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OCTOBER 14, 2017 - At the last possible moment, Milton resident Sylvain Filion pulled a rabbit out of his hat at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night to secure his third straight and fifth overall Lampman Cup title as the leading harness racing driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. Heading into the $1.8 million eight race Super Final showdown, Filion was tied with Trevor Henry for top spot in the standings with 348 points. The lead seesawed between the two men through the first five races, with Filion winning one contest and Henry finishing second in two, and a second victory by Filion put them back level at 362 points with two races remaining. Capturing the second last race with two-year-old pacing filly Percy Bluechip, Henry appeared to have secured his third Lampman Cup title, but Filion came back in the last battle to score a win with lightly rated Tymal Peacemaker and knock Henry out of top spot by a single point. "It's not over yet, we'll keep going at it," said Filion, prophetically, after knotting things up in the sixth race. "It's a good competition me and Trevor, I think whoever wins deserves it. Trevor's having a good go, he's working hard at it, we're both working hard at it, and it's fun to watch." Filion drove in all eight races and scored a trio of victories with three-year-old trotting gelding R First Class, three-year-old trotting filly On A Sunny Day and three-year-old pacing gelding Tymal Peacemaker, adding 20 points to his total. Arthur, ON resident Henry drove in seven races and, in addition to the win with Percy Bluechip, finished second twice and third once for 19 points. While Tymal Peacemaker was a longshot, both R First Class and On A Sunny Day were heavily favoured and delivered commanding victories over a rain-soaked surface that started the evening rated "Good" with a one second variance, but was downgraded to "Sloppy" with a two second variance by the ninth race. From Post 3 in the evening's second $225,000 Super Final Filion put R First Class on the front before the halfway marker and the Kadabra son was never threatened, trotting home to a two and one-quarter length victory over LMC Mass Gem and Tycoon Seelster in 1:54.4. Guelph resident Ben Baillargeon trains the gelding for owner-breeders Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, ON and the group is excited about what the future holds for the trotter, who wrapped up his 12 race sophomore campaign with seven wins, four seconds and earnings of $307,246. "I hate that it's time to stop with him, but we'll be back next year," said Baillargeon. "He's awesome, I mean, he's getting stronger and stronger you know," added Filion. "I'm anxious to see him as a four-year-old. He's such a nice horse, big, strong, I'm just fortunate to drive him." R First Class Four divisions later the reinsman expressed similar sentiments about On A Sunny Day, who took command before the half and cruised to a four and one-half length triumph in 1:55.2. Winter Sweet Frost was second and Majestic Kat was another four and one-half lengths back in third. "I thought she was the best one in there and I didn't want to try to be fancy or anything you know, I wanted to avoid road trouble, so I decided to race her on the front end," noted Filion. "She's probably not her best on the front, but it was good enough tonight." The regular season point leader, On A Sunny Day is trained by Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest and owned by Determination of Montreal, QC. The talented daughter of Muscle Mass boosted her career earnings over $546,000 with the victory, her tenth lifetime. On A Sunny Day With the Lampman Cup title on the line, Filion also opted for front-end tactics with Tymal Peacemaker in the last Super Final. Starting from Post 9, the Mach Three gelding went after the lead heading by the half and, once he reached the front end, simply pulled away from the field, powering under the wire nine lengths on top in 1:51.2. Red John finished second and Sports Column was third. "He was good tonight, and he did it on his own, I was just a passenger," said Filion. "Leaving the gate he was a little more aggressive than he is usually and I just took a shot down the backside, I didn't really know what to do, and I just cleared the front and from there he was on his own." The reinsman steers Tymal Peacemaker for his father Yves Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC and Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON conditions the gelding, who was the Grassroots champion as a two-year-old. Tymal Peacemaker Henry's victory with two-year-old pacing filly Percy Bluechip put him within a whisker of claiming the Lampman Cup title and may have caused trainer Dr. Ian Moore to extend her freshman campaign through next weekend's Breeders Crown Eliminations at Hoosier Park in Indiana. Sent off as the second choice behind her division co-leader Kendall Seelster, Percy Bluechip returned to her dominant early season form on Saturday, reaching the wire three and one-quarter lengths on top in 1:53.4. Play The Bell finished second and Kendall Seelster was third. "I'm just going to talk to Trevor and see how she was," said Moore. "We might go to the Breeders Crown maybe, I don't know, she's only had eight starts, so we've been kind of saving her a bit." Moore shares ownership of the daughter of Shadow Play with his partners in the Shadow Two Stable of Puslinch, James and Wilma Mackenzie of Ennismore, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The filly's fifth victory of the season was the first Super Final win for both Moore and Henry. Percy Bluechip Mark Horner also hoisted his first Super Final trophy when The Joy Luck Club captured the three-year-old pacing filly title, sailing home four lengths ahead of stablemate Action Majesty and Dudesalady in 1:51.2. Guelph resident Gregg McNair conditions the filly for owner-breeder Horner of St. Marys and R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, ON, and Doug McNair piloted the Camluck daughter to the victory. "We're just elated right now," said Horner, who trained the filly until late June when he decided to hand her over to McNair. "She's always been really good, well mannered, well natured. She was meant to be a champion, and she is." The Joy Luck Club Doug McNair recorded a second Super Final win in the two-year-old pacing colt division, guiding Western Passage to a 1:51.3 score for trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge. Jimmy Freight and Sports Legend rounded out the top three. Coleman shares ownership of the Sportswriter gelding with her long-time partner in the West Wins Stable, Ross Warriner of Burlington, along with John and McKinlay Fielding of Toronto and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, ON. Western Passage Local filly Kadabra Queen capped off her near perfect Ontario Sires Stakes season with an impressive come-from-behind score in the two-year-old trotting filly final, reeling in Henry and pacesetter Smoke And Mirrors for a one-half length victory in 1:57.3. Illusioneesta also closed well to be third. Brantford resident Scott Coulter crafted the win for trainer Chad Milner of Campbellville, owner-breeder Mileo Monte's Harness Horsepower Inc. of Campbellville and his brother Frank Monte of Markham, ON. "She went one, two, three, four, with a little bit of luck we would have had a fifth one, she just broke stride at the top of the stretch at Flamboro," said Mileo Monte of the division leading daughter of Kadabra and Queen Street. "I have got to give all the credit to Chad and his wife Kajsa, they have done a fantastic job for us. And I've got to give Georgie (Antonio) a lot of credit for looking after this horse and Scott Coulter for believing in the horse and coming out every time to race." Kadabra Queen Finally, the two-year-old trotting colt trophy went home with Kadabra colt Draft Year, who got a front-end steer from Milton resident Randy Waples to reach the wire three and three-quarter lengths ahead of T Barrr and Perfetto in 1:57.1. Guelph resident Brad Maxwell conditions Draft Year for Doug Millard of Woodstock, ON, Timothy Murray of Shawville, QC, Ben Mudry of Toronto, ON and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA. Draft Year OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

OCTOBER 11, 2017 - Eight harness racing division champions will be crowned on Saturday during the $1.8 million Super Finals at Mohawk Racetrack and the Ontario Sires Stakes season finale will also determine the 2017 Lampman Cup winner. Drivers Sylvain Filion and Trevor Henry are tied atop the Lampman Cup standings with 348 points, meaning the fight for top spot could extend all the way through the final race of the season. "I didn't think I was near the front, I didn't think I had enough points," said Milton, ON resident Filion, who made a late run up the standings in the final weeks of the regular season to catch early leader Henry. "We'll give him a run for it. I'm sure he thinks the same way too." Reigning title-holder Filion has amassed a record of 27 wins, 24 seconds and 15 thirds from 138 Ontario Sires Stakes starts and Henry has scored 24 wins, 17 seconds and 28 thirds from 145 starts. Henry's mounts have earned $1,310,532, while Filion's have banked $1,289,859. Filion has prevailed in the driver race four times, in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, while Henry captured his first title in 1996 and added a second in 2007. "It's always nice to be on top, that's always good. If you're not up there you're not making any money," said a pragmatic Henry. The Arthur, ON resident has mounts in seven of the eight Finals while Filion will appear in all eight. Bolstering both men's chances of adding another Lampman Cup to their resume are commitments to division point leaders, with Henry steering three-year-old pacing filly leader Action Majesty, two-year-old pacing colt leader Shadow Moon and two-year-old pacing filly co-leader Percy Bluechip and Filion piloting three-year-old trotting filly leader On A Sunny Day. Heading into the $225,000 Super Final off a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record set at Grand River Raceway on Sept. 27, On A Sunny Day will be among the heaviest favourites on Filion's dance card and the reinsman is optimistic about her chances of landing the division title. "She drew pretty good. I think if we get the right trip she has a really good shot," said Filion of the Luc Blais trainee who will start from Post 3 in the eighth race. "She comes in on top form, and she's been trotting really good." While Henry has been aboard division leaders Shadow Moon and Percy Bluechip for all of their Ontario Sires Stakes starts, and will send the Dr. Ian Moore trainees after their respective division titles from Post 6 in Race 5 and Post 5 in Race 9, Saturday will mark his first appearance in Action Majesty's race bike. "Gregg had asked me to drive the one," said Henry of the Gregg McNair trainee, who will start from Post 8 while her stablemate The Joy Luck Club lines up at Post 6 with Doug McNair in the bike. "She looks all right, but that's a tough bunch too." Among the horses Henry expects to put up a fight in the three-year-old pacing filly showdown is reigning Super Final champion Yaris Bayama, who will start from Post 10 with Filion at the helm. "Two of my father's didn't draw so well, Tymal Peacemaker and Yaris Bayama," noted Filion. "But he came down this week and trained them on Tuesday before the qualifiers and he said that they trained really good. He was a little disappointed with that draw, but he said that they were going in in top form so hopefully we get a good trip." Yves Filion's Bayama Farms owns Yaris Bayama and Tymal Peacemaker, and both horses are trained by Stephane Larocque. Three-year-old pacing gelding Tymal Peacemaker will line up at Post 9 in the tenth race, the only Super Final in which Henry does not have a mount. Henry will also spend some time on the outside of the starting gate Saturday, beginning with two-year-old trotting filly Smoke And Mirrors, who gets Post 10 for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman in the second race. "She raced really well there (Mohawk) her last start (Sept. 25), come from a long ways out. She's in good shape I think," said Henry of the Kadabra daughter. "She has the ten-hole though, which will be tough." Henry will also pilot two-year-old trotting gelding Perfetto for Norman from Post 4 in the sixth race, the only contest that will see him start elbow to elbow with Filion, who steers Jimmy Takter trainee Cousin Rickard from Post 5. In the three-year-old trotting colt battle Henry will steer On First from Post 9 for his wife, trainer Shannon Henry, and his co-owners David Darocy and James Fleming, while Filion has R First Class for trainer Benoit Baillargeon. "He's been racing really, really good and his last start there (Sept. 25) he really won easy," said Filion of R First Class, who drew Post 3 in the third race. "I was talking to Ben yesterday, he said he trained good this week and he's all ready for Saturday. We drew good and I just cross my fingers I'm able to avoid traffic and troubles. If we get a clear track I think we've got a good shot." In addition to Action Majesty Henry also picked up a drive aboard three-year-old trotting filly Paradise Image (Post 8) for trainer Mike Keeling and Filion landed Allerage Stargazer (Post 2) in the two-year-old trotting filly division for trainer Paul Reid, St Lads Neptune (Post 4) in the two-year-old pacing colt division for trainer Carl Jamieson and two-year-old pacing filly Machnhope (Post 10) for trainer Bill Robinson. Reid, who will also start two-year-old trotting gelding Torches Pirate (Post 7), three-year-old trotting filly Sweet Of My Heart (Post 5) and two-year-old pacing fillies Just Her Luck (Post 1) and Kendall Seelster (Post 2) on Saturday, has worked with both Filion and Henry this season and says it is no surprise they are in a battle for top spot in the driver standings. "I have utmost respect for both of them. I would put them on any horse of mine, either one of them," said Reid. "I think Trevor's the more aggressive guy and seems to get along with any trotter or pacer, whereas Sylvain is more relaxed, he seems to create the same speed, but in a more relaxed way." Whether making their first appearance behind a horse or guiding one of their regular mounts, both Filion and Henry will be battling to the wire in every race on Saturday, hoping to deliver a Super Final trophy to each horse's connections. "It's going to be a big day for the breeders and the owners," said Filion, noting the Lampman Cup race is of secondary concern. "They've been watching their horses all year and cheering for them all year and now they get to see them in the Final. That's a big night for them." Mohawk Racetrack's first race goes in behind the gate at 7:30 pm on Saturday, with the eight $225,000 Super Finals going postward in Races 2 through 6 and 8 through 10. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

OCTOBER 2, 2017 - The sophomore pacers wrapped up their Ontario Sires Stakes regular season at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening and harness racing driver Sylvain Filion came within three lengths of sweeping all three Gold Series divisions. The Milton, ON resident piloted Histoire Enchantee to victory in the first $98,000 three-year-old pacing colt contest, sprinting away from the outside Post 10 to a :26.4 opening quarter. The fan favourites continued to lead the field through a :54.3 half and 1:21.4 three-quarters and held off a charging Bills Fella in the stretch for a neck victory in 1:50.4. Saulsbrook Lanny closed to be third. "He impresses me every time I drive him, he's getting better and better," said Filion. "Tonight from the 10-hole we left hard, Louis (Roy and Mach Deja Vu) came at us and he just kept digging. He raced really big tonight." Monday's appearance was Histoire Enchantee's first in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, but not his first in the winner's circle. The son of Shanghai Phil and Eclatante has six wins to his credit through 13 sophomore starts for trainer Maxime Velaye and owner-breeder Guy Corbeil of Mirabel, QC. Monday's Gold Series win more than doubled Histoire Enchantee's earnings, boosting his lifetime bankroll to $80,633. With one win in one appearance, Histoire Enchantee tallied 50 points in the race for a Super Final berth and sits fourteenth in the three-year-old pacing colt standings. The top 10 point earners will compete in the $225,000 Super Final at Mohawk on Oct. 14 and Histoire Enchantee could sneak in if some of the colts ahead of him in the point standings are not entered for the final. "Sometimes horses like him - he hasn't raced against the top colts all year, so he's kind of fresh," noted Filion. "It's probably perfect timing for him." Histoire Enchantee Three races later Filion scored his second Gold Series win, guiding three-year-old pacing filly Yaris Bayama to a 1:51.2 personal best. Yaris Bayama nabbed fan favourite The Joy Luck Club in the stretch, powering home to a two and one-quarter length victory. Dancing Shadows K was hot on The Joy Luck Club's heels in third. "When I moved her three-wide off cover, she really showed some grit," said Filion, who drives the filly for trainer Stephane Larocque of Carlisle, ON and his father Yves Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC. "That was probably her best race yet. I think she's coming into the Super Final in top shape." The win was the second of the season and the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for Yaris Bayama, who was the Super Final and two-year-old pacing filly division champion last year. Through her first four Gold Series starts the daughter of Sportswriter and Lucky Josie tallied one second, one third and two fourths which, added to Monday's victory, gives her a total of 103 points and a berth in the Oct. 14 Super Final. Yaris Bayama In the second pacing colt division, Filion and Tymal Peacemaker turned for home with a one-half length advantage, but could not hold off a hard charging Dreamfair B J and had to settle for second, three lengths behind the winner. Tigers Way also closed hard to be third. "It was close, for a while I thought I had it," said Filion, who is also in a heated battle with Trevor Henry for his third straight and fifth overall Lampman Cup title as the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes. "He raced good though; he just got picked up in the last sixteenth. If he draws good in the Super Final he's got a good shot." Dreamfair B J hit the wire in 1:50.3 for his second straight victory and his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. The son of Big Jim and Dreamfair Orchid had finished second, third, fifth and sixth in his first four Gold Series starts and was sitting twelfth on the list heading into Monday's regular season finale. The victory boosted the gelding into third spot with 95 points and positions him as a serious contender in the season finale. Louis-Philippe Roy crafted the win for trainer Patrick Fletcher of Tillsonburg and owner-breeder John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON Dreamfair B J Mohawk Racetrack hosts one last evening of Gold Series action before the Super Finals, welcoming the two-year-old trotting colts and pacing fillies back to Campbellville for their last regular season event on Thursday, Oct. 5. The colts will kick things off at 7:30 pm in Race 1 and wrap up their season in Race 3, while the fillies compete in Races 6 and 8. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 - Ontario's talented three-year-old trotting fillies brought Grand River Raceway's 2017 harness racing season to a thrilling conclusion on Wednesday evening as they battled to a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record in the last race of the program. With $125,000 and the last set of points toward a Super Final berth on the line, the fillies were swinging for the fences early. Delcrest Magicstar left alertly from Post 1 and led the field of 10 to a :27.1 opening quarter, but Sweet Of My Heart also fired out of Post 8 and sprinted by Delcrest Magicstar soon after the quarter pole. In full gear around the second turn, Sweet Of My Heart reached the halfway marker in a sharp :56.1 and had opened up a gap of two lengths on her peers by the 1:25.3 three-quarters. Opting not to get involved in the early speed, driver Sylvain Filion had eased On A Sunny Day away from Post 3 and the fan favourites were sitting seventh at the quarter and sixth at the half. By the three-quarters Filion had tipped On A Sunny Day into the outer lane and the Muscle Mass daughter was gobbling up ground. She got a brief windbreak from Delcrest Magicstar, who led the field off the final turn, then kicked home to a one length victory. Delcrest Magicstar was second and Sweet Of My Heart stayed game for third. "I knew when I saw the half :56 that I was in a good spot," said Filion. "I knew they had to come back to me, it was almost impossible for them to keep going that speed, so that was very good for me. She just trotted home, it was just like a training mile for her." The 1:56 clocking took one-fifth of a second off the track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record first set by Sugar Wheeler in 2012 and then matched by Angies Lucky Star in 2013. "I was a little concerned before the race, her last start was just so-so, she wasn't quite herself," noted Filion, referring to the filly's sixth-place result in the Sept. 16 Elegantimage Final at Mohawk Racetrack. "But tonight she was back to her old self and she just felt super." The Milton, ON resident drives On A Sunny Day for trainer Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. The victory was the filly's third in Gold Series action and she will lead the sophomore trotting fillies into the Oct. 14 Super Final with 180 points. In nine starts this season the daughter of Muscle Mass and Dicent No has posted five wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $250,286. At two she captured four of six starts and banked $183,750. "He's (Blais) done a great job with her all year, and last year too," said Filion. "I've got a lot of faith in that filly." On A Sunny Day's connections will now be working to have her in peak form for the $225,000 Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack on Oct. 14. They will be looking for a little redemption for last year's Super Final when, sent off as the heavy favourite, On A Sunny Day made her first-ever break in stride and finished at the back of the field. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 25 - The temperature wasn't the only thing that was hot Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack, as harness racing driver Sylvain Filion had a big night at the office. The veteran reinsman picked up five-victories on the 10-race card, including scoring victories in both Ontario Sires Stakes Gold divisions for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Filion's first victory came in the $94,800 opening OSS Gold split with heavy-favourite R First Class. The Ben Baillargeon trainee won by 3½ lengths in a sharp 1:53.2. The fifth-time Filion went back to the winner's circle was after the $95,600 second OSS division with Capteur De Reve. The Maxime Velaye trained son of Muscle Mass was coming in from the Ottawa-Quebec area and scored a mild 5-1 upset. In between his stakes victories, Filion also picked up victories with Velaye trainee Historie Enchantee ($12), Kyle Fellows trainee Deuce Deuce Deuce ($9.90) and Dean Nixon trainee Its A Big Secret ($14.80). The five-win night by Filion gives him 110 wins on the season at Mohawk Racetrack, which has him fourth in the driver standings. Overall in 2017, Filion has 170 visits to the winner's circle and over $3.5 million in earnings. Filion will look to keep the momentum rolling on Tuesday evening, as he is scheduled to drive in nine-races at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - This Sunday the Hippodrome 3R will host its richest harness racing program of the 2017 season with the finals for the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old's and the Future Stars Series for two-year-old's, with C$480,000 in purses. There are eight championship events for the trotters and pacers, colts and fillies. The four Breeders Cup Finals will each race for C$65,000 and the four Future Stars Finals each go for C$55,000. The attractive purses have also drawn some of the sports top drivers back to their "stomping grounds" including last year's leading driver at H3R, Louis-Philippe Roy, two-time O'Brien Award winner, Sylvain Filion and Trois-Rivieres native Daniel Dube. All three will be driving in most of the finals. In fact, some of the races feature brothers Louis-Philippe and Pierre-Luc Roy and Sylvain and Justin Filion going head-to-head and one race has father-son, Yves and Sylvain Filion, battling against each other. The Future Stars Final for two-year-old pacing colts begins the show in the first race where Stock starts from post two trainer Dany Fontaine and has won four of his five lifetime starts, the fastest a 1:54.2 victory in his elimination division of the Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway. The second race switches to the Breeders Cup Final for three-year-old trotting fillies featuring Capteur De Reve (post one) taking on Kinnder Dangerous (post five). Each have beaten the other in the preliminary rounds. Two-year-old trotting fillies battle in their Future Stars Final in race three headlined by Precieuse CC (post one), who is seeking to make a clean sweep of the series. She has three wins in her four starts. The Breeders Cup Final for three-year-old trotting fillies is the fifth race. Affirmee (post seven) won two of the three legs leading towards the final for trainer Maxime Velaye. The sixth race features the Future Stars Final for two-year-old trotting colts. The race favorite is Nobodynojustic (post seven), who was a winner in the series but most recently has a win in 2:00 and a second in the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots Series. Two-year-old pacing fillies go at it in the seven race Future Stars Final where the Guy Corbeil owned, Maxime Velaye trained entry of Lit De Rose (post two) and Lune Blue (post five) head the field. Lit De Rose is the strongest of the two, having won her last two starts, the fastest a 1:59.1 romp at H3R in the last leg of the series. The fastest of the finals will be the eighth race final of the Breeders Cup for three-year-old pacing colts. Here is where last year's champion and track record holder, Wildriverbumblebee, starts from post seven and in his last start set a lifetime mark of 1:53 in the Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots at Georgian Downs. This may also be the toughest division as nearly every starter in the field has been racing very well. The ninth race is the last of the finals with the three-year-old pacing fillies battling it out in the Breeders Cup Final. Y S Tallia (post four) and Yaris Bayama (post three) renew their rivalry from the preliminary rounds. Post time is 12:30 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

AUGUST 13, 2017 - Rideau Carleton Raceway harness racing fans were treated to an impressive display of speed and skill as the Ontario Sires Stakes arrived in the nation's capital on Sunday evening. With almost $250,000 on the line all six Gold and Grassroots winners recorded new personal bests, Try Try Again established a new speed record for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, and the reigning Lampman Cup champion, Sylvain Filion, captured two Gold Series divisions and four overnight events. Try Try Again opened the Gold Series competition in the evening's second race and the fans' second choice delivered a commanding front-end performance that saw him lower the track record to 1:54.4. Magic Night finished one and one-half lengths back in second while Life Well Lived was well behind the leaders in third. "He got off the gate well in third, I removed him to the front and he was very strong from there," said Try Try Again's regular reinsman Chris Christoforou, Jr. "He was very good tonight." Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou engineered the mile for trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON and his partners Ecuries Daniel Plouffe Inc. of Bromont, QC, Noblock Racing Stable of Collingwood, ON and Andrea Lea Racing Stables Inc. of Lakefield Gore, QC. The clocking took three-fifths of a second off the former track record for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, set by Ontario Sired superstar Arch Madness in a 2007 Gold Series contest, and lowered Try Try Again's personal best by two-fifths of a second. With two wins and one second in three Gold Series starts, the son of Kadabra and Sweetspellosuccess currently sits second in the division standings with 125 points and is assured of a berth in the $225,000 Super Final at Mohawk Racetrack on Oct. 14. Filion piloted the winners of the other two Gold Series divisions, taking the first with LMC Mass Gem and the second with Capteur De Reve. Starting from Post 4, LMC Mass Gem led from start to finish, sailing across the wire in a personal best 1:55. Mister Muscle was one and one-quarter lengths back in second, with Head Turning Jag two more lengths behind in third. With two wins and two thirds in four Gold Series starts, LMC Mass Gem sits third, just one point behind Try Try Again, in the division standings. Nick Gallucci of Brantford trains the homebred son of Muscle Mass and Hornby Gem for Loredana Cirillo of Kleinburg, ON. Capteur De Reve enjoyed a ground-saving trip behind pacesetter On First in the last Gold division, tipping out in the stretch and trotting home to a one length victory in a personal best 1:56.1. On First settled for second and Try Try Again's stablemate Northern Major rounded out the top three. Filion crafted the win for trainer Max Velaye and Ecuries Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. It was the Muscle Mass son's second of the season and came in his 2017 Ontario Sires Stakes debut. Euro Gap posted the fastest win of the three Grassroots divisions, sprinting down the Rideau Carleton Raceway stretch to a 1:55.4 personal best ahead of Yo Yo Mass and Santini. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry piloted Euro Gap to the victory, his first in Ontario Sires Stakes action. "He looked good today. Trevor (Henry) said he was really good," said trainer Scott McEneny, who had to watch the gelding's winning effort on his phone after a delayed flight saw him arrive in Ottawa just 10 minutes before post time. "He's got a lot of talent; he's just had his days. His gait's not the best, he's a little pacey, and sometimes the track just doesn't suit him because of his feet." McEneny conditions Euro Gap for his wife Michelle McEneny of Waterdown and Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON. The win was the third lifetime for the son of Manofmanymissions, who has also made two appearances at the Gold Series level this season. The other two Grassroots divisions went to Federal Flex son Bred For Greatness and Manofmanymissions son Vesuvio Bi, who trotted under the wire in 1:58.2 and 1:56.4, respectively. Bred For Greatness reeled in Radical Road and Motown Jackpot in the stretch to score his first lifetime victory for driver Bob McClure of Elora, trainer Shane Weber of Welland and owner-breeders Thomas and Elizabeth Rankin of St. Catharines, ON, while Vesuvio Bi took command at the half and sailed home a three and one-quarter length winner over Short Term Memory and Masster Blue. Travis Henry of Embro, ON drove Vesuvio Bi to the win for trainer Martin Lachance of Guelph, ON and owners Lachance Racing Stable of Millstone Township, NJ and Dan Mogridge of Hillsdale, ON. The Grassroots colts and geldings will now head to Hanover Raceway on August 26 for the fifth event of their season, while the Gold Series competitors make their last regular season start at Mohawk Racetrack on September 25. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 10, when the two-year-old pacing fillies will compete in their last regular season Grassroots event. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JULY 21, 2017 - A total of $779,200 will be up for grabs at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night as the Campbellville oval showcases the best of the Ontario Sires Stakes sophomore crop. Harness racing pacers and trotters, colts and fillies will line up behind the Mohawk starting gate in nine Gold Series divisions. "All the best three-year-olds are there," said the program's leading driver Sylvain Filion. "I think fans will enjoy watching all the good three-year-olds in the same night. They should have one heck of a race card to watch." The three-year-old trotting fillies will kick things off at 7:30 pm in the first race and the absence of division heavyweight Magic Presto, currently competing stateside, gives the other fillies a chance to pad their point tally in the quest for a season ending Super Final berth. Filion will drive one filly in each of the $96,400 divisions, guiding July 7 Gold Leg winner On A Sunny Day from Post 6 in the first race and last year's division champion Winter Sweet Frost from Post 3 in the third. "I feel lucky to get the opportunity to drive them two fillies," said the Milton, ON resident, who is the regular pilot for On A Sunny Day and will make his debut in Winter Sweet Frost's race bike. "On A Sunny Day, she raced real big last time at Georgian (July 2); that was one heck of a trip. She fought off Trevor Henry's, Nifty Norman's, filly there (Magic Presto). That was a really, really super mile." Filion will also steer trotting colts Magic Night, Post 6 in Race 6, and R First Class, Post 6 in Race 8, pacing colts Yogi Bayama, Post 3 in Race 2, and Tymal Peacemaker, Post 8 in Race 9, and pacing fillies Soiree Seelster, Post 5 in Race 11, and Yaris Bayama, Post 2 in Race 12. The four-time winner of the Lampman Cup award as the top driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes, Filion noted that Tymal Peacemaker could be poised for a big effort in the third pacing colt division. The Stephane Larocque trainee heads into the event off a 1:51.2 victory in an overnight event at Mohawk on July 15. "Tymal Peacemaker really raced good his last start. His first Sires Stakes this year (July 1) I shut his air off, so he didn't race that good that night, but he bounced back pretty good, and he felt really good the other night," said Filion. "I know he drew the outside post (8), but I think if he races the way he did last time he should be really tough to beat in there." Looking at the nine Gold Series events, Mohawk announcer Ken Middleton sees a variety of interesting wagering propositions for fans looking for selections beyond the expected favourites. "Saturday's card should offer a number of value play possibilities in the Gold Series events. Especially with horses that are on a roll, but have yet to prove themselves at this elite level," said Middleton. "A prime example of a horse that fits the bill is Bills Fella (Post 2 in Race 5). He's a bit of a late bloomer who has started to come into his own in recent weeks for trainer Gregg McNair. "He'll hook up with two of last year's big name pacing colts in Sports Column and Arsenal Seelster, but it looks like he might be catching them at a good time," Middleton continued. "He's one I'd take a rip at if the price was 4-1 or higher." Saturday's contest marks the midway point in the sophomore Gold Series season, so all 74 hopefuls should be in top form as they battle for points toward a berth in their respective $225,000 Super Final. The top 10 point earners from each division will qualify for a spot in the Oct. 14 Super Finals at Mohawk. Post time for Saturday's talent-laden event at the Campbellville oval is 7:30 pm, with the three-year-olds starring in Races 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing  

JULY 11, 2017 - Defending Lampman Cup champion Sylvain Filion made the trip to Georgian Downs for the the harness racing two-year-old pacing filly Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots opener on Tuesday evening and delivered three trophies into the hands of delighted trainers and owners. A four-time winner of the Lampman Cup as the top driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program and currently sitting third in the point race, Filion opened the Grassroots event with a 1:55.3 score with Azure Seelster. The daughter of Shadow Play made a break going around the first turn, but recovered quickly and was leading the field of eight by the halfway marker. Azure Seelster powered home one and three-quarter lengths ahead of Raven Seelster, with Sunday Afternoon three more lengths back in third. "She's a little aggressive and going through the first turn she just couldn't handle the turn and made a break, but she made the nice recovery and she was game on after that," said Filion. "She held on tough, she raced good, really good." Filion piloted Azure Seelster to her first lifetime victory for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, QC, numbered companies 9099 3833 Quebec Inc. and 2745 5815 Quebec Inc. of Sorel-Tracy, QC and Paul Andre Lehoux of Sainte-Marie, QC. The partners acquired Azure Seelster from last fall's Forest City Yearling Sale for $55,000. The filly's dam, Winbak Alice, is a half-sister to former Ontario Sires Stakes star and $2 million winner Lady Shadow. After finishing third and fifth in the next two Grassroots divisions with a pair of fillies trained by Dany Fontaine, Filion was back in the winner's circle after the fourth division. The Milton, ON resident guided Askmysecretary to a 1:55.3 score over Daily Sports and Shadowofhersmile, who crossed the wire in lockstep, dead-heating for second. "We had a nice second over trip, almost amounted to disaster around the last turn when the horse in front of us (Ovation Seelster) made a break, but she was able to stay at it, and she just flew home," said Filion. "I pulled the plugs at the top of the stretch and she just kicked in another gear." Filion added that trainer Ted MacDonnell had made an equipment change before Tuesday's start that had a positive impact on Askmysecretary. Allenford resident MacDonnell shares ownership of the Mach Three daughter, a $35,000 yearling at the Forest City Sale, with Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke and Tony Lawrence of Hanover, ON. "They were very pleased with that race, she was way stronger than she was the last time I sat behind her," said Filion, who had piloted the filly to a seventh-place result in her first lifetime start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 3. Filion's final mount was the primary reason he decided to make the trip to Georgian Downs. The reinsman had qualified Shower Play twice, and in each mile the daughter of Shadow Play impressed him more. In the last $19,150 Grassroots division the pair went straight to the front from Post 3, fought off a challenge heading by the three-quarters and then sailed home four and one-quarter length winners in 1:56. Write Me A Song finished second and challenger Delaney R was third. "She's a real nice, big, strong filly and every time I've sat behind her, the further she went during the mile, the stronger she got," explained Filion. "Nobody could have went past her tonight I think. She felt real strong still at the wire, and with minimal urging. I see her improving her next couple starts again. I don't know, I might be wrong, but I can maybe see a Gold potential there." Rockwood, ON resident Rene Dion trains Shower Play for his partner Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood and Martin Leveillee of St-Blaire-Sure-Richelieu, QC. The filly was a $15,000 purchase from the Forest City Yearling Sale. Trainer Casie Coleman is also hoping to make a move up to the Gold Series with Play The Bell, who delivered the fastest mile of the five Grassroots divisions, stopping the teletimer at 1:53.1. Play The Bell rang up fractions of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:25 on her way to the one-half length victory over Oxford Comma. Last Symphony, with Filion at the helm, was six and one-quarter lengths behind the leaders in third. "She's been getting better and better. She trained with Summer Travel this week and trained really big with him," said Coleman, referring to a two-year-old pacing colt stablemate of Play The Bell's who was a dominant 1:51.4 winner in a two-year-old contest at Mohawk Racetrack on Tuesday. "I was mad at myself for not entering the Gold after she trained so well, but her first start (July 3) I wasn't all that happy with her so went Grassroots." Elora resident Bob McClure crafted the win for Coleman, who calls Cambridge home, her partners in the West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Mac Nichol of Burlington and Calhoun Racing Ltd. of Chatham, ON. Play the Bell, a daughter of Shadow Play and Bell Bottom Pans was a $60,000 acquisition from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. The other Grassroots trophy went home with another daughter of Shadow Play, Shadow World, who scored a 1:56.4 victory over Hammering Haley and Enchanted Eva. Jonathan Drury drove Shadow World to the win for trainer Colin Johnson of Repentigny, QC, Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON and Jean Mondoux of Laval, QC. The filly was a $32,000 purchase out of the Canadian Yearling Sale. The two-year-old pacing fillies will make their second Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 21. The Ontario Sires Stakes returns to Georgian Downs on Sunday, July 16 with the second Grassroots event of the two-year-old trotting filly campaign. Post time for Sunday's event is 6 pm OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JUNE 22, 2017 - Thursday, June 22 was an emotional day for harness racing driver Sylvain Filion. In the early morning hours the Milton, ON resident learned that his uncle, the legendary horseman Herve Filion, had passed away after a prolonged illness. Hours later Sylvain Filion was at Mohawk Racetrack, where he was scheduled to drive in nine of 10 races. In the first race he finished last, but he was the runner-up in the second and before the night was over he would record four victories, including one Grassroots triumph with three-year-old colt pacer Doc Semalu. "It was a pretty emotional day for me," admitted Filion at the end of the 10-race program. "I knew it was coming, we knew he was very sick, but it's always a shock when you hear that, you know." Filion's victories came in the fourth race with Toxicity, a three-year-old pacing gelding co-owned by his father Yves' Bayama Farms, in the sixth race with three-year-old trotting filly Royal Witch, in the seventh race with Grassroots competitor Doc Semalu, also co-owned by Bayama Farms, and in the ninth race with seven-year-old pacing gelding Crocadile Canyon. In addition to the four victories, Filion also recorded three runner-up finishes. Of the four victories, Filion's Grassroots triumph was particularly impressive, coming from Post 10 in Doc Semalu's first Ontario Sires Stakes start of the season. The pair was able to find a spot on the rail in fifth and held that position through fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.3 before finding space coming off the final turn. Manoeuvered into an open lane in the stretch, Doc Semalu sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory over Dream Of Luck and Master The View in a personal best 1:54. "He's got a few issues, but he's got lots of go in him, and we were lucky enough to find a spot there closer to the front and everything opened up in the lane," said Filion. "It worked out good for us. He showed some grit." The win was the Mach Three son's second straight, the first coming at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 15 with Yves Filion in the race bike. Stephane Larocque trains Doc Semalu for the elder Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC and Zoom And Fish Stable Inc. of Mont-Royal, QC. Doc Semalu Filion came close to making it five victories with Tremendous Play in the final $19,500 Grassroots division. After battling for the lead through the first two quarters the Shadow Play son did not have enough in reserve to secure the victory in the stretch, yielding to a fast closing Oak Island. Fan favourite Lindy The Kid also went by Tremendous Play, but caused interference while on a break and was placed back to seventh, elevating Tremendous Play to second and Bills Fella to third. "I thought he raced really, really good," said Filion of Tremendous Play, who is trained by Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon for Claude Gendreau Stable Inc. of Buffalo Grove, IL. "He raced tough tonight, real tough." Oak Island was piloted to the three and one-half length victory by Elora, ON resident Bob McClure. The 1:53.2 victory was the Vintage Master colt's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, and also marked trainer Justin Darling's first win in the provincial program. The Cambridge, ON resident conditions Oak Island for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Oak Island The other Grassroots trophy went home with Nascar Seelster, who got a head in front of Mach Déjà Vu and favourite Southwind General at the wire. Milton resident Randy Waples crafted the come-from-behind 1:53.1 score for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Mardon Stables of Loretto and James Walker of Port Perry, ON. Like Doc Semalu and Oak Island, Thursday marked Mach Three son Nascar Seelster's debut in the Grassroots winner's circle. All three colts will have an opportunity to add to their trophy collection in the third Grassroots event on July 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Nascar Seelster Filion's successful evening was a fitting tribute to his uncle Herve, whose talent and prodigious work ethic saw him finish many days with multiple wins, often at more than one racetrack. Inducted into both the Canadian and US Harness Racing Hall of Fames, Angers, QC native Herve Filion won an impressive 16 seasonal dash titles and was the world's leading money-winning driver seven times during a career that spanned six decades and 15,180 victories. Knowing that his uncle was at peace, free of pain, and that he would soon gather with family to share memories and offer support allowed Filion to concentrate on his evening's work, but at the end of the program the third-generation horseman was simply looking forward to heading home. "I'm just happy this night is over, you know," he said on his way back to Milton. "I'll go kiss my daughter." Mohawk Racetrack will host its seventh Ontario Sires Stakes event on Tuesday, June 27 with the three-year-old trotting colts preparing to battle in their second Gold Series event. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - If the morning line odds are true to form, then Louis-Philippe Roy will win Sunday afternoon's All-Star Drivers Tournament at the Hippodrome 3R. Then again, in past tournaments, the driver who is the morning line favorite, has never won. Louis-Philippe Roy (LPR) is the H3R driving champion last year and currently leads all drivers at the track early on this season. He is also the leading money winning driver in all of Canada so far, this year and is second in Canada in dash victories. But come this Sunday, LPR faces many of the world's top harness drivers in the second annual All-Star Drivers Tournament at H3R. Included in the line-up are Hall of Famer David Miller, returning tournament champion Jody Jamieson, two-time O'Brien Award Winning Driver of the Year, Sylvain Filion, Trotting Triple Crown winner last year, Scott Zeron, Grand Circuit driving champion Yannick Gingras, recent $529,000 Levy Series Final winning driver and Trois-Rivieres native, Daniel Dube and the return to Quebec after 17 years, Stephane Bouchard, who has 8,576 career wins. All eight drivers will compete in eight tournament races starting at 12:30 pm. The eight races are the 2nd through 9th events and the tournament prize is $10,000. Calculating from the morning line odds, LPR wins the tournament with 149 points, followed by Stephane Bouchard 140 points, Jody Jamieson (112) and Scott Zeron with 97 points. But as these tournaments have shown in the past, the morning line favorites usually do not prevail. Jamieson just got up last year in the last of the tournament races with a second place finish. The "tail of the tape" as they say, belongs to none other than David Miller. Inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame last year, Miller has been the Dan Patch Award Winning Driver of the Year the past two seasons. He leads all drivers in the competition with over 10,200 wins, $212 million in purses won and he is the oldest competitor at age 53. LPR is the youngest of the eight drivers at age 27. Just three years ago he was driving mainly on the Quebec Fair Circuit and the last year has surged to become a national leader. LPR has only 540 career wins and $3.5 million in earnings, more than half of those earnings since January 2017 when he joined the WEG circuit. Two weeks ago, he set a track record at H3R, winning eight of his eleven drives on one card. Yannick Gingras, Daniel Dube and Sylvain Filion are hometown favorites at H3R as well as LPR. The morning line stats are interesting in that every driver in the tournament has only one morning line favorite to drive. If that statistic comes true, then the winner of the tournament is the driver who can finish 2nd through 6th the most, earning as many placing points as possible. Points are 1st - 50, 2nd - 25, 3rd - 12, 4th - 8, 5th - 5 and 6th - 2 points. No points for 7th and 8th place. A driver with a horse that is scratched gets the average points they have earned in the tournament. Last year it was Jody Jamieson that won the inaugural tournament because he was the only driver to score points in every race. That was his key to victory. Reading the morning line "points earned" for the tournament is sort of like calling a long race with some interesting turn of events. It starts out with Scott Zeron going to the early lead followed by LPR with Miller stuck first-over and Bouchard second over. Dube then sweeps three-wide and gets in front of Miller, who is tiring. Yannick Gingras, who followed Dube three-wide, gets into second-over position while Zeron still leads the field and LPR sitting good in the pocket-seat. Jamieson then goes three-wide, loops Gingras, but can't get by Zeron as Miller fades to the back and Bouchard ends up following Jamieson with Sylvain Filion getting into the outside flow as they enter the backstretch. Miller, who was shuffled back to last, gets a second wind and follows Filion as LPR finds clearance at the three-quarters and goes after Zeron on the final turn. Coming for home, Filion is three-wide and coming on, Zeron and LPR are neck and neck starting down the stretch. Bouchard looped Miller and followed Filion and then tips four-wide as Dube looks for an opening as Miller and Gingras fade out of the picture. Jamieson gets live cover following LPR. Down to the finish it's LPR winning by a half-length over the late closing Bouchard with Jamieson third over Zeron, Dube and Filion finish in a dead heat for fifth place with Gingras and Miller at the back of the pack. Then again, Jamieson and Filion were not expected to do that well last year and Jamieson won it and Filion was third with John Campbell second. I guess that's why this competition can be so exciting. You never know who can win it! There will be an autograph, meet and greet, with all the drivers in the grandstand at H3R starting at 11:15 am Sunday morning. To watch and wager on the H3R races, visit most any wagering website. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

May 25, 2017 - As part of the Ontario Sires Stakes season opener on Sunday, May 21 harness racing trainer Mark Steacy and driver Sylvain Filion were honoured for their 2016 Johnston and Lampman Cup victories. As the three-year-old trotting and pacing colts kicked off the Confederation Cup program at Flamboro Downs, Steacy and Filion were presented with commemorative Citizen Eco-Drive watches from Ontario Racing Executive Director Rob Cook. Steacy earned his first Johnston Cup title in 2016 with a point tally of 269, generated from 132 starts, 14 wins, 13 seconds and 21 third-place finishes in Ontario Sires Stakes action. Twenty-six different horses carried the Steacy stable colours in OSS action last season, banking a total of $603,540. Among the Lansdowne, ON resident's top performers were three-year-old pacing filly Grassroots champion Forever Liza, sophomore trotting filly Royal Charm and colt Sass, and two-year-old trotting colt Dream Massive. In the second race of the evening, Dream Massive did his part to kick-start Steacy's defense of the Johnston Cup title with a 1:58.1 victory in the sophomore trotting colt Gold Series opener. The Johnston Cup was established in 1993 in memory of Bruce Johnston, publisher of The Canadian Sportsman magazine. It is awarded annually to the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program based on a point system that awards one point for each start, four points for each win, three points for each second and two points for each third. Filion achieved his second straight and fourth lifetime Lampman Cup winning season in 2016. Since his first win in 2012, the Milton, ON resident has only relinquished the title once, finishing third in 2014. Last season Filion teamed 199 Ontario Sires Stakes starters, recording 47 wins, 26 seconds and 23 thirds for earnings of $2,171,210 and 511 Lampman Cup points. Among Filion's top mounts were two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots champion Tymal Peacemaker, and division winners Streakavana (two-year-old pacing colt), Yaris Bayama (two-year-old pacing filly), Warrawee Roo (three-year-old trotting colt) and Emoticon Hanover (three-year-old trotting filly). The Lampman Cup has been awarded annually since 1987 and honours the memory of long time Ontario Jockey Club publicist Jim Lampman. Like the Johnston Cup, drivers are awarded one Lampman Cup point for each start, four points for each win, three points for each second and two points for each third. Steacy and Filion will have an opportunity to add to their 2017 point totals in the second Ontario Sires Stakes event of the season on Friday, May 26 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The three-year-old pacing colts will square off in two $95,600 Gold Series divisions in Races 3 and 6, part of the London oval's signature Molson Pace Night which gets under way at 7:05 pm. For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing

TORONTO, January 31 - Fresh off winning his fourth O'Brien Award as Canada's harness racing 'Driver of the Year', Sylvain Filion will be a celebrity guest at the upcoming Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner on Tuesday, February 7. The 15th annual Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner is coordinated by the Milton Chamber of Commerece and will be held at Rattlesnake Golf Club. The dinner and auction is hosted by Ken Reid of Rogers Sportsnet. Filion joins an impressive list of celebrity athletes that will be attending this year's event, including Hockey Hall of Fame members Paul Henderson and Paul Coffey, former Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, curling champion Rachel Homan, former NHL player Shayne Corson and Olympian Melissa Bishop. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction has become one of Milton's most talked about events, raising the profile of the Milton Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Scholarship Fund. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction brings together sports heroes and sports enthusiasts alike. Organized by a volunteer committee of Chamber members, the evening's program includes an autograph signing session, a cocktail reception, a gourmet meal, and a silent and live auction. Bidding on the live auction items, which in past years has featured golf packages, spa packages, autographed jerseys and sports memorabilia, is one of the highlights of the evening. The festivities conclude with the celebrity athletes gathering on stage for a question and answer session led by Reid. Proceeds from the event go towards the Chamber Scholarship Fund, which helps fund post-secondary education for local high school students. The Woodbine Entertainment Group is a proud sponsor of the Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased by emailing Cheryl@miltonchamber.ca or by clicking here. Mark McKelvie

On Saturday, January 28, Standardbred Canada announced harness racing's national champions at the 2016 O'Brien Awards, which honour Canada's best in harness racing over the past season. This was the 28th edition of the O'Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O'Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. It was a big night for several winners who took home more than one O'Brien trophy. Betting Line, co-owned and trained by Casie Coleman of Cambridge, Ont., who shares ownership with West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun and Mac Nichol, took home two O'Briens - one in the three-year-old pacing colt category and one as Canada's Horse of the Year. Marvin Katz of Toronto, Ont., and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ont., were honoured for the second consecutive year with the Armstrong Breeder of the Year Award, and their two-year-old trotting filly, Ariana G won the O'Brien in her division. Katz also shares ownership on Idyllic Beach who was honoured as Canada's Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year. Rick Zeron of Oakville, Ont., took home the O'Brien Award of Horsemanship and his two-year-old trotting colt, Mass Production was also honoured with an O'Brien. Driver Sylvain Filion, of Milton, Ont., and trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, Ont., added to their trophy collections, both winning National honours in their respective categories for the fourth time in their careers. Betting Line was almost perfect in 2016, finishing the season with 14 wins and a second in 15 races to go along with almost $1.7 million in earnings. The Bettor's Delight colt's victories included the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup, the Battle of the Brandywine, the Milstein Memorial, the Little Brown Jug, the Simcoe Stakes, and a sweep of all of his Ontario Sires Stakes races, including his OSS Super Final. What started as a partnership that focused on buying yearlings and racing horses has evolved into one of harness racing's most respected breeding enterprises for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Horses bred by this partnership won 29 races and purses in excess of $1.3 million in 2016. Their top horses were All The Time, O'Brien winner Ariana G, Princess Aurora and O Narutac Perfecto. Canada's Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the year, Ariana G won nine of 11 races and earned $804,245 during her rookie campaign. Stakes wins for the Muscle Hill filly included the Breeders Crown, Jim Doherty Memorial, Peaceful Way elimination and final, and New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship. Veteran horseman Rick Zeron continued to successfully compete as a trainer and driver on the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit. Last year he drove 116 winners and horses to almost $2.6 million in purse earnings, while training 49 winners and horses to $1.7 million in earnings, including Mass Production, winner of the O'Brien Award in the two-year-old trotting colt category. The Muscle Mass colt, Mass Production, won five of nine races and more than $285,000 during his rookie campaign. His victories included four Ontario Sires Stakes wins highlighted by a season's best 1:54.4 stakes record effort in the OSS Super Final. Sylvain Filion, a resident of Milton, Ont., won Canada's Driver of the Year title in 2012, 2013 and 2015 before collecting his fourth bronze for the 2016 season. In 2016, he drove 310 winners and led all Canadian drivers in the earnings column with more than $7.7 million, while joining the $100 million club for lifetime earnings. Filion was the regular driver for O'Brien champion, two-year-old pacing colt Beyond Delight. Richard Moreau, of Puslinch, Ont., took home his fourth consecutive O'Brien trophy. Moreau, who has been a regular on the WEG circuit for over 12 years, led all Canadian trainers in the wins column with 249 wins to his credit and trained the winners of nearly $4.0 million. Louis-Philippe Roy was recognized as the Future Star winner. In 2016, the Mont-Joli, QC resident put together some phenomenal numbers, winning 233 races and driving horses to earnings of more than $1 million. Roy was the leading dash winning driver at Hippodrome 3R and Rideau Carleton Raceway. Idyllic Beach was honoured in the two-year-old pacing filly division. She hit the board in all of her 14 races, boasted eight wins and almost $730,000 in purse earnings. Major stakes wins for the Somebeachsomewhere filly included the Shes A Great Lady elimination and final at Mohawk Racetrack, along with the Kentuckiana Stakes at Hoosier Park, and the International Stallion Stake at The Red Mile. The Bettor's Delight colt Beyond Delight, winner in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt category, won three of 11 races and more than $423,000 for his connections. His three wins were major ones as he swept the elimination and final of the Metro Pace and won a division of the Champlain Stakes, all at Mohawk Racetrack. L A Delight picked up her second consecutive O'Brien trophy after putting together another stellar season as a sophomore, winning nine races in 19 starts and more than $787,000. The three-year-old pacing filly was perfect in the Ontario Sires Stakes events, sweeping six of six, including the season-ending Super Final. She posted a life's best 1:49.1 in winning the Nadia Lobell at The Meadows. Lady Shadow also won her second consecutive O'Brien Award in the Older Pacing Mare category. She put together another profitable season with 12 victories and more than $945,000 in earnings. She was strong throughout the season, sweeping the elimination and final of the Roses Are Red, the Milton Stakes, and the elimination and final of the Breeders Crown before capping her year with a win in the TVG FFA at The Meadowlands. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the sport's richest harness horse last season with $1.8 million bankrolled was voted Canada's Older Pacing Horse of the Year. He never finished worse than third in his 24 races which included 15 wins and a mark of 1:47.2 posted in the Graduate Final at The Meadowlands. The multiple stakes winner captured Canada's oldest stakes event, The Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack and also secured runner-up finishes in the Confederation Cup and Prix d'Été on Canadian soil. Caprice Hill won her second consecutive O'Brien, after a profitable campaign in 2016 with eight wins in 15 starts and purses in excess of $630,000 for her connections. The Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year won three of four Ontario Sires Stakes events, the Casual Breeze, Simcoe Stakes and was runner-up in the Hambletonian Oaks. Marion Marauder took divisional honours as Canada's Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year. He was a winner of 10 of 15 starts, became the ninth Trotting Triple Crown winner in 2016 -- and first since 2006 -- by sweeping the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, and Kentucky Futurity. The son of Muscle Hill won the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial en route to a season that amassed more than $1.5 million in purses, topping the North American earnings charts for all trotters. The incredible trotting mare Hannelore Hanover won 17 of 20 races and earned $1.1 million in purses, leading all female trotters in earnings and winning the O'Brien in her division. Her victories included the Breeders Crown Mare Trot and the Hambletonian Maturity, where she defeated male rivals. She also beat the boys in the Centaur Trotting Classic in addition to winning the Armbro Flight Stakes, TVG Series championship for female trotters, Fresh Yankee, Muscle Hill, and Miami Valley Distaff. Her mile time of 1:51 in winning the Armbro Flight equaled the world record for a four-year-old trotting mare. Flanagan Memory was recognized as Older Trotting Horse of the Year. The now seven-year-old son of Kadabra won six of 14 races including the Allerage, and the Breeders Crown Championship, and banked more than $663,000 last season. This was his second O'Brien Award as he won Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt honours in 2013. The Media Excellence Awards and Outstanding Groom Award were also presented at the O'Brien Awards gala. Teesha Symes, 27, of Cambridge, Ont., was recognized with the Outstanding Groom Award for 2016. Symes has worked for O'Brien Award winner Dr. Ian Moore for the last decade, and full-time since 2012. The Springhill, N.S. native cared for State Treasurer, Canada's Horse of the Year in 2015, throughout his racing career. In addition to State Treasurer, Symes went on the road to care for Rockin In Heaven the past two years and also cared for many of the Moore Stables' two-year-olds.  Keith McCalmont of Toronto, Ont. won in the Outstanding Written Work category for his contribution to the 'Remembering Those Lost' feature, published in the February 2016 issue of TROT Magazine. McCalmont talked to some of the trainers and owners most affected by the tragic barn fire at Classy Lane Training Centre and asked them to share some memories of their beloved horses. Woodbine Entertainment's 2016 Pepsi North America Cup broadcast in HD won the Media Excellence Award in the Outstanding Video, Film or Broadcast category. 'The Pepsi North America Cup' aired across Canada on the TSN2 television network on Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 10:00 - 11:00 p.m. The 60-minute special broadcast of the $1- Million Pepsi North America Cup aired in high definition and featured live race coverage of the main event as well as a feature on Emprize Hanover and her two foals. Clive Cohen's photo of October racing at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ont. was the winner in the Outstanding Photography category. This marked the third time that Cohen has won in this category. Cohen's photo was taken on October 1, 2016, at Mohawk Racetrack and published later that night on the WEG Standardbred Instagram feed. Cohen is the resident track photographer for Standardbred racing at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks.  Here is a complete list of winners and their respective owners: 2016 O'BRIEN AWARD WINNERS PACERS TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER Idyllic Beach Owned by Christina Takter, East Windsor, NJ - John Fielding, Toronto, ON - Brixton Medical Inc., Matawan, NJ and Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON   TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT PACER Beyond Delight Owned by Jeffrey Snyder, Michael Snyder, New York, NY and Four Friends Racing Stable LLC, Moorestown, NJ   THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER L A Delight Owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON - CSX Stables, Liberty Center, OH, and Al McIntosh Holdings, Inc., Leamington, ON   THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT PACER Betting Line Owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge, ON, Christine Calhoun, Chatham, ON and Mac Nichol, Burlington, ON   OLDER PACING MARE Lady Shadow Owned by David Kryway, Amherstburg, ON, Carl Atley, Xenia, OH, Ed Gold, Phoenixville, PA and BFJ Stable, Philadelphia, PA   OLDER PACING HORSE Wiggle It Jiggleit Owned by George Teague Jr Inc., Harrington DE - Teague Racing Partnership, Boynton Beach, FL   TROTTERS TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER Ariana G Owned by Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON & Al Libfeld, Pickering, ON   TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT TROTTER Mass Production Owned by Rick Zeron Stables, Oakville, ON- James Walker, Port Perry, ON- Bruno Dipoce, Wasaga Beach, ON and Rene Allard, Matamoras, PA   THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER Caprice Hill Owned by Tom Hill, Hamilton, ON   THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT TROTTER Marion Marauder Owned by Marion Jean Wellwood, Stratford, ON & Devin Keeling, Cambridge, ON   OLDER TROTTING MARE Hannelore Hanover Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown - Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA - Frank Baldachino, Clarksburg, NJ - J And T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   OLDER TROTTING HORSE Flanagan Memory Owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny - Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC   HORSE OF THE YEAR Betting Line Owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge, ON, Christine Calhoun, Chatham, ON and Mac Nichol, Burlington, ON   PEOPLE AWARDS O'BRIEN AWARD OF HORSEMANSHIP Rick Zeron, Oakville, ON   ARMSTRONG BREEDER OF THE YEAR Marvin Katz, Toronto, ON / Al Libfeld, Pickering, ON   DRIVER OF THE YEAR Sylvain Filion, Milton, ON   TRAINER OF THE YEAR Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   FUTURE STAR AWARD Louis Philippe Roy, Mont-Joli, QC   ADDITIONAL AWARDS PRESENTED AT THE O'BRIEN AWARDS Outstanding Groom Award Teesha Symes, Cambridge, ON Standardbred Canada's Media Excellence Awards Written Work - Keith McCalmont Broadcast - Woodbine Entertainment Group Photography - Clive Cohen     Jeff Porchak  

On Tuesday, harness racing's newest inductee to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Yves Filion, will be feted before the Quebec National Assembly in Quebec City. Filion, and his renowned Bayama Farms, are names that have resounded throughout North America in harness racing over the last few decades, and have resonated with the name of his home province, Quebec. Sponsored by his deputy in Argenteuil, Yves St-Denis, Yves Filion will be honored before the National Assembly with a special tribute for his immense contributions to the development of harness racing in Quebec for many years. Yves comes from a family steeped in harness racing history, the Filion's, which made itself known at all the North American Standardbred racetracks. But beyond the name Filion, there is the name Yves, a man who built himself and whom he radiated by his own exploits. For more than fifty years in the racing industry does not necessarily bring success, but for Yves, that was the case. Goliath Bayama, Leader Bayama, Rebeka Bayama, Naomi Bayama, Lady Bayama, champions of their time, is the fruit of the passionate work of a man who has possessed all the keys to this difficult art of developing champions. "This is such an honor," Filion said, "Something special that can happen only once in a lifetime. I am very proud and at a loss for words to express my feelings. With this honor and my induction to the Hall of Fame in August, it has made for a very good year. "If not for the many owners who supported me," Filion added, "My career would not have been so fulfilling. I must thank many of my owners including Réal Bélanger, Brian Paquet, Jacques Damours, Luc Paiement, Gaston Bibeau, Sylvain Deschenaux, Serge Godin, Gene Kruger, Normand Mondou and others helped me a great deal." Filion, 68, from Saint-Andre-D'Argent, has been one of Quebec's premier drivers and trainers for the better part of 30 years. He has driven in over 18,000 races and has 4,387 victories and earnings of over $26.7 million to his credit. He's also trained 273 winners and horses to earnings of nearly $3.7 million, and bred many successful horses at his Bayama Farms. Two of the most successful horses that he developed, trained and drove were millionaire pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama. Yves trained and drove Runnymede Lobell to victory in the 1988 North America Cup, his richest of 31 victories. Runnymede Lobell won over $1.6 million during his career. Goliath Bayama was another millionaire that Yves not only trained but bred. Considered his top trainee, Goliath Bayama won 25 races with earnings of over $1.5 million in his career. After his two-year-old season, Yves turned the driving duties over to his son Sylvain. The pair combined for a runner up finish in the North America Cup in his three-year-old campaign. As an older pacer, Goliath won both the Breeders Crown in 1:48.4 and then the US Pacing Championship in 1:48.2 in 2001 at the Meadowalnds. On August 19, 2001, Filion's Goliath Bayama set a Canadian record of 1:48.1 at Hippodrome de Montreal and then another of his trainees, Ring of Life, a horse he had purchased as a yearling, captured the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. Filion's son, Sylvain drove both horses. Filion also bred, owned and trained the top pacing mare Rebeka Bayama, a multiple stakes winner who won 23 races and over $690,000 during her career. Filion also bred, trained and owned a number of Quebec champions including Goodtime Bayama, Sandy Bayama and Le Brave. Yves is a brother to Hall of Famer Herve Filion and the youngest of eight boys and two girls. His son, Sylvain Filion, was Canada's Driver of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2015. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

CAMPBELLVILLE, November 11 - The 2016 Mohawk harness racing meet is set to close Monday evening and there will be zero drama in the race for top driver and top trainer. On Saturday evening, Sylvain Filion and Richard Moreau were recognized as leading driver and trainer, respectively, during the 2016 meet. Filion leads all drivers with 190 wins entering Monday's final card of the meet. Trevor Henry sits second in the standings with 143 victories. Filion's large lead in the wins category is topped by his impressive advantage in the earnings category. The Milton, Ontario resident has driven the winners of over $5.1 million during the Mohawk meet, $2.1 million more than Henry ($3 million). Over on the training side, Moreau enters the final card of the Mohawk meet with 93 victories, 36 wins ahead of nearest rival Carmen Auciello. Moreau's stable has earned over $1.8 million this season at Mohawk, which is second only to Jimmy Takter's earnings of $2 million. Filion and Moreau's strong numbers during the Mohawk meet have them well-ahead to capture their second consecutive WEG Driving and Training titles. An 11-race card will wrap up the 2016 Mohawk meet Monday. Filion has 10 drives on the card, while Moreau has five horses scheduled to compete. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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