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Two years after travelling to Clinton Raceway to see harness racing driver John Campbell’s last race, Trevor Ritchie will be going behind the starting gate in the Legends Day Trot. Two years ago, driver Trevor Ritchie came to Legends Day at Clinton Raceway as a fan. On June 23, he suited up in his black and white colours as the newest addition to the Legends Day line-up. In 2017, Ritchie and his wife, Gemma, sat in lawn chairs near Clinton Raceway’s quarter pole and reveled in the atmosphere surrounding local legend John Campbell’s last career drive. “I’m a huge fan of John Campbell’s and have been forever, so I wanted to see him and say hello to him and see his last drive,” Ritchie said. “I decided to walk down to the tent and say hello to the guys and they were busy signing autographs, of course, but the activity going on down there – it was packed and pretty impressive to watch. “There’s no better place to be on a beautiful sunny afternoon than at a fair track at Clinton. The atmosphere is just great.” Ritchie will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame on Aug. 7, an honour that earned him inclusion in the Legends Day line-up and a spot on the starting gate for the $15,000 Legends Day Trot that will also featured Hall of Famers David Miller, Steve Condren, Dave Wall, Ron Waples, Doug Brown and Wally Hennessey. Joining those legends for an autograph session was retired drivers Campbell, Keith Waples and Bill O’Donnell. Ritchie hasn’t driven a horse in a race in almost five years, but said he’s not nervous about going behind the gate again. “I think it’s like riding a bike, once you’ve ridden it you know how to ride it again. Racing, in my opinion, is pretty much the same,” he said. “Every winter when I’m in Florida, the last few years, I’ve been helping (Somebeachsomewhere’s trainer) Brent MacGrath train and he’s usually got two babies down at Sunshine Meadows, so I go down and sometimes I’ll go with one and he’ll go with the other… So it’s not like I haven’t been on a jogger or a race bike in five years. I just haven’t been in behind the gate.” The 63-year-old London native and Acton resident retired due to injury in July 2014, but not before competing in some 25,000 races over nearly 40 years. Ritchie drove the winners of more than $70 million on the track, much of it on Canada’s top circuit that includes Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville. He won 3,710 races, none bigger than when he drove Yankee Paco to victory in the 2000 Hambletonian in New Jersey for trainer Doug McIntosh. The victory, which came the same year the Hambletonian celebrated its 75th anniversary, marked the first time a Canadian-bred horse won harness racing’s premier event, making Ritchie the commander of a moon shot for the Canadian breed. Ritchie calls winning the Hambletonian with Yankee Paco the highlight of a career that also included driving Hall of Fame filly Peaceful Way to victory over the boys in the 2006 Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk just three weeks before Ritchie won the $1-million Canadian Trotting Classic, also at Mohawk, with Majestic Son, who went on to be named Canada’s Horse of the Year. Ritchie also won seven Breeders Crowns; a $1 million Meadowlands Pace with Frugal Gourmet for trainer Blair Burgess of Milton in 1987; the 1986 North America Cup with Quite A Sensation; stakes races driving hockey Hall of Famer Mats Sundin’s trotter, Rotation, and even had the opportunity to drive in Sweden and Norway. Ritchie said he was excited for Legends Day and the opportunity to see old friends and faces and connect with fans. He saluted the work of Clinton general manager Ian Fleming, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame this year as a builder. “Obviously, Ian does just a fantastic job. It’s great to see crowds at a harness racing track. You just don’t see that all that often, unfortunately, anymore outside of big nights.” Legends Day raised money for the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. Previous editions of Legends Day have raised more than $210,000 for the foundation. In 2017, Legends Day raised a record $60,000 and Fleming said he is hoping to break that record this year. By Postmedia Staff Reprinted with permission of The Clinton News Record

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 26, 2014 - One of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will take place on Friday, August 8 as the best in the sport of harness racing will descend upon the seven-eighths mile oval for the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational. As part of a weekend long festival of entertainment and racing, ten of the top rated pacers in North America will take center stage as they go to post seeking glory in Hoosier Park's signature harness racing event. Hoosier Park's most prestigious pacing race has become a tradition that is close to the hearts of Hoosiers. The Dan Patch, an invitational race, not only highlights some of the best athletes in the sport of harness racing, but is deeply rooted throughout Indiana soil. Hoosier Park's event is named after the early 1900s racehorse phenomenon, Dan Patch. Originally from Oxford, Ind., Dan Patch raced the clock rather than his inferior competitors. Drawing crowds of over 90,000 people at a single race, the free-legged equine hero was the unparalleled sports icon of his time. The Dan Patch race was established at Hoosier Park in 1994 with Ready To Rumble and driver Trevor Ritchie winning the inaugural edition 20 years ago. The list of all-star horses that have made their way to Hoosier Park over the years includes Jenna's Beach Boy, Maltese Artist and former seven-eighths mile world record holder, the late Pacific Fella. Scott Peine, Hoosier Park's racing secretary, inherits the responsibility of recruiting the best horses to compete in the event every year. Peine begins making his list of potential contenders for one of the ten coveted invitations to the Dan Patch many weeks in advance. "We are looking at what may be the most competitive field to date in the 2014 edition of our signature race," Peine noted. "We haven't officially decided, but the horses we are looking to invite are evenly matched and that makes for great racing. There is an outstanding group of older pacers racing all over the country right now and we are looking forward to bringing them to Hoosier Park." Post positions for the 2014 edition of the Dan Patch will be drawn at a community luncheon held at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, August 5. This year delivers a new and exciting aspect as the winner of the 2014 Dan Patch Invitational will get an automatic nomination to the 2014 edition of the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby slated for Friday, October 31 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. All nomination fees will be waived but in the event the winner of the Dan Patch Invitational has already been nominated to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, a refund of all fees will be given upon declaration. The Dan Patch Invitational will be part of a special weekend tagged as the "Dan Patch Festival Weekend" and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The thrill-themed weekend will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will by a concert by Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as Hoosier Park continues their summer concert series line-up. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday live racing schedule. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the 160-day meet will be conducted through November 15. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 16 - Sebastian K's dominance may be overshadowing his competition, but Creatine is taking steps early in his four-year-old season to be a contender with the older trotters. Creatine and driver Mike Lachance will start from post seven in Saturday night's $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot final. A son of Andover Hall - Berry Nice Muscles, Creatine banked over $800,000 last year as a three-year-old, with his biggest victory coming in the Kentucky Futurity. This season, the Bob Stewart trainee has had to quickly make the transition from age three-to-four to compete with a talented group of older trotters led by Sebastian K In four starts, Creatine has yet to find the winner's circle, but has shown he can hang with the big boys by picking up a cheque in three of his four starts. In the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished second and four lengths behind winner Sebastian K., but the effort pleased his conditioner. "We were very happy with him, Mike (Lachance) actually never pulled the ear plugs," said Stewart following the elimination. "He saw he was going to be second and he was coming back in six days from a very tough trip at the Meadowlands, we couldn't be happier actually." Before the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished fifth in the Hambletonian Maturity, a race restricted for four-year-old trotters only. While Creatine has shown he can compete with the older trotters, Stewart said he would have liked to have seen more opportunities for the four-year-olds to compete against each other, rather than having to jump right in against the heavyweights. "It's very tough (transition from three-to-four)...they should have made that Hambletonian Maturity a series of three races and a final," said Stewart. "They had the money to do it and these four-year-olds would've been able to get their legs underneath themselves a little more." Creatine and the rest of the top older trotters may be wishing their was a stake race without Sebastian K as the "Scandinavian Powerhouse" has yet to be lose in five starts. Stewart said it was bad timing that this was the season he had a competitive older trotter. "It's just unfortunate that he had to come back as a four-year-old the year that Sebastian K showed up, any other year I would feel better about the situation." Heading into the Maple Leaf Trot final, Stewart admits Sebastian K will have to be off his game to get beat and hopes he can find some races down the road to avoid the world's fastest trotter. "To be realistic you don't see him every beating Sebastian K, unless Sebastian K slips some, but he's eligible to everything and hopefully for our sake there are some races at Indiana and a race in Ohio that hopefully Sebastian K won't go to," Sebastian K may hold down the spot as top older trotter, but Stewart is confident that Creatine is good enough to be right there in second. "He's going to hold his own against all the rest of them I think." by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 15 - A stellar 13-race card featuring the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot has been assembled for Saturday night (July 19) at Mohawk Racetrack. Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter (1:49), highlights the field of ten for the 63rd edition of Canada's most storied trotting event, the Maple Leaf Trot (Race 9). The eight-year-old "Scandinavian Powerhouse" won his elimination last Friday (July 11) for trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt in 1:52.2. Upon earning the right to select his post position for the final, Svandstedt selected the rail as the starting spot for his prized trotter. Svandstedt, a top horseman in his native Sweden for many years, relocated his stable to North America this season and is in the midst of a successful campaign, thanks in large part to Sebastian K who is a perfect five for five on North American soil. The high point of the season thus far for Sebastian K was a seven-length victory in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs on June 28, in which he became the fastest trotter in the history of harness racing with a jaw-dropping mile time of 1:49. Before coming to North America, Sebastian K had victories in top events such as the 2013 Oslo Grand Prix, a heat of the 2013 Elitlopp and the 2012 UET Trotting Masters. The nine rivals who will look to knock Sebastian K off the top of the mountain, include the last two Maple Leaf Trot winners, Mister Herbie ('12) and Market Share ('13). Market Share won the second elimination last week in 1:53 with a last quarter of :26.4 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano. His connections selected post position two for the final. The five-year-son of Revenue - Classical Flirt is the richest horse in the field with over $3.2 million in career earnings. Market Share followed up his Maple Leaf Trot victory last year with a triumph in the Breeders Crown. His career highlights also include two million-dollar race victories in 2012 in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk. Leading the charge for the local horses will be Mister Herbie, who finished runner-up to Market Share in not only his elimination last week, but also in last year's final. The Jeff Gillis trainee won the 2012 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in a stakes and track record clocking of 1:50.4 and was last year's O'Brien Award winner as top older trotter in Canada. Mister Herbie will start from post six and will be driven by Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren who won his first and only Maple Leaf Trot in 1988 with Natural Image. The seven other challengers in the field are a group of well accomplished standardbreds. Intimidate, a past Breeders Crown and O'Brien Award winner, will start from post three for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. Ron Burke, North America's leading trainer, will send out two starters. Archangel, post four, was the 2012 Yonkers Trot champion, while Wishing Stone, post five, has had success in both North America and Europe with victories in the 2012 Copenhagen Cup in Denmark and the 2013 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia. Creatine, last year's Kentucky Futurity winner, will start from post seven for the duo of Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance and trotting conditioner Bob Stewart. Undercover Strike will leave from post eight and is a Preferred winner at both Mohawk and the Meadows. He is sent out by trainer Tony O'Sullivan and will be driven by Doug McNair. Flanagan Memory, who won last year's Goodtimes, Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final and an O'Brien Award, starts from post nine for trainer Rene Dion and Woodbine/Mohawk's leading driver Chris Christoforou. Modern Family, a multiple stakes winner, will start from post ten for trainer Daryl Bier and will have Ron Pierce, a two-time Maple Leaf Trot winner, in the sulky. The field of ten for the Maple Leaf Trot has combined for 188 career victories and career earnings of $13,837,506. The Maple Leaf Trot undercard will feature four Canadian Breeders Championships (Races 2,3,7,10) for three-year-olds. Trevor Ritchie, a three-time Maple Leaf Trot winning driver ('03 Rotation, '06 Peaceful Way, '07 Equinox Bi), recently announced his retirement from driving. Ritchie will be on hand Saturday night to present the trophy to this year's winner and will be a special guest on Mohawk Racing Live's pre-game show beginning at 6:45 p.m. Post time for Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot card is 7:25 p.m, with the Maple Leaf Trot expected to go behind the gate at 10:05 p.m. Here is the field for the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Race 9 - Maple Leaf Trot - Purse: $603,000 PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer/Morning Line 1. Sebastian K - Ake Svandstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 2/5 2. Market Share - Tim Tetrick - Linda Toscano - 6-1 3. Intimidate - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais - 12-1 4. Archangel - Jody Jamieson - Ron Burke - 10-1 5. Wishing Stone - Randall Waples - Ron Burke - 20-1 6. Mister Herbie - Steve Condren - Jeff Gillis - 15-1 7. Creatine - Mike Lachance - Bob Stewart - 15-1 8. Undercover Strike - Doug McNair - Tony O'Sullivan - 25-1 9. Flanagan Memory - Chris Christoforou - Rene Dion - 25-1 10. Modern Family - Ron Pierce - Daryl Bier - 20-1 AE: Wheeling N Dealin - Jody Jamieson - Luc Blais - N/A by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 14 - Recently retired WEG circuit driver Trevor Ritchie will be the special guest this Saturday on the Maple Leaf Trot edition of Mohawk Racing Live. Ritchie, who announced his retirement from driving two weeks ago, will reflect on his career and discuss the Maple Leaf Trot, a race he won three-times, on the pre-game show beginning at 6:45 p.m. Ritchie captured his three Maple Leaf Trot titles over a five-year span. (Rotation '03, Peaceful Way '06, Equinox Bi '07) His list of accomplishments also includes the Hambletonian, the North America Cup and six Breeders Crown titles. Along with an appearance on Mohawk Racing Live, Ritchie will be making the trophy presentation to this year's Maple Leaf Trot winner. Post time for this Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot card is 7:25 p.m. and fans unable to make it out to the track can watch a live stream of Mohawk Racing Live at www.mohawkracetrack.com. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Trot Insider has learned that O'Brien Award winning driver Trevor Ritchie, one of the most respected and accomplished drivers in Canadian harness racing, is handing over the reins and retiring from active competition. Ritchie, who cut his teeth driving at Western Fair before moving to the Ontario Jockey Club, has won both the prestigious North America Cup (Quite A Sensation, 1986) and Hambletonian (Yankee Paco, 2000) in his long and illustrious driving career. "Driving horses gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people and go to a lot of places that I would not have otherwise visited and I consider myself lucky," Ritchie told Trot Insider on Monday. "I have been very fortunate in my career to have driven some great horses and I would like to thank all the trainers and owners that trusted me to drive for them. I would also like to thank all the caretakers who as we all know were a very important part in any success I've had." To view the rest of this story click here.

The story of 4-year-old harness racing female trotter Perfect Alliance, who enters Saturday's $266,000 Armbro Flight Stakes with 11 wins in 11 starts this season after winning a total of just two of 18 races at ages 2 and 3, would seem farfetched if it didn't sound so familiar. Perfect Alliance races out of the stable of Julie and Andy Miller, who five years ago took an unheralded 4-year-old male trotter named Lucky Jim and helped lead him to an award-winning season. Lucky Jim joined Team Miller with a total of just two wins in 20 career races. He won his first eight starts that season, including two winter series at the Meadowlands, before tackling the sport's top older trotters. He didn't slow down, winning seven more races in a row before finishing the campaign with 17 victories in 18 starts. His triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Nat Ray, Maxie Lee Memorial and Cutler Memorial, and he received the 2009 Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. Whether Perfect Alliance can write the same ending as Lucky Jim remains to be seen, but the first few chapters of her story are strikingly similar. She won two winter series - one at the Meadowlands and one at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs - before challenging the top female trotters in the game. In her first try against the big girls, in a division of the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine, Perfect Alliance won in 1:51.2, equaling Classic Martine's world record for the fastest mile ever by a 4-year-old female trotter. Incidentally, Lucky Jim shares the world record of 1:50.1 for the fastest mile ever by any trotter on a one-mile racetrack. Last weekend, Perfect Alliance won her elimination for the Armbro Flight by 6-1/2 lengths in a track-record 1:51.4 at Mohawk. She starts the final from post four with Yannick Gingras at the lines and is the 6-5 morning line favorite. "It's hard to believe we could ever do that again - and she hasn't done it yet - but the way she started out is a lot like the way we campaigned [Lucky Jim] because she fit some of the winter series," Andy Miller said. "She got a lot of confidence out of those series and just kept progressing and getting better and better. "Now she's as brave as a horse can be. Now that she's facing the better mares, she thinks she can tackle anything." Miller drove Perfect Alliance in her first seven starts, but has been sidelined since mid-April because of injuries sustained in an accident. In her second race this year, Perfect Alliance won from post 10 at the Meadowlands despite being stuck on the outside for most of the mile and getting a flat tire on the final turn. "She still dug in and won the race," Miller said. "When she did that, I thought it was something special. I didn't know if she would go [onto record-setting performances] but I knew there was a lot there." Perfect Alliance is owned by New Meadowlands Racing Chairman Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Meadowlands Racetrack General Manager Jason Settlemoir, David Stolz and Arthur Geiger. She is a daughter of stallion Credit Winner out of the mare Yalta Hanover and was purchased for $75,000 under the name Perfect Deo at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale. Her mother is a half-sister to stakes-winners Yursa Hanover, He's Spooky and Scary Good. She is a three-quarter sister to Thistle Dhu, who ironically edged Perfect Alliance last season by a nose in the $40,000 Zweig Memorial Consolation for 3-year-old filly trotters. "Last year [Perfect Alliance] was hot on the gate and had a few little issues, just immaturity," Miller said. "I think the time off and bringing her back this year she's just matured so much. The second time I qualified her, I covered her up a bit and put some earplugs on her and when I popped them she responded. I knew there was a lot there, but how far it would go, I didn't know. "It's worked out good. With these types of horses, you just hope you don't do anything wrong. She kind of takes care of herself. She does everything we ask and we just try not to mess it up." Following is the field in post order for the Armbro Flight with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Lady Laker, Trevor Ritchie, Al Tomlinson, 20-1; 2. Bax Of Life, Chris Christoforou, Jerry Duford, 15-1; 3. D'Orsay, Sylvain Filion, Jonas Czernyson, 6-1; 4. Perfect Alliance, Yannick Gingras, Julie Miller, 6-5; 5. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick, Chris Oakes, 5-1; 6. Upfrontluckycarol, Steve Condren, Clark Beelby, 20-1; 7. Rockin With Dewey, Mario Baillargeon, Benoit Baillargeon, 12-1; 8. Charmed Life, James MacDonald, Dave Menary, 12-1; 9. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, Nifty Norman, 4-1; 10. Angies Lucky Star, Trevor Henry, Richard Moreau, 25-1. Andy Miller got a positive report from his doctors recently as he continues his recovery from vertebrae surgery, but still is several months from returning to action. "He said everything looks good," Miller said Monday while watching qualifiers at Gaitway Farm, where he and wife Julie Miller are stabled. "He said in six weeks I can probably get rid of the [back] brace, but as far as doing anything, it'll be a couple months yet. "I was hoping I could do a little bit of work. Hopefully in six weeks I'll get a little more clearance, but I'm sure it will be a couple months before I can really do much." Miller said it was "frustrating" to be on the sidelines, but he is still active in watching horses train and race and providing his input. Miller has won 8,054 races in his driving career and nearly $101 million in purses, with both totals ranking among the top 25 in North American harness racing history. "Eventually, I'll get back out there, but I'll just take my time," Miller said. "I'm so thankful that I can be here and watch them and give my input on them training. "There haven't been any setbacks and if I didn't have the brace on, you wouldn't know anything is wrong with me. I can get around pretty good; I'm not running sprints, but everything is as good as it can be." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Three-year-old trotting colts and geldings dominated Monday’s 11-race program at Mohawk Racetrack, as the Campbellville oval hosted its first OSS event of the season. The first Grassroots division went to Massive Pockets, who went gate-to-wire in 1:55.4 for driver Trevor Ritchie and trainer Marie Dupont. The homebred son of Muscle Mass-Striking Pockets led through splits of :28, :58.3 and 1:27.3 before stepping home in :28.1 to seal the deal over race favourite Whichamacallit. Kiwi Pres was third in the $18,000 affair. The gelding, who won for the first time in his career, is owned by M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, Florida. The $9,000 payday bumped his overall bankroll to $38,710. The betting public was in love with Ole Jack Magic in the second division, and the homebred didn’t disappoint his backers. The son of Kadabra-Whitesand Electra watched Headsaregonna Turn lead through first-half fractions of :27.2 and :57.2 before taking matters into his own hands. Chris Christoforou brushed Ole Jack Magic to the top going into the final turn and they led the group to the three-quarter pole in 1:26.1 before using a :29.4 closing panel to secure the win in 1:56. It was 5-1/4 lengths back to runner-up Crowningcrest, with Jack Litten a lapped-on third. To read the rest of the story click here.

Perfect Alliance all but destroyed a field of six rivals at Mohawk Raceway Friday, romping by six and one-half lengths in winning her $35,000 division of the Armbro Flight harness racing eliminations while Bee A Magician tasted defeat for the second time this year, losing to 54-1 long shot D’Orsay by a half length in her division. Now undefeated in 11 starts this year, Perfect Alliance lived up her name once again as driver Yannick Gingras had little trouble once he got his mare to the lead. He was parked out from post seven by Ma Chere Hall (Corey Callahan) and was unable to clear to the lead until after the opening quarter mile in :27. But once on top Perfect Alliance settled in and led the field to the half mile in :55.3 and then by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4, Ma Chere Hall made a break in the two-hole as Perfect Alliance scooted away from the field, leading by four and one-half lengths before coasting home to win in 1:51.4. Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) was second with Bax Of Life (Chris Christoforou) third. The time of the race was the track record at Mohawk for trotting mares. Also making it to next week’s $266,000 final were Upfrontluckycarol (Stephen Condren) in fourth and Lady Laker (Trevor Ritchie) in fifth place. To watch Perfect Alliance win click here. Trained by Julie Miller, Perfect Alliance is sired by Credit Winner and is owned by Little E, LLC, Jason Settlemoir, David Stolz and Arthur Geiger. She paid $2.30 to win. Mohawk Raceway’s tote board had to use all five digits when D’Orsay did the unthinkable and defeated last year’s Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician, and she did it at odds of 54-1 and paid $111.30 to win. The five-year-old mare by Yankee Glide was driven by Sylvain Filion and used a :26.2 last quarter mile kick to collar Bee A Magician (Brian Sears) in late stretch and then win by a half length in 1:52.1. Classy Martine (Tim Tetrick) was third. It was Classy Martine that went right to the early lead and gave Bee A Magician what seemed to be the perfect two-hole trip through fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:25 and all the while D’Orsay and Filion sat in third place following the action until the top of the stretch. Sears came out with Bee A Magician and started after Classy Martine and had them collared but Sears was not pushing Bee A Magician so when Filion fanned out with D’Orsay they may have caught Sears napping a bit as they charged down the stretch to pull off the upset. Charmed Life (Jody Jamieson) was fourth with Angie’s Lucky Star (James MacDonald) fifth to complete the final for next week. For D’Orsay, it was her first win in three starts this year for trainer Jonas Czernyson and the Consus Racing Stable of Hamilton, NJ. To watch D'Orsay win click here.  The field for the final will line up as follows per post positions: 1) Lady Laker 2) Bax Of Life 3) Dorsay* 4) Perfect Alliance* 5) Classic Martine 6) Upfrontluckycarol 7) Rockin With Dewey 8) Charmed Life 9) Bee A Magician 10) Angies Lucky Star AE) Ma Chere Hall By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The SBOA Stakes elimination round began with a 32-1 upset as Muscle Babe and driver James MacDonald got up in the final strides for a career-best 1:54.3 triumph on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. MacDonald hustled the Muscle Mass-Oaklea Odessa filly off the gate from post six and was the first to get a call as she trotted a first quarter in :27.2. However, insider Wings Of Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion) swept around the early leaver with a forwardly placed Sweetie Hearts (Jody Jamieson) hot on her heels and clearing to command next down the backstretch. Sweetie Hearts reached the half in :56.3 and raced to three-quarters in 1:26 with favourite Lenny Mac (Chris Christoforou) advancing first over. The leader opened up two and a half lengths into the stretch, but the fast-closing Muscle Babe kicked home in :27.3 to catch her at the wire for the half-length victory. Mayberry (Rick Zeron) also closed well from the backfield and edged out Tosca (Trevor Ritchie) for third-place honours four and a half lengths behind. to read the rest of this story click here.

For Release: Greg Gangle - WEG Communications   Magic Feeling is magical in Celias Counsel final TORONTO, May 1 - Magic Feeling, driven by Mike Saftic, parlayed a two-hole trip into a winning effort in this year's edition of the $34,400 Celias Counsel final at Woodbine Racetrack. After capturing last week's second leg at odds of 50-1, the daughter of Kadabra remains unbeaten in two starts this season for trainer and co-owner Frank O'Reilly. Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) was quickly on the march in the early stages as she led her nine rivals past the opening quarters in :27.4. Magic Feeling was sitting In The Pocket with K D Bella (Randy Waples) sitting third. Flexible Woman would continue to lead past the half in :57.1 and three-quarters in 1:27. Race favourite Tosca (Per Henriksen) would venture first-over around the final turn, giving cover to Just Call Me Lady (Trevor Ritchie), who had been parked the mile. Turning for home, Flexible Woman was still in command, but Tosca, Magic Feeling and K D Bella were within striking range. In deep stretch, K D Bella appeared to have the most momentum on the outside, but Saftic was able to split between horses with Magic Feeling and find a seam in the final stages to score the victory in 1:57.3. K D Bella finished second with Tosca third. Flexible Woman completed the superfecta. A $30,000 yearling purchase, Magic Feeling increased her bankroll to $24,700 for co-owners John Fielding and Isidoro Russo. She paid $7 to win.   -30-   Greg Gangle WEG Communications - Standardbred (416) 675-7223) x4209 @GGangle_WOMoh P Please consider the environment before printing this email. - Proud Member of Imagine Canada, achieving Caring Company Status - Recycling Council of Ontario's Platinum Waste Minimization Award - Quality ERA Gold Award winner for continuous improvements This e-mail and any attachments may contain confidential and privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail, delete this e-mail and destroy any copies. Any dissemination or use of this information by a person other than the intended recipient is unauthorized and may be illegal.

TORONTO, April 24 - After making a miscue as the heavy-favourite in last week's opening round of the Celias Counsel Series, Flexible Woman regained her form as she took the faster of two divisions Thursday evening at Woodbine. Sent off as the 4/5 favourite, Flexible Woman and driver Steve Byron stopped the clock in 1:56.4, a new career best. Byron and Flexible Woman led gate-to-wire through panels of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:27.1, before edging away from her eight rivals to win by half a length. K D Bella (Mike Saftic) came on to finish second, with Serendipitious (Jody Jamieson) third. Trained by John Bax for Parkhill Stud Farm and breeder Glengate Farms, Flexible Woman increased her bankroll to $49,986. The daughter of Federal Flex-Womanlee now has a 2-1-0 record from four starts this season. In the other division, Magic Feeling and Mike Saftic stunned their rivals at 50-1. Sent off as the second choice, Wings Of Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion) was first to the front, but elected to allow a parked-out Domedomedome (Jack Moiseyev) to the position of command at the opening quarter in :28. Heading towards the half, Magic Feeling was still on the outside and crossed over to make the front, but Wings Of Ballykeel quickly regained control before the mid-way point in :58.1. Wings of Ballykeel continued to lead her seven rivals past three-quarters in 1:28.3. Down the stretch, Wings Of Ballykeel was still on the lead, but Magic Feeling would get the best of her rival in deep stretch to complete the upset. Post time favourite Just Call Me Lady (Trevor Ritchie) rallied off cover to finish third. Trained and co-owned by Frank O'Reilly along with John Fielding and Isidoro Russo, Magic Feeling made her first start of the season a winning one as her bankroll sits at $7,500. The daughter of Kadabra paid $103.00 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

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

LONDON, ON - Ontario's two-year-old Grassroots competitors wrapped up the 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes season on an impressive note at The Raceway at Western Fair District on Tuesday evening. Next season's provincial stars gave London fans several heart-pumping finishes and one track record equaling mile in the eight $20,000 Grassroots Consolations. The record went to two-year-old pacing gelding Regal Babe, who rocketed home to a 1:54.4 triumph in the ninth race. The clocking equaled the track record for a two-year-old male pacer at The Raceway and gave Regal Babe his second win of the season. Gregg McNair conditions Regal Babe for owner-breeder Rob Chapple of Chatham, ON and driver Doug McNair crafted the come-from-behind victory, which saw Regal Babe hit the wire five and one-half lengths ahead of Concert Artist and fan favourite King Royalty. The win boosted the Stonebridge Regal son's earnings to $23,983 through nine freshman starts. Driver Jody Jamieson picked up two Grassroots Consolation victories on Tuesday, with the first coming aboard freshman pacing filly Stellllllla in the third race. Jamieson guided the Mister Big daughter to a two and one-half length victory in 1:58.2, besting Hare To Eternity and Girlsgotmachzie. Daryl Sherman of Elmore, OH bred and owns Stellllllla and David Menary trains the two-time Grassroots winner, who was sent off as the favourite by London fans. The other pacing filly Consolation was captured by Brookdale Shadow and driver Sylvain Filion in 1:57.1. Jamieson's second visit to the winner's circle came in the last Grassroots Consolation with pacing colt Allstar Seelster. The duo reeled in pacesetter Hunch Man in the stretch to claim the one and one-quarter length victory in 1:56. Opening Line was another length back in third. Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON owns and trains Artistic Fella son Allstar Seelster, who posted a record of two wins, three seconds and two thirds in 11 starts this season. The Grassroots Consolation program got under way with a nail biting finish by the two-year-old trotting fillies that saw Just Call Me Lady reel in pacesetter Bit A Magic to score her second Grassroots victory. Just Call Me Lady hit the wire one-quarter length ahead of Bit A Magic in a personal best 2:02.1. Majestic Jewel was two more lengths back in third, while fan favourite Lenny Mac settled for fourth after making an early miscue. Cambridge, ON resident Blake Macintosh trains Angus Hall daughter Just Call Me Lady for his partners Anne Campbell and Stephen Waldman of North York, ON, and Trevor Ritchie piloted the filly to both of her Grassroots wins. Trevor Henry piloted Wonderland Snow to a commanding 2:01.3 triumph in the other trotting filly Consolation. Trotting colts Crowningcrest and Rival Seelster also battled to a tight finish, with Crowningcrest prevailing by a neck over the favourite in 2:02.3. Conway Escape rounded out the top three. Scott Coulter engineered the win for trainer Susanne Kerwood and owner-breeder Langcrest Farm of East Garafraxa, ON. The win was the Mutineer gelding's second straight and his third on the season. The other trotting colt trophy went home with Ramas Last Son, who was piloted to a 2:02.1 win by Steve Condren. The two-year-old trotters and pacers will now enjoy a winter break from provincial racing action before they begin preparations for the 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes campaign. For complete results For up to date point standings, race replays, and more Sandra Snyder  

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - North America's trotting elite will congregate at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Sept. 14 and among the contestants in the William Wellwood Memorial, Peaceful Way and Canadian Trotting Classic Finals are 10 Ontario-sired stars hoping to keep the trophies close to home.  After winning his elimination from Post 10, Harper Blue Chip is among the favourites in the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial Final. The Majestic Son colt and Milton resident Sylvain Filion will line up at Post 3 in the final and trainer Mark Steacy is expecting a world class battle. "I think he's got his work cut out for him," says the Lansdowne resident. "Father Patrick is pretty highly rated, and rightly so with the races he's won, but he did look a little vulnerable on the last turn." Favourite Father Patrick will start from Post 4 and comes into the contest on a five race win streak. Harper Blue Chip's streak only extends to two races, but Steacy feels the colt is showing steady improvement. "He broke well, trained down well. He was quiet, well mannered, smart - similar to his father. He never showed high speed, but he always did what you wanted," recalls Steacy, who trained Majestic Son to $1,993,157 in career earnings. "With each race he got better, and the speed started to come. "Sylvain Filion really likes this horse and we both hope we haven't hit the bottom of the well yet," adds the horseman. Steacy shares ownership of Harper Blue Chip with Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall and David Reid of Glenburnie. The partners purchased the colt out of last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $40,000. "I always go looking for Majestic Son's. I'm a true believer," says Steacy. "I really believe Majestic Son is a great sire, and I've trained quite a few of his. He didn't catch the Grand Circuit mares like Donato Hanover and the likes of that did, but I think if he had you'd see a lot more than three in these Finals." In addition to Harper Blue Chip, Majestic Son gelding P L Hercules will also compete in the William Wellwood Memorial from Post 6 and filly Serendipitious will start from Post 8 in the Peaceful Way Final.  In last week's Peaceful Way Eliminations, two of the three winners were Ontario-sired fillies. I Jasmin and Danica Hall trotted to 1:57.1 and 1:57.3 victories respectively and will line up at Posts 2 and 3 in the $374,000 final. "It tells you that we're producing quality horses, doesn't it," says trainer Doug McIntosh, who sends the  Deweycheatumnhowe daughter into Saturday's final on behalf of owner-breeder Walnut Hall Limited of Lexington, KY. Like Harper Blue Chip, Danica Hall captured her elimination and her Champlain Stakes division one week earlier to ride into Saturday's final on a two race win streak. And like Steacy, McIntosh knows Danica Hall is in for a tough battle in the $374,000 Final. "She's a nice filly, but that race on Saturday night is a tough race. Whoever gets a trip in there will win," says the Wheatley resident. "That two-year-old trotting filly division is very deep." Trotting specialist Trevor Ritchie of Acton will steer Danica Hall in pursuit of the biggest prize of her young career. Among the other fillies expected to be favoured in the final is Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series division leader Riveting Rose, who will start from Post 5. The Muscle Mass daughter rallied from an early break in the elimination round to finish third for driver Paul Macdonell of Guelph, trainer John Bax of Peterborough and his partners Don Allensen of Wyoming, J And T Stables of Newmarket and John Hayes of Sharon. Rounding out the Ontario-sired hopefuls in the two-year-old finals are colt Massive Talent, who gets Post 1 in the William Wellwood Memorial, and fillies Toughs Legacy and White Becomes Her, who will start from Posts 9 and 10 in the Peaceful Way.  In the $686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic Final Toocool Forschool carries the Ontario-sired torch from Post 5. The Kadabra colt finished fifth behind Master Of Law in the elimination round and will be looking for a return to the form that saw him post a personal best 1:53.4 at Mohawk in his June 8 Goodtimes Elimination. Moffat resident Jody Jamieson will steer Toocool Forschool for Glenn Lalonde of Guelph and owners Roland Rocco of Lasalle, QC and Benoit Gendron of Beaconsfield, QC. The 10 Ontario-sired entries are matched only by the number of young trotters hailing from Pennsylvania. The other jurisdictions represented are New Jersey with six hopefuls, New York with three and Kentucky with one. Post time for Mohawk Racetrack's Saturday, Sept. 14 program is 7:25 pm, with the William Wellwood Memorial Final slated as Race 3, the Peaceful Way Final going postward in Race 5 and the Canadian Trotting Classic rounding out the evening in Race 8. For complete entries. For up to date point standings, race replays, and more Sandra Snyder  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 10…Your So Vain and Master of Law, last week’s elimination winners, and Hambletonian champion Royalty for Life head the field for the prestigious $686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-olds, Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The Classic honour role includes such recent winners as champions Market Share, Muscle Hill, Donato Hanover and Deweycheatumnhowe, all of whom were Hambletonian winners as well. Post time for the Classic, which has been carded as Race 8 in the 12-race program, is 9:45 p.m. Also on the card are the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot for two-year-old colts/geldings and the $374,000 Peaceful Way for two-year-old filly trotters. Last week, Scott Zeron drove both elim winners, but has chosen Master of Law for the final. Thus, Randy Waples has picked up the drive on Your So Vain. Both winners earned their connections the right to choose a post position before the balance of the field was drawn. Master of Law (PP3), trained by Frank Antonacci for owners Lindy Racing Stable of Connecticut, Brittany Farms of Kentucky and Adam Victor and Son Stable of New York, has now won six in a row, after making a break in his debut. He won his elim by a neck over Punxsutawney in 1:53.4. The son of Deweycheatumnhowe-Possess The Magic had come into his elim off an impressive eight length score in a Kentucky Sires Stakes on September 1 at Lexington, hence his 3-5 post-time favouritism. “I know how talented he is, so does Frank,” said Zeron, after the race. “But he just wanted to take his time and let him mature a little bit because he’s a little bit tough to handle in a race. “We wanted to bring him along nice and easy, so we tripped him out his first few starts, then at Lexington we let him go to the front. He’s very tough to handle but it’s his absolute endurance (that’s his best quality). He can go all day. He likes to mow them down.” Your So Vain (PP4), trained by Brad Maxwell for P G Van Camp Stables of Port Perry, pulled off a 9-2 upset in his elim, rallying from last to blow by the 2-5 favourite Royalty for Life near the wire and score by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:52.4. The son of Donato Hanover-Tennis Lover has won three of seven this year and came into his elim off a dominating performance in the Simcoe Stakes. “I’m very fortunate to pick up a very live catch drive,” said Waples. “This horse really seems to be on his game right now and coming into the race in top form. It looks like he takes a while to get involved in the race, so racing luck is going to be important. He’s got a punishing late kick, which he used in his elimination, which is also a major plus for us.” Meanwhile, Royalty for Life (PP6, Brian Sears) may still go off favoured despite failing in his elim. The son of RC Royalty-Bourbon N Grits, trained by George Ducharme for owners Alfred Ross and Raymond Campbell of Maine and Paul Fontaine of Rhode Island, is far and away the field’s leading money winner with over $1.2 million in career earnings. Completing the field are Wheeling N Dealin (PP1, Sylvain Filion), Punxsutawney (PP2, Corey Callahan), Toocool Forschool (PP5, Jody Jamieson), Pine Credit (PP7, Doug McNair), Corky (PP8, David Miller), All Laid Out (PP9, Yannick Gingras) and Smilin Eli (PP10, Tim Tetrick). The William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Race 3 on the program at 8:05 p.m., is headed by elim winners Harper Blue Chip (PP3, Sylvain Filion) and Father Patrick (PP4, Yannick Gingras). The Peaceful Way, at 8:45 p.m. as Race 5, includes elim winners I Jasmin (PP2, Scott Zeron), Danica Hall (PP3, Trevor Ritchie) and Grammas Girl (PP4, Randy Waples), along with Riveting Rosie (PP5, Paul Macdonell) and Reflection Hanover (PP6, Jody Jamieson). Post time for the first race is 7:25 p.m. Greg Gangle  

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