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The winners circle at Monticello Raceway was overflowing with family, friends and fellow harness racing horseman on Wednesday November 2, as after the card 8th race a Memorial service was held in the winners for Brett Smith, on hand were Brett's parents Gary and Tracey Smith. Brett recently passed away from injuries sustained in a horse training accident "The strong showing is a testament of how much Brett was loved and miss by all" said Eric Warner, Monticello Raceway Race Secretary. Empire Resorts, Inc., 204 State Route 17B, Monticello, NY 12701 845-807-0001 by Shawn Wiles  

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 30, 2016 -- Harness racing trainer/driver Tyler Stillings suffered transverse process fractures of the lumbar spine in a training mishap Friday at The Meadows. His fiance, Greta Slater, said the injury occurred when the bit Stillings was using for a training trip broke, causing his horse to dump him from the cart. Slater said Stillings was treated at a local emergency room and now is recuperating at home. She indicated he could be sidelined for approximately three weeks. The horse sustained only bruises. Stillings, 44, a resident of Washington, currently ranks fifth in driver standings and eighth in trainer standings (each by UDRS) at The Meadows. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Last season’s leading New South Wales harness racing driver Todd McCarthy has been forced to the sideline after breaking his collarbone in a race fall at Tabcorp Park Menangle yesterday. The 23-year-old Group one winning reinsman crashed to the track when driving Karmic Fire, a pacer trained by his father John McCarthy, and luckily sustained no other injuries.  “I’m feeling alright,” McCarthy said. “Judging by my other one (collarbone) I could be out for a few weeks.” McCarthy has broken his collarbone twice before, once in another horse related incident and the other on a bike. McCarthy is also hoping he bounces back in time to represent NSW in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship which is just five weeks away. The series will be held in conjunction with the 2016 Inter Dominion Series in Perth, Western Australia, from December 2 to December 9. McCarthy represented the state last weekend in the Australian Drivers Championship which took place at Globe Derby on Saturday night. After nabbing a win in the opening heat, McCarthy finished fourth overall. The young reinsman is fresh from experiencing his best season to date having dominated all the major driving premierships in NSW. Click here to watch a replay of race five at Menangle yesterday Amanda Rando

It was an emotional day at Exhibition Park Raceway on Saturday as a three-horse spill in the fourth event of the afternoon sent two harness racing drivers to hospital.   Going into the first turn, driver Ed Harvey and his pacer Allstar Seelster had obtained a lead from post two and suddenly fell causing Dr. Mitchell Downey to become unseated from his horse Stare Down and also falling hard to track.   Unable to clear the mishap, driver Stephen Trites and Ideal Ticket became involved and Trites was dragged in the sulky until the horse came to a stop at the fence.   Driver Ed Harvey is reported to have a possible broken hand and ribs in the accident and Stephen Trites, a hyper-extended knee injury. Dr. Mitchell Downey walked away from the ordeal and came back to win the final race on the program will Fall Bliss.   Also on the card, pacer Upstairswithron won his first race in over two-years for driver Scott Hubbard and owner/ trainer Bob MacNeil. Horse Racing New Brunswick will provide updates this weekend as the drivers are evaluated further.   All three horses involved walked away from the accident with cuts and bruises and H.R.N.B will report on their condition as soon as news becomes available.   Best wishes from Horse Racing New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Standardbred Owners Association on a speedy recovery to those involved.     Scott Waddell

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 18, 2016 -- Harness racing drivers Dan Charlino and Eric Goodell were injured in a mishap during Monday's second race at The Meadows. Both men were transported by ambulance to area hospitals for evaluation and treatment. Initial reports indicated Charlino, 52, suffered potential lower-body injuries while Goodell, 42, was being examined for possible upper-body injuries. The accident occurred in a race for 2-year-old filly pacers when Big Time Blaire stumbled as she was trying to gain on the leader from second, flipping Goodell to the track. PC's Candy could not avoid the fallen horse and also fell, unseating Charlino. Both horses were up quickly and did not spear to suffer serious injury. The Meadows will provide more specific information on the condition of the drivers as it becomes available. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The sun is shining, birds are singing, flowers are blooming and the temptation is to launch full-on into your horse-training endeavours. You may have kept fit throughout the winter on the ski slopes or at the gym but what about your horse? Unless you had access to an indoor arena or migrated south for a few months with your four legged friends, chances are your horse’s fitness level is not quite sufficient for competition or strenuous outings yet. While there is no fool-proof way to avoid all circumstances that could necessitate a lameness exam, there are precautions every horse owner can take to reduce the risk of injury. As with every great fitness program, the key to success is a logical progression and controlling the factors you can control such as footing, stable management and horse health care. Logical Progression Many training programs have a pinnacle event in mind. In this case, a work back plan is created based on when you want the horse to be in peak fitness. The journey leading up to the main event consists of weeks and months of conditioning including a lead up with smaller events to ensure the horse is ready for the more strenuous task ahead. It only takes one month off for a horse to start loosing fitness. If you are coming back from a winter of inactivity, it is wise to start slow with 20 minutes of walking and to build up from there. Increase the length of conditioning sessions first, before increasing intensity. It is not realistic for a horse to be in peak physical condition at all times. Good fitness programs do not ask a horse for maximum exertion on an ongoing basis but allow for peaking and tapering, muscle building and down time for repair. Increasing cardiovascular fitness, strength training and flexibility in a progressive way will increase fitness and make the horse stronger and more resilient when the time comes for a maximal performance. A horse that has been fit previously will return to fitness faster than one that has never been fit before. Each horse’s training program needs to be tailored to the individual with consideration given to: age, breed, conformation, discipline requirements and previous injuries. One of the learning objectives in the Equine Guelph, 12-week online course, Equine Exercise Physiology, is to design and monitor a year-round training program for a horse (using training principles, structuring the workout, monthly and yearly plans). Also addressed are topics such as: base conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic exercise and recovery, monitoring of conditioning gains and prevention of health and performance problems and more. No Footing, No Horse Back to that sunshine again. Oh boy, is it tempting to go ride outside now! Before you step out consider all the footing factors. If you have been lucky enough to train in an indoor ring all winter, chances are your horse has been enjoying consistent, even, well-maintained footing. The outdoor options will not be exactly the same. Even if you are simply moving to an outdoor arena, there will be changes in depth, surface material, drainage and so on. While riding on different surfaces can be hugely beneficial, it takes time for horses to adapt, both to the new surface and possibly to the new training intensity. Dr. Brianne Henderson explains in her archived article on legs, “Bone is always changing and responding to stress. Microdamage can occur within the bone as a consequence of repetitive strain. Overtraining causes this “microdamage” to occur at a faster rate than the body can fix and so the repair is never as strong as the original bone. A similar ‘micro-damage-repair’ cycle occurs within the tendons and ligaments.” The chance of repetitive strain injuries can be significantly reduced with judicious training and the incorporation of lighter work days and rest days. Training in deeper footing and muddy conditions can predispose horses to soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. Those taking to the roads need to be aware of the impact on joints and bones, which can occur when training on harder surfaces. Training on hills is a great work out for both balance and strength training, but again logical progression of duration and intensity of workouts are all important to avoid fatigue and lameness issues. It pays to be choosy about the footing you ride upon. Not all surfaces are a good match for all disciplines. Dr. Jeff Thomason of the Ontario Veterinary College has done intensive research studying surfaces and how the horse interacts with a variety of footing. More information on this research can be found on the Equine Guelph website in archived news article: “From the Ground Up” . Shape Shifting Everyone knows about the importance of deworming and vaccination but no spring checklist would be complete without due diligence on the stable management aspects of dental care and saddle fitting. A painful mouth due to sharp points can manifest as reluctance to be ridden. There are many changes constantly occurring in a horses mouth and having a dental exam performed by a veterinarian once or twice a year is recommended for both digestive health and to avoid set backs in training. The saddle fitter is another important member of your healthcare team. Horses change shape over time and at different stages of training. Ensuring proper fit is important not only for the horse’s comfort but also for correct muscular development. Several appointments throughout a year are not uncommon and the spring check up is one of the saddle fitter’s busiest times of year. Know your Horse Health Knowing your horses’ normal heart rate, temperature and breathing rate before you begin a training program is important. “A work back plan falls into place once you have an understanding of your horses’ current fitness level and set an end goal,” says Equine Guelph’s director and former advisor for Canada’s endurance team, Gayle Ecker. A free 16-point horse health check is available with Equine Guelph’s Horse Health Tracker App as well as body condition scoring and a weight estimator. Knowing your starting point and what is normal for your horse is vital information for moving forward and monitoring your horses health through every stage of its training. Tracking how quickly vitals return to normal after exercise gives the horse owner a measurable indicator of fitness level. As a horses exercise routine ramps up, nutrition and electrolyte balance will also need to be adjusted accordingly. Early Detection Flexibility is of course a component of any training program. No matter how well we plan, setbacks can and will occur and it is of paramount importance to detect and address any health concerns early on. Early detection and treatment generally result in a more favorable prognosis. Archived article by Dr. Brianne Henderson, “Legs, Common Injuries, and how we can Treat Them” can be found on Equine Guelph’s news page. To practice your early detection skills for lameness, visit Equine Guelph’s free online healthcare tool, Lameness Lab, kindly sponsored by Zoetis. Lameness Lab reviews causes of lameness, goes over checklists, looks at when to call the veterinarian and what to expect in an exam. Finally, take the video challenge to see if you can spot the lame leg! To gain a wealth of information on conditioning programs, sign up for the Equine Guelph 12-week Exercise Physiology course beginning May 9. Equine Guelph would like to wish you all the best with your horse training programs. More resources promoting horse health and welfare can be found atEquineGuelph.ca.  

Broken Hill's Carnival Of Cups meeting last Friday night was meant to be a celebration for the local harness racing community.  Big prizemoney, a huge crowd and national coverage provided an exciting atmosphere for the participants.  However a fall in the second event marred the evening. Local reinswomen Ashleigh Camilleri and Kasey Hocking both fell from their respective sulkies and were treated by medical staff immediately.  After concerns Ashleigh may have suffered another serious injury to her left ankle, she received some good news from the local doctors on Monday afternoon. “I broke my left ankle in a fall previously and unfortunately my left ankle took another hit in the fall on Friday night so the doctors were worried I had done more damage,” Ashleigh said. “When they x-rayed my ankle on Friday night there was a lot of swelling and they couldn’t see the full extent of what had happened but the good news is the doctors have been able to have a good look at it today and there is no break.  There is some soft tissue damage but they are pretty sure it should be right in a couple of weeks time.” Kasey Hocking admitted she was in a lot of pain on Saturday and is still suffering from a sore neck and shoulder as a result of the fall. “I had a bit of a rough day on Saturday, I’ve got a sore shoulder, grazes on my backside and arm, a swollen knee and a sore foot but I’ll be ok in the long run,” Kasey said. “The horse got out of it pretty well, Kirkelly has a small abrasion above the eye and cuts on the flank but it could have been much worse.” The fall took place as the runners rounded the home turn.  Hocking’s horse was following the leader with Camilleri three back on the inside. “We were rounding the home turn and I saw the leader go roughly so I instinctively went to the inside and I thought initially I might have hit a peg but on watching the fall on replay, the horse has just become unbalanced and gone down,” Hocking added. “I’ve had one previous fall and that was in Brisbane but that was quite harmless.  I really wanted to drive in the last race because I thought Eye Carly could go close but Cassie Robinson took the drive for me and she was able to win which made me feel a little bit better.” Friday night’s meeting was Broken Hill’s last for the season and Hocking will now concentrate on her move to Parkes. “My partner and I bought a property in Parkes a couple of years ago and we have been waiting for the right time to move and with Brendan getting a transfer we will make the big move.  The property has stables and a track but the horses have deserved a break and can now spell until later in the year. “If I had suffered these injuries in the middle of the season I think I would have been right to start driving again in a fortnight.” The meeting itself was successful with a big crowd trackside to watch the six-race card.  The $14,000 Rocky Baker Memorial Cup was won by the Ryan Hryhorec trained Plati.  Other wins on the night included Circle Line, Ultimate Dawn, Northtoalaska, Cashwrangs Smoker and Eye Carly. Greg Hayes

On Saturday November 22nd J Harris went through something we all as harness racing drivers dread. We all hit the track at some point, we can only hope to bounce back up with minor injuries. A broken pelvis is not minor and very painful. I Know how charitable our industry can be. Although J won't die, none of us are rich and although he would never say it, Christmas will likely be less than joyous. Please help spread some cheer. Donate a few dollars to a good kid down on his luck. Anthony MacDonald

The horse racing for a great cause is due to have his first start under his new ownership on Sunday at the harness racing meeting at Motukarara. Spirit Eclipse is a standardbred racehorse that severely fractured his leg in a training accident in November 2014. This was a life threatening injury for the horse in that only two treatment options were available; euthanasia or attempt surgical repair of the fracture, in the hope that the horse would race again. Witnessing a fighting spirit in the horse, Canterbury Equine Clinic stepped in to save him. With Spirit Eclipse a symbol of hope, the idea arose to use this opportunity to raise funds for a much bigger and wider-reaching cause, The Ronald McDonald House South Island. Canterbury Equine Clinic successfully performed surgery on Spirit Eclipse. All costs associated with his surgery, convalescence and now ongoing veterinary care have been donated by the Canterbury Equine Clinic. After four months, Spirit Eclipse was fit to resume training again. A Spirit Eclipse syndicate, made up of Spirit Eclipse Charter Members, was formed to cover the costs of his training, provided at a significantly discounted rate by trainer Nigel McGrath. These Spirit Eclipse Charter Members are people from the general population who have embraced the opportunity to fundraise for an incredible cause. They have each donated $250 to join the syndicate. The Spirit Eclipse Syndicate will race the horse. He will race in specially commissioned Ronald McDonald House South Island colours. All stake money won during Spirit Eclipse’s ongoing racing career will be donated to Ronald McDonald House South Island. In addition to that, all money left over after racing expenses from the Charter member contributions will also go directly to Ronald McDonald House South Island. At the end of his racing career, Spirit Eclipse will be retired with a good home already arranged. Spirit Eclipse is set to race at the Banks Peninsula meeting at the picturesque Motukarara Raceway on Sunday (27th September). He is competing in the aptly named Spirit Eclipse-Racing For Ronald McDonald House (SI) Pace at 4.36pm. There is already interest from several news and media outlets to cover the race. Hopefully he will be able to give everyone something wonderful to cheer about. For more information visit www.spiriteclipse.co.nz Stacey Markham  

BANGOR, Maine — Police have released the identity of the racetrack employee who was killed Wednesday in an accident at Bangor Raceway. Edwin “Ed” Reynolds, 64, of Machias died Wednesday afternoon after a starting gate vehicle struck him while he was on the track, Bangor police Sgt. Tim Cotton confirmed in a Thursday morning news release. Reynolds was a longtime employee at the track, where he did groundskeeping and managed the stables, according to previously published reports. He was active in the racing community, owning and breeding horses as well.   An internal investigation has been launched, and Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway officials are cooperating with Bangor police and fire personnel and Maine State Police, according to company spokesman Dan Cashman. Races at the Bangor track scheduled for Monday and Tuesday have been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date, Cashman said. Cashman has said the company planned to bring in grief counselors to help employees. Bangor police said they would release no further information Thursday about the incident. By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff Reprinted with permission of the bangordailynews.com site Watch bangordailynews.com for udpates. Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.

Batavia, NY---Western New York harness racing driver Drew Monti was taken to a local hospital Wednesday night (Aug. 26) after being involved in a post-race spill that took place just past the wire. After finishing second with Schooner or Later in the fourth race, Monti's horse locked wheels with another horse while pulling up after the finish line, causing him to fall off the race bike. Before he could get up, he was struck by a trailing horse and knocked down again. Track and first aid personnel were on the scene immediately to assist Monti off the track and into the ambulance. He was evaluated on the scene and then transported to the Erie County Medical Center as a precautionary measure. Monti suffered cuts and abrasions but no broken bones and was released from the hospital late Wednesday night. Drew Monti currently sits third in the Batavia Downs driver standings with 19 wins on the meet. He finished second at the recently concluded Buffalo Raceway meet with 139. For his career, the 20-year-old Monti has 417 wins and $2.1 million in earnings. Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Kyneton reinsman Tony Xiriha has been ruled out of the sulky indefinitely after a horrible fall at Stawell trots on Wednesday, July 22. Xiriha and trainer/driver Anthony O’Connor both came off their horses Good Looka and Peters Passion in the 2175-metre trot. O’Connor sustained broken ribs and a collapsed lung and spent time in Warrnambool hospital, while Xiriha was airlifted to Melbourne where he stayed in hospital until being discharged on Saturday night. Xiriha broke his hand in the fall and has had several scans on his neck region as doctors try to find out what is behind his neck pain. The popular trainer/driver also has very limited memory of the day, explaining that he recalls “scoring up before the race and I vaguely remember the helicopter”. “The nurse said I’d cracked vertebrae in my neck and I got a neck brace, and as I was leaving the hospital a nurse said I didn’t have a crack,” Xiriha said. “I took the brace off for the first time the other day to have a shower and it was a big mistake. “I’ve had a massive headache and I’ll be heading back to the doctors today.” Xiriha is still suffering the effects of severe concussion. “I’ll talk to you today and may not remember it tomorrow,” he said. “I know they said I was talking to the stewards and the first aid officials on track, but I can’t recall.” Despite the injuries Xiriha continues his work around the stables. “I just went and fed the horses before ... it’s a battle,” he said. Xiriha said he’d been buoyed by well-wishes in person and via social media. “It’s much appreciated." By Cody Winnell

Top reinsman David Butcher is in hospital with multiple internal injuries after being kicked in the chest by a horse at his Cambridge stable. Butcher, 50, is in the high dependency unit at Waikato Hospital with a lacerated spleen, perforated bowel and at least one broken rib after Tuesday's accident. Butcher's wife Wanda said her husband had been trying to catch a horse in his Cambridge yard, where he trains with his father John, when it kicked him and "sent him flying". The biggest racehorse on the property, it caught him squarely in mid-chest. "They're still waiting on some test results but his pancreas has been knocked around, too, and they think he might have a couple more damaged ribs as well. "He's been in the HDU since Tuesday but they're hoping to move him out of there today." With feeding tubes and drains attached, it was difficult for him to communicate with family and he was easily tired, she said. "The bowel is the biggest problem because it's slow healing and the doctors say he's looking at one or two months' recovery time." One of the country's best drivers, Butcher would find it hard being confined again – "he loves to be fit and active. But we'll get through it again". Last year Butcher was sidelined for nearly eight months after pulling his pectoral muscle off the bone in a training accident when a horse he was leading pulled back suddenly. But he made a successful comeback and since last November has driven 63 winners, placing him seventh on the drivers' premiership. Before his injuries Butcher was in the prime of his career. Winner of nearly every feature race in the country, including the New Zealand Cup, the Inter Dominion Final, the Auckland Cup and the Breeders Crown, he regularly finished near the top of the premiership, notching 131 wins in 2010 and 142 wins in 2011, second only to champion Dexter Dunn. In 2013 he represented New Zealand at the world drivers' championship in France, where he won a race at Caen. In a career of 33 years, he has driven 2080 winners who have won $21.5 million in stakes. The Butcher stable will line up three horses at Cambridge tonight in Star's Delight (race 3), Chrissie Jet (race 4) and True Legend (race 8). Barry Lichter

A South Jersey harness racing trainer and cinematographer has been indicted on nine counts of animal cruelty, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office announced Tuesday. The indictment comes after officers from the NJSPCA seized several horses and a goat from a South Harrison Township farm where Monica Thors, 55, of Mullica Hill, was planning to shoot a documentary about the care of harness racing horses. Thors, who has worked for decades in harness racing and horse photography, had to euthanize three horses in 2013 for chronic foot infections. Neighbors who complained to the NJSPCA said she had been excessively filing the animals' hooves — a claim Thors later denied when she contacted the South Jersey Times to discuss her case this spring. She had obtained permission from bankruptcy courts in May to have a veterinarian of her own choosing examine her horses, which are in state care, after successfully arguing that the animals were her way of making a living. However, she said was still having problems finding a vet to work with in the weeks that followed. In the meantime, Thors has argued in civil court that the condition of her horses has deteriorated while they were in state care. She said on Tuesday that she needed to consult with her attorney before discussing the matter any further. Thors acknowledged that her horses had chronic laminitis — an inflammatory condition that causes lameness — beginning in the fall of 2013, but said that she had been compassionately caring for them with some success when her seven horses and goat were seized in December 2014. Officials with the SPCA also said that her horses were overweight, and that Thors had failed to comply with recommendations to change their diet. She is charged with third-degree animal cruelty the deaths of four horses that had to be euthanized: According To Prince, a 7-year-old standardbred stallion; According To Hoyle, a 14-year-old standardbred stallion; Aspiration, a 7-year-old standardbred mare and Princess Grey, a 13-year-old standardbred mare. All of the horses were overweight and suffered from chronic laminitis. Thors also faces five counts of fourth-degree animal charges for allegedly "causing serious bodily injury, also by failure to provide care" to four more horses and a goat, all of which were also said to be overweight and suffering from hoof problems. Andy Polhamus Reprinted with the permission of NJ.Com - Check site here

On April 26, 2015, I was photographing the horses at Saratoga Casino and Raceway (sorry, I still call it Saratoga Harness Racing), when I discovered a horse named Just Vic.  I didn’t have money on him in that race; but by the end of that race, he was the only horse I could think about. Just Vic didn’t win that first race I watched – in fact, as the horses traveled along the final turn, Just Vic’s sulkey was “chariot-clipped” by another driver, and the horse was flung to the ground.  Just Vic’s driver, Billy Dobson, got up, took two steps-  and collapsed.  Just Vic was on his back, his legs flailing and kicking in the air, unable to right himself. At the time, I worried that Just Vic would receive a visit from the white tent.  And in horse racing, you never want to have the white tent surrounding a fallen horse. Thankfully, Just Vic survived the crash – and by “survived,” I mean that he received several facial injuries.  I blogged about Just Vic in this post, and lamented that there was virtually no news about the horse’s condition – whether Just Vic survived the crash, whether the crash might force Just Vic into an early retirement or worse.  It seemed people were more interested in some thoroughbred race in Kentucky than they were about the pain of a local racing colt. In my searches, I was able to contact the Dowd family, the owners of Just Vic (Stone Hollow Farm and Dowd Racing Stable in Stillwater).  They were very appreciative that someone was calling to find out about the horse and his welfare. Over the next two months, Just Vic remained under veterinary care.  The question wasn’t would he ever race again.  The question was actually whether Just Vic would be able to live a remaining, noble life.  Eventually his facial injuries healed.  The hematoma that surrounded the side of his head subsided. After two months, it was time for Just Vic to race again.  To compete against the top standardbred trotters at Saratoga.  To battle against Northern Matador and Imperial Photo and the rest of his stablemates. Yesterday, Just Vic returned to the track for the first time in two months.  It was now time to hook up the sulkey.  But he couldn’t race with the other horses.  Not yet. n order for Just Vic to officially compete, he needed to finish a qualifying run.  He is an aged trotter (four years or older), so he had to complete two laps around the harness track in under 2:05.  In other words, he had to go from start to finish in less time than it takes Ritchie Valens to perform “La Bamba.” Time it for yourself.  Watch a harness race and sing along with this music clip. Now keep in mind, not only did Just Vic have to finish his qualifying run in 2:05, he also had to do it at a trotter’s gait.  No sprints, no gallops.  And he had to do it while pulling that sulkey behind him.  Two minutes, five seconds.  Two laps around the track. You think it’s easy?  Maybe you do.  But you’re not a horse. Yesterday afternoon, I received word from Amy Dowd, whose Dowd Racing Stable owns Just Vic and several other harness racing stallions.  Just Vic had to complete that run in 2:05 to race with the other horses. Just Vic’s qualifying time? Two minutes – one point four seconds. He completed the qualifying run with a “Bamba” to spare! So now what does this mean? It means that at some point in time, Just Vic will race against other horses.  He’ll have a jockey in the sulkey.  He’ll make the trip around the track and line up with the rest of the horses, competing with that running start that’s so unique to harness racing. The horse is on a comeback. The comeback isn’t complete yet. It’s not over. It’s still in progress.  There are more chapters to the story. And hopefully those chapters will equate to a “and he raced – and lived – happily ever after.” Fingers crossed. By Chuck Miller Reprinted with permission of Timesunion.com

The Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) held its monthly meeting on June 23, 2015 at 77 South High Street, 31st Floor, East B, Columbus, Ohio at 10 am. A quartet of requests by the Delaware County Agricultural Society was unanimously approved by the OSRC, including: conducting future win wagering on the 2015 Little Brown Jug program; simulcasting of all 2015 Little Brown Jug week races; requiring all horses entered in the Jug and Jugette to be on the grounds by 11 am two days prior to each race; and the implementation of the "preference rule" for all overnight races. "The future win wagering has been very popular at Delaware in the past," said Phil Terry, Delaware County Fair marketing manager. "It's not a huge wagering event, but it's a strong promotional tool. In other actions, the OSRC approved a request by Belterra Park to move their live Quarter Horse meeting from Aug. 8 to Oct. 11, 2015, and listened to negotiation updates between horsemen, Belterra Park and Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway regarding VLT percentages. HPBA Executive Director Dave Basler told the OSRC that thoroughbred horsemen would lose between "$20 to $25 million over the next ten years" in purse revenue if they agreed to numbers lower than what was agreed to contractually with ThistleDown and Mahoning Valley racetracks. "We are close to an agreement," Basler admitted. "We need to see what is included in the capital spend and get a rule in place. If we can get a good number in place, we will live with it." As well, the Ohio Harness Horsemen Association (OHHA) representatives informed the OSRC that the Standardbred horsemen have not yet come to an agreement with Dayton Raceway. "We are not in a stalemate over any particular issue but over a variety of issues," said Renee Mancino, OHHA Executive Director. "I think in the near future we will have a face-to-face meeting over these issues," said Mark Loewe, Vice President of Ohio Racing Operations for Penn National Gaming. "We don't need OSRC intervention but at this juncture, we will need legal representation to be present." William Crawford, OSRC Executive Director, presented the number of equine fatalities due to catastrophic breakdowns (training & racing), which occurred at Ohio racetracks in May and since the beginning of 2015 to the commission members. "We've had six Standardbred (three at Northfield, two at Miami Valley and one at Scioto Downs), and ten Thoroughbred (6 at Mahoning Valley, 2 at ThistleDown and 2 at Belterra) deaths since the beginning of the year," Crawford stated. "Those numbers also reflect six in May 2015-four Thoroughbreds and two Standardbreds." Dr. James Robertson, OSRC consulting veterinarian, presented an update on the joint Cobalt study with The Ohio State University. "We're in the final preparations for the pilot study which will determine the effects of IV Cobalt on equine athletes," Dr. Robertson said. "The proposal still has to be approved, but we hope this will be forthcoming and that we will be able to begin this study by early July." Via an invitation by the OSRC, Steve Bateson, OHHA Vice President and Renee Mancino, OHHA Executive Director both agreed to participate in educating Ohio harness drivers on the "Use of the Whip" rule (3769-17-17). This rule-which outlines where a whip may be used on a horses' body; types of whips; and the force a driver can deliver when utilizing a whip in a race-passed through the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) on June 22 and becomes effective July 19. Kimberly A. Rinker Administrator Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

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