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AUGUST 20, 2017 - Ontario's talented three-year-old pacing colts kicked off the Honourable Earl Rowe Invitation Trot program at Georgian Downs on Sunday evening and harness racing trainer Jack Darling picked up two more Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots trophies to add to his collection. The Cambridge, ON resident shipped three pacing geldings to the Innisfil oval and Southwind General was first off the gate for the Darling Stable, finishing third behind Wildriverbumblebee and Western Phil. "General, he was a little bit sluggish early for some reason, but he was pacing strong at the wire, another few steps he'd have been second," said Darling of the Sportswriter son's effort. Fan favourite Wildriverbumblebee got away fourth from Post 5 and watched as Rebel Voyager led the field to a :27.1 opening quarter. Wildriverbumblebee remained in fourth as Silverinyourpocket took over before the :55.3 half, but had stepped to the outside behind Western Phil as that colt powered up to a 1:23.3 three-quarters. On Western Phil's flank as the colts turned for home, driver Sylvain Filion turned Wildriverbumblebee loose in the stretch and the colt sprinted away to a four and one-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:53. Sunday was Wildriverbumblebee's debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program for trainer Francis Richard and owner-breeder Dr. John Bradbury of Cookshire-Eaton, QC. The win boosted the son of Sportswriter and Alcor Semalu's sophomore record to four wins and one second in six starts, for earnings of $20,225. In the second $18,800 Grassroots division driver Randy Waples sent Darling trainee The Dark Shadow directly to the front from Post 2 and the fan favourites reeled off fractions of :27.3, :57 and 1:25.2 on their way to a one length victory in 1:53.4. Pocket-sitter Doc Semalu finished second and Ugottobinittowinit was third. "He's just a really good Grassroots (horse)," said Darling of The Dark Shadow. "I was happy with him, he hung in there real game in the stretch. He's racing good." A son of Shadow Play and Bestofbothworlds, The Dark Shadow now has two Grassroots wins, one third and two fifths to his credit for a total of 122 points and sole ownership of third spot in the division standings, 10 points behind stablemate Southwind General. Milton, ON resident Waples opted for identical tactics with favourite Frontier Seelster in the last Grassroots division, sending the Artistic Fella gelding to the front from Post 7 and rolling through fractions of :27, :57.1 and 1:25.2 on the way to another 1:53.4 clocking. Three More Smiles paced up the outside into second, three-quarter lengths behind the winner and just ahead of hard closing All It Takes. "He was sick, he's getting over being sick, so he maybe wasn't quite at his best tonight," said Darling of Frontier Seelster, whose last start was in the July 22 Gold Series event at Mohawk Racetrack. "He raced good, but I just don't think he's quite good enough for the Gold right now." Frontier Seelster was a winner in the season opening Grassroots event at Flamboro Downs, and then made two starts at the Gold Series level, finishing fourth and sixth. With Sunday's win the gelding moves into fourth spot in the Grassroots standings, giving Darling three contenders for the season ending $50,000 Championship at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 30. "Looks like the three of them are going to be in the Final," noted Darling, who owns and trains all three pacers. The trio will be looking to pad their point tallies in the last regular season Grassroots event on Sept. 11 at Mohawk Racetrack. In addition to the Grassroots divisions, Georgian Downs fans were treated to an outstanding battle in the $75,000 Honourable Earl Rowe Invitation Trot. Fan favourite Windsun Revenge carved fractions of :27.4, :58.2 and 1:25.2, but Lookslikeachpndale pressed him through the second half and got up in the stretch for a head victory in 1:54. Dia Monde closed well to be second, leaving Windsun Revenge to settle for third. Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion, the leading driver in both Canada and the Ontario Sires Stakes last season, scored his second stake win of the night with Lookslikeachpndale, guiding the Muscle Hill son to his second win of the season for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Georgian Downs wraps up its stakes season next Sunday, August 27 when the three-year-old trotting fillies will compete in their second last regular season Grassroots event. Sunday's first race goes postward at 6 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 16, 2017 - Seven of this year's Battle of Waterloo hopefuls returned to Grand River Raceway on Wednesday and four of the two-year-old pacing colts went home with the result that had eluded them in the Elora oval's signature harness racing event. Casimir Richie P, the only one of the seven who started in the Battle of Waterloo Final, made the quickest trip to the winner's circle, capturing the last $19,150 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots division in an impressive 1:54.4. Starting from Post 1 fan favourites Casimir Richie P and driver Tyler Moore laid down fractions of :27, :55 and 1:25.1 on their way to the four length score over Pokerface Bluechip. On The Take was three more lengths back in third. "He's been a nice colt all along, we only paid $6,000 for him, and he's been a dandy," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore. "It's too bad that Murray McConnell wasn't alive to see him, because he bred the colt and he liked the colt. He was the nicest Astronomical colt - as you know I had Astronomical, he won a lot of Golds in his day - and he was the nicest Astronomical colt that I'd seen from Murray, so I had to have him, and he's been one of our top colts all along." Wednesday's win was Casimir Richie P's first and will likely see him return to the Gold Series, where he started the season. Puslinch resident Dr. Moore shares ownership of the colt with his son, driver Tyler Moore of Campbellville, and Michael Goldberg of Toronto, ON. The Moore Stable also picked up a Grassroots trophy in the second division as favourite Atomic Seelster led the field of eight through fractions of :28.4, :59.1 and 1:29 on his way to a 1:57.3 victory over Sports Nation and Sports Band. Tyler Moore crafted the win for Shadow One Stable of Puslinch, ON, Shawn Murphy of Charlottetown, PEI and Darcy Murphy of Rothesay, NB. "He's a very nice colt. He had a really nice race his first race in the Gold at Mohawk (July 7), looked like everything was going to be good, and then, I don't know, he's been growing a lot lately, like getting real tall and big, and maybe that was part of it, but he just kind of had a what I call a two-year-old recession," noted Dr. Moore. "He raced well in the Consolation here, he got run into in the head of the stretch and still finished third, so we were very pleased with that, and he went a nice race tonight for sure." Dr. Moore and his partners purchased Atomic Seelster at last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale, offering up $100,000 for the son of Shadow Play and Angelina Seelster. The other entry from the Moore Stable, Lucky Michael, finished fourth in his Grassroots division, seven lengths behind winner Family Sports. "I enjoy Grand River and the Grassroots are good for one that's struggled a little bit in the Gold, it tends to give them a little confidence," said Dr. Moore. "We're very pleased." Like Dr. Moore, trainer Dave Menary is hoping Wednesday's win puts Family Sports on track for further success in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. The Sportswriter son and driver Travis Cullen made a bold three-wide move at the three-quarters and powered home to a 1:56.3 victory, the gelding's second in Grassroots action. Letjimmytakeover and Ferrarifever were over five lengths back in second and third. "I was just hoping to get him back on the right track; I've done a lot of fiddling with equipment. I was really happy the first start I raced him (July 20), thought things were heading in the right direction, and then he got torched really bad in his Battle of Waterloo Elimination," explained Menary. "I was hoping to race him from right off the pace last week (in the Consolation) and he was just too hot after leaving with him two weeks in a row, so I did a little bit more fiddling tonight and that's the kind of trip I wanted to see him get, and he responded the way I wanted to see him." Cambridge resident Menary trains Family Sports for Brad Gray of Dundas and Denise Guerriero of Toronto, ON. Wednesday's victory moved the gelding into a tie for top spot in the two-year-old pacing colt division. Sprocket finished behind Atomic Seelster and Family Sports in the Battle of Waterloo Consolation on August 7, but the Sportswriter son was a one length winner in the first Grassroots division on Wednesday. In rein to trainer Wayne Henry Sprocket hit the wire in 1:58, besting favourite JM Jack Of Hearts and Pinstripe Pride. Bred and owner by Fred Brayford of Alliston, ON, Sprocket now has a win and a second to his credit in two Grassroots starts. The only one of Wednesday's Grassroots winners that did not compete in the Battle of Waterloo was Jonathan Quick, who got a head in front of Mission Three and favourite Howmac Dancer in the third division. Jonathan Drury piloted the Mach Three colt to the 1:58.1 victory for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and owners Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. "He's a very green colt that qualified well, but got a touch sick shortly after," noted Steacy. "He's healthy now and starting to be more competitive. JD (Drury) gave him a great drive tonight." The two-year-old pacing colts and geldings will try and pad their point totals in the fourth Grassroots event at Clinton Raceway on August 27. The Ontario Sires Stakes program returns to Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, Sept. 13 with the last regular season Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting colts. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 14, 2017 - Mohawk Racetrack hosted the second leg of the harness racing World Driving Championship on Monday evening and Ontario's talented three-year-old trotting fillies showed off their skills to the international audience in four $19,150 Grassroots divisions. Reigning Grassroots champion Anikadabra opened the program with her first victory of the season, touring the Mohawk oval in 1:56.4. Sent off as the fan favourite, the Kadabra daughter controlled the tempo for most of the mile, reaching the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Kuil Diva and Millers Song. Oakville resident Rick Zeron piloted Anikadabra to the win for trainer Rob Fellows of Rockwood and owner-breeders Edward Wilson of Seagrave, ON and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. Bested just once in Grassroots action as a two-year-old, Anikadabra now has one win and one third under her belt in two sophomore starts. Anikadabra The second division saw Hudsons Ya Ya earn her first Ontario Sires Stakes win, powering out of Post 7 to take control of the lead and trot home a three-quarter length winner over favourite Inner Drive and Late Shift in 1:57. Guelph resident Paul MacDonell crafted the victory for trainer John Bax of Campbellville, Glengate Farms of Mississauga, Don Allensen of Wyoming, ON and Dave Hudson of Dallas, TX. "She always had a lot of potential," said Bax. "She's from a pretty good mare, and we thought a lot of her - we paid a lot for her - but I hope now that she's kind of over the hump. "She's got lots of power, she's a big strong mare, but now she seems to be getting a little racier and a little more sure-footed." The daughter of Kadabra and $224,136 winner Angostura was a $70,000 purchase out of the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. She made eight starts last season, four of them in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, and recorded one win and one third in overnight action. This season she has made 10 starts and now has two wins and two thirds to her credit for lifetime earnings of $38,691. "She had a bunch of issues last year and she was a little slow getting going this year. I've had a viral issue in the barn for most of the spring and part of the summer," explained Bax, "The bloods are just starting to get back to normal, so I'm hoping that it's onward and upward from here." Hudsons Ya Ya Moffat resident Jack Moiseyev piloted Gisele Treelane to her second Grassroots win of the season in the third division, closing from fifth to first through the final quarter. The fan favourites stopped the timer at 1:55.4, one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Whole Lot Of Sugar and Moni Justice. Murray Brethour of Sunderland, ON trains the daughter of Daylon Magician for owner-breeder Patricia Whittaker Trust of Aspers, PA and bumped the filly up to the Gold Series level after she won her division of the Grassroots season opener at Mohawk on June 13. One fifth and one third-place finish prompted the return to the Grassroots and Monday's win boosted Gisele Treelane into third spot in the Grassroots point standings. The top 10 point earners after six regular season events will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk on Sept. 30. Gisele Treelane In the evening's final division, Bustingattheseams moved into second place in the point race with her second Grassroots win. Another daughter of Kadabra, Bustingattheseams hit the wire in a personal best 1:55.2, three-quarters of a length ahead of Crystal Gumdrop and Ticket To Seattle. Milton resident Randy Waples steered Bustingattheseams to the victory for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partner Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON. Bustingattheseams In addition to competing in the four races that contributed to their World Driving Championship rankings, four of the drivers also made an appearance in the Ontario Sires Stakes events. Canada's representative James MacDonald of Guelph had mounts in all four divisions, finishing third twice (Late Shift and Ticket To Seattle), fourth and eighth. Marcus Miller, representing the United States, finished fifth in the first division, Bjorn Goop, who represents Sweden, finished sixth in the third division and Dexter Dunn, the defending world champion from New Zealand, finished seventh in the last division. The World Driving Championship makes its third stop at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening, with a first race post time of 7:15 pm. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their fifth Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on August 27, while their Gold Series peers arrive at Mohawk Racetrack for their fourth leg on Thursday, August 17. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 14, 2017 - Just one week after they faced off in the Battle of the Belles Final, Grand River Raceway welcomed back the harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies on Monday night for five Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions worth a total of $93,650. Five of the fillies that qualified for the Battle of the Belles Final made the return trip to the Elora oval, including Jack Darling trainees Write Me A Song and Neon Moon, who were hoping for a little more luck than they enjoyed on August 7. After finishing third in her elimination, Write Me A Song was withdrawn from the final due to a bruised foot and Neon Moon's hopes for a Battle of the Belles title disappeared when she made an early break that knocked her out of contention. Cambridge, ON resident Darling had his answer early as driver Jody Jamieson tipped Write Me A Song off the rail heading for the three-quarters in the first $18,800 division and sent her after pacesetter Love Kills. The filly found another gear once she squared up in the stretch and powered to a three-quarter length victory in 1:56.2. Mittany Nicole rolled out of the pocket into second, leaving Love Kills to settle for third. "She had a bruised foot that was a problem, I had to scratch her last week out of the final of the Belles, and we've been working on it all week. She wasn't necessarily 100 per cent, but she raced good on it anyway," said Darling, who owns and trains Write Me A Song. "She's a good filly and I thought she, you know first over, I thought she raced really game." The daughter of Sportswriter and Write Me A Song was a $47,000 purchase out of last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and through four starts she has posted two wins, one second and one third for earnings of $24,962. She currently leads the freshman pacing filly point race with 125. The top 10 point earners after six regular season events will compete in the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack. Four races later Neon Moon redeemed herself in impressive fashion, roaring from fifth to first going by the halfway marker. While Moffat, ON resident Jamieson sat back and enjoyed the ride, Neon Moon opened up a double digit lead on her peers, reaching the wire just over 11 lengths ahead of Ovation Seelster and Last Symphony in 1:56.3. "Last week she just got too keyed up, Jody (Jamieson) said, and made a break, but she was good tonight," said Darling, who bred, owns and trains Neon Moon. "She was a little wobbly going around the first turn - my horses, the half-mile track isn't really their strong suit because they're pretty good sized mares and I train on a big track - but once she got around the turns she was really good after that." Another daughter of Sportswriter, out of Darling's former race mare Beach Of A Time, Neon Moon now sports a record of two wins and one second in four starts and sits in a four-way tie for second in the Grassroots standings with 100 points. Monday was the second night this season Darling and Jamieson have captured a pair of two-year-old pacing filly Grassroots trophies, Write Me A Song and Neon Moon were both victorious at Mohawk on July 21, and they came within a nose of making it a hat trick at Grand River. In the second division Jamieson and Munchies Hanover went head-to-head with Doug McNair and Ashlees Sport through the last quarter of the mile and the fillies finished so close at the wire it required a photograph to determine the winner. Ashlees Sport prevailed by a scant nose over Munchies Hanover, with the duelling leaders well ahead of third-place finisher Lady Everlong. "She raced good, just came up a nose short," said Darling of the daughter of Sportswriter and Mouse Hanover, who was a $67,000 purchase out of the 2016 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and was making her debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Guelph-Eramosa Township resident McNair piloted Ashlees Sport to the 1:56.2 win for trainer Blake MacIntosh of Cambridge and his partners Stuart McIntosh and Marceline Barnett of Essex, ON and Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. The win was the first of the season for the Sportswriter filly, who was a $42,000 acquisition from the Lexington-Selected Yearling Sale. "She raced good. We left hard and came first up, she raced tough," said McNair. "It wasn't a big last quarter (:31), but she had an excuse to get tired." Lady Bubbles, who was third in the Battle of the Belles Final, earned her second Grassroots trophy in the fourth division, besting Shower Play and Daily Sports by a neck in 1:57. Guelph resident Scott Young piloted the Sportswriter daughter to the win for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Duchess Dolly also picked up her second Grassroots trophy in the last division, hitting the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Sunday Afternoon and Dolly Dali. Mike Saftic of Campbellville drove the Shadow Play daughter to the 1:57.2 win for trainer Jim Wellwood of Ancaster and owner Jeff Wellwood of Toronto, ON, who acquired the filly for $27,000 at last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale. The two-year-old pacing fillies will make their fourth Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 24. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Grand River Raceway this week as the Elora oval welcomes back the two-year-old pacing colts for their third Grassroots event on Wednesday, August 16. The colts will battle in Races 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9, with a first race post time of 6:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 12, 2017 - Dagfin Henriksen returned to Kawartha Downs on Saturday evening and guided his harness racing two-year-old trotter North And South to an Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots victory, the gelding's second of the season. Sent off as the second choice by Kawartha Downs fans, who strongly favoured the trotters with local connections, North And South got away sixth from Post 9 and avoided some early confusion caused when Irish Master made a miscue that pushed favourite Stormont Ventnor into the middle of the racetrack. Closing to fourth by the halfway marker, North And South had taken command by the three-quarters and sailed home a two and three-quarter length winner in a personal best 1:59.1. Stormont Ventnor, with Kawartha's top reinsman Reg Gassien of Lindsay in the race bike, recovered from his first quarter shuffle to finish second and third choice Chief Justice, trained by former Peterborough, ON resident John Bax, was third. "Nine-hole, you kind of have to plan as you go a little bit, and when the horse run out of the first turn there was a little bit of a confused first quarter, and then there was a big gap," said Henriksen. "I was just trying to close the gap and when he closed the gap he just swelled up, so I just moved him when I had to. It worked out perfect." Henriksen, a former resident of Peterborough who started his training and driving career at Kawartha Downs, shares ownership of North And South with Dr. Brett Anderson of Port Hope, ON and Kyle Anderson of Edmonton, AB. The partners anted up $10,000 to acquire North And South from last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and through four starts the son of Southwind Lustre and Queen Nora has earned $18,975. "He raced really good. When I moved him he just fired right up. It was fun," said Henriksen, who now calls Cambridge, ON home. "He's learning the right way and does everything the right way." The victory bumped the gelding to the top of the division standings with 102 points, which should assure him of a berth in the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk Racetrack, but Henriksen was happy to just enjoy Saturday's win without looking too far into the future. "It's nice to win here. It's always been fun to win here," said the horseman. "The crowd's always cheering me on, everybody knows me; it's good." Veteran trainer-driver Jack Moiseyev also enjoyed an enthusiastic reception from Kawartha Downs' fans when he guided Charlie Ona Harley into the winner's circle after the second Grassroots division. The pair was part of a three-horse charge to the wire that required a photograph to determine that Charlie Ona Harley got a head in front of Nobodynosjustice and pacesetter Radical Attempt in the 1:59.2 mile. "Usually, you know he acted like a two-year-old, but tonight he got behind the gate and he just was a different horse," said Moiseyev. "I was happy with him." Saturday was Charlie Ona Harley's debut, both in the Grassroots and as a gelding. The son of Glidemaster and Carnac started the Ontario Sires Stakes season at the Gold Series level, finishing fifth in the July 9 season opener at Georgian Downs, but his behaviour that night caused Moiseyev and owners Joanne Colville of Moffat and Nancy MacNevin of Essex, ON to make the decision to transform him from a colt to a gelding. "He was so bad in the paddock that night, he was trying to hurt people, so we just gelded him," explained Moffat resident Moiseyev. "He really calmed right down after about 10 days, now he's all business." With Saturday's win Charlie Ona Harley moved into ninth spot in the division standings and both he and North And South will have an opportunity to pad their point totals in the fifth event for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Sept. 2 at Flamboro Downs. Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal was on hand for Kawartha Downs' Ontario Sires Stakes event Saturday and the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs made the trophy presentations to the winning connections of North And South and Charlie Ona Harley. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 11, 2017 - Stormont Ventnor and North And South will be lined up one in front of the other in the first $19,150 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots division at Kawartha Downs on Saturday night and the connections of both two-year-old trotting geldings are hoping their insider knowledge of the Peterborough harness racing oval lands them in the winner's circle. "I schooled him there - it's the closest track for us -and qualified him there myself," said trainer Kevin Benn of Stormont Ventnor, who toured the five-eighths oval in a July 8 qualifying event. "The rail isn't always the best for a trotter, I don't think, but he's got a capable driver and he knows the track so he should be okay." Stormont Ventnor will start from Post 1 with Kawartha's leading driver Reg Gassien of Lindsay, ON in the race bike. Lined up behind the pair at Post 9 will be North And South, with trainer-driver Dagfin Henriksen at the helm. "He's never had the nine-hole; it will be new for him, so just get him off from the start and see how he handles it. I think he'll be all right, he's pretty handy," said Henriksen, who called Peterborough home during the early stages of his career. "I had my start down there, so it's kind of my home track still. I'm comfortable down there for sure." Through the first three regular season events, not much separates the trotters in the point standings either. With a win in the July 18 event and a seventh in the Aug. 3 test, both at Mohawk Racetrack, North And South currently sits in sixth spot with 52 points. A pair of runner-up finishes in the same events has Stormont Ventnor sitting in a two-way tie for seventh with 50 points. The top 10 point earners through six regular season events will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Sept. 30. "He's been decent, he's been good," said Napanee, ON resident Benn of Stormont Ventnor. "I had his brother last year as a three-year-old, (Stormont) Dundas, and he was just an honest horse, he never made any breaks. This horse seems to be faster than him though, so that's a good thing. So, you know, we'll keep him healthy and sound and hope for the best." Saturday's start will be Stormont Ventnor's third. The son of Justice Hall and Lady Grenville, bred and owned by Eric Baker of Long Sault, ON, has just the two Grassroots starts under his belt, while North And South also has an appearance in the Gold Series. After a pair of qualifiers at Mohawk in June, North And South made his debut in the July 9 Gold Series season opener at Georgian Downs, finishing seventh. The move to the Grassroots for the July 18 event resulted in a win and Henriksen was not dissatisfied with the Southwind Lustre son's effort in the Aug.3 event, in spite of the seventh-place result. "I drove him from the back and the flow didn't really move much. He had a good last quarter, so he raced good, but didn't have the race luck we needed that day," said the trainer. "That's how it is with the young ones I find. You need a little bit of race luck when you teach them to race." Henriksen, who now calls Cambridge, ON home, shares ownership of North And South with Dr. Brett Anderson of Port Hope, ON and Kyle Anderson of Edmonton, AB. The partners purchased the half-brother to $165,000 winner Cracker Zack for $10,000 from last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and have recouped $9,400 to date. Both trotters will be keeping an eye on Chief Justice from Post 2, who currently sits second in the point standings with a pair of seconds and one third in the first three Grassroots events. Former Peterborough resident John Bax trains the Justice Hall colt for Midnight Sun Partners of Delray Beach, FL and Stephen Byron will be in the race bike. Bax and Byron also have the top ranked entry in the second division, sending division point leader Delcrest Holiday after his second Grassroots win from Post 8. Bax, who now resides in Campbellville, shares ownership of the Holiday Road gelding with Gaelic Stable of Sharon, Ken Bax of Cavan Monaghan and John Houston of Cobourg, ON. In addition to the on track Ontario Sires Stakes action, Kawartha Downs fans will have an opportunity to win OSS ball caps and Ontario Racing flip-flops throughout the evening. The youngest fans will enjoy the Kawartha Downs Kids' Activity Centre, which sees one lucky youngster join the winner's circle celebrations following Race 5, making a presentation and taking home a commemorative photograph. And, as always, fans are encouraged to drop their non-winning wagering tickets into the second chance ballot box, with draws held after the third, sixth and ninth races. The first race on Kawartha Downs' Saturday evening program goes behind the starting gate at 7 pm and the two-year-old trotting colts and geldings will square off in Races 2 and 7. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 10, 2017 - Mohawk Racetrack fans had their pencils sharpened to a fine point on Thursday evening, correctly predicting the winners of all three Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions for the harness racing two-year-old trotting fillies. In spite of her outside Post 10, fans were partial to P L Layla in the first $19,500 division and the daughter of Glidemaster did not disappoint, rolling out three-wide at the three-quarter pole and reeling in the leaders for a one length victory in 1:59.2. Stand For Justice and Gradabra finished second and third. It was the second Grassroots win for P L Layla and driver Randy Waples of Milton, ON, who were also victorious in the July 6 season opener at Mohawk. The pair moved up to the Gold Series for their second start, but were saddled with another Post 10 and finished seventh. With two victories P L Layla, who is trained by Matthew Dupuis for owner-breeder Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON, currently sits atop the two-year-old trotting filly Grassroots standings with 100 points. P L Layla The second division saw Allerage Stargazer sent off as the fans' top choice, and the filly powered away from Post 4 and sailed around the Mohawk oval to a one and three-quarter length win in 1:59.1. Ladys Intuition and Bonnie Breeze rounded out the top three. "She raced good," said driver Doug McNair. "She was a little bit aggressive on the gate, but was nice in the race. She's learning." Guelph, ON resident McNair piloted the daughter of Angus Hall and Starry Eyed to the victory for trainer Paul Reid and numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. A $35,000 purchase at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, the full-sister to $420,090 winner Allerage Star started her season at the Gold Series level, finishing fourth and sixth in the July 6 and 25 events at Mohawk. Allerage Stargazer The final division saw trainer Tom Riley and his wife, owner Amanda Riley, earn just their second Ontario Sires Stakes trophy courtesy of fan favourite Ms Miller. Starting from Post 9 driver Louis-Philippe Roy left the gate with confidence and sat in the outer lane before reaching the front just past the halfway marker. Precieuse CC mounted a challenge in the stretch, but Ms Miller trotted home to a three-quarter length victory in 1:58.2. Precieuse CC settled for second and Kant Afford It was third. "We actually just our had our first one (OSS win) two weeks ago at Grand River with our three-year-old trotting filly. We call them the Miller sisters, because we have Millers Song, which is our three-year-old, and then we have Ms Miller," said Tom Riley. "All winter I was telling my wife I thought that they had some talent, and so far they both actually have done us well." Like Allerage Stargazer, Ms Miller started her season at the Gold Series level, finishing fifth and eighth in the first two events before Riley decided a change of scenery was in order for the daughter of Southwind Lustre and Zorgwijk Diamond. "She showed promise right from the get go. She's had the attitude of wanting to do it," said Riley, noting that an absence of racing luck was the filly's biggest problem through her first five starts. "I know she's a decent filly, it's just she hasn't had the opportunity to kind of flaunt herself yet. Tonight she did, being parked to the half and hanging on and still winning in 1:58.2, for a two-year-old that's pretty impressive." The Roseneath, ON residents purchased Ms Miller out of last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale for $5,000 and the Southwind Lustre filly boosted her lifetime earnings to $16,905 with Thursday's victory. She will have an opportunity to add to both her earnings and her Grassroots point total in the fifth two-year-old trotting filly event on September 4 at Mohawk. The top 10 point earners from the six regular season events will compete in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at the Campbellville oval on September 30. Ms Miller Next up on Mohawk Racetrack's Ontario Sires Stakes calendar are the three-year-old trotting fillies, competing as part of the undercard on Monday's World Driving Championship program. The Grassroots fillies will battle in Races 1, 4, 8, and 9, while 11 of the top drivers from across the globe, including Canadian representative and Ontario Sires Stakes regular James MacDonald of Guelph, go head-to-head in Races 2, 3, 5 and 6. First race post time is 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 5, 2017 - Kicking off the harness racing entertainment on Dream Of Glory Night at Hanover Raceway Saturday, three-year-old pacing filly Shewearsthepants cruised to both her sixth straight victory and the top of the division standings. Starting from Post 4 driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON sent Shewearsthepants straight to the front and the heavy favourites never faced a challenge, cruising through fractions of :27.4, :58 and 1:26.3 on their way to a 1:56.2 victory. Stellenbosch finished three and one-quarter lengths back in second, with Fading Shadow on her heels in third. "She ended up winning easy," said trainer Gregg McNair. "She raced good. She's really, I hope she stays the same, she's right on her game right now." McNair, a Walkerton native who currently resides in rural Guelph, ON, trains Shewearsthepants for Anatolia Farm LLC of New Holland, PA, who also bred the daughter of Big Jim and Simply Liz. Through 12 starts this season the filly has tallied seven wins, one second and one third for earnings of $70,220. With three wins and one second in four Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots starts Shewearsthepants now has a total of 175 points and sole ownership of top spot in the division standings, 17 points ahead of Manhattan Play. Bid Writer earned her first win of the season in the second $18,450 Grassroots division, going gate-to-wire from Post 1 for driver Bob McClure of Elora, ON. The Sportswriter daughter hit the finish three and one-quarter lengths ahead of Kloof Street and Style Snapshot in 1:57.2. Jeff Gillis of Everett, ON conditions Bid Writer for Mac Nichol of Burlington, ON and Gerald Stay of Buffalo, NY. The filly, a winner of $159,128 at two, started her Ontario Sires Stakes season at the Gold Series level and was making just her second appearance in the Grassroots. She was the runner-up in her division in the July 21 event at Mohawk Racetrack. The final Grassroots contest, worth $18,800, went to Treasures Pearl, who powered up the outer lane to a one-half length victory in 1:57.4. C Mary, who served as a wind break for Treasures Pearl, and Diamondtoothgertie, who did all the work on the front end, settled for second and third. "The trip worked out absolutely perfect," said driver Nick Steward, who piloted the filly from the trailing Post 8. "When Bruce (Richardson) landed in front of me I knew his horse (C Mary) was one of the better horses in the race and a good one to follow. I didn't have to move until the head of the stretch and, the trip was just too good, she did the rest of the work." London resident Steward crafted the win for trainer Ron Adams of LaSalle and owner-breeder Donald Leschied of South Woodslee, ON. The win was the Sportswriter daughter's second straight and her first in Grassroots action this season. She was a three-time Grassroots winner as a two-year-old. In the $71,400 Dream Of Glory Trot local favourite Mister Muscle stormed out of the pocket to a nose victory over pacesetter Magic Night and Scene A Magician in 1:58.3. Trainer Mark Etsell, a former Walkerton resident who now calls Rockwood home, Robert Newton of Walkerton and Chuan Tan of Cambridge, ON bred and share ownership of the Muscle Mass gelding, who picked up just his second win of the season with the effort. Driver Bob McClure, who started his career at Hanover Raceway and still counts the half-mile among his favourite places to drive, said the win had added meaning for both him and Etsell. "I was talking to Mark on the way here and he's had to scratch two favourites out of the final," McClure explained. "And everybody wants to win the big ones, the Little Brown Jug, the Gold Cup and Saucer, but this was on my bucket list." Hanover Raceway's next big night of racing, the Balanced Image Trot Final on Saturday, Aug. 26, will also feature Ontario Sires Stakes action as the three-year-old trotting colts compete in their fifth Grassroots event. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

AUGUST 3, 2017 - The rain did not dampen the efforts of the harness racing two-year-old trotting colts in their third Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots outing at Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening as both divisions featured lively finishes. The first $19,500 contest saw Smart Pick seize early command and lead the field to a :28.3 opening quarter. Heading down the backstretch Randy Waples tipped P L Louigi out of the pocket and took control of the tempo, reaching the half in :58.4 and the three-quarters in 1:29.3. Around the final turn Rick Zeron launched an attack with Radical Attempt and was followed off the rail by Steve Condren and Barney Mac, who powered down the centre of the racetrack to a one and three-quarter length victory in 1:58.2. Stormont Ventnor, who was 17 lengths back at the half, snuck up the rail to be second, with Smart Pick completing the top three. Milton, ON resident Condren piloted Barney Mac to his first lifetime victory for trainer Kelly Sheppard, who shares ownership of the gelding with his father Cliff Sheppard through their Sea Of Green Inc. The Dundas residents also bred the son of Cornaro Dasolo and $313,339 winner Ziggy Wiggy. Barney Mac finished fourth in his Grassroots debut at Mohawk on July 18, delivering an impressive second half after making an early break, and now sits fourth in the standings with 58 points. Barney Mac In the $19,850 second division driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. fired Nobodynosjustice away from Post 7 and the gelding reached the quarter pole in :29.1. Yielding to Paul MacDonell and Audacious, Christoforou and Nobodynosjustice followed that colt through a 1:00 half and 1:30 three-quarters and then squeaked up the inside for a nose victory over Chief Justice and favourite Tymal Tino, who were duelling in the middle of the racetrack. "We almost squeezed out second over at the three-quarter pole, but didn't have enough clearance," said Christoforou. "Ducked up the inside in the stretch and had to check him, but when he got through he was all trot and just got his nose in front." The Campbellville, ON resident piloted Nobodynosjustice to his first Grassroots win for trainer Dany Fontaine and owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. The son of Justice Hall and $111,186 winner Nobody Nos Butme earned his first win in the July 25 leg of the Coupe de l'Avenir at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres on July 25. He made his Ontario Sires Stakes debut in the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk on July 9, finishing sixth. "All winter he was almost my favourite, because all the time when he train he show me he is a nice colt," said Fontaine. "He is a classy colt, he like the gate, he like what he do. He is a nice horse everywhere, in the stall, when you jog him and take care, everything." Nobodynosjustice will make his second Grassroots start at Kawartha Downs on August 12, and Fontaine is hoping the colt enjoys a second dose of racing luck before he heads back to Quebec for the last leg and the final of the Coupe de l'Avenir. "Over there (Trois-Rivieres) the final is for $50,000 too, so I have to figure where I can make the more money for my owner, so that is why I figure if I race one more time in Kawartha I have a chance to get some good points and probably have a chance to make the final in the Grassroots at the end," explained the trainer, adding that the colt could also see one more start at the Gold Series level if he continues to develop. "So that is my schedule for him, but I have to go start-by-start, because with a baby like that you never know the next day." Thursday's victory gives Nobodynosjustice 50 points and a share of seventh spot in the point standings. The top 10 point earners will earn a berth in the Sept. 30 Grassroots Championship at Mohawk. Nobodynosjustice The Campbellville continues to feature the freshmen in Ontario Sires Stakes action this month, welcoming the two-year-old trotting fillies for their fourth Grassroots event on Thursday, Aug. 10. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Mohawk Racetrack. Ontario Racing

AUGUST 2, 2017 - Three Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions of sophomore pacing fillies will serve as the opening harness racing act on Hanover Raceway's annual Dream Of Glory night this Saturday, August 5. "It's a big night," said Walkerton, ON native Gregg McNair, who will send out two fillies in the Grassroots contest. "It's a good spot; it's a good atmosphere there all the time usually." The fillies will kick off the festivities in the first race, which goes in behind the starting gate at 6:15 pm, and will also battle in Races 4 and 7, warming up fans for the $71,400 Dream Of Glory Final for Ontario Sired three-year-old trotters in Race 10. McNair trainee Shewearsthepants will start from Post 4 in the first $18,450 Grassroots division and comes into the event on a five-race win streak. "She's been good, hasn't seemed to matter how she's raced, in front or out of a hole," said McNair. "She's a tough mare to handle warming up and even jogging at home and stuff, but if you get her in a race she's been all right, so far anyway." McNair conditions Shewearsthepants for owner-breeder Anatolia Farm LLC of New Holland, PA. In 11 starts this season the daughter of Big Jim and Simply Liz has tallied six wins, one second and one third for earnings of $60,995. She currently sits second in the three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots standings with 125 points from two wins and one second. Stablemate Loves Angel occupies fourth spot in the standings with 76 points earned from one win, one second and one eighth-place result in the first three Grassroots events. The daughter of Big Jim and Moss Blue Chip will be looking for a return to winning form from Post 5 in the second division. "She's looked real competitive at times. She got her feelings hurt pretty bad in that race in Clinton there (July 9 Kin Pace Final). She got the two-hole behind Mark Horner's filly and she hasn't been quite as good since then," noted McNair, who currently resides outside Guelph, ON. "We trained her this morning (Wednesday), she trained good, seemed like she's nice and fresh, so we'll go from there I guess." Campbellville, ON resident Mike Saftic will steer both Shewearsthepants and Loves Angel for McNair, who shares ownership of Loves Angel with Jim Newton of Thornhill, ON and Kenneth Newton of Biggar, SK. Three-year-old trotting filly Grassroots point leader Delcrest Magicstar is the early favourite in the Dream Of Glory Final for trainer Mark Steacy. The daughter of Majestic Son and Stars Balance won her July 29 elimination by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:59.1 and will take aim on the title from Post 3 in Race 10. "She's come round nicely this summer, maturing into a nice mare," said Lansdowne, ON resident Steacy. "She seems to get around a half-mile track well and drew a nice post position. She can race on front or behind, as she's very versatile; with a little race luck she should do well (Saturday)." Clarke Steacy will steer Delcrest Magicstar for owners James MacDonald and Johnathan McKinnon of Guelph and Peter Porter of Port Dover, ON. The other two elimination winners, Magic Night and Scene A Magician, will start from Post 5 and 8, respectively. Former Walkerton resident Mark Etsell will send out Mister Muscle from Post 1 for his partners Robert Newton of Walkerton and Chuan Tan of Cambridge, ON. The Muscle Mass gelding finished second to Delcrest Magicstar from Post 6 in the elimination round and will be looking to improve on that result from the rail. Elora, ON resident Bob McClure will steer Mister Muscle for the owner-breeders. "They've had horses a long time that bunch, I don't know if they've win that before or not," said McNair of Mister Muscle's connections. "Definitely, if you're from up around there, that's the race you'd like to win." In addition to the on track action, Hanover Raceway fans will also enjoy a Rooftop Barbecue, live music from the Crippled Ducks and a BEM Fireworks display 20 minutes after the evening's final race. For more information about Dream Of Glory Night visit http://hanoverraceway.com/dream-glory-day/. In addition to Saturday's Ontario Sires Stakes event, Hanover Raceway will also host the three-year-old trotting colts in their fifth Grassroots test on Saturday, August 26. The August 26 program also features the Balanced Image Trot Final for two-year-old Ontario Sired trotters. For more information about the Ontario Sires Stakes program please visit ontarioracing.com or www.ontariosiresstakes.com. To join in the conversation about the Ontario Sires Stakes program or Ontario Standardbred racing, follow @ONTSSNews, #OnSiresStakes and #OntarioRacing. The Ontario Sires Stakes publicity team would be happy to provide background information and/or contact details for local Ontario Sires Stakes participants, feature stories, and photographs to complement your local coverage. For details contact Sandra Snyder at 519-572-0167 or news@ontariosiresstakes.com. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JULY 28, 2017 - Three Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots divisions of two-year-old trotting fillies will serve as the warm-up act on Clinton Raceway's highly anticipated Legends Day harness racing program this Sunday, July 30. Driver Bob McClure will steer one filly in each of the $18,450 Grassroots divisions and will also compete in five other races, but the young reinsman admits the event he is most looking forward to is the program finale, the $15,000 Legends Trot featuring eight of the greatest drivers to ever grace a race bike. "I took myself off Georgian. I wanted to be there to celebrate, not only John Campbell's last drive, but Bill O'Donnell's last drive. All those drivers, as far as intelligence on the racetrack, they're a class above everybody. Just to watch those drivers in one race, it's really exciting to me," said McClure. "So yeah, I took the night off, and I'm going to go down and enjoy it. I think I'm going to look like an idiot running around getting them all to sign my program for me, but you only get one opportunity so I'm going to do it." In between the 1 to 2 pm autograph session with Campbell, O'Donnell, Doug Brown, Steve Condren, Mike Lachance, Dave Miller, Dave Wall and Ron Waples, who will participate in the Legends Trot, and Bud Fritz and Keith Waples, who have retired from active driving duty, and the Legends Trot, McClure will be calling on his own driving smarts, hoping to guide one of his Grassroots mounts to the Clinton winner's circle. The Elora, ON resident will steer Mackenzie O from Post 2 in the first race, Justice Rules from Post 2 in the second and Kant Afford It from Post 4 in the third. McClure has one start behind Mackenzie O, in her first qualifier, and has never driven Justice Rules, but the reinsman is confident that both fillies will be ready for action in their Grassroots debuts. "She qualified just okay," said McClure of Mackenzie O, "But the best thing about her, she's very good gaited so - getting around Clinton with a two-year-old trotter, that's half the battle - hopefully that gives her an upper hand. Anyway, Ben doesn't like racing them unless they're ready so I'm sure she'll be in much better form on Sunday." Guelph, ON resident Ben Baillargeon conditions the daughter of Angus Hall for his partners Santo Vena of Brampton, ON, Nunzio Vena of Bolton, ON and Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, QC. The filly comes into Sunday's first race off a trio of qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack. Justice Hall daughter Justice Rules has two starts under her belt at Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres, where she finished third and fifth for trainer Dany Fontaine of Terrebonne, QC and owner-breeder Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. "All I know is every horse I've ever driven for Dany is ready," noted McClure. "She has had some trouble making breaks and he is very capable of correcting any issues they have. He's a really good horseman, especially with trotters." In the third division McClure will steer Kant Afford It, and the driver is hoping they can atone for a loss in the second Grassroots event at Georgian Downs on July 16. "In Georgian there was a lot of stuff happening off the gate, and I wanted to take care of her so I eased her off, and all I ended up doing was getting myself in a whole lot of traffic," McClure recalled. "She never should have been beat in that Grassroots at Georgian, she should have definitely won, I just did not have her in positon at all. So, as long as she can handle the turns, handle the track, I would say she is the one to beat in there, because she's built like a three-year-old and her attitude is like a racehorse. I think she's the best two-year-old trotter I've driven to this point." Hall of Fame horseman Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON conditions Kant Afford It for his partners C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The partners also bred the daughter of Kadabra, who was guided through her qualifiers and first Grassroots test by Hall of Famer and Legends Trot reinsman Steve Condren. In addition to the on track action, which gets under way at 1:30 pm, Clinton Raceway has a full slate of trackside activities for fans. The gates open at 11:30 am and there will be a variety of activities for the smallest fans, a CosyCan photo booth, silent auction, 50/50 draw, and a Legends Trot sign contest. A booklet commemorating John Campbell's driving career is free with a program purchase or $5 on its own, and John Campbell t-shirts are also just $5. The afternoon will wrap up with a Pineridge Chicken Barbecue from 4 to 5:30 pm, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the event's charity partner, the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. Full details, including parking information, are available at http://www.clintonraceway.com/page/legends. "I hear they closed the road off behind the racetrack and put bleachers up, so they must be expecting a huge crowd, and rightly so because it's going to be a great show," said McClure. "There's nowhere better to host something like this than Clinton." OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JULY 21, 2017 - Pacing fillies were in the harness racing spotlight at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday evening with three Grassroots divisions for the sophomore lasses and five for their novice counterparts. Trainer Jack Darling harnessed two starters, both two-year-old pacing fillies, and the Cambridge, ON resident made two visits to the Mohawk winner's circle. Darling trainee Write Me A Song captured the second freshman skirmish, sailing home three and three-quarter lengths ahead of her peers in 1:55. Breezy finished second and So Bananas was third. The victory, engineered by Milton, ON resident Randy Waples, boosted Write Me A Song to the top of the two-year-old pacing filly standings, giving her a total of 75 points from one win and one second in the first two Grassroots events. "She raced good. She was a nice filly training down, always showed lots of talent," said Darling, who acquired Write Me A Song from last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale for $47,000. "She's coming along well." Write Me A Song The horseman's other winner was homebred Neon Moon, a Sportswriter daughter out of his former race mare Beach Of A Time. Like her stablemate, Neon Moon took command before the halfway marker and was never challenged, cruising under the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Ashlees Sport and Voulez Hanover in 1:54.1. Friday's test was Neon Moon's first; she missed the July 11 Grassroots opener after breaks in her first two qualifiers required a third attempt. Moffat, ON resident Jody Jamieson was in the race bike for all three qualifiers and Friday's victory. "The first week (June 26) she jumped a shadow, and then the next week (June 30) it was just kind of an equipment problem, but she seems nice and solid now," said Darling of the filly's qualifying difficulties. "You just don't know until you see them race." Darling said the fillies trained together all winter - sharing both training miles and a tendency toward grabbing hold of the bit - with Write Me A Song having a slight edge on Neon Moon. "Write Me A Song was, she's just been more talented, she's bigger and taller, and a bigger gait, so she was one you would maybe get a little higher on," said the owner-trainer. "But this filly (Neon Moon), she's just like a machine out there, very efficient over the ground." Neon Moon Darling's fillies will continue to advance their education in the third freshman pacing filly Grassroots event at Grand River Raceway on August 14. The other two-year-old Grassroots divisions were captured by first-time Ontario Sires Stakes starters Lady Bubbles, Duchess Dolly and Dry Silk Flowers, who all used late sprints to claim their victories. In the first $19,150 division Lady Bubbles was victorious in 1:56 for driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON, trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC, who also bred the daughter of Sportswriter. Favourite Shower Play was second and Hey Sweetie was third.. Lady Bubbles Shadow Play daughter Duchess Dolly captured the third division in 1:56.3 over Iveseenthefuture and favourite Campassion. Jonathan Drury of Guelph crafted the victory for trainer Jim Wellwood of Ancaster and owner Jeff Wellwood of Toronto, ON. Duchess Dolly Dry Silk Flowers sprinted home to a 1:55 victory over favourite Love Kills and Rendezvous Hanover. After finishing third in the first three freshman Grassroots divisions, Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON piloted the chestnut daughter of Vintage Master to the win for trainer Paul Reid and owner Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. Dry Silk Flowers In the three-year-old pacing filly divisions, Manhattan Play took sole control of top spot in the point standings with her third straight Grassroots victory. The Shadow Play daughter and driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville, ON controlled the tempo for the bulk of the mile and had another gear left for the stretch, pacing home to a one length victory in 1:53. Favourite Bid Writer was second and Snappy Dresser finished third. "She was first up the first two (Grassroots), and I thought that was going to happen tonight too, but I'm glad Jody (Jamieson with Bid Writer) let us go because that's a long stretch," said Cambridge resident Nicky Comegna, who conditions the filly for his father Bruno Comegna of Burlington, ON. "She's been real good." Manhattan Play made two starts at the Gold Series level during her 10-race two-year-old campaign, but the Comegna's opted to focus on the Grassroots this season when the filly developed allergies earlier in the year. Through 12 sophomore starts Manhattan Play now boasts a record of three wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $39,860. Manhattan Play The other two $18,800 Grassroots divisions went to Shewearsthepants and Diamondtoothgertie. Favourite Shewearsthepants and driver Doug McNair of Guelph, ON cruised home three and one-quarter length winners in 1:53, besting Rose Run Samantha and Fading Shadow. The driver's father, Gregg McNair, also of Guelph, conditions the Big Jim daughter for owner-breeder Anatolia Farm LLC of New Holland, PA. Shewearsthepants First time Ontario Sires Stakes starter Diamondtoothgertie roared home in the last sophomore division to claim a three length victory over Style Snapshot and P L Kahluaa. The 1:52.4 clocking was a personal best for the Sportswriter daughter, who was driven to the win by Milton, ON resident Sylvain Filion and is owned by trainer Sylvain Grenier of Saint-Rene, QC. Diamondtoothgertie The three-year-old pacing fillies return to Grassroots action on August 5 at Hanover Raceway. On Saturday evening Mohawk Racetrack will showcase the top three-year-old pacers and trotters in nine Gold Series divisions worth a total of $779,200. The first race goes postward at 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JULY 20, 2017 - Sixty-six freshman pacing colts invaded Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday evening and delivered impressive harness racing performances in two Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series and five Grassroots divisions. Phantom Seelster opened the program with his second Grassroots victory, sprinting down the stretch to a 1:52.3 triumph. Pretty Handsome finished two lengths back in second and P H Hippie was two more lengths back in third. "Phantom was perfect tonight," said driver Rick Zeron of Oakville, ON, who sat fourth with the gelding through much of the mile after starting from Post 6. "He's getting better every start. He just waits for me to ask him to go; he's just a pleasure to drive." Zeron guided the roan son of Mach Three to the win for trainer Marcel Barrieau of Cambridge, ON and his partners Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longueuil, QC and Conrad Leber of Montreal, QC. A $74,000 acquisition from the Forest City Yearling Sale, Phantom Seelster has earned $22,825 through his first three starts. Phantom Seelster Next up were the Gold Series colts and Shadow Moon made the transition from Grassroots to Gold look easy, doing all the work on the front-end and then digging in down the stretch to hold off Western Passage and Sports Legend. The 1:53.4 clocking matched the effort Shadow Moon delivered in the two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots opener at Mohawk on July 10 and boosted his earnings to $57,775. "This colt's been a nice colt from Day 1, he actually was my favourite all winter long," said trainer Dr. Ian Moore from the winner's circle. "He ran into some problems in March so he got behind the rest of them for about a month, so I opted to start him in the Grassroots - in fact this was probably only his fourth time on a starting gate and fifth time in a bike - so I hummed and hawed about where we should start him tonight. Anyway, a bit of a slow last quarter, but he got it done." "We went a very fast third quarter (:26.4)," added driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON. "I think that's why he didn't pace home that fast, but he's a nice colt. He can leave the gate fast." Puslinch, ON resident Moore shares ownership of Shadow Moon with R G McGroup Ltd. of Bathurst, NB, Serge Savard of St-Bruno, QC and Gordon McComb of Fall River, NS. The son of Moore's former trainee Shadow Play was a $60,000 purchase at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Shadow Moon The other $97,200 Gold Series division was captured by Jimmy Freight, in his first start since being acquired by Adriano Sorella of Milton and moving from Iowa to Ontario. The son of Sportswriter tussled with Lucky Sport and Goth Hanover throughout the mile before prevailing over those two colts, also sons of Sportswriter, by a neck in 1:52.3. "I thought the colt was ultra-impressive considering the fact that he was purchased on Thursday (July 13), shipped from Iowa to New Jersey on Friday, trained Monday in New Jersey and shipped to Canada on Tuesday," said New Jersey-based trainer Tony Alagna. "He bounced off the trailer and got the job done tonight, with a huge step up from county fair racing to Gold action on a big track. "I knew the family, having owned the sister to Jimmy Freight (Frog Pond Princess), and I have driven horses previously on the Iowa tracks he was winning on, I know what kind of miles those were," Alagna added, referring to the colt's record of five wins in five starts on the Midwestern county fair circuit. "Huge congratulations to Adriano Sorella for stepping up and buying the horse." Jimmy Freight and driver Jonathan Drury will have an opportunity to cement their position as top contenders in the Ontario freshman pacing colt ranks in the third Gold Series event on August 19 at Mohawk. Jimmy Freight Owners Brad Gray of Dundas and Denise Guerriero of Toronto, ON made two visits to the Grassroots winner's circle on Thursday as Family Sports and Burning Midnight captured their respective divisions. Family Sports got a perfect pocket trip from driver Jody Jamieson and then powered out in the final quarter to claim a 1:53.3 victory, three and one-half lengths ahead of pacesetter Sprocket. Letjimmytakeover completed the top three. Cambridge, ON resident Dave Menary trains the son of Sportswriter for Gray and Guerriero. Family Sports Two races later Burning Midnight and driver Louis-Philippe Roy also used a late sprint to post a seven and three-quarter length victory in 1:53.2 and give Gray and Guerriero their second trophy. The son of Mach Three, who is trained by Corey Giles of Cambridge, ON, bested Lucky Michael and When You Dance. Burning Midnight The other two Grassroots trophies went home with Chocolate Swirl and Hudson Phil, who delivered identical 1:54.2 clockings. Chocolate Swirl controlled the pace from start to finish for driver Travis Cullen and hit the wire one and three-quarter lengths ahead of JM Jack Of Hearts and Barn One. Eric Adams trains the son of Mach Three for owner-breeder Millar Farms of Stouffville, ON. Chocolate Swirl Hudson Phil and driver James MacDonald powered up the outside to a one-half length win over Bo Mach and Dismissal Slip for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Lansdowne, ON resident Mark Steacy conditions the son of Shanghai Phil. Hudson Phil The colts will make their third Grassroots appearance on August 16 at Grand River Raceway. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Mohawk Racetrack on Friday night (July 21) with Grassroots action for the two-year-old and three-year-old pacing fillies. The two-year-olds kick things off in the first race at 7:30 pm and will also compete in Races 3, 5, 7, and 11, while the sophomores battle in Races 2, 6 and 9. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JULY 19, 2017 - Harness racing driver Trevor Henry guided a pair of three-year-old trotting fillies to Grassroots glory at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening, capturing the second and third of five $15,600 divisions. Climbing onto the race bike behind Hilarious Honey for the third time this season, Henry was immediately impressed by the improvement in the filly's gait since trainer Ted MacDonnell added trotting hopples to her equipment bag last week. Based on that improvement the Arthur, ON resident sent Hilarious Honey straight to the front from Post 3, and the Muscle Mass daughter rolled through fractions of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:30 on her way to a two and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.4. Pocket sitter Twin B Venus trotted into second and Angies Dish was six more lengths back in third. "She raced great. She was trotting a lot better than the last time I drove her (June 20)," said Henry. "Ted's done a great job with her." Allenford, ON resident MacDonnell trains Hilarious Honey for owner-breeder Jeffrey Oborne of Jordan Station, ON. Wednesday's win was the filly's first in 15 lifetime starts and boosted her earnings to $23,800. One race later Henry lined up at Post 2 with Jilona and the reinsman once again sent his charge directly to the front. Jilona trotted through a :28.3 quarter, :58.3 half and 1:28 three-quarters and held off challenger Northern Oath to record a three-quarter length victory in 1:58.3. Fan favourite Angora Seelster was one more length back in third. "Jilona is just starting to come around. She was sick and had trouble with tying up so we used the Equiwinner patch on her and she turned right around," said Henry. "We're very happy with her." Shannon Henry handles training duties on Jilona and the couple share ownership of the filly with numbered company 1035840 Ontario Inc., also of Arthur. A Grassroots winner at two, the daughter of Johnny William had been winless through five sophomore starts prior to Wednesday's effort, which boosted her lifetime earnings to $35,233. Driver James MacDonald and trainer Mark Steacy also teamed up to record two Grassroots victories at Grand River on Wednesday. Stritch scored her first-ever Grassroots win in the fourth division, while division point leader Delcrest Magicstar earned her third of the season in the last split. Starting from Post 1, Stritch tucked in behind Whole Lot Of Sugar as that filly led the field of eight through fractions of :28.2, :59 and 1:28.1, then slipped out in the stretch and powered home to a one-half length victory in 1:58.1. Whole Lot Of Sugar settled for second, while Ladyabra rounded out the top three. "Stritch was great. She drew good and took advantage of a great trip," said Guelph, ON resident MacDonald of the Majestic Son daughter's first-ever Grassroots win. MacDonald and Lansdowne, ON resident Steacy crafted the win for owners David Reid of Glenburnie, ON, James Feeley of Pine Bush, NY, Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, NY and Stephen Klunowski of North York, ON. Of the five previous Grassroots winners that made the trip to Elora for the third event of the three-year-old trotting filly season only Delcrest Magicstar was able to add to her trophy collection. The division point leader has been flawless in Grassroots action to date and she led from start to finish on Wednesday, sailing through fractions of :29, 1:00.1 and 1:30.1 on her way to a five length win in 1:59.3. Kendras Coco and Inner Drive completed the top three. 'She's riding a hot streak," said MacDonald. "I just took my time getting her to the front and she was really strong the rest of the way. I just had to keep her out of trouble." The driver shares ownership of Delcrest Magicstar with Peter Porter of Port Dover and Johnathan McKinnon of Guelph, ON. In eight starts this season the Majestic Son daughter now has four wins and earnings of $36,855. With her flawless record of three wins in three Grassroots starts she sits atop the division standings with 150 points, 67 points ahead of the second-ranked filly. The other Grassroots trophy went home with Millers Song, who trotted under the Grand River finish line in a personal best 1:59.3, keeping a head in front of favourite Late Shift and Bustingattheseams. Louis-Philippe Roy engineered the Windsong Espoir daughter's first Grassroots victory and fourth win of the season for trainer Tom Riley and owner Amanda Riley of Roseneath, ON. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their fourth Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on August 14. Next up on Grand River Raceway's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule is a Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing colts, part of the Elora oval's signature Industry Day card on Civic Holiday Monday, Aug. 7. Post time for the Industry Day program, which also features the Battle of Waterloo for two-year-old pacing colts and the Battle of the Belles for two-year-old pacing fillies, is 1:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JULY 18, 2017 - Mohawk Racetrack hosted the second Grassroots event of the season for the harness racing two-year-old trotting colts on Tuesday evening and both Ontario Sires Stakes trophies went home with first time winners. The first $18,800 division saw Jula Downton, a winner in the July 8 Grassroots season opener, sent off as the fans' top choice. As the starting gate pulled away from the field of eight, Smart Pick was out the fastest, reaching the quarter in :29.3. Delcrest Holiday, also a winner in the season opener, was on his heels, with Jula Downton third and Leaderofthepack fourth. Smart Pick handed the lead over to Delcrest Holiday heading for the :59.4 half and the fan's second choice rang up a 1:29.4 three-quarters. Jula Downton and Leaderofthepack started up the outside around the final turn, but as the colts entered the stretch the favourite skipped off stride, leaving Leaderofthepack with a clear view of the finish. The first-time starter found another gear and trotted under the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of a hard closing Stormont Ventnor and Delcrest Holiday in 1:59.4. "He exceeded the expectations tonight, we thought he was okay, but he definitely exceeded what we thought he could do tonight, anyway," said Ryan Holliday, who drove Leaderofthepack to the win for his father David and brother Ben Holliday, all of Mount Forest, ON. "He got a nice trip, and he knew what to do actually when he got the room, so that was nice to see." The homebred son of Angus Hall and Kats Crown was scheduled to make his debut in the July 8 season opener at Georgian Downs, but developed an abscess in his hoof before the race and had to be scratched. After a brief rest to recover from the abscess, Leaderofthepack prepped for Tuesday's test with a schooling mile at Mohawk on Friday, July 14. "He was quite a bit better today than he was even the other day, so he's going the right direction, that's the main thing," noted Holliday. "He was quite strong tonight at the wire, he's very green yet, obviously, but he was well within himself." Leaderofthepack In the second Grassroots division trainer-driver Dagfin Henriksen and North And South enjoyed a near identical trip to the one that propelled Leaderofthepack to the winner's circle. Also starting from Post 4, Henriksen and North And South dropped onto the rail in fourth, sitting behind fan favourite Say You Do, as second choice Radical Attempt rolled through fractions of :28.2 and :57.3. When Say You Do moved to the outside Henriksen sent North And South out in his wake and when Say You Do went off stride past the 1:29 three-quarters, North And South had an open lane to the finish. The fan's third choice powered home to a one and one-quarter length win over pocket-sitter Speed N Glide in 1:59.3. Chief Justice closed hard to be third. "It worked out perfect for him," said Henriksen. "I was ready to pull on the right line just when Doug (McNair with Say You Do) made a break so I kind of had to wait a little bit, but he picked up the lines as soon as I asked him. "It worked out perfect. Little bit of luck, you always need a little bit of luck with those baby races I find," added the Cambridge, ON resident. Henriksen shares ownership of North And South with Dr. Brett Anderson of Port Hope, ON and Kyle Anderson of Edmonton, AB. The partners acquired the son of Southwind Lustre and Queen Nora for $10,000 at last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and Henriksen said the colt showed talent from his earliest lessons. "At the sale he had an outstanding video, that's kind of what sold us on him, his yearling video was just amazing, so that's kind of why we figured he was worth a shot," recalled Henriksen. "He's been excellent; he hasn't done a thing wrong. He's been so light on his feet all winter. I never pushed him. It was the end of April, beginning of May, before I started kind of pushing him. He did everything by himself all the way up to then." North And South qualified twice at Mohawk in June, finishing third on June 15 and second on June 24, so Henriksen and his partners decided to test the colt in the July 9 Gold Series event at Georgian Downs. The colt finished seventh in the Gold contest, won by Fordham Road in 1:57.1, and his connections decided a shift in strategy was in order, a decision that paid off with Tuesday's victory. "I think we did the right decision in going to the Grassroots with him," said Henriksen. "I'd rather have him as a really nice three-year-old than pushing him too hard this year." North And South North And South and Leaderofthepack will have an opportunity to double the size of their win columns when the two-year-old trotting colts return to Mohawk Racetrack on August 3 for their third Grassroots test. Next up on the Campbellville oval's action-packed Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are the two-year-old pacing colts, competing in Gold and Grassroots action on Thursday, July 20. The Grassroots colts will square off in Races 1, 5, 6, 8, and 10, while the Gold level colts battle in Races 3 and 9. Thursday's first race goes postward at 7:30 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing        

JULY 16, 2017 - Trotting filly Stonebridge Rhyme may not have earned back all of her $29,000 purchase price, but on Sunday night the harness racing  two-year-old gave owner Arpad Szabo something almost as a valuable, an Ontario Sires Stakes victory at his local oval Georgian Downs. Starting from Post 1, Stonebridge Rhyme and driver Sylvain Filion were in front for most of the mile, trotting under the finish wire in 2:02.1 to take the second $19,500 Grassroots division of the evening. Division point leader Christmas Candy and fan favourite Kant Afford It were one length behind Stonebridge Rhyme in second and third. "He's a great guy and he deserves to have a nice little horse. He's from up in Bradford there so all his family was there tonight. He just loves the game, he loves the game," said Rob Fellows, who trains Stonebridge Rhyme for Szabo. "That win - at his home track, on his home turf, with all his family - that will be worth him buying that horse, and, you know, maybe she'll have a nice career ahead of her." Fellows said the daughter of Kadabra and Stonebridge Ballad has been a pleasure to train and chalked up a break in the July 6 Grassroots opener at Mohawk Racetrack to inexperience. The filly quickly resumed trotting and finished fourth, so her connections were hopeful she would rebound with a positive effort Sunday. "When she qualified the first time she kind of threw her head a little bit going into the first turn, but kept trotting. But her first race, when they were cutting over in front of her, just being green, she just tossed her head and went off stride," explained the Rockwood, ON resident. "She was better this week so hopefully she can keep going. "You always worry about them getting a little aggressive and that kind of stuff, especially trotting fillies, you have to worry about every step they take," he added. The third Grassroots event for the two-year-old trotting fillies goes postward July 30 on Clinton Raceway's Legends Day program, and Fellows hopes Szabo has another opportunity to gather his family in the winner's circle before the end of the campaign. "This is a nice little filly, I don't know if she has any total package speed to be a 1:54 trotter or anything like that as an aged horse, but right now, in this stage, she's had two starts and she's stayed trotting in one of them and she's won it, so I'm happy," said Fellows. "If I keep her in the Grassroots and manage her properly she might develop." Thornton, ON resident Stephen Byron captured the other Grassroots division with fan favourite Yokomotion in a sharp 2:00.3. The John Bax trainee sailed home two and one-half lengths ahead of Bonnie Breeze and another length in front of her stablemate Gradabra. Like Stonebridge Rhyme, Yokomotion made an early break in the July 6 Grassroots season opener at Mohawk Racetrack and had to settle for fifth, but Byron said she was solid, if a little aggressive, in her second lifetime start. "Last week she hit the bike and this week they put a different bike on her, but in saying that she was still a little excitable. She remembered it," Byron noted. "She was a little keener than I would want, but she did race great." Campbellville resident Bax shares ownership of Yokomotion with Goin To The Show Stable and Kenneth Andrews of Peterborough and Happy Trails Stables of London, ON. The partners acquired the daughter of Justice Hall and Yoko Hanover for $22,000 at last fall's Canadian Yearling Sale and she returned $9,750 with Sunday's victory. "She did that pretty easy," said Byron. "She's a big, strong, fast mare, so hopefully she keeps doing it." The Ontario Sires Stakes returns to Georgian Downs on Tuesday, August 15 with the fifth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. 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  

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