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CAMPBELLVILLE, August 27 - Harness racing's finest is taking over Mohawk Racetrack. The annual Grand Circuit week begins tomorrow evening (August 28) with the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies and wraps up next Saturday (September 6). The Champlain Stakes for two-year-olds and Simcoe Stakes for three-year-olds are staples on the Grand Circuit schedule every year. "Having North America's top two and three-year-olds come to Mohawk is exciting and something we all look forward to," said Scott McKelvie, WEG's Racing Secretary and Director of Racing. "The Grand Circuit's annual visit is always a highlight of the racing season." Thursday night three Champlain divisions for more than $83,000 will take place for the freshman trotting fillies. Spirit To Win (PP3), the winner of this year's Pure Ivory Series, leads the group of eight in the first division. A daughter of Cantab Hall - Celebrity Spirit, Spirit To Win has won three times in four career starts for trainer Dustin Jones. The second division features Ontario Sires Stakes standout Danielle Hall (PP6) for the trainer/driver duo of Carl and Jody Jamieson. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe - Debbie Hall, Danielle Hall has won four of her five career starts for earnings of over $137,000. Jolene Jolene (PP1) is the 4-5 morning line favourite in the third and final division. Trained by Jonas Czernyson, Jolene Jolene is a daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie and has one win in four career starts. She was the runner-up in the $352,050 Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands on August 2. The stakes action will continue on Friday night with two divisions of more than $103,000 of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and two $124,621 divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters. World champion Lifetime Pursuit, the winner of this year's Hambletonian Oaks, headlines the group of 13 three-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Lifetime Pursuit will start from post six in the second Simcoe Stakes division (Race 9) with driver Brett Miller. She is coming off a stakes record victory of 1:52.1 in the Casual Breeze Stakes last Friday at Mohawk. Miller and Takter will also team up in the second Champlain Stakes division with freshmen trotting colt French Laundry. A son of Muscles Yankee - Creamy Mimi, French Laundry has won three of his five career starts and will start from post three. On Saturday evening, the $207,689 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters will take place as part of the massive Canadian Pacing Derby card. Precocious Beauty leads a group of nine three-year-old pacing fillies in the Simcoe Stakes. Last year's She's A Great Lady Stakes winner, Precocious Beauty will start from post four for the trainer/driver team of Gregg and Doug McNair. A large field of 12 three-year-old trotters starring this year's Hambletonian winner Trixton will meet in their Simcoe Stakes division. Trixton, who has drawn post eleven in the second tier, will be making his first start since capturing the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 2. Trixton will also be making his first start at Mohawk since he set the track record of 1:51.3 in the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14. Trainer Jimmy Takter will take his usual position in the bike behind Trixton on Saturday evening. After a busy weekend, the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes action will resume next Saturday (September 6) with the $260,000 Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers, the $240,000 Champlain Stakes for the two-year-old pacing fillies and the $240,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers. Racing fans can stay up to date with the Grand Circuit by visiting their Facebook page www.Facebook.com/TheGrandCircuit and all of Mohawk's racing action at www.MohawkRacetrack.com by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

August 24, 2014 - In the final two legs before the mid-season break of HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Josi Verlingieri dominated her fellow competitors with a net profit of $1,886.25, more than $1,000 ahead of the rest of the pack. While Verlingieri leapfrogged from 8th to 4th place with her performance, Brandon Valvo remains on top at the mid-season break, leading his fellow handicappers with a net profit of $3,604.50, $1,395.80 ahead of his closest competitor, Bob Zanakis Other handicappers had less profitable, though significant weekends. Overall leader Brandon Valvo ended the final weekend of the summer portion of the competition with a weekly net profit of $830 edging out Earl Paulson who had a net profit of $800. As for key wagers for the weekend, after starting off with a $70 loss in Leg 22 (August 15), Verlingieri reversed her fortunes dramatically with a profit of $1,956.25 in Leg 23 (August 16) by going all in with a $125 Win and Place wager on Solar Sister ($27.50, $7.80) in the 3rd leg of the Eternal Camnation at Mohawk Racetrack. For Leg 22, the inaugural Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park, Earl Paulson netted a profit of $662.50 thanks primarily to a $25 Exacta box of three horses ($155 total) which returned $835. Valvo managed a $609 profit in Leg 22 with a $50 Win, Place wager on Milstein Memorial Consolation winner National Debt which returned $475 plus a $10 Trifecta part-wheel ($60) on the Milstein Memorial with its $294 dividend while scoring a $221 profit in Leg 23 primarily with his $10 Trifecta box ($60) in the Joe Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga Raceway which returned $206. Paulson scored a $600 profit in the Friday night leg of the competition primarily with a $25 Exacta three-horse box ($150) which returned a gross of $835 and a $137.50 profit on Saturday evening with a $5 Exacta box ($30) in the 3rd division of the Eternal Camnation which returned $252.50. Other performances worth noting were Sally Hinckley's $386.50 profit in the Saturday evening stanza with a $20 Trifecta key ($240) in the 3rd division of the Nassagaweya which returned $600 while Rusty Nash scored a $230 profit thanks to a $353 return on a $20 Win, Place wager on the 3rd division of the Eternal Camnation. The current standings at the break are: As of August 16, 2014 - Leg 23 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Brandon Valvo $830.00 $3,604.50   2nd Bob Zanakis ($500.00) $2,208.70 $1,395.80 3rd Earl Paulson $800.00 $744.90 $2,859.60 4th Josi Verlingieri $1,886.25 $614.15 $2,990.35 5th Derick Giwner ($143.00) ($44.23) $3,648.73 6th Brian McEvoy ($12.50) ($177.50) $3,782.00 7th Ray Garnett $0.00 ($622.15) $4,226.65 8th Mark McKelvie ($500.00) ($624.00) $4,228.50 9th Rusty Nash $18.52 ($1,624.11) $5,228.61 10th Sally Hinckley $216.10 ($1,671.90) $5,276.40 11th Ann Stepien ($240.00) ($1,749.11) $5,353.61 12th Gordon Waterstone ($500.00) ($1,900.30) $5,504.80 13th Garnet Barnsdale ($498.00) ($2,226.00) $5,830.50 14th Dennis O'Hara ($463.00) ($3,046.70) $6,651.20 15th Ray Cotolo ($500.00) ($4,548.40) $8,152.90 by Allan Schott, for HANA

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 22 - A full weekend of Grand Circuit racing action at Mohawk got underway Friday night with two $101,296 Casual Breeze Stakes divisions for three-year-old trotting fillies. Lifetime Pursuit, this year's Hambletonian Oaks winner, cruised to a stakes record victory of 1:52.1 in the second division. A daughter of Cantab Hall - Queen Of Grace, Lifetime Pursuit and driver Yannick Gingras got away third and followed along as Cantabs Fortune and Rick Zeron set fractions of :27.4 and :56.4. As the field made their way around the final turn, Gingras sent Lifetime Pursuit first up and she immediately blew by Cantabs Fortune to trot by the three-quarter station in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Lifetime Pursuit put on a show as she separated herself from her rivals and trotted effortlessly to a 3 ¾ length stakes record victory. The old stakes mark of 1:52.4 was set by Action Broadway in 2010. Designed To Be finished second, while Cantabs Fortune held on for third. The clocking of 1:52.1 was not only a stakes record, but it also equaled the track and Canadian record co-held by Check Me Out and Bee A Magician. "She can really scoot," Gingras said following the race. "She's been good all year, but she's really stepped it up since Hambletonian Oaks day and she was scary good that day and she's just as sharp now as she was then." Trained by Jimmy Takter, Lifetime Pursuit was coming into the Casual Breeze off World Record setting miles in the Hambletonian Oaks at the Meadowlands and a division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes at the Meadows. While Lifetime Pursuit has really come into her own over the last month, Gingras said she was starting to show her true talent leading up to the 'Oaks'. "No doubt she's got better in the last three starts, but also a couple starts leading up to the 'Oaks' it was just the trip wasn't working out," said Gingras. "Maybe she was getting a little bit sharp then and the trip just wasn't working out, maybe it's a combination of both, but obviously on paper it looks like her last three starts have been vicious, but she's been good all along." Lifetime Pursuit is owned by the Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky. The Casual Breeze Stakes victory was the eleventh win of her career, fifth win in ten starts this season, and it boosted her career earnings to more than $700,000. Lifetime Pursuit paid $2.90 to win. The first division of the Casual Breeze Stakes saw Sweetie Hearts pull off a 45-1 upset. Sweetie Hearts and driver Randy Waples grabbed the early lead and led the field into the backstretch. On the way to the half, My Inspiration came first up and overtook the lead to reach the half way point in :56.3. Donatella Hanover, the 6/5 favourite, was sent to the outside and came up to challenge My Inspiration as they reached the three-quarter pole in 1:25.3. In the stretch, Donatella Hanover took the lead, but Waples brought Sweetie Hearts off the rail from the two-hole to go around a fading My Inspiration and trotted up the inside by Donatella Hanover to win by a quarter of a length in 1:54.2. Danica, who made a charge on the far outside, finished third by only three-quarters of a length. Trained by Ron Parsons, Sweetie Hearts was coming into the Casual Breeze off a victory in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg at Grand River on August 13. Following the race, Parsons said the daughter of Angus Hall - Sweetheart K has been getting better as the season goes on. "She's a great mare and she gets stronger as the year goes and I think you're going to get a lot cheaper price on her in the next few weeks," said Parsons. Owned by Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, Sweetie Hearts was moved during her two-year-old season from Paul Reid's barn to Ron Parsons stable. "When I got her from Paul Reid (last year), he told me 'you're getting a nice filly, but just take your time, put the right driver on her and she'll be good and that's what she did. She went a big race in the Goldsmith Maid and then we shut her down and then we brought her back and she's just starting to get her mojo about her." The mile time of 1:54.2 is a new career best for Sweetie Hearts and the victory was her third win in eleven starts this season. She has now visited the winner's circle seven times in her career and has earnings exceeding $210,000. Sweetie Hearts paid $100.70 to win. Next up for the three-year-old trotting fillies is the $215,000 Simcoe Stakes next Friday night at Mohawk. The following week, eliminations will be held for the $365,000 Elegantimage Stakes. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG 

This Week: Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Cane Pace eliminations and Kindergarten leg, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Saturday (Aug. 23) when Mohawk Racetrack hosts two C$40,000 eliminations in the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers, two C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old pacing colts and a trio of C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old pacing fillies. More information on those races can be found by clicking on this link. On Sunday (Aug. 24), Tioga Downs will host a pair of Grand Circuit events, led by the $100,000 eliminations for the Cane Pace, the first leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Tioga will also feature second round action in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. Complete entries for the races at Tioga are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Northfield Park and Saratoga Casino and Raceway this past weekend with a pair of lucrative stakes for pacing males. All Bets Off used the passing lane to score in 1:50.3 in the Carl Milstein Memorial. All Bets Off, overlooked by the betting public at odds of 7-1, took advantage of a perfect trip to win the inaugural $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers on Friday night (Aug. 15) at Northfield Park. Matt Kakaley was in the sulky for trainer Ron Burke as the son of Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope won for the seventh time in 10 season's starts, while his share of the purse took his 2014 earnings to $511,175. All Bets Off is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Frank Baldachino, The Panhellenic Stable and Rosemary Shelswell. Kakaley steered All Bets Off ($16.60) into the passing lane and he easily went by the tiring leader, McWicked, to reach the finish line on top by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.3. McWicked and Luck Be Withyou finished in a dead head for second. Stevensville was fourth and Let's Drink On It finished fifth. Dancin Yankee set a world record of 1:48.4 in capturing the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace on Saturday night (Aug. 16) at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The time was the fastest ever for an older pacing stallion on a half-mile track, breaking the mark of 1:49 previously shared by Jet Laag and Ponder. It was also the fastest mile ever paced at Saratoga. Dancin Yankee set a world record of 1:48.4 in capturing the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace. Dancin Yankee is a 6-year-old stallion by Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest, owned by Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo. Amber Buter is the trainer and Tyler Buter was in the sulky. The victory was the 15th in 23 season's starts for the bay pacer who lifted his 2014 bankroll to $457,640. Dancin Yankee ($3.90) started from post position three and went right to the front and was never caught through fractions of :25.4, :53.4 and 1:21, before pacing home in :27.4 for the record mile in 1:48.4. Heston Blue Chip (Marcus Miller) sat In The Pocket the entire mile and finished second, 3-1/4 lengths behind the winner. Foiled Again (Matt Kakaley) made a first over bid for the front down the backstretch, but could never catch the leader and ended up third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 686; 2. Tim Tetrick - 512; 3. Ron Pierce - 386.5; 4. David Miller - 307.5; 5. Brian Sears - 245. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,071.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 529; 3. PJ Fraley - 204; 4. Ray Schnittker - 189; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 172. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 242.25; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 216; 3. Bamond Racing - 156.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 132; 5t. Robert Key - 105; 5t. Knutsson Trotting - 105. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Vernon Downs with Zweig Memorial races for 3-year-old male trotters and 3-year-old filly trotters, along with the Crawford Farm Trot for older open trotters. Mohawk Racetrack will offer the finals in the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Metro and the She's A Great Lady, along with Champlain Stakes events for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters and Simcoe Stakes events for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and 3-year-old filly pacers. Tioga Downs will contest the final of the Cane Pace for 3-year-olds, along with the Shady Daisy for sophomore filly pacers and a leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Stakes-winner E L Titan has been absent from the Grand Circuit this season, but that is soon to change. The 3-year-old male trotter, who won three of five starts last season, including divisions of the International Stallion Stakes and Madison County, made his 2014 debut earlier this month and is getting ready for the Simcoe Stakes and Canadian Trotting Classic, both at Mohawk Racetrack. Riina Rekila, who trains E L Titan for breeder/owner Erkki Laakkonen, qualified E L Titan on July 4 at Mohawk, where he won in 1:57.4, but didn't see the colt make his first start until Aug. 9, when he was victorious by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:54.2 in a conditioned race at Mohawk. "He had little issues, but we decided to start a little bit later with him," Rekila said. "He was staked to the Hambletonian too, but I entered him in a few overnights here and they didn't use the class, so I just came late with him. I can't just go and race (in the Hambletonian) without any normal races. "We hope he's good now until the end of the year." E L Titan is by the stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Courtney Hall, a stakes-winning full sister to millionaire Cameron Hall. E L Titan is Courtney Hall's fourth foal and the previous three -- E L Rock, Appomattox and E L Rocket -- each earned at least $233,000. Appomattox, who finished second in the 2012 Kentucky Futurity, leads the group with $414,548. Last year, E L Titan won his division of the International Stallion Stakes by a neck over Trixton in 1:53.4. The time was fifth fastest among all 2-year-old male trotters last season. He also finished second to Father Patrick in a division of the Champlain Stakes. "I really liked him," Rekila said. "He's lazy training, so you can't tell too much. We were very surprised he raced that well (on Aug. 9) because he had only one qualifier. At home, I just train him under saddle or on my sand track. I don't train him too fast, so I was happy he went (1):54 pretty easy at Mohawk." Rekila drove E L Titan as a 2-year-old, but Chris Christoforou was in the sulky for the colt's first start this season. Rekila hopes By Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications/USTAChristoforou will drive E L Titan again in the Simcoe, which is Aug. 30. "If he doesn't take him, I'll take him," Rekila said with a laugh. "I like Chris. He's nice with the horse and he's one of the best drivers up here. "I like to drive 2-year-olds because maybe they are not so handy to drive," she added in explaining why she gave up her seat behind E L Titan this year. "I know them, so it is easier." Following the Simcoe and Canadian Trotting Classic, E L Titan's stakes schedule includes the American-National, Galt, Yonkers Trot, and Breeders Crown. "I'm racing him lightly because we would like him to race as a 4-year-old as well, maybe when he's a little older," Rekila said. "The owner is the nicest person ever, so we can do whatever we want. He doesn't want me to push the horse. If there are issues we can wait and race the horse whenever he's ready. We just want to have a nice horse. "I like him," she added about E L Titan. "They're all horses, so you never know, but I think he's a very nice horse." By Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

TORONTO, May 12 – Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to issue a final reminder to owners/trainers that several stakes payments are due on or before Thursday, May 15, 2014 After a one-year absence, four two-year-old stakes events are returning to the Mohawk stakes calendar. ‪The Dream Maker and Whenuwishuponastar, for two-year-old colt and filly pacers, will return in July. ‪On the two-year-old trotting side, the Define The World (formerly Bridger) and Pure Ivory (formerly In Free) will also re-appear in August. Nominations are also due for a pair of sophomore events, the Summertime and Town Pro. ‪There are numerous sustaining payments that are due for the circuit’s major stakes events, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, $685,000 Metro Stakes, etc. ‪Payments must also be kept up on the 2015 Champlain Stakes, Champlain Filly Stakes (for two-year-olds) along with the Simcoe Stakes, Simcoe Filly Stakes and WEG 2016 SBOA Stakes (Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association). The start of the 102-date Mohawk meet is scheduled for Thursday, May 22. To make an online payment, please click the following link: https://www.woodbineentertainment.com/Woodbine/Horsepeople/Standardbred/SBNominationForm.aspx To view the nomination form, please click the following link: http://www.woodbineentertainment.com/Woodbine/Racing/Standardbred/Pages/StakesNominations.aspx ‪Envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than the said due date or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

TORONTO, April 28 - After a one-year absence, four two-year-old stakes events ‬are returning to the Mohawk stakes calendar. ‪The Dream Maker and Whenuwishuponastar, for two-year-old colt and filly pacers, will return in July.‬   ‪On the two-year-old trotting side, the Define The World (formerly Bridger) and Pure Ivory (formerly In Free) will also re-appear in August.‬ Nominations are also due for a pair of sophomore events, the Summertime and Town Pro. ‪There are numerous sustaining payments that are due for the circuit’s major stakes events, including the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, $685,000 Metro Stakes, etc. ‪Payments must also be kept up on the 2015 Champlain Stakes, Champlain Filly Stakes (for two-year-olds) along with the Simcoe Stakes, Simcoe Filly Stakes and WEG 2016 SBOA Stakes (Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association).‬ All nominations and sustaining payments are due on Thursday, May 15. The start of the 102-date Mohawk meet is scheduled for Thursday, May 22. ‪Envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than the said due date or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended.‬ ‪To make an online payment, please click the link below:‬  ‪ ‬ https://www.woodbineentertainment.com/Woodbine/Horsepeople/Standardbred/SBNominationForm.aspx ‪To view the nomination form, please click the link below:‬  ‪ http://www.woodbineentertainment.com/Woodbine/Racing/Standardbred/Pages/StakesNominations.aspx by Greg Gangle, for WEG

"He is the fastest and gutsiest horse I ever sat behind," Sylvain Filion stated. Panther Hanover established himself as one of the fastest pacers in the history of the sport. His career cut short by injury was brilliant. During his short career Panther Hanover won eight of fourteen starts and banked more than $365,000, while taking a mark of 1:47.2 at the Meadowlands. His three-year-old campaign was highlighted by victories in the Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic and the Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. Owned by Jim Carr, Panther Hanover will now stand stud at Win Place and Show Farm in New York State, just one mile from the Canadian/U.S. border. Stud fee for 2014 will be $3,000 with a multiple mare discount available. A two mare discount is available for $3,000 for the first live foal and $1,000 for the second live foal. Foals will be eligible to the lucrative New York State Sire Stakes Program. Sam and Carolyn Trombley own and manage the picturesque Win Place and Show Farm. "We have already has a lot of inquiries about him. He is easy to manage and handle and knows when it is time to perform. His personality and attitude is terrific." Sam Trombley said. James Dean trained Panther Hanover for his racing career. "He was wicked fast and if he had stayed sound there is no telling how fast he would have gone," James Dean said. "He went in 1:47.2 in the New Jersey Classic. It was the fourteenth race of the day. Had he raced earlier in the day he would have gone in 1:46 and change. By the time of our race a wind kicked up pretty good in the backstretch. Earlier in the day there was no wind at all. If he had stayed sound he could have been the fastest horse I ever trained.” Owner Jim Carr is looking at a book of over 75 mares. "He was an awesome looking horse who had the look of a thoroughbred," Carr said. "He had the gift of great gate speed and a tremendous brush. He could sit the pocket if needed. He had a great attitude and was well mannered. For Quebec mares we have a special opportunity. If you bring your mare to the farm nearby (50 miles), and the horse is bred at the farm, you can now race both in the enhanced Quebec Sire Stakes Program and the New York Sire Stakes Program. You can get in on the ground floor of the fifth fastest horse in harness racing history and the fastest son of Rocknroll Hanover. He was bred to be great and his paternal family shows it. Panther Hanover is a half brother to outstanding performers Pan Hanover, Philos Hanover, Platinum Hanover and Passmaster Hanover, who are the winners of over one million dollars in purses. Remember all of his foals are eligible for the rich New York Sire Stakes Program. To contact Sam and Carolyn Trembley call (518) 297-3506. The farm is Win, Place & Show Farm, 474 Hayford Road, Champlain, NY 12919 and their website is http://winplaceandshowfarm.com/arrival. By Brian McEvoy, for Harnesslink.com

On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

Lindys Tru Grit will be seeking his second consecutive victory on a Chicago oval when he steps behind the gate in Friday’s $110,000 Galt Stake for sophomore trotting colts. Last week the son of Cantab Hall took a career record of 1:53.3 en route to capturing the $235,000 American National Three-Year-Old Colt Trot at Balmoral Park. Tim Tetrick steered the brown colt to his fifth seasonal victory for trainer Frank Antonacci, who conditions the youngster for his family’s Lindy Racing stable of Enfield, CT. “That was my first American National win and very exciting,” said Antonacci. “We love racing in Chicago and I think it’s a great test for a horse to go to different venues, different sized racetracks and do well. It’s a good opportunity for us this late in the year.” A winner of $291,924 in his career, Lindys Tru Grit came out of his American National victory in fine shape, Antonacci acknowledged. “He seemed fine after the win,” Antonacci confirmed. “There’s only six days in between starts and he’s plenty fit, so all week we’ve just concentrated on keeping him happy and jogging.” Lindys Tru Grit made only one start at two, but did take a qualifying mark of 2, Q2:00.1 in Lexington in late fall with his trainer at the lines. “Last year he was always battling bad allergies,” Antonacci explained. “He had terrible skin allergies and then would get sick. He battled back and forth with this problem all year long and it was a real struggle to keep him healthy. When he was feeling okay, he would show quarters in :28, and those sparks of speed were enough for us to keep him over the winter and try him again this year as a three-year-old.” In the end, Antonacci used an aggressive treatment to “de-sensitize him to his allergies.” “Him getting better could just be a natural function of the aging process, too,” Antonacci admitted. “It’s hard to say. But it was really a troublesome issue to deal with.” With his allergy problem behind him now, this year Lindys Tru Grit has secured victories in the $121,737 Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk; in the $75,000 Zweig at Vernon; and in a pair of Pennsylvania overnights—one at Pocono Downs and the other at Harrah’s Philadelphia — in addition to his Am-Nat triumph last week. “He’s great gaited, doesn’t wear (trotting) hobbles, and goes with a low head,” Antonacci said. “He’s got a little attitude — but just the kind that you like to see a horse have. He’s a very comfortable horse to be around and to have around in the barn.” Antonacci said he focused on getting Lindys Tru Grit confidence up early in the season, before sending him in against better horses. “For a horse like him that didn’t race at two, I look at the first half of this season like I would a horse’s freshman season,” he stated. “I let him run through the ranks at Pocono and let him progress there. It wasn’t until the third or fourth leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes that we started to get serious with him and he started to get confidence under his belt. He was also just a touch below the top horses but now is really coming into himself. He’s pretty fresh, especially for this late in the season. Lindys Tru Grit has drawn post six for the Galt Stake, but Antonacci thinks his versatile sophomore will be able to handle the task over the twice-a-rounder. “He’s got plenty of gate speed or can race off the pace,” Antonacci stressed. “I think whatever David (driver Miller) wants to do with him, he‘ll be able to with him. He can win on the front, be first-over, or race from off the pace. If he’s good, he’ll do it anyway he can.” Antonacci, 30, has conditioned 307 winners to $7,233,078 in earnings, and driven 100 winners to $906,022. His family’s name is synonymous with the trotting gait, as they have owned some of harness racing’s finest diagonally-gaited specialists, including Speedy Crown, Lindys Pride and $5.5 million dollar earner Moni Maker, to name just a few. A Boston College graduate, Antonacci first stepped into the spotlight in 2008 with the world champion Crazed, who earned more than $1 million at age three and won a Hambletonian elimination and finished second in the final. His other noteworthy trotters include Peter Haughton Memorial winner The Lindy Reserve and world champion filly Highscore Kemp. His father “Sonny” Antonacci established Lindy’s Farm in 1965, and to date the Antonacci family has assembled one of the finest trotting broodmare bands in North America. by Kimberly Rinker for Maywood Park

Bee A Magician to race at 4 & 5!

Freehold, NJ --- The Captain is still the king, but he faces another tough challenge in Saturday’s Tattersalls Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers at Lexington’s Red Mile. Fourteen horses entered the Tattersalls and the field was divided into two seven-horse divisions. Captaintreacherous, the defending Pacer of the Year and sport’s top-ranked pacer this season, will compete in the first of the two $215,500 splits -- along with the only horse to beat The Captain this year, Sunshine Beach, and Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation. Captaintreacherous, Vegas Vacation and Sunshine Beach are harness racing’s three richest 3-year-old male pacers this season. Vegas Vacation drew post one while Captaintreacherous got five and Sunshine Beach got seven. “They sure stacked them up,” said Mark Steacy, who trains Sunshine Beach. “It would have been nice to stay away from them until the Breeders Crown, but you can’t do anything about that. Plus we drew the outside post; I guess (driver) John Campbell will just have to work his magic.” Sunshine Beach handed Captaintreacherous his only loss in 10 races this year when he beat The Captain by a nose in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine on Aug. 17 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The time of 1:47.4 equaled the world record for 3-year-old pacers on a five-eighths-mile track. “Yeah, but he’s got about six (wins) up on us,” Steacy said with a laugh. “I’d like nothing more than to beat him again, but we want to win every time we race no matter what horses are in there.” Captaintreacherous won his three previous encounters with Sunshine Beach this year, including in the $980,000 North America Cup and $635,750 Meadowlands Pace. He also has four wins over Vegas Vacation, including the $360,211 Cane Pace. “It shapes up like a great race,” Captaintreacherous’ trainer Tony Alagna said. “I don’t look at it like we have to beat this horse or that horse; I just want my horse to go out there and race to his capabilities and he never lets me down.” Vegas Vacation, whose last three setbacks to Captaintreacherous have come by a combined total of less than a length, comes to the Tattersalls off his straight heats victory in the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 19 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. “I’m still the underdog,” Vegas Vacation’s trainer Casie Coleman said. “(Captaintreacherous) is still the king of the castle, but we’re going to try to take him off the throne. We’re going to give it our best shot.” Captaintreacherous and Sunshine Beach, who both skipped the Little Brown Jug, won Bluegrass Stakes divisions last weekend at The Red Mile. Captaintreacherous, who has earned $1.50 million this season, won by 1-1/2 lengths over Beach Memories in a career-best 1:47.1 with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines. “I was very happy with how he raced last week,” said Alagna, who trains the colt for the ownership group Captaintreacherous Racing. “And he’s trained back really well.” Sunshine Beach, who has won six of 13 races and $543,135 this season for owners Hudson Standardbred Stable, Conrad Leber and Diane Bertrand, captured his Bluegrass division by a neck over Resistance Futile in 1:48.2. It was his first start since a second-place finish to Vegas Vacation in a division of the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 7. “For a horse that hadn’t raced in three weeks, I thought he was very courageous,” Steacy said. “Resistance Futile is a nice horse with a good kick and he was able to fight him off. I hope he’s a little bit better this week.” Vegas Vacation has won nine of 15 races this year and earned $806,287 for owners West Wins Stable, Adriano Sorella, Anthony Beaton and Phyllis Saunders. He has won three in a row and five of his last six starts. “(Captaintreacherous) won in (1):47.1 last week, so he’s obviously awesome,” Coleman said. “But I think my guy is awesome right now too.” The second Tattersalls division includes Adios winner Sunfire Blue Chip, New York Sire Stakes champion Fool Me Once, and North America Cup runner-up Twilight Bonfire. Saturday’s card also features two divisions of the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and four divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. First race post time is 1 p.m. by Ken Weingartner for HRC

Remember the "Titan," if not for the remainder of this year, perhaps next season. E L Titan is heading to Lexington for Friday's International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters and trainer Riina Rekila has high hopes for the lightly-raced son of Muscle Hill. Bred and owned by Erkki Laakkonen, the colt has won once in three starts and earned $27,414. He won his first start in 1:58 on Aug. 22 at Mohawk Racetrack and finished second to Father Patrick, who is the No. 4-ranked horse in harness racing's Top 10 poll, in a division of the Champlain Stakes a week later. He enters the International Stallion off a troubled-trip third in a conditioned race on Sept. 16 at Mohawk. "We started a little later with him, which was the plan," said Rekila, who also drives E L Titan. "We wanted to save him a bit. He was a little sick in the spring, but that didn't really change anything for us. His first stakes wasn't until the Champlain, so we took our time. He felt so good sitting behind him that I didn't want to ruin him. "I have never pushed him. Everything he is doing, he is doing on his own and doing very easy. I don't usually train too fast. The main thing is to build a nice 3-year-old." E L Titan is out of the mare Courtney Hall, a stakes-winning full sister to millionaire Cameron Hall. E L Titan is Courtney Hall's fourth foal and the previous three - E L Rock, Appomattox and E L Rocket - each earned at least $200,000. Appomattox, who leads the trio with $368,518, is racing in Sunday's Allerage Open Trot and E L Rocket is eligible to the Kentucky Futurity on the same day. Rekila trained E L Rocket before the 3-year-old colt was sold to Ron Burke in June. E L Rocket, who made only two starts as a 2-year-old, has won five of 16 races this year and finished second in a division of the Simcoe Stakes. He also raced in the Hambletonian, finishing fourth in his elimination and failing to advance to the final. "They have some things that are similar, but I think (E L Titan) is a much better horse," Rekila said. "E L Rocket was one of the fastest horses I've ever sat behind, but he was so big gaited that it was difficult for him to keep it together. "It seems like (Courtney Hall's foals) get better as they get older. That's why we're looking ahead for Titan." E L Titan is eligible to the Breeders Crown, but Rekila was undecided whether she would send the colt. The Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male trotters are Oct. 11 and the final is Oct. 19. "We'll see how he does here and make a decision," Rekila said. "We were going to race last week (in the Bluegrass Stakes) but his white count was high so we skipped that. We'll go by how the horse feels. "If he races like he did in the Champlain, I think he is very competitive," she added. "He is very strong when you sit behind him and he has speed. I don't think he is mature yet; I think he is just doing it because he is talented." E L Titan races in the third of three International Stallion Stakes divisions. Bluegrass Stakes division winners Odds On Amethyst and Outburst also are among the 2-year-old male trotters racing Friday. Outburst, who won in a world-record 1:53.1 last week, is in the second International Stallion Stakes split; Odds On Amethyst is in the first. Friday's card also features three divisions of International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, headlined by Precocious Beauty. The filly has won six of eight races and finished second in the other two. She has won five in a row, including three consecutive stakes. by Ken Weingartner for HRC  

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — Super Final Night 2013 kicked off with a pair of trotting filly showdowns and Ontario harness racing fans witnessed impressive performances by two-year-old prodigy Riveting Rosie and three-year-old megastar Bee A Magician. Starting from Post 7 in the first $200,000 Super Final, driver Paul MacDonell sent Riveting Rosie straight to the front and controlled the tempo through fractions of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:28.1. The fan favourites cruised home two and one-half lengths ahead of Miss Aultsville and Luck Is All Ineed in 1:56. “She’s just so dominant, she’s big, she’s strong, I think we haven’t seen the best of her yet. I think next year when she grows up and fills out she’ll be something else,” said MacDonell from the winner’s circle. “There’s no effort to her gait, she’s smooth, and got a nice mouth on her, she’s got all the attributes to a good one.” The Guelph resident piloted Riveting Rosie to her sixth lifetime win for trainer John Bax of Peterborough and his partners Don Allensen of Wyoming, J And T Stable Newmarket and John Hayes of Sharon. In addition to her Gold Series successes, the Muscle Mass daughter was also victorious in the Peaceful Way Final and Champlain Stakes at Mohawk and rounds out her freshman campaign with $468,613 in earnings. Bee A Magician captured the two-year-old trotting filly Super Final last November, kicking off a win streak that stood at 13 races heading into Saturday night’s showdown. With an impressive 1:52.2 triumph from Post 6 the filly became just the eighth horse to repeat as the Super Final champion and she extended her streak to 14 races. “She’s all business. She gets on the track, she just wants to go, and she wants to do it. She’s a dream,” said Ottawa resident Melvin Hartman, who shares ownership of Kadabra daughter Bee A Magician with Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL and David McDuffee of Delray Beach. FL. “I will challenge anyone that Kadabra is as good, if not the best stallion in the world,” Hartman continued. “He has thrown some tremendous horses, they’ve raced in Ontario and they’ve gone on to race in North America, and it’s great for the Sires Stakes program.” Among Bee A Magician’s sophomore triumphs are the Hambletonian Oaks, Casual Breeze, Elegantimage, Del Miller Memorial and Simcoe Stakes, giving her a two season bank roll of $1,876,617. The Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee will make her fourteenth sophomore start in the Breeders Crown Eliminations at Pocono Downs on Oct. 12. Anaffairtoremember and Charmed Life, with Paul MacDonell aboard for John Bax, completed the top three. MacDonell was back in the winner’s circle following the third Super Final battle, guiding three-year-old pacing filly Regil Elektra to a 1:50.4 personal best for trainer Shawn Robinson and owner Fred Monteleone Stable LLC of Pompano Beach, FL. The win was the Mach Three daughter’s eleventh of the season and her second in Ontario Sires Stakes action. “Her form obviously shows that she’s been coming up to a good race, and they said that she was as sharp as she’s been,” said MacDonell, who had driven the filly earlier in the season. “You get a good feeling when you get on the bike and the connections say that to you.” MacDonell and Regil Elektra swept up the outside to grab the one and one-half length win over fan favourite Love Canal and Best Impressions. Muscle Matters delivered a commanding victory in the two-year-old trotting colt event, cruising home three lengths ahead of Massive Muscles and Valorscross. The 1:55.4 clocking was a personal best for the son of Muscle Mass trained by Rockwood resident Benoit Baillargeon for his partners Nunzio Vena of Bolton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Richard Thompson of London. “The other thing is my son (Johnny) just got engaged today, so this is sweet, icing on the cake. It’s perfect, a perfect day,” said Santo Vena from a winner’s circle packed with family and friends. Liette Flanagan of Repentigny, QC was also celebrating perfection following the three-year-old trotting colt final. Flanagan Memory, named in honour of her late father and the colt’s breeder Michel Flanagan, trotted to his fifth win in five Ontario Sires Stakes starts. The Kadabra son and driver Chris Christoforou of Campbellville controlled the race from start to finish, sailing home one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Creampuff Macdaddy and Thankyoukessel in a personal best 1:53. Flanagan shares ownership of the colt with trainer Rene Dion of Saint-Lazare, QC. Two-year-old pacing colt favourite Bugger Bruiser also earned a Super Final crown off a front end effort that featured a sizzling :25.4 opening quarter. The Believeinbruiser son and driver Anthony MacDonald of Guelph hung on for a neck victory over Crafty Master and Three of Clubs, both trained by Guelph resident Gregg McNair, in a sharp 1:50.3 clocking. Carmen Auciello of Stouffville trains Bugger Bruiser for his father Rocco Auciello of Stouffville and Denarben Stables of Thornhill. The partners purchased the gelding at the beginning of September and have banked $196,000 in four starts. “Nobody expected this,” said trainer Auciello with the Super Final trophy in his arms. “The horse has a heart bigger than this trophy here, and that’s a big trophy, the biggest one I’ve ever got in this business anyway. I’m just happy, I’ve got my family here, there’s tons of us here, and it’s just a thrill. I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.” The two-year-old pacing filly division was also decided by a neck as Performing Art, Lady Shadow and favourite Sudoku emerged from the rapidly gathering fog and battled to a 1:52 finish. Shadow Play daughter Performing Art’s personal best equaled the Ontario Sires Stakes record first set by Chancey Lady in 2007 and matched in 2011 by Apogee Hanover. Cambridge resident Billy Davis Jr. engineered the win on behalf of trainer Otis Hall of Ayr and his father Larry Hall’s Sauble Hill Farms of Tara, ON. The last Super Final trophy was awarded to Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, QC and Gestion C. Levesque 2005 Inc. of Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, QC, who bred and own three-year-old pacing gelding Duc Dorleans. The Shanghai Phil son and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton roared out of the fog and down the stretch to a 1:49.2 triumph over Tarpon Hanover and Brocks Fortune. Trained by Jacques Dupont, Duc Dorleans scored his fourth win of the season, and his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, with the personal best effort. Ontario Sires Stakes fans will have one last opportunity to see the provincial stars in action as Grand River Raceway and Western Fair Raceway host Gold and Grassroots Consolation events on October 13, 14 and 15. For complete results Sandra Snyder

BATAVIA, N.Y. --- It's been two months since Doctor Butch was in the winner's circle but returning to Batavia Downs Saturday night (Sept. 14) to battle in the New York Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing colts could be the perfect remedy.   Doctor Butch's last victory came on July 14th where he rolled to a 3/4-length win in 1:53.4 during a New York Sire Stakes event at Buffalo Raceway. Since then, he has not tasted victory. Last season, Doctor Butch found comfort locally when he set the Batavia Downs track record for 2-year-old colt pacers by going the mile in 1:54.2, a mark tied last Saturday by the sensational He's Watching. So he's hoping Western New York provides the cure.   While on a six-race losing streak, Doctor Butch did finish first in a Sires Stakes event at Saratoga Raceway on August 17th but was disqualified and placed second so he's chomping at the bit to get back into the winner's circle for trainer Linda Toscano.   Despite the so-called 'losing streak', don't shed too many tears for Doctor Butch (Art Major-Classical Yankee) as he has rolled up an impressive bankroll of $261,717 in 2013 and $606,411 lifetime. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. will be in the sulky and will try and get Doctor Butch in recovery mode, scoring from the four hole.   The 5-2 morning line favorite however in the first division, which goes off as the opener on the 13-race card, is Captive Audience. He has just two wins in 22 lifetime starts and is 0-for-12 in 2013 but looks are extremely deceiving.   Captive Audience (Art Major-Captiva Island) went 1:50.1 in a second place finish in the $116,868 Simcoe Stakes at Mohawk Raceway last Saturday night and before that in an August 17th Sire Stakes race at Saratoga, he had a horrible trip, getting pushed back to seventh behind stalled cover. Captive Audience shook free around the final turn, went four-wide and finished a fast-closing third losing by just 2-1/2 lengths.    He has been in the money 9-of-12 times this season, earning $114,402 and $293,570 lifetime. Denis St. Pierre will drive and start from the rail in the field of five.   In second division, the fifth race, it looks like a re-match of last week's Sire Stakes event at Monticello Raceway. That's where Olde Time Hockey (Art Major-Sunshine State) nipped Bet The Moon (Bettor's Delight-Sun N Moon) by a neck in 1:53.4, setting the track record for 3-year-old pacing geldings.   Olde Time Hockey has five wins in 17 career starts and has amassed $147,027, all coming this season and starts from the two hole with in the field of six for driver Ray Fisher Jr. Tom Fanning does the training of the 3-1 second choice.   The Ron Burke-trained Bet The Moon has not won since July 28th, but turned a 1:50 time that day at Tioga Downs, despite a break at the gate. A winner four times this season, Bet The Moon has earned $192,026 in 2013 and $374,718 in his 25-race career and will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr. from the four hole. They are the slight 5-2 morning line favorite.   The Batavia Downs track record for 3-year-old colt pacers is 1:52.1 set in 2010 by Joey The Czar.   There will be two divisions of the Sires Stakes worth over $61,000 and each of the fields have combined lifetime earnings of over $1 million. There will be also three $12,700 divisions of the Excelsior Series and the $8,500 Open Pace. The first post is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.   The fourth annual 'Dash For Cash', a scholarship harness race for high school seniors will also be held Saturday with $7,500 in scholarship money up for grabs. The scholarship race is a partnership between the Harness Horse Breeder's of New York, the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association, Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs. For the latest news, promotions, race replays and statistics, go to http://bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing.   by Brian J. Mazurek for Batavia Downs

This week's celebrity sections come from a Dave Briggs. Briggs is the publisher and editor for the Canadian Sportsman magazine. He was presented the Harness Tracks of America's Dan Patch Award for exceptional media, publicity and public relations contributions to the sport of harness racing earlier this year. Little Brown Jug Top 10 Contenders By Dave Briggs - Canadian Sportsman 1. Vegas Vacation inherits top spot after winning the Simcoe and the connections of Captaintreacherous elected not to race in Delaware. Can trainer Casie Coleman win back-to-back Jugs? 2. Sunshine Beach was a solid second to Vegas Vacation for trainer Mark Steacy and has a 1:47.4 mark set a month ago beating Captaintreacherous in the Battle of Brandywine. 3. Sunfire Blue Chip has been a consistent money-maker all year for trainer Jimmy Takter and topped Vegas Vacation in the Adios on July 27. 4. Lucan Hanover, Casie Coleman's other horse, won the New Jersey Classic on Hambletonian Day and has been a solid producer all year. 5. Word Power was just a neck behind Captaintreacherous in the Cane Pace and the Larry Remmen trainee has cashed a check in all but one start this year. 6. Twilight Bonfire was second to Captaintreacherous in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup in June and the Danny Collins pupil has cashed a cheque in six of the seven starts since. 7. Johny Rock has been a solid performer his last five starts for trainer John Butenschoen. 8. Wake Up Peter is, perhaps, the best winless sophomore pacing colt on the continent. Though a little on the inconsistent side, when he is on, he's near the front-runners. 9. Emeritus Maximus is a sizable longshot, yet the Alagna trainee has been on the board nine times this year in 14 starts against stakes competition and sports a 1:48.4 mile at Pocono. 10. Lonewolf Currier has won a third of his starts, but has been either on or out of it too much to be a serious Jug threat. 1. Vegas Vacation (Last Week #2) Owners: West Wins Stable (ONT), Adriano Sorella (ONT), Anthony Beaton (ONT) & Phyllis Saunders (ONT) Trainer: Casie Coleman Driver: Brian Sears & Scott Zeron Career Earnings: $646,516 Career Mark: 1:48.3 TgDn He won the $114,948 Simcoe Stakes (9/7) at Mohawk Raceway in 1:48.3, equaling his lifetime best. 2. Sunfire Blue Chip (Last Week #5) Owners: Christina Talker (NJ), John & Jim Fielding (ONT), Brixton Medical AB (SWE) and RAW Equine Inc. (ONT) Trainer: Jimmy Takter Driver: Yannick Gingras Career Earnings: $476,819 Career Mark: 1:48.3 Mea The son of American Ideal was third in the Simcoe Stakes on September 7. 3. Sunshine Beach (Last Week #6) Owners: Hudson Standardbred Stable (QUE), Conrad Leber (QUE) and Diane Bertrand (ALB) Trainer: Mark Steacy Driver: Chris Christoforou, Jr./George Brennan Career Earnings: $531,565 Career Mark: 1:47.4 PcD He was second to Vegas Vacation in the Simcoe at Mohawk Raceway (9/7). 4. Johny Rock (Last Week #8) Owners: William C. Wiswell (WI), Jean A. Goehlen (IL) and Eugene W. Schick (IL) Trainer: John Butenschoen Driver: Andy Miller Career Earnings: $387,498 Career Mark: 1:48.0 PcD He set a new lifetime mark with a 1:48 win at Pocono Downs (9/7) in a conditioned event. 5. Lucan Hanover (Last Week #NR) Owners: West Win Stable (ONT) and Christine Calhoun (ONT) Trainer: Casie Coleman Driver: David Miller Career Earnings: $232,284 Career Mark: 1:48.3 M Finished third in a $114,948 division of the Simcoe Stakes (9/7). 6. Twilight Bonfire (Last Week #7) Owners: Robert J. Key (PA) Trainer: Danny Collins Driver: David Miller Career Earnings: $681,489 Career Mark: 1:50.1 Mea Took the fifth spot in the Cane Pace Final at Tioga Downs (9/2). 7. Wake Up Peter (Last Week #3) Owners: Wake Up Peter Partners (IL), Brittany Farms (KY), Louis Willinger (KY) and Eagles Soar Partners (NY) Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Ron Pierce Career Earnings: $532,680 Career Mark: Q1:50.0 M The son of Rocknroll Hanover has yet to win in 2013. He could set Jug history with a win. 8. Word Power (Last Week #9) Owner: Bradley Grant (ONT) Trainer: Larry Remmen Driver: Jody Jamieson Career Earnings: $225,802 Career Mark: 1:49.4 M He was just a nose short of an upset of Captaintreacherous in the Cane Pace Final. 9. Odds On Equuleus (Last Week #NR) Owners: Odds On Racing (IL) Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: John Campbell Career Earnings: $622,801 Career Mark: 1:50.0 M Recently moved to the Tony Alagna Barn. He only has a couple of weeks to straighten him out. 10. Lonewolf Currier (Last Week #10) Owners: Francis Azur (PA) Trainer: Kevin McDermott Driver: John Campbell/Jason Bartlett Career Earnings: $274,495 Career Mark: 1:48.4 Mea Did not race last week. By Jay Wolf – Little Brown Jug Publicity Director  

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