Tom Grossman, harness racing

Promotions announced at Blue Chip Farms

Walkill, NY --- Blue Chip Farms today announced several promotions within the company’s senior management team. Principle and Managing Partner Tom Grossman will take over as Syndicate Manager for Blue Chip’s syndicated stallions (the position was held by Mike Kimelman who recently resigned to pursue other interests). Grossman is not only the farm's principal but also a major shareholder in all of the syndicated stallions managed by the farm. Complementing Grossman is the promotion of Jean Brown to General Manager. Brown has been with Blue Chip since 1990 and is a mainstay for customers and stallion shareholders alike. Grossman will continue to focus on expanding some key customer relationships as will 10 year employee and harness racing constant, bloodstock coordinator Jenn Connor. Ed Amezcua has now assumed the title of Operations Manager, overseeing the entire farm staff, breeding shed, yearling management and sales after 16 years in almost every role on the farm, including farm manager since 2005. Hector Cedeno has been promoted to Farm Manager and will continue to be Amezcua's right hand man, responsible for broodmare and foal management. Working together as they have for the last 14 years, they will continue to maintain Blue Chip's goal of exceptional horse care and high fertility rates. Herb Burns, Blue Chip’s “on-farm” vet has expanded his presence by both becoming more involved in all facets of farm management and especially yearling and broodmare conformation analysis. Burns has added Dr. Jake Keifer to the team, who has become a full-time resident at the Wallkill facility. “The Blue Chip team is the foundation for our success,” said Grossman. “The ability to promote three key employees from within as well as upgrading our core group of employees via seven new hires over the last year gives us an ability to maintain an exceptional environment for every horse on the farm, which in turn acts as a platform to continue to invest in the business and generate returns for all of our stakeholders. We look forward to harvesting the returns of our recent aggressive stallion management as well as the significant investment in the addition of 21 new “A-Type” broodmares over the last two years.” Blue Chip Farms is the leading commercial Standardbred breeding and boarding farm in New York State, encompassing almost 700 acres in the rolling hills of Wallkill, N.Y. Founded in 1969, Blue Chip has produced five world champions, over 1,000 stakes winners and close to a quarter-billion dollars in purse money. Owned by Tom Grossman, Blue Chip stands and manages 11 stallions in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In 2014, the farm bred more than 2,000 mares globally and delivered more than 160 foals with a 95-plus percent conception rate. From Blue Chip Farms

Dover Downs logo website.jpeg

Applications due for Dover Downs race meet

DOVER, Del. ---- Dover Downs is now accepting applications for those seeking to race during the upcoming 46th season which begins Sunday, Nov. 2. The six-month long meet continues through April 9, 2015. The Dover Downs meet will feature 15-races a day, five days a week, with Friday aND Saturday dark days. The track’s major event, the16th Progress Pace, an estimated $350,000 contest for three-year-old colts, will highlight a stakes-heavy November and December. Progress Pace $35,000 eliminations divisions will be held on Sunday, Nov. 30. The top eight qualifiers return for the rich final and $25,000 consolation, Dec. 7. The Matron Series, the sport’s oldest continuous stakes for two-and-three-year-olds, will be raced on one program of lucrative finals on Thursday, Nov. 6. In late November, the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund two-year-old stakes will lead off with two preliminary legs in November with four $100,000 finals in late month and early December. There is no charge for admission or parking at Dover Downs. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant by phoning 302-764-4600.  Horsemen desiring to stay overnight are urged to make reservations early at the 4-Star Dover Downs Hotel. There is daily simulcasting of North American harness and thoroughbred racing and three-game parlays of NFL games are also featured in the Simulcasting Club.  by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

Conversation Boy, Rock The Nite repeat at Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 20, 2014 -- Conversation Boy and Rock The Nite each captured his second straight split in Monday's late-closing series for freshman colt and gelding pacers at The Meadows and will advance to the final. Also earning a berth in the Nov. 1 championship was Cams Fernando, who took the other $12,500 second-leg division. Owner/breeder Bob Key enjoyed a series double with Conversation Boy and Rock The Nite. Conversation Boy quarter-poled to the lead for Wilbur Yoder and held off the late, inside bid of Jed Kidd Squaking to defeat him by 3/4 lengths in 1:55.2. The first-over Aberdeen Hanover was third. Rich Gillock trains the son of Tell All-Water Colors K. Rock The Nite, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Queen Of The Ball, was ahead at every call -- just as he was in the series opener -- when he scored in 1:56.3 for Dave Palone and trainer Norm Parker. Mandalay Spur was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with the first-over Nesh Cruiser third. It was one of four wins for Palone among the day's 16 races. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, 11-1 Macharoundtheclock won her Third Straight with an eye-popping, four-wide move into the final turn that carried her to victory in 1:53, 1-1/4 lengths better than Do Me Honor. Rescue Team earned show. Eric Ledford piloted the 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Summers Soul, who now boasts $346,087 in career earnings, for trainer Tim Twaddle and owner Birnam Wood Farms. On Tuesday, Oct. 21, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $12,500-guaranteed pool for its Pick 4 as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While The Meadows regularly guarantees a $5,000 pool for its Monday and Tuesday Pick 4 wagers, the track enriched the guarantee after no one successfully picked Monday’s Pick 4, resulting in a $3,066.21 carryover. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (Races 4-7) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post Tuesday is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Harness Racing

Stillings family produces another world champion

When it comes to horses, it's all about family bloodlines. Champions breed champions. The same can often be said when it comes to the people involved with horses. Dick Stillings is known throughout the world of harness racing as a Hall of Famer, thanks to decades of success as a driver and trainer. Recently, however, a new Stillings has been making a name for herself in another branch of the equine community. Sophia Stillings, 12, is the granddaughter of Dick Stillings, and has become quite a powerhouse at the Morgan Grand National and World Championships. This past weekend, the Spring Valley, Ohio native won her fourth consecutive World Championship in the Pleasure division, and her second straight world title in Equitation in competition held at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. Sophia, the daughter of Ricky and Kirsten Stillings, started riding at age five. "She has always been around horses," said Kirsten, a former mutuel teller at Scioto, of her daughter. "We took her to a horse camp one summer and she fell in love with it. She wanted to take lessons and committed herself to it." After leasing a horse for two years, the Stillings family knew it was time to make a purchase and bought Sophia her own horse, Artful Image. Better known as Rose, the mare has been with Sophia ever since. The pair has worked together at Cape Cod Equestrian Center in Spring Valley with trainers Reese and Erin Richey. This year, despite her success in the past, Sophia wasn't sure her streak would continue. "There were some others that came into the ring for the pleasure championship that were very nice horses," she said. "One was a four-time world champion in another division." She faced a similar challenge in equitation. "Equitation isn't my best suit, so it's something I had to work hard at and that was probably my biggest goal for the year." In the end, Sophia and Rose had won two more World Championships. Sophia, her parents, and her 7-year-old sister Ella did not make the trip alone this year, as they had backing from the most well-known member of the family, grandfather Dick. "It was pretty exciting," said Sophia. "I didn't expect him to come and it was a lot of fun to have him there." The harness racing Hall of Famer took a break from his racing schedule at The Meadows to make the trek to Oklahoma to support his granddaughter. "She's amazing," said Dick. "I went to a lot of her shows in Ohio, but this is the first time I went to Oklahoma to see her. It was great. I had tears in my eyes. When you do something like that achievement wise, for herself and the horse, you feel great for them." Dick Stillings was also grateful to get the opportunity to spend time with his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. "Her mom, Kirsten, is a big influence on her and so is Ricky, her dad. They have two daughters and whatever either wants to do, they try to help them do it. You couldn't find better parents. For me, I hadn't been anywhere in a while, and it was great to get to be there and be part of it." Dick Stillings has been part of many success stories in the world of harness racing, including two Breeders Crown wins (with Esquire Spur and Kentucky Spur) and a pair of Little Brown Jug victories (with Barberry Spur and Jaguar Spur). But this achievement by his granddaughter ranks right near the top of his list of equine memories. "All I can say is that it's one of those situations where you are happy for them and you're happy for yourself that you could be there to see it." by Jeff Zidek, for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

If her recent results are any indication, The Show Returns has arrived. But harness racing owner Richard Young says the reason the filly was slow to find the spotlight had more to do with unfortunate luck than lack of performance. The Show Returns heads into Saturday's $424,000 Three Diamonds Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers at Woodbine off a neck win over Band Of Angels in 1:53.1 in their elimination division, giving the Chris Ryder-trainee three victories in a row. She will start the Three Diamonds from post No. 2, with Scott Zeron listed to drive. A daughter of stallion Rocknroll Hanover out of Stienam's Place, The Show Returns is a full sister to previous Young female pacing star Put On A Show, who earned $2.4 million in her career and was the 2010 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old female pacer. The Show Returns, who was purchased for $180,000 under the name Hey There Delilah, at last year's Lexington Selected Sale, has won four of nine races and earned $98,738 for Richard and Joanne Young.  "We thought she was quite good from the get-go, so to speak, but she just had unfortunate situations," Richard Young said. "People are saying she kind of tailed off in the middle (of the year) but she didn't really tail off. Some things happened. It wasn't that she got bad; if she had gotten bad, I'd have turned her out." The Show Returns finished second by a half-length to Stacia Hanover in her debut in a preliminary round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, then finished a troubled-trip fifth in the final. She bounced back to win a round of the Whenuwishuponastar Series at Mohawk Racetrack, then finished fifth-placed-fourth in the final.  After the race, The Show Returns was diagnosed with synchronous diaphragmatic flutter; spasms of the diaphragm in synchronization with the heartbeat more commonly called "the thumps."  The Show Returns was off-the-board in her next two races, but has been unbeaten since. Among her wins were the She's A Great Lady Consolation and a division of the Champlain Stakes, both in 1:52.  "She's a nice filly," said Young, who in addition to Put On A Show owned I Luv The Nitelife, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly pacer. "I don't know if she'll ever be as good as the other two; I think that's asking a lot. But she's competitive and she has good speed. "Anytime you have speed, you can get position. And when you get position, something (good) can happen. I like her." The Show Returns is Young's only racehorse at the current time. "If you look at her on the track, she's a peanut," Young said, laughing. "I don't generally buy peanuts, I like the bigger horse. But she was a June foal, so I thought she might grow. I don't think she's grown an inch. But she has speed, she has an ability to get position, and it looks like she will fight. I can always hope."  The Show Returns will face - for the first time - undefeated JK She'salady in the Three Diamonds. JK She'salady won her elimination on Saturday by one length over Solar Sister in 1:53.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson. The filly, who in August won the She's A Great Lady Stakes by four lengths in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1, is 9-for-9 this year.  "I've been touting 'Lady' for Pacer of the Year, and I think if she stays undefeated, she should be," Young said. "I don't know if very many people are going along with me, but the fact is she does have the best record out there. She's undefeated and she's won them all easily.  "Of course, I want to beat her and prove me wrong. I wouldn't bet my horse with your money, but that doesn't mean I can't hope that we beat her. I think she's untouchable right now, but I'm hoping that she's not. "I'm a little spoiled. In the last six years or so, I had the horse that was supposed to win. I have to get used to not being the best one. But she could in fact be the second-best one. That's OK, too." The Show Returns in her Three Diamonds Elimination The full field in post order for the Three Diamonds is 1  Happy Becky 2  The Show Returns 3  JK She'salady 4  Float On By 5  Solar Sister 6  Ideal Nuggets 7  Rock Her World 8  Band Of Angels 9  Zip Code Envy 10 Shakai Hanover. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

YONKERS, NY, Monday, October 20, 2014-If more than $1.5 million in stakes money up for grabs Saturday night isn't enough incentive to watch and wager, Yonkers Raceway has added a bit more. There is a $20,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool, comprised of all the featured events, as in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, $500,000 Messenger Stakes, $250,000 International Trot Preview, $150,854 Lady Maud and $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot. Please be advised that the order of the races is TBA as of this writing (open draw for all is Tuesday afternoon), and the Pick 5 (for this night only) may be moved from its customary slot of races 5 through 9. It does remain a 50-cent base wager with no consolation payoff. Program pages shall be available for perusal no later than Wednesday afternoon at www.yonkersraceway.com. "Saturday is going to be the best race card anywhere. We're very proud Yonkers Raceway is hosting these classic events, and we invite everyone to see these world-class pacers and trotters," Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. As always, the guaranteed pool is a joint venture of the Raceway, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and the US Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. Yonkers Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

HARRINGTON, Del. - The final week of Harrington Raceway's 68th year of live racing will be headlined by the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $100,000 final events for 2-year-olds. The pacing fillies are the first to go postward, as their final is slated as the 10th race on Monday's 15-race program. Carter Racing Stable's Totally Rusty (2-1, Corey Callahan) will look to keep her perfect record intact as the daughter of Rusty's For Real is 4-for-4 in her young career, after breaking her own track record last week. The path to her fifth win may not come easy tonight however after drawing post position eight. Her two chief threats are fellow undefeated mate Joann Looney King's Roddy's Bags Again-sired Purrfect Bags' (4-1, Victor Kirby) and Riggins-sired Gigi Deo (3-1, Andrew McCarthy) for owners J&T Silva Stables, C&G Racing Stables and Deo Volente Farms. The pacing colts will take their turn in the 10th race on the Tuesday program, featuring an adept field which features six different elimination winners. Only Scott Woogen's Riggins-sired KJ Ben (5/2, Art Stafford Jr.) and Michael White's Life Sizzles-sired and aptly named Son of a Sizzle (3-1, David Miller) escaped both of their elimination races unscathed in the deep grouping. Fellow elimination winners in the field include Garnet O'Marrow's Riggins-sired Seboomook Katahdin (5/1, Allan Davis), Legacy Racing of DE, Sharon White and Nanticoke Racing's Artzina-sired Art Season (8-1, Vince Copeland), Ron Benton and Sharon Wyatt's Remember Me VK (4/1, Montrell Teague), a son of Art Director, and Roddy's Bags Again sired Roddy's Hot Again (12-1, George Dennis), who is owned by George and Tina Dennis and the Ask W Stables. Both sexes of trotters will compete in their final events on the penultimate program of the season at Harrington on Wednesday. The colt and gelding trotters will battle in the eighth race, as track record holder and son of Political Briefing, Political Cash (2-1, Allan Davis) will vie for his Third Straight win for owners Bob Shahan and Donald Marine. The field is contentious however, and also features former track record holder Egosnattitudes (5/1, Jon Roberts), a son of Great George Two for owners Bib Roberts, Graham Grace Stables and M&W Stables among the field of eight. The filly trotting final is the 10th race with another Great George Two offspring playing perhaps a major role in Callmemza (2/1, Roberts) for owners Bib Roberts, Graham Grace Stables and M&W Stables. Callmemza swept her eliminations as did her two main threats, a pair of Cr Commando-sired fillies in Carlo Poliseno and Foulk Stables' Penny Paratrooper (4-1, Ross Wolfenden), and Scott Woogen's Sign N Drive (3-1, Tim Tetrick). Each pacing and trotting division also features a $20,000 consolation. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

Latham, NY---The Harness Horse Breeders of New York State (HHBNYS) has announced with great pride that longtime horseman and journalist John Manzi will be the recipient of the 2014 Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal. This eighth annual award recognizes an individual who has shown outstanding integrity in the sport of harness racing and has also taken the time to give back to both the sport and their community in the State of New York. John Manzi has been doing exactly that for over 50 years. Manzi has been involved in harness racing his entire life. Coming from a racing family, he started out training and driving at Monticello Raceway in the late 1960's and enjoyed doing it until 1974. That is when he found something he enjoyed doing even more; promoting the sport. He eventually started working on the other side of the fence at the Meadowlands and in 1980 became Monticello Raceway's full time director of publicity and public relations. 44 years later he still holds the same position. A tireless fundraiser on his own time, John Manzi has helped numerous industry organizations offset day to day expenses through his benevolent efforts. He has been the impetus for money raised and donated to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, the Goshen Historic Track, the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame, the Standardbred Retirement Fund and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. As a driving force in the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), he runs its annual banquet that honors their local horsemen and then uses the proceeds to fund numerous other worthwhile causes throughout the year. Besides his promotional work of the sport at Monticello, he has done publicity for the New York Sire Stakes and other New York State races and actually worked for Bruce Hamilton when he was the executive director of the HHBNYS. He is also the publicist for the Billings Amateur Driving Series and the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA). Manzi has also served high posts for some very important organizations within the racing industry. He is a former National president of both USHWA and the Harness Publicist Association. John Manzi's efforts have not gone unnoticed through the years as his list of acknowledgments will attest. He is a member of the Communicator's Hall of Fame in Goshen and has received the Proximity Award from USHWA, the Pinnacle Award from the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, the Appreciation Award from Harness Horsemen International, the Laurel Award from New York City USHWA and was named USHWA'n of the Year in 1992. Manzi's other passion is music and he is a longtime collector of "doo-wop" and rock and roll records. In 1983 he was given his own radio show called The Bop Shop on WVOS-FM in Monticello. He is currently celebrating his 31st year in broadcasting and can be heard both on the radio and streaming live on the internet. John Manzi was married to the late Sharon Manzi for almost fifty years and is the loving father of two daughters, Michelle Miller and Tracy Manzi and three granddaughters, Elizabeth, Kim and Fiona McNamara. The presentation of the Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal will take place at the New York Sire Stakes and USTA District 8 awards dinner at Vernon Downs Hotel and Casino on October 26 at 6:30 p.m. For reservations or more information, contact the Harness Horse Breeders at 518-785-5858 or info@hhbnys.org. By Tim Bojarski, for the Harness Horse Breeders of NYS    

HARRINGTON, Del. - Joann Looney- King's Purrfect Bags ($11.80, Victor Kirby) notched a mild upset in winning the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) final for 2-year-old pacing fillies Monday at Harrington Raceway in a track record setting time of 1:53.2. The Roddy's Bags Again filly settled in fourth early behind pacesetting favorite Totally Rusty, who cruised through fractions of 27.3, 55.1 and 1:24.1. Kirby and Purrfect Bags mounted their attack first over and steadily gained ground before a fierce final charge reeled in the favorite at the finish in dramatic fashion. Gigi Deo was third. The aptly named Purrfect Bags remained perfect in her career, with four wins in as many starts. Trained by Jim King Jr., the mile established a new track record, which had been broken the previous two races in a row by Totally Rusty. "This filly showed a lot of guts tonight and really dug in late," said Kirby, who won three races. "They told me this filly loves a target and they were right. She's way better having a target then being on the front end." An elated Joann Looney-King was in tears in the winner's circle and recalled a bout of amnesia in regards to Purrfect Bags' dam, Purrfectly Bad. "This is the most exciting race that I've ever won in over 60 years," she said. "We had the mare and she couldn't go a quarter much faster than 35 seconds. I went to Chick's Sale looking for a weanling last December and I couldn't come home with one because everything went too high. I had $2,000 and ended up with her. Jimmy (trainer Jim King Jr.) reminded me, he said don't you remember who the dam was? I said nope. And he said, you owned her." In the $20,000 DSBF consolation, Erica Hanley and Pam Wagner's Iaquinta ($12, Kirby) recorded a win in 1:56.2. Harrington's leading driver Allan Davis had a grand slam on the program, including a win with Legacy Racing and Reginald Hazzard's Papa Ray ($10.20) in the $18,000 Open in 1:52.2. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway        

DAYTON, OH. - Foiled Again and Creatine have been installed as the morning line favorites for the $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby and $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby when the new track presents its first-ever Grand Circuit stakes on Friday night. Both will have plenty of competition, however, as the sixteen horses in the two races have combined earnings of $22,982,846-an average of $1,436,428. As the richest harness horse in history Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) has been designated the slight favorite in the pace at 9-5 opening odds. Stablemate Clear Vision (Brett Miller), who will be uncoupled in the wagering with Ohio State Racing Commission permission, will launch at 2-1 when the betting windows open. Also expected to get ample public support is local track record holder Dancin Yankee (Tyler Buter), a $15,000 supplement to the race who comes in off two consecutive wins at Dayton in aged Ohio Sires Stakes action. Based largely on his recent 1:51 triumph at Dayton, he'll open at 7-2, just better than Night Pro (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) who will open at 9-2 from the rail. Others in the elite field of seven will be Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) at 6-1, Santa Fe Beachboy (Josh Sutton) 8-1 and Beach Memories (Dave Palone) 10-1. A full field of nine have declared into the trot with Creatine (Dan Noble), based on wins in both the American National and Allerage stakes in his last two starts, earning 5-2 morning line favoritism. Market Share (Tim Tetrick), the richest of four millionaire trotters in the field, is second choice at 3-1, followed by Wishing Stone (Gingras) at 7-2 and Daylon Magician (Jack Moiseyev) at 9-2. There are a host of longshot possibilities for punters looking for longer odds. A case can be made for every horse in the field as all have won in 1:53 or faster this season. DW's NY Yank (Miller) 6-1, Fusion Man (TBA) 8-1, Fearless Man (Rick Zeron) 10-1, Opening Night (Wrenn Jr.) 12-1 and Southwind Pepino (Hugh Beatty) are the other combatants. First race post time is 6:35 on Friday night with the Dayton Derbies slated as races 11 and 12 on the 14-race program. From the press box at Dayton Raceway  

(NEW KENT, VA --- Perfect Number and Filomena, runners-up in their respective 2013 Virginia-bred colt and filly pacing championship divisions as two year olds, scored wins in their three year old prep races Sunday at Colonial Downs in advance of next weekend's $350,000 Day of Champions card. After Christmas Parade dominated the first half of the $5,000 colt pace, Perfect Number came three wide out of the turn, passed a trio of front steppers in mid-stretch and charged home to win in a lifetime best 1:55 2/5. The Art Official gelding, who won his freshman prep a year ago, crossed three lengths ahead of Top Official. Leading driver Corey Braden directed the effort for trainer Freddy Darby. 2013 champ Handsome Jim was third in Sunday's warm-up. Filomena on the other hand, took the lead from the start and never looked back in the ladies division. The Western Ideal filly triggered quarter fractions of :28 1/5, :58.0 and 1:26 4/5 before closing the deal in 1:54 4/5 nearly two lengths over 2013 champ Santa Baby. Reinsman Braden guided Filomena for trainer Fran Raia II. For the second straight year, the three year old girls were speedier than the boys. The three year old trot events were held as non-bettors before the pari-mutuel card began and both freshman champs returned to the winners circle again. Always Quick Star, fresh off a win, second and third at the current fall meet, scored in the filly division in 2:01 3/5 while Jingle Bells (2:01 4/5) only had to beat one other foe in a two horse colt division. In Saturday's two year old prep races, Here Comes Lucy took advantage of a pocket trip and captured the filly pace prep in a thrilling finish where a neck margin separated the top three finishers. Pace setter Cam's Filly carried a slight lead into the top of the stretch but the eventual winner, Blueridge Pushy and Loves You Baby all came from behind to engage in the heart stopper. Here Comes Lucy, a Scott Warnick trainee, crossed in 2:00 3/5. The Allie's Western filly now has seven "in the money" finishes from just eight starts. Trainer Frank Gannon's Riggy wired the field in 1:57 2/5 in an uneventful colt & gelding pace. The Riggins colt tripped the timer in :29 3/5, :59 2/5 and 1:29 2/5 before crossing 4 ½ lengths ahead of Bossman Mike. Riggy is owned by Leonard Hubbard and was driven by Frank Milby. A neck came into play in the filly trot prep as Elma Lou squeaked out a close win over Kiss My Cart in a three horse field. Renegade Marie went off stride coming out of the turn so a match race played out in the final quarter between the remaining pair. The neck victor, a Cantab Hall filly, finished in 2:07 4/5. Wilbur Eden dominated in the colt & gelding prep, besting a trio of other contenders in 2:01 1/5. The Federal Flex colt wired the field and hit the wire four lengths ahead of runner-up I Am Delightful. Entries will be drawn for next Sunday's "Day of Champions" card this Thursday October 23rd. by Darrell Wood, for Colonial Downs  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, October 19, 2014--Yonkers Raceway has announced the octet of world-class trotters for this Saturday night's (Oct. 25th) International Trot Preview. The race, at one-and-one-quarter miles for a purse of $250,000, is a precursor to next season's return--after a two-decade hiatus--of the International Trot. The eight on the gate for the Preview are (alphabetically) Archangel, Arch Madness, reigning Harness Horse of the Year Bee a Magician, Commander Crowe, Market Share, Natural Herbie, Not Afraid and Sebastian K. the world's fastest trotter. Here's a quick cheat sheet... ARCHANGEL--A 5-year-old statebred son of Credit Winner with more than $1.1 million on account, he's the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner (track-record for 3YO colts [1:54.1]). After a year in the breeding shed, he returned for new trainer Ron Burke and took a life-best 1:50 effort earlier this season. Archangel is co-owned by Legendary Standardbred Farm (Alan Hainsworth) and Clare Semer. ARCH MADNESS--The 10-year-old Balanced Image gelding is a millionaire four times over for co-owners Marc Goldberg & Willow Pond LLC and trainer Trond Smedshammer. Arch Madness served notice that he's back in business this past Friday night, with an 11-length romp in a track-record 2:00.3 for the mile-and-one-sixteenth. BEE A MAGICIAN--2013's Harness Horse of the Year on the strength of a perfect 17-for-17 season, this 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra is defending the honor of the fairer sex here. Thrice a winner (with six seconds) in a dozen starts this season, Bee A Magician's lone local appearance was an effortless track-record (4YO mares) 1:55 in Open event in late August. The lass, a career $2.5 million earner, is trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. COMMANDER CROWE--One of Europe's preeminent trotters, the 11-year-old Juliano Star gelding joins Arch Madness in the $4 million earnings club. His 60 career victories include the Elitlopp in 2012 and, more recently, Sweden's Ã…by Stora Pris invitational. This is his U.S. debut and third North American start, the first two of a pair of thirds in Breeders Crowns (2011 & '12). "Commander" is trained by Fabrice Souloy for owner Snogarps Gard AB (Barbro Wihlborg, Ulf Wihlborg & Joakim Wihlborg). MARKET SHARE--This 5-year-old son of Revenue S is approaching $3.5 million in lifetime loot. His resume includes wins in a pair of seven-figure events, the 2012 Hambletonian and that season's Canadian Trotting Derby. A season ago, it was the Breeders Crown. Maple Leaf Trot and TVG Free-For-All and American-National. In 2014, the Maxie Lee (Harrah's Philly) has been his biggest win to date. Market Share's lone local appearance was a third-place effort (to Archangel) in the 2012 Yonkers Trot. Linda Toscano trains for co-owners Richard Gutnick, Bill Augustine and T L P Stable. NATURAL HERBIE--A 4-year-old Here Comes Herbie gelding has gone from being the scourge of Indiana to one of North America's best trotters. A .500 hitter (11-for-22) this season and a shade better (23-for-45, $624,851) for his career, "Herbie" whipped Invitational class horses in the Vincennes (Meadowlands, life-best 1:51.4) and Noble Memorial (Scioto) for owner/trainer/driver Verlin Yoder. NOT AFRAID--If there's not a law that says a high-end trotting event can't be held without a representative of Jimmy Takter present, perhaps there ought to be. This 5-year-old S J's Caviar gelding is co-owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding and Goran Anderberg. He's a six-time winner each of the last two seasons with career earnings in excess of $400,000. Not Afraid defeated Arch Madness in a Pocono Preferred event earlier this month. However, this is certainly a step up the social circle from the crowd Not Afraid saw the last time he was here, going winless in five tries against overnighters in the first half of 2013. SEBASTIAN K--When your business card reads "World's Fastest Trotter," do you need any other references? The 8-year-old son of Korean, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt for owner Knutsson Trotting (Michael Knutsson and Tristan Sjoberg), has taken the continent by storm in 2014. Eight wins and two seconds in 11 starts ($663,853), with his stunning 1:49 effort in a late June Pocono Invitational rewriting all the record books. A pair of stakes wins at the Meadowlands and one a Vernon are also included. His European prowess unquestioned (nearly $2.3 million in earnings), Sebastian K, as well as Commander Crowe, add to the tremendous list of overseas horses who have, ahem, "taken their talents to Westchester." This Saturday night's (Oct. 25) five stakes finals...$500,000 Yonkers Trot, $500,000 Messenger Stakes, $250,000 International Trot Preview, $150,854 Lady Maud and $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot shall be "open drawn" Tuesday afternoon. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

We’ll get a sneak preview of next weekend’s $40,000 Violet Final when seven ICF freshman trotters square off Sunday in a prep race at Balmoral Park. It’s been a topsy-turvy division with a trio of fillies taking turns winning the major Illinois-bred stakes. The first race Violet Prep programmed favorites—Persuasive Look, Fox Valley Yoko, and Bi Polar Rose –all have the credentials to win, to borrow the phase “On Any Given Sunday”, such as tonight and or in next Sunday’s championship. Persuasive Look (2-1, Casey Leonard) captured both the $44,000 Fox Valley Flan Final and in the $57,200 American National in mid-September then didn’t make the gate in the Lincoln Land showdown. She did breeze two weeks ago in that stake’s Consolation. Fox Valley Yoko (5-2, John De Long), proved best in each of the State Fair Championships, winning a $30,000 division of the Springfield Final in 1:59 flat in min-August and taking the Shawnee at Du Quoin a week later in one-tick slower. However, the Curt Grummel filly raced first-over before she made a bobble in the lane as the 4-5 Lady Lincoln Land and had to settle for third. Bi Polar Rose (Travis Seekaman) started off her career with triumph in a pair of small stakes this summer, the $5,000 Star Slinger and the $10,000 Vaporize, before finishing fourth in both the Flan and the Shawnee, and third at Springfield. Nevertheless in the $90,000 Lady Lincoln Land, the richest season stake in the division, Bi Polar Rose was a wire-to-wire winner three weeks ago with a 1:59.3 clocking. Jazzy Mermaid, the fourth prominent filly in the division, won the other Springfield division and was second at Du Quoin and the American National but she went on the sidelines after being scratched “injured: prior to the start of the Lady Lincoln Land. Completing tonight’s Violet prep are Fox Valley Harrah (6-1, Kyle Wilfong), runner-up in the Lady Lincoln Land, Bands Muse (10-1, Dave Magee) Bigolwezeweddwess (12-1, Dean Magee) and Butterthantherest (15-1, Pat Curtin). Filly Pace Feature: A couple of recent bridesmaids are favored to step up to the altar in Sunday’s $10,200 Beecher stake for ICF freshman filly pacers. The headliner will go as the sixth race. Last week’s $61,150 American National freshman filly runner-up Angel Demon (Todd Warren) is the 2-1 first flash favorite for Quaid Racing of Evergreen Park, while Peter Karras’ Fox Valley Charm (Kyle Wilfong), second best behind Sportsmuffler in the $43,600 Violet Final earlier this month. Looking to knock off the favorites are Simply Burbon (12-1, Rick Finn), Duneside Perttie (6-1, Dave Magee), Girls Hunt Too (8-1, Dave Magee), BS Tyrichess (4-1, Bobby Smolin), and Fox Valley Redhead (12-1, Dale Hiteman). Angel Demon’s lone win in 11 season starts was her 1:54.2 romp in last month’s $13,900 Direct Dottie at Balmoral. However the Sportsmaster filly has put over $65,000 on her card with the help of seconds in the American National, the Director’s Award at Du Quoin, the Springfield State Fair Final and Balmoral’s Loyal Opposition Championship. Fox Valley Charm has chalked up three wins in eight career starts for trainer Dirk Simpson, her best a 1:55.1 mile at Springfield. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

A field of seven open pacers lined up behind the starter in the featured even at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. The wagering public placed their support behind nineteen time winner Speed Again, despite a sixth place finish last time out against similar competition. Speed Again (Matt Kakaley) wasted little time getting in gear, as he used his gate speed to take command by the quarter in :27. After a half in :54.4 (:27.4), Speed Again faced a minor first-over challenge from Sparky Mark (Marcus Miller), but was able to sprint clear at three-quarters, which went in 1:22 (27.1). At the top of the stretch, Dial Or Nodial (David Miller) swung wide off cover, and Wake Up Peter (Brett Miller) closed fast up the inside, but there was no catching Speed Again. He won by two lengths in the end, stopping the clock in 1:50.4, while paying $5.20. He keyed an exacta that paid $30, and a trifecta that paid $142.40. Speed Again is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, and the Rtc Stables, and is trained by Ron Burke. In other news, driver Tim Tetrick had five wins on the afternoon, three of which were for trainer Scott Di Domenico. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

YONKERS, NY,  -It was "Elimination Saturday," with Yonkers Raceway hosting paring events for three harness racing stakes events. Fifteen 3-year-old colts and geldings turned into eight for Yonkers Trot No. 60, as standouts Nuncio (John Campbell, barred from wagering) and Gural Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr., $2.30, part of entry) were comfy winners in the pair of $40,000 elims. Nuncio, in play early form post position No. 5, waited his turn before finally making the lead. He parked Skates N Plates (George Brennan), then strode home by 3 ½ lengths (:28.4, :58 1:26.4, 1:56.2). Don Dorado (Tim Tetrick), the wagering "winner ($6.20), was second, with Journey (Dan Dube) and Expressive Action (Jason Bartlett) third and fourth, respectively. The wagering exacta paid $81, with the wagering triple returning $221. For Kentucky Futurity champ Nuncio, a millionaire Andover Hall colt trained by Jimmy Takter for owner Stall Tz, it was his ninth win (third consecutive) in 14 seasonal starts. Note that he and sixth-place finisher Amped Up Hanover (Matt Kakaley) raced for purse only, as the latter, co-owned by Takter's wife, Christina, were not made a parimutuel entry. "He didn't have to show me anything," Campbell--eying a third Trot title--said of Nuncio. 'I just took my time with him getting the lead, then I let him do it all by himself." Nuncio New York Sire Stakes champion Gural Hanover, the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into this season's Trot, won the draw in the second elim. He retook from a breaking-soon-after Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald) before finishing his four turns (:28.4, 58.1; 1:27.2; 1:56.3) a length faster than Resolve (Tetrick) in 1:56.3. Third went to King City (Brennan), with Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) getting the final place at the table. For Gural Hanover, a Crazed gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Little E and Panhellenic Stables, he's now 10-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $7.10, with the triple returning $24.40. Gural Hanover The $40,000 musical chairs elim for the 59th Messenger--nine soph colts/geldings to end up with eight--was won by a pocket-sitting Luck Be Withyou (Tetrick, $23). From post No. 2, he whipped a cone-skimming Forty Five Red (Brennan) by a neck (:27.2; :57, 1:25 1:53) with McWicked (Dave Miller) a belated third. All Bets Off (Kakaley), the NYSS champ and strongest third of the 4-5 favored entry, tired noticeably on the lead despite cheap fractions, winding up fourth. Western Conquest (Brent Holland), Lyonssomewhere (Brett Miller), National Debt (Campbell) and Stevensville (Ray Schnittker) completing the qualifying octet, while Double Your Bet (Jason Bartlett) was outrun. For fourth choice "Luck," a Western Ideal colt owned by John Craig and trained by Chris Oakes, it was his fifth win in 13 '14 tries. The exacta paid $41.40, with the triple returning $84.50. "I just wanted to be able to be in a position to chase (All Bets Off)," Tetrick said. "He obviously was no goof tonight, and we were able to take advantage." "Flat, very flat," Kakaley said. "I was cruising at the five-eighths, then in the final turn, I knew I was in trouble. "I don't know if he's sick, but he was not nearly the same horse tonight." Luck Be Withyou Saturday night's pair of $20,000 eliminations for the Lady Maud (3-year-old pacing fillies) were won by Fancy Desire (Brennan, $2.70) in 1:54, and Act Now (Brennan again, $4.90) in 1:53.1. The other lasses returning for the final are Beautiful Lady, Tyra, Do Your Job, Scandalicious, A La Notte Hanover and Anagada. Also Saturday, the Raceway honored the recently-retired Cat Manzi with a video tribute, a winner's circle presentation and a meet-and-greet autograph photo session with fans. Next Saturday's (Oct. 25) five stakes finals...$500,000 Yonkers Trot, $500,000 Messenger Stakes, $250,000 International Trot Preview, $150,854 Lady Maud and $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot (no elims-only six entered) shall be "open drawn" Tuesday afternoon. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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Walkill, NY --- Blue Chip Farms today announced several promotions within the company’s senior management team. Principle and Managing Partner Tom Grossman will take over as Syndicate Manager for Blue Chip’s syndicated stallions (the position was held by Mike Kimelman who recently resigned to pursue other interests). Grossman is not only the farm's principal but also a major shareholder in all of the syndicated stallions managed by the farm. Complementing Grossman is the promotion of Jean Brown to General Manager. Brown has been with Blue Chip since 1990 and is a mainstay for customers and stallion shareholders alike. Grossman will continue to focus on expanding some key customer relationships as will 10 year employee and harness racing constant, bloodstock coordinator Jenn Connor. Ed Amezcua has now assumed the title of Operations Manager, overseeing the entire farm staff, breeding shed, yearling management and sales after 16 years in almost every role on the farm, including farm manager since 2005. Hector Cedeno has been promoted to Farm Manager and will continue to be Amezcua's right hand man, responsible for broodmare and foal management. Working together as they have for the last 14 years, they will continue to maintain Blue Chip's goal of exceptional horse care and high fertility rates. Herb Burns, Blue Chip’s “on-farm” vet has expanded his presence by both becoming more involved in all facets of farm management and especially yearling and broodmare conformation analysis. Burns has added Dr. Jake Keifer to the team, who has become a full-time resident at the Wallkill facility. “The Blue Chip team is the foundation for our success,” said Grossman. “The ability to promote three key employees from within as well as upgrading our core group of employees via seven new hires over the last year gives us an ability to maintain an exceptional environment for every horse on the farm, which in turn acts as a platform to continue to invest in the business and generate returns for all of our stakeholders. We look forward to harvesting the returns of our recent aggressive stallion management as well as the significant investment in the addition of 21 new “A-Type” broodmares over the last two years.” Blue Chip Farms is the leading commercial Standardbred breeding and boarding farm in New York State, encompassing almost 700 acres in the rolling hills of Wallkill, N.Y. Founded in 1969, Blue Chip has produced five world champions, over 1,000 stakes winners and close to a quarter-billion dollars in purse money. Owned by Tom Grossman, Blue Chip stands and manages 11 stallions in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In 2014, the farm bred more than 2,000 mares globally and delivered more than 160 foals with a 95-plus percent conception rate. From Blue Chip Farms
DOVER, Del. ---- Dover Downs is now accepting applications for those seeking to race during the upcoming 46th season which begins Sunday, Nov. 2. The six-month long meet continues through April 9, 2015. The Dover Downs meet will feature 15-races a day, five days a week, with Friday aND Saturday dark days. The track’s major event, the16th Progress Pace, an estimated $350,000 contest for three-year-old colts, will highlight a stakes-heavy November and December. Progress Pace $35,000 eliminations divisions will be held on Sunday, Nov. 30. The top eight qualifiers return for the rich final and $25,000 consolation, Dec. 7. The Matron Series, the sport’s oldest continuous stakes for two-and-three-year-olds, will be raced on one program of lucrative finals on Thursday, Nov. 6. In late November, the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund two-year-old stakes will lead off with two preliminary legs in November with four $100,000 finals in late month and early December. There is no charge for admission or parking at Dover Downs. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant by phoning 302-764-4600.  Horsemen desiring to stay overnight are urged to make reservations early at the 4-Star Dover Downs Hotel. There is daily simulcasting of North American harness and thoroughbred racing and three-game parlays of NFL games are also featured in the Simulcasting Club.  by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 20, 2014 -- Conversation Boy and Rock The Nite each captured his second straight split in Monday's late-closing series for freshman colt and gelding pacers at The Meadows and will advance to the final. Also earning a berth in the Nov. 1 championship was Cams Fernando, who took the other $12,500 second-leg division. Owner/breeder Bob Key enjoyed a series double with Conversation Boy and Rock The Nite. Conversation Boy quarter-poled to the lead for Wilbur Yoder and held off the late, inside bid of Jed Kidd Squaking to defeat him by 3/4 lengths in 1:55.2. The first-over Aberdeen Hanover was third. Rich Gillock trains the son of Tell All-Water Colors K. Rock The Nite, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Queen Of The Ball, was ahead at every call -- just as he was in the series opener -- when he scored in 1:56.3 for Dave Palone and trainer Norm Parker. Mandalay Spur was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with the first-over Nesh Cruiser third. It was one of four wins for Palone among the day's 16 races. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, 11-1 Macharoundtheclock won her Third Straight with an eye-popping, four-wide move into the final turn that carried her to victory in 1:53, 1-1/4 lengths better than Do Me Honor. Rescue Team earned show. Eric Ledford piloted the 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Summers Soul, who now boasts $346,087 in career earnings, for trainer Tim Twaddle and owner Birnam Wood Farms. On Tuesday, Oct. 21, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $12,500-guaranteed pool for its Pick 4 as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While The Meadows regularly guarantees a $5,000 pool for its Monday and Tuesday Pick 4 wagers, the track enriched the guarantee after no one successfully picked Monday’s Pick 4, resulting in a $3,066.21 carryover. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (Races 4-7) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post Tuesday is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
When it comes to horses, it's all about family bloodlines. Champions breed champions. The same can often be said when it comes to the people involved with horses. Dick Stillings is known throughout the world of harness racing as a Hall of Famer, thanks to decades of success as a driver and trainer. Recently, however, a new Stillings has been making a name for herself in another branch of the equine community. Sophia Stillings, 12, is the granddaughter of Dick Stillings, and has become quite a powerhouse at the Morgan Grand National and World Championships. This past weekend, the Spring Valley, Ohio native won her fourth consecutive World Championship in the Pleasure division, and her second straight world title in Equitation in competition held at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. Sophia, the daughter of Ricky and Kirsten Stillings, started riding at age five. "She has always been around horses," said Kirsten, a former mutuel teller at Scioto, of her daughter. "We took her to a horse camp one summer and she fell in love with it. She wanted to take lessons and committed herself to it." After leasing a horse for two years, the Stillings family knew it was time to make a purchase and bought Sophia her own horse, Artful Image. Better known as Rose, the mare has been with Sophia ever since. The pair has worked together at Cape Cod Equestrian Center in Spring Valley with trainers Reese and Erin Richey. This year, despite her success in the past, Sophia wasn't sure her streak would continue. "There were some others that came into the ring for the pleasure championship that were very nice horses," she said. "One was a four-time world champion in another division." She faced a similar challenge in equitation. "Equitation isn't my best suit, so it's something I had to work hard at and that was probably my biggest goal for the year." In the end, Sophia and Rose had won two more World Championships. Sophia, her parents, and her 7-year-old sister Ella did not make the trip alone this year, as they had backing from the most well-known member of the family, grandfather Dick. "It was pretty exciting," said Sophia. "I didn't expect him to come and it was a lot of fun to have him there." The harness racing Hall of Famer took a break from his racing schedule at The Meadows to make the trek to Oklahoma to support his granddaughter. "She's amazing," said Dick. "I went to a lot of her shows in Ohio, but this is the first time I went to Oklahoma to see her. It was great. I had tears in my eyes. When you do something like that achievement wise, for herself and the horse, you feel great for them." Dick Stillings was also grateful to get the opportunity to spend time with his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. "Her mom, Kirsten, is a big influence on her and so is Ricky, her dad. They have two daughters and whatever either wants to do, they try to help them do it. You couldn't find better parents. For me, I hadn't been anywhere in a while, and it was great to get to be there and be part of it." Dick Stillings has been part of many success stories in the world of harness racing, including two Breeders Crown wins (with Esquire Spur and Kentucky Spur) and a pair of Little Brown Jug victories (with Barberry Spur and Jaguar Spur). But this achievement by his granddaughter ranks right near the top of his list of equine memories. "All I can say is that it's one of those situations where you are happy for them and you're happy for yourself that you could be there to see it." by Jeff Zidek, for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  
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