Day At The Track
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Bettor's Wish, winner of the Art Rooney at Yonkers and the Millstein Memorial at Northfield Park, will be supplemented to the Messenger Stake next Saturday at Yonkers Raceway, it was announced by Eric Cherry representing the ownership for the sensational Bettor’s Delight sophomore trained by Chris Ryder. Said Cherry "We already know how he handles Yonkers and half mile tracks in general, so we figured the Messenger is a natural for the colt who just recently won a Kentucky Sires Stake In 1:47.4 at The Red Mile." Should he win the Messenger, Bettor’s Wish would be able to supplement to the Little Brown Jug. By Bob Marks

To The Editor; We have what is commonly known as a horse shortage in harness racing, which is really just an imbalance based on number of race days a racetrack would like to run a year and the horses available for those tasks. Obviously, the Southern Hemisphere loves this since many of the horse's names end with an A or an N. But I am not telling you anything you don't already know. One partial solution to the horse shortage is to allow broodmares to have two foals a year. Originally nature didn't allow for that but due to technology this can now be accomplished with embryo transplant (ET). The first result is obvious that we would have more foals a year. It would also be a safety net for the breeders since they might not get quite the same price as they would for one foal if it was perfect, but how many foals are really born perfect? This does not take account of the double digits of mares that are barren or miscarry per year. This gives two chances and makes the breeding portion safer. It also would allow stallions to breed more making it more economic for stallion owners. It also would not hurt the genetic pool since the rule would only allow mares to be bred to one stallion per year so, the ratios of genetic diversity would basically remain the same. I would submit this new rule as a five-year experiment since nobody likes change and this will give the feel and the reality of it being temporary so it could be evaluated in the future. But the best byproduct is that the rule would state that all the ET's would have to be done with only Standardbred recipients. This would help possibly 1000 mares that are up for adoption and looking for homes so they don't end up in the slaughterhouse and to have a role going forward. Due to the expensive nature of performing ET this rule would allow the gene pool to breed more of the top mares since it would not be economically feasible to do it with every run-of-the-mill female that retired. If anyone reading this has any further ideas or enhancements or criticisms, I would like to address them now before I send this rule change in play in August when the changes are due. Eric Cherry Ongait.com echerry@icnltd.com  

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA/BetAmerica, is excited to announce the line-up for Thursday morning (Feb. 21) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Cubbie Van Wagoner, who scored his first pari-mutuel driving win Tuesday; The Geseks (Jeff & Janine), from Pacing for the Cure; Dawnelle Mock, Director of Marketing for the MSOA and Eric Cherry, part owner of Heston Blue Chip. Van Wagoner, who scored his first win on Tuesday night, will talk about how he got into the sport of harness racing and discuss how it felt to win his first pari-mutuel race. Van Wagoner won the race on Papiamento, for trainer Brian Downing in 1:54. The Geseks, from Pacing for the Cure, will discuss the happenings for 2019 and how the organization will continue to reach the sport in new and exciting ways. Mock, Director of Marketing for the MSOA, talks about Duc De Guise, Ireland's top trotting that will be racing at The Meadows in the coming weeks. The pair will discuss her career and how she ventured into racing. Cherry, part owner of Heston Blue Chip, joins to talk about some of his upcoming offspring and what racing can expect from them. Mike Carter will join at the beginning of the program to talk about some of the horses in training in South Florida and the upcoming Dan Patch Awards on Sunday. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA/BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. by Michael Carter, for Post Time  

Prominent harness racing owner, breeder and equestriane Michelle Crawford of Crawford Farms in Durhamville, New York, was the succefull bidder for top trotting mare, Atlanta, winner of the 2018 Hambletonian and voted the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year. The sale took place via the internet on www.OnGait.com. In order to buy out part owner and trainer Rick Zeron, who had received a six month suspension stemming from instances in Canada this past year, Atlanta was put up for auction.  The daughter of Chapter Seven, who has already earned $1,140,000, was started at $500,000 as the opening bid. Over the four-day period the bidding continued to increase. During the final five minutes of the auction, she remained at $1,550,000 until the auction was closed.  "This is a real deal," said Eric Cherry, co-owner of OnGait.com. "The other partners weren't sure how to disolve the ownership of Atlanta. Rick Zeron was speaking to me about it and one of the co-owners, Howard Taylor, has successfully sold a number of horses and that led them to us at OnGait. I understand that at least two or three of the partners wanted out on the horse and Michelle Crawford and Brad Grant wanted to keep the mare. "Once we got the page up," Cherry continued. "I started getting phone call from people wanting to know if this was for real. There were more than 23,000 views on the page. We were able to get a fair value on Atlanta as we have people around the world that were interested in her. Using OnGait.com was perfect for this special sale." Brad Grant then confirmed the deal. "Howard Taylor, Bill Holland (Holland Racing), the Crawfords and myself, we were all in to keep the mare and i thank them all." by Steven Wolf, for Harnesslink  

Entrepreneur and long time breeder- owner Eric Cherry along with Maurice Chodash, guiding force behind the innovative On Gait.com Internet Auction and private sales have joined forces with Hall Of Fame communicator and breeder Bob Marks to establish the On Gait Management Division (ongaitmanagement.com) designed to recruit and navigate owner prospects through the uncharted nuances of standardbred ownership. Together the team represents over one century of experience and expertise in all aspects of the standardbred world. Cherry has owned and raced over 1,000 horses while Marks bred and merchandised over 2000 horses during his tenure at Perretti Farms and Boardwalk. Thus On-Gait Management division is uniquely qualified to provide astute guidance in all aspects of racehorse selection while possessing the experience and expertise needed to decipher the ambiguities that often exist between the novice owner and the racing world in general. According to both Cherry and Marks “Too often potentially good owners get lost in the shuffle due to miscommunications and/or miscomprehension of the existing situation.”  Continued Cherry, “Horse business rules and procedures can be diametrically different than those of other businesses. Many potentially good owners feel frustrated because the tried and true procedures applicable to their specific professions don’t work in the horse business. As a result, many potentially good owners are lost. Plans are to acquaint the thoroughbred world with the unique opportunities standardbreds provide especially in the area of race frequency given the lucrative purse structures afforded by the legally mandated racino sponsorships in key states. In addition, On Gait Management Division will seek to introduce the internet day trading community to the pulsating excitement and fulfilling opportunities standardbred race horse ownership has to offer.    

Lake Worth, FL - Four of the horses rescued from the devastating barn fire at the South Florida Trotting Center have returned home. Celebrity Lover, Celebrity Tsipras, Celebrity Artemis and Celebrity Lambo were all released from Reid & Associates Equine Hospital late Friday afternoon. All four of the horses suffered burns on their backs and some on their necks and rumps. Seven of the injured horses remained at the Hospital in Loxahatchee and it was not clear when they would be released. As the returning horses were removed from their trailer, all had visible burn injuries. Each will need to be monitored over the next several weeks for upper respiratory and lung issues, and the horses may require hyperbaric oxygen treatments, said Sam Stathis, owner of the four horses and the owner of the South Florida Trotting Center. "They're not in extreme danger, but (there's) caution that they're not out of the woods with the respiratory issues," he said. "They need 24 hour a day care. We thought it better that they live on the farm and we hand walk them so they don't get psychological issues. They've been through enough." Stathis said veterinarians will come to the center each day, to tend to the recovering animals. Stathis lost one of his own horses, but had four survive. He said he's taking responsibility for all horses in the barn that burned. "I'm ecstatic that the first four horses have returned to the farm," Stathis said. "And we are doing everything possible to insure that the remaining seven will come home too. I can't wait for that day to come." By Steven Wolf for Stathis Enterprises    

Eric Cherry noted harness entrepreneur and hall of fame communicator Bob Marks will be launching the Harness Forum via Internet subscriptions, it was announced on Thursday January 7th.   “We’ve had this idea for awhile and we’re excited over the prospects The Forum will be able to deliver” said Cherry.   Our plan is to illustrate the issues in the headlines and behind the scenes as they are regardless of how provocative some may be while incorporating unedited input from industry movers and shakers so as to invite discussion so as to present a thoroughly entertaining and informative weekly forum.   Marks added “Perhaps If some of the issues presented in Inside Boardwalk back in the 80’s had been acted upon things might have been better”   Stay tuned.  

Louisville, KY ---He is not a loaded gun. He is, however, a 2-year-old colt that paced in 1:53.4h in his third lifetime start for a seasonal Canadian record. Therefore, harness racing trainer Tony O’Sullivan is thrilled with the potential that Semi Automatic possesses. Especially since this guy did not stand out training down. “Eric Cherry was responsible for the deal that brought him to us,” said O’Sullivan. “I have trained some horses for him before and he asked if I was willing to take a chance on this one. He was purchased privately because he was a smallish individual and not a horse that was one for the sales. He was sound all winter but had a lot of health problems. He didn’t really come around until February and then he just blossomed the more we trained him.” The son of Badlands Hanover and the D M Dilinger mare Topgun Lady, who is owned by Cherry's Let It Ride Stables, O’Sullivan and J&T Silva Stables, will take aim on his opponents in the C$227,397 Battle of Waterloo final at Grand River Raceway on Monday (Aug. 3) in the 11th and last race on the card. Unfortunately, his triumph in his elimination did not carry enough weight to have his nose on the gate. Semi Automatic will trail the field from post nine with James MacDonald steering him for the mile. “He has only three starts and has improved with each one,” O’Sullivan said. “It was like something changed in him when he qualified. Like he knew what he was supposed to do and enjoyed it.” Although he wasn’t exactly the best looking colt or the most physically gifted, Semi Automatic, with a record of 3-1-1-1 and just under $30,000 in the bank, has the pedigree to be any kind of horse. His dam never made it past a qualifying race, but his granddam, the Albatross mare Keystone Trinidad, earned $181,787 on the racetrack and produced Invitro (by Camluck) p,4,1:50s ($1,983,077) and Bigtime Ball (by Presidential Ball) p,5,1:48.2s ($1,558,519). “He definitely has the pedigree to be a nice horse,” O’Sullivan said. “But he also has such a nice mind. He is so willing. He wears no boots or headpoles and still came home his last quarters in his first two races in :26.2. His second race he even had the nine hole and still raced very well.” Semi Automatic was third and second in his two qualifying races on June 27 and July 4 at Mohawk Racetrack. In his career debut on July 11 over the same surface he was again a bridesmaid in a $55,300 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold contest. His second start, in an $80,850 Sires Stakes Gold engagement on July 18, was a third place finish after an outside trip. In his Battle of Waterloo elimination, which was his third trip to the post, the colt showed he had plenty of ammunition in reserve. O’Sullivan was concerned as he watched the race unfold and was fearful of how his horse would finish. “(A time of) 1:53.4 is a serious mile for any horse on a half-(mile track) let alone a 2-year-old,” he said. “I saw those fractions when he went to the front and was very nervous. He had never shown gate speed. I knew he had it because he is an easy horse and doesn’t show everything, we just had not seen it yet, but he had never been on the front before. I was not sure he was that kind of horse to be able to do it cutting out the mile. James (MacDonald) said after the race was over he did it well within himself. He never even realized he was going that fast.” Despite his obvious prowess during the latter stages of his fledging career, Semi Automatic will only compete in Ontario Sires Stakes contests throughout 2015. “Because he was sick so often and small we did not stake him to anything other than those races,” O’Sullivan said. “It was also a significant amount to make him eligible because payments were not made on him when he was a weanling. There is plenty of money to be made in these events and if we decide we want to supplement him to other races we always can. It depends on him. “I did take note of how he looked after his race last week. He’s not a flashy horse, but he is well put together. All his parts are in the right places and it looks like he could be a really nice horse. Anything in this business is a risk and Eric asked me if I was willing to take a chance on him. This is one occasion where the risk was worth the reward.” Below is the field, with drivers, trainers and morning line, for the Battle of Waterloo final. C$227,397 Battle of Waterloo Horse-Driver-Trainer 1. Think On It by Ponder - John Campbell-Robert McIntosh-9-2 2. Stonebridge Beach by Mach Three - Stephane Pouliot-Stephane Larocque-8-1 3. A Bettors Risk by Bettor's Delight - Jonathan Drury-Casie Coleman-5-1 4. Carolina Hurricane by Sportswriter - Sylvain Filion-Ronald Adams-12-1 5. Continual Hanover by Bettor's Delight - Mike Saftic-Jack Darling-15-1 6. Imsporty by Sportswriter - Jody Jamieson-Carl Jamieson-3-1 7. Magnum J by Big Jim - Doug McNair-Gregg McNair-5-2 8. Chalk Player by Camluck - Bob McClure-Jeffrey Gillis-20-1 9. Semi Automatic by Badlands Hanover - James MacDonald-Tony O’Sullivan-8-5 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Lake Worth, FL – Stathis Enterprises Unicorn Trust of New York City, NY, has announced that they have closed on the purchase of the South Florida Trotting Center late in May. The purchase price was over $10 million and includes the 102 acre facility with 14 barns. It is home to 300 harness racing horses located on route 441/SR 7 in Lake Worth and feature an equine swimming pool and numerous turnout paddocks. The new CEO of the South Florida Trotting Center is Sam Stathis, who already has his Celebrity Farms Stable at the South Florida Trotting Center. “I want to thank prior owner Eric Cherry for making this deal happen,” Stathis said. “First order of business will be fixing up the barn area, caretaker quarters and building a new training barn for my stable. Also we will be remaining open year-round henceforth. “We also want to rename the facility,” Stathis said. “And we will hold a world-wide “Name the equine center contest” this summer. “Our plans are to turn this facility into a real showplace with modern technology, eco-system friendly and also to expand the facility so that other breeds of horses will be able to train at the farm. While this facility has been predominately a premier trotting facility, we will now be attracting all equestrian disciplines including Hunter, Jumpers and even Polo. “We are both pleased with the closing and I am going to stay on the farm with my Let It Ride Stable,” former owner Eric Cherry said. “I look forward to working with Sam as he has great plans for the future of the farm and to turn it into a premier facility.” Stathis also said plans call for the facility to become a research and development center with an incubator for equine related technologies including a teaching facility for caretakers, holistic equine healing and more. Sam Stathis was born in Greece and immigrated to the USA with his family at age 7. He is a passionate entrepreneur, investor, developer, engineer, inventor and philanthropist with extensive experience in starting and operating multimillion dollar companies on a domestic and international basis. Stathis began owning Standardbred horses in 2000. He has since gotten his trainers license and is a provisional licensed professional harness racing driver. He also owns Celebrity Farms in Goshen, NY that is a breeding and training facility www.celebrityfarms.com and is the founder of the World Chariot Racing Federation www.worldchariot.org. By Steve Wolf, for Stathis Enterprises  

LAKE WORTH, FL – It was announced today that the owners of the South Florida Trotting Center has reached an agreement to sell the harness racing training facility to Stathis Enterprises of New York and Vero Beach. The selling price was not disclosed. The 102 acre facility features 14 barns and is home to 300 harness racing horses located on route 441/SR 7 in Lake Worth. Stathis Enterprises is owned by Sam Stathis, who already has his Celebrity Farms Stable at the South Florida Trotting Center. “I think this is going to be a wonderful opportunity for Stathis Enterprises,” Sam Stathis said. “I am obsessed with horses and harness racing and we are going to expand the farm. We have a lot of plans to keep this facility a real showplace.” Eric Cherry, the original principle owner of the South Florida Trotting Center, is happy with the agreement. “We have come to an agreement that we are both pleased with and I am going to stay on the farm with my Let It Ride Stable,” Cherry said. “I look forward to working with Sam as he has great plans for the future of the farm and to turn it into a premier facility.” Sam Stathis was born in Greece and immigrated to the USA with his family at age 7. He is a passionate entrepreneur, investor, developer, engineer, inventor and philanthropist with extensive experience in starting and operating multimillion dollar companies on a domestic and international basis. He also owns Celebrity Farms in Goshen, NY where he has a stable of horse and breeds Standardbreds for racing. “This is going to be very exciting,” Stathis said. “I can’t wait to begin making improvements and moving forward. Now New York and Florida are my home and I can have the best of both worlds in winter and summer.” By Steve Wolf   

New Jersey Sire Stakes harness racing action for 3-year-old trotting fillies kicked off Thursday night at Meadowlands Racetrack. Lost Symbol stood out amongst the group of fillies after capturing her third straight win of the season with ease in the second division.

Eric Cherry respects harness racing tradition but is adamant it should remain in the past. He believes officialdom who is running the industry today need to let such tradition go because it is doing nothing to entice the younger generation into the sport.

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