September 25, 2016

Long-Term Lease For OLG, Mohawk

September 23, 2016 – Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) today announced it has reached a long-term lease agreement with the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) for gaming operations at Mohawk Racetrack in Milton.

“At Woodbine Entertainment Group, our mission is to support the foundation and lead the growth of the Ontario horse racing industry,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of WEG. “This long-term lease agreement signifies a positive step forward for the industry and helps us pave the way for future investments at Mohawk. We look forward to fulfilling our core mandate of achieving the highest quality of horse racing and ensuring that Mohawk is a world class Standardbred racing facility.”

In addition, WEG and OLG were able to reach an agreement which provides for the continuation of WEG’s Hospitality services for the Mohawk gaming operations.

“This lease and the food and beverage agreement are great news for our employees and local horsemen and provides them with some much needed certainty,” Mr. Lawson added.

The completion of the lease agreement will provide reassurance to the province’s Standardbred racing and breeding industry and allow Mohawk to thrive as the hub of the sport in Ontario.

“This announcement provides security for horse people and horse breeders, and confirms government is committed to working with the industry,” said Rob Cook, Executive Director for Ontario Racing. “Ontario Racing welcomes the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s continued dedication to leveraging their expertise for the growth of our sport.”

The Mohawk Racetrack site has been host to horse racing since 1963 and gaming operations since 1999. It’s the home of the Pepsi North America Cup, one of the continent’s leading Standardbred races, and will host the Milton Stakes on Saturday evening.

(with files from WEG)

(Standardbred Canada)

Betting Line Wins The Little Brown Jug

September 22, 2016 – Betting Line paced a world record 1:49 mile in the second heat of the Little Brown Jug on Thursday, September 22 at the Delaware County Fairground in Ohio, as the Ontario Sired son of Bettors Delight captured the 71st edition of the Jug in straight heats for trainer Casie Coleman and driver David Miller.

The mile time matches Wiggle It Jiggleit’s 2015 Jug clocking as the fastest ever paced by a three-year-old over a half-mile track (Wiggle It Jiggleit still holds the gelding mark).

Owned by Coleman’s West Wins Stable (of Cambridge, Ont.) along with Christine Calhoun (Burlington, Ont.) and Mac Nicol (Burlington, Ont) Betting Line came first-up for Miller in the second quarter of the race, made the lead in the vicinity of the half-mile pole and did not look back whatsoever.

Fellow opening-heat victor Western Fame (driven by Mark MacDonald) had cut the opening quarter in :26.4. Miller bided his time with Betting Line from third and came calling as the field raced through the homestretch for the first time. It was in the vicinity of the :54.4 half-mile pole where Betting Line assumed control of the proceedings.

Betting Line paced a solid third panel (:27), but it was in the final quarter where the brown colt showed his motor to everyone. Miller knew it was his race to lose at that point, so ‘The Buckeye’ went to work a bit. He spoke to Betting Line for good measure and even gave him a bit of the high-line treatment just to make sure the end result was never in doubt.

And what an end result it was.

Miller and Betting Line paced hard off the final turn and jetted through the lane unchallenged, expanding their multi-length lead with every stride. Betting Line was firing on all cylinders when he hit the wire in 1:49, which was a world record for a three-year-old pacing colt over a half-mile track.

“Huge day. It’s unbelievable,” said co-owner Nichol, during the winner’s circle proceedings. “There’s no bottom to this horse. I’ve never seen the bottom of this horse, ever.”

Betting Line ($2.20) bested Western Fame, who finished second for pilot Mark MacDonald. Manhattan Beach finished third for Matt Kakaley. Lyons Snyder (driven by Sylvain Filion) and Dr J Hanover (Scott Zeron) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

The victory was the third career Little Brown Jug win for Coleman and the fourth for Miller, who is currently the unofficial reinsman to beat over the blazing-fast half-mile course.

Announcer Roger Huston asked Miller – possibly tongue in cheek – if the win was as easy as it looked. “Yeah… it was pretty easy,” said the very humble Miller. “[Betting Line] was great both trips, and I’m so glad for all the connections and the horse to win the Little Brown Jug.”

Miller went on to say, “I enjoy each and every one of them (Jug wins), and this one was special.”

“I love the Jug. Everybody knows I’ve always been supportive of the Jug,” Coleman, who was just married days before, said in the winner’s circle. “I think I pay every horse I have – I have some cheaper horses that I pay into this race just hoping they’re good enough to come. Every single year I’ll be here supporting it as long as I have a horse good enough.”

Coleman also stated that Betting Line still has the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals and Breeders Crown on his dance card, but he was not paid up to upcoming stakes at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky. Coleman did say that no decision has been made at this time as to whether they will supplement Betting Line to the Red Mile Grand Circuit stakes.

With the win in the Jug final, Betting Line extended his winning streak to 13, which includes scores in the Pepsi North America Cup, Carl Milstein Memorial, the Battle of the Brandywine, Simcoe Stakes and multiple OSS events.

Betting Line’s Jug win made for a Bettors Delight sweep of Jug and Jugette, as L A Delight captured the latter over the course one day prior.

Prior to the first heat, the USTA’s Harness Racing Communications reported that a controversy that had been brewing behind the scenes since early this morning came to a head. It involved a lost cell phone belonging to one of winning trainer Casie Coleman’s employees that was found on the backstretch with a message on it that trainers Ron Burke, Jimmy Taker and Tony Alagna brought to the attention of the judges because they interpreted it as a message directing her employee to give something to the horse this morning. Coleman explained that she was referring to yogurt that Betting Line gets twice a day.

According to HRC, the three other trainers, who had nine of the 11 horses in the Jug, asked the judges to scratch the eventual Jug winner and protested Betting Line’s participation with a threat to scratch their horses if their protest was not accepted. As a show of their protest, the three other trainers demanded that Betting Line leave for the post parade five minutes earlier than the rest of the field for the first Jug heat.

“The horsemen expressed their concerns to the Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC),” said the official statement from the Little Brown Jug following the race. “Little Brown Jug officials worked with the OSRC and the horsemen and we are pleased that the horsemen participated in our event. At this point it is an OSRC decision.”


Western Fame and driver Mark MacDonald played some serious hardball in the second opening-heat division of the Little Brown Jug, as the Western Ideal colt thwarted all comers and scorched a gate-to-wire mile in a 1:50.1.

Trained by Jimmy Takter, Western Fame ($23.40) was blessed with Post 1 in the five-horse field. MacDonald knew what the deal was and ended up attacking the speed course with all that Western Fame had.

Racing Hill, the heavy favourite in the race, also had his sights on the early lead, as driver Brett Miller fired off the starting gate from Post 2. Western Fame and Racing Hill went full bore into the first turn, and MacDonald was not willing to give an inch.

MacDonald and Western Fame parked Racing Hill to the :26.4 opening quarter and left his foe taking air on the outside through the second panel. Racing Hill was parked past the :53.4 half-mile marker, where Big Top Hanover (Yannick Gingras) sat in the garden spot on the rail.

MacDonald and Western Fame continued to roll through the third panel. Gingras smelled blood in the water at that point and tipped Big Top Hanover out from second for a first-over attack. The duel was on at the hot 1:22.1 third call and MacDonald was doing all he could to keep Western Fame on his business into the lane.

It was in the lane where it became apparent that Western Fame was not going to give up the lead to anyone. He and MacDonald were able to keep Big Top Hanover at bay, although the margin of victory was not large. Even though he raced a very taxing mile, Racing Hill was able to hang onto third.

“It was kind of an all-or-nothing drive,” MacDonald said in a post-race interview. “There wasn’t a whole lot of action in the opening elimination, so I wanted to give the people a show,” MacDonald said, with a smirk.

It was back in 2006 when Takter and MacDonald hooked up at the Jug and set a then-two-heat world Record with Mr Feelgood.

“I’m happy standing here with Mark,” Takter said afterward. “We did it (won the Jug) ten years ago, and hopefully we do it again in about an hour.”

Western Fame is a homebred of Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky.

Western Fame, Big Top Hanover and Racing Hill all advanced to the final, as did fourth-place finisher Manhattan Beach.

The 1:50.1 clocking was a national season’s record for a three-year-old male pacer over a half-mile track, and it also was a mark-lowering mile for Western Fame.

Post positions for the second heat were released shortly after. It was also announced that Racing Hill and Check Six were subsequently scratched.

Post positions for the second heat appear below.

1 – Western Fame – Mark MacDonald
2 – Betting Line – David Miller
3 – Lyons Snyder – Sylvain Filion
4 – Big Top Hanover – Yannick Gingras
5 – Dr J Hanover – Scott Zeron
6 – Racing Hill – Brett Miller (SCRATCHED)
7 – Check Six – Yannick Gingras (SCRATCHED)
8 – Manhattan Beach – Matt Kakaley


Betting Line captured his 12th straight win with a confident 1:50.4 score in the first heat of the 2016 Little Brown Jug.

David Miller dropped the 1-5 favourite into fifth early as Check Six (Yannick Gingras) fronted the field through the :27.1 opening panel. Dr J Hanover (Scott Zeron) sat the pocket in front of Stolen Glimpse (Matt Kakaley) and Lyons Snyder (Sylvain Filion).

Miller started the outer flow heading to the half by right-lining Betting Line out of fifth. That move prompted Filion to pull with Lyons Snyder through the :56 half. Lyons Snyder made gains on Check Six with every stride, eventually getting his nose past the early pacesetter by the 1:23.4 third station.

Miller then edged Betting Line three-wide around the final turn and gave his charge daylight heading into the stretch. Betting Line powered past the front pair with ease and hit the wire in 1:50.4. Lyons Snyder, Dr J Hanover and Check Six completed the top four and those colts advance to the second heat.

The time of the mile established a new national season’s record for three-year-old colt pacers on a half-mile track.

Betting Line (Bettors Delight – Heathers Western) is trained by Casie Coleman of Cambridge, Ont., and owned by West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Christine Calhoun of Chatham and Mac Nichol of Burlington, Ont.

“I’m really happy we decided to take the invite when Northfield was nice enough to invite us to race there now because he never did that to me on a big track all that much,” noted Coleman. “We brought his hopples up an inch today and had a little sharper headpole on the inside…he’s got a jawbreaker [bit] on also to help David steer him around the turns.”

Coleman expressed no concern about drawing the post two over the rail, saying she’d be fine with either one.

Driver David Miller stated that the race played out much like it did in his mind beforehand.

“Actually it worked out just like I thought it would. Yannick left and I was able to pick up good cover. And he took me farther than I thought he would,” noted Miller. “My horse seemed strong the whole way….he’s been a great horse and a pleasure to drive. I know he had a little hiccup there at Northfield but [Casie]’s got him figured out.”


Four-year-old Conway Hall mare Barn Doll ($5.60) and driver Jeff Gregory utilized a decisive quarter-pole move to make the lead early and not look back, as the duo captured the $120,000 final of the Ms. Versatility in a sharp 1:53.2.

Gregory, who co-owns Barn Doll with the Jesmeral Stable of Scarsdale, New York, left well from Post 4. He opted to quickly brush to the lead from the two-hole and cleared to the engine before the :27.4 timer flashed to life.

Barn Doll’s competition began to rev up in the second quarter, and that competition came in the form of Charmed Life, who advanced first-over in the second panel and was right there with Barn Doll. The duo raced each other past the :57.1 opening half-mile marker and the 1:24.4 three-quarters station.

Barn Doll stayed on her game through the lane and was first to the wire in 1:53.2. Charmed Life held on for second, while Sky Hanover held third to finish on the board.

The win was the 18th of Barn Doll’s 35-race career, and the winner’s share of the purse pushed her bankroll over the $700,000 mark.


He’s been knocking on the door in some recent stakes but Blenheim finally clicked for a winning effort in the 2016 $122,500 Old Oaken Bucket for three-year-old trotting colts & geldings.

John Campbell dropped the fourth choice into fourth while Tight Lines (Jeff Gregory) fronted the field through early fractions of :27.2 and :56.3. Just before the half, Campbell gave Blenheim the signal and started the first-over grind. That move gave cover to favoured Cufflink Hanover (David Miller) heading into the final half-mile.

Blenheim continued to steadily stalk the leader through the backstretch and made it to second as the field passed the three-quarter station in 1:25.1. Campbell kept Blenheim on task and eventually forged past pacesetting Tight Lines in mid-stretch to trip the timer in 1:54. Cufflink Hanover tipped off Campbell’s helmet at the head of the lane but couldn’t catch his rival and settled for second, with Tight Lines staying for third. The time of the mile set a new national season’s record for a three-year-old gelding trotter on a half-mile track and matches Blenheim’s lifetime mark.

“It’s a tough race to win, especially with a ten-horse field and this horse, he had to do it overland and without cover and went a real strong race,” said Campbell in the winner’s circle.

Campbell drove the son of Yankee Glide – Are Your Ready for trainer Per Henriksen and owners Steve Organ and Asa Farm of Ontario and Thomas Nurmi of Washington, D.C. Campbell was appreciative for the opportunity to drive such a talented colt.

“There’s lots of guys to choose from around here so I was thankful to get a live drive going for $122,000. That’s a good deal for me.”


McLucky was the initial winner of the first $35,325 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers, but he was placed back to second for causing interference. The bay had raced first-up through the middle half-mile of the race. McLucky caused interference to Scotch McEwan near the three-quarters pole. Scotch McEwan ($3.00) and driver Josh Sutton were racing three wide when McLucky caused interference to them. Scotch McEwan made a demonstrative break of stride due to the interference, but Sutton got the son of McArdle back on gait. Scotch McEwan and Sutton closed well and fended off the rest of the closers with the Jim Dailey trainee. McLucky (David Miller) was placed second and Barnabas (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) finished third.

Driver David Miller steered trainer Brian Brown’s McThriller ($5.60) to a track record performance in the $35,325 second division of the OBCs for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The McArdle gelding raced in the backfield in the opening half mile, but Miller had him advancing three wide at the three-quarters of a mile mark. The duo caught some luck at that point, as the leader, McGold, broke stride. That allowed Miller and McThriller to do their thing along the final turn and through the lane. McThriller went on to stop the clock in 1:53.4. LifewithJohn (Kyle Ater) finished second and Buckeye President (Brett Miller) was third.

Winwood Mac ($5.00) showed some speed and steering issues, but the son of Canyon Wind got the job done in the first $50,170 division of the OBC for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The bay gelding left hard from Post 4 and diced the fractions (:26.2, :54.4, 1:22.4) for driver Yannick Gingras. ‘The Green Hornet’ had to keep Winwood Mac straight on the turns, and those issues were evident on the final bend, when Winwood Mac again had issues. Regardless of that, the gelding did hang on in the :29.2 final quarter to post a 1:52.1 win for his co-owning trainer, Ron Burke. “He has a big engine, but he doesn’t like to turn that much,” Gingras said afterward. World Of Gaming (David Miller) closed well to finish second and Winna Winna (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) turned a second-over trip into a third-place finish.

Miss Me Yet ($8.40) was tops in the first $47,000 OBC division for three-year-old pacing fillies, as the Im Gorgeous bay went gate to wire from Post 6 and hit the wire in a new stakes record of 1:52.3. The time also equalled Miss Me Yet’s lifetime mark. The fractions were cut in :27.2, :55.2 and 1:23.1. The Brenda Teague trainee fought off the first-over My Tweed Heart throughout the majority of the mile. When all was said and done, My Tweed Heart succumbed to her taxing trip and missed the board. NPR Nine (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) came three-wide on the final turn and finished second, while Crazy Bad K (Ken Holliday) turned a cone-skimming pocket ride into a third-place finish.

The second $50,170 division of the OBC three-year-old colt and gelding pace saw driver Kayne Kauffman steer Mr Wiggle Pants ($3.60) to a gate-to-wire score from Post 3 for trainer Jim Mulinix in 1:52.2. The bay son of Mr Wiggles cut the fractions in :27.1, :57 and 1:24.4. Whataboy (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) turned a pocket trip in to a second-place finish, while Hustling Charley (David Miller), who raced first-up from the second quarter onward, finished third. Mr Wiggle Pants has now won 11 of his 21 career races.

Big Bad Bruce ($5.00) captured the third $35,325 OBC division for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings for driver Chris Page and trainer David Wornstaff. The Big Bad John colt separated himself from the rest of the field during the final quarter. After having left well from Post 2, Page worked out a two-hole trip for Big Bad Bruce through the fractions (:27, :55.4, 1:25.1). It was on the final turn when Page asked Big Bad Bruce, and he responded in full. The colt shot off his cover, zipped to the lead and held off the backfield, which was sparring for the place and show dough. Shooter McGavin (Kayne Kauffman) fired from second-over to finish second, while Trial By Fire (Tim Tetrick) rallied from the backfield to finish third. Big Bad Bruce has now won six of his 10 career starts for Wornstaff, who also owns.

After a close runner-up finish in the Ohio Sires Stakes Final, Queen Ann M made every call a winning one in the second $47,000 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for three-year-old pacing fillies. The daughter of Big Bad John and driver Chris Page fronted the field through splits of :27.2, :56.3 and 124.4 before closing the deal with a :29.1 split to hit the wire first in 1:54. Pocket sitter Naked By Nine (Sandy Beatty) finished second while Wiggler (Yannick Gingras) closed off cover to complete the triactor.

Trained by Mike Roth, Queen Ann M is owned by Alan Keith, and Carl & Melanie Atley of Ohio.

The fourth and final division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for freshman pacing colts went to Dancin Rebel, who made an eye-catching backside brush three-wide to collar leader Up On The Outside (Brady Galliers) by the three-quarter mark. Dancin Rebel couldn’t clear around the final turn but pulled clear in the stretch for the win in 1:53.2, a lifetime best. The time of the mile also matched the stakes record.

Peter Wrenn engineered the winning trip behind Dancin Rebel for trainer Melanie Wrenn and owners Gene Oldford Farms LLC and The Kales Company LLC of Michigan along with Wrenn Racing LLC of Indiana.


Hes On A Mission ($5.60) was at the right place at the right time in the first $32,050 division of the Standardbred for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The Groton Hall gelding trotted home a winner after the leader, Lars Perry (Yannick Gingras), broke stride in late stretch. Hes On A Mission had raced first-over in the lane and went on to nail the wire in a mark-lowering 1:58.3 for driver Tim Tetrick and co-owning trainer Stacey Ruddick. Brand New Key (David Miller) took a two-hold trip and finished second, while Lars Perry held on for third.

It was world-record time in the second $32,050 division of the Standardbred for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, as the heavily-favoured Don Dream ($2.80) was on his toes for driver David Miller and trainer Chris Oakes. The Donato Hanover colt left from Post 3, cut all the fractions (:28.1, 57.3, 1:26.4) and stopped the clock in 1:55. The bay has now won four of his eight career starts for owners Michelle and Albert Crawford (Cazenovia, NY) and Susan Oakes (Wilkes-Barre, PA). The 1:55 clocking is the fastest mile ever trotted by a two-year-old over a half-mile track. Moonshiner Hanover raced a two-hole trip and finished second, while Andy M made up ground from the backfield to finish third.


Three-year-old Big Bad John gelding Prince Giovanni ($7.00) got the day’s action underway, as the bay gelding paced to a life’s mark 1:54.4 in the first $3,900 division of the Ohio Fair Racing Conference Stakes (OFRC). He grinded first-over into the lane and prevailed in a photo finish for driver Brett Miller and trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. The dash took place during the morning’s two-race ‘early card,’ which also featured the opening division of the Standardbred, which was won by Hes On A Mission….. Driver David Miller and trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. clicked in the opening race of the full Jug Day card, as the favoured Tail Gunner Hall ($2.60) recorded a gate-to-wire mile in 1:52.4 in a conditioned race….. Off of a strong first-over rush in the third quarter, Stand Tall ($24.40) shot to the lead from third, cleared to the lead, and trotted off to a solid 1:52.4 win in the $12,000 final of the Signature Series. Brett Miller performed the driving duties for trainer Mark Winters Sr. The 1:52.4 clocking was a mark-equalling mile for the eight-year-old Stand Forever gelding….. Im Sorry Charlie ($18.20) hit the wire first in his OFRC division for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Driver Brett Miller popped the pocket in the vicinity of the three-quarters pole and Im Sorry Charlie went on to nail the wire in 1:54 for trainer Jim Arledge Jr….. Three-year-old Big Bad John gelding Donald Doc ($7.00) and driver Kayne Kauffman shunned their Post 7 start in their $3,900 OFRC division and went on to post a gate-to-wire win in 1:57.4. Ryan Miller trains the flashy grey.

Whiskey Tax Wires Them Up

September 22, 2016 – Randy Waples stole soft fractions for Whiskey Tax in Thursday’s $27,000 featured trot at Mohawk Racetrack, and the veteran performer out-sprinted his foes to the line en route to a 1:53.4 triumph.

Whiskey Tax, an eight-year-old son of Revenue S-Bourbon Belle, shot to the top from Post 4 and cruised through comfortable panels of :28.4, :57.4 and 1:25.3. The gelding kicked home in :28.1 when called on for sprinting speed, and that was good enough to earn him the half-length win over race favourite Intimidate. Rubber Duck, who came first-over around the final turn, was third.

Sent off at odds of 3-1, Whiskey Tax improved this year’s record to 3-2-4 from 14 starts for trainer Tom Durand, who shares ownership on the classy campaigner with June Durand and Allan Smith. The 17-time winner is quickly closing in on $1-million in lifetime earnings. He currently sits at $991.930.

To view results for Thursday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.

(Standardbred Canada)

L A Delight Wins Jugette

September 21, 2016 – Hall of Famers John Campbell and Bob McIntosh clicked in the $143,640 second heat of the Jugette with L A Delight on Wednesday, September 21 at Ohio’s Delaware County Fair. The daughter of Bettors Delight hauled down Call Me Queen Be, who had paced to a world record performance earlier in the afternoon.

L A Delight is a homebred of Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. (of Windsor, Ont.), the CSX Stables (Liberty Center, Ohio), and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. (Leamington, Ont.). Campbell had steered L A Delight just once prior to Jugette Day. ‘Mr. Harness Racing’ sat behind her in the Jugette’s opening heat and had finished second to Call Me Queen Be in her 1:50.1 world record mile.

Courtesy of her sizzling win in the opening heat, Call Me Queen Be (driven by Scott Zeron) started from Post 1 in the second heat. Campbell and L A Delight started right alongside them in Post 2.

The pair of horses sat ‘one-two’ throughout the course of the mile. Zeron shot off the wings of the starting gate with Call Me Queen Be and was first down to the opening quarter in :27.1. Campbell and his millionaire mount were drafting right behind, and did so until the showdown began.

The middle fractions were cut in :56.2 and 1:25. There wasn’t too much movement behind Call Me Queen Be and L A Delight. Pure Country (Brett Miller) had a good view of the action in third, while Yankee Moonshine and Yannick Gingras were a tad back in fourth.

Campbell made his move in the final quarter. At the age of 61, the sport’s most decorated reinsman timed his move perfectly. Campbell tipped off the final turn right before the head of the stretch and L A Delight appeared to have a lot of pace in reserve. L A Delight dug in and slowly but surely made up ground with every stride. She wore down Call Me Queen Be, as the latter’s star reinsman, Zeron, 27, did all he could to hold off the rush of the pocket rocket.

L A Delight ($8.20) passed Call Me Queen Be in the final sixteenth and went on to hit the wire first. The reserved Campbell showed a little emotion on the occasion, as he gave a slight fist pump and clearly felt the emotion of the moment.

“It’s pretty exciting to win a race here, especially with the magnitude of the Jugette,” Campbell said afterward, during a brief winner’s circle interview with announcer Roger Huston.

Yankee Moonshine and Yannick Gingras rounded out the top three.

The win with L A Delight was Campbell’s record fifth Jugette victory and his 155th overall at the Delaware County Fair. Meanwhile, McIntosh tied Billy Haughton with his third victory in the Jugette.

“She’s (L A Delight) never really raced a bad race,” McIntosh told Huston. “She’s pretty much the best filly that I’ve had that has made a million dollars. She’s a professional.”

McIntosh stated that L A Delight will now move on to an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event, followed by her OSS Super Final and then the Breeders Crown.


Call Me Queen Be knocked off some of the top pacing fillies in her last start, and duplicated that success with a world record performance in the first heat of the 2016 Jugette.

Leaving from Post 5, Scott Zeron hustled Call Me Queen Be out like a rocket and cleared to the front over rail horse Yankee Moonshine (Yannick Gingras). Favoured Pure Country (Brett Miller) followed that one out from the second tier while Darlinonthebeach (David Miller) floated first-over on the outside.

The opening quarter was reached in :26.4, and shortly thereafter Miller pulled Pure Country off the wood to stalk the leader. That move towed Darlinonthebeach into second-over position through a :55 half.

As the field hit the backstretch, Call Me Queen Be stayed strong on the lead and looked fresh through a 1:23 third panel. Miller started to ask Pure Country for more as Call Me Queen Be started to make daylight on the rest of the fillies.

At the head of the lane, Zeron and Call Me Queen Be were all alone and tripped the timer open lengths the best in a world record 1:50.1. L A Delight (John Campbell) closed well to best Pure Country for the runner-up spot and survived a judges’ inquiry as the Ontario Sires Stakes starlet was rough as she crossed under the wire.

Call Me Queen Be (Somebeachsomewhere – Pretty Party Girl) boasts five wins in 14 starts on the season for trainer Ross Croghan and owners Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham of Florida. In her last six starts she’s only finished worse than second once, and trainer Croghan noted that the break wasn’t the horse’s fault.

“She was a victim of circumstance; the race bike was the wrong one, she touched a wheel, got mad and made a break,” noted Croghan. “I didn’t think she’d do it again and luckily she hasn’t.”

Croghan stated that he likes his chances heading into in the second heat.

“She was so good today compared to the others, winning so easy and drawing the rail and she gets off the wings so fast.”

As Scott Zeron left the winner’s circle fairly quickly with the filly due to her temperament, Croghan confessed that she can be a handful but has matured over the season.

“On race day she can be a little stupid but, believe it or not, through the summer with all the travelling she’s done and everything she’s actually got quite smart. We’re quite proud of her.”

Connections for Darlinonthebeach and Marty Party Two scratched their horses from the second heat. The field in post order for the $143,640 Jugette Final is as follows.

1. Call Me Queen Be – Scott Zeron
2. L A Delight – John Campbell
3. Pure Country – Brett Miller
4. Yankee Moonshine – Yannick Gingras
5. Hug A Dragoness – Matt Kakaley
6. Blue Moon Stride – Andrew McCarthy

Trot Insider is covering the races as they happen, so please check back with this story throughout the card.


Miss Tezsla ($3.20) sustained her first-over grind in the $86,200 Buckette for three-year-old trotting fillies (Race 13) and went on to post a 1:55.1 victory for driver Brett Miller and trainer Jimmy Takter.

The daughter of Andover Hall left from Post 2, but Miller opted to settle the bay into fourth in the early going. Naughty III and driver Peter Wrenn were on the engine from Post 1 and carved the opening fractions in :28.3 and :58.3.

It was late in the tepid second quarter when Miller opted to tip his mount out for a shot at the leader. From that point onward, Miss Tezsla engaged Naughty III and the duo raced virtually side by side, past the 1:26.4 three-quarters pole and into the stretch.

It was in the stretch where Miss Tezsla prevailed, as she was able to put Naughty III away and hit the wire a convincing winner.

In the post-race interview, Takter stated that Miller had his charge well in hand.

“He (Miller) sat outside and knew that he had everything under control,” Takter said.

“She raced a great race. She just keeps getting better and better. She’s very tough.”

Naughty III held on for second, while Ultimate Shopper (Time Tetrick) finished third.

Miss Tezsla has now won eight of her 21 career races and has banked roughly $300,000 in career purses.


Her foes were in prime position to pounce, but Ella Christina ($5.00) held them all at bay in the $49,200 Standardbred for two-year-old pacing fillies, as she held off the outer flow and paced to a life’s best 1:54.3 win for driver David Miller and trainer Nancy Johansson.

Miller and the bay daughter of Western Ideal started from Post 5 in the nine-horse field. The duo had a brief fight for the engine, but cleared relatively easily before the :27.4 quarter pole. When all was said and done, Ella Christina paced to a gate to wire win, but the proceedings were not a cake walk.

Miller and his charge did not have too work too hard to cut the middle panels (:57.4 and 1:26.1), but a good portion of the field was right there waiting to pounce if Ella Christina slipped up, which she did not. The field raced with a tight overland tier, but Miller and his mount were on their business for Johansson, who also owns the filly.

“She raced great. She fits this track really well… we held in there,” Miller said in a quick post-race interview.

Caviart Cherie (Andrew McCarthy) had left from Post 1 and secured a pocket ride through the fractions. She was ready to pounce in the lane, but had no racing room and ultimately finished second. Kims Desire (Yannick Gingras) had raced second-over for much of the race and was able to close to finish third.

Ella Christina has now won two of her seven career starts and has only missed the board twice.


The Ohio Breeders Championships kicked off in Race 3, which saw Uncle Leroy ($7.80) record his second win of the 2016 Ohio Fair, which came in the $32,100 OBC division for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. After having started from Post 3, Mike Wilder utilized a quarter pole move and didn’t trail from there on out. Wilder was able to keep his foes at bay and hit the wire in 1:55.3, which was a new lifetime mark for the son of Neely Dunn. Charles Vigneron trains Uncle Leroy for Cheryl Vigneron.

The OBCs continued in Race 5, as Wegoferdaprize ($5.60) benefited from a pair of breakers to his inside and was able to get up for a 1:56.2 win during the $32,100 split for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Wegoferdaprize and driver Chris Page had grinded first-up for the back half of the mile and hit pay dirt when leader MJB Got Faith broke stride in deep stretch. Jessica Millner trains Wegoferdaprize, an And Away We Go gelding, for Curran Racing LLC.

Driver Dan Noble allowed Lets Go Bucks ($6.80) to unleash his move during the third quarter of the $32,100 OBC division for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings (Race 6) and the gelded son of And Away We Go flew to an impressive 1:54.4 win for trainer Jim Dailey. Lets Go Bucks is owned by Jim Burnett and Tim Homan of Ohio.

Two-year-old trotting fillies clashed in their $57,220 OBC division (Race 8) and it wasLets Get Started ($2.40) who kicked in during the late stages of her first-over grind to hit the wire first in 1:57.4. The time is a new stakes record for the division. The black Dejarmbro filly was guided by Josh Sutton for trainer Bobby Brower and owners Richard and Joyce McClelland. Lets Get Started was overland in second through a soft middle half (:59.3). Lets Get Started has now won six of her seven career races and has never finished worse than second.

The final OBC division of the afternoon went forth as Race 10, and nine two-year-old trotting fillies slugged it out for a $57,220 purse. Although she was hampered with a tough starting spot (Post 8), Triumphant Caviar Chim Swift ($11.00) had the most in the lane, as she darted away from her foes in a closing final quarter and nailed the wire in 1:58. Chim Swift had laid off the leaders early, but raced wide through the lane to seal the deal for pilot David Miller. The filly has now won three of her seven starts for trainer Chris Beaver, who co-owns along with Wilbur Lang.


David Miller got things rolling in Race 1, which was the $13,600 opening division of the Ohio Fair Racing Conference Stakes for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers. ‘The Buckeye’ sent Indian Fever gelding Dancin Fever ($2.10) down the road from Post 1 and recorded an open-length victory in 1:54.1 for co-owning trainer William Webb….. Mystical Treasure ($4.60) captured Race 2, an overnight, for trainer Jim Dailey. Driver Dan Noble bested two foes at the wire and got his Real Desire mare to the wire first in 1:51.2….. OFRC Stakes action continued in Race 4, as Mannys Too Special ($2.20) delivered on his 1-9 pari-mutuel promise and paced to a life’s best 1:56 win in wire-to-wire fashion. The two-year-old son of Woodstock was driven by Dan Noble for co-owning trainer Joe Paver….. Four horses had legitimate shots of capturing Race 7, a division of the OFRC for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings, and it was an early breaker, Lovely Feelin($21.20), that rebounded impressively to get the job done in a life’s best 1:57. The win was the fourth of the program for driver Dan Noble, who steered the Feelin Friskie colt three-wide through the lane to get up for the tight win. Lovely Feelin is trained by co-owner Bret Schwartz….. Freshman K T War Bates ($7.20) and driver Kurt Sugg went gate to wire in their OFRC division for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings, as the son of Stand Forever zipped to a life’s best 1:55.4 for trainer Tyler Bates….. Battle Mage($3.20) was a strong gate-to-wire winner in Race 14 for driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and trainer Charles Stillings, as the four-year-old Kadabra mare got it done from Post 5 and was much the best.


(Standardbred Canada)

Darling’s Five Grassroots Contenders

September 21, 2016 – Trainer Jack Darling shipped five pacing colts to Mohawk Racetrack for the Grassroots Semi-finals last week and all five will return to the Campbellville oval on Saturday, Sept. 24 for the $400,000 Grassroots Championships.

“I just trained all five of them this morning (Wednesday) and they all trained as good as they can,” said Darling of three-year-olds Continual Hanover and St Lads Moonwalk and two-year-olds Master The View, The Dark Shadow and Trident Seelster. “It’s just very tough; both divisions are very tough this year. We need a little bit of racing luck.”

Reigning division champion St Lads Moonwalk will need the largest serving of luck, as he gets the outside Post 10 for his third straight start over the Mohawk oval. On Sept. 1, in the last regular season Grassroots event, driver Mike Saftic of Campbellville guided the Mach Three son to a head victory from Post 10, and in last Friday’s Semi-final driver Jody Jamieson of Moffat teamed the colt to a runner-up finish from the outside post, just a neck behind winner Arsenic.

“It’s just bad luck, so you just kind of roll with the flow,” said a philosophical Darling. “It’s going to be tough from there, but we’ll see what happens.”

Continual Hanover won his Semi-final, his third straight victory, posting a 1:51.2 clocking for Jamieson. Milton resident Randy Waples will steer the Bettors Delight son from Post 7 in Saturday’s $50,000 Championship, while Jamieson is back in the race bike behind St Lads Moonwalk. The three-year-old pacing colts square off in the ninth race on the program.

The two-year-old pacing colts wrap up the Championship in Race 10, with The Dark Shadow (Shadow Play) and Jamieson starting from Post 3, Waples sending Master The View (Vintage Master) out from Post 5 and Saftic teaming Trident Seelster (Big Jim) from Post 7. The Dark Shadow and Master The View finished second and fifth behind Tymal Peacemaker in last Thursday’s Semi-final round and Trident Seelster was fourth in the other split, won by Bet On Brett.

“The Dark Shadow, he’s my best shot in the two-year-olds. He’s just a really nice colt, but there again it’s a tough division,” said Darling, who also owns all five colts. “And the other two, nice colts too, but we’re just fighting for a cheque with them.

“But you never know, it’s a horse race,” added the Cambridge resident.

Since narrowing his focus to Ontario Sired young horses in 2012, Darling has consistently ranked among the top 10 trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, with his stable of 15 to 20 horses earning more than $400,000 in the last three seasons.

“I just don’t like the travelling so much anymore, as far as racing. I just kind of like to stay close to home,” the trainer explained. “So I just decided to put my money into the Ontario Sired program, and just try to buy the best Ontario Sired yearlings I can and go from there.”

Each fall Darling sells his three-year-olds at the end of their stakes season and acquires eight to 10 yearlings. He was among the leading buyers at the season opening Canadian Yearling Sale on Sunday, Sept. 18, acquiring sale topping pacing colt Brunos From Mars (Mach Three) for $105,000 and pacing fillies Warrawee Templar (Shadow Play) for $42,000, Write Me A Song (Sportswriter) for $47,000 and Northern Roulette (Shadow Play) for $50,000.

“I’m a little ahead of schedule,” said Darling with a chuckle. The horseman will also be shopping at the Lexington Selected Sale Oct. 4 to 8, the Forest City Yearling Sale on Oct. 23 and the Harrisburg Yearling Sale Nov. 7 to 11. “You just never know how it’s going to work out. It just turns out that I found a few that I really liked and the prices were okay, so I got them bought. Sometimes you go and things just don’t click, you just can’t quite find what you want, and then when you do, they just maybe go for a little bit too much.”

Darling will get the youngsters started and then hand them off to colleagues while he and wife Ann head to Florida for their annual winter break. By the first of April the group will be reassembled at Classy Lane Training Centre in Puslinch and Darling will be doing what he enjoys most.

“Racing horses doesn’t excite me like it used to,” admitted Darling, who has been training since he graduated from Exeter’s South Huron District High School in 1972. “I just like the babies, I like buying the yearlings and training the two-year-olds and racing the two-year-olds. That’s what I like to do.”

With five hopefuls prepping for Saturday’s Grassroots Championship, Darling’s focus on buying Ontario Sired yearlings and doing the work he enjoys most is clearly paying off.

Grassroots Championship Night gets under way at 7:30 pm, with the eight Finals slated as Races 2 through 6, 8, 9 and 10. The $311,000 Milton Stakes for aged pacing mares, dominated by former Ontario Sires Stakes stars, goes postward as Race 7.

In addition to the on-track excitement, those arriving early will receive an Ontario Racing t-shirt with their program purchase and fans can play the popular Ontario Sires Stakes Trivia Spin and Win game. On Thursday, the SC website will open the first of two online Handicapping contests in concert with the Ontario Sires Stakes Championship events, with $1,500 in cash prizes up for grabs in the OSS Grassroots Pick 8.

To view the entries for Saturday night, click on one of the following links: Saturday Entries – Mohawk RacetrackSaturday Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT).

(with files from OSS)

(Standardbred Canada)

Cobalt Pilot Study Update

September 20, 2016 – The initial phase of the Cobalt Pilot Research Project, funded by the Ohio State Racing Commission and conducted at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been completed.

The goals of the study were to assess the physiologic, biochemical and endocrine effects of repeated doses of intravenous cobalt chloride in five Standardbred mares and to investigate the pharmacokinetics of cobalt over a three-month period. Each horse received one of five different doses of cobalt chloride (0.25, 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 mg/kg) weekly for five weeks.

A research summary (Intravenous administration of cobalt chloride is associated with hemodynamic alterations in horses by Teresa Burns, Turi Aarnes, Jeffrey Lakritz, Ramiro Toribio) was presented at the 2016 American College of Internal Veterinary Medicine meeting on June 9 in Denver, Colo.

This research documents that cobalt chloride administered intravenously causes horses to become anxious and, at higher doses, to show muscular tremors, pawing and signs of abdominal discomfort. Cardiac arrhythmias, tachycardia, central and peripheral arterial hypertension and renal dysfunction were consistently noted.

A transient increase in hematocrit and red blood cell count was noted, however, changes in erythropoietin concentrations or changes in erythropoiesis or red blood cell numbers were not seen during the study period.

Baseline plasma cobalt levels in the subject horses were 3.6 ± 3.1 ppb (parts per billion). The plasma half-life of cobalt for all horses in this study was 12 ± 1.4 days and the time required for cobalt to be below 25 ppb ranged from 40 days (0.25 mg/kg dose) to 90 days (4 mg/kg dose).

Laboratory and data analyses are ongoing, specifically: measurement of urine cobalt concentrations to further investigate pharmacokinetics of cobalt and measurement of endocrine variables and markers that may be linked to performance.

Regardless of what further research may show regarding the effects of elevated levels of blood cobalt on performance, the initial findings of this research prove that cobalt chloride administered intravenously can be harmful to horses.

(Ohio Standardbred Development Fund )

(Standardbred Canada)

McClure Mastery At Mohawk

September 20, 2016 – Bob McClure won early and often during Monday evening’s card at Mohawk Racetrack, with his win total climbing to five by the time they shut off the lights at the Campbellville oval.

McClure, who many consider to be one of the best ‘B’ track reinsmen in Ontario, took full advantage of the unique opportunity to drive nine times on the 10-race card when a number of WEG’s regular reinsmen were battling at Grand River Raceway on their stakes-filled Monday evening program.

The first three races at Mohawk belonged to McClure, who clicked with Nicholas Ryan (1:53), Light Foot Rd (1:53) and Stormont Viceroy (1:57.4). He returned to victory lane in Race 5 thanks to a front-stepping score with Osborne Seelster (1:54.3), and he capped off the five-bagger with a come-from-behind tally with Par Intended (1:51.3) in Race 7.

The memorable night pushed McClure’s seasonal earnings over $2 million, while his UDR soared to .361 – a significant jump from last year’s total of .302. His win productivity has also taken a sharp rise compared to last year. He finished up 2015 with 340 trips to the winner’s circle, but this year’s total currently sits at 357 with more than three full months of racing remaining on the calendar.

Monday also proved to be a big night for trainer Carmen Auciello, who celebrated a three-win performance on the card.

He watched Nicholas Ryan (Race 1), Shippen Out (Race 4) and Toy Is Ours (Race 8) take the checkered flag in their respective assignments.

Auciello’s barn is on the verge of surpassing $2 million in earnings for the fourth consecutive season. He’s already sent out more than 100 winners in five straight campaigns.

To view results for Monday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.

(Standardbred Canada)

RCI Board of Directors approves modifications to Model Rules

September 18, 2016 – Lexington, KY — An updated version (6.3) of the ARCI’s Model Rules of Racing is now available on the association’s website on the Model Rules and Standards page by clicking here.

The ARCI Model Rules represent the racing industry’s best practice regulatory standards, developed in consultation with industry constituencies and adopted by the regulatory members of the ARCI.

In most instances the ARCI Model Rules are recommended policies, although in some cases they have been “incorporated by reference” through statute or rule. In Fla. for instance, the state legislature and governor included some ARCI medication policies in state law directing the appropriate state agency to promulgate rules to effectuate their use. In Canada, the ARCI Model Rules pertaining to wagering have the force of law through the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency.In California, a new type of wager does not need specific legislative approval if the ARCI has a model rule that would be applicable.

The updated Model Rules Version 6.3 contains modifications to the following sections:

·  ARCI 010-010 (G), Number of Starters in a Race

·  ARCI 004-105 (G), Pick (n) Pools

“The first change grants the stewards the authority to limit the number of starters in a race after consulting the horsemen’s group and jockeys if they determine that there are valid concerns that would jeopardize a safe, fair and equal start. Our first priority is safety and it is important that the stewards have the flexibility to ensure that horses and riders are safe, even if it means that the number of starters may need to be limited,” said ARCI president Ed Martin.

The second change clears the way for some possible new wagering opportunities this fall designed to increase fan interest.

Earlier this month, the ARCI approved a change to its Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule affecting the regulation of the therapeutic medication Detomidine, a sedative and analgesic used in veterinary treatment of horses. The medication, which is approved for use by U.S. federal government policy, is to be stopped prior to race day so that it is not pharmacologically active when a horse competes.

In addition, a Model Rules Committee working group has developed a revised draft of a new Out of Competition Testing rule in consultation with various racing industry organizations that is expected to be released, along with their report, within the next week. A group of racing regulatory attorneys will also review this matter in an effort to ensure that any policy change will withstand legal challenge. This issue is complicated in that the statutory jurisdiction of some racing commissions is limited to horses that are physically located on the grounds of a facility they license.

ARCI Chair Judy Wagner expressed appreciation for “the diligence, hard work, and commitment to excellence that many industry participants contribute in the ongoing process of enhancing and improving the regulation of racing.” In particular, she mentioned the contributions of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, the Jockeys’ Guild, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians, and the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Authority, among others.

The ARCI is the umbrella organization of the official governing rule making authorities for professional horse and greyhound racing in North America and parts of the Caribbean. ARCI sets standards for racing regulation, medication policy, drug testing laboratories, totalizator systems, racetrack operation and security, as well as off-track wagering entities.  ARCI members are the only independent entities recognized to license, enforce, and adjudicate matters pertaining to racing.




“That Second Is Like A Win”

September 19, 2016 – It had been a pretty forgettable campaign for the Dustin Jones stable until Saturday night, when three-year-old trotting filly Dewdle All Day came within a length of scoring a 91-1 upset in the $436,000 Elegantimage final at Mohawk Racetrack, ultimately finishing second to longshot winner Royal Charm and paying a staggering $314 to place.

“That second’s like a win. It’s the highlight of my summer, without question,” said Jones of the runner-up finish worth more than $100,000 for the Deweycheatumnhowe filly he co-owns with Greg Judson of Athens, Ont., and rookie owners Jocelyn and Marie-Elaine Hebert of St. Sauveur, Que.

In a race where nothing went right for locked-in 1-9 favourite Caprice Hill and where contenders Celebrity Eventsy and Emoticon Hanover had difficult trips behind surprise early leader Dream Child, new driver James Macdonald kept Dewdle All Day in the outer flow at the rear of the field, and followed Royal Charm into contention at the top of the stretch.

“My son and I play hockey with James and I asked him Tuesday to drive her,” Jones said. “He did great. Dave (Miller, driver of Dream Child) leaving really shook things up.”

A $25,000 yearling purchase at the Forest City Sale, Dewdle All Day has been a hard-trying horse just a cut below the division’s best, Jones said. Her only win in 10 prior starts this year was a $16,000 Grassroots event at Mohawk in June. Before Saturday, she’d collected $57,988 in 2016.

“She gives 120 per cent every race,” Jones said. “It’s not like she hasn’t raced at this level before. She was third in the Peaceful Way last year, and seventh in the Breeders’ Crown after coming first over.”

Second-place money from the Elegantimage vaults the Jones stable over $500,000 in purses for the year.

“It should be higher than that but we’ve had some sickness, some lameness, one thing after another. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I had two good years before this one, so I can’t complain,” said Jones, who is training a stable of 19.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

Bar Hopping Scores ‘Classic’ Victory; Resolve Prevails In Maple Leaf Trot

September 17, 2016 – Many of harness racing’s top trotters converged at Mohawk Racetrack for Saturday’s $2.6 million stakes night featuring the $687,000 Canadian Trotting Classic and $632,000 Maple Leaf Trot.

Bar Hopping Scores ‘Classic’ Victory

Bar Hopping vaulted off cover to defeat the 3-5 favourite Marion Marauder and give trainer Jimmy Takter his third straight victory in the $687,000 Canadian Trotting Classic.

Bar Hopping followed up victories by Pinkman (2015) and Father Patrick (2014) and is Takter’s fifth overall winner in the prestigious stakes event.

Dia Monde (Randy Waples) took the lead off the gate from post six and trotted a :27.1 first quarter before Scott Zeron made his move with Hambletonian and Yonkers Trot champion Marion Marauder. The elimination winner, who was also victorious at Mohawk in the Goodtimes Trot earlier this year, swept up to take over the lead just past the half in :55.4. As Marion Marauder raced to three-quarters in 1:24.2, Southwind Frank (Yannick Gingras) moved underway from mid-pack with Bar Hopping and Tim Tetrick following the cover. Marion Marauder continued to lead the field into the stretch, but Bar Hopping burst onto the scene late and drew off by four lengths to win in 1:53.1. Bee In Charge (Chris Christoforou) finished third.

“There was enough speed in there and I was trying to find a good horse to follow,” said Tetrick of his racing strategy. “I saw Yannick not getting away as good as I think he wanted and I got a good trip following him all the way to the promise land. Scotty’s horse was putting up decent enough fractions and my horse got to track him all the way to the top of the lane and he did the rest from there.”

Bar Hopping earned his fifth win in 13 starts this year and first in a stakes final against Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank, who he defeated in their Canadian Trotting Classic elimination last week.

“He’s been really close [to Marion Marauder and Southwind Frank this season], but just hasn’t got it done, but not lack of trying,” said Tetrick. “He put it all together tonight. There’s still a lot of money to go for the rest of the year.”

“We’ve got a lot of partners, and great partners, and I am so happy for this win,” said Takter. “I really thought we had the Hambo winner after his elimination — he looked fantastic. Unfortunately, the storm came up and it was windy and he didn’t come up good in the second heat. The horse has been drawing bad; he drew bad in Pocono, he had the nine-hole and he raced a tremendous race and finished third [in the Beal]…These three horses here, they’ve been fantastic. I was due to win this race, a big race, with this horse because he’s a very, very nice horse.”

Bar Hopping will look to keep his winning momentum rolling as he heads to The Red Mile’s Grand Circuit meet in Kentucky next.

The Muscle Hill-Cocktail Hour colt, whose earnings soared over $900,000, gave Ontario owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld another Saturday stakes victory following their homebred two-year-old filly Ariana G’s Peaceful Way win earlier in the night. Takter’s wife Christina and the Ohio-based Hatfield Stables also share ownership of Bar Hopping.

The winner returned $10.10 at the betting windows as the 4-1 third choice.

Resolve Prevails In Maple Leaf Trot

Hannelore Hanover was looking to make it back-to-back wins for the mares in the $632,000 Maple Leaf Trot following the currently sidelined Bee A Magician’s victory in last year’s edition, but Resolve avenged his 2015 defeat in the trotting classic for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt.

Hannelore Hanover (Yannick Gingras), the 3-5 favourite after being supplemented to the Maple Leaf Trot for $45,000 and winning her elimination with ease, retook the lead from 70-1 longshot Musical Rhythm (Mario Baillargeon) past the :26.4 first quarter before coming under attack by Canada’s reigning Older Trotting Horse of the Year. Svanstedt right-lined Resolve from third approaching the half in :55.3 and gained a neck lead outside, but Hannelore Hanover fought back on the way to three-quarters in 1:23. The battled continued into the stretch, with Resolve eventually taking over and drawing one length clear just before the wire to win in 1:51.4. Hannelore Hanover finished second with Shake It Cerry (David Miller) closing off cover to make it a 2-3 finish for the mares.

Resolve, who also won his elimination last weekend in a older trotting horse track record time of 1:51.1, paid $4.30 to win as the 2-1 second choice. The five-year-old millionaire son of Muscle Hill and Anikawiesahalee now boasts stakes wins in the Cutler, Cashman and Maple Leaf Trot following his Spring campaign in Sweden.

“He’s a great horse and he did a good job today,” said Svanstedt in a post-race interview. “He left very fast and then he was first-over the second half. He did a very good job.

“She [Hannelore Hanover] raced very good. She’s just four years old and she’s a mare; she was very good.”

Up next, Svanstedt said he is hoping Resolve will be invited to the International Trot at Yonkers Raceway.

Royal Charm Upsets In Elegantimage

Royal Charm pulled off a 32-1 upset with her late mile heroics in the $436,000 Elegantimage Stakes for three-year-old fillies.

Three-time Elegantimage Stakes-winning driver Paul MacDonell worked out the trip aboard the Majestic Son-Queen Of Grace filly for trainer Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ont.

Dream Child (David Miller) fired out from post nine and crossed to command in the first turn over insider Emoticon Hanover (Sylvain Filion) with Celebrity Eventsy (Jody Jamieson) and Flowers N Songs (Yannick Gingras) left parked out as the other fillies settled in line.

Dream Child carved out fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:24.4 with Celebrity Eventsy grinding away first over and Flowers N Songs tracking her cover. Meanwhile, down the backstretch, MacDonell had positioned Royal Charm third over. The 1-9 favourite, Caprice Hill, was locked in along the pylons at that point.

As Flowers N Songs rallied off cover in the stretch, Royal Charm was also closing in on the far outside and she went by to score her first Grand Circuit stakes victory in a career-best time of 1:54.4. Dewdle All Day (James MacDonald) closed outside of Royal Charm to finish three-quarters of a length behind in second. Flowers N Songs was third.

“It’s a prestigious race and I’m just happy to do it for Mark and his connections; they’ve been supporting this filly right through,” said MacDonell. “She’s been coming up to a good race and she did it tonight.”

Royal Charm is owned by David McDonald of Cornwall, Ont., Shelly MacMillan of Waterloo, Ont., Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Que., and Bridle Path Stables Ltd. of Ossining, New York.

A $77,000 yearling purchase from the Lexington Selected Sale, she made just three starts as a freshman and earned her sixth win from 14 starts this year. Saturday’s stakes victory boosted her bankroll over $315,000.

“She doesn’t leave very well, it’s been her thing all year,” noted MacDonell. “She just struggles to get away from the gate. As it turned out tonight, she was within five lengths at the quarter pole so that was good. And then the flow just started to develop on the outside and she got up third over and she always has a good kick coming home.”

“She always showed speed, even last year, but she had a breaking problem, maybe immature,” explained Steacy, who is already enjoying a fantastic season as the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes program. “It started out that way this year, but each time she went she got a little better and better, and Paul’s done a great job with her and this is where we are.”

Royal Charm returned $67.50 a whopping for a $2 Win ticket.

Seven And Seven Wins Wellwood

Seven And Seven turned in a 1:55.3 career-best performance for his local connections in the $350,000 William Wellwood Memorial Trot for two-year-old colts.

The homebred son of Chapter Seven is owned by Puslinch, Ontario-based trainer Tom Durand and his wife June, along with partner Allan Smith of Oakville, Ont.

International Moni (Scott Zeron) fired off the gate from post seven with Signal Hill (Randy Waples) also leaving to his outside. International Moni established the early lead over Seven And Seven with Signal Hill parked through the :28 first quarter before clearing.

Signal Hill then led the field past the half in :57.1 and as he approached three-quarters in 1:26.1, Campbell tipped Seven And Seven to the outside and picked up cover into the stretch as International Moni pulled the pocket in front.

International Moni overtook Signal Hill in the stretch, but Seven And Seven powered past that rival down the center of the track and trotted away to win by three lengths in 1:55.3. Jake (Sylvain Filion) gained ground along the pylons as the outer flow developed on the backside and came on to finish second off his ground-saving trip over International Moni.

Seven And Seven was the 5-2 second choice to fellow elimination winner What The Hill, who broke stride in the stretch, and paid $7.30 to win.

Showing he was special from day one, the colt out of the Durand-campaigned mare Ally Oop was a buyback at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for $17,000. He now has four wins in seven career starts, but this was his first outing with Campbell in the bike.

“I just had a few things to iron out,” said Durand, who drove his trainee leading up to the Wellwood final. “He was a little fussy behind the gate and I got that smoothed out and I said it was time to turn the reins over to the most experienced driver in the world.”

“That was a great surprise when I saw the late changes and I was down on him,” said Campbell of picking up the catch-drive. “I had followed him and I knew what he was capable of and how well he had raced for Tom all along. I thought he was coming into the race very good.

“He’s just perfect to drive. I mean, anybody could drive him, he’s just like a pro. He got out of the gate good and landed third. There was no pressure to come from behind until later on, and when I did move him, the horse in the two-hole came out in front of him and he had cover right into the stretch. From there, he just did all his work.”

Campbell said it was a thrill and honour to win a race named after the late Bill Wellwood.

“The Wellwood and Campbell families go back to the 1940s — my grandfather racing against Bill’s uncle and then my dad racing against Bill and me racing against Bill,” said Campbell. “Our families have been friends for so many years.”

Seven And Seven will now enjoy a month off as he prepares for his next big assignment, the Valley Victory at Woodbine Racetrack.

“The plan was to keep him right here at home in Ontario and it’s probably a good thing for a two-year-old not to get too many starts in them,” noted Durand.

“I’d like to dedicate this race to my uncle George, whose been in the horse business life long,” added the horseman. “He couldn’t make it tonight due to illness and he’s one of my biggest fans.”

Ariana G Perfect In Peaceful Way

Undefeated two-year-old trotting filly Ariana G kicked off the $2.6 million stakes night with a 1:54 victory over her stablemate Thats All Moni in the $363,000 Peaceful Way final for trainer Jimmy Takter.

Ariana G was the overwhelming 1-9 betting favourite while her fellow elimination winner Thats All Moni was the 8-1 second choice with the rest of the field vying for a double-digit upset. The favourites dominated though as Thats All Moni and Tim Tetrick swept to the lead after the :27.3 first quarter with Ariana G and Yannick Gingras taking over at the half in :56.1. With multiple breakers during the third panel, the stablemates gained some separation from the rest of the field on the way to three-quarters in 1:25.1 and cruised home with Ariana G leading the way by more than three lengths. Magic Presto and Trevor Henry came on for third at odds of 99-1.

“She’s just incredible,” said first-time Peaceful Way Stakes winner Gingras of Ariana G. “Like I said last week, from the first time I trained her, she was just a pure professional. She feels like a three-year-old filly; you can do whatever you want with her.”

“She’s been special from day one,” agreed Takter. “She’s just a fantastic filly. She’s just unique at this point, she can’t be better.”

The homebred daughter of Muscle Hill and Cantab It All is this year’s top-earning two-year-old trotter in the sport with $467,000 banked from seven stakes victories for owners Marvin Katz of Toronto and Al Libfeld of Pickering, Ont.

Katz and Libfeld also share ownership of Thats All Moni with Brittany Farms.

Field Set For Milton Stakes

Older pacing mares also competed on Saturday’s stakes card to secure a position in next weekend’s $311,000 Milton Stakes.

Wrangler Magic pulled off a 52-1 shocker in the first elimination while Lady Shadowdelivered on her 3-5 pari-mutuel promise in the other division.

Wrangler Magic followed in the pocket as Waasmula (Trevor Henry) led the field through fractions of :26, :55.1, and 1:23 with Stacia Hanover (David Miller) challenging first over. On the final turn, Sylvain Filion tipped Wrangler Magic out ahead of 3-5 favourite Solar Sister *Doug McNair) as that mare gapped cover and then rallied home down the center of the track to win in 1:51.2 by two lengths. Sandbetweenurtoes (Jody Jamieson) came on from the backfield to finish second over Solar Sister, Venus Delight (Tim Tetrick) and Waasmula.

Stephane Larocque trains the four-year-old Mach Three-Ja El Shamrock mare for owners Thomas Kyron, Dr. Maurice Stewart, Brian Paquet and Bayama Farms Inc.

In the second elimination, the :26.2 first quarter leader Delightful Hill (Jonathan Drury) was overtaken by Our Hot Majorette (Rick Zeron), who then set middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:23.2. Meanwhile, Bedroomconfessions (Randy Waples) applied first over pressure and struck the front down the stretch, but Lady Shadow powered home off cover for driver Yannick Gingras to win by two lengths in 1:51 flat. Frost Damage Blues (James MacDonald) rallied impressively from last to grab the runner-up honours over fellow closers Storm Point (David Miller) and Yagonnakissmeornot (Jody Jamieson). Bedroomconfessions finished fifth.

Ron Adams trains the five-year-old daughter of Shadow Play out of Lady Camella who was a runner-up to Venus Delight in last year’s Milton Stakes. The millionaire mare is owned by David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold and Bfj Stable.

The field for the final of the Milton Stakes is listed below in post position order:

1. Wrangler Magic
2. Yagonnakissmeornot
3. Lady Shadow
4. Solar Sister
5. Storm Point
6. Frost Damage Blues
7. Sandbetweenurtoes
8. Waasmula
9. Bedroomconfessions
10. Venus Delight
AE1. Empress Deo

Shamballa Stars In Preferred Pace

Returning to Mohawk’s $34,000 Preferred class on Saturday’s undercard, Grand Circuit stakes competitor Shamballa stole the show with a last-to-first victory in 1:48.2.

Handicapped outside his rivals, this year’s U.S. Pacing Championship winner Shamballa trailed the field of eight early on, but followed the live cover of Preferred star Nickle Bag (Trevor Henry) and sprinted his final quarter in :27 to defeat that foe by one and a half lengths. Reigning Horse of the Year State Treasurer (Chris Christoforou), who had taken the lead after the :26 first quarter and led through middle splits of :54.1 and 1:20.4, finished two and a quarter lengths behind in third.

Shamballa paid $4.60 to win as the 6-5 favourite. Local trainer/driver Rick Zeron shares ownership of the six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Bolero Takara gelding with Tao Racing LLC, Howard Taylor and Cool Cat Racing Inc.

To view Saturday’s harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results – Mohawk Racetrack.

(Standardbred Canada)