Sebastian K, harness racing

World Champion Sebastian K to Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 17, 2014 - Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter, will make his Hoosier Park Racing & Casino debut as he heads a powerful field of ten in the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic on Saturday, September 20. Offering arguably the best 14-race card of the 2014 live racing season to-date, Hoosier Park will play host to a stakes-filled card that boasts lofty purses as Grand Circuit racing action returns to the seventh-eighths mile oval. As Hoosier Park's signature trotting event, The Centaur Trotting Classic will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m. The 8-year-old Swedish trotter Sebastian K has taken the sport of harness racing by storm since arriving in North America earlier this year, setting records nearly everywhere he goes. Boasting a career bankroll of over $2.9 million, Sebastian K has won 34 of 72 races in his career and has only been defeated one time in eight starts since racing in North America. Sebastian K's stunning 1:49 victory on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the $100,000 Sun Invitational was the fastest mile clocking ever recorded by a trotter. In addition to trotting the fastest mile in history, he is also the first trotter to ever win four times in 1:50.3 or faster. The No. 1-ranked harness racing horse in North America last appeared on August 29 at Vernon Downs when he won the Crawford Farms Open Trot in 1:53. Sebastian K is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt. Svanstedt and Sebastian K will start from post six in the field of ten and have been enlisted as the 3-5 morning line favorite. Joining the stellar cast of entrants in the Centaur Trotting Classic is Hambletonian winner, Market Share who will start from the coveted rail position with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines. Market Share, who has won 24 of 51 races and $3.4 million in his career, was last season's Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter and the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter. The triple millionaire is trained by Linda Toscano and has been enlisted as the morning line second choice. The Centaur Trotting Classic is part of a stakes-filled card on Saturday at Hoosier Park, which also includes the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for two-year-old trotting and pacing fillies, the $150,000 Elevation Pace for two-year-old pacing colts and the $50,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Invitational Pace for three-year-old pacing colts. HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will provide exclusive coverage for the 14-race card. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews on the HRTV programming from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park. Following is the Centaur Trotting Classic field in post order with trainers: 1. Market Share, Linda Toscano  2. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder 3. Red Hot Herbie, Byron Hooley 4. Creatine, Bob Stewart 5. Master of Law, Jimmy Takter  6.Sebastian K, Ake Svenstadt  7. Uncle Peter, Jimmy Takter 8. Fusion Man, Jeff Smith 9. Arch Angel, Ron Burke 10. Appomattox, Liisa Vatanen For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park    

Casie Coleman, harness racing

Casie Coleman - she has transformed herself

Harness racing trainer Casie Coleman is a new person in many ways. One exception is Casie is still training top flight winners and going for her unprecedented third win in a row at the 69th Jug. Casie lost 74 pounds and she admits there's still more to lose. Funny, normally the word 'lose' is rarely associated with Casie but in this scenario, losing means she's winning. What caused Casie to do a 180 degree change? "I was running three stables; one in Ontario, one in Florida and one in New Jersey. There were a lot of owners and staff." Casie says. Even though Casie was stacking up the win column, so was the pressure and ultimately the stress. "I used to be tired all the time" admits Casie. "I was known to be a b**** and very hard to get along with. I admit I was always real tense and stressed with the amount of big races I had on the go. There was staff, owners and a lot to handle and I would let stuff pile up on me." Casie acknowledges she wasn't so pleasant to work and given that she's a perfectionist, if the smallest thing wasn't right, it could get rough. "I would snap", says Casie. "I was always on edge." After cutting down to 33 horses, where at one time Casie had as many as 120 horses under her care and having fewer owners to handle, she is happier. Much happier! "I got to the point where I didn't even enjoy training the horses anymore. I even thought about getting out a few times." Casie continues, "I had some great horses and some people would die to have the stable I had, yet I wanted to get out and not (train) anymore." "The bigger my stable got, the bigger I got!" laughs Casie. Now, daily gym visits is what Casie uses to let out her frustration. Instead of lashing out, she burns calories. If it's been a rough day, this means Casie will endure a harder workout, benefiting her health. "I much more professional now, calmer in how I handle situations" Casie says. "I am a very happy person now and my owners have said I am a whole lot easier to deal with now." Casie states, "Even my staff has said that. I can't remember the last time I got mad at someone, whereas before it was happening many times throughout the day." In the past Casie was not a morning person and she admits she had a difficult time waking up. Since changing her life around Casie is up bright and early and ready to go. Now Casie jogs all her horses, no longer is she stuck in the office at a desk solely returning calls and entering horses. "Before I was tired all the time, now I have so much energy, it's unbelievable." Casie continues, "In the past I would be eating steak and pasta after the races, I was too dumb to know that was bad for me. I wasn't eating breakfast and I would have my first meal around 2pm." "I hired a personal trainer who taught me how to eat properly and how to count calories." Casie openly admits that stress caused her to gain a lot of weight. "Now I'm a whole lot happier doing my job." People walk past Casie now not realizing who she is. "Some people have a hard time believing it's me." Casie says with a laugh. "I was 205 pounds last year.... Now I'm at the Jug looking at pictures from last year and I'm like 'holy crap, I can't believe that's me. How did I do that to myself?' I was a size 16 before I started working out and now I am a size 2. It's been a big change that's for sure." Casie will keep working with her personal trainer even though she's in better shape, there's more to lose for her to win. She'll continue to jog all her horses and train opposed to being a manager. For the Jug, Casie has McWicked primed to go from the 1 spot and Casie praises one of her employees, Jeffrey Kemp for doing a standout job with McWicked. "He's been awesome" says Casie about Jeffrey's work with McWicked. Throughout the years and all the changes, Casie is grateful to her parents Phil and Linda Coleman as well as her assistant trainers (Andrew Harris, Mike Stewart and Anthony Beaton) who helped run her barns while she was away and for their hard work in all the success. By: Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com          

Harness Racing

Color's A Virgin much the best in Jugette

Delaware, OH --- Emerald Highlands Farm's Color’s A Virgin won the 44th edition of the Jugette Wednesday afternoon at the Delaware County Fair. Color’s A Virgin and Trace Tetrick used a perfect second over trip and edged past Beautiful Lady (Matt Kakaley) in the lane to score a 1 ¼ length victory in 1:52.4. Beach Story (Brett Miller) rallied for the show spot. The Jugette victory was the first for driver Trace Tetrick and trainer Brian Brown. “The (Jugette) is my best win,” noted the 27 year-old driver. “I’m thankful to have the opportunity…She is a great mare.” Brown didn’t celebrate until his filly crossed the finish line. “Sometimes when she is on the front or she clears too early, she can lose her concentration and she runs on us.” Bruce Trogdon has long admired the horses competing in the big events at the Delaware County Fair from his seat in the grandstand. On Wednesday, he got to admire one of his own from the winner’s circle. Color’s A Virgin, bred and owned by Trogdon’s Emerald Highlands Farm in Mount Vernon, Ohio, won the $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers by 1-1/4 lengths over Beautiful Lady in 1:52.4 at Delaware. “I’ve been coming here for 39 years and I love to watch the Jug and the Jugette,” Trogdon said. “I just love to watch the beautiful horses. I never dreamed that someday I would raise and keep and have the winner of the Jugette. It is so special to me. Nothing could compare to this. It’s super special to me.” 2014 Jugette Final Color's A Virgin, Gallie Bythe Beach, Beautiful Lady win Jugette elims Color’s A Virgin raced on the outside for more than half the mile and wore down favorite Lady Shadow in the stretch to win the first elimination of the Jugette in 1:51.3. Southwind Silence got up for second place and Also Encouraging was third to also advance to the final. Trace Tetrick drove Color’s A Virgin for trainer Brian Brown and owner Emerald Highlands Farm. It was her seventh win in 11 starts this season. She paid $8.60 to win. Beach Body was scratched, leaving a field of six horses. Lady Shadow got the lead with an opening quarter of :26.3 and stayed on top through fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.2 until the field reached the final turn. Color’s A Virgin, a daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color, was in second place at that point and continued her first-over grind until she was in front. Gallie Bythe Beach stormed through the stretch to rally from fifth place at the top of the lane and nipped Allstar Rating at the wire to win the second of three eliminations for the Jugette. Gallie Bythe Beach was timed in 1:52.2. Allstar Rating and third-place finisher Beach Gal also advanced to the Jugette final. Allstar Rating grabbed the lead at the start and guided the field through fractions of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:22.4. She rebuffed a first-over challenge from Beach Gal and appeared to be heading for victory, but Gallie Bythe Beach and driver John Campbell never relented in their charge. Gallie Bythe Beach, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Galleria, owned by Fashion Farms and trained by Jim Campbell, picked up her first win of the season in 12 tries. She won six of 10 races last season and never finished worse than third. "She was a very nice filly last year that didn't progress as nicely as we would have liked but we were really encouraged by her last race at Chester," said driver John Campbell. "Like Jim and I were talking about, there is a lot of money still on the table and she might be getting sharp at the right time of year when some of the others might not be on the improve." Gallie Bythe Beach Beautiful Lady and driver Matt Kakaley cruised to a win by open lengths in 1:52.2 in the third of three eliminations for the Jugette. Beach Story finished second and Candy’s A Virgin was third to also advance to the Jugette final. Sandbetweenurtoes worked through a :26.2 opening quarter-mile to take the top spot from Beautiful Lady and remained in front until three-quarters, when Gettingreadytoroll came first over and stuck her head in front. No sooner there, though, Gettingreadytoroll went off stride and Sandbetweenurtoes reclaimed the lead. It was short lived, however, as Beautiful Lady and driver Matt Kakaley burst from the pocket and pulled away from the field around the final turn and through the stretch. Beautiful Lady, a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Love The Game, is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and RTC Stables. Sent off at 14-1, she picked up her fourth win in 13 starts this season and paid $31.40 to win. Beautiful Lady Rock N Randall (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) went gate-to-wire to capture the final division of the $64,634 (div) OBC for freshman colt pacers.   Rock N Randall defeated a late charging Danger Storm (Ron Pierce) and Dyno Mite Man (David Miller) in 1:58.1. Ollie Pop (Aaron Merriman) scored an upset win in the first $32,317 division in 1:56.4. It was a Miller family reunion in the winner’s circle after the second division of the $60,134 (div.) three-year-old filly trot. David Miller guided Rose Run Princess to victory in 1:58.1. The Trainforthefuture lass is trained by David’s daughter, Devan. Turbochargedroxie (Dan Noble) and Anniesbluejeanbaby (Greg Grismore) completed the trifecta. The first division went to upsetter Autumn Estelle (Hugh Beatty) who edged the heavy favorite Sandys Victory (Josh Sutton) in 2:00. Rompaway Galaxy (Mike Micallef) and Count Full Mac (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) took divisions of the $61,334 (div) Ohio Breeders Championships for three-year-old colt trotters. by Ken Weingartner with Kimberly French

Powerful Charger, harness racing

I Like My Boss suffers first defeat Wednesday

HARRINGTON, Del. - Powerful Charger ($6.60, Victor Kirby) delivered I Like My Boss his first career loss with a 1:56 victory in the $17,000 Open Trot at Harrington Raceway Wednesday. Owned by trainer Jim King Jr., and Tim Tetrick, the 6-year-old Powerful Emotion gelding edged clear late after a first over grind and held off a game I Like My Boss who chased second over and ran out of racetrack in his rally attempt resulting in a narrow loss. It was the first career defeat for I Like My Boss in 16 starts. For Powerful Charger, it was his third win of the season and first career win in the Open class. I Like My Boss, a Delaware sire stakes champion, won all three of his starts as a 2-year-old and 12 previous attempts at age 3. Drivers Allan Davis and Ross Wolfenden each had three wins on the program. George Dennis had a double. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

The prestigious American National Stakes returned to Balmoral Park on Wednesday night with a pair of trotting events for two-year-olds sharing top billing on the nine-race program. The ladies opened the action with a compact field of six diagonally gaited specialists battling for a purse of $57,200. Returning to the scene of her lone victory to date was just what the doctor ordered for Homer Hochstetler and Robert Buddig's Persuasive Look as the filly reported home with a half-length victory in a career best of 1:58.0 for driver Casey Leonard. Content to sit near the back of the pack in fifth as heavy favorite Fox Valley Yoko (John De Long) cruised through splits of 29.2, 58.3 & 1:28.3 Leonard finally put the daughter of Powerful Emotion--Black N Bluegenes into contention as the field neared the top of the stretch. "They were going fast enough for my liking so I wasn't concerned about being back there," said the patient Leonard. "I had plenty of horse left and I managed to pick up some very good cover to bring us to the top of the lane so it worked out perfectly." Gradually starting to reel in a leg weary Fox Valley Yoko and the pocket sitting Jazzie Mermaid (Dave Magee) with a sixteenth of a mile to go, the Homer Hochstetler trained miss trotted by that pair in the closing yards in what looked like a replay of her big Fox Valley Flan Stake win here in late July. Jazzie Mermaid turned in a solid effort to finish second while Fox Valley Yoko held on for third. Sent off as the third choice in the wagering Persuasive Look returned $10.20, $5.20 & $2.20 while running her career slate to 2-2-3 in 7 seven starts with earnings of $66,374. Next up were the colts and geldings as a field of eight youngsters faced the starting gate with a purse of $73,000 on the line. Despite an eventful journey K R Breeding & Robert Rudolph's Iron prevailed by a hard fought head in 1:58.1 for driver Domenico Cecere. Hustled to the front from post four by Cecere the royally bred son of Cantab Hall-Ivory Lindy strolled through an opening quarter in 29.3. After allowing a hard charging SS Poseidon (Dan Shetler) to grab command on the backside a headstrong Iron was nearly climbing into the bike with Shetler as the field reached the half-mile mark in 59.0. "Things just kind of came to a very quick stop out there," said a relieved Cecere. "We were very lucky that my horse didn't run or worse yet have an accident." Things straightened themselves out heading around the far turn with SS Poseidon proceeding to lead the field past the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.1. Through the lane SS Poseidon continued to show the way as Cecere swung to the outside with Iron. That allowed a locked a loaded KY Lucky (John De Long) to move through in the passing lane, making for a thrilling three-horse stretch duel. With the three trotters spread out across the track Iron regained his best stride in the closing yards getting up the final strides to get his first win in his second career start. KY Lucky and SS Poseidon wound up in a dead-heat for second behind the victor. After the win a very happy Cecere explained his strategy in the lane. "My horse is still very green but he's a very talented horse as well," he said. "He's never been in the passing lane so I didn't want to take a chance at going down there with him which is why I swung outside. It took him a little bit to get his momentum going again but I didn't really urge him until the very end and he was just super tonight." After a third place finish in his division of the Kindergarten Stake at the Red Mile Iron was a bit overlooked in the wagering returning $13.00, $4.80 & $4.00 while moving his bankroll to $36,240. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 17, 2014 -- Daylon Miracle moved first over at her leisure and rolled to an easy victory -- her 12th this year -- in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Daylon Miracle was fourth down the backside when Mike Wilder called on her for trot. The 5-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-Daylon Marvel quickly gobbled up the leaders and scored in 1:55.1, 4-1/2 lengths better than Dizzy Rizzy. Easy Strength rallied for show. Bill Bercury owns and trains Daylon Miracle, who extended her career bankroll to $389,987. Wilder piloted five winners on the 15-race card while Dave Palone fashioned a four bagger. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

(NEW KENT, VA - Trainer/driver Brad Irvine's Bagel Man and Rick's Crossroads captured both divisions of the Horace Martin Memorial Pacing Series Wednesday afternoon at Colonial Downs as the 17th annual harness racing season got underway. Both pacers faced eight other foes in their respective divisions but took different paths to the winners circle. The late closer races contested at a distance of 7/8ths of a mile. Bagel Man, an 11 year old I'm The Chairpan gelding, sat fifth thru the first trio of fractions before making an outside move on Scarboro Hanover and A.J.'s Poppop, who were dueling for the lead. Irvine smartly guided Bagel Man to third at the head of the stretch before easily sweeping by the front steppers. He crossed in 1:39 1/5, 3 ¼ lengths ahead of McBlack. Rick's Crossroads did not need a come from behind effort as he sailed to a 4 ¼ length triumph in wire to wire fashion. The 8 year old Dream Away gelding never led by more than a length until the straightaway and carried a lead of only a nose into the third fraction. He finished in 1:40 2/5 and earned his 21st career win. The Martin series will extend to a mile distance next Wednesday and the 1 ¼ mile distance for the third and final legs. River Runs Deep and Wishingonadragon scored first leg victories in the VHHA Pacing Series on Wednesday. Chuck Perry's 3 year old Riverboat King colt wired the field in 1:55 4/5 while trainer Stacy McLenaghan got her third win of the card with the latter in an identical 1:55 4/5 clocking. Colonial Downs will host a 9 race card on Thursday at 1 PM. The season continues thru October 26 with racing every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. by Darrell Wood, for Colonial Downs

Delaware, OH --- Lifetime Pursuit made it six wins in a row by dominating Wednesday’s (Sept. 17) $89,475 Buckette for 3-year-old female harness racing trotters at the Delaware County Fair, crossing the wire in front by 12-3/4 lengths in 1:53.4. Driven by Yannick Gingras, the filly started from post six and raced three wide around the first turn to get the lead from Broadway Socks. Once there, she never looked back through fractions of :28.2, :56.4 and 1:25.1. The winning time was three-fifths of a second off Frau Blucher’s half-mile-track world record for a 3-year-old female trotter, set last year in the Buckette. Sent off at odds of 1-9, Lifetime Pursuit paid $2.10 to win. Bikini So Teeny was second, followed by Yoga and Broadway Socks. “It definitely was a walk in the park today,” Gingras said. “Since Hambletonian Day, she’s turned from being a very good filly to a great filly. She was awesome that day and she’s been awesome ever since.” Lifetime Pursuit started her six-race win streak by winning the Hambletonian Oaks on Aug. 2 at the Meadowlands. Since then, she’s added divisions of the Casual Breeze and Simcoe stakes, plus the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. “She is amazing to drive but she is a filly where you can't hurt her feelings,” Gingras added. “Before the Hambletonian Oaks I always drove her behind cover or made sure I got her out of the pocket. But in the Hambletonian Oaks she had the perfect trip, I just pulled the plugs and popped her out. Since then she has been so good she's been the 1-5 or 1-9 favorite so she's needed to be involved earlier. She's probably been on the front a little too much because of that but she really feels tremendous to drive right now.” The daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace is trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Brittany Farms. She has won eight of 13 races this year and $652,054. For her career, she has won 14 of 24 starts and is nearing $1 million. by Ken Weingarter with Kimberly French

Delaware, OH --- Wild Honey trotted the fastest mile in history by a 2-year-old trotter on a half-mile racetrack Wednesday (Sept. 17) at the Delaware County Fair, winning the second $32,323 division of the Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters in 1:55.2. The recently crowned Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion left no doubt about the race’s outcome, leading from start to finish at odds of 1-9. The fractions were :28.4, :57.3 and 1:25.4 with driver Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. Hot Start finished second by 7-3/4 lengths and Gee O’Keeffe was third. Wild Honey’s performance erased one of trotting’s oldest records from the books. She eclipsed the previous best time of 1:56.3 by a 2-year-old female trotter on a half-mile track set by CR Kay Suzie on Sept. 21, 1994 at Freehold Raceway. The only trotting record to stand longer is Pine Chip’s 1:54 time for a 4-year-old male trotter on a half-mile oval, set on Sept. 18, 1994 at Delaware. In addition, Wild Honey bettered the mark of 1:55.3, set by colt Dontyouforgetit in 2012 at Delaware, for the fastest ever half-mile time by any 2-year-old trotter. Wild Honey is trained by Jimmy Takter, as was Dontyouforgetit. A daughter of Cantab Hall out of the mare U Wanna Lindy, Wild Honey is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding. She was purchased for $35,000 under the name Can Can Lindy at the Lexington Selected Sale. Her family includes 1994 Hambletonian winner Victory Dream. Wild Honey has won six consecutive races since finishing second by a head to Gatka Hanover in her debut. She has earned $271,031. “She won all of her (PA Sire Stakes) legs and had just one defeat by a (head) in her first lifetime start,” said trainer Jimmy Takter. “She’s just a tough filly. She’s got it. She’s the real deal.” Takter said Wild Honey is on her way to Lexington for the Grand Circuit meet next week. “When I got a first quarter of :28.4, I thought it would be hard for anybody to beat her in here,” said driver Yannick Gingras. “At the five-eighths I just let her roll along. I didn’t really ‘let her go,’ I just let her do what she wanted to do. The 1:55.2 was all her. The plugs were still in. I didn’t dig into her. She could have gone in (1):54 and change.” Sweet Shurga and driver Ron Pierce charged through the stretch and overcame favorite Smokinmombo in the final strides to win the first $32,323 division of the Standardbred Stakes. Smokinmombo, driven by Aaron Merriman, led for nearly the entire race after vanquishing Avalon Hall in a battle for the top spot coming off the first turn. Sweet Shurga was third until the final turn when Pierce moved to the outside and followed Dancewithme Chuck into the stretch. From there, Sweet Shurga cruised past her foes to reach the finish line in 2:00. Sent off at odds of 17-1, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Sweet American paid $36 to win. Sweet American is a full sister to 1993 Hambletonian winner American Winner. Smokinmombo finished second, followed by Dancewithme Chuck and Yanks Ball Girl. The fractions were :28.3, :59.3 and 1:29.3. Sweet Shurga has won two of four races and earned $19,629 for owner Bob Key and trainer Norm Parker. "She’s a green filly of Mr. Key’s,” said trainer Norm Parker. “She goes back to the family of American Winner. (Mr. Key) always liked that family. I liked her when I got her. Paul Reid trained her in Florida. When I got her she was really green. "Her manners are her biggest problem. She’s very temperamental, but I think she’s going to be a nice filly. "(Since her break on Aug. 20) we did some field time. In her last race at The Meadows, Dickie Stillings took good care of her. I just did the same thing -- gave her some field time and thought I’d bring her here and give her a shot.” by Ken Weingartner with Kimberly French & TJ Burkett/USTA

At this morning's annual meeting of the Little Brown Jug Society, the board elected Casie Coleman of Cambridge, Ontario and Jason Settlemoir of Cream Ridge, NJ to the Little Brown Jug Society filling a pair vacant seats. Coleman is one of the sport's top conditioners, winning two Little Brown Jug and Jugette titles. Settlemoir is the General Manager of the New Meadowlands Racetrack and serves as the Simulcast Director for the Delaware County Fair. The Jug Society also re-elected the slate of officers, Tom Wright (president), Phil Terry (vice president) and William Lowe (secretary). by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug  

Combined they have won more than 10,500 races. Each has won the Peter Haughton Memorial Award as the top young Ohio driver. They all rank in the top 20 for dash winning drivers. And, this year all three of the Ohio "young guns,' Aaron Merriman, Chris Page and Tyler Smith are making their first Little Brown Jug start. Merriman, 36, is currently in second place as North America's leading dash driver (trailing Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. by 4 wins). The native of Northfield, Ohio will pilot Avalanche Hanover from post #3 in the 2nd LBJ elimination. 2014 has already been memorable for Merriman. In August he competed in his first Hambletonian, guiding Il Sogno Dream to a fourth place finish in the $1.1 million final. Merriman and Il Sogno Dream will reunite in the $118,000 Old Oaken Bucket on the Jug undercard. A few weeks ago Merriman was enshrined into the Northfield Park Wall of Fame. "The Wall of Fame was real cool, it's my hometown track," noted Merriman. "There has been some great horseman at Northfield. The Jug is a great opportunity and I'm happy to be in it." Chris Page, 30, will be handling Rediscovery from the outside post #8 in the first $103,600 elim. The native of Mt. Vernon attended his first Jug in 1993. "(Rediscovery) is a nice colt," said Page. "He is real fresh right now and we trained him over the track last week. My goal is to make the Jug final." The youngest of the trio is Tyler Smith. Smith, 21, is a native of Washington Court House and will drive Let's Drink On It in the first elimination. "Driving in the Jug is an absolute thrill," beamed Smith. "My horse has been a 'no-luck' horse all year. I hope to get off to a good start and advance to the final." Smith has already made history. He was the youngest driver ever to achieve 1,000 career wins and at the age of 12 he became the youngest male driver in harness racing history to record a sub-2:00 race, driving Look Lilly to victory in 1:59.1 in a matinee at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The pacing classic will air live from 5:00 - 6:30 pm on the CBS Sports Network. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug  

HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will bring racing fans one of harness racing's premiere events when it airs the 69th edition of the fabled $647,500 Little Brown Jug from the Delaware, Ohio Fairgrounds on Thursday (Sept. 18). The second jewel in pacing's Triple Crown, the Little Brown Jug is steeped in history, and annually draws the sport's top 3-year-olds to Delaware's half-mile oval. Additionally, HRTV will offer coverage of the full day of Grand Circuit stakes races, with first post slated for 11:45 a.m. (EDT). The coverage of the Jug will be interspersed within the network's full complement of top Thoroughbred action from Belmont Park, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Arlington Park, Los Alamitos, and more. From HRTV    

Scioto Downs is planning on capping off an awesome season of harness racing with an exhilarating night of racing, Ohio Super Night. After an impressive summer season with the enriched slot money from Ohio's long awaited vlt's. Saturday, September 27 will cap off the season with the richest night of racing in Ohio history. With purses totaling an excess of $2 million. The rich card will offer eight Sires Stakes for the best of the best freshman and sophomore pacing and trotting colts and fillies chasing a purse of $200,000 each. Scioto Downs will also feature the Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Pace for a bounty of $200,000. Scioto Downs will honor two fellow horseman with The Chip Noble Memorial Trot racing for a purse of $75,000 and The Ryder "Storm Boy" Steck Memorial Pace going for $50,000. Scioto Downs didn't forget about the powerful ladies either. The best mares will go stride for stride in a $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. It's destined to be the perfect ending to a perfect season. Scioto Downs Racino hopes you'll join them for last live racing program for the 2014 season. From Scioto Downs Racino

Millstone Twp., NJ - Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) recently asked the ASPCA of Delaware to assist when the adopter of Kokorama, a 13-year-old gelding, stopped complying with his agreement to produce a semi-annual veterinary follow-up form. Bryan Bare of Delmar, MD, adopted the 16 hh gelding in July of 2012 and complied until recently. Upon numerous efforts on SRF's part by telephone, letters, and finally with the help of the ASPCA, SRF was able to determine that Kokorama was in a condition 3-4 on the Hennekke scale, 5-6 is what is required. This was Kokorama's third home since he came to the program in 2009. "Much goes into protecting these horses because the average home is just under 4 years. People have a change of lifestyle, financial issues; there are many reasons a horse is left uncared for. SRF knows that without their being there to follow-up for life the risk is great that their initial effort to help a horse will easily result in risk for slaughter," remarks Paula Campbell, President of SRF. Kokorama was trailered from Maryland to NJ to a safe facility and is under SRF's care. It is expected that it will take a few months to get him healthy and at a good weight again, get his feet shaped properly after a few trims and then back under saddle. With all that time winter will be upon us and with adoptions slow during that season the gentle giant may be with SRF until next summer. To offer Kokorama a foster home, or to adopt him, please contact SRF at adoptions@srfmail.com. SRF is 25 years, unique in its mission as it provides for Standardbreds only, never relinquishes ownership, and follows every horse for life. One ninety-five Standardbreds are under SRF's full care, all hoping for a safe home; one hundred fifteen are retired for life due to age or injury. To send a tax-deductible gift kindly see SRF's website at Adoptahorse.org. From the Standardbred Retirement Foundation  

Four world champions meet in Thursday's $121,500 Miss Versatility Series championship for older female trotters at the Delaware County Fair in central Ohio. The group is led by Bee A Magician, who was the 2013 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada, and Classic Martine, who has won this year's Armbro Flight Stakes and two preliminary divisions of the Miss Versatility Series. The two horses share the world record of 1:51.1 for the fastest winning time by a 4-year-old trotting mare on a mile racetrack. Classic Martine also shares the world record of 1:51.2 for the fastest victory by a female trotter of any age on a five-eighths-mile racetrack. She shares the mark with her stablemate, and Miss Versatility contender, Frau Blucher. And then there is Maven. Last year, she won the Miss Versatility Series championship with a 1:51.4 triumph at Delaware. The time established the world record for fastest race mile ever by any trotter, male or female, on a half-mile oval. Only Cash Hall's time-trial 1:51.1 time, recorded at Delaware in 2006, is faster than Maven's race time. A day before Maven made history, Frau Blucher set the world record of 1:53.1 for the fastest win by any 3-year-old trotter on a half-mile track at Delaware. "It's a very deep group, for sure," said Chris Oakes, who trains Classic Martine and Frau Blucher. "I think we've got a very good chance. Both horses are doing well right now and drew well, which is important there. (But) I think probably the horse to beat is Bee A Magician." Classic Martine drew post No. 1 and is the 2-1 morning line favorite with driver Tim Tetrick. She has won eight of 12 races and $246,732 this year. Last season, she shared the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old female trotters with Frau Blucher - finishing in a dead heat for win with her stablemate in the final - and was second to Bee A Magician in the Hambletonian Oaks. The mare is owned by Hauser Brothers Racing, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich and Ed Gold. "She had time off and she matured good and has come back a better horse than last year," Oakes said. "She's a little bigger, a little stronger, and the mental toughness is definitely there this year." Frau Blucher, who finished second to Bee A Magician in last year's Breeders Crown, will start from post four with driver Ron Pierce and is 10-1. She has won one of seven races this year, but is approaching $1 million in lifetime earnings for owners Hauser Brothers Racing, Susan Oakes and Matt Tudisco. Bee A Magician, trained by Nifty Norman, was unbeaten in 17 races last season and has won three of 10 starts this year. She finished second to male rivals in the Hambletonian Maturity and fourth against the sport's top open trotters in the Crawford Farms Trot. In fact, her most recent three starts were against the boys, with her winning an open at Yonkers and a conditioned handicap at Harrah's Philadelphia. She won a division of the Miss Versatility by a neck over Charmed Life in her world-record 1:51.1 performance. Three weeks later, she lost by a neck to Classic Martine in the Ima Lula final in the same time. Bee A Magician is owned by Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. She has won 30 of 40 career races and $2.52 million. She starts the Miss Versatility from post six with driver Brian Sears and is 5-2. Maven, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best older female trotter, has won two of eight races this year. She opened her campaign with a win in the Miami Valley Distaff and then went to Sweden for the Elitlopp Invitational, where she finished third in her elimination and sixth in the final. On Aug. 23, she beat male foes in the preferred handicap at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and in her most recent start she finished fifth in the final preliminary round of the Miss Versatility at Tioga Downs. The race was won by Charmed Life in 1:52.2 - the fastest mile ever trotted at the track. "It's really a deep, deep division," said Yannick Gingras, who drives Maven. "In the past, there's always been a standout in that division, but there isn't one right now. Imagine if Maven was to just step up a little and be the horse that she was last year, it would be some scary good trotting mares going at each other every week. It's great for the sport." Maven, trained by Jonas Czernyson, who has three horses in Thursday's Miss Versatility, has won 27 of 48 career races and $1.48 million for owner Bill Donovan. Last year, she finished fifth in her start prior to the Miss Versatility championship at Delaware. Gingras is hoping history can repeat itself with a bounce-back winning performance again this season. "Jonas told me that she's had an unbelievable two weeks since that start at Tioga and he really believes he's got her in peak form right now," Gingras said. "I'm going to go behind the gate with the mindset that she's one of the horses to beat and I'm going to race her that way. Hopefully Jonas is right." Following is the Miss Versatility field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick, Chris Oakes, 2-1; 2. D'Orsay, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson, 6-1; 3. Ma Chere Hall, David Miller, Jonas Czernyson, 12-1; 4. Frau Blucher, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes, 10-1; 5. Maven, Yannick Gingras, Jonas Czernyson, 4-1; 6. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman, 5-2; 7. Charmed Life, Brett Miller, Dave Menary, 8-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications    

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ANDERSON, Ind.-September 17, 2014 - Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter, will make his Hoosier Park Racing & Casino debut as he heads a powerful field of ten in the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic on Saturday, September 20. Offering arguably the best 14-race card of the 2014 live racing season to-date, Hoosier Park will play host to a stakes-filled card that boasts lofty purses as Grand Circuit racing action returns to the seventh-eighths mile oval. As Hoosier Park's signature trotting event, The Centaur Trotting Classic will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m. The 8-year-old Swedish trotter Sebastian K has taken the sport of harness racing by storm since arriving in North America earlier this year, setting records nearly everywhere he goes. Boasting a career bankroll of over $2.9 million, Sebastian K has won 34 of 72 races in his career and has only been defeated one time in eight starts since racing in North America. Sebastian K's stunning 1:49 victory on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the $100,000 Sun Invitational was the fastest mile clocking ever recorded by a trotter. In addition to trotting the fastest mile in history, he is also the first trotter to ever win four times in 1:50.3 or faster. The No. 1-ranked harness racing horse in North America last appeared on August 29 at Vernon Downs when he won the Crawford Farms Open Trot in 1:53. Sebastian K is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt. Svanstedt and Sebastian K will start from post six in the field of ten and have been enlisted as the 3-5 morning line favorite. Joining the stellar cast of entrants in the Centaur Trotting Classic is Hambletonian winner, Market Share who will start from the coveted rail position with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines. Market Share, who has won 24 of 51 races and $3.4 million in his career, was last season's Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter and the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter. The triple millionaire is trained by Linda Toscano and has been enlisted as the morning line second choice. The Centaur Trotting Classic is part of a stakes-filled card on Saturday at Hoosier Park, which also includes the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for two-year-old trotting and pacing fillies, the $150,000 Elevation Pace for two-year-old pacing colts and the $50,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Invitational Pace for three-year-old pacing colts. HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will provide exclusive coverage for the 14-race card. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews on the HRTV programming from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park. Following is the Centaur Trotting Classic field in post order with trainers: 1. Market Share, Linda Toscano  2. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder 3. Red Hot Herbie, Byron Hooley 4. Creatine, Bob Stewart 5. Master of Law, Jimmy Takter  6.Sebastian K, Ake Svenstadt  7. Uncle Peter, Jimmy Takter 8. Fusion Man, Jeff Smith 9. Arch Angel, Ron Burke 10. Appomattox, Liisa Vatanen For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park    
Harness racing trainer Casie Coleman is a new person in many ways. One exception is Casie is still training top flight winners and going for her unprecedented third win in a row at the 69th Jug. Casie lost 74 pounds and she admits there's still more to lose. Funny, normally the word 'lose' is rarely associated with Casie but in this scenario, losing means she's winning. What caused Casie to do a 180 degree change? "I was running three stables; one in Ontario, one in Florida and one in New Jersey. There were a lot of owners and staff." Casie says. Even though Casie was stacking up the win column, so was the pressure and ultimately the stress. "I used to be tired all the time" admits Casie. "I was known to be a b**** and very hard to get along with. I admit I was always real tense and stressed with the amount of big races I had on the go. There was staff, owners and a lot to handle and I would let stuff pile up on me." Casie acknowledges she wasn't so pleasant to work and given that she's a perfectionist, if the smallest thing wasn't right, it could get rough. "I would snap", says Casie. "I was always on edge." After cutting down to 33 horses, where at one time Casie had as many as 120 horses under her care and having fewer owners to handle, she is happier. Much happier! "I got to the point where I didn't even enjoy training the horses anymore. I even thought about getting out a few times." Casie continues, "I had some great horses and some people would die to have the stable I had, yet I wanted to get out and not (train) anymore." "The bigger my stable got, the bigger I got!" laughs Casie. Now, daily gym visits is what Casie uses to let out her frustration. Instead of lashing out, she burns calories. If it's been a rough day, this means Casie will endure a harder workout, benefiting her health. "I much more professional now, calmer in how I handle situations" Casie says. "I am a very happy person now and my owners have said I am a whole lot easier to deal with now." Casie states, "Even my staff has said that. I can't remember the last time I got mad at someone, whereas before it was happening many times throughout the day." In the past Casie was not a morning person and she admits she had a difficult time waking up. Since changing her life around Casie is up bright and early and ready to go. Now Casie jogs all her horses, no longer is she stuck in the office at a desk solely returning calls and entering horses. "Before I was tired all the time, now I have so much energy, it's unbelievable." Casie continues, "In the past I would be eating steak and pasta after the races, I was too dumb to know that was bad for me. I wasn't eating breakfast and I would have my first meal around 2pm." "I hired a personal trainer who taught me how to eat properly and how to count calories." Casie openly admits that stress caused her to gain a lot of weight. "Now I'm a whole lot happier doing my job." People walk past Casie now not realizing who she is. "Some people have a hard time believing it's me." Casie says with a laugh. "I was 205 pounds last year.... Now I'm at the Jug looking at pictures from last year and I'm like 'holy crap, I can't believe that's me. How did I do that to myself?' I was a size 16 before I started working out and now I am a size 2. It's been a big change that's for sure." Casie will keep working with her personal trainer even though she's in better shape, there's more to lose for her to win. She'll continue to jog all her horses and train opposed to being a manager. For the Jug, Casie has McWicked primed to go from the 1 spot and Casie praises one of her employees, Jeffrey Kemp for doing a standout job with McWicked. "He's been awesome" says Casie about Jeffrey's work with McWicked. Throughout the years and all the changes, Casie is grateful to her parents Phil and Linda Coleman as well as her assistant trainers (Andrew Harris, Mike Stewart and Anthony Beaton) who helped run her barns while she was away and for their hard work in all the success. By: Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com          
Delaware, OH --- Emerald Highlands Farm's Color’s A Virgin won the 44th edition of the Jugette Wednesday afternoon at the Delaware County Fair. Color’s A Virgin and Trace Tetrick used a perfect second over trip and edged past Beautiful Lady (Matt Kakaley) in the lane to score a 1 ¼ length victory in 1:52.4. Beach Story (Brett Miller) rallied for the show spot. The Jugette victory was the first for driver Trace Tetrick and trainer Brian Brown. “The (Jugette) is my best win,” noted the 27 year-old driver. “I’m thankful to have the opportunity…She is a great mare.” Brown didn’t celebrate until his filly crossed the finish line. “Sometimes when she is on the front or she clears too early, she can lose her concentration and she runs on us.” Bruce Trogdon has long admired the horses competing in the big events at the Delaware County Fair from his seat in the grandstand. On Wednesday, he got to admire one of his own from the winner’s circle. Color’s A Virgin, bred and owned by Trogdon’s Emerald Highlands Farm in Mount Vernon, Ohio, won the $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers by 1-1/4 lengths over Beautiful Lady in 1:52.4 at Delaware. “I’ve been coming here for 39 years and I love to watch the Jug and the Jugette,” Trogdon said. “I just love to watch the beautiful horses. I never dreamed that someday I would raise and keep and have the winner of the Jugette. It is so special to me. Nothing could compare to this. It’s super special to me.” 2014 Jugette Final Color's A Virgin, Gallie Bythe Beach, Beautiful Lady win Jugette elims Color’s A Virgin raced on the outside for more than half the mile and wore down favorite Lady Shadow in the stretch to win the first elimination of the Jugette in 1:51.3. Southwind Silence got up for second place and Also Encouraging was third to also advance to the final. Trace Tetrick drove Color’s A Virgin for trainer Brian Brown and owner Emerald Highlands Farm. It was her seventh win in 11 starts this season. She paid $8.60 to win. Beach Body was scratched, leaving a field of six horses. Lady Shadow got the lead with an opening quarter of :26.3 and stayed on top through fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.2 until the field reached the final turn. Color’s A Virgin, a daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color, was in second place at that point and continued her first-over grind until she was in front. Gallie Bythe Beach stormed through the stretch to rally from fifth place at the top of the lane and nipped Allstar Rating at the wire to win the second of three eliminations for the Jugette. Gallie Bythe Beach was timed in 1:52.2. Allstar Rating and third-place finisher Beach Gal also advanced to the Jugette final. Allstar Rating grabbed the lead at the start and guided the field through fractions of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:22.4. She rebuffed a first-over challenge from Beach Gal and appeared to be heading for victory, but Gallie Bythe Beach and driver John Campbell never relented in their charge. Gallie Bythe Beach, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Galleria, owned by Fashion Farms and trained by Jim Campbell, picked up her first win of the season in 12 tries. She won six of 10 races last season and never finished worse than third. "She was a very nice filly last year that didn't progress as nicely as we would have liked but we were really encouraged by her last race at Chester," said driver John Campbell. "Like Jim and I were talking about, there is a lot of money still on the table and she might be getting sharp at the right time of year when some of the others might not be on the improve." Gallie Bythe Beach Beautiful Lady and driver Matt Kakaley cruised to a win by open lengths in 1:52.2 in the third of three eliminations for the Jugette. Beach Story finished second and Candy’s A Virgin was third to also advance to the Jugette final. Sandbetweenurtoes worked through a :26.2 opening quarter-mile to take the top spot from Beautiful Lady and remained in front until three-quarters, when Gettingreadytoroll came first over and stuck her head in front. No sooner there, though, Gettingreadytoroll went off stride and Sandbetweenurtoes reclaimed the lead. It was short lived, however, as Beautiful Lady and driver Matt Kakaley burst from the pocket and pulled away from the field around the final turn and through the stretch. Beautiful Lady, a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Love The Game, is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and RTC Stables. Sent off at 14-1, she picked up her fourth win in 13 starts this season and paid $31.40 to win. Beautiful Lady Rock N Randall (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) went gate-to-wire to capture the final division of the $64,634 (div) OBC for freshman colt pacers.   Rock N Randall defeated a late charging Danger Storm (Ron Pierce) and Dyno Mite Man (David Miller) in 1:58.1. Ollie Pop (Aaron Merriman) scored an upset win in the first $32,317 division in 1:56.4. It was a Miller family reunion in the winner’s circle after the second division of the $60,134 (div.) three-year-old filly trot. David Miller guided Rose Run Princess to victory in 1:58.1. The Trainforthefuture lass is trained by David’s daughter, Devan. Turbochargedroxie (Dan Noble) and Anniesbluejeanbaby (Greg Grismore) completed the trifecta. The first division went to upsetter Autumn Estelle (Hugh Beatty) who edged the heavy favorite Sandys Victory (Josh Sutton) in 2:00. Rompaway Galaxy (Mike Micallef) and Count Full Mac (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) took divisions of the $61,334 (div) Ohio Breeders Championships for three-year-old colt trotters. by Ken Weingartner with Kimberly French
HARRINGTON, Del. - Powerful Charger ($6.60, Victor Kirby) delivered I Like My Boss his first career loss with a 1:56 victory in the $17,000 Open Trot at Harrington Raceway Wednesday. Owned by trainer Jim King Jr., and Tim Tetrick, the 6-year-old Powerful Emotion gelding edged clear late after a first over grind and held off a game I Like My Boss who chased second over and ran out of racetrack in his rally attempt resulting in a narrow loss. It was the first career defeat for I Like My Boss in 16 starts. For Powerful Charger, it was his third win of the season and first career win in the Open class. I Like My Boss, a Delaware sire stakes champion, won all three of his starts as a 2-year-old and 12 previous attempts at age 3. Drivers Allan Davis and Ross Wolfenden each had three wins on the program. George Dennis had a double. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway
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