Day At The Track
Rainbow Room

Rainbow Room 1:52.4 in first juvenile race

Regally-bred daughter of harness racing champion Rainbow Blue wins in 1:52.4. Nearly five years after her world-champion full sister Somwherovrarainbow won her first career start, Rainbow Room debuted with an eye-catching harness racing victory Friday night in the first two-year-old race of the season at the Meadowlands. Rainbow Room, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Rainbow Blue, had been the talk of the morning after a pair of impressive Meadowlands baby race victories earlier this month. She backed up the hype in her first appearance under the lights in a $10,000 maiden event. David Miller put the 1/9 favorite on the front end and led the field through fractions of :27.4, :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.3. That's when All On Top Hanover ripped off her cover and pulled nearly even to Rainbow Room midway down the stretch. Rainbow Room found another gear and held off the Erv Miller trainee to stop the teletimer in 1:52.4 to win by a length. Despite the loss, All On Top Hanover deserves watch moving forward as she was charted with a last quarter mile in :25.3. Rainbow Room was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and is owned in partnership by Crawford Farms Racing, Val D'Or Farms, and Ted Gewertz. She is trained by Joe Holloway. The big night for Crawford Farms continued in the $17,500 trotting feature when their Cufflink Hanover converted a pocket trip to victory in 1:51.1 over pacesetter In Secret. Cufflink Hanover had most recently finished third behind Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder in a division of the Graduate at Tioga Downs. Fellow Graduate leg winner Trolley also tuned up for the $250,000 Graduate Final on July 8 with a 1:51.4 win in a $13,000 conditioned trot. The Erv Miller trainee had equaled the all-time track record at Tioga Downs of 1:52.1 in his previous Graduate victory 12 days ago. Corey Callahan and Tyler Buter each posted driving doubles. Total handle on the 10-race card was $1,836,992. Racing resumes Saturday night. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

Brent & Dee Holland

Brent Holland wins his 5,000th race

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 23, 2017 - Harness racing driver Brent Holland won the 5,000th race of his career Friday night (June 23th), doing so at his place of residence, Yonkers Raceway. Holland and Delightful Dragon ($7.40) lasted on the lead by a scant schnoz in the 6th race $40,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, giving the 46-year-old (as of this past Sunday) the milestone (season's-best 1:53.2) mile. The affable Holland is a native of Wilmington, OH, who began working with horses for a neighbor, Maynard Hagemeyer. "He and Bob Farrington in Chicago both taught me a lot," Holland said. His first winner came in in his first parimutuel start, as an 18-year-old with longshot E C's Best in 1989 at Lebanon Raceway..."pouring down rain," he said. "When I won my first, I used to look up to all the great drivers and never thought about a number like 5,000," Holland said. Asked for some winner's circle wit, Holland offered that 'The horse did all the work.' In the case, the hard-working lass-now 4-for-18 this season-is a 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight owned and trained by Noel Daley. Holland, who migrated east from the Chicagoland circuit not quite a decade ago, has more than $54.2 million in career purses. He was joined by his wife, Dee, and friends for a winner's circle presentation. Frank Drucker

Freeze Out

Freeze Out administers a beating at Yonkers

YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 23, 2017 - Freeze Out (George Brennan, $13.60) did just that to her harness racing rivals Friday night (June 23rd), administering a beating in Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The field was pared to seven after Betabcool N was scratched-lame after the post parade. Away an early second from became post position No. 2, Freeze Out found herself third after last week's victress, I Said Diamonds (Matt Kakaley), two-moved to the lead. Settled though early intervals of :27.1 and :55.3, Freeze Out challenged and conquered down the backside the second time. She ground down 'Diamonds' well before a 1:23.3 three-quarters, slapping a half-dozen length on the lasses in and out of the final turn. The final margin was a wrapped-up three lengths in life-best 1:52. Jewel Lehigh A (Dan Dube) did get into second, with Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) third. Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) and Hidden Land (Brian Sears) rounded out the payees, while the 9-10 fave I Said Diamonds walked home sixth. For fifth choice Freeze Out, a 4-year-old daughter of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Ricky and Sean Bucci, it was her eighth win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $199, the triple returned $991 and the superfecta paid $2,347. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (June 24th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,660.17.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker

Billings drivers at Grand River Raceway

Billings winners at Grand River Raceway

The granddaddy of all amateur harness racing organizations, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, moved north of the border on Friday night, June 23, for two contests at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ontario. The first, a trot, saw Sherwin "the Magician" Edwards rein Willyorwonthe to a 1:58.4 triumph while the second, a pace, went to Shane "the Freelton Flash" Arsenault and Lulu's Boy in a 1:58.2 clocking. Being that the Billings races were in Canada most of the participating drivers were Canadian except for Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and "Buffalo Bob" Davis. In his contest Sherwin Edwards sent Willyorwonthe to the lead from the three-hole and quickly gained command and in doing so he played hardball with Natasha "Lady" Day who was up behind the betting favorite Hldontghtoyurdrms. Edwards parked her through fractions of :28.1; :58.1 and 1:28.2 until Ms. Day's trotter began to get leg weary after they passed the third stanza. However, Willyorwonthe still had on his trotting shoes and began to draw clear of the competition. When the field straightened for home Shane Arsenault and Lexis DJ who were traveling along with cover, took aim at the leader after enjoying a two-hole journey. But Edwards' trotter was up to the task and he rebuffed the challenge and charged home a 1-3/4 length victor over Lexis DJ. Hldontghttoyurdreams held on for the show dough. The winner, an altered 4-year-old son of Angus Hall, is owned and trained by William Megens. He returned a $6.60 mutuel to his backers. In the pacing contest, Shane Arsenault aped Sherwin Edwards' journey in the first event and sent Lulu's Boy down the road and they made every pole a winning one. Although pressured in the deep stretch Arsenault's pacer dug in and held off a late charge by Bet on Art and driver by Dave "Modern Legend" Drew. Every Girl's Desire, with Brent Hollingsworth is the pilot's seat, rambled home two lengths behind the winner in third place. The veteran 10 year-old Art Major Gelding is owned by Louis Sorella and Gene Miller and trained by Robert Fellows. He paid $9/90 for win. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

ANDERSON, Ind.-June 23, 2017 - Enoch, with Trace Tetrick in the bike, provided a slight upset in the featured harness racing event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 23. With a final time of 1:49.2, Enoch recorded his second consecutive Hoosier Park victory and established a new lifetime mark in the process. Tetrick elected to use off-the-pace tactics with Enoch as he was uninvolved in the early stages of the going to settle along the rail in sixth. Sam Widger had Night Pro pointed to the front but would have to work for position as New Talent and Todd Warren also left aggressively. Night Pro was able to grab the lead through a snappy opening panel of :25.3 while New Talent opted for the pocket seat. Night Pro continued to call the shots down the backside as the hot pace continued through the second station in :53.2. As the field approached the final turn, John DeLong had Shooter's Dream on the attack first-over and Enoch quickly grabbed the cover through the three-quarter clocking in 1:22.3. Night Pro was still in charge turning for home but the torrid pace was beginning to take its' toll. Shooter's Dream was able to wear down the leader but Enoch was poised to strike. Using a :26.2 final panel, Enoch coasted on to the wire a length in front of his competition. New Talent rallied gamely in the lane but had to settle for second place honors. Shooter's Dream held on for third. Slightly dismissed at the betting windows, Enoch returned $10.80 to his backers at the betting windows. Trained by Ron Burke, the four-year-old gelded son of Panspacificflight-Kienna's Angel has now won three of seven seasonal starts. Recording his tenth lifetime victory from 32 outings, Enoch pushed his lifetime bankroll to $134,740 for his owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, P. Collura, and F. Baldachino. It was a Trace Tetrick early double as he also found the winner's circle in the second race of the evening behind Gerries Sport for trainer Tyler George. Stopping the timer in 1:49.1, Gerries Sport recorded his fourth seasonal victory and also a new lifetime mark. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 24 with a 12-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com Emily Gaskin

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Kelvin Harrison knows Lynch Memorial hopeful Concerto is stepping up in class, but he thinks it could be a stepping stone. Unraced at age 2, Concerto has won four of eight races this season as she prepares for Saturday’s eliminations of the James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. All of Concerto’s victories have come in conditioned races, but the filly held her own in one start in state-restricted stakes action and has Harrison looking forward to her future. “It’s just an experience thing with her,” Harrison said. “Each time she races she seems to get a little bit better. I think this is pretty wishful thinking this week going in against these fillies, but eventually I believe she’ll be up to that level.” Concerto competes in the third of three Lynch eliminations. The six-horse field features the top two finishers from last week’s Fan Hanover Stakes --- nose winner Bettor’s Up and runner-up Agent Q, with Agent Q getting the 2-1 nod in morning line favoritism over 5-2 Bettor’s Up. Concerto is 10-1. The first elimination is led by Lismore Pace winner Tequila Monday (2-1) and returning Dan Patch Award winner Idyllic Beach (3-1). In the second elimination, multiple stakes winner Roaring To Go (2-1) and Pennsylvania Stallion Series standout Brazuca (5-2) are the top choices. The top three finishers from each elimination advance to the $300,000 Lynch final July 1 at Pocono. Saturday’s card at Pocono also includes eliminations of the Ben Franklin for older male pacers, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, and Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers. Concerto is a daughter of stallion Bettor's Delight out of the Badlands Hanover mare Born Storyteller. The filly is owned by breeder Ron Mario, who also bred and raced Born Storyteller. Born Storyteller won an elimination of the Lynch in 2005 and finished fourth in the final. A year later, she finished second to Burning Point in the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. Concerto’s half-sister Beach Story was third in the 2014 Jugette. Concerto suffered from soreness as a 2-year-old and was turned out. She made her debut in March with a 10th-place finish at the Meadowlands, but since then has finished worse than second only twice. One time was on a sloppy track at Harrah’s Philadelphia, where she went off stride, and the other was a fifth-place finish in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, where she was beaten by only 1-3/4 lengths. She has two wins and a second in her most recent three starts. “We brought her back late last year and got her ready to race,” Harrison said. “She wasn’t the fastest learner; she was a little aggressive. But she’s settled in good. “When they don’t race at 2 and they have to go against these horses at 3 it’s a little harder for some of them. She raced once in the sire stakes at (Philly) and she was really pretty good and I think she’s improved since then. This is a tall order, but I think she can develop into being this type of filly.” For a look at all the entries for Saturday at Pocono, click here. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Columbus, OH --- He is a harness racing world champion and one of the few horses to possess the distinction of besting Always B Miki and Sweet Lou, yet Mel Mara has not visited the winner’s circle for a stakes race since he captured the 2012 edition of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold final at Flamboro Downs over that year’s Little Brown Jug winner Michael’s Power. His connections are hoping this is the year the 8-year-old stallion collects his fair share of hardware beginning with a victory in his $35,000 Ben Franklin elimination on Saturday (June 24) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. “We have a different plan with him for this year,” said Robert Cooper, his co-owner. “We supplemented him to this very same race last year, but he already had a number of starts in him. We would like to space his races out a bit more throughout the year so we have a fresh horse. Right now he is a happy horse and Dylan (Davis, his trainer) is very happy with him. We think he’s coming into the race very well off his win in 1:48 at The Meadowlands last weekend.” With his regular pilot Corey Callahan at the controls the son of Lis Mara-M L Revrac will commence his journey on Saturday evening in what should be the first of many 2017 stakes engagements. Mel Mara will leave from the rail in the third of three eliminations. He is the 2-1 morning line selection, but faces a field that includes the ever dangerous Rockin Ron (7-2, Yannick Gingras), Rock N' Roll World, who paced the swiftest mile of the season (1:48.3) at Hoosier Park (5-1, Brian Sears) and a potent horse-for-the course in Luck Be Withyou (3-1, George Napolitano Jr.). “We know there are a lot of very nice pacers in this race,” Cooper said. “And not just in Mel’s elimination but all three of them. The difference this year is we don’t have Always B Miki and Wiggle It Jiggleit, so there is no clear leader in the division but with those kinds of horses in this race, we know we are going to have to be very fast to win.” Mel Mara was privately purchased by Cooper and J&T Silva Stables in April 2016 from Brittany Farms and Riverview Racing. Prior to competing for his new connections, Mel Mara had amassed $468,364 from 51 trips to the post. Since switching barns, the stallion has earned $265,600 and his lifetime record now stands at 74-20-12-7. In just three starts this season, he is just a nose from being undefeated and has been visually impressive in all three of his miles. “We gave him a nice long turnout over the winter down at Hunterton Farms in Kentucky with Steve Stewart,” Cooper said. “Steve does such a terrific job and Mel came back to us looking like a million bucks.” There are several other differences for Mel Mara than when he was in the same position last year. In fact, 2016 marked the first full year of campaigning for him after a layoff of nearly 16 months and the stallion also struggled through some issues with his feet that certainly hampered his performances. “He is absolutely sound and knock on wood his feet are perfect,” Davis said. “We are also going to ship him really early to Pocono so he will have some time to adjust. We are also going to race him more rather than train him all this year. Like he didn’t train hard this week and did a lot of swimming. That’s not because he’s not healthy, but he’s a hard horse for me to train. He just wants to go fast all the time and can be headstrong. “That’s why I like to warm him up a couple of trips before each of his races. The first time he goes out and goofs around being a show-off. Then the second time he starts to settle down when he gets his mind on business. “You can do anything you want with him in a race and he’s great to drive, but ideally we would like to have a prep race, if you want to call it that, before he goes into a stake so he’s not off for three weeks or so before, like he was at certain times last year. I just think that kind of program will work best for him. “That is one of the advantages of having a smaller stable in that you can take all the time to find out what you need to do that works for the horse, what they like and they don’t like, and that’s what we are doing with Mel.” The Davis family also spends many hours just lavishing affection on the horse. “He just has so much personality,” Davis said. “My wife and my 6-year-old feed him bags of carrots every Sunday and he’s such a smart horse that you don’t hear a sound out of him when my six-month-old is around. “Mel is the kind of horse that screams and hollers and tosses his head around to get attention. He wants people to look at him and it’s hard not to because he does have that personality. He’s also such a beautiful horse and when you look at other horses, then look at him, you see the difference. “He is definitely spoiled, but he is the kind of horse that deserves it. I’m really looking forward to this year with him because he is such a happy, healthy horse right now.” Like Davis, Cooper has a tremendous amount of faith in the stallion and is eagerly anticipating his appearance at Pocono Saturday night. “I just want the horse to have the opportunity to really show himself,” Cooper said. “He’s had some tough luck in big races and has always went up against the best horses. Then he didn’t race for a year and a half. “We think he deserves to win a race like the Franklin, the Haughton or the U.S. Pacing Championship. Sure Dylan and I would like to win those races too, but when I say this, it’s really about the horse. Mel is a world champion and he should have his picture taken in one or more of these races because of the kind of horse he is. We are hoping this is his year.” For a look at all the entries for Saturday at Pocono, click here. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

WASHINGTON, PA, June 23, 2017 -- Fifth by 6 lengths when he launched his relentless uncovered move, Dapper Dude nailed Lincolnjames in the shadow of the wire to capture Friday's $18,000 harness racing winners over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Lincolnjames opened a 2-length lead turning for home, but a 26.2 opening panel over a sloppy surface left him vulnerable to Dapper Dude's pressure. The 8-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest edged Lincolnjames by 1/2 length in 1:50.2 for Aaron Merriman, with the rallying Knocking Around third. With the victory, Dapper Dude vaulted over $1.1 million in career earnings for trainer Bill Bercury and owner Renee Bercury. Dave Palone collected five wins, including a pair for trainer Ron Burke, on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, first post 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

HAMBURG,N. Y. --- After getting saddled with a post position of six or worse in the past month, Empire Earl N must of felt he was heaven with the five hole. He took advantage of the 'better' starting position and scored a half length harness racing victory over BZ Glide in Buffalo Raceway's $10,000 Open Trot on Friday night (June 23).   Despite the outside posts since May 19, Empire Earl N was still very competitive during that time by earning a check in four of the five starts including a win, second and third.   BZ Glide got parked to the opening quarter mile by Lutetium and Jim Dandy as the feature event unfolded. Setting fractions of 29.0, 59.0 and 1:29.4 over the sloppy track, BZ Glide looked liked he might steal the win in front-running style.   But Empire Earl N had other ideas. Sitting in fourth place and second over with a final panel to trot, driver Larry Stalbaum got Empire Earl N ($4.70) into high gear four wide in the stretch and collared BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) at the wire by a half length. Gwally (David McNeight III), who broke just before the half mile marker, regrouped in time to capture third.   Owned by Stalbaum and trained by Kimberly Asher, it was the third win in 14 tries this year for the 9-year-old gelded Empire Earl N (Earl-Santa Nita). The victory increased his seasonal earnings to $29,270 and $115,195 lifetime.   John Cummings Jr. tripled in the sulky with Stalbaum and Ray Fisher Jr. each getting a double. JD Perrin picked up three training victories and Asher two.   Racing will resume on Saturday night at 6 p.m.with an 11-race card set. There's a $448 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

BOSTON — The nation's largest horse track operator is showing some interest in bringing racing back to Massachusetts. Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer at the Stronach Group, told the News Service in an interview from California this week that his company has talked with George Carney, the owner of a former dog racing track in Raynham, about a potential partnership or lease. "We're very, very early in preliminary discussions," said Ritvo, whose company is also a supplier of pari-mutuel wagering technology. "There's no plans other than to say we're interested in the Boston market." Stronach officials, who run Santa Anita Park, Pimlico Race Course and Gulfstream Park, have talked with Massachusetts Gaming Commission Executive Director Ed Bedrosian and Commissioner Gayle Cameron, Ritvo said. "Boston's an unbelievable racing community. Boston's a big market," said Ritvo, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but grew up in Revere. Horse racing is at an all-time low in Massachusetts, but industry supporters say it's worth saving, arguing a professionally-run track is profitable and can create jobs while helping to preserve horse farms. Asked about critics who have long dismissed it a dying industry, Ritvo said the horse racing business has been holding steady in the United States at $10 billion a year for the last five years. Stronach has a $4 billion market share, he said, and believes there's room for further growth. "We believe that marketed properly, that racing still has opportunity for growth," he said, speculating that casino operators have not been attentive to the needs of tracks at their facilities. The next steps for Stronach, which does not operate any facilities in Massachusetts, include plans to visit the Raynham site, and an exploration of state rules and regulations as they pertain to simulcasting rights and electronic betting, more formally known as advanced deposit wagering. Battle in Boston Meanwhile, the battle over the future of horse racing in Massachusetts is also being fought on Beacon Hill. Pending legislation (H 208) sponsored by Reps. Adrian Madaro of East Boston and RoseLee Vincent would extend existing simulcast rights for one year, including those held by Suffolk Downs, the former East Boston track that was recently sold and has been running limited races in recent years. The Legislature over the years has repeatedly extended the simulcast laws, but this year the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association is fighting against an extension, arguing the state needs to instead pass a different bill (S 175) that gives the Massachusetts Gaming Commission broader powers to regulate the racing industry and pass regulations they believe are in the best interests of the industry's development. Bill Lagorio, president of the association, told the News Service the bill repeals antiquated racing laws and gives the commission powers that would allow it to maximize the impact of the Race Horse Development Fund, which is financed with expanding gaming revenues and was created to bolster the industry. The fund's current balance, $13.5 million, is being eyed by those in the horse businesses as well as by lawmakers facing an overall state budget squeeze. Limited racing at Suffolk Downs — 15 days of racing over the past three years — won't facilitate the industry's growth in Massachusetts and simulcast rights now held by Suffolk should be reconsidered by policymakers and regulators if they are interested in putting the race horse fund to good use, Lagorio said. The fund has helped Plainridge Park Casino to more consistently run harness racing and its potential to boost the racing industry will increase when casinos being built in Springfield and Everett open. Like Plainridge, those casinos will deliver a percentage of gaming revenues to the fund. The bill empowering the Gaming Commission, which has already consumed the responsibilities of the former state racing commission, is sponsored by Winthrop Sen. Joseph Boncore. A version of the legislation cleared the Senate last session, Lagorio said. The legislation states that its intent is to grant the Gaming Commission "all necessary authority to oversee and regulate all aspects of horse racing in the Commonwealth with the object of promoting its efficient operation, and the honesty and integrity of the wagering process related to it." The bill instructs the commission to "utilize best efforts to ensure that the horse racing industry be preserved and sustained for, amongst other reasons, the preservation of open space, the agricultural benefits associated with horse racing, and the creation and preservation of jobs and businesses associated with horse racing." Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby this month weighed in with lawmakers about the Race Horse Development Fund, saying he's aware of efforts to divert the monies to "other worthy causes." Racing to success? Crosby views the commission as "stewards" of the legislative mission, enshrined in the 2011 casino law, to "enhance and strengthen the horse racing industry in Massachusetts," he wrote in a letter. He noted the commission's push for legislative reforms to boost racing and said thoroughbred racing could see the kind of lift that the commission has seen at the standardbred track in Plainville. Plainridge Park Casino is running 125 racing days, up from 80; purses have increased from $2.6 million in 2014 to $7.4 million in 2017, the live racing handle has more than doubled to $7.6 million to $18 million, and annual registered yearlings (one-year-old standardbred horses) have increased from 36 to 51, according to Crosby. Crosby wrote: "Though thoroughbred racing is in the process of losing its one operative race track with its minimal number of racing days, there is reason to believe that the thoroughbred industry in Massachusetts can be resurrected, if all of the strategic tools the Legislature envisioned are put into play. It is the Commission's belief that with a reorganized regulatory structure, and empowering the Gaming Commission to strategically manage all the thoroughbred revenue streams - including the Race Horse Development Fund, that there is a legitimate chance of designing a sustainable strategy, for thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts." As for Ritvo, his interest in the Massachusetts market runs deeper than his role with Stronach. In the 1980s, Ritvo won 500 races as a jockey at Suffolk Downs. He met his wife, Kathy Ritvo, at Suffolk Downs and she went on to train Mucho Macho Man, the horse that won the Breeder's Cup Classic in 2013. She is the only woman to have trained a horse that won a $5 million race, Ritvo said. "Racing's been really good to me and my family," he said. By Michael P. Norton State House News Service Reprinted with permission of The Gloucester Times

As Canada celebrates 150 years of confederation on July 1st, Canada’s horse racing industry is recognizing an even greater milestone, the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada with 23 racetracks in 8 provinces taking part in a national celebration over the July 1st weekend. From British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, tracks holding races between June 30th and July 2nd will raise flags, hold commemorative miles and honour the people, horses and history from their local communities to mark the 250th Anniversary.  The July 1st weekend initiative is part of a year-long celebration led by the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in conjunction with Standardbred Canada and Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society. “This anniversary provides the opportunity for the entire horse racing industry across the country to speak with one voice about our incredible history,” said Linda Rainey, Managing Director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  “There aren’t many things in our country that are 250 years old and horse racing has reached that milestone. It is a story anyone who has ever been involved with horse racing can be proud of.” It all began, July 1, 1767, exactly 100 years before our country’s confederation, when a race took place on The Plains of Abraham in Quebec City.  Gazette de Quebec recounted the race as follows:  “The horse race for a purse of forty dollars was held on Wednesday, first of the month, on the Hill of Abraham.  It was easily won by Captain Prescott’s mare Modesty, much to the discomfiture of those who, purporting to know about such things, had wagered against her and were thereby parted from their money.”  From that day forward horse racing has been part of the fabric of the country.  From coast to coast, generation after generation, people from all walks of life have participated in and enjoyed the sport, whether on grass-root tracks, agricultural fairs, on frozen rivers dotting the countryside, or in today’s modern facilities.  Earlier this year a national initiative was launched to complete “250 Miles for 250 Years”, with a goal of accumulating 250 commemorative miles honouring the communities, horses and people who have participated in the sport over the past 250 years. Many of those commemorative miles will be held over this official anniversary weekend.  Everyone attending the celebrations is encouraged to share their experience via social media using the #cdnhorseracing250 Participating tracks include: British Columbia Hastings Racecourse – Vancouver (July 1) Alberta Century Downs (July 1) Millerville (July 1) Northlands Park – Edmonton (July 1) Manitoba Assiniboia Downs – Winnipeg (July 1) Ontario Clinton Raceway (July 2) Dresden (July 1) Fort Erie (July 2) Georgian Downs (July 1) Grand River (June 30) Hanover (July 1) Hiawatha  - Sarnia (July 1) Kawartha Downs (July 1) Mohawk (July 1) Rideau Carleton (July 2) Woodbine (July 1) Quebec Hippodrome 3R – Trois Riviere (July 2) Nova Scotia Inverness (July 2) Northside Downs – North Sydney (July 1) Truro (June 30) New Brunswick Exhibition Park Raceway – Saint John (July 1) PEI Red Shores – Charlottetown (July 2) Summerside – (July 1)   Funding for the  250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada initiatives has been provided by:  Standardbred Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, HBPA Ontario, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Alberta Standardbred Horse Association, Harness Racing BC, The Jockey Club as well as individual donations.  To support the 250th Anniversary Fund visit:  Sponsorships and Donations.  For additional information about the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada and the celebrations planned go to www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com or via social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram #cdnhorseracing250 Linda Rainey, Managing Director Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

June 21, 2017 - Reims hosted the latest GNT Paris-Turf leg (Gr. III purse €90,000, 2550 meters, 16 starters), the seventh, on Wednesday, with victory to 13/1 Bon Copain (6m Love You-Harie) timed in 1.12.7kr, Francois Lecanu was the pilot for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J.Y. Roze. 7/1 Africain (7m Oardo-Kamine) was second for Romain Derieux and breeder/owner/trainer Vincent Collard. 6/1 Atout du Lerre (7g Oakwood du Closet-Haquikmie) took the third spot for trainer/driver Franck Anne. 5/2 Belline d’Urzy was fourth for Matthieu Abrivard and Vanae des Voirons was fifth. The Prix du Bon Accueil at Reims (purse €26,000, 2600 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.13.9kr timed eastern European invader Romi Mms (7f Turbo Sund-Goldy LB) at 2.8/1 odds. Franck Nivard teamed the winner, owner by Marko Slavic, and trained by Philippe Billard. 12/1 Orleans Font (9m Ganymede-Saint Ghil SM) took second for Christophe Martens and trainer Vincent Martens. 2.9/1 Banco des Amazones (6m Orlando du Choquel-Orie de la Besure) was a rallying third for Eric Raffin. Thomas H. Hicks

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Barn Bella returns to Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (June 25) in the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters and she'll be seeking redemption at the half-mile harness racing oval.   Last year's 2-year-old Sire Stakes champion, Barn Bella broke stride turning for home at Buffalo Raceway and finished out of the money. a rare occurrence in her brief 15-race career. But it's been more feast than famine for Barn Bella as she has won 12 times. In her other three attempts, she has been totally off the board.   "This will be her toughest race of the year on Sunday with the tight turns," Barn Bella's co-owner and trainer Steven Pratt of Corfu, N.Y. said. "Buffalo Raceway is my home track and I support them. I've adjusted a few things on her for a half mile track and don't anticipate any problems come Sunday."   Drawing the four hole, Barn Bella (Conway Hall-Bravissima) is tabbed as the heavy 3-to-5 morning line pick in the first division worth $58,000. Jeff Gregory, a native of nearby Churchville, N.Y., will handle the driving duties. It is scheduled as the fifth on the 10-race card that begins at 12:30 p.m.   Barn Bella, a winner of $350,005 lifetime, arrives on a 10-race win streak including a 1:51.3 mile victory in the $228,250 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs last week. That mark tied the track record set by Check Me Out.   "She had a brutal race last week at Vernon," Pratt said. "She got parked in 26.1 to the first quarter but still trotted home in 27.0. I would say 99 percent of other horses couldn't have done that."   The bad news for others is the fact Pratt believes she'll only get better. "She's just a monster. She's as game as any that I've had including Barn Doll. There's no bottom on her. (Drivers) Jeff Gregory and Jimmy Taggart Jr. each said after Barn Bella's last races that 'there is still plenty left in the tank.'"   With the impressive credentials thus far, Pratt said he along with co-owners Nancy Pratt and The Purple Haze Stables have been offered 'big money' for Barn Bella but there's currently a 'not for sale' sign on her.   "I am content with her and I am enjoying this. She's so easy going, quiet and relaxed." He added, "Barn Bella doesn't train, she just jogs. She knows what to do when she gets behind that starting gate though. It's all business with her."   Pratt stated that Barn Bella will stay on the New York Sire Stakes circuit for the rest of the year but they might supplement her in the Breeder's Crown in October. "That's a pretty big nut to supplement her into that but I truly believe she's one of the top three filly trotters in the country."   The rest of the field trying to spoil the homecoming of Barn Bella includes Maewegonow (Charlie Norris), Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci), Reverend Nanny (John Cummings Jr.) and Mighty Surf (Jim Morrill Jr.).   The second division, slated as the seventh race, will carry a purse of $59,100. It appears to be a wide-open event with Amber Ella (Jason Bartlett) getting the slight nod off the rail at 2-to-1.   Amber Ella (Chapter Seven-Blushed) finished a distant fourth behind Barn Bella in the Empire Breeder's Classic last week at Vernon Downs. She did win four races in eight tries in 2016, piling up $139,193 in earnings. Amber Ella has yet to find the winner's circle in three chances this year, but does have a pair of second place finishes.   Billie Blue (Conway Hall-Lightfoot) starts from the six spot and is a 3-to-1 pick on the morning line with driver Chris Lems. She's won twice in five appearances thus far in 2017 including a 1:55.4 effort last week at Vernon Downs.   Others ready to do battle in the leg are Deli-Delite (Drew Monti), Scarey Karie (Phil Fleut), Chapter Too (Jeff Gregory) and Heels On Wheels (Morrill Jr.).   The card will also have a pair of $15,000 Excelsior A Series races and a $6,600 Excelsior B Series contest.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Veteran harness racing trainer Paul Hill reaffirmed his status as the king of the kids when he snared the feature two-year-old double at Luxbet Park Hobart in Tasmania last night. Hill prepared star filly Ideal Bliss to win his third consecutive Group 3 Evicus Stakes final and his handy colt Feelin Dusty led throughout to give Hill his second Dandy Patch from the past three editions. "I've been very fortunate to have had some very talented young horses in my care in recent years and I'm hoping this isn't the end of my good run," Hill said. "Ideal Bliss is a very good filly and I have no doubt she will develop into a very good three-year-old." "I also have a decent opinion of Feelin Dusty and when he drew gate two I rated him a top chance of winning even though the raps were big on Todd Rattray's horse (Izaha). "When Ricky (Duggan) was able to lead and not spend too much early on Feelin Dusty I was confident my horse would be very hard to beat and that's how it panned out." Ideal Bliss, owned and bred by Charlie and Connie Beadman, was sent out the $1.40 favourite despite drawing the inside of the second row. However, her driver Rohan Hillier snagged her out the back at the start to ensure he could find a spot in the one-out line while Inwil ($8) showed good speed to lead. Hillier sent Ideal Bliss  (American Ideal-Blissfull Grace) around the field at the bell and when he moved alongside the leader at the top of the home straight she forged clear but had to pull out all stops to fend off Inwil that made a late charge with Jeanette Barry a close-up third. Feelin Dusty ($2.30fav) showed brilliantly gate speed to easily hold the front in the Dandy Patch while Run Wick ($11) faced the breeze with Izaha ($2.40) on its back enjoying the one-out-one-back position. But a lap out and unhappy with the modest tempo Rattray sent Izaha up to face the breeze and put some pressure on the leader and they singled out to fight out the finish. Feelin Dusty responded when Duggan called on the gelded son Mr Feelgood for the big effort and he went on to score by over 10 metres from Izaha with Pezzamystic over 15 metres away third. Peter Staples

The first crop from the talented A Rocknroll Dance are hitting the track in full force. This month, his 2-year-olds got off to a strong start, hitting the baby races like harness racing seasoned pros.   Many of them show the promise and potential of their sire, even in their first starts.     Here are a couple of names to keep an eye on:   Cuts Like A Knife, filly out of Whetstone Hanover who won her qualifier at Harrah's in 1:55.2.   Yankee Will Dance, a filly out of Bootleg Yankee, a baby race winner and was a strong 2nd in her 1st lifetime start in 1:53.4.   Grand Teton, the half brother to Pure Country, who won his qualifier the other day.   Aldine Hanover, filly out of Armbro Amoretto, another strong qualifier winner.   Davids Coming Home, colt out of Arterra who has put on consistent performances in his baby races this month. ................................................................................ Diamond Creek Farm threw its third annual open house on June 3, at their Wellsville, Pa., location.  “The Open House is a way for us to welcome the community and all the fans to our farm,” said Diamond Creek’s Adam Bowden. “Many people never get a chance to see what happens behind the scenes at a breeding farm, or they are curious about what goes on here when they see all the fences and barns from the road.” The day was a huge success with well over 400 attendees, largely from the community, and with some visitors from as far as North Carolina.  Visitors were able to get up close and personal to stallions such as Southwind Frank, as well as watch two different breeding demonstrations, in which Always B Mike and Sweet Lou were artificially collected. They were then welcomed into the lab, as the farm’s resident vet, Dr. Courtney Pink, processed the semen and answered questions from the group. Down in the mare barn, visitors were welcome to walk around on their own or take a hayride tour around the farm. They had a chance to submit names for a new foal, as well as pet a few, and feed some carrots to some very willing mares. The “guess the weight” game proved to be popular, with guesses to win a t-shirt ranging from 100 pounds to 700. In the end, the colt weighed 500 pounds on the dot. Guests also got to meet Sweet Karen, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation’s outreach ambassador, and learn more about the program from director Ellen Taylor and her group of volunteers, as well as spin their wheel to answer some harness related questions for some of the new 2017 HHYF Harness Hero cards. Pacing For The Cure, represented by the founders, Jeff and Janine Gesek, were present as well, speaking about their work for MS research and raffling off some really great baskets, as well as a trip to the 2017 Hambletonian. With great weather, the farm served close to 600 hamburgers and hot dogs, and Bootleg Creamery gave out more than 400 bowls of ice cream. “We look forward to doing this event every year,” said Rachel Keeney, Diamond Creek’s Administrator Director. “We are already planning on how to make it bigger and better in 2018.” Meet The Staff Working on a breeding farm isn’t all just horses and barn work.  It takes a lot of different people, doing a variety of different tasks to make everything run smoothly.  One of the very important people in this puzzle is Jake Ziegler, our maintenance manager of 3 years.  Jake helps keep the farm in good shape.  He handles everything from snow removal and landscaping, to vehicle repair, to even large building projects on the farm, such as remodeling the breeding shed to redoing the office front porch.  (Jake built the porch of the old farm house, which was built in 1807, as well as repointed and restored the outside of the building)  Jake is local to Pennsylvania, growing up close to the farm in nearby Carlisle.   He first got involved with Diamond Creek in the summer of 2012, when he helped to tear down all the old barns to make way for the new ones.  Jake’s favorite part of the job is the diversity, there is no such thing as a typical day.  He hopes the younger generation gets more involved and keeps growing the sport, as it is a fun and exciting industry to be part of.   (Wishing well built to cover old well, stone is from the original barns and wood is old fence boards) If Jake could time travel he would end back in his hometown of Carlisle, 100 years ago.  The weirdest job he ever had was spent catching pigeons, and he has a secret talent for trivia games.  Included on his bucket list is skydiving and not included is eating squid.   Jake has 2 dogs, Remey and Axel, and some cows on his farm in Carlisle.  And the one thing he can’t live without? His wife, Jen. Shuttle Stallion Series As many already know, Sweet Lou, A Rocknroll Dance, and Always B Miki are getting ready to pack up their bags and head Down Under!    Ever wondered what exactly goes into the making of a "shuttle stallion"? What is life like for them on the farms Down Under?   The next few editions of this newsletter will try and answer some of these questions, pulling in information from some of the many people involved in the entire process, from deciding to send a stallion, to all the paperwork, to life Down Under.    Stay tuned!   Diamond Creek Farm 151 Warrington Street, Wellsville PA 17365 Phone: 717-638-7100 | Fax: 717-638-7111 email: diamondcreek2@gmail.com  

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Regally-bred daughter of harness racing champion Rainbow Blue wins in 1:52.4. Nearly five years after her world-champion full sister Somwherovrarainbow won her first career start, Rainbow Room debuted with an eye-catching harness racing victory Friday night in the first two-year-old race of the season at the Meadowlands. Rainbow Room, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Rainbow Blue, had been the talk of the morning after a pair of impressive Meadowlands baby race victories earlier this month. She backed up the hype in her first appearance under the lights in a $10,000 maiden event. David Miller put the 1/9 favorite on the front end and led the field through fractions of :27.4, :57.4 and three-quarters in 1:26.3. That's when All On Top Hanover ripped off her cover and pulled nearly even to Rainbow Room midway down the stretch. Rainbow Room found another gear and held off the Erv Miller trainee to stop the teletimer in 1:52.4 to win by a length. Despite the loss, All On Top Hanover deserves watch moving forward as she was charted with a last quarter mile in :25.3. Rainbow Room was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and is owned in partnership by Crawford Farms Racing, Val D'Or Farms, and Ted Gewertz. She is trained by Joe Holloway. The big night for Crawford Farms continued in the $17,500 trotting feature when their Cufflink Hanover converted a pocket trip to victory in 1:51.1 over pacesetter In Secret. Cufflink Hanover had most recently finished third behind Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder in a division of the Graduate at Tioga Downs. Fellow Graduate leg winner Trolley also tuned up for the $250,000 Graduate Final on July 8 with a 1:51.4 win in a $13,000 conditioned trot. The Erv Miller trainee had equaled the all-time track record at Tioga Downs of 1:52.1 in his previous Graduate victory 12 days ago. Corey Callahan and Tyler Buter each posted driving doubles. Total handle on the 10-race card was $1,836,992. Racing resumes Saturday night. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz
Chris Lems would rack up four wins on Friday including the Fillies & Mares harness racing feature ($7,500) with Little Santamonica (Little Steven). Owned by Courtney Crawford and trained by Jordan Hope, the 9-year-old mare would go gate-to-wire in 1:51.1. Little Santamonica ($2.80) never had a tense moment as she won her 53rd career victory. Drea's Good Powow (John MacDonald) would follow the whole way to finish second. Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) was a distant third. Lems would begin the night getting the first race victory with 2-year-old first time starter Clive Bigsby (Muscle Mass). Clive Bigsby ($3.80) would take over right before the top of the stretch and win easily by four lengths in 1:58.1. Missus Mia Wallace (Homer Hochstetler) would finish second with Ladydini (Howard Okusko Jr,.) getting third. "Lemsy" would also get a win driving Without A Clue ($18.20) going gate to wire in 1:54.4, just holding off the late charge by Jersey Boy (Ben McNeil). Walk The Floor (Angus Mac Donald) was third. Lems got his other win during race number eight with He's Gone ($3.80) running past Atoastandcaviar (John MacDonald) in 1:55.1. Jackson's Gold (Jimmy Wittemore) was third. Vernon Downs returns to live racing Saturday night (June 24) with a 13 race card starting at 6:45p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com John Horne for Vernon Downs
YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 23, 2017 - Harness racing driver Brent Holland won the 5,000th race of his career Friday night (June 23th), doing so at his place of residence, Yonkers Raceway. Holland and Delightful Dragon ($7.40) lasted on the lead by a scant schnoz in the 6th race $40,000 Filly and Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, giving the 46-year-old (as of this past Sunday) the milestone (season's-best 1:53.2) mile. The affable Holland is a native of Wilmington, OH, who began working with horses for a neighbor, Maynard Hagemeyer. "He and Bob Farrington in Chicago both taught me a lot," Holland said. His first winner came in in his first parimutuel start, as an 18-year-old with longshot E C's Best in 1989 at Lebanon Raceway..."pouring down rain," he said. "When I won my first, I used to look up to all the great drivers and never thought about a number like 5,000," Holland said. Asked for some winner's circle wit, Holland offered that 'The horse did all the work.' In the case, the hard-working lass-now 4-for-18 this season-is a 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight owned and trained by Noel Daley. Holland, who migrated east from the Chicagoland circuit not quite a decade ago, has more than $54.2 million in career purses. He was joined by his wife, Dee, and friends for a winner's circle presentation. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Friday, June 23, 2017 - Freeze Out (George Brennan, $13.60) did just that to her harness racing rivals Friday night (June 23rd), administering a beating in Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. The field was pared to seven after Betabcool N was scratched-lame after the post parade. Away an early second from became post position No. 2, Freeze Out found herself third after last week's victress, I Said Diamonds (Matt Kakaley), two-moved to the lead. Settled though early intervals of :27.1 and :55.3, Freeze Out challenged and conquered down the backside the second time. She ground down 'Diamonds' well before a 1:23.3 three-quarters, slapping a half-dozen length on the lasses in and out of the final turn. The final margin was a wrapped-up three lengths in life-best 1:52. Jewel Lehigh A (Dan Dube) did get into second, with Lispatty (Mark MacDonald) third. Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton) and Hidden Land (Brian Sears) rounded out the payees, while the 9-10 fave I Said Diamonds walked home sixth. For fifth choice Freeze Out, a 4-year-old daughter of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Ricky and Sean Bucci, it was her eighth win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $199, the triple returned $991 and the superfecta paid $2,347. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (June 24th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $3,660.17.   The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing card. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Frank Drucker
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