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MANALAPAN, NJ - April 20, 2015 - The annual golf outing to benefit New Jersey harness racing horsemen will take place this year on Monday, July 13, 2015. The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey's fundraiser will once again take place at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ, featuring a round of golf, a prime rib dinner and chances for door prizes, silent auction items and a 50-50. The fee is $180 per golfer. The shotgun start is at 1 p.m., preceded by registration, starting at 11:30 a.m., and buffet lunch. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and is available to non-golfers for $75. The money raised through the golf tournament supports the SBOANJ Horsemen's Benevolent Fund and TrotPAC. The Benevolent Fund has assisted struggling New Jersey horsemen with funeral expenses, rent, medical and other essentials. Sponsorship opportunities are available, ranging from a golf hole sponsorship at $250; putting, longest drive and closest-to-the-pin contest sponsorships at $300 each; drink cart and lunch sponsorships at $500 each and dinner and hole-in-one sponsorships at $750 each. Additionally, there are four levels of playing packages: $2,000 Platinum Sponsor [eight rounds of golf, hole sponsorship with name on cover and full page ad on inside front cover of the program], $1,500 Gold [four rounds of golf, hole sponsorship and full page ad on inside front or back cover of the program], $1,000 Silver [four rounds of golf and full page ad in program] and $500 Bronze [two rounds of golf and half page ad in program]. For more information, contact Leo McNamara or Polly Hartzell at the SBOANJ office at 732-462-2357. Carol Hodes for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - January 23, 2015 - Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey President Tom Luchento and Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural met Friday, January 23, 2015 and agreed to withdraw the trainers' rewards program and suspend ABC classification racing at the Meadowlands. "We have always been willing to explore any strategy that would bring about the best possible racing at the Meadowlands," said Luchento. "Until we have slots revenue, which I feel is not far off, we have to be responsive and creative to whichever concepts will fill the entry box and provide the full, competitive fields that are the hallmark of the Meadowlands. Director of Racing Peter Koch will be issuing his condition sheets to reflect the return to condition racing. "We hope these changes are reflective of both the needs of the trainers and race office," Luchento added. "The SBOANJ and the Gural team are partners in making the Meadowlands a success and look forward to a return to the glory days of harness racing in East Rutherford." The trainers' rewards program was a preference system instituted in 2014 to provide preferences to trainers who supported the spring and summer racing programs. Carol Hodes for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ – December 27, 2014 – Sad news to report that longtime horseman Robert Sharkey has passed away. He was 60. In 2007, Sharkey was honored with the Stanley Dancer Media Award from the New Jersey Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. The Dancer Award salutes an individual for their efforts on behalf of harness racing and their cooperation with the media. At the time of the presentation, NJ-USHWA President Moira Fanning said: “He is dedicated, responsible and absolutely reliable. Whenever someone needs a horse to train a legislator or media person for an exhibition race or any other media event, Bob Sharkey can be counted on to come through. Sharkey is an absolute jewel, whose patience with newbies and inexperienced media people has made more converts to the sport of harness racing than can be counted.” Graveside services with military honors will take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at the Florida National Cemetery, 6502 Southwest 102nd Avenue, Bushnell, FL. Arrangements are by the Allen-Summerhill Funeral Home, 126 East New York Avenue, De Land, FL. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ Columbus, OH --- Arrangements have been announced for Bryce A. Truitt, 59, of Paxinos, Pa., who died Dec. 22, 2014. Friends may visit with his family from 2-3 p.m. on Sunday (Dec. 28) at the Frist Presbyterian Church, 238 Market St., Sunbury, Pa., followed by a celebration of life service at the church at 3 p.m. Mr. Truitt was born in Salisbury, Md., on February 4, 1955, a son of Norwood and the late Rhoda (Lambert) Truitt. He graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 1973 in Berlin, Md. He was a second generation horseman and started driving with his P licence in 1973. In his career, Mr. Truitt had 2,414 winning drives and his mounts banked $8,657,290. He raced up and down the east coast and was one of the leading drivers on the Maryland circuit during the 1980s. Most recently, he was active at Pennsylvania racetracks and on the Pennsylvania fair circuit. He loved racing at the fairs, talking horses/racing, playing golf, and animals. His love for animals was so great he never met one he didn’t like. He spent hours a day petting and caring for his horses, dogs and cats. Mr. Truitt is survived by Cindy (Freck) Truitt, who is also a trainer; daughter, Kristy (Fred) Reichner; grandson, Trevor Reichner; step-grandson, Alexander Reichner; father, retired driver/trainer Norwood (companion Priscilla Nock); brother, former trainer/driver Randy (Dawn); niece, Shara; nephew, Zachary; cousins, Bryan and BJ; and brothers-in-law, Scott Freck and Chris Freck. He was preceded in death by his mother, Rhoda; and nephew, Shane. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Frist Presbyterian Church, 238 Market St., Sunbury, PA 17801 or to the Van Cornish Scholarship Fund, c/o Dayton Fair, Dayton, PA 16222. From the USTA Media Department

MANALAPAN, NJ - December 23, 2014 -Harness racings Hambletonian winner Trixton will receive the 2014 Secretary of Agriculture's Trophy as New Jersey Standardbred of the Year as selected by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Trixton and Deo Volente Farms, the 2014 New Jersey Breeder of the Year and the trotter's new home, will be among the honorees at the 58th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon at 1 p.m. on January 25, 2015 at Charley's Other Brother in Eastampton Township, NJ. Trixton will begin his career as a stallion in 2015, standing at Deo Volente Farms in Franklin Township, NJ for a fee of $12,000. "We think Mike Gulotta [CEO of Deo Volente Farms] has demonstrated great foresight to stand Trixton in New Jersey," said Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association President Tom Luchento. "We hope breeders will share his faith in the future of the New Jersey program and breed their mares to Trixton." Trixton was one of three stellar three-year-old trotting colts in the stable of Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter in 2014, heading into the prestigious Hambletonian on August 2 at the Meadowlands. While his stablemates, Father Patrick and Nuncio, seemed like the stronger contenders, it was Trixton who prevailed, with Takter picking up his first Hambletonian as a driver and third as a trainer [Malabar Man in 1997 and Muscle Massive in 2010]. Nuncio was second and Father Patrick made an uncharacteristic break in stride, finishing out of contention. Trixton's sire, Muscle Hill, is a son of Muscles Yankee; all three generations are Hambletonian winners and stallions who have stood in New Jersey. Trixton's 2014 victories also included the Good Times, Simpson, Reynolds, Simcoe and the New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship. He was also honored as New Jersey Sire Stakes Horse of the Year. A $360,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, the trotter raced for the partnership of Bengt Agerup's Brixton Medical AB of Orsundsbro, Sweden and Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ. He was bred by Steve H. Stewart of Paris, KY; Martti Ala-Seppala of Hollola, Finland and John Bootsman of Ekero, Sweden. In two seasons of racing, Trixton earned $947,057, taking a mark of 1:50.3 and posting 12 wins, two seconds and two thirds in 19 career starts. For tickets to the awards luncheon, which are $35 each, contact Kim Tkacs at 609-292-8830. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ          

MANALAPAN, NJ -- December 17, 2014 - The deadline is approaching for open enrollment for the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey health insurance program for qualified drivers, trainers and grooms who are not currently insured. Eligible participants must be enrolled by December 31, 20143 to qualify for 2015 coverage. Application forms and other information are available on under the Health Insurance link. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ – December 13, 2014 – Eric Abbatiello captured his fifth driving title and Nick Surick claimed his first training title when the 2014 racing season concluded at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, December 13, 2014. Abbatiello completed the 2014 meet with 190 wins, 185 seconds and 134 thirds from 995 starts and earnings of $719,339.  “It’s been a pleasure to compete at Freehold Raceway and win the driving title the last five years,” Abbatiello said. “A special thanks to all the trainers, owners and grooms who have given me a chance to compete with their horses.” Abbatiello, 46, from East Windsor, NJ, has 1,647 career victories and nearly $11 million in earnings.  The runners-up in the driving competition at Freehold were James Marshall III with 148 wins, Stephen Smith with 127 and Vincent Ginsburg with 117. Surick collected 54 training wins during the meet toward his career total of 466. His stable also lead the way with earnings of $199,465.  “Freehold Raceway is synonymous with harness racing, and Freehold is my hometown,” said Surick, 26, from Freehold, NJ. “There is no higher honor than one being bestowed on you in your hometown. Winning the training title at Freehold Raceway was once a dream; now it’s a reality.” Vincent Fusco with 41 wins, Karen Garland with 33 wins and Julius Czermann Jr. with 31 wins were his closest challengers in the trainers’ race.  The end of the meet also marked the end of the racing career of Newsam, a 14-year-old gelding, who was honored in the winner’s circle after he won the second race. He retires with 63 victories, 49 second and 49 thirds from 313 starts, and earnings of $393,732.  He has spent most of his racing career with owner Robin Hess of Burlington, NJ and trainer Ken Hess. His final campaign also produced his most wins in a year – 10.  Freehold’s live racing season resumes on January 2, 2015 with a 110-date meet. The first qualifiers will be held on Friday, January 2 before switching to Thursday mornings. Post time for qualifiers is 9:30 a.m. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - December 12, 2014 - The Breeders Committee of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey has selected Michael Gulotta's Deo Volente Farms as the 2014 New Jersey Standardbred Breeder of the Year. Deo Volente will be among the honorees at the 58th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon at 1 p.m. on January 25, 2015 at Charley's Other Brother in Eastampton Township, NJ. Deo Volente Farms features state-of-the-art accommodations for stallions, mares and foals. Currently, it is the home to 37 mares, 25 foals and two stallions. The 120 acres of black-fenced paddocks and stabling are located in Franklin Township, NJ. It was the success of a horse named Lis Mara, the 2006 Older Pacer of the Year and earner of more than $2 million, which led to the purchase of the land on Quakertown Road, construction of the farm and the concept of horses supporting a charity which builds homes in Haiti. The newest addition to Deo Volente is 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton, who will make his debut as a trotting stallion based in New Jersey in 2015. He will share the four-horse stallion barn at Deo Volente with pacer If I Can Dream. In two seasons of racing, Trixton earned $947,057, taking his mark of 1:50.3 in the Hambletonian. Trixton is by a Hambletonian winner - Muscle Hill, whose sire, Muscles Yankee also won harness racing's richest and most prestigious trotting event for three-year-olds. Trixton will stand for a fee of $12,000 in 2015. Deo Volente, which is Latin for "God Willing," is a showcase facility which opened in 2008, featuring a striking stone entrance and bronze statuary of a romping mare and foal. The cream of the broodmare band includes BJs Canouan, Electric Fool, See and Be Seen and Yursa Hanover. Gulotta was co-breeder of 2013 Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year and New Jersey Standardbred of the Year I Luv The Nitelife, who retired with earnings of nearly $2 million. She is out of another Deo Volente broodmare of note, Lisjune. Previous New Jersey Breeder of the Year winners include three-time winner White Birch Farm, two-time winner Perretti Farms, Valley High Stables, Southwind Farms, Kentuckiana Farms, Fair Winds Farm, Walnridge Farm and Heritage Hill Farms. For tickets to the awards luncheon, which are $35 each, contact Kim Tkacs at 609-292-8830. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ  

MANALAPAN, NJ - December 2, 2014 - The New Jersey SPCA will visit the Swedesboro, NJ farm where Monica Thors is stabled today. "We wanted to share with the concerned horsemen and public, who are following this case, that we have learned that the NJ SPCA is going to the farm today to evaluate the conditions and conduct a thorough investigation into the horses in her care," said Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey President Tom Luchento. "We expect a resolution soon." By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ      

MANALAPAN, NJ - December 1, 2014 - The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey has been consulting with legislators and other officials in Trenton and feels confident that there should be a resolution to the matter of the horses being mistreated at a Swedesboro, NJ farm. "We are aware of the inhumane treatment of Standardbreds owned by Monica Thors, and we have used our contacts in state government to push for actions to remove the horses from her," said SBOANJ President Tom Luchento. "The appropriate agencies in Trenton will be moving forward to rectify this problem. We are shocked and incensed that the mistreatment of these horses has been ongoing and the issues unresolved despite previous interventions by state agencies. "We have reached out to our contacts in state government, and we are adding the pressure we can provide to the voices of many who have spoken out about this shocking incident," Luchento added. "We have been assured that there will be action and a resolution to this shortly." By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ              

MANALAPAN, NJ - November 20, 2014 - The New Jersey Racing Commission awarded 191 standardbred racing dates for 2015 with 110 dates at Freehold and 81 dates at the Meadowlands. The possibility of adding four dates to the Meadowlands live racing schedule will be addressed at the January 14, 2015 meeting of the NJRC. The Meadowlands schedule, as approved, will begin on January 2 and run through August 8 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through February 28 and Fridays and Saturdays from March 6 through August 8. The fall meet will take place on November 27-28, December 4-5, December 11-12, December 18-19 and December 26. Post time at the Meadowlands will be 7:15 p.m. except for noon on Hambletonian Day, August 8. Freehold's two meets run from January 2 through May 16 and September 4 through December 12. Racing days will be Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in January February [dark on Monday, February 23]; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from March 5 to May 16 and also September 4 through December 12 [Dark on Thursday, November 26] with the addition of live racing on Labor Day, Monday, September 7. Post time at Freehold is 12:30 p.m. Thoroughbred racing dates were awarded to Atlantic City Racecourse and Monmouth Park. Atlantic City's six dates of racing are April 23, 24, 25, 26, 28 and 29. Post time is 3 p.m. Monmouth Park's 49-day season will run from May 9 through September 7 with post time of 12:50 p.m. The Monmouth schedule will be Saturdays and Sundays for May 9 through June 28 [plus Monday, May 25 and Friday, June 26] and then Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from July 3 through September 6 [plus Labor Day, September 7]. The issue of racing Monmouth Park thoroughbred dates on the Meadowlands turf course was tabled until the January meeting of the NJRC. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - October 29, 2014 - Angels Ransom not only won the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres Final for three-year-old trotters but did so in stakes record time on Thursday, October 29, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The autumn air must agree with the gelded son of Revenue - Queen of Angels, who now has two straight wins to improve his 2014 record to five wins, three seconds and two thirds in 16 starts. George Brennan was at the lines of Angels Ransom, who crossed the wire in 1:56.4, with a last quarter in 28.3 seconds. It was five and a quarter lengths back to Choco Sun [Chocolatier] in second and Holiday Spirit [Chocolatier] in third. Angels Ransom, trained by Roland Mallar, eclipsed the Green Acres record for three-year-old gelded trotters of 1:58 set by Spat One [Malabar Man] in 2002 and bested the colt mark of 1:57 established by Watch Out [Malabar Man] in 2004. Bred and owned by Michael Andrew of Gorham, ME, Angels Ransom has banked $58,150 this year and $70,760 lifetime. The Green Acres Final was contested as a non-wagering event prior to the card. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

FREEHOLD, NJ - October 25, 2014 - Western Pioneer, making his first start for new owners, overcame a judges' inquiry to post his first career victory in the $43,000 New Jersey Futurity for two-year-old pacers, the ninth race on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. Western Pioneer, a son of Western Ideal bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, paced the mile in 1:55.1, getting up in the final strides to catch Edward Teach [Rocknroll Hanover] for a three-quarters of a length victory, his first in 12 career starts. Rock N' Roll World [Rocknroll Hanover], the Green Acres champion, was third by four and a half lengths. Dealt A Winner, the pre-race favorite, was scratched sick, leaving seven starters. Western Pioneer, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Nancy Johansson, was purchased as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale for $15,000 by Perry Soderberg of Highstown, NJ. Ownership was transferred to 3 Brothers Stables of New York City and Johansson on October 17, 2014. Sent off as the slight 2-1 favorite over Cheyenne Robin [Rocknroll Hanover], one of two fillies in the field, Western Pioneer [$6.20] made his move to the outside at the three-quarters as Edward Teach took the lead, prompting the judges' review. Western Pioneer has finished in-the-money in five of 12 starts for earnings of $72,274. The New Jersey Futurity is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Western Pioneer By Carol Hodes for SBOANJ        

In five of his six starts, Dealt A Winner has been dealt a winning hand. The gelded son of Cam’s Card Shark puts a three-race winning streak on the line in the $43,000 New Jersey Futurity for two-year-old pacers, the ninth race on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at Freehold Raceway.  The Futurity, which is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, drew eight starters, including two fillies. Dealt A Winner, trained by Edward Hart, is coupled in the wagering with Green Acres Champ Rock N’ Roll World [Rocknroll Hanover], who is conditioned by Nifty Norman.  Jeffrey Snyder of New York City owns Dealt A Winner and is partners with Three Decades Racing LLC of Moorestown, NJ on Rock N’ Roll World. The entry is rated the favorite at 6-5 on the morning line. Dealt A Winner, who has a bankroll of $119,879 posted an eight-length victory in his last start, the $100,000 Lou Babic Final at Freehold on September 27.  He has also won divisions of the Reynolds and Geers, both at Tioga Downs, and a preliminary leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes at the Meadowlands. The only flaw in his record was when he uncharacteristically went off stride at the start of the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final on July 12, rallied from ninth and still finished third. 9th Race - $43,000 New Jersey Futurity – 2yo Pacers Hd#-Post#-Horse-Sire-Driver – Trainer - ML 1-6-Dealt A Winner-Cam’s Card Shark-Jason Bartlett-Edward Hart – 6-5 1A-8-Rock N’ Roll World- Rocknroll Hanover – Steve Smith – Nifty Norman – 6-5 2-1-Cheyenne Robin [filly] – Rocknroll Hanover – Daniel Dube- Robert Siegelman – 7-2 3-2-Edward Teach- Rocknroll Hanover – George Brennan – Ron Burke -12-1 4-3-Rock Of the Ages-Rocknroll Hanover – Vincent Ginsburg – Nick Surick – 50-1 5-4-Devils Cut- Western Ideal – Jim Marshall III – Stacy Chiodo- 20-1 6-5-Western Pioneer- Western Ideal- Tim Tetrick – Nancy Johansson – 7-1 7-7-Strut My Stuff [filly] – Western Ideal – Jack Baggitt Jr. – Ross Croghan – 3-1 Green Acres third leg to Angels Ransom Angels Ransom, the runner up in his last three starts, got up at the wire for a neck victory in the $7,000 third leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. Angels Ransom, a gelded son of Revenue, trotted the mile in 1:59.1 on a track rated good. He edged out a pair of Chocolatier offspring, Choco Sun, who was second and Holiday Spirit, who was a half-length back in third. Angels Ransom, driven by Chase Vandervort and trained by Roland Mallar, races for owner-breeder Michael D. Andrew of Gorham, ME. This year, the trotter has four wins, three seconds and two thirds in 15 starts. Lifetime, he has finished in-the-money in 14 of 25 starts. Career earnings are $58,260. The $25,000 divisional final is on October 30 at Freehold. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ  

MANALAPAN, NJ - October 21, 2014 - President Tom Luchento and his slate of officers were re-elected to the Board of Directors and Anthony Perretti was selected to fill a vacancy at the monthly meeting of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey at its Manalapan office on Monday, October 20, 2014. Perretti, a former Board member, returns to fill the vacancy created in the owners' category by the death on October 1 of Robert M. Baggitt, Sr. The re-elected officers include President Thomas F. Luchento, First Vice President Edward Razzetti, Second Vice President Alfred B. Ochsner Jr., Third Vice President Mark Ford, Treasurer Dennis Lane and Secretary Anthony Romano. Also on the Board of Directors are Robert Boni, Dr. Stephen P. Dey, Michael Gulotta, Kelvin Harrison, Jacqueline Ingrassia, Dr. Richard Meirs, Mark Mullen, Paul A. Wojtowicz and the newly added Anthony Perretti. The Board Meeting was preceded by the Annual Membership Meeting. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ    

MANALAPAN, NJ - October 18, 2014 - George "The Minister of Speed" Brennan pressed Cut A Deal in a move to the lead on the final turn and drew away for a nine and three-quarter length victory in the $25,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres Final for three-year-old pacing fillies, the third race on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. Cut A Deal [$8.20] followed 1-5 favorite Fanticipation before pulling away for the victory, crossing the wire in 1:54.2, tossing in a last quarter of 28.4. Both are daughters of Rocknroll Hanover. Ideal Helen [Western Ideal] was third by 13 1/4 lengths. Cut A Deal, trained by Nick Surick, improved her record to four wins, two seconds and six thirds in 24 starts this year and has finished in-the-money in 20 of 36 career outings. The victory pushed her career bankroll to $106,295 for the JL Benson Stables Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, FL. Cut A Deal The Green Acres program has two more events in 2014 - both for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters - the third leg on October 23 and the $25,000 final on October 30. The last of the New Jersey Futurity divisions for two-year-old pacers is set for October 25, also at Freehold. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - October 16, 2014 - Sumatra made it two straight trips to the winner's circle with a two-length tally in the $25,000 New Jersey Futurity for three-year-old New Jersey-sired trotters on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The gelded son of Muscles Yankee - Lola Seelster covered the non-wagering mile in 1:57.2 with Brian Sears in the sulky. Angels Ransom [Revenue] was second with Choco Sun [Chocolatier] two and a half lengths back in third. Sumatra, trained by Tom Fanning, now has back-to-back stakes wins, having captured the Old Oaken Bucket at Delaware, OH on September 18. This year's record features three wins, two seconds and two thirds from 13 starts for earnings of nearly $170,000. Lifetime, he has finished in-the-money in 16 of 24 starts, banking $277,339. The $9,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase by Joseph Smith of Vero Beach, FL, was bred by Perretti Farms of Cream Ridge, NJ and Black Horse Racing of Lebanon, NJ. The New Jersey Futurity is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

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