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MILTON, June 4, 2019 - The entry box for the 36th Pepsi North America Cup closed Tuesday morning with 18 three-year-old pacing colts and geldings entered. A pair of $50,000 eliminations, each with a field of nine, will be contested this Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The top-five finishers from each elimination will advance to the $1 million final on Saturday, June 15. The draw for the eliminations will be released later this afternoon. Aflame Hanover (Trainer: Linda Schadel) Air Force Hanover (Trainer: Brian Brown) Best In Show (Trainer: Linda Toscano) Bettors Wish (Trainer: Chris Ryder) Bronx Seelster (Trainer: Wayne McGean) Captain Crunch (Trainer: Nancy Johansson) Captain Victorious (Trainer: Ron Burke) Caviart Rockland (Trainer: Nancy Johansson) Century Farroh (Trainer: Dr. Ian Moore) De Los Cielos Deo (Trainer: Ron Burke) Fixed Idea (Trainer: Todd Clements) Hurrikane Emperor (Trainer: John McDermott) Lyons Night Hawk (Trainer: Gareth Dowse) Semi Tough (Trainer: Ron Burke) Shake That House (Trainer: Chris Oakes) Stag Party (Trainer: Casie Coleman) Tyga Hanover (Trainer: Ben Baillargeon) Workin Ona Mystery (Trainer: Brian Brown)   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment,

JUNE 4, 2019 - Ontario's three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will be the stars of Grand River Raceway's opening night, this Wednesday, June 5, competing in four $22,800 harness racing divisions. Trainer-driver Dagfin Henriksen will send The Great Farini after a share of the purse in the third division and the Guelph, ON resident is hoping the colt extends the consistent run that has seen him finish in the top three in seven of 10 lifetime starts. "He never raced last year; he grew so much we just turned him out. He came around this year real nice and he developed into a fairly nice racehorse," said Henriksen, who shares ownership of The Great Farini with Barry McClennan of Cavan, ON. "He's been pretty much on the board almost every start and he's getting better and learning. He just started out this year, but he's starting to get the hang of it I think." The colt heads into Wednesday's test looking to atone for an early miscue in the City of London Trotting Series Final at The Raceway at Western Fair District on May 31, where he was sent off as the favourite after an impressive runner-up effort from the outside Post 7 in his May 24 elimination. That result was the second straight race in which The Great Farini had demonstrated an ability to hustle off the starting gate from an outside post and the colt will have to put that skill to work again on Wednesday as he starts from Post 8 in the fourth race. "Sometimes you draw better, sometimes you draw worse," said the pragmatic Henriksen. "He can leave good and get off the gate, so I think he'll be able to get a good position in the race." Henriksen expects to make regular trips to the popular Elora, ON oval this summer from his base at the First Line Training Centre outside of Guelph. The native of Norway is currently training 16 horses, including a group of two and three-year-olds he hopes to race in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. "I like racing at Grand River, it's a nice track," said Henriksen. "And some horses can't go on the 'A' track, they just can't handle the bigger track and you bring them to the small tracks, and Grand River is definitely a good option for me because it's not far away." The Great Farini and his peers will show off their skills in Races 1, 2, 4 and 7 on Wednesday night, with the first division getting under way at 6:30 pm. A complete program for Wednesday's opening night is available at https://grandriverraceway.com/horse-racing/programs/ and fans unable to get to Grand River Raceway can watch the trotters compete at https://grandriverraceway.com/horse-racing/streaming-video/. In addition to Wednesday's opening night event, Grand River Raceway will also host three additional Grassroots events and four Gold Series Legs this season. A complete schedule is attached below and can also be found at http://www.ontariosiresstakes.com/schedule/schedule_loc.html#GRVR.   Grand River Raceway Race Date Post Time Age/Sex/Gait Race Type           Wednesday, June 5 6:30 pm 3-year-old Colt Trot Grassroots Series           Wednesday, July 3 6:30 pm 3-year-old Filly Trot Gold Leg           Wednesday, July 24 6:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Gold Leg           Monday, Aug. 5 12:30 pm 3-year-old Colt Pace Grassroots Series           Wednesday, Aug. 14 6:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Pace Gold Leg           Wednesday, Sept. 4 6:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Trot Grassroots Series           Monday, Sept. 9 6:30 pm 2-year-old Filly Pace Grassroots Series           Monday, Sept. 23 6:30 pm 2-year-old Colt Trot Gold Leg 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      

JUNE 3, 2019 - On Monday the three-year-old trotting fillies gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park for their first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event and fans got a look at two impressive youngsters who could be battling for divisional supremacy all summer. In the first $107,200 division Haveoneforme, making her first start since winning the May 18 SBOA Stake Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park, was sent off as the heavy favourite. Driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON took advantage of the tepid :29.1 opening quarter and rolled Haveoneforme to the front from Post 8 and then cruised comfortably by the :57.4 half. Last year's division champion HP Titania Runner attempted to press Haveoneforme from the outside, but was not up to the task, going off stride before the 1:26.3 three-quarters. From there it was all smooth sailing for the fan favourite, who hit the wire a five length winner in 1:55.3. Royal Esteem finished second and Angies Luckeylady was third. "She's a very strong filly. Every time I've raced her so far she's just trotted through the wire really strong," MacDonell told Woodbine Mohawk Park's Jason Portuondo from the winner's circle. "That's what really makes her, probably separates her from most of the others." MacDonell crafted the win for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman of Allentown, NJ and his partners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON and Little E LLC of New York, NY. A $70,000 acquisition from the 2017 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Haveoneforme was unraced at two, but has made up for lost time since making her debut on Jan. 25. In eight starts she has recorded six wins and Monday's victory was the Kadabra daughter's third straight. Three races later Bright Eyes M, who finished second to Haveoneforme in the SBOA Final, was also sent off as the favourite. Starting from Post 9, Bright Eyes M effortlessly grabbed control of the front, reaching the quarter in :28.2. From there the Kadabra daughter and driver Stephen Byron were completely untroubled as they rang up a :57.1 half and 1:26.3 three-quarter on their way to a five and one-quarter length victory in 1:55. Sams Arsenal and HP Bruxelles trotted into second and third. "It's a long year, but it's sure starting good," said Campbellville, ON resident John Bax, who trains Bright Eyes M for Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, KY. Monday's win was the filly's third in four sophomore starts, her only loss coming to Haveoneforme in the SBOA Final. A $72,000 purchase from the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Bright Eyes M made just three starts at two before her connections decided they would be better off allowing her to grow into her big frame. "As a two-year-old, she was what I call a typical Kadabra, just a real heavy horse. She eats well, but that was her problem," said Bax. "She was pretty heavy in the front and that was her issue. I mean she's a good-sized mare, but she carries a lot of flesh and she's solid. She doesn't look like a wide receiver; she looks like a lineman or a linebacker. There's nothing graceful about her, she's just all power." Bax added that the filly's size may require careful management this season, both in her number of starts and the size of racetracks she competes over. "I think the plan would be not over race her and try to keep her healthy all through the year," said the trainer. "When you're going for that kind of money you don't have to go every week, there's less pressure." The next opportunity for Haveoneforme and Bright Eyes M to tangle in Gold Series action will come July 3 at Grand River Raceway. If they continue to have success the pair could also meet up in a series of open stake events in late summer. Three-year-old trotting fillies continue to be in the spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park this week as the Campbellville oval hosts their Grassroots season opener on Tuesday evening. The fillies will battle in a quartet of divisions on the June 4 program, kicking things off at 7:10 pm in Race 1.   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 3, 2019 - The very best in harness racing will compete at Woodbine Mohawk Park for the $6 million Breeders Crown, presented by Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26. Ticket information for the Breeders Crown is now available at www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com. Fans can purchase tickets for the COSA Premium Lounge, make reservations for the Terrace Trackside Buffet, Mohawk Harvest Kitchen and Trackside Bar or purchase indoor grandstand seats. The COSA Premium Lounge will host an exciting party and dining atmosphere during the Breeders Crown weekend. Reserve your place amongst racing elite, where you'll be right in the action and experience mouth-watering aromas, fresh & delicious chef creations and exhilarating racetrack views all from the comfort of a private VIP space. Tickets for the COSA Premium Lounge are priced at $200 a night or $350 for two-night access. Each night features a different experience in the COSA Premium Lounge. Guests will be treated to gourmet passed hors d'oeuvres and food stations (Friday), ultimate gourmet buffet dinner (Saturday), open bar, live entertainment and exclusive trackside views with lounge seating. Dining pass options are available for the Terrace Buffet, Mohawk Harvest Kitchen and Trackside Bar. Indoor grandstand seats are priced at $20 and the ticket guarantees the assigned seat for both nights of Breeders Crown action. Tickets for the indoor grandstand seats can be purchased onsite at Woodbine Mohawk Park or by e-mailing tickets1@woodbine.com. The official Breeders Crown event page houses all the details for the championships, including ticket information, dining passes, news and travel options. Woodbine Entertainment has secured a special Breeders Crown discount for accommodations at the Hilton Mississauga Meadowvale and visiting guests can take full advantage by booking through the official Breeders Crown event page. A complimentary shuttle from the Hilton Mississauga Meadowvale to Woodbine Mohawk Park will be available. The Breeders Crown championships for two-year-old pacers and trotters will be contested on Friday, October 25. The championships for three-year-olds and up will take place on Saturday, October 26. Post time for each night of championship racing is 7 p.m. Follow @WoodbineSB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for continuing coverage of the Breeders Crown.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park

London, June 3, 2019 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District ended the season on a high note this past Friday night with a large and boisterous crowd on hand for the second edition of the Camluck Classic Invitational Pace. The Wall and harness racing driver Joe Bongiorno posted an upset win in the $157,000 event on a program which also featured four City of London Series finals and seven OSS Grassroots divisions for three-year-old filly pacers. The program, which had been held on a Saturday night last year, was moved back to its traditional Friday night time slot this season and customers responded in a big way. The total handle for the 12-race card was up 32% over last year while on-track wagering increased a by a healthy 31% over the 2018 edition despite two scratches which reduced the main event to a field of six. "You could feel the buzz on track," said Director of Racing Greg Blanchard. "Switching back to our traditional time slot was certainly the right decision and I got the sense all night that customers were really having a good time. The racing was excellent - very competitive - and having top notch local entertainment really added to the evening as well." A number of valued sponsors helped make the night possible, including title sponsor Seelster Farms - the home of late, great Camluck for more than 20 years. The Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) sponsored the Facebook Live broadcast as well as complimentary pizza in the paddock for all racing participants while long time partner Molson sponsored the Party On The Patio. "We truly value these partnerships and look forward to continuing our relationship in the coming years," said Blanchard. "You simply can't put on a night like this without their support and we really appreciate it." The Raceway is now dark until early October but planning is already well underway for the Fall Season. Fans will notice some exciting changes when racing returns. One of the most significant will be a major upgrade to the broadcast production which will be produced in HD and include a completely revamped graphics package. The return in October will be highlighted by signature events such as the Veteran's Classic and Harness The Hope. Stay up to date on everything happening at The Raceway by visiting www.westernfairdistrict.com.   Greg Blanchard

JUNE 1, 2019 - Of the 26 three-year-old pacing fillies that gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night for their first Gold Series harness racing event of the season, 11 were making their Ontario Sires Stakes debut and it was the debutantes that emerged victorious in all three divisions. Unraced at two due to an injury, Sunny Dee made her career debut on January 17 and had a flawless record of seven wins in seven starts heading into Saturday's first $73,867 Gold division. As a result, Woodbine Mohawk Park fans sent her off as the heavy favourite and the Bob McIntosh trainee did not disappoint, cruising to an effortless 1:52.3 victory over a rain-soaked track rated one second slower than normal. Deb and Chocolatemilktoast finished three and three-quarter lengths back in second and third. "She was really good tonight, but she has been, she's a special filly," said Trevor Henry, who drives Sunny Dee for Windsor resident McIntosh and his fellow owner-breeders Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH. The Sunshine Beach daughter, who bumped her career earnings to $172,578 with her eighth win, is eligible for the Fan Hanover Stake at Woodbine Mohawk Park next Saturday, June 8 and Arthur resident Henry is looking forward to tackling the best sophomore pacing fillies in North America with the talented youngster. The second division saw a trio of first-time OSS starters ranked as the fans' top choices and it was Betcha Baby who hung on for a nose victory over a hard charging Lovely Donna and Sports Flix. Milton resident Sylvain Filion drove Betcha Baby to the 1:54.1 victory for trainer Nick Gallucci of Brantford, ON and owner-breeders Velocity Standardbreds of Lebanon, OH. The win was the Bettors Delight daughter's second in seven lifetime starts and lowered her personal best by two-fifths of a second. Unlike Sunny Dee and Betcha Baby, Boadicea made five starts as a two-year-old, but trainer Bill Budd raced the long-legged filly exclusively at Woodbine Mohawk Park and opted to skip the freshman OSS events. However, with a trio of qualifiers and two starts under her belt this season, including a win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on May 20, Budd and driver Jonathan Drury were confident Boadicea was ready for the provincial stage. Boadicea scored the fastest win of the June 1 Gold Series opener for three-year-old pacing fillies, stopping the Woodbine Mohawk Park teletimer at 1:51.3 for driver Jonathan Drury.      ---New Image Media Starting from Post 6 Drury sent Boadicea to the lead and rolled through fractions of :27.2 and :55 before yielding to favourite Powerful Chris in the backstretch. After drafting behind the favourite through the 1:23.3 three-quarters Drury tipped his filly out in the stretch and Boadicea powered home to an impressive 1:51.3 victory. Powerful Chris settled for second, two and one-half lengths behind the winner, and Summer Charm was five more lengths back in third. "She's a big filly, a big filly. She's about 17 hands. She was growing so much we quit with her as a two-year-old," said Budd. "She's just, everything is push button about her, she takes care of herself. She's all heart and go." Budd trains the Big Jim daughter for Charles and Gordon Lawrence of Blenheim and was pleased to see Boadicea score a win for the owner-breeders. Unlike Sunny Dee, Boadicea is not eligible to the Fan Hanover stake so her next opportunity to shine will come in the second Gold Series event, June 22 at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where Budd is confident she will deliver another strong effort. "She loves her job," said the Waterdown, ON resident. "She's always got the ears up looking for something, just especially to race, she loves it." In addition to the Gold Series event for the three-year-old pacing fillies, Woodbine Mohawk Park also hosted two divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday night and Ontario Sired horses delivered impressive results. Recent Gold Series winner Century Farroh extended his unbeaten streak to eight with a 1:52.4 victory in the first $80,000 division, holding off fellow OSS competitor Caviart Rockland by a neck. Better Up made it an Ontario Sired sweep with his third-place effort. Sylvain Filion piloted Mach Three son Century Farroh to the win for trainer Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge and the Ratchford Stable NS of North Sydney, NS. In the second division Bettors Delight sons Best In Show and Stag Party finished second and third behind American-bred Tyga Hanover, who stopped the clock in 1:52.1. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Woodbine Mohawk Park this week as the Campbellville oval welcomes the three-year-old trotting fillies for their Gold Series opener Monday and their Grassroots opener on Tuesday. Post time for both programs is 7:10 pm.   Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

Dresden, ON – The last time harness racing driver Gene Piroski got his picture taken in the winner’s circle was September 29, 2012, but Sunday could change that. The Cottam teamster scored his last win behind St. Lads Zoom at Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia. Piroski’s trademark black colors with white polka dots was a fan favorite at Dresden Raceway, but when Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal Government reneged on their memorandum of understand with Ontario Horsepeople and cancelled the Slots at Racetracks Program, he saw the writing on the wall and left the business. “It was pretty obvious that the harness racing industry was going to suffer and I didn’t want my family to suffer. I had to feed them the best way I know how, so I changed professions without having to pick up and move my family.” Piroski said. The 46-year-old driver left Ontario and worked out west for two years before coming back and landing a job at Chrysler in Windsor, but something was missing in his life. “I’ve been in this business my whole life and I love it. Leamington is just 15 minutes down the road and tracks like Dresden and Sarnia are perfect. I’m excited to be back in the bike and hope that I can hit 2,000 wins before I’m done,” he added. Piroski’s lifelong passion for harness racing never died and now he is back driving ready to build on his 1,686 victories and more than $9 million in purses earned. “It’s almost perfect that I can work all week, and then on weekends, I can drive horses.  It’s so nice to be back,” he said with a big smile. Piroski will be at the controls for 2-1 morning line favorite Darktwistedfantasy in the second race at Dresden Raceway. Darktwistedfantasy is looking to break the C100,000 lifetime earnings mark for Megan Meekison of Belmont with a win. The 8-year-old Artistic Fella mare has carded 21 wins and has C$98,986 in the bank. Sunday is Legion Day at Dresden Raceway as Legion members will be honored with the first 50 Legion members receiving free hats as well as a race named in their honor. Post time for the 10-race card is set for 1:30 p.m. By Dan Leary

MAY 31, 2019 - So Much More has not quite settled into her new digs at the Beatson farm in Granton, but the three-year-old pacing filly made herself right at home at The Raceway at Western Fair District on Friday night, scoring an impressive harness racing victory in her $22,450 Grassroots division. "She raced great, she raced awesome," said Ken Beatson, who shares ownership of the recently acquired So Much More with his father, trainer Don Beatson of Granton, and nephew Cole England of Exeter. "We've got a farm at our place out in Granton, and we've got lots of paddock area with lots of grass, but she hasn't really even settled down enough that we feel comfortable turning her out on her own yet." In the fourth race of the London oval's action-packed Camluck Classic program So Much More and driver Tyler Borth fired out to the lead from Post 2 and never looked back, controlling the tempo through fractions of :28, :58.2 and 1:26.2 before sailing home to a three length victory in 1:54.4. Cinderella Delight finished second and New Writer was third. "If she was good enough to make it to the front we were hoping that she could cut it," said Beatson, adding that the first turn was a bit of a worry. "Having raced here all our lives, we know that the first time here a lot of horses, especially ones that are a little bit heavy or hot or hyper, which she seems to be, can break in the first turn if you roll into it too fast. So we were just wanting to roll into that first turn and steady her around it. Survive the first turn and then go from there." The win was So Much More's fourth straight this season, but her first for the Beatson family, who purchased the filly from Prince Edward Island resident Doug MacPhee on May 21. Her first three wins came at the Charlottetown Driving Park in PEI and Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, NB. "That's kind of been our model for the last 15 years or so; to find a nice horse out East that is racing well, has proven themselves, but hasn't necessarily made a whole lot of money, because the purses are smaller out there," Palgrave resident Beatson explained. "So then we bring them over here and they fit the non-winners classes. We were hoping that this one would be good enough to maybe make a stake filly as well, and it looks like she is." Big Jim daughter So Much More will now have a few weeks to settle into her new home before the next Grassroots event, which does not go postward until June 20. A three-time Grassroots winner at two, Freya Seelster kicked off her sophomore campaign with another victory, going gate-to-wire from Post 4 in the first division. The Sunshine Beach daughter reeled off sharp fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.2 and battled through the wire to best Manhattan Night and Full Moon Fix in 1:55. "I was expecting that style of race," said trainer Shawn Steacy. "I was hoping the fractions wouldn't be as hot as what they were, :27 flat is a big quarter here for sure. That was a big mile and there were some other really nice fillies in there that almost got to her, but not today." Guelph resident Steacy shares ownership of Freya Seelster with his mother Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Guy Haskell of Guelph, ON and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, AB. Louis-Philippe Roy was in the race bike for Friday's victory, the filly's first in three tries this season. Driver Trevor Henry scored two Grassroots wins, guiding Pazza Hanover to a 1:58 win for trainer Murray Brethour of Sunderland and his partners Noblock Racing Stable and Wayne Carleton of Collingwood, ON and Crisp Mane to a 1:56.4 victory for trainer Gerald Lilley and owners Bill Manes of Rockwood and William Cripps of Acton, ON. The other divisions went to Charmbo Brie, driven to a 1:57.3 score by Mike Saftic for owner-trainer John Rier of Kitchener, Royalty Again, who was driven to a narrow 1:54.4 victory by Jody Jamieson for trainer Stephanie Jamieson and owner Lasvegas Stables Inc. of Toronto, ON, and Behavenmyself. Robert Shepherd drove Behavenmyself to the 1:56.3 win for trainer Gerard Demers and owners Les Ecuries GLD Inc. of St-Andre-Avelin and Jean Roch Marois of St-Joachim-de-Shefford, QC. After seven thrilling Grassroots races and four City of London finals, fans welcomed the Camluck Classic entrants to the racetrack in Race 12 and watched as The Wall delivered a thrilling upset, reeling in pacesetter and heavy favourite Done Well in the stretch to score a 1:52 victory. Rockin Speed and defending champ Rockin Ron also closed hard to finish second and third in the $157,000 contest, leaving Done Well to settle for fourth. Joe Bongiorno piloted Somebeachsomewhere son The Wall to the half-length victory for trainer Nicholas Surick and owner J L Benson Stables Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, FL. The win was the five-year-old gelding's fourth of the season and bumped his 2019 earnings to $216,720. Friday's program wrapped up The Raceway at Western Fair Raceway's spring meet. Racing will resume on October 4, when the London oval will welcome the top two-year-old pacing colts in Ontario for the last Gold Series Leg of their season. Complete results from Friday's Camluck Classic program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0531lonn.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

Friday, May 31, 2019 - The Wall and driver Joe Bongiorno posted an upset harness racing win in the $157,000 second edition of the Camluck Classic Invitational on Friday night at The Raceway. Things got tense in the first turn as favourite Done Well and post-one starter Ideal Jimmy tussled for command with the later getting roughed gaited and rolling off stride. The pacer caused confusion to Southwind Amazon who was in behind him and left Done Well to establish an easy lead. In the meantime, stablemate Rockin Ron got away in the pocket position with The Wall settling away third in the : 27 second first quarter. Done Well got an easy first half of :56 seconds and it was at that point that The Wall began his move to the outside to challenge, pressing Done Well through three-quarters in 1:23.4. The top pair were matching strides on the final turn with longshot Rockin Speed in close pursuit in third and poised in the second-over spot. In the stretch, The Wall overtook the pacesetter and was able to fend off the late rush of Rockin Speed. Defending champion Rockin Ron came through for third with Done Well tiring late to finish fourth in the 1:52 mile. The victory was the fourth of the season for the five-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere who went over the $178,000 in seasonal earnings and $400,000 lifetime for the J.L. Benson Stables Inc. of Florida and trainer Nick Surick.                                                                                          ---Jake MacDonald photo The program wrapped up the 2019 Spring Meet at The Raceway with live racing returning to the London oval in October.   From WFD Media

MILTON, May 30, 2019 - Trainer Linda Toscano is hoping she's headed towards the top of harness racing's glamour boy division as she sends out the morning-line favourite Best In Show in the second division of the $160,000 Somebeachsomewhere Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Toscano, who hit career highs earlier in the decade with millionaires Chapter Seven, Market Share and Heston Blue Chip, once again has a shot at a million-dollar prize as she heads towards the Pepsi North America Cup with Best In Show off the heels of retiring Walner, who was considered the Hambletonian favourite in 2017, due to injury. "Walner broke my heart--I thought I had the best trotter in the world," Toscano said, "We kind of danced around a bit since then. We've had a couple of nice horses but for the most part I've had some pretty nice trotters recently and I haven't had a nice pacing colt in a while so this will be fun." Best In Show, a homebred son of Bettors Delight for Richard and Joanne Young out of their millionaire-mare Put On A Show, has only six starts on his record--three as a two-year-old and three so far this season. However, Toscano and the Youngs decided to send Best In Show to Tony O'Sullivan for his freshman season. "I just had a lot of horses," Toscano said. "I broke him, trained him and having one Ontario-sired horse that had to race [in the Sires Stakes] was a hard thing for me to do and try to do it right. We talked about it, the owner and I, and he didn't really want to ship him back and forth. "We had a horse or two with Tony before and he felt comfortable with Tony, so I was fine with that--Tony does a good job--so we shipped him up to Tony to race for us." Off two baby races in early July, Best In Show shipped north and debuted in a division of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold, where he finished fourth behind Bettors Wish, who recently won the $300,000 Art Rooney, and Stag Party, who went on to win the Metro Pace. He then won a preliminary of the Dream Maker series and finished second in the final. Rookie soreness developed and prompted Toscano to shut him down for the year by late August. "He was kind of following the plan exactly as we had hoped it was going to go but then he just came up sore after that last start," Toscano said. "I was up there for the Grand Circuit and went over him and made a decision that he was a quality horse and we thought we'd just shut him down and bring him back this year." The colt has since grown and developed enough to the point that the travel is no longer a concern. "He certainly didn't have a clue last year training down, and that's still an issue; he's a green colt," Toscano noted. "He's come a long way considering he's on a bit of a slow learning curve. I find with those Bettors Delights that's kind of the best part about them: they have good mouths and that Cam Fella line tends to get better and better. "The shipping is a funny thing. Back in the day, we didn't ship horses--we shipped them to the place and they stayed. Nowadays, the trailers are much more sophisticated, the roads are great, we know the traffic patterns for the most part and horses are used to shipping. Bottom line is if he had been a difficult horse to ship--if he'd been fractious or anything like that--he'd be here." Toscano isn't sure she will continue to ship Best In Show back and forth each week from her base in New Jersey. "If he does really well I might stay up there next week and go that route, so I'm going to take it week to week and decide what to do." Best In Show will start from post four in his division of the Somebeachsomewhere, carded as Race 6, with Bob McClure driving. He again faces Bronx Seelster and Stag Party, both of whom he beat last week with a career-best equaling 1:50.3 mile in a $108,800 division of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold. "With the field he's in against this week, he deserves a shot because he had a conditioning edge on those two colts last week, I knew that going in," Toscano said. "I knew this was a week he was going to beat them and I had a funny feeling he was going to have to do it on the lead because I figured Casie [Coleman] wasn't going to want to race [Stag Party] down the road and I figured the same with Bronx Seelster. Now you throw Captain Ahab into the mix and that's a pretty solid field of three-year-olds right there. If he can go with these then he deserves a shot at [the North America Cup]." Toscano has approached Best In Show's campaign going week to week, but the North America Cup has always been the goal for the inexperienced colt. "I think [that's] probably the case but you'll never get me to admit those kind of things," Toscano said with a laugh. "That's not who I am. I just try hard to let the horse tell me what to do and, God willing, he'll come out of it good and we'll take it to next week." Post time for Saturday's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7:10 p.m.   By Ray Cotolo for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, May 30, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park has released the qualifying and training schedule for the month of June, including two-year-old qualifying dates. Qualifiers will be held three-days-a-week during the month of June with two days each week reserved for two-year-olds. Qualifiers for three-year-olds and up will be held each Tuesday, while two-year-old qualifiers will take place at the end of the week. The Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) will sponsor the live stream of all qualifier during the month of June. A link to the live stream will be available at www.WoodbineMohawkPark.com and throughout the various Woodbine Standardbred social media accounts. Below are the qualifying dates for June. Tuesday, June 4 (3-year-olds & up) Friday, June 7 (2-year-olds) Saturday, June 8 (2-year-olds) Tuesday, June 11 (3-year-olds & up) Thursday, June 13 (2-year-olds) Friday, June 14 (2-year-olds) Tuesday, June 18 (3-year-olds & up) Friday, June 21 (2-year-olds) Saturday, June 22 (2-year-olds) Tuesday, June 25 (3-year-olds & up) Thursday, June 27 (2-year-olds) Friday, June 28 (2-year-olds)   Post time for qualifiers is 10 a.m. Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to inform horsepeople of a change to the training schedule.   The track and paddock will now be closed every Sunday and Monday. Training will also not be available on Wednesday, June 5 and Saturday, June 15 to allow for maintenance ahead of the Pepsi North America Cup. The track and paddock will be open all other days of the week.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications  

MAY 29, 2019 - A must-attend event on the Ontario horse racing calendar for almost 50 years, this Friday's $458,650 Camluck Classic program at The Raceway at Western Fair District is loaded with some of the best harness racing talent in North America. Seven Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing fillies and four City of London Finals will serve as a prelude to The Raceway's season finale, the $157,000 Camluck Classic Invitational for aged pacers. Trainer Gregg McNair will start two fillies in the Grassroots divisions and one pacing gelding in the last City of London final and the veteran horseman is confident fans will be treated to an exciting night of racing. "Oh it's a big night. I've been there a lot of times," said McNair, who won the Camluck Classic predecessor, the Molson Pace, in 2008 with Eagle Luck. "We've raced a couple horses in it, I think we were second in it one year and we won it one time. It's a big honour to race in it." While McNair does not have a starter in this year's signature race, he can claim a connection to Southwind Amazon, a son of the race's namesake who will start from Post 4 for current trainer Paul Holzman and Hall of Fame driver Dave Palone. "I actually had him at one time. I hate to say it, but we raced him in the Grassroots and now he's in the Camluck," said a rueful McNair, who campaigned Camluck son Southwind Amazon during his two and three-year-old seasons in 2012 and 2013. "He's come along to be a good horse." Trainer Gregg McNair                  -- (Iron Horse Photo) Before the top aged pacers go behind the starting gate for the Camluck Classic, McNair will send out three-year-old pacing fillies Kylie Seelster and Sugar Shadow in the sixth and seventh $22,800 Grassroots divisions. Kylie Seelster will start from Post 4 in the ninth race and the daughter of Big Jim heads into the race off two sophomore starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, a sixth-place result in the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association stake on May 11 and a runner-up finish on May 20. "That's a good position for her. She's a good filly. She gets around a half good too," said the Guelph resident, who shares ownership of Kylie Seelster with Hall of Fame horseman Keith Waples of Durham and London, ON veterinarian Dr. Chris Robson. "We were kind of wishing she would have been in at Mohawk Saturday night (in the Gold Series), but we decided to go to the Grassroots." Kylie Seelster captured a Grassroots division over the Grand River Raceway half-mile in her OSS debut last summer and her connections are hoping that she and driver Trevor Henry can deliver a similar result in the sophomore season opener. Shadow Play daughter Sugar Shadow will start from Post 3 in the tenth race, with Jody Jamieson in the race bike for owner-breeder Robert Chapple of Chatham, ON. The fillies' stablemate Balder Son was a handy winner of his City Of London Series elimination on May 22, touring The Raceway half-mile in 1:55.3. The Betterthancheddar son will be hampered by Post 7 in the $31,400 final, but McNair hopes driver Billy Davis, Jr. can still map out a trip. "He's as good as anything in there, post position is probably going to be a little tough on him, but he's a nice horse and the turns don't bother him much either," said the horseman, who trains three-year-old pacing gelding Balder Son for Roderick Smith of Inverness, NS. "Not that you'd be thinking about cutting out the mile or anything, but he usually races better following horses anyway. "Hope he just doesn't have to follow them the whole way, that's all," added McNair with a chuckle. Post time for the Camluck Classic program is 6:55 pm with the Grassroots divisions going postward as Races 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10, the City of London Finals slated as Races 1, 3, 7, and 11 and the marquee event wrapping things up in Race 12. Fans will also enjoy live music from Sarina Haggarty and Connor Morand, food and drink specials and a variety of give-aways throughout the evening. Complete details for the Friday, May 31 Camluck Classic are available at https://www.westernfairdistrict.com/camluckclassic. Entries for the event are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/entries/data/e0531lonn.dat. In addition to Friday's Grassroots event, The Raceway at Western Fair District will also host a Gold Series Leg for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Friday, Oct. 4. Find The Raceway's complete OSS schedule at http://www.ontariosiresstakes.com/schedule/schedule_loc.html#LON.   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

LONDON...Driver Brent Holland will be making his first trip to Canada in more than a decade and the Illinois native will be making his driving debut at The Raceway at Western Fair District this Friday night. Holland, who has over 5,000 driving victories, will team up with trainer Erv Miller aboard Ideal Jimmy in the $157,000 edition of the Camluck Classic. "He's a very, very talented horse," Holland said. "He's not an overly big horse, but he's got a big set of lungs and can handle the turns very well which is a big asset to have on the half-mile." When the post position draw was announced Monday afternoon on the pre-game show, Holland was pleased with the outcome. "Erv (Miller) texted me and said 'we have the rail,' it couldn't have worked out any better," said Holland. When asked how the race might play out. Holland was quick to respond. "Well, I have Plan 'A', Plan 'B' and Plan 'C' and they are all the same plan. Take no prisoners," he said with a chuckle. "My horse is so good on the front. Actually I don't think he's been beat on the front this season." Holland last drove in Canada back in 2008 aboard Pop Z Pop in the $185,000 edition of the Des Smith for trainer Miller. "I've only been to Canada three times I believe and I'm excited to visit again," he said. "I was talking with Joe Bongiorno just the other day about the race and he told me what a great event it is. I'm excited to be a part of it."   Below is the complete field in post position order:   1. Ideal Jimmy 2. Done Well 3. The Wall 4. Southwind Amazon 5. Sintra 6. Rockin Speed 7. Trump Nation 8. Rockin Ron   Camluck Classic night will also offer a powerful undercard that will include eight divisions of the Ontario Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies along with a quartet of City Of London Series finals. Visitors will once again have a chance to enjoy the action from the confines of the giant Infield Tent, which was a hit with guests last year. It offers a unique vantage point and entertainment experience with fantastic food and beverage offerings for just $50 plus tax. Tickets to the Infield Event are currently on sale with limited tickets available. The Party on the Patio will be back this year, and bigger and better than ever. Along with the delicious food and beverage offerings that will be available, popular local entertainers Sarina Haggarty and Connor Morand will be on hand performing their unique mix of new material and cover songs throughout the evening. To stay up to date on the Camluck Classic and everything happening at The Raceway, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com.   Greg Gangle

Rexdale, Ont. Can.--Sylvain "not Jacques" Grenier knew what he had . He waited patiently to pull the chord and unleash favored Musical Spell and rally his veteran harness racing gelding to a stunning come-from-behind victory in the $11,000(c)Billings trot at Woodbine Mohawk on Monday evening, May 27. After getting away slowly from the six- hole in the 10-horse race , Grenier had the patience of a saint sitting back in 8th place some 15 lengths off the lead at the halfway point as Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and Utopia cut the early fractions and led the field by the quarter in :28.1 and past the half in :57. As the field approached the three quarters Grenier and Musical Spell were still 8-1/2- lengths behind Utopia but slowly moving up on the outside. Even at the top of the stretch Musical Spell was fifth as Constantino and Tony "The Capo" Verruso got first call after cruising along in third place for most of the mile. But as the field headed for paydirt Utopia faded and as Musical Spell and Presquille (T. "Marielle" Enberg) emerged as the strong horses. But Musical Spell was not to be denied as the altered son of Kadabra zipped home a length and a quarter winner over taking Verruso's Constantino in the final strides. Although Presquille flatened-out in the deep stretch he still earned the show dough. Musical Spell is owned by Haryott Stables and trained by Michael Guitard. Sent off as the odds-on favorite he paid $3.10.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

London, May 27, 2019 -- A victory behind pacer Jake Parrish is always special for harness racing driver Nick Steward but was particularly so on Monday night at The Raceway at Western Fair District as it marked the 2000th career trip to the winner's circle for the London reinsman. Jake Parrish is a family favourite who is conditioned by recent Wall Of Fame inductee Larry Fitzsimmons who is also the grandfather of Steward. In Monday's first race, Steward sent his charge straight to command from post one and was able to wire the field in a sharp clocking of 1:56.1 for the milestone win. It was the third win this season and 27th lifetime for the seven-year-old gelded son of Whosurboy who sits with close to $160,000 in career earnings. Fans are reminded that the final card of the season at The Raceway goes this Friday night, featuring the $157,000 Camluck Classic Invitational Pace. The card gets underway at 6:55 p.m. and full details are available at www.camluckclassic.com.   Greg Blanchard

Hamilton, Ont. Can.--The CKG Billings Harness Driving Series moved north of the border on Sunday, May 26, for a harness racing contest at Flamboro Downs in Hamilton, Ont. There only two Americans who ventured to Canada for the $6000(C) pacing event there which was dominated by the hometowners, who drove six of the eight pacers in the contest. But there was no stopping Frederick "Frenchy" Bourgault when he put his charge,Sly Baran, in high gear as the field approached the three-quarters and they drew-off to a comfortable four-length victory in 1:58.4 over Mr Yokassippi, driven by T. 'Marielle" Enberg. When the starter said "go" Isaac "Izzy" Waxman sent Bettors Mark to the lead but he was challenged on the outside by A Yankee Feeling and driver "Fast Phillipe" Trudeau and the two leaders zipped by the quarter in :28. They kept the pedal to the metal as they passed the halfway point in :57.2. At that point the eventual winner was some six lengths in the rears but up the backside Bourgault wheeled his charge three -deep and they circled all in front of them and rolled home an easy winner. Bettors Mark, after constant pressure, tired in the lane and was overtaken for second money by Ms Enberg's Mr Yokassippi, a 26-1 shot. Owned by Frederick and Richard Bourgault, Sly Baran, a the 6-year altered son of Rambaran , is trained by his driver. He paid $7.80. Last year Bourgault won a Billlings contest at Grand River Raceway. On Monday, May 27, the Canadian Billings action moves north to Woodbine Mohawk for a 10-horse trot later this evening.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

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