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WILKES-BARRE PA - Uncle Hanover had a big closing kick to get past a gallant pacesetting Watkins by a ½-length to win the $20,000 featured harness racing trot Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:56.2 in "good going" on a cool night.   Watkins was hung out three-wide early and did not make the lead until continuing two-wide well past a 27.4 quarter, then got a relative breather to the 57.1 half and until shortly before the 1:26.2 3/4s, when first-over Military Blue launched a huge challenging bid, with Uncle Hanover backing off the rail to tail the brusher. The victorious Muscle Hill gelding tipped wide in the stretch and was hustled home by driver Jim Marohn Jr. to overhaul the tough Watkins late, boosting his lifetime earnings to $96,017 for trainer D.R. Ackerman and the Doug Ackerman Racing Stables Inc.   In the $18,000 featured pace, Tyler The Terror overcame a first-over trip and a 12-1 betting forecast to hold off the late charge of favored Manny by 1¾ lengths in 1:52.4 for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and owner Gregory Gardner, with pacesetter Perfect Bet third, a half-length behind Manny. The Western Terror gelding gave trainer Amy Eubanks, who has campaigned mostly in Ohio, her first visit to the Pocono winners circle.   The first six races were divided equally among three drivers: George Napolitano, who entered the night with 8089 career victories; Marcus Miller, who had 2591; and Christian Lind - who had three. But don't count on the 25-year-old not getting many more wins, and soon, as he has an 18% win rate in this, his first year of driving, and at Pocono Sunday won back-to-back races with pupils of his father Staffan, the trotter Promise Delivered and the pacer Mr D's Dragon.   PHHA / Pocono  

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 4, 2014 - Southwind Cartier reached the winner's circle for the first time in her young career in the $35,000 Marion Dancer Trot on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at Freehold Raceway. The Daughter of Muscle Hill had the lead at every call and won by a half-length over Rules of the Road [Muscle Hill], and it was two lengths to Showy Starlet [Muscles Yankee] in third. The three-filly race was contested as a non-wagering event prior to the betting card. Southwind Cartier, driven and trained by DR Ackerman, toured the Freehold course in 2:04.2. She now has a win, a second and a third in eight starts, lifting her bankroll over the $30,000 mark for the Doug Ackerman Stables of Aberdeen, NC. The Marion Dancer for New Jersey-sired two-year-old trotting fillies is sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Also on the non-wagering card was the $7,000 second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. The outcome was never in doubt as Broken Record [Muscles Yankee] scored a 27 1/2 -length victory in 2:00.1 Firestop and Cruizinwithmuscles, both also by Muscles Yankee, finished second and third, respectively. Broken Record, driven by Steve Smith and trained by Ray Schnittker, picked up his third win along with a second and three thirds from eight starts this year and lifted his earnings to $47,013 for Schnittker and co-owner Ted Gewertz of New York City. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

Harness racing two-year-old pacers of both sexes competed in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series action on Sunday evening at Georgian Downs, and the top performance was turned in by Sportskeeper, who established a new track record of 1:52.3 for a rookie pacing colt. Each race went for a purse of $70,000. Sportskeeper (Jody Jamieson) competed in the first division for pacing colts and geldings, and he would be in the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter. He then yielded the front to Bob Ben And John (Chris Christoforou), and that one would go on to click off the half in :56.2 and the three-quarters in 1:24.4. Bob Ben And John brought the field into the stretch, but Jamieson angled his charge to the outside, and he would get up late in the mile to prevail by half a length. Bob Ben And John was the runner-up and Physicallyinclined (Jack Moiseyev) nabbed third. The time shaved a fifth of a second off the existing track record, which had belonged to Funny Bones since he won a Gold Series elimination in 1:52.4 on June 17, 2006. Trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, Ontario, also bred and co-owns Sportskeeper, a Sportswriter colt, with partner Merlin Howse of Langton, Ontario. Sportskeeper, who has won three times from four starts and earned $53,000, is the third foal out of the Nuclear Flash mare Keeper Flying, which means Sportskeeper is a half-brother to former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Keepers Destiny (Intrepid Seelster, $712,747). Coleman also won the second section for colt and gelding pacers with Southwind Indy (Christoforou). Southwind Indy led to the :27.4 opening quarter, the :57.3 half and the 1:25.2 three-quarters before he sprinted home in :27.4 to triumph by half a length in 1:53.1. Jamieson had a pocket trip again in this event with Make Some Luck, but he fell half a length short this time. Drachan Hanover (Mike Saftic) tried the eventual winner from first-over past the half, but wound up third. It was the second win in five tries for Southwind Indy, a colt by Sportswriter who is owned by West Wins Stable, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, Ontario, and Southwind Farms LLC. of Pennington, New Jersey. Southwind Farms also bred Southwind Indy, who was purchased for $45,000 out of the 2013 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Southwind Indy, who shows earnings of $88,497, is the first foal out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Its Only Rocknroll. Its Only Rocknroll’s dam is Armbro Wallflower (Village Jasper), a multiple-time OSS winner at two and three, including the Super Final for three-year-olds in 2002. Jamieson did return to win the final contest for the male pacers with Sporting The Look. He had Sporting The Look on the engine through splits of :28.3, :58.1, and 1:26.3, and although pocket-sitter Dialamara (Randy Waples) made things interesting late, Sporting The Look held sway to score by a quarter of a length in 1:54.2. Mikes Powerhouse (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Sporting The Look, who is trained by Carl Jamieson, finished off a siring sweep of the colt divisions for Sportswriter. The elder Jamieson of Rockwood, Ontario, also co-owns Sporting The Look, who has been victorious in half of his six starts, with breeder 30 Plus Stable of Trenton and Tom Kyron of Toronto, Ontario. Sporting The Look, the third foal out of The Panderosa mare Lyons Mandi ($162,482), did go through last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he brought $72,000. As for the pacing fillies, Cowgirl Tough (Moiseyev) won the first section in 1:54.2, brushing from fifth at three-quarters to a two length victory in 1:54.2. Heavy favourite Southwind Mischief (Christoforou) led through fractions of :27.1, :57.4, and 1:25.2, but had to settle for second in the end, and Betty And The Jets (Jamieson) grabbed third. Joanne Colville and Emma Christoforou of Moffat, Ontario, and Sigrid Velten of Hochheim, Germany, bred the victorious daughter of Ponder, and now Colville and Christoforou share ownership. Also trained by Moiseyev, Cowgirl Tough broke her maiden in her fourth try, and she has now earned $35,960. She’s the first foal out of the Astreos mare Almost A Lady ($185,980). Public choice Sports Chic (Jamieson) didn’t disappoint in the second filly flight, posting panels of :28.2, :58.3, and 1:27.1 on her way to a 1:54.2 victory. Capela (Waples) tracked the winner from the pocket but fell three-quarters of a length short and Northern Starlet (Filion) was up to finish third. Trainer Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario, also co-owns Sports Chic, a daughter of Sportswriter, with partner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sports Chic has a four wins from six trips behind the gate, and she has now earned $139,500. Sports Chic, a Winbak Farm-bred filly who fetched $35,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, is the 15th foal out of the On The Road Again mare Vesta Blue Chip, which means Sports Chic is a half-sister to the great Rainbow Blue ($1,600,012), the 2004 Canadian Horse of the Year. In the final filly dash, Code One Hanover (Saftic) broke on the first turn, leaving I Wonder Why (Steve Condren) in the lead at the 29 second opening quarter. Code One Hanover then regained her stride and went back to the lead before the 57 second half. Code One Hanover had opened up a two length lead at the 1:25.2 three-quarters but then went on the gallop again, dropping the top spot back to I Wonder Why. She wouldn’t lose control this time, winning by two and three-quarter lengths in 1:53.4. Win The Gold (James MacDonald) was next, followed by Shesastarreporter (Jon Drury). Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario, also co-owns I Wonder Why, another filly by Ponder, with partner Mardon Stables of Loretto, Ontario. I Wonder Why, who is now two-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $42,440, was bred by Doug Ackerman Stables Inc. of Aberdeen, North Carolina, and sold for $12,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. She is the third filly out of the Magical Mike mare Model A. The next Gold Series event for rookie pacing colts and geldings will occur on September 16 at Mohawk Racetrack while the two-year-old pacing fillies will race the night before at Mohawk. For full results and charts of Sunday’s races at Georgian Ontario Sire Stakes

It'll be a great afternoon of action on Monday, July 21 when Monticello Raceway features New York-bred 2 year old pacing colts and geldings. There will be five divisions of the $110,000 New York Sire Stakes which will be joined by five splits of freshmen colt pacers in the Excelsior Series who'll compete for total purses in excess of $50,000. The day will commence with arguably the best $21,800 NYSS division on the 13 race program when two speedy freshmen, Freedomformysoul and Rockntouch, clash in the first race on the card. Both were NYSS winners at Saratoga Raceway on July 12, and both with eye-opening performances. Freedomformysoul, a son of If I Can Dream-Hello Grin, in only his second lifetime start made a quarter pole move to the front and then bristled to a stunning 1:53.3 victory for driver Jimmy Morrill, Jr. He'll start from the pole position again with Morrill in the bike. In his first lifetime start Rockntouch, sailed wire to wire for a splendid 1:55 triumph also with Morrill at the controls. However, on Monday Yannick Gingras will be in the pilot's seat when this son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Touch Of Bogart leaves from the two-hole Freedomformysoul is trained by Nancy Johansson for the Freedomformysoul Stable while Monte Gelrod conditions Rockntouch for Freddy Monteleone. In another NYSS division, race four on the card, the undefeated Oneisalonelynumber and Aimo Hanover will lock horns. Both pacers won their respective NYSS divisions at Saratoga in identical times of 1:57.3 Oneisaloneynumber, an altered son of Bettor's Delight-No One Is Alone is trained by Casie Coleman for the West Wins Stable and Adriano Sorella while Aimo Hanover, an Artiscape colt out of Allamerican Celeb, is owned by the Doug Ackerman Stable and trained by D.R. Ackerman. Jimmy Morrill, Jr. will drive the former while Jeff Gregory will handle the latter. In a third split, race eight, K Ryan Bluechip gets the nod as the early line favorite. He was a close second to Freedomformysoul at Saratoga officially timed in 1:54.1. The son of Art Major-Fool That I Am won a baby race at Pocono Downs in 1:54.2 on June 20. Joe Pavia, Jr. trains and drives K Ryan Bluechip for Steve Held, Joe Barbera, the AGC Stable, and Harbor Point Hospitality. They will leave from post four on Monday afternoon. Then fourth split, race 10, will feature K-Rock, a Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A colt who was 1:55.1 NYSS winner at Saratoga for Bruce Aldrich, Jr. From the powerful Ron Burke Stable K-rock will be driven by Yannick Gingras when they start from post three. JD He's Da Bomb, who earlier this season won two baby races at Tioga Downs- the fastest in 1:57.1- will be the one to beat in the final NYSS division which will go as race 12. Blocked and beaten just a length in his NYSS split at Saratoga and individually timed in 1:55.4 the Art Major-Cherry Bomb colt will leave from the pole position with Corey Braden at the lines. Paul Bernardo trains JD He's Da Bomb for Joe Martinelli. "These sire stakes races appear to have some of the best pacing colts we've ever seen, especially at this time of the year," noted Eric Warner the track's Sr. Director of Racing. "Fans will be in for a pleasurable afternoon." The undercard also features some nice colts in three Excelsior "A" divisions and two Excelsior "B" divisions. They'll be joined by three overnight events. The 13-race card will get underway at 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Kincsem Park's excellent Saturday card showcased the 2014 two year-old leaders, a marathon distance event for HU-bred five year-olds and the HU Derby Trial. The Derby is set for August 3rd. The two year-olds battled over 1800 meters for a purse of 1.1HUf million and the first HU crop of Ata Star L finished first and third. Trappolj!, an Ata Star L filly, took victory for Imre Dome in 1.22.1kr at 15/1 odds. Ata Star L is a son of Tibur-Ata Donna Y-Speedy Crown who stood in Sweden previously and is half-brother to Atlas Fighter L 1.56.4 ($1,193,038) by Quick Pay, Atlas Ace L1.55.1 ($650,718) by Napoletano and Atlas Rocket 1.58.3 ($305,675) by Pershing. Janos Szalay Memorial, two-year-olds, 1800 meters autostart, purse 1,100,000HUf, 1.22.1kr 1st Trappolj! (2f Ata Star L-Gyorsulj!-Witsends Speedy), Imre Dome trainer/driver, 15.3/1 2nd Tartalosz (2m Com Muscle-Hurricaine-Excel Hanover), Laszlo Kolozsi 3rd Topmodell (2f Ata Star L-Elegant Lady-Mill H), Balazs Juhasz Paperboy took the 3000 meter Otevesek Nagydija in 1.19.1kr to earn the winners share of the 3HUf million purse. The victory by the five year-old for Veljko Mazsity continued the HU success by originally Doug Ackerman trained Wall Street Banker, the brother to Valley Victory (bred by new US Hall of Fame breeder William Weaver). Otevesek Nagydija, 3000 meters autostart, five year-olds, purse 3,000,000HUf, 1.19.1kr 1st Paperboy (5m Wall Street Banker-Vas Lady-Endless Sands), Veljko Mazsity up, 5/1 odds 2nd Palko (5m Belami-Grace-Yankee Yankee), Dora Kovacs 3rd Philadelphia (5m Detroit-Gertrud-Rendfarok), Lajos Marton The Derby Trial for three year-olds over 1800 meters for 1.8HUf million, went to another Wall Street Banker son Szerelmes R and teamster Balazs Juhasz. The 14/1 outsider scored in 1.16.2kr to defeat Salihamidzic, another Wall Street Banker male. These two will certainly be worth watching at the August 3rd Derby. HU Derby Trial, 1800 meters autostart, three year-olds, purse 1,800,000HUf, 1.16.2kr 1st Szerelmes R (3m Wall Street Banker-Viragos-Surefire Lobell), Balazs Juhasz trainer/driver, owners Jodlis Kft and Mihaly Bacsa, 13.8/1 2nd Salihamidzic (3m Wall Street Banker-Helikon-Awesome Goal), Lajos Marton 3rd Szacharin (3f Vanito-Inzulin-Valley Guardian), Laszlo Kolozsi The weekly 500,000HUf open went to Nyires (by Tony Oaks) in 1.16.4kr over 1900 meters autostart. He defeated the Daguet Rapide mare Laluna Comtesse. Summary is shown below. Ugyvivo DIJ, 1900 meters autostart, purse 500,000HUf, 1.16.4kr 1st Nyires (7m Tony Oaks-Viragos-Surefire Lobell), Tibor Hajnal for Illetmeny Kft., 2.9/1 odds 2nd Laluna Comtesse (5f Daguet Rapide-La Comtessa-Super Arnie), Emese Vezer 3rd Ontario R (6m Wall Street Banker-Virginia-Endless Sands), A. Budai Other winners of interest in the Kincsem Park card of July 5 included Rosamundi (6f Chipmate-Kama Sutra) for Csaba Lakatos in 1.18.7kr over 2000 meters and Mellby Schwin (9f Supergill-Impish Hornline) for S. Turbucz in 1.17.1kr over 1800 meters. This weekend's open drew a competitive 10 horse field in the Landlord DIJ. Nick Nolte (by Tony Oaks) and Conway Boko (by Castleton Bass) are the likely favorites. July 12, 2014 Kincsem Park - Landlord DIJ, 1800 meters autostart, 500,000HUf purse, 10 starters Orinoco, A. Szucs Amazing Lobell, A. Lakatos Rozsakert, B. juhasz Conway Boko, T. Hajnal Nick Nolte, S. Varadi Numero Uno, Gy. Horvath Jegyzono, Kornelia Fejer Carpe Diem, G. Karolyi Reine Fille, L. Kolozsi Royal Flesh, L. Marton by Thomas H. Hicks

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- There's been five track records either tied or broken this season at Buffalo Raceway but the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers came up empty in trying to challenge any of the marks in the three $37,266 divisions of the New York Sires Stakes on a steamy Wednesday night (July 2).   While not breaking the 2-year-old standard of 1:55.4 set by He's Watching in 2013, there were still plenty of impressive times for the winners, all of whom made their first pari-mutual start of their careers.   The fastest mile of the Sire Stakes went to Mikado Blue Chip who posted an impressive 1:57.2 time over the track in the second division.   It was a gate-to-wire win for Mikado Blue Chip ($7.50) who beat Perfect Bid (Jeff Dauplaise) by a throttled down five lengths after posting fractions of 29.3, 59.0 and 1:28.4. Old Man Cleary (Brent Holland) finished in third.   "He has a lot of get up and go," driver Doug McNair said of Mikado Blue Chip. "He really seems to like a half-mile track."   Mikado Blue Chip (American Ideal-Ichiban Blue Chip) is owned by Mark Ford and trained by Gregg McNair.   In the opening $37,266 division, Cartoon Daddy avoided potentially huge trouble just past the half as he was drafting the first-over K Ryan Bluechip who broke stride. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. reacted quickly and swung Cartoon Daddy extremely wide to avoid the trouble and eventually scooted past the pace-setting Derby Dale by the time they hit at the three-quarter marker.   From there, Cartoon Daddy ($3.50) cruised to the finish line with with no serious threats. He crossed the line in 1:58.1 and beat App Heaven (Jordan Stratton) by 1-1/2 lengths while KJ Brent (Holland) took third.   "He's very handy," said Morrill Jr. of Cartoon Daddy. "He was like driving a little car."   Owned by the Burke Racing Stable and Joseph DiScala, Cartoon Daddy was sired by Art Major out of Ask Alice. Ron Burke handled the training duties.   The third and final division saw Aimo Hanover spring the upset with a 1:58.0 time and paid $18.40 to his followers.   Aimo Hanover went first over just before the half and took command from Starznheaven just before the three-quarter pole and never looked back. Play The Field (Morrill Jr.) had late pace to pick up second place but was two lengths behind while Mystical Pacer (Holland) rounded out the top three.   "He did everything perfect tonight," winning driver Jeff Gregory stated. "He's a handy little horse and was perfect."   Aimo Hanover (Artiscape-Allamerican Celeb) is owned by the Doug Ackerman Stables Inc. and and conditioned by D.R. Ackerman.   The $12,800 Excelsior Series A class for the 2-year-old colts and geldings saw Artistic Major (Holland)) take the first division in 1:58.2 and returned $11.20 for the victory. American Anthem (McNair) rallied in the stretch and scored the $19.00 win in 1:59.3 in the second leg.   In the non-betting $6,600 Excelsior Series B class for the 2-year-old colts and gelding pacers, Mr. Wiskers and Morrill Jr. covered the mile in 2:01.2 to register the decision.   You're Too Funny took the weekly $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace for driver Mark MacDonald in 1:55.1. Owned by Greg Capell and trained by Lisa Zgodzinski, You're Too Funny ($13.00) held off the hard-charging Dontch Remember (Morrill) and Mondatta (Jim McNeight).   Racing resumes on Friday night with the 13-race program card getting started at 6:40 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway    

The Doug Ackerman family will receive friends from 1-2:30 p.m. at Boles Funeral Home in Pinehurst, NC on Tuesday (June 3), prior to a memorial service at 2:30 p.m. A reception will follow at the Holly Inn in Pinehurst. Memorial contributions may be directed to FirstHealth Hospice, 150 Applecross Rd., Pinehurst, NC 28374; the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, 240 Main St, Goshen, NY 10924; or the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, 16575 Carey Rd, Westfield, IN 46074.

The following video is the last known interview with harness racing Hall of Famer Doug Ackerman before he passed away early Wednesday morning at age 86. The interview was done on behalf of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame as part of their "Cracker Barrel" video-interview series with many fo the leading trainers, drivers, owners and breeders in the sport of harness racing. The interview is being done by Chris Tully on behalf of the Harness Racing Museum.  

Hall of Fame horseman, Douglas J. Ackerman, 86, died today in North Carolina after an illness of almost two years. He was one of the most respected trainers in harness racing and widely admired for his innate horsemanship, ironclad integrity, and memorable sense of humor. His fellow horsemen held him in the highest esteem, and that is the ultimate compliment in his profession. Ackerman was a fixture on the Grand Circuit for decades and trained and drove many top horses, such as Albaquel, Crowning Point, Self Confident, Noble Hustle, Denali, Happy Chatter, Noble Traveler, Amer I Can, Cape Canaveral, Leopard, and the old warrior Bramble Hall. The list could go on and on. In recent years, he turned the driving duties over to his son D.R., and together they raced Chocolatier, a winner of $1.3 million and the champion freshman trotter of 2005. Albaquel was a daughter of Albatross, a stallion Ackerman admired greatly. She earned almost a half-million on the track and was the dam of six pacers to earn more than $250,000, including the Ackerman Stable stars Ever So Rich and Just The Ticket. Albaquel is also the dam of the remarkable broodmare Hattie. Doug Ackerman had a master's touch in selecting yearlings and his advice on conformation was sought by many other trainers. He was one of those rare horsemen who could "look right through a yearling" and size up its potential. Ackerman had a well-honed sense of humor and always had a clever quip to fit just about any occasion. Surely long after his death people who knew him will be saying, "As Doug Ackerman once said......" He grew up in the small rural community of Three Oaks in southwest Michigan, and both his father and grandfather trained and raced horses in the Midwest. Young Doug grew up immersed in the world of harness racing in Michigan and Indiana and recalls seeing Greyhound and Rosalind in their memorable team-to-pole effort at the Indiana State Fair in 1939. His late brother Jack was a noted horseman in his own right while brother Charles stayed on the family farm. Their father Rollin died of a heart attack in a race at the fair in Hillsdale, Michigan when Doug was just 14 years old. His father was only 48. Doug went west to seek his fortune in harness racing in the Golden State of California as a young man and set down roots there for more than a half-century. He trained for decades over the Thoroughbred track at Del Mar, just north of San Diego, which once had a large and thriving Standardbred winter colony. He met Ada Jean Funderbunk, daughter of the prominent horseman Foy Funderbunk, in 1950 and they were married four years later. They recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. While in California, Ackerman developed close friendships with Hall of Famers Joe O'Brien and Jim Dennis. The Ackerman family lived near the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Doug loved every day he trained horses at the magnificent Del Mar facility. Ackerman's ability and work ethic soon allowed him to attract owners and achieve success on the competitive California circuit. Each summer he would ship his stock east to compete on the Grand Circuit and Midwest tracks from a base in Michigan. Ackerman was particularly close to Pres Jenuine, the major domo of the Western Harness meet at Hollywood Park for many years. When Hollywood Park conducted a seminar for new owners in 1970, Ackerman met Richard Staley, a fellow transplant from the Midwest to California. They formed an owner-trainer partnership and friendship that lasted until Staley's death in the mid-1990s. Staley entrusted Ackerman implicitly to manage the horses he owned and never questioned any of Ackerman's decisions or purchases. He admired Ackerman's honesty and horsemanship and they enjoyed phenomenal success over many years. Staley recognized that Ackerman was a natural horseman, raised in an environment filled with horse talk. "Doug was to the manner born," said the erudite Staley, borrowing a phrase from Shakespeare. When Ackerman was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in 1994, he gave credit to Staley for his friendship and patronage. "He was the greatest owner ever," said Ackerman. "Ever." Ackerman had a wide circle of friends in the sport but was particularly close to such legends as Bill Brown of Blue Chip Farm, Delvin Miller, and George Sholty. The friendship between Ackerman and trainer-driver Howard Beissinger went back many decades and they talked on the phone regularly after their retirements. The two old-school Hall of Famers shared a love of rodeo, and Ackerman took great pleasure in owning a champion bucking bull in recent years. Among the active horsemen in the sport, Ackerman had close relationships with Ray Remmen, John Campbell, Chris Boring, and many others. In truth, however, anyone who ever met Ackerman quickly came to like him. In 1989, Ackerman, Beissinger, and Delvin Miller represented the United States in a driving challenge in Moscow against Russian and German reinsmen. Ackerman won the first race in the series, thus becoming the first American to win a race at the historic Central Moscow Hippodrome since before the Russian Revolution in 1917. When Del Mar closed its track for training purposes almost a decade ago, Ackerman had to relocate his horses to Pinehurst, North Carolina. When asked the difference between training in southern California and Pinehurst, Ackerman quipped, "About 50 degrees." Ackerman was seldom seen without his beloved wife Ada Jean at his side and she was as popular and widely known in harness racing as her husband. Their daughter Connie Hochstetler is a noted racing official whose husband Homer is a veteran trainer. Their son Jay, a student at the University of Kentucky, is now working at The Horseman & Fair. Son D.R. Ackerman has been training and racing the Ackerman Stable horses during his father's illness. He and wife Angelika have sons D.R. Ackerman, Jr. and Kevin. Doug Ackerman was truly a master horseman and enjoyed the respect of everyone who knew him. by Dean Hoffman    

A brisk and breezy early Spring day did not deter 3,000 fans of harness racing from lining the outside fence of the homestretch of North Carolina's Pinehurst Training Center. Eight events exclusive to 2-year-olds racing in jog carts lined up behind the Preferred Equine Marketing starting gate, much to the joy of throngs of rail birds and tailgaters. Over fifty railside parking spaces lined the entire outer rail, complete with pop-up tents and elaborately catered food and drink arrangements. Prior to the races, the 82nd Airborne Division Chorus from Fort Bragg performed the National Anthem while the Pinecrest High School ROTC marched proudly while presenting the color guard. The Pick-A-Winner contests, which rewarded handicappers with gift certificates provided by local supporters, were hotly contested and had long lines of anxious pseudo-bettors. As the races were run, well-known Canadian announcer Earl Lennox provided the call. Several well-known trainers were proud to debut their colts and fillies over the red sand half-mile track. The first race featured the Ackerman, Brunet, and Wellwood stables, while the second race was filled by pupils from Gordon Corey's Institute of Equine Erudition. Other stables participating in the matinee include, Mike Medors, Normand Fluet, Roland "Polie" Mallar, and David Wade. Most of the race times were clocked between 2:25 and 2:40, and usually had 4 or 5 starters. Each race had an individual sponsor and the corporate sponsor for the entire race card was Preferred Equine Marketing, Briarcliff Manor, NY. The starters were Bob Bloodgood and Paul Battis, and the Racing Secretary was Twila Mahar. Staff from the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame was on hand providing information and souvenirs to visitors. Many of the drivers and trainers joined with Hall of Famer Doug Ackerman and participated in the Museum's Cracker Barrel series, part of the ongoing effort to preserve oral history from some of the sport's oldest participants.   The successful matinee event, in its 64th consecutive year, would not have been possible without the considerable efforts of scores of volunteers and the village of Pinehurst, which is very supportive of the long tradition of harness racing in the sand hills. Garth Henry, President of the training center and the matinee race coordinator, along with D. R. Ackerman, Vice President, work diligently throughout the season to ensure the success of the popular race day.   The annual Pinehurst season finale, the USTA sanctioned qualifiers, will be held on the mile track this Wednesday, April 9th. by Chris Tully, for Harnesslink.com

WASHINGTON, PA, March 18, 2014 -- Mogul Hanover and Partyatbartsplace each rolled to his third straight victory in Tuesday's Walter Russell Memorial Pace at The Meadows, setting up a showdown in the championship of the series for 3- and 4-year-old colts, horses and geldings. That final, along with the championship legs of three other current Meadows' series, is set for Friday, March 28, first post 6:55 PM. Mogul Hanover spurted to the lead from post 7 for Dave Palone and thwarted the first-over challenge of Fly By Ry to triumph in a career-best 1: 53.4. Energy Shakes shot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Mattamerican third. Paul Kennedy trains the 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Mary Mattgalane gelding for Doug Ackerman. Partyatbartsplace quarter-poled to the lead for Aaron Merriman and was in command thereafter, downing Dragontattooteen by 3/4 lengths in 1:54. Hickory Little Red rallied for show. Chas Norris conditions Partyatbartsplace, a 4-year-old Party At Artsplace-Miss Major Power gelding, for Thumbs Up Stable. In the $22,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, TSM Photo Bugger charged through the Lightning Lane to head Tamarind in 1:54.1, equaling his lifetime mark. Mike The Trader completed the ticket. Aaron Merriman drove for trainer Jan Fread and owner/breeder Ted Tomson. With the victory, the 7-year-old SJ's Photo-Rewarding Wink gelding vaulted over $400,000 in career earnings. Merriman drove four winners on the 15-race card while Palone and Brett Miller each fashioned a triple. $15,000 Pick 5 on Wednesday On Wednesday, March 19, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $15,000-guaranteed pool for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. No one has correctly picked the Pick 5 for two consecutive programs, resulting in a carryover of $4,746.31 that prompted The Meadows to offer the “instant” guarantee. Minimum wager for the Pick 5, which spans Races 11 through 15, is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows                      

This weekends three series finales at Cal Expo honor the memory and contributions of Alan Kirschenbaum, Richard Staley and Marvin Shapiro. The Alan Kirschenbaum Series is named for the longtime owner and breeder and past president of the California Harness Horsemens Association, who died in October 2012. Kirschenbaum was a major factor in California as an owner, breeder and amateur driver for many years. With his stallions Little Steven and British Sterling standing at Cherry Tree Farm in Wilton, he helped support the industry in California. In the past, he had even waived his stallion fees to help the California horsemen breed their mares to help the horse population survive in the Golden State. He was also a huge supporter of the California Sire Stakes and amateur races. Richard Staley, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 66, was one of the top owners to ever campaign trotters and pacers in California. He was involved in the sport for more than 25 years and during that entire period had only one trainer, Hall of Famer Doug Ackerman. Over the years Staley and Ackerman would regularly go to the major sales to select and purchase the regally-bred years that became the bulwark of the Staley Stable and provided California harness racing with many of his classiest performers. Marvin Shapiro was the son of L.K. Shapiro, who owned the Hall of Fame thoroughbred and California-bred champion Native Diver. He was the president of Western Harness Racing Inc. in the 1960s and spearheaded legislation that sanctioned night racing in California. He died in 2003 at the age of 83. Marvin Shapiro Finale, Open Pace in spotlight A contentious $7,350 finale of the Marvin Shapiro Pacing Series and an Open Pace headed by One And Only are the main events on Saturday nights Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo. Itsabouttonight and Plum Crazy Baby captured the two divisions of the first leg of the Shapiro, while last week saw one division and it was Majestic Lass who come rolling late to post a $47 upset. An 8-year-old daughter of Art Major, Majestic Lass is owned by Kimberly Andres, is conditioned by Salvador Wenceslao and will have Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. No threat in the first leg of the Shapiro, she came back last week to be up by a head over another longshot in Pips Jenny G., with the $1 exacta returning a cool $515 in that affair. Itsabouttonight will represent owner/trainer Gretchen Smith with Tim Maier at the helm. The Illinois-bred mare dominated her division of the opening leg over a sloppy track, then was a close third last weekend after opening up a large lead at the head of the stretch that evening. Plum Crazy Baby is a 6-year-old Relentless Yankee mare who carries the banner of Derick Takahashi with Dario Solares training and Dave Siegel doing the honors. She was a very convincing victress in the first leg, then was first over in her most recent appearance and had to settle for the fourth as the 8-5 favorite behind Majestic Lass. Completing the field are Red Star Gilda with Williams Hernandez; No Mo Parking for Mike Jarvis; Curvacious with Luke Plano in the sulky; Pips Jeeny G, Patrick Galbraith; and Little Schoolgirl, who leaves from the outside slot with James Kennedy at the helm. One And Only gets top billing in the Open Pace for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada, trainer Lino Pacheco and driver Luke Plano. The son of Bettors Delight rattled off five straight wins between December 21 and February 1 before having the streak broken at most recent asking after doing his work from the demanding No. 10 post position. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness    

MANALAPAN, NJ - August 26, 2013 - Two divisions of New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres are featured on the opening day program at Freehold Raceway on Thursday, August 29, 2013. The two-year-old trotting colts and geldings were divided into a pair of seven-horse divisions, carded as the first and fifth races on the ten-race program. Each division carries a purse of $7,000. The colts are competing in three weeks of preliminary legs for a spot in the $25,000 final on September 20. The top contenders this week include two sons of Chocolatier, Chocolate Day from the barn of trainer Julie Miller, and Hot Type, conditioned by DR Ackerman. They both drew into the fifth race. Chocolate Day has a win, four seconds and a third in eight starts, banking $28,555. In recent starts, he was second in both the Historic Trot and the Kindergarten division. Hot Type has a win, three seconds and a third in six starts to his credit.He races for his owner-breeder, Doug Ackerman Stables of Aberdeen, NJC, earning $14,851. Live racing for the 48-date meet takes place on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays plus a special holiday card on Labor Day, Monday, September 2. Post time remains 12:30 p.m. Attendees on opening day will receive a free t-shirt with the purchase of a Freehold live program [while supplies last]. Submitted by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ  

Sunday August 4th the 99th Hungarian Trotting Derby field faces the starter at Kincsem Park, Budapest. Vying for a purse of 9 million HUf (forints), 11 three year-old HU bred trotters will face the starter going 1900 meters. The widely promoted race and accompanying trotting card is expected to fill the modern 10,000 capacity facility. The well balanced field includes eight offspring of the well-traveled Wall Street Banker (1998, Baltic Speed-Valley Victoria-Bonefish). The full-brother to legendary Valley Victory was bred by Valley High Stables and successfully campaigned by Doug Ackerman before stud duty in Michigan, export to Sweden in 1999 and various stallion travels throughout Europe. In Hungary he stood at the fine commercial breeding establishment Kabala Menes Ltd., breeder of five Derby starters. Radium Boy, colt, Wall Street Banker-Golden Lady, Kabela Menes Kft, 1.16.5kr Royal Flash, colt, Wall Street Banker-Tameways Sweet L, AMMA Rt,1.17kr Racing Athlete, colt, Wall Street Banker-Atletano, Kabala Menmes Kft, 1.18.2kr Remeny Sugar, filly, Wall Street Banker-Flamma, Kabala Menes Kft, 1.18,.2kr Reine Fille, filly, Wall Street Banker-Jungfrau, AMMA Rt, 1.18.4kr Rubin Lady, filly, Wall Street Banker-Vas Lady, Kabala Menes Kft, 1.18.4kr Raffaello, colt, Superior Dream-Inzulin, Kulik Ferenc, 1.18.7kr Rozsakert, filly, Wall Street Banker-Viragos, Kabala Menes Kft, 1.19kr Rimella, filly, Fantastique-Ulla, Kulik Ferens, 1.19.1kr Rubino TIM, colt, Wall Street Banker-Pamira, Milan Tisma 1.19.4kr Red Stone, colt, Wall Street Banker-Astalavista, AMMA Rt, 1.19.2kr Wall Street Banker is no fluke as a stallion and for good reason. His dam produced only five foals, all colts by Baltic Speed, all stallions that produced winning trotters and that pedigree carries on today through their broodmares. Valley Victory, 1986, 3,1:55.3, $485,307 Bostonian, 1987, 6, 1:59.2, $2,492 Wall Street Banker, 1988, 3,1:57.4, $322,471 Valley Boss Bi, 1989, 3,1:56.3, 163,122 Valley Valiant, 1991, stallion at Pickwick Farm Kabala Menes was established as a horse breeder in 1912, as profiled below.  Rádiháza - Kabala Ménes Kft. Rádiháza is located in South-West Hungary, in county Zala, 50 km far from Lake Balaton, 26 km far from Zalaegerszeg, between the villages Tófej and Gutorfölde. The pastures surrounded by forests and gently sloping hills are exquisitely adequate for keeping and breeding horses.Horse breeding was started here by László Bartha in 1912 with 7 mares, and Kabala Ménes Ltd follows this tradition. KabalaThe name of the company was taken from the black trotter Kabala (Uli-Babona), who was born in Rádiháza in 1960. He had excellent talents and success at the time. He made 58 starts and won 30 times. The HU Trotting Derby can be viewed through the Kincsem Park live simulcast feed at www.nlkft.hu. It’s always a race worth watching. by Thomas H. Hicks  

It was a day of celebration and of tears as the California Harness Horseman's association held it's annual CHHA meeting on Sunday April 7th. The harnes racing celebration for the people and horses inducted into the hall of fame and for accomplishments in the sires stakes program and tears remembering friends and horses we lost in the past year.

Harness racing trainer Douglas Ackerman Sr. a native of Michigan and 3rd generation horseman, along with Robitaille will be inducted into the California Harness Horseman's hall of fame at the annual meeting in March.

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