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MILTON, ON - October 13, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment today announced a mandatory payout will be offered on the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 this Saturday (October 17) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. This Saturday's harness racing card at Woodbine Mohawk Park features the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals. A total of eight $250,000 championship races to crown the best in the province will be part of the evening's action. The Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout will take its traditional spot in the evening's final-race. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover currently sits at $95,390.12 and the wager will continue to be offered on every card of live racing leading up to Saturday night. Post time for Saturday's card is 7 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment    

DUNDAS, ON - OCT. 8, 2020 - Macho Martini returned to the Ontario Sires Stakes  winner's circle on Thursday, Oct. 8 at Flamboro Downs with an effortless 1:58.1 score in the lone $157,200 two-year-old harness racing trotting colt Gold Series division. "I was actually a little bit concerned. I've never gone with him over a half. Luc's (Blais) got a tight half-mile turn on his training track at the farm and he was confident, but I just didn't know," said driver Bob McClure. "Two-year-old trotters are a little tough to get around those tracks and then you throw in the rail, that's one of the last spots I would have wanted with him, but he never missed a beat, just one-two-three-four. We just got away safe, and sat in the hole, and moved when they moved and he did the rest." From Post 1 McClure settled the fan favourite in second, sitting behind Sweet Soul David as that trotter led the field of nine to a :29 quarter. Macho Martini continued to track Sweet Soul David through the :59.1 half and when McClure tipped him to the outside heading by the 1:29 three-quarters the pair were in no rush to get around the pacesetter. As the leaders squared up in the stretch McClure asked Macho Martini for a bigger gear and the colt easily opened up a one and one-quarter length margin on his peers. Master Grand slipped up the passing lane to be second and Sweet Soul David stayed game for third. "He's quite the professional," said Rockwood, ON resident McClure. "And I would say that he's as fresh as he was when he started the year, which is typical of Luc Blais horses. They're as good at the end as they are at the start. He's very good at managing them that way." Campbellville, ON resident Luc Blais trains Macho Martini for Determination of Montreal, QC. Thursday's win was the colt's fourth in Gold Series action and his eighth in 10 lifetime starts. The only blemish on the Muscle Mass son's Ontario Sires Sakes record came in the Sept. 19 Gold leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park when he made a break in the stretch after another colt made a break and veered into his path. "I was worried when he made the break. You always worry they will jump on their legs and hurt themselves you know, but we're lucky, he came back very well. He looks good tonight," said Blais. "That's a good feeling." With 200 points, Macho Martini leads the two-year-old trotting colts into the Oct. 17 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top 10 point earners will compete in the $250,000 season finale and Blais said the colt's performance in that event will determine whether his freshman campaign comes to a close or carries on for a few more starts. "We're going to see after that, how is he after that. He'll have almost 11, 12 races this year. It's lots of races for a two-year-old," said the trainer. "It just depends how he feels. We don't decide, he decides if he wants to race again." Complete results from Thursday's program are available at Flamboro Downs Results. Gold Series point standings can be found on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 15, 2020 - Due to recent changes in the Flamboro Downs schedule, the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series Leg for the two-year-old trotting colts originally slated for Wednesday, Oct. 7 has been moved forward one day to Thursday, Oct. 8 at the Dundas half-mile. The draw for the rescheduled Gold leg will be completed on Monday, Oct. 5, with the box closing at 10 am. Post time for the Thursday, Oct. 8 event remains 6:35 pm. The Thursday, Oct. 8 Gold Series leg at Flamboro Downs will wrap up the two-year-old trotting colts' regular season. The top 10 point earners from the five regular season legs will then advance to the Oct. 17 Super Final. The amended 2020 Flamboro Downs race date calendar can be found here. Gold Series point standings can be found on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

ELORA, ON - SEPT. 4, 2020 - Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras had a perfect night in Ontario Sires Stakes action at Grand River Raceway on Friday, Sept. 4, steering the winners of all three $72,267 Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Gingras kicked off his driving hat trick with Twin B Sunkissed. Starting from Post 3, Twin B Sunkissed left smartly and then yielded to Game Of Shadows heading by the :27.4 quarter. Game Of Shadows continued to lead at the :57.2 half, but was under pressure from Voelz Delight by the 1:26 three-quarters. Circling the duelling leaders at the top of the stretch, Twin B Sunkissed battled Voelz Delight down the stretch and was able to get a head in front at the 1:54.3 finish. Game Of Shadows settled for third. "She actually raced really good. I'd never sat behind her, and I was really happy," said Gingras, who was making his first appearance in the Sunshine Beach daughter's race bike. "The trip worked out obviously, but I think she performed really good. It was a good mile here tonight." Embro, ON resident Frances Dumouchel trains Twin B Sunkissed for his co-owners Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy and 9174 7998 Quebec Inc. of St-Janvier-Mirabel, QC. The win was the filly's first in six career starts. In her two previous Gold Series appearances the filly had finished fifth and sixth, which gives her a total of 58 points and a spot in the top 10 heading into the last Gold Series leg. The top 10 point earners at the end of the regular season will advance to the $250,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 17. Gingras was back in the winner's circle after the second division with lightly rated City By The Bay. Also starting from Post 3, Gingras settled City By The Bay in fourth and watched fan favourite Postscript put up a :28 opening quarter. Heading for the :57.3 half, the reinsman tipped City By The Bay out behind Nightlife Seelster and tracked that filly as she challenged the pacesetter through the 1:26.3 three-quarters. Coming off the final turn Gingras gave City By The Bay a clear look at the wire and the filly powered down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:56. Shiatzu Seelster and Shes A Sassy Beach finished second and third. "I raced her last week and she really didn't give me, I think, her best effort, but they changed the bridle on her and then I think maybe the smaller track probably played in her favour as well," said Gingras, who calls New Jersey home, but is currently in Ontario for six weeks of stakes action. "She had a good trip, but she really exploded home. I was really happy with how she raced tonight. Last week she didn't have that, but tonight she had a real good kick." Ashleigh Hensley trains City By The Bay for Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, William Switala and James Martin of Clarence Center, NY and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA. The win was the Bettors Delight daughter's first after finishing fourth, second and seventh in the first three legs, giving her 85 points and a share of fourth in the standings. The final division saw Gingras partner up with Battle Of The Belles champion Scarlett Hanover and the filly once again delivered a dominant performance over the Grand River half-mile. Starting from Post 7, Scarlett Hanover had to dodge a breaking Alumni Seelster on her way to the front, but still reached the quarter in :28.2. From there it was all Scarlett Hanover as she rang up a :59 half and a 1:27.1 three-quarters before pulling away to a five length victory in 1:54.4. Fan favourite Best Head West had to settle for second and Sportsdrink completed the top three. "This one was really, really good, she won super easy. I mean she was really the one I thought that had a good chance to do some good tonight, and she showed up for sure," said Gingras. "She gets around this track so good and she won really easy." A stablemate to City By The Bay in the Ashleigh Hensley barn, Scarlett Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, Frank Baldachino of Clarksburg, NJ, J And T Silva - Purnel & Libby of Delray Beach, FL and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA. The Bettors Delight daughter has a flawless record of three wins in three appearances at Grand River Raceway. Her first Gold Series win boosted Scarlett Hanover into third spot in the standings with 88 points. The filly finished fourth, second and fifth in the first three legs. The two-year-old pacing fillies will wrap up their Gold Series regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 5. Complete results from Friday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. Current point standings can be found on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, AUG. 21, 2020 - When harness racing driver Trevor Henry arrived at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday, Aug. 21 he was expecting to drive division leading Desperate Man in the second of two $107,200 Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts. He did not have a drive in the first Gold division. Fortunately for Henry, Jack Darling had just learned that Randy Waples was unable to drive Friday and the trainer was in need of a replacement to steer Bulldog Hanover in the first split. Henry was happy to step into the breach and eight races later he had piloted both colts to Gold Series victories. Starting from the outside Post 9, Henry dropped Bulldog Hanover down to the rail in seventh and sat at the back of the main pack as Lawless Shadow sprinted out to a :26.3 quarter and battled Springbridge Duel to a :55.3 half. Springbridge Duel kept the tempo lively through the 1:23.4 three-quarters as No Bettor Joy and Bulldog Hanover started to advance up the outer lane. Turning for home Henry moved Bulldog Hanover into an open lane and the colt sprinted down the stretch to a three length victory in a personal best 1:52. Favourite Lawless Shadow finished second and Flash Cube was third. "He raced good for the nine-hole He had a lot of luck, three of them made breaks, and he landed in a good spot, but yeah he raced really well," said Henry. "He's a nice colt." "Trevor did a good job. When he drew the nine-hole you're kind of expecting the worst, but actually the trip worked out perfect and he got around all the breaking horses," added owner-trainer Darling. "So he got a little bit lucky and ended up getting a good trip, but he raced big too. That was a nice mile." Bulldog Hanover started his Ontario Sires Stakes campaign at the Grassroots level, finishing second in the July 6 season opener and romping to a five length win in the July 20 leg, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. With a month in between the second Grassroots leg and Friday's test, Darling gave the Shadow Play son a tightener in an Aug. 11 qualifier, where Bulldog Hanover cruised to an 11 length win in 1:56. "He's basically been a nice colt all the way through; he just kept getting better and better as we went. He qualified good, he won the Grassroots kind of handy, so we gave him a try in the Gold and it looks like he's a nice Gold horse too," said Cambridge, ON resident Darling. "He's just a nice horse. He's just that cocky type, always feeling good, got lots of try to him, and a beautiful looking horse. Most of the Shadow Plays are great looking horses and he is one of them." Another good-looking son of Shadow Play, Desperate Man lined up at Post 3 in the second Gold division and left well enough to land in fourth as Bettor Sun and Darling-trainee Avion Seelster hustled to a :26.2 quarter. Bettor Sun marched on to a :55 half, with Henry angling Desperate Man off the rail and catching a windbreak from Ucanttouchthis. As Bettor Sun paced by the 1:23.2 three-quarters, Desperate Man had advanced to third and once the colts squared up in the stretch Henry asked the favourite for another gear and Desperate Man drew away to a one and one-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:51.2. Bettor Sun stayed game for second and Socrates Blue Chip closed to be third. Two-year-old pacing colt Desperate Man won his third straight Gold Series division "Tonight he got second-over and kind of got towed up into it," said Henry. "I figured he would be a little short because he hasn't raced in a while, and then the qualifier we had him in he made a break at the gate and he never got a real good workout that day, but he still finds a way to win. Good ones do." Desperate Man romped to victory in the July 3 Gold Series opener and the July 18 Gold leg, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and then dropped into the same Aug. 11 qualifier as Bulldog Hanover for his prep in advance of Friday's start. However, things did not go according to plan for Henry, trainer Kathy Cecchin and her co-owners, husband John Cecchin, daughter Nicole Davies and son-in-law Paul Davies, all from Arthur, ON. Desperate Man made a break behind the starting gate and was never part of the action. "He was just behind the gate so long, because with the two-year-olds they bring the gate way to the back here and he was behind it for quite a while," Henry explained. "He actually, when I schooled him the once he did it, but then he landed right away and I got away with him, but that day he just didn't land and it was just one of those things. Better going for nothing than when he's going for money." While Henry does not foresee any long term issues for the colt behind the starting gate, he said it is unlikely Desperate Man will be hustling off the wings this season. "I don't think you'd want to really rush him out of there, it takes him a while to kind of get in gear; he's a big colt. He'll come to that when he gets older, but for now it takes him a while to get in the motion," said the driver. "He's not maybe as quick off the gate as some of them, but he always, he's quicker home than the rest of them." The two-year-old pacing colts will make their fourth Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 5 before wrapping up their regular season at Flamboro Downs on Oct. 4. The top 10 point earners through the regular season will earn a spot in the $250,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 17. Complete results from Friday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Find current point standings on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard. Video: Race 4 - Bulldog Hanover; Race 8 - Desperate Man OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

OTTAWA, AUG. 16, 2020 - Thirty-eight of the finest harness racing three-year-old pacing colts in Canada descended on Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 16 to compete in two $104,800 Gold Series divisions, three $22,00 Grassroots splits and a single $7,100 Prospect Series division and, in spite of a drenching, the colts put on an impressive show. Sunday's Gold divisions served as a final North America Cup tune-up for top ranked Tattoo Artist and Beaumond Hanover and both colts looked ready to take on the continent's best in the Aug. 22 eliminations. In the first Gold split Tattoo Artist and driver Bob McClure cruised through fractions of :27.2, :55 and 1:23.1 on their way to a 1:50.4 victory, two lengths ahead of Beach Blanket Book. Bettorbuckleup was three more lengths back in third. One race later Beaumond Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson laid down a :27.4 quarter, :55.2 half and 1:23.2 three-quarters on their way to a 1:50.2 clocking, matching the Rideau Carleton Raceway track record for sophomore pacing colts and geldings. Aneto finished two and three-quarter lengths back in second and Tattoo Artist's stablemate Denali Seelster was four more lengths back in third. "It's making for quite a story. I don't know how those two draw apart from each other all the time," said Dr. Ian Moore, who trains Tattoo Artist. "But anyway, they are two nice colts. Those are wicked miles both of those two went tonight." Yet to face each other in Gold Series competition, Tattoo Artist and Beaumond Hanover are both three-for-three in the provincial program this season. While Beaumond Hanover was the quicker over Rideau Carleton Raceway's five-eighths mile, which was rated one second slower than normal due to the rain, Tattoo Artist has the edge on the Woodbine Mohawk Park seven-eighths, winning the July 4 Gold Series opener in 1:48.2. Cambridge, ON resident Moore conditions Tattoo Artist for Frank Cannon of Sanford, FL and Let It Ride Stables of Boca Raton, FL. In addition to his trio of Gold Series victories, the Hes Watching son also has a pair of wins in overnight action on his resume this season and has not been bested since his June 6 sophomore debut. At two, Tattoo Artist won a Grassroots division, two Gold legs and the season ending Super Final in an eight race campaign. Jack Darling owns and trains Beaumond Hanover, who missed out on his freshman Ontario Sires Stakes season due to an injury. Since making his debut last fall, the son of Sportswriter has posted nine wins in 12 starts. Like Tattoo Artist, he has a pair of overnight wins to his credit this season and has not been collared since late June. Unlike Tattoo Artist, he had never ventured away from Woodbine Mohawk Park and that fact caused Darling a few moments of concern on Sunday. "I was a little nervous because he was pretty worked up tonight, just being in a different environment and all the new surroundings. He was a handful to get calmed down and get him warmed up, but it didn't seem to hurt him in the race," said the Cambridge, ON resident. "He's just kind of a superior animal." Both colts will have a few days rest before beginning preparations for the North America Cup eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 22. In addition to Tattoo Artist's victory, Dr. Moore also captured the $7,100 Prospect Series division with Usurper and the first $22,100 Grassroots division with The Wild Card. Usurper and driver Trevor Henry controlled the tempo for most of the mile and were comfortable winners in 1:55.2. P H Impulse finished two lengths behind the fan favourite and Journalistic completed the top three. Next Generation Stable of Stratford, PEI owns the Sportswriter son, who had been winless in eight starts this season. In rein to Doug McNair, fan favourite The Wild Card also controlled the tempo and held off Sunshine List in the stretch to record a one-half length win in 1:54.1. Truffle Dog finished three lengths behind the leaders in third. Moore shares ownership of The Wild Card with R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NB and Serge Savard of St-Bruno, QC and said the partners are thoroughly enjoying the Bettors Delight son's sophomore success. Sunday's win was The Wild Card's third in the Grassroots program and gives him sole ownership of top spot in the division standings. "He's been a great little horse this year. It's been a very enjoyable experience with him this summer so far," said Moore. "I won't be putting him up in the Gold that's for sure, but he's a very nice Grassroots horse to have around, no doubt about that. "Very pleased with all four of them, actually, it will make the drive home a little bit nicer." Drivers Jody Jamieson and Trevor Henry also notched two stakes wins on Sunday's program. Jamieson piloted fan favourite Sports Obsession to a win in the second $22,450 Grassroots division for his wife, trainer Stephanie Jamieson, father, co-owner Carl Jamieson of Puslinch, ON, and George Harrison of Wanes Walton, England. The Sportswriter son powered along on the front end to a 1:54.1 victory, hitting the wire one length ahead of Beach Demon and Delightful Terror. Henry settled Sundown Kid in the pocket behind favourite Twin B Frenchtoast and then tipped the Sunshine Beach son out coming off the final turn in the last $22,450 Grassroots split. Sundown Kid powered home to a 1:52.1 victory, one and one-half lengths ahead of Twin B Frenchtoast. Rhett Seelster finished third. Henry engineered the win, the gelding's first in Grassroots action, for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his co-owners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The three-year-old pacing colts make their next Grassroots start on Sept. 7 and their next Gold Series appearance on Sept. 18, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The fourth Prospect Series division goes postward Sept. 6 at Leamington Raceway. Complete results for Sunday's program are available at Rideau Carleton Raceway Results. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

MILTON, ON - AUG. 13, 2020 - Thursday night marked the midway point in the three-year-old trotting filly Gold Series season and it was a pair of first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winners who emerged from the fray at Woodbine Mohawk Park. In the opening $108,000 division Trina hustled away from Post 10 behind division point leader Warrawee Vicky and followed that filly through the fractions of :26.4, :55.3 and 1:24.3 rung up by pacesetter GP Dreamin. When Doug McNair swung Warrawee Vicky into the outer lane around the final turn, Robert Shepherd and Trina were hot on their heels and soon overtaking the two-time Gold winners. Down the stretch Trina opened up a three and three-quarter length margin on her peers, trotting under the wire in 1:53.4. Warrawee Vicky finished second and She Rocks Kemp closed well to be third. "Shep gave her a great drive. He didn't give up the three-hole and it was just a perfect drive for her," said trainer Blake MacIntosh of St. George, ON. "I was really worried about the 10-hole because she can get real grabby on the gate, and then she wants to leave a thousand miles out of there. That's why we opened her up a little bit, just to try and keep her a little calmer, and it seemed to help her a lot. And Shep did a great job getting her out right behind Dougie (McNair) and sitting in the three-hole the whole way. Not a lot of guys can get them away well out of the ten-hole, trailing." MacIntosh made the switch from a blind bridle to Swedish blinds after Trina delivered a lacklustre performance in an Aug. 6 overnight at Woodbine Mohawk Park. That effort came as a surprise to the trainer and his co-owners Stan Klemencic and 30 Plus Stable of Trenton, ON, because the Muscle Mass daughter had finished second in the track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record mile recorded by P L Notsonice in the July 26 Gold leg at Rideau Carleton Raceway. "She qualified great, both times (July 14 and 21), we took her up to Ottawa and she finished second in that record mile up there and last week we raced her in non-winners of two and she just had no fire, she just had nothing," said MacIntosh. "I'm not too sure what happened, we pulled her blood, but everything came back good, she just had nothing, so we were really concerned about it." Thursday's victory, a personal best, certainly allayed her owners' concerns. The win was Trina's first for the group, who offered up $59,000 for the filly at last fall's Harrisburg Mixed Sale, her first win of 2020 and her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. In the second $108,000 division driver Louis-Philippe Roy rolled Royalty Deal away from Post 6 and landed in second behind Talahasse Seelster as that filly rang up a :27.4 opening fraction. Roy and Royalty Deal continued to sit behind Talahasse Seelster heading by the :56 half, but had stepped into the outer lane by the 1:24.4 three-quarters. Royalty Deal found another gear in the stretch and was able to keep a neck in front of Magic Cape at the 1:53.4 finish. Modern Mass completed the top three. "I didn't know much about how the filly was until Clark (Beelby) told me before the race that she could be aggressive on the track. I just made sure she stayed quiet during the post parade and going on the gate, and then everything developed for her," said Roy. "She's a big and fast filly." Roy engineered the win for trainer Clark Beelby and owners Coyote Wynd Farms of Vancouver, BC, who purchased the daughter of Royalty For Life and Cha Cha Glide for $50,000 at the 2018 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale from breeder Stan Klemencic, giving the Trenton, ON resident an interest in both division winners. Thursday's appearance was Royalty Deal's first in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. The filly made just one start at two and developed her skills in six starts against conditioned competition at Woodbine Mohawk Park this season before joining the Gold Series fillies for Thursday's third leg. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Gold Series start at Flamboro Downs on Sept. 27. Complete results from Thursday's program, which also featured the finals of the Millard Farms and Pure Ivory Series', are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at the Milton oval on Friday, Aug. 14 with five Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. The fillies open the program at 7 pm and will also compete in Races 4, 6, 8 and 9. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON — Grand River Raceway’s 30th annual Industry Day event on August 3 sustained bouts of heavy rain during the 10-race anniversary card which boasted purses of $669,663 with nine harness racing stake events, featuring the track’s two marquee dashes. But it was a sunny finish for the Guelph, ON father-son duo of Gregg and Doug McNair who clinched their fourth Battle Of Waterloo victory.  At 8-5, Bettor Sun was the co-favourite heading into post time for the $200,964 contest for rookie Ontario-sired pacing colts.  Trained by Gregg McNair for breeder/owner Willow Oak Ranch, the Sunshine Beach colt was piloted by Doug McNair, who left from post two and took control of the field by the half-mile marker. The pair finished a length ahead of Avion Seelster (Jody Jamieson) and Cantstoplying (Jonathan Drury). A 35-1 champ in last week’s maiden-breaking effort in his elimination division, Bettor Sun’s 1:54.1 finish in that dash set a Canadian season record for two-year-old pacing colts over a half-mile oval.  He bested his own record with today’s clocking of 1:53.4. “Last week he surprised a lot of people, including myself,” Doug McNair following the final. “He’s the colt I liked the most of dad’s two-year-olds this year.”  “He’s good gaited; he gets around like a hoop around a barrel.” The McNairs previously won the Battle Of Waterloo with Magnum J in 2017, Three Of Clubs in 2013, and Trail Boss in 2008. Bettor Sun’s triumph boosts his bankroll to $116,558 in three career starts. 12th annual Battle Of The Belles Scarlett Hanover and Ed Hensley left from the second tier and carved out a solid pocket trip to take the $128,149 Battle Of The Belles final in a new stakes record of 1:54.3. The mile also set a Canadian season record for rookie pacing fillies over a half-mile track and just missed the divisional track record by one-fifth of a second.  “I followed a good horse and got a great trip,” said Hensley of eventual runner-up, Ring Of Kerry, who led the field to the three-quarter marker. “My mare was getting a little rammy; she wanted out of the there and I was able to get out at the right time.” In last week’s elimination division, Scarlett Hanover wired the field to capture her maiden in 1:55.3. Ashleigh Hensley trains the Bettors Delight daughter, a $45,000 yearling purchase and winner of $101,855 in four career starts for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Ring Of Kerry was the runner-up with Sylvain Filion and Cyclone Seelster was close behind in third with Bob McClure. OSS undercard Three-year-old pacing fillies in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) underpinned the card with two Gold Series divisions and five fields of Grassroots contenders. Last year’s Battle Of The Belles champ, Karma Seelster was an impressive winner in the first Gold Series division which kicked off the matinee program. Piloted by Doug McNair, the Sportswriter filly was 7-1 as she took to the front of the field early in the mile en route to clocking her 1:53 victory (just one-fifth of a second off the track record). Owned by Eileen and Keith Waples and Karen Hauver, the Gregg McNair trainee is a career winner of five races and $354,005. Sound Idea with Bob McClure and Betalady with Jody Jamieson rounded out the top three. Lauras Love took the second Gold Series division in 1:54.2 with a half-length advantage over Rose Run Vantage (Sylvain Filion) who cut out the mile. All Day Sunshine (Louis Philippe Roy) was third.  It was the second consecutive win for Lauras Love, and seventh of the season from 11 starts. John Pentland trains and co-owns the Betterthancheddar filly with Gracie Mae Barr. Her lion’s share of the $105,600 purse brings her career tally to $141,584.  Race favourite Kat captured her first season win in the first of five OSS Grassroots divisions (Race 2) for trainer James Dean. With Jody Jamieson in the bike, the pair took control of the field at the first quarter and staved off outside attackers at the final quarter, with a half-length score in 1:56. The daughter of Hes Watching is owned by Wilma and James MacKenzie. Count To Three with Trevor Henry and Docs Harmony (Travis Cullen) were close behind at the wire. Free Flyin Ticket scored her second consecutive OSS Grassroots victory in Race 3. Paul MacDonell steered the Betterthancheddar filly to a three-length win in 1:54.1, elevating her to the top of the OSS division standings. Trainer Anthony Beaton co-owns with David Mercer, Gary Volpe and George Quarterone. The runner-up was High Roller Duke (Colin Kelly), while Tuggingoncredit finished third (Louis Philippe Roy). Bettorthanbobbie added another win to her burgeoning collection, with a half-length score in Race 5. Sylvain Filion steered the bettors’ top choice to her sixth season win in 1:54.4 for trainer Marcel Barrieau and owner Ian Smith. Bettorthanbobbie is a career winner of 11 races and $53,828. Doug McNair managed a wire-to-wire trip with Landry Seelster in Race 6. The race favourite posted her second consecutive OSS victory in 1:55 for trainer Michael Ellis and owner Kim Lezanchuk. Jonathan Drury and Mary Kat finished second, followed by Coqui Coqui with Travis Cullen.   The final Grassroots division was the quickest, claimed by Preeminence, winning by open lengths with Bob McClure in the bike in a new career best of 1:54. Sent off at 9-5, The Sportswriter filly is trained by Marcel Barrieau for Claude Baril, Gilles Caouette and Michael Daneault.  Keystone Kalimba (Jody Jamieson) was second and race favourite Trafalgar (Sylvain Filion) rounded out the top three. The card’s only overnight race was a $15,000 Preferred in Race 4 which was contested under heavy rain. The sloppy track didn’t deter Pretty Handsome from claiming his 27th career win in 1:55. Sent off at 3-1 with Colin Kelly aboard, the five-year-old pacer began his first-over attack in the final quarter and finished a length ahead of Exit Smiling with J. R. Plante and Toot Toot N with Ed Hensley.  Pretty Handsome is trained by Lacey McCabe for owner Glenview Livestock Ltd and is a career winner of $270,975. Total handle for this year’s 10-race Industry Day was $392,062 which was down slightly from the 11-race card handle of $488,696 in 2019. From Grand River Raceway

MILTON, ON - JULY 30, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park hosted a pair of $108,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old trotting colts on Wednesday, July 30 and Macho Martini and Tokyo Seelster both made their third straight harness racing appearance in the Milton oval's winner's circle. First off the gate was Macho Martini, starting from Post 8 with regular reinsman Bob McClure in the race bike. The pair had to dodge a breaking Royal Tyrone heading into the first turn and were six lengths off the pace when Rookie Season reached the :28.2 quarter, but Macho Martini had caught the leaders by the :58.3 half and established a comfortable lead before the 1:28.2 three-quarters. Heading for home the fan favourite opened up a four and one-half length margin on his peers and hit the wire in 1:56.4. Master Grand overcame a bobble at the start and interference at the half to finish second and Rookie Season was four more lengths back in third. "What a fun horse to be a part of. Every week he just goes out and does his job," said Rockwood, ON resident McClure. "His personality off the track too, he's just a big, cocky kid, just a lot of fun." Campbellville, ON resident Luc Blais conditions Macho Martini for Determination of Montreal, QC, who offered up $37,000 for the Muscle Mass son at the 2019 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Blais said the colt demonstrated talent all winter and has already developed into a professional racehorse. "He was always the best colt in the winter, training. He's a mature horse, he looks like a three-year-old, strong and mature," said Blais. "He's very professional. He's got a nice presence. He's a proud horse, you know. What you see on the track, he's like that in the barn." With a full slate of stakes events on his calendar, including the Champlain and William Wellwood Memorial, Blais said Macho Martini will enjoy a mini-vacation next week after winning the first two Gold legs and the first leg of the Millard Farms Series. "He had three big weeks now and we're going to give him a week off," said Blais. "The season is going to be long now, the big race coming in a couple weeks. We're going to try to make him fresh as we can." In the second division Tokyo Seelster left smartly from Post 7 and was sitting third when Highland Mowgli reached the quarter in :29. Regular reinsman Sylvain Filion soon had Tokyo Seelster on the move and the fan favourite hit the half in :58.2. Harry mounted a challenge heading for the 1:29.1 three-quarters and got a head in front of Tokyo Seelster, but the colt kicked it into another gear and powered away to a three and one-half length victory in 1:57. Highland Mowgli finished second and Harry was third. "Leaving the gate I was just being careful to avoid breakers and stuff like that and once we turned on the backside, I pulled to go to the front, decided to control the pace," said Milton, ON resident Filion. "Once he got there he relaxed really good, he relaxed almost too much, he kind of fell asleep on me, until Paul Walker came alongside with his trotter (Harry) and then he took off again. He was really, really strong at the wire. "That's what I like about him, he's going to probably last longer that way," said Filion of the colt's laidback approach to racing. "I'd rather have him like this than the opposite, too rammy and stuff like that, no, that's a good quality in a two-year-old trotter." Richard Moreau trains Tokyo Seelster for Michael and Sam Sergi of Canton, NY, who purchased the Kadabra son for $52,000 at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. The Sergi's watched the race from home and were impressed with the youngster's third effort. "At the top of the stretch they were all coming pretty good at him and I thought, 'Geez', but when he found that extra gear then we were all like, 'Wow'. He could be the real deal," said Michael Sergi. "It's sort of bittersweet that we can't come there to watch, because we can't cross the border, but we'll cheer from home I guess." Sam Sergi bought his first Standardbred four decades ago and has shared his love of harness racing with son Michael over the years, from driving and training to breeding mares and standing stallions. They typically start their young horses at their Canton farm before handing them over to trainers, but Tokyo Seelster remained in Ontario after the sale last fall. "My dad usually breaks them but he was having some health issues so we just decided to leave him there to be broke. We were actually going to bring him home and train him but we live in New York, our track was really bad, it was pure ice for most of the winter, so that's when we decided to send him to Robbie," said Sergi, noting that Tokyo Seelster learned his first lessons from Moreau and his staff, moved to the barn of Ottawa horseman Robbie Robinson for his winter conditioning, and then returned to Moreau in time for the Gold Series season opener on July 9. "Every time we would call and talk he (Robinson) was like, 'Yeah, he's doing great, feeling good'. And a couple of times he was even like, 'You know, I really don't want to jinx him, I just don't want to say, but he is special'." Sergi said Tokyo Seelster looks to be the best two-year-old trotting colt the family has owned, and they look forward to watching him battle in the remaining Gold events, as well as the Champlain and William Wellwood Memorial. The freshman trotting colts will make their third Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Aug. 20. Complete results from Thursday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at the Milton oval on Friday, July 31 with three Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies. The fillies will compete in Races 1, 4 and 8, with the first race getting underway at 7 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

The afternoon harness racing card is set for Grand River Raceway’s 30th annual Industry Day event on August 3. The lineup boasts purses of $669,663 with nine stake races, featuring the track’s marquee dashes — the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles — and sophomore pacing fillies in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS). 23rd annual Battle Of Waterloo The Battle Of Waterloo is the tenth and final dash of the day. Elimination winner Bettor Sun drew the rail in the $200,964 contest for freshman Ontario-sired pacing colts.  A 35-1 champ in his maiden-breaking effort, Bettor Sun’s 1:54.1 finish with Doug McNair set a Canadian season record for two-year-old pacing geldings over a half-mile oval. Gregg McNair trains the Sunshine Beach colt for breeder/owner Willow Oak Ranch.  The runner-up by a head in that elimination dash was betting favourite Springbridge Duel. He starts from the second tier (post nine) in the final. Trained by Casie Coleman Herlihy, the son of Big Jim is owned by West Wins Stable, Steve Heimbecker and Mark Kantrowitz and is the richest of the field with $110,150 banked in three starts, including two OSS Gold wins. The other elimination race winner, Candy Trader, starts from post seven. His second consecutive victory for trainer Anthony Beaton came in rein to Sylvain Filion when the pacer popped out from the rail to rush by stretch leader Avion Seelster (post six in the final), winning by a neck in 1:55.2. This mile was also a Canadian season record for two-year-old pacing colts over a half-miler. Past winners of the Battle Of Waterloo contending in this year’s final include: Blake MacIntosh, trainer of Armor Seelster (post three) who won the race with Sports Column in 2016; and the McNair father-son duo won with Magnum J in 2017, Three Of Clubs in 2013, and Trail Boss in 2008. 12th annual Battle Of The Belles Andra Day was an impressive four-length winner in her elimination division, capturing her third consecutive win for trainer Dr. Ian Moore. The in 1:55 clocking set a Canadian season record for rookie pacing fillies over a half-mile track.  She did it all after leaving from the far outside (post eight), which is where she starts again for the $128,149 final. The Shadow Play filly is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing. Scarlett Hanover wired the field to capture her maiden win in her elimination division. With Ed Hensley in the bike, the pair clocked the mile in 1:55.3. She’ll start from the second tier (post nine) in Monday’s big dance.  Ashleigh Hensley trains the Bettors Delight daughter, a $45,000 yearling purchase and winner of $37,781 in three career starts for owners Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Trainer Anthony Beaton was third in the 2018 edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Village Joules and has two fillies in contention this year. Ring Of Kerry (Betterthancheddar) and Turning The Table (Bettors Delight) leave from posts one and two, respectively. Gregg McNair won last year’s edition of the Battle Of The Belles with Karma Seelster. In 2013, he won this race (with Lady Shadow) and the Battle Of Waterloo (with Three Of Clubs). This year he campaigns Siri Blue Chip, a runner-up in her elimination division. She leaves from post three in the final. OSS undercard The day starts with a bang at 12:30 p.m. with the first of two OSS Gold races, this one headlined by current division leader Sex Appeal and last year’s freshman division champ (and O’Brien Award winner) Alicorn. Undefeated in both OSS Gold starts this year, Sex Appeal drew the rail for Monday’s $105,600 contest with Trevor Henry for trainer Bob McIntosh who shares ownership of the homebred daughter of Bettors Delight with Al McIntosh. She has finished first or second in all six season starts for earnings of $115,583. Her last OSS victory at Woodbine-Mohawk Park established a new career mark and Canadian season record of 1:50.2. Starting the race to Sex Appeal’s right from post two, Alicorn is currently tied for third in the OSS standings and jogged in a seven-length qualifying win over the Elora, ON track last week in 1:55.2 (a Canadian season record over a half-mile track). Trained by Chantal Mitchell and driven by Louis Philippe Roy, the Bettors Delight filly is a current track record holder at Grand River Raceway. In 2019, she matched the 1:54.2 clocking for rookie pacing fillies during her elimination win in the Battle Of The Belles. Alicorn was second in that final, beaten a half-length by 27-1 shot Karma Seelster. She too is back in Elora for this 2020 Industry Day opener, leaving from post four with Doug McNair for trainer Gregg McNair. The second OSS Gold division is carded as Race 7 and includes all of the fillies currently holding division standings from second through sixth. Rod Boyd trainee Rose Run Victoria is the most recent OSS Gold winner of the bunch. She set a new career best of 1:51.2 two weeks ago over Woodbine-Mohawk Park and leaves from post two with Robert Shepherd in Monday’s outing. Five divisions of three-year-old pacing fillies in the OSS Grassroots division round out the action-packed card. WAGERING & BROADCAST DETAILS The 10-race Industry Day card kicks off at 12:30 p.m. EST  The Early Pick 4 (starts in Race 3) and the Late Pick 4 (starts in Race 7) both feature guaranteed pools of $7,500 each. Race programs and live streaming video in HD are available for all cards at and wagering is available through COSA-TV (managed by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association) will present exclusive Industry Day coverage in a live two-hour special hosted on its social media platforms. The show is hosted by Greg Blanchard, Mark McKelvie and Jaimi MacDonald and will include coverage of the Battle of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles, feature stories about the contenders and prizing opportunities for viewers.    SPECTATORS Grand River Raceway is currently allowing 100 guests on the tarmac during live races. Attendees are still required to follow strict physical distancing requirements. The grandstand and main building remain closed. Attendance is restricted to AGCO licensees and pre-registration is required. Tickets are available through Eventbrite at Tickets for owners of horses racing on August 3rd will be made available July 29 at 12:00pm, AGCO Licensees on July 31 at 12:00pm, and General Admission, if tickets remain, on August 3rd at 9:00am. Owners and their guests of the finalists in the Battle Of Waterloo and Battle Of The Belles will be given first opportunity to secure tarmac attendance. From Grand River Raceway  

OTTAWA, ON - JULY 26, 2020 - Rideau Carleton Raceway rolled out the red carpet for Ontario's talented three-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday, July 26 and a very fast carpet it turned out to be. Three Ontario Gold Series divisions, five Grassroots divisions and one Prospect Series division went postward at the Ottawa oval and in the first $71,467 Gold Series split P L Notsonice roared to a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record 1:52.4 victory. In rein to regular Canadian pilot Jonathan Drury, P L Notsonice left smartly from Post 5 and had command of the tempo before the :28.4 quarter. Susies Lady was quickly out to challenge P L Notsonice and the two fillies duelled to a :56.4 half before Susies Lady conceded defeat. Fan favourite P L Notsonice maintained the sharp pace through the 1:24.3 three-quarters and then drew away to a four and one-quarter length victory over pocket-sitter Trina and Shape Shifter. The mile stripped almost three seconds off the former three-year-old trotting filly track record of 1:55.3 set in 2004 by the great Peaceful Way and matched in 2015 by Amoureuse Hanover, and also bettered the 1:53 all-age track record for trotters set by Majestic Son in 2007. It also lowered the 1:54.2 Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record for three-year-old trotting fillies on a five-eighths mile track set by Cross Of Lorraine at Georgian Downs in 2010 and matched by Miss Paris in 2012. "It was very exciting. Ronnie (Morales) was so excited he didn't answer his phone. And he didn't watch the race he was so nervous, he watched the replay," said Norm Clements, whose Prince Lee Acres bred the filly and shares ownership on her with Renaldo "Ronnie" Morales III of Sayre, PA. "We've only got a small stable, we've been cutting way back, but this is special because it's a homebred and it's all my guys that have looked after it. It's sort of a family thing, which is really neat. So it's very exciting, we're very blessed that this has all happened." The win was the Kadabra filly's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action and her third of the 2020 season, with her other two victories coming at Tioga Downs, where driver-trainer Morales and trainer Joseph Skowyra are based. For each of her Gold Series starts - she finished second in the July 2 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park - she has shipped north to race without her regular driver and trainer and then shipped back to Tioga Downs. "We ship her from Tioga so it's not without its challenges," said Uxbridge, ON resident Clements. "But right now she's as good as anybody I guess. I'm excited to watch the next Golds. It's exciting because so many people have been involved with it and we're all, everybody is excited. I've had more phone calls on this than I've had in a long time." In the second $71,467 Gold division, Warrawee Vicky returned to the track where she learned her early lessons and snuck up the inside to claim a neck victory in 1:56. Magic Cape finished second and pacesetter and fan favourite GP Dreamin settled for third. "I don't worry about time, she beat the best filly out there and I'm glad we got through along the rail. A win's a win and we're going to take it," said Puslinch resident Scott McEneny, who trains Warrawee Vicky for Brad Grant of Milton, ON. "She's getting better with the open bridle on, she's getting more relaxed. Sometimes she gets too relaxed, but I was happy with her." Driver Doug McNair engineered Warrawee Vicky's second Gold Series win of the season, putting the Royalty For Life daughter at the top of the division standings with a perfect 100 points. The final $72,266 Gold split saw Massive Flirt return to the provincial winner's circle just over one year since her first appearance. The Muscle Mass daughter, whose freshman campaign was cut short due to injury, controlled the pace from start to finish and held on in the stretch for a neck victory in a personal best 1:55.4. Talahassee Seelster finished second and She Rocks Kemp was third. "It was significantly slower than the other division, the PL horse that won the first division looked bionic, but yeah, we're certainly happy to get that one," said trainer Jeff Gillis. "She's honest. She doesn't want to give up the lead, she doesn't want to make a break, she does whatever she can." Hillsburgh resident Gillis bred and owns Massive Flirt with Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON. The filly and regular reinsman Jody Jamieson were fourth in the Gold Series season opener. Rideau Carleton Raceway regular Tyler Jones recorded his first Ontario Sires Stakes win in his provincial program debut, steering Archangel daughter Peppas Angel to a 2:00.1 score in the second $22,800 Grassroots division for his father, trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON, Hebert Horses Inc. of Montreal and Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc. of Lakefield Gore, QC. Validation finished second and Rockadero was third. "When I saw the rail horse made a break, I said, 'Well I might as well take a shot and go to the front', and it worked out," said Jones. "I wasn't a big favourite, so I kind of expected somebody to re-move and nobody did, and when somebody came up first-over I just drove on and she responded. Then she came back with a nice last quarter to win. "Me and my dad were pretty happy to win together, that was pretty cool," added the Sherbrooke, QC resident. "I hadn't seen my dad in four months and his birthday is the 31st of July, so it's kind of a nice little get together to have a race and have a win together." The other Grassroots divisions went to Th Present (Royalty For Life) and Bob McClure, who stopped the clock in 1:57.2 for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueil, QC; Pier Ho Kado (Kadabra) and Sylvain Filion, who were 1:57.4 winners for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owners Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, ON; Profound Paragon (Muscle Mass) and Jean Bernard Renaud, who got their second Grassroots win of the season with a 1:57.2 effort for trainer Julie Walker of Carlisle, ON and Steven Titus of Manalapan, NJ; and HP Starlite (Muscle Mass) and Sylvain Filion, who posted a 1:56.4 win for trainer Daniel Martin and owners Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Guy Desautels of Montreal, QC. The $7,500 Prospect Series division was captured by local reinsman Guy Gagnon and Keep Ya Head Up. The Archangel daughter sailed to a 1:57.3 victory for trainer Susanne Kerwood and Rene Dion of Acton, David Nicol of Mount Hope and Princeton Farms Inc. of Princeton, ON. Complete results for Sunday's program are available at Rideau Carleton Raceway Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 16 with Gold, Grassroots and Prospect Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

OTTAWA, ON - JULY 24, 2020 - Rideau Carleton Raceway harness racing fans will be treated to a full slate of three-year-old trotting fillies this Sunday, July 26 as the Ottawa oval kicks off its 2020 Ontario Sires Stakes season. The fillies will compete in three $71,000-plus Gold Series divisions, five $22,000-plus Grassroots divisions and a single $7,500 Prospect Series division. Top Gold Series filly Warrawee Vicky, who was developed at Rideau Carleton Raceway by Metcalfe, ON resident Robbie Robinson, makes her return to the Ottawa oval in the second Gold Series division. "She seems to be coming into the race in good form. She qualified last week (July 17) just to tighten her up," said Scott McEneny, who trains the Royalty For Life daughter for owner Brad Grant of Milton, ON. "It looks like a tough division, but she should be one of the tough ones. We'll be hoping for a good trip." Warrawee Vicky and driver Doug McNair will line up at Post 2 in the $71,467 test, looking for their second Gold Series win of the season. They face a field of five, including GP Dreamin, who was also a winner in the July 2 Gold Series opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park and is undefeated in four starts this season. Lansdowne native Shawn Steacy will start two fillies in Grassroots action, including division co-leader Moana, who gets Post 4 in the last $22,800 Grassroots split. "I think Moana should be very good and competitive, especially with the four-hole there, the way she raced in Clinton," said Steacy. "We had a little sickness go through the barn last week, but I think it's basically all over. Moana had a little bit of a temperature coming out of the race last time, but she seems to be 100 per cent healthy now, so I think she should be good." Moana and driver James MacDonald scored a 1:59.2 victory from the outside Post 7 at Clinton Raceway on July 5. A three-time winner in the Grassroots program last season, the Muscle Mass daughter is owned by Landmark 12 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Stablemate Cute Accountant also gets Post 4 in the third $23,150 Grassroots division and Steacy is hoping the Archangel daughter can finally put together a successful start for owners Landmark 12 Racing Stable, 1187422 Ontario Inc. and Stephen Klunowski of North York, ON. "She has just as much speed as Moana, and any normal horse in the Grassroots, but she just can't keep herself together," said the trainer. "She's probably left more wins on the table this year than just about any other horse." MacDonald will also steer Cute Accountant, who made a break and finished fifth in the Grassroots season opener. Both fillies will arrive in the Ottawa area on Friday, shipping back to the Steacy's Lansdowne farm, where they learned their early lessons. "We trained them at the farm here, at the First Line farm, yesterday (Wednesday), trained them around 2:02, and we're sending them back to our home farm tomorrow (Friday) where they're just going to jog and rest before the race on Sunday," said Steacy. "We have a full good facility there that we're able to use where other people have to truck in the day before or day of, whatever they do, and ours will get home and relax a little bit." Although Ottawa harness racing fans will not be able to watch the fillies compete in person, a downloadable program and live stream are available on Rideau Carleton Raceway's website. In addition to Sunday's slate of Ontario Sires Stakes events, Rideau Carleton Raceway will also host Gold, Grassroots and Prospect Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts on Sunday, Aug. 16. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - JULY 17, 2020 - Upsets were the order of the day at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday as both favourites in the three-year-old pacing filly Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series harness racing divisions went down to defeat. In the first $106,400 split driver Trevor Henry sent the fans' third choice, Sex Appeal ($8.80), straight to the front from Post 5 and reeled off fractions of :26.2, : 55.2 and 1:23.1 as fan favourite Lauras Love sat fourth. In the stretch pocket-sitter Beach Sports mounted a spirited challenge, but Sex Appeal prevailed for a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:50.2. Lauras Love closed to be third, but was still two lengths behind the duelling leaders. "She gets better every week. I don't how far she'll go, but every week she seems to get better and better," said Henry of the winner. "She has turned into a nice filly that loves her work." The win was the second straight in Gold Series action for Sex Appeal and her third straight in a five race sophomore campaign that has only seen her bested once, when she finished second. The homebred daughter of Bettors Delight and Lasting Appeal is trained by Bob McIntosh of Windsor for his co-owner Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON. At two, Sex Appeal competed in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots program without cracking the top three. She improved late in the season, winning two legs of the Harvest Series, and Henry says she grew and matured significantly over the winter. "She just seems to have grown up, she got a lot stronger than she was as a two-year-old and she just really got to like to race," said the Arthur, ON resident. "She likes to leave on out of there, but I think at any point if somebody comes you'll be able to let them go, she's pretty sensible when it comes to that." Sex Appeal In the second $107,200 division fans sent reigning division champion Alicorn off as their top choice, but it was fourth choice Rose Run Victoria ($21.80) who had the biggest gear in the stretch. Second choice Betalady stepped off all the fractions, leading the field to a :26.3 quarter, :55.4 half and 1:23.2 three-quarters, with Karma Seelster on her heels and Alicorn leading the charge up the outer lane. Rose Run Victoria followed Alicorn up the outer lane and when driver Robert Shepherd asked her for another gear she out-sprinted her peers to claim a one length victory in a personal best 1:51.2. Karma Seelster slipped out of the pocket to be second and Betalady hung on for third, with Alicorn settling for fourth. Rick Phillips of Tappan, NY and Mark Harder of Freehold, NJ own Rose Run Victoria. Harder taught the daughter of He's Watching and Victoria Gallery her early lessons, giving her two starts in the fall of her two-year-old season and two starts at The Meadowlands in June before sending her up to Rod Boyd for the Ontario Sires Stakes season. "I got her three weeks ago I guess. Mark was real high on her at two and he took his time and brought her back at three, and he thought he had a Gold filly there, but you never know," said Boyd. "She's a big powerful horse, I like her. She's a nice filly, obviously." Rose Run Victoria finished third in the Gold Series opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 29, three-quarters of a length behind Alicorn, after recovering from a brief miscue in the first turn. In a July 10 overnight she finished second by three-quarters of a length to Beach Sports after losing focus on the front end, so Boyd was pleased to see her put everything together on Friday. "On the racetrack she's fine, but in the barn she's a little bit high strung, especially around men. Katie McNeil is the only one that really gets along with her. I don't know if it's because I train her or sit behind her every day, but she doesn't like me a whole lot," said Cambridge resident Boyd. "Other than that she's pretty easy though. Mark had her just perfect coming up. I've worked for him for years and he sends them when they're ready, and she was definitely ready." Rose Run Victoria Sex Appeal and Rose Run Victoria will have an opportunity to burnish their Gold Series resumes when the three-year-old pacing fillies make their third start of the season on Aug. 3 at Grand River Raceway. Complete results from Friday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. On Saturday Woodbine Mohawk Park hosts a pair of $107,200 Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts. The colts will square off in Races 4 and 6 on the program, which gets under way at 7 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

INNISFIL, ON -  JULY 12, 2020 - Mark Etsell's two-year-old trotting fillies opened their Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing careers on a positive note Sunday night at Georgian Downs with Midnight Miracle scoring a win in her $72,267 Gold Series division and Meadowview Lilly finishing third. Midnight Miracle got a picture-perfect second-over trip from driver Bob McClure in the evening's first Gold Series battle. Starting from Post 2 McClure settled the Muscle Mass daughter in fourth and watched Tealicious ring up a :26 quarter and :58.2 half. Heading for the 1:29.1 three-quarters McClure tipped Midnight Miracle out behind Dashing Muscle, who was soon matching strides with the tiring pacesetter. When McClure asked for another gear in the stretch, Midnight Miracle powered by her peers and on to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:58.4. "I told Bobby to float her out of there and try to get away, top three I said, but he got four so that's okay. I said, 'Once she sees daylight she can kind of trot, but as soon as she doesn't see them she'll let up on you, so just be aware of that'. You time it kind of right, because she's green and she doesn't know any different. She knows enough to go by and then that's it and then she'll let up," said Rockwood, ON resident Etsell. "First lifetime start so we were pretty happy with her, at least I was anyways, I don't know about anybody else, but I was." Named Midnight Miracle due to a difficult birth, the filly has grown into a good-gaited, sensible filly who might just be a little spoiled by Etsell and his partners Robert Newton of Walkerton and Chuan Tan of Cambridge, ON. "She loves watermelon; she had a watermelon after she raced tonight and got out of the test barn. She loves watermelon and raspberries for some reason, I don't know why," said Etsell. "Bob Newton, when he comes down he brings her raspberries or something, stops at one of the grocery stores along the way." Two races later Meadowview Lilly delivered a third-place finish behind fan favourite Fox Valley Liza and Blackout Riley, a result that delighted Etsell and Charlie Reid, whose Meadowview Farms Inc. of Orono, ON, bred and owns the Archangel daughter. "She was good early, good gaited and everything, but didn't have no attitude to go, but when we hit around 2:20 she started coming to life and we thought, you know maybe we've got a couple," said Etsell, who also drove Meadowview Lilly on Sunday. "We were happy with both them fillies. Both homebreds, I raced both their mothers." Sent off as the heavy favourite in the second $72,267 division, Fox Valley Liza and driver Sylvain Filion wasted no time assuring bettors they had made the correct choice. Starting from Post 6 the pair carved out all the fractions on their way to a three length victory in 1:59.2. "She's just come to me 10 days ago. She's exactly everything that Erv Miller told me - she's very professional, a very nice filly to be around and she won pretty handy," said trainer Ben Baillargeon, who received the Muscle Mass daughter from US-based trainer Ervin Miller after she finished second in a two-year-old filly event at Pocono Downs on June 30. "She knows her business and Erv said she's been professional from Day 1. She's like a four-year-old horse, like a very nice mare." Anthony Lombardi of Morris, IL, Henshaut Stable of Montgomery, IN and George Golemes of Oak Brook, IL share ownership of Fox Valley Liza, who Baillargeon expects will remain in the province for the duration of the Ontario Sires Stakes season. The last division went to Classy Carol who sprinted from sixth to first in the stretch, sneaking up the inside past pacesetting favourite Warrawee Welcome to claim the 2:01.1 victory. Flanagan Destiny and All R Wishes finished just over one length back in second and third. "She's my daughter Robyn's favourite horse. She's spoiled and she's good natured, good to be around, and turns out she wants to win, so that's even better," said trainer John Bax. "She wants to go ahead, and you can't teach that, they've either got it or they don't, so it's nice." The Bax Stable of Campbellville, Robert Van Camp of Port Perry, ON, Dave Hudson of Dallas, TX and Gordon Wright of Charlotte, MI share ownership of Classy Carol, who was a $40,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Bax trained both the Royalty For Life daughter's dam Very Classy and her grand-dam Ruling Class. Like Etsell, Bax had multiple fillies competing on Sunday and was pleased with the results of all three. IN addition to Classy Carol's win, Kadabra daughter Up And Ready finished third to Midnight Miracle and Royalty For Life miss Lifeintheslammer was fifth behind Fox Valley Liza. "We were pretty happy with them," said the Campbellville, ON resident. "They all did it right. Some have got to do it a little faster, but they all took positive steps ahead, that's for sure." The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 31. Complete results from Sunday's program are available at Georgian Downs Results. Next up on Georgian Downs' Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is the second Gold Series Leg for two-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday, July 19. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - JULY 7, 2020 - Heading into Tuesday's Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series opener for the two-year-old pacing fillies at Woodbine Mohawk Park, harness racing trainer Tony Beaton had a feeling that Bet On Becky might be exceptional. "She's just been one of them special fillies you know," said the trainer. "We were kind of talking the other day and we were saying, like we were kind of hoping she's like Chantal's (Mitchell) Alicorn from last year, that type of horse, it sure would be nice." That speculation proved to be well merited as Bet On Becky with driver Jody Jamieson, romped to a 1:50.4 victory in the second $72,266 Gold division, faster than any two-year-old in North America has paced this year and just one-fifth of a second shy of the Ontario Sires Stakes record set by division champion Alicorn last season. The filly's stablemate Best Keepsake finished three and one-half lengths back in second and Game Of Shadows was third. "She was one of the ones that, not to take away from the other fillies I raced tonight, they all had their turn, but there's just certain training miles, like wow, this thing, it's just got more speed than you can shake a stick at," said Beaton, who sent a total of four fillies behind the gate and went home with one win, one second, one third and one sixth. "And she's just a little thing, probably no bigger than Alicorn was last year, but just a nice little ride. She reminds of a little sports car." The Waterdown resident trains Bet On Becky for Larry Menary of Branchton, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, Alan Alber of Thornhill and Michael Guerriero of Brampton, ON. The group offered up $70,000 for the daughter of Bettors Delight at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and have already recouped more than half from Tuesday's victory and a 1:54.4 win in overnight action on June 26. The other two Gold Series divisions went to Dr. Ian Moore trainees Alumni Seelster, in rein to Sylvain Filion, and Andra Day, who was piloted to the win by Doug McNair. Alumni Seelster opened the two-year-old pacing filly season with a 1:52.2 clocking that saw her do most of the work up front and then hang on for a three-quarter length victory over favourite Sports Check. Beaton trainee Ring Of Kerry finished third. "She's all heart, and all desire, there's no doubt about that," said Moore, who also campaigned the filly's sire, $2 million winner State Treasurer. "I'm really pleased because of State Treasurer. He didn't get much support and yet to me, if I was a breeder, he was a hell of a horse and he's the type of horse you'd love to have." A $50,000 purchase out of the London Selected Yearling Sale, Alumni Seelster is owned by Sally MacDonald of Souris, PEI and Paul MacDonald of Regina, SK. The filly qualified twice, on June 12 and 19, and Moore thinks she will be even sharper for the second Gold Leg on July 19 at Georgian Downs. "I think Alumni is going to get better - that other division went in 1:50.4, that's quite a mile - I think our filly is going to get better because it's been almost three weeks since she qualified and I only trained her once, last Tuesday, so I felt that she was little short, she could have been a little tighter going in maybe," explained the Cambridge resident. "But I don't like to over train babies, not after they've had such a hard campaign training down, I like to go easier on them now." Alumni Seelster's training partner Andra Day also spent most of the mile on the front end, hitting the wire one length ahead of Sunshine Nelly and fan favourite Postscript in 1:54.1. Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC of Boca Raton, FL share ownership of the Shadow Play miss who Moore also expects to improve off her first lifetime start. "She's a good little filly too and I expect her to get better," said the trainer. "Alumni Seelster, Andra Day and Lady Arthur, who is going to Ohio on Saturday, they all trained together and those three fillies got so tough at the end we couldn't train them together until we were going fast, because you couldn't hang on to them. All they wanted to do was rock and roll every time. "A good way to start with the fillies, I'm really pleased," he added. Complete results for Tuesday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - Ontario's most talented three-year-old trotting fillies took a star turn on TSN's Racing Night Live at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday and Princesspartypants opened the Gold Series harness racing season with an impressive come-from-behind victory in the first $73,067 division. Starting from Post 8, trainer-driver Roger Mayotte opted to ease Princesspartypants down to the rail in eighth as Shape Shifter sprinted out to an early lead. Heading for the :27.2 opening quarter the dynamics of the race changed when fan favourite Wine Rack Hanover made a break while sitting third, spreading out the fillies in her wake. Mayotte and Princesspartypants had narrowed the gap and were six lengths back when Massive Flirt reached the :56.4 half and they soon caught cover from Susies Lady, following that filly through the 1:26.3 three-quarters. Turning for home Mayotte gave Princesspartypants a clear look at the wire and the Muscle Mass filly shifted into high gear, powering home to a two and one-half length victory in a personal best 1:54.4. Shape Shifter stayed game for second and Yen closed well for third. "From the outside post and first (OSS) start, we just decided to play that route and it worked out. She's very versatile that way," said Mayotte. "I was following her (Susies Lady) there and she was throwing quite a bit of dirt up at my filly and my filly just wasn't real smooth, because the dirt was hitting her and it was obviously bothering her, stinging her. As soon as I tipped off her back she just smoothed right out, just changed gears." Mississauga resident Mayotte trains Princesspartypants for Just In Time Stable of Mississauga, R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington and Big Als Stables Inc. of Woodbridge, ON. Thursday's victory was the filly's first in two sophomore starts and marked her first-ever visit to the Gold Series winner's circle. At two she won a division of the Grassroots season opener before making the leap up to the Gold Series, finishing just shy of the point tally required for a post season berth. The second division saw freshman point leader Warrawee Vicky make her return to the Gold Series winner's circle. Lining up at Post 6, driver Doug McNair sent the fan favourite straight to the front and the duo never had to glance back, cruising through fractions of :28, :57.2 and 1:26.2 on their way to a 1:54.2 victory. Kombucha stalked Warrawee Vicky from start to finish and earned the runner-up's spoils while Mayotte and Modern Mass closed well to be third. "She seems to be good right now, we've got to do a little fine tuning to keep her straight," said trainer Scott McEneny, referring to the filly's middle of the racetrack finish. "But you know, she's got such good gate speed that she gets spotted pretty good." McEneny noted that a combination of mental maturity and newly configured equipment are helping keep the Royalty For Life daughter on an even keel and allowing McNair to better use her tactical speed. "If you'd have rolled her out of there last year, you'd just be a passenger going to the half," said the Puslinch, ON resident. "That's her biggest thing, you've got to be able to manage her." Milton resident Brad Grant owns Warrawee Vicky, who also had one prep race under belt heading into the Gold Series season opener. GP Dreamin wrapped up the Gold Series season opener with the quickest mile of the three divisions. Starting from Post 5 driver Jody Jamieson put the Cornaro Dasolo miss on the front and rang up a :27.4 quarter. With pressure coming from PL Notsonice Jamieson let the fan favourite roll to a :56.1 half and a 1:24 three-quarters and had opened up to a five length lead by the top of the stretch. Although Jamieson took his foot off the gas late, her peers could not catch GP Dreamin and she hit the wire five and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:53.3. PL Notsonice stayed game for second and Magic Cape rounded out the top three. "Jared (Bothwell) has done a great job. She's real mean and cantankerous in the barn and he deals with her and keeps her as happy as he possibly can so she can perform like she did tonight," said Moffat resident Jamieson. "She was monster kid tonight, really." Jared Bothwell trains GP Dreamin for Carolyn Polillo of Brantford, ON. Thursday's start was the filly's third of the season and she boasts a flawless record of consecutively faster wins. As a two-year-old GP Dreamin won a Grassroots leg and made one Gold Series start before her season was cut short by sickness. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Gold Series start on July 26 at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa. Complete results from Thursday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday with the Gold Series debut of the two-year-old pacing colts who will compete in Races 2 and 8 on the 7 pm program. The Milton oval will also host two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, featured as Races 3 and 6. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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