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TORONTO, October 18 - Live harness racing returns to Woodbine Racetrack on Thursday, October 17 for the 2017-18 Woodbine Fall-Winter meet. The Fall-Winter meet will feature live racing every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. The lone exception is a special matinee card on Boxing Day (December 26) at 1 p.m. The final number of race dates for the meet is pending regulatory approval. The upcoming meet will be the last for harness racing at Woodbine, as Mohawk Racetrack will become the home of year-round Woodbine harness racing beginning in April of 2018. Doug McNair captured the driving title last season at Woodbine and while he carried that momentum over to post leading numbers during the Mohawk meet, the Guelph, Ontario reinsman feels he is a perfect match for racing at Woodbine. "It's good for my style, I like to be aggressive and it's more of a front end track," noted McNair. "They're going such big speed now a days, especially back-halves, you can come a half in :53 and not get a cheque, so you got to be up in the hunt especially going back to Woodbine. "The front end is a real good spot to be and first-over is not that bad either if you have the right horse." As always, Horseplayers can expect competitive racing and strong pool sizes throughout the Woodbine Fall-Winter meet. The wagering menu for Woodbine Standardbreds remains the same and continues to feature the popular multi-leg wagers, including the $50,000 guaranteed Pick-5 and $50,000 guaranteed Early Pick-4. The popularity of the Pick-5 wager reached new heights during the recently concluded Mohawk meet. The average Pick-5 pool for the Mohawk meet was $73,437 and horseplayers can expect much of the same this season at Woodbine. Thursday's opening card features 10-races. A free program can be downloaded by clicking here. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 16 - The Mohawk Harness Racing Office would like to remind horsepeople of the draw schedule for the upcoming Woodbine Racetrack meet. Effective immediately, draws for Saturday cards will take place on Wednesday mornings. The entry box closes at 10:30 a.m. The draw schedule for the other nights of racing remains the same as the Mohawk meet. Here is the full draw schedule: Enter Monday for Thursday Enter Tuesday for Friday Enter Wednesday for Saturday Enter Thursday for Monday Beginning Thursday, October 26, qualifiers will take place each Thursday at Woodbine starting at 4 p.m. The entry box for qualifiers closes Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 10 - Live harness racing will be shifting from Mohawk to Woodbine Racetrack next week and details regarding training hours and qualifiers have been released. The final day for qualifiers and training at Mohawk will be next Tuesday (October 17). The Mohawk racing surface and paddock will then be closed until next spring. Qualifiers will resume on Thursday, October 26 at Woodbine and will be held every Thursday beginning at 4 p.m. Starting October 24, the Woodbine racing surface and paddock will be available each Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for training. The 2017-18 Woodbine Fall-Winter meet begins Thursday, October 19. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 15 - Driver Doug McNair and trainer Richard Moreau were recognized Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack for their outstanding performances during the 2016-17 Woodbine harness racing winter meet. The Woodbine winter meet, which concluded on Monday, was contested from November 10 to April 10. Doug McNair, 27, led all drivers in victories and earnings. The Guelph, Ontario resident won 126 races during the five-month meet and drove the winners of over $1.7 million. The Woodbine driving title is McNair's first driving title on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit. While McNair took home his first title, Richard Moreau, 52, added another Woodbine training title to his long list of accomplishments. Moreau, who is the four-time reigning Trainer of the Year in Canada, led all conditioners with 62 wins and earnings of over $1.2 million. Moreau's barn has been led this year by older pacer American Virgin, who's won the Preferred at WEG seven-times and banked $140,080 this season. McNair has been the driver behind the Preferred star all-season. McNair and Moreau also teamed up on Friday night to win the $30,000 Mares Preferred with Sandbetweenurtoes. The 2017 Mohawk meet is now in full swing and McNair and Moreau are both off to solid starts. Live racing is held at the Campbellville oval every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, April 8 - Richard Moreau's barn put together a fantastic evening to highlight the final Saturday night harness racing card of the Woodbine Racetrack meet. Canada's reigning Trainer of the Year sent out five winners on Saturday's 10-race card. Leading the way for Moreau's barn was American Virgin, who scored his fifth consecutive victory in the $34,000 Preferred. Driven by Doug McNair, American Virgin made a third to first move in the second-quarter and never looked back to defeat four rivals in 1:50.4. The five-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin is now 7 for 11 this season and has earned a nation leading $140,080 in 2017. Brad Grant of Milton, Ontario owns American Virgin. Driver Louis Philippe Roy piloted Moreau's four other winners on Saturday evening's card. The young reinsman from Quebec steered overnight pacers Rockin Wizard, Traceur Hanover, Twomacsonemach and Carracci Hanover to victory. Since the start of 2017, Moreau's barn has recorded 44 victories at Woodbine. American Virgin Also on Saturday, five-year-old pacer Luke And Duke and driver Steve Bryon scored a 41-1 upset victory in the Jackpot Hi-5 race. The longshot winner helped wipe all but one of the Hi-5 tickets to allow a horseplayer to hit the Jackpot. The single-winning $0.20 ticket scored a return of $141,059.11. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover, which sat at $118,631 heading into Saturday's card, had been growing since March 13. The 2016-17 Woodbine fall-winter meet comes to a close on Monday (April 10). Moreau will look to finish off the meet in style when he sends out three-starters on the 10-race card. Post time Monday is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 30 - Driver Louis Philippe Roy dominated Thursday evening's harness racing card at Woodbine Racetrack by winning five of his seven drives. Roy, who has been cleaning up since joining the WEG Circuit this winter, teamed up with his pal Rene Allard for four of his five wins on Thursday's 10-race card. The dynamic duo captured the evening's first-race with trotter Win The Day, the fourth-race with pacer Now What Hanover, the sixth-race with pacer Julerica and the evening's final-race with pacing mare Olivias Way. Roy's other victory on the card came with Victor McMurren trainee Calgary Seelster in a Claiming Event. Entering Thursday's card, Roy sat second in the driver's standings with 61 victories. His five-win performance boosts him to 66 wins in 313 drives at Woodbine this season. Doug McNair currently leads all WEG drivers with 75 wins this season. As for Allard, his Thursday grand-slam gives him 47 wins this season at Woodbine, which is good enough for an 11-win lead over Richard Moreau in the WEG trainer's standings. Roy and Allard will team up again four-times on Friday evening's program. Post time Friday is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 23 - It doesn't happen regularly, so fans and horseplayers are in for a treat when a double dose of harness racing 'Preferred' action highlights Saturday night's card at Woodbine Racetrack. The $34,000 Preferred pace (Race 6) and $30,000 Mares Preferred pace (Race 2) will give everyone a chance to see many of the top pacers on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit on the same night. American Virgin, a five-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin, will attempt to extend his current win streak to three in the Preferred. The Richard Moreau trainee has won the top class at Woodbine five-times this season. American Virgin has banked $106,080 this season to lead all Canadian-based horses in earnings. Doug McNair, the leading driver at Woodbine, will steer the 9/5 morning line choice from post-three. One of the newer faces on the WEG Circuit is New Zealand bred pacer Brilliant Strike N. The Tony O'Sullivan trained six-year-old will take his first crack at the top class from post-six. A son of Shadow Play, Brilliant Strike N scored his first win in the Northern Hemisphere last week by winning the class below the Preferred in 1:51.4. The O'Sullivan trainee will be making his fifth start on Canadian soil Saturday and will have the driving services of Sylvain Filion. Brilliant Strike N last start in New Zealand took place in late-November. Of the eight horses in Saturday's Preferred, six of them (Alexas Jackpot, American Virgin, Andreios Kardia, Jins Shark, Company Man and Nickle Bag) have won an edition of the Preferred in the last four-months. The $30,000 Mares Preferred will feature a field of seven leading ladies. Ron Adams trainee Bernadette has been arguably one of the hottest pacers this season at Woodbine and the four-year-old will look for her second consecutive Mares Preferred score. The Adams trainee made a backstretch move to the lead in last week's feature event and never looked back en route to a 1:52 victory. Bernadette has won four of nine starts this season, with last week's triumph her first in the Mares Preferred. Top driver McNair will once again drive Bernadette on Saturday, but the red-hot mare will have to fight off some classy veterans. Nine-year-old Waasmula has been a mainstay in this class for years and will be looking for her 32nd career victory Saturday. The Brent Vincent homebred surpassed $1 million in career earnings earlier this season and won an edition of the Mares Preferred last month. Trained by Bruce Goit and driven by regular reinsman Trevor Henry, Waasmula will start in the middle of the seven-horse field from post-four. The seven mares in Saturday's $30,000 event have combined for 15 wins this season. Saturday's card will mark the end of the 11th week of racing this year at Woodbine. Below is the list of Preferred and Mares Preferred winners from this season. 2017 Preferred Pace (Italics indicates racing on Saturday) January 7: Alexas Jackpot January 14: Modern Legend January 21: American Virgin January 28: Fine Diamond February 4: Jins Shark February 11: American Virgin February 18: Nickle Bag February 25: American Virgin March 4: American Virgin March 11: Company Man March 18: American Virgin   2017 Mares Preferred Pace (Bold indicates racing on Saturday) January 13: Ms Mac N Cheese January 21: Sandbetweenurtoes January 27: Sandbetweenurtoes February 3: Sandbetweenurtoes February 24: Waasmula March 3: Wrangler Magic March 10: Wrangler Magic March 17: Bernadette   Here are the fields for Saturday's feature races. Race 2: Mares Preferred - $30,000 1. Bernadette (Doug McNair - Ron Adams) 5/2 2. Victoria Semalu (Sylvain Filion - Richard Moreau) 6/1 3. P L Hurricane (Rick Zeron - Dave Brown) 7/2 4. Waasmula (Trevor Henry - Bruce Goit) 3/1 5. Exhilarated (Jonathan Drury - Carmen Auciello) 8/1 6. Rock N Roll Xample (Louis Philippe Roy - Rene Allard) 5/1 7. Request For Parole (Ed Hensley - Ashleigh Hensley) 10/1   Race 6: Preferred - $34,000 1. Alexas Jackpot (Louis Philippe Roy - Marty Fine) 7/2 2. J Js Delivery (James MacDonald - Robert McMillan) 10/1 3. American Virgin (Doug McNair - Richard Moreau) 9/5 4. Andreios Kardia (Jody Jamieson - Jeff Byron) 6/1 5. Jins Shark (Ed Hensley - Dave Menary) 15/1 6. Brilliant Strike N (Sylvain Filion - Tony O'Sullivan) 5/1 7. Company Man (Travis Cullen - Richard Moreau) 10/1 8. Nickle Bag (Trevor Henry - Bill Robinson) 9/2 Post time Saturday is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 12 - Machal Jordan and harness racing driver Roger Mayotte pulled off a 20/1 upset to win a thrilling Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of 12 older pacers battled in a $25,000 overnight event with horseplayers from all over taking a crack at scoring a piece of the massive Jackpot Hi-5 pool. Horseplayers wagered $1,406,112 of new money into the Jackpot Hi-5 pool, which was then combined with the carryover amount of $578,231 to make up the total pool for the mandatory payout. Machal Jordan capitalized off a perfect second-over steer from Mayotte to win in 1:52.3 at 20-1. A wild finish saw the top-five finishers only separated by three-quarters of a length. Erle Dale N, the 8/5 favourite, finished eighth, which combined with longshots mixed throughout the top-five finishers led to a massive payoff of $38,179.28 for a $0.20 winning ticket. The $1 winning ticket returned $190,896.40. Here are the top five finishers from Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5 race. 1st: #1 Machal Jordan (Roger Mayotte) - 20/1 2nd: #6 Dialamara (James MacDonald) - 4/1 3rd: #7 Half A Billion (Jody Jamieson) - 22/1 4th: #2 Casimir Overdrive (Jonathan Drury) - 18/1 5th: #4 Single White Sock (Sylvain Filion) - 18/1 The Jackpot Hi-5 wager requires horseplayers to correctly select the top-five finishers in order. The minimum wager is $0.20 and the takeout is 15 per cent. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, March 8 - Harness racing horseplayers can start studying immediately, as the draw is out for this Saturday's (March 11) Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race at Woodbine Racetrack. A carryover of $578,231.58 is being brought into the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, which is offered on Race 10 this Saturday. A 12 horse field has been put together for the Jackpot Hi-5 race. Overnight pacers meeting the conditions of Non-Winners of $10,500 last five or $18,000 last 10 will battle for an increased purse of $25,000. All starters in Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5 race will receive money. The winner of the race will receive 50 per cent of the purse, while horses finishing sixth through 12th will receive one per cent. The remainder of the purse will be split up as usual to the horses finishing second through fifth. The current Jackpot Hi-5 carryover has been growing since the last mandatory payout on December 23rd. On that evening, a carryover of $548,396 was brought into the mandatory payout and horseplayers wagered $2,081,441 of new money into the Jackpot Hi-5 pool. Gregg McNair trainee The Rev won the Jackpot Hi-5 race on December 23rd and once again will be competing in Saturday's mandatory payout race, starting from post position nine. Dialamara (PP6) and Half A Billion (PP7) join The Rev as the only three horses from the most recent mandatory payout race to compete in Saturday's event. A $0.20 winning ticket on the December 23rd mandatory payout returned $4,842.70. If previous mandatory payouts are any indication, a total pool well over $2 million is very likely on Saturday's mandatory payout. This Saturday will be the seventh major mandatory payout on WEG Standardbred racing since the Jackpot Hi-5 was introduced to the wagering menu in the fall of 2013. An average of $1.7 million in new money has been wagered on each of the previous six major mandatory payouts. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. The minimum wager is $0.20, while the takeout is 15 per cent. To view early program pages for Saturday's card, click here. Post time for Saturday's card at Woodbine is 7:30 p.m. Below is the field for Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race. Race 10 - Saturday, March 11 - Purse: $25,000 PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer 1. Machal Jordan (Roger Mayotte - Kenneth Switzer) 2. Casimir Overdrive (Doug McNair - Carmen Auciello) 3. Panedictine (Colin Kelly - Laurie Bako) 4. Single White Sock (James MacDonald - Ted MacDonnell) 5. Erle Dale N (Doug McNair - Ron Adams) 6. Dialamara (James MacDonald - Pat Fletcher) 7. Half A Billion (Louis Philippe Roy - Corey Giles) 8. Champagne Phil (Paul MacDonell - Dean Nixon) 9. The Rev (Doug McNair - Gregg McNair) 10. Mach On The Beach (Louis Philippe Roy - Richard Moreau) 11. Darcee N (Travis Cullen - Travis Cullen) 12. Bank Shot Hanover (Trevor Henry - Victor Puddy) Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, February - The classy pacing mare Waasmula found the winner's circle for the first time in 2017 and the 30th time of her harness racing career Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The nine-year-old daughter of Million Dollar Cam converted off a second-over trip from driver Trevor Henry to win this week's top class for pacing mares in 1:51.3. Friday's victory was extra special for Waasmula, as it was the Bruce Goit trainee's first win since surpassing $1 million in career earnings on January 27th at Woodbine. Bred and owned by Brent Vincent of Allenford, Ontario, Waasmula was making the 131st start of her career Friday and fourth of her nine-year-old season. Last year, she won seven of 28 starts while banking over $293,000. Waasmula has been competing regularly in the top classes for pacing mares on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit since 13 days after capturing the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final for three-year-old pacing fillies back in November of 2011. The Vincent homebred's career totals now sit at 30 wins, $1,016,038 earned and a mark of 1:49.2. She paid $7.30 to win. In recognition of recently surpassing $1 million in career earnings, Waasmula and her connections were presented with a sign from the Woodbine Entertainment Group following her victory Friday. While Waasmula won the $25,000 feature race Friday, leading driver Doug McNair continued to add to his impressive early-season totals. The Guelph, Ontario resident picked up three more victories Friday to give him 47 this season at Woodbine. McNair now has a 26-win lead over nearest rival Louis Philippe Roy, who won two-races Friday. McNair will look to grow his lead on Saturday, as he is scheduled to drive in all 10-races. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, February 3 - A pair of Winter Series finals for three and four-year-old pacers headlined Friday evening's 10-race harness racing card at chilly Woodbine Racetrack. The $39,400 Snowshoe Series final featured a field of seven, while a group of ten fillies and mares competed in the $37,600 Blizzard Series final. Awesomeness lived up to his name by completing a dominant sweep of the Snowshoe Series Friday. The Ryan Maxwell trainee was fired off the wings of the gate by driver Doug McNair, but had to take a step back and sit second rounding the first turn, as Lyons Sands, who was also going for a sweep of the series, sprinted to the lead. Lyons Sands posted an opening-quarter of :27.2, but was quickly knocked back to second when McNair circled around to the lead with Awesomeness entering the backstretch. Awesomeness, who went off at odds of 1/9, posted middle-half fractions of :56.3 and 1:25. A stretch duel between the two red-hot pacers seemed likely, but Awesomeness quickly put those dreams to bed by pulling away from Lyons Sands at the top of the lane. Awesomeness powered home in :28 to win by five-lengths in 1:53. Lyons Sands held on for second, while Big Yellow was third and Clouseau Hanover was fourth. A four-year-old gelding, Awesomeness has quickly gained notoriety this winter by turning in stunning efforts regularly. The son of Mach Three made the first start of his career on October 4th at Mohawk, for then-trainer Dave Keyes, and finished seventh. Since his debut, Awesomeness has won eight of 13 starts and has never finished worse than second. Purchased privately in November by Martin Scharf, Awesomeness has banked $41,700 this season to bring his career earnings total to $104,300. A $2 win ticket on Awesomeness Friday returned $2.30. Awesomeness The Blizzard Series final was the opposite of the Snowshoe, as the pace-setter couldn't hold on late and a longshot stole the spotlight. Xelene Bayama held her own in preliminary round action, but picked the perfect time to step up and strike in Friday's $37,600 Blizzard final. Driven by Rick Zeron, Xelene Bayama got away seventh, as Jimbelina paced out to the lead and posted hot opening fractions of :26.4 and :55.2. An outer-flow was established early by the favourite I Deal In Kisses heading down the backstretch and this allowed Zeron to jump into a third-over spot heading towards the far turn. Jimbelina, who was 2-1, kept motoring around the far turn and reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3. The outer-flow stopped advancing on the final bend and Zeron was forced to go three-wide to stay within striking range of the leader. In the stretch, Jimbelina attempted to muscle out the victory, but Xelene Bayama was full of pace and charged by the leader in the final-sixteenth to win by a length and three-quarters in 1:54.3. Jimbelina just held on for second over Senseless Beauty, while Collective Wisdom was fourth. A four-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight, Xelene Bayama entered Friday's series finale off a fourth and third-place effort in the preliminary legs. The Stephane Larocque trainee had just a single victory in eight career starts before Friday. Owned by Bayama Farms Inc. and Zoom And Fish Stable Inc., Xelene Bayama earned $18,880 for her Blizzard Series victory, which brings her career earnings total to $31,235. Xelene Bayama paid $47.50 to win. Xelene Bayama Three and four-year-old pacers, who were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible for nomination to the Snowshoe and Blizzard Series. Also on Friday, Sandbetweenurtoes stretched her current win streak to three with a front-end score in the $30,000 Mares Preferred. The Richard Moreau trainee was sent to the front by driver Doug McNair and the duo never looked back en route to a 1:52.3 score. Sandbetweenurtoes has now won the last three editions of the top-level event for pacing mares. Owned by Brad Grant, Sandbetweenurtoes has three wins in four starts this season for earnings of $52,500. Her career totals now sit at 24 victories and $832,722 earned after Friday's triumph. Sandbetweenurtoes Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack with a 10-race card on deck. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 27 - Awesomeness and Lyons Sands were able to repeat in round two of the Snowshoe Series, while Waasmula became harness racing's newest millionaire with a fifth-place finish to a repeat-winning Sandbetweenurtoes in the $30,000 Mares Preferred Friday night at Woodbine. The second leg of the Snowshoe Series got things rolling on Friday's 11-race card. Awesomeness, who won his first leg division by more than seven-lengths, delivered another impressive gate-to-wire performance to take Friday's first $17,000 Snowshoe division by 5¼ lengths in 1:54.1. The Ryan Maxwell trainee was put on the front by driver Doug McNair and was never challenged, posting fractions of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:25.4, before pacing home in :28.2 for his second win of the season. Big Yellow finished second, while East End was third. A four-year-old gelded son of Mach Three, Awesomneness, who made his career debut in October, has been cleaning up this winter at Woodbine and now has seven wins in 13 starts. Owned by Martin Scharf, Awesomeness has banked $22,000 in three starts this season to bring his career earnings total to $84,600. The Maxwell trainee paid $2.20 to win. Awesomeness The second division was almost identical to last week's, as Lyons Sands went gate-to-wire with Senior K having to settle for second after a two-hole triple. Driven by J Harris, Lyons Sands blasted off the wings of the gate to grab command ahead of Senior K. The Bruce Goit trainee posted fractions of :27.1, :57 and 1:25.3 to lead the field into the lane. In the stretch, Senior K was angled off the pylons and took another crack at Lyons Sands, but just like last week, the leader did not surrender and crossed the wire first in 1:55. Senior K came up three-quarters of a length short, while Ohio Larry was third. A four-year-old gelding, Lyons Sands is now two for two in 2017 after winning nine of 13 last season. The son of Somebeachsomewhere is now an 11-time winner with career earnings of $61,090 for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound. Lyons Sands paid $5.90 to win. Lyons Sands Three and four-year-old pacers, who were non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible for nomination to the Snowshoe Series. The $39,400 Snowshoe Final will take place next Friday (February 3) and both Awesomeness and Lyons Sands will have an opportunity to complete a sweep of the series. Also on Friday, Sandbetweenurtoes captured the $30,000 Mares Preferred for the second-consecutive week, while Waasmula became harness racing's newest millionaire by picking up a fifth-place cheque. Richard Moreau trainee Sandbetweenurtoes had to fight off Sayitall BB in the stretch to secure a 1:52.3 front-end victory. The six-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was driven to her 23rd career victory Friday by Doug McNair. Owned by Brad Grant, Sandbetweenurtoes has quickly banked $37,500 this season to bring her career earnings to $817,722. Sandbetweenurtoes Despite not visiting the winner's circle, Waasmula's connections can celebrate after her fifth-place finish in the top-level event for pacing mares. The nine-year-old daughter of Million Dollar Cam earned $1,500 Friday to push her over $1 million in career earnings. Waasmula is owned and bred by Brent Vincent and trained by Bruce Goit. Her regular driver Trevor Henry was in the sulky to reach the milestone. Waasmula is a 29-time winner during her career with a mark of 1:49.2 taken at Mohawk. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 20 - Winter Series harness racing action continued on Friday's 11-race card at Woodbine Racetrack and once again Doug McNair was the first star of the night. McNair, who swept round one of the Blizzard Series Thursday, made four visits to the winner's circle on Friday's card, including in one of two divisions of the Snowshoe Series for three and four-year-old pacers. Awesomeness was sent straight to the front by McNair in the first $17,000 Snowshoe split and never looked back en route to an impressive 1:52 victory. The Ryan Maxwell trainee posted a snappy opening-quarter of :26.1 and after a middle-half of :58.4, fired home in :27 to win by 7½ lengths. Clouseau Hanover finished second, while Emptythetill was third. A gelded son of Mach Three, Awesomeness has been making some serious noise at Woodbine over the last couple months. The four-year-old didn't make his career debut until October and now has six wins in 12 starts, while only finishing outside the top-two once. Awesomeness, who was making his second start of the New Year Friday, was purchased privately by Martin Scharf in November and has won three of six starts since joining the Maxwell stable. His career earnings now sit at $76,100. The Maxwell trainee paid $3.60 to win. Awesomeness The second Snowshoe division saw McNair almost make it back-to-back series sweeping nights, but he and four-year-old gelding Senior K had to settle for a second-place finish. Lyons Sands went gate-to-wire to win the second split in 1:53.2. The Bruce Goit trainee was making his first start of 2017 and was guided to victory by driver J Harris. Lyons Sands posted fractions of :27.1, :57.1 and 1:25.3, before pacing home in :27.4 and fighting off Senior K to win by a neck. Ohio Larry finished third. A gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, Lyons Sands won 9 of 13 starts last season as a three-year-old and now has 10 career victories to his name. His career bankroll increased to $52,590 for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound with Friday's victory. Lyons Sands paid $13 to win. Lyons Sands Three and four-year-old pacers, who were non-winners of two-races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible for nomination to the Snowshoe Series. The second-round of the Snowshoe will take place next Friday (January 27). Following Friday's driving Grand Slam, McNair now has 15 wins, 11 runner-up finishes and seven third-place finishes in 57 starts to lead all drivers this season at Woodbine. McNair will look to continue his torrid start to 2017 on Saturday evening, as he is listed to drive in nine of the 11 scheduled races. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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   

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