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Brad Grant watched Ramona Hill's Hambletonian Stakes win at The Meadowlands in August from his home in Canada because of COVID-19 international travel restrictions. But now Grant, one of Ramona Hill's six owners, is getting to spend some quality time with the harness racing filly in his own backyard at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park. Last week, Ramona Hill won a division of the Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters at Mohawk for her fifth victory in six races this season. It was her first Canadian start since winning a Breeders Crown at Mohawk in October. On Saturday, she returns to the Ontario oval for the C$350,000 Elegantimage Stakes, where her nine rivals include Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella. Andy McCarthy will drive Ramona Hill for trainer Tony Alagna. "I'm excited," Grant said, adding with a laugh, "I was beginning to think my partners were hoarding her to the south. At least up here I get her all to myself. We're enjoying getting to spend some time with her." Grant shares ownership of Ramona Hill with U.S.-based partners Michelle and Al Crawford, Robert LeBlanc, John Fodera, and Steve Wienick. Grant, who was among the owners of 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta, watched this year's race on television with his wife Bonnie while the remainder of the group was at The Meadowlands. "It's not the same, but thankfully I had that experience a couple years earlier, so I know what it's like," Grant said. "I had the second-best seat in the house (this year) and I could rewind the race and watch it as much as I wanted. "Bonnie and I were just tickled to watch it on TV and see everybody. It's a great group. We're all just enjoying it. Tony has done a great job and Andy gets along with this filly amazing. Being up here, Tony's mom (Donna Lee, who runs the stable in Canada) has pampered Ramona to death looking after her. We couldn't have it any better." Ramona Hill, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Lock Down Lindy, has won 11 of 13 career races and $1.17 million. She became the 15th filly to beat the boys in the Hambletonian, which she accomplished in a stake-record-equaling 1:50.1. In addition to the Hambletonian and Simcoe, her wins this season include the Del Miller Memorial and the filly division of the Harry M. Zweig Memorial. She is the No. 1-ranked horse in the sport's current Top 10 poll. "There are a number of colts and fillies that could be No. 1 this year," Grant said. "I think if you have a bad week, you could move off where you are and get bumped down the line in a hurry. So, to be on the top of that list, in my mind, is quite an accomplishment." Ramona Hill will look to remain on top with a win in the Elegantimage, but Grant knows it won't be easy. Nancy Takter-trained Sorella, the No. 8-ranked horse in harness racing, has won six of eight starts this season and heads to the race off a win over older male rivals, including returning O'Brien Award winner Musical Rhythm. "She is a great filly," Grant said. "I think it's going to be a heck of a race. There are some others in there, but obviously, a quick glance says the one to beat is Sorella. Hopefully, we can come back with another good race and get it done." Grant owns a second horse in the Elegantimage, Warrawee Vicky, who won last week's other Simcoe Stakes division. She has won three of six races this year and eight of 16 lifetime, earning $243,151. She is trained by Scott McEneny. "She raced well last week so we decided to put her in," Grant said. "We're racing for fourth or fifth money, but the filly has raced really well for me this year and we're pleased with her. Scott has worked hard to get her there, so we thought we should put her in and see how she does." Saturday's card at Mohawk also includes the C$560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old male trotters, headlined by Goodtimes Stakes and Zweig Memorial winner Ready For Moni, as well as eliminations for the Milton (pacing mares), Metro Pace (2-year-old male pacers) and She's A Great Lady (2-year-old filly pacers). Grant is among the owners of Alagna trainees Notorious Pink in the She's A Great Lady's first elimination and Pirate Hanover in the Metro's first elimination. Notorious Pink swept the Whenuwishuponastar at Mohawk earlier this year before competing in the Kentucky Sire Stakes. She has four wins and a second in six starts. Pirate Hanover has a win and a third in three races. "She's a really nice filly," Grant said about Notorious Pink. "I got in on her just as she started racing. She's green but she was pretty good up here before so we thought we would give her a shot. She does seem to like the track up here and (driver) Bobby McClure was her pilot up here before and got along with her really well. "I think Pirate Hanover is a sleeper. He made a break (in a division of the Nassagaweya) but I think he might have clipped the wheel of the horse in front of him. The colt has got a lot of speed and I don't think we've seen the bottom of his tank yet. I'm real excited about that colt. I think he has a ton of upside and I think he's just going to get better as he races." For more about Saturday's card, click here. For complete entries, click here. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

MILTON, ON - September 15, 2020 - The $560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and $350,000 Elegantimage for three-year-old harness racing trotters headlines another rich Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Woodbine's signature races for sophomore trotters are the lead events on a nearly $1.4 million card that also features a $158,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings and eliminations for the Metro Pace, Shes A Great Lady and Milton Stakes. Goodtimes winner Ready For Moni is the likely favourite for the 45th edition of the Canadian Trotting Classic. The Nancy Takter trainee is five for six on the season with his lone defeat a runner-up finish in the Hambletonian. A son of European stallion Ready Cash, Ready For Moni is the richest horse in the field with $605,070 earned this season and $886,520 lifetime. Trainer Ben Baillargeon will look to protect home turf with a pair of starters in the Trotting Classic, HP Royal Theo and Hayek. HP Royal Theo was third in the Goodtimes and currently sits at four for eight with $161,220 earned. The gelded son of Royalty For Life won last year's William Wellwood Memorial and could follow last year's Trotting Classic winner Green Manalishi S, who also pulled off the Wellwood-Trotting Classic double. Hayek is putting together a strong sophomore campaign with four wins and $182,610 earned in nine starts. The gelded son of E L Titan established a Canadian record of 1:53.3 last month over the Grand River Raceway half-mile oval. The Canadian Trotting Classic field also includes Simcoe Stakes winner Jula Trix Treasure for Ake Svanstedt and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes consolation winner Chestnut Hill for 'Nifty' Norman. The $560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic has been carded as Race 5 (8:40 p.m.). The $350,000 Elegantimage is the latest showdown between Hambletonian champion Ramona Hill and Hambletonian Oaks champion Sorella. Both fillies have posted Grand Circuit wins in recent weeks at Mohawk Park. Tony Alagna trainee Ramona Hill cruised to a 1:53.2 victory in last Friday's Simcoe Stakes. The daughter of Muscle Hill is five for six on the season with $775,982 earned. Her rookie season was also nearly flawless, posting a record of six for seven and earning $501,084. Ramona Hill capped off her rookie season with a Breeders Crown victory at Mohawk Park. Takter trainee Sorella is in search of a third straight win at Mohawk Park. The Muscle Hill filly arrived in late-August to win a division of the Casual Breeze and then last week defeated older male rivals in an overnight event. Sorella is six for eight on the season with $431,772 earned after going two for nine as a rookie. The only meeting between Ramona Hill and Sorella following the Hambletonian was in the Zweig Filly Trot on August 21 at Vernon. Ramona Hill posted the victory, while Sorella made an early break. The next highest earner in the field is Sister Sledge, who just like Ramona Hill competed against the boys in the Hambletonian. The Ron Burke trainee is five for nine this season and is approaching $800,000 in career earnings. Ontario Sires Stakes Gold winners Princesspartypants, Trina and Warrawee Vicky will look to pull the upset in the $350,000 race. The Elegantimage has been carded as Race 9 (10:20 p.m.). Saturday's card continues the trend of stakes-filled programs at Mohawk Park. Rookie trotters continue to receive the added spotlight approaching the Mohawk Million. Macho Martini will look to rebound from a third-place finish in last Saturday's William Wellwood Memorial when he takes on nine rivals in a $158,000 OSS Gold event. Tokyo Seelster, who was fourth, and Logan Park, who was eighth, join Macho Martini in the Gold division after racing in the Wellwood. The OSS Gold for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters is carded as Race 3. The Metro Pace is harness racing's richest race for two-year-old pacers. A group of 12 rookie pacers have been split into two $40,000 eliminations. Grand Circuit winners Lawless Shadow and Abuckabett Hanover will square in the second elimination. The Dr. Ian Moore trained Lawless Shadow has won two in a row, including a division of the Nassagaweya on August 29. Alagna trained Abuckabett Hanover turned heads with a seven-length 1:50.3 score in last Saturday's Champlain. The Metro Pace eliminations have been carded as Races 1 and 2. The Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies saw 14 fillies entered and split into two $35,000 eliminations. Takter trainee Caviart Audrey is the horse to beat entering the eliminations. The two-time Grand Circuit winner will headline the field for the second elimination and is in search of her fourth win in five starts. The first elimination features the return of Whenuwishuponastar Series winner Notorious Pink for the Alagna barn and last week's Champlain division winner Scarlett Hanover for Ashleigh Hensley. The Shes A Great Lady eliminations go as Races 11 and 12. Older pacing mares will also be in action Saturday for a pair of $35,000 Milton Stakes eliminations. Roses Are Red champion Warrawee Ubeaut returns to Mohawk Park in the first elimination for trainer Burke. She will take on the more than established likes of Kissin In The Sand, Treacherous Reign and the rising star Lit De Rose, who comes in off a victory in her Mohawk Park Preferred debut. The second elimination sees Caviart Ally return to Mohawk Park in search of a Milton Stakes three-peat. The six-year-old has won the event in each of the last two years, but is just one for six in 2020. The Milton Stakes eliminations are carded as Races 6 and 8. Early program pages for Saturday's rich card are available here. Post time is 7 p.m. The full fields for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage are listed below: $560,000 Canadian Trotting Classic 1 Sky Castles (Louis-Philippe Roy/Andrew Harris) 2 Threefiftytwo (Bob McClure/Luc Blais) 3 Chestnut Hill (Andrew McCarthy/Nifty Norman) 4 Shadrack Hanover (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke) 5 Play Trix On Me (Jody Jamieson/Linda Toscano) 6 Ready For Moni (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter) 7 HP Royal Theo (Louis-Philippe Roy/Ben Baillargeon) 8 Beyond Kronos (Louis-Philippe Roy/Susie Kerwood) 9 Hayek (Sylvain Filion/Ben Baillargeon) 10 Jula Trix Treasure (Sylvain Filion/Ake Svanstedt) $350,000 Elegantimage 1 Ramona Hill (Andrew McCarthy/Tony Alagna) 2 Princesspartypants (Roger Mayotte/Roger Mayotte) 3 Sorella (Yannick Gingras/Nancy Takter) 4 Fortune Starlet (Louis-Philippe Roy/Meg Crone) 5 Tricky Sister (James MacDonald/Andrew Harris) 6 Sister Sledge (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke) 7 Trina (Robert Shepherd/Blake MacIntosh) 8 Warrawee Vicky (Doug McNair/Scott McEneny) 9 She Rocks Kemp (Trevor Henry/Tony O'Sullivan) 10 Whose Blues (Bob McClure/Luc Blais) AE Solsbury Hill (Rick Zeron/Rick Zeron) by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - September 14, 2019 - Evident Beauty overcame a post-ten starting spot to score a 9/1 upset victory in Saturday night's Elegantimage harness racing stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   The Richard 'Nifty' Norman trainee capitalized off a great steer from driver David Miller to rally from third-over at the head of the lane for a 1:53 victory in the $376,000 event for three-year-old trotting fillies.   "I thought I better got forward with her some and it actually worked out great," said Miller. "They were working pretty hard up front and I felt pretty good in the last turn."   Evident Beauty left from post-ten and got away seventh, while an early lead shuffle settled with The Ice Dutchess leading the field up to the half in :55.3. When Dovescry came first up on the far turn, providing cover for Only Take Cash and Evident Beauty.   The three-quarter time popped up 1:24.1 with The Ice Dutchess surrendering the lead to the outside pressure.   When Dovescry moved to the lead momentarily, but Only Take Cash muscled by her with victory in her sights. However, Evident Beauty was full of the most trot and powered by on the far outside for a half-length victory. Only Take Cash was second, while When Dovescry was third and Princess Deo fourth.   Evident Beauty   Evident Beauty made a costly break in last week's Simcoe Stakes and entered the Elegantimage with miscues in two of her last four starts. Miller noted a solution the connections came up with that may have played a role in the victory.   "We really can't figure out why she's doing that, but we watched her Hambletonian Oaks replay and last week's and every time I pull the ear plugs she takes off running," explained Miller. "Tonight they didn't put a string on there."   A daughter of Trixton, Evident Beauty improved to six for 11 on the season with her ninth career victory. She now has $753,463 earned for owners Mel Hartman, Little E LLC and R A W Equine Inc.   Evident Beauty paid $21.40 to win.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - September 12, 2019 - Trainer Bob McIntosh will send his Ohio-bred harness racing star Only Take Cash from the rail into her first major Grand Circuit foray, the $376,000 Elegantimage Final, this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   A daughter of Cash Hall bred and owned by Bob McIntosh Stables Inc. and co-owned by Dave Boyle and Mardon Stables, Only Take Cash has raced almost exclusively on the Ohio Sires Stakes (OHSS) circuit. With 14 wins from 17 starts, Only Take Cash has accrued nearly $600,000 in earnings and made Bob McIntosh the third trainer in harness racing history to earn over $100 million in purses.   "I didn't realize I was only the third guy to do that so that made it a little extra special," McIntosh said. "It feels great."   Only Take Cash made her Grand Circuit debut on Aug. 23 when winning an $83,123 division of the Casual Breeze at Woodbine Mohawk Park. McIntosh staked her lightly due to her broodmare, Armbro Affair, not producing high-earning offspring.   "This filly trained good all spring," McIntosh said, "but I thought 'Oh, she's just a sires stakes filly in Ohio that'll be enough.' But then after she showed her stuff last year in Ohio, I did put her in a few more things this year. She had to prove herself to me first."   Only Take Cash dominated the OHSS as a two-year-old, losing on one occasion. She won the $275,000 championship by over five lengths and maintained her top-level form to defend her title in the $300,000 championship this year.   "It was pretty evident about halfway through last year that she was a little special," McIntosh said. "She's the ultimate professional filly. She has no wasted motion or gait--you can leave with her, take her back, do anything you want; she's got the most efficient gait of any trotter I've ever trained. She's not real big, but she's compact and just special."   Trevor Henry pilots Only Take Cash from post-one. After many outside draws in OHSS prelims, McIntosh joked that he "was starting to get a little suspicious." But - while drawing well as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line--Only Take Cash faces her toughest competition to date, with Hambletonian Oaks-winner When Dovescry starting from post-three, Zweig Memorial-winner The Ice Dutchess from post-nine and Evident Beauty from post-ten.   When asked if she can compete with the top fillies, McIntosh said "That's the million-dollar question I guess. I'll say this: she won't embarrass herself. Anything this filly does is not going to shock me. I think we can make a little noise and get a good paycheck out of it. And to get it all that would be extra nice. Hopefully we snag a prize. If we snag the big one, there'll be a lot of celebrating. It'll be a long night."   The Elegantimage Final, carded as Race 10, is the companion feature to Saturday's headlining event, the $605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. Frosh trotting fillies also compete in the $405,000 Peaceful Way Final while the two-year-old trotting colts contest in the $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial. The 12-race program also features two eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady and two eliminations for the Metro Pace. Saturday's card starts with first-race post at 7:30 p.m. (EDT).   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

This Week In Harness Racing: Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way finals, and Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off at Tioga Downs on Friday (Sept. 13) with four $10,000 races in the Kindergarten Series, one event each for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park will be held on Saturday (Sept. 14) and will feature the C$605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$376,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$370,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old trotting colts, the C$405,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old trotting fillies, two C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the Tioga races are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk Park races are available at this link. Last time: On closing night of the 2019 Eldorado Scioto Downs meet, Atlanta withstood the late charge of two rivals to hold on for the victory in the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial while in the next race, McWicked came flying down the middle of the stretch for a narrow win in the $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial. McWicked used a late charge down the middle of the stretch to win the $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs. USTA/Mark Hall photo. With Lather Up scratched in the Jim Ewart, 2-1 favorite McWicked (Brian Sears) got away fifth as Filibuster Hanover (Chris Page) led the nine-horse field through a :25.3 first quarter. This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) moved past Filibuster Hanover and led through fractions of :52.4 and 1:20 and to the top of the stretch. Fifth while turning for home, Sears guided McWicked to the center of the track passing four rivals to win by a nose in 1:49. Donttellmeagain and Western Fame dead heated for second and Courtly Choice was fourth, a neck back. "He was a little loose on his cover, but you know he just keeps digging to the wire," said Sears following the win. "Casie's (Coleman) done an amazing job bringing him back. I want to thank (owner) Ed James for letting us race him again another year. It's been a lot of fun. This horse, he shows up every week and gives it his all." For McWicked, an 8-year-old son of McArdle, it was his fourth win in 2019, the 38th of his career and increased his lifetime earnings to $4,622,405. He is owned by S S G Stables and trained by Casie Coleman. In the $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial, Yannick Gingras and Atlanta held off the late charges of Plunge Blue Chip and Mission Accepted to win in a track record 1:51.4. "I was hoping maybe for a lot of crazy speed early, so I could race off a helmet or chasing down horses any way," said Gingras. "I think that's her best game. But the way it worked out, I was able to make the front end and I knew Timmy (Tetrick on favorite Guardian Angel As) was parked the whole mile, so that was definitely a plus." After being parked third as Mission Accepted led the nine-horse field to the first quarter in :27.1, Gingras moved Atlanta to the lead the first time past the grandstand then led through fractions of :56 and 1:24. With the lead turning for home, Gingras allowed Atlanta to drift out a little off the turn leaving room for Plunge Blue Chip and Mission Accepted to challenge the winner on the inside. Atlanta's winning margin over Plunge Blue Chip was a head and third-place Mission Accepted was a half-length back. Favorite Guardian Angel As finished fourth. Atlanta, a 4-year-old Chapter Seven mare, is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. She has now won seven of 11 starts this year and is 19-for-35 lifetime with $1,799,089 in career earnings. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 863.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 656; 3. David Miller - 541; 4. Dexter Dunn - 491; 5. Brian Sears - 414. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 748; 2. Tony Alagna - 446; 3. Marcus Melander - 359; 4. Jim King Jr. - 306.5; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 305. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 192; 2. Brad Grant - 168.8; 3. Courant Inc. - 152.5; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 135.9; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 123.4. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Woodbine Mohawk Park and Hoosier Park. Delaware will be hosting nine Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the third and final leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Mohawk will feature the the Milton for older pacing mares and Metro and She's A Great Lady finals for freshman pacers; and Hoosier will host seven Grand Circuit races, including the Caesars Trotting Classic for open trotters and the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Ciruit  

MILTON, ON - February 8, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to issue a reminder to all owners and trainers of the new conditions for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage ahead of the February 15 deadline for nominations. The events for three-year-old trotters will no longer require eliminations, as the top ten (10) highest lifetime money-earners entered will contest the finals on Saturday, September 14 at Mohawk Park. Woodbine Entertainment will recognize Canadian and American earnings as equal. (Example: A horse with $100,000 earned in the US and a horse with $100,000 earned in Canada will be recognized as having the same earnings) Trotters entered that fall outside the top ten (10) in earnings will be eligible for a consolation. The consolation will be contested for 10 per cent of the event's purse pool (before entry fees) and requires a minimum of eight starters. If a declared trotter fails to be among the top ten (10) lifetime money earners and a consolation does not fill, or a trotter falls outside the top twenty (20) earners, all stakes payments will be refunded to the owner of the horse, provided the horse meets the current qualifying standards at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The estimated purse for the Canadian Trotting Classic is $665,000, while the Elegantimage is $350,000. To review the stakes conditions for all Woodbine administrated events, click here. Nominations are due no later than Friday, February 15. To make payments online, click here. If sending nominations by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than February 15, 2019 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

Manchego with her game second place finish this past weekend in the Elegantimage Stakes, has jumped back to #1 in the Top Ten Poll. Alanta, who was third in the Elegantimage, dropped to 2nd place this week. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 17 – 9/18/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Manchego (13) 3tf 10-6-3-0 $564,234 287 2 2 Atlanta (11) 3tf 9-6-2-1 $759,233 277 1 3 McWicked (3) 7ph 12-7-2-1 $902,114 231 3 4 Shartin N (1) 5pm 19-14-1-0 $759,111 210 4 5 Courtly Choice (2) 3pc 12-9-0-0 $655,393 169 5 6 Kissin In The Sand (1) 3pf 11-7-4-0 $599,070 102 7 7 Lather Up (1) 3pc 12-10-0-0 $664,865 99 8 8 Marion Marauder (1) 5th 9-5-4-0 $444,680 98 9 9 Stay Hungry (1) 3pc 11-5-0-4 $650,000 96 10 10 Crystal Fashion (1) 3tg 13-9-3-0 $908,207 94 -- Also: Hannelore Hanover (87); Ariana G (31); Phaetosive (28); Green Manalishi S (24); Captain Ahab (14); Six Pack (12); Plunge Blue Chip (11); The Ice Dutchess (10); Jimmy Freight (9); Dorsoduro Hanover, Wisdom Tree (7); Caviart Ally, Lazarus N, Youaremycandygirl (4); Met’s Hall, Will Take Charge (3); Woodside Charm (2); Melodies Major, Only Take Cash (1).  

MILTON, ON - September 15, 2018 - Phaetosive and trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer went from blocked at the rail to reaching up just in time on the outside in a wild $340,000 Elegantimage Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Although it was a field of seven three-year-old trotting fillies competing, the Elegantimage Stakes was essentially a three-horse race with superstars Atlanta, Manchego and Phaetosive clashing for the first-time this season. Hambletonian champion Atlanta was blasted to the lead by driver Scott Zeron, posting a :27.1 opener. Manchego and driver Yannick Gingras got away right behind Atlanta, while Phaetosive and Smedshammer left from the rail in third. Zeron used his position on the lead to grab a soft second-quarter of :29.2. The tempo ramped up on the final-turn, as Blonde Magic and driver Jody Jamieson started pushing up on the outside from fifth. The outside mover gave Gingras his cue to pop the two-hole nearing three-quarters, while Smedshammer stayed in with Phaetosive. Atlanta reached three-quarters in 1:24.4 and led the fillies into the lane with Manchego at her wheel. The Hambletonian Day heroes engaged in battle with Manchego overtaking the lead in the final-eighth. As the lead pair battled, Phaetosive attempted to come up the inside, but no lane was available and Smedshammer went inside one pylon while taking back. Despite losing momentum, Phaetosive came across to the far outside and unleashed a furious late push to nail Manchego at the line for a 1:52.2 victory. The margin of victory was a neck. Atlanta finished third, beat 2½ lengths. The AGCO Judges reviewed Smedshammer's stretch drive and determined there was no violation committed. "Up until the three-quarter pole everything went like I planned," said Smedshammer following the victory. "When Yannick (Gingras) pulled in front of me, I thought it was going to be easier to go inside, I really thought they were going to sprint home a little bit more. "The rail didn't open up," continued Smedshammer. "I tried inside Scotty (Zeron), but he wasn't going to open up anything and I actually skimmed a pylon there, but I want back outside. She had every opportunity to get beat tonight." A daughter of Explosive Matter, Phaetosive picked up her sixth win of the season Saturday and 10th win in 15 career starts. The Smedshammer trainee has only two losses this season with the first being against colts in her season debut and most recent being a second-place finish to Manchego in the Hambletonian Oaks on August 4. "She's been great her whole life and Manchego's been getting the best of her in every start before, but today was our turn," said Smedshammer, who has managed his star filly carefully. "She is fresh. She had a couple of incidents after the Oaks that set her back a little bit. She shipped up here yesterday and I knew today she was very calm and very good in the paddock. Everything was her way tonight." Phaetosive, who entered the Elegantimage off a victory in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, has now earned $567,864 this season and $845,604 in her career for owner Purple Haze Stables LLC of Fairport, New York. A $2 win ticket on Phaetosive returned $11.30. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Wanda Polisseni does not know what will happen in Saturday's C$340,000 Elegantimage Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park, where her Purple Haze Stables' Phaetosive meets harness racing's top-ranked horses, No. 1 Atlanta and No. 2 Manchego. But she already knows how she will feel about her filly at the end of the day. "It's a tough race, but she will do the best she can," Polisseni said. "And whatever she does, I'm all for it and I will be very appreciative. My horses never have to win for me to be happy. I love them and I want them to be healthy and have a good race and do the best they can. "Those other two fillies are absolutely terrific," she added. "There are a lot of people that want to see them, myself included." Hambletonian champion Atlanta and Hambletonian Oaks winner Manchego will be meeting for the second time this year. Manchego, the 2017 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, won the first encounter by 1-3/4 lengths in the Casual Breeze Stakes on Aug. 24 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Phaetosive, who finished second to Manchego in the Hambletonian Oaks, will join them for the first time this season. The trio met once last year, in the Breeders Crown final at Hoosier Park. Manchego won, capping a perfect 12-for-12 campaign, while Phaetosive finished third and Atlanta fourth. In the Elegantimage, Manchego is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the seven-horse field, followed by Atlanta at 7-5 and Phaetosive at 8-5. "It's a hell of a race," said Trond Smedshammer, who trains and drives Phaetosive. "I'm sure (Atlanta) is going to be looking for a rebound. They're going to be racing, that's for sure. Hopefully I can sit close enough to be a part of it." Saturday's Woodbine Mohawk card also includes the C$665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trotters, C$400,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters, C$385,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old female trotters, two eliminations for the Metro Pace for 2-year-old pacers, and two eliminations for the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old female pacers. Phaetosive, a daughter of Explosive Matter out of Phaeton, has won five of seven races this year and heads to the Elegantimage off a win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on Sept. 2. For her career, the filly has won nine of 14 races and never finished worse than third. She has earned $657,717. "I love her; she's terrific," Polisseni said. "She is gutsy. I can't describe it, but she is gutsy. I love her form and I love to watch her race." Phaetosive had breathing problems earlier this season, but the issue was corrected with a minor procedure rather than surgery, which would have prevented her from racing in the Hambletonian Oaks. She also tied up the day prior to her first race following the Oaks, Aug. 21, but recovered and won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. "It's something you've got to watch with her," Smedshammer said about the tying up. "She's done it before. She hasn't done it since, but we've been obviously very careful watching her schedule. It's not a big problem, but it's something you've got to watch." Polisseni's Purple Haze Stables ranks sixth among all owners in purses this season, with trotters Perlucky and Classichap joining Phaetosive as six-figure earners. Polisseni's past stars included millionaire Dejarmbro and Blacktuxwhitesocks, who were both New York Sire Stakes champions. Blacktuxwhitesocks also won once in Norway. "I love all my horses, each of them for a different reason or something special," Polisseni said. She added, "Every horse in every race deserves to get a cheer at the end of the race." Racing at Woodbine Mohawk begins at 7:25 p.m. (EDT) with the Metro eliminations. The Peaceful Way follows as race three, the Wellwood race five, Canadian Trotting Classic race seven, and Elegantimage race 10. The She's A Great Lady elims are races six and eight. Complete entries can be found here. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the first 1,000 fans will receive a special commemorative postcard featuring Hambletonian champion Atlanta. Mohawk Park will also be serving a special drink named "The Atlanta" in its various dining locations and $1 from each drink sold will be donated to the Milton District Hospital Foundation. The second annual New Owners Seminar will be taking place prior to Saturday's card. The seminar is open to the public and anyone interested in learning more about racehorse ownership is invited. The seminar will start at 6 p.m. in the North America Cup room. Following is the field in post-position order for the Elegantimage Stakes. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Phaetosive-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-8/5 2-Manchego-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-6/5 3-Alloveragain-Randy Waples-John Bax-30/1 4-Blonde Magic-Jody Jamieson-Tom Durand-20/1 5-Jordan Blue Chip-Tim Tetrick-Mike Keeling-20/1 6-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron-7/5 7-Sneeker Hanover-Paul MacDonell-Duane Marfisi-30/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

This Week: Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, William Wellwood Memorial, and Peaceful Way finals; and Milton Stakes, Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off at Tioga Downs on Friday (Sept. 14) with two $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and single $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters, 2-year-old colt pacers and 2-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Woodbine Mohawk Park also begins on Friday with two C$35,000 eliminations in the Milton for older pacing mares. A big Saturday card will feature the C$665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old open trotters, the C$340,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old filly trotters, the C$400,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old trotting colts, the C$385,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old trotting fillies, two C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old pacing colts and two C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Complete entries for the Tioga races are available at this link. Entries for the Woodbine Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: On Saturday evening (Sept. 8) at Eldorado Scioto Downs, Split The House (Aaron Merriman) demonstrated why he is the defending Breeders Crown champion with a 1:49.1 triumph over Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble) in the $250,000 Jim Ewart Memorial. Split The House was a neck winner over Nuclear Dragon in 1:49.1 on a sloppy track. Filibuster Hanover (Tony Hall) was third, with Western Fame (Tyler Smith) and favored McWicked (David Miller) dead-heating for fourth on the sloppy track. Merriman and his charge stated their case when leaving with conviction from post position six. Nuclear Dragon, however, snatched the front to lead the field through a sharp :26.2 first quarter-mile. Noble continued to sulky-sit as Nuclear Dragon paced his splits in :53.2 and 1:20.4. It appeared the 6-year-old gelding was on his way to his first Grand Circuit victory. That is until a resurgent Split The House rallied on the rail to win by a neck and collect his second victory of the season in nine starts and 14th in 39 career efforts. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Split The House is trained by Chris Oakes. He has now earned $306,846 in 2018 and $913,179 lifetime. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 843.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 820.5; 3. David Miller - 539.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 402; 5. Jordan Stratton - 288. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 697.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 629; 3. Tony Alagna - 440; 4. Jim Campbell - 256; 5. Erv Miller - 245. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 169; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 154.3; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 149.3; 4. Brittany Farms - 147.4; 5. Robert Key - 122. Looking ahead: A busy schedule of Grand Circuit racing will be taking place next week at the Delaware County Fair, Woodbine Mohawk Park and Hoosier Park. Delaware will be hosting nine Grand Circuit events, led by the Little Brown Jug, the third and final leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds; Woodbine Mohawk will feature the finals of the Milton for older pacing mares and Metro and She's A Great Lady for freshman pacers; Hoosier will host seven Grand Circuit races, including the Caesars Trotting Classic for open trotters and the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit    

MILTON, ON - September 11, 2018 - Over $2 million in purses will be up for grabs on a stakes-filled program this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-olds is the evening's richest event and one of eight stakes races (four finals, four eliminations) on the card. The $400,000 William Wellwood Memorial (two-year-old trotters), $385,000 Peaceful Way (two-year-old filly trotters) and $340,000 Elegantimage (three-year-old filly trotters) complete the quartet of rich finals. The eliminations for the Metro Pace (two-year-old pacers) and Shes A Great Lady (two-year-old fillies) will also be contested with each event requiring two eliminations. Adding to the stacked program, Lazarus N, 'The Wonder from Down Under', will compete for just the third-time in North American and first-time since finishing second in the Canadian Pacing Derby. The Jimmy Takter trained six-year-old is entered in the $34,000 Preferred. A total of 13-races will take place on Saturday's $2 million card. Here is a look at the feature events. $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic - Race 7 A field of 11 sophomore trotters will clash in Canada's richest trotting event of 2018. Crystal Fashion (PP10, Tim Tetrick) and Mets Hall (PP2, Andy Miller) lead the field in earners with each having banked over $800,000. Trained by Jim Campbell, Crystal Fashion captured the $253,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) Championship in his last outing on September 2. The gelded son of Cantab Hall has won seven of his last eight starts with his only loss during the run begin a fourth-place finish in the $1 million Hambletonian final. Mets Hall comes into the Trotting Classic on a two-race win streak with victories in the $169,183 Simcoe on September 1 at Mohawk Park and $350,000 Zweig Memorial on August 17 at Vernon. The Julie Miller trainee is three for seven on the season. The overflow field for Saturday's rich event also includes last season's O'Brien Award winner Alarm Detector (PP6, Trevor Henry) and Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill (PP8, Brett Miller). Trainers Ben Baillargeon and Jimmy Takter will each send out a pair of starters. Alarm Detector joins Ontario Sires Stakes standout Run Director (PP7, Sylvain Filion) to make up the Baillargeon duo, while Takter's duo consists of last year's rookie sensation You Know You Do (PP3, Yannick Gingras) and Italian-bred Zephyr Kronos (PP11, Takter). The Canadian Trotting Classic is carded as Race 7 and post time is approximately 9:31 p.m. $340,000 Elegantimage - Race 10 Arguably the most-anticipated race of the evening, the Elegantimage for three-year-old trotting fillies is round-two in the Atlanta vs. Manchego rivalry. The Hambletonian champion Atlanta (PP6, Scott Zeron) and Oaks champion Manchego (PP2, Gingras) met for the first-time this season on August 24 at Mohawk Park in the Casual Breeze. Takter trainee Manchego came out on top in their first-meeting, improving her 2018 record to six wins in nine starts. Rick Zeron trained Atlanta finished second in the Casual Breeze and currently sports a record of six wins and two runner-up finishes in eight starts this season. Manchego and Atlanta finished more than 10 lengths ahead of the third-place finisher in the Casual Breeze, but that likely won't happen again Saturday. Trond Smedshammer trainee Phaetosive (PP1, Smedshammer) joins the mix for the Elegantimage and comes in off a victory in the PASS Championship. The daughter of Explosive Matter is five for seven this season and finished second to Manchego in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks. No eliminations were required for the Elegantimage, as only the connections of four other trotting fillies were brave enough to tackle the star fillies. The Elegantimage is carded as Race 10 with an approximate post time of 10:40 p.m. $400,000 William Wellwood Memorial - Race 5 Marcus Melander trainee Green Manalishi S posted an impressive elimination victory last Saturday and will likely be the morning-line choice in Canada's richest race for two-year-old trotters. A son of Muscle Hill, Green Manalishi (PP3, Tetrick) was a 1:54.4 gate-to-wire winner in his elimination. The Melander trainee improved to three for five with the career-best score. His richest payday to this point was a runner-up finish in the $422,350 Peter Haughton Memorial on August 4 at The Meadowlands. Domenico Cecere trainee Union Forces (PP4, Scott Zeron) pulled off a 33-1 upset victory in last Saturday's other elimination. The son of Cantab Hall converted off a two-hole trip to power by the previously undefeated Swandre The Giant in 1:55.3. Union Forces is one of two Cecere trainees competing in the Wellwood final. Kings County (PP8, David Miller) finished second to Green Manalishi S in his elimination, which came on the heels of a Champlain Stakes score. All the hype heading into the Wellwood eliminations was focused on Swandre The Giant (PP7, Gingras), who was debuting for new connections and trainer Takter following a private purchase, reported to be in the "seven-digits" range. The son of Swan For All surrendered the lead in the lane and finished second for the first-loss of his career. The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 5 and post time is approximately 8:46 p.m. $385,000 Peaceful Way - Race 3 Elimination winners The Ice Dutchess (PP3, Gingras) and Sisters Promise (PP4, Tetrick) lead the field of 10 rookie trotting fillies for the Peaceful Way. Takter trainee The Ice Dutchess got back on track in her elimination after making back-to-back breaks. The daughter of Muscle Hill was competing for the first-time in a wagering event with trotting hopples and made no mistakes for a 1:55.4 score. The Ice Dutchess will be searching for another rich victory on Saturday to go with her win in the $357,450 Jim Doherty Memorial on August 4. Linda Toscano trainee Sisters Promise also won her elimination in 1:55.4. The daughter of Father Patrick came first-up and muscled by Takter trainee Susy (PP2, Takter) for her second win in four starts. The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 3 and post time is approximately 8:05 p.m. Metro Pace Eliminations - Races 1 and 2 This year's Metro Pace has attracted 17 rookie pacing colts and geldings. The group of 17 have been split into a pair of $40,000 eliminations with the top-five finishers from each advancing to the final on September 22. This year's Metro Pace final will go for a purse of $890,000, the highest purse for the event since 2012. The first split is headlined by Casie Coleman trainee Stag Party (PP6, Miller), who suffered a surprising defeat in last Friday's Champlain Stakes. A son of Bettors Delight, Stag Party is four for six on the season and has multiple Ontario Sires Stakes Gold victories, a Grand Circuit win and a Canadian Record to his name. His loss in the Champlain was the first-time another horse beat him to the wire, as his only other loss came via disqualification. Cruise Captain, who beat Stag Party in the Champlain, will also line up in the first-split. The Victor Puddy trained son of Captaintreacherous had been battling in PASS most of the summer before coming back to Mohawk Park and breaking his maiden in the Champlain. The second Metro elimination will feature a showdown between Captaintreacherous colts Captain Ahab (PP5, Andrew McCarthy) and De Los Cielos Deo (PP8, Gingras). Tony Alagna trainee Captain Ahab is a perfect six for six entering his elimination with his most recent victories coming in the Champlain and Nassagaweya Stakes. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, 'Ahab' has made four of his six starts at Mohawk Park. Ron Burke trainee De Los Cielos Deo started his career five for five before finishing second in the PASS Championship on September 1. A $140,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, De Los Cielos Deo will be making his first start outside Pennsylvania. The Metro Pace eliminations have been carded as Races 1 and 2. Post time for the eliminations is approximately 7:25 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Shes A Great Lady Eliminations - Races 6 and 8 A competitive group of 19 rookie pacing fillies will battle in a pair of $35,000 eliminations Saturday to qualify for the $590,000 Shes A Great Lady final on September 22. The Alagna stable sends out the strong duo of Captaintreacherous fillies Treacherous Reign (PP2, McCarthy) and Key West (PP10, Brett Miller) in the first split. Treacherous Reign will be making her Mohawk Park debut and enters off a fourth-place finish in the PASS Championship on September 1. The $50,000 Lexington Selected purchase is four for six and holds an impressive mark of 1:51.1. Key West will be making her fifth consecutive start at Mohawk Park. The $130,000 Lexington Selected buy is three for six and has Grand Circuit victories in a division of the Kindergarten and Eternal Camnation. Her most recent start was a fourth-place finish in last Friday's Champlain, which marked the first-time she didn't finish in the top-two. The first elimination also features Queen Of The Pride (PP5, David Miller), who returns to Mohawk Park off a victory in last Saturday's Ohio Sires Stakes Championship at Scioto Downs for trainer Kevin Lare. Her last visit to Mohawk Park was a third-place finish in a division of the Eternal Camnation on August 25. Dave Menary trainee Quebec Blue Chip (PP2, Jody Jamieson) headlines the second elimination. A daughter of Sportswriter, Quebec Blue Chip is six for eight and riding a five-race win streak. Her victories during the win streak include divisions of the Champlain, Eternal Camnation and the final of the $163,840 Battle of the Belles. The Alagna barn continues their strong representation in the eliminations with Tall Drink Hanover (PP5, McCarthy) lining up in the second split. The daughter of Captaintreacherous is three for six with victories in a division of the Eternal Camnation and final of the Whenuwishuponastar Series. Sportswriter filly Deb (PP8, Trevor Henry) is the other Grand Circuit winner in the second elimination. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee scored an upset victory in a division of the Champlain last Friday. The Shes A Great Lady eliminations have been carded as Races 6 and 8. Post time for the eliminations is approximately 9:06 p.m. and 9:55 p.m. Lazarus N to race again at Mohawk Park - Race 9 Lazarus N's visit to Canada has been extended by another start. 'The Wonder from Down Under' will compete in Saturday's $34,000 Preferred Pace and has drawn post-seven in a field of nine. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Lazarus N suffered his first-loss on North American soil when he surrendered the lead in the lane and finished second to McWicked in the $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby on September 1. The Pacing Derby has been Lazarus N's only start since his North American debut on August 10. Takter noted after the Pacing Derby that the six-year-old needed some more North American racing experience. "I trained him a fast mile last week at home but that is not the same as having a race, especially with an older horse like him," said Takter to the New Zealand Herald after the Pacing Derby. "So missing an elimination last week didn't help and I honestly think it will still take him another two or three races up here learning how we race to get used to it." Regular driver Yannick Gingras will again sit behind Lazarus N. Nirvana Seelster (PP5, Trevor Henry) is the only other Canadian Pacing Derby finalist in the field. American Wiggle (PP6, Louis Philippe Roy) captured last Saturday's Preferred. The Preferred Pace has been carded as Race 9 and post time is approximately 10:15 p.m. Details for Saturday at Mohawk Park A special post time of 7:25 p.m. has been set for Saturday's $2 million card. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the first 1,000 fans will receive a special commemorative postcard featuring Hambletonian champion Atlanta. Mohawk Park will also be serving a special drink named 'The Atlanta' in its various dining locations and $1 from each drink sold will be donated to the Milton District Hospital Foundation. The second annual New Owners Seminar will be taking place prior to Saturday's card. The seminar is open to the public and anyone interested in learning more about racehorse ownership is invited. The seminar will start at 6 p.m. in the North America Cup room. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - September 10, 2018 - Superstar trotting filly Atlanta will be honoured this Saturday (September 15) at Woodbine Mohawk Park for her victory in this year's Hambletonian. The Rick Zeron trained three-year-old trotting filly will be competing in Saturday's $340,000 Elegantimage, which is part of the $1.8 million Canadian Trotting Classic card. The first 1,000 fans to arrive at Mohawk Park for live racing will receive a special commemorative postcard featuring a Claus Andersen photo of Atlanta and driver Scott Zeron winning the Hambletonian. The postcard includes signatures from driver Scott Zeron and trainer Rick Zeron. Woodbine will also be serving a special cocktail in the Mohawk Harvest Kitchen, Trackside Bar and Terrace Buffet named 'The Atlanta'. The drink is a Georgia Peach and $1 from each drink sold will be donated to the Milton District Hospital Foundation. Brad Grant, a co-owner of Atlanta, is a Co-Chair of the Milton District Hospital Foundation (MDHF). Fans can purchase 'The Atlanta' for $6 (plus taxes), while a non-alcoholic version of the drink will also be available for $4 (plus taxes). Atlanta became the first-filly in 22 years to win the Hambletonian when she captured the $1 million final on August 4 at The Meadowlands. Her victory gave longtime Woodbine trainer/driver Rick Zeron his first Hambletonian title and former Woodbine leading driver Scott Zeron his second. The Woodbine Cares team will also be kicking off a 50/50 raffle Saturday to raise funds for the MDHF. Full details regarding the 50/50 raffle will be released later this week.  Doors open Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and fans will be able to pick up their Atlanta postcard near the program desk on the main level. The first 300 fans will receive a free program. The second annual New Owners Seminar will also take place ahead of Saturday's card. The seminar begins at 6 p.m. in the North America Cup room and is open to anyone interested in learning more about racehorse ownership. Post time for Saturday's card is 7:25 p.m. For more information, visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications        

MILTON, ON - September 4, 2018 - The entry box for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage Stakes closed Tuesday morning at Woodbine Mohawk Park with neither event requiring eliminations. The $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for three-year-old trotters attracted 11 entries, while the $340,000 Elegantimage for three-year-old trotting fillies received seven entries. All entrants advance directly to the finals to be contested on Saturday, September 15. Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion Crystal Fashion and Zweig Memorial champion Mets Hall headline the field of 11 for the Canadian Trotting Classic. Trained by Jim Campbell, Crystal Fashion has earned $652,182 this season to bring his career earnings to $813,474, which is the highest in the field. The son of Cantab Hall has won eight of 12 this season, including the $500,000 final of the Earl Beal Memorial, an elimination of the Hambletonian and most recently the $253,000 PASS Championship. Mets Hall is also a son of Cantab Hall and entering the Trotting Classic on a strong roll. The Julie Miller trainee captured the $169,183 Simcoe Stakes last Saturday at Mohawk Park, which came two-weeks after winning the $350,000 Zweig Memorial. A winner of $808,499 lifetime, Mets Hall has earned $541,364 this season with his biggest payday coming from his runner-up finish in the $1 million Hambletonian final. He has won three of seven starts this season. The field for the Canadian Trotting Classic also includes O'Brien Award winner Alarm Detector and last year's Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill. The $340,000 Elegantimage Stakes will be the next showdown between superstars Atlanta and Manchego. The Hambletonian champion and Oaks champion clashed for the first-time this season on August 24 at Mohawk Park with Manchego winning the Casual Breeze Stakes. The next chapter in the Atlanta-Manchego rivalry will also feature the addition of Hambletonian Oaks  runner-up Phaetosive. The Trond Smedshammer trainee enters the Elegantimage off a victory in Sunday evening's PASS Championship and is five for seven this season with $397,864 earned to bring her career earnings to $675,604. Hambletonian champion Atlanta is six for eight this season with her only losses coming to Manchego in the Casual Breeze and Trotting Classic entrant Crystal Fashion in an elimination of the Hambletonian. The Rick Zeron trained filly has earned $737,234 this season. Jimmy Takter trainee Manchego leads the fillies in career earnings with $1.4 million earned in 21 career starts. The Hambletonian Oaks champion has six wins and $517,722 earned in nine starts this season. The Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage Stakes will be joined by the finals of the William Wellwood Memorial and Peaceful Way on September 15 for a card featuring more than $1.8 million in purses. Below are the complete fields for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage. Fields are listed in alphabetical order. $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic Alarm Detector (Trainer: Ben Baillargeon) Crystal Fashion (Trainer: Jim Campbell) Fiftydallarbill (Trainer: William Crone) For A Dreamer (Trainer: Brad Maxwell) Lawmaker (Trainer: Harry Poulton) Mets Hall (Trainer: Julie Miller) Missle Hill (Trainer: Tony Alagna) Run Director (Trainer: Ben Baillargeon) Winning American (Trainer: Paul Reid) You Know You Do (Trainer: Jimmy Takter) Zephyr Kronos (Trainer: Jimmy Takter) $340,000 Elegantimage Alloveragain (Trainer: John Bax) Atlanta (Trainer: Rick Zeron) Blonde Magic (Trainer: Tom Durand) Jordan Blue Chip (Trainer: Mike Keeling) Manchego (Trainer: Jimmy Takter) Phaetosive (Trainer: Trond Smedshammer) Sneeker Hanover (Trainer: Duane Marfisi) by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 16... Ariana G lowered the harness racing stakes, track and Canadian record with a flashy 1:51.4 score in the $385,000 Elegantimage Final for three-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday evening at Mohawk, part of the Canadian Trotting Classic and Maple Leaf Trot undercard. The 1-9 heavy favourite and driver Yannick Gingras got away third as Sweet of My Heart and Dream Together took turns leading the field into the backstretch. Sweet of My Heart was the earlier leader past the :26.4 opening panel. Dream Together was then pulled from the pocket and marched to the front. Before the mid-way point, Ariana G was on the move from third then past the :55.3 half she brushed to the lead and that is where she remained. The homebred filly breezed by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.3 as Dream Together was pulled from the pocket. The 8-1 second choice couldn't catch Ariana G as she opened up by four and one-quarter lengths before crossing the wire. Dream Together stayed for second and Magic Presto was third. When it comes time for Ariana G to retire and become a broodmare, Gingras notes that he will always remember the Jimmy Takter trained trotting miss for her versatility. "She can do anything you want her to do and she is so smart," said he reinsman. "It also makes my job real easy. She has high speed like the top fillies I have driven. She is so easy to drive. Every time I get on the race track I know I'll see how the race plays out." Ariana G, who has finished top three in all but one of her 22 lifetime starts, notched her ninth victory of the season and 18th lifetime. With the win, the daughter Muscle Hill and Cantab It All lifts her career earnings to $1,641,772 for owners/breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, who following the race were presented with a Breeder of the Year Award from Equestrian Canada. Ariana G paid $2.10 and 2.10, combining with Dream Together ($3.40) for a $4.40 (4-3) exacta. A 4-3-7 (Magic Presto) trifecta was worth $7.60, while a $1 superfecta [4-3-7-9 (Dream Baby Dream)] returned $18.70. There was no show wagering. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 14 - Harness racing trainer Paul Reid has a trio of competitors shining during the Grand Circuit festival at Mohawk Racetrack, including Dancer Hall competing in the $684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic this Saturday (September 16) at Mohawk Racetrack. A winner of seven races in 15 starts, Dancer Hall enters the Canadian Trotting Classic final for owner 1187422 Ontario Inc. off a second-place finish in his elimination (to Bills Man). The colt by Deweycheatumnhowe from the Amigo Hall mare Daylon Mystique has earned $76,160 this season. Dancer Hall joined the Reid barn back in the spring after winning three of five starts as a rookie. "He came up sore after the Valley Victory, and he had some issues going up to that where he wasn't sound enough to get a lot of starts in him," Reid said of his abbreviated two-year-old season. "Once I got him and trained him a bit, I had a pretty good idea that he was a nice horse. "He still had some issues we had to iron out--we played around with his rigging a bit and later on I added the hopples. He always felt like he had the speed, but we weren't quite getting it all out of him." Since receiving Dancer Hall, Reid has been conditioning him purely in preparation for the Canadian Trotting Classic, where he will start from post eight. "He was a little sick the start before [his elimination], so we were hoping he would be sharp enough and he was; Doug [Mcnair] drove him great. He's coming out of the [elim] well--right now he's the sharpest he's been all year. It seems like we have the soundness issues under control and now, with the eight hole, we're going to need a little racing luck." The Reid barn will also send out three-year-old trotting filly Sweet Of My Heart in Saturday's $385,000 Elegantimage Stakes. The Angus Hall filly out of the Muscles Yankee mare Sweetheart K, has won five times in 16 starts, earning $216,162 for owner-breeder Rob Key. Prior to her start in the Elegantimage elimination, Sweet Of My Heart broke in the $166,872 Simcoe Stakes when hitting the wheel of another horse moving into the first turn. She was fifth to morning line-favourite Ariana G in her Elegantimage elimination and will start from post five in the final. "I know she gunned out of there in 27 flat; I think she was a little too wound up that night [in the Elegantimage elimination]," Reid said. "When [Jody Jamieson] shut her down, he might've shut her air off a little bit, because she's had some front trips but she's never stopped that bad on the front. We're going to try a new overcheck on her this week and see if that can help keep her a bit more controllable." While the Reid barn is focused on their trotters competing this weekend, they can't help but think ahead to next weekend when star rookie pacing filly Kendall Seelster will compete in the $500,000 Shes A Great. Only eight fillies were entered in the event, which meant eliminations were not necessary. Kendall Seelster, by Shadow Play out of the Bettors Delight mare Kiddie Cocktail, enters the Shes A Great Lady off a 1:52.4 off-the-pace victory in a $125,800 Ontario Sires Stake Gold Division at Mohawk Racetrack. "She's had some tough weeks here recently, so I think [the off week] is going to help us," Reid said. "I'd like to take credit [for her improvement], but she's just a nice horse. She got some good trips that helped braven her up--those two-hole trips where she couldn't get out actually set her up well for the times she actually did [get out]." A winner of three races in eight starts, Kendall Seelster has earned $262,085 for owner 1187422 Ontario Inc. Two starts ago, she broke Percy Bluechip's unbeaten record, upsetting a $169,381 Champlain division at 9-1 in a lifetime-best mile of 1:51.1. "She's actually a pretty easy filly to take care of; she has responded every week. We haven't really had to change anything with her since she baby raced--we let her hopples out a couple times, but it's been amazing to see what she's been able to do, and she's not a big filly either. She's a little temperamental in the post parade, but I can put up with that if she races the way she does." The Reid stable has been making plenty of noise in recent weeks at Mohawk. The conditioner has sent out 44 starters over the last 20 days, posting seven wins and 18 top-three finishes. Momentum is key in any discipline and could help Dancer Hall and Sweet Of My Heart to strong finishes in Saturday's rich finals. Here are the fields for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage Stakes. PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer/Morning Line $684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic 1. Southwind Cobra (M. Kakaley/R. Burke) 20-1 2. Bills Man (C. Callahan/J. Butenschoen) 4-1 3. Dover Dan (B. Miller/J. Butenschoen) 9-2 4. What The Hill (D. Miller/R. Burke) 7-2 5. International Moni (S. Zeron/F. Antonacci) 3-1 6. Seven And Seven (S. Filion/T. Durand) 12-1 7. Long Tom (T. Tetrick/M. Melander) 6-1 8. Dancer Hall (D. McNair/P. Reid) 10-1 9. Victor Gio IT (Y. Gingras/J. Takter) 12-1 10. Lindy The Great (M. MacDonald/F. Antonacci) 15-1 AE: Dunbar Hall (J. Jamieson/C. Jamieson) 30-1   $385,000 Elegantimage Stakes 1. Winter Sweet Frost (D. McNair/R. Boyd) 15-1 2. Lady Grey (P. MacDonell/C. Beelby) 30-1 3. Dream Together (D. Dube/L. Blais) 4-1 4. Ariana G (Y. Gingras/J. Takter) 1-2 5. Sweet Of My Heart (J. Jamieson/P. Reid) 20-1 6. Glitzey Gal (D. Miller/R. Norman) 20-1 7. Magic Presto (T. Henry/R. Norman) 8-1 8. Feed Your Head (L. Roy/J. Takter) 6-1 9. Dream Baby Dream (R. Allen/R. Allen) 12-1 10. On A Sunny Day (S. Filion/L. Blais) 15-1 AE: Mrstery Bear (D. Miller/G. Hebert) 30-1 Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 12 - The $684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and $593,000 Maple Leaf Trot headline an outstanding $2.1 million harness racing card this Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The undercard for Saturday includes the $385,000 Elegantimage Stakes, $256,000 Milton Stakes and three eliminations for the Metro Pace. The $684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic features a talented field of 10 three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, while 10 of the finest older trotters in the sport will compete in the $593,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Trainer John Butenschoen swept last week's eliminations and now looks to finish the job with Bills Man (PP2, Corey Callahan) and Dover Dan (PP3, Brett Miller) in the Canadian Trotting Classic. Corey Callahan steered both Butenschoen trainees to victory last week and has decided to drive Bills Man in Saturday's rich final. "I'll likely stick with Bills Man," said Callahan immediately following the eliminations. "I think he's the fastest of the two, even though (Dover Dan) went a bigger heat tonight, I think just pure speed wise, Bills Man is just a little bit quicker." Bills Man won his elimination by a neck in 1:53.2 over longshot Dancer Hall. The son of Credit Winner is three for 14 this season with five runner-up finishes, including a narrow defeat by a nose in an elimination of the Hambletonian. Bills Man has earned $248,986 earned this season for owners William Wiswell and M And L of Delaware LLC. Dover Dan won his elimination by almost a length in 1:52.3. The son of Andover Hall came into the Trotting Classic elimination off a victory in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship. Owned by Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick, Dover Dan is 4 for 14 this season with $229,148 earned. Brett Miller picks up the drive behind the elimination winner. The Canadian Trotting Classic field also includes Goodtimes Stakes champion International Moni (PP5, Scott Zeron). The Frank Antonacci trainee finished third, beat three-quarters of length, in the elimination won by Dover Dan. A son of French stallion Love You and the great mare Moni Maker, International Moni is five for eight this season with three of his victories coming at Mohawk in the Goodtimes (elimination and final) and Simcoe Stakes. Another notable in the Trotting Classic is What The Hill (PP4, David Miller), who was the original winner of this year's Hambletonian before being disqualified for interference. The Ron Burke trainee finished third in his elimination and was making just his first start since the Hambletonian on August 5. The Canadian Trotting Classic field is completed by Southwind Cobra (PP1, Yannick Gingras), Seven And Seven (PP6, Doug McNair), Long Tom (PP7, Tim Tetrick), Dancer Hall (PP8, Doug McNair), Victor Gio IT (PP9, Yannick Gingras) and Lindy The Great (PP10, Mark MacDonald). The $684,000 Canadian Trotting Classic is carded as Race 5. The Maple Leaf Trot could be the site of a little redemption, as last year's runner-up Hannelore Hanover (PP5, Gingras) is the probable favourite to win the $593,000 event. The five-year-old trotting mare captured her elimination impressively by more than two-lengths in 1:52. It was the fifth win in nine outings this season for the Burke trainee. A winner of over $1.8 million lifetime, Hannelore Hanover sports a stunning career record of 31 wins in 50 starts. She is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and J And T Silva Stables LLC. Mohawk has been a favourite spot for Hannelore Hanover over the past two seasons. She is eight for nine at the Campbellville oval, with her only loss coming in last year's Maple Leaf Trot. "She likes the track no doubt about it," said Gingras following Hannelore Hanover's elimination victory. "She's a big track mare...she's a big strong mare, she likes to stretch her legs and she seems to like this place a lot." Hannelore Hanover is not the only mare in the field, as Jimmy Takter sends out Pasithea Face (PP3, Tim Tetrick). The five-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill came to North America this summer after finding plenty of success in Sweden. Pasithea Face has won two of five starts since coming to North America, including posting a 1:50.4 score last month at Tioga. The Takter trainee finished fifth in her elimination, which was her first start against male rivals. Hannelore Hanover and Pasithea Face will look to become the first mare since Bee A Magician in 2015 to win the Maple Leaf Trot and second since Peaceful Way in 2006. The other elimination winner with plenty of momentum heading into Saturday is Antonacci trainee Mambo Lindy (PP4, Tetrick). The six-year-old gelding pulled off a 26-1 upset in his elimination, winning in a career-best 1:52.2. Mambo Lindy had raced exclusively this season at PlainridgePark in Massachusetts prior to trying the Maple Leaf Trot. He is currently eight for 11 this season with $84,000 earned for owner Greathorse of Hampden, MA. Overall, Mambo Lindy is 22 for 36 lifetime with $175,260 earned. An All-Star field for the Maple Leaf Trot is completed by Windsun Revenge (PP1, Rick Zeorn), Odds On Amethyst (PP2, Pat Hudon), JL Cruze (PP6, D. Miller), Warrawee Roo (PP7, Sylvain Filion), Homicide Hunter (PP8, B. Miller), Musical Rhythm (PP9, Marion Baillargeon) and Gural Hanover (PP10, D. Miller). The $593,000 Maple Leaf Trot is carded as Race 9. Saturday's card features many of the sport's top trotters, including superstar filly Ariana G. The three-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill headlines the $385,000 Elegantimage Stakes. Trained by Takter, Ariana G is undefeated against fillies this season, with her only two losses coming against male rivals when she finished second and third, respectively. Last week, she won her elimination by nearly five-lengths in 1:53.2. Owned and bred by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, Ariana G is 17 for 21 overall with $1.4 million in career earnings. She will start from post-four with driver Gingras in Saturday's contest. Pacers will also have a chance to shine Saturday, as a loaded field of 10 older pacing mares will battle in the $256,000 Milton Stakes. Four-year-old Pure Country was one of two elimination winners last week, as she took her split in 1:50. The winner of over $2.1 million is currently riding a three-race win streak and has hit her best stride in the second-half of her four-year-old campaign. Owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Pure Country will start from post-three with driver Mark MacDonald. The other elimination winner is Blue Moon Stride, who struck for a mild 7-1 upset last Friday in 1:50. The Mark Harder trained four-year-old is three for 12 this season and a career-earner of $826,421. David Miller will steer the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover from post-two. Reigning Milton Stakes champion Lady Shadow will look to rebound after a disappointing fifth-place finish in the elimination won by Blue Moon Stride. The six-year-old mare is six for eight this season and has 34 career-wins and $2.1 million in career earnings. Lady Shadow, who earlier this season won her third consecutive Roses Are Red Stakes, will start from the rail with Gingras in the sulky. Saturday's undercard will also feature three eliminations for the Metro Pace. A total of 25 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were entered on Tuesday morning. They have been split into three $40,000 eliminations with the top-three finishers in each, plus a fourth-place finisher drawn by lot, advancing to the $816,000 final on Saturday, September 23. Saturday's All-Star card gets underway at 7:30 p.m. A free program proof containing the charted lines and entries for Saturday's $2 million card can be viewed by clicking here. Mark McKelvie

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