Day At The Track
Ellasen, harness racing

Ellasen returns immediate dividends

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 18, 2018 -- Claimed from last week's opening leg, Ellasen returned immediate dividends to her new connections with a front-end harness racing victory in Tuesday's Holiday Claiming Series for $20,000 claiming filly and mare pacers at The Meadows. Caviart Scarlett captured the other $16,000 split. Ellasen had been racing off the pace, but Dave Palone and new trainer Ron Burke changed tactics with her, sending her to the top from post 6. She responded with a facile 3/4-length win over Race With Grace in 1:54, while Always A Z Tam shot the Lightning Lane for show. Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC now own the 4-year-old daughter of Big Bad John-So Very Nice, whose career bankroll stands at $141,248. After weakening late while fronting her opening-leg split, Caviart Scarlett also altered her approach, getting away fourth and moving powerfully first over for Aaron Merriman. She drew off late to score in 1:53.1, 3-1/4 lengths better than the rallying Mimosa Party, with Hurricane Calleigh third. Randy Bendis trains the 6-year-old daughter of Sportswriter-Caviart Sydney who extended her lifetime earnings to $273,039, and owns with Tom Pollock. Tuesday's card also featured three divisions of a Holiday Claiming Series for $10,000 claiming filly and mare pacers. Deprived took her second straight series split, with Bad Medicine and Bianca Midnight also winning. All six current Holiday Claiming Series conclude on a special New Year's Eve card that also features the career finale of Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred all time with earnings exceeding $7.6 million. First post Dec. 31 is 5:30 PM. Elsewhere on the card, Camera Lady found late racing room and blew past Fox Valley Charm in a career-best 1:52.3 for Palone, Burke, Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Easy Three completed the ticket. The 4-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go now boasts a career bankroll of $266,798. Palone collected four wins and Burke three on the 11-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

War Machine

War Machine sets track record

Random Stables’ gelding War Machine blazed his way into the record books during the harness racing at Vesey Street, Bermuda at the weekend. The four-year-old Indiana-bred racing pony ran a blistering 1:01/2 racing on the rail in the Free for All to shave two fifths of a second off the previous track record of 1:01/4 set by Colin Mello’s stud Big Red Machine in 2012. War Machine’s time is also a new gelding’s record. “It’s nice to have bragging rights for now, but I’m very well aware it can go just as quickly as you got it, too,” Daniel Greenslade, the Random Stables owner, said. “That’s the name of the game and records are meant to be broken. “I’m glad we have it at the moment and hopefully we’ll hang on to it for a little bit.” War Machine broke the records with teenage driver Kiwon Waldron in the sulky. “We were hoping for it [the track record],” Waldron said. “We prepared during the week and the day of and luckily we did it. He just felt right and everything was right and it’s fulfilling because all the hard work I put in has actually paid off. It’s really the pony; he does all the work while I sit there and guide him.” Greenslade was impressed by Waldron’s self belief and convincing manner in which he raised the bar. “One of the more impressive things was that Kiwon said he thought he could do it and he did it,” Greenslade said. “A lot of ponies have knocked on the door but haven’t quite got there and he did it quite convincingly. “I haven’t been going to the races much, but I went down there yesterday [Sunday] because I thought he could do it and I was glad I was there. “Kiwon has put a lot of work into the pony and it’s paid off.” Coincidentally, Waldron competed in the same sulky that Mello borrowed from Greenslade when he set a new overall track record six years ago with Big Red Machine. War Machine comes from good stock as his mother, IC’s Amber Rock, and father, GV Sir Tux, have achieved world track records. “His mother and father are obviously fast but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the babies are going to be fast,” Greenslade said. “But with this particular one it worked out. “We knew he was fast as a two-year-old but you just never know how fast they’re going to go.” Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette Bermuda is a British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean known for its pink-sand beaches such as Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay. Its massive Royal Naval Dockyard complex combines modern attractions like the interactive Dolphin Quest with maritime history at the National Museum of Bermuda. The island has a distinctive blend of British and American culture, which can be found in the capital, Hamilton

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Elves needed for SRF's 12 Days

Cream Ridge, NJ - 12/18/18 - The Standardbred Retirement Foundation's (SRF) 12 Days of Giving campaign is already on day six, and has a few great gifts from caring people already. We hope you will help fulfill our much needed wish list. The campaign started on December 13th and runs until December 24th. More than 400 trotters and pacers are under SRF's full care and expense, help is needed and gifts are tax-deductible:   1. Senior feed for a month for 1 of the very golden oldies - $125 each. There are more than 80 over the age of 24! They need as many friends as they can get! Choose a horse from our website or let us choose one for you! AdoptaHorse.org/Sponsor   2. Fill the hayloft for a month for the fillies and mares at the NJ location - $850   3. A pedicure (hoof trim) for one, $35, or a pedicure for one for 2019 (every 6-8 weeks) 7x in 2019 - $245.Choose a horse from our website or let us choose one for you! AdoptaHorse.org/Sponsor Thank you to Sue and Adam Skipper!   4. Fill the hayloft for 1 month for the geldings that just love to guard the fillies and mares - $1,200   5. Retire one of our companions to your farm, a priceless gift for the horse, or sponsor one at our farm in any amount monthly. To sponsor a horse click here! What a gift, thank you to our anonymous heartfelt friend!   6. Because SRF now has a 35% increase in the number of horses it has under its expense and care, one Mac desktop computer is needed. Refurbished $950 (All of SRF's computers are near ready for retirement). Thank you Kathy and Matt Pickup!   7. SRF's aging laptops have already been turned out to pasture. Two down, one left. If just one can be replaced it would be immensely helpful. - $1,100 Refurbished.   8. Sponsor the favorite visit from the dentist, average is $50 a year. As horses age their teeth change, many get points that makes it painful and difficult to eat. Choose a horse from our website or let us choose one for you! AdoptaHorse.org/Sponsor Thank you Jean Bokman!   9. A heavy-duty cross-cut shredder for privacy - $200.   10. Become SRF's special sponsor for the Elitlopp fund raising trip in May -$4,000   11. SRF's horses live long healthy lives in fields with sheds, so preserving hay by using hay racks saves a great deal, and keeps the bossy horses from the sweet and meek so all can keep their bellies warm this winter! Six hay racks are needed - $249 each   12. Winter Newsletter Sponsor! Keeping in touch with all is very important, sharing the accomplishments, enlightening all with facts, seeing the loving transformations of the great warriors in need, and highlighting those in awesome homes and new lives. Please a full or partial sponsor of $1,000-$4,000.   Need a gift giving idea? Sponsoring a horse is perfect! Who needs another ugly sweater anyway? Any amount monthly, or one time makes a great gift and if it totals more than $250 we will send a SRF sweatshirt to your favorite person. To sponsor a horse click here!   To make a tax deductible gift please contact Tammy at 609-738-3255; you can also visit SRF's website atAdoptaHorse.org/donate please make a note in your payment, or mail to: SRF, 42 Arneytown-Hornerstown Rd., Cream Ridge, NJ 08514   Thank you for changing their lives, there are very few people who have a love and respect for these noble horses. Please don't assume someone else will help, these horses are in need and every day SRF spends approximately $3,000 to keep them fed. Only 2% of SRF's funding comes from harness racing organizations, more than 80% comes from people like you who care. Thank you and we wish you happy holidays and the best of good luck in 2019!     A few of our "Golden Oldies" available for sponsorship, fostering or adoption:         About Standardbred Retirement Foundation       Standardbred Retirement Foundation provides human care and services for horse in need of lifetime homes, and in crisis. Through rehabilitation, training, adoption, life-long follow--up or life time sanctuary and offering therapeutic equine opportunities for children and adults.     Tammy Cailliau Phone: 609-738-3255 Email address:SRFHorsesandkids@gmail.com  

Meadowlands Winter Meet Survival Challenge

Meadowlands winter meet survival challenge

The always popular Meadowlands Winter Meet Survival Challenge powered by 123Racing returns Friday, January 4, 2019. Cash prizes and World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars seats are up for grabs in this free online competition. Trackmaster will provide Platinum Past Performances for each night of the contest. The game covers the Meadowlands' Winter Meet and concludes on March 30, 2019. The winner is determined by the highest total bankroll at the end of the Challenge based on a $2 "across the board" wager [win, place and show] on selections for three designated races each program. However, to continue in the game, entrants have to "survive" by finishing in-the-money [first through third] with at least one of their selections each day. Failing to do so or not making selections knocks the player out of the game. To aid in the player's survival a "lucky horseshoe" is given. The lucky horseshoe is a "free pass" given to all Challenge participants that allows the player to survive if he does not make selections for a race card or all three of his selections fail to hit the board. The grand prize is $1,000 & 2019 WHHC Spot The second-place prize is $500 & 2019 WHHC Spot The third-place prize is $250 & 2019 WHHC Spot Most winners prize is $250 The free contest is open to legal residents of the United States and Canada 18 years and older, and all selections must be made through the format provided on the Survival Challenge website page. No selections will be accepted by phone, fax, e-mail or any other means. Trackmaster Platinum Past performances for the three designated races will be provided through the game board. The deadline for selections each day is 30 minutes before 7:15 p.m. post time for the first race. After 30 minutes to post, all selections are final. To login or to register as a first time player, visit www.survival-challenge.com. Rachel Ryan

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – “Feeding and Care of Mare/Foal, Stallion, and Growing Horse” is the over-arching theme of the upcoming Horse Management Seminar hosted by the Rutgers Equine Science Center and Rutgers Cooperative Extension. The seminar, scheduled from 8:30 am – 3:45 pm on Sunday, February 10, 2019, will feature presentations by several equine experts. “This year we selected a topic that we have not covered during any of the previous Horse Management Seminars. Even if you don’t currently breed horses, the presentations will have lots of information for everyone!” says Dr. Carey Williams, Extension Equine Specialist and Associate Director of Extension for the Equine Science Center. “Our goal for this workshop is to bring in the leading experts in each of these topic areas. This includes broodmare and growing horse nutrition, care of the stallion, and new reproductive advances. We will also highlight some of the current, and future, research from Rutgers Equine graduate students.” Williams has assembled presenters who are recognized as the leading experts in their field to offer perspectives and personal insight. The morning will start with “Stallion Care” and “Recent Advanced in Equine Reproduction” by Dr. Ed Squires from University of Kentucky’s  Gluck Equine Research Center. “Dr. Squires leads the country in his contribution to the field of equine reproduction” says Williams, “we are honored to have him here at Rutgers courtesy of Vetoquinol USA.” The morning will also include Dr. Dan Keenan from Foundation Equine, a local veterinarian specializing in equine reproduction. Dr. Keenan will present “Care of the Mare and Foal Pre and Post Birth.”  The afternoon will start off with Dr. Amy Burk, who leads the equine breeding program at the University of Maryland, presenting “Feeding the Pregnant/Lactating Mare”, followed by “GI Development and Nutrition of the Growing Horse” by Dr. Paul Siciliano from North Carolina State University. Closing out the day will be a panel discussion from the three main speakers, moderated by Williams. Following the panel Dr. Williams’ doctoral student, Jennifer Weinert, will give a short presentation on some of the current research taking place on campus, as well as what future research has been planned. In addition to these presentations, the seminar will feature informational displays, networking opportunities with industry companies and area organizations, and ample time for one-on-one discussions with the day’s presenters. The complete program, registration information, and seminar brochure are posted on the Equine Science Center website at esc.rutgers.edu, as well as the registration site at: http://bit.ly/2019HMS . Space is limited, and the early bird discount for registration ends on January 28th, so be sure to register early! For questions, please contact Dr. Carey Williams at 848-932-5529, carey.williams@rutgers.edu. About Rutgers Equine Science Center The Equine Science Center is a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Its mission is Better Horse Care through Research and Education in order to advance the well-being and performance of horses and the equine industry. Its vision is to be recognized throughout New Jersey as well as nationally and internationally for its achievements in identifying issues in the horse industry, finding solutions through science-based inquiry, providing answers to the horse industry and to horse owners, and influencing public policy to ensure the viability of the horse industry. For more information about the Equine Science Center, call 848-932-9419 or visit esc.rutgers.edu.   ================================================== Carey A. Williams, Ph.D. Equine Extension Specialist Rutgers University 84 Lipman Dr., Bartlett Hall New Brunswick, NJ 08901   PH: 848-932-5529 Email Replies to: Carey.Williams@Rutgers.edu =================================================

There is still time to submit nominations for the 2018 Caretaker of the Year. The award, in its fourth year of sponsorship by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (HRRNP) in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), recognizes the unsung heroes of the harness racing sport - the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis. Initially titled Groom of the Year Award when first presented in 1982, the honor was instituted as a result of a suggestion made by Delvin Miller at the annual Harness Tracks of America meeting when he received HTA's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. Previously sponsored annually by HTA and Hanover Shoe Farms, the tradition lapsed in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 by HRRNP and USHWA. The HRRNP Caretaker of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500, a trophy, and transportation costs to the USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday evening, Feb. 24, 2019, where he or she will be recognized. The winner will also enjoy a two-night stay at Rosen Shingle Creek, host hotel for the USHWA activities, as well as two complimentary dinner tickets. "Caretakers are the day-to-day unsung heroes of the industry, long before and after the spotlight of the grandstand lights," said USHWA President Shawn Wiles. "This cadre toil in anonymity, not looking for a pat on the back, but always looking out for the best interests of their charges health and welfare. We are fortunate to have many outstanding caretakers in our industry to look after our equine athletes." Any caretaker working for any stable or farm in North America is eligible. All that is need to nominate is a letter or email, 200 words minimum, from an individual or group detailing the skills and special qualities of the caretaker. The winner will be chosen by a seven-person selection committee comprised of USHWA members, all of whom are former caretakers: Tim Bojarski (chair), Tom Charters, Moira Fanning, Dean Hoffman, Rob Pennington, Kim Rinker and Shawn Wiles. All nomination letters and emails must be received and/or postmarked by Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, and sent to chairman Bojarski at a159star@gmail.com or mailed to Tim Bojarski, 7523 Maple Road, Akron, N.Y. 14001. From U. S. Harness Writers Association    

This Saturday, December 22, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is hosting a free harness racing handicapping contest with the Grand Prize of a $1,300 seat into the World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars. The free handicapping contest is open to all patrons on Saturday and there is no fee to enter. Fans may register up until 7:15 p.m. on the night of the contest. The contest format requires players to make a mythical $2 "across the board" wager on one horse in races 2 - 10 at the Meadowlands. The winner is determined by the player that amasses the largest mythical bankroll from their selections. The World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars.com is a one-day tournament on Saturday, April 6th, with a welcome reception the evening prior. Players that did not earn a seat through a qualifying event can directly buy-in for $1,300. The $1,300 entry fee includes a $300 bankroll, with the remaining $1,000 going to the prize pool. The $150,000 prize pool is based on an estimated 150 entries. The WHHC contest format requires players to bet 10 races: their choice of seven Meadowlands races, plus three designated mandatory races. Players keep all pari-mutuel winnings. Prize payouts are to the Top 10. The Meadowlands' remaining 2019 World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier schedule is as follows: January 1, 2019 - March 30, 2019: Free Online Survival Challenge - 3 WHHC seats Saturday, January 12: $400 Qualifier with 4 WHHC seats Saturday, February 16 - $200 contest with top 2 WHHC seats Saturday, March 16 - $200 contest with 2 WHHC seats DerbyWars hosts regular online Qualifiers for the WHHC every Saturday night. Players can qualify for as little as $22. Complete DerbyWars Qualifier information can be found at DerbyWars.com. For more information on how to become a WHHC partner outlet or sponsor, contact Rachel Ryan, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment (raryan@playmeadowlands.com) or 201-842-5015. For online qualifying on DerbyWars.com, players may contact support@derbywars.com. Details on the WHHC can be found at http://playmeadowlands.com/contest_detail.aspx?id=8240  

It is well chronicled that horse racing — Standardbred and thoroughbred — has been struggling in the state of New Jersey. Without “racino” revenues to boost purses, racing has suffered at Monmouth, the Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway (the latter two primarily showcase harness racing). Lower purses have meant fewer racing days, less in-state breeding and an inferior product. For years, the Atlantic City casinos gave the tracks purse subsidies — but that stopped during the final years of Governor Chris Christie’s regime. For the last few years, supporters of racing have tried to find ways to get those purse subsidies back. In 2016, New Jersey voters went to the polls and were asked to approve a casino in North Jersey, presumably at the Meadowlands. It was rejected soundly. Meadowlands owner Jeffrey Gural has lamented that he needs purse subsidies to continue racing at the Meadowlands. Gural has been subsidizing purses with his own cash and says that he can’t continue this in the future. He has indicated that races like the Meadowlands Pace could be cancelled, with that money used for overnight purses. The Meadowlands Pace offers a purse of at least $700,000 and Gural contends that money might be better spent on overnights, so they can compete better with Yonkers, Harrah’s Philadelphia and Pocono Downs. With the subsidies in limbo, the Meadowlands applied for 68 racing dates for 2019 — down from 90 in 2018. When told by the New Jersey Racing Commission that the minimum is 76, the track applied for the minimum. Freehold, which often raced Thursday-Saturday, is going to race Friday and Saturday afternoons only in 2019 and it too will race the state minimum of 76. As grim as this picture may appear, there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel. It looks like the New Jersey State Legislature is poised to pass a five-year, $100 million plan for purse subsidies at New Jersey’s three horse racing tracks. It would call for $20 million per year, with Monmouth receiving $10 million, the Meadowlands $6 million and Freehold $1.6 million. Another $1.8 million will go to the New Jersey breeding program — money that is sorely needed to build up state stock. Monmouth applied for 58 racing dates in 2019 and says, if the purse subsidy gets passed, it could increase to 71. The Meadowlands should follow suit, with the hope of getting back to or near the 90-date mark. Let’s do some simple math based on the current harness racing calendars at Freehold and the Meadowlands. With Freehold, if you take the $1.6 million and divide it over 76 racing dates, that’s $21,052 that could be added to daily purses. Of course, Freehold can do different things with the money — it could increase purses for stakes races, sire stakes or create a high-stakes race that could attract some of the best Standardbreds in the game. The latter is not likely. If you’re increasing purses, the best thing to do is use it on those who train and race at Freehold all year long. $21,052 may not sound like a lot, but over 10 races that’s $2,100 per race. A preferred pace might run for $10,000 instead of $8,000. That matters. The Meadowlands would really benefit. On Saturdays, the preferred races at the Big M usually offer a $20,000 purse. By comparison, the Yonkers opens are currently being run for $44,000. With $78,947 in additional daily purses now available, the open races at the Big M could be run for $30k, $40k or even $50k. This is pure speculation on my part, but the prevailing thought is that Gural and the Meadowlands will use the subsidy to bolster the overnights and the New Jersey Sire Stakes. As much as we love the big race, the overnights are what keep the sport afloat on a daily basis. Gural has hinted that the sire stakes finals could have $250,000 purses, a significant increase over the $100,000 that was offered in 2018. There were 12 races on the Friday, Dec. 14 card with $141,340 in total purses. If they used that $78K, the total purse jumps to $219,340, an average of $18,278 per race. On the same date, Yonkers offered 10 races and $226,750 in purses, an average of $22,675 per race. As you can see, the additional $78K would help the Big M close the gap significantly — and with the Big M offering a one-mile oval, there is a chance that some trainers may move some of the horses to race there instead of Yonkers. And the subsidy should help most in the spring. The Meadowlands does OK in January and February, because the tracks that siphon their horses — Pocono and Harrah’s Philadelphia — are closed. Once March comes, the higher purses at those tracks result in horse shortages in East Rutherford. The purse subsidy might keep enough horses on the Meadowlands’ grounds to help them get through the spring and summer with better quality stock. If you enjoy harness racing, this is welcome news. Nobody in the sport wants to see the Meadowlands become a third-rate track. It’s done too much good for the sport and, despite being second-rate to some, its handle dwarfs that of most other tracks. Bettors like the one-mile oval and they’ll wager over $2 million on run-of-the-mill Friday and Saturday cards. That said, nobody likes to see bailouts. It’s a dirty word and many think if you can’t market and promote your sport so that it’s self-sustaining, then you should suffer the consequences. Many in the Garden State are against this legislation. In an Asbury Park Press poll, 58 percent say they are against the purse subsidy, with 42 percent in favor. Nobody likes to see their taxes raised or used to bail out private industry, but many fail to realize how many people would be impacted if harness racing disappeared in New Jersey. Those that work in the game may be forced to take government subsidies in the form of welfare, unemployment and other forms of social services. The taxpayers foot that bill too! Once the legislation passes, things should get interesting. We will need to hear how both the Meadowlands and Freehold will use the additional monies; we’ll need to see if the Meadowlands adds a few days to the calendar; and we’ll need to see if they have any new tricks up their sleeves. For now, the subsidy is good news. It does not cure all the ills with harness racing in New Jersey, but things are better now than they were a week ago. Reprinted with permission of US Racing By John Fugele John Furgele As a kid growing up in the Buffalo suburbs in the 1970s and 80s, the radio was one of John Furgele’s best friends. In the evenings, he used to listen to a show on WBEN radio called “Free Form Sports,” hosted by Buffalo broadcast legend Stan Barron. The show ran weeknights from 6 to 11 pm and featured every kind of sport you could imagine. One minute, Mr. Barron was interviewing a Buffalo Sabres player; the next, he was giving high school field hockey scores. But there was always one thing that caught John’s ear. During those five hours, Barron would give the results from Western New York’s two harness racing tracks — Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs. This is where John learned what exactas, quinellas, trifectas and daily doubles were all about. From then on, he always paid attention to harness racing, and when Niatross (a legendary Western New York horse) hit the scene in 1979, his interest began to blossom. John believes harness racing is a sport that has the potential to grow and he will explore ways to get that done via marketing, promotion and, above all, the races themselves. When he’s not watching races, John is busy with his family and his job in sales. Like the pacers and trotters, he does a little running himself and you’ll occasionally find him “going to post” in a local 5K race.

Southwind Amazon posted his 21st win of the season at Northfield Park on Monday (December 17) capturing the evening's 13th race. His win tally ranks Southwind Amazon as the winningest harness racing horse in North America so far in 2018. Southwind Amazon's 21 wins this year have come from 37 starts. He has also finished second and third each five times, an impressive feat for a horse generally assigned the outside against Open company on a ½-mile track. The eight year-old gelding began Monday's victorious journey from the outside and led his competition at every call through fractions of :26.1, :55.3, 1:23.1 and 1:52, besting his competition by 2-lengths. Southwind Amazon (Camluck - Artoonist - Artsplace) is owned by Ameer Najor of Bloomfield, Michigan and is trained by Paul Holzman. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. was in the sulky for the winning drive. Ayers Ratliff

Running Aces Casino & Racetrack is proud to announce the Live harness Racing dates for 2019, which have recently been approved by the Minnesota Racing Commission.   The 2019 Season will consist of 52 racing nights spanning 19 weeks from May 18 to September 14.   Running Aces will kick off it's Twelfth Season of Live Racing on Saturday, May 18, 2019 and it will offer 3 nights a week of live action throughout the summer, culminating with Night of Champions on Saturday, September 14, 2019. As in recent years, post times will be 7:00 p.m. central on Tuesdays and 6:00 p.m. central on Saturdays and Sundays.   Stall Applications will be made available on the Running Aces website (RunAces.com) beginning on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 and completed applications will be due by Friday, March 15.   Stall Allocations will be announced/posted on Thursday, April 4, and the Stable area and backside will open for the season on Saturday, May 4.   Running Aces is currently in the midst of an exciting period of growth and improvements to it's already celebrated facilities, as construction is underway on a 116-room Hotel adjacent to the Track and Casino. Groundbreaking took place on Thursday, November 21 and the Hotel is scheduled to open in early December of 2019. As we get closer to the start of the 2019 Season, we will release details about our schedule of featured races, as well as general conditions for the meet and a schedule of Live Racing promotions. Stay tuned to our website for periodic updates.   By Darin Gagne' for Running Aces        

LEBANON, OH. - Miami Valley Raceway is still seeking top harness racing drivers from throughout North America for its third annual North America Drivers Championship. The contest will feature up to 30 of the continent's best reinsmen chasing $25,000 in prize money and the prestigious trophy. Doug McNair of Ontario and Trace Tetrick of Indiana captured the first two editions by each managing multiple victories on the third and final day. Each driver will get a minimum of four drives on the opening two matinees on Sunday, January 6 and Monday, January 7 behind randomly drawn horses. The top ten in the point standings after two days will advance to the championship showdown on Tuesday, January 7 which will feature eight head-to-head races and a fresh scorecard. Miami Valley will pay for hotel accommodations and Ohio Racing Commission licenses for out-of-state entrants and all drivers will receive commemorative hooded sweatshirts with the North America Drivers Championship logo. Among the early entrants for the 2019 competition are (alphabetically) Simon Allard, Pat Berry, Dexter Dunn, Brady Galliers, Casey Leonard, Aaron Merriman, Bob McClure, Brett Miller, Lewayne Miller, Drew Monti, Dan Noble, Mike Oosting, Chris Page, Roger Plante, Trace Tetrick, Tyler Smith, Josh Sutton, Jimmy Whittemore and Sam Widger. Any other drivers interested in participating are asked to email the Race Secretary for Miami Valley at: greggkeidel@yahoo.com or call him at 651-260-8250. Further Drivers Championship information and entry blanks can be found at: www.miamivalleygaming.com and then hitting the Racing and Horsemens Info tabs. The December 22 deadline for entering is Saturday (Dec. 22) of this week, so top drivers are asked to please act quickly. Gregg Keidel

On a wet and grey Monday afternoon at Monticello Raceway, James Devaux won five of the harness racing cards ten races. The banner day didn't start until midway through the card in race 5, where Princess Katie (2:02.4 - $2.10) was his afternoons first winner. Devaux, would then proceed to win the next 3 races in a row, Faithful Friend (2:01.1 - $8.50), Norma Rei (1:59.4 - $3.30) and Rosy Outlook (1:57.4 - $10.40) Devaux just missed notching his 6 win of the day, losing by a neck in the 9th race. He won the last race of the day in with Sandy Hook Hanover (2:00.4 - $20.40) for trainer Chad Washington, Devuax, a former 2 time Dash winner at Monticello Raceway is currently ranked 4th in the Monticello Driving colony with 197 wins. By Shawn Wiles

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 17, 2018 -- Windsong Leo rolled to his 20th victory, tying him with Southwind Amazon and Spicey Victor for most wins in harness racing this year, when he overwhelmed a good field in Monday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Rebounding from a horrible trip at Northfield Park, Windsong Leo zipped to the front in 26.2 for Dave Palone and effectively put away the competition with a 27.3 third panel. The 6-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding scored in 1:50.2, 3 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Anythingforlove A. Phoenix Warrior N rallied for show. Ron Burke trains Windsong Leo, who soared over $400,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phil Collura. In Monday's companion feature, the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, True Blue Stride stretched out his stablemate, Dayson, to the quarter, then edged by in deep stretch to down him by 3/4 lengths in 1:55.3. PL Icabod finished third. Jim Pantaleano steered the 6-year-old Muscle Hill-Sabrina Hall gelding, who now has banked $241,306, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Brett Miller, Palone and Burke each fashioned a triple on the 11-race card. Cory Kreiser also enjoyed a big day, collecting three training victories with horses he solely owns and piloting one of them, Jefferson County, at 46-1. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Roger Plante, Russell Foster, Jason Thompson and Jared Moyer had driving doubles as Rosecroft pulled the curtain down on the 2018 harness racing season. Plante and Moyer drivers pulled off big upsets pari-mutually speaking, as Plante sat the pocket and edged pace setting Major Blue Coat (Jason Green) with 25-1 shot The truthaboutdavid who had not hit the board in 23 starts this year. It was his fourth start for new owners Paul and Carolyn Gsell who also condition the son of Total Truth. Plante also put Sum For All in a similar trip position and found the winners circle paying $6.60 for owner-trainer Kerry Welty. Moyer won with Atomic Art ($5.40) for Wife Kayla and Rosecroft leading trainer for the Fall Meet, Arlene Cameron, who finished with 27 wins. His second win was a puzzler as BP Burner, 9-2 on the morning line, was dismissed at 17-1, and got a gorgeous drive from Moyer who sent the closer three-wide before three quarters and got the jump on Smart Rokker (Declan Donoway) and Sword Of The Spirit (Allan Davis). Foster needed to erase a three win deficit to catch Frank Milby for the Fall dash driving championship. Anderson Valley carried Foster to his first win for Trainer Greg Trotto and co- owners Jeff Livingston and Freed Sporrer. Foster and Mr Big Bucks took the claiming finale for owner Chris Devine and trainer Jason Walters. Thompson returned from rodeo action in Las Vegas in time to score with longshot Moveoutofmyway for owner Bob Weyforth and trainer Jeff Stafford, returning $24.20. Thompson's backers were rewarded as Real Flight pulled an upset paying $38.60 for Bryson Dunning and trainer, Jody Dunning. Robert Hoffman took the featured trot with Overnight Shipper blowing by three-wide on the final turn and returning $15.80. Milby held off Foster, 45-44 to win the Dash Driving title, while Rock N Roll Jet was named Pacer of the year, and Fashion Smile was Trotter of the meet. It also marked the final start for 14-year old Talbot Redneck, the homebred of David Donahue and co owned by trainer Ken Schlotzhauer. 382 starts 56 wins and $327,687 in lifetime earnings. Arts Blaze, another 14 year old, broke in Maryland as a youngster, finished third in the finale. He could start at Freehold for owner-trainer John Urbanski before December 31, and made start 366 last night. Rosecroft will re-open for live racing February 6, 2019. Peter Medhurst                         Pete Medhurst Air personality 106.7 The Fan Entercom Radio PXP Voice Navy Athletics Washington, D.C. 443-845-5470

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 14, 2018 -- The Meadows Racetrack & Casino is seeking 14-year-old pacers for a special New Year's Eve race that will give these gallant harness racing warriors one more opportunity to strut their stuff and extend their earnings before they face mandatory retirement the next day. The Dec. 31 card begins at 5:30 PM. For more information or to enter, please contact the Race Office, 724.225.9897. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 18, 2018 -- Claimed from last week's opening leg, Ellasen returned immediate dividends to her new connections with a front-end harness racing victory in Tuesday's Holiday Claiming Series for $20,000 claiming filly and mare pacers at The Meadows. Caviart Scarlett captured the other $16,000 split. Ellasen had been racing off the pace, but Dave Palone and new trainer Ron Burke changed tactics with her, sending her to the top from post 6. She responded with a facile 3/4-length win over Race With Grace in 1:54, while Always A Z Tam shot the Lightning Lane for show. Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC now own the 4-year-old daughter of Big Bad John-So Very Nice, whose career bankroll stands at $141,248. After weakening late while fronting her opening-leg split, Caviart Scarlett also altered her approach, getting away fourth and moving powerfully first over for Aaron Merriman. She drew off late to score in 1:53.1, 3-1/4 lengths better than the rallying Mimosa Party, with Hurricane Calleigh third. Randy Bendis trains the 6-year-old daughter of Sportswriter-Caviart Sydney who extended her lifetime earnings to $273,039, and owns with Tom Pollock. Tuesday's card also featured three divisions of a Holiday Claiming Series for $10,000 claiming filly and mare pacers. Deprived took her second straight series split, with Bad Medicine and Bianca Midnight also winning. All six current Holiday Claiming Series conclude on a special New Year's Eve card that also features the career finale of Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred all time with earnings exceeding $7.6 million. First post Dec. 31 is 5:30 PM. Elsewhere on the card, Camera Lady found late racing room and blew past Fox Valley Charm in a career-best 1:52.3 for Palone, Burke, Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Easy Three completed the ticket. The 4-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go now boasts a career bankroll of $266,798. Palone collected four wins and Burke three on the 11-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
Random Stables’ gelding War Machine blazed his way into the record books during the harness racing at Vesey Street, Bermuda at the weekend. The four-year-old Indiana-bred racing pony ran a blistering 1:01/2 racing on the rail in the Free for All to shave two fifths of a second off the previous track record of 1:01/4 set by Colin Mello’s stud Big Red Machine in 2012. War Machine’s time is also a new gelding’s record. “It’s nice to have bragging rights for now, but I’m very well aware it can go just as quickly as you got it, too,” Daniel Greenslade, the Random Stables owner, said. “That’s the name of the game and records are meant to be broken. “I’m glad we have it at the moment and hopefully we’ll hang on to it for a little bit.” War Machine broke the records with teenage driver Kiwon Waldron in the sulky. “We were hoping for it [the track record],” Waldron said. “We prepared during the week and the day of and luckily we did it. He just felt right and everything was right and it’s fulfilling because all the hard work I put in has actually paid off. It’s really the pony; he does all the work while I sit there and guide him.” Greenslade was impressed by Waldron’s self belief and convincing manner in which he raised the bar. “One of the more impressive things was that Kiwon said he thought he could do it and he did it,” Greenslade said. “A lot of ponies have knocked on the door but haven’t quite got there and he did it quite convincingly. “I haven’t been going to the races much, but I went down there yesterday [Sunday] because I thought he could do it and I was glad I was there. “Kiwon has put a lot of work into the pony and it’s paid off.” Coincidentally, Waldron competed in the same sulky that Mello borrowed from Greenslade when he set a new overall track record six years ago with Big Red Machine. War Machine comes from good stock as his mother, IC’s Amber Rock, and father, GV Sir Tux, have achieved world track records. “His mother and father are obviously fast but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the babies are going to be fast,” Greenslade said. “But with this particular one it worked out. “We knew he was fast as a two-year-old but you just never know how fast they’re going to go.” Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette Bermuda is a British island territory in the North Atlantic Ocean known for its pink-sand beaches such as Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay. Its massive Royal Naval Dockyard complex combines modern attractions like the interactive Dolphin Quest with maritime history at the National Museum of Bermuda. The island has a distinctive blend of British and American culture, which can be found in the capital, Hamilton
Cream Ridge, NJ - 12/18/18 - The Standardbred Retirement Foundation's (SRF) 12 Days of Giving campaign is already on day six, and has a few great gifts from caring people already. We hope you will help fulfill our much needed wish list. The campaign started on December 13th and runs until December 24th. More than 400 trotters and pacers are under SRF's full care and expense, help is needed and gifts are tax-deductible:   1. Senior feed for a month for 1 of the very golden oldies - $125 each. There are more than 80 over the age of 24! They need as many friends as they can get! Choose a horse from our website or let us choose one for you! AdoptaHorse.org/Sponsor   2. Fill the hayloft for a month for the fillies and mares at the NJ location - $850   3. A pedicure (hoof trim) for one, $35, or a pedicure for one for 2019 (every 6-8 weeks) 7x in 2019 - $245.Choose a horse from our website or let us choose one for you! AdoptaHorse.org/Sponsor Thank you to Sue and Adam Skipper!   4. Fill the hayloft for 1 month for the geldings that just love to guard the fillies and mares - $1,200   5. Retire one of our companions to your farm, a priceless gift for the horse, or sponsor one at our farm in any amount monthly. To sponsor a horse click here! What a gift, thank you to our anonymous heartfelt friend!   6. Because SRF now has a 35% increase in the number of horses it has under its expense and care, one Mac desktop computer is needed. Refurbished $950 (All of SRF's computers are near ready for retirement). Thank you Kathy and Matt Pickup!   7. SRF's aging laptops have already been turned out to pasture. Two down, one left. If just one can be replaced it would be immensely helpful. - $1,100 Refurbished.   8. Sponsor the favorite visit from the dentist, average is $50 a year. As horses age their teeth change, many get points that makes it painful and difficult to eat. Choose a horse from our website or let us choose one for you! AdoptaHorse.org/Sponsor Thank you Jean Bokman!   9. A heavy-duty cross-cut shredder for privacy - $200.   10. Become SRF's special sponsor for the Elitlopp fund raising trip in May -$4,000   11. SRF's horses live long healthy lives in fields with sheds, so preserving hay by using hay racks saves a great deal, and keeps the bossy horses from the sweet and meek so all can keep their bellies warm this winter! Six hay racks are needed - $249 each   12. Winter Newsletter Sponsor! Keeping in touch with all is very important, sharing the accomplishments, enlightening all with facts, seeing the loving transformations of the great warriors in need, and highlighting those in awesome homes and new lives. Please a full or partial sponsor of $1,000-$4,000.   Need a gift giving idea? Sponsoring a horse is perfect! Who needs another ugly sweater anyway? Any amount monthly, or one time makes a great gift and if it totals more than $250 we will send a SRF sweatshirt to your favorite person. To sponsor a horse click here!   To make a tax deductible gift please contact Tammy at 609-738-3255; you can also visit SRF's website atAdoptaHorse.org/donate please make a note in your payment, or mail to: SRF, 42 Arneytown-Hornerstown Rd., Cream Ridge, NJ 08514   Thank you for changing their lives, there are very few people who have a love and respect for these noble horses. Please don't assume someone else will help, these horses are in need and every day SRF spends approximately $3,000 to keep them fed. Only 2% of SRF's funding comes from harness racing organizations, more than 80% comes from people like you who care. Thank you and we wish you happy holidays and the best of good luck in 2019!     A few of our "Golden Oldies" available for sponsorship, fostering or adoption:         About Standardbred Retirement Foundation       Standardbred Retirement Foundation provides human care and services for horse in need of lifetime homes, and in crisis. Through rehabilitation, training, adoption, life-long follow--up or life time sanctuary and offering therapeutic equine opportunities for children and adults.     Tammy Cailliau Phone: 609-738-3255 Email address:SRFHorsesandkids@gmail.com  
The always popular Meadowlands Winter Meet Survival Challenge powered by 123Racing returns Friday, January 4, 2019. Cash prizes and World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars seats are up for grabs in this free online competition. Trackmaster will provide Platinum Past Performances for each night of the contest. The game covers the Meadowlands' Winter Meet and concludes on March 30, 2019. The winner is determined by the highest total bankroll at the end of the Challenge based on a $2 "across the board" wager [win, place and show] on selections for three designated races each program. However, to continue in the game, entrants have to "survive" by finishing in-the-money [first through third] with at least one of their selections each day. Failing to do so or not making selections knocks the player out of the game. To aid in the player's survival a "lucky horseshoe" is given. The lucky horseshoe is a "free pass" given to all Challenge participants that allows the player to survive if he does not make selections for a race card or all three of his selections fail to hit the board. The grand prize is $1,000 & 2019 WHHC Spot The second-place prize is $500 & 2019 WHHC Spot The third-place prize is $250 & 2019 WHHC Spot Most winners prize is $250 The free contest is open to legal residents of the United States and Canada 18 years and older, and all selections must be made through the format provided on the Survival Challenge website page. No selections will be accepted by phone, fax, e-mail or any other means. Trackmaster Platinum Past performances for the three designated races will be provided through the game board. The deadline for selections each day is 30 minutes before 7:15 p.m. post time for the first race. After 30 minutes to post, all selections are final. To login or to register as a first time player, visit www.survival-challenge.com. Rachel Ryan
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