Goshen, NY --- The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame was informed today that last year’s Living Horse Hall of Fame inductee, Precious Bunny, died April 20, 2015 at Empire Stallions in Victoria, Australia. Bred by Alfred Ochsner Jr., 1991 Horse of the Year and Little Brown Jug winner Precious Bunny was foaled on May 6, 1988 at Windhaven Farm in Cranbury, N.J.. Purchased in 1990 by R. Peter Heffering of Port Perry, Ontario, Precious Bunny was trained by Bill Robinson and driven by Jack Moiseyev. He raced from 1990-1991 and had a lifetime summary of 39-21-5-4. As a 2-year-old, Precious Bunny had 14 starts, winning a New Jersey Sire Stakes event and finishing the season with a mark of 1:57.2 and $63,920 in earnings. In 1991, 3-year-old Precious Bunny won 20 of 25 starts, including the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace (setting the stakes record in the second fastest race mile in harness racing history and fastest mile ever under the lights -- 1:49.4), Art Rooney Pace (stakes record), Adios (tying the stakes and the world record for fastest mile by a Standardbred on a five-eighths-mile track and setting the world record for a second heat by a Standardbred on a five-eighths-mile track -- 1:50.4), Little Brown Jug (in straight heats with an electrifying start in the first), Cleveland Classic (stakes record), NJSS final and Windy City Pace. With his Cleveland Classic victory, Precious Bunny became only the second Standardbred in North America (Beach Towel--1990) to earn more than $2 million in a single season ($2,217,222). He was the first to win two $1 million races in one season (North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace), and the first to win the Little Brown Jug, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and The Adios in the same year. Precious Bunny was voted Horse of the Year and 3-year-old Pacing Colt in both the U.S. and Canada. At the time of his retirement, he ranked as the number one single-season moneywinning Standardbred of all time and the fifth-leading moneywinning pacer of all time. Precious Bunny stood at Castleton Farm in New York from 1992 to 2000. He has sired North American winners of more than $50 million, with 181 in 1:55, 142 $100,000 winners and three millionaires, including 2001 Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Bunny Lake p,1:49s ($2,843,476), Stout p,1:49.2 ($1,506,390) and 2001 O’Brien Award winner Precious Delight p,3,1:51.1 ($1,096,981). Precious Bunny was exported to New Zealand in September 2000. He was elected to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004 and enjoyed his retirement at Empire Stallions in Victoria, Australia. Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame
Cambest, p,T1:46 1/5, the fastest Standardbred of all time, died Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at Walnut Hall Ltd., Lexington, Kentucky. He was 27. In his four year harness racing racing career, Cambest earned $1,444,835. Retired to the stud at Walnut Hall Ltd. at six, Cambest to date has progeny earnings of $134,485,044, and is the sire of 596 performers in 1:55. Cambest will be laid to rest in the Walnut Hall cemetery beside the graves of Scotland, Volomite, and Garland Lobell.
Star harness racing filly Mindarie Priddy has lost her battle with laminitis. Struggling to recover from a “simple” cut in her hoof, Mindarie Priddy had to be put down yesterday. Devastated by the news, trainer David Miles remains shocked by the manner in which the daughter of Artistic Fella met her demise. “All this is the result of something amazingly simple,” Miles said. “Initially she only stood on a toe chip, which developed into a foot infection that didn’t burst as you’d normally expect. “We took her to the vet surgery and it went pear-shaped from there, and before we knew it, she was fighting for her life. “In the end she was suffering from laminitis and we had to make the heartbreaking call.” Laminitis is a disease that affects hooved animals, often leading to perforation of the coffin bone through the sole of the hoof, requiring aggressive treatment or euthanasia. Sadly in the case of Mindarie Priddy – a winner of 11 races from 17 starts for earnings of $284,659 - it was the latter. In human terms, Laminitis is similar to gangrene, which often leads to amputation. “I can’t believe this has happened,” Miles declared. “We tried everything we could to save her, but her body was just fighting itself and not responding. “In the end the laminitis was too bad and there was every chance the pedal bone would have kept rotating and pushed through the sole of her foot. “There was even talk of getting a prosthetic leg for her, so I can tell you we tried, and thought of, everything, but the overall result is she had to be put down.” Miles also revealed connections flushed several embryos from the mare, which was served by leading sire, Bettors Delight. Again to Miles’ dismay, the embryos “didn’t take”. “During the last month we knew things weren’t looking good and were aware of what may come, so we tried to get some embryos out of her,” Miles said. “They were by Bettors Delight, which would have been a terrific mating, but they didn’t take, so we’ve ended up with nothing. “She was without doubt the best filly I have ever put a bridle on…she had speed, stamina and brains, she was the perfect racehorse. “The Australian Pacing Gold will remain her best win, but for one reason or another, we never got to see the best of her.” PAUL COURTS
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
In tragic news for the Les Harding stable and South Australian harness racing comes the news of passing of stable star Zanardi who passed away last week after complications to surgery to have bone chips removed. Zanardi had won 16 from his 24 starts under Les Harding and was considered SA’s best free for all class pacer along with Come On Frank, his main wins come in the Gawler Cup and the Maughan Ford Cup, the traditional lead up race to the SA Cup beating Come On Frank in that event. Bred in New Zealand the Courage Under Fire gelding had just 6 starts for a win at Rangiora at his final start in his homeland before being sold to Western Australia in 2009 where he won his way to fast class company, he relocated to Les Harding stables in May last year with instant success winning first up at Betezy Park, Globe Derby. Zanardi also was runner up in the Mildura Cup to Five Star Anvil and finished fifth behind Smoken Up and Caribbean Blaster in the SA Cup. All up he won 32 races and $210.000 in stake-money. In a state where fast class pacers don’t come along all that often Zanardi will be sadly missed and particularly by the Harding family. Another former West Australian to do their future racing in South Australia is Remember El an Elsu gelding who performed well in open class in WA recently running third to David Hercules in a free for all at Gloucester Park. Gary Newton
Super Arnie, Sweden's leading sire in 2006-09, has been put down at the age of 26. Super Arnie was sired by Super Bowl and out of Arnies Likeness, she by Arnie Almahurst.
Peace Corps 3,1:52.4 ($4,137,737), the five-time (1988-1992) divisional trotting champion, died in Mallorca, Spain, in November 2012 at the age of 26, it was learned today from her harness racing owner, John Bootsman.
Today at Hyeres Jean-Pierre Dubois won his FR comeback after European rules were changed to permit harness racing drivers to compete after age 70.
Prominent Florida sire Arapa Victory, whose harness racing sons and daughters have made a solid impact in the Florida Stakes program, has died at age 13, according to owner Laurie Lee Poulin.
Eight hours after 2005 Horse-of-the-Year and harness racing giant Rocknroll Hanover was euthanized at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in New Jersey, her former caretaker Sarah Lauren Scott was still having trouble holding back her tears.
A necropsy done on a horse that died before a race last month at The Meadows Racetrack indicates that she succumbed to natural causes. Lislea Isabella, an 8-year-old harness racing mare, died of either exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging, an electrolyte imbalance or some other cause, according to the necropsy report released by Samantha Krepps, press secretary for the state Department of Agriculture.
Nobleland Sam, 30, one of the top sires in Ohio breeding history, died Tuesday morning (Feb. 26) in his stall at Midland Acres in Bloomingburg, Ohio, according to farm vice president Dr. John Mossbarger.
At day-4 the field for Sunday's harness racing 400,000 euro Prix de Paris has narrowed to twelve, led by Ready Cash, Maharajah and Main Wise As (a son of Yankee Glide).
Ourasi, four-time winner of the Prix d'Amerique, died earlier today in France, at Haras de Gruchy in Normandy. He was put down at approximately 5 a.m. eastern time.
Kevin McDonald and his daughter Amy say they lost a piece of their soul when fire rampaged through their St Johns harness racing stable in Newfoundland killing seven racehorses, a pony, and three goats. They also lost all of their harness racing gear and equipment.
Last night's (November 23rd) Bermuda Cablevision harness stakes racing at Vesey Street was abandoned after a pony was tragically killed while racing.