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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

MILTON, June 7, 2019 --Making most of their living racing in Pennsylvania on the fair circuit and at its three tracks, Tony and Linda Schadel will now take their first steps onto the world's stage as their glamour-boy colt Aflame Hanover takes aim at a million-dollar prize in this Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. "This is the first time I've ever entered a horse in another country," trainer Linda Schadel said. "It's just amazing; like a dream." The Schadel name has over the years rooted itself into Pennsylvania harness racing. Tony's brother Todd co-owned $3.2-million earner Vivid Photo, who thrived on the PA fair circuit prior to winning the 2005 Hambletonian. Tony and Linda, who met racing on the fair circuit, have only within the last few years shifted their operation's focus from racing claiming and older stock to purchasing and developing younger horses. "I'm just trying to get a horse to make money and make a living," Linda said. "I don't need to be off racing in a million other places. I have two kids, I want to raise my family and just do what we're used to and what's good by us. We're pretty happy in Pennsylvania but if these horses can lead us out of here, that's good too." Tony and Linda purchased their "Cup" contender, Aflame Hanover, for $6,500 at the 2017 Goshen Yearling Sale. The colt is by the Somebeachsomewhere sire Russell Hanover, who never raced but comes from a bloodline related to millionaires Royalflush Hanover, Red River Hanover and Rocknroll Hanover. "He just looked good," Linda said of Aflame Hanover as a yearling, "He's got a great looking head, put together nice. He looked like something we might be able to afford and he was put together nice." Aflame Hanover debuted on June 24 last year in a division of Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) at the Hughesville Fair, winning in 2:04.2 with Tony driving. He went on to race 14 more times as a two-year-old, winning six races total and earning over $80,000. "When we were training him down, he was a nice colt--just could go as much as you wanted to go and we actually had to quit with him for a little while because he was just going too much and it was too early," Linda said. "Obviously we probably wished we paid [into] more but we didn't know how fast he was going to be for sure; we knew he was nice." Aflame Hanover went the quickest mile of his career in the Fair Final, posting fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:22.4 in progress to a seven-and-a-quarter length victory in 1:51.4. "When he did the mile he did last year [in the Fair Final] we paid him into a few extra things; the things we paid him into this year were things we could still get him into without payments last year." Aflame Hanover resurfaced as a three-year-old in late March to ready for the Bobby Weiss Series at Pocono. While he has not won a race from eight starts this season, he enters the Cup off a runner-up finish to top contedner Captain Crunch in a division of PASS at Harrah's Philadelphia. "From the beginning of this year [the Cup] was the goal because you could pay into it from the beginning of this year," Linda said. "It was never anything we thought about last year, maybe [not] until the end of the year when he won the Fair Final. We just kind of thought if he comes back nice and he has done everything right all along so far so we just kept paying the payments." Aflame Hanover will start from post-seven as the longest shot on the morning line in his elimination. At 15-1, he competes against Brian Brown-trainee and 8-5 favourite Workin Ona Mystery as well as Battle of Waterloo champ Bronx Seelster and Metro Pace winner Stag Party. "He's definitely an underdog," Linda said. "But I think he is compatible to be in there. The trip just has to work out [and] he just has to have luck--and that's half of horse racing to me: you need to have luck. I don't think we've seen the best of him yet." Aflame Hanover's start in the Cup elimination will also be his first without Linda's husband, Tony, in the sulky. Instead Andrew McCarthy, Linda's brother-in-law, picks up the reins. "I'm hoping [Andy] listens to everything me and Tony have to tell him and takes that all into consideration," Linda said. "Tony wanted to leave it maybe more to a professional. Not that he would not be scared to drive him--he's driven him all along--but maybe it's time to hand him over now." A pair of eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup headline Saturday's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park, carded as Races 3 and 8. Two eliminations for the Fan Hanover and a $35,000 prep for the Roses Are Red also go on the card, with first-race post at 7:10 p.m. (EDT).   By Ray Cotolo for Woodbine.com

Tom Fanning might not have a shoo-in to reach the Fan Hanover Stakes final, but he likes Trillions Hanover's chances with shoes on. Fanning watched his 3-year-old female pacer qualify last weekend at The Meadowlands in 1:50.2 with a shoe missing, after which he was quick to quip with a grin, "She probably goes 1:49 with four shoes." She can try Saturday (June 8), when she races in the first of two Fan Hanover harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Nineteen 3-year-old filly pacers were entered in the Fan Hanover, including Dan Patch Award winner Warrawee Ubeaut and O'Brien Award winner Tall Drink Hanover. The two will meet in the second of the two C$35,000 eliminations, which also includes Three Diamonds Stakes winner Prescient Beauty and budding Ontario star Sunny Dee, who is 8-for-8 this season. The top five finishers from each division will advance to the final on June 15. Saturday's card also includes two eliminations for the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers and a prep race for the Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers. Trillions Hanover has won five of nine career races and finished second twice, earning $65,650 in purses. She was last year's Pennsylvania Stallion Series champion for 2-year-old filly pacers. "She didn't train down like she was going to be something special," Fanning said. "She just trained down like a normal horse, a little on the lazy side, but never gave us a problem. She didn't get sick, didn't tie up. When she got into a race, she just got better and better. She's got a good attitude. You don't have to coddle her like a lot of fillies. You train her, you turn her out, you jog her, she eats. She does her work. She's good that way." Trillions Hanover is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of Tutu Hanover. She was purchased under the name Thompson Hanover for $20,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Falcon Racing, J L Benson Stables, and VIP Internet Stable. "She was pretty nasty; I think that turned a lot of people off," Fanning said about the filly at the sale. "But she got over that and is really a sweetheart now. She's got a great attitude. She just wants to beat horses, she really does." Trillions Hanover has raced twice this season, beating 4-year-old Reclamation (handing the mare her only loss in seven starts this year) before going off stride in her second at Harrah's Philadelphia. "She has a little trouble at (Philly) in the turns, but we kind of got that straightened out," Fanning said. "We thought if she qualified well last week at the Meadowlands we would send her up for the Fan Hanover. She qualified really well. She only had three shoes, but we got through the race. "She should benefit from that qualifier. I've been training her, but not a lot fast. So that was a really good tightener for her. I think she will really step up off of that and she's showed legitimate speed. She wasn't completely done in the qualifier either, so that was a good sign. She can go, and she has some class to her as well. We'll see what happens." Trillions Hanover, who will be driven by David Miller, is 8-1 on the morning line. The favorite in the first elimination is 2018 Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Beautyonthebeach, at 3-1, followed by Treacherous Reign at 7-2. She is a Tony Alagna-trained stablemate to Tall Drink Hanover, who is 4-1 in the second elim. Last year, Tall Drink Hanover won the She's A Great Lady Stakes at Mohawk, where Treacherous Reign finished in a dead-heat second with Prescient Beauty. Treacherous Reign is 2-for-2 this year while Tall Drink Hanover beat older foes in her only start of the campaign. "She had a great first start," Alagna said about Tall Drink Hanover. "She was very impressive. We felt like she had good fitness, so we didn't want to race her back last week. It's such a long year. The way she raced in her first start off a layoff, I think her fitness is there. We tuned her up a little bit (Monday) morning so she seems like she's going to be firing on all cylinders. "Treacherous Reign started out great last year and just got tired toward the end of the season. I should have put her away earlier than I did, but thankfully she's come back good this year. (Driver Dexter Dunn) was tickled to death with the way she raced the other day. She showed good pace on both ends of the mile. "I feel very good about them." The favorite in the second elimination, at 5-2 on the morning line, is Warrawee Ubeaut. She paced 1:48.3 last year to become the fastest 2-year-old pacer in history and is off to a 2-for-2 start in 2019. "She's been great," trainer Ron Burke said. "She couldn't be any better. If anything, she's been better (than last year) because she's calm; she'll let you do what you want, not what she wants. I'm thrilled with her." Racing begins at 7:10 p.m. (EDT) at Mohawk. For Saturday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

London, June 6, 2019 - The Raceway at Western Fair District recently wrapped up its 2018-19 live racing season and with that some personnel changes have been announced. Director of Racing, Greg Blanchard, will be taking on a new role with the Western Fair Association as Director of Marketing and Communications. Greg Gangle now takes on the role of Raceway Manager under new Director of Racing and Grandstand Operations, Rob Lumsden. Gangle has been with The Raceway for three seasons, serving as Assistant Racing Manager during that time. Prior to that, he had spent seven years at the Woodbine Entertainment Group in both the media communications department and as part of the broadcast team. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity. Working with Greg Blanchard and our team over the past few years has helped grow my skill set and develop into this role. I'm thankful to the entire organization for the opportunity and will embrace the challenge ahead," said Gangle. Lumsden has been with the Western Fair Association for 17 years in various roles including Director of Operations, Director of Shows and Events, and Sports Centre Facility Manager. "I am excited to take on this new challenge and am looking forward to working with Greg and the team as well as our local horse people," said Lumsden. "The Raceway has a long tradition and is a very important part of the provincial racing industry and to our association. We're committed to maintaining that." Blanchard will continue to assist the Raceway team in dealing with industry associations and on strategic initiatives. "I am looking forward to the challenge of a new role with the Association," he said. "This provides a great opportunity for Greg and I know that between himself and Rob the Raceway will be in excellent hands from both an operational and facilities standpoint. We are excited about the future of not only The Raceway but the Western Fair District as a whole." A couple of large projects are already underway at The Raceway including a complete upgrade of the broadcast department to HD as well as a major facelift at the Top Of The Fair restaurant. Fans will notice the changes when racing resumes at the London oval on Friday, October 4th.   Greg Blanchard

Ron Burke leads all trainers in starters for Saturday's (June 8) Pepsi North America Cup harness racing eliminations at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park, and although his three 3-year-old pacers are winless this season, the sport's leading conditioner is anticipating improved performances from his group. Burke, the 2018 Trainer of the Year in the U.S., sends out De Los Cielos Deo in the first of two C$50,000 eliminations and Captain Victorious and Semi Tough in the second. Nancy Johansson and Brian Brown are the only other trainers with multiple horses in the North America Cup elims, with two each. The top-five finishers from each nine-horse elimination will advance to the C$1 million final on June 15. The connections of the elimination winners will select their post positions for the final and the remaining eight horses will be put in an open draw. The draw will be Tuesday during a luncheon at Woodbine Mohawk Park. De Los Cielos Deo won his first five races last season before finishing second in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final and his elimination of the Metro. He was no better than fourth in three remaining starts but was dealing with a foot issue. So far this season, the colt is winless in three races, but he heads to his North America Cup elimination off a 1:48.4 win in a qualifier last weekend at The Meadowlands. "I knew he had that in him," Burke said. "Things have just gone terrible for him the first few races. I knew he was good, so I just told (driver David Miller) to stretch him a little bit in the qualifier to make sure I'm right. I was very happy with him." Semi Tough, who was second to Stag Party in last year's Metro Pace at Mohawk, is winless in four races this year, but has hit the board three times. Captain Victorious was a three-time winner last year on the Pennsylvania circuit for trainer Julie Miller. He was purchased by the Burke-led Captain V Stable in April and finished third in his debut for his new connections but was off the board in two starts since then. "We scoped Captain Victorious and his stomach has ulcers," Burke said. "I think that's led to his last couple bad performances. I'm hoping we'll have him ready to go. Semi Tough, every start he's gotten progressively better. He's heading in the right direction. "I think we're going to be all right." Semi Tough                                             -- Ken Weingartner photo The first elimination features Dan Patch Award winner Captain Crunch, who is one of Johansson's two entrants, along with Caviart Rockland in the second elim. The second elimination also includes O'Brien Award winner Stag Party in the nine-horse field. Captain Crunch is 2-for-2 this year and is among six horses entering the first elimination off a win (not counting De Los Cielos Deo's qualifier victory). The others include Art Rooney Pace winner Bettor's Wish, New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Hurrikane Emperor, and Somebeachsomewhere Stakes division winner Century Farroh. Bettor's Wish, Hurrikane Emperor, Century Farroh, and Shake That House join Captain Crunch as the field's undefeated horses this season, a combined 15-0. The second elimination has one unbeaten horse this year, Brown's Workin Ona Mystery, who is 2-for-2. Tyga Hanover brings a three-race win streak to the elim, including a victory in a Somebeachsomewhere division. Saturday's card at Mohawk also includes two eliminations for the Fan Hanover Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers and a prep race for the Roses Are Red Stakes for older female pacers. Racing begins at 7:10 p.m. (EDT) at Mohawk. For Saturday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

JUNE 5, 2019 - Three-year-old trotting colt Esa's path to the Ontario Sires Stakes winner's circle was a winding one, but the harness racing youngster finally made it with a 1:58.4 effort in the first $22,800 Grassroots division at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening. Sold for $145,000 at the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, the regally bred youngster encountered his first trial soon after arriving at trainer Jimmy Takter's New Jersey farm. "The first day he got to Jimmy Takter's farm he went through four or five fences and he ended up in the next village. They had to stich his face, all kinds of trouble," said Guelph, ON resident Ben Baillargeon, who took over training duties on Esa last fall. "Then he got sick all year last year and by the time I got him last year - he was finally healthy - Jimmy said race him a few times and see what he's made off." Esa would race a total of eight times at two, two for Takter in July and six more for Baillargeon in October and November, recording one win and five thirds. The son of E L Titan and Christiana Hanover made his sophomore debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 27, finishing seventh in a field chock full of Gold Series horses, so rather than joining those colts in the Goodtimes Stake eliminations this Friday Baillargeon opted to send Esa to Wednesday's Grassroots test on the Elora half-mile. The decision proved fruitful as Esa and driver Mario Baillargeon of Acton, ON left smartly from Post 6, traded places at the front with fan favourite LA Magic through the first half and then took command of the race, cruising home to a two and one-quarter length victory over the rain soaked oval. LA Magic settled for second and Warrawee Usain was three more lengths back in third. "Last week I was pleased with his first race. He raced real good. I was expecting a good race today and that was a very good mile over there today, 1:58.4, and he did it handy with the plugs in," said Baillargeon, who trains the colt for Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John Fielding of Toronto, ON, R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, ON and Hatfield Stables of Columbus, OH. "I don't know how good he'll get, but there's a lot more in him than he did today, because he did it handy." Driver Sylvain Filion piloted the winners of the last two Grassroots divisions, using a front-end strategy with both heavy favourites. Starting from Post 2 in the third division with Encarnacion, Filion sent the Archangel son straight to the front and the pair never had to look over their shoulders, romping home to a six and one-quarter length victory in 2:01.1. The Great Farini trotted into second and Titan M Up completed the top three. "He's a real nice horse. He's real handy and he can leave the gate like a rocket. I knew if I could get on the front without rushing him too much I had a really good chance of winning that race," said Filion, who drives Encarnacion for trainer Rod Boyd of Cambridge and numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. "And it's funny, for a big horse, he gets around the turns like nothing. He's really big and rugged, but he seems to like the half-mile." The Milton, ON resident picked up his second Grassroots win of the night, and third overall, with Raising Royalty. The pair took command before the halfway marker and cruised home to a two and one-half length victory in 1:59.4. King For Life, owned by trainer-driver Bruce Richardson of Fergus and his partners Peter Irwin of Ayton and Joseph Coffey of Orangeville, ON, finished two and one-half lengths back in second, just ahead of Super T. "He's been very nice so far this year. Last year he showed a lot of potential but he had a hard time keeping it together," said Filion of Raising Royalty. "He's matured a lot and he's much better now. He still has his little things he needs to work on, but he's got tons of speed and he's way handier than last year." Wednesday's win was the fourth in four sophomore starts for Raising Royalty, who also swept his elimination and the final of the City of London Trotting Series at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Stephen Bossence of London trains the Royalty For Life son for Stephen Palermo of Etobicoke, ON. The other division went to E L Titan son Gold Edition, who was steered to a 1:58.3 score over Priceless Ruler and Herbs Journey by Alfie Carroll of Iona Station, ON. Carroll crafted the win for trainer Blair Burgess and his wife Karin Olsson Burgess of Campbellville, ON and their co-owner Stirling Fisher of Waterloo, ON. The three-year-old trotting colts will make their second Grassroots start of the season at Clinton Raceway on June 23. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on July 3 with the second Gold Series event for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Complete results from Wednesday night's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0605grvrn.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

It is often said that sometimes the moves you don't make, or in this instance the races you don't make, turn out the best. Such appears to be the case for 3-year-old male trotter Pilot Discretion, who brings an undefeated slate to Friday's Goodtimes Stakes harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Pilot Discretion, from the stable of Tony Alagna, developed slowly last season at 2. When he was ready to go at Lexington's Red Mile in late September, he proved the trainer's patience was well invested by winning a late closer by 6-1/2 lengths in 1:56 and following up a week later with a five-length 1:55.1 score. After returning home to New Jersey in October, Pilot Discretion got sick. He was soon able to return to training and looked set to compete in a preliminary round of the Kindergarten Series at The Meadowlands, which would serve as a prep for the Valley Victory Stakes, but he spiked a temperature again. Alagna decided it was best to quit with the colt rather than push on. "It may be the best thing that ever happened to him long term because he's come back really good," Alagna said this week as he prepared to send Pilot Discretion to Canada for the Goodtimes. "Sometimes things work out the way they're supposed to." Pilot Discretion pushed his perfect slate to 4-for-4 by winning two conditioned races last month at The Meadowlands. His most recent victory came by 2-1/4 lengths over 5-year-old Stenhouse Hanover in a career-best 1:52.4. That time is tied for the fourth fastest by a 3-year-old this year. "He was an immature colt and we took our time with him," Alagna said. "He's really matured into himself nicely. It's a nice time to try him against stakes company. He couldn't be any sharper than he is right now. He trained great (Monday). For an inexperienced colt last year, he's really come back good." Pilot Discretion was one of 19 horses entered in the Goodtimes. The field was divided into two eliminations, with Pilot Discretion landing in the second. He will start from post No. 6 with regular driver Andy McCarthy. He is among three horses in the group, with Valley Victory winner Southwind Avenger and stakes winner Kings County, eligible to August's $1 million Hambletonian Stakes. The first elimination features eight Hambletonian eligibles: Smart As Hill, Trix And Stones, Swandre The Giant, Forbidden Trade, Magical Winner K, Blazing Trail, Only For Justice, and Super Schissel. Forbidden Trade was last year's Ontario Sire Stakes champion; Super Schissel captured the Matron Stakes. Pilot Discretion, whose four wins have resulted in $26,000 in purses, is a son of Muscle Hill out of Self Indulgent. He was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Robert Leblanc, Dave Anderson, and John Fodera. "He acts like a horse that's going to be very versatile," Alagna said. "He acts like a horse that can leave, that can sit, he can do a lot of things. He's not aggressive, he's a nice horse to drive. That goes a long way. He's really done well." Friday's card at Mohawk also includes two eliminations for the Armbro Flight Stakes for older female trotters. The first elim includes 2018 Trotter of the Year Atlanta and world-record-holder Plunge Blue Chip, who is making her 4-year-old debut. The second elim includes 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover, 2018 O'Brien Award winner Emoticon Hanover, 2017 Dan Patch Award winner Manchego, and Darling Mearas S, a Swedish standout making her North American debut. Racing begins at 7:10 p.m. (EDT) at Mohawk. For Friday's complete entries, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

MILTON, June 5, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park is pleased to offer a special owners' breakfast during baby races on Saturday, June 8. Connections of two-year-olds taking part in baby races this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park are invited to the complimentary hot breakfast. Food and drinks will be available beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Terrace Dining Room buffet and connections are welcome to sit outside on the Mohawk Harvest Kitchen patio to watch the harness racing qualifiers. A variety of items, including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, pancakes, coffee, tea and juices, will be offered during the breakfast. Program pages for the baby races will also be available. Owners looking for more information on the breakfast or any other issues are welcome to contact Megan Walker, Manager of Racing, at mwalker@woodbine.com.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications

JUNE 4, 2019 - When the three-year-old trotting fillies gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday evening for the first Grassroots harness racing event of their season it was the novices who had the key to the winner's circle. In the first $23,150 Grassroots division driver James MacDonald of Guelph, ON tucked Class Angel in behind early leader Vindaloo Hanover and watched that filly ring up a :27.4 opening quarter and a :58 half. When the pacesetter yielded to pressure from Kashe, MacDonald sent Class Angel to the outside and the filly moved strongly past the 1:27.3 three-quarters and turned for home with a one length advantage. Fan favourite Cambridge Kate mounted a late challenge, but Class Angel stayed on task and hit the wire a one and one-half length winner in 1:58.1. Cambridge Kate settled for second and Kashe was three more lengths back in third. "We were very happy with Angel's effort tonight. She is a very tough, gritty filly that has matured a lot mentally over the past few months," said Guelph resident Shawn Steacy, who trains the filly for numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON. "Her manners have greatly improved and I was very proud of how she fought off the other filly late in the mile." The win came in Class Angel's fourth start of the season and her ninth lifetime. The Archangel daughter made a pair of starts in the Gold Series as a two-year-old. The second division saw Justice Society claim the lead heading for the halfway marker and never look back, sailing to a one length victory in 1:56.4. Angelic Speed finished second and early leader Knickers was well back in third. Campbellville, ON resident Chris Christoforou engineered Justice Society's first lifetime win for trainer Dany Fontaine and owners Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. and Vincenzo Cammisano of Montreal, QC. Tuesday's test was the Justice Hall daughter's fourth lifetime. She made her career debut on May 6. Regally bred Miss Congeniality and driver Sylvain Filion of Milton, ON took the third division with a trip up the outer lane that saw the Kadabra daughter hang tough at the wire for a neck victory over a surging Galaxy Seelster. Petro Hall finished three lengths behind the duelling leaders, who stopped the teletimer at 1:57. "She has everything to be good. The speed is in the family you know, R First Class, R Raised Emotions, and her, she just win in 1:57, that's pretty good for her first start this year," said trainer Ben Baillargeon of Guelph, ON. "She come first up and she got lonely a little bit, Sylvain said, just because she's green, but we like her, we like her. I think as time goes on she might be able to step up to the Gold category." Baillargeon trains Miss Congeniality for breeders Tom and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, ON. The group enjoyed a prolific Gold Series season in 2017 with her full brother R First Class, who was the three-year-old trotting colt Super Final winner and division champion in his first year of racing, and Baillargeon hopes Miss Congeniality can follow the same late-blooming path. "She's staked everywhere that mare, the Breeders Crown, the Elegantimage, you know, so I took my time with her - I'm still taking my time," said Baillargeon. "We're going to try to bring her along real nice and see how much she develops." Lefkada capped off the list of first-time winners in the last division, popping out from behind pacesetter Splurge On Me at the top of the stretch and waging a battle with Halo Its Me on her way to a neck victory in 1:56.4. Halo Its Me had to settle for second and fan favourite Splurge On Me was five lengths back in third. Scott Wray drove Lefkada to her first win in just her second lifetime start for trainer Jack Wray of London and his partner Tom Wray of Schomberg, ON. The E L Titan daughter finished second by a neck in her debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 23. The three-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Grassroots start at Dresden Raceway, part of its popular Canada Day program on July 1. The Ontario Sires Stakes will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, June 20 with the second Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Complete results for Tuesday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0604wbsbsn.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

MILTON, June 4, 2019 - The 36th Pepsi North America Cup has attracted 18 entrants to compete in this Saturday's harness racing eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The group of 18 three-year-old pacers have been split into a pair of $50,000 eliminations. The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $1 million final on June 15. The elimination winners will earn the right to select their post position for the final. Captain Crunch is the top contender heading into the eliminations. The Dan Patch Award winner will start from post-four in a stacked first division. Trained by Nancy Johansson, Captain Crunch sent a statement to his competition with a pair of stunning victories to start his sophomore campaign. The son of Captaintreacherous posted a 1:49.1 victory in his season debut over a sloppy track at Pocono on May 19 and followed it up with a 1:49.2 open-lengths score on May 26 at Philadelphia. His dominate start is no surprise after finishing his rookie season (six wins in 10 starts) with victories in the Breeders Crown and Governor's Cup. Captain Crunch                                    --Curtis Salonick photo Captain Crunch is from the first-crop of 2013 North America Cup winner Captaintreacherous, who was from the first-crop of 2008 winner Somebeachsomewhere when he captured Canada's richest race. Trainer Johansson is the daughter of now-retired Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. The Pepsi North America Cup is one of few signature races that Takter never won during his career. Regular driver Scott Zeron will be at the controls of Captain Crunch. Based in the United States the last several years, Zeron is a former leading driver at Woodbine and is searching for his first Pepsi North America Cup. The depth of the first Pepsi North America Cup elimination will likely mean a top contender will be on the outside looking in to the final. Dr. Ian Moore trainee Century Farroh (PP9, Sylvain Filion) is undefeated in four starts this season and will face his toughest challenge to date. The son of Mach Three was last season's Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots champion and most recently won his Grand Circuit debut in a Somebeachsomewhere division Century Farroh                       --New Image Media The first elimination also features Art Rooney winner Bettors Wish (PP1, Dexter Dunn), who is three for three this season. Regally-bred Best In Show (PP2, Bob McClure) has won two of his last three starts. New Jersey and Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Hurrikane Emperor (PP3, Daniel Dube) has won 10 of 12 career starts. De Los Cielos Deo (PP5, David Miller) recently posted a 1:48.4 qualifying victory. The field is completed by Air Force Hanover (PP6, Miller), Shake That House (PP7, Tim Tetrick) and Fixed Idea (PP8, Randy Waples). The first elimination has been carded as Race 3 (7:50 p.m. EDT) The second elimination will see former Cup winning trainer Brian Brown send out the almost-perfect Workin Ona Mystery. The Ohio-based trainer won the 2016 event with Fear The Dragon. A son of Captaintreacherous, Workin Ona Mystery is two for two this season to bring his career record to seven wins in eight starts. The Brown trainee posted easy victories in two Pennsylvania Sires Stakes events before most recently tuning up for the Cup with a 1:52.3 qualifier on May 29 at Hoosier Park. Tim Tetrick, who is a two-time North America Cup winner, will drive Workin Ona Mystery. The pair will start from the outside post-nine. O'Brien Award winner Stag Party will line up from post-five with driver David Miller in the second split. The Casie Coleman trainee has been off to a slow start by his standards this season, posting a pair of third-place finishes in two starts. A son of 2001 North America Cup winner Bettors Delight, Stag Party won six of nine starts as a rookie, including the Metro Pace. Reinsman Miller has won two of last three editions of the North America Cup, while trainer Coleman is seeking her third victory in the $1 million event. Local trainees Bronx Seelster (PP6, Trevor Henry) and Tyga Hanover (PP8, Sylvain Filion) will look to make the final for their Canadian connections. Wayne McGean trainee Bronx Seelster was an Ontario Sires Stakes standout as a rookie, winning seven of 12 starts. The son of Big Jim has a runner-up and fourth-place finish in two starts this season. Tyga Hanover surprised some with a victory in last Saturday's Somebeachsomewhere for trainer Ben Baillargeon. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere has won three of four starts this season after going winless in six as a two-year-old. The field for the second split is completed by Captain Victorious (PP1, Yannick Gingras), Lyons Night Hawk (PP2, Tetrick), Semi Tough (PP3, Matt Kakaley), Caviart Rockland (PP4, Scott Zeron) and Aflame Hanover (PP7, Tetrick). The second elimination is carded as Race 8 (9:30 p.m. EDT). The final for the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup will take place on Saturday, June 15. The post-position draw is scheduled for next Tuesday (June 11) during a special luncheon at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 2019 Pepsi North America Cup event on June 15 will feature over $2 million in live racing, live music, food trucks and a beer garden. The first 1,500 fans to arrive on Pepsi North America Cup night will receive a free commemorative hat. Tickets are now on sale at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Full details for the Pepsi North America Cup can be found on the official event page. Post time for this Saturday's Pepsi North America Cup eliminations card is 7:10 p.m. To download the early program pages for Saturday's card, click here.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications  

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