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May 21, 2017 - Three-year-old trotting colt Rosberg won the first Ontario Sires Stakes event of the season at Flamboro Downs on Sunday and was immediately promoted to the head of the class in harness racing trainer Julie Walker's stable. "He is now; if he wasn't, he is now," said the Carlisle resident with a laugh. Rosberg and driver Louis-Philippe Roy left smartly from Post 2 in the first $64,800 Gold Series division and had opened up a 10 length lead by the quarter-mile mark, which they reached in :29. The pair continued to sail along well ahead of the field through a :57.4 half and 1:27.3 three-quarters, and although favourite Tycoon Seelster mounted an impressive late charge, Rosberg and Roy reached the finish line one length the best in 1:58. Tycoon Seelster settled for second and Resita finished third. "The reason I came to Flamboro is because he's a handy horse, and it showed," explained Walker. "He likes to trot a half, and some of the horses don't that are faster, so it worked out good." Walker shares ownership of the son of Manofmanymissions with Ronald Piers of Georgetown and Layhoon Chan Brunner of Etobicoke, ON. A two-time Grassroots winner as a freshman, Rosberg now boasts a lifetime record of four wins, two seconds and one third in nine starts for earnings of $115,200. "He's done everything right, right from day one," said Walker. "He can go on any size of track, that's the nicest thing about him." Rosberg The second Gold Series division went to Dream Massive and driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON. Starting from Post 3, the pair sat behind pacesetter Scene A Magician through fractions of :29.1, :59.1 and 1:28.2 before reaching up at the wire to record the half-length victory in 1:58.1. Scene A Magician finished second and Mister Muscle completed the top three. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON conditions Dream Massive for Michael Soehnlen of Dalton, OH and the trainer is looking forward to another productive season with the Muscle Mass colt. At two, Dream Massive was a Gold Series winner in early August and finished third in the season ending Super Final in October. "It's kind of an open division I think, so hopefully we can have some fun with him this summer," said Steacy of the three-year-old trotting colt class. Dream Massive The final Gold Series contest went to On First, who went gate-to-wire from Post 6 for driver Trevor Henry. The 1:58.1 victory was the Holiday Road gelding's first, coming in his fifth lifetime start. Shannon Henry conditions On First and the Henry's, who call Arthur home, share ownership of the trotter with David Darocy of Windsor and James Fleming of Bayfield, ON. Speedycrest finished second and favourite Lmc Mass Gem was third. On First Also featured on Flamboro Downs' Confederation Cup program were three Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts and owner-trainer Jack Darling of Cambridge and driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON teamed up to win two. Both Southwind General and Frontier Seelster delivered impressive front end performances in their sophomore debuts, halting the teletimer in 1:54.3 and 154:4, respectively. "I am hoping they're going to be Golds," said Darling of his victorious pacing colts. "They are both nice big horses, great strides on them, and we'll just see how they mature." Sunday's win, which saw him best Heza Big Dealer and Beach Volley Ball by three and one-half lengths, was Southwind General's second lifetime. The Sportswriter son also made a victorious debut in the Grassroots program last season before moving up to the Gold Series and earning $53,850 through seven freshman starts. Frontier Seelster hit the wire four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Rodeo Sports and co-favourite Osborne Seelster. Sunday marked the Artistic Fella son's debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program and was his third lifetime victory in six starts. Darling also sent out a starter in the other $18,450 Grassroots division, with Jamieson guiding The Dark Shadow to a fifth-place result behind Blackjack Seelster, Makasi, Dial The Bossman and Vintage Grand. Blackjack Seelster hit the wire three-quarters of a length on top in 1:55.2, giving driver Louis-Philippe Roy his second Ontario Sires Stakes win of the evening. Trainer Colin Johnson of Repentigny, QC shares ownership of Artistic Fella son Blackjack Seelster with Thomas Kyron of Toronto and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON. In the evening's finale, the $176,000 Confederation Cup, Trevor Henry returned to the winner's circle with a triumphant steer aboard elimination winner Western Fame. The pair led the field from start to finish, rolling through fractions of :26.2, :55.2 and 1:23.4 before holding off a charging Check Six for the 1:51.4 win. The other elimination winner, Sintra, finished third. Henry engineered the win for trainer Jimmy Takter and owner Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY. Western Fame The three-year-old trotting colts return to Gold Series action on June 27 at Mohawk Racetrack, while the three-year-old pacing colts make their second Grassroots start at Mohawk on June 22. Ontario Sires Stakes action will return to Flamboro Downs on Sept. 2 with the fifth Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting colts. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

MAY 19, 2017 - The 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes season will kick off on Sunday, May 21 at Flamboro Downs as part of the Dundas racetrack's $460,600 Confederation Cup harness racing program. Ontario's best three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will highlight the Confederation Cup pre-show, competing in the Gold Series season opener. Waterdown, ON resident Scott McEneny will send out Tycoon Seelster in the first of three Gold Series divisions. The Angus Hall gelding was a three-time Ontario Sires Stakes winner as a two-year-old and finished second in the season ending Super Final. "He's come back pretty good this year," said McEneny, who conditions Tycoon Seelster for Chris Storms of Picton, ON. "He was a little bumpy last year, he didn't have the best gait, but he seems to be coming back a little better this year. He got a lot bigger, a lot thicker, over the winter." Tycoon Seelster and regular driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON will start from Post 4 in Race 1 of the Confederation Cup program, going postward at 7 pm, with the other two $65,600 Gold Series battles scheduled for Races 2 and 5. Also making their 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes debut on the Confederation Cup undercard are the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, competing in the first Grassroots event of the season in Races 4, 6, and 8. Prairiecreekprince and driver James MacDonald of Guelph will lead the pacing colts onto the half-mile oval, starting from Post 1 in the first $18,450 division for trainer Dave Menary of Cambridge, ON. "He's a nice big strong colt, he doesn't have very many lifetime starts so I'm hoping that he can kind of mature into a useful horse," said Menary, who trains the Mach Three gelding for Ryan Morefield of Brighton, MI. "I was happy with his second qualifier (May 15) and he drew really good on Sunday - the exact opposite of Sintra - so I'm super happy about that." In addition to first-time Ontario Sires Stakes starter Prairiecreekprince, Menary will also send out former Ontario Sires Stakes star Sintra from Post 8 in the evening's main event. Another son of Mach Three, Sintra was a commanding two and one-half length winner in his Confederation Cup elimination, halting the Flamboro teletimer at 1:52.4. "That's a big hurdle to overcome, but if anybody can do it I think he can," said the trainer of the gelding's outside post position in the $176,000 Final. Menary, whose operation is based at a farm no further than a Dustin Johnson tee-shot from the Flamboro Downs entrance, shares ownership of Sintra with Brad Gray of Dundas and Michael Guerriero of Brampton, ON. The gelding heads into Sunday's final undefeated in the first three starts of a four-year-old campaign that has seen him triumph in an April 29 overnight event at Mohawk Racetrack, the May 6 opening leg of the Graduate Series at The Meadowlands, and last weekend's Confederation Cup Elimination. Regular reinsman Jody Jamieson of Moffat, ON will pilot Sintra in his bid for a fourth win on Sunday. "The four-year-olds are really lucky, most of the starts are front loaded," noted Menary. "The Confederation Cup, and the Graduate Series, and even the Prix D'Ete in Quebec, they're all a little bit earlier in the year so before they have to test, you know these are nice horses, but before they have to test the real deep waters it gives them a chance to get started with their own kind." Scott McEneny will also harness a starter in the Confederation Cup Final, sending out Mr Wiggle Pants with Doug McNair aboard from Post 7 in the eleventh race. Mr Wiggle Pants, owned by Brad Grant of Milton, ON, finished third behind Western Fame in his elimination. In addition to Sunday's outstanding program of racing, Flamboro Downs fans will be treated to a host of trackside activities including giveaways and prize draws, stilt walkers and face painters to entertain the youngest fans, a miniature horse race and live music by local band Speakeasy. Details about the Confederation Cup program are available at http://www.flamborodowns.com/confederation_cup.html. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing www.ontarioracing.com Follow the OSS on Social Media! @ONTSSNews  

OCT. 15, 2016 - Super Final night 2016 served as a coronation for several of the Ontario Sires Stakes program's harness racing stars and a coming out party for others. Leading reinsman Sylvain Filion, who had locked up his fourth Lampman Cup title well before the post season got under way, piloted three of his eight Super Final mounts to victory on the $2 million program at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday. The Milton, ON resident guided two-year-old pacing filly Yaris Bayama, three-year-old trotting colt Warrawee Roo and three-year-old trotting filly Emoticon Hanover to victory in their respective division finals. "Every race means something, but Finals like that, it's even more," said Filion. "Like that Yaris Bayama, my dad raised her, on the farm where I was raised, so that made it quite special. I'm sure you can see many examples like that here tonight; it sure does make it special." Off a trip up the outer lane, Yaris Bayama sprinted home to a one length victory over Fade and Aint Three OK in 1:53. Carlisle, ON resident Stephane Larocque conditions the filly for Yves Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. The daughter of Sportswriter wrapped up her freshman season with a record of five wins, one second and two thirds in 10 starts for earnings of $231,820. Filion teamed up with trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC for his second and third Super Final victories. In the three-year-old trotting colt battle Filion, who is also a three-time winner of the O'Brien Award as Canada's leading driver, once again used come-from-behind tactics to guide Warrawee Roo to a one length victory over Will Take Charge and Dia Monde in 1:53.4. "I feel good for them guys, they were real disappointed with the filly, she made a break, she was heavy favourite, and you know the grooms, the trainer Luc Blais, they work hard all year on them horses and it's not as easy as it looks, there's a lot of work, a lot of hours behind that," said Filion, who had finished at the back of the field with two-year-old trotting filly favourite On A Sunny Day three races earlier. "So that one there feels real good with that horse. He's always shown me a lot of talent, but he's been making breaks. Luckily tonight Luc put it all together and he was real strong." Majestic Son colt Warrawee Roo boosted his three-year-old record to five wins, one seconds and one third in 14 starts with the Super Final victory, giving him a total of $246,421 in earnings. One race later Filion stalked fan favourite Caprice Hill until the head of the stretch, when he detected a chink in the defending champion's armour and sent Emoticon Hanover after the win. The filly hit the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Caprice Hill, who was one length ahead of Wanaka, in a personal best 1:53.1. "Turning for home I saw Timmy (Tetrick) kind of chasing his filly and I said maybe we have a shot," said Filion. "She's a real decent filly. She can leave the gate real fast and she stuck to Timmy's helmet. I think maybe Caprice Hill wasn't quite herself tonight, that's why we got to beat her." Emoticon Hanover, a daughter of Kadabra and former Ontario Sires Stakes star Emmylou Who, will make her next start in the Oct. 22 Breeders Crown Eliminations at The Meadowlands, aiming to make the Oct. 29 Final. Saturday's victory boosted her sophomore record to seven wins, two seconds and two thirds in 13 starts for earnings of $485,418. Mohawk Racetrack fans remained glued to their seats until the very last Super Final, waiting to see if three-year-old pacing colt Betting Line could extend his win streak to 14 from the outside Post 10, and the son of Bettors Delight did not disappoint. Driver David Miller and Betting Line were almost five lengths back at the three-quarters, but the heavy favourite rocketed home in :26.3 to defend his Super Final title, hitting the wire one length ahead of pocket-sitter Gerries Sport and pacesetter Sintra in 1:49.3. "A little bit worried at the head of the lane there," admitted trainer Casie Coleman in the winner's circle. "But Betting Line does that once in a while. He knows where the wire is. I've never had a horse that knows where the wire is as much as Betting Line. He just digs right in when he hits the flag poles there and makes sure he's on front at the wire." Cambridge resident Coleman and Betting Line's other owners Ross Warriner of Burlington, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON lingered in the Mohawk winner's circle following his Super Final victory, the colt's last outing on Canadian soil. He will compete in the Breeders Crown at The Meadowlands at the end of October and in the Hap Hansen Pace at Dover Downs in November and then move into his new accommodations in the stallion barn at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania. Betting Line leaves home with a lifetime record of 20 wins, three seconds and two thirds in 27 starts and earnings of $2,238,518. Sophomore pacing filly L A Delight also defended her Super Final title, battling to a head victory over a hard-closing Bad As Leader in 1:50.3. Party In Rome rounded out the top three. "She does a lot of her own talking on the racetrack," said trainer Bob McIntosh of the filly, who went undefeated in her Ontario Sires Stakes career. "She's just a good filly, and she just wants to win, and that's something you can't teach them, it's bred right in them." "It's her attitude. She wouldn't let them by," added driver Randy Waples of Milton, who piloted the filly to the win. "But credit where credit is due, as great as she is, for him to keep her the way he has for two straight years - and every time that she's raced for big money he's had her exactly the way you want her to be - it says a lot for the trainer." Windsor resident McIntosh bred and owns L A Delight with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. In her 27 career starts the daughter of Bettors Delight and West Of L A has recorded 20 wins, two seconds and two thirds for earnings of $1,351,663. Like Betting Line, her next start will come in the Breeders Crown, but McIntosh added that, so long as she remains strong and healthy, fans will see her back on the racetrack in 2017. Fans will also be looking forward to seeing two-year-old trotting colt Mass Production back in action next season. The son of Muscle Mass and All Time Favorite closed out his freshman campaign with an Ontario Sires Stakes record performance, sailing home eight and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:54.4. Tycoon Seelster and Dream Massive finished in second and third behind the fan favourite. Trainer Rick Zeron of Oakville piloted Mass Production to the win for his partners Jim Walker of Port Perry, Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON and Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA. In nine starts the gelding posted five wins, one second, one third and earnings of $285,673. "There was some stuff going on there that, you're kind of wincing, hoping that your horse can stay out of the trouble or not have anybody run into him or make a break; all those things are possible with two-year-old trotters," said co-owner Jim Walker of the race, which saw two colts make early errors. "But it was great, and, you know, we enjoyed it all year. He won three of the five Golds and this, there's nothing more you could ask for in an Ontario Sired horse; it's a great program." Winter Sweet Frost captured the two-year-old trotting filly Super Final title with a 1:55.4 personal best in a race that also saw several youngsters make miscues. In rein to Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair, Winter Sweet Frost cruised home a one and one-half length winner over Gravitator and Holiday Promise. Paul Reid conditions the daughter of Kadabra for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. Driver Jonathan Drury recorded his first Super Final victory in the two-year-old pacing colt division, guiding longshot Arsenal Seelster to a come-from-behind 1:53 score. Drury and Arsenal Seelster hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Yogi Bayama, who was one length ahead of Machin A Trick. "It was very unexpected actually," said Drury, who crafted the win for trainer Colin Johnson of Repentigny, QC and his partners Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON, Brian Paquet of Quebec, QC and Ecurie JGC Enrg. of Laval, QC. "I thought I was maybe a little too far out of it at one point, but they kind of bunched up at the head of the lane and my colt kicked home strong." The Guelph, ON resident had a career-best year on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit in 2016 and is hoping to be back among the top drivers next season after recovering from a Nov. 25 shoulder surgery that will see him sidelined for three to six months. The reinsman has until May before the 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes season gets under way, with this year's two-year-olds hoping to reclaim their championship form and a new crop of pacers and trotters aiming to carve out a place in the provincial history books. Mass Production L A Delight Yaris Bayama Warrawee Roo Emoticon Hanover Arsenal Seelster Betting Line Ontario Racing  

OCT. 12, 2016 - Mohawk Racetrack hosts the $2 million Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals on Saturday, Oct. 15 and trainer Mark Steacy will cap off a career best year in the harness racing program by sending out starters in four of the eight division championships. With 263 points, Steacy is poised to capture his first Johnston Cup title as the top trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Heading into the season finale Steacy has a 39 point lead on reigning title-holder and eight-time winner Robert McIntosh and sits 42 points ahead of three-time winner Gregg McNair. He and his staff have harnessed 128 starters in the provincial program to date for 14 wins, 13 seconds, 20 thirds, 28 fourths, 12 fifths and earnings of $573,540. "I'm pretty proud of that," said Steacy of his career-best statistics. "Again, that's not just me, that's the staff too. "First of all you've got to have the great owners and then you've got to have the great help," the horseman added. "These guys work hard, and if it wasn't for them the results wouldn't be the same." In addition to his season-long Ontario Sires Stakes success, Steacy achieved a major milestone in August when his career earnings surpassed $20 million. Both accomplishments are part of a decade-long evolution in Steacy's operation that started when son Shawn joined the business. "It all happened probably in the last 12 years; we were kind of low key until about 12 years ago," said Steacy, a lifelong horseman who was introduced to harness racing by his father Clarke, Sr. "After Shawn graduated out of school and came on with me I was able to keep horses and race them rather than sell them, which I used to do before. I used to develop them, race them a few times in Ottawa or Montreal, and then sell them." For several years Shawn supervised a temporary operation near Mohawk during the peak months of the Ontario Sires Stakes season, but last fall father and son decided it was time to establish a more permanent base at the First Line Training Centre in Nassagaweya, ON. "Shawn was up here all winter this year. We've come up before with half a dozen or 10 horses and stayed for three or four months, and we've done that for 10 years or so, but we've never stayed all winter until this year," explained Steacy, who was honoured with the O'Brien Award for Horsemanship in 2007. "We're going to be here again all winter. I'll do my babies at home in Lansdowne, but we'll keep the older horses up here." Steacy has already acquired 18 yearlings and expects that number to climb as high as 25 before the sales season wraps up. While Shawn, who now makes his home in Guelph, ON, handles the older horses, Steacy will have the support of his younger son Clarke, Jr. when it comes time to start the yearlings. "I have Clarke on board too," said Steacy, adding that Clarke, Jr. has decided to switch his focus from catch-driving to training for the time being. "He's actually running the Lansdowne outfit right now, and so I think that's going to help us to even get to another level." All three men are currently focussed on finishing the Ontario Sires Stakes season on a high note, ensuring Dream Massive, Sass, Royal Charm and Nocturnal Bluechip are in peak shape for their respective $250,000 Super Finals on Saturday. Two-year-old trotting colt Dream Massive will kick things off from Post 6 in the first Super Final, and his connections are hoping the son of Muscle Mass minds his manners after making breaks in his last two Gold Series starts. "We trained him this morning (Wednesday), and he trained good, so hopefully," said Steacy, who conditions the colt for Michael Soehnlen of Dalton, OH. "I thought we had him sorted out there and he went out and made a mistake again last time. He just got bully in the hole. Off and on he's showed that he does have quite a bit of ability, but he can be his own worst enemy." Three-year-old trotting colt Sass gets Post 3 in the fifth Super Final of the card and Steacy is hoping the Kadabra colt has bounced back from a viral infection that showed up after the Oct. 6 Gold Leg at Mohawk. "He still got fourth, but that was his worst start," noted Steacy, who put the colt on a course of antibiotics after the race. "Hopefully he'll be good to go on Saturday; I think a healthy Sass has got a shot. Obviously you've got to have that thing called luck on your side, but if it is then I think he's got a shot." Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC bred and owns Sass, who has earned $177,980 in his career to date. Sophomore trotting filly Royal Charm landed Post 4 for her last Ontario Sires Stakes start and will be looking to continue the hot streak she has been riding through the last six weeks. After a pair of third-place finishes in the Simcoe Stakes and her Elegantimage Elimination, the daughter of Steacy's former superstar Majestic Son scored an upset win in the $436,000 Elegantimage Final and then finished second in the last Gold Leg. "She's finally coming together for us. We always knew she had a lot of go to her, and she's been behaving herself, touch wood, lately," noted Steacy. "As long as she does that, she's not a big horse getting off the gate, but she can always kick home good. "If she races respectable I think then she is eligible to the Breeders Crown, and I think the Matron, so it's possible that we could finish the year off with that," added the trainer, who conditions the winner of $341,462 for David McDonald of Cornwall, ON, Shelly MacMillan of Waterloo, ON, Hudson Standardbred Stables Inc. of Hudson, QC and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY. "We'll just have to see how Saturday goes first." Steacy's final entry comes in the three-year-old pacing colt showdown with Nocturnal Bluechip lining up at Post 9, alongside the reigning division champion Betting Line, who gets the outside Post 10. "He's got a tough post and he probably needs a better post more than them all," said Steacy of the Bettors Delight son. "He's been kind of a letdown this year, you know, a horse that's got lots of speed but just hasn't done what we expected of him. The way he's going, he's going to have to trip out really well." Landmark 8 Racing Stable of Kingston, ON, Jane Phair of Thornbury, ON and NLG Racing Stable of Wallkill, NY share ownership of Nocturnal Bluechip, who heads into the Super Final with lifetime earnings of $225,901. Guelph resident James MacDonald will steer Nocturnal Bluechip, Dream Massive and Sass, while Paul MacDonell, also of Guelph, pilots Royal Charm. Mohawk Racetrack's first race goes postward at 7:30 pm on Saturday, with the eight $250,000 Super Finals slated as Races 2 through 5 and 7 through 10. In addition to the on track excitement, Mohawk fans will receive an Ontario Sires Stakes ball cap when they purchase a program and can play the fun-filled OSS Trivia Spin and Win game for more great prizes. Ontario Racing

OCT. 6, 2016 - After finishing third in five straight Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series starts, stretching back to September 2015, three-year-old trotting gelding Dia Monde grabbed a win in the last regular season harness racing event of his career at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. In rein to Milton resident Randy Waples Dia Monde left smartly from Post 6 and landed second behind early leader Dunvegan Don, who led the field to a :27 opening quarter. Waples continued to sit on the rail as fan favourite Bee In Charge took control heading for the :57.1 half, and then tipped Dia Monde into the outer lane heading by the 1:26.1 three-quarters. With a clear look at the finish line, Dia Monde shifted into overdrive and powered under the wire a one and three-quarter length winner in 1:54. Tony Soprano also closed well to be second, leaving Bee In Charge the third-place finisher's spoils. "He raced good, we're pretty tickled with him finally getting that win," said Puslinch resident June Durand, who shares ownership of Dia Monde with her husband, trainer Tom Durand, and Allan Smith of Oakville, ON. The victory boosted Dia Monde into fourth spot in the division standings, with 98 points, heading into the Oct. 15 Super Final. Through all 13 of his sophomore starts the son of Deweycheatumnhowe and Lady Bar has three wins, two seconds, five thirds and earnings of $163,612. Dia Monde is the second foal out of Lady Bar - a half-sister to former Durand trainee Clarice Marie ($313,400) - that Smith and the Durand's have owned, and it was their long familiarity with the family that first drew the partners to Dia Monde. "We had Littlejack Hanover and he was small, he was a Donato (Hanover), and then when we went to look at this colt he was twice the size, a big, strong colt," recalls June Durand. "And the thing we liked about him is, Looking Hanover ($1,125,136) was the other good horse out of the family and he's a Muscles Yankee and Deweycheatumnhowe is out of Muscles Yankee, so it's kind of going back to that same cross, and he's a big beautiful horse. We paid lots for him, but I think he was worth it." The gelding was a $70,000 purchase at the 2014 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, and Smith says he has repaid their investment in ways that cannot be reflected on a balance sheet. "We've been fortunate enough we've had some good stakes horses and done well financially, but it's more the fun of winning," said Smith. "Being with Tom and June - all the work they do to pick out the right horses and get them where they do with a small stable - I'm pretty impressed with what they do and I've always supported it and always will." Dia Monde The partners will be hoping Dia Monde can continue his winning ways into the $250,000 Super Final, where he will face division point leader Muscle Hustle, the winner of the other $105,000 Gold division on Thursday. Sent off as the fan favourite, and also in rein to Waples, Muscle Hustle took control just after the :28 opening quarter and rolled through a :58.1 half and a 1:26.3 three-quarters without facing a challenge. Muscle Hustle hit the wire one length ahead of Holiday Party and two more up on Will Take Charge in 1:54.1. "Muscle Hustle, he was awesome, last quarter :27.3, won fairly handy, and everything is good with him," said trainer Per Henriksen of the division point leader. "He's healthy and everything." Thursday's outing was Muscle Hustle's first in just over a month, he was sidelined with his second bout of sickness this season following a third-place result in the Sept. 3 Simcoe Stakes, but Norwood resident Henriksen expects the colt to be in top shape for next week's finale. "He didn't race for four weeks, but his race here should make him even better," said the horseman, who conditions the son of Muscle Mass and Crown Laurel for Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood. In his five Gold Series starts Muscle Hustle logged three wins, one second and one fifth for 180 points, and trotted to an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:52.2 over the five-eighths mile surface at Georgian Downs. Through 12 starts this season he has tallied seven wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $239,832. Henriksen also trains Bee In Charge, who finished third behind Dia Monde, and said the fan favourite tested sick after the race. "Bee In Charge didn't race as good as I thought he was gonna do, and we scoped him and he had some mucous so he is obviously a little sick," said Henriksen. "We've just got to get him healthy for the Super Final." Muscle Hustle Heading into the Super Final off wins aboard both Muscle Hustle and Dia Monde puts Waples in the difficult position of choosing between two horses that appear to be prime shape for the post season. "They're both really nice horses. I really haven't made up my mind. It'll probably just go by post position, I think that's the way it will go anyways," said Waples. "We'll see what happens, see how they come out of it. "I was really happy with the pair of them you know. I thought Muscle Hustle was the best in his class as long as things went his way and he was healthy," the reinsman continued. "And Dia Monde, I know that horse can beat anybody out there, but he just hasn't really been putting it all together his last couple, but tonight he really showed up, he put a big, big effort in tonight." Waples is also the regular reinsman for superstar sophomore pacing filly L A Delight and trotting filly Caprice Hill. Both fillies were victorious in their freshman Super Finals and both head into this year's test undefeated in regular season Gold Series action. With a total of $2 million up for grabs in eight divisions, Super Final night gets under way at 7:30 pm at Mohawk on Saturday, Oct. 15.. Ontario Racing

OCT. 3, 2016 - Ontario's top two-year-old trotting colts and pacing fillies got clear skies and a fast harness racing track at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening to bring the curtain down on their Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series regular season. Division point leader Mass Production got things off to a quick start, capturing the first $105,000 trotting colt split in a sharp 1:55.3, just three-fifths of a second shy of the Ontario Sires Stakes record. Starting from Post 6 with trainer Rick Zeron in the race bike, Mass Production landed on the rail in third as Themanofmydreams reached the opening quarter in :27.3. Heading by the :58.1 half Zeron tipped Mass Production into the outer lane, and then dropped back in behind Themanofmydreams for a breather heading by the 1:27.1 three-quarters. As the colts squared up in the stretch, Mass Production accelerated away from his rival to a one length win. Themanofmydreams finished second and fan favourite Scene A Magician was seven and one-quarter lengths back in third. "The way the stakes race schedule was, the month off really enhanced this horse, and he's fresh as a daisy, straight as an arrow, and he just did everything exactly in tune the way I wanted him to tonight," said Zeron. "I wasn't quite sure that he'd trot in 1:55 tonight, but when I moved him at the head of the lane he was full of himself, and he was still full of himself at the wire too." Monday's outing was Mass Production's first since the Sept. 2 Champlain Stakes at Mohawk, where he finished fifth. In his five Gold Series starts the son of Muscle Mass and All Time Favorite posted three wins, one second and one third and leads the freshman trotting colts into the Oct. 15 Super Final with 187 points. Oakville resident Zeron shares ownership of Mass Production, a $32,000 purchase at last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale, with James Walker of Port Perry, Bruno Dipoce of Wasaga Beach, ON and Rene Allard of Matamoras, PA. The Super Final will be the gelding's last start of the campaign and Zeron said the OSS record could be in jeopardy. "If it's a nice night on the 15th, we may take a shot at that," said the horseman. "My assistant trainer, Shayne Barrington, he'll do the homework on him and get him prepared, and we'll speak together and get a game plan for the 15th, and take it from there." Mass Production Tycoon Seelster captured the second trotting colt division with a powerful finish, hitting the wire in 1:58. Paul MacDonell crafted the come-from-behind outing, which saw Tycoon Seelster ease away from Post 9 and settle in seventh as fan favourite Rose Run Speedster led the field to a :29 quarter. Heading for the :58.1 half MacDonell edged the gelding into the outer lane and started to reel in the leaders, picking up cover from Majestic Streak before the 1:28.2 three-quarters. Rolling off the turn MacDonell shifted Tycoon Seelster into high gear and the gelding powered to a one-half length victory over Mister Muscle and Capteur De Reve. Guelph resident MacDonell piloted Tycoon Seelster to his second Gold Series win for trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown and owner Chris Storms of Picton, ON. The son of Angus Hall and Travelin Lavec came into the regular season finale off a pair of qualifiers following a break in the Sept. 2 Champlain Stakes, and McEneny said an easier couple weeks are in store for the young trotter, who was a $23,000 purchase at the 2015 Forest City Yearling Sale. "He's had a pretty rough last two or three weeks trying to get him qualified, and trying to get him a little better than what he was, so it's just a matter of, just get him a little freshened up," said the trainer. "It's been a long season. "I think he's going to be a nice horse next year," McEneny added. "We've seen him grow so much over the last two or three months, so he's a little bumpy going, but he wants to go forward." Tycoon Seelster Three races later the two-year-old pacing fillies stepped to centre stage, and driver Doug McNair and Action Majesty stuck to the come-from-behind script on their way to a 1:52.3 victory. Starting from Post 6, McNair dropped the fan favourite into fourth on the rail as Fade led the field to a :27 quarter. After the :56.1 half rung up by Future Headlines, McNair tipped Action Majesty to the outside and the filly made steady gains on the leader heading for the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Once she reached the stretch Action Majesty hit her top gear and sailed home a one and one-half length winner in a personal best 1:52.3. Early leader Fade finished second and Yaris Bayama closed for third. "She raced good again tonight. She has only raced fair one time and she had an excuse," said McNair, referring to the filly's fifth-place result in the Sept. 19 Gold Leg at Grand River Raceway. "It was a tough drive and she was a little sick. I think she's in good shape heading into the Super Finals." The Guelph resident pilots Action Majesty for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON, and owner-breeder Kenneth Sommer of Sheffield, OH. In five starts the daughter of Royal Mattjesty and Action Grin has logged four wins and one fifth for earnings of $125,250. She heads into the post season ranked third with 105 Gold Series points from three appearances. Action Majesty Aint Three Ok made it four straight off the pace winners, doing all the work up the outside in the second pacing filly division and then battling down the stretch to a one-half length win in a personal best 1:53.1. Bid Writer and Blameitonthenight followed Aint Three Ok up the outside lane and into the second and third-place spots. Regular reinsman Trevor Henry of Arthur engineered the win, the filly's second straight in Gold Series action, for trainer Mike Weller of Georgetown, ON and Chuck Grubbs of Louisville, KY. Weller took over training duties on the daughter of Mach Three and Aint Given Up from Ohio-based conditioner Steven Carter in mid-June and said the filly has surpassed his early expectations. "She's awful small, so I said, 'Well, we'll give her a whirl,' and she's turned out really good," said Weller from the winner's circle. "She tries, every day; she loves her job." Monday's victory was Aint Three Ok's second in Gold Series action and gives her a freshman record of three wins and three seconds in eight starts for earnings of $190,300. She heads into the Oct. 15 Super Final at the top of the division standings with 150 points from two wins and two seconds in four Gold outings. Aint Three Ok The top 10 point earners from each division, two-year-old trotting colt and pacing filly, will return to Mohawk Racetrack for their respective $250,000 Super Finals on Saturday, Oct. 15. The 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes regular season comes to a close on Thursday night at Mohawk with two Gold Series divisions for the three-year-old trotting colts. The first race gets under way at 7:30 pm and the colts will battle in Races 2 and 3. Ontario Racing

OCT. 2, 2016 - Ontario's top three-year-old trotting fillies closed out their Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series season with a pair of impressive miles over an off harness racing track at Flamboro Downs on Sunday evening. Emoticon Hanover took over top spot in the division point standings with a track record effort in the second $105,000 Gold division. Driver Sylvain Filion fired the fan favourite away from Post 6 and dropped in second behind pacesetter Magical Steph as the Grassroots champion took the field to a :28.3 quarter. Filion allowed Magical Steph to continue her work on the front end through a :58.3 half and a 1:27.3 three-quarters and then sent Emoticon Hanover after the lead. The filly powered down the stretch to a three length victory in a track record 1:56.3. Dewdle All Day trotted into second, leaving Magical Steph to settle for third. "I was a little concerned going to the first turn, there was a horse made a break, two horses made a break, and mine got a little bumpy," said Filion. "I thought maybe mine would jump for a while, but she settled as soon as she hit the backside, so I was real happy with that. I was just being extra careful in the turns, so I moved her down the backside and I knew she had tons of go, I knew if she stayed flat that she was going to win for sure." Filion engineered the track record effort for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. The 1:56.3 mile took two-fifths of a second off the 1:57 record shared by former Ontario Sires Stakes competitors Condi Lane (2008), Miss Paris (2012) and Riveting Rosie (2014). The win was Emoticon Hanover's third in Gold Series action and, combined with a pair of seconds, gives her 200 points and top spot in the sophomore trotting filly standings. In 12 sophomore outings the daughter of Kadabra and Emmylou Who has only missed the board on two occasions, logging six wins, two seconds and two thirds for earnings of $360,418. In addition to her Gold Series success the talented young trotter has held her own in open company, winning her Casual Breeze and Simcoe Stakes divisions. "She's been pretty good throughout the season and she feels like she's even getting stronger now," noted Milton, ON resident Filion. "I know she'll be coming into the Super Finals in top form, because she's been racing so good and she's still fresh." Flowers N Songs earned her second Gold Series trophy in the other division, employing a similar come-from-behind strategy. Starting from Post 2, driver Doug McNair settled the filly in fourth as Major Muscle stepped out to :29.3 quarter and a :59 half. Heading for the 1:28.3 three-quarters McNair sent the fan favourite up the outside behind Elegantimage champion Royal Charm, and turning for home Flowers N Songs shifted into high gear, sailing under the wire one and one-quarter lengths in front in 1:57.3. Royal Charm finished second and pocket-sitter Tymal Tempest was third. "She's been a pleasure to drive all year," said Guelph, ON resident McNair. "She gives it 100 per cent every week." Unraced at two, Flowers N Songs made her debut at Pennsylvania's The Meadows at the beginning of February and made her first stakes start in the Celias Counsel Series at Mohawk Racetrack in April. In addition to her pair of Gold Series trophies, the daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe and Pleasures Song has captured one leg of the Celias Counsel, the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Stake Final, the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial and her Elegantimage Elimination. Through 25 starts she has tallied 10 wins, six seconds and three thirds for earnings of $460,284. "We've just been going week by week, basically, and she's held up to a pretty tough schedule," said trainer Paul Reid of De Leon Springs, FL, who conditions Flowers N Songs for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. "She's a very nice filly to be around, always happy, really loves her work, which has made the kind of season she's had possible," Reid added. "Some of the fillies aren't quite as cooperative, and she's been very cooperative with everything we've wanted to do. She's a good keeper, she eats good, so she's been a joy to have." While most of her peers will spend the next two weeks preparing for the Oct. 15 Super Final, Flowers N Songs will be heading to Lexington, Kentucky's The Red Mile for the Oct. 9 Kentucky Filly Futurity. The filly is also eligible to the Oct. 22 and 29 Breeders Crown. "She's just a real nice filly, and like I said we've still got a full schedule ahead of us, so we're just taking her week by week," said Reid. "Hopefully we can make them all." Flowers N Songs and Emoticon Hanover will go head-to-head in the Oct. 15 Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack, battling against eight other leading point earners for a share of $250,000 and the three-year-old trotting filly division title. Ontario Racing

OCT. 1, 2016 - From rain, to wind, to fog, Ontario's harness racing best have not allowed the weather to deter them as they wrap up their Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series regular seasons at Mohawk Racetrack this weekend. On Saturday it was the two-year-old pacing colts' turn to shine through the fog, competing in a pair of $105,000 Gold divisions, and Streakavana landed his third Gold trophy in the first split. Sent off as the fan favourite, Streakavana left smartly from Post 5 and landed fourth on the rail as Big Bad Bill rolled out to a :26.2 opening quarter. Heading for the :55.2 half driver Sylvain Filion of Milton tipped Streakavana out behind Classic Pro and followed that colt into the final turn before swinging out three-wide. A head in front by the 1:25.2 three-quarters, Streakavana accelerated down the stretch to a one length victory in 1:53.1. Mc Mach closed hard to be second, leaving mid-race pacesetter Southwind General to settle for third. "He was good tonight, but he's not as good as he was when he qualified," said trainer Scott McEneny, referring to Streakavana's 1:52.4 clocking in a Sept. 9 qualifier. "I thought when he qualified he was just a monster, and Sylvain thought that too, but he's better than what he was and hopefully we can get him better for the Super Final." Streakavana made his debut in the July 7 Grassroots season opener at Mohawk, finishing second, and then won three straight at the Campbellville oval, capturing two Gold events (July 16 and Aug. 11) and one overnight event (Aug. 5). After his impressive qualifier, the son of Big Jim and Stonebridge Madona made the trip to Grand River Raceway for the Sept. 19 Gold event and finished a disappointing fifth. McEneny says a number of factors played into the gelding's first off the board result, starting with a tough trip to the Elora oval. "It was just weird the way he trucked over. I had to stop the trailer three or four times, and he was just all wound up," recalled McEneny, who conditions the gelding for Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON. "He's just a little bit of a nervous horse and I think he just got too wound up that day." Streakavana's caretaker Stacey Currie ensured the gelding arrived at Mohawk in a calmer frame of mind on Saturday, riding in the trailer with her nervous charge. "He rode over good, he came off the trailer good," said McEneny, who is stabled at Classy Lane Training Centre in Puslinch, ON. "Stacey's been a big help for me this year. She can do everything, she's not afraid to work, and she loves her horses." McEneny and Currie will spend the next two weeks ensuring Streakavana is in peak form for the Oct. 15 Super Final - the gelding leads the division with 155 points - and then start looking forward to his sophomore campaign. "That's all he was paid in was the Sires Stakes, so he'll only have seven or eight starts," said Waterdown, ON resident McEneny. "I think we'll pay him up in a little more next year, because I think he'll get to be a better horse next year, he's got a big motor in him. Like that day he qualified, he was in with three-year-olds and he went by them with the plugs in and a bow in his neck, so I think he's got a big motor in him for next year, hopefully." Streakavana In the second division Mohawk fans sent Classic Pro off as the favourite, but it was second choice Machin A Trick who sprinted down the stretch to a one-half length victory in 1:53.2. Starting from Post 7, Machin A Trick got away at the back of the field of eight, 13 lengths behind early leader Bet On Brett at the :26.3 quarter, and was still eighth when Happy Trio reached the half in :55.3. Moving up the outer lane, driver James MacDonald had moved Machin A Trick into sixth by the 1:25.1 three-quarters and sent him out three-wide. The son of Mach Three and Tricky kicked home in :27.1 to claim the victory, leaving Bet On Brett and Classic Pro to settle for second and third. "I didn't want to be too far out of it, but sometimes you can't really help what you're dealt with, so when the trip worked out like it did I moved him and he was gone," said Guelph, ON resident MacDonald from the winner's circle. "When you come off a helmet he's going; he's gonna go by whoever he's following." MacDonald engineered Machin A Trick's first Gold Series win for trainer Jeff Gillis of Everett and his partners Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The victory, added to one second, one third and one sixth in his first three Gold outings, gives Machin A Trick 90 points and puts him sixth in the division standings. While Saturday's win was Machin A Trick's first in Gold competition, he has posted two wins in overnight action, both coming at Mohawk. Machin A Trick Machin A Trick, Streakavana and the other colts among the top 10 point earners will return to the Campbellville oval for the season ending Super Final on Oct. 15. The two-year-old trotting colts and two-year-old pacing fillies wrap up their Gold Series regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday and their connections will be hoping the forecast for clear skies is an accurate one. The trotting colts will wage their last Gold Series battles in Races 2 and 3, while the pacing fillies square off in Races 6 and 9. The evening's first race goes postward at 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

SEPT. 30, 2016 - Powerful winds swirled around Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening, but Ontario's top three-year-old pacing fillies were still able to show off their world class skills in a pair of harness racing $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions. Reigning division champion L A Delight, fresh off her win in the historic Jugette in Delaware, Ohio, sailed to an impressive victory in the first division. Leaving from Post 3, driver Randy Waples of Milton, ON allowed Divas Image to clock a :26.1 opening quarter, but sent L A Delight to the front well before the :55.4 half. The fan favourite laid down a 1:23.4 three-quarters and then sprinted home to a 1:50.3 clocking, three and one-half lengths ahead of Windsun Glory and five in front of Divas Image, over a track rated one second slower than normal. "When she was on the front I thought she'd be okay, but I didn't expect that kind of a last quarter," said co-owner Al McIntosh from the winner's circle. "She is an exceptional racehorse." The Leamington resident bred and owns the daughter of Bettors Delight and West Of L A in partnership with Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The filly has paced to eight wins, two seconds and one third in 14 starts this season, adding $522,328 to the $704,335 she earned winning 11 of 12 starts as a two-year-old. L A Delight has never been bested in Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) action, with Friday's victory her ninth in Gold Series action and tenth in OSS competition. She leads the three-year-old pacing fillies into the Oct. 15 Super Final with a flawless 250 points from her five sophomore victories. L A Delight While L A Delight took home her ninth Gold trophy, the second division saw Mayhem Seelster earn her first. Last year's Grassroots champion went gate-to-wire from Post 4, halting the Mohawk teletimer at 1:52.1. Lay Lady Lay finished one and three-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite, while Bourbon Seelster was four and one-quarter lengths back in third. Milton resident Sylvain Filion engineered the filly's second straight victory for trainer Tony O'Sullivan of Puslinch and owner Domenic Chiaravalle of Hamilton, ON. The Gold Series win boosted the Mach Three daughter's record to three wins, five seconds and four thirds in 14 starts for earnings of $225,246. "I think there's one race where she kind of didn't race good, and I'm going to say that was maybe the Fan Hanover," said O'Sullivan, ruefully. "But other than that, she probably should have two or three wins more than she does, she's raced super. "It's certainly good to go into the Super Final off a couple wins, she's confident and Sylvain's confident," added the trainer. "Now we've just got to hope for luck and everything, and no problems in the next two weeks." Mayhem Seelster heads into the Super Final in third spot in the standings, with 104 points earned from one win, one second, two thirds and one fifth-place finish in Gold Series action. Like L A Delight she is eligible to the Breeders Crown eliminations at The Meadowlands the week after the Super Final and O'Sullivan said a solid performance in the Ontario Sires Stakes season finale will earn Mayhem Seelster a trip south. The filly will then enjoy a well-deserved vacation before returning to the races at four. "I think she's going to be a good solid mare and the thing about her is, she's deceptive," said O'Sullivan. "She's not very good on the front in terms of she's a little bit lazy and whatever, but she has a high cruising speed and I just think as she matures and gets stronger, and being a Mach Three, I just think she'll be able to carry that a little bit further, and probably go faster, but more importantly just be that little bit physically stronger." In the meantime, O'Sullivan and his team will be focused on preparing Mayhem Seelster for the $250,000 Super Final where she will face L A Delight and the other eight leading point earners. Mayhem Seelster On Saturday evening Super Final berths will be determined in the two-year-old pacing colt division, as the novices face off over the Mohawk Racetrack oval in their last Gold Series event. The colts will battle in Races 2 and 10 on the program, which gets under way at 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

SEPT. 29, 2016 - In spite of a harness racing track soaked by a full day of rain, two-year-old trotting fillies Magic Presto and On A Sunny Day put on an impressive show at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening. Competing on a surface rated three seconds slower than normal, Magic Presto fired away from Post 5 to a :27.3 opening quarter in the first $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series division. Driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON eased off on the tempo through the :59.1 half and 1:29.1 three-quarters and then let the fan favourite accelerate home to a four and one-quarter length victory in 1:57.4. Holiday Promise closed hard to be second and Gravitator trotted into third. "She raced really good, I was really happy that she dealt with the conditions like that. She's got flip-flops on and you never know how they'll handle a track like that with flip-flops on," said trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman, referring to the style of horseshoe the filly sports. "Trevor was very, very happy with her, said she's getting better all the time." The win was Magic Presto's third lifetime, with two of her wins coming in the Gold Series and one in the Grassroots. The filly spent the month of September competing against the best young trotting distaffers in North America and logged a fourth-place result in her Sept. 1 Champlain Stakes division, a second in her Sept. 8 Peaceful Way Elimination and a third, from Post 10, in the Peaceful Way Final one week later. "She never really raced really hard in those races, she had bad draws, she was just basically racing for a cheque, but she looks competitive against some better horses there," noted Norman. "So if she can do some good in the Super Final that'll be me, I'll be very happy with that." The Allentown, NJ-based trainer conditions Magic Presto for Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. The filly was a $160,000 acquisition from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and has returned $169,549 through her first seven starts, finishing no worse than fourth. Her connections are looking forward, not just to the Super Final, but to the long-legged youngster's sophomore season. "She's really big anyway, she doesn't want to grow up anymore, but she has got stronger, she looks better, she's filled right out and I think next year she's going to be really nice and strong," said Norman. "She's really professional; she does everything, handles everything, very well." The daughter of Kadabra and In The Mean Time wraps up the regular season with 125 points earned in her three Gold Series starts and heads into the season ending Super Final sitting fourth in the division standings. Magic Presto On A Sunny Day was equally sharp off the starting gate in the second Gold division, firing away from Post 6 to a :27.3 quarter. The filly sailed along to a :58.4 half and 1:28.1 three-quarters and then powered away from the field to a four and one-half length victory in 1:56.3. Fan favourite Winter Sweet Frost had to settle for second, while Stuck In My Spanks was 11 lengths back in third. Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion piloted On A Sunny Day to the win for trainer and breeder Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. While her peers battled in the open stakes during September, On A Sunny Day enjoyed a mid-season rest following the Aug.10 Gold event at Grand River Raceway. The filly qualified at Mohawk on Sept. 13 and 20 in preparation for Thursday's regular season finale. The daughter of Muscle Mass and Dicent No leads the two-year-old trotting fillies into the Oct. 15 Super Final with 225 points and $183,750 earned from four wins and one second in her five Gold Series starts. The top 10 point earners will return to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Oct. 15 for the $250,000 Super Final. On A Sunny Day Gold Series action continues at Mohawk on Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1 as the three-year-old pacing fillies and two-year-old pacing colts wrap up their regular season over the Campbellville oval. Post time for both programs is 7:30 pm, with the pacing fillies batting in Races 3 and 9 on Friday and the colts competing in Races 2 and 10 on Saturday. Ontario Racing

SEPT. 24, 2016 - Eight Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots champions were crowned at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening and fan favourites delivered impressive victories in seven of the $50,000 harness racing finals. Heavy favourite Anikadabra opened the festivities with a commanding three and one-quarter length victory over Stritch and Late Shift in the two-year-old trotting filly division. In rein to Rick Zeron of Oakville, the daughter of Kadabra and Anikawiesahalee stopped the Mohawk teletimer at 1:57.4 to capture her fourth straight victory. "They're the type you love to train, she just does nothing wrong," said trainer Rob Fellows. "All summer as a two-year-old you worry about every little thing, but she's been good. "We've had a lot of luck out of that family," added the Rockwood, ON resident. "Wilsonator to Vimy Ridge to Hillsonator to Legzy, you know they just go on and on." Bred and owned by Edward Wilson of Seagrave, ON and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY, Anikadabra's mother has five siblings that earned more than $100,000, including the 2013 sophomore trotting filly Grassroots champion Legzy, and her first foal is the $1.7 million winner Resolve. Anikadabra maintained the family's winning tradition through her freshman season, posting a record of five wins and one third in seven starts for earnings of $71,840. Anikadabra P L Jerico scored the only upset of the Championships in the three-year-old trotting colt division, surviving a first-over trip to reel in fan favourite and defending champion Muscles For Life. P L Jerico hit the wire in 1:55, one-half length ahead of Muscles For Life and three-quarters of a length up on Mass Balance. Campbellville resident Mike Saftic crafted the upset for trainer Matt Dupuis of Rockwood and owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON. "I was hoping to be second over behind Per (Henriksen and Windsun Missile), but he wouldn't flush, he just stayed in. We had to pull, if he (Saftic) didn't pull he had no choice, so the horse toughed it out," said Dupuis. "He has bad allergies, the heat's really hard on that horse, and this is the coolest night we've had all summer, so it worked out perfect." Like Anikadabra, P L Jerico hails from a family with a long history in the Ontario Sires Stakes. His mother, Corinas Mission, captured the Gold Series Super Final as a three-year-old in 2002. With Saturday's victory, the Manofmanymissions gelding boosted his record to five wins, four seconds - one of them in last Friday's Semi-final - and two thirds in 16 sophomore starts for earnings of $85,470. P L Jerico Dudesalady scored her third straight victory in the two-year-old pacing filly Championship, holding off Anderson Seelster by a neck. Village Jamie finished two lengths behind the duelling leaders, who hit the wire in 1:54.2. "She's just a nice filly, she looks after herself, she sleeps a lot you know," said trainer Susanne Kerwood, who conditions the filly for M And L Of Delaware LLC of Wilmington, DE and Victoria Dickinson of Greenville, DE. "I really think she's going to come back to be a real nice filly, I think next year she might be a Gold. "I had a lot of confidence in her today, maybe too much," added the Rockwood resident with a laugh, "But she got the job done." The win gives Dudesalady, a daughter of Shadow Play and Accountable, a record of five wins, two seconds and one third in eight starts for earnings of $61,910. Moffat resident Jody Jamieson piloted the filly to both her Semi-final and Final victories. Dudesalady Magical Steph rewarded the faith of both Mohawk Racetrack fans and trainer Gary Lance in the three-year-old trotting filly Final. The daughter of Kadabra and I Like Stephanie overcame two off-season surgeries to capture the Grassroots title with a 1:55.4 effort. "She's really good right now. She's been all summer getting over those surgeries," said Port Perry resident Lance, who also owns the filly through his GL Racing Inc. "That was a pretty good mile out there tonight; she went as fast as the colts." Magical Steph and driver Trevor Henry of Arthur finished one length in front of a charging Roadmapper and four lengths ahead of Magical Valentine. Henry also piloted the filly to victory in the Semi-final round. Magical Steph Many A Man was the only regular season division point leader to earn a Grassroots title, sailing along on the front end to a 1:57.3 personal best in the two-year-old trotting colt Final. Randy Waples crafted the victory, which saw the Manofmanymissions son hit the wire one-half length ahead of Santini and Radical Road, for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. "I was actually hoping to race him from off the pace, that's why I didn't really bomb him out of there," said Milton resident Waples. "I think that's his better trip than being in front, because he kind of gets lost sometimes when he's up there, but there wasn't a hole, so go to Plan B. The beauty of him is that you've got a Plan B; if it doesn't work out the first way then you've got another way to go, because he races good both ways. He's just a really, really nice animal." The win was the third straight and the fifth in nine starts for Many A Man, who wraps up his freshman campaign with earnings of $64,940. Many A Man The three-year-old pacing fillies delivered a thrilling finish in the sixth final, with the top five finishers crossing the wire separated by just one and one-quarter lengths. When the dust settled Semi-final winner Forever Liza emerged victorious, with Semi-final winner Free Show and Selling The Dream in a dead-heat for second, just a head behind the winner. Windsun Glory was fourth and Killean Finale rounded out the top five. "It was a little scary, we got a little stalled there with our cover, but just like always she dug in in the stretch," said trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON. "She's just a real trier." Guelph, ON resident James MacDonald engineered the 1:52.2 victory for Steacy and owners Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. In 16 sophomore starts the consistent daughter of Bettors Delight and Forever Cam has seven wins, four seconds and one third for earnings of $106,010. Forever Liza Semi-final winner Arsenic cruised to a one and one-half length victory in the three-year-old pacing colt Final, matching his 1:51.1 personal best. The other Semi-final winner, Continual Hanover, was second and Inspiration View rounded out the top three. "He showed a lot of potential last year, he just didn't come back the way I thought he would and I found out it was just a little bit of stomach problems with him, so we've kind of fixed that and he's gotten pretty good," said trainer Scott McEneny of the Bettors Delight son's late season surge. "I was going Gold at the beginning and he just wasn't right, he just wasn't himself, and we tried everything, everything. I finally found something that works on his stomach, and by then we got into a couple Grassroots." The Waterdown resident conditions Arsenic for his wife Michelle McEneny and Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON. Doug McNair of Guelph piloted the colt to his fourth victory in 12 sophomore outings, which boosted his season's earnings to $74,200. Arsenic Tymal Peacemaker wrapped up Grassroots Championship Night the same way that Anikadabra kicked it off, with a commanding front-end victory. The two-year-old pacing colt sailed under the wire two and one-half lengths ahead of his peers in 1:52.4 without ever facing a challenge. The other Semi-final winner, Bet On Brett, finished second and The Dark Shadow was third. After testing his skills against the Gold colts early in the campaign, Tymal Peacemaker wrapped up his freshman season with a record of four wins in four Grassroots starts, banking $67,000 for owners Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. "He didn't have much luck, he was immature, and then when we got into easier competition it seemed he started to get it more and more every start," said Carlisle-based trainer Stephane Larocque of the shift from the Gold to the Grassroots level. "And, you know, he's just shown that he's going to be really good next year." Sylvain Filion of Milton, the leading reinsman in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, piloted the son of Mach Three and Flying Colours to the win. Tymal Peacemaker In addition to the eight Grassroots Championship events, Mohawk Racetrack also hosted the $311,000 Milton Final for aged pacing mares, and former Ontario Sires Stakes superstar Lady Shadow posted her ninth win of the season, sailing home and two and one-quarter length winner in 1:50. Yagonnakissmeornot was second and Waasmula, also a former OSS champion, was third. Doug McNair piloted Lady Shadow, a daughter of Shadow Play and Lady Camella, to the win for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle and owners David Kryway of Amherstburg, ON, Carl Atley of Xenia, OH, Edwin Gold of Phoenixville, PA and BFJ Stable of Philadelphia, PA. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, Sept. 29 as the two-year-old trotting fillies wrap up their Gold Series regular season. Ontario Racing

SEPT. 21, 2016 - Trainer Jack Darling shipped five pacing colts to Mohawk Racetrack for the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Semi-finals last week and all five will return to the Campbellville harness racing oval on Saturday, Sept. 24 for the $400,000 Grassroots Championships. "I just trained all five of them this morning (Wednesday) and they all trained as good as they can," said Darling of three-year-olds Continual Hanover and St Lads Moonwalk and two-year-olds Master The View, The Dark Shadow and Trident Seelster. "It's just very tough; both divisions are very tough this year. We need a little bit of racing luck." Reigning division champion St Lads Moonwalk will need the largest serving of luck, as he gets the outside Post 10 for his third straight start over the Mohawk oval. On Sept. 1, in the last regular season Grassroots event, driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville guided the Mach Three son to a head victory from Post 10, and in last Friday's Semi-final driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat teamed the colt to a runner-up finish from the outside post, just a neck behind winner Arsenic. "It's just bad luck, so you just kind of roll with the flow," said a philosophical Darling. "It's going to be tough from there, but we'll see what happens." Continual Hanover won his Semi-final, his third straight victory, posting a 1:51.2 clocking for Jamieson. Milton resident Randy Waples will steer the Bettors Delight son from Post 7 in Saturday's $50,000 Championship, while Jamieson is back in the race bike behind St Lads Moonwalk. The three-year-old pacing colts square off in the ninth race on the program. The two-year-old pacing colts wrap up the Championship in Race 10, with The Dark Shadow (Shadow Play) and Jamieson starting from Post 3, Waples sending Master The View (Vintage Master) out from Post 5 and Saftic teaming Trident Seelster (Big Jim) from Post 7. The Dark Shadow and Master The View finished second and fifth behind Tymal Peacemaker in last Thursday's Semi-final round and Trident Seelster was fourth in the other split, won by Bet On Brett. "The Dark Shadow, he's my best shot in the two-year-olds. He's just a really nice colt, but there again it's a tough division," said Darling, who also owns all five colts. "And the other two, nice colts too, but we're just fighting for a cheque with them. "But you never know, it's a horse race," added the Cambridge resident. Since narrowing his focus to Ontario Sired young horses in 2012, Darling has consistently ranked among the top 10 trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, with his stable of 15 to 20 horses earning more than $400,000 in the last three seasons. "I just don't like the travelling so much anymore, as far as racing. I just kind of like to stay close to home," the trainer explained. "So I just decided to put my money into the Ontario Sired program, and just try to buy the best Ontario Sired yearlings I can and go from there." Each fall Darling sells his three-year-olds at the end of their stakes season and acquires eight to 10 yearlings. He was among the leading buyers at the season opening Canadian Yearling Sale on Sunday, Sept. 18, acquiring sale topping pacing colt Brunos From Mars (Mach Three) for $105,000 and pacing fillies Warrawee Templar (Shadow Play) for $42,000, Write Me A Song (Sportswriter) for $47,000 and Northern Roulette (Shadow Play) for $50,000. "I'm a little ahead of schedule," said Darling with a chuckle. The horseman will also be shopping at the Lexington Selected Sale Oct. 4 to 8, the Forest City Yearling Sale on Oct. 23 and the Harrisburg Yearling Sale Nov. 7 to 11. "You just never know how it's going to work out. It just turns out that I found a few that I really liked and the prices were okay, so I got them bought. Sometimes you go and things just don't click, you just can't quite find what you want, and then when you do, they just maybe go for a little bit too much." Darling will get the youngsters started and then hand them off to colleagues while he and wife Ann head to Florida for their annual winter break. By the first of April the group will be reassembled at Classy Lane Training Centre in Puslinch and Darling will be doing what he enjoys most. "Racing horses doesn't excite me like it used to," admitted Darling, who has been training since he graduated from Exeter's South Huron District High School in 1972. "I just like the babies, I like buying the yearlings and training the two-year-olds and racing the two-year-olds. That's what I like to do." With five hopefuls prepping for Saturday's Grassroots Championship, Darling's focus on buying Ontario Sired yearlings and doing the work he enjoys most is clearly paying off. Grassroots Championship Night gets under way at 7:30 pm, with the eight Finals slated as Races 2 through 6, 8, 9 and 10. The $311,000 Milton Stakes for aged pacing mares, dominated by former Ontario Sires Stakes stars, goes postward as Race 7. In addition to the on-track excitement, those arriving early will receive an Ontario Racing t-shirt with their program purchase and fans can play the popular Ontario Sires Stakes Trivia Spin and Win game. Ontario Racing

SEPT. 19, 2016 - Trevor Henry returned to his former stomping grounds at Grand River Raceway on Monday night and reminded harness racing fans just how efficient he can be on a half-mile racetrack. The Arthur, ON resident guided five of his nine mounts to victory, including wins in three of four $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions. Both the two-year-old pacing colts and pacing fillies were in Elora for their fourth Gold Leg, and Henry swept the filly divisions and captured one colt contest. Pacing colt Big Bad Bill gave the reinsman his first stakes win of the evening with a convincing gate-to-wire score in 1:55.1. Starting from Post 3, Henry rolled Big Bad Bill through a :27.4 quarter, :57 half and 1:25.3 three-quarters on the way to the one and three-quarter length victory over Machin A Trick and Classic Pro. "He's a horse, he got real sick and he's just come around. He was off three weeks and he win (Aug. 30) and then last week (Sept. 6) he got locked in; he was running over them at the wire. He's just getting better and better," said Henry. "I thought if he could get around the half he'd have a real good shot." Henry steers Big Bad Bill for trainer Gerald Lilley of Dutton and his co-owners, the colt's breeders Bill Manes of Rockwood and William Cripps of Acton, ON. The victory was the Badlands Hanover son's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, which boosted his record to two wins and two thirds in eight starts and almost tripled his earnings to $85,980. Henry also employed a front-end strategy with fan favourite Windy Sport in the first pacing filly Gold division. Starting from Post 1 the pair rang up a :27.1 quarter, :56.2 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters on their way to the 1:55.2 victory. Sir Native finished one and one-half lengths back in second and Battle of the Belles champion Bid Writer was third. "She's a nice filly. She has a bit of an attitude, she's hard to handle at some times, but she has some quick speed," said Henry. "She's a small filly, I knew she'd handle the half pretty good. She win pretty handy." Cambridge resident Casie Coleman conditions Windy Sport for her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge and Steve Calhoun of Chatham, ON. Monday's win was the Sportswriter daughter's second lifetime and her first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. In eight starts she has now posted two wins and three seconds for earnings of $115,041, well in excess of the $40,000 US her owners spent acquiring her from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Two races later Henry was back in the winner's circle with pacing filly Aint Three Ok, who delivered a gritty first over effort to secure her first Gold Series victory. After getting away third from Post 2 and watching fan favourite Fade lead the field to a :27.4 quarter, Henry sent the filly up the outside heading for the :57.4 half. Fade and driver Jonathan Drury refused to yield, but Aint Three Ok continued to press the pace through the 1:26.2 three-quarters, eventually wearing down the pacesetter. A solid finishing kick propelled Aint Three Ok to the 1:55.3 victory, two and one-quarter lengths ahead of Future Headlines and Southwind Ion. "She's a really good filly. She should have won the Battle of the Belles, but of course she was sick that day," noted Henry, who piloted the filly to a runner-up finish behind Bid Writer in the Aug. 1 Battle of the Belles Final. "She's a really nice filly. She's small, but she tries hard. "I really raced her tonight. Usually I just take her back and let her finish or whatever, but tonight she worked for it," added the reinsman. "She's tough, she's got a lot of heart." Mach Three daughter Aint Three Ok is trained by Mike Weller for Chuck Grubbs of Louisville, KY. The filly earned her first lifetime victory in her Battle of the Belles Elimination at Grand River Raceway on July 25. Monday's win improved her record to two wins and three thirds in seven starts for earnings of $137,800. Henry's mount in the last pacing colt division made an early break and finished well back of winner Yogi Bayama, who watched his peers play musical chairs through the early going. Southwind General, favourite Happy Trio and Arsenal Seelster each took a turn on the lead, recording fractions of :28, :57.2 and 1:25.3 while Yogi Bayama looked on from third. Turning for home Hall of Fame horseman Yves Filion found Yogi Bayama an open lane and the colt sprinted by Southwind General for a neck victory in 1:55.2. Richard Hill completed the top three. Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON conditions Yogi Bayama for Filion's Bayama Farms of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC and numbered company 9099 3833 Quebec Inc. of Sorel-Tracy, QC. A Grassroots winner at Mohawk Racetrack in the July 7 season opener, the homebred son of Sportswriter and Newmoon Bayama now has one win, one second and one third in his three Gold Series outings. In nine freshman starts Yogi Bayama has tallied three wins, three seconds and two thirds for earnings of $118,860. Henry bookended his Gold Series successes with wins in the first and last races on the Grand River Raceway program, steering pacing mare Team Leader to a 1:56.1 victory in the first race for trainer Mike Weller and trotting mare Natural Grace to a 2:00.2 win in the last race for owner-trainer Stacey Reinsma. "It was a big night for me," Henry acknowledged. "They don't come very often, but it's nice when they do." The two-year-old pacing colts will wrap up their regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Oct. 1 while the pacing fillies complete their Gold Series campaign at Mohawk on Oct. 3. Monday's contest wrapped up Grand River Raceway's 2016 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule, which saw the Elora oval host 10 Grassroots and Gold Series events. Ontario Racing

SEPT. 16, 2016 - Harness racing trainer Mark Steacy went into Friday's Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Semi-finals with a 22 point lead in the Ontario Sires Stakes trainer standings, and went home with a little bigger cushion between himself and eight-time Johnston Cup winner Bob McIntosh and three-time winner Gregg McNair. "There's a lot of guys that can win a lot of races, so I don't get too focussed on that," said Steacy about the Johnston Cup point race. "But if that's where we are, it's nice to say you're in front of them guys, because they're pretty good." Steacy sent out five starters in the eight sophomore Semi-finals on Friday and recorded two wins, one third, one fourth and one seventh. First off the starting gate for the Steacy stable was three-year-old trotting filly Anneli Hanover, who sat third for much of the mile before shaking loose in the stretch and grabbing a one-half length victory in a personal best 1:55. Trumpets and Roadmapper closed hard to be second and third, Windsong Magic was fourth, and fan favourite Magical Valentine and pacesetter Could It Be Magic finished in a dead-heat for fifth, which will leave one of the fifth-place finishers in the Also Eligible slot for next Saturday's Championship. "She's been a pleasant surprise," said Steacy of Anneli Hanover. "She was very ordinary last year at two, and started out that way this year, and then all of a sudden she just started to race good. She won four or something in a row, and then she got in a little slump for a couple of races, but she raced good at Flamboro (Sept. 4) and she was very good today. I hope the timing's good for next week." Steacy trains Anneli Hanover for his wife Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Landmark 8 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall and Barry White of Ottawa, ON. In 15 sophomore starts the daughter of Majestic Son and Above All Hanover has posted seven wins, one second and one third for earnings of $52,560. Anneli Hanover Guelph resident James MacDonald engineered Anneli Hanover's victory, and also piloted the other four starters from the Steacy stable, whose second win came with pacing filly Forever Liza. Starting from the outside Post 10, MacDonald settled fan favourite Forever Liza in sixth and watched as Trilife and Selling The Dream battled to a :26.1 quarter and :54.3 half. Heading for the 1:23.1 three-quarters MacDonald sent Forever Liza up the outside behind Killean Finale, and in the stretch the pair reeled in the leaders and hit the wire three-quarters of a length on top in a personal best 1:51.3. Killean Finale settled for second, ahead of Westsluckycam, Selling The Dream and Tonightimlovingyou. "James did a great job. In the 10-hole you never know what can happen, it's tough, but he did a great job, he got her spotted well, and got her covered up, and she's always got that little kick coming for home," said Steacy. "She's tough that little mare. "She's never been a real good gaited mare, but she's getting better and better all the time," the trainer continued. "She's got what you want in a racehorse, and that's heart." Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC owns the Bettors Delight daughter Forever Liza, who now has six wins, four seconds and one third to her credit through 15 sophomore starts for earnings of $81,010. Forever Liza The other pacing filly Semi-final was captured by Free Show and driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON, who reeled in seven horses in the final quarter to secure the one length victory in 1:51.3. Fan favourite Windsun Glory was second, Top Royal finished third, MacDonald piloted Steacy entry Bernadette into fourth and division point leader Noone To Depend On was fifth. Dave Menary of Cambridge, ON conditions Free Show for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. A Gold Series competitor and winner of $205,776 at two, the Badlands Hanover daughter has struggled to find her footing in the sophomore division, posting three wins, one second, three thirds and earnings of $58,770 through 14 starts. "I had high expectations for her, you know she's such a nice mare, and after last year we were really looking forward to her," said Menary. "She hasn't been bad; she just hasn't had a lot of luck. I think she's a little bit better than a Grassroots filly, but not quite as good as the Gold fillies, and hopefully we can end the year on a good note." Free Show The other trotting filly Semi-final was captured by Henry and Magical Steph, who has also had a tumultuous sophomore season. Friday's 1:55.3 victory over division point leader Myretirementticket, favourite Sunrise Avenue, True Muscle and Traviata, was just Magical Steph's third in eight starts and trainer Gary Lance is hoping the Kadabra daughter has finally turned the corner on a year that started with surgery at The Ohio State University. "She had a lot of trouble this year. I took her to Ohio State University to get some work done on her in January and she had some implications from the surgery and then she had to go back in and have more surgery," said Lance. "And she had an entrapped epiglottis about six weeks ago, so we had to get Dr. Llewellyn in to look at that. We hoped for a big year this year, but sometimes it just doesn't happen." Lance and his partners in GL Racing Inc. of Port Perry, ON were hoping Magical Steph could match or improve on the five victories and $72,400 she tallied as a two-year-old, but they will settle for a strong finish to the season. Magical Steph Trotting colts Muscles For Life and Georgies Pockets set up a repeat of last season's division showdown, winning their respective Semi-finals for the second straight year. Reigning division champion Muscles For Life posted a 1:55.2 score in the first split on Friday for driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON and owner Jarold Hawks of Jeddo, MI. The Muscle Mass son controlled the tempo in spite of starting from Post 9 and hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Windsun Missile. MacDonald and Steacy trainee French Bastille were another length back in third, with Bow Ties N Bourbon and Manofmanyimages rounding out the top five. Muscles For Life Georgies Pockets and trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev of Moffat, ON captured the second Semi-final with a late sprint that saw them get a neck in front of fan favourite P L Jerico and Mass Balance in 1:55.1. Holiday Party and Dynamic Edge finished fourth and fifth. "Before the race somebody asked to buy him, and I said I'm not selling him. I named him after my father, my late father, so I won't sell him," said Ron Ruggles, who bred and owns the Muscle Mass colt through his M T Pockets Stables of Pompano Beach, FL. "He's going to be tough for the Final. I'm very excited." Georgies Pockets The evening wrapped up with the pacing colt Semi-finals, which went to Bettors Delight sons Arsenic and Continual Hanover. Arsenic and driver Doug McNair held off division point leader and reigning champion St Lads Moonwalk for a neck victory in 1:51.1. Bettor Memories, Inspiration View and Perseverant also advanced to the Grassroots Championship. Scott McEneny conditions Arsenic for his wife Michelle McEneny of Waterdown, Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON. Arsenic St Lads Moonwalk's stablemate Continual Hanover delivered a 1:51.2 effort in the other Semi-final. Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson drove the Jack Darling trainee to the one-half length victory over Imsporty, Sports Authority, Kokanee Seelster and Big Place. Cambridge, ON resident Darling owns and trains both St Lads Moonwalk and Continual Hanover. Continual Hanover The top five finishers from each Semi-final will return to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday, Sept. 24 for the Grassroots Championships. Post time for the Grassroots Championship program, worth a total of $400,000, is 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing

SEPT. 15, 2016 - There were few surprises at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening as the harness racing two-year-old trotters and pacers kicked off the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots post season. Favourites won five of the eight Semi-finals and only one division point leader, two-year-old trotting filly Inner Drive, failed to advance through to the Sept. 24 Grassroots Championships. Trotting filly Anikadabra set the tone for the evening in the first $20,000 Semi-final, cruising around the Campbellville oval to an effortless three and one-quarter length score in 1:57.1. You Cant Afford Me, Stritch, Man Shes Hot and Oh Miss Sophie finished second through fifth, also advancing to the Championship. "She is exceptional," said driver Rick Zeron of the heavy favourite. "Rob (Fellows) doesn't want to hurt her this year so he opted to race her in the Grassroots instead of the Golds, and she just hovers over them, she's just that much the best." Rockwood, ON resident Fellows conditions Anikadabra for owner-breeders Edward Wilson of Seagrave, ON and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. Since her July 10 debut the daughter of Kadabra and Anikawiesahalee has posted four wins, one third and one fourth in six starts, banking $46,840. "She was a June foal, so we were pretty slow in developing her, and now she's got some experience we're really looking forward to next year," said Wilson. "Hopefully she will be a Gold filly next year. She's a half-sister to Resolve, so she's got some breeding there." The filly's half-brother Resolve, a winner of $1.4 million in his racing career to date, will compete in the $632,000 Maple Leaf Trot Final at Mohawk on Saturday evening and is among the favourites after winning his Sept. 10 elimination. Anikadabra Oakville, ON resident Zeron was back in the winner's circle following the second race, guiding two-year-old pacing colt Bet On Brett to a neck victory in 1:54.2 over Kentucky Nick and division point leader Silverinyourpocket. Trident Seelster and Aston Hill Dave also advanced. "He was wandering all over the track tonight, he wasn't paying attention to his work or his business or anything," said Zeron of the colt, who was sent off as the fans' top choice and led for most of the mile. "I had a bit of a hard time, struggled to get him across, but we got him there and hopefully we'll get some things changed up for next week." Zeron steers the son of Sportswriter and Tug River Della for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and his partners Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longeuil, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. In eight starts Bet On Brett, an $80,000 acquisition from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, has delivered three wins and one second for earnings of $32,700. Bet On Brett The second pacing colt contest went to Tymal Peacemaker and driver Sylvain Filion, who also had a pair of victories in Semi-final action. Starting from Post 6 the fan favourites led from start to finish, hitting the wire one length ahead of The Dark Shadow in 1:53.1. Dreamfair B J, Thrownoutofbetter and Master The View rounded out the qualifiers. "He's turned out to be a real nice horse," said Filion, who pilots the colt for trainer Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON and his father Yves Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. "He's really, really good right now. You can do whatever you want, you can leave, you can race from behind; he makes my job a lot easier. "He's reaching his peak right now, hopefully he stays healthy all week and I think he'll have a good shot in the Final," the Milton, ON resident added. Since dropping down to the Grassroots from the Gold Series Tymal Peacemaker is undefeated, also winning at Mohawk on August 29 and Flamboro Downs on Sept. 8. The son of Mach Three and Flying Color was a $25,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale and has banked $42,000 in seven starts. Tymal Peacemaker Filion's second victory came with two-year-old pacing filly P L Kahluaa, who swept by the leaders in the final quarter to score a one-half length victory in 1:55. The division point leader and fan favourite bested Treasures Pearl, Village Jamie, White Dancer and Amulet Seelster. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON trains P L Kahluaa for numbered company 9303 3868 Quebec Inc. of Blainville, QC. A modest $6,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, the daughter of Sportswriter and B R Dot Cam has posted four wins, one second and one third in eight starts for earnings of $44,704. P L Kahluaa The second pacing filly battle was won by Dudesalady, who also used a late sprint to best fan favourite Anderson Seelster by one length in a personal best 1:53.4. P L Karis, The Joy Luck Club and Odysseus rounded out the top five. Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson piloted Dudesalady to her fourth win in seven starts for trainer Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood, ON and owners M And L Of Delaware LLC of Wilmington, DE and Victoria Dickinson of Greenville, DE. The daughter of Shadow Play and Accountable was a $40,000 yearling purchase from the Forest City Sale and has banked $36,910 to date. Dudesalady The biggest upset of the evening came in the second trotting filly split as fan favourite Powerful Mission went off stride heading for the half and division point leader Inner Drive engaged in a speed duel with early leader Jilona and faded to seventh in the stretch. Benefitting from the front-end duel was Delcrest Magicstar, who followed Inner Drive and Late Shift up the outer lane and then circled out late to get the one-half length win in a personal best 1:58.1. Late Shift settled for second, while Crystal Gumdrop, Tymal Declan and Kendras Coco were well back in third, fourth and fifth. "A helmet for as long as I could is all I was looking for, and it worked out really good tonight," said driver James MacDonald. "She's got a big motor, she just, she doesn't pay attention. She needs a helmet and then she'll give you a good kick, and even then you're not out of the woods, she kind of looks around and goes to sleep." The Guelph resident shares ownership of Delcrest Magicstar with trainer Johnathan McKinnon of Guelph and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. Through five starts the daughter of Majestic Son and Stars Balance has two wins and one second for earnings of $31,900 and MacDonald has high hopes for her future. "She's got big talent, big talent. She's got all the tools, beautiful gait, big, strong filly, but she needs to learn to really want it. Her brother wanted it, so I think if she learns to be like him she could be a good horse, but time will tell," said MacDonald, referring to the filly's half-brother Delcrest Julian, a winner of $414,212. Delcrest Magicstar The two-year-old trotting colt Semi-finals went to Santini and division point leader Many A Man. Santini and driver Richard Simard sprinted by pacesetter Themanofmydreams and favourite Head Turning Jag in the stretch, hitting the wire one-half length on top in a personal best 1:58.1. Themanofmydreams finished second, while Radical Road was promoted from fourth to third when Head Turning Jag made a late break in stride and was placed from third back to fourth. Critical Mass rounded out the top five. Stephen Oldford conditions Santini for Oldford Racing LLC of Croswell, MI and Gene Oldford Farms LLC of St. Clair, MI. In six starts the son of Kadabra and Vallaire, a $40,000 purchase at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, has three wins and one second for earnings of $41,600. Santini Many A Man and driver Randy Waples of Milton took command heading for the three-quarters in the second trotting colt contest and pulled away to a three and three-quarter length victory in 1:58.4. My Big Kadillac, Zorgwijk Rocket, Little Lion Man and LMC Mass Gem also moved on to the Championship. Waples crafted the win for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON and his fellow owner-breeders C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH and Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. The son of Manofmanymissions and Armbro Sylvie improved his record to four wins in eight starts and earnings of $39,940. Many A Man Grassroots Semi-final action continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening, with eight $20,000 battles for the three-year-old pacers and trotters. The three-year-old trotting fillies kick things off in the first race at 7:30 pm. Ontario Racing    

SEPT. 14, 2016 - Carl Jamieson has decades of experience preparing horses for the Ontario Sires Stakes post season and the harness racing trainer says three-year-old pacing filly Noone To Depend On is in peak form heading into Friday's Grassroots Semi-final at Mohawk Racetrack. "She should be shaping up real good," said Jamieson. "She's ready to rock and roll." Noone To Depend On scored three wins and one third in her four regular season Grassroots outings for a division leading 162 points and has a sophomore record of four wins, two seconds and one third in 14 starts. The daughter of Santanna Blue Chip and Tipsy Taters has added $49,810 in earnings to the $48,480 she earned as a two-year-old, when she finished second in her Semi-final and fourth in the Grassroots Championship. "I think she's a lot better than she was last year," noted Jamieson. "She had some growing problems last year and this year she's been sound all year and racing really good." The Rockwood resident shares ownership of Noone To Depend On with his daughter Brandy Jamieson, who makes her home in Milton, ON. A one-quarter share in the filly was Brandy's birthday gift last year, an annual tradition Jamieson admits comes packaged with an ulterior motive. "I usually give her a piece for her birthday. Means I don't got to pay no paddock fees on them then," said Jamieson with a chuckle. "She usually paddocks her own horses." Making it a full-on family affair, Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson drives the filly for his father and sister and will steer Noone To Depend on from Post 6 in Friday's $20,000 Semi-final. She heads into the test off a mini-vacation following her win in the August 21 Grassroots event at Rideau Carleton Raceway. "I told him, you've got to take this filly, she's on the top of her game," said Jamieson, who has had to find substitute reinsmen in seven of the filly's 14 starts. "We've been keeping her pretty fresh all year really. We didn't race her a lot, just trying to keep her right and sound for the Grassroots Final." Once the Grassroots post season wraps up Jamieson will give Noone To Depend On one start against the Gold Series fillies, on Sept. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack, before sending her to Harrisburg for the November mixed sale. The horseman typically sells his three-year-olds to make room for yearlings, although he has scaled back from the days when he would send out 20 to 30 starters per year in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "We only had eight babies all last year, to start with. We qualified six, one we stopped with, and then a couple others I made the decision we had to turn out, they weren't good enough," noted the trainer, who added that he will start shopping for this season's yearlings at the Sunday, Sept. 18 Canadian Yearling Sale. Noone To Depend On goes postward in the second three-year-old pacing filly Semi-final on Friday, slated as Race 4. The top five finishers from each Semi-final will return to Mohawk on Saturday, Sept. 24 for their $50,000 Grassroots Championship. The three-year-old trotting fillies will kick off the sophomore Grassroots Semi-final battles at 7:30 pm on Friday, competing in Races 1 and 6. The trotting colts wage their battles in Races 2 and 8, while the pacing fillies go back-to-back in Races 3 and 4. The three-year-old pacing colts wrap things up in Races 9 and 12. Friday's event completes the Semi-final round - the two-year-old finalists will be determined on Thursday evening - which advances the top five finishers from each Semi-final into the $400,000 Grassroots Championship Night at Mohawk on Sept. 24. Ontario Racing

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