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Last year it was "Elvis" who greeted the attendees at the U.S. Harness Writers Association's (USHWA) annual Dan Patch Awards dinner in Las Vegas, and this year on Sunday night, Feb. 25, it will be retired professional wrestler Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair who will welcome everyone at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Fla. Flair, who will be attending the dinner as a guest of one of the honorees, is a 16-time world champion over a career that spanned 40 years and is considered by many to be the greatest professional wrestler of all time. He is a two-time inductee into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame, first inducted in 2008 for his wrestling career and four years later as a member -- ironically -- of The Four Horsemen, a professional wrestling stable in the National Wrestling Alliance and later World Championship Wrestling. Flair will meet and greet the attendees on the Dan Patch Awards Red Carpet. The one-hour reception begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by the awards ceremony and dinner beginning at 7 p.m. The Red Carpet hour will be broadcast live on the Facebook pages of well-known harness names Heather Vitale and Heather Wilder. The two Heathers will roam the Red Carpet area and interview several of the award winners and attendees. To watch a video message from Flair about the event, click here. In addition, the awards ceremony, hosted by Roger Huston and Jason Settlemoir, will be broadcast live on the USHWA Facebook page, with viewing available the following day on the U.S. Trotting Association website www.ustrotting.com and its YouTube page. Information about the banquet and the entire week, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found at www.ushwa.net, including links for making hotel reservations at special rates; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake souvenir journal. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

Over the past three years, no female pacer can match the accomplishments of Pure Country. In fact, few in the history of harness racing can produce better resumes when it comes to accumulating awards. Pure Country became the first female pacer to receive a Dan Patch Award at ages 2, 3, and 4 when she was named the sport's best older pacing mare in December. Only two pacers have ever won more Dan Patch trophies, Anndrovette and Eternal Camnation, with four each. "It's quite an accomplishment," said Adam Bowden, whose Diamond Creek Racing owns Pure Country and whose Diamond Creek Farm bred the mare. "It takes a special horse to be the best at 2 when they're early developers and then continue to be the best at 3 and 4 when everybody else catches up. "I'm just happy to be part of it." Pure Country was a perfect 10-for-10 at age 2 and joined JK She'salady (2014), See You At Peelers (2010) and My Little Dragon (2005) as the only 2-year-old female pacers to win a Dan Patch Award with an undefeated season. Pure Country and See You At Peelers won again at age 3. For her career, the Jimmy Takter-trained Pure Country has won 25 of 47 races and earned $2.23 million, which puts her on the verge of joining the 10 highest-earning female pacers in North American history. Her victories include two Breeders Crown finals, the Fan Hanover Stakes, Lynch Memorial, Lady Liberty, TVG Series championship, Artiscape, and Matron. Pure Country started slowly in 2017, but won five of her last 10 races of the campaign, including the Breeders Crown and TVG Series championships to close out the stakes season. "I think in many of the big races in her career, Jimmy has gotten her to race at her best," Bowden said. "And she did it again this year when the big money was on the line. She won the races she had to win to win the (Dan Patch) award. "It's always tough to come back at 4 and do it. As Jimmy said last year, it's sort of a two-year commitment because these 4-year-olds need time to mature and learn how to race against these older, tougher mares. She clearly learned how to do that and ended the year on the top." Pure Country is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of one of the first horses Diamond Creek bought, Western Montana, in the farm's formative years. Pure Country is enjoying a winter holiday in Kentucky, but will return to Takter's stable in the coming weeks to begin preparations for her 5-year-old season. "She's hanging out right now getting bigger and stronger," Bowden said. "She looks great. She's bigger than the colts that we have; she's always been like that. She's a big strong mare. I would expect her to come back and have a good season again. Or at least I hope so. "The expectations placed on her by me personally are probably almost too much to live up to. That may not have been fair. She's always been at the top of her division. We've entrusted her to Jimmy Takter, who has gone above and beyond. I can't be more thrilled with that." Bowden's award-winning horses in 2017 were not limited to Pure Country. Diamond Creek Racing is among the owners of 3-year-old male pacing champion Downbytheseaside and 2-year-old male pacing champion Lost In Time. Diamond Creek Farm bred Lost In Time, a son of A Rocknroll Dance out of Summer Mystery who sold for $47,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. Diamond Creek Racing joined the colt's ownership group in September 2017. "It's kind of neat," Bowden said. "A Rocknroll Dance was kind of the first major stallion that we went after and stood. To have his best son so far, not only that we bred but now own a piece of, is exciting. He clearly got a lot of his father's qualities, which proved themselves on countless occasions. He's such a big, strong horse that I would expect to see good things from him (at age 3). "It's fun to be involved with good horses. Just being part of the ride is exciting. A lot of times, we as owners get to give interviews and get attention, but really it's a team effort, especially for us with these homebreds. From the girls that work at the farm to the farm managers to the trainers to the grooms to the drivers. Everybody gets to take credit for the success of these horses, everybody can share in it. That's great." Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications  

HARRISBURG, PA---Positive commentary and industrious promotion of harness racing are the best ways to gain new owners, fans and gamblers as well as retain the ones already engaged in order to keep this industry viable for the next generation. And there is no one that does these things more effectively on a daily basis than T.J. Burkett and Jason Settlemoir. As a result, they will each be presented an USHWA President's Award for their contributions to the sport at the 2018 Dan Patch Awards Banquet that will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, February 25. Burkett is the Executive Editor of Hoof Beats Magazine and has spent more than a decade working on the publication for the U.S. Trotting Association. After joining the USTA in 2007 as associate editor, he became the youngest-ever executive editor of Hoof Beats in December of 2010. Burkett has continued the magazine's long tradition of providing harness racing fans with an insider's view of the sport through in-depth features and profiles. But he has also directed the magazine's focus to promoting the stars of racing, tackling the issues that racing faces and shining a light on those who work hard at every level, but haven't gotten the recognition they deserve. During his tenure, Burkett has implemented some significant improvements in the monthly publication. Among the biggest was the transition of the annual Stan Bergstein experimental ratings to a modern day formula, the significant growth of the Hoof Beats photo contest and introducing the digital format "Hoof Beats Direct" in 2013, making the magazine easily accessible through any handheld device. Currently Burkett is supervising a major redesign of Hoof Beats that is scheduled to be unveiled in March of 2018. He is also leading the way on a project to digitize the entire historical archive of the magazine with search term capability. Settlemoir is the COO/GM of New Meadowlands Racetrack and Winners OTW at Bayonne, N.J., and is vice president of racing, simulcast and sponsorship for American Racing and Entertainment (Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs). He is also simulcast director for the Little Brown Jug as well as their second announcer, a vice president of Harness Tracks of America, past president and chairman of the U.S. Harness Writers Association, a Grand Circuit and Little Brown Jug Society Director, a member of the USHWA Hall of Fame Screening Committee, and a director for the United States Trotting Association. Settlemoir was awarded the 2006 U.S. Harness Writers Association's Lew Barasch Breakthrough Award for his work in opening up Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs and was inducted into the Upstate New York Chapter of USHWA's Hall of Fame in 2011. Settlemoir has also always been a big part of any community he has lived in and sat on the board of directors for the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Tier Red Cross and the Tioga County United Way, where he was chair for the annual campaign drive, before making his move to The Meadowlands and New Jersey. "T.J. and Jason were both born and raised in this business and have made it their life's work. Their extensive first-hand experience gives them a unique understanding of harness racing at every level," said Tim Bojarski, President of USHWA. "They both come to the office each day with a positive attitude towards the sport, its participants and the viability of its future, and they work to try to infuse that into every aspect of their individual responsibilities. As a result. I believe harness racing as a whole is better for their efforts now and will continue to improve in the future under their respective leadership roles." "Although rivals at the academic level (Burkett went to Michigan State and Settlemoir Ohio State), the Big 10 produced a great team of harness racing proponents who both have made significant contributions to date and will continue to do so for a long time," Bojarski concluded. From USHWA (U.S. Harness Writers Association)  

Hickory Lane Farm, Findlay, OH has partnered with Taylor Made Stallions, Inc., Lexington, KY, and Steve Stewart of Hunterton Farms, Lexington, KY, to purchase the 2017 Dan Patch award winning 'Three Year Old Colt Trotter of the Year', What The Hill, 2, 1:54.4, 3, 1:51.4 ($1,263,864.00) (Muscle Hill-KT Cha Cha-Angus Hall), who will stand the harness racing 2018 breeding season in Ohio at Hickory Lane Farm. “We are thrilled to have the privilege of partnering with Taylor Made and Hunterton Farm, two of the most well-known and respected names in the horse racing industry.” Stated R. Kevin Greenfield, President, Hickory Lane Farm. Trained by Ronald Burke throughout his career and driven by David Miller for his previous owners Burke Racing Stable, LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, LLC, and Deo Volente Farms, LLC, What The Hill was the top performing three year old colt trotter this year winning numerous prestigious races including the $527,500.00 elimination and final Breeder’s Crown; the $684,000.00 (Can.) Canadian Trotting Classic in stakes record time, 1:51.4; an elimination heat of The Kentucky Futurity; and, the $350,000.00 TVG Series Championship defeating aged trotters in 1:51.4. At two, he won the New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship and the $294,450.00 Peter Haughton Memorial Final. In a dramatic twist of fate this year, What The Hill crossed the finish line first in the $1,000,000.00 final of the Hambletonian Stake only to be disqualified by a controversial judges decision that is presently under appeal. What The Hill is being syndicated and shares are now available for purchase under very attractive terms. He will stand at a service fee of $7,000.00 and it is expected that his book will fill quickly. For more information regarding purchase of shares or bookings contact Hickory Lane Farm c/o Ashley Stickel, Office Manager or Brad Wallace, Farm Manager at ashley@hickorylanefarm.com ph: 419-422-3004; fax: 419-425-2999; website: www.hickorylanefarm.com. Hickory Lane Farm, Taylor Made Stallions, Inc., and Steve Stewart of Hunterton Farm. 2017 Hambletonian Trotting Stakes 2009 Hambletonian Final - Muscle Hill Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Colt Trot – What The Hill What The Hill - Canadian trotting classic

HARRISBURG PA - Three entities who gained a large measure of harness racing success while connected to "Upstate New York," used here to refer to the part of the state not in the immediate neighborhood of New York City, have been named Dan Patch award winners in voting by the U. S. Harness Writers Association, the largest media organization in the sport. Two of them are still very much part of the upper New York scene - Betty Holt, winner of the Unsung Hero award, and the team of Pacing Broodmare of the Year Wild West Show and owner Ray Schnittker - while the other - Michael Carter, winner of the Breakthrough Award for an up-and-coming non-horseperson, has furthered his profile elsewhere after gaining valuable early training in his craft while in the area. Betty Holt is the executive director of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, an association based in Latham NY (just north of Albany), which, as one could expect from its name, furthers the cause of the breeders of Standardbreds in the Empire State. The tireless Holt monitors all New York-restricted harness activity in the state, from the Sire Stakes to sales to industry meetings, to promotion of the sport and ownership seminars. Holt is also the prime force behind a program that provides a "safety net" for at-risk New York-bred trotters and pacers, eventually hoping to land them on a restructuring and rehoming path, an activity funded by consignments to the Morrisville yearling sale. If there is an gathering, event, or movement that furthers the development of the breed and its shareholders in New York State, Betty Holt likely has a prominent role somewhere along the path to the winners circle. Wild West Show's victory was referred to as a "shootout" above because she was involved in the closest contest in the voting, beating out rival Western Montana by a single vote. But as is said in racing, you don't ask "how much?" - you just praise the winner, and the offspring of Wild West Show, who is owned by Ray Schnittker of Middletown/Goshen after his partner Charles Iannazzo passed away earlier this year, certainly had an outstanding 2017. Huntsville, the 2016 two-year-old pacing colt of the year, came back in 2017 for Schnittker and earned over a million dollars while engaging with his two Brian Brown-trained archrivals, Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon, in many an important stakes contest. His full brother Wild Bill scored in 1:52.3f in an abbreviated freshman campaign and offered promise for the coming year's big-money stakes. Michael Carter, a native of Virginia, worked at his home state's tracks of Colonial Downs and the Shenandoah County Fair, then got his big break by being named the primary track announcer at Buffalo Raceway in 2013, establishing himself as an accurate, interesting, and entertaining man behind the microphone while also assisting in mutuels and simulcasting. From there Carter went on to his current position at Northfield Park, where he is the deputy announcer, also working in mutuels and the Ohio track's social media efforts. Carter has extended his "footprint" to the national level of the sport by joining with Mike Bozich of Harrah's Philadelphia as half of the "Post Time With Mike And Mike" internet podcast. During its three years, the show has drawn a progressively-larger audience with its news reporting, extensive interviewing of the newsmaking horsemen and track executives, live remotes from the sites of big races, and the annual "Mike And Mike Awards." Betty Holt, Wild West Show and owner Ray Schnittker, and Michael Carter will all be honored at the upcoming Dan Patch Awards Banquet, to be held on Sunday, February 25 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL. Those wishing to take out a congratulatory ad in the Banquet's Awards Journal should contact Kim Rinker, Journal Committee chair, at trotrink@aol.com. Those wishing to attend the banquet can make room reservations online via a special "portal" on the USHWA website - but do so quickly to take advantage of the special room rates USHWA has obtained. Tickets for the banquet, priced at $175, can be obtained through Judy Davis-Wilson, Dinner Planning Committee chair, at zoe8874@aol.com. Jerry Connors

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Caretaker of the Year. The aharness racing ward, in its third year of sponsorship by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (HRRNP) in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport - the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis. Initially titled Groom of the Year Award when first presented in 1982, the honor was instituted as a result of a suggestion made by Delvin Miller at the annual Harness Tracks of America meeting when he received HTA's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. Previously sponsored annually by HTA and Hanover Shoe Farms, the tradition lapsed in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 by HRRNP and USHWA. The HRRNP Caretaker of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500, a trophy, and transportation costs to the USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday evening, Feb. 25, 2018, where he or she will be recognized. The winner will also enjoy a two-night stay at Rosen Shingle Creek, host hotel for the USHWA activities, as well as two complimentary dinner tickets. "It is so important that we recognize the people who are hands-on everyday with all our great horses because they are the ones the animals most closely relate to and are responsible for the care that keeps them sound and competitive week to week," said Tim Bojarski, president of USHWA. "I along with all the members of USHWA could not be more proud to co-sponsor this award and take the time to appreciate and thank not only the winner, but all the nominees as well." Any caretaker working for any stable in North America is eligible. All that is need to nominate is a letter or email, 200 words minimum, from an individual or group detailing the skills and special qualities of the caretaker. The winner will be chosen by a seven-person selection committee comprised of USHWA members, all of whom are former caretakers: Tim Bojarski (chair), Tom Charters, Moira Fanning, Dean Hoffman, Rob Pennington, Kim Rinker and Shawn Wiles. All nomination letters and emails must be received and/or postmarked by Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, and sent to chairman Bojarski at a159star@gmail.com or mailed to Tim Bojarski, 7523 Maple Road, Akron, N.Y. 14001. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

HARRISBURG PA - In a year when he drove the horses ranking 1-2-3 in the Final Top Ten polls and making a sweep of the female trotter divisional characters while contributing almost a quarter of his $12.9M seasonal sulky earnings, Yannick Gingras was selected harness racing 'Driver of the Year' in balloting conducted among the U.S. Harness Writers Association, the sport's leading media organization. One of this awesome distaff threesome benefiting from Gingras's driving talents was older trotting mare champion Hannelore Hanover, whose dam, High Sobriety, earned honors as Trotting Broodmare of the Year. And that mother-daughter connection certainly factored into Hanover Shoe Farms being picked as Breeder of the Year - they bred Hannelore, but perhaps just as importantly they set a single-season record for the earnings of the produce of one nursery, with $31.3M registered into the last days of the season. Yannick Gingras has earned the respect of the leading horsemen of this era to the extent that he is principal catch-driver for most of the top stakes performers trained by both Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter, the "friendly rivals" almost always battling for #1 bragging rights in the sport. For Burke, Gingras guided the above-mentioned Hannelore Hanover, and for Takter, he steered three-year-old Ariana G (a repeat divisional champion) and the undefeated two-year-old Manchego. The group won fifteen $100,000+ stakes among themselves, and each won her respective Breeders Crown division, with the three Crowns for Gingras putting him at the top of the 2017 table. But it wasn't all just going out there with the best horse and winning as expected for Gingras in 2017 - he drove Filibuster Hanover, who going into the Little Brown Jug Final was 2-for-13 on the season, and they combined to upset the "hometown favorite" 1-2 punch of Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon. In total, Gingras won 33 stakes races worth $100,000 or more in 2017. Before Hannelore Hanover made the spotlight, if someone had told you that High Sobriety would be in contention for the Trotting Broodmare of the Year award, you might have good reason to question that person's sobriety - she had won once in a two-year racing career, and her first three foals had earned a combined total of $65,000. But then along came Hannelore Hanover, who added 10 wins, over $1M in earnings, and the second-fastest trotting mile in history - a 1:49.2 win at Lexington - to her already sizable accomplishments, and the glory of her campaign, where she defeated "the boys" on several occasions, brought honors to High Sobriety. Hanover Shoe Farms is usually among the top names considered for Breeder of the Year honors - and that only makes sense, for they have led the list of money winning graduates for each of the 69 years that the USTA has been keeping that record. Along the way, there of course have been many, many champions bred by Hanover, with Hannelore Hanover joining the very highest of those ranks this year. But the signal accomplishment of Hanover's 2017 was the $31+M intake by graduates of the Farm. This broke the old record of $30.4 - which Hanover set in 2015 - with that one breaking the old record set by Hanover in 2014 ... Hanover aggressively replenishes and adds to its breeding stock year after year, and the results speak for themselves. Yannick Gingras and Hanover Shoe Farms (as Breeder of the Year and as owner of the Trotting Broodmare of the Year High Sobriety) will be honored at the upcoming Dan Patch Awards Banquet, to be held on Sunday, February 25 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL. Those wishing to take out a congratulatory ad in the Banquet's Awards Journal should contact Kim Rinker, Journal Committee chair, at trotrink@aol.com. Those wishing to attend the banquet can make room reservations online via a special "portal" on the USHWA website - but do so quickly to take advantage of the special room rates USHWA has obtained. Tickets for the banquet, priced at $175, can be obtained through Judy Davis-Wilson, Dinner Planning Committee chair, at zoe8874@aol.com. Jerry Connors

HARRISBURG PA - Brian Brown, who trains at the fairgrounds in the Little Brown Jug's hometown of Delaware OH and had been steadily making a bigger mark among North American harness racing conditioners over the last couple of years, had his breakthrough year in 2017, training two three-year-old colt pacers who were the leaders of their division much of the year and who were 1-2 in seasonal earnings, along with a star age/gait counterpart filly. These achievements earned Brown the Trainer of the Year Award as voted by the sport's leading media organization, the U.S. Harness Writers Association, and they contributed mightily to his also being named the organization's Good Guy Award winner for consistent, intelligent cooperation with the sport's media. The 53-year-old Brown saw his two top sophomore colts earn $2.95M between them - Downbytheseaside ($1,602,452), whose late-season heroics included a win in the Breeders Crown and being named divisional champion, and Fear The Dragon ($1,350,146), who had ranked #1 in the weekly pools for much of the summer into the fall after major stakes wins throughout North America. (Ironically, one of the few major events not taken by one or the other of the Brown sophomore powerhouses was the Little Brown Jug, although Fear The Dragon did win the first heat.) Joining Downbytheseaside as a Breeders Crown winner and divisional champion was three-year-old pacing filly Blazin Britches, an $800,000+ earner. And the rest of the Brown barn contributed earnings in the vicinity of $2 million, giving Brian a lifetime seasonal high bankroll of over $5.7M, despite starting fewer than 550 horses (he had a .402 UTR). There were many highs during the campaigns of these three top horses, but there were also the inevitable dips in form and bouts with minor illnesses that virtually all racehorses experience. Whether in the winners circle, puzzling over an off performance, or pondering his charges' upcoming races, Brown kept up an honest, informational stream of conversation (with consistent praise for the members of "Team Brown") to a media whose readers wanted to know more about these equine stars. If Brown was elated by a horse's top effort to win a big stake, there was no mistaking his enjoyment; similarly, if a horse's form was rollercoastering a bit, you felt like you were on the up-and-down ride with Brown, awaiting the next turn in the journey. His intelligent candor enabled Brown to be selected for the Good Guy award, along with his Trainer of the Year honors. Brown's adept handling of Fear The Dragon and Blazin Britches brought out one solid performance after another from those talented horses, with their biggest cheerleader - owner Bruce Trogdon of Emerald Highlands Farm - usually present to share in the glory. Trogdon was also the breeder of Blazin Britches, and he bought the dam of Fear The Dragon with him in utero (already carrying the embryo), so Trogdon has been there from the literal very beginning of their lives through their two seasons of racing, including the successes of 2017. Thus the former newspaperman celebrated the 25th year of existence of his Emerald Highlands operation in the most successful way imaginable, capped by his winning the Owner of the Year award. Trogdon's former "small operation," Emerald Highlands, now has 37 broodmares, and likely a future champion or two maturing as they traverse the farm's mid-Ohio fields. Brian Brown, as both Trainer of the Year and the Good Guy Award winner, and owner Bruce Trogdon's Emerald Highlands Farm, will be honored at the upcoming Dan Patch Awards Banquet, to be held on Sunday, February 25 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL. Those wishing to take out a congratulatory ad in the Banquet's Awards Journal should contact Kim Rinker, Journal Committee chair, at trotrink@aol.com. Those wishing to attend the banquet can make room reservations online via a special "portal" on the USHWA website - but do so quickly to take advantage of the special room rates USHWA has obtained. Tickets for the banquet, priced at $175, can be obtained through Judy Davis-Wilson, Dinner Planning Committee chair, at zoe8874@aol.com. Jerry Connors

HARRISBURG PA - The theme generated within Hoosier Park, host track for the 2017 Breeders Crowns, was "It's Indiana Time," and the track's embodiment of that philosophy in all quarters, resulting in a superior show for harness racing's year-end showcase, has earned it the Stan Bergstein/Proximity Award in year-end Dan Patch Awards voting by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport's leading communications trade group. In addition, the Writers singled out two other "Hoosiers" for awards - Trace Tetrick, the track's leading driver and a double Breeders Crown winner at Hoosier, was voted the sport's Rising Star among the backstretch set; and Tim Konkle, the hardworking editor of the important monthly Midwest Harness Report and an equally tireless supporter of USHWA, has been named USHWA's Member of the Year. Hoosier Park, in the town of Andersonville northeast of Indianapolis, in its 24th season of racing during 2017, was chosen to host the $6M Breeders Crown Championship Series, a gathering of the best horses in North American harness racing. Although the weather was not at its best throughout the weekend of the Championships, the racing proved fair to all horses and excellently-competitive - and the Hoosier Park staff rolled out the red carpet to racing's elite horses and humans in a big way. No amount of effort was spared in making the Breeders Crown experience memorable to everyone connected to it, right down to the Hoosier Park faithful who turned out en masse to see the national-caliber racing. All who were at the 7/8-mile track that weekend came away raving about Hoosier Park and its first-rate job in showcasing the Breeders Crown (and it didn't hurt that a couple of Indiana-bred and Indiana-based horsemen showed up in Victory Lane, either). The leading driver at Hoosier Park over the last couple of years, Trace Tetrick, again led the sulkysitter's colony in 2017, but it was largely his work on his track's big weekend that drew the national attention to his developing abilities. Trace visited the Crown winners circle with three-year-old pacing filly Blazin Britches, last week voted champion in her division, and with the homegrown Indiana stakes competitor, two-year-old colt trotter Fiftydallarbill, among five winners on the weekend's two cards. Trace Tetrick, who was fourth in North America in wins at press time with 559 and who set a personal seasonal money record with $6.7M in horses driven, joins his brother Tim, who won the Rising Star Award exactly ten years ago, and who has since gone on to have "some success" in the sulky on the North American scene. Tim Konkle has been chronicling the Indiana scene for going on 20 years now, giving the racing at Hoosier, Indiana Downs when it raced Standardbreds, and the Indiana fairs and sales prominent attention in his magazine. Formerly best-known as the Hoosier Horse Review, Konkle expanded the purview of the publication when Ohio brought in gaming legislature, and under the name Midwest Harness Review Tim now keeps his readership posted on the major stories in the Hoosier state, the Buckeye state, and the surrounding harness racing area. For USHWA, Konkle has served as a Director of the At-Large membership group for two years. His preliminary spadework aided greatly with Hoosier Park being the title sponsor of the latest Dan Patch Awards Banquet, and he continues in his efforts to help the organization raise money and then use it wisely in its various activities. Hoosier Park, Trace Tetrick, and Tim Konkle will all be honored at the upcoming Dan Patch Awards Banquet, to be held on Sunday, February 25 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL. Those wishing to take out a congratulatory ad in the Banquet's Awards Journal should contact Kim Rinker, Journal Committee chair, at trotrink@aol.com. Those wishing to attend the banquet can make room reservations online via a special "portal" on the USHWA website - but do so quickly to take advantage of the special room rates USHWA has obtained. Tickets for the banquet, priced at $175, can be obtained through Judy Davis-Wilson, Dinner Planning Committee chair, at zoe8874@aol.com. (Full voting results for all categories will be sent along with Friday's release, the last in the sequence of four.) Jerry Connors  

History-making Pure Country and Manchego, unanimous harness racing selections Ariana G and Hannelore Hanover, and money-leader Downbytheseaside were among the 12 horses named 2017 Dan Patch Award winners Thursday by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Pure Country became the first female pacer in history to receive Dan Patch honors at ages 2, 3 and 4. The complete list of award-winning pacers is Pure Country (older female), Downbytheseaside (3-year-old male), Blazin Britches (3-year-old female) Lost In Time (2-year-old male), Youaremycandygirl (2-year-old female) and Keystone Velocity (older male). Manchego became the first undefeated 2-year-old female trotter to win a Dan Patch trophy since the category for fillies was created in 1978. In addition to Manchego, the divisional award-winning trotters are Ariana G (3-year-old female), Hannelore Hanover (older female), Fourth Dimension (2-year-old male), What The Hill (3-year-old male) and Marion Marauder (older male). Ariana G, Hannelore Hanover, and Marion Marauder are repeat winners. A total of 131 Dan Patch Award ballots were returned by the U.S. Harness Writers Association's membership this year. Dan Patch Award winners will be honored at a banquet Feb. 25 at Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Fla., at which time Trotter, Pacer, and Horse of the Year will be announced. Ariana G, one of four Dan Patch Award winners from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, won 12 of 15 races this year and earned $1.12 million for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, who also bred the filly. Driven by Yannick Gingras, her victories included the Hambletonian Oaks, Breeders Crown, and Elegantimage Stakes. Five-year-old Hannelore Hanover, the first repeat winner in the trotting mare division since Buck I St Pat captured three trophies in a row from 2008-10, won 10 of 17 races this season and earned $1.04 million. She became the fastest female trotter in history when she won the Allerage Farms Open Trot in 1:49.2 at Lexington's Red Mile and was the first mare to beat the boys in the Breeders Crown Open since Moni Maker in 1998. Other wins for the Ron Burke-trained Hannelore Hanover included the Maple Leaf Trot, where she also defeated male rivals, and the Armbro Flight Stakes. She is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. Gingras was her regular driver. Marion Marauder, a 4-year-old stallion who was last season's Trotter of the Year, won three of 10 races this year and earned $769,182 for owners Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling. Marion Marauder's victories included the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate Series championship and he was second in the International Trot. He was trained by the wife-and-husband team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling and driven by Scott Zeron. What The Hill, another trotter from the Burke stable, won nine of 18 races this year and earned $948,178 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms. His triumphs included the Breeders Crown and Canadian Trotting Classic and he concluded his campaign by beating older horses in the TVG Series championship. He was driven by David Miller. Manchego was a perfect 12-for-12 this season and earned $873,948 for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Trained by Takter and driven by Gingras, her wins included the Breeders Crown, Jim Doherty Memorial, and Peaceful Way Stakes. Fourth Dimension, trained by Marcus Melander for owner Courant Inc., won eight of 11 races and earned $397,410. His wins included the Valley Victory Stakes. He was driven by Brian Sears. All of the winning trotters received at least 78 percent of the vote with the exception of Marion Marauder, who garnered 53.4 percent as he outdistanced runner-up Crazy Wow by 31 votes. Pure Country joined male pacer Jenna's Beach Boy as the only pacers in the last 45 years to receive divisional honors at ages 2, 3 and 4. Jenna's Beach Boy accomplished the feat from 1994-96. The homebred Pure Country won five of 16 races and earned $461,168 for owner Diamond Creek Racing and trainer Takter. All her wins came in her final 10 starts, with Mark MacDonald in the sulky, and included the Breeders Crown, TVG Series championship, and Lady Liberty. Downbytheseaside finished his campaign with a four-race win streak on his way to leading the sport with $1.60 million in purses. The colt's victories included the Messenger Stakes, Progress Pace, Carl Milstein Memorial, and Art Rooney Pace. He was trained by Brian Brown and owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing. Chris Page, Brian Sears, and David Miller all guided the horse to stakes wins. He received 89.3 percent of the vote as he outpaced runner-up Fear The Dragon, who also was trained by Brown. Youaremycandygirl, history's fastest 2-year-old female pacer thanks to her 1:50 mile in a division of the International Stallion Stakes in Lexington, won nine of 11 races this year and closed the season with a seven-race win streak. Her victories included the Breeders Crown, She's A Great Lady, and Three Diamonds. She earned $895,615 for owner Bill Donovan, trainer Burke and drivers Gingras and Louis-Philippe Roy. Lost In Time, who was trained by Jim Mulinix before heading to the Takter stable for his final two starts, won five of nine races and earned $608,112 for owners A Rocknroll Dance Racing, Denny Miller, William Rufenacht, and Team S Racing Stable. His victories included the Metro Pace and Governor's Cup. He was driven by Zeron. Blazin Britches won the balloting's closest vote, defeating runner-up Agent Q by 14 votes among 3-year-old female pacers. Blazin Britches, trained by Brown for breeder/owner Emerald Highlands Farm, won 11 of 15 races and earned $540,424. Her triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Nadia Lobell, and Shady Daisy. She was driven primarily by Trace Tetrick, but also scored a stakes victory with David Miller. In the division for older male pacers, nine horses received at least one vote, with Keystone Velocity coming out on top by 31 votes over runner-up Mach It So. The 9-year-old Keystone Velocity won eight of 22 races and earned $783,442 for owners Allard Racing, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr., and VIP Internet Stable. His victories included the Ben Franklin Pace and Levy Memorial Series championship. Trained by Rene Allard, he was driven by Dan Dube and Simon Allard. Information regarding the Dan Patch Awards banquet is available at www.ushwa.org. Follow are profiles for the 12 divisional champions. TROTTERS 2-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER Fourth Dimension (103 votes/78.6 percent) Chapter Seven - Corazon Blue Chip - Muscle Hill Yearling price: $200,000 under name Seventh Wonder at Lexington Selected Sale. Breeders: Ray Schnittker, Steven Arnold, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Arden Homestead Stable. Owner: Courant Inc. Trainer: Marcus Melander. Driver: Brian Sears. Races: 11-8-1-0. Purses: $397,410. Mark: 1:52.4 at Lexington. Top wins: $464,650 Valley Victory; $59,400 International Stallion Stakes division.   2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER Manchego (130 votes/99.2 percent) Muscle Hill - Secret Magic - Cantab Hall Yearling price: $120,000 under name Whispering Hills at Lexington Selected Sale. Breeder: Brittany Farms. Owners: Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, Herb Liverman. Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Yannick Gingras. Races: 12-12-0-0. Purses: $873,948. Mark: 1:52.4 at Mohawk. Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $330,800 Jim Doherty Memorial; $307,500 Peaceful Way.   3-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER What The Hill (120 votes/91.6 percent) Muscle Hill - K T Cha Cha - Angus Hall Yearling price: $65,000 at Lexington Selected Sale. Breeder: Stan Klemencic. Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, Deo Volente Farms. Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: David Miller. Races: 18-9-1-2. Purses: $948,178. Mark: 1:51.4 at Mohawk. Top wins: $560,880 Canadian Trotting Classic; $527,500 Breeders Crown; $350,000 TVG Championship.   3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER Ariana G (131 votes/100 percent) Muscle Hill - Cantab It All - Cantab Hall Yearling price: Homebred. Breeders: Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld. Owners: Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld. Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Yannick Gingras. Races: 15-12-2-1. Purses: $1.12 million. Mark: 1:51.1 at Meadowlands. Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks; $315,700 Elegantimage.   OLDER MALE TROTTER Marion Marauder (70 votes/53.4 percent) Muscle Hill - Spellbound Hanover - Donerail Yearling price: $37,000 under name Marion Monopoly at Lexington Selected Sale. Breeder: William Mulligan. Owners: Marion Jean Wellwood, Devin Keeling. Trainers: Mike Keeling, Paula Wellwood. Driver: Scott Zeron. Races: 10-3-3-2. Purses: $769,182. Mark: 1:51.2 at Meadowlands. Top wins: $458,750 Hambletonian Maturity; $240,000 Graduate Championship.   OLDER FEMALE TROTTER Hannelore Hanover (131 votes/100 percent) Swan For All - High Sobriety - Dream Vacation Yearling price: $32,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale. Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms. Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi partnership, Frank Baldachino, J&T Silva Stables. Trainer: Ron Burke. Driver: Yannick Gingras. Races: 17-10-5-0. Purses: $1.04 million. Mark: 1:49.2 (world record) at Lexington. Top wins: $526,250 Breeders Crown Open; $486,260 Maple Leaf Trot; $184,690 Armbro Flight.   PACERS 2-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER Lost In Time (96 votes/73.2 percent) A Rocknroll Dance - Summer Mystery - Artiscape Yearling price: $47,000 at Lexington Selected Sale. Breeder: Diamond Creek Farm. Owners: A Rocknroll Dance Racing, Denny Miller, William Rufenacht, Team S Racing Stable. Trainers: Jim Mulinix, Jimmy Takter. Driver: Scott Zeron. Races: 9-5-2-0. Purses: $608,112. Mark: 1:50.1 at Mohawk. Top wins: $660,960 Metro Pace; $411,700 Governor's Cup; $58,000 International Stallion Stakes division.   2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER Youaremycandygirl (128 votes/97.7 percent) American Ideal - Sweet Lady Jane - Somebeachsomewhere Yearling price: $150,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale. Breeder: Birnam Wood Farms. Owner: W J (Bill) Donovan. Trainer: Ron Burke. Drivers: Yannick Gingras, Louis Roy. Races: 11-9-0-0. Purses: $895,615. Mark: 1:50 (world record) at Lexington. Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $405,000 She's A Great Lady; $381,200 Three Diamonds.   3-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER Downbytheseaside (117 votes/89.3 percent) Somebeachsomewhere - Sprig Hanover - Allamerican Native Yearling price: $65,000 under name Beach Blue Chip at Lexington Selected Sale. Breeders: Blue Chip Farms, Janet Seltzer, Jeffrey Scott Rabinowitz, Jordan Farkas, Robert Wood. Owners: Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, Diamond Creek Racing. Trainer: Brian Brown. Drivers: Chris Page, Brian Sears, David Miller. Races: 22-14-2-3. Purses: $1.60 million. Mark: 1:48.3 at Dover Downs. Top wins: $500,000 Messenger; $308,060 Progress; $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial; $300,000 Art Rooney Pace.   3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER Blazin Britches (66 votes/50.3 percent) Rock N Roll Heaven - Soggy Britches - Allamerican Ingot Yearling price: Homebred. Breeder: Emerald Highlands Farm. Owner: Emerald Highlands Farm. Trainer: Brian Brown. Drivers: Trace Tetrick, David Miller. Races: 15-11-2-0. Purses: $540,424. Mark: 1:48.4 at Meadowlands. Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $160,000 Nadia Lobell; $113,950 Shady Daisy.   OLDER MALE PACER Keystone Velocity (65 votes/49.6 percent) Western Hanover - Venus Killean - Run The Table Yearling price: $3,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale. Breeder: George Hempt. Owners: Allard Racing, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr., VIP Internet Stable. Trainer: Rene Allard. Drivers: Dan Dube, Simon Allard. Races: 22-8-3-1. Purses: $783,442. Mark: 1:47.3 at Rosecroft. Top wins: $529,000 Levy Championship; $500,000 Ben Franklin; $100,000 Potomac Pace.   OLDER FEMALE PACER Pure Country (121 votes/92.3 percent) Somebeachsomewhere - Western Montana - Western Hanover Yearling price: Homebred. Breeder: Diamond Creek Farm. Owner: Diamond Creek Racing. Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Driver: Mark MacDonald. Races: 16-5-3-1. Purses: $461,168. Mark: 1:48 (Q) at Meadowlands. Top wins: $250,000 Breeders Crown; $200,400 Lady Liberty; $175,000 TVG Championship.   U.S. Harness Writers Association

The U. S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the trade organization of harness racing communicators and the largest organization of its kind in the world, has announced that it will be holding its 2018 Dan Patch Awards Banquet at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, February 25, with the organization's annual meetings to be conducted the day before and that day. Located just off Universal Boulevard, within 10 minutes of the Orlando International Airport and minutes from the many area attractions, Rosen Shingle Creek is a five-star property that is ranked a top-20 U.S. meeting hotel by Cvent. The stunning 230-acre property includes an 18-hole, Arnold Palmer-redesigned golf course, four swimming pools, a spa that includes nine treatment rooms, two lighted tennis courts, sand volleyball, basketball and a state-of-the-art fitness center. There are 15 restaurant/lounges located on the property, including the upscale steakhouse A Land Remembered, the fine-dining bistro Cala Bella, Banrai Sushi, Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria, and a 24-hour deli. Rosen Shingle Creek offers more than 1,500 smoke-free guestrooms, which include Creek Sleeper Beds with designer linens and pillows, plush robes, 40-inch TVs and a spa-like bathroom. Dan Patch Awards banquet ticket prices will be announced later, but a special price offering will be available for children 12 and under. Also, attendees will receive a greens fee discount at the adjacent golf course. Rosen Shingle Creek offers complimentary shuttles to area theme parks and Orlando Premium Outlets. Attendees will be able to purchase theme park ticket packages at a discount via USHWA, with that information also available at a later time. To see a promotional video of Rosen Shingle Creek, please click this link: RosenShingleCreekSizzleVideo2.mp4 "Through the hard work of our location committee,"said USHWA President Tim Bojarski. "USHWA now has a unique opportunity to host our Dan Patch Awards banquet at a truly luxurious location. The Rosen Shingle Creek Resort has facilities and amenities far beyond anywhere we have ever stayed in the past and we look forward to welcoming all of our award winners and guests to this property next February." The Dan Patch Awards Banquet annually honors the best and brightest performers, both human and equine, of the previous season. The award winners are selected by USHWA, which will be holding its directors meeting on Saturday and its general membership meeting on the banquet Sunday. Details will be made available at the USHWA website, http://www.ushwa.org/, and through trade media as they become available. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

Two-year old harness racing World Champion and Dan Patch Award winner, Huntsville, is prepping for his 3 year old campaign at Goshen Historic Track in Goshen, New York.   The colt may be a Pennsylvania bred but he has New York connections all the way. He was bred by Ray Schnittker of Middletown New York & Charles Iannazzo of Tappan, New York , his co - owners, along with Ted Gewertz of New York, New York and Steve Arnold of Purchase, New York. He was raised at Steve Jones's Cameo Hills Farm in Montgomery, New York Huntsville's career began at the Meadowlands on June 4, 2016, he debuted with a winning effort in 1:54.2, with a last quarter in 26.3 . He marched through his 2 year old season by winning three Pa. Sire Stake events, including the final in 1:51.1. He headed to Lexington and won the Bluegrass in 1:53 and the following week at the Red Mile, he tied the World Record for 2 year old pacing colts, winning the International Stallion Stake in 1:49 After that it was back to the Meadowlands, where he won the Elimination and Final of the Breeders Crown, winning the final in 1:49.1 , a new track record for 2 year old pacing colts. On the season, he had 7 wins and 4 seconds, in 11 starts with earnings of $ 689,814 and was voted the 2 year old pacing colt of the year by USHWA According to trainer and co-owner Ray Schnittker, the colt's connections are aiming for the 2017 North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway in early June. "But prior to that Huntsville will probably make his first seasonal start in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes on May 21," Schnittker said. "Of course we'll tune him up in qualifiers at the Meadowlands before he begins his 3-year-old season." Huntsville is by Somebeachsomewhere from Wild West Show by Western Hanover. Huntsville - Breeder's Crown by Steve Jones with John manzi for Goshen Historic Track

The best in harness racing in 2016 will be honored Sunday night, Feb. 26, at the annual U.S. Harness Writers Association's Dan Patch Awards dinner, presented by Hoosier Park, at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. But even if you are not planning on attending, you can still watch the entire night of award presentations. While the video streaming won't be live, it will be available Monday morning, Feb. 27, on the U.S. Trotting Association YouTube page, which can be accessed here, as well as at www.ustrotting.com/video, which links directly to the video page on the USTA website. In addition, the video will be available for viewing on the USHWA Facebook page. For those who are attending, remember the cocktail party in Celebrity Ballrooms 5-8 starts at 6 p.m. (PT) and the awards dinner will get underway promptly at 7 p.m. And for those who are attending, make sure you are there early as you don't want to miss seeing a special performance by a legendary performer that will kick off the awards portion of the night. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF) are again teaming up to offer an exciting silent auction to benefit both harness racing organizations at the Dan Patch Awards Dinner Sunday, February 26 in Las Vegas. For those who are on the go, one lucky bidder may attend the 2017 Preakness on May 20. That package includes two tickets to Turfside Terrace at Pimlico, including admission, seating, buffet, beer and wine, and parking. And while what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, one successful bidder can choose a two-night stay at any Caesar's property, along with a dinner for four. Special works of art, including a 22x8x22 inch stone, fiberglass and resin horse head statue title "Champagne," a framed, double matted 25x33 inch "Stretch Drive," signed print by renowned artist James Crown and a 14x18 inch Greyhound framed print by R.H. Palenske are also up for bid. For that special female, the auction features a Bow River two heart horse pendant and necklace featuring a .10 carat diamond and 14K gold necklace. Also offered is an equine-themed L.V. Harkness etched whisky decanter. In addition to on-site bidding in Las Vegas, USHWA and HHYF are offering advance bidding on all of these items. Contact Steve Wolf at 954-654-3757, or Ellen Taylor at 317-908-0029 for bidding requirements and information. Now in its fifth decade of service to harness racing, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. The United States Harness Writers Association is a group of more than 220 members committed to the chronicling of harness racing through the print and electronic media. It was founded in 1947 by New York City area sportswriters who were covering harness racing at Roosevelt Raceway. It remains the only media organization in harness racing with a membership of newspaper, magazine, radio and TV, ad agency, publicists and others involved in racing communications. With most of USHWA's members allied to one of 12 regional chapters, the association strives to bring about a closer relationship among the media, racetracks and horsemen to promote a centuries-old American-bred sport.  

Harness racing owner Christine Czernyson, who has helped lead an ovarian cancer awareness effort with assistance from horses Aldebaran Eagle and Side Bet Hanover, has been named the 2016 recipient of the January Davies Humanitarian Award presented by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. The award was created in 2008 by U.S. Harness Writers Association member Callie Davies-Gooch in memory of her daughter to recognize contributions beyond harness racing. Czernyson and her husband, trainer Jonas Czernyson, have contributed more than $4,000 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance by donating a percentage of their earnings from Aldebaran Eagle's and Side Bet Hanover's purses. In addition, the horses wear ribbons in their manes with the names of nearly 80 women who are either ovarian cancer survivors or in tribute to women who have been taken from loved ones by the disease. "Christine has done so much to bring attention to this cause," Davies-Gooch said. "She is one of the great ladies of harness racing and a great example of humanitarianism, providing not only financial assistance to ovarian cancer research and awareness but touching the lives of those affected by the disease through the personal connections incorporated into her efforts. When her name came before our board we felt she was the perfect choice for this award." The cause hits close to home for Czernyson, who lost her aunt, Kathy Terrazas, to ovarian cancer. Furthermore, Duncan McPherson, who owns Aldebaran Eagle, lost his wife, Lyn, to the disease and is active in promoting ovarian cancer awareness programs in his homeland of Australia. "This is totally humbling because it's not about me, it's about the women and families that fight with this disease on a daily basis and their struggles," Czernyson said. "If I can take up a fight for them, I'm willing to do so. For me personally, my aunt passed away from ovarian cancer. Watching her struggle with that disease was not an easy thing. The impact has lasted for years. "When Duncan McPherson came into our stable, he had lost his wife Lyn to ovarian cancer. He is very active in Australia with ovarian cancer awareness. We just wanted to give something back to Duncan. But we wanted to honor not only his wife and my aunt, but the many other women who are fighting this disease. I don't think a lot of people realize, but one in 75 women will have ovarian cancer. That's a pretty staggering statistic." The Czernysons started their awareness effort in 2015 with Aldebaran Eagle and extended it to Side Bet Hanover last year when the female trotter raced in the Hambletonian Oaks on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands. Sherry Pollex, the longtime girlfriend of last year's Hambletonian trophy presenter, NASCAR driver Martin Truex, is an ovarian cancer survivor and advocate for others fighting the disease. Pollex signed a teal ribbon, with teal being the color for ovarian cancer awareness, worn by Side Bet Hanover in the Oaks. Side Bet Hanover and Aldebaran Eagle will continue to race for ovarian cancer awareness this year, although it will soon be on two different continents. "Eagle will be leaving to go to Australia in March," Czernyson said. "We have no doubt he will continue to soar for ovarian cancer down there as well. He's going to race and then stand stud. Side Bet Hanover will carry on here after Eagle has made the trip to Australia." While raising money for ovarian cancer research and awareness has been an important aspect of Czernyson's effort, the connections made with people affected by the disease has been even more priceless. "We get a lot of messages whenever those two horses race," Czernyson said. "I have quite a few women that we stay in contact with that have really fallen in love with this idea and the concept of it and giving them something to cheer for. They're so appreciative for that. They can say 'That horse is racing for me.' "That's probably given us the biggest joy, just having that knowledge that it goes beyond the money and the horserace. It gives some personal meaning to it. It makes you realize what you're doing is making a difference. But this isn't about me or Jonas or the horses, it's about the women and families affected by this disease. It's really all about them." Czernyson will be honored at the "Night of Champions," the Dan Patch Awards Banquet presented by Hoosier Park, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Information about the banquet and the entire weekend, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found at www.ushwa.org - including links for making hotel reservations at special rates at Planet Hollywood; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake souvenir banquet journal, annually one of the best chronicles of a year in North American harness racing. Ken Weingartner

HARRISBURG, PA - The New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, designed to transition racehorses from their careers on the track into a productive "adoptive" program suitable for both the equine and her/his new "family," has been selected for the United States Harness Writers Association's President's Award, as announced by the president of USHWA, harness racing's leading media organization, Tim Bojarski. Over 6000 retired Standardbred and Thoroughbred racehorses have been placed by New Vocations since its founding in 1992. Many have gone on to be pleasure horses, and some have been re-educated to participate in other equine disciplines such as horse show competition. One New Vocations "graduate" even served as a "stand-in" when the recent movie about Seabiscuit, the champion racehorse, was made! New Vocations has two farms in Ohio, Laurelville and Marysville; one in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania; and one in Lexington, Kentucky. The Executive Director of the New Vocations program is Dot Morgan, who won the 2012 Unsung Hero Award from USHWA, and its current Standardbred Program Director is Dot's daughter, Winnie Morgan Nemeth, a member of USHWA. Bojarski notes, "New Vocations is a highly-motivated group of 'horse people' who aggressively re-home and re-train retired Standardbred and Thoroughbred Racehorses. Their plan is simple: determine the horse's demeanor, find the horse's best traits, and then teach the horse a skill that suits her or him best and will ensure that the animal will be productive forever in its new home. "New Vocations is in the process of building the former Mereworth Farm in Lexington KY, consolidating the group's efforts and making the new facility the largest rehabilitation, retraining, re-homing and retirement facility in the nation. The group's Standardbred Division led by Winnie Morgan Nemeth does extraordinary work for our retired warriors of the track, and does that work with the horse's best interests uppermost in mind." New Vocations will be honored at the "Night Of Champions," the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park, which will take place on Sunday, February 26 at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Information about the banquet and the entire weekend, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found on the communicators' website, www.ushwa.org - including links for making hotel reservations at special rates at Planet Hollywood; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake Souvenir Banquet Journal, annually one of the best chronicles of a year in North American harness racing. From the United States Harness Writers' Association

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