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OCT. 6, 2016 - After finishing third in five straight Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series starts, stretching back to September 2015, three-year-old trotting gelding Dia Monde grabbed a win in the last regular season harness racing event of his career at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. In rein to Milton resident Randy Waples Dia Monde left smartly from Post 6 and landed second behind early leader Dunvegan Don, who led the field to a :27 opening quarter. Waples continued to sit on the rail as fan favourite Bee In Charge took control heading for the :57.1 half, and then tipped Dia Monde into the outer lane heading by the 1:26.1 three-quarters. With a clear look at the finish line, Dia Monde shifted into overdrive and powered under the wire a one and three-quarter length winner in 1:54. Tony Soprano also closed well to be second, leaving Bee In Charge the third-place finisher's spoils. "He raced good, we're pretty tickled with him finally getting that win," said Puslinch resident June Durand, who shares ownership of Dia Monde with her husband, trainer Tom Durand, and Allan Smith of Oakville, ON. The victory boosted Dia Monde into fourth spot in the division standings, with 98 points, heading into the Oct. 15 Super Final. Through all 13 of his sophomore starts the son of Deweycheatumnhowe and Lady Bar has three wins, two seconds, five thirds and earnings of $163,612. Dia Monde is the second foal out of Lady Bar - a half-sister to former Durand trainee Clarice Marie ($313,400) - that Smith and the Durand's have owned, and it was their long familiarity with the family that first drew the partners to Dia Monde. "We had Littlejack Hanover and he was small, he was a Donato (Hanover), and then when we went to look at this colt he was twice the size, a big, strong colt," recalls June Durand. "And the thing we liked about him is, Looking Hanover ($1,125,136) was the other good horse out of the family and he's a Muscles Yankee and Deweycheatumnhowe is out of Muscles Yankee, so it's kind of going back to that same cross, and he's a big beautiful horse. We paid lots for him, but I think he was worth it." The gelding was a $70,000 purchase at the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, and Smith says he has repaid their investment in ways that cannot be reflected on a balance sheet. "We've been fortunate enough we've had some good stakes horses and done well financially, but it's more the fun of winning," said Smith. "Being with Tom and June - all the work they do to pick out the right horses and get them where they do with a small stable - I'm pretty impressed with what they do and I've always supported it and always will." Dia Monde The partners will be hoping Dia Monde can continue his winning ways into the $250,000 Super Final, where he will face division point leader Muscle Hustle, the winner of the other $105,000 Gold division on Thursday. Sent off as the fan favourite, and also in rein to Waples, Muscle Hustle took control just after the :28 opening quarter and rolled through a :58.1 half and a 1:26.3 three-quarters without facing a challenge. Muscle Hustle hit the wire one length ahead of Holiday Party and two more up on Will Take Charge in 1:54.1. "Muscle Hustle, he was awesome, last quarter :27.3, won fairly handy, and everything is good with him," said trainer Per Henriksen of the division point leader. "He's healthy and everything." Thursday's outing was Muscle Hustle's first in just over a month, he was sidelined with his second bout of sickness this season following a third-place result in the Sept. 3 Simcoe Stakes, but Norwood resident Henriksen expects the colt to be in top shape for next week's finale. "He didn't race for four weeks, but his race here should make him even better," said the horseman, who conditions the son of Muscle Mass and Crown Laurel for Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood. In his five Gold Series starts Muscle Hustle logged three wins, one second and one fifth for 180 points, and trotted to an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:52.2 over the five-eighths mile surface at Georgian Downs. Through 12 starts this season he has tallied seven wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $239,832. Henriksen also trains Bee In Charge, who finished third behind Dia Monde, and said the fan favourite tested sick after the race. "Bee In Charge didn't race as good as I thought he was gonna do, and we scoped him and he had some mucous so he is obviously a little sick," said Henriksen. "We've just got to get him healthy for the Super Final." Muscle Hustle Heading into the Super Final off wins aboard both Muscle Hustle and Dia Monde puts Waples in the difficult position of choosing between two horses that appear to be prime shape for the post season. "They're both really nice horses. I really haven't made up my mind. It'll probably just go by post position, I think that's the way it will go anyways," said Waples. "We'll see what happens, see how they come out of it. "I was really happy with the pair of them you know. I thought Muscle Hustle was the best in his class as long as things went his way and he was healthy," the reinsman continued. "And Dia Monde, I know that horse can beat anybody out there, but he just hasn't really been putting it all together his last couple, but tonight he really showed up, he put a big, big effort in tonight." Waples is also the regular reinsman for superstar sophomore pacing filly L A Delight and trotting filly Caprice Hill. Both fillies were victorious in their freshman Super Finals and both head into this year's test undefeated in regular season Gold Series action. With a total of $2 million up for grabs in eight divisions, Super Final night gets under way at 7:30 pm at Mohawk on Saturday, Oct. 15.. Ontario Racing

CAMPBELVILLE, ON- Seven And Seven lunged off cover and down the centre of the harness racing track to take the $350,000 William Wellwood Memorial Final in 1:55.3 Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. International Moni led the field of rookie trotters to the opening-quarter in :28, in front of Signal Hill wide of Seven And Seven in second. Signal Hill obtained control into the backstretch and was soon pressured by International Moni, who was flushed first over by Seven And Seven. Off a half in :57.1, Signal Hill battled with International Moni around the final turn. Jake shot up the pylons into third while Seven And Seven stalked International Moni. At three-quarters in 1:26.1, Signal Hill clung to the lead. International Moni gradually edged by to his outside while Seven And Seven tipped towards the centre of the track and Jake split horses, diving towards the inside. Seven And Seven took the front into the final sixteenth and pulled away for a three-length score over Jake and International Moni, who held on for third. Seven And Seven is a two-year-old colt by Chapter Seven out of the Kadabra mare Ally Oop. Owned by trainer Thomas Durand along with wife June Durand and partner Allan Smith, the colt has won four races in seven starts, compiling $226,768 in earnings. John Campbell was in the bike. "It was a great surprise when I saw the changes and that I was on him," John Campbell said. "I've followed him and have known what he was capable of and how well he had raced for Tom [Durand] all along. I thought he was coming into the race very good." "He's just perfect to drive," Campbell also said. "Anybody can drive him; he's just like a pro." Saturday's Wellwood Memorial final was the first time trainer Tom Durand didn't drive Seven And Seven. "I had a couple of things to iron out with him," said Durand. "He was a little fussy behind the gate, so I got that smoothed out, and I thought it was time to turn the reigns over to the most experienced driver in the world." A $2 win ticket on Seven And Seven returned $7.30. Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

Throughout his career Luck O The Irish has been a consistent player on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit, but the three-year-old trotting colt has recently found a new gear, posting his third straight victory and his first Gold Series win of the season at the harness racing meeting at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday. "I'll tell you what it is, he's a big-strided colt and he's finally developed power to drive his stride," said trainer Tom Durand of the colt's win streak. "He always had the big stride, but he just couldn't power it, and it's just like all of a sudden it kind of clicked." "The combination of that and starting to race him a little more aggressively, once he saw the front end there a few starts ago he kind of woke up," added the Puslinch, ON resident, who trains the colt for his wife June Durand. Luck O The Irish found the winner's circle for the first time this season off a front-end effort in a July 28 non-winners of two races contest at Mohawk, stopping the teletimer at 1:55.2. Two weeks later he lowered his personal best to 1:54.4, winning a three-year-old conditioned event crowded with his Gold Series peers. On Monday, starting from Post 5 in the second $70,000 Gold division, driver Sylvain Filion powered the colt off the gate and landed in third on the rail. Rubber Duck rang up the :27 opening quarter, but he was not in charge for long as Milton, ON resident Filion moved Luck O The Irish to the front. The fan favourites led the field to a :55.4 half and a 1:25.4 three-quarters and then Luck O The Irish demonstrated some grit, holding off the pocket-sitting Rubber Duck to record a quarter length victory in a personal best 1:53.3. Boli finished well behind the leaders in third. "His form's coming really good, a new lifetime mark three weeks in a row now, so it probably won't happen again," said Durand with a chuckle. In 11 starts this season Luck O The Irish has tallied three wins, four seconds and one third for earnings of $80,040. At two the colt captured one Gold Leg, finished second three times and third once in nine starts, for earnings of $141,210. A homebred by Holiday Road and out of Kavita, the consistent youngster has become one of the Durand's favourites. "He was a very shy boy as a yearling, very shy." I wouldn't say nervous, but very shy." And I think for that reason I didn't have people begging to be partners on him." He didn't strike you as a brave horse that would be such a good racehorse," recalled the trainer. "Other than that he's been pretty straightforward." "He's kind of a dream horse in many ways, we kind of love him." Monday's win, added to the second, sixth and ninth Luck O The Irish posted in the first three Gold Legs, give the colt a total of 78 points and put him among the top 10 point earners with one regular season event remaining. Last year's division champion Dont Rush earned his second Gold trophy of the sophomore campaign with a three and one-half length triumph in Monday's first Gold division. The Infinitif colt lowered his personal best to 1:53.2 with the victory over Madman Hall and Olympic Son. Trainer-driver Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON shares ownership of Dont Rush with Greg Judson of Athens, ON. Through six starts this season the colt now has three wins and one third for earnings of $104,160, boosting his lifetime earnings to $401,145. With two wins and one fifth in Gold Series action, Dont Rush sits in second spot in the standings with 105 points. Eternal Quest leapt to top spot in the division standings with a 1:53.4 score in the final division. Sylvain Filion picked up his second Gold Series win, and fourth of the evening, steering Eternal Quest through deep stretch traffic to nab the neck victory over Covert Operative and Platoon Seelster. Guelph, ON resident Chad Milner conditions Eternal Quest for Murray Ferguson Jr. of Sutton West. In eight starts the Pilgrims Taj son has three wins, three seconds and one third for earnings of $114,440. In four Ontario Sires Stakes appearances Eternal Quest has one Grassroots win, two Gold Series wins and one runner-up result in the Gold Series. He currently leads the division with 125 points. The three-year-old trotting colts wrap up their regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on September 28. The top 10 point earners from the regular season will return to the Campbellville oval for their $250,000 Super Final on October 10. Ontario Horse Racing

Toronto, November 1 - Round two of the Autumn Series continued Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack with five divisions contested. Divisions were held for rookie colts and geldings of both gaits. Aventure will look for the series sweep after an impressive 1:57.3 victory to start the 13-race programme. The trotting son of Muscle Mass sat third in the early going past the opening quarter in :29.2. From there, driver Sylvain Filion pulled on the right line and marched the three-time winner to the front at the half in :59.1. The Bill Budd trainee led his six rivals past three quarters in 1:28.2, before edging away from his rivals in deep stretch to score the victory. Longshot Theresademoninme (Steve Condren) finished second with Kremlin (Riina Rekila) third. Owned by Orville Rursch, Aventure increased his bankroll to $24,250. He paid $7 to win. In the other trotting split, Hitchin A Ride and Jack Moiseyev got under the wire first as the heavy 1/9 favourite. Moiseyev guided the son of Angus Hall into the pocket spot before the opening station in :28.2, before pocket-pulling the three-time winner at the half in :58.2. Moiseyev and Hitchin A Ride continued to lead five rivals past three-quarters in 1:27.4 and never looked back en route to a 1:58.2 victory. Wire Me Cash (Anthony Macdonald) finished second with Yoooukilis (Paul Macdonell) finishing third. Trained by Tom Durand for his wife, June, along with Allan Smith and Catherine and Lynn Baker, Hitchin A Ride increased his rookie earnings to $33,428. He paid $2.30 to win. Major Starlight, driven by Paul Macdonell, pulled off the 7/2 minor upset in the first of three pacing divisions. The son of Major In Art enjoyed a three-hole trip through panels of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:25.2, before MacDonell was able to find racing room late in the mile to win in 1:54.3. Vegas Rich (Sylvain Filion) finished second with even-money favourite Pop Pop Joe (Chris Christoforou) settling for third. Trained and co-owned by Allen Tomlinson along with Thomas Phillips, Major Starlight earned his second career victory. The brown gelding increased his bankroll to $19,155 and paid $9.70 to win. In the next division, Allstar Seelster and Mike Saftic prevailed as the heavy favourite in 1:54.1. The four-time winner was first to the front well before the opening station in :28, before releasing a parked-out Brodys Scrapper (Randy Waples). Saftic and Allstar Seelster quickly regained the lead and marched past the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.2, before edging away from his rivals in deep stretch to win by one and three quarter lengths. Brodys Scrapper stayed for second over Royal Ashton (James MacDonald). Trained and owned by Jack Darling, Allstar Seelster now has three straight wins and will look for the series sweep next Friday evening at Woodbine. The talented youngster increased his bankroll to $43,443. He paid $3.70 to win. In the final division, heavily-favoured Prince Clyde found the wire first in 1:53 for driver Keith Oliver. The son of Camluck overtook command past the opening station in :27, before allowing Shadios (Billy Davis, Jr.) to command. Prince Clyde sat In The Pocket as Shadios controlled the pace past the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.2. Oliver angled Prince Clyde off the pylons before the top of the stretch and the four-time winner cruised to an effortless victory. King Royalty (Randy Waples) came from well off-the-pace to finish second, over Shadios. Trained by Tony Montini for his wife, Albina, and Holland Racing Stable, Prince Clyde increased his bankroll to $38,038. He paid $3.30 to win. All four $25,000E Autumns Stakes finals for two-year-olds of both gaits and sexes will take place next Friday evening at Woodbine Racetrack. Due to the Breeders Cup, tomorrow night's 12-race programme will have a special 7:55 p.m. post time. Videos of all races attached Greg Gangle

INNISFIL, ON — When Deweykeepumnwhy failed to qualify for the Mid-Summer Challenge, trainer Ronald Parsons dropped the two-year-old trotting colt down to the Grassroots level for two starts. The move proved to be a wise one as Deweykeepumnwhy picked up two straight victories, touring Georgian Downs in 1:57.4 on July 30 and Mohawk Racetrack in 1:57.2 on Aug. 8, and the trotter jumps back up to the Gold Series level when the division makes a second stop at Georgian Downs on Saturday, Aug. 17. Deweykeepumnwhy will start from Post 4 in the fourth $42,000 Gold Series division, taking on three colts currently ranked in the top 10. Second ranked Utopia gets Post 6, Special Agent Man, currently seventh, will benefit from Post 1, and eighth-ranked Aggressive will start from Post 7. Cambridge resident Parsons conditions Deweykeepumnwhy for owner Norah Parks of New Lowell. Through five lifetime starts the Deweycheatumnhowe son has tallied two wins, one third and $15,628. Mid-Summer Challenge champion Muscle Matters will be looking for his second straight victory from Post 6 in the third division for trainer Benoit Baillargeon of Rockwood and his partners Nunzio Vena of Bolton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Richard Thompson of London. Through three starts the Muscle Mass gelding boasts a record of two wins and $98,800. Dontcheatonmenow captured the Mid-Summer Consolation at Mohawk on Aug. 5 and will be looking for his second victory from Post 6 in the second Gold Series division. The Deweycheatumnhowe colt is trained by Tom Durand of Puslinch for his partner Allan Smith of Oakville. The two-year-old trotting colts will compete in Races 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 on Georgian Downs’ Saturday evening program, which gets under way at 7:25 pm. For complete entries.   For up to date point standings, race replays, and more.            Sandra Snyder  

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