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Three months after moving to Campbellville after nearly 40 years in Peterborough, the veteran Ontario trainer’s Ontario-sired trotter Hemi Seelster pulled off a stunning 76-1 upset in the Goodtimes Stakes on the Pepsi North America Cup harness racing undercard.   Pepsi North America Cup Night was surreal for John Bax of Campbellville on a number of fronts. Not only did his Ontario-sired pupil Hemi Seelster pull off a stunning 76-1 upset in the $233,000 final of the Goodtimes Stakes against top Grand Circuit horses, the veteran Ontario trainer then presented the trophy to himself. The Goodtimes, for sophomore trotting males, is named for Bax’s former trotting great, a longtime warrior in the open trot at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004 after earning more than $2 million on the track. Bax, 60, said he was numb as he headed for the winner’s circle on June 20 after the Goodtimes. “I just handed (the trophy) to my wife, Vicky. I was there to give it, so I certainly had no trouble standing on the other side and taking it,” Bax said, laughing. Adding to the surreal nature of the night, it took just five minutes for Bax to make the trip home after the races, rather than the usual two- or three-hour trek. In April, Bax moved to the site of the famed standardbred breeding outfit Glengate Farms in Campbellville that ceased breeding operations in 2005. Until April, Bax had been based in Peterborough for his entire 38-year training career — a stint in which he trained the winners of well more than $17 million (trainer records weren’t kept for the first 16 years of his career) and earned a berth in the Peterborough and District Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. “I drove a lot down the road, wore out a lot of trucks,” Bax said. “There were nights when I was heading home at midnight and they’ve got the 401 shut down in the middle of Toronto and you’re sitting there until 1:30 or 2 in the morning trying to get through and back home.” Needing to be up at the crack of dawn to train his stable compounded the wear and tear on the trainer. “I figured it out that if I was coming (to Mohawk) five days a week in the summer, that’s 20 hours plus (on the road),” Bax said. Bax said the move to the west side of Toronto, and closer to Ontario’s most lucrative tracks, only made sense because his 25-year-old son, Matt, is also a trainer. John also credits Matt for Hemi Seelster being in the Goodtimes in the first place. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t even realize at first that (Hemi Seelster) was in the Goodtimes. Matt slipped one by me. He was always high on him,” John said. “It’s his baby and he sometimes, in his youth, gets a little over-stimulated or high on a horse, whereas I’ve been down that road before.” Hemi Seelster, a son of Holiday Road out of Hollywood Beauty bred by Seelster Farms in Lucan, ON, was a $19,000 yearling purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale in London — the exact same price John paid for Goodtimes as a yearling in 1992. Hemi Seelster is owned by John, Matt, John Houston of Cobourg, ON and the Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough. John Bax pegged the gelding as more of an Ontario Sires Stakes horse than a top stakes horses. In against 1-5 favourite Canepa Hanover and 3-1 second choice French Laundry — both from the powerful Jimmy Takter stable — John said he was hoping for a fifth-place cheque with Hemi Seelster in the Goodtimes. But when Canepa Hanover and later French Laundry broke stride, John said he began counting horses in front of Hemi Seelster. “I really wasn’t paying so much attention to who was in front of us so much as the number there were… I don’t know if I breathed down the stretch,” John said. It was the first victory for Hemi Seelster in seven starts this year. All of this comes on the heels of one of John’s best years in the business. In 2014, John trained the winners of some $1.6 million. Two of John’s trainees — two-year-old trotting filly Stubborn Belle and three-year-old trotting filly Riveting Rosie — earned O’Brien Awards as the top horses in their division in Canada. Only 2001, when John earned some $1.85 million, won a Breeders Crown with Duke Of York at Woodbine and earned the O’Brien Award as Canada’s Trainer of the Year, was better, statistically, than last year. Beyond Goodtimes and Duke Of York ($900,000 lifetime), John has trained a long string of Ontario-sired trotting stars over his career, including: Define The World ($1.65 million), Charmed Life ($830,000), Northern Bailey ($775,000), Pepi Lavec ($650,000), Summer Indian ($435,000), Oaklea Odessa ($410,000), Oaklea Omega ($400,000), Elegant Supreme ($380,000) and Aimees Image ($230,000) Though Hemi Seelster is bound mostly for the Ontario Sires Stakes program this summer — of which John Bax is both a huge proponent and, historically, one of its most successful trainers — he said he might take a shot at the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks with Ontario-sired Stubborn Belle (Taurus Dream—Musetta Hanover) in August at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. He said he hopes Ontario-sired Riveting Rosie (Muscle Mass—Rose De Vie Stena) can overcome allergy issues in time to race in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine in October. For now, the trainer is happy to enjoy an easier commute, easy access to Mohawk Racetrack to train horses and Hemi Seelster’s surprising Goodtimes victory. “I suppose at the end of the day it makes that $1,000 or $2,000 entry fee a little more bearable. It gives you a little hope,” he said. Dave Briggs Standardbred Communications Ontario Horse Racing standardbrednews@ontariohorseracing.ca (519) 782-7178   Please visit: www.ontariohorseracing.ca

The Canadian harness racing breeding industry had a stellar day yesterday at Mohawk with several of the day's features captured by stock sired by Canadian based stallions. Leading the way was the evergreen Mach Three who had a day to remember. His three year old daughter Wrangler Magic took out the $479,000 Fan Hanover in 1:50.2 and another daughter in Solar Sister flashed home late for an unlucky third in the same race. Physicallyinclined, a son of Mach Three who missed the North American Cup Final after having no luck in his division last week, showed he wouldn't have been out of it in the big dance when he easily won the $75,000 North American Cup consolation in a sharp 1:49 after starting from barrier eight.  Mach Three progeny also won two other races on the undercard in a timely reminder to breeders of what a great stallion he is. The great trotting mare Bee A Magician was her old self once again, completely dominating the $272,000 Armbro Flight, clearing out for an easy victory in a smart 1:51.4. It was the daughter of Kadabra's 37th lifetime victory and took her earnings to $3,174,386 and it looks like there is plenty more to come. Another Canadian based sire to taste victory on the day was Shadow Play. His outstanding daughter Lady Shadow franked her good form this season with a dominant win in the $350,000 Roses Are Red in a very sharp 1:48.3 It was Lady Shadow's 14th career victory and took her earning to $692,679. The other highlight on the day for Canadian breeders was the victory by Hemi Seelster in the $233,000 Goodtimes Final for three year old trotters. A son of the first crop of the Ontario based sire Holiday Road 1:52.4 ($426,200), Hemi Seelster was aided by a couple of the favourites galloping but he still got the job done in 1:54 Those results yesterday at Mohawk were a timely to North American breeders that  the Canadian based stallions can more than hold their own against all comers. Harnesslink Media

Campbellville, ON --- Hemi Seelster lit up the toteboard, upsetting at 76-1 odds after the heavily favored Canepa Hanover and French Laundry broke stride during this year’s edition of the C$233,000 Goodtimes final on Saturday evening (June 20) at Mohawk Raceway, part of the Pepsi North America Cup harness racing undercard. With the victory, it was an extra special night for the winning trainer John Bax. He not only conditions Hemi Seelster, but he was the trainer of the great trotter Goodtimes. Bax was already in the winner’s circle waiting to present the trophy to the winning connections, who happened to be him. “I am a little numb,” admitted Bax. “I always dreamed that I’d be able to give the trophy to myself and that was a little bit of a pipe dream. Yeah, this was quite a shock.” Hemi Seelster and driver Steve Byron’s trip to the winner’s circle started by getting away fifth as Rubber Duck bolted to the front in the early going. The 1-5 favorite Canepa Hanover made a bid for the lead as Rubber Duck posted the opening panel in :27. Jimmy Takter trainee Canepa Hanover broke stride just as he made the front so Rubber Duck was able to retain the lead. Covert Operative then vacated the pocket on the backstretch, passing his rival after a :57.3 half. The 5-2 second choice French Laundry, also trained by Takter, then took his turn for command, putting pressure on Covert Operative through the far turn. But French Laundry faltered as they passed the three-quarter marker in 1:25.4. Staying just off the constant action at the front, Hemi Seelster was fourth at the top of the stretch, surging past the pack with a :27.1 final quarter to score by 1-1/4 lengths over a late-closing The Bank in 1:54. Rubber Duck faded to third. "When (Canepa Hanover) made a break that sure helped, but I was just hoping to get a good trip and get away close and hopefully see what happens at the end of the mile and it worked out perfect," said Byron. "He's getting more manageable. He is a big strong horse and he showed he could compete tonight." The 3-year-old son of Holiday Road and Hollywood Beauty captured his first win in six starts this year, and his fourth career win in 16 outings. By winning the lion’s share of the purse, the brown gelding lifts his lifetime earnings to C$175,025 for Parkhill Stud Farm, Matthew Bax, John Houston, and Goin To The Show Stable. Hemi Seelster returned $155.10 and $110; there was no show wagering. from WEG Communications

During the winter, harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter said 3-year-old trotter Canepa Hanover could be "a Trixton kind of horse." As summer approaches, Canepa Hanover is doing his best to prove Takter correct. Canepa Hanover is the 2-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's C$233,000 Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old trotters at Mohawk Racetrack. Last week, the colt won his Goodtimes elimination by 11-1/2 lengths over Iron in 1:51.3. The time equaled Trixton's track record set in last year's Goodtimes final. But the similarities don't end there. Both Trixton and Canepa Hanover are sons of stallion Muscle Hill, the 2009 Horse of the Year, and hail from highly regarded families. Trixton is out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994 and sister to stars Conway Hall, Angus Hall and Andover Hall. Canepa Hanover is out of the mare Cressida Hanover, who also produced 2006 Horse of the Year Glidemaster. Trixton sold as a yearling for $360,000; Canepa Hanover for $300,000. Both trotters were limited by growing pains at age 2 and were overshadowed by some of their stablemates heading into their 3-year-old seasons. Trixton emerged early in his 3-year-old campaign and went on to capture the Hambletonian Stakes; now it is up to Canepa Hanover to write the rest of his story. "He's going the same path," Takter said about Canepa Hanover, who has won two of five races this year and hit the board in every start. "A lot of these Muscle Hills, they have tons of ability, but it just takes time sometimes. "Both Trixton and Canepa were among the better horses early (at age 2) but both are very big horses and they couldn't hold the speed together. They just weren't ready for it. You have to have a little patience with them." Canepa Hanover won one of six races last year. His victory came in a Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes prep race in 1:58.1 at the Meadowlands and he finished second in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. He went off stride in three races, including the Haughton final. This year, the colt posted two second-place finishes and a third in his first three starts, then captured the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands and his Goodtimes elim in 1:51.3. Those are the two fastest win times of any 3-year-old trotter this season. "He's definitely a fantastic horse," said Takter, who trains Canepa Hanover for owners Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical Inc., Christina Takter, and the partnership of Sam Goldband, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. "His ability is unbelievable, as good as I ever saw. "You always worry when you have horses climbing this kind of speed staying sound. He already has two (1):51 miles and a couple (1):52 miles. It's tough racing. But he's a beautiful horse." Canepa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras will start the Goodtimes final from post four. He's not Takter's only hope in the Goodtimes, either. French Laundry won the other Goodtimes elimination, beating stablemate The Bank by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:53.3. He will start from post three in the final with driver Brett Miller and is 2-1 on the morning line. French Laundry, a son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi, has won nine of 15 career races and earned $360,269 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Katz, and Libfeld. "He's not the best gaited horse, but he never gives up," Takter said. "He's a warrior. I like him." Following is the Goodtimes field in post order with sires, drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Hemi Seelster by Holiday Road, Stephen Byron, John Bax, 30-1 2. Caulfield by Kadabra, Trevor Henry, Chris Beaver, 30-1 3. French Laundry by Muscles Yankee, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 2-1 4. Canepa Hanover by Muscle Hill, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 2-5 5. Covert Operative by Deweycheatumhowe, Randy Waples, Per Henriksen, 30-1 6. Rubber Duck by Muscle Mass, Sylvain Filion, Julie Walker, 20-1 7. The Bank by Donato Hanover, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 10-1 8. Win The Day by Deweycheatumhowe, Chris Christoforou, Paul Reid, 20-1 9. Olympic Son by Majestic Son, John Campbell, Paul Reid, 30-1 10. Iron by Cantab Hall, Tim Tetrick, Frank Antonacci, 12-1 11. AE - Infiniti AS by Infiniti, Richard Zeron, Anette K Lorentzon by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Harness Racing This Week: North America Cup, Fan Hanover, Roses Are Red, Goodtimes and Armbro Flight finals, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and The Graduate Series third leg, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will be on Mohawk Racetrack this weekend as the Ontario oval hosts five lucrative stakes finals on Saturday night (June 20) led by the C$1 million Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on the card will be the C$479,000 Fan Hanover for 3-year-old filly pacers, the C$350,000 Roses Are Red for older mare pacers, the C$272,000 Armbro Flight for older mare trotters and the C$233,000 Goodtimes for 3-year-old colt trotters. Friday night (June 19) will see Meadowlands Racetrack host the $100,000 third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters and pacers. Two-time Dan Patch Award winner Father Patrick leads a full field of 10 in the trot, while 12 horses will race in the pace, slated for the added distance of 1-1/8 miles. Complete entries for the Mohawk races can be found by clicking on this link. Meadowlands entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $175,000 Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park. Harness racing's longest shining star, Foiled Again, became the first three-time champion of the Battle of Lake Erie when he crossed the wire a winner on Friday (June 12). Approaching the start the 11-year-old was already the richest Standardbred of all-time and became the first horse to earn in excess of $7 million with his triumph. Foiled Again (Dragon Again-In A Safe Place) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables. He is trained by Ron Burke, who called upon Matt Kakaley to drive. Foiled Again started from post five and sat fourth through the :26 opening quarter. Kakaley pulled Foiled Again in the second panel and he remained first-over through times of :53.4 and 1:21.3. Foiled Again took advantage of his chance when Luck Be Withyou, who had led throughout, went offstride entering the final turn. Foiled Again inherited the lead and fought off his competition in the stretch to win by a neck over stablemate Clear Vision, stopping the timer at 1:50.3. The win pushes Foiled Again's earnings to $7,012,531. Five sets of eliminations for this weekend's Mohawk stakes finals were also part of last week's Grand Circuit action. Leading the way were the finest 3-year-old pacing colts on the continent facing off in three Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Wiggle It Jiggleit, In The Arsenal and Wakizashi Hanover all turned in victories heading into this weekend's C$1 million final. The first Cup elimination saw the undefeated Wiggle It Jiggleit, as expected, prevail with yet another dominant performance. Sent postward the overwhelming public choice in the field of eight, the son of Mr Wiggles kept his unblemished record intact, now a perfect 11-for-11, 10 starts of which have come this year already in a very busy campaign. Wiggle It Jiggleit, with driver Montrell Teague, the son of the horse's owner George Teague Jr., busted out from the start, getting the first quarter in :26.2, then slowing to a crawl while still in front, reaching the half in a pedestrian :56.3. From there, it was all over, as the pacesetter turned back a brief challenge from Arque Hanover, getting to three-quarters in 1:23.3, before coasting home by six lengths in 1:49.2. Arque Hanover hung on for second, with Yankee Bounty third and Hurrikane Ali, who had chased the leader early, dropping to fourth. Following the impressive first elim win by Wiggle It Jiggleit, it was heavily-favored In The Arsenal's turn to show his firepower. And he did, but just barely. With Brian Sears at the controls, In The Arsenal tracked from fourth for most of the mile, as Go Daddy Go took the field through a quarter in :26.3, the half in 54.4 and three-quarters in 1:22.3. The son of American Ideal had powered up to challenge the leader off the far turn, struck the front in early stretch, then had enough left to hold off a raft of pursuers, including Penji Hanover, who finished second, a half-length behind, with Good Friday Three third and Revenge Shark fourth, in 1:49.4. With the win, In The Arsenal remained unbeaten in four starts this year, including the rich Rooney final at Yonkers. He has taken 10 of 15 overall for trainer Kelvin Harrison. Wakizashi Hanover and driver Tim Tetrick pulled off an upset in the third and final Pepsi North America Cup elimination, roaring from well back and rolling to a 1-3/4 length win over the 1-5 choice Artspeak. A winner in three of his four outings this year prior to the elimination, the son of Dragon Again got the job done in a career best 1:49.2. Trained by Joann Looney King, Wakizashi Hanover was sixth and widest turning for home before turning on the jets and powering past the leaders. While no match for the winner, Artspeak, last year's 2-year-old pacing colt champion in both Canada and the United States, came on for second, as pacesetter Betting Exchange hung on for third. Split The House wound up fourth. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 203; 2. Brian Sears - 188; 3. Tim Tetrick - 165; 4. Daniel Dube - 157; 5. David Miller - 135. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 321; 2. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 188; 3. Rene Allard - 135; 4. Jimmy Takter - 130; 5. Nifty Norman - 70. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 165.5; 2. Burke Racing - 85.25; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 77.05; 4. Allard Racing - 43.3; 5. Jeff Snyder - 40. Looking ahead: Next weekend will see Grand Circuit action taking place at Meadowlands Racetrack and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The Meadowlands will host a leg of the TVG Free For All series for older trotters on Friday (June 26), while Pocono will have eliminations for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old colt trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old colt pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 27). Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 12 - Canepa Hanover put the entire three-year-old trotting colt division on notice with another dominant harness racing performance Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A group of 13 sophomore trotting colts and geldings were split into two $30,000 eliminations for the Goodtimes Stakes. The first elimination featured New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Canepa Hanover and the Jimmy Takter trainee more than lived up to the hype. Sent off as the 1/9 choice, Canepa Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras trotted out to the lead and posted an opening-quarter of :27.1. The middle-half saw the son of Muscle Hill hang up panels of :55.3 and 1:23.2 before trotting home under cruise control to win by an incredible 11½ lengths in 1:51.3. The impressive clocking equaled the track record of set by Trixton, also a Takter trainee, in last year's Goodtimes final. "He's got crazy power," said Gingras following the race. "He was even better tonight than he was in the sires stakes. Tonight he got over this track very good. At the quarter in :27.1 I felt like I was going :30." The Frank Antonacci trainee Iron finished second, while Rubber Duck finished third. Hemi Seelster and Olympic Son finished fourth and fifth to secure spots in next week's final. Canepa Hanover is owned by Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical Inc., Christina Takter and the partnership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. He now has two wins this season and has not missed the board in five starts. Canepa Hanover, who was a $300,000 yearling purchase, pushed his career earnings to $112,150 with the victory. He paid $2.10 to win. Canepa Hanover The combination of Gingras and Takter teamed up to also take the second elimination with French Laundry. A son of Muscles Yankee, French Laundry followed stablemate The Bank in the second-quarter to the front. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1, French Laundry said goodnight to his rivals and trotted away for an easy 3 ½ length victory in 1:53.3. The Bank finished second to make it a Takter exactor. Win The Day, Covert Operative and Caulfield rounded out the top-five to advance to the final. French Laundry is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The sophomore trotting colt now has two wins from three starts this season. Last season, French Laundry had seven wins from 12 starts. The Takter trainee's career earnings now sit at over $368,000. French Laundry paid $2.30 to win. French Laundry The $233,000 Goodtimes final will take place next Saturday (June 20) as part of the Pepsi North America Cup card. The post positions for the final were drawn following the eliminations. Here is how they will lineup. 1. Hemi Seelster 2. Caulfield 3. French Laundry 4. Canepa Hanover 5. Covert Operative 6. Rubber Duck 7. The Bank 8. Win The Day 9. Olympic Son 10. Iron AE: Infiniti As Mark McKelvie

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Frank Antonacci hopes he can get pumped about Iron, particularly if the 3-year-old trotter sees a favorable change in his fortunes. Iron was a stakes winner in 2014, but also suffered from some bad luck with post position draws and missed a month of action because of complications from what was believed to be a spider bite. This year, the colt jumped a partition in his trailer on the way to a qualifier, but avoided serious injury. “Luckily, he came out of it fine and he’s been doing well,” Antonacci said, adding with a laugh, “If his luck has changed this year, moving forward we’ll be in good shape.” Iron is one of the 13 horses entered in the Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old trotters at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. The field was divided into two eliminations, to be contested Friday, from which the top five finishers in each group will advance to the C$233,000 final on June 20. Iron and driver Tim Tetrick will start from post one in the first elim and are 6-1 on the morning line. Jimmy Takter’s Canepa Hanover, fresh off his lifetime-best 1:51.1 victory in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship on May 30 at the Meadowlands, is the 2-5 morning line choice in the opening division. Takter’s French Laundry, a stakes-winner in 2014 who finished second in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final, is the 3-5 favorite in the second elimination. Friday’s card also includes two eliminations for the C$272,000 Armbro Flight Stakes for older female trotters. Bee A Magician -- taking on the ladies for the first time this year after going 4-for-5 against male rivals -- is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the first division. Classic Martine, who won the Armbro Flight last season, is the 2-1 second choice. Shake It Cerry, the 2014 Trotter of the Year, is the 9-5 pick in the second elimination, followed by Frau Blucher at 4-1 and Charmed Life at 9-2. Shake It Cerry started the campaign by going winless in three races, but enters her elim off back-to-back victories over male foes in the Graduate Series. Iron has started only once this year, winning a conditioned race for 3-year-olds in 1:53.4 at the Meadowlands on June 5. Last season, the colt won the American-National Stakes at Balmoral Park and finished third in a division of the Kindergarten Series. He finished fourth in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, beaten by 2-3/4 lengths by Uncle Lasse. For his career, the homebred Iron has won two of seven races and earned $53,762 for the Antonacci family’s K R Breeding and Robert Rudolph. A son of Cantab Hall out of Ivory Lindy, Iron is a full brother to stakes-winner Lindys Jersey Boy and his family includes Breeders Crown champion Musical Victory as well as Higher Love, who is the dam of Hambletonian Oaks winner Lookout Victory. “He’s got the pedigree and he’s a fantastic looking horse with a great gait,” Antonacci said. “I’m hesitant to say what I think his potential is, but he was a pretty nice horse last year and I think he’ll be a better horse this year. It’s tough. There are a lot of nice horses out there. We’ll just have to see where he falls in. He’s got all the tools to be right up there near the top. “He’s just a physically impressive horse. He really is. That accompanied with his athleticism; for a horse his size, he’s got that 26-second speed, which you need nowadays. As big of a horse as he was, and lanky, he was a pretty good 2-year-old. He’s an improved 3-year-old. He’s got a big runway ahead of him.” Iron is eligible to the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes on Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands. The other Hambletonian eligible trotters in the Goodtimes field are Canepa Hanover, French Laundry, The Bank, Win The Day, and Infiniti As. “Going to the Goodtimes was one of those things we really weren’t sure (we were going to do) until we saw how he came out of the last race and looked at the list of eligibles,” Antonacci said. “I thought it was going to be two short (elimination) fields -- and that actually happened, which is nice. “Hopefully he’ll get two weeks in Canada. We’ll bring him back to the farm and let him miss a week or two and then rev him back up again. Historically most of the horses that win (the Hambletonian) go in with five or six starts under their belt.” Iron is not Antonacci’s only stakes hopeful racing at Mohawk this weekend. On Saturday, the 31-year-old trainer sends Lindys Old Lady to the eliminations for the C$479,000 Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. Lindys Old Lady and driver Scott Zeron got post 10 in the second of two divisions, where Happiness is the 2-1 morning line favorite and Solar Sister is the 5-2 second choice. The first group is headlined by 2014 Horse of the Year JK She’salady, who is 2-5 on the morning line. Bettor Be Steppin is next at 4-1. Unraced at age 2, Lindys Old Lady won her first two starts this season before finishing fifth in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship on May 30. Happiness, who was the favorite in the sire stakes final, finished fourth as The Show Returns won at odds of 40-1. “We were disappointed,” Antonacci said. “I think the two horses that everybody thought would finish right next to each other did -- but we were fourth and fifth. “She came out of it good. She’s been sound. I hesitate to make any excuses. I think she’ll probably have a different kind of race this week from the 10-hole. That was only her third lifetime start. Sometimes that lack of experience kind of comes out.” Antonacci is making an equipment change in the hopes of getting Lindys Old Lady to relax. “We changed her bridle a little bit,” he said. “She had closed blinkers last week; we’ll use some blinkers with holes on it because she kind of got revved up behind the gate and had to slam on the breaks (early in the race) and then move to the front. She had to do a bunch of different things and sometimes that’s hard on a green horse.” Also on Saturday’s card at Mohawk are three eliminations for the C$1 million North America Cup for 3-year-old pacers and two eliminations for the C$350,000 Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers. Wiggle It Jiggleit, In The Arsenal and Artspeak are the morning line favorites in the Cup elims. Radar Contact is the choice in the first elim for the Roses Are Red, followed closely by Anndrovette, Weeper, Lady Shadow and Yagonnakissmeornot. Anndrovette, a four-time Dan Patch Award honoree, has won the last three editions of the race. Venus Delight is the favorite in the second elimination, followed by Krispy Apple, Table Talk, and Color’s A Virgin. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 9 - The $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic headlines an outstanding harness racing stakes filled card this Saturday evening at Mohawk Racetrack. Along with this year's 'Trotting Classic', the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial and the $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes are also carded for Saturday night. In total, over $2 million in purses are up for grabs on the 13-race card. The Canadian Trotting Classic is annually Canada's richest race for trotters. Established in 1976, the 'Trotting Classic' has been won by some of harness racing's greatest trotters, including Armbro Goal ('88), Yankee Paco ('00), Windsongs Legacy ('04), Donato Hanover ('07), Deweycheatumnhowe ('08) and Muscle Hill ('09). Leading the group of seven for this year's 'Trotting Classic' is the Jimmy Takter trained duo of Father Patrick and Trixton. Father Patrick (PP6), last year's Two-year-old Trotter of the Year on both sides of the border, has won 18 of his 21 career starts and is coming into the 'Trotting Classic' off victories in the $340,000 Zweig Memorial and the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship. A son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream, Father Patrick, who will be driven by Yannick Gingras, won last year's William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk and is undefeated in three starts over the Campbellville oval. Father Patrick enters the $682,000 'Trotting Classic' with career earnings of more than $1.5 million. Trixton (PP5), this year's $1 million Hambletonian winner, is looking to defeat his stablemate once again in a rich stakes event and continue his dominance at Mohawk. Driven by trainer Jimmy Takter, Trixton captured this year's Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but never got the chance to go head-to-head with his stablemate as Father Patrick made a break at the start. A son of Muscle Hill - Emilie Cas El, Trixton has had plenty of success at Mohawk this season. He won the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14 and most recently captured the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes on August 30. He also holds the Mohawk Track Record for a three-year-old trotter of 1:51.3. Trixton has won 12 of 18 career starts and is approaching millionaire status with $961,876 in career earnings. Takter is seeking his third Canadian Trotting Classic title as a trainer and second as a driver. He trained and drove Red Xing to victory in 1997 and conditioned the great Kadabra in 2002. While most of the fanfare will surround the Tatker duo, local standout Harper Blue Chip will be looking to steal the spotlight. Trained by Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip (PP2) has dominated the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and has held his own against Grand Circuit company. Harper Blue Chip finished third in the Hambletonian, won by Trixton, and fourth in the $500,000 Beal Memorial at Pocono, which was won by Father Patrick. Steacy will be looking for his second 'Trotting Classic' crown after he won the 2006 edition with Harper Blue Chip's sire, Majestic Son. Most recently, Harper Blue Chip made a rare appearance off the board when he finished fourth in the Simcoe Stakes, but driver Sylvain Filion was happy with the way his colt raced. "I thought he raced really well. He had a real bad post (post position ten)," said Filion. "He trotted large down the lane and had lots of trot at the wire." The luck of the draw was on Harper Blue Chip's side in the 'Trotting Classic', as he will start from post two and Filion hopes to build off that luck. "There's a lot of good horses in there, but we drew good and with a lucky trip you never know." As for what kind of trip Harper Blue Chip will need, Filion believes in a small field of seven the closer the better. "I think you've got to try and be close, especially in a short field like that. If you stay back there probably won't be a lot of early speed, so you will need to be close to the front." The son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin has won eight of 18 career starts and has a bankroll of $547,749. The other four starters in this year's Canadian Trotting Classic are E L Titan (PP1 - Chris Christoforou), Muscle Matters (PP3 - Mario Baillargeon), Il Sogno Dream (PP4 - Aaron Merriman) and Damfoolrmillionair (PP7 - Randy Waples). The 'Trotting Classic' is carded as Race 9 this Saturday night. The $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, which has normally been contested in June, will be making it's Canadian Trotting Classic night debut. 11 of the sport's best sophomore trotting fillies will contest the rich final. Just like the 'Trotting Classic', Jimmy Takter sends out the favourite in the Elegantimage. Shake It Cerry (PP7) has won 16 of 21 career starts and banked over $1.2 million in career earnings. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry was a Breeders Crown champion as a two-year-old and this year has won events such as the Del Miller Memorial and Zweig Filly Trot. Takter will also send out Scream And Shout (PP6 - Brett Miller) and has already won the Elegantimage three times with Southwind Allaire ('03), Pampered Princess ('07) and Lantern Kronos ('08). Completing the field are Demanding Sam (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Tosca (PP2 - Per Henriksen), Riveting Rosie (PP3 - Paul Macdonell), Vanity Matters (PP4 - Scott Zeron), Chivaree Hanover (PP5 - Doug McNair), Sweetie Hearts (PP8 - Randy Waples), Heavens Door (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt), Muscle Babe (PP10 - James MacDonald) and Designed To Be (PP11 - Sylvain Filion). The Elegantimage Stakes is carded as Race 7. The top freshman trotters will also be on display Saturday night. The $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes, for two-year-old filly trotters, features a World Champion in the group of ten that will line up behind the gate. Mission Brief, a daughter of Muscle Hill, won her elimination last week in a World Record time of 1:52.1. Trained by Ron Burke, Mission Brief had equaled the World Record in the Merrie Annabelle Stakes on August 2 at the Meadowlands, but in her Peaceful Way elimination she took sole possession of the World Record with her 3 ¾ length victory. Following the elimination, driver Yannick Gingras said she could've gone even faster. "She had plenty left, she is scary scary fast," said Gingras. "When she raced in the Merrie Annabelle I told Ronnie (Burke) after the race I still have another second...believe me she could've won in 1:51 and change tonight." Mission Brief's connections selected post position five as her starting spot on Saturday night. The other elimination was won by Jolene Jolene, a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jonas Czernyson, in a career best equaling 1:55.1. Driven by David Miller, Jolene Jolene has won three consecutive starts and finished second to Mission Brief in the Merrie Annabelle. She will start from post position three on Saturday evening. Completing the field for the Peaceful Way Stakes are Stubborn Belle (PP1 - Paul Macdonell), Danielle Hall (PP2 - Jody Jamieson), Elegant Serenity (PP4 - Roger Mayotte), Southwind Champane (PP6 - Steve Byron), Dynamite Dame (PP7 - Sylvain Filion), Amoureuse Hanover (PP8 - Doug McNair), Juanitas Fury (PP9 - Steve Condren) and Lady Caterina (PP10 - Phil Hudon). The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 3. Two eliminations were contested last Saturday to decide which ten two-year-old colts and geldings would advance to the final of the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry, won the first elimination in a career best time of 1:54.4. Trained by Takter, Uncle Lasse has won three of six career starts and has never been worse than third. He will start from post position three with driver Ron Pierce. The second elimination went to Lookslikeachpndale, a son of Muscle Hill trained by Luc Blais, in a career best 1:56.2. The 'elim' victory broke the maiden of Lookslikeachpndale and allowed his connections to select their post for the final. Lookslikeachpndale will start from post position two with driver Sylvain Filion. Completing the field for the William Wellwood Memorial are Gifted Way (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Dont Rush (PP4 - Chris Christoforou), Aldebaran Eagle (PP5 - Doug McNair), Habitat (PP6 - Yannick Gingras), Jetpedia (PP7 - Mike Saftic), Southwind Stryker (PP8 - Steve Condren), Wheels Ah Smoking (PP9 - Ake Svanstedt) and Big Rich (PP10 - Steve Condren). The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 5. Also on Saturday, two $35,000 eliminations for the Milton Stakes will be contested. 16 of the sport's finest pacing mares have been split into two eight horse eliminations (Races 6 and 10). The first elimination features millionaire pacing mares Drop The Ball (PP2 - Corey Callahan), Camille (PP4 - Yannick Gingras), Krispy Apple (PP6 - Tim Tetrick) and Monkey On My Wheel (PP7 - Chris Christoforou). Completing the field are Aunt Caroline (PP1 - Scott Zeron), Mattie Terror Girl (PP3 - Scott Zeron), Summertime Lea (PP5 - Yannick Gingras) and Jerseylicious (PP8 - Brett Miller). In the second elimination, Rocklamation (PP8 - Yannick Gingras), last year's Milton Stakes winner, is back to defend her title. Trained by Ron Burke, the six-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover has earned over $2 million in her career. However, Rocklamation is not the richest mare in the field as that honour is held by Anndrovette (PP7 - Tim Tetrick). Trained by PJ Fraley, Anndrovette, who won the Roses Are Red Stakes back in June for the third consecutive year, has career earnings of more than $3 million. The other seven mares in the field are Charisma Hanover (PP1 - Yannick Gingras), Radar Contact (PP2 - Jack Moiseyev), Voelz Hanover (PP3 - Randy Waples), Ferrari Sena (PP4 - Sylvain Filion), Yagonnakissmeornot (PP5 - Jody Jamieson) and Shelliscape (PP6 - Tim Tetrick). The top five finishers from both eliminations will advance to the $286,000 final on Saturday, September 20. This Saturday night, Mohawk will also be holding 'Fan Appreciation Night' The first 1,000 fans on-track will receive a $5 food voucher and prizes will be given away after every race. More details are available at www.MohawkRacetrack.com Post time this Saturday is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 2 - Seven three-year-old trotters were entered Tuesday morning for the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic on Saturday, September 13. With only seven horses entered, eliminations are not required for this year's edition of the 'Trotting Classic.' Headlining the group of seven is the Jimmy Takter trained duo of Father Patrick and Trixton. Father Patrick is coming into the Canadian Trotting Classic off a victory last Friday night in the $340,000 Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs. A son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream, Father Patrick has won 17 of his 20 career starts, including capturing last year's William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk in a Track and Canadian record time of 1:53.4. Father Patrick was named last year's Two-year-old Trotting Colt of the Year on both sides of the border and has earned $1,452,396 in his career. The other half of the Takter duo, Trixton, most recently won the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes last Saturday night at Mohawk. A son of Muscle Hill - Emilie Cas El, Trixton won this year's $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 2. He also found success earlier this season at Mohawk when he won the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14 in a Track and Canadian record clocking of 1:51.3. Trixton has 12 victories in 18 career starts for earnings of more than $960,000. Also joining the Takter duo in the rich final is Ontario Sires Stakes star Harper Blue Chip. Trained by Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip won this year's Canadian Breeders Championship and finished third in the Hambletonian. A son of Canadian Trotting Classic winner Majestic Son, Harper Blue Chip has visited the winner's circle eight times in his career for earnings of more than $547,000. The other four horses in this year's Canadian Trotting Classic field are Damfoolrmillionair, E L Titan, Il Sogno Dream and Muscle Matters. Established in 1976, the Canadian Trotting Classic has been won by many great trotters including, Joie de Vie, Giant Victory, Yankee Paco, Kadabra, Mr Muscleman, Windsongs Legacy, Donato Hanover, Deweycheatumnhowe and Muscle Hill. Also on Tuesday morning, 11 three-year-old trotting fillies were entered for this year's Elegantimage Stakes. Those 11 fillies will go directly to the $409,000 final on Canadian Trotting Classic night (September 13). Leading the group of fillies is Shake It Cerry, a winner of more than $1.2 million, from the Jimmy Takter barn. A daughter of Donato Hanover - Solveig, Shake It Cerry is coming off a victory in the $150,000 filly edition of the Zweig Memorial last Friday at Vernon Downs. Shake It Cerry has won 16 of 21 career starts and has won many notable stakes events, including the Del Miller Memorial back in July and last year's two-year-old filly trot Breeders Crown. Also highlighting the group of 11 is the Julie Miller trained Designed To Be. The daughter of Donato Hanover - Sheer Soul won a division of the $103,845 Simcoe Stakes last Friday night at Mohawk. Designed To Be has won three times and has never been worst than third in seven starts this season. She has seven career victories for earnings of more than $593,000 and has only missed board once in 15 career starts. Muscle Babe and Riveting Rosie are two of four Ontario sired fillies in the field. Trained by Dave Menary, Muscle Babe has won four times in 10 starts this season, including the $178,287 SBOA Stakes on May 31 at Mohawk. She has six wins in 18 career starts and career earnings exceeding $248,000. Riveting Rosie was last year's Two-year-old Filly Trotter of the Year in Canada. She only lost twice last season in eight starts and captured $374,000 Peaceful Way Stakes at Mohawk. Trained by John Bax, Riveting Rosie has not had nearly as much success this season, but recently picked up her first win of 2014 in a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event at Grand River Raceway on August 13. Riveting Rosie has won seven times in 18 career starts for earnings of more than $550,000. Here is the full field for the $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes on Saturday, September 13. Chivaree Hanover Demanding Sam Designed To Be Heavens Door Muscle Babe Riveting Rosie Scream And Shout Shake It Cerry Sweetie Hearts Tosca Vanity Matters Along with the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage Stakes finals on September 13, Mohawk will also have the finals for the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial and the $385,000 Peaceful Way. Also on that evening, Mohawk will be hosting customer appreciation night. Visit www.MohawkRacetrack.com for more details in the coming days. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 27 - Harness racing's finest is taking over Mohawk Racetrack. The annual Grand Circuit week begins tomorrow evening (August 28) with the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies and wraps up next Saturday (September 6). The Champlain Stakes for two-year-olds and Simcoe Stakes for three-year-olds are staples on the Grand Circuit schedule every year. "Having North America's top two and three-year-olds come to Mohawk is exciting and something we all look forward to," said Scott McKelvie, WEG's Racing Secretary and Director of Racing. "The Grand Circuit's annual visit is always a highlight of the racing season." Thursday night three Champlain divisions for more than $83,000 will take place for the freshman trotting fillies. Spirit To Win (PP3), the winner of this year's Pure Ivory Series, leads the group of eight in the first division. A daughter of Cantab Hall - Celebrity Spirit, Spirit To Win has won three times in four career starts for trainer Dustin Jones. The second division features Ontario Sires Stakes standout Danielle Hall (PP6) for the trainer/driver duo of Carl and Jody Jamieson. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe - Debbie Hall, Danielle Hall has won four of her five career starts for earnings of over $137,000. Jolene Jolene (PP1) is the 4-5 morning line favourite in the third and final division. Trained by Jonas Czernyson, Jolene Jolene is a daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie and has one win in four career starts. She was the runner-up in the $352,050 Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands on August 2. The stakes action will continue on Friday night with two divisions of more than $103,000 of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and two $124,621 divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters. World champion Lifetime Pursuit, the winner of this year's Hambletonian Oaks, headlines the group of 13 three-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Lifetime Pursuit will start from post six in the second Simcoe Stakes division (Race 9) with driver Brett Miller. She is coming off a stakes record victory of 1:52.1 in the Casual Breeze Stakes last Friday at Mohawk. Miller and Takter will also team up in the second Champlain Stakes division with freshmen trotting colt French Laundry. A son of Muscles Yankee - Creamy Mimi, French Laundry has won three of his five career starts and will start from post three. On Saturday evening, the $207,689 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters will take place as part of the massive Canadian Pacing Derby card. Precocious Beauty leads a group of nine three-year-old pacing fillies in the Simcoe Stakes. Last year's She's A Great Lady Stakes winner, Precocious Beauty will start from post four for the trainer/driver team of Gregg and Doug McNair. A large field of 12 three-year-old trotters starring this year's Hambletonian winner Trixton will meet in their Simcoe Stakes division. Trixton, who has drawn post eleven in the second tier, will be making his first start since capturing the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 2. Trixton will also be making his first start at Mohawk since he set the track record of 1:51.3 in the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14. Trainer Jimmy Takter will take his usual position in the bike behind Trixton on Saturday evening. After a busy weekend, the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes action will resume next Saturday (September 6) with the $260,000 Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers, the $240,000 Champlain Stakes for the two-year-old pacing fillies and the $240,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers. Racing fans can stay up to date with the Grand Circuit by visiting their Facebook page www.Facebook.com/TheGrandCircuit and all of Mohawk's racing action at www.MohawkRacetrack.com by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Father Patrick is no stranger to overcoming difficult starting spots, and no stranger to providing fantastic finishes. He did both in his most recent performance, starting from post eight at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and winning the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial in a world-record 1:50.2. Post eight produces only 6.7 percent winners at Pocono Downs, the worst figure at the five-eighths-mile oval. On Saturday night, Father Patrick will leave from post nine in the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Post nine produces 8.4 percent winners at the Big M, the second-worst percentage of the 10 starting spots on the gate. Undefeated in five races this year, and the owner of a 14-race win streak dating back to last July, Father Patrick is the 4-5 favorite on the morning line in the 12-horse field. Regular driver Yannick Gingras will be at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter, who also sends out the only other horses at less than 15-1 on the morning line: Trixton, 3-1 from the second tier's post 12, and Nuncio, 4-1 from post seven. "It will be an interesting race," Takter said. "They didn't draw good, but they're good horses so we'll see what happens. Patrick got the toughest [draw] with the nine and two horses trailing, but he can do anything you want; he's so handy." The Stanley Dancer, the final major tune-up for the $1.2 million Hambletonian on Aug. 2 at the Meadowlands, is part of a stakes-filled Saturday at the Big M. The card also includes the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace, $463,300 William R. Haughton Memorial, $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial, $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee, $178,450 Golden Girls, and a $40,000 leg of the Miss Versatility Series. First race post time is 6:30 p.m. Saturday and the Haughton and Meadowlands Pace will air live beginning at 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Father Patrick was last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. He has won 15 of 16 career starts and earned $1.09 million for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group. His victories last season included the Breeders Crown, William Wellwood Memorial, and Peter Haughton Memorial, which he won by 10 lengths at the Meadowlands. He captured his Breeders Crown elimination in 1:52.1, a world-record for a 2-year-old male trotter on a five-eighths-mile track, starting from outside post No. 9 at Pocono Downs. This season, Father Patrick won a division of the Historic-Dickerson Cup and two divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes before sweeping his elimination and the final of the Beal. "His win [in the Beal final] was very impressive," Takter said. "He went in (1):50.2 and Yannick didn't even ask him at all. I was a little worried going into the race that he wasn't stretched out enough. They need that. Now he's got it. It's good to have that. "Patrick is, to me, the perfect horse." Nuncio, driven by John Campbell, finished second to Father Patrick in the Beal, beaten by 2-3/4 lengths. Nuncio, who is the only horse to beat Father Patrick, has won nine of 15 career races and finished second on six occasions - with five of those runner-up efforts coming to Father Patrick. Interestingly, Nuncio's win over Father Patrick came last July 12, exactly one year to the day as the Dancer. "Don't count Nuncio out," said Takter, who trains the colt for owner Stefan Melander's Stall TZ. "He's very good. John has basically nursed him, not to get him fired up, and mentally he's 10 times better than I dreamed I was going to get him. I'm sure from the seven post John is going to test him a little bit out of the gate. He's a hell of a horse. I like his chances too." Trixton, who will be driven by Takter, has won five of six races this year and is making his first start in a race with Father Patrick and/or Nuncio. He won the Goodtimes Stakes in a Canadian-record 1:51.3 on June 14, his most recent outing, and won the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 1:52.1 on May 31 at the Meadowlands. He brings a five-race win streak to the Dancer, with none of those victories coming by fewer than 4-1/2 lengths. Trixton is a son of 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 1994. His family also includes past stars Andover Hall, Conway Hall and Angus Hall. "Trixton, when he has his 'A' game, we know what he can do," said Takter, who trains the colt for Brixton Medical AB and Christina Takter. "At this point, I'm sitting on three really, really good horses. I would be extremely disappointed if I don't end up winning the Hambletonian this year. My goal is to win the Hambletonian." Following is the field in post order for the Stanley Dancer Memorial with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds: 1. Muscle Network, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 15-1; 2. Martiniwithmuscle, Ron Pierce, Joseph King, 30-1; 3. Revrac Harbour, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna, 30-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 20-1; 5. Skates N Plates, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 30-1; 6. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 30-1; 7. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 4-1; 8. Speak The Truth, David Miller, Linda Toscano, 30-1; 9. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 4-5; 10. Well Built, Chris Ryder, Chris Ryder, 50-1; 11. Kapow Hanover, Corey Callahan, Staffan Lind, 50-1; 12. Trixton, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 3-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

This Week: TVG Free For All Trot, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial eliminations, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit spotlight will shine on Meadowlands Racetrack on Friday (June 20) with a $50,000 leg of the TVG Free For All Championship Series for older trotters. A field of seven will go to the post in race 11. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs will host four sets of stakes eliminations on Saturday (June 21). There will be two eliminations in the Ben Franklin for older pacers and the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters and three eliminations in the Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Last weekend's Grand Circuit action was highlighted by the $920,000 Pepsi North America Cup for 3-year-old pacers at Mohawk Racetrack. JK Endofanera, with driver Brian Sears, roared down the stretch to take the Cup, Canada's richest harness race, in 1:48.4. It was the second Cup win for Sears, who took the 2005 edition with Rocknroll Hanover, but the first for trainer Ron Burke and owner 3 Brothers Stables (Alan, Steven and Ronnie Katz) of New York City. Dismissed at 12-1 odds, JK Endofanera, leaving from post nine, came from well out of it, collaring He's Watching and favored Tellitlikeitis deep in the lane. The winning margin was 1-1/2 lengths over Tellitlikeitis, with He's Watching third and McWicked fourth. Mohawk also hosted four other lucrative stakes events on the Saturday evening program. Trixton, the 1-9 choice in the $250,332 Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old trotters, kicked off the evening and lived up to his billing with another facile triumph. Trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, Trixton romped as his odds reflected, scoring by six lengths in a stakes, track and Canadian record time of 1:51.3. Trixton took over from Harper Blue Chip after a half in :55, got to three-quarters in 1:22.4 and floated home in record time. Il Sogno Dream wound up second and Harper Blue Chip was third. Classic Martine snapped Perfect Alliance's attempt at a perfect season by capturing the $244,720 Armbro Flight Stakes for older trotting mares. After following in third, Classic Martine found open racetrack at the top of the stretch. The Chris Oakes trainee dug in, trotting past Perfect Alliance just strides before the wire to win by a length. The mare stopped the clock in 1:52.1, which was a fifth of a second off the stakes record. Perfect Alliance finished second and Rockin With Dewey was third. The classy veteran pacing mare Anndrovette showed she was all heart by completing the three-peat in the Roses Are Red stakes. Anndrovette was pushed hard off the gate by driver Tim Tetrick and got to the front near the quarter pole. Leading the group of mares in the $303,600 event, Anndrovette took the field down to the three-quarter pole in 1:21.4 with Somwherovrarainbow and driver Brian Sears pressuring first-over. The two mares would then hook up in the stretch with Somwherovrarainbow taking a slight lead, but Anndrovette was dead game, fighting back on the inside to retake the lead and win the Roses Are Red in 1:49.1. Rocklamation wound up third in the mile. Trainer Jimmy Takter scored his second stakes wins on the card with Uffizi Hanover in the $420,900 Fan Hanover final for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Into the lane, Uffizi Hanover was angled out of the pocket spot by driver David Miller. Nat A Virgin and Uffizi Hanover battled for the lead and it was Uffizi Hanover who was victorious by 1-1/4 lengths. The 8-5 favorite stopped the timer in 1:50.4. Nat A Virgin was second and Take That Hanover was third. The $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity Pace was the feature of last Friday night's card at the Meadowlands and served as the stage for the successful return to the races of two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous. Saddled with post ten for his seasonal debut, Captaintreacherous was sent away from the gate by Tim Tetrick, improving to a mid-field tuck in fifth as first Word Power and then Apprentice Hanover led past the opening quarter in :26. Tetrick tipped Captaintreacherous at about the three-eighths mark and within a few strides had the lead at the half in :54. A :28.2 breather in the third panel was all he needed to get home as Captaintreacherous responded to Tetrick'a urging when Sunfire Blue Chip approached head-stretch and then held stablemate Odds On Equuleus safe by a length in 1:49.2. Dovuto Hanover was third. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 341; 2. Yannick Gingras - 328; 3. Ron Pierce - 215; 4. Brian Sears - 165; 5. George Brennan - 164.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 527.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 225; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Joe Holloway - 132; 5. Julie Miller- 110. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 2. Burke Racing - 112.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 104.8; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 82; 5. Brad Grant - 49.5. Looking ahead: Next weekend Grand Circuit action will be taking place at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Mohawk Racetrack. Pocono will have the finals for the Ben Franklin (older pacers), Earl Beal Memorial (3-year-old male trotters), Max Hempt Memorial (3-year-old male pacers) and James Lynch (3-year-old filly pacers) on Saturday (June 28). On Monday (June 30), Mohawk will host a leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Perfect Alliance puts her perfect 10-for-10 record this season on the line in the first of two Armbro Flight eliminations for older female trotters Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. The 4-year-old Perfect Alliance is coming off a world-record 1:51.2 win over 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician on May 19 in a division of the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine. The time is the fastest by a 4-year-old female trotter on a mile racetrack. She is the 3-5 morning line favorite in her elimination, which also includes Upfrontluckycarol, Intense America, Rockin With Dewey, Ma Chere Hall, Bax Of Life, and Lady Laker. Perfect Alliance starts from post seven with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Julie Miller. Perfect Alliance had totaled two wins in 18 starts at ages 2 and 3 before bursting onto the scene this season with wins in the Singer Memorial Series and Bobby Weiss Series. "She couldn't be much better," Gingras said. "She's done everything asked of her and has been very impressive. I couldn't be happier with her." Gingras, who also is the regular driver of 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older female trotter Maven, has been driving Perfect Alliance since Andy Miller was injured in an accident in April. Maven just recently returned from Sweden, where she finished sixth in the international invitational Elitlopp. "I think (Perfect Alliance) fits really well (with the top older female trotters) off that last start," Gingras said. "You really don't know until they go out and do it, but she had raced very well and I felt she had some more. I was very happy to find out she did." Four-year-old Bee A Magician is the 6-5 favorite in the second Armbro Flight elimination, with Classic Martine the second choice at 8-5. It will be Bee A Magician's second start of the campaign after going 17-for-17 last season on her way to Horse of the Year honors in both the U.S. and Canada. She is trained by Nifty Norman and driven by Brian Sears. Chris Oakes' Classic Martine, another 4-year-old, has won all three of her starts this season, including her division of the Miss Versatility in 1:52.2. One race earlier, she won in 1:51.2 at Pocono Downs to become the fastest 4-year-old female trotter on a five-eighths-mile oval. The remainder of the second Armbro Flight elim field is Angies Lucky Star, Charmed Life, Daylon Miracle, and D'Orsay. * * * Trainer Joe Holloway sends out the favorites in each of Saturday's two eliminations for the Roses Are Red Stakes at Mohawk. Shebestingin is the 2-1 morning line pick in the first division and Somwherovrarainbow is the 4-5 selection in the second elim. Somwherovrarainbow has won six of eight races this year, including the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final, and was last seen pacing the fastest mile ever by a female pacer on a five-eighths-mile track when she won in 1:48 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She brings a three-race win streak to Mohawk. Shebestingin, who happens to be the fastest female pacer in history thanks to her 1:47 win last year at The Red Mile, is returning to stakes action after being scratched from the Betsy Ross Invitational because of a fever on May 25. She has won two of four races this season, with one second-place finish. She finished fifth in the mares preferred at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 1. "These girls can rock," Holloway tweeted recently. (Follow @joehollowaystab). "Rainbow is feeling very good and trained well," he texted Wednesday. "I hope Sting rebounds; she might still be off her game some from being sick." Anndrovette, the three-time Dan Patch Award winner for best older female pacer, is the 5-2 second choice in the first elimination. She won the Betsy Ross in 1:50.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "Rumors of her demise are premature," co-owner Jeffrey Bamond quipped after Anndrovette picked up her second win in seven starts this season. Also in the first elim are Jerseylicious, Charisma Hanover, Summertime Lea, Shelliscape, and Drop The Ball. Joining Somwherovrarainbow in the second elimination are Krispy Apple, Rocklamation, Monkey On My Wheel, Voelz Hanover, Yagonnakissmeornot, and Camille. * * * Precocious Beauty, who was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female pacer, was among 14 horses entered in the Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. The group was split into two seven-horse eliminations, to be contested Saturday, with the top five finishers from each division advancing to the final. Sent out by the father-and-son team of trainer Gregg McNair and driver Doug McNair, Precocious Beauty is in the second elim. She is coming off a 1:52.4 win in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs last weekend in her seasonal debut. She is owned by breeder Jim Avritt Sr., who was looking forward to her campaign. Precocious Beauty has won eight of 12 lifetime starts and finished worse than second just once. She is unbeaten in four starts at Mohawk, where last year she captured the She's A Great Lady Stakes and divisions of the Champlain and Eternal Camnation stakes. Precocious Beauty is the 2-1 morning line favorite in her elimination. The rest of the second elim is Rock N Roll Xample, Mamas Fallen Angel, Table Talk, Major Dancer, Lady Shadow, and Bahama Blue. Uffizi Hanover, who won the 2013 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female pacers, is in the first elim. She is joined by Take That Hanover, Barefoot Beauty, Nat A Virgin, Beach Gal, Wanna Rock N Roll, and Fancy Desire. Beach Gal, who beat older horses her last time out, is the 5-2 morning line choice. She finished third in last year's She's A Great Lady. * * * There are two eliminations Friday for the Goodtimes Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. Elim No. 1 features 2013 New York Sire Stakes champion Flyhawk El Durado, who is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Trained in the U.S. by Mark Ford, he races out of the stable of Jeff Gillis in Canada. The colt has a win and two third-place finishes in three starts this season. Entranced, trained by co-owner Garth Gordon, is the second choice at 9-2. He is coming off a second-place finish to Massive Talent in a division of the Ontario Sire Stakes. Massive Talent, from the barn of Nifty Norman, is 9-1 in the same Goodtimes elim. Thomas Durand's Hitchin A Ride, another Ontario Sire Stakes winner last week, is 5-1. The rest of the field is Massacaia, Musical Spell, Skates N Plates, Verdi, Il Sogno Dream, and So Not Cool. The second elim features Jimmy Takter's New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Trixton, who has won three in a row since finishing second to Odds On Amethyst in his seasonal debut. Trixton's three wins are by a total of 22 lengths. He is the 3-5 morning line choice. Harper Blue Chip, trained by Mark Steacy, is the second pick at 6-1. Last year, he won a division of the Champlain Stakes and finished second to Father Patrick in the Wellwood Memorial. Pasadena Star, trained by Bob McIntosh, also won a division of the 2013 Champlain and has won six of nine starts in his career. Lightly raced Speak The Truth, from the stable of Linda Toscano, won a leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes in May. The remainder of the field is Adversity, Dontcheatonmenow, Mister B's Way, Sas Warkentin, See The Wind, and Raise The Curtain. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Mohawk Raceway hosted Canada's richest night of harness racing for the 2013 season with the North Amercia Cup Night Saturday. Purses for the evening's program totaled more than $2 million with six major events headlined by the $1,000,000 30th annual North America Cup Final for three-year-old pacing colts.

Ok racing fans, after three weeks I have picked horses in 16 race with only 7 winners, but I picked three of the five race winners last week and broke dead even so we are still at a profit of $7.80 for this weekend.

It took this guy some time to come around, but now that he knows he is not the one in charge, 3-year-old trotting colt Denver is showing a world of promise at the right time.

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