Day At The Track
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Major Bay triumphs in Gold Series debut

ELORA, SEPT. 23, 2019 - Neither of the harness racing favourites in Monday night's two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series divisions enjoyed their trip around Grand River Raceway, but Major Bay and Threefiftytwo thoroughly enjoyed all of the Elora oval's amenities, including the winner's circle. In the first $105,600 division fans sent Horse Trader off as their top choice and the colt made an early break that left him 15 lengths behind the field as Major Bay led them to the quarter in :28. Hetalkstoangels took over command heading by the :59.2 half and continued to set the pace by the 1:28.1 three-quarters, but driver Louis-Philippe Roy was biding his time in the pocket and once he gave Major Bay an open lane the colt reeled in the leader to claim the 1:59.2 victory. Hetalkstoangels was one and one-quarter lengths back in second and Babidibou was three lengths back in third. Horse Trader settled for fourth. "I thought he had shot, especially with the way he raced last week (Sept. 16). He knows the half-mile so he has no problem with the half-mile, and the trip worked and everything worked out good," said trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph, ON, who sent the colt out from Post 7. "The one horse, he was the big favourite, he made a break too, that Horse Trader, and we ended up getting the job done." Major Bay earned his place on the gate in Monday's Gold event with a 1:56.3 fourth-place effort in the Sept. 16 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. That outing was the colt's first for Baillargeon and his first in Ontario. Major Bay's first six starts, including three wins, came at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres for owner-trainer Francis Richard. "He won in 2:04 in Three Rivers, but the big track stepped him up last week," said Baillargeon. "He's a little bit left and right, he's got a little bit of a rubber-neck to him, he's in and he's out, but he's got some go. He's a very gutsy horse and he has a perfect gait, so you can't ask for anything more with him because he trots, and that's all he does, he trots." With Monday's win Major Bay earned 50 points, but he needs a second Gold Series start to be eligible for the Oct. 12 Super Final, and Baillargeon is looking forward to racing the Amigo Hall son in the last regular season event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 1. "He trotted 1:56.3 his first start at Woodbine and he was kind of boxed in there. He wasn't done in 1:56.4, he was running out of room a little bit, let's put it this way," said the trainer. "I'm anxious to race him next week and see what happens." In his first seven starts Major Bay had banked $12,525 for owners Ferme Auclair of St. Antoine De Tilly, Ecurie Francis Richard Inc. of Becancour and Jean-Christophe Auclair of Saint-Apollinaire, QC. Monday's win boosted that total to $65,325. Major Bay After the pleasant surprise of Major Bay's victory, Baillargeon and Roy were looking for the sweep with second division favourite HP Royal Theo, but the reigning William Wellwood Memorial champion skipped off-stride heading into the first turn and was 24 lengths behind pacesetter Threefiftytwo when he reached the :29.1 quarter. After his successful start from Post 6, Threefiftytwo carried on through a :59.2 half and 1:29.2 three-quarters and held off Your Still Up in the stretch for a three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2. Tuckers Out was well back in third and HP Royal Theo further behind in fifth. "I was a little worried that Louis (Roy) would try and re-take the lead, and I was worried about it because I knew full well I wouldn't be able to let him go, because mine, once he gets the front it's there's not much letting people go. He's not quite that manageable yet," said driver Bob McClure, who was quite happy Roy and HP Royal Theo never reached his wheel. "He's a really fast horse, but we're just trying to keep him well-mannered because he's pretty high strung." Rockwood resident McClure steers Threefiftytwo for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Monday's win was the Royalty For Life son's second in Gold Series action and his 130 points vaulted him over stablemate Port Perry to the top of the division standings heading into the regular season finale. The long-legged Port Perry skipped Monday's event. The win was also Threefiftytwo's second straight - following a 1:55.4 personal best effort in the Sept. 16 race where Major Bay finished third - and McClure is hoping the speedy youngster can maintain his positive momentum through the last regular season Gold event and the Super Final. "When he's on his game he can go some real wicked fast miles, it's just keeping his head on straight," said McClure. "His problem is not his gait, when he runs he gets throwing his head around, but once he's off and trotting, he's perfect, he's one of the best gaited horses. You couldn't ask him to be any better gaited, like he's almost flawless." Threefiftytwo Monday's event wrapped up Grand River Raceway's 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which saw the Elora oval host four Gold and four Grassroots events. Complete results for Monday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

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Harvest and Autumn Series noms due

MILTON, ON - September 23, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to remind all harness racing horsepeople of the upcoming October 1 deadline for nominations to this year's Ontario Sired Harvest and Autumn Series.   The Harvest Series consists of eight events, one for each two and three-year-old division, and will be raced at Mohawk Park. The Autumn Series features four events for two and three-year-olds and is split between Flamboro Downs and The Raceway at Western Fair District.   The Harvest Series is open to Ontario sired two and three-year-olds, who are non-winners of $30,000 in 2019 as of midnight September 30. Each event features two $17,000 guaranteed preliminary legs and a $40,000 added money final. The two-year-old events start the week of Monday, October 14, while the three-year-olds start the week of Monday, October 28. The nomination fee is $300.   The Autumn Series is open to Ontario sired two and three-year-olds, who are non-winners of $10,000 lifetime as of midnight September 30. Each event will have two $8,500 guaranteed preliminary legs and a $20,000 added money final. The series begins November 9. The nomination fee is $200.   Horsepeople can download the nomination forms and full conditions by visiting www.woodbine.com/mohawk/horsepeople. The forms are available under 'Stake Nominations' and nominations can be paid under 'Payments'.   Nominations close Tuesday, October 1.   If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than October 1, 2019 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Harness racing

No training Tuesday after qualifiers at Mohawk

MILTON, ON - September 23, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all horsepeople that there will no training available following this Tuesday morning's qualifiers and schoolers.   The track and paddock will be closed immediately following the final schooler.   Training is available beginning Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. and qualifiers will begin promptly at 10 a.m.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Sunny Dee, harness racing

Record falls at Flamboro

DUNDAS, ON - SEPT. 22, 2019 - Ontario's top harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies waged an epic battle at Flamboro Downs on Sunday night as they wrapped up their Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series regular season in a single $158,000 division. Top point earners Sunny Dee, Boadicea and Powerful Chris lined up at Posts 2, 4 and 10 in the 10-filly field and when the gate swung away all three were mixing it up through a sharp :26.3 opening quarter. Thats Incredible took a brief turn on the lead, followed by Summer Charm, but it was Sunny Dee who clocked the first fraction. Powerful Chris followed Sunny Dee away from the gate, keeping Boadicea out three-wide through the first turn before yielding to the fan favourite. Boadicea matched strides with Sunny Dee going by the :54 half, but driver Trevor Henry was able to regain a length advantage in the turn. Heading by the 1:22.2 three-quarters Boadicea again pressed the leader, but on the final turn Henry hit the accelerator and Sunny Dee turned for home with a clear advantage which she extended to two lengths by the 1:51.1 finish. Boadicea was an impressive second for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Bill Budd and Summer Charm finished third for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary. "I didn't really think Billy's (Budd) horse might get around the turns as good as she does on the big track. Half-mile racing's a little different than mile racing," said Henry of his race strategy. "Sunny Dee's so good gaited I knew she wouldn't have a problem. "I tried to get away on JD (Drury) in the last turn because I knew his was struggling on the turns, so I got a few lengths on him," the Arthur, ON resident continued. "His horse raced well too, she was out the whole way and still was second, she's a hell of a filly too." The 1:51.1 clocking was an Ontario Sires Stakes and Flamboro Downs track record. The previous track record of 1:52 was set by Michelles Power in 2007, while the former Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:52.2 was established by Chancey Lady at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in 2008. Bob McIntosh trains Sunny Dee and the Windsor resident and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH also bred the filly, who is a half-sister to $1.7 million winners Somewhere in L A and L A Delight. Henry has driven Sunny Dee in all but one of her 18 lifetime starts and the pair was also victorious in the June 1 Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Sunshine Beach filly was second twice and third once in her other three Gold Series starts, giving her a total of 162 points and ownership of third spot in the division standings behind Boadicea and Powerful Chris. The top 10 point earners will now begin preparations for the $225,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 12. "It's a good field of fillies. It's a pretty tight bunch, they've raced tough all summer," said Henry of the top point earners, adding that the championship will likely come down to racing luck. "It'll definitely be the best trip, I think." The Ontario Sires Stakes program makes one more stop at Flamboro Downs before the regular season comes to a close. The Dundas half-mile will host the two-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday, Oct. 2 for their last Gold Series event. Complete results from Sunday's program are available at Flamboro Downs Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Maracasso and trainer/driver Carol Voyer were able to steamroll over the field to capture the Preferred Pace at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday. The fifth race feature first saw Ninoscredit and driver Stephane Gendron leave from the rail for the early lead. Voyer also had Maracasso on the move from post four, but Gendron was not going to let them get to the lead with ease and parked them out to the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Voyer pressed the issue with Maracasso and they took command by the half mile in :55.1. From that point on Maracasso took off, leading the field by three lengths in the backstretch. At the three-quarters in 1:24, Maracasso was still in command. Stock and driver Pascal Berube moved three-wide in the backstretch and was able to get behind Maracasso and gave a game effort, closing within a half length as Maracasso went on to win in 1:54.4. Ninocredit was second. It was the seventh win this year for Maracasso. The seven-year-old gelded son of Lis Mara is owned by the Alpha Stable of Metabetchouan and he paid $5.40 to win. Jimbelina, the long mare in the field, saw her five-race win streak come to close, finishing fifth. The Filly & Mares Preferred Pace saw Uptown Woman ($6.30) and driver Pascal Berube pulled the pocket at the three-quarters on pacesetter Sauble Bonnie and then scoot away from the field to win in a romp by six and one-quarter lengths in 1:57. Solid Man ($3.40), after overcoming going wide into the first turn, was an easy winner in the Two-Year-Old Open Pace, wiring the field by two and one-half lengths in 1:59.2. Histoire Enchantee ($2.10) continued his remarkable comeback after being away from the races for nearly two years, winning the tenth race pace in 1:56.4 for his third straight win. He was driven by Stephane Gendron for trainer Maxime Velaye. Francis Picard led all the drivers with a triple and H3R's leading trainer, Francis Richard, sent out two winners. Track Notes: The final stop of the Regional Fair Circuit in Quebec took place Saturday at Ormstown. The track record for 1 ½ mile race was broken by the pacer Hooter Shooter, who went in 3:11.1 for driver Sam Filion and owner/trainer Marc Andre Simoneau. The old record was 3:12.3 set by Strokin (LPR) on July 16, 2016. This was the fifth track record broken this year on the circuit. Next Sunday, H3R will host the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit Championships. From the Quebec Jockey Club

SUMMERSIDE, PE - Mando Fun took early control of the harness racing featured event and never relinquished it as part of a driving triple by Gilles Barrieau Sunday afternoon at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. Barrieau and Mando Fun guarded the rail in the $2,600 top event and rolled through fractions of 28, 57.4, 1:27.3 and 1:57.1 to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths. Second went to Best To Hurst (Driven By Walter Cheverie) with Dangle Ona Dime (Corey MacPherson) third. Paul Biggar of Tyne Valley co-owns and trains Mando Fun for co-owner Donald Callbeck of Kensington. Barrieau also found the winner's circle with Red Dirt Star in a maiden score of 1:59.3 from his own stable and with Give Em Heck in 1:58.2 for trainer Jackie Matheson of Charlottetown. Mantario won the $2,300 back-up pace in 1:57.3 in line to Norris Rogers for trainer Alex Sobey and owner Walter Simmons of Summerside. Varadero Hanover (Barrieau) earned the silver with Heart And Soul (Cheverie) completing the triactor. Trainer Melissa Rennie and driver Adam Merner teamed up for a triple as Howmac Napoleon won in 2:00.3, Chief Exec Officer was a 1:57.3 winner to remain undefeated in the Rennie stable and Always Reese hit the wire first in 2:01. For complete results and race replays go to www.redshores.ca.  By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2019 - Undefeated rookie Tall Dark Stranger established a new harness racing stakes record with a 1:49.1 victory in Saturday's $750,000 Metro Pace.   The son of Bettors Delight angled from the two-hole and cruised home in :27, giving his driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson each their first victory in harness racing's richest race for two-year-olds.   "He's just a great colt," said Johansson. "He looked strong the whole way and still had his plugs in at the wire. If they were coming harder at him I think he still had some left in the tank."   Tall Dark Stranger left from post-four and circled around Easi Hanover, who blasted from the outside, to lead at the opening-quarter in :27. Race-favourite Capt Midnight moved out from third and went after the lead racing up the backstretch, getting stretched out by Tall Dark Stranger before clearing after a :54.1 half.   Capt Midnight carried the lead around the far turn with Tall Dark Stranger and Gingras angling from the two-hole ahead of the three-quarter pole. Ys Mathis was first-up, three-lengths from the lead, with Papi Rob Hanover on his back. The three-quarter time was 1:22.   In the stretch, Tall Dark Stranger powered by Capt Midnight to a clear lead with an eighth of a mile to go. Papi Rob Hanover made things interesting late, ultimately coming up half a length short to a steady Tall Dark Stranger. Capt Midnight finished third, while Seeyou At Thebeach was fourth.   Tall Dark Stranger grinded away to narrowly defeated Papi Rob Hanover in last week's elimination. Gingras felt that performance made a big impact on the colt.   "(Last week) it took him a long time in the stretch, but today I stretched the other colt and in the last turn he knew what it was about this time," said Gingras. "When I came out of the two-hole he went right by Capt Midnight and that was without even me asking him at that point.   "He's got some learning to do, but he's got all the tools to be a great one."   Tall Dark Stranger is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. The son of Bettors Delight is now six for six with $499,533 earned after being purchased for $330,000 at last October's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.   The clocking of 1:49.1 shaved a fifth of a second off the previous stakes record set by Sportswriter in 2009. It also matches the track record set by A Rocknroll Dance in 2011.   Gingras and Johansson can now scratch the Metro Pace off their bucket list, as the duo teamed up in the 2011 edition to finish second with Western Vintage.   Johansson's victory with Tall Dark Stranger gives her a sweep of Mohawk Park's two richest races of the season, as she captured the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup in June with Captain Crunch.   "Not bad for a girl born in Sweden," laughed Johansson. "I'm very lucky that I have owners that support me with great horses and makes my job a lot easier having the material to perform at the highest level."   Tall Dark Stranger paid $5.40 to win.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2019 - Lyons Sentinel entered the Canadian harness racing record books with a stunning 1:49.3 victory in Saturday's $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies.   The daughter of Captaintreacherous converted off a two-hole trip to win for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr. in a Stakes, Track and Canadian Record time.   "She's done things we didn't think could be done," said King Jr. post-race. "About time she walked in my barn I could tell she was really special."   The $540,000 contest carried the storyline of a showdown between impressive elimination winners Alicorn and Lyons Sentinel. The fillies didn't disappoint, sitting one-two from start to finish.   Alicorn and driver Louis Philippe Roy blasted from post-five and hung up an opening-quarter of :26.4, while Lyons Sentinel followed in second. Reflect With Me got away third and hugged the rail for most of the mile.   After a second-quarter breather of :28.4, Alicorn faced pressure from Somebeachsometime, who had been parked every step of the mile after starting from post-nine. Peaky Sneaky failed to stay with the first-up challenger while in a second-over position, which left room for Tetrick to slide off the rail at three-quarters with Lyons Sentinel.   Alicorn went into sprint mode after reaching three-quarters in 1:23.1, but Lyons Sentinel was too much to handle. The King Jr. trainee stormed by powerfully in :26 to win by half a length. Alicorn finished second, while Reflect With Me couldn't find room up the rail in the stretch and settled for third over JK First Lady.   "I just didn't want to give Roy too much space," said Tetrick. "I didn't want to give him three or four lengths and get the half cheap and take off from me, so I put her on the back and I took a chance of getting locked in, but it all worked out."   A $55,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Lyons Sentinel has stamped herself as harness racing's top two-year-old pacing filly for owners Threelyonsracing. The Captaintreacherous filly has now won five in a row and is six for nine on the season with $562,330 earned.   Lyons Sentinel's record mile broke the previous Canadian record of 1:50.1, which she matched in last week's elimination. The now-fastest two-year-old filly in Canadian racing history returned $3.40 for a $2 win ticket.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2019 - Caviart Ally defended her Milton Stakes title with a harness racing stakes record 1:48.3 victory in Saturday's $250,000 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   The five-year-old pacing mare shot to the front for driver Andrew McCarthy and never looked back, pacing a :53.3 back-half to secure her second Milton Stakes victory.   "I knew in the post parade she was going to be good," said McCarthy of Caviart Ally. "She usually tells me and she was very focused and had her mind on the job."   A model of consistency, Caviart Ally started from post-eight in the nine-horse field and went off at odds of 4/1. She posted opening fractions of :26.4 and :55, before race-favourite Youaremycandygirl started first-up from fourth.   McCarthy stomped on the gas pedal in the third-quarter, posting a :26.3 split. The duo proceeded to say goodnight to their rivals and sprinted home in :27 to win by a length and three-quarters. Kissin In The Sand finished second, while Seaswift Joy N and Apple Bottom Jeans completed the Superfecta. Youaremycandygirl finished eighth.   Owned by Caviart Farms, Caviart Ally joined the barn of trainer Pelling this season after former trainer Noel Daley returned to his home-country of Australia.   "She's so consistent," said Pelling, noting he was confident when his mare turned for home with the lead. "I just didn't think coming first-up on her and it was the favourite first-up and I said 'that's a big ask' and I was pretty confident. He hadn't pulled the plugs and I thought she was doing it tonight."   Caviart Ally is now six for 15 this season and has hit the board in every start. Her 22nd career victory gives her $432,064 earned this season, bringing her career earnings to $1.5 million for Caviart Farms.   A $2 win ticket on Caviart Ally returned $10.70.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

Trois-Rivieres, QC - When Histoire Enchantee comes on the track for the tenth race Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R, harness racing fans will see nearly a two-year gap in his racing schedule. That is because the stakes winner at age three in 2017 has made a remarkable comeback for trainer Maxime Velaye. Histoire Enchantee starts from post one for driver Stephane Gendron and is the overwhelming race favorite in the tenth race pace. As a three-year-old, Histoire Enchantee notched six wins with earnings of nearly $100,000. Then disaster struck the son of Shanghai Phil. "Histoire Enchantee was injured with the results of a severe suspensory," explained Velaye. "To make matters worse, it was not even a race injury. He had to be stopped training and immobilized in his stall for about ten months. This is the kind of injury that heals slowly over time. "After his successful season in 2017 at age 3, we stopped with him as usual," continued Velaye. "then we started again in the winter of 2017-2018 to be ready for the Quebec-Bred Series at age four. It was during this period that he was injured. "Then we waited with him because this horse is worth it," Velaye said. "He also proved that we were right, since his return he continues to improve, winning regularly in the 1.56, 1.57 range. His fitness is improving and we are crossing our fingers to make it last. We do not have big plans for him this fall. He will probably race at H3R until closing and then rest up again. We will then prepare him for April next season for the Quebec-Bred Series. That's the best scenario right now." Histoire Enchantee has most certainly been sharp in his comeback season this fall. He has four starts, two wins, the fastest last week in 1 :56.4. Bred to be a winner, Histoire Enchantee is owned and was bred by Guy Corbeil of Mirable. He owns the top mare Eclatante (Bullvons Dream), who has had eight foals, seven of whom have made the races. That makes Histoire Enchantee a full brother to both Clik K ($378,476, 1.50.1); a half brother to Advantage ($ 266,059, 1.51.1), and a full brother to Eternal History ($171,216, 1.51.3). Hoping for a an upset victory in the tenth race Sunday will be Captain Dragon (post 2), Ernie Panic (post 5), and Winoc Jimmy (post 3). For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. First race post time Sunday is 1 :00 pm. By Daniel Delisle, for the Quebec Jockey Club    

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Drafting a perfect two-hole trip while watching the front end resident besieged for the duration of the race, Lisburn captured the $4,000 P.E.I. Harness Racing Industry Association Invitational Saturday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Kenny Arsenault sent Lisburn hard off the gate from post 1 and struck the lead before releasing Rose Run Quest (Marc Campbell) to the front in the first quarter of 27.3. Rose Run Quest was kept occupied on the front end for the rest of the mile as Euchred (Driven by Mike McGuigan) was parked out and moved up to engage Rose Run Quest through the half of 55.2 and faded before the three-quarters of 1:24.4. Lisburn left the two-hole and took his shot down the lane, getting up for a nose decision in 1:53 over Rose Run Quest with Bugsy Maguire (Jason Hughes) finishing third. Lisburn, who celebrated his third win in a row, is owned by Kevin Harvey of Hammonds Plains, N.S. Driver David Dowling had a solid night at the capital oval winning four races on the card. The Warren Grove driver hit the line first with Silverhill Buddy in 1:58 for David Myers of Charlottetown, Dusty Lane Cortez in a 1:57.1 victory for trainer Devon Wallace of Alberton, Bank Of Dad in 1:57.4 from the Ambyr Campbell stable of Charlottetown and with Creepin in a 1:57 score for trainer Brittany Watts of Warren Grove. Leading driver Marc Campbell saw the winner's circle three times on the card as he scored in the $2,750 Fillies and Mares Open with Traces Of Purple in 1:56.1, Jetster in 1:57.2 and Zero Rate in 1:57.1. Trainer Kevin Gillis had a training double early on in the program as Top of Morning won in 2:01.4 with son Kyle Gillis in the bike and Mr Tucker had a maiden score in 2:00.1 with Hughes aboard. For race replays and more go to www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

MILTON, SEPT. 20, 2019 - Trevor Henry wrapped up the Grassroots regular harness racing season with two wins at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday night, padding his lead atop the Ontario Sires Stakes driver standings. Heading into Friday night's regular season finale for the two-year-old pacing fillies Henry had a 56 point lead over his perpetual rival Sylvain Filion in the Lampman Cup race. With drives in all four divisions and wins with Kat and So Delightful, Henry added 12 points to his tally while Filion spent the night driving at Hoosier Park in Indiana. Henry picked up his first win in the second $23,500 division with Kat. Starting from Post 4 Henry sent the fan favourite straight to the front where she reeled off fractions of :26.4, :56.3 and 1:25 and then delivered a gritty effort down the stretch to hang on for a nose victory in 1:54. Shiraz Seelster snuck up the inside to be second and Siochan was three-quarters of a length back in third. "We got stung pretty good the first quarter, but she hung tough. She raced good," said Henry. "She's been a good filly all along. She's really big, she'll probably be a better three-year-old. She's a really big filly." Dr. Ian Moore trains Kat for Wilma and James MacKenzie of Ennismore, ON, but was not on hand to celebrate the filly's first lifetime win. The Cambridge resident was with Filion at Hoosier Park where his Gold Series star Century Farroh captured the $170,000 Jennas Beach Boy for three-year-old pacing colts. Kat While she had not found the winner's circle before Friday, Kat had been a model of consistency through her first seven starts, finishing second five times and third twice. The win bumped the Hes Watching daughter's Grassroots point total to 100 and assured her of a berth in next Friday's (Sept. 27) Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A top five finish in the Semi-Final would see the filly advance to the Oct. 5 Grassroots Championship. Henry's second Grassroots win came in the third division with So Delightful, who also went gate-to-wire from Post 4. The Bettors Delight daughter cruised through fractions of :27.2, :57 and 1:25.3 before pacing under the wire one and one-quarter lengths the best in 1:53.4. Fan favourite Coqui Coqui settled for second and Kit was elevated from fourth to third when Lady Natasha was found to have driven inside two pylons in the final turn. "She's a nice filly as well. She's a little smaller, but she raced really well tonight. I was happy with her," said Henry. "She's consistent, but tonight she raced really well on the front for a small filly. She's from a really good family. She has the pedigree to be good." Henry and So Delightful also won a division of the Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 9. In between wins the filly finished ninth, fifth and second in her Grassroots outings for a point tally of 130 and sole ownership of third spot in the division standings. So Delightful Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor bred and shares ownership of So Delightful with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The filly's dam You See L A is a half-sister to $1.9 million winner Thinking Out Loud and award winning broodmare West Of L A. In addition to the Grassroots victories, Henry also won a pair of overnight events, one with McIntosh trainee Judge Ken and the other with Moore trainee Denali Seelster. The other two Grassroots divisions went to Mach My Kiss, who picked up her second straight Grassroots win in spite of being saddled with Post 10. Guelph resident Doug McNair piloted the Mach Three daughter to the 1:53.4 personal best for trainer Rob Fellows and his wife Yolanda Fellows of Rockwood and Erna Corbeil of Beamont, AB. Trizzle Trazzle and Isla Seelster were a length back in second and third. Mach My Kiss Capistrano recorded her third Grassroots win in the last division to secure top spot in the standings with 175 points. The Warrawee Needy filly and driver Anthony MacDonald sprinted down the stretch to score a two and one-half length victory in 1:54.2 Preeminence was second and Rose Run Victory was third. Harry Poulton trains Capistrano for fractional ownership group TheStable Capistrano Group of Guelph, ON, whose members are looking forward to seeing the youngster compete in the Grassroots Semi-Finals. "I couldn't be prouder of this filly. Harry and his barn have done a great job with her," said MacDonald, who is also the co-founder and president of TheStable.ca. "Every year we have horses arrive from smaller breeding operations to partner with us and Capistrano was one of those from last year. She has over 30 owners and she's been a real breath of fresh air for us this year at TheStable.ca." Capistrano Before the Grassroots Semi-Finals get underway next Friday, Woodbine Mohawk Park will host the last Gold Series Leg for the two-year-old trotting fillies on Tuesday, Sept. 24. The fillies will compete for $108,000 in Races 5 and 7 on the Tuesday evening program, which begins at 7:10 pm. Complete results from Friday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

MILTON, ON - September 20, 2019 - The $750,000 Metro Pace is harness racing's richest two-year-old race in 2019 and for most of the connections racing, it's exactly the spot they planned on being.   A field of 10 rookie harness racing pacing colts and geldings will line up in the Metro Pace with six of the 10 having been purchased for $100,000 or more at last fall's yearling sales. That number of six is one more than last year's five and potentially the highest ever.   Capt Midnight is the 7/5 favourite in the Metro and was the most expensive purchase in the field at $350,000 (Harrisburg). The Tony Alagna trained son of Captaintreacherous has won five of seven starts for his connections and is the nation's fastest rookie at 1:49.4.   A close second-choice at odds of 9/5 is the undefeated Tall Dark Stranger, who sold for $330,000 at last October's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The Bettors Delight colt is perfect in five career starts for trainer Nancy Johansson and connections.   The most-expensive yearling purchase to ever win the Metro Pace is Simply Business, who pulled off a 20/1 upset in the 2011 edition. The son of Rocknroll Hanover-Cathedra Dot Com sold for $350,000 and went on to make just over a million-dollars in 183 career starts, with $500,000 of those earnings coming from his Metro win.   Since 2000, Simply Business and five other $100,000-plus yearling purchases have won the Metro Pace. Captaintreacherous in 2012 at $250,000 is the second most-expensive followed by Rocknroll Hanover in 2004 ($190,000), Camelot Hall in 2003 ($175,000), Stag Party in last year's race ($125,000) and Artspeak in 2014 ($100,000).   This year's race matches up with the saying "spend money to make money" and that has regularly been the case in the Metro Pace. While the rag to riches stories do happen, the average price of the 16 winners since 2000 that sold at a yearling auction is $102,562.   Sir Luck was the "cheapest" purchase of the winners since 2000 as a $20,000 buy in November 2001 at Harrisburg.   Beach Blanket Book could steal that title away from Sir Luck with an upset win from post-ten. The son of Sportswriter was a $17,000 purchase at last year's Lexington Select sale.   As for the spot where the Metro winners have been purchased, graduates of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale have won seven-times since 2006 with Harrisburg grads winning four during that period. The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale began in 2005 after Tattersalls and Kentucky Standardbred teamed their sales.   The only Metro winner since 2006 not to be sold at either Lexington or Harrisburg was Mystician in 2010. The Canadian Open graduate brought $45,000 as a yearling and scored a 29/1 upset in his Metro victory.   The storyline for this year's race may be the expensive yearling buys, but a pair of homebreds will pace behind the gate in Saturday's $750,000 event.   Sportswriter colt Ys Mathis is owned by Yves Sarrazin, who co-bred the pacer with Carl Duguay. One For Julius is from the first-crop of stallion Hes Watching and races for breeders Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc.   The last homebred to win the Metro Pace was Boomboom Ballykeel in 2010. The 10/1 upset winner was trained by Richard Moreau, who conditions Ys Mathis in this year's race.   The Metro Pace is one of the most anticipated races each season and that anticipation begins for many while inspecting yearlings and purchasing their next great hope.   While it's still early in the careers for the Metro field, on paper and based on early results this group could leave quite the legacy on the racetrack. Only time will tell.   Here is the breakdown of the Metro Pace field by yearling price.   Capt Midnight - $350,000 (Harrisburg) Tall Dark Stranger - $330,000 (Lexington) Captain Kirk - $200,000 (Lexington) Esai Hanover - $155,000 (Harrisburg) Team Best - $150,000 (Lexington) Papi Rob Hanover - $130,000 (Harrisburg) Seeyou At Thebeach - $70,000 (Harrisburg) Beach Blanket Book - $17,000 (Lexington) Ys Mathis - Homebred One For Julius - Homebred   by Mark McKelvie,for Woodbine Entertainment   

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Jimbelina, the lone harness racing mare in the field against eight male rivals, will go for her sixth straight win on Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. The six-year-old daughter of Big Jim was assigned the far outside post eight in the 5th race Preferred Pace. She is trained by Jean Tourigny and owned by Roland Trudel of Becancour. "She (Jimbelina) really came to me to rest a little," said Tourigny. "But she is racing so well now we will continue with her." Jimbelina hails from a strong family lineage. Her dam, Buddys Gal, had five foals and all of them made the races. Jimbelina has a half-sister, Fast N Fiesty p,5,1:50f, who made $397,000 and a half-brother, Buddy Weiser p,1:52.1f, who made $174,000. "She is a beautiful mare," Tourigny said. "She's really very quiet and easy to get along with." Jimbelina has already shown she can beat the boys, having won a Preferred 3 race her first time over H3R's half mile oval. That was two starts back when she raced from off the pace to win in 1:55.4. When at Georgian Downs Jimbelina showed that she can also overcome post eight, winning on the front end in 1:54.2. So, does that mean she can overcome post eight again on Sunday at H3R? "You never know what may happened on Sunday," Touriney said. Jimbelina's main competition Sunday will come from a trio of male competition in the race. They are Maracasso (post 4), who won last weeks race but was disqualified for going inside the pylons, Mister Big Top (post 5) who was placed 1st in the race, and Surf Report (post 7), who was a game second in last week's top pace. Sunday's program also features a Preferred Pace for Fillies and Mares headed by Uptown Woman (post 7), Sauble Bonnie (post 6) and Rainbow Palace (post 8). There is also a Two-Year-Old Open Pace featuring Solid Man (post 5), Acaena De Chakrika (post 3) and SOS Cupcake (post 1). The 11-race Sunday race card gets underway at 1:00 pm. For a free program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

MILTON, ON - September 20, 2019 - Harness racing fans will want to arrive early to Woodbine Mohawk Park this Saturday (September 21) to collect the third and final t-shirt in the 'Road to the Breeders Crown' giveaway series.   Sylvain Filion is the next driver to have his racing colours incorporated into a t-shirt. The four-time O'Brien Award winning Driver of the Year will be set up on the main grandstand floor beginning at 6 p.m. this Saturday (September 21) to giveaway t-shirts and sign autographs.   The $750,000 Metro Pace is the main event for this Saturday's stakes-filled card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment      

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ELORA, SEPT. 23, 2019 - Neither of the harness racing favourites in Monday night's two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series divisions enjoyed their trip around Grand River Raceway, but Major Bay and Threefiftytwo thoroughly enjoyed all of the Elora oval's amenities, including the winner's circle. In the first $105,600 division fans sent Horse Trader off as their top choice and the colt made an early break that left him 15 lengths behind the field as Major Bay led them to the quarter in :28. Hetalkstoangels took over command heading by the :59.2 half and continued to set the pace by the 1:28.1 three-quarters, but driver Louis-Philippe Roy was biding his time in the pocket and once he gave Major Bay an open lane the colt reeled in the leader to claim the 1:59.2 victory. Hetalkstoangels was one and one-quarter lengths back in second and Babidibou was three lengths back in third. Horse Trader settled for fourth. "I thought he had shot, especially with the way he raced last week (Sept. 16). He knows the half-mile so he has no problem with the half-mile, and the trip worked and everything worked out good," said trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph, ON, who sent the colt out from Post 7. "The one horse, he was the big favourite, he made a break too, that Horse Trader, and we ended up getting the job done." Major Bay earned his place on the gate in Monday's Gold event with a 1:56.3 fourth-place effort in the Sept. 16 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. That outing was the colt's first for Baillargeon and his first in Ontario. Major Bay's first six starts, including three wins, came at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres for owner-trainer Francis Richard. "He won in 2:04 in Three Rivers, but the big track stepped him up last week," said Baillargeon. "He's a little bit left and right, he's got a little bit of a rubber-neck to him, he's in and he's out, but he's got some go. He's a very gutsy horse and he has a perfect gait, so you can't ask for anything more with him because he trots, and that's all he does, he trots." With Monday's win Major Bay earned 50 points, but he needs a second Gold Series start to be eligible for the Oct. 12 Super Final, and Baillargeon is looking forward to racing the Amigo Hall son in the last regular season event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 1. "He trotted 1:56.3 his first start at Woodbine and he was kind of boxed in there. He wasn't done in 1:56.4, he was running out of room a little bit, let's put it this way," said the trainer. "I'm anxious to race him next week and see what happens." In his first seven starts Major Bay had banked $12,525 for owners Ferme Auclair of St. Antoine De Tilly, Ecurie Francis Richard Inc. of Becancour and Jean-Christophe Auclair of Saint-Apollinaire, QC. Monday's win boosted that total to $65,325. Major Bay After the pleasant surprise of Major Bay's victory, Baillargeon and Roy were looking for the sweep with second division favourite HP Royal Theo, but the reigning William Wellwood Memorial champion skipped off-stride heading into the first turn and was 24 lengths behind pacesetter Threefiftytwo when he reached the :29.1 quarter. After his successful start from Post 6, Threefiftytwo carried on through a :59.2 half and 1:29.2 three-quarters and held off Your Still Up in the stretch for a three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2. Tuckers Out was well back in third and HP Royal Theo further behind in fifth. "I was a little worried that Louis (Roy) would try and re-take the lead, and I was worried about it because I knew full well I wouldn't be able to let him go, because mine, once he gets the front it's there's not much letting people go. He's not quite that manageable yet," said driver Bob McClure, who was quite happy Roy and HP Royal Theo never reached his wheel. "He's a really fast horse, but we're just trying to keep him well-mannered because he's pretty high strung." Rockwood resident McClure steers Threefiftytwo for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Monday's win was the Royalty For Life son's second in Gold Series action and his 130 points vaulted him over stablemate Port Perry to the top of the division standings heading into the regular season finale. The long-legged Port Perry skipped Monday's event. The win was also Threefiftytwo's second straight - following a 1:55.4 personal best effort in the Sept. 16 race where Major Bay finished third - and McClure is hoping the speedy youngster can maintain his positive momentum through the last regular season Gold event and the Super Final. "When he's on his game he can go some real wicked fast miles, it's just keeping his head on straight," said McClure. "His problem is not his gait, when he runs he gets throwing his head around, but once he's off and trotting, he's perfect, he's one of the best gaited horses. You couldn't ask him to be any better gaited, like he's almost flawless." Threefiftytwo Monday's event wrapped up Grand River Raceway's 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which saw the Elora oval host four Gold and four Grassroots events. Complete results for Monday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing
MILTON, ON - September 23, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to remind all harness racing horsepeople of the upcoming October 1 deadline for nominations to this year's Ontario Sired Harvest and Autumn Series.   The Harvest Series consists of eight events, one for each two and three-year-old division, and will be raced at Mohawk Park. The Autumn Series features four events for two and three-year-olds and is split between Flamboro Downs and The Raceway at Western Fair District.   The Harvest Series is open to Ontario sired two and three-year-olds, who are non-winners of $30,000 in 2019 as of midnight September 30. Each event features two $17,000 guaranteed preliminary legs and a $40,000 added money final. The two-year-old events start the week of Monday, October 14, while the three-year-olds start the week of Monday, October 28. The nomination fee is $300.   The Autumn Series is open to Ontario sired two and three-year-olds, who are non-winners of $10,000 lifetime as of midnight September 30. Each event will have two $8,500 guaranteed preliminary legs and a $20,000 added money final. The series begins November 9. The nomination fee is $200.   Horsepeople can download the nomination forms and full conditions by visiting www.woodbine.com/mohawk/horsepeople. The forms are available under 'Stake Nominations' and nominations can be paid under 'Payments'.   Nominations close Tuesday, October 1.   If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than October 1, 2019 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  
MILTON, ON - September 23, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform all horsepeople that there will no training available following this Tuesday morning's qualifiers and schoolers.   The track and paddock will be closed immediately following the final schooler.   Training is available beginning Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. and qualifiers will begin promptly at 10 a.m.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  
DUNDAS, ON - SEPT. 22, 2019 - Ontario's top harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies waged an epic battle at Flamboro Downs on Sunday night as they wrapped up their Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series regular season in a single $158,000 division. Top point earners Sunny Dee, Boadicea and Powerful Chris lined up at Posts 2, 4 and 10 in the 10-filly field and when the gate swung away all three were mixing it up through a sharp :26.3 opening quarter. Thats Incredible took a brief turn on the lead, followed by Summer Charm, but it was Sunny Dee who clocked the first fraction. Powerful Chris followed Sunny Dee away from the gate, keeping Boadicea out three-wide through the first turn before yielding to the fan favourite. Boadicea matched strides with Sunny Dee going by the :54 half, but driver Trevor Henry was able to regain a length advantage in the turn. Heading by the 1:22.2 three-quarters Boadicea again pressed the leader, but on the final turn Henry hit the accelerator and Sunny Dee turned for home with a clear advantage which she extended to two lengths by the 1:51.1 finish. Boadicea was an impressive second for driver Jonathan Drury and trainer Bill Budd and Summer Charm finished third for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Dave Menary. "I didn't really think Billy's (Budd) horse might get around the turns as good as she does on the big track. Half-mile racing's a little different than mile racing," said Henry of his race strategy. "Sunny Dee's so good gaited I knew she wouldn't have a problem. "I tried to get away on JD (Drury) in the last turn because I knew his was struggling on the turns, so I got a few lengths on him," the Arthur, ON resident continued. "His horse raced well too, she was out the whole way and still was second, she's a hell of a filly too." The 1:51.1 clocking was an Ontario Sires Stakes and Flamboro Downs track record. The previous track record of 1:52 was set by Michelles Power in 2007, while the former Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:52.2 was established by Chancey Lady at The Raceway at the Western Fair District in 2008. Bob McIntosh trains Sunny Dee and the Windsor resident and his partners Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH also bred the filly, who is a half-sister to $1.7 million winners Somewhere in L A and L A Delight. Henry has driven Sunny Dee in all but one of her 18 lifetime starts and the pair was also victorious in the June 1 Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Sunshine Beach filly was second twice and third once in her other three Gold Series starts, giving her a total of 162 points and ownership of third spot in the division standings behind Boadicea and Powerful Chris. The top 10 point earners will now begin preparations for the $225,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 12. "It's a good field of fillies. It's a pretty tight bunch, they've raced tough all summer," said Henry of the top point earners, adding that the championship will likely come down to racing luck. "It'll definitely be the best trip, I think." The Ontario Sires Stakes program makes one more stop at Flamboro Downs before the regular season comes to a close. The Dundas half-mile will host the two-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday, Oct. 2 for their last Gold Series event. Complete results from Sunday's program are available at Flamboro Downs Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
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