Day At The Track
Millie’s Possesion, harness racing

Shartin N continues to top poll

Hightstown, NJ — Only two horses in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown top 10 were in action last week, which resulted in little movement at the top of the harness racing rankings. Gimpanzee, who won a division of the New York Sire Stakes to remain unbeaten in 12 career races, improved his position from eighth to seventh in the poll. Western Fame, who finished fifth in the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial, dropped from the top 10. Millie’s Possesion, who was idle but is undefeated in seven starts, moved into the No. 10 spot. Shartin N remained No. 1, with 33 of 35 first-place votes. She was followed by Atlanta, Greenshoe, Lather Up, and Bettor’s Wish in the top five. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, which runs weekly through November, does not determine Horse of the Year. The members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association vote on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 9 – 7/23/2019 Rank Name (First Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Shartin N (33) 6pm 11-10-0-0 $605,765 347 1 2 Atlanta (1) 4tm 7-6-1-0 $438,330 288 2 3 Greenshoe (1) 3tc 5-4-1-0 $326,500 282 3 4 Lather Up 4ph 9-6-0-1 $411,405 241 4 5 Bettor’s Wish 3pc 7-5-2-0 $554,630 165 T5 6 Captain Crunch 3pc 6-4-0-0 $511,574 163 T5 7 Gimpanzee 3tc 3-3-0-0 $161,688 94 8 8 Hannelore Hanover 7tm 5-3-0-0 $79,282 79 7 9 Best In Show 3pc 9-3-3-2 $444,440 43 9 10 Millie’s Possesion  3tf 7-7-0-0 $170,517 35 — Also: Western Fame 33; McWicked 25; Stonebridge Soul 24; Evident Beauty 11; None Bettor A 9; Shake That House 8; Caviart Ally, Rich And Miserable, Six Pack 7; Green Manalishi S, Pilot Discretion 6; This Is The Plan, Warrawee Ubeaut 5; Bettor Joy N, Crystal Fashion, Tequila Monday 4; JK First Lady, Marseille, Sister Sledge, Workin Ona Mystery 3; Boadicea, Jimmy Freight, Mr Vicktor, Treacherous Reign 2; Courtly Choice, Nine Ways, Southwind Ozzi 1. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Kiara Morgan

Kiara Morgan enjoys the thrill of victory

Trenton, NJ — Harness racing driver Kiara Morgan’s biggest problem wasn’t winning her first race, but what to do after she won. “I pulled around and I was like ‘I don’t even know what to do. Where’s the winner’s circle? Where do I go?’ Morgan said. “So, I finally pulled around and got our picture and it was cool. I was happy.” This all occurred July 17 at the Washington Court House Fair in Ohio, when the daughter of renowned trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. drove Action Metro Max to victory. It was only her third start and she had taken second in her first two. It didn’t take long to get her second win, which came later in the day with Tail Gunner Hall. Morgan wasn’t too surprised at winning the second, but taking first with Action Metro Max was a bit unexpected. “Max was a little bit lazier and you have to get after him,” she said. “The second one, he’s just a little bit classier of a horse. He’s older too but he wants to race, whereas Metro Max is more of a surprise. But Tail Gunner is really good.” Which might say something about Morgan’s driving skills in that she brought Actin Metro Max from behind and got him to win easily. “He’s 9, so as you would imagine he’s pretty laid back, he’s not going to do anything more than he has to,” Kiara noted. “He wasn’t real quick off the gate. I got away fourth or fifth, it wasn’t a big field and I was pretty far back there. “A little bit after the half, someone right in front of me kind of pulled out to pull up a little bit. I was pulling out at the same exact time. They pulled back in and I went around him. I had qualified that horse at Scioto, I really think after he realized it was a half-mile track instead of a mile, he liked it. He literally just took off. After I pulled him he just said ‘Hey wait a minute’ and he just took off.” From there, Morgan could smell the victory. “I got up next to the person leading,” she said. “I kind of grabbed him up a little, by that time we were almost up to the three-quarter pole and I just let it go. He was real good. After I pulled away, he was just cruising. I was kind of grabbing him up a little because I don’t really like to win by that much, I don’t like to blow him out more than I have to. I remember I got done I was kind of like ‘I didn’t mean to win by that much, but I didn’t want to walk him either.’ I just kind of grabbed him up and let him go at a comfortable pace and he was ahead by quite a bit.” And just like that, the newbie was the winner. It was 20-year-old Kiara Morgans’s first driving win as she took a condition pace with Ken Sommer’s 9-year-old gelding by Metropolitan Action Metro Max in 2:01h for her dad, trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. Our RWTS winner Bill Holley of WCH joined them for the photo. Ohio Harness Horseman Association Photo “Before last year I’d been in a jog cart a handful of times growing up helping my dad,” she said. “Other than that, it’s all really new to me. So, it all happened quick.” It was an eventful day for the 20-year-old, who only began working with dad in December. Virgil Morgan Jr. is No. 2 in training history with 6,411 wins, trailing only Ron Burke. He is No. 8 in purses with $56 million. Despite Virgil’s success and notoriety in Ohio, Kiara wasn’t immediately sold on the harness racing game. But she got her first horse at age 7. “I always had a huge passion,” she said. “I’d ridden and shown horses my whole life, so I’ve always been around them, but I’ve always been riding and showing them and going to all kind of shows and stuff. I would come out maybe in the summer, my dad would jog with me and my brother (Trey). His training center is 12 minutes from the house and I’d maybe been there a handful of times.” By last November, however, she began to feel the urge to see what harness racing was all about. Virgil was reluctant at first but when he got a few more horses he relented in December. “I just started jogging, gradually he would put me on the training sheets,” Kiara said. “Every day I got more experience. It happened really quick. The reason I decided to try to get my license was we had heard about the (Ladies Driving Series); I thought that would be cool with all girls. I qualified a few and now I’m doing the lady pace thing. That’s where that all started.” Once again, Morgan was back in the world of racing. Only this time, someone else was doing the running. As a student at Grove City High School, Kiara was a standout on a formidable track and field team that was Southwest Ohio’s top team during her time there. She ran the 100, 200 and 400 and had success, but is modest about it. “I’m not going to say too much about that,” she said. “I won some races, but I don’t remember the specifics.” Kiara just knew she was having fun, because she was competing. “I’ve always loved to race,” she said. “I remember being a little kid, we’d get all the neighborhood kids together, and my dad would literally have a race around the house. Ever since I was little I liked to race. Track became a big part of my life in high school.” Upon graduation she attended Columbus State College and this summer she transferred to Fortis College in order to study radiology. While she would love to make a career of harness racing, Virgil has made her understand she needs something to fall back on just in case. But rest assured, racing is in her blood at the moment. When asked to equate the thrill of running a 400-meter event or driving a horse on a fairgrounds track, Kiara said there’s no comparison. She came to that realization after her Ladies Driving Series debut race at the Wilmington (Clinton County) Fair on July 9. “When I got off the track from my first race, I didn’t win, I got beat by a neck,” she said. “Those girls are extremely competitive. I remember I got off the track and I was so happy. It’s like a high you don’t get from anything else. I was parked the whole mile and I still came out and I was smiling from ear to ear. It’s a feeling like really no other I ever felt before. You’re controlling an animal, you’ve got to make decisions in split seconds and stuff. It’s really a different feeling.” As much as she loves it, Morgan knows she has to get that college degree in order to have security. “I’m going to be honest, I don’t really like school and I have to force myself to do it,” she said. “I thought about not doing it before and just trying to do the horses. But school’s really important to my dad so I always have a safety net. It takes a lot to be extremely successful with the horses, I want to have a fallback, a definite career income. “But racing pulls my heart a lot. Everyone’s always like “Aww you’ll find something that you want to do, what you love.’ I tell them ‘I know exactly what I want to do!’ I’ve known this all while I was growing up, but it’s just the fact you never really know how successful you’re going to be. I don’t want to jump into horses and end up having nothing.” So instead of diving into the pool, she is wading into it slowly. Her mindset is that she will see where driving takes her, but always have an alternate plan. In the meantime, Morgan has one of the best tutors a girl can find in her father. “Oh gosh, everything I know, it all comes from him,” she said. “He says every time I go on the track just learn something new. Obviously I’m going to make a lot of mistakes. He says every time you’re out there, learn from my mistakes, learn something new especially. Me and my brother claimed one ourselves, I’m learning all about what to do to help the horse itself. He’s always telling me to watch the grooms and ask questions. We have the greatest help in the world, they’ve all made an impact on me and are teaching me new things.” And while Virgil is a little cautious about throwing his girl right into the fire, that hasn’t stopped him from enjoying her early successes in the sulky. “It’s funny, after my first win somebody said ‘How many pictures are you going to get,’” Kiara said. “My dad never gets pictures of himself, but he got four win pictures that day just to make sure everybody had one.” Thank goodness she found out where to go. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Ohio Harness Horse Breeders Association

Ohio Breeders launch new website

The Ohio Harness Horse Breeders Association is proud to announce the launch of their new harness racing website.    The adaptive and responsive internet platform will allow harness horse people to easily access information about the upcoming annual Ohio Selected Jug Sale, which is slated for Friday, September 13, 2019 at the Brave Horse Equestrian Center in Johnstown, Ohio.   This year's sale will feature over 200 yearlings by Ohio sires Pet Rock, Cash Hall, Uncle Peter, Racing Hill, Triumphant Caviar, Rockin Amadeus, Western Vintage, My MVP, Big Bad John, McArdle and many more.   Ohio Breeders president Randy Haines noted, "We are excited to bring this new level of information access to the breeders, owners and trainers in Ohio. Since everyone these days has their phone in their hands...we want people to find our sale yearlings at the touch of a button!"   For decades, the Ohio Select sale has been the first stop for owners and trainers to acquire top State-bred harness racing performers. This year will be no exception as the Ohio Select sale has sold hundreds of Ohio Sire Stakes winners and dozens of Super Night Champions.   Current standouts include, but are not limited to: ROSEMARY ROSE p,1:50.3f--'19 ($496,867); QUEEN OF THE PRIDE p,2,1:52.4f, 3,1:51.1f--'19 ($460,479); ROSE RUN SYDNEY 4,1:54.1h ($554,643); FRASER RIDGE 4,1:52.1f ($522,479); World Champion ROCK CANDY p,3,1:50.2f--'19 ($305,626); PURE CHANCE p,3,1:54.2h--'19 ($148,896); BIG BOX HANOVER 2,1:57.4f--'19 and ELVER HANOVER p,2,1:53.3h--'19, etc.   The website includes directions and maps to the Brave Horse Center auction site and links to area hotels are posted along with an archive of sales results from previous years. In addition to the sales roster, yearling video links and a PDF digital catalog will be linked for on-line viewing, when they become available.   A social media, facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OhioHHBreeders/ is also up and running, which will feature current and former Ohio Sire Stakes winners and performers, as well as news, links and updates from farms and consignors.   The Ohio Harness Horse Breeders Association is a cooperative of Buckeye State equine nurseries dedicated to the promotion and growth of Ohio Standardbreds, and include: Abby Stables, LTD., Cool Winds Farm, Dublin Valley Farms, Hickory Lane Horse Farm, LMN Bred Stables, Inc., Midland Acres, Inc., Rose Run Farm, Spring Haven Farm, Steiner Stock Farm, Sugar Valley Farm and Winterwood Farm.   For additional information, contact Laura Nault at Ohio Harness Horse Breeders, 17605 Clarks Run Rd., Mount Sterling, OH 43143. Email: LJNault@gmail.com. By Chris Tully for the Ohio Harness Horse Breeders Assoc.

integrity tribunal.jpg

Victoria launches new integrity tribunal

Victoria's racing industry is set to be further strengthened following the establishment of a new tribunal designed to enhance and streamline the disciplinary and appeals process for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing. Acting Minister for Racing Jaclyn Symes on Tuesday announced appointments to the Victorian Racing Tribunal, which will hear and determine serious charges made against licensed persons by controlling bodies and stewards. The Victorian Racing Tribunal will also oversee the hearing and determination of a broad range of appeals, including those relating to penalties imposed by controlling bodies, and it takes over from the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in thoroughbred racing. The tribunal comprises some of the most experienced legal professionals in Victoria, led by chairperson Judge John Bowman, who has sat on the County Court of Victoria since 2001. Judge Bowman will work with three deputy chairpersons and 12 other tribunal members, including former County Court judges Graeme Hicks and Julie Nicholson, magistrate John Doherty and former lead financial ombudsman Dr June Smith. Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal vice-president Judge Marilyn Harbison and chair of Greyhound Racing Victoria's Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board and former Federal Court judge Shane Marshall will join ex-thoroughbred racing chairman of stewards Des Gleeson on the tribunal, along with retired jockeys Maree Payne and Greg Childs. Other tribunal members are Robert Abrahams, Josh Bornstein, Judy Bourke, Heidi Keighran, Amanda Upton and Andrew Gould. The Victorian Racing Tribunal will come into operation for the new racing season, starting August 1. The establishment of the tribunal is part of the Andrews Labor Government's comprehensive plan to ensure Victoria remains the pre-eminent racing state in Australia. The Victorian Budget 2019/20 includes a $72 million boost for local racing infrastructure and events and a $40m contribution to increase prizemoney for participants across the codes. The Victorian racing industry contributes $4.3 billion to the economy each year and sustains more than 33,000 equivalent full-time jobs across the state. Symes said: "We are committed to promoting fairness and integrity across all three codes of racing and the Victorian Racing Tribunal has a vital role to play in achieving this goal. "Members of the racing industry and punters, as well as the broader public, expect world-leading practice in this area and that's what we are delivering. "Led by Judge Bowman, the Tribunal boasts some of the best legal minds in the state and collectively they will bring fairness and impartiality to the important cases that will come before them." Reprinted with permission of Racing.com

Former talented Melbourne basketballer Hellen Scott is now shooting the lights out in the harness racing world. Scott, who has a team of 10 pacers in work at Albury, produced 80/1 longshot Grinning Punter to score a last-stride victory (a “buzzer-beater” in basketball parlance) at Wagga’s Riverina Paceway last Friday afternoon. Grinning Punter (Grinfromeartoear-Lucy Lynne (Christian Cullen) upset his more fancied rivals in the $6890 Pace for horses with a national rating up to 69. The gelding was driven a treat by concession driver Chris Judd, with the pair going wide on the home turn and arriving just in time in a blanket finish. Scott played for the Melbourne Tigers back in the 1980s under her maiden name Hellen Fewkes and had an awesome career representing Victoria in the sport. Hellen’s mum didn’t have a car licence, so public transport was the only option to get to training sessions.  The devoted youngster would travel by train from the family home at Faulkner to Melbourne, and then make her way to Albert Park. Hellen and her husband John left city life behind and made Albury their home in 1993, but Hellen was not lost to basketball, staying involved through coaching at schools up until this year when funding was cut. While John works with a landscape business, Hellen and their 19-year-old son Baily take care of horse training duties. John said seven-year-old gelding Grinning Punter had promised “to be anything” when he was purchased a few years ago from New Zealand by a group of keen owners. “The times he was capable of doing were just crazy.  He showed his potential at the old Wagga track by winning in 1.57 with a last half of 56.6 seconds. I thought he could win a city race without any problems,” John said. “But unfortunately, he ran into a patch of bad luck, firstly developing a heart murmur (an abnormal sound that originates from the heart valves), then fracturing a cannon bone when we sent him up to Sydney to be trained, which meant a long spell. “We’ve had him checked by vets and the heart is normal now, but he’s not going anywhere near like he was two-and-a-half years ago.” John said however Grinning Punter had been showing pleasing form leading up to his boil-over victory. “There’s no way the horse should have been those odds. He’d been quite good with a few placings and then wasn’t comfortable on the Albury track,” he said. “One of the owners Sandy Taylor was in the United States and somehow had some money on each way at 40/1, so she was very excited. Sandy and her husband Price and his brother go to the races and watch the horse whenever they can because it’s their first venture into the sport. “The other owners are Craig English, Glenn Teesdale and his son Jarman, and successful jockey Simon Miller and they’re also keen supporters.” The Scott team plans to keep racing Grinning Punter in suitable races at country tracks on a regular basis over the next few months. “He has never adjusted to the Australian heat and always goes better in winter and spring,” John said. “Baily is just busting to get his driver’s licence after doing a lengthy apprenticeship at the stables at home. Let’s hope when that time comes, he clicks with Grinning Punter and there’s some more longshot winners!” *Hoofnote: Grinning Punter finished a close-up second at Wagga yesterday paying a healthy place dividend of $3.60.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

A harness racing Group 1 winning Sundon mare Fiery Mountain Girl, in foal to Love You, is being offered for sale by Yabby Dam Farms as part of its first broodmare reduction sale. This is a great chance to acquire a foal bred on the same cross as champions Monbet and Enghien, other group one winners Habibti and Habibti Ivy, Jewels winners Habibi Inta and Paramount King and 100k earners Dieu de L’Amour, Lotalov and Paramount Queen to name a few. Group 1 placed Amarula is also for sale, in foal to exciting French stallion Used To Me as is Group 1 placed Moyabamba. Also in the draft is NZ Trotting Oaks winner Commander Jewel and The Pink Diamond, a half-sister to the aforementioned champion Enghien, This is a genuine broodmare reduction sale, due to an influx of retiring mares from Yabby Dam Farms’ racing arm, and a change of direction, meaning a number of beautifully bred mares from its broodmare band are available for sale online on its website, on a first come first served basis. Yabby Dam Farms plan to make this an annual reduction sale offering a wide mix of mares, unproven, proven, young and old broodmares. Yabby Dam Farms mares The aim is to suit all clients, from established breeders to new breeders wanting to get into the game, or those trying to get into that special family through an older mare. So here is a great chance to supplement your broodmare band from this wide mix of empty, in-foal and maiden mares which includes Group winners and good producers, from some of the southern hemisphere’s best families, some in foal to the likes of Love You, Orlando Vici and the farm’s exciting resident stallion Used To Me, whose progeny have hit the track running including a recent Gr1 runner-up. Broodmare sales enquiries please call Dave on +64 21 245 2584 or email dave@harasdestrotteurs.com.au

Plainville, MA --- Mach Doro A took an early lead he would never relinquish and then cruised to an easy harness racing victory in the $14,000 Winners-Over Handicap pace at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (July 22). Driver Ron Cushing floated Mach Doro A off the gate and took command by the quarter in :26.4. He then set unchallenged fractions of :55.1 and 1:22.4 as horses behind him tried to attack, but could not. The leader then turned for home and with no urging at all paced away to a three length win in 1:50.2, which was a new lifetime mark. Mach Doro A ($3.40) scored his fifth victory of the year and pushed his earnings to $64,000 in 2019. For his career it was the 25th win in only 76 lifetime starts, pushing his bank to $321,246. The 8-year-old son of Mach Three-Three Eagles is owned by Kevin Sywyk, his driver Cushing and Frank Rinaldi. Heidi Gibbs does the training. There were two $10,000 divisions of the Baystate Series for Plainridge-based male pacers contested on Monday with the top four finishers of each advancing to the $12,500 final on Sunday (July 28) as part of the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot card. The first division went to Rock On The Hill (Drew Monti) who came first over past the half to draw even with the leading Bamski (Drew Campbell) and then out-duel that one to the wire to win in 1:51.2. Rock On The Hill ($41.60) is owned by Alfred Lang and John Sears who also trains the horse. The second division saw Sailor Jerry (Nick Graffam) surrender the lead to Buckeye N (Mitchell Cushing) only momentarily at the quarter before retaking the lead and keeping it all the way home as he won well in hand in 1:52.1 Sailor Jerry ($3.00) is owned by Mike Graffam and Chris Hamilton. Mike Graffam is the trainer. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 25) with post time at 4 p.m. And don't forget the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff pace will be held on Sunday (July 28) with a special early post time of 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

Punters and rivals are not the only ones surprised by Self Assured’s charge to the top. A maiden in May and a G1 winner in July he has even surprised Mark Purdon. “Probably as much the way he has handled the racing as anything else. I mean we knew he was good. But the way he has done it has been an eye opener. When the other horse put half a length on him in the back and I wasn’t really wanting to get into a fight for it at that stage he just came back to me as I wanted. They were running 26 second quarters and there was still a way to go. A lot of inexperienced horses would have wanted to pull in that situation. And earlier when Lochinvar Art, who is a smart pacer and went a big race,had a go with the whip cracking it didn’t faze him. He is a very very good horse” “I had decided to go to the front and stay there because if I had to sit parked it was going to be a big ask even for him. Once I pulled the ear plugs he found another gear” All of which has Mark thinking about likely tasks for him next season. “He should be back racing in the spring, maybe around October. He will have some tests on the way home at Matamata though they should be pretty clear and just a precaution and then we will give him about four weeks up there on the water walker as we have done with others. So he won’t be out of work altogether at all." “We will probably be aiming at the Cup meeting and I might throw in a nom for the Inter Dominions and see what develops” Mark, who posted his 182nd G1 winning drive on Saturday, said Princess Tiffany and Jesse Duke will proceed to Melbourne as planned but an assessment of Princess Tiffany will be made there. “She has come through the race ok, just a little tender and whether she races in the Breeders Crown will be finally decided later in the week. She went a terrific race really on that time and from where she had to come from the draw”   Courtesy of All Stars Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/  

Plainville, MA --- Rich Poillucci lives a short distance from Plainridge Park in North Easton, Massachusetts and raced his first horses at Foxboro Park in 1986. Now 33 years later, after completing a dream harness racing season with his Dan Patch Award winning mare Shartin N, he will bring his prized pacer back to where it all started for him for a homecoming as she makes a start in the innaugural $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace at Plainridge on Sunday (July 28). Poillucci got into the business by walking into Steve Mancini's barn and telling him he wanted to buy a horse. It wasn't long after that he started winning races at Foxboro and tracks in Maine with cheaper claimers before improving his stock over the years and winning races at the Meadowlands with horses like Bold Hope (1:51.1, $178,090), Natchez Gambler (1:52.2, $566,363), Modern Family (1:51, $575,925) and Maestro Blue Chip (1:51.3, $366,538). In 2016 Poillucci started importing horses from Australia and New Zealand and routinely spends about 40 hours a week researching them. His entire stable is currently made up solely of horses from Down-under. The time and effort he puts in has paid fast dividends with buys like Nike Franco N (1:48, $839,454), Barimah A (1:49.1, $415,920), Christen Me N (1:49.2, $2,274,204), Duplicated N (1:49.2, $213,199) and Bettor Joy N (1:50.4, $456,330). But despite the great performances put in by many of his horses over the years, they all take a back seat to the Queen of his stable. "When I first came across Shartin N I liked her immediately because of her breeding. No one knew who Tintin In America was as a stallion but he was by Mcardle, and he was super fast. I have always been a fan of Mcardle mares and Timmy (Tetrick) has been as well. So we talked about it and went back and forth and it took me a whole year to buy her because she wasn't fully developed yet," said Poillucci. "Then she raced against a top horse down there and won in 1:52. So I sent my trainer in Australia Emmett Bronson to go a trip with her and when he called me after he said "Rich, she has more gears than a Porsche". So Poillucci purchased Shartin N in December of 2017 and shipped her to the states. She made her first start at Dover Downs a month later and went on to become the 2018 Dan Patch Award aged pacing mare of the year on the strength of 19 victories in 24 starts and earnings of $1.053 million. Jim King Jr. has trained Shartin N since she stepped off the plane in New York. But how did a New England owner get hooked up with a Delaware conditioner that has never raced anywhere in New England? "I bought a horse named Dapper Dude about four years ago and he was having some trouble beating the upper echelon Opens he was racing in and I thought Dover might be a good fit for him. Kelvin Harrison who was training him for me suggested I call Jim (King) to see if he would take him for me," Poillucci explained. All of a sudden Dapper Dude was doing fantastic! And I got to know Jim well and Jo Ann was very friendly to my wife and our families really clicked. So I continued to buy horses with him." Poillucci praises King's ability and patience for Shartin N's North American acclimation and development and is never surprised with the efforts she puts forth, enjoying her career one start at a time. He is also quick to point out that it's a total team effort at every step to find and develop high end stock. "My driver (Tim Tetrick) looks after my horses like gold. He's extremely intelligent and takes care of my horses and I can't thank him enough for what he's done for my stable. And I give a lot of credit to my agent John Curtin in New Zealand because without him, I wouldn't have the success I have right now," said Poillucci. "Shartin N is a once in a lifetime horse and next Sunday she'll be racing in my home state. If she's got it in her and she's close to it, I would love to see her re-write the track record at Plainridge." Jim King Jr. shares Poillucci's admiration for their amazing mare, saying sometimes it feels surreal. "She is a trainers dream for sure, she's amazing to me. Sometimes I wake up at night and think about it. Her longevity is as impressive as her ability. She comes out of a race and recovers so fast that the next morning you wonder if she even raced. Even after long ships, when she gets home she just wants to go in the field and the next morning she's ready to go to work. It's hard to take the smile off her face; she's different I'll tell you," said King. "She's always right up on her toes and it's no picnic out there until she gets settled in behind the gate. She requires someone that knows what they're doing. But once she gets going it's all business. It's almost like in a race when someone comes along side her, she sticks her arm out and says "That's as far as you can go!" She just won't let anyone by her." King explained they've been lucky with Shartin N staying healthy and sound since coming to their stable and despite sometimes being over exuberant, she's a perfect mare. However there is one downside to Shartin N. "We have a really tough job shoeing her; she just doesn't like the blacksmith. She has to be medicated and it's just not a fun day," laughed King. King holds his partner in high esteem as well and noting their time spent both on and off the track has been very meaningful to his family. "Our relationship with Rich has been great over the past several years. He's all about the horses and keeping them racing well. And he's a great guy to deal with too. We've imported several horses over the years, mostly mares, and if we want we can buy into them at any point of their development. He's been so generous it's been unreal," said King. Shartin N will be joined by stablemate Bettor Joy N in the Barton. Another selection of Poillucci's, Bettor Joy N joined their operation in January of 2019 and has been developing well ever since. After winning three legs of the Blue Chip at Yonkers and finishing second to Shartin N in the final, Bettor Joy N has now won a total of five races and $240,876 in purses this year. The $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot and $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace are both sponsored by Plainridge Park and the Harness Horseman's Association of New England (HHANE) and will be held on Sunday (July 28) at Plainridge with an early post time of 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Plainridge Park and the HHANE

The Sunday evening (July 21) harness racing program at Running Aces featured the main event on Dan Patch weekend, The $50,000 Dan Patch FFA Pace - Sponsored by Watch And Wager. Last Year's Dan Patch FFA Champion Nine Ways turned in another exhilarating performance in the 2019 Dan Patch, as he rocketed past pace-setter Rockin Speed in the homestretch to record the fastest mile ever at Running Aces when he stopped the timer in 1:50.2, lowering the track mark for the second consecutive week, and also completing six wins in a row. Running Aces' leading driver Dean Magee got Nine Ways away from the gate quickly, and was able to secure the second position on the rail, while Rockin Speed with driver Travis Seekman surged from post position six right to the lead and posted a fast opening quarter of :26.2, before being hounded by Ideal Ace with driver Stephen White who applied heavy pressure to the leader throughout the middle stages of the race (:54.2 and 1:21.4). Rockin Speed turned back the challenge of Ideal Ace, and Nine Ways emerged from the pocket position with plenty of pace, while Firedrake and driver Nick Roland shook free from third at the rail and was charging hard late. Nine Ways got home first for the track record mile, and his second consecutive Dan Patch Championship, with a winning margin of 1-3/4 lengths. Nine Ways is a 5 year old son of Delmarvelous and out of the Cam's Card Shark mare Nine Nine of Hearts, the victory in the 2019 Dan patch completed six wins in a row for Nine Ways, who now has 24 lifetime wins and earnings of $269,906. The winning owner is Antonia Storer, and the winning trainer is Tim Maier. Nine Ways paid $4.40 for every $2.00 win ticket. Drivers Dean Magee, Nick Roland and Rick Magee all turned in doubles on the Dan Patch program, which produced a new record handle for Running Aces of $371,635. RACE 9 RESULTS RUNNING ACES 7/21/19 $50,000 DAN PATCH FFA PACE TIMES: :26.2, :54.2, 1:21.1, 1:50.2 5- Nine Ways (Dean Magee) $4.40 $2.80 $2.40 6- Rockin Speed (Travis Seekman) $3.20 $3.00 2- Firedrake (Nick Roland) $4.20 $2 Exacta 5-6 $12.00 $2 Trifecta 5-6-2 $46.40 $2 Superfecta 5-6-2-1 $197.00 By Darin Gagne for Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

West Cork, IE - Rhyds Destiny with "Cool Hands" Timmy O Leary in the bike took the featured Willie Bradfield Memorial Cup at The Cornfield Oval in Manch on Sunday as racing was of top notch at the Duggan family owned oval.   Sunnyside Kildare set the early fractions in the feature with Rhyds Destiny and Supreme Sunshine sitting in behind. Then with two furlongs to pace O Leary made his move on the veteran Rhyds Destiny and ran out a two length winner from Supreme Sunshine who lost nothing in defeat.   The winner who has been a great servant of owners John Shanahan and UK based owner John Mycock is a former winner of the Red John Memorial back in 2018.   Jamie Hurley, who works for the Mike Kennedy national hunt yard in Upton, drove his first double . IB A Warrior initiated the brace when landing the opener. Hurley sent this four year old son of Arts Conquest to the front and had to battle on to beat the late finishing Cushenstown Rocky by two and a half lengths.   Moorside Myra who finished third was one that will go into the notebook for the future.   Lakeview Panam followed up on her Lisangle win and completed the double for Hurley .Again the novice driver was not waiting around for his rivals and had three lengths in hand on Armoured Bear with IB A Magician back in third.   "My Dad James and my brother Conor look after the show at home and the lads who own IB A Warrior are around the yard most days so I think we might have a few drinks to celebrate and look ahead to the Ballabuidhe Festival for both of these" Hurley told the press briefing.   Hail Spartacus has been another great servant to the Hill Family and Oisin Quill always seems to get a good tune out of the former Grand Prix winner. He showed tenacious battling qualities today.   Western Dreamer, Just A Promise and Coalford Bruce all had a "rattle" off the front runner and they threw everything at him bar the kitchen sink, but he was not for passing.   There were two trots on the card. Banialouka, a mare with tremendous ability, has been knocking at the door all year and showed her true colours this afternoon.   Trained by Micheal Duggan and John Hurley for the DHK partnership she never put a foot wrong and led home Vallanzana and Bella Despana.   "We always knew she had ability and has just been a bit unlucky," added co trainer Duggan.   Banderillero Piya is another one that has found the winning ways .A winner in Portmarnock last Sunday, he put in another perfect round accounting for stable companion Tenor Meslos with Brutenor back in third.   With the all Ireland series continuing at The Premium meeting in Annaghmore next week there is no local action until the two day Ballabuidhe Festival in Dunmanway on the August Bank holiday weekend.Details of entries can be got on www.irishharnessracing.com.   by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink       RESULTS   RACE ONE 1.IB A WRRIOR J Hurley 2.CUSHENSTOWN ROCKY O Quill 3.MOORSIDE MYRA T O Leary DIST 2 1/2L 1/2L TIME 2.39.9   RACE TWO 1.LAKEVIEW PANAM J Hurley 2.ARMOURED BEAR J Boyle 3.IB A MAGICIAN D Murphy DIST 3L 2L TIME 2.37.1   RACE THREE 1.BANIALOUKA K Sheehy 2.VALLANZANA O Quill 3.BELLA DESPANA L Kelleher DIST 4L NS TIME 2.45.6   RACE FOUR 1.RHYDS DESTINY T O Leary 2.SUPREME SUNSHINE J Boyle 3.RHYDS PANACHE C O Reilly DIST 2L 2L TIME 2.34.8   RACE FIVE 1.HAIL SPARTACUS O Quill 2.COALFORD BRUCE T O Leary 3.JUST A PROMISE P McInerney DIST 2L 1L TIME 2.38.7   RACE SIX 1.BANDERILLERO PIYA D Murphy 2.TENOR MESLOS O Quill 3 BRUTENOE P Hill DIST 3L 1L

OTTAWA, JULY 21, 2019 - Six divisions of three-year-old trotting colts battled over the Rideau Carleton Raceway oval on Sunday evening and All Wrapped Up saved the best for last - a 1:54.1 track record in the final Gold Series harness racing split. All Wrapped Up and driver Louis-Philippe Roy charged away from Post 5 and as they rolled through fractions of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:26.1 two lengths in front of their peers there was little doubt about the eventual outcome of the race. The only question was how fast the fan favourites would go and whether the Rideau Carleton track record was in jeopardy. Down the stretch Roy kept his foot on the accelerator and when All Wrapped Up powered across the finish line almost four lengths ahead of Jumpshot and Gold Edition, the teletimer delivered the news - 1:54.1, a new track record. "I always thought he was one of the best of his division, if he behaves," said Roy, who drives All Wrapped Up for trainer Robert Fellows. "Tonight Robert made a few changes on his equipment, adding trotting hopples, and he was all business. He was still very strong at the wire." All Wrapped Up's impressive mile took three-fifths of a second off the former 1:54.4 track record set by Try Try Again in August 2017 and matched by Dream Nation in the second Gold division on Sunday. Rockwood, ON resident Fellows shares ownership of the Archangel gelding with Arpad Szabo of Bradford, ON and Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister of Beaumont, AB. Sunday's victory was All Wrapped Up's first in Gold Series action. In his three previous Gold Series appearances, one as a two-year-old and two this season, the gelding had made breaks and finished well back of the leaders. When the fractious youngster made his fourth miscue of eight starts in a July 12 overnight event at Woodbine Mohawk Park Fellows decided it was time to try the trotting hopples and the decision paid immediate dividends, giving All Wrapped Up his sixth career win and pushing his earnings to $83,313. All Wrapped Up's record setting mile came on the heels of Dream Nation's track record equalling performance in the second $71,467 Gold division. Unlike his record-setting peer, Dream Nation stalked fan favourite Southwind Avenger through fractions of :28.4, :57.4 and 1:26.4 before sprinting down the stretch to a head victory in 1:54.4. Southwind Avenger settled for second and Esa was three lengths back in third. Sylvain Filion drove Archangel son Dream Nation to his first Gold Series win of the season for trainer Jacques Dupont and owners Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc. of Repentigny, Ecurie CSL of Sorel-Tracy, Gestion C. Levesque 2005 Inc., St-Hyacinthe and Marc Camirand of Montreal, QC. The other Gold Series division went to Only For Justice and driver Chris Christoforou, who cruised through fractions of :29.2, :58.3 and 1:28.1 on their way to a one and three-quarter length win in 1:56. Manatlas finished second and JMR Pinarello was well back in third. It was the second Gold Series win, and third of the season for Only For Justice, who also captured his division of the Gold Series opener at Flamboro Downs before running into his own early season hiccups. "He win at Flamboro, easy, so we think he can be all right in the (June 15) Goodtimes and the next (June 24) Gold, but he make a mistake in the Gold and he was sick in the Goodtimes Final," said Dany Fontaine, who trains Only For Justice for Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, QC. "But after that he had a rest for two weeks and we go to Three Rivers (July 12), and at Three Rivers the competition is not very strong, you know, so he have a good training," said Fontaine of the Justice Hall son's win in the July 12 leg of the Breeders Cup Series. "And tonight, you know a short field like that and this horse he likes to leave the gate, he was good. He's a nice horse." Sunday's win moves Only For Justice into second spot in the three-year-old trotting colt Gold Series standings with 100 points, 25 behind leader Southwind Avenger. In addition to the Gold Series divisions, Rideau Carleton Raceway also hosted three Grassroots divisions with CT Conabra, Royale Elite and Cool Clifford emerging victorious. Sunday's start marked CT Conabra's sophomore debut. The Kadabra colt and driver Doug McNair led through all stations before trotting under the wire one length in front of fan favourite Southwind Frost in 1:56.1. Archway rounded out the top three. Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON trains CT Conabra for Brad Grant of Milton and Jason Badder of Thamesville, ON. Fan favourite Royale Elite and driver Jonathan Drury took command heading for the half and held off a closing Fitzgibbons to secure a three-quarter length victory in 1:57 in the second division. Lifetime Royalty finished three lengths back in third. Shawn Steacy of Guelph, ON trains Royalty For Life son Royale Elite for owner-breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. Cool Clifford went gate-to-wire from Post 3 in the third $22,800 Grassroots division. The Kadabra gelding and driver Sylvain Filion hit the wire in 1:56, three-quarters of a length ahead of Isnt He An Angel and four ahead of Judge Ken. Scott McEneny of Waterdown, ON trains Cool Clifford, who started his season at the Gold Series level, for Brad Grant of Milton and Martwest Racing Stable of Mississauga, ON. The three-year-old trotting colts and geldings will make their next Ontario Sires Stakes starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, August 12 for the Gold colts and August 19 for the Grassroots contenders. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday, August 25 with Gold and Grassroots action for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Complete results from Sunday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0721ridcfn.dat.   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

The fairytale has continued for Swedish young gun harness racing driver Kima Frenning with a significant milestone. Frenning, 27, who has rapidly etched a name for herself in the sport in Australia, posted her 100th winner for the season with a pillar-to-post win at Kilmore late last week. "I was asked early on if I'd set any goals for 2018-19, and I did say of course I had and it was to get a century," she said laughing. "It was just an unrealistic statement at the time because I never thought I'd actually get there. "I will be honest and say I knew I was getting close awhile back. It's exciting, but I'm very lucky to be given good horses to drive. Without the support of the trainers who keep putting me on, I wouldn't be where I am today." Frenning had no cause for concern in reaching the magical 100 as former Kiwi gelding Raptors Flight (Bettors Delight-Circus Flyer (Falcon Seelster) was effortless in recording his second win for the David Aiken stable since crossing the Tasman Sea. The pacer zipped to the front and after getting an easy time early had things under control from that point. He got into third gear up the final stretch in 30.2 and 27.5. "He is so laid back. I had to get into him a bit, then he woke up," Frenning said. Kima hard at work in the feed shed The popular horsewoman so far hasn't had time to celebrate her remarkable achievement, with drives at most meetings. "We are pretty much at the races five nights a week. It's so busy, but I hope to squeeze in a little celebration soon," she said. And the victories have kept coming for Frenning since the milestone win - she was successful with the David Aiken-trained pair - Dynamic Bromac (Live Or Die-Diana Bromac (Holmes Hanover), at Bendigo on Friday night and then Big Jack Hammer (The Pres-Running Pinevale (Wesgate Victory) in the G3 Touch Merchant Trotters FFA at Melton the following night. She was again in the money yesterday at Cranbourne. This time for Dean Braun with bay filly Buzinga (Bettors Delight-Safedra (Mach Three), a promising type stepping out for the first time in Australia. Frenning has been a remarkable success story after deciding to take a break from studying law at home for some travel to get away from another cold winter. She arrived in Victoria nearly five years ago as a talented monte rider, where trotting harness horses compete under saddle with riders like jockeys. After landing a job in a top stable and igniting her harness racing career, Frenning was a sensation in the montes. "I always had a love for horses and my family back home all took riding lessons. My dad Goran is a hands-on person and thought riding was something we could all do as a family," Frenning explained. "So that meant my mum Hima and sister Sarah also had to join in," she said. "My parents aren't into it now, but they have been out to Australia to watch me at the races. Sarah is busy studying environmental science as well as being a vegan cook." Frenning said she tried to watch as many races as possible to keep improving herself. "I probably have a role model in Kerryn Manning, who is a wonderful reinswoman. She is also humble and so down-to-earth. "I will be happy if I can keep getting winners. I need to save up as I get home once a year and I'm hoping I can do this next Christmas." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

When Christchurch harness racing buff Peter O’Rourke was offered the role as booking agent in New Zealand for the mighty Lazarus he didn’t need to think twice about accepting the position. “How could you not want to be involved with the past pacer I’ve ever seen?” Peter said. Lazarus, the dual NZ Horse of the Year and Inter Dominion and Miracle Mile hero who is lining up for his first season at Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga (NSW), is gaining widespread interest from Kiwi broodmare owners, according to Peter. “I’ve already had more than 40 confirmed bookings to him in New Zealand,” he said. O’Rourke is unquestionably one of the best known and most respected figures in Harness Racing breeding and racing - on either side of the ditch. His secondment to the Lazarus team adds yet another string to his bow. O’Rourke’s involvement in the sport began way back in January 1977. “Bob McArdle wanted me to give him a hand with his bloodstock business,” Peter recalls. “And I stayed for 23 years!” Peter, whose working life began as a high school teacher in Melbourne, was appointed as manager of the fledgling Nevele R Stud, near Christchurch in 1977. Peter O'Rourke “When I first started the three horses standing on the property were Timely Knight, Nevele Romeo and the trotter Gerry Mir,” Peter said. “Holmes Hanover, Live Or Die and Falcon Seelster were the three best sires to stand at Nevele R during my time.” The exalted trio won more than 20 NZ Sire Premiership between them. In 1999 Peter became the marketing manager of the late Wayne Francis’ Spreydon Lodge, the home of the ‘Franco’ breed, as well as general manager of Nevele R Stud Limited. “I sold more than 100 ‘Franco’ horses to both Australia and NZ including derby and oaks winners, two Australian Pacing Championship winners, a Chariots Of Fire winner and a Golden Nugget winner,” he stated. Some of the best horses sold by Peter include the NSW Oaks winners Scent and Shrub, Madam Steward (Queensland Oaks), the Chariots winner Kentuckiana, the Australian Pacing Championship winners Swapzee Bromac and Atitagian and the cup class pacer Our Ian Mac. One of his most expensive sales was the Boyden Hanover gelding Swapzee Bromac. “I purchased Swapzee Bromac as a foal off Bob McArdle and later sold him to clients of Perth trainer Trevor Warwick,” he said. “He went on to win more than $200,000 before being sold to USA for $100,000 plus.” In 2013 O’Rourke joined forces with well known Adelaide harness identity and good mate David Shammall to establish Stallions Australasia, which transports frozen semen for elite trotting sires from North America. “Unlike their pacing counterparts, the top trotting sires don’t ever shuttle to Australia or NZ,” Peter stated. ”So we identified a niche market for the trotters.” The Stallions Australasia roster includes the world’s No. 1 trotting sire Muscle Hill and his brilliant, young sons Trixton, Southwind Frank and Tactical Landing. Peter said the best horse he ever raced was Michele Bromac (Besta Fella-Milne Bay), who won 11 races including two heats of the Nevele R Fillies Series and finished second in the final and third in the NZ Oaks. He also tasted success recently with the three-year-old Artsplace gelding Arts Dash. “He had three starts for us for a win, a second and fifth before we sold him to Victoria where he won on debut at Geelong last week,” Peter said. Married to Sue, and the father of two children and grandfather of Lulu, 7, and Harry, 5, the 68 years-old O’Rourke still really enjoys harness racing. “I love the industry and I want to stay involved for a few more years yet,” he stated. By Peter Wharton

Ask any number of people in New Jersey 'what are the Meadowlands?' and you'll probably get as many different answers. Some will say it's where the Giants and Jets play football. To others, it's the track -- harness racing at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Or it's the home of that former eye-sore now known as American Dream (you know, the mega-mall that's set to open in October). It's where North Jersey drivers get on the New Jersey Turnpike. And, too often, where traffic to the Lincoln Tunnel starts to crawl.  There are those who believe the Meadowlands are Jimmy Hoffa's final resting place. Or at least they see it as a landfill where illegal dumping went unmitigated for decades.  But there's also a segment of the population who will tell you that the Meadowlands are a natural oasis. An ecological marvel that is regenerating itself after years of abuse. And, more recently, the home of hundreds of species of birds and fish.  And they'd all be right.     But, on a recent tour, we got to see a side of the Meadowlands that most don't often see — the quiet spots, away from the traffic, where the sounds of birds echo across the water and the views are spectacular.  "You could be kayaking through a marsh and see birds, then turn a corner and see the New York City skyline," said Jeff Tittel, senior chapter director of the NJ Sierra Club. "It's an oasis of wetlands and wildlife surrounded by one of the most densely populated areas of the country." Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute   How it got here The Meadowlands District is a 30.4-square-mile area that stretches into Bergen and Hudson counties. It includes a portion of 14 different municipalities, some that are the most densely populated in the state and span from Route 46 in the north to the Pulaski Skyway on the south. Within that 30.4-square mile span includes 8,000 acres of wetland, 100 acres of open space, 21 parks, eight miles of trails and three boat launches.  The Hackensack River and its tributaries -- Mill Creek, Berrys Creek, and Overpeck Creek -- are at the center of it all.       The Meadowlands have an extensive history dating back to pre-historic times.  But, modern marsh grasses have only been part of the landscape there for a few hundred years, according to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which holds the land lease for MetLife Sports Complex and serves as the regional planning and zoning agency for the Meadowlands District since it absorbed the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission in 2015.  A tangle of waterways and early roads made the Meadowlands area ripe for residential development in the mid-1800s.  Then population growth and technological advances during the Industrial Revolution drew rail service. The development of the combustion engine and the expansion of the automobile and trucking industries in the early 20th century made the district what it is today -- more roads and rail activity led to the growth of the warehouse and distribution industries. NJSEA   A lot of trash The swamps of the Meadowlands in the mid-1900s were seen as a breeding ground for mosquitos and unusable land that should be drained or filled in.  By World War II the area surrounding the meadows was fully developed. The Bergen County Mosquito Control Commission decided to try to reclaim some of the marshes. They drained about 17,000 acres by building ditches and the land was used for industrial and suburban growth, transportation and landfills.  That meant garbage — a lot of garbage — was dumped here, for decades.  A 1969 state study found that the Meadowlands took in 5,000 tons of garbage per day, six days a week, 300 days of the year from 118 NJ municipalities and New York City, according to the NJSEA.  Allison Pries | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com    But these wetlands play a vast environmental role -- they're a habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife and they process and mitigate storm water, especially when there's no where else for that water to go.  "Wetlands act as a huge sponge when a big coastal storm like Sandy comes through," said Hackensack Riverkeeper Bill Sheehan.  Secaucus, Little Ferry, Moonachie and other towns learned this the hard way after Sandy, he said.  "They were built at relatively low elevations and the reason they got away with it for so many years is there were enough wetlands still. Now the wetlands are consumed by development, garbage dumps and other uses. So when the tide rolls out of the banks of the river, it doesn't have anywhere to go but inside homes and businesses." Tony Kurdzuk | The Star-Ledger    The abuse of the Meadowlands began to wane in the 1970s when the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection were formed. But severe damage had been done, particularly along Berry's Creek where three Superfund sites would be designated. Scientific Chemical in Carlstadt, Universal Oil Products in East Rutherford and the Ventron/Velsicol site, which spans Wood-Ridge and Carlstadt, were all found to be laden with PCBs. Berry's Creek was at one time considered among the most mercury-laden sites in the country.   Additionally, Diamond Head Oil Refinery in Kearney and PJP Landfill in Jersey CIty remain active Superfund sites.     Allison Pries | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com   Through environmental cleanups, advocacy and forces of nature the Meadowlands has been undergoing a rejuvenation.  "The Hackensack River and the environment in the Meadowlands has made a remarkable comeback over the past 40 years," said Brian Aberback, Public Information Officer for NJSEA.  (You can witness the progress first-hand hand through tours that the NJSEA and the Hackensack Riverkeeper do from spring to fall.)    NJSEA   It's both the ecology and the accessibility of the Meadowlands that makes it attractive to businesses, said Jim Kirkos, president and chief executive officer of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce.  "If a company is relocating, their first concern is always infrastructure, mobility and then workforce," said Kirkos, who counts 1,200 businesses as members of his organization.  "Those are easy sells for us because we have a very strong workforce and despite congestion in the area, our transportation is pretty good outside of rush hour.  "Then we talk about quality of life --  schools, athletics and recreation. Utilizing the Meadowlands and the park system and all those potential places to recreate ... with the proximity to Manhattan and mass transit to get places, it makes it an easy sell." The 718-acre Kingsland Tract, a former landfill that was cleaned up, was purchased last month for $42.5 million. It will be developed into an e-commerce industrial park with up to six buildings totaling more than 3 million square feet.    Andre Malok | NJ Advance Media from NJ.com   And then, of course, there's that $3 billion investment in the Meadowlands, the American Dream mega-mall. Developer Triple Five is counting on tourism to help bring 40 million visitors per year when it opens in October. American Dream will span 3 million square feet and have more than 450 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues including indoor amusement and water parks, an NHL-regulation-sized ice rink and a ski slope.    The Meadowlands has also undergone another housing boom.  Developers in the past decade have bought and cleaned up industrial sites and then built apartments in Rutherford, Lyndhurst and other towns. At The Station in Lyndhurst — which advertises "Stare at Manhattan’s skyline for hours. Be there in just minutes"—  rent for a one bedroom is $2,100 and two bedrooms fetch $2,500, according to apartments.com. These luxury apartments are decked-out with high-end amenities previously seen only in apartments along the Hudson River, such as pools, yoga rooms and pool tables.    Hackensack Riverkeeper   The future of the Meadowlands Still, environmentalists want to see more done to clean up the Meadowlands' past abuses. "That stuff is still there," said Sheehan. "It didn’t wash out to sea like they thought it would. It works its way up the food chain and corrupts the food chain."  "Some of contamination in there can’t be simply removed from the fish. You can't cook it out and you can't wash it out," he said."It becomes part and parcel to the fish's body. If you eat that the same thing will happen to you." But much progress has been made.  When Sheehan started as the Hackensack Riverkeeper 30 years ago, there were hardly any fish in the river because there wasn't enough oxygen in the polluted water. Now, striped bass are breeding in the river. Small Blue fish come in the summer and leave in October for migration. Northern Harrier — a federally-listed endangered species —  are hunting in the Meadowlands.  "Each year, we believe 2-3 pairs of the hawk species nests in the Meadowlands District," said Hugh Carola, of the Hackensack Riverkeeper. Yellow and Black Crowned Night Heron and Osprey have also been seen. All told, the Meadowlands is now home to more than 70 species of fish and more than 275 species of birds.  "It's coming back and healing itself," said Tittel, of the NJ Sierra Club.  One of the biggest threats now, he said, is too much recreating, housing and power plants in the area. "The biggest threat now is loving it to death," he said.    By Allison Pries   Reprinted with permission of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com   This article is part of “Unknown New Jersey,” an ongoing series that highlights interesting and little-known stories about our past, present, and future -- all the unusual things that make our great state what is it. Got a story to pitch? Email it to local@njadvancemedia.com. Read more Unknown New Jersey stories like this: Teterboro: it’s not just an airport. It’s also a really small town. Would you live in a log cabin in the Pinelands? Why many in this small N.J. town do. Tiny shore town is just two blocks long — and it’s getting smaller Allison Pries may be reached at apries@njadvancemedia.com.       

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Hightstown, NJ — Only two horses in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown top 10 were in action last week, which resulted in little movement at the top of the harness racing rankings. Gimpanzee, who won a division of the New York Sire Stakes to remain unbeaten in 12 career races, improved his position from eighth to seventh in the poll. Western Fame, who finished fifth in the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial, dropped from the top 10. Millie’s Possesion, who was idle but is undefeated in seven starts, moved into the No. 10 spot. Shartin N remained No. 1, with 33 of 35 first-place votes. She was followed by Atlanta, Greenshoe, Lather Up, and Bettor’s Wish in the top five. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, which runs weekly through November, does not determine Horse of the Year. The members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association vote on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 9 – 7/23/2019 Rank Name (First Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Shartin N (33) 6pm 11-10-0-0 $605,765 347 1 2 Atlanta (1) 4tm 7-6-1-0 $438,330 288 2 3 Greenshoe (1) 3tc 5-4-1-0 $326,500 282 3 4 Lather Up 4ph 9-6-0-1 $411,405 241 4 5 Bettor’s Wish 3pc 7-5-2-0 $554,630 165 T5 6 Captain Crunch 3pc 6-4-0-0 $511,574 163 T5 7 Gimpanzee 3tc 3-3-0-0 $161,688 94 8 8 Hannelore Hanover 7tm 5-3-0-0 $79,282 79 7 9 Best In Show 3pc 9-3-3-2 $444,440 43 9 10 Millie’s Possesion  3tf 7-7-0-0 $170,517 35 — Also: Western Fame 33; McWicked 25; Stonebridge Soul 24; Evident Beauty 11; None Bettor A 9; Shake That House 8; Caviart Ally, Rich And Miserable, Six Pack 7; Green Manalishi S, Pilot Discretion 6; This Is The Plan, Warrawee Ubeaut 5; Bettor Joy N, Crystal Fashion, Tequila Monday 4; JK First Lady, Marseille, Sister Sledge, Workin Ona Mystery 3; Boadicea, Jimmy Freight, Mr Vicktor, Treacherous Reign 2; Courtly Choice, Nine Ways, Southwind Ozzi 1. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager
Trenton, NJ — Harness racing driver Kiara Morgan’s biggest problem wasn’t winning her first race, but what to do after she won. “I pulled around and I was like ‘I don’t even know what to do. Where’s the winner’s circle? Where do I go?’ Morgan said. “So, I finally pulled around and got our picture and it was cool. I was happy.” This all occurred July 17 at the Washington Court House Fair in Ohio, when the daughter of renowned trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. drove Action Metro Max to victory. It was only her third start and she had taken second in her first two. It didn’t take long to get her second win, which came later in the day with Tail Gunner Hall. Morgan wasn’t too surprised at winning the second, but taking first with Action Metro Max was a bit unexpected. “Max was a little bit lazier and you have to get after him,” she said. “The second one, he’s just a little bit classier of a horse. He’s older too but he wants to race, whereas Metro Max is more of a surprise. But Tail Gunner is really good.” Which might say something about Morgan’s driving skills in that she brought Actin Metro Max from behind and got him to win easily. “He’s 9, so as you would imagine he’s pretty laid back, he’s not going to do anything more than he has to,” Kiara noted. “He wasn’t real quick off the gate. I got away fourth or fifth, it wasn’t a big field and I was pretty far back there. “A little bit after the half, someone right in front of me kind of pulled out to pull up a little bit. I was pulling out at the same exact time. They pulled back in and I went around him. I had qualified that horse at Scioto, I really think after he realized it was a half-mile track instead of a mile, he liked it. He literally just took off. After I pulled him he just said ‘Hey wait a minute’ and he just took off.” From there, Morgan could smell the victory. “I got up next to the person leading,” she said. “I kind of grabbed him up a little, by that time we were almost up to the three-quarter pole and I just let it go. He was real good. After I pulled away, he was just cruising. I was kind of grabbing him up a little because I don’t really like to win by that much, I don’t like to blow him out more than I have to. I remember I got done I was kind of like ‘I didn’t mean to win by that much, but I didn’t want to walk him either.’ I just kind of grabbed him up and let him go at a comfortable pace and he was ahead by quite a bit.” And just like that, the newbie was the winner. It was 20-year-old Kiara Morgans’s first driving win as she took a condition pace with Ken Sommer’s 9-year-old gelding by Metropolitan Action Metro Max in 2:01h for her dad, trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. Our RWTS winner Bill Holley of WCH joined them for the photo. Ohio Harness Horseman Association Photo “Before last year I’d been in a jog cart a handful of times growing up helping my dad,” she said. “Other than that, it’s all really new to me. So, it all happened quick.” It was an eventful day for the 20-year-old, who only began working with dad in December. Virgil Morgan Jr. is No. 2 in training history with 6,411 wins, trailing only Ron Burke. He is No. 8 in purses with $56 million. Despite Virgil’s success and notoriety in Ohio, Kiara wasn’t immediately sold on the harness racing game. But she got her first horse at age 7. “I always had a huge passion,” she said. “I’d ridden and shown horses my whole life, so I’ve always been around them, but I’ve always been riding and showing them and going to all kind of shows and stuff. I would come out maybe in the summer, my dad would jog with me and my brother (Trey). His training center is 12 minutes from the house and I’d maybe been there a handful of times.” By last November, however, she began to feel the urge to see what harness racing was all about. Virgil was reluctant at first but when he got a few more horses he relented in December. “I just started jogging, gradually he would put me on the training sheets,” Kiara said. “Every day I got more experience. It happened really quick. The reason I decided to try to get my license was we had heard about the (Ladies Driving Series); I thought that would be cool with all girls. I qualified a few and now I’m doing the lady pace thing. That’s where that all started.” Once again, Morgan was back in the world of racing. Only this time, someone else was doing the running. As a student at Grove City High School, Kiara was a standout on a formidable track and field team that was Southwest Ohio’s top team during her time there. She ran the 100, 200 and 400 and had success, but is modest about it. “I’m not going to say too much about that,” she said. “I won some races, but I don’t remember the specifics.” Kiara just knew she was having fun, because she was competing. “I’ve always loved to race,” she said. “I remember being a little kid, we’d get all the neighborhood kids together, and my dad would literally have a race around the house. Ever since I was little I liked to race. Track became a big part of my life in high school.” Upon graduation she attended Columbus State College and this summer she transferred to Fortis College in order to study radiology. While she would love to make a career of harness racing, Virgil has made her understand she needs something to fall back on just in case. But rest assured, racing is in her blood at the moment. When asked to equate the thrill of running a 400-meter event or driving a horse on a fairgrounds track, Kiara said there’s no comparison. She came to that realization after her Ladies Driving Series debut race at the Wilmington (Clinton County) Fair on July 9. “When I got off the track from my first race, I didn’t win, I got beat by a neck,” she said. “Those girls are extremely competitive. I remember I got off the track and I was so happy. It’s like a high you don’t get from anything else. I was parked the whole mile and I still came out and I was smiling from ear to ear. It’s a feeling like really no other I ever felt before. You’re controlling an animal, you’ve got to make decisions in split seconds and stuff. It’s really a different feeling.” As much as she loves it, Morgan knows she has to get that college degree in order to have security. “I’m going to be honest, I don’t really like school and I have to force myself to do it,” she said. “I thought about not doing it before and just trying to do the horses. But school’s really important to my dad so I always have a safety net. It takes a lot to be extremely successful with the horses, I want to have a fallback, a definite career income. “But racing pulls my heart a lot. Everyone’s always like “Aww you’ll find something that you want to do, what you love.’ I tell them ‘I know exactly what I want to do!’ I’ve known this all while I was growing up, but it’s just the fact you never really know how successful you’re going to be. I don’t want to jump into horses and end up having nothing.” So instead of diving into the pool, she is wading into it slowly. Her mindset is that she will see where driving takes her, but always have an alternate plan. In the meantime, Morgan has one of the best tutors a girl can find in her father. “Oh gosh, everything I know, it all comes from him,” she said. “He says every time I go on the track just learn something new. Obviously I’m going to make a lot of mistakes. He says every time you’re out there, learn from my mistakes, learn something new especially. Me and my brother claimed one ourselves, I’m learning all about what to do to help the horse itself. He’s always telling me to watch the grooms and ask questions. We have the greatest help in the world, they’ve all made an impact on me and are teaching me new things.” And while Virgil is a little cautious about throwing his girl right into the fire, that hasn’t stopped him from enjoying her early successes in the sulky. “It’s funny, after my first win somebody said ‘How many pictures are you going to get,’” Kiara said. “My dad never gets pictures of himself, but he got four win pictures that day just to make sure everybody had one.” Thank goodness she found out where to go. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent
JACKSON, MI – Jackson County Fair Manager Denise Owens has heard the rumors: Skeptics don't believe the fairgrounds will be ready to host the fair Aug. 4-10. But Owens is confident that the Jackson County Fairgrounds/Keeley Park will be ready, albeit without some of the  finishing touches like landscaping. Construction crews have been busy this summer making the redesigned fairgrounds a reality. Changes for 2019 include removal of part of the harness-racing track and new spots for the midway and parking.  Construction of the new events center is underway, but it won't open until 2020. "It's going to happen," Owens said. "I had a guy call me yesterday and bet me $10 it wasn't going to happen. I said, 'Well you just march down here, right now, and give me that $10, because it's going to happen.'" Rumors that the fair might move to Michigan International Speedway aren't true, Owens said – not only because the fairgrounds will be ready, but also because MIS is hosting a race the same week.  "We are doing everything we can to make this the best experience – knowing that you're going to see a little dirt in a few places," Owens said. "Just the convenience of the layout is tremendous." Here's a look at the progress of the construction and a guide to where everything will be setup for the fair. Courtesy of Jackson County   An overview This rendering from Jackson County shows the final plan for the fairgrounds, including new parking lots and new park space.  While this will be the look for the 2020 fair, a few components aren't quite finished for August's fair, Owens said. Courtesy of Jackson County   A new midway Instead of on the south end of the property, the new midway is shaped like an upside-down U in the infield of the former harness-racing track.  In past years, this was where visitors would park. Crews are working on growing grass in this area. "We're out there watering like crazy," Owens said. "I think you will see grass, it won't look really thick and full, but people will identify it as grass."   J. Scott Park | MLive.com     J. Scott Park | MLive.com   Where to park General parking for the fair is at the old prison site on North Street, which was Michigan's first state prison from 1838 to 1934. Jackson County bought the property earlier this year for $175,000 and plans to shuttle people west on North Street to the north fair entrance.  Parking is $5, like always, but the shuttle ride is free. The shuttle stops running each night at 11 p.m., Owens said.  The area can hold more than 1,000 cars, and is larger than the infield parking space from previous years.   J. Scott Park | MLive.com   County officials have wanted to move parking from the interior of the fair to the exterior for years, partly for safety reasons. It's much easier to search a person, than to search someone's whole vehicle, officials said when vying for the change. "There's very few fairs anymore that allow people to drive into the center of the fair," Owens said. "There's a lot of reasons that needs to be thought out." J. Scott Park | MLive.com   Other parking, food vendors There are new parking lots on the south side of the property, but they aren't for general admission fairgoers.  The parking lot on the southwest corner is the handicap lot, with a new entrance off Ganson Street. The lots just south of the midway will be used for vendors and vendor parking. The county owns a lot on Blackstone Street that's traditionally been used for parking, but it will be used for vendor camping space this year. Homeowners on streets surrounding the fair often allow parking on their property for a fee, as do some businesses along Ganson Street.   Walk-up ticket sales For 2019, walk-up admission is staying where it's been along Ganson Street, Owens said. Starting next year, walk-up tickets will be sold in the new American 1 Events Center. J. Scott Park | MLive.com   The new building Construction continues on the new American 1 Events Center, and will continue throughout fair week.  However, concrete pouring will be delayed until the week after the fair, due to the disruption it would cause, Owens said. It will be roped off during the fair, so attendees won't be able to take a look inside.     Courtesy of Jackson County   The $6.4 million building is on schedule, Owens said, with plans to open in March 2020. The event center is 35,000 square feet, including a 20,000-square-foot event space, a public meeting room, a concourse, a catering kitchen and office space.   Courtesy of Jackson County   The picnic area between the new American 1 Events Center and the Herman Gumper also won't open until 2020.   J. Scott Park | MLive.com   Grandstand While part of the track has been torn out, the grandstand isn't going anywhere. With recent changes, the structure built in 1920 is easier to see from anywhere in the area.  Temporary fencing will go up during the fair to block it from view of fairgoers – although concert attendees will see the midway in the backdrop of the concert stage.   Temporary movie screen The county parks department recently purchased a large, blow-up movie screen, which will be utilized at the fair this year. The screen will be set up north of the midway area, and "Charlotte's Web" will play at dusk on Thursday night, Owens said. One of the vendors plans to hand out free popcorn during the movie, she said.   J. Scott Park | MLive.com   The old American 1 Events Center Vendor booths are available under the grandstands and inside the old American 1 Events Center, like in previous years. A new walkway has been constructed to connect the midway with the building.   The free act This year's free act at the fair is called K9s in Flight, with dogs doing tricks like catching flying discs and leaping into pools. The free act will be stationed just south of the grandstand area.   J. Scott Park | MLive.com   The beer tent The beer tent is back in 2019, being set up just south of the track and stage area. It opens at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4 and 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 5 through Friday, Aug. 9.  This area will become a parking lot in the future, but won't be paved in time for this year's fair. Millings will be put down as a sturdy, temporary surface. Courtesy of Jackson County   Video renderings To see a video walkthrough of renderings, with what the fairgrounds are designed to look like, click here. Courtesy of Jackson County   Courtesy of Jackson County     J. Scott Park | MLive.com   For more photos of the construction progress at the fairgrounds, click here. By Taylor DesOrmeau | tdesorme@mlive.com Reprinted with permission of Expo.Mlive.com
The Ohio Harness Horse Breeders Association is proud to announce the launch of their new harness racing website.    The adaptive and responsive internet platform will allow harness horse people to easily access information about the upcoming annual Ohio Selected Jug Sale, which is slated for Friday, September 13, 2019 at the Brave Horse Equestrian Center in Johnstown, Ohio.   This year's sale will feature over 200 yearlings by Ohio sires Pet Rock, Cash Hall, Uncle Peter, Racing Hill, Triumphant Caviar, Rockin Amadeus, Western Vintage, My MVP, Big Bad John, McArdle and many more.   Ohio Breeders president Randy Haines noted, "We are excited to bring this new level of information access to the breeders, owners and trainers in Ohio. Since everyone these days has their phone in their hands...we want people to find our sale yearlings at the touch of a button!"   For decades, the Ohio Select sale has been the first stop for owners and trainers to acquire top State-bred harness racing performers. This year will be no exception as the Ohio Select sale has sold hundreds of Ohio Sire Stakes winners and dozens of Super Night Champions.   Current standouts include, but are not limited to: ROSEMARY ROSE p,1:50.3f--'19 ($496,867); QUEEN OF THE PRIDE p,2,1:52.4f, 3,1:51.1f--'19 ($460,479); ROSE RUN SYDNEY 4,1:54.1h ($554,643); FRASER RIDGE 4,1:52.1f ($522,479); World Champion ROCK CANDY p,3,1:50.2f--'19 ($305,626); PURE CHANCE p,3,1:54.2h--'19 ($148,896); BIG BOX HANOVER 2,1:57.4f--'19 and ELVER HANOVER p,2,1:53.3h--'19, etc.   The website includes directions and maps to the Brave Horse Center auction site and links to area hotels are posted along with an archive of sales results from previous years. In addition to the sales roster, yearling video links and a PDF digital catalog will be linked for on-line viewing, when they become available.   A social media, facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OhioHHBreeders/ is also up and running, which will feature current and former Ohio Sire Stakes winners and performers, as well as news, links and updates from farms and consignors.   The Ohio Harness Horse Breeders Association is a cooperative of Buckeye State equine nurseries dedicated to the promotion and growth of Ohio Standardbreds, and include: Abby Stables, LTD., Cool Winds Farm, Dublin Valley Farms, Hickory Lane Horse Farm, LMN Bred Stables, Inc., Midland Acres, Inc., Rose Run Farm, Spring Haven Farm, Steiner Stock Farm, Sugar Valley Farm and Winterwood Farm.   For additional information, contact Laura Nault at Ohio Harness Horse Breeders, 17605 Clarks Run Rd., Mount Sterling, OH 43143. Email: LJNault@gmail.com. By Chris Tully for the Ohio Harness Horse Breeders Assoc.
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