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Tickets in the Pinjarra Harness Racing Club’s annual Sponsorship Raffle for Naming Rights to the $50,000 Pinjarra Pacing Cup are on sale now! The Pinjarra Pacing Cup Raffle, now in its fourth year, has proven to be a great success for the Club as a unique promotion in WA harness racing.  The Raffle Winner will receive Naming Rights to the $50,000 Pinjarra Pacing Cup– the richest event on the Pinjarra Paceway’s calendar.   This year the Pinjarra Pacing Cup has moved from its traditional June date, to be run during spring on Monday 7th March 2016 (WA Labour Day Public Holiday).  In moving away from the winter timeslot, the Club hopes to achieve a record crowd on-course for its premier race day and to attract a top quality Pacing Cup field. There are only 50 Pinjarra Pacing Cup Raffle tickets available, tickets are priced at $400 each and ALL ticketholders win a Prize!  The raffle Winner will not only receive Naming Rights to the Cup, but also a permanent Track Sign on-course for 12 months, a hospitality package for 20 guests on Cup Day in an exclusive Marquee, extensive promotion in the Cup media advertising campaign and a host of other benefits in a total sponsorship package valued at over $15,000. Full details of the Naming Rights Raffle Prizes are: 1st Prize                      Exclusive Naming Rights to the $50,000 Pinjarra Pacing Cup.  Plus naming rights to one supporting race on Cup Day.                                       15m x 1.2m Track Sign for 1 year. Hospitality trackside for 20 guests on Cup Day – including lunch & beverages in an exclusive Marquee. Company logo placement in all Cup Day advertising. Full Page, colour race book advertisement on Cup Day. On-course promotional opportunities. 2nd to 8th Prize         Naming rights to one supporting race on Cup Day. Half page, colour race book advertisement. Hospitality trackside for 4 guests on Cup Day – including a delicious lunch & beverages. 9th to 50th Prize       Hospitality trackside for 2 guests on Cup Day – including a delicious lunch & beverages. All Raffle Ticketholders will be invited to a cocktail function for drawing of the Sponsorship Raffle in early February. Last year the Standardbred Pleasure & Performance Horse Association of WA were the lucky winners of naming rights to the 2015 SPPHAWA Pinjarra Pacing Cup.   The Pinjarra Harness Racing Club sincerely thanks all those who have previously supported the Sponsorship Raffle and encourages you to be involved again this year. Not only does the Pinjarra Pacing Cup attract some of the best pacers WA has to offer, it’s a day filled with fun and entertainment for the entire family.   There will be live music between races, a Punters Club, free bouncy castle and activities for the kids.  Three bars, canteen and the Paceway Pavilion restaurant will be open with delicious dining options AND Country music sensation Courtney Conway will perform a concert after the last race! For further information contact: Miss Sian Hughes General Manager T: 9531 1941  E:

The polls for the first of the two part Railbird Recognition vote, "Racing Moment of the Year", will close on Tuesday (Dec. 15) at midnight. So if you haven't let your choice be heard yet, this is your last call. Nine memorable events from this past racing season have been listed and fans can make their selections by clicking on the banner on the USTA homepage. Those selections are: Always B Miki wins Breeders Crown after a year off Bee A Magician first mare to win Cutler Final Freaky Feet Pete wins Breeders Crown JL Cruze wins in 1:49.4 at the Meadowlands International Trot returns to Yonkers after 20 years Dave Miller drives five winners on Breeders Crown night Pinkman wins over Mission Brief in the Hambletonian Jimmy Takters trains six winners on Breeders Crown night Wiggle It Jiggleit defeats Lost for Words in second Jug heat Although the final voting numbers won't be revealed until January, the vote is currently close and could go in several directions. If you haven't taken the opportunity to make your selections yet, click this link ( ) and do it now. Voting for horse person of the year starts on Wednesday (Dec. 16) and runs through Thursday (Dec. 31) at midnight. All the winners of the Railbird Fan Voting will be announced on Thursday (Jan. 7) and they will be presented their awards during the Dan Patch Banquet, held this year at the Hyatt Pier 66 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Sunday (Mar. 6), 2016. Information on tickets and accommodations for that event can be found at . Tim Bojarski

December 1, 2015 - The marathon we lovingly call the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge has concluded with Sally Hinckley running away with the title, finishing 570 points ahead of her nearest competitor. We graciously thank the Bellino Stables, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, Hambletonian Society, Isle of Capri Pompano Park, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs for being Gold Sponsors of this event. This year's Grand Circuit journey started on April 24th at The Meadows and concluded Monday November 30th at Dover Downs. It was fitting that Wiggle It Jiggleit won the finale in the same dominating way that Sally Hinckley dominated the HANA tour! Once they were out of the gate and settled down they both moved to the front and were never headed again. The HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge was no pushover of a race. The field consisted of many of the top handicappers and movers and shakers in the harness racing world. Sally's credentials are very strong as she is a well-known horsewoman from Maine. She is a member and the Secretary of the Maine Harness Racing Promotional Board. Many of you have seen her work without realizing it. Sally out started as Lady Lewiston in the Lewiston Sun Journal. Sally has also been the regular line maker at Scarborough Downs for quite some time. More importantly, for our cause, areArmbro Brando and Stelerbraration. Both of these retired gladiators make their forever home with Sally and her family. Thank you Sally! When contacted about her win Sally was very gracious and first wanted to thank contest coordinator Allan Schott and the whole group of top North American Handicappers who made the whole event so much fun. When asked about her strategy in the new format she talked about trying get a high win rate for the multiplier while also looking for a good longshot or two each week. Sally explained how it clicked for her. "While stuck in the middle of pack, my choice of Annedrovette at 36-1 propelled me to a top position. Then began a strategy of defense. Trying to minimize other players gain by having many of the same picks, but mostly I lived by the old adage that 'the race isn't always to the swiftest but that's the way to bet it.' I also got on some great bandwagons, for instance Divine Caroline. I was very glad to find the wire because any of the other players could have a huge night at any time!" Regarding our cause, Sally went on to say, "All the rescue groups are worthy and it is a special pleasure to bring the win home to the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, Their efforts help the abused and neglected horses who have been seized by the state to find safety and comfort at their facility. Many thanks to the generous sponsors, Allan Schott for his work and expertise in running this contest the past seven months and my fellow handicappers who are now my friends." For winning the handicapping challenge, Hinckley's selected rescue, the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals, an organization dedicated to equine welfare, will receive $2,950 for use towards their Standardbred program thanks to all our sponsors the Bellino Stables, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, Hambletonian Society, Harness Racing Update, Isle of Capri at Pompano Park, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Scioto Downs, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. In addition to this donation, $500 will be donated to Canadian rescues by our Canadian partners, Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park and Western Fair Raceway. A $200 donation was made by an anonymous sponsor. Second place finisher, Dennis O’Hara, will see his rescue, Standardbred Retirement Foundation receive a donation of $1,575.  Third place finisher Anne Stepien will see her rescue, Heading for Home  earn approximately $675 for her efforts. Standings as of November 30, 2015 - Leg 65 Final Standings Pos Handicapper Total Points Prior Week Points Earned This Week Overall Total Points Position Last Week Points Back 1st Sally Hinckley 5,048.60 12.70 5,061.30 1st             -   2nd Dennis O'Hara 4,481.00 10.10 4,491.10 2nd       570.20 3rd Anne Stepien 4,343.30 4.30 4,347.60 3rd       713.70 4th Gordon Waterstone 4,238.70 10.10 4,248.80 4th       812.50 5th Mark McKelvie 4,228.80 0.00 4,228.80 5th       832.50 6th Josi Verlingieri 4,107.50 4.30 4,111.80 6th       949.50 7th Rusty Nash 3,874.50 5.80 3,880.30 7th    1,181.00 8th Derick Giwner 3,770.00 10.10 3,780.10 9th    1,281.20 9th Bob Zanakis 3,753.10 0.00 3,753.10 8th    1,308.20 10th Earl Paulson 3,658.20 8.40 3,666.60 10th    1,394.70 11th Bryan Owen 3,553.20 0.00 3,553.20 11th    1,508.10 12th Mark Dezii 3,408.90 3.00 3,411.90 12th    1,649.40 13th Jay Hochstetler 3,390.40 0.00 3,390.40 13th    1,670.90 14th Ray Garnett 3,214.90 5.80 3,220.70 14th    1,840.60 15th Garnet Barnsdale 2,690.50 0.00 2,690.50 15th    2,370.80 16th Michael Carter 2,676.90 3.00 2,679.90 16th    2,381.40 17th Ray Cotolo 2,128.70 4.30 2,133.00 17th    2,928.30 18th Brandon Valvo 1,936.00 4.30 1,940.30 18th    3,121.00 19th Mark Deutsch 1,197.10 0.00 1,197.10 19th    3,864.20 HANA Harness thanks all of our generous sponsors who allow this handicapping contest to be an annual event since 2012.  Plans are already underway for next year’s competition.  Anyone connected with the Standardbred industry who may be interested in sponsorship of next year’s event may for information. by Rusty Nash for HANA Harness

Columbus, OH --- The United States Trotting Association announced today that it is partnering with, the leader in horse racing contests, to create and present harness racing contests to a new audience. "With the rapid growth of daily fantasy sports websites and the success of as well as other horse racing handicapping contests and websites, this allows harness racing to become more involved with an industry that involves millions of participants," said USTA Director of Marketing and Communications Dan Leary. "Being involved with DerbyWars offers our racing to a group of sophisticated bettors and contest players who already participate and understand wagering on horse racing." $1,000 Survivor contests - Monday and Tuesday nights On Monday (Nov. 9), DerbyWars hosted the first of their Monday and Tuesday night $1,000 Survivor contests based on races at two Standardbred tracks. Contestants are tasked with picking a horse to finish first, second or third in each race in order to survive and advance to the next race. "Survivor contests are a great way for fans to get involved with the races," said Mark Midland, CEO of DerbyWars. "It's easy to get started when you only have to pick one horse to finish 1-2-3." The contest progresses until the last race or there is only one survivor left. Entries cost $4 to play. $10,000 Harness contest - Saturday, Dec. 26 Additionally, DerbyWars will be hosting it's first-ever $10,000 Harness game on Saturday night (Dec. 26). The contest will feature races from the Meadowlands and other tracks. The contest will be limited to 100 players. Players can qualify throughout November and December on DerbyWars or buy in directly to the contest. Yonkers Raceway contests - Sunday mornings DerbyWars will also host contests to coincide with the early Sunday morning racing at Yonkers Raceway on Nov. 8, 15, 23, 30 and Dec. 13. Contests will include a $500 Survivor contest and qualifiers for the upcoming $10,000 Harness game on Dec. 26. The USTA has previously run free, online handicapping contests as qualifiers to the World Harness Handicapping Championships. Harness racing fans can get started on and get the complete schedule at USTA Communications Department  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (August 27, 2015) - Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment (MRE), the world-class horse racing and entertainment facility located in New Jersey, announced today that its popular free to play "Real Time" Sports Contests will return for a second year in a row starting September 10, 2015 with the MRE Football Challenge. The contest can be played throughout MRE's $100 million facility that opened in November 2013 and at its sister property, Winners Off-Track Wagering in Bayonne. Players who have registered will be given an account with 1,000 points, enabling them to play every week starting Tuesday morning on any listed football game through the Monday Night game. Each Tuesday, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will award a weekly cash prize of $2,000.00 to the player who has earned the most points from the previous week. At the end of the regular football season, a Grand Prize of $10,000.00 will be awarded to the player with the most weekly wins. In addition, gifts and prizes from MRE will be awarded to runners up. Official rules will be posted at MRE and on its website, The MRE contest is played entirely via the MRE Sports App which is available for free download on both Androidâ„¢ and Apple® powered devices. The contest system is powered by CG Technology; a preeminent technology company based in Nevada, and will utilize real time information and real time results ensuring continual action for the contestants every day. "At Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, we offer a state of the art facility with a popular Las Vegas themed sports bar," said Jeff Gural, owner of MRE. "Unlike other sports contests, our free to play "Real Time" Sports Contests offers football enthusiasts the opportunity to play all week long throughout our luxurious facility. We look forward to offering this product again this fall." About CG Technology CG Technology is an innovative gaming technology solutions provider for lottery, gaming, race, and sports wagering worldwide. We specialize in providing secure, scalable, mobile technology and risk management solutions to integrated resorts, gaming partners, race and sports books, and lottery industries. Our technology solutions are designed to meet the highest standards of regulatory compliance, transactional security, and customer experience. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, CG Technology continues to expand into new global markets in response to partner demand for its gaming and manufacturing licenses and superior technology solutions. Our products include Android and Apple compatible applications for sports wagering and real-money casino gaming, as well as our state of the art account-based wagering system. For more information please visit: Justin Horowitz          

Saturday evening at The Meadowlands was one that was filled with youth, energy and excitement, thanks to a free handicapping contest geared towards younger harness racing enthusiasts. The contest was for anyone between the ages of 18 and 30 and was free to enter. It centered around 10 races at The Meadowlands on the Saturday program and each contestant selected one horse in each race to place a mythical two-dollar "across-the-board" wager on. When registration closed, 52 young-guns entered to try their luck with hopes of earning a share of the $5,000 prize pool. The prizes were divided as follows: Winner: $2,500 Runner-up: $1,500 Third Place: $1,000 The winner of the $2,500 Grand Prize was Patrick Welsh of Doylestown Pennsylvania. He compiled a bankroll of $142.80 for the 10 races, mostly on the back of Shaving Mug, a 20-1 upset winner of the fifth race. John Vernaglia from Cliffside Park, N.J. finished second with $108.80 and took home the $1,500 second place prize, while Michael Tack of Manville, N.J. finished with $103.80 and landed the $1,000 third place prize. Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural spoke to the continued importance of attracting younger people to the races. "It is essential that we reach out to a younger audience in the harness racing industry," said Gural. "The average age of our customers as a whole continues to grow older. That is a big problem. At The Meadowlands we are in the unique position of attracting a younger audience with many of the amenities we offer. Victory Terrace, a rooftop bar and lounge is packed every night during the warmer months for live racing. We continue to see more and more people up there and the customer that frequents Victory Terrace is typically in his twenties. The Sports Bar is another location that our younger fans seem to enjoy, as is The Backyard which features an outstanding barbecue restaurant, House of Que, live entertainment, Little Town Bar and fun activities for young kids. This contest was a great success, to have 52 people just between the ages of 18 and 30, men and women a like, was wonderful to see. We will certainly look to expand on this going forward." The Meadowlands has just two weekends of racing left in it's Championship Meet. This upcoming weekend centers around the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations on Saturday. The meet culminates the following Saturday, August 8th which is Hambletonian Day, with a special 12:00 post time. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment | 1 Racetrack Drive | East Rutherford, NJ 07073            

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (May 7, 2015) - While the stakes season continues to heat up at the Meadowlands on Friday (May 8) with the Reynolds Memorial and Simpson Memorial for sophomore fillies, harness racing fans will also have an opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Belmont Stakes. Registration begins Friday night to win a VIP trip to the Belmont Stakes, final jewel of the Triple Crown at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 6. Fans can fill out an entry form once each live race night to win the trip that includes clubhouse seating for four, dining in the Marquee Tent, and a parking pass. The grand prize drawing will be held on Friday, May 29 during live racing. Fans must be present to win the grand prize. Should Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah win the Preakness Stakes, he would attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 in the Belmont Stakes. The $43,106 Reynolds Memorial for three-year-old pacing fillies drew a field of seven including a pair of uncoupled entries from trainers Ron Burke and Joe Holloway. The Holloway duo of Bettor Be Steppin and Divine Caroline have tuned up for their three-year-old stakes debuts with easy wins against conditioned company. Bettor Be Steppin was third, Divine Caroline was fourth, in last year's Breeders Crown. Burke's duo is led by Happiness, a fast closing third in last week's Simpson Memorial in her first start for Burke. The Reynolds Memorial is carded as the sixth race. The eighth race is the $39,816 Simpson Memorial for three-year-old trotting fillies. Riley's Dream, second as the favorite in last week's Lady Suffolk at Freehold, is the 5/2 morning line favorite against eight others. The 3/1 second choice is Allerage Star, who makes her sophomore debut for trainer Jessica Okusko. She won four times last year including divisions of the Tompkins-Geers and Reynolds Memorial for an ownership group that includes Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural and CEO/GM Jason Settlemoir. Friday's thirteen-race card also features two growing carryovers in the Jackpot Super High 5 wagers. The race five carryover is $103,769 and the race thirteen carryover is $77,990. First post time is 7:15 p.m.  

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 17, 2015--A "belle dame" and a racing journalist are among the five amateur drivers from France vying against a quintet of USA counterparts in the "French-American Friendship Competition," with Yonkers Raceway hosting the opening event Tuesday afternoon (April 21). First post for the matinee card is 1 PM, with the 1¼-mile, 10-horse event going as the 11th of 12 races. The four-day competition continues at Monticello Raceway Wednesday (April 22), Freehold Raceway Thursday (April 23) and the finale on Friday night (April 24) at the Meadowlands. The French contingent includes leading lady Sophie Blanchetiere, a winner of 350 amateur races, and four French amateur championships, including the last two; racing journalist Romain Poree, the amateur world champion in 2010 and French champion in 2009; Michel Poirier, the top French amateur in 2003; and Christophe Roszak, who finished in the top ten of the French championships. None of these French drivers have ever been on United States soil. The fifth driver, Hubert Jay, is the club representative and will only drive two races - at Yonkers and The Meadowlands - in the pair of contests with 10-horse fields. Jay studied in Minnesota and North Dakota. The America amateurs are: Peter Gerry, Peter Kleinhans, Robert Krivelin, Alan Schwartz and Anthony Verruso. Here's the field in order of post position: 1. Meadowview Arny (Alan Schwartz); 2. Prince Lauxmont (Christophe Roszak); 3. Blue Valley (Robert Krivelin); 4. Trottin Troy (Hubert Jay); 5. Amalfi Coast (Peter Kleinhans); 6. Hesgotlegs (Romain Poree); 7. Cagnes (Peter Gerry); 8. Mr. Invincible (Sophie Blanchetiere); 9. Nowerland Firebird (Anthony Verruso); 10. Sun of Victory (Michel Poirier). "The dates are set, and fine-tuning the details to host our amateur friends who are coming from across the sea are being finalized," North American Amateur Driving Association president Joe Faraldo said. "It is the first time that we (America) race against our French counterparts on American soil." Blanchetiere, whose father was a harness trainer, works with her partner trainer/driver Yannick-Alain Briand in France. She has driven more than 1,800 races with just over 350 wins and competed internationally in Sweden, Malta and Switzerland. Blanchetiere started driving when she was 16. "I have never been to America, so I look forward to it," Blanchetiere said. "I have had a look at the Yonkers races that they show on Equidia here in France. It's very different from everything I know. I assume I will need a few races to adjust, but it's going to be fun."  Poree is a racing journalist and son of a harness trainer who raced 1989 UET Grand Prix winner Tipouf and also took him to the International Trot at Yonkers a year later. He has extensive international experience having also driven in Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and Germany. He has accumulated nearly 140 wins in more than 800 races. "I never went to the States, but I have been dreaming of driving over there," Poree said. "I also like to follow the top drivers, like Tim Tetrick, but Brian Sears is definitely my favorite. I like his style, he's a fine driver." The veteran Poirier, who turned 60 earlier this weekd, is a farmer who also breeds trotters. He started driving horses at the track of local trainer Guy Dreux, who encouraged him to get an amateur license. Poirier won his first race at Alencon on May 29, 1977 and has more than 300 career wins in some 2,300 races with international experience in Spain and Italy. "I've never been to the States, so it is a big trip for me," said Poirier. "My wife is coming along and I am happy that we travel with other drivers because I would feel a bit lost on my own in New York." Roszak is a breeder from Normandy who became interested in harness racing during his youth from his monthly trips to the track with his father and got his amateur license in 1994. He tried his hand at training for a while before switching over to the breeding side of the business. "I have never been to the US and feel privileged to go," Roszak said. "I hope that we will make the most of it and have good fun with our fellow Americans." Club manager Hubert Jay, who won the French Amateur Cup in 2004, was around horses at a very young age with his grandfather who was a trainer. He won his first race at age 17, but soon after had to focus his attention on academic studies. "I had to give it up, but I always wanted to keep on training and driving as a hobby," explained Jay who has been to the U.S. before. "I studied in Minnesota and South Dakota, but did not go racing over there. It's an honor to drive at The Meadowlands and Yonkers, world famous racetracks." The NAADA is planning to host another amateur series involving drivers from Spain in June. BY JOHN CIRILLO, for Yonkers Raceway and the NAADA  

Westfield, IN - Each year since 1991, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation has produced a set of 35 HARNESS HEROES trading cards. This year, for the first time ever, one lucky winner will get a chance to interact with one of those heroes, Dave Palone, who became the winningest driver in harness racing history in 2014. HHYF is teaming up with the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and The Meadows to offer a special promotion. Palone will personally autograph several of his cards and those cards will be randomly inserted into the 2015 complete sets. The lucky persons who find the special silver ticket in their set and return that ticket for validation by June 10, 2015 can win one of several prizes. The grand prize winner will get to experience one of Dave Palone's favorite days, Adios Day. It is the day that everyone at The Meadows looks forward to, with top Grand Circuit races including the premier three year old colt pacers in the country. The winner and their guests will start the morning off with a behind-the-scenes tour of the backstretch and paddock area, where they will be able to take a trip around the track with Dave Palone in a two-seated jog cart. Post time for the afternoon race card begins at 12:20PM, and the winning guests will be seated in the owner's dining area with a complimentary buffet and a perfect view of the track. They will also meet Dave in the Winner's Circle for a photo. After the long day, the guests can relax at a nearby hotel and begin planning a return trip for 2016. Other prizes will include collectable uncut press sheets from previous years' production of HARNESS HEROES as well as HHYF and MSOA hats and shirts and more. Sets of cards may be obtained through HHYF for a suggested donation of $15 per set (US funds) and they will also be distributed free at Meadows Family Fun Day on May 29, 2015. HHYF Executive Director Ellen Taylor said "HHYF is really excited to partner with MSOA and the track in this promotion which is reminiscent of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. How cool would it be to find one of the Palone-signed HARNESS HEROES cards, your "Silver Ticket," to be eligible to spend a fantastic weekend watching great racing at The Meadows? There will be little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous. And, remember Willie Wonka was played by Gene Wilder? Our host is Heather Wilder. Both are amazingly talented and entertaining, but we prefer Heather by far. " Complete contest rules are available at Winners must be 18 or over, but those entering the contest are encouraged to bring their children with them For more information on this release, contact Keith Gisser at 216-374-1392 or     For more information on this release, contact Keith Gisser at 216-374-1392 or  

Name the first A Rocknroll Dance foal born at Diamond Creek and win $10,000 in yearling credits! We are anxiously awaiting the first foal's arrival and will announce the mare's name and sex of the foal as soon as he/she arrives (expected in mid February). Contestants will submit names, Adam Bowden will choose his top three favorites, and the winner will be chosen by a public vote. All are welcome to submit their suggestions, and all will be welcome to participate in the voting. Please check our website (, Facebook page, or A Rocknroll Dance's twitter @arocknrolldance for contest news and updates. We will post the submission form and contest dates as soon as we have a foal on the ground! RACHEL CLIFT  Administrative Director & Corporate Secretary  Diamond Creek Farm, LLC Diamond Creek Equine, LLC  151 Warrington Street Wellsville, PA  17365 Office (717) 638-7100 Fax (717) 638-7111

Three hundred Catholics converged on Addington Metropolitan Raceway in Christchurch in November for an evening of harness racing celebrities, dining, and the inaugural John Paul II Centre for Life, “Parish Priest Punter of the Year”. Sponsored races such as the J. Butler & Co & Mairehau Catholic Parish Pace, and John Paul II Centre for Life Handicap Trot, created an evangelistic atmosphere for the meeting. The evening brought parishioners together, and raised awareness of and funds for the John Paul II Centre for Life. Fairy money of $100 a race was allocated for each priest’s betting. As competition intensified, Fr Paulo Filoali-i hurried down the stairs, past the birdcage, and onto the track. He was seen racing down the course in the mobile barrier starter truck, no doubt to gain a closer assessment of racing form, tinged with a taste for speed. This same ploy was used by Fr Anthony Prendergast, from St Theresa’s parish, Riccarton. Race six saw Fr Bill Middleton’s horse, Donaldson, cheered on with great fervour. Faces pushed up to the glass window of the Silks Lounge. All eyes were on Donaldson as the horses raced for the finish line. Well, almost all. It is said Fr Dan Doyle, parish priest of Ferrymead-Lyttelton, had his fairy money on Dr Hook, who won by a nose. Fr Doyle’s smile grew with every race and by race 10 the evidence was clear. He became the first John Paul II Centre for Life “Parish Priest Punter of the Year”, receiving the trophy, a beautiful bronze harness horse in a glass case. The initiator of the evening, diocese programme director Phil Gourdie, has had more than 40 winners in harness racing. MC Jack O’Donnell spent 30 years as race commentator in the Wairarapa, Nelson-Marlborough area and on the West Coast. He was president of the Greymouth Jockey Club and the New Zealand Racing Conference. He raced gallopers and harness horses. Bishop Barry Jones spoke of the centre’s work as being close to his heart, supporting the Gospel of Life so powerfully preached by St John Paul II, who knew the culture of death threatens society in many ways. The centre, which is available to the whole community, he said, puts time, effort and resources into honouring the dignity of persons when they are under threat. Bishop Jones, who is patron of the centre, established a trust in 2011. In one year the centre fielded 1217 phone calls, 75 pregnancy consultations and 59 after hours calls. It distributed 95 packets of nappies, 11 high chairs, 12 bassinets, 25 cots and 14 prams. One hundred and fifty five donations of baby clothes were given out, and 127 layettes. The centre facilitated the Catholic family camp, with a theme of raising kids Catholic, giving them roots and wings. by Jenny McPhee Reprinted with permission of the NZ Catholic

Richard Foster claimed the $2,000 first place prize in week four of the Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment Sports Challenge, racking up 4,000 points. The Free Play Football Challenge continues this week and is accumulating more players each and every week. Each player is given 1,000 points to play as they see fit, on both college and professional football. All players make their selections through the MRE Sports Challenge App. Selections must be made through the sports challenge Wifi network in Victory Sports Bar or the Raceworld and VIP teletheaters at the Meadowlands. Play the Free Play Football Challenge this Monday night, October 6, in Victory Sports Bar and meet NY Giants Jason Pierre-Paul and Larry Donnell. Plus enjoy the live WFAN Radio Monday Night Live broadcast with hosts Carl Banks and Kim Jones 6:30- 8 pm. For more information on the MRE Sports Challenge visit here. Rachel Ryan                    

Freehold, NJ --- Father Patrick made it four wins in a row when he captured his division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile and as a result moved up to No. 2 in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown harness racing poll. The 3-year-old male trotter received eight first-place votes, an increase of five. Older male trotter Sebastian K, who did not race, remained No. 1. He received 25 first-place votes, a decrease of two from last week. Artspeak, a 2-year-old male pacer who won his division of the Bluegrass and is ranked No. 5, got the remaining two first-place votes. Sweet Lou finished fifth in the Ewart Memorial for older male pacers at Scioto Downs and slipped from second to third in the rankings. There were no newcomers to the Top 10. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 20 – 9/30/2014 Rank Name (1st Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (25) 8th 10-8-1-0 $620,603 334 1 2 Father Patrick (8) 3tc 12-10-1-0 $1,183,451 308 3 3 Sweet Lou 5ph 15-10-1-1 $950,533 264 2 4 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 207 4 5 Artspeak (2) 2pc 7-7-0-0 $479,450 191 5 6 JK She’salady 2pf 7-7-0-0 $378,575 145 6 7 McWicked 3pc 15-9-3-1 $939,346 90 7 8 He’s Watching 3pc 11-5-3-1 $824,728 85 8 9 Shake It Cerry 3tf 12-10-0-1 $622,436 77 10 10 Lifetime Pursuit 3tf 14-8-2-2 $673,729 64 9 Also: Limelight Beach (38), JK Endofanera (25), Nuncio (23), Yankee Bounty (17), Sandbetweenurtoes (10), Mission Brief (7), Classic Martine, Market Share (6), Modern Family (5), All Bets Off, Billy Flynn (4), Always B Miki, Bigtown Hero, Cee Bee Yes, Dancin Yankee, Habitat, Somewhere In LA, Somwherovrarainbow (2), Wild Honey (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

On Sunday December 14 the Akaroa Trotting Club will undertake an unprecedented promotion – the ‘Yaldhurst Hotel Million-Dollar Pick 9’. The club offers patrons the chance to win a million dollars if the winners of all nine races are selected. Upon course entry those over 18 will receive their free ticket. Club President, Laurie Goodson, is excited by what is in prospect. He explains. “We are a one-day club and a tenant club so we live and die by our racing activities. We want to maximise the opportunity we’ve been given in December, with the Christmas at the Races brand. We want this to be a spectacular day with big on-course numbers.”  Should the big prize be struck the winner will receive their million over twenty years -$50,000 per year. Another promotion on the day will be the ‘Yaldhurst Hotel Punters’ Competition’, a team’s event that will see the winners securing a trip for four people to Melbourne in April for the Victorian Punters’ Challenge to represent New Zealand. The prize covers airfares, rental car, accommodation and the competition entry.  The Akaroa Trotting Club has historically held its annual meeting in March or April. A change in the date’s structure for 2014/15 will allow Akaroa to compliment a booming pre-Christmas period for Canterbury race meetings encompassing the ‘Christmas at the Races’.  As well as the above highlights the typical kids’ activities that are part and parcel of a day out at the Mot trots will be available. Harnesslink Media

Step right up now is your chance to get back (if you think you need to!) at recently appointed Harness Racing New South Wales CEO John Dumesny. He has been nominated to take the Ice Bucket Challenge at HRNSW headquarters on Monday 1 September, and the more donations, the more ice water that will be poured over his head! And it's all for a good cause. All monies raised will be donated to Motor Neurone Disease Australia, so dig deep. If you don't think he deserved it from the past, think of the future! Please click on the below link to donate: Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |  

The system that we currently use to determine the winner of each respective category at the annual harness racing awards is a reminder of how archaic the current process is. At present we send out voting forms to people employed by media organisations who cover harness racing. This year twenty one people employed in the media got to decide who the winners were in each category. Some of the votes cast would have to cast grave doubts as to the suitability of some of the twenty one to be involved in such deliberations. As a company with a large presense in harness racing over a long period, even we have struggled to compile a list of twenty one media people who are primarily employed to cover harness racing. Some of the voting figures would suggest that some of the media contigent voting have little knowledge of our industry. It is time to do away with this outdated and archaic system and go to a system that is fair to everybody and over which there can be no argument. Whilst looking around the world and here in New Zealand we came to the conclusion that a sliding points scale with emphasis on group racing would be a much better and transperent way of anoiting our best performer in each category. We envisiage it would work something like this: Group One race First - 10 points Second - 7 points Third - 4 points and each subsequent placing one point less Group Two race First - 8 points Second - 5 points Third - 3 points and each subsequent placing one point less Group Three race First - 6 points Second - 4 points Third - 2 points and fourth 1 point. It has a lot of advantages over the present system but the one that stands out for us is it would create interest throughout the season with the racing public as we work our way through all the group races. We thought as a test run we would run this years three year old male division through the sytem as proposed and see what the result was. Like the Harness Jewels we excluded the sales races as they are not open to all comers. Tiger Tara - 33 points Locharburn - 29 points Isaiah - 22 points We judge our trainers and drivers and our sires by the results they accumulate over the season and hand the awards out on that basis. Its time we did something similar for our best horses and stop leaving it up to media people. Harnesslink Media 

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