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CHESTER, PA - Amigo Volo broke the harness racing world record for two-year-old trotting geldings on a 5/8-mile track with a 1:54.4 victory, winning in one of four divisions of the $188,420 second preliminary round event in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes  at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday. Hall Of Famer driver David S. Miller, who won the last four races before taking off midcard for night stakes action, guided the altered son of Father Patrick - Margarita Momma to the lead near the :27.2 quarter, going past early leader EL Ideal, then put up middle fractions of :57.1 and 1:26. EL Ideal moved out to challenge in the lane, but Amigo Volo had enough in reserve to stay a length clear of his rival for trainer Nifty Norman and owners David J. Miller and the Pinske Stables. The 1:54.4 clocking reduced by a click the previous record co-held by three horses, each of them getting their share of that record at a different Pennsylvania track: Correctamundo at The Meadows in 2009; Mississippi Storm at Harrah's in 2017; and White Tiger last year at Pocono. Miller and Norman teamed up for a second stakes success with the Muscle Hill colt Chestnut Hill in 1:56.2. Out of the $1.3M-winning mare Poof She's Gone and a $410,000 yearling investment for Melvin Hartman, David McDuffee, and Little E LLC, Chestnut Hill is beginning to show return on the big investment, following up a 1:56 win at The Meadowlands with this powerful victory, during which he rushed to the lead down the backstretch and drew off to win by 5 1/2 lengths. Chestnut Hill joins his stablemate Amigo Volo in sporting a 2 for 3 lifetime record. Muscle Hill picked up a second siring credit when Swiss House On Fire, another expensive yearling ($335,000, out of the mare Brooklyn and with two full brothers going 1:53.1 or better at two), came out of the pocket to get the stretch lead for trainer/driver Ã…ke Svanstedt and then held off Ontopofthehill by a length in 1:57.4, his maiden victory. The S R F Stable is the owner of the developing baby. The Explosive Matter - Fifty Shades colt Can't Say No controlled the throttle after an early move by driver Tim Tetrick, holding off King Alphonso by a length in a 1:56 victory in the other PaSS cut. Can't Say No now has won three of four, including a Pennsylvania All-Stars division, in his brief career for trainer Ray Schnittker, also co-owner with Steven Arnold, Arden Homestead Stable, and Fred Hertrich III. This group meets up again at The Meadows next Saturday and Pocono the Sunday after that before the top colts, along with their fellow freshman stars, return to Harrah's for the 2YO Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship Day on Sunday, September 8. George Napolitano Jr. won three of the card's last four races to tie David Miller with four driving victories on the day. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

Pompano Beach, FL - The "celebrities" are at Eldorado Pompano Park this season, both on and the off the harness racing track. Celebrity Stallone recently qualified this past Tuesday at Pompano Park and low and behold in the race paddock and then on the track apron was Dante Stallone, the younger half-brother of world-renowned Hollywood star, Sylvester Stallone. It was announced by owner Sam Stathis of Celebrity Farms, NY, that Dante Stallone has purchased a share and is now a part-owner of the Father Patrick colt, Celebrity Stallone. Stathis is also Dante Stallone's business manager. "I have known Dante for a number of years," said Stathis. "And always promised him one day I would name a good colt after him and his family and that day has come. Dante wants to learn more about harness racing so I sold him a share of the horse." Dante Stallone, 21, is attending Florida State University and studying towards a bachelor of science degree in biological science. He also works in his spare time as an actor, producer and screenwriter. "Before being introduced to the world of harness racing," Stallone said. "The only experience I had with the sport was what I saw on TV. Getting licensed and now owning my own horse legitimizes my interests. It still seems so surreal." After getting his owners license, Stallone was treated to a ride in the starting gate to watch a qualifying race. All Standardbred horses must trot or pace in a certain standard of time in order to be qualified to race at the track. "This was my first time at the racetrack," Stallone said. "And what a blast it was. I had the best seat in the house to view my first race while riding in the starting gate." Celebrity Stallone did very well as the two-year-old finished third and was race timed in 2:00.4. "From what I observed," Stallone said. "Celebrity Stallone has major promise on the track. After gaining some more experience I believe he'll be a force to be reckoned with." Stallone said it was nearly a perfect night at the races. "The track was beautiful, the Eldorado casino was fantastic, and the restaurant superb," Stallone added. "We ate at Farradday's Steakhouse after the qualifying races and what great food and service. Also, I got my first taste of the thrill of horse gambling, losing $50 dollars on a shady tip!" Stallone, who is on Christmas break from college, will be in south Florida for a month and Sam Stathis said his education into harness racing will be fast and furious. "Already Friday morning I had Dante here at Olympia Palm Beach (formerly the South Florida Trotting Center)," Stathis said. "And Dante is learning how to groom horses, put on a harness and even got to take Celebrity Stallone on the racetrack in one of our Theometrics Exotic Chariots. "We are already working on a special night at Pompano Park," Stathis explained. "When both Celebrity Stallone and Celebrity Eventsy are both racing, we will be inviting newcomers from all over South Florida via networking, to come out for a night of fun, hear about fractional ownership, get to meet Dante, and learning about how great harness racing is." The event date, times and location at Eldorado Pompano Park will be announced shortly. For more information, visit www.worldchariot.org. By Steve Wolf, for Celebrity Farms  

Diamond Creek Farm is pleased to announce that superstar harness racing trotting sire, Father Patrick is booked full and closed for 2019.   Father Patrick is currently the leading first year sire in average earnings per foal, ranking in the top three among all sires.  His impressive, yet limited, first crop included horses such as NJ and KY Sire Stakes Champion, Whispering Oaks, and the Champlain Stake winner, Hudson River, among many other stake winners.    His success continued to the yearling sales, where his first full crop of yearlings were well received.  In Harrisburg, his highly anticipated yearlings averaged for $119,000, bringing up to $300,000, making him just one of 2 stallions to average over $100,000.  In Lexington they averaged over $87,000, where on day 1 alone, he sold 9 yearlings over $100,000.    Final selections for Father Patrick's book will be made this week.   Whispering Oaks - Kentucky Sire Stakes Final     Whispering Oaks - International Stallion Stakes    

There were 157 that were cataloged in the September 12-13 Asta Super Selezionata Yearlings Trottatori sale. 25 head brought 40,000€ or more with Brother Wise AS the leader at 230,000€ to Scuderia Bivans. This one is a son of Father Patrick from Arch Magic by SJs Photo. This dam is a half-sister to the exceptional Arch Madness by Balanced Image. Buyers from throughout Europe were very active with Scuderia Bivans acquiring three of the top 25. . Prodotto presentato da: ALLEVAMENTO DELLA SERENISSIMA SS Di proprietà di ALLEV. DELLA SERENISSIMA SS, AZ. AGR. GIDIEFFE, SCUD. WISE H 76 BROTHER WISE AS MASCHIO BAIO nato il 29/03/17 Self Possessed 1.51.3 Cantab Hall 1.54.0 Canland Hall 1.57.0 Father Patrick 1.50.2 Enjoy Lavec 1.52.0 Gala Dream Maple Frosting Primrose Lane 1.13.0 Kadabra 1.09.4 Quillo Arch Magic Sj's Photo 1.53.0 Armbro Archer Armbro Perfect 1ª madre ARCH MAGIC (2008da Kadabra) Sorella del Campione del Mondo ARCH MADNESS, a 3 1.52.2, A 4 anni 1.50.2 £ 4.288.981. Madre di: STIRLIN DERVISH (f, 2012 Credit Winner ) 2. 2.03. h – 1 vittoria e $19.600 ARCH CREDIT ( m, 2014 Credit Winner ) 2,1.57.2s ; 3, 1.55f, 4, 1.54f – 5 vittorie e $116.193 ZARCH WISE AS (m, 2015 da Lucky Chucky) 1.13.5 – 2 vittorie e E 16.410. 2018 – 2° Eliminatoria Breeders Course (Wolvega) 2 ª madre ARMBRO ARCHER ( 2000 da Sj’s Photo ) Madre di : ARCH MADNESS ( c, 2004 da Balanced Image) a 3 anni 1.52.2, a 4 anni 1.50.2, $ 4.288.981 ( campione del mondo) , A 3 anni vinc Eliminatoria e finale Breeders Crown ONTSS, Super final, secondo Heat e finale Kentucky Futurity ONTSS Gold elim e finale, e CanadianTrotting Final. A 4 anni Vincitore Maple Leaf Trot, 2° Breeders Crown, Nat Ray Trot, Fuinale Classic Series e Titan Cup. A 5 anni Vincitore Credit Winner Trot e Maple Leaf Elim,, 2° in Maple Leaf Trot e Breeders Crown. A 6 anni ottiene il record del mondo in Pista da 1000 metri vincendo il Cutler Memorial e 2 Su Mac LadSeries. A 7 anni vince: Titan Cup, Oslo Gran Prix e batterie Elitlopp, 2° Maple Leaf Trot e Nat Ray. A 8 anni 2° Titan Cup ed in batteria e finale Elitlopp e 3° in Oslo Gran Prix. A 9 anni 2° Elitlopp Finale. ABRAKADABRA ( m, 2005 da Kadabra ) 1.57 vincitore di $ 62.497, a 2 anni 3° in ONTSS, A 4 anni piazzato in 1.55.4. IRON WILL ( m, 2006 da Credit Winner ) a 3 anni 2.00.1 a 4 anni 1.53.4 f $ 287.853 piazzato in Stakes. ARABELLA HALL ( f, 2009 da Donato Hanover ) A 2 anni 2.01, il suo primo prodotto CHARGIN CADET 3,1.57.1 h – 7 vittorie e $ 100.004. A ROD HALL (c, 2012 da Deweycheatumnhowe ) 1.53.4 – 12 vittorie e $150.710. A 3 anni Vincitore di OSS Grassroots a Kawartha 3 ª madre Armbro Perfect ( 1994 da Mearly Perfect ) madre di: ARMBRO VISION ( m, 1998 da Balanced Image ) 1.54 $ 240.031 ARMBRO DECIMAL ( m, da Striking Sahbra ) 1.57 f stakes Winner di $ 133.850 ARMBRO TERRIFIC (m, Balanced Image) 2,2.05.0h – 1 vittoria e $10,873 ISCRIZIONI ALLE CORSE AMERICANE / STAKES ENGAGEMENTS SS Pennsylvania Sires, SS Swedish Breeders Crown, International Stallion, Bluegrass Series, Breeders Crown, Hambletonian/Hambletonian Oaks, Kentucky Futurity, Yonkers / Hudson, Zweig Memorial Filly Brother Wise AS video: https://vimeo.com/287140740 by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Goshen, NY - The Living Horse Hall of Fame Committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced the slate of six candidates for election into the Hall of Fame. The nominees are: ART MAJOR CAPTAINTREACHEROUS FATHER PATRICK FOILED AGAIN PEACEFUL WAY SWEET LOU Standardbred horses are elected into harness racing's Living Horse Hall of Fame by the members of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Beginning this year, SIX candidates will be presented to the Museum membership for consideration. Ballots will be mailed to members in November. The THREE top vote getters will be inducted into the Living Horse Hall of Fame on Hall of Fame Day - July 7, 2019 - in Goshen, New York. If you wish to participate in the Living Horse Hall of Fame election process and are not currently a Museum member, please contact the Museum before October 31 to become a member. In July 2018, the Board of Trustees of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame approved a revised set of Living Horse Hall of Fame eligibility criteria. Those criteria are as follows: A racehorse must be retired from racing for two years and have had a drug-free career. In addition, racehorses must have been the winner of $2.5 million lifetime WITH 2 Dan Patch Awards, OR been the winner of $3 million lifetime, OR been named Dan Patch (U.S.) Harness Horse of the Year. Horses over the age of 12 that are still racing and meet the criteria are also eligible. A racemare must be retired from racing for two years and have had a drug-free career. In addition, racemares must have been the winner of $1.5 million lifetime WITH 2 Dan Patch Awards, OR been the winner of $2.5 million lifetime, OR been named Dan Patch (U.S.) Harness Horse of the Year. Mares over the age of 12 that are still racing and meet the criteria are also eligible. Stallions must rank among the 10 all-time leading moneywinning sires at their gait, OR have sired at least 100 $200,000 winners, OR been a leading moneywinning sire at his gait in three or more seasons. Annually on March 1st, a list of broodmares that have produced two Dan Patch winners, OR two millionaires, OR one Dan Patch winner and one millionaire will be assembled for the Living Horse Hall of Fame Committee to review. Committee members can also nominate a broodmare that does not meet the criteria. Each of the committee members votes for his or her top 5 broodmares, voting results are tabulated and the top two vote getters are elected to the Living Horse Hall of Fame. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open Tuesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thanks to industry support the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and $4 per person for group docent-guided tours. For information on the Museum, membership, special events, gift shop services and educational programs the Museum offers, please call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. Additional funding provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. by Janet Terhune, for the Harness Racing Musuem 

FREEHOLD, NJ -  Freehold Racing hosted another harness racing weekend of New Jersey stakes races. On Friday (Aug 31) the first leg of the 2-year-old colt trotters NJ Standard Development Fund with a purse of $7,500, while the 3-year-old open NJ Futurity went on Saturday (Sept 1). No Drama Please took the first leg of the NJSDF for 2-year-old colt trotters in 1:58.3 for trainer Julie Miller. The Yankee Glide colt, bred by TLP Stable of New Jersey, notched win number two for owner Stroy Inc. American Dream Boy finished second with Cheap Tricks in third. The second division went to Nick Drennan trainee Warrior One, the odds-on favorite in 2:01.0. The son of Father Patrick earned his first-lifetime win for owners Joseph Davine, Brad Shackman and Drennan Stable LLC. Gerris Trix was a close second with The Light In Me third. The New Jersey Futurity for 3-year-old pacers with a purse of $15,475 was won on Saturday (Sept 1) by Hypnotic Tale. The Hypnotic Blue Chip mare is owned by Ronald Mario and trained by Ross Croghan. Melanie's Fran was second with Dream Police Woman coming in third. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

MILTON, ON - August 30, 2018 - Grand Circuit week kicked off Thursday at Woodbine Mohawk Park with three divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. A total of 28 rookie trotting fillies competed Thursday in three divisions totaling $202,476. Jimmy Takter trainee Susy took advantage of calling the shots on the front to win the first division in 1:55.4. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Susy trotted out from post-five to claim the lead without an issue and posted a :29 opener. Gingras didn't face any pressure in the second-quarter and got away with a :30.3 panel to put the race to bed. Susy opened nearly six-lengths on her rivals to reach three-quarters in 1:28 and finished the mile strong in :27.4 to win by 5 ¾ lengths. Sisters Promise also trotted a :27.4 final-quarter to finish in the Place spot after moving from fifth to second on the far turn. Champagne Jane was third. "She's very nice and did everything right," said Gingras after driving Susy for the first-time. "I was able to have a real cheap half and at the point we just took off and it was catch me if you can." A daughter of Father Patrick, Susy is the eighth-foal from Solveig. She is now two for five and has earned $44,163 for owners Christina Takter and Solveigs Racing Partners. Susy paid $4.40 to win. Ted MacDonnell trainee Teddys Littleangel converted off a second-over trip to win the second division in 1:57.1. Driven by Paul MacDonell, Teddys Littleangel got away sixth and was able to angle out in the second-quarter to follow the race-favourite Fraulein Blucher. Sette Deo rushed fourth to first on the backstretch to lead the field at the half in :59.2 and three-quarters in 1:28.1. Teddys Littleangel was tipped three-wide turning for home and surged by rivals to trot home in :28.2 and win by 3 ½ lengths. Princess Deo followed the winner to grab second, while Cambridge Kate, who led at the opening-quarter, was third. "She's come a long way in a short time," said MacDonell. "It looked like there was few leaving and I saw Chris' horse duck in, so I thought maybe I'll just get in behind him. "I had to wrestle her a little bit and once I got her settled in behind his helmet she was pretty good. She swelled up nice on the last turn and had lots coming home." A daughter of Archangel, Teddys Littleangel is now three for five and all three victories have come in different levels of stakes action (OSS Grassroots, OSS Gold and Grand Circuit). She has now earned $81,755 for owner/breeder Leonard Gamble. Teddys Littleangel paid $14.70 to win. Dustin Jones trainee Tommi Canu Hearme capitalized on miscues from the favourites to win the third division in 1:58.1. Driven by Chris Christoforou, Tommi Canu Hearme got away fifth in the field of 10. Race-favourite The Ice Dutchess and second-choice Speed Titan made breaks before the first turn to change the landscape of the race. Angies Luckeylady called the shots on the front, posting fractions of :28.2, :59.4 and 1:29.2. Tommi Canu Hearme was moved to the outside on the far turn, as Angies Luckeylady was confronted by Avalonia. In the stretch, Tommi Canu Hearme shot by her rivals to snag the lead entering the final-eighth and trotted on to win by three-quarters of a length. Evident Beauty rallied from seventh to finish second, while Grimmie Hanover was third. Tommi Canu Hearme was making her first start with trotting hopples after making a break in an OSS Gold on August 10. "I was a little bullheaded, I should've put them on a few weeks ago and finally we broke down after that last break and put them on," said Jones, who expects Thursday's victory to have a good impact on his filly going forward. "She wears an open bridle, so she can see everything going on around her. She knows she won." A daughter of Royalty For Life, Tommi Canu Hearme broke her maiden with Thursday's Grand Circuit victory. She is now one for four and has earned $40,952 for owners Dustin Jones Stables Inc, Hebert Horses Inc and Sjoblom Racing Stable. Tommi Canu Hearme returned $81.50 to win. Grand Circuit action continues Friday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park with three divisions of the Champlain for two-year-old trotters and a division of the Simcoe for three-year-old trotting fillies. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications  

East Rutherford, NJ - This Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB) sponsored by Fashion Farms, final edition, got off with a bang this morning with the Father Patrick filly Sister's Promise coming from mid-pack to win in 1:58.1 / 27.4 for Tim Tetrick. Biding their time as Amazato (Trond Smedshammer) led the field by the half in 1:00.2 and 1:30.2 three panels, when Tetrick fanned Sister's Promise wide in the stretch she sailed by under her own power to win by 3½ lengths over that rival, her last quarter timed in 27.2. Linda Toscano trains the winner for Brittany Farms who paid $120,000 for her at Harrisburg and Fred Hertrich, III is the breeder. Aldebaranwalkabout (Andy Miller) survived the furious close of White Tiger (Anthony McDonald) to win the third in 1:56.2. Left with a long lead after a few broke behind him, the winner passed the three quarters alone in 1:28 while White Tiger was maneuvered around traffic, trotting an individual 27.1 home to just miss. Aldebaran Park bred and owns the winning son of Muscle Hill. The enigmatic Greenshoe made another strong impression this morning with an absolutely effortless 1:55.1 jaunt for Brian Sears, trotting home alone in 27 flat with the driver motionless. With Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations unnecessary, this served as a prep for the $422,350 stake on Hambletonian Day. The Father Patrick colt, a $330,000 Lexington Select buy for Anders Strom as Courant, INC was bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz. Donald DuPont won with Roy Dobbins homebred Muscle Hill filly Misscheckmatehill in 2:00. 3, holding Bride (DR Ackerman) at bay through the stretch. Another impressive homebred kicked off the pacing races as the 3 Brothers Stable's JK Mardi Says zipped around the oval all by herself in 1:55.2 for Scott Zeron. Left to a long lead throughout the 1:00.1 half and 1:28.1 three panels, the Somebeachsomewhere filly sprinted home in 27.1 on her own. Nancy Johansson trains her. In the season finale for BWTB the Sweet Lou half-brother to Vintage Master and Great Vintage Division Bell (Josert Fonseca) took a 1:53.4 record for owner/breeders Christina Takter and John Fielding. Jimmy Takter is, of course, the trainer. The day closed with Pure Country, the "Grande Dame" of Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Farms zooming around the course in 1:51.3 / 26.1 for Brian Sears as she prepares for the Lady Liberty and the second half of the 2018 campaign. It was just a year ago that trainer Jimmy Takter qualified her in an amazing 1:48 flat which launched the now 5-year-old champion into another Dan Patch award winning season, making her the only female in Standardbred history to win that prestigious award at ages 2,3 and 4. It looks like she's raced herself back into contention for one more shot at the title. Live racing returns tonight when the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations highlight the 12 race card. It's also Seafood Fest with a variety of purveyors offering their culinary delights for you dining pleasure. Post time is 7:15 pm. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The two eliminations for the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old fillies on the trot were not safe for chalk players Friday night at the Meadowlands. Over a sloppy track that was battered by rain all night long, the first elim saw the top two betting choices go off stride as Susy (9-5) faltered around the first turn and Speed Titan (5-2) on the final turn. That left the door open for the tote board to light up. Special Honor, driven by Andy Miller and trained by Andy's wife Julie, was actually not even in play in the early stages of the race. In fact, at three-quarters she was in front of but one horse (Susy), but the daughter of Father Patrick-Honor Thy Daughter started to gather momentum heading into the stretch, swerved to the two path mid-lane and then found a seam in deep stretch to gun down the fast-closing The Ice Dutchess by a nose in a lifetime-best 1:55.1. Special Honor returned $38.60 to win. The exacta, comprised of an 18-1 shot over a 17-1 chance, returned $434.40. Hanna Dreamgirl, Hanovers Best and Jezzys Legacy were the third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishers, respectively, and earned a berth in next week's $357,450 Doherty Final. The second elim was contested in a deluge, and after 6-1 shot Starita yielded the early lead to 3-5 chalk Beautiful Sin, this result did not appear to be in doubt. The field raced well away from the rail as the rains continued to fall and Beautiful Sin turned for home on a safe 1½-length lead. Or so it appeared. In deep stretch, Beautiful Sin got leg weary and drifted away from the rail. That's when David Miller asked Starita for trot, and she gave him just enough to nip the favorite at the wire by a nose racing along the inside. Starita, a daughter of Trixton-Morningstar, paid $14.00 to win after completing the mile in a lifetime-best 1:55.2. The third- through fifth-place finishers earning a spot in the final were Fate Smiled, Swizzle Sticks and Whispering Oaks. A LITTLE MORE: One astute player in Ontario was the only bettor to survive seven legs of the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $15,469. ... David Miller drove three winners on the program, while Brett Miller, Corey Callahan and Andy McCarthy had two apiece. ... All-source wagering on the card totaled $1,621,378. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Atop the marquee sit a pair of Hambletonian Oaks eliminations, featuring Manchego, Hey Blondie, Phaetosive and the fastest-ever 3-year-old trotter regardless of sex, Plunge Blue Chip (1:49.4). by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands   

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - July 8, 2018 - The Meadowlands hosted the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds on Friday night. The pacing races competed for $15,000 each while the trotters raced for $20,000 each. The six 2-year-old NJSS races included one division for pacing colts and one for the fillies, the trotters were split into two divisions for the fillies and two divisions for the colts. The first NJSS was raced off the card for 2-year-old pacing colts. Hurrikane Emperor, son of Hurrikane Kingcole, was once again the winner of that division for trainer John McDermott Jr. in 1:56.1. Leaving from post position number two to take the lead, and despite a bobble in the stretch, driver Dan Dube got him back on gait in time to win. Hurrikane Emperor is now two for two in lifetime starts for owners Johnathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing LLC, Pegasis Investment Group and George Viemo. Clintock finished second while Black Dan came in third. Mollydooker, trained by Tony Alagna, took the pacing division for the 2-year-old fillies in the first race of the regular scheduled card. Driver Brett Miller moved Mollydooker first up to take the lead at the half and win in 1:55.1. Owned by Visionary Breeders LLC, the Great Vintage sired Mollydooker has her first lifetime win. Hurrikane Lori Ann and Hurrikanesky dead heated for second. The first division of the 2-year-old trotting fillies, was won by odds on favorite French Cafe trained by Julie Miller. Andy Miller sat patiently with French Cafe and stormed past the competition in the stretch to win in 1:58.1. The Father Patrick filly notched her first win of the season for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Given finished second while Sari Bout It came in third. Joe Holloway's Father Patrick sired Lucius Vorenus took the next race on the card, the first division of the NJSS for 2-year-old trotting colts. Lucius Vorenus and David Miller held off a charging Soul Strong in the stretch to win in 1:58.0. Lucius Vorenus is owned and bred by Crawford Farms Racing. Soul Strong finished a strong second and Gerris Trix was third. Odds on favorite Battenberg gave trainer Joe Holloway the sweep in the NJSS for 2-year-old trotting colts. The son of Trixton was able to find the wire before No Drama Please could catch him in 1:55.4. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing and Val D'Or Farms, Battenberg now has his first lifetime win. Finishing a very close second was No Drama Please and Galixton was third. The last NJSS of the night was for the 2-year-old trotting fillies, where Mother Bonnie upset the favorite for trainer Noel Daley. Andrew McCarthy steered the Trixton sired Mother Bonnie to the front to wire the field in 1:55.0. Mother Bonnie is owned and bred by Robert McNerney and Hauser Bros Rcng Ent LLC. The favorite Special Honor held on for second while Golden Tricks took third place. The final for all the 2-year-old NJSS divisions will be held on Friday, July 13, 2018 at the Meadowlands. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ  -  June 29, 2018 - The Meadowlands hosted the first leg of NJSS for 2-year-old pacers and trotters on Friday night. The New Jersey harness racing pacing colts raced off the card in a single division while the fillies raced on the card in their single division both for $15,000. The $20,000 NJSS for trotters were split and went two division for both the colts and fillies all on the card. The NJSS for 2-year-old colts was the first contested off the regular card. Hurrikane Emperor left the gait from the rail position to win his first lifetime start in 1:53.1 for trainer John McDermott Jr. The son of Hurrikane Kingcole is owned and bred by Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing LLC and Pegasis Investment Group. Clintock finished second while Black Dan was third. Another John McDermott Jr. trainee Hurrikane Lori Ann took the 2-year-old pacing fillies division in 1:56.4. Sired by Lis Mara the filly is starting her year off right for owners Johnathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing LLC, Pegasis Investment Group and George Viemo. Hurrikanesky took second while Love Love Me Too was third. The first division of the 2-year-old trotting colts went to morning line favorite Greenshoe after making a break at the start. Greenshoe got back on gait and made a huge move heading to the three-quarter pole to win in 1:56.2 for trainer Marcus Melander. The son of Father Patrick is owned by Courant Inc. Lucius Vorenus came in a close second while Sheena’s Boy finished third. The second division of trotting colts was won by another Father Patrick sired 2-year-old, Hudson River. Hudson River trained by Jimmy Takter came first up at the half to take the lead and stop the clock in 1:55.2. This is Hudson River’s first start and first win for owners Christina Takter and Goran Falk. A tight second went to Battenberg while third place was Trix and Stones. The 2-year-old trotting fillies kicked off their first leg in the 9th race with odds on favorite Special Honor taking the field in 1:57.1 for trainer Julie Miller. The Father Patrick sired filly moved to the front at the quarter and cruised home for owners Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Strita finished second and Devilish Delight came in third. The second division for the fillies was also won by a daughter of Father Patrick. Whispering Oaks nosed out the competition in the lane to win in 1:55.4 for trainer Jimmy Takter. Whispering Oaks is owned by Brixton Medical Inc, Herb Liverman and R A W Equine Inc. French Cafe finished a very close second while Atonement was third. The second leg of NJSS for 2-year-old pacers and trotters will be held on July 6, 2018 at the Meadowlands. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

Manalapan, NJ --- Trainer Scott DiDomenico got his first look at a new addition to his stable during Monday's (June 18) qualifiers for 2-year-olds at Gaitway Farm while trainer Ron Burke got his final look at a number of horses that will soon begin their racing careers. Both were pleased. DiDomenico's newcomer was 2-year-old female pacer So Awesome, who won her qualifier in 1:56.4 with Tim Tetrick in the sulky. So Awesome was purchased by Bill Hartt on June 13 following a qualifying win at Saratoga in 1:57.4 for former owner-trainer Tony Ciuffetelli. So Awesome is a daughter of So Surreal out of Teddy Ballgirl. "She looks like she's pretty good," DiDomenico said. "To this point it looks like she's got a shot to be special. We haven't done much with her, but everything she's done has been professional. So far so good. Hopefully I don't mess her up. It was a good first step." Burke had eight winners among the 11 races for the 2-year-olds. Three from the Burke Brigade picked up their second wins of the three-week qualifying sessions at Gaitway -- male pacers De Los Cielos Deo and Semi Tough as well as female pacer Warrawee Ubeaut. De Los Cielos Deo, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Lisjune, won in 1:52.3. Purchased for $140,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, he is a half-brother to Dan Patch Award-winner I Luv The Nitelife and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and the Weaver Bruscemi partnership. Semi Tough, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Jan It Jackson, won by 12 lengths in 1:53.4. The colt, who was purchased for $115,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, is owned by Burke Racing, Frank Baldachino, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. His family includes stakes-winner Sunshine Beach. Warrawee Ubeaut, a daughter of Sweet Lou out of Great Memories, paced her mile in 1:54.3. She was a $70,000 purchase at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and the Weaver Bruscemi partnership. She is a half-sister to O'Brien Award-winning millionaire Warrawee Needy. Burke's remaining winners among 2-year-olds were male pacer Warrawee Unique, female pacer Typhoon, male trotter Cheap Tricks, and female trotters Atonement and Fade Into You. Warrawee Unique, by Sweet Lou out of Queen Fourteen, won in 1:54. Purchased for $160,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, she is owned by Burke Racing, Crawford Farms, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. His family includes 2010 Metro Pace winner Mystician and Ontario stars Camystic and Lucks Mistress. Typhoon, by A Rocknroll Dance out of Hallie Gallie, won in 1:57.2. She was purchased for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Bill Donovan. Typhoon's second dam is Dan Patch Award-winner Galleria, who is the dam of stakes-winners Gallie Bythe Beach and Western Gallie. Cheap Tricks, by Trixton out of Maud Blue Chip, won in 1:58.1 for owners Burke Racing, Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi. She was purchased for $65,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Fade Into You, by Cantab Hall out of Fortunes Of Fables, won in 1:56.4. She is owned by Burke Racing, Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi and was purchased for $65,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. Her family includes stakes-winners Flawless Bluestone and Feed Your Head. Atonement, by Father Patrick out of Swan Hot Mama, won in 2:00. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm, she is owned by Diamond Creek Racing. She is a half-sister to stakes-winner Repentance. Her family also includes stakes-winner Swan For All and Swan In A Million. "For our better ones, this was it," Burke said about the qualifiers. "They might start in an overnight, but a lot of them will go to stakes right off this. "De Los Cielos Deo is probably as good a colt as we've had in a long time. I also thought Semi Tough was very impressive today and Fade Into You, (Warrawee) Ubeaut and (Warrawee) Unique were very good too. For Unique, that was good. His first start (a sixth-place finish) was disappointing; that was totally out of character. We've always thought he was just a step below De Los, and even here they were starting to think it was a tossup. We're thrilled." The day's remaining two winners among 2-year-olds came from the stable of trainer Julie Miller, who won with female trotter Ev's Girl and male trotter No Drama Please. Ev's Girl, by Crazed out of Lindys Lullaby, won in 1:58.4. She is owned by Andy Miller Stable, Harvey Eisman and Little E LLC and was purchased for $29,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. She also won a qualifier on June 4. No Drama Please, by Trixton out of Female Drama, won in 1:57.4. He is owned by Stroy Inc. and was purchased for $54,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. Trainer Tom Fanning, who like Burke, DiDomenico and Miller is based at Gaitway, sent out his entire group of four 2-year-olds for their debuts on Monday, with female pacer Trillions Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Tutu Hanover) losing by a nose to Typhoon and female pacer Unspoken Promise (Somebeachsomewhere-Pucker Up) losing by a neck to So Awesome after leading for nearly the entire mile with Andy Miller in the sulky. "They all went good," Fanning said. "We don't train them in (1):56 before these races, they all went about (2):01. They all paced good. Andy really liked Unspoken Promise. She opened up by like seven (lengths) and got lost on the lead. She was kind of waiting for someone to come up on her. "We'll probably go to (Harrah's Philadelphia) next week (to qualify) and then they'll go in a race depending on how they come out of it. There's not a lot of stress here, a little bit of a home-court advantage. It's just another day for them." Food and refreshments were provided during the three weeks of qualifying at Gaitway Farm by sponsors Colts Neck Equine, Cunningham & Cunningham Equine Insurance, Deo Volente Farms, Dey Equine Veterinarians, Fair Winds Farm, Freehold Raceway, Goshen Yearling Sale, Heritage Hill Farm, Meadowlands Racetrack, Northwood Bloodstock, Preferred Equine, SBOA-NJ, Southwind Farms, Tattersalls, TrotPac, Walnridge Farm, and Wedgewood Pharmacy. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

East Rutherford, NJ - Breakfast With The Babies sponsored by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms took place at The Meadowlands on a grand Saturday morning with clear skies, little breeze and temps in the mid-70's at 10am.   It turned out to be Father Patrick day as that first crop sire had five winners in the seven trotting races. an impressive showing indeed.   Trotting fillies opened the card with Whispering Oaks a 1:57.3 win, the second in a many appearances for the imposing $100,000 (LEX Select) Father Patrick filly. Yannick Gingras sat chilly with Whispering Oaks tight on the back of Frauline Blucher (Marcus Johansson) as that rival set moderate fractions, then tipped his charge as they turned home and she exploded by with a 28 flat final quarter.   Jimmy Takter trains the winner for Brixton Medical, Herb Liverman and RAW Equine. Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband are the breeders.   Father Patrick got another credit when Devilish Delight won the second race in 1:58 / 28.4 for Andy McCarthy. She did it all on her own, setting comfortable fractions then sprinted home to easily hold Caviart Jenny (Johansson) and the rest of the field at bay. Tom Dillion paid $80,000 for Devilish Delight in Lexington last fall, buying from breeder Kentuckiana Farms. Jonas Czernyson trains.   Special Honor by, guess who, Father Patrick took the third for Andy Miller in 1:58.1 / 27.4. She converted a perfect trip, tracking Given (Gingras) until headstretch then ground past that stubborn rival as they neared the wire. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld bred and own Special Honor.   The fourth race this morning saw two talented, well-bred filly trotters square-off and it went as if scripted. The Muscle Hill x Sina lass Beautiful Sin (Gingras) wore down French Café (Andy Miller), another Father Patrick this one from Creamy Mimi, through a stretch-long battle to win in 1:56.4 / 28.1.   While Isolde (Dave Miller) was rank on the lead early through fast fractions, French Café followed in the pocket before gliding by that rival around the final bend with Beautiful Sin in close pursuit. In the stretch both fillies dug in gamely and it did take a photo to determine Beautiful Sin as the winner. Lennart Agrin paid $480,000 for Beautiful Sin at the Lexington sale last fall and she races under his SRF Stable banner for trainer Jimmy Takter. Jeff Gural and the Moon Goddesses bred and raised the winner.   Colt trotters came around in the 5th and Kredit Karma (David Miller) led all the way to win in 1:58.2 / 27.4 over Amico Mio B (Jordan Stratton). The winner was a $110,000 (LEX Select) Credit Winner bred by Steve Jones and Fair Winds Farm and now owned by Our Horse Cents Stable. Marcus Melander is the trainer.   Hudson River became yet another credit for Father Patrick when he won in 1:58.2 with trainer Jimmy Takter at the lines. Hudson River took the field by the 1:00.3 half, yielded to stablemate and eventual second place finisher Gerris Trix (Gingras) then trotted by that one in deep stretch for the score. Hudson River is a homebred racing for Christina Takter and Goran Falk.   Saving perhaps the best for last and making five winners on the day for Father Patrick was the highly regarded colt Greenshoe. He turned heads when he won in 1:55 with the greatest of ease two weeks ago and returned with another impressive win this morning, albeit a bit slower in 1:56.1 / 28.1 with Brian Sears driving for trainer Marcus Melander.   Greenshoe was pretty fresh scoring and anxious behind the gate but Sears was able to soothe him away with the good colt Don't Let'em (Gingras) landing on his back. Moderate fractions ensued with no real trotting done until midway through the stretch when Gingras moved Don't Let'em out to challenge and made a bit ground but couldn't threaten the winner. Anders Strom using his nom d'course of Courant, Inc bought the Greenshoe in Lexington last fall for $330,000 from breeders Libfeld and Katz.   JK American Beauty took the first pacing race in 1:56.1 for Tim Tetrick. She was just up over Wicked N Wonderful (Gingras) with Mollydooker going off stride when pacing fast at the wire. Nancy Johansson trains the American Ideal filly for owner/breeder 3 Brothers Stable.   Hurrikane Norakane (Dan Dube) was a 1:56.3 winner for trainer John Mc Dermott, Jr. Trapped until very late, when a seam appeared the Art Major filly shot through to nip Odds On Clearwater (Scott Zeron). Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investments and George Vierno own the $24,000 Harrisburg purchase who was bred by Twinbrook LTD.   Blood Money (Gingras), representing the first crop by Sweet Lou, took the 10th in 1:54.2 / 27 just holding off the furious late rally of Hurrikane Emperor (Dube). The homebred is now two for two for Takter and Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Racing.   The exact same connections came right back to win the last of the 2-year-old races with Blacklight in 1:56 / 27.2. Yannick held the Somebeachsomewhere colt from champion mare I Luv The Nitelife well back early then unleashed him in deep stretch to nail Waterway (Brett Miller) in the last step. Another good Diamond Creek homebred prospect in the Takter barn.   Hey Blondie took a handy qualifier in 1:53.2 for Andy McCarthy in a race where Tactical Landing set brisk fractions before rolling off stride as they turned home.   Live racing tonight at The Meadowlands highlighting the annual appearance by the Camel and Ostriches.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands    

Nevele R Stud is thrilled to announce another exciting addition to their already elite trotting sires ranks, in the form of arguably North America's best young square-gaiter in recent years Father Patrick t2, 1:52.2f; t3, 1:50.4f ($2,600,571) - the richest and fastest son of champion harness racing sire Cantab Hall. The US and Canadian 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year in 2013 and US 3YO Trotting Colt of the Year in 2014, Father Patrick was an exceptional racehorse, winning 23 races and $2.6 million in stakes. As a 2-year-old Father Patrick won 10 of his 11 starts with 7 of these in sub 1:55 times, including a world record performance of 1:52.2 when taking out a Breeders Crown elimination at Pocono Downs. His major victories at 2 included the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final, the $365,000 Wellwood Memorial by five and a half lengths, the $280,000 Peter Haughton Memorial, the Champlain Stakes (again by a margin of five lengths) and the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile, Lexington. As a 3-year-old, Father Patrick was the richest standardbred of the year, winning a massive $1.7 million in stakes in a very fruitful season that saw the outstanding youngster record back-to-back victories in the Breeders Crown, as well as wins in the Beal Memorial, Canadian Trotting Classic, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Zweig Memorial, American-National Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Final. Father Patrick took his lifetime mark of 1:50.4 when defeating recent Elitloppet winner Nuncio in the $500,000 Beal Memorial at Pocono Downs. His time remains the fastest ever recorded by a 3-year-old colt or gelding on a 5/8ths of a mile track and the equal fastest by any 3-year-old trotter. Trained by Jimmy Takter throughout his career, Father Patrick was rated by the legendary conditioner as the "best horse" that he had ever trained  - high praise when you consider Takter has had the likes of Moni Maker, Malabar Man, See You At Peelers, Pampered Princess, Kadabra, Passionate Glide and Pinkman, to name  just a few,  through his barn over the years. Father Patrick is certainly the complete package when it comes to choosing a stallion for your trotting broodmare this season, as he not only boasts unrivalled racetrack performance but also some of the best bloodlines available in the world. His sire Cantab Hall is currently the leading US All Age Trotting Sire and was himself a million dollar plus earning US 2YO Trotting Colt and Trotter of the Year. Cantab Hall has established himself as one of the most influential trotting sires in North America, having sired the winners of over $59 million, 168 $100,000 earners, 29 in 1:53 and 7 millionaires including Wild Honey, Explosive Matter,  Uncle Peter and Pastor Stephen. Father Patrick's maternal line is no less illustrious with his dam Gala Dream (by Enjoy Lavec) also leaving, in addition to Father Patrick, another US 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year and millionaire square-gaiter, Pastor Stephen t3, 1:52.8 ($1,058,188) and the $100,000+ earners Whom Shall I Fear t3, 1:52.8 ($163,935) and Stan The Man 1:53.6 ($182,144) from 6 foals of racing age. His second dam Maple Frosting (by Valley Victory), also an outstanding producer, has left the world champion 2005 US and Canadian 2YO Trotting Colt of the Year Chocolatier t3, 1:53 ($1,328,250) (making it an incredible three US 2YO Trotting Colts of the Year in the first two generations), along with the multiple stakes race winner Sugar Trader t3, 1:53.8 ($734,610). Chocolatier has since gone on to be a successful sire in Sweden with his best offspring to date the  champion mare Your Highness (SEK9,000,537) - the winner of the Copenhagen Cup, Olympic Trot and Oslo Grand Prix so far in 2016. Standing at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania and commanding the same service fee as his sire, US$20,000, Father Patrick served a restricted book of mares whilst still racing in 2015 and has had a terrific book of close to 130 mares this year.  His first crop of foals look outstanding types and can be viewed on the Diamond Creek Farm website (www.diamondcreekfarm.com) and Facebook page. Available in Australasia via frozen semen, Father Patrick's fee for the 2016-17 season is NZ$9,000 +GST (AU$9,900 incl GST). The service fee is pay on live foal and he is included in the Nevele R multiple mare discounts. There is limited semen available and bookings will be taken on a first in first served basis. For more information or bookings please visit nevelerstud.co.nz or phone the Nevele R office 03 349 8627, Nikki Reed 0274 346 401 or from Australia free-phone 1800 150 855.

Whom Shall I Fear 3,1:52.4, the Cantab Hall full brother to 2 and 3-year-old World Champion Father Patrick and to 2-year-old champion Pastor Stephen, has been retired from harness racing and will stand the 2016 breeding season at Victory Hill Farm in Indiana.   His stud fee has been set at $2,500.   He was the top-priced yearling of 2013 when he was purchased for $475,000 by Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. Takter's wife Christina owned the colt, along with a partnership that consisted of John Fielding, Brixton Medical, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, Sam Goldband and the colt's breeder, Brittany Farms.   "He's simply a gorgeous horse," said Brittany manager Art Zubrod. "His dam, Gala Dream, has produced four $100,000 yearlings and pair of sale-toppers. And I think he's definitely one of her best. He's nearly the spitting image, in terms of both looks and conformation, to Father Patrick."   Whom Shall I Fear was stakes-placed in Grand Circuit action at 2 and began his 3-year-old season with tremendous promise. He won his first four starts in stakes action and took a mark of 1:52.4, then went on to compete in major events like the Dancer Memorial, Earl Beal, Colonial, Zweig, Bluegrass and Matron against top colts like "Trotter of the Year" Pinkman, Crazy Wow, and Habitat.   "When it comes to Whom Shall I Fear, I don't think I've ever been more disappointed by a horse," said trainer Jimmy Takter.   "At the beginning of the year I knew he was the one, but he got sick on us three times. I never could get him back to where he was at the start of the season. It's a shame... he's such a magnificent-looking animal. He'll make a top sire, I just know it."   Those interested in additional information or a booking application should contact Victory Hill Farm by calling (260) 463-2442 or emailing info@victoryhillfarm.com.   Victory Hill Farm   For information contact Victory Hill Farm at (260) 463-2442 or email info@victoryhillfarm.com    

These are a few of the significant events, performances and trends that occurred in the sport of harness racing during 2015. Ron Pierce, the 59-year-old Hall of Fame driver who was third on the money list last year, with almost $11 million and 448 wins, has been absent for most of the season. He drove in 503 races in January, February and the first week of March before shutting it down for neck and back surgery. The problem with his neck was corrected, but his back has never come around, to the point where he raised retirement as a real possibility when interviewed in August. Pierce has won 9,569 races and earned $215 million during his career. But beyond that measurable success, in the straight and narrow public world of harness racing Pierce is one of the few genuine characters; there’s nothing better than a post-race interview with Rockin Ron. He is sorely missed. Let’s hope his health improves to the point where he’s back driving in 2016. Restricted races for four-year-olds early in the season has been a hot topic of late, and with the advent of the Graduate series we’re seeing it come to fruition. However, it’s noteworthy that JL Cruze, who earned only $25,000 at three, won the Graduate final as well as the Hambletonian Maturity, while Doo Wop Hanover, who had some success but was not a major figure as a colt, won the Graduate Pace final. Contributions from the high profile four-year-olds that folks were anxious to keep on the track, on the other hand, have been lacking. Father Patrick started off with a win in the Maxie Lee, but he lost two legs of the Graduate and was sixth behind JL Cruze in the final. And he finished last in the Hambletonian Maturity. His stablemate Nuncio had a very good year—in Europe. Horse of the Year JK She’salady suffered her first loss in her Fan Hanover elimination, and dropped the final to 0 for 4 Wrangler Magic. Dan Patch winner Color’s A Virgin didn’t get going until the fall; Dan Patch winner McWicked never really got going; Pace winner He’s Watching retired in July; Shake It Cerry fell short of expectations…. After a five year run, Harness Racing Update ceased publication with the October 11 issue. The online newsletter which appeared in one’s email box from two to four times a week, depending on the season, had become the primary source of unfiltered information on the sport for many. However, advertisers never came through in sufficient numbers to sustain the operation for publisher Bill Finley and his staff. They didn’t run the formulaic puff pieces that prevail in the sport’s media wing. Shortly before HRU closed shop trainer Ron Burke told Finley that, “HRU was the worst thing that ever happened to harness racing.” Perhaps “If you don’t have something positive to say, don’t say anything at all” should have been their motto? Two years ago this month we lost The Canadian Sportsman after a 143 year run. This is not an encouraging trend. At a USTA Summit in July forty movers and shakers from various sectors of the sport put their heads together and came up with strategic moves that will hopefully expand and improve the sport. The USTA has lost 7,588 members over the past decade, while during that same stretch 7,395 fewer foals were born. It was decided that dedicating a larger slice of the purse pie to younger horses would help address the latter concern. And a series of initiatives, some involving social media, will take flight in 2016, with the aim of adding new owners. Strategies for using some of the slots dollars for marketing purposes were proposed. The need for gamblers, not fans, was raised. Are elimination races, which cause friction between horsemen and bettors, necessary was another topic up for discussion.  USTA reps promised to carry the feedback from every sector to those in a position to address those issues. The elevated prices being paid for decent older stock at the sales is one manifestation of the horse shortage in North America. On the pacing side, this situation is being dealt with in part by importing more horses from Down Under. It costs $12,900 to ship a horse here from Australia and $15,600 to bring one from New Zealand. Back in the 70s plane loads of expatriated pacers arrived regularly in Los Angeles and at JFK in New York. The abbreviated program lines that accompanied them confused bettors and fostered some dicey situations for regulators. And nothing has changed in that regard. Joe Bellino and his trainer Tony O’Sullivan and trainer Darran Cassar have been volume players in this market. On the trotting side, we seem to be supplying the Europeans with ready-made high end stock, which is creating the sort of situation we had this year where the NA based aged male trotting class was as soft as whipped butter. Last year Nuncio, Maven and Creatine campaigned all, or most, in Creatine’s case, of the year in Europe. And just this month Oaks winner Wild Honey, Uncle Lasse and French Laundry have been sold to Swedish interests. Cobalt was in the news last year, but interest in its effect on Standardbred race horses has increased in 2015. Kentucky regulators decided to issue a warning for levels 25 ppb and up and a more severe sanction for anything above 50 ppb. The Ohio Racing Commission is conducting a study involving five Standardbreds, while the USTA is funding a study centered on eight healthy, trained Standardbreds. The Ontario Racing Commission approved adding a cobalt test to those performed on any horse routinely targeted for testing. Trainer Aaron Lambert, who was bounced from The Meadowlands due to s cobalt positive in 2014, had another with Dynamic Youth at Pocono Downs in June. And hall of famer Chuck Sylvester was suspended for 15 days and fined $500 at the same track for a positive with the filly Murderer’s Row in June. Much of the controversy over what does and doesn’t constitute an acceptable cobalt level should be stripped away after the data from these studies is reported. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for  http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/.  Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

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