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MILTON, ON - JULY 6, 2020 - Two-year-old harness racing pacing colts invaded Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening, starring in six $23,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions and No Better Joy kicked off the provincial campaign in style with an impressive 1:52.1 victory. Starting from the outside Post 9, driver Bob McClure settled No Better Joy in fourth as Flash Cube took the field to a :27.2 opening quarter. Heading for the :56.2 half McClure put the fan favourite on the front, but Flash Cube stepped up to apply pressure before the 1:24.3 three-quarters. At the top of the stretch it looked as though Flash Cube would prevail, but No Bettor Joy shifted into another gear and came back on for a head victory. Flash Cube settled for second and Cantstoplying closed well to be third. "I've never had a horse, like even when you're training at the farm and when you come to the top of the stretch, even if there's another set 20 or 30 lengths ahead, he always puts it in another gear to chase them, so I think he kind of seen that horse and he picked it up again," said Nicky Comegna, who trains No Better Joy for his father Bruno Comegna of Burlington, ON. "He's always had that attitude, that's why I liked him." Comegna's son Jordan picked No Better Joy out at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale, offering up $46,000 for the Betterthancheddar son. The youngster impressed his connections all winter, but a few hiccups in qualifying action and his first race made Comegna opt for the Grassroots rather than the July 3 Gold Series event. "If he had gone good last week we were going to put him in on Friday, but I just couldn't justify throwing him in there after that interference break (June 26)," said the Cambridge resident. "So I figured we'd maybe get him in a little easier and see if we do have something that can go a little bit, you know. Believe it or not it gave him an extra two, three days to kind of forget about last week, and it worked out." McClure closed the Grassroots portion of the evening with another victory, guiding Shadow Play son Lawless Shadow to a 1:53 score for trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge, ON and his partners R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NB, Serge Savard of St-Bruno, QC and Frank Cannon of Sanford, FL. Bulldog Hanover was hot on the heels of the fan favorite in second and Wisk Key K completed the top three. Driver Sylvain Filion captured three Grassroots divisions, kicking off his hat trick in the second $23,150 contest with fan favourite Uncontrollable. The Control The Moment son delivered the largest margin of victory in the Grassroots divisions, reaching the wire six and one-half lengths ahead of Candy Trader and Watch My Beverage in 1:53. "He told me a couple of days ago that he was really high on him. He said he probably made a mistake, he should have probably put him in the Gold, so it made me pretty high on him too, you know," said Filion of the Scott McEneny trainee. "He was actually very, very nice. I left with him, then I pulled again around the last turn and he just cruised home." Like No Better Joy, Uncontrollable will likely make the jump up to the Gold Series for his second Ontario Sires Stakes start. McEneny, who also owns the $6,000 yearling purchase, noted that a strong showing against the top colts on July 18 could see Uncontrollable supplemented to the Battle Of Waterloo Eliminations at Grand River Raceway on July 27. "I think I'm going to give him a shot. You know what, he's better off a helmet. You can see he buzzed around them really quick and then he kind of got a little lazy, but I think if you can keep him covered up he can pace with any of them," said Puslinch resident McEneny. "Like I said, first start, with a big drop time-wise, and he did it right, so I'm pretty happy with him." Filion was back in the winner's circle after the third division with Betterthancheddar son Brilliant Corners, who sat fourth before stepping out to mount an attack on pacesetting favourite West Coast Kid. Brilliant Corners sprinted home to a 1:54.2 victory, one and three-quarter lengths ahead of his TheStable.ca stablemate First Glance. Frank Deford was four and one-quarter lengths back in third. "He was a bit of a hot-headed horse early on and I was able to sit him in the hole in the qualifiers, but he was really strong, headstrong you know, and he wouldn't really relax, but tonight he was as good as I've ever seen him. Calm, relaxed and I was able to sit him in the hole as long as I wanted and that's the reason why he was so strong at the end of the mile," said Filion. "He's learning - it's still a learning process with the two-year-olds - but every time I sat behind him he got better and better, so I hope he keeps going." Filion engineered the win for trainer Harry Poulton and fractional ownership group TheStable Brilliant Corners of Guelph, ON. The Milton resident completed the hat trick in the fifth division with Saratoga Blue Chip, who was as headstrong as Brilliant Corners was relaxed. The He's Watching son gave Filion a workout as he sat in the pocket behind Mr Charisma, but had enough left to get home for a one-half length win over Beach Blogger. Mr Charisma finished third in the 1:53.3 mile. "When he left the gate he was half a runaway. I had a hard time to hold him and I had to re-move him to the front, and then I had to take a huge hold of him again to let James (MacDonald, with Mr Charisma) go by, and then moved him again around the end of the last turn. So it wasn't the greatest drive, but it worked out anyway," said Filion with a rueful chuckle. "He stretched my arms pretty good." Filion piloted Saratoga Blue Chip to the win for trainer Anthony Beaton and owner Larry Menary of Branchton, Michael Guerriero of Brampton, Alan Alber of Thornhill, ON and George Harrison of Wanes Walton, England. Avion Seelster took the other division with a 1:53.2 victory over Lil Red Sportsstar and Warrawee Wazzup. Jody Jamieson piloted the Sportswriter colt to the win for owner-trainer Jack Darling. "There's a good group of Grassrooters. Wow, it's amazing how fast they go," said Filion of the freshman colt season opener. "The weather is so warm, and no wind at all and the track is perfect, so it makes for speed." The two-year-old pacing colts will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 20 for their second Grassroots start. Complete results from Monday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CLINTON, JULY 5, 2020 – Forty-eight sophomore harness racing trotting fillies descended on Clinton Raceway Sunday afternoon and the track record at the half-mile oval fell not once, but twice as the fillies battled in six $22,800 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions. As the program got underway the three-year-old trotting filly track record stood at 1:59.3, set by Gotta Pay To Play in a July 2018 Grassroots event. That speed mark was erased in the third division when Moana wore down pacesetter Credits Celebrity and out-sprinted fan favourite Alexa Blue Chip to claim a two length victory in 1:59.2. Alexa Blue Chip settled for second and Credits Celebrity was third. “I knew she’d be pretty good there compared to some of the other ones, because she gets around the turns like a hoop around a barrel, so I knew that would play in her favour overall,” said trainer Shawn Steacy. “And James had been taking her back and racing her conservatively the last couple starts, so I figured he’d be pressing pretty good off the gate and trying to be aggressive with her today.” James MacDonald engineered the Muscle Mass daughter’s first win of 2020 for owners Landmark 12 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Moana was a two-time Grassroots winner at two, including a win in her Grassroots Semi-final, and Steacy hopes the filly is poised to match or better her freshman success this season. “She’s always been a little bit on the aggressive side and I thought we were going to have trouble training her back with her aggression this year, but once we got about 10 or 15 training miles into her she settled right in and she trained back a lot better, a lot easier on herself, than I expected her to be,” Steacy explained. “In the long run of things she’ll be better because she’ll be able to conserve a lot more of her energy that way.” Moana’s name would stay in Clinton’s record book for less than two hours however as Profound Paragon and driver Jean Bernard Renaud laid down a gate-to-wire 1:59 effort in the final division. Another daughter of Muscle Mass, Profound Paragon hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of fan favourite Hickman County and Sheer Energy. The win was Profound Paragon’s second straight and her fourth of the sophomore campaign. A late bloomer, the filly did not make her first start until after the Ontario Sires Stakes season was complete last fall, but she showed enough promise that trainer Julie Walker and her co-owner Steven Titus of Manalapan, NJ were confident she would be a player on the Grassroots circuit this summer. “We were going to give her the month of February off so that we didn’t tire her out for the Sires Stakes season and with that month off and COVID on top of that, she really got thick, she grew up a lot. She’s not really tall, but she got strong,” said Walker. “With the little break and everything we were able to take the trotting hopples off her, and like I said she just kept getting stronger and better. “Our plan was always just the Grassroots because I’m not sure if she’s a high speed filly, but like you see today, she can go around any shape and size track and that’s kind of fun to have,” added the Carlisle, ON resident. “And she’s very smart, even going to the races today, it’s hot, and she just sits and falls asleep in the cross-ties, and just likes to do her job.” Dancing Queen kicked off the Grassroots action with a 2:01 score for driver Brett MacDonald, trainer Ron MacDonald and owner Synerco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, ON. St Helens and No Angel Here finished one and one-quarter lengths behind the Royalty For Life daughter, who was making her Ontario Sires Stakes debut. The second split went to Validation and driver Colin Kelly, who controlled the tempo from start to finish, sailing under the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of fan favourite Chelseas Magic. Incredible Hally was five lengths back in third. “She trained down so well and then she just kind of got into a couple bad habits where she’d get excited behind the gate. She just needed some time. She’s very big and growthy so she just needed some time to mature I think,” said Kelly, who piloted the Muscle Mass daughter to her second sophomore win for trainer Rick Zeron of Oakville and his partner Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA. “She did everything well within hand today, she didn’t seem overly stressed and she seemed to do everything pretty easy and relaxed. Hopefully she just kind of builds on that and she can have a good season going forward.” The Present captured the fourth division with a 2:02.4 effort for Bob McClure, trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge and his partner Gestion Mastel of Longueil, QC. Peppas Angel finished three lengths back in second and Queen M was three more behind in third. “She’s a very square-gaited trotter, perfect for a track like Clinton,” said McClure of the Royalty For Life daughter. “It’s tough to beat her on the small tracks.” The fifth Grassroots battle went to a hard-charging Noblesse Duharas, who overcame an early break caused by interference to claim the 2:02 victory. Need An Alibi finished second and fan favourite Highland Foxytrotr was third. “She raced super today. She got interfered with in the first turn and got mixed up, but then raced fantastic to come back and win,” said Scott Young, who piloted the Muscle Mass daughter to the win for trainer Denis Gueriel and owner Haras De L’Estrie Inc. of Dunham, QC. “I was super happy with her performance today.” The focus shifted to the three-year-old pacing fillies at the end of the program as the $64,700 Kin Pace Final went postward in Race 10. A big closing effort by Watch My Speed and driver Jody Jamieson saw them claim the victor’s spoils as favourites High Roller Duke and Tuggingoncredit hooked wheels in the stretch, interfering with eventual runner-up Century Gianna and taking themselves out of the race. Preeminence recovered from an early break to finish third. While they could not be trackside to cheer on the fillies, Clinton Raceway fans wagered just over $88,000 on the program. Complete results can be found at Clinton Raceway Results. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Grassroots start on July 26 at Rideau Carleton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

CLINTON, ON - JULY 2, 2020 - Three-year-old fillies will be the stars of the show this Sunday at Clinton Raceway as the half-mile oval plays host to six $22,800 Grassroots Series divisions for the sophomore trotting fillies and the $64,700 Kin Pace Final for their pacing counterparts. Trainer Marcel Barrieau will start Th Present in the Grassroots season opener and send out elimination winner Preeminence in the Kin Pace Final. Th Present will benefit from Post 1 in the fourth Grassroots split, while Preeminence will have to overcome the outside Post 7 to take home the 2020 Kin Pace title. "Somebody's got to get it, but I wished it would have been somebody else," said Barrieau of the elimination winner's post position draw. "But what can you do." Bob McClure piloted Preeminence to a 1:58 score last Sunday, the quickest of the three eliminations, and will be back in the race bike for the final. The other elimination winners, Marzannk Hanover and High Roller Duke, will start from Posts 4 and 8, respectively. Working in the Sportswriter daughter's favour is her familiarity with the half-mile surface and her experience with outside post positions. At two she only saw the inside half of the starting gate three times in nine starts. "She trains on a half-mile track so she's used to them," said Barrieau, who trains Preeminence for Claude Baril of Mascouche, QC, Gilles Caouette of Sudbury, ON and Michel Daneault of Terrebonne, QC. "She's got a few little quirks, like you know when she tries to get in gear quick you've got to watch her, but she's got a good motor, she can go the distance and she's surely competitive with that bunch." Both Preeminence and Th Present were regulars on the Grassroots circuit last season, winning two legs each and finishing among the top five point earners in their respective divisions, but Barrieau said trotting lass Th Present was much tougher to race. "She was hard to manage. She wanted to go 100, and she wasn't easy on herself, and that's why sometimes she'd go on the run, because you couldn't control her," explained the trainer. "But she seems like this year she's so much better, so I hope - and her too, she's been trained on a half-mile track, she loves the half-mile track - so I think she'll be a good start there." Barrieau said the improvement Th Present has shown through her first two sophomore starts - both flawless, one trotted in 1:57 the other in 1:57.4 - came partly through physical and mental maturity and partly through hard work and repetition. "She grew up physically, she's stronger for sure, and then mentally I worked on her all winter to try to calm her down, and she responded pretty good," said the veteran horseman. "Last year she was a handful going to the gate and everything, now she just puts her nose on the gate and she goes at her business." Bob McClure will also steer Th Present, as he did in her June 16 and 23 starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, for Cambridge, ON resident Barrieau and his co-owner Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueil, QC. Th Present and her three-year-old trotting filly peers will compete in Races 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 9 while Preeminence and the other seven Kin Pace finalists will wrap up the Sunday afternoon program in Race 10. The first race goes in behind the Clinton Raceway starting gate at 1:30 pm. While fans cannot be on hand to cheer for their favourite fillies, a complete live stream is available on the Clinton Raceway website and fans can download a program to play along. In addition to Sunday's Ontario Sires Stakes event Clinton Raceway will also host the two-year-old pacing fillies in Grassroots action on Sept. 6 and two Prospect Series divisions for Ontario Sired youngsters, the two-year-old trotting fillies on July 12 and the three-year-old pacing colts on July 19. A complete schedule can be found below. Clinton Raceway Race Date Post Time Age/Sex/Gait Race Type           Sunday, July 5 1:30 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Sunday, July 12 1:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Prospect Series           Sunday, July 19 1:30 pm 3-year-old Colt Pace Prospect Series           Sunday, Sept. 6 1:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Pace Grassroots Series           From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

ELORA, ON - JULY 1, 2020 - After sweeping the three-year-old trotting colt Gold Series season opener, trainer Ben Baillargeon turned his attention to the Grassroots Series at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening and delivered two more victories. The Guelph resident kicked off the Canada Day program with a victory as No Time To Play and driver Sylvain Filion rolled through fractions of :28.3, :58.2 and 1:29.1 on their way to a 1:59.1 score in the first $22,800 division. Hetalkstoangels finished three and one-quarter lengths behind the fan favourite in second and Mr Arch rounded out the top three. "He's still very green, very dumb, and you can quote me on that too. I told Sylvain, 'Be careful when you come on the track I don't know if he'll go straight or turn'. The trot is there 100 per cent, the trot is there, he trots nice, but his mind wanders around," said Baillargeon. "I didn't know how to rig him tonight when I came here, and I changed the rigging after I warmed him up. I said, 'Well, if we get through the first turn then we're okay'. I think he's got everything to be a very nice horse down the road you know, like a four-year-old. He's got the speed, he trotted 1:55.4 his second lifetime start." Wednesday's outing was just No Time To Play's third lifetime start. He made his debut in an overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 9, finishing fourth, then delivered a second-place effort on June 16. Baillargeon trains the son of Kadabra for Ecuries Daniel Plouffe Inc. of Bromont, Jean Dessureault of Candiac and Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, QC. Eight races later Baillargeon and Filion capped off the evening with their second victory. Like his stablemate, Ongoing Royalty controlled the tempo from start to finish, posting fractions of :29.2, 1:00 and 1:29.1 before hitting the wire three lengths the best in 1:59.1. Dart Guy finished second and King Of Hearts was three more lengths back in third. "A friend of mine (Sylvio Ravary) owns him, we were raised together, and he said Ben I have this colt and he might be okay and this and that. They sent him to me about five, six weeks ago. They had him trained on the farm track in Quebec in 2:06," said Baillargeon. "He raced real good tonight. He's still a very green colt, but a good gaited colt and willing to do it, so that's nice." Les Cedres, QC resident Sylvio Ravary shares ownership of the Royalty For Life son with Andre Desrochers of St-Hughes, QC. While No Time To Play and Ongoing Royalty were making their Ontario Sires Stakes debuts on Wednesday, the other three division winners were regulars on the Grassroots circuit last season. The second division winner, Ripped And Ready, was a Grassroots winner at two and qualified for the Semi-finals. Grand River fans sent the colt off as their top choice and driver Guy Gagnon engineered a front-end effort that saw Ripped And Ready hold off a charging Fit Bitt in the stretch to record a 1:58 victory. Franks Angel rounded out the top three. Thierry Vandenplas trains Muscle Mass son Ripped And Ready for owner-breeder Dr. Ruth Irving of Russell, ON. The winner of the third split, Awesomedabra, was a two-time Grassroots winner as a freshman, with one of those wins coming in the Semi-finals. On Wednesday the Kadabra son had to overcome a mid-race miscue and lay down a :28.4 last quarter to get a head in front of Pot Stock at the 1:59 finish. Titans Dream finished one length back in third. "Unfortunately he made a break going to the half on a loose part of the track, luckily he was strong enough to overcome it," said Chris Christoforou, who drove the gelding to the win for owner-trainer Gary Lance of Port Perry, ON. "He got back into contention at the head of the stretch - he got out wide in the lane where the footing was better - and had enough to get his head in front at the wire. He raced very good." Unlike Ripped And Ready and Awesomedabra, Remember Titans never found his way to the winner's circle in his freshman campaign, but the E L Titan son was consistent enough to make it all the way to the Grassroots Championship. On Wednesday, he finally visited the winner's circle with a front-end effort in the fourth $23,150 division. Crossfit Mouse was three lengths back when Remember Titans halted the teletimer at 1:58 and The Reins Of Titan was another length and one-half back in third. "Until tonight he was the best maiden in Canada I think," said trainer Shawn Steacy with a chuckle. "He's just a solid trotter. Until tonight he didn't have a nose for winning, that's all. But ultra-consistent, can get around any size track and kind of will do as much as what any horse around him will do. I'm hoping that he starts to like this winning thing, hopefully it becomes a habit." Steacy trains Remember Titans for Landmark 12 Racing Stable of Lansdowne, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, ON and Dale Larson of Kent City, MI. James MacDonald piloted the colt to his first lifetime win. The three-year-old trotting colts will make their second Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 16. On Friday, June 17 Grand River Raceway will host its second Ontario Sires Stakes event of the 2020 season, welcoming the two-year-old pacing fillies to Elora for their second Grassroots leg. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at Grand River Raceway Results. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

ELORA, ON - JUNE 29, 2020 - Chocolate Pie is more than just a harness racing starter in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, July 1. The three-year-old trotting colt is a building block in trainer Kyle Bossence's long-term plan to shift his stable toward developing and racing young horses. "That's the game plan. I kind of grew up around (Gregg) McNair's and that's what I know. I got to train a lot of babies down around there," said Bossence. "That's kind of the goal, but I mean you've got to start somewhere, right. The racehorses help, in the wintertime, help pay for the babies." Currently ranked second in the trainer standings at Grand River, Bossence has sent out 18 starters in the last month and won five races. Chocolate Pie was among the winners, going gate-to-wire in 2:01.4 on June 17. One week earlier the Archangel son finished second in his sophomore debut and Bossence is hoping the trotter is on track for a more consistent season than he delivered at two. In his freshman campaign Chocolate Pie recorded one win, one second and one third in seven starts for earnings of $13,800, qualifying for the Grassroots Semi-final where he made a break and finished tenth. "He won his first Grassroots last year with no trotting hopples or nothing on, but as he progressed he just got a little warmer and needed the hopples just to kind of keep him sensible," said Bossence, who purchased Chocolate Pie from the 2018 London Selected Yearling Sale for $17,000. "And he really started to grow halfway through the year and that kind of hurt his two-year-old season." Chocolate Pie will make his sophomore OSS debut from Post 7 in the fourth $23,150 Grassroots division on Wednesday. Regular reinsman Colin Kelly will steer the colt, facing off against a field of eight that includes 2019 Grassroots finalist Remember Titans from Post 1 and 2019 Gold Leg winner Crossfit Mouse from Post 3. "He's matured a lot and he grew a lot and filled out, so we hope for some luck. I was hoping for a little better post position, but we'll see how he makes out," said Bossence. "He's good on a half, but I mean post position can really help you on a half-mile track." In addition to Chocolate Pie, the Arthur resident has three other sophomores and six two-year-olds in his stable. Bossence has been pleased with the progress of some of his two-year-old pacers and hopes at least one will prove talented enough to compete in Grand River Raceway's signature Battle Of Waterloo eliminations in late July. "We've got a couple two-year-olds I think are all right," said the trainer. "I've got a couple paid into the Battle of Waterloo - that's one race I've always wanted to win so we'll see how that goes - hopefully they're good enough by then to at least make the (Aug. 3) final." Chocolate Pie gave Bossence his first provincial stakes win last July and pacing colt Doc Fanelli added another in September. The trainer will be looking to add to that number this season as he makes progress toward his long-term goal. "The game plan was always to get away from the claimers," said Bossence. "Eventually it would be nice just to have the younger ones, and a few conditioned horses." Chocolate Pie and his peers will battle in Races 2, 4, 6, 9 and 10 on Grand River Raceway's Wednesday evening program, which gets underway at 6:30 pm. While fans cannot cheer the trotting colts on in person, downloadable programs and a live stream are available on the Grand River Raceway website. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

Toronto, ON — Ontario Racing has released the revised schedules for the upcoming harness racing stakes season. The Ontario Sires Stakes will kick off on June 26 with the first leg of the Grassroots Series for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Woodbine Mohawk Park while the Prospect Series will commence with the 3-year-old pacing fillies on June 20 at Hanover Raceway. by Allison Glynn, OSS Program Coordinator

MILTON, OCT. 5, 2019 - Driver Doug McNair almost missed Saturday night's Grassroots Championships at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but when the Guelph resident finally arrived he went straight to the harness racing winner's circle, a trip he would make two more times before the $600,000 championships were over. "Oh it was a great night, I mean it started off bad, I missed my first drive, and I thought she was one of my best shots, that pacing filly of Rob Fellows' (Mach My Kiss)," said McNair, whose arrival was delayed due to the late finish of the afternoon program at The Red Mile in Lexington, KY where he had two stakes drives. "I thought, 'This is going to be the start of a bad night', but everything just clicked, everything worked out and it usually doesn't work out like that." After missing the drive aboard two-year-old pacing filly Semi-Final winner Mach My Kiss, who finished tenth for driver Jonathan Drury, McNair's first assignment was with two-year-old pacing colt Mayhem Hanover. Lining up at Post 1 the pair got away second, tucked in behind fan favourite and division point leader Quick Tour as he rang up fractions of :26.3, :56.3, and 1:24.1. My Land pressed the pace through the middle of the mile, but there was room for Mayhem Hanover to slide out of the pocket in the stretch and the colt kicked home in :26.3 to get a neck in front of Quick Tour for the 1:51.1 victory. Bettorbuckleup closed hard to be third, almost four lengths behind the leaders. "Off that trip, he might've surprised some people tonight, but he didn't really surprise me," said McNair. "He's a real fast, high-speed colt, and he just got such a good trip tonight, it kind of worked a bit better for him." The driver's father, Gregg McNair of Guelph, trains Mayhem Hanover for Scott Horner and Clay Harland Horner of Toronto, ON. The championship victory gives the Sportswriter colt a freshman record of four wins and two seconds in nine starts for earnings of $79,405. McNair's next drive was aboard three-year-old pacing filly Kylie Seelster and the Big Jim daughter closed like a rocket to finish second behind heavy favourites So Much More and driver Louis-Philippe Roy, who cruised home one and three-quarter length winners in 1:51.1 for trainer Don Beatson of Granton, his son Ken Beatson of Palgrave and grandson Cole England of Exeter, ON. Kylie Seelster's stablemates in the Gregg McNair barn, Sports Flix and Swift Ally, finished third and fourth. In the seventh $75,000 division final, McNair was in the race bike of three-year-old trotting filly Semi-Final winner Rebellious Lady. The pair started from Post 4 and watched from third as Halo Its Me and Petro Hall battled to a :26.4 quarter and then Petro Hall opened up a four length gap on the field before the :55.2 half. The gap started to shrink on the way to the 1:24.3 three-quarters and when McNair tipped Rebellious Lady to the outside coming off the final turn the Angus Hall daughter reeled in Petro Hall and then fought hard to hold off Lefkada and claim the head victory in 1:55.1. Warrawee Ultra also closed well to be third. "The last turn they were going a real good clip up front and she kind of felt half-relaxed, but she trotted real hard through the stretch and it was a good win," said McNair. 'It was good to win for Duane Marfisi the trainer, like I said on the TV there, I think it was my second-ever race and he put me down to drive one, so it was great to get a Final win for him. "She surprised me," he added. "I thought I had a shot at Louis (Roy, Petro Hall) when she went by because his horse was likely a little tired, but I didn't think she'd fight off Scotty's (Wray, Lefkada). But I'm pretty sure he was three-wide for a lot of the last turn, so that makes a big difference." Guelph resident Duane Marfisi trains Rebellious Lady and leases her through his Green And Gold Inc. from Hugh Fitzpatrick, who also calls Guelph home. McNair completed the Grassroots Championship hat trick in the last division, sending fan favourite Fast N First to the lead early from Post 10. Fast N First took over control from Dreamfair Moxy heading by the :26 quarter and was comfortably in control at the :54.4 half. By the 1:23.4 three-quarters Carlisimo was applying pressure and turning for home Carsons Shadow had stepped around Carlisimo and looked ready to score the upset, but Fast N First dug in and kept a nose in front for the 1:51.1 victory. Dreamfair Moxy was promoted from fourth to third when Sportsline was judged to have caused interference in the stretch and placed from third to ninth. "I kind of really just wanted to float with him and see what happened, because I think he's just as good off the pace as he is on the lead. And I mean once Bob (McClure, Dreamfair Moxy) made the front at the eighth-pole I figured he'd want to follow me, and he did the rest from there. "He scared me for a second but that was kind of my fault, I kind of had him right to sleep you know, worried about Bob on my back, I wasn't worried about anybody else," McNair continued. "If I would've just kind of let him rattle I think he'd have won a lot easier. He impressed me tonight. That's the best he's raced for me. Nice little horse. That was a good night." Blake MacIntosh trains Bettors Delight colt Fast N First for his co-owners Ridgeway Racing of Ridgeway and Steve Heimbecker of Conestogo, ON. The win caps off a stakes season that saw the colt win two regular season Grassroots divisions and last week's Semi-Final, along with his Little Brown Jug elimination. In 20 starts Fast N First has logged 10 wins, four seconds and two thirds for earnings of $306,409. St. George, ON resident MacIntosh was also victorious in the two-year-old pacing filly division with Queso Relleno, who hit the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of So Delightful and Kat in a personal best 1:52.2. MacIntosh shares ownership of the Betterthancheddar filly with Sue Vernon Smith of Oakville, ON, Hutt Racing Stable of Malvern, PA and The Flanagan Sisters of Dublin, Ireland. Moffat resident Jody Jamieson piloted Queso Relleno to the win, his second appearance in the winner's circle after playing the role of proud father earlier in the evening while his daughter Hailey Jamieson sang the national anthem. The two-year-old trotting filly championship went to Scorched Romance, who controlled the tempo on the way to a one length victory in 1:57.2. Milton resident Sylvain Filion drove the Kadabra daughter to the win for New Jersey-based trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL. Two-year-old trotting colt point leader Lovedbythemasses wrapped up his Grassroots campaign with a division title, sailing home four lengths ahead of his peers in an impressive 1:55.4. Campbellville resident Mike Saftic drove Lovedbythemasses to the victory for trainer Ed Peconi, Jr. of Peterborough and his co-owners Nicholas Peconi of Lakefield, ON and Wade Peconi of Stanchel, PEI, who also bred the son of Muscle Mass. Division point leader Gold Edition took the three-year-old trotting colt final with a big 1:53.4 effort for driver Phil Hudon of Guelph, trainer Blair Burgess of Campbellville and owners Stirling Fisher of Waterloo and Karin Olsson Burgess of Campbellville. Southwind Frost finished one and one-half lengths back in second and Royale Elite rounded out the top three. Complete results for Saturday's program are available at Grassroots Championship Results.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

MILTON, ON -  OCT. 3, 2019 - Trevor Henry has had the Lampman Cup title within sight half a dozen times since he last claimed it, only to lose out when his harness racing peers came up with big nights in the post season, but this year the driver has a stranglehold on top spot in the point standings heading into Saturday night's $600,000 Grassroots Championships at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Not only does the Arthur, Ontario resident have a 90 point lead on frequent Lampman Cup rival Sylvain Filion, Henry also has an impressive line-up of drives in the eight Grassroots Finals. He won three sophomore Semi-Finals last Saturday and expects a big effort from all of his three-year-old mounts again this weekend. "I think Judge Ken has a definite shot. He drew a perfect spot for him (Post 6). He has a really good shot," said Henry of the three-year-old trotting colt Semi-Final winner. "And the horse of Jimmy Watt's (three-year-old pacing colt Sportsline), he's been battling sickness and they think they've got him over it, and he drew a really good spot, the five-hole. I think he has a really good shot." Although he was disappointed to see three-year-old trotting filly Semi-Final winner Splurge On Me draw Post 8, he still expects her to put up a fight in the talent-laden division, noting that the Kadabra daughter has a great deal of practice starting from the outer half of the gate. "She never draws good, always draws outside. I'd like to know how many times she's been inside the eight-hole, because she does draw bad," said the driver with a rueful chuckle. "She can leave really well, but it would just be nicer if you were five or six. You get out in the eight-hole it gets tougher, and plus now it's ten of the best so it's a tougher race than the races she's been in where there's just one or two. All these fillies are good now." In 16 starts Splurge On Me has logged just four starts on the inner half of the gate and has landed Post 8 or 9 on five occasions, three of them within the last six weeks. Division point leader Splurge On Me and Judge Ken are both trained by Windsor, Ontario resident Bob McIntosh. The last time he won the Lampman Cup title, in 2007, Henry won two Grassroots Finals. The first year he claimed the title, in 1996, the Grassroots level and year-end championships were not part of the provincial program. Over three decades in the harness racing industry Henry has witnessed many changes to the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program, both in its organisation and the quality of horses participating. "Well the first time when I won it there were a lot more racetracks. You went all over the place, you had to go to Belleville, there was Woodstock, Sudbury, Windsor, so you had to do a lot more travelling than you do now. You might go to Sudbury on a Saturday and then drive across to Ottawa on a Sunday," recalled Henry, who was primarily driving his father Ross Henry's stable of trotters in 1996. "Now, Mohawk has the majority of the races, and then Grand River, Flamboro, you know it's pretty well all local." Ontario Sired horses have had a standout season in Grand Circuit action, winning premier events like The Meadowlands Pace and Hambletonian Trot, and Henry said, while the Standardbred breed has improved in general, he really notices the difference in OSS trotting divisions. "The gait of them, like before there was so many breakers. You'll see a few now, but not like it used to be, and so many make the races now," said the horseman. "Where you used to have two-year-old trotting fillies, there would be one or two maybe Gold (divisions) and then two or three Grassroots, where now when they start out there's five or six." It is no accident that Henry often finds himself in the winner's circle with trotters in the OSS program. His father Ross Henry was a five-time winner of the Johnston Cup title as the leading trainer in the OSS while campaigning a large stable of trotters, and his brother Wayne Henry won the title twice, giving the family a four-year run from 2004 to 2007. Wayne will start one of his own horses in Saturday's Grassroots Finals, steering two-year-old trotting filly Credits Celebrity after a share of the $75,000 purse from Post 8 in the first race. "It taught me a great work ethic," said Henry of working alongside his father. "And he taught me a lot about how to hang a trotter up and just all that stuff." Henry still goes to the barn every morning, now working alongside his wife Shannon Henry on their stable of five or six horses, and does all his own blacksmith work. In between mornings at the barn and evenings on the racetrack he can be found watching replays of races to make sure he has not overlooked any details about his own mounts or the competition. "You've got to pay attention to all the ones around you, how they race, like watch replays the next day," said the driver. "Because there's some horses that get locked in, and you don't even realise it in the race until you go back and watch it, and that horse was live, he just never got a chance to race, so you've got to pay attention to that. "That's one of the biggest things, to pay attention to the horses around you too," he continued. "You get to know them; you get to know their quirks too." In all eight of his Grassroots Championship drives on Saturday Henry will be looking to capitalise on each of his mount's strengths and be looking to take advantage of any quirks he has identified in their rivals. The reinsman will kick things off in the first race with the McIntosh trained two-year-old trotting filly Ready To Deal, who will start from Post 7. The other finals are slated as Races 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 with all the action getting under way at 7:10 pm. Complete entries are available at Grassroots Championship Entries. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 26, 2019 - On Saturday night the three-year-olds are headed to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their $160,000 Grassroots Semi-Finals and the harness racing pacing filly Sports Flix is the only freshman champion with a shot at defending her title. The task will be a tough one. Sports Flix drew the outside Post 10 in what trainer Gregg McNair calls the tougher of the two pacing filly Semi-Finals. Among the fillies Sports Flix will face is So Much More, who went undefeated in her two regular season Grassroots starts and will leave the gate from Post 6. "She hooked that one tough mare of Donnie Beatson's (So Much More)," said McNair, who trains the Sportswriter daughter for James Fraleigh of Dresden, ON. "Just hope she gets qualified for the final and then maybe draw a little bit better there." After a somewhat disappointing start to the season - McNair thought she would make the leap to the Gold Series off a strong winter of training, but she finished third and eighth in the first two events - Sports Flix rebounded with wins in the last two Grassroots legs. She recorded a personal best 1:52.2 effort in her Sept. 10 Grassroots division at Woodbine Mohawk Park and McNair said she was sharp in a training mile with stablemates Swift Ally and Kylie Seelster at the Campbellville oval last week. "When we were training them back she laid over them other two, but they've both got better," said the Guelph, ON resident of his pacing filly trio. "We had them into Mohawk there at the end of last week and trained the three of them together, trained them up pretty good and then worked them back again this week. They seem okay." Kylie Seelster will line up at Post 3 in the same division as Sports Flix, the ninth race on the 7:10 pm program, and Doug McNair will steer her, leaving Sports Flix in the hands of the Ontario Sires Stakes' leading driver Trevor Henry. "She's good and sharp right now, Kylie, and we're figuring on racing her a bit," said McNair. "I don't know for how long because she could possibly even be sold, a couple farms have been interested in her." The daughter of Big Jim and Kiddie Cocktail is a half-sister to $865,450 winner Kendall Seelster and McNair's top two-year-old pacing filly Karma Seelster. She could spend next season as a broodmare rather than a racehorse if the trainer and his co-owners Keith Waples of Durham and Chris Robson of London, ON choose to accept an offer from a breeding farm. The third member of McNair's pacing filly trio topped the division standings with a flawless record of four wins in four Grassroots starts. Unraced at two, Swift Ally launched her career in March with four straight victories and is currently on another four-race win streak. The homebred daughter of Big Jim and Claires Apache has not been bested since July 19. "She hasn't got the greatest position, but she should get, if things work out good, she should get qualified for the final," said McNair, who shares ownership of Swift Ally with Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON. "I'd say that's the softer division, but there's a couple nice ones in there too." Swift Ally and Doug McNair will start from Post 8 in the first $20,000 pacing filly Semi-Final, which goes postward as Race 7. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 5. In addition to his pacing filly entry, McNair will also send pacing colt Balder Son after a championship berth from Post 3 in the eleventh race, the last of the eight sophomore Semi-Finals. "Balder Son, he's raced pretty consistent all year. I know he didn't win many, but he hasn't thrown too many bad starts in," said McNair. "We had him in there (Mohawk Park) on Tuesday and trained him up, so he should race good. I imagine, if something doesn't happen there, he'll probably get qualified for the finals." Balder Son wrapped up the Grassroots season ranked 19th in the point standings, finishing second, third, fourth, seventh and ninth in his five appearances. The Betterthancheddar gelding heads into the Semi-Final off a 1:51.1 personal best victory in a Sept. 16 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Roderick Smith of Inverness, NS owns Balder Son and Jody Jamieson will steer the gelding in the Semi-Final. Doug McNair opted for Little Brown Jug elimination winner Fast N First who will start from Post 1. McNair will also start three horses in Friday's two-year-old Semi-Final event and the horseman hopes his seven Grassroots starters come up with strong efforts to keep him ahead of Shawn Steacy and Bob McIntosh in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) leading trainer race. As of Sept. 26, McNair has 186 points, Steacy 182 and McIntosh 179. Steacy will send out a total of 10 Grassroots Semi-Finalists and McIntosh has eight. "You're either chasing them or you can't get away from them," said McNair with a chuckle. In the last 11 years McIntosh has won the Johnston Cup title five times, Steacy's father Mark has three victories and McNair earned the honour the other three years. All three operations focus on developing young horses and each trainer has started 20-plus trotters and pacers in the Grassroots and Gold Series this season. The tight race for top spot will continue in Races 1, 3, 5 through 9, and 11 on Saturday night as the three-year-old trotters and pacers vie for berth in the Grassroots Championships. The sophomore trotting fillies will kick things off at 7:10 pm. Complete entries for Saturday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 25, 2019 - Harness racing trainer Shawn Steacy heads into Friday night's two-year-old Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park sitting second in the Ontario Sires Stakes trainer standings, just four points behind leader Gregg McNair. The 33-year-old took over official training duties from his father Mark Steacy this season and would love to keep the Johnston Cup in the family; the elder Steacy won the title in 2016, 2017 and 2018. While Shawn was a key part of his father's victories, serving as the second trainer for the stable, he admits that having his name listed among the other top point earners is a special point of pride. "It's kind of a privilege to be able to have my name out there now and to be second or third in the Johnston Cup standings. For a younger guy in the business, it's an honour having it there with guys like Bob McIntosh and Gregg McNair," said Steacy. "I take pride in that. I think more proudly about being high in those standings almost that being in the WEG standings." Steacy, who is currently ranked sixth in the Woodbine Mohawk Park trainer standings, says the shift from second trainer to primary trainer has not resulted in any significant changes to the day-to-day operation of the stable. The family has been in the process of transitioning to the next generation of horsemen for a number of years with Shawn handling the Woodbine Mohawk Park operation while his brother Clarke is in charge of developing horses at their Lansdowne, ON farm. "It's always been a team, a family affair. My dad's always, and probably always will be, the quarterback behind everything and my brother and I are equal partners along the way," said Steacy. "My dad had kind of managed the overall business aspect of it and helped out both my brother and I, but I think I'm more of the training responsibility now, my brother is very involved with the development part of them." One responsibility that has fallen solidly on the Guelph, ON resident's shoulders is accompanying the horses to their respective races. "He tells me all the time now, he says if I don't ever have to go to the track again at night I'll be a happier person," said Steacy of his father's absence from the racetrack. "He says I'll work all day long, it doesn't matter, I just don't like to go at night, that's what I had kids for." On Friday Steacy will be accompanying two-year-old pacing colts Captivate Hanover and Delightful Terror, two-year-old trotting filly Moana, two-year-old trotting colt Remember Titans and two-year-old pacing filly Cute Accountant. All five horses will be driven by Guelph resident James MacDonald, with Captivate Hanover drawing Post 1 in the first $20,000 Semi-Final, slated as Race 2 on the 7:50 pm program, Delightful Terror starting from Post 9 in Race 7, Moana getting Post 2 in the third race, Remember Titans landing Post 8 in Race 5, and Cute Accountant drawing Post 7 in Race 8. "I would say my best shots would be Delightful Terror, he's been strong, he had about a four-race win streak there for a while (July 20 to Aug. 22) where he was very good. I think amongst the Grassrooters - you know they're all good when they're pacers, so anybody can beat anybody - but I think he has as good, if not better of a chance of any horse on the pacing colt side of things," said Steacy. "And also I was really impressed with my other colt Remember Titans. He's kind of a bit of a dark horse I think going into the Semi-Finals. He's so big and so strong, that I just think he's able to carry his speed a long way and he's got such a good mannerism to him. I think if he gets a little bit of help with the trip and is able to sit close, I think he's got a big shot." Shelly and Robert MacMillan of Waterloo, Doug Millard Farms of Woodstock and Vivian Bell of St. Thomas, ON share ownership of Bettors Delight son Delightful Terror, who heads into Friday's test ranked eighth in the freshman pacing colt standings with 77 points. E L Titan colt Remember Titans is owned by fractional ownership group Landmark 12 of Lansdowne, A K Malik Stable of Ottawa, ON and Dale Larson of Kent City, MI and he also finished up the regular season in eighth spot with 88 points. Steacy expects Captivate Hanover, Moana and Cute Accountant to also be in the running for a top five finish. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to the Grassroots Championships at Woodbine Mohawk Park next Saturday, Oct. 5. Fractional ownership group TheStable.ca also qualified five starters in Friday's Semi-Finals. Two-year-old trotting filly Canadian Titan will start from Post 9 in Race 3, two-year-old trotting colt Enduring Strength gets Post 8 in Race 6, while two-year-old pacing fillies Wiggle Delight and Need Ur Opinion start alongside each other from Posts 7 and 8 in the ninth race and two-year-old pacing filly point leader Capistrano gets Post 2 in Race 10. Among the enthusiastic owners that will be on hand to root for TheStable.ca horses is NHL Hall of Famer Doug Gilmour, who owns shares in Capistrano. Friday's contest will be Gilmour's first opportunity to see the Warrawee Needy daughter in action and the former Toronto Maple Leaf is hoping she can pick up her fourth win. "From the conversations I've had with everyone, they tell me she's a great horse," said Gilmour. "I'm really looking forward to seeing the horse, and I'm really excited about going out to (Mohawk) to watch her race." Woodbine Mohawk Park's Friday evening program kicks off at 7:50 pm with the two-year-old Semi-Finals going postward in Races 2, 3 and 5 through 10. Complete entries are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Entries. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 17, 2019 - Splurge On Me tallied her third Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots win on Tuesday evening as the three-year-old harness racing trotting fillies wrapped up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park. With regular reinsman Trevor Henry in the race bike Splurge On Me powered to the front from Post 6 and never looked back. The Kadabra daughter cruised through fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:27.1 and then opened up six lengths on her peers in the stretch, trotting under the wire in 1:55.1. Favourite Rebellious Lady settled for second and Galaxy Seelster was six more lengths back in third. "She's a nice filly. She doesn't do much wrong," said Henry. "She was stronger tonight at the wire." With three wins, one third and one seventh in her five regular season Grassroots appearances, Splurge On Me leads the three-year-old trotting fillies into the Sept. 28 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park with 164 points. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to the Oct. 5 Grassroots Championships at the Campbellville oval. "I think there's three good fillies probably and I think she's one of them. It will just depend on post position and how things work out," said Henry about Splurge On Me's post season prospects, ranking Halo Its Me and Lefkada as the other top fillies. Henry steers Splurge On Me for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON and his co-owner C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The partners also bred the filly, who boosted her sophomore record to eight wins, one second, two thirds and earnings of $82,885 through 15 starts. A two-time Grassroots winner last season, Splurge On Me finished fifth in her Semi-Final and seventh in the Final and Henry would like to see the filly improve on those results this season. "She's a bigger filly now of course, but she always had good manners and everything. She's just bigger and more mature," said the Arthur, ON resident. "She can race any way, but she's better out of a hole actually. Where it might fit better is if she gets to the final and somebody's got some speed that she can follow; she's better that way actually than off the front." The other two division winners, Lefkada and Petro Hall, also advanced to the post season. Starting from Post 1, fan favourite Lefkada got away fourth as Witches N Angels led the field of seven to a :27.3 opening quarter. Witches N Angels continued to lead by the :57.1 half, but driver Scott Wray had Lefkada on the move, circling three-wide around a parked Order Mattie. On top by two lengths at the 1:26.4 three-quarters, Lefkada cruised home to a three length victory in a 1:56 personal best. Cambridge Kate finished second and Angelic Speed was third. The win was Lefkada's second in Grassroots action and her third lifetime. The E L Titan daughter was unraced at two and now has seven starts under her belt for trainer Jack Wray of London and his partners Thomas Wray of Schomberg and Douglas Dunbar of Woodstock, ON. With two wins and one eighth in three Grassroots appearances the filly wraps up the regular season with 101 points, putting her third in the point standings. Petro Hall earned her first Grassroots win in a roundabout manner when favourite Halo Its Me went inside two pylons coming off the final turn and was placed from first back to second. Petro Hall, who did all the work through fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:25.1 and trotted under the wire in 1:55, was driven to the win by Louis-Philippe Roy. "She's a little bit of a weird filly. She's not the most consistent, but when she's good she can be among the top Grassroots fillies, like she proved tonight," said Roy. "It depends on how she feels." The Guelph resident steers the Angus Hall daughter for trainer Victor Puddy and owners Lloyd Stone of Portland, James Ruhl of Tara, Dr. Charles Hall of Erin and Michael Kwietniowski of Guelph, ON. In four Grassroots starts she recorded one win, two thirds and one fifth for a point tally of 79 and seventh spot in the standings. Grassroots action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday night as the two-year-old trotting fillies wrap up their regular season. The freshman fillies will kick things off at 7:10 pm in the first race and also compete in Races 6 and 8. Complete results from Tuesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0917wbsbsn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, SEPT. 16, 2019 - For both Night Watchman and Mayhem Hanover, Monday night's harness racing Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park was a must win situation. Both two-year-old pacing colts sat below the cut off for a berth in the post season and to ensure their Ontario Sires Stakes campaign lasted another week they needed to grab the lion's share of the points in their respective divisions. Night Watchman kicked things off in the first $23,500 division and got away sixth from Post 3 as Delightful Terror led the field to a :27.3 opening quarter. Heading for the :56.1 half driver Trevor Henry tipped Night Watchman into the outer lane behind fan favourite National Sport and Wilsons Vinner. By the 1:24.2 three-quarters National Sport was leading the way and Night Watchman was circling out three-wide and shifting into high gear. One-half length ahead turning for home, Night Watchman opened up a two and one-half length lead on his peers by the 1:52 finish. Early leader Delightful Terror closed hard to be second, leaving National Sport to settle for third. "We had high hopes for him, but he qualified really well and then he got sick on me so I missed the first two Sires Stakes," said trainer Craig Barss. "And then he had a couple little gait issues, he was putting in steps and we couldn't figure it out, but now he's finally put it all together." Monday's win was the He's Watching son's first in six lifetime starts. Combined with a second and third from his other two Grassroots starts Night Watchman finished the season with 87 points, boosting him from twenty-fourth in the standings into a tie for sixth. Cobourg resident Barss and his partner Nurko Sokolovic of Waterloo, ON bred and own Night Watchman. The colt is the first foal from their former race mare Midnight Jet, whose siblings include $778,474 winner Stolen Car and $502,290 winner Ideal Jet. "His mother we raced and raised her, his grandmother I raced and she's been very good to me, so we decided to breed one of the daughters that wasn't that successful as a racehorse and got him," said Barss. "He's a very good size. He's very relaxed, super easy to get along with, he really doesn't do anything wrong." Night Watchman All four of Monday's winners made at least one start in the Gold Series this summer, but Mayhem Hanover spent an extended stretch battling the top colts in the province. After a runner-up effort in the Grassroots season opener the Sportswriter colt made three appearances in the Gold Series, finishing sixth twice and fifth once. Facing the prospect of not advancing to the Gold Series post season, trainer Gregg McNair opted to return the Sportswriter son to the Grassroots level for the regular season finale. Lining up at Post 2 in the last division Mayhem Hanover tucked into third as Better B Swift and Day Delight battled to a :27.1 opening quarter, but was soon aiming at the lead. On top by one and three-quarter lengths at the :55.1 half, Mayhem Hanover and driver Doug McNair maintained a comfortable advantage through the 1:24.2 three-quarters and then shifted into a bigger gear as Day Delight revved up on the outside. Mayhem Hanover refused to yield, pacing under the wire one-half length ahead of Day Delight in a personal best 1:52. Better B Swift was two lengths back in third. "He's been a nice colt all along. I just didn't want to beat him up too much when I raced him in the Golds," said Guelph, ON resident Doug McNair of the fan favourite. "He keeps getting better every start. I hope he continues it next year." Scott and Clay Horner of Toronto, ON own Mayhem Hanover, who moved from thirty-second in the standings into a tie for ninth with 75 points. The colt has tallied three wins and one second in seven lifetime starts for earnings of $36,905. Mayhem Hanover The other two divisions saw point leaders Quick Tour and My Land cruise to their third Grassroots victories. In spite of starting from the outside Post 10, Quick Tour and driver Louis-Philippe Roy carved all the fractions in the second division, ringing up a :26.4 quarter, :56 half and 1:25.2 three-quarter on their way to a one and one-quarter length win in 1:53.3. Mission Bay finished second and Better Take It rounded out the top three. "He's super gaited, just wears a pair of shin boots, and he's real smart, and mental maturity for a two-year-old is a big thing," said trainer Mark Horner. "To go race he's like an old racehorse. Some two-year-olds, it holds a lot of them back, they're not mentally mature enough to handle it." St. Mary's resident Horner conditions the homebred son of Mach Three for his partner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, ON. In four Grassroots starts the gelding delivered three wins and one second for a division leading 175 points. Quick Tour My Land took command of the $23,850 third division from the start and led the field through fractions of :27, :55.1 and 1:23.4 on his way to a 1:52.3 victory. Tabloid Writer finished three lengths back in second, just ahead of Bettorbuckleup. Phil Hudon piloted the fan favourite to the win for trainer Gerard Demers and owner La Ferme Tag Inc. of Papineauville, QC. With three wins and one fourth in Grassroots action, Badlands Hanover son My Land finished second in the standings with 158 points. The top 20 point earners will now battle in Semi-Final action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 27, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final returning to the Campbellville oval for the Oct. 5 Grassroots Championship. The three-year-old trotting fillies will wrap up their Grassroots regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday evening, competing in Races 2, 6 and 8 on the 7:10 pm program. Complete results from Monday's program are available here OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

HANOVER, ON -  Driver Guy Gagnon and trainer Dany Fontaine teamed up to win two divisions of the two-year-old trotting colt Grassroots harness racing season finale at Hanover Raceway on Saturday night. Gagnon and Fontaine kicked off their successful outing in the second $22,450 division with Kenogami Coco. Starting from Post 3 Gagnon sent the Wheeling N Dealin son straight to the front and never saw a challenge, cruising through fractions of :30, 1:02 and 1:32.3 on their way to a three and one-half length victory in 2:03.3. Les Nessman finished second and Marbellos rounded out the top three. "Coco is a nice colt," said Fontaine, adding that he was not surprised by the young trotter's victory. "All winter he trained good, all the time." Fontaine trains Kenogami Coco for owner-breeders Jean Francois and Marie Claude Reid of Anjou, QC. Saturday's win was the gelding's first in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program and boosted him from thirty-third in the division standings to eleventh with 62 points. The top 20 point earners will compete in the Sept. 27 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final advancing to the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Oct. 5. In addition to the OSS program Kenogami Coco also spent the summer competing in the Future Stars Series at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres where he won two legs and finished second in the Sept. 8 final. In seven starts he boasts a record of three wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $38,462. Gagnon and Fontaine recorded their second Grassroots win in the third division with Laval Titan, who got away second from Post 6 and took command just after the :30.2 opening quarter. Comfortably in command through a 1:01.2 half and a 1:31.4 three-quarters, Laval Titan dug in down the stretch to secure a one-half length victory over fan favourite Ripped And Ready in 2:02.2. Franks Angel was well behind the duelling leaders in third. "He's a big horse and I knew he was good on a half, the only thing I was not sure is if he run at the gate, but when I saw him starting at the gate and he take the front, for sure the race is finished," said Fontaine of the gelding, who made early breaks in three of his first four lifetime starts. "He's starting to come mature now at the end of the season." Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC bred and owns Laval Titan, who hit the board for the first time in the Sept. 3 Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park and finishes just above his stablemate in tenth spot with 67 points. Fontaine is hoping the E L Titan son can maintain his steady form through the Semi-Final and deliver on the promise he demonstrated through his early lessons. "I'm very happy about him; about both you know, but him because all winter he showed me he was good - we staked him everywhere that horse. He has very nice conformation, big horse, everything, but he takes some time to come mature," said Fontaine. "He's coming, he's not perfect, but he's coming; just in time for the finals." Former Walkerton resident Mark Etsell won the last division with Secrets Justice, who was also making his first appearance in the winner's circle. Starting from Post 3 Etsell settled the gelding in fourth as Mr Arch rolled out to a :30.3 quarter and then sent Secrets Justice up the outer lane heading for the 1:01.2 half. The pair remained in the outer lane as Mr Arch trotted by the 1:31 three-quarters, but in the stretch they succeeded in wearing the pacesetter down. At the 2:01.2 finish it was Secrets Justice with a head in front, leaving Mr Arch to settle for second and fan favourite Awesomedabra well back in third. "He toughed it out today," said Etsell. "When I saw the draw I said we're in the toughest division - the horse that beat us last time (Awesomedabra) and then the two-horse (Mr Arch), he beat us in Georgian - but it all worked out so that was good." Etsell trains and drives Secrets Justice for owner-breeder Dave Husul, Arlene Husul and Nancy D'Hulster of Langton, ON. With one win and one third in Grassroots action the Justice Hall gelding wraps up the regular season tied with Kenogami Coco for eleventh in the standings. The other division went to Enduring Strength, who carved out fractions of :31, 1:03 and 1:33.3 and then battled down the stretch to a nose victory in 2:04.2. Remember Titans finished second but was placed back to fifth for causing interference in the stretch, so Youboozeyoulose was elevated to the runner-up spot with Northern Flame moving up to third. Mario Baillargeon trains and drives Angus Hall son Enduring Strength for fractional ownership group TheStable.ca's Enduring Strength group of Guelph, ON. Complete results for Saturday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0914hnvrn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - SEPT. 12, 2019 - Southwind Frost picked up his second straight harness racing win in Grassroots action as the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings wrapped up their regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening. Sent off as the heavy favourite from Post 3, Southwind Frost watched from fourth as A Royal Line led the field to a :27.2 opening quarter. As Royale Elite took over heading for the :56.1 half, trainer-driver Michael Vanderkemp sent Southwind Frost up the outer lane behind Gold Edition. Gold Edition made steady progress forward and had a one-half length lead by the 1:24.4 three-quarters, but once Vanderkemp gave Southwind Frost a clear look at the wire the colt powered away from his rivals to a two length victory in a personal best 1:54.1. Gold Edition would settle for second but finish atop the division point standings, and P L Matt closed hard to be third. "He was pretty good there tonight," said Vanderkemp, who trains Southwind Frost for Michael Andrew of Gorham, ME. "He won pretty easy, actually probably the best he's been." Southwind Frost won his first Grassroots division on Aug. 19 at Woodbine Mohawk Park and followed that up with a third-place effort in an overnight event at the Campbellville oval on Sept. 5. Although the E L Titan colt hit the board in last week's prep race, Vanderkemp was not entirely satisfied with the youngster's effort and was looking for improvement on Thursday. "As far as last week, he was just so-so, but the track was very dry and loose last week and he couldn't really grab it in the turn, and in the stretch he kept getting pushed wider and wider," said the Fergus, ON resident. "His line was still good, but he didn't look that good. But he had a couple little excuses. "He should be good from here on in, stay good for another two hopefully," added Vanderkemp. With two wins and one second in three Grassroots appearances, Southwind Frost finished second in the division standings with 125 points and will advance to the Sept. 28 Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will return to the seven-eighths mile oval on Oct. 5 for the Grassroots Championships. Vanderkemp noted that the quirky youngster will likely go straight to the Semi-Final from Thursday's start. "I think it's two and half weeks, so, he seems to go better fresh, so maybe we'll save it for the elimination and final," said the trainer. Wings Of Speed squeaked into a spot in the Semi-Final with a victory in the second $23,150 division, reeling in pacesetter Priceless Ruler on the final turn and accelerating away to a three and one-quarter length victory in 1:55.4. Northern Tailwind finished second and CT Conabra was third. The win was the Archangel son's first lifetime and boosted him from fifty-second in the point standings to sixteenth. Acton resident Mario Baillargeon engineered the timely victory for his brother, trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph, ON, and owners Legendary Standardbred Farm of Mt. Morris, NY. Magical Winner K captured the first division with a 1:54.1 personal best, trotting under the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Judge Ken and Esa. Milton resident Sylvain Filion piloted the Kadabra colt to his fifth win of the season on behalf of trainer Rod Boyd of Cambridge and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. After a pair of starts at the Gold Series level, Thursday's appearance was Magical Winner K's first in the Grassroots program, which makes him ineligible for the post season. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday, Sept. 13 with a $155,600 Gold Series contest for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The first race goes postward at 7:50 pm and the talented pacing colts and geldings will face off in Race 6. Complete results from Thursday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912wbsbsn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

ELORA, ON - SEPT. 9, 2019 - Driver Trevor Henry and trainer Bob McIntosh teamed up to win two of five Grassroots harness racing divisions at Grand River Raceway on Monday evening. Henry and McIntosh captured the first $23,150 two-year-old pacing filly division with Miss L A, who powered up the outer lane to take on early leader Tuggingoncredit and then dug in down the stretch to hold off fan favourite Queso Relleno and Trizzle Trazzle. Miss L A won her Grassroots debut by half a length in 1:56.4. "She's a great big filly. She's kind of like a six foot six kid in Grade 8, and I look for her to be much better next year, but she's improving every start, so who knows what might happen this fall," said McIntosh of the daughter of Bettors Delight and West Of L A. "She's a big filly - she's going to be over 16 hands - and kind of rangy. Once she gets muscle on that frame, then she's going to be serious. I hope so anyway." "She definitely will be better next year, but if she can get some points in the next one (Grassroots), she will definitely be tough in the Semis," added Arthur, On resident Henry, who padded his lead in the Lampman Cup race for the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program with Monday's driving double. McIntosh shares ownership of Miss L A with Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and Deo Volente Farms LLC and Cool Cat Racing Inc. of Flemington, NJ. The Hall of Fame horseman also bred Miss L A and her illustrious siblings; Somewhere in L A and L A Delight, who have both amassed $1.7 million in their racing careers, and current three-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes star Sunny Dee. "She's different than the rest of her siblings," noted the Windsor, ON resident. "It's hard to think of what she's going to do, because she's got a big motor, I just think she'll be a better three-year-old." After settling for second with So Delightful in the second division, won by Coco Beach De Vie and driver Jody Jamieson in 1:57, Henry and McIntosh were back in the winner's circle with Even Louder. Starting from Post 1 Henry sent Even Louder straight to the front and controlled the tempo through fractions of :27.1, :56 and 1:26 on their way to a 1:57 personal best. Fan favourite Ms Brampton Beast was one length back in second and Chasethecloudsaway rounded out the top three. "The thing with that filly, she's maybe not the fastest filly in Canada, but she's the most honest filly. And Trevor gave her a hell of a drive, because he had them all kind of where he wanted them at the three-quarter pole. That was a great drive," said McIntosh, who bred and owns the daughter of Thinking Out Loud. "When he hit the half in :56 I went 'Whoa', but he got the next quarter in 30 seconds and he had them all stacked up and where he wanted them," the trainer continued. "She's the most honest filly you'd ever draw a line over, she's really good that way and super gaited, good mannered, but great drive too." Mach My Kiss and driver Doug McNair delivered the quickest mile of the five Grassroots divisions, tracking Mystic Shadow through fractions of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before zipping up the passing lane to a one-half length victory in 1:55. Mystic Shadow settled for second and Wiggle Delight was six lengths behind the leaders in third. Monday's outing was Mach My Kiss's debut at the Grassroots level after three starts with the Gold Series fillies and trainer Robert Fellows is hoping the Mach Three daughter can deliver another strong effort in the last regular season Grassroots event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 20 to finish among the top 20 point earners and advance to the post season. "She did nothing wrong all the way down, trained good, and then I started her in the Gold and that teased me, because she finished third in the first one and I left her there for a couple," said Fellows. "Now I've got to hope I can get some points in the last two here, just to try and salvage her year. She's a nice little filly." The Rockwood, ON resident trains Mach My Kiss for his wife Yolanda Fellows and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, AB. Jody Jamieson piloted Coco Beach De Vie to her 1:57 win in the second division for trainer Daryl Roberts and owners Walter and Ruth Ann Parkinson of Lucan and Rachel Roberts of Dorchester, ON. The win was the Sunshine Beach daughter's first and Jamieson said she is finally delivering on the promise she showed when he drove her in qualifying action in June. "Daryl has been really patient with her," said Jamieson. "She was real quick in June and needed most of July to learn to handle the speed. Tonight she raced tough and rewarded Daryl for his patience." The other Grassroots division went to Siochan, who captured her first lifetime victory with a 1:55.2 effort for driver Paul MacKenzie and owner-trainer Deb O'Brian Moran of Carlisle, ON. Lady Natasha finished one and three-quarter lengths back in second and Century Gianna was well back in third. Grand River Raceway will wrap up its 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Monday, Sept. 23 with the fourth Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting colts. Complete results from Monday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0909grvrn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

ELORA, ON - SEPT. 4, 2019 - Scorched Romance kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening, cruising to a three and three-quarter length victory in the first of five $22,800 Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies. "She's been coming up to a good mile like that," said driver Paul MacDonell. "She's been knocking at the door pretty much every week, so I expected a good race out of her tonight." Starting from Post 4 MacDonell and Scorched Romance landed in third as Validation led the field of eight to a :29 quarter. Heading for the :59.4 half the reinsman moved Scorched Romance to the outside and the fan favourites started to advance on the leaders. Scorched Romance had taken command by the 1:30.2 three-quarters and from there she simply pulled away from her peers, reaching the wire in 2:01. Peppas Angel finished second and Validation was third. "I had lots left there, she was trotting really strong at the wire even though she went kind of a tough trip," noted Guelph, ON resident MacDonell. "There's not much to her really, she's pretty automatic. Makes my job easy, that's for sure." MacDonell piloted the Kadabra daughter to her first lifetime win for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL. Driver James MacDonald won the next two divisions, piloting both Th Present and Moana to victory from Post 4. Making his first appearance in Th Present's race bike, MacDonald eased the Royalty For Life daughter away from the starting gate and watched from fifth as Queen M and fan favourite Aphrodite Duke battled to a :29.14 opening quarter. Still fifth as Aphrodite Duke trotted by the :59.1 half, MacDonald tipped Th Present out three-wide around a stalled Expelliarmus heading by the 1:30.1 three-quarters and the filly kept on rolling, catching Aphrodite Duke and then holding off Chelseas Magic to claim a head victory in 2:00.4. Chelseas Magic was second and Aphrodite Duke finished two lengths back in third.   Cambridge, ON resident Marcel Barrieau trains Th Present for his partner Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longeuil, QC. The filly was also a narrow winner in the July 14 Grassroots opener at Georgian Downs. With Moana, MacDonald went straight to the front and stole fractions of :30.1, 1:02.3 and 1:32.1 before kicking home to a 2:01.3 victory. Zakarina was one and one-half lengths back in second and Jayport Echo was for more lengths behind in third. MacDonald drives the Muscle Mass daughter for trainer Shawn Steacy of Guelph and fractional ownership group Landmark 12 of Lansdowne, numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The win was Moana's first in four lifetime starts. "Th Present raced great. I just wanted to be careful with her leaving the gate, because I saw she had made some breaks, but she was all business tonight and when I showed her some racetrack, she knew what to do with it," said Guelph resident MacDonald. "Moana just crushed tonight. I was able to get her to the front easy, get easy fractions, and she was full of trot when I needed her." Zebs Flur also got her first lifetime win in the fourth $23,150 division. Starting from the advantageous Post 1, driver Stephen Byron went straight to the front and never looked back, cruising through fractions of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:30 on the way to a 2:00.1 victory. Fan favourite Canadian Titan was two lengths back in second and Emily Antoinette was seven more lengths back in third. "I was pretty happy with her. I was hoping for those results actually. I thought she was due," said trainer John Bax. "She's game, she really wants to, I love her attitude." Bax trains the Muscle Mass daughter for his Bax Stable of Campbellville, Don Allensen of Wyoming and Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough, ON. The last division went to Yen and driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON, who got away third from Post 3 and watched Muscles Aplenty ring up a :29.1 quarter before swinging to the outside heading for the 1:00 half and taking control. One and one-half lengths ahead of her peers by the 1:29.3 three-quarters, fan favourite Yen hit the wire two and one-half lengths the best in 2:00. Enjoyin My Life was second and Kads Kiss was third. "It's always been there, she just, she's figuring it out," said trainer Julie Walker. "She's always had the head for it. All the drivers say her big quality is how smart she is." Walker trains the E L Titan filly for owner-breeder Overseas Farms Ltd. of Cambridge and the Carlisle, ON resident said there was never any pressure on Yen, who has not been worse than third in her four Grassroots appearances and was also victorious at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 30. "She is a late foal (early June) and we always had that in our head, that she didn't have to race at two, or we didn't have to race her early, but every time we trained her she did her job and just kept going," explained Walker. "That's kind of why we're still in the Grassroots." The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their last regular season Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 19. From there the top 20 point earners will advance to the Sept. 27 Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 5. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Grand River Raceway on Monday, Sept. 9 with the fourth Grassroots Leg for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0904grvrn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

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