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MANALAPAN, NJ - August 21, 2014 - When Freehold Raceway re-opens for its 2014 Summer/Fall Meet on Thursday, August 28, there will be a return to condition racing and the introduction of automated morning lines. "In a mutual agreement with the SBOA [Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey], we are returning to conditioned races when we re-open August 28," said Freehold's General Manager Howard Bruno. "We had some success with the ABC classified system, however, the seasonal fluctuations in horse supply made it difficult to maximize its potential." The 48-day meet [August 28 through December 13] will occupy Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays each week along with a special Labor Day card on Monday, September 1. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Overnight purses will average $40,000 daily, according to Bruno. Automated morning lines, generated by TrackMaster, will debut this meet. "Several other tracks have begun using the system and the feedback has been positive," said Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Karen Fagliarone. "We feel the automation will lead to increased accuracy and be more timely than our current system." Opening weekend includes stakes action, an opening day t-shirt giveaway, and, on Labor Day, discounted food items, autograph session and a cap giveaway. The free t-shirt will be distributed with a paid Freehold live racing program [while supplies last] on Thursday, August 28. The opening day feature is the first round of New Jersey Sire Stakes Green Acres for two-year-old trotting colts. Friday, August 29 spotlights eliminations, if needed, for the Helen Smith Trot for three-year-old fillies which has a $55,000 estimated final on September 5. Saturday, August 30 will showcase three-year-old pacing colts in Green Acres action. Two-year-old pacers, both colts and fillies, face off in opening round Green Acres on Labor Day, September 1. Labor Day is also Back to the Track, a cooperative effort by the United States Trotting Association, its member racetracks, and horsemen from coast-to-coast that combines exciting harness racing and fan-friendly promotions. Freehold's Labor Day festivities include a free Back to the Track cap with paid Freehold live program [while supplies last], 50-cent hot dogs, 50-cent sodas, drawings for a season's parking pass and Back to the Track t-shirts. Additionally, there will be a drivers' autograph session. Saturday, September 20 marks the Third Annual Open Space Pace, which starts with a morning parade of horses on Main Street in Freehold Borough, ending at Freehold Raceway where additional events will be staged, including celebrity amateur races, demonstrations, educational exhibits, great food, live harness racing, family fun activities, petting zoo, a concert and fireworks. In addition to the Green Acres stakes for New Jersey-sired two and three-year-olds, the fall schedule includes the Lou Babic Paces [September 27] and the SBOANJ-sponsored Marion Dancer Trot [September 4], Helen Smith Trot [September 5], Charles Smith Trot [September 12], Harold Dancer Trot [September 25] and New Jersey Futurities [September 6, October 10, October 16 and October 25]. Qualifiers are on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. with declarations due the prior day at 10 a.m. Fourteen baby races and qualifiers are carded for Thursday, August 21. The opening week draw schedule: Thursday, August 28 - Draw on Monday, August 25 [Declare in by 9 a.m.] Friday, August 29 - Draw on Tuesday, August 26 [Declare in by 9 a.m.] Saturday, August 30 - Draw on Wednesday, August 27 [Declare in by 9 a.m.] Monday, September 1 [Labor Day] - Draw on Thursday, August 28 [Declare in by 9 a.m.] The remainder of meet will follow Freehold's traditional draw schedule of Saturday for Thursday, Tuesday for Friday and Wednesday for Saturday. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ – August 13, 2014 – Dr. Karyn Malinowski, director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center, will be the grand marshal of the Open Space Pace & Festival Parade on September 20, 2014. The parade for the 3rd Annual Open Space Day will begin at 10 a.m. from the Hall of Records in Freehold Borough, take the marchers down Main Street and conclude at Freehold Raceway. The parade also features the Freehold High School Marching Band, the Wells Fargo Stage Coach and more than 70 New Jersey horses and riders from various equine organizations. The Open Space Pace & Festival, which debuted in 2012, was conceived as a way to raise awareness about the relationship between the racing and breeding industry with the preservation of open space in the state of New Jersey. In addition to the parade, the festivities include a petting zoo, educational exhibits, live harness racing, a concert and fireworks – all at Freehold Raceway. There will be equine and agricultural displays, a mare and foal exhibit, food trucks, a blacksmiths contest and a Medieval Times demonstration. The post-racing concert features The Nerds and, as the opening act, the Eddie Testa Band. Opportunities for corporate parties, family reunions or other social gatherings, as well as sponsorships on Open Space Pace & Festival Day are still available. Thus far, more than $28,000 has been donated to equine and agricultural non-profits. The event raises funds from sponsorships, ad journal sales, tailgate space sales and vendor booth sales. For more information contact Brett Taft at 732-577-4059. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 31, 2014 - If the pieces all fall into place, the connections of Western Vintage could be sipping champagne on Saturday. the son of Western Ideal is making his return to the races, after being sidelined since late June, in the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic, the fourth of 15 races on the Hambletonian Day program on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at the Meadowlands. The New Jersey Classic and its filly companion event, the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey for fillies, are restricted to New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers. Both events are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. In a well-balanced field, Western Vintage is rated the 5-2 second choice [Doo Wop Hanover is 9-5] and will leave from post two with Brian Sears at the lines. Last season, Western Vintage won five of eight races and earned $316,838. His victories included the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship for two-year-old pacing colts and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at the Red Mile. He finished second in the $648,850 Metro Pace at Mohawk. This all marked the bargain colt - he cost only $7,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale - as a potential divisional star at three. Health issues, however, detoured Western Vintage after four starts this spring. "We gave him a break after the Hempt [on June 21] for a couple of reasons," said Perry Soderberg, the colt's co-owner. "One, because he had some really tough races up to that point, and two, his blood work wasn't perfect so we needed some time to improve that. It is a long year and another year after this one, so we want to take care of the horse." Western Vintage opened his 2014 campaign with a New Jersey Sire Stakes win in 1:49.4 on May 17 at the Meadowlands and a week later was second to Doo Wop Hanover in the $100,000 final. Then it was on the road to Mohawk Raceway for the North America Cup elims [he finished fourth] and to Pocono for the Hempt [he was eighth]. Trainer Nancy Johansson qualified Western Vintage twice in July, including a 1:50.3 clocking and five and a half length victory on July 19 in the hands of new pilot Brian Sears. "Well, Yannick [Gingras, who previously drove the colt] has been great, but he has [Jimmy] Takter's and [Ron] Burke's horses to choose from down the road, and they have been better than mine so far this year," Soderberg explained. "I know Brian has JK Endofanera and other options as well, but I am thankful that he wants to drive him now. "All in all, I thought it was time to get the horse used to different drivers," he added. "He has been a bit tricky to drive, but he better get used to different drivers; that's how this business works." Swedish-born Soderberg, who has been evaluating horses since 1986, usually picks out yearlings for others, primarily trainer Jimmy Takter and his owners. But when no one wanted Western Vintage, he purchased the colt for himself for $7,000. Marvin Katz of Toronto bought an interest last October. With $53,890 earned this year, Western Vintage now has a bankroll of $370,728. "Western Vintage is coming in to this race in good shape," said Soderberg. "He qualified well, and I think he is the type of horse that can race good after a break." Post time on Saturday, August 2, 2014 is 12 noon with gates opening at 10 a.m. Admission is $5. The $1 million Hambletonian [Race 13] and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks [Race 12] and the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot will be featured on the live television broadcast from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network [for Channel Finder - www.cbssportsnework.com]. The program will be hosted by Gary Seibel, Dave Brower and Justin Horowitz. The fields for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey with post, horse, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: Race 4 - $225,000 ANTHONY ABBATIELLO NEW JERSEY CLASSIC 1-Doo Wop Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Steve Elliott - 9-5 2-Western Vintage - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nancy Johansson - 5-2 3-Rockeyed Optimist - Rocknroll Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Steve Elliott - 20-1 4-Buckwacker - Rocknroll Hanover - David Miller - Chris Ryder - 9-2 5-Sweet Rock - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Wayne Given - 20-1 6-Dancin Hill - Rocknroll Hanover - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna - 10-1 7-Rock Out - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 15-1 8-Card Shock- Cam's Card Shark - George Brennan - Mark Silva - 20-1 9-Beat The Drum - Tell All - Ron Pierce - Staffan Lind - 6-1 10-Rocknroll Reality - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 12-1 Race 3 - $100,000 THOMAS D'ALTRUI MISS NEW JERSEY 1-Ideal Helen - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller - 10-1 2-Act Now - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nikolas Drennan - 3-1 3-Gettingreadytoroll - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 2-1 4-My Lady Day - Western Ideal - David Miller - Joe Holloway - 15-1 5-Surfside Sexy - Rocknroll Hanover - Ron Pierce - Ron Burke - 20-1 6-Cut A Deal - Rocknroll Hanover - George Brennan - Nick Surick - 20-1 7-Blixtra - Rocknroll Hanover - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 9-2 8-Highland Rockstar - Rocknroll Hanover - Mike Lachance - Buzzy Sholty - 20-1 9-Rockingcam Park - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Ron Coyne Jr. - 8-1 10- Kate Can't Wait - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Ross Croghan - 6-1 By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ  

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 30, 2014 - Saturday's Hambletonian Day 15-race card at the Meadowlands is loaded with rich stakes worth nearly $3.6 million in purse money, including the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic and its filly companion race, the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey. The two stakes for New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers are early in the card - the third race for the Miss New Jersey and the fourth race for the New Jersey Classic - and have the possibility of being two of the most contentious and bettor-friendly events, with no prohibitive favorites. Racing conditions for the two stakes were amended to eliminate eliminations. The finals are limited to the 10 highest lifetime money-winning horses in the entry box. To further sweeten the pot, even those who do not share in the top five purse distribution will not go home empty-handed. The connections of the New Jersey Classic colts finishing sixth through 10 will receive $1,500 each while the connections of the Miss New Jersey fillies will receive $1,000 each. "We are very pleased that we have full and competitive fields for both stakes, in fact, 11 entered in each with 10 going postward," said Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey [SBOANJ], which sponsors the two races. "We feel stallions will return to New Jersey once we have casino-infused purses, a likelihood in the next few years, but for now we are trying our best to make it worthwhile for breeders to support our program and owners to buy New Jersey-sired offspring with the opportunity to compete in such events as the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey," Luchento added. Post time on Saturday, August 2, 2014 is 12 noon with gates opening at 10 a.m. Admission is $5. The $1 million Hambletonian [Race 13] and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks [Race 12] and the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot will be featured on the live television broadcast from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network [for Channel Finder - www.cbssportsnework.com]. The program will be hosted by Gary Seibel, Dave Brower and Justin Horowitz. The fields for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey with post, horse, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: Race 4 - $225,000 ANTHONY ABBATIELLO NEW JERSEY CLASSIC 1-Doo Wop Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Steve Elliott - 9-5 2-Western Vintage - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nancy Johansson - 5-2 3-Rockeyed Optimist - Rocknroll Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Steve Elliott - 20-1 4-Buckwacker - Rocknroll Hanover - David Miller - Chris Ryder - 9-2 5-Sweet Rock - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Wayne Given - 20-1 6-Dancin Hill - Rocknroll Hanover - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna - 10-1 7-Rock Out - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 15-1 8-Card Shock- Cam's Card Shark - George Brennan - Mark Silva - 20-1 9-Beat The Drum - Tell All - Ron Pierce - Staffan Lind - 6-1 10-Rocknroll Reality - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 12-1   Race 3 - $100,000 THOMAS D'ALTRUI MISS NEW JERSEY 1-Ideal Helen - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller - 10-1 2-Act Now - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nikolas Drennan - 3-1 3-Gettingreadytoroll - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 2-1 4-My Lady Day - Western Ideal - David Miller - Joe Holloway - 15-1 5-Surfside Sexy - Rocknroll Hanover - Ron Pierce - Ron Burke - 20-1 6-Cut A Deal - Rocknroll Hanover - George Brennan - Nick Surick - 20-1 7-Blixtra - Rocknroll Hanover - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 9-2 8-Highland Rockstar - Rocknroll Hanover - Mike Lachance - Buzzy Sholty - 20-1 9-Rockingcam Park - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Ron Coyne Jr. - 8-1 10- Kate Can't Wait - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Ross Croghan - 6-1 By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 26, 2014 - John McDermott, Jennifer Lauer and Maja Bown, selected as winners of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey Scholarships for 2014, received their plaques and checks in winner's circle ceremonies at the Meadowlands on Friday, July 25, 2014. Each received $2,500. Making the presentations were SBOANJ directors Ed Razzetti and Dennis Lane along with Backstretch Community Assistance Program [BCAP] Executive Director Chris Samaha. John McDermott of Lyndhurst, NJ, recently completed his first year at the University of Florida in Gainesville where he is pursuing a degree in business administration. Jennifer Lauer of Hightstown, NJ attends East Stroudsburg University and aspires to be a veterinarian. Maja Bown, a graduate of West Orange High School, will be attending the University of New Hampshire in the fall.  

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 18, 2014 - A late afternoon summer storm failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the 110 golfers who competed at the 19th Annual SBOANJ Golf Outing & Fundraiser on July 14, 2014 at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ. A total of 125 golfers and banquet attendees feasted on a prime rib dinner. Numerous door prizes were distributed along with presentations for golfing prowess. Best foursome honors went to Kunz Equine Team of Simon Spicer, Mike Seddon, Shannon Murphy and Johnny Pregman. The "most honest" foursome award went to Jim Hogan, Jesse Johnson, John Hynes and Frank VanWie. Longest drive-prizes went to Hannah Miller, who won Kindle Fire tablet, and Jeff Bamond Jr., who received a Boze Bluetooth speaker Closest to the Pin was Simon Spicer from of the Kunz Equine Team, who won a 32-inch HD TV. Putting contest honors - and $145 - went to Kelly Breen. Frank Lomangino won the drawing for a Track Trainer jog cart, which was donated by Allen Eggert of Pennsbury Enterprises. The 50-50 winner was Garrett Federico, whose share was $895. Sponsorships, key to the fund raising effort which benefits New Jersey's standardbred horsemen in need, were provided at several levels. The overall tournament sponsors were Shay Cowan of Katz/Pierz, and Thomas Cordovano and John Macri of the La Ferla Group. At the Gold Level, the donors were the Meadowlands Racetrack; Drucker, Math & Whitman CPAs; Berman, Gara & Rutsky Group/UBS Financial Services; Joie de Vie Farms and Rollermagic Roller Rinks. At the Silver Level, the donors were Showplace Farms, Gaitway Farms, Federico's Landscape Design, Santoro & Santoro [Dennis Dowd], Valley High Stables, Freehold Raceway, Eposimato Stable, Mark Ford Training Stable, Nick Salenetri, Aetna/Meritain Health, Hambletonian Society and Val D'Or Farms. At the Bronze Level, the donors are Advocacy Management Group, Network Security Group, New Jersey Community Bank, Chris Ryder and Nick Surick. Additional fundraising was accomplished through the donation of goods and services by Bluestone Farms, Deo Volente Farm, Gambler Ridge Golf Club, Ellen Harvey, Meadowbrook Industries, Makefield Highlands Golf Club, Northwood Bloodstock, Pennsbury Enterprises, Reynolds Hay & Straw/Tribute Equine Nutrition, Rick's Saddle Shop/Purina, Baker Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram and Newport Graphics. Dinner, lunch and competition awards were underwritten by Martin Scharf, Deo Volente Farm, Berman, Gara & Rutsky, Electric Battery Company, Network Security Group, Nick Surick, Marc and Marcia Goldberg and Green Acquisition Corp. Hole sponsors were Berman Gara & Rutsky, John and Paula Campbell, Drucker, Math & Whitman, Thomas J. Durkin/ Joseph Spadaro, Green Acquisition Corp, Joie de Vie Farms, Katz/Pierz, La Ferla Group, Meadowlands Racetrack, Andy Miller, Ervin Miller Stable, Network Security Group, Rollermagic Roller Rinks and Suydam Insurance Agency. The SBOANJ golf outing is co-chaired by SBOANJ directors Ed Razzetti and Bob Baggitt Sr. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 10, 2014 - The quartet of $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for two-year-olds are gems in a star-studded 13-race program, including the Meadowlands Pace, on Saturday night, July 12, 2014 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. It is early in the campaign of these two-year-olds but already some of the divisional standouts are beginning to emerge. Among the trotters - with 10 colts and geldings carded in the first race and seven fillies in the second race - the Muscles Yankee colt French Laundry has already distinguished himself with a stakes record equaling 1:56 flat mile two weeks ago in the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. The Jimmy Takter trainee, who will be driven by Takter, matched the mark set by Yankee Glide in 1996. He is rated 5-2 in the morning line, leaving from the rail. A $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, he races for Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ and Ontario-based John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The Takter Stable also sends out Canepa Hanover [2-1 from post three] and Falk On Hill [15-1 from post nine], both sons of Muscle Hill. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Canepa Hanover, the odds on choice in a division of last week's second leg, broke stride and finished last after winning a baby race by nearly 19 lengths in 1:56.1. Guess Whos Back by Muscles Yankee won that race in 1:57 and will once again be partnered with Brian Sears, leaving from post five and rated 7-2 in the morning line. Only seven fillies will go to the gate in their division, six of which are daughters of Muscle Hill, including 4-5 favorite Mission Brief and 2-1 second choice Saturday Mornings. Mission Brief, driven by Gingras and trained by Ron Burke, posted a stakes record 1:55.1, winning last week's second leg by nine and three-quarter lengths over Saturday Mornings. She eclipsed Act Of Grace [1995] and Southwind Cocoa [2012] who shared the 1:55.3 New Jersey Sire Stakes record. A $150,000 Lexington Selected yearling purchase, she is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Saturday Mornings, driven by David Miller and trained by Joe Holloway, won an opening round split after Mission Brief broke stride, and was second in their rematch last week. Owned by Bluestone Farms of Hopewell, NJ, she was a $32,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase. The New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals bracket the card with the pacing colts and geldings occupying the 11th race and the pacing fillies the final event on the 13-race card. In the colts division, Dealt A Winner by Cam's Card Shark captured both of his preliminary leg starts, Artspeak by Western Ideal won his debut appearance last week and Weapons Dealer, also by Western Ideal, scored two weeks ago. They are the linesmaker's top choices. Dealt A Winner, driven by Miller and trained by Ed Hart, leaves from post four and is rated 5-2. A $35,000 Harrisburg yearling owned by Jeffrey Snyder, who raced his sire, Dealt A Winner won his first start on the front end in 1:52.4 and his second from off the pace in 1:53.4. Artspeak, who debuted last week and won by two and a quarter lengths in 1:53.3, is a Tony Alagna-trainee entrusted to driver Scott Zeron. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, he is co-owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In the Gym Partners. He drew post eight and is 3-1 in the morning line. Weapons Dealer, a 1:54.2 winner, starts from post seven with Brett Miller driving for trainer Isaac Waxman. He was a $10,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase from the White Birch Farm consignment for Brenda Waxman and Aaron Waxman. He is listed at 7-2 in the field of 10. The fillies close out the card with nine hopefuls, including Stacia Hanover, 2-1 in the early line from post six, with Zeron at the lines. The Western Ideal filly, trained by Steve Elliott, has won both of her New Jersey Sire Stakes starts, banking $37,750 for Ohioans David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio, who acquired her for $35,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. The Saturday night card at the Meadowlands has an early post time of 6:30 p.m. It features seven Grand Circuit stakes in addition to the four New Jersey Sires Stakes Finals, with total purses in excess of $2.5 million. The $776,000 Meadowlands Pace will be broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network from 9-10 p.m. and the whole card will be featured on the TVG Network. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 5, 2014 - Mark Mullen of Fair Winds opened the doors to his Cream Ridge, NJ farm on Sunday, June 29, 2014 and thinks the event has already yielded favorable feedback. "That's a home run," said Mullen of the three-hour program that drew nearly 300 visitors for a tour of the Hogan Equine Clinic, a blacksmith demonstration and the opportunity to see the Fair Winds mares and foals, retired racehorse Independent Act and the uniquely white pacer named White Bliss among other highlights. "It was my hope to get young people exposed to the horses and to try and make a connection between the farm and the racetrack," said Mullen, a director of both the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Sire Stakes. "So we invited the Rutgers Equine Science Center, 4-H, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation [HHYF] and the Future Farmers of America. The FFA student/volunteers were a big help for us. I don't think we could have had the event without their help. Of course, we had a beautiful summer day as well." The feedback has already been positive. "The leader from the 4-H wrote to ask me how the kids could contact their state representatives because her kids are very interested in preserving open space and want to write letters to their legislators," Mullen explained. "The same group also participates in the Open Space Pace parade [in Freehold on September 20]. "I've heard that the HHYF had two kids sign up for the camp at Gaitway Farm this month," he added. "One young girl followed my secretary around for part of the day wanting to know everything about the horses, and how she could get involved. And after the tour and demonstration, I overheard one young lady saying she wanted to be like Dr Hogan. "No matter what happens, that day's experience on the farm, with the horses, made a difference to some of the visitors," the Fair Winds president noted. "That's a home run!" "To me, the most important thing was the young kids that were here and that many of the visitors were new to horses," he said. "Beyond that, the groups and individuals that are going to take interest in harness horses or open space as a result of their visit are just great. I could not have asked for a better outcome." Not surprisingly, the first question is will there be a Fair Winds Farm Open House 2? "Everyone was excited to try it again," Mullen said. "Hopefully we could have the same weather, but I would consider another year. I think we could improve on some things and perhaps offer additional demonstrations, etc. We'll see..." by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 4, 2014 -- Guess Whos Back benefited from a quarter-mile duel between Stonebridge Force and Canepa Hanover to win the $40,500 second round New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Friday, July 4, 2014 in the second race at the Meadowlands. In the $39,500 filly division, the fourth race, Mission Brief trotted a stakes record 1:55.1. In the colts' race, Stonebridge Force [Muscle Hill] and driver Ake Svanstedt would not relinquish the lead and the rail to 1-5 favorite Canepa Hanover [Muscle Hill] as the two battled down the backstretch. Early in the turn for home Canepa Hanover broke stride, leaving Stonebridge Force on a clear lead until Brian Sears, who won both ends of the early daily double, sent Guess Whos Back sprinting in the stretch. The son of Muscles Yankee - Shes Gone Again took the lead in the final eighth and clocked a career best 1:57 flat, last quarter in 29 seconds, winning by a length and a half over Stonebridge Force. Guess Whos Back returned $12.60 to win. Falk On Hill [Muscle Hill], entrymate to Canepa Hanover, saved the bridge-jumpers, finishing third by eight and three-quarter lengths. Guess Whos Back, a $90,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase, was making his second career start, having broken stride in last week's opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. The Nikolas Drennan trainee picked up the winner's share of $20,250 for owners Joseph Davino of Clarksburg, NJ and Brad Shackman of Calgary, Alberta. He was bred by Diamond Creek Farm of Kentucky and Melvin Hartman of Ontario. Mission Brief, who broke stride early in last week's first leg, was carefully timed to the starting gate by driver Yannick Gingras and had the lead from first call to the finish line. The 3-5 favorite Saturday Mornings was second by nine and three-quarter lengths. It was 12 and a half lengths to Demons N Diamonds in third. All three top finishers are daughters of Muscles Hill. Mission Brief clicked off fractions of 27.3, 56.2 and 125.1 before stopping the clock at 1:55.1, eclipsing the stakes record of 1:55.3 shared by Act of Grace [1995] and Southwind Cocoa [2012]. The Ron Burke trainee, out of the Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena, paid $7.20 to win. It was the filly's first win in two starts, earning $19,750 for the partnership of Burke Racing Stable of Fredericktown, PA; Our Horse Cents Stables of Clifton Park, NY; J&T Silva Stables of Long Beach, NY and Weaver Bruscemi of Canonsburg, PA. The $150,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase was bred by Steve Stewart of Kentucky, Black Creek Farm of Indiana and Andrea Lea Racing Stables of Quebec. A quartet of $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for two-year-olds is scheduled for Saturday, July 12, 2014, sharing the card with the finals of the Meadowlands Pace, Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer, Del Miller, William R. Haughton and Golden Girls. The $30,000 Free For All Handicap for pacing mares featured a quintet of mares prepping for the Golden Girls next week.  It was one of those five, in fact, odds-on favorite Shebestingin who scored a neck victory over a very game Mattie Terror Girl in 1:50.3.  Jerseylicious established the early pace but was quickly shuffled back through a quarter of 26.4 and a half-mile in a rapid 53.2.  Mattie Terror Girl made a steady grind to the lead and turned for home with the lead through three-quarters of 1:21.1.  ‘Mattie dug in, but simply could not hold off the classy Shebestingin who scored the victory for Dave Miller.  Both mares look poised as major contenders in the Golden Girls on Pace night.  Charisma Hanover finished a solid third. The winner is owned by Val D’Or Farms, Theodore Gewertz and L&L Devisser LLC and is conditioned by Joe Holloway. The following race, a C-1/B-2 Handicap saw Aunt Caroline make her 2014 debut a winning one, scoring a sharp 1:51.3 victory.  Aunt Caroline is also Golden Girls eligible and figures to go postward in that event on Pace night as well. Racing returns on Saturday with a special post time of 6:30 P.M.  The Saturday program is a blockbuster, featuring two eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, the $484,450 Hambletonian Maturity, an elimination for the Mistletoe Shalee and New Jersey Sire Stakes action.  The past performances for the Saturday program can be found free at http://meadowlandsracetrack.com/uploadedFiles/Handicapping/Past_Performances/mxx0705e%5B1%5D.pdf. There will also be a spectacular fireworks show following the live racing program. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ  

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 2, 2014 - Rob Pennington, an award-winning caretaker and activist for Standardbred causes, has been named assistant racing secretary and program director for Freehold Raceway, effective August 2014. The Freehold meet begins on Thursday, August 28, 2014. Pennington, a 34-year-old Ohio-native who currently lives in Allentown, NJ, was honored as the Harness Tracks of America Caretaker of the Year in 2013 and has been a groom for the Noel Daley Stable since 2009. "I am very excited [about this new challenge]," said Pennington. "I wanted to stay in the standardbred business yet put myself out there in a position where I could better myself and the business. I am extremely passionate about the standardbred industry as well as the breed." Pennington is on the board of directors of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization [SPHO] and has volunteered his services to the Open Space Pace Committee, the Riding Under Saddle program and the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. "I've worked with Rob on several committees, and I know how passionate he is about the industry," said Karen Fagliarone, Freehold's director of racing and racing secretary. "Although he has never had any race office experience, he is a quick learner. Aside from assisting in the race office in the mornings, he will be the attendant in the winner's circle and will expand our social media sites in the afternoons." Peter J. Iovino, the former assistant racing secretary at Freehold, accepted a position as racing secretary for Saratoga Harness. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 1, 2014 - John McDermott, Jennifer Lauer and Maja Bown have been selected to receive the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey Scholarships for 2014. Each will receive $2,500 and will be honored in winner's circle ceremonies at the Meadowlands. John McDermott of Lyndhurst, NJ is the son of John and Nancy McDermott and was a 2013 SBOANJ Scholarship recipient. The Bergen County Academies graduate recently completed his first year at the University of Florida in Gainesville where he is pursuing a bachelors in science degree in business administration. The Dean's List student has spent his summers grooming horses for his father's stable, has volunteered for the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and worked to clean up fallen trees in Rockaway, NJ after Super Storm Sandy. Jennifer Lauer of Hightstown, NJ was a four-year honor roll student and captain of the Hightstown swim team and is currently competing on the college level. The daughter of trainer Bruce Lauer of Cranbury and horsemen's bookkeeper Marie Lauer of Hightstown has a twin sister named Stephanie. Lauer attends East Stroudsburg University which she has received the student athlete award for her grades and participation in intercollegiate sports. Her goal is to become a veterinarian and work with wild animals at Six Flags Wild Safari Park. Maja Bown, a graduate of West Orange High School, will be attending the University of New Hampshire in the fall. She plans to combine her interest in science and nutrition with a major in dietetics. Bown, who has an older sister, Jessica, lost both of her parents in 2007. Horse trainer John Bown passed away in January and his wife, Nancy, who also worked with the stable, passed away in July. Donna and Jim Marshall stepped in to help the girls through their difficult loss. Maja assists the Marshall Stable on weekends and summers. "Being close to the horses brings me great comfort," she said. All three honorees will receive checks and plaques at an evening at the track this summer. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 27, 2014 - French Laundry took the rest of the field to the cleaners, coasting to a five and three-quarter length victory in the $39,000 opening round of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for two-year-old harness racing trotting colts and geldings, the first race on Friday, June 27, 2014 at the Meadowlands. The Muscles Yankee colt, out of the Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi, trotted the mile in 1:56 flat, equaling the stakes record set by Yankee Glide in 1996. The 3-5 favorite, under a confident hand-drive by Yannick Gingras, won his pari-mutuel debut, paying $3.20, following up on a two-for-two record in baby races. The Jimmy Takter trainee was a $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase by Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ and Ontario-based John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. In the battle for second, True Blue [Muscle Hill], with Tim Tetrick driving, got up and Broken Record [Muscles Yankee], with Ron Pierce, held on for third by nine lengths. Saturday Mornings, driven by David Miller, collected top money in the $38,500 New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies in the fifth race. It was a wire-to-wire effort for 6/5 Saturday Mornings [$4.40] who trotted the mile in 1:57.2, finishing a length and three-quarters ahead of Demons N Diamonds. Southwind Cartier was third by two and three-quarter lengths. Trained by Joe Holloway, Saturday Mornings was a $32,000 Lexington Selected Sale yearling purchase for Bluestone Farms of Hopewell, NJ. Mission Brief, the 4/5 favorite broke early and finished last. All seven of the starters were daughters of Muscle Hill NJSS PACING DIVISIONS TO STACIA HANOVER, DEALT A WINNER, CASHAWAY & WEAPONS DEALER Stacia Hanover by Western Ideal popped out of the pocket in the stretch and out-sprinted the pacesetter The Show Returns for a half- length victory in the $25,500 first division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies in the third race. Driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Steve Elliott, Stacia Hanover paced the mile in 1:59.1, with a last quarter in 25.4 seconds, after The Show Returns [Rocknroll Hanover], with Brian Sears driving, cut slow, unpressured fractions. Rocknroll Allnight [Rocknroll Hanover], rough in the stretch, survived an inquiry, finishing third by nine lengths. Stacia Hanover, sent off at 3-5, paid $3.20. She was a $35,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase for David Van Duse of Madison, OH and Michael Cimaglio of Lyndhurst, OH. In the second $25,500 filly pacing division, the 11th race, 3-5 Cashaway [$3.40] held off challenges from Ideal Nuggets [Western Ideal] and Smart Zone [Rocknroll Hanover] to win in 1:55 flat. Tim Tetrick guided Cashaway, a daughter of Western Ideal out of the proven producer CPA, to the neck victory with a half-length to Smart Zone in third. The Tony Alagna trainee was a $105,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase. She is owned by her co-breeder, Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY, in partnership with Marvin Katz of Toronto, Ontario. Dealt A Winner [$8.20} paced a New Jersey Sire Stakes record for two-year-old geldings when he stopped the clock in 1:52.4 in the ninth race, the $27,000 first division for pacing colts and geldings. David Miller brushed the Cam's Card Shark gelding from sixth to the lead down the backstretch, taking command from Western Pioneer, the 4/5 favorite, and would not be caught, winning by a length and a quarter. Hurrikane Ali gained ground in the stretch to finish second while Ticket To Roll was three and a half lengths back in third. Both are sons of Rocknroll Hanover. Dealt A Winner, trained by Edward Hart and owned by Jeff Snyder of New York City, was a $35,000 Harrisburg Sale yearling purchase. The 1:52.4 mile eclipsed the gelding mark of 1:53 shared by Fancy Creek Storm [1997] and Western Ace [2005]. In the 12th race, the $27,000 second division for pacing colts and geldings, Weapons Dealer by Western Ideal had the ammunition in the stretch to post a length and a half victory over Too Darn Hot [Rocknroll Hanover] in 1:54.2. Mr Censi [Cam's Card Shark] was four and a half lengths back in third. Brett Miller was in the sulky for the victory. Isaac Waxman trains for Brenda Waxman of Dundas, Ontario and Aaron Waxman of Burlington, Ontario, who acquired the White Birch Farm-bred colt for $10,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. By Carol Hodes, SBOANJ and Darin Zoccali  

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 25, 2014 - Hope springs eternal as two-year-old New Jersey-sired pacers and trotters make their first career starts on Friday night, June 27, 2014 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Eight trotting colts - five sons of Muscles Yankee and three by Muscle Hill - will make their debuts in the second race, the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, vying for a purse of $39,000. Seven trotting fillies, all by Muscle Hill, will go postward in the $38,500 fifth race. Two divisions of pacing colts and geldings, each worth $27,000, are carded as the ninth and 12th races on the 14-race card. In the first split, there are six sons of Rocknroll Hanover, two by Cam's Card Shark and one by Western Ideal. In the second division, five are by Rocknroll Hanover, and two each by Cam's Card Shark and Western Ideal. Two-year-old pacing fillies are competing in a pair of $25,500 divisions, races three and 11, and include seven by Rocknroll Hanover and five by Western Ideal. Yearling prices do not guarantee great racehorses but expectations will be high for the six entrants who cost $100,000 or more as yearlings. Among the trotters, they are French Laundry, a $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase trained by Jimmy Takter and winner in both of his baby races, including a 1:57.3 clocking on June 14. The son of Muscles Yankee is out of the $927,169-earner and Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi, who is also the dam of The Franchise and King City. French Laundry races for Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding and co-breeders Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. True Blue Stride, a Muscle Hill son of Sabrina Hall, cost $160,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. He is the three-quarter brother of He's A Demon, who banked more than $300,000. Mark Harder trains for Australians Emilio and Maria Rosati. The filly Mission Brief, trained by Ron Burke, was a $150,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. The daughter of Muscle Hill is out of Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena and won her last baby race by 23 lengths in 1:57.4. On the pacing side, Richard and Joanne Young have invested $180,000 [Lexington Selected Sale] in The Show Returns by Rocknroll Hanover out of Stienam's Place and turned her over to trainer Chris Ryder. The Youngs campaigned her $2.4 million earning full sister Put On A Show. Tony Alagna is training Cashaway for Brittany Farms [co-breeder] and Marvin Katz, after the Western Ideal -CPA filly passed through the Lexington Selected sales ring for $105,000. She is the full sister to two who have won in excess of $250,000 each, Authorize and Act Now, and has won a baby race in 1:55.4. The Rocknroll Hanover colt Sid Rock is the first foal of My Fantasy, who earned nearly $345,000. He was a $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase for William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick and is trained by John Butenschoen. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 13, 2014 - Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande [R-11th District] from Colts Neck, NJ defeated three other New Jersey lawmakers in the 2014 Legislators Race, an exhibition event between the first and second races on Friday night, June 13, 2014 at the Meadowlands Racetrack.   While Casagrande was the first across the wire, Senator Dick Codey [D-27th District] was the first to make the appeal for the future of the Meadowlands.   "You need to do everything you can to get slots here at the Meadowlands," Codey said from the winner's circle at the Meadowlands. "Call your legislators and demand it, demand it!"   The quartet of legislators overcame sloppy conditions and showers as they toured the one-mile oval in double-seat jog carts, paired with top drivers at the Meadowlands.   Casagrande, who was teamed with Corey Callahan, stopped the clock in 2:09.2.   Finishing second, about five lengths back, was Codey, partnered with Yannick Gingras, who edged out Assemblyman Ralph Caputo [D-28th District], sharing the two-seater with David Miller. Assemblyman Ron Dancer [R-12th District], a former professional driver-trainer and son of Hall of Famer Stanley Dancer, was coupled with John Campbell and finished fourth.   "As the only female in the race, my main goal was not to finish last," said Casagrande. "I was pretty pumped to win it."   She attributed her success to the talent of her partner, Corey Callahan, and the coincidence of them both sharing the same initials - CC.   Each of the legislators was racing on behalf of a charity with $1,000 to the winner's charity and $500 to each of the other three charities.   Casagrande raced on behalf of the Ashley Lauren Foundation, Codey for the Codey Fund for Mental Health, Caputo for the American Cancer Society and Dancer for the Hornerstown Baptist Church.   by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ  

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 11, 2014 - The famous blue and gold colors of Hall of Fame driver-trainer Stanley Dancer will be back on the track Friday night, June 13, 2014 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Dancer's son, Ronald, a former driver-trainer, will don his late father's colors in an exhibition race, the 2014 Legislators Pace, facing off against three other legislators. Assemblyman Ron Dancer [R-12th District] will take on Senator Richard Codey [D-27th District], Assemblyman Ralph Caputo [D-28th District] and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande [R-11th District] in a race for charity. The winner's charity will receive $1,000 while the charities for the other three competitors will receive $500 each. The one-mile competition will take place between the first and second races. The legislators will compete in two-seater jog carts with Codey, Caputo and Casagrande each teamed with one of the Meadowlands' top drivers. Dancer will race solo. "I am coming out of retirement for this race and will be wearing my dad's silks, which I am borrowing from the New Egypt Historical Museum, where there is a wing in honor of my dad," Dancer said. "When I was racing, I always wore dad's silks, and I am really looking forward to placing Stanley Dancer's blue and gold silks back on the racetrack." Ron Dancer posted more than 400 career driving victories in the 1970s and 1980s before switching careers. He has been a member of the New Jersey legislature since 2002 and was mayor of Plumsted Township from 1990 to 2011. Dancer noted that there were a lot of similarities to his current life as a legislator compared to his life as a horseman, especially in terms of long hours. "As a state legislator in New Jersey, you represent about 220,000 constituents residing in your district that want to meet and speak with you during the day, and you have to be at the State House Capitol for voting sessions," he explained. "In the evenings, legislators have events and speaking engagements to attend. Also, just as in horse racing, both professions are seven days and nights a week. The weekends are prime time days and evenings to be at your job. "Political races are so expensive and, like it is in horse racing, it costs thousands to prepare and compete in the race with no guarantees on the results," he added. The Dancer family farm, Egyptian Acres, was located in the Plumsted community of New Egypt. Stanley Dancer campaigned many of the top horses of the 1960s through 1990s. As a driver, he posted 3,781 career victories for more than $28 million in purses. Stanley Dancer, voted into the harness racing Hall of Fame in 1969, passed away on September 8, 2005 and was buried in his racing silks in a cemetery that overlooks Freehold Raceway. "Dad will be looking down with such a smile to see his still familiar blue and gold colors back on the racetrack and on his son," Dancer mused. Dancer is racing for the Hornerstown Baptist Church in Upper Freehold Township, NJ. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 9, 2014 - New Jersey's standardbred horsemen will celebrate June, the Month of the Horse in New Jersey, with donations of the new book, Standardbred Old Friends; a personal appearance by the retired racehorse Indy and an open house at Fair Winds Farm. The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey is donating 20 copies of Standardbred Old Friends, featuring the work of award-winner equine photographer Barbara Livingston and text by racing writer Ellen Harvey of Freehold, NJ, to New Jersey regional and consortium libraries as well as local libraries in communities located near racetracks and training centers. Standardbred Old Friends portrays 43 horses, from age 19 to 37. Some became multimillionaire world champions but most have more modest racing credentials, moving on to retirement or second careers, including as pleasure and show horses or mounts for law enforcement. The book's 153 photos and 43 stories were selected from thousands of photos and 150 interviews. The Monmouth County Library System has a series of events at its various locations, including a personal appearance by Independent Act - aka Indy - who made the successful transition from racehorse to show competitor under the care of his owner, Suzanne D'Ambrose of Neptune, NJ. Indy will be at the Library Headquarters, 125 Symmes Drive in Manalapan, on Monday, June 30, 2014 at 6 p.m. The well-mannered trotter will meet the public, accept carrots and horse treats, and pose for photos. He will also be at the Fair Winds open house. Fair Winds Farm, a standardbred breeding farm that is home to dozens of mares and foals, and site of the Hogan Equine Clinic, will host an open house on Sunday, June 29, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The farm is located at 74 Red Valley Road in Cream Ridge, NJ. Prominent equine surgeon Dr. Patricia Hogan will show visitors the workings of her clinic, where hundreds of horses, mostly thoroughbreds and standardbreds, are treated each year. Blacksmith Tom Mulryne will demonstrate how horse hooves are kept healthy by regular trimming and shoeing, and there will be kids' activities and information from the NJ Farm Bureau, Future Farmers of America, Harness Horse Youth Foundation, Pony Club, Rutgers Equine Science Center and the Monmouth County 4H. This is a rain or shine event. Visitors are asked to leave dogs at home and to be aware that there are very few paved surfaces on the farm, so it may be rough going for wheelchairs and strollers. New Jersey is home to thousands of pleasure horses, show horses and racehorses. In 1977, to honor its importance in New Jersey's economy and quality of life, the horse was named the official state animal. In May 1998, Governor Christine Todd Whitman proclaimed June as the Month of the Horse, a practice continued by her successors. Month of the Horse festivities opened on June 6 with an appearance by New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher at the Gloucester County 4-H Fairgrounds. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

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