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Louisville, KY --- When it comes to Warrawee Needy, Mark Ford utters a sentence that anyone in this sport knows all too well in describing the stallion’s career. “Welcome to horse racing,” said his conditioner and co-owner. “We were literally drooling we had the first crack at buying him, but there has been the bad luck, the awful draws and the fact we have never been able to get him quite right. I thought we would have a terrific older free-for-all pacer and he can go so fast so quickly, but we just don’t know if he ever will be what he once was.” But the 6-year-old world champion son of E Dee’s Cam and the Apaches Fame mare Great Memories, appears to be regaining the form he flaunted at ages 2, 3 and 4, as he prepares to compete in a $50,000 second leg of the Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (March 28). Although that black cloud might still be hovering over him when it comes to where he will leave from, Warrawee Needy enters this race fresh off a 1:52.1 triumph in the first leg of the series last week, but will have to commence his journey from the seven post. His regular pilot, Mark MacDonald, will be holding the lines in what will be the eighth race on the evening card. Although he must contend with Foiled Again and Michael’s Power, Warrawee Needy, who is owned by Ford, his former trainer Carl Jamieson and David Shea, has earned the most money ($77,550) in the field this year and has already paced a 1:51.4h mile in 2015, as has Michael’s Power. Warrawee Needy has already nearly doubled what he earned last year ($41,540) and his record stands at an extremely acceptable 7-4-1-0. Could he quite possibly be back in the form that enabled him to pace a world record 1.46.4 mile as a 4-year-old? “This horse has been through so much and to be honest, he has kept me awake many nights,” Ford said. “He has been so frustrating and I’ve worried about him more than any other horse I have ever had. He has always shown flashes of brilliance and is such a nice horse to be around. He even looks the part of a racehorse, but we just don’t know how long he will stay together without getting sick.” Warrawee Needy has struggled with respiratory issues and allergies throughout his career. It has been difficult for Ford and his team to maintain his condition long enough for him to race consecutive weeks in a row. Toss in the horrible post positions the horse normally is allotted and it doesn’t make for a lucrative purchase for his connections. “I thought we would win the Breeders Crown with him in 2013,” Ford said. “But he stepped on a wheel and broke. It’s just been like that with him ever since. “We took him to Norm Ducharme at Cornell to look at him for throat surgery and he told us the sicknesses would not go away even if he performed the surgery. That is just something that happens with him and has to be managed. His groom takes such good care of him. She has her eye on him 24 hours and provides him with any treatment he needs, whether it be morning or night.” So why was Ford so thrilled to get his hands on this horse? It’s pretty simple. As a 2-year-old, Warrawee Needy earned $536,950 and sported a record of 12-9-1-1 while racing for Carl and Jody Jamieson. He was Canada’s 2-year-old pacing colt of the year. At age 3, he was still an elite horse in his division, but finished last as the second choice behind Sweet Lou after having the eight hole in the North America Cup, then ninth in the Canadian Breeders Classic after leaving from the 10 post position and was sixth as the favorite in his Breeders Crown elimination. Warrawee Needy still managed to amass just under $300,000. As a 4-year-old, Warrawee Needy kicked off his campaign with style against a fantastic group of older pacers. He was second in the Aquarius Series final, captured three straight Preferred contests at Woodbine and then was seventh in a TVG series leg after drawing the sixth spot on the gate. He then bounced back with a very nice second to Sweet Lou in the Meadowlands Maturity after both horses left from the nine and 10 positions. He was sixth in the Roll With Joe after leaving eighth at the gate and finally hit the winner’s circle again at Mohawk in the Mohawk Gold Cup. Once again, Warrawee Needy took the overland route by starting his race from the ninth post position. He then won his eliminations for both the William Haughton Memorial (in 1:46.4, equaling the fastest race mile of all-time) and the U.S. Pacing Championship while finishing fourth and sixth, respectively, in the finals. After being scratched from the Canadian Pacing Derby elimination, he qualified three times, once for Jamieson and then for Ford before not hitting the board in his Breeders Crown elimination and the final, as well as the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. Warrawee Needy ended his season with a third in the American-National, a second in a TVG leg and an eighth in the TVG final after once again drawing the nine hole. “We have taken a lot of criticism for how we have raced this horse,” Ford said. “Especially for some of the spots we put him in like the TVG final last year after dropping him in against non-winners of $5,000 at Pocono, but no one really understands unless they are in that position. He would qualify great then race awful or else draw very badly. “Until this year, he had never raced much on a half because it was always thought he couldn’t get around it, but it had never been tried. That’s when we decided to take him to Yonkers and he seemed to like it. It also helps that he seems to like to race on the front, which helps there and Mark MacDonald gets along with the horse because he can be tough to drive. He’s been a good fit for him.” Obviously Ford has no idea what the season has in store for Warrawee Needy and although he’s realistic about the horse’s health, he still had enough faith to keep him eligible for the top stakes races. “He’s paid into everything,” he said. “We will see how he does and if he stays healthy. When I compare him to Gallo Blue Chip, which he can be, it is so different. This horse has such an amazing turn of foot, where Gallo Blue Chip did not, he just was going along and so much better than the other horses he was racing against. Then he just decided he didn’t want to race anymore and he had enough. “This horse is fast enough, looks the part and I really believed he might be untouchable. Those are just the highs and lows of the game though and that’s what can happen in this industry.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Elora, ON --- A total of seven $16,740 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series divisions for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers were featured on Monday night (July 21) at Grand River Raceway and they saved the fastest split for last as Single White Sock toured the half-mile oval in 1:56. With Scott Coulter at the lines, Single White Sock was in front through fractions of :27.4, :58, and 1:27.3. Single White Sock turned away a big three-wide bid by Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) past three-quarters, and he then kicked clear in the lane to prevail by 2-1/4 lengths. Twin B Scandal wound up second with Pan Street USA (Bob McClure) back in third. It was the second win in three starts for Single White Sock, a Badlands Hanovercolt trained by Barry Treen for owner Len Gamble. Tanya Prescott bred Single White Sock, who was purchased for $24,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale. Single White Sock, an earner of $17,281, is the fifth foal out of the Apaches Fame mare Love You Dear, making him a half-brother to millionaire and former Ontario Sires Stakes winner Ramegade Bruiser. Camluck, the long-time stalwart sire of the Ontario Sires Stakes program, had a pair of winners with Big Moment winning the second division in 1:56.1 with Alfie Carroll handling the driving assignment and Mike's Powerhouse picking up a 1:56.4 victory in the third section for driver Trevor Henry. Big Moment broke his maiden in his second attempt for trainer Bob McIntosh, who also bred the colt with CSX Stables. McIntosh and partner Max Newham own Big Moment, the fourth foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Breathtacular. Breathtacular is related to two six-figure earners in Breathdefying and Lucky Encounter. Mike's Powerhouse, who is out of the Artsplace mare Michelle's Jackpot, making him a full brother to the likes of 2012 Little Brown Jug champion and millionaire Michael's Power and millionaire Michelle's Power, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner-breeder Jeff Snyder. Mike's Powerhouse was victorious at first asking after finishing fourth and first in two qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack. Coleman was right back in the winner’s circle in the next race after Mike's Powerhouse’s victory as her Sportskeeper (Jody Jamieson) romped to a an 8-1/4 length decision in 1:56.3. Coleman also bred and co-owns Sportskeeper, a Sportswriter colt, with partner Merlin Howse. Sportskeeper, who was also making the initial start of his racing career, is the third foal out of the Nuclear Flash mare Keeper Flying, which means Sportskeeper is a half-brother to former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Keepers Destiny (Intrepid Seelster, $702,855). Sportswriter had another siring credit with Half A Billion, who was a 1:57.3 victor in the sixth Grassroots flight. Mike Saftic drove the colt for trainer Marcel Barrieau. Half A Billion is a homebred for the Hudson Standardbred Stable and he is a perfect two-for-two in his career and in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series competition. Half A Billion, the fifth foal out of the Western Hanover mare Racey Miss, is a half-brother to multiple OSS winner Racey Miss ($214,571) and Petite Courageuse ($195,733). Also picking up victories were: Bridge Of Stone, a Stonebridge Regal-Dreamlands Sachi (Western Hanover) gelding, who halted the clock in 1:57.3 for driver Scott Coulter, trainer Carmen Auciello, and owners Denarben Stables and Rocco Auciello. He has won both of his Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series tries The Fire Within, a gelding by Whosurboy and out of the Big Towner mare Mollie Hanover. The half-brother to Illusionist ($893,246) picked up his second win from three attempts for driver Jody Jamieson and breeder/owner/trainer Fred Drouillard. The next time the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will be in action is August 15 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results of Monday’s night’s events, click here. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- What a difference a week makes.   St Lads Zena ($18.60) was overlooked by the betting public in Wednesday evening's $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway but she rewarded her faithful backers by rallying for a half length victory over a stunned Heavenly Place in a seasonal best of 1:56.3.   Last week at the same level, St Lads Zena scored from the rail and went wire-to-wire, returning $5.00 with a nose victory. But Wednesday night, the reigning 'queen' started from the five post and had lukewarm backing.   The favored Fiftyonefifty, as expected, set sail from the rail and posted fractions of 29.2, 59.1 and 1:27.3. But the step up in class proved to be too much and Fiftyonefifty (Kevin Cummings) called it a night with a quarter mile to go. Heavenly Place was next up and pounced to the top. She looked home free down the stretch but someone forgot to tell St Lads Zena.   Under the urging of driver Ron Beback Jr., St Lads Zena zoomed through the passing lane and blasted past the shocked Heavenly Place (David McNeight III) who could do nothing but watch as they hit the wire. Delightful Syd (John Cummings Jr.) took the show position.   It was the second straight victory in the Fillies and Mares Open Pace for St Lads Zena, now a winner three times in 11 appearances in 2014. Owned by Keith Pinkowski and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr., the 5-year-old mare (Apaches Fame-Natural Ingredient) has now amassed $22,430 in earnings this year and $91,230 lifetime.   The racing will continue on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race card set for 6:40 p.m.   For more information including upcoming promotions, race results, replays and news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association presented its Caretaker of the Month award to Steve Toth for March and John Hanning for February at Pompano Park Sunday. Toth and trainer/owner Irwin Lubar handled the turnaround of Canadian Touch (5gp Camotion-Little Wild Thing-Apaches Fame) as he recorded three wins, a second and third in March as he moved from the $4k claiming level to $15k and lowered his lifetime record to 1:51f. The Canadian bred pacing speedster has a 2014 slate of 5-3-1 in 12 starts for $17,758, most under the professional care of Steve Toth. Etruscan Hanover (4gt Donato Hanover-Exotic Destination-Dream Vacation) earned three wins in February for veteran caretaker John Hanning and trainer/driver Jim McDonald. Under their patient management (Etruscan is reportedly a head-case of sorts that the reserved caretaker's patience matches effectively, according to trainer McDonald) the lightly raced trotter recorded a career win of 1:55.4f. Etruscan Hanover is owned by the Estate of Angelo Fresetto, Kenneth Klein, Old Block Stables, and Team S Racing. Both caretakers received a plaque and a check for $100 from the Florida USHWA Chapter. by Thomas H. Hicks, president of the Florida Chapter of USHWA

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- St Lads Zena was assigned the inside post in the $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Buffalo Raceway Wednesday evening (April 2) and used that advantage to edge out Delightful Syd by a nose in 1:57.2 over the fast track.   Scoring from the one hole, the favored St Lads Zena (Ron Beback Jr.) played give-and-go with Taylor Rei to the opening quarter marker. It was then a matter if the front-running St Lads Zena had any takers from the six remaining mares in the stretch run. She had plenty but gamely held them off thanks to a 28.3 last panel.   Delightful Syd (John Cummings Jr.) scooted down the 'lightning lane' but lost by a heart-breaking nose in the photo while third place finisher Taylor Rei (Ray Fisher Jr.) finished just 3/4 lengths behind.   It was first victory of the season at Buffalo Raceway and second of the year for St Lads Zena who had been racing at London and Woodbine earlier in 2014. The 5-year-old mare (Apaches Fame-Natural Ingredient) is owned by Keith Pinkowski and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr. She now has bankrolled $17,190 this year and $86,950 lifetime.   Harness racing continues on Friday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 12-race card scheduled at 6:40 p.m.   For more information including race replays, results, news and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Apaches Fame, the pacer that many would consider to be the Standardbred that helped elevate the Ontario Sires Stakes program to a world-class producer of harness racing talent, has passed away at the age of 26. Bred by Robert Chapple of Chatham, Ont., the son of Apaches Circle - Dovers Skip turned heads from the moment he stepped onto the racetrack in 1989. In his first pari-mutuel start at Greenwood Raceway, Apaches Fame and trainer-driver Bud Fritz reeled off a win in 1:57.4 in the Kindergarten Series. He moved onto the OSS ranks and dominated his foes there, finishing his rookie season with 10 wins in 14 starts and a mark of 1:54.1 taken at Windsor Raceway. That mile was just one-fifth of a second off the world record at the time. Expectations were high for his three-year-old season as Apaches Fame stepped up to race against North America's best three-year-old pacers in Grand Circuit competition - a rarity for a horse from the OSS program. Against open opposition that year he tied the track record at Greenwood in winning the Burlington Stakes in 1:52.4, and also posted wins in the Motor City Pace, Confederation Cup, Little Brown Jug Preview, as well as and the Provincial Cup and Prix d’Ete eliminations. But his biggest win was a win for the province, if not the country. Facing divisional standout Beach Towel, Apaches Fame made harness racing history by becoming the first Ontario-bred and sired colt to win the prestigious $1 million North America Cup. Busloads of fans from Southwestern Ontario flocked to Greenwood that day to take in the race and witness history, and the winner's circle celebration harkened back to the days of the Cam Fella Express in popularity. Apaches Fame ended his season with 20 wins in 26 starts, which earned him the O'Brien Award as the best three-year-old colt in the country. Returning to the races at age four for Dovers Venture II Stable (Chapple, Dr. Jan Venclik, Ross Cushman, Tom Lightbody and Gary Nolte) Apaches Fame won the Grand Prix Quebec, Blue Bonnets Challenge, Des Smith Memorial and William Haughton Memorial Series at Yonkers before being retired in January 1992 at the age of five. After 67 career starts, Apaches Fame amassed a record of 39-11-9, a mark of 1:51.4 and earnings in excess of $1.76 million. Apaches Fame stood for stallion duty in Ontario and produced the winners of more than $38 million. With 777 foals, 612 made it to the races with 81 per cent of those horses taking race records. Among his most notable performers are the 1998 O'Brien Award winning Horse of the Year Odies Fame, 2000 O'Brien Award winner Legacy Of Fame as well as Twin B Champ, Stonebridge Galaxy and more recently, Twin B Warrior.   In 2000, Apaches Fame was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame for his contributions to Canadian horse racing both as a standout racehorse and sire. In June 2013, Standardbred Canada honoured Apaches Fame with a special video tribute to commemorate his historic North America Cup victory by visiting the stallion at his Chatham, Ont. home, where he resided at the farm owned by breeder Robert Chapple's son Rob and his wife Becky. The Chapples were joined by Venclik and Doug Nash, who helped manage Apaches Fame through his stallion career at Glengate Farms. "Apaches Fame was the horse that legitimized the Ontario Sires Stakes program of being worthy of producing horse that were world class," said Nash. "When he won the North America Cup, it changed things around forever within the industry, where trainers and owners recognized the Ontario-breds as being capable of campaigning on the world stage." Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Farmers Tuition won tonight's (Friday the 7th of June) $30,000 Preferred Pace at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:50.4. It was a lifetime record for the Apaches Fame seven-year-old mare and it was her fourth win from her last five starts. Harness racing driver Sylvain Filion drove for Richard Moreau.

Rebounding from an uncharacteristic break last week, Promisemethis sailed to a front-end victory in Wednesday's Trotslikethewind Trot at The Meadows. Gliding To Glory took the other $12,500 third-leg split in the series for 3-year-old fillies.

Apaches Fame four year old St Lads Zoom Zoom won the fastest race of the night at Woodbine Raceway Saturday the 2nd of March. The harness racing trainer/driver Jason Brewer's gelding won by a head over Cheyenne Moishe and Machal Jordan in 1:51.1.

When Nowucit Nowudont entered the Per Henriksen barn earlier this year, it was nothing new for O'Brien Award winning harness racing conditioner.

He's been a part of the harness racing scene for decades, but time hasn't diminished Bob Ladouceur's love for his horses or the sport.

A pair of $25,000 Autumn Stakes eliminations for harness racing sophomore colts and geldings were contested Saturday evening at Woodbine, and heavy the favourites St Lads Zoom Zoom and Autumn Gottem won their respective assignments in convincing fashion.

Sophomore harness racing pacer Libertys Best Star extended his Rideau Carleton Raceway win streak to six with an effortless 1:55.3 victory in the second of four $24,000 Grassroots divisions on Thursday evening. Russell resident John MacDonald tucked the Cammibest gelding into the pocket behind early pacesetter Eastend Eddie and watched that colt ring up fractions of :27.1 and :56.4.

Princeton-based harness racing trainer Carl Jamieson is not sure how fast Warrawee Needy can pace, but he does know that, so far, the two-year-old colt has not broken a sweat en route to the winner's circle. 'Jeez, I don't know, he can go pretty fast, says the conditioner, who will harness the brawny pacer for the third time in Monday's (July 4) $130,000 Gold Final at Mohawk Racetrack.

Bare Necessity will likely be the talk of the tote board in the $60,000 Ontario Spring Open Final on Friday (April 29) night at Woodbine. The three-year-old remains undefeated in five career starts for harness racing trainer Eric Adams and owner Millar Farms of Newmarket.

A dozen 3-year-old pacers rolled into Woodbine Friday evening to go toe-to-toe in a set of C$20,000 eliminations for the harness racing Ontario Spring Open Stakes. The undefeated Bare Necessity (Sylvain Filion) went wire-to-wire to win his elimination, notching a fifth-consecutive victory.

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