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Very often a young girl dreams of getting a pony for her very own. But how about a harness racing stakes winning stallion? Denitza Petrova of Melbourne, Quebec had those dreams of getting a horse as a child in Communist Bulgaria. Later her family moved to Quebec where she started riding lessons and eventually turned to harness racing where she had become a blossoming owner, trainer and breeder. Then came the stallion Northern Escort and Denitza fell head over heels for the Ontario Sire Stakes champion. Sired by Kadabra, Northern Escort was a top three-year-old on the Ontario circuit, winning eight times with earnings of more than $200,000 in 2012. Having to overcome injuries the next few years, Northern Escort ended his racing career in 2016 with lifetime earnings of $280,000, 17 wins and a record of 1:55.3 at Yonkers Raceway's half mile oval. To see Northern Escort win the Ontario Sire Stakes Championship Final click on this link, Denitza first saw Northern Escort at Yves Filion's Bayama Farms in 2013. "Yves had given him a break," Deniza explained of Northern Escort. "And he had bred a couple of his mares to him. I always followed him racing when he was two and three. I liked him. He never made breaks and raced well. "I had bred my mare Majestic Joy to Justice Hall," Denitza said. "But it did not take. It was mid-July and I wanted to get my mare bred, so Yves son, Justin Filion, who was training the horse, suggested I breed her (Majestic Joy) to Northern Escort. But he was not a commercial stallion, just resting from an injury. "So, I went to see the stallion and fell in love with him," Denitza said. "He was the gentlest stallion you could ever be around. He was charming, perfect looking and I knew I loved this horse. Even without knowing how well his foals would race for me." "The resulting breeding was Kinnder Dangerous and I was so happy with this perfect foal at birth, Denitza added. "So, as I raised him, he was just a perfect example of what we wanted in a trotter. And despite being a late foal, he made the races." Kinnder Dangerous went on to become a Quebec champion, taking a record of 1:58.1h at the Hippodrome 3R and earning more than $75,000 before he tragically passed away. "I liked him (Kinnder Dangerous) so much," Denitza explained. "That I wanted to find Northern Escort and buy him, but he had been sold, but I found him. I wanted him (four years ago) as my stallion. "I ended up getting another breeding to him in Indiana for Majestic Joy," Denitza said. "And that next foal was Kinnder Dangerzone." The two-year-old son of Northern Escort went undefeated in four starts this year, taking a record of 2:01.1h, earning $38,200 and was the Quebec-bred champion for his age group. But wait, more credit needs to go the broodmare Majestic Joy as between Kinnder Dangerous and Kinnder Dangerzone, when Denitza did not know where Northern Escort was, there were two other foals born. The second foal was named Kinderunbelievable, sired by Archangel. She went on to become a Quebec Champion too last year, taking a record of 1:59.3h with earnings of $52,000. Then there is the beautiful chestnut filly that Denitza named Kinnder High Class and she was sired by Royalty For Life. Although winless in seven starts as a two-year-old, Kinnder High Class showed she had promise as she was second in the $55,000 Quebec Championship. She then blossomed into a stakes winner at age three this season, winning seven times, earning more than $68,000, and setting a track record in capturing her Quebec Championship final (one race after her half-brother won his division), with a lifetime mark of 1:58.1h. Majestic Joy is now a 100% producing mare with four Quebec Champion foals and more on the way. Denitza has a yearling filly by Lindy's Tru Grit from Majestic Joy. There is also a foal by her side, a colt, sired by Wheeling N Dealin and she is safe in foal to Muscle Mass and will, of course, be bred back to Northern Escort this winter. "I always had in the back of my mind that I would own him one day," Denitza said of Northern Escort. "And now I am amazed how great his foals are for me. I wanted to get him somehow. "I had told my boyfriend about Northern Escort," Denitza laughed. "Maybe 20 times a day how much passion I had for him. He said "go get him, you love him so much. Follow your heart, go ahead. And I did it. I am so thankful he said this. And all this took place before Kinnder Dangerzone even raced and won the final. "I asked him to be a partner with me on the horse," Denitza said. "And he said yes." Her boyfriend is Franck Innocenti, who happens to be the owner of Apzara, which runs national equestrian shows. "So, I searched and found Northern Escort in New York," Denitza said. "And I made a deal with the owner to purchase him and he was shipped to Toronto. Franck and I drove to Toronto and we picked him up. And then my dream came true when we brought him back to the farm. "You could not imagine how happy I was," Denitza said. "Like a ten-year-old girl getting her first pony. "I have so much confidence in Northern Escort," Denitza explained. "As much as any stallion in breeding commercially. We now want to get a few broodmares to breed to him and we want our foals to be both Ontario and Quebec eligible. I do not know yet if we will just breed our mares or breed outside mares. "When I first had Northern Escort four years ago my friend, Mona Lisa Pagliericci, who was managing her breeding farm in Quebec," Denitza said. "She wanted to see if he could mount a dummy and get his semen tested. When he came off the truck, Mona Lisa saw him and she said he was such a beautiful stallion. "Then the next week," Denitza added. "Mona Lisa said he was just a sweetheart, took right to the dummy and was the gentlest horse and despite never being in the breeding shed before, he was perfect and also that his semen was very strong. Mona Lisa said that aside from her top stallion, Garland Lobell, he was the next best stallion she had ever worked with. I had to sell him and he went to Indiana. That was when I was able to breed him again to Majestic Joy and that foal was Kinnder Dangerzone." So, the stallion of Denitza Petrova's dream is now back in her barn and the next week his son goes undefeated and wins the Quebec Championship Final at the Hippodrome 3R. "I would dream of how great Kinnder Dangerzone could be and now before the Quebec finals," Denitza explained. "I get the stallion and then win two finals. I was just so ecstatic that I cried for happiness. It was all so emotional, and both foals from the same mare. She now has three Quebec champions from two different stallions. "What I also love about Northern Escort is that his foals have the same attitude as he does," Denitza said. "Being gentle and wanting to race with a smart head. I bred one mare, who was very hot on the racetrack, yet her foal is calm, just like her father. "I am just so excited to be able to now breed my mares to him," Denitza said. "And to get another broodmare or two to join the band. It's as if all my dreams have come true these past two weeks." And for those who do not know Denitza Petrova, she names all her foals Kinnder. Why, because as a child Denitza loved the Kinder Candy Eggs that come with a little toy inside. She has an extensive collection of all the toys and still giggles in excitement when she gets a new egg. Just like she does when she talks about getting her dream stallion. by Steven Wolf, for the Quebec Jockey Club    

ELORA, ON - JUNE 29, 2020 - Chocolate Pie is more than just a harness racing starter in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, July 1. The three-year-old trotting colt is a building block in trainer Kyle Bossence's long-term plan to shift his stable toward developing and racing young horses. "That's the game plan. I kind of grew up around (Gregg) McNair's and that's what I know. I got to train a lot of babies down around there," said Bossence. "That's kind of the goal, but I mean you've got to start somewhere, right. The racehorses help, in the wintertime, help pay for the babies." Currently ranked second in the trainer standings at Grand River, Bossence has sent out 18 starters in the last month and won five races. Chocolate Pie was among the winners, going gate-to-wire in 2:01.4 on June 17. One week earlier the Archangel son finished second in his sophomore debut and Bossence is hoping the trotter is on track for a more consistent season than he delivered at two. In his freshman campaign Chocolate Pie recorded one win, one second and one third in seven starts for earnings of $13,800, qualifying for the Grassroots Semi-final where he made a break and finished tenth. "He won his first Grassroots last year with no trotting hopples or nothing on, but as he progressed he just got a little warmer and needed the hopples just to kind of keep him sensible," said Bossence, who purchased Chocolate Pie from the 2018 London Selected Yearling Sale for $17,000. "And he really started to grow halfway through the year and that kind of hurt his two-year-old season." Chocolate Pie will make his sophomore OSS debut from Post 7 in the fourth $23,150 Grassroots division on Wednesday. Regular reinsman Colin Kelly will steer the colt, facing off against a field of eight that includes 2019 Grassroots finalist Remember Titans from Post 1 and 2019 Gold Leg winner Crossfit Mouse from Post 3. "He's matured a lot and he grew a lot and filled out, so we hope for some luck. I was hoping for a little better post position, but we'll see how he makes out," said Bossence. "He's good on a half, but I mean post position can really help you on a half-mile track." In addition to Chocolate Pie, the Arthur resident has three other sophomores and six two-year-olds in his stable. Bossence has been pleased with the progress of some of his two-year-old pacers and hopes at least one will prove talented enough to compete in Grand River Raceway's signature Battle Of Waterloo eliminations in late July. "We've got a couple two-year-olds I think are all right," said the trainer. "I've got a couple paid into the Battle of Waterloo - that's one race I've always wanted to win so we'll see how that goes - hopefully they're good enough by then to at least make the (Aug. 3) final." Chocolate Pie gave Bossence his first provincial stakes win last July and pacing colt Doc Fanelli added another in September. The trainer will be looking to add to that number this season as he makes progress toward his long-term goal. "The game plan was always to get away from the claimers," said Bossence. "Eventually it would be nice just to have the younger ones, and a few conditioned horses." Chocolate Pie and his peers will battle in Races 2, 4, 6, 9 and 10 on Grand River Raceway's Wednesday evening program, which gets underway at 6:30 pm. While fans cannot cheer the trotting colts on in person, downloadable programs and a live stream are available on the Grand River Raceway website. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Top Flight Angel, the winner of the 2017 Yonkers Trot, is ready to return to the races this week and his connections hope he will be continuing his ascent to the million-dollar level. A 6-year-old stallion, Top Flight Angel has won 14 of 65 career races and $902,820 for breeder/owner Alan Hainsworth, a New Yorker who races under the name Legendary Standardbred Farm. Hainsworth has a special bond with the horse because he owns Top Flight Angel's sire, the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel, and dam, Top Photo. "It's fantastic," Hainsworth said. "He's grown up into a beautiful horse, so perfectly gaited, and he's very easy to drive. He's got a lot of brains. I want to race him until he makes a million dollars, then we'll see where we are with him. He's been a great horse." Top Flight Angel is beginning his fourth season in the barn of trainer Julie Miller. He battled sickness last year, limiting him to three victories, but after a nearly two-month respite won a qualifier last Friday at The Meadowlands in 1:54.2 and has been entered to race this weekend. "We gave him a lot of TLC and time to get over (his illness)," Miller said. "I thought that was a pretty decent qualifier the other day up there at The Meadowlands. "He's always been a pleasure to be around. He's a beautiful horse and he loves his job. You're not supposed to fall in love with them, but he would definitely be on my list of favorites. When he goes on the track, you know that no matter what, he's going to give it his all." Winning the Yonkers Trot with Archangel provided Hainsworth with a great memory. Capturing the Trotting Triple Crown event a second time with Top Flight Angel might even have topped the first. "Winning it once is like a miracle, and then to win it twice with the father and son and same owner, that was big," Hainsworth said. "To win it twice, there are hardly any words. If I ever got there again, I would probably be crying. I haven't given that thought up, either." Eleven days after Top Flight Angel won the Yonkers Trot, he rolled into Batavia Downs for a division of the New York Sire Stakes. He won in 1:54.3, equaling the track record set five years earlier by his father, Archangel. "That was another unbelievable night," Hainsworth said. "I was impressed with how he got around all those tracks in New York," Miller said. "You could send him anywhere and I knew he could handle those half-mile tracks and handle that grind. He was just that class of horse." Top Flight Angel, who finished second in the 2018 Breeders Crown Open Trot and was runner-up in the Harry Harvey Invitational the same year, will likely spend a good amount of time this season competing at The Meadowlands and Yonkers. "Hopefully he can make a couple hundred thousand this year," Hainsworth said. "I'd like to get him to the million-dollar mark," Miller said. "That's always a nice accomplishment for any horse to make it to that point." If Top Flight Angel reaches that level, he would join his father in the million-dollar club (Archangel banked $1.14 million) and become his father's second offspring to surpass the barrier (joining Guardian Angel AS). And while Hainsworth will be watching Top Flight Angel, he will also be keeping tabs on Archangel-sired newcomers heading to the races later this season. Hainsworth's own Angel Nation, purchased under the name Stable Genius for $60,000 at the 2018 Standardbred Horse Sale, is among them. He did not race last year as a 2-year-old. "He's a beautifully gaited horse, that's what is so nice about him, and he looks terrific," Hainsworth said. "It's exciting to have the stallion and watch these owners that have their new Archangel babies come on board. I spend quite a lot of time in Canada (where Archangel stands) watching these new ones come up. I get a big kick out of it. That's pretty exciting to me." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 2, 2019 -- Icanflylikeanangel relentlessly pressured the harness racing leader, Final Breath, passed him in mid-stretch and went on to capture Monday's $20,000 Open Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Icanflylikeanangel was fifth past the half when Mike Wilder sent him first up. Despite having to negotiate a "good" surface, the 5-year-old Archangel-Fox Valley London gelding wore down Final Breath and prevailed in 1:54, matching his career best. Whats The Word shot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-1/4 lengths back, while Final Breath saved show. Randy Bendis trains Icanflylikeanangel, who extended his career bankroll to $291,776, and owns with Pollack Racing LLC. Tony Hall and Wilder each piloted four winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program features a $68,077.56 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

LEXINGTON, KY--Off at odds of 120-1, Strip It Down As reeled in tempo-setter Asiago and nailed the 1-9 favorite on the wire to upset in the first of two $30,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) harness racing divisions for three-year-old trotting fillies at The Red Mile on Saturday, Aug. 24. Asiago took control early and faced little challenge while setting a clip of :28.4, :56.1 and 1:24. Driver Elliot Deaton had Strip It Down As positioned third and sent the son of Archangel after Asiago rounding towards the top of the stretch. Asiago led by open lengths into the sixteenth pole but Strip It Down As cut into the leader's margin and stuck a head in front at the finish in a 1:52.4 mile. Asiago settled for second while Back Splash gave chase a couple lengths back in third. Returning $242.80 to win, Strip It Down As won her second race from four starts this season and her fourth from 11 overall, earning $60,929. Anette Lorentzon conditions the filly for owner-breeder Acl Stuteri Ab and co-owner Kjell Johansson. Driver Andy Miller placed French Cafe on the front and set a slow tempo when going coast to coast with a 1:54.3 mile in the second KYSS filly division. The Julie Miller-trained daughter of Father Patrick took command from Whispering Oaks in second and Caterina Hall in third. French Cafe controlled the speed through fractions of :29 and :58 before enduring minor first-over pressure from Fade Into You circling the final turn. Race-favorite Queen Of Trixs sat second over passing three-quarters in 1:26.1 before angling towards the center of the track for a final-quarter sprint. French Cafe maintained the front through the lane while Queen Of Trixs gave pursuit from second, with Fade Into You holding third. Winning her second race from six starts this season and her fifth in 15 overall, French Cafe has earned $117,900. The homebred for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld returned $5.20 to win. Chin Chin Hall hustled off cover in the stretch drive to take the opening division of KYSS for sophomore trotting colts in 1:52.4. Sheer Muscle moved for the lead with Thunder venturing wide to take control past a :29 quarter. Pilot Discretion, sitting third, brushed for the front and cleared command while accelerating towards a :56.4 half. Super Schissel tipped first over and ranged forward to match strides with the leader nearing three-quarters in 1:25.2. Chin Chin Hall followed from second over and fanned wide at the head of the stretch. Pilot Discretion clung to command as Super Schissel stalled between horses before Chin Chin Hall kicked past the two in progress to a two-and-a-quarter length victory. Pilot Discretion held second while Super Schissel settled for third. A Walnut Hall Limited-bred gelded son of Cash Hall, Chin Chin Hall won his third race from five starts this season and his fifth from 12 overall, earning $259,680. Richard "Nifty" Norman conditions the $4.40 winner for owners Oldford Racing LLC and David McDuffee. Stalking dueling leaders around the final turn, driver Andy Miller sent Yankee Glide gelding Zack's Got The W towards the center of the track to grab victory in the second KYSS colt division. The Erv Miller trainee sat pocket to Manatlas, who passed the first quarter in :27.4. Seven Hills, racing fourth, angled first over and marched towards his stablemate after a :56.1 half. The pair raced side by side when approaching three-quarters in 1:24.4 while Andy Miller moved Zack's Got The W from the pocket to the outside of the battling leaders when straightening for the finish. Zack's Got The W dashed to the lead nearing the finish while Guaranteed, also stalking the leaders, rallied even wider for second. Seven Hills held third. Owned by Ervin Miller Stable Inc, Greg Gillis and Harvey Eisman, Zack's Got The W won his second race from 11 starts, earning $34,120. Fredericka and Elizabeth Caldwell bred the $19.20 winner. KYSS action resumes at The Red Mile on Sunday, Aug. 25 with two $30,000 divisions for three-year-old pacing colts and a $30,000 single 12-horse dash for sophomore pacing fillies. The card will start at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). by Ray Cotolo, for the Red Mile

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The three-year-old trotter, Cesar Duharas, showed that his amazing harness racing track record performance in 1:56.1 at the Hippodrome 3R (H3R) on July 26 was no fluke as the gelded son of Muscle Massive won a division of the Breeders Cup Series again on Friday at H3R. Competing in the $10,000C second race, the third and final leg of the series, driver Pascal Berube wasted no time getting Cesar Duharas right to the early lead with El Bleu (Stephane Brosseau) sitting right on their backs to the opening quarter mile in :29.2. The rest of the field was already five lengths behind the leaders. Opening up on the field some more, Cesar Duharas pasted the half mile mark in :59 with El Bleu still able to stay close in second place. Then after the three-quarters in 1:27.3, Cesar Duharas started to pull away from El Bleu and went on to win in a romp by eight and one-quarter lengths in 1:56.3. El Bleu held for second with Money Hill (Yves Filion) third. It was the second straight win in just five lifetime starts for Cesar Duharas. He is trained by Denis Gueriel and was bred and is owned by Haras De L Estrie, Inc. of Dunham. He paid $2.30 to win. After this weekend, the top eight money winners from both the Breeders Cup Series and the Future Stars Series will return to H3R on Sunday, September 8, for their respective finals with total purses that day at $500,000C. In the eighth race filly division of the Breeders Cup for a purse of $10,000, it was Kinderunbelievable and driver Pierre Luc Roy scored a mild upset over Cor Leo and driver Stephane Gendron. Cor Leo cut the mile from the start and after the half mile, Roy came after them on the outside and was able to duck into the two-hole, then after the three-quarters, Roy came after the leader again and this time, after the final turn, was able to collar Cor Leo and then go on to win by one length in a lifetime best 1:59.3. Cor Leo was second with Claudi P V (Pascal Berube) third. Bred, owned and trained by Denitza Petrova of Melbourne, it was the second win this year for the daughter of Archangel who paid $12.30 to win. In the third race first $7,500C division of the Future Stars Series Friday for two-year-old trotting colts, Major Bay and driver Jocelyn Gendron pulled off an upset victory over 1/5 favorite Kenogami Coco (Tyler Jones). Major Bay cut the entire mile with Kenogami Coco sitting the pocket trip and then Major Bay held him off in the stretch to win by one length in 2:04.1. Master Gale (Jerome Lombart) was third. Sire by Amigo Hall, it was a lifetime mark and the second straight win and third victory in just four career starts for Major Bay. He is trained by Francis Richard for Ferme Auclair-Ecurie Francis Richard, Inc. and Jan Christophe of Auclair. He paid $6.00 to win. The fifth race second colt trot division saw a real dogfight take place early on as Babidibou (Stephane Gendron) would not give the lead away to 1/5 favorite Tuscan Titan (Guy Gagnon) as those two pulled away from the field and battled past a :28.2 opening quarter mile. It looked as if Gagnon could not get his colt to settle down into the two-hole and then he went off-stride. That left Babidibou and Gendron all alone on the lead. They strolled to the half in 1:00.4, the three-quarters in 1:32.1 and came home a 12 and one-quarter length winner in a lifetime best 2:02.4 mile. Tuscan Titan rebounded to finish second with HP Muscle Dancer (Jocelyn Gendron) third. Trained by Maxime Velaye for Isidore Russo of Montreal and Guy Corbeil of Mirabel, it was the first career win for the son of Royalty For Life in four starts and he paid $6.10 to win. The lone filly division of the Future Stars Series for $10,000C saw the race favorite, Emotions Durables and driver Tyler Jones, lead from start to finish and win by one length over SOS Trumper (Jocelyn Gendron) in 2:04.3. Kinnder High Class (Pierre Luc Roy) was third. For the daughter of Wheeling N Dealing, it was her third straight win in four lifetime starts for owner/trainer Cassandra Lecourt of St-Victoria De Sorel. She paid $5.10 to win. Pacal Berube and H3R's leading driver Stephane Gendron each has driving doubles Friday. Both Francis Richard, H3R's leading trainer and Maxime Velaye both sent out two winners on the night. Six of the ten races on Friday saw lifetime mark scored. Track Notes: A late driver change in the Prix d'Ete on Sunday as Eric Goodell is not coming to H3R and he will be replaced on Turbo Hill by Jonathan Drury. That makes the six leading purse money drivers in all of Canada competing in the Prix d"ete. They are: 1. Sylvain Filion ($3,480,641), 2. Louis Philippe Roy ($3,116,294), 3. Bob McClure ($2,881,807), 4. Trevor Henry ($2,550,734), 5. Doug McNair ($2,176,471) and 6. Jonathan Drury ($2,176,550). Post time on Sunday is 1:00 pm. For a free race program or to watch the H3R races, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

INNISFIL, ON - AUG. 13, 2019 - Three-year-old trotting filly Teddys Littleangel made the second trip of her career to Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening and delivered the same result as she did in last summer's harness racing debut, an open length victory in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold action. "She likes this track. She's always raced good up here," said trainer Ted MacDonnell. "She won her first lifetime start up here." Driver Doug McNair fired Teddys Littleangel away from Post 6 and led the field of seven Gold Series hopefuls to a :27.4 opening quarter. Carrying on to a :57.2 half and a 1:26.1 three-quarters, Teddys Littleangel was never seriously threatened and she opened up a three and one-half length margin on her peers in the stretch before stopping the clock at 1:55. Royal Esteem closed well for second, just ahead of third-place finisher Royal Rhythm and fan favourite Bright Eyes M, who settled for fourth. "Dougie (McNair) said that's the best she's been. She was exceptional tonight," said MacDonnell, who trains the filly for owner-breeder Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, ON. "That was a good trip. She had to work pretty hard to get front and then she had enough left. We're really happy with her." The win was the Archangel daughter's third straight in Gold Series action. She was also victorious at Grand River Raceway on July 3 and Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 18. Unlike most of her peers, Teddys Littleangel did not race in between Tuesday's start and the July 18 Gold Series event. MacDonnell gave the filly some time off and then qualified her at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 6. "I didn't want to race her in with old horses and that's the only place that she could race. We tried to get her in at Mohawk and the class, three-year-old fillies, didn't fill," explained Allenford, ON resident MacDonnell. "It worked out fine. I really wasn't too concerned with the lay off because she keeps herself pretty fit." MacDonnell also opted for the lay off because, if she stays happy and healthy, Teddys Littleangel is looking at an action-packed schedule at Woodbine Mohawk Park over the coming weeks. The Simcoe Stakes goes postward on Sept. 6, followed by the Elegantimage on Sept. 14. The last Gold Series event is slated for Sept. 26 and the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will compete in the Super Final on Oct. 12. With Tuesday's win Teddys Littleangel has 158 points and currently shares top spot in the Gold Series division standings with Bright Eyes M. Last year's Gold Series champion HP Titania Runner scored her second win of the season in the other $106,400 division on Tuesday. Starting from Post 6, driver Louis-Philippe Roy eased HP Titania Runner away from the starting gate and settled in sixth as Mattys Smilin reached the opening quarter in :28. Mattys Smilin handed off to Champagne Jane before the :56.3 half and Roy sent HP Titania Runner up the outer lane, beginning their advance on the leaders. Fan favourite Haveoneforme circled from third to first heading by the 1:26 three-quarters and Roy hit the accelerator on HP Titania Runner. Coming off the final turn Haveoneforme and HP Titania Runner were bridle-to-bridle, but HP Titania Runner pulled away in the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:55.3. Haveoneforme settled for second and Angies Luckeylady closed well to be third. "I think she's coming back to what she was last year. Her last few starts were good and tonight she raced large," said Guelph, ON resident Roy. "Credit to her and the team that's working with her every day." Roy drove the E L Titan filly to the win for trainer Raphael Bourassa of Fergus, ON and owner-breeders Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. Georgian Downs wraps up its 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule this Sunday, Aug. 18 with the fourth Gold Series Leg for the three-year-old pacing colts. The colts will be part of the Family Day program, which is highlighted by the annual Hon. Earl Rowe Trot. Post time for Sunday's card is 6 pm. Complete results from Tuesday's program are available at From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CLINTON, ON -  AUG. 11, 2019 - The trip to Clinton proved worthwhile for reinsman James MacDonald on Sunday as he notched a driving hat trick, with two of the wins coming in Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. MacDonald kicked off the afternoon's Ontario Sires Stakes action with fan favourite Halo Its Me, taking the lead early and hanging on for a one-half length victory in 2:00. Blue Magic closed well, but could not catch the pacesetter, and Cambridge Kate was four lengths back in third. "I kind of took my time in the first turn. She was trotting good, but I didn't want to ask her to put Scott (Young with Blue Magic) in behind me so I just let her idle around, let Scott clear, and then as soon as we straightened out I came back around. And the rest is history," said MacDonald, who lined up at Post 3 with Halo Its Me. "She was really strong." Sunday's win was Halo Its Me's second in Grassroots action this season. The Archangel daughter also triumphed in the July 16 event at Georgian Downs. Along with a runner-up finish in the Grassroots season opener Halo Its Me now has 125 points and sole ownership of top spot in the division standings. MacDonald made his first appearance in the filly's race bike in an Aug. 1 overnight at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the Guelph, ON resident is confident Halo Its Me can pad her point total when the sophomore trotting fillies head to the Campbellville oval for their last regular season Grassroots test on Sept. 17. "She raced really well the last Grassroots starter race at Mohawk (Aug. 1). I was impressed with her," said the driver. "Hopefully she can get in a division at Mohawk (Sept. 17) where she can do some damage." Connie and David Chisholm of Brighton, ON bred and own Halo Its Me and Connie handles training duties on the winner of $43,445. Two races later MacDonald picked up his second win in an overnight event with two-year-old pacing colt Macpherson Thunder and two races after that he was back in the Grassroots winners circle with Rebellious Lady. Starting from Post 5, MacDonald fired Rebellious Lady to the front and the fans' second choice never faced a challenge. After cruising through fractions of :30.3, 1:02 and 1:32.3 the Angus Hall miss powered down the stretch to a four and one-quarter length victory in 2:02. Vimy Ridge Venus and Glide N Go rounded out the top three as the rest of the seven-horse field struggled with breaks. "She got out of the gate good and the race was never in question, she just drove forward from there and I never had to ask her," said MacDonald. "Never a worrisome moment, that's for sure." A two-time Grassroots winner as a two-year-old, Sunday's victory was Rebellious Lady's first of her sophomore campaign. Trainer Duane Marfisi leases the filly through his Green And Gold Ltd. of Guelph, ON. The other two Grassroots divisions went to first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winners Witches N Angels and Kashe. Fan favourite Witches N Angels and driver Trevor Henry went straight to the front from Post 6 and never looked back, rolling through fractions of :29, 1:00 and 1:30.1 on their way to a 2:00 score. Warrawee Ultra and Angel Status finished second and third, six and one half lengths behind Witches N Angels. Joe MacIsaac of Freelton, ON trains Witches N Angels for Andy Stewart and Lennan MacIsaac of Inverness, NS and breeder Carolyn Williston of Carlisle, ON. Sunday's win was the Archangel daughter's first of the season. Lightly rated Kashe took full advantage of a late error by pacesetter and fan favourite Splurge On Me to pick up her first Grassroots win. Sitting second-over in the outer lane when Splurge On Me went off-stride, Kashe out-sprinted the rest of the challengers down the stretch to secure the 2:01 victory. Absynthe Hanover was one and three-quarter lengths back in second and Holiday Harlot was two more lengths back in third. Wayne Henry of Arthur, ON drives, trains and owns Justice Hall daughter Kashe, who now has three wins on her sophomore resume. In addition to the Grassroots action, Clinton Raceway fans were treated to a bake sale, barbecue, 50-50 draw and silent auction by the Stratford Warriors on Sunday. The Junior B hockey club raised over $3,000 thanks to the support of their Clinton-area fans. Complete results for Sunday's program, which saw $47,998 wagered, are available at From the Ontario Sire Stakes

SARNIA, ON - AUG. 10, 2019 - Five divisions of freshman harness racing trotting fillies stepped to centre stage at Hiawatha Horse Park on Saturday evening, competing for a total of $117,500 in the third Grassroots Leg of their season, and a trio of fillies scored their first-ever victories in the Ontario Sires Stakes event. The fillies kicked things off in the first race and Enjoyin My Life picked up her first lifetime victory with a 2:00 effort. Starting from Post 8, Enjoyin My Life left the gate smartly and was sitting fourth when Peppas Angel reached the quarter pole in :28.1. After following the leaders to the :59.1 half, driver Ryan Holliday decided to send Enjoyin My Life up the outer lane and the filly had a head in front of Peppas Angel at the 1:29.2 three-quarters. Trotting strongly down the stretch, Enjoyin My Life pulled away to a four and one-half length victory. Peppas Angel finished second and Craving You was four more lengths back in third. "She was good, very professional," said Holliday, who was making his first appearance in the Royalty For Life daughter's race bike. "Nice filly. Trotted good, did everything you'd want." Isabelle Darveau of Flamborough trains Enjoyin My Life for numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. The half-sister to former Gold Series winner Okeanos was a $44,000 purchase at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. Highland Foxytrotr got her second straight Grassroots win in the second $23,500 division. Starting from Post 7 Highland Foxytrotr and driver Alfie Carroll led the field to a sharp :27.4 opening quarter and then yielded to fan favourite Canadian Titan. After following that filly through a :58.4 half and 1:29 three-quarters, Carroll gave Highland Foxytrotr a clear lane and the filly nabbed Canadian Titan at the wire by a nose in 1:59.3. Zebs Flur finished third. "She's a really nice, solid filly and Amanda (Fine) had her sharp," said Carroll, who drove Highland Foxytrotr to the win for trainer Amanda Fine of Guelph and owner-breeder Highland Thoroughbred Farm of Inglewood, ON. "She raced tough." In the third division driver Paul MacDonell employed an off-the-pace approach from Post 10 with first-time winner Mckees Angel. Sitting sixth as Emily Antoinette rang up a :28.4 quarter and 1:00.4 half, MacDonell sent Mckees Angel up the outer lane heading for the 1:29.4 three-quarters. Accelerating off the final turn Mckees Angel was able to circle the leaders and hold off fan favourite Yen for a three-quarter length victory in 200.2. Susies Lady closed hard to be third. "She was really good tonight, excellent," said Ted MacDonnell of Allenford, ON who trains the Archangel daughter for owner-breeder Legendary Standardbred Farms of Mt. Morris, NY. "She's just been a work in progress. Each week she's getting a little better and a little better. She's always shown a nice bit of ability and a nice bit of trot, so we knew it was there. "She has a great pedigree, she's out of a really good family that filly, so we're hoping for things to continue," the trainer added. "Paul's (MacDonell) done a great job with her, so fortunate to be able to have him come here." A full-sister to $860,719 winner Top Flight Angel, Mckees Angel had finished off the board in her first two lifetime starts, a July 23 overnight and the July 30 Grassroots Leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Mag N Roses picked up her second straight Grassroots win in the fourth division, going gate-to-wire from Post 4 in 2:00.3. Warrawee Vulcan finished two and three-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite in second and Credits Celebrity was another length back in third. Mario Baillargeon drove Mag N Roses to the win for trainer Jean Francois Maguire of Carlisle and his partners Julie Malenfant of Carlisle, ON and Richard Legris of St-Charles-Borromee, QC. The Royalty For Life daughter was a $17,000 acquisition from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. In the final division Need An Alibi got a calm, cool steer from Stephen Byron to earn her first-ever victory. Starting from Post 4, Byron eased the filly away from the starting gate and was near the back of the pack when Haven Seelster reached the :28.3 quarter. Moving up the outer lane, Need An Alibi had halved the distance between her and the pacesetter by the 1:01.1 half and as horses started to make mistakes around them Byron simply kept the filly focussed on her work. Third at the 1:31.3 three-quarters posted by Queen M, Need An Alibi was on top as the field turned for home and stayed game for a one-half length victory in 2:02.2. Fan favourite Eternal Jewel finished second and Queen M was third. "She sat on the outside the whole mile," said trainer John Bax. "Going to the three-quarter pole a horse runs on the inside, thinks about coming out and doesn't, the horse in front of us runs, goes out, so it was just kind of like parting of the seas and we went straight through. "He (Byron) just sat there kind of cool and allowed everything to happen around him and he didn't jerk her sideways or grab her up or anything and him being relaxed, she was relaxed," the trainer added. "It was a pleasant surprise. She wasn't the one we thought would pay for the diesel fuel." Bax Stable of Campbellville shares ownership of Need An Alibi with Brilo Farms of Sharon, ON and Dave Hudson of Dallas, TX. The partners purchased the E L Titan daughter for $52,000 at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The two-year-old trotting fillies will return to Grassroots action on Sept. 4 at Grand River Raceway, the fourth of their five regular season events. Complete results for Saturday's program are available at From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - AUG. 6, 2019 - Division point leader Fit Bitt kicked off the third Grassroots Leg for the two-year-old trotting colts at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday evening, battling to his second straight harness racing victory in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON fired Fit Bitt away from Post 8 and the pair trotted by the opening quarter in :29.1. Through a :59.4 half and 1:30.1 three-quarters Fit Bitt was comfortably in charge, and when the challengers came in the stretch the Bob McIntosh trainee was ready to battle, reaching the wire a neck in front of Gretzky Seelster and Tymal Tarot in 2:00.4. "He raced really good. He's a nice little colt, he's pretty quick too. He's just a nice horse," said McIntosh, who bred and owns Fit Bitt in partnership with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. "He showed a lot of talent all winter really. He showed he had a lot of promise, so I'm glad it's worked out the way it has. "I wouldn't say he's a superstar, but he's a pretty nice colt," added the Windsor, ON resident. In three Grassroots starts the son of Muscle Mass and $462,826 winner Armbro Affair has tallied two wins and one second for 125 points and sole ownership of top spot in the division point standings. He will be looking to add to that tally when the freshman trotters make their fourth Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 3. Mr Arch took the second $23,500 division with a front end effort that saw him take control just after the :29.4 half and ring up fractions of 1:01.1 and 1:32.1 on his way to a two length victory in 2:01. Lifeisgood Hanover finished second and Dart Guy was three more lengths back in third. "He got it real easy," said driver Bob McClure, adding that the last eighth of a mile was where the Archangel son showed off his true ability. "Once he got going in the stretch he stopped watching the birds and focussed on his work." Rockwood, ON resident McClure drove Mr Arch to his first lifetime win for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Kempii Stables OY Inc. and Suojalampi Stable Inc. of Delray Beach, FL. The partners acquired the colt from last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $27,000. The quickest mile of the five Grassroots divisions was clocked by Lovedbythemasses, who stalked fan favourite Awsomedabra through the first three-quarters of the mile and then shifted into another gear around the final turn and drew away to a four and one-quarter length win in 1:57.3. Awsomedabra settled for second and Magic Wizard completed the top three. Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON piloted Lovedbythemasses to his second straight Grassroots win for trainer Edward Peconi of Peterborough, ON and his partners Wade Peconi of Stanchel, PEI and Nicholas Peconi of Lakefield, ON. The Muscle Mass son is two-for-two in his young career and currently sits second in the standings with 100 points. In the fourth division Royaltys Odyssey made his Grassroots debut a winning one with a bold three-wide move at the three-quarter pole. Starting from Post 8 driver Jody Jamieson eased the Royalty For Life gelding off the gate and was sitting sixth in the outer lane when favourite Kenogami Coco reached the quarter in :28.2. Still sixth at the :59.3 half, Jamieson sent the youngster out wide heading by the 1:30.1 three-quarters and Royaltys Odyssey powered off the final turn to a three-quarter length victory in 1:59.3. After providing a wind break for Royaltys Odyssey, Youboozeyoulose stayed game for second and Kenogami Coco settled for third. Jamieson drives the gelding for his father Carl Jamieson of Puslinch and breeder Joanne Morrison of Beeton, ON. The rural Milton resident said the gelding has recovered well from minor surgery last winter and will be looking to add to his point total in the last two regular season events. "He needed every day until today to be able to put it all together," said Jamieson. "He may have a big chance at Grassroots glory." The top 20 point earners through the five regular season events will compete in the Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 27, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final advancing to the Oct. 5 Grassroots Championship. The last division went to Magic Bob, who started his provincial career with a pair of off the board finishes at the Gold Series level. The change in competition suited the Kadabra son and driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON, who controlled the tempo for much of the race on the way to a 1:58.3 win. I Got The Looks finished two and one-quarter lengths back in second and Massman was third. Magic Bob's win was the second of the night for New Jersey-based trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman, who conditions the gelding for breeders Melvin Hartman of Ottawa and Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL and their partners David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. Magic Bob's former Gold Series peers will gather at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, Aug. 8 for the third event of their season. The first race gets under way at 7:10 pm and the trotting colts will compete in Races 2 and 6. Complete results for Tuesday's program are available at From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - October 18, 2018 - Preliminary round action of the Harvest Series wrapped up Thursday with two-year-old colts and geldings in action at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 15 pacers and 12 trotters went to battle Thursday evening over four $17,000 second-leg divisions for the Harvest. Shadow Play gelding Shadow Of A Daut launched the evening's festivities with a 12-1 upset in the opening split for pacers. The Michel Rivest trainee and driver Mike Saftic enjoyed a three-hole trip to the half before staying inside behind the leader Mantario, who battled pocket-popper Better Earl to three-quarters in 1:25.2. In the stretch, Shadow Of A Daut had room to come off the rail and powered by to the lead for a 1:54.2 maiden-breaking score. Forever Fav rallied to finish second, beat three-quarters of a length, while Crusher Q was third. Race-favourite and leg-one winner Mantario was fourth. Shadow Of A Daut, a $42,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase, maiden-breaking victory comes in his eighth start and pushes his earnings to $16,055 for owner Claude Poirier. He paid $26.10 to win. Shadow Play colt Carlisimo extended his win streak to three with a 1:54.2 score in the second division. The James 'Friday' Dean trainee and driver James MacDonald got a two-hole trip to the far turn before sliding out and sitting on the back of the first-over challenger turning for home. Carlisimo powered by early in the stretch and went on to win by a length. Sugartown finished second, while Joe McDude and Shrimp And Grits completed the Superfecta. A $13,000 Atlantic Classic Sale purchase, Carlisimo improved to five for 11 in his rookie campaign and has now earned $52,148 for owner Reginald MacPherson. The Dean trainee will have an opportunity to sweep the Harvest Series in next week's final. Carlisimo paid $5.40 to win. All Wrapped Up took the evening's first trotting division to situate himself with an opportunity at a series sweep next Thursday. The gelded son of Archangel was a coast to coast winner in 1:58 for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Rob Fellows. Encarnacion followed in second the entire mile and was defeated by 3 ½ lengths. Esa was third, while Mac N Caps was fourth. All Wrapped Up's second consecutive coast to coast victory gives him three wins in his last four starts and three wins in seven starts overall. The $11,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase has now earned $25,250 for owners Fellows, Arpad Szabo, Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister. A $2 win ticket on All Wrapped Up returned $2.60. Cool Clifford put on a show in the evening's second division, delivered a stunning 9 ¼ lengths victory in 1:57 for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Scott McEneny. The gelded son of Kadabra moved out from third nearing the half, took the lead entering the far turn and proceeded to leave his rivals well behind for the career-best victory. Cool Clifford's blowout score was also his first-career victory, coming in his 10th start of the season. Herbs Journey finished second, while Cousin Peter and Clash were third and fourth, respectively. A $60,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Cool Clifford pushed his career earnings to $44,269 for owners Brad Grant and Martwest Racing Stable. He paid $3.70 to win. Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. All four finals of the Harvest Series for two-year-olds will take place next Thursday (October 25). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Driver Ryan Holliday captured a pair of Grassroots victories at Hanover Raceway on Saturday, capping off a spectacular night that saw the Mount Forest resident win a total of six races. After rain delayed the start of the program by 20 minutes, Holliday kicked things off with a win in the first race with two-year-old pacing gelding Lil Beau Duke and was back in the winner's circle following Race 3 with two-year-old pacing filly Mae Belle Duke, both for trainer Andrew McCabe and owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. In the fourth race, the second of four two-year-old trotting filly Grassroots divisions, Holliday was aboard Angel Status from Post 4 and guided the fan favourite to an effortless four and three-quarter length score in 2:04.2. Kashe finished second and Nifty Trick completed the top three. "She raced good. She's nice and handy and I own her, that's the best part," said Holliday with a chuckle. "Actually all the fillies I drove raced good, but she's nice and handy and has got a bit of gate speed." Angel Status is trained by the driver's father David Holliday and owned by his wife Caroline Holliday, both of Mount Forest, in partnership with Dennis Hannath of Harriston. The win was the Archangel daughter's second in Grassroots action and her third of the season. In addition to her Grassroots victories, she captured her Balanced Image elimination at Hanover Raceway on August 18. With one regular season event remaining Angel Status sits second in the division standings with 105 points and has assured herself of a berth in the Sept. 20 Grassroots Semi-Finals. Holliday added to his win tally in Race 8 with aged trotting mare Flexie for owner-trainer Melville Giles and then picked up his second Grassroots win in the last division with Snooker. The pair went straight to the front from Post 3 and fended off a challenge from favourite Warrawee Ultra to secure the 2:04.2 victory. Warrawee Ultra settled for second, three and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Knickers was another length back in third. "She was good, she got control of the race and win pretty handily," said Holliday of the Gregg McNair trainee. "When you can control the race, and you know they're legit horses, and you're driving for good trainers, it makes the game a lot easier." Guelph resident McNair shares ownership of Snooker with Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. of Harriston and Brian Zong of Downsview, Ontario. The win was the E L Titan daughter's first, but with one second and one fifth in her other two Grassroots outings, Snooker currently sits fourth in the standings with 80 points and will be among the 20 fillies that advance to the Semi-Final. Holliday made it an even half-dozen with a win in the tenth race with aged pacing gelding Mid Town Mickey for Arthur residents Kevin and Patricia Lynn Bodz. The productive night extended Holliday's lead atop the Hanover Raceway driver standings and gave him three big nights on the season over the half-mile oval. "I hit seven here once earlier this year, I think I win five one other night, but this would be the first six," said the reinsman. "It was a good night. It's a lot easier when they go ahead." The other two Grassroots divisions went to Lady Gabbie and Order Mattie. Lady Gabbie scored her first-ever victory with a 2:05.1 effort in the first $18,100 division. The Archangel daughter started from Post 1 and led from start to finish, reaching the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Madam Shazam and Pyrrha. Cambridge resident Dagfin Henriksen drives and trains Lady Gabbie for his partners Gary Volpe and Steve Murphy of St. Thomas, Ontario. Order Mattie moved to the top of the division standings with her first lifetime victory, touring the Hanover half-mile in 2:06.4 for trainer-driver Doug Brown. The Angus Hall miss bested Stonebridge Swift and Msblackdiamondduke by two and three-quarter lengths to add a win to a trio of second-place results in Grassroots action. Brown trains the filly for Todd Coleman of Paris, Ontario and Jackson Wittup of Calgary, Alberta. The two-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 11. The top 20 fillies following the fifth event will advance to the Sept. 20 Semi-Final, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. From the Ontario Sire Stakes          

MILTON, ON - August 30, 2018 - Grand Circuit week kicked off Thursday at Woodbine Mohawk Park with three divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. A total of 28 rookie trotting fillies competed Thursday in three divisions totaling $202,476. Jimmy Takter trainee Susy took advantage of calling the shots on the front to win the first division in 1:55.4. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Susy trotted out from post-five to claim the lead without an issue and posted a :29 opener. Gingras didn't face any pressure in the second-quarter and got away with a :30.3 panel to put the race to bed. Susy opened nearly six-lengths on her rivals to reach three-quarters in 1:28 and finished the mile strong in :27.4 to win by 5 ¾ lengths. Sisters Promise also trotted a :27.4 final-quarter to finish in the Place spot after moving from fifth to second on the far turn. Champagne Jane was third. "She's very nice and did everything right," said Gingras after driving Susy for the first-time. "I was able to have a real cheap half and at the point we just took off and it was catch me if you can." A daughter of Father Patrick, Susy is the eighth-foal from Solveig. She is now two for five and has earned $44,163 for owners Christina Takter and Solveigs Racing Partners. Susy paid $4.40 to win. Ted MacDonnell trainee Teddys Littleangel converted off a second-over trip to win the second division in 1:57.1. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Teddys Littleangel got away sixth and was able to angle out in the second-quarter to follow the race-favourite Fraulein Blucher. Sette Deo rushed fourth to first on the backstretch to lead the field at the half in :59.2 and three-quarters in 1:28.1. Teddys Littleangel was tipped three-wide turning for home and surged by rivals to trot home in :28.2 and win by 3 ½ lengths. Princess Deo followed the winner to grab second, while Cambridge Kate, who led at the opening-quarter, was third. "She's come a long way in a short time," said MacDonell. "It looked like there was few leaving and I saw Chris' horse duck in, so I thought maybe I'll just get in behind him. "I had to wrestle her a little bit and once I got her settled in behind his helmet she was pretty good. She swelled up nice on the last turn and had lots coming home." A daughter of Archangel, Teddys Littleangel is now three for five and all three victories have come in different levels of stakes action (OSS Grassroots, OSS Gold and Grand Circuit). She has now earned $81,755 for owner/breeder Leonard Gamble. Teddys Littleangel paid $14.70 to win. Dustin Jones trainee Tommi Canu Hearme capitalized on miscues from the favourites to win the third division in 1:58.1. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Tommi Canu Hearme got away fifth in the field of 10. Race-favourite The Ice Dutchess and second-choice Speed Titan made breaks before the first turn to change the landscape of the race. Angies Luckeylady called the shots on the front, posting fractions of :28.2, :59.4 and 1:29.2. Tommi Canu Hearme was moved to the outside on the far turn, as Angies Luckeylady was confronted by Avalonia. In the stretch, Tommi Canu Hearme shot by her rivals to snag the lead entering the final-eighth and trotted on to win by three-quarters of a length. Evident Beauty rallied from seventh to finish second, while Grimmie Hanover was third. Tommi Canu Hearme was making her first start with trotting hopples after making a break in an OSS Gold on August 10. "I was a little bullheaded, I should've put them on a few weeks ago and finally we broke down after that last break and put them on," said Jones, who expects Thursday's victory to have a good impact on his filly going forward. "She wears an open bridle, so she can see everything going on around her. She knows she won." A daughter of Royalty For Life, Tommi Canu Hearme broke her maiden with Thursday's Grand Circuit victory. She is now one for four and has earned $40,952 for owners Dustin Jones Stables Inc, Hebert Horses Inc and Sjoblom Racing Stable. Tommi Canu Hearme returned $81.50 to win. Grand Circuit action continues Friday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park with three divisions of the Champlain for two-year-old trotters and a division of the Simcoe for three-year-old trotting fillies. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, August 12, 2018--Odds-on favorite Guardian Angel AS (Jason Bartlett, $3.60) dusted 'em from first-over Sunday afternoon (Aug. 12th), winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $44,000 Open Handicap Trot in track record time.. The weekly harness racing trotting feature went at the flat mile, directly after the four mile-and-a-quarter 'French' races. Away fifth from post position No. 4, the people's preference watched as lass NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr.) made the first lead. He then gave way to Mosinterestingman (Jordan Stratton) at the :27:1 opening quarter-mile. The one found a :56.3 intermission as Guardian Angel AS was out and moving. He engaged the leader in earnest by the 1:25.2 three-quarters, putting him away early in the lane. Guardian Angel AS widened the margin to 2¾ lengths in 1:53.4...a track record for his weight class. It was Mosinterestingman holding second, with In Secret (George Brennan), Homicide Hunter (Brian Sears) and NF Happenstance rounding out the payees. For Guardian Angel AS, a 4-year-old son of Archangel co-owned by ACL Stuteri AB & Kjell Johansson and trained by Anette Lorentzon, it was his fifth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $16.20, the triple returned $68.50 and the superfecta paid $164.50. Sunday's incarnation of the 'New York, New York Double' featured a winning combination of 4-Take Notice (Saratoga's 1st race) and 1-Kennel Buddy (Yonkers' 3rd race), returning $12.70 for every correct $1 ticket. Total pool was $6,867. The next Sunday matinee is Aug. 19th (post time TBA). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Batavia, NY---After a narrow defeat in his first start here, the second time was the charm for Icanflylikeanangel who overpowered the early leader to win the $10,000 Open Handicap trotting feature at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 5). The short field of six was shortened even further with the scratch of last week's winner Dragin The Wagon who called in sick. But the fast five left the gate with usual pace-setter and track record holder Chelseas Chance (Billy Davis Jr.) on the point once again. After a solid :28.3 quarter with the trailers all sitting in, Davis tried to put them to sleep with a :31 second panel as no one would come off the rail. However Icanflylikeanangel (Drew Monti) who had gotten away last, had enough and pulled in front of the stands to make his way up the rim. With moderate acceleration towards the front up the backside, Icanflylikeanangel drew near the leader by the three-quarters in 1:28.3 and the race was on from there. The two trotted around the last turn less than a length apart but when they hit the top of the stretch, Monti woke up Icanflylikeanangel with a spirited drive and hit the wire a winner by a neck in 1:57.2. It was the fifth win in 16 2018 starts for Icanflylikeanangel ($6.80) and it increased his coffers to $48,670 for this year. The 4-year-old Archangel gelding is owned by Joseph Hess and is trained by D Benny Eggers. In the $8,000 Open II Handicap trot, Empire Earl N (Shawn Gray) was a gate to wire winner from the outside post six, besting his five competitors in 1:57.1. It was the seventh win of the year for Empire Earl N ($6.80) is owned by Kim Asher and is trained by Riley Asher-Stalbaum. Driver Drew Monti had a natural Grand Slam on the card, winning races six through nine. Besides winning with Icanflylikeanangel, he also scored with Sara Cola (1:55.3, $10.20), Theresnoway (1:57.4, $5.30) and Stonebridge Marvel (1:57, $6.10) Live racing resumes on Monday (Aug. 6) at Batavia Downs with a first race post time of 5 p.m. This is the only Monday of racing in August. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

JULY 27, 2018 - After capturing a division of the Grassroots season opener, two-year-old trotting filly Teddys Littleangel made a successful transition to the Gold Series with a victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday evening. Starting from Post 4 in the first of three $67,200 splits, Teddys Littleangel landed in fourth as Giving It All took the field of eight to a :28.1 opening quarter. Teddys Littleangel was still sitting in the middle of the pack at the :58.1 half, but driver Paul MacDonell soon had the filly rolling along up the outside behind the fans' second choice Kenogami Darling and she reached the 1:28.1 three-quarters less than four lengths behind Giving It All. Rolling off the final turn MacDonell pointed Teddys Littleangel at the wire and the Archangel daughter powered home to a 1:57.4 victory, holding off a late charge from Silver, who finished one-half length back in second. Royal Rhythm was a length behind the duelling leaders in third. "Well, with a two-year-old you never know what to expect really, but it didn't shock me, she'd been training well heading into it, and hopefully we have her over a few of her little quirks," said trainer Ted MacDonnell of the filly's 1:57.4 effort. "I wasn't even, time wise I really didn't even look at it that much to see, I was just more interested in the win." The mile took almost three full seconds off the 2:00.3 mile Teddys Littleangel recorded in her Grassroots victory at Georgian Downs on July 14 and was the quickest of Friday's Gold divisions. With victories in both of her starts the daughter of Archangel and Pine Knolls has earned $42,825 for owner-breeder Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, Ontario. Friday's victory was not only the first Gold win for Teddys Littleangel, it was the first for veteran horseman MacDonnell. "I've knocked on the door a lot of times, but that's the first Gold win I've had so it was pretty exciting," said the Allenford, Ontario resident, who admitted even driver MacDonell was surprised to hear that a Gold win was missing from his resume. "Even Paul Mac said that, he said, 'No you're kidding', I said, 'No it's true'. I've won big races before, just not a Gold. So that was nice." Teddys Littleangel and MacDonnell will aim to add to their Gold Series win total when the freshman trotting fillies return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 10 for their third Gold leg. A five-time winner of the Lampman Cup as the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, Sylvain Filion is no stranger to the Gold Series winner's circle and he made two more visits on Friday evening. In the second division the Milton, Ontario resident sent Petro Hall straight to the front from Post 5 and never looked back. The fan favourites rolled through fractions of :29.3, 1:00.1 and 1:30.1 on their way to a one and one-half length victory in 1:59.2. HP Bruxelles finished second and Angel For Life was well back in third. "I had seen her race and I baby-raced her early on (June 14) and I always liked her. And I felt that, in the field that she was in tonight, that if I could get her to the front and control the pace that she would be tough to beat," said Filion of the gate-to-wire effort. "She can leave fast and she can settle in good, so that's a big plus for a two-year-old trotting filly." Filion engineered the victory for trainer Victor Puddy of Mountain and owners Lloyd Stone of Portland, James Ruhl of Tara, Dr. Charles Hall of Erin and Michael Kwietniowski of Guelph, Ontario who acquired the daughter of Angus Hall from the 2017 London Selected Yearling Sale for $15,000. Sixth in a conditioned event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 6 and a narrowly beaten second in the Gold Series season opener at Georgian Downs on July 15, Petro Hall has already accumulated $50,200 in her brief career. After donning his mud gear Filion eased Presto Change O away from Post 6 in the last division and sat briefly in third as favourite Strip It Down AS trotted to a :30.1 opening quarter. Heading for the 1:00.3 half the reinsman sent Presto Change O after the lead and the filly had put more than two lengths between herself and the field by the 1:30 three-quarters, a margin she carried through to a 2:00.3 victory. Angies Luckeylady closed well to be second and Strip It Down AS was a distant third over a rain-soaked oval which had been downgraded from fast to sloppy between Races six and seven. "She's not as handy as the other one and she can be a little grabby," said Filion of the Paul Reid trainee. "Last time in Georgian (July 15) we got interfered with leaving the gate, but I felt she didn't trot as good, she didn't get a hold of the track too good, so I think Paul made a few adjustments and tonight she was pretty good. "We got in the three-hole and then the horse in front was trying to pull up a bit and mine was getting a little aggressive so I moved her to the front, and once I cleared it was home free," he continued. "She's a big strong filly, she's still learning. She's not as handy as the other one, but I think she'll learn and she'll be a very good filly later on." Paul Reid trains the Kadabra daughter for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania and through three starts Presto Change O has earned $37,100. Next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Ontario Sires Stakes calendar are the two-year-old trotting colts, who will compete in their second Grassroots event on Tuesday, July 31. The colts will compete in Races 2, 6 and 9 on the program, which gets under way at 7:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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