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MILTON, ON - September 17, 2019 - The $750,000 Metro Pace headlines another $1.7 million-plus harness racing card this Saturday (September 21) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   Harness racing's richest race for two-year-olds will see a field of 10 pacing colts and geldings clash to add their name to a long list of memorable Metro champions. The $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies and $250,000 Milton Stakes for pacing mares join the Metro Pace as marquee races this Saturday.   Capt Midnight (PP3) is the expected favourite for the Metro Pace. The Tony Alagna trainee has dominated rookie stakes this season at Mohawk Park, winning five in a row at the Milton oval to bring his season record to five wins, a mark of 1:49.4 and $212,819 earned in seven starts.   A son of 2012 Metro winner Captaintreacherous, Capt Midnight won his elimination easily in 1:51.4 for driver Andrew McCarthy to go with his victories in the Dream Maker, Nassagaweya and Champlain. The Alagna student sold for $350,000 at last November's Harrisburg yearling sale and is owned by Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Capt Midnight Racing.   Capt Midnight is joined by stablemates Captain Kirk (PP5, Bob McClure) and Esai Hanover (PP8, Trevor Henry) to give Alagna a trio of starters in his attempt for a third Metro Pace victory. Artspeak, who is the sire of Esai Hanover, won the 2014 edition to give Alagna his second Metro following Captaintreacherous' triumph in 2012.   Tall Dark Stranger will look to stop the run of Capt Midnight and continue his own for trainer Nancy Johansson. The son of Bettors Delight is undefeated in five starts and took last Saturday's other elimination in a career-best 1:50.1 for driver Yannick Gingras.   A $330,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Tall Dark Stranger has won four in a row since arriving at Mohawk Park, including a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions. The only horse with a perfect record in this year's Metro has earned $124,533 for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor.   Trainer Johnasson has already won the Pepsi North America Cup this season and a victory Saturday with Tall Dark Stranger would give her a sweep of the track's two most-richest races.   Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion Papi Rob Hanover (PP9, David Miller) dueled with Tall Dark Stranger in last week's elimination, surrendering the lead in deep stretch to come up just a head short. The Brett Pelling trained son of Somebeachsomewhere is two for six and has hit the board in each start to earn $186,295 for owner David McDuffee. He was a $130,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase.   Blake MacIntosh joins Alagna as the only other trainer with multiple horses in this year's Metro Pace. Somebeachsomewhere colt Team Best (PP6, James MacDonald) and Sportswriter colt Beach Blanket Book (PP10, Doug McNair) race for Team MacIntosh.   Local hopes will also ride with trainers Richard Moreau and Dustin Jones. Sportswriter colt YS Mathis (PP1, Louis Philippe Roy) goes for Moreau and has victories in the Champlain and an OSS Gold to his name. Jones' One For Julius (PP7, Chris Christoforou) is a son of Hes Watching and finished second to the aforementioned Ys Mathis in an OSS Gold division on August 31.   Completing the field is Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division winner Seeyou At Thebeach (PP2, Tim Tetrick). The Brian Brown student is the third entrant for sire Somebeachsomewhere.   The $750,000 Metro Pace has been carded as Race 9.   The $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for pacing fillies will have all eyes on the respective stars of the Ontario and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes programs.   Chantal Mitchell trainee Alicorn (PP5, Roy) has rewritten the Ontario Sires Stakes record book multiple times this season and cruised to a career-best equaling 1:50.3 victory in her elimination. The daughter of Bettors Delight is five for eight and is riding a three-race win streak.   Alicorn was a $30,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase by Windermere Stable LLC and Robert Muscara. Her sensational rookie campaign has earned her connections $234,389.   Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion Lyons Sentinel (PP4, Tetrick) tied the Track and Canadian record with a stunning 1:50.1 victory in her elimination. The Jim King trainee is charted with an insane :52.3 back-half in her dazzling elimination victory.   A daughter of Captaintreachrous, Lyons Sentinel enters Saturday's rich final on a four-race win streak to sport a record of five wins and three runner-up finishes in eight starts. The $55,000 Harrisburg yearling grad has banked $292,330 for owners Threelyonsracing.   Alagna trainee Reflect With Me (PP2, McCarthy) had a four-race win streak snapped by Lyons Sentinel in their elimination, but the daughter of Captaintreacherous will be ready for a shot at redemption in the event her connections have had their eyes set on.   A $120,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Reflect With Me captured the Whenuwishuponastar, Eternal Camnation and Champlain during her win streak. She currently sits at four wins, a pair of runner-up finishes and $147,818 earned in eight starts for owners Brittany Farms and Brad Grant.   Trainer Johansson will have a pair of chances in the $540,000 event. She sends out Western Ideal filly JK First Lady (PP6, Gingras), who is the first-foal out of 2014 'Great Lady' winner JK Shesalady, and Bettors Delight filly Peaky Sneaky (PP7, McNair).   The field for the Shes A Great Lady is completed by Paul Reid trainee Off The Press (PP1, Sylvain Filion), Bill Budd trainee Saulsbrook Raven (PP3, MacDonald), Dr. Ian Moore trainee Alexa Skye (PP8, Dexter Dunn), Dave Menary trainee Somebeachsometime (PP9, Jody Jamieson) and Susie Kerwood trainee Betalady (PP10, Miller).   The $540,000 Shes A Great Lady has been carded as Race 5.   Moving away from the rookies, older pacing mares will also have a chance to shine in the $250,000 Milton Stakes.   The dominant Shartin N was the expected heavy-favourite for the Milton, but sickness has forced her connections to scratch from Saturday's race. The removal of harness racing's leading candidate for Horse of the Year opens the door for a competitive contest.   Youaremycandygirl (PP1, Roy) has been the talk of the town in recent weeks at Mohawk Park. The four-year-old is two for two since moving into the barn of trainer Moreau, posting dazzling victories of 1:49.1 and 1:48.3 in back-to-back Mares Preferred events.   Owned by W J Donovan, Youaremycandygirl won the 2017 'Great Lady' and went on to earn more than $1.4 million during her first two seasons on the track. This year she is three for 11 to bring her career numbers to 21 wins and $1.5 million earned in 39 starts.   Trainer Moreau will also send out Double A Mint (PP8, Bob McClure) in Saturday's contest. The four-year-old has raced in every month this year, winning 12 of 25 starts and earning $225,400.   Caviart Ally (PP9, McCarthy) returns to Mohawk Park to defend her Milton Stakes title. The five-year-old won last year's Milton by three-lengths and has put together another strong campaign in 2019, racing in the shadow of division leader Shartin N.   Trained by Pelling, Caviart Ally has hit the board in all 14 of her starts this season, including five wins and seven runner-up finishes. She has earned $1.5 million during her racing career for owners Caviart Farms.   Nick Surick trainee Bettors Up (PP4, Tetrick) rolls into the Milton with confidence after edging Caviart Ally by a head in last week's Great Northeast Series final at Pocono. The five-year-old joins Double A Mint as the mares with most starts this season, winning six of 25 outings and earning $167,205.   It wouldn't be a major stake this season at Mohawk Park without representation from the Johansson barn. Not to overlooked, Kissin In The Sand (PP2, Gingras) has earned her only two victories this season over the last month at Mohawk Park. The winner of $1.1 million is two for 12 this year with $62,630 earned.   Local connections are all over the Milton Stakes final, with three other mares joining Double A Mint as regular competitors in the Mares Preferred. Rene Dion trainee Shower Play (PP6, Jamieson), Alagna trainee Seaswift Joy N (PP7, Tetrick) and Rod Boyd trainee Kendall Seelster (PP10, MacDonald) will look for home-track success.   Completing the field is Dylan Davis trainee Apple Bottom Jeans (PP3, Callahan). The six-year-old will be making her Mohawk Park debut and most recently was third in the Great Northeast Series final.   The $250,000 Milton Stakes has been carded as Race 7.   Post time for Saturday's $1.7 million card is 7:10 p.m. For full event details, visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com.   Click here to view the early program pages for Saturday's card.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, September 14, 2019 - The harness racing fields are set for next weekend's $750,000 Metro Pace and $540,000 Shes A Great Lady following eliminations on Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   Each event required a pair of eliminations to determine the 10-horses advancing to each final.   Alicorn jogged to a 1¾ length win in the first of two $35,000 eliminations of the She's A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies.   The prodigious daughter of Bettors Delight hit the front before the first turn from post four and - to the surprise of nobody - the 1/9 favourite led for the remainder of the mile to secure the lion's share of the purse and her choice of post position for the $550,000 final. Somebeachsometime flew up late from the back to grab second and Betalady crossed the line third. Alexa Skye and Peaky Sneaky will also make the final after finishing fourth and fifth respectively.   Driver Louis Philippe Roy, as always, was dazzled by his drive.   "I don't have much to say other than 'she was fantastic tonight," said Roy in his post-race interview. "She always impresses me, and tonight she was even better - she was perfect."   Alicorn grabbed the lead early and required little reminding from Roy down the lane on route to a 1:50.3 victory. She hit the quarter in :26.4, took a backstretch breather to the tune of :55.3, and then kicked on to a three-quarters in 1:23.2 and a last quarter of :27.1. The backfield didn't move a muscle until the five-eighths when Peaky Sneaky went first up and Alexa Skye grabbed her cover, but it would be Somebeachsometime to circle each of them to finish second. Betalady got a free ride along the rail and held on for third.   She has now earned more than $230,000 from eight starts for trainer Chantal Mitchell and owners Windermere Stable and Robert Muscara. This is her fifth win, and she will look to add the She's A Great Lady trophy to a case that already includes hardware from two Ontario Sires Stakes Gold events and the Eternal Camnation.   Roy also says that she has some left in the tank for the final.   "I didn't want to spend more than what she needed to win with the final coming next week," he said. "I think she'll be pretty sharp. Chantal (Mitchell, the horse's trainer) did a good job on keeping her healthy and ready, giving her a little break last week. [There are] good things to expect in the final.   Alicorn paid $2.10 to win.     Alicorn   In the $35,000 second elimination, it was Lyons Sentinel who rolled by favourite Reflect With Me in the stretch to win going away in.   She was 2½ lengths the best over Reflect With Me and Jk First Lady, who finished third. Tim Tetrick piloted the filly to victory lane.   "I thought I had the best filly going in to it," said Tetrick. "I just didn't know how the big track would affect her and it looks like she liked it."   Jk First Lady led going to the quarter, but Andrew McCarthy right-lined Reflect With Me to take over up the backstretch. Lyons Sentinel, who got away fourth from post five, got into gear as they entered the far turn and cruised by rivals for a track and Canadian record-equaling 1:50.1. Off the Press finished a far-back fourth, and Saulsbrook Raven claimed the last spot in the final. The three different leaders took the six-horse field to a quarter in :28.3, half in :56, three-quarters in 1:23.1, and the victor sprinted home in a speedy :26.3.   Lyons Sentinel has now won five races - the others being Pennsylvania Sires Stakes contests, including the $250,000 championship last week - and earned just shy of $300,000 for owner Threelyonsracing and trainer James King Jr. The victory tonight is also a new lifetime mark for the daughter of Captaintreacherous.   "That field that she beat at Chester last week in the final - that was a very good field of pacing fillies," said Tetrick. "She beat those last week pretty handily, and she came back here, and I think she raced better tonight than she has been."   A win ticket was worth $6.00.     Lyons Sentinel   Undefeated pacer Tall Dark Stranger took the $40,000 first elimination of the Metro Pace for two-year-olds as he reached up to nail leader Papi Rob Hanover on the line.   Papi Rob Hanover led every step but the last one after blasting to the lead early. He took the field to the quarter in :27.2, the half in :55.3, and the three-quarters in 1:23.2, but Tall Dark Stranger stopped the final timer in 1:50.1. Seeyou At Thebeach followed the winner's cover and held on to finish third. Team Best and Captain Kirk both rode the rail and snagged the remaining spots in the $750,000 final with their fourth and fifth-place efforts respectively.   Winning driver Yannick Gingras sat second after leaving from the two-hole and popped the pocket as the field of seven turned towards the three-quarters, but then had to work on his Bettors Delight colt to get by Papi Rob Hanover in the closing stages. It was a novelty for Gingras, as his undefeated colt had never been less than three lengths ahead at the finish in any of his prior efforts.   Gingras said that his mount had a lot left in the tank.   "I took my chance out of the two-hole, but at the wire he was just starting to get in gear," he said after the race. "He was far from tired, but he just has to learn his job."   The $330,000 yearling purchase is owned by the partnership of Crawford Farms, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor. He has now recouped $124,533 for them, and is a perfect five-for-five for trainer Nancy Johansson. The elimination effort dropped the freshman's lifetime mark by a second.   "He's won pretty handily under wraps each week," said Gingras. "But I think it was good for him tonight, no doubt about it; the trip worked out, the speed was good, and he didn't get hurt going into next week. We'll get to pick our post so it's all positive."   The 6/5 favourite paid $2.90 to win.     Tall Dark Stranger   Capt Midnight had smooth sailing in his $40,000 elimination of the Metro, as he brushed to the top on the backside and glided home under minimal urging from Andrew McCarthy.   The two-year-old by Captaintreacherous and was timed in 1:51.4 and was 4½ lengths clear of Champlain Stakes winner Ys Mathis as they hit the wire. Beach Blanket Book used his seat in the three-hole to come home third. One for Julius and Esai Hanover were fourth and fifth and will complete the Metro Pace field.   Esai Hanover left with the car from the rail and held the top spot going into the turn, but had little choice but to let the speedy Capt Midnight and Andrew McCarthy, who had tucked in third from post seven, go by as the horses paced towards the half. No competitor would get within a length again, and all YS Mathis could do after moving first-over was watch the 2/5 favourite jog away. Beach Blanket Book gave a steady effort and finished third. Capt Midnight paid $2.30 to win.   "He's a weapon, he really is," said McCarthy. "There was a couple of guys behind me chirping in the last turn, and every time they'd yell at their horse he'd spark up and slip into another gear. On paper it obviously looked like we got in the easier division I guess, but just the way he did it tonight, he was vicious."   The Tony Alagna trainee will up his win tally to five from seven outings and bring his earnings above $200,000 for the ownership group of Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Bradley Grant, and Capt Midnight Racing. They threw down $350,000 to bring him home from the 2018 Harrisburg Yearling Sale.   "This horse has a lot of presence - when you see him on a racetrack, he catches your eye," Alagna said. "We gave $350,000 for him, so we definitely had high expectations, but giving a lot of money doesn't necessarily guarantee that (he will be good). There's just something about him - when we bought him as a yearling, he had a look about him that you had to respect."     Capt Midnight   Post positions were drawn for both finals following the eliminations. The winners of Saturday's elimination earned their connections the right to select their post position.   $540,000 Shes A Great Lady   1 - Off The Press 2 - Reflect With Me 3 - Saulsbrook Raven 4 - Lyons Sentinel 5 - Alicorn 6 - Jk First Lady 7 - Peaky Sneaky 8 - Alexa Skye 9 - Somebeachsometime 10 - Betalady AE - Temagami Seelster   $750,000 Metro Pace   1 - Ys Mathis 2 - Seeyou At Thebeach 3 - Capt Midnight 4 - Tall Dark Stranger 5 - Captain Kirk 6 - Team Best 7 - One For Julius 8 - Esai Hanover 9 - Papi Rob Hanover 10 - Beach Blanket Book AE - Allywag Hanover   Mark McKelvie  

MILTON, ON - September 14, 2019 - Green Manalishi S and driver Tim Tetrick went to the front and never looked back to capture the $605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   The Marcus Melander trainee held off a late push from Pilot Discretion to win Woodbine's marquee harness racing event for three-year-old trotters by half a length in 1:52.4. Tetrick becomes the winningest driver in the history of the Canadian Trotting Classic with now four titles to his name.   "That's a big honour," said Tetrick of claiming the Canadian Trotting Classic wins record. "It just kind of fell into place and worked out really good."   Tetrick's previous three victories in the Canadian Trotting Classic came with Crystal Fashion (2018), Bar Hopping (2016) and Market Share (2012).   Green Manalishi S, who went off as the 6/5 favourite, shot to the top from post-four and led the field by the opening-quarter in :27.2. After an easy :29 second-quarter, Tetrick ramped up the tempo with the son of Muscle Hill to trot a :27.3 third-quarter.   Swandre The Giant raced in the two-hole, but made a break going to three-quarters. Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade moved out from third entering the final turn and was nearly fourth-lengths behind Green Manalishi S turning for home. Goodtimes winner Pilot Discretion followed the moves of Forbidden Trade to sit third at the three-quarter pole.   In the stretch, Green Manalishi S had close to three-lengths on his rivals with an eighth of a mile to go. The push to the finish line saw the lead shrink with Pilot Discretion closing in, ultimately coming up half a length short.   "I wanted to get out of there and either sit really close or go ahead and cut it, but I didn't want to have to work too hard to do it," said Tetrick of his strategy. "I wanted him to feel really brave going down the backside and I went a little faster in the third-quarter to get a little separation on them and down by the wire it was getting close, but my horse held on good and he never wins by too many."   Green Manalishi S   Forbidden Trade finished third, but was placed back to fifth for causing interference in deep stretch to Only For Justice. Smart As Hill was moved up from fourth to third, while Only For Justice entered the Superfecta going from fifth to fourth.   Owned by Courant Inc, Green Manalishi S improved to four for four in starts at Mohawk Park. The Melander trainee becomes the first horse since Father Patrick in 2014 to win the Wellwood Memorial and Canadian Trotting Classic in consecutive seasons.   "This horse has kind of been in the shadow of Greenshoe and Gimpanzee," said Tetrick of Green Manalishi S status among Melander's stable stars. "He's done really well and he's made money and won an elimination of the Hambletonian. He's a very qualified horse."   Green Manalishi S is now five for nine this season with $688,226 earned. The Canadian Trotting Classic victory is the 10th career visit to the winner's circle for the son of Muscle Hill and pushes his career earnings over the million-dollar plateau to $1.2 million.   A $2 win ticket on Green Manalishi S returned $4.60.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment    

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

MILTON, ON - September 14, 2019 - Dip Me Hanover powered to a 1:55.2 harness racing victory in Saturday evening's $405,000 Peaceful Way Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   The Linda Toscano trainee and driver David Miller angled out from third on the final turn and wore down rival Hello Tomorrow in the stretch to capture the rich event for two-year-old trotting fillies.   "Coming first up on Hello Tomorrow that was a big challenge and she stood up to it there," said Miller following Dip Me Hanover's victory. "They had her really sharp and she just raced great."   Hello Tomorrow left quickly from an outside post-nine and cleared to the lead shortly after hitting the opening-quarter in :28.2. Elimination winners Panem and Dip Me Hanover sat second and third throughout, as the leader reached the middle-half stations in :57.4 and 1:26.2.   Dip Me Hanover slid out from third to attack first-up heading to three-quarters and sat just under two-lengths from the lead turning for home.   The stretch drive saw Hello Tomorrow battle tough in an attempt to hold the lead, but Dip Me Hanover moved by in the final-eighth to win by a length. P L Notsonice came from fifth to grab third, while Panem was fourth.   A $52,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Dip Me Hanover now sports a record of two wins and $237,016 earned in eight starts for owners Camelot Stable Inc, Dreamville Stable and Randi Farms LLC. The daughter of Father Patrick had entered last week's elimination as a maiden.   "She was a little high strung, so we spent a lot of time kind of getting her quiet and taking her back," said Toscano. "She's been just waiting for a good post and it came along last week and David (Miller) took it from there."   Dip Me Hanover   A $2 win ticket on the Toscano trained Dip Me Hanover returned $4.90.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - September 14, 2019 - Hp Royal Theo came off the final turn three-wide and stormed by rivals to win the $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old harness racing trotters on Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   The Ben Baillargeon trained Hp Royal Theo and driver Louis Philippe Roy flipped the script after a narrow loss in last week's elimination to defeat elimination winner Capricornus by a length and three-quarters in a career-best 1:54.2.   The opening-quarter of the race saw fireworks with several leavers, including Port Perry and Beyond Kronos from near the outside of the gate. Beyond Kronos claimed the top spot at an opening-quarter of :27.2, while Port Perry sat second with elimination winner Back Of The Neck right behind and Nylander left parked.   Beyond Kronos led the field up to the half in :56.1. Hp Royal Theo moved out from mid-pack to sit second-over behind Nylander, while Capricornus sat on the eventual winner's back.   The third-station was reached in 1:25.2 with Beyond Kronos creating separation to lead by two-lengths. Nylander began to fade approaching three-quarters, forcing Roy to go three-wide with Hp Royal Theo.   In the stretch, Hp Royal Theo found his best stride and muscled by rivals with a :28.2 last-quarter for the victory. Changing roles from last week, Capricornus couldn't track down his rival and finished second. Back Of The Neck was third, while Port Perry was fourth. Beyond Kronos dropped back to finish sixth.   "He's a freak, I call him the freak," said Baillargeon of Hp Royal Theo. "He doesn't mind fighting. His first qualifier he went :28 the first-quarter and :28 the last-quarter, the speed was always there we just had to manage him. Now he's controlled it and we're going to try to keep it that way."   Hp Royal Theo   A son of Royalty For Life, Hp Royal Theo was bred by Claude Hamel, who shares ownership of the gelding with Michel Damphousse. The rookie moved into the barn of trainer Baillargeon following his qualifying debut with original trainer Jean Tourigny.   "Jean Tourigny did all the ground work and after that we had to work a few quirks he had," said Baillargeon, who also gave credit to his trotter's drivers. "He was a little aggressive, but between Sylvain (Filion) and Louis (Roy) we got it done and now we have a great horse."   Hp Royal Theo is now two for six with $227,600 earned and returned $15.40 to win.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - September 13, 2019 - Harness racing fans will want to arrive early to Woodbine Mohawk Park this Saturday (September 14) to collect the next t-shirt in the 'Road to the Breeders Crown' giveaway series.    Bob McClure is the next driver to have his racing colours featured on a t-shirt. The Hambletonian winning-driver will be set up on the main grandstand floor beginning at 6 p.m. this Saturday (September 14) to giveaway t-shirts and sign autographs.   The $605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic is the main event for this Saturday's stakes-filled card at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   McClure will team with Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade in Saturday's marquee race.   Fans will be able to pick up a photo of Forbidden Trade and McClure to have an autographed.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

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

MILTON, ON - September 12, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to remind all harness racing horsepeople that the track will not be open for training on Saturday morning.   Only horses in Retention for Saturday evening's stakes races will be permitted to use the track at designated times on Saturday morning.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Toronto -- Woodbine Entertainment (Woodbine) proudly released its 2018 /19 Corporate Responsibility Report which highlights the company's recent achievements towards its long-term commitment to the communities in which it operates, philanthropy, industry leadership, property development and innovation, all while fulfilling its core mandate of sustaining the horse racing industry. "We appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate our full capabilities within the communities we proudly operate in," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine. "We profoundly believe that we can ensure the long-term sustainability of the world-class horse racing at Woodbine and Mohawk Park while we create jobs, both directly and indirectly, strengthen and build communities, support our neighbours, and provide leadership and innovation for the entire industry." The report focuses on the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 and highlights contributions to three broad areas that encapsulates Woodbine's charitable initiatives including Vibrant & Connected Communities, For the Love of Horses, and Environment & Sustainability. Additionally, the report provides an update on the status of key endeavours such as industry leadership, optimal land development, world-class racing, people and culture, and more. Through its commitment, Woodbine has achieved designations that affirm its corporate social responsibility such as Great Place to Work certification, NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance accreditation for operating one of the safest racetracks in North America, Imagine Canada's Caring Company Status, and are founding members of Partners in Project Green. Woodbine is also embarking on the most exciting development project in Canada. Woodbine Districts, located at Woodbine Racetrack in North-West Toronto, will be a major commercial and employment hub that will include mixed-use residential, commercial space, sports and recreations facilities, parks and public space, a new casino, hotel, restaurants and live entertainment venue. The company continued to invest heavily in the Woodbine Mohawk Park property which completed its first season of winter racing earlier this year and prepares to host the 2019 Breeders Crown, one of harness racing's biggest events on the calendar. "As we strategically develop our land to generate new revenue streams to support the horse racing industry and allow us to become fully self-sustained in the future, we are also building a new entertainment and lifestyle destinations in rural Milton and North-West Toronto that will reinvigorate the surrounding neighbourhoods, create thousands of new jobs, and all be done in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way," said Lawson. Charitable highlights within the 2018 / 19 Corporate Responsibility Report include: Supported more than 100 community-based organizations and charitable causes. Continued to invest in the aftercare and transition of retired race horses and supported organizations that connect our communities with horses.Continued to operate one of the largest corporate community gardens in Canada at 20,000 square feet and provided more than 3,000 lbs of fresh produce to local charitable organization addressing food security.Hosted the fourth annual Rexdale Summer Games at Woodbine Racetrack bringing together over 400 local youth for a spirited day of sport and camaraderie. Hosted Road Hockey to Cancer for the fourth straight year, attracting over 1,700 participants and 150 teams to raise a record $2.7 million for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. Supported Toys for Tots, Holiday Helpers, and Miracle on Main Street toy drives to ensure more than 1,000 children unwrapped a gift during the holiday season. Raised over $25,000 for charitable causes through 50/50 raffles during major events at Woodbine and Woodbine Mohawk Park.   Business highlights within the 2018 / 19 Corporate Responsibility Report include: Announced plans for a new Go Station to be built at Woodbine Racetrack in partnership with the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx.Developed a best-in-class standardbred paddock as part of Woodbine's commitment to make Mohawk Park the year-round home of World Class Standardbred racing. Achieved certification as a Great Place to Work for its nearly 2,000 employees for a second consecutive year.Achieved Zero Waste to Landfill at all our facilities and provided sufficient electricity back to the grid to power up to 11,500 homes.Committed $4.5-million in capital and human resources to Ontario Racing Management to help achieve long-term sustainability for horse racing in Ontario.Signed important new agreements that included increased guaranteed purses with the Central Standardbred Association and Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association of Ontario to help provide industry-wide economic certainty and confidence.Opened a new, locally sourced and inspired dining experience at Woodbine Mohawk Park called the Mohawk Harvest Kitchen.Completed prototype for Dark Horse, a new innovative app designed to help new customers enjoy racing and gaming.Opened a state-of-the-art brand-new inner turf course that exemplifies Woodbine's commitment to safety.   "We are very proud of our efforts over the last year, but more than anything, we are motivated and excited about our future, the future of our communities, and the positive impact we will have on our neighbours, the horse racing industry and the provincial economy," said Lawson. As a responsible corporate citizen, Woodbine Entertainment has produced a Corporate Responsibility Report every year since 2006. The 2018 / 19 report is publicly accessible and is available for download or online viewing at WoodbineCares.ca. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA/BetAmerica, is excited to announce the line-up for Thursday morning (Sept. 11) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Mark McKelvie, Joe Zambito, and Darrell Wood. The action heats up on Saturday night with a C$2 million program happening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Mark McKelvie, Director of Communications, will join to highlight the action-packed program and talk about what fans can expect on track. The pair will go through all the stakes races with McKelvie and find out who the heavy hitters will be Saturday night. The New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions makes it's first appearance to Batavia Downs Gaming on Saturday and track announcer Joe Zambito will be the one to bring you the action. The card is highlighted by champion Gimpanzee, and will also feature the $50,000 Robert J Kane Memorial Pace which has been previously been won by champions like Foiled Again. Zambito will highlight some of the great wagering opportunities that will be available to gamblers on Saturday night and also discuss each of the championship finals. Racing heats up once again at Shenandoah Downs as the season kicks off on Saturday afternoon. Darrell Wood will talk about some of the new features at the Virginia facility including the new party deck in the home stretch. Opening day at Shenandoah Downs features dollar draft beer and hot dogs. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA/BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. by Michael Carter, for Post Time  

MILTON, ON - September 11, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment and Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership have released further details for the upcoming breeding auction on Wednesday, October 2 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale to raise funds for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge.   A live auction of seven 2020 breedings to harness racing's most notable stallions will begin at 6:45 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion. The breedings have been listed as Hip 123-129 in the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale catalog.   The second session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale will begin following the breeding auction on Wednesday, October 2.   A group of prominent owners and breeders have graciously donated a 2020 breeding to raise funds for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge. A single 2020 breeding to the following stallions will be available:   Always B Miki Captaintreacherous Chapter Seven Father Patrick Muscle Hill Sweet Lou Tactical Landing   The Breeders Crown Charity Challenge features four teams consisting of a celebrity, a charity of their choosing and an award-winning three-year-old Standardbred. Each charity is receiving one per cent of their horse's earnings from June 1, 2019 through October 26, 2019.   The challenge portion of this initiative features the teams competing to garner the most-votes in a Facebook poll. The poll closes on October 26, 2019 and the team with the most votes will receive the largest portion of the funds raised by the breeding auction.   The funds raised for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge are expected to exceed $100,000, which will mark the single largest donation by Woodbine Cares.   The four-teams for the Charity Challenge are listed below:   Michael 'Pinball' Clemons - Warrawee Ubeaut - Pinball Clemons Foundation Kim MacDonald - Woodside Charm - Breast Cancer Society of Canada Eddie Olczyk - Gimpanzee - Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation Dan Pleasac - Captain Crunch - Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society   Each charity is guaranteed to receive a minimum of $5,000.   The Breeders Crown Charity Challenge would not be possible without the support and generosity of the following individuals and groups:   Captaintreacherous The Captaintreacherous Syndicate, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, Hanover Shoe Farms   Always B Miki, Father Patrick & Sweet Lou Adam Bowden, Diamond Creek Farms   Muscle Hill Michael Klau, Southwind Farms   Chapter Seven Tom Grossman, Bluechip Farms   Tactical Landing Kevin Greenfield, Southwind Farms   Gimpanzee Courant Inc, S R F Stable, Marcus Melander:   Warrawee Ubeaut Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, J & T Silva Purnel & Libb, Weaver Bruscemi   Captain Crunch 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, Caviart Farms, Nancy Johansson   Woodside Charm Verlin Yoder   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - September 10, 2019 - Forbidden Trade and Green Manalishi S headline a field of nine harness racing trotters for this Saturday's $605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   A total of nine sophomore trotters were entered Tuesday morning for this year's edition of the Canadian Trotting Classic. The $605,000 race headlines a $2 million card that includes the $376,000 Elegantimage, $405,000 Peaceful Way and $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial.   Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade (PP2) leads the field for the Canadian Trotting Classic. The Luc Blais trainee and winner of $1.1 million has home track advantage in his attempt for another signature victory. The son of Kadabra is owned by Serge Godin's Determination of Montreal, Quebec and is driven by Bob McClure, who currently ranks second in earnings and third in wins at Woodbine.   Forbidden Trade is looking to become the first Hambletonian winner since Pinkman in 2015 to also win the Canadian Trotting Classic. The Blais trainee most recently finished second in the Yonkers Trot and sports a record of six wins and top-three finishes in all 10 starts this season   Marcus Melander trainee Green Manalishi S (PP4) is undefeated in three career starts at Mohawk Park and full of confidence following a victory in last Friday's Simcoe Stakes.   Owned by Courant Inc, Green Manalishi S has won four of eight starts this season and his only time missing the board was a fifth-place finish in the Hambletonian final. Tim Tetrick will guide the son of Muscle Hill.   Green Manalishi S, who is a little less than $55,000 away from millionaire status, captured last year's William Wellwood Memorial. He is attempting to become the first Wellwood-Trotting Classic back-to-back winner since Father Patrick in 2014.   The field for Saturday's main event also includes Goodtimes Stakes winner Pilot Discretion (PP5, Andrew McCarthy). The Tony Alagna trainee hasn't won since capturing the $247,000 event on Pepsi North America Cup night, but does have a runner-up finishes in the Stanley Dancer Memorial, a pair of Kentucky Sires Stakes divisions and was a Hambletonian finalist.   Forbidden Trade is one of three Ontario sired trotters in the field. Knight Angel (PP1, Doug McNair) and Only For Justice (PP9, Chris Christoforou) have each won an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division this season.   Completing the field for the Canadian Trotting Classic is the much-talked about Swandre The Giant (PP3, David Miller) for trainer Ron Burke, Hambletonian finalist Dont Letem (PP8, Yannick Gingras) for trainer Nancy Johansson, recent winner Gerry (PP7, Corey Callahan) for trainer Melander and Goodtimes finalist Smart As Hill (PP6, Paul MacDonell) for trainer Mike Keeling.   The $605,000 Canadian Trotting Classic is carded as Race 8 on Saturday's $2 million card.   The $376,000 Elegantimage Stakes attracted 13 sophomore trotting fillies. The top-10 money earners will race in Saturday's event with the other three entrants receiving a refund of their stakes payments.   Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry leads the field with $328,054 earned this season and comes in off a Simcoe Stakes division victory last Friday. The daughter of Muscle Hill and driver Simon Allard will start from post-three for trainer Carmen Auciello.   Ohio Sires Stakes champion Only Take Cash will face her toughest challenge to date in the Elegantimage. The Bob McIntosh trainee crushed her rivals in the Buckeye State this season and holds a record of six wins and $308,811 earned in eight starts as a three-year-old.   A daughter of Cash Hall, Only Take Cash won her Grand Circuit debut two starts back in a division of the Casual Breeze. Trevor Henry will guide the filly from the rail.   A trio of notables didn't have luck on their side in the post-position draw.   Simcoe winner Sisters Promise (PP8, Tim Tetrick) for trainer Linda Toscano, last year's Peaceful Way winner The Ice Dutchess (PP9, Yannick Gingras) for trainer Johansson and New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Evident Beauty (PP10, David Miller) for trainer 'Nifty' Norman drew posts eight through ten.   The $376,000 Elegantimage has been carded as Race 10.   Rookie trotters will also be on display for the $405,000 Peaceful Way and $370,000 William Wellwood Memorial.   Linda Toscano's Dip Me Hanover (PP3, David Miller) and Johansson's Panem (PP4, Dexter Dunn) captured last week's Peaceful Way eliminations for two-year-old trotting fillies.   The Peaceful Way is carded as Race 4.   Trainer Melander is set up nicely to capture his second consecutive Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colt and geldings. He swept last week's eliminations with Back Of The Neck (PP3, Mattias Melander) and Capricornus (PP4, Tim Tetrick).   The William Wellwood Memorial is carded as Race 6.   Saturday evening's card will also feature the eliminations for the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady.   A group of 14 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings have been split into a pair of $40,000 Metro eliminations, while 12 two-year-old pacing fillies were separated into two $35,000 eliminations for the Shes A Great Lady.   Capt Midnight has been steamrolling through stakes events this summer at Mohawk Park and will now look to add the prestigious Metro Pace to his collection. The Alagna trainee most recently won a division of the Champlain Stakes by 7 ¾ lengths in a stakes-record equaling time of 1:50.2.   A son of 2012 Metro winner Captaintreacherous, Capt Midnight is four for six with $192,819 earned and a mark of 1:49.4. Driver Andrew McCarthy will team up with the freshman from post-seven in the second elimination.   Johansson trainee Tall Dark Stranger enters the Metro eliminations with a perfect four for four record. The son of Bettors Delight has crushed Ontario Sires Stakes rivals in his previous two starts to bring his earnings to $104,533.   Tall Dark Stranger, who's average margin of victory is nearly three-lengths, holds a mark of 1:51.1 and will be driven by Yannick Gingras from post-two in the first elimination.   The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $750,000 Metro Pace final on September 21. The eliminations have been carded as Races 3 and 9.   The Alagna barn will also send out the top contender in the Shes A Great Lady eliminations.   Identical to Capt Midnight, Reflect With Me has cruised through her series and stakes at Mohawk Park over the last six weeks, including a stakes record 1:51.1 victory in last weekend's Champlain Stakes.   The daughter of Captaintreacherous is four for six with $139,068 earned and a mark of 1:50.3. Alagna will again have the driving services of McCarthy and the duo will start from post-three in the second elimination.   Bettors Delight filly Alicorn has turned many heads this season with multiple Ontario Sires Stakes records. The Chantal Mitchell trainee has won four of seven starts, including a division of the Eternal Camnation, and holds a mark of 1:50.3.   Alicorn established an Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:51 on July 19 and broke her own record in her most-recent start on August 30 with the 1:50.3 mile.   Louis Philippe Roy will drive the Mitchell trainee from post-four in the first elimination.   The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $540,000 final on September 21. The eliminations have been carded as Races 1 and 2.   The Milton Stakes for older pacing mares will not require eliminations this weekend with 10 pacing mares entered. All 10 advanceto the $250,000 final on September 21.   Superstar Shartin N is the star attraction for this year's Milton Stakes. The Jim King trained six-year-old has won 14 of 15 starts this season and is currently the top-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society-Breeders Crown Top 10 poll with all 35 first-place votes.   The group of 10 for the Milton Stakes is listed below in alphabetical order.   Apple Bottom Jeans Bettors Up Caviart Ally Double A Mint Kendall Seelster Kissin In The Sand Seaswift Joy N Shartin N Shower Play Youaremycandygirl   Post time for this Saturday's $2 million card is 7:30 p.m. Click here to view the entries and early program pages.   For more information, visit www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - September 6, 2019 - A quintet of Grand Circuit stakes for rookie and sophomore trotters headlined Friday evening's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   A trio of Simcoe Stakes divisions for three-year-olds and a pair of William Wellwood Memorial eliminations for two-year-olds all took place on a 10-race card.   Green Manalish S dug deep late to reach up for a thrilling victory in the lone $174,503 Simcoe division for three-year-old colts and geldings. The victory gave driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Marcus Melander each a stakes hat-trick on the card.   All Wrapped Up made a second-quarter move from third to first and led the field by the half in :57. Green Manalishi S and Tetrick got away fourth and sat there until the midway point of the mile, angling out to come first-up.   The third-quarter saw All Wrapped Up ramp up the tempo :28.1, while Green Manalishi S grinded up to the leader's wheel.   In the stretch, All Wrapped Up was all out and kept Green Manalishi S more than a length away with an eighth of a mile to go. The Melander trainee would not be denied a victory, finding more in deep stretch and powering by just in time for a 1:53 victory.   "I thought I was a little messed up there when I let them get over to the half too slow and I was a little far back," said Tetrick. "I had to come a little early there going to the half, but my horse sat out there and put his nose up when it was time.   "Top of the lane a little bit (worried)," admitted Tetrick. "Half way down the lane he started kicking in and right by the tote board he took off for me and I knew I was going to get him."   Union Forces finished third, while Smart As Hill was fourth.   A son of Muscle Hill, Green Manalishi S was making his first start at Mohawk Park since capturing last year's Wellwood Memorial. The Melander trainee improved to four wins and $385,726 earned in eight starts this season.   Green Manalishi S will now head towards next Saturday's (September 14) Canadian Trotting Classic with nine wins and $945,883 in career earnings for owner Courant Inc.   A $2 win ticket on Green Manalishi S returned $2.80.   The entry box for the Canadian Trotting Classic closes Tuesday morning (September 10) at 10:30 a.m. The top-ten money earners to enter will compete in the rich final.   The Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies saw a group of 13 separated into a pair of divisions.   Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry made her first start since August 3 and got things her own way to win the $85,029 first division   Now racing for trainer Carmen Auciello, When Dovescry and driver Simon Allard trotted out to the lead and got away with soft fractions of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:27.4. Special Honor followed the leader's every move from the two-hole, while 3/5 favourite Evident Beauty sat third.   The sprint for home saw Evident Beauty trotting up a storm and appearing to have a chance to defeat When Dovescry until she made a break entering the final sixteenth, handing the victory to When Dovescry in 1:54.4. Special Honor finished two-lengths back in second, while Evident Beauty finished third.   "I got lucky," said Allard about the break made by Evident Beauty. "She didn't race in a little while and we needed a race and we ended up winning, so that's great. She's been good all along and sometimes the good horses do everything right and it works out for them."   A daughter of Muscle Hill, When Dovescry picked up her third straight win to bring her sophomore record to three wins and $328,054 earned in six starts. She now sports career numbers of eight wins and $618,764 earned for owners Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh and Lawrence Dumain.   A $2 win ticket on When Dovescry returned $4.50.   Sisters Promise went to the top and never looked back to win the $86,028 second Simcoe division in a career-best 1:53.4.   Driven by Tetrick, Sisters Promise trotted out to the lead and set fractions of :28.2, :57.4 and 1:25.3. Race-favourite The Ice Dutchess sat fourth and angled out heading towards three-quarters.   Sisters Promise got away from her rivals after creating separation at three-quarters and trotted home in :28.1 to win by three-quarters of a length. The Ice Dutchess finished second, while Bright Eyes M was third.   "She's always had enough talent, just hasn't been able to put it together," said Tetrick. "I got off the car and got an easy first-eighth and kind of cruised to the half and then I stepped on the gas and she held off The Ice Dutchess late."   A daughter of Father Patrick, Sisters Promise was winless in 11 starts this season prior to her Simcoe score. The Linda Toscano trainee has now earned over $100,000 this season to bring her career totals to four wins and $192,109 earned for owners Brittany Farms.   Sisters Promise paid $20.20 to win.   The top finishers from Friday's Simcoe Stakes are all eligible to next Saturday's (September 14) Elegantimage Stakes. The top-ten money earners to enter by Tuesday morning will line up for the rich event.   A group of 14 two-year-old trotting colts and geldings were split into a pair of $30,000 eliminations for the Wellwood Memorial. The top-five finishers from each division booked their ticket to next Saturday's $370,000 final.   Back Of The Neck was a coast-to-coast winner in the first elimination for the Team Melander. The Ready Cash colt and driver Mattias Melander set fractions of :28, :58.3 and 1:26.4 before trotting home in :28.1 for a 1:55 victory.   "Every start he races he's been developing more," said Mattias Melander about Back Of The Neck. "I was on him a little bit, but I think he had some left."   Trained by Marcus Melander, Back Of The Neck didn't face pressure until Beyond Kronos pushed first-up going to three-quarters. The margin of victory was a length and a half with Beyond Kronos finishing second and Port Perry finishing third off a two-hole trip.   Nylander and Hetalkstoangels completed the top-five to advance to next week's final.   A $150,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Back Of The Neck is now three for five with $56,845 earned for owners Howard Taylor, Order By Stable and Judith Taylor. He paid $5.80 to win.   Marcus Melander completed the sweep of the Wellwood eliminations with Capricornus holding off a push from longshot Hp Royal Theo to win the second split in 1:55.1   Driven by Tetrick, Capricornus angled out from third on the far turn to make a first-up bid against leader and race-favourite Synergy. The public's choice couldn't deliver in the lane after a three-quarter clocking of 1:27. Capricornus overtook the lead and dug in to hold off Hp Royal Theo by a neck.   "I really liked what I saw and he really dug in all the way," said Melander of Capricornus. "He's got a really good attitude and that's really important and he's a really nice gaited-horse and a pleasure to drive."   Moon Bridge and Blue Cupertino completed the Superfecta. Synergy did make the final by finishing fifth.   A $110,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Capricornus is now three for six with $96,770 earned for owner JJ Stable. The Melander trainee shaved a fifth of a second off his previous career best with the victory.   Capricornus paid $4.10 to win.   The post position draw for next Saturday's (September 14) $370,000 final took place following the eliminations. The Melander stable had their choice of positions following the victories by Back Of The Neck and Capricornus.   1 - Blue Cupertino 2 - Hetalkstoangels 3 - Back Of The Neck 4 - Capricornus 5 - Hp Royal Theo 6 - Nylander 7 - Moon Bridge 8 - Port Perry 9 - Beyond Kronos 10 - Synergy AE - Your Still Up   Friday evening's card also featured a $30,000 Mares Preferred. Youaremycandygirl followed up her stunning victory from a week ago with a 1:48.3 victory over Seaswift Joy N and Kissin In The Sand.   Making her second start from trainer Richard Moreau, Youaremycandygirl brushed to the lead in the second-quarter and never looked back to win. The four-year-old mare and driver Louis Philippe Roy posted fractions of :54.4 and 1:21.4 before firing home in :26.4 for her third win of the season.   Owned by W Donovan, Youaremycandygirl sports career numbers of 21 wins and over $1.5 million earned. She paid $3.50 to win.   Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with more Grand Circuit action. Rookie pacers, colts and fillies, will compete in the Champlain, while three-year-old pacing fillies will duel in the Simcoe.   Post time is 7:10 p.m.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment        

MILTON, ON - September 5, 2019 - The harness racing field is set for the $405,000 Peaceful Way following a pair of eliminations on Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 14 two-year-old trotting fillies were split into a pair of $30,000 eliminations to determine the field for the rich final on September 14. The top-five finishers from each division advanced to the final. Donato Hanover filly Dip Me Hanover broke her maiden in the first elimination with a 1:55.1 victory. The Linda Toscano trainee and driver David Miller angled out of third going around the far turn to sit only a length away from leader P L Notsonice turning for home and powered by in the lane for a length victory. "She's been racing really well and she has gate speed, but just hasn't been using it," said Miller following the victory. "I thought tonight I'd try and get her into the race and she finished up really good." P L Notsonice cleared to the lead shortly after a :28.3 opener, proceeding to post fractions of :58.2 and 1:27 before surrendering the lead to Dip Me Hanover. She Rocks Kemp finished third, while the top-five was completed by Intense Justice and She Must Be Magic. Race-favourite Whose Blues was off her game and failed to make the final by finishing sixth. The Luc Blais trainee got away at the rear of the field and could only pass one rival in the lane. "(Bob McClure) didn't leave, so I didn't know how far back (Whose Blues) was," said Miller. "I got away in a really good spot. I thought she'd be strong enough to be able to take first over and she sure did." Dip Me Hanover is now one for seven with $34,516 earned for owners Camelot Stable Inc, Dreamville Stable and Randi Farms LLC. The Toscano trainee was a $52,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase. A $2 win ticket on Dip Me Hanover returned $7.50 to win. Panem followed up her Champlain victory from a week ago with a 1:55.4 score in the second division. The Nancy Johnasson trainee and driver Dexter Dunn cleared to the lead just after the half and held off a late inside push from Hello Tomorrow to win by a head. "I was really proud of her tonight and the way she dug in," said Johansson. "Hello Tomorrow is obviously a very nice filly and she fought all the way to the finish line, so obviously that makes me happy that she's learning that you're supposed to be first." Hello Tomorrow made the top shortly after a :29 opener. Dunn started up Panem from third entering the backstretch and cleared just after a :58.2 half to then lead the field to three-quarters in 1:27. Panem drifted off the rail enough in the lane for Hello Tomorrow to make an inside bid, but the leader fought her off to win. Jula Shes Magic finished third, while Heat Wave Hanover and Sheer Energy also made the final. A daughter of Father Patrick, Panem is a homebred for owners Diamond Creek Racing. She now has back-to-back victories to improve her record to two wins and $77,206 earned in seven starts. Panem paid $8.30 to win. The $405,000 Peaceful Way final joins the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage and William Wellwood Memorial for a rich stakes-card on Saturday, September 14. The post positions for next week's final were drawn following the eliminations. The elimination winners earned their connections the right to select their post for the final. 1 - Intense Justice 2 - She Must Be Magic 3 - Dip Me Hanover 4 - Panem 5 - She Rocks Kemp 6 - Jula Shes Magic 7 - Heat Wave Hanover 8 - PL Notsonice 9 - Hello Tomorrow 10 - Sheer Energy AE - Whose Blues by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - August 31, 2019 - Courtly Choice and driver James MacDonald stormed by harness racing rivals in the stretch for a 30-1 upset victory in Saturday's $525,000C Canadian Pacing Derby at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Blake MacIntosh trained four-year-old rallied from sixth with a :25.3 final-quarter to nail heavy-favourite Lather Up at the wire for a 1:48.4 victory. "It was amazing, I can't even put it into words I'm so happy," said MacDonald. "I've been trying to get a crack at one of these big ones in Canada and I just haven't had a lot of luck and tonight the race set up great and the horse was just unbelievable." Lather Up and driver Montrell Teague brushed from fourth to first entering the backstretch to overtake This Is The Plan, who cut a :25.4 opening-quarter. Courtly Choice and MacDonald got away seventh in the field and were following defending champion McWicked. After a :54.1 half, Lather Up was confronted by first-up challenger Done Well heading to three-quarters. The racing action got tight going to three-quarters, as This Is The Plan was climbing over the back of Teague with Lather Up. The 1/5 favourite has previously had issues with turns and gave up a short-advantage to Done Well at three-quarters in 1:22.1. Courtly Choice and MacDonald were set up to follow McWicked around the final-turn, but the defending champion moved back down to the rail. Courtly Choice ultimately was placed a couple lengths behind the second-over challenger Western Fame turning for home. In the stretch, Lather Up embraced the straightaway and tried to pull away from rivals. Victory appeared to be within reach for Lather Up, until all eyes focused on Courtly Choice flying on the far outside, powering by rivals to reach up for a half length victory. Lather Up settled for second, while Western Fame was third and This Is The Plan finished fourth. "I can't even explain the feeling he was pacing so hard," said MacDonald of Courtly Choice. "I knew I had a lot of pace, but he was just trying to get into gear, and then everyone was kind of just fanning out and I didn't know what Lather Up would do because he always comes back on and he's just such a great horse. "Lather Up has just been unbeatable, and just special to watch. Even just to be on the track is an honour and then to get to beat him in front of my home crowd... it was amazing." A four-year-old son of Art Major, Courtly Choice picks up his fourth win in 12 outings this season and 16th of his career. Last year's Little Brown Jug champion has now earned over $1.3 million for owners Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe and Touchstone Farms Inc. The Canadian Pacing Derby victory is the first for driver MacDonald and trainer MacIntosh, who noted the victory ranks near the top for him personally. "Right up there because winning at your home track and we were an underdog coming in," said MacIntosh, noting that Courtly Choice was starting to return to top form in recent weeks. "I knew that James was taking care of him there the last couple weeks, and he looked like he was back to his old self, (I'm) just ecstatic about this." Courtly Choice paid $71.30, $9.20, $4.60. The $2 Exacta with Lather Up returned $205.90, while the $2 Trifecta with Western Fame paid $1,946.20. The Superfecta completed by This Is The Plan paid $6,524.75 for a $1 ticket. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

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