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I realize that many believe ten-year-old Foiled Again is hands down the greatest harness racing greybeard pacer ever, but that simply isn’t true. Yes, Foiled Again has won more money than any Standardbred ever in North America, but another aging gelding, one who used to hold that title, was better—Cardigan  Bay. Stanley Dancer leased him from Down Under for $100,000 in the winter of 1964, when he was eight. The horse had come close to being destroyed two years earlier when he sustained a serious hip injury. The Hal Tryax gelding had won more than thirty stakes races in his home country, often handicapped as much as 132 yards at the start. His earnings stood at $156,000. He made his first start at Yonkers Raceway in May of that year. It was a winning effort and the following week he faced the great Overtrick in the mile and a half International Pace, losing a neck. Two weeks later he was the 1/2 favorite in the mile and a quarter Good Time Pace and had no trouble beating the likes of Meadow Skipper, Henry T Adios, Rusty Range, Adora’s Dream, Irvin Paul and Country Don. There aren’t any fields of FFA pacers like that today. He then beat the same bunch in the two mile National Championship. Cardigan Bay and Overtrick then traded narrow wins in a pair of match races. In 1965, as a nine-year-old, Cardigan Bay popped splints in his front legs and had surgery on one of those legs. When he got back in early June he crushed a FFA field which included Fly Fly Byrd and Bengazi Hanover, from the outside post. He then won the $50,000 Dan Patch Pace at a mile and a half over Oreti, Cold Front and Fly Fly Byrd. In September he won the $50,000 Bye Bye Byrd at a mile and a half, paying 2.80. Cardigan Bay won three more at Yonkers before going to California where he beat giant slayer Adios Vic in three of four races, after which he returned to New York and won the NPD and the Nassau. Foiled Again has won an impressive 39% of his lifetime starts. Cardigan Bay won 52% of his in North America and Down Under. Each of them are credited with 20 stakes wins in North America, and Foiled Again is still racing. Again, Cardigan Bay also won more than thirty stakes before he was imported. At age ten Cardy started the season with a win at Liberty Bell, and then moved on to Yonkers where he won seven stakes races, including the $100,000 mile and a half International Pace, where he created the largest minus pool ever--$33,000. $143,435 of the $151,750 bet to show was on him. They then barred him from betting in the mile and a quarter Good Time, which he also won over Adora’s Dream and Orbiter N. Adios Vic was then favored in the $50,000 National Pace, only because there was no betting on Cardy. He made three moves and pulled away from Vic in the last quarter. Bret Hanover had never been beaten on a half when Cardy did it in the Pace of the Century at Yonkers. Bret returned the favor a week later at Roosevelt. Cardy capped that season with a win in the $50,000 Nassau Pace at a mile and a half . He paid $3.60. In 1967, when Cardigan Bay was eleven, he started the season by equaling the track record at Windsor in the Provincial Cup—this is in March. Fearing minus pools tracks refused to give him a race. Finally Roosevelt relented and the grizzled gelding crushed Orbiter and Tactile, paying 2.40. He’d been handicapped with the outside post, but the track insisted that from that point on he would also be handicapped by yardage, something that was unheard of in North America. Dancer balked and sat the next one out. Every year there was a new wave of stars graduating to the FFA ranks: Romeo Hanover, True Duane, Bret Hanover and Romulus Hanover. Cardy was showing his age, but was still a formidable opponent, with early season wins in the Valley Forge, provincial Cup and Clark. In May, when he beat True Duane in the Adios Butler at Roosevelt, he paid $10.60, which was the highest payoff on Cardigan Bay to that point in North America. Dancer’s goal was that he become the first ever million dollar winning Standardbred, which he did by winning a $15,000 Pace at Freehold in the fall over little Robin Dundee and Jerry Gauman. This put him in the company of the eight thoroughbreds who had become millionaires. He was retired at Yonkers Raceway on October 12. Cardigan Bay certainly gets extra points for dominating at all distances, from a mile to two-miles. On the other hand, Foiled Again doesn’t have that opportunity so you can’t hold that against him. Cardy was more of a consistent big time player than Foiled Again has been; yes, those were significant triumphs in the TVG and BC last year, but there are too many wins in the Quillen, Molson, IPD, Battle of Lake Erie and Levy, and not enough of the top tier FFA stakes. Cardy won the Good Time twice, the National Championship twice, the Nassau twice, the Provincial Cup twice, the International, the Pace of the Century, the Clark, Dan Patch ….And the fact that he had never paid off at higher than 4/1 during his first four years racing in North America is noteworthy. Foiled has gone off at double digits many times. Cardy was a preeminent force at ten and eleven. We’ll see if Foiled Again also rules in his old age. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Cam's Card Shark, one of the leading stallions of his generation, has just been retired from stud duty, but hopes are high in Ohio that one of his greatest progeny can carry on his dynamic legacy in the breeding shed. Shark Gesture, whose earnings in excess of $2.8 million are the most of the more than 1,700 racehorses that Cam's Card Shark sired and one of the fastest with a speed mark of 1:48.1s, will be represented by a crop of two-year-olds this season. Abby Stables in Sugarcreek, Ohio, is standing the big, dark brown stallion.  "Shark Gesture is the total package," Abby Stables' Teresa Maddox told Harness Racing Update."   Shark Gesture developed into a horse for the ages. A $110,000 yearling purchase by Norm Smiley, Shark Gesture raced from two to four, posting some impressive victories.  He was retired to the breeding shed due to an injury and stood as a stallion in Ontario for the 2008 season. Later that year, when the injury had fully healed and he trained excellently, Shark Gesture returned to the races and started three times. But it was as a six- and seven-year-old that he excelled, earning over $1.8 million. He beat some of the best aged pacers, including the likes of Foiled Again, Mister Big, Art Official, Boulder Creek, Artistic Fella, Shadow Play and Won The West 12 times, including by more than 10 lengths in the Hoosier Cup.  Maddox said because Shark Gesture disappeared from the breeding scene for three years people may be confused about his history.  "He really hasn't gotten a fair shake as a stallion," Maddox said. "If you go back and look at some of his races, he was phenomenal. He's well-mannered, he's intelligent and was a bear on the racetrack. It's just a breath of fresh air to have him in Ohio. We welcomed him with open arms." Shark Gesture can be seen in action on his page at www.abbystables.com . His web page comes complete with race footage, photos, pedigree, articles and both a downloadable and digital breeding contract.  "There is no reason because he had 44 foals that raced from his first and only crop as a stallion, standing in Ontario and bred to mostly Ontario-bred mares, that people should have forgotten about him because he went back to the races," said Smiley. "He is still a good horse.  This year he has two-year-olds that are training and I've got good reports on them. Trainer Fred Grant has a colt by Shark Gesture out of Boca Babe.  Fred owns the dam and owns a piece of the colt and said, 'he's very good-gaited, very sound, very willing and has lots of speed. I just love him.'" Trainer David Miller, currently training a two-year-old Shark Gesture filly named Hex, described her as a "big, strong, great-gaited, intelligent filly who is showing excellent speed." Another trainer, Jenny Melander, has a nice sturdy black filly named When Sharks Fly and echoed Miller's comments about Shark Gesture's offspring. "His foals are big and sturdy, with heart, speed, intelligence and strength," she said.   Shark Gesture is truly an anomaly. How many horses return to the races two years after retiring and earn almost twice as much, facing battled-hardened competitors? In total, he posted 31 sub-1:50 miles, 16 of those 1:49 or better and four of those sub-1:49. As a 2-year-old, he won the Bluegrass Stakes (recording a freshman mark of 1:51.3), the Simpson Stakes and an elimination of the Breeders Crown.  At three, he won the Breeders Crown, the Tattersalls Pace (with a sophomore speed mark of 1:49.1), the Bluegrass Stakes, the Simpson Stakes and the Progress Pace. In an abbreviated four-year-old season, he won the New Hampshire Sweepstakes. In his return to the races, he won the William R. Haughton Memorial two years in a row, the Canadian Pacing Derby Final (with a lifetime mark of 1:48.1), the Graduate Series twice, the Dan Patch Invitational Pace and the Bettor's Delight. He broke track records at Tioga Downs and Hoosier Park and tied the track record when he won the Canadian Pacing Derby. "He's won all the big races, beat all the good horses," Maddox said. "He beat Foiled Again (the top aged pacer last year) more than once. He beat Won The West. He's beat them all at one point or another. His owners believed in him so much, they told us the story (of why he retired and then returned to the races) and it was just a no-brainer for us." 2010 Graduate Final William R. Haughton Memorial Smiley recalled why he bought Shark Gesture. Even though he was big and growthy, Smiley liked him, viewing him six times. "There are certain horses you go to the auction and put a price on and you go to that price or a few bucks more," Smiley said. "With him I said I was buying him, period."  Smiley subsequently offered shares to his brother, Gerald, and Thomas and Louis Pantone. Typical of a Cam's Card Shark offspring, Shark Gesture grew into his body from two to three. He stood about 17 hands high and had a long stride. Early in Shark Gesture's two-year-old season, he won the Bluegrass in 1:51 3/5, but he was still developing and growing. As a three-year-old, he did some amazing things, none more so than winning the Breeders Crown only a week after he fell down in a mishap in his elimination race for the final. He finished third and was moved up to second, but Norm Smiley and trainer Erv Miller feared the colt might not survive the accident. Once the bike and equipment were removed, Shark Gesture stood up and walked off as if nothing had happened, although he did have some cuts and abrasions. Driver Brian Sears, Miller, Smiley and the horse's vet shook their heads in disbelief. "If that's not a tough horse, I don't know what is," Smiley said.   A week later, he won the Breeders Crown with George Brennan, who would become his principle driver, steering him in what was a clean trip, racing on or near the pace. "Nobody knew that horse like Georgie," Smiley said.  "George was tremendous with that horse from the first time he drove him." Shark Gesture raced only eight times in an abbreviated four-year-old season and was retired, his notable victory in the New Hampshire. Some of the notable offspring from the 32 starters from his first crop as a sire include stakes winner Piston Broke, 1:49.2s ($291,131) and Best Ears, 1:49.4f, ($188,483). After Shark Gesture recovered from his injury and trained solidly, Norm Smiley made the decision to bring the horse back to the races. It would prove to be a shrewd decision. In 2009 at the age of six, Shark Gesture came into his own, racing 29 times and winning seven, including the Haughton Memorial and Canadian Pacing Derby and topping all pacers with more than $900,000 in earnings. At age seven, he raced 12 times and winning seven, notably the Graduate, Bettors Delight, Dan Patch (by a whopping 10½ lengths), and repeating in the Haughton.  He finished second by a length in the Franklin. He was retired at the end of the season.  "He was just amazing," Norm Smiley said. "This horse never got the respect he deserved. He was a tremendous racehorse." By Perry Lefko, for Harness Racing Update

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2014 ballot. A total of 36 horses and people, including 18 Standardbred racing candidates and 18 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will declare the winners in their respective categories.  Results will be announced Tuesday, April 8.   On the Standardbred ballots representing this year’s six voting categories are as follows: Male horse category, Blissfull Hall, J M Vangogh and Rocknroll Hanover In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown.  Owned by Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, QC, this champion was trained by Ben Wallace with Ron Pierce as regular driver.   A 31 race career over two seasons amassed a record of 19-4-6, a mark of 1:49.2 and earnings of $1.4 million before embarking on a successful career as a stallion. J M Vangogh, purchased as a yearling for $4,500 by Paul Chambers of Harrington, Delaware, made a remarkable recovery from an accident in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final as a two year old to earn $2.28 million in 206 starts over 8 seasons and the nickname “The Comeback Kid”.  Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his race career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, ON; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC.  Career highlights include victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace and the North America Cup.  He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. Female horse category: B Cor Tamara, Dreamfair Eternal and J Cs Nathalie Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000.  Bred and owned by Peter Core of Dresden, ON, the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and granddam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall.  Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.7 million. Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a career spanning seven years, 56 victories, including every stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earning over $2.5 million and being named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010.  The daughter of Camluck was bred, raised and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON with Patrick Fletcher receiving training credit. As a broodmare, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal.  Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3.  Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The trainer-driver category: Yves Filion, William Gale, and Wally Hennessey. Yves Filion, 67 of Saint-Andre-D’argent, Quebec was one of his province’s premier trainer-drivers for close to 30 years driving in almost 18,000 races with 4,362 wins and $26.5 million in earnings.   Training credits include 248 winners and horses earning in excess of $3.4 million.   Pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama each became millionaires with Filion responsible for both training and driving. William Gale, 65 of Woodstock, Ontario, was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s. Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons.  During his career, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million. Wally Hennessey, 56, of Prince Edward Island, has more than 8,200 victories to his name and has banked earnings in excess of $55 million.  In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown.  In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Candidates in the builders’ category: Dr. Ted Clarke, John B. Ferguson and Robert Murphy. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry.  Highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth.  Before Grand River, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. John B. Ferguson may be best known for his time in the National Hockey League, but his passion for Canadian horse racing was drawn from early years spent with his father and grandfather at old Hastings Park in Vancouver, BC.  In addition to his role as a very active owner and breeder, Ferguson also took a role in track management.  He was hired by Blue Bonnets in Montreal and after leaving hockey became the President of Windsor Raceway.  He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, BC, one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, was known by his popular Red Star moniker.  First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners.   He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009.  In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Outstanding Standardbreds: Albatross, Artsplace, and Happy Lady Albatross was voted US Harness Horse of the Year in 1971 and 1972.  He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million.  As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million. Artsplace was the1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following an undefeated four-year-old season.  He was a two-year-old world record holder winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida, soundly defeating champion Die Laughing.  He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career which saw him race many times in Canada before becoming a world class sire. Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, ON and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville.  Though her race career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.2.  Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races.  As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts. Communicators category selections: Harry Eisen, Bill Galvin and Frank Salive. The late Harry Eisen spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario.  As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press.  Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old”, sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy.  He was inducted into Western Fair’s Wall of Fame in 1980. As a publicist, promoter and author, Bill Galvin, a native of Arnprior, ON made a tremendous impact on horse racing in Canada. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing.  He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans.  He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the health of horse racing during his career. Leamington, ON native Frank Salive was known for over 35 years as “The Voice” of Canadian harness racing.  During his career it is estimated he called over 100,000 races, becoming a fan and industry favourite for his knowledgeable and informative calls and silky voice.  Frank’s career as a track announcer began at Sudbury Downs in the late 70’s and continued at tracks throughout Ontario,  includin  fourteen years at Ontario Jockey Club/Woodbine Entertainment Group harness tracks and concluding at Pompano Park, Florida.  Salive was also a regular writer for the Canadian Sportsman for several years. From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

We had to take a bone chip out of a hind ankle. Dr. Patty Hogan did the surgery and we pretty much followed the textbook bringing him back." Sevruga made a statement last year that he could compete with harness racing’s best older trotters. Trainer Julie Miller hopes Katie Said can announce herself in similar fashion when she takes on stakes-calibre three-year-old filly pacers later this season. Katie Said, who was limited to two starts last year, and Sevruga were among four winners for Miller at last Friday’s qualifiers at the Meadowlands. The others were six-year-old trotter Bambino Hall and three-year-old pacer The Lunch Pail as Team Miller -- Julie and her husband, driver Andy -- went 4-for-4 on the day. It was the six-year-old Sevruga’s second qualifier of the season, a winning effort in 1:54.2 as he comes back from bone chip surgery that forced him to miss the end of last year. Sevruga won nine of 22 races and earned $484,575 in 2013 for owner KDM Stables.   His wins included the John Cashman Jr. Memorial and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, both at the Meadowlands, and he finished worse than third only once in his first 19 starts. He was off the board in his last three races and missed the final of the TVG Free For All Series after ending the preliminary rounds as the points leader. "He’s had two nice qualifiers. We’re going to qualify him back again because the level he has to race at, with the top horses in the country, I’d like to have one more tightener for him. But so far he’s done everything we’ve asked of him.” Sevruga, who finished fifth in purses among all older trotters in North America last year, is staked to a similar schedule in 2014. “He’s got all the big races,” Miller said. “If you can get a piece of those, you’re doing good. It’s a tough division, but (Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural) putting together those nice races for the older horses to keep them on the track, it’s been great to see that competition.” Katie Said, a daughter of stallion Well Said, is a half-sister to Kikikatie, the 2003 Dan Patch Award winner for best two-year-old filly pacer, and stakes-winner Just Wait Kate. Katie Said’s mother, Katies Lucky Lady, is a full sister to millionaire Camluck. Purchased as a yearling for $67,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale, Katie Said is owned by the Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing. She won her first start last year in 1:55.3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia in early October, but in her second race made a violent break while challenging for the lead and went to her knees. “She grabbed a shoe,” Miller said. “She just had some scrapes and scratches, but instead of going on with her, we turned her out and did the right thing by her. It’s working out.” Katie Said won her qualifier last week in 1:55.2. She is eligible to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit as well as a number of stakes including the Lynch Memorial, Adioo Volo, Shady Daisy, Reynolds and Tompkins-Geers. “Andy said she was vicious in her qualifier, just under wraps,” Miller said. “As a two-year-old, she was a late-comer. She had some maturity issues, not physically, but mentally. She’s got a nice three-year-old (stakes) season for this summer. She’s been a pleasant surprise. Hopefully she’ll be a nice racehorse for us this year. We’re really looking forward to her.” The Lunch Pail was another late bloomer, after getting an attitude adjustment. The now gelded son of Yankee Cruiser-Noble Marty, won a division of the Historic-Goshen Cup in 1:51.3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia and finished second in divisions of the Reynolds and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes after a slow start to his career. “He was a little bit of a project for us,” Miller said. “He grabbed a shoe one time at The Meadows and got jammed up another time and was making some breaks. In the stall, he was a nipper and biter and kind of would buck around and kick. We decided to geld him and keep his mind on his business. “As soon as we did that, he had a dazzling performance in (1):51.3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. It’s amazing what they can accomplish when they keep their mind on their business.” The Lunch Pail, who was purchased as a yearling for $44,000 under the name Bud Bay at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale, is a full brother to stakes-winner Marty Party. The Lunch Pail was owned by the Millers, but three days after his 1:52.4 qualifier win was sold to Michael Ouriel, who also owns Marty Party. He is eligible to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes as well as events such as the Hempt Memorial, Adios, Reynolds and Historic. He also could go to the Bobby Weiss Series, which begins Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. “He’s a nice bred horse,” Miller said. “He’s got pedigree, he’s got the conformation, and now he’s got a great attitude too.” From the United States Trotting Association

ANDERSON, IN--March 7, 2013--As Hoosier Park Racing & Casino prepares for the upcoming 21st season of live harness racing, horsemen should be advised that Hoosier Park will offer five new overnight series for the 2014 live harness racing meet. The 2014 live racing season will be comprised of 160 dates and offer an extended stakes schedule headlined by the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational pace on Friday, August 8. In conjunction with the extended stakes schedule, Hoosier Park will offer these new overnight series in April and will possibly look to add others in the upcoming months. The series will be open to any horse that fits the condition and the series does not have a nomination requirement. Each series will have an entry fee of $25 and is set to get underway starting April 8. "The Polar Vortex" pacing series is open to horses that have started for a base claiming price of $6,000 or less in one of their last 3 starts (up to and including 4/2/14), $6,000 claimers are also eligible. "The Winners Circle OTB" pacing series is open to fillies and mares that have started for a base claiming price of $6,000 or less in one of their last 3 starts ( up to and including 4/3/14), $6,000 claimers are also eligible. "The Club Centaur" pacing series is open to non-winners of 2 (Indiana-sired 3) ext. PM races or $10,000 lifetime (up to and including 3/15/14). "The Extreme Velocity" pacing series is open to fillies and mares that are non-winners of 2 (Indiana-sired 3) ext. PM races or $10,000 lifetime (up to and including 3/15/14). "The Crossroads of America" trotting series is open to non-winners of 2 (Indiana-sired 3) ext. PM races or $10,000 lifetime (up to and including 3/15/14). Each of the series is comprised of two preliminary legs and a final with the top ten money earners in each series making up the final. Horses that enter for a claiming tag in the claiming series, will not be eligible to be claimed in the following starts in the series. The overnight series will be on Hoosier Park's condition sheets and can be found on Hoosier Park's website as soon as they are made available. To see a full list of the overnight series, please click here<http://www.hoosierpark.com/assets/docs/2014_overnight_series.pdf> The 2014 season of live harness racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will kick off on March 28. Live racing will follow a Friday and Saturday schedule the opening week, a Thursday, Friday and Saturday schedule the second week and then resume a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the remainder of the meet. With a new, daily post time of 5:15 p.m. each night, the live racing season will be conducted through Nov. 15. Emily Gaskin Race Publicist Hoosier Park Racing & Casino  

BOWDEN ALSO BUYS SHARES IN FATHER PATRICK...WILL STAND HIM AT DIAMOND CREEK FARM

And now, the answers to the trivia questions that have appeared in this space recently. We'll deal first with Bob "Hollywood" Heyden's question, paraphrasing from the previous article: "Jerryconnors, this year Shebestingin and Beeamagician both went faster than any of their three-year-old colt counterparts. What was thelastyear that thathappened?" (Bob's brain is always in hyperwarpdrive, and sometimes the words come out of his mouth as if frantically trying to keep up with the gray matter that had just produced them.) When I originally told of this encounter, I did not include my first, smart-ass answer: Since Bob was asking me the question in 2014 (the February of the Dover USHWA/banquet), I said, "2013," which was the previous and, thus by definition, "last" year. That of course was a correct answer. (Watch, and it'll turn more correct the further you read.) Heyden wasn't impressed, giving a "Geez" and a shake of the head as if wondering why he wastes his time trying to educate the unwashed. "Before that, I mean." As I did recount earlier, my next response was, "I don't know." Which was the second correct answer - because 2013 was the FIRST AND ONLY time that Bob's phenomenon had ever occurred! And of course you can't know something that doesn't exist. So BOTH of my answers were correct! I owe thanks for verification to David Carr, veteran computer guru and statistical researcher for the USTA (along with being a Tottenham Hotspurs fan, as is Roy Davis). David said that when he saw the article, he set up the computer parameters, and could trace the data back to 1951 - and that 2013 was the first year that the phenomenon occurred. (Though, according to David, it had happened three times previously among two-year-olds - but that's for a future column.) After Hollywood's stumper, I mentioned, I happened upon an amazing piece of trivia in the Dover paddock: Not 10 feet apart from each other were two gentlemen who are both members of a very, very exclusive club - they were both the leading dashwinning drivers at tracks that hosted just ONE season of harness racing! They accomplished their feats 15 years apart. And they both have the same initials! I did plant one clue in yesterday's story - if you read Ron Pierce's career travels carefully, you may have noted "Minnesota" thrown in there. In 1986, Pierce was the leading driver during the only year they had harness racing at Canterbury (which, for different trivia fans, was where Governor Jesse Ventura's post-election celebration was held). Forrest Skipper won there that year,too - in the Dan Patch Pace, of course. So now we know that the other driver's initials are also "RP" - and from there it's a short jump to Roger Plante Jr., now a solid regular on the Delaware circuit, but for three weekends in 2001 plying his trade at Oakridge Racecourse in Virginia - where he won their only dash title with 14 triumphs. Oak Ridge Estate in southwest VA is an historic plantation/horse farm/events site that was purchased by the Holland Family in 1989, with John Sr. later thinking to try to secure a couple of off-track wagering permits in the Old Dominion - but that required him to hold a pari-mutuel license. So he carved a mile track on the grounds, brought in tents for a paddock and temporary fixtures for fans (no simulcasting in or out, the latter disappointing Plainridge, and I know because they called me, who had written a story, and asked me), and conducted Friday-Saturday-Sunday racing from September 21 to October 7 of 2001. (Alas, for overall naught for Mr. Holland's oval, as he did not get the off-track permits.) There was only that one season of harness at Oakridge (how the USTA records spell it) - nine days, 101 purse races. Plante won 14, one more than Clifton Green, to secure its only dash title, and join that super-exclusive club that both he and Pierce have membership in. And now to end - FOR POSSIBLY THE ONLY TIME EVER IN PRINT - the list of the drivers who won the 101 races at Oakridge! 14: Roger Plante Jr. 13: Clifton Green 11: Brian Allen 7: Dan O'Mara, Fern Paquet Jr. 5: Mark Gray, Donnie Russell 4: Gary Messenger 3: Ken Billman, Joe Offutt, Del Richards 2: Kyle DiBenedetto, Gerry Bookmyer, R. Scott Gregoire*, Jukka Paljarvi, Tim Roach, Tom D. (father of ...) Tetrick, Bryce Truitt, Don Wilson II 1: Mark Clark, Rusty Cox, George Filion, Grover Freck, Warren McIlmurray, Jim Morand, Barry Probber, Basil Sapienza, James Smallwood, Kelly Staten * - Mr. Gregoire gets a special mention because he swept the Daily Double on the inaugural card. By Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com

DOVER DE - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), harness racing's principal organization for media workers, held its annual meetings this past Saturday and Sunday at the Dover Downs complex, with the weekend culminating in the Dan Patch Awards Banquet held Sunday (Feb. 23) night, attended by almost 400 people and streamed worldwide for live viewing. During the Saturday meeting, the Directors of the Association voted for Bob Marks and Kathy Parker to be on the Communicators Hall of Fame voting ballot this summer. Marks has been a leading force in many harness dimensions over his 50 years in the sport, most recently as Marketing Director for Perretti Farms, while Parker, from a prominent harness family, worked her way through the ranks at the Horseman and Fair World weekly magazine until becoming editor in 1995 and later general manager of the Horseman Publishing Company, positions she maintains to this day. At the conclusion of the meetings, the membership voted in their slate of association Officials for 2014-15. Chris Tully, an MBA marketing specialist and writer whose digital literacy and social media acumen has helped bring USHWA to the cutting edge of communications technology, was elected President of the association, succeeding Steve Wolf of Harnesslink.com; Tully's "first official act" was to present Wolf, who now becomes the Chairman of the Board, with a gold Lifetime Membership pin. Tim Bojarski, writer/blogger for the USTA, moved up a chair to 1st Vice President, with the 2VP position going to Shawn Wiles, Monticello Raceway chief racing officer and a longtime USTA and USHWA director. Judy Davis-Wilson, who is based in Dover and worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the weekend, especially the banquet, was returned as Treasurer; Alan Prince, who attended his 48th consecutive USHWA meetings weekend, remains as Executive Treasurer. Also elected was Jerry Connors as USHWA secretary. Much of the discussion during the two days of meetings focused on the sport's Halls of Fame in Goshen NY, where plans for renovation and modernization are starting to advance rapidly, and where USHWA makes a significant contribution. In addition to the physical reconfiguration of the Halls of Fame area, the directors and membership discussed several by-law and rules change relating to the Halls, especially the re-establishment of a Seniors category for both. Debate was plentiful, lively, and well-reasoned on all sides, and some of these matters were tabled until a Committee, soon to be appointed, can focus on the merits - and the eventual wording -- of the varied proposed changes. The attendees heard reports from the many committees that keep USHWA functioning throughout the year, and were glad to hear from Davis-Wilson, voted the organization's member of the year, that the treasury was in a very good shape, pointing to future success in USHWA's upcoming progressive efforts. The Dan Patch Awards Dinner was as always the highlight of the gathering, with superstar sophomore trotting filly Bee A Magician "finishing her unbeaten season" by being elected Trotter of the Year and then Harness Horse of the Year; her contemporary, the pacing colt Captaintreacherous, took down overall honors for that gait after a brilliant campaign showing speed and courage in equal amounts. Also honored were the quartet to be inducted into the Halls of Fame Sunday, July 6 in Goshen: Harness Racing Hall of Famers David Miller and William Weaver, and Communicators Hall inductees Carol Cramer and John Pawlak. by Jerry Connors for USHWA

Dover Downs is capital of the sport this Sunday (Feb. 23). The U.S. Harness Writers Association's (USHWA) Night of Champions comes to Dover Downs for its 67th annual awards-dinner in the Rollins Center. The highlight of the evening will be announcement of the 2013 Horse of the Year. Among champion division winning horses and individuals being honored are three local horsepersons, Corey Callahan receives the "Rising Star Award," Judy Davis -Wilson is USHWAn of the Year while Janet Davis receives the Harness Horse Youth Foundations 'Service to Youth' award for her charitable voluntary work to make the Christmas season a happy time for hundreds of youngster in Delaware. Complete information on the awards-dinner visit the USHWA website: www.ushwa.org. ----------------------------------- For those not at the USHWA 'Night of Champions' at Dover Downs, check the USTA website: ustrotting.com  for video streaming of the sports biggest night of the year starting at approximately 6 p.m. ---------------------------------------- Also on Sunday, a Dan Patch dinner auction will take place with items such as: Yannick Gingras colors and helmet, personally autographed; an original Mary Lou Dondarski acrylic painting of Bee A Magician and another acrylic painting of Captaintreacherous; Bill Haught's winning engraved clock trophy training Nihilator in the $2-million Woodrow Wilson Pace.; Now River bracelets, LV Harkness-etched clock; a breeding to Dream Away amony many more items. Those not at the banquet can bid on any or all of the items by calling 954-654-3757 or 732-306-6713 or 732-547-9459 until 7 p.m. ------------------------------------------ Statistics for the early 2014 season show Dover Downs regulars Corey Callahan and Ron Piece off to fast starts. Currently, Callahan leads all drivers in the sport with more than 100 wins. Ron Pierce is now second in the standing some 25 behind. Ross Wolfenden is 11th with 48 wins, ------------------------------------------------------------- Corey Callahan is alone at the top of the track leading driver category in quest of a fifth consecutive track title.  This meet, Callahan has won 178 races. Ross Wolfenden has moved into second place with 887 wins.  Allan Davis is third with 61 winners. Ron Pierce has moved into third with 75 wins and Vic Kirby, fifth, with 74 wins. ------------------------------------ Callahan's second win on Thursday (2/20), came with #8 Chrusher Man in the 5th race. The 8-1 official odds turned out 55-1 and Callahan drove the four-year-old pacer to one of his four wins that night, a lifetime mark of 153. By the way, the horse went off at 55-1 and paid $113.40 for a $2-dollar win ticket ------------------------------------------ Dylan Davis has extended his first place lead in the trainer standings with 50 wins. Wayne Givens is second with 39 winners. Trish Foulk is third with 37 wins. Joe Hundertpfund is fourth, 36 wins and Les Givens, 33, is fifth in the standings.   by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs

Pastor Stephen, the full-brother to O'Brien Award finalist Father Patrick and the highest priced yearling of 2013, Custom Fit, has been retired to stud duty. After winning the Dan Patch Award in the U.S. as top two-year-old trotting colt of 2010, the son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream had a disappointing sophomore campaign spattered with signs of brilliance. His last race at three came in his elimination of the 2011 Canadian Trotting Classic after winning his Simcoe division the week before in a lifetime best 1:52.4. Pastor Stephen was diagnosed with a broken coffin bone and shut down for the season, with his future as a racehorse in question. He was sold to Swedish interests and his new owners attempted a comeback with him at age five but the stallion could only muster a second-placed finish from two starts. His owners, Sweden's Stall Zet, have stated that the demand for breeding to Pastor Stephen in Sweden is so great that they've decided to shut him down. That demand was surely heightened by the success of his brother, Father Patrick. Trained by Jimmy Takter -- as was Pastor Stephen -- Father Patrick reeled off nine straight wins in 2013 to end the season with 10 wins from 11 starts, losing only once by the margin of a head and establishing himself as the fastest two-year-old colt trotter in harness racing history by virtue of his 1:52.1 win in his Breeders Crown elimination. Impressed enough by his two full-brothers, Takter shelled out $475,000 for Cantab Hall yearling Custom Fit at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. That final bid was the highest amount paid for a Standardbred yearling in North America for 2013. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Dave Briggs, writing for the Guelph Mercury newspaper, and M. Kelly Young, writing for Hoof Beats magazine, were named the winners in the 52nd annual John Hervey Awards for excellence in harness racing journalism, the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) announced Monday. Meadowlands Racetrack photographer Michael Lisa and Dave Witten of Horseman and Fair World magazine were the winners in the 14th annual George Smallsreed Awards for excellence in harness racing photography. Woodbine Entertainment won the 30th edition of the John Hervey Award for excellence in broadcasting for a feature on Sydney Weaver, a 13-year-old with cerebral palsy who is a licensed groom, horse owner, award-winning writer and public speaker. Briggs won the news/commentary category for his story titled “Horse barns at Mohawk ‘silent as a grave,’” which examined the shutting of the backstretch stables at Mohawk, and appeared in the Jan. 9, 2013 edition of the Guelph Mercury newspaper. Briggs has been awarded a record six Hervey honors. Melissa Keith received honorable mention in the news/commentary division for her story, “What Women Want; Can Racing Attract the Female Horseplayer?” It appeared in the April issue of Trot magazine. In the feature category, Young won for her story, “Win One for Ryan; Pacer races for stricken youngster,” which appeared in the November issue of Hoof Beats. The story recounted the chance meeting between Marc Reynolds and Marie Hunt and Reynolds naming a horse, River Run For Ryan, in honor of Hunt’s son, who has a rare genetic disease called Hunter Syndrome. Susan Higgins and Lauren Lee received honorable mention in the feature category. Higgins was recognized for her story, “‘Make Sure Things Go Right;’ Maine Cast fulfills a dying wish with sire stakes championship,” which appeared on the U.S. Trotting Association website on Nov. 21 and in the December issue of Hoof Beats. Lee was recognized for her story, “The Cornerstones,” about Meadowlands media duo Bob Heyden and Sam McKee entering the Communicators Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, which appeared in June 20 issue of The Canadian Sportsman. The writing categories were judged by a panel consisting of longtime horseracing writer Neil Milbert, Dorf Feature Service newsroom assistant/writer Lou Monaco and Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Editor John Quinn. In the photography categories, Lisa won in the race feature division for a photograph of driver David Miller heading onto the track on a snowy night at the Meadowlands. The photo appeared in the March 13 issue of Horseman and Fair World as well as the March 14 issue of The Canadian Sportsman. Witten won in the race action category for a photograph of the first turn of the Hambletonian. The photo appeared in the Aug. 15 issue of Horseman and Fair World. Claus Andersen and Mark Hall received honorable mention in the race action category; Andersen for a photo of Bee A Magician winning the Hambletonian Oaks that appeared on the Oct. 17 cover of The Canadian Sportsman and Hall for a photo of Pet Rock winning the Winbak Pace that appeared on the USTA website on Sept. 19. Dave Landry and Barbara Livingston received honorable mention in the race feature category; Landry for a photo of John Campbell driving with his great nephew Tyler McLinchey that appeared on the Sept. 12 cover of The Canadian Sportsman and Livingston for a photo of retired star Staying Together and Kentucky Horse Park Equine Operations Director Wes Lanter that appeared on the USTA website on Oct. 1. The photography categories were judged by Bill Denver, the track photographer at Monmouth Park and Parx Racing as well as a regular contributor to the New York Daily News and Wall Street Journal, and Phil McAuliffe, a longtime newspaper and magazine photographer who worked as a harness racing groom while a teenager. In the broadcast category, Woodbine’s feature on Sydney Weaver was written, voiced and produced by Paul Salvalaggio. It originally aired on June 26 as part of the one-hour North America Cup presentation on The Score television network. To watch the video, click here. The writing categories were judged by a panel consisting of award-winning longtime horseracing writer Neil Milbert, Daily Racing Form Programming Manager Lou Monaco and Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Editor John Quinn. Hervey Award winners will be honored as part of the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s Dan Patch Awards banquet Feb. 23 at Dover Downs. For more information about the banquet, visit www.ushwa.org. by Ken Weingartner for USHWA

Tucson, AZ --- Dave Palone, the 51-year-old Waynesburg, Pa., native is Harness Tracks of America’s Driver of the Year, the formidable achievement that remains the most difficult award in the sport of harness racing to win. It is the seventh time Palone has won the title! The evidence of the accomplishment is clear in the fact that of the 3,156 drivers who competed for purses in North America in 2013, only six were able to finish in the top 10 in money won, races won and UDR in-the-money percentage. Under the HTA formula, points are awarded on the basis of 25 for first down to one for 25th in the standings in money won, races won, and UDR, with a 25-point bonus for finishing in the top 25 in all three categories. Palone’s 2013 Driver of the Year trophy will be presented as part of the United States Harness Writers' 2014 Dan Patch Awards Banquet Night of Champions, on Sunday (Feb. 23) at Dover Downs in Dover, Dela. Here are the complete standings for 2013 for the top 25 drivers in North America: Drivers--Wins (Rank)--Earnings (Rank)--UDR (Rank)--Bonus--Total Points Dave Palone--645 (2T)--$6,128,869 (12)--.385 (3)--25--85.5 Yannick Gingras--537 (8T)--$14,231,476 (2)--.367 (8)--25--84.5 Tim Tetrick--582 (5)--$16,164,822 (1)--.320 (13T)--25--83.5 Brian Sears--507 (12T)--$13,737,691 (3)--.368 (7)--25--80.5 George Napolitano Jr.--551 (7)--$6,068,813 (14)--.315 (18)--25--64 George Brennan--450 (14)--$9,134,699 (7)--.311 (20T)--25--61.5 Corey Callahan--619 (4)--$9,708,323 (6)--.281--(unranked)--42 Ronnie Wrenn Jr.--714 (1)--$2,480,373 (unranked)--.361 (10)--41 Trevor Henry--529 (10)--$2,458,956 (unranked)--.392 (2)--40 Ron Pierce--537 (8T)--$11,550,300 (5)--.281 (unranked)--38.5 Michael Oosting--511 (11)--$3,535,283 (unranked)--.373 (5)--36 Jim Morrill, Jr.--343 (unranked)--$6,116,760 (13)--.383 (4)--35 Bruce Aldrich, Jr.--645 (2T)--$2,764,419 (unranked)--.316 (17)--32.5 Matt Kakaley--446 (15)--$7,527,717 (8)--.287 (unranked)--29 David Miller--388 (22)--$12,230,914 (4)--.268 (unranked)--26 Winston Campbell--321 (unranked)--$835,983 (unranked)--.416 (1)--25 Aaron Merriman--568 (6)--$4,165,510 (24)--.292 (unranked)--22 Bruce Ranger--254 (unranked)--$1,216,733 (unranked)--.369 (6)--20 Jason Bartlett--362 (24)--$7,136,699 (9)--.260 (unranked)--19 Jim Marohn Jr.--390 (21)--$1,762,040 (unranked)--.331 (12)--19 Jody Jamieson--352 (unranked)--$6,300,192 (11)--.307 (23T)--17 Andy Miller--354 (25)--$7,122,058 (10)--.254 (unranked)--17 Luke Plano--262 (unranked)--$765,014 (unranked)--.363 (9)--17 Heath Campbell--202 (unranked)--$817,779 (unranked)--.349 (11)--15 Chris Page--428 (16)--$2,478,072 (unranked)--.308 (22)--14

It is major awards time for the recently completed 2013 harness racing season. The Delaware Standardbred Owners (DSOA) led off the local awards programs on Friday, Jan. 10. On Feb. 9, the top seasonal awards will be handed out in Canada. The 'Black Tie," O'Brien Awards banquet will honor the top horses, drivers and trainers racing "North of the Border." --------------------------------- Harness Racing's top 2013 winners will be honored at the prestigious "Dan Patch Awards" at the annual U.S. Harness Writers Association awards-dinner. This year, the event is being held at Dover Downs on Sunday, Feb. 23. The Horse of the Year, Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year, along with all divisional champion horses and individual standouts of the recent season will receive awards. Dover Downs leading driver for the past four seasons, Corey Callahan is winner of the "Rising Star" award, Judy Davis-Wilson is the USHWAn of the Year winner. For ticket information and the roster of honorees, visit the www.ushwa.org website. ----------------------------------- At age 72, driver Walter Layfield Jr. is on a renaissance. For more than five decades, Layfield has driven horses. He has been virtually inactive for several years, but recently, he has hooked up with trainer Richard Lewis and its been a successful combination. Layfield has driven more than a dozen Lewis trained horses and has posted four winners, several in sparkling wire-to-wire performances. ------------------------------------ While Layfield has shown what a 'senior citizen' can do at 72, Youthful Tyler Davis is winning races at age 21. His dad is Allan Davis, second in the current driver standings, and his grandfather is Eddie Davis, the all-time leading race winning driver in the Middle Atlantic region. The third generation driver, Davis, won his third race of the season last Wednesday (1/8) piloting a 32-1 longshot Color Me Royal in a $9,000 trot, --------------------------------------- Just as last season, Corey Callahan is off to another big start for the 2014 season. Callahan, who led the 2013-14 standings for the fourth consecutive meet, currently has a meet-leading total to 104 wins. Allan Davis is runner-up with 60 wins. Ross Wolfenden is third in the standings with 52 wins. Vic Kirby is fourth winning 51 and Tony Morgan completes the top five with 42 wins. ------------------------------------ Wayne Givens holds the top spot in the trainer standings with 29 wins. Dylan Davis is now second with 27 wins. Trish Foulk is third with 23. Joe Hundertpfund takes fourth with 22 wins. Les Givens has 20 winners, good for fifth place in the standings. ----------------------------------- Marv Bachrad  

Monticello, NY -- Who Is Donna Marshall?     She is an accomplished horsewoman, wife, mother and friend extraordinaire.  She is also the 2013 recipient of USHWAs January Davies Humanitarian Award.  This annual honor is bestowed upon an individual or a group who has strong connections to harness racing for their works outside the harness racing industry   Donna’s quiet heroism reaches beyond her equine and human family.  Several years ago, a prominent horse trainer named John Bown passed away at a young age.  Months later, his wife Nancy also passed away, leaving behind 2 young girls, Maja and Jess Bown.    In a particularly unselfish act, Donna stepped in and embraced the girls into her home.  To this day, the girls are very much a part of Donna’s life and will always be grateful for the guidance and support she has provided throughout the years.   In another instance, many years ago, Donna had become a friend of a groom who at the time was working for Eddie Cobb.  He went by the name, Doc, and did not have any relatives or friends throughout his life.  Doc has since aged and is currently living in a shelter suffering daily struggles both financially and physically.  Donna continues to visit Doc on a regular basis and provides him with food, clothing, and that beautiful, bright sense of self worth that she offers to everyone.    Just another act of kindness that would go unnoticed by everyone except the recipient.  Regularly, perhaps even too regularly, Marshall donates blood and volunteers at several hospitals.   Donna is also very active with several organizations in which her efforts are endless.  She is a member of the USTA, SPHO (Standardbred Pleasure Horse Org.), SRF, (Standardbred Retirement Foundation), PHHA, SBOA, SOA, just to name a few.  Her rescue efforts throughout the retired race horses are too many to name.  "Sleep Easy" a winner of over $650,000 life has now found a home in Donnas backyard for the remainder of his life.   Submitted by US Harness Writers Association   Marshall is the type of person that does things for the right reason and not necessarily for any recognition.  She hates being the center of attention and rarely will ever ask for help.  Director of racing at Freehold Raceway, Karen Fagliarone states, "Donna is just one of those kind of people that makes everyone around her a better person.  She is the most unselfish person I have ever known, and I am honored to be called her friend."   Working alongside her husband Jim, Donna has been the linchpin of the Marshall stable since 1977.  Not just the owners and operators of their own business, the Marshalls are proud parents of two successful children, Kelly (27) and Jim (28 ).   Donna will receive her award at the Dan Patch Awards Night of Champions on February 23, 2014, at Dover Downs, Dover, Delaware.  For ticket information check the US Harness Writers website: ushwa.org

We are visiting today with the recently crowned leading dash-winning driver in North America Ronnie Wrenn Jr. This past year Ronnie tallied 714 winning drives, which ranked him as the the winningest driver in North America. His UDRS driving rating was an outstanding 0.361. He was the leading driver at both the Northville and Northfield meets. Wrenn, who turned 27 in August has been driving regularly only for four years. Ronnie has been in the sulky for most of Anvil Raider N 23 victories on the year, the most in harness racing in 2013. Wrenn was a finalist for the Dan Patch Human and Horse Awards for 2013 as the Rising Star. We caught up with him as he was driving to be with his girlfriend to bring in the new year together. One-On-One is done exclusively for Harnesslink.com by Brian McEvoy HLINK: Congratulations on a great year of racing and winning the 2013 North American dash title. What are you up to? When is the surgery scheduled on your wrist? RW:  I just finished my last day of racing for the year. I finished up with 5 winners on the night. It has been a lot of work for the year. I have definitely raced a lot of races. It has been hard. Winning the title has not set in yet. When I have the time off I will realize what I have accomplished. To be included in the same class of the top 5 drivers is pretty sweet. I am having surgery on January 6th at Ohio State U. Once the surgery is done. I should have about 4 weeks of rehab. I should be back racing in late January or early February. It is just about the time the purse increase should start at Northfield. It's my right wrist and it is an old sports injury that I have put off for years and now have to deal with. HLINK: You have raced at an incredible amount of tracks this year, Northfield Park, Northville Downs, Raceway Park, Scioto Downs, Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Colonial Downs, Monticello Raceway, Delaware Ohio Fair, Hazel Park, The Meadows, and several other fair tracks. You must have put a lot of miles on your car? RW: I have 148,000 miles on a 2011. Of that I have put 70,000 miles on the vehicle this year. HLINK: You only started driving about four years ago. Tell us about how you started driving and the influence of your uncle Peter. RW: The first year I just messed around driving a couple of horses The last two years is when I picked up catch drives. My two uncles have had a great influence on me. Peter has helped me from a driving aspect. My uncle Gary, a blacksmith, also has helped me greatly. I have talked a lot on the phone with both my uncles for advice. I was going to school in Michigan. I was studying criminal law. I started picking up a lot of drives. It was getting busy, so I chose this path. HLINK: I heard you were a pretty good ball player. How good were you? RW: I played football and baseball in high school. I played some baseball in college. I played center field. I loved the sport. I gave it up to go into the horses. I wasn't going to the major leagues, but I could have played further in college. HLINK: You grew up in Michigan. You started your driving career at the Michigan tracks, and at Windsor in Canada. It must be depressing to watch the decline of harness racing in your home state? RW: When I first started racing all I wanted to do was race at the premier tracks of Michigan. I was hoping to remain racing there. I was for about a year. It looks now like it is near the end of it. Ten live days of racing at Northville and Hazel doesn't add up to a lot of days. If you are a horseman you can't make a living racing there. It was really sad that Michigan didn't approve casinos at the racetracks as just happened in Ohio. I think it is about to come to the end. HLINK: You recently drove Anvil Raider N to his 22nd victory on the year. This is the most racing wins in harness racing for 2013. It might also have been his swan song. U.S. Trotting Association rules require the 14-year-old to retire on December 31st. RW: It was one of the first horses I started to catch drive. I probably drove him the most the last two years. I drove him a lot this year. For him to set the record for most wins this year is pretty neat. It is unfortunate he has to retire as he is still racing like he is a 6-year-old. He has had a lot of miles on his body. It is just like athletes. You can perform better at twenty then in your forties. It is probably a good rule. He is one the few horses I have ever been around that has raced so well in his 14th year of racing. He was racing at a level where he could still hold his speed. He was sharper this year then he has been in the last 5 years. HLINK: You were recently invited for a drive-off at Monticello Raceway against Bruce Aldrich Jr. on December 12th. Tell us about that experience? RW: I loved the idea of what John Manzi came up with in the drive-off. I think a lot of other tracks should try this. I must have got over 200 texts that day My Facebook page and phone were lit up. The first 8 races we went back and forth. The next couple of races didn't work out for me. I had a couple of horses break stride. It is never fun losing but it was a very cool experience. I would definitely do it again. HLINK: When you come back to racing next year after the surgery is Northfield going to be your home base for racing? RW: When I return I will start driving back at Northfield. I love that place and they treat me good. It fits my driving style. On a half mile track you have to be more aggressive. Northfield is a real run and gun track. You don't really go slow quarters as you do at other tracks. I might go down to Lebanon to drive at Miami Valley a little bit when they open in February. I am just going to see how things go. I am considering driving at the Meadows again pulling doubleheaders. It just depends what the purse structure is at Northfield. It would be nice to one day be driving at the premier tracks back east. I want to keep getting better and one day drive on the big stage. I am still learning a lot and new to the business. HLINK: Do you have any insight into when the purses will go up at Northfield?. What about Miami Valley not having any tellers for people to bet with? RW: I probably don't want to say too much as I am not 100%. I guess February is when the purses will be going up a little bit. They have to generate some revenue from the casino. Miami Valley opens in February and I would think they would kick up their purses at the same time. That would prevent the horseman from going on down to Miami Valley. The teller situation I don't think has been worked out yet. I don't think they have a contract with any of the tracks. I hope whoever is working for us gets that worked out. I hope we can race for a lot of money for a long time in Ohio. HLINK: You had an unfortunate situation when you went to race this summer at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. You were fined for leaning back too far in the bike when driving. You were not happy about the drivers being fined for this. You packed up and left on the first day of racing. RW: When all the drivers showed up the first day they had a whole new set of rules they were trying to enforce. I am really not sure who came up with the rules. I was really looking forward to driving during Jug week. I had a disagreement with the judge. I really didn't think I was leaning back. He thought I was. It is just like in major league baseball where every pitcher and batting has his own form. We are all not robots. We are all individuals which use our skills in different ways. I never have been too far back to control my horse. Maybe when someone just starts driving they should say something. HLINK: Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you see yourself eventually making the move to the Meadowlands and the other big tracks in the northeast? RW: If a trainer called me up and said to come out here and drive my horses. I would come out in a heartbeat. I want to keep getting better. I was locked in this year,driving smarter. I want to be patient and get my horses in the right position at the right time. If I am driving in Ohio that would be fine. Wherever the premier tracks are in the next five years is where I want to be. HLINK: I see on Facebook you are a huge Dallas Cowboy fan? Are you disappointed they did not make the playoffs again this year? RW: I am really disappointed they didn't make the playoffs. I was reading where in the last 20 years they are something like 2 and 18 in week 17. You don't make the playoffs struggling the last game of the season when it means something. I am a diehard fan. When I was younger they were awesome. They were America's team. The last few years they have been a struggling team. I am a Cowboy fan for life. They are like the Yankees of football. By Brian McEvoy for Harnesslink.com  

In the world of harness racing, there are a lot of popular names, whether it is horses, trainers or drivers, yet there are very few that are household names, such as Tim Tetrick. We all know about his accolades, Tim has amassed quite the resume since he began driving, but what was Tim like as a teenager? When did he start driving? “I raced in a matinee when I was 14 years, then I couldn’t race again until I was 16 at the County Fair, (Illinois). Racing for money? I was 16 years old” It is no wonder.   Tim set such a dominant mark of total wins per season in the past several years. “I won my first race when I was 16; the horses’ name was Travel’N Legacy”. No one ever forgets their first. Since then Tim has been on a tear, breaking records year after year, in most wins, purse totals, youngest driver to achieve such feats, it’s endless. As with any successful athlete, if you don’t put in the time and effort, you will not see the rewards.   Look at Tim’s 2007 season, what he describes as a ‘‘magical’’ season. Then  2008 season came and went and Tim was atop the leader board in numerous categories. 2009 through to 2013 Tim has remained a consistent, dominant and down to earth.    For all of Tim’s success and time in the spotlight, he remains a humble person. Tim gives credit to his father for showing Tim the path to success. “My grandfather started owning horses when my dad was a kid. My dad, (Tom Tetrick), went over 1,000 wins driving and I have been fortunate to learn from him.” When fans spend time at a track where Tim is driving, they can be sure if they meet Tim, he would not hesitate to provide an autograph or two. That’s Tim’s nature, easy going, as though he’s savoring every moment of life.    Being a top flight driver also has it challenges. Tim has raced at over 45 race tracks in the USA, including Mohawk which is located in Campbellville, Ontario, Canada. With a grueling schedule going from one track to another, any driver would has his preference of racetrack. So I asked, what are your top five tracks, Tim’s response, “Meadowlands (NJ), Lexington (KY), Pocono (PA), Mohawk (CAN), and Harris Chester (PA).”    Tim’s most memorable race to date that he has won, “The Hambletonian, it’s the premier event, the super bowl of harness racing. It’s so hard to get to, I was fortunate to get to it and win it with an underdog horse, Market Share. There were great connections involved.” Looking back at the 2012  Hambletonian, Market Share and Tetrick made the move off the rail around 5/8 mark. Coming down the lane, it appeared Market Share might not reach the finish first as the two horses on the outside were coming hard and fast, never in doubt Tim believed in his horse and kept Market Share on task and delivered the win. Trainer Linda Tuscano deserves just as much credit; her barn did a swell job keeping Market Share fit.    In retrospect, what are Tim’s favorite horses he’s driven over the years and we know there have  been a ton to choose from, “it would be Buck I St Pat, Captaintreacherous, and Southwind Tempo.” says Tim. Three hall of fame horses with world class resumes. Buck I St Pat earned $2,320,637 lifetime, including 10 top flight wins. Captaintreacherous earned over $2,000,000 this year as a three year old and has an extremely bright future. Southwind Tempo retired in 2010 winning $2,300,000 and winning a Dan Patch award as a three year old pacing filly.    So, off the track and away from the rush of driving standardbred horses I asked Tim  what he does to relax and unwind. Does he have a man cave to retreat to? Yes and no I would say. His man cave is not a basement or specially designed room, rather it is a 12 acre farm where he kicks back spending time with his family. With all of his achievements to date, after speaking with Tim, he gives the impression that quality family time is vital.  “Hanging out with my family, be at home, I got a little 12 acre farm in south Jersey where I like to work on that. Just getting away from the hustle and bustle…. Taking time to relax, there is a hot tub, so I do like enjoying the hot tub.” At the farm Tim has some riding horses, and Tim also keeps his race horses there if the need time to relax, caring for the horses like family.    We all build bonds, and Tim shares he has a good bond with some trainers. “Linda Tuscano, she does a great job and she is a really good friend.” Linda is the trainer of Market Share, 2012 Hambletonian winner. He also considers Tony Alagna a ‘‘really great guy’’.    What is Tim looking forward to in 2014, aside from best of health and luck, (which we all wish him)? “There’s always horses that are going to surprise you and break through, looking back at 2013 and at what Father Patrick did as the top 2 year old trotting colt Jimmy Takter has (Jimmy Takter is Father Patrick’s trainer), who knows how good he can be in 2014. He has the potential to be a superstar. Well, he already is but he can be a major superstar next year. There is a good bunch of colts that have some talent… Jimmy Takter has a good barn full of dominant 2 year old colts that are going to be three. There are always some horses that don’t do much as 2 year old yet jump out when they are 3. I am really excited to see what Father Patrick can do this year. He’s probably going to be the 2014 Hambletonian favorite. He’s a really nice horse. He went undefeated this year. Father Patrick, he’s a player, he’s a superstar readying to be great. I don’t even drive him, but he is going to be cool to watch.” As for what 2014 holds for Tim, he takes it one step at a time. Not getting ahead of him, you can say pacing things out. “Hopefully I can turn out some great horses for next year, see if people want my services for the 2014 season and find a few more divisional champions like I have been lucky to do the last few years. Captaintreacherous coming back older, bigger and stronger, it can be an interesting 2014.”    Tim is looking forward to travelling to Canada in 2014, “There are some really good races, the North America Cup, the Canadian Trotting Classic. I love being there.”    Being as successful as Tim has been, one would think he has it all figured out, but that’s not the case at all. Tim states “I always try to learn, watch other people, I am never to proud of myself not to learn from my mistakes and other people. Anything I can do to help owners. There’s always new and good talent coming up and you need to learn as much as you can to stay active.”    One piece of advice Tim offers young drivers or anyone looking to get into the game is “Don’t do anything you’re not supposed to and you will be fine.” Sounds like sound advice, as in any sport or life; if you cut corners you are not doing it right.    By: Roderick Balgobin    Courtesy of the Supernova Sports Club      

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