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TORONTO, January 19 - Harness racing driver Doug McNair has been off to a flying start in 2017 and Thursday night he continued his hot streak by sweeping round one of the Blizzard Series at Woodbine Racetrack. McNair guided Stonebridge Pearl and Senseless Beauty to victories to take both $17,000 first leg divisions of the Blizzard for three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares. The first division of the evening saw all the attention go towards Niagara Series winner Jimbelina, but the heavy-favourite just couldn't go all the way over the "off-track". Sent to the front from post-ten by driver Sylvain Filion, Jimbelina cut out fractions of :27.1, :57 and 1:25.2. However, Stonebridge Pearl and McNair stalked the leader's every move from the pocket and were able to pounce in the lane. Stonebridge Pearl powered by Jimbelina in deep stretch to win by half a length in a career-best 1:55. Sparkle finished third, while Franschoek was fourth. A four-year-old daughter of Mach Three, Stonebridge Pearl made her first start of the New Year a winning effort Thursday after winning just once in 21 appearances in 2016. Owned by Mark Ford and trained locally by Gregg McNair, Stonebridge Pearl banked $26,100 last season and her Blizzard opening leg victory now gives her three career wins and a bankroll of $69,880. She paid $22 to win. Stonebridge Pearl The second division saw McNair once again crossing the wire first, but this time he did it with the public's choice. Senseless Beauty was pointed directly to the front right from the beginning by McNair and was able to clear Collective Wisdom for the lead just after the opening-quarter of :28. After posting middle-fractions of :57.1 and 1:27, Senseless Beauty was tested in the lane by Collective Wisdom from the two-hole, but the favourite was able to turn aside the challenger and score a two-length victory in 1:55.4. Kloof Street turned in a strong final-quarter to come all the way from ninth and last to finish second just ahead of Collective Wisdom. Xelene Bayama finished fourth. A four-year-old daughter of Vintage Master, Senseless Beauty was making just the fourth start of her career Thursday. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee raced twice as a rookie in August of 2015, but didn't make another start until last month. Owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham, Senseless Beauty has now won back to back starts at Woodbine and is on a three-race win streak after finishing second in her career debut. Thursday's victory increases her career earnings to $24,500. She paid $4.40 to win. Senseless Beauty Round two of the Blizzard Series will take place next Friday (January 26). Three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares, who were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible to the Blizzard. Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine with round one of the Snowshoe Series for three and four-year-old pacers headlining the 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 14 - Modern Legend became harness racing's newest millionaire with a 1:50.4 victory in Saturday's $34,000 Preferred at Woodbine Racetrack. The Dave Drew trainee was able to reach the career milestone by capitalizing off a second-over steer from driver James MacDonald. Modern Legend was able to power by American Virgin, who had led the field from the start, in the stretch to get the job done by a neck. Company Man finished third, while Nickle Bag was fourth. A nine-year-old son of Modern Art, Modern Legend has been a top performer for several years on the WEG Circuit and scored his biggest victory to date in the 2014 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack. Modern Legend recently returned from an 18-month layoff in December and the Drew trainee appears on the right path to returning to competition against the older pacing heavyweights. Saturday's victory gives Modern Legend, who has a career mark of 1:47.2, 23 wins from 71 career starts. He paid $5.80 to win. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, ON - January 12 - Due to deteriorating track conditions caused by rain and mild temperatures, the Woodbine Entertainment Group has cancelled tonight's (January 12) card of live harness racing at Woodbine Racetrack. Live racing will resume on Friday (January 13) evening at 7:30 p.m. with qualifiers scheduled to take place earlier in the day at 4 p.m. By Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications   

TORONTO, January 6 - After a short holiday break, the Standardbreds are set to get back to action and start a new harness racing season Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A strong 12-race card will launch the 2017 Woodbine Entertainment Group racing season Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. The feature event on the season-opening card is the $34,000 Preferred Pace, headlined by top older pacers Modern Legend and Nickle Bag. Modern Legend, the 2014 Canadian Pacing Derby champion, recently returned to the racetrack after an 18-month layoff. The Dave Drew trainee was able to get one start in before the end of the year and certainly made the most of it with a stunning 1:49.4 victory on December 17. Now a nine-year-old, Modern Legend will have an opportunity to reach a career milestone in Saturday's Preferred, as the Drew trainee sits just $13,675 away from $1 million in career earnings. James MacDonald will drive Modern Legend in Saturday's seven-horse Preferred and the duo will start from post position four. The $34,000 feature event is carded as Race 3. The driver and trainer standings restart from zero on Saturday evening, but Sylvain Filion and Richard Moreau have a good chance to jump back into their usual spots at the top of the leader board. Filion is listed to drive in all but one of Saturday's 12 races, while Moreau will send out 10 starters on the card. The dynamic duo will team up six-times throughout the night. Saturday's season-opening card features all the familiar wagering options, including the $40,000 Pick-5, $50,000 Early Pick-4 and the Jackpot Hi-5, which starts from scratch on the evening's final-race. Following Saturday's card, live racing will be held every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the Woodbine Winter meet. Post time each night is 7:30 p.m. Click here to download a program for Saturday's card.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 2 – The Mohawk Race Office would like to offer horsepeople an update on training and live racing at Woodbine Racetrack. The racing surface and paddock at Woodbine will not be available for training this Tuesday (January 3), but instead will be open on Wednesday (January 4) from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Live racing resumes at Woodbine this Saturday (January 7).  The Mohawk Race Office will reopen on Tuesday morning and the draw for Saturday will be held on Wednesday. Entry box closes at 10:30 a.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

TORONTO, December 26 - The Father-Son team of Gregg and Doug McNair were the stars of the show on Monday's abbreviated Boxing Day harness racing card at Woodbine Racetrack. Mild temperatures and consistent rain took a toll on the racing surface throughout the card, which forced officials to cancel the final three-races due to unsafe track conditions. However, the $35,400 Valedictory and $33,400 Niagara Series finals were both contested before the cancellation. Senior K delivered a gritty effort to win the Valedictory final for Team McNair. The three-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight shot off cover in the stretch and paced through the sloppy conditions to score a narrow victory by a head over Awesomeness in 1:54.3. Owned by Keith Waples, Senior K now has three wins in 13 starts this season and increased his 2016 earnings to $50,650 with the Valedictory score. He paid $13.80 to win. Senior K Senior K's Valedictory victory added to a big day for the McNair's. Gregg McNair sent out three horses on the card and all three visited the winner's circle, while Doug recorded a driving Grand Slam by capturing four of the nine races contested. The Niagara Series final for three-year-old pacing fillies saw Jimbelina complete a sweep of the series by scoring a four-length victory in Monday's $33,400 final. The Rene Bourassa trainee was fired out of the ten-hole and directly to the front by driver Sylvain Filion. It was lights out from there, as Jimbelina scooted around the sloppy oval for an easy 1:57 victory. Owned by Roland Trudel, Jimbelina is now a 10-time winner this season following her Niagara score. The Bourassa trainee improved her record to 10 wins in 19 starts and her seasonal earnings to $70,580 with Monday's score. Jimbelina paid $3.30 to win. Jimbelina Three-year-olds that were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016 were eligible for nomination to the Valedictory and Niagara Series. Monday's Boxing Day card was the final card of live racing at Woodbine for 2016. Live racing resumes Saturday, January 7at 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 23 - Harness racing horseplayers flooded to the windows and wagered more than $2 million into the Jackpot Hi-5 for the mandatory payout Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A significant carryover of $548,396 was brought into Friday's mandatory payout. Horseplayers threw their money down attempting to score a nice holiday payday and wagered $2,081,441 of new money into the Jackpot Hi-5, bringing the total pool, including carryover, to $2,629,837. Six-year-old pacer The Rev and driver Doug McNair crossed the wire first at odds of 3/1 to win the Jackpot Hi-5 race. A $0.20 winning ticket with the correct combination of 6-4-11-7-1 returned $4,842.70. The top-five finishers were: 1st: #6 The Rev (Doug McNair) 3/1 2nd: #4 Electric Western (Mario Baillargeon) 10/1 3rd: #11 Regal Son (Chris Christoforou) 8/1 4th: #7 Half A Billion (Jody Jamieson) 20/1 5th: #1 A Cool Card (James MacDonald) 23/1 The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. The minimum wager is $0.20 and the takeout is 15 per cent. Friday's mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5 was the first offered since earlier this season on June 18th at Mohawk Racetrack. Outside of the Jackpot Hi-5, horseplayers were active throughout the entire Friday evening card. Multi-leg wagers were popular, as $75,216 was wagered on the Early Pick-4, $62,970 on the Pick-5 and $55,815 on the Late Pick-4. The total handle for Friday's 12-race card was $4,704,527. Live racing resumes at Woodbine on Boxing Day (Monday) with a 12-race matinee card beginning at 1 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 23 - Christmas spirit is in the air and so are dollar signs heading into this weekend's jam-packed harness racing action at Woodbine Racetrack. A deep 12-race card, featuring the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, will start the Christmas weekend tonight at the Toronto oval, while a 12-race matinee card, featuring the Valedictory and Niagara Series, will wrap up the holiday weekend on Boxing Day (Monday). Horseplayers with some last minute shopping to do may have lots of extra coin to spend on Christmas Eve following tonight's Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout. A massive carryover of $548,396.96 is being brought into tonight's Jackpot Hi-5 and a total pool of $2 million is a possibility. A competitive field of 12 overnight pacers will battle in the Jackpot Hi-5 race. Travis Cullen trainee Paparazzi Hanover is the slight 4/1 morning line favourite from post position eight. Each horse in the Jackpot Hi-5 race will receive a share of the boosted $24,000 purse, as horses finishing sixth through 12th will receive 1%. While all eyes will be locked the Jackpot Hi-5, the $30,000 Mares Preferred will likely be the sight of a milestone. Brent Vincent's eight-year-old pacing mare Waasmula is less than $2,000 away from reaching $1 million in career earnings. The Bruce Goit trainee will be making her 127th career start Friday. Waasmula has been a staple of the WEG Mares Preferred in recent years and has made 108 starts on the WEG Circuit throughout her six-seasons on the track. The daughter of Million Dollar Cam is the 3-1 second-choice in Friday's feature race and will be leaving from post-eight with regular driver Trevor Henry. The Mares Preferred is carded as Race 10. Woodbine Racetrack will be dark on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but harness racing will return Monday afternoon for the annual Boxing Day matinee. The 12-race matinee card will be highlighted by the $35,400 Valedictory Series final and $33,400 Niagara Series final. The top-two choices in Monday's Valedictory final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will leave from opposite ends of the starting gate. Goit trainee Lyons Sands is the 3-1 morning line choice from post-one, while Ryan Maxwell student Awesomeness is 7-2 on the morning line from post-ten. Both Lyons Sands and Awesomeness captured second leg divisions of the Valedictory last Saturday. J Harris will drive Lyons Sands, while Randy Waples will be at the controls of Awesomeness. The first round of the Valedictory featured a pair of upset winners and both of those sophomores will need to repeat as underdogs to take the series finale. Dreamfair Mesa was a 7-1 winner in the opening leg and starts from post-six Monday, while Dragon Strikes, who was a 19-1 stunner in the first round, starts from post-eight. The Valedictory is carded as Race 5 on Monday. A series sweep is a possibility in the Niagara Series final for three-year-old pacing fillies, but Jimbelina will have to overcome post-ten in order to complete the task. The Rene Bourassa trainee scored impressive preliminary leg victories of 1:52.2 and 1:52.3. Jimbelina did not have the luck of the draw on her side for the final and driver Sylvain Filion will have to figure out a winning-trip from the ten-hole for the 9/5 morning-line choice. Hot Spot Hanover will be looking to change her fortune in the Niagara from post-four. The Mike Bishop trainee was a beaten-favourite in both preliminary legs, but did hit the board on both occasions. James MacDonald picks up the live catch-drive behind Hot Spot Hanover, as Filion sticks with Jimbelina. The Niagara Series final is carded as Race 9 on Monday. Also on Boxing Day, the Woodbine Entertainment Group will present its leading Driver, Trainer and Owner awards for 2016. Sylvain Filion has nearly a 50-win lead in the driver's category, while trainer Richard Moreau leads his category by more than 60 wins. Brad Grant is the leading owner of 2016 on the WEG Circuit with 49 wins. A winner's circle presentation will be made to Filion, Moreau and Grant during the Boxing Day card. Post time for tonight's Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout card is 7:30 p.m., while Monday's Boxing Day card will start at 1 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 21 - Christmas will come early for harness racing horseplayers on Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack in the form of a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5. The Jackpot Hi-5, which requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order, has a carryover of $548,396.96 heading into Friday's mandatory payout. The current Jackpot Hi-5 carryover has been growing since early-October at Mohawk Racetrack. Horseplayers will have to get creative with their Hi-5 tickets, as the Race Office has put together a field of 12 overnight pacers for the mandatory event. The last mandatory payout offered on the WEG Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 was on June 18, 2016 at Mohawk. On that evening, more than $1.2 million of new money was wagered into the Hi-5 pool, bringing the total pool to $1,694,983. The $0.20 Jackpot Hi-5 payout on June 18 was $1,307.60. Mandatory payouts on the WEG Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 have generated total pools of more than $2 million on multiple occasions. A mandatory payout on October 24, 2015 at Woodbine generated a total pool of more than $2.2 million, with $1.6 million of new money wagered into the Hi-5 that evening. The $0.20 payout was $12,746.60 On August 30, 2014 at Mohawk, the Jackpot Hi-5 total pool was $2.5 million, while a mandatory payout on May 17, 2014 at Woodbine had a total pool of $2 million. A $2 million total pool is a strong possibility on Friday's Jackpot Hi-5. The Jackpot Hi-5 has a $0.20 minimum and a low takeout of 15 per cent. The mandatory payout on the "Hi-5" is Race 12 on Friday's card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. A free program for Friday's card can be downloaded by clicking here.   Mark McKelvie

Jimbelina will have an opportunity at a Niagara Series sweep on Boxing Day following a sharp 1:52.3 score in Friday's harness racing second leg at Woodbine Racetrack. The Rene Bourassa trainee cruised to a strong three-length victory in the second of two $17,000 Niagara Series divisions Friday. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Jimbelina was fired out from post-six to the lead and posted an opening-quarter of :26.4. After middle-half fractions of :56 and 1:25, the Bourassa trainee kicked home through the frigid Woodbine air in a snappy :27.3 for her third consecutive victory. Queenofthejungle finished second, while Norcross Blue Chip was third. A daughter of Big Jim, Jimbelina now has nine wins in 18 starts this season for earnings of $53,880. The sophomore pacing filly is owned by Roland Trudel. Jimbelina paid $2.80 to win. Jimbelina The evening's first division saw P L Jasmine score a mild 5-1 upset for her first victory of 2016. Driven by Doug McNair, P L Jasmine got away sixth in a field of seven. Hot Spot Hanover, the 6/5 favourite, made a second-quarter move to the lead from third to overtake first leg winner Icthelight Hanover for command. The public's choice posted middle-half fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.3, while Docs Diva came first up and started the outer-flow, allowing McNair to situate P L Jasmine third-over on the far turn. In the stretch, Hot Spot Hanover edged away from her rivals and appeared to have a victory within sight. However, P L Jasmine delivered a strong :27.3 final-quarter and was able to shoot by Hot Spot Hanover in the final strides to win by a length and a quarter in 1:55. Misty De Vie finished third, while Icthelight Hanover couldn't repeat her week one performance and finished sixth. A daughter of Badlands Hanover, P L Jasmine came into Friday's second leg winless in 18 starts this season. The Rob McMillan trainee finished fifth in last week's opening leg. P L Jasmine now has over $22,000 banked this season and Friday's third career-victory brings her career earnings total to $42,676 for owner Prince Lee Acres. A $2 win ticket on P L Jasmine returned $13.20. P L Jasmine Three-year-old pacing fillies, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible for nomination to the Niagara Series. The $33,400 Niagara Series final will take place on Woodbine's special Boxing Day matinee card on Monday, December 26th. The $35,400 Valedictory Series final will also be held on Boxing Day. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine with an 11-race card, featuring the second leg of the Valedictory and a $34,000 Preferred Pace. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

The Woodbine Jackpot Hi-5 carryover has grown to over $500,000 following Thursday evening's harness racing card. Despite a 50-1 upset in the Jackpot Hi-5 race by Deadly Action and driver Scott Coulter, multiple winning tickets connected on Thursday's Jackpot Hi-5 to bring the carryover to $510,899.49. In order to win the entire Jackpot, a horseplayer must have the only winning ticket to correctly select the top-five finishers in order. Thursday was the third-final chance for horseplayers to potentially takedown the entire Jackpot, as the Jackpot Hi-5 wager will be suspended and the carryover frozen following Saturday evening's card in preparation for a mandatory payout night on Friday, December 23rd. Although horseplayers may have visions of hitting the Jackpot, the nightly Hi-5 pool has been strong in recent weeks and has lead to great payouts. A total of $42,550 was wagered into the Jackpot Hi-5 Thursday and a $0.20 winning ticket returned $1,515.84. Friday evening's 10-race card at Woodbine is the second-last chance to hit the Jackpot before the mandatory payout night. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

The Mohawk Race Office would like to inform horsepeople of the holiday draw and harness racing schedule for Woodbine Racetrack. There will be no live racing on Saturday, December 24th at Woodbine. Live racing resumes on Boxing Day (Monday, December 26th) with a matinee card beginning at 1 p.m. Following the Boxing Day card, there will be no live racing at Woodbine until Saturday, January 7th. The upcoming draw schedule for Standardbred Racing at Woodbine is as follows: Draw Monday (December 19) for Thursday (December 22) Draw Tuesday (December 20) for Friday (December 23) Draw Wednesday (December 21) for Monday (December 26) The draw for Saturday, January 7th will be held on Wednesday, January 4th. The entry box closes the morning of each draw at 10:30 a.m. The final qualifying session of 2016 at Woodbine will be held next Thursday (December 22). A pair of qualifying sessions will be held during the first full-week of racing in the New Year on Monday, January 9th and Thursday, January 12th. Qualifiers at Woodbine begin at 4 p.m. Training is available at Woodbine each Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., except for Tuesday, December 27th. Anyone with questions regarding the upcoming schedule is asked to contact the Mohawk Race Office. Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications  

Il Sogno Dream picked up his second harness racing Preferred Trot victory in his last three starts Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The five-year-old son of Cantab Hall banked some nice money throughout the summer for his connections on the Grand Circuit, but his return to the WEG Circuit last month has allowed him to regain his winning touch. Il Sogno Dream got away fourth in Monday's $34,000 feature event for driver Trevor Henry, while the most recent Preferred winner, Windsun Revenge, led the field by the quarter in :27.4 and half in :56.3. Henry angled his charge to the outside to pick up cover just after the half and had to get after the five-year-old to pick up his tempo, as Windsun Revenge trotted a big third-quarter of :27.2 to reach the third-station in 1:24. Il Sogno Dream was second-over and a little less than three-lengths from the front turning for home. In the stretch, Windsun Revenge tried to finish off the front-end mission, but Il Sogno Dream found his best stride and tracked down the leader in deep stretch to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:53. Windsun Revenge held on for second, while Fearless Man, who got a two-hole trip, was third. Il Sogno Dream is trained by Victor Puddy for owners Dan Manes, Bill Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. The five-year-old was winless in 15 starts this year when he rejoined the Puddy barn last month and now has two wins in 18 starts to bring his 2016 earnings to $190,266. The son of Cantab Hall is approaching millionaire status, as his 19th career victory Monday brings his career earnings to $956,875. The clocking of 1:53 was a new season's best for Il Sogno Dream. The Puddy trainee paid $5.80 to win. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 9 - Icthelight Hanover and Jimbelina made their sire Big Jim proud in the opening round of the harness racing Niagara Series Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A group of 16 sophomore pacing fillies battled over two $17,000 first leg divisions Friday evening. Icthelight Hanover kicked the series off by scoring a 13-1 upset for trainer/driver Rick Zeron. The daughter of Big Jim blasted to the front from the eight-hole and posted an opening-quarter of :28. The public's choice, Hot Spot Hanover, circled around from the two-hole to grab command heading towards the half and posted fractions of :57.2 and 1:26. In the stretch, Hot Spot Hanover could not live up to her 2/5 billing and gave way to Icthelight Hanover up the inside. The Zeron trainee was able to muscle by the favourite and reached the line a nose ahead of an outside charging Queenofthejungle for a 1:54.1 score. Hot Spot Hanover finished third. Icthelight Hanover now has five wins and over $49,000 earned this season in 25 starts. The sophomore pacing filly has now visited the winner's circle six-times in her career and banked $69,056 for owner Holland Racing Stable. The Zeron trainee paid $28.80 to win. Icthelight Hanover The second division saw another opening-quarter leader click off a two-hole trip, as Jimbelina won in a career-best 1:52.2. The Rene Bourassa trainee was fired out from post-seven by Sylvain Filion and posted a snappy opening-quarter of :26.2. Before the field could enter the backstretch, Docs Sausalito was out of the two-hole to circle around to command. Docs Sausalito kept the tempo honest, pacing by the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:24. In the stretch, Jimbelina was angled to the outside and immediately surged by Docs Sausalito to go on for a length and a half victory. Docs Sausalito finished second, while Art Angel Baby was third. A daughter of Big Jim, Jimbelina made just $360 in three starts as a rookie, but now is an eight-time winner with over $47,000 banked in 17 starts as a three-year-old. The Bourassa trainee is owned by Roland Trudel. Jimbelina paid $7.10 to win. Jimbelina Three-year-old pacing fillies, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible to the Niagara Series. Round two of the series will take place next Friday (December 16). Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack with the first leg of the Valedictory Series and a $34,000 Preferred Pace headlining an 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 7 - A few flurries are expected to be floating through the Toronto air this weekend, which only seems fitting as Winter Series harness racing action begins Friday at Woodbine Racetrack. The opening leg of the Niagara Series for three-year-old pacing fillies is carded for Friday evening, while round one of the Valedictory Series for sophomore pacing colts and geldings is scheduled for Saturday. Each series features two preliminary legs and a final. The Niagara and Valedictory Series finals will both take place on the special Boxing Day matinee card (December 26). Non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016 were eligible to be nominated to each series. A group of 16 three-year-old pacing fillies have been split into two $17,000 first leg divisions of the Niagara Series. Mike Bishop trainee Hot Spot Hanover is coming into the first Niagara division on a roll with four wins in her last six starts. The daughter of Well Said has been installed as the 8/5 morning line favourite and will leave from the rail with driver Sylvain Filion. Hot Spot Hanover has won five of 12 starts this season with eight top-three finishes. Of the 16 fillies entered in the Niagara, Hot Spot Hanover has made the fewest number of starts in 2016. Marvalous Jet is the 7/2 second-choice from post-four and will be making her second start for new trainer Dean Nixon. A daughter of Delmarvalous, Marvalous Jet spent her summer racing on the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit and is a nine-time winner from 28 starts in 2016. The Nixon trainee finished second in her debut for new connections last Friday at Woodbine. The second Niagara division features a pair of fillies coming into Friday's contest off a victory. Nick Gallucci trainee Docs Sausalito has won two of her last four starts, including a four-length score in a Non-Winners of Three event last Friday. The daughter of Art Colony has won five of 20 this season and is the 5/2 morning line favourite from the rail for driver Randy Waples. Big Jim filly Jimbelina is the 3-1 second-choice and has put together a strong 2016 campaign. The Rene Bourassa trainee has seven victories and six runner-up finishes in 16 starts. Jimbelina most recently captured a Non-Winners of Two event last Friday at Woodbine and will once again have Sylvain Filion at the controls. The duo will start from post-seven. The Niagara Series divisions have been carded as Races 2 and 8 on Friday's 10-race card. Last year's Niagara was captured by Wanda Bayama, who swept the series for Filion and Stephane Larocque. The Valedictory Series has attracted 20 three-year-old colts and geldings for Saturday's opening leg. The first ten-horse $17,000 division features Bruce Goit trainee Lyons Sands. The son of Somebeachsomewhere will be making just his second career start on the WEG Circuit, but the sophomore has been red-hot this season on half-mile ovals. Lyons Sands has won eight of 10 starts this season and is riding a four-race win streak into Saturday's contest. J Harris has driven the Goit trainee to seven of his eight victories this season and once again will be his driver in the Valedictory. Another sophomore coming into the Valedictory with plenty of momentum is Awesomeness for trainer Ryan Maxwell. The son of Mach Three didn't make his career debut until October 4 and has since won four of seven starts, including his last two outings. Awesomeness recently joined the Maxwell barn and won his debut for his new connections on November 28 at Woodbine. Randy Waples is listed to drive the Mach Three gelding from post-eight. Ontario Sired Autumn Series winner Think On It headlines the second split. The Bob McIntosh trainee recently had a five-race win streak snapped, but will look to start a new streak from post-five Saturday. The son of Ponder has won five of 13 starts this season and will reunite with Paul MacDonell, who steered Think On It to a sweep of the Autumn Series. The second division also features a quarter of sophomores coming up from south of the border. Robert Key homebred pacers Artful Bliss (post-three) and Dragon Strikes (post-six) are shipping in from The Meadows to race for trainer Rod Boyd, while Mark Ford has sent up pacing colt Breaktime Hanover (post-seven) to Gregg McNair. The fourth newcomer to the circuit is Keystone Dylan (post-nine), who had been racing at Pocono and will be making his debut for new connections of Marty Fine and company. The Valedictory Series divisions have been carded as Races 3 and 4 on Saturday's 11-race card. Last year's Valedictory final was captured by Shades Of Bay in a series-record clocking of 1:50.3 for driver Phil Hudon and trainer Sean Mehlenbacher. Post time for Friday and Saturday's cards of racing is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, November 19— Snowstorm Hanover grabbed control early in the mile and coasted around the Woodbine harness racing oval to a 1:55.1 win as the 7-5 public choice in the $404,000 Valley Victory Final on Saturday evening. The Ron Burke-trained colt by Muscle Massive out of the Andover Hall mare Snow Angel Hanover was sent to the front by driver Matt Kakaley, trotting splits of :28.1 and :57.3. Into the final turn, Snowstorm Hanover gained three lengths of separation from pocket-rider Moonshiner Hanover, as well as from first-over pursuer Jake and International Moni on his back. Trotting three-quarters in 1:25.3, Snowstorm Hanover still held a sizable lead through the stretch. International Moni fanned off cover and narrowed in on the leader while Jake chased them from third, but Snowstorm Hanover remained in front by a length. “I got to the front, just like in the elimination, and he held them off,” said Kakaley. “There was [a tense moment] in about the last sixteenth or so when I heard them coming, and he was getting a little tired, but he was still good.” Returning $4.90 to win, Snowstorm Hanover won his sixth race in 14 starts, amassing $395,919 in earnings for owners Burke Racing Stables LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Phillip Collura. by Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

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