TORONTO, November 27 - The Murmuring Pan and Much Adoo will have a shot at an Autumn Series sweep after victories in round two of harness racing action Friday night at Woodbine. A total of four $18,000 Autumn Series divisions for three-year-old fillies were contested Friday night. Both the pacing and trotting divisions required two splits. In the first pacing division, Amazing Control came through as the public's choice with a 1:55 victory. The Meg Crone trainee and driver Jody Jamieson got away third and sat in the position through the opening half-mile. Around the final turn, Amazing Control came first up to overtake the lead from Mach Magic and post a three-quarter clocking of 1:25.1. In the stretch, Amazing Control was able to create a few lengths of separation on her rivals and paced a :29.2 final-quarter for a 2¾ length victory. Show Some Leg came from seventh at the three-quarter pole for second, while Double Olives was third. A daughter of Shadow Play, Amazing Control finished second in last week's opening leg. Friday's victory was first of the season for the sophomore pacing filly and second of her career. Amazing Control is owned by Hutt Racing Stable. She has now banked over $25,000 this season and $53,000 overall. Amazing Control paid $4.50 to win. Amazing Control Much Adoo was a repeat winner with a gate-to-wire performance in the second division. The Isaac Waxman trainee was put on the front by driver Trevor Henry and hung up an opening-quarter of :27.4. After fractions of :58.2 and 1:27.2, Much Adoo scooted away from her rivals with ease and scored a 2¾ length victory in 1:55.2. Aniston Seelster, the heavy 1/5 favourite, finished second, while Pinky Tuscadero was third. A daughter of Classic Card Shark, Much Adoo was making her second start for Waxman after posting a 1:54.4 victory in last week's first leg. The sophomore pacing filly has now visited the winner's circle on five occasions this season. Much Adoo is a perfect two for two for owners Aaron Waxman and Alan Alber. Her seasonal earnings currently sit at over $59,000. Much Adoo paid $9.50 to win. Much Adoo On the trotting side, The Murmuring Pan picked up right where she left off last week with another easy-looking victory. Driven by Henry, The Murmuring Pan floated out from post eight and cleared to the lead just after an opening-quarter of :28.1. It was game over for the seven other trotting fillies once the heavy favourite took the lead. The Murmuring Pan posted panels of :57.4 and 1:27.1, before trotting home under wraps in :29.4 for a 4½ length victory in 1:57. Brinkers Dream got up for second, while P L Indyanaca finished third. A daughter of Kadabra, The Murmuring Pan is owned and trained by Paul Reid. The sophomore trotting filly has now won five of eight in 2015, including last week's opening leg in 1:57.2. The Murmuring Pan now has seven career wins and earnings exceeding $75,000. The Reid trainee paid $2.10 to win. The Murmuring Pan After a pair of narrow defeats, Tymal Fireitup was able to come out on top Friday night in the second trotting division. The Julie Walker trainee and driver Sylvain Filion got away fourth in the field of eight. Filion pulled on the right line nearing the halfway point to put Tymal Fireitup first over. Around the final turn, Tymal Fireitup and Filion were able to charge up and poke a head in front at the three-quarter pole in 1:28. In the stretch, Tymal Fireitup trotted home in :29.3 to win by a length in 1:57.3. Aspen California trotted home well to finish second, while Hope Rises was third. A daughter of Kadabra, Tymal Fireitup now has four wins in 20 starts this season for earnings of over $51,000. Walker co-owns the filly with Steven Williamson and Jean Bernard Renaud. Tymal Fireitup now has seven career victories and a bankroll of over $63,000. The clocking of 1:57.3 lowered her career-mark by almost a full-second. The Walker trainee paid $3.90 to win. Tymal Fireitup In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-old fillies had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2015 as of September 30, 2015. The fillies will wrap up the Autumn Series next Friday with both finals. The pacing fillies final will go for a purse of $37,800, while the trotting fillies will battle for a purse of $36,800. Autumn Series action continues Saturday night with the second-leg for the three-year-old colts and geldings. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, November 24 - The Mohawk race office would like to remind horsepeople that nominations to the Woodbine Winter Series close on Tuesday, December 1. A total of 12 events will be offered over the months of December, January, February and March. The series finals will feature nearly $500,000 in added money over the course of the winter. The Niagara for three-year-old pacing fillies and the Valedictory for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will kick off Winter Series action in December. Both series will wrap up with their finals on the special afternoon Boxing Day card. New in 2016, the HPIbet.com and WEGZ series are now four-year-old pacing events. The HPIbet.com will be offered for four-year-old pacing mares, who are non-winners of $100,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. The WEGZ series carries the same conditions and is for four-year-old pacing horses and geldings. Other Winter Series events include the Blizzard, Snowshoe, Miss Vera Bars, The Count B, Ontario Girls, Ontario Boys, Lifetime Dream and General Brock. To view the nomination form and details for all 12 events, click here. Each series carries a nomination fee of $200 and will feature two preliminary legs and added money final. To pay the $200 nomination fee online, click here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than December 1st, 2015 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications
TORONTO, November 21 – Ontario three-year-old harness racing colts and geldings kicked off their Autumn Series with four divisions Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A total of 18 pacers and 20 trotters made up four $18,000 round one divisions. Mach On The Beach kicked off the night with a 1:52.2 victory in the first pacing division. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Mach On The Beach flashed early speed aiming for the front, while Twin B Sportsman was pacing hard early looking for the lead. Mach On The Beach got to the pylons first and Filion opted to stretch Twin B Sportsman out by the opening-quarter in :26.2. Filion eventually released the challenger at the top of the backstretch. After a half of :55.1, Mach On The Beach came to the outside and surged by Twin B Sportsman to take the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.1. In the stretch, Mach On The Beach left his rivals in his dust and paced away to an easy-looking four-length victory. The Rock finished up with a strong final-quarter to come from eighth to finish second. Sports Lightning finished third, while Windsong Lightning was fourth. A son of Mach Three, Mach On The Beach is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. The sophomore gelding now has seven wins from 24 starts in his first season of racing. Mach On The Beach pushed his earnings to over $60,000 with the victory Saturday, while also lowering his career-mark by more than two-seconds. The Moreau trainee paid $3.90 to win. Mach On The Beach In the second division, Cajon Lightning came first up to win in 1:52.4. Driven by Mike Saftic, Cajon Lightning got away fifth in the early stages, while Doctor Royal and Major Dan took turns on the lead through panels of :26.1 and :56.1. Saftic sent Cajon Lightning first up around the final turn and the even-money favourite was second and less than two-lengths from the front at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Cajon Lightning powered by Doctor Royal and paced home strong in :27.2 for a length and a half victory. Jack Reacher finished second, while Naturescape finished third just ahead of Doctor Royal. Another son of Mach Three, Cajon Lightning is trained by Scott Bell for owner John Taylor. Saturday’s victory was the third from 16 starts this season for the gelding. Cajon Lightning has now earned over $48,000 in his first season of racing. The clocking of 1:52.4 matched his career-mark taken October 12 at Woodbine. Cajon Lightning paid $4.10 to win. Cajon Lightning On the trotting side, Stormont Wizard took the first division in 1:56.1 at odds of 3/5. Driven by James MacDonald, Stormont Wizard trotted out strongly to grab command at the opening-quarter in :28. Down the backstretch, Win The Day came first up from fifth at the half to challenge the leader. MacDonald kept his trotter moving well and turned aside the first-over challenger to lead the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:26.1. In the stretch, Stormont Wizard sealed the deal with a :30 final-quarter to score a two and a quarter length victory. P L Icabod finished second, while Lmc Mass Oak was third. Win The Day rounded out the Superfecta in fourth. A son of Kadabra, Stormont Wizard is trained by Kevin Benn for Stormont Meadows. The sophomore gelding now has two wins in 12 starts this season. Last year, Stormont Wizard scored a single victory in seven starts, while hitting the board five-times. The Benn trainee has banked over $48,000 this season and $74,000 lifetime. Stormont Wizard paid $3.40 to win. Stormont Wizard Love Hunter turned a two-hole trip into a victory in the second trotting division. The Nick Gallucci trainee left quickly for driver Trevor Henry to challenge for the lead, however Gronk, the even-money favourite, pushed forward for the lead and forced Henry into the pocket. After setting fractions of :26.4, :57.3 and 1:27.1, Gronk carried the lead into the lane with Love Hunter on his back. In the stretch, Love Hunter came to the outside and waged war with Gronk, eventually edging by in deep stretch to win by half a length in 1:57. Freddie closed with good speed for third, while Thoughtful Leader was fourth. A son of Holiday Road, Love Hunter entered Saturday’s contest with one win in 10 starts this season. The Autumn Series division victory pushes the gelding’s earnings in 2015 to over $34,000. Love Hunter paid $12.20 to win. Love Hunter In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-olds had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2015 as of September 30, 2015. The second round of the Autumn Series for the colts and geldings will take place next Saturday (November 28).
TORONTO, November 20 - Just one night after a pair of two-year-old series finals, the Autumn Series action continued with first leg divisions for the harness racing three-year-old fillies. A total of four $18,000 divisions were contested at Woodbine on Friday, as 19 sophomore pacing fillies and 13 sophomore trotting fillies competed in round one action. Aniston Seelster lived up to her 1/2 billing to win the first pacing division in 1:53.2. The Gregg McNair trainee was sent directly to the front by driver Doug McNair and posted an opening-quarter of :27.2. After a :30.2 second-quarter, Aniston Seelster cruised by the third-station in 1:25.4, before pacing home comfortably in :27.3 for a length and three-quarters victory. Amazing Control finished second, while Show Some Leg was third. A daughter of Mach Three, Aniston Seelster has now won six of 19 starts this season for earnings of over $83,000. She is owned by Lindsey and Connie Rankin. Aniston Seelster paid $3.10 to win. Aniston Seelster In the second division, Much Adoo scored a 1:54.4 victory in her debut for new trainer Issac Waxman. Several fillies flashed early speed looking for the front, but Mach Magic from the far outside was the quickest away and posted an opening-quarter of :26.4. St Lads Gidget was parked around the first turn, but cleared to the lead entering the backside. Mach Magic quickly circled back to the lead at the half in :55.4. Around the final turn, Much Adoo came out from fourth for driver McNair to challenge first up, while Dontbruisecarrie followed second-over and Pinky Tuscadero sat to their outside three-wide. Much Adoo overtook the lead turning for home and paced away in the lane. Pinky Tuscadero finished a length and a quarter back in second, while Windsong Lindsey was third. Mach Magic and several horses were interfered with at the top of the stretch and taken out of contention after Dontbruisecarrie made a break. A daughter of Classic Card Shark, Much Adoo was making her debut Friday for new owners Aaron Waxman and Alan Alber. She has now won four of 23 starts this season after making just two starts as a rookie. Much Adoo's earnings now exceed $50,000. She paid $5.50 to win. Much Adoo On the trotting side, The Murmuring Pan scored an easy 1:57.2 victory in the first division. Sent off at odds of 1/9, The Murmuring Pan got away third for driver Trevor Henry, while Stormont Contessa trotted out to the lead. After an opening-quarter of :29.4, Henry pulled on the right line and quickly moved to the front. The second-quarter move would seal the deal, as The Murmuring Pan posted panels of :59.4 and 1:28.4, before trotting home under a hand drive in :28.3 to win by 4½ lengths. Aspen California showed good closing speed to come from fifth to grab second, while Elegant Holiday finished third. A daughter of Kadabra, The Murmuring Pan is owned and trained by Paul Reid. The sophomore trotter now has victories in four of seven attempts this season and six of 13 career starts. Friday's victory pushed The Murmuring Pan's seasonal earnings to $43,500, while her career bankroll now sits at over $66,000. The Reid trainee paid $2.30 to win. The Murmuring Pan In the second split, Ill Stay Here scored a 1:57 victory at odds of 5/2. Driven by Randy Waples, Ill Stay Here grabbed an early spot in fourth, while Tymal Fireitup, the 4/5 favourite, trotted out to the lead. Brinkers Dream made a second-quarter move to the front from third and touched down on the lead at the half in :57.4. Ill Stay Here sat fourth along the rail around the final turn and was close to six-lengths off the lead turning for home, as Brinkers Dream reached the third-station in 1:26.4. In the stretch, Tymal Fireitup came out of the two-hole to retake the lead, but Waples was able to get Ill Stay Here off the rail to the far outside with clear racetrack. Tymal Fireitup tried to go all the way, but Ill Stay Here tracked her down and edged by late to win by a neck. Strikinglyimpressive finished third. A daughter of Pilgrims Taj, Ill Stay Here is trained by Colin Johnson for owners Thomas Kyron and Debbie Element. The sophomore trotting filly now has wins in seven of 20 starts in 2015. Ill Stay Here made three visits to the winner's circle as a rookie. The Johnson trainee now has career earnings of over $65,000 with $56,000 earned this season. The clocking of 1:57 established a new career mark for Ill Stay Here. She paid $7.80 to win. Ill Stay Here In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired three-year-olds had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime or $30,000 in 2015 as of September 30, 2015. The second leg for the fillies will take place next Friday (November 27), while Autumn Series action continues Saturday night with round one for the sophomore colts and geldings. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, November 19 - The Autumn Series for two-year-olds wrapped up Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack with the finals for the colts and geldings. The $30,000 two-year-old trot and $31,400 two-year-old pace both featured a field of ten. In the trotting final, Gonna Fly was able to knock off the heavy favourite Matza Man in 1:59.3. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Gonna Fly got away far back in ninth position, while Matza Man, at odds of 1/5, got away fourth. The public's choice was sent first up just after the half, which allowed Gonna Fly to get into the outside flow. Matza Man poked a neck in front at the three-quarter pole in 1:28.3, while MacDonell sent Gonna Fly three-wide from fourth-over turning for home. Matza Man appeared to be poised for the series sweep, but Gonna Fly tracked him down and reached up in the final strides to win by a neck. Jls Bad Moon Risin finished third, while Pukka was fourth. A son of Kadabra, Gonna Fly is trained by Bob McIntosh for the ownership group of McIntosh Stables Inc. and Earl Hill Jr. Gonna Fly finished second in the opening round and fourth in last week's second leg. Thursday's victory was the third in 14 starts for the rookie and pushed his earnings over $43,000. The clocking of 1:59.3 set a new mark for the McIntosh trainee. Gonna Fly paid $9.60 to win. Continual Hanover prevailed as the 1/2 favourite in the pacing colts and geldings final. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Continual Hanover got away sixth in the early stages. Big Bang Boom, who was looking for the series sweep, sprinted to lead for Jonathan Drury and posted an opening-quarter of :26.2. Big Bang Boom had company in the second-quarter from Gotti, but Drury kept the tempo hot and left the challenger parked out by the half in :55. After putting away the challenger, Big Bang Boom rolled by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.1. Continual Hanover was brought to the outside in the third-quarter and was three-wide and only three-lengths off the lead turning for home. Continual Hanover cruised by Big Bang Boom in the stretch and pulled away for a four-length victory in 1:53.2. B Fast Eddie got up for second, while Print Media was third. Big Bang Boom finished fourth. A son of Bettors Delight, Continual Hanover is owned and trained by Jack Darling. The rookie pacing colt won last week's second leg after finishing second the week prior. Continual Hanover surpassed the $100,000 mark with the victory. He now has five wins from 12 starts. Continual Hanover paid $3.10 to win. In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2015. Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications
TORONTO, November 16 - Sylvain Filion became the newest member of the elite 8,000 win driving club Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Filion entered the evening just two wins shy of the milestone and wasted little time getting to the winner's circle. After winning an Autumn Series final in the second-race, Filion recorded the milestone victory in the eighth race behind 11-year-old veteran pacer Val America. Filion is the 29th driver in North American harness racing history to reach 8,000 wins. The reinsman reached the milestone mark in his 45,014th career drive. A resident of Milton, Ontario, Filion is currently in the midst of his best season since 2012 with 299 wins on the campaign. He also leads all Canadian drivers in earnings this season with over $6.2 million. The 46-year-old leads all drivers in 2015 on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit with 276 wins and over $5.6 million in earnings. The next milestone on the horizon for Filion is the $100 million mark, as his career earnings total currently sits at over $92 million. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Sylvain on reaching 8,000 wins. Liberty Lane & Top Royal upset in Autumn Series finals Ontario sired two-year-old fillies were in the spotlight Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack for a pair of Autumn Series finals. The $29,400 final for trotting fillies and $31,800 final for pacing fillies wrapped up the three-week series event In the trotting final, Liberty Lane picked the perfect time to break her maiden, as she scored a 6/1 upset in 1:57.3. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Liberty Lane started from post seven in the field of seven and trotted out strong to try for the lead. After being parked by the opening-quarter, Liberty Lane eventually cleared to the front ahead of the favourite Haileysgonedancing. After posting fractions of :57.3 and 1:27.4, Liberty Lane would not be denied her first victory and held off Haileysgonedancing for a length and a half victory. Jagersro had good closing speed to finish third, while Erja was fourth. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Liberty Lane is trained by Paul Reid for owner Robert Key. The rookie trotting filly entered the Autumn Series final winless in 10 starts and exited with earnings of over $33,000. Liberty Lane paid $15.40 to win. All eyes were on Lay Lady Lay, the 2/5 favourite, in the pacing filly final, as the Chris Matthews trainee aimed for a series sweep. However, things did not go as planned. Several fillies flashed early speed seeking the front end with Lady Marina the quickest away. Noone To Depend and Jody Jamieson were not content with the two-hole and quickly circled to the front at the opening-quarter. The lead was short lived for Noone To Depend On, as Top Royal (Phil Hudon), who had yet to see the pylons, touched down on the front early in the backstretch. Meanwhile, Lay Lady Lay did not show early speed and got away seventh. After posting a half of :55.4, Top Royal, who was 12/1, carried the lead around the final turn with Active Lady coming from fifth to press first up. Lay Lady Lay got into the outside flow and was third-over around the final turn, but the favourite made a break and took herself out of contention. Top Royal reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3 to bring the field into the stretch. Lady Marina was able to slip off the rail to the outside to try and track down the leader. Lady Marina would get to within less than a length of the lead, but Top Royal showed plenty of grit to fight her off and hold on for the victory in 1:54.1. Noone To Depend On shot up the rail late and nosed out Lady Marina for second, while Active Lady was fourth. A daughter of Royal Mattjesty, Top Royal is trained by Heather Toll and now has six wins from 15 starts in her rookie season. Toll shares ownership of the filly with Brydown Farms Inc. Top Royal matched her career-mark of 1:54.1 with the victory and pushed her earnings to over $44,000. The Toll trainee returned $26.90 to win. In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2015. Autumn Series action continues Thursday evening (November 19) with the finals for the two-year-old colts and geldings. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications
TORONTO, November 9 - Second round action of the Autumn Series highlighted Monday night's harness racing card at Woodbine Racetrack. The two-year-old fillies competed in three $16,000 divisions Monday, with two for the pacers and a single division for the trotters. In the first pacing division, Lay Lady Lay scored her second consecutive victory to put herself in position for a series sweep. The Chris Matthews trainee was sent off as the heavy 3/5 favourite and got away in fourth for driver Chris Christoforou. Active Lady, the second choice at 7/2, circled from second to first heading to the half to take command from Lady Marina. Around the final turn, Lay Lady Lay came first up to challenge the leader and was just a length from the front at the three-quarter pole in 1:26. In the stretch, Lay Lady Lady surged by Active Lady and charged home with a :27.2 last-quarter to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.3. Lady Marina, who got a two-hole trip, got off the rail and up for second, while Active Lady was third. A daughter of Up The Credit, Lay Lady Lady has won three of her last four starts and has earned $26,500 in six career starts for owners 1posse2steves3brothersstb of Guelph. The Matthews trainee lowered her career mark Monday night by three-fifths of a second. Lay Lady paid $2.90 to win. Lay Lady Lady In the second split, Noone To Depend On, a leg one winner, was sent off as the heavy 1/5 favourite, but had to settle for third. Top Royal and driver Phil Hudon took the second division in gate to wire fashion. The Heather Toll trainee was sent off at 5/1 and put on the front by Hudon, while Noone To Depend on sat right behind in second. After fractions of :27, :57 and 1:26.1, Top Royal was able to outsprint her rivals to win by a length and a quarter in 1:55.1. Startled, who was sixth turning for home, shot up the rail to finish second just ahead of Noone To Depend On. A daughter of Royal Mattjesty, Top Royal has now won of five of 14 starts this season and earned just over $28,000. She is owned by Brydown Farms Inc. and Toll. Top Royal paid $12.90 to win. Top Royal Tymal Tempest was on her best behaviour Monday and took the lone trotting division in 1:58.3. Driven by Hudon, Tymal Tempest was fired up early and sent directly to the front to post an opening-quarter of :28. Haileysgonedancing, the 4/5 favourite, got away second and sat in the two-hole for the majority of the mile behind the leader. Hudon was able to rate Tymal Tempest through the middle-half, posting panels of :58.3 and 1:28.4. In the stretch, Tymal Tempest continued to trot strong on the lead, while Haileysgonedancing came to the outside to try and track down the leader. At the wire, Tymal Tempest held off Haileysgonedancing to win by half a length, while Liberty Lane was third. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Tymal Tempest made a break in last week's first leg after making a break in the Breeders Crown final on October 24. The back-to-back miscues forced Abdulov to qualify the trotting filly last Thursday. Tymal Tempest has now won two of 13 starts and banked over $40,000 for owner Tymal Farms. The clocking of 1:58.3 established a new career mark for the trotting filly. Tymal Tempest paid $8.60 to win. Tymal Tempest In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2015. The Autumn Series finals for the fillies will take place next Monday (November 16). The pacing final will go for a purse of $31,800, while the trotting final will go for $29,400. Autumn Series action continues Thursday with round two for the two-year-old colts and geldings. Mark McKelvie
Autumn Series action continued Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack with opening round divisions for the two-year-old boys. A total of four $16,000 divisions took place Thursday evening. A group of 16 rookie pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions, while 12 two-year-old trotters contested a pair of their own. The two-year-old pacing colts and geldings kicked off the action with 1/5 favourite Big Bang Boom scoring a 1:52.4 victory. The Carmen Auciello trainee sprinted to the front for driver Jonathan Drury and posted an opening panel of :27. Big Bang Boom got a second-quarter breather of :29.3 and that would seal the deal for the son of Big Jim. The heavy favourite cruised by the three-quarter pole in 1:24.4, before pacing home comfortably in :28 for the victory. Continual Hanover finished just three-quarters of a length back in second, while B Fast Eddie was third. Big Bang Boom is now three for three to start his career and has banked $22,000 for owner Michael Virdiramo. The public's choice paid $2.70 to win. In the second split, Print Media came first up to score his second career victory. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Print Media was taken back to sixth in the opening stages, while Gotti cut an opening-quarter of :26.4. Secrecy made a backstretch brush from fifth to first and carried the lead into the final turn. Print Media came to the outside at the midway point and grinded his way first up to challenge Secrecy at the third station. In the stretch, Print Media was able to edge by a stubborn Secrecy for a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.4. Gotti finished third. A son of Vintage Master, Print Media is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Saverino Spagnolo. The two-year-old gelding now has two wins in 12 career starts for earnings of over $38,000. The clocking of 1:53.4 lowered his career mark by three-fifths of a second. Print Media paid $8.90 to win. On the trotting side, Blake MacIntosh trainee Matza Man took the first division in a career best 1:57.2. Driven by Jack Moiseyev, Matza Man, the 1/5 favourite, grabbed an early spot in second, but was quickly moved to the lead in the second-quarter. After posting panels of :59 and 1:28.4, the public's choice trotted home in :28.3 and held off a late surge from Gonna Fly for a length victory. Derivative, who was first over around the final turn, finished third. A son of Kadabra, Matza Man has now recorded victories in three of seven starts. He is owned by Glat Kosher Racing and has banked $30,500. Matza Man paid $2.60 to win. In the second division, Ulysses Bi took advantage of hot fractions by the leader to come from fifth for the victory. Pukka, the 6/5 favourite, and driver Randy Waples sprinted to the lead and posted an opening-quarter of :27.2. The favourite continued to roll along down the backstretch and carried a seven length lead by the half in :56.1. After trotting by the third station in 1:26.1, Pukka was all done in the stretch and the rest of the field quickly closed in on the favourite. Ulysses Bi, who was fifth and 14 lengths from the front turning for home, had the most trot in the lane and swept by his rivals for driver Rick Zeron to get up for the length and a half victory in 1:58.1. Red Monster finished second, while Pukka fought to the wire to hold on for third. A son of Manofmanymissions, Pukka is trained by Jeff Durham for owners Van Camp Trotting Corp. and Jack Durham. Thursday's victory was a maiden breaking score for the rookie trotter, who now has $8,700 earned in three starts. Ulysses Bi paid $9.70 to win. In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2015. The second round of the Autumn Series for the two-year-old colts and geldings will take place next Thursday (November 12). Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, November 5 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to remind all horsepeople and horseplayers of the upcoming post time change for Woodbine Standardbreds. Beginning Monday, November 9, post time for each night of live racing at Woodbine will be 7:30 p.m. Horsepeople are reminded to double check lasix and paddock times. The 7:30 p.m. post time will be used for each card of live racing during the Woodbine Fall-Winter meet expect for the special Boxing Day matinee card. Post time on December 26 will be 1 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Racecourse
TORONTO, November 2 - Ontario sired two-year-old fillies were the main attraction Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack for the opening leg of the harness racing Autumn Series. A field of eight trotting fillies competed in a single split, while 18 fillies were separated into a pair of divisions on the pacing side. All three divisions competed for a purse of $16,000. In the trotting division, Haileysgonedancing lived up to her 3/5 hype to win in 1:58.4. Driven by Jack Moiseyev, Haileysgonedancing got away second and quickly circled to the lead in the second-quarter. After fractions of :59.1 and 1:29.4, the heavy favourite trotted home in :29 to score the victory by a length and a half over Treasure Gifts K. T C Sno Massive finished third, while Jagersro got through late for fourth. A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Haileysgonedancing now sports a record of two wins from six starts in her rookie season for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. The trotting filly is owned by O'Sullivan, Kirk McKinnon, Lorne Keller and Rick Zeron Stables. Haileysgonedancing increased her earnings to $17,190 with the win and paid $3.40. Haileysgonedancing In the first pacing division, Lay Lady Lay survived the first over journey to win at 4/5 in 1:54.1. Boozer Bruiser and Trevor Henry sprinted out to the lead and set a solid early tempo of :27.3 and :56.3. Lay Lady Lady and Chris Christoforou got away in fourth and came to the outside to challenge first up in the third-quarter. Boozer Bruiser took the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:25.4, but would quickly surrendered the lead in the stretch to Lay Lady Lady. The 4/5 favourite paced home comfortably to win by a length and a quarter. The clocking of 1:54.1 established a new mark for Lay Lady Lay. Specialcelebration, who got a two-hole trip, finished second just ahead of Active Lady, while Boozer Bruiser finished fourth. A daughter of Up The Credit, Lay Lady Lay recorded her second win in five starts Monday night for trainer Chris Matthews. She is owned by 1posse2steves3brothersstb of Guelph and now has $18,500 banked. Lay Lady Lay paid $3.60 to win. Lay Lady Lay Noone To Depend On kept the favourites perfect on the evening in the second pacing filly division. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Noone To Depend On was able to get away in third, while post nine starter Lady Marina sprinted to the lead and by the opening-quarter in :26. Lady Marina and Jack Moiseyev were able to slow things down in the middle-half with fractions of :56.3 and 1:26.2. Noone To Depend On stayed in around the final turn, but Jamieson was able to find room at the top of the lane to bring his filly off the rail. The 9/5 favourite charged up on the outside to surge by Lady Marina and win by a length and a half in 1:55.2. Icthelight Hanover finished third, while Barbaras Shadow was fourth. A daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, Noone To Depend On is trained by Carl Jamieson, who co-owns with Brandy Jamieson. The rookie pacing filly now has two wins in 15 starts and earnings of $38,610. Noone To Depend On returned $5.80 to win. Noone To Depend In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired fillies had to be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2015. The second leg of the Autumn Series for the two-year-old fillies will take place next Monday (November 9). Autumn Series action continues Thursday night with round one action for the two-year-old colts and geldings. Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, November 2 - The Mohawk race office would like to inform horsepeople of a change to the harness racing draw schedule for the current Woodbine Fall-Winter meet. Effective immediately, the draw for Saturdays will now take place on Wednesdays. Here is the up to date Woodbine draw schedule. Draw Monday for Thursday Draw Tuesday for Friday Draw Wednesday for Saturday Draw Thursday for Monday. The entry box closes for each draw at 10:30 a.m. Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, October 30 - The Woodbine Entertainment Group is pleased to once again offer a wide range of Winter Series events for the upcoming months. A total of 12 events will be raced over the months of December, January, February and March. The series finals will feature nearly $500,000 in added money over the course of the winter. The Niagara for three-year-old pacing fillies and the Valedictory for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will kick off Winter Series action in December. Both series will wrap up with their finals on the special afternoon Boxing Day card. New in 2015, the HPIbet.com and WEGZ series are now four-year-old pacing events. The HPIbet.com will be offered for four-year-old pacing mares, who are non-winners of $100,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. The WEGZ series carries the same conditions and is for four-year-old pacing horses and geldings. Other Winter Series events include the Blizzard, Snowshoe, Miss Vera Bars, The Count B, Ontario Girls, Ontario Boys, Lifetime Dream and General Brock. To view the nomination form and details for all 12 events, click here. WINTER SERIES www.WoodbineEntertainment.com WINTER SERIES Nominations Close Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Event # 61 - Niagara - 3 year old pacing fillies in 2015 $30,000 A ... Read more... Each series carries a nomination fee of $200 and will feature two preliminary legs and added money final. All series will be raced at Woodbine Racetrack. Nominations for each event close on December 1st. To pay the $200 nomination fee online, click here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than December 1st, 2015 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. Mark McKelvie
TORONTO, October 27 - The 2015 Breeders Crown night last Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack generated a Canadian harness racing record handle of $5,748,950. The record handle on Saturday's 13-race card broke the previous Woodbine and Canadian Standardbred handle record of $5,243,109 set on October 19, 2001. A total of $3,835,642 was wagered on the 12 Breeders Crown championship races. The evening's final race featured a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5 wager. Horseplayers wagered $1,670,263 of new money into the Jackpot Hi-5 to bring the gross pool, including a carryover of $557,274, to over $2.2 million. A total of 155 winning tickets correctly selected the top five finishers, including 25-1 upset winner Grin For Money, to score a return of $12,746.60 for a $0.20 wager. The race handle for the 13th and final race Saturday was $1,913,354. Other wagering highlights from Saturday, included $52,919 wagered into the new Pick-5 and a Late Pick-4 pool of $146,720. Live racing continues at Woodbine every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night all fall and winter. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie
Obviously the top story to come out of Saturday’s Breeders Crown races was the record six wins by Jimmy Takter and the five by David Miller. The former added more than $2 million to his earnings total, while Miller added a million dollars. Takter, who won three BC races last year, increased his all-time series leading total to 27, while David Miller, who was shut out in 2014, remains in fifth place with 19 wins. The fact that all-time leader John Campbell got his forty-eighth win in the series with Wild Honey is also significant. Campbell now leads Ron Pierce by eighteen. He captured a pair last year with Shelliscape and Thinking Out Loud. There wasn’t much left for the rest when Takter and Miller got through: several trainers had one each, including Ron Burke, who got two in 2014. Gingras, who won four races last year, won two, and five other drivers took one each. Several of these races had a marked impact on the quest for division honors. Jimmy Takter’s SBSW filly Pure Country and Bob McIntosh’s Bettor’s Delight filly, LA Delight, have only one loss between them; both won their respective sire stakes championships and they each have a few GC wins. Pure Country’s impressive 1:51.4 BC win gives her an edge though. Combine that with a pair of wins in Lexington, and the fact that she’s staked to the Three Diamonds and the Matron, and it looks like she has a clear path to the title. Prior to the BC LA Delight, who called it a year after her Super Final win, was ahead by $143,000 in the earnings column, but the SBSW filly is now up by almost $153,000. A win for Pure Country in either the Three Diamonds or Matron should secure the Dan Patch. Control The Moment, who like LA Delight has only raced in Canada and was undefeated entering the BC, with wins in the Metro and Nassagaweya, lost any edge he had in a muddled race for freshman pacing honors with his sixth place finish in that BC division, won by longshot Boston Red Rocks. This one should come down to the remaining races on the calendar. Control The Moment is not staked to the Monument Circle, Governor’s Cup or Matron. The latter can be supplemented into for $20,000. Boston Red Rocks is eligible to the Governor’s Cup. The Alagna pair, American Passport and Racing Hill, are both staked to the Governor’s Cup and the Matron. Southwind Frank, who won his eleventh in twelve starts with another 1/9 romp, will be the Dan Patch winner among the freshman trotting colts. Things aren’t so simple with the first year trotting fillies. Broadway Donna, who entered her BC elimination with wins in the Doherty, Bluegrass and PA Championship, and had a perfect record to boot, was poised for a coronation, but she failed to advance to the final. If not her the thought was it would be Tony Alagna’s Kadabra filly, Caprice Hill, who won the Peaceful Way, Champlain and OSS Super final. But she fell short in her elimination and the final. Takter’s Muscle Hill filly, All The Time, engineered big wins in both, while his Donato filly, Haughty, was second best. All but Caprice Hill are staked to the Goldsmith Maid. Broadway Donna is the only one eligible to the Matron. The jury is still out on this one, but All The Time looks like the best at this point. Not that it always matters. Joe Holloway’s relentless RNR Heaven filly Divine Caroline, who only won once in 11 tries at two, probably won the division for herself on Saturday night. Timing is everything and within the past few weeks she took splits of the Bluegrass and Garnsey as well as the BC. Others in the division, like Sassa Hanover, Stacia Hanover, Wrangler Magic and Caroline’s stablemate Bettor Be Steppin, have had their moments in the Sun, but Divine Caroline has taken control at the right time. She’s staked to Friday’s $100,000 USS Indianapolis at Hoosier Park and the Matron. Holloway said she will race in the latter and at The Meadowlands. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who was not supplemented to the BC, won a split of the Circle City at Hosier Park on Friday. The Jug and Pace winner will take his division. Wild Honey, who beat Mission Brief off a pocket trip in the KY Filly Futurity, beat her again in the BC, when the Muscle Hill star galloped to the center of the track while leading in the stretch. With wins in the BC, Oaks, Filly Futurity and Bluegrass the little Cantab Hall filly clearly deserves to win that division. Both fillies are staked to the Matron, and as the winner of the BC, Oaks and Filly Futurity, Wild Honey qualifies to be added to the TVG Mare Final. Takter stated definitively that his filly should win the division. Pinkman was picked up by stablemate The Bank in the BC, but the winner of the Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity and CTC, will win his division. Bee A Magician beat the boys in the Maple Leaf, Centaur, Cutler and Charlie Hill, and also won the Armbro Flight. She chose to try them again in the BC Open, but finished fourth. Prior to that she was sixth in the Yonkers International. Throughout most of the season it’s been a given that BAM would win the Dan Patch, but the repatriated Donato Hanover mare, D’One, is clouding the picture. She won the Open Mare BC on Saturday, and prior to that she won the Allerage Mare, which BAM did not compete in, and she beat BAM in the Fresh Yankee at The Meadowlands and the Muscle Hill at Vernon Downs. Trainer Roger Walmann said D’One will start in the TVG Mare, which Bee A Magician is also eligible to. The aged male trotters are by far the softest division in harness racing. You can’t give the Dan Patch to BC winner Creatine, who has that one BC win since returning from Europe. JL Cruze was good early, but fell to pieces when the four-year-old restricted races came to a close. He has no open stakes wins outside that class. Resolve won the Vincennes. I don’t think so. Luminosity has 14 wins, primarily in the Yonkers open. No. Skip it this year, I guess. Venus Delight, who has wins in the BC Matchmaker, Artiscape and Milton, and has amassed a bankroll of over $500,000--$140,000 more than second place Anndrovette—had an opportunity to win the division in the BC, but she finished third from the nine post for Jason Bartlett. Last year’s sophomore division winner Color’s A Virgin won from the rail. The latter has had a disappointing year, but she took the Allerage Mare over a very short field a couple of weeks ago and now she has the BC win that eluded her last year. She still only has about half as much money as Venus Delight, but if Color’s A Virgin wins the TVG Mare Pace, she’s in the running for division honors. Between August 8, when he won the USPC, and October 2, when he took the Dayton Pacing Derby by five lengths, State Treasurer was in Sweet Lou 2014 territory—he lorded it over the division. The notion that he would not win the Dan Patch was too outrageous to even contemplate. Then he faded to seventh in the Allerage, beaten by JK Endofanera, and was crushed by late season arrival Always B Miki in the BC elimination and final. The latter is eligible to Friday’s Hoosier Pacing Derby; State Treasurer is not. If Miki was also eligible to the TVG final he’d have a chance to take down the six-year-old son of Real Desire, but he is not. After Friday’s race, opportunities to make up ground on State Treasurer will be few and far between. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.
TORONTO, October 24...The Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship evening, returned to Woodbine Racetrack for the first time since 2012 as many of the current and future stars of the sport were showcased. But it was veteran trainer Jimmy Takter who shone brightest and enjoyed a night to remember, winning a record six Crown finals, including the Three-Year-Old Colt Trot with The Bank, who upset stablemate and Hambletonian winner Pinkman. Takter's six-pack also translated into 27 Crown wins since 1984, far and away the leading trainer. He had previously shared the Crown record of three wins (in a year) with Bob McIntosh. His victories on Saturday were furnished by Pure Country, All The Time, Wild Honey, The Bank, Creatine (driven by his brother Johnny Takter) and Always B Miki, who recorded the fastest time of the night, 1:49.3, while winning the Crown Pace in just his third start of the season. "I would say so (biggest night ever)," said Takter, who has enjoyed many career highlights. "It was almost 100% work out there tonight. I have to thank all my crew and my owners. Without them we couldn't stand here. These horses are fantastic." Meanwhile, driver David Miller also made history, winning a record five races, including two for Takter (The Bank and Always B Miki), giving him 19 victories overall as he broke Tim Tetrick's single night record of four, set in 2012 at Woodbine. Miller's other wins came with D One, Divine Caroline and Colors A Virgin. "That's a really, really close comparison (to the 10-win day on September 18, 2003 at the Little Brown Jug as a career highlight)," said Miller. "It's a night I'll never forget. It's a night you dream about." The rainy evening also proved a good one for favourites, who won the first five races, and seven of the 12 championship finals. And, in a race not won by Takter nor Miller, favoured Freaky Feet Pete confirmed he's one of the best on the continent with his victory in the Three-Year-Old Colt Pace, coming from sixth while five-wide turning for home to get the job done. D One got the show underway in the first, the $250,000 ($324,350 Cdn.) Breeders Crown Open Mare Trot as the prohibitive favorite. The five-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover, driven by David Miller, lived up to that billing. Taking the lead from Shake It Cerry after an opening quarter mile in :27.1, D One was never threatened thereafter, getting to the half in :57.2, the three-quarters in 1:26.3 and eventually winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2 over a track listed as 'good' and one which became 'sloppy' as the night wore on. The Swedish import has been absolutely solid since trainer Roger Walmann brought D One to North America, along with highly-rated stablemate Magic Tonight, winner of the 2015 Elitlopp. Aside from a disappointing race in a Maple Leaf Trot elim on September 12 at Mohawk when she broke stride early and finished seventh as the 7-5 favorite, she has been nothing but money. Owned by a multi-partner Swedish group that race under the nom de plume Stall Kenny 23, D One has won six of nine races this year and raised her bankroll to more than $1.2 million with the Crown win. "If I had my choice I would have essentially come up the backstretch and moved her then, but there was horses out there so I had to move her when I did and she held up very well," said Miller. D One paid $2.90. Next up was the $600,000 ($778,440 Cdn.) Breeders Crown two-year-old filly pace. And it was Pure Country who maintained her unbeaten record, now a perfect 10-for-10, winning in 1:51.4 as the 1-9 favorite. After an opening quarter of :26.1 by Call Me Queen Be, Pure Country moved first over and secured the lead through a :55.1 half. Lyons River Pride then took dead aim on the favourite and momentarily put her nose in front, but couldn't clear. With the plugs now pulled, Pure Country retook command, journeyed by three-quarters in 1:23.4, extended her lead to three lengths and held it safely to the wire over a closing Shezarealdeal with Mayhem Seelster third. A homebred filly from Diamond Creek Farms by Somebeachsomewhere out of the Western Hanover mare Western Montana, Pure Country pushed her earnings to $692,954 and paid $2.30. It was Jimmy Takter's leading 22nd Crown victory by a trainer. However, for driver Brett Miller, it was his first Breeders Crown win. "Oh my God, it feels so good to win it," Miller said. "I'm so glad this race was early and I'm so glad we were able to win it. I was being a little cautious with her out of the gate, and it almost cost me [the race]. I got very lucky to get out. Once I got out, I kind of eased her to the front, even though :55.1 is a big half. She's just a tremendous horse." Miller said he had Pure Country, "pretty much shut down" when headed by Lyons River Pride in the last turn. "I was trying to give her a breather; I was still pretty confident. She's got all the tools and some grit to her, too." Southwind Frank made it look easy for driver Yannick Gingras clearing to the lead by the quarter pole and never looking back while capturing the $600,000 ($778,440 Cdn.) Breeders Crown event for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The son of Muscle Hill has been a dominant force in the division all season long and his Crown performance was no exception, as he cruised over the rain-soaked oval in a 1:54.2 clocking under wraps. Owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables and J & T Silva Stables, Southwind Frank is out of the Cantab Hall-sired Flawless Lindy. Sent off as another prohibitive 1-9 favorite, Southwind Frank left alertly but Gingras waited for Sliding Home inside of him to clear before hustling his colt to the front after an :27.1 opening quarter. With little movement behind him, Gingras shut down the race pace, trotting a leisurely :30.2 second quarter, before reaching three-quarters in 1:26.2. With Marion Marauder in pursuit, Gingras allowed Southwind Frank to hit his best stride and the colt opened ground effortlessly, cruising a final quarter in 28 seconds. Marion Marauder was a determined second, the fifth time in 11 starts he finished in the bridesmaid role. Early leader Sliding Home earned the final board spot. The victory was win number 11 in a dozen starts for the impressive colt, trained by Ron Burke, who celebrated his ninth Breeders Crown victory. "He was a bit more aggressive behind the gate this week," said Gingras, who won his 12th Breeders Crown and 11th in the last three years. "Once I settled him down he was all business. From the first time I sat behind him he's been all business." Southwind Frank returned $2.20. After displaying some ability early in the season, Divine Caroline, the sophomore daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, added to her late-season surge, posting her fourth consecutive victory in the $500,000 U.S. ($648,700 Cdn.) Breeders Crown three-year-old filly pace. Owned by Val D'Or Farms, Theodore Gewertz, Rojan Stables and Michael Ouriel, Divine Caroline is trained by Joe Holloway, who came into the 2015 Breeders Crown 12th in all-time winnings with more than $2.7 million. He had six previous winners, but had not found the winner's circle since 2000. Driven as usual by David Miller, Divine Caroline sat far behind the early pace, which saw The Show Returns, an 86-1 outsider, and Southwind Roulette, 32-1, slug it out early, with the former setting a Breeders Crown opening quarter mile record in a blistering 25 seconds. Bettor Be Steppin, driven by Corey Callaghan, had the lead after a half in :55 while Miller had Divine Caroline fifth, six lengths behind at that point and following cover. Sassa Hanover then took the lead by 1Â¾ lengths as three-quarters was reached in 1:23 2. Miller had his horse moving well at the point too, though, and took over half-way down the stretch, crossing the line first by 1Â¾ lengths in 1:51. "Last year she showed high, high speed, but it took time for her to mature," Holloway said. "Even through the beginning of the year, she was close but never winning. She's finally turned it around and become a top-notch filly." He also liked the way the race unfolded. "That's what you hope for, a good, clean trip," Holloway said. "Caroline was in a good spot and she showed she could do it." Divine Caroline, who went postward the 3-5 choice, won her seventh race in 20 starts this season, surpassing $650,000 in earnings and almost $800,000 for her career. She paid $3.30. The Jimmy Takter-trained All The Time brushed to the lead after a quick quarter set by stablemate Kathy Parker and posted a 1:56.2 victory in the $600,000 U.S. ($778,440 Cdn) Breeders Crown two-year-old filly trot. All The Time had swiftly pulled first over midway into the first turn, got to the half in :58, three-quarters in 1:28.2 and drew away in the stretch. Haughty, Caprice Hill, and Womans Will secured the bottom spots to All The Time at the wire. Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld's homebred, who paid $4.50, claimed her sixth win in 10 starts this year, earning $448,010. She is by Muscle Hill, out of the Cantab Hall mare Cantab It All, and was driven by Yannick Gingras, who celebrated his 13th career Breeders Crown victory. "The minute I hit the track tonight, she's never felt better," Gingras said. "Jimmy's [Takter] second trainer told me that he thought she was better than she was last week, and he was right. They did a tremendous job with her in the last three or four weeks to get her where she is today." Added Katz, "This is really fulfilling of all the expectations that Al Libfeld and myself, and Sam [Goldband], and the long journey we've had. This is the idea we had many, many years ago, where we would produce champions like this for ourselves, and out of our own broodmare bed." Sometimes you have to get the breaks to win a Breeders Crown race and that proved to be the case, literally, as 1-5 shot Mission Brief broke stride on a clear lead in early stretch and Wild Honey emerged with the victory in the $500,000 ($648,700 Cdn.) Three-Year-Old Filly Trot. The race began as expected as Mission Brief cleared the 8-5 Wild Honey, going to the quarter in a respectable :26.2 and cruising to the half in :56.2. Mission Brief kicked it into high gear late on the final turn and appeared to be opening ground effortlessly on Wild Honey, hitting the three-quarters in 1:25 while appearing on her way to an open lengths victory. However, Mission Brief blew up and was pulled to the outside in early stretch, leaving Wild Honey and driver John Campbell suddenly in the lead. Closers Im So Fancy and Speak To Me gained gradually on the Jimmy Takter-trained daughter of Cantab Hall, but neither could dent the filly's margin as she won for the third straight time and avenged a defeat to Mission Brief in last year's Breeders Crown. "I don't think I was going to catch her," said Campbell, about Mission Brief. "My filly was struggling on the turn and she got away from me. If you're going to beat Mission Brief you've got to stay right on her back." Mission Brief's trainer Ron Burke said his filly, "didn't warm up the best. The track didn't suit her today and she has those issues that we're not 1,000 per cent over just yet. I thought she was but I knew warming her up that maybe we had an issue. "She was home. All she had to do was keep herself trotting so, you know, it's bad. That's the high of the sport and the lows of the sport right there. She'll be fine and there will come a time yet when she'll put it all together. She's the best horse I've ever trained." Takter said he thought he had a chance to win the race. "I saw (driver) Yannick (Gingras) was having trouble with her (Mission Brief). She wasn't trotting as smoothly as she usually does," he said. Takter also put his vote in on behalf of Wild Honey, who paid $5.20, for division honours. "She won the Hambletonian (Oaks), The Kentucky Futurity (filly division) and The Breeders Crown. I think she should be the divisional champion," he said. Owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman, Wild Honey has now won over $1.5 million during her career, winning 17 of 26 starts. It was also the 12th Breeders Crown victory for John Fielding, who ranks second in Crown victories by owners. But it was trainer Jimmy Takter who shone the brightest and enjoyed a night to remember, winning a record-setting five Crown finals, including the Three-Year-Old Colt Trot with upstart The Bank, who upset stablemate and Hambletonian winner Pinkman. The Boston Red Sox didn't have a great year, but Boston Red Rocks knocked it out of the park in the $600,000 ($778,400 Cdn.) Breeders Crown two-year-old pace for colts and geldings. Posting the biggest upset of the night, 18-1 Boston Red Rocks, driven by Tim Tetrick, emerged from far back in the stretch and finished furiously to post an impressive 2Â½-length victory in a lifetime best 1:51.3. It was the third victory in seven career starts for the son of Rocknroll Hanover. Owned by Peter Blood and Rick Berks, both of Florida, Boston Red Rocks had never finished worse than third. But he was basically overlooked because the pre-race focus was on Control The Moment, who had not lost in eight starts, and Racing Hill, a winner in his last three. Control The Moment went postward at just under 9-10. Racing Hill was second in the wagering at 2-1. Talk Show and Betting Line engaged in a heated battle for the early lead. Talk Show emerged on top following a :25.3 opening quarter, but Betting Line took over and led through a Breeders Crown record-setting half of :53.2. Racing Hill then took over after three quarters in 1:22.1. Heading into the stretch, Betting Hill had a half-length lead over Racing Hill while Boston Red Rocks was sixth, five lengths back of the lead and seemingly out of it. But at the wire, he was so much the best. "My horse had a nice little sneaky run last week and I felt if the fractions were fair I could have a shot and he really finished well," Tetrick said. Tetrick drove the colt for the first time in his elim last week and liked the effort. "I really liked him, he's very smart, great to drive," he said. "He's push-button and it worked out tonight. I tried to stay as close as I could (at the start), but when I saw Corey (Callaghan) being aggressive with (Talk Show), he's pretty aggressive when he gets on his way. I just wanted to be on the outside in the flow and I got led up good enough and my horse charged well." Boston Red Rocks paid $38.90. Division leader Pinkman failed to go wire-to-wire in the $500,000 U.S. ($648,700 Cdn.) Breeders Crown three-year-old colt and gelding trot, with stablemate The Bank and David Miller grinding by from first over to win in 1:54.3. Yannick Gingras sent Pinkman to the lead through a :27.2 first quarter and the half in :57.2. With the plugs pulled, Pinkman passed three quarters in 1:26.4, but The Bank crept closer on the outside. At the eighth pole, Pinkman's lead had diminished to a neck before The Bank brushed by late for the neck victory. Pinkman, Muscle Diamond, and French Laundry followed. The Bank, a colt by Donato Hanover out of the Viking Kronos mare Lightning Kronos, competes for the interests of Christina Takter, Goran Falk, and Goran Anderberg. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the Falkbolagen Ab-bred colt paid $30.50 to win. "Around the last turn, Yannick [began] to ask his horse and I was just sitting on mine," Miller said. "At that point, I thought that he might be second for sure, but he went a big trip; he hung a long ways and he got the job done." "He's been racing tremendous all year and chasing Pinkman and, you know, Pinkman was just a little more excited today," said Takter. "Normally, he's very laid back. In the warm up, I told Yannick, 'either it's a good thing or bad thing' but he's very different. He was very aggressive today and normally he's very much the opposite." Freaky Feet Pete, a $62,500 supplemental entry, rallied from well back as the favourite to capture the $531,250 ($689,244 Cdn.) Breeders Crown three-year-old colt pace. The Indiana-bred son of Rockin Image looked to be far out of contention on the final turn, but driver Trace Tetrick gave him his marching orders in the stretch and the colt sprinted to a 1:50 victory at the expense of Artspeak and Lost For Words. Early speed was expected from the favorites in this event, but that was not the case as Lost For Words and Reverend Hanover from the outer tier of the starting gate engaged in an early battle. Reverend Hanover had the lead in the :26 opening quarter, but Lost For Words and David Miller regained moving down the backstretch and controlled the issue through a :55 opening half. "I thought I was in a good spot following (brother) Tim (Tetrick, driving Wakizashi Hanover) and having Artspeak on my back," said driver Trace Tetrick. But the cover was not moving all that quickly on the turn as Miller and Lost For Words tried to put some separation on the field with a blistering :27.1 third quarter in the middle of a steady downpour. In the stretch, Lost For Words opened up a few lengths, but Freaky Feet Pete had already been sent wide and he was closing with wild abandon. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer for owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete kicked home the winner, with Artspeak coming solidly late for second and Lost For Words finishing third. It was the first Breeders Crown win for Trace Tetrick. "It's very exciting," he said. "I'll remember this forever." Freaky Feet Pete ($4.70) won for the 13th time in 15 starts this year, making good on a rather large bet put down by his owners. Colors A Virgin, last year's champion three-year-old pacing mare in the U.S., showed her true colours in the $250,000 ($324,350 Cdn) Breeders Crown mare pace. In the driving rain and wind, Colors A Virgin nosed out Sandbetweenurtoes at the wire. It looked as if Katie Said, driven by John Campbell, would prevail on the far outside after she made a big move. But just as she was about to claim the lead, she went off-stride. Colors A Virgin had experienced a topsy-turvy kind of season. She came into the race with seven wins in 17 starts and earnings of almost $160,000. But last year she won 13 of 18 starts and more than $530,000. With her latest win, she surpassed $1 million in lifetime earnings. She is trained by Brian Brown for breeder/owner Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, OH. "This mare was the 2-5 favorite last year and had a tough trip and no flow," Brown said. "Tonight was very rewarding, but I have to tell everyone and give congratulations to Tony O'Sullivan. He took the mare to Jersey and up here and he's the one who really got her turned around. To finally get over the hump in a major race, hopefully it will open the gates and we can be here again." "The trip worked out all right," said driver David Miller. "I wasn't so sure she was going to get there or not. John's horse running helped. He was going by, but you know what, she got it done. She dug in at the head of the stretch. It was tight (at the wire). I'm glad for Brian (Brown). He's a great guy. He works hard. He deserves it." "She came off the truck yesterday, took her to the field and turned her out and the right nostril just had mucous flowing out of her," explained Brown. "I turned her out and jogged her this morning and she jogged great, with very little mucous. We were worried she might be getting sick, but she was great jogging and we were all relieved, but we had no idea we'd come here and win." Colors A Virgin paid $15.00. In the second start of his homecoming, the Jimmy Takter-trainee Creatine displayed an effortless performance, taking the $531,250 U.S. ($689,244 Cdn.) Breeders Crown open trot in 1:52.4 over Resolve, Gural Hanover, and Bee A Magician. Under minor encouragement by driver Johnny Takter, Creatine swept to the lead over Resolve and Gural Hanover, passing the first quarter in :27.2 and remaining unchallenged through a :56.4 half. Timed in 1:25.1 for three-quarters, Creatine began to sprint home. Resolve chased in second, while Gural Hanover snuck by a stalled Bee A Magician to the inside. Creatine ($7) was a two-length winner at the wire. The Andover Hall horse, out of the Muscles Yankee mare Berry Nice Muscles, passed $2 million in career earnings with the Crown victory. He has 17 wins from 52 starts. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm, he competes for the interest of Big C Racing and Takter. It was also brother Johnny Takter's first Breeders Crown win. Asked about how Creatine's connections decided to supplement to the Breeders Crown, Takter said, "Of course [it was a hard decision] because $62,500 is a lot of money to bring into this game. The horse raced well at Yonkers. Unfortunately, he tied up a little bit there, and I thought he would've had a heck of a shot to win that one, too. The horse is razor sharp and has been racing well in Europe, so I know we belong. I also basically knew what was going to be here, and I knew he could beat these horses." Jimmy Takter and David Miller completed an incredible Breeders Crown night, capturing the final event, the open pace with Always B Miki in a sensational 1:49.3 mile over a rain-soaked surface. The victory, a year removed from when the son of Always A Virgin had to be scratched from the Crown final at The Meadowlands came at the expense of stablemate J K Endofanera and Mach It So. State Treasurer and driver Chris Christoforou blasted to the early lead in a :26.3 opening quarter, but the driver was looking in the rear view mirror and when Miller came with Always B Miki on the backstretch he was anxious to yield. The half was a solid :55.2 and Always B Miki pushed it into another gear on the turn as Foiled Again attempted to come up without cover but couldn't make a dent in the leader's margin. Always B Miki hit three quarters in 1:23 and then was high-lined to the wire with a :26.3 final quarter, an awesome closing quarter given the conditions. It was the third win in as many starts this year for Always B Miki capturing the $400,000 ($518,960 Cdn.) Breeders Crown Open Pace and pushing his lifetime bank account over $1 million. Owned by Bluewood Stables, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, the victory was the sixth of the 12 Breeders Crown races for trainer Takter and the fifth by winning driver David Miller. Takter now has 27 Breeders Crown victories lifetime, while Miller has 19. "He's pretty special," said Miller, about Always B Miki. "It's a thrill to sit behind him and to feel his power." Always B Miki, the 2-5 favourite, impressed his trainer as well. "He's a very unique horse. I put him in the top horses to ever compete in this sport," said Takter. The handle on the Breeders Crown portion of the card, not including the Jackpot Hi-5 race, was $3,835,642. Total handle was $5,748,950.00 Moira Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown
TORONTO -- Freaky Feet Pete, a $62,500 supplemental entry rallied from well back as the harness racing favorite to capture the $531,250 U.S. ($689,244 Cdn) Breeders Crown three-year-old male pacing event at Woodbine on Saturday night. The Indiana-bred son of Rockin Image looked to be far out of contention on the final turn, but driver Trace Tetrick gave him his marching orders in the stretch and the colt sprinted to a 1:50 victory at the expense of Artspeak and Lost For Words. Early speed was expected from the favorites in this event, but that was not the case as Lost For Words and Reverend Hanover from the outer tier of the starting gate engaged in an early battle as the favorites held their composure. Reverend Hanover had the lead in the :26 opening quarter, but Lost For Words and David Miller regained moving down the backstretch and controlled the issue through a :55 opening half. Approaching the half In The Arsenal and Brian Sears moved for the second time and they were followed in order by Wakizashi Hanover, Freaky Feet Pete and Artspeak. "I thought I was in a good spot following Tim and having Artspeak on my back," said driver Trace Tetrick. But the cover was not moving all that quickly on the turn as Miller and Lost For Words tried to put some separation on the field with a blistering :27.1 third quarter in the middle of a steady downpour. In the stretch, Lost For Words opened up a few lengths, but Freaky Feet Pete had already been sent wide and he was closing with wild abandon. Trained by Larry Rheinheimer for owners Mary Jo Rheinheimer and Marty Rheinheimer, Freaky Feet Pete kicked home the winner, with Artspeak coming solidly late for second and Lost For Words finishing third. It was the first Breeders Crown win for Trace Tetrick. "It's very exciting," he said. "I'll remember this forever." Freaky Feet Pete won for the 13th time in 15 starts this year, making good on a rather large bet put down by his owners. Tetrick was looking forward to another year for Freaky Feet Pete. "I think they are going to stake him a little better next year," said Tetrick referring to the four-year-old season of Freaky Feet Pete. Wakizashi Hanover finished fourth and Dealt A Winner completed the final check getters. Quotes; Larry Rheinheimer As you watched the stretch, did you think he was going to get there? "I didn't know if he would or not. I knew there was lots of speed up front, which is what I was hoping for because I know he can get home pretty good." But it wasn't a night for coming from behind... "(laughs) No, not at all. He was a long way back. I was thinking about the other races earlier and he was far back. I thought maybe he'd get second or third at that point." Tell me about this fantastic year that has led you to the Breeders Crown winner's circle... "It's been amazing. Every race he goes, it's just been a different thing. He just amazes me every time he goes. He just wants to win." This is the story everyone has been excited about... classic harness racing story where there are a lot of powerful stables/trainers, but there's always a chance a horse of the lifetime can come around. Is that how you feel about it too? "Exactly. I feel that way, too. I'm sharing it with my wife and my boy. It's just a super night. Everywhere you look there someone to watch or a horse you want to watch. It's just a really, really big night. It's wonderful." "He's out of a mare that had eight colts and they all made the racetrack. He's a good horse." Were you worried about the weather conditions? "No, not really. He's raced in it before and I knew it wouldn't bother him." Tim Tetrick (on brother Trace's first Crown victory) "It's great. If anyone was going to win, I'm glad it was him. It's cool" By Jay Bergman