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Harper Blue Chip might not be as speedy as his father, former trotting star Majestic Son, at this stage of his career, but trainer Mark Steacy thinks he could become one of his majestic sons. The 2-year-old Harper Blue Chip is among the 10 finalists in Saturday's C$365,000 William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt has won three of six races this season, including his most recent two. Last weekend, he won his Wellwood elimination in 1:56.1 and on Aug. 30 he won a division of the Champlain Stakes in 1:56. Saturday's card also includes the C$374,000 Peaceful Way Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters and the C$686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old male trotters. Harper Blue Chip and driver Sylvain Filion will start the Wellwood from post three. Once-beaten favorite Father Patrick, who won his elim in 1:55.3 from post 10, starts from post four with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Jimmy Takter. "He's had a good week so far," said the Ontario-based Steacy, who owns Harper Blue Chip with Landmark 6 Racing Stable, David McDonald and David Reid. "One thing about him, he's always full of himself. He's a good-feeling horse and seems to enjoy life. "Father Patrick is one talented horse. Unless he makes some kind of mistake, he looks pretty much unbeatable. But it's a horserace and anything can happen. The way my horse has been getting better and better every week, I'm hoping we're not at the bottom of the well with ours. If we get a good trip anything can happen." Steacy trained Majestic Son, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 2006. Harper Blue Chip's mother, Winning Jonlin, produced stakes-winners Medusa Blue Chip and Vibe Blue Chip and is a full-sister to stakes-winner Myolin. The family also includes two-time Horse of the Year honoree Mack Lobell and Hambletonian champion American Winner. Harper Blue Chip sold for $40,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. "He had fairly decent conformation," Steacy said. "He might have been just a little bit toe-out, but nothing drastic. I don't mind that on a trotter anyway. He had a nice rear end on him and a good shoulder and I really liked that. I could see similarities in a few respects to what his father had. "I thought this one was probably bred better than most Majestic Sons on the mother's side. That's what Majestic Son has always lacked; he's never bred these kinds of mares before. The ones I've had have all been decent horses with lesser pedigree. I figured this one has got a little more pedigree and a little more body to work with, so maybe he could be OK. After that you've just got to get lucky." Steacy saw other similarities between Harper Blue Chip and Majestic Son. "They're both very smart horses," Steacy said. "Majestic Son was just a little more than ordinary training to get to the races, but he always did it right. Just as Majestic Son did, this guy seems to be getting better with every start. I think Majestic Son showed just a little more raw speed than this one does at this point. "(Harper Blue Chip) was good gaited and didn't make very many mistakes at all. He didn't show any big speed training down, he was just kind of the same quarters all the time; nothing flashy. But after he got started to race, the speed started to come. And it's coming a little bit more with each start. You like to see a little go to them, but with a young trotter at that point I'm just as concerned about seeing a good gait." Steacy brought Harper Blue Chip along slowly and gave him his first three starts in the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Series. He didn't face open stakes company until the Champlain. "That's kind of my policy; I try to give them as many easy starts before I start getting in against tougher competition," Steacy said. "I always believe they're a better horse if you can get a couple easy starts into them, get them brave and make them think that they're good." Following is the field for the Wellwood Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Massive Talent, Scott Zeron, Nifty Norman; 2. Raise The Curtain, Tim Tetrick, Dustin Jones; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Sylvain Filion, Mark Steacy; 4. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 5. Il Sogno Dream, Paul Macdonell, Chris Beaver; 6. P L Hercules, Chris Christoforou, Matthew Dupuis; 7. Odds On Amethyst, Dan Daley, Daley; 8. Credit Fashion, Brian Sears, Jim Campbell; 9. Damfoolrmillionair, Randy Waples, Brad Maxwell; 10. Muscle Midas, John Campbell, Gates Brunet. SUNSHINE BEACH TO MISS LITTLE BROWN JUG Trainer Mark Steacy said Wednesday that Battle of the Brandywine winner Sunshine Beach would miss the Little Brown Jug because of a health issue. Sunshine Beach, ranked third in the current Road to the Little Brown Jug Top 10, has won five of 12 races and $494,885 for owners Hudson Standardbred Stable, Conrad Leber and Diane Bertrand. He handed Captaintreacherous his only loss this year with a world-record-equaling 1:47.4 mile in the Battle of the Brandywine on Aug. 17 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He was eighth against older horses on Aug. 31 at Mohawk and second to Vegas Vacation in a division of the Simcoe Stakes last weekend at Mohawk. The Little Brown Jug, the second jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown, is Sept. 19 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. "We made the call last night," Steacy said. "We thought hard about it because we really wanted to go. We just felt it was too much for him. I wouldn't say he's been sick, but his blood has been a little low the last week or two; I think he was just a little anemic for the last two races. "I just don't think I can get him healthy enough to race in the Jug and then Lexington and the Breeders Crown. I'd like to win the Little Brown Jug as much as anybody, but we have to put the horse before ourselves. Something had to give and I thought I'd take an extra week to make sure he's real healthy for Lexington." Vegas Vacation, who won his Simcoe division in a stakes-record 1:48.3, is the No. 1-ranked horse in the Road to the Little Brown Jug ratings. Sunshine Beach, who led the Simcoe from the start until yielding to Vegas Vacation in the stretch, has won six of 18 career races and earned $531,565. "After he came back from Pocono, I think it did take just a touch out of him," Steacy said. "That said, I thought he raced really good in the Simcoe. I think if we can get him back to 100 percent, like he was, he's going to race that much better. You've got to be at your peak for sure." by Ken Weingartner for USTA  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 10…Your So Vain and Master of Law, last week’s elimination winners, and Hambletonian champion Royalty for Life head the field for the prestigious $686,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-olds, Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The Classic honour role includes such recent winners as champions Market Share, Muscle Hill, Donato Hanover and Deweycheatumnhowe, all of whom were Hambletonian winners as well. Post time for the Classic, which has been carded as Race 8 in the 12-race program, is 9:45 p.m. Also on the card are the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot for two-year-old colts/geldings and the $374,000 Peaceful Way for two-year-old filly trotters. Last week, Scott Zeron drove both elim winners, but has chosen Master of Law for the final. Thus, Randy Waples has picked up the drive on Your So Vain. Both winners earned their connections the right to choose a post position before the balance of the field was drawn. Master of Law (PP3), trained by Frank Antonacci for owners Lindy Racing Stable of Connecticut, Brittany Farms of Kentucky and Adam Victor and Son Stable of New York, has now won six in a row, after making a break in his debut. He won his elim by a neck over Punxsutawney in 1:53.4. The son of Deweycheatumnhowe-Possess The Magic had come into his elim off an impressive eight length score in a Kentucky Sires Stakes on September 1 at Lexington, hence his 3-5 post-time favouritism. “I know how talented he is, so does Frank,” said Zeron, after the race. “But he just wanted to take his time and let him mature a little bit because he’s a little bit tough to handle in a race. “We wanted to bring him along nice and easy, so we tripped him out his first few starts, then at Lexington we let him go to the front. He’s very tough to handle but it’s his absolute endurance (that’s his best quality). He can go all day. He likes to mow them down.” Your So Vain (PP4), trained by Brad Maxwell for P G Van Camp Stables of Port Perry, pulled off a 9-2 upset in his elim, rallying from last to blow by the 2-5 favourite Royalty for Life near the wire and score by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:52.4. The son of Donato Hanover-Tennis Lover has won three of seven this year and came into his elim off a dominating performance in the Simcoe Stakes. “I’m very fortunate to pick up a very live catch drive,” said Waples. “This horse really seems to be on his game right now and coming into the race in top form. It looks like he takes a while to get involved in the race, so racing luck is going to be important. He’s got a punishing late kick, which he used in his elimination, which is also a major plus for us.” Meanwhile, Royalty for Life (PP6, Brian Sears) may still go off favoured despite failing in his elim. The son of RC Royalty-Bourbon N Grits, trained by George Ducharme for owners Alfred Ross and Raymond Campbell of Maine and Paul Fontaine of Rhode Island, is far and away the field’s leading money winner with over $1.2 million in career earnings. Completing the field are Wheeling N Dealin (PP1, Sylvain Filion), Punxsutawney (PP2, Corey Callahan), Toocool Forschool (PP5, Jody Jamieson), Pine Credit (PP7, Doug McNair), Corky (PP8, David Miller), All Laid Out (PP9, Yannick Gingras) and Smilin Eli (PP10, Tim Tetrick). The William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Race 3 on the program at 8:05 p.m., is headed by elim winners Harper Blue Chip (PP3, Sylvain Filion) and Father Patrick (PP4, Yannick Gingras). The Peaceful Way, at 8:45 p.m. as Race 5, includes elim winners I Jasmin (PP2, Scott Zeron), Danica Hall (PP3, Trevor Ritchie) and Grammas Girl (PP4, Randy Waples), along with Riveting Rosie (PP5, Paul Macdonell) and Reflection Hanover (PP6, Jody Jamieson). Post time for the first race is 7:25 p.m. Greg Gangle  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 6 – Once again Father Patrick stamped himself as the premier two-year-old trotting colt in North America with his victory in his $30,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot elimination on Friday at Mohawk. The top five finishers from each of the two eliminations advance to next week’s $365,000 final, a part of the Canadian Trotting Classic undercard. Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, captured the Peter Haughton Memorial earlier this year and set a Canadian record last week in his division of the Champlain Stakes at the Campbellville oval. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Father Patrick elected to race from behind as Odds On Amethyst (Dan Daley) quickly made the front ahead of Special Agent Man (Sylvain Filion) at the quarter in :28. As the field of 10 marched towards the half, Special Agent Man pocket-pulled and took over command before the half in :58.1. Credit Fashion (Doug McNair) began the first-over attack around the final turn, giving cover to Father Patrick. Special Agent Man continued to lead past three-quarters in 1:27.1, but Credit Fashion and Father Patrick were both stalking on the outside. Down the stretch, Credit Fashion quickly took over command as Father Patrick got rough-gaited on Gingras. Father Patrick then found his best stride and marched past Credit Fashion in deep stretch to score the 1:55.3 victory. Credit Fashion stayed for second with P L Hercules (Chris Christoforou) finishing third. “He was fussy with his mouth in the last turn,” Gingras said. “That’s why he wasn’t trotting the best. He was loaded with trot down the stretch and I didn’t even kick the plugs. He’s by far the best two-year-old trotter I’ve ever sat behind.” Trained by Jimmy Takter for Father Patrick Stable, Father Patrick now has $262,345 in earnings.. He paid $2.20 to win as the favourite. In the other split, Harper Blue Chip and Sylvain Filion stopped the clock in 1:56.1, earning a spot in next week’s rich final. The trotting son of Majestic Son, who captured his Champlain Stakes division last week, was in no hurry at the start as Massive Talent (Scott Zeron) made the front before the opening quarter in :28. Massive Talent would then give up command as Massacaia (Doug McNair) found the front before giving way to Damfoolrmillionair (Randy Waples) before the mid-way point in :57.4. Around the final turn, Il Sogno Dream (Paul MacDonell) began the first-over attack, giving live cover to Harper Blue Chip. Damfoolrmillionair continued to lead past three-quarters in 1:27.3, but down the stretch Il Sogno Dream took over command, but couldn’t fend off a late charge from Harper Blue Chip, who scored the one and a half length victory. Damfoolrmillionair stayed for third. “He’s coming along just the way we want,” trainer and co-owner, Mark Steacy said following the win. “We started him out slow and we didn’t want to throw him against the bear’s right way and I think it’s turned out to be the right move.” Owned by Landmark 6 Racing Stable, David McDonald and David Reid, Harper Blue Chip increased his bankroll to $70,633. The youngster has crafted a 3-1-0 record from six starts this season. He paid $4 to win. The $365,000 final, which takes place next Saturday, will line up as follows. 1) Massive Talent 2) Raise The Curtain 3) Harper Blue Chip 4) Father Patrick 5) Il Sogno Dream 6) P L Hercules 7) Odds On Amethyst 8) Credit Fashion 9) Damfoolrmillionair 10) Muscle Midas Greg Gangle WEG Communications - Standardbred

Wheeling N Dealin remained undefeated in seven starts this season as he captured the $462,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot on Saturday (Sept. 15) at Mohawk.

It was a harness racing stakes filled night Saturday the 14th of September at Mohawk Racetrack. Besides the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic that was won by Market Share, there were two $50,000 Milton eliminations, the $435,000 Peaceful Way, the $462,000 William Wellwood Memorial and a $38,000 Preferred Pace.

Harness racing trainer Dustin Jones and longtime owner Serge Godin could be in for a big night Saturday when a pair of talented trotting colts step onto the track at Mohawk.

Julie Miller hopes that if anyone can win Saturday's $462,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old trotters at Mohawk Racetrack, My Man Can.

Wheeling N Dealin, driven by Sylvain Filion, remains undefeated in six career starts as he took the fastest of two $30,000 William Wellwood Memorial harness racing eliminations on Friday evening (September 7) at Mohawk.

For harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon, who focuses on conditioning trotters, winning the $462,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot or the $435,000 Peaceful Way final with a pair of rookies would be a truly meaningful accomplishment.

Pastor Stephen, who was campaigned as a 2- and 3-year-old by Jimmy Takter, has been sold to Swedish interests, where he will resume his harness racing career. He will be trained by Daniel Reden.

Not only did harness racing driver Jack Moiseyev capture the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, the Hall of Fame driver held on to win the $469,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot with The Game Plan.

A pair of freshman harness racing trotters lit up the tote board Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack when longshots Talbotcreek Jewely and Mr Ridgetaker captured their respective $50,000 consolations.

Harness racing owner Linden Wells loves the excitement that comes with owning horses and on Saturday he will be cheering for The Game Plan when he goes postward in the $469,000 William Wellwood Memorial.

Harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter will send three horses into Saturday's (September 17) C$469,000 William Wellwood Memorial at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario, including elimination winner Little Brown Fox, who finished a half-length ahead of stablemate Weingartner in 1:56.3.

Twenty freshman trotters contested a trio of $30,000 William Wellwood Memorial eliminations Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack, but it was The Game Plan and American Gangster who stole the harness racing spotlight after they each took a turn lowering the track record.

Harness racing driver Randy Waples will steer two freshman trotting fillies in Thursday's $30,000 Peaceful Way eliminations at Mohawk Racetrack in hopes they both advance to the $447,000 final on Saturday September 17.

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