May 21, 2017 - Three-year-old trotting colt Rosberg won the first Ontario Sires Stakes event of the season at Flamboro Downs on Sunday and was immediately promoted to the head of the class in harness racing trainer Julie Walker's stable. "He is now; if he wasn't, he is now," said the Carlisle resident with a laugh. Rosberg and driver Louis-Philippe Roy left smartly from Post 2 in the first $64,800 Gold Series division and had opened up a 10 length lead by the quarter-mile mark, which they reached in :29. The pair continued to sail along well ahead of the field through a :57.4 half and 1:27.3 three-quarters, and although favourite Tycoon Seelster mounted an impressive late charge, Rosberg and Roy reached the finish line one length the best in 1:58. Tycoon Seelster settled for second and Resita finished third. "The reason I came to Flamboro is because he's a handy horse, and it showed," explained Walker. "He likes to trot a half, and some of the horses don't that are faster, so it worked out good." Walker shares ownership of the son of Manofmanymissions with Ronald Piers of Georgetown and Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke, ON. A two-time Grassroots winner as a freshman, Rosberg now boasts a lifetime record of four wins, two seconds and one third in nine starts for earnings of $115,200. "He's done everything right, right from day one," said Walker. "He can go on any size of track, that's the nicest thing about him." Rosberg The second Gold Series division went to Dream Massive and driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON. Starting from Post 3, the pair sat behind pacesetter Scene A Magician through fractions of :29.1, :59.1 and 1:28.2 before reaching up at the wire to record the half-length victory in 1:58.1. Scene A Magician finished second and Mister Muscle completed the top three. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON conditions Dream Massive for Michael Soehnlen of Dalton, OH and the trainer is looking forward to another productive season with the Muscle Mass colt. At two, Dream Massive was a Gold Series winner in early August and finished third in the season ending Super Final in October. "It's kind of an open division I think, so hopefully we can have some fun with him this summer," said Steacy of the three-year-old trotting colt class. Dream Massive The final Gold Series contest went to On First, who went gate-to-wire from Post 6 for driver Trevor Henry. The 1:58.1 victory was the Holiday Road gelding's first, coming in his fifth lifetime start. Shannon Henry conditions On First and the Henry's, who call Arthur home, share ownership of the trotter with David Darocy of Windsor and James Fleming of Bayfield, ON. Speedycrest finished second and favourite Lmc Mass Gem was third. On First Also featured on Flamboro Downs' Confederation Cup program were three Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge and driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON teamed up to win two. Both Southwind General and Frontier Seelster delivered impressive front end performances in their sophomore debuts, halting the teletimer in 1:54.3 and 154:4, respectively. "I am hoping they're going to be Golds," said Darling of his victorious pacing colts. "They are both nice big horses, great strides on them, and we'll just see how they mature." Sunday's win, which saw him best Heza Big Dealer and Beach Volley Ball by three and one-half lengths, was Southwind General's second lifetime. The Sportswriter son also made a victorious debut in the Grassroots program last season before moving up to the Gold Series and earning $53,850 through seven freshman starts. Frontier Seelster hit the wire four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Rodeo Sports and co-favourite Osborne Seelster. Sunday marked the Artistic Fella son's debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program and was his third lifetime victory in six starts. Darling also sent out a starter in the other $18,450 Grassroots division, with Jamieson guiding The Dark Shadow to a fifth-place result behind Blackjack Seelster, Makasi, Dial The Bossman and Vintage Grand. Blackjack Seelster hit the wire three-quarters of a length on top in 1:55.2, giving driver Louis-Philippe Roy his second Ontario Sires Stakes win of the evening. Trainer Colin Johnson of Repentigny, QC shares ownership of Artistic Fella son Blackjack Seelster with Thomas Kyron of Toronto and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON. In the evening's finale, the $176,000 Confederation Cup, Trevor Henry returned to the winner's circle with a triumphant steer aboard elimination winner Western Fame. The pair led the field from start to finish, rolling through fractions of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:23.4 before holding off a charging Check Six for the 1:51.4 win. The other elimination winner, Sintra, finished third. Henry engineered the win for trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY. Western Fame The three-year-old trotting colts return to Gold Series action on June 27 at Mohawk Racetrack, while the three-year-old pacing colts make their second Grassroots start at Mohawk on June 22. Ontario Sires Stakes action will return to Flamboro Downs on Sept. 2 with the fifth Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting colts. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Both Half A Billion and HP Sissy established themselves as the "horses to beat" with repeat victories in the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers. Half A Billion was the fastest of the two series winners as trainer/driver Francis Picard worked out strong cover for his horse against the entry of the two full brothers, Mach On The Beach (Pascal Berube) and Mr Match On Beach (Stephane Brosseau). Mach On The Beach and Berube had cut the mile with Mr Match On The Beach sitting the pocket trip as HP Patriote and driver Guy Gagnon tried in vain to get to the front, giving Half A Billion live cover until the backstretch. It was then that Picard sent Half A Billion around HP Patriote and went after the race leaders, collaring Mach On The Beach around the final turn and then going on to win by two and one-half lengths in 1:57, the fastest mile on the afternoon card. Mr Match On Beach was second with Mach On The Beach third. It was the second straight win and fourth triumph on the year for Half A Billion. Owned by Michel & Francois Letarte, Jean Allaire and Corey Giles, it was the five-year-old gelded son of Sportswriters fourth win on the year. He paid $4.00 as the even money favorite. HP Sissy soundly defeated nine rivals in the second round of the series. With Guy Gagnon in the sulky, HP Sissy left from post three in the sixth race co-feature and was able to outkick Skyfall Sena (Jocelyn Gendron) to the opening quarter mile and never looked back. Holding the field at bay the rest of the one mile race, Gagnon and HP Sissy pulled away from the field around the final turn, winning with ease by five and one-quarter lengths in 1:57.2. The pocket-sitting Skyfall Sena held for second place with HP Mercedes (Richard Simard) third. It was the second straight win and third triumph of the season for HP Sissy. The four-year-old mare by Up The Credit is trained by Jean Tourigny for breeder Claude Hamel, who co-owns the mare with Michel Damphousse. She paid $3.80 to win. There is one more week of preliminary competition before the top eight money winners in each division compete in their respective $30,000 finals on June 11. Code Word won for the second straight week as driver Maxime Gaudreault gave the 10th race Invitational Pace, scoring an upset at 13-1 and paying $28.00 to win. TRACK NOTES: Driver Jocelyn Gendron brought in the highest payoff of the season as he won the seventh race pace with Northern Trophy at odds of 33-1. Taking the lead after the opening quarter mile, Gendron would not give way to 1/5 race favorite Hard Rock, putting them away in the backstretch. Northern Trophy paid $69.10 to win. Gendron, along with Guy Gagnon and Francis Picard, all scored driving doubles on the program. Trainers Francis Richard and Charles Gaudreault also had training doubles. From the Quebec Jockey Club
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - All the King's horses and all the King's men helped put another large night together again for harness racing driver Marc Campbell Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Nicknamed the "King" of the capital oval, Campbell scored six wins on the 10-dash card including the fourth win-in-a-row for talented three-year-old stakes prospect Island Energetic for one of four wins on the card from his own stable. The colt scored in 1:56.2 for trainer-driver Campbell and owners Bernadette Burgess and Grayland Farm of Nova Scotia to remain perfect on the season. Campbell won earlier on the card with fellow trainees Elm Grove Ladyluck in 1:58.4 and Johnny Moe in 2:00.1 then closed the program out with Hickory Chumley 1:59.1. The "King's" other winner's circle visits came aboard Yankee No More in 2:01.1 for trainer Darren Smith of Rocky Point and Rustlemewithevny in 2:01 for conditioner Neil Bambrick of Charlottetown. Mr Irresistible gained the lead in the ongoing grudge match with Adkins Hanover in the $2,250 preferred pace. Adkins Hanover made a break at the start but still managed to find himself on front after fractions of 28.3, 57.1 and 1:26.2 before succumbing to pressure late to finish fifth and subsequently be placed sixth for an extended break. Mr Irresistible was able to pick up all the pieces to score a 1:56.1 win for driver Jason Hughes, trainer Jennifer Trainor and owner Danny Birt of Stratford. Second place went to Junebugs Baby (Myles Heffernan) with Starcastic (Brian MacPhee) rounding out the $328.90 triactor. Also on the card, Thebestofme was a winner in 1:59.4 to give new owner Megan Lewis of St. Peter's Bay, who co-owns with sister Mallory Lewis, her first career victory. Gary Chappell drove the grey pacer for trainer Kyle Wilkie. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores
CAMPBELLVILLE, May 20 - The finals of the S.B.O.A. Stakes for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies highlighted the harness racing portion of Fireworks and Family Fun Night Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. A large crowd flooded Mohawk to celebrate the Victoria Day long weekend. Despite cool and windy conditions, excitement filled both the grandstand and paddock for the evening's festivities. The first on-track feature was the $130,130 S.B.O.A. Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies in race-two. Magic Presto lived up to her 1/5 billing by scoring a 2¾ lengths victory in a career-best 1:54.3. Trevor Henry guided the Richard "Nifty" Norman trainee to the stakes victory. Magic Presto was sent to the front and held a narrow lead at the opening-quarter. Henry allowed post-ten starter Holiday Promise to clear, but quickly circled around to retake the lead heading to the half. Magic Presto proceeded to post fractions of :57.4 and 1:27.1, before trotting home in :27.2 for the victory. Gravitator finished second, while Royal Witch was third. "I think she was a little sharper this week," said Norman after Magic Presto's triumph. "It was kind of a strange race and a funny night with the wind, but she was very good." Owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David Mc Duffee and Little E LLC, Magic Presto now has two wins in three starts this season to give her six victories overall in her career. The S.B.O.A. victory pushes the Kadabra filly's career earnings to over $470,000. Norman noted that Magic Presto will return to Mohawk on June 8th for an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event before returning to the Meadowlands for Grand Circuit action. Magic Presto paid $2.50 to win. Magic Presto A pair of Casie Coleman trainees were the story in race-eight's $132,130 pacing filly final, but it was the underdog of the two that stole the show. Fade and driver Travis Cullen came through at 10-1 for a 1:53.1 score. The daughter of Shadow Play had won her elimination a week ago, but received little buzz due to her stablemate Windy Sport's dominating 1:51.3 victory in her preliminary. Windy Sport, who was 1/5, and driver Louis Philippe Roy cut the mile with Fade following in the two-hole. Dancing Shadows K came first up to battle with the heavy-favourite on the far turn and Windy Sport was feeling pressure at three-quarters in 1:26.1. In the stretch, Windy Sport couldn't deliver another large performance and gave way to her rivals. Fade was able to shoot up the rail and Soiree Seelster charged home on the far outside to set up a great finish. At the wire, Fade secured to the victory by a neck. Windy Sport finished third. Fade had the driving services of Cullen for the first time Saturday and the duo immediately connected. "He did a great job," said Coleman about Cullen. "Obviously Windy Sport was 1/5 and he got the two-hole trip behind her and couldn't have driven any better. He got the perfect ground saving trip and got her up in time for the money." A daughter of Shadow Play, Fade is trained by Coleman for owners West Wins Stable and Calhoun Racing Ltd. Her S.B.O.A. score gives her two wins in four starts this season and three victories in her career. Fade's career earnings now sit at $225,752. She paid $22.10 to win. Fade Also on Saturday, the red-hot seven-year-old pacer Fool Me Once jumped up to the Preferred and scored a strong 1:50.4 victory. Since moving into the Moreau barn and onto the WEG Circuit, Fool Me Once has now won three starts in a row for owner Brad Grant. His latest victory gives him 35 career visits to the winner's circle and pushes his career earnings to over $963,000. Fool Me Once paid $4 to win. Fool Me Once A tremendous fireworks display entertained the fans following the races to cap off a fantastic evening of racing and festivities. Live racing resumes Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The second round of the $100,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers are the main event at the Hippodrome 3R this Sunday with two full fields of ten starters going over the half mile oval. After four weeks of preliminary action, the top eight money earners will return on Sunday, June 11, for their respective $30,000 finals. The older mares are first in the limelight in the sixth race and are once again headed by the entry of HP Sissy and HP Pandora, both of whom are bred and co-owned by Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff. HP Sissy is co-owned by Hamel with Michel Damphousse of Louisville. HP Sissy got the best of her stablemate last week, coming on in late stretch over the sloppy track to win by three-quarters of a length after HP Pandora had led the field from the start. This week, HP Sissy starts from post five and will have the driving services of top reinsman, Guy Gagnon, who makes his first appearance at H3R this year. HP Pandora goes from post two for regular driver Stephen Brosseau. But it will not be a "walk in the park" again for the entry will face some stiff competition from both Drift Panic and Wanda Bayama. Drift Panic starts from post four for driver Francis Picard and trainer Jean Tourigny and last week scored an impressive 1:57.2 qualifying win at H3R by more than 20 lengths, the last quarter in :28.4. Wanda Bayama brings Hall of Famer Yves Filion back to H3R where this mare has been a Sire Stakes champion. The $163,000 career winner has been competing with success at Woodbine and Mohawk Raceway with two wins and a record of 1:52.4. The older horses get underway in the eight race where Half A Billion is the race favorite once again after his impressive six length triumph over the sloppy track last week in the opening round. The five-year-old gelded son of Sportswriter starts from post four for driver Francis Picard and has nearly $40,000 earned already this year for trainer Francis Richards. New to the lineup this week is Rideau Carlton invader, Killer Thriller, who starts from the second tier in post nine. The five-year-old gelded son of Jeremes Jet is on a three-race winning streak with five wins already this year the fastest 1 :53.4 lifetime mark. The two-full brothers from the stable of Dany Fontaine finished second and third last week to Half A Billion. Mach On The Beach, age 5, was second for driver Pascal Berube and they start from post 10 in the second tier, while younger brother Mr Match On Beach, goes from post three for driver Stephane Brosseau. Also in the field are top Sire Stakes performers from last season, HP Patriote (Guy Gagnon) from post seven, Sugarsam (Stephane Gendron) post two and Sports Authority (Pierre-Luc Roy) in post eight. The tenth race preferred pace has ten starter also and is headlined by four return winners, Arazi (post four), Code Word (post seven), Royal Kee Wee N (post nine) and Glass Shadow (post ten). First race post time is 12:40 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. TRACK NOTES: After the dust has settled from last week's amazing eight-win track record performance by defending leading driver Louis-Philippe Roy, Roy is back on top of the driver standings at H3R and has an amazing driver rating of .778. Stephane Gendron, who is now just four wins away from his 4,000th career win, is in second place with seven wins and Richard Simard is in third place with six wins. Defending leading trainer, Yves Tessier, is on top again among the trainers with five wins from his stable. Daniel Martin is right behind him with four wins. Daniel LaFlamme is in third place with three wins after sending just four horses to post this meet. From the Quebec Jockey Club
MAY 19, 2017 - The 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes season will kick off on Sunday, May 21 at Flamboro Downs as part of the Dundas racetrack's $460,600 Confederation Cup harness racing program. Ontario's best three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will highlight the Confederation Cup pre-show, competing in the Gold Series season opener. Waterdown, ON resident Scott McEneny will send out Tycoon Seelster in the first of three Gold Series divisions. The Angus Hall gelding was a three-time Ontario Sires Stakes winner as a two-year-old and finished second in the season ending Super Final. "He's come back pretty good this year," said McEneny, who conditions Tycoon Seelster for Chris Storms of Picton, ON. "He was a little bumpy last year, he didn't have the best gait, but he seems to be coming back a little better this year. He got a lot bigger, a lot thicker, over the winter." Tycoon Seelster and regular driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON will start from Post 4 in Race 1 of the Confederation Cup program, going postward at 7 pm, with the other two $65,600 Gold Series battles scheduled for Races 2 and 5. Also making their 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes debut on the Confederation Cup undercard are the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, competing in the first Grassroots event of the season in Races 4, 6, and 8. Prairiecreekprince and driver James MacDonald of Guelph will lead the pacing colts onto the half-mile oval, starting from Post 1 in the first $18,450 division for trainer Dave Menary of Cambridge, ON. "He's a nice big strong colt, he doesn't have very many lifetime starts so I'm hoping that he can kind of mature into a useful horse," said Menary, who trains the Mach Three gelding for Ryan Morefield of Brighton, MI. "I was happy with his second qualifier (May 15) and he drew really good on Sunday - the exact opposite of Sintra - so I'm super happy about that." In addition to first-time Ontario Sires Stakes starter Prairiecreekprince, Menary will also send out former Ontario Sires Stakes star Sintra from Post 8 in the evening's main event. Another son of Mach Three, Sintra was a commanding two and one-half length winner in his Confederation Cup elimination, halting the Flamboro teletimer at 1:52.4. "That's a big hurdle to overcome, but if anybody can do it I think he can," said the trainer of the gelding's outside post position in the $176,000 Final. Menary, whose operation is based at a farm no further than a Dustin Johnson tee-shot from the Flamboro Downs entrance, shares ownership of Sintra with Brad Gray of Dundas and Michael Guerriero of Brampton, ON. The gelding heads into Sunday's final undefeated in the first three starts of a four-year-old campaign that has seen him triumph in an April 29 overnight event at Mohawk Racetrack, the May 6 opening leg of the Graduate Series at The Meadowlands, and last weekend's Confederation Cup Elimination. Regular reinsman Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON will pilot Sintra in his bid for a fourth win on Sunday. "The four-year-olds are really lucky, most of the starts are front loaded," noted Menary. "The Confederation Cup, and the Graduate Series, and even the Prix D'Ete in Quebec, they're all a little bit earlier in the year so before they have to test, you know these are nice horses, but before they have to test the real deep waters it gives them a chance to get started with their own kind." Scott McEneny will also harness a starter in the Confederation Cup Final, sending out Mr Wiggle Pants with Doug McNair aboard from Post 7 in the eleventh race. Mr Wiggle Pants, owned by Brad Grant of Milton, ON, finished third behind Western Fame in his elimination. In addition to Sunday's outstanding program of racing, Flamboro Downs fans will be treated to a host of trackside activities including giveaways and prize draws, stilt walkers and face painters to entertain the youngest fans, a miniature horse race and live music by local band Speakeasy. Details about the Confederation Cup program are available at http://www.flamborodowns.com/confederation_cup.html. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing www.ontarioracing.com Follow the OSS on Social Media! @ONTSSNews
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The battle of the harness racing titans resumes in the Saturday night preferred pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6 P.M. for the 10-dash card with Adkins Hanover and Mr Irresistible having the rivalry squared up at two wins each. The six-horse field will line up in race 9 with Adkins Hanover riding a two race win streak leaving from post 6 for driver Corey MacPherson, trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Perry Burke of Quebec. Mr Irresistible has post 5 for driver Jason Hughes, conditioner Jennifer Trainor and owner Danny Birt of Stratford. Adkins Hanover was a more narrow winner over Mr Irresistible last week but still gets the nod from race analyst Les MacIsaac. "Adkins Hanover wasn't quite as dominant last week as he was in his previous start but at the end of the day, it was the same result," MacIsaac said. "We all know he'll be setting up shop on the front end again and once there, there could be nothing but open road ahead." Other entries include Instant Shadow (Gilles Barrieau), Rash B Havior (Mike Peters), Junebugs Baby (Myles Heffernan) and Starcastic (Brian MacPhee). The back-up pace hits the track in the race 10 finale with Narragansett favoured for victory over Beau Seelster. Narragansett has rail control for trainer-driver Hughes and owner Foxyhall Racing of Nova Scotia, but Beau Seelster rides a pair of second place finishes into the showdown and draws post 2 for driver MacPherson, co-owner and trainer Kyle Wilkie of Stratford and co-owner Mallory Lewis of St. Peters Bay. Other top contenders include Mick Dundee (Donald MacNeill) fresh off an impressive 2:00 qualifier with post 3 and Jinglewriter from post 6 for driver Adam Merner after winning her latest outing in 1:59.3. Red Shores Charlottetown is proud to support the Maritime Greyhound Adoption Program. Customers can purchase tickets for their fundraiser at the track. Prizes include a PEI's Best BBQ Basket and a dog prize package donated by Blue Ribbon Pet Supply. Countdown to the Governor's Plate Starts Monday in Summerside By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores ................................................................... SUMMERSIDE, PE - The 2017 season is off and racing on Victoria Day Monday as live racing returns to Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. First race post time is 1 P.M. for the 10-dash holiday card with the afternoon feature a wide open affair. The $2,000 feature event lines up in race 9 with newcomer Mando Fun handicapped with the outside in the five horse field. Mando Fun was claimed for $6,500 on Jan. 21 at Flamboro Downs in Ontario by new co-owner and trainer Paul Biggar of Tyne Valley and co-owner Donald Callbeck of Kensington. He was impressive in his qualifier winning in 1:58.1 at the Summerside Raceway. The winner of 11 lifetime races has a career best of 1:53.3 taken over Scioto Downs in Ohio and gets the services of Dale Spence in his East Coast debut. Other entries in the Victoria Day feature include Pictonian Storm from post 4 dropping from the preferred ranks at Red Shores Charlottetown and getting the catch driving talents of Gary Chappell for trainer Wade Sorrie, and post 3 starter D Bs Rosco with Kenny Arsenault in the bike. Sporty B Skipalong (Norris Rogers) and Machinthesand (Ken Murphy) round out the field. The back-up pace lines up in race 3 for a $1,500 purse with Tipsy Mcstaggers making her Island debut from post 2 for driver Rogers, co-owner and trainer Jay Noye and co-owners Mary Jean Noye of Pleasant Valley and Bill and Denise Andrew of Alberta. The five-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover was racing between Western Fair Raceway in Ontario and Northville Downs in Michigan before making the move East. Her new rivals will include Howmac Missy (Marc Campbell) riding a two-race win streak and Lexis Mandy (Chappell). The program will also see the pari-mutuel return of driver Walter Cheverie, who last drove in a race on Aug. 28 in Summerside before taking a hiatus from the sulky due to health reasons. Cheverie has five drives on the card including the morning line favorite in three of those events. For race programs, top picks or live broadcasts go to www.redshores.ca Red Shores Racetrack and Casino
CAMPBELLVILLE, May 18 - Just a single ticket correctly selected the top-five finishers in the final race Thursday at harness racing's Mohawk Racetrack to connect for a massive $152,710.35 (USD) Jackpot Hi-5 payout. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover, which had been growing since mid-April, sat at $184,987.99 (CAD) heading into Thursday's card. A total of $26,703 was wagered into the pool Thursday. ER Quinn and driver Louis Philippe Roy scored a 25-1 upset victory in the Hi-5 race over Matrix Of Luck, who was the 3/5 favourite, to help eliminate many Hi-5 tickets. The top-five was then rounded out by Mister X, who finished third at 70-1, Blissful Years at 13-1 and Leafs And Wings at 3-1. The only winning Jackpot Hi-5 ticket cost just $16.20 and was purchased in the Oregon area. The Jackpot Hi-5 will now start from scratch on Friday evening. As always, Jackpot Hi-5 wagering is available on the final race every night at Mohawk Racetrack. Mark McKelvie
Charlottetown, PE - Eagle Jolt, owned by Wilbur and Marie MacDonald, Orwell Cove, PE, claimed the Thursday night harness racing feature in 1:58.2 at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Eagle Jolt held off late challenges from Oh To Be Me (Gary Chappell) and Simon Said (Corey MacPherson) to notch a grand-slam for driver Marc Campbell. Campbell's other scores came with New Boss In Town and Howmac Missy giving Earl Watts a training double while trotter Freddie earned his first win of the 2017 campaign. In other action, driver Kenny Arsenault and trainer Jackie Matheson teamed up for two winners on the program when Shadows Mystery and Artners In Crime claimed top honors in their respective divisions. The fastest mile of the night went to Elm Grove Kaboom in 1:57.3 for driver Earl Smith and owners Larry and Kathy Chappell, Marshfield, PE. Racing returns Saturday at 6pm. Red Shores Summerside kicks off the 2017 season Monday afternoon at 1pm. By Lee Drake
A big weekend of harness racing this weekend as Flamboro Downs is hosting their biggest event of the year- The Confederation Cup. The race is for four year old standard breds and to give you some insight into not only the race, but event itself, Tim Bolen paid them a visit. To watch a 12 minute run down of the day click on this link.
May 17, 2017 - In this the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada, the CHRHF Legends Committee unanimously named a mare called Modesty who won the first advertised and reported horse race on Canadian soil, as the 2017 Legend Honouree. The official unveiling of the display panel for Modesty, who won the historic race held on the Plains of Abraham on July 1st, 1767, took place at a reception this evening in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. An advertisement in the June 25, 1767 issue of the Quebec Gazette called for entries for a horse race scheduled to take place July 1 for a purse of $40 to take place at “Five O’clock in the afternoon Precisely: The best of three heats, once around the course each heat.” Results of the race were announced in the July 9th issue of the same publication as follows: “The purse of $40 was won with greatest ease by Captain Prescott’s Mare Modesty. It was termed an upset, “much to the discomfiture of those, who purporting to know about such things, had wagered against her and were thereby parted from their money. The contest did afford much pleasure and there were no accidents save that some few riders were thrown from their mounts, from which circumstance it appeared that they suffered more fright than injury.” More complete information about that initial horse race can be found here It is from this race, held 100 years to the day before Canada’s Confederation that all horse racing in Canada has evolved, bringing us to this tremendous 250th anniversary and celebration in 2017. The Legends category in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame was originally established in 2000 as a millennium project, created to honour the early pioneers of horse racing in Canada. It has been carried on to help bring attention to those horses and people dating back at least 50 years before the year of recognition. In addition to the announcement of the 2017 Legend honouree, the reception also included the unveiling of display panels belonging to those inducted to the CHRHF in 2016 and the public introduction of the 2017 Inductees, announced earlier. The CHRHF Class of 2017 includes Thoroughbred horses Quiet Resolve and South Ocean along with Builder Eugene Melnyk, Trainer Harold Barroby and Communicator Curtis Stock. Standardbred honourees include Mach Three, Happy Lady and Elegantimage, as well as Trainer/Driver Blair Burgess, and Builder Dr. Gordon Gilbertson. Induction ceremonies of the 2017 inductees will be held at a Gala scheduled to take place Wednesday, August 9th at the Mississauga Convention Centre. Tickets can be ordered by contacting 416-417-9404. Linda Rainey, Managing Director, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 416-417-9404 Linda.email@example.com
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A group of the Island's best overnight pacers will contend with a mainland invader in the Thursday night harness racing feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6:30 P.M. for the 10-dash card with the weekday feature lining up in race 10 for a $2,100 purse. Eagle Jolt is the morning line choice fresh off a third place finish to Adkins Hanover and Mr Irresistible in the preferred ranks in his last start. Marc Campbell trains and drives the 10-year-old son of Village Jolt for owners Marie and Wilbur MacDonald of Orwell Cove. Heart And Soul draws the outside in the field of eight with trainer-driver Clare MacDonald of Nova Scotia for owners Riley Farms of Summerside. The former Prince County Horsemen's Club Horse of the Year has a pair of third place finishes at Truro Raceway so far in his four-year-old campaign after being crowned a Maritime Champion during his three-year-old season. The field also includes The Big Bite from post 5 riding a two race win streak after winning last week's Thursday feature for trainer Jack Arsenault but loses his regular driver with Brian MacPhee getting the catch driving call. Last Thursday's runner-up Simon Said (Corey MacPherson) has the rail, with Oh To Be Me taking a hike in class after winning his latest for trainer-driver-owner Gary Chappell from post 3 and Twin B Shadow (Ken Murphy) dropping from the preferred ranks to draw post 7. Other entries include Dees Boy (Kenny Arsenault) and Four Corners (Gordie Hennessey) both making their first starts of the season. Hemingway makes his first East Coast start in race 9 on the card for owner-trainer Shane Doyle of Charlottetown and driver Vincent Poulton. He draws post 5 in the $1,500 event after racing the claiming ranks at Woodbine and Mohawk Raceways in Ontario in recent weeks. A hard hitting group of six mares line up in race 7 with Woodmere Articblue favoured from the outside post 6 for trainer-driver Campbell. Other top entries include tough open mare Shadows Mystery (Arsenault) and Truro invader West River Ambyr (MacDonld) who has been undefeated so far in her four-year-old campaign. For race programs, top picks and live video go to www.redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores
Live harness racing on PEI is getting busier now as we move closer to the summer months. Charlottetown has already added its Thursday night racing to the weekly schedule and the Summerside Raceway opens for the 2017 season on Monday afternoon with its annual Victoria Day program. At Charlottetown, the top class for pacers has belonged to Adkins Hanover the past two Saturdays. On the May 6 card, the 8-year-old son of Western Ideal destroyed the field with a 13 length romp in 1:56.2 over an off track. This past Saturday was a much closer contest, but Adkins Hanover and driver Corey MacPherson prevailed once again with a three quarter length victory in 1:55.3 over top contender Mr. Irresistable. Trevor Hicken trains Adkins Hanover for owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile, Quebec. Marc Campbell had a driving triple on Saturday and continues to pad his lead in the dash wins for drivers category. He appears to be headed for another title at the Driving Park. Campbell is rolling along with a near .500 driving percentage also. The driving averages are comparable to a baseball player’s batting average, so imagine a .500 hitter in this instance. Two of Campbell’s three winners on Saturday are 3-year-old pacers he trains as well. Veteran trainer/driver Earl Smith had a pair of wins with his own trainees as well, Oceanview Beemer and Elm Grove Kaboom. The Trot Handicap on Saturday night went to Holy Molie Maggie and driver Gary Chappell. Trevor MacDonald of Vernon Bridge and Jeff Holmes of Orwell are the owners, Holmes does the training. The Thursday night card was highlighted by driving doubles for three drivers, Kenny Murphy, Gary Chappell and Marc Campbell. Trainer Earl Watts had a pair of winners as well. The Big Bite won the featured pace for trainer Thane Arsenault and driver Kenny Arsenault. Two huge losses occurred in the Island harness racing community during the past two weeks with the deaths of George ‘Butch’ Ward and Shelley Gass. Ward was the longtime paddock judge at the Charlottetown Driving Park who continued in that role into his late 70s, until his health would no longer allow him to do it. I think it’s safe to say the Driving Park never had anyone do a better job than Butch Ward at keeping things running smoothly in the paddock, and he was a friend to all involved. To Gussie and Tim, and brothers Mike and Paul, my deepest condolences. I’ll miss the chats with Butch. Shelley Gass was without a doubt the most dedicated and most friendly ambassador Island harness racing has ever had. She was a fixture to harness racing on the east coast of Canada throughout her life. Her disability never slowed her down one bit and her heart and toughness was that of a champion race horse. This one hurts for many on PEI and no more so than the crew at the Dusty Lane Farms operation in Cornwall. To Ronnie, Dianne, Stephen and Alexis, I’m so sorry for this tremendous loss. By Shane Bernard Reprinted with permission of the peicanada.com site
In 2013, a devastating outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus One caused four confirmed cases in Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses and three confirmed deaths. The development reinforced Equine Guelph's sense that the Ontario horse racing industry - one filled with high-value animals and frequent movement - was in need of further education on biosecurity and infectious disease prevention. Accessing funding through the Agricultural Adaptation Council, Equine Guelph developed and delivered 'BIOSECURITY - Spread the word not the germs.' The first-of-its-kind campaign targeted infectious diseases in the Ontario horse racing industry. The initiative changed the equine industry's approach to biosecurity and delivered lasting resources still used today. In order to reach such a broad community, Equine Guelph used a peer-to-peer educational approach to bring the industry together. In April 2015, Equine Guelph started by educating horse racing officials. Ontario Racing Commission investigators, judges and stewards received training on biosecurity, arming the officials with the resources needed to visit all 10 Ontario race tracks in the spring and summer of 2015 to spread the word on biosecurity. On their visits, officials discussed how to improve biosecurity and provided an assortment of training materials. The biosecurity campaign is more than just a communications success story; it created tangible resources for the equine industry, both racing and non-racing. The training content used has been added to Equine Guelph's equine biosecurity two-week online eWorkshop and has been modified and distributed to a general equine audience across Canada. The project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario. Now available on TheHorsePortal.ca - all horse owners and care givers can learn Canada's biosecurity code for Equines. You can also access Equine Guelph's free Biosecurity Calculator to evaluate the biosecurity risk on your farm. In 10 minutes you can be on your way to a biosecurity plan utilizing simple ways to protect your horse from infectious disease.
CAMPBELLVILLE, May 20 - Mohawk Racetrack's annual Fireworks and Family Fun Night is set for this Saturday (May 20). A fun-filled night of live harness racing and entertainment for all-ages will rock the Campbellville oval. Doors open to the Mohawk Grandstand at 5 p.m. and live racing gets underway at 6:45 p.m. A strong 10-race card has been put together for the special evening, highlighted by a pair of $130,000 plus S.B.O.A. Stakes Finals for three-year-old fillies. Saturday's card also features a loaded $34,000 Preferred Pace and the regular $40,000 Pick-5 and $50,000 Early Pick-4. Fans on-track will have a variety of entertainment options, including live racing, to explore throughout the evening A brand new Kidsfest Zone will be introduced this year, where kids will be able to take part in carnival games, crafts, face painting, an animal show and more. Entry to the Kidsfest Zone costs $5. Parents will also want to take advantage of a special Kids' Combo Meal. The $5.99 special includes the choice of a pizza slice or hot dog, juice box, chips and a glow in the dark wristband. A special $5 collectible horse cup will also be for sale at the concession stands and comes with free refills of fountain drinks all night. Musician Brian MacIntyre will be entertaining fans throughout the evening inside the main concourse of the grandstand. A special Pepsi North America Cup ticket offer will be available on Saturday evening, as fans can take advantage of a "Me + 3" offer to grab their tickets for the $1 million race on Saturday, June 17. Live racing is expected to conclude around 10 p.m. and the spectacular fireworks show is scheduled to begin at 10:30 p.m. Racing fans also looking to catch the Preakness Stakes on Saturday will be able to watch and wager on the second-leg of the Triple Crown at Mohawk. The big race will be shown on the infield screen. For more information on Fireworks and Family Fun Night, visit www.MohawkRacetrack.com Mark McKelvie
"Welcome to Australia," the flight attendant says, their voice made raspy by the speaker, as we descend. The butterflies flutter in my stomach. One simple word, "wow" breaks the silence of the plane as I look out the window next to me. It is the only word that can sum up how in awe I am. I knew from that point on my trip could only get more magical. To be here, does not seem real. It feels as though I am in a dream and I wait for someone to pinch me or wake me up. I have to keep reminding myself that this is really happening. To be here is a dream come true and I feel truly blessed. This amazing adventure was possible by Alan Galloway of Alabar Farms, whom I met in Ireland in August of 2016; while attending the Vincent Delaney Memorial. Some friends and industry partners of Alan Galloway also helped to make this trip possible. Brett Coffey, who works for Alabar Farms planned the entire trip from beginning to end and he did an incredible job. To all of them, I am forever grateful. After getting settled into our hotel, my parents and I decide to walk through the city. Sydney is a beautiful city. We walked to see the Sydney Opera House. It is a truly magnificent work of architecture. Seeing it at sunset is breathtaking. Today has been a busy day, but definitely one to remember. I wake up full of excitement for a couple reasons. It is my first full day in Australia and tonight is a special night for harness racing in Australia. It is the night of the esteemed Miracle Mile. It is one night when some of the best gathers to compete. I feel so honored to have the opportunity to be in attendance for this celebrated night of racing. Through Twitter, I had been seeing all of the updates leading up to tonight, but to be in the grandstand is overwhelming for me. Driving into Tabcorp Park Menangle I am filled with joy. I could not believe I am actually here. I am lost for words. I am filled with captivation. Walking up the front stairs and through the front doors, I look around in amazement. There is a buzz in the air and there is no need to ask why, it is Miracle Mile night. The grandstand is absolutely stunning. The weather is perfect for a prized night of racing and for sitting outside to enjoy it. I flip through my form (program). It is a little different than North American programs. In the Australian forms, there are pictures of the colors the drivers are wearing. This is useful as drivers do not have their own colors. They wear the colors of the owner or owners they are driving for. Some of the races span two or three pages because having more than ten horses in a race is not uncommon. But for me, this is incredible to see. I walk up the hill to where the paddock is. I am just in time to see the horses parade in the walking ring before horses and drivers head to the track. The walking ring is a surprise. In North American harness racing horses parade on the track. I enjoy watching the horses warm up, before heading back to my spot along the rail. It is finally time for the much-anticipated Miracle Mile. As the horses and their drivers step onto the track, full of focus and wanting to win. The winning horse, owner(s) trainer, and driver of this prized race will forever have their names in Miracle Mile history. Everyone gathers as close to the fence as possible. My eyes are fixed on the track as the horses line up behind the mobile (start car). The crowds begin to scream, they are deafening as they reach the half. The horses stride for home in pursuit of victory. As they come into view, my heart is pounding. With one final cheer from the crowd and one final stride, Lennytheshark crosses the wire. He has won the 2017 Miracle Mile, with driver Chris Alford and trainer David Aiken. I have the pleasure of meeting three special individuals during the night as well; all of whom I met through social media and have been looking forward to meeting in person during my trip. Up and coming commentator Luke Humphreys, his dad, Paul, who owns a Pet Rock colt (a half sibling to my yearling filly, Jo), and Marcus Kirkwood, who is a co-owner of Miracle Mile participant Smolda. I am very happy I finally get to meet them in person. The next day I am off to APG Sydney Yearling Sale. The sales complex is beautiful. Today, I can potentially see a future Miracle Mile winner go through the ring. I pass potential buyers asking to see yearlings. There is excitement in the air. I make my way to sales ring. It is a beautiful day for a yearling sale. The sun was shining and there is not a cloud in the sky. The sale is set to begin shortly. I find a seat in the front row. I scan through the pages of the sale catalog, studying the bloodlines. My mom reminds me that I could not put my hand up as it would cost too much to ship a yearling back home, chuckling as she does. I take in the serenity of the arena before the sale gets underway, knowing that for next few hours, it would be the opposite. Both buyers and sellers begin to file in. The auctioneers are setting up for their big day. The first yearling of the day enters the ring. The booming voice of the auctioneer thunders in the afternoon. Quiet nods are given and silent hands are raised; that silence being transformed into hollers from the bid spotters. I continue to study the pedigrees, then I noticed something, none of the yearlings have names, unlike when yearlings in North America are sold. As each yearling passes through the ring the auctioneer, the bid spotters and auctioneer continue to work together to take bids. Before long the sale concludes. I had a great day watching the action, socializing and meeting new people. Another day in Australia is complete. The next morning I am ready for another day packed full of memories. Today I have the opportunity to visit with two of the top trainers in the Sydney area and gain insight about training in New South Wales. My first visit is to Menangle Training Facility. I arrive and walk into the barn of David Aiken and there he is, the one and only Lennytheshark. He is so handsome. I walk over to him and tell him how amazing he raced in the Miracle Mile. He lowers his head and I reach to stroke his head. After spending some time with me and taking pictures with me, he is happy to go back enjoying his lunch. Stablemate to Lennytheshark, Hectorjayjay already has his head over his gate and is waiting for me to come and see him. I tell Hectorjayjay how handsome he is and how impressive he too raced in the Miracle Mile. I give him a kiss and say goodbye. I look forward to keeping up to date on the success of these two champions. After spending a delightful morning at Aiken Racing, I am back in the car and on the road again, this time heading to see Luke McCarthy’s farm. I am greeted by Ashley Hart, who works for Luke McCarthy. She shows me around the property, and what a beautiful farm it is. We walk into the barn, walking down the shed row until we come to Bling It On. He steps out and rests his head on my knee. I begin to give him kisses. In return, he begins to lick my knee. He is so sweet and gentle. After we bond some more, we part ways, I leave him to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Sitting in the car going back to our hotel, I could only think how honored I feel that I got to meet three champions in one day. I spend the next two days touring Sydney and being a tourist. On my travels, I get to see some iconic Australian animals. I get to pet a kangaroo and get to see a koala up close. That night my parents pack because as in the morning the next chapter of my journey is beginning. In the morning, we fly from Sydney to Melbourne. After boarding the plane, I sit in my seat while I wait for the rest of the passengers to board. It is a short flight, only a couple of hours. I am filled with excitement and melancholy. I am excited for the memories that are to come, but melancholy because this flight marks the halfway point in this incredible journey. My adventures in Melbourne begin the moment I arrive and, it is a memorable one. I attend a dual code night. In this case, it means both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds are both racing on one card. This very special night of racing is presented by Cranbourne Turf Club and Cranbourne Harness Racing Club; featuring the TAB Cranbourne Cup for the Thoroughbreds and Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup for the Standardbreds. I am in awe. The track and the grandstand are beautiful. The energy that fills the grandstand is incredible. I find the perfect spot along the rail, it is close to the finish line and the Winner’s Circle. With having two codes racing on the same night there is almost always a race to watch. The Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds alternate races. When a Standardbred race enters the track, the Winner’s Circle presentations for the Thoroughbred race that had just finished are taking place. It is mesmerizing and powerful to see two breeds come together for one spectacular night of racing. It is time for the prestigious TAB Cranbourne Cup. There is a hum rippling through the grandstand. All eyes are fixed on the track. The horses and their jockeys come around each turn, the cheering in the grandstand gets louder and louder, almost drowning out the announcer. As the winning connections gather in Winner's Circle and celebrate their victory, the horses and their drivers enter the track. The energy that was exhibited during the Thoroughbred race spills into the Decon Pacing Gold Cup that follows. The pacers and their drivers line up behind the mobile, taking off they fight for positions. With each turn, the grandstand roars with excitement and drivers see the finish line coming closer with each stride, victory is one step closer. With screams and the slapping of programs, the winning pacer and driver cross the wire. After the races, I see my friend and President of Cranbourne Harness Club, Bill Hutchinson, it is lovely to see him again. I had another unforgettable night and made many memories and friends. After a busy night, I return to my hotel to get a good night of sleep in preparation for tomorrow. I drift off to sleep with the echoes of cheers and the sound of hooves hitting the track. So far on my trip, I have been able to witness top quality racing, I have witnessed champions be crowned. Today, I am off to see the champions of tomorrow. I will be visiting two breeding farms, Aldebaran Park and Alabar Farms, as I am keen to learn about the breeding industry in Australia. Aldebaran Park is very pretty. I walk along path between the paddock with the mares and foals before stopping to see the yearlings. The foals were very playful in the morning sun as their mares watch carefully. I go and see the yearlings who are enjoying the morning sunshine, they are happy to receive the extra attention. Then I am off to Alabar Farms. When I arrive at Alabar, I am overwhelmed, to be here feels so surreal. My tour begins with having the opportunity to meet the legendary Presidential Ball and his best mate, the renowned Safely Kept. Both past champions are so sweet. I feel so blessed and honored I get to spend time with them in their paddock. Alabar is looking after them extremely well. They are happy and living the life of leisure. I spend some time in a paddock with some of the mares and soon to be weanlings, who are being separated the next day. As I approach the gate to go in, two foals and their mares look at me intrigued. When I am in the paddock, they come straight over to me without hesitation. Smelling me, playing with my hat, snuggling me and giving me kisses. They were so adorable. both mares and foals refuse to leave my side. I am happy to give them kisses and snuggles. Soon It is time to continue on my way; the foals want me to stay as much I want to. With one final kiss for each of them, I say my goodbyes before walking through the gate. It warms my heart to know that in a couple of years those weanlings will be champions; possibly winning the Miracle Mile, I can say I knew them when they were just babies before they were they winning trophies and setting records. Seeing as I am at the top breeding farm in Australia. I had to see Australia’s stallions. I have the pleasure of meeting Courage Under Fire. He is a regal looking stallion. I also meet the handsome Alta Christiano, he has the best view a stallion could ask for; his paddock overlooks all of the mares. After a lovely day spent to learn more about breeding in Australia. I go to the trots (races) at Echuca Harness Racing Club for the evening. It is a charming track. A memorable night gets even more special when I have the opportunity to go for a ride in the mobile (start car), and sit in the front passenger seat, that was awesome. I see the whole track and the entire grandstand. I meet the president of the club, Michael McMahon, who invites me for a tour of the paddock. I have the honor of meeting harness racing esteemed trainer and driver, Brian Gath. The following day I take a trip to Ballarat to meet Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, followed by a visit to Anton Golino. Talking with them, I add to the knowledge I have gained so far and get to hear what it is like to be a trainer in the state of Victoria. The next day I have the pleasure of learning more about the wonderful work that the Harness Education and Rehoming Opportunites (H.E.R.O.) program does from Tanya McDermott. The H.E.R.O. program provides Standardbreds with new careers, and new people to have new experiences with, such as riding and showing. I meet two new horses currently in the program, Jadahson, and He’s Kinky. They are lovely boys and I know they will go on to do great things. I look forward to seeing what new their new careers have in store for them. It warms my heart to know that the H.E.R.O exists for Standardbreds after they have finished racing. After a lovely morning, I travel to meet Andy and Kate Gath and their staff. It is an afternoon spent laughing and sharing stories. For my final night in Australia, it is the Lyn McPherson Memorial at Tabcorp Park Melton and the final night for "Team Teal" in support of Ovarian Cancer. The color teal was chosen as that is the color which represents Ovarian Cancer. The fundraiser began February 1st. I am honored I can be part of the special night support of a great cause. Because of social media, I was aware of this heart-warming initiative. So, when I packed to come I made sure to pack my teal colored dress. Walking in the grandstand and up into the reception area, there is a wave of vibrant teal in memoriam of Lyn MacPherson. The family of Lyn MacPherson and the harness racing community has come together to celebrate her legacy and started this annual event to help others. I spend my last night at the trots in Australia in great company of friends. I feel special I get to spend my last night supporting an important cause in an unforgettable way. I make my way to the fence to take in my last few races in Australia. As the field steps onto the track, I wish I could stop time, just for a moment, so I can enjoy the time I have left at the trots a little longer. But I cannot stop time and in the blink of an eye, I am walking through the doors and towards my car. Sitting in my hotel room, and thinking about my trip as a whole and the thought of having to leave is not without a few tears. Maybe my tears have to do with me feeling so at home here, and now I feel I have to leave. The next morning I was up before the sun. It had already begun to rain. The weather outside reflects how I feel in my heart, dreary and sad. With a heavy heart, I step out of my taxi with my luggage in tow. I take in one last breath of the crisp Melbourne air as I step through the doors of the Melbourne International Airport, with a heavy heart and longing to stay. Being in Australia for the time that I have, it has begun to feel like home. I will never forget all the heartwarming memories that I have made. I will never forget all of the truly amazing people who I got to meet. A part of my heart will forever be in Australia. One day, I do not know when, or how long it will take me, but I will return to this amazing place. Having to say goodbye brings tears to my eyes and makes me extremely sad. So, it is not goodbye, it is simply, see you again Australia. Many photos were taken, laughs and stories shared. I also learned a lot about how different Australian harness racing is, and how it is the same. I also gained a lot of knowledge on horsemanship and I will carry and apply that knowledge in the future when I work with my own horses. I board my first flight, taking me from Melbourne to Los Angeles, similar to the flight path I had taken to come to this magical place, flying from Los Angeles. As the plane ascends into the sky, I look out my window taking in one final glimpse of Australia. After what feels like forever the plane lands at Los Angeles International Airport. I cannot help but think how it felt so much longer doing the return trip than, going to Australia. I replay the memories, the conversations, the laughs, the smiles, the thundering of hooves, the screams of excitement in the stretch, the joyous cheers as horses make the final strides across the finish line. These memories become a blend of colors, as I see the brightly colored sets of silks rush past. All of this happens as clear as it did when the events happened for the first time. The memories flood my mind for the duration of my second flight from Los Angeles to Toronto. I still continue to replay moments, this helps to distract me from the reality. Now that I am back to the routine of going to school and doing homework, at just the right time in my day, even if only for a brief moment, as if it is like magic, I flash back to Australia. I also want to especially thank all the sponsors who helped make this trip possible for myself and my family.... Alan Galloway of Alabar Farms... sponsored in part also by Adam Bowden’s Diamond Creek Farm, A Rocknroll Dance Syndicate, Nevele R Stud, Blue Chip Farm, Pepper Tree Farm (Art Major’s owners), the owners of Auckland Reactor and Joe Bellino and the owners of Rock N Roll Heaven (Pepper Tree Farm and Alabar). THANK YOU ALL! Sydney Weaver is 16 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, groom's horses, jogs them on the track, owns both a Standardbred and a Thoroughbred racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy and spends most of her time in a wheelchair, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals.