Day At The Track
Search Results
33 to 48 of 79

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

This Week: Kindergarten Series, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y; Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial final, Peaceful Way final and Milton Stake eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Bobby Quillen Memorial final, Harrington Raceway, Harrington, Del. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 11) at The Red Mile with four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 12) program at Tioga Downs features four divisions in the $91,908 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old colt pacers and three divisions in the $77,309 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 2-year-old filly pacers.   Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 13) with the C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$409,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$390,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old open trotters, the C$385,000 Peaceful Way final for 2-year-old filly trotters, and two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton Stake for older pacing mares. On Monday (Sept. 15), Harrington Raceway will host the $200,000 (est.) Bobby Quillen Memorial final for older pacing horses. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: Mohawk Racetrack had several Grand Circuit races during the past week. Among the most noteworthy were a pair of Simcoe Stakes divisions for 3-year-old open pacers. Dancin Hill and Scott Zeron were 1:50.1 winners in a Simcoe division at Mohawk. In the first Simcoe Stakes division, Dancin Hill and driver Scott Zeron picked up the victory in a career-best clocking of 1:50.1. Dancin Hill powered by Western Vintage in the lane and paced strong to the wire to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Winds Of Change. Carracci Hanover took the show spot. A son of Rocknroll Hanover-Beyonce Blue Chip, Dancin Hill has now won two of his last three starts and improved his seasonal record to three wins in 12 starts. Dancin Hill is owned by Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain and is trained by Tony Alagna. Melmerby Beach and Paul Macdonell scored their second victory in back-to-back weeks to take the second division. In the stretch, Melmerby Beach dug in and held off Play It Again Sam to win by a half-length in 1:50.2. Jet Airway couldn't find his best stride and finished third. A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Db Blue Chip, Melmerby Beach has now won three of his last five starts. Trained by Brent MacGrath for Schooner II Stable, Melmerby Beach has now won six of his 14 starts this year. The eighth annual Bobby Quillen Memorial stakes for older pacers commenced Monday (Sept. 8) at Harrington Raceway with a pair of $20,000 elimination divisions. Two-time Quillen champ Foiled Again was making his record sixth start in the Quillen, while 2013 champion Clear Vision was making his fourth. Those two rivals battled for a memorable finish in the 2013 event that resulted in a narrow win by Clear Vision over his stablemate. After Monday's eliminations, they appeared to be headed for a potential repeat duel as Foiled Again cruised to an effortless 1:51.3 triumph in his division, while Clear Vision was a 1:49.3 victor. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. They will lead a field of eight into the Monday (Sept. 15) final at Harrington. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 966; 2. Tim Tetrick - 551; 3. David Miller - 471.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 423.5; 5. Brett Miller - 266. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,276.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 764; 3. Tony Alagna - 235: 4. Ake Svanstedt - 222; 5. Julie Miller - 210. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 274.05; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 246.55; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 182; 4. Robert Key - 175; 5. Bamond Racing - 156.5. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Balmoral Park, The Red Mile, Mohawk Racetrack, Hoosier Park and Hippodrome 3R. Delaware will be hosting ten Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Balmoral will host American-National events for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; The Red Mile will feature another leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; Mohawk will feature the final of the Milton Stake for pacing mares; Hoosier will host the Kentuckiana Stallion Management for freshman filly pacers and trotters and the Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers; and Hippodrome 3R will feature the Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

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

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 6 - It took a day longer than expected, but the William Wellwood Memorial eliminations took place Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Originally scheduled for Friday night, the eliminations were carried over to Saturday because of severe weather that caused the cancellation of Friday night's card after only one race. The two $30,000 eliminations were contested as non-wagering events before Saturday night's 12-race card. In the first elimination, Uncle Lasse led the field from gate to wire to win in a career best 1:54.4. Driven by Scott Zeron, Uncle Lasse set fractions of :27.4, :58 and 1:27 before trotting home in :27.4. Habitat trotted right behind Uncle Lasse the entire mile, but couldn't outkick the leader in the lane and lost by a length and a quarter. Big Rich finished third, while Don't Rush and Wheels Ah Smoking secured the final two spots in the final. Uncle Lasse is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Solveig's Racing Partners. A son of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Uncle Lasse has now won three times in six career starts and has earnings of more than $161,000. Lookslikeachpndale held off a late push from three rivals to win the second elimination. Driven by Sylvain Filion, the son of Muscle Hill - Poster Pin Up, Lookslikeachpndale led the field into the stretch after reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:28. Jetpedia, who was first up around the final turn, challenged Lookslikeachpndale the entire length of the stretch, but came up a half a length short at the wire. Aldebaran Eagle, who was only beat a length, won a show photograph over Southwind Stryker. Gifted Way finished fifth to pick up the final spot in next Saturday's final. Trained by Luc Blais, the Wellwood elimination victory was a maiden breaking score for Lookslikeachpndale. Owned by Determination, Lookslikeachpndale has now earned over $35,000 in five career starts. Following the eliminations, the post position draw was held for next Saturday's $390,000 final. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post for the final. Here is how they will lineup for the William Wellwood Memorial final. PP/Horse 1. Gifted Way 2. Lookslikeachpndale 3. Uncle Lasse 4. Don't Rush 5. Aldebaran Eagle 6. Habitat 7. Jetpedia 8. Southwind Stryker 9. Wheels Ah Smokin 10. Big Rich AE: Infiniti As by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Officials at Mohawk Racetrack and at Grand River Raceway both cancelled the remainder of their Friiday evening's card after the first race at Mohawk and the 2nd race at Grand River due to severe weather in their respective areas.. The two William Wellwood Memorial eliminations for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings - which were scheduled as races 2 and 3  at Mohawk, will be carried over to Saturday evening. They will be held as non-wagering events beginning at 6:30 p.m. From WEG and Grand River Raceway

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

Father Patrick is no stranger to overcoming difficult starting spots, and no stranger to providing fantastic finishes. He did both in his most recent performance, starting from post eight at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and winning the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial in a world-record 1:50.2. Post eight produces only 6.7 percent winners at Pocono Downs, the worst figure at the five-eighths-mile oval. On Saturday night, Father Patrick will leave from post nine in the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Post nine produces 8.4 percent winners at the Big M, the second-worst percentage of the 10 starting spots on the gate. Undefeated in five races this year, and the owner of a 14-race win streak dating back to last July, Father Patrick is the 4-5 favorite on the morning line in the 12-horse field. Regular driver Yannick Gingras will be at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter, who also sends out the only other horses at less than 15-1 on the morning line: Trixton, 3-1 from the second tier's post 12, and Nuncio, 4-1 from post seven. "It will be an interesting race," Takter said. "They didn't draw good, but they're good horses so we'll see what happens. Patrick got the toughest [draw] with the nine and two horses trailing, but he can do anything you want; he's so handy." The Stanley Dancer, the final major tune-up for the $1.2 million Hambletonian on Aug. 2 at the Meadowlands, is part of a stakes-filled Saturday at the Big M. The card also includes the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace, $463,300 William R. Haughton Memorial, $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial, $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee, $178,450 Golden Girls, and a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility Series. First race post time is 6:30 p.m. Saturday and the Haughton and Meadowlands Pace will air live beginning at 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Father Patrick was last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. He has won 15 of 16 career starts and earned $1.09 million for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group. His victories last season included the Breeders Crown, William Wellwood Memorial, and Peter Haughton Memorial, which he won by 10 lengths at the Meadowlands. He captured his Breeders Crown elimination in 1:52.1, a world-record for a 2-year-old male trotter on a five-eighths-mile track, starting from outside post No. 9 at Pocono Downs. This season, Father Patrick won a division of the Historic-Dickerson Cup and two divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes before sweeping his elimination and the final of the Beal. "His win [in the Beal final] was very impressive," Takter said. "He went in (1):50.2 and Yannick didn't even ask him at all. I was a little worried going into the race that he wasn't stretched out enough. They need that. Now he's got it. It's good to have that. "Patrick is, to me, the perfect horse." Nuncio, driven by John Campbell, finished second to Father Patrick in the Beal, beaten by 2-3/4 lengths. Nuncio, who is the only horse to beat Father Patrick, has won nine of 15 career races and finished second on six occasions - with five of those runner-up efforts coming to Father Patrick. Interestingly, Nuncio's win over Father Patrick came last July 12, exactly one year to the day as the Dancer. "Don't count Nuncio out," said Takter, who trains the colt for owner Stefan Melander's Stall TZ. "He's very good. John has basically nursed him, not to get him fired up, and mentally he's 10 times better than I dreamed I was going to get him. I'm sure from the seven post John is going to test him a little bit out of the gate. He's a hell of a horse. I like his chances too." Trixton, who will be driven by Takter, has won five of six races this year and is making his first start in a race with Father Patrick and/or Nuncio. He won the Goodtimes Stakes in a Canadian-record 1:51.3 on June 14, his most recent outing, and won the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 1:52.1 on May 31 at the Meadowlands. He brings a five-race win streak to the Dancer, with none of those victories coming by fewer than 4-1/2 lengths. Trixton is a son of 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994. His family also includes past stars Andover Hall, Conway Hall and Angus Hall. "Trixton, when he has his 'A' game, we know what he can do," said Takter, who trains the colt for Brixton Medical AB and Christina Takter. "At this point, I'm sitting on three really, really good horses. I would be extremely disappointed if I don't end up winning the Hambletonian this year. My goal is to win the Hambletonian." Following is the field in post order for the Stanley Dancer Memorial with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Muscle Network, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 15-1; 2. Martiniwithmuscle, Ron Pierce, Joseph King, 30-1; 3. Revrac Harbour, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna, 30-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 20-1; 5. Skates N Plates, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 30-1; 6. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 30-1; 7. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 4-1; 8. Speak The Truth, David Miller, Linda Toscano, 30-1; 9. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 4-5; 10. Well Built, Chris Ryder, Chris Ryder, 50-1; 11. Kapow Hanover, Corey Callahan, Staffan Lind, 50-1; 12. Trixton, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 3-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

TORONTO, May 21 - WEG standardbred racing is set to return to Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville for the 51st season of live racing. The 102-day meet will kick off on Thursday, May 22 and live racing will be held five nights a week on Mondays, Tuesdays (except May 27 and October 7) , Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Each race night will have a 7:25 p.m. first race post time. "It's an exciting time of the year," noted driver Jonathan Drury. "Everyone looks forward to the return of Mohawk because that means it's summer time and a full schedule of great stakes events. Other drivers along with fans and customers are going to have a lot of fun this summer." The most anticipated event on the stakes calendar is the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, featuring the finest three-year-old pacers, set for Saturday, June 14. The evening will offer a special post time of 6:45 p.m. Stakes action begins immediately at Mohawk, with the SBOA Stakes eliminations for three-year-old filly pacer and trotters featured on the initial Saturday card, and continues almost non-stop until fall. Major stakes engagements include the Maple Leaf Trot (Saturday, July 19), the Metro Pace, Canadian Pacing Derby and Shes A Great Lady Stakes (Saturday, August 30) and the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage Stakes, Peaceful Way Stakes and William Wellwood Memorial (Saturday, September 13). Ribs will be prominent throughout Pepsi North America Cup weekend as Crabby's BBQ Shack and Silver Bullet BBQ will play host to fans.The popular 'Your First Bet Is On Us' promotion returns. Every customer can register on site for a free $2 bet. Fans can also visit Labatt's Beerville to play great games and win cool prizes. Mohawk Racetrack will also be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the town of Campbellville. Mohawk will host fireworks on Friday, June 13 with a special post time of 7:05 p.m. Mohawk fans can also follow the action each night on Twitter. Hosts Mike Hamilton, along with track announcer Ken Middleton and Greg Gangle will offer 'tweets' during each live program aimed at giving customers more race related information. You can follow them on Twitter at the following: Hamilton_WOMoh, Middleton_WOMoh, GGangle_WOMoh. Fans should also be sure to check out Mohawks Trackside Bar for its nightly specials throughout the meet. The specials are listed below: Monday - 1/2 Price Wings Tuesday - Bud & Burger Thursday - Steak N Stella Friday - Thank Cod It's Friday Patrons are also encouraged to engage with Mohawk Racetrack through its Facebook page found by clicking the following link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mohawk-Racetrack/164889090219676 Also fans can go to www.Twitter.com to sign on to Twitter and then search for the following harness racing stars. Drivers: Aaron Byron - @ByronAaron Chris Christoforou - @CCAstreos Dan Clements - @DanielWClements Jonathan Drury - @JDruryRacing Billy Davis Jr. - @BillyDavisRacin Phil Hudon – @Whodon99 Jonathan Drury - @JDruryRacing Anthony Haughan - @AHaughan Jody Jamieson - @JodyJamRacing James MacDonald - @JamesOMac26 Anthony MacDonald – @HorseRacingAMac Doug McNair – @DMcNair12 Scott Young – @YoungieAnswers Scott Zeron - @ScottZeron Trainers: Carmen Auciello - @CarmenAuciello Nick Boyd - @Ralphie9 Blair Burgess - @Desibesi Casie Coleman - @FastLane111 Danny Girard - @DannyGirard1 Mark Horner - MarkHorner44 Corey Johnson – @SeaJay09 Blake MacIntosh - @BlakeMacRacing Robert McIntosh - @BobMcIntosh52 Jason McGinnis - @JasonMcGinnis21 Anthony Montini - @MontiniRacing Mike Sinclair - @Sinny51 Shawn Steacy - @S_Steacy‎ by Greg Gangle, for WEG

Father Patrick, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, makes his debut at age 3 in Wednesday's second division of the Historic-Dickerson Cup at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The 8-5 morning line favorite, Father Patrick will have regular driver Yannick Gingras in the sulky for trainer Jimmy Takter. Father Patrick, who finished last season with a nine-race win streak and captured 10 of 11 starts overall, trotted a world-record 1:52.1 mile at Pocono Downs in October. Father Patrick, who starts Wednesday from post three in a six-horse field, prepped for his first race by competing in two qualifiers at the Meadowlands, winning the second in 1:53. "He's good," Takter said. "He's coming into this race perfect. I'm really, really happy with how he looks. He's good mentally and physically. He just looks really good. I think the only thing (that can stop him) is himself in that race. It's a good start from him." Father Patrick ended last season by winning the $500,000 Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs. Afterward, Takter called the colt "the horse I've been waiting for." In addition to his world-record effort in his Breeders Crown elimination at Pocono Downs last year, Father Patrick won his division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in a Canadian-record 1:54. Two weeks later, he lowered the mark when he won the $354,050 William Wellwood Memorial in 1:53.4. He also won the $280,500 Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands -- by 10 lengths -- finishing in 1:54.1 over a track labeled "good" and missing the stakes record by one-fifth of a second. "Hopefully he can step up and be an outstanding horse," Takter said. "He really doesn't have to improve too much; he's trotting (1):52 speed. He's maturing, so he will be a stronger horse. Nature shapes them from 2 to 3. He doesn't have to improve much more than how nature improves him." Father Patrick is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream. His full brother, Pastor Stephen, was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter in 2010 and won 10 of 22 lifetime races, earning $1.04 million, before seeing his career cut short by injury at age 3. The colt is not the only standout 3-year-old trotter in Takter's stable. Nuncio, who finished second to Father Patrick four times last season, started his 2014 campaign with a win in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes division at Harrah's Philadelphia on May 15. Lightly raced Trixton has opened eyes this season with two wins in three starts, including a 10-3/4 length triumph in 1:51.2 to win the Simpson Memorial on May 9 at the Meadowlands. Takter will keep the three away from each other for as long as possible on the road to August's Hambletonian Stakes. "You've got to," Takter said. "Nuncio and Patrick are Pennsylvania-bred and I only have the two of them and most likely there will be two divisions (of sire stakes) wherever they go so they don't have to face each other. The first time they're going to meet is in the Earl Beal (Memorial at Pocono Downs on June 28). "Trixton isn't staked to the Beal because he's not ready for the shorter tracks yet. He'll go to Canada for the Goodtimes up there (on June 14). That will be after the New Jersey Sire Stakes. He'll get a couple weeks off and then the Stanley Dancer is coming up for all of them." Joining Father Patrick in the second division of the Dickerson Cup are Marathon Man, Amped Up Hanover, Explosive Cash, Master Bedroom, and Shift Into Glide. The first division is Lighter Hanover, Dony Andreas, Mac Kemp, It Really Matters, and Auspicious Hanover. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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

TORONTO, January 16 - Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced the date of the Pepsi North America Cup, its spotlight Standardbred race, along with the rest of the $12 million 2014 harness racing stakes schedule. The 31st edition of the Pepsi North America Cup will offer a guaranteed purse of $1 million on Saturday, June 14 at Mohawk. The continent's finest three year-old pacers will line up behind the gate, with eliminations scheduled the week prior on June 7. Captaintreacherous captured the race, first staged in 1984, last year. The lucrative June 14 card offers a showcase for the continent's best horses across several divisions, including the $400,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, the $325,000 Roses Are Red for older pacing mares, the $270,000 Armbro Flight for trotting mares, the $225,000 Goodtimes for sophomore trotting colts and the $100,000 Gold Cup for older pacing horses. "We are enthusiastic about the 2014 racing season and proud to announce one of the finest stakes programs in North America," said Jamie Martin, Executive Vice President of Racing. "Woodbine Entertainment Group plans to make this the best Pepsi North America Cup ever." Mohawk will once again play host to some of the continent's most prestigious Grand Circuit events. On July 19, the $550,000 Maple Leaf Trot, for older trotters, will be offered for a 62nd time. Market Share won the 2013 renewal. The $685,000 Metro Pace for two year-old pacing colts is set for Saturday, August 30. Ontario-owned, trained & driven Boomboom Ballykeel was victorous in the 2013 edition of the race. Co-featured on the rich Labour Day weekend card are the $650,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers and the $450,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes for juvenile pacing fillies. The Canadian Trotting Classic (CTC), for racing's best three year-old colt trotters, will take their positions behind the starting gate on Saturday, September 13 for a purse of $685,000. Royalty For Life won the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands en route to a score in the CTC last year. The $375,000 Peaceful Way final for two year-old trotting fillies, the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colts and the $365,000 Elegantimage, for three-year-old filly trotters, are also featured on the mid-September weekend. The Grand Circuit stakes return to Woodbine for its Fall meet in October. The $1.9 million Fall Four (Goldsmith Maid, Three Diamonds, Valley Victory and Governor's Cup), will be contested on Saturday, October 25. These events were last held at Woodbine in 2010. Also in 2014, all finishers in the stakes finals will earn purse money. The winner will continue to receive the traditional 50% of the total purse, while those sixth through last will get 1% each. Those finishing second through fifth will receive 50%-24%-16%-10%, respectively, of the remaining purse. Plus, if 11 horses or fewer declare to start in a stakes series, there will be no eliminations and all declared horses will advance directly to the final. Byes will no longer be issued in stakes events. The stakes nominating process begins February 15. For the entire stakes schedule click here: by Greg Gangle for WEG    

On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

Grand Circuit racing continues on Friday at The Red Mile with three divisions each of the Bluegrass Stakes for two year old colt trotters and filly pacers.   Those freshmen will compete for total purses well in excess of a half million dollars and the "top of the crop" for each group are among the entrants.   The colt trotters will compete in the Walnut Hall Limited Cup, carded as races five, seven and ten, each a seven colt field for a purse of $90,100.   Father Patrick has been nothing short of sensational this season. The Cantab Hall colt has won the Peter Haughton Memorial at The Meadowlands by ten lengths and more recently the William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk, where he established a new Canadian record for baby trotters of 1:53.4 in a five length romp. A winner of $436,507 this year, the only loss in Father Patrick's eight start career was a photo out in an overnight at The Meadowlands.   Jimmy Takter trains the colt for the Father Patrick Stable and Yannick Gingras will steer him as he has in every start this season.   On the distaff side, the fillies will race for just shy of $260,000 split three ways, race eight, nine and eleven. The "Belle of the Ball" thus far has been Jim Avritt's homebred Art Major filly Precocious Beauty. From his mare Precious Beauty, who produced North America Cup champ Sportswriter, Jim kept the filly he has described as "a perfect specimen" and she has lived up to his vision and then some. A winner of four straight in Ontario including the She's A Great Lady final and Eternal Camnation stakes, Precocious Beauty has amassed just shy of $360,000 on the strength of five wins and a pair of seconds from seven starts. Her 1:50.2 speed badge puts her just a fifth off the current world record for the division.   Top Canadian conditioner Gregg Mc Nair developed the filly and sends her out on Friday with her regular pilot, one of racing's brightest young stars, his son Doug.   Friday post time will be 7pm. The Red Mile is available at a simulcast venue near you or you may view the races by opening an account with their account wagering platform.   by Nick Salvi for the Grand Circuit

Unlike last week’s troubled mile that still ended up victorious, Father Patrick and driver Yannick Gingras took no chances Saturday at Mohawk Raceway as the duo stream rolled their way in scoring a romp in the $365,000 final of the William Wellwood Memorial Trot for two-year-olds. Father Patrick won by six open lengths in 1:54.3, tying his lifetime mark and rewriting the Stakes, track and Canadian record for two-year-old trotting colts. The third race co-feature began with trainer/driver Dan Daley leaving hard from post seven with Odds On Amethyst to take command with Harper Blue Chip (Sylvain Filion) grabbing the two-hole trip by the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Daely then backed down the pace as the field entered the backstretch, going to the half mile in only :57.2 but at that point Gingras already had Father Patrick on the move and they cleared to the lead with ease. By the three-quarter mile marker, Father Patrick was in command as Filion came first-over with Harper Pool Chip in 1:26.1. But once the field started down the stretch, Gingras and Father Patrick said goodbye and pulled away for the easy victory. Harper Blue Chip was second with Credit Fashion (Brian Sears) third. His time of 1:53.4 was just one-fifth of a second off of the world record held by Muscle Hill. “He had plenty left in the tank,” Gingras said after the race. “I heard how close he was to the world record. It was a cool night and he could have crushed it. He has some quirks about him (referring to last week) but it was my fault not trying to take any chances and I was trying to give him an easy trip and that got us in a little bit of trouble. So tonight I just wanted to give him a clear path, moved him to the front at the half and it was lights out from there.” Sired by Cantab Hall, it was the seventh win in eight starts this year for Father Patrick. He is trained by Jimmy Takter and is owned by the Father Patrick Stable of Windsor, NJ. Sent off as the overwhelming 1/9 betting favorite, Father Patrick returned just $2.30 to win. Video attached. By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com

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  

Had some tough breaks last weekend but that is racing.  Right now I stand at picking horses in 101 races with 42 winners. I went just two for seven last week and lost $6.20 (based on $2 win bet each race). We are still in the minus earning column at  -$24.40 going into this weekend. There is big action all around North America this weekend with PASS Championship Finals at The Meadows on Friday and Sunday at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Then Saturday at Mohawk are three classic finals including the Canadian Trotting Classic.  So much great racing I’ve double the sections this week with 11 races to bet on between the three tracks. And don’t forget we will have a special edition next week for the Little Brown Jug and Jugette cards from Delaware, Ohio. $260,000 PASS Final 3YO Filly Trot 6th race The Meadows Friday – Classy Martine is one of three top fillies from the Chris Oakes Stable in this race. She is the class of the field with $302,000 earned this year and prepped for the final with a 1:55 qualifying win, last quarter in :27.4. That’s good enough for me! $260,000 PASS Final 3YO Filly Pace 8th race The Meadows Friday – Somwheroverarainbow was the 2012 2yo Pacing Filly of the Year and this season has five wins in ten starts with $274,000 in earnings. This won’t be a cakewalk for her but on backclass alone she should be able to win in here. $260,000 PASS Final 3YO Colt Trot 9th race The Meadows Friday – Very well matched group in this final makes it hard to pick. Despite having to start from the far outside in post 8 I am going with Spider Blue Chip. With exception of making a break in his last start he can loom over this field even from the outside and should be at pretty decent odds to boot! $260,000 PASS Final 3YO Colt Pace 10th race The Meadows Friday – You could throw a dart at the program page and come up with a winner, it’s that close a matchup. So, when in doubt I always go with the class of the field and in this case it’s Twilight Bonefire. Has $423,000 in earnings this year, been facing the best colts in the nation all season and gets a slim call in wide open race. $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial 2YO Trot 3rd race Mohawk Raceway Saturday – First real chalk of the weekend. Father Patrick has been sensational, nearly lost it all in mid stretch last week and still rallied late to win. Has 6 wins in just 7 starts for Jimmy Takter Stable and a record of 1:53.4. From inside post he should be much the best again in going for his sixth straight win. $374,000 Peacful Way Final 2YO Filly Trot 5th race Mohawk Raceway Saturday – Riveting Rosie made a costly break last week but still rebounded to finish third in her elimination division. Prior she had won four straight races. I look for her to rebound in the final despite facing a very competitive field. $686,000 Final Canadian Trotting Classic 3YO Trot 8th race Mohawk Raceway Saturday – Master Of Law was impressive scoring his fifth straight win last week in the CTC eliminations and it was his first time facing Grand Circuit colts, but I think last week Brian Sears was caught napping in the stretch with Royalty For Life and that is why the Hambo winner was second. I look for no nap time allowed in the final and for Royalty For Life to steamroll over the field. $260,000 PASS Final 2YO Filly Pace 9th race Harrah’s Philadelphia Sunday – Gallie Bythe Beach will make the most of starting from the rail in here. She is the class of the field with $239,000 in earnings and having won five of her seven starts this year. Tyra, having won five of her six starts has yet to face Gallie Bythe Beach but I look at Gallie Bythe Beach getting the call in here mainly because of her good inside post position. $260,000 PASS Final 2YO Filly Trot  10th race Harrah’s Philadelphia Sunday – It’s the clash of the young titans…..Super speed vs strength and stamina. Cooler Schooner is the world’s fastest two-year-old trotter and in her last two starts she has shown the ability to cut crazy fast fractions and still hold on to win. But she has not faced Lifetime Pursuit under these conditions. The first time they met, Lifetime Pursuit beat her with ease. Now I look for the same to happen again. Despite outside posts for both fillies, I see Cooler Schooner cutting the mile with Lifetime Pursuit getting great cover and then coming off that cover to win for fun. $260,000 PASS Final 2YO Colt Trot 11th race Harrah’s Philadelphia Sunday – With six wins in his last seven starts it would be hard to pick against Exodus Hanover. He heads the field with $128,000 in earnings and most certainly knows how to win and has beaten most everyone in this field already this season. $260,000 PASS Final 2YO Colt Pace 12th race Harrah’s Philadelphia Sunday – Real tough call in this close knit group. Allstar Partner is gunning for his sixth straight win and has $147,000 in earnings. Tellitlikeitis has been racing well but has trouble nailing down those wins and Limelight Beach is no slouch either with four wins in seven starts. But I like Let’s Drink On It. Draws the rail, has won $116,000 this year and is the fastest colt in this field with a mark of 1:51.1. Forget interference break in Metro Final last start as this colt will be very strong today.  

33 to 48 of 79