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WILKES-BARRE PA - Imagine you're the harness racing trainer of one of the favorites for the Little Brown Jug, the Triple Crown race held in your home town of Delaware OH, and you've got a colt who has a string of impressive stakes successes. Brian Brown must feel pretty good right now. Oh, wait - we were talking about the 2018 Little Brown Jug, and the Well Said-Dagnabit Hanover colt Done Well, who's now four-for-four lifetime after a tough 1:53.4 victory in one of three divisions of the third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts Monday night over a sloppy surface at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. (Brown seems likely to be in the thick of the 2017 Jug talk too, it seems, what with Fear The Dragon and Downbytheseaside.) Done Well indeed "done well" again Monday, getting away third in a five-horse field and then moving uncovered at the 5/8. Despite the raw overland journey, Done Well showed individual back fractions of 55 - 27.3 to win handily for James Stambaugh, Wingfield Brothers LLC, Milton Leeman, and Alan Keith while raising his earnings to $93,782. The winning margin was 5¼ lengths, but that needs to come with a footnote - Pennsylvania fair sensation Venier Hanover was closing strongly and had just gotten to second past This Is The Plan when he made a break 50 yards out from the wire, falling back to third (an inquiry indicated no violation of the breaking rules). Without the break, the winning margin may have been about 3 - 3½ lengths, which still says "much the best" in any race. Taking speed honors by a tick in the sloppy-track Monday stakes was the Bettor's Delight-Maid West colt Wes Delight, posting his second straight win for trainer Mark Harder, who co-owns with Rick Phillips and Deena Frost. Yannick Gingras got away second then was "quarter-mover #1" with Wes Delight, making the top then yielding to "QM #2" Wild Bill. Gingras was content to sit in the two-hole until the famed Pocono Pike came, and then got his horse to quickly respond to the tenacious first-up bid of Nutcracker Sweet, posting a neck decision in the 1:53.3 mile. Sheppard Final winner Kwik Talkin boosted the earnings in his brief career to $110,480 while running his scorecard to 6-5-1-0 and equaling his mark of 1:53.4 in the third and final division. First-over had done well in the two early divisions with a win and a photoed second, and that was the route driver Scott Zeron used with the son of Well Said-Kwik Dial, overhauling pacesetter Karpathian Kid by a length using a 27.3 personal back quarter for trainer Rob Harmon and owners Scott and Lisa Henry, Robert Robinson, and Jacqueline Dinelle. The quality and evenness of the competition behind Done Well in this Sires division is reflected in the fact that no other horse has more than one victory after the three prelims, and in fact the two colts tied for second in the pointstandings are This Is The Plan and Karpathian Kid, who each have three seconds. With 8 horses within 11 points in 5th through 12th position in the standings, and eight qualifying for the divisional Championship (to be held at Pocono on Labor Day), the last prelim, to be held on Monday the 14th at The Meadows, should produce some spectacular racing. PHHA

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 5, 2017 -- Blazin Britches' performance was record-smashing. The filly by Rock N Roll Heaven cruised home in 1:48.4, breaking the harness racing stakes record of 1:49.1 set last year by Darlinonthebeach, with an impressive four and three-quarter length victory over Caviart Alley to capture the $113,950 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old fillies, the third race on Saturday at the Meadowlands. Driven by David Miller, the 1-5 favorite, went three-wide prior to the half-mile pole, taking control, and coasting to the her fourth straight victory, paying her backers $2.60, 2.40, and 2.10. The 13-1 longshot Caviart Alley, driven by Andrew McCarthy, paid $4.40 and $2.60 for second and 2-1 second-choice Idyllic Beach, last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best two-year-old female pacer, completed the payouts, with $2.10 for third, five and three-quarter lengths back. “We thought she was a really nice filly right along,” said trainer Brian Brown.  “We had to wait on her a couple times.  Got started this year, we were ready to go to the Fan Hanover and she popped a gravel (in her foot). I give credit to her groom Kim Carruthers and the grooms at Bruce’s farm, they got her finally to pop it.  That took two weeks and took us right out the Fan Hanover and the Lynch.  We thought she was a good horse, but I can’t tell you I thought she was this good. “ The 1:48.4 clocking matched the track record for three-year-old fillies shared by Dancinwiththestarz [2010] and Agent Q [2017]. Awash, Ella Christina, and Sister's Delight rounded out the field of six. Blazin Britches by Lou Monaco        

WASHINGTON, PA, July 29, 1017 -- Fear The Dragon, harness racing's top-rated horse, cemented that position Saturday at The Meadows when he wore down the sport's No. 2-ranked horse, Huntsville, with a prolonged, dramatic first-over move that brought him victory in the $400,000 final of the 51st Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids.   Heavy rains that had soaked The Meadows for the better part of two days stopped shortly before the card began, yielding to sunny, cool weather and a fast track for the highly anticipated battle of No. 1 and No. 2. Early on, it appeared that drama might not develop as Huntsville and Tim Tetrick, got an easier lead than most observers anticipated, including Fear The Dragon's trainer, Brian Brown.   "I was really worried out of the gate once Huntsville cleared to the lead that easy," Brown said.   Fear The Dragon was fifth down the backside when David Miller felt compelled to put the son of Dragon Again-Armbro Cinnamon into the race. "I probably moved him a little earlier than I had to, but he was gapping a little too much," Miller said. Fear The Dragon steadily erased the 5-length deficit until the final turn, when it briefly seemed he had hit the wall. "At the head of the stretch, I thought Huntsville had us put away," Brown said. "Dragon never gives up. He fought back." But Fear The Dragon spurted again and caught Huntsville in the shadow of the wire, downing him by 1/2 length in 1:49.1, with RJP third. "Going into the turn, I asked him to go, and he wasn't getting it done," Miller said. "He made it up in the stretch." Tetrick, indicated he thought he had enough horse left to hold off Fear The Dragon. "I thought I had him beat," Tetrick said. "My horse grabbed the left line a little bit, but he raced well and had every opportunity to win. Hats off to Fear The Dragon." Ray Schnittker, who trains Meadowlands Pace winner Huntsville and owns with Ted Gewertz, Steven Arnold and Crawford Farms, accepted the tough beat graciously. "Huntsville raced real good," he said. "Brian's horse came first over and kind of wore him down. I thought we had it, but he got nailed. It was a good race. I'd be crazy not to be disappointed, but he raced really well. You can't ask more than that."   It was the first Adios victory for Brown, the third for Miller, who won previously with Shadow Play (2008) and McWicked (2014). Brown said Fear The Dragon would be pointed to the Carl Milstein at Northfield while Schnittker indicated Huntsville would race next week in the Cane Pace at the Meadowlands.   ADIOS NOTES: With the win, Fear The Dragon became a millionaire, boosting his career bankroll to $1,152,844 . . . It was a huge Adios Day for Bruce Trogdon's Emerald Highlands Farm, breeder and owner of Fear The Dragon. Two other Emerald Highlands homebreds, Blazin Britches and Whatstroublinurocky, also won Grand Circuit stakes on the card. "It was the day of a lifetime," Trogdon said . . . Ella Christina earned the day's long shot honors when she pulled a 56-1 upset in a division of the Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo . . . Adios Day attendance was 4,113.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Wilkes-Barre, PA --- After losing for the first time this season in last week's Max C. Hempt Memorial eliminations for harness racing 3-year-old male pacers, Fear The Dragon was right back to winning form in Saturday's (July 1) final, capturing the $500,000 event by three-quarters of a length over Funknwaffles in 1:49.3 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   Donttellmeagain finished third and Miso Fast was fourth.   Fear The Dragon, the 1-2 favorite from post one with David Miller in the sulky, enjoyed a second-over trip up the backstretch behind Miso Fast and made a three-wide move on the final turn before taking the lead from stablemate Downbytheseaside in the stretch. Funknwaffles, at 23-1, and Donttellmeagain, at 24-1, made late charges to claim the next two spots.   Downbytheseaside raced hard from post eight in the opening quarter-mile, finally wrestling the lead from Santafe's Coach in a :25.4 panel. Downbytheseaside remained on top until the last turn, when Miso Fast put his head in front just after reaching three-quarters in 1:22.2.   "I thought that off the rail as long as he didn't get in any trouble early he would be in great shape," winning trainer Brian Brown said. "He loves to come from behind and David had his choice of where he wanted to land, and he landed in the perfect spot.   "The speed hasn't been great tonight and when my other horse (Downbytheseaside) gets parked a quarter in :25.4 that was enough to do him in. That pretty much set the whole thing up for Fear The Dragon."   Fear The Dragon has won seven of eight races this year, including the Pepsi North America Cup, and earned $711,953 for owner Bruce Trogdon's Emerald Highlands Farm. Last year, the colt won five of 11 races, hitting the board a total of 10 times, and earned $228,391.   Trogdon bought Fear The Dragon's dam, Armbro Cinnamon, in foal to stallion Dragon Again, with the resulting foal being Fear The Dragon.   "It's great," Trogdon said. "Raising him up he was always special. I normally don't keep that many colts, but I had a few nice ones and he was one of my favorites all along. It's kind of been a dream come true.   "He was great last year, but people don't realize it. In the earlier (Pennsylvania) Sire Stakes races he beat Huntsville, he beat everybody. He basically got an eye infection, of all the weird things, and we went ahead and took him to Lexington but he just wasn't himself."   Fear The Dragon is not eligible to the upcoming Meadowlands Pace and Brown said it was unlikely the colt would be supplemented.   "We're 99 percent sure that we're going to give him the next two weeks off and then head to the Adios," Brown said.   "I knew when we set up the schedule at the beginning of the year," Trogdon said, "that we would go to the North America Cup and then here. My wife and I got engaged at the Adios, so that was on my list. The way the schedule is set up, you have to have a break somewhere. That's the way we had done it."   Fear The Dragon     $75,000 Hempt consolation   In the $75,000 Hempt consolation, Heaven's Gait grabbed the lead with a first-over move just prior to the halfway point and remained on top from there, winning by a neck over Every Way Out in 1:50.4. Summer Side finished third.   David Miller drove Heaven's Gait, the 6/5 favorite, for breeder/owner John Cummins and trainer Nicholas DeVita. Heaven's Gait is a son of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the mare Booya Beach. He has won four of nine races this year and earned $80,285. For his career, the colt has won six of 14 starts and $97,235.   Heaven's Gait     Ken Weingartner

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 10 - Fear The Dragon, driven by David Miller, defeated the harness racing bettor's choice Huntsville by a three-quarters of a length to capture the prestigious $1 million Pepsi North America Cup in 1:48.4, Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Trained by Delaware, Ohio's Brian Brown, Fear The Dragon, gave his conditioner his first Cup victory and his driver back-to back Cup wins. Miller, who now has two trophies, won last year's edition with Betting Line. Stablemate Downbytheseaside, who is also trained by Brown, finished a third. "It's unexplainable; you would have to ask the guys that win these races regularly," said Brown following the race. "This is my first time, I don't know what to say, it's incredible that were even here with two horses and to come away with a win is just something that is unexplainable." Sports Column and driver Chris Christoforou was quickest off the gate from post five and grabbed the front on the rail. Classic Pro and driver Trevor Henry was close on his heels from post six, making a rush for the lead from the outside. Classic Pro was able to take command at the quarter pole posting a flashy :25.2 opening panel. The speed revved up in the backstretch. Filibuster Hanover and driver Louis Philippe Roy came first-over from third to clear to the front but a stalking Downbytheseaside, driven by Brian Sears, caught second-over cover and was quick to steal the lead at the midway point. Downbytheseaside posted a scorching :52.1 half, the fastest half-mile in Mohawk history. The 4-5 favourite, Huntsville, driven by Tim Tetrick, was on the move first-up from fifth before the half. Fear Of The Dragon followed behind the advancing 4-5 favourite. Downbytheseaside remained in command past the three-quarters in 1:19.3 and into the lane. All three Cup elimination winners--Downbytheseaside on rail, Huntsville in the middle and Fear The Dragon on the outside--battled into the stretch. It then became a two-horse duel between Huntsville and Fear Of The Dragon, but it was the Brian Brown trainee who crossed the wire first, taking a new lifetime mark in the process. Huntsville was second and Downbytheseaside was third. "My horse was having a hard time keeping up," said Miller of the quick fractions. "He was gapping and I was chasing him and he didn't really get into contention until right at the head of the stretch and then he dug, he fought, Huntsville he kept fighting and it was a battle right to the wire." Fear The Dragon remains unbeaten as a three-year-old with six victories from six outings. He notched his 11th lifetime victory in 17 starts. The son of Dragon Again and Armbro Cinnamon picked up $750,000 for winning the Cup, which increases his career earnings to $1,075,844 for owner Emerald Highlands Farm. Fear The Dragon paid $4.90, 2.60 and $2.10, combining with Huntsville ($2.40, $2.10) for a $8.60 (4-3) exactor. A 4-3-2 (Downbytheseaside, $2.80) triactor was worth $19.90, while a $1 superfecta [4-3-2-6 (Classic Pro)] returned $59.55. Mark McKelvie

CAMPBELLVILLE, Ont. — Brian Brown isn't the least bit concerned about not having the harness racing favourite for the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup. Brown will have two horses — Fear The Dragon and Downbytheseaside — in Canada's richest harness event at Mohawk Racetrack. Although both are coming off impressive wins in their respective elimination races last weekend, the horse to beat Saturday night will be Huntsville, the early 8-5 favourite. Huntsville posted the fastest time in the three elimination races. The son of 2008 Cup winner Somebeachsomewhere earned a 4 1/4-length victory in one minute 49.1 seconds, the third in four starts this season for U.S. racing's top two-year-old pacing colt last year. "I thought (Huntsville) should've been the favourite as good as he raced the other day," Brown said Tuesday after the race draw at Mohawk Racetrack. "I'm not a gambler of any type, I couldn't even tell you what three-to-five pays. "I'd like to be the favourite in every race I was ever in but in the end, to me, the odds don't mean anything. You just go out and race and hope everything works with no one getting into any trouble and everyone has a clean race." Fear The Dragon and Downbytheseaside aren't exactly chopped liver either. Both are undefeated this season, with Fear The Dragon winning all five starts in 2017 while Downbytheseaside has won four straight.  David Miller drove both American-owned and bred horses to their elimination wins, leaving him with a tough decision regarding which one he'd take Saturday night. Brown said Miller will drive Fear The Dragon in the Cup with fellow American Brian Sears replacing Miller with Downbytheseaside. While Brown handles preparations for the horses to race, he'll leave the driving to Miller and Sears on Saturday night. Miller won last year's Cup with Betting Line. "When I give the lines to David and Brian, I shut up," Brown said. "I don't want any opinions in their head but their own. "I expect other horses from the outside will be leaving hard for position. I think when the dust settles into the quarter, two or three of us will be moving on, trying to get to the front. I just hope I'm in a good spot by the half with both horses." Huntsville, trained by Ray Schnittker and driven by Tim Tetrick, will go from post No. 3, flanked by Downbytheseaside (No. 2) and Fear The Dragon (No. 4). Fear The Dragon gave Brown some anxious moments in his elimination win. Leading in the deep stretch, Fear The Dragon jumped over a fallen racing head number and broke stride. Miller managed to get Fear The Dragon pacing again just steps before crossing the wire. "He was going right over it, he saw it and just stepped over it and got tangled up and made a break," Brown said. "Thankfully he recovered." Fortunately, Brown said the horse is none the worse for wear. "When we took his bandages off, there were no marks, no swelling," he said. "We jogged him (Monday) and today he seems like himself, everything looks fine." Despite Downbytheseaside's winning ways, the horse also has his issues. Brown said the richest horse in Saturday's field ($848,616) sometimes has difficulty running with the lead. "He just waits on the other horses when he gets away from them," Brown said. "But in this race, they're all going to be together and whoever is on the front, somebody is going to be right at their throat the whole step. "I feel good but I'm not overly confident. I feel I should get good money if I don't win but the object is to come here to win. I saw that Cup 20 years ago when I was up here and I've been eyeing it ever since." The remainder of the 10-horse field, with post, driver, (and hometown if Canadian), includes: 1) Ocean Colony, Yannick Gingras of Sorel, Que.; 5) Sports Column, Chris Christoforou of Campbellville, Ont.; 6) Classic Pro, Trevor Henry of Arthur, Ont.; 7) Ozone Blue Chip, Brett Miller; 8) Filibuster Hanover, Matt Kakaley; 9) Western Hill, Doug McNair of Guelph, Ont.; 10) Miso Fast, Matt Kakaley. Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press Reprinted with permission of the Nanaimo News Now

Brian Brown was pleased with Downbytheseaside's win in last weekend's Art Rooney Pace elimination and the harness racing trainer hopes the colt can be even better in Saturday's $300,000 final. Downbytheseaside, the 6-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's race for 3-year-old male pacers, won the lone Rooney elimination by 1-1/4 lengths over Miso Fast in 1:52.2. It was the colt's second win in two tries this year, but Brown thought the horse's finish lacked its usual pop. "I thought he was pretty good; he got just a little bit weak late," Brown said. "He hadn't raced in two weeks, but I trained him really hard on (the previous) Tuesday. Was he short? Did I over-train him? We're trying to figure out all of the reasons it could be." Another possibility is Downbytheseaside was suffering from the lingering effects of a foot abscess. "He had popped a gravel and the track was hard," Brown said. "I wonder if the foot didn't get to bothering him a little late in the mile and he just went enough to win." Downbytheseaside, usually stabled with Brown at his central Ohio base at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, remained with caretaker Toni Dale and driver David Miller in New Jersey to prep for this weekend's Rooney final. The horse jogged Tuesday and Brown received an encouraging report from Miller. "David was happy," Brown said. "He jogged him and the horse had his tail up over his back and was excited and playing. And he said the horse jogged real sound. So we think he's going to be even better Saturday." Downbytheseaside won eight of 13 races last year, earned $577,106 in purses, and paced the fastest mile in history by a 2-year-old on a half-mile track (1:50) in addition to equaling the world record of 1:49 for a 2-year-old on a mile oval. His wins included the Governor's Cup and divisions of the International Stallion, Bluegrass, and Standardbred stakes. He finished second to Dan Patch Award-winner Huntsville in the Breeders Crown and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. The colt is owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing. In last weekend's Rooney elimination, Downbytheseaside started from post nine in the second tier of a nine-horse field. The race, from which the top-eight finishers advanced to the final, featured four different leaders in the opening half-mile. Downbytheseaside was the fourth of the leaders, using a three-wide move to the front as the field reached the midpoint in :55.4. "It was a lot more action than I expected when you're only eliminating one horse," Brown said. "They raced pretty hard. I actually wound up in the worst spot getting to the front." Downbytheseaside held off hard-charging Miso Fast, with Stealth Bomber third. That group was followed by Summer Side, Mac's Jackpot, Funknwaffles, Henry The Dragon, and Rollin About in advancing to the final. Heaven's Gait, who went off stride, was eliminated. In the final, Downbytheseaside will start from post No. 3 with Miller in the sulky. Miso Fast is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line and will leave from post two with Matt Kakaley driving for trainer Ron Burke. "I like where we're at," Brown said. "I think we're in pretty good shape. We'll just show up and race." Downbytheseaside's connections decided to skip the second-round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes to compete in the Rooney. There were several reasons: the colt's prowess on a half-mile track, the money, and the chance to avoid a confrontation with Huntsville ahead of next month's Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk. As it turned out, Brown-trained Fear The Dragon upset Huntsville in last Sunday's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action. "This is working out pretty good," Brown said. "If we can get it done Saturday it will have worked out perfectly." As for the future in the 3-year-old male pacing division, Brown expects it to be a season-long battle. "We've had like two races so far; I don't think we've even begun to see how this is going to work out," Brown said. "Even though Huntsville wasn't as good Sunday as he has been, I don't expect him that way next time. We had a great weekend, but I don't expect it to be that way all the time. It's going to get a lot tougher. "I think there will be trading wins all summer long. I don't look for anyone to stand out. I hope I've got two that can, but I don't expect it." * * * * * * Another horse that could see improvement in Saturday's Rooney final is Funknwaffles. The gelding, who was last year's New York Sire Stakes champion and a track-record-holder at Yonkers, was one of the elimination's early leaders and remained second at three-quarters before dropping back to sixth. Trainer John Butenschoen said the horse might have had an issue with his breathing. "We were disappointed in where we finished but there might have been an excuse for it," said Butenschoen, who trains the horse for Crawford Farms Racing. "But he came out of the race good and he played out in the field hard (Sunday) and (Monday) before we jogged him. Hopefully we can do well and forget that he finished sixth there Saturday." Even though he was disappointed with the outcome, Butenschoen enjoyed the action in the elimination. "That was a good race," he said. "There was action off the wings and people coming at different points of the mile. They were racing the whole way. It's a lot of fun to watch half-mile track racing when they race them like that. You had a lot of horses that people were high on and expecting to do something and it showed on the racetrack. Everyone was giving them a chance to see what they had." Following is the Rooney field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line. The Rooney is race eight on Saturday's card with an estimated 9:30 p.m. post time. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - Mac's Jackpot - Somebeachsomewhere - Jason Bartlett - Jim Campbell - 9/1 2 - Miso Fast - Roll With Joe - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 4/1 3 - Downbytheseaside - Somebeachsomewhere - David Miller - Brian Brown - 6/5 4 - Rollin About - Roll With Joe - Brent Holland - Erv Miller - 20/1 5 - Funknwaffles - American Ideal - Brian Sears - John Butenschoen - 6/1 6 - Summer Side - Well Said - Tim Tetrick - Ray Schnittker - 8/1 7 - Henry The Dragon - Custard The Dragon - Montrell Teague - Clyde Francis - 8/1 8 - Stealth Bomber - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Tony O'Sullivan - 12/1 Saturday's Yonkers card also includes the $140,770 Lismore Pace final for 3-year-old female pacers. Agent Q and Big City Betty won eliminations last weekend. The Lismore is race six with an estimated 8:50 p.m. post time. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - Warrawee Sunshine - Somebeachsomewhere - Tim Tetrick - Chris Ryder - 6/1 2 - Caviart Cherie - Well Said - Jason Bartlett - Noel Daley - 9/1 3 - Caviart Ally - Bettor's Delight - Andy McCarthy - Noel Daley - 5/1 4 - Agent Q - Western Terror - David Miller - Aaron Lambert - 5/2 5 - Big City Betty - Bettor's Delight - Jim Marohn Jr. - Steve Salerno - 5/1 6 - Gotthisone Hanover - Somebeachsomewhere - George Brennan - Ron Burke - 12/1 7 - Tequila Monday - American Ideal - Brian Sears - Chris Oakes - 3/1 8 - Ashlee's Spitfire - Roll With Joe - Daniel Dube - Chris Ryder - 20/1 Ken Weingartner

The partners and trainer of Downbytheseaside have announced today that the champion harness racing pacing colt by Somebeachsomewhere will bypass the sire stakes this season and instead plans on next racing in the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers Raceway.   "We believe that the Art Rooney is the best preparation for our eventual goal of the Pepsi North American Cup " says partner Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm. "We plan to give him the best possible opportunity going into the first big goal of the season, and we feel this is the right path to do so."   Downbytheseaside set the world record for two-year-old pacing colts on a half-mile track in 1:50 at the the Delaware County Fair last year, and then followed it up by equaling the record for a two-year-old pacer on a mile track, winning his International Sire Stake division in 1:49 at the Red Mile.    "He came out of his first start looking good," says trainer Brian Brown. "Eased into it as planned, and now he's primed and ready for what comes next." 

LEBANON, OH. - McRaven, the hard luck harness racing colt that was sidelined after just two starts-both Ohio Sires Stakes victories-as a two-year-old, is back bigger and better than ever. The son of McArdle captured the championship of the 46th annual edition of the James K. Hackett Memorial for Buckeye bred sophomore pacers on Saturday (April 22) at Miami Valley Raceway, stopping the timer in 1:51.4 despite significant winds and chilly 48-degree temperatures. Following a third place finish in his initial 2017 outing, an elimination heat of the Hackett a week ago, trainer Brian Brown had McRaven primed for a big effort in his first major test of this season. Driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. settled the winner third at the pylons well before the quarter-mile marker was reached and saved ground inside all the way to the head of the stretch before swinging three-wide for the stretch drive. Despite drifting a couple lanes in the lane, McRaven paced four lengths faster than any of his rivals in the final furlong to edge Barley Up (Peter Wrenn, Ronnie's uncle) by a half length in 1:51.4. Heracer (Josh Sutton) also finished strong to claim the show money. Pacesetter Major Nemesis (Tony Hall), who had established a local track record of 1:51.2 in his elimination, made an untimely break in midstretch after cutting fractions of :26.2, :55.1 and 1:23.2. The Findlay, Ohio partnership of Country Club Acres Inc. and L & H Management Services own McRaven. His next start is expected to be in the first leg of the 2017 Ohio Sires Stakes series on Tuesday, May 2. If all goes well, he has an invitation to the new $50,000 Scarlet and Gray Invitational for Ohio-sired 3-year-olds on Miami Valley's closing day program May 8. McRaven Kiss Of Terror (Kyle Ater) swept from far back early to triumph for the second straight week in the $20,000 Open Handicap on the same card. Due to his outside post, the 5-year-old Western Terror gelding was dispatched at 12-1 odds, but managed to beat Control Tower (Dan Noble) and Gerries Sport (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) for his ninth seasonal victory. Kirk Nichols and Seth Downing own Kiss Of Terror, who is trained by Dan Ater. Kiss Of Terror Gregg Keidel

Columbus, OH --- While most eyes and ears may be fastened upon what world champion Downbytheseaside will accomplish this season, harness racing trainer Brian Brown has two fillies prepared to step upon center stage in Friday’s (April 21) $40,000 James Hackett Memorial final at Miami Valley Raceway in Type A Grey and Glorious Intent. Each young lady is poised to make her presence known and seeks to have her own successful season. “Ronnie’s (Burke) filly (Rosemary Rose) is very, very tough,” said Brown. “Mike (Wilder, her driver) was just sitting on her last week and the whole field is quite good. I think Type A Grey is sharp right now, but Glorious Intent might need a race a two to tighten her up.” Type A Grey, a daughter of  Art Official-Just My Type, was purchased by Bruce Trogdon’s Emerald Highlands Farm for $20,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg. The striking filly has collected $109,022 from a record of 8-6-0-0 and was dominant in Ohio Sire Stakes company last year at age two, prior to experiencing some difficulties at the end of the season in the $250,000 Ohio Sire Stakes final and a $60,900 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship series. She will leave from post position two with Chris Page in the sulky and is rated 7-2 on the morning line in the field of nine. “In those two races she tied up,” Brown said. “But she is doing very well right now and we have had no problems with her since. She is in very good form right now and training very well. As I said, this is a very tough field of fillies, but we think she should race well.” Not only will Type A Grey have to contend with the undefeated Rosemary Rose, who is a perfect six-for-for-six in her career and is the deserving early favorite at 5-2 (Mike Wilder, post six), she will have to compete against Rosa’s Touch (Ron Burke, Josh Sutton, post three, 9-2), Ohio Sire Stakes victress Zoe Ellasen (Ron Potter, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., post eight, 12-1), as well as her stablemate Glorious Intent (Kayne Kauffman, post four, 5-1). Glorious Intent, a daughter of No Pan Intended-Rock For Glory, competes as a homebred for Trogdon and enters this contest off a very solid triumph in last Friday’s eliminations. The filly, who is the result of four generations of breeding by Trogdon, demonstrated ability last year as a 2-year-old as an Ohio Sire Stakes winner, before encountering some issues of her own. She has banked $40,500 with a resume of 6-3-1-0, hails from a stalwart female family, just like Type A Grey and also happens to share the same color coat. Trogdon has an affinity for gray horses and Glorious Intent is the result of his passion for that particular shade. “Glorious Intent’s line has become my favorite “gray” foundation,” he said. “It started when I bought the Laag gray broodmare Faded Glory. I remembered her racing for Jack Darling and winning the American-National (1995). I bought her from the reject pile at Harrisburg after her first couple foals when she was still fairly young. She was not very big but very pretty and had great conformation and a nice head. “Faded Glory produced some nice foals for me, most of which I sold but I kept one beautiful gray The Panderosa filly, Bound For Glory. Bound For Glory was trained by Tony O'Sullivan in Ontario back in the day when I did all my racing at Mohawk. We loved her -- she gave everything she had -- and earned over $300,000 while finishing second in the (2005) Fan Hanover. “I would like to have had some more gray fillies from her mother but it wasn't to be. One morning I went to feed her group and Faded Glory was laying in the pine trees behind my house. I thought she was asleep and went over to rouse her; she was dead. I looked at her feet -- they were black -- as she was killed by lightning. That was the only time that has ever happened to me; sad day because I wanted more out of her.” Brown feels the problems Glorious Intent endured last season may be behind her. “She was cross-firing on us,” Brown said. “The time off (winter vacation) has seemed to help her, but I think she might need some time to catch up with the rest of the fillies in this field. They just have more racing experience than she does.” Trogdon also possesses another 3-year-old filly that Brown is conditioning with some talent, although unfortunately, she is a bay rather than a gray. “My remaining gray line is from a gray mare that I bought as a weanling at Harrisburg many years ago,” he said. “Soggy Dragon raced well for us and produced a powerful bay Allamerican Ingot filly Soggy Britches that raced very well for us. She is a 1:48 producer and we are racing her daughter Blazin Britches right now. She is not gray either, but is a fabulous looker and may end up being the fastest filly I ever had; she's a beast. She didn't stay sound at two so she lived most of the summer out in that field behind my house with Glorious Intent and Type A Grey; quite a field. “I turn my 2-year-old fillies out in that field because it has 100 well-spaced, 70-foot tall white pine shade trees that I planted as saplings 40 years ago. It’s the same field where poor Faded Glory met her demise.” For the complete field for the James Hackett Memorial final, click here.   by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

Columbus, OH --- It was 20 years ago when Bruce Trogdon sat alongside harness racing trainer Kelly O’Donnell as he bid on Dragon Again. At that time, he thought O’Donnell might not be making the best financial decision, but Trogdon now has a colt by that stallion in Fear The Dragon that is poised to set the sophomore pacing division aflame. “I was done shopping and sat down with Kelly,” Trogdon said. “He used to train for me and Dragon Again was a really nice-looking colt; his conformation was perfect, but he was by Dragon’s Lair, so the pedigree might not be there. I told him $40,000 was too much for that horse, but I guess what did I know?” Fear The Dragon is a 3-year-old son of the aforementioned stallion and the Western Ideal mare Armbro Cinnamon. While world champions Huntsville and stablemate Downbytheseaside have been grabbing all the headlines, this half-brother to Cinamony (Art Official, $532,404) has quietly amassed $228,391,has defeated Huntsville and equaled a track record at The Meadows of 1:50.3. “This is without a doubt the finest colt I have ever had,” Trogdon said. “I usually sell colts and just keep fillies, but he was just so good from the day he was born; not too big, not too small. He does what you ask him, too. I think Huntsville and Downbytheseaside are very talented horses, but this colt is nice, too.” Conditioned by Brian Brown and steered nearly exclusively by David Miller, Fear The Dragon commenced his career with a second place finish on June 26, 2016 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a $30,000 Pennsylvania All Stars division. He demonstrated speed, however, by throwing down a :26.4 last quarter-mile in his debut. The colt then reeled off four consecutive victories, three in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes company and a $19,291 division of the Arden Downs at The Meadows, before coming home third behind Huntsville, a rival he had defeated the previous week, on Aug. 27 in a Sire Stakes contest. “Early in the year he was the best 2-year-old in the country, which he showed by beating Huntsville and some other real good colts,” said Trogdon. “The first time David Miller drove him he said that he liked him better than Downbytheseadside. That is saying a lot because he and Hunstville are both tremendous horses I think. Both are future stallions that I would likely want to breed to.” Fear The Dragon was third again in his next contest, the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, to Huntsville and Downbytheseaside, prior to his runner-up finish to his barn mate in a world record mile of 1:50 at the Delaware County Fair on Sept. 18 in a $34,500 division of the Standardbred stake. “What people don't know is that Yannick (driver Gingras on Normandy Beach) accidentally stepped on our wheel going for home in the PASS championship and he raced the last quarter with a flat tire finishing third,” Trogdon said. “We then drew the outside at Delaware while our stablemate Downbytheseaside drew inside in his world record shattering performance. Dragon came off the pace and closed well for second. “He then won the Elevation at Hoosier, beating Ocean Colony, who is another good son of Somebeachsomewhere. I own his full sister (Romanceonthebeach); she is one of our broodmares.” Following Delaware, Fear The Dragon rebounded with a powerful performance to enter the Hoosier Park winner’s circle with a triumph in the $140,000 Elevation Stake on Sept. 24. He threw down a blistering last quarter-mile in :26.3 and his time of 1:50.4 just missed the track record. “Dragon injured his eye somehow before Lexington, that is why he raced in the fly mask,” Trogdon said. “He raced well, but it was really bothering him. “I rarely race my 2-year-olds late, so he was not staked to the Breeders Crown last year. We quit with him early and he had a great turnout at our farm.” The colt’s first race with the fly mask resulted in a seventh place finish in the Bluegrass Stakes at Red Mile, the only time he has been off the board. Fear The Dragon, however, bounced back with a second place finish to Huntsville in his world record equaling mile of 1:49 in a division of the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 8. “He (Brown) shipped him to Florida the first of December and he is feeling good and training down great,” Trogdon said. “He is staked to a lot including the Adios, Little Brown Jug, Lexington and Breeders Crown, so we will have a chance to prove that he is no fluke. “I have turned down huge offers for him as everyone knows how good he was. He races very relaxed and can leave or come off the pace; he is very handy and has an effortless gait. That's why Dave (Miller) likes him so well. “We raised him and broke him at Emerald Highlands. We own his mother and she is back in foal to Dragon Again because we liked him so well. He is a good-looking, medium-sized horse with great conformation. His mother is a daughter of Mattaroni. I am hoping he becomes a great stallion himself and is the one to carry on the Dragon Again line. He would make a great outcross to practically my entire broodmare band.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

TORONTO, November 19 - Downbytheseaside got one back on harness racing rival Huntsville Saturday night in the $520,000 Governor's Cup at Woodbine Racetrack. The Brian Brown trained colt delivered a powerful performance to win the final major race of the season for two-year-olds in 1:51.1. Driven by David Miller, Downbytheseaside was unhurried at the start and got away fifth, directly behind Huntsville, the 1/5 favourite. Air Strike charged off the wings of the gate from post nine and put up an opening-quarter of :27.2. Huntsville got his cue to go from driver Tim Tetrick after the opening-quarter and rushed up to grab the front. However, Miller was not going to let the favourite get away and followed Huntsville to the front, ultimately clearing to command at the half in :55.2. Downbytheseaside and Huntsville began to edge away from their competition on the far turn, as the leader paced a solid third-quarter of :27.3 to reach three-quarters in 1:23. In the stretch, Huntsville angled off Miller's back and took his shot at glory, but Downbytheseaside was fired up and turned aside his rival to win by 3¼ lengths. Saturday's contest was the first start for both colts since Downbytheseaside finished runner-up to Huntsville in the Breeders Crown. "I was just kind of waiting to see what Tetrick did and when he moved I thought I better get with him," said Miller following the race. "My horse got to the front and he swells up when he is on the lead and he was very strong, I never pulled his plugs, he paced right through the wire." The Governor's Cup was the fifth meeting of the season between Downbytheseaside and Huntsville. The season series comes to an end with Huntsville holding a three to two advantage, but Downbytheseaside now has a signature victory to be held up against Huntsville's Breeders Crown score. "I honestly thought I was second best," Miller said post-race. "But I thought if the trip worked out or one of us got used pretty hard getting where they wanted to go, I maybe could pick it up. I was able to get to the front without too big of fractions and like I said he is a good horse." A son of Somebeachsomewhere, Downbytheseaside now has eight wins in 13 starts. The Brown trainee completes his rookie season with earnings of $644,706 for owners Country Club Acres Inc, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo. Huntsville's two-year-old season comes to a close with seven wins and four runner-up finishes in 11 starts. The Ray Schnittker trainee also by Somebeachsomewhere pocked over $700,000 for his connections this season.  Third in the race at least seven lengths was Filibuster Hanover also by Somebeachsomewhere to make it a clean sweep by the champion son of Mach Three. Downbytheseaside and Huntsville each finish 2016 with the title of co-fastest two-year-old of all-time, as both took a mark of 1:49 in early-October at The Red Mile. The standout rookies finished one-two in all five of their meetings this season. A $2 win ticket on Downbytheseaside in the Governor's Cup returned $6.70. The top-five finishers in Saturday's rich contest were rounded out by Filibuster Hanover, Bettors Dream and Air Strike. Mark McKelvie

Downbytheseaside (Chris Page) cruised to easy victory in the $69,000 (div.) Standardbred for two-year-old pacing colts in 1:50, breaking the world record by 1 4/5 seconds, highlighting the opening day harness racing action at the Delaware County Fair. Downbytheseaside was pushed off the gate and cleared the field of seven at the ¼ mile pole forcing Some Attitude (Peter Wrenn) to sit second and Fear The Dragon (Trace Tetrick) third. Page was allowed to set the fractions of :26 4/5, :54 3/5 and 1:21 4/5 and coasted home with a final quarter of :28 1/5 to establish the new world mark. Fear The Dragon was 4¾ lengths back in second. Some Attitude held on for third. The freshman colt by Somebeachsomewhere is trained by Brian Brown for Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo. Another Brown trainee, Spider Man Hanover owned the previous world record set in last year's Standardbred. The first division was won by a gutsy Bettor's Pick and Kayne Kauffman in a lifetime best 1:53 4/5. When the wings of the starting gate opened Cinnaber Dragon (Peter Wrenn) and Dragnet Alert (Aaron Merriman) both left hard and battled for the early lead. Dragnet Alert cleared the field past the quarter in :27 1/5. Bettor's Pick was the first to challenge as the field when by the half in :56 3/5. Dragnet Alert kept the lead past the ¾ mile in 1:24 4/5, but a game Bettor's Pick would not be denied and scored a ½ length victory over Dragnet Alert. Cinnabar Dragon held on for third. The freshman son of Bettor's Delight is trained by Ben Davis for Brent Hooper, Kyle Gray and James Davis. A new stakes record was established in the first division of the $121,800 (div.) Ohio Breeders Championship for freshmen pacing fillies. Bye Bye Felicia (Chris Page) scored a two length victory over a closing Rosa's Choice (Mike Wilder) and Zoe Ellasen (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) in 1:55. The Woodstock lass is conditioned by Delaware's Brian Brown for his wife Jennifer Brown, Dean Davis, Joyce McClelland and Steve Mullet. The win was Bye Bye Felicia's fourth in eight seasonal starts. Jaye's A Lady (Tyler Smith) scored a big upset in the second $60,900 division at 64-1. Ellasen (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) and Type A Grey (Chris Page) traded the lead in the first three-quarters of a mile. Berazzled (Peter Wrenn) grabbed the lead in mid-stretch but a fast closing Jaye's A Lady edged Berazzled by a ¾ length at the wire. The daughter of McArdle broke her maiden with the 1:55 3/5 win. Jaye's A Lady is owned by Caviart Farms and trained by Nancy Johansson. Delaware also hosted a trio of amateur driving events, the USTA's Standardbred Driving Championship and two Billings series events. Anthony Somone representing the Mid-Western Amateur Driving Club went gate-to-wire with A J Corbelli to win the Standardbred Driving Championship in 1:56 2/5. The event features drivers from ten driving clubs from across the United States. The Billings Amateur Trot events were won by Heza Rube (Bob Troyer) and A Crown For Lindy (Joseph Lee). The win was Troyer's record sixth in the Billings series at the Delaware County Fair. Post time on Monday is at 3:00 PM. Jay Wolf

Harness racing trainer Brian Brown will send out nine horses during Northfield Park's "Super Night," Saturday, Sept. 3. Eight of those are Standardbreds Brown conditioned to vie in a $250,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Championship. Post time for the 15-race Super Night program is 6 pm, ET, with the first Ohio Sires Stakes Championship beginning with Race 4 and continuing through Race 11. Each OSS Championship features eight of the top point earners from the four-leg series returning to face off against one another. Brown, a native of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, will celebrate his 52 birthday at the end of this month and taking home a blue ribbon in each of the Championships would certainly be a fitting birthday present for a trainer who works non-stop to keep his equine athletes in tip-top shape. "The Ohio Sires Stakes Championships are the top of the line for Ohio," Brian stressed. "I'm lucky enough to have eight horses racing in these events. I feel blessed, but more importantly, this is a great night for the owners who have invested in the Ohio program. As a trainer, obviously you want them to all have winners, but it's also about them having a great night of fun and excitement. It's definitely a privilege to be involved at this level of competition." Brian is no stranger to success, having conditioned 1,177 winners to $14,283,616 in lifetime earnings. One of the highlights of his career was when his Colors A Virgin captured the 2014 Jugette in 1:52.4 at his home track in Delaware, Ohio and then later triumphed in the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. Brian grew up attending the races with his father Robert H. Brown and uncle William Brown as they raced around the Buckeye State's county fair and pari-mutuel ovals. He began driving in 1981 at age 16 and won 251 races, but hung up the lines in the late 1990s to concentrate his efforts on training. Since then, he's become a solid force throughout the Midwest and on the Grand Circuit. Preparing for a Championship night takes planning, Brian admits. "You leave nothing to chance," he noted. "Every horse trained; they all got scoped; they all got their blood taken; and the vet went over each one of them. Anything can happen in horse racing, but you have to cover all your bases when you're preparing this many horses to compete on one evening." Brian recorded his first one-million-dollar season in 2013, when his charges earned $1,501,709, giving him an outstanding .385 UTRS. The following year (2014) his winners amassed $2,116,668 for a .345 UTRS, and last season (2015)--his best year ever--saw horses trained by Brian earn $3,430,241, for a .375 UTRS. This year thus far, he's conditioned 390 starters to 96 wins, 45 seconds and 52 thirds for $1,506,512 in seasonal monies with a solid .355 UTRS. His eight Ohio Sires Stakes contenders include the undefeated Type A Grey, a 2-year-old Art Official lass who has swept her OSS divisions and taken a mark of 1:54.3f, earning $97,900 for the Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, OH. She'll start from post two in Race 5. Brian will also harness Bye Bye Felicia from post five in this same division. The black daughter by Woodstock has $68,639 in career earnings and has a trio of OSS triumphs to her credit in six career starts. She recorded a mark of 1:54.2f for owners Jennifer Brown (Brian's wife), Ostrander, OH; Dean Davis, Wooster, OH; Joyce McClelland, Zanesville, OH; and Steve Mullet, Millersburg, OH. Brian has a trio of youngsters in the $250,000 Championship for 2year-old pacing colts (Race 7). Corner Con Artist, by Art Official, has racked up $37,656 in earnings for breeder/owner Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH with a record of 1:55.3f in a July 4 OSS triumph. Corner Con Artist starts from post five with stablemate Officially Creek right next door in post six. This $39,050-winning Art Official gelding is owned by Debbie Bird of Goes Landing, ON, and won Leg 4 of this series on Aug. 24 at Northfield in a career best 1:54. Last, but definitely not least, is the speedy Barnabas, a gelded son of McArdle who captured three OSS legs, including a 1:53.1h score at Northfield in his last OSS effort on Aug. 24. He's earned $79,200 for Country Club Acres of Findlay, OH; Joe Sbrocco, Brecksville, OH; Richard Lombardo, Solon, OH; and William Robinson of Findlay, OH, and will start from the seven-slot in this same event. In the $250,000 Championship (Race 9) for 3-year-old pacing fillies, Brian sends out She Gone from post eight. "I'm at the mercy of the race with some of the posts we've drawn," he said. "I've got two horses with a two and a four-hole, and the rest all drew the five-hole or further out. It just comes down to how the race folds out for us." She Gone is co-owned by Brian, Jennifer and Beau Brown, along with Cameron McCown of Ostrander, OH and Richard Lombardo of Solon, OH. This sophomore lass has seasonal earnings of $50,375 and career earnings of $69,285. She recorded a mark of 1:55.1 on May 6 of this year at Miami Valley Raceway. "The 3-year-old colt pace is the widest open of any of the championships," Brian assessed. "In my opinion, there are five colts in there that, given the right trip, any of them are capable of winning." Brian bridles up Whataboy from post five for Carl Howard of Powell, OH; Gerrie Tucker of Quebec, CA; and RBH Ventures, Inc., of New York, NY. The son of Big Bad John has $93,800 in his seasonal coffers for these connections and recorded a 1:51.3f score at Scioto on July 9. He won a pair of OSS legs this season and sports a career bankroll of $136,554. Starting from post six in this same event is Friskie Cruiser, a son of Feelin Friskie owned by breeder Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH. A winner of $191,796 lifetime, Friskie Cruiser has seasonal earnings of $51,175 with a mark of 1:54 taken in an OSS leg at Northfield on Aug.13. by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

Three $40,000 divisions Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings were contested Saturday night (August 13) over a sloppy track at Northfield Park, with harness racing trainer Brian Brown harnessing two of the victors.   A total of 21 laterally-gaited equines went postward in the fourth leg of the series for Buckeye-sired sophomores, with Brown tightening the girth on division one winner Whataboy and third division winner Friskie Cruiser.   Even-money favorite Whataboy used a three-wide move down the Northfield backstretch to charge ahead of Rocknroll Wildcats (Brett Miller) and World Of Gaming (Danny Noble), who had been dueling through fractions of :27.3, :57.1 and 1:24.2.   Driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., urged the son of Big Bad John who took command to sweep under the wire first in 1:53. The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $93,880 and his career earnings to $136,554. Whataboy now has four wins this year in 13 starts and five lifetime victories in 22 trips postward.   Canadia's Bakin finished second, while Little Woody got up for third.   Whataboy was bred by the Dm Stables of Florida and is owned by Carl Howard of Powell, OH; Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, QC, CA; and RBH Ventures Inc., of New York, NY.   Friskie Cruisier and driver Kayne Kauffman held off multiple challenges throughout their division to win in 1:54 under wraps. The son of Feelin Friskie paced strong through panels of :27.1, :56.2, and 1:24.3 to notch career win five in his 17th lifetime start.   Gotmoneyinmypocket notched second, while Smoke Up Johnny garnered show honors.   Owned by breeder Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH, Friskie Cruiser now has $189,121 in his career bank account and$48,500 earned this year.   Trainer Ron Burke sent 1-9 favorite Winwood Mac postward in the second OSS division and the Canyon Wind gelding responded with a front-stepping 1:51.3 victory. Winwood Mac paced briskly through fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:23.4 without incident for driver Chris Page.   Winna Winna finished second, with Hustling Charley getting up for third.   It was Winwood Mac's fourth win of the season in 14 starts and pushed his 2016 earnings to $99,065 for owners Burke Racing Stable of Frederickstown, PA; Weaver Bruscemi, Cannonsburg, PA; and Phillip Collura of Mountain Township, PA. He was bred by the Michigan-based Winwood Farm and now has $137,548 in his career coffers.   by Kimberly Rinker

Freehold, NJ --- Brian Brown enjoyed a career year in 2015, winning a Breeders Crown with pacing mare Color's A Virgin and setting personal records with 143 wins and $3.43 million in purses. His earnings ranked No. 9 among all trainers in North America. Among Brown's other successful horses were Lost For Words, Spider Man Hanover, Somewhere Sweet, Rock N Randall, Friskie Lil Devil, and Friskie Cruiser. This week, Brown's stable got off to a strong start in Ohio Sire Stakes action for 2-year-olds, winning seven of 12 starts. Brown spent his childhood summers watching his father Robert H. Brown and uncle William Brown campaign horses around Ohio. He fulfilled his dream to become a driver in 1981 at the age of 16 and won nearly 250 races over the ensuing decade, but turned his attention to training in the early 1990s. The 51-year-old Brown is based at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio, where he operates a stable of some 70 horses with assistance from his wife Jennifer and a number of other family members. He spends the winters prepping horses in Florida, but returns to the Buckeye State for the racing season. Last year, Brown watched Lost For Words nearly win the famed Little Brown Jug at Brown's home track at the Delaware County Fair. Lost For Words was beaten by a nose by Wiggle It Jiggleit in an epic Little Brown Jug. Brown recently took time to talk with Ken Weingartner of the U.S. Trotting Association's Harness Racing Communications division about that Little Brown Jug as well as his career in the sport. KW: Going back to your start, where did your interest in harness racing come from? BB: I grew up in this. My dad and uncle, mother, aunt -- all of them were in the business. I just went to the barn helping them. You know how it goes, when I was a kid, this is all I wanted to do. When I turned a teenager, I was normal. I didn't want to do nothing. I wanted to stay home and watch basketball and football on Saturdays. I didn't want to go to the barn. By the time I was 15, again this is all I ever wanted to do. It's all I've ever really done. I remember going to the fairs as a kid and our parents would give us a dollar to go to the midway. I took my dollar and bought a program and sat on the fence and watched races. They'd let me have a stopwatch once in a while and then I'd thought I'd really hit it big. KW: How did that family background influence you as you started to go on your own and do things? BB: It made all the world of difference to me because as you grow up in it, you don't realize what you learn until you go on your own. My dad and uncle taught me all the basics and I started from the bottom. I cleaned stalls for a long time before I ever got to jog a horse, and even longer before I trained. I spent one winter with (trainer) Ivan Sugg, working for him after I graduated high school. Ivan isn't a big talker, so I learned from him just by watching and him turning me loose and just going and doing it. But I never really knew what I learned there until I left. KW: You did a little driving, too, in the early years. BB: When I was younger -- and about a hundred pounds ago -- I thought that's what I wanted to do. Every kid grows up wanting to be a driver. KW: Was it hard to take that step back and say driving wasn't really for you? BB: It was because for a while I was doing pretty good. But I kind of ate my way out of that job. So I had to go back and just be a trainer. It helped me a lot because I started using David Miller and others, the best that were available, so my owners were starting to invest more money and giving me better chances. You realize how much better those other (drivers) are and how much more confidence the owners have in you as a trainer and them as a driver. Business started taking off then. KW: When was that when you made the decision? BB: Probably the early '90s. KW: So just about the time David's career was taking off. BB: Yeah. A little story, I tried to get David to drive a horse that I had in the sire stakes one time and he told me I'd do just as good a job and to do it myself. Now here it is, he's a Hall of Famer and I'm still in Ohio working every day. (Laughs.) KW: How long have you been going to Florida in the winter? BB: Five years. It's helped me a lot. It's made the horses better. The first year we went with 28 horses. The next year it was 38, then 48, then 68, and 85. When you go, you get out of Ohio in the winter, get off a frozen track, the horses stay sounder, and we've done better. And the owners see it and invest more in the horses. KW: How have you seen your stable change from the early days and how has it affected the way you do things? BB: It's led to better horses, bigger numbers, which means more work, more paperwork. My wife does a wonderful job keeping track of all that, or I'd be completely lost in this. It's just better horses and bigger responsibilities. The communication part, not only with owners -- drivers, blacksmiths, grooms, vets -- all that just keeps building. It gets tougher. But we have a lot of good people here that have my back. So far it's worked out. KW: Was last year the standout year for you so far? BB: By far. We won a couple really nice races. We just missed in the (Little Brown) Jug, which would have been unbelievable. It was a year that you go through and you're trying to figure out what you did that things were so good. KW: You brought up the Jug. How much do you still think about it? BB: It's funny. I can be on my iPad and be going through Facebook and click on a video of something and it goes to YouTube and almost every time that Jug comes up on the side (suggested videos) and I watch it. It was tough. To get beat that little, to come that close to a lifetime dream, it was tough. It took me about three days to want to come back to the barn, even though I came back every day. But once you let go of that and realize, I was second in the Jug in one of the best Jugs ever, and to stop and think that five years ago I just wanted to be in the race, to be pouting after you didn't win seemed kind of childish. I just got beat by one heck of a horse. Wiggle It Jiggleit just went a tremendous race. After you stop and think about it and all the work that went into that day, David did everything he could to win that race, you just move on and start over. KW: I'm surprised you still go back and watch it when you see it come up. BB: (Laughs.) I just can't help myself. KW: What is the plan for Lost For Words this year? BB: I'm going to dodge Wiggle It Jiggleit, Always B Miki, Rockin Ron, Freaky Feet Pete, until late in the summer. In late August or September, we might try some of those races. I didn't even stake him in all the early ones. David Miller told me not to race him hard as a 4-year-old and he'd have a great 5-year-old year. So we're going to try to do David's suggestion, but still go in a couple of those (stakes) late and give him a little chance. I try to protect him like this last year and we didn't go to the North America Cup or Meadowlands Pace. It's just too much racing in a short period of time. He's not a big horse and I didn't think he'd last. It turned out it worked for us. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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