Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 154
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

December 14, 2017 - Toronto, Ontario - The Board of Ontario Racing and members of the Standardbred Alliance have voted to merge the two existing harness racing organizations. The combined entity will be an independent, not-for-profit industry organization that will represent all Ontario racetracks and horse racing industry associations in the Province with one unified voice.   "We're excited to announce the merger of the two organizations to create a more inclusive Ontario Racing with an expanded membership and governance mandate," said Hugh Mitchell, Chair of Ontario Racing Board of Directors. "Both the board of Ontario Racing and the Standardbred Alliance are confident that the merger will create a unified voice for racing to advocate for the sector's interests and ultimately negotiate a long-term funding agreement that ensures the sustainability of three breeds of horse racing in Ontario."   The newly formed entity will create a more cost-effective and streamlined approach to industry administration and governance, as well as a more collaborative and effective approach to decision-making and strategic planning on behalf of 15 racetracks and racing industry associations across the Province.   Ontario Racing will create a not-for-profit to be called Ontario Racing Management (ORM), utilizing shared resources from Woodbine Entertainment's management team. This formula follows the successful business model of the Standardbred Alliance and allows racetracks to realize on multiple operational cost savings.   "Members of the Standardbred Alliance have benefitted from Woodbine Entertainment's expertise and have realized countless benefits including greater operational efficiencies and a coordinated approach to overcoming shared challenges," said Ian Fleming of Clinton Raceway.   The newly merged organization is committed to having a three-year business plan in place by April 1, 2018. The plan will include guarantees of purse payments for all member tracks, staking programs and race schedules, as well as establishing and administering common racetrack rules and policies.   "Once the long-term funding model is determined, the sector can move towards a more sustainable plan for racing, which includes strengthening the industry to meet public demand and ensure the long-term success of viable racetracks," said Sue Leslie, President, Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. "We need to work together, all racetracks and horsepeople, and we are committed to working collaboratively with all industry stakeholders moving forward."   "The alliance track model has helped stabilize racing since its inception. Merging the alliance tracks and OR will create a unified voice to communicate with Government and secure the long-term funding. ORM will help sustain racing in Ontario for years to come," says Bill O'Donnell, President of Central Ontario Standardbred Association.   About Ontario Racing - One unified voice for the industry   Ontario Racing is a not-for profit industry organization created out of the merger of the current Standardbred Alliance and the existing Ontario Racing organizations. It will serve as the industry organization responsible for making strategic decisions on issues that affect the horse racing industry, including distributing the OLG transfer payment agreement, and will represent all Ontario racetracks and horse racing industry associations in the Province.   Mike Chopowick Ontario Racing 416-477-5519 |

OCTOBER 14, 2017 - At the last possible moment, Milton resident Sylvain Filion pulled a rabbit out of his hat at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night to secure his third straight and fifth overall Lampman Cup title as the leading harness racing driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Heading into the $1.8 million eight race Super Final showdown, Filion was tied with Trevor Henry for top spot in the standings with 348 points. The lead seesawed between the two men through the first five races, with Filion winning one contest and Henry finishing second in two, and a second victory by Filion put them back level at 362 points with two races remaining. Capturing the second last race with two-year-old pacing filly Percy Bluechip, Henry appeared to have secured his third Lampman Cup title, but Filion came back in the last battle to score a win with lightly rated Tymal Peacemaker and knock Henry out of top spot by a single point. "It's not over yet, we'll keep going at it," said Filion, prophetically, after knotting things up in the sixth race. "It's a good competition me and Trevor, I think whoever wins deserves it. Trevor's having a good go, he's working hard at it, we're both working hard at it, and it's fun to watch." Filion drove in all eight races and scored a trio of victories with three-year-old trotting gelding R First Class, three-year-old trotting filly On A Sunny Day and three-year-old pacing gelding Tymal Peacemaker, adding 20 points to his total. Arthur, ON resident Henry drove in seven races and, in addition to the win with Percy Bluechip, finished second twice and third once for 19 points. While Tymal Peacemaker was a longshot, both R First Class and On A Sunny Day were heavily favoured and delivered commanding victories over a rain-soaked surface that started the evening rated "Good" with a one second variance, but was downgraded to "Sloppy" with a two second variance by the ninth race. From Post 3 in the evening's second $225,000 Super Final Filion put R First Class on the front before the halfway marker and the Kadabra son was never threatened, trotting home to a two and one-quarter length victory over LMC Mass Gem and Tycoon Seelster in 1:54.4. Guelph resident Ben Baillargeon trains the gelding for owner-breeders Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, ON and the group is excited about what the future holds for the trotter, who wrapped up his 12 race sophomore campaign with seven wins, four seconds and earnings of $307,246. "I hate that it's time to stop with him, but we'll be back next year," said Baillargeon. "He's awesome, I mean, he's getting stronger and stronger you know," added Filion. "I'm anxious to see him as a four-year-old. He's such a nice horse, big, strong, I'm just fortunate to drive him." R First Class Four divisions later the reinsman expressed similar sentiments about On A Sunny Day, who took command before the half and cruised to a four and one-half length triumph in 1:55.2. Winter Sweet Frost was second and Majestic Kat was another four and one-half lengths back in third. "I thought she was the best one in there and I didn't want to try to be fancy or anything you know, I wanted to avoid road trouble, so I decided to race her on the front end," noted Filion. "She's probably not her best on the front, but it was good enough tonight." The regular season point leader, On A Sunny Day is trained by Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest and owned by Determination of Montreal, QC. The talented daughter of Muscle Mass boosted her career earnings over $546,000 with the victory, her tenth lifetime. On A Sunny Day With the Lampman Cup title on the line, Filion also opted for front-end tactics with Tymal Peacemaker in the last Super Final. Starting from Post 9, the Mach Three gelding went after the lead heading by the half and, once he reached the front end, simply pulled away from the field, powering under the wire nine lengths on top in 1:51.2. Red John finished second and Sports Column was third. "He was good tonight, and he did it on his own, I was just a passenger," said Filion. "Leaving the gate he was a little more aggressive than he is usually and I just took a shot down the backside, I didn't really know what to do, and I just cleared the front and from there he was on his own." The reinsman steers Tymal Peacemaker for his father Yves Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC and Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON conditions the gelding, who was the Grassroots champion as a two-year-old. Tymal Peacemaker Henry's victory with two-year-old pacing filly Percy Bluechip put him within a whisker of claiming the Lampman Cup title and may have caused trainer Dr. Ian Moore to extend her freshman campaign through next weekend's Breeders Crown Eliminations at Hoosier Park in Indiana. Sent off as the second choice behind her division co-leader Kendall Seelster, Percy Bluechip returned to her dominant early season form on Saturday, reaching the wire three and one-quarter lengths on top in 1:53.4. Play The Bell finished second and Kendall Seelster was third. "I'm just going to talk to Trevor and see how she was," said Moore. "We might go to the Breeders Crown maybe, I don't know, she's only had eight starts, so we've been kind of saving her a bit." Moore shares ownership of the daughter of Shadow Play with his partners in the Shadow Two Stable of Puslinch, James and Wilma Mackenzie of Ennismore, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The filly's fifth victory of the season was the first Super Final win for both Moore and Henry. Percy Bluechip Mark Horner also hoisted his first Super Final trophy when The Joy Luck Club captured the three-year-old pacing filly title, sailing home four lengths ahead of stablemate Action Majesty and Dudesalady in 1:51.2. Guelph resident Gregg McNair conditions the filly for owner-breeder Horner of St. Marys and R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, ON, and Doug McNair piloted the Camluck daughter to the victory. "We're just elated right now," said Horner, who trained the filly until late June when he decided to hand her over to McNair. "She's always been really good, well mannered, well natured. She was meant to be a champion, and she is." The Joy Luck Club Doug McNair recorded a second Super Final win in the two-year-old pacing colt division, guiding Western Passage to a 1:51.3 score for trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge. Jimmy Freight and Sports Legend rounded out the top three. Coleman shares ownership of the Sportswriter gelding with her long-time partner in the West Wins Stable, Ross Warriner of Burlington, along with John and McKinlay Fielding of Toronto and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, ON. Western Passage Local filly Kadabra Queen capped off her near perfect Ontario Sires Stakes season with an impressive come-from-behind score in the two-year-old trotting filly final, reeling in Henry and pacesetter Smoke And Mirrors for a one-half length victory in 1:57.3. Illusioneesta also closed well to be third. Brantford resident Scott Coulter crafted the win for trainer Chad Milner of Campbellville, owner-breeder Mileo Monte's Harness Horsepower Inc. of Campbellville and his brother Frank Monte of Markham, ON. "She went one, two, three, four, with a little bit of luck we would have had a fifth one, she just broke stride at the top of the stretch at Flamboro," said Mileo Monte of the division leading daughter of Kadabra and Queen Street. "I have got to give all the credit to Chad and his wife Kajsa, they have done a fantastic job for us. And I've got to give Georgie (Antonio) a lot of credit for looking after this horse and Scott Coulter for believing in the horse and coming out every time to race." Kadabra Queen Finally, the two-year-old trotting colt trophy went home with Kadabra colt Draft Year, who got a front-end steer from Milton resident Randy Waples to reach the wire three and three-quarter lengths ahead of T Barrr and Perfetto in 1:57.1. Guelph resident Brad Maxwell conditions Draft Year for Doug Millard of Woodstock, ON, Timothy Murray of Shawville, QC, Ben Mudry of Toronto, ON and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA. Draft Year OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

OCTOBER 11, 2017 - Eight harness racing division champions will be crowned on Saturday during the $1.8 million Super Finals at Mohawk Racetrack and the Ontario Sires Stakes season finale will also determine the 2017 Lampman Cup winner. Drivers Sylvain Filion and Trevor Henry are tied atop the Lampman Cup standings with 348 points, meaning the fight for top spot could extend all the way through the final race of the season. "I didn't think I was near the front, I didn't think I had enough points," said Milton, ON resident Filion, who made a late run up the standings in the final weeks of the regular season to catch early leader Henry. "We'll give him a run for it. I'm sure he thinks the same way too." Reigning title-holder Filion has amassed a record of 27 wins, 24 seconds and 15 thirds from 138 Ontario Sires Stakes starts and Henry has scored 24 wins, 17 seconds and 28 thirds from 145 starts. Henry's mounts have earned $1,310,532, while Filion's have banked $1,289,859. Filion has prevailed in the driver race four times, in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, while Henry captured his first title in 1996 and added a second in 2007. "It's always nice to be on top, that's always good. If you're not up there you're not making any money," said a pragmatic Henry. The Arthur, ON resident has mounts in seven of the eight Finals while Filion will appear in all eight. Bolstering both men's chances of adding another Lampman Cup to their resume are commitments to division point leaders, with Henry steering three-year-old pacing filly leader Action Majesty, two-year-old pacing colt leader Shadow Moon and two-year-old pacing filly co-leader Percy Bluechip and Filion piloting three-year-old trotting filly leader On A Sunny Day. Heading into the $225,000 Super Final off a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record set at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 27, On A Sunny Day will be among the heaviest favourites on Filion's dance card and the reinsman is optimistic about her chances of landing the division title. "She drew pretty good. I think if we get the right trip she has a really good shot," said Filion of the Luc Blais trainee who will start from Post 3 in the eighth race. "She comes in on top form, and she's been trotting really good." While Henry has been aboard division leaders Shadow Moon and Percy Bluechip for all of their Ontario Sires Stakes starts, and will send the Dr. Ian Moore trainees after their respective division titles from Post 6 in Race 5 and Post 5 in Race 9, Saturday will mark his first appearance in Action Majesty's race bike. "Gregg had asked me to drive the one," said Henry of the Gregg McNair trainee, who will start from Post 8 while her stablemate The Joy Luck Club lines up at Post 6 with Doug McNair in the bike. "She looks all right, but that's a tough bunch too." Among the horses Henry expects to put up a fight in the three-year-old pacing filly showdown is reigning Super Final champion Yaris Bayama, who will start from Post 10 with Filion at the helm. "Two of my father's didn't draw so well, Tymal Peacemaker and Yaris Bayama," noted Filion. "But he came down this week and trained them on Tuesday before the qualifiers and he said that they trained really good. He was a little disappointed with that draw, but he said that they were going in in top form so hopefully we get a good trip." Yves Filion's Bayama Farms owns Yaris Bayama and Tymal Peacemaker, and both horses are trained by Stephane Larocque. Three-year-old pacing gelding Tymal Peacemaker will line up at Post 9 in the tenth race, the only Super Final in which Henry does not have a mount. Henry will also spend some time on the outside of the starting gate Saturday, beginning with two-year-old trotting filly Smoke And Mirrors, who gets Post 10 for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman in the second race. "She raced really well there (Mohawk) her last start (Sept. 25), come from a long ways out. She's in good shape I think," said Henry of the Kadabra daughter. "She has the ten-hole though, which will be tough." Henry will also pilot two-year-old trotting gelding Perfetto for Norman from Post 4 in the sixth race, the only contest that will see him start elbow to elbow with Filion, who steers Jimmy Takter trainee Cousin Rickard from Post 5. In the three-year-old trotting colt battle Henry will steer On First from Post 9 for his wife, trainer Shannon Henry, and his co-owners David Darocy and James Fleming, while Filion has R First Class for trainer Benoit Baillargeon. "He's been racing really, really good and his last start there (Sept. 25) he really won easy," said Filion of R First Class, who drew Post 3 in the third race. "I was talking to Ben yesterday, he said he trained good this week and he's all ready for Saturday. We drew good and I just cross my fingers I'm able to avoid traffic and troubles. If we get a clear track I think we've got a good shot." In addition to Action Majesty Henry also picked up a drive aboard three-year-old trotting filly Paradise Image (Post 8) for trainer Mike Keeling and Filion landed Allerage Stargazer (Post 2) in the two-year-old trotting filly division for trainer Paul Reid, St Lads Neptune (Post 4) in the two-year-old pacing colt division for trainer Carl Jamieson and two-year-old pacing filly Machnhope (Post 10) for trainer Bill Robinson. Reid, who will also start two-year-old trotting gelding Torches Pirate (Post 7), three-year-old trotting filly Sweet Of My Heart (Post 5) and two-year-old pacing fillies Just Her Luck (Post 1) and Kendall Seelster (Post 2) on Saturday, has worked with both Filion and Henry this season and says it is no surprise they are in a battle for top spot in the driver standings. "I have utmost respect for both of them. I would put them on any horse of mine, either one of them," said Reid. "I think Trevor's the more aggressive guy and seems to get along with any trotter or pacer, whereas Sylvain is more relaxed, he seems to create the same speed, but in a more relaxed way." Whether making their first appearance behind a horse or guiding one of their regular mounts, both Filion and Henry will be battling to the wire in every race on Saturday, hoping to deliver a Super Final trophy to each horse's connections. "It's going to be a big day for the breeders and the owners," said Filion, noting the Lampman Cup race is of secondary concern. "They've been watching their horses all year and cheering for them all year and now they get to see them in the Final. That's a big night for them." Mohawk Racetrack's first race goes in behind the gate at 7:30 pm on Saturday, with the eight $225,000 Super Finals going postward in Races 2 through 6 and 8 through 10. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

OCTOBER 5, 2017 - Harness racing driver Randy Waples capped off the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series regular season with a pair of victories at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening, using similar tactics to get Draft Year and Kendall Seelster from Post 5 to the winner's circle. On an calm, clear October evening, Waples decided the front end was the best place for fan favourite Draft Year and the decision proved to be a wise one as the Kadabra gelding cruised to a five and one-half length victory in 1:56.4. Chief Justice enjoyed the outer lane windbreak offered by Levitation through the later stages of the mile and then circled around to be second, leaving Levitation to settle for third. "He's a really nice colt, he always has been a nice colt," said Waples from the winner's circle. "Tonight when he left the gate he was going forward and I looked over and Sylvain (Filion with Cousin Rickard) was already grabbing up, so I just kind of kept the whip on his tail and kept his mind on it and he just kept getting faster and faster as the race went on." Milton resident Waples crafted the win for trainer Brad Maxwell of Guelph and owners Doug Millard of Woodstock, Ben Mudry of Toronto, ON, Timothy Murray of Shawville, QC and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA. The win was the first in Draft Year's five race career and it propelled the gelding from fifteenth to fifth in the point standings, giving him a berth in the Oct. 14 Super Final at Mohawk. Draft Year Five races later Waples lined up behind Post 5 for the second time and opted for the same strategy, sending the fans' second choice Kendall Seelster directly to the front. The three-year-old pacing filly rolled through fractions of :28, :56.2 and 1:24.1 and then kicked into high gear in the stretch, sprinting home to a 1:51.3 victory. Firestorm paced into second and Play The Bell closed hard, nudging favourite Percy Bluechip out for third. "Tonight I actually was looking to cut the mile out, I kept making her roll along because I wasn't looking for a re-move with her tonight," said Waples from the winner's circle. "It is the first time she's been in front, but she finished with the plugs still in her ears. "They both were very good, and both seemed strong at the finish," said the reinsman of his pair of winners. Waples piloted Kendall Seelster to the win for trainer Paul Reid and owner 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. Thursday's victory was the Shadow Play daughter's fourth of the season and second in Gold Series action, putting her in a tie for top spot in the point standings with three-time winner Percy Bluechip. "I didn't think she'd end up cutting it. With Percy (Bluechip) on the rail I thought we might have a little more tussle getting to the front, but it worked out all right for us," said trainer Paul Reid. "He (Waples) knows the filly and I trust him. He's come in a couple different times and trained her with me, and so he knows her as well as anybody. I know he has confidence in her, so any way he felt to drive her, I was fine with that." Kendall Seelster Reid also picked up a third-place finish in the other $95,600 three-year-old pacing filly Gold division with Just Her Luck, and the trainer is hoping both fillies can maintain their momentum heading into the Super Final. "She's had a little time off too and she finished up good in the end of that, so hopefully we look good going into next week," said Reid. "Sometimes plans work out, sometimes they don't, but right now if I can keep things going the way they are, I'll be happy." Just Her Luck finished a closing third behind winner Easy Three and Lady Grande in the 1:53.4 mile. Lady Grande did all the work on the front end, waging a fierce battle with fan favourite Cardiff, but a late sprint saw Easy Three and driver Jody Jamieson hit the wire on top by a two length margin. Jamieson drives Easy Three for his father, trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, ON, breeder Winbak Farm of Chesapeake City, MD and George Harrison of Preston, England, and the reinsman says the trip to the winner's circle has been a tough one with the daughter of Mach Three. "She's an absolute nut. She's just been a loon ever since Dad threw a harness on her. He's had a real tough time getting her to where I can actually drive her in a race," said the Moffat, ON resident. "Now that he's figured her out exactly, she has some talent. It's hard to say if she can go with the top fillies from the other division, but there's only one way to find out." Thursday's win, her first in 10 starts, boosted Easy Three from sixteenth to fifth in the standings and she will be part of the top 10 point earners competing in the $225,000 Super Final on Oct. 14. Easy Three The other two-year-old trotting colt and gelding Gold trophy went home with Barney Mac, who finished third in the division Grassroots Championship at Mohawk on Sept. 30. Also starting from Post 5, driver Chris Christoforou eased Barney Mac into fifth as Spark A Dream led the field to a :28.3 quarter and a :59.2 half. When former Gold series winner T Barrr swung off the rail into the outer lane, Christoforou sent Barney Mac in his wake and stayed right on that colt's heels as he opened up a gap on the field heading for the 1:29.2 three-quarters. Squaring up in the stretch Christoforou asked Barney Mac for another gear and the gelding dug hard to the wire for his second lifetime victory in a personal best 1:58. T Barrr settled for second, one and three-quarter lengths behind the winner, and Torches Pirate was third. "He's a nice little colt," said Christoforou. "We got a second over trip and he kicked home very well when I asked him." The Campbellville resident crafted the win for trainer Per Henriksen of Norwood and owners Tor Jan Larsen of Norwood, ON and Adv Racing Stable LLC of Pawling, NY. The partners acquired Barney Mac two weeks before the Grassroots Championship and have recouped $53,800 of their investment in just two starts. Although the win would have given him enough points, Barney Mac is not eligible to compete in the Super Final due to his appearance in the Grassroots Championship. Barney Mac The top 10 trotting colts and geldings and pacing fillies will return to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Oct. 14, along with the leading point earners from the other six divisions, to compete for a total of $1.8 million in the season ending Super Final. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

OCTOBER 4, 2017 - Ontario's two-year-old trotting fillies wrapped up their regular season at Flamboro Downs on Wednesday and fans of the longshot had a field day as the harness racing favourites faltered in both $94,800 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold divisions. In the opener second choice Sorceress Seelster fired out of Post 4 to an early lead, reaching the quarter pole three and one-quarter lengths ahead of her peers in :28.1. The filly continued to draw away from the field heading for the :57.1 half, but skipped off stride in the third turn and left Allerage Stargazer in brief possession of the lead. Heading into the backstretch for the final time, driver Lyle MacArthur sent Zorgwijk Sophia to the front, reaching the three-quarters in 1:28.2, and the filly was on cruise control from there to the wire. The longest shot in the six-horse field, Zorgwijk Sophia stopped the Flamboro Downs teletimer at 2:00.1. Allerage Stargazer was four and one-half lengths back in second, holding off a charging P L Layla who finished third. Favourite Smoke And Mirrors recovered from a series of breaks to be fourth. St. George Brant resident MacArthur drives and trains Zorgwijk Sophia for Linda Wellwood of St. George Brant and Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre, ON. With Wednesday's win the Majestic Son daughter jumped into fourth spot in the division standings with 77 points from one win, two thirds, one seventh and one eighth in five Gold Series starts. The victory also more than tripled the filly's earnings, which now stand at $70,824 after eight starts. The second division saw Wayne Henry fire longshot Gotta Pay To Play out of Post 4 and take command of the early tempo. Illusioneesta and Shamrock Shaker took a run at the pacesetter heading by the :29.4 quarter, but Henry refused to yield control and they tucked back onto the rail in second and third. Gotta Pay To Play carried on to a :59.2 half and when heavy favourite Kadabra Queen mounted a challenge rolling off the third turn, Henry once again opted not to concede the lead and just after the 1:30.3 three-quarters Kadabra Queen went off stride. From there Gotta Pay To Play sailed home to a two length victory in 1:59.1. Illusioneesta finished second and Shamrock Shaker was third. Kadabra Queen finished well back in sixth. Arthur, ON resident Henry drives, trains and owns first-time winner Gotta Pay To Play, who had two fifths, one sixth and one seventh-place result in her first four Gold Series starts. The victory bumps the Windsong Espoir daughter up to seventh spot in the point standings and increases her freshman earnings to $62,020. Both Zorgwijk Sophia and Gotta Pay To Play will compete in the $225,000 Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack on Oct. 14, along with the other eight leading point earners, part of the Ontario Sires Stakes program's $1.8 million season finale. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

OCTOBER 3, 2017 - London area harness racing fans got a look at Ontario's talented two-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Tuesday evening as the novices wrapped up their Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series season at The Raceway at Western Fair District. With a berth in the Oct. 14 Super Final at stake, driver Doug McNair and Bo Mach set the tenor for evening in the first $64,800 division, firing away from Post 1 and stacking Jimmy Freight and Burning Midnight up to their right through the opening turn. Bo Mach reached the quarter pole in :27.4, but that was the last fraction he would clock without company. By the :57.1 half Burning Midnight was sitting on his flank and that colt continued to press the pace through the 1:25.4 three-quarters. After a fierce stretch battle it was Burning Midnight with a neck in front of Bo Mach in 1:55.1. Unable to find a way up the inside, frustrated fan favourite Jimmy Freight settled for third, one and one-half length behind the leaders. Louis-Philippe Roy drove Burning Midnight to his first Gold Series win for trainer Corey Giles and owners Brad Gray of Dundas and Denise Guerriero of Toronto, ON. The Mach Three son also captured a Grassroots trophy in his Ontario Sires Stakes debut at Mohawk Racetrack on July 20. The victory boosted Burning Midnight into the top ten point earners and landed him a berth in the $225,000 Super Final. The second division saw St Lads Neptune leave smartly from Post 1 and claim an early lead before ceding to Levis Day before the :28.2 quarter. Yacht Seelster led the charge up the outer lane as Levis Day led the field to a :58 half and 1:26.3 three-quarters, but it was fan favourite St Lads Neptune who slipped out of the pocket and on to a two length victory in 1:55.3 Levis Day stayed game for second and Sharp Action Money closed well for third. "He totally jogged tonight," said driver Jody Jamieson of St Lads Neptune. "He got the best trip possible on a half mile track though, and that really helps." Jamieson drives the Mach Three son for his father, trainer Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, and Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON. In seven lifetime starts the gelding has tallied five wins, including Grassroots victories at Clinton Raceway on Aug. 27 and Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 4. St Lads Neptune finished third in his Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk on Sept. 16, but came up a bit sick for the Sept. 23 final and finished ninth. "He had a high white blood cell count after the Metro, so that was real disappointing, because I thought he'd go with them," said Jamieson. "Hopefully he stays healthy enough to race them again at the end of the month." Before he heads south for the Oct. 21 Breeders Crown eliminations at Indiana's Hoosier Park, St Lads Neptune will compete in the Oct. 14 Super Final after squeaking into ninth spot in the point standings with Tuesday's win. The winner of the third division will also compete in the Super Final, and trainer Casie Coleman is hoping Western Passage is poised for a strong finish to the season after a mid-summer hiccup caused him to miss six weeks of racing action. "After his second in the second Gold (July 20), I really though he cheated on me and needed to be gelded," said Coleman. "So I gelded him and we lost a lot of time, as he got a lot of complications after and went in for a second surgery. "He's coming around now again, hopefully in time for the Super Finals," added the Cambridge, ON resident. "He's a really nice colt." Starting from Post 4 with driver Doug McNair in the race bike, Western Passage was sitting third when favourite Simple Kinda Man reached the quarter in :29.3, but he did not sit there long as McNair quickly sent the colt after the leader. Although Western Passage had a nose in front at the :58 half Simple Kinda Man did not give way without a fight, and the colts were by the 1:25.4 three-quarters before Western Passage finally took control and powered away from the field to an eight length victory in 1:55.4. Declan Seelster finished second and Hudson Phil closed hard for third. Coleman shares ownership of Western Passage with her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, along with John and McKinlay Fielding of Toronto and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, ON. With one win, two seconds and one seventh in Gold Series action the Sportswriter son finished the regular season in third spot in the standings with 102 points. The top 10 point earners will compete for $225,000 and divisional honours in their Oct. 14 Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack, part of the Ontario Sires Stakes' $1.8 million season finale. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

OCTOBER 2, 2017 - The sophomore pacers wrapped up their Ontario Sires Stakes regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening and harness racing driver Sylvain Filion came within three lengths of sweeping all three Gold Series divisions. The Milton, ON resident piloted Histoire Enchantee to victory in the first $98,000 three-year-old pacing colt contest, sprinting away from the outside Post 10 to a :26.4 opening quarter. The fan favourites continued to lead the field through a :54.3 half and 1:21.4 three-quarters and held off a charging Bills Fella in the stretch for a neck victory in 1:50.4. Saulsbrook Lanny closed to be third. "He impresses me every time I drive him, he's getting better and better," said Filion. "Tonight from the 10-hole we left hard, Louis (Roy and Mach Deja Vu) came at us and he just kept digging. He raced really big tonight." Monday's appearance was Histoire Enchantee's first in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, but not his first in the winner's circle. The son of Shanghai Phil and Eclatante has six wins to his credit through 13 sophomore starts for trainer Maxime Velaye and owner-breeder Guy Corbeil of Mirabel, QC. Monday's Gold Series win more than doubled Histoire Enchantee's earnings, boosting his lifetime bankroll to $80,633. With one win in one appearance, Histoire Enchantee tallied 50 points in the race for a Super Final berth and sits fourteenth in the three-year-old pacing colt standings. The top 10 point earners will compete in the $225,000 Super Final at Mohawk on Oct. 14 and Histoire Enchantee could sneak in if some of the colts ahead of him in the point standings are not entered for the final. "Sometimes horses like him - he hasn't raced against the top colts all year, so he's kind of fresh," noted Filion. "It's probably perfect timing for him." Histoire Enchantee Three races later Filion scored his second Gold Series win, guiding three-year-old pacing filly Yaris Bayama to a 1:51.2 personal best. Yaris Bayama nabbed fan favourite The Joy Luck Club in the stretch, powering home to a two and one-quarter length victory. Dancing Shadows K was hot on The Joy Luck Club's heels in third. "When I moved her three-wide off cover, she really showed some grit," said Filion, who drives the filly for trainer Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON and his father Yves Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. "That was probably her best race yet. I think she's coming into the Super Final in top shape." The win was the second of the season and the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for Yaris Bayama, who was the Super Final and two-year-old pacing filly division champion last year. Through her first four Gold Series starts the daughter of Sportswriter and Lucky Josie tallied one second, one third and two fourths which, added to Monday's victory, gives her a total of 103 points and a berth in the Oct. 14 Super Final. Yaris Bayama In the second pacing colt division, Filion and Tymal Peacemaker turned for home with a one-half length advantage, but could not hold off a hard charging Dreamfair B J and had to settle for second, three lengths behind the winner. Tigers Way also closed hard to be third. "It was close, for a while I thought I had it," said Filion, who is also in a heated battle with Trevor Henry for his third straight and fifth overall Lampman Cup title as the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes. "He raced good though; he just got picked up in the last sixteenth. If he draws good in the Super Final he's got a good shot." Dreamfair B J hit the wire in 1:50.3 for his second straight victory and his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. The son of Big Jim and Dreamfair Orchid had finished second, third, fifth and sixth in his first four Gold Series starts and was sitting twelfth on the list heading into Monday's regular season finale. The victory boosted the gelding into third spot with 95 points and positions him as a serious contender in the season finale. Louis-Philippe Roy crafted the win for trainer Patrick Fletcher of Tillsonburg and owner-breeder John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON Dreamfair B J Mohawk Racetrack hosts one last evening of Gold Series action before the Super Finals, welcoming the two-year-old trotting colts and pacing fillies back to Campbellville for their last regular season event on Thursday, Oct. 5. The colts will kick things off at 7:30 pm in Race 1 and wrap up their season in Race 3, while the fillies compete in Races 6 and 8. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 - Eighty of the best trotters and pacers in Ontario gathered at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening for the 2017 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Championships, competing for a total of $400,000 in eight divisional harness racing battles. The two-year-old trotting fillies kicked things off in the first race and trainer John Bax swept the top three spots with his entry of Dalliance Seelster, Warrawee Trip and Gradabra. In rein to Guelph, ON resident James MacDonald, Dalliance Seelster left smartly from Post 2, yielded to P L Layla just after the quarter pole and then circled out around that filly and Warrawee Trip before powering down the stretch to a one and three-quarter length victory over her stablemates in 2:00. "James gave that filly a great drive, I mean you couldn't have mapped it out any better than that," said Bax, also complimenting the efforts of drivers Steve Byron and Paul MacDonell. "She's been half sick all summer so the stars all lined up tonight. I'm happy for all the owners, including Matt and I. It couldn't be any better than that." The Bax Stable, the trainer and his son Matt, shares ownership of the daughter of Holiday Road and Desi Sweet Sixteen with Glengate Farms of Mississauga, ON. A $30,000 purchase at last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale, Dalliance Seelster wrapped up her freshman campaign with one win, two seconds and two thirds in 10 starts and earnings of $40,487. "John does a great job with them. I give him a hard time because that's the one I picked out you see. The two he picked out were second and third," said Glengate Farms' Jim Bullock with a chuckle. "No. I don't buy anything without him looking at it, and we've been together a long time." Dalliance Seelster After the win, MacDonald recorded one second, a pair of thirds and three off the board results before returning to the Grassroots winners circle in the last showdown with three-year-old trotting filly Delcrest Magicstar. Starting from Post 9, the recently crowned World Driving Champion had Delcrest Magicstar in high gear as soon as the wings folded and the pair rang up all the fractions on their way to a one and one-half length victory in 1:56.1. The Ontario Sires Stakes' leading trainer Mark Steacy, who calls Lansdowne, ON home, came close to replicating Bax's result from the first race as Ticket To Seattle and Stritch finished third and fourth behind their stablemate. Bustingattheseams broke up the Steacy trio, shadowing Delcrest Magicstar from start to finish and collecting the second-place share of the $50,000 purse. "I really thought, as long as she got an okay trip, I thought she was the one to beat so I raced her like that and she didn't let me down," said MacDonald, who shares ownership of the Majestic Son filly with Johnathan McKinnon of Guelph and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. "Front end's not her cup of tea and then coming back in four days, but it just, it didn't matter, she was the best tonight." Delcrest Magicstar, who finished second in a Canadian record mile against the Gold Series fillies at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening, wrapped up her Grassroots season with a flawless record of four wins in four starts and boosted her season earnings to $103,617 with the victory. Delcrest Magicstar Driver Jonathan Drury of Guelph also piloted two division winners, scoring with two-year-old pacing filly Love Kills and two-year-old pacing colt Pretty Handsome. Love Kills reeled in division point leader and fan favourite Neon Moon with a 1:54.1 effort for trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville and owner Denarben Stables of Thornhill, ON. Ashlees Sport was third. Love Kills In the two-year-old pacing colt contest, Pretty Handsome was elevated to the top spot when winner Phantom Seelster was ruled to have caused interference while manoeuvering from the rail to an open lane in the stretch. Pretty Handsome finished one length ahead of Letjimmytakeover and two lengths up on Sprocket in the 1:54 mile. Andrew McCabe of Guelph-Eramosa conditions the Mach Three son for owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, ON. Pretty Handsome Like Delcrest Magicstar, three-year-old pacing colt Wildriverbumblebee wrapped up his Grassroots campaign with a flawless record and a commanding gate-to-wire performance. The Sportswriter son cruised to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:52.1, with The Dark Shadow and Dream Of Luck battling it out for second and third. Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion engineered Wildriverbumblebee's third Grassroots win for trainer Francis Richard of Becancour, QC and owner-breeder Dr. John Bradbury of Cookshire-Eaton, QC, boosting the fan favourite's sophomore earnings to $87,125. Wildriverbumblebee Just two division point leaders converted their regular season success into a division crown - two-year-old trotting gelding Stormont Ventnor and three-year-old pacing filly Shewearsthepants. Stormont Ventnor delivered an impressive effort to earn the freshman trotting colt title, sitting in the outer lane for the better part of the mile before pulling away in the stretch to a one and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:57.4. James MacDonald piloted John Bax trainee Chief Justice into second and Barney Mac rounded out the top three. "He raced huge," said Guelph, ON resident Phil Hudon, who drove the Justice Hall gelding to the win for trainer Kevin Benn of Napanee and owner-breeder Eric Baker of Long Sault, ON. "I didn't want to be locked in, but I wouldn't have minded being second over. It didn't work out, but I was pretty confident in the colt." Sent off the fans' top choice, Stormont Ventnor wrapped up his freshman Ontario Sires Stakes campaign with two wins and four seconds in six starts, for earnings of $52,937. Stormont Ventnor Favourite Shewearsthepants also delivered an impressive effort to claim the sophomore pacing filly crown, taking command at the :55.3 half and then battling all the way down the stretch to a 1:53 victory, one and one-half lengths ahead of Manhattan Play and Treasures Pearl. "I actually did think we were in a little bit of trouble at the head of the stretch, because you can't torture her that way. I know she's got a lot of wins this year, but a lot of them have been off cover or like a first over or something. She hasn't win too many off the front the whole way, but she dug in tough," said driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON. "She knows how to win, that's for sure. If she'd come in not winning as many she probably would have stopped in the stretch, but she's brave so she was good." McNair engineered the win for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON and owner-breeder Anatolia Farm LLC of New Holland, PA. In seven Grassroots starts the daughter of Big Jim and Simply Liz recorded five wins and two seconds and Saturday's victory boosted her season earnings to $119,182. Shewearsthepants The other Grassroots trophy went home with three-year-old trotting gelding Yo Yo Mass, who squeaked up the inside to nab pacesetter Charmbo Chrome at the wire in 1:56.3. Vesuvio Bi came up the outside for third and the three colts were separated by a lean neck at the wire. "All week I figured, this horse, he's better off the front end, we're better just to roll him and play catch me if you can," said trainer Kyle Reibeling. "But Jody (Jamieson) was patient, he gave him a great drive, everything worked out. I'm just tickled pink with the way things worked out." Moffat resident Jamieson piloted Yo Yo Mass to the win for Reibeling, who hails from Campbellville, and Nancy Grimble of Newcastle, ON. The Muscle Mass son was the runner-up in the point standings with two wins, two seconds and one fourth in five regular season Grassroots starts. His championship victory boosted the gelding's sophomore earnings to $81,780. Yo Yo Mass Ontario Sires Stakes action is back at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday, Oct, 2 as the Gold Series three-year-old pacing colts and fillies wrap up their regular season. The first race gets under way at 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 - Ontario's talented three-year-old trotting fillies brought Grand River Raceway's 2017 harness racing season to a thrilling conclusion on Wednesday evening as they battled to a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record in the last race of the program. With $125,000 and the last set of points toward a Super Final berth on the line, the fillies were swinging for the fences early. Delcrest Magicstar left alertly from Post 1 and led the field of 10 to a :27.1 opening quarter, but Sweet Of My Heart also fired out of Post 8 and sprinted by Delcrest Magicstar soon after the quarter pole. In full gear around the second turn, Sweet Of My Heart reached the halfway marker in a sharp :56.1 and had opened up a gap of two lengths on her peers by the 1:25.3 three-quarters. Opting not to get involved in the early speed, driver Sylvain Filion had eased On A Sunny Day away from Post 3 and the fan favourites were sitting seventh at the quarter and sixth at the half. By the three-quarters Filion had tipped On A Sunny Day into the outer lane and the Muscle Mass daughter was gobbling up ground. She got a brief windbreak from Delcrest Magicstar, who led the field off the final turn, then kicked home to a one length victory. Delcrest Magicstar was second and Sweet Of My Heart stayed game for third. "I knew when I saw the half :56 that I was in a good spot," said Filion. "I knew they had to come back to me, it was almost impossible for them to keep going that speed, so that was very good for me. She just trotted home, it was just like a training mile for her." The 1:56 clocking took one-fifth of a second off the track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record first set by Sugar Wheeler in 2012 and then matched by Angies Lucky Star in 2013. "I was a little concerned before the race, her last start was just so-so, she wasn't quite herself," noted Filion, referring to the filly's sixth-place result in the Sept. 16 Elegantimage Final at Mohawk Racetrack. "But tonight she was back to her old self and she just felt super." The Milton, ON resident drives On A Sunny Day for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. The victory was the filly's third in Gold Series action and she will lead the sophomore trotting fillies into the Oct. 14 Super Final with 180 points. In nine starts this season the daughter of Muscle Mass and Dicent No has posted five wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $250,286. At two she captured four of six starts and banked $183,750. "He's (Blais) done a great job with her all year, and last year too," said Filion. "I've got a lot of faith in that filly." On A Sunny Day's connections will now be working to have her in peak form for the $225,000 Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack on Oct. 14. They will be looking for a little redemption for last year's Super Final when, sent off as the heavy favourite, On A Sunny Day made her first-ever break in stride and finished at the back of the field. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 - Two-year-old trotting filly Kadabra Queen scored her fourth straight harness racing Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series win at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, dropping her personal best by a full two seconds. Starting from Post 4 in the $126,600 contest, driver Scott Colter eased Kadabra Queen off the starting gate and dropped into fifth as Illusioneesta battled to a :27.2 opening quarter. Heading for the :57.3 half Coulter tipped Kadabra Queen out behind Collateral Beauty and then sat on that filly's shoulder as she took the field to a 1:26.2 three-quarters. Turning into the stretch Coulter asked Kadabra Queen for another gear and the fan favourite powered home to a three-quarter length victory in 1:55.1. Smoke And Mirrors closed hard to be second and Shamrock Shaker was hot on her heels in third. "I hadn't really had to get into her too deep or race her too tough, you know, usually on the front or up close and tucked away," said Coulter after the race. "Tonight was the first time she had to do any serious work, and fortunately they were rolling down inside pretty good to the half tonight so I was able to collar them, and once she cleared she just swelled up and trotted away." All three of Kadabra Queen's previous Gold Series victories had seen her sit in the pocket well into the race, or control the tempo from the front, but Brantford, ON resident Coulter said he knew almost immediately that Monday's trip would be of a different flavour. "I knew it was only a matter of time before some of the other fillies started to trot off the car with her hard and tonight I could see within two steps there was a handful of them getting out of there as hard, or harder, than she was, and I said this is the time," said the driver. "So it was an easy decision, within moments of the car swinging away I knew that I was not going to be anywhere near the front, I was just going to kind of race her from off cover." The daughter of Kadabra and Queen Street has lowered her personal best in each victory and Coulter is hoping that trend continues through the last Gold Leg at Flamboro Downs on Oct. 4 and the $225,000 Super Final at Mohawk on Oct. 14. The reinsman says the gifted youngster is in excellent condition heading into the season's home stretch after enjoying a month long break following the Aug. 18 Gold Leg. "She's carrying more flesh right now. She put on some weight there and filled out a little wee bit," Coulter noted. "As far as her mannerisms, she's pretty much been that horse from the very get-go, just she's all business, that's what makes her so fun to drive. A lot of two-year-olds there's things you have to worry about and wonder what they're going to do, and she just seems to go to work and that makes her a pleasure." Campbellville resident Chad Milner conditions the filly, who has now earned $215,880 through eight starts for breeder Harness Horsepower Inc. of Campbellville and Frank Monte of Markham, ON. In addition to her four Gold Series wins Kadabra Queen has one second and three thirds in overnight action, with all but her debut coming at her hometown oval. Kadabra Queen Mohawk also hosted two Gold divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Monday and driver Sylvain Filion triumphed in both divisions, piloting R First Class and Capteur De Reve to victory. Filion also captured three overnight events, giving him a total of five wins on the program. In the first $94,800 Gold division Filion sat second with R First Class through the :27.4 quarter rung up by LMC Mass Gem and then sent the fan favourite after the lead. On top by two lengths at the :57.2 half, R First Class fought off a challenge from Head Turning Jag heading by the 1:25.4 three-quarters and then cruised home to a three and one half length victory in 1:53.2. LMC Mass Gem finished second and Head Turning Jag was third. "He really impressed me again tonight. Every time I sit behind him he seems to be getting stronger and stronger, and tonight he did it all by himself. I tell you the tank wasn't empty at the wire, he was full of himself still," said Filion. "You've got to give credit to Ben (Baillargeon) and his crew, they did a great job with him because at the beginning of the year, he was kind of a sneaky horse, you know, he didn't want to really go to the gate, he'd bail on you, but they got him pretty straightened out. I expect big things from him going forward." The Kadabra gelding heads into the Oct. 14 Super Final in third spot in the point standings with two Gold Series wins and one second for trainer Benoit Baillargeon of Rockwood and owner-breeders Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, ON. In 11 lifetime starts R First Class has only missed the top two on one occasion, making a break and finishing seventh in the Aug. 13 Gold Leg at Rideau Carleton Raceway, and Baillargeon is in full agreement with Filion about the gelding's potential. "I think he's going to turn out to be a very nice four-year-old," said Baillargeon. "He's a nice tall horse, but I think as a four-year-old he's going to fill out a little more, and I think he's got everything to be a real nice horse." R First Class In the second $95,600 division, Filion employed come-from-behind tactics with Capteur De Reve, waiting until he was rolling off the final turn to ask the Muscle Mass son for a second gear. Capteur De Reve battled to a head victory in a personal best 1:55, holding off Dream Massive. Blameitonthewhisky stayed game for third after a tough trip that saw him parked to the half and forced to check his momentum when On First went off stride while sitting second. "He's a gutsy little horse. We got a little lucky, you know, there was a bit of confusion at the half and the pace kind of slowed down all of sudden and we were able to get a covered up trip until halfway around the last turn," said Filion, who piloted Capteur De Reve to the win for trainer Maxime Velaye and owner-breeder Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. "He kicked home real good; he did what he had to do." The win boosted Capteur De Reve into sixth spot in the standings with two wins in two Gold Series starts. The top 10 point earners will return to Mohawk for their $225,000 Super Final on Oct. 14. Capteur De Reve Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday evening with one $125,000 division for the two-year-old trotting colts. The colts will compete in Race 5 on the midweek program, which gets under way at 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 - The 2017 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots regular season came to a close at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening with two divisions for the harness racing two-year-old trotting colts. Five colts squared off in the first $17,750 division and Leaderofthepack took quick command, reaching the quarter in :30. Fan favourite Nobodynosjustice and Jula Downton followed, with the other two competitors out of the action early. Heading for the 1:01.2 half Nobodynosjustice stepped to the outside, but failed to wrestle command from Leaderofthepack and Jul Downton's challenge heading for the 1:32 three-quarters was also thwarted by the pacesetter. Turning for home driver Sylvain Filion sent Nobodynosjustice out between the leader and the challenger and the gelding trotted strongly down the stretch to claim a neck victory in 2:02. Leaderofthepack settled for second and Jula Downton was third. "Dany Fontaine asked me to go and drive him. He said, he's got lots of go, but he's a little touchy, and I think he was right," said Filion. "In the post parade, he wouldn't trot, he had a hard time going, and I had to wake him up a bit. Then in the race he was pretty good, but he was real grabby. "I had a hard time holding him in the hole, that's why I had to move him out, so he doesn't get mad and go on the run," the Milton, ON resident continued. "That was quite the big effort to come back and win like that, after a trip like that. He's a really gutsy little horse." Filion piloted Nobodynosjustice to his second Grassroots win for trainer Dany Fontaine of Terrebonne, QC and owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. Through seven starts the son of Justice Hall and Nobody Nos Butme has tallied three wins and one second for earnings of $27,337. His 125 Grassroots points put him in third spot in the division standings and will see him compete in the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack. The second $18,100 division featured six starters and two of them skipped off stride at the start, including fan favourite Stormont Ventnor. Majestic Fire took advantage of his peers' misfortune, gaining control from Post 1 and cruising to a :31.4 quarter. Driver Scott Young of Guelph, ON took his foot off the gas in the second quarter, allowing Majestic Fire to reach the half in 1:04.4, then picked up the tempo as Smart Pick mounted a challenge. The pair battled to a 1:35 three-quarters, but Smart Pick faded around the final turn, splitting horses and allowing Majestic Fire to open up a large enough gap that he was able to hold off a charging Stormont Ventnor and Radical Attempt. Majestic Fire hit the wire one and one-half lengths on top in 2:05.1. "He's a small horse, but very determined," said trainer Mark Steacy of Majestic Fire. "He's been battling growing pains all year, but battling through it and improving with every start. "He got lucky tonight," added the Lansdowne, ON resident, who conditions Majestic Fire for David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie, Shelly MacMillan of Waterloo and A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, ON. Wednesday was Majestic Fire's fifth start and his first visit to the winner's circle. A $40,000 yearling at the 2016 Harrisburg Sale, the Majestic Son gelding boosted his earnings to $11,218 and his point tally to 61 with the win, putting him in a tie for ninth and landing a berth in the Grassroots Championship. The top 10 point earners will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 30. The Ontario Sires Stakes program will make one more stop at Grand River Raceway this season, as the Elora oval hosts the last Gold Series event for the three-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday, Sept. 27 with a first race post time of 6:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 - Thirty-four harness racing freshman pacing colts and geldings arrived at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday night ready to battle in the last Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots event of their regular season and the novices put on an impressive show for the Campbellville oval's fans. When You Dance and driver Doug McNair kicked things off in the first $18,800 division, firing to the front from Post 4 and reaching the quarter in :27.2. The pair yielded to Phantom Seelster and driver Sylvain Filion heading for the :55.1 half and followed the fan favourites through the 1:24.2 three-quarters, but coming off the final turn McNair asked When You Dance for another gear and the colt responded with a sharp finishing kick that propelled him to a four length victory in 1:52.3. Phantom Seelster settled for second and Notabadgame was five more lengths back in third. "I might be the only one he didn't surprise," said trainer Ben Wallace. "He's just a great big strong colt that's just starting to come into himself. He was caught in last week (Sept. 4) big time and had a big finish to him, and he had a great week going into this race, so I'm not surprised he did what he did tonight." Wallace shares ownership of When You Dance with Daniel Plouffe of Bromont, QC and breeder Birnam Wood Farms of Boca Raton, FL. In seven starts the Mach Three son has tallied two wins, one second and two thirds, but with just one of the wins and the pair of thirds coming in Grassroots action the gelding will miss the Grassroots Championship, four places out of the top 10. "He's been a decent colt for us," said Puslinch resident Wallace. "He's a hard luck horse, he drew the nine in an 11-horse field (Aug. 19) and he drew the 10 in an 11-horse field (July 20), his first couple lifetime starts. So he's been a bit of a victim of circumstance." When You Dance Zen Da Ballykeel took full advantage of the circumstances in the second division Tuesday, watching from sixth as Chocolate Swirl and Northern Rebel duked it out on the front end through fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.2 and then sprinting down the stretch to a neck victory in 1:53.2. Northern Rebel stayed game off his outside lane tour to finish second and favourite Southwind Grizzly closed from mid-pack to be third. "He's a nice colt, a bit healthier after being sick," said trainer Richard Moreau. "He was surprising tonight, good timing." The Puslinch, ON resident conditions Zen Da Ballykeel for owner-breeder Ballykeel Racing Inc. of Tillsonburg, ON. Tuesday's win was the Mach Three colt's second in Grassroots action and boosted his point tally to 114, putting him fifth in the standings. Zen Da Ballykeel Casimir Richie P also picked up his second Grassroots win in the third division, controlling all the fractions - including a sharp :26.4 last quarter - on the way to a 1:52.4 personal best. Letjimmytakeover and Luka Shenko finished three and three-quarter lengths behind the favourite in second and third. "Nice colt, he has a very quick turn of foot," said driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON. "Tyler (Moore) had a little trouble last week at the gate, Doc (Moore) made some changes and he raced great tonight." A break behind the starting gate in the Sept. 4 Grassroots event saw Casimir Richie P settle for fourth, which, added to a win in the August 16 contest and a fifth in his July 20 debut, give the Astronomical son 113 points and a berth in the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championship. Dr. Ian Moore of Puslinch conditions Casimir Richie P and shares ownership of the colt with his son, Tyler Moore of Campbellville, and Michael Goldberg of Toronto, ON. Casimir Richie P The last regular season Grassroots trophy went home with Pretty Handsome, who paced to his second Grassroots and third straight victory in 1:53.4. Jonathan Drury of Guelph piloted the favourite to the one-half length victory over Atomic Seelster and JM Jack Of Hearts. "Hopefully we can go for four in a row, if he goes straight to the final," said Lacey McCabe, who works alongside her husband, trainer Andrew McCabe, to keep Pretty Handsome in top form. The youngster is the second generation to be cared for by a member of Lacey's family. Her sister, Melissa Steacy, took care of his dam Pretty Thing during her racing career. "She looked after Pretty Thing when she was with the Steacy's and now I look after him, so that's pretty neat I think." The Guelph-Eramosa residents train Pretty Handsome for Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Wallenstein, ON. In five starts the Mach Three son has tallied three wins and one third and heads into the Grassroots Championship tied for third with Phantom Seelster. Pretty Handsome The two-year-old pacing colt final will be part of the $400,000 Grassroots Championship Night at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 30, with the top 10 point earners from all eight divisions competing for the 2017 Grassroots titles. Before the pacing colts make their return to Mohawk, the Campbellville oval will host the two-year-old trotting fillies and three-year-old trotting colts for Gold Series action on Monday, Sept. 25, with a first race post time of 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 - Ontario's harness racing three-year-old pacing colts delivered their Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots swan song at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening on a night that also featured eliminations for the Peaceful Way and William Wellwood Memorial for the novice trotting fillies and colts. In the first $18,800 Grassroots contest fans sent Wildriverbumblebee off as their top choice and the Sportswriter son did not disappoint. Starting from Post 1, driver Sylvain Filion had Wildriverbumblebee on the move soon after Frontier Seelster reached the opening quarter in :27.2. Marching along on the front through a :55.4 half and 1:23.4 three-quarters, the favourites never faced a challenge, cruising home one and three-quarter length winners in a lifetime best 1:51.2. Makasi closed hard to be second and Dream Of Luck was third. The win was Wildriverbumblebee's second in Grassroots action and assured him of a berth in the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk. In eight sophomore starts the colt has tallied six wins - including a victory in the $65,000 Breeders Cup (Coupe des Eleveurs) Final at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres on Sept. 3 - and earned $62,125 for trainer Richard Francis of Becancour, QC and owner-breeder Dr. John Bradbury of Cookshire-Eaton, QC. Wildriverbumblebee The second $19,150 Grassroots division saw Southwind General pick up his third trophy of the season and move into top spot in the point standings with a total of 186. Starting from Post 5 with regular reinsman Jody Jamieson in the bike, Southwind General got away seventh as his stablemate The Dark Shadow and Western Phil battled to a :26.3 opening quarter. Western Phil won the duel and carried on to a :54.3 half, while Southwind General continued to sit seventh. As Western Phil took the field of nine to a 1:23.3 three-quarters, Southwind General was able to advance up the rail to fourth and as the colts squared up in the stretch Jamieson was able to guide the Sportswriter gelding off the rail and home to a three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:53.4. Favourite Kazimoto finished second and Thrownoutofbetter was another length back in third. "He got a seriously good trip," said Moffat, ON resident Jamieson. "A lot of things had to work out before I could have him where I did at the head of the lane. He's had lots of luck, seemingly, in the Grassroots, that's his third win. Fingers crossed he can come up with one more good one in the finals." Southwind General Jamieson drives the winner of $40,752 for owner and trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge, ON. In addition to Southwind General, Darling will also send out The Dark Shadow and Frontier Seelster in the Grassroots Championship. The Dark Shadow finished third in the point standings with 123 and Frontier Seelster was fifth with 105. After his battle with Western Phil, The Dark Shadow finished eighth, 13 lengths behind his stablemate in Monday's contest, and Frontier Seelster was fifth in the first division. "Frontier is not on his game right now. The Dark Shadow has been sharp, but he got scorched pretty good tonight trying to get to the front, so that will probably take something out of him," admitted Darling. "I will just keep grinding away and try to get them better for the final." The top 10 point earners will compete in the $50,000 final on Sept. 30, joining the top colts and fillies from the other divisions on a Grassroots Championship night worth a total of $400,000. On Tuesday evening the two-year-old pacing colts will bring their Grassroots regular season to a close at Mohawk Racetrack. The colts will compete in Races 2, 4, 7, and 8 on the program, which gets under way at 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 10, 2017 - Rideau Carleton Raceway wrapped up its 2017 Ontario Sire Stakes season with the final Grassroots event for the harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday evening. In the first $18,800 Grassroots division heavy favourite Neon Moon cruised to a three length victory over Color Envy and Love Kills, taking control just after the :27.4 quarter and leading the field of seven through a :57 half and 1:26.1 three-quarters on her way to the 1:54.3 victory. "She is a very fast filly, so I thought she would probably cut the mile," noted Jack Darling, who bred, owns and trains Neon Moon. "She is very game and looked strong at the wire." Louis-Philippe Roy engineered the win, which was the fourth in five Grassroots starts for the daughter of Sportswriter and Beach Of A Time. With a third in her other Grassroots start Neon Moon finished the regular season with 212 points and sole ownership of top spot in the division standings. She and the other nine top point earners will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 30. "There is a gap of three weeks until the final, so I hope there will be a race for her at Mohawk before then," said Cambridge, ON resident Darling, whose Write Me A Song also finished in the top 10, but will not compete in the final due to an injury that brought her freshman campaign to an early close in mid-August. Heading into the second division Askmysecretary was sitting on the edge of a championship berth, tied for ninth with 70 points. Sent off as the fans' fourth choice the Mach Three daughter left smartly from Post 5 for local reinsman Brett MacDonald, reaching the quarter in :27.4. Manotick, ON resident MacDonald opted to let favourite Duchess Dolly take the lead before the :57.1 half and then watched from the pocket as Sunday Afternoon challenged the leader through the 1:26.2 three-quarters. In the stretch MacDonald fired Askmysecretary out of the pocket and the filly pulled away to a three-quarter length victory, leaving Duchess Dolly to settle for second. Hammering Haley rounded out the top three. The win was Askmysecretary's second in Grassroots action and boosted her point total to 120, putting her sixth in the standings and securing her berth in the championship. Ted MacDonnell of Allenford trains the winner of $25,672 for his partners Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke and Tony Lawrence of Hanover, ON and says Askmysecretary has become a true professional through her eight race freshman campaign. "I honestly thought she was possibly a Gold filly for a little while, until some of the bear cats right off the bat came out, and then we quickly changed our mind, but she's been good in that she has had very few hiccups really," said MacDonnell. "She's been pretty easy, pretty easy on us to look after and she's pretty push button, she's nice gaited and behaves well and does everything right. Sylvain Filion did a great job bringing her along for me and that shows up now, it's meant a lot. "Being a Mach Three they can tend to get a little warm, so that's what Sylvain really worked on, her manners, and now she's two fingers no matter what you do with her," the horseman added. Like Darling, MacDonnell would like to see Askmysecretary have one more race under her belt before the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championship, but is pleased to be heading into the post season off a victory. "That heads her into the final in nice shape, so that's good," said MacDonnell. The top 10 two-year-old pacing fillies will join the top point earners from the other seven Grassroots divisions at Mohawk Racetrack for the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championships, with a total purse for all eight finals of $400,000. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 - Shadow Moon and Jimmy Freight earned their second Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series wins at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening, putting a little distance between themselves and their harness racing two-year-old pacing colt peers in the division point race. In the first $97,200 Gold contest driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON sent Shadow Moon directly to the front from Post 7 and the pair led the field through fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:24.4. In the stretch it appeared that fan favourite Declan Seelster would collar Shadow Moon, but the pacesetter dug in for a neck victory in 1:53. Declan Seelster and Avalon Hanover, both trained by Dave Menary of Cambridge, ON, finished second and third. "I said to Trevor, 'He all right', because he almost got beat there, and Trevor said, 'Well he kind of waits for them'. He watches for them, he turns his head and watches for them. He has a Murphy blind on the outside and he likes to take them on when they come," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Shadow Moon's narrow victory. "He's like that when I'm out jogging, if somebody comes along in a hurry, he'll take them on jogging." The win was Shadow Moon's second in Gold Series action and his fifth of the season. His only loss came in the August 19 Gold Leg when he was caught at the wire by Declan Seelster. In addition to his Gold victories the Shadow Play son captured a Grassroots trophy in his July 10 debut and a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes on August 26. "He's just gotten better and better over time. He's only a little guy, he's not real big, but he has the desire and grit to go," said Dr. Moore of the Gold Series point leader. "He's about the same size as ($2 million winner) State Treasurer was as a two-year-old, he's got the same kind of attitude as him, so hopefully that will carry him a long way." Puslinch, ON resident Dr. Moore shares ownership of Shadow Moon with R G McGroup of Bathurst, NB, Serge Savard of St-Bruno, QC and Gordon McComb of Fall River, NS. The partners offered up $60,000 for the youngster at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and have recouped $195,337 to date. Shadow Moon will make his seventh lifetime start in the Metro Pace Eliminations at Mohawk next Saturday, Sept. 16. "We're very happy and we are going to try the Metro," said Dr. Moore. "That was six races tonight, so hopefully there's a couple more in him. "It's hard to keep them going at that level for that long, I've always found anyways. When I think about it, I've only had one horse that was as good at the end of November as he was the first of May, and that was Shadow Play," added the horseman, who trained sire Shadow Play through his $1.5 million racing career. Shadow Moon Saturday's outing was rival Jimmy Freight's ninth of the season, and marked his seventh trip to the winner's circle. The son of Sportswriter started his career with five starts on the Iowa fair circuit, winning all five, and since being purchased by Milton, ON resident Adriano Sorella and arriving at Mohawk he has tallied two Gold Series wins, a third-place finish to Declan Seelster and Shadow Moon in the August 19 Gold Leg and a runner-up finish behind Shadow Moon in an August 11 overnight. In Saturday's $96,400 Gold split, regular reinsman Jonathan Drury of Guelph, ON sent Jimmy Freight to the front from Post 4 and faced immediate pressure from favourite Western Passage and driver Yannick Gingras. Drury opted to drive on and Jimmy Freight paced through fractions of :27.1, :55.2 and 1:24.1 on his way to a one and one-half length win in 1:52.3. Simple Kinda Man closed hard to be second and Sharp Action Money was third, giving sire Sportswriter a sweep of the top three. "His (Gingras') horse got running out pretty good in the first turn there and didn't really want to clear, so I figured I might as well keep going. I was able to get a little breather in the third-quarter and I think that helped a lot," said Drury of the colt's winning effort. "He's a real handy little fella, you can get out of there quick with him and he just settles right down as soon as you clear and you can do whatever you want." The win bumped Jimmy Freight's lifetime earnings to $118,526 and his Gold Series point tally to 112, 13 points behind Shadow Moon and 37 ahead of Declan Seelster. Jimmy Freight The two-year-old pacing colts will wrap up their Gold Series regular season at The Raceway at Western Fair District on October 3 and the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will advance to the $225,000 Super Final at Mohawk on Oct. 14. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at the Campbellville oval on Monday, Sept. 11 with two Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts. The first race goes in behind the starting gate at 7:30 pm and the sophomore pacing colts will compete in Races 4 and 7. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 - Kendall Seelster added an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold trophy to her harness racing collection at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday with a commanding victory in the $125,800 two-year-old pacing filly Gold Series contest. The win was the Shadow Play daughter's second straight at the Campbellville oval - she was also victorious in the $169,381 Champlain Stakes on Sept. 2 - and Mohawk fans sent her off as the heavy favourite in Race 5. Starting from the trailing Post 11, driver Randy Waples of Milton, ON settled Kendall Seelster in sixth on the rail, behind two-time Gold Series winner Big Thong, as Play The Bell and Lady Grande battled to a :27.3 opening quarter. As Cardiff took control heading for the :55.3 half, driver James MacDonald tipped Big Thong into the outer lane and Waples sent Kendall Seelster out in her wake. Cardiff led the field of 10 past the 1:25.1 three-quarters, but Waples swung Kendall Seelster out from behind Big Thong coming off the corner and the fan favourite cruised by her peers to a three and one-quarter length victory in 1:52.4. Lady Grande closed hard to be second, as did Kendall Seelster's stablemate Just Her Luck to claim the third-place finisher's spoils. "Randy had mentioned it before that he didn't have to gun her out of there, that she would come from off the pace, and she proved it tonight," said trainer Paul Reid of Kendall Seelster's victory. "It's always good to see when you're not one dimensional; it just makes it so tough if you are." Reid, whose Ontario operation is based at First Line Training Centre in rural Milton, conditions both Kendall Seelster and Just Her Luck for 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON and has been impressed with both youngsters since their arrival in his barn. "I picked them up the first of May and they'd been in like 2:25, 2:20 I guess, and we finished them off and started to race them. She (Kendall Seelster) felt like a nice filly right from the start, obviously I didn't think she was going to be this good," admitted the horseman. "She did feel like she had the ability, but she's a smaller filly you know, I was a little concerned. "When we first started going fast with her, training fast miles, it was just like flipping a switch, two different horses, because she's kind of short, even in the post parade she's kind of short and trappy going, and then as soon as she hits a nice gear boy it just smooths out and it's just great," the trainer added. In addition to Monday's win and her Champlain victory, where she dealt Ontario Sires Stakes rival Percy Bluechip her first loss, Kendall Seelster has an overnight win in an August 1 event at Mohawk and four runner-up efforts, three of them behind Percy Bluechip, to her credit. A $47,000 purchase at the 2016 Forest City Yearling Sale, the filly has amassed $262,085 through eight lifetime starts. Friday's victory boosted Kendall Seelster's Gold Series point total to 108, putting her in a tie for second behind Percy Bluechip, who skipped Friday's event. Kendall Seelster Stablemate Just Her Luck has accumulated 31 points and currently sits seventh in the standings. The homebred daughter of Sportswriter and Just Luck has made just five starts to date, recording one second and two thirds for earnings of $34,888, but Reid is hopeful that Friday's result means things are moving in the right direction for the youngster. "(Just Her Luck)'s very, very nice, better gait, more fluid right from the word go," recalled Reid. "Honestly, when I started with them I thought she might have been the better of the two. It didn't take long to figure out that the other one was, but she's a very nice filly. "She's been fighting sickness and hasn't been 100 per cent and we give her a little time, and she's coming back around now. I think she's a fast filly, like she's already paced 1:52.3, so I mean she's no slouch," Reid continued. "I think this start will help get her a little tighter and hopefully we can keep her healthy. I think she's competitive, maybe not with the top two, but she's only a step behind." Kendall Seelster will put her two-race win streak on the line against North America's top fillies in the Shes A Great Lady Eliminations at Mohawk on Saturday, Sept. 16, and Reid hopes she continues to channel her growing feistiness into winning races. "Last week after she win, on the way home she kicked the back window out of my horse trailer. She doesn't get very tired either," said Reid with a rueful chuckle. "A lot of them, as they get racier they get a little more feisty, so hopefully she just keeps putting that feistiness toward the race like she has been." Following the break for the Shes A Great Lady, Ontario's talented two-year-old pacing fillies will wrap up their Gold Series regular season at Mohawk on Oct. 5, with the top 10 point earners advancing to the $225,000 Super Final at the Campbellville oval on Oct. 14. Ontario's top two-year-old pacing colts will battle in their fourth Gold Series event on Mohawk Racetrack's Saturday evening program, competing in Races 8 and 10 on a card that also features eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage Stakes and the Simcoe Stakes divisions for three-year-old pacing colts and fillies. Saturday's program gets under way at 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

1 to 16 of 154
1 2 3 4 5 Next »