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MILTON, December 21, 2018 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to extend condolences toharness racing trainer Mark Steacy and the connections of the five Standardbreds lost in Friday morning's tragic barn fire at nearby First Line Training Centre. In this time of emergency, Woodbine Mohawk Park has made available its backstretch barn area for the surviving horses. As of Friday morning, a total of 26 horses trained by Mark Steacy are currently being stabled in Mohawk Park's Barn Eight. "Everyone at Woodbine Entertainment was devastated to wake up Friday to the news of the barn fire at First Line Training Centre," said Jessica Buckley, President of Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We're grateful that so many horses survived the fire and that we can make our barn area available for the horses and the Steacy stable during this difficult time. "Woodbine offers our sincerest condolences to all the connections of the horses lost and everyone impacted by this tragic event." The five horses lost in Friday's barn fire were Pearl Blue Chip (three-year-old pacing filly), Mademoiselle Tammy (two-year-old pacing filly), Rap Royalty (two-year-old gelded trotter), Miss Wheely (yearling filly) and Irma (yearling filly). Woodbine Mohawk Park will hold a moment of silence in memory of the horses lost ahead of Friday evening's card of live racing. Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment

With a 26 point lead in the standings, Mark Steacy has all but locked up his third straight Johnston Cup title as the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Among the horses propelling Steacy toward his third honour are the 13 Grassroots competitors set to battle in this week's Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, six in the two-year-old event on Thursday and seven in Friday's three-year-old event. Three of those hopefuls lead their division after the five regular season events - two-year-old trotting colt Royale Elite, three-year-old pacing colt Hudson Phil and three-year-old pacing filly Hello Love. "(Thursday) my best chance, I think, is Freya Seelster," said the trainer of his two-year-old entries. "She's been pretty good and really hasn't done anything wrong up until now, and she drew a good post and all, so I think that she's probably my best chance." Two-year-old pacing filly Freya Seelster will start from Post 1 in the eighth race on Thursday, the first of the two $20,000 pacing filly Semi-Finals. The daughter of former Steacy trainee Sunshine Beach is a perfect two-for-two in Grassroots action and has not missed the top three in five starts. James MacDonald will steer the filly for Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. Division point leader Royale Elite will also start from Post 1 in the first freshman trotting colt Semi-Final, while Rap Royalty gets Post 1 in the second trotting colt showdown. MacDonald will pilot both youngsters, along with trotting filly Pyrrha from Post 9 in the ninth race and pacing colts Ahi from Post 2 in the tenth race and Moonshine Kisses from Post 10 in Race 12. On Friday, Steacy believes the stable has serious contenders in every division they have entrants - pacing colt, pacing filly and trotting colt. "I think in the three-year-olds (Friday) we've got a couple chances," noted the Lansdowne resident. "Hello Love, and if the trotters Jammin Jack and Majestic Fire behave themselves they look pretty good too." The horseman is also not counting out three-year-old pacing colt point leader Hudson Phil, who will be hampered by Post 9 in the tenth race. "He drew bad. I was thinking that he had a real decent shot too, and maybe still does," said Steacy. "Or maybe get fifth or fourth and make it to the final and redraw again, because he deserves better." Hudson Phil went three-for-three in Grassroots action for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. The Shanghai Phil son also captured the Quebec Breeders Cup Series Final at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres on Sept. 9. Stablemate Jonathan Quick will start from Post 7 in the other three-year-old pacing colt Semi-Final, which goes postward in Race 4. A total of three trotting colts from the Steacy barn will be looking to advance to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship. Northern Ruler and Jammin Jack will make their bids from Posts 4 and 5 in the first Semi-Final and Majestic Prince will take his shot from Post 4 in the second split. Jonathan Drury will steer Northern Ruler, while MacDonald handles the driving assignment on all the other Steacy trainees. While Steacy is optimistic about the trotters' chances now that the entries are complete, he was far less confident last week. All three colts were required to qualify after making breaks in the last regular season Grassroots event, contested over a heavy, rain-soaked Woodbine Mohawk Park oval on Sept. 10. Northern Ruler and Jammin Jack accomplished the task in one shot, touring the Grand River Raceway half-mile in 2:04 and 2:04.1, respectively, on Sept. 12, but Majestic Fire made another error on Sept. 12 and had to try again at Woodbine Mohawk Park the following day. Fortunately the second time was the charm and MacDonald teamed the trotter to a flawless 1:58.4 clocking. "Since the last qualifier we've just been quite easy on them, and hopefully they've got it down pat now," said Steacy ruefully. "Jammin Jack's always been a little tricky, but Majestic Fire has been pretty good. He's been pretty safe all along, and all of a sudden he just got out of whack there for two or three starts, right when he needed to be good. "I think they should fine, and I think they're just as fast as anything in the division as long as they behave," the trainer added. Sophomore pacing fillies Hello Love and stablemate Lady Bubbles sit one-two in the point standings and will start from Posts 5 and 3 in their respective Semi-Finals. "(Lady Bubbles) is a real trier, she just gives 100 per cent all the time and she seems to always be right there in all these Grassroots," noted Steacy. "And Hello Love, right now I think she's as good as she's been." Division leader Hello Love heads into Friday's Semi-Final on a two-race win streak and has not been worse than second since late July. The Shadow Play daughter is owned by Landmark 10 Racing Stable of Kingston, Ontario, J and T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta and Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec. Steacy said getting each of the 13 trotters and pacers to the Grassroots Semi-Finals has required countless hours of hard work and attention to detail from his first-class staff, along with a healthy dose of racing luck. As the post-season gets under way, the horseman is simply hoping the hard work pays off and there is a bit more luck to be found. Post time for both the Thursday, Sept. 20 and Friday, Sept. 21 programs at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7:10 pm. The two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finalists will compete in Races 2, 3 and 7 through 12 on Thursday while the three-year-olds wage their Friday evening battles in Races 2 through 7, 9 and 10. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will return to the Campbellville oval for the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championships. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Ontario's exciting two-year-old trotting colts and geldings were in the spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening and delivered thrilling finishes in all three $19,500 Grassroots divisions. Royale Elite opened the stakes program with 1:58.3 victory from Post 3 that saw him roar down the stretch to nab fan favourite and pacesetter Judge Ken at the wire by a neck. Arcanum was well back of the duelling leaders in third. "The other divisions went faster, but the way he won tonight, it was very impressive," said driver James MacDonald. "It got backed up pretty good in the last turn, I had to back him out around, and usually with an aged horse if you have to back them up it's tough to get them rolling again, and he did it just like a pro. I backed him out around and as soon as he saw daylight he took off. I was really impressed with the way he fought right to the wire." "He's a nice colt, great gait, and you can do whatever you want with him," added the Guelph resident, who crafted the win for trainer Mark Steacy and owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The mile was a personal best for Royale Elite, who also scored Grassroots victories in the July 17 season opener at Georgian Downs and in the Aug. 11 event at Hiawatha Horse Park. A third in the July 31 contest at Woodbine Mohawk Park gives the Royalty For Life son a total of 162 points and ownership of top spot in the division standings. In the second division fan favourites A Royal Line and driver Trevor Henry left smartly from Post 5 and tucked in behind second choice Windsong Patriot through fractions of :28, :58.1 and 1:27.4. Turning for home Henry tipped A Royal Line to the outside and the chestnut gelding steadily reeled in the leader, reaching the wire one-half length on top in a personal best 1:56.4. Cousin Peter was well back in third. "Royal is getting better every week, stronger and smarter," said Henry, who was also part of the stretch duel in the first division aboard Judge Ken. "Judge Ken raced well too. He just got picked off, but that's racing." Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh conditions A Royal Line for his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. Windsor resident McIntosh also bred the son of Royalty For Life and Direct Dial. Like Royale Elite, A Royal Line was victorious in the July 17 and Aug. 11 Grassroots events, but he tried his hand in the Gold Series for the second event so sits behind Royale Elite in the standings with 150 points. As the gate swept away from the field in the third division it was Lariat Seelster and Magical Journey from Posts 8 and 9 that led the way into the first turn. Magical Journey took the early lead, reaching the quarter in :28.2, then yielded to Lariat Seelster heading for the :57.4 half. Lariat Seelster hit the three-quarters in 1:28 and as the pair turned for home Magical Journey mounted his attack. The pair battled tooth and nail down the stretch, with Lariat Seelster holding on by a stubborn head in a personal best 1:57.4. Rap Royalty was two lengths back in third. "Not gonna let that guy by me, you know, so that's good," said trainer Bob Young. "We've been waiting for him to break loose, and tonight he broke loose." Roger Mayotte piloted the Kadabra gelding to his second straight win for Guelph resident Young and his partners Robert Deveau of Toronto, Frank Chiaravalloti of Downsview and Jaftica Stable of Guelph. The long-legged youngster, a $54,000 acquisition from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale, was also victorious in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 27. "He's a Mohawk horse. I told my guys that own him, he's not going to any track but Mohawk, he's just too big a horse," said Young of his decision to race the colt in an overnight rather than in the Aug. 11 Grassroots event at Hiawatha Horse Park. "That was our game plan from day one and that's what we've done." With Monday's victory and a fourth-place result in the July 31 Grassroots event at the Campbellville oval, Lariat Seelster has accumulated 58 points, which should assure him of a berth in the Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 20. The gelding's peers will have one last opportunity to accumulate points in the regular season finale over Grand River Raceway's half-mile surface on Sept. 12. The top 20 point earners following the last event will advance to the Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final earning a berth in the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship. The three-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their Grassroots regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park this Thursday, Sept. 6, competing in Races 1, 9 and 10. The fillies will kick things off at 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - August 24, 2018 - Trainer Mark Steacy sends a trio of freshmen pacing fillies in Saturday's $251,347 Eternal Camnation Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Beach Bar, Tarryn A Strip and Abuelita Hanover race in the first, second and third divisions, respectively, and will look to make noise in Mohawk Park's first of several Grand Circuit events for two-year-old pacing fillies. "Usually I don't have that many pacing fillies," Steacy said. "I've had one or two colts or one colt, one filly but never a group of three. I actually have an Ontario bred that's not too bad, too, so we have four pretty nice pacing fillies." Beach Bar starts the stakes evening for Steacy from post-eight in the $84,116 first division of the Eternal Camnation. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere has started from that same post in her last two starts, with her most recent resulting in an off the pace fourth-place finish in the $37,000 Whenuwishuponastar. "She's actually a handy little filly but she's been handicapped with the outside hole pretty much every start she's had so far including this week," Steacy said. "I'm not one to like to fire them in their first few races, too. I like to sit back and teach them how to come from behind, so I don't force my drivers to be too hard on them at the start of the race in their first three or four starts." Driver Paul MacDonell, back in the bike for owners Robert and Shelly macmillan and Frederick Hertrich III, sent Beach Bar for a top spot in her second start career and finished second by a neck. "She's got his nice little brush to her--she seems to try real hard at the end," Steacy said. "She's probably the handiest of the three right now--she's the smallest, but probably the handiest. And I think she's the gutsiest of the three right at the moment." Tarryn A Strip starts from post-three in the second division. She enters off a sixth-place finish in the Whenuwishuponastar final, which saw her suffer interference entering the backstretch from a halting leader. "I think [the interference] hurt her a lot," Steacy said. "The horse [in front of her almost] made her come to a complete stop. We scoped her after and she did scope just a touch sick that day. So just [with] the combination of both, she just wasn't as good as she can be. She was quite good in her other starts and in her qualifiers so I expect a lot more from her this week. Steacy noted that Tarryn A Strip seemed to clear up after being treat with antibiotics following her last start and trained well earlier this week. "She trained [Wednesday] in 2:06 and she trained quite well; they all actually trained together yesterday and all three of them were very good. I think she's going into this race a lot healthier for sure." Sylvain Filion, who drove the daughter of Captaintreacherous in her most recent start, sent Tarryn A Strip for the lead from the rail after the filly has raced her previous two starts from off the pace. "She drew inside and Sylvain [Filion] had sat behind her the week before, so he just thought she could get away a lot better," Steacy said. "And he did that but it didn't work to her benefit since that horse stopped dead in front of him." Driver James MacDonald hops behind Tarryn A Strip for owners Glenview Livestock Ltd. and Cheryl Cherry. Steacy's final starter, Abuelita Hanover, races from the rail with MacDonald driving. Steacy also owns the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere with partners Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. and Howard Pearce. "I thought she was a nice-looking yearling when I bought her; good size," Steacy said. "I liked that [the broodmare] had a couple of Yankee Cruisers that sold for no money at all. I didn't know the horses, but they all turned out to be nice horses. So I was hoping that Somebeachsomewhere would step the mare up and that this girl would be much better. "She broke really nice," Steacy also said. "She looked great on the trot [but] when I switched her to the pace she didn't respond very well--she crossfired, got on a shaft; she was really ill gaited for a while. But the farther she trained down, the better gaited she got and she had a lot more speed training down." Abuelita Hanover avoided the interference in the Whenuwishuponastar. However, the filly veered wide and tracked cover from Key West to finish fourth in a dead heat with Beach Bar. "She felt really good following," Steacy said. "She felt really strong going into the stretch. [James MacDonald] may have pulled her a little earlier than he probably had to but only because she felt so good, he said. When he did pull her out she kind of hung a little bit. Steacy said Abuelita Hanover scoped with minor sickness two starts back in the second preliminary for the Whenuwishuponastar and placed her on antibiotics following that start. "I was just thinking that she maybe was just not quite cleared up," Steacy said of her performance in the Whenuwishuponastar. "When she qualified she was strong right through the wire and even in her first race she was strong through the wire. She was real strong training with the other two and was very powerful right through the wire. She drew a good post position so I'm hoping she steps up pretty good this week." The three divisions of the Eternal Camnation go alongside three splits of the $276,651 Nassagaweya Stakes for rookie pacers and two $40,000 eliminations for the Maple Leaf Trot. Post time for the 13-race card is set for 7:10 p.m. To view the program for Saturday's card, click here. By Ray Cotolo, for Woodbine Communications          

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Perhaps a preview of the $65,000 Breeders Cup final for harness racing three-year-old pacing colts will take place at the Hippodrome 3R this Sunday. There may be only seven entered in the 8th race, the second round of the Breeders Cup Series for a purse of $10,000, but what a tough field it is. Featured will be Hudson Phil from post two for driver Clarke Steacy. Currently on a two-race winning streak, Hudson Phil just won an Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots division at Rideau Carleton last week in 1:52.3. The prior week he sizzled at H3R, setting a track record with his 1:53.2 triumph. Then in post seven is last year's Quebec Champion, Stock, who will be driven by Stephane Brosseau. He has won two of his last three starts and at H3R led from start to finish by 15 and three-quarter lengths in 1:54.2. Kinnder Jackson, from post five, has been a local favorite and he boasts five wins in his six starts this year and last week scored in 1:56.1 for driver Justin Filion. Also, coming off a victory at H3R is D Gs Onceuponatime, who starts from post six for driver Jonathan Lachance. He just won in 1:58. Rounding out the field at Big Mach (post one), who has been a game second in his last two starts, Power Fog (post three), and Chloes Master (post four). The fillies get underway with two $7,500 division in race two where the favorite is Katniss S BG from post six for driver Pascal Berube. She won an opening round division in 1:57. Starting alongside Katniss S BG in post seven is All You Can Dream with driver Stephane Brosseau. She was an impressive winner last week in 1:56.3. Other contenders include Miss Rockadali (post two) and Lit De Rose (post one). The fifth race second division for fillies will be a great battle between Butterfly BG (post one), who wired the field in the first round for trainer/driver Guy Gagnon in 1:56.2. They will be taking on Ontario invader Sharks Summrshandy, who had been competing at Woodbine-Mohawk Park and ships in off a 1:54.2 triumph. Also entered are Lune Bleu (post three) and Roxane (post four), who are tough contenders. There is also a great lineup in the third race, the Invitational-Handicapped Pace. Feature is Three-Time Quebec Champion, Atomic Million AM (post three), shipping in off a 1:53.2 romp by nine lengths at Kawartha Downs. Windsun Cheyenne (post six), who has won two of his last three starts, the fastest a 1:54 score at H3R. Mister Big Top (post four) has won last his two starts, the fastest in 1:56.2. Two-time Quebec Series Champion, Wildriverbumblebee is in post eight and Chaleurs Ad (post one) has won his last two starts and three of his last four races, the fastest in 1:58 on the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit. And, alas, the lone mare in the field, Quebec Champion HP Sissy, goes against the boys from post seven. She has not yet lived up to her potential from last year, but still is a game performer. First race post time is 12:50 pm. For a free race program, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club  

JULY 17, 2018 - James MacDonald and Mark Steacy teamed up to win two-thirds of what was a very regal night of Grassroots action at Georgian Downs on Tuesday. MacDonald opened the two-year-old trotting colt and gelding Grassroots season with a victory behind Rap Royalty in the first $18,450 division. Starting from Post 7 the pair moved strongly off the gate and sat briefly in third before circling around to second as Northern Tailwind logged fractions of :31, 1:01.3 and 1:32. Coming off the final turn MacDonald turned Rap Royalty loose and the co-favourite held on for a neck victory over H A Houston, stopping the teletimer at 2:03.2. Zorgwijk Tim, the other fan favourite, finished third. "Rapper was good. I got him off the gate good and then I had to move him first up a little bit, but I got to tuck in and draft for a little while and pop out just before they got to the stretch," noted Guelph, Ontario resident MacDonald. "He was a little green still, like he went by them and then he kind of let up when he cleared, but they're two-year-olds, everything's new to them still, so I was pleased." Steacy conditions the son of Kadabra for Landmark 11 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, David Reid of Glenburnie, Ontario, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec, and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. The gelding was a $60,000 purchase out of the 2017 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Six races after their first visit to the winner's circle MacDonald and Steacy were back in front of the Georgian Downs fans with Royal Elite. Starting from Post 2 in the third division, MacDonald employed a similar strategy with the Royalty For Life son, sitting third early and then advancing up the outer lane heading by the three-quarter pole. Never Tell rolled along on the front end through fractions of :30.4, 1:01.3 and 1:32, but could not hold off Royal Elite when MacDonald asked for another gear. The colt trotted home a 2:02 winner, one and one-half lengths ahead of Never Tell and fan favourite Judge Ken. "He's a homebred from a hard luck Muscles Yankee mare (Day Dream) we bought several years ago. This is her first live foal and he has been good from the time we broke him," said Lansdowne resident Steacy, who trains Royal Elite for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. "We're hoping for a couple of Grassroots starts and then maybe, if he keeps improving, a Gold try would be nice. He raced very game tonight, moving first up to win." The colt also impressed MacDonald, who had driven both Royal Elite and Rap Royalty in their pre-season qualifiers. "He was a little better today. He's got high speed, he just needs to learn how to do it right, like sometimes he wants to go when he shouldn't and doesn't want to go when you want him to," explained the driver. "He's just green, and I was really pleased with him." Rounding out the trio of regally-named winners was A Royal Line, who captured the second division in 2:02.4. Starting from Post 2 driver Robert Shepherd settled A Royal Line in fourth as MacDonald sent Steacy trainee In The Will out to a :30.3 quarter and 1:02.1 half. When In The Will skipped off stride heading for the 1:32.2 three-quarters, A Royal Line was advancing up the outside to the lead, a lead he had extended to four and three-quarter lengths by the wire. Y A Titan finished second and Sweet Lou Wittaker was third. Flamborough resident Shepherd crafted the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville and Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. McIntosh also bred the son of Royalty For Life and Direct Dial. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will make their second Grassroots start on July 31 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Georgian Downs this week as the Innisfil oval welcomes the three-year-old trotting fillies for their third Gold and Grassroots events this Saturday, July 21. Saturday's first race goes postward at 7:15 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MAY 31, 2018 - Mark Steacy earned his second straight Johnston Cup award as the Ontario Sires Stakes program's leading harness racing trainer in 2017, and the horseman tallied two wins in support of a third title in the three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, May 31. Steacy trainee Hello Love went off as the favourite in the first $19,150 division and delivered a brave effort after missing some time due to sickness in recent weeks. Starting from Post 1 driver James MacDonald settled the filly into fifth as Mittany Nicole took the field of nine to a :27.2 opening quarter. Just before the :57.1 half Guelph, Ontario resident MacDonald tipped Hello Love to the outside and went after new leader Lifelong Dream. Three lengths back at the 1:25.1 three-quarters, Hello Love dug deep in the stretch to get a head in front of Lifelong Dream at the 1:52.4 finish. Mittany Nicole rounded out the top three. "I thought it was kind of iffy whether she was even going to race tonight, but her blood came back not too bad there last night so we said, 'Well, we'll give her a try'," explained Steacy. "So she showed a lot of courage." The 1:52.4 score was a new personal best for Hello Love, who has just four starts under her belt, all at Woodbine Mohawk Park. After a pair of qualifiers in April the daughter of Shadow Play and $203,040 winner Don't Point At captured her April 26 debut, finished third in her second start on May 3 and was back in the winner's circle on May 10. She was scratched out of a May 24 contest, but Steacy hopes the filly is back on the road to good health. "I think she can only get healthier from here and I'm hoping that she'll be able to step up maybe into the Golds for the rest of the year," noted the Lansdowne, Ontario resident. "She's not a big filly, but she's a nice average size filly. And she always was - you know that's why she cost so much as a baby - she was always a good looker." A $100,000 purchase out of the 2016 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Hello Love is owned by Landmark 10 Racing Stable of Kingston, Ontario, J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, New York, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta and Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec. After a burst of rain that saw the racing surface downgraded from 'fast' to 'good', Steacy and MacDonald were back in the winner's circle with Lady Bubbles who, after a brief appearance on the front near the :27.3 opening quarter, was able to follow fan favourite Firestorm through most of the mile. On Firestorm's heels through fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.1, Lady Bubbles tipped out in the stretch and powered home to a one-length victory in 1:53.2. Color Envy and Campassion finished second and third. "You know I wasn't so sure about her coming back this year, because she's not very big, and she didn't end the year real great, but she's come back actually better this year," said Steacy. "She's been a real nice surprise, because I think she's improved a lot from two actually, she's gotten stronger and she can carry her speed farther." The win was the Sportswriter daughter's second this season and her fourth in Grassroots competition; she was a three-time winner at two for owner-breeders Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. Sudden Passing clocked the fastest mile of the five Grassroots divisions, cruising along on the front end to a nine and three-quarter length victory in 1:52. Sweet Toujours and Hey Sweetie finished in second and third behind the heavy favourite. Guelph resident Doug McNair crafted the victory for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and owners Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, Kentucky. The win was the Mach Three daughter's second this season and her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. She was a Gold Series regular at two and finished second to Gold filly Percy Bluechip in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 19. "She's a big, strong filly. She went a very nice mile tonight," said Doug McNair. "Randy (Waples) said she was a little bit steppy-gaited last start (May 19), but she was perfect tonight." Like Hello Love, Sudden Passing could jump up to the Gold Series level for her second provincial start. Milton, Ontario resident Randy Waples, who subbed for McNair in Sudden Passing's race bike on May 19, also won a Grassroots division on Thursday, piloting favourite Machnhope to a 1:53 score over Avery Seelster and Lady Everlong. Bill Robinson trains the Mach Three daughter for breeders CMR Farms of Hagersville, David Serwatuk of Hamilton and BC Reichheld Stables of Caledonia, Ontario. The other division was captured by Shower Play and driver Louis Philippe Roy in 1:52.2. The Shadow Play miss bested Askmysecretary and favourite Neon Moon. Rene Dion of Rockwood conditions Shower Play for his partners Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood, Ontario and Martin Leveillee of St-Blaise-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their second Grassroots start on June 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, while the Gold Series fillies visit the Campbellville oval on June 23. Woodbine Mohawk Park's opening week of Ontario Sires Stakes action continues on Friday, June 1 with five Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing

Harness racing trainer Mark Steacy has only one starter in the 2017 Breeders Crown, but his history in these championship races makes Obvious Blue Chip an obvious horse to watch Friday night at Hoosier Park.   The Canadian horseman has had 11 finalists in Breeders Crown history, winning three of them, which isn't too bad of an average given the caliber of competition in these races. Steacy won the 2006 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Male Trot with Majestic Son, the 2007 Two-Year-Old Filly Pace with Stylish Artist and the 2009 Open Mare Pace with Hana Hanover.   "I usually don't enter in the Breeders Crown unless I think I have a good chance," Steacy said. "I think that's why I've been lucky - the horses that have raced in the Breeders Crown have all belonged."   Obvious Blue Chip is entered in the $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Pace, race 9 on Friday, Oct. 27 at Hoosier Park, one of six championship events for fillies and mares at the Anderson, Indiana track. Even though she will be leaving from the second tier Steacy likes her chances.   "It seems when the big money is on the line she always gets a bad post, although I'd rather have the trailing position in the 10 hole than the eight or nine hole, so it could have been worse," Steacy said.   Owned by NLG Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski, the daughter of Roll With Joe won her last start, wiring the field in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes for her division. Steacy said he had been called before the Breeders Crown eliminations and was given the option of a bye into the final. He figured skipping the elimination just six days after her NY Sires Stake win would give the filly a bit of breather heading in to the Breeders Crown final. It also meant he didn't have to ship her as much from his stable in Guelph.   Steacy said Obvious Blue Chip, who is driven by Scott Zeron, is better coming from off the pace than racing on the front end.   "Last time out she was the favorite and racing on a half-mile track, so I think Scott thought that was the best way to control the race and as it turned out that was the right way to do it," Steacy said. "I think she's better on a bigger track and coming from off the pace."   Steacy said the filly was a well-conformed, good-sized yearling, but he wasn't sure about her prospects because she was by a relatively new sire in Roll With Joe and only the second foal of Put On A Clinic. She sold for $35,000 as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale. As a 2-year-old, she recorded a victory in her first start but did not win again in nine other races, amassing $35,479.   "She was very lazy training down early as a 2-year-old and never showed any above-average ability," Steacy said. "The one thing I liked about her was she always tried. She always gave you a little bit more when you asked for it. She never showed anything spectacular, but she always tried and seemed to have that little kick coming home.   "Unfortunately, she drew some bad post positions (in big races), but she could go with them. Coming into this year, I never fully expected she was going to be the best in the New York program. But, she's got a big heart and tries all the time."   She won the $257,850 Empire Breeders Classic final at Tioga Downs in August, and four races later placed third in the Jugette. There doesn't appear to be any standout in the Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Filly Pace, which is why Steacy likes his chances with Obvious Blue Chip.   "When she left the barn (to ship to Indiana) on Wednesday, she was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and I think she's going into the race in great form," he said. "I don't think it's as strong a field of three-year-old fillies compared to last year. It's very open. Some horses step up on certain days and hopefully Friday night will be her day."   By Perry Lefko for Breeders Crown

SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 - Ontario's three-year-old trotting fillies wrapped up their Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening and, by virtue of one win and two seconds, harness racing trainer Mark Steacy landed three fillies in the Grassroots Championship. The first $18,800 division saw point leader Gisele Treelane maintain her flawless record in Grassroots action with a 1:56.3 score. The Daylon Magician daughter and driver Jack Moiseyev of Moffat, ON posted wins in four Grassroots legs for a total of 200 points. Murray Brethour of Sunderland, ON trains Gisele Treelane for owner-breeder Patricia Whittaker Trust of Aspers, PA. Starting from Post 4, Gisele Treelane used Mark Steacy trainee Stritch as her windbreak, tipping into the outer lane behind Stritch and driver James MacDonald heading for the three-quarters and then out-sprinting the pair in the stretch. The duelling leaders were one length ahead of third-place finisher Holiday Promise. "I kind of like her, I always thought she was going to be the best one besides Delcrest (Magicstar)," said Steacy of Stritch, comparing her to stablemate Delcrest Magicstar, who won three Grassroots divisions before jumping up to the Gold Series. "She should be good in the final too if she draws right." The runner-up effort moved Stritch into seventh spot in the point standings with 110. The Majestic Son daughter is owned by David Reid of Glenburnie, ON, James Feeley of Pine Bush, NY, Bridle Path Stables Ltd of Ossining, NY and Stephen Klunowski of North York, ON. Gisele Treelane In the second division Steacy trainee Ticket To Seattle was the one taking advantage of a wind break in the outer lane and sprinting down the stretch to a one-half length victory. Another daughter of Majestic Son, Ticket To Seattle trotted under the wire in a personal best 1:56.1, outsprinting favourite Crystal Gumdrop and Jilona. No worse than fifth in her six regular season appearances, Ticket To Seattle was also a winner in the July 1 Grassroots event at Dresden Raceway and finished with 150 points, tied for third in the standings with stablemate Delcrest Magicstar. "She kind of slipped a little bit there mid-season, she just got on a line a little bit, we've been working on that," said Steacy of Ticket To Seattle. "She looks like she's coming together again now, at the right time I hope. James (MacDonald) gave her a perfect steer tonight too, and that always helps. "At the start of the year I thought she was going to be even maybe a borderline Gold horse and then, whether it was allergies or what not, she just kind of slipped mid-summer," the Lansdowne, ON resident added. "It just kind of knocked her off, she'd pick away at her feed and wouldn't clean it and stuff, and now she's a lot more comfortable and happy and it showed tonight." Landmark 9 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and David Reid of Glenburnie, ON share ownership of Ticket To Seattle. Ticket To Seattle The last Grassroots trophy went home with Bustingattheseams, who swung out three-wide to get a clear look at the finish and then powered away to a three and one-half length victory in 1:56.4. Milton resident Steve Condren crafted the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his co-owner Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. The win boosted the Kadabra daughter to second in the standings with 172 points from three Grassroots wins, one third, one fourth and one seventh. Also sprinting hard to the wire was Steacy trainee Late Shift, finishing one length ahead of Kuil Deva. The runner-up effort gave Late Shift 90 points, one point shy of the top ten. Should one of the fillies in front of her bow out of the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championship, Late Shift could join her stablemates in the $50,000 season finale and give Steacy a quartet of sophomore trotting filly hopefuls. "It makes it a little easier, but there's still another couple good ones in there too, Murray Brethour's (Gisele Treelane) looks pretty good," said Steacy of his chances in the championship. Steacy and Guelph resident MacDonald train and drive Majestic Son filly Late Shift for Landmark 9 Racing Stable of Kingston, David Reid of Glenburnie, Stephen Klunowski of North York and Claus Jorgensen of Etobicoke, ON. Bustingattheseams On Thursday evening the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings and three-year-old pacing fillies will wrap up their Grassroots regular season at Mohawk Racetrack, competing in Races 1, 4, 6, 7, and 10. The first race goes in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: To view results click the following link: Tuesday Results – Mohawk Racetrack. Ontario Racing

AUGUST 11, 2017 - Ontario's best three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will roll into Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday evening to compete for almost $250,000 in three harness racing Gold and three Grassroots divisions. The Ontario Sires Stakes program's leading trainer, Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON, will send out one Gold Series starter and two Grassroots contenders in Sunday's event, with Dream Massive helping to kick things off in the first $65,600 Gold Series division. "He's been good. He seems to show up, especially in most of his sires stakes, he holds his own quite well," said Steacy about the Muscle Mass colt, who will start from Post 7 in Race 2. "He's not real flashy, but he always seems to get the job done. Unfortunately he drew a tough post in a tough division this time, but I'm sure he'll do well." Dream Massive faces a field of six that includes the top three point earners in the division, Magic Night at Post 4, R First Class at Post 2 and Try Try Again at Post 1. With one win, one third and one fourth through the first three Gold Series events, Dream Massive currently sits fifth in the standings with 70 points. The colt's regular reinsman, James MacDonald, is representing Canada in the World Driving Championship which gets under way August 12 at Alberta's Century Downs, so Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry will pick up Dream Massive's lines in Sunday's contest. "Trevor should be a good back-up plan," said Steacy, who trains Dream Massive for Michael Soehnlen of Dalton, OH. "I think he'll fit that horse good." Steacy's Grassroots starters, More Than Majestic and Dontcrampmystyle, will compete in the second and third divisions, lining up behind Posts 2 and 7, respectively. "They both should like Rideau I think," said Steacy. "I know that More Than Majestic will, because he's been over it a couple times now." More Than Majestic shipped into Ottawa in mid-July and has a hard-closing second and a win to his credit in two starts over the Rideau Carleton oval, on July 27 and August 3. The August 3 win was the Majestic Son gelding's second lifetime and came in a personal best 1:58.4. "Again, he's not a real flashy horse either, but he's always knocking on the door and he raced good last week," said the trainer. "I think he'll do okay." Steacy's son Clarke, who also makes his home in Lansdowne, will steer More Than Majestic in Sunday's sixth race for owners Landmark 9 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY. Like Dream Massive, Dontcrampmystyle will be hampered by Post 7 in his quest for a second Ontario Sires Stakes victory. Another son of Muscle Mass, Dontcrampmystyle has one win, one second and one seventh through the first three Grassroots events and currently sits third in the standings with 77 points. "I'm not sure what he's in against, but he did get one OSS win and it's possible he could do that again," said Steacy, who conditions the gelding for owner-breeder Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, ON and will hand the lines over to Trevor Henry in the ninth race. "He's always kind of the same way, knocking at the doors, and if somebody makes an error he'll be there." The Grassroots competitors will be featured in Races 1, 6 and 9, with the Gold Series colts showing off their skills in Races 2, 8 and 13. The first race goes in behind the starting gate at 6:30 pm. In addition to the Ontario Sires Stakes battles, Rideau Carleton Raceway fans will also be treated to a Racing Under Saddle (RUS) contest in the fourth race. Among the trotters that will don a saddle and rider rather than a race bike and driver are three former Ontario Sires Stakes competitors, Thor Seelster, Amityville Lindy and Lets Leavem. Thor Seelster, who will start from Post 2 with Clinton, ON resident Natalie Elliott aboard, was a two-time RUS winner in 2015, Amityville Lindy makes his RUS debut from Post 4 with Stacey Reinsma, of Cambridge, ON, in the saddle, and Lets Leavem comes into Sunday's contest off an August 4 RUS victory at Grand River Raceway. Freelton, ON resident Sarah Town piloted Lets Leavem to the August 4 win and will be back in the saddle on Sunday, guiding the Angus Hall son from Post 5. Racing Under Saddle volunteers will be on hand all evening to answer questions about the program and fans are invited to meet the riders following the fifth race. More information about Racing Under Saddle is available at Fans will also have an opportunity to win one of 10 Ontario Sires Stakes prize packages, with ballots available in the program. The first 100 people to arrive for the evening's festivities will receive a $2 betting voucher with their program purchase and all programs contain a coupon for a $2.50 hot dog and pop combo. In addition to Sunday's Ontario Sires Stakes event, Rideau Carleton Raceway will also host the final regular season Grassroots event for the two-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday, Sept. 10. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

JULY 1, 2017 - When Mark Steacy loaded the horse trailer bound for Dresden Raceway's Canada Day harness racing program he was hoping the five three-year-old trotting fillies on board would have a successful afternoon, but his imagination never stretched to the level of success the quintet actually delivered. "Obviously, when they left the barn this morning I never would have dreamed they would have had three wins, a second and a third," said the trainer. "Shawn did a good really job with them." Steacy's son Shawn orchestrated the afternoon's efforts, which saw Delcrest Magicstar nose out stablemate Stritch in the first $18,450 division, Magic Maddy sprint down the stretch to a head victory in the second division, Ticket To Seattle go gate-to-wire in the third and Late Shift lead through every station before settling for third in the final Grassroots contest. Driver James MacDonald crafted all three wins and Late Shift's third-place effort, while Jonathan Drury piloted Stritch to her runner-up finish. Both reinsmen reside in Guelph, ON. Delcrest Magicstar moved to the top of the sophomore trotting filly Grassroots point standings with her second straight win in the series. The daughter of Majestic Son and Stars Balance hit the wire in 2:01.3, rolling out from behind fan favourite P C Pipe Dream to nab pacesetter Stritch by a nose. Stritch and P C Pipe Dream finished second and third. Steacy conditions Delcrest Magicstar for driver MacDonald and his partners Peter Porter of Port Dover and Johnathan MacKinnon of Guelph, ON. "They're both nice fillies. Delcrest, she's been getting better and better every start, and she's actually pretty good in the turns too so we figured she'd go around Dresden nicely," said the trainer, who calls Lansdowne, ON home. "But they're both nice fillies." MacDonald also employed come-from-behind tactics to land Magic Maddy in the winner's circle in the second division. Starting from Post 7 the pair sat fourth as Parkhill Nocredit led the field through fractions of :30.2, 1:01.4 and 1:32.4, then stepped out in the final quarter and trotted home to a 2:03.1 victory, keeping a head in front of Twin B Venus. Local filly Style Spotlight, trained by Mike Carther of Dresden for Malcolm and Robert MacPhail of Dover Centre, finished third. The win was the first in 14 career starts for Magic Maddy, another daughter of Steacy's former superstar Majestic Son. The trainer's father, Clarke Steacy of Lansdowne, shares ownership of the filly with David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and A K Malik Stable of Ottawa. ON. "She's been a little disappointing this year," said the horseman of Magic Maddy. "Last year she showed speed - she raced in the Gold most of the time - she showed speed, but she made breaks. And this year we got her so she's not breaking, but she seemed to lack the same kind of go that she did last year until the last race at Mohawk, she finished third and raced much better. I think she's finally starting to find herself." With Post 4 in the third division, MacDonald opted to send Ticket To Seattle to the front right off the gate and the fan favourite rang up fractions of :30.1, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1 on her way to a two length victory in 2:01.1. Lady Justice and Jilona rounded out the top three. Landmark 9 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and David Reid of Glenburnie, ON share ownership of Ticket To Seattle, who now has three wins and one second in five sophomore starts. Saturday's victory was the daughter of Majestic Son and Travelin Supergirl's first in Ontario Sires Stakes competition. "She's been a really nice surprise this year, she's been the most consistent of them all," said Steacy, adding that the filly had been hampered by quarter cracks in her hooves as a two-year-old. "When we bought all them fillies I thought she was going to be the best, on her breeding and her looks, but I think just think the quarter cracks hindered her last year. "Her mother was a nice horse. We raced her mother and she won the Grassroots Championships (at two in 2007) and this mare kind of reminded me a lot of her," Steacy continued. As the field for the final division trotted away from the starting gate it looked like Steacy and MacDonald had a shot at scooping all four trophies. Late Shift steamed away from her peers, reaching the quarter eight lengths on top in :29.1. The filly, another daughter of Majestic Son, continued to lead at the :59.1 half, but she was under pressure by the 1:30.2 three-quarters and eventually gave way to winner Angora Seelster and runner-up Da Miracle. "She can get off the gate really fast," said Steacy. "She's got lots of speed for a piece, and you know we've been trying to do it both ways, race her in the two-hole or sit her at the back, but either way she's just not firing home like we want her to. Hopefully she'll get stronger as she goes." Angora Seelster earned her first Grassroots trophy with the 2:00.3 effort, which was engineered by Bob McClure of Elora, ON. Chris Matthews conditions the daughter of Holiday Road and Amazing Adventure for his partners in the Alot Of Sense Stable of Guelph, Lyons Brothers Stable of Georgetown and Jessica Breese Karn of Guelph, ON. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Grand River Raceway on July 19. In addition to the exciting on-track action, Dresden Raceway fans also enjoyed the traditional eight-foot long Canada Day cake and a variety of prizes and giveaways, including Ontario Sires Stakes ball caps and Ontario Racing flip-flops. Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton was also on hand to present the Grassroots trophies to the winners and celebrate Canada Day with Dresden Raceway fans. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing  

May 25, 2017 - As part of the Ontario Sires Stakes season opener on Sunday, May 21 harness racing trainer Mark Steacy and driver Sylvain Filion were honoured for their 2016 Johnston and Lampman Cup victories. As the three-year-old trotting and pacing colts kicked off the Confederation Cup program at Flamboro Downs, Steacy and Filion were presented with commemorative Citizen Eco-Drive watches from Ontario Racing Executive Director Rob Cook. Steacy earned his first Johnston Cup title in 2016 with a point tally of 269, generated from 132 starts, 14 wins, 13 seconds and 21 third-place finishes in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Twenty-six different horses carried the Steacy stable colours in OSS action last season, banking a total of $603,540. Among the Lansdowne, ON resident's top performers were three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots champion Forever Liza, sophomore trotting filly Royal Charm and colt Sass, and two-year-old trotting colt Dream Massive. In the second race of the evening, Dream Massive did his part to kick-start Steacy's defense of the Johnston Cup title with a 1:58.1 victory in the sophomore trotting colt Gold Series opener. The Johnston Cup was established in 1993 in memory of Bruce Johnston, publisher of The Canadian Sportsman magazine. It is awarded annually to the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program based on a point system that awards one point for each start, four points for each win, three points for each second and two points for each third. Filion achieved his second straight and fourth lifetime Lampman Cup winning season in 2016. Since his first win in 2012, the Milton, ON resident has only relinquished the title once, finishing third in 2014. Last season Filion teamed 199 Ontario Sires Stakes starters, recording 47 wins, 26 seconds and 23 thirds for earnings of $2,171,210 and 511 Lampman Cup points. Among Filion's top mounts were two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots champion Tymal Peacemaker, and division winners Streakavana (two-year-old pacing colt), Yaris Bayama (two-year-old pacing filly), Warrawee Roo (three-year-old trotting colt) and Emoticon Hanover (three-year-old trotting filly). The Lampman Cup has been awarded annually since 1987 and honours the memory of long time Ontario Jockey Club publicist Jim Lampman. Like the Johnston Cup, drivers are awarded one Lampman Cup point for each start, four points for each win, three points for each second and two points for each third. Steacy and Filion will have an opportunity to add to their 2017 point totals in the second Ontario Sires Stakes event of the season on Friday, May 26 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The three-year-old pacing colts will square off in two $95,600 Gold Series divisions in Races 3 and 6, part of the London oval's signature Molson Pace Night which gets under way at 7:05 pm. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing

OCT. 12, 2016 - Mohawk Racetrack hosts the $2 million Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals on Saturday, Oct. 15 and trainer Mark Steacy will cap off a career best year in the harness racing program by sending out starters in four of the eight division championships. With 263 points, Steacy is poised to capture his first Johnston Cup title as the top trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Heading into the season finale Steacy has a 39 point lead on reigning title-holder and eight-time winner Robert McIntosh and sits 42 points ahead of three-time winner Gregg McNair. He and his staff have harnessed 128 starters in the provincial program to date for 14 wins, 13 seconds, 20 thirds, 28 fourths, 12 fifths and earnings of $573,540. "I'm pretty proud of that," said Steacy of his career-best statistics. "Again, that's not just me, that's the staff too. "First of all you've got to have the great owners and then you've got to have the great help," the horseman added. "These guys work hard, and if it wasn't for them the results wouldn't be the same." In addition to his season-long Ontario Sires Stakes success, Steacy achieved a major milestone in August when his career earnings surpassed $20 million. Both accomplishments are part of a decade-long evolution in Steacy's operation that started when son Shawn joined the business. "It all happened probably in the last 12 years; we were kind of low key until about 12 years ago," said Steacy, a lifelong horseman who was introduced to harness racing by his father Clarke, Sr. "After Shawn graduated out of school and came on with me I was able to keep horses and race them rather than sell them, which I used to do before. I used to develop them, race them a few times in Ottawa or Montreal, and then sell them." For several years Shawn supervised a temporary operation near Mohawk during the peak months of the Ontario Sires Stakes season, but last fall father and son decided it was time to establish a more permanent base at the First Line Training Centre in Nassagaweya, ON. "Shawn was up here all winter this year. We've come up before with half a dozen or 10 horses and stayed for three or four months, and we've done that for 10 years or so, but we've never stayed all winter until this year," explained Steacy, who was honoured with the O'Brien Award for Horsemanship in 2007. "We're going to be here again all winter. I'll do my babies at home in Lansdowne, but we'll keep the older horses up here." Steacy has already acquired 18 yearlings and expects that number to climb as high as 25 before the sales season wraps up. While Shawn, who now makes his home in Guelph, ON, handles the older horses, Steacy will have the support of his younger son Clarke, Jr. when it comes time to start the yearlings. "I have Clarke on board too," said Steacy, adding that Clarke, Jr. has decided to switch his focus from catch-driving to training for the time being. "He's actually running the Lansdowne outfit right now, and so I think that's going to help us to even get to another level." All three men are currently focussed on finishing the Ontario Sires Stakes season on a high note, ensuring Dream Massive, Sass, Royal Charm and Nocturnal Bluechip are in peak shape for their respective $250,000 Super Finals on Saturday. Two-year-old trotting colt Dream Massive will kick things off from Post 6 in the first Super Final, and his connections are hoping the son of Muscle Mass minds his manners after making breaks in his last two Gold Series starts. "We trained him this morning (Wednesday), and he trained good, so hopefully," said Steacy, who conditions the colt for Michael Soehnlen of Dalton, OH. "I thought we had him sorted out there and he went out and made a mistake again last time. He just got bully in the hole. Off and on he's showed that he does have quite a bit of ability, but he can be his own worst enemy." Three-year-old trotting colt Sass gets Post 3 in the fifth Super Final of the card and Steacy is hoping the Kadabra colt has bounced back from a viral infection that showed up after the Oct. 6 Gold Leg at Mohawk. "He still got fourth, but that was his worst start," noted Steacy, who put the colt on a course of antibiotics after the race. "Hopefully he'll be good to go on Saturday; I think a healthy Sass has got a shot. Obviously you've got to have that thing called luck on your side, but if it is then I think he's got a shot." Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC bred and owns Sass, who has earned $177,980 in his career to date. Sophomore trotting filly Royal Charm landed Post 4 for her last Ontario Sires Stakes start and will be looking to continue the hot streak she has been riding through the last six weeks. After a pair of third-place finishes in the Simcoe Stakes and her Elegantimage Elimination, the daughter of Steacy's former superstar Majestic Son scored an upset win in the $436,000 Elegantimage Final and then finished second in the last Gold Leg. "She's finally coming together for us. We always knew she had a lot of go to her, and she's been behaving herself, touch wood, lately," noted Steacy. "As long as she does that, she's not a big horse getting off the gate, but she can always kick home good. "If she races respectable I think then she is eligible to the Breeders Crown, and I think the Matron, so it's possible that we could finish the year off with that," added the trainer, who conditions the winner of $341,462 for David McDonald of Cornwall, ON, Shelly MacMillan of Waterloo, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stables Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY. "We'll just have to see how Saturday goes first." Steacy's final entry comes in the three-year-old pacing colt showdown with Nocturnal Bluechip lining up at Post 9, alongside the reigning division champion Betting Line, who gets the outside Post 10. "He's got a tough post and he probably needs a better post more than them all," said Steacy of the Bettors Delight son. "He's been kind of a letdown this year, you know, a horse that's got lots of speed but just hasn't done what we expected of him. The way he's going, he's going to have to trip out really well." Landmark 8 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Jane Phair of Thornbury, ON and NLG Racing Stable of Wallkill, NY share ownership of Nocturnal Bluechip, who heads into the Super Final with lifetime earnings of $225,901. Guelph resident James MacDonald will steer Nocturnal Bluechip, Dream Massive and Sass, while Paul MacDonell, also of Guelph, pilots Royal Charm. Mohawk Racetrack's first race goes postward at 7:30 pm on Saturday, with the eight $250,000 Super Finals slated as Races 2 through 5 and 7 through 10. In addition to the on track excitement, Mohawk fans will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes ball cap when they purchase a program and can play the fun-filled OSS Trivia Spin and Win game for more great prizes. Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - With the 1-9 favorite Caprice Hill being locked at the pylons for the entire mile, Royal Charm capitalized off a third-over trip to win the harness racing $436,000 Elegantimage stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:54.4 at 33-1. Dream Child secured the lead off a :27 quarter, sweeping by Emoticon Hanover towards the pylons. Side Bet Hanover raced in third alongside Celebrity Eventsy, who inched towards leader Dream Child off a :55.4 half. Into the final turn, Celebrity Evensty pressured Dream Child, while Flowers N Songs and Royal Charm followed from second and third over, keeping Caprice Hill stuck at the inside racing seventh. Celebrity Eventsy slid by Dream Child passed the three-quarters in 1:24.4. Caprice Hill had some room to sling up the inside, but, after having to evade Dream Child fading to the back, she was caught behind a wall of horses that enveloped stretch-leader Celebrity Eventsy. Flowers N Songs had tipped off her cover as well as Royal Charm and Dewdle All Day. Royal Charm edged by Flowers N Songs as Dewdle All Day rushed down the centre of the track. Royal Charm held on at the wire, with Dewdle All Day finishing second, Flower N Songs third, and Emoticon Hanover sneaking up the inside to finish fourth. Royal Charm, a three-year-old filly trotter by Majestic Son from the Yankee Glide mare Queen Of Grace, is owned by David McDonald, Shelly Macmillan and Bridle Path Stables, trained by Mark Steacy, and was driven by Paul MacDonell. Winning her sixth race in her 18th career start, Royal Charm has amassed $315,212 in earnings. "It never feels bad when you win a race like this," MacDonell said. "It's a prestigious race, and I'm just happy to win it for Mark [Steacy] and his connections. They've been supporting this filly right through. She was coming up to a good race and did it tonight." "She doesn't leave very well," MacDonell also said. "It's been a thing for her all year where she struggles to get away from the gate. As it turned out tonight, she was within five lengths at the quarter pole and then the flow started to develop on the outside, so she got up third over, and she always has a good kick coming home." "Caprice [Hill] is really good, and fortunately for us she got locked in," Steacy said. "You got to be lucky to be good, too." Royal Charm returned $67.50 to win and $122.50 to place; there was no show wagering. Dewdle All Day, finishing second at 91-1, paid $314.00, producing a $2 exactor that returned $1,299.40. Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

SEPT. 16, 2016 - Harness racing trainer Mark Steacy went into Friday's Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Semi-finals with a 22 point lead in the Ontario Sires Stakes trainer standings, and went home with a little bigger cushion between himself and eight-time Johnston Cup winner Bob McIntosh and three-time winner Gregg McNair. "There's a lot of guys that can win a lot of races, so I don't get too focussed on that," said Steacy about the Johnston Cup point race. "But if that's where we are, it's nice to say you're in front of them guys, because they're pretty good." Steacy sent out five starters in the eight sophomore Semi-finals on Friday and recorded two wins, one third, one fourth and one seventh. First off the starting gate for the Steacy stable was three-year-old trotting filly Anneli Hanover, who sat third for much of the mile before shaking loose in the stretch and grabbing a one-half length victory in a personal best 1:55. Trumpets and Roadmapper closed hard to be second and third, Windsong Magic was fourth, and fan favourite Magical Valentine and pacesetter Could It Be Magic finished in a dead-heat for fifth, which will leave one of the fifth-place finishers in the Also Eligible slot for next Saturday's Championship. "She's been a pleasant surprise," said Steacy of Anneli Hanover. "She was very ordinary last year at two, and started out that way this year, and then all of a sudden she just started to race good. She won four or something in a row, and then she got in a little slump for a couple of races, but she raced good at Flamboro (Sept. 4) and she was very good today. I hope the timing's good for next week." Steacy trains Anneli Hanover for his wife Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Landmark 8 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall and Barry White of Ottawa, ON. In 15 sophomore starts the daughter of Majestic Son and Above All Hanover has posted seven wins, one second and one third for earnings of $52,560. Anneli Hanover Guelph resident James MacDonald engineered Anneli Hanover's victory, and also piloted the other four starters from the Steacy stable, whose second win came with pacing filly Forever Liza. Starting from the outside Post 10, MacDonald settled fan favourite Forever Liza in sixth and watched as Trilife and Selling The Dream battled to a :26.1 quarter and :54.3 half. Heading for the 1:23.1 three-quarters MacDonald sent Forever Liza up the outside behind Killean Finale, and in the stretch the pair reeled in the leaders and hit the wire three-quarters of a length on top in a personal best 1:51.3. Killean Finale settled for second, ahead of Westsluckycam, Selling The Dream and Tonightimlovingyou. "James did a great job. In the 10-hole you never know what can happen, it's tough, but he did a great job, he got her spotted well, and got her covered up, and she's always got that little kick coming for home," said Steacy. "She's tough that little mare. "She's never been a real good gaited mare, but she's getting better and better all the time," the trainer continued. "She's got what you want in a racehorse, and that's heart." Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC owns the Bettors Delight daughter Forever Liza, who now has six wins, four seconds and one third to her credit through 15 sophomore starts for earnings of $81,010. Forever Liza The other pacing filly Semi-final was captured by Free Show and driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON, who reeled in seven horses in the final quarter to secure the one length victory in 1:51.3. Fan favourite Windsun Glory was second, Top Royal finished third, MacDonald piloted Steacy entry Bernadette into fourth and division point leader Noone To Depend On was fifth. Dave Menary of Cambridge, ON conditions Free Show for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. A Gold Series competitor and winner of $205,776 at two, the Badlands Hanover daughter has struggled to find her footing in the sophomore division, posting three wins, one second, three thirds and earnings of $58,770 through 14 starts. "I had high expectations for her, you know she's such a nice mare, and after last year we were really looking forward to her," said Menary. "She hasn't been bad; she just hasn't had a lot of luck. I think she's a little bit better than a Grassroots filly, but not quite as good as the Gold fillies, and hopefully we can end the year on a good note." Free Show The other trotting filly Semi-final was captured by Henry and Magical Steph, who has also had a tumultuous sophomore season. Friday's 1:55.3 victory over division point leader Myretirementticket, favourite Sunrise Avenue, True Muscle and Traviata, was just Magical Steph's third in eight starts and trainer Gary Lance is hoping the Kadabra daughter has finally turned the corner on a year that started with surgery at The Ohio State University. "She had a lot of trouble this year. I took her to Ohio State University to get some work done on her in January and she had some implications from the surgery and then she had to go back in and have more surgery," said Lance. "And she had an entrapped epiglottis about six weeks ago, so we had to get Dr. Llewellyn in to look at that. We hoped for a big year this year, but sometimes it just doesn't happen." Lance and his partners in GL Racing Inc. of Port Perry, ON were hoping Magical Steph could match or improve on the five victories and $72,400 she tallied as a two-year-old, but they will settle for a strong finish to the season. Magical Steph Trotting colts Muscles For Life and Georgies Pockets set up a repeat of last season's division showdown, winning their respective Semi-finals for the second straight year. Reigning division champion Muscles For Life posted a 1:55.2 score in the first split on Friday for driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON and owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI. The Muscle Mass son controlled the tempo in spite of starting from Post 9 and hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Windsun Missile. MacDonald and Steacy trainee French Bastille were another length back in third, with Bow Ties N Bourbon and Manofmanyimages rounding out the top five. Muscles For Life Georgies Pockets and trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev of Moffat, ON captured the second Semi-final with a late sprint that saw them get a neck in front of fan favourite P L Jerico and Mass Balance in 1:55.1. Holiday Party and Dynamic Edge finished fourth and fifth. "Before the race somebody asked to buy him, and I said I'm not selling him. I named him after my father, my late father, so I won't sell him," said Ron Ruggles, who bred and owns the Muscle Mass colt through his M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. "He's going to be tough for the Final. I'm very excited." Georgies Pockets The evening wrapped up with the pacing colt Semi-finals, which went to Bettors Delight sons Arsenic and Continual Hanover. Arsenic and driver Doug McNair held off division point leader and reigning champion St Lads Moonwalk for a neck victory in 1:51.1. Bettor Memories, Inspiration View and Perseverant also advanced to the Grassroots Championship. Scott McEneny conditions Arsenic for his wife Michelle McEneny of Waterdown, Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON. Arsenic St Lads Moonwalk's stablemate Continual Hanover delivered a 1:51.2 effort in the other Semi-final. Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson drove the Jack Darling trainee to the one-half length victory over Imsporty, Sports Authority, Kokanee Seelster and Big Place. Cambridge, ON resident Darling owns and trains both St Lads Moonwalk and Continual Hanover. Continual Hanover The top five finishers from each Semi-final will return to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Sept. 24 for the Grassroots Championships. Post time for the Grassroots Championship program, worth a total of $400,000, is 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 30 - The value of picking your post position after an elimination victory isn't getting to select your exact spot on the harness racing gate, but rather eliminating any chance of a drawing a poor post. Half a length is all that separated rookie pacing filly Happy Hannah from securing a great post position to drawing the dreaded ten-hole in the $427,000 Shes A Great Lady final at Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday night. Trained by Mark Steacy, Happy Hannah entered last Saturday's 'Great Lady' eliminations with a victory and a pair of seconds in three starts. The daughter of Well Said was sent to the front by driver Randy Waples and led the field into the backstretch before heavy favourite Candlelight Dinner made a brush to the lead. Happy Hannah was in a fantastic spot to make the final following the undefeated leader. However, victory became an option when Candlelight Dinner began to fade at the top of the lane and Happy Hannah angled from the rail to take over top spot. Appearing to be on her way to a victory, the Steacy trainee got picked off in deep stretch by a charging Thats My Ticket and finished second. "She cleared a little bit too early in the stretch and being young she got lost," said Steacy. "I think if she would have just come a little bit later she would've got the job done." The second-place effort secured Happy Hannah a spot in the rich final, her connections $8,750 plus a guaranteed cheque in the final and kept her record of top two finishes intact. The downside to finishing second, landing post ten in the open draw. Staying away from the negatives, Happy Hannah appears to be a Grand Circuit player and Steacy believes she is getting stronger with each start. "Unfortunately (finishing second) cost us the post position, but she has only had three or four starts and she is getting better each time." The first foal out of Hallie Gallie, a daughter of the great Galleria, Happy Hannah sold for $90,000 at last year's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and showed her trainer talent and some sass training down. "She was a little witch," noted Steacy. "She was hard to break and she still is a little bit of a witch, but I like that little attitude in them anyways. She always showed a real nice gait and lots of ability from the start." After finishing second in her debut on July 25, Happy Hannah broke her maiden the next week in 1:53.4, pacing a :26.3 final-quarter. Through four starts, she has banked $45,637 for owners Stan Klemencic, Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc. and Hutt Racing Stable. While Happy Hannah will have to overcome post ten in Saturday's final, her stablemate Obvious Blue Chip did just slightly better in the draw by landing post eight. The daughter of Roll With Joe was making just her third start in last Saturday's 'Great Lady' elimination and finished fifth to qualify for the final. A $35,000 purchase out of Harrisburg, Obvious Blue Chip is owned by Nlg Racing Stable and Stephen Klunowski. A winner in her career debut, Steacy pointed out that he didn't originally plan on entering 'Obvious' in the event, but got his arm twisted by her original driver. "Actually James (MacDonald) talked me into putting her in that race because she raced pretty good the start before." Obvious Blue Chip rallied in her elimination from last at the top of the lane to finish fifth by pacing home in :27.2. She has paced a final-quarter of :27.2 or better in all three of her starts. "She raced really well," said Steacy. "She got shuffled back and still came on and got in, unfortunately she got the eight-hole, but if they go hard at the front, she could sneak in there for a piece." Obvious Blue Chip will attempt to put her strong closing speed to use and rally for a share in Saturday's final, but don't expect to see Happy Hannah at the back of the pack. "I wouldn't doubt that Hannah will probably have to go a little bit at the start," Steacy said. "You can't pull last, I don't think, but that will be up to Randy." Steacy's fillies will have to play with the hands they have been dealt for Saturday, but whether they can make some noise or not, the future appears bright. Here is the full field for Saturday's $427,000 Shes A Great Lady Final PP/Horse/Sire/Trainer 1. Candlelight Dinner - American Ideal - Casie Coleman 2. Thats The Ticket - Roll With Joe - Chris Ryder 3. World Apart - Art Major - Linda Toscano 4. Idyllic Beach - Somebeachsomewhere - Jimmy Takter 5. Everyones Watching - Artiscape - Tony Alagna 6. Agent Q - Western Terror - Aaron Lambert 7. Awash - Somebeachsomewhere - Tony Alagna 8. Obvious Blue Chip - Roll With Joe - Mark Steacy 9. Blameitonthenight - Mach Three - Tony Alagna 10. Happy Hannah - Well Said - Mark Steacy   Mark McKelvie

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