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New Jersey celebrates the "Month of the Horse" in June and Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge is helping the celebration along by opening its gates from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 28. The farm is at 74 Red Valley Road in Cream Ridge. The events of the day are free and this is a rain or shine event. Visitors will get see some of the dozens of foals, baby horses just a few weeks old, born each year at Fair Winds and learn how they are raised and eventually trained to be harness race horses. Fair Winds is also home to Hogan Equine, a special clinic just for horses run by Dr. Patricia Hogan. Dr. Hogan will show visitors the workings of the clinic, where hundreds of horses, mostly Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds, are treated each year. Her client list reads like a "Who's Who" of horse racing, and includes 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones. Farrier Tom Mulryne will demonstrate how horses' feet are kept healthy by regular trimming and shoeing when needed. There will also be a few friendly horses for visitors to pet and groom; selfies are welcome. Horse drawn wagon rides throughout the farm will be available. The Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey will do a demonstration of all the ways Standardbreds excel off the track and trainer/driver Jacqueline Ingrassia will demonstrate the equipment the well-dressed Standardbred wears on the track. Finally, there will be food concessions and a variety of educational materials for all ages and levels of equine knowledge. Guests are asked to leave dogs at home and to wear sensible footwear as there are no paved surfaces on the farm. Fair Winds is one of New Jersey's largest and most successful farms, producing champion Standardbreds that compete at Freehold Raceway, the Meadowlands and all over the world. By Ellen Harvey Harness Racing Communications USTA

Editor's Note: Waco Hanover, a son of Tar Heel-Wanda Hanover, born May 4, 1977, will officially be 38 on Jan. 1. He’s among 43 horses of distinction featured in Standardbred Old Friends, available on Amazon, Ebay, and the Harness Racing Museum website. His long life has been one of quiet service. Here is an excerpt, with photos by Barbara Livingston, of his chapter in the book. Everett Kettler quickly spotted the new horse’s problem. “He had a real attitude problem,” he said. “Sour. He was very sour.” Waco Hanover, now 37, was six when Kettler bought him for $1,500 in 1983. The gelding had raced for four years, most recently for Nelson Haley, in $2,000 claimers at Saratoga Raceway. In 57 starts, he’d won only four races. Kettler had just what Waco Hanover needed, a farm in Woodbury, Vt. “I let him be a horse,” Kettler said. “He ate grass, ran around with mares.” Waco was more teacher than pet to Kettler, more accustomed to coaxing sound from strings than speed from a horse. Kettler was a luthier, a craftsman of stringed instruments. “He taught me how to drive,” Kettler said. “I didn’t know anything. He wouldn’t respond if you didn’t do the right thing. “I had a tiny track, not good for anything but jogging. Before that, I was driving on the road, going through horseshoes every two weeks.” Every spring, from 1983 to 1991, Kettler legged up Waco Hanover. They raced at places like the Tunbridge World’s Fair in Vermont, featuring maple ice cream, an oxen costume class and the world’s narrowest racetrack. It fits four horses across, but they’d better be narrow horses. “My God, it’s scary,” Kettler said. If you don’t get down to three (wide) by the turn, you’re going in the river.” Waco Hanover won at Tunbridge his first year for Kettler, a mile in 2:15.2, an impressive time if you’ve seen the track. In the late 1980s, Kettler integrated his hobby and business. He founded Rough Terrain Carts and started building horse-drawn carts for country roads -- or no roads. Waco tested prototype carts. “It had these big, wooden wheels,” said Kettler. “Waco looks over his shoulder and starts freaking. I put it over his rump, touched him with the shafts. It was like he said, ‘Oh, you want me to pull it.’ You could see the light bulb go off.” “I got into endurance driving events,” Kettler said. “I used that to put his legs under him in the spring, then I’d go off and race him.” “He cleaned up in a couple of them,” Kettler said. “I remember his first race. Well, it’s not a race, an event. I didn’t want two in the cart, but I was looking at five miles to go, and I thought this is nothing, absolutely nothing. My wife got in, and we must have passed 15 horses. They must have wondered what kind of monster is this?” The seasons turned with Waco resting in winter and legging up on country roads in spring. Kettler and Waco raced for a few hundred dollars from New York to Maine. Most years they won a race. That was nice but not essential, or, in Waco’s mind, perhaps, wholly unnecessary. “I think he’s the age he is and the shape he’s in because he knew he’d still get fed, no matter what,” Kettler said. In 1991 Waco Hanover turned 14. That season, his 11th, spanned three weeks; he earned $1,350. All that work for so little money would be worth it, Kettler thought, if they could win at Tunbridge. “The main goal was to get a couple of races under him and win the 14-year-old race at Tunbridge,” Kettler said. The purse was $210. The date was Sept. 13. “It was funny,” Kettler said. “Well, funny to me, anyway. We got there, and there were only two horses in it.” The other 14-year-old was Luke Hanover, owned and trained by Dale Allen. Luke and Waco Hanover were born and raised at Hanover Shoe Farms. Luke Hanover hadn’t raced in two years. “This guy’s kind of like me. He must keep pets around, because the horse hadn’t been trained at all,” Kettler said. “He just hitched him, made sure he could still go and put him in this race. “He told me, ‘This horse hasn’t trained at all. Don’t leave me too far behind.’ I said, ‘Yeah, right.’ I think he’s going to the front and never looking back. “Turns out it was the truth. I followed him a few feet and went to the front. I let Waco go at about the three-quarter-mile mark. I learned a long time ago not to look back. We won by the length of the stretch. Waco had a great cheering section.” The cheering stopped, but Waco stayed busy. In 1991, Kettler and Leslie Bancroft Haynes formed a personal and professional partnership. Their first order of business was buying a farm. Called Rough Terrain Farm, after Kettler’s cart business and Vermont’s topography, it accommodated Haynes’ pleasure horses and Kettler’s racehorses. “The farm had a track,” Kettler said. “It wasn’t exactly flat, parts of it were flat. I had a trotter and when I was breaking him, I used Waco to help, to have another horse out there to give him the idea.” Haynes trained carriage driving horses on her half of the farm. “I used Waco for that, too, to teach the young ones,” she said. “When you put the harness on him, he was like, ‘Yes, I get to go!’ I think if you put a harness and a jog cart on him now, he’d be the happiest guy in the world.” Haynes’ and Kettler’s relationship ended when Waco Hanover was 28, but their commitment to the horse endures. Kettler moved to Vermont’s Champlain Islands to build boats. Haynes and Waco remain at Rough Terrain. Kettler’s section of the farm is leased to the Vermont Technical College Equine Studies program. “The barn where he lives is the Co-op Barn. Kids who bring their horses to school board there,” Haynes said. “It’s called Waco’s Barn, because everybody knows that when Waco dies, Everett will sell his share of the farm. But as long as Waco is alive, he promised Waco he could live his days out here.” Donnie MacAdams, who sports a bushy white beard and a no-nonsense personality, lives above the barn and looks after Waco. “I’m an old dairy farmer and still believe horses are hay burners. But I’ve come around as far as Waco. We get along because we’re a couple of old, cranky, miserable bastards. We understand each other. “I get out of my truck and walk toward the barn, and he starts walking to me. If I don’t come right out and speak to him, he’ll start kicking.” There’s something in this relationship, too, for MacAdams, who mans a tourism information site. “There are rude kids, obnoxious teenagers, people who expect to be waited on,” MacAdams said. “He consoles me, calms me down. Waco loves to rub his face on my shoulder. He’s worn out two jackets.” Waco Hanover, it seems, has done as much for the people in his life as they for him, though not in money. The $2,600 won in seven years of racing for Kettler wouldn’t feed him through one Vermont winter. Waco always cooperated, even, Kettler admits, with his rookie training skills. “He’d see a hill, and the steeper it was, the more determined he was to get up it,” Kettler said. “There was something in his efforts that inspired tenacity in my life. Perhaps I appreciated Waco because of a common trait. Maybe he inspired tenacity that wouldn’t have been available without his life intermingling with mine. “You’ve got a certain relationship with a horse, like being married. They’re not perfect and you know it, but you put up with them, and they put up with you.” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Freehold, NJ --- A co-owner of Always B Miki, scratched “lame” just minutes before post time from the Breeders Crown on Saturday, has confirmed that the horse had orthopedic surgery Monday morning and a full recovery is expected.  Mitchel Skolnick of Bluewood Stable confirmed on Monday evening that the 3-year-old pacing colt had surgery on Monday morning performed by Dr. Patty Hogan at Hogan Equine in Cream Ridge, N.J. “She has no concerns (about a return to the races), very optimistic. She said it was a clean break of the P1 (long pastern bone), a sagittal fracture. She pulled it together and put in four screws, she said three screws might have been enough, but he is a very active horse, so she put in an extra one.” Skolnick said that Hogan had no doubt about a successful return to the races after a period of healing and recuperation. “He will come to the farm tomorrow (Bluestone Farm in Hopewell, N.J.) for 30 days of stall rest and then 30 days of walking on the Equicizer. Then maybe he can start jogging.” Skolnick said, “We just don’t know,” how Always B Miki sustained the injury. “I hate to speculate, because we just don’t know,” he said. “It’s repairable and we’re just thankful he didn’t go race (on the affected limb).”  Always B Miki is trained by Joe Holloway for breeders and co-owners Roll The Dice Stable, Val D’Or Farm and Bluewood Stable. He has won $926,866 in his career, including his most recent five races in a row, and has a mark of 1:47.4.  by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Richard Berthiaume’s Voelz Hanover won the Breeders Crown prep race on Saturday in 1:51.2 for driver Brian Sears and trainer Corey Johnson. The 9-year-old mare by Astreos paid $13.60. This will be her fourth Crown appearance, her best being runner-up to Dreamfair Eternal in 2010 at Pocono. Johnson raved about the consistency of his charge, who has won seven of 17 races this year and $255,266. “I’ve had her about two years but never raced her in the Breeders Crown,” Johnson said. “I’ve raced her in a few stakes and she just hasn’t been lucky, though she did win the Milton this year and she was awesome, I think that was her biggest score. She’s got over $1.5 million on her card and it’s mostly in overnights. She’s a wonderful mare, I love her. This is the first time I’ve taken her down here though. “She’s shows you everything. I’ve had drivers come back and say to me ‘She wasn’t on the bit tonight, or she wasn’t good – they can tell right away, especially her regular driver Randy (Waples), he knows her so well. When she’s really good, she lets you know.” Voelz Hanover was scratched from her last start and came into her Breeders Crown prep off a qualifying mile, albeit one in which she beat sophomore pacing star He’s Watching in 1:53.4. “We scratched her a couple of weeks ago (Oct. 18) because she seemed a little tied up and with the Breeders Crown coming up we didn’t want to risk anything,” Johnson said. “I gave her a couple of weeks off, trained her a few times and then qualified her, but those qualifying lines just don’t do her justice. To pick up Brian Sears is a huge plus. Brian’s a great driver; I can’t say enough about him. He’s committed to me for next week, too.” Anndrovette is bidding for an unprecedented fourth Dan Patch Award for best older female pacer. The 7-year-old mare has won 41 of 109 career races and $3.07 million. This season, she has won six of 21 starts, including the Betsy Ross Invitational and a record third consecutive Roses Are Red Stakes, and earned a division-leading $497,852. “She’s had a good year,” driver Tim Tetrick said. “She won the (Roses Are Red and Betsy Ross) and the races where she’s gotten beat, she’s raced well. She’s getting up in age, but I wouldn’t trade her. She’s been pretty special. She’s a hard-knocking old racehorse. If she wins, I’d say she is (division champion). It’s pretty cool.” Eternal Camnation and Shady Daisy are the only other pacing mares with three Dan Patch Award honors. Anndrovette’s lifetime earnings trail only Eternal Camnation’s $3.74 million among all female pacers in harness racing history. Anndrovette enters the Breeders Crown Mare Pace off a second-place finish behind Voelz Hanover in a prep on Saturday at the Meadowlands. “She was good, it was a good effort,” Tetrick said. “I was first up a long way and she never quit pacing. She paced home good to the wire. Hopefully the race helps her and she can be a little tighter for next week.” Trainer Ron Burke has three horses in the Mare Pace: Rocklamation, Camille, and Charisma Hanover. Rocklamation, a 6-year-old who has earned $2.18 million in her career, earlier this season captured the Golden Girls, Artiscape, and Lady Liberty and was second in the Betsy Ross. Six-year-old Camille, who won the 2013 Artiscape and has banked $1.17 million lifetime, finished third behind Voelz Hanover and Anndrovette in the final Breeders Crown prep. “She finished up good and raced really good,” driver Matt Kakaley said. “Once I angled her out, she paced home really good. I was really pleased. She kind of went through the summer where she was drawing really bad. We got the rail for the final, so that will obviously help us. Under the right circumstance, she’s upset these mares before. She’s definitely got it in her. She’s got a million-plus (dollars) made in her career; she’s a classy old girl. She’ll show up.” Yagonnakissmeornot, who has won 14 of 29 races this season and $493,718, won the Mares Open Handicap on Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, besting fellow Crown hopeful Krispy Apple by a head in 1:50.4, while Crown entrant Regil Elektra finished sixth. Complited by Ellen Harvey with Ken Weingartner and Moira Fanning

Jeffrey Bamond, who makes up half of Bamond Racing with his son Jeffrey Jr., along with their partner, nursery owner Joseph Davino, will own more than a third of the field in the $281,250 Breeders Crown Mare Pace. The ownership group of Bamond and Davino owns Anndrovette (Breeders Crown winner in 2012 and 2011) and Krispy Apple, who along with the Bamond-owned Shelliscape (2013 champion) and Venus Delight will take up four spots in the field of 11 mares for the Nov. 21 race. All four horses are trained by P.J. Fraley. The newest member of the quartet is 4-year-old Venus Delight, a purchase in late summer, who was supplemented to the Crown for $31,250. "She's been a great addition since she's come to the barn," said Jeffrey Bamond Sr., a retired automobile dealership manager from Brick, N.J. The chestnut daughter of Bettor's Delight-Venus Killean has won $106,220 and been first or second in six of eight starts since her purchase in late summer. "I think she deserves to see what she has, plus by writing that check this year, that makes her eligible (to the Breeders Crown) in future years," he said. "We have a 4-year-old (Venus Delight), a 5-year-old (Shelliscape), a 6-year-old (Krispy Apple) and a 7-year-old (Anndrovette). "My son has followed (Venus Delight) for a while and we pursued purchasing her. We always liked her and we were able to put the deal together. We thought she was very lightly raced (lately in the upper level ranks at Yonkers Raceway) and she had some talent." Though Bamond, his son, and Davino have the start of a very nice broodmare band, Bamond said that's not in their business plan. "We've never been in the breeding business," he said. "We're in the racehorse business and as long as they can continue to perform at a high level on the racetrack, we're going to continue to race them. "Anndrovette has been the flagship with two Breeders Crowns, three Dan Patch (Awards) and three O'Brien Awards. Obviously she's the star of the stable, but do I have a favorite? Not really. All my horses are my favorite." Bamond says they are careful to give those in the stable enough, but not too many starts. "If you look at the number of starts they have, we don't over-race them; we try to pick their spots throughout the year," Bamond said. "I think we've managed them very well in keeping their starts in check and, knock on wood, we've kept them fairly sound. I don't look to over start them. "One through 11 can win that race, like I've always said and I've been asked the question before, there's 11 in the race because there are 11 good horses in the race. I've been in this business too long, I don't go in to any race overconfident." Bamond is in his second decade of owning Standardbreds and got started as a fan at Freehold Raceway. "I got started in the early 1990s because I enjoyed going to the racetrack and watching them," he said. "I thought, 'Boy, wouldn't it be fun to actually own one and I could go watch my own.' I claimed one at Freehold and that started my interest. I built the stable up from a couple of horses and brought my son on board, probably six or seven years ago and he's basically taken over managing the stable." The field for the 2014 Breeders Crown Mare Pace at the Meadowlands is: 1. Camille, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 2. Charisma Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Voelz Hanover, Brian Sears, Corey Johnson; 4. Somwherovrarainbow, David Miller, Joe Holloway; 5. Yagonnakissmeornot, Ron Pierce, Rene Allard; 6. Shelliscape, John Campbell, P.J. Fraley; 7. Krispy Apple, Scott Zeron, P.J. Fraley; 8. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 9. Rocklamation, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 10. Regil Elektra, Brett Miller, Monte Geldrod; 11. Venus Delight, Jason Bartlett, P.J. Fraley. (Yagonnakissmeornot and Venus Delight supplemental entries.) by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Harrisburg, PA---High-priced broodmares were the headliners of the first day of the mixed portion of the Standardbred Horse Sale, held Friday (Nov. 7).  Selling for $200,000 was 3-year-old filly Royalty Forever, the full sister to 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life.    In foal to Muscle Hill, the #1375 sales slip was signed by Robert Lindstrom of Sweden. She was sold by the same partnership group that owns Royalty For Life.  “She was very marketable; a beautiful filly in foal to the right stallion and everything seemed to fit,” said former co-owner, Paul Fontaine. “It was time to move her, given the fact that the stallion is just going in to stud service and the stallion line has been very hot. Yearlings are selling well. We had her in foal to Muscle Hill and all the stars were aligned to sell her. She’s absolutely beautiful, which is much of the reason she sold so well; stunning, stunning looking filly.”  Also selling with a $200,000 price tag was hip #1417, Fancy Filly, a daughter of Western Hanover carrying her second foal, by Somebeachsomewhere. The Dan Patch and O’Brien champion 2-year-old pacing filly champion is the sibling of eight winners out of her dam Fanciful Hanover, all of them in 1:55 or better. She’s headed to White Birch Farm in Allentown, N.J. The day’s offerings were a mixed bag of stallion shares, broodmares, weanlings and some yearlings. They collectively sold for $5,632,000. The day’s results can be found here. Selling resumes Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with racehorses. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Harrisburg, PA --- Through the close of sales on Wednesday, the cumulative yearling average at the Standardbred Horse Sale made up some ground from losses against 2013 as the average of all horses sold is down about 5.1 percent. However, comparing Wednesday against Wednesday from last year to this, the day was up about 5.1 percent, which helped make up ground from the previous two days. Paul F. “Pete” Spears, CEO of the Sales company, has no clear indication of the soft spots in the market. “We picked up a little bit of ground today, not enough to make up for the first two days, but it was stronger today. We do have certain consigners that like to backload their consignments and obviously it’s not a usual thing to have a $200,000 filly sell on Wednesday (hip No. 751, High Fashion Model, Western Terror–Makes You Wonder, bought by John Como Jr. from the All American Harnessbred consignment) so it’s an example of that. “I’ve been walking around and asking people what they think of the sale and many people have said to me that they’re scratching their heads, too. Certain horses that were going to bring too much money for them -- so they didn’t bother to look at -- suddenly they’re bargains, but because they didn’t look at them, they didn’t bid. Other horses that they wanted to go after they suddenly found they couldn’t touch, so it’s been a very schizophrenic sale. “I think we kind of obsess a little too much about average some times and I think that’s part of the reason we are so focused on the average of each and every single day. When I talk to people, they’re still looking for horses and as I say some are still puzzled. Some of them have told me they’re going to intensely re-review tomorrow in more detail because of what has happened to them, so they don’t overlook a good horse tomorrow.” Wednesday’s yearlings averaged $20,156 overall against $19,170 last year. Trotting fillies dropped a bit from last year, averaging $17,220 against $19,663 in 2013, while the trotting colts moved a bit ahead with an average of $22,946 against $21,527 in ’13. On the pacing side, colts this year averaged $20,584 but last year were $21,336. Buoyed by the $200,000 High Fashion Model sale, the average for pacing fillies was $17,320 this year and $15,250 last year. Comparative Sales Stats–Day Three Year-Gait/Sex-No. Sold-Gross-Average 2014-Pacing Colts-59-$1,214,500-$20,584 2013-Pacing Colts-70-$1,493,500-$21,336 2014-Pacing Fillies-81-$1,403,000-$17,320 2013-Pacing Fillies-80-$1,220,000-$15,250 2014-Trotting Colts-75-$1,721,000-$22,946 2013-Trotting Colts-56-$1,205,500-$21,527 2014-Trotting Fillies-59-$1,1016,00-$17,220 2013-Trotting Fillies-62-$1,218,500-$19,663 2014 Totals-275-$5,541,500-$20,150 2013 Totals-268-$5,137,500-$19,170 Cumulative Totals Year-Gait/Sex-No. Sold-Gross-Average 2014-Pacing Colts-210-$9,045,000-$43,071 2013-Pacing Colts-222-$10,273,500-$46,277 2014-Pacing Fillies-217-$6,460,000-$29,770 2013-Pacing Fillies-215-$6,307,000-$29,335 2014-Trotting Colts-205-$8,933,000-$43,576 2013-Trotting Colts-187-$8,335,500-$44,575 2014-Trotting Fillies-177-$6,089,500-$34,404 2013-Trotting Fillies-161-$6,292,000-$39,081 2014 Totals-810-$30,551,500-$37,718 2013 Totals-785-$31,208,000-$39,753 DAY 3 – TOP 20 Hip-Sex-Gait-Name-Sire-Dam-Buyer-Price 751-F-P-High Fashion Model-Western Terror-Makes You Wonder-John Como Jr.-$200,000 739-C-T-All Time Lindy-Cantab Hall-Love To Lindy-Brixton Medical-$130,000 568-F-T-Pizza Queen-Credit Winner-Armbro Domino-Noel Daley-$100,000 832-C-P-McPhil-McArdle-Philadelphia-Ed James-$90,000 775-F-T-Alamos-Conway Hall-Misty Ridge-Steven Pratt-$75,000 622-F-T-Kindly Reminder-Kadabra-Friendly Persuader-Yves Filion-$67,000 724-C-T-Don Lindy-Crazed-Lindy’s Madonna-Marco Folli-$65,000 736-C-P-Love Tap Hanover-Big Bad John-Love Lace Mindale-Mark Harder-$60,000 651-C-T-Conway Cloud-Conway Hall-Headintheclouds-Chris Oakes-$57,000 657-F-T-Sylvia Express-Conway Hall-Hernameissylvia-David Spagnola, agent-$55,000 759-F-P-Megaball Hanover-Western Terror-Mary Mattgalane-Jerry Silva-$55,000 687-C-T-I Mean Business-Swan For All-Kalibrated-Denise Dennis-$50,000 731-C-T-Lean Hanover-Donato Hanover-Lives Like A Queen-PC Wellwood Ent.-$50,000 839-C-T-Password Hanover-Cantab Hall-Playwood-William Zendt-$50,000 794-C-P-Costume Cruiser-Yankee Cruiser-Native Costume-Ron Desyllas-$46,000 822-C-P-Orly Hanover-Somebeachsomewhere-Ozmopolitan-Geoff Lyons-$45,000 660-C-P-Numerouno Bluechip-Art Major-Ichiban Blue Chip-Linda Toscano, agent-$42,000 758-C-T-Millbrook Hanover-Muscle  Massive-Mary Ana Hanover-Ake Svanstedt-$42,000 786-F-T-Nookie Blue Chip-Explosive Matter-Up Front Hotsey-Reijo Liljendahl-$42,000 629-F-T-Night Watch-Credit Winner-Giulie Bi-Andy Miller, agent-$40,000 649-C-P-Nvestment Bluechip-Shadow Play-Haze’s Zure Bet-Dave Menary-$40,000 680-F-T-Jinx-Muscles Yankee-Jodi’s Jayme-Doug Hurhins-$40,000 761-C-T-Nahuel Blue Chip-Credit Winner-Mathers Ginger-Linda Schaefer-$40,000 783-C-T-Craziville-Crazed-Musclelini-Ted Gewertz-$40,000 811-C-T-Marty De Vie-Explosive Matter-On Broadway De Vie-Todd Buter-$40,000 Pizza Queen sells for $100,000 The pizza was timed just right, according to Carter Duer, proprietor of Peninsula Farm, whose consignment includes the  $100,000 Credit Winner–Armbro Domino filly, Pizza Queen, hip No. 568. The six figure sales price is an outlier for Wednesday, when yearlings are generally more modestly priced than Monday and Tuesday. Noel Daley signed the sales slip on the February 22 foal. Her mother hadn’t really done anything and she had one go to Russia (multiple European stakes winner Betterthancheckers). I guess that’s the reason she was there (Wednesday),” said Duer. “I’d just as soon have her there than somewhere else. She was better (priced) today than she would have been Monday. She had a great video and she’s very correct -- and just a great video -- that was it.” For Duer, age 75, the return to routine farm tasks like videotaping yearlings was not a foregone conclusion after a car accident in June. “We didn’t video until the Lexington sale and I was there then, but I was in the hospital for seven weeks in Virginia. I had surgery in Norfolk, Va., and I was there about 10 or 12 days then to rehab. I’m still doing rehab, but I got a week off this week. “I broke this (his right, still splinted) arm, I’ve got a plate from my elbow to my wrist. I broke this (right) hip and this (right) femur and I’ve got a rod going down my leg and I broke some ribs on this (left) side, but I’m doing OK. The ribs were OK after about two and a half weeks.” Shopping with Dave Menary -- what he doesn’t want watching him Two years ago, Dave Menary got the bargain of a lifetime at Harrisburg when he bought the eventual $1.1 million winner He’s Watching for a mere $3,000. He’s shopping again this year, but without the illusion that there’s another $3,000 millionaire to be found. “I just take it by the right situation,” he said. “I wouldn’t try to make a living buying $3,000 horses. You’re going to go broke pretty quick, but that one (He’s Watching) worked out.” Compromises have to be made when shopping in that price range and Menary said he made concessions for He’s Watching. “Size. He had a great foot and back end on him. He had a great pedigree. I didn’t think he was a $3,000 colt, he wasn’t on my short list, I pegged him at $25,000-$30,000. I wasn’t looking for a June (birthday), New York sired colt, but when I saw him in the ring, I thought they’d brought out the wrong horse. I actually had to make two bids, but I owned him at $3,000. “The only two things I won’t take are a horse that’s back at the knees and I don’t want to train any walleyed horses,” he added, referring to horses with white around their eye. “It doesn’t affect them, but it gives me a bad feeling every day. They don’t get a fair start from the beginning, so I try to just stay away. I think they’re always looking at me the wrong way.” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

With the stakes season waning, each remaining race takes on greater importance for end of the year Dan Patch award honors. One race that voters will watch carefully is the $200,350 Matron Stake for 3-year-old male trotters this Thursday evening (Nov. 6) at Dover Downs. The race, set to go as race 10 at about 7:30 p.m., features on the far inside at post one, Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras), and the far outside in post eight, Nuncio (John Campbell). Nuncio comes into the race with four straight stakes wins, including two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity and the Yonkers Trot. His stablemate Father Patrick has a pair of wins in the American-National and Bluegrass Stakes and two second place finishes in his four most recent starts. The two share the air at their home in East Windsor, N.J. and a trainer in Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, but they'll be looking to separate themselves from each other in end of the year balloting. Here is a look at the numbers behind the 2014 season, with each horse putting in 15 starts. Data Point Nuncio 15-10-5-0 $1,297,896, 1:50.4m Father Patrick 15-11-3-0 $1,443,081, 1:50.2f Average margin of victory                   2.4 lengths                   3.82 lengths Fastest last quarter                   :27 – three times                   :27 – two times Races won for over $100,000                   2                   6 Average earnings per start                $86,526.40              $96,205.40 Race timed at 1:52 or better                   6                      4 Winning favorite                 88%                    73% Wins from post 8 or higher                 0 for 1                    3 for 4 Head-to-head                 33% - 2 for 6                    66% - 4 for 6 by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Freehold, NJ --- Town Pro p,3,1:51.4 ($1,229,582) died in her sleep at the age of 27 at her home at White Birch Farm, in Imlaystown, N.J., on Oct. 26, 2014. She was buried at the high point of the farm, overlooking the paddocks and adjacent training track. A headstone will be erected in her memory, according to Farm Manager Steve Williams, who reports that she was active and comfortable until the end. Town Pro (by Big Towner out of Programmed) was the 2- and 3-year old pacing filly of the year in both Canada and the US in 1989 and 1990. She was inducted to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004. She’s a two-time Breeders Crown winner, along with the American-National, Simcoe, Tarport Hap and Fan Hanover stakes. She is the dam of 17 foals, 12 starters who have collectively won $3,979,791, including her daughter, the $2.9 million winner Darlin’s Delight. The following story about Town Pro’s life after racing appears in the 208 page coffee table book, Standardbred Old Friends, with photos by Barbara Livingston and stories by Ellen Harvey.  Town Pro By Big Towner – Programmed by Bret Hanover April 12, 1987 St. George, Ontario, Canada Which came first, the horse or the name? Rarely has a name, typically chosen at less than a year of age, suited a horse so precisely as it fit Town Pro. Her name, derived from sire, Big Towner, and her dam, Programmed, could not have been a better fit. She never had a rookie phase. Her first two races, in June of 1989, were the last times she raced at less than the highest level of competition. Off a humble debut, at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ontario, she raced 63 more times, collecting 38 more wins. She rarely missed a paycheck for her owners, the Pro Group Stable. In the end, her bankroll added up to $1.2 million. “From the very start, she just had the whole package, everything you want,” said Doug Brown, who drove Town Pro through her entire racing career and didn’t see anything dainty about her. “I always said if you looked way down deep inside her, you’d find a set of testicles. She was like a stud in some ways; she had the big chest, a big back end. “She always had the speed, but from two to three, that’s when she changed physically,” says Brown. “She got the big chest and she just grew. She fit in perfectly with Stew (Firlotte, her late trainer), because he was one to train them hard between starts; that suited her just fine.” For all the success Town Pro had with Brown and Firlotte, she was never fond of either. In fact, she was downright hostile. “We just had to walk past the door and she was ears back and both feet firing,” said Brown. “I guess she figured out we were the ones that made her work.” She was bought at the close of her racing career by the late Joe Parisi as a broodmare for his White Birch Farm in New Jersey. White Birch Farm Manager Steve Williams has a love/hate relationship with Town Pro. He loves her. She hates him. “She is the toughest, smartest horse I’ve ever been around,” he says. Williams’s admiration stems from Town Pro’s life-threatening year, from 2006 to 2007. “Within a year’s period, she had three colics,” says Williams. “Probably would have killed a normal horse. She had a full 360 degree twist in all of them. She showed very little pain. In fact, the second and third time I took her to the hospital, if I hadn’t known her and seen how much pain tolerance she had, I wouldn’t have taken any other horse. She needed surgery all three times. Two of those times, she was in foal and she kept them.” Toughness may have saved Town Pro, but her memory nearly killed Williams. “This was in 2007, and until early 2012, I was not allowed near her,” he says. “She associated me with pain. Anyone else could walk in to her stall and catch her. She was always a little frisky and might turn her butt at you. But when I went in there, it was more than that. She was firing, aiming and meant to hit. She did not want me around. I told her, ‘Don’t you know I saved your life three times?’ She associated me with pain. That’s the only explanation.” After three surgeries, Town Pro has the luxury of conceiving, but not carrying her foals. When it’s time for a short trip to the veterinary clinic for the embryo transfer, she still gets surgery flashbacks. “It takes three men and a boy, a blindfold, please and thank you to get her on the trailer,” says Williams. “Coming home, all I have to do is open the door and tell her to get on.” Williams has to constantly out-think Town Pro, both to prevent colic and to deal with age-related Cushing’s Disease. “We think what may have caused the colic is that she gorges on grass,” he says. “She doesn’t lift her head. So now, she’s out all day, in a trimmed paddock, watching her friends in the fields. Then she comes in the penthouse, has her meal and stays the night.” Town Pro is also apparently able to distinguish color. “Her Cushing’s medication is a red paste,” says Williams. “She was fine with it in her feed tub or squirted in her mouth. Toward the end of the first batch, Dr. (Richard) Meirs brought more of the same medication, but it was white. “She absolutely refused, wouldn’t take it, and wouldn’t let the groom get close to her when he tried to give it to her. She walked away from her feed tub when it was in there. I told Richie, ‘I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but can we go back to the red medicine?’ The next day he brought the red medicine and don’t you know, it was like nothing ever happened. She’s the smartest animal I’ve ever been around.” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Freehold, NJ --- The cheering never really stopped for Monterey Rebel and Saddle The Wind. Now 25 and 21, respectively, and known as “Rebel” and “Saddles,” the two pacers left the track in the late 1990s, but every day they hear the cheers of thousands. The two work as a team, along with four other Standardbreds, at Santa Anita Park in southern California, where they’re part of the charm factor at the 80-year-old track. “They pull the starter in the carriage to the starting gate and the patrol judge to his tower,” said Paige Rickard, operations director at Santa Anita. “Before each race, they pick them both up at the winner's circle. One goes in one direction; one goes in the other, depending on the distance of the race. Then they pick them up after each race and take them back to the winner's circle.” Santa Anita, being in southern California and all, hosts the occasional celebrity to take for a ride. “We do give rides to VIPs every once in a while. They’ve given a ride to (Standardbred owner) George Foreman and Melissa Joan Hart from Bewitched.” The senior members of Santa Anita’s all-Standardbred carriage crew get high praise from Rickard. “They are the best team I have,” says Rickard. “They have great dispositions and are well behaved horses; very well behaved horses. They came that way.” Even at 25, Rickard sees the racehorse he once was in Monterey Rebel, who she bought for $2,000 from a movie-outfitter in Oregon. “He still gets out on the track and wants to go, he’s a tough one. He is a pistol, but he stands very well and lets the people get on and off.” In truth, while Monterey Rebel raced long and hard, 103 times over six years, he’s heard a lot more applause at Santa Anita than at the California harness tracks at Los Alamitos and Sacramento. He won but one race (out of eight lifetime) in the year Rick Cisco leased him, from June 1994 to July 1995. “He’s a big boy, and when he was in his racing career, he could grab on to you, let me tell you,” says Cisco. “He was a nice horse and he did the job. He was perfect around the barn. I enjoyed the horse, he was pretty easy to handle. He was a nice little horse, well, actually he was very big.” Monterey Rebel ultimately won more hearts than races. “He’s the one I bring out for third-graders,” said Rickard. “He’s the one who will put his head down for somebody in a wheelchair. Same thing with strollers. He puts his head all the way down in the stroller for the kids. He’s absolutely the best horse ever for that, the best. “You don’t have to worry. He doesn’t do anything, not anything. He’s in their hand looking for food. I get kids here who are severely handicapped and sometimes they get carried away and actually hit him in the head. He just takes it.” Monterey Rebel’s carriage-mate, Saddle The Wind, was the more accomplished racehorse, winning 14 of his 115 starts over five years, making $100,000 against some of the best horses in California. The selection process Rickard employed to buy him for $250 in Los Alamitos’ backstretch was a simple one. “I needed a bay, he was the right size and he would match Rebel,” she said. While Rickard picked out and purchased the horses for Santa Anita, it’s Francisco Sanchez, called Paco, who drives them at work and knows them best. “Rebel, I have known since 1996,” says Sanchez. “I started here when I was a kid and now look at us, we’re both old grandpas. But he doesn’t know that. When he hits the racetrack, man, you have to hold him because he’d be gone. With another horse he loves to compete. He wants to be the first, he wants to be the leader. “Rebel is a very, very smart horse. He always thinks way ahead of you. There were several occasions where we almost had an accident, but when I need the help, he’s always right there and he stops.” Sometimes, though, Montery Rebel’s inclination to stop is not so appreciated. “He hates to start the buggy (from a dead stop),” says Sanchez. “If we have people standing around the buggy to get a picture, Rebel is traumatized looking back at all the people and thinks that they’re all going to get in. Here comes my regular passenger and he won’t move. “I say, ‘C’mon Rebel,’ and he looks back at the buggy to make sure there’s only one person in the buggy, because if you have a buggy full of people, forget it, he won’t move.” Montery Rebel’s teammate, Saddle The Wind, brings a different demeanor to the pair, says Sanchez. “Saddles is a hard working horse, too. When we first got him, he was smaller and leaner from being on the track. When he was off the track, he got fat and too lazy and refused to pull. He wanted to lag behind the other horse. I had to work with him to say, ‘No, no, no, don’t be lazy, you have to pull the buggy, you’ve got to put up with other horses.’” Sanchez took Saddle The Wind back to the track to improve his outlook, this time with a saddle and a Thoroughbred in tow. When Sanchez worked as a lead pony rider, Saddle The Wind was his pony. “That’s how I got him fit for pulling the buggy,” he said. “He reminded me so much of an Arabian horse. I’m so used to the Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses warming up in the first half-mile. Saddles, he warms up by the third horse he ponies. He was a very comfortable horse, most of the time he preferred to pace or sometimes he’d gallop in front and pace in back (legs).” Sanchez is loyal to his equine partners, now in their second decade of work together. Monterey Rebel wins accolades for his work with the youngest of racing fans. “He is a really sweet horse you can trust with all your heart with kids. He takes care of them, he loves kids.” Of the occasionally reluctant Saddle The Wind, Sanchez sees only the best. “He’s not lazy, he’s smart, he wants the other horse to pull the buggy!” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Creatine, trained by Bob Stewart for owner/breeder Diamond Creek Racing, is on a roll. The 4-year-old trotter has won the $173,000 Allerage Stake at The Red Mile in a career best 1:51.2 on Oct. 5, followed by a three length win in the $166,300 American-National at Balmoral on Oct. 11. This Friday, he's headed to the $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway, where he has post six in the nine horse field. Dan Noble will drive, as he has in two of Creatine's last three starts. The card also includes the $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby, headlined by the Ron Burke-trained duo of Foiled Again - the richest harness racing horse in North American history with $6.70 million - and Clear Vision, as well as 18-race winner Dancin Yankee. Creatine's form change has been a welcome one for Stewart, after a summer with no stakes wins at the top level of the sport. Creatine has $322,571 in 13 starts this year, all of them in stakes or open races. "On the surface it looks like a change of drivers, but it's not," he said. "We brought him back from New Jersey (where he was based most of the summer), did a little minor throat surgery and I think that moved him to the next level. "We actually did a little throat surgery last year and he raced very well after it. We did it again this year and he's really raced well. He's raced well every time except once at Hoosier Park. It was three hours and a half to get up there (for a $22,000 Invitational Trot in which he finished fourth after fading from the lead). We got within a half hour of the track and there was a fatality wreck in front of us. We sat on the interstate for an hour and a half and the ambulances and fire trucks were going by with sirens blaring. He tied up a little that night but other than that, he's raced very well since then. "It wasn't like he was racing bad before, but he kept drawing outside and just getting rough trips and the 14 hole (in the Hambletonian Maturity on July 5). He's put it together now and it looks like we're going to have a good rest of the fall." The throat ailment from which he's now recovered had no particular symptoms and Stewart said it was his wife who led to indirectly discovering the problem. "I give my wife (veterinarian Dr. Lynda Stewart) all the credit," said Stewart. "One night at The Meadowlands, Lynda said to have the veterinarian in the paddock scope him. We did and he was flipping his palate. He actually had a little ulcer on his throat where he had flipped his palate previously. So that's when we brought him home and did the laser surgery at Dr. Wes Sutter's clinic here in Lexington." Aside from his throat, Stewart says Creatine's age also worked against him earlier in the year. "He was a victim, I think, of the way things are set up this year with no 4-year-old races starting out," he said. "His very first start we went to Scioto Downs and raced against Market Share and Modern Family and then right into Sebastian K, who was on a serious roll at the time. He had a time getting his feet underneath him. "Much to his credit, he was not used to getting beaten very often at three and mentally, he was able to work his way through it and not lose his desire. Even with maturity, racing against the older horses right off the bat is awful tough." Stewart and Creatine will head to Dayton from their home base near Lexington, Ky., after some fresh air, a "must" in Creatine's schedule. "He's got a routine, he gets turned out every day," says Stewart. "It will just be a one day trip. He likes being turned out every day -- religiously, even Sunday and in the rain." In the Dayton Pacing Derby, 10-year-old Foiled Again will try to pick up career win No. 83 after consecutive losses by a head, in the American-National Stakes and Allerage Farms Open Pace. His victories this season include the Bobby Quillen Memorial. Clear Vision, who has won $2.15 million lifetime, is coming off a third-place finish in the American-National. Dancin Yankee has won 18 of 28 starts this season, with his victory total ranking No. 4 among all harness racing horses in North America. His connections paid $15,000 to supplement into the race. Here is the field for the $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby, race 12, post time 10:15 p.m., with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Fearless Man, Rick Zeron, Rick Zeron; 2. DW's NY Yank, Brett Miller, Ron Burke; 3. Opening Night, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Jim Campbell; 4. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano; 5. Fusion Man, TBA, Jeff Smith; 6. Creatine, Dan Noble, Bob Stewart; 7. Daylon Magician, Jack Moiseyev, Jack Moiseyev; 8. Southwind Pepino, Hugh Beatty, Hugh Beatty; 9. Wishing Stone, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; AE: Lindy's Tru Grit, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci. Here is the field for the $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby, race 11, post time 9:55 p.m., with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Night Pro, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Dale Decker; 2. Clear Vision, Brett Miller, Ron Burke; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 4. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Thomas Wallace; 5. Santa Fe Beachboy, Josh Sutton, Brian Brown; 6. Beach Memories, Dave Palone, Brian Brown; 7. Dancin Yankee, Tyler Buter, Todd Buter. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

As the racing career of award-winning pacer Captaintreacherous comes to an end, with a retirement ceremony scheduled for next week at The Red Mile, an heir apparent competes Saturday night at the famed Lexington oval. Artspeak, who like Captaintreacherous is from the stable of trainer Tony Alagna, is 6-for-6 as he heads to The Red Mile for his division of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. He is coming off a 3-1/2 length win in 1:50.2 in the Metro Pace on Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt has won all six of his races by a minimum of 1-3/4 lengths. "He's done everything we've asked of him," driver Scott Zeron said. "I don't think we've seen his bottom yet. Tony's done a good job of making sure that every time he gets behind the gate he's fully prepared. "He's got heart. That's something you just have to pray you have in a horse. He's a horse that every time he steps onto the track he wants to beat other horses. He kind of actually wants to demolish them. That speaks for itself. So far he's proven that he's a major player." Captaintreacherous, who will be honored Oct. 2 at The Red Mile, won eight of 10 starts at age 2 and became the first 2-year-old in 25 years to be named Pacer of the Year. Last season at age 3, he won 13 of 16 races and received his second Pacer of the Year award. "A lot of the people have been comparing the two," Zeron said. "Obviously, they were both dominant at this point in their careers when you compare them at 2. Every time I sit behind (Artspeak) he's just a pleasure. He's so nice to handle. Tony has taught him to really know what he's doing out on the racetrack." Artspeak is a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare The Art Museum. He was purchased for $100,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 2007 Meadowlands Pace winner Southwind Lynx. Artspeak is owned by co-breeder Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners. He races in the third of four Bluegrass divisions and is the 4-5 morning line favorite. "His being undefeated isn't something that crosses my mind every time we race," Zeron said when asked if there was pressure driving a horse like Artspeak. "I just want to try to drive him to where he can display his abilities. That's my job, to make sure I give him every chance to display what he can do. "We were 1-9 in the Metro Pace; I don't know if people call that pressure or a weight off your shoulders. I'd rather be the 1-9 shot going into those races." The Canadian-born Zeron has 11 drives Saturday night at The Red Mile, with 10 of them behind Alagna-trained horses. The 25-year-old, who is the son of driver Rick Zeron, moved to the U.S. with the hopes of advancing his career. It has worked out better than he imagined. Zeron, who in 2012 became the youngest driver to win the Little Brown Jug behind Casie Coleman-trainee Michael's Power, has earned $4.30 million this year, good for No. 14 among all drivers in North America. "Tony told me if I did make the move he would help me out and try to make me first call on the (young horses), and he's done just that," Zeron said. "So I give him credit for the majority of my (success) this year. "All I ever wanted was to be on the Grand Circuit. Now to be down at The Red Mile and have multiple drives on every card, it's a thrill. I'm happy to be at the point I'm at. This is where every heavy hitter comes and to be racing with them on a nightly basis is amazing." Among Zeron's other drives are It Was Fascination and Beach Gal in divisions of the Bluegrass for 3-year-old female pacers. It Was Fascination is 6-1 on the morning line and Beach Gal is 3-1. Both start from post eight in eight-horse fields. It Was Fascination, trained by Alagna and owned by Riverview Racing, Alagna Racing and The Bay's Stable, has won four of 13 races and earned $246,028. She is coming off a win in the New York Sire Stakes championship. "She's had a phenomenal year," Zeron said. "You'll never have a horse that tries as hard as she does. She always tries to be right in the money - 1, 2, 3 - every week. Coming down to Lexington, Tony said she's been great. We'll hope for a big effort from her. She always seems to deliver. "We didn't draw that well, but she has tactical speed and hopefully we can forwardly place her." Beach Gal is the only non-Alagna horse Zeron will drive Saturday. Trained by Dave Menary, she has won three of 14 races and $227,127 for owners Kenneth Ewen, Hewvilla Farms, Denis Breton and Larry Menary. "I drove her almost her whole 2-year-old year; I know her really well," Zeron said. "She's a trip horse. You wouldn't find a horse that could come off a helmet any faster than she could last year. I'm excited to go behind her. "She's had a very good year. We didn't draw well, but maybe we can hope for some hot fractions or maybe I'll try to get her out of there and hope for a second-over trip." Sunday: Father Patrick, Lifetime Pursuit headline trotters at Red Mile Driver Yannick Gingras is atop the national purse standings with $11.72 million heading into Friday evening, and this Sunday he has engagements with two trotters who have contributed to that total considerably. Father Patrick, who leads all horses in earnings with $1.13 million, and Hambletonian Oaks winner Lifetime Pursuit, who has banked $652,054, are among the horses that have dates with Gingras at The Red Mile on Sunday. Both horses are trained by Jimmy Takter. Lifetime Pursuit, who has won eight of 13 races this year and set multiple world records, has post two in the first of two Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 3-year-old female trotters. She has won six consecutive starts, including the Hambletonian Oaks, divisions of the Casual Breeze and Simcoe stakes, and most recently the Buckette at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Gingras says the Brittany Farms-owned filly is an uncomplicated assignment. Lifetime Pursuit is the 7-5 morning line favorite in her Bluegrass split. "She'll do anything I want her to do," Gingras said. "She's really a sweetheart, very easy on herself, easy for me to drive. Her last two starts before Delaware, I thought she was due for a covered-up trip, but at Delaware, on a half-mile track at (odds of) 1-9, it is what it is, she was much the best. "Going back to a big track down here, I'd like to have her covered up and if she's the best horse in the race, she'll do what she has to do in the stretch." Gingras says the daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace has matured emotionally over the racing season. "She was one early on that needed an easy trip and needed to get mentally ready," he said. "She wasn't quite ready to cut miles or go first over, nothing like that. But as the year went along, she got better and better with that and now I can do whatever I want. She was the one that early on, I really had to babysit a little bit, whereas Father Patrick, he's just a sweetheart." Father Patrick and Gingras will team up once again in the second of two Bluegrass Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. Father Patrick, the 3-5 morning line favorite, has post one. The colt, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, has won nine of 11 races this season and 19 of 22 in his career. His lifetime earnings are $1.88 million. He enters the Bluegrass off a win in the Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Father Patrick was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. "There's nothing about him not to like, you can do whatever you like," Gingras said. "You can come from the back, be first over or in the front. It doesn't matter to him, he'll get it done. "He's been the same horse, but obviously he's a little stronger now than he was in his first couple starts. But as far as manners and what he can do on the racetrack, he's the same horse, just a perfect horse." The two-week Red Mile meet provides both drivers and trainers with a few more tools to utilize in seeking a top performance from their horses, Gingras says. "The clay is definitely the biggest difference, you can race horses barefoot here, which on most stone dust tracks, you can't," Gingras said. "Trainers can come here and take their (horses') shoes off and sometimes it improves their gait big time. It's something you can't do every week, but you'll see certain horses that step up here versus racing at other tracks because you can make changes here. "The Red Mile is probably the last track left in North America that's not a speed favoring track. You can win races from the front, but it's a track where you can actually come from the back very easily and win races. The other tracks we go to, they're speed favoring, most of them." by Ken Weingartner & Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Lexington, KY --- The Kentucky Horse Park will host a book signing for Standardbred Old Friends with author Ellen Harvey on Wednesday (Oct. 1) from 10 a.m.-12 noon. A collection of endearing stories on the lives of legendary Standardbred horses, this book is a collaboration with award-winning equine photographer Barbara Livingston, whose popular books Old Friends and More Old Friends, painted a sentimental portrait of champion racehorses long gone from the spotlight. Guests who purchase a copy of the book will receive half off admission to the park on Oct. 1 and the special all-Standardbred Hall of Champions Show at 1:15 p.m. organized for the occasion. A collection of Standardbred sulkies will also be put on display this day for guests to view, including a rare tandem sulky and a sulky used with Hall of Fame pacer Rambling Willie. Guests may pre-order the book through the park’s online gift shop,, or at 859.259.4234, to ensure they have a copy, or to have a copy held for them if they are unable to attend the event. The first 50 books pre-ordered will also be signed by the book’s photographer, Barbara Livingston. Books may be picked up anytime between Oct. 1 and Oct. 12, or shipping can be arranged. Standardbred Old Friends focuses on the distinctly American breed that evolved from a horse that carried the family to church, raced at the county fair and now competes world-wide at a trot and pace.  Standardbred Old Friends portrays 43 horses, ages 19 to 37, most of them millionaires with Hall of Fame membership, but some of more modest distinction -- occupied as show horses, in law enforcement or as hardworking, blue-collar performers. With Harvey telling the rich tales of horses from Sweden to Southern California, from Maine to Florida, Livingston has captured images of horses whose achievements are now decades past, but whose memories will last a lifetime.  Standardbred Old Friends looks at the lives of horses like the Kentucky Horse Park’s own champion Standardbred pacers, Staying Together and Western Dreamer. Staying Together was foaled in nearby Georgetown, and won 21 of 26 starts in 1993, setting a speed record, in one of harness racing’s most memorable seasons. Stanley, as he is known, is now blind due to an incurable eye disease, but he has been able to adapt due to his own tenaciousness and his handlers’ care of him. Western Dreamer, or Dreamer, is the park’s resident Triple Crown winner, winning pacing’s Triple Crown in 1997 and becoming the first gelding of any breed to win a Triple Crown. Born just three miles from the Kentucky Horse Park, Dreamer is the son of Western Hanover, one of the most influential Standardbred sires in history.  Other Standardbred horses featured in the book include North American and European superstar Mack Lobell, now 30, at his home along the shores of Lake Malaren in southern Sweden, 2004 Horse of the Year Cam’s Card Shark at historic Hanover Shoe Farm in central Pennsylvania, and mother-daughter Hall of Famers Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie among the live oaks at their home in central Florida. For a video sample of the photos in the book and a look at the making ofStandardbred Old Friends, featuring 30-year-old champion Standardbred roadster Autobahn at Cane Run Farm in Kentucky, go to this link. The Kentucky Horse Park is open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Nov. 2. Admission is $16 for adults and $8 for children 7-12, and includes the next day free. Children 6 and under are always admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate; and the “Showplace for Saddlebreds” -- The American Saddlebred Museum & Gift Shop. From the Kentucky Horse Park

The Harness Racing Museum, in Goshen, NY, is packing up its gift shop and moving 550 miles west to the home of the Little Brown Jug, Delaware, Ohio. From Sunday, September 14 through Thursday, September 18, the Museum's gift shop will be in residence in the tent across from the second turn, and will again have tack supplies from Big Dee's, from 9 am until the last race each day. Items in every price range, all with a harness racing motif, will be offered, including $10 T shirts, hoodies for adults and children in a new range of colors, as well as sleepwear and toys for little harness racing fans. A limited selection of gift shop items including previous years Little Brown Jug shirts, hats and housewares will be available at the Ohio Selected Jug Yearling Sale on Monday, September 15 at the Eden Park Equestrian Complex in Sunbury, Ohio. On Wednesday and Thursday, Ellen Harvey will be signing her book, Standardbred Old Friends, featuring profiles, with the photos of renowned equine photographer, Barbara Livingston, of 43 Standardbreds of distinction, now in the twilight of their lives. 1997 Little Brown Jug winner Western Dreamer is among those profiled. Harvey will be at the Museum tent from 9 am to noon on both days, as well as after the races and periodically throughout the card. 100% of profits benefit the Museum's mission. The newly released Remember Roosevelt! book will be available as well as Halters For Hope. Halters available include American Ideal, Chocolatier, Continentalvictory, Malabar Man, Peaceful Way, Presidential Ball, See You At Peelers, and Somebeachsomewhere. The sale of these halters benefits horse rescue organizations that cater to helping Standardbreds. The popular clearance rack, with many one of a kind items, will be back for bargain hunters and $2 can koozies (3 for $5) will be offered for fans looking to keep their beverages cold. Historians of the sport will want to check out the selection of used harness racing books, the sale of which benefits the Peter D. Haughton Memorial Library at the museum. Shoppers who would like to purchase items in the morning can leave them at the gift shop for pick up after the racing card. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (last tour 4:00 pm). Thanks to U.S. Trotting Association support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, please call 845-294-6330 or visit From the Harness Racing Museum    

Freehold, NJ --- Winky’s Gill, winner of a heat of the 1983 Hambletonian, dam of 1993 Hambletonian Oaks winner Winky’s Goal (1:54.4, $844,924) and 1987 Peter Haughton Memorial winner, Supergill (1:53.3, $664,194) died at the age of 34 on August 8 at Perretti Farm, her home of 14 years.   She was buried in the farm’s equine cemetery.  The daughter of Bonefish and Lassie Blue Chip was bred by Ulf Moberg and was born January 31, 1980 in Lexington, Kentucky. Her stakes wins include the 1982 Merrie Annabelle, Acorn, Review, Hayes and Lexington Filly Stakes.  In addition to a heat of the 1983 Hambletonian against colts in which she was third overall, she won the Coaching Club Oaks, Breeders Filly Stakes, Review and the Bluegrass Stake.  Her 15 wins in 27 starts got her purse earnings of $472,154 and a mark of 1:55.2. In her later years, Winky’s Gill served as babysitter for yearling fillies at Perretti Farm, a job at which she excelled, but only after two tries.  “We tried her back when she was a young girl in her mid-twenties,” said Breeding Operations Manager Lindsay Taylor in the book Standardbred Old Friends, in which Winky’s Gill is one of 43 horses featured.  “Winky decided she really didn’t want to come in to the barn any more.  It became a problem.  She figured out that every time we were coming out, she was coming in the barn and would be separated from her charges.  “She decided she was the matriarchal mare and she was going to round up her herd and take off for the foothills.  She regarded it as her responsibility to round up the babies and take them to a safe place. It was actually pretty funny if you weren’t the one out there trying to catch them.” Given another chance a few years later, Winky’s Gill got the hang of the job and made life easier for farm staff by leading fillies in to the barn for farrier and veterinary care.  “It’s like the Pied Piper,” said Taylor.  “Where ever she goes, they follow her in a little line. She usually selects one or two favorites, or they select her, I’m not sure which way it goes.  “She’ll have a couple; we call them her lieutenants, who have a special affinity for her or she for them.  She keeps them within 20 or 30 feet.  They form a kind of bond.  When she moves, they go with her.  If not, she usually goes back and round them up and takes them with her.” Taylor said that Winky’s Gill liked those she knew well, but had a definite opinion about one particular profession.  “She’s been around enough veterinarians that she’s a little leery of them.”  Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications  Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom

Scarborough, Maine (Friday, August 01, 2014) - For the 10th consecutive year, Scarborough Downs will host Family Fun Day as a day of “Harness Racing Education and Fun for the Whole Family.” Scheduled for Sunday (8-3), the day will feature a wide range of activities suitable for the whole family with a unique focus on the Standardbred horse. “It’s very important to us that people understand all facets of the sport of harness racing, including its enormous impact onMaine agriculture,” says Scarborough Downs president, Sharon Terry.  “From how a horse gets its shoes to what it eats during the big race, people can get up close and personal to the animals and really learn about the industry.” Doors open at 12 noon with the activities taking place in the Grandstand building.  Highlights include a live mare and foal for the kids to pet, a horse shoeing demonstration, a harness demonstration, a mini horse, games, contests and much more. As a special feature this year, the nationwide "Old Friends" book tour comes to town on Sunday featuring the rollout of the latest exciting installment in the popular series. The book (3rd in the series) by accomplished equine photographer Barbara Livingston and noted harness journalist Ellen Harvey spins the stories of horses which once captured front page attention but have now disappeared from the limelight. The tales of their second careers and homes provided by loving caretakers will warm the heart of the reader. On hand to promote the book will be two retired standardbreds who are featured in the work, Dreamy Starlet, who will be marshaling the day's program and McKeever Hanover, a former racing star on the state of Maine Circuit. Live racing begins at 1:05 and features the Maine Sire Stakes program as the two-year-old colt pacing division swings into action in twin splits contested for purses of $9979 apiece. Admission to the event is free and open to all ages. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

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