With the enormous outpouring of grief and shock at the Classy Lane tragedy by everyone involved in the harness racing community in Canada, a light vigil has been planned for Tuesday, January 12, 2016 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m in front of Classy Lane Training Centre. This low key gathering will provide an opportunity to honour and remember the 43 horses that perished so tragically in the fire and extend moral support to the owners, trainers and grooms whose lives have been so terribly affected by this tradegy. In light of the nature of this tragedy and for safetys sake, there will be NO FLAME of any kind permitted at this gathering. You are encouraged to bring flashlights and/or battery-operated candles. Cards, flowers, letters and/or poems would be much appreciated as a show of support. For those without something to illuminate, 180 electronic candles have been donated by Ideal Training Centre and Alec at Giant Tiger in Acton.
TORONTO, January 7 - Woodbine Entertainment Group dedicated Thursday evening's card of harness racing to the equine lives lost in Monday night's barn fire at Classy Lane Stables. Horsepeople gathered in the Standardbred paddock to watch a tribute video created by the Woodbine Broadcasting Department and pay their respects. A moment of silence was also held in honour of the horses lost in Monday's fire. Donations can be made to help those affected by the fire through the Central Ontario Standardbred Association GoFundMe page. A video tribute to the equine lives lost in the fire at Classy Lane Stables.
Jesse was a 20 year old Canadian who represented the breed by being distinctively beautiful and sweet. She stood proud at the best of times and was always a pleasure to visit at the barn. She will be greatly missed by all her barn friends especially her pasture buddies, Hannah, Porscha and Nicole. I was first introduced to the Canadian Horse when I met Rose 7 years ago at a local fair. I was intrigued by the horses beauty and historical background. I am pleased that the horses became part of my life and thank my good friend Rose for allowing me to be part of sharing their heritage to the public by traveling with her to local fairs. She will be greatly missed by her owners Rose and Gary Cook. Thank you Rose for allowing Jesse to be part of my life. A beautiful and loving horse. Laura Spies Equine Guelph's Hoofprints Tribute program gives grieving horse owners a positive means to cope with the devastating loss and a loving way to honour the memory of a horse. By dedicating an Equine Guelph donation in their name, their legacy will live on by contributing to longer, healthier lives for other horses. Hoofprints is kindly sponsored by Intercity Insurance Services. Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
It is with great sadness that Kentuckiana Farms announces the passing of one of harness racings greatest Jate Lobell. The 31-year-old stallion stood at Kentuckiana Farms for 22 years before being retired from active duty in 2009. Jate Lobell (No Nukes – J.R. Amy, p, 3, 1:51.2M, $2,231,402) impacted the Standardbred breed like few other. At 2, a World Champion, the son of No Nukes was voted 2-year-old pacing colt of the year, undefeated in 15 starts. At 3, Jate Lobell earned 3-year-old pacing colt of the year honors while winning the Confederation Cup, North America Cup, New Jersey Classic, New Jersey Futurity, American National, and 5 NJSS events. He retired to stud duty after a remarkable 3-year-old season as the third richest pacer of all time and was syndicated at an incredible $12 Million Dollar Valuation. It was in the breeding shed where he made a significant and lasting impact as a regular at the top of all stallion categories throughout his stallion career. His offspring earned a remarkable $105,341,187. Jate Lobell’s offspring have averaged over $82,000 per starter, having produced many of greats in recent racing history like Riyadh ($2,763,527), David’s Pass ($1,652,500), Gothic Dream ($1,528,671), Village Jasper ($1,057,595), to name a few. Not only was Jate Lobell a super-sire, he will long be remembered as a prolific broodmare sire, with his daughters producing winners of over $203,978,794 including Mister Big ($4,008,257), My Little Dragon ($2,318,623), Southwind Lynx ($1,763,389), and Sportswriter ($1,566,460), etc. In 2004 Jate Lobell was nominated to the Living Horse Hall of Fame as a racehorse and stallion. “Jate Lobell’s legacy will live on for generations. He was simply one of the greatest ever on the track, in the breeding shed and as a broodmare sire. Jate Lobell put Kentuckiana Farms on the map and we will cherish his memory for years to come. It has been an honor to take care of him as a long-time member of our family. He will be missed, “ said Bob Brady for Kentuckiana Farms. FFI: Bob Brady 502-863-3070 Jate Lobell 2-year-old season highlights 1986 (PART 1) Jate Lobell 2-year-old season highlights 1986 (Part 2) Jate Lobell North American Cup 1987 (Part 1) Jate Lobell North American Cup 1987 (Part 2) Jate Lobell North American Cup 1987 (Part 3)
Chesapeake City, MD ---Winbak Farm is sad to announce the passing of harness racing proven pacing stallion Three Wizzards p,2,1:54; 3, 1:52.2f ($815,154). The stallion was bred by Whitehorse Farms.Whitehorse Farms was the farm Joe and JoAnn Thomson co-owned with Ed Gold before they sold the farm and formed Winbak Farm. Three Wizzards had been named after the farm’s owners, Joe and JoAnn Thomson and Ed Gold. Three Wizzards will always have a special place in the making of Winbak Farm because he was the first stallion that Winbak Farm stood. As a racehorse, Three Wizzards won the Abe Lincoln Stake, Garden State Stake division, Sheppard pace elimination, Woodrow Wilson elimination and Hopeful Stake elimination. He was also second in the Nassagaweya and Windsor Riverfront Stake divisions. Three Wizzards won the Breeders Crown at three, beating both Artsplace and Die Laughing. He also won an elimination for the Adios. As a stallion, Three Wizzards was successful in Delaware, New York and Maryland. He was the sire of 14 $100,000-plus winners. His offspring include New York Sire Stakes winner Stock Market Wiz p,1:49.3 ($739,282), Maryland Sire Stakes winner The Wiz p,3,1:53.2 ($682,071) and Delaware Breeders Fund winner Get Jazzed p,1:53.2f ($321,594). Three Wizzards had been retired from breeding in 2013, but was living a good life of retirement and enjoyed spending his days grazing in the green fields of Winbak Farm of Delaware. He is buried at Winbak Farm of Maryland. by Elizabeth Cheesman, Winbak Farm Public Relations & Marketing
Lucan, ON --- It is with great sadness that Seelster Farms, along with owners Bob McIntosh, Al McIntosh and New Destiny Stable, announce the passing of Camluck (Cam Fella–Lucky Lady) p,3,1:52.4f, T1:48.4 ($1,003,260). The 28-year-old stallion stood at Seelster Farms for 23 years before being retired from active duty in October 2014. Camluck left an indelible mark on the Standardbred breed. The son of legendary Cam Fella became one of the fastest horses of his generation by virtue of his 1:48.4 time trial effort in 1992 at Lexington’s Red Mile. Over the course of his brilliant racing career, he earned more than $1 million while facing one of the very best older pacing crops of all-time that included the likes of Artsplace and Staying Together (his stablemates from the Bob McIntosh stable),Cambest, Silver Almahurst and Odds Against, just to name a few. Camluck was voted the O'Brien Award winner for Pacing Horse of the Year at age four. His major stakes victories included the Breeders Crown and the Provincial Cup. However, it was in the breeding shed where Camluck made his greatest impact and stamped himself as one of the greatest pacing stallions in harness racing history. He retired recently with overall offspring earnings of a staggering $203,545,168. Camluck’s offspring have averaged more than $104,812 per starter and he produced 21 millionaires including Burning Point p,3, 1:50.3s, 1:49.2 ($2,853,289); Dreamfair Eternal p,3,1:55.3h, 1:49f ($2,478,093); Chancey Lady p,2,1:52s, 3,1:50.3f, 1:48.4f ($2,072,092); Invitro p,2,1:53s, 4,1:50s ($1,983,077); Mystician p,2,1:52s, 3,1:49.2s ($1,921,529), and Michael's Power p,3,1:48.1s ($1,867,801), just to name a few. Camluck has also made his mark as a prolific broodmare sire, with his daughters producing the likes of I Luv The Nitelife p,2,1:50.1s, 3,1:48.4f ($1,944,667); Thinking Out Loud p,2,1:52.4s, 3,1:47.4s, 4,1:47.2 ($1,929,765); American Jewel p,2,1:50.2s, 3,1:48.2s ($1,840,565); Aracache Hanover p,2,1:53.1s, 3,1:50.1f, 1:48.1f ($1,726,617); Deuce Seelster p,2,1:52s, 3,1:50.3s,1:49.4 ($1,141,102), and Kindly Poet p,3,1:51s, 1:49.4s ($982,376), etc. On multiple occasions, Camluck has been the leading money winning sire of all age pacers in North America. Camluck was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2008 he was the first Canadian horse inducted into the United States Living Hall of Fame. Just a few months ago in May, Camluck was inducted into The Raceway at Western Fair District’s Wall of Fame in London, Ontario. Bob McIntosh had this to say on behalf of the owners of Camluck. "It has been a great experience to work with Chris VanBussel and now the third generation of the VanBussel family, for all of these years. I'm proud of the job that Seelster Farms has done with Camluck and the contribution Camluck made to the breeding industry. Not just in Ontario, but his sons and daughters can be considered amongst the best in the world." “The legacy of Camluck will live on for generations to come in the offspring he continues to influence with his determination and intelligence,” said Ann Straatman for Seelster Farms. “What the pedigree pages cannot say is what a privilege it has been to care for Camluck all of these years and how much we will miss our friend.” from Seelster Farms
Columbus, OH --- Hambletonian Oaks elimination winner Spirit To Win died Monday in a jogging accident, according to a tweet posted by All American Harnessbreds, which is headed by Spirit To Win’s breeder and co-owner Fred Hertrich III. "We are extremely sad to announce that our filly and 2015 Hambo Oaks elim winner Spirit to Win died this morning in a jogging accident," tweeted Hertrich. Hertrich shared ownership on Spirit To Win (Cantab Hall-Celebrity Spirit) with Noblock Racing Stable. Trained by Dustin Jones, she had five wins in 11 career starts with $185,630 in earnings. Spirit To Win and driver Brett Miller scored in 1:52.2 to win the second Hambletonian Oaks elimination this past Saturday. Additional information will be posted when available. The post position draw for the Oaks will take place on Monday afternoon and the Hambletonian Society is expected to make a statement at that time. USTA Communications Department
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.