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MILTON, August 10, 2018 - Harness racing driver Louis Philippe Roy recorded his 1,000th career driving victory with an Ontario Sires Stakes score on Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Roy, 28, entered the evening just two wins shy of the milestone and proceeded to post three wins in seven drives. The Mont-Joli, Quebec native picked up his first win of the evening in the sixth race with pacing mare Cenalta Call Girl and just three-races later hit the 1,000 win mark with rookie trotting filly Hp Titania Runner in a $98,800 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event. Roy is currently this season's Woodbine leading driver and his climb from Quebec fairs to top driver in Canada has been unprecedented. Roy's first drive took place in 2008 and by the end of 2014 he had 253 races under his belt. That number has skyrocketed to over 4,800. "I'm always telling the same story, but every time I take my time to look at where I was just two, three years ago and where I am now, it's always over my expectations," said Roy following his 1,000th win. "I don't think anyone would expect to go so quickly from the fair racetrack to the biggest track in Canada." The young reinsman appeared on the Woodbine circuit in late-2016 and has been racking up the victories at a rapid-pace, while becoming a go-to driver for many top trainers. Roy posted 380 wins last season and currently sits at 260 for the current year. Also on Friday, Witch Dali extended her current win-streak to three with a late-charging score in the $30,000 Mares Preferred. A talented group of six older pacing mares clashed in the top-class Friday. Witch Dali was making her first start since July 13 and went off as the 9/5 second-choice, as Firebby, the most recent Mares Preferred winner, was made the 7/5 favourite. Firebby shot out to the lead and called the shots for most of the mile, posting fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.3. Meanwhile, Witch Dali and driver Jody Jamieson got away at the back of the pack, but were just a little less than four-lengths from the lead while fifth at three-quarters. In the stretch, Firebby held off first-up challenger Bettors Up, but couldn't stop Witch Dali from soaring by in deep stretch for a half-length score in 1:51.1. Shezarealdeal finished third, while Bettors Up was fourth. Trained by Richard Moreau, Witch Dali is now seven for 14 with $140,900 earned this season. The seven-year-old, who is owned by Brad Grant, notched her 30th career victory and went over $600,000 in career earnings with Friday's victory. Witch Dali, who has now won four of her last five starts, paid $5.90 to win. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

North America Cup champion Lather Up headlines a deep and diverse field in Northfield Park's premier event, the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial on Saturday night, August 11. The race, a three year-old Open by invitation only, has attracted a diverse and accomplished group of horses, representing sires from six different states and Ontario. Ohio-sired Lather Up has been named the 2-1 morning-line favorite by Northfield's Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. Lather Up has banked over $500,000 in purses while winning eight of his nine starts thus far in 2018. Lather Up is the only horse in the field that has ever competed at Northfield, including a local victory in Ohio Sires Stakes competition last year. Clyde Francis of the George Teague Stable trains Lather Up for breeder/owners Gary and Barbara Iles of Harrington, Delaware. Jimmy Freight drew the rail and is the 3-1 second choice. He ventures south of the border on the heels of a career best 1:48.3 romp in Ontario Sires Stakes company on August 4 at Woodbine/Mohawk Park. Jimmy Freight is now a perfect 4-for-4 in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events this year. Dorsoduro Hanover drew post-5 and is the 4-1 third choice. He is fresh off a breakthrough victory in the $400,000 Adios at The Meadows (near Pittsburgh). Pennsylvania-sired Dorsoduro Hanover enters the Milstein for harness racing's leading trainer in both wins and purses, Ron Burke. Burke recently surpassed the $200,000,000 mark in career purses from his stable, and is a fixture atop the seasonal leader board for trainers in both wins and earnings from his starters. The 2018 $400,000 Milstein Memorial field: POST HORSE DRIVER TRAINER M/L 1 Jimmy Freight Louis Roy Andrew Harris 3-1 2 Lather Up Montrell Teague Clyde Francis 2-1 3 Thinkbig Dreambig Jordan Stratton Jimmy Takter 12-1 4 Springteen Rene Allard David Miller 6-1 5 Dorsoduro Hanover Matt Kakaley Ron Burke 4-1 6 Minnie Vinnie Aaron Merriman Curtis Carey 15-1 7 Slick Tony Russell Foster George Leager 20-1 8 Always A Prince Trace Tetrick Tyler George 10-1 The race is named in honor of Carl Milstein, who owned and operated Northfield Park from 1984 until his death in 1999. His son, Brock, took over as Chairman of Northfield Park upon his father's passing until earlier this year when MGM Growth Properties purchased the racetrack from Milstein Entertainment, LLC. In 1972, the senior Milstein, a Cleveland builder and real estate developer, headed a group of several partners, including George Steinbrenner, which purchased Northfield Park. They leased the facility to other operators through the early 1980's. The track lost significant amounts of money during that period before Milstein took full ownership and control. In late 1984 he successfully applied to the Ohio State Racing Commission for the necessary licenses and, beginning in January, 1985, conducted permanent race meetings at Northfield of between 212 and 238 days every year. Milstein was the driving force behind a resurgence of the beleaguered track, which ascended to among harness racing's top tracks in attendance and handle. He was an innovator in promotions and advertising and successfully led the track into the era of simulcast racing. Exciting Undercard "The Carl Milstein Memorial is our richest and most prestigious race of the year," stated Brent Reitz, Northfield Park Vice President and General Manager, "but the rest of the card is loaded with exceptional racing as well." This year's Milstein Memorial program carries total purses in excess of $700,000. The 16-race program includes the $50,000 Myron Charna President's Pace, a race for four year-old-and-up Ohio Sired Pacers (by invitation only), three $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes for three year-old filly pacers, and three $19,000 Open events. Superfecta wagering will be available on Saturday's featured 11th race event with a $20,000 guaranteed pool. It is also the fourth leg of the Pick-4, which has a guaranteed pool of $10,000. First race post time is 6:00 p.m. In addition to superior racing action, Milstein Night will also offer guests a sumptuous spread in Lady Luck's clubhouse dining room. The dinner buffet, inspired by Hard Rock Rocksino Executive Chef Chris Poplin, is specially priced at $21.95. Limited clubhouse seating remains; call 330-467-4101 for reservations. Guests who want to be down close to all the racing action can gather on the grandstand apron to sample some award winning fare. Making their return appearance to the Northfield Apron is Cleveland's award winning Barrio's food truck. Cleveland's Scene Magazine readers voted Barrio as the best food truck in northeast Ohio. Joining Barrio is the Addicted Coffee truck and Crooked Kettle Popcorn. Live music by Unknown Reason also will be part of the apron scene from 6-10 p.m. Attendees can also enter drawings that will take place throughout the evening. The drawings are FREE to enter and we will be giving away betting vouchers, gift cards, 55" SmartTV, amusement park tickets, and the Grand Prize of up to $2,000 in our Cases of Cash game. Plus, try your luck at our Putting Challenge, where you can win more cash and prizes from 7 - 8 PM. Admission and parking are always FREE at Northfield Park. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

AUGUST 6, 2018 - Ontario's talented three-year-old pacing fillies were part of Grand River Raceway's annual Industry Day celebrations on Monday and Neon Moon set the tone for the afternoon's festivities with a track record effort in the first $18,800 Grassroots division. From Post 5 driver Jody Jamieson sent Neon Moon straight to the lead and the fan favourite reeled off fractions of :26.4, 55.4 and 1:24.1 before opening up to a five length victory in 1:52.4. Hello Love and Askmysecretary finished second and third. The mile took two-fifths of a second off the former sophomore pacing filly track record, first set by Seaside Rory in 2012 and equalled by L A Delight in 2016. "She was really sharp going into the race, but you just, on a half-mile track you just kind of hold your breath a bit," said trainer Jack Darling, who also owns the daughter of Sportswriter. Monday's victory was Neon Moon's second straight, but her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action this season. In her first two Grassroots starts she finished third. A four-time Grassroots winner at two, Neon Moon may have earned herself a shot at the Gold Series fillies with the track record performance. "She's been racing Grassroots, but she's just kind of borderline Gold, so we might give her a shot," noted Cambridge, Ontario resident Darling. In the second division fan favourite Katniss S BG overcame the outside Post 8 to earn her second straight Grassroots victory. In rein to Louis Philippe Roy, Katniss S BG left sharply and was able to settle in behind the fans' second choice Falls Creek as she rolled through fractions of :27.2, 58.2 and 1:27.1. In the stretch Roy asked the Mach Three daughter for another gear and Katniss S BG sprinted by the pacesetter to record a half-length victory in 1:55.4. Falls Creek settled for second and Princess Abie W was third. "I wanted to leave, not to be too far away with her, and then I see Robert was on the lead. I thought he was going to try and have my cover and follow me, but I knew he was also the second best, like the one to beat, so I was even more happy just to get in behind him, following him," said Roy. "So Post 8 before the race was a little bit of a concern, but it ended up having the perfect trip. "I thought maybe he could have stretched me a little bit then sit behind me, and he might have a shot at beating me, but the way it turned out was perfect for me," the driver added. Roy piloted Katniss S BG to the win for trainer Richard Moreau and owner-breeders Sylvain Descheneaux and Gaston Bibeau of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. It was the filly's third straight victory and her fourth in 10 starts this season. Lifelong Dream earned her first-ever Grassroots victory in the third division with a come-from-behind effort from Post 5. After leading the charge on pacesetter Cardiff in the outer lane, Lifelong Dream dug in down the stretch to score a head victory in 1:54.1. Machnhope was second and Sharks Summrshandy was third. Dean Nixon trains Lifelong Dream for owner-breeder Greg Merlo of Glencoe, Ontario and the horseman was delighted to see the filly record her first Grassroots win after a pair of runner-up finishes. "She's kind like of a little dream come true for him. He's always just had his own horses that have raced on the B tracks and this is the first time he's had a horse that was capable of racing in stakes competition," Nixon explained. "When we first got her, she's very small and I didn't think much of her. I wasn't overly optimistic and she's just been a pleasant surprise. "We give her time between starts, we don't over race her, and he doesn't mind that, he wants what is in her best interests all the time," the horseman continued. "I'm really happy that these people have been so fortunate, that this little horse has produced so well. It's a little dream come true for them and it's nice to be a part of that." Bob McClure piloted Lifelong Dream to the win, the filly's second in 13 sophomore starts. In the last Grassroots division driver Trevor Henry copied McClure's come-from-behind tactics with Cabowabocuttie, easing away from Post 7, powering up the outer lane and battling hard in the stretch for a one-half length victory in 1:56.2. Pacesetter and fan favourite Sunday Afternoon settled for second and I Shadow U was third. "When I seen we had the seven-hole I thought oh dear, but she overcome it," said owner Bill Manes of Rockwood, Ontario. "She tries; small but mighty." Gerald Lilley conditions Big Jim daughter Cabowabocuttie, who started her season at the Gold Series level, logging one third and one ninth. Monday's victory was her second straight, and her third on the season. The fillies served as the opening act for the $163,840 Battle of the Belles and the $262,315 Battle of Waterloo finals. Quebec Blue Chip delivered a commanding front-end effort to capture the two-year-old pacing filly event, stopping the teletimer at 1:55.1 for driver Jody Jamieson, trainer Dave Menary and owners Menary Racing Inc. of Rockton, Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown and Bruce Norris of Caledon East, Ontario. The filly's stablemate Ideation Hanover was second and Village Joules was third. Two-year-old pacing colt Bronx Seelster captured the Battle of Waterloo with a gritty effort that saw him fight back in the stretch when rival Bettors Wish got a head in front. The fan favourite hit the wire a neck in front of Bettors Wish in 1:53.1 with Sports Teen third. Arthur, Ontario resident Trevor Henry piloted the Big Jim son to his fourth straight win for trainer Wayne McGean and owners Capers 3 Stable of Sydney, Nova Scotia. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - July 27, 2018 - Firebby took care of business as the even-money harness racing favourite in Friday's $30,000 Mares Preferred at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The six-year-old Australian bred and driver Louis Philippe Roy shot out to the lead in a field of six and proceeded to call all the shots en route to a 1:53.4 score. Firebby posted soft panels of :29, :57.4 and 1:26 before firing home in :27.4 over the "off" track to win. Bettors Up rallied from last with a :26.4 kicker to make things interesting, finishing second beat a neck. Sandbetweenurtoes finished third, while Artistic Madison was fourth. Trained by Ron Adams, Firebby had been held winless in her last four starts, with her most recent victory coming in her Woodbine debut on June 1. Firebby is now five for nine since coming to North America this season. She was purchased privately by current owners David Kryway and Adams following her third start in North America. The new connections supplemented the daughter of Courage Under Fire to the Roses Are Red Stakes following her June 1 victory and saw their new acquisition finish fifth in the $370,000 final. Firebby paid $4.20 to win Friday. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

JULY 22, 2018 - After two weeks spent south of the border taking on the best three-year-old pacing colts in North America, Jimmy Freight returned to the Ontario Sires Stakes program on Sunday and delivered his third straight commanding Gold Series victory, circling the Rideau Carleton Raceway oval in 1:50.3. The clocking was a new track record for three-year-old pacers. Driver Louis Philippe Roy sent Jimmy Freight directly to the front from Post 2 and the heavy favourite cruised through fractions of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:23.3 on his way to the two and three-quarter length victory. Sharp Action Money finished second and JM Jack Of Hearts was four more lengths back in third. "Louis turned around a few times to make sure he was having good control of this race, and it worked out perfect," said trainer Richard Moreau. Puslinch resident Moreau conditions Jimmy Freight for Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ontario. Through 10 starts this season the Sportswriter son has posted six wins, one second and two thirds, banking $258,439. Prior to Sunday's start he had been in New Jersey competing in The Meadowlands Pace where he finished third in his July 7 elimination and fourth in the July 14 final. "I guess he has to get used to travel now," said the trainer with a chuckle. "I think we have Mohawk next, for another Gold (August 4), and then going back to the States on the 11th. It's (Carl Milstein Memorial) an eight horse field and they go for $400,000 US." Sunday's victory made Jimmy Freight the fastest sophomore pacing colt to tour Rideau Carleton Raceway and was just one-fifth of a second shy of the 1:50.2 three-year-old track record set by Camluck gelding Michaels Power in a Gold Final on August 26, 2012. The second $96,400 Gold division was captured by The Downtown Bus, who led the field through fractions of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:23.2, fighting off challenges from Pretty Handsome and favourite St Lads Neptune before pacing away in the stretch to a two and three-quarter length victory in 1:51.1. Taste Of History and Grantmeawish closed well to secure second and third. "He raced great. I used him up a couple of times and he still held them off," said driver Doug McNair. "It was a huge effort tonight." Guelph resident McNair piloted The Downtown Bus to his first-ever Ontario Sires Stakes win for trainer Jeff Gillis of Mississauga, Ontario and Ellen Ott of Buffalo, New York. Gillis and Ott also bred the son of Mach Three. In 14 sophomore starts The Downtown Bus now has five wins, two seconds and four thirds for earnings of $103,315. In addition to the pair of Gold Series divisions, Rideau Carleton Raceway also hosted three Grassroots splits for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, and after starting their season at the Gold level, both When You Dance and Casimir Richie P found success in their respective Grassroots divisions. Fan favourite When You Dance hit the wire three and one-quarter lengths ahead of Pokerface Bluechip and Stock in 1:52. Guy Gagnon piloted the Mach Three son to the win for trainer Ben Wallace of Puslinch, Ontario, Daniel Plouffe of Bromont, Quebec and Birnam Wood Farms of Boca Raton, FL. Also sent off as the favourite, Casimir Richie P romped home to a six and one-quarter length victory in 1:52.3 for driver Tyler Moore of Campbellville, trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge and their partner Michael Goldberg of Toronto, Ontario. My Teen Idol was second and Mighty Mach third. The final $18,450 division saw Hudson Phil earn his second Grassroots victory of the season with a pacesetting 1:52.3 effort that saw him hit the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Gold Rush and Luka Shenko. Guelph resident James MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario and owner-breeders Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec. Both a Grassroots and a Gold winner at two, Hudson Phil had made one appearance at each level before Sunday's victory. "Phil's always been a nice colt, but just a touch behind a few of the Gold horses, so we'll try the Grassroots for the time being," said Steacy. "He will go back to Hippodrome 3R for his next start and then return to Mohawk." On July 15 Hudson Phil captured his division of the first leg of the Coupe Des Eleveurs at Hippodrome 3R and will return to the Quebec oval for the July 29 second leg. The Gold Series colts and geldings will compete in their fourth event on August 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, while the Grassroots competitors make their fourth start at Clinton Raceway on August 5. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, August 26 with the fourth Gold and Grassroots legs for the three-year-old trotting colts. From the Ontatio Sire Stakes

JULY 16, 2018 - Grey skies parted to reveal a double rainbow and Ontario Sires Stakes hopefuls evolved into Gold Series winners as the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings made their provincial debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening. Capturing the first $52,200 Gold Series division was Lifetime Royalty and driver Doug McNair, who eased away from Post 7 and used a late sprint to propel them to a one and one-quarter length victory in 2:01. Fan Favourite Knight Angel also closed well over the rain-soaked surface to be second, while pocket-sitter Isnt He An Angel was third. "We paid for him to be a good colt, and he trained down like a good horse all winter. I was always very high on him," said trainer Scott McEneny, who offered up $100,000 for the youngster at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. "That's a good way to start the season." The Waterdown resident shares ownership of Lifetime Royalty with Brad Grant of Milton and Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga, Ontario. The son of Royalty For Life and Cha Cha Glide has two relatives that have earned more than $1 million - American-bred What The Hill and former Ontario Sires Stakes star Majestic Son - and McEneny had a bold circle around his name in the Lexington sales catalogue. "I loved him, he was a gorgeous colt at the sale, and I just said to Brad, I said I'd really like to take him home, and we did," the trainer recalled. "We had to pay for him - $100,000 for first crop Ontario Sired was pretty good money -but he was just gorgeous, he looks the part, and he always has been the part." Prior to Monday's victory, Lifetime Royalty had posted runner-up finishes in his June 25 and July 3 qualifiers and in a July 9 two-year-old conditioned event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, giving him an early season bank balance of $29,600. The second division saw driver Louis Philippe Roy employ similar tactics with Dream Nation from Post 5. The pair got away near the back of the pack and then advanced up the outer lane, taking control around the final turn. Through the stretch the fan favourites drew away to a four and one-half length victory in 1:59.4. Tymal Tullo was second and Tennessee Titan finished third. "There's some young trotters that can get aggressive a little bit, so they drive you more than you drive them, but this one, he'll do what you want," said Roy, who drove the Archangel gelding to the win for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy, Gestion C. Levesque 2015 Inc. of St-Hyacinthe and Marc Camirand of Montreal., Quebec. "I trained him maybe four or five times with Jacques, even before qualifying him, and every time, just perfect attitude, doing what you want." Flawless through his June 25 qualifier and a July 2 two-year-old conditioned event at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Dream Nation has earned back $33,100 of his $42,000 purchase price from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The third division saw another come-from-behind performance from fan favourite Southwind Avenger and driver Trevor Henry, who sat fifth through the first half of the mile and then accelerated up the outer lane to a three and one-half length victory in 1:59.4. Henry engineered the victory from Post 8 for New Jersey-based trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Mel Hartman of Ottawa, Ontario, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, Florida and Little E LLC of New York, New York, and the veteran reinsman found the victory uniquely satisfying. "I always liked the colt, when he was a yearling I went and looked at him at the sale, but I knew we wouldn't be able to afford him," explained the Arthur, Ontario resident. "I always had in the back of my head, at least if he turns out I'll have shot to drive him, because I liked the colt, I watched videos of him, I really liked him." The hammer fell at $77,000 for Southwind Avenger at the Lexington sale and the colt delivered a pair of qualifying victories at Harrah's Philadelphia before shipping north to compete in the Ontario Sires Stakes. The final division saw an impressive late sprint by Forbidden Trade land reinsman Bob McClure in the Gold Series winner's circle for the first time in his career. Starting from Post 8, McClure and the son of Kadabra and former Ontario Sires Stakes superstar Pure Ivory hit the wire in 1:59.2, reeling in Tymal Houdini and fan favourite Jumpshot. "I've had about six seconds, but no (Gold) wins," explained the 27-year-old reinsman, who drove the colt to the win for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, Quebec. "He almost over trotted coming out of the turn, but it's his first lifetime start, and once he got his head down and going he was doing some trotting." A $110,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Forbidden Trade delivered a 28 second last quarter to earn the victory. All four colts will have an opportunity to add to their provincial resume in the second Gold Series event on July 29 at Georgian Downs. On Thursday the three-year-old trotting colts make their first Grassroots stop at Woodbine Mohawk Park, competing in Races 5 and 8. Thursday's first race goes behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JULY 15, 2018 - One night after hosting the Grassroots season opener for the two-year-old trotting fillies, Georgian Downs rolled out the red carpet for their Gold level peers, who stepped up the tempo as they battled for a total of $200,000 in three divisions. HP Titania Runner captured the first Gold Series victory of the freshman trotting filly season with a 1:58.3 effort that saw her get away mid-pack from Post 7 and then power up the outer lane to catch pacesetter Angies Luckeylady. Accelerating down the stretch, HP Titania Runner opened up a five and one-quarter length lead over fan favourite Angies Luckeylady and Warrawee Ultra. Louis Philippe Roy piloted the E L Titan daughter to the win for trainer Rene Bourassa of Fergus, Ontario and owner-breeders Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, Quebec. Three races later, Roy was back in the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle after guiding Cambridge Kate to a 1:58.3 score. Starting from Post 6 Roy eased the Royalty For Life filly away from the gate and settled her in seventh as fan favourite Shesa Sweetheart led the field to a :28.4 quarter and a :58.4 half. Heading for the 1:28.3 three-quarters Roy sent Cambridge Kate into the outer lane and turning for home the filly rolled out around the two horses in front of her and stormed to a one and three-quarter length victory. Champagne Jane and Witches N Angels also reeled in Shesa Sweetheart to earn second and third-place honours. "She's got lots of speed, I think she's got lots of speed," said trainer Carl Jamieson of Cambridge Kate. "She can leave too, I mean he didn't leave there at all tonight - and I was a little worried when he got away next to last - but she really closed excellent." Rockwood resident Jamieson conditions Cambridge Kate for his partners Glengate K Farms of Erin and Dr. Robert Boyce of London, Ontario. The partners acquired the filly from the 2017 London Selected Yearling Sale for $44,000 and she has banked $35,280 with a win and a third in her first two starts. "She's been good all along. Since the day we broke her she's had no problems whatsoever," noted Jamieson. "Anybody could train her all winter, like going sets, she didn't make breaks or nothing, she's always trotted good." Trainer John Rier felt the same way about Giving It All through the winter and the filly rewarded his confidence with a 2:00.2 victory in the last $66,400 division. Starting from Post 5, Giving It All and driver Mike Saftic took command early and trotted through fractions of :29.4, 1:01 and 1:30.4 before battling down the stretch to a three-quarter length victory over fan favourite Petro Hall and Pyrrha. "She raced good, she's a very good gaited filly," said Campbellville resident Saftic. "The track's a little deep there, a lot of the other fillies were having a hard time, but she was good. We got her good fractions and she gutted it out down the lane." Kitchener resident Rier shares ownership of Giving It All with his brother Randy Rier of Hanover. The brothers offered up $12,000 for the Angus Hall daughter at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale and have recouped $36,700 with one win and one second through the filly's first three starts. "I don't know how fast she'll end up being, but she's got that nice gait, and she's got gate speed, and she moves real nice," noted Saftic, who has driven the filly in all of her races and qualifiers. "We'll see down the road, but we'll take that one." Giving It All, Cambridge Kate, HP Titania Runner and their peers will make their second Gold Series start on July 27 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Ontario Sires Stakes spotlight remains on Georgian Downs this week as the Innisfil oval hosts the Grassroots season opener for the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Tuesday, July 17. The colts and geldings will compete for a total of $55,700 in Races 2, 5 and 8. The evening's first race rolls in behind the starting car at 7:15 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

If Louis-Philippe Roy gets goose bumps at the finish of Saturday's Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, it will not be the first time he experiences that sensation as a result of the race. This time, though, it would occur from an entirely different seat and, presumably, for an entirely different reason. The 28-year-old Roy will drive for the first time in a Meadowlands Pace final on Saturday, sitting behind Jimmy Freight in the Meadowlands Racetrack's signature event. Jimmy Freight is 9-2 on the morning line, the third choice behind 5-2 favorite Courtly Choice and 3-1 Stay Hungry in the $701,830 race for 3-year-old harness racing pacers. Roy will try to become the first driver since Tim Tetrick in 2007 to win the Meadowlands Pace in his first attempt. "I was thinking about it last week," said Roy, a native of Quebec who got his start on the fair circuit in his home province. "I remember 10 years ago I was watching Somebeachsomewhere in the Meadowlands Pace and I had the goose bumps when he got beat (by Art Official for the only loss of his career). "The two biggest races in my mind have always been the North America Cup and the Meadowlands Pace because where I'm from (in Canada) we were only racing pacers. So those were the two biggest races I always wanted to win. To be in it this year is very special." Roy spent six years competing, and dominating, at the fairs before making a name for himself at Hippodrome Trois Rivieres, which propelled him to regular drives on the Woodbine-Mohawk/Ontario circuit. In 2016, he won the Gold Cup & Saucer with YS Lotus on Prince Edward Island and received Canada's Future Star Award. Since then, he has lived up to the billing. In 2017, Roy won 377 races, good for second among all drivers in Canada, and earned $4.44 million (U.S.) in purses and was a finalist for Canada's Driver of the Year, which ultimately went to Doug McNair. This year, Roy has 232 victories and $2.66 million in purses and leads Canadian drivers in both categories. "It's just a dream," Roy said. "From the time I got interested (in the sport) I always wanted to be a driver. But it's a long step from starting on the fair circuit and then making it as a living. It's like dreaming about playing in the NHL; you dream about it, but you never expect it." Roy's success has attracted attention on both sides of the border. Ron Burke, the sport's leading trainer in wins and purses for 10 years running, has given Roy drives in several stakes races. Roy won the 2017 She's A Great Lady with Youaremycandygirl, at odds of 40-1, and finished second with Rockin Ron in the Canadian Pacing Derby. He won this year's Camluck Classic with Rockin Ron and also captured the Fan Hanover Stakes with Shower Play for trainer Rene Dion. Starting in 2016, Roy has driven in 29 Grand Circuit-level races and posted five wins and a total of 18 top-three finishes, good for a .391 driver's rating. He has sat behind only one favorite in those 29 starts, and while several others have gone off at short odds, most of his drives have been with horses with double-digit odds. "Last summer, especially with stakes horses, I didn't have much experience with young horses," Roy said. "I think this year that is part of my driving that might improve. I still have a lot of experience to get, but I have a lot more than I had last year. I hope it will keep helping me. "Getting drives from the big stables, that does help for sure. I guess they like what I'm doing in Canada. As a driver that's what you need, a good stable behind you giving you a lot of chances. We've had some good results so far. I'm very thankful." Roy's drive in the Meadowlands Pace, Jimmy Freight, was not staked to the race, so owner Adriano Sorella paid a supplement of $61,690 to give his horse a shot at the trophy. Jimmy Freight, a son of Sportswriter out of Allamerican Summer, has won five of eight races this year and hit the board in every start. Last year, he won seven of 12 and again was always among the top-three finishers. Jimmy Freight's wins this year include a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and two divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes. The colt finished third in the Gold Cup Invitational, behind top older pacers Sintra and McWicked. He enters the Meadowlands Pace final off a dead-heat third in his elimination. He led for much of the way before Courtly Choice and American History passed him in the stretch. "I can't complain about Jimmy, he raced good like he's always done this season," Roy said. "Courtly Choice impressed me. Even though he had a tough mile having to go first-up, he was a rocket down the lane. We'll have to find a way to beat him, and the eight other horses, in the final." If Roy can, watch for the goose bumps. Following is the field for the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, which is part of a stakes-filled card at the Meadowlands that begins at 6:35 p.m. (EDT). PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Stay Hungry-Doug McNair-Tony Alagna-3/1 2-This Is The Plan-Tim Tetrick-Chris Ryder-15/1 3-American History-Yannick Gingras-Tony Alagna-5/1 4-Jimmy Freight-Louis Roy-Andrew Harris-9/2 5-Courtly Choice-David Miller-Blake MacIntosh-5/2 6-Nutcracker Sweet-Brian Sears-Jimmy Takter-15/1 7-Hayden Hanover-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-8/1 8-Thinkbig Dreambig-Jordan Stratton-Jimmy Takter-12/1 9-Babes Dig Me-Brett Miller-Tony Alagna-30/1 10-Dorsoduro Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-15/1 Elimination winners Stay Hungry and Courtly Choice drew for posts one through six. The remaining horses were then placed in an open draw. For the complete Meadowlands card, click here. For Meadowlands announcer Ken Warkentin's analysis of all the races, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

After suffering through early-season issues, All Bets Off appears to be back on his game. The 7-year-old stallion, who is within striking range of $3 million in career purses, leads three horses from the stable of trainer Ron Burke into Saturday's $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. All Bets Off is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind 5-2 favorite McWicked. All Bets Off was winless in his first four races of the year, with three finishes of sixth or worse, before getting time off to regroup. After a six-week absence, All Bets Off returned with a third-place finish in the Battle of Lake Erie, a win in the preferred handicap at the Meadowlands, and a second-place finish by a nose to Sintra in his elimination of the Ben Franklin. However, Sintra was dropped to third for racing inside the pylons, giving All Bets Off the victory. For his career, All Bets Off has won 29 of 110 races and earned $2.99 million. He is owned by Burke Racing Stable, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino, and The Panhellenic Stable Corp. "In his last three he's been back to the All Bets Off that we know," Burke said. "The beginning of the year was a complete disaster. We couldn't figure out what was wrong. But it was a bunch of things; it wasn't just one thing. We knew he wasn't sound, he wasn't breathing. For two weeks we turned him out and basically let him reset himself. He's been lights out his last three." The Franklin is one of four marquee events that make up Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono. The card also features the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, where filly Manchego is the 5-2 morning-line favorite; the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial, with Lather Up the 2-1 favorite; and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, where Sidewalk Dancer is the 5-2 choice. All Bets Off will start the Franklin from post No. 5 with driver Matt Kakaley. "I think he's ready, it's just how does he get there," Burke said. "He doesn't like to sit two holes; he'd either rather cut the mile or come off the back. But if he's sitting sixth or seventh it's probably too far to come from there." Burke's remaining two Franklin finalists are Filibuster Hanover and Rockin Ron. Filibuster Hanover was third-placed-second in the same elimination as All Bets Off and will start from post eight with driver Yannick Gingras. Rockin Ron was second in the elimination won by McWicked and will leave from post six with driver Louis Roy. Filibuster Hanover, a 4-year-old gelding, has won five of six races this year and 12 of 39 lifetime to accumulate earnings of $1.04 million. He is owned by Burke Racing, Joseph DiScala Jr., J&T Silva Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi. "He's been super," Burke said. "Last week I was a little disappointed, I thought he should have won from the trip he got. We scoped him and he didn't scope the best, so we worked on him all week and I would expect that he'll be better." Rockin Ron, a 6-year-old gelding, has won five of 12 races this year and finished second on four occasions. For his career, he has won 33 of 93 starts and $1.26 million. He is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, RTC Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. The 28-year-old Canadian-based Roy has driven Rockin Ron three times, winning an elimination of the 2017 Canadian Pacing Derby in 1:47.2 at Mohawk before finishing second by a neck to Sintra in the final, and posting an eight-length win in May's Camluck Classic in a track-record 1:50.1 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. "Rockin Ron is the wild card," said Burke, who has won the Ben Franklin twice. "For whatever reason, the two best starts of his life have been with Roy driving so that's why we brought him down. The kid just rolls him and the horse reacts to it. I don't know if he'll change tactics, but the horse does step out of the blocks when we use that kid driving." Joining All Bets Off and McWicked as Franklin elimination winners was Australian-bred Heaven Rocks. He will start from post four with David Miller driving for trainer Ross Croghan. McWicked, trained by Casie Coleman, will be driven by Brian Sears, who also piloted the stallion to victory in his elim. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono. The Franklin is race No. 11 on the card, preceded by the Lynch and Hempt and followed by the Beal. Following is the field for this year's Ben Franklin Pace. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Mac's Jackpot-Brett Miller-Jeff Smith-15/1 2-McWicked-Brian Sears-Casie Coleman-5/2 3-Donttellmeagain-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-12/1 4-Heaven Rocks A-David Miller-Ross Croghan-4/1 5-All Bets Off-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-3/1 6-Rockin Ron-Louis Roy-Ron Burke-10/1 7-Sintra-Jody Jamieson-Dave Menary-6/1 8-Filibuster Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5/1 9-Western Fame-Andy McCarthy-Jimmy Takter-20/1 Complete entries for the card are available at this link. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The inaugural Ben Hur Cup pitted two great harness racing drivers, the Champion, Sylvain Filion, facing off against the Challenger, Louis-Philippe Roy. And the champion prevailed as Filion won four of the eight races in the competition. The score was close through the first seven races as Filion led by only one point over LPR, 45 to 44. But that was before the final race in the challenge. In the ninth race, Filion was driving All You Can Dream, a three-year-old filly by Sportswriter that was making her pari-mutuel debut off a 2:03.4 qualifying win at H3R last week for owner and trainer Harold Duguay of Pabos. Filion left from post three, traded the early lead with A R Sublime (Jocelyn Gendron) and then pulled away from the field, leading by 12 lengths at the three-quarters in 1:26 and then opening up down the stretch winning by 24 open lengths in an amazing 1:56. LPR was a distant second place. LPR took the immediate lead in the Ben Hur Cup as he sent Loves A Challenge ($2.80) to the lead by the opening quarter mile in the second race and led the rest of the way, winning in a romp in 1:56.1. Sylvain Filion was fourth with Evergreen Artist. Filion came right back in the third race, wiring the field with Lune Bleu ($2.90), her third straight win, in 1:59. LPR was game with Yoshi from post eight, collared Filion after the half but then Filion stuffed him back in the two-hole and they finished second behind Lune Bleu. LPR then started to edge away with points over Filion, leading 28 to 22 after the fifth race, then Filion made up ground in the sixth race with a second-place finish and then the score was LPR 30, Filion 28. Filion then wired the field in the 7th race with Dry Creek Image ($8.50) but LPR was a game second, so then the score was tied LPR 37 and Filion 37. Filion then put himself in the lead going into the final race as he gave Bet I Can Fly ($3.20) a second-over trip, then three-wide on the final turned to pass LPR and Pantheon Seelster in the stretch for the victory. The score going into the final race of the Ben Hur Cup, Filion 45 and LPR 44. For Filion, it was a driving triple, his third winner on the afternoon. Then Filion crushed the field in the ninth race and took home the inaugural Ben Hur Cup. As per the wager between Filion and LPR, well it started raining after the eighth race so LPR pulling Filion around the track in a race bike will have to wait until another day that they both are at H3R. The first race on the program was the mare's division of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers. Before the start of the Ben Hur Cup, introductions of the two gladiators were done in both French and English by none other than the great announcer, Jean Desautels. And when he introduced Sylvain Filion, Filion came on the track with one of the greatest Quebec-bred horses ever, Goliath Bayama, whom his father, Hall of Famer, Yves Filion, bred, owned, trained and drove to greatness. It was Imagine Speed and driver Tyler Jones, who won the opening round of the series, who went right to the lead with race favorite Skyfall Sena (Mario Lachance) leaving from post six and grabbing the two-hole spot as they went to the opening quarter mile in :28.3. Then at the half mile in :58.2, Queen Elsa with driver Stephane Brosseau started up first-over and that flushed Skyfall Sena and Lachance to pull from the pocket trip and come first-over against Imagine Speed to the three-quarters in 1:28.3. Brosseau then took Queen Elsa three-wide and those thr2.8)ee horses were all neck and neck as they started down the stretch. Queen Elsa began to fade in the stretch as Skyfall Sena dug in held off Imagine Speed at the finish to win by a neck in 1:57.4. Godiva Mackiavelyc (Pascal Berube) closed well to be third. It was the fifth win this year for Skyfall Sena. The five-year-old daughter of Goliath Bayama is trained and owned by Alain Martin of Gatineau and paid $3.20 to win. In the ten race, the horse division of the Quebec-Bred Series, it was Dance With Joe and driver Daniel Dulude and they would not let anyone pass them by. Leaving from post three, Dance With Joe went right to the front but was not only challenged first-over by Noplay (Melanie Plourde) but also three-wide by C L Sportaction and driver Jonathan Lachance. Those three raced past the opening quarter in :28.3, then :57.3 to the half when Noplay backed off the took the two-hole trip, leaving C L Sportaction first-over with Wildriverbumblebee (Sylvain Filion) second-over. To the three-quarters in 1:26.3, Dance With Joe and Dulude kept C L Sportaction from getting the lead. Filion then took Wildriverbumblebee three-wide on the final turn and was coming after the lead down the stretch, but Dance With Joe was the strong horse, winning by a quarter-length in 1:55.3. Wildriverbumblebee was second with HP Patriote (Pascal Berube) third. For Dance With Joe, a five-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe, it was his fourth win in eighth starts this year, making him the winningest horse at H3R so far this season. He paid $10.60 to win for trainer Christine Davignon. Dulude, of Ste-Martine owns Dance With Joe. Track Notes: Live racing resumes at H3R on Tuesday evening with two divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotting mares and horses. The mare's division is headlined by Y S Suzanne who is seeking her third straight win. The horse division features the great rivalry between Capteur De Reve, Kinnder Dangerous and Holiday Party. Post time Tuesday evening is 6:30 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. The Quebec Fair Racing Circuit was held at Nouvelle Saturday and the all-time track trot mark was set by Mr Logan Mirox, driven by owner-trainer, Michel Audet, winning in 2:02.4, eclipsing the previous mark of 2:03 set by Ocean Mist Beauty and Carl Duguay back on 07-11-2015. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Even before the first race was held, the festivities at the Hippodrome 3R for the inaugural Ben Hur Cup, were well underway.   There was a live Standardbred race horse to greet race fans as they came into the grandstand entrance.   Both Sylvain Filion and Louis-Phillipe Roy came early to the track to meet and greet the hundreds of race fans that came to see them compete.   From the Quebec Jockey Club    

MILTON, ON - JUNE 23, 2018 - How good is Jimmy Freight? Driver Louis Philippe Roy is not sure; he thought he had seen the best of the colt in his first six starts this season, but the three-year-old pacer stepped it up a notch in Saturday's $96,400 Gold Series win at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "He's always been really good, Jimmy Freight, and tonight I think he was better than he's ever been. He felt so good going down the stretch, could have gone a little bit faster," Roy told Woodbine Mohawk Park's Chad Rozema in the winner's circle. "Like I said, tonight is the best he's ever been, and if you would have asked me how he was a week or two weeks ago I would say he's very good. I didn't know he could be better than what he was actually, so tonight he really impressed me again." Starting from Post 6 Jimmy Freight got away fourth as Levis Day led the field of seven to a :26.1 opening quarter, but Roy was not content to sit for long. He had the heavy favourite on the lead before the :54.2 half and by the 1:22.2 three-quarters the pair had opened up a two length gap on the field. Making it look easy, Jimmy Freight extended that margin to six and three-quarter lengths by the finish and clocked a new personal best 1:49.2. St Lads Neptune finished second and Levis Day took home third-place honours. Roy drives the son of Sportswriter and Allamerican Summer for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch and owner Adriano Sorella of Milton, Ontario. Jimmy Freight now boasts a sophomore record of five wins, one second, one third and earnings of $151,900 through seven starts. In addition to Saturday's Gold Series triumph he was also victorious in the Gold Series season opener at Flamboro Downs on May 20 and in his Somebeachsomewhere division at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 2. "He's a nice horse, I don't know what to tell you, he makes everything so easy," said Moreau. "If he races every week I never get to train him, I just jog him, that's all. "And if you jog him you wouldn't be able to say he is a stake horse or what he is, because all he does is trot out there," added Moreau with a chuckle. "You can't even push him to pace unless you put the hopples on." The easygoing Jimmy Freight will make his next Gold Series start at Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 22 and has been invited to the August 11 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park in Ohio. Roy also captured the $125,000 three-year-old pacing filly Gold division, steering heavy favourite Shower Play to another one of her trademark come-from-behind victories, reaching the wire one length ahead of Big Thong and Write Me A Song in in 1:51.1. "She didn't have a really good trip tonight, because I was kind of shuffled back in the last turn, so I was scared a little bit that I may be a little bit too far," Roy told Rozema. "But once I moved her, she just, just by herself, she switched to sixth gear and rally home." Rockwood resident Rene Dion conditions Shower Play for his partners Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood, Ontario and Martin Leveillee of St-Blaise-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The victory bumps the Shadow Play daughter's sophomore record to three wins and one second in four starts. In addition to Saturday's Gold Series victory, her first, the filly was also victorious in the $415,000 Fan Hanover final on June 16 and the Grassroots season opener on May 31, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. She will be back in Gold Series action on July 20 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Like Shower Play, Sharp Action Money used a late sprint to capture the other three-year-old pacing colt Gold division. Starting from Post 6 Sharp Acton Money got away seventh and tipped into the outer lane where he watched as four different horses rotated onto the front end. At the three-quarters, sitting three and one-half lengths off the pace in fifth, driver Sylvain Filion shifted Sharp Action Money into overdrive and the gelding sprinted home in :27.3 to claim a one-half length victory over Sports Legend and Taste Of History. "This horse has been racing really, really good, I wasn't just able to give him the right trip, and tonight fortunately we were able to get the right trip," said Filion from the winner's circle. "When I saw a bunch of leavers I took back, got a third-over, and it worked out pretty good." Milton resident Filion crafted the trip for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland and his partners Tony Basile of Toronto and Daniel Sarafian of Unionville, Ontario. The win was the Sportswriter son's second of the season and his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, June 25 with two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. The program gets under way at 7:30 pm and the fillies will compete in Races 3 and 8. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The stage is set for the inaugural Ben Hur Cup at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday and both harness racing drivers in this classic face-off, have agreed to a "gentleman's wager" for the event. The Ben Hur Cup will pit the champion, Sylvain Filion, against the challenger, Louis-Phillipe Roy in eight tournament races, the 2nd through the 9th on the 10-race program. The first and tenth races are the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers and it was decided that stakes races should not be used for the competition. After the post position draw on Tuesday, both drivers took turns selecting the horses they wanted to drive. They also had to make their selections insuring that they each had one of the eight post positions for the eight races, which was no easy task. "First of all," Roy said. "I want to thank my scouting team and everybody that helped me with the draft of horses I will drive. I'm very confident with all the selections we've made. Among the selections, I would say that Loves A Challenge is my best bet while Akoya is my spot play." “I feel very confident that I will win the tournament,” Filion said. “I like the horses I got. I under rated about difficult it would be to select the horses I am driving. I did not think it would be that hard. But this was the best way to do it, very fair for both of us.” The point system for the Ben Hur Cup will be as follows: First place - 8 points Second place - 7 points Third place - 6 points Fourth place - 5 points Fifth place - 4 points Sixth place -3 points Seventh place - 2 points Eight place - 1 point Race fans from across the world via Facebook were asked what the "gentleman wager" between these two great drivers should be. The wager agreed upon by Filion and Roy that was suggested by the race fans is that the loser of the competition will have to pull a jog cart up and down in front of the grandstand with the winner aboard holding the Ben Hur Cup. "I just hope for Sylvain that he has good shoeing," Roy laughed. "I don't want him to make a break while pulling me around in the race bike." “I have told him (LPR) that I was fine with the wager,” Filion laughed. “But I told him I weigh a little bit more than you and that he might have a hard time carrying me all around. I don’t know if he could make it a whole mile.” We are sure this will make for some great video and photographs and a lot of laughs and cheers from the race fans. First race post time is 12:50 pm. Both Filion and Roy will be in the grandstand at 11:30 am for a special meet and greet autograph session. There is also the special video done by H3R for the Ben Hur Cup at https://youtu.be/v4LachSZyTo. For a free race program for Sunday's card, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Sunday, June 24, the Hippodrome 3R will host its inaugural Ben Hur Cup driver challenge tournament pitting two drivers in eight tournament harness races. What makes this challenge unique is that the two drivers will alternate selecting the horses they will drive in each of the eight races and they must each select a different post in each race so that they will both start from posts 1 through 8 by the end of the tournament. The two drivers are household names not just on the Quebec harness racing circuit, not just in Canada, but in all of the industry. The Champion is two-time O'Brian Award winner, Sylvain Filion. The Challenger is currently Canada's leading money winner and dash winner in 2018, Louis-Philippe Roy. The draw for post positions took place on Tuesday and the drivers have selected their horses. They will compete in races 2 through 9 for the Ben Hur Cup. And both drivers have agreed to make a "friendly" wager between them on who will win the tournament, but they want to hear from race fans around the world what the wager should be. Wager ideas cannot be lewd or crass or in any form of bad taste and if they are they will be tossed out. Please go to the Hippodrome 3R Facebook Page to submit your idea on what the wager should be between Sylvain Filion and Louis-Philippe Roy. Also check out the great video for the event at https://youtu.be/v4LachSZyTo Both Sylvain Filion and Louis-Phillipe Roy will be at the Grandstand for a meet and greet with race fans at 11:30 am Sunday. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Due to an insufficient number of horses entered, management at the Hippodrome 3R has cancelled the live harness racing card for Tuesday, June 19. The race program will be made up on Sunday, November 25, 2018. Coming up this Sunday, June 24, is the inaugural Ben Hur Cup featuring two of Quebec's top drivers in head to head competition. The Champion is none other than two-time O'Brian Award winner Sylvain Filion. The Challenger is Canada's leading dash and money winning driver this year, Louis-Phillipe Roy. After Wednesday's draw, each driver will take turns selecting a horse to drive in the eight-race competition. There will also be a special meet and greet with both world-class drivers in the Grandstand at the Hippodrome 3R beginning at 11:30 am. Post time on Sunday is 12:50 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

MILTON, ON -- A force to reckon on the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots circuit last season, Rene Dion trainee Shower Play makes her harness racing Grand Circuit debut Saturday, June 16 in the $415,000 Fan Hanover Final on the Pepsi North America Cup undercard at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Owned by Rene Dion along with partners Susie Kerwood and Martin Leveillee, the three-year-old filly by Shadow Play from the Bettors Delight mare Alice Emily has made only seven starts in her career, with five coming from an abbreviated freshman campaign resulting in three wins and two seconds. "We staked her a little bit in Ontario," co-owner Kerwood said. "As a two-year-old--she was a $15,000 yearling [and] even though we liked her a lot, we just put her in a few stakes. Sometimes when you put them in a lot of stakes, you want to try to make them and they aren't quite ready for it. We staked her conservatively and said 'if she's good enough, she's going to make the money anyway.'" Shower Play, earning $54,962 in her career, capped her two-year-old season on Sept. 1 with a 10-length victory in a division of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series in 1:53. She scratched sick from her next start on Sept. 18 and went away until her three-year-old season. "We just had viruses going through the barn and with two-year-olds you can treat them all you want, but sometimes you race them and they don't come back well," said Kerwood. "We just thought highly enough of her to shut her down and start her up next year." Training in Quebec over the winter, poor weather and track conditions delayed Shower Play's three-year-old debut. Not wanting to "train her for the sake of training her because the track wasn't good or the weather wasn't allowing it," Kerwood said Shower Play has returned to the races just a little bigger. "She always was very strong, but she's more mature looking. She's a big, absolutely beautiful--she's a stunning filly. She's got a very nice size to her. She was maybe a little babyish last year, but this year I find that she's just bigger and more rugged." Shower Play returned to the track May 25 with a 1:56.2 qualifying effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park and won six days later in her first pari-mutual start of the year with an off-the-pace 1:52.2 performance. "I wasn't really sure how much she was up to [in her debut]," Kerwood said. "The one thing about her is that she's tough. I think when she's within striking position, she's the type of filly that gives all she's got. I'm not going to say I was surprised when she did what she did, [but] it was a good effort. [Louis-Philippe Roy] loved her and that's half the battle right there." Her following start was the elimination for the Fan Hanover, drawing against world champion Youaremycandygirl as well as local stars Percy Bluechip and Kendall Seelster. "Usually what we do [is] we take it one race at a time, and the way she raced [in her debut], we weren't sure how many fillies were actually going to be in the Fan Hanover so we kind of just took a gamble and put her in," Kerwood said. "We maybe would have liked to have another start in her before the Fan but it just didn't work out that way." Sitting off a swift pace set by Youaremycandygirl and Ubettorgo Go, Shower Play stormed from last to finish second to Kissin In The Sand in a dead heat with Im Trigger Happy "Going into it I was like 'Oh boy, she drew into the tough division, but I think she can qualify,'" Kerwood said. "Nothing surprises me about her because she is such a nice, strong filly, [but] how fast she is I don't know. I wasn't really surprised--she raced so tough; you look in the program, it looked like we were racing in the final. I was really pleased with how well she finished up." Louis-Philippe Roy will drive Shower Play, listed at 8-1 on the morning line, from post-four. Kissin In The Sand, off a 1:51.1 victory in the elimination, goes from post-three as the 5-2 morning-line favourite for trainer Nancy Johansson. "There're a lot of good fillies in the race, [and] I'm just hoping we're going to get a nice trip," Kerwood said. "I think whoever ends up getting the trip is going to win the race. But we're hoping to get a nice trip and to be somewhat close at the top of the stretch, and if she kicks like she can be, I think she can be close." ADMISSION ON NA CUP NIGHT SET AT $10 Woodbine Entertainment has issued a clarification regarding ticket prices for this Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   Admission to the Pepsi North America Cup is confirmed at a flat $10.   Fans who pre-purchased tickets through Ticketmaster were charged an additional $5.50 in service fees. Woodbine will offer those individuals with a pre-purchased ticket a cash card for $5.50 upon arrival Saturday. The cash card can be used at wagering terminals and concession stands.   Post time for the first of 15 races on Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup card is 6:30 p.m. Ray Cotolo, for Woodbine Communications

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