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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  

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

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