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MILTON, April 25, 2019 - Drivers Phil Hudon, Anthony MacDonald and Bob McClure were all taken to hospital following an accident during Thursday morning's fourth-qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The harness racing accident occurred in the second-quarter of the race when pacer Excaliber Seelster and driver Louis Philippe Roy stepped on the wheel of driver Paul MacDonell, who was sitting in the two-hole with Prestige Seelster. Excaliber Seelster broke stride from stepping on the wheel, which caused a chain-reaction. American Risk and McClure were trailing Excaliber Seelster and fell to the track. Hudon, driving The First Step, and MacDonald, driving Sunshines Finest, couldn't avoid the fallen horse and were both tossed from their sulkies to the track. Paramedics were quickly on the scene and transported McClure and MacDonald by ambulance to a local hospital. Hudon also went to hospital to be examined. All three drivers took to social media Thursday afternoon to provide updates on their injuries. MacDonald posted on Facebook that he suffered a broken wrist, broken elbow, broken ribs and a small collapsed lung. McClure also posted on Facebook, noting he broke his pelvis in the accident, but will not require surgery. Bob McClure     -New Image Media Hudon shared on Twitter that he suffered a broken left foot. Phil Hudon      - New Image Media All three horses were caught following the incident after being loose on the track. Sunshines Finest, who is trained by Harry Poulton, was transported to the University of Guelph for examination. TheStable.ca posted that the three-year-old pacer did not suffer any fractures or breaks and will make a full recovery. American Risk and The First Step came out of the incident without serious injuries. Woodbine Entertainment extends its best wishes to Hudon, MacDonald, McClure and the connections of Sunshines Finest for a speedy and healthy recovery.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

The Thursday (April 25) qualifying session at Woodbine Mohawk Park was interrupted by a chain reaction accident that sent multiple drivers to the track. The harness racing accident occurred in race four. The chart from the race states that the Paul MacDonell-driven Prestige Seelster fell to the track in the second quarter of the contest and the rest of the horses in the dash were pulled up. Woodbine Entertainment’s Mark McKelvie, who was calling the qualifier, stated that drivers Phil Hudon, Anthony MacDonald and Bob McClure each hit the track after having been unseated. McKelvie added that Hudon and MacDonald were able to get up under their own power and were walking on the track, but that McClure stayed down longer. McClure was eventually able to sit up and be attended to by the on-track paramedics. After some time passed, McClure and MacDonald were taken to hospital. The nature and severity of any of the drivers’ injuries are currently unknown. McKelvie also stated that all of the horses that were involved in the accident were corralled and returned to the paddock for inspection. Trot Insider has learned that Hudon, who was limping after the ordeal, was able to get changed out of his driving colors and make his way home. Two extra ambulances were brought in to attend to the scene for McClure and MacDonald. Trot Insider was told at the scene that McClure hurt his hip, has a very sore back, and required a stretcher, while MacDonald sustained injuries to his wrist and elbow. Trot Insider will update this story when more information is learned.   from Standardbred Canada

CAMPBELLVILLE, October 18 - Powerful Mission will have an opportunity to sweep the Autumn Series for harness racing two-year-old trotting fillies after a 1:57.1 victory Tuesday at Mohawk Racetrack. A field of 10 rookie trotting fillies clashed in a single $16,000 Autumn Series second leg division. The first leg featured two six-horse divisions, which were captured by Powerful Mission and Lady Eagle. Driven by Phil Hudon, Powerful Mission got away fifth and sat there until things quieted down on the front end. Hudon gave the rookie her cue to march up in the second-quarter and the 2/5 favourite was a first over and a couple lengths from leader Gaelic Lass at the half in :57.2. Mario Baillargeon was not in a giving mood, as he turned up the tempo with Gaelic Lass on the far turn, forcing Powerful Mission into the two-hole. After reaching three-quarters in a snappy 1:26.2, Gaelic Lass could not sustain the momentum and surrendered the lead to Powerful Mission, who angled from the two-hole and trotted by to win by four-lengths. Gaelic Lass held on for second, while Jilona was third. Lady Eagle finished eighth. A daughter of Manofmanymissions, Powerful Mission now has four wins in 10 starts and earnings of $39,200. She is trained by Kevin St. Charles for owners E C S Racing LLC. Powerful Mission paid $2.80 to win. The final of the Autumn Series for Ontario sired two-year-old trotting fillies will take place on Thursday, October 27. Mark McKelvie

AUGUST 21, 2016 - Driver Phil Hudon captured a pair of Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon, guiding three-year-old trotting geldings Tough Get Going and Magic Missions to victory on the half-mile oval's 70th anniversary harness racing card. Starting from Post 6 in the third $18,000 Grassroots division with Tough Get Going, Hudon fired the trotter to the front, reaching the quarter in :29. The pair led the field of seven to a :59 half and a 1:30 three-quarters and then held on in the stretch to score a one-half length victory in 2:01.4. Willyorwonthe finished second and fan favourite Bow Ties N Bourbon recovered from an early break in stride to be third. "He raced great," said Hudon of his first trip behind Tough Get Going. "Just went to the front, trotted nice and was able to hold of Bill Megens' trotter (Willyorwonthe). He seems like a nice a trotter." James McEachern conditions Tough Get Going for Asa Farm of Norwood and Gary Smith of Ennismore, ON. Sunday's win was the Kadabra gelding's first in Grassroots action this season and boosted his sophomore record to two wins, one second and one third in 10 starts for earnings of $14,377. In the fourth division Hudon and Magic Missions left from Post 2 and landed on the rail behind early pacesetter Holiday Party. As Holiday Party was pressed through fractions of :29, :58 and 1:29.4, Hudon and Magic Missions waited patiently for their opportunity, which came as the colts squared up in the stretch. Hudon eased Magic Missions into an open lane and the gelding powered by the leader to a three-quarter length victory in 2:00, the fastest mile of the five Grassroots divisions. Holiday Party settled for second and Wildwild Men overcame an early error to grab the third-place finisher's share. "Magic Missions seems to be getting better each start," noted Hudon. "He's still green and the trip worked out perfectly; they raced up front and I sat the two-hole and was able to get out and win by a little bit." Hudon drives Magic Missions for trainer Bill Budd of Waterdown and his partners Macks Stable and Joe Carnovale of Stoney Creek, ON. The Manofmanymissions gelding has made just six starts this season and Sunday's effort marked his first lifetime win. Budd added trotting hopples to Magic Missions' equipment bag after his first two sophomore starts, and the gelding has not missed a cheque since the addition. "The hopples helped Magic," said Hudon. "They just steady him a little bit, for sure." With their victories, both Tough Get Going and Magic Missions jumped up the point standings and have a shot at the Grassroots Semi-finals at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 16. The three-year-old trotting colts have two more regular season starts remaining, Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack and Sept. 7 at Grand River Raceway, where they can pad their point tallies. Gonna Fly took the first division at Clinton on Sunday and moved into second spot in the division standings with 125 points earned through two wins and one second in the first three regular season events. Iona Station, ON resident Alfie Carroll piloted the Kadabra colt to the 2:01 victory that saw him reel in the leaders through the final quarter and roll home to a four and one-half length victory over favourite Midnight Toker and Ulysses Bi. Windsor resident Bob McIntosh conditions Gonna Fly for his partner Earl Hill, Jr. of Ohsweken, ON. In nine sophomore starts the colt now has three wins and two seconds for earnings of $35,900. The second division went to Dynamic Edge and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr., who led through fractions of :30.1, 1:02 and 1:32 and then battled down the stretch to a head victory in 2:02. Defi Normand and V For Victory finished second and third. Campbellville resident Christoforou crafted the win for trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph and his partner, numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. The win was the first of the season for the Muscle Mass gelding, who was the runner-up in the Grassroots Championship at two. The final Grassroots division went to Rose Run Rudi, who got a perfect pocket trip behind pacesetter Terrain Seelster, and then accelerated down the stretch to a two and one-quarter length victory in 2:03.4. Terrain Seelster had to settle for second and Galaxy completed the top three. Thornton resident Steve Byron engineered the win for trainer David Byron of Thornton and his partners James Cantelon of Thornton, David Cantelon of Bolton and Craig Wallwin of Barrie, ON. Through 10 starts the Manofmanymissions gelding has two wins, one of them in Grassroots action, one second and one third for earnings of $25,744. In addition to the five Grassroots divisions, Clinton Raceway marked its 70th anniversary with a cake and a commemorative race. Two original members of the Clinton Turf Club, Bruce Dupee and Harold (Hoot) Gibbings, were on hand to present an anniversary cooler to Race 6 winner Toureg Seelster and his connections exactly 70 years to the day after harness racing first made its debut in Clinton. Lorne House of Ingersoll guided Toureg Seelster to the 2:00 victory for trainer Peter Brickman and owner Erin Swainson Brickman of Sebringville, ON. Also participating in the 70th anniversary celebrations were members of the Huron Heat Female Hockey Association. Through a 50/50 draw, bake sale and Pork Chop BBQ the organization was able to raise just over $4,600 for team jerseys for their first season. Two Sundays remain on Clinton Raceway's 2016 schedule and the Ontario Sires Stakes will help wrap things up at the half-mile oval on Sept. 4. The three-year-old pacing fillies will make their final Grassroots regular season stop as part of the racetrack's 36th annual Driver's Charity Challenge in support of the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. For more information visit www.clintonraceway.com. Ontario Racing

AUGUST 5, 2016 - Harness racing driver Phil Hudon guided a pair of three-year-old pacing fillies to Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots victory at Mohawk Racetrack Friday, on an evening that he recorded a driving hat trick. The Guelph resident opened his night with a victory aboard former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Justabit Mean in a fillies and mares event in the fourth race and one race later he was back in the winner's circle with Grassroots competitor Top Royal. Starting from the outside Post 10, Hudon hustled Top Royal away from the gate and the filly was sitting fourth in the outer lane when Icthelight Hanover reached the :26.3 quarter. Hudon opted to keep driving and Top Royal reached the front before the :54.4 half, sailed to a 1:23.3 three-quarters, and then sprinted down the stretch to a 1:52 personal best. Trilife was two and three-quarter lengths back in second and Icthelight Hanover was two more lengths behind in third. "Top Royal is finally coming back the way she was in the fall at two," said Hudon. "She was making breaks, I think her ovaries were bugging her, but the last few starts she has been good. I thought if I could get her to the front she could win, and she did." Hudon drives the Royal Mattjesty daughter for trainer Heather Toll of Seaforth and her partner Brydown Farms Inc. of Clinton, ON. The win was Top Royal's first in nine sophomore starts, and her first ever in Grassroots action. Last fall the filly captured a leg and the final of the Autumn Series at Woodbine Racetrack, capping off a two-year-old campaign that saw her win six of 15 starts. Top Royal Two races later Hudon was back in the Grassroots winner's circle with Windsun Glory. Like Top Royal, Windsun Glory hustled away from Post 8 and landed on the rail in second behind pacesetter Tahiti Seelster. Through fractions of :26.2, :54.1 and 1:22.4, Windsun Glory and Hudon sat patiently in the pocket and when Tahiti Seelster swung wide off the last turn they powered down the lane to a 1:52.1 victory. Fan favourite Parklane Glamorous finished three lengths back in second, with Golden Idol two more back in third. "She's just a nice filly," said Hudon. "Her last start she tied up, but today the trip worked out perfectly." Murray Brethour of Sunderland conditions Windsun Glory for his partners Windsun Farm Inc. of Uxbridge, Kevin McKinlay of Holland Landing and Jim Fielding of Toronto, Brethour and Windsun Farm also bred the daughter of Mach Three and Windsun Princess. Friday's victory was the filly's second in Grassroots action this season and boosted her record to five wins, two seconds and three thirds in 17 starts for earnings of $79,092. Windsun Glory Driver James MacDonald also scored a hat trick on Friday's card, winning a pair of overnight races early in the program and capping things off with a victory in the final $18,000 Grassroots division. Starting from Post 4 with fan favourite Forever Liza, MacDonald opted to sit off the pace while Twin B Thong took the field to a :27.1 quarter and :56.2 half. When Thisorthat Hanover took control heading for the 1:23.2 three-quarters, Forever Liza was five lengths back, but when MacDonald asked for another gear the filly pulled away to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:52.1. Windsongmagnifique closed hard to be second, beating out Southwind Tango. "I was first up for a bit, and then I was second over for a little bit, and then I was first up for a bit again, and then I was in the four-hole," said MacDonald with a chuckle. "It was an odd race, a very odd race. "She's a little goofy and in the last turn she got a little lost out by herself, but luckily the four-hole opened up right where I was so I dropped her on Steve Condren's back for a minute and she swelled back up. When I moved her down the lane she knew what to do," MacDonald continued. "She's got a good motor and when you call on her she'll usually give you what she's got." MacDonald engineered the win, the filly's third in Grassroots action, for trainer Mark Steacy and owner Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Through 10 sophomore starts the daughter of Bettor's Delight and Forever Cam has tallied five wins, one second, one third and $49,360 in earnings. Her three wins and one fourth in Grassroots action put her atop the division standings with 158 points. Forever Liza Bourbon Seelster also scored her third Grassroots win in Friday's fourth division. In rein to Campbellville resident Mike Saftic, the Camluck daughter laid down a :27.3 final quarter to reel in pacesetter Tonightimlovingyou and hit the wire a neck on top in 1:52.4. Kays Shadow, with Hudon in the race bike, finished four lengths back in third. The win was the third straight for Bourbon Seelster, who is trained by Robert Manders for Scott and Keith Manders of Watford, ON. In eight starts this season the talented pacer has six wins, one second and earnings of $65,150. She currently sits second in the division standings with 150 points. Bourbon Seelster The other Grassroots trophy was awarded to Norcross Blue Chip, who toured the Mohawk oval in a personal best 1:51.2 for trainer-driver Dan Megens. Norcross Blue Chip hit the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Maxim Seelster and Selling The Dream to earn her first Ontario Sires Stakes win. Hamilton resident Megens shares ownership of Norcross Blue Chip with Donna and Robert Fox of Stoney Creek. Through seven sophomore starts the Bettor's Delight daughter now has five wins and one second for earnings of $23,200. Norcross Blue Chip The three-year-old pacing fillies are back in Grassroots action on August 21 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. Ontario Sires Stakes action is back at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Aug. 8 with the third Grassroots division for the three-year-old trotting colts. The colts will kick things off in the first race at 7:30 pm, and will also battle in Races 3, 5, 7, and 10. Ontario Racing  

Mohawk Racetrack’s 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) season got off to a rousing start on Saturday evening as harness racing fans were treated to a pair of thrilling miles by the three-year-old pacing fillies. The first $105,000 division lined up behind the gate in Race 2 and less than two minutes later Frank Cirillo was holding a trophy he has been trying to win for over a decade. “Finally, after 11 years; I’m losing my voice already; it’s been fantastic,” said an ebullient Cirillo from the winner’s circle after cheering Cracklin Rosie home. “It’s been one of our dreams to win an OSS Gold for the longest time and it finally happened.” When favourites Good Will Hanover and Thatsoveryverynice made early miscues, the first division was thrown wide open. Starting from Post 7, lightly regarded Cracklin Rosie and driver Phil Hudon of Guelph, ON were sitting well back in sixth when Lady Marina hit the opening quarter in a sharp :25.3, but had rolled up the outside to draw within five lengths of the leaders by the :55.4 half. Continuing to roll along on the outside, Cracklin Rosie was just one-quarter length behind pacesetter Lay Lady Lay at the 1:24.2 three-quarters, and as her connections roared their encouragement she sprinted home in :27 to claim a half-length victory in 1:51.2. The win was Cracklin Rosie’s first in Ontario Sires Stakes competition and her first for Kleinburg resident Cirillo and his partners Aaron Waxman of Carlisle, ON, Alan Alber of Thornhill, ON and Terri Lynn McNair of Guelph. Waxman, Cirillo and McNair bought into the Badlands Hanover daughter just two weeks ago, acquiring their share from trainer-breeder Luc Ouellette while Alber retained his ownership, and the group sent the filly to trainer James Ciaran Morrison of Harley, ON. “Aaron just absolutely loved the horse and said, ‘Frank, I think we have a really good Grassroots horse, but we’ll start her off in the Gold and see what happens,’ and she’s just turned out to be a fantastic acquisition,” said Cirillo. “She’s just been a dream come true.” Finishing behind Cracklin Rosie in the first division were Lay Lady Lay and Southwind Tango. Cracklin Rosie The second $105,000 division featured last season’s champion L A Delight, who was looking for a return to the winner’s circle after being upset by Good Will Hanover in the May 28 SBOA Final. Starting from Post 7, driver Randy Waples of Milton, ON sent L A Delight straight to the front and wasted no time sitting in the pocket when fan favourite Mayhem Seelster circled around to take control just after the :26.4 opening quarter. Waples looked completely confident in his charge through fractions of :55.4 and 1:24.3 and L A Delight cruised home a one length winner in 1:51.4. Bad As Leader and Mayhem Seelster finished in a tight battle for second and third. “She looked like a different filly this week,” said Al McIntosh, who shares ownership of L A Delight with trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. “Maybe she just needed a race or two to get back in the groove. You can train and you can qualify and everything, but racing is racing.” The win was L A Delight’s thirteenth in 15 lifetime starts and it boosted her earnings to $783,201. And while Al McIntosh and his partners have a two-year-old full sister to the champion in the barn, the Leamington, ON resident was not about to make any predictions about her prospects in this year’s freshman OSS program. “I don’t get too high on them,” said the long-time owner and breeder. “This filly last year was the biggest surprise I’ve had in all the years I’ve been in business, because when she trained she was very lackadaisical and the day she saw the starting gate everything changed. So you never know.” L A Delight and Cracklin Rosie will look to defend their early season crowns when the sophomore pacing fillies return to Mohawk Racetrack for their second Gold Series start on July 9. Next up on the Campbellville oval’s OSS schedule is the Gold Series season debut for the three-year-old trotting fillies on Monday, June 13. L A Delight Ontario Racing   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com OSS Program Administration   Ontario Racing 10 Carlson Court, Suite 400, Toronto, ON M9W 6L2 416-213-1800 www.ontarioracing.com

A top-notch group of seven older pacers put on a harness racing show Saturday night in a thrilling edition of the $34,000 Preferred at Mohawk Racetrack. Plenty of action and hot fractions on a chilly and windy May evening led to Nirvana Seelster coming through for a 17-1 upset victory The Bill Budd trainee left quickly from post-six to grab the lead and post an opening-quarter of :26.3. State Treasurer, who was the 8-5 favourite, was parked around the first turn and charged up to try and wrestle command away from Nirvana Seelster. State Treasurer ultimately cleared to the front approaching the half, but grabbing clear command forced him to pace a :53.4 opening-half. There was no breather for the public's choice, as Nickle Bag, the 9-5 second choice, popped out from fourth and came charging first up to engage in a final turn battle. The two favourites waged war to the three-quarter pole in a hot 1:21.1. In the stretch, Nickle Bag took the lead and showed tremendous grit trying to hold off several challengers. Nirvana Seelster and driver Phil Hudon never left their spot along the rail and shot up late to steal away the victory from Nickle Bag by half a length in 1:50.3. Reverend Hanover got up for third in his four-year-old season debut. State Treasurer dropped back to finish fifth, while the popular Shamballa finished seventh in his season debut. A five-year-old gelded son of Camluck, Nirvana Seelster scored his fifth win in 16 starts this season on Saturday night. His 1:50.3 victory gives him 21 career visits to the winner's circle. Owned by Bruce Davy, Nirvana Seelster has earned $128,000 this season to bring his career bankroll to over $434,000. The Budd trainee now has three victories in the WEG Preferred this season. Nirvana Seelster paid $37.70 to win. Also on Saturday, a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes notable three-year-olds turned in solid performances. Sophomore pacing colt Betting Line came off cover to finish second in his season debut. The Casie Coleman trainee was competing against older horses and used a :26.3 final-quarter to come up half a length short in an impressive first start. Betting Line won six of 12 starts last year and earned over $540,000 in his rookie season. The son of Bettor's Delight is a top contender for next month's Pepsi North America Cup. On the trotting side, Will Take Charge crushed his opponents in a non-winners of three event by six-lengths. The John Bax trainee bounced back beautifully from a break last week for his second win in three starts this year. A gelded son of Kadabra, Will Take Charge had just a single win in 13 starts last year at age two, but his lone victory came in an OSS Gold event at Mohawk. The Bax trainee followed up his only win with a second-place finish in the OSS Super Final. Will Take Charge hit the board in eight of his 13 starts last year and banked over $196,000. He is expected to be a top contender on the OSS scene once again and is eligible to several Grand Circuit events. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Nirvana Seelster   Mark McKelvie

Harness racing driver Phil Hudon has been red-hot to start 2016 and Thursday evening he reached a career milestone. The Guelph, Ontario resident entered Thursday's card just $769 shy of $50 million in career earnings. In Thursday's second-race, Hudon guided Charlie Badlands to a third-place finish to surpass the $50 million mark. Hudon, 41, is currently the leading driver at Woodbine with 27 wins in 2016. Last season, the veteran reinsman drove the winners of 156 races and over $2.3 million. Hudon also surpassed 4,000 career victories in 2015. This season, Hudon has driven the winners of more than $320,000 in a little over a month of racing action. The Woodbine Entertainment Group will recognize Hudon in the winner's circle following his next victory. Also on Thursday, a field of eight three-year-old pacing fillies squared off in the second leg of the Miss VeraBars. Cracklin Rosie, who won the first leg, was a race-day scratch, leaving the door open for a new winner heading into next week's final. Bad As Leader, one of three Victor Puddy trainees in the field, went gate-to-wire for a 1:55.4 victory. Driven by Trevor Henry, the daughter of Badlands Hanover got her own way through fractions of :29, :58.2 and 1:27.3 before pacing home in :28.1 to win by two-lengths. Windsun Glory finished second, while Im In Luv was third. Bad As Leader now has three wins in five starts this season and five victories overall in her young career. She is owned by Bill Manes and William Cripps. Friday's victory pushes her career earnings over $47,000. Bad As Leader paid $10.10 to win. The Miss Vera Bars Series will wrap next Friday (February 19) with the $41,600 final. Live racing continues Friday night at Woodbine with The Count B and Ontario Girls Series highlighting the 10-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Cracklin Rosie and harness racing driver Phil Hudon timed a late rally perfectly to win the first leg of the Miss Vera Bars Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of 10 three-year-old pacing fillies competed in the $17,000 opening leg of the Miss VeraBars. Originally a field of 11, Cracklin Rosie started from the second-tier in Thursday's contest. Driven by Phil Hudon, the Luc Ouellette trainee got away eighth in the early stages. Mattjestic Tempo sprinted to the front for driver Doug McNair and posted an opening-quarter of :27.2. The leader was left alone in the second-quarter and reached the half in :56.4. Heading into the final turn, Cracklin Rosie was brought to the outside by Hudon and sat fourth-over, as Mattjestic Tempo continued to march along on the lead and reached the third-station in 1:25.1. In the stretch, Cracklin Rosie was angled to the far outside and took dead aim at the leader. Mattjestic Tempo appeared to have enough of a jump on her rival, but Hudon timed it perfectly and Cracklin Rosie surged by in the final strides to win by half a length in 1:54.2. Windsun Glory finished third, while Arizona Seelster rounded out the Superfecta. Cracklin Rosie was more than six-lengths off the lead turning fpor home and paced a :28 final-quarter to snag the victory at odds of 2/1. The three-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover is owned by Luc Ouellette Incorporated, Anita Ouellette and Alan Alber. Cracklin Rosie entered the MissVeraBars opener off a fourth-place finish in the Blizzard Series Final on January 22. She now has two wins in four starts this season after going winless in five last year. The Ouellette trainee increased her career earnings to over $33,000 with the victory. Cracklin Rosie paid $6.20 to win. Phil Hudon continued his hot start to 2016 with a Grand Slam on a big Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Hudon, who entered Thursday’s card leading all Woodbine drivers in victories, visited the winner’s circle four-times to increase his 2016 wins total to 24. The Guelph, Ontario resident’s four victories were highlighted by three-year-old pacing filly Cracklin Rosie sweeping by her rivals late to win the $17,000 first leg of the Miss Vera Bars Series. Hudon also steered trotter Tymal Wizard to a 30/1 upset in the evening’s sixth-race. His two other victories came with trotter Southwind Alice and pacer Regal Fame in the finale. Hudon was not the only driver to have a big night. Jody Jamieson drove three winners on the card, while Doug McNair and Paul MacDonell also had a pair of victories, respectively. Wagering numbers were strong Thursday night, as a total of $1,888,590 was wagered on the 11-race card. Strong pools carried from start to finish over the course of the night. The evening’s seventh-race led the way with a Win pool exceeding $53,000 and both the Exactor and Triactor pools topping $50,000. The Pick-5 wager continues to gain momentum, as a total of $37,413 was wagered into the pool Thursday. The Pick-5 begins each night on the opening-race. Live racing continues Friday night with The Count B and Ontario Girls Series highlighting another 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 22 - The finals of the Blizzard and Snowshoe Series highlighted harness racing action Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. The $45,200 Blizzard final for three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mares featured a field of nine, while a full-field of ten three and four-year-old pacers competed in the $47,200 Snowshoe final. Rafa and Shades Of Bay entered the Snowshoe final both seeking a series sweep and the anticipated matchup lived up to the hype. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Rafa, 3/2, fired out from post three to grab the lead, while Shades Of Bay, 4/5, and driver Phil Hudon left from post nine and found a spot in fourth. After posting an opening-quarter of :26.2, Rafa was quickly confronted by Shades Of Bay, who made a quick brush to the lead. The two favourites sat one-two through middle-fractions of :55.4 and 1:24.3. In the stretch, Filion tipped Rafa off the back of Hudon to set up a stretch duel. Rafa was able to get within less than a length of the lead, but Shades Of Bay would not be denied a series sweep and held off his rival to win by a length and a quarter in 1:52.2. Shippen Out finished third, while Tylers Beach Boy was fourth. A son of Art Major, Shades Of Bay is trained by Sean Mehlenbacher for owner Timothy Kim. The Snowshoe Series sweep improves the four-year-old to three for three in 2016 and six for seven since joining the Mehlenbacher barn. Friday's Snowshoe victory was the second series victory for Shades Of Bay in less than a month. The Mehlenbacher trainee also won the Valedictory Series final on Boxing Day. Shades Of Bay now has seven career victories and earnings exceeding $92,000. The runner-up finish by Rafa is the Richard Moreau trainee's first defeat after starting his career four for four. A $2 win ticket on Shades Of Bay returned $3.80. Shades Of Bay A week after capturing a second leg divison as the favourite, Double Olives turned in another game effort to win the Blizzard final at 10/1. Driven by Mike Saftic, Double Olives was taken back in the early stages and got away eighth. Twin B Sweetheart, who was parked around the first turn, finally cleared to take command ahead of Cracklin Rosie, the 8/5 favourite, and Amazing Control entering the backstretch. After posting a half of :55.2, Twin B Sweetheart relinquished the lead to Dontbruisecarrie and began to jam things up along the inside. Saftic was able to situate Double Olives third-over around the final turn, as Naughty Lady B closed in on the leader first up. In the stretch, Naughty Lady B took over the top spot, but Double Olives came off cover and charged by her rival to score a length victory in 1:53. Naughty Lady B held on for second, while Bad As Leader and Cracklin Rosie rounded out the Superfecta. A four-year-old daughter of Blissfull Hall, Double Olives is trained by Dave Matson for owners John Taylor and Jeffrey Ruch. The brown pacing mare entered Friday's final with a victory and runner-up finish in the preliminary legs. Double Olives now has two wins from three starts this season and seven overall in her racing career. The Blizzard Series victory pushes her career bankroll to $72,810. A $2 win ticket on Double Olives returned $23.80. Double Olives The Blizzard and Snowshoe Series carried the same conditions, as the pacers had to be non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Winter Series action continues on Monday night (January 25) with the $44,200 Lifetime Dream final. Live racing continues Saturday at Woodbine. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 15 - A pair of four-year-old pacers will have an opportunity at a Snowshoe Series sweep after returning to the harness racing winner's circle in Friday's second leg at Woodbine Racetrack. A total of 18 horses were split into two $17,000 divisions for Friday's second leg of the Snowshoe Series. Fresh off a 3¼ length victory in round one, Shades Of Bay continued his hot streak Friday with an impressive 1:51.3 victory over a 'Good' track. Driven by Phil Hudon, Shades Of Bay, the 1/9 favourite, got away fourth in the early stages, but moved into third and eventually the lead in the second-quarter. Three Truths, who was leading heading to the half, made a break and Hudon immediately moved Shades Of Bay to the front. After fractions of :55.1 and 1:24, Shades Of Bay kicked into high gear in the stretch and cruised home in :27.3 for a 1¾ length victory. Sabine Pass finished second at 23/1, while Shippen Out was third at 30/1. A four-year-old son of Art Major, Shades Of Bay now has five wins in six starts for trainer Sean Mehlenbacher. Friday was the pacers sixth career triumph and increased his career earnings to over $69,000. Owned by Timothy Kim, Shades Of Bay paid $2.10 to win. Shades Of Bay Rafa delivered another ace with a 1:52.2 victory in the second division. Sent off as the 2/5 favourite, Rafa and driver Sylvain Filion sprinted off the wings of the gate and locked up with Pistopackinpiper for a first-quarter battle. Pistopackinpiper cleared to the lead, but was forced to pace a :25.3 opening-quarter to grab command. Rafa quickly got his cue to go in the second-quarter and circled to the lead. The public's choice posted middle-fractions of :55.1 and 1:24.3 to turn for home with the lead. In the stretch, Tylers Beach Boy came off cover and Tower Of Power continued to pace hard after being first up, but Rafa held them at bay and impressively cruised through the wire first to win by a length. Trained by Richard Moreau, Rafa is now four for four to begin his career. The four-year-old son of Camluck now has a pair of victories this season to go with two wins last season. Owned by Robin Morley, Rafa knocked a fifth of a second off his career mark with Friday's victory and increased his career earnings to $27,500. Rafa paid $2.80 to win. Rafa In order to be eligible to the Snowshoe, the three and four-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Shades Of Bay and Rafa will both be seeking a series sweep in next Friday's (January 22) $47,200 final. The Snowshoe Final will also be joined by the $45,200 Blizzard Series final on next Friday's card. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 14 - Bad As Leader was a repeat winner, while a pair of fresh faces visited the harness racing winner's circle in Thursday's second leg of the Blizzard Series at Woodbine Racetrack. A trio of $17,000 Blizzard Series divisions for three and four-year-old pacing fillies and mare were contested under light snow conditions. Bad As Leader was confidently driven by Trevor Henry to a 1:54.3 victory in the first division. Sent off as the 1/5 favourite, Bad As Leader got away seventh and last for Henry, while Nadia Can Go and Mattjestic Tempo did the early heavy lifting on the front-end. Bad As Leader was able to pick up the cover of Tilikum at the half to sit second-over around the final turn. The public's choice was a little less than three-lengths from the front, as Mattjestic Tempo took the field by the three-quarter pole in 1:25.4. In the stretch, Bad As Leader came off cover and surged to the lead, but Tilikum made the favourite work for it and paced with her right to the wire. Bad As Leader hit the line first for a three-quarter length victory over Tilikum. Nadia Can Go finished third, but was placed back to fifth for causing interference while making a break entering the final turn. Barbaras Shadow was vaulted from fourth to third due to the disqualification. Trained by Victor Puddy, Bad As Leader is now two for two in the Blizzard Series and 2016, while her career record now sits at four wins from six starts. The three-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover increased her career earnings to over $34,000 with the win. Bad As Leader paid $2.40 to win. Bad As Leader A week after finishing second, Double Olives was able to change her luck and score a half-length victory in the second division at odds of 3/2. Driven by Mike Saftic, Double Olives found an early spot in third, while Twin B Sweetheart rejected the two-hole trip and circled to the lead ahead of Shesagamemajor at the opening-quarter in :28. CampsBay made a powerful second-quarter move to the lead from sixth for Rick Zeron to post a half of :57. Saftic brought Double Olives to the outside from fourth around the final turn and found himself behind a pocket-pulling Twin B Sweetheart at the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Double Olives edged off the back of Twin B Sweetheart and paced by to win in 1:54. Twin B Sweetheart finished second, while Camps Bay held on for third. A four-year-old daughter of Blissfull Hall, Double Olives picked up her sixth career victory with her first win of 2016 Thursday night. Dave Matson trains the winner of over $50,000 for owners John Taylor and Jeffrey Ruch. Double Olives matched her career mark with Thursday's victory. She paid $5 to win. Double Olives In the final division, Cracklin Rosie was also able to flip the script at odds of 3/1 and score a victory after finishing second last week. Driven by Phil Hudon, Cracklin Rosie showed early speed to charge by Amazing Control, the 1/2 favourite, and grab command heading into the first turn. Jody Jamieson was not content to sit in the two-hole with the favourite and quickly circled back to the lead in the second-quarter. Amazing Control, a leg one winner, posted middle panels of :58 and 1:27.2, which set up a final-quarter sprint between the two favourites. In the lane, Cracklin Rosie came to the outside and was able to power by Amazing Control to defeat her by a length in 1:54.1. Naughty Lady B finished third in a photograph against Black Widow Baby. Cracklin Rosie paced a :26.3 final-quarter to secure her maiden-breaking victory Thursday night. Trained by Luc Ouellette, the three-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover entered Thursday's contest with a pair of second place finishes in six career starts. Cracklin Rosie is owned by Luc Ouellette Incorporated, Anita Ouellette and Alan Alber. The sophomore pacing filly now has career earnings of over $21,000. The Ouellette trainee paid $8.30 to win. Cracklin Rosie In order to be eligible to the Blizzard Series, the pacing fillies and mares had to be non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Bad As Leader will have an opportunity to sweep the Blizzard Series in next Friday's (January 22) $45,200 final. Winter series action continues Friday night with the second leg of the Snowshoe Series. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 11 - Lady Ping and Domedomedome were popular harness racing winners in Monday night's first leg of the Lifetime Dream Series at Woodbine Racetrack. A group of 12 four and five-year-old trotting mares were split into two $20,000 first leg divisions. In the first split, Lady Ping converted off a second-over trip for a 1:58.3 victory. Trained and driven by Dagfin Henriksen, Lady Ping got away in fifth, while Piscean cut out opening fractions of :29.2 and 1:00. Sheguindah came first-up to challenge the leader, which allowed Lady Ping to pick up cover. In the stretch, Lady Ping, the 3/5 favourite, came off cover and trotted by her rivals with ease to score a 3¾ length victory with a :29.2 final-quarter. Luau Hanover got up for second, while Sheguindah was third. Piscean dropped back to finish fifth. A four-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass, Lady Ping is owned by Dr. Brett Anderson, Henriksen and Kyle Anderson. The trotting mare won four of 24 starts in 2015 and banked over $109,000. Lady Ping now has five career victories and a bankroll of $121,700. She paid $3.50 to win. Lady Ping Domedomedome kept things rolling for the favourites in the second division, as the Jack Moiseyev trainee won easily at 4/5. Driven by Phil Hudon, Domedomedome made a second-quarter move to the lead from fourth to post a half-mile clocking of :58.3. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:27.3, the public's choice stretched her lead out to as many as seven-lengths before stopping the clocking in 1:57.4 for a 4¼ length victory. Aspen California rallied nicely to finish second, while Tymal Fireitup finished third. A five-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Domedomedome is owned by Joanne Colville and Pamela Schmidt. The Moiseyev trainee won seven of 31 starts in 2015 for over $90,000 in earnings. Domedomedome, who was making her second start of 2016, now has eight career wins and a bankroll exceeding $110,000. A $2 win ticket on the favourite returned $3.80. Domedomedome In order to be eligible to the Lifetime Dream, the trotting mares had to be non-winners of $100,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. The second leg of the Lifetime Dream Series is schedule for next Monday (January 18). Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

TORONTO, January 8 - Great finishes and impressive harness racing efforts was the story of Friday night's first round of the Snowshoe Series at Woodbine Racetrack. A total of 24 three and four-year-old pacers were split into three $17,000 divisions for the first leg of the three-week series. In the first division, just a head separated the top-five finishers, as St Lads Charger scored a 14/1 upset. After a first-quarter battle, Every Intention led the field down the backstretch and by the half in :55.1. St Lads Charger and driver Trevor Henry came first-up around the final turn from third and sat less than a length from the lead turning for home. In the stretch, St Lads Charger was able to edge by Every Intention in the final-eighth, but a trio of challengers made it a five-across finish. At the wire, St Lads Charger prevailed in 1:54.3 by a nose over Brown Dirt Cowboy and Hickory Terrific. Hp Black Shadow and Every Intention finished fourth and fifth, respectively, by a head. The top-seven finishers were separated by less than two-lengths. A three-year-old son of Sportswriter, St Lads Charger is trained by Victor Puddy for owners Randy Christopher, Limco Inc., and Bill Manes. The sophomore pacing colt won just one of 10 starts as a rookie in 2015. St Lads Charger increased his career earnings to over $20,000 with the victory. The Puddy trainee paid $30.40 to win. St Lads Charger Fresh off a victory in the Valedictory Final, Shades Of Bay scored a three-length victory in the second division at odds of 1/5. Driven by Phil Hudon, Shades Of Bay got away fourth, but made a powerful backside move to the lead and posted a half-mile time of :56.2. After pacing a third-quarter of :29.1, Shades Of Bay cruised home in :27.2 to win in 1:52. Tower Of Power finished second, while Swapportunity was third. A four-year-old son of Art Major, Shades Of Bay is trained by Sean Mehlenbacher for owner Timothy Kim. Last season, Shades Of Bay won four of 11 starts for earnings exceeding $50,000. The four-year-old has now won four of five starts since joining the Mehlenbacher stable in November. Shades Of Bay now has five wins and over $60,000 in career earnings. He paid $2.50 to win. Shades Of Bay In the final division, Richard Moreau trainee Rafa scored a four-length victory at 9/5 in 1:52.3. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Rafa was third around the first turn, while Thoughtyoudlikeit battled with outside challenger Pistopackinpiper. The lead pair continued to battle through a half of :55.4. Around the final turn, Thoughtyoudlikeit put away Pistopackinpiper, but faced a new challenge from Tylers Beach Boy, as Rafa continued to pace along in the pocket. In the stretch, Rafa was able to convert off the inside trip and charged by the leaders to win by open-lengths in 1:52.3. Tylers Beach Boy finished second, while Shippen Out got up for third ahead of Thoughtyoudlikeit. A son of Camluck, Rafa is trained by Moreau for owner Robin Morley. The four-year-old was making just his third career start Friday and is now a perfect three for three after winning both of his starts in 2015. Rafa now sports a career bankroll of $19,000. The Moreau trainee paid $5.90 to win. Rafa In order to be eligible to the Snowshoe, the three and four-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. The second leg of the Snowshoe will take place next Friday (January 15). Live racing continues Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, December 26 - The 2015 harness racing season wrapped up Saturday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack with the annual Boxing Day matinee card. The 221st and final racing day was action-packed with series finals, milestones and meet titles all being handed out. The feature race of the day was the $34,600 Valedictory Series final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Mohawk Warrior, who was aiming for a series sweep, led a trio of starters sent out by trainer Richard Moreau in the eight-horse contest. Rockinonby, Moreau's newest recruit, sprinted off the gate to the front and posted a sizzling opening-quarter of :25.2. Mohawk Warrior and Cajon Lightning lined up in behind their stablemate to situate the Moreau trainees in the top-three spots entering the backstretch. Mohawk Warrior made a backstretch move to take the lead at the half in :53.3, but Cajon Lightning quickly overtook his stablemate and carried the lead into the final turn. Shades Of Bay, who was pacing fifth, was angled out in the final turn by driver Phil Hudon and was first-up in fourth. After a three-quarter time of 1:22, Cajon Lightning led the field into the lane, while Shades Of Bay grinded towards the leader on the outside and Mohawk Warrior looked for room up the rail. Shades Of Bay had the most to offer in the lane and powered by the leader in deep stretch to score a 5/1 upset by a length in 1:50.3. The Moreau trainees rounded out the top-three, as Cajon Lightning held on for second ahead of Mohawk Warrior. A son of Art Major, Shades Of Bay came into the Valedictory final off a victory Monday night in an overnight event. The Sean Mehlenbacher trainee finished third in the opening leg of the series on December 12. Shades Of Bay now has three wins in four starts since being purchased by Timothy Kim of Toronto in November. The sophomore pacing colt was winless in three starts as a rookie, but now has four wins in 11 starts this season for earnings of over $51,000. The clocking of 1:50.3 established a new Valedictory Series record, breaking Lucky Terror's mark of 1:51 set in 2010. Shades Of Bay paid $13.60 to win. Shades Of Bay In the Niagara Series final, Wanda Bayama completed the series sweep with a dominating victory in the $33,400 contest. A field of ten three-year-old pacing fillies lined up, but all eyes were on Wanda Bayama, the 1/5 favourite. The public's choice paced out comfortably into second, but driver Sylvain Filion quickly right-lined and circled the filly to the lead in the second-quarter. After posting fractions of :56 and 1:25.1, Wanda Bayama waved goodbye to her rivals and opened up more than nine-lengths of separation in the stretch. The Stephane Larocque trainee cruised home under wraps to win by 7¼ lengths in 1:53. Pinky Tuscadero finished second, while Amazing Control was third. A daughter of Western Ideal, Wanda Bayama swept the Niagara Series with a trio of impressive victories. Owned by Bayama Farms Inc, the sophomore pacing filly now has seven wins and over $72,000 earned this season. Wanda Bayama paid $2.70 to win. Wanda Bayama In order to be eligible to the Valedictory and Niagara Series, the three-year-old pacers had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2015. Also on Saturday's card, Sylvain Filion and Richard Moreau completed their impressive seasons by capturing the driving and training titles for the 2015 season. Filion led all drivers on the WEG circuit in 2015 with 320 victories, 101 more wins than Doug McNair in second-place. He capped off his season with a three win performance Saturday afternoon. Richard Moreau was also a run-away winner in the trainer category, as he led all conditioners with 149 victories in 2015. Filion and Moreau will be recognized for capturing the WEG driving and training titles on Saturday, January 4. The busy Saturday also included milestone victories for a pair of veteran trainers. Ben Baillargeon celebrated his 2,000th career training victory Saturday, while Dustin Jones recorded his 1,000th training victory. Trotter Musical Rhythm went gate-to-wire in the sixth-race to record the milestone victory for Baillargeon. Baillargeon, 57, finished third this season in the WEG Trainer Standings with 73 victories. The veteran trainer has sent out the winners of over $1.8 million in 2015. Over the course of his career, Baillargeon's horses have won over $32 million. Four-year-old pacing mare Nat A Virgin captured the afternoon's eleventh-race to give Jones his 1,000th training victory. Jones, 54, has won 39 races and sent out the winners of over $1 million this season. His 39 victories is his highest win total since a 43 win season in 2007, while 2015 marks the fifth-time Jones has topped the $1 million mark in seasonal earnings. The Standardbreds will now take a short-break, but live racing resumes with the first card of 2016 next Saturday, January 2. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, November 16 - Sylvain Filion became the newest member of the elite 8,000 win driving club Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Filion entered the evening just two wins shy of the milestone and wasted little time getting to the winner's circle. After winning an Autumn Series final in the second-race, Filion recorded the milestone victory in the eighth race behind 11-year-old veteran pacer Val America. Filion is the 29th driver in North American harness racing history to reach 8,000 wins. The reinsman reached the milestone mark in his 45,014th career drive. A resident of Milton, Ontario, Filion is currently in the midst of his best season since 2012 with 299 wins on the campaign. He also leads all Canadian drivers in earnings this season with over $6.2 million. The 46-year-old leads all drivers in 2015 on the Woodbine Entertainment circuit with 276 wins and over $5.6 million in earnings. The next milestone on the horizon for Filion is the $100 million mark, as his career earnings total currently sits at over $92 million. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Sylvain on reaching 8,000 wins. Liberty Lane & Top Royal upset in Autumn Series finals Ontario sired two-year-old fillies were in the spotlight Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack for a pair of Autumn Series finals. The $29,400 final for trotting fillies and $31,800 final for pacing fillies wrapped up the three-week series event In the trotting final, Liberty Lane picked the perfect time to break her maiden, as she scored a 6/1 upset in 1:57.3. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Liberty Lane started from post seven in the field of seven and trotted out strong to try for the lead. After being parked by the opening-quarter, Liberty Lane eventually cleared to the front ahead of the favourite Haileysgonedancing. After posting fractions of :57.3 and 1:27.4, Liberty Lane would not be denied her first victory and held off Haileysgonedancing for a length and a half victory. Jagersro had good closing speed to finish third, while Erja was fourth. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe, Liberty Lane is trained by Paul Reid for owner Robert Key. The rookie trotting filly entered the Autumn Series final winless in 10 starts and exited with earnings of over $33,000. Liberty Lane paid $15.40 to win. All eyes were on Lay Lady Lay, the 2/5 favourite, in the pacing filly final, as the Chris Matthews trainee aimed for a series sweep. However, things did not go as planned. Several fillies flashed early speed seeking the front end with Lady Marina the quickest away. Noone To Depend and Jody Jamieson were not content with the two-hole and quickly circled to the front at the opening-quarter. The lead was short lived for Noone To Depend On, as Top Royal (Phil Hudon), who had yet to see the pylons, touched down on the front early in the backstretch. Meanwhile, Lay Lady Lay did not show early speed and got away seventh. After posting a half of :55.4, Top Royal, who was 12/1, carried the lead around the final turn with Active Lady coming from fifth to press first up. Lay Lady Lay got into the outside flow and was third-over around the final turn, but the favourite made a break and took herself out of contention. Top Royal reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3 to bring the field into the stretch. Lady Marina was able to slip off the rail to the outside to try and track down the leader. Lady Marina would get to within less than a length of the lead, but Top Royal showed plenty of grit to fight her off and hold on for the victory in 1:54.1. Noone To Depend On shot up the rail late and nosed out Lady Marina for second, while Active Lady was fourth. A daughter of Royal Mattjesty, Top Royal is trained by Heather Toll and now has six wins from 15 starts in her rookie season. Toll shares ownership of the filly with Brydown Farms Inc. Top Royal matched her career-mark of 1:54.1 with the victory and pushed her earnings to over $44,000. The Toll trainee returned $26.90 to win. In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, the Ontario sired two-year-olds had to be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2015. Autumn Series action continues Thursday evening (November 19) with the finals for the two-year-old colts and geldings. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications  

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