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MILTON, June 10, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment is pleased to announce Connor Brown, Toronto Maple Leafs forward, as this year's drawmaster for the harness racing $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. The post-position draw and media conference for the Pepsi North America Cup will take place Tuesday, beginning at Noon, at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Born in Etobicoke, Brown has played in all 82 regular season games in each of the last three NHL seasons for his hometown Maple Leafs. Drafted 156th overall by the Maple Leafs in 2012, Brown was a star in the Ontario Hockey League for the Erie Otters. The Right-Winger posted 128 points in his final junior season to lead the OHL in scoring and earn the Red Tilson Award as the league's Most Outstanding Player. Brown made his NHL debut in March 2016. He then played his first-full season in the NHL during the 2016-17 campaign, posting 20 goals and 16 assists. During the recently completed 2018-19 season, Brown recorded eight goals and 21 assists. The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup is for harness racing's finest three-year-old pacers and will take place this Saturday, June 15. The field of 10 will receive their post-positions during Tuesday's draw. All connections of the horses competing in this year's Cup are invited to the post-position draw and luncheon. Media will have an opportunity to speak with many of the competitors in this year's race. The post-position draw, featuring Connor Brown, will get underway at noon and a live stream will be available at www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com. Mark McKelvie

Harness racing's "hottest mare in the land" Shartin N was just far too good in the only $35,000 elimination of the Roses Are Red at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night. Trained by Jim King Jr. the daughter of Tintin In America with Tim Tetrick aboard drove to the front just after the 26.2 first quarter and jogged easily to a smart 1:48.4 winning her 33rd race from just 45 starts, Shartin N now has earnings of $1,561,155 in the bank. With a 26 second last half off the front Shartin N made it difficult for any other horse to make ground. Caviat Ally ran second and Yourmycandygirl ran third. Two eye catching runs behind Shartin N were Bettor Joy, who stormed home from 14 lengths behind at the first quarter mark to record one of the fastest quarters recorded, a 25 second final burst to get up for a fast closing close fifth and Seaswift Joy who came home strongly in 25.2 to finish fourth. The field for the Final next Saturday is already drawn as below. 4 -- Pace, purse $330,000 (EX, P3, SU, TR, Y4) ROSES ARE RED - FINAL - FILLIES & MARES - 3 YEAR OLDS & OLDER. Post time: 07:30 P.M. Lasix: 03:15 P.M. Horses Entered: 11 1 Tequila Monday(L) M Kakaley H Oakes 2 Caviart Ally(L) A Mccarthy B Pelling 3 Youaremycandygirl(L) Y Gingras R Burke 4 Shartin N(L) Ti Tetrick J King 5 Bettor Joy N Ti Tetrick J King 6 Dont Think Twice A B Sears A Harris 7 Alexis Faith B Mcclure C Coleman 8 Bettors Up(L) M Kakaley N Surick 9 Seaswift Joy N(L) D Mcnair T Alagna 10 Kissin In The Sand S Zeron N Johansson 11 Double A Mint(L) L Roy R Moreau

MILTON, June 8, 2019 - The harness racing field is set for the 36th Pepsi North America Cup following a pair of $50,000 eliminations on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park Bettors Wish and Workin Ona Mystery captured the elimination contests to earn the right to select their post-position in the $1 million final. The top-five finishers from each split advanced to Canada's richest Standardbred race. The first elimination took an unexpected turn when favourite Captain Crunch made a break entering the first-turn, which opened the door for Bettors Wish and driver Dexter Dunn. Air Force Hanover got around a breaking Captain Crunch to post an opening-quarter of :26.2. Bettors Wish and Dunn circled to the top from second entering the backstretch. Hurrikane Emperor made a backside rush from fourth and led by a neck at the half in :56.2, before clearing as they hit the far turn. Captain Crunch reset after his first-turn break and grinded away on the outside through the middle-half, sitting third at three-quarters. Hurrikane Emperor paced a :26.3 third-quarter to lead into the lane. In the stretch, Bettors Wish shot up the inside on Hurrikane Emperor to win in a career-best 1:49.3. De Los Cielos Deo rallied from eighth with an incredible :25 final-quarter to finish second by a length. Best In Show came from sixth to finish third. Hurrikane Emperor battled to finish fourth, while Captain Crunch made the final by gutting out a fifth-place finish. Trained by Chris Ryder, Bettors Wish came into his Cup elimination undefeated in three starts this season. The son of Bettors Delight had most recently crushed his rivals in the $300,000 Art Rooney. "The good thing about this horse is he is so versatile where he seems to be able to handle whatever is going on around him," said Dunn of Bettors Wish after seeing Captain Crunch make a break. "He's the kind of horse that makes you feel full of confidence when you sit behind him. "Coming into today we had a really good draw, but we were up against a hot field, so you never know, but like I said he's versatile and gives you a lot of confidence." Bettors Wish now sports career numbers of nine wins and $550,488 earned for owners Ryder, Bella Racing Limited, Fair Island Farm Inc. and Kenneth Solomon. A $2 win ticket on the Ontario sired Bettors Wish returned $8.60. Bettors Wish Reinsman Tim Tetrick recorded a milestone victory in the second Cup elimination with Workin Ona Mystery. Trained by Brian Brown, Workin Ona Mystery grabbed the lead in the second-quarter and powered away to a career-best 1:49 victory to give Tetrick his 11,000th career victory. "I want to say this win is for my father, I hope he's doing good and watching back home," said Tetrick following the victory. "I've come a long way from a small town in southern Illinois. I've been very fortunate and hopefully this isn't my last milestone." A son of Captaintreacherous, Workin Ona Mystery improved to three for three this season with the elimination victory. The Brown trainee has only suffered one loss in nine career starts and has amassed $183,817 in earnings for owners Diamond Creek Racing, Stambaugh Leeman Stable, Alan Keith and Wingfield Brothers LLC. "He likes to race and every time I put him up close he can just go forever it seems like," said Tetrick. "Brian (Brown) said he was ready and most of his always are ready and he wasn't lying, colt raced super, big mile." A $2 win ticket on Workin Ona Mystery returned $3.70. Workin Ona Mystery Brown trainee Air Force Hanover, who finished sixth in the first elimination, won the draw to be the also eligible in next Saturday's final. The post-position draw for next Saturday's $1 million final will take place Tuesday afternoon during a special luncheon at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Mark McKelvie

MILTON, June 8, 2019 - Sophomore pacing fillies battled on Saturday evening's harness racing card at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the eliminations of the Fan Hanover. A group of 19 three-year-old pacing fillies were split into a pair of $35,000 eliminations. The top-five finishers from each advanced to next week's $454,000 final. Treacherous Reign overcame a post-ten start to win the first elimination in a career-best 1:50. The Tony Alagna trainee and driver Dexter Dunn fired from the far outside to get away fourth and made a second-quarter move to the top. Sent off as the public's top-choice, Treacherous Reign posted fractions of :56 and 1:23.2 before sprinting home in :26.3 to win by 2½ lengths. Beautyonthebeach finish second, while Trillions Hanover was third. The top-five was completed by Deb and St Somewhere. "(Dexter Dunn) said she just gets over the ground so easy that you don't even realize what she's doing," said Alagna. "He said she had plenty of go and grabbed up down by the wire, which is how you want any elimination to go." A daughter of Captaintreacherous, Treacherous Reign is now three for three this season. The Pennsylvania Sires Stakes standout has won seven of 15 career starts, earning nearly $290,000 for owners Alagna Racing LLC, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham. A $2 win ticket on Trecherous Reign returned $3.90. Trecherous Reign Dan Patch Award winner Warrawee Ubeaut captured the second division by also making a second-quarter move to the top and never looking back. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Warrawee Ubeaut grabbed command after being parked fourth at the quarter. The Ron Burke trainee posted fractions of :55.3 and 1:22.4 before sprinting home in :26.2 to win by a length and three-quarters in 1:49.1. "I knew I was going to be maybe first up from fifth or sixth, which was too far to come, so just let her grind her way to the front and she took care of the rest," said Gingras. "I think tonight she was good as she's been. 1:49.1 here, as easy as she did it tonight, it's a scary mile." Tall Drink Hanover finished second, while Stonebridge Soul was third. Beach Bar and Powerful Chris completed the top-five. A daughter of Sweet Lou, Warrawee Ubeaut is now three for three this season. The Ron Burke trainee has won 10 of 15 career starts to earn over $721,115 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phillip Collura, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb, Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Warrawee Ubeaut paid $3.60. Warrawee Ubeaut The post-position draw for the $454,000 Fan Hanover final took place following the eliminations. 1. Tall Drink Hanover by Captaintreacherous 2. Deb by Sportswriter 3. Treacherous Reign by Captaintreacherous 4. Warrawee Ubeaut by Sweet Lou 5. Trillions Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere 6. St Somewhere by American Ideal 7. Powerful Chris by Betterthancheddar 8. Beach Bar by Somebeachsomewhere 9. Stonebridge Soul by Somebeachsomewhere 10. Beautyonthebeach by Somebeachsomewhere AE: Sunny Dee by Sunshine Beach Mark McKelvie

The first session of 2019 baby races at Woodbine Mohawk Park is in the books after a 13-dash harness racing qualifying session on Saturday (June 8). Anotherstarisborn opened the session with a strong performance. The daughter of Thinking Out Loud - Tell Me Everything forged to the front from post seven, paced unchallenged through fractions of :31, 1:01.3 and 1:31.3 before sprinting home in :28 to pass her test with flying colours and earn a 1:59.3 speed badge. Toonietina (Randy Waples) stayed with her in the pocket to finish second by two lengths with Beach Boutique (Sylvain Filion) in third. To read the full article click here

MILTON, June 7, 2019 - Records were matched and broken in Friday evening's Armbro Flight harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 16 star trotting mares clashed in a pair of $35,000 Armbro Flight eliminations with Ron Burke trainees Atlanta and Hannelore Hanover putting on a show. Superstar Atlanta delivered possibly the easiest-looking Canadian record-equaling performance in recent memory with a dazzling 1:51 victory in the first split. The clocking equaled Hannelore Hanover's record set in the 2016 Armbro Flight. Not one to share the spotlight, Hannelore Hanover went out and broke the record in the second elimination by posting a 1:50.3 mile. The clocking was not only a record for trotting mares, but also the fastest trotting mile in Canadian racing history. The previous record of 1:50.4 was set in 2012 by Mister Herbie. Yannick Gingras steered both mares to the record miles on Friday evening. "I'm going to talk to Ronnie," said Gingras when asked which mare he will select for the final. "It's going to be a team decision, I've got to talk to him and see what he thinks and go from there." In the first elimination, Atlanta circled around Dream Together entering the backstretch to grab command. The four-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven reached the half in a modest :56.4 before ramping things up for the back-half. Atlanta                                --New Image Media Appearing to never break a sweat, Atlanta trotted a :27.2 third-quarter followed by a :26.4 final-quarter to win by 7 ¼ lengths in 1:51. "She was unreal tonight," said Gingras following the victory. "Last week I didn't think she was a hundred percent, but tonight she was definitely back in form. I had a lot left." Gingras felt that Atlanta could've broke the record with ease. "There is no doubt she could've gone in (1):50 really easily. I still think there is room for improvement. I wouldn't be surprised if she goes under (1):50 soon, but we will worry about that when we get there." Plunge Blue Chip finished second, while P L Jill was third. The top-five was completed by Highland Top Hill and Royal Witch. Atlanta is now undefeated in three starts this season with $117,000 earned for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. The 2018 Hambletonian champion sports impressive career numbers of 15 wins and nearly $1.3 million earned. Atlanta paid $2.20 to win. Hannelore Hanover came into the Armbro Flight elimination as the three-time defending champion. Gingras hustled Hannelore Hanover out to the top, clearing after a :27.2 opening-quarter. The seven-year-old cruised by the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:23.4. In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover trotted home in :26.4, the same final-quarter as Atlanta, to win by 4 ¼ lengths in a historic time of 1:50.3. Top Expectations finished second, while Emoticon Hanover was third. The top-five was completed by Weslynn Dancer and The Erm. "She's back," said Gingras. "She's sound as a dollar right now. She was really sharp in the post-parade, but once she hit the last turn she was trotting real strong and felt like her old self." A winner of over $3 million, Hannelore Hanover has been dominating the aged trotting ranks for several seasons. The daughter of Swan For All came into the elimination off a seventh-place finish in her lone start this season. Her victory Friday gives her 43 for her career. A $2 win ticket on Hannelore Hanover returned $6.50. Sophomore trotters were also in action Friday for the eliminations of the Goodtimes. A group of 18 were split into a pair of $30,000 divisions. Forbidden Trade angled out of the two-hole late for a 1:53.1 victory in the first elimination. Driven by Bob McClure, Forbidden Trade showed early speed to grab the lead and post a :27.2 opening-quarter. Favourite Swandre The Giant moved from third to first in the second-quarter and posted middle-half fractions of :56.2 and 1:26.1. In the stretch, Swandre The Giant put away rivals pressuring on the outside and tried to sprint away. However, McClure angled Forbidden Trade out in the final-eighth and the son of Kadabra responded to clear racetrack by charging up along side and picking off Swandre The Giant to win by a neck. "I didn't have him until the wire," said McClure following the victory. "I figured if I could get to the front he would be coming, and it worked out good. "He grew up a lot, matured a lot and has always been really fast. He got a nice trip and took advantage of it." Smart As Hill, who came first-up in the third-quarter, finished third. The top-five was completed by Super Schissel and Only For Justice. Forbidden Trade was making his second start of the season Friday after finishing second in his season debut. The Blais trainee won seven of 11 starts and earned $300,436 last season to earn an O'Brien Award for owner Determination. A $2 win ticket on Forbidden Trade returned $12.80. Pilot Discretion kept his perfect record alive with a career-best 1:52 mile in the second Goodtimes split. Pilot Discretion                        --New Image Media Driven by Andrew McCarthy, Pilot Discretion was quickly moved out from fourth entering the backstretch but had to spend the next quarter on the outside before finally clearing at a sizzling half of :55.1. The Tony Alagna trained Pilot Discretion wasn't bothered and proceeded to hit three-quarters in 1:24 before trotting home in :28 to secure a 3 ½ lengths score. Southwind Avenger finished second, while Dream Nation was third. Jumpshot and Knight Angel completed the top-five. A son of Muscle Hill, Pilot Discretion is now five for five in his young career. The Alagna trainee was racing for the third time this season and has now earned $41,000 for owners Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson and John Fodera. "He's just been really good this year coming back," said Alagna. "We were so high on the colt last year, but he just wasn't ready to go. We raced him twice at Lexington for experience and had hoped to race him in the Valley Victory and he got sick on us, so we put him away for the year. "He trained back great in Florida this winter. We were high leaving Florida and hoping he would do what he's doing right now. Alagna pegged the Goodtimes as a perfect spot for Pilot Discretion's Grand Circuit debut. "David Anderson owns the colt with Robert LeBlanc and they're from Canada originally and of course in partnership with John Fodera. It's a fun group to have a horse for of this caliber and we thought it would be a great time to try the stakes trail with this horse." A $2 win ticket on Pilot Discretion returned $3.20. The post-position draws for the $256,000 Armbro Flight and $247,000 Goodtimes took place following Friday's eliminations. $256,000 Armbro Flight 1. Royal Witch 2. Weslynn Dancer 3. Hannelore Hanover 4. Atlanta 5. The Erm 6. Top Expectations 7. Highland Top Hill 8. P L Jill 9. Plunge Blue Chip 10. Emoticon Hanover AE: Dream Together   $247,000 Goodtimes 1. Only For Justice 2. Swandre The Giant 3. Pilot Discretion 4. Forbidden Trade 5. Super Schissel 6. Smart As Hill 7. Dream Nation 8. Southwind Avenger 9. Jumpshot 10. Knight Angel AE: Trix And Stone   Replays available at www.YouTube.com/WoodbineReplays (Races 3,5,6,8)   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications

MILTON, June 7, 2019 --Making most of their living racing in Pennsylvania on the fair circuit and at its three tracks, Tony and Linda Schadel will now take their first steps onto the world's stage as their glamour-boy colt Aflame Hanover takes aim at a million-dollar prize in this Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. "This is the first time I've ever entered a horse in another country," trainer Linda Schadel said. "It's just amazing; like a dream." The Schadel name has over the years rooted itself into Pennsylvania harness racing. Tony's brother Todd co-owned $3.2-million earner Vivid Photo, who thrived on the PA fair circuit prior to winning the 2005 Hambletonian. Tony and Linda, who met racing on the fair circuit, have only within the last few years shifted their operation's focus from racing claiming and older stock to purchasing and developing younger horses. "I'm just trying to get a horse to make money and make a living," Linda said. "I don't need to be off racing in a million other places. I have two kids, I want to raise my family and just do what we're used to and what's good by us. We're pretty happy in Pennsylvania but if these horses can lead us out of here, that's good too." Tony and Linda purchased their "Cup" contender, Aflame Hanover, for $6,500 at the 2017 Goshen Yearling Sale. The colt is by the Somebeachsomewhere sire Russell Hanover, who never raced but comes from a bloodline related to millionaires Royalflush Hanover, Red River Hanover and Rocknroll Hanover. "He just looked good," Linda said of Aflame Hanover as a yearling, "He's got a great looking head, put together nice. He looked like something we might be able to afford and he was put together nice." Aflame Hanover debuted on June 24 last year in a division of Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) at the Hughesville Fair, winning in 2:04.2 with Tony driving. He went on to race 14 more times as a two-year-old, winning six races total and earning over $80,000. "When we were training him down, he was a nice colt--just could go as much as you wanted to go and we actually had to quit with him for a little while because he was just going too much and it was too early," Linda said. "Obviously we probably wished we paid [into] more but we didn't know how fast he was going to be for sure; we knew he was nice." Aflame Hanover went the quickest mile of his career in the Fair Final, posting fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:22.4 in progress to a seven-and-a-quarter length victory in 1:51.4. "When he did the mile he did last year [in the Fair Final] we paid him into a few extra things; the things we paid him into this year were things we could still get him into without payments last year." Aflame Hanover resurfaced as a three-year-old in late March to ready for the Bobby Weiss Series at Pocono. While he has not won a race from eight starts this season, he enters the Cup off a runner-up finish to top contedner Captain Crunch in a division of PASS at Harrah's Philadelphia. "From the beginning of this year [the Cup] was the goal because you could pay into it from the beginning of this year," Linda said. "It was never anything we thought about last year, maybe [not] until the end of the year when he won the Fair Final. We just kind of thought if he comes back nice and he has done everything right all along so far so we just kept paying the payments." Aflame Hanover will start from post-seven as the longest shot on the morning line in his elimination. At 15-1, he competes against Brian Brown-trainee and 8-5 favourite Workin Ona Mystery as well as Battle of Waterloo champ Bronx Seelster and Metro Pace winner Stag Party. "He's definitely an underdog," Linda said. "But I think he is compatible to be in there. The trip just has to work out [and] he just has to have luck--and that's half of horse racing to me: you need to have luck. I don't think we've seen the best of him yet." Aflame Hanover's start in the Cup elimination will also be his first without Linda's husband, Tony, in the sulky. Instead Andrew McCarthy, Linda's brother-in-law, picks up the reins. "I'm hoping [Andy] listens to everything me and Tony have to tell him and takes that all into consideration," Linda said. "Tony wanted to leave it maybe more to a professional. Not that he would not be scared to drive him--he's driven him all along--but maybe it's time to hand him over now." A pair of eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup headline Saturday's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park, carded as Races 3 and 8. Two eliminations for the Fan Hanover and a $35,000 prep for the Roses Are Red also go on the card, with first-race post at 7:10 p.m. (EDT).   By Ray Cotolo for Woodbine.com

Tom Fanning might not have a shoo-in to reach the Fan Hanover Stakes final, but he likes Trillions Hanover's chances with shoes on. Fanning watched his 3-year-old female pacer qualify last weekend at The Meadowlands in 1:50.2 with a shoe missing, after which he was quick to quip with a grin, "She probably goes 1:49 with four shoes." She can try Saturday (June 8), when she races in the first of two Fan Hanover harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Nineteen 3-year-old filly pacers were entered in the Fan Hanover, including Dan Patch Award winner Warrawee Ubeaut and O'Brien Award winner Tall Drink Hanover. The two will meet in the second of the two C$35,000 eliminations, which also includes Three Diamonds Stakes winner Prescient Beauty and budding Ontario star Sunny Dee, who is 8-for-8 this season. The top five finishers from each division will advance to the final on June 15. Saturday's card also includes two eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers and a prep race for the Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers. Trillions Hanover has won five of nine career races and finished second twice, earning $65,650 in purses. She was last year's Pennsylvania Stallion Series champion for 2-year-old filly pacers. "She didn't train down like she was going to be something special," Fanning said. "She just trained down like a normal horse, a little on the lazy side, but never gave us a problem. She didn't get sick, didn't tie up. When she got into a race, she just got better and better. She's got a good attitude. You don't have to coddle her like a lot of fillies. You train her, you turn her out, you jog her, she eats. She does her work. She's good that way." Trillions Hanover is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of Tutu Hanover. She was purchased under the name Thompson Hanover for $20,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Falcon Racing, J L Benson Stables, and VIP Internet Stable. "She was pretty nasty; I think that turned a lot of people off," Fanning said about the filly at the sale. "But she got over that and is really a sweetheart now. She's got a great attitude. She just wants to beat horses, she really does." Trillions Hanover has raced twice this season, beating 4-year-old Reclamation (handing the mare her only loss in seven starts this year) before going off stride in her second at Harrah's Philadelphia. "She has a little trouble at (Philly) in the turns, but we kind of got that straightened out," Fanning said. "We thought if she qualified well last week at the Meadowlands we would send her up for the Fan Hanover. She qualified really well. She only had three shoes, but we got through the race. "She should benefit from that qualifier. I've been training her, but not a lot fast. So that was a really good tightener for her. I think she will really step up off of that and she's showed legitimate speed. She wasn't completely done in the qualifier either, so that was a good sign. She can go, and she has some class to her as well. We'll see what happens." Trillions Hanover, who will be driven by David Miller, is 8-1 on the morning line. The favorite in the first elimination is 2018 Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Beautyonthebeach, at 3-1, followed by Treacherous Reign at 7-2. She is a Tony Alagna-trained stablemate to Tall Drink Hanover, who is 4-1 in the second elim. Last year, Tall Drink Hanover won the She's A Great Lady Stakes at Mohawk, where Treacherous Reign finished in a dead-heat second with Prescient Beauty. Treacherous Reign is 2-for-2 this year while Tall Drink Hanover beat older foes in her only start of the campaign. "She had a great first start," Alagna said about Tall Drink Hanover. "She was very impressive. We felt like she had good fitness, so we didn't want to race her back last week. It's such a long year. The way she raced in her first start off a layoff, I think her fitness is there. We tuned her up a little bit (Monday) morning so she seems like she's going to be firing on all cylinders. "Treacherous Reign started out great last year and just got tired toward the end of the season. I should have put her away earlier than I did, but thankfully she's come back good this year. (Driver Dexter Dunn) was tickled to death with the way she raced the other day. She showed good pace on both ends of the mile. "I feel very good about them." The favorite in the second elimination, at 5-2 on the morning line, is Warrawee Ubeaut. She paced 1:48.3 last year to become the fastest 2-year-old pacer in history and is off to a 2-for-2 start in 2019. "She's been great," trainer Ron Burke said. "She couldn't be any better. If anything, she's been better (than last year) because she's calm; she'll let you do what you want, not what she wants. I'm thrilled with her." Racing begins at 7:10 p.m. (EDT) at Mohawk. For Saturday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

Ron Burke leads all trainers in starters for Saturday's (June 8) Pepsi North America Cup harness racing eliminations at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park, and although his three 3-year-old pacers are winless this season, the sport's leading conditioner is anticipating improved performances from his group. Burke, the 2018 Trainer of the Year in the U.S., sends out De Los Cielos Deo in the first of two C$50,000 eliminations and Captain Victorious and Semi Tough in the second. Nancy Johansson and Brian Brown are the only other trainers with multiple horses in the North America Cup elims, with two each. The top-five finishers from each nine-horse elimination will advance to the C$1 million final on June 15. The connections of the elimination winners will select their post positions for the final and the remaining eight horses will be put in an open draw. The draw will be Tuesday during a luncheon at Woodbine Mohawk Park. De Los Cielos Deo won his first five races last season before finishing second in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final and his elimination of the Metro. He was no better than fourth in three remaining starts but was dealing with a foot issue. So far this season, the colt is winless in three races, but he heads to his North America Cup elimination off a 1:48.4 win in a qualifier last weekend at The Meadowlands. "I knew he had that in him," Burke said. "Things have just gone terrible for him the first few races. I knew he was good, so I just told (driver David Miller) to stretch him a little bit in the qualifier to make sure I'm right. I was very happy with him." Semi Tough, who was second to Stag Party in last year's Metro Pace at Mohawk, is winless in four races this year, but has hit the board three times. Captain Victorious was a three-time winner last year on the Pennsylvania circuit for trainer Julie Miller. He was purchased by the Burke-led Captain V Stable in April and finished third in his debut for his new connections but was off the board in two starts since then. "We scoped Captain Victorious and his stomach has ulcers," Burke said. "I think that's led to his last couple bad performances. I'm hoping we'll have him ready to go. Semi Tough, every start he's gotten progressively better. He's heading in the right direction. "I think we're going to be all right." Semi Tough                                             -- Ken Weingartner photo The first elimination features Dan Patch Award winner Captain Crunch, who is one of Johansson's two entrants, along with Caviart Rockland in the second elim. The second elimination also includes O'Brien Award winner Stag Party in the nine-horse field. Captain Crunch is 2-for-2 this year and is among six horses entering the first elimination off a win (not counting De Los Cielos Deo's qualifier victory). The others include Art Rooney Pace winner Bettor's Wish, New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Hurrikane Emperor, and Somebeachsomewhere Stakes division winner Century Farroh. Bettor's Wish, Hurrikane Emperor, Century Farroh, and Shake That House join Captain Crunch as the field's undefeated horses this season, a combined 15-0. The second elimination has one unbeaten horse this year, Brown's Workin Ona Mystery, who is 2-for-2. Tyga Hanover brings a three-race win streak to the elim, including a victory in a Somebeachsomewhere division. Saturday's card at Mohawk also includes two eliminations for the Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers and a prep race for the Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers. Racing begins at 7:10 p.m. (EDT) at Mohawk. For Saturday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

It is often said that sometimes the moves you don't make, or in this instance the races you don't make, turn out the best. Such appears to be the case for 3-year-old male trotter Pilot Discretion, who brings an undefeated slate to Friday's Goodtimes Stakes harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Pilot Discretion, from the stable of Tony Alagna, developed slowly last season at 2. When he was ready to go at Lexington's Red Mile in late September, he proved the trainer's patience was well invested by winning a late closer by 6-1/2 lengths in 1:56 and following up a week later with a five-length 1:55.1 score. After returning home to New Jersey in October, Pilot Discretion got sick. He was soon able to return to training and looked set to compete in a preliminary round of the Kindergarten Series at The Meadowlands, which would serve as a prep for the Valley Victory Stakes, but he spiked a temperature again. Alagna decided it was best to quit with the colt rather than push on. "It may be the best thing that ever happened to him long term because he's come back really good," Alagna said this week as he prepared to send Pilot Discretion to Canada for the Goodtimes. "Sometimes things work out the way they're supposed to." Pilot Discretion pushed his perfect slate to 4-for-4 by winning two conditioned races last month at The Meadowlands. His most recent victory came by 2-1/4 lengths over 5-year-old Stenhouse Hanover in a career-best 1:52.4. That time is tied for the fourth fastest by a 3-year-old this year. "He was an immature colt and we took our time with him," Alagna said. "He's really matured into himself nicely. It's a nice time to try him against stakes company. He couldn't be any sharper than he is right now. He trained great (Monday). For an inexperienced colt last year, he's really come back good." Pilot Discretion was one of 19 horses entered in the Goodtimes. The field was divided into two eliminations, with Pilot Discretion landing in the second. He will start from post No. 6 with regular driver Andy McCarthy. He is among three horses in the group, with Valley Victory winner Southwind Avenger and stakes winner Kings County, eligible to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes. The first elimination features eight Hambletonian eligibles: Smart As Hill, Trix And Stones, Swandre The Giant, Forbidden Trade, Magical Winner K, Blazing Trail, Only For Justice, and Super Schissel. Forbidden Trade was last year's Ontario Sire Stakes champion; Super Schissel captured the Matron Stakes. Pilot Discretion, whose four wins have resulted in $26,000 in purses, is a son of Muscle Hill out of Self Indulgent. He was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Robert Leblanc, Dave Anderson, and John Fodera. "He acts like a horse that's going to be very versatile," Alagna said. "He acts like a horse that can leave, that can sit, he can do a lot of things. He's not aggressive, he's a nice horse to drive. That goes a long way. He's really done well." Friday's card at Mohawk also includes two eliminations for the Armbro Flight Stakes for older female trotters. The first elim includes 2018 Trotter of the Year Atlanta and world-record-holder Plunge Blue Chip, who is making her 4-year-old debut. The second elim includes 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover, 2018 O'Brien Award winner Emoticon Hanover, 2017 Dan Patch Award winner Manchego, and Darling Mearas S, a Swedish standout making her North American debut. Racing begins at 7:10 p.m. (EDT) at Mohawk. For Friday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

MILTON, June 5, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park is pleased to offer a special owners' breakfast during baby races on Saturday, June 8. Connections of two-year-olds taking part in baby races this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park are invited to the complimentary hot breakfast. Food and drinks will be available beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Terrace Dining Room buffet and connections are welcome to sit outside on the Mohawk Harvest Kitchen patio to watch the harness racing qualifiers. A variety of items, including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, pancakes, coffee, tea and juices, will be offered during the breakfast. Program pages for the baby races will also be available. Owners looking for more information on the breakfast or any other issues are welcome to contact Megan Walker, Manager of Racing, at mwalker@woodbine.com.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications

JUNE 4, 2019 - When the three-year-old trotting fillies gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday evening for the first Grassroots harness racing event of their season it was the novices who had the key to the winner's circle. In the first $23,150 Grassroots division driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON tucked Class Angel in behind early leader Vindaloo Hanover and watched that filly ring up a :27.4 opening quarter and a :58 half. When the pacesetter yielded to pressure from Kashe, MacDonald sent Class Angel to the outside and the filly moved strongly past the 1:27.3 three-quarters and turned for home with a one length advantage. Fan favourite Cambridge Kate mounted a late challenge, but Class Angel stayed on task and hit the wire a one and one-half length winner in 1:58.1. Cambridge Kate settled for second and Kashe was three more lengths back in third. "We were very happy with Angel's effort tonight. She is a very tough, gritty filly that has matured a lot mentally over the past few months," said Guelph resident Shawn Steacy, who trains the filly for numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. "Her manners have greatly improved and I was very proud of how she fought off the other filly late in the mile." The win came in Class Angel's fourth start of the season and her ninth lifetime. The Archangel daughter made a pair of starts in the Gold Series as a two-year-old. The second division saw Justice Society claim the lead heading for the halfway marker and never look back, sailing to a one length victory in 1:56.4. Angelic Speed finished second and early leader Knickers was well back in third. Campbellville, ON resident Chris Christoforou engineered Justice Society's first lifetime win for trainer Dany Fontaine and owners Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. and Vincenzo Cammisano of Montreal, QC. Tuesday's test was the Justice Hall daughter's fourth lifetime. She made her career debut on May 6. Regally bred Miss Congeniality and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON took the third division with a trip up the outer lane that saw the Kadabra daughter hang tough at the wire for a neck victory over a surging Galaxy Seelster. Petro Hall finished three lengths behind the duelling leaders, who stopped the teletimer at 1:57. "She has everything to be good. The speed is in the family you know, R First Class, R Raised Emotions, and her, she just win in 1:57, that's pretty good for her first start this year," said trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph, ON. "She come first up and she got lonely a little bit, Sylvain said, just because she's green, but we like her, we like her. I think as time goes on she might be able to step up to the Gold category." Baillargeon trains Miss Congeniality for breeders Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, ON. The group enjoyed a prolific Gold Series season in 2017 with her full brother R First Class, who was the three-year-old trotting colt Super Final winner and division champion in his first year of racing, and Baillargeon hopes Miss Congeniality can follow the same late-blooming path. "She's staked everywhere that mare, the Breeders Crown, the Elegantimage, you know, so I took my time with her - I'm still taking my time," said Baillargeon. "We're going to try to bring her along real nice and see how much she develops." Lefkada capped off the list of first-time winners in the last division, popping out from behind pacesetter Splurge On Me at the top of the stretch and waging a battle with Halo Its Me on her way to a neck victory in 1:56.4. Halo Its Me had to settle for second and fan favourite Splurge On Me was five lengths back in third. Scott Wray drove Lefkada to her first win in just her second lifetime start for trainer Jack Wray of London and his partner Tom Wray of Schomberg, ON. The E L Titan daughter finished second by a neck in her debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 23. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Grassroots start at Dresden Raceway, part of its popular Canada Day program on July 1. The Ontario Sires Stakes will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, June 20 with the second Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Complete results for Tuesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0604wbsbsn.dat.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

MILTON, June 4, 2019 - The 36th Pepsi North America Cup has attracted 18 entrants to compete in this Saturday's harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The group of 18 three-year-old pacers have been split into a pair of $50,000 eliminations. The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $1 million final on June 15. The elimination winners will earn the right to select their post position for the final. Captain Crunch is the top contender heading into the eliminations. The Dan Patch Award winner will start from post-four in a stacked first division. Trained by Nancy Johansson, Captain Crunch sent a statement to his competition with a pair of stunning victories to start his sophomore campaign. The son of Captaintreacherous posted a 1:49.1 victory in his season debut over a sloppy track at Pocono on May 19 and followed it up with a 1:49.2 open-lengths score on May 26 at Philadelphia. His dominate start is no surprise after finishing his rookie season (six wins in 10 starts) with victories in the Breeders Crown and Governor's Cup. Captain Crunch                                    --Curtis Salonick photo Captain Crunch is from the first-crop of 2013 North America Cup winner Captaintreacherous, who was from the first-crop of 2008 winner Somebeachsomewhere when he captured Canada's richest race. Trainer Johansson is the daughter of now-retired Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. The Pepsi North America Cup is one of few signature races that Takter never won during his career. Regular driver Scott Zeron will be at the controls of Captain Crunch. Based in the United States the last several years, Zeron is a former leading driver at Woodbine and is searching for his first Pepsi North America Cup. The depth of the first Pepsi North America Cup elimination will likely mean a top contender will be on the outside looking in to the final. Dr. Ian Moore trainee Century Farroh (PP9, Sylvain Filion) is undefeated in four starts this season and will face his toughest challenge to date. The son of Mach Three was last season's Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots champion and most recently won his Grand Circuit debut in a Somebeachsomewhere division Century Farroh                       --New Image Media The first elimination also features Art Rooney winner Bettors Wish (PP1, Dexter Dunn), who is three for three this season. Regally-bred Best In Show (PP2, Bob McClure) has won two of his last three starts. New Jersey and Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Hurrikane Emperor (PP3, Daniel Dube) has won 10 of 12 career starts. De Los Cielos Deo (PP5, David Miller) recently posted a 1:48.4 qualifying victory. The field is completed by Air Force Hanover (PP6, Miller), Shake That House (PP7, Tim Tetrick) and Fixed Idea (PP8, Randy Waples). The first elimination has been carded as Race 3 (7:50 p.m. EDT) The second elimination will see former Cup winning trainer Brian Brown send out the almost-perfect Workin Ona Mystery. The Ohio-based trainer won the 2016 event with Fear The Dragon. A son of Captaintreacherous, Workin Ona Mystery is two for two this season to bring his career record to seven wins in eight starts. The Brown trainee posted easy victories in two Pennsylvania Sires Stakes events before most recently tuning up for the Cup with a 1:52.3 qualifier on May 29 at Hoosier Park. Tim Tetrick, who is a two-time North America Cup winner, will drive Workin Ona Mystery. The pair will start from the outside post-nine. O'Brien Award winner Stag Party will line up from post-five with driver David Miller in the second split. The Casie Coleman trainee has been off to a slow start by his standards this season, posting a pair of third-place finishes in two starts. A son of 2001 North America Cup winner Bettors Delight, Stag Party won six of nine starts as a rookie, including the Metro Pace. Reinsman Miller has won two of last three editions of the North America Cup, while trainer Coleman is seeking her third victory in the $1 million event. Local trainees Bronx Seelster (PP6, Trevor Henry) and Tyga Hanover (PP8, Sylvain Filion) will look to make the final for their Canadian connections. Wayne McGean trainee Bronx Seelster was an Ontario Sires Stakes standout as a rookie, winning seven of 12 starts. The son of Big Jim has a runner-up and fourth-place finish in two starts this season. Tyga Hanover surprised some with a victory in last Saturday's Somebeachsomewhere for trainer Ben Baillargeon. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere has won three of four starts this season after going winless in six as a two-year-old. The field for the second split is completed by Captain Victorious (PP1, Yannick Gingras), Lyons Night Hawk (PP2, Tetrick), Semi Tough (PP3, Matt Kakaley), Caviart Rockland (PP4, Scott Zeron) and Aflame Hanover (PP7, Tetrick). The second elimination is carded as Race 8 (9:30 p.m. EDT). The final for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup will take place on Saturday, June 15. The post-position draw is scheduled for next Tuesday (June 11) during a special luncheon at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 2019 Pepsi North America Cup event on June 15 will feature over $2 million in live racing, live music, food trucks and a beer garden. The first 1,500 fans to arrive on Pepsi North America Cup night will receive a free commemorative hat. Tickets are now on sale at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Full details for the Pepsi North America Cup can be found on the official event page. Post time for this Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup eliminations card is 7:10 p.m. To download the early program pages for Saturday's card, click here.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications  

MILTON, June 4, 2019 - The entry box for the 36th Pepsi North America Cup closed Tuesday morning with 18 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings entered. A pair of $50,000 eliminations, each with a field of nine, will be contested this Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $1 million final on Saturday, June 15. The draw for the eliminations will be released later this afternoon. Aflame Hanover (Trainer: Linda Schadel) Air Force Hanover (Trainer: Brian Brown) Best In Show (Trainer: Linda Toscano) Bettors Wish (Trainer: Chris Ryder) Bronx Seelster (Trainer: Wayne McGean) Captain Crunch (Trainer: Nancy Johansson) Captain Victorious (Trainer: Ron Burke) Caviart Rockland (Trainer: Nancy Johansson) Century Farroh (Trainer: Dr. Ian Moore) De Los Cielos Deo (Trainer: Ron Burke) Fixed Idea (Trainer: Todd Clements) Hurrikane Emperor (Trainer: John McDermott) Lyons Night Hawk (Trainer: Gareth Dowse) Semi Tough (Trainer: Ron Burke) Shake That House (Trainer: Chris Oakes) Stag Party (Trainer: Casie Coleman) Tyga Hanover (Trainer: Ben Baillargeon) Workin Ona Mystery (Trainer: Brian Brown)   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment,

JUNE 3, 2019 - On Monday the three-year-old trotting fillies gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park for their first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event and fans got a look at two impressive youngsters who could be battling for divisional supremacy all summer. In the first $107,200 division Haveoneforme, making her first start since winning the May 18 SBOA Stake Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park, was sent off as the heavy favourite. Driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON took advantage of the tepid :29.1 opening quarter and rolled Haveoneforme to the front from Post 8 and then cruised comfortably by the :57.4 half. Last year's division champion HP Titania Runner attempted to press Haveoneforme from the outside, but was not up to the task, going off stride before the 1:26.3 three-quarters. From there it was all smooth sailing for the fan favourite, who hit the wire a five length winner in 1:55.3. Royal Esteem finished second and Angies Luckeylady was third. "She's a very strong filly. Every time I've raced her so far she's just trotted through the wire really strong," MacDonell told Woodbine Mohawk Park's Jason Portuondo from the winner's circle. "That's what really makes her, probably separates her from most of the others." MacDonell crafted the win for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman of Allentown, NJ and his partners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON and Little E LLC of New York, NY. A $70,000 acquisition from the 2017 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Haveoneforme was unraced at two, but has made up for lost time since making her debut on Jan. 25. In eight starts she has recorded six wins and Monday's victory was the Kadabra daughter's third straight. Three races later Bright Eyes M, who finished second to Haveoneforme in the SBOA Final, was also sent off as the favourite. Starting from Post 9, Bright Eyes M effortlessly grabbed control of the front, reaching the quarter in :28.2. From there the Kadabra daughter and driver Stephen Byron were completely untroubled as they rang up a :57.1 half and 1:26.3 three-quarter on their way to a five and one-quarter length victory in 1:55. Sams Arsenal and HP Bruxelles trotted into second and third. "It's a long year, but it's sure starting good," said Campbellville, ON resident John Bax, who trains Bright Eyes M for Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, KY. Monday's win was the filly's third in four sophomore starts, her only loss coming to Haveoneforme in the SBOA Final. A $72,000 purchase from the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Bright Eyes M made just three starts at two before her connections decided they would be better off allowing her to grow into her big frame. "As a two-year-old, she was what I call a typical Kadabra, just a real heavy horse. She eats well, but that was her problem," said Bax. "She was pretty heavy in the front and that was her issue. I mean she's a good-sized mare, but she carries a lot of flesh and she's solid. She doesn't look like a wide receiver; she looks like a lineman or a linebacker. There's nothing graceful about her, she's just all power." Bax added that the filly's size may require careful management this season, both in her number of starts and the size of racetracks she competes over. "I think the plan would be not over race her and try to keep her healthy all through the year," said the trainer. "When you're going for that kind of money you don't have to go every week, there's less pressure." The next opportunity for Haveoneforme and Bright Eyes M to tangle in Gold Series action will come July 3 at Grand River Raceway. If they continue to have success the pair could also meet up in a series of open stake events in late summer. Three-year-old trotting fillies continue to be in the spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park this week as the Campbellville oval hosts their Grassroots season opener on Tuesday evening. The fillies will battle in a quartet of divisions on the June 4 program, kicking things off at 7:10 pm in Race 1.   OSS Program Information   For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

MILTON, June 3, 2019 - The very best in harness racing will compete at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the $6 million Breeders Crown, presented by Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26. Ticket information for the Breeders Crown is now available at www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com. Fans can purchase tickets for the COSA Premium Lounge, make reservations for the Terrace Trackside Buffet, Mohawk Harvest Kitchen and Trackside Bar or purchase indoor grandstand seats. The COSA Premium Lounge will host an exciting party and dining atmosphere during the Breeders Crown weekend. Reserve your place amongst racing elite, where you'll be right in the action and experience mouth-watering aromas, fresh & delicious chef creations and exhilarating racetrack views all from the comfort of a private VIP space. Tickets for the COSA Premium Lounge are priced at $200 a night or $350 for two-night access. Each night features a different experience in the COSA Premium Lounge. Guests will be treated to gourmet passed hors d'oeuvres and food stations (Friday), ultimate gourmet buffet dinner (Saturday), open bar, live entertainment and exclusive trackside views with lounge seating. Dining pass options are available for the Terrace Buffet, Mohawk Harvest Kitchen and Trackside Bar. Indoor grandstand seats are priced at $20 and the ticket guarantees the assigned seat for both nights of Breeders Crown action. Tickets for the indoor grandstand seats can be purchased onsite at Woodbine Mohawk Park or by e-mailing tickets1@woodbine.com. The official Breeders Crown event page houses all the details for the championships, including ticket information, dining passes, news and travel options. Woodbine Entertainment has secured a special Breeders Crown discount for accommodations at the Hilton Mississauga Meadowvale and visiting guests can take full advantage by booking through the official Breeders Crown event page. A complimentary shuttle from the Hilton Mississauga Meadowvale to Woodbine Mohawk Park will be available. The Breeders Crown championships for two-year-old pacers and trotters will be contested on Friday, October 25. The championships for three-year-olds and up will take place on Saturday, October 26. Post time for each night of championship racing is 7 p.m. Follow @WoodbineSB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for continuing coverage of the Breeders Crown.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

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