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Trois-Rivieres, QC - R Rkadabra, who had not been able to go gate-to-wire in his last four harness racing starts, was able to return to winning form, holding off Jamigo to win the Preferred Trot at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday afternoon. The sixth race feature saw R Rkadabra and driver Pierre Luc Roy shoot out to the early lead by four lengths. Holiday Party (Pascal Berube) was the race favorite and got away in second place as R Rkadabra cut a :28.1 opening quarter mile. R Kadabra and Roy were in easy command of the race approaching the half mile mark as Daniel Laflamme came first-over with Jamigo into a half in :59.2. Jamigo and Laflamme kept inching their way towards R Rkadabra at the three-quarters in 1:30.1. R Kadabra and Roy were now hard pressed by Jamigo as Holiday Party and Pascal Berube came three-wide to mount a challenge. Once starting down the stretch it looked as if Jamigo would be able to catch and beat R Rkadabra, but that was not happening today as R Rkadabra kicked in another gear and held off Jamigo by a neck in 2:02. Holiday Party was third. It was the fifth win on the year for R Rkadabra, a ten-year-old gelding by Kadabra, who is trained by Isabelle Binet and is owned by Gestion Mark Lemay, Inc. of Quebec City and he paid $13.60 to win. The long shot of the day came in the 8th race pace when Clever Thing and driver Tyler Jones was able to grind it out first-over against Allstar Seelster (Stephane Brosseau) and then held off D J Power (Pierre Luc Roy) to win by a half-length in 1:58.1. Sent off at odds of 16-1, Clever Thing paid $34.70 to win in posting his tenth win of the year for trainer Francis Guillemette. Jones and Gullemette co-own the eight-year-old gelding by Stonebridge Regal. Track Notes: Starting next week at H3R the drivers will forgo their whips as the last two days of the race season will be competed without whips. First race post time is 12:50 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

CHESTER, PA - Gold Orchid N handled a stepup in class to keep her North American record perfect after five starts, winning a $14,500 high-level conditioned distaff pace at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday in 1:52. Fellow New Zealander Dexter Dunn was in the sulky behind the victorious daughter of Bettor's Delight, and they couldn't have enjoyed a better journey. Delightful Dragon grabbed the lead early and passed the ¼ in 27, but JK Jazzitup was soon on the go and took over the lead by the 56.1 half, with Terror At Night starting the outer tier uncovered and Gold Orchid N right behind her. After a battle on the front end resulted in a ¾ clocking of 1:23.4, Terror At Night had forged a short lead by headstretch, but Gold Orchid N still had plenty in the tank and went on to post a 1½-length victory over Terror At Night, with third-over Ella Christina coming on for third, another 1¼ lengths back. Mark Harder trains the "ceiling unlimited" mare for BAMQ LLC. Unusually for "Filly and Mare Friday" at Philly, the top purse event of the day was a trot, a $16,000 contest won by a male, as the Kadabra gelding Mr Houdini equaled his lifetime mark of 1:56.2 over a track that had been rerated to "sloppy" after a hard rain about an hour earlier. Mr Houdini worked out a pocket trip, but looked like he wouldn't shake free in enough time to catch Girl Talk, who had swept wide off cover to the midstretch lead. "Houdini" and driver Brett Miller escaped from the box in just enough time to produce a surge that got him home first by a head for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. There's no question that trainer Mike Dowdall and driver Brett Miller are the "go-to" team at Philly for longshot tallies, as they clicked again in the first race with Cinder Rita ($79.40) - the fourth time at the meet the pair have produced a $50+ winner. Dowdall's quartet of bombers puts him far ahead of other conditioners - no other trainer has more than one! - while Miller's seventh overall $50+ horse ties him for the meet lead with Eric Carlson in that category. Race one also went to the top in longshot production - a longshot led the card for the sixth time in the meet, breaking a tie with races six and ten. (In case you were wondering, races five and fourteen have yet to see a $50+ win payoff.) Tim Tetrick won four races Friday, reducing George Napolitano Jr.'s lead in the seasonlong driving standings to 218-213. Cat Manzi won the first dashwinning drivers title at Philly, and since then it has either been Napolitano (six times, including the last four) or Tetrick (five times) on top. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 7, 2018 -- Dramatically changing tactics, Expose Yourself rallied from far back to capture her third straight victory in Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Expose Yourself got away first or second in each of her last five starts. On Wednesday, however, she ducked for Mike Wilder and was 6 lengths back when she launched her second-over move. The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt roared wide through the lane to score in 1:55.3, a length better than Glidinthruparadise. The first-over Rose Run Sydney finished third. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, who extended her career bankroll to $154,561, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Jim Pantaleano collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 31, 2018 — Expose Yourself turned back the determined challenge of You’re Majestic and went on to a comfortable victory — her second straight — in Wednesday’s $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Expose Yourself seemed secure on the lead after a soft 29.4 second panel, but when You’re Majestic — who was jumping up two classes after a pair of victories — came at her, the 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt was forced to dig in. Expose Yourself edged clear through the final turn and drew off late for Dave Palone to down Expose Yourself by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54.2. The pocket-sitting Glidinthruparadise completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, who triumphed for the fourth time in her last six starts and extended her career bankroll to $145,561, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Mike Wilder collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 24, 2018 -- Expose Yourself angled off the cones out of the final turn and blew by Rose Run Sydney in the lane to capture Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot in 1:54.3, matching her career best. Rose Run Sydney got the jump on Expose Yourself with a first-over bid that carried her to the lead. But when Dave Palone showed Expose Yourself racetrack, she found another gear and downed Rose Run Sydney by a length. Early leader Glidinthruparadise finished third. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, a 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt who lifted her career bankroll to $136,561, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone had four assignments on the 13-race card and won three of them -- all for Burke, who added four victories to Tuesday's six-bagger. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

MILTON, ON - October 18, 2018 - Preliminary round action of the Harvest Series wrapped up Thursday with two-year-old colts and geldings in action at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 15 pacers and 12 trotters went to battle Thursday evening over four $17,000 second-leg divisions for the Harvest. Shadow Play gelding Shadow Of A Daut launched the evening's festivities with a 12-1 upset in the opening split for pacers. The Michel Rivest trainee and driver Mike Saftic enjoyed a three-hole trip to the half before staying inside behind the leader Mantario, who battled pocket-popper Better Earl to three-quarters in 1:25.2. In the stretch, Shadow Of A Daut had room to come off the rail and powered by to the lead for a 1:54.2 maiden-breaking score. Forever Fav rallied to finish second, beat three-quarters of a length, while Crusher Q was third. Race-favourite and leg-one winner Mantario was fourth. Shadow Of A Daut, a $42,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase, maiden-breaking victory comes in his eighth start and pushes his earnings to $16,055 for owner Claude Poirier. He paid $26.10 to win. Shadow Play colt Carlisimo extended his win streak to three with a 1:54.2 score in the second division. The James 'Friday' Dean trainee and driver James MacDonald got a two-hole trip to the far turn before sliding out and sitting on the back of the first-over challenger turning for home. Carlisimo powered by early in the stretch and went on to win by a length. Sugartown finished second, while Joe McDude and Shrimp And Grits completed the Superfecta. A $13,000 Atlantic Classic Sale purchase, Carlisimo improved to five for 11 in his rookie campaign and has now earned $52,148 for owner Reginald MacPherson. The Dean trainee will have an opportunity to sweep the Harvest Series in next week's final. Carlisimo paid $5.40 to win. All Wrapped Up took the evening's first trotting division to situate himself with an opportunity at a series sweep next Thursday. The gelded son of Archangel was a coast to coast winner in 1:58 for driver Trevor Henry and trainer Rob Fellows. Encarnacion followed in second the entire mile and was defeated by 3 ½ lengths. Esa was third, while Mac N Caps was fourth. All Wrapped Up's second consecutive coast to coast victory gives him three wins in his last four starts and three wins in seven starts overall. The $11,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase has now earned $25,250 for owners Fellows, Arpad Szabo, Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister. A $2 win ticket on All Wrapped Up returned $2.60. Cool Clifford put on a show in the evening's second division, delivered a stunning 9 ¼ lengths victory in 1:57 for driver Jody Jamieson and trainer Scott McEneny. The gelded son of Kadabra moved out from third nearing the half, took the lead entering the far turn and proceeded to leave his rivals well behind for the career-best victory. Cool Clifford's blowout score was also his first-career victory, coming in his 10th start of the season. Herbs Journey finished second, while Cousin Peter and Clash were third and fourth, respectively. A $60,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Cool Clifford pushed his career earnings to $44,269 for owners Brad Grant and Martwest Racing Stable. He paid $3.70 to win. Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. All four finals of the Harvest Series for two-year-olds will take place next Thursday (October 25). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Ten sophomore trotting fillies made the trip to The Raceway at Western Fair District on Tuesday evening to compete in a pair of $94,000 Gold Series divisions, and both races featured upsets as the favourites failed to live up to fan expectations. Apprentice M scored her first win of the season in the first division, inheriting the lead around the final turn when pacesetter Zorgwijk Sophia and fan favourite Illusioneesta made breaks as they battled for control. Unfazed by the chaos, the steady Apprentice M and driver Paul MacDonell simply carried on down the stretch to a 2:01 victory. Miller Time also delivered a flawless effort to finish three-quarters of a length back in second and Illusioneesta recovered quickly enough to claim third. "That's why they race horses," said the philosophical MacDonell. "She's pretty solid gaited, which helps on the half-mile track, and then as you saw, things worked out." MacDonell steers Apprentice M for trainer John Bax of Campbellville, Ontario and owner Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, Kentucky. In her four previous Gold Series starts the Kadabra daughter had recorded one second, one third and two fifths. Tuesday's victory pushed her point total to 97 and puts her in fourth spot in the standings heading into the Oct. 13 Super Final. "She just hasn't really kicked in like she probably should have, but again I think she's got $100,000 made, so it's hard to knock her," said Guelph, Ontario resident MacDonell. "It's late in the season and a few of the fillies are getting tired and stuff, so you can take advantage of that sometimes." Tuesday's victory pushed Apprentice M's 2018 earnings to $109,253 and put her less than $10,000 shy of $200,000 lifetime. MacDonell finished second with Bax trainee Magical Lady in the other division, following Collateral Beauty and driver Louis Philippe Roy as they went gate-to-wire in 1:59.2. Pocket-sitter Town Hall Justice settled for third, well ahead of favourite Smoke And Mirrors, who took herself out of contention with an early break. The win was Collateral Beauty's second in the Gold program. The Kadabra daughter was also victorious at Georgian Downs on July 21 for trainer Herb Holland and owner Carolyn MacIsaac of Milton, Ontario. "She's a little bit of a lazy filly, but looking at her lines, it seems like she takes her job a little more seriously when there's big money on the line," said Roy, who was making his first appearance in the filly's race bike. "Herb told me she's better when you put her into play right off the gate, so that was the plan today and it worked good." With two wins, one second and one seventh in four Gold Series starts, Collateral Beauty heads into the $225,000 Super Final tied for second with 127 points. Tuesday's win bumped the filly's sophomore earnings to $123,800. The top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will now head to Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Oct. 13 Super Final. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Run Director wrapped up the three-year-old harness racing colt trot regular season with his third Gold Series victory on Thursday evening, circling the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval in 1:54.1. Starting from Post 8 driver Sylvain Filion eased the heavy favourite away from the starting gate and trotted along in the outer lane waiting for a wind break. Just past the :27.4 quarter rung up by Joeys Bats, driver Phil Hudon obliged by tipping second choice Stormont Ventnor out of the four-hole. Heading by the :56.3 half Winning American edged out in front of Stormont Ventnor, who skipped off stride as the colts advanced toward the 1:25.3 three-quarters. After powering out three-wide around a stalled Winning American, Run Director swung off the final turn in lock-step with pocket-sitter Jula Downtown. The colts waged a fierce battle all the way down the stretch with Run Director prevailing by a head in 1:54.1. Perfetto finished four and one-half lengths back in third. "I thought tonight he had to work, especially after the two run in the last turn, I thought it would have been a little easier. He won the race, but he had to work hard tonight," said trainer Ben Baillargeon. "I have to say that I was a little surprised. I thought it would have been easier, but they made us earn our money tonight. He raced tough." Guelph resident Baillargeon conditions Run Director for owner-breeders Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, Ontario. Thursday's win boosted the colt's sophomore record to five wins, four seconds and one third in 14 starts for earnings of $282,455. In five regular season appearances, the son of Kadabra and Keep The Spirit won three Gold events and finished second in the other two, giving him a division leading 200 points. In addition to his Ontario Sires Stakes appearances, Run Director also tackled the best sophomore trotting colts in North America on four occasions this season. Following his August 26 Gold Series win at Rideau Carleton Raceway Baillargeon sent the trotter out against open company in the Simcoe Stakes and Run Director finished a hard-closing second. While it had not originally been part of the trainer's plan, Run Director's Simcoe result earned the colt a shot in the Sept. 15 Canadian Trotting Classic where he finished sixth. "He raced so good in the Simcoe we gave him a shot in the Canadian Trotting Classic," explained Baillargeon. "He raced good, but bad posts, he always gets bad posts." In his four open stake appearances Run Director has drawn Posts 6, 7, 8 and 9, a trend Baillargeon hopes will not extend to the Oct. 13 Super Final. The top 10 point earners from the five regular season Gold events will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for the $225,000 Super Final. With just over two weeks until the lucrative season finale, Baillargeon says Run Director will likely make one more start before he wraps up his Ontario Sires Stakes career. "I'll probably have to do something with him. He likes to race," said the trainer. "I cannot leave him off two and a half weeks, I'll have to get him in a race somewhere." Woodbine Mohawk Park continues to showcase the Ontario Sires Stakes program this week, hosting the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old pacing colts and fillies on Friday, Sept. 28 and the $400,000 Grassroots Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29. Post time for both programs is 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 26, 2018 -- Expose Yourself glided through the slop and captured an easy front-end victory -- her second straight -- in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot. Expose Yourself zipped to the lead from post 5 for Dave Palone and enjoyed a comfortable 58.4 first half. The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt had plenty left to thwart the first-over challenge of EZ Passer and score in 1:56.1, a length better than the pocket-sitting Glidinthruparadise. EZ Passer saved show. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, who lifted her career bankroll to $117,061, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Aaron Merriman and Palone each collected four wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the program features a $61,500 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old filly pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

MIILTON, ON - September 25, 2018 - Hambletonian champion Atlanta battled heavy rain and older rivals to finish second in Tuesday's $34,000 Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Four-year-old trotting mare Royal Witch delivered a top-notch effort in the rain to pull off a 12-1 upset victory in 1:56.1 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ben Baillargeon. Dunbar Hall fronted the field of six into the backstretch after being parked through a :28.4 opening-quarter, leading to the half in :58.4. Royal Witch came first-up from third for Gingras on the far turn and trotted around Dunbar Hall, who made a break strides before the three-quarter pole. Atlanta and trainer/driver Rick Zeron got away fourth and stayed inside on the far turn to sit fifth and just over three-lengths from the lead. After reaching three-quarters in 1:27.2, Royal Witch was able to seal the deal with a :28.4 final-quarter for her eighth win of the season. Atlanta and Zeron finished up well, making up ground in the lane and splitting late to edge B Yoyo for second. The margin of victory was a length and a quarter. A daughter of Kadabra, Royal Witch has now earned $109,300 in 17 starts this season and her 11th career victory pushes her to $224,793 in lifetime earnings for owners Tom and Elizabeth Rankin. Royal Witch's first-career Preferred victory saw her return $27.80 for a $2 win ticket. Hambletonian champion Atlanta was making her first start since finishing third in the $340,000 Elegantimage on September 15. The Zeron trained daughter of Chapter Seven is being towards the Kentucky Filly Futurity on October 7 at The Red Mile for her next start. Atlanta, who has won six of 10 starts this season, increased her seasonal earnings to $784,902 with her 10th 'on the board' finish of the season. Her career earnings currently sit at $919,977 for owners Zeron, Crawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Canadian harness racing history was rewritten at Grand River Raceway for the second time this season as Ontario's top two-year-old trotting colts and geldings gathered at the Elora oval for Gold Series action on Monday evening. Five of the six top-ranked trotters in the division squared off in the second $64,800 Gold division and delivered a performance worthy of the pre-race hype. Fan favourite Dream Nation went straight to the front from Post 1 and led the field of six to a :28.3 opening quarter. Coming off the second turn driver Bob McClure moved Forbidden Trade into the outer lane from fourth and the pair pressed Dream Nation through a :59.1 half and a 1:27.3 three-quarters. Matching strides turning for home, Dream Nation and Forbidden Trade battled all the way to the wire with Forbidden Trade getting a neck in front in 1:56.4. Southwind Avenger finished third. The 1:56.4 mile was a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record for Forbidden Trade. The previous OSS and Canadian record for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on a half-mile track was 1:57.4, set by Daylon Magician at Flamboro Downs in 2010. In August two-year-old pacing colt Stag Party also lowered the track, OSS and Canadian record in a Gold Series event at Grand River. "I was very impressed tonight, the way he did that, you know, first over. He never quit," said trainer Luc Blais. "He trained good this week, and I had a good feeling for tonight, but I knew we had a big division, there were lots of good horses in that race." Bob McClure piloted the son of Kadabra and former OSS star Pure Ivory to the win for Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. In seven lifetime starts Forbidden Trade, a $110,000 yearling purchase, now has five wins, three of them in Gold Series action, and sits atop the division standings with 158 points. "He's been that good all year," said McClure. "I thought he was one of the best colts, if not the best, all year. He hasn't done much wrong this year. Every week he's coming late, coming late, coming late, and I don't think I've seen him get tired yet." Elora resident McClure was back in the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle after the third $65,600 division with Only For Justice, who went straight to the front from Post 4 and never relinquished the lead on the way to a 1:57.3 personal best. Fan favourite Fingals Wave and Gold Edition were seven lengths back in second and third. Dany Fontaine trains Only For Justice for owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. The win was the Justice Hall son's third straight, coming on the heels of a pair of victories in the second leg and final of the Quebec Breeders Cup at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres. With breaks in two of his three previous Gold Series starts, Only For Justice has accumulated 58 points and currently sits ninth in the point race. The top 10 point earners will advance to the $225,000 Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 13. "He wants to race. He gets around a half so handy and he can leave the gate so fast, this place is his bread and butter," said McClure. "He's a very fast horse though. He deserves to be in the Super Final for sure." The trotting colts set the speed bar high right from the start Monday as Knight Angel and driver Sylvain Filion equalled the previous two-year-old trotting colt and gelding record with a 1:58.1 effort in the first $65600 division. Fan favourite Royal Rob took early command and led the field to a :29.2 quarter and 1:00 half before feeling the pressure from Knight Angel. The colts duelled through a 1:29.1 three-quarters before Knight Angel dug in to catch the leader by a neck in the stretch. While Your Up was four lengths back in third. Freelton resident Shane Arsenault trains Knight Angel for his partners Justin Fisher of Cambridge, Gary Leeming of Simcoe and Guiseppe Mascia of Mississauga, Ontario. The win was the first in six starts for the son of Archangel and Dream Taker, who struggled with breaks throughout the early stages of his career. With one win and two seconds in Gold action, Knight Angel moved into fourth spot in the standings with one regular season event remaining. The two-year-old trotting colts will make their fifth and final regular season Gold Series appearance at Woodbine Mohawk Park on October 4. Grand River Raceway wraps up its 2018 season this Wednesday, Sept. 26 with the National Driving Championship. Post time for Wednesday's program is 6:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

AUGUST 16, 2018 - Sophomore trotting fillies were the stars of the show at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening, competing in a pair of Gold Series divisions, and while one filly's connections were ready to celebrate the others were headed straight back to work. The first $95,600 contest saw daughters of top Ontario sire Kadabra sweep the podium. Starting from Post 2, fan favourite Smoke And Mirrors and driver Trevor Henry took command heading by the halfway marker and were able to cruise home to a two length victory in 1:56.1. Pocket-sitter Collateral Beauty finished second and Miss Loo Loo Belle closed well to be third. Richard "Nifty" Norman conditions Smoke And Mirrors for Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Ontario, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida and Little E LLC of New York, New York, and while the horseman was satisfied with the win he admits the filly has not regained the form that saw her earn $163,236 in the Ontario Sires Stakes program at two. "She looks good on the track and she's sound and trotting good, but she just looks like she's waiting to get beat," said the New Jersey-based trainer. "I don't really know what it is, but she doesn't get to the wire. Last year she used to charge home all the time and now she really looks like she doesn't want to be there." Cambridge, Ontario resident Anthony Haughan handles the Ontario arm of Norman's operation and soon after Smoke And Mirror's first victory of the season the horsemen were discussing strategies to boost her performance. "I was just talking to Anthony Haughan there. I said maybe we just change her attitude around, try and change a few ways we do work with her," said Norman. "And she's a good eater, but most horses have stomach problems somewhere along the line, so I think maybe we'll just start doing that, maybe treat her stomach a little bit and see if we can get her a little happier. "We've got quite a big break now until the next Gold. I'll probably race her somewhere in between, but it's a good opportunity to get her a little better," noted Norman. "Time to freshen her up a little bit and see if we can make her a little better." The three-year-old trotting fillies do not make their fifth Gold Series start until October 2 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, just one week before the Oct. 13 Super Final. In the second division Sorceress Seelster had things her own way from Post 5, sailing through fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26 on her way to a three and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:54.1. Superlative finished second in her Gold Series debut and fan favourite Illusioneesta was third. Scott Wray engineered the win for trainer Jack Wray of London and his partner Thomas Wray of Schomberg, and the whole Wray family was on hand to celebrate the filly's second Gold Series win and the driver's 37th birthday. "We've got a little celebration back at the farm after. It wasn't going to be as good if we didn't win, but she might be a blow out now," said Scott Wray to Woodbine Mohawk Park's Chad Rozema in the winner's circle. The win was Sorceress Seelster's third in six starts this season, with all three coming over the Woodbine Mohawk Park oval, two in Gold Series action and one in a July 12 overnight event. The only hiccup in her sophomore campaign to date was a break in the July 21 Gold event at Georgian Downs, but Wray was confident the return to Campbellville would find the Holiday Road daughter back in the winner's circle. "After that last race she was here (July 12) I was so impressed. I got home and I watched the replay and I thought, wow, the sky is the limit," said Wray. "And then we went to Georgian and the track was a little inconsistent, and she wears flip-flops. Around the first turn I could feel she was kind of fumbly and then around the last turn I thought, oh please don't do it, and she did it. So I had a lot of faith tonight that this track and these turns would be the answer." Provided she remains happy and healthy, Sorceress Seelster will have an opportunity to test her skills against the best trotting fillies in North America. She is eligible for the Aug. 24 Casual Breeze Stakes and the Sept. 8 Elegantimage eliminations, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park and both expected to feature Hambletonian winner Atlanta. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, Aug. 20 with six Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old pacing fillies. The novice pacers will battle in Races 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 11 on the Monday evening program, which gets under way at 7:10 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 24, 2018 - Three fresh faces graced the winner's circle as the two-year-old trotting fillies made their second Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday evening. Royaltys Pearl opened the program in the first race and made winning look easy, going gate-to-wire from Post 7 for trainer-driver Wayne Henry. The filly finished one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Order Mattie, with Galaxy Seelster well back in third. "I've always liked her, she'd been a nice filly all winter," said Henry. "She raced very well. She is nice and strong, how fast she is I don't know." Henry started Royaltys Pearl at the Gold Series level in the July 15 season opener at Georgian Downs, but an early break saw her finish seventh and required her to return to the qualifying ranks. Henry added a set of trotting hopples to her equipment for the July 18 qualifier and the move clearly paid off on Tuesday evening. The Arthur resident and his partners Daylon Farms Ltd. of Komoka, Ontario and Gordon Yeo of Calgary, Alberta acquired the daughter of Royalty For Life and Hawaiian Viva for $28,000 US at the 2017 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and they have not yet decided whether she will remain at the Grassroots level or return to the Gold. "She's kind of one of those inbetweeners I think - real good in one, and just average in the other," noted Henry, whose choices will be August 7 for the Grassroots or August 10 for Gold, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. In the second $18,800 division Splurge On Me and driver Bob McClure left strongly from Post 2 and were able to settle in behind fan favourite Snooker as she trotted to fractions of :29.3, 1:00.3 and 1:29.2. Turning for home McClure gave Splurge On Me a clear look at the finish and the filly responded with a kick that propelled her to a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:59. Snooker settled for second and Miss Congeniality was well back in third. "She's a very smart filly," said McClure. "She has a good gait and can race any way. She's very handy for a Grassroots filly." The Elora resident drives Splurge On Me for Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario and his partner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio. The partners also bred the daughter of Kadabra and Urge To Splurge, who finished fifth in the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs on July 15. The last Grassroots division went to Delilah Seelster, who spent most of the mile at the back of the pack. Getting away seventh from Post 3, driver Louis Philippe Roy shifted the filly into the outer lane heading for the half but waited to ask for another gear until the field was squared up in the stretch. That gear was a big one however, as Delilah Seelster reeled off a :27.4 final quarter to get a head in front of fan favourite At Will in 2:00.4. Nifty Trick finished third, giving trotting sire Kadabra a sweep of the top three spots. Thursday's appearance was Delilah Seelster's first in the Ontario Sires Stakes program; in her only other start she had finished sixth in a July 19 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park after making a break at the mid-way point. The daughter of Kadabra and Donatos Classic had also made breaks in her first three qualifiers so trainer Richard Moreau was pleasantly surprised with her victory. "I never expected that, so it's a good thing," said the Puslinch resident. "She's two-years-old, she's trying hard, and she has a big heart." Moreau conditions Delilah Seelster for Gestion J. Y. Blais Inc. of Montreal, Quebec, who acquired the filly at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale for $34,000. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start back at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 7. On Friday, July 27 the Campbellville oval will once again roll out the red carpet for the two-year-old trotting fillies, this time a trio of $67,200 Gold Series divisions, slated as Races 3, 6, and 8. Friday's first race rolls in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm. From the Quebec Sire Stakes

JULY 21, 2018 - Georgian Downs hosted both the Gold and Grassroots legs for the thee-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday evening and Illusioneesta took sole control of top spot in the Gold Series standings with her second straight victory in the provincial program. Starting from Post 3 in the second $95,600 Gold division, Illusioneesta and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. employed their usual come-from-behind tactics, getting away in the middle of the pack and allowing Magical Lady to ring up fractions of :28, :59.1 and 1:28.4 before shifting into high gear and sprinting home to a one length victory in 1:58. Magical Lady settled for second and pocket-sitter Gotta Pay To Play was third. "That's what she do, she don't like to go early, she likes to race at the end of it, and that's where the money is," said trainer Per Henriksen of the fan favourite. She's nice, very nice, and she's made a pile of money so far this year, and quite a few Golds and the Super Final left, if everything goes right." Norwood resident Henriksen conditions Illusioneesta for Harbor Racing Stable LLC of Aurora and Asa Farm of Norwood, Ontario. Through eight sophomore starts the Kadabra daughter has tallied four wins and three thirds for earnings of $191,546. "And you know, she's just such a pleasure to be around and don't have no issues or nothing," added Henriksen. "The only thing we've got to watch with her is that we don't feed her too much, because she'd look like a drum if you'd let her." With two wins and one second through the first three Gold events Illusioneesta has accumulated 125 points, putting her almost 50 points ahead of the competition with two events remaining. In the first Gold division, Collateral Beauty earned her first-ever Ontario Sires Stakes victory with a come-from-behind trip that saw her reel in the leaders through the stretch and trot under the wire in 1:58. Apprentice M finished two and three-quarter lengths back in second and Town Hall Justice was third. "She raced phenomenal for me, I was extremely happy. She's very nice to drive," said reinsman Rick Zeron, who drove the filly to the win for trainer Herb Holland and owner Carolyn MacIsaac of Milton, Ontario. "She seems to be just getting better and better every week, and I was extremely happy for Herb and Carolyn, because they're hard-working people and they love their horses." The win was the Kadabra daughter's first through six starts this season and boosts her lifetime earnings to $79,504. Seventh in the Gold Series season opener, the win also bumped Collateral Beauty up to 52 points, putting her among the top 10 point earners. All three Grassroots divisions were also captured by first-time OSS winners. Fan favourite Stormont Charlotte led off with a 1:57.3 victory in the first $19,150 division for driver Scott Coulter and owner-trainer Alan Fair of Ancaster, Ontario. The Justice Hall daughter bested Hopes Solo and Power And Grace. In the second division Robert Shepherd steered fan favourite Pretty N Well to a 2:00.4 score for trainer Mark Johnson and owner-breeder Denise Ball of Bailieboro, Ontario. Northern Lightning finished second and Gradabra was third, giving Ontario trotting sire Kadabra a sweep of the top three spots. The final Grassroots division saw Sharpes Summer Series winner Superlative retain her hold on the Georgian Downs winner's circle. Making her Ontario Sires Stakes debut, Superlative allowed P L Layla to control the early tempo, leading the field through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:27 before kicking into gear in the final quarter and storming home to a three length victory in 1:57.3. P L Layla settled for second and Frick was third. Thornton resident Stephen Byron was in Superlative's race bike for the win, as he has been for all five of her lifetime starts. After a bobble in her May 21 debut the Holiday Road daughter has been flawless, sweeping both legs and the final of the Sharpes Summer Series and Saturday's Grassroots division. Rob Walker, Jr. of Sharon trains Superlative for his partners Brilo Farms of Sharon and A J Cachia Sales Ltd. of Newmarket, Ontario. Superlative and her peers will have an opportunity to add to their Grassroots point tally in the fourth event on August 27 at Grand River Raceway, while the Gold Series fillies will compete in their fourth event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 16. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs next Sunday, July 29 with the second Gold event for the two-year-old trotting colts. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

WASHINGTON, PA, July 11, 2018 -- Ready Any Time was set to her task in mid-stretch and responded, just holding off the relentless charge of Barn Girl to capture Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows in a career-best 1:53. Ready Any Time vaulted to the front from post 5 for Dave Palone but soon faced the first-over challenge of Barn Girl, who was seeking her fourth straight victory. When Palone asked her for more, the 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Spice Queen found it, edging Barn Girl by a head, with Bessie third. Ron Burke trains Ready Any Time, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $161,513, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone, harness racing's all-time "winningest" driver, enjoyed a big day with six victories, including one each for trainers Randy Bendis, Scott Betts, Gerald Lee, Jr., Dirk Simpson, Leslie Zendt and Burke. Jim Pantaleano fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, first post 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

HAMBURG, NY--- After tying the Buffalo Raceway all-time trotting track record and smashing the aged (5+) mare mark as well last week with a 1:56.1 mile, Chelseas Chance was rewarded with a date with the boys in the $11,500 Open Trot on Friday night (June 8).   No problem.   Decked out in hot pink, Chelseas Chance (Billy Davis Jr.) showed the fellas that she was a 'dangerous damsel' as she turned them back in 1:57.1 over the fast track. Besides stunning the gentlemen on the Hamburg half-mile oval, she surprised the betting public with a $20.00 win price.   Empire Earl N (Jim Morrill Jr.) got to the lead early by posting fractions of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:27.4. Sitting fourth past the half, Chelseas Chance was first over down the back stretch and was stride-for-stride with the pace-setter with a panel to go.   In the stretch, Chelseas Chance eventually wore down Empire Earl N and posted the neck win while Southern Palms (Kevin Cummings) finished in third. A :57.4 back half helped key the victory for the 7-year-old mare Chelseas Chance.   Owned and trained by Sabrina Clevenger, Chelseas Chance (Kadabra-Armbro Chelsea) has now won five times in 11 appearances this season. With the victory, her earnings jumped to $23,991 this year and $244,822 lifetime.   Davis Jr. completed the night with four wins while Ray Fisher Jr. and Drew Monti each doubled. Angelo Nappo and Rose Russo each had a pair of training victories.   Racing will continue on Saturday night with an 11-race program set with a special post time of 7:00 p.m. (approximate) to accommodate racing fans to watch and wager on the Belmont Stakes from Belmont Park.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

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