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MILTON, ON - December 26, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park concluded its 2019 harness racing season with the traditional Boxing Day matinee on a foggy Thursday. The $35,000 Valedictory and $35,000 Niagara for three-year-old pacers headlined the 12-race program along with presentations to the season's leading owner, trainer and driver. Cheddar Bay prevailed by a nose over Jknr Liketell in a thrilling finish to the Valedictory Series. Driven by J Harris, Cheddar Bay got away ninth and would pick up cover racing towards the half, eventually sitting second-over and just two-lengths from the top at three-quarters. Virgin Storm blasted from the rail and posted an opening-quarter of :26.4 before releasing Windsun Ricky and retaking the lead before a half of :56. Conboyville grinded away first-up pressuring the leader at three-quarters in 1:25.1. In the stretch, Virgin Storm gave a valiant effort, but surrendered the lead in the final-eighth. Cheddar Bay and Jknr Liketell, who had a ground saving trip in fourth, paced by the lead and would hit the line together with Cheddar Bay prevailing in 1:53.4. Virgin Storm held on for third, while Windsun Ricky was fourth. A gelded son of Betterthancheddar, Cheddar Bay finished second in last week's second-leg after a sixth-place finish in the series opener. The Peter Core trainee is now three for 29 this season with $66,924 earned for owners Donald and Heather McGregor. Cheddar Bay now sports career numbers of four wins and $75,809 in earnings. He paid $23.40 to win. Cheddar Bay Arya Stark completed the sweep of the Niagara Series in fitting fashion by rallying from seventh at the head of the line to reach up for a length and a quarter victory in 1:55.4. Trained by Melissa Lamoureux, Arya Stark got away seventh and would move to the outside at the midway point, but still sat nearly 10 lengths from the lead turning for home. The daughter of Royal Mattjesty and driver Chris Christoforou swept by their rivals to defeat Trip Aces Hanover, Cranberry Brie and Dreamfair Zenfire, who had nearly five on her rivals at three-quarters. Arya Stark is now seven for 36 in 2019 for Lamoureux, Jeffrey Boyd and Jefferson Davis. The sophomore now sits with $89,662 in earnings this season and career numbers of eight wins and $94,537 in earnings. A $2 win ticket on Arya Stark returned $4. Arya Stark Owner Brad Grant and trainer Richard Moreau once again led their respective categories, while Sylvain Filion made a return to the top of the driving ranks. Brad Grant enjoyed another tremendous season by capturing numerous stakes events, while also winning many Preferred and high-level overnights. The Milton, Ontario resident saw horses he owns win 66 races and earn over $1.6 million during 2019 at Mohawk Park. 1187422 Ontario Inc. finished second in wins with 45, while Robert Key finished with 42 wins. Serge Godin's Determination had the second highest earnings in 2019 with $1.3 million, highlighted by 37 victories. Trainer Richard Moreau again led all conditioners in victories and earnings. The Puslinch, Ontario resident posted 181 wins and $3.6 million in earnings. His stable sent out just over 1,300 starters. Carmen Auciello finished in the runner-up spot with 137 wins, while the top-five was rounded out by Ben Baillargeon (87), Rod Boyd (86) and Shawn Steacy (52). Tony Alagna finished second to Moreau in earnings with $3 million, while Auciello ($2.6 million), Nancy Johansson ($2.3 million) and Baillargeon ($2 million) were the only other trainers to surpass $2 million in earnings. There was no final day drama for leading driver, as Sylvain Filion finished with 267 wins, 42 more than nearest rival Louis Philippe Roy. Bob McClure finished third with 205 wins, while Trevor Henry had 193 and Jonathan Drury 177. A resident of Milton, Filion also led all drivers in earnings with $5.4 million. Roy also topped $5 million with $5.1 million, while McClure ($4.7 million) and Henry ($4.2 million) were the other drivers to surpass $4 million on the season. Live racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park now takes a holiday break prior to launching the 2020 season on Saturday, January 4. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment          

MILTON, ON - December 12, 2019 - Winter Series harness racing action finally got underway Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with first round action in the Valedictory and Niagara Series. Each series featured two $17,000 divisions with three-year-old colt and gelding pacers dueling in the Valedictory and sophomore pacing fillies contesting the Niagara. The Valedictory Series launched with Windsun Ricky rallying from sixth at the head of the lane to reach up and defeat Lyons Pegasus, who led from the second-quarter on, by half a length in 1:51.4. What Up Mo was third, while Conboyville was fourth. Sent off as the even-money choice, Windsun Ricky was driven to victory by Sylvain Filion for trainer Murray Brethour. The gelded son of American Ideal now has five wins in 15 starts this season, with three of those victories coming in six starts since a break from the track in August and September. Windsun Ricky is now five for 20 in his career and has banked $69,080 for owners Brethour, Windsun Farm and Noblock Racing Stable. He paid $4.10 to win. To watch the race replay, click here. No rallying was needed in the second division, as Virgin Storm went coast-to-coast on the lead to win in 1:52.4. James MacDonald guided the Nick Surick trainee to his fourth win in 25 starts this season. Jknr Liketell rallied for second, beat a length. Dreamfair Charro was third, while Legion Seelster was fourth. Unraced at age two, Virgin Storm entered Thursday's race having not scored a victory since his fifth start of the season. The gelded son of Always A Virgin now displays totals of four wins, $57,555 earned and a mark of 1:52.4 for owner M Spacc Stables. Virgin Storm paid $11.30 to win. To watch the race replay, click here. The Niagara Series started with Sunfire Blue Chip filly Dreamfair Zenfire scoring at odds of 4-1 for driver Travis Cullen and trainer Jodie Cullen. Dreamfair Zenfire rushed up from third to claim the top at the half and went on to pace a :56.2 back-half to win by a length and a quarter in a career-best 1:53. Cranberry Brie took second, while Erikas Shadow and Mary Goodnight completed the Superfecta. The most experienced competitor in the Niagara, Dreamfair Zenfire is now six for 37 on the season after going winless in four starts as a rookie. She is a homebred for John Lamers that has now earned $64,131 during her racing career. Dreamfair Zenfire paid $11.40 to win. To watch the race replay, click here. Arya Stark closed out Thursday's series action in exciting fashion, winning by a neck over Giggle Hanover in 1:53.4. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Arya Stark angled out from fourth heading to three-quarters, collecting cover from a two-hole pulling Passport Hanover. Trip Aces Hanover, who led into the stretch, surrendered the lead late to Arya Stark, while Giggle Hanover charged up the rail late. Passport Hanover was fourth. A daughter of Royal Mattjesty, Arya Stark picked up her fifth win 34 starts this season and sixth career win overall with the upset score. Melissa Lamoureux trains the sophomore and co-owns with Jeffrey Boyd and Jefferson Davis. Arya Stark, who paid $23.80, now has career earnings of $68,537. To watch the race replay, click here. The Valedictory and Niagara Series were open to three-year-olds, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2019. Each event will resume next Thursday (December 19) with second-round action. The series finals will be contested on Boxing Day (December 26). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

JULY 18, 2018 - Grand River Raceway hosted its first Ontario Sires Stakes event of the season on Wednesday evening and local drivers Bob McClure and Doug McNair swept six of the nine Gold and Grassroots divisions. McClure teamed up with trainer Keith Jones of Barrie and owner Douglas McCarthy of Holland Landing, Ontario to sweep both of the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding Gold divisions. In the first $94,800 split McClure left strongly from Post 3 with Henderson Seelster and settled the colt in second as Sicario sprinted out to a :28 quarter, :58.3 half and 1:28.1 three-quarters. In the stretch McClure sent Henderson Seelster around the tiring pacesetter and the colt powered home to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:57.2. Heavy favourite Run Director was second and Barney Mac rounded out the top three. "Both of Keith's are really good on a half, he has them set up and good gaited, so half-miles are an advantage to those two for sure," noted McClure. "Henderson can get a bit hot, so the pace didn't slow down very much and when he got out, he really exploded out of the hole, I didn't expect it, but he raced super. I was really happy with him." Henderson Seelster did not race in the Ontario Sires Stakes as a two-year-old, but in three sophomore starts at the Gold Series level the son of Holiday Road has now tallied one seventh, one third and one win. Wednesday's triumph boosted the trotter's lifetime earnings to $102,454. The second $95,600 Gold division saw McClure fire Joey Bats out of Post 6 and control the tempo, laying down fractions of :28.3, 1:00 and 1:29.2 on the way to a two length victory in 1:58. Fan favourite Stormont Ventnor was second and Winning American finished third. "He's a really nice horse to drive," said McClure. "At Woodbine Mohawk (Park), the stretch sometimes gets a little long for him, but he's really good gaited and he's really manageable and, like I say, he gets around a half like a hoop on a barrel, so I expected him to race good today and he did, we were really moving going into that last turn. "He got cheap fractions, which didn't hurt, but he did race really well," the Elora resident added. "Once he got the half in a minute I figured they'd have to do some racing to catch him." Like his stablemate, Holiday Road gelding Joey Bats did not race in the Ontario Sires Stakes last season, but he now has one win, one third and one seventh to his credit through three Gold Series appearances this season, boosting his earnings to $107,140. McClure completed the Ontario Sires Stakes hat trick in the fifth $18,450 two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots division, guiding Royalty Again to her first lifetime win in a 1:59.2 clocking. Favourite Rella Tivity was one-half length back in second and Sugar Shadow, driven by Doug McNair, was third. "She had a lot of racing luck which never hurts," admitted McClure. "It couldn't have worked out any better for her, but when she did get room she paced forward, so you can't knock her, she won." McClure crafted the victory for trainer Leon Mansfield and Antonia Smith of Strathroy, Ontario, who offered up $6,000 for the Royal Mattjesty daughter at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. McNair collected his three Ontario Sires Stakes wins in the Grassroots divisions, guiding Bens Jenna, Kylie Seelster and Sports Flix to victory in the first, sixth and seventh splits. Bens Jenna recorded the quickest mile of the seven divisions, hitting the wire in 1:57.1, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Ideation Hanover and Paris Rose. Ron Adams of LaSalle conditions the Mach Three daughter for David Kryway of Amherstburg and 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, Ontario, who acquired the filly for $16,000 from the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Kylie Seelster paced home in the second fastest time, fighting off a top-of-the-stretch challenge from Whitehaven Beach to reach the wire two lengths the best in 1:57.4. Favourite Whitehaven Beach settled for second and Karans Choice was third. Gregg McNair of Guelph trains Kylie Seelster for his partner Keith Waples of Puslinch and Dr. Chris Robson of London, Ontario. The trio purchased the filly from the London Selected Yearling Sale last fall for $44,000. "The first filly is a handy little filly and she raced good, that was a good trip," said Doug McNair about Bens Jenna. "The second filly (Kylie Seelster) raced tough. She's been off a couple of weeks, so it was another impressive mile tonight." One race later the McNairs returned to the winner's circle with Sports Flix, who paced home one and one-half lengths ahead of favourite Lady Maya and Southwind Thundra, driven by McClure, in 2:00.3. James Fraleigh of Dresden, Ontario owns the daughter of Sportswriter and $1.3 million winner Moving Pictures, offering up $13,000 for her at the London Selected Yearling Sale. "She's been getting better since her first qualifier (June 29) and she got a good trip tonight," said McNair. "They didn't go as much as the rest, but she got the job done." The other three Grassroots divisions went to Better Now in 1:59.1, Jessicas Legacy in 1:58 and Twin B Friendly in 1:58.3. Heading into the evening's final race, a preferred trot, tied with three wins each, McNair and McClure put on a show for Grand River fans. First and second turning for home, McClure urged favourite Katch Kanna home to a one length victory in 1:59, leaving McNair to settle for second with pacesetter Spartan Victory. "Me and Dougie both had three going into the last. He cut the mile and I got by him late, and I was doing some chirping, I think," said McClure with a chuckle. The two-year-old pacing fillies make their third Grassroots start on August 20 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, while the three-year-old trotting colts will make their fourth Gold Series appearance on August 26 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. Grand River Raceway's second Ontario Sires Stakes event is on Monday, August 6, when the third three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots event will be part of the Elora oval's annual Industry Day celebration. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trois-Rivieres, QC - She's so good, she has to compete against male rivals. That's the story of Rainbow Palace. The lone mare taking on the boys in the third race harness racing feature pace at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday. She was voted the top-class performer at H3R last year with seven wins, all against male rivals. And this year she is doing the same again, two wins, two seconds, one third in just six starts. Rainbow Palace goes from post four Sunday for owner and driver Francis Picard of Warwick. His brother, Dominique, is the trainer. She is listed as the 3-1 second choice in the morning line. The fastest mile of the year at H3R is 1:55 and it is held by six horses, Rocky Boy, National Debt, Mister Big Top, Hooter Shooter, Washington Park and, of course, Rainbow Palace. Last week the six-year-old mare by Royal Mattjesty was second to Jann And Dean, the week prior, she won in 1:55.2. She does her best racing when on the lead or near it and seems to thrive when having to race first-over too. This week the favorite in the feature race is Ufdragons Rocket from the far outside in post eight for driver Pierre Luc Roy. This nine-year-old by Dragon Again ships to H3R from Rideau Carleton off a pocket-trip 1:54.3 score, his sixth win of the year for trainer Yves Tessier. Other contenders include the entry from owner/trainer Marc Andre Simoneau of Hooter Shooter (post two) and Pantheon Seelster (post 7) plus Windsun Cheyene, another newcomer from Rideau Carleton, goes from post six. In the seventh race pace, Requested, the 5/2 favorite starting from the rail post position, also driven by Francis Picard, can become the winningest horse so far in 2018 at H3R with four wins. Track Notes: Tonight, Kawartha Downs hosts the Regional Drivers' Championship for Eastern Ontario and Quebec. Eight representatives will fight it out, four from Rideau Carleton, two from Kawartha Downs and two from H3R. They are Stéphane Brosseau and Stéphane Gendron, our two leading drivers this season and last year. The tournament features six races, and in addition to H3R's two representative, other H3R drivers include Richard Simard, Guy Gagnon and Jonathan Lachance. On Tuesday evening at H3R, the sensational three-year-old Sportwriter filly, All You Can Dream, returns after last week's amazing 1:56 mile in her first pari-mutuel start. Post time is 6:30 pm. For more information, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Every season there is a pacing or trotting mare that excels beyond their class and at the Hippodrome 3R, such is the case in 2017 between Lucky Promesses and Rainbow Palace. Just last week, the trotting mare, Lucky Promesses, saw her nine-race winning streak, mostly against male competitors, come to end going against the best trotters at the track and this Sunday, Rainbow Palace will once again see if she can show her heels to her male rivals in the Invitational Pace. Rainbow Palace is a five-year-old mare by Royal Mattjesty from the Cambest mare, Matilda Hall, who was unraced. She is owned and driven by Francis Picard of Warwick and trained by his brother, Dominique. They purchased Rainbow Palace as a yearling at the Forest City Sale in London in 2013 for $7,500. She was consigned by Winbak Farm. As a two-year-old, Rainbow Palace showed early signs of excellence at H3R, taking a record of 1:59 and then finishing third in the 2014 Lucien Bombardier Stakes. Then at age three, and not eligible for the Quebec-Bred Series, Rainbow Palace had to distinguish herself in overnight races for young horses, and she excelled, taking a record of 1:56.3. The results were so encouraging that the Picard brothers tried her three times at Mohawk Raceway, where she was race timed in 1:53. They even tried her in the Grassroots Series at Hanover Raceway, where she finished fifth. Then last year, Rainbow Palace had to race mainly against male rivals at H3R where she lowered her record to 1:56. But 2017 saw a faster and more assertive Rainbow Palace at H3R. She currently has six wins, going mainly against male rivals in the Invitational Pace and has now won her last two starts. It was just two starts back that she was at her best, moving first-over from third place at the three-quarters and then coming on to win by a neck over Sports Authority in a blazing 1:54.3. "I always knew," Francis Picard said. "I would say that I had a very powerful mare, and now I know that I am dealing with a very fine and talented racehorse. When the time comes, I will not be at all embarrassed to allow her a second career as a broodmare. She belongs to a good bloodline and should produce foals that will succeed." Rainbow Palace has the rail in Sunday's eighth race feature. Of the eight male rivals she faces, she has beaten four of them this season and is the 5/2 morning line favorite to win again. At her current pace, she is well in line as a top candidate for the coveted title of the season's best pacer. With one more victory, she will be tied with Lucky Promesses as the winningest horse at H3R this season. But there are eight rivals who will be all out to stop her winning ways on Sunday. Bali, from post two, is also on a two-race win streak. Trained and driven by Marie Claude Auger, Bali was a 1:54.4 winning last week at Rideau Carlton. Ufdragons Rocket from post three is the winningest horse in the field this year with 12 victories for trainer Yves Tessier. Last week he also won at Rideau Carlton in a lifetime best 1:53.1. Sports Authority (post 6) returns after a brief layoff after losing that neck decision to Rainbow Palace and Highpoint Chip (post eight) moves back to the top class after scoring two straight wins at H3R, the fastest a 1:54.3 triumph for trainer/driver Pascal Berube. Rounding out the field are Crombie A (post four), Glass Shadow (post five), Pieraz (post seven) and Whitemountain Nemo (post nine), all of whom have won this year at H3R. First race post time is 12:30 pm. For a free race program for Sunday's ten-race program, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has been engaged by Baldivis harness racing trainer Nathan Turvey to drive smart, lightly-raced mare Royal Myth in the $18,000 Choices Flooring Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Turvey will drive his other runner, Hidden Bad, who has returned to form with strong efforts at her past two starts. Lewis has not driven the New Zealand-bred Royal Myth, who has created a good impression with eight wins from her 14 starts in Western Australia. She is a good frontrunner and looks hard to beat from the prized No. 1 barrier. Royal Myth reappeared after an absence of nine months when she started from the back line over 2130m last Friday week.  The Royal Mattjesty mare was heavily supported and started at 9/4. She raced one-out and two-back in sixth place before Turvey sent her forward, three wide at the bell. However, she failed to flatter and finished tenth, seven lengths behind the winner Gota Good Lookadda. Hidden Bad, who will start from barrier five on the front line on Friday night, revealed excellent fighting qualities when she worked hard in the breeze and battled on determinedly to finish third behind Forever Remembered and Gota Good Lookadda over 2130m last Friday night. At her previous outing, two weeks earlier, Hidden Bad settled down in ninth place before Turvey sent her forward, three wide, after 720m. She then raced in the breeze and got to the front 250m from home before winning by almost two lengths from Forever Remembered. The Turvey-trained mares are likely to be tested by Andrew de Campo’s promising four-year-old Nowuseemegirl, who has set the pace and won at Bunbury at three of her past four starts. Ken Casellas

Harness racing returns this Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway with a six-dash card at the Saint John half-mile oval starting at 1:00 P.M.    Dr. Mitch Downey will drive the veteran pacer Fall Bliss from post-five in the final race of the afternoon carrying a purse of $ 1350. Winner of his last three races, the pacer has been assigned the number five post versus his four rivals.    City Of The Year, runner-up in the Walter Dale Memorial will test his stable mate from post-four. Mike Downey will pilot the four-year-old son of Royal Mattjesty. Momara, driven by New Brunswick's top driver of 2015, Ed Harvey draws the coveted rail position. Other starters include Magical Alex and Coral Snake.    Post time on Saturday goes at 1:00 P.M. As always, free parking, free admission and simulcast on live racing available at all betting locations in New Brunswick.               

Ella V Horse (Royal Mattjesty) went coast to coast in Friday's harness racing feature for pacing mares at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Andy Sardella-trained, Stephane Bouchard driven distaffer set close to identical fractions on the front end as she did two weeks ago when she prevailed in the Winners Over. On Friday night, Ella V Horse held off the late challenge from pocket-sitting Little Santamonica (Jim Devaux) before stopping the timer in 2:00 in the 1 1/16 mile feature. Little Santamonica, who scored in the $12,000 Winners Over a few weeks back, had to settle for second while My Spring Fling (Bruce Aldrich Jr) came on for third. The race's favorite at odds of 2-1, Ella V Horse secured her third win of the season. The exacta paid $21.40 while the triple came back $142.50. Ella V Horse is owned by Mike and Bill Pozefsky of NY and Myron Ekstein of Henderson, NV. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

The 2015-16 Woodbine Fall/Winter meet concluded Monday night with the second leg of the Blossom Series and a Preferred Trot highlighting harness racing action. The two $17,000 Blossom Series divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies featured new winners to open the doors for an intriguing final next week. In the first division, Mattjestic Tempo took full advantage of a pocket-trip to win at 5/1 in a field of six. Driven by James MacDonald, Mattjestic Tempo flashed early speed to head towards the front. Newcomer Westsluckycam cleared to the front at the opening-quarter of :27.4 and proceeded to lead the field through middle-half fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.3. In the stretch, Mattjestic Tempo came to the outside and surged by to victory in 1:55.3. Noone To Depend rallied late and finished 1¾ lengths behind the winner in second. Westsluckycam dropped back to finish third. Blueberry Will, who won a leg one division last week, struggled in Monday's first division and finished sixth and last. A daughter of Royal Mattjesty, Mattjestic Tempo entered Monday's contest off a third-place effort in leg one. The sophomore pacing filly is trained by Blake MacIntosh, who shares ownership of the filly with Stuart McIntosh. Mattjestic Tempo's leg two victory is her first win in 11 starts this season and third overall. She pushes her career earnings over $50,000 with Monday's victory. The MacIntosh trainee paid $13.80 to win. Mattjestic Tempo The second division saw a familiar face on the Woodbine circuit return to score a career-best victory. Heavenly Hill and driver Jonathan Drury got away third in the early stages before brushing to the lead in the second-quarter. It was lights out from there, as Drury and the 3/2 second-choice cruised home in :28.4 to win by 2½ lengths in 1:54.1. Bas As Leader finished second, while the 7/5 favourite Evangelin Seelster finished third. Windsun Glory, who won a leg one division, crossed the wire in fourth. A daughter of Art Colony, Heavenly Hill competed last season locally for trainer Dave Menary and captured an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division. The sophomore pacing filly was purchased in January by owner George Munniksma and was recently competing at Yonkers. Heavenly Hill, who was debuting Monday for trainer Carmen Auciello, picked up her second win in five starts this season and knocked a fifth of a second off her previous career-mark. She now has four career victories and earnings exceeding $117,000. Heavenly Hill paid $5.10 to win. Heavenly Hill Also on Monday, Hldontghttoyurdrms scored an 8/1 mild upset in the $34,000 Preferred Trot. Fearless Man, who was aiming for a second consecutive Preferred win, trotted out to his usally spot on the front. After posting fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:25.1, Fearless Man led the field into the stretch, but the 4/5 favourite had several challenger close in behind. In the stretch, Hldontghttoyurdrms and driver Jonathan Drury came off third-over cover to storm by their rivals to win by a length in 1:55. Zeus Lightning trotted home well and just missed the victory in second, while Fearless Man dropped back to finish third. A seven-year-old son of Muscles Yankee, Hldontghttoyurdrms is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Frank Spagnolo. The veteran trotter picked up his second win in a row Monday and second in 12 starts this season. Hldontghttoyurdrms pushed his career earnings over $400,000 with his 23rd career victory Monday. He paid $19.30 to win. Hldontghttoyurdrms Live racing now moves to Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. A 10-race card will kick-off the Mohawk meet. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Ella V Horse (Royal Mattjesty) scored a wire-to-wire win in the Friday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Stephane Bouchard pointed the nine year old mare out to the front end in the $13,000 1 1/16 mile Winners Over for Fillies and Mares and despite fast fractions of 26.1 and 55.4 in the first half had plenty left for the stretch drive. Ella V Horse turned back the late challenge from Bettorhaveanother (Frank Coppola Jr) before stopping the timer in 1:59.3 for the 1 1/16. Campanile (Austin Siegelman) was parked out for the duration of the race and still toughed it out to finish third. It was the second victory of the season for Ella V Horse, who was the race's co-favorite in the wagering at odds of 2-1. The win was the second on the evening for trainer Andy Sardella whose Im A Nice Girl (The Panderosa) set a lifetime mark on Friday night. Stephane Bouchard was the evening's sulky star as the veteran reinsman piloted six winners on the card. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Ella V Horse (Royal Mattjesty) scored a front-running harness racing victory in Friday's $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Andy Sardella-trained mare won the feature for distaffers last month but in just her second try in the Open dug in to prevail on Friday with Stephane Bouchard in the sulky. The eight year old mare has done her best work on the front end lately and posted first half fractions of 27 and 56.1 before pacing a 56.4 back half en route to a score in 1:53. The race's favorite Carolsideal (Billy Dobson) came charging hard late to be second while West Liberty (Jason Ryan) toughed it out following a first over journey to be third. Ella V Horse, who went over the $200,000 mark in career earnings with the victory, returned $8.10 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $34.60 and $216, respectively. The win was one of four on the card for Bouchard. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Ella V Horse (Royal Mattjesty) went coast to coast on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway to prevail in the local harness racing feature for Fillies and Mares for the first time. Stephane Bouchard piloted the Andy Sardella-trained mare and following a third place finish in last week's $15,000 Winners Over pace for distaffers, moved the eight year old out to the early lead. After enjoying a hassle-free first half that went in 57.2, Ella V Horse stepped on the gas in the final lap and cruised to a wire-to-wire score in 1:52.3. It was the fourth victory in the last five starts for the mare who was claimed two weeks ago by owners Mike and Bill Pozefsky and Myron Eckstein, all of the scores coming while on the front end. Campanile (Austin Siegelman) was a pocket sitting second on Friday night while Super Soph (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Ella V Horse returned $9.10 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $25.80 and $53.50. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

It seemed like a stroll in the park on an 86 degree summer night for Kellys Cross as she totally overpowered a solid field of Open II pacing mares in Wednesday night's (July 29) feature at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs. As the wings closed, the speedy Voltina (Jack Flanigen) bolted to the lead, but not before getting rimmed to the quarter by rail-rider Real Joy (Drew Monti) in 27.4. After she took, Real Joy came right back at her and the two continued to argue to the half. At that point, Downs defending driving champion, Kevin Cummings pulled Kellys Cross from third and circled the dispute as the girls passed the three-quarters. From there the pair opened up a six-length advantage and coasted home in 29.1 with the victory never in doubt. Kellys Cross tripped the timer in 1:55.1 and paid $11.40 to her backers. It was the fastest win time ever over a half-mile track for the 4-year-old Royal Mattjesty progeny. It was also the fifth win of the year for the mare that competes under the guidance of trainer John Mungillo for owner Frank Spagnolo. Drivers scoring doubles on the card included Jim McNeight (who registered the natural daily double in races one and two), Kevin Cummings, John Cummings Jr. and Dave McNeight III. Batavia Downs also hosted its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night in conjunction with the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester, NY ( ). Each of the eleven races was sponsored by groups who made donations to the fund and presented blankets to the winners after each race. There was also a silent auction and raffle that was held during the night, with winners announced before the last race. The effort raised $5,200 that will go to BCCR to help find a cure and eradicate this scourge to women everywhere. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (July 31) night at 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - The all-age world record for harness racing pacers was re-written Wednesday night at the Hippodrome 3R when Aaron's Mattjesty and driver Denis St Pierre won the eighth race at a distance of 2 miles in 4:03.4. The previous world record was set at Cal Expo in California by Carl's Future (Luis Pena) in 4:04.2 back in 2006 according to the United States Trotting Association. "This is great news," said driver Denis St Pierre. "I had no idea that we set the world record last night. Aaron's Mattjesty is a great horse and worthy of this honor." The eight race began with Pierre and Aaron's Mattjesty going to the early lead. They were challenged right away by OK Diablo (Stephane Brosseau) but were stuffed into the two hole by Aaron's Mattjesty to the first quarter in :30.1. Aaron's Mattjesty then led the field past the half mile in 1:03.4, but was again challenged, this time by Brussebeach and driver Louis Philippe-Roy at the three-quarters in 1:35.2. Brussebeach got within a head of collaring Aaron's Mattjesty, but thought better and dropped into the two-hole. That challenge fired up Aaron's Mattjesty , who then held the field at bay and by the finish had opened up and made the race a romp, winning by an impressive seven and three-quarter lengths. "He is just such a nice horse," Pierre said of Aaron's Mattjesty. "For this kind of race you want to try and soft opening quarters. But the other horse challenged us early and I was lucky to back it down a little after the first fast quarter mile. "Then by the three-quarter mile," Pierre explained, "Roy came after the lead with Brussebeach and I know I cannot let him get by me so I shake the lines and pull a little on the bit and he (Aaron's Mattjesty) took hold as I pulled the plugs (ear) on him. You have to try and not get them too excited early, but after that challenge my horse was so strong, all the way to the finish." Trained by Daniel LaFlamme, owned by Francois Morin and bred by Craig Turner, it was the third straight win and fourth victory in his last five starts for Aaron's Mattjesty. The eight-year-old gelded son of Royal Mattjesty paid $3.30 to win as the betting favorite. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – It’s never easy for a newcomer to get adjusted to their surroundings, especially in harness racing, so Fortune Playboy will have his work cut out for him in the feature pace Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. Fortune Playboy comes into the third race on a two-race winning streak at Kawartha Downs, where he led from start to finish in 1:53.1 and then a lifetime best 1:52 clocking for trainer John MacMillan. The five-year-old gelded son of Rambaran will start from post six and is going for his sixth victory on the year. Gilles Gendron will be in the sulky. The race favorite is Aarons Mattjesty from the rail for driver Denis St Pierre. Last week he beat the best at the Hippodrome 3R the hard way. He was parked out first-over from the half mile marker and still was able to grind it out to the finish with a 1:54.3 triumph. It will be an interested battle to see who leads the race as while newcomer Fortune Playboy always races well when on the lead, Cliff Drummond from post five and driver Gaetan Lamy, may have other ideas. Also a horse that does his best racing on the front end, Cliff Drummond is also expected to try and control the pace, setting up a great possible early speed duel. He was second a neck in his last start, the prior one he held on wiring the field by a neck. Trained by Piere Quellette, Cliff Drummond has won two of his last four starts. Another contenders in the well matched field is Who Dey from post four for driver Pascal Berube. He has won two of his last five starts and has yet to finish worse than third in this class since coming north from Pompano Park back in May. Post time Sunday is 1:30 am. For more information visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

Macho Comacho’s standing start record held him in good stead on Friday night in the Benstud Enduro at the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton. The six-year-old by Royal Mattjesty out of Alberts Daughter stepped swiftly from the tapes, quickly establishing a handy buffer and holding on to it for the next 2760m. Bettor Rock On camped on the $6.90 leader’s back for Greg Sugars from barrier two and poked through in the straight to finish third, just pipped in a photo finish by second-placed Metro Mike, who made an early move to be in the chair riding a comfortable first half (62.8secs) for Jason Lee. Driver Chris Alford rated the tempo perfectly aboard Macho Comacho from the Dean Braun stable, the gelding upping the ante through a 28.2secs third quarter before ripping to the line in 26.8secs (55secs last half) to give nothing else a shot. The win was Macho Comacho’s ninth career victory, all nine coming in standing start races. “It certainly helped him, getting back to the stand,” Alford said. “When he first came over here from New Zealand he had good form in some country cups." “The mobile races don’t really suit him as much.” Macho Comacho had been screaming out to win one after three straight second placings of late, all in mobile races. Getting out to a trip was also certainly no problem as he stays all day. Alford predicted Macho Comacho would be a fierce Country Cups Carnival competitor next season. The win was the first leg of a weekend treble for Braun, who teamed with reinsman Nathan Jack for a double at Cranbourne on Sunday night with well-bred two-year-old Soho Chelsea (Mach Three/Cornsilk) and talented three-year-old filly Quaint Glen (Pay Me Christian/Quantam Franco). CODY WINNELL

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