As a result of a hearing held on Nov. 30, the New Jersey Racing Commission has suspended harness racing trainer Ake Svanstedt 15 days and fined him $500 as a result of a positive test on Resolve in the $273,600 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot on Aug. 6 at the Meadowlands. Svanstedt also received a second positive on his trotter Blue Muse, who won an $8,000 amateur race on Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands with his wife, Sarah, driving, and received the same penalties. The positives were for Dexamethasone, which is a Class C violation as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. With Ake Svanstedt driving, Resolve won the Cashman in a career-best 1:50.2, besting Obrigado by 1-1/4 lengths. As a result of the positive test and subsequent disqualification of Resolve, Obrigado is now the official winner of the race. According to the New Jersey ruling, Svanstedt's two 15-day suspensions will be served consecutively, starting on Jan. 2, 2017, and continuing through and including Jan. 31, 2017. The ruling also states that "in addition to the penalty issued, a total of two Multiple Medication Violation points, as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, shall be assigned as a result of these Class C violations." Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) John Cashman Memorial TVG FFA Trot Courtesy of harnessracing.com
As part of ongoing efforts to simplify and streamline transactions for their members, the U.S. Trotting Association (USTA) now offers harness racing mare owners the option to register foals online. Members can register foals any time of the day, holidays or weekends, through the USTA’s Online Services. Additionally, there is an option for stallion owners or syndicate managers to issue paperless mating certificates. In order to take advantage of online registration, members must have a free account at myaccount.ustrotting.com. Once the account is activated, members can complete online registration by providing just a few details –foal color, gender, location, as well as an option to submit names. Markings will be documented by a USTA ID technician at the time the foal is permanently identified. Stallion owners and syndicate managers can also release mating certificates electronically with no need to mail the green paper certificates. In addition to online foal registration, myaccount.ustrotting.com also displays a new Owners Dashboard, which will supply a TrackMaster program page on any horse that they currently own as soon as it’s posted by the host track. The USTA processes approximately 7,000 registrations a year, and the new online registration program is expected to expedite the process and realize time and cost efficiencies for both USTA members and staff. On April 7th, 2013 the USTA launched an online entry service for racehorses, which has now seen more than 800,000 horses entered to race, replacing a process that formerly required a phone call for each trainer to each track where they raced horses and untold hours of time making those calls. The move to online registration will have a comparable effect. Paper registration continues to be available. If you have questions or need help with your online registration, please call 877.800.8782, ext. 1 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program is currently organizing its 19th Annual Stallion Auction to be held through OnGait.com Feb 7-10, 2017. The harness racing program annually offers hundreds of former racehorses a safety net through rehabilitation, retraining, and placement in carefully screened and monitored homes. New Vocations embraces racing and the excitement and joy of racehorse ownership. At the conclusion of a horse's racing career, New Vocations stands ready to assist with its aftercare needs. "We rehabilitate the horses as needed, break them to ride and care for them until a qualified adopter can be found," said Executive Director Dot Morgan. "Then we educate the adopters on the idiosyncrasies of racehorses, answer myriads of questions, encourage them through problems and offer training guidelines. And we will always take our horses back. "The stallion auction is our biggest fundraiser of the year. If you have a breeding that's not going to be used, please consider donating it. Or if you know someone that's not using theirs, tell them about our need. Generating dollars is the ultimate goal so if you don't have a breeding, think about a year end contribution." New Vocations is a 501 (c) 3 charity so donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. FMI email email@example.com or call (937) 947-4020. Donations can be made through our website at www.NewVocations.org or mailed to New Vocations 3293 Wright Rd. Laura, OH 45337. Dot Morgan
The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association's members have selected Unlocked and Medusa as co-Horses of the Year for 2016. It is the first time in the history of the harness racing association that members' voting resulted in a tie for the top spot. Unlocked won seven of 23 starts at The Meadows during the year, earning, in excess of $158,000 racing almost exclusively in the Preferred level. Owned by the Megan Rogers Racing Stable, Unlocked was trained throughout the year by Norm Parker. Unlocked was also named Pacer of the Year and Older Male Pacer of the Year. Medusa, owned by Randy Bendis and Tom Pollack, won six of 15 local starts with earnings of more than $182,000. Bendis trains Medusa, who took a mark of 1:49, equal to the best 2016 win of Unlocked. In other voting, Goodtogo Hanover was named MSOA Trotter of the Year, sporting a record of eight wins in 10 starts for trainer Bill Zendt, who co-owns the filly with Gary Saul. Goodtogo Hanover was also named Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year. Goodtogo Hanover was also the only repeat winner from last season, as she captured top 2YO filly honors in 2015. Owner Bob Key swept the freshman pacing honors as Cinnabar Dragon and Terrortina were named Two-Year-Old Male Pacer and Filly Pacer of the Year, respectively. Rich Gillock trains Cinnabar Dragon, who hit the board in all six local starts with one win (1:55.1). Norm Parker trains Terrortina, a 2-time winner in five starts with a mark of 1:55.4. Media Buzz, owned by trainer Steve Bush along with Alvira and Dennis Fassett, was named Two-Year-Old Male Trotter of the Year. The two-time winner took a mark of 1:56.3. McMullen Stable's All Set Let's Go, who split time with trainers John McMullen and Wilbur Yoder, was named the top freshman filly trotter. She hit the board in all six local starts with three wins and a mark of 1:58.1. Rip This Joint, trained by Mike Palone for the Lone Wolf Stable, was named the top 3YO Male Pacer. Taking a mark of 1:51.2, Rip This Joint won four of 18 Meadows starts during the year and was an entrant in the track's top race, the Delvin Miller Adios Pace. The Bendis Stable earned their second honor of the night when Wasaga Beach was voted the top sophomore pacing filly of 2016. Owned by Bendis in partnership with Pollack, Reed Broadway and John Campbell, Wasaga Beach took a mark of 1:53 with seven wins during the Meadows season. Top honors for sophomore male trotters went to Truemass Volo, owned by Jon Erdner and Martin Garey. Doug Hamilton trains the horse that competed around Pennsylvania in Sire Stake events, winning two of five local appearances with a mark of 1:56. The top Older Mare Trotter for 2016 was Princess Pablano, owned by Rags To Riches of Pennsylvania, LLC and trained by Tyler Stillings. The mare won 7 of 32 starts with a 1:54.1 mark at The Meadows, earning more than $100,000 locally. Last but not least, Tamarind, owned and trained by Bill Bercury, earned a unique honor. The trotter captured his second MSOA Older Male Trotter of the Year award, but in non-consecutive seasons. The 2014 award winner reclaimed the title for 2016 as an 8-year-old, winning 7 of 27 local starts with earnings in excess of $125,000. The MSOA congratulates all of the winners, and looks forward to seeing this year's champions defend their titles in 2017. by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA
Ross Wolfenden was the hot driver at Dover Downs Monday, Dec. 5 recording five harness racing winners. Meanwhile, Four Staces made his first start racing for a price a winning one, as Corey Callahan drove him to a1:51.3 victory to win a 4 & 5-Year-Old $20,000 Claiming Allowance in the feature race. Mike Casalino and trainer Dylan Davis' Four Staces and Callahan had a perfect 2-hole journey as Star Messenger (Vic Kirby) and Nuclear Dragon (Jonathan Roberts battled head-to-head down the backstretch until Nuclear Dragon succumbed around the final turn permitting Callahan to move to the outside and quickly shot past Star messenger on the way home for an easy 1:51.3 triumph. It was the fourth win of the campaign for the Rocknroll Hanover-Miss Stacee gelding who now has won $$51,720 this year and $179,959 in his career. Dash Point Hanover (Sean Bier) steamed down the lane to finish second in front of Star Messenger. In addition to Ross Wolfenden's five winners, Allan Davis and Tony Morgan chalked up triples. INITTOWINAFORTUNE RETURNS FOR DOVER $20,000 MARES OPEN Inittowinafortune, who won at the Meadowland in 1:49 last season and 1:50 this year, returns to Dover Downs in the $20,000 Fillies and Mares Open pace on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Two of the best of former Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) champions will match strides in the first Tuesday card of the current meet in the $20,000 Mares Open Handicap at Dover Downs on Dec. 6. Four seasons ago, Inititowinafortune dominated the Delaware stakes program when in the Daryl Bier Stable. Now, owned by Mike Pagonas and trained by Mike Russo, the six-year-old has won nearly $636,000 while racing in top female feature races in the Meadowlands, Yonkers and Freehold. Meanwhile Purrfect Bags, at two and three, was a major stakes winner and now at four continues to race at a high level for owner JoAnn Looney-King. She comes off a win last Tuesday in this event with Dover's current winningest driver Vic Kirby. The program favorites meet a tough roster of rivals in the feature. Legacy Racing's Empress Deo just missed last week finishing second beaten a nose. Jonathan Roberts shot into the early lead from post 7 with Josh Parker, Brian Speeden, Kevin Evans and Nanticoke Racing's Elliesjet N to lead from the start but was only a neck back in third. The rest of the formidable field is made up by JFE Enterprise's Scandalicious with Tim Tetrick. Howard Taylor's Shine N Shimmer will be driven by George Dennis. Matinee Dragon with Pat Berry drives for Lou Catana and trainer Vince Bradley, starting from post 1 with hard-hitting Fashion Showdown, owned by trainer Chris White reined by Jim Morand, leaves from alongside. A pair of $15,000 distaff paces highlight the undercard. Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are 'dark days' at the track. Fine food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad
Some 240 years ago, Paul Revere made his famous ride enabling the phrase "The British are coming...the British are coming" to be etched in our history. On Saturday, December 10, the British ARE coming to Pompano Park in a historical harness racing event. Five of Britain's finest amateur drivers are crossing the ocean this week to participate in the British-American Amateur Championship, a three race event against members of the Florida Amateur Driving Club. This "British Invasion" will be held as the South Florida track moves to a five night per week schedule-Saturday through Wednesday-through early March. The English contingent will feature Richard Haythornthwaite, Jaimie Davies, Lee Morris, Patrick Morris and Chris O'Reilly, from County Cork in Southern Ireland. Richard Haythornthwaite, a carpenter by trade, has won multiple championships as the British Harness Racing Club's leading driver and has been associated with such top horses as Rhyds Rainbow and the 2016 Vincent Delaney Memorial winner, Tyrion Hanover. Jaimie Davies is a third generation, 20 year veteran horseman who, by trade, is a sheep farmer. His most memorable win was with the mare Maple Hanover, winning a heat of the Crock of Gold at Amman Valley in 2008. He won Ceredigion's "Top Driver Award" in 2012. Patrick Morris is a self-employed shop fitter who has enjoyed much success with Meadowbrook Josh, a versatile horse that has won on "all kinds of race courses, including grass!" This is Morris' third visit to Pompano Park and "is a wonderful experience to compete with his fellow Brits and great drivers here in Florida." Lee Morris, the son of Patrick Morris, is a farrier in the County of Herefordshire. His success has mainly been in Wales, but he also has had much success on the grass tracks in the west. He also has had success with Meadowbranch Josh, a winner in the Free-For-All ranks. Lee Morris raced earlier in the year at Pompano Park. Chris O'Reilly is a carpenter and grew up involved in the environment of training horses with his uncle. With only 10 "meetings" per year, O'Reilly has 16 wins and, in his first season of competition, he guided his homebred filly, Pardon My Dust, to be named three year-old filly of the year by the Irish Trotting & Harness Racing Foundation. The Florida contingent will have F.A.D.C. President Dein Spriggs on the roster, who has won well over 400 races during his driving career, as well as Mitchell Walker, Dennis Whittemore, Leon Cable, Joe Pennacchio, Jamie Marra and Steve Oldford, to name a few. Of the upcoming event, Spriggs said, "We are so delighted that this competition is taking place. It's another 'shot in the arm' for racing here in South Florida. Besides that, Ryan Macedonio will be attending the British Invasion festivities and will be conducting and broadcasting his now famous 'TrotCast," which has become a staple in the industry." Since its inception, the F.A.D.C. has donated over $170,000 to worthwhile causes, benefitting the welfare of children, horses and those in need. Post time for the Saturday night program is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry
Spreester won for the 13th time this year Monday at The Meadows when she turned back two determined harness racing challengers and captured the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace. Spreester retook the lead at the quarter pole for Aaron Merriman, then had to withstand the first-over bid of Shady Caroline. That accomplished, the 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Rodeo Spree blunted the charge of Medusa and prevailed in 1:53.2 over a "good" surface. Dime A Dance finished second, 1/2 length back, while Classic Carpet rallied for show. Bill Bercury trains Spreester, who now boasts $553,176 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Tony Hall collected three wins on the 14-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
Middletown, NY - Nearly 200 horse people from all walks of life were on hand to honor twenty equine athletes and their human connections... along with some outstanding industry stars who received special awards for their contributions to harness racing. On Sunday night (Dec. 4) the Monticello-Goshen chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association held its 58th annual awards banquet at The Fountains in Middletown, NY. By all accounts the event was a rousing success, which goes a long way to help the group donate significant funds annually to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and to Goshen Historic Track. The highest honor bestowed by the chapter, the Lifetime Achievement Award, was deservedly presented to Bob Boni. Known by many as the driving force behind Northwood Bloodstock, one of North America's leading bloodstock agencies, Boni is also co-owner of the fastest Standardbred of all time, Always B Miki. Known for his astute knowledge of the game and integrity in business, Boni was greeted with a standing ovation. Introduced as "an honest used-horse salesman" to laughter from the audience, his acceptance was serious. While acknowledging his Orange County beginnings at Pine Hollow Stud as a springboard for his success in the horse business, he also noted that we all play a part in securing a viable future for the sport. A surprise award was given to the long-time MC and guiding light of the M-G chapter. The inaugural John Manzi Leadership Award was presented to the award's namesake in recognition of his dedication, hard-work, and commitment to the organization. Equally moved by his standing ovation, Manzi recalled his early days in the Monticello race office and then answered the call by then-GM Leo Doobin to "move upstairs to publicity," a place he called 'home' for 40 years. The new award will be given annually in Mr. Manzi's honor to 'acknowledge individuals who have made an indelible and far-reaching impact upon the entities which they have led.' A guy who is no stranger to local horse people is Keith Hamilton. He received the chapter's Excelsior Award in recognition of his dedication and selfless contributions of time, talent and energy to the improvement and integrity of Harness Racing in the state of New York. Always modest, Hamilton said, "I am humbled by this award, but I was really only doing my job." Ken Jacobs, the season's leading owner in the New York Sire Stakes program, was presented the John Gilmour Good Guy Award for his cheerful support and generous contributions to the sport. Driven by a passion for the game, he joked that, "I don't win races by playing cards with my grand-kids." His 2yo trotting colt Walner is the world's fastest in the division and a 2017 Hambletonian hopeful. Additional and equally noteworthy honorees were, Dave Little (Phil Pines Award); Roger Dowd (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Robert Krivelin (Amateur Driver); Justin Huckabone (Rising Star); Denise DeSimone (Award of Appreciation); Adam Friedland (Owner of the Year); Jessie Ray (Caretaker of the Year); and the Gary Messenger-trained Warrawee Preferred (Monticello Raceway Horse of the Year). by the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA
On Saturday, December 3, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York, the horsemen's association representing the more than 1,000 harness racing owners, trainers and drivers regularly competing at Yonkers Raceway, held its annual membership meeting. At the meeting, the results of the SOA's 2016 Board of Directors election were certified. In the driver/trainer category, Ray Schnittker and Peter Younger were elected to three year terms. In the owner category, SOA President Joseph Faraldo and Chris Wittstruck were re-elected to three year terms. Additionally, freshman director Tyler Buter joined the Board, elected to a three-year term in the driver category, also in unopposed fashion. Missing from the meeting was 1st Vice President Peter Venaglia who was in Paris to attend the annual international meeting and help enhance and expand our business on the European Continent. Additionally, the following officers and trustees of the Welfare and Retirement Funds were elected to serve during 2017. They are: Officers: President: Joseph Faraldo 1st Vice President: Peter Venaglia 2nd Vice President: Irv Atherton 3rd Vice President: John Brennan Treasurer: Irv Atherton Secretary: John Brennan Executive Committee: Joseph Faraldo Michael Forte Irv Atherton Peter Venaglia Trustees: Peter Venaglia, Chairman Joseph Faraldo Irv Atherton John Brennan Jordan Stratton Henry Gargiulo (1st Alternate) Ray Schnitter (2nd Alternate) Chris Wittstruck (3rd Alternate) At the meeting, the Board discussed a variety of statutory and administrative goals for the upcoming year as well as what has become somewhat complicated contract negotiating issues. Also discussed was the successful conduct of the International Trot on October 15, as well as the results of the SOA's realized goal of achieving commingled pools with our international simulcasting partners. Subject to approval by the New York State Gaming Commission, the 2017 racing season will commence with a day card on Sunday January 8, 2017. Tentative plans for opening day 2017 currently include an Open at $75,000 and down the line inflated purses in appreciation for the support and efforts of those racing at the Hilltop Oval in 2016.
DAYTON, OH. - The ultra-consistent Rockn Stien ran his string of on-the-board harness racing finishes to seven on Monday afternoon (Dec. 5), capturing the $15,000 Open Trot at Hollywood Dayton Raceway in 1:54.3. Despite showing three wins, three seconds and one show finish in his last seven starts, the betting public let Rockn Stien get away at 7-1 odds, likely due to his eight hole starting spot behind the starting gate. Driver Josh Sutton left had the 4-year-old son of Valley Victor on the move early, briefly dropping into second along the pylongs but quickly making a "quarter move" to the front as he and early pacesetter Primed N Powerful (Randy Tharps) passed the :28 quarter-mile marker as a team. Setting subsequent middle fractions of :56.2 and 1:25.2, Rockn Stien never got a serious threat through the rest of the mile. Rockinthepines (Andy Shetler), who was last week's winner in the feature trot, closed best of the rest to garner the place payoff, while Becky's Law (Kyle Ater) took full advantage of an inside post position to finish third. Trainer Bobby Brower co-owns Rockn Stien with Debra Garland. Their talented homebred squaregaiter now has nine career triumphs with a bankroll of $145,865. Two races earlier, Sandys Victory established a new track record for aged trotting mares when she scorched the quick five-eighths mile oval in 1:54.1. The clocking shaved two-fifths of a second off the previous track standard of 1:54.3, which belonged to world champion Victory Is Coming. The track record performance was a gratifying family affair as owner-trainer Dan Ater just purchased the mare about a month ago and his son Kyle Ater was in the sulky. Gregg Keidel
Every Way Out has been selected as the harness racing New Jersey Sire Stakes' Horse of the Year for 2016. The award, which is voted annually by the New Jersey Sire Stakes Board of Trustees, is based solely on performances in races for New Jersey-sired horses, including NJSS races and other major stakes for NJ-sired horses. Every Way Out won six of the seven New Jersey-restricted races that he entered, including the finals of the Sire Stakes' Premier Division at the Meadowlands and the Standardbred Development Fund at Freehold Raceway. Along the way, the colt by If I Can Dream out of Every Play was also victorious in the Lou Babic Memorial Pace and the New Jersey Futurity. Regular driver Tim Tetrick handled Every Way Out in all of his victories with the exception of the Standardbred Development Fund final where he was steered by Joe Bongiorno. Among his other wins on the season were the Arden Stakes at The Meadows and the Geers Stake, where he took his seasonal mark of 1:51.2f, and Reynolds Stakes both at Tioga Down. A winner of $181,805 on the year, Every Way Out was purchased just prior to his win in the Premier Division Final by Howard A. Taylor, Abraham N. Basen, Edwin J. Gold and Thomas A. Lazzaro. After the purchase, Dylan Davis assumed the training duties from Aaron Lambert. The colt was bred by Bulletproof Enterprises of Oley, Pennsylvania Every Way Out's connections will be honored at the 60th annual Breeder Awards Luncheon on January 29, 2017 at O'Connor's Restaurant in Eastampton, New Jersey. For further information: Christopher Castens (609) 292-8830