Marion Marauder drew post position No. 4 for Yonkers Trot No. 62

Draws for the Yonkers Trot and Messenger

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 -- Tuesday afternoon's gods of the open draw did not torture either prohibitive favorite for Yonkers Raceway's pair of Saturday night harness racing half-million-dollar Triple Crown events. Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder drew post position No. 4 for Yonkers Trot No. 62 and Hempt Memorial/Adios champ Racing Hill landed the three-hole for the 61stMessenger Stakes. The Trot goes as the eighth race on the Raceway's 13-race card (approximate post time 9:35 PM), with the Messenger directly after (approx. post 9:55 PM). First post is the usual 7:10 PM. The draw for Yonkers Trot No. 62... 1-Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis), 2-Celebrity Express (John Campbell), 3-Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley), 4-Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron), 5-Lagerfeld (Mark MacDonald), 6-Steed (Brian Sears), 7-Hititoutofthepark (Corey Callahan), 8-Cufflink Hanover (Jason Bartlett). The draw for Messenger Stakes No. 61... 1-Stonebridge Beach (Pat Lachance), 2-Don'tcallmefrancis (Joe Bongiorno), 3-Racing Hill (Brett Miller), 4-Western Fame (MacDonald), 5-Fernando Hanover (George Brennan), 6-Another Daily Copy (Callahan), 7- Dr. J Hanover (Zeron), 8-Manny (Chris Lems). Note that both Tony Alagna-trained horses (Racing Hill and Dr. J Hanover) and both Ron Burke-trained horses (Don'tcallmefrancis and Fernando Hanover) shall race uncoupled, as per updated New York State Gaming Commission rules. Program changes, if any, shall be made Wednesday morning. In the Trot, the road to the big coin obviously goes through Marion Marauder, who was the handiest of winners in last week's lone, $40,000 elimination. "He's just developed into the perfect horse to drive," Zeron said. "I raced him from off the pace both times in the Hambletonian, but he had no problem leaving the gate last week. "I was very impressed with him in his first small-track start. The may the draw played, with me right next to Dan (Daley, Smalltownthrowdown), I can sort of assess everything at the start. "This is my first drive in this race, and I'd love to win it." For the season, Marion Marauder, a 3-year-old son of Muscle Hill, has won seven of his nine starts ($874,905). Paula Wellwood trains for mom, Marion, and son, Devin Keeling. As for Racing Hill, his trainer nearly had to go for the antacid pills during the post-position pills. "I watched it on-line," Alagna said, "and there were two horses and two numbers (3 and 8) left. I was envisioning having my two horses getting the 7- and 8-holes, but it worked out." Try convincing the Manny folks of that. Racing Hill "trained great on the half at Gaitway and couldn't be coming into this race any better." The Tom Hill-owned homebred son of Roll with Joe has been board-perfect (10 starts, 4 wins, 5 seconds, 1 thirds) this season ($961,702). No eliminations were needed to this race, as only eight entered. Alagna co-owned and trained Revenge Shark, last season's winner. Frank Drucker

Celebrity Lover, harness racing

Horse rescued from tragic barn fire is a winner

It was just over five months ago that the tragic barn fire took place at the South Florida Trotting Center in Lake Worth. Of the 23 Standardbred horses in Barn 9 that evening, only five have survived and now one of those harness racing horses that were rescued, a trotter named Celebrity Lover, has made it to the winner's circle. Sunday night at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania, Celebrity Lover, trained and driven by Sam Stathis, who owns the South Florida Trotting Center, won the seventh race trot by a neck in 1:59. The homebred stallion, owned and bred by Stathis's Celebrity Farms, was rescued from the barn fire that frightful night on March 15. The four-year-old son of Andover Hall from the Yankee Glide mare, Celebrity Feeling, suffered 3rd degree burns over his back from the burning roof above his stall. Within days of the fire, Stathis set up a special therapy barn at the South Florida Trotting Center to help aid the recovery for the surviving horses from the fire. "There is no doubt that our therapy barn aided in the recovery and return to racing for Celebrity Lover," Sam Stathis said. "And the outpouring of support and love from people all over the world were a big factor too. "We enclosed Barn 1 in fly netting," Stathis explained, "We brought in or were donated everything we could get to help these horses. The latest in laser equipment to promote healing, special nebulizing equipment to treat the horses burned lungs from the heat and smoke of the fire, an electro-equiscope, heart monitoring equipment, a theraplate unit, an equine weight scale, the best floor matting available to help prevent hoof problems and more to aid with their recovery." "FarmVet.com donated an entire pallet of burn cream that was used up within months and then donated another pallet." Stathis explained. "We had to hand walk these horses before dawn and after sundown as their burns could not be exposed to sunlight. "Each morning we bathed the burns, then reapplied the creams, did treatments and then repeated it all over again in the afternoon. I want to give credit to caretaker Lyne Morneau and trainer Alex Spano who worked day and night for months caring for them and to Dr. Michael Carinda and Dr. Paul Caputo for their work. We argued tooth and nail over how to treat these horse but in the long run it worked. Most veterinarians never had burn victims like this to treat." The results were shown on the racetrack Sunday as Celebrity Lover raced parked out first-over from the half mile and Stathis rated the mare perfectly, clearing to the lead in the stretch and holding off Coogan in the final strides to win in a photo finish. Unraced at age two, Celebrity Lover made just five starts at age 3 with a qualifying win in 2:05.4. He just qualified at Pocono Downs August 10, was third in a pari-mutuel race, timed in 1:58.3 on August 19 and is now a winner. "I literally cried with joy after "Lover" dug in and held off Ake Svanstedt with Coogan for the win," Stathis said. "It was just five months that he (Celebrity Lover) was fighting for his life from the smoke inhalation and burns." Celebrity Lover is the first of fire victims to return to the races, but Stathis said that the other three of his horses that were in the fire, Celebrity Tsipras, Celebrity Lambo and Celebrity Artemis, are coming back strong. Celebrity Tsipras just qualified and raced for the first time August 14 and hopefully the other two will be racing before the end of the year. Celebrity Lover is a full brother to the mare Celebrity Artemis. "God didn't want these horses yet for a reason," Stathis said. "The trainers and grooms that helped saved them from the fire and risked their lives for these animals are the real heroes. And what a feel good way to celebrate with having them not just recover from their burns and internal injuries but to race and win. You could not script a movie any better than this. "And we will be adding more therapy equipment this year to Barn 1 at the South Florida Trotting Center," Stathis added. "I'm still trying to get an equine hyperbaric chamber if possible. Whatever it takes to help care for the horses. This fall the therapy barn will be available for all horses of every breed that need help." For more information, visit www.southfloridatrottingcenter.com. By Steve Wolf for the South Florida Trotting Center    

Gracie’s Harmony and Marielle Enberg takes a $11,000 Monte Handicap

Saratoga hosts NYCFSS Monte

Tomorrow Saratoga Harness Racing hosts an afternoon of NY County Fair Sires Stakes. The program includes a special Monte/RUS event for a purse of $5,940 with a full field of none veteran trotting campaigners and experienced riders. Four time winner Funny Photo leads this group with Sophie Engerran in the irons with strong competition likely to emerge from triple winner Jeanine Marie and two-time victorious Admirable Hanover. Entries, in post position order, follow: Admirable Hanover, Vanessa Karlewicz The Franchise, Michelle Crawford Jeanine Marie, Sasha Moczulski A Lister, Heather Reese In Nomine Patri, Ashley Eldred Funny Photo, Sophie Engerran Jolie’s Prayer, Jocelyn Gale My Fried Charlie, Andrea Pratt Kash Now, Michelle Miller During August RUS-NY held seven trotting events at  six county fair venues (two races at Morris on August 2nd. The results are summarized below. August 2, Morris NY – two events for $600 purse each won by Admirable Hanover (9g Cantab Hall-Almost An Angel-Crowning Point) clocked in 2:13h for Vanessa Karlewicz, also trainer, and owner Peter Gerry. The second division went to Jeanie Marie (9f Famously-Vite Vite Kosmos-Lindy Lane) for Heather Reese and trainer Jennifer Sansone. McCoo Inc. and Jonathan Klee Racing share ownership. Funny Photo was a dq from first in this event. August 9, Sandy Creek - $750 purse event taken by Jeanie Marie timed in 2:11h for Heather Reese and trainer Sansone. At Malone on August 10 their $750 purse monte race went to Canbec Kangourou (6f Amigo Hall-Canbec Beauty-Victory’s Force) timed in 2:18h for owner/jockey Ashley Eldred. Baron Racing is the owner. On August 15 at Palmyra the $750 RUS Trot went to Funny Photo (7m Classic Photo-American Jean-American Winner) for regular rider Sophie Engerran and trainer Kimberly Gilman-Daios. The August 16 test at Bath, purse $750, went to Admirable Hanover, his second of the series, with trainer Vanessa Karlewicz aboard timed in 2:12.2h. The August 23 $875 purse event at Trumansburg produced another victory for series leader Funny Photo timed in 2:10h for Sophie Engerran. In Ontario pari-mutuel monte action continued in the past month at Hanover on August 20, as Lexis DJ (9g Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu-Angus Hall) scored in 2:02h for Sarah Town and trainer Shane Arsenault. The six length winner bested Osprey Vision (7g Ken Warkentin-Summerhill Hallie-Angus Hall) with Amber Lawson-Brand up. Third went to Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) with Evelyn Harms in the irons. C$1,682 was wagered on the event that carried a C$4,000 purse. On August 1st at Grand River Gracie’s Harmony (9f Hard Rock N Roll-Every Boys Dream-Royal Troubador) and Marielle Enberg took a C$11,000 Monte Handicap in 2:04.2h for trainer James Tropea. Muscle Matters was second for Sarah Town, with third to Osprey Vision for Amber Lawson-Brand in the six horse field Om July 16 at Georgian Downs a C$5,000 Monte Handicap drew five contestants and Muscle Matters (5m Muscle Mass-Sister Mary Lindy-Conway Hall) was the winner for Sarah Town and trainer Benoit Baillargeon. Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) placed for Everly Harms and third was Massive Muscles (5g Muscle Mass-Flirting Lavec-Mr. Lavec) with Marit Valstad aboard. The remaining RUS Ontario events are September 10 at Hiawatha, October 2 at Leamington and the Finale on October 21 at Western Fair. Congrats to all the North American monte participants for executing competitive racing in a fan friendly presentation. Thomas H. Hicks

2016 Hambletonian CBS Coverage

Viewership up - CBS coverage of Hambletonian

The 2016 Hambletonian broadcast which featured harness racing's U.S. Pacing Championship, Hambletonian Oaks and The Hambletonian Final from the Meadowlands on Saturday, Aug. 6, projected an estimated 100,000 viewers combined for two airings. The 90-minute broadcast aired live on CBS Sports Network from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 6, and was re-aired on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 3:00 p.m. CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is available across the country in more than 99 million homes nationwide. CBS Sports Network has been the broadcast home of the Hambletonian since 2012. The Hambletonian has been nationally televised for more than 40 years, and is the only harness racing broadcast on national TV this year. The television coverage was made possible by a partnership of the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racetrack and United States Trotting Association. Hambletonian CBS - Part one Hambletonian CBS - Part two Hambletonian CBS - Part three

Freehold, NJ --- Four-year-old female trotter Hannelore Hanover, who extended her win streak to eight with a harness racing track-record in last Friday’s Muscle Hill at Vernon Downs, moves to No. 2 in this week’s Hambletonian Society / Breeders Crown poll. The mare is the only horse to make a gain in the rankings. Wiggle It Jiggle, who was idle, remains in the No. 1 position following a quiet week. Marion Marauder, who won the Yonkers Trot elimination last Saturday, and Lady Shadow, who finished second to Solar Sister in Sunday’s Artiscape, joined Hannelore Hanover as the only Top 10 horses in action last week. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 15 – 8/30/2016 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (18) 4pg 18-11-5-2 $1,055,927 321 1 2 Hannelore Hanover (7) 4tm 14-13-1-0 $662,639 282 4 3 Betting Line (10) 3pc 10-9-1-0 $971,830 268 2 4 Always B Miki 5ph 10-6-3-0 $657,570 229 3 5 Marion Marauder 3tc 9-7-1-0 $874,905 215 5 6 Southwind Frank 3tc 9-6-3-0 $910,023 157 6 7 Control The Moment 3pc 9-4-1-2 $737,463 105 7 8 Racing Hill 3pc 10-4-5-1 $961,702 91 8 9 Lady Shadow 5pm 13-6-2-1 $475,451 68 9 10 Pure Country 3pf 12-6-2-2 $713,706 49 10   Also: Obrigado (32); Darlinonthebeach (23); Ariana G (15); Resolve (13); All The Time (11); Rockin Ron (10); Solar Sister (9); Caprice Hill (7); Lookslikeachpndale (5); Luck Be Withyou (3); Bar Hopping, Funknwaffles, L A Delight, Newborn Sassy (2); Freaky Feet Pete, Huntsville, Muscle Hustle, What The Hill (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will resume live harness racing for two weekends beginning on Friday, September 9. The racing will follow a Friday & Saturday schedule on September 9 & 10 and 16 & 17.   There will be a double draw for the two weekends in September conducted each Tuesday with a box close of 9:00 A.M. The condition sheet for opening weekend will be online Tuesday, August 30.   Overnight racing will include the popular dash for the "G" note short series for pacing mares, pacing horses and claiming pacers.   The Kindergarten races for two-year-olds trotters and pacers will have a leg here each weekend. The series will then go on hiatus until the fifth and last preliminary leg on October 28 leading into the November 5 $150,000e Finals and Consolations, both at The Meadowlands. The point standings may be seen here.   Qualifiers will be raced on Friday, September 2 at 9:30 a.m. The box for these will close on Thursday, September 1 by 10:00 A.M.   Questions should be directed to the racing office at 201-842-5130.   Meadowlands Media Relations

(August 30, 2016) - RUS America is pleased to announce Racing Under Saddle (RUS) will be returning to Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment on Saturday, November 5, 2016 as a non-wagering event to be conducted between races on the evening harness racing program. The race will be carded as an 'open' event with the Race Office determining the field from those entered. If enough horses are entered, a second race will be carded to be run the same evening. Entries will be accepted by the racing office according to the schedule posted on the condition sheet. In order to qualify for RUS racing, a horse must show a clean, charted RUS line within 90 days of the race date (November 5) with a time requirement of 2:08 or better over a half mile track, 2:06 or better over a five-eighths oval; 2:04 or better over a seven-eighths mile or larger oval. Qualifying races for RUS horses will be offered for those horses intending to race in the Meadowlands event after regular qualifiers starting October 14. A minimum of three horses will be required for a qualifier to be scheduled. Trainers who intend to start a horse in a RUS event but have not started a horse at the Meadowlands this year are advised they must complete and submit a racing application to the Director and Race Secretary of Standardbred Racing Peter Koch prior to October 21, 2016 (or prior to October 14 if planning to qualify on the first day of qualifiers). Additional information will be forthcoming. At this time, any questions should be directed to Allan Schott at allan@rusamerica.info. For further information regarding the RUS event at the Meadowlands or anything else related to RUS in the United States, you are invited to visit www.rusamerica.info. Those interested in Racing Under Saddle are invited to become a member of RUS America. Membership is free. Allan Schott

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 29, 2016 -- Brazuca powered to the lead near the three-eighths and rolled to harness racing victory in 1:52.2, shattering the stake record in Monday's $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows. The stake for 2-year-old filly pacers was contested over four divisions, with Queen To Me, Freakonomics and Pink Gardenias taking the other $20,000 splits. Dave Palone enjoyed a stake double, among his six wins on the 14-race card, behind Brazuca and Pink Gardenias. Even after Brazuca's decisive brush, she wasn't home free, as she had to fend off the menacing uncovered bid of Rockette. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Knock Three Times held off the challenger by 1/2 length, while Bridge To Tomorrow rallied for show. The time erased the previous stake mark of 1:53.4 held jointly by Tipton Teeez and Valuable Art. Trainer Tom Cancelliere indicated he expected a great deal from Brazuca, a $75,000 yearling acquisition for John Cancelliere, but not in her fifth career start. "I'm surprised," he said. "I love this filly, but we started her slow, and I thought she would need a little bit more time. She's got all kinds of stakes, but we'll see where she wants to go. If she wants to keep going, we'll keep going with her." Dismissed at 10-1, Queen To Me was fourth along the pylons as the field turned for home, with no racing room in sight. But when Sweetest Emotion pulled the pocket and promptly broke stride for Mike Wilder, that left the Lightning Lane for Queen To Me. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Arterra poured through and pulled off the upset in a maiden-breaking 1:53, a neck better than the pace-setting Emily R Hanover. Gemma's Beach Girl earned show. "They went big fractions, and I know the horse on the front is a nice horse but can get a little wobbly late," said Joe Bongiorno, who piloted Queen To Me for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Willow Oak Ranch. "Once Mike ran and Palone had to check his horse, I knew it would be me and Emily R down by the wire. My filly felt good, and she finished good." In her two career victories, Freakonomics never was ahead until the final call. Winning driver Jim Pantaleano said that's the style trainer Ross Croghan prefers for her. "When I saw the fractions come up, I thought they would come back a little," Pantaleano said. "But I was mostly paying attention to my filly. That's the way Ross wanted her raced. Clearly he's a top conditioner who knows his horses. He knows this filly." Last entering the final turn, Freakonomics followed long shot Traceuse Hanover through the stretch and nailed her by a nose in 1:55, with Beautiful Hill third. Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham campaign Freakonomics, a daughter of Western Terror-Mind Boggling. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Skippin By used two moves -- one for position from post 8, one to overpower the leader, Medusa -- to triumph in a sharp 1:50.2 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC Wall Brothers Stable and Bruce Soulsby. Certified Ideal was a length back in second with Spreester third. The 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Southern Magnolia extended her career bankroll to $629,479. Tuesday's card at The Meadows features the Meadow Cheer, a $183,616 PA Sires Stake for freshman filly pacers. First post is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Nichols, N.Y. -- Every Way Out ($3.00) made every yard a winning one in the $52,780 Solicitor, a W. N. Reynolds Memorial Stakes event for harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Monday (August 29) evening at Tioga Downs.   The son of If I Can Dream and Every Play pushed through up the pegs to establish the early lead, forcing Cougar Bait (Marcus Miller) into the pocket on approach to the first turn. Every Way Out controlled the terms through sectionals of :28.3, :57.3, and 1:26 before he was forced to brace for a bid from Cougar Bait out of the pocket. Every Way Out prevailed by a half length, staving off Cougar Bait while driven to complete the one-mile journey in 1:54. Rock the Boat (John Cummings, Jr.) stayed on from a clear tracking trip to hold third.   Tim Tetrick drove Every Way Out to his sixth victory in as many career starts for owners Howard Taylor, Abraham Basen, Edwin Gold, and Thomas Lazzaro and trainer Dylan Davis.   Tetrick also won the first $31,590 division of the Lorraine, just holding sway with Lets Havea Party ($3.90) over Ella Christina (Marcus Johansson) and Well What's New (Kyle DiBenedetto) in 1:54.1. Tony Alagna trains the Art Major-City Delight filly for Brittany Farms and Marvin Katz.   The other Lorraine split saw Loreenas Ruffian ($13.40) draw clear in hand to a 1:53 score over Touchamatic (Aaron Byron), while odds-on favorite Ameraway (Marcus Miller) could only muster a third-place finish from off the pace. Trainer-driver Charlie Norris co-owns the McArdle-She's a Ruff One filly with Leonard Buckner and Rebecca Ewing.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (September 2) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

In the first race on the Monday harness racing card of August 29 at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts, if one was to wager on a horse because they liked its name, it's a good bet they'd have wagered on Trotalot, an accomplished 9-year old altered son of SJ's Photo. And for those game individuals who did, they would be raking in the profits because Trotalot won the trotting contest in the eastern region of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series. Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff, an executive recruiter by trade, was at the controls when Trotalot took the lead from the pole position and led the field throughout winning the race in a time of 1:56.4. But that triumph didn't come easy especially when Just Like Lloyd and driver"Bay State Bob" Kenney came calling at the end of the mile. Trotalot and Just Like Lloyd matched stride for stride in the deep stretch but Hechkoff's charge prevailed, albeit by a long neck. "I heard Bob's (Kenney) trotter coming at us and gaining slowly but thankfully they ran out of racetrack," Hechkoff said. Third place went to Shelikescandy in rein to "Buffalo Bob" Davis. Trotalot paid $4.00 for win which was the trotter's fifth victoryof the season and 23rd of the gelding's career. He's owned by RBH Ventures and Kyle Spagnola and trained by Spagnola. For Hechkoff, it marked his 10th seasonal driving victory and 87th of his amateur career. Next Billings action will be in the Midwest region over the five-eighths mile track at Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, September 3rd. John Manzi

HARRINGTON, Del. - John Cancelliere's Special T Rocks and harness racing driver Jim Morand scored a 1:51 win Monday in the $16,000 Open Pace at Harrington Raceway. Special T Rocks set the pace from post position three as Getitoffyourchest mounted a first over attack before yielding. Handsome Henry K put together a fierce rally late for the place spot but could not get to a powerful Special T Rocks who prevailed with ease for his sixth win of year. Badlands Racing LLC and L A Express Stable's He's Marvalous ($2.20, Montrell Teague) was an impressive 1:52.2 winner in an $10,000 conditioned pace. The 3-year-old Delmarvalous gelding set all the fractions in his win. Janet Hudson and co-owner/trainer Jo Ann Looney-King's Little Ben ($7, Victor Kirby) notched his fifth win of the year in a $10,000 conditioned pace. in 1:52.1. Kirby had three wins on the card. Teague, Jim Morand, Art Stafford Jr., and Allan Davis each had a driving double. Matthew Sparacino    

Owner Ken Jacobs and harness racing trainer Linda Toscano came to Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon with a full quiver. On the programs first race of the day, the regular Sires Stake for 2 year Old Pacing Fillies, racing for a purse of $52,500 showcased Planet Rock. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven - Villa Hanover filly wasted no time leaving from post position 4, in the 5 horse field to show the field thru fractions of 28.2, 58:0, 1:27:1 to win well in hand in 1:55, pacing her last ¼ in 27.4, setting a new track record for 2 Year Old Pacing Fillies. Breaking the previous record of 1:55.2 set by Freetime in 2012, Planet Rock remain flawless, with 6 wins in as many starts with lifetime earnings of $123,000. The combination of Toscano/ Trick swept both ends of the early daily double, the second race was first 1st split of the Excelsior A's Tim Tetrick went down the road with Yourlipstogodsears (Art Major-Role Reversal) score in 1:57.3 for owners South Street Farm & George & Theresa Rath. The Jacobs/Toscano/ Tetrick combo struck again with yet another impressive filly, Robin J, the daughter of Roll With Joe - Mommy Robin Q, was stellar as she scored wire to wire in 1:56.2 by 3 lengths. The filly now sports a bank roll of $158,000 thus far in her brilliant freshman career. The win gave Tim Tetrick a hat trick for the day. By Shawn Wiles

Two of the sports biggest breeding operations in all of harness racing, Hanover Shoe Farms in North America and Alabar Stud in Australia/New Zealand, have both signed on as new sponsors for the 6th annual Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend (VDM) in Ireland for 2017. In addition, Diamond Creek Farm and Joe Bellino Racing Stable in the USA, PJI Engineering and Oakwood Stud in Ireland, have all “re-upped” their race sponsorships for the big race weekend. The Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend is the creation of Derek and James Delaney of Offlay, Ireland, who is 2012, a year after the tragic death of their younger brother Vincent, decided to have a memorial race in his honor. Little did they know that their weekend honoring their lost brother would develop into the richest harness racing stakes event in all of Ireland and the UK. “My brother James and I look back at what we’ve done with our brothers race in just four years,” said Derek Delaney. “And it blows us away. We have a VDM Committee who is the backbone of our big weekend and now we hire some outside agency’s to help us. It’s amazing. We know that Vincent is very proud of what we have done in his memory.” Hanover Shoe Farms is the leading money earning breeding farm in racing and they are now the title sponsor of the Vincent Delaney Memorial Colt Pace for two-year-olds. The icing on the cake for Hanover Shoe Farms management may have been after Tyrion Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere, won the VDM colt division on August 14. He was purchased at Hanover’s Harrisburg Sale at a yearling and flown back to the UK. “Murray (Brown) came back with great enthusiasm about the weekend in Ireland.” Jim Simpson, president of Hanover Shoe Farms. “He told me how they are in it for the love of Horse Racing...not the money. The sponsorship was available so we took it. We sponsor races in Lexington, Meadowlands, The Hambletonian, The Little Brown Jug, Chester, The Meadows, Pocono Downs, UK and Germany.  So why not Ireland?” Simpson said that he is already planning on coming to Ireland next year for the VDM Weekend. The Diamond Creek Farm VDM filly division is being sponsored for the second straight year by Diamond Creek Farm and the Adam Bowden Family. “It was an easy decision.” Bowden said. “After going to Ireland for the 2016 edition of the VDM Memorial we were blown away by the hospitality of the Irish people as well as the Delaney family. “Joining a grassroots movement is addicting, Bowden explained, “and being part of something great is what we are all about. Diamond Creek Farm wants to be involved in events that showcase the greatness of Standardbred racing both at home in the US as well as abroad. Derek Delaney, single-handedly has energized the sport in that region and we could not be more excited about the what the future will bring. “How could you not be entirely blown away over there?” Bowden said. “You can see the event in pictures or follow Heather Vitale's live Facebook posts, but being there in person is an out of this world experience. My wife and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity and the generosity shown by everyone we came in contact with. “I grew up going to the races in Maine (especially the Cumberland Fair in my hometown),” Bowden added, “and being at Portmarnock Raceway was like being transported back in time to 1985 when I was a little kid and reliving my first harness racing experiences where everything was novel and new. It was grassroots racing at its finest.” The VDM is the world’s most rugged race for two-year-olds, requiring the young horses to race Saturday in elimination divisions and then return Sunday for their respective finals in the one-mile race. “We even have sponsors now for the VDM elimination races,” Derek Delaney added. “Clive and Anne Dalton from Australia have signed on and are guaranteeing that each elimination division for both the colts and fillies will race for €2,000 each.”    Alabar Stud, the largest breeding operation down under with 28 stallions in Australia and New Zealand, is now co-sponsoring the Alabar-Oakwood Derby for three-year-old pacers. This race calls for the same format as the VDM, eliminations Saturday (if necessary) and the finals on Sunday. The race is also at a one-mile distance.   And, with the Alabar sponsorship, there will also be a filly division for the 3YO Derby in 2017. Alan Galloway, owner and director of Alabar Stud, was in Ireland for the VDM Weekend this past August and was infatuated with everything he saw. “It was my first time in Ireland for the VDM,” said Galloway, “And what a show they put on. Just a fantastic race weekend. So much excitement. So much passion for the sport that I knew Alabar had to get involved again. “We actually were sponsors when the first Breeders Crown UK & Ireland came about over ten years ago.” Galloway said. “We were invited to come over and help them and the Ireland improve racing. I met and worked with its president, David Wilson, when he first developed the Breeders Crown series. We bred over 100 mares back then,” Galloway said. “We sent over Village Jasper, Armbro Operative and Safely Kept. It was very difficult getting all the approvals from the government but we got it done. Many of the horses racing there now are from their offspring’s. “I was really taken back this year,” Galloway said. “The Irish are such lovely people. Everything that Derek Delaney and his brother have done to promote this weekend is fantastic. Their story is very moving, so emotional, it’s what we at Alabar want to be part of.” Another major sponsor, smitten by coming to the VDM this year, was Joe Bellino and his family, all eight of them. The Bellino Racing Stable in the USA had agreed to sponsor the Rocknroll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American FFA Pace this year and was so enthralled with the entire Ireland experience, Joe re-upped for 2017 even before he came home. “It was the way the people in racing there embraced my family,” Joe Bellino said. “And their deep love for the sport that convinced me to want to sponsor the race again. The way they celebrated a win with cheering and excitement. It’s just the same way I am whether racing for $100 purse or $500,000. It was also great to see and feel it firsthand. “In some way in North America we have lost our way with that sort of enthusiasm.” Bellino explained. “It’s almost like the people who win are used to winning and have come to expect it. That’s why I really appreciated the Hambo this year as it was great to see and feel the passion for our sport just as they do in Ireland.” PJI Engineering of England, one of the largest metal fabricators in all of the UK and Ireland, has come back on board as the sponsor of the Junior FFA Pace. “I first met Derek and James in 2015,” explained Paul Johnson, owner of PJI Engineering in England, “and he was telling me the story on Vincent and the passion the two of them have for the sport is unbelievable. “These two are trying there utmost to take this sport to the next level,” Johnson said, “and the VDM has done so. This is an event that everyone looks forward to every year now, and it gets better every year. Let's not forget the charity's they give to as well. We look forward to be a part of the VDM for many years to come!” With new and renewed sponsorship support coming from around the world, Derek and James Delaney are putting the money right back into their big race weekend. “Because of the great growth of sponsors for the VDM Weekend,” Derek Delaney said, “we will be able in 2017 to also expand the Paul Murtagh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds to both a horse and mare divisions with Yirribee Stud in Australia taking on as sponsor of the mare division and there will be an increase in purse for the Elvin-Delaney Invitation Le Trot race. This is all so grand! “We now have many of the world’s leading harness racing breeders, owners, trainer, drivers, announcers and journalists coming to Ireland for the VDM.” Delaney added, “It’s hard to imagine that just five years ago we raced for €20,000 ($25,000US) in total purses that first year and now in 2017 the weekend will feature more than €100,000 ($127,000US) in purses. “The VDM has become a major success story to have the biggest breeding farms in the world sponsoring our brothers memorial weekend” Delaney added, “and it's also a major step in the right direction for our breeders, owners, trainers and drivers that they can now breed and sell, train or own horses that has real earning potential in juvenile racing and more! “When you have Alan Galloway and Alabar Farms, Joe Bellino and his Bellino Racing Stables, Jim Simpson & Murray Brown of Hanover shoe Farms, Adam Bowden and Diamond Creek Farms, Rod Woodhouse of Yirribee Stud Australia, all willing to advise and sponsor us and help improve the breeding in Ireland and the UK.” Said Delaney. “We all know this can only mean a very strong future for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend and a very bright future for our Oakwood Stud.” Delaney added, “We have been a major factor in the racing and breeding in Ireland and the UK and I believe our Standardbreds will become world class in the future. Ireland has a history for producing the best gallopers in the world, so why can't we in Ireland and UK not be the best producers of Standardbreds in the world or at least one of the best! “We are also working with Sire Stakes Ireland and the Breeders Crown UK and Ireland, bricking and building stronger with devoted people like my brother James Delaney, Bernie Kelly, Dave Wilson, Jackie Mann, Thomas Bennett and others. It's all going to complement our events and others stakes. It’s going to be something special how our racing will be growing in the next two to three years’ time, getting stronger year on year. “Maybe most important about all of this,” Delaney said, “is the great new friends we have made over the years that will last a lifetime.” For more information, visit www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. The dates for the 2017 Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend are Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend   

Trenton, NJ --- If harness racing driver Ryan Harvey were a Standardbred instead of a human, he probably would have sold for half a million at a yearling sale just based on his pedigree. Harvey’s grandfathers, who both passed away this year, are harness racing royalty. Paternal granddad Harry Harvey is a Hambletonian winning driver and Hall of Famer, while maternal grandfather Walter “Boots” Dunn had an eight-decade career and is believed to be the leading amateur driver of all time according to USTA records. “They all joke about it, that if they had pedigree books for the drivers I’d be close to the front page,” Harvey said. “It puts a little pressure on me but I kind of hope to use it to my advantage. I’ll take the attention and obviously it’s given me more opportunities than if I wasn’t Boots and Harry’s grandson.” Ryan drove Famous Mistress -- trained by his aunt Lisa Dunn -- to his first career victory earlier this month at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg, Pa. Since he does not have a registered set of colors yet, Harvey won the race wearing Boots’ colors and helmet, while also wearing Harry’s pants and vest. “I’m going to milk that for as long as I can,” Harvey said. “Once I get my actual set of colors that are registered, I’ll find a way to keep them in the mix.” And while his famous grandfathers have been major factors in Harvey’s career, his dad (and Harry’s son) Leo, has been Ryan’s biggest inspiration. Growing up in Imperial, Pa., in the shadows of the Pittsburgh Airport, Harvey would attend afternoon kindergarten class so Leo, a driver and trainer, could take him to The Meadows racetrack every morning. Instead of sleeping until 8, Ryan was rousted from bed at 6 a.m. to help out at the track. “This probably happened earlier than kindergarten,” Harvey said, “but my memory only started working in kindergarten.” He did the usual chores such as cleaning stalls and feeding the horses. He also had some unusual responsibilities while sitting on Leo’s lap when they drove around the track. “He’s a jokester,” Ryan said. “We’d get up alongside another trainer who was one of his friends and he’d whisper something in my ear to say to them. He’d have little 5- or 6-year-old me yelling out little smart remarks to all these people and then we’d trot right past them. “At the end of the day he’d give me money for the cafeteria to get some food and then he’d send me on to p.m. kindergarten. He made it fun. He got me in there and he didn’t hold back. I don’t think there were many 5-year-olds on the track at that point.” At age 10, a relative suggested Harvey enroll in the Harness Horse Youth Foundation camp, which taught him the sport’s nuances before the end-of-camp race. “Just little things, like braiding the horse’s hair, kind of the ins and outs,” Ryan said. “Even at that point I was ready to get behind a horse and go. I can remember looking forward to that race the whole week.” Harvey won the race, which he and his family recently watched on video. “My camp was at The Meadows, where (longtime Hall of Fame announcer) Roger Huston is,” Ryan said. “He knows my family pretty well. I won that race and he was giving his usual emphatic call. I came across the wire and he said ‘And there’s another driver in the family!’ I think a lot of people could see it coming.” All the while he was learning under Dunn, who lived 100 miles north in Cochranton, Pa. Ryan spent plenty of time there, getting a hands-on education most drivers can only dream of. He would also make trips to New Jersey and almost be in awe of grandpa Harry. “They’re both very important in harness racing in their own right,” Ryan said. “I would see Boots in action and I’d be like ‘All right, this is how it’s done.’ With Harry it was just like ‘Whoa!’” Both were also important to young Ryan. “Harry was more of a look-up-to-as-a-legend type of deal with me, where I kind of thought he was larger than life,” Harvey said. “Anytime I had the chance to say my grandfather won the Hambletonian I would use that to my advantage. “He was 92 when he passed, I’m 23, so most of the time I spent with him he was in his 80s. But he was still training and I was lucky enough to go to his barn. He had an impeccable operation where he was very business-like and no corners were cut. He was a no BS type man and I kind of always looked up to him like he was too good to be true.” And then there was Boots, a constant hands-on influence. “We’d be up here every single weekend,” said Ryan, who now lives at Boots’ farm and takes care of it. “He was more consciously impacting almost my every decision, not just harness racing. Boots would ride in the back of the trailer with the horses, there were no corners cut.” And while Boots assured Ryan he had the talent to drive Standardbreds, Harvey’s mom Kathy urged him to attend college. An admitted bookworm, Ryan said, “I was addicted to horses but I also didn’t want to put school in the backseat. We’d go to fairs and they would overlap with school. I’d take my schoolwork with me and make sure I had that done before anything.” Harvey showed business savvy at a young age, picking dandelions at the barn and selling them to make enough money for a candy bar. He went to the University of Pittsburgh and graduated with an economics degree. The summer after his junior year he got a Wall Street internship at a start-up online publication. Ryan would ride his bike -- a favorite form of transportation he still uses frequently -- from his NYU dorm to work. “Every day I sat behind a desk and basically hated it,” he said. Harvey began re-evaluating his goals and, despite having some job offers on the table, returned home to be with Dunn. After Ryan’s graduation, Boots’ cancer began to worsen and a nursing home was not an option. “He wouldn’t have fared well in that environment,” Harvey said. “He was jogging horses until the day he died. I came up here and helped take care of him and spend some special time with him. That’s when I got out of the job market. From there it’s been harness racing 100 percent.” Harvey and his aunt Lisa now tend to a dozen or so horses in training on Boots’ farm, and also have a broodmare operation that is preparing nine yearlings to race next year. Lisa, who is one of Boots’ daughters, provided Ryan with numerous drives but he went his first 17 without a win. With many of his family members on hand, he was disappointed when his horse broke behind the gate in his first race. “I was kind of getting to the point where I was like ‘All right, I need to do this now or never,’” Harvey said. “She was putting the faith in me, I had to go out there and produce results.” He did just that at the Greene County Fair on Aug. 9. It was only a three-horse race but the favorite, Brauti Hanover, has been winning at a steady rate on the fair circuit. “We kind of went in just hoping to get second, but it turned into a horserace,” said Harvey, who took advantage of Brauti Hanover bearing out and losing ground on the turns. “It was a stretch drive,” Harvey said. “We were pretty much neck and neck, stride for stride. I was just thinking about winning, and after it finally happened I kind of realized what just went down. I could hear my mom screaming and I was really overcome with joy and excitement. It was a special feeling. I think I might have shed a tear under my driving glasses but I was trying to hold back.” It was an exciting drive for Harvey, but not half as harrowing as one that he made at age 18. During his freshman year at Pitt, Ryan helped jog horses at fairs. One day he was approached by a starter who did numerous fairs and was responsible for getting the starting gates from fair to fair. “I guess I seemed like a likely candidate, because he approached me and said ‘Hey young fella, would you drive this?’” Harvey said, still laughing at the memory. “That starting gate doesn’t exist anymore; it was near the end of its life. And I was in this old jeep, if you would go over 55 it would rattle.” Harvey had to make a 150-mile drive halfway across Pennsylvania, from Hughesville to Honesdale. “I’m going down Interstate 80 with this starting gate, probably getting the weirdest looks I’ve ever gotten in my life,” Harvey said. “Even at 23 people probably think I’m not much more than 18. At 18 people probably thought I was 15 driving down the highway with this thing.” It was the kind of experience that colorful careers are made of. The kind of careers that both of his grandfathers had. And while he was disappointed that neither was alive to see his first driving victory, their spirit will live within Ryan forever. As of now, all thoughts are of harness racing. “The fair season’s coming to an end, after that I’ll kind of regroup, get my bearings,” Harvey said. “I just want to get along this summer and try to make next summer better. Anytime I can drive for Lisa, it makes me happy if I can do well for her. But it’s a different kind of feeling if you can do well for others. “I hope to build up the faith and trust from other owners and trainers and kind of get my name out there and see what I can do with it.” It’s a name that people certainly respect in the business -- on both sides of the family. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Harness Tracks of America and International Sound Corporation are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Harold Snyder Memorial Scholarship awards totaling $15,000. The annual funding program, eligible to sons and daughters of harness racing participants or individuals actively engaged in the sport themselves, was launched in 1973 by Stan Bergstein, the late HTA Executive Vice President for nearly 60 years. Three outstanding students will each receive a $5000 grant to assist in their post-secondary educational careers. “We had a bumper crop of determined and accomplished applicants for the 2016-17 school year,” noted David Snyder, Chairman of the Selection Committee. “The costs of a college or advanced degree continue to climb, and the committee had a difficult task separating 22 very worthy candidates. Nearly all of them demonstrated strong academic skills, financial need, generous volunteer and community service participation, and energetic part-time employment experiences.”  This year’s Harold Snyder Scholarship recipients are: SARAH MARIE BIRKHOLD: A 22 year-old Animal Sciences major at The University of Florida in Gainesville, Ms. Birkhold will graduate in December and plans to pursue a Veterinary Medicine degree at either UF or The Ohio State University. She earned a 3.89 GPA during her spring semester and just days ago learned that she aced her summer session Physics 2 Lab class.  Throughout high school and college, Sarah worked part-time as a tax preparer, rental property manager and assistant in the George Birkhold Stable, where she helped break and train yearlings. Last year she started a small business painting and tiling cow heads and painting old saws that she finds in antique shops. “It’s definitely nice to earn some extra money doing something I love,” she wrote in her essay submission, adding, “I have not yet had to borrow money/loans, but I will have to for graduate school.” Birkhold currently serves as President of Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen and Treasurer of Block and Bridle and recently received the Outstanding Service Award from the Biotechnology Alliance of Suncoast Biology Educators. She was a teaching assistant, lecturer and grader for the Animal Nutrition course spring semester and will serve in that capacity again for the Equine Enterprise Management class this fall. JENNE’ VENIER: Ms. Venier, 18, graduated in June from Eastwood High School in Pemberville, OH. Enrolled in a demanding college prep curriculum, including Biology 2 and Anatomy & Physics post-secondary classes at the University of Findlay, she finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.99, earning all A’s and two B’s. She just started fall semester classes at Lourdes University near Toledo, pursuing a degree in nursing.  A National Honor Society inductee who earned the Most Valuable Player award on the Eastwood Varsity Golf Team, Jenne’ was involved in numerous charitable endeavors throughout high school, including Wood County Special and Youth Olympics, Food Pantry, Sharing Hands and blood drive volunteer. The award-winning chalk artist and painter garnered impressive endorsements attesting to her character and work ethic, including lengthy and sincere letters of recommendation from her high school English teacher and Key Club advisor, youth pastor and the Wood County Prosecuting Attorney. Jenee’ is the daughter of owner-trainer-driver Dan Venier and owner-groom Cheryl Venier. They own and operate a family farm in Pemberville.  MICHAEL FAHY: Fahy, 23, is a repeat recipient, having won the same $5000 grant amount last year after achieving a sterling undergraduate record at southeastern Ohio’s Marietta College. He is the son of harness horse owners William and Moira Fahy, who race at The Meadows in Washington, PA.  Michael is now in his second year at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where he will graduate in spring 2017 with a Master of Arts advanced degree. He is majoring in U.S. National Security Policy. Michael served as a Legislative Affairs Intern for the U.S. Department of State during his second semester and is currently employed as an Analyst Intern at the federal Government Accountability Office. “I have been tasked with auditing the U.S. Department of Defense regarding their efforts to adapt their infrastructure to the effects of climate change overseas,” he wrote. “This topic is very politically salient and has exposed me to the deep depths of the government bureaucracy.” The obvious skills of articulateness and diplomacy Mr. Fahy demonstrated in his scholarship essay are matched by his continuing academic prowess. He currently boasts a 3.67 GPA at Georgetown after earning all A’s and one B+ in such rigorous subjects as Grand Strategy/Military Operations, Energy and Security and U.S. Defense Budgeting and National Security. Harness Tracks of America and International Sound Corporation have made 214 grants to 146 students since the scholarship fund’s inception. A total of $808,950 has been awarded. The program remains one of the cherished legacies of double Hall of Famer Bergstein and International Sound founder Snyder, who died in 2015. HTA Scholarship Committee Members Tom Aldrich (Northfield Park), Charles Lockhart (Dover Downs), Chris McErlean (Penn Gaming), Rick Moore (Hoosier Park) and Jason Settlemoir (The Meadowlands) are deeply grateful for the continuing financial support of Marcia Snyder, Harold’s widow, and son David. The Snyders’ generous endowments have enriched the sport and touched the lives of harness racing families over many decades.  Heather McColloch c/o Northfield Park 330-467-4101, ext. 2204 hmccolloch@northfieldpark.com          Heather MCColloch   Marketing & Hospitality 330-467-4101, ext. 2204          

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YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 -- Tuesday afternoon's gods of the open draw did not torture either prohibitive favorite for Yonkers Raceway's pair of Saturday night harness racing half-million-dollar Triple Crown events. Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder drew post position No. 4 for Yonkers Trot No. 62 and Hempt Memorial/Adios champ Racing Hill landed the three-hole for the 61stMessenger Stakes. The Trot goes as the eighth race on the Raceway's 13-race card (approximate post time 9:35 PM), with the Messenger directly after (approx. post 9:55 PM). First post is the usual 7:10 PM. The draw for Yonkers Trot No. 62... 1-Iron Mine Bucky (George Dennis), 2-Celebrity Express (John Campbell), 3-Smalltownthrowdown (Dan Daley), 4-Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron), 5-Lagerfeld (Mark MacDonald), 6-Steed (Brian Sears), 7-Hititoutofthepark (Corey Callahan), 8-Cufflink Hanover (Jason Bartlett). The draw for Messenger Stakes No. 61... 1-Stonebridge Beach (Pat Lachance), 2-Don'tcallmefrancis (Joe Bongiorno), 3-Racing Hill (Brett Miller), 4-Western Fame (MacDonald), 5-Fernando Hanover (George Brennan), 6-Another Daily Copy (Callahan), 7- Dr. J Hanover (Zeron), 8-Manny (Chris Lems). Note that both Tony Alagna-trained horses (Racing Hill and Dr. J Hanover) and both Ron Burke-trained horses (Don'tcallmefrancis and Fernando Hanover) shall race uncoupled, as per updated New York State Gaming Commission rules. Program changes, if any, shall be made Wednesday morning. In the Trot, the road to the big coin obviously goes through Marion Marauder, who was the handiest of winners in last week's lone, $40,000 elimination. "He's just developed into the perfect horse to drive," Zeron said. "I raced him from off the pace both times in the Hambletonian, but he had no problem leaving the gate last week. "I was very impressed with him in his first small-track start. The may the draw played, with me right next to Dan (Daley, Smalltownthrowdown), I can sort of assess everything at the start. "This is my first drive in this race, and I'd love to win it." For the season, Marion Marauder, a 3-year-old son of Muscle Hill, has won seven of his nine starts ($874,905). Paula Wellwood trains for mom, Marion, and son, Devin Keeling. As for Racing Hill, his trainer nearly had to go for the antacid pills during the post-position pills. "I watched it on-line," Alagna said, "and there were two horses and two numbers (3 and 8) left. I was envisioning having my two horses getting the 7- and 8-holes, but it worked out." Try convincing the Manny folks of that. Racing Hill "trained great on the half at Gaitway and couldn't be coming into this race any better." The Tom Hill-owned homebred son of Roll with Joe has been board-perfect (10 starts, 4 wins, 5 seconds, 1 thirds) this season ($961,702). No eliminations were needed to this race, as only eight entered. Alagna co-owned and trained Revenge Shark, last season's winner. Frank Drucker
It was just over five months ago that the tragic barn fire took place at the South Florida Trotting Center in Lake Worth. Of the 23 Standardbred horses in Barn 9 that evening, only five have survived and now one of those harness racing horses that were rescued, a trotter named Celebrity Lover, has made it to the winner's circle. Sunday night at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania, Celebrity Lover, trained and driven by Sam Stathis, who owns the South Florida Trotting Center, won the seventh race trot by a neck in 1:59. The homebred stallion, owned and bred by Stathis's Celebrity Farms, was rescued from the barn fire that frightful night on March 15. The four-year-old son of Andover Hall from the Yankee Glide mare, Celebrity Feeling, suffered 3rd degree burns over his back from the burning roof above his stall. Within days of the fire, Stathis set up a special therapy barn at the South Florida Trotting Center to help aid the recovery for the surviving horses from the fire. "There is no doubt that our therapy barn aided in the recovery and return to racing for Celebrity Lover," Sam Stathis said. "And the outpouring of support and love from people all over the world were a big factor too. "We enclosed Barn 1 in fly netting," Stathis explained, "We brought in or were donated everything we could get to help these horses. The latest in laser equipment to promote healing, special nebulizing equipment to treat the horses burned lungs from the heat and smoke of the fire, an electro-equiscope, heart monitoring equipment, a theraplate unit, an equine weight scale, the best floor matting available to help prevent hoof problems and more to aid with their recovery." "FarmVet.com donated an entire pallet of burn cream that was used up within months and then donated another pallet." Stathis explained. "We had to hand walk these horses before dawn and after sundown as their burns could not be exposed to sunlight. "Each morning we bathed the burns, then reapplied the creams, did treatments and then repeated it all over again in the afternoon. I want to give credit to caretaker Lyne Morneau and trainer Alex Spano who worked day and night for months caring for them and to Dr. Michael Carinda and Dr. Paul Caputo for their work. We argued tooth and nail over how to treat these horse but in the long run it worked. Most veterinarians never had burn victims like this to treat." The results were shown on the racetrack Sunday as Celebrity Lover raced parked out first-over from the half mile and Stathis rated the mare perfectly, clearing to the lead in the stretch and holding off Coogan in the final strides to win in a photo finish. Unraced at age two, Celebrity Lover made just five starts at age 3 with a qualifying win in 2:05.4. He just qualified at Pocono Downs August 10, was third in a pari-mutuel race, timed in 1:58.3 on August 19 and is now a winner. "I literally cried with joy after "Lover" dug in and held off Ake Svanstedt with Coogan for the win," Stathis said. "It was just five months that he (Celebrity Lover) was fighting for his life from the smoke inhalation and burns." Celebrity Lover is the first of fire victims to return to the races, but Stathis said that the other three of his horses that were in the fire, Celebrity Tsipras, Celebrity Lambo and Celebrity Artemis, are coming back strong. Celebrity Tsipras just qualified and raced for the first time August 14 and hopefully the other two will be racing before the end of the year. Celebrity Lover is a full brother to the mare Celebrity Artemis. "God didn't want these horses yet for a reason," Stathis said. "The trainers and grooms that helped saved them from the fire and risked their lives for these animals are the real heroes. And what a feel good way to celebrate with having them not just recover from their burns and internal injuries but to race and win. You could not script a movie any better than this. "And we will be adding more therapy equipment this year to Barn 1 at the South Florida Trotting Center," Stathis added. "I'm still trying to get an equine hyperbaric chamber if possible. Whatever it takes to help care for the horses. This fall the therapy barn will be available for all horses of every breed that need help." For more information, visit www.southfloridatrottingcenter.com. By Steve Wolf for the South Florida Trotting Center    
Tomorrow Saratoga Harness Racing hosts an afternoon of NY County Fair Sires Stakes. The program includes a special Monte/RUS event for a purse of $5,940 with a full field of none veteran trotting campaigners and experienced riders. Four time winner Funny Photo leads this group with Sophie Engerran in the irons with strong competition likely to emerge from triple winner Jeanine Marie and two-time victorious Admirable Hanover. Entries, in post position order, follow: Admirable Hanover, Vanessa Karlewicz The Franchise, Michelle Crawford Jeanine Marie, Sasha Moczulski A Lister, Heather Reese In Nomine Patri, Ashley Eldred Funny Photo, Sophie Engerran Jolie’s Prayer, Jocelyn Gale My Fried Charlie, Andrea Pratt Kash Now, Michelle Miller During August RUS-NY held seven trotting events at  six county fair venues (two races at Morris on August 2nd. The results are summarized below. August 2, Morris NY – two events for $600 purse each won by Admirable Hanover (9g Cantab Hall-Almost An Angel-Crowning Point) clocked in 2:13h for Vanessa Karlewicz, also trainer, and owner Peter Gerry. The second division went to Jeanie Marie (9f Famously-Vite Vite Kosmos-Lindy Lane) for Heather Reese and trainer Jennifer Sansone. McCoo Inc. and Jonathan Klee Racing share ownership. Funny Photo was a dq from first in this event. August 9, Sandy Creek - $750 purse event taken by Jeanie Marie timed in 2:11h for Heather Reese and trainer Sansone. At Malone on August 10 their $750 purse monte race went to Canbec Kangourou (6f Amigo Hall-Canbec Beauty-Victory’s Force) timed in 2:18h for owner/jockey Ashley Eldred. Baron Racing is the owner. On August 15 at Palmyra the $750 RUS Trot went to Funny Photo (7m Classic Photo-American Jean-American Winner) for regular rider Sophie Engerran and trainer Kimberly Gilman-Daios. The August 16 test at Bath, purse $750, went to Admirable Hanover, his second of the series, with trainer Vanessa Karlewicz aboard timed in 2:12.2h. The August 23 $875 purse event at Trumansburg produced another victory for series leader Funny Photo timed in 2:10h for Sophie Engerran. In Ontario pari-mutuel monte action continued in the past month at Hanover on August 20, as Lexis DJ (9g Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu-Angus Hall) scored in 2:02h for Sarah Town and trainer Shane Arsenault. The six length winner bested Osprey Vision (7g Ken Warkentin-Summerhill Hallie-Angus Hall) with Amber Lawson-Brand up. Third went to Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) with Evelyn Harms in the irons. C$1,682 was wagered on the event that carried a C$4,000 purse. On August 1st at Grand River Gracie’s Harmony (9f Hard Rock N Roll-Every Boys Dream-Royal Troubador) and Marielle Enberg took a C$11,000 Monte Handicap in 2:04.2h for trainer James Tropea. Muscle Matters was second for Sarah Town, with third to Osprey Vision for Amber Lawson-Brand in the six horse field Om July 16 at Georgian Downs a C$5,000 Monte Handicap drew five contestants and Muscle Matters (5m Muscle Mass-Sister Mary Lindy-Conway Hall) was the winner for Sarah Town and trainer Benoit Baillargeon. Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) placed for Everly Harms and third was Massive Muscles (5g Muscle Mass-Flirting Lavec-Mr. Lavec) with Marit Valstad aboard. The remaining RUS Ontario events are September 10 at Hiawatha, October 2 at Leamington and the Finale on October 21 at Western Fair. Congrats to all the North American monte participants for executing competitive racing in a fan friendly presentation. Thomas H. Hicks
The 2016 Hambletonian broadcast which featured harness racing's U.S. Pacing Championship, Hambletonian Oaks and The Hambletonian Final from the Meadowlands on Saturday, Aug. 6, projected an estimated 100,000 viewers combined for two airings. The 90-minute broadcast aired live on CBS Sports Network from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 6, and was re-aired on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 3:00 p.m. CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, is available across the country in more than 99 million homes nationwide. CBS Sports Network has been the broadcast home of the Hambletonian since 2012. The Hambletonian has been nationally televised for more than 40 years, and is the only harness racing broadcast on national TV this year. The television coverage was made possible by a partnership of the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racetrack and United States Trotting Association. Hambletonian CBS - Part one Hambletonian CBS - Part two Hambletonian CBS - Part three
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