way to the top as the pacers headed into the backstretch, but Camaes Fellow refused to sit a pocket trip and quickly retook command. To view the rest of the story click here.
Fans that backed rookie pacer Weapons Dealer in Race 2 during the Monday evening program at Woodbine Racetrack likely needed a hand - or a wheelbarrow - to help tote home their winnings. The overlooked son of Western Ideal-Scootin Belle turned a two-hole trip into a pari-mutuel explosion for the tandem of driver Trevor Henry and trainer Isaac Waxman. Weapons Dealer got away in the two-hole behind the 1-5 favourite, Sports Warning, and those two held their positions through panels of :28, :58.2 and 1:26.4. Sports Warning rolled into a break coming out of the final turn, however, and that changed the whole complexion of the race. Weapons Dealer inherited the lead in the lane, and he wound up winning by a pair of lengths over His Boy Elroy in 1:54.3. Sports Warning regained his composure and re-rallied to finish third. To view the rest of this story click here. Raceway Preferreds to "Gustav" & "Winzel" A set of Preferred 3 events went postward Monday evening at The Raceway at Western Fair District, with Kendal Gustav and Winzel winning their respective assignments. Kendal Gustav shot to the front from Post 2 and rolled to an easy victory in his $7,400 affair for driver Lorne House. The public’s top choice, who closed at odds of 6-5, carved out splits of :27, :58 and 1:26.4 before sealing the deal with a :29.2 closing panel. He was 2-1/2 lengths better than Pacific Oak in 1:56.1. Lawmen Reign rounded out the top three finishers. Trainer Scott McNiven co-owns the five-year-old son of Life Sign-City Of Dreams with Tom Brodhurst of London and Shirley Griffin of St. Thomas, Ontario. The partnership has watched the gelding go 10-for-37 this season and 27-for-112 in his career. The lion’s share of Monday’s purse lifted his overall cash stash to $177,749. To view the rest of this story click here.
The trips to Western Fair in London aren’t as regular as they once were for driver Trevor Henry, but he still knows the oval like the back of his hand. Henry, who has spent a great deal of his time plying his trade on the WEG circuit this year, returned to the half-miler Tuesday evening and produced a five-win performance. He clicked in the opener with Suckitupbuttercup (1:58) and tacked on wins with Guiness Seelster (Race 5 – 2:00.2), Rutherford Lass (Race 6 – 2:03.2), Topanga Canyon (Race 8 – 1:58.4) and Hawaiian Drummond (Race 10 – 2:01). The Arthur, Ontario-based horseman leads the nation with 409 wins this season. The career winner of 5,537 has racked up purse earnings in excess of $35 million to date. To view the rest of this story click here.
TORONTO, November 3 - Hape and Dublin Rose turned in career best harness racing performances to win their respective Autumn Series finales Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The three-week Autumn Series for Ontario sired two-year-old fillies wrapped up Monday night with the $31,600 final for the trotters and the $30,200 final for the pacers. The top ten money earners, who entered the final, from the first two legs contested the finales. Hape and trainer/driver Jack Moiseyev got up in deep stretch to win the Autumn Series final for the two-year-old filly trotters. Cum Laude Hall, the 4/5 favourite, got away in second and was sent first up on the way to the half by driver Scott Zeron. Leader Mischief Smile and Trevor Henry didn't allow Cum Laude Hall to clear without a bit of a fight, as the fillies slugged it out to the half in :58.3. Cum Laude Hall posted a third panel of :29 and looked to be in control as the field entered the stretch, but Mischief Smile came off the rail and quickly corralled Cum Laude Hall. However, Hape, who was sitting third the majority of the mile, also took her shot at the leaders and powered by the top two in deep stretch to win by half a length in 1:57.2. Mischief Smile took the place spot over Cum Laude Hall, while Yanks Ball Girl and Meadow Seelster finished fourth and fifth respectively. A daughter of Pilgrims Taj, Hape entered the series finale off a tenth place finish in the opening leg and a second place finish in the second leg. Hape joined the Moiseyev barn only a day before the opening leg, when she was purchased by new owners Joanne Colville and Nancy Macnevin for $23,000 at a mixed sale. The series final victory is the second win in ten starts for the rookie trotter and boosts her career earnings to $27,900. The clocking of 1:57.2 is also a new lifetime best for Hape. She returned $11.90 to win. Dublin Rose made it back-to-back victories capturing the pacing filly final in 1:53.3. Driven by Trevor Henry, Dublin Rose got away third and sat comfortably there, as Tessa Seelster hung up opening panels of :27.1 and 55.4. In the third quarter, Henry sent Dublin Rose first up to challenge Tessa Seelster and the fillies dueled by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Dublin Rose overtook the lead and fought off an outside challenge from Evas Girl, who got a second over trip, to win by three-quarters of a length. Tessa Seelster held on for third, while Marachere and Lady Hill picked up the last two cheques. A daughter of Major In Art, Dublin Rose is owned and trained by Allen Tomlinson and has now hit the board in seven of nine career starts. Dublin Rose entered Monday night's final off a third place effort in round one and a victory in last week's second leg. The two-year-old filly now has three career victories and lowered her career mark by a fifth of a second. The winner's share of the purse increases Dublin Rose's bankroll to $37,970. She returned $5.60 to win. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
TORONTO, October 23 - Thursday night was the two-year-old boys turn for round one action of the Autumn Series at Woodbine Racetrack. Three $14,000 divisions for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings and four $14,000 splits for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were completed. In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, two-year-olds must be Ontario sired and be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2014. In the opening division for the trotters, One Direction broke his maiden with a 1:58.3. Trained and driven by Dustin Jones, One Direction got a two-hole trip and trotted by Numbers Game, who cut the mile, to score an easy 5 Â¾ length victory. Numbers Game held on for second, while In Secret finished third. A son of Deweycheatumnhowe, One Direction is owned by Ernst Gerbaulet and has now $7,800 earned in five career starts. He returned $6.30 to win. Olympic Son went gate to wire to take the second division in 2:00.1. Sent off as the 2/5 favourite, Olympic Son and driver Trevor Henry charged off the gate to take the lead and never looked back to win by 2¼ lengths over Baudron. William Star finished third. Trained by Paul Reid for owner Robert Key, Olympic Son has now won three of eight career starts for earnings of $41,420. The clocking of 2:00.1 was a new lifetime best for the son of Majestic Son. Olympic Son paid $2.90 to win. In the third division, Namesmuscle prevailed in a win photograph over Muscles All Over. Driven by Trevor Henry, Namesmuscle sat in the two-hole for most of the mile behind Muscles All Over. In the stretch, Muscles All Over tried to kick away from his rivals at the top of the stretch, but Namesmucles grinded him down on the inside and got up to win by a nose in 1:59.1. Jayport All Muslce took the show spot. A son of Muscle Mass, Namesmuscle is trained by Mike Brealey for owner John Patterson. The leg one victory was a maiden breaking score in his seventh start for Namesmuscle and increased his career earnings to $22,000. He paid $12.10 to win. A total of 33 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into four first round divisions. In the first division for the pacers, Sugarsam showed plenty of grit to hold off his rivals and pick up the victory in 1:54.2. Touching down on the lead as the field entered the backstretch, Sugarsam would not relinquish the lead and dug in down the stretch to hold off His Boy Elroy by three-quarters of a length. J Js Delivery finished third. Trained by Corey Johnson, Sugarsam has now won four of ten starts and lowered his lifetime mark by more than two seconds. The son of Sportswriter is owned by Sotirios Anastasopoulos and has now earned $25,475 in his young career. Sugarsam paid $3.90 to win. Making only his second career start, Machnificent reached up late to take the second division in 1:55.4. Trained and driven by Roger Mayotte, Machnificent was second over on the final turn and was just able to get by a trio of his rivals on the outside to win by half a length. Midnight Play finished second, Frankie Boy took the show spot and The Battle Begins finished fourth. All three horses were only beat half a length. A son of Mach Three, Machnificent had finished third in his career debut last week and was the most lightly raced horse in the field of eight. The maiden breaking score pushes his career earnings to $8,680 for owners Just In Time Stable, The Fine Whine Stable and Big Als Stables Inc. Machnificent paid $6.50 to win. In the third division, Halton Hurricane did not disappoint as the 6/5 winning in 1:56.2. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Halton Hurricane got a two-hole trip behind Antar Phil, who made an early break at the eighth pole, but regrouped to pace on to the lead. In the stretch, Halton Hurricane had to wait for the first up challenger, Art Of Luck, to fade away, before finding clear sailing to pace by Antar Phil and win by half a length. Art Of Luck held on to finish third. Owned and trained by Robert Robinson, Halton Hurricane has now won twice in 11 starts career starts for earnings of over $23,000. The son of Santanna Blue Chip lowered his lifetime mark by three seconds with the victory. Halton Hurricane paid $4.40 to win. Robert Hill lived up to his 1/5 billing in the fourth and final division. Driven by James MacDonald, Robert Hill was second over on the final turn and came off his cover to pace by his rivals and on to victory in 1:55.4. Regal Sight made a late charge to finish second by half a length, while Strong Profile finished third. A son of Jeremes Jet, Robert Hill is trained by Tony Alagna for owner Thomas Hill. The leg one score was the third win from ten starts for the two-year-old pacer and pushes his career earnings to $39,150. He returned $2.70 to win. The second leg for the two-year-old boys will go next Thursday, October 30. Autumn Series action continues Monday night with the second leg action for the two-year-old fillies. Post time each night of racing is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
ELORA, ON - Monday (September 29) marks the final live race card of the year at Grand River Raceway, but it's already proven to be a successful year at the track. Despite fewer races and fewer cards, the average bet per race jumped 10.5 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013 and total wagering on Grand River is up 4.8 per cent from just under $6.5 million in 2013 to nearly $6,786,149 this year through Wenesday's card. All this despite a decrease in the number of races per card of nearly 10 per cent. On the track, nothing topped Hall of Fame driver John Campbell and Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh teaming up to win the $217,140 Battle of Waterloo Aug. 4 with McIntosh's two-year-old homebred pacing colt Go Daddy Go. It was the first Battle of Waterloo victory for both men. "I haven't started that many in it, but it feels tremendous," McIntosh said in the winner's circle. "It's a real thrill." Campbell said the victory felt great. "It's been a fun day for me and it's capped off extremely well," he said. This year also marked Campbell's first trip to Grand River and he liked what he saw. "I got a tour before the races started here and it's very efficient and very convenient for fans. It looks like a very nice plant," Campbell said. The Grand River meet also saw rising star James MacDonald win his first premier stakes race at the track when he drove 20-1 longshot Win The Gold to victory in the Battle of the Belles for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. In August, Grand River's general manager Dr. Ted Clarke was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in the builders' category. That same month, Jet Airway set a track record for three-year-old pacing colts when he buzzed the Grand River oval in 1:51.1. Five other horses also set Canadian seasonal records at the track. On the drivers' side, Trevor Henry was again crowned the top Grand River driver for both wins and money. Casie Coleman was Grand River's top money-winning trainer and Richard Moreau led all trainers in wins at the track by a wide margin. And this year, we also learned important information such as what three people driver Scott Coulter would enlist to thwart a zombie apocalypse. "I'm going to take Clint Eastwood," Coulter said, "Superman and throw Sly Stallone in there, too. Why not?" We also discovered what Randy Waples would be doing if he wasn't driving horses for a living -"At one time, being a surfer sounded pretty good. I likead the idea of that." - what music trainer Casie Coleman thinks Satan has playing on repeat in her version of hell - "Anything country, probably." - and what James MacDonald does better than his two famous driving brothers, Anthony and Mark - "Golf, that's for sure, because they're both horrible." To hear our conversation with some of the most prominent drivers and trainers in the game, check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway Final Training Day at Grand River Raceway Grand River Raceway will remain open for training every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon, with all horses vacated by 1:00 p.m. This schedule will remain in effect until the final training day on October 9. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway