Jurgen Hanover has an impeccable pedigree

Jurgen Hanover to stud at Abby Stables

Multiple Stakes Winning Son of Credit Winner, Jurgen Hanover, standing his first season in Ohio! NR Holdings, LLC, owners of Jurgen Hanover, by Credit Winner out of the Sir Taurus mare, Yassi Hanover, are pleased to announce that he will be standing his first season at Abby Stables. In his racing career, cut short by injury, Jurgen Hanover achieved a 3-year-old mark of  1:53.4 beating some of the best, including the 2013 Hambletonian winner, Royalty For Life, 65 cents on the dollar, on his home turf at Vernon Downs taking the Empire Breeders Classic.  He won seven in-a-row out of nine starts. Though Jurgen Hanover was picked as one to watch for the Hambletonian, injury took him out of competition. Jurgen Hanover has an impeccable pedigree.  He is sired by Credit Winner, who is currently one of the leading trotting sires in the world, and his dam comes from a great family as well.  Yassi Hanover is a half-sister to Yursa Hanover, 1:52.3 ($910,567) who is the dam of Perfect Alliance, 4, 1:51.2s, ($249,788).  This year, 4-year-old Perfect Alliance, was the winner of 13 in a row, including two qualifiers, beating the best mares such as Bee A Magician and Frau. Jurgen Hanover stands his first season for $2,500, multiple mare discounts may apply.   Visit www.abbystables.com for more information, or call (330) 852-0789.

Harness Racing

Retirement ceremony heads Scarborough closing

Scarborough, Maine -.The 2014 meeting at Scarborough Downs enters the home stretch this weekend as the horses will be called to the post for the 105th time this year with closing day scheduled for Sunday (12-21). While Sunday's final performance will be a bittersweet occasion, Saturday's card will be a day of celebration with two very special ceremonies interspersed among the day's eleven races. The 8th annual Standardbred Retirement Ceremony will take place mid-way through the program as ten tried and trued veteran racehorses will parade one last time in front of the stands before hanging up their bridles for the final time. By rule, all standardbred race horses must retire at the conclusion of their 14-year-old season and Scarborough Downs, in cooperation with the Maine Harness Horseman's Association and the Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association will come together to fete these equine athletes in what will be a colorful and emotional celebration of their careers. Year end achievement awards, sponsored by the New England Harness Writers Association, will also be presented during the day, in various categories, including the coveted Pacer and Trotter of the Year Awards. Post Time for both Saturday and Sunday's cards is set for 12:05 PM (EST) with Opening Day of the 2015 season at Scarborough Downs slated for March 28th. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs

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$50,000 Pick 4 at Balmoral Saturday

Once again Balmoral Park will be offering a pair of lucrative guaranteed pools on Saturday, Dec. 20th. With the $1 Pick 4 going unclaimed on Wednesday night, a big carryover of $17,317 will be added to this Saturday's pool.   With that in mind, Balmoral Park will offer fans a chance to grab some last minute Holiday cash by posting a $50,000 guaranteed pool on the $1 wager with its low takeout of 15%. The Pick 4 is offered on races 10-13 on Saturday night's program. In addition to the Pick 4 guarantee fans will have a chance to snag some additional money they can use to expand their Pick 4 tickets as Balmoral Park will also offer up a guaranteed pool of $20,000 on its 50 cent Pick 5 wager earlier in the night. The low cost wager also went unclaimed last Wednesday meaning an additional $5,877 in carryover money will be added to the pool on Saturday night. The Pick 5, which is on races five through nine on Saturday night and once again features a low 50 cent minimum. Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 12 line program pages for the guaranteed pools courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. Post time for Saturday's opener at Balmoral is 7:10 pm (central). The Pick 5 is expected to kick off around 8:35 p.m. (central). Don't miss this great last minute opportunity to grab some extra spending money for the Holiday season. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

Ryan Grundy, harness racing

Alberta's Ryan Grundy liking Cal Expo racing

One of the new faces here from Alberta is Ryan Grundy, who has certainly made his presence known through Cenalta Power, a pacer who has won two of his three starts here including a lifetime-best 1:52 4/5 score last weekend. If the name Grundy sounds familiar, it’s because 33-year-old is the great nephew of Jim Grundy, a mainstay on this circuit for decades and one of the best driver/trainers to every ply their trade in California. “I grew up around the horses,” Ryan related. “I was probably about 6 years old when I knew this is what I wanted to do.” It was Jim Grundy’s brother, Art, who was a mentor to Ryan. “My grandfather is the one who taught me everything. He was very good at bringing young horses to the races and did all his own shoeing, which I also do.” Grundy struck out on his own in his early 20’s, starting out on the fair circuit in Manitoba while spending the last 10 years racing over the five-eighths and mile tracks in Alberta. He has come down with his wife Ashley, and they have 10 horses here, with Cenalta Power being the star of the barn. “I’ve had him since he was a yearling and we’re real pleased with what he’s done so far on this track,” Ryan noted. Grundy, who will be here until very close to the end of the meeting, was asked if he has a preference when it comes to driving different-sized tracks. “I prefer a mile track like this one,” he replied. “On the half-mile, you can’t win very often if you’re not up front, and the post position is such a huge factor. A mile track is much fairer.” A $6,000 Open Pace featuring St Lads Lotto headlines the Sunday night card at Cal Expo, with mandatory payouts in all wagers, including the 10-cent Jackpot 6. A 13-card is on tap with first post set at 4:40 p.m. Beginning next week on December 26, racing will be conducted here three nights a week, with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. St Lad Lotto is a 4-year-old Ontario-bred son of Stonebridge Eagle who carries the banner of Ferne and Jack Frydman, is conditioned by Mark Winnacott and will have Steve Wiseman at the controls while doing his work from the outside slot in the field of seven. A 1:52 winner last season at Mohawk, the dark-hued performer had to settle for minor awards in his first two starts at this meet, but has had his picture taken four times in a row since, the last two at the Open level. The most recent decision came last week as the 9-5 favorite. St Lads Lotto left into a tracking position in that event, made a strong brush to command past the half, then continued powerfully through the lane to prevail by four lengths in a 1:52 3/5 clocking over the “good” track. A Real Miracle completed the exacta that night in a solid effort from the demanding Nol 10 post. The 4-year-old Real Desire homebred races for Junior Wilkinson, Billie Schwartz and Ivan Axelrod, with Wilkinson doing the training and Luke Plano once again handling the lines. A reminder that beginning December 26, the Watch and Wager LLC meet expands to three nights a week, with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.            

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. Each issue includes an in-depth Stallion review not available anywhere else. All previous reviews can now be viewed at www.stallionsphere.com This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Stallion Review – YANKEE CRUISER – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Yankee Cruiser 1:49.3s ($1,457,346). AU: You're only as good as your last win - We have all heard the adage "you are only as good as your last win." Well, it would appear at least one well-known trainer has come to realise this to be true. NZ: 1000 wins and hardly a murmur - One thing that we struggle with in the harness racing game in New Zealand is how we treat our superstars of the sport. In any other sport they shower there stars with awards and public recognition when they achieve something special. Drop your foot and pay the fine - Last week Harnesslink featured its most controversial article ever. Thousands of views and hundreds of comments, both pro and con, on the David Miller interview about dropping his foot in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs. Insider Access archive available - Following requests from our readers in relation to previous editions of Insider Access, we are providing a link for those looking to catch up on some news they missed. Simply click here and delve through the archives as Insider Access and Harnesslink continue to lead the way in providing the latest news from around the world. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

ALBANY, NY - The state of New York has the authority to order the random off-track testing of harness horses, the state's high court ruled Thursday. New York enacted the so-called out-of-competition testing rules in 2009 as another way to keep horse racing clean. Aimed at catching performance-enhancing drugs that might elude detection on race day, the regulations allow for the testing of harness horses up to six months ahead of a race. Harness horse owners and trainers and their trade group, the Standardbred Owners Association Inc., challenged the rules as exceeding the authority of the agency overseeing horse racing in the state. Those opponents also invoked the privacy rights of farm owners that stable horses miles from the tracks. Though the Albany County Supreme Court sided with the opponents in 2011, the Appellate Division reversed last year, finding the rules valid.   This past August, amendments to the rules - partly in response to industry objections - mooted some of the opponents' arguments. New York's high court thus narrowed its review on appeal, looking only at "whether there are legal grounds for respondent's promulgation of any rule mandating out-of-competition race horse testing, and whether a testing regimen of the sort proposed would of necessity involve constitutionally unreasonable intrusions by respondent's agents. "To the former inquiry, we answer 'yes,' and to the latter, 'no,'" Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman wrote for the unanimous court Thursday.       He noted that the overseers of pari-mutuel horse racing in the state "have for decades" worked to police the sport, including testing horse blood and urine on race day for banned substances.       The 2009 rules adopted by the state Racing and Wagering Board, now the New York State Gaming Commission, came as "a new generation of doping agents" surfaced, particularly protein-based drugs used to enhance speed, Lippman said.       In an affidavit, a longtime state veterinarian said the new drugs could turn a lame horse into a competitor but remain undetected when administered ahead of race day. In addition to threatening the integrity of racing, jockey and horse are also at risk, the vet said.       Although the horse owners and trainers argued that new race-day tests are capable of detecting the latest drugs, the Court of Appeals dismissed such measures as costly and unreliable in finding banned substance given months earlier.      "The existence of tests of such uncertain general utility does not stand in the way of concluding that the relevant requirement of a rational basis for respondent's determination to mandate out-of-competition testing was met," Lippman wrote.       New York is not alone in turning to out-of-competition rules, according to the ruling. Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey and New Mexico have similar regulations.       New York's out-of-competition rules apply to thoroughbred horses as well, but the owners did not challenge them in court.       Lippman described the gaming commission's legislatively outlined authority over horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering as "well nigh plenary," dating back 40 years.       The enabling legislation specified oversight of activities "both on and off-track," he said.       "Respondent's power effectively to reach off-track activity, such as horse doping, bearing directly on the safety and integrity of pari-mutuel racing, seems to us unarguable," the opinion states.       As for the horsemen's claim that off-track testing amounts to an unreasonable search of farms stabling horses, the court described this argument as "unavailing."       When farm owners sign such commercial agreements, "they may reasonably be deemed to have relinquished a privacy-based objection to the very closely circumscribed property intrusion that will foreseeably occur incident to an appropriately focused out-of-competition testing regimen," Lippman wrote.       The rules envision state veterinarians taking blood and urine samples from specifically identified harness horses. No residential or private space would be affected, and no attempt would be made to uncover criminal activity.       "We do not think that such a visit, particularly when conducted in accordance within a duly constrained regulatory framework, will generally implicate a privacy interest triggering the requirement of a warrant or prior consent by the stable owner," according to the ruling.       Judges Susan Read, Robert Smith, Eugene Pigott, Jenny Rivera and Sheila Abdus-Salaam concurred. The term of former judge Victoria Graffeo ended last month, leaving the court with an open seat. by Marlene Kennedy, reprinted with permission by http://www.courthousenews.com

When Eddie Lohmeyer was a youngster he always knew he wanted a career in harness racing. At the age 12 he worked with his uncle, Al Manzi-Catello's father-- who at that time trained horses at the fabled Good Time Park in Goshen NY and every chance he had, Lohmeyer would go to a training or racing facility to work with the horses. And it was understandable since he was a member of a large harness racing family which not only included his dad and brother, but three uncles and five cousins, including yours truly. Upon graduating Monticello High School in 1961 Lohmeyer never even gave a thought about college opting instead to train and drive harness horses,. Right from the reel Eddie showed that he had talent and as a youngster he developed into an outstanding driver and showed he could handle a race horse with the best of the seasoned veterans. Though barely out of his teens Lohmeyer was off to an burgeoning career as a harness driver but all was interrupted when in the mid-1960's Uncle Sam said: "Here I Am". And given the choice after being drafted, Lohmeyer opted to join the proud Marines and served in Vietnam. Upon retuning to the States after his tour of duty, Lohmeyer picked up where he left off. He won driving titles at Green Mountain Park, Freehold Raceway, Atlantic City Raceway, Liberty Bell Park and Monticello Raceway and his stable grew larger and more powerful. But Lohmeyer was smarter than most in that he also possessed a great business acumen. And his talent for training, driving and buying and selling race horses, has paid major dividends. His first great horse was his dad's homebred colt, Eddy Jeff, named for him and his brother Jeffrey. Eddy Jeff was the leading money winning two year old pacer in the nation in 1971 when the colt earned in excess of $110,000. Hooking up with such patrons as Stonegate Farms, Bob Tucker; John Stoddard; Peter Heffering; John Van Kirk; and even former Secretary of the Treasury, Bill Simon, Lohmeyer, a kid from the country developed into a class act, a persona that has followed him throughout his career.. By 1980 Lohmeyer had driven over 2000 winners mostly in an era where the opportunity to race horses was limited to just eight or nine months a year. Over the years he has developed some of the biggest names in racing. Horses like Pacific Rocket; Pacific Fella, Landslide, Nuclear Siren, Mickie Rodney Skipper Dexter, Dunroven, Pacific Dynasty, Joanna's Time and others too numerous to mention have vaulted Lohmeyer to the top of the game and he is one of the most respected horsemen competing today. Now, in his sixth decade in the standardbred industry, in recent years Eddie turns the lines over to some of the sports top catch-drivers, which also included his cousin, Cat Manzi, that is, before the Catman retired from driving. Lohmeyer will admit that one of his all time favorite horses was Eddy Jeff, obviously because the colt was a family pet and the first star of his illustrious career. But when asked flat out, he will tell you that from the countless horses he has developed or has been involved with in the nearly 55 years he's been in the game, Pacific Fella is his all-time favorite even choosing him over his $2.33 million earner, Pacific Rocket. "Pacific Fella was gritty and a great race horse. In fact he set the Hoosier Park track record of 1:48:2 in 1998 and it wasn't until 2010 that the record was lowered," he boasts. "Still his (Pacific Fella) race time is the third fastest ever there. Lohmeyer's career could fill a book or even be good fodder for a movie, and to single out a few of his wonderful experiences is no easy task. But of all the champions he has come across in his lifetime none is finer than his lovely and accomplished wife, Dr. Patty Hogan, the extraordinary veterinarian of Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex fame. In an industry where owners often change trainers to this day, after nearly 45 years, Lohmeyer still trains horses for Bob Tucker's Stonegate Farm. In fact last year Tucker's 2 year old pacing filly sensation, Ideal Nuggets, trained by Lohmeyer, took a record of 1:50.2 ,earned nearly $190,000, and figures to be among the best sophomore pacing fillies during the 2015 campaign. "I guess I've been blessed in all aspects of my life," he admits . "I've had some great horses over the years and no way am I ready to hang up my colors. Who knows, that Hambletonian or Little Brown Jug winner may come from my barn one of these days." by John Manzi, his last story as Pr Director for Monticello Raceway  

East Rutherford, NJ --- The ‘Lady’ is the champ. JK She’salady, who was undefeated in 12 races for breeder/owner 3 Brothers Stables and trainer Nancy Johansson, became the first 2-year-old female pacer in harness racing history to be named Horse of the Year, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Thursday during a Dan Patch Awards presentation at Meadowlands Racetrack. The filly won by five votes, 57-52, over fellow pacer Sweet Lou in the tightest Horse of the Year finish since 7-year-old trotting gelding Savoir beat 3-year-old filly pacer Silk Stockings, 52-49, in 1975. Five-year-old Sweet Lou, however, was named Pacer of the Year after besting JK She’salady by one vote, 74-73, in that category. It is the first time a Pacer of the Year or Trotter of the Year – categories introduced in 1970 – failed to receive Horse of the Year. Voters, who are members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association and American Harness Racing Secretaries, must choose their Horse of the Year from either their Pacer of the Year or Trotter of the Year selection. A total of 157 ballots were returned. The anomaly occurred because a greater number of voters that selected JK She’salady for Pacer of the Year on their ballot also voted her their Horse of the Year. Only 16 people that voted JK She’salady as the best pacer gave their Horse of the Year vote to their Trotter of the Year selection, compared to 22 for Sweet Lou. Three-year-old filly Shake It Cerry was named Trotter of the Year, finishing 22 votes ahead of runner-up Sebastian K, 59-37. Shake It Cerry, owned by Solveig’s Racing Partners and trained by Jimmy Takter, received 14 votes for Horse of the Year. A total of nine horses received at least one vote for Horse of the Year. JK She’salady is the fourth 2-year-old to receive Horse of the Year, joining pacer Niatross (1979), trotter Nevele Pride (1967) and pacer Bret Hanover (1964). The three previous 2-year-old winners were colts. She is the first female pacer to be voted Horse of the Year since Rainbow Blue in 2004 and the fourth female pacer overall to receive the honor. The others were Bunny Lake in 2001 and Fan Hanover in 1981. “It’s unbelievable,” Johansson said. “I don’t know if it’s completely sunk in. The hard work paid off. She’s just such a special horse. “She’s as perfect as they come now, and I guess finishing off with Horse of the Year exemplifies how perfect she is.” JK She’salady, who on Wednesday was named the sport’s best 2-year-old filly pacer, won her final nine starts by a minimum of one length and closed her campaign with a stakes-record victory in the Breeders Crown. She equaled the world record of 1:50.1 for a 2-year-old female pacer in winning the She’s A Great Lady Stakes at Mohawk and also captured the Three Diamonds Stakes. For the year, the homebred filly earned $883,330. She was driven by Tim Tetrick in the Breeders Crown and by Yannick Gingras in her previous starts. It is the first Horse of the Year honor for the 33-year-old Johansson, who is Takter’s daughter and previously worked as a caretaker in her father’s stable. Takter has won three Horse of the Year awards, two with Moni Maker (1998-99) and one with Malabar Man (1997). Sweet Lou, who was driven by Ron Pierce and set a record with six consecutive wins in faster than 1:48, captured 11 of 19 races for the season and earned $1.36 million for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. He won the Ben Franklin Pace at Pocono Downs in 1:47, the fastest-ever mile on a five-eighths track, and won the Dan Patch Invitational in 1:47.2, the fastest-ever mile at Hoosier Park. Other victories for Sweet Lou included the TVG Free For All Series championship, William R. Haughton Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, and the Roll With Joe. Sweet Lou, who was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer in 2011 and added the award for best older male pacer this season, is Burke’s second Pacer of the Year winner. Burke also won with Foiled Again in 2011. “We got Pacer of the Year, I’m OK with that,” co-owner Collura said. “We’ll have some fun with that. “It was a little disappointing (not to receive Horse of the Year), but I’m still happy. Pacer of the Year is a great achievement for Lou. It’s a nice way to end the year regardless.” Shake It Cerry won 15 of 17 races this year, earning $1.23 million for the Solveig’s Racing Partners ownership group and driver Pierce. Most of the members of the ownership group are also members of Solveig’s Breeders, which bred the filly. The Takter-trained filly, who on Tuesday was named the best 3-year-old filly trotter, finished her season by winning the Breeders Crown in a stakes-record 1:52.2. She also won the Matron Stakes in a stakes- and track-record 1:52.4 over a “good” surface at Dover Downs, the American-National in a stakes-record 1:52.2 and equaled the stakes record of 1:52.1 in capturing the Elegantimage. “This filly, she really deserved Trotter of the Year,” Takter said. “Besides the Hambletonian (Oaks), what a season she had, and she finished up in style. She’s just a fantastic horse.” Both of Shake It Cerry’s parents were Dan Patch Award winners. Donato Hanover was Horse of the Year at age 3 in 2007 and Solveig was voted best 2-year-old female trotter in 2004. Solveig also was trained by Takter, who named the filly in honor of his mother. It is Takter’s sixth Trotter of the Year Award. He won three with Moni Maker (1998-2000) as well as Malabar Man (1997) and Kadabra (2002). Complete vote totals for all Dan Patch Award categories can be found here. For the announcements of division honors, for pacers click here and for trotters click here. HORSE OF THE YEAR 2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER OF THE YEAR JK SHE’SALADY Art Major – Presidential Lady – Presidential Ball Yearling Price: Homebred. Breeders: 3 Brothers Stables. Owners: 3 Brothers Stables. Trainer: Nancy Johansson. Drivers: Yannick Gingras, Tim Tetrick. Races: 12-12-0-0. Purses: $883,330. Mark: 1:50.1 at Mohawk (equals world record). Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $441,600 She’s A Great Lady; $377,360 Three Diamonds. PACER OF THE YEAR OLDER MALE PACER OF THE YEAR SWEET LOU Yankee Cruiser – Sweet Future – Falcons Future Yearling Price: $38,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale. Breeder: Birnam Wood Farms. Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr, Phil Collura. Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: Ron Pierce. Races: 19-11-3-1. Purses: $1.36 million. Mark: 1:47 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (world record). Top wins: $500,000 TVG Final; $500,000 Ben Franklin; $463,300 William Haughton Memorial. TROTTER OF THE YEAR 3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER OF THE YEAR SHAKE IT CERRY Donato Hanover – Solveig – Yankee Glide Yearling Price: Homebred. Breeder: Solveig’s Breeders. Owner: Solveig’s Racing Partners. Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Ron Pierce. Races: 17-15-0-1. Purses: $1.23 million. Mark: 1:51.2 at The Red Mile. Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $368,100 Elegantimage; $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity. From the United States Harness Writers Assoiation

DOVER, Del. --- Mustang Art took the lead and played 'follow me' on the way to his seventh win of the year nosing out Simon's Artist in the $25,000 Delaware Special on Thusday, Dec. 18 at Dover Downs. Corey Callahan notches six wins to his meet lead. Callahan ushered Max Walton and Greg Papaleo's Mustang Art away quickly in a field of seven to take his rivals to the quarter in :26.3. The Artiscape Paula Seelster gelding continued to lead the way with other contestants beginning to stack up on the way home. Mustang Art had just enough to hold off fast charging 19-1 shot Simon's Artist and Trace Tetrick by a nose after a :27.3 final panel. Bandolito, piloted by Daryl Bier, was race favorite but had to settle for third. So Take That, the program favorite was scratched. Mustang Art has turned into an iron horse. It was his 41st start this year and 82nd in the last two seasons. It was his eighth win of the year boosting his seasonal earnings to $127,985 in 2014 and $533,622 for 191 lifetime starts. In a day of close photo finishes, Millenium Wheel came from nowhere finding room along the passing lane to fly home in 1:51.4 to win the $16.000 3,4&5-Year-Old Open pace. Trainer and part-owner Jason Lynch executed the win, his fourth of the campaign giving the Bettor's Delight -London Eye gelding a $66,449 bankroll for the season. Race favorite BJ's Rambeau (Callahan) was a close second with late closing Framed Art (Art Stafford Jr.) also in the tight photo, third. All Gold. the third of Corey Callahan's six winners, outlasted Maddysonofagun (Tetrick) in a 1:52.3 dash for young male horses racing for a $14,500 purse. Bugsy Malone (Tony Morgan) was third. Richard Lewis trains the Tell All-Full Of Gold gelding for David Banks and Layfield Horses, was the third win this season for the $40,600 winner this year. Leyden, bred, owned and trained by Bill Moffett, recorded a 1:51.4 lifetime best, to win a $14,000 Male 3,4&5-Year-Old pace with Allan Davis driving. The Quick Pulse Mindale-Staying Power soph gelding won for the sixth time this campaign. He has now earned $63,977. Fancy Colt (Morgan) was runner-up with Four Staces (Callahan) third. Ben Stafford Jr. got the longshot of the card, driving 37-1 Maximum Terror to win a $14,000 Male pace in 1:51.4 for his dad, trainer, Ben Stafford. Ballinrobe (Allan Davis) picked up second money with Something Blue (Jonathan Roberts) the show finisher. An altered son of Western Terror-HTF Cocoa, Maximum Terror notched fifth win of the year good for $50,539 earnings. Another Stafford, Art Jr., guided Adventure Bound, owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, to victory in 1:50.3, the second fastest time of the night, one of two Eric Ell trainees, to win a $13,000 Male Winners-Over pace, his fifth of the year. The Camluck-Unchained Speed gelding's earnings are now $81,262 this season and $424,839 lifetime. SB Mikes Hot Beach (Sean Bier) and Star Messenger (Tetrick) were second and third respectively. The annual Dover Downs Christmas Break Week beings this Friday, Dec. 19. There is no live racing until Sunday, Dec. 28. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

The catalog and racelines for the Meadowlands January Select Mixed Sale will be ready for download Friday on the Tattersalls Sales Co. website, www.tattersallsredmile.com. It will also be posted on the Equineline sales catalog app for the iPad. The printed catalog and racelines will be mailed next week. As usual, the sale will be held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 19, in the Meadowlands race paddock. Post time is 11:00 a.m. The 300 head that are cataloged make up one of the best January sales the company has had in terms of overall quality, according to sale manager David Reid. The sale features a major reduction of broodmares and racehorses from Jules Siegel’s Fashion Farms, along with a dispersal from William J. Donovan’s Stirling Brook Farms. There are also a large number of stallion shares on offer, 37 in all. “We’re loaded with talented and well-bred race fillies and mares, which have been quite popular among buyers lately,” Reid said. “There are also lots of high-quality racehorses that people have come to expect from this sale, including a large number of three-year-old stakes winning colts and geldings who’ll be turning four in January,” he added. Headlining the “Magnificent Mares” portion of the sale are the 2014 Dan Patch Champion and $2.2-million winner, Rocklamation, and the now three-year-old stakes winning filly who was second in the Breeders Crown, Major Dancer. Horses and geldings slated to go under the hammer include such stakes stars as Somestarsomewhere, Sometimes Said, Capital Account, Somesizesomestyle and millionaire trotter Spider Blue Chip. From Tattersalls Sales Co.  

Desperado Alibi may be a male pacer but he certainly rates as one of the Cinderella stories this year at Maywood Park, going from a one-time conditioned-claimer to a purse check away from the top-level conditioned paces at the half-miler. Desperado Alibi is the winner of 6 of his 7 last starts at Maywood, including his last three in the mid-level conditioned pacers with driver Brian Carpenter whose wife Lydia owns the striking grey 4-year-old gelding. Friday night the son of Gunthatwonthewest is saddled with Maywood’s dreaded 8-hole and its 5.5 winning percentage in the fourth race but, pardon the pub, Brian won’t use the outside post has an alibi if the horse doesn’t hit the board. “Even with the 8–hole I expect him to perform well. He’s been really sharp for us,” Desperado Alibi had modest success for in his first two seasons, winning 2 of 9 starts, but making only about $8,000 for his owner and trainer Merle Myers, Brian’s father-in-law. Since Merle’s daughter Lydia took over the ownership, Desperado Alibi has won 8 of 11 races for the Lowell, Indiana couple and their trainer Merl P’Pool, banking over $21,000. With lifetime earnings of $29,328 Desperado Alibi is eligible for tonight’s’ race, non-winners of 4 races or $30,000 lifetime) by less than $700. “The horse set a track record on Merle’s farm so we all knew he had some ability,” continued Brian. “However I have to admit, he’s exceeded our expectations “As a 3-year-old he won at Hoosier in 54 but then tailed off last year in his last coupled of starts. This year they weren’t having much luck with him either (the horse didn’t get a purse check in his last six starts in Indiana). “When he became my wife’s horse the first thing we did was put him on Lasix. He won first time out of the box for us (non-winners of 3 to be claimed for $8,000) despite being parked the whole mile. We didn’t have him rigged up quite right at that time. Now that we have, he’s really been good. “He won those last couple of races pretty much in hand for me. I think he’ll be able to step up at a higher condition (race) and do okay for us. He’s been winning in 54 and has been pretty much on idle.” “He’s become a pretty nice horse for us.” I would agree. Desperado Alibi opens as the 4-1 choice in the morning line.im race four behind Some Heart Throb (5-2, Kyle Wilfong) and Boogie Nights (3-1, Casey Leonard), with posts 2 and 1, respectively. The competitive field of fillies and mares also lured Jerrico (8-1, Mike Oosting), Cantholdmackback (10-1, Sam Widger), Goose on the Rocks (12-1, Ridge Warren), Total Sin (15-1, Lavern Hostetler) and Tiza Mojo (6-1, Todd Warren). by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Yesterday’s announcement about the three winning bids for casino resorts in upper New York State has had positive and negative impacts on harness racing in the Empire State. The New York State Gaming Facility Location Board announced Wednesday the selection of the one winning bid for a casino in each of three defined regions of the State:  Catskills/Hudson Valley (Region One, Zone Two), Capital (Region Two, Zone Two) and Eastern Southern Tier/Finger Lakes (Region Five, Zone Two). In the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region, The Montreign Resort Casino in Thompson, N.Y. whose developer Empire Resorts operates through a subsidiary, the nearby Monticello Casino & Raceway, was selected over eight other applicants. What this means is that Monticello Raceway will hopefully be able to survive. The new resort will be built just a couple of miles away from the track and because the parent company is already running the racing, it should remain a viable attraction to compliment the resort. No word yet on whether the casino already at Monticello Raceway will remain open once the new resorts gets finished, which is now years away. In the Eastern Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region, the Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, N.Y. was selected over the other two applicants in the region, Tioga Downs Casino, Racing & Entertainment in Nichols, N.Y. and Traditions Resort & Casino in Union, N.Y. This move will have major devastating effects at Vernon Downs according to owner Jeff Gural, who stated after the meeting, "they probably put Vernon Down out of business." Gural's casino bid for Tioga Downs in the Eastern Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Region was not chosen and he suggested to the Capital New York that the future of Vernon Downs could be in trouble with a casino license being considered about 80 miles away at Lago Resort and Casino. “It will hurt me at Vernon. But, I don't give a sh*t about me, I’m wealthy,” Gural was quoted as saying in the Capital New York article. “But it certainly screwed the people who live in the Southern Tier. There are five casinos where Lago is and now there are no casinos in the Southern Tier. That's—that’s shocking! “I think the Southern Tier just got wiped out economically," he continued. "Poor people, they’re going to have no jobs. Take a ride around the Southern Tier and see what it looks like. It’s about as depressed an area as there is and when you had a chance to help these people, with the fracking and the casino, they give them a doubleheader. It’s just sickening. I feel bad for the people. Don’t worry about Jeff Gural, I’m fine.” To read Gural's comments in the Capital New York, click here. Along with The Montreign Resort Casino and Lago Resort & Casino, the Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady, NY from the Capital Region was the third entity that will be entitled to apply to the New York State Gaming Commission for a gaming facility license. To read the complete report, click here. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

There is a $20,134 carryover in the Jackpot 6 going into Saturday's card, with a mandatory payout set for Sunday, so there is a great chance to turn a small bet into a large payday this weekend. The Jackpot 6 is a 10-cent wager with a reduced 16% takeout that is contested on races 3 through 8 on the program. The wager finds 70% of the net pool paying out nightly to the tickets with most winners when there are multiple tickets, with the remaining 30% designated for the carryover. A single winning ticket takes home the entire pool and the carryover. There is a mandatory payout on Sunday, so if the Jackpot 6 should carry over on Saturday, a large payoff is very possible. A new Jackpot 6 will start when racing resumes Friday, December 26, as the Watch and Wager LLC meet expands to three nights a week. "Cal Expo is the first harness track in America to offer a Jackpot Pick 6," Cal Expo General Manger Chris Schick explained. "The wager was targeted toward the lottery type player, and our regulars have also liked being able to take a shot with say 120 combination tickets for $12 as well." In addition to the Jackpot 6, there are three other wagers offered here nightly that come with that reduced 16% takeout. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the 20-cent Pick 4; and the 10-cent Hi-Five on the nitecap. A reminder that beginning December 26, the Watch and Wager LLC meet expands to three nights a week, with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Its Not Over, El Azteca head Open Trot Its Not Over and El Azteca, who have dominated things at the head of the class here at this meeting, go at it once again in Saturday night's featured $6,000 Open Trot. A 14-race card is set with first post at 5:45 p.m.. Racing is now being conducted on Saturday and Sunday evenings, with Friday racing being added to the mix beginning December 26. El Azteca accounted for the first top dances for the trotting set at this session, but it has been Its Not Over who has prevailed in the last three Open Trots with El Azteca his most immediate victim. Its Not Over is a 4-year-old son of Panama Hanover out of the Andover Hall mare Hanover Hall It who races for Richard Dryden and Debra Budahn, is conditioned by Bob Johnson and will once again have Chip Lackey in the sulky while leaving from the demanding No.10 post. After a needed outing on October 25, Its Not Over has rattled off three straight victories at the top rung, putting his class and versatility on display in the process. He played the role of stalker in his November 1 tally, made every pole a winning one on November 23 and then did his work in first-over fashion over a sloppy track at most recent asking. El Azteca is another Panama Hanover offspring who is owned, trained and was bred by Marco Rios with James Kennedy handling the lines. He comes into this assignment with $124,000 in his account and a 1:54 3/5 mark that was set this year at Hoosier Park. He captured the October 18 and 25 Opens, but has had to settle for the second money behind Its Not Over in the last three top clashes for the division. El Azteca lost his best chance in the slop last time when he made an early miscue and for this go-around he is drawn inside his main rival in the No. 9 slot. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness      

Akron, NY---The Railbird Recognition voting for Horseperson of the Year will conclude Friday (Dec. 19) at midnight. The polls will then be reloaded and switched to take your input on the Racing Moment of the Year. The Railbird Awards were created for the fans to have a way to express their opinions about who they think are the best the sport has to offer and are the only fan driven award in the industry. The voting is run by the United States Harness Writers Association in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association and the actual voting is conducted on the USTA website. Voting for Horseperson of the Year ran from Monday (Dec. 8) and will end on Friday (Dec. 19) at midnight, while the balloting for the best Racing Moment of the Year will begin on Saturday (Dec. 20) and conclude on Wednesday (Dec. 31) at midnight. A list of nominees for each award has been compiled by members of USHWA, based on what they believe were the most impactful people and moments in the sport during 2014. Those have been placed on the ballots where the fans can then make their selections from. Fans can only vote once per category. The winners will be announced on Thursday (Jan. 8) and will be presented with their awards during the Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday (Feb. 22). By Tim Bojarski for USHWA

The much anticipated Harness Horse of the Year announcement will be made live at 1 pm today (Thursday). Don't miss out. Will it be JK She'salday,Sweet Lou or maybe even McWicked? Could Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry or Sebastian K steal top honors? The Dan Patch Awards for Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year will be announced at 1 p.m. (EST) Thursday at the Meadowlands Racetrack’s Victory Sports Bar. Thursday’s announcements will be streamed live on the racetrack’s website,www.playmeadowlands.com. From the United States Harness Writers Association

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Multiple Stakes Winning Son of Credit Winner, Jurgen Hanover, standing his first season in Ohio! NR Holdings, LLC, owners of Jurgen Hanover, by Credit Winner out of the Sir Taurus mare, Yassi Hanover, are pleased to announce that he will be standing his first season at Abby Stables. In his racing career, cut short by injury, Jurgen Hanover achieved a 3-year-old mark of  1:53.4 beating some of the best, including the 2013 Hambletonian winner, Royalty For Life, 65 cents on the dollar, on his home turf at Vernon Downs taking the Empire Breeders Classic.  He won seven in-a-row out of nine starts. Though Jurgen Hanover was picked as one to watch for the Hambletonian, injury took him out of competition. Jurgen Hanover has an impeccable pedigree.  He is sired by Credit Winner, who is currently one of the leading trotting sires in the world, and his dam comes from a great family as well.  Yassi Hanover is a half-sister to Yursa Hanover, 1:52.3 ($910,567) who is the dam of Perfect Alliance, 4, 1:51.2s, ($249,788).  This year, 4-year-old Perfect Alliance, was the winner of 13 in a row, including two qualifiers, beating the best mares such as Bee A Magician and Frau. Jurgen Hanover stands his first season for $2,500, multiple mare discounts may apply.   Visit www.abbystables.com for more information, or call (330) 852-0789.
Scarborough, Maine -.The 2014 meeting at Scarborough Downs enters the home stretch this weekend as the horses will be called to the post for the 105th time this year with closing day scheduled for Sunday (12-21). While Sunday's final performance will be a bittersweet occasion, Saturday's card will be a day of celebration with two very special ceremonies interspersed among the day's eleven races. The 8th annual Standardbred Retirement Ceremony will take place mid-way through the program as ten tried and trued veteran racehorses will parade one last time in front of the stands before hanging up their bridles for the final time. By rule, all standardbred race horses must retire at the conclusion of their 14-year-old season and Scarborough Downs, in cooperation with the Maine Harness Horseman's Association and the Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association will come together to fete these equine athletes in what will be a colorful and emotional celebration of their careers. Year end achievement awards, sponsored by the New England Harness Writers Association, will also be presented during the day, in various categories, including the coveted Pacer and Trotter of the Year Awards. Post Time for both Saturday and Sunday's cards is set for 12:05 PM (EST) with Opening Day of the 2015 season at Scarborough Downs slated for March 28th. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney, for Scarborough Downs
Once again Balmoral Park will be offering a pair of lucrative guaranteed pools on Saturday, Dec. 20th. With the $1 Pick 4 going unclaimed on Wednesday night, a big carryover of $17,317 will be added to this Saturday's pool.   With that in mind, Balmoral Park will offer fans a chance to grab some last minute Holiday cash by posting a $50,000 guaranteed pool on the $1 wager with its low takeout of 15%. The Pick 4 is offered on races 10-13 on Saturday night's program. In addition to the Pick 4 guarantee fans will have a chance to snag some additional money they can use to expand their Pick 4 tickets as Balmoral Park will also offer up a guaranteed pool of $20,000 on its 50 cent Pick 5 wager earlier in the night. The low cost wager also went unclaimed last Wednesday meaning an additional $5,877 in carryover money will be added to the pool on Saturday night. The Pick 5, which is on races five through nine on Saturday night and once again features a low 50 cent minimum. Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 12 line program pages for the guaranteed pools courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. Post time for Saturday's opener at Balmoral is 7:10 pm (central). The Pick 5 is expected to kick off around 8:35 p.m. (central). Don't miss this great last minute opportunity to grab some extra spending money for the Holiday season. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park
One of the new faces here from Alberta is Ryan Grundy, who has certainly made his presence known through Cenalta Power, a pacer who has won two of his three starts here including a lifetime-best 1:52 4/5 score last weekend. If the name Grundy sounds familiar, it’s because 33-year-old is the great nephew of Jim Grundy, a mainstay on this circuit for decades and one of the best driver/trainers to every ply their trade in California. “I grew up around the horses,” Ryan related. “I was probably about 6 years old when I knew this is what I wanted to do.” It was Jim Grundy’s brother, Art, who was a mentor to Ryan. “My grandfather is the one who taught me everything. He was very good at bringing young horses to the races and did all his own shoeing, which I also do.” Grundy struck out on his own in his early 20’s, starting out on the fair circuit in Manitoba while spending the last 10 years racing over the five-eighths and mile tracks in Alberta. He has come down with his wife Ashley, and they have 10 horses here, with Cenalta Power being the star of the barn. “I’ve had him since he was a yearling and we’re real pleased with what he’s done so far on this track,” Ryan noted. Grundy, who will be here until very close to the end of the meeting, was asked if he has a preference when it comes to driving different-sized tracks. “I prefer a mile track like this one,” he replied. “On the half-mile, you can’t win very often if you’re not up front, and the post position is such a huge factor. A mile track is much fairer.” A $6,000 Open Pace featuring St Lads Lotto headlines the Sunday night card at Cal Expo, with mandatory payouts in all wagers, including the 10-cent Jackpot 6. A 13-card is on tap with first post set at 4:40 p.m. Beginning next week on December 26, racing will be conducted here three nights a week, with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. St Lad Lotto is a 4-year-old Ontario-bred son of Stonebridge Eagle who carries the banner of Ferne and Jack Frydman, is conditioned by Mark Winnacott and will have Steve Wiseman at the controls while doing his work from the outside slot in the field of seven. A 1:52 winner last season at Mohawk, the dark-hued performer had to settle for minor awards in his first two starts at this meet, but has had his picture taken four times in a row since, the last two at the Open level. The most recent decision came last week as the 9-5 favorite. St Lads Lotto left into a tracking position in that event, made a strong brush to command past the half, then continued powerfully through the lane to prevail by four lengths in a 1:52 3/5 clocking over the “good” track. A Real Miracle completed the exacta that night in a solid effort from the demanding Nol 10 post. The 4-year-old Real Desire homebred races for Junior Wilkinson, Billie Schwartz and Ivan Axelrod, with Wilkinson doing the training and Luke Plano once again handling the lines. A reminder that beginning December 26, the Watch and Wager LLC meet expands to three nights a week, with the trotters and pacers in action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.            
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