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If her recent results are any indication, The Show Returns has arrived. But harness racing owner Richard Young says the reason the filly was slow to find the spotlight had more to do with unfortunate luck than lack of performance. The Show Returns heads into Saturday's $424,000 Three Diamonds Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers at Woodbine off a neck win over Band Of Angels in 1:53.1 in their elimination division, giving the Chris Ryder-trainee three victories in a row. She will start the Three Diamonds from post No. 2, with Scott Zeron listed to drive. A daughter of stallion Rocknroll Hanover out of Stienam's Place, The Show Returns is a full sister to previous Young female pacing star Put On A Show, who earned $2.4 million in her career and was the 2010 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old female pacer. The Show Returns, who was purchased for $180,000 under the name Hey There Delilah, at last year's Lexington Selected Sale, has won four of nine races and earned $98,738 for Richard and Joanne Young.  "We thought she was quite good from the get-go, so to speak, but she just had unfortunate situations," Richard Young said. "People are saying she kind of tailed off in the middle (of the year) but she didn't really tail off. Some things happened. It wasn't that she got bad; if she had gotten bad, I'd have turned her out." The Show Returns finished second by a half-length to Stacia Hanover in her debut in a preliminary round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, then finished a troubled-trip fifth in the final. She bounced back to win a round of the Whenuwishuponastar Series at Mohawk Racetrack, then finished fifth-placed-fourth in the final.  After the race, The Show Returns was diagnosed with synchronous diaphragmatic flutter; spasms of the diaphragm in synchronization with the heartbeat more commonly called "the thumps."  The Show Returns was off-the-board in her next two races, but has been unbeaten since. Among her wins were the She's A Great Lady Consolation and a division of the Champlain Stakes, both in 1:52.  "She's a nice filly," said Young, who in addition to Put On A Show owned I Luv The Nitelife, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly pacer. "I don't know if she'll ever be as good as the other two; I think that's asking a lot. But she's competitive and she has good speed. "Anytime you have speed, you can get position. And when you get position, something (good) can happen. I like her." The Show Returns is Young's only racehorse at the current time. "If you look at her on the track, she's a peanut," Young said, laughing. "I don't generally buy peanuts, I like the bigger horse. But she was a June foal, so I thought she might grow. I don't think she's grown an inch. But she has speed, she has an ability to get position, and it looks like she will fight. I can always hope."  The Show Returns will face - for the first time - undefeated JK She'salady in the Three Diamonds. JK She'salady won her elimination on Saturday by one length over Solar Sister in 1:53.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson. The filly, who in August won the She's A Great Lady Stakes by four lengths in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1, is 9-for-9 this year.  "I've been touting 'Lady' for Pacer of the Year, and I think if she stays undefeated, she should be," Young said. "I don't know if very many people are going along with me, but the fact is she does have the best record out there. She's undefeated and she's won them all easily.  "Of course, I want to beat her and prove me wrong. I wouldn't bet my horse with your money, but that doesn't mean I can't hope that we beat her. I think she's untouchable right now, but I'm hoping that she's not. "I'm a little spoiled. In the last six years or so, I had the horse that was supposed to win. I have to get used to not being the best one. But she could in fact be the second-best one. That's OK, too." The Show Returns in her Three Diamonds Elimination The full field in post order for the Three Diamonds is 1  Happy Becky 2  The Show Returns 3  JK She'salady 4  Float On By 5  Solar Sister 6  Ideal Nuggets 7  Rock Her World 8  Band Of Angels 9  Zip Code Envy 10 Shakai Hanover. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

TORONTO, October 18 - The Fall Four Stakes eliminations were completed Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Two $25,000 eliminations were contested for the Governors Cup for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings and the Valley Victory for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The top five finishers from both eliminations advanced to next Saturday's finals. Lyons Again and Yannick Gingras pulled off a 14-1 upset in the first elimination of the Governors Cup. Leaving from post nine, Lyons Again showed good early speed to grab the lead past the opening quarter in :26.3, but quickly took to the two-hole and allowed Lyons Levi Lewis to clear to the front. Lyons Levi Lewis carved out fractions of :56.1 and 1:23.3 to bring the field to the top of the stretch, while Lyons Again sat patiently In The Pocket and Rufo challenged first up with the favourite, Lost For Words, second over. In the stretch, Rufo could not sustain his pressure and faded back allowing Lyons Again to come off the rail and over take the lead from Lyons Levi Lewis. Lyons Again would hold off Traceur Hanover and Lost For Words to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4. Go Daddy Go finished fourth, while Migrate Blue Chip got up for fifth to advance to the $565,000 final. The Governors Cup elimination victory was a maiden breaking score for Lyons Again, who is trained by Ron Burke for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound. The son of Dragon Again finished third in the $667,000 Metro Pace on August 30 at Mohawk and had only missed the board once in seven career starts heading into his elimination. Lyons Again has now earned of over $174,000 in eight career starts. He returned $30.50 to win. Lyons Again In the second elimination, Pierce Hanover scored a 13-1 upset victory in 1:52.1. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Pierce Hanover sat third entering the final turn and edged to the outside to come first up, allowing the heavy favourite, Artspeak, to pick up second over cover. However, Artspeak would make a quick break on the turn and lost enough ground to take him out of contention. Pierce Hanover would capitalize on the break by the favourite and paced by the three-quarter pole leader, Arque Hanover, in the stretch and would go on to win by a length in 1:52.1. Blood Brother, who got a two-hole trip, finished second, while Artspeak regrouped and rallied to finish third. Arque Hanover held on to finish fourth and advanced to the final, along with fifth place finisher Lancaster Park. A son of Cams Card Shark, Pierce Hanover is trained by Ken Sucee, who shares ownership with Ralph Sucee. Pierce Hanover has now won four times in ten career starts and carries a bankroll of over $62,000. He returned $28.10 to win. Pierce Hanover In the first elimination of the Valley Victory, Whataworkout and Scott Zeron got up in the final stride to defeat seven other rivals in 1:56.3. Trained by Frank Antonacci, Whataworkout angled out from fourth on the final turn and was first up to challenge the leader Uncle Lasse, as the field reached the three-quarter pole in 1:26.4. In the stretch, Whataworkout grinded away at the leader and got up in the final steps to pull off a 21-1 upset. Uncle Lasse finished second by a neck, while Big Rich took the show spot. A son of Muscle Hill, Whataworkout is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and has now won twice in four career starts for earnings of over $27,000. The clocking of 1:56.3 is a new lifetime best for the Antonacci trainee. Pinkman finished fourth, while The Bank finished fifth to lock up a spot in next week's final. Whataworkout paid $44.20 to win. Whataworkout There was no upset in the second elimination, as Habitat, the 1/5 favourite, did not disappoint. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Habitat was parked to the opening quarter in :27.3, before touching down on the lead. The son of Conway Hall would set fractions of :58 and 1:26.4 to lead the field into the stretch, where he cruised home under a Gingras hand drive to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:55.4. Jetpedia, who was second over on the last turn, got up for second, while Aldebaran Eagle prevailed in a show photograph over Walter White. Trained by Ron Burke, Habitat has now won six of nine career starts, including the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk on September 13. Habitat has now earned over $349,000 for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. He returned $2.90 to win. Iron finished fifth to punch the last ticket into next week's $521,000 final. Habitat Following the eliminations, the post positions for the finals were drawn. Elimination winners earned the right to select their post. Here is how they will lineup next Saturday night. PP/Horse/Driver $521,000 Valley Victory Final 1. Pinkman - Yannick Gingras 2. Uncle Lasse - Ron Pierce 3. Whataworkout - Scott Zeron 4. Habitat - Yannick Gingras 5. Aldebaran Eagle - Corey Callahan 6. Jetpedia - Mike Saftic 7. The Bank - Jimmy Takter 8. Walter White - Scott Zeron 9. Big Rich - Randy Waples 10. Iron - Brian Sears AE: Lookslikeachpndale - Sylvain Filion $565,000 Governors Cup Final 1. Lancaster Park - James MacDonald 2. Pierce Hanover - Jody Jamieson 3. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 4. Arque Hanover - Steve Condren 5. Lost For Words - Doug McNair 6. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 7. Go Daddy Go - Corey Callahan 8. Migrate Blue Chip - Rick Zeron 9. Blood Brother - Sylvain Filion 10. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples AE: Lyons Levi Lewis - Sylvain Filion The Fall Four Stakes finals will take place next Saturday, October 25 at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

TORONTO, October 17 - Two-year-old fillies were in the spotlight Friday night for their Fall Four Stakes eliminations at Woodbine Racetrack. A pair of $25,000 eliminations were contested for both the Goldsmith Maid for two-year-old trotting fillies and the Three Diamonds for two-year-old pacing fillies. The top five finishers from each elimination advanced to next week's finals. In the first elimination of the Three Diamonds, JK She'salady improved to a perfect nine for nine to start her career with a 1:53.3. victory. The daughter of Art Major got away in third as Happy Becky set a soft opening half of :58.3. In the third quarter, JK She'salady made a first over bid and would take over the lead as they reached the third station in 1:26.3. In the stretch, JK She'salady would cruise home under a confident drive from Yannick Gingras to win by a length. Solar Sister finished second, while Happy Becky took the show spot. Trained by Nancy Johansson, JK She'salady's biggest victory to date was in the $480,000 She's A Great Lady Stakes at Mohawk on August 30. She is owned by the 3 Brothers Stable of New York, New York and has now earned over $456,000 in her young career. Float On By and Shakai Hanover finished fourth and fifth to earn the last two spots in next week's final. Jk Shesalady paid $2.10 to win. JK She'salady In the second elimination, The Show Returns converted off a two-hole trip to win in a tight three-horse photo. Driven by Scott Zeron, The Show Returns took a seat in second as Band Of Angels and Yannick grabbed the early lead. Band Of Angels carved out fractions of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:25 to bring the field into the stretch without any challenge. In the stretch, The Show Returns came off the rail and battled with Band Of Angels to the wire, as Ideal Nuggets made a bid on the outside to make it a tight three-horse finish. At the wire, The Show Returns prevailed by a head over Band Of Angels and a neck over Ideal Nuggets in 1:53.1. Rock Her World and Zip Code Envy secured the final two spots in the final by finishing fourth and fifth. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, The Show Returns is trained by Chris Ryder for owners Richard and Joanne Young. The Show Returns The Three Diamonds elimination victory was her fourth win in nine starts and boosts her career earnings to over $100,000. She returned $5.40 to win. The first elimination of the Goldsmith Maid saw Gatka Hanover pull off a 6-1 upset over the 1/5 favourite Jolene Jolene. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Gatka Hanover was parked past the first quarter in :27.4 and cleared to the front as the field entered the backstretch. Trotting along in fourth, Sylvain Filion sent Jolene Jolene first up as the field was approaching the half. Gatka Hanover posted fractions of :56.4 and 1:25.1 to bring the field into the stretch, with Jolene Jolene edging closer to the leader. In the stretch, Gatka Hanover responded to urging from Gingras and turned aside Jolene Jolene to win by 4 ½ lengths in 1:55.4. Jolene Jolene held on to finish second, while Juanitas Fury finished third. Smexi and Flirting Filly finished fourth and fifth respectively to advance to the final. A daughter of Muscle Massive, Gatka Hanover is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stable, Tracy Hendler and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The elimination victory was Gatka Hanover's fifth win in 11 starts and boosts her earnings to over $160,000. She paid $14.00 to win. Gatka Hanover In the second elimination, Gingras and Burke teamed up once again, this time with World Champion Mission Brief. Sent off as the 2/5 favourite, Mission Brief cleared to the front after an opening quarter of :27.3. After setting fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.1, the daughter of Muscle Hill fought off an inside challenge from Danielle Hall to win by length and a quarter in 1:54.4. Tymal Illbthere finished third, while Stubborn Belle and Demons N Diamonds grab the last two spots in the final. Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stable, J and T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Mission Brief was making her first start since setting a World Record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile on October 2. Mission Brief has now won seven of ten career starts and carries a bankroll of over $327,000. She returned $2.80 to win. Mission Brief The $464,000 Goldsmith Maid final and the $424,000 Three Diamonds final will be contest next Saturday, October 25 as part of the Fall Four Stakes Night. The post positions for both finals were drawn after the eliminations. Elimination winners were able to select their post for the final. Here is how they will lineup next week. PP/Horse/Driver Three Diamonds Final 1. Happy Becky - Chris Christoforou 2. The Show Returns - Scott Zeron 3. JK She'salady - Yannick Gingras 4. Float On By - James MacDonald 5. Solar Sister - Scott Zeron 6. Ideal Nuggets - Sylvain Filion 7. Rock Her World - James MacDonald 8. Band Of Angels - Yannick Gingras 9. Zip Code Envy - Ron Pierce 10. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson AE: Storm Point - Ron Pierce Goldsmith Maid Final 1. Jolene Jolene - Sylvain Filion 2. Demons N Diamonds - Sylvain Filion 3. Gatka Hanover - Yannick Gingras 4. Mission Brief - Yannick Gingras 5. Flirting Filly - Ron Pierce 6. Smexi - Jimmy Takter 7. Stubborn Belle - Paul Macdonell 8. Juanitas Fury - Paul Macdonell 9. Tymal Illbthere - Trevor Henry 10. Danielle Hall - Jody Jamieson AE: Lilu Hanover - Scott Zeron The eliminations for the Governors Cup and Valley Victory will take place tomorrow evening. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie,for WEG  

Trainer Brian Brown has no problem articulating his feelings about Lost For Words. "As a racehorse, he just does everything the way you want it done," said Brown, who is preparing the 2-year-old male pacer for the Governor's Cup eliminations at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday. "He's just a nice little horse that never disappoints you. "Those kinds are nice to have, but hard to get." Lost For Words brings a three-race win streak to his Governor's Cup elim. He competes in the first of the two divisions, starting from post six with driver Doug McNair. The elim also includes stakes-winners Lyons Levi Lewis, Go Daddy Go, and Traceur Hanover. Another Brown trainee, Talking Points, is in the second elim, where the spotlight will be on Metro Pace champion Artspeak. Talking Points is winless in nine races, but has earned $72,811. Woodbine also hosts two eliminations for the Valley Victory Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters on Saturday. The top five finishers in all the elims advance to the finals of the Fall Four Stakes on Oct. 25. For the year, Lost For Words has won five of nine starts and earned $186,337 for owners Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo, and Strollin Stable. His most recent three races were victories in the Standardbred Stakes and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. "That little guy has raced good almost every start, he just had a couple tough trips here and there," Brown said. "Otherwise that colt has raced perfect every week." Lost For Words has finished off the board only twice. The first time came in his debut, from post eight at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The second also was at Pocono Downs, when he was stuck on the outside the entire mile from post seven in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He has not lost since. "I think it says a lot about the horse's courage and his desire to be a racehorse, to get roughed up and come right back and race as good as he can," Brown said. "And he wasn't all out in any of those (most recent) races. He just has a great attitude. You can do whatever you want with him." Lost For Words is a son of stallion Well Said out of the stakes-winning mare Thou Shalt Not. He was purchased for $50,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 1998 Breeders Crown champion Juliet's Fate. "I generally look at every Pennsylvania horse in the book and pick out the ones I want to look at," Brown said. "His pedigree looked fine and when I went and looked at him, I just fell in love with him. He wasn't a tall horse, but he had an extra little bit of length to him. At that time, when he was a yearling, he was a nice, thick, stout horse. He's just a good looking horse with a good pedigree. "The best thing about him is that he's either improved as the year went on, or he hasn't lost anything where some of the others are starting to tail off. But he's been great the last month. He still feels good, he's still out there playing when he jogs. I trained him (Tuesday) and he was great. I expect him to be OK." Talking Points finished third in the Standardbred Stakes and earned checks in divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. Another son of Well Said, out of the mare Bikini Bottom, he is owned by Country Club Acres, AWS Stables, William Robinson and Milton Leeman. "He's banged around and gotten checks in most of his starts," Brown said. "He's just a nice horse. He's getting to be a little bit of a bully. He probably needs to be a gelding. He gets a little too grabby and a little hard to handle, so he does wind up on the front some. "We're going to try to rig him so they can handle him and come from behind hopefully. Get him to calm down a little bit." Lost For Words and Talking Points both are eligible to the Breeders Crown in November. "As long as Lost races well, he will go," Brown said. "Talking Points would probably have to be really good the next two weeks for him to go." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communciations  

Last week we came up short on the win bets at $-2.90 for the weekend but more than made up for it in some decent exotic scores that totaled more than $350.00. This week there are tons of racing action Friday and Saturday with the Windy City Pace Friday at Maywood Park, the Indiana Sire Stakes finals at Hoosier Park Saturday, Woodbine is back in action with the elims Friday and Saturday for the top freshman stakes, Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds & Goldsmith Maid, Yonkers has the eliminations for the Messenger Pace and Yonkers Trot and we even stop at Batavia Downs for the Robert Kane Memorial Pace. Good Luck! $25,000 Pace Three Diamonds 2yo Filly elim Woodbine 1st race FRIDAY - She is the "little darling" of harness racing. Unbeaten JK She'salady is a perfect 8 for 8 going into her elimination division. She has beaten everyone in this field already this season and continues her domination of the freshman pacing filly ranks. Use Happy Becky and Solar Sister in exotic plays. $25,000 Trot Goldsmith Maid 2yo Filly elim Woodbine 3rd race FRIDAY - World record holder Mission Brief either wires the field or runs like a deer. Temperamental filly is super-fast and should be able to win in here. Use Danielle Hall and Stubborn Belle in exotic plays. $37,600 Pace Cinderella Stake 3yo Fillies Maywood Park 8th race FRIDAY - Last week this filly was gutted trying to get to the front and never making it. Lady Shadow has been great for most of the season and has the speed and ability to get the jump on the field and return to winning ways. Use Major Dancer and Kayla Grace in exotic plays. $180,000 Windy City Pace 3yo Colts Maywood Park 9th race FRIDAY - Top stakes race has drawn a very competitive field. After last week's great closing effort in American-National from post 10, I have to go with Somewhere In L A. He is never out of the money and from good inside post he is due to get some great cover to score from. Use Big Boy Dreams and Let's Drink On It in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Messenger Stake 3yo Colts elim Yonkers 2nd race SATURDAY - This is the prelude to next week's finale as only one will be eliminated from this race. I think the Ron Burke entry of All Bets Off/Forty Five Red will be very tough to beat. All Bets Off has been awesome all season with ten wins. He draws inside and is on a five-race win streak. Use McWicked and National Debt in exotic plays. $25,000 Trot Valley Victory 3yo Colt elim Woodbine 3rd race SATURDAY - Having won five of his last six starts makes Habitat the big favorite in here and rightly so. Has beaten almost everyone he has faced this year on the front end and can overcome outside post to do it again. Use Whom Shall I Fear and Noble Power in exotic plays. $40,000 Yonkers Trot 3yo colt elim Yonkers Raceway 4th race SATURDAY - Being the class of the field does not hurt Nuncio's chances in here, but having only once qualified on a half mile track (won in 1:58.4) at age two makes this a tough start. Draws into easier of two divisions but questionable if can take the turns but Jimmy Takter would not have entered him if he can't handle it. Use Way Outta Here and Don Dorado in exotic plays. $40,000 Yonkers Trot 3yo colt elim Yonkers Raceway 5th race SATURDAY - The Ron Burke entry of Gural Hanover/Hillustrious looms very tough in here with their 1-2 post positions. Well matched field has to be dwindled down to just four to advance to the final so the action will be fast and furious. Use Flyhawk El Durado and Datsyuk in exotic plays. $200,000 Trot Indiana Sire Stakes 2yo Colt Final Hoosier Park 7th race SATURDAY - This race should belong to Airman Batten as he has won ten of his twelve starts this year and had beaten everyone in the field this season and has done it from on and off the pace. Use Steal N Gas and Homicide Hunter in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Robert Kane Memorial Invit Batavia Downs 7th race SATURDAY - Changed my mind a couple of times on this race which only shows how competitive the field is. I decided to go with Aracache Hanover off his two straight wins at Yonkers, wiring the field in extra distance races. Use Easy Again and Apprentice Hanover in exotic plays. $25,000 Pace Governors Cup 2yo Colt elim Woodbine 8th race SATURDAY - We Will See tonight if the break by Artspeak was a fluke two weeks ago or if he is getting tired from the tough season. Outside post not much help but with a week's rest if he is fit he will work his magic, get to the front and return to winning ways. Use Dudes The Man and Pierce Hanover in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace Indiana Sire Stakes Final 3yo Fillies Hoosier 11th race SATURDAY - Winner of the Jugette has not missed a beat since her impressive victories in Delaware. Color's A Virgin has won 10 of 14 starts this year and is on a four-race win streak that she should be able to add another triumph to. Use Candy's A Virgin and Always Wearable in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace Indiana Sire Stakes Final 3yo Colts Hoosier 13th race SATURDAY - Having ruled in the Indiana Sire Stakes this season, Always B Miki returns for the rich final for Joe Holloway Stable. Has won five of last six starts, rested a week and should be primed to lay over this field. Use Bluehourpower and If I Lose in exotic plays.  

TORONTO, October 15 - The Mohawk summer meet has come to a close and fall has officially arrived as live harness racing returns to Woodbine this Thursday, October 16. The Fall/Winter meet will feature four-nights-a-week of racing, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Broadcast upgrades and the return of a state-of-the-art tracking tool will change the way fans and horseplayers watch the races from Woodbine. Beginning with Thursday's opening card, the Woodbine Standardbred simulcast feed will be produced in High Definition (HD) in a production control room on the fourth floor of the Woodbine grandstand. Customers on site will be able to view the races in HD (1080p; 16:9 aspect ratio). Fans south of the border will be able to view the races in HD as TVG, the premier horse racing TV channel in the United States, will be carrying the Woodbine 1080p HD signal. As for the product on the track, driver Jody Jamieson believes the track dimensions at Woodbine allow for more upsets. "A lot of the time the best horse wins at Mohawk, but at Woodbine the turns are different, a little smaller then that big last turn at Mohawk that allows horses to get into the race," said Jamieson, "At Woodbine, the best horse can be kind of marred in traffic and get himself beat a little more often then at Mohawk." Jamieson is also a big fan of the track surface at Woodbine, which will offer purses of approximately $200,000 a night, and the speed it offers. "I love racing at Woodbine...I think the track is a faster track and maybe one of the fastest tracks in the world to race good horses on." As for an adjustment period between switching from Mohawk to Woodbine, Jamieson said it doesn't take long. "I adapt to it right away and I think most guys adapt right away to the racing style and hopefully the bettors appreciate it." While not installed for opening night, fans will also soon enjoy the return of Trakus to the Woodbine Standardbred broadcast. Trakus, the automated racehorse tracking system, is being relaunched to provide Standardbred horseplayers with the best data around. The reintroduction of Trakus to Standardbred racing will offer horseplayers the most accurate charts and information in harness racing. Trakus compiles information on each horse at every point of the race through wireless communication to a tag placed inside the saddle pad. Horesplayers will now know exactly where each horse is during the race, through the Trakus technology incorporated into the live simulcast feed. The opening weekend at Woodbine will feature the return of the Fall Four Stakes. Last contested at Woodbine in 2010, the Fall Four Stakes brings the top two-year-olds in harness racing to Toronto to contest the Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid. Eliminations for the events will take place this Friday and Saturday and the finals will take place as part of a $2 million card on Saturday, October 25. Post-time for each night of live racing is 7:25 p.m. except on two special occasions. Post-time on Saturday, November 1 will be 7:55 p.m., while the special afternoon Boxing Day card on Friday, December 26 will feature a post-time of 1 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

TORONTO, October 14 - The top rookie pacers and trotters in harness racing are converging on Woodbine Racetrack this weekend for the eliminations of the Fall Four Stakes. Made up of the Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid Stakes, the Fall Four Stakes is an annual showcase of the best two-year-olds harness racing has to offer. This Friday and Saturday evening, Woodbine will play host to a pair of eliminations for all four events. On Friday night, 13 two-year-old trotting fillies have been split into two $25,000 eliminations of the Goldsmith Maid. Headlining the group of trotting fillies is the fastest two-year-old trotter in the history of harness racing. Mission Brief has drawn post four in the second elimination for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. The daughter of Muscle Hill most recently won a division of the International Stallion Stake at the Red Mile in a jaw-dropping World Record time of 1:50.3. The World Record clocking erased the all-time record for a two-year-old trotter by a full second. The Burke trainee has won six of nine starts heading into her elimination. The two Goldsmith Maid splits will be contested as Races 2 and 3. Another World Champion will also be in action on Friday night. Leading the group of 12 fillies split into two $25,000 elims is JK She'salady. A daughter of Art Major, JK She'salady is undefeated in eight career starts for trainer Nancy Johansson, with her biggest triumph coming in the $480,000 Shes A Great Lady Final at Mohawk on August 30 in a World Record equaling time of 1:50.1. JK She'salady most recently won a division of the International Stallion Stake at Lexington on October 3rd. She will start from post position three in the first elimination on Friday night with regular driver Gingras. The Three Diamonds eliminations will be contested as Races 1 and 6. Saturday night will be the boys turn in the spotlight. A total of 19 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings will battle in a pair of $25,000 eliminations for the Governors Cup. Artspeak, this year's Metro Pace winner, will make his return to Canadian soil in the second elimination. A son of Western Ideal, Artspeak has drawn post nine in a field of nine for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. Artspeak, who leads all two-year-olds in earnings with $520,227, most recently suffered the first defeat of his career when he made a break in the stretch of the International Stallion Stake at the Red Mile on October 4. The freshmen standout will be looking to rebound on Saturday evening and is one of three starters Alagna will send out in the Governors Cup elims. The Governors Cup eliminations are carded as Races 6 and 8. An even group of 18 freshman trotting colts and geldings have been separated into two $25,000 eliminations of the Valley Victory. Billy Flynn, the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion, will make his Canadian debut in the first preliminary. A son of Cantab Hall, Billy Flynn started his career a perfect eight for eight, but most recently suffered his first defeat in a division of the International Stallion Stake at the Red Mile on October 3. Trained by Staffan Lind, Billy Flynn, who will start from post seven, will have a chance to redeem himself as the colt who defeated him, Pinkman, will lineup three spots over in post position four. Lind has not yet listed a driver for Billy Flynn on Saturday evening. The Valley Victory eliminations will take place as Races 2 and 3 on Saturday's 13-race card. The top five finishers from all the eliminations will advance to next Saturday's rich finals. Elimination winners will earn the right to select their posts for the final. The purses for all four finals have been set. The Governors Cup will go for $565,000, the Valley Victory will be contested for $521,000, the Goldsmith Maid goes for $464,000 and the Three Diamonds will be raced for $424,000. Post time for each card of live racing is 7:25 p.m. Here are the fields for this weekend's eliminations. PP/Horse/Driver Friday, October 17 Three Diamonds Race 1 - 1st $25,000 Elimination 1. Happy Becky - Chris Christoforou 2. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson 3. JK She'salady - Yannick Gingras 4. Float On By - James MacDonald 5. Solar Sister - Jody Jamieson 6. Storm Point - Ron Pierce Race 6 - 2nd $25,000 Elimination 1. The Show Returns - Scott Zeron 2. Ideal Nuggets - Sylvain Filion 3. Wicked Little Minx - Steve Condren 4. Band Of Angels - Yannick Gingras 5. Rock Her World - Scott Zeron 6. Zip Code Envy - Scott Zeron Goldsmith Maid Race 2 - 1st $25,000 Elimination 1. Jolene Jolene - Sylvain Filion 2. Flirting Filly - Ron Pierce 3. Smexi - Ron Pierce 4. Juanitas Fury - Paul Macdonell 5. Amoureuse Hanover - Randy Waples 6. Gatka Hanover - Sylvain Filion Race 3 - 2nd $25,000 Elimination 1. Tymal Illbethere - Trevor Henry 2. Stubborn Belle - Paul Macdonell 3. Danielle Hall - Jody Jamieson 4. Mission Brief - Yannick Gingras 5. Demons N Diamonds - Yannick Gingras 6. Southwind Champane - Steve Byron 7. Lilu Hanover - Scott Zeron Saturday, October 18 Governors Cup Race 6 - 1st $25,000 Elimination 1. Lyons Levi Lewis - Sylvain Filion 2. Rufo - Ron Pierce 3. Asap Hanover - Brian Sears 4. If You Want Fire - Chris Christoforou 5. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples 6. Lost For Words - Ron Pierce 7. Dreams Beachboy - Scott Zeron 8. Migrate Blue Chip - Rick Zeron 9. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 10. Go Daddy Go - TBA Race 8 - 2nd $25,000 Elimination 1. Lancaster Park - Jody Jamieson 2. Arque Hanover - Steve Condren 3. Pierce Hanover - Jody Jamieson 4. Talking Points - Ron Pierce 5. Penji Hanover - Scott Zeron 6. Blood Brother - Yannick Gingras 7. Dudes The Man - Corey Callahan 8. Lyons Geoffjnr - Yannick Gingras 9. Artspeak - Scott Zeron Valley Victory Race 2 - 1st $25,000 Elimination 1. Code Bon - Chris Christoforou 2. Guess Whos Back - Brian Sears 3. Uncle Lasse - Ron Pierce 4. Pinkman - Yannick Gingras 5. The Bank - Jimmy Takter 6. Big Rich - Randy Waples 7. Billy Flynn - TBA 8. Whataworkout - Scott Zeron 9. Lookslikeachpndale - Sylvain Filion Race 3 - 2nd $25,000 Elimination 1. Iron - Tim Tetrick 2. Walter White - Scott Zeron 3. Aldebaran Eagle - Corey Callahan 4. Jetpedia - Mike Saftic 5. Whom Shall I Fear - Ron Pierce 6. Southwind Stryker - Steve Condren 7. Stonebridge Force - Steve Condren 8. Habitat - Yannick Gingras 9. Noble Power - Chris Christoforou by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 23 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to remind horsepeople that nominations for this year's Ontario Sired Autumn Series are due next Wednesday, October 1. The series will be offered to two and three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The series will take place at Woodbine Racetrack. Ontario Sired two-year-olds that are non-winners of $30,000 lifetime, as of midnight, September 30, 2014 will be eligible to the series. As for the Ontario Sired three-year-olds, non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2014 as of midnight, September 30, 2014 will meet the conditions for the series. Each series will consist of two preliminary legs and a final. The nomination fee for each category is $200 and is due by Wednesday, October 1, 2014. To view the nomination form, please click here. To pay the $200 nomination fee online, please click here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than October 1, 2014 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

A blockbuster weekend of racing is fast approaching at Mohawk Racetrack, and while all eyes will be on Saturday’s trio of eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup – they won’t be the only races worth watching. A stakes-filled weekend will see many of the sport’s brightest stars also be in action in eliminations for the Armbro Flight, Goodtimes, Fan Hanover and the Roses Are Red Stakes. Those elimination will take place on the Friday and Saturday cards at Mohawk Racetrack, and we’ve previewed those elims below: Friday – Armbro Flight Elim #1 – Race 2 Perfect Alliance, who was last seen establishing a world record for four-year-old trotting mares when she blazed to a 1:51.2 victory in her division of the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine Racetrack, headlines her $35,000 assignment for trainer Julie Miller. The daughter of Credit Winner-Yalta Hanover, who is a perfect 10-for-10 this season, will be handled from Post 7 by Yannick Gingras. Friday – Armbro Flight Elim #2 – Race 3 The multiple award-winning Bee A Magician will take on five other foes in the second elimination for the tandem of driver Brian Sears and trainer Richard ‘Nifty’ Norman. The four-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Beehive finished second to Perfect Alliance in her world record performance in the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine Racetrack on May 19. That was the first start of the season for the 27-time winner who starts from Post 1. One of her biggest challengers figures to be Classic Martine - a recent divisional winner in the Miss Versatility Series. To read the rest of the story click here.

Trainer Dustin Jones' homebred Fan Hanover eligible Nat A Virgin set a new Canadian season's record for three-year-old pacing fillies with a 1:50.3 triumph on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. After breaking stride in her first two starts of the year, Nat A Virgin put the pieces together on Friday and lowered the 2014 national division record by more than one full second in an $18,000 conditioned pace. The time also matched the fastest mile by any female pacer this season, which nine-year-old Voelz Hanover set in a top class Preferred event on May 9 at Woodbine Racetrack. Nat A Virgin, with driver Rick Zeron aboard, was the first to get a call in the evening's fifth race as she sprinted across the track from post seven and cleared to command before the first turn. She race by the quarter pole in :27.1 before 2-5 favourite Major Dancer swept up from fourth to take over during the second panel. The new leader cleared at the half in :55.3 and continued to lead past three-quarters in 1:23.3, but Nat A Virgin blew by in the stretch, kicking home in :26.3. To read the rest of the story click here.

With classy harness racing analyst Mike Hamilton set to put down the microphone at Mohawk Racetrack in a couple of weeks, there is another classy person set to take his place. Enter Greg Gangle, a West Lorne, Ontario native. Greg is a true people person, someone who is ready to engage with patrons and horsemen alike and is always enjoying a laugh. Sounds like Mike! "A lot of people don't know Mike's such a smart man in terms of business sense." Greg says. "There's times after work where him and I will sit down and I ask him numerous questions and not just about racing. He's an intelligent guy and over the last three years I've learned a lot from him and Ken Middleton." Greg states a valuable piece of advice, "when you're around good people, you learn quickly and good things are bound to happen." The vacancy has opened a wonderful opportunity for both Greg and Chad Rozema to rotate as on-air hosts. "Mike Hamilton has such a great reputation" says Greg. "Following in his footsteps would be appealing to anyone, not just myself. Chad Rozema who has worked with Woodbine in the past, is coming aboard as well." "The Horse Player's Journal will need some assistance as well because that gig also became available." Greg explains, "What the broadcast team has done is, they brought Chad and I aboard to do the nightly simulcast show along with doing the Horse Player's Journal, which is the handicapping and writing throughout the week." "One week I am going to be doing Mike Hamilton's job and the next week I will be doing the Horse Player's Journal. Chad and I will be (rotating) back and forth." Greg says. With Greg having worked for the Woodbine Racetrack media department these past couple of years, Greg is more than familiar with the horses and handicapping. Looking at both opportunities, does Greg have a preference? No sir, Greg's excited at the prospect of exceeding at both, while having a good time and delivering insight to fans. Greg admits he doesn't have a 'style' or approach. What Greg is focused on is being himself; simple and honest. "I follow quite a few on-air hosts, not just in harness racing." Greg notes, "Don Cherry and Ron MacLean at the CBC do a fantastic job. I've read their biographies and news clips and they've always said, especially Don Cherry and that is 'to always be yourself, do not try and be someone you're not'. When I express my opinion about a horse, it's not fake it is what I truly believe... whether I like a horse or dislike a horse." "As for having my own signature approach, I don't think so, but who knows down the road I might be doing something I didn't even know I was doing." Greg says. There have been a few people within the industry that have influenced Greg to help him work his way to where he is now. "When I was 19 or 20 I worked for a magazine, at the time it was called the Harness Edge" says Greg. "There I was working for publisher and editor Harold Howe and Heather MacKay Roberts who was the assistant (editor) at the time." Both Heather and Harold were role models for Greg and they took Greg under their wing to help show him the ropes. "I was going to all the yearling sales and major races and it was really exciting" says Greg about his experience with the Harness Edge. "From there we started developing video interviews for the website and they still do it now. That's where I got my feet wet... learning to conduct interviews, editing, uploading it to the website and making it presentable to the public." "Three years later an opportunity came up to work at Woodbine and they were excited that I knew how to do all that and they wanted me to continue doing that. It snowballed from there." Greg says. Greg's former boss at Woodbine, John Siscos is another person Greg is grateful to have met. "I have to thank John a great deal." Greg states. "He's the type of person who gives you the reins of things. He really respects your opinion on what you want to do on a weekly or daily basis. He threw the ball in my court and let me do what it was I wanted to do and it grew from there." A major aspect Greg enjoyed during his time working for the media department is the amount of time Greg got to work up close and personal with everyone including drivers and trainers. "You're right with the who is who of racing, especially in Canada... that was really exciting." Greg says. If you haven't met Greg, he considers himself a very competitive person who likes to play hockey and try his best in anything he does including work, he's always swinging for the fences! "I put a lot of pressure on myself" says Greg. "Replacing Mike Hamilton, both Chad Rozema and myself, it's not something easy to do. I know, on behalf of Chad and myself, we are both looking forward to the challenge." If you're at Mohawk and you see Greg, I highly recommend you go and meet him. Fans can never go wrong meeting a classy person in any industry! Roderick Balgobin's column will appear weekly on Harnesslink. You can contact him at rod.balgobin @supernovasportsclub.com or Twitter: ScSupernova

Low takeout 20 cent wager with $600,000 carryover will break all records. The harness racing gamblers across North America have been talking about this scenario for a month. What if the Jackpot Hi 5 wager at Woodbine does not get hit until the mandatory payout?  If you are one of those players, your dreams have been answered. One of the greatest wagering and investment opportunities is going to happen Saturday night in Canada and the entire gambling world is waiting to play into the largest pool in harness racing history. An unprecedented Hi 5 carryover of $656,356 and an estimated record pool of $2,500,000 with a mandatory payout is what will make this wager so compelling to so many people Saturday evening.  The Saturday Hi 5 is on the twelfth and final race from Woodbine tonight and players will know whether they have won in less than two minutes. For those of you that are looking for an investment opportunity, there is nothing the gaming industry can offer that beats the Hi 5 risk and reward model on Saturday. I can say it is almost a certainty that with the enormous carryover, the Hi 5 pays out more money to the winners than the amount wagered on Saturday. The low takeout of 15% makes this dream scenario possible.     TOTAL  POOL             NEW MONEY            RETURNED TO WINNERS          PLAYER ADVANTAGE        2,000,000               1,343,644                          1,798,453                                   33%        2,500,000                1,843,644                          2,223,453                                   20%        3,000,000                2,343,644                           2,648,453                                  13%        3,500,000                2,843,644                           3,073,452                                    8%        4,000,000                3,343,644                           3,498,453                                    4% The Saturday Hi 5 at Woodbine is scheduled to go at 11:05 eastern on Race 12 with a field of eleven. I salute Woodbine for having the initiative of adding an extra horse to the Hi 5 race. The eleven horse field makes the race more unpredictable and will definitely make the payoff larger. In my opinion, the eleventh horse will grow the Race 12 handle by more than $250,000. The Woodbine Hi 5 minimum bet is 20 cents, making this wagering opportunity affordable to everyone. To the people at Woodbine, take a bow. This is your moment. The harness racing world is tapping their hockey sticks in unison, saluting you for a job well done. Chicago, Illinois  by  Michael Antoniades – Chicago Racing Analyst

At the age of ten, harness racing driver Scott Young knew he wanted to be a catch driver. As a ten-year-old, Scott helped his dad, Bob, jogging and training horses. "I always knew I wanted to be a catch driver" says Scott. "It was always a dream to win the big races and my favorite race was the Little Brown Jug. I always wanted win that race as well as the Breeders Crown, North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace." When Scott, now 22, graduated from high school he was 17 and his dad wanted Scott to continue on with furthering his education as Bob felt Scott was too young to be out of school. "He made me enroll in a college," says Scott. "I ended up going to Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and I studied two years of Broadcast Journalism. Once I graduated from there I was 19 and already driving horses. My dad said at least 'you have an education to fall back on just in case'. I am happy he made me go, because it's always going to be there in case I need it." Scott sees himself racing in Ontario for the next five years. If the opportunity arose where he could drive for a strong stable in the USA, Scott would consider making the move. "That's what you need to become a top driver; you need a barn and one good horse that will get your name out there. If I ever had a barn from the States that would put me down to drive everything, I would consider that for sure." If Scott had to pick any trainer to drive for, hands down it would be his dad! "I love winning races for other people, I love winning in general but when I win for my dad it's something special." Scott says. "I have a lot of respect for my dad." Since Scott started driving, he's grown and matured. Scott can reflect on races he's driven where he recognizes mistakes he's made and knows how he can learn from it. Not many young adults can do this, so that is a testament to his character. Secret Weapon, (trained by Wayne Prescator) is a horse that helped Scott make his name. "I owe a lot of my career to Secret Weapon." Scott states. "He was my first ever track record holder. I set the track record at Hanover Raceway with him. I was lucky enough to race him at Woodbine Racetrack in the winter. He won a Preferred and an Open Pace at Woodbine. That was my first ever Open Pace and Preferred and I drove him in the Gold Cup and Saucer eliminations in 2012 and we won the Consolation." When it comes to interacting with fellow drivers, Scott considers himself a social butterfly of the drivers' room. "I'm buddies with everyone whether it's the Woodbine drivers' room or the Flamboro drivers' room" says Scott. "Ryan Holiday is somebody who I consider one my best friends but I'm friends with everyone. Billy Davis and James MacDonald are close friends too." With Scott's dad being in the industry for over thirty five years, he's known fellow drivers Scott Zeron and Jonathon Drury since he was ten. "I knew Chris Christoforou and Sylvain Filion since I was five years old" Scott explains. "I grew up around them." In the mornings Scott works for Tony O'Sullivan. "I jog and train with him. Tony has a forty horse barn" says Scott. When he's finished, Scott heads some to clean up his colors, grab a nap and then it's off to the races. "I always have a full day." Scott's nickname is 'the Answer' and it was given to him by veteran drivers Chris Christoforou and Jody Jamieson and Woodbine analyst Ken Middleton. The nickname stemmed from Scott's dad because Bob Young was known as Bob Knowledge. "Everyone would say Bob knows everything" explains Scott. "People would say I have an answer for everything anytime I was asked something. I got the nickname during my second year of driving." "It took off after other announcers starting using it and I even put (the nickname) on my race bike." Scott says. Driver's having nicknames is awesome; it's something fans can gravitate towards just like fans do with baseball, hockey, football and basketball players. Tim Tetrick is known as the Bionic Man, Brian Sears is the White Knight, George Brennan is the Minister of Speed, Andy Miller is the Orange Crush, David Miller is the Buckeye and John Campbell is JC for Jesus Christ. Away from the track Scott goes golfing when he can but admits he'd rather not have any time off during the peak season so he can drive as much as possible. Scott also plays baseball and during the winter months he plays in a men's hockey league. "Being so young, I might as well keep doing as much as I can while I can still do it" says Scott. Scott is a Toronto Blue Jays fan and hopes the Blue Jays can make the playoff this season, the first time since 1993. Scott is a diehard Boston Bruins fan! Scott is confident the Bruins will win game seven against the Montreal Canadiens and the Stanley Cup. A side note is Scott hates the Toronto Maple Leafs. Roderick Balgobin's column will appear weekly on Harnesslink. You can contact him at rod.balgobin @supernovasportsclub.com or Twitter: ScSupernova

CUTLER MEMORIAL TROT, LAVERNE HILL PACE & MORE!

In Ontario harness racing as with every sport, there are people who are responsible for ensuring fair play and sound judgment. Most sports refer to these folks as referees however in horse racing, the dedicated individuals responsible for vital decision making are known as Judges. The Judges work for the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC), which governs horse racing industry throughout the province, which includes all three breeds of race horses; Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses. Having the opportunity to speak with the Judges brought a lot of insight into the steps taken each and every race night to ensure the public and horsemen are all treated with respect, integrity and fairness. At Woodbine Racetrack, (Toronto, ON) there are 3 judges located in the grandstand for harness racing, as well as an official located in the paddock. The Judges arrive at the tracks' back office two and half hours prior to post time and this is standard for all race tracks including Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses. The three Judges that were kind enough to take time out to go over their routine were Craig Walker (11 years with the ORC) who is the Senior Judge or Presiding judge on site, Tom Miller (19 years with the ORC) and David Stewart Jr. (6 years with the ORC). All three judges have history as horsemen, from driving, training and owning or from past experience such as working in race offices. Their experience and insight is what enables them to know what to anticipate in every situation. The Judges of the ORC rotate from track to track and the teams are constantly changing to keep things fresh. Also the judges switch from Standardbreds to Thoroughbreds to Quarter horses routinely so their knowledge of rules and regulations for each breed stays up to speed. "Our first order of business is to go over the program, the changes, driver changes, scratches and any other pertinent information such as equipment changes" explains Craig. "We go through all of the horses' lines to ensure everything is okay in terms of eligibility." Prior to the start of the first race, there are times where the Judges may call in a driver if there is an infraction to be discussed from a previous date. If a horseman is called in due to a horses' positive test result, the horseman is entitled to bring in legal representation to discuss the matter. The Judges base their decisions on as much information possible; this way everyone has their fair chance to explain their circumstance prior to any fines or suspension being issued. "They have a right to appeal any decision made by the Judges." explains Craig. "Their right is to appeal that decision to the Ontario Racing Commission itself and in that case we would be witnesses for the administration." Were you aware Judges are not allowed to have any ownership in a race horse? Nor can their spouse and if by chance a Judge knows someone who does own a race horse, that Judge must excuse themselves from taking any part in a race that horse is involved in. By the Judge excusing him or herself from being an active participant in such a race, this negates any potential bias and maintains that each and every race is ruled free of prejudice. The same judge must fill out a conflict of interest form in advance of the race to create transparency and openness. These forms are kept on file with the ORC. An ORC Judge or their spouse cannot bet on any races in Ontario, regardless if it is at another race track. They cannot bet on any race simulcast into the province, it doesn't matter if that race is in another province, country or continent. The job can be stressful at times, considering that decisions made can have an impact on purse winnings and countless people. Can you imagine having to make a decision involving a half million dollar race such as the Breeders Crown? What if the winning driver of the Breeders Crown made an infraction causing an inquiry and it was a decision you had to make to place the winning driver second or third based on that infraction? That's a quarter million dollar decision affecting the connections involved not to mention the betting public. That is why the Judges always stick to the rule book and do not allow emotions to cloud their judgment. "You have nights where everything goes smoothly, there are no inquiries and some nights can be what you call stressful" says David. Such nights do happen but the Judges do enjoy their jobs, like watching competitive races. "It doesn't have to be a Stake race, we had a race here last night where there were five or six horses right across the wire and we all made a comment 'what a good race' that was." Tom says. "There were a couple last night" Dave adds. "It's a good finish and it is good for the crowd. We can hear people outside yelling, screaming and cheering their horse on. That's always a good thing." Once the race commences, each Judge has a separate task up in the grandstand. One Judge is in communication with the starter and one Judge is focused on the mutuals ensuring the finishing order posted is correct on the tote board. The third Judge is communication with the paddock in the event the Judges need to speak with a driver. In the Judges' room in the grandstand, there is a massive screen which has the feeds from five different camera angles. In the event of an inquiry or objection, the Judges can rewind and look at the race from these feeds to determine the outcome. As the starting car pulls away from the field and the horses charge forward, the Judges are intensely watching the race, calling out a horse's number when they see a horse break stride. As the field comes down the stretch each Judge is also writing down the order of finish, confirming with one another to ensure they are all on the same page. "We all write down the numbers as we think they crossed the finish line." Craig says. "If it's really tight, the only way we are going to verify is with the photo finish (screen). It's instantaneous and as they cross it's recorded and we see it here on screen." There are two employees in a separate room who oversee the video feeds and the photo finish. The employee in charge of the video communicates via phone and the employee who mans the photo finish communicates via intercom. "If there is a malfunction with the feeds, our decision is final." Craig says. This is according to the ORC rule book. "After the race if there is no inquiry, the routine is always the same. We comeback and we are going to watch replays of the stretch numerous times." Craig continues, "We are making sure everyone is staying in a straight line or trying to stay in a straight line. Another thing we are looking for is the use of the whip, making sure everyone is complying with the rules of the whip. (The driver's) feet must be in the stirrups." Once the finishing order is confirmed, the Judge in charge of mutuals informs an official in another room of the top four and that official then calls to have those numbers posted on the tote board. The same Judge in charge of mutuals calls the tote department to confirm the order of finish and the tote department then posts the payouts. (The same official who is in charge of calling in the numbers to be posted on the tote board is also in charge of calling to have the inquiry sign posted if the Judges determine an inquiry is needed). "After the race is official, then we do the official run down of the order of finish." Craig says. In this case, the Judges are confirming the order one through ten. If a horse broke stride at any point, this is noted in the race line by one of the Judges and this is what you will see in the program the next time the same horse races. You will see where the Judges noted with an 'X' where the horse broke stride in the race. If a horse broke stride in two consecutive races, the Judges will inform the connections for that horse that they will need to put that horse in a qualifying race to show the horse is able to race at full stride. Only then will that horse be able to race competitively again. While all of this is going on, one of the Judges is calling down to have two horses tested. Usually it is the winner and one other horse, for example it could be a horse that either did way better than anticipated or didn't compete as well as expected. Especially if it is a 1-5 favorite who finished sluggishly, which means there was a lot of public backing and the officials want to maintain nothing out of the ordinary is going on. "The rules don't say we have to test the winner" explains Tom. "I feel the patrons would want to know the integrity of that winner, we tested that winner and the integrity of that mile is there. We know the horse didn't have any drugs in its system." The two biggest takeaways I have is that communication is vital for the Judges and following the routine is what ensures transparency. If a horse is required to be at the paddock by a certain time and it is a minute late, it's scratched. Sure the Judges can understand traffic can be an issue, but if one rule is not enforced at any point, the result will be a can of worms being opened. Everyone gets treated the same, no ifs ands or buts. It's tough, but sound. "We do not take any pride or pleasure is scratching horses" states Tom. "The more the merrier but sometimes with situations of being a few minutes late, it's tough to do our job but we have to be consistent with everybody. The horsemen want to know we are always going to do it the same so they know what to expect. This way when the same situation happens they are aware of what the result will be." Roderick Balgobin's column will appear weekly on Harnesslink. You can contact him at rod.balgobin @supernovasportsclub.com or Twitter: ScSupernova    

TORONTO, May 10 - Woodbine Racetrack played host to a pair of stakes events on Saturday evening featuring sophomore pacers. After handing National Debt his first career loss last week, Somewhere In L A proved that effort was no fluke as he captured Saturday's $59,800 final of The Diplomat Series. A pair of Hall of Famers, Steve Condren and Bob McIntosh, teamed up with the pacer to capture the event in 1:51.4. Condren guided the son of Somebeachsomewhere to command before the opening station in :26.1 with Silverhill Shadow (Jody Jamieson) In The Pocket. Heading towards the half, Silverhill Shadow pocket-pulled and cleared to lead past the half in :54.4 and three-quarters in 1:23. Heavily-favoured National Debt, who was rough-gaited and made a break in the early stages, was the first-over attacker around the final turn. Turning for home, Silverhill Shadow put away National Debt, but couldn't fend off a late rally from pocket-sitter Somewhere In L A. Big Surf (Jonathan Drury) finished third. National Debt faded to seventh. Trained and co-owned by McIntosh along with C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings, Somewhere In L A celebrated his biggest payday as his bankroll now sits at $115,792. The bay has crafted a 2-0-1 record from three starts this season.He paid $8.60 as the third choice. The Diplomat Series was for three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $100,000 in 2013. Rock N Roll Xample, driven by James MacDonald, redeemed herself after faltering last week with a 1:51.4 performance to take the $59,200 Princess Series final. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover sat In The Pocket throughout the mile as Bahama Blue (Jody Jamieson) laid down panels of :26.2, :55.3 and 1:24. Turning for home, Rock N Roll Xample angled to the outside and marched past the tempo-setter en route to victory. Take That Hanover (Mike Saftic) came on for second, over Bahama Blue. Trained by Shawn Robinson for owner/breeder Robert Hamather, Rock N Roll Xample celebrated her ninth win of the season as her lifetime earnings increased to $128,690. The talented lass has amassed a 9-3-1 record from 15 starts this season. She paid $5.00 to win. The Princess Series was for three-year-old fillies, who were non-winners of $100,000 in 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

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