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MILTON, ON - November 14, 2019 - Thru The Wickets and Lady Driver took home the gold in Thursday evening's Harvest Series harness racing finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The $47,500 final for trotting fillies and $50,200 final for pacing fillies wrapped up the three-week event for Ontario sired three-year-old fillies. Thru The Wickets tipped three-wide from fifth shortly before three-quarters and powered down the centre of the track to win the trotting final by a length and three-quarters in 1:57.1. Trevor Henry guided the daughter of Kadabra to victory for trainer Shane Weber. Warrawee Ultra shot from the rail and led by open-lengths to three-quarters in 1:26.1. The leader was all done at the head of the lane, allowing rivals from well-back to pick up the pieces. Thru The Wickets took the top spot over runner-up Northern Royale, who rallied from eighth, while Club Belvedere crossed the line third after racing a few lengths behind Warrawee Ultra throughout the opening three-quarters. The Harvest Series victory is the second win in 12 starts for Thru The Wickets, who was unraced at age two and had last collected a victory on August 1. She now has $38,152 earned for owners Tom & Elizabeth Rankin. Thru The Wickets paid $16.90 to win. To see the race replay, click here. Lady Driver converted off a two-hole trip behind Esprit Dequipe to best that rival by a pair of lengths and win the pacing final in 1:54.2. Jonathan Drury steered the Sportswriter filly to victory for trainer Carmen Auciello. The top-two at the finish were the same two leading at every call in the $50,200 event. Lady Driver left from post-seven and cleared Esprit Dequipe at the opening-quarter at :27.3. The fillies flipped positions racing to the half with Esprit Dequipe posting fractions of :57 and 1:25.1. The stretch drive saw little drama, as Lady Driver angled out and powered by for the score. Jessicas Legacy was third, while race-favourite Free Exchange was never in the mix and finished fourth. Lady Driver improves her three-year-old record to six wins and $74,055 earned in 22 starts. Her career numbers escalate to eight wins and $110,360 banked for owners Michael Hall, Ctc Stable and Our Three Sons Stable LLC. A $2 win ticket on Lady Driver returned $6.70. To watch the race replay, click here. The Harvest Series was open to Ontario sired three-year-old fillies, who were non-winners of $30,000 in 2019 as of September 30, 2019. Live racing resumes Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:50 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

CHESTER, PA - Trainer/driver Jeff Gregory swept the $16,000 featured trots at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon with P L Ketchup and Turville Hanover - and almost everything else was taken by the track's leading driver, Tim Tetrick, who won seven times during the harness racing program's thirteen races. The Kadabra gelding P L Ketchup was coming off a sick scratch, and in his last 45 starts over the last two years had three wins and eleven seconds, but all systems were "go" as the trotter switched to Gregory's barn and promptly took a new mark of 1:53.3. P L Ketchup went splits of :27.3, :56.2, and 1:24 that gave him a big advantage over his foes, and when the two favorites, Hatkivah and Steuben Hanover, tried to advance in the stretch, "Ketchup" held off their late charges, with Steuben Hanover ¾ of a length back in second and Hatkivah another half-length behind in third. The Jesmeral Stable's acquisition immediately returned a good dividend on their investment. Gregory came back in the trainer/driver role with the Cantab Hall sophomore gelding Turville Hanover, guiding that one to his sixth win of the year after not racing at two. Turville Hanover made the front nearing the quarter, set a moderate half, then came home in :57.3 to complete a 1:56.2 victory by 3¼ lengths over Remarkable De Vie. Jeff Gregory Inc. co-owns the winner with Stuart Morgan and Steven Finkelstein. Tim Tetrick was on fire from the opening bell, winning the first three races on the card, and then added races nine through twelve to get to his seven-bagger. Tetrick now leads George Napolitano Jr. 271-238 at the top of the 2019 drivers win column, and looks to be in good position to win his sixth dash title at Harrah's. Napolitano has won seven crowns- in fact, they are the only two drivers since the inaugural year of the racetrack (2006) to be Philly dashwinning champions; Cat Manzi took the title in that first meet. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 26, 2019 - Ontario's top three-year-old harness racing trotters wrapped up their Gold Series regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening and division stars Bright Eyes M and Forbidden Trade padded their division leading point totals. The trotting fillies kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes action in the fifth race with 10 hopefuls lining up behind the starting gate in the $158,800 division. Blue Magic, Angies Luckeylady and Bright Eyes M left smartly from Posts 1, 6 and 8 and wound up first, second and third on the rail going by the :27.1 opening quarter. Blue Magic's tenure on the lead was brief however, as driver Stephen Byron soon had Bright Eyes M aiming at the lead. Ahead by just over a length at the :55.4 half, Byron and Bright Eyes M had extended that to two lengths by the 1:24.2 three-quarters and three lengths at the top of the stretch. The field rallied late, but Bright Eyes M stayed game to the wire, securing a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.4. Teddys Littleangel finished second and Angies Luckeylady was another length back in third. "She seems to get off the gate a little better out there," said trainer John Bax of the filly's effort from Post 8. "She seems to be more comfortable, and then Steve can kind of make his decision, like tonight he kind of dropped into the three-hole and then as soon as everybody got settled away he was able to move her again, so it worked out good." Campbellville, ON resident Bax has conditioned the daughter of Kadabra to a record of six wins, two seconds and one third in 13 starts this season with five of those starts and four of the wins coming in Gold Series action. Thursday's victory pushed the filly's sophomore earnings to $312,925 for owner Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, KY. The win was Bright Eyes M's first since July 19. Her last three starts had been against some of the best sophomore trotting fillies in North America, where her best finish was a third in the Sept. 6 Simcoe Stakes, and Bax was happy to see the trotter back in the winner's circle. "She had lost her, maybe lost a little confidence. She had been sick and was on one line a little bit and so she wasn't at her best," said the trainer. "She's been good the last couple weeks training and jogging and the last race I thought she raced a lot better, I thought she was coming around again. And of course now she's racing with her own, so it sets up good for the Super Final." Bright Eyes M leads the three-year-old trotting fillies into the Oct. 12 Super Final with 208 points, 25 points ahead of Teddys Littleangel. The top 10 point earners will advance to the $225,000 Super Final. Two races later the sophomore trotting colts and geldings paraded onto the racetrack for their $158,000 test and fans sent Hambletonian champion Forbidden Trade off as their top choice for the sixth time in his Ontario Sires Stakes career. Starting from Post 7 Forbidden Trade and driver Bob McClure powered away from the gate and took command just past the :27.1 quarter. Through a :56.2 and 1:25 three-quarters the duo were unchallenged and a sharp :27.2 final quarter sealed the deal. Forbidden Trade hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of early leader Manatlas in 1:52.2. Only For Justice was five and one-half lengths back in third. "He pretty well speaks for himself, he was bionic tonight," said McClure. "I never asked him, he did it all on his own. He made us proud, like he always does. "I'm glad he's over whatever was bugging him last week," the Rockwood, ON resident added, referring to the colt's atypical outing in the Sept. 14 Canadian Trotting Classic where he was placed from third back to fifth for interfering with Only For Justice in the stretch. McClure steers Forbidden Trade for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Prior to his Canadian Trotting Classic result Forbidden Trade had finished no worse than third and he now boats a sophomore record of seven wins, three seconds and one third in 12 starts for earnings of $958,691. He leads the trotting colts into the Super Final with 175 points, 17 points ahead of Southwind Avenger. Before the top Gold Series horses take centre stage in the Super Finals, the Grassroots stars will face off in Semi-Final action at Woodbine Mohawk Park this Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28. The two-year-olds will compete in Races 2, 3, and 5 through 10 on Friday's 7:50 pm card, while the three-year-olds battle in Races 1, 3, 5 through 9, and 11 on the Saturday evening program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. Complete results for Thursday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 17, 2019 - Splurge On Me tallied her third Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots win on Tuesday evening as the three-year-old harness racing trotting fillies wrapped up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park. With regular reinsman Trevor Henry in the race bike Splurge On Me powered to the front from Post 6 and never looked back. The Kadabra daughter cruised through fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:27.1 and then opened up six lengths on her peers in the stretch, trotting under the wire in 1:55.1. Favourite Rebellious Lady settled for second and Galaxy Seelster was six more lengths back in third. "She's a nice filly. She doesn't do much wrong," said Henry. "She was stronger tonight at the wire." With three wins, one third and one seventh in her five regular season Grassroots appearances, Splurge On Me leads the three-year-old trotting fillies into the Sept. 28 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park with 164 points. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to the Oct. 5 Grassroots Championships at the Campbellville oval. "I think there's three good fillies probably and I think she's one of them. It will just depend on post position and how things work out," said Henry about Splurge On Me's post season prospects, ranking Halo Its Me and Lefkada as the other top fillies. Henry steers Splurge On Me for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON and his co-owner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The partners also bred the filly, who boosted her sophomore record to eight wins, one second, two thirds and earnings of $82,885 through 15 starts. A two-time Grassroots winner last season, Splurge On Me finished fifth in her Semi-Final and seventh in the Final and Henry would like to see the filly improve on those results this season. "She's a bigger filly now of course, but she always had good manners and everything. She's just bigger and more mature," said the Arthur, ON resident. "She can race any way, but she's better out of a hole actually. Where it might fit better is if she gets to the final and somebody's got some speed that she can follow; she's better that way actually than off the front." The other two division winners, Lefkada and Petro Hall, also advanced to the post season. Starting from Post 1, fan favourite Lefkada got away fourth as Witches N Angels led the field of seven to a :27.3 opening quarter. Witches N Angels continued to lead by the :57.1 half, but driver Scott Wray had Lefkada on the move, circling three-wide around a parked Order Mattie. On top by two lengths at the 1:26.4 three-quarters, Lefkada cruised home to a three length victory in a 1:56 personal best. Cambridge Kate finished second and Angelic Speed was third. The win was Lefkada's second in Grassroots action and her third lifetime. The E L Titan daughter was unraced at two and now has seven starts under her belt for trainer Jack Wray of London and his partners Thomas Wray of Schomberg and Douglas Dunbar of Woodstock, ON. With two wins and one eighth in three Grassroots appearances the filly wraps up the regular season with 101 points, putting her third in the point standings. Petro Hall earned her first Grassroots win in a roundabout manner when favourite Halo Its Me went inside two pylons coming off the final turn and was placed from first back to second. Petro Hall, who did all the work through fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:25.1 and trotted under the wire in 1:55, was driven to the win by Louis-Philippe Roy. "She's a little bit of a weird filly. She's not the most consistent, but when she's good she can be among the top Grassroots fillies, like she proved tonight," said Roy. "It depends on how she feels." The Guelph resident steers the Angus Hall daughter for trainer Victor Puddy and owners Lloyd Stone of Portland, James Ruhl of Tara, Dr. Charles Hall of Erin and Michael Kwietniowski of Guelph, ON. In four Grassroots starts she recorded one win, two thirds and one fifth for a point tally of 79 and seventh spot in the standings. Grassroots action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday night as the two-year-old trotting fillies wrap up their regular season. The freshman fillies will kick things off at 7:10 pm in the first race and also compete in Races 6 and 8. Complete results from Tuesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0917wbsbsn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Saratoga Springs, NY-- Sam "the Man" King is a happy man. And why shouldn't he be, after all, he just scored a harness racing driving victory at Saratoga Raceway copping a $6,000 CKG Billings Trot with Windsun Missile in a 1:57 clocking. And what made this victory extremely gratifying for the 20 year old was because it was his first lifetime driving victory. When the gate sprung King set sails for the front-end but he ran into a buzz saw in the presence of Muzzys Muscles and driver "Smokin Joe" Faraldo, and it wasn't until the two passed the first stanza in a stiff :28.1 that Faraldo yielded command. Once on top King led his competition by the halfway point in :58. But up the backside Muzzys Muscle began to trot away and at the three quarters he had three lengths on the field, a margin he held all the way to the wire. Royal Surprise , who benefited from a two-hole trip couldn't close the gap in the lane and finished second for Brett "the Kid" Beckwith . Third place went to Someway Same Hall, driven by Tony" Shifty" Ciuffetelli. It was the winners fourth seasonal triumph by the 6-year-old Kadabra gelding. He is owned by Thomas Mc Tygue and trained by Michelle Crawford. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

CHESTER, PA - Joey Bats again showed his fondness for the Harrah's Philadelphia harness racing oval, notching his third straight win in recent appearances with a 1:54.1 victory in the $18,000 trotting feature Thursday at the riverside oval. The four-year-old Holiday Road gelding made every pole a winning one, rattling off splits of :27.4, :56.4, and 1:25.3, then sprinting away from his competition in the last quarter. He won by four lengths over pocketsitter Ooh Rah, giving him eight wins on the year and a career bankroll of $231,207. Andrew Harris trains the sharp trotter for Scott Dillon, Michele Nelson, and Marc Reynolds. The driver of Joey Bats, Tim Tetrick, had a very successful day at Philly as well, as the meet's leading driver won five times in all. Another Tetrick triumph came in one of two $14,500 co-featured trots, where the Explosive Matter four-year-old mare Pat Matters gave a gigantic performance, with splits of :27.3, :55.4, and 1:23.3 preceding an 8½ length domination of her opposition in 1:52.2, a new mark and only 2/5 of a second off the divisional track standard set by Classic Martine (and Tetrick) in 2014. Nifty Norman trains the winner, who was making her first start in 54 days, for the Patricia Stable. Tony Morgan, second in the all-time North American driving victory ranks, combined with Ron Burke, first in the training tables, to tally with the Kadabra gelding Mr Houdini in 1:55.1 in the other trot co-feature. On the board in his last four starts without winning, Mr Houdini sat in the pocket for the better part of the mile, came up the inside to get the lead in the lane, and then hold off Boy Meets Girl K by a neck for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. George Napolitano Jr., second in the Philly sulky success standings behind Tetrick, helped firm up his spot with victories in four of the last five races. Harrah's will host a special Friday evening card tomorrow, with the first action beginning at 6:30 p.m. Sunday will be the $1.3 million Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Two-Year-Old Championships card, with the attendant consolation races. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Tioga Downs will play host to the $40,000 fourth leg of the Miss Versatility on Friday (September 6). It features the last three harness racing winners of the Joie De Vie. The entry of Emoticon Hanover (Aaron Byron) and Dream Together (Wally Hennessey) are the 8-5 morning line favorites. Both entries are owned by Determination and trained by Luc Blais. Emotican Hanover is a 6-year-old mare by Kadabra, She won the 2017 Joie De Vie in a track record as well as a world record time of 1:50.2. She still owns the world record for 4-year-old mares on a five-eighths mile track. The mare has 24 victories and has won more than $1,500,000 in her career. Dream Together (Muscle Hill) has 14 career victories She captured the 2018 Joie De Vie and was second in the 2019 Joie De Vie. The 5-year-old mare has won over $750,000 in her career. The toughest competition comes from the 9-5 second morning line choice Custom Cantab (Aaron Merriman). The 4-year-old mare by Mr Cantab won the 2019 version of the Joie De Vie. Included in her 17 career victories is a win in the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final as a sophomore. The mare has won over $900,000 lifetime.. The 12 race card at Tioga Downs starts at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs        

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Real Desire mare Eclipse Me N won for the fifth time in her last eight starts on the Tuesday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, defeating a strong group of mares in the $21,500 distaff pacing feature in 1:50.2. After Bettorhaveanother passed the quarter in front in :27.2, Eclipse Me N and driver Simon Allard were up and clambering for command, reaching that spot and getting a relative breather to the :56 half. From there Eclipse Me N hit a much higher gear, stepping home in :54.2 to defeat first-over Diva's Image, the slight 6-5 favorite to the winner's 3-2, by two lengths. The career winner of $292,944 is trained by the meet's leading conditioner, Rene Allard, for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Donald Mac Rae. P L Ketchup was able to come out on the "right" side of a photo after finishing second four straight times, three of them by a half-length or less, winning a $15,000 conditioned trot in a lifetime mark of 1:54. The Kadabra gelding used pure speed in accomplishing the task, posting supersonic fractions of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:23.3 in "bottoming" the field out, holding off his nearest challenger, the pocketsitter Trixar, by a neck. Pat Berry drove the winner for trainer Steven Brabrook and owner Jaypaul Hoover. The track's perennial leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., guided five horses past the wire first on the Tuesday card. His brother Anthony accounted for the biggest win price of the night, overcoming post nine with Betabcool N by a nose and returned $50.80 to win to his scattered backers. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

NORTHFIELD, OH — He may very well be the Roy Hobbs of harness racing. In the classic baseball movie “The Natural,” Hobbs, portrayed by Robert Redford, endures 16 years between striking out a Babe Ruthian character known as Whammer and playing for the big league New York Knights as a 35-year-old rookie. A silver bullet delayed his debut. Cooper, a bay six-year-old harness racing trotter, had been missing in pari-mutuel action for nearly four years, a lifetime for a racehorse, when he showed up to compete at Northfield Park in early June. For a Standardbred who hadn’t raced in 45 months, he’s become an overnight success. Cooper, who failed to win a race in six starts in 2015 as a freshman and banked a measly $3,305, has ripped off six consecutive victories ($20,700 in earnings) at Northfield Park. Remarkably, he trots faster with each and every outing. Where has he been? He was busy pulling an Amish buggy around Sugarcreek, Ohio, a village in Tuscarawas County that’s about an hour south of Northfield Park. Cooper, no longer an equine limousine, seeks his seventh straight victory Wednesday night in the 10th race at Northfield. The masterminds behind the magical rebirth of the son of Canadian sire Kadabra, are longtime Sugarcreek friends Homer Stutzman and Firman Troyer. “He’s a total surprise,” said Troyer, who owns and trains Cooper after purchasing him privately from Stutzman. “Every time he races, he amazes me.” Stutzman, who bought Cooper at auction a few years back for a few thousand dollars, is not as surprised. “When I first got him, he (had a) sore behind and he also had a kidney infection,” said Stutzman. “I called an equine chiropractor and he worked on him. It just took some time for him to come up to snuff.” And when he did, Cooper started transporting the Stutzman family around town with improved smoothness. There were the usual trips to the store, to church and to the homes of relatives, all with great zip. It’s also when Stutzman heard a sound that made him think Cooper wanted to once again trot for his dinner. “I started hearing his hooves hitting the axles on the buggy,” he said. “That told me that he was really feeling good and stretching out.” So, Stutzman reached out to Troyer earlier this year and encouraged him to give Cooper a second chance at the races. “I have a day job in Sugarcreek, building doors at Provia Door, so training horses is a hobby of mine,” said Troyer. “Homer knows horses and he said he thought Cooper would do, so I decided to try him as a racehorse.” After getting him in shape at a stable in Sugarcreek, Troyer shipped Cooper to Northfield for a morning qualifying mile on May 30. It was the first time he’d been on a racetrack since Sept. 6, 2015, when he failed to finish in a race at Flamboro Downs in Canada. Not only did Cooper go wire-to-wire over a sloppy track to win the qualifier by 1 ½ lengths, he was timed his mile in 1:57 4/5. “My first reaction was that I wasn’t sure the timing device was working,” said Troyer. “That was mighty fast.” The timer was accurate and the impressive clocking earned Cooper the right to race for purse money at night. He has more than made the most of the opportunity, perhaps fearful of being returned to the life of a Sugarcreek taxi. Cooper has not only won all six of his starts by an average margin of 6 1/2 lengths, he has dramatically lowered his winning time in each subsequent outing, turning in an eye-popping career best 1:53 2/5 last Wednesday. “We never figured this would happen, but we’re enjoying every minute of it,” said Troyer. “Cooper is the best horse I’ve ever had. He has the nicest temperament. There isn’t a mean bone in his body. My little boy could race him.” And what does Mark Steacy think of Cooper? He’s the trainer who had him in his failed first year of racing. “What he’s done (at Northfield) is something you don’t see very often,” said Steacy. “I sent him back to his owner because he was just too slow. But good for him. Perhaps he just matured.” Troyer isn’t sure what has gotten into Cooper, but whatever it is, he’ll gladly accept more of it. “The future? I don’t know,” he said. “The future will just have to tell us what it is.” By Bob Roberts, Special to The Plain Dealer, reprinted with permission

MILTON, ON -  AUG. 8, 2019 - Port Perry took sole control of top spot in the two-year-old harness racing trotting colt standings with his second Gold Series victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening. The long-legged Port Perry moved sharply away from Post 6 and once he took control the outcome was never in doubt. Rolling through fractions of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:28.4 Port Perry and driver Bob McClure were never threatened and in the stretch the colt hit a whole different gear, pulling away to a seven and one-half length victory in 1:56.2. Blue Cupertino finished second, edging out fan favourite Horse Trader who settled for third. "He's improved amazingly in the last few weeks. He was bionic tonight," said McClure of the Kadabra colt. "In the last 100 feet he pulls away, reminds me of Warrawee Roo." McClure steers Port Perry for trainer Luc Blais of Campbellville, ON and owner Determination of Montreal, QC, who also train and own top aged trotter Warrawee Roo, a winner of $781,640 in his racing career. In spite of his success however, Warrawee Roo is not the most celebrated horse in the Blais-Determination stable at present. That honour belongs to Kadabra son Forbidden Trade who captured the $1 million Hambletonian Final at The Meadowlands on Aug. 3. "It was an exciting moment that's for sure. It's a big event, the Hambo," said Blais. "Everything - you know Bob (McClure) drove him good, the horse was feeling good - I think that day you need to be perfect everywhere if you want to win." Forbidden Trade, last year's Ontario Sires Stakes champion, was flawless in three starts leading up to the Hambletonian and will be looking to add to his win tally when he returns to Woodbine Mohawk Park for Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action on Monday, Aug. 12. Port Perry's commanding victory in Thursday night's Gold Series test might have some dreaming of the 2020 Hambletonian, but Blais said he was not looking much further ahead than Friday morning with the strapping youngster. "I'm going to see tomorrow, see how he comes back from that," said the trainer. "He looked good again today, looked like he was strong today. He's a big strong horse, you know, he needs lots of room, and I think he feels comfortable on that track (Mohawk Park)." Thursday's win was Port Perry's second in Gold Series action. He also captured a division of the July 4 season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and then finished second by a head to Blue Cupertino in the July 23 leg at Georgian Downs. An $85,000 yearling purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Port Perry has banked $133,200 in his first three lifetime starts and sits atop the freshman trotting colt Gold Series standings with 125 points. The other $105,600 Gold division was captured by Moon Bridge in near identical fashion. Taking control from Post 6 the fan favourite and driver Sylvain Filion rang up fractions of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:27.3 before drawing away to a five length victory in 1:57. HP Royal Theo finished second and Scamp was another length back in third. "He was a little green, he never raced on the front probably," Filion told Woodbine Mohawk Park's Chad Rozema in the winner's circle. "He was looking at stuff, birds and stuff, but he kept racing to the wire, and he was trotting through it, and he was real strong." Thursday's appearance was Moon Bridge's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, but the E L Titan colt logged a runner-up finish in a July 26 overnight event at The Meadowlands before making the trip north. Ake Svanstedt trains Moon Bridge for breeders Esa Lahtinen and Janne Korpi of Cambridge, ON and their partner Jussi Hietalahti of Turku, Finland. The two-year-old trotting colts will make their fourth Gold Series start over the Grand River Raceway half-mile on Sept. 23. On Friday evening (Aug. 9) Woodbine Mohawk Park welcomes the two-year-old trotting fillies for their third Gold Series event. The fillies will battle in Races 3, 6, and 8 on the Friday evening program, which gets under way at 7:50 pm. Complete results from Thursday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0808wbsbsn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

East Rutherford, NJ — Hambletonian Day was to be a day to unfurl Swedish flags at The Meadowlands.   Why not? Rising star Marcus Melander started the day with a powerhouse four-horse contingent locked and loaded, taking dead aim at the 3-year-old trotting classic.   But when the dust settled, it was our friendly neighbors to the north celebrating, as Forbidden Trade pulled a 15-1 upset.   Canada’s champion 2-year-old showed the heart of a warrior to hold off 3-10 favorite Greenshoe by neck in a dramatic fight to the finish.   And it was the first Hambletonian victory for the Canadian trio of owner Serge Godin’s Determination Stable, trainer Luc Blais and driver Bob McClure.   Coming in, McClure said “the sky was the limit” for his colt. Forbidden Trade backed up that confidence with the race of his life.   Forbidden Trade, third in his Hambletonian elimination, was always in contention throughout the mile. McClure and his colt tracked Green Manalishi S, an elimination winner and a member of the Melander brigade, into the stretch. Forbidden Trade took charge, but danger was looming with Greenshoe uncorking a menacing rally.   For an instant, it appeared Greenshoe would blow on by. McClure admitted he was headed, but Forbidden Trade was not done. After all, this was the day of the Maple Leaf.   “It was two incredible colts fighting it out,” McClure said. “I don’t think there was a loser in that, but we’re really happy to get out on top.”   It’s also been a remarkable comeback for McClure, 28, who suffered a broken pelvis in a qualifier accident in April. He was back in action by May 23, using a hyperbaric chamber to hasten the recovery.   “I was really lucky to have a good physical trainer,” McClure said. “I probably rushed it back a little faster than I should have. I’m sure most drivers in this business have done this a time or two.”   Melander didn’t get the victory, but his trio of qualifiers for the final raced well. Gimpanzee rallied from far back to get third and Green Manalishi S held on for the fifth and final purse check.   Greenshoe never looked comfortable behind the starting gate for the final as driver Brian Sears held him together to prevent a break. That put him further back than expected, a loss of ground that proved costly.   The time was 1:51 on a warm sunny afternoon as the threatened showers never materialized to spoil the day. Forbidden Trade paid $33.80 to win.   It was the 12th win in 18 starts for the son of Kadabra. He was a $110,000 purchase at the Harrisburg sale.   The Hambletonian kicks off the Trotting Triple Crown. Next up is the Yonkers Trot on Aug. 31, followed by the Kentucky Futurity on Oct. 6.   Earlier in the day, a determined Green Manalishi S pulled a 9-1 upset in the first Hambo elimination. He left strongly from post eight, briefly dropped into fourth before ranging up first-over to wear down Osterc in a lifetime best 1:50.3.   Melander and Courant Inc. also won the second elimination. In a favorite’s delight, it was with Greenshoe, the 1-5 favorite, in 1:50.2.   by Mike Farrell, for the Associated Press

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Racing against the best trotters in Quebec, Seeyou Men proved to be the strong horse, grinding out an impressive win Friday at the Hippodrome 3R in the Quebec-Bred Series for older trotters. This was the second round of the series and featured just one large field of ten starters in the older horse division. Kinnder Dangerous and driver Justin Filion were the first on the lead around the first turn until Wildwild Men and trainer/driver Guy Gagnon came charging up on the outside to take the lead by the opening quarter mile in :28. Seeyou Men and driver Stephane Brosseau got away behind Kinnder Dangerous early. Then by the half mile marker in :58.2, Brosseau came first-over with Seeyou Men and started gaining ground by the three-quarters in 1:28.1 with Capteur De Reve (Stephane Gendron) grabbing the second-over cover. As they came around the final turn, Maximuscle came into the picture for driver Steeve Genois, sweeping three-wide and into contention. Seeyou Men would have the final say as he had cleared to the lead coming down the stretch and then pulled away to win by two and one-quarter lengths in 1:58.2. It took the photo finish camera to declare the winner's full brother, Wildwild Men, as the second-place finisher, he was a nose ahead of Capteur De Reve in third place who was a nose ahead of Maximuscle in fourth place. Seeyou Men, trained by Daniel Martin, raced as an entry with his brother, Wildwild Men, both of whom were bred by Chantal Gravel of St-Cyrille-De-Wendover and are co-owned with Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel. The entry paid $2.90 to win. In the third race division for the trotting mares, it was the race favorite, Lucky Promesse and driver Steeve Genois, leaving from the rail and going right to the top. Kascara Rosa and driver Stephane Brosseau grabbed the two-hole spot and sat patiently as Lucky Promesse's cut fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:29.3 to the three-quarters. Y S Suzanne (Guy Gagnon) tried coming first-over in the backstretch but did not have the stamina to hang on the outside and faded back on the final turn. With Y S Suzanne fading as they started down the stretch, that was the cue as Brosseau came out with Kascara Rosa and started to challenge Lucky Promesses down the stretch, collaring the race lead and going on to win by a half length in 2:00.1. Eau Naturelle (Simon Delisle) was third. A nine-year-old mare by Kadabra, Kascara Rosa posted her fourth win on the year for trainer Yves Tessier and owner/breeder Jean Dessureault of Candiac. She paid $7.70 to win. Track Notes: Stephane Brosseau had a driving double, winning both stakes and trainer Yves Tessier sent out two winners on Friday. The Ben Hur Cup II headlines Sunday's 10-race program with Ontario's Doug McNair taking on Quebec's Louis-Philippe Roy with a $3,000C cash prize to the winner of the 8-race competition. In addition, there will be three divisions of the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacers as top horses Atomic Million AM taking on McKinney and for the mares, YS Tallia against Lit De Rose. First race post time Sunday is 1:00 pm. For a free program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Richard "Nifty" Norman is looking forward to watching his 3-year-old female trotters this season and is getting an early look at one of them that he didn't get to see in action on the racetrack last year. Haveoneforme was unraced at age 2 because of soundness issues. She made her career debut Jan. 25 and defeated a field of mostly older horses, both male and female, in a conditioned class at the Meadowlands. She returns to the same class Friday and is the 9-5 morning-line favorite from post eight with Dexter Dunn in the sulky. She is among a group of 3-year-old fillies that has Norman feeling hopeful as he looks ahead to stakes season. Others in the stable are returning Grand Circuit winners Evident Beauty and Princess Deo as well as lightly raced Mother Bonnie. Princess Deo and Mother Bonnie were trained previously by Noel Daley, who returned home to Australia to continue his career at the end of last year. "I've got a good group," Norman said. "I've got a couple others that are just maidens but have got some talent I think. It's good to have depth. Anytime you've got depth, you're all right." Haveoneforme adds to that depth, although she might be pointed more toward restricted-stakes action in Ontario. The filly is a daughter of Kadabra out of All Filled Up. Her second dam, Filly At Bigs, and third dam Mombasa were O'Brien Award winners. The family also includes stakes-winners Big Rigs, Miss Tezsla, and Bridger. "We trained her down last year and she got a bit sore," said Norman, whose Enzed Racing Stable owns Haveoneforme with Mel Hartman. "She went through the July (Tattersalls Summer Mixed) sale and we bought her back. She is pretty good this year; no killer, but handy. I'm probably just going to stake her in Ontario. I think she could maybe do well up there. "I liked her last year. She was nice enough, but she wasn't sound. We just turned her out and gave her some time, let her grow up. She's lovely to be around, has got a good head on her, and she is good gaited." Haveoneforme finished second in a qualifier prior to winning her debut in 1:58 on a 30-degree night at the Big M. "I wasn't sure if she had enough speed, but she actually showed good speed in her qualifier and her race," Norman said. "I liked the way she finished up both times. I just wanted to race her a few times to see if she's good enough to go to the next level. I'll maybe give her three starts and then give her another break and get her ready for Ontario." Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST) at the Meadowlands. Six-year-old Trolley, trained by Erv Miller and driven by Marcus Miller, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the night's Preferred Handicap for trotters. Trolley is 2-for-2 this year and has won five of his past six races dating back to November. For Friday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Harness racing stallion breedings to Kadabra, Always A Virgin, Andover Hall, Racing Hill, Muscles Yankee and Conway Hall are among the 75+ offered in New Vocations Stallion Auction that also includes the recent additions of All Bets Off and Boston Red Rocks along with four Michigan stallions. The auction is currently in progress at https://ongait.com/s/newvocationsauction and will end at 2:00 pm Thursday Feb 7. The auction is held in an open-ended-format that allows for bidding up to two minutes after the last bid on breedings with high activity at the 2:00 pm cut off. All proceeds go to rehab, retrain, and rehome Standardbreds retiring from the track. For more information call (937) 947-4020 or email dot@horseadoption.com by Dot Morgan, for New Vocations          

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 5, 2018 -- Caught widest in a four-ply battle for the early lead, Expose Yourself persevered, eventually crossed over and had just enough late to capture Wednesday's harness racing $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Expose Yourself had to work hard on the sloppy track to overcome post 9 and needed nearly all the opening three-eighths to reach the point. The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt tired in deep stretch but found enough for Dave Palone to hold off Chapter Too by a neck in 1:56.2. Glidinthruparadise rallied for show. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, who triumphed for the 11th time this year and boosted her lifetime bankroll to $176,961, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Trainer Randy Bendis enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the program features a $1,510.10 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 28, 2018 -- Parked the opening three-eighths, Expose Yourself was so dominant that she still blew away the harness racing field by 6-3/4 lengths in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Expose Yourself dueled with Looking For Zelda and Dirty Secret before she was able to cross over for Dave Palone. The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt drew steadily away and scored geared down in 1:55.2 over a "good" surface. Dirty Secret and Bessie completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, who won for the 10th time this year and pushed her career bankroll to $166,961, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone collected four wins -- including a pair for Burke -- on the 13-race card while Mike Wilder enjoyed a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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