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Sugarcreek, OH --- Abby Stables of Sugarcreek, Ohio, is happy to introduce the first foal born from the harness racing stallion Western Vintage p,2,1:49.4, the 2013 two-year-old New Jersey state champion owned by Perry Soderberg and Marvin Katz. The foal is out of Keladi Blue Chip, a Bettor's Delight mare and full sister to stakes winning Mosquito Blue Chip, owned by Marion Beachy, owner of Abby Stables. The proud owners of this bright-eyed, bay filly would like your help in giving her a name. If you’d like to help us name this little girl, please e-mail your name choice to info@abbystables.com. Please include your name and your city and state. We will announce the winner on Feb. 29.

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

Mister Big, the richest Canadian-sired Standardbred of all time and a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, will stand stud at Abby Stables in Ohio starting with the upcoming 2015 breeding season. His introductory fee will be a very reasonable $2,500. Ohio is quickly becoming one of the most desirable jurisdictions in which to race, and Mister Big has a history in the state having been conditioned by Columbus Ohio’s Virgil Morgan Jr. for most of his racing career. He also dominated at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in 2008 by easily winning the Winbak Farms Pace on Little Brown Jug Day in 1:51.  He is not only the richest stallion in the state but in all of harness racing world-wide. A winner of $4,143,492 in purses, Mister Big was a remarkably consistent and competitive racehorse throughout his impressive career which saw him winning stakes races from age two to six. His career record of 1:47.4 came in the US Pacing Championship as a four-year-old. Mister Big not only won major stakes races, he captured several of them more than once including the Allerage, William Haughton Memorial, US Pacing Championship, and Levy series over Yonkers’ half-mile oval. Other stakes victories came in the Canadian Pacing Derby, Breeders Crown, Winbak Pace, Ontario Sires Stakes, etc. He faced and defeated some of the greatest free for all pacers ever including Foiled Again ($6,773,525),  Won The West ($3,977,956), Boulder Creek ($3,815,924), Lis Mara ($2,270,674), Artistic Fella ($2,630,542) Always A Virgin and the list goes on. A half-brother to $526,000 winner World Away, Mister Big’s second dam is the $409,000 winning Cam Fella mare Before Hours. Mister Big is already the sire of the winners of $1.2 million led by stakes winners Crafty Master p, 2, 1:54s, Falcon Justice p, 3, 1:50.3s, Stellllllla p, 3, 1:54f, Missy Tap Tina p, 2, 1:56.2s, etc. Mister Big will stand at Abby Stables in Sugarcreek, Ohio.  For further information please call (330) 852-0789, email: info@abbystables.com or visit  abby stables Mister Big - Winbak Pace Mister Big - Haughton Final Mister Big - 2007 Allerage Pace Mister Big - 2009 Ben Franklin

With the North American harness racing season well underway we continue with 'A Stallion Review' series. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse Shark Gesture and what impact he might have as a young sire. All statistics shown are as at the 7th of April 2014. Enjoy the read. BREEDING Shark Gesture is by Cams Card Shark, one of the all time greats to have stood at stud in the history of the standardbred breed. His figures are mind blowing and a testament to his siring ability and longevity in a very fashion conscious industry. Not only is he a great sire but he is now firmly established as a sire of sires with the great sire Bettors Delight leading the way. Others by Cams Card Shark  to have made an impact to date are Four Starzzz Shark, Riverboat King, Million Dollar Cam and Aces N Sevens while Roll With Joe and Shadyshark Hanover are young sons now at stud. Total stakes earned to date is $135,345,825. Numbers in 1:50 or better is 58. He has ten million dollar plus earners. Number in 1:53 is 346 and average earnings per starter is $103,555. Simple Gesture is the dam of Shark Gesture and she is an un-raced daughter of Western Hanover who has had six foals of racing age to date for three winners. Apart from Shark Gesture she has produced Shark Ingested 1:49.2f ($277,970) and The Village Rusty 1:51.1f ($145,541). Shark Gesture's second dam is Empty Feeling. She was a very talented mare on the racetrack taking a mark of 1:53.1 on her way to winning $354,657. She carried that into the breeding barn having left five winners from seven foals to date including the high class son of The Panderosa in Ponder 1:48.1m ($1,686,134) and Gotta Feeling 1:52.4f ($235,109). RACE RECORD As a 2yr old he had ten starts for three wins and four placings for $118,971 in stakes. His best win was in the $113,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington in 1;51.3m. He also won a heat of the Breeders Crown and was second in the $156,000 International Stallion Pace. As a 3yr old he had sixteen starts for eight wins and two placings for $677,427 in stakes. His best win was undoubtedly in the final of the $695,000 Breeders Crown. Horses he beat that day included Mister Big,  Artistic Fella,  Jeremes Jet and Total Truth. Other notable wins during the season included the $288,000 Tattersalls Final in 1:49.1 (his record for his 3yr old season) and the $126,000 Bluegrass Final in 1:51 As a 4yr old he had eight starts for two wins and three places for $206,791 in stakes. His best win was in the $120,000 NH Sweepstake in 1:49.2m while he ran second in both the $200,000 Dan Patch final and the $285,000 Graduate Final. At this point he was retired to stud and didn't return to the track for over sixteen months. As a 5yr old he had three starts late in the year in which he ran a third in the last start. As a 6yr old he came back with a vengeance and had 29 starts for seven wins and eight placings for a super $963,890 in stakes, his biggest earnings for a season on the track. He was a constant in all the big races. His best win was arguably in the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby in 1:48.1 although his win in the $688,000 W R Haughton Memorial in 1:48.2 was just as impressive. Another stellar win that season was in the $210,000 Graduate Final in 1:49. 2009 $688,000 W R Haughton Memorial As a 7yr old he had another great year on the track with just twelve starts for seven wins and three placings for $918,875 in stakes. He had arguably his best year on the track at seven with his wins in several major races being quite dominant. His best win was in the $702,000 W R Haughton Memorial in 1:48.2 at The Meadowlands. This win was especially significant as this field was full of great horses that have won between them a massive total of $21,435,937 in stakes to date. It included the great Foiled Again ($6,139,210), Won The West ($3,977,956), Bettor Sweet ($2,816,687), Vintage Master ($2,162,979), Hypnotic Blue Chip ($1,794,793) and Mr Wiggles ($1,195,099). 2010 $702,000 W R Haughton Memorial As can be seen Shark Gesture started from the far outside post 9 and was parked out wide at the quarter in 25.4 before getting cover at the half in 52.3 then he was out to attack at the three quarters in 1:20.4 before winning in hand in 1:48.2. An outstanding mile against the very best. Shark Gesture also won the $200,000 Graduate Final in 1:48.4, The $228,000 Bettors Delight Final in 1:48.3, The $200,000 Dan Patch Final in 1:48.1 and was a close second in the $500,000 Franklin Final in 1:49.1. He was timed under 1:50 in ten of his twelve starts that season.  Shark Gesture was timed in 1:47.4 (2nd), 1:47.4 (2nd), 1:47.2 (2nd) and 1:47.3 (5th) during his career. Twice in his career he posted very fast last quarters of 25.4 and 25.3 NORTH AMERICAN STUD RECORD He stood at stud for one season in Canada as a five year old. He bred 73 mares but  there were only 43 foals from mares that were of raceway standard at best. Of that 43 foals he had 33 colts born and just 10 fillies. Twenty four of those won but stakes won have only amounted to $1,261,212 with his best performers being Piston Broke 1:49.2s ($295,330) and Best Ears 1:49.4f ($191,657). He was then moved to Pennsylvania where he bred 87 mares to produce 56 foals that are two year olds in North America in 2014. He has two more crops of 39 and 30 still to come in Pennsylvania. He now stands at Abby Stables in Ohio for the 2014 season. AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD Again he has only one crop old enough to race which are now five year olds. They number just 18 and there have been twelve starters for four winners for stakes of $90,842. His two best winners have both been fillies with Gesturestar having won 8 and She’s A Killer 10. He has a crop of 24 yearlings in Australia. NEW ZEALAND STUD CAREER He only has one crop on the ground in NZ and that is the crop of 42 yearlings which are due to hit the track next year. POSITIVES The first string to his bow is that he is the biggest stake winning son of the great sire Cams Card Shark with $2,890,594 in stakes.. His soundness over several seasons at the top and the longevity of his performance at the elite level should appeal to Southern Hemisphere breeders where most of the bigger stakes are aimed at the older free for all horses. He only has one crop in NZ which are presently yearlings and they were well received at the NZ yearling sales this year with the likes of  the well respected horseman Jim Dalgety, Tony Herlihy and Nigel McGrath amongst the high profile horsemen to have purchased one. NEGATIVES Management issues coupled with poor promotion have meant he has yet to serve a meaningful book of mares at stud, either in his initial stint at stud or since his retirement in 2010. In todays market very small crops make it impossible to make an impact and can very quickly ruin a stallions career if changes are not made. OVERVIEW A smart racehorse at two and three who matured into a genuine star as an older horse. Retired to stud initially without the necessary runs on the board to attract either the quantity or the quality of mares to make it as a sire in today's marketplace. On his return to the track he matured into a super star and this time he has a much bettor shot at making it. His recent move to Ohio can only help his future prospects and give him the opportunity to achieve as a sire to the level his race record suggests he should be achieving.  OVERALL RATING 4 out of 10 JC    

Cam's Card Shark, one of the leading stallions of his generation, has just been retired from stud duty, but hopes are high in Ohio that one of his greatest progeny can carry on his dynamic legacy in the breeding shed. Shark Gesture, whose earnings in excess of $2.8 million are the most of the more than 1,700 racehorses that Cam's Card Shark sired and one of the fastest with a speed mark of 1:48.1s, will be represented by a crop of two-year-olds this season. Abby Stables in Sugarcreek, Ohio, is standing the big, dark brown stallion.  "Shark Gesture is the total package," Abby Stables' Teresa Maddox told Harness Racing Update."   Shark Gesture developed into a horse for the ages. A $110,000 yearling purchase by Norm Smiley, Shark Gesture raced from two to four, posting some impressive victories.  He was retired to the breeding shed due to an injury and stood as a stallion in Ontario for the 2008 season. Later that year, when the injury had fully healed and he trained excellently, Shark Gesture returned to the races and started three times. But it was as a six- and seven-year-old that he excelled, earning over $1.8 million. He beat some of the best aged pacers, including the likes of Foiled Again, Mister Big, Art Official, Boulder Creek, Artistic Fella, Shadow Play and Won The West 12 times, including by more than 10 lengths in the Hoosier Cup.  Maddox said because Shark Gesture disappeared from the breeding scene for three years people may be confused about his history.  "He really hasn't gotten a fair shake as a stallion," Maddox said. "If you go back and look at some of his races, he was phenomenal. He's well-mannered, he's intelligent and was a bear on the racetrack. It's just a breath of fresh air to have him in Ohio. We welcomed him with open arms." Shark Gesture can be seen in action on his page at www.abbystables.com . His web page comes complete with race footage, photos, pedigree, articles and both a downloadable and digital breeding contract.  "There is no reason because he had 44 foals that raced from his first and only crop as a stallion, standing in Ontario and bred to mostly Ontario-bred mares, that people should have forgotten about him because he went back to the races," said Smiley. "He is still a good horse.  This year he has two-year-olds that are training and I've got good reports on them. Trainer Fred Grant has a colt by Shark Gesture out of Boca Babe.  Fred owns the dam and owns a piece of the colt and said, 'he's very good-gaited, very sound, very willing and has lots of speed. I just love him.'" Trainer David Miller, currently training a two-year-old Shark Gesture filly named Hex, described her as a "big, strong, great-gaited, intelligent filly who is showing excellent speed." Another trainer, Jenny Melander, has a nice sturdy black filly named When Sharks Fly and echoed Miller's comments about Shark Gesture's offspring. "His foals are big and sturdy, with heart, speed, intelligence and strength," she said.   Shark Gesture is truly an anomaly. How many horses return to the races two years after retiring and earn almost twice as much, facing battled-hardened competitors? In total, he posted 31 sub-1:50 miles, 16 of those 1:49 or better and four of those sub-1:49. As a 2-year-old, he won the Bluegrass Stakes (recording a freshman mark of 1:51.3), the Simpson Stakes and an elimination of the Breeders Crown.  At three, he won the Breeders Crown, the Tattersalls Pace (with a sophomore speed mark of 1:49.1), the Bluegrass Stakes, the Simpson Stakes and the Progress Pace. In an abbreviated four-year-old season, he won the New Hampshire Sweepstakes. In his return to the races, he won the William R. Haughton Memorial two years in a row, the Canadian Pacing Derby Final (with a lifetime mark of 1:48.1), the Graduate Series twice, the Dan Patch Invitational Pace and the Bettor's Delight. He broke track records at Tioga Downs and Hoosier Park and tied the track record when he won the Canadian Pacing Derby. "He's won all the big races, beat all the good horses," Maddox said. "He beat Foiled Again (the top aged pacer last year) more than once. He beat Won The West. He's beat them all at one point or another. His owners believed in him so much, they told us the story (of why he retired and then returned to the races) and it was just a no-brainer for us." 2010 Graduate Final William R. Haughton Memorial Smiley recalled why he bought Shark Gesture. Even though he was big and growthy, Smiley liked him, viewing him six times. "There are certain horses you go to the auction and put a price on and you go to that price or a few bucks more," Smiley said. "With him I said I was buying him, period."  Smiley subsequently offered shares to his brother, Gerald, and Thomas and Louis Pantone. Typical of a Cam's Card Shark offspring, Shark Gesture grew into his body from two to three. He stood about 17 hands high and had a long stride. Early in Shark Gesture's two-year-old season, he won the Bluegrass in 1:51 3/5, but he was still developing and growing. As a three-year-old, he did some amazing things, none more so than winning the Breeders Crown only a week after he fell down in a mishap in his elimination race for the final. He finished third and was moved up to second, but Norm Smiley and trainer Erv Miller feared the colt might not survive the accident. Once the bike and equipment were removed, Shark Gesture stood up and walked off as if nothing had happened, although he did have some cuts and abrasions. Driver Brian Sears, Miller, Smiley and the horse's vet shook their heads in disbelief. "If that's not a tough horse, I don't know what is," Smiley said.   A week later, he won the Breeders Crown with George Brennan, who would become his principle driver, steering him in what was a clean trip, racing on or near the pace. "Nobody knew that horse like Georgie," Smiley said.  "George was tremendous with that horse from the first time he drove him." Shark Gesture raced only eight times in an abbreviated four-year-old season and was retired, his notable victory in the New Hampshire. Some of the notable offspring from the 32 starters from his first crop as a sire include stakes winner Piston Broke, 1:49.2s ($291,131) and Best Ears, 1:49.4f, ($188,483). After Shark Gesture recovered from his injury and trained solidly, Norm Smiley made the decision to bring the horse back to the races. It would prove to be a shrewd decision. In 2009 at the age of six, Shark Gesture came into his own, racing 29 times and winning seven, including the Haughton Memorial and Canadian Pacing Derby and topping all pacers with more than $900,000 in earnings. At age seven, he raced 12 times and winning seven, notably the Graduate, Bettors Delight, Dan Patch (by a whopping 10½ lengths), and repeating in the Haughton.  He finished second by a length in the Franklin. He was retired at the end of the season.  "He was just amazing," Norm Smiley said. "This horse never got the respect he deserved. He was a tremendous racehorse." By Perry Lefko, for Harness Racing Update

Harness racing world champion trotter Triumphant Caviar is now standing stud at Abby Stables in Sugarcreek, Ohio. Triumphant Caviar 3,1:54.2h; 4,1:51.4s won 16 races and is the richest son of SJ's Caviar ($796,794). He is out of the Tagliabue mare ENS Tag Session. She was a multiple PASS winner and a highly productive broodmare whose seven progeny generated five stakes winners.

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