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MAY 20, 2018 - Ontario's three-year-old trotting and pacing colts served up five impressive performances on the $425,000 Confederation Cup program at Flamboro Downs on Sunday, May 20. Super Final champion Western Passage picked up where he left off at the end of last season with a gritty 1:53.4 victory in the second $66,400 Gold Series division. Parked outside pacesetter Levis Day from just before the :58.1 half right through to the finish, Western Passage got a nose in front to claim the third Ontario Sires Stakes victory of his career. Levis Day settled for second and Shadow Moon was two lengths back in third. "That was a big back-half first-over," said trainer Casie Coleman from the winner's circle. "I was really happy with him tonight." Cambridge resident Coleman shares ownership of the Sportswriter gelding with her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, John and McKinlay Fielding of Toronto and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, Ontario. The win bumped the fan favourite's lifetime earnings to $244,680. Driver Doug McNair's appearance in the winner's circle with Western Passage was his fourth of the evening and his second straight in Gold Series action. The Guelph, Ontario resident captured the first Gold division with Backstreet Shadow for his father, trainer Gregg McNair, and owners Lindsey and Connie Rankin of Lexington, Kentucky. Starting from Post 2, McNair sent Backstreet Shadow to the front and the Shadow Play gelding cruised home a one length winner in 1:52.3. Favourite St Lads Neptune was second and Wind Blast was third. Sunday's win was the second of the 2018 campaign for Backstreet Shadow, who was unplaced in two Gold Series starts as a two-year-old. "Backstreet was a fast horse last year, just a little immature," McNair noted. "He's really matured and seems like he's on the right track to being a real nice horse." The fastest of the three Gold divisions, and the fastest mile of the evening, was clocked by Jimmy Freight and driver Louis Philippe Roy in Race 11. The fan favourites hit the wire six and one-quarter lengths ahead of Chocolate Swirl and Burning Midnight in 1:51.3. It was the second win of the sophomore campaign for Sportswriter son Jimmy Freight, who was a two-time Gold winner at two and the runner-up to Western Passage in the Super Final. "I don't know what his limit is," said Roy from the winner's circle. "So far I don't see - how he raced tonight - I don't see much that can beat him." Roy engineered the win for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and owner Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ontario. Trainer John Bax and driver Steve Byron opened the Confederation Cup program with a sweep of the $18,800 three-year-old trotting colt Grassroots divisions. The pair graced the winner's circle for the first time with Delcrest Holiday in Race 1. Starting from Post 2, Delcrest Holiday went gate-to-wire in 2:00.3, fending off Nobodynosjustice and Leaderofthepack to secure the one-half length victory. The win was the first of the season for Delcrest Holiday and marked a new personal best for the gelding, who was also victorious in the first Grassroots event of the season as a two-year-old. The son of Holiday Road is owned by Bax Stable of Campbellville, Gaelic Stable of Sharon, Ken Bax of Cavan Monaghan and John Houston of Cobourg, Ontario. Byron employed the same tactics in the second Grassroots division, sending favourite Sicario directly to the front from Post 5 and reaching the 1:58.2 finish without facing a challenge. Sicario sailed home one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Bigboy Roscoe and Northern Ruler. Sunday's outing was Sicario's first appearance in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, but not his first in the winner's circle. The son of Holiday Road is now a four-time winner in 10 sophomore starts for Bax Stable and breeder Dave Hudson of Dallas, Texas. "We are pleasantly surprised and grateful," said Bax. "That was a good start to the year, hopefully it will carry on. "It's Matt's birthday today, so it was a nice birthday present," added the horseman, who shares training duties and ownership in the Bax Stable with his son Matt. The evening's finale, the $182,500 Confederation Cup was captured by Filibuster Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras in 1:51.4. Ron Burke trains the son of the late Ontario Sired superstar Somebeachsomewhere for Burke Racing Stable LLC of Fredericktown, PA, Joseph Di Scala Jr. of Katonah, NY, J And T Silva Stables LLC of Long Beach, NY and Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA. For complete results from Sunday's Confederation Cup program visit http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0520flmdn.dat. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

Eight Ontario standardbred nurseries on the weekend swung wide their gates to welcome young hopefuls for the Youth Literary Derby, but it seemed that all roads in the Niagara Peninsula led to Tom Rankin's beautiful new broodmare facility in St. Catharines, Ontario on the weekend of May 19th and 20th.   Thanks to extensive front page coverage of the event on the St. Catharines Standard, the Niagara Falls Review and the Welland Tribune , an estimated crowd of 300- plus horse lovers were treated to a warm welcome by Rankin and some very friendly and fashionably bred standardbred foals.   Students in grades 5 to 8 who are eligible to make submissions to the province-wide Youth Literary Derby program were impressed with friendly, inquisitive foals , some just days old, others a few weeks.   The Youth Literary Derby is a province-wide, juried, horse-themed writing contest carrying $2,000 in prizes and free donated tuition from the University of Guelph for Horse Behaviour and Safety courses. It is designed to encourage writing and literacy skills and challenges students to capture in prose, or verse, their up-close-up encounters with newborn Standardbred foals.   While meeting and petting one of Rankin's foals, Owen Downing, a grade 7 student at Prince Philip School in St. Catharines said "sign me up for the Youth Literary Derby". "Ditto", in unison, echoed 12-year-old twins William and Campbell Hastings, grade 7 students at St. Anthony's School in St. Catharines.   "I am gratified with the response to our invitation to everyone to visit the farm and the newborn foals," said Rankin, who is the sponsor of the Youth Literary Derby. I will consider making this an annual event."   As for the harness racing industry, Rankin thinks the Youth Literary Derby is an ideal way for introducing the sport to a wider audience. "the contest is great for education in terms of encouraging literacy and the arts" Rankin states, "giving kids the chance to be creative, and who knows, there might be a budding poet or or writer out there."   The mayor of St. Catharines was one of the many visitors at the Rankin Farm open house, and he weighed in on the benefits of the Youth Literary Derby. "The Youth Literary Derby is a great opportunity for young people to connect their writing and literacy skills with their love for horses and nature. I encourage families with an interest in horses to get involved.. Thanks to the Rankin family for opening their doors and sharing their love of horses with the community to support youth literacy." he said.   After four hours of meeting and greeting the large gathering, the foals were tired and in much need of a rest. "Early on a Muscle Mass filly's eyes rolled", said farm manager Todd Wark. She said "ok, kids, lets go home" then she dropped down and slept. At 1:30pm, after everyone left the barn, "the rest of the foals, who had spent hours mingling with the children, were all down taking a nap, according to Wark.   Entries for submissions for the Youth Literary close on June 15th.   For additional information: billgalvin2000@rogers.com.                  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - It took the winningest harness racing trotter at the Hippodrome 3R last season, Lucky Promesses, to bring an end to HP Run Like Mom's three-race winning streak on Sunday. Lucky Promesses was making just her second start of the year for owner, breeder and driver, Jerome Lombart of Bromont. The five-year-old mare by Lucky Fool scored ten wins in 2017, seven of those wins coming at her home track at the Hippodrome 3R. The sixth race feature started off with Lombart and Lucky Promesses shooting to the early lead from post four with Abundasass (Denis Langlois) getting the pocket-trip in second place as they went to the opening quarter mile in :29.4. Lombart was able to back down the pace past the half mile marker in 1:01.1. It was then that 35-1 long shot, Stonebridge Alert (Jean Lord) moved first-over to challenge with HP Run Like Mom (Stephane Brosseau) getting the live cover second-over. They raced that way through the backstretch as Stonebridge Alert kept the pressure on Lucky Promesses past the three-quarters in 1:31.4. As they started down the stretch, Brosseau had moved three-wide to mount a challenge with HP Run Like Mom. Then down the stretch, Lombart and Lucky Promesses dug in deep and were able to hold off HP Run Like Mom to win by a one and one-quarter lengths in 2:02.2 with Stonebridge Alert third. HP Run Like Mom was undefeated this season in three starts going into the race. Trained by Andreane Lapierrel, Lucky Promesses paid $7.40 to win. Track Notes: Driver Stephane Brosseau, who had been razor sharp in the first three race programs with 12 wins, had just one victory in his eight drives on Sunday. He still holds a big lead in the driver standings with his 13 triumphs. Drivers Stephane Gendron and Jocelyn Gendron each had two winners on the day. Live racing resumes next Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R with first race post time at 12:50 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From The Quebec Jockey Club

MILTON, May 19, 2018 - The first stakes event of the 2018 harness racing season at Woodbine Mohawk Park highlighted Saturday's Fireworks and Family Fun Night card. The $113,792 SBOA Trot and $115,792 SBOA Pace featured some of the top Ontario sired three-year-old fillies in the game. O'Brien Award winner Percy Blue Chip didn't let a little stinging in the early-going get in the way of adding another trophy to her collection. The Dr. Ian Moore trained pacing filly made a statement with a 1:51.4 victory in her season debut. Driver Sylvain Filion was sitting behind Percy Blue Chip for the first-time ever in Saturday's SBOA Stakes and he fired her out from post-six towards the lead. Quite A Sight and driver Trevor Henry also blasted from the rail and didn't let 'Percy' clear without a fight. Parked by the opening-quarter in :26.2, Percy Blue Chip finally cleared at three-eighths and kept on motoring up to the half in :54.1. A :29.3 breather on the final-turn sealed the deal, as Percy Blue Chip pulled away from rivals in the lane with a :28 kicker to win by 3¼ lengths. Sudden Passing finished second, while Quite A Sight and Play The Bell finished third and fourth, respectively. "I can tell you right now I like her very much," said Filion post-race. "It was her first start of the year and we got stung a bit to the quarter, but when she cleared she felt very good and when I asked her around the last turn she just took off." A daughter of Shadow Play, Percy Blue Chip won five of nine starts last season, including the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final, and banked $440,795 for owners Shadow Two Stable, James & Wilma MacKenzie and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. Saturday's season-debut victory pushes Percy Blue Chip over $500,000 in career earnings. She paid $3 to win. Percy Blue Chip The landscape of the SBOA Trot changed drastically prior to the evening's first-race, as Ontario Sires Stakes champion Kadabra Queen was scratched due to sickness. Per Henriksen trainee Illusioneesta took full advantage of the absence, defeating five rivals in 1:58.1. Chris Christoforou steered the daughter of Kadabra to victory, making a second-quarter leap from second to first and never looking back. Illusioneesta trotted home in :28.2 to win by two-lengths over Miss Mimi, Apprentice M and Magics Lucky Charm. Owned by Harbor Racing Stable LLC and Asa Farm, Illusioneesta was winless in 10 starts last season, but did compete in major stakes and banked over $100,000. The Kadabra filly has discovered the taste of victory this season with now two wins in four starts. Illusioneesta's career earnings climb to $178,568 following Saturday's victory. She paid $3.70 to win. Illusioneesta Saturday's card also saw a lengthy win streak snapped in the $34,000 Preferred Pace. Casie Coleman trainee McWicked was large in his season debut, coming first up to win in 1:50.1. Bob McClure was in the bike behind the Casie Coleman trainee. Easy Lover Hanover, who had won nine in a row, got away second and made a quick second-quarter move to the lead. McWicked charged up to confront 'Easy Lover' at three-quarters and eventually muscled by in the stretch for the victory. Isitfridayyet got up for second, while Nirvana Seelster just edged out Easy Lover Hanover for third. Owned by S S G Stables, McWicked came into his season debut off a pair of qualifiers, including a 1:50.3 mile last Friday. The Coleman trainee went 7 for 27 last season and banked nearly $600,000. Saturday's victory was the 23rd overall for the winner of $2.4 million. McWicked paid $6.70 to win. McWicked Live racing resumes Monday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Euchred had to work to make the lead but the front end yet again proved to be the place to be in the harness racing Preferred pace Saturday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. In line to Adam Merner, Euchred had to press hard off the gate in the $2,500 preferred pace at the capital oval from the outside post 5. The Shadow Play gelding eventually cleared the lead past the 27.3 opening quarter then continued his dominance through fractions of 57.1 and 1:26.1 before opening up by four-and-one-quarter lengths to win in 1:55.1. Cartoon Daddy (Driven by Corey MacPherson) had to settle for second best and had his win streak end at three victories, while third went to Ashes To Ashes (Gilles Barrieau). The mile was the fastest clocking to date in the young season, giving Euchred his third win in the preferred class from four outings since the summer racing meet opened on April 28. Terry Gallant trains Euchred for owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. Mr Irresistible toyed with his opposition in the evening back-up pace for a $2,100 purse with Jason Hughes at the lines of the Jennifer Doyle trainee for a 1:55.4 clocking. Second went to Junebugs Baby (Ken Murphy) with Oh To Be Me (Gary Chappell) finishing third. The winning horse is owned by Danny Birt of Stratford. Live racing on Prince Edward Island continues Monday afternoon at 1 P.M. for the opening card of the 2018 season at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. For race replays and more go to www.redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores             Lee A. Drake   Manager Marketing, Brands & PlayWise   Red Shores Racetrack and Casino   Charlottetown & Summerside Locations   58 Kensington Road l Charlottetown, PEI l C1A 9S8   p: 902-620-4222 Ext 4263 l c: 902-629.0836 l f: 902-620-4324   www.redshores.ca Twitter @leedrake01                       "Contains confidential information, including proprietary AL or third party information, advice and/or recommendations, the disclosure of which may harm AL's or a third party's financial interests; Not intended for public distribution."         This E-mail message (including attachments, if any) is intended for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, proprietary, confidential and exempt from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient, you are notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender and erase this E-mail message immediately. Le présent message électronique (y compris les pièces qui y sont annexées, le cas échéant) s'adresse au destinataire indiqué et peut contenir des renseignements de caractère privé ou confidentiel. Si vous n'êtes pas le destinataire de ce document, nous vous signalons qu'il est strictement interdit de le diffuser, de le distribuer ou de le reproduire. Si ce message vous a été transmis par erreur, veuillez en informer l'expéditeur et le supprimer immédiatement.  

Charlottetown, PE - Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park has announced The Guardian newspaper will take over the reins as title sponsor of the Gold Cup & Saucer. The 59th running of the prestigious race will take place on August 19th "On behalf of the entire SaltWire Network across Atlantic Canada, including the 90 staff members at The Guardian and Journal Pioneer, we are thrilled to re-unite two long-standing community traditions on P.E.I", said David MacKenzie, Regional President- P.E.I for the SaltWire Network. "The Gold Cup & Saucer and The Guardian share a long and storied history tracing back to 1960 when Guardian publisher Bill Hancox and fellow Gold Cup & Saucer founder Frank 'Duck' Acorn started what has grown to be one of the world's most spectacular harness racing events. We are very thankful to Red Shores and the harness racing industry for this new three-year agreement that commits us all to continuing to build on that magnificent legacy". Called the Greatest Show in Harness Racing, the Gold Cup & Saucer attracts some of the best horses and drivers throughout North America. "We're very excited to have the Guardian as the title sponsor," said Adam Walsh, Race Manager at Red Shores. "The Guardian has watched this event grow into one of racing's biggest sporting events so it's only fitting they celebrate in the success as we approach another milestone." The countdown is underway with the official press conference scheduled for Tuesday August 7th with Gold Cup & Saucer Trial one on Saturday August 11th and Trial two on Monday August 13th. By Lee Drake

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Lori Hennessey gets goosebumps when she thinks of the harness racing  Gold Cup & Saucer. “There’s nothing more exciting,” the Charlottetown native said. “Even if it is pouring rain, when they shut those lights off and they parade the horse on the spotlight, there’s nothing like it.” The Gold Cup & Saucer is the most prestigious harness race in North America, but for many people it’s so much more than a race. It’s the premier event for the biggest week of the summer in Prince Edward Island – Old Home Week – a time for people living off-Island traditionally to come home and spend time with family and for tourists to visit the province. “It’s pretty special,” Hennessey said. “Everybody comes home for Old Home Week.” The week has always been a busy one for her family, which has a rich harness racing history. Lori’s birthday is Aug. 17, her sister, Linda (Bubby), was born on Aug. 18 and their brother, Jody, and their father, Joe, were born on Aug. 19. “It would always land on Old Home Week, those three days,” Lori said. Lori and her sister, Francie, both work at The Guardian and were thrilled to hear the news the company will be the title sponsor for the big race after a three-year deal was signed earlier this week. “Woohoo,” Lori said upon hearing the news. “We’re excited,” Francie added. Related: The Guardian returns as title sponsor of the Gold Cup & Saucer They grew up with The Evening Patriot sponsoring the Gold Cup & Saucer and are pleased the company is back in the title position. Lori joined The Guardian in 1989 and Francie joined her a couple of years later. Their brother, Wally, won the race in 2001 and 2005 and is a hall of fame driver with more than 9,600 career victories. “It is such a prestigious race (and) not just if you’re from Prince Edward Island,” he said. “The Gold Cup and Saucer is world-renowned.” Wally said any driver, including himself, can get butterflies before a Gold Cup start. “There is a lot of nerves going into the race, but as a driver . . . once you get into the sulky behind the horse and get on the track, it’s business as usual,” he said. He noted the big race does present a bit of a wrinkle with the pomp and ceremony meaning horses can be on the track 25-40 minutes more than normal before the starter’s gates close. “Horses are athletes the same as we are, and when they have a change like that some are able to adapt to it and some aren’t,” Wally explained. “It’s just amazing. It’s like a good coffee, if you get the right brew, you’re going to draw the crowd, and evidently the people seem to like this.” -Mel Jenkins Francie recalled meeting Wally early in the night before he won his first Gold Cup & Saucer. “He said, ‘I’ll see ya’s in the winner’s circle’,” she said, quickly reflecting back to the memorable race. “He was dead last. Coming on the end, his horse just went right from the very back right to (the front). It was unreal.” It is part of what makes the big race so special to so many people. Guardian columnist Fred (Fiddler) MacDonald has covered many of the races for this newspaper. He said what separated it from other races was always taking the best horses, whether they be from the New England states or eastern Canada. “We see them on TV at Yonkers and the Meadowlands and then the next thing you see them out here,” he said from the track. The race has also spurred interest in the ownership side of the sport. “People would buy horses to try and get in the Gold Cup & Saucer,” MacDonald explained. “It’s so popular that guys are still, to this day, trying to buy horses to win the Gold Cup & Saucer.” Mel Jenkins was the manager at the track when the race was born. It was a different time when there were 28 race tracks across the province and every farm had a horse. Jenkins recalled the publicity The Patriot-sponsored race generated in the community leading to large crowds on race day. “We found that by doing this we got headlines on the front page of the newspaper, whether it was The Patriot or The Guardian,” he said. “The grounds would be full. The grandstand was a double-decker grandstand at that time and it would hold 6,000-7,000 people,” he explained. “Down below there wasn't room to move – there was so many people.” Jenkins marvelled at the staying power of the Gold Cup & Saucer. “It’s just amazing,” he said. “It’s like a good coffee, if you get the right brew, you’re going to draw the crowd, and evidently the people seem to like this.” By Jason Malloy Reprinted with permission of The Guardian

The Miss Versatility series for harness racing older mare trotters begins on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park as the eighth race. The first leg drew a field of nine racing for a purse of $50,000 (CAD).   Making her seasonal debut is Emoticon Hanover, who had a remarkable season in 2017 while winning the Miss Versatility final, the Breeders Crown and the Joie De Vie in world record time of 1:50.2 for owner Serge Godin's Determination Stable and trainer Luc Blais. She's had three conditioning qualifiers, the most recent a 1:56.1 win over the Campbellville oval. James MacDonald will drive the career winner of over $1.25 million from post position #7 on Monday.   The main rival in Monday's race is a familiar one in the venerable Caprice Hill (PP#2 Doug McNair). The two mares battled on several occasions last year, in fact Caprice was at the flank of Emoticon while beaten less than a length in the Breeders Crown. She's earned nearly $1.5 million in her career for owner Tom Hill while residing in the Tony Alagna barn.   Here's the field and a program is available on the web.   8 -- Trot, purse $50,000 MISS VERSATILITY - 1ST LEG - FILLIES & MARES. Post time: 09:50 P.M. 1 Highland Top Hill by Muscle Hill 2 Caprice Hill by Kadabra 3 Dream Together by Muscle Hill 4 Pink Pistol by Cantab Hall 5 Its Hallright by Cantab Hall 6 P L Jill by Kadabra 7 Emoticon Hanover by Kadabra 8 Southwind Tesla by Chapter Seven 9 The Erm by Cantab Hall   Nick Salvi

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Oh what a difference a year can make. That's the tune that harness racing trainer Jean Tourigny is humming these days since his trotting mare, HP Run Like Mom, is unbeaten in three starts this year. She goes for her fourth straight win on Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. The four-year-old mare by Kadabra from the Promising Catch mare, Canaco Runner, is co-owned by Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville and was bred by Hamel with Lapharmaciedekedgwick Inc., NB. A five-time winner last year at age three, HP Run Like Mom was headed into the $65,000 final of the Breeders Cup Final as the morning line betting favorite, looking to cap off a pretty good season. That did not happen, in fact the mare broke stride from post eight and was unable to rebound. Then the following week she broke again in a qualifying race, then stayed trotting in the next qualifying race, but that was it, HP Run Like Mom was to be turned out for next season. "She was deconcentrated and lost confidence after going to Toronto to race," Said Tourigny. "She disappointed me at Mohawk. I thought she would be able to trot a mile in 1:54." Before HP Run Like Mom when to Mohawk Raceway, her last start was a 25 and one-half length romp in the Breeders Cup third leg at H3R and she scored a lifetime best 1:59.4 triumph. "Now she is four years old and has really matured," Tourigny explained. "We go week by week with her and we let her decide how fast she wants to go. She is now building up confidence from week to week." Last week was perhaps HP Run Like Mom's best win of the season. With Stephane Brosseau her regular driver, last week she came after the race leader at the half, took command of the lead and held the field at bay in scoring a 2:01.1 triumph. "My father Leo and I," Tourigny added. "trained and raced her mother (Canaco Runner 6, 1:54.4s $443,545) and it makes for me a challenge more to have the honor to take care of her foals that Claude Hamel, Celine Paquin and Michel Damphousse have given me this great opportunity. "I have three teams that help with the care and racing of the horses," Tourigny said. "We have 16 horses in the stable now. Barry Robert and Jules Girard are the main caretakers. Then there is myself, Trudel Rolland and my dad doing the training and my paddock team at the track are Yves Corbin and his daughter Clare. "I must give credit to my dad," Tourigny said. "He comes every morning to train. He is going to be 79 soon. I am so happy to have these great people working with me and, of course, all the owners who have put their trust in me. Without Michel Damphousse, Claude Hamel and Celine Paquin, Rolland Trudel, Brian Paquette, and Steve Garceau, I would be nothing." Tourigny is also excited that his top pacing mare, HP Sissy, is coming back to the stable this weekend to begin prepping for the Quebec-Bred Series at the Hippodrome 3R. She was a prior champion at H3R and went on to race in Toronto and then New York, winning $229,000 with a record of 1:52.1h. HP Run Like Mom is not the morning line favorite in the sixth race trot on Sunday at H3R. She will be tested Sunday, having to start from the far outside in post eight. A The honor of being the morning line favorite goes to another good mare named Lucky Promesses from post four for owner, breeder and driver, Jerome Lombart. This is just the second start this year for the five-year-old mare by Lucky Fool. Last year was her best season ever as she was the winningest horse to race at H3R. She closed out the season with ten wins for trainer Andreane Lapierre, taking a record of 1:58.2 at Rideau Carleton. Other contenders in the race include KFB Amigo Cool (post two), EAU Naturelle (post five) and Abundasass (post three). Track Notes: Defending H3R leading driver, Stephane Brosseau, is off to the best start of his career, winning 12 of the 29 races (41%) held so far at the Hippodrome 3R. His record is 25-12-4-3 and his "batting average" or UDR is an amazing .596. He will be driving in the first eight races at H3R Sunday before heading over to Rideau Carleton. For a free race program for Sunday, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. First race post time Sunday is 12:50 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

MILTON, May 18, 2018 - The team of owner Carl Kuepfer and harness racing trainer Patrick Shepherd had a memorable Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The duo sent out four starters on the 12-race program and made four-trips to the winner's circle. Reinsman Doug McNair sat behind three of the winners, while Louis Philippe Roy had the other winning drive. Shepherd and Kuepfer started the evening off by sweeping the opening three-races on the card. Claiming pacer Fern Hill Breeze ($4.20) got things rolling by registering his third win in five starts. The second-half of the 'Daily Double' was won by six-year-old trotting mare Talbotcreek Suzie ($3.90), who won her second straight for the Shepherd stable and fourth-overall. The third win of the evening was the biggest price of the four-victories, as pacing mare E R Rhonda prevailed by a head in a $10,000 claiming event. The seven-year-old paid $10.50 to win. Trotting mare Stirling Boudica ($3.50) went coast-to-coast in the evening's eighth-race to cap off the memorable evening for Kuepfer and Shepherd. The eight-year-old was returning to the Shepherd barn after a week away and has now won three consecutive starts in his barn. Shepherd now has 10 wins in 27 starts this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park for an eye-catching winning percentage of 37 per cent. He currently sits third in the Trainer Standings. The $30,000 Mares Preferred was Friday's feature race with a wide-open field of nine battling from start to finish. P L Hurricane and driver Sylvain Filion came from third-over on the far turn to sweep by rivals and score a 27-1 upset in 1:52.3. Artistic Madison, who was 51-1, split between rivals to grab second. Circle The Page finished third despite making a first-turn break for the third-straight start, while Clear Idea, who won last week's edition and was the 3-2 favourite, finished fourth. P L Hurricane rarely misses a cheque and Friday's 27th career victory pushed her over $500,000 in career earnings. The seven-year-old is owned and trained by Dave Brown and now has back to back wins to bring her 2018 record to three wins and 12 top-three finishes in 18 starts. A $2 win ticket on P L Hurricane returned $57.40, while the $2 Exacta with Artistic Madison paid $847.90. Live racing continues Saturday evening with the annual Fireworks and Family Fun Night. A special post-time of 6:45 p.m. has been issued. Mark McKelvie

A pair of hot horses climbing the harness racing ranks will face off with the 2018 preferred pace champion on Saturday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6 P.M. for the 10-dash program with the top pacers squaring off in the race 9 $2,500 preferred pace. Winter Blast and Cartoon Daddy come into the event undefeated since their qualifiers this season but will face their biggest test to date against Euchred who has not been worse than second in the preferred pace so far in the 2018 Summer Meet. Euchred is the morning line choice from the outside post in the compact field of 5 with Adam Merner getting the catch driving call for trainer Terry Gallant and owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. Front end control has proven to be crucial in this class so far this season and Cartoon Daddy has the post position advantage to make that happen. Corey MacPherson will drive the Art Major stallion for undefeated trainer Rachel Andrew, while Winter Blast has been razor sharp in both his 2018 starts and gets post 3 with Jason Hughes at the controls for trainer Jennifer Doyle. Race analyst Les MacIsaac sees a third preferred victory of the season in Euchred's future. "Euchred has beaten the bearcats in two of three tries this year and every one of the rivals he's facing tonight is moving up in class," MacIsaac said. "It looks like the road to the winner's circle goes through him." The field is rounded out by Zero Rate (Kenny Arsenault) and Ashes To Ashes (Gilles Barrieau). The $2,100 back-up pace in race 7 will see Mr Irresistible as the morning line favorite from post 4 for the combination of driver Hughes and trainer Doyle for owner Danny Birt of Stratford. Other top entries include Keep Coming (Merner) and Adkins Hanover (MacPherson). May 21, 2018 Wide Open Matchup In Victoria Day Feature At Red Shores Summerside Race fans will be treated to a feature event that literally anybody could win as Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway opens up its season for Victoria Day racing on Monday afternoon. The 12-dash program starts the action off at 1 P.M. Customers have a chance to win prizes when they receive a Mystery Voucher when they purchase their race programs on site. You can also tag your ticket for a chance to win $50 jackpots on every race while the Pick 5 for $500 is also back for another season. The $2,100 featured pace is slated as race 11 on the program with a field of six and no heavy favorites. Confident Fella is the classifier's choice from post 2 for driver Corey MacPherson, trainer Ralph Sweet and owners John and David Sweet of O'Leary. The six-year-old son of Artistic Fella came in from the Ontario circuit at the start of the 2018 Summer meet on Prince Edward Island, remaining winless so far on the East Coast while showing miles in 1:57 and change. Heart And Soul gets rail control in the featured pace while shifting into the stable of Walter Cheverie for this start for owner Riley Farms Ltd., of Summerside. Race analyst Bo Ford opts to head in another direction and places his bets on post 6 starter Machinthesand with Ken Murphy in the bike for trainer Hughie Murphy. "I really like this horse coming in off a layoff," Ford said. "Machinthesand looked fresh in his qualifier and no doubt there will be no chance to get fractions backed down with this guy pressuring the whole mile." Other top class entrants include Mando Fun (Dale Spence), Old Buck (Jason Hughes) and J Rs Hurricane (Adam Merner). The back-up pace fields seven entrants in race 9 of the program for a $1,900 purse. Allstar Seelster is the early favorite leaving from post 1 for the combination of driver Norris Rogers and owner-trainer Ed Harvey of Tyne Valley. Offshore Cowboy makes his return to racing from post 7 in the event after a profitable three-year-old season was cut short in 2016 for trainer Donald Milligan due to injury. With 20 months since his last start, Offshore Cowboy will reunite with driver Hughes for the start of his five-year-old campaign. Other top entries include Cyrax (Spence) and Pictonian Storm (Austin Sorrie). For more information, including race programs and live video, go www.Redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Monday in Saint John, N.B Horse Racing New Brunswick springs back into action for the 2018 harness racing season with a six dash harness racing program on Victoria Day at E.P.R.   Featured on the holiday Monday card will be the inaugural running of the Dawn Bremner Memorial stake for three-year old filly and colt pacers. Four overnight races will also be contested at the half-mile oval.   New Brunswick owned Tangled Mind, driven by Gilles Barrieau and P.E.I based Sock It Away with Marc Campbell will lock heads in the first division of the stake in race two.   Bremner, a pioneer of harness racing who took part in many facets of the horse racing industry, including ownership, breeding, as well as serving on many racing governing bodies in the province of New Brunswick as a tireless volunteer and ambassador.   Monday's card gets underway at 1:00 P.M at Exhibition Park Raceway. Exciting racing at it's very best with over $ 22,000 in purse money for the lucrative stake being contested in two divisions.   Monday also spotlights a $ 1350 winners over event which features Real Bigg ( Mark Haig ), K D Overdrive ( Steve Mason ), Fall Bliss ( Dr. Mitch Downey ) and City Of The Year ( Mike Downey ). Wagering available in Saint John, Horse Player Interactive, and provincial off-track sites in Moncton at Pub 1755, Winners inFredericton and Quispamsis, N.B at K.V Billiards.   Scott Waddell

ELORA, ON - Grand River Raceway's 2018 live harness racing season launches on Friday, June 1 with a special guest announcer putting the finishing touches on his ambitious fundraising campaign. Mike Farwell, host of The Mike Farwell Show and the voice of the Kitchener Rangers on 570 NEWS, runs an annual fundraising campaign called Farwell 4 Hire, during which he does odd jobs in exchange for a donation to Cystic Fibrosis (CF). During the track's opening night, Farwell will perform two tasks: he will drive one of the racehorses in a warm-up mile (accompanied by a professional driver) and later call a race in track announcer Gary Guy's booth high atop the grandstand. In addition to the track's $500 donation, Farwell 4 Hire will also receive all tickets sales from an Opening Night Penny Auction offering great prizes to guests. "I'm so grateful to Grand River Raceway for their generous donation and this opportunity to promote our campaign," said Farwell. "With your help, we are improving the lives of people living with Cystic Fibrosis and getting closer and closer to a cure." Farwell4Hire has raised over $183,000 in the past four years and is shooting for $100,000 this year. The season-opener will include 10 horse races which begin at 6:30 p.m. All Fun & Frivolity Friday Race Nights include a live trackside broadcast with 107.5 DAVE ROCKS, the free NEIGHbourhood program for kids, barn tour and extended Tarmac Show between the races. Live harness racing is featured on most Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights from June 1 through September 26. Other special racing events include Ren's Pets Depot Wiener Dog Races (July 6), the Industry Day horse racing celebration featuring the Battle Of Waterloo (August 6) and the National Driving Championship (September 26). Kelly Spencer

MILTON, May 18, 2018 - Canadian Pacing Derby champion Sintra returned to the track Friday morning at Woodbine Mohawk Park for his first harness racing qualifier of 2018. The sun was shining and the track was 'Fast' for the nine-race qualifying session. However, a strong wind played a big factor by helping the horses through the lane and making the backstretch journey a challenge. The first-qualifier of the morning saw Sintra make his five-year-old debut. The Dave Menary trainee got away third with driver Jody Jamieson and would sit in that position until angling out just before three-quarters. In the stretch, Sintra immediately surged by his rivals and paced home strong in :25.2 for a 1:53.4 victory. Five-year-old Magnum J, a winner of nearly $400,000, finished a little over a length back in second. Wind or no wind, Sintra was going to pace a big final-quarter and looked fantastic in his return. The Menary student won nine of 19 starts last season and banked over $600,000. Owned by Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc, Sintra comes into his 2018 season with 17 wins and $921,425 in career earnings. The duo of Jamieson and Menary teamed up for two-more victories during Friday's qualifiers with a pair of Pepsi North America Cup eligible three-year-olds. The third-qualifier saw the duo connect with Trump That, who went coast-to-coast in 1:55.1. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere was qualifying for the first-time this season and is owned by Menary Racing Inc, Guerriero, Kenneth Ewen and Bruce Norris. Trump That had one win in eight starts last season, but did finish in the runner-up spot five-times. His most notable runner-up finishes came in divisions of the Nassagaweya and Champlain Stakes. Topville Olympian gave Jamieson and Menary their third win of the morning in the sixth-qualifier. A gelded son of American Ideal, Topville Olympian leapfrogged from second to first in the second-quarter and never looked back en route to a 1:55.3 score, pacing home in :26.2. The Menary trainee had a strong rookie campaign with two wins and eight top-three finishes in 10 starts. He finished his season with a third-place finish in the New York Sires Stakes Championship. Topville Olympian now has two-qualifying wins this season. He is owned by Menary Racing Inc, Billy Joe Timmins, Anthony Timmins and Crawford Farms Racing. Sticking with sophomore pacers, the eighth-qualifier saw Kendall Seelster turn in a solid 1:54 victory for driver Randy Waples and trainer Paul Reid. A daughter of Shadow Play, Kendall Seelster was qualifying for the second-consecutive week. Her first outing was an easy mile along the pylons, but today she did it all on the front-end and finished up in :27.2 for the victory. Owned by 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, Kendall Seelster had an incredible rookie season, winning four of 11 starts, finishing top-three in 10 starts and earning $453,985. Kendall Seelster could make her season debut in next Saturday's (May 26) first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg at Western Fair. Here is the complete list of Friday's qualifying winners. For the full charted results, click here. Q1 (Pace): Sintra - Jamieson/Menary - 1:53.4 Q2 (Trot): Levitation - McNair/Alagna - 1:58.3 Q3 (Pace): Trump That - Jamieson/Menary - 1:55.1 Q4 (Trot): Heineken Seelster - McClure/Lindsey - 1:58.4 Q5 (Pace): Kloof Street - Saftic/Adams - 1:56.3 Q6 (Pace): Topville Olympian - Jamieson/Menary - 1:55.3 Q7 (Trot): Wanna Hall - Roy/Coleman - 1:59.1 Q8 (Pace): Kendall Seelster - Waples/Reid - 1:54 Q9 (Trot): Sorceress Seelster - S. Wray/J. Wray - 1:57.4 Mark McKelvie

MAY 17, 2018 - For the second straight year the Ontario Sires Stakes program will kick off its harness racing season during Flamboro Downs' $425,000 Confederation Cup program, this Sunday, May 20. Both the three-year-old trotting colts and pacing colts will open their provincial campaigns at the Dundas oval on Sunday, with the trotters battling for Grassroots glory in Races 1 and 3, and the pacers making their highly anticipated return to Gold Series action in Races 5, 8 and 11. Headlining the pacing colt division is reigning Super Final champion Western Passage, who will start from Post 4 in the eighth race for trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, John and McKinlay Fielding of Toronto, and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, Ontario. "Western Passage trained back well," said Coleman on Thursday. "I was disappointed in him his first start (May 12), I thought he should have won, so I made some changes and I expect him to be better Sunday, hopefully." A son of Coleman's former champion Sportswriter, Western Passage heads into Sunday's test off a pair of qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park and a runner-up finish in a May 12 prep race at the Campbellville track. Doug McNair, who drove the gelding to both victories in his $206,980 freshman season, including a win over The Raceway at Western Fair District's half-mile oval, will be in his usual place in Western Passage's race bike on Sunday. The outstanding program of harness racing will wrap up with the $182,500 Confederation Cup Final for four-year-old pacers in Race 12. McNair will steer elimination winner Western Joe from Post 7. In between races Flamboro Down fans of all ages will enjoy a wide array of entertainment. Fans will have an opportunity to meet and reminisce with Somebeachsomewhere's driver Paul MacDonell, who will sign a limited number of portrait cards of the late Ontario Sired superstar. Five lucky fans will also leave the Dundas oval as co-owners of a racehorse, courtesy of Flamboro Downs and TheStable.ca. Olympic medal winning hockey players Renata Fast, Sarah Nurse and Laura Fortino will be on hand to show off their gold and silver medals and sign autographs, while a sports memorabilia auction will benefit the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. Stilt walkers, a Rodney Dangerfield impersonator and "Flamboro's Famous Minis" are just some of the other between race entertainment options. The Grassroots three-year-old trotting colts will raise the curtain on the evening's festivities at 6 pm. For all the Confederation Cup night details visit 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 Flamboro Downs  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Likely To Win teamed up with Adam Merner to deliver an upset performance in the Thursday evening feature event closing out the harness racing program at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The Melissa Rennie trainee stopped the clock in 1:56.1 in the $1,800 featured pace paying $13.80 to win over Nogreatmischief (Driven by Walter Cheverie) and Heart And Soul (Clare MacDonald). The 4-2-1 triactor combination paid out at $225.20. Likely To Win is owned by Nova Scotia owners Blenise Young of Long Point and Lester Campbell of Judique along with Jeffrey Campbell of Calgary, Alta. Malabrigo made her return to the winner's circle on the Thursday program in her third start back after a nearly six-year hiatus from racing. Marc Campbell engineered the winning trip in 1:57.3 for owners Darryl and Gordon MacLean and Natasha Campbell, all of Winsloe, along with Meghan MacDonald of Charlottetown. West River Ambyr (MacDonald) was second in the $2,000 class with third place going to Outrageous Spirit (Gordie Hennessey). Campbell had three wins on the card as he continues to lead the Red Shores Charlottetown driver's standings. His other wins came with Izzies Angel in 2:00.1 for trainer Terry Gallant of Summerside and Keepcalmndanceon from his own stable in a mile time of 1:58.2. Live racing continues Saturday evening at Red Shores Charlottetown with a 6 P.M. first race post time. For race replays and more check out www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

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