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LEXINGTON, KY -- Off a fourth-place disqualification in the Little Brown Jug as he attempted to claim the Pacing Triple Crown, millionaire Stay Hungry came back and battled widest of all in a four-horse stretch-bound sprint, getting a neck in front on the wire to take the first division of two divisions of the $183,000 Somebeachsomewhere Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace, sponsored by the Somebeachsomewhere Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms, at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 30. Driver Doug McNair positioned Stay Hungry fifth, in behind stablemate American History, as Ideal Feeling paced on the lead to the quarter. Grand Teton soon vacated the rail from third and brushed for the lead following a :27.3 opening quarter. Stay Hungry flushed American History for cover as Grand Teton continued a quick clip to the half in :54.1. American History progressed wide of horses and dragged Stay Hungry to within two lengths of the lead nearing the top of the stretch. Following three-quarters in 1:21.2, American History took a short lead before Grand Teton reclaimed command to his inside. Stay Hungry, off cover, rallied through the center of the track as Grand Teton fought for the lead to the inside but could not outkick the winner to the line and settled for second in the 1:48.2 mile. Bounding Dragon snuck through a seam to the pylons for third and American History faded to fourth. Winning his sixth race from 13 starts this season and his 12th from 22 overall, Stay Hungry, a colt by Somebeachsomewhere, has compiled $1,239,459 in earnings for owners Brad Grant and the Irwin Samelman Estate. Tony Alagna trains the $3.60 winner. Thinkbig Dreambig brushed to the front after the quarter and led the rest of the way in progress to a 1:48.2 lifetime-best victory in the second Bluegrass division. I'm A Big Deal took the lead early as Nutcracker Sweet rushed from post nine for the top heading to the quarter. Nutcracker Sweet swooped to command past the :27.2 opening quarter as his stablemate Thinkbig Dreambig gradually advanced towards the lead. Passing the half in :54.2, Thinkbig Dreambig maintained his speed while under first-over pursuit from Hayden Hanover, closing from fifth around the final turn. Hayden Hanover drew to within two lengths of the lead by three-quarters in 1:21.4 but continued to chase the son of Bettor's Delight in the stretch before settling for second. Rush To Judgement, tracking from second over, closed for third with Nutcracker Sweet holding fourth. Trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Brixton Medical Inc., John Fielding, Goran Anderberg and Goran Falk, Thinkbig Dreambig, driven by Yannick Gingras, won his sixth race from 15 starts, earning $450,537. He paid $3.20 to win. The Trond Smedshammer-trained Explosive Matter filly Phaetosive won her fourth-consecutive race and her seventh from nine starts this season when she cruised to a 1:51.3 victory in the third of three divisions of the $206,000 Cantab Hall Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Trot, sponsored by Hanover Shoe Farms and Brittany Farms, on Sunday, Sept. 30 at The Red Mile. What A Knockout led early as Lily Stride, from post one, inherited the pocket and Phaetosive floated into third. Past the first quarter in :28.4, What A Knockout trotted unchallenged to a :56.1 half while Seviyorum, racing second to last, tipped off the rail and began an uncovered bid. Smedshammer flushed first over with Phaetosive heading into the final turn and swiftly overtook What A Knockout past three-quarters in 1:24.1. Phaetosive kept to task through the stretch as Lily Stride finagled out of the pocket to snag second from Seviyorum in third. Piranha Fury, off a rail trip, closed for fourth. Surpassing $800,000 in career earnings, Phaetosive, competing for the Purple Haze Stables LLC, collected her 11th victory in her 16th start career. Sent the 1-9 favorite, she paid $2.10 to win.   Odds-on favorite Supergirl Riley circled to the top past the half and kicked to a three-and-three-quarter length victory in the first split of the Bluegrass filly trot, winning in 1:52.2. The Erv Miller-trained daughter of Muscle Mass pushed for the lead early before yielding to Urban Legend toward the center of the track. By the first quarter in :28, Marcus Miller pulled Supergirl Riley from the pocket to cleared control before a :56 half. Live Laugh Love, positioned fifth, tipped first over and rushed towards the pacesetter around the final turn. Supergirl Riley maintained a half-length lead past three-quarters in 1:24.3 and sped into the stretch, expanding her margin to two-and-a-half lengths with Live Laugh Love chasing in second. Fury Road, who edged off the rail and into the second-over spot around the final turn, trotted another two-lengths back in third with Passionate Miss closing from the back for fourth. Owned by Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman, Supergirl Riley won her fifth race in 14 starts this season and her ninth from 23 overall, collecting $375,763 in earnings. She returned $3.80 to win. Andrew McCarthy launched Chuck Sylvester-trainee Hey Blondie from off cover to take the second Bluegrass split in 1:51.1. S M S Princess cleared control from post seven with Top Expectations, from post one, sitting the pocket. Hey Blondie sat fifth past the quarter in :28 and stayed in position as S M S Princess quickened to the half in :55.2. Nixie Volo, from third, angled first over rounding the final turn with Bella Glos second over and Hey Blondie in behind. S M S Princess held onto a half-length lead by three-quarters in 1:23.4 and braced for the backfield blitz into the stretch. Bella Glos fanned off cover and surged to the front under pursuit of Hey Blondie and Pat Matters kicking wide from fourth over. Hey Blondie overpowered Bella Glos late in the stretch and surged to a three-quarter length victory with Pat Matters finishing two-lengths behind in third and Top Expectations holding fourth. Winning her third race from 11 starts this season and her eighth from 24 overall, Hey Blondie, by Cantab Hall, has accrued $473,935 in earnings for owners Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey Arnold, Paul Borgogna and David Mc Duffee. She paid $8.20 to win. Trainer Jimmy Takter swept the top three spots when he piloted Tactical Landing to a 1:51.1 lifetime best ahead of harness racing stablemates Zephyr Kronos and Wolfgang in the second of two divisions of the $242,000 Explosive Matter Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot, sponsored by the Explosive Matter Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms, at The Red Mile on Sunday, Sept. 30. Zephyr Kronos swept to the front ahead of Wolfgang, another stablemate, in the pocket. Jimmy Takter placed Tactical Landing wide in fourth through the first quarter in :28.4 before gradually advancing towards the lead. Following a :56.2 half, Tactical Landing gained separation. Tactical Landing held a two-and-a-half length lead while Muscle M Up attempted to gain position first over. By three-quarters in 1:24.2, Tactical Landing spun into the stretch while Zephyr Kronos cut his deficit from second well ahead of Wolfgang battling for third. Patent Leather, from last, rallied through the center of the track to take fourth. An $800,000 yearling purchase at the 2016 Lexington Select Sale, Tactical Landing, a colt by Muscle Hill out of the Varenne mare Southwind Serena, won his fifth race from nine starts this season and of 11 overall, earning $313,600 for The Tactical Landing Stable. He paid $3.60 to win. Sent the 1-2 favorite, Met's Hall delivered a wire-to-wire 1:51.2 performance in the first division of the Bluegrass colt trot. Andy Miller put the Julie Miller-trained Cantab Hall colt on the point as Evaluate secured the pocket from post one. Met's Hall trotted to the quarter in :28.2 and faced no pressure to the half, timed in :56.1. Maxus, positioned fourth, moved first over heading into the final turn tracked by Shoshie Deo second over. Met's Hall maintained a length lead past thre-quarter in 1:25.1 and initiated a sprint into the stretch. Maxus lost stride, leaving Evaluate to chase from the pocket two lengths away at the wire along with Fashionwoodchopper in third. Shoshie Deo took fourth. Earning $964,754, Met's Hall won his fourth race from nine starts this season and his ninth from 20 overall. The $3.00 winner races for Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable Inc. Grand Circuit action continues at The Red Mile on Thursday, Oct. 4 with divisions of the $350,000 est. International Stallion Stakes for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First-race post Thursday will be at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY--Joe Holloway trainee Zero Tolerance vaulted from off cover and nailed pacesetter Queen Of The Pride to win the second of three harness racin divisions of the $273,100 Artspeak Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Pace, sponsored by the Artspeak Syndicate and Winbak Farm, in 1:51 on Friday, Sept. 28 at The Red Mile. Driver David Miller positioned the daughter of Heston Blue Chip in fifth as Queen Of The Pride posted a :27.2 opening quarter on the front. She's Allright, sitting third, flushed first over as Beautyonthebeach angled off the rail from fourth heading toward a :55.1 half. Zero Tolerance, still fifth, entered the flow third over. She's Allright pressured Queen Of The Pride to three-quarters while Beautyonthebeach fanned three wide along with Zero Tolerance in behind. Past that station in 1:24, She's Allright stalled as Queen Of The Pride accelerated into the stretch. Beautyonthebeach rallied but hanged from off cover while Zero Tolerance rallied widest of all to slide past Queen Of The Pride in the final strides. Beautyonthebeach took third from She's Allright fourth. Winning her seventh race from nine starts, Zero Tolerance competes for owners Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz, earning $241,291 in the process. She paid $5.60 to win. Stonebridge Soul paced to the top early and withstood late pressure to win the $90,700 first division of Bluegrass in 1:52.1. The Chris Ryder-trained daughter of Somebeachsomewhere cleared command from early-leader Bestseller Hanover at the quarter in :28. High Reward, sitting third, edged first over past a :57 half to apply pressure to the pacesetter around the final turn with Blue Ivy in tow second over. Maintaining a short lead by three-quarters in 1:25.3, Stonebridge Soul turned away High Reward in the stretch. Blue Ivy kicked off cover from second over and began a pursuit towards the center of the track with Louphoria wider and Sweet Lucy Lou weaving through competition towards the inside. Stonebridge Soul extended to the line as Blue Ivy snagged and held second from Louphoria charging home for third. Sweet Lucy Lou took fourth. Winning her third race in eight starts, Stonebridge Soul, owned by Henderson Farms and Robert Mondillo, has earned $116,790. Dexter Dunn piloted the $5.60 winner. Prescient Beauty blew off cover and swept to a length victory in 1:51.1 to take the final division of the Bluegrass filly pace. Undefiable took the lead as Annie Hill pushed through at the rail for the pocket. Prescient Beauty sat seventh as Undefiable paced the first quarter in :29.1. St Somewhere, away fifth from post nine, edged off the rail heading to the half and sprinted to the top following a :56.4 half. May Bride Hanover tracked the backside brush, with Prescient Beauty on cover, but travelled uncovered into the final turn. St Somewhere's lead narrowed to three-quarters, timed in 1:24.3, as May Bride Hanover dug into the pacesetter on the outside. Prescient Beauty tipped three wide into the stretch as May Bride Hanover retreated and St Somewhere continued on the lead. The odds-on favorite surged to the front late in the mile to best St Somewhere with Annie Hill chasing third and Jk Mardi Says snagging fourth. A homebred for owner James Avritt Sr., Prescient Beauty, a daughter of Art Major, won her fourth race in nine starts, collecting $178,537 in earnings. Doug McNair drove for trainer Gregg McNair and paid $3.40 to win. Overcoming post 10, the Jim Campbell-trained Muscle Hill colt Cloud Nine Fashion stayed undefeated with a 1:55.3 victory, her sixth win career, in the fourth of four divisions for the $373,000 Norman Woolworth Memorial Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Filly Trot Friday, Sept. 28 at The Red Mile. The 8-5 favorite floated away seventh to the quarter while Sister’s Promise progressed past early leader Whispering Oaks through a :28.1 opening quarter. Cloud Nine Fashion moved off the rail in the backstretch and flushed cover from Speed Titan heading to a :57.4 half. Speed Titan ranged toward tempo-setter Sister’s Promise circling the final turn. Cloud Nine Fashion, positioned fourth, kicked off cover following the 1:27.3 third-quarter. She advanced to the lead through the stretch as Speed Titan fought towards her inside and Conway Kellyanne, from third over at 132-1, launched through the center of the course. Cloud Nine Fashion held a length margin on the line as Conway Kellyanne snatched second from Speed Titan in third and Whispering Oaks fourth. Earning $113,875 in her six victories, Cloud Nine Fashion, racing for Fashion Farms LLC, returned $5.40 to win. David Miller sat in the bike.   Even-money favorite Evident Beauty caught cover moving into the final turn and gradually progressed to the front in the stretch to take the $93,000 first division of Bluegrass in 1:54.4. Double-digit contender Southwind Storm swept to the top from post eight as Mother Teresa inherited the pocket spot from the rail and Graceful tucked into third. Southwind Storm trotted to the quarter in :29.1 and sped to the half while widening her lead. In front by two-and-a-half lengths through a :57.1 half, Southwind Storm continued leading around the far turn while Asiago, from fourth, gradually reeled in the pacesetter from first over, carrying Global Pageant second over and Evident Beauty third over. Asiago advanced to the lead past three-quarters in 1:26.1 as Evident Beauty kicked three wide from fourth. The Richard “Nifty” Norman trainee slowly gained ground through the stretch and took a narrow lead on Global Pageant taking second nearing the wire before winning by a neck. Asiago held third while Golden Tricks checked in fourth. Owned by Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and R A W Equine Inc., Evident Beauty, a filly by Trixton, won her second race from six starts and collected $146,332 in earnings. David Miller drove the $4.00 winner. Jim Doherty Memorial and Peaceful Way winner The Ice Dutchess claimed her third-consecutive victory with a 1:54.4 on-the-front performance. Driver Yannick Gingras placed the Jimmy Takter-trained filly by Muscle Hill fourth as Bella’s Rose Power paced to the quarter in :29.1. Gingras angled wide with The Ice Dutchess before entering the backstretch and brushed to the top heading to the half, timed in :57.4. Starita, the second betting choice and positioned fifth, tipped first over heading into the final turn and stalled a touch before rolling towards leader. The Ice Dutchess remained on the lead by three-quarters in 1:26.4 and coasted through the stretch with Starita besting Bella’s Rose Power in a photo for second and Ma Was Right finishing fourth. Winning her fifth race from eight starts, The Ice Dutchess has compiled $395,915 in earnings for owner Coyote Wynd Farms. She paid $3.00 to win. Noel Daley-trained Trixton filly Princess Deo weaved through competition at the rail and held off a late charge from favorite Special Honor to win the third Bluegrass split in 1:55.1. Hanna Dreamgirl left for the lead from post eight and cleared from Scirocco Donnahill through a :28 opening quarter. Princess Deo, positioned third, stuck to the inside as Jezzys Legacy moved first over with Fade Into You and Special Honor on cover heading to the half. Hanna Dreamgirl continued on the lead through a :57.2 midpoint. Jezzys Legacy applied minor pressure to Hanna Dreamgirl rounding the final turn as Fade Into You and Special Honor mounted their wide bids heading by the 1:27.1 third-quarter. Fade Into You kicked to the lead in the stretch as Jezzys Legacy lost ground and Hanna Dreamgirl clung to position. Princess Deo, shooting around fading pocket-sitter Scirocco Donnahill and through a seam at the pylons, powered to command entering the eighth pole. Special Honor lunged late towards the center of the track but settled for second a half length behind. Fade Into You finished third ahead of Hanna Dreamgirl fourth. Owned by Noel Daley, Deo Volente Farms LLC and John Fodera, Princess Deo won her second race from eight starts, compiling $72,106 in earnings. Andrew McCarthy sat behind the $16.00 winner. The four divisions of the Norman Woolworth Memorial were sponsored by Arden Homestead Stable, Et Gerry & Peter Gerry, Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, Stoner Manor, Inc., Menhammar Stuteri Ab, Jorgen Jahre, Jr., Lawrence DeVan and William DeVan, Jr. Grand Circuit action continues at The Red Mile Saturday, Sept. 29 with five divisions of the $367,000 Western Ideal Bluegrass Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace, sponsored by Hanover Shoe Farms and Brittany Farms, and a single dash of the $126,000 American Ideal Bluegrass Three-Year-Old Filly Pace, sponsored by Brittany Stallion Management. Racing gets going Saturday with first-race post at 7:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

By virtue of four wins in tournament races, Doug McNair claimed the 2018 National Driving Championship (NDC), presented by Standardbred Canada, on Wednesday night (Sept. 26) at Grand River Raceway. This was reported by Standardbred Canada/. A winner of over 3,000 races and close to $50 million in purse earnings, McNair has enjoyed recent success on both sides of the 49th, most notably with Tony Alagna trainee Stay Hungry, winner of this year's Cane Pace and Messenger after capturing the Breeders Crown last year. The Guelph, Ont. resident was also the primary driver of 2013 Shes A Great Lady winner Precocious Beauty and was Canada's Driver of the Year in 2017. "It's a big thrill," said McNair of earning the NDC title not even a week after his bid for a Triple Crown with Stay Hungry came up short in the Little Brown Jug. "Racing's got a lot of highs and lows. When you have a bad day, it makes these days a whole lot better." McNair, who was an eleventh-hour replacement for Louis-Philippe Roy in the NDC, won aboard Dry Creek Image ($32.20), Jdcyril ($9.80), Donald Doc ($12.10) and Lumiere ($2.90), and also recorded two second-place finishes and one third-place finish in the eight-race tournament. His early dominance guaranteed him the title with two races to go, and his 92 tournament points out of a possible 120 outpaced runner-up Stephane Brosseau (62) and third-place finisher Kelly Hoerdt (51). “When that horse from the eight-hole won parked the whole way, I figured I had a good shot since a lot of my better ones were later on, I thought," McNair continued. McNair will represent Canada alongside 2017 World Driving Champion James MacDonald in the 2019 World Driving Championship, to be held in Sweden next May. "I think we're gonna have a whole lot of fun; it's going to be a great time," McNair concluded. A race-by-race recap follows: Race 2: Despite being parked the entire journey, GMC Trooper ($35.00) and Kelly Hoerdt sprung a 16-1 upset to open the competition. The four-year-old Daylon Frontier gelding left for early second-over position, was left uncovered as Hashtag Hughie (Redmond Doucet) worked clear at the end of a :27.3 first quarter, and then overcame the breeze to duel Hashtag Hughie down before edging away at head-stretch for a 1:58.3 score. Invitation Todream (Doug McNair) split rivals out of traffic to finish second, while Badlands Badboy (Guy Gagnon) chased off the winner's cover to take third. Trainer George Large co-owns GMC Trooper with Michael Doersam; the pair also bred the two-time winner. Race 3: Not only did Dry Creek Image ($32.20) and Doug McNair overcome the outside post 8 and a sustained first-over grind, but they also battled back in the lane after being headed by runner-up Apple Tart Hanover (Redmond Doucet) to narrowly claim the second of eight NDC races. The four-year-old Rockin Image mare was left uncovered five-sixteenths in as Lady Everlong (Guy Gagnon) cleared amid a contested early pace, and she worked on to apply pressure at the :57.4 half-mile station. Dry Creek Image dueled to a narrow lead with five-sixteenths to go, but had to brace for the three-wide challenge of Apple Tart Hanover, who angled off third-over cover to make her sweeping bid. While Apple Tart Hanover claimed the lead at head-stretch and started to extend to a length, Dry Creek Image battled back to just nose out her outside rival in 1:59.3. Rousey Ronda (Kelly Hoerdt) circled belatedly down the grandstand side to take third. "I knew I had the best horse in the race, but the trip didn't work out at all," said McNair. "Down the lane, I thought I was going to be second. From the eight-hole, you just try to get as many points as you can, but the win certainly helps." Trainer Daniel Martin co-owns eight-time winner Dry Creek Image with Gilles Tremblay. Race 4: Jdcyril ($9.80) and Doug McNair defied a presser-stalker bias and stole the third NDC race on the front, rating a comfortable :59 middle half en route to a 1:56.4 score. The four-year-old Carlspur gelding cleared Prince Adiran (Stephane Brosseau) on his way to a :27.4 first quarter, and then immediately backed down the pace through the middle stages of the race before sprinting away at the eighth pole. Prince Adiran held second, while Melanies Magic (Redmond Doucet) rallied three-wide off failing cover to save third. Randy Van Meer trains seven-time winner Jdcyril for Donna Van Leer. Race 5: A sweeping last-to-first push from Donald Doc ($12.10) gave Doug McNair a third straight win in the NDC and a hefty lead at the turn. After Sheldonthepsychic (Jamie Gray) controlled early fractions of :27.3, :57.2 and 1:26.4, McNair pointed the five-year-old Big Band John gelding four-wide into the final turn, and the pair made ground immediately. "In the last turn, I figured I had a decent shot," McNair said after the race. In fact, Donald Doc was able to chase down Face Of War (Stephane Brosseau), who circled from third-over to take the lead nearing head-stretch. Donald Doc lunged to just reach at the winning post in 1:57. Face Of War was second, while Little Clayt (Kelly Hoerdt) was third off a ground-saving tirp. "I've just got to pick away at it, and I figure I'll be successful," McNair continued. "The more you win, the better you drive." Trainer Don Beatson co-owns 11-time winner Donald Doc with Cole England and Ken Beatson. Race 6: A pillar-to-post effort from odds-on favourite Mollie McGeoch ($3.70) gave Maritimer Gilles Barrieau his first win of the tournament. "She was the best one that I've driven tonight so far," Barrieau said of the four-year-old Badlands Hanover mare. "I was looking forward to her coming up, because things haven't been that great." Mollie McGeoch and Barrieau protected the lead from the pole and seated Im Rylan (Trevor Henry) into the pocket through a :27.2 quarter. The two-mare breakaway held separation over a struggling second flight through middle fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.4 and, despite late deceleration to the end of a 1:58 mile, crossed the line one-two. Eataams Trauma (Doug McNair) rallied mildly to just nab Cold Creek Lacey (Stephane Brosseau) for third. Bud Sinclair trains four-time winner Mollie McGeoch for Linda Richardson and Lindsey Sinclair. The win lifted Barrieau from sixth into a share of third with Brosseau, but McNair maintains a 26-point lead over Kelly Hoerdt. Race 7: Larjon Legacy ($15.40) and Guy Gagnon split leavers to secure the lead, controlled a comfortable middle half, and turned aside steady first-over pressure from So Bananas (Kelly Hoerdt) on the final turn en route to a 1:58.1 victory. After edging clear of So Bananas, the three-year-old Mister Big Filly held her ground to the winning post to hold off Falls Creek (Doug McNair) by half a length. The runner-up finish was enough to put McNair out of reach of Hoerdt, who faded to also-ran status. Greg Campbell owns and trains six-time winner Larjon Legacy. Race 8: Lumiere ($2.90) gave Doug McNair his fourth win in the NDC, battling back in the stretch after being headed by Little Turk (Stephane Brosseau) to take the penultimate leg of the tournament in 1:58.1. The nine-year-old Lis Mara gelding had no trouble clearing Highland Bogart (Redmond Doucet) into the first turn and hung Stonebridge Bettor (Kelly Hoerdt) out through early fractions of :28.2 and :59.1. After his first-over challenger stalled with three-eighths to go, Lumiere braced for the bold three-wide challenge of Little Turk. The pair passed three-quarters in 1:29, and Little Turk worked to a narrow lead on the final turn. Off the home corner, Lumiere dug back in and reached to win by a widening length. Little Turk was second, while Highland Bogart (Redmond Doucet) chased from the pocket for third. "I thought I had an average card, to be honest," McNair said of his thoughts coming into the night's tournament. "Once he made it there, I didn't want to give it up to anybody." McNair's lead expanded to 40 points with a race to go, while Brosseau passed Kelly Hoerdt for second by way of his runner-up finish in the race. Patrick Shepherd trains 35-time winner Lumiere for Carl Kuepfer. Race 9: April Bandit ($10.80) and Stephane Brosseau parlayed a pocket trip to take the final NDC race in 1:58. After drafting behind So Long Sugar (Guy Gagnon) through splits of :28, :57.4 and 1:27.3, Brosseau moved the nine-year-old Real Artist mare off the pegs at the top of the stretch. The pair edged away to prevail in the final 40 yards, while Mighty Mouse (Kelly Hoerdt) saved ground and hooked wide in the stretch to take third. "I'm very happy about it," said Brosseau of his runner-up finish in the NDC. "To be beaten by Doug McNair, I don't think it's a bad thing. Being second with all these good drivers is surely a nice feeling. It doesn't matter the age, you try to improve yourself. I really like the way I'm driving right now; it's fun. I want to always do better, and I think there's a couple years left where I can be as good as I am now." Steve Coulter owns and trains April Bandit, now a 28-time winner. The final NDC standings are as follows: 1. Doug McNair - 92 2. Stephane Brosseau - 62 3. Kelly Hoerdt - 51 4. Guy Gagnon - 43 5. Gilles Barrieau - 40 6. Redmond Doucet - 38 7. Trevor Henry - 29 8. Jamie Gray - 21 The National Driving Championship was an eight-race event and drivers earn points based upon their finishing positions. Drivers were able to have input into the horses they will be driving as a hockey pool style “draft” was conducted Friday for them to choose their horses in each race before the post position draw was made. Eight drivers from across the country qualified in four regional events co-ordinated by Standardbred Canada and congregated in Elora, Ont. for the event. To view Wednesday's harness racing results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Grand River Raceway.

As reported by Standardbred Canada, Doug McNair, Canada’s Driver of the Year in 2017, will take the spot of Louis-Philippe Roy in the National Driving Championship on Wednesday, September 26 at Grand River Raceway. McNair, who finished third in the Ontario Regional Driving Championship on May 16 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, was automatically offered the spot when Roy, who finished second, withdrew from the event on Friday afternoon. Upon receiving the offer, McNair immediately jumped at the opportunity. “It’s my first National Championship,” said McNair. “It is a tough way to earn the spot, and I do feel for Louis. I haven’t seen the horses I’ll be driving yet but I’m excited and pretty sure I’ve got a good shot. “It’s a good rebound of my bad day yesterday,” McNair said, referring to the placing (from first to fourth) of Stay Hungry in the second elimination of yesterday’s Little Brown Jug. Stay Hungry was ultimately scratched from the final. Roy’s withdrawal was the result of racing commitments he felt he had to fulfill on Tuesday, September 25. In addition to other drives, he will drive Shower Play in the $125,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Drivers are required to participate in all promotional, charitable and media events related to the National Driving Championship, on both Tuesday and Wednesday. “Unfortunately I’ll have to give up my chance to represent Canada in Sweden,” said Roy. “It’s not an easy decision, but I think it’s the best thing to do for my career and my business.” Roy’s withdrawal came shortly after the draft took place for National Driving Championship horses. Because of that, McNair has agreed to drive the horses originally selected by Roy. In addition to being the O’Brien Award winner as Canada’s top driver last year, McNair currently has 242 wins and $4,384,381 in earnings this season. He will join the seven other drivers competing in Wednesday’s NDC, including Trevor Henry who won this year’s Ontario Regional Driving Championship. From Standardbred Canada

Delaware, OH - Ohio-bred champion Lather Up and supplemental entry Courtly Choice, drew the coveted rail positions in their eliminations for the $642,000 Little Brown Jug, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, to be held Thursday, September 20th at the Delaware County Fair. Lather Up is a homebred son of I'm Gorgeous and has won $738,965 for Gary and Barbara Iles. He has won 14 of 19 career starts including the $760,000 North America Cup and the $275,000 Ohio Sire Stakes Final. Lather Up will be driven by Montrell Teague and is trained by Clyde Francis, the same connections that won the 2015 Little Brown Jug with Wiggle It Jiggleit. Courtly Choice has won nine starts this season and has banked more than $700,000 lifetime. The bay son of Art Major is owned by Huff Racing Stable, Mac & Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe and Touch Stone Farms. Courtly Choice is conditioned by Blake MacIntosh and driven by the four-time Jug champion David Miller. Courtly Choice was not Jug eligible, but thanks to his win in the $701,830 Meadowlands Pace his connections could pay the $45,000 supplemental payment. Drawing post #4 in the second elimination is Stay Hungry, who is looking to become the 11th horse to win pacing's "Triple Crown." It has been 15 years since No Pan Intended accomplished this feat. The Sombeachsomewhere - My Little Dragon colt has won $1.1 million, including the $281,000 Cane Pace and the $500,000 Messenger Stake. Stay Hungry is owned by Bradley Grant and the Estate of Irwin Samelman, trained by Tony Alagna and will be piloted by Doug McNair. The first four finishers in the $102,720 eliminations will return for the second heat. The winner of the $436,560 final heat will be declared the 73rd Jug champion. The complete Little Brown Jug field and announced drivers: $102,720 - 1st Elimination (first four finishers return for second heat) PP - Horse (Driver/Trainer) 1. Lather Up (Montrell Teague/Clyde Francis) 2. This Is The Plan (Andrew McCarthy/Chris Ryder) 3. Babes Dig Me (Yannick Gingras/Tony Alagna) 4. Done Well (Tim Tetrick/Brian Brown) 5. Key Advisor (Chris Page/Tony Alagna) 6. Nutcracker Sweet (Jordan Stratton/Jimmy Takter) 7. Wes Delight (Yannick Gingras/Chris Oakes) $102,720 - 2nd Elimination (first four finishers return for second heat) PP - Horse (Driver/Trainer) 1. Courtly Choice (David Miller/Blake MacIntosh) 2. Hayden Hanover (Andy Miller/Julie Miller) 3. Hitman Hill (Brett Miller/Chris Oakes) 4. Stay Hungry (Doug McNair/Tony Alagna) 5. Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley/Ron Burke) 6. Decoy (Jimmy Takter/Jimmy Takter) $436,560 - 2nd Heat Post time for the Thursday card will be 11:00 AM. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

MILTON, ON - September 8, 2018 - Grand Circuit harness racing week concluded Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park with three divisions of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers. A group of 14 sophomore pacing colts and geldings were separated into a pair of $83,342 splits, while a talented field of six pacing fillies battled for a purse of $150,996. Just a week after winning the Messenger, Stay Hungry brought his 'A Game' to win a tough battle in the second Simcoe division. Driven by Doug McNair, Stay Hungry was unhurried in the beginning and got away fourth. Backstreet Shadow and driver Yannick Gingras circled from second to first at the opening-quarter and rolled the field by the half in :55. McNair gave Stay Hungry his cue to charge first-up going to the three-quarter pole and was almost three-lengths from the lead when Backstreet Shadow reached the third-station in 1:23.1. In the stretch, McNair dropped Stay Hungry onto the back of Gingras briefly before coming back out for an exciting stretch duel. Stay Hungry paced home in :25.4 and was able to edge a game Backstreet Shadow by a nose in 1:49.3. Hidden Delight was third. "The way the draw set up I figured that was the way the race would go," said McNair following the victory. "I would be a late first-over and Yannick's horse would be sprinting home hard." Trained by Tony Alagna, Stay Hungry is being pointed towards potential history at the Little Brown Jug on September 20. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has captured the opening-two legs of the Pacing Triple Crown, Cane Pace and Messenger, and is now five for 11 with $683,031 earned this season for owners Brad Grant and Irwin Samelman. "The Jug is in a couple weeks and that's what they are aiming at, but it was great to get a win back home," said McNair. "That's all they are going to be talking about from now until the Jug is the Triple Crown, but he's won two of the first three legs and that's special." Stay Hungry's career numbers now sit at 11 wins and over $1.2 million earned. He paid $2.90 to win. Jeff Gillis trainee The Downtown Bus continued his run of stops at the winner's circle by posting a 1:50.2 victory in the first division for colts and geldings. Driven by Tim Tetrick, The Downtown Bus shot out to the lead and got to call the shots, posting fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:23.1 to lead into the stretch. Tetrick pulled the plugs on The Downtown Bus at the three-quarter pole and the Gillis trainee was able to last on the lead, finding the line in time to hold off a charge from Torrin Hanover was _ length score. Babes Dig Me finished third, while Dragon Time was fourth. The Simcoe victory extends The Downtown Bus' current win streak to three. "He's turned the corner and Jeff has done a great job with him," said Tetrick, who has driven the gelded son of Mach Three throughout his current win streak. "Last week he trained around there pretty good in (1):49 and today he was up in little more open class and some better-bred horses and he still got the job done. I was pretty proud of him." A homebred for Gillis and Ellen Ott, The Downtown Bus now has eight wins and $218,354 earned in 19 starts this season. The Grand Circuit victory increases his career earnings to $238,700. A $2 win ticket on The Downtown Bus returned $4.20. Shower Play continued her flare for the dramatic by delivering another stunning final-quarter rally to win the Simcoe Filly Stakes in 1:52. Driven by Louis Philippe Roy, Shower Play got away fifth in the field of six and appeared to have a mountain too big to overcome when Youaremycandygirl got her own way on the front, posting fractions of :26.4, :56.4 and 1:24.1. Youaremycandygirl opened up a lead of nearly four-lengths at three-quarters, while race-favourite Kissin In The Sand was second-over and Shower Play third over with more than seven-lengths to overcome. Kissin In The Sand and Shower Play both delivered furious stretch rallies to track down Youaremycandygirl in the final-eighth with Shower Play unleashing a :26.3 kicker to reach the line first. Kissin In The Sand finished second, beat a length and a quarter, while Youaremycandygirl crossed in third. "It's always fun to win races on the front, but to go by everybody is a better feeling for sure," said Roy following the race. "I give credit to Rene and Susie because in the middle of the summer we had some steering issues with her, so they worked a lot on her and did some changes and I think she's come back better than she was at the beginning at the season." Trained by Rene Dion, Shower Play also defeated Kissin In The Sand in June's $415,000 Fan Hanover. The daughter of Shadow Play has now earned $415,563 in 10 starts this season for owners Dion, Susie Kerwood and Martin Leveillee. The Simcoe victory gives Shower Play five wins this season and eight overall. Her career earnings jump to $454,300 with the victory. A $2 win ticket on Shower Play returned $14.10. Live racing resumes Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Nirvana Seelster becomes newest millionaire Bill Budd trainee Nirvana Seelster grinded out a third-place finish in Saturday’s $34,000 Preferred Pace to become harness racing’s newest millionaire. The seven-year-old gelding entered Saturday’s card just a little over $300 away from $1 million in career earnings. Nirvana Seelster and driver Trevor Henry did the heavy-lifting in the Preferred and despite surrendering the lead early in the lane, the Budd trainee battled hard to the line for a third-place finish, beat only three-quarters of a length. American Wiggle, driven by Louis Philippe Roy for trainer Richard Moreau, captured the $34,000 top-class in 1:49.4. Owned by Bruce Davy, Nirvana Seelster is a 39-time winner with a mark of 1:48 taken last season at Mohawk Park. The Budd trainee has made 176 of his 178 career starts at either Woodbine Racetrack or Mohawk Park. Nirvana Seelster recently competed in his fourth consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby. The fan-favourite has seven wins, 20 top-three finishes and $191,170 earned in 27 starts this season. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

Thursday night marked the end of the Grassroots regular harness racing season for the three-year-old trotting fillies and Whip N Neigh Neigh wiggled up the inside and right into the post season with her first-ever Grassroots win. "The trip worked out perfect," said top Woodbine Mohawk Park driver Doug McNair. "She's been knocking at the door, so it was nice to get a win." Kicking things off in the first $18,450 division, McNair and Whip N Neigh Neigh got away fourth and sat tight as Galary Girl took the field to a :28 opening quarter and :58.1 half. Around the final turn McNair tipped Whip N Neigh Neigh into the outer lane and the filly was making steady gains on Galary Girl and pocket-sitter Melanie G as they passed the 1:28.3 three-quarters. In the stretch McNair sent Whip N Neigh Neigh up the inside and the filly hustled home to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:58.4. Fan favourite Melanie G took the right hand route around Galary Girl, who went off stride as she was being flanked, and finished second. Hay Darlene completed the top three. "With a win today she should be in the Semi-Finals. So she'll be there, race the Semi-Final, and hopefully the Final," said Per Henriksen, who trains the daughter of Cornaro Dasolo for Adv Racing Stable LLC of Pawling, NY. "She's just a sweetheart to be around and never do nothing wrong basically, and she came a long way since the beginning of the year." Whip N Neigh Neigh started the season with a tenth-place result in the June 7 event and followed that up with a fourth on July 8 and a sixth on July 21. In the August 27 event at Grand River Raceway she was sitting third when she made a late break and had to settle for fifth. Heading into Tuesday's contest she was tied for 24th, just shy of qualifying for the post-season, but the victory boosted her point tally to 66 and will see her start in a Sept. 21 Semi-Final. Joining Whip N Neigh Neigh will be the other two division winners, Pretty N Well and Hopes Solo. Pretty N Well took full advantage of an early miscue by heavy favourite Sorceress Seelster, winding up in the pocket spot behind Gotta Pay To Play just past the :28.4 quarter. Content to follow the pacesetter through the 1:00.1 half, driver Bob McClure sent Pretty N Well up the outer lane heading by the 1:29.3 three-quarters and then shifted the filly into high gear in the stretch. Pretty N Well reeled in Gotta Pay To Play and held off a late charge from Stormont Charlotte to record the neck victory in a personal best 1:58.2. Stormont Charlotte, who had also made an early error, finished second and Gotta Pay To Play settled for third. "She's a handy filly, she does everything right," said McClure. "She's really nice to drive and was able to capitalize on some breakers tonight." McClure crafted the win for trainer Mark Johnson and owner-breeder Denise Ball of Bailieboro, Ontario. The win was the Kadabra daughter's second in Grassroots action this season and puts her in fifth spot in the standings with 101 points. Fan favourite Hopes Solo also scored her second Grassroots victory on Thursday, stepping out of the pocket to catch pacesetter Magics Lucky Charm at the wire in 1:57.1. A scant neck separated the top two fillies and Miss Adam T was only one-half length back in third. "She got a nice two-hole trip and fought hard in the stretch to win," said driver Chris Christoforou, who steered the filly to her first Grassroots win in the August 27 event at Grand River Raceway. "I was very happy with her considering she had been battling some minor issues all week." The victory, the Cornaro Dasolo daughter's third in a row, gives Hopes Solo a total of 125 points and second spot in the standings behind Ezee Tiguan. Christoforou pilots the filly for his father, trainer Charalambos Christoforou, and owner Carolyn Polillo and said they will wait to see how the filly bounces back from Thursday's effort before deciding whether she will make an overnight start before the Sept. 21 Semi-Final. The top 20 point earners will advance to the Semi-Final, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final advancing to the Sept. 29 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park. On Friday night the three-year-old pacing colts and gelding will arrive at Woodbine Mohawk Park to wrap up their Grassroots regular season. The pacers will raise the curtain on the evening's festivities at 7:10 pm in the first race and will also compete in Races 6 and 10. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Clinton Raceway closed out its 2018 season with an outstanding afternoon of racing on Sunday featuring the 38th annual Charity Driver's Challenge and four Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Contested over the first eight races, the Charity Driver's Challenge was a fierce battle between Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair and Bob McClure. Heading into the final leg of the challenge McNair was leading with 160 points, McClure sat second with 137 and Jamieson was in third with 128 points. With a gritty first-over effort aboard Grande Seelster, Jamieson claimed the victory and with it his sixth Clinton Charity Driver's Challenge title. "To win number six today was a bit of a shock really. Some of the top young drivers in the country were here today, so you never know how it will play out," said Jamieson, who hails from Moffat, Ontario. "Fortunately, I had the best horses today and made it look quite easy." The participating drivers and Clinton Raceway fans raised just over $5,000 for the Tanner Steffler Foundation, which aims to support Huron County youth aged 12 to 24, and their families, with issues surrounding mental health and addiction, with the long-term goal of building a treatment and wellness facility within the county. All eight drivers - Natasha Day, Jonathan Drury, Ryan Holliday, Jamieson, James MacDonald, McClure, McNair and Scott Wray - were enthusiastic participants in the annual event, both for the friendly rivalry and the cause they were supporting. "I was leading until the last race and then got beat by Jody," said McNair. "But it was all for a good cause. It is important for people to realise that everyone and anyone can have mental health challenges, and no one should feel like they are different because of it, or be unable to find help." Once the challenge had come to an end Jamieson, McNair and McClure continued their dominant performances in the Grassroots events, with each reinsman piloting one two-year-old pacing filly to victory. McClure kicked things off with Lady Driver, delivering an impressive performance from Post 7 that saw them battle up the outer lane to a head victory in 1:59. Pacesetter and fan favourite Twin B Friendly settled for second and Hard Eight was third. "She's a nice little filly," said McClure, who piloted Lady Driver to the win for trainer Mike Keeling. "She's great gaited and that makes her very handy on the small tracks." The win was the first of the season for Sportswriter daughter Lady Driver, who is owned by CTC Stable of Chestnut Ridge, NY, and David Hamm and Michael Hall of Dagsboro, DE. Jonathan Drury interrupted the Jamieson-McNair-McClure show with a victory in the second $18,800 Grassroots division, guiding favourite Clearly Better to her first Grassroots victory in 2:00.3. From Post 2 the Betterthancheddar daughter controlled all the fractions and bested Better Now and Three Rocks by one and one-half lengths. Cambridge resident Blake MacIntosh conditions Clearly Better for his partners Stuart McIntosh of Essex, Ontario and Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Jamieson was back in the winner's circle following the third Grassroots division with Jack Darling trainee Free Exchange. The fan favourites took command going by the quarter and sailed home to a one and one-half length victory in 1:59. Loves Delight was second and Turn Back Time completed the top three. "Free Exchange is getting stronger with each start," said Jamieson. "She is definitely one of the best Grassrooters around and I'm glad Jack has stuck with me to drive her." The win was Free Exchange's first Grassroots victory and her second lifetime. Exeter native Darling, who now calls Cambridge home, owns and trains the Betterthancheddar daughter. McNair wrapped up the program, and the Clinton Raceway season, in thrilling fashion, steering Sports Flix to a track record effort for his father Gregg McNair of Guelph and owner James Fraleigh of Dresden, Ontario. The Sportswriter daughter came from off the pace, swinging out three-wide at the three-quarter pole, and powered down the stretch to a four and one-half length victory in 1:57. Karans Choice was second and Aumydarlin was third. "She raced really good, that's a big mile up here," said the reinsman. The clocking took one-fifth of a second off the 1:57.1 standard established by Bourbon Seelster in an August 2015 Grassroots event. Sports Flix now has two Grassroots victories to her credit and sits atop the two-year-old pacing filly division with 117 points as they head into the fifth and final regular season Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 10. In addition the Charity Driver's Challenge and Ontario Sires Stakes action, Clinton Raceway also hosted its first-ever Weiner Dog Race and the victorious canine was Zinc from Post 8. The six-year-old Zinc was cheered on to his victory by handlers Maggie and John. Racing will return to Clinton Raceway in 2019 with more Ontario Sires Stakes action, family friendly events and community fundraising activities. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Stay Hungry has now won two of the three jewels of harness racing’s Triple Crown for pacers and Six Pack won the Triple Crown jewel, the Yonkers Trot, to headline an actioned packed card at Yonkers Raceway. In the seventh race $500,000 Messenger Stakes for three-year-old pacers it was Babes Dig Me and driver George Brennan getting the early lead, but driver Doug McNair had Stay Hungry on the move and they took command by the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Coming around the second turn, driver Louis Philippe Roy came first-over from fourth place with Jimmy Freight and took off after Stay Hungry and that became a dogfight going to the half mile in :55.3 as McNair would not let Roy get by him. Those two continued their battle down the backstretch to the three-quarters in 1:23 and in the stretch Jimmy Freight tried but could not catch Stay Hungry who went on to win by a neck over Jimmy Freight in 1:52.1. Topville Olympian (Jim Morrill, Jr.) was third. It was the fourth win in ten starts for Stay Hungry, a son of Somebeachsomewhere, trained by Tony Alagna and owned by Bradly Grant of Milton, ON and the Estate of Irwin Samelman of Las Vegas, NV. He paid $7.80 to win. “The front end is usually not his forte,” Doug McNair said of Stay Hungry. “But he did it tonight. He’s very relaxed, you can drive him with two fingers. Tony (Alagna) does such a great job training him. “The last 16th we were both tired,” McNair said. “We had gone head and head for a half mile or so and in that last 16th my horse was lucky to hold on.” “It may not be his forte to go on the front end,” Alagna said. “But I knew he (Stay Hungry) could handle a half mile.  After he won the Cane Pace it was a no-brainer that we were going after the Triple Crown, that’s why we brought him here tonight. “Cat Manzi, who works for me,” Alagna explained,” brought him here a week before the eliminations and trained him so we had his gear set to go. He did a great job helping me get him ready.” Alagna said they would discuss whether to take Stay Hungry up north to Toronto for the Simcoe Stake next week or just give him a rest before going for the final jewel of the pacing triple crown, the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio on Thursday, September 20. Stay Hungry Stay Hungry Interview Six Pack easy winner in $500,000 Yonkers Trot Six Pack and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt were able to score a seven and three-quarters length romp in capturing the 64th edition of the Yonkers Trot, the second leg of harness racing’s Trotting Triple Crown, Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. The purse was $500,000. It was Lindsey’s Pride and driver Marcus Miller who shot out to the early lead and parked out Six Pack and Svanstedt to the opening quarter mile in :28.4. Once on the lead, Six Pack was on cruise control for Svanstedt, holding the field at bay past the half mile in :58.1. Heading to the backstretch, Helpisontheway (Jim Morrill, Jr.) came first-over with Maxus (Mark MacDonald) second over. In the backstretch, Svanstedt opened up on the field with Six Pack at the three-quarters in 1:26.3 and they went on to win with ease in 1:54. Helpisontheway was second with Lindsey’s Pride third. The time of the race was the fastest Yonkers Trot ever at the track. It was the sixth win in nine starts this year for Six Pack, who paid just $2.50 to win. The son of Muscle Mass is co-owned by Ake Svanstedt with Little E LLC of NY, Stall Kalmar of Sweden and Lars Berg of DE. “The good horses (Six Pack) are good at age 2 and get better at age 3.” Svanstedt said. “The horse to beat was #1 (Helpisontheway). I was not worried about the horse in front of me early. “Now we (Six Pack) have two New York Sire Stakes to race in to make the final,” Svanstedt said. “Then we will supplement to the Kentucky Futurity at the Red Mile.” Six Pack World Record tied in $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot   The fourth race Hudson Filly Trot Final for three-year-old’s saw Plunge Blue Chip, the 1/5 betting favorite and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt barely hold off Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller) by a long nose in 1:53.1. The clocking was not only the all age track record at Yonkers, but it also tied the world record set in 2013 by Frau Blucher. The previous all age track record at Yonkers was set by Quick Deal at 1:53.2 in 2013. Svanstedt left quickly from post one with Plunge Blue Chip and held the field at bay through quarters of :27.3; :55.3 and 1:23.2 before Miller was able to catch up with Supergirl Riley in the two-hole. Supergirl Riley made it a horse race down the stretch but Plunge Blue Chip had just enough left to win it at the wire. Lucky Ave (Daniel Dube) was third. It was the fourth win in nine starts this year for Plunge Blue Chip, a daughter of Muscle Mass. She is co-owned by Svanstedt of Wrightowns, NJ, Blue Chip Bloodstock, NY, Tomas Anderson, Sweden and Rick Zeron of ON. She paid $2.50 to win. “She had been pulling too much the first half,” Svanstedt said. “So, we made some changes. She is very well gaited so that is why she does so well on smaller tracks. She is very good now.” Favorite wins $112,904 Lady Maud Pace The fifth race Lady Maud Final for three-year-old pacing fillies started out with Better Than Happy and driver Joe Bongiorno taking the early lead from the rail with 1/5 favorite Alexis Faith (Jim Morrill, Jr,) sitting right on their backs to the opening quarter mile in :27.4. They raced Indian-style to the half mile in :57.1 when Jewels Forreal and driver George Brennan started up first-over with Majorette Angie (Brian Sears) following second-over. Once in the backstretch, Morrill pulled from the pocket and barely got out in front of Jewels Forreal and Alexis Faith cleared to the lead past the three-quarters in 1:25.3. Opening up two lengths on the field, Alexis Faith and Morrill cruised to the wire, holding off a late charge by Solitary (Jim Marohn, Jr.) to win by a half length in 1:53.4. Jewels Forreal was third. Sired by American Ideal, Alexis Faith is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by the West Wins Stable and Jim Fielding of ON, J Robert Darrow of OH and Kevin McKinlay of ON. She paid $2.60 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 22, 2018—We took a poll and decided there’s only one horse out there with a shot to win the Pacing Triple Crown. Take a bow, Stay Hungry. Having closed the sale in the $281,000 Cane Pace (life-best 1:47.3) during Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, Stay Hungry stays the course, invading Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Aug. 25th) for eliminations of the 63rd Messenger Stakes. Stay Hungry, a son of 2008 Messenger winner Somebeachsomewhere, drew penultimate post position No. 5 in the second, $40,000 elimination. The first four finishers in both elims (races 5 and 6) return for the $500,000 final Saturday night, Sept. 1st.  (Author’s aside…since there were only eight entrants for Yonkers Trot No. 64, no eliminations were necessary. That half-million-dollar final also goes Sept. 1st) With eight of the 11 participants coming back, the odds are in Stay Hungry’s favor. That said, he landed in by far the tougher division, opposing—among others—pole-sitting Springsteen and $30,000 buy-in Jimmy Freight, who starts directly inside of him. Stay Hungry has danced every dance this season, finishing fourth in the $760.000 final of the North America Cup (Woodbine Mohawk), fourth in the half-million-dollar finale of the Hempt Memorial (Pocono) and third in the $701,830 final of the Meadowlands Pace. Then came the Cane, where he watched wicked numbers in front of him before rallying from ninth at the three-quarters with a personal :25.4 last stanza. For the season, Stay Hungry has three wins and three thirds in eight starts ($363,530). Tony Alagna trains for co-owners Brad Grant and Irwin Samelman Estate. “High speed and easy on himself,” driver Doug McNair said. “Start him up and shut him down and he doesn’t fight with you.” McNair, who has driven Stay Hungry in all but one of his 17 career purse starts, knew right away his escort had the goods. “From the start, he beat a lot of the best horses.” Stay Hungry’s frosh season (9 starts, 6 wins, 1 seconds) was highlighted by a win the $600,000 final of the Breeders Crown at Hoosier (1:50.4). He ended 2017 with a nose defeat in the $411,700 Governor’s Cup (Meadowlands). As for the Westchester and half-mile-track debut of Stay Hungry, McNair has no concerns. “(Trainer) Tony (Alagna) sent him over last week with Cat Manzi to work him out, and Tony has always had him tight.” Stay Hungry is three weeks between starts for Saturday’s race, the same interval—as McNair noted—between the Meadowlands Pace and the Cane.   “I just want to see him pace hard through the wire,” McNair said. “Obviously, I think he has a good shot to win no matter how we race him, but just pace hard through the wire.” by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

AUGUST 5, 2018 - Doug McNair delivered a dominant performance at Clinton Raceway on Sunday afternoon, capturing two of four Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and four overnight events. The reinsman captured Race 2 with aged pacing gelding Stronski, Race 5 with aged trotting mare Pocket Popper and then made his first appearance in the Grassroots winner's circle with Pokerface Bluechip. Starting from Post 4 the pair landed fourth as Phantom Seelster led the field to a :29 opening quarter. Heading for the :58.4 half McNair sent Pokerface Bluechip into the outer lane behind Teen Idol, but was forced out three-wide when that horse started to stall going by the 1:27.2 three-quarters. Pokerface Bluechip dug hard through the stretch and got a nose in front of the pacesetter to claim the 1:56 victory. Fan favourite Casimir Richie P was a head back in third. "He dug pretty tough to win. It's tough to win on this track off the pace, especially when you've got to go around somebody down the backside," said McNair. "He raced really good. I wasn't sure what to expect from him, but he did everything right, good mile too." The Guelph, Ontario resident engineered the win for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, Gestion Jam Audet Inc. of Portneuf, Paul Lehoux of Sainte-Marie and Gestion C Levesque 2005inc of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. The mile was a new personal best for Pokerface Bluechip and marked his first-ever Grassroots victory. The Shadow Play gelding finished second in both the June 29 and July 22 Grassroots events and now has 100 points in the race for a berth in the Sept. 21 Grassroots Semi-final. McNair then captured the seventh race, the Ross Jewitt Memorial Pace, with aged pacing mare Queenofhearts and capped off his day with back-to-back victories in Race 9, with sophomore pacing colt Dashmira, and Race 10, with Grassroots competitor Montys Play. Taking full advantage of Post 1, McNair fired heavy favourite Montys Play off the gate and led the field through fractions of :29.1, 58.4 and 1:27.4 on the way to a one-length victory in 1:57. Howmac Dancer finished second and Treasure Writer rounded out the top three. "He kind of got lucky you know, he drew into the right division where they didn't go 1:55," admitted McNair. "But he's a nice gaited little guy, he snapped off the gate good today. He won pretty handy, so I was happy with him." The driver's father, Gregg McNair, trains Montys Play for Wayne MacRae of Fall River, Nova Scotia, Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. of Harriston, Ontario and Gilles Barrieau of Saint John, New Brunswick. In his only other Grassroots start, at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 1, the Shadow Play son had finished second, giving him a total of 75 points with one event remaining before the Semi-final. In addition to his victories, McNair also finished second in the other two Grassroots divisions and second in one overnight event. In 10 drives his only off-the-board finish was a fourth. "I figured I had a couple of nice ones when I got here, but things have got to go right to win that many races," said the driver. "There was probably a lot of luck on my side today, especially, one caught a shoe at the three-quarter pole, I think it was my fifth win, and near went on his head and then come back pacing and won the race. You know you're lucky when that's happening." The driver also credited some of his success on the 'Huron Perth Lakers Day at the Races' program to the Clinton Raceway track maintenance staff. "Everything was pretty smooth up here today," said the 28-year-old. "They always get the track good up here, that's one thing about the guys, the surface is great." The other two $18,450 Grassroots divisions were captured by Hudson Phil and Luka Shenko. Hudson Phil stalked fan favourite Bo Mach from the pocket and swooped around the pacesetter in the stretch to score a 1:55.4 victory. McNair and Bo Mach settled for second and Gideon Seelster was third. James MacDonald piloted Shanghai Phil son Hudson Phil to his third Grassroots victory for trainer Mark Steacy and owner-breeders Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. With 150 points Hudson Phil sits atop the division standings. As McNair did with Montys Play, driver Louis Philippe Roy sent Luka Shenko straight from Post 1 to the lead and never looked back, sailing under the wire one-half length the best in 1:55. Fan favourites McNair and Gold Rush settled for second and Wind Blast was third. Roy crafted the win for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Litwin Racing Team of Westmount, Quebec. The win was the Sportswriter son's first in Grassroots action and matched the Clinton Raceway track record for sophomore pacing colts. Gelding Modern Xhibit holds the overall three-year-old record, touring the half-mile oval in 1:53.4 in a 2012 Grassroots contest. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their last regular season Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on September 7. Clinton Raceway will wrap up its 2018 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Sunday, September 2 with the fourth Grassroots test for the two-year-old pacing fillies, part of the 38th annual Charity Drivers' Challenge. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- August 4, 2018 - Stay Hungry, driven by Doug McNair, charged down the stretch to win the 64th edition of $281,000 Cane Pace by 1 1-2 lengths over 60-1 longshot Grand Teton in stakes record-tying fashion of 1:47 3/5 to take the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, contested as the seventh race on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands. Trained by Tony Alagna, Stay Hungry, who finished third to Courtly Choice in the Meadowlands Pace, overtook Grand Teton for his third win of the season, ninth of his career and setting a new stakes record and career mark. Stay Hungry tied the stakes record set by Dealt A Winner, driven by David Miller and trained by Mark Silva, in 2015. The O'Brien Award-winner Stay Hungry rewarded his backers by paying $9.40, $5.00 and $3.40. Grand Teton paid $40.20 and $15.60 while Babes Dig Me, with Brett Miller in the sulky, finished third, paying $9.40. "He has high, high speed. So if put you him in the right spot and there's lots of fractions he's gonna pay something and be real close," said McNair. This was McNair's first career Cane Pace win for McNair and the second for Alagna, who won in 2013 with Captaintreacherous. Stay Hungry races for the ownbership of Bradley Grant of Milton, Ontario and Irwin Samelman of Las Vegas, NV. Subsequent legs of the Triple Crown include Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway in Yonkers, New York on Sept. 1 and The Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fair in Delaware, Ohio on Sept. 20. From the Meadowlands Publicity Department

JULY 31, 2018 - For the second night this week the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings demonstrated a serious level of skill in Ontario Sires Stakes competition, this time in three Grassroots divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park. In the first $19,850 division, Carey On and driver Doug McNair took control of the race heading by the half and never had to look over their shoulder, cruising to a one and one-half length victory in 1:59.1. Early pacesetter Cousin Peter, who led the field to a :29 quarter and 1:01 half before the fan favourite took command and trotted to a 1:30 three-quarters, finished second and LMC Picasso was third. "He behaved tonight, which is key with two-year-old trotters," said Guelph resident McNair. "I thought if he stayed flat he would have a good shot, and even Grandma was here for her picture." McNair piloted Carey On to the win for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and grandmother, Gwendolyn McNair of Walkerton, Ontario, who bred and own the colt. A son of Kadabra and Nellie Mae Lavec, Carey On had started his Ontario Sires Stakes career in the Gold Series season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 16, but made an early break and finished seventh. All three of the divisions were captured by homebred youngsters, with the other two hailing from the barn of Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh. Royal Rob was the first of the McIntosh trainees to grace the Grassroots winner's circle and the youngster arrived in impressive fashion. Getting away fourth from Post 1, Royal Rob made a powerful move to the front heading past the :59.2 half and then maintained his speed through a 1:28 three-quarters and on to a 1:56.1 victory. Pocket-sitter Okeanos made run at Royal Rob in the stretch, but the leader held him at bay and secured a one-half length victory. Royale Elite was well back in third. "He was a standout all winter training and he got a little bit off in spring, just kind of some growing pains, and I backed off on him, just gave him some time, because you can't fight with Mother Nature," said McIntosh of the son of Royalty For Life and Armbro Chelsea. "Now he's turning out to be the horse I thought he was. I was very high on him last winter. I thought he was one of the better trotters I've had for a while and he's proving me right now I guess." Tuesday's outing was Royal Rob's first and came after just one qualifier, a 2:01 effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 24. McIntosh bred the colt and owns him in partnership with Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Ontario, Gordon Wright of Charlotte, and Randy Liepa of Livonia, Michigan. Royal Rob's 1:56.1 clocking makes him the fastest two-year-old trotter in Canada so far this season. "He's a heck of an individual, he's very strong," said Windsor resident McIntosh. "Last summer, or the summer before I was up at David Heffering's farm (Tara Hills Stud) and I saw Royalty For Life, and he's the spitting image of his Dad, same colour and same build, same everything. "Hopefully he can make half as much money, I'm not greedy, just half as much," added the horseman with a laugh. Royalty For Life earned $1.6 million in a standout career that included victories in the Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic. The final division went to McIntosh trainee Judge Ken, who fired out of Post 10 and led the field through fractions of :28.2, :59.1 and 1:28.2 on his way to a two and one-half length victory in 1:57.3. Scarlett Raider finished second and Clothier Hanover completed the top three. The win was Judge Ken's first in four starts. The son of Justice Hall and Barbie And Ken finished third in the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs on July 17, made a break and finished seventh in a June 28 overnight and stayed on gait for a second-place finish in a June 21 overnight, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. McIntosh, Dave Boyle and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio bred and own the gelding and Bob McClure stepped into the race bike for Tuesday night's victory. "He's a nice little horse, not very big, but really mature," said McClure. "He did well to overcome the 10-hole. It's hard for young horses to do." Off their impressive efforts, Tuesday's winners will now have to decide whether to remain in the Grassroots Series for the third leg at Hiawatha Horse Park on August 11 or take on the Gold Series colts at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 9. This Saturday, August 4 the three-year-old pacing colts will be part of Woodbine Mohawk Park's Civic Holiday celebrations, which feature fireworks following the races. The pacing colts will battle in a pair of Gold Series divisions, scheduled as Races 6 and 9 on the 7 pm program. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 18, 2018 - Grand River Raceway hosted its first Ontario Sires Stakes event of the season on Wednesday evening and local drivers Bob McClure and Doug McNair swept six of the nine Gold and Grassroots divisions. McClure teamed up with trainer Keith Jones of Barrie and owner Douglas McCarthy of Holland Landing, Ontario to sweep both of the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding Gold divisions. In the first $94,800 split McClure left strongly from Post 3 with Henderson Seelster and settled the colt in second as Sicario sprinted out to a :28 quarter, :58.3 half and 1:28.1 three-quarters. In the stretch McClure sent Henderson Seelster around the tiring pacesetter and the colt powered home to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:57.2. Heavy favourite Run Director was second and Barney Mac rounded out the top three. "Both of Keith's are really good on a half, he has them set up and good gaited, so half-miles are an advantage to those two for sure," noted McClure. "Henderson can get a bit hot, so the pace didn't slow down very much and when he got out, he really exploded out of the hole, I didn't expect it, but he raced super. I was really happy with him." Henderson Seelster did not race in the Ontario Sires Stakes as a two-year-old, but in three sophomore starts at the Gold Series level the son of Holiday Road has now tallied one seventh, one third and one win. Wednesday's triumph boosted the trotter's lifetime earnings to $102,454. The second $95,600 Gold division saw McClure fire Joey Bats out of Post 6 and control the tempo, laying down fractions of :28.3, 1:00 and 1:29.2 on the way to a two length victory in 1:58. Fan favourite Stormont Ventnor was second and Winning American finished third. "He's a really nice horse to drive," said McClure. "At Woodbine Mohawk (Park), the stretch sometimes gets a little long for him, but he's really good gaited and he's really manageable and, like I say, he gets around a half like a hoop on a barrel, so I expected him to race good today and he did, we were really moving going into that last turn. "He got cheap fractions, which didn't hurt, but he did race really well," the Elora resident added. "Once he got the half in a minute I figured they'd have to do some racing to catch him." Like his stablemate, Holiday Road gelding Joey Bats did not race in the Ontario Sires Stakes last season, but he now has one win, one third and one seventh to his credit through three Gold Series appearances this season, boosting his earnings to $107,140. McClure completed the Ontario Sires Stakes hat trick in the fifth $18,450 two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots division, guiding Royalty Again to her first lifetime win in a 1:59.2 clocking. Favourite Rella Tivity was one-half length back in second and Sugar Shadow, driven by Doug McNair, was third. "She had a lot of racing luck which never hurts," admitted McClure. "It couldn't have worked out any better for her, but when she did get room she paced forward, so you can't knock her, she won." McClure crafted the victory for trainer Leon Mansfield and Antonia Smith of Strathroy, Ontario, who offered up $6,000 for the Royal Mattjesty daughter at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. McNair collected his three Ontario Sires Stakes wins in the Grassroots divisions, guiding Bens Jenna, Kylie Seelster and Sports Flix to victory in the first, sixth and seventh splits. Bens Jenna recorded the quickest mile of the seven divisions, hitting the wire in 1:57.1, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Ideation Hanover and Paris Rose. Ron Adams of LaSalle conditions the Mach Three daughter for David Kryway of Amherstburg and 1362313 Ontario Ltd. of Windsor, Ontario, who acquired the filly for $16,000 from the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Kylie Seelster paced home in the second fastest time, fighting off a top-of-the-stretch challenge from Whitehaven Beach to reach the wire two lengths the best in 1:57.4. Favourite Whitehaven Beach settled for second and Karans Choice was third. Gregg McNair of Guelph trains Kylie Seelster for his partner Keith Waples of Puslinch and Dr. Chris Robson of London, Ontario. The trio purchased the filly from the London Selected Yearling Sale last fall for $44,000. "The first filly is a handy little filly and she raced good, that was a good trip," said Doug McNair about Bens Jenna. "The second filly (Kylie Seelster) raced tough. She's been off a couple of weeks, so it was another impressive mile tonight." One race later the McNairs returned to the winner's circle with Sports Flix, who paced home one and one-half lengths ahead of favourite Lady Maya and Southwind Thundra, driven by McClure, in 2:00.3. James Fraleigh of Dresden, Ontario owns the daughter of Sportswriter and $1.3 million winner Moving Pictures, offering up $13,000 for her at the London Selected Yearling Sale. "She's been getting better since her first qualifier (June 29) and she got a good trip tonight," said McNair. "They didn't go as much as the rest, but she got the job done." The other three Grassroots divisions went to Better Now in 1:59.1, Jessicas Legacy in 1:58 and Twin B Friendly in 1:58.3. Heading into the evening's final race, a preferred trot, tied with three wins each, McNair and McClure put on a show for Grand River fans. First and second turning for home, McClure urged favourite Katch Kanna home to a one length victory in 1:59, leaving McNair to settle for second with pacesetter Spartan Victory. "Me and Dougie both had three going into the last. He cut the mile and I got by him late, and I was doing some chirping, I think," said McClure with a chuckle. The two-year-old pacing fillies make their third Grassroots start on August 20 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, while the three-year-old trotting colts will make their fourth Gold Series appearance on August 26 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. Grand River Raceway's second Ontario Sires Stakes event is on Monday, August 6, when the third three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots event will be part of the Elora oval's annual Industry Day celebration. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Stay Hungry and Courtly Choice were the harness racing winners of the $50,000 eliminations for next week's Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Saturday night at the Meadowlands. "(The trip) worked out great and he got the job done," said Doug McNair, who guided Stay Hungry to victory in the first elim. "The trips have not worked out 100 percent for him." Until Saturday night, that is. McNair was content to race Stay Hungry from off the pace, sitting fifth at the quarter before picking up live cover from 37-1 shot Ideal Feeling after the half, where even-money favorite Nutcracker Sweet had the lead in :55.1. Ideal Feeling continued to make progress on the rim passing three-quarters. After the field straightened away in the stretch, McNair tipped the son of Somebeachsomewhere off his cover, and Stay Hungry did the rest. He cruised to the wire, a three-quarter length winner over the pocket-sitting Hayden Hanover. Thinkbig Dreambig closed well for third, while Nutcracker Sweet and This Is The Plan finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to qualify for next week's $701,830 final. "He's come back well," said trainer Tony Alagna of Stay Hungry. "The five-eighths mile racing is really not his forte (he finished fourth at Pocono in the Hempt). Everything came together tonight." As the 2-1 second choice, Stay Hungry paid $6.40 to win. He competed the mile in a lifetime-best 1:49. Two races later, Courtly Choice, supplemented to the event by his connections for $61,690, sat third as 4-5 favorite Jimmy Freight (the other supplemental entrant) cut out fractions of :27, :54.2 and 1:22.2. David Miller moved his horse off the rail at the five-eighths and inched closer to the leader around the far turn and still had work to do at the head of the stretch. But he was up to the task. Courtly Choice eased past Jimmy Freight in deep stretch and had more than enough to hold off the late rally of the pocket-sitting American History, who finished three-quarters of a length back in second. Jimmy Freight and Dorsoduro Hanover finished in a dead-heat for third while Babes Dig Me claimed the last spot in the final by finishing fifth. "I actually got away where I expected to," said David Miller. "He felt really strong. I asked him and he paced really hard. He's got big lungs and can carry his speed." "From last year to this year, he's really matured," said winning trainer Blake MacIntosh. "He loves to race now." As the 2-1 second choice in the wagering, Courtly Choice returned $6.00 to his backers. The son of Art Major hit the wire in a lifetime-best 1:48.2. A LITTLE MORE:  No one hit the 50-Cent Pick-5, meaning that for the first time since January, the wager will have a carryover. The last time there was a Pick-5 carryover, the pool total exceeded $250,000. … Speaking of carryovers, the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $276,939. This Friday, July 13, the JSH5 will have a mandatory payout, meaning that to cash, one does not have to hold the only ticket with the winning combination. … For the second consecutive race card after a nearly two-month drought, the 50-Cent Pick-4 pool went past the $100,000 mark, as a total of $108,123 was poured into the pot. … The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 was tough, with three early races going to a pair of 16-1 shots and a 26-1 chance. In the end, only one player survived six legs, and he or she cashed in for $12,491. … All-source wagering on the 12-race card totaled $2,513,366. … Racing resumes Friday at the Big M at 7:15 p.m. … Next Saturday has an early post time of 6:35 p.m. The featured event is the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. That morning, at 11 a.m., a new era in Big M history will be ushered in as sports betting will be available. The field for the $701,830 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, an open event for 3-year-olds, with post position, horse (driver, trainer) and morning-line odds. The Pace takes place on Saturday, July 14 and has an approximate post time of 9:45 p.m. PP HORSE (DRIVER, TRAINER), ODDS 1. Stay Hungry by Somebeachsomewhere - (Doug McNair, Tony Alagna), 3-1 2. This Is The Plan by Somebeachsomewhere - (Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder), 15-1 3. American History by American Ideal (Yannick Gingras, Tony Alagna), 5-1 4. Jimmy Freight by Sportswriter - (Louis-Philippe Roy, Andrew Harris), 9-2 5. Courtly Choice by Art Major - (David Miller, Blake MacIntosh), 5-2 6. Nutcracker Sweet by Bettor's Delight - (No Driver, Jimmy Takter), 15-1 7. Hayden Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere - (Andy Miller, Julie Miller), 8-1 8. Thinkbig Dreambig by Bettor's Delight - (Jordan Stratton, Jimmy Takter), 12-1 9. Babes Dig Me by Somebeachsomewhere - (Brett Miller, Tony Alagna), 30-1 10. Dorsoduro Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere - (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), 15-1 by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands    

MILTON, ON - June 15, 2018 - Every trainers path to the Pepsi North America Cup is an interesting journey. Long hours, tough decisions, fast horses, slow horses and disappointing races is part of the business. But having a dream is what keeps many barns ticking. For most the dream is finding the horse that'll take them to the highest level. A field of 10 three-year-old pacers will line up this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park seeking to fulfill that dream for their connections in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. Each horse in Saturday's million-dollar classic has different traits and a story behind them. Tony Alagna has been to the top of the North America Cup mountain. The Manalapan, New Jersey conditioner won the 2013 edition with Captaintreacherous and nearly captured his second-title with runner-up Racing Hill in 2016. Alagna's barn will send out a pair of starters, Stay Hungry and American History, in Saturday's main event. Stay Hungry (PP2, Doug McNair) was the pick of many during the winter months to win this year's Cup. The son of Somebeachsomewhere had a fantastic two-year-old season that saw him win the $600,000 Breeders Crown and named the O'Brien Award winner as Canada's top two-year-old pacing colt. Alagna's standout makes a ton of noise on the track, but is a calm, cool and collected character when the bright lights are off. "(Stay Hungry) is a very laid-back horse, he's very easy to get along with," Alagna said. "He's very quiet, just a real pleasure to be around. No quirky habits. Walks out of the paddock hooked to the jog cart or walks out of the barn in the morning and stops every morning and just looks around." Stay Hungry could have an opportunity to stop and look at thousands of fans if all goes well in Saturday's North America Cup. The chill-individual is coming in off a victory in his elimination. American History (PP5, Yannick Gingras) is the second-representative from the Alagna barn and a perfect example that just like in any sport, every team has different characters. "He is always on go and he's just the opposite of Stay Hungry," said Alagna about American History. "Where Stay Hungry is very relaxed, (American History) goes to the track and is ready to work. He's (got a) totally different mindset and mentality than the other horse but nothing out of the ordinary, he likes to work." A son of American Ideal, American History has shown big speed and holds a mark of 1:49.1, tied for the fastest in the field. Brian Brown realized his million-dollar classic dream last year when he won the Cup with Fear The Dragon. The Ohio-based trainer is back looking for a repeat with a talented son of Well Said named Done Well (PP7, Tim Tetrick), who suffered his first loss in six-career starts last week, losing by a head to Stay Hungry. Done Well is a tough individual that battled back from injury last year, but grit doesn't make a horse exempt from having fears. "He used to be really scared of tractors," Brown shared about his rising star. "He's gotten over that mainly, still looks at them but he's pretty good that way." Luckily for Done Well, there will be no tractors on the track when the field lines up at approximately 10:40 p.m. Saturday. Like Done Well, Hitman Hill (PP10, Brett Miller) knows a thing about winning streaks. The Chris Oakes trainee started his career by winning six-consecutive starts and dominating the New York Sires Stakes last season. Hitman Hill won his second-lifetime start in 1:50.4, showing incredible speed and superstar potential. However, the American Ideal colt became a little too charged up during his run of victories and big speed as a rookie. "I drove him last year and raced him three starts where I thought he was the best colt in the country," driver Brett Miller said. "But he got really hot where we couldn't control him and it kind of ruined the rest of his year." Settling down Hitman Hill became the focus for the Oakes team. The American Ideal gelding has been raced much differently in three starts this season with Miller admitting he's been hesitant to send him to the front. "So far he's been very calm and I can do anything I want with him. Last year his game was he was best on the front, but I'm afraid to put him there again." Hitman Hill unleashed a :26.2 final-quarter to rally from eighth and finish third in his Cup elimination. Miller is hopeful the relaxed nature continues for the Oakes trainee. "I just hope we can keep him calm because in my opinion, he can go with any horse in here." The field of ten for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup is comprised of eight colts and two geldings. All ten are writing different stories, but only one will have a fairytale ending to their current chapter this Saturday The $1 million Pepsi North America Cup is carded as Race 12 on Saturday's program from Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time for the stakes-filled card is 6:30 p.m. To download a free program for Saturday's card, click here. Here is the full field for Saturday's race. #1 St Lads Neptune - Jody Jamieson/Stephanie Jamieson - 8/1 #2 Stay Hungry - Doug McNair/Tony Alagna - 5/2 #3 Wes Delight - Corey Callahan/Mark Harder - 9/2 #4 Lather Up - Montrell Teague/Clyde Francis - 2/1 #5 American History - Yannick Gingras/Tony Alagna - 10/1 #6 Lost In Time - Scott Zeron/Jimmy Takter - 8/1 #7 Done Well - Tim Tetrick/Brian Brown - 4/1 #8 Nutcracker Sweet - David Miller/Jimmy Takter - 15/1 #9 Hayden Hanover - Andy Miller/Julie Miller - 20/1 #10 Hitman Hill - Brett Miller/Chris Oakes - 20/1 AE: Burning Midnight - Trevor Henry/Corey Giles - 20/1 by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

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