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Bee A Magician, Mission Brief, and Pinkman added to their respective Dan Patch Award totals Tuesday when divisional honors for harness racing trotters were announced by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Mission Brief, a filly, and Pinkman, a gelding, were Dan Patch Award winners last year at age 2 and repeated as honorees for 2015. Five-year-old mare Bee A Magician was previously recognized in 2013, when she was voted harness racing's best 3-year-old female trotter as well as Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year. Joining that trio in also receiving Dan Patch Award divisional honors this year were 2-year-old filly Broadway Donna, 2-year-old colt Southwind Frank, and older male JL Cruze. Divisional honors for pacers will be announced Wednesday, followed by the live announcements of Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year at approximately 1 p.m. Thursday after the second race at Monticello Raceway. The announcement will be available on Monticello's simulcast, advance deposit wagering sites, or via replay at An email announcement will follow immediately. A total of 136 ballots were returned. Each winner received at least 82 percent of the votes in their division. Southwind Frank received 135 votes, with one voter abstaining from voting in the category. Pinkman, trained by Jimmy Takter, is the richest trotter in North America this year, with $1.89 million in purses. He won 11 of 17 races, including the Hambletonian, Canadian Trotting Classic, Kentucky Futurity, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, and Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial. His time of 1:51 in the Hambletonian set the world record for a 3-year-old gelding trotter on a mile racetrack and his 1:51.3 win in the Beal established the world record for a 3-year-old gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile oval. Pinkman is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. Pinkman is the second consecutive Takter-trained male trotter to receive Dan Patch Award honors at ages 2 and 3, following Father Patrick in 2013 and 2014. Mission Brief, trained by Ron Burke, won 10 of 14 races this year, finished second on three occasions, and earned $1 million in purses. Her triumphs included the Elegantimage Stakes, Matron Stakes, and the filly division of the Zweig Memorial. She challenged the boys in the Hambletonian, rather than facing the fillies in the Hambletonian Oaks, and won her elimination before finishing second to Pinkman in the same-day final. Her time of 1:50.2 in the Matron Stakes set the world record for a 3-year-old female trotter on a five-eighths-mile track and equaled the fastest mile ever by any 3-year-old trotter on a five-eighths-mile oval. Mission Brief is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. Mission Brief joins Shake It Cerry (2013 and 2014) and Check Me Out (2011 and 2012) as recent trotting fillies to receive Dan Patch Award recognition at ages 2 and 3. Bee A Magician enjoyed multiple successes this year against male rivals. She became the first female trotter to win the Maple Leaf Trot since 2006 and she became the first mare to ever win the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial and Centaur Trotting Classic. She also knocked off the boys in the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot. For the year, Bee A Magician won 10 of 18 races, finished second five times, and earned $980,845 for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee. Her victories also included the Armbro Flight Stakes for trotting mares. Bee A Magician is the first female trotter since Peace Corps to receive a Dan Patch Award at ages 3 and 5. Peace Corps garnered five consecutive trophies from ages 2 through 6 (1988-92). JL Cruze, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Eric Ell, saw his season cut short by complications from a virus, but before being sidelined won 16 of 21 races and put together a string of three consecutive world-record performances. He became the sport's first trotter to trot a mile in less than 1:50 on a mile-sized track, stopping the timer in 1:49.4 to capture the Graduate Series championship at the Meadowlands. In addition, JL Cruze set the world record of 2:04.2 for the distance of 1-1/8 miles in the Hambletonian Maturity and equaled the world record of 1:51 for a 4-year-old gelding on a five-eighths oval in the Sun Invitational. A relative unknown entering this year, JL Cruze began the season by winning the Super Bowl Series championship in January, followed by the Singer Memorial Series in February, the Shiaway St Pat Series in March, and the Weiss Series in April. He earned $627,456 this season. JL Cruze is owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta. Two-year-old colt Southwind Frank, another trotter from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, won 11 of 12 races this year and earned $786,419. His wins included the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, and William Wellwood Memorial. His time of 1:52.2 in a division of the International Stallion Stakes set the world record for a 2-year-old male trotter. Southwind Frank is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables. Two-year-old filly Broadway Donna won nine of 10 races this season and earned $531,286 for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Fashion Farms. Her victories included the Jim Doherty Memorial, a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. 2-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER Southwind Frank (135 votes) Muscle Hill---Flawless Lindy---Cantab Hall Yearling Price: $100,000 at Lexington Selected Sale Breeder: Southwind Farm Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 12-11-0-0 Purses: $786,419 Mark: 1:52.2 at The Red Mile (world record) Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial; $283,480 William Wellwood Memorial   2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER Broadway Donna (112 votes) Donato Hanover---Broadway Schooner---Broadway Hall Yearling Price: Homebred Breeder: Fashion Farms Owner: Fashion Farms Trainer: Jim Campbell Driver: David Miller Races: 10-9-0-0 Purses: $531,286 Mark: 1:53.3 at Meadowlands Top wins: $389,450 Jim Doherty Memorial; $351,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship; $129,500 Bluegrass Stakes division   3-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER Pinkman (132 votes) Explosive Matter---Margie Seelster---Angus Hall Yearling Price: $77,000 under name Traffic Jam at Lexington Selected Sale Breeder: O Narutac Equine Nursery Owners: Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, Herb Liverman Trainer: Jimmy Takter Drivers: Yannick Gingras, Brian Sears Races: 17-11-3-1 Purses: $1.89 million Mark: 1:51 at Meadowlands (world record) Top wins: $1 million Hambletonian; $532,000 Canadian Trotting Classic; $527,000 Kentucky Futurity; $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial   3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER Mission Brief (118 votes) Muscle Hill---Southwind Serena---Varenne Yearling Price: $150,000 at Lexington Selected Sale Breeders: Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm, Andrea Lea Racing Stables Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables, Weaver Bruscemi LLC Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 14-10-3-0 Purses: $1 million Mark: 1:50.2 at Dover Downs (world record) Top wins: $307,040 Elegantimage; $187,400 Matron; $185,000 Zweig Filly   OLDER MALE TROTTER JL Cruze (118 votes) Crazed---Topcat Hall---Conway Hall Sale Price: $37,000 at 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale Breeders: Joanne Morrison, Glengate Farms Owners: Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr., Stephen Iaquinta Trainer: Eric Ell Driver: John Campbell Races: 21-16-2-0 Purses: $627,456 Mark: 1:49.4 at Meadowlands (world record) Top wins: $443,300 Hambletonian Maturity; $250,000 Graduate; $75,000 Sun Invitational\   OLDER FEMALE TROTTER Bee A Magician (119 votes) Kadabra---Beehive---Balanced Image Yearling Price: $90,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale Breeder: White Birch Farm Owners: Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, David McDuffee Trainer: Richard "Nifty" Norman Drivers: Brian Sears, David Miller Races: 18-10-5-0 Purses: $980,845 Mark: 1:51.1 at Mohawk Top wins: $516,800 Maple Leaf Trot; $220,320 Armbro Flight; $210,000 Centaur Trotting Classic   From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

LUCAN, Ontario . . . Seelster Farms today announced that the harness racing Dan Patch and O’Brien Award winning Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year,  Wheeling N Dealin, is the latest addition to their stallion roster for 2016.   Wheeling N Dealin enjoyed a spectacular freshman season during which time he never tasted defeat in nine starts. He swept the Bridger Series, won the Champlain in a season’s best 1:55, captured the elim and final of the William Wellwood Memorial and concluded the season with a sweep of the Breeders Crown.   He was the overwhelming choice as the best two-year-old trotting colt of the year in Canada and the US winning the O’Brien and Dan Patch Awards.   As a sophomore, Wheeling N Dealin started in the three toughest races for his group, the Hambletonian, Canadian Trotting Classic and the Kentucky Futurity. In the first, he finished second in his elimination timed in 1:53.1 and, in the second, he was a close third in his elim and fourth in the final.   Wheeling N Dealin concluded his racing career late this summer at Mohawk, winning his final two starts including a life best 1:54 performance. He retires to the Seelster Farms’ breeding shed with $913,000 in earnings.   In addition to his talent on track, Wheeling N Dealin also possesses a deep pedigree. His sire is the great Cantab Hall, a winner of $1.5 million in his racing career and the sire of such standouts as Father Patrick ($2.6 million), Wild Honey ($1.6 million), Explosive Matter ($1.5 million), etc.   Wheeling N Dealin’s dam is the multiple stakes winner Quick Credit who won more than $553,000 and has also produced Sugar Wheeler ($354,000).   The introductory fee for Wheeling N Dealin is $4,000. For further information, please see or call (519) 227-4294.   2012 Breeder's Crown     2012 Bridger Final     2012 Champlain Stakes     2012 William Wellwood Final  

The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has set the schedule of 2015 year-end awards announcements. The six Dan Patch Award trotting winners in their age and gender divisions will lead off with announcements, with the exception of Trotter of the Year, at noon (ET) Tuesday, Dec. 15. Pacers follow the next day, Dec. 16, also at noon. On Thursday, Dec. 17 at approximately 1 p.m. (ET) the announcement of Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year will be made via a live announcement from Monticello Raceway following the second race, on its simulcast, advance deposit wagering sites or replay at An email announcement will immediately follow and it is expected that the Associated Press will also carry the news. The following week, award announcements for people in harness racing will follow, with the Proximity Award, along with Owner, Driver and Trainer of the Year to be announced at noon (ET) Monday, Dec. 21. The next day, also at noon, those selected for Rising Star, Breakthrough and Unsung Hero awards will be announced via email. The U.S. Harness Writers Association

Some of the races for divisional honors are done deals at this point. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who has earned more than $2 million; set world records for his class on half and 5/8 tracks; won the Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug; and come out on top in 20 of 24 starts that stretch through almost the entire calendar year, will win his division and be voted Horse Of The Year. He has one more start scheduled, in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs on November 29. Pinkman, with wins in the Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity and Canadian Trotting Classic, will win the Dan Patch for sophomore trotting colts. The gelded son of Explosive Matter has won 11 of 17 starts and earned more than $1.8 million for Jimmy Takter. Pinkman will give the latter consecutive wins in this division. Southwind Frank will top the freshman trotting colts. He won 15 of 17 starts, including the Breeders Crown and the Peter Haughton. He earned almost $800,000 and set a world record of 1:52.2 in a split of the ISS at The Red Mile. That’s almost two seconds slower than his paternal sister Mission Brief went last year, but that’s OK. Speaking of Mission Brief, she’ll win the three-year-old trotting filly division on brilliance alone. The three classic stakes for a sophomore trotting filly are the Oaks, Kentucky Filly Futurity and Breeders Crown. Wild Honey took all of them, and she has a bigger 2015 bankroll than the Muscle Hill Amazon, so on the basis of her resume she should be on equal footing with Mission Brief, at the very least. But life isn’t always fair, and brilliance sometimes trumps a season of stellar accomplishments. Last Thursday’s eye popping world record 1:50.2 win in the Matron by Mission Brief put her over the top. She also finished second in the Hambletonian, and won the Elegantimage, Zweig Filly, and a split of the Bluegrass. The public loves her and she will win the division, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s Continentalvictory. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year in the US and Canada, will be back on the podium after an off year—for her—in 2014. She beat the boys in the Maple Leaf Classic, Charlie Hill, Cutler and Centaur. She also triumphed over the mares in the Armbro Flight. BAM is entered in the TVG Mare Trot on Friday. Regardless of the outcome, she will be hoisting a Dan Patch. Jimmy Takter’s SBSW two-year-old filly, Pure Country, should win a competitive contest for the Dan Patch with the Canadian based Bettor’s Delight filly, L A Delight. The former is a perfect 10 for 10 while Bob McIntosh’s L A Delight has experienced one loss in a dozen starts. Pure Country is almost $157,000 richer. This one came down to the Breeders Crown, which the SBSW filly won handily. L A Delight was not staked to it. Pure Country also won splits of the Bluegrass and ISS at The Red Mile and the Pennsylvania Championship. L A Delight won the Eternal Camnation, Great Lady and Champlain, as well as the OSS Super Final. Figuring out which freshman colt will take home a Dan Patch is much more difficult. If Control The Moment (Well Said), who won the Metro and Nassagaweya, had taken the Breeders Crown he would have ended the discussion, but he didn’t, and he hasn’t come to the States for the Matron or the Governor’s Cup. The Rocknroll colt Boston Red Rocks took the BC, but that’s about it. He is entered in Saturday’s Governor’s Cup. Ron Burke’s Western Ideal colt Big Top Hanover won the Matron, in addition to an ISS split in Lexington. A win on Saturday would make him a strong candidate. If neither Big Top Hanover nor Boston Red Rocks win the Governor’s Cup it may go by default to Control The Moment. If the Donato filly Broadway Donna had won the BC, the division would be hers. She entered her elimination a perfect 9 for 9 with wins in the Doherty, Bluegrass and PA Championship. But she failed to make the final, and is now at the mercy of Jimmy Takter’s Muscle Hill filly, All The Time, who starts from the rail in the upcoming Goldsmith Maid. She won the BC and will have $125,000 more on her card than Donna if she wins on Friday. All The Time has won seven times and she dominated in her recent starts. No sophomore pacing filly got even a single point in this week’s Top Ten Poll. The division will probably be settled in the 1 1/8 mile Tarport Hap at The Meadowlands. Divine Caroline, who starts from the seven for David Miller and Joe Holloway, won the Breeders Crown, Garnsey and a split of the Bluegrass. She’s the richest and fastest filly in that division. A win on Saturday should secure a Dan Patch for her. Ron Burke’s Sassa Hanover, the winner of the Jugette and Adioo Volo, is also entered in that race. Wrangler Magic won the Fan Hanover and Simcoe, and Purrfect Bags took the Lady Maud and Lismore, but both checked out of the division battle early. Also, the Courageous Lady is a week from Friday. The aged trotters are another difficult group in which to crown a leader: There is no Sebastian K this year. Bee A Magician won several of the trotting stakes that generally go to males. Papagayo E took the Yonkers International, while Creatine, who only made a couple of NA starts, won the Breeders Crown. Il Sogno Dream won the Allerage and the Dayton Trotting Derby. Is he the champ? JL Cruze was an early season sensation, winning sixteen times. However, once the four-year-old restricted races ended, he fell apart. His last win was four months ago in the Hambletonian Maturity. None of the TVG Final winners would become prime candidates with a win. No idea. Anndrovette won’t be winning the Dan Patch for aged pacing mares for a fifth consecutive year. At least I don’t think she will. She has only three wins, with the Golden Girls and Lady Liberty being two of them. But the latter was her last win and that was more than three months ago. She scratched out of the BC. Venus Delight, who won the Matchmaker, Artiscape and Milton, should take the division with a win in Friday’s TVG Mare for Tim Tetrick. On the other hand, last year’s three-year-old champ, Color’s A Virgin, has come alive at the right time with wins in the Allerage Mare and Breeders Crown. A win in the TVG for David Miller will secure another Dan Patch for her. The race for the Dan Patch in the older pacing division presents the voters with an interesting dilemma. Throughout most of the season it was assumed that six-year-old State Treasurer, who has nine wins and dominated that division for most of the 2014 season, would win in a walk. But then along came Miki. By the time Always B Miki made his first start, in an Indiana Sire Stakes elimination on October 3, State Treasure had already racked up wins in the Molson,  Mohawk Gold Cup, William Haughton, the US Pacing Championship, Roll With Joe, Canadian Pacing Derby and Dayton Pacing Derby. All that before the four-year-old son of Always A Virgin made a single start. That’s a very impressive seasonal resume. Subsequent to that, State Treasurer was a disappointing seventh in the Allerage Open, after leading most of the mile.  He then faced Miki in a Breeders Crown elimination, won easily by the latter, with State Treasurer finishing third, three lengths back. And the following week Miki took the final in handy fashion in 1:49.3, with State Treasurer finishing sixth. State Treasurer called it a year after his Breeders Crown loss, while Miki went on to win the American-National in 1:49.1 at Balmoral. Since he was not staked to the TVG, that’s it for him in 2015. This week’s Breeders Crown Poll shows Always B Miki in sixth place with 147 points, while State Treasurer is in twelfth with only 29 points. While some of the folks who vote in this poll will also vote for the division champions, not all will. Still, we must choose between five months of domination at the highest ranks of the aged pacing tree and one month of brilliance at the tail end of the season. Does that old saw “What have you done for me lately” rule the day? As unfair as it might be, I believe Always B Miki will take home the Dan Patch. by Joe FitzGerald for Harnesslink Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

Freehold, NJ --- After dominating winter harness racing events at the Meadowlands and Pocono earlier this year, JL Cruze is ready to face his toughest test of the season. He is heading to Saturday’s (June 6) second round of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters at the Big M, where he will meet a field that includes two-time Dan Patch Award winner Father Patrick. The race is the second of two Graduate divisions for the trotters, with 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry headlining the first group. The card also includes two second-round Graduate divisions for 4-year-old pacers, featuring winter series sensation Rockeyed Optimist meeting stakes stars JK Endofanera, Luck Be Withyou, and Limelight Beach in the first division. JL Cruze brings a seven-race win streak to Saturday’s start. For the year, he has won 11 of 13 races, including the Super Bowl, Singer Memorial, Shiaway St Pat and Weiss series championships. He has won $155,513 for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Stephen Iaquinta, who purchased the horse for $37,000 at November’s Standardbred Horse Sale Mixed Sale. The group purchased JL Cruze -- who had three wins in 14 races prior to the sale -- because he fit favorable non-winners conditions at Dover Downs, where the owners race frequently. Now he will get the opportunity to race against world champion Father Patrick, who won the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational on May 24 at Harrah’s Philadelphia in his only start so far this season. “He’s been unbelievable,” trainer Eric Ell said. “We didn’t know what we had bought when we bought him. We just knew we had a young trotter that fit some cheaper classes at Dover. We just popped him in a couple of those (winter) series in case he turned out to be something, and he did. “It’s been a fun ride, that’s for sure. I’m looking forward to racing the big boys. We’re going to see if we can go with them or not.” JL Cruze’s most recent start came April 21 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where he won the Weiss final by a length over Opulent Yankee in 1:52.4. He prepped for his return in the Graduate by finishing second to Gural Hanover in a qualifier on May 30 at the Meadowlands. He was timed in 1:52.1 with a :26.4 last quarter-mile despite being on the mend from a cut he suffered on his right front foot three weeks earlier. “He’s doing good,” Ell said. “He grabbed his quarter on his right front foot and he was really sore. I couldn’t do much with him and couldn’t get him trained. It was a freak thing; he’s never done it before. But he qualified well. It looks like he’s going to be OK for Saturday. “The sky is the limit for him. He just keeps getting better all the time. After the Weiss final I gave him some time off, which he needed. I gave him two weeks completely off in the field and then I started bringing him back. He really needed the time. He was able to put some weight back on and get freshened up again. We’ll see what happens on Saturday.” John Campbell has been the regular driver of JL Cruze, but on Saturday will be in Canada for stakes races at Mohawk. David Miller will drive JL Cruze, who will start from post three in a seven-horse field. Father Patrick, who has won 23 of 29 career races and earned $2.51 million for the Father Patrick Stable ownership group, will leave from post five with Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. The remainder of the field is Resolve, Rompaway Galaxy, Opulent Yankee, Uva Hanover, and Madewell Hanover. In the first division, Shake It Cerry -- the only female in the field -- will start from post two with Takter driving. Shake It Cerry has won 24 of 32 career races and earned $2.08 million for Solveig’s Racing Partners. The remainder of the field is DD’s Hitman, Muscle Network, Gural Hanover, Datsyuk, and Sumatra. Shake It Cerry and Opulent Yankee, trained by Julie Miller, won first-round Graduate divisions, held May 25 at Tioga Downs. The third round is June 19 and the $250,000 final is July 11. On the pacing side, Rockeyed Optimist and Doo Wop Hanover -- both from the stable of trainer Steve Elliott -- won the first-round divisions at Tioga. Doo Wop Hanover romped by 7-1/2 lengths over stablemate Rock Out in 1:47.4. It was the fastest mile in Tioga Downs’ history. Doo Wop Hanover will start from post No. 1 in the second of the two divisions for pacers Saturday. He is joined by Bushwacker, Somewhere In L A, Lyonssomewhere, All Bets Off, Rock Out, and Mattamerican. Rockeyed Optimist leaves from post four in his division, which includes JK Endofanera, Luck Be Withyou, Caviart Luca, Limelight Beach, and Somesizesomestyle. The third round for pacers is June 19 and the $250,000 final is July 3. “They’re all good, knock on wood,” Elliott said about his three starters. “(Doo Wop) is real good right now. He’s always been good. He was a little unmanageable at times, if you left with him he wouldn’t come back to you. We rigged him a little differently and he seems fine. “I think Rockeyed is better coming from behind, but he’s become more versatile and learned how to race. Rock Out is faster than he shows he is. He’s going to be better as the year goes on.” JK Endofanera, whose stakes victories in 2014 included the North America Cup, is making his second start of the season. He won the first round of the TVG Free For All Series for older pacers on May 16 at the Meadowlands, giving him 15 wins in 28 career starts and earnings of $1.50 million. Limelight Beach won last year’s Little Brown Jug while Luck Be Withyou was the Breeders Crown champion at age 2. All Bets Off won the 2014 Art Rooney Pace and Messenger Stakes. Lyonssomewhere captured the Cane Pace and Mattamerican won the Horseman Stakes. “There are a lot of good 4-year-olds out there,” Elliott said. “It’s a tough transition from (age) 3 to 4. I want to keep (my horses) against 4-year-olds so they mature the right way. Hopefully, anyway. “I don’t know if there are any easy races, they go fast everywhere all the time. But it helps when you have nice horses.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

MANALAPAN, NJ - May 16, 2015 - Artspeak, the Dan Patch Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year in 2014, coasted to a three and a half-length harness racing victory in his season's debut, a $20,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, the fourth race on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the Meadowlands. Scott Zeron tipped the 3-2 favorite out and brushed to the lead before the half, hand driving the son of Western Ideal to a career best 1:49 flat. Gokudo Hanover [Cam's Card Shark] is second best with five and a half lengths to Dealt A Winner [Cam's Card Shark] in third. Artspeak, winner of the Governor's Cup and Metro Pace at two, lifted his bankroll to $752,185 with nine wins and two thirds in 11 career starts. The Tony Alagna trainee is owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The Gym Partners. Artspeak Hurrikane Ali, driven by Yannick Gingras and trained by John McDermott Jr., won the second of the two $20,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, the ninth race, in 1:50 flat on a surfaced rated good. Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, Hurrikane Ali claimed the lead before the half and held off Rock N' Roll World by two lengths. Rock Of The Ages was third by seven and a quarter lengths. All three are sons of Rocknroll Hanover. Hurrikane Ali now has two wins in two starts in 2015 after going winless in five starts at two. He has earned $55,575 for the partnership of Kuhen Racing LLC, Jonathan Klee Racing, Dr. Kenneth Rucker and Robert Pucila. The card began with victories by daughters of Rocknroll Hanover in both of two $20,000 divisions of New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. In the first race, 3-5 favorite Lindys Old Lady, unraced at two, posted her second straight victory, drawing away to a two and a half-length victory over Cheyenne Robin [Rocknroll Hanover] with three and three-quarter lengths to Wicked Little Minx [Rocknroll Hanover] in third. Lindys Old Lady, driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Frank Antonacci, paced the mile in 1:51 flat. Lindy Farms of Connecticut owns and bred the filly who has now earned $19,200. In the second race, 1-9 favorite Happiness by Rocknroll Hanover, controlled the pace and repelled the late challenge of Stacia Hanover [Western Ideal] to win by a length and a quarter. Hollyrocker [Rocknroll Hanover] was third by three lengths in the 1:50.4 mile. Yannick Gingras drove the Ron Burke-trained Happiness for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. She won three of six starts at two and now has two wins and one third in three outings this year. Overall, she has banked $67,765. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

East Rutherford, NJ --- Some of harness racing's biggest stars, including five Dan Patch Award winners, were in qualifier action Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack, where they were greeted by an unseasonably cold morning and stiff headwind in the stretch. Three of the Dan Patch Award winners - older trotters Father Patrick, Market Share and Bee A Magician - met in the ninth of the day's 16 qualifiers, but it was Kevin McDermott-trained Melady's Monet who led them all to the finish line. Melady's Monet, who has raced in the Opens during the winter at the Meadowlands and has won five of eight starts this season, won by 1-1/4 lengths over Father Patrick in 1:54.4. Market Share was third and Bee A Magician fourth, both timed in 1:56. Four-year-old Father Patrick, making his first trip of the season to the track, and driver Yannick Gingras were content to sit behind Melady's Monet through the stretch after fractions of :29.1, :57.4, and 1:27. No harness racing horse earned more money last year than Father Patrick, who banked $1.69 million. He was a divisional Dan Patch Award winner at both ages 2 and 3. "(Father) Patrick looked fantastic," trainer Jimmy Takter said. "Yannick said he was just crawling over (Melady's Monet), but he didn't want to make a sprint of it." Father Patrick, whose wins in 2014 included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters, Canadian Trotting Classic and Beal Memorial, has done stallion duty while preparing for this season. "He loves it," Takter said. "Everything is good. He's filled out quite a bit; he's much more stout." Bee A Magician, a 5-year-old mare who was the Dan Patch Award Horse of the Year in 2013, was making her final qualifying start prior to the Miami Valley Distaff on May 3. "She was good," trainer Nifty Norman said. "She's come back really good. I'm very happy with her. (Driver Brian Sears) likes to qualify nice and simple, but he's very happy with her. If he's happy, I'm happy." Market Share, a 6-year-old who has won $3.68 million in his career and received Dan Patch Award honors at ages 3 and 4, was making his first qualifying start as he gets ready for the Cutler Memorial (eliminations May 9) at the Meadowlands. "It was pretty much what we expected," trainer Linda Toscano said. "We've kind of gone back to basics and we knew we were going to race him just at the end of the mile. It was such a tough qualifier; we don't really have anything to prove. We just needed to get some work under him. "He'll come back and qualify again next week and he should be the better for it. If he acts like he's good for the Cutler, we'll go to the Cutler. He'll tell us." Pinkman, who was voted the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, was the only award-winner to win his qualifier. The Takter-trainee won by three-quarters of a length over stablemate Uncle Lasse in 1:55.1. Aldebaran Eagle and Cruzado Dela Noche, who each won an International Stallion Stakes division last year, were third and fourth, respectively, followed by Breeders Crown runner-up Muscle Diamond. Last season, Pinkman won six of eight races and earned $566,960. Named after a character from the television series, "Breaking Bad," the gelding's victories included the Breeders Crown, in a stakes-record-equaling 1:53.2, and Valley Victory Stakes. "Pinkman is so lazy," Takter said. "He does what you ask of him. It's not impressive at all, but that's him. And he wins. He might be one of those horses we always underestimate." Artspeak, who received the 2014 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male pacer, made his first qualifying effort Saturday, but went off stride approaching the three-quarters point and finished 10th. Hurrikane Ali, trained by John McDermott Jr., won in 1:51.4. Last year, Artspeak won eight of 10 races and earned $742,185, with top wins coming in the Metro Pace and Governor's Cup. He went off stride in both losses. "He loses his focus sometimes when he comes first over like that," trainer Tony Alagna said. "He did it the other day training up here. He just doesn't pay attention. (Driver Scott Zeron) says he felt perfect, he just loses his focus. If he's on a helmet, he doesn't do it. But he's got to be able to come first over as well. "I'm going to take his hobbles back in a little bit more because they're still two inches longer than they were last year. We'll train him next week and make sure he's OK before we put him back in to qualify. That's why we gave ourselves some extra time, just to make sure, because he's done it before. It's frustrating, but if training horses was easy everybody would do it. We'll fix it and he'll be as good as ever." Takter sent out four qualifier winners, with 3-year-old filly trotters Wild Honey (1:55.1), Lilu Hanover (1:57.4) and Fly Angel Fly (1:56.3) joining Pinkman in victory. Takter's 3-year-old male trotters The Bank, Walter White and French Laundry finished second through fourth behind Crazy Wow in another qualifier featuring multiple stakes winners. "I thought they qualified very good," Takter said. "It's tough weather; the wind is tough, but I'm happy with all of them." Crazy Wow, who won last year's New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters, was making his debut for trainer Ron Burke after spending last season with Dan O'Mara. Crazy Wow won in 1:54.1. "He was very good," Burke said. "I wasn't surprised, but he was even better than I thought he would be." Burke also had wins with 3-year-old filly pacers Happiness (1:53.1) and Southwind Roulette (1:53.3). JK Endofanera, who won the 2014 North America Cup, finished second to Larry Remmen-trained Somesizesomestyle in 1:51.3 in a qualifier for older male pacers. Somesizesomestyle was a Breeders Crown runner-up in 2014. "Overall I thought it was real good," Burke said. "I was happy with JK Endofanera; he was strong for his first start. My better horses were what they should have been. They improved today. That's all you're looking for, improvement each time." Steve Elliott had two qualifier winners, with 3-year-old male trotter Twain Drive (1:56.2) and 3-year-old male pacer Artistic Major (1:53.2). Toscano's Dapper Don won a qualifier for 3-year-old male trotters in 1:58.2 and Alagna's 4-year-old male trotter Propulsion won in 1:55. Other winners were Wayne Givens' 5-year-old pacing mare Jerseylicious (1:51.4) and Monte Gelrod's 3-year-old male pacer Maxdaddy Blue Chip (1:52.3). For the complete charts of Saturday's qualifiers, click here. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Shake It Cerry, the 2014 Dan Patch Award Trotter of the Year, is ready to shake off the rust and begin a new harness racing campaign. The 4-year-old female trotter, who closed out last season by winning her final nine races, will kick off this year in Friday's inaugural $51,100 Meadows Maturity for older female trotters at The Meadows Racetrack in western Pennsylvania. Shake It Cerry drew post No. 7 in the nine-horse field and is the 7-5 morning line favorite. Meadows leading driver Dave Palone will sit behind Shake It Cerry for trainer Jimmy Takter. Classic Martine, who received the 2014 Dan Patch Award for best older female trotter, drew post No. 9 and is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line. Dan Rawlings will drive for trainer Chris Oakes. Shake It Cerry won 15 of 17 races last year and earned $1.23 million for the Solveig's Racing Partners ownership group. In addition to being named Trotter of the Year, she was voted harness racing's best 3-year-old female trotter. She also was the 2-year-old Dan Patch Award winner in 2013. She prepped for Friday's Maturity with a 1:55 win in a qualifier on April 18 at the Meadowlands. "It's her first start and she had a soft qualifier, but she felt great," said Takter, who drove the mare in her qualifier. "She felt super. I was very happy." Shake It Cerry will try to become the first trotter since Moni Maker to win consecutive Trotter of the Year awards. Moni Maker, a mare who also was trained by Takter, captured three Trotter of the Year honors from 1998-2000. The only other horses in the last 45 years to earn back-to-back Trotter of the Year accolades were Pine Chip (1993-94) and Mack Lobell (1987-88). Of course, it will not be an easy task. Shake It Cerry will see tough competition in the older female trotting division alone, with the likes of 2013 Horse of the Year winner Bee A Magician also in its ranks. The trotting mares as a group in 2014 posted eight of the 12 fastest times in their division's history, with Classic Martine responsible for three of the efforts and Bee A Magician one. "It's no walk in the park there," Takter said. "By the same token, everybody knows (Shake It Cerry) is not just an average horse either. I'm sure she can go with them. Of course, sometimes those mares are a little tougher. They've been through a little bit more. "But she's a fighter. I'm excited to see her race. I'm sure she's not going to be as dominant as when she was as a 3-year-old. We have to pick our spots, but she's going to win one or two of those big ones this year." Last year, Shake It Cerry finished her season by winning the Breeders Crown in a stakes-record 1:52.2. She also won the Matron Stakes in a stakes- and track-record 1:52.4 over a "good" surface at Dover Downs, the American-National in a stakes-record 1:52.2 and equaled the stakes record of 1:52.1 in capturing the Elegantimage. Shake It Cerry is named in honor of one of Takter's sisters. The horse's dam, Solveig, was named in honor of Takter's mother. The horse's sire is Donato Hanover, who was Horse of the Year at age 3 in 2007. Solveig was voted best 2-year-old female trotter in 2004. Classic Martine won nine of 18 races last year and hit the board a total of 16 times to lead all older female trotters in purses with $438,912. Her victories included the Armbro Flight Stakes, Miss Versatility Series championship and the Ima Lula Series final in a then-world-record-equaling performance. She is owned by Hauser Bros. Racing, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich, and Edwin Gold. Here is the Meadows Maturity field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Sweetie Hearts, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock, 20-1 2. Cowgirl Hall, Eric Goodell, Ron Burke, 8-1 3. Anaffairtoremember, Mike Wilder, William Bercury, 10-1 4. Daylon Miracle, Aaron Merriman, William Bercury, 5-1 5. Rockin With Dewey, Eric Ledford, Benoit Baillargeon, 12-1 6. Handover Belle, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1 7. Shake It Cerry, Dave Palone, Jimmy Takter, 7-5 8. Whata Donato, Doug Snyder, Doug Snyder, 20-1 9. Classic Martine, Dan Rawlings, Chris Oakes, 4-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Some of harness racing's best older female trotters are getting ready to return to action and there should be no shortage of speed once they get going. Five-year-old Classic Martine, who received the 2014 Dan Patch Award for best trotting mare, on Thursday won a qualifier at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono as she prepares for her seasonal debut on April 24 in The Meadows Maturity Trot. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and last season's Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry are among the horses entered to qualify Saturday at the Meadowlands. Last year, those three ladies trotted some of the fastest miles in history. The trotting mares as a group in 2014 posted eight of the 12 fastest times in their division's history, with Classic Martine responsible for three of the efforts. Bee A Magician had one, as did Victory Is Coming, Mistery Woman, Perfect Alliance, and Frau Blucher. Shake It Cerry, who was a 3-year-old in 2014 and moves into the trotting mare division this season, posted a winning time last year that equaled the fourth fastest in history by a 3-year-old filly. "Those mares can put on a show," said Tim Hauser, who is among the owners of Classic Martine. "We're looking forward to defending the (division) title, but really you just cherish the moments when you get a horse this good. It's an honor to have a mare like her." Classic Martine won nine of 18 races last year and hit the board a total of 16 times to lead all older female trotters in purses with $438,912. Her victories included the Armbro Flight Stakes, Miss Versatility Series championship and the Ima Lula Series final in a then-world-record-equaling performance. Bred by Todd and Christine Schadel, Classic Martine is a daughter of Classic Photo out of the mare Drinking Days and her family includes two-time Horse of the Year Mack Lobell. She is owned by Hauser Bros. Racing, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich, and Edwin Gold. Classic Martine has won three qualifiers, two at Pompano Park and one at Pocono, as she gets ready to begin this year's campaign. After her seasonal debut at The Meadows, she is expected to compete in the Miami Valley Distaff on May 3 and the first round of the Miss Versatility Series on May 18 at Mohawk. "She qualified real good," Oakes said. "It's a long grind, so that's why we qualified her easy three times. "I'm more apt to keep her away from the boys this year, unless she's really sharp and there's a gap in her schedule," he added. "But usually I like to keep them racing against their own kind." Classic Martine, who was trained and driven by Todd Schadel until June of her 3-year-old season, has won 21 of 45 career races and $981,386 in purses. "Horses like her don't come every day," Oakes said. "You hope you can get another one, but most of the time it doesn't happen that way. "It was a real special thing (to get the Dan Patch Award). You're so worried about racing week to week that you don't think about it at the time, but when things quiet down you look back and realize what you've done. It really sinks in then." Bee A Magician, now age 5, won four of 17 races last year and earned $421,314 for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee. Her top win came in the Breeders Crown Mare Trot, where she beat Classic Martine by a head in a stakes-record effort. In 2013, Bee A Magician was unbeaten in 17 races on her way to Horse of the Year honors. Shake It Cerry won 15 of 17 races last year, earning $1.23 million for the Solveig's Racing Partners ownership group. The Jimmy Takter-trained filly finished her season by winning the Breeders Crown with a stakes-record performance and also set or equaled stakes records in the Matron, American-National, and Elegantimage. "It's a very solid group," Oakes said about the division. "We'll see how it unfolds this year, but now you add Shake It Cerry to the mix. Sometimes 4-year-olds have trouble making the transition against older horses, but she looked so good that she'll probably fit in with no problem." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

East Rutherford, NJ --- Foiled Again is back. The record-setting harness racing pacer, now an 11-year-old, qualified for the first time this season, winning in 1:54.3 Saturday morning at the Meadowlands Racetrack with Yannick Gingras in the bike for trainer Ron Burke. Gingras and Foiled Again were fifth in the eight-horse field through the first half of the race, moved into fourth at three-quarters, and came home in :26.2 to win by a neck over Aslan. Foiled Again is the richest horse in harness racing history, with $6.90 million in earnings for his career. The gelding is preparing for the upcoming George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. “He was very good,” Gingras said. “He went nice and easy. We just sat in the back and let him pace home. He felt really good and he had a lot of pace in the stretch. “He feels no different (than previous years). He’s still enjoying his work. The minute he went behind the gate he grabbed on the bit and knew what it was about. He was happy to be there.” Last year, Foiled Again won six of 26 races and hit the board a total of 19 times on his way to purses of $863,563. His earnings ranked No. 2 among all older pacers in North America, trailing only now-retired former stablemate Sweet Lou. Foiled Again received Dan Patch awards for best older male pacer in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He was Pacer of the Year in 2011. Foiled Again by Dragon Again, has won 83 of 224 lifetime starts and posted a total of 171 top-three finishes. He is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables. Four-time Dan Patch award-winning older female pacer Anndrovette finished second by a neck to Scott DiDomenico’s Scandalicious in her first qualifying action of the campaign. The time was 1:54.2, with Anndrovette pacing the final quarter in a race-best :28.1. Anndrovette, trained by Jeff Bamond Jr., is preparing for the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers. Modest Prince, a 5-year-old trotter from the stable of trainer Linda Toscano, won his qualifier in 1:54.1 with a final quarter in :26.1. Julie Miller’s Sevruga was second, beaten by three lengths. For complete charts of Saturday’s qualifiers at the Meadowlands, click here.  

The Stable of Horses That God Loves is rapidly growing in size and in stature. The latest  headliner to join  John Fielding’s  2014 Dan Patch winner, Shake It Cerry  and 21 others, is  2014 Breeders Crown winner Luck Be Withyou, owned by Toronto horseman John Craig. The speedy 4-year-old son of Western Ideal from the Bill Cass stable,  who  has amassed $696.291 in his career,  will  be looking to push his lifetime earnings over the million dollar mark  this season competing in  major stakes events in the U.S. and Canada, including the Canadian Pacing Derby,  Confederation Cup and the Prix d’ete. Like all others in the Stable That God Loves, one per cent of  Luck Be Withyou’s 2015 purse  earnings will be returned to  Chaplain Ken Carter’s homeless  Standardbred Chaplaincy of Canada, dedicated to providing for the emotional, physical , spiritual, and human needs of the horse racing work  force in southwestern Ontario. “It’s gratifying to see so much support coming from industry participants from all over, and it is extra exciting  to know the list of participants in the program  includes  Grand Circuit stars like Shake It Cerry and Luck Be Withyou”  said WEG race announcer and Chaplaincy director Ken Middleton.  “ Having these horses on board  will create  huge exposure for the program and for the sport in general.  It is heart-warming  to  see  so many  people recognize  and support the work that the Chaplaincy is doing for the sport’s participants”. Stables large and small have named  their stable stars to the Stable That God Loves, and some horsemen have given their entire stable,  a gesture that speaks volumes for their huge  support of the program. “All owners should support the less fortunate in our industry.    Every horse that Canamerica Corp and Hyatt Holdings, Inc.,  races  in 2015 will be participants in the program.” said Milton, Ontario  horseman Mark Hyatt, whose late father, Doug, was a tireless worker for the  homeless Chaplaincy.  For additional information:   Bill Galvin   Ken Middleton:

HARRISBURG PA - In conjunction with its hosting the annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, which honored the top harness stars of 2014, both equine and human, this past Sunday night, the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) also held its annual meeting this past weekend at the same location, the Doubletree/Hilton Sea World/Orlando (FL) complex.   Since the annual dinner (well-documented in the press Monday), with its souvenir Journal, sponsorships, and collateral raffles, is USHWA's chief means of income throughout the year, reports were given recapping the success of the 2014 event at Dover Downs, and projecting income for this year's event.   Figures for 2015 were projected to be good but slightly down from the previous year, as during racing year 2014 much of the top stakes racing was dominated by two stables - let's call them "The B Brigade" and "Team T" - to the point that the duo accounted, mostly directly, for 21 of the 46 awards given at Sunday's dinner (46%). Both concerns, always good friends of USHWA, were again active banquet participants, but the lack of a wider range of involved award winners did limit the potential for a broader scope of connections buying ads and tickets may have cut into the margins slightly. Still, the dinner was a very successful one, and probably contained the best collection of award acceptance speeches in recent memory, particularly from a driver involved with both the "B" and "T" connections.   The bylaws and rules/regulation of the Association received their annual scrutiny and proposals for alterations, with perhaps the most significant proposal passed being a limited restoring of the "Veterans" designation for Hall of Fame candidates in their prime years before the current day. The methodology for determining Communicators Hall ballot finalists was also restructured, and methods to improve both dissemination of voting information and ballot return were also implemented.   Some 15 committees appointed by USHWA to address specific focuses reported on their findings; one committee was responsible for coming up with both the Hall of Fame procedural amendments described above. Such forward-looking projects as the Hirt Workshop for budding journalists, the Railbird Fan Awards, and the organization's Integrity Committee also gave detailed presentations.   The same slate of officers was returned for another year, in accordance with USHWA's usual two-year "rotation" system: Chris Tully, President; Tim Bojarski, 1VP; Shawn Wiles, 2VP; Steve Wolf, Chairman of the Board; Judy Davis-Wilson, Treasurer; Alan Prince, Executive Treasurer; and Jerry Connors, Secretary.   In probably the closest contest in recent memory, David Carr, Director of Research/Statistics for the USTA, won a place on the ballot for the Communicators Hall of Fame, getting the most votes in the first round of Director voting. Gordon Waterstone and Jerry Connors, both veteran writer/publicists, were tied for the second spot - and still were after a "tiebreaking" round of voting - so a third "heat" was contested, with Connors then becoming the second person on the ballot.   USHWA's Screening Committee will select ballot candidates for the Hall of Fame at Goshen in July; these names will join the Communicators nominees in the Hall voting conducted in mid-summer and annually announced nearing Little Brown Jug time.   Jerry Connors

Orlando, FL --- As she traveled from New Jersey to Florida for Sunday night's harness racing Dan Patch Awards tribute, trainer Nancy Johansson passed time on her flight by reading a Hoof Beats magazine story about her Horse of the Year winner JK She'salady. JK She'salady, bred and owned by 3 Brothers Stables, was undefeated in 12 races last season and became the first 2-year-old female pacer in harness racing history to be named Horse of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. She was honored Sunday at USHWA's Dan Patch Awards Night of Champions Banquet at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel at SeaWorld. "When I was reading that story it really sunk in more, like, wow, this is what we're coming all the way to Florida for," Johansson said. "It's very exciting. It's something that I think everybody works for, and it's nice to be able to accomplish that. It's really sunk in more now." JK She'salady is the fourth 2-year-old to receive Horse of the Year, joining pacer Niatross (1979), trotter Nevele Pride (1967) and pacer Bret Hanover (1964). The three previous 2-year-old winners were colts. She is the first female pacer to be voted Horse of the Year since Rainbow Blue in 2004 and the fourth female pacer overall to receive the honor. The others were Bunny Lake in 2001 and Fan Hanover in 1981. "It's unbelievable," Johansson said at the time of the Horse of the Year announcement in December. "The hard work paid off. She's just such a special horse. "She's as perfect as they come, and I guess finishing off with Horse of the Year exemplifies how perfect she is." In addition to joining the connections of JK She'salady in picking up the Horse of the Year trophy, the 33-year-old Johansson received the Rising Star Award from USHWA. "It's nice that somebody appreciates your ability and your hard work," Johansson said. "Not everyone might admit it, but I think all people like to be recognized. It's very gratifying." The trip to Orlando was gratifying for reasons other than picking up awards. Johansson and her husband, trainer-driver Marcus Johansson, got to enjoy some vacation time with children Ella and Marcus Jr. "Marcus is a huge part of everything that goes on," Johansson said. "He's just as qualified to be Rising Star as I am. It's a lot of fun (to be together). It's great that it happened to be in Orlando this year and we got to have a couple of days away (from work) and my kids got to have a little fun. They sacrifice a lot because we work crazy hours and we're always running around." Older female trotter Shake It Cerry, trained by Johansson's father, Jimmy Takter, received the Trotter of the Year award and older male pacer Sweet Lou, trained by Ron Burke, received the Pacer of the Year trophy. Takter received the Trainer of the Year honor. In addition to owning JK She'salady, 3 Brothers Stables - Alan, Ronald and Steven Katz - was named Breeder of the Year and shared Owner of the Year with John Fielding. Other honorees included Hall of Fame inductee Joe Thomson, Communicators Hall of Fame inductees Bob Marks and Kathy Parker, Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award winner Russell Williams, Breakthrough Award winner Emily Gaskin and Driver of the Year winner Yannick Gingras. Horses receiving awards for division honors -- in addition to JK She'salady, Shake It Cerry and Sweet Lou -- were 2-year-old male trotter Pinkman, 2-year-old female trotter Mission Brief, 3-year-old male trotter Father Patrick, older male trotter Sebastian K, older female trotter Classic Martine, 2-year-old male pacer Artspeak, 3-year-old male pacer McWicked, 3-year-old female pacer Color's A Virgin, and older female pacers Anndrovette and Rocklamation (tie). For a complete list of honorees, click here. By Ken Weingartner / Harness Racing Communications / USTA    

ORLANDO, FL - This Sunday the harness racing heroes of the 2014 season will be honored at the United States Harness Writers Associations (USHWA) Dan Patch Awards Banquet at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel at SeaWorld. Starting at 6:00 pm the best of the equine performers and human stars of the sport will receive their just accolades and money will also be raised to help two significant charities and an USHWA workshop. There is a special silent auction held every year at the dinner and even if you can't be there you can still bid via the telephone for any of the items you would desire. The proceeds will go to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and to USHWA and their Clyde Hirt Workshop for young journalists. You can call either 954-654-3757 or 317-908-0029 up until 8:00 pm Sunday to check on your bid and/or raise it up! Photos of the majority of the items can be found online at The silent auction items include: 1. 14k Gold Winner's Circle Pendant from Bow River Jewelry 2. Commission artwork of your horse by Mary Lou 3. Vic Blue autographed harness racing photograph 4. Three different Cason Photography certificate for personal shoots 5. Riedel lead crystal decanter from L.V. Harkness 6. Horse wire sculpture 7. Etched plates, mugs, mare & foal quilt, Old Friends book 8. Doubletree Hilton at SeaWorld Hotel Vacation Package 9. Greyhound portrait by Mary Lou 10. HHYF Harness Hero Card Printers Sheets, every year since 1991 From the United States Harness Writers Association

Goshen, NY - The Dan Patch Horse of the Year trophies will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. Tickets for this gala event, the Dan Patch Awards Banquet--Night of Champions, are now available. In addition to equine divisional honors, a host of the industry's biggest and brightest will be feted at the annual awards ceremony, including this year's inductees to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, Joe Thomson; and Communicators Hall of Fame, Bob Marks and Kathy Parker. The U. S. Harness Writers list of human awards also includes the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award winner, Russell Williams, as well as the Owner, Trainer, Driver, and Breeder of the Year, Rising Star, Breakthrough, Good Guy and a host of others, which are listed below and available on the website. Adding to the festivities will be the popular souvenir red carpet photo shoot during the cocktail hour followed by a main course dinner of ______________. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet can be reserved via telephone or Email by contacting Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are now available can be reserved via telephone or Email by contacting Judy Davis-Wilson at 302-359-3630 or Email: Steve Wolf at 954-654-3757 or Email: Substantial savings on hotel rooms can be attained for this event, which is being held at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld. A special rate of $115 can be reserved by calling 407-352-1100 BEFORE January 25, 2015, and mentioning code: Dan Patch or clicking this link The deadline for the Dan Patch Awards journal is Monday, January 26. To advertise in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully by calling 845.807.7538 or Email: All of this information and applicable advertising forms can be accessed via internet link: Dan Patch Horse Awards - 2014 Champions Harness Horse of the Year: JK She'salady Trotter of the Year: Shake It Cerry Pacer of the Year: Sweet Lou 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt: Pinkman 2-Year-Old Trotting Filly: Mission Brief 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt: Artspeak 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly: JK She'salady 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt: Father Patrick 3-Year-Old Trotting Filly: Shake It Cerry 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly: Color's A Virgin 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt: McWicked Trotting Horse: Sebastian K Trotting Mare: Classic Martine Pacing Horse: Sweet Lou Pacing Mares* -- Anndrovette, Rocklamation (tie) United States Harness Writers Association - Awards and Honorees Harness Racing Hall of Fame: Joe Thomson Communicators Hall of Fame: Bob Marks & Kathy Parker Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award: Russell Williams Dan Patch Human Awards 2014 Owner of the Year: 3 Brothers Stables & John Fielding (tie) Trainer of the Year: Jimmy Takter Driver of the Year: Yannick Gingras Breeder of the Year: 3 Brothers Stables Breakthrough Award: Emily Gaskin Rising Star: Nancy Johansson President's Award: Carl Howard Good Guy: Jack Darling USHWAn of the Year: Gordon Waterstone Unsung Hero: Jack Darling Amateur Driver of the Year: Robert Krivelin Other Awards Trotting Broodmare of the Year: Solveig Pacing Broodmare of the Year: Presidential Lady Humanitarian Award: Robbie Siegelman Grand Circuit Awards: Owner, Burke Racing; Trainer, Ron Burke; Driver, Yannick Gingras USTA & USHWA Railbird Recognition Awards: Horse Person: Verlin Yoder; Racing Moment: Sebastian K Hervey & Smallsreed Awards TBA by Chris Tully, for the United States Harness Writers Association  

Goshen, NY -- Fazoli's President and CEO Carl Howard was named the 2014 President's Award honoree by United States Harness Writers Association chief Chris Tully. The award acknowledges Howard's passion for Harness Racing in general and his decision to have his firm take on the leadership role of presenting sponsor for the 69th edition of the $600,000 Little Brown Jug. Hall of Famer Sam McKee stated, "If not for Carl Howard and the Fazoli's title sponsorship of the 2014 Little Brown Jug, there's little doubt that our national television effort would never have gotten off the ground. Thanks to Carl's background as a fan and an owner, the industry was given the opportunity to make a presentation and show what we can offer and produce for a major sponsor." A Kettering, Ohio native, Carl Howard is no stranger to the spotlight. As CEO of Fazoli's, he was recently named the No. 1 restaurant executive by Fast Casual. Despite taking over the struggling restaurant brand in 2008, he and his 200-plus nationwide shops have since posted 13 consecutive positive growth quarters. A true restaurateur, Howard moved his way up through hard work and determination. He met his wife of 20 years, Rocchina, while waiting tables at the upscale Salvi's in Columbus, OH. "My father-in-law was the chef, and he taught me to always have high standards. I try to carry that philosophy with me every day--not only in my interactions with my Fazoli's team, but also with our customers," Howard stated. Having successfully engineered the dramatic turnaround, Howard also has his eyes on the resurgence of Harness Racing in the Buckeye State. With current ownership in over 30 Standardbreds, he intends to spearhead an effort to have a racehorse in every class in the state of Ohio during 2015. "I have about 20 horses in training with Virgil Morgan, Jr." noted the Ohio State graduate. "I plan to expand my efforts and take advantage of the increased rewards available. The risks are still high, but with a keen eye on individual ROI, we intend to capitalize on Ohio's growth potential." The 2014 racing season was profitable for Howard, but that has not always been the case. His first foray into racing united him with a pacer named JK Reunited. Ironically this mare was a product of Breeder of the Year and owner of the Horse of the Year, 3 Brothers Stables. "I claimed my first race horse at Pocono in 2010." Howard jokingly added, "Knowing what I know now, I would not have made that claim again because JK Reunited became a broodmare following her next start. Through many lessons learned, my selection process has changed dramatically in the past five years." The President's award, along with the Dan Patch Horse of the Year and additional human award trophies will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. Tickets for this gala event, the Dan Patch Awards Banquet--Night of Champions, are now available and can be reserved via telephone or Email by contacting Judy Davis-Wilson at 302-359-3630 or Email: or Steve Wolf at 954-654-3757 or Email: Substantial savings on hotel rooms can be attained for this event, which is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld. A special rate of $115 can be reserved by calling 407-352-1100 BEFORE January 25, 2015, and mentioning code: Dan Patch or clicking this link The deadline for the Dan Patch Awards journal is Monday, January 26. To advertise in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully by calling 845.807.7538 or Email: All of this information and applicable advertising forms can be accessed via internet link: by the United States Harness Writers Association

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