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MILTON, JULY 8, 2019 - Ontario's top two-year-old pacing fillies put on a harness racing speed show at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening, competing for a total of $218,400 in a trio of Gold Series divisions. Free Flyin Ticket kicked off the speed display in the first $72,266 division, reaching the wire three and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:52.1, making her the fastest two-year-old in Canada in 2019. Starting from Post 5, driver Jonathan Drury eased the fan favourite off the gate into fifth as Mach My Kiss rolled out to a :27 quarter. When Mach My Kiss and driver Louis-Philippe Roy hit the brakes on the way to the :57.4 half, Drury tipped Free Flyin Ticket off the rail and the filly made rapid strides toward the front, reaching the three-quarters in 1:25.1. From there it was game over as Free Flyin Ticket sailed home in :27 to secure the victory. Sound Idea closed sharply to claim second-place honours, leaving Mach My Kiss to settle for third. "We were just hoping to race her from off the pace if possible because we don't want her to get hot on us, hotter than she can be," said trainer Tony Beaton. "But then they went that second quarter and kind of backed into everybody, and so JD (Drury) was forced to move and show his hand. The filly did the rest herself. JD was very pleased with her." Waterdown, ON resident Beaton shares ownership of Free Flyin Ticket with David Mercer of Sydney, NS, Gary Volpe of St. Thomas, ON and George Quartarone of Claremont, ON. The partners purchased the daughter of Betterthancheddar and Free Ticket from last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale, offering up $36,000 for the long-legged youngster. "I went to London and looked at the babies, the sale was Saturday, Sunday, so Friday I went down and this was one of the fillies I had on my list and when I saw her I wanted to buy her right away," Beaton recalled, joking that he was tempted to hide Free Flyin Ticket somewhere so no one else could look at her before the sale started. Right from her earliest lessons Free Flyin Ticket did nothing but confirm Beaton's first impression. She trained easily all winter, won a June 14 qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park by four lengths in 1:58.3 and a second qualifier at the Campbellville oval on June 21 by five lengths in 1:55. "Her work seemed to come to her very easy. She just seemed more mature, or mature ahead of her time, compared to some of the other young ones," Beaton noted. "She always showed high, high speed when we got training, it was a matter of she started getting a little bit hot and we had to keep her under control. Hopefully we seem to have her where we want her now and moving forward." Unfortunately, Free Flyin Ticket's turn as Canada's fastest freshman lasted less than 30 minutes as Off The Press came out in the second Gold division with a 1:52 effort. Driver Bob McClure, who picked up the drive in the absence of Sylvain Filion, eased Off The Press away from Post 1 and was sitting fourth when Kit paced by the :27.3 quarter. McClure opted to move the fan favourite heading for the :56.1 half and Off The Press was just over a length behind the pacesetter by the 1:25 three-quarters. A :26.4 final quarter assured Off The Press of the victory, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of pocket-sitter Need Ur Opinion. Karma Seelster closed sharply for third. "She's a nice filly, I was really impressed with her last start and that mile was quite impressive tonight for only her second start," said Paul Reid, who trains the daughter of Sportswriter and Dragon Flier K for owner-breeder Bob Key of Leechburg, PA. Monday's outing was Off The Press' second lifetime start. In her June 28 debt at Woodbine Mohawk Park she rocketed home in :25.4 to finish fourth in a 1:55 mile won by All Day Sunshine. That effort confirmed what Reid had started to suspect when Off The Press won her June 8 and 14 qualifiers. "The filly that was in the earlier division (Toonietina) actually trained better most of the winter, but once we got up here you could tell the difference once they started getting to the racetrack. There was quite a difference in the determination in this filly," said Reid. "She was nice gaited and trained well all year, but I never really knew she had last week's :25.4 (speed). I haven't had too many in my life pace quarters like that, let alone a two-year-old, so that was a definite eye opener to her real speed." The last $73,067 Gold division was captured by fan favourite All Day Sunshine who went straight to the front from Post 8, conceded control through the centre of the mile to Temagami Seelster and then hustled up the rail to the win when the pacesetter drifted right in the lane. All Day Sunshine halted the teletimer at 1:53, one and one-half lengths ahead of a fast closing Martinis Place. Temagami Seelster took home third-place spoils. Driver Doug McNair picked up the drive on All Day Sunshine in Filion's absence and was impressed with the daughter of Sunshine Beach and Mustang Kensley. "She's a nice filly. She seems smart and versatile," said the Guelph resident. "It looks like she's on the right track." Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON trains All Day Sunshine for Daniel Lagace of Cambridge, ON, Anthony and Billy Joe Timmins of Birmingham, GB and Brad Gray of Dundas, ON. Monday's victory gives the filly a record of two wins and one second in three starts and she will have a chance to add to that total when the fillies make their second Gold Series start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 19. Two-year-old pacing fillies will once again be the centre of attention on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Tuesday, July 9 program as the Grassroots lasses gather for five $23,500 divisions. The fillies will kick things off in the first race, which goes postward at 7:10 pm. Complete results from Monday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0708wbsbsn.dat.   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

INNISFIL, JULY 5, 2019 - Georgian Downs kicks off its 2019 Ontario Sires Stakes this Sunday, July 7, hosting the Grassroots debut of the harness racing two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The trotters will battle in three Grassroots divisions, worth a total of $69,800, and local reinsman Stephen Byron will steer a colt in each split. The Thornton resident will guide Awsomedabra from Post 4 in the first division, Aussie Lover from Post 7 in the second and Dimante Vic from Post 2 in the third. "Everybody is just learning and green, but they qualified well by their lines so that's kind of good," said Byron of his novice mounts. Awsomedabra, a Kadabra colt owned by trainer Gary Lance of Port Perry, heads into Sunday's test off a pair of steady qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park and while Sunday will be Byron's first opportunity to drive the colt he has seen him in action on several occasions. "He's had him over Georgian training and I've seen him go. He's not a bad looking horse," said Byron of Awsomedabra, who was a $45,000 purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. "I kind of think they're quite high on him, they like him. "The other horse I am driving of Gino Cicero's, that Aussie Lover, he's been over here and I've schooled him a few times and then he raced here last week which will sure help his chances I think, just because he's used to the place," Byron added. Melancthon resident Cicero owns and trains Angus Hall colt Aussie Lover, who was a $20,000 acquisition from the London Selected Yearling Sale. The colt finished fifth in his June 30 racing debut at Georgian Downs, trotting his own mile in 2:04.3. Aussie Lover also has a third-place finish in a June 22 qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park under his belt. Like Byron's other two mounts, Dimante Vic has been behind the starting gate twice, qualifying at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 28 and July 2 for trainer John Bax of Campbellville and breeder Dave Hudson of Dallas, Texas. "They say he's good and steady too. I think he's hoping that he progresses in the speed department, but they say he just trots all the time," said Byron of the Muscle Mass colt. Byron, who currently sits eleventh in the Ontario Sires Stakes driver's standings, will appear in six of the 10 races on Sunday's program, steering five trotters and two pacers. "I've always enjoyed the trotters for some reason," said the horseman. "A good pacer is a nice thing to have too, but a good trotter is a nice animal, that's for sure." Sunday's program gets under way at 6 pm and the freshman trotting colts will make their provincial debuts in Races 5, 7 and 9. Complete entries for the event can be found here. In addition to Sunday's season opener, Georgian Downs will host two additional Grassroots events this summer, along with three Gold Series legs. A complete schedule is below and can also be found here. Ontario Racing Georgian Downs Race Date Post Time Age/Sex/Gait Race Type           Sunday, July 7 6:00 pm 2-year-old Colt Trot Grassroots Series           Sunday, July 14 6:00 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Tuesday, July 16 7:15 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Tuesday, July 23 7:15 pm 2-year-old Colt Trot Gold Leg           Tuesday, August 13 7:15 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Gold Leg           Sunday, August 18 6:00 pm 3-year-old Colt Pace Gold Leg                                

MILTON, JULY 4, 2019 - The Ontario Sires Stakes two-year-old season got under way on Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with a pair of $108,000 Gold Series divisions for the freshman trotting colts, and harness racing driver Bob McClure was in the race bike of both winners. "Those are two nice colts right there," said McClure of young trotters Threefiftytwo and Port Perry. Making his first appearance at the helm of Threefiftytwo, McClure moved the colt smartly away from Post 8 in the first division and was on top just after the :29.3 opening quarter. Tuckers Out soon moved to the front, followed by Built Strong, which put Threefiftytwo in third as the field reached the 1:00 half. Fans who had selected Threefiftytwo had a moment of worry as a parade of rivals rolled up the outer lane heading into the final turn, but McClure was able to slide the colt out before the 1:29.1 three-quarters and once Threefiftytwo had an open look at the wire, the young trotter found a big gear and was able to reel in fan favourite Crossfit Mouse by a head. A pair of sharp last quarters - :27 and :27.1 - saw Threefiftytwo and Crossfit Mouse hit the wire in 1:56.3, four lengths ahead of third-place finisher Built Strong. "He left out good and cleared to the front and let one go and then let two go, and then all of a sudden he was sitting pretty well fourth over, and that's a horrible spot to be," said McClure. "He made up for it, so he was really impressive." Threefiftytwo McClure drove Threefiftytwo to the win for trainer George Ducharme of Norfolk, MA and his co-owner Michelle Larson of Rochester, MA. A homebred out of Royalty For Life and Four Damsals, Threefiftytwo was making his first start in Ontario after doing his qualifying at Vernon Downs in New York, where he was a 1:58.3 winner on June 28. Threefiftytwo "I talked to George before we went out just quick. He told me that the colt hadn't done anything wrong, he was pretty high on him, and looking at him in the paddock, I mean he's a very impressive looking horse," said McClure of his introduction to Threefiftytwo. "He's flashy, got an athletic build, he's tall, he's real nice to look at and his qualifiers looked pretty good. "George told me he was having slight hiccups with the gate, but he's done a good job because he was over it, he was perfect tonight," the Elora resident added. Unlike Threefiftytwo, McClure was very familiar with his mount in the second Gold division. The reinsman had piloted Port Perry in two qualifying starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park and several schooling miles for trainer Luc Blais and was hopeful the lanky youngster could hold his own in top class company. Starting from Post 2 McClure settled Port Perry into fifth as Hetalkstoangels led the field to a :29 quarter. Fan favourite Magics Wizard took over top spot and reached the half in :59.3, where McClure tipped Port Perry off the rail and started up the outer lane. Heading into the last turn Kenogami Coco and driver Trevor Henry moved off the rail and provided cover for McClure and Port Perry, putting them just three lengths back at the 1:29.1 three-quarters. Squaring up in the stretch McClure simply pointed Port Perry at the wire and the big colt accelerated away from the field with every stride, reaching the wire four and one-half lengths the best in 1:57.3. Blue Cupertino also closed hard to be second, with Hetalkstoangels completing the top three. Port Perry                                                                                             --New Image media "I always liked him. He was always really professional, but he's big, he's very, very big, a big, strong, thick horse. If you looked at him in the stall, you'd say, 'There's no way he's going to be a good two-year-old, he'll probably be a nice three-year-old,'" said McClure. "And he is built like he's going to be a better three-year-old, but if he stays sound this year he's got a wicked engine. The big thing about him is how strong he is. He's the type that could really overpower a field." Campbellville resident Blais conditions the son of Kadabra and former Gold Series winner Danica Hall for Determination of Montreal, QC. Danica Hall's third foal, Port Perry was an $85,000 acquisition from last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. McClure started driving the Blais-trained, Determination-owned totters last spring and the partnership has proven fruitful; Forbidden Trade was the top two-year-old trotting colt last season and with one freshman event complete they appear to have another strong contender for the role in 2019. "I really enjoy it," said McClure. "And Luc - I mean we've got really nice horses to work with, Serge Godin, he buys some really nice horses - but he does a good job maintaining them and I just try to do my part." Port Perry Threefiftytwo and Port Perry will make their second Gold Series start on July 23 over the Georgian Downs oval in Innisfil, ON, where McClure will hope they once again draw into different divisions. Two-year-old Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park this weekend as the Milton oval welcomes the pacing colts for Grassroots action on Friday night and Gold Series action Saturday. The Grassroots colts will compete in Races 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 on Friday's program, which gets under way at 7:50 pm. The Gold colts will battle in Races 5 and 8 on Saturday, with the first race going postward at 7:10 pm. Complete results for Thursday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0704wbsbsn.dat.   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

ELORA, JULY 3, 2019 - Grand River Raceway fans were treated to a trio of impressive harness racing performances by Ontario's top three-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday night, starting with a commanding track record effort by Bright Eyes M in the first $73,066 Gold Series division. Driver Stephen Byron pointed Bright Eyes M at the front from Post 3 and, after hopping over a few shadows on the ground, the pair took command heading by the :28.1 opening quarter. Once they reached the front Byron and Bright Eyes M simply extended their lead with every stride; it was one and one-half lengths at the :57.4 half, three lengths at the 1:26.3 three-quarters, five lengths at the top of the stretch and seven and one-quarter lengths at the 1:55.4 finish. Haveoneforme and HP Bruxelles finished second and third behind the fan favourite. The 1:55.4 clocking shaved one-fifth of a second off the former track record of 1:56, set by On A Sunny Day in a 2017 Gold Series event. "I was not sure how things would go, but she was impressive," said trainer John Bax, who conditions the Kadabra daughter for Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, KY. There was a moment in the first turn where Bax thought things were not going to turn out well as Bright Eyes M jumped over shadows on the racetrack. After she crossed the finish line racing officials reviewed the filly's path around the first turn to ensure that she had not caused interference to the other competitors, eventually determining that there was no violation. "A horse, I suppose, that wasn't good gaited would have run, but she just, you could see her head drop and her ears went up and she winged over it," said Campbellville, ON resident Bax. "She did it a couple times." Her second straight win in Gold Series action gives Bright Eyes M sole possession of top spot in the three-year-old trotting filly standings with 100 points, 25 ahead of rival Haveoneforme. The second division saw Teddys Littleangel return to the Gold Series winner's circle with a front-end effort from Post 4 that saw her battle to a neck victory over Mattys Smilin, stopping the teletimer at 1:57.4. Angelic Speed was seven lengths behind the duelling leaders in third. A two-time Gold Series winner last season, Archangel daughter Teddys Littleangel had been winless through six starts heading into Wednesday's test. Doug McNair of Guelph crafted the win for trainer Ted MacDonnell of Allenford and owner-breeder Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke. The final $73,866 division saw last year's Super Final champion HP Titania Runner find her way back to the winner's circle after a frustrating start to the sophomore campaign. Starting from the trailing Post 9, driver Louis-Philippe Roy charted a come-from-behind path for the filly, sitting sixth at the :28.3 quarter, moving up the outer lane into fourth by the :59.2 half and circling out three-wide to get within striking distance of pacesetter and fan favourite Angies Luckeylady by the 1:28.1 three-quarters. As HP Titania Runner threatened, Angies Luckeylady went off stride, allowing the reigning champ to trot home to a one and one-half length win in 1:57.2. Pocket-sitter Sams Arsenal was second and Blue Magic completed the top three. "She's got a little more aggressive, earlier in the season, than she was last year, and that didn't help her with a few breaking issues she had," said driver Louis-Philippe Roy about HP Titania Runner's early season woes, which saw her make a break in the June 3 Gold Series event. "Tonight she was trotting solid. Rene Bourassa and his team did a great job on her; I just had to wait until the good moment to move her." Guelph resident Roy crafted the win for trainer Rene Bourassa of Fergus, ON and owner-breeders Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. Her connections will be hoping HP Titania Runner delivers another solid effort when the three-year-old trotting fillies gather at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 18 for their third Gold Series event. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, July 24 with the second Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Complete results for Wednesday's program can be found at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0703grvrn.dat.   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 Par www.ontarioracing.com

MILTON, July 1, 2019 - Trotters provided fireworks of a different kind on Monday's Canada Day card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A trio of sub-1:52 trotting miles stole the show on the 10-race card, including a pair from harness racing trainer Ben Baillargeon. Four-year-old Run Director returned to Mohawk Park to capture the $34,000 Preferred Trot in a career-best 1:51.2. The Baillargeon trainee was one for three on the season and coming in off a fourth-place finish in a leg of the Graduate at The Meadowlands. Hemi Seelster cut the mile and opened a lead of 3 ½ lengths with a :27.3 third-quarter to reach the marker in 1:22.4. Run Director and Sylvain Filion got away fourth, avoided a second-quarter breaker and moved to the outside into second at three-quarters. In the stretch, Hemi Seelster drifted out badly to hurt his chances at maintaining the lead. Run Director trotted home straight with a :28 final-quarter to win by three-quarters of a length over O Narutac Perfetto. Hemi Seelster finished third, while Dancer Hall was fourth. A homebred for Tom and Elizabeth Rankin, Run Director's career-best performance gives him eight wins and bumps his career earnings to $469,505. The Baillargeon trainee was last year's Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final champion. Run Director paid $3.20 to win. The fastest trotting mile of the evening came from Baillargeon trainee Royal Witch in the $22,000 fourth-race. A five-year-old mare, Royal Witch and driver Trevor Henry stormed out to the lead and never looked back to win in a career-best 1:51, equaling Canada's third-fastest trotting mile ever by a mare. The daughter of Kadabra posted fractions of :27.1, :55.1 and 1:22.4 to lead by just over four-lengths turning for home. A :28.1 final-quarter completed the lifetime best mile for a victory of 2 ¼ lengths. Royal Witch is also owned by Tom and Elizabeth Rankin and now has two wins in five starts this season to bring her career numbers to 13 wins and $252,863 earned. The clocking of 1:51 would've matched the Track Record a month ago, but that mark has recently been broken twice by Hannelore Hanover (1:50.3) and most recently Atlanta (1:50.2). Royal Witch paid $6.70 to win. Four-year-old Treasured Tee set the tone for the evening by trotting to a career-best 1:51.3 victory in the $20,000 first-race. The John Cecchin trained son of Yankee Glide was also driven by Henry, who owns the trotter, and rallied from fourth at three-quarters to win by three-quarters of a length over four-year-old mare Kadabra Queen. Treasured Tee had just one win in seven starts this season entering Monday and now sports career numbers of seven-wins and $110,596 earned. He paid $21.80 to win. Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications

DRESDEN, JULY 1, 2019 - Dresden Raceway fans were treated to a beautiful afternoon of harness racing on Canada Day, highlighted by four divisions of three-year-old trotting fillies battling for a total of $89,100 in Grassroots purse money. Kicking off the event in the first Grassroots division was fan favourite Splurge On Me, who powered straight to the front from Post 2 and never looked back. In rein to Trevor Henry, the filly rang up fractions of :30.4, 1:03.2 and 1:35.2 on her way to a three and three-quarter length victory in 2:03.2. Angel Status finished second, just ahead of Royaltys Pearl. The win was Splurge On Me's first of the season in Grassroots action, but it extended her win streak to four races. After a third-place result in the June 4 Grassroots season opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park, trainer Bob McIntosh made an equipment change that returned the filly to the winning form she had demonstrated at two. "I was disappointed with her at first, because she trained good all winter and spring," explained McIntosh. "I'd been racing her in an open bridle, but I just said to her groom Gabby one day, let's throw a big pair of cheek rolls on her, and that's what just changed her around, was something so simple - so far, so good." Windsor, ON resident McIntosh bred and owns Splurge On Me in partnership with C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. A daughter of Kadabra and broodmare Urge To Splurge, Splurge On Me started her sophomore season competing against the province's top fillies in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stake, but McIntosh said the partners are content to keep her at the Grassroots level for the remainder of the summer. "She's not quite good enough (for the Gold Series), I don't think. I'd rather be a big fish in a small pond," said the Hall of Fame horseman. "She's brave right now, and that's good. I wouldn't say it would never happen, but for right now I plan on keeping her on her schedule." Paul Walker won the second Grassroots division, using a front-end trip to guide Magically Hip to her first lifetime win in 2:01.3. Victoriahasasecret closed hard in the stretch, but finished a head back in second and Latte Datte was three lengths behind the leaders in third. Walker trains and drives Angus Hall filly Magically Hip for owner-breeders Oaklea Farm Inc. of Simcoe, ON. In the third $22,450 Grassroots division trainer-driver Per Henriksen also sent Checkmate Titan to the front and although they faced a sustained mid-race challenge from Kashe, Checkmate Titan found an extra gear in the stretch and opened up a seven length margin on her rival, hitting the wire in 2:00.3. Kashe settled for second and Warrawee UItra completed the top three. "Two minutes here at this track is pretty good," noted Henriksen. "I changed equipment on her a little bit last time (June 21) because she had a tendency to get a little bit hot and she didn't take to that so she made a break leaving, but today everything worked perfect, she won fairly handy." Henriksen trains the E L Titan daughter for Harbor Racing Stable LLC of Aurora and Asa Farm of Norwood, ON. Monday marked the filly's debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program and Henriksen expects her to continue to improve as she gains more racing experience. "She'll be okay as she goes on," said the Norwood resident. "She'll keep on racing in the Grassroots. I don't think she's Gold filly, not yet. She might never be, but she'll be all right in the Grassroots, especially on the half-mile tracks because she can leave like a hobbled pacer." The last Grassroots division went to P L Molly who, in spite of spending the last quarter three-wide, reeled in pacesetter Giving It All and pocket-sitter Witches N Angels in the stretch. The Royalty For Life daughter and trainer-driver Matt Dupuis stopped the teletimer at 2:01.4, a head in front of Witches N Angels. Giving It All settled for third, two lengths behind the duelling leaders. It was the first win of the season for P L Molly, who is owned by breeders Prince Lee Acres of Uxbridge, ON. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their third Grassroots start at Georgian Downs on July 16. In addition to the Ontario Sires Stakes, Dresden Raceway also played host to two splits of the second leg of the Mark Austin Pacing Series. The first division saw Premier Rockstar and driver Ryan Holliday get a neck in front of fan favourite Toxic Hanover at the 1:58 finish. Racebytheseaside was seven lengths back in third. Bob Young trains Premier Rockstar for Premier And Associates FA of Howell, MI. The second Mark Austin division saw Dali colt Nagle cruise to a seven length victory in 1:58.2 for trainer-driver Keith Jones. Township Willy finished second and Mach Art In Motion was third. Jones conditions Nagle for Jody Simmons of London, ON. Complete results for Monday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0701dresn.dat. 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 c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

JUNE 27, 2019 - Driver James MacDonald and trainer Shawn Steacy teamed up for two wins and two seconds in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday night. The duo kicked off the Grassroots program in the fourth race with fan favourite Moonshine Kisses, who took command of the race before the halfway marker and powered home a five length winner in 1:50. Balder Son closed well to finish second and pocket-sitter Silver Beast was third. "I was really pleased with his effort because I think he's got a great attitude. His attitude has come a long way from last year and that's what's made him a better horse. He's more focused, he's more willing to put in a full effort," said Steacy. "And 1:50 was a real big mile. I think that's the fastest Sunshine Beach there is now, if I'm not mistaken." Steacy shares ownership of the Sunshine Beach colt with his mother Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy of Edmonton, AB. The win was Moonshine Beach's third of the season and, added to his runner-up finish in the May 19 Grassroots opener, gives him a total of 75 points and a share of second-place in the division standings. Guelph, ON residents MacDonald and Steacy were back in the winner's circle one race later with OK Kudo, who reeled off a :27 last quarter to score his first lifetime win in 1:52. Dreamfair Moxy was one-half length back in second and Missile Seelster was one more length back in third. "OK Kudo I was really happy with. He's been waiting to win, he's about three weeks overdue that horse," said the trainer. "So many times I thought tonight was his night, tonight was night, and he'd let me down. Tonight he just had to prove that he could do it." Another son of Sunshine Beach, OK Kudo had recorded one second, two thirds and two fourths in overnight action and a seventh in the Grassroots season opener since making his sophomore debut in early May. Breeder Oak Knoll Stables of Campbellcroft, ON and Stephen Downey of Quispamsis, NB share ownership of the colt. Steacy and MacDonald's other two Grassroots starters, also sons of Sunshine Beach, finished second in their divisions. Phils Sun battled Sportsline down the stretch, but was unable to reel in the heavy favourite. Sportsline stopped the Woodbine Mohawk Park teletimer at 1:50.3, reaching the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Phils Sun, with Jay Eye Em another length back in third. Trevor Henry piloted Sportsline to his eighth win in nine sophomore starts for trainer Jim Watt of Clinton and his co-owner Harry Parrott of Goderich, ON. With two wins in Grassroots action the Sportswriter son currently shares top spot in the division standings with 100 points. "Phils Sun, he raced a huge mile and only got tired in the last couple steps and got beat by a horse that's, in my mind, a super horse for a Grassroots horse," said Steacy of Sportsline. In the last division fans sent MacDonald and Priceless Beach off as the top choice, but the pair was unable to catch pacesetter The Regulator in the stretch. After moving to the front at the :54.1 half, The Regulator reeled off a 1:22.1 three-quarters and then sprinted home to a 1:49.4 victory. Priceless Beach was two and three-quarter lengths behind in second, one-half length ahead of third-place finisher Better Moonon Over. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry picked up his second Grassroots win aboard The Regulator, steering the Bettors Delight son to victory for trainer Victor Puddy of Mountain, Dale Towle of Leamington and Michael Horwood of Tecumseh, ON. The win was the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for The Regulator, who dropped down from the Gold Series level for Thursday's test. "Sportsline's a nice colt. He's got a quick turn of foot. Jim just has to figure out how to stop him from drifting in the stretch. The Regulator is just a nice colt. I can't believe he paid as much as he did his first time in the Grassroots," said Henry of his winning mounts. The other $23,850 Grassroots division went to Sugartown, who also recorded a personal best with his 1:51.2 victory. Sugartown finished three-quarters of a length ahead of fan favourite Cliffhanger and that much more ahead of third-place finisher Carlisimo. Doug McNair piloted Sugartown to his second straight Grassroots win for trainer Richard Moreau and owner W J Donovan of Delray Beach, FL. With two Grassroots wins under his belt, the Sportswriter son shares top spot in the division standings with Sportsline. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their third Grassroots start on August 5 at Grand River Raceway, where MacDonald and Steacy will attempt to replicate Thursday's success. "We had a real good night," said Steacy. "We can always think about Golds maybe later on with some of them, but they seem to be very comfortable where they are, so we'll probably just race some overnights and prepare for the next one." The Gold Series three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will square off in their second event on Saturday, June 29 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The $159,600 Gold division is slated as Race 5 on Saturday's program, which gets under way at 7:55 pm.   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

JUNE 23, 2019 - Ontario's three-year-old trotting colts laid down some impressive miles in Grassroots action on Clinton Raceway's Legends Day program Sunday, capped off by a harness racing track record for Zorgwijk Tim. "He raced good, he got lucky though," said trainer Lyle MacArthur of Zorgwijk Tim's 1:58.1 record-setting effort. "He still went in 1:58.1, he went a real good mile, but it looked like he was just going to, probably, get a three and he ended up getting all the marbles so like I said, I like the thought of being lucky rather than good sometimes." After sitting fourth for much of the mile, watching Archway ring up fractions of :29.1, :59.2 and 1:28.3, driver Robert Shepherd had just swung out from behind fan favourite Royale Elite and driver Jonathan Drury when Archway made a break and interfered with pocket-sitter Windsong Pioneer and Royale Elite. Zorgwijk Tim sailed past the leaders and was six and one-quarter lengths ahead of runner-ups Royale Elite and Windsong Pioneer at the wire. "I thought I was maybe going to be third, and it just worked out they hooked up and the next thing I was by them," said Flamborough, ON resident Shepherd. "He's a nice horse to drive and situations like that, it worked out for him because he's so nice to drive and he trots good. He's handy that way. He's a nice little horse, not a real big horse, but he's really good to deal with." The mile was a personal best for Zorgwijk Tim and lowered the former track record for three-year-old trotting colts over the Clinton Raceway half-mile by one and two-fifths of a second. "Going up the backstretch I thought, 'I've got to get out on Jonathan's (Drury) back,' and I went to move him out and I kind of asked him to catch right up to Jonathan and he was struggling a little to get to his back, so I knew they were moving along pretty good," said Shepherd. "Good mile for a trotter over Clinton, especially three-year-olds." It was also something of a redemptive effort for the Angus Hall colt, who made his own break in the June 5 Grassroots season opener at Grand River Raceway and was placed from fifth back to seventh. Linda Wellwood of St. George Brant, Tammy Aspden of Caistor Centre and Anna Ruijs of Ancaster, ON share ownership of Zorwijk Tim, who boosted his sophomore earnings to $34,473 with his first Ontario Sires Stakes win. Before Zorgwijk Tim lowered the track record in the fourth division, Gold Edition matched the former mark with a 1:59.3 effort in the second $22,100 split. Starting from Post 6, driver Alfie Carroll hustled Gold Edition off the starting gate and the pair led the field through fractions of :30, 1:01.3 and 1:31 before sailing home to a one length victory over Encarnacion. Mr Choo was well back in third. "He's a nice horse. I even had him staked a little bit in the open stakes in the fall, but I don't know if he's that kind of horse," said trainer Blair Burgess. "I always thought he was a borderline Gold horse, and now we're racing Grassroots because he likes the half, he really loves the half, as you can see today. He loved Grand River and loved it here. He's handy on the turns; I think he trots the turns even better than the straightaways." The win was Gold Edition's second straight in Grassroots action this season and boosted the E L Titan son's sophomore bank roll to $38,048 for owners Stirling Fisher of Waterloo and Karin Olsson Burgess of Campbellville, ON. Red Hot Torch opened the Legends Day program with a 2:02 score in the first Grassroots division, getting a head in front of pacesetter King For Life. Mackjustice finished well behind the duelling leaders in third. Jonathan Drury piloted Angus Hall son Red Hot Torch to his first lifetime win for trainer Shawn Steacy and owner 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. Debt Collector went gate-to-wire in the third Grassroots division, hanging on for a half-length 2:01.3 victory over Titan M Up and Justice For Narnia. Travis Henry engineered the Holiday Road gelding's third straight win for trainer Keith Jones and owner Douglas McCarthy of Holland Landing, ON. Raising Royalty earned his second Grassroots win, and fifth in six sophomore starts, with a 2:01 effort in the last division. The Royalty For Life son and driver Sylvain Filion controlled the pace from start to finish and sailed under the wire two and one-quarter lengths ahead of favourite LA Magic and The Great Farini. Stephen Bossence conditions Raising Royalty for Stephen Palermo of Etobicoke, ON. One race later the large crowd gathered along the rail for the Legends Day Trot and was treated to a thrilling finish by Hall of Fame drivers David Miller, Doug Brown, Trevor Ritchie, Steve Condren, Wally Hennessey, Dave Wall and Ron Waples. Miller and Dominum Deo would emerge the winners, getting a neck in front of Brown and Azucar with a 1:59.3 effort. Ritchie and Lets Leavem were just one-half length back in third. A large and enthusiastic crowd watches the Legends Day Trot at Clinton Raceway (AG Photography) Miller, making his second appearance at the biennial fundraiser for the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation, engineered the victory for trainer Mary Paulic and owner Allan Kuepfer of Newton, ON. The three-year-old trotting colts will make their third Grassroots start Rideau Carleton Raceway on July 21, while Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Clinton Raceway on Sunday, August 11 with Grassroots action for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Complete results for Sunday's program can be found at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0623clntnn.dat.   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

JUNE 22, 2019 - A beautiful summer night greeted the three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday as they assembled at Woodbine Mohawk Park for their second Gold Series harness racing event, and the clear skies and fast track resulted in a record setting performance by division leader Boadicea. Starting from Post 6 in the second $106,400 Gold Series division, driver Jonathan Drury opted to send Boadicea after the lead early and the filly reached the front just before the :26.3 opening quarter. From there Boadicea simply kept on rolling, pacing to a :54.2 half and 1:21.4 three-quarters before accelerating down the stretch to the 1:49 victory. Pocket-sitter Sunny Dee finished two and one-half lengths back in second, followed across the wire by Premier Cabernet. "She is a wonderful filly. She's just got better every start," said trainer Bill Budd. "I figured she'd pace in 1:50 tonight, but 1:49 is even better." Boadicea's 1:49 clocking took four-fifths of a second off the former Ontario Sires Stakes record of 1:49.4 set by Kendall Seelster in Gold Series action at the Campbellville oval last summer. With three more Gold Series events and the season-ending Super Final on the filly's schedule, Budd said he would not be surprised if Boadicea goes even faster before her sophomore season comes to a close. "She is a big filly and the farther they go, the better she is. That's the way you want it," said the Waterdown, ON resident. "(There's) another gear there still. I think so." Budd trains the daughter of Big Jim and Rose Seelster for owner-breeders Charles and Gordon Lawrence of Blenheim, ON, who were on hand to see the filly record her second Gold Series and fourth straight victory. With the next event slated for July 27 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Budd said Boadicea will enjoy a week off before getting ready for a prep race one week prior to the Gold event, the same schedule that she followed after her June 1 Gold win. "We just gave her a week off; I'll give her another one now. She really likes that. Keep her fresh," said Budd. "I'll give her 10 days or a week off; long summer." Also heading for a well-deserved break is Powerful Chris, who cruised to a three length victory in the first $107,200 Gold division. The fan favourite took control just past the :54.3 half and romped home to a 1:50.2 score over Lovely Donna and Ideation Hanover. Bob McClure crafted the victory for trainer John Pentland of Dorchester and his co-owners Jack Darling Stables Ltd. of Cambridge and Syllabus Stable of Georgetown, ON, and the Elora resident said the Betterthancheddar daughter was on cruise control. "She was very good. She's come back a very nice filly," said the reinsman. "She can leave, she'll sit, she's two fingers to drive, I couldn't be happier with her." The win was the first of the season for Powerful Chris, who finished third by a neck in the $454,000 Fan Hanover final at Woodbine Mohawk Park last Saturday. That effort, and her fifth-place result in the June 8 Fan Hanover elimination, seem to have boosted the filly's confidence in the speed and ability that earned her three Ontario Sires Stakes wins as a two-year-old. "I think that (Fan Hanover) and the elim - in the elim her last quarter was big (:25.2) - I think she's finding another gear and learning to carry it," noted McClure. Powerful Chris finished second to Boadicea in the June 1 Gold Series season opener, and currently shares second spot in the point standings with Sunny Dee. While the fillies enjoy their break, the three-year-old trotting colts will arrive at Woodbine Mohawk Park for their second Gold Series event on Monday, June 24. The evening's first race goes in behind the gate at 7:10 pm and the trotting colts will square off in Races 3 and 6. Complete results for Saturday night's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0622wbsbsn.dat.   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

JUNE 20, 2019 - Driver Doug McNair captured a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots harness racing divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday evening, guiding Swift Ally and Sporty Tori to victory over a rain-soaked oval rated two seconds slower than normal. Both three-year-old pacing fillies were sent off as favourites by Woodbine Mohawk Park fans and McNair opted for come-from-behind tactics in both races. Starting from Post 2 in the third $23,850 Grassroots division, McNair eased Swift Ally off the gate and settled into seventh spot in the outer lane as Manhattan Night rang up fractions of :27.1 and :56. Heading toward the 1:25.3 three-quarters McNair tipped Swift Ally out three-wide and the Big Jim daughter reeled in the leaders, pacing under the wire one and one-quarter lengths on top in 1:54.4. Manhattan Night settled for second and D Gs Fairystars completed the top three. "Swift Ally has been racing good all along. They tried her in the Gold and I think I over raced her early, she didn't like that," said McNair, who finished seventh with the filly in the June 1 Gold Series opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "Last week (June 14) she had a lot of go and just got locked in, so I figured she would be good tonight if we got a decent trip. She's going the right way." McNair engineered the win, the filly's first in provincial stakes action and the fifth of her seven-race career, for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON. The homebred filly is a daughter of McNair and Fleming's former Gold Series competitor Claires Apache, who earned just shy of $400,000 in her career. Two races later McNair lined Sporty Tori up behind the number nine and once again opted to settle in at the back of the pack while Full Moon Fix and Erikas Shadow battled to a :27.1 opening quarter. Eighth at the :56 half, Sporty Tori had advanced to fifth by the 1:25.3 three-quarters, and a smart finishing kick propelled her past the leaders and on to a two and one-half length victory in 1:54.4. Full Moon Fix and Erikas Shadow paced into second and third. London resident Gorden McKnight trains Sporty Tori for owner-breeder M & S Racing Stable Inc. of Rockwood, ON. Thursday's win was the Sportswriter daughter's ninth in 12 starts this season. "Sporty Tori has also been racing good all year. She responded exactly like Gord said she would," said McNair, who was making his first appearance in the filly's race bike. "Looks like he's done a nice job with her and I was just happy to get the call." The Guelph resident also finished third with fan favourite Whitehaven Beach in the second division, getting caught at the wire by Cinderella Delight and Crisp Mane after doing all the hard work up front, and second in the last division to So Much More, who laid down an impressive 1:52.2 effort on the front end "That filly of Beatson's (So Much More) went a serious mile over that track tonight. It drizzled all night," said McNair, who watched So Much More open up six and three-quarter lengths on his mount, fan favourite Kylie Seelster, and third-place finisher Freya Seelster in the stretch. The win was So Much More's second straight in Grassroots action. She was also an impressive winner in the May 31 season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District for trainer Don Beatson of Granton, Ken Beatson of Palgrave and Cole England of Exeter, ON. The trio acquired the Big Jim daughter from owner-breeder Doug MacPhee of New Haven, PEI just 10 days before her Grassroots debut and she has since added three more wins to the three she accumulated before making the move to Ontario. Trevor Henry engineered Thursday's win and admitted that he had passed up the opportunity to steer the filly in her Ontario debut. Tyler Borth filled in for Henry on May 31 and also piloted So Much More to an overnight win at Grand River Raceway on June 10. "She raced great. She's a nice filly. I booked off of her in London and I don't think that will happen again anytime soon," said the Arthur, ON resident. Fan favourites Summer Charm and driver Louis-Philippe Roy won the first division, besting Behavenmyself and Family First by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:55.2. Richard Moreau trains the Bettors Delight daughter, who won the 2018 two-year-old pacing filly Super Final, for Thomas and Scott Dillon of Anson, ME. Cinderella Delight halted the teletimer at 1:54.4 in the second division, getting a head in front of Crisp Mane and Whitehaven Beach. Jody Jamieson piloted the Bettors Delight daughter to her first sophomore win for trainer Bill Budd and owners Bruce Norris of Caledon East, Michael Guerriero of Brampton and Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, ON. The fifth division went to fan favourite Springbridgevision and driver James MacDonald, who battled to a three-quarter length victory over pacesetter Arya Stark in 1:55.2. Saulsbrook Jessie completed the top three. Andrew Moore of Russell trains the Shadow Play daughter for his partners Allan Moore of Stratford, Charles Farrell of Spencerville, ON and Tommy Godfrey of Charlottetown, PEI. The three-year-old pacing fillies will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park for their third Grassroots start on July 25. On Saturday evening (June 22), the Gold Series sophomore pacing fillies will return to Campbellville for the second event of their season. Post time for Saturday's program is 7:10 pm and the fillies will compete in Races 6 and 8. Photo attached: Three-year-old pacing filly Swift Ally earned her first Grassroots victory with a 1:54.4 effort at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, June 20. Guelph resident Doug McNair drove the filly to the win for his father, trainer Gregg McNair of Guelph, and Ian Fleming of Londesborough, ON. (New Image Media photo) 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

Clinton, ON, June 19, 2019 -- The Central Standardbred Association (COSA) is pleased to announce that it has added an additional Facebook Live broadcast of this Sunday's Legend's Day harness racing program from Clinton Raceway to its summer series of races. The show will air from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (ET) on Facebook and will be shown on the Clinton Raceway, Raceway at Western Fair District, Flamboro Downs and Grand River Raceway Facebook pages. Standardbred Canada has once again joined as a partner and will broadcast the show via live streaming on their website. Hosts Greg Blanchard, Mark McKelvie and Jaime MacDonald will provide coverage of the $15,000 Legend's Day Trot headlined this year by first time competitor Trevor Ritchie who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in August. He will be joined by an all-star cast that also includes David Miller, Steve Condren, Dave Wall, Ron Waples, Doug Brown and Wally Hennessey. Joining those legends for an autograph session will be retired drivers Keith Waples, John Campbell and Bill O'Donnell. The event will once again raise money for the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. Previous editions of Legends Day have raised more than $210,000 for the foundation. The Facebook Live show, produced by CUJO Entertainment of Guelph, is the third in a four-race series of shows which culminates with the Battle of Waterloo broadcast from Grand River Raceway on Monday, August 5th. Clinton Raceway

MILTON, June 17, 2019 - Musical Rhythm extended his harness racing win streak to six in a row with a Track Record equaling mile of 1:50.4 on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Ben Baillargeon trained seven-year-old bested five rivals in the $34,000 Preferred Trot to match the record set by Mister Herbie in the 2012 Maple Leaf Trot. Musical Rhythm and driver Mario Baillargeon left out from post-three and got away second behind stablemate Bautista, who cut an opening-quarter of :26.4. B Yoyo moved up from third to first in the backstretch and posted a sizzling half o :54.4. The tempo didn't let up in the third-quarter, as Musical Rhythm rushed to the top from third and reached the third-station in 1:22.4 to carry a lead of over two-lengths in the lane. Musical Rhythm completed his mile with a :28 final-quarter and dug in to hold off a late-push from Free Willy Hanover to win by half a length. Eleven-year-old Catch The Dream trotted the fastest final-quarter of :27.2 to finish third, while Monopoly was fourth. The Track Record equaling performance gives Musical Rhythm six-consecutive victories and seven wins in 15 starts this season. The Baillargeon trainee is now a 36-time winner in his career. A bankroll of $156,060 in 2019 for owners Santo & Nunzio Vena, Claude Hamel and Ben Baillargeon brings Musical Rhythm's career earnings to $837,988. He paid $2.70 to win. Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

ELORA, ON - Back by popular demand, one of the biggest events of the live harness racing season at Grand River Raceway features four-legged warriors of a markedly different kind. The fifth annual Ren's Pets Wiener Dog Races at Grand River Raceway is set for Friday, July 5. Dachshund registration is now open and limited to 30 spots at $50 per dog. Advance registration is required. Parking and admission is free for the general public. There are several food and beverage options onsite including food trucks from Spanky's BBQ, Frannie's Chuck Wagon and Ish & Chips. The Captain's Quarters Dining Room overlooking the racetrack is already sold-out for the evening. In all, the evening offers spectators four dog races and 10 horse races. The horse races begin at 6:30 p.m. on July 5. The three qualifying heats of wiener dog races will be contested consecutively starting at 8:00 p.m. The top three finishers from each dash will advance to the race final at 8:45 p.m. All races are 20 meters in length. 2018 Ren’s Pets Wiener Dog Races at Grand River Raceway All participating dogs will receive a swag bag compliments of the event sponsors. All winners of the qualifying race heats receive a small gift. The runner-up and third-place finisher in the race final receive a $50 gift. The champion of the race final wins a trophy and more than $300 in prizes. All dogs will be profiled in the evening's race program and on the TV broadcast. See the Grand River Raceway website for complete event details, rules and online dog registration. Jenna Knox at (519) 846-5455 ext. 247      

After a week off for the Clinton Spring Fair, live harness racing returned to the Huron County Oval with strong wagering numbers for the third week of the season. Mutuel betting totals topped $29,000 for the 10-race card on June 9. The trackside fundraiser was co-hosted by the Seaforth Stars and Blyth/Brussels Crusaders Minor Hockey Associations and through a barbecue, bake sale and 50/50 draw the organizations were able to raise just over $2,000 to go towards their upcoming seasons. “We’ve had such an overwhelming response to our fundraising program, that we are ending up with more groups than we have race dates,” said Jessica Carnochan, the marketing manager for the Clinton Raceway. “We thought, in order to accommodate as many groups as we can, we brought some organizations together, to co-host.” Funds from the day are shared between the two groups. Winning happened both on and off track with the Super Sunday Show, sponsored by Natures nest in Londesboro. Full details and information on the 2019 season can be found at www.clintonraceway.com Reprinted with permission of the Clinton News Record

The first session of 2019 baby races at Woodbine Mohawk Park is in the books after a 13-dash harness racing qualifying session on Saturday (June 8). Anotherstarisborn opened the session with a strong performance. The daughter of Thinking Out Loud - Tell Me Everything forged to the front from post seven, paced unchallenged through fractions of :31, 1:01.3 and 1:31.3 before sprinting home in :28 to pass her test with flying colours and earn a 1:59.3 speed badge. Toonietina (Randy Waples) stayed with her in the pocket to finish second by two lengths with Beach Boutique (Sylvain Filion) in third. To read the full article click here

MILTON, June 7, 2019 - Records were matched and broken in Friday evening's Armbro Flight harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 16 star trotting mares clashed in a pair of $35,000 Armbro Flight eliminations with Ron Burke trainees Atlanta and Hannelore Hanover putting on a show. Superstar Atlanta delivered possibly the easiest-looking Canadian record-equaling performance in recent memory with a dazzling 1:51 victory in the first split. The clocking equaled Hannelore Hanover's record set in the 2016 Armbro Flight. Not one to share the spotlight, Hannelore Hanover went out and broke the record in the second elimination by posting a 1:50.3 mile. The clocking was not only a record for trotting mares, but also the fastest trotting mile in Canadian racing history. The previous record of 1:50.4 was set in 2012 by Mister Herbie. Yannick Gingras steered both mares to the record miles on Friday evening. "I'm going to talk to Ronnie," said Gingras when asked which mare he will select for the final. "It's going to be a team decision, I've got to talk to him and see what he thinks and go from there." In the first elimination, Atlanta circled around Dream Together entering the backstretch to grab command. The four-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven reached the half in a modest :56.4 before ramping things up for the back-half. Atlanta                                --New Image Media Appearing to never break a sweat, Atlanta trotted a :27.2 third-quarter followed by a :26.4 final-quarter to win by 7 ¼ lengths in 1:51. "She was unreal tonight," said Gingras following the victory. "Last week I didn't think she was a hundred percent, but tonight she was definitely back in form. I had a lot left." Gingras felt that Atlanta could've broke the record with ease. "There is no doubt she could've gone in (1):50 really easily. I still think there is room for improvement. I wouldn't be surprised if she goes under (1):50 soon, but we will worry about that when we get there." Plunge Blue Chip finished second, while P L Jill was third. The top-five was completed by Highland Top Hill and Royal Witch. Atlanta is now undefeated in three starts this season with $117,000 earned for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor. The 2018 Hambletonian champion sports impressive career numbers of 15 wins and nearly $1.3 million earned. Atlanta paid $2.20 to win. Hannelore Hanover came into the Armbro Flight elimination as the three-time defending champion. Gingras hustled Hannelore Hanover out to the top, clearing after a :27.2 opening-quarter. The seven-year-old cruised by the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:23.4. In the stretch, Hannelore Hanover trotted home in :26.4, the same final-quarter as Atlanta, to win by 4 ¼ lengths in a historic time of 1:50.3. Top Expectations finished second, while Emoticon Hanover was third. The top-five was completed by Weslynn Dancer and The Erm. "She's back," said Gingras. "She's sound as a dollar right now. She was really sharp in the post-parade, but once she hit the last turn she was trotting real strong and felt like her old self." A winner of over $3 million, Hannelore Hanover has been dominating the aged trotting ranks for several seasons. The daughter of Swan For All came into the elimination off a seventh-place finish in her lone start this season. Her victory Friday gives her 43 for her career. A $2 win ticket on Hannelore Hanover returned $6.50. Sophomore trotters were also in action Friday for the eliminations of the Goodtimes. A group of 18 were split into a pair of $30,000 divisions. Forbidden Trade angled out of the two-hole late for a 1:53.1 victory in the first elimination. Driven by Bob McClure, Forbidden Trade showed early speed to grab the lead and post a :27.2 opening-quarter. Favourite Swandre The Giant moved from third to first in the second-quarter and posted middle-half fractions of :56.2 and 1:26.1. In the stretch, Swandre The Giant put away rivals pressuring on the outside and tried to sprint away. However, McClure angled Forbidden Trade out in the final-eighth and the son of Kadabra responded to clear racetrack by charging up along side and picking off Swandre The Giant to win by a neck. "I didn't have him until the wire," said McClure following the victory. "I figured if I could get to the front he would be coming, and it worked out good. "He grew up a lot, matured a lot and has always been really fast. He got a nice trip and took advantage of it." Smart As Hill, who came first-up in the third-quarter, finished third. The top-five was completed by Super Schissel and Only For Justice. Forbidden Trade was making his second start of the season Friday after finishing second in his season debut. The Blais trainee won seven of 11 starts and earned $300,436 last season to earn an O'Brien Award for owner Determination. A $2 win ticket on Forbidden Trade returned $12.80. Pilot Discretion kept his perfect record alive with a career-best 1:52 mile in the second Goodtimes split. Pilot Discretion                        --New Image Media Driven by Andrew McCarthy, Pilot Discretion was quickly moved out from fourth entering the backstretch but had to spend the next quarter on the outside before finally clearing at a sizzling half of :55.1. The Tony Alagna trained Pilot Discretion wasn't bothered and proceeded to hit three-quarters in 1:24 before trotting home in :28 to secure a 3 ½ lengths score. Southwind Avenger finished second, while Dream Nation was third. Jumpshot and Knight Angel completed the top-five. A son of Muscle Hill, Pilot Discretion is now five for five in his young career. The Alagna trainee was racing for the third time this season and has now earned $41,000 for owners Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson and John Fodera. "He's just been really good this year coming back," said Alagna. "We were so high on the colt last year, but he just wasn't ready to go. We raced him twice at Lexington for experience and had hoped to race him in the Valley Victory and he got sick on us, so we put him away for the year. "He trained back great in Florida this winter. We were high leaving Florida and hoping he would do what he's doing right now. Alagna pegged the Goodtimes as a perfect spot for Pilot Discretion's Grand Circuit debut. "David Anderson owns the colt with Robert LeBlanc and they're from Canada originally and of course in partnership with John Fodera. It's a fun group to have a horse for of this caliber and we thought it would be a great time to try the stakes trail with this horse." A $2 win ticket on Pilot Discretion returned $3.20. The post-position draws for the $256,000 Armbro Flight and $247,000 Goodtimes took place following Friday's eliminations. $256,000 Armbro Flight 1. Royal Witch 2. Weslynn Dancer 3. Hannelore Hanover 4. Atlanta 5. The Erm 6. Top Expectations 7. Highland Top Hill 8. P L Jill 9. Plunge Blue Chip 10. Emoticon Hanover AE: Dream Together   $247,000 Goodtimes 1. Only For Justice 2. Swandre The Giant 3. Pilot Discretion 4. Forbidden Trade 5. Super Schissel 6. Smart As Hill 7. Dream Nation 8. Southwind Avenger 9. Jumpshot 10. Knight Angel AE: Trix And Stone   Replays available at www.YouTube.com/WoodbineReplays (Races 3,5,6,8)   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications

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