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MILTON, ON - October 18, 2018 - Preliminary round action of the Harvest Series wrapped up Thursday with two-year-old colts and geldings in action at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 15 pacers and 12 trotters went to battle Thursday evening over four $17,000 second-leg divisions for the Harvest. Shadow Play gelding Shadow Of A Daut launched the evening's festivities with a 12-1 upset in the opening split for pacers. The Michel Rivest trainee and driver Mike Saftic enjoyed a three-hole trip to the half before staying inside behind the leader Mantario, who battled pocket-popper Better Earl to three-quarters in 1:25.2. In the stretch, Shadow Of A Daut had room to come off the rail and powered by to the lead for a 1:54.2 maiden-breaking score. Forever Fav rallied to finish second, beat three-quarters of a length, while Crusher Q was third. Race-favourite and leg-one winner Mantario was fourth. Shadow Of A Daut, a $42,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase, maiden-breaking victory comes in his eighth start and pushes his earnings to $16,055 for owner Claude Poirier. He paid $26.10 to win. Shadow Play colt Carlisimo extended his win streak to three with a 1:54.2 score in the second division. The James 'Friday' Dean trainee and driver James MacDonald got a two-hole trip to the far turn before sliding out and sitting on the back of the first-over challenger turning for home. Carlisimo powered by early in the stretch and went on to win by a length. Sugartown finished second, while Joe McDude and Shrimp And Grits completed the Superfecta. A $13,000 Atlantic Classic Sale purchase, Carlisimo improved to five for 11 in his rookie campaign and has now earned $52,148 for owner Reginald MacPherson. The Dean trainee will have an opportunity to sweep the Harvest Series in next week's final. Carlisimo paid $5.40 to win. All Wrapped Up took the evening's first trotting division to situate himself with an opportunity at a series sweep next Thursday. The gelded son of Archangel was a coast to coast winner in 1:58 for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Rob Fellows. Encarnacion followed in second the entire mile and was defeated by 3 ½ lengths. Esa was third, while Mac N Caps was fourth. All Wrapped Up's second consecutive coast to coast victory gives him three wins in his last four starts and three wins in seven starts overall. The $11,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase has now earned $25,250 for owners Fellows, Arpad Szabo, Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister. A $2 win ticket on All Wrapped Up returned $2.60. Cool Clifford put on a show in the evening's second division, delivered a stunning 9 ¼ lengths victory in 1:57 for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Scott McEneny. The gelded son of Kadabra moved out from third nearing the half, took the lead entering the far turn and proceeded to leave his rivals well behind for the career-best victory. Cool Clifford's blowout score was also his first-career victory, coming in his 10th start of the season. Herbs Journey finished second, while Cousin Peter and Clash were third and fourth, respectively. A $60,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Cool Clifford pushed his career earnings to $44,269 for owners Brad Grant and Martwest Racing Stable. He paid $3.70 to win. Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. All four finals of the Harvest Series for two-year-olds will take place next Thursday (October 25). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

CHESTER, PA - Heavily-favored Skippin By, intimidating the field by virtue of her 1:50.1 victory last week, was the only major leaver and stole a 1:53 victory in the $18,000 featured pace for mares at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday. True, it was a cool 62 degrees at the riverside oval Friday - but in 67-degree weather last Friday, Skippin By went fractions of 27, 55.3, and 1:23, adding on a 27.1 last quarter in a blowout victory, In this event, George Napolitano Jr, sent the daughter of Shadow Play to early command and set slightly-more pedestrian fractions of 28, 56, and 1:24 - and then had to chase her the length of the stretch to maintain a healthy margin, which at the wire was 1 1/2 lengths over the noted closer Penpal. Skippin By has had a giant 2018 already, with seven wins and seven seconds in 26 starts, with earnings of $110,900 for trainer Nick Surick and the ownership of Cornerstone Stock Farm. Lifetime, Skippin By has 33 victories and a bankroll of $877,409. In the $14,500 cofeatured mares pace, the Ashlee's Big Guy mare Royal Knockout joined a dynamic outer tier from last, then swept by in the lane to record a $91.00 upset in 1:53.2. Tony Morgan, second on the alltime winningest North American drivers list, timed his late charge well to raise the mare's earnings to $466,073 for trainer Michael Posner and owners Michael and Adrienne Selis. Western Canada's top pacing filly of 2016-2017, with 16 wins in 18 starts and earnings over $250,000, was an unlucky 0-for-13 at four after coming south of the border - but all it took was a California trainer and a New Zealand driver to get her home first at Philly on Friday. Yoga Pants, a daughter of Sportswriter, finally found the U.S. winners circle in her 14th start of the year for trainer Lou Pena, driver Dexter Dunn, and the Wish Me Luck Stables LLC of Gap PA - which is 42 miles from Harrah's in Chester PA, slightly closer than the 2950 miles from Vancouver, the distaff's base when north of the border. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - On a special Friday night card of racing at Harrah's Philadelphia, the Shadow Play mare Skippin By was used hard to get the early lead, but she showed in the last quarter she had ample energy in reserve, taking the $18,000 featured pace for distaffs in 1:50.1. Skippin By was hustled out of the gate by driver George Napolitano Jr., as both Monica Gallagher and Hold It Hanover also left the switch with alacrity. After "Hold It" backed off to a 3-tuck at the 1/8, Skippin By pressed her case and got the lead after working to the quarter in 27. But after midsplits of 55.3 and 1:23, Skippin By powered off from her rivals with a 27.1 kicker, winning by 2 3/4 lengths over Monica Gallagher and raising her lifetime tally to $868,409 for trainer Nick Surick and Cornerstone Stock Farm. The eight-year-old mare Regil Elektra recorded her 48th lifetime victory, sending her earnings to $1,073,923, with a victory in 1:52.1, last half 55.3, in the $14,500 distaff pace co-feature. Driver Tony Morgan moved from the pocket with the victorious daughter of Mach Three in front of the stands, getting around early leader Future Headlines easily, then dashed home from there to be a 1 1/2 length winner over that rival for trainer Keith Armer and the Fred Monteleone Estate. Regil Elektra was also the fifth in a consecutive line of horses who paid $6.00 or less - without being the favorite! Harrah's will pick up the action again on Sunday at 2:05 p.m., with a $25,000 winners-over pace for females heading a strong card (that might complement the Futurity Day card at Lexington nicely for simulcast fans). There will also be a special live offering of racing on Columbus Day Monday at 12:25 p.m., with over $200,000 on the line for John Simpson Sr. stakes series three-year-old colts of both gaits. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A red hot Three Truths will face off against seasoned company in the Thursday night feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6:30 P.M. for the 11-dash program with a power packed field of seven contesting the race 10 featured pace for a $2,350 purse. Three Truths rides a three-race win streak into the event and will draw post 5 for driver Kenny Arsenault, trainer Paul Doyle and owners Jason Rice of Kensington and Darren Doyle of York, P.E.I. The five-year-old son of Shadow Play defeated the same preferred 2 class in his latest start while taking a new lifetime mark of 1:55.1. Three Truths defeated three of the horses racing against him this week but will also have to contend with a pair of class droppers and a front-end specialist with an improved post. Perfect Escape (Driven by Gilles Barrieau) jumps up in class for this race but draws post 1 this week and proves deadly when he acquires the front end. The outside duo of Winter Blast (Jason Hughes) and Red Magician (Adam Merner) drop out of the preferred 1 class to try and cut Three Truths' win streak short. Also in the field is Rockin Indy (David Dowling), Elm Grove Kaboom (Marc Campbell) and Tobinator (Corey MacPherson). The $1,950 Open trot lines up in race 8 of the program with Majian Tango the favourite from post 6 for trainer-driver Jim Ripley and owner Marylea Ripley of Amherst, N.S. His stablemate Majian Chester (Ken Murphy) is installed at 7-2 odds from the rail, while Dusty Lane Jacob (MacPherson) was an impressive winner last week and gets post 2. Sophomore stakes trotter Buckaroo will leave from post 7 as he faces off with aged company for trainer-driver Campbell. For race programs, live video and more check out By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

Ontario Sires Stakes action returned to Flamboro Downs on Tuesday evening with the fifth, and final, Grassroots leg for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Fan favourite Azure Seelster kicked things off with a gate-to-wire score from Post 5 in the first $18,800 split, reaching the finish two and one-half lengths ahead of Color Envy and Saulsbrook Beauty in 1:54.3. "She's a gorgeous black filly, she's by Shadow Play. She looks kind of just like he does -like he used to, I should say, when he was in racing form - they have the same shape," said driver Tyler Moore, whose father Dr. Ian Moore campaigned Shadow Play during his $1.5 million racing career. "She's got a lot of quick speed, she's a little high strung, but she's all-in-all a very fast racehorse." Campbellville resident Moore piloted Azure Seelster to the win for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, 2745 5815 Quebec Inc. and Sylvain Descheneaux of Sorel-Tracy, and Paul Andre Lehoux of Sainte-Marie, Quebec. Tuesday's victory was the filly's second in Grassroots action this season and gives her a final tally of 130 points, good enough for fifth spot in the standings. Hello Love delivered an impressive effort from the outside Post 8 to earn a 1:55.2 victory in the second $18,800 division. The Shadow Play daughter and driver James MacDonald got away fifth and then led the charge up the outer lane, pressing pacesetter Sunday Afternoon through the second half. Matching strides with Sunday Afternoon around the final turn, Hello Love found another gear in the stretch and pulled away to a one-length win in 1:55.2. Lifelong Dream followed the fan favourite up the outer lane into second and Sunday Afternoon settled for third. The win was Hello Love's third in Grassroots action and puts her at the top of the division standings with 183 points. Heading into the Sept. 21 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park trainer Mark Steacy and his staff will be working tirelessly to keep the filly in peak condition. "We've had a chiropractor work on her a few times, and a massage therapist work on her a little bit," said Steacy. "She's had muscle issues so we have to monitor that pretty close with her, and as long as we keep that under control she races good for us." Steacy conditions Hello Love, another daughter of Shadow Play, for Landmark 10 Racing Stable of Kingston, Ontario, J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta and Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec. The filly has not been worse than second in the last month and, as long as she maintains her current form, Steacy expects her to be among the primary contenders in the post-season. "I think Neon Moon looks very good and I think them two, right at the moment, look probably the two best," reflected Steacy. "So hopefully our mare stays healthy and we'll see what happens." Neon Moon, also starting from Post 8, delivered an equally impressive effort in the last $19,150 division. In rein to Guelph resident Jason Ryan, Neon Moon fired off the gate and took command before the :28.1 quarter and then reeled off fractions of :57.4 and 1:25.4 on her way to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:54.1. Pocket-sitter Shadow World finished second and Iveseenthefuture completed the top three. "I'm very happy with her. She's been very consistent and she always tries hard," said Cambridge resident Jack Darling, who owns and trains Neon Moon. "She has the speed to overcome a bad post like the eight-hole tonight at Flamboro. I hope she can keep it up for the Grassroots Finals." The victory was Neon Moon's second in Grassroots action and puts her in sixth with 124 points. Last season the Sportswriter daughter was the runner-up in the Grassroots Final, so Darling will be hoping she can match or better that result. The top 20 point earners will advance to the Sept. 21 Semi-Finals, and the top five finishers from each Semi-Final will earn a berth in the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Flamboro Downs has one more Ontario Sires Stakes event on the calendar this season, welcoming the two-year-old trotting fillies for their fourth Gold Series event on Tuesday, Sept. 25. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

The Woodbine Mohawk Park racing surface was in peak condition for Saturday's rich card of racing and Ontario's top three-year-old pacing colts took full advantage of the speedy surface in a pair of $95,600 Gold Series divisions. Charged with warming up the sizeable crowd for the marquee events, the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and $651,000 Maple Leaf trot, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings did not disappoint. Kicking off the stakes action in Race 3, heavy favourite Backstreet Shadow went to the front soon after the :27.2 quarter posted by Sharp Action Money and never looked back. Through a :55.3 half and 1:23 three-quarters, Backstreet Shadow maintained a comfortable lead, cruising home a one and three-quarter length winner in a personal best 1:49.2. Levis Day closed hard to be second and Sharp Action Money was third. "He's a nice horse and had a good post and a bit of luck," said trainer Richard Moreau. "It all worked out." Yannick Gingras piloted Backstreet Shadow from Post 1 for Puslinch, Ontario resident Moreau and owners Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, Michigan. The win was Backstreet Shadow's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action and his fifth in 10 sophomore starts. With one win, one second, one fifth and one seventh, the Shadow Play son finishes the regular season with a total of 82 points and will advance to the Oct. 13 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Unfortunately, as the pacers raced down the stretch in the first division, trailer Ali caught a shoe and fell. While the gelding was unharmed, trainer-driver Patrick Lachance suffered a broken leg and was transported by ambulance to Milton District Hospital. Six races later, and one race after Mcwicked captured the Canadian Pacing Derby in 1:49, The Downtown Bus recorded his own personal best in the second Gold division. Like Backstreet Shadow, The Downtown Bus powered to the front just after the :27 quarter and was on cruise control for the remainder of the race. Leading by just over one length through the :55.1 half and 1:22.4 three-quarters, The Downtown Bus and driver Tim Tetrick opened up a three length lead in the stretch and stopped the teletimer at 1:49.3. Fan favourite St Lads Neptune was second and early leader Yacht Seelster was third. "I bought his grandmother in foal with his mother from Harrisburg (in 2006), and we really thought we had something special last year at two, and just one issue, maybe some bad management, one issue after another, and his season didn't amount to anything," said trainer Jeff Gillis. "We got off on the right foot this year and he continues to improve. Having Tetrick doesn't hurt either. He seems to really get along with him." Mississauga resident Gillis shares ownership of The Downtown Bus with Ellen Ott of Buffalo, New York. The partners have watched the son of Mach Three and Slimsplace tally seven wins and $176,683 in 18 starts this season. Saturday's victory was the gelding's second in the Gold Series and gives him a total of 117 points and third-place in the division standings. With a break of six weeks until the Super Final, Gillis said the Sept. 8 Simcoe Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park is a possibility for The Downtown Bus, as is a bit of time off. "He's eligible to the Simcoe next week and I guess off that mile I'll go ahead and race him in it. I wasn't in love with the idea of racing Grand Circuit company, but I don't know, he looks like he deserves a shot," said the horseman. "We'll probably try and freshen him a little bit and have him clicking on all cylinders for the Super Final." The top 10 point earners advance to the $225,000 Super Final on Oct. 13 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Following the second Gold division, lightly rated Crazy Wow and driver Jody Jamieson raced to a 1:51.1 victory in the Maple Leaf Trot. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to the Campbellville oval on Monday evening, with three $19,500 Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The youngsters will compete in Races 2, 6, and 10 on Monday's program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. From the Ontatio Sire Stakes  

JULY 20, 2018 - Three-year-old harness racing filly Kendall Seelster paced into the Ontario Sires Stakes history books at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday evening, laying down a record setting 1:49.4 mile to win her $94,800 Gold Series division. The mile took two-fifths of a second off the 1:50.1 clocked by former Ontario Sires Stakes star Michelles Power over the Campbellville oval in 2007 and was just the latest in a series of outsized accomplishments by the diminutive Kendall Seelster, who hit the wire three and one-half lengths ahead of favourite Shower Play and Sudden Passing. "She's still a medium-sized, compact filly, she was probably one of the smallest ones in that race," said trainer Paul Reid, who conditions Kendall Seelster for 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario. "She's the exception to the rule." The victory, which saw the pocket-sitting Kendall Seelster and driver Randy Waples sprint up the inside when pacesetter Sudden Passing drifted to the right in the stretch, was the filly's first in Gold Series action this season. In the May 20 season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District she finished third and in the June 23 leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park she faded to sixth after doing all the work on the front end. Following the June 23 result Reid sent the daughter of Shadow Play and Kiddie Cocktail out in two overnight races at Woodbine Mohawk Park, on July 6 and 14. Using near-identical come-from-behind tactics in both races, Milton resident Waples guided the filly to two victories, the first in 1:51.4 and the second in 1:51.2. "She definitely needed to get bravened up, and she needed the work honestly. She just was lacking some speed work when I got her, some speed miles, so we just basically had to race her into shape," explained Reid, who returned to Ontario from Florida in early May. "She just wasn't into what I wanted race shape, and the extra miles, you'd like to have them in May, but it ended up we had to do them in the last couple weeks. Now hopefully we can carry on from here." Now that she has regained the form that saw her win two Gold Series divisions, a Champlain Stakes division and $453,985 at two, Reid expects Kendall Seelster will see action in a few more overnight events at Woodbine Mohawk Park before the fourth Gold Leg at Georgian Downs on August 19. For his part, trainer Jack Darling was quite happy Write Me A Song had landed in the other Gold division on Friday. "Both divisions are tough, but the other one I thought was tougher, obviously, they went 1:49.4," said the Cambridge resident. "Kendall was pretty awesome tonight." While Kendall Seelster sat in the pocket through fractions of :26.4, 56.1 and 1:23.2, sprinting home in 26 seconds to the 1:49.4 record, Write Me A Song took command of the first division early. Last year's division champion Percy Bluechip led the field to a :27.4 quarter, but driver Jody Jamieson soon had Write Me A Song on the move and the filly was comfortably out front by the :57 half. Continuing to lead through the 1:24.1 three-quarters, Write Me A Song dug in down the stretch to hold off a fast closing Play The Bell and secure the 1:51.2 victory. Kendall Seelster's stablemate Just Her Luck completed the top three. "I was hopeful. She won that race in Clinton (July 8 Kin Pace Final) and she was very good, but she was stepping up to a lot tougher competition," noted Darling, who also owns the Sportswriter daughter. "I was really happy with her. She's a very honest filly." Darling made two more appearances in the Woodbine Mohawk Park winner's circle Friday, the first with three-year-old pacing filly Neon Moon, who won an overnight event in preparation for her next Grassroots start, and the second with two-year-old pacing filly Powerful Chris, who delivered an impressive 1:52.1 victory in the last of three $68,000 Gold Series divisions for the novice pacing lasses. Darling bought a share in Powerful Chris after a commanding victory in her July 10 Grassroots division caused owner-trainer John Pentland to be inundated with offers to purchase the daughter of Betterthancheddar and Cell Power. "Obviously she was very impressive last week so he was getting some pretty good offers for her, but he wanted to keep her himself to race, which I don't blame him," explained Darling. "So anyway, he called me and offered me a piece of her, and I was pretty impressed with her last week, so I took a piece. "I think he did me a favour by offering me a piece of her. She was just awesome again tonight," admitted Darling, who has known Dorchester, Ontario resident Pentland since his earliest days in the business. "She just looks like something special so far." Bob McClure of Elora, Ontario, who has driven Powerful Chris in all of her qualifiers and races, also acquired a share of the filly through his Syllabus Stable. The other two-year-old pacing filly Gold divisions went to Springbridge Sassy in 1:53.4 and Crisp Mane in 1:52.3. The novice pacing fillies make their third Gold Series start at Grand River Raceway on August 15. Woodbine Mohawk Park features another big card of Ontario Sires Stakes racing on Monday, July 23 with eight Grassroots and two Gold Series divisions for the two-year-old pacing colts. The Grassroots colts will kick things off at 7:30 pm in the first race and carry on through Races 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11, while the Gold colts square off in Races 4 and 8. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Lady Shadow (Shadow Play) brought her $2 million+ in lifetime earnings into Friday night's Fillies and Mares Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Melissa Beckwith trainee finished first or second in three consecutive installments of the lady's feature heading into Friday night's try in the $14,500 Open. Lady Shadow powered aggressively out from her assigned outside post with Mark Beckwith in the bike and didn't stop until she reached the top. After posting a first quarter of 27.1, the veteran distaffer took them through a half in 56 seconds. The race's favorite Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) rushed up first-over to challenge for the lead but was rebuffed by the career winner of $2 million. Bye Bye Michelle (Jimmy Devaux) was searching for a seam late and came up shy by a head while Tempus Seelster (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot in the mile clocked in 1:53. Lady Shadow, who won for the third time of the season and second in five starts in the local Open, paid $6.40 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $28.20 and $137.50, respectively. The race card was cut short after the seventh race due to a power outage at the track. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

SUMMERSIDE, PE – The top Invitational race in Atlantic Canadian harness racing goes to the gate in the Saturday evening finale at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway in the culmination of Governor’s Plate week racing at the Prince County oval. The 50th edition of the Governor’s Plate, presented by Township Chevrolet Buick GMC, carries a $25,000 purse in race 16 of the Saturday evening card at Red Shores Summerside. The program kicks off with a 6:30 P.M. first race post time featuring another chance at the $100,000 Dash For Cash in the Governor’s Plate final for two lucky patrons. Euchred has been installed as the morning line favourite in the $25,000 Governor’s Plate final with rail control gained at the Tuesday evening’s official post position draw. Adam Merner drives the son of Shadow Play for trainer Terry Gallant and owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. Euchred won Governor’s Plate elimination one Sunday afternoon in 1:54 by five lengths. Gallant has won the Governor’s Plate twice before with Outlawpositivcharg in 2008 and 2009 Defending champion Do Over Hanover is selected as second choice by race secretary Gerard Smith from post 6. Jason Hughes drives the 2017 Governor’s Plate winner for trainer Chris MacKay and owners Red Isle Racing of North Granville, Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge and Allard Racing Inc., of Quebec. Selected for third is post 2 starter, and Governor’s Plate elimination winner, Czar Seelster with Kenny Arsenault at the controls for trainer Todd Weatherbee and owner Tammy Johnston of Vernon Bridge. Arsenault won the race previously in 2011 with Serious Damage. Race analyst Bo Ford puts his faith in Euchred to capitalize on his inside post position and land in the winner’s circle in the historic race. “Euchred was dominant throughout the early part of the season and he hasn’t been too shabby lately either, offering a not worse than second in five of his last six starts,” Ford said. “With so many hard hitting contenders in here the rail could be the deciding factor.” Another piece of history could occur as post 7 starter In Spades is driven by 18-year-old driver Austin Sorrie, who will drive in the classic event in just his 74 scheduled lifetime drive. Sorrie trains the son of Bettors Delight for owner Walter Simmons of Summerside. In Spades shows the fastest miles so far this season with a blistering 1:53.1 victory over Red Shores Charlottetown on June 30. The ownership group of William Andrew of Calgary, Alta., and Brian Andrew of Milton, P.E.I., have two entries in the race with Keep Coming leaving from post 4 with Corey MacPherson in the bike and Cartoon Daddy leaving from post 8 for driver Dale Spence. Gilles Barrieau has won a record five Governor’s Plate finals and gets another chance Saturday evening from post 3 with Mr Irresistible for conditioner Jennifer Doyle and owner Danny Birt of Vernon Bridge. To complete the field, Nogreatmischief has post 5 for trainer-driver and co-owner Walter Cheverie of Nine Mile Creek and Brian Thompson of Charlottetown. The seven-year-old son of Bettors Delight will be making his first Governor’s Plate appearance while his driver has previously won the race with Barney Baren in 2000. The Saturday program also features the $5,000 Governor’s Plate consolation in race 5, the $2,500 Andrew Perry Invitational trot in race 8 and a $3,500 Fillies and Mares Open pace in race 15. Also on the docket is the Atlantic Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts featuring a pair of $12,800 A-divisions in races 9 and 14. For more information go to by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Shadow Play mare Skippin By got the quintessential George Napolitano Jr. drive, and she went on to take a lifetime mark of 1:49.4 at age seven while winning the $21,500 featured mares pace Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. When "George Nap," the track's all-time leading driver, has a horse with an inside post, especially the rail, he'll hustle her away to get prime racing position; if he gets the lead around the quarter or earlier, he'll back off the second quarter; and if he backs off the second quarter, he'll sprint with his horse down the backstretch, trying to get away from the opposition. Skippin By drew the rail, was urged away from the start by Napolitano, got everybody to tuck in behind her well before the 27 quarter, went 28.2 to the half to hit the midpole in 55.2, then sent his mare on a 26.3 sprint down the back, opening some distance by the 1:22 ¾ pole. GNap and Skippin By had enough strength to hold off the first-over bid of Vorst by 1¼ lengths, with a 27.4 last quarter to get the 1:49.4 new speed badge. Nick Surick conditions the winner of $836,534 for the Cornerstone Stock Farm. The Crazed gelding Gural Hanover inched closer to the $1 million plateau in lifetime winnings with a 1:53.2 triumph in the $17,500 featured trot on Sunday. Matt Kakaley patiently made his way to the lead in a race with fractions of 27, 56.2, and 1:24.4, then had plenty left nearing the wire to stay 1¼ lengths clear of Ostrich Blue Chip. Ron Burke (who had success with a veteran twice Gural Hanover's seven-year-old age earlier today in eastern Pennsylvania) is the trainer of the winner of $979,002 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Little E LLC and the Panhellenic Stable Corporation. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs        

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It was a select field of five in Buffalo Raceway's $11,500 Open Pace on a steamy Saturday night (June 30) so strategy wasn't at a premium. But Focus Power and driver Drew Monti made the right move early and cruised to an easy 1-3/4 length victory over China Dream in 1:54.4 over the fast track.   Starting from the two post, Focus Power ($4.60) wasted little time in gaining the lead off the gate and posted rather pedestrian fractions of :29.4 and :59.1 in saying 'come and get me'.   The tempo picked up the second half as Focus Power had to contend with a first-over China Dream (Billy Davis Jr.) with a panel to go. But there were no anxious moments in the stretch as Focus Power pulled away thanks to a :27.4 last quarter and China Dream retreated. R M Hawk (Kevin Cummings) took third place.   Owned by James Caradori and trained by Darrin Monti, it was the third victory in 10 tries this season for the 6-year-old gelded Focus Power (Shadow Play-Luv's For Ever). The win pushed his 2018 earnings to $28,116 and $189,083 lifetime.   Drew Monti finished the night with four victories in the sulky with Shawn Gray adding three. Trainer James Clouser Jr. picked up three wins and Darrin Monti a pair.   Racing will continue on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled. Buffalo Raceway will be dark this Friday (July 6) but will have a Saturday evening program at 6 p.m. and a matinee on Sunday beginning at 12:30 p.m. with the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers battling in the New York Sire Stakes.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

On Friday night, Lady Shadow (Shadow Play) did what she couldn't do the previous two weeks at Saratoga Casino Hotel and that is defeat regular Open winner Spreester. Lady Shadow is very close to the $2 million mark in career earnings as the Melissa Beckwith trainee cruised to an open length romp in Friday's Fillies and Mares. The veteran seven year old moved out to the front in the early going in the $14,500 feature and built an insurmountable lead as she passed three quarters in 1:24. Mark Beckwith then pulled the trigger and the lead got bigger with Lady Shadow pacing away to win in 1:53.1 by four and a half lengths. Culinary Delight N (Larry Stalbaum) surged up the inside to be second while the favored Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot while a beaten favorite. Lady Shadow paid $7.90 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $47.40 and $91, respectively. The veteran distaffer now has accrued more than $1.99 million in career earnings after recording her first win in the local feature. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

MILTON, ON - JUNE 23, 2018 - How good is Jimmy Freight? Driver Louis Philippe Roy is not sure; he thought he had seen the best of the colt in his first six starts this season, but the three-year-old pacer stepped it up a notch in Saturday's $96,400 Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "He's always been really good, Jimmy Freight, and tonight I think he was better than he's ever been. He felt so good going down the stretch, could have gone a little bit faster," Roy told Woodbine Mohawk Park's Chad Rozema in the winner's circle. "Like I said, tonight is the best he's ever been, and if you would have asked me how he was a week or two weeks ago I would say he's very good. I didn't know he could be better than what he was actually, so tonight he really impressed me again." Starting from Post 6 Jimmy Freight got away fourth as Levis Day led the field of seven to a :26.1 opening quarter, but Roy was not content to sit for long. He had the heavy favourite on the lead before the :54.2 half and by the 1:22.2 three-quarters the pair had opened up a two length gap on the field. Making it look easy, Jimmy Freight extended that margin to six and three-quarter lengths by the finish and clocked a new personal best 1:49.2. St Lads Neptune finished second and Levis Day took home third-place honours. Roy drives the son of Sportswriter and Allamerican Summer for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and owner Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ontario. Jimmy Freight now boasts a sophomore record of five wins, one second, one third and earnings of $151,900 through seven starts. In addition to Saturday's Gold Series triumph he was also victorious in the Gold Series season opener at Flamboro Downs on May 20 and in his Somebeachsomewhere division at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 2. "He's a nice horse, I don't know what to tell you, he makes everything so easy," said Moreau. "If he races every week I never get to train him, I just jog him, that's all. "And if you jog him you wouldn't be able to say he is a stake horse or what he is, because all he does is trot out there," added Moreau with a chuckle. "You can't even push him to pace unless you put the hopples on." The easygoing Jimmy Freight will make his next Gold Series start at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 22 and has been invited to the August 11 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in Ohio. Roy also captured the $125,000 three-year-old pacing filly Gold division, steering heavy favourite Shower Play to another one of her trademark come-from-behind victories, reaching the wire one length ahead of Big Thong and Write Me A Song in in 1:51.1. "She didn't have a really good trip tonight, because I was kind of shuffled back in the last turn, so I was scared a little bit that I may be a little bit too far," Roy told Rozema. "But once I moved her, she just, just by herself, she switched to sixth gear and rally home." Rockwood resident Rene Dion conditions Shower Play for his partners Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood, Ontario and Martin Leveillee of St-Blaise-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The victory bumps the Shadow Play daughter's sophomore record to three wins and one second in four starts. In addition to Saturday's Gold Series victory, her first, the filly was also victorious in the $415,000 Fan Hanover final on June 16 and the Grassroots season opener on May 31, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. She will be back in Gold Series action on July 20 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Like Shower Play, Sharp Action Money used a late sprint to capture the other three-year-old pacing colt Gold division. Starting from Post 6 Sharp Acton Money got away seventh and tipped into the outer lane where he watched as four different horses rotated onto the front end. At the three-quarters, sitting three and one-half lengths off the pace in fifth, driver Sylvain Filion shifted Sharp Action Money into overdrive and the gelding sprinted home in :27.3 to claim a one-half length victory over Sports Legend and Taste Of History. "This horse has been racing really, really good, I wasn't just able to give him the right trip, and tonight fortunately we were able to get the right trip," said Filion from the winner's circle. "When I saw a bunch of leavers I took back, got a third-over, and it worked out pretty good." Milton resident Filion crafted the trip for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland and his partners Tony Basile of Toronto and Daniel Sarafian of Unionville, Ontario. The win was the Sportswriter son's second of the season and his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, June 25 with two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. The program gets under way at 7:30 pm and the fillies will compete in Races 3 and 8. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Milton, ON - JUNE 22, 2018 - Play The Bell's Grassroots win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday evening was impressive - digging deep to hang on by a nose in the driving rain - but given what the three-year-old harness racing pacing filly has been through in the last month it was positively inspiring. "When we scratched out of the Gold in London (May 26) it was because she got colitis on the day of the race," explained trainer Casie Coleman. "She was in Guelph University for five or six days and I wasn't sure which way it would go at first, then she snapped out of it." A Gold Series regular at two, Play The Bell had started her sophomore campaign with a fourth-place finish in the May 19 Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stakes, but Coleman felt the filly was not ready for the kind of fast mile that the Gold fillies are expected to deliver in their $125,000 contest on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We decided to go to the Grassroots as she wasn't ready for the Gold with just the one fast mile we could put into her," said the Cambridge resident. "She raced well. That was a big mile in the mud out of Post 9." Play The Bell and driver Bob McClure powered away from Post 9 and led the field of nine through fractions of :27, :56.1 and 1:24.2. Pressured hard in the stretch by pocket-sitting Azure Seelster and fan favourite Neon Moon, Play The Bell found something in reserve and kept a nose in front to claim the 1:53.2 victory over a track rated one second slower than normal. Azure Seelster settled for second, with Neon Moon a head back in third. Coleman shares ownership of Shadow Play daughter Play The Bell with her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Mac Nichol of Burlington and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, Ontario. So long as she bounces back well from Friday's start the winner of $211,599 is expected to be back in the Gold Series for the third leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 20. Unlike Play The Bell, Lady Bubbles will be sticking with the Grassroots when it heads to Grand River Raceway's half-mile oval for the third leg on August 6. The Sportswriter daughter picked up her second straight Grassroots win in the first $18,800 division on Friday, contested over a dry, fast track, and would love to make it a three-peat. "She should be good there if she gets a good draw," noted trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario. "She has been a real pleasure so far this year. She always gives a great effort. She has a big heart for a little horse." Guelph, Ontario resident James MacDonald piloted Lady Bubbles to the victory, which saw her hit the wire in a personal best 1:53.1, a neck ahead of the fast-closing Sharks Summrshandy. Startistic Wonder crossed the wire third, but was placed back to fifth due to a late break which elevated Askmysecretary to the third spot. The win was the third of the season for Lady Bubbles and her fifth in Ontario Sires Stakes action; she was a three-time Grassroots winner at two. Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec bred and owns the winner of $86,055. Driver Louis Philippe Roy captured the other two Grassroots divisions, piloting Katniss S BG and Saulsbrook Beauty to their first-ever Ontario Sires Stakes victories. In the second division Roy sent Katniss S BG to the front from Post 7, yielded to favourite Lifelong Dream through the central panels and then fired back to the front in the stretch, reaching the wire two and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:53. Lifelong Dream settled for second and Hey Sweetie was third in the last division contested before the track was downgraded from fast to good. Puslinch, Ontario resident Richard Moreau trains Mach Three daughter Katniss S BG for owner-breeders Sylvain Descheneaux and Gaston Bibeau of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. "She is a perfect size mare owned by people from home who raised her," said Moreau. "Thanks to Louis, everybody is happy." Roy made Saulsbrook Beauty's owner-breeders happy with a come-from-behind steer from Post 7. Saulsbrook Beauty circled around the leaders in the stretch to claim a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:55.3 over the rain-soaked oval. Mittany Nicole was second and Shadow World completed the top three. Brain Lee trains the Shadow Play daughter for Saulsbrook Stables Inc. of Windsor, Nova Scotia and Louis Willinger of Louisville, Kentucky. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday, June 23 with two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts (Races 2 and 9) and one for the three-year-old pacing fillies (Race 6). Saturday's program gets under way at 7:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - June 21, 2018 - The future officially arrived Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, as a pair of two-year-old races were contested. A field of seven rookie trotters met in the evening's second-race, while 10 freshmen pacers clashed in the seventh-race. Each race went for a purse of $14,000. Track Announcer Ken Middleton won't forget the first two-year-old pace of the season, as his student Shadowofthenorth was victorious in 1:56.2. The Shadow Play colt rushed to the lead from third in the second-quarter and after reaching three-quarters in 1:28.4, paced home in :27.3 to fight off rivals for a half-length score. Middleton, who is regarded as one of the top announcers in the sport, was sending out his first starter as a trainer on Thursday and kicked off his training career in style. An $18,000 London Yearling Sale purchase, Shadowofthenorth is owned by Middleton, Jeffrey Seibel and Michael Schaffer. See You In Tuscany (We Will See) finished second, while Do Ya Think (Ponder) was third. A $2 win ticket on Shadowofthenorth paid $13. Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh is certainly no stranger to success with young horses, but the betting public overlooked his trainee Only Take Cash in the two-year-old trotting event. A daughter of Cash Hall, Only Take Cash came first-up on the far turn and kept on trotting all the way to a 27-1 upset with driver Bob McClure in the bike. Royaltys Pearl (Royalty For Life), who cut an opening-quarter of :29.1, was slowing things down in the second-quarter when Westfiftysecond (My Mvp) made a backstretch rush from fifth to lead at the half in 1:00.1. Only Take Cash got away third and was sitting fourth entering the far turn. The McIntosh trainee was brought to the outside and moved first-up to within two-lengths of leader Westfiftysecond, who reached the third marker in 1:30.4. In the stretch, Only Take Cash marched right on by the fading leader and trotted home impressively in :27.4 to win by two-lengths in 1:59. Judge Ken (Justice Hall) followed the winner on the far turn to a runner-up finish, while Jumpshot (E L Titan) tracked third-over and trotted into a third-place finish. Only Take Cash is a homebred for Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Dave Boyle. She is the fifth foal from Armbro Affair, who made over $450,000 in 30 starts from 2003 to 2005. A $2 win ticket on Only Take Cash paid $56.80. Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON -- A force to reckon on the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots circuit last season, Rene Dion trainee Shower Play makes her harness racing Grand Circuit debut Saturday, June 16 in the $415,000 Fan Hanover Final on the Pepsi North America Cup undercard at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Owned by Rene Dion along with partners Susie Kerwood and Martin Leveillee, the three-year-old filly by Shadow Play from the Bettors Delight mare Alice Emily has made only seven starts in her career, with five coming from an abbreviated freshman campaign resulting in three wins and two seconds. "We staked her a little bit in Ontario," co-owner Kerwood said. "As a two-year-old--she was a $15,000 yearling [and] even though we liked her a lot, we just put her in a few stakes. Sometimes when you put them in a lot of stakes, you want to try to make them and they aren't quite ready for it. We staked her conservatively and said 'if she's good enough, she's going to make the money anyway.'" Shower Play, earning $54,962 in her career, capped her two-year-old season on Sept. 1 with a 10-length victory in a division of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series in 1:53. She scratched sick from her next start on Sept. 18 and went away until her three-year-old season. "We just had viruses going through the barn and with two-year-olds you can treat them all you want, but sometimes you race them and they don't come back well," said Kerwood. "We just thought highly enough of her to shut her down and start her up next year." Training in Quebec over the winter, poor weather and track conditions delayed Shower Play's three-year-old debut. Not wanting to "train her for the sake of training her because the track wasn't good or the weather wasn't allowing it," Kerwood said Shower Play has returned to the races just a little bigger. "She always was very strong, but she's more mature looking. She's a big, absolutely beautiful--she's a stunning filly. She's got a very nice size to her. She was maybe a little babyish last year, but this year I find that she's just bigger and more rugged." Shower Play returned to the track May 25 with a 1:56.2 qualifying effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park and won six days later in her first pari-mutual start of the year with an off-the-pace 1:52.2 performance. "I wasn't really sure how much she was up to [in her debut]," Kerwood said. "The one thing about her is that she's tough. I think when she's within striking position, she's the type of filly that gives all she's got. I'm not going to say I was surprised when she did what she did, [but] it was a good effort. [Louis-Philippe Roy] loved her and that's half the battle right there." Her following start was the elimination for the Fan Hanover, drawing against world champion Youaremycandygirl as well as local stars Percy Bluechip and Kendall Seelster. "Usually what we do [is] we take it one race at a time, and the way she raced [in her debut], we weren't sure how many fillies were actually going to be in the Fan Hanover so we kind of just took a gamble and put her in," Kerwood said. "We maybe would have liked to have another start in her before the Fan but it just didn't work out that way." Sitting off a swift pace set by Youaremycandygirl and Ubettorgo Go, Shower Play stormed from last to finish second to Kissin In The Sand in a dead heat with Im Trigger Happy "Going into it I was like 'Oh boy, she drew into the tough division, but I think she can qualify,'" Kerwood said. "Nothing surprises me about her because she is such a nice, strong filly, [but] how fast she is I don't know. I wasn't really surprised--she raced so tough; you look in the program, it looked like we were racing in the final. I was really pleased with how well she finished up." Louis-Philippe Roy will drive Shower Play, listed at 8-1 on the morning line, from post-four. Kissin In The Sand, off a 1:51.1 victory in the elimination, goes from post-three as the 5-2 morning-line favourite for trainer Nancy Johansson. "There're a lot of good fillies in the race, [and] I'm just hoping we're going to get a nice trip," Kerwood said. "I think whoever ends up getting the trip is going to win the race. But we're hoping to get a nice trip and to be somewhat close at the top of the stretch, and if she kicks like she can be, I think she can be close." ADMISSION ON NA CUP NIGHT SET AT $10 Woodbine Entertainment has issued a clarification regarding ticket prices for this Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   Admission to the Pepsi North America Cup is confirmed at a flat $10.   Fans who pre-purchased tickets through Ticketmaster were charged an additional $5.50 in service fees. Woodbine will offer those individuals with a pre-purchased ticket a cash card for $5.50 upon arrival Saturday. The cash card can be used at wagering terminals and concession stands.   Post time for the first of 15 races on Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup card is 6:30 p.m. Ray Cotolo, for Woodbine Communications

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