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Grove City, Ohio - Action Uncle, the Ohio harness racing 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year has been named the 2020 Ohio Horse of the Year. Action Uncle, the son of Uncle Peter out of Action Broadway, won nine out of ten races in 2020 earning $351,960 for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owners Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland, and Larry Wills. In 2020, Action Uncle set a world record, winning the Ohio Breeders Championship at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in 1:52.4. The victory completed the Ohio Triple Crown for Action Uncle as he won the Ohio Sires Stakes and the Ohio Fair Stake earlier in the year. Morgan said Action Uncle is a classy horse. "He just loves to do his work. I knew from an early point as a two-year-old that he had extreme talent. I knew he was something special, but I am a little biased because I trained his mother." Action Broadway, Action Uncle's dam, was a Dan Patch winner earning $1.2 million. The 2020 season ended in disappointment for Action Uncle. Morgan says the plan was to race Action Uncle in the Breeders Crown. "He raced at Hoosier Park the week before the Breeders Crown and came out of the race sore," said Morgan. X-rays showed a broken wing tip of the coffin bone forcing the change of plans. "We felt he deserved to race on the national scene and were very disappointed that we couldn't take an Ohio-bred to the Breeders Crown," said Morgan. Morgan said they are going to do the right thing and write off the 2021 season. "The injury will heal. He is doing extremely well," said Morgan. "We are going to give him more than enough time off. He will be back." In 16 career starts, Action Uncle has 12 wins, three second place finishes and one third place with earnings of $577,535. Action Uncle was honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16. Frank Fraas

Grove City, Ohio - Pass The Vape hit the board in half of his starts, winning eight times, as he is named the 2020 Ohio Aged Trotter of the Year. Pass The Vape, son of Dejarmbro out of Vapor Rises, started 24 races for harness rascing trainer Derek Watiker and his father, the owner, Lionel Watiker. Pass The Vape earned $109,642 in 2020. Pass The Vape scored his biggest win of the year in the $85,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Aged Trotting Championship at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway. "It's nice having a homebred perform so well," said Derek Watiker. "He shows up every week and I'll take a full barn of racehorses that show up every week." Pass The Vape will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16, 2021. The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio - The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) 2020 Virtual Awards Show will air Saturday, January 16, beginning at 7PM. The show can be seen on the OHHA's YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/fvfl_HNH-d8. The awards show will feature Ohio's top equine athletes of 2020 including the announcement of the 2020 Horse of the Year. Other Ohio award winners honored will be the Terry Holton Youth Award, Maynard and Stella Hagemeyer Significant Contribution Award, Ohio Outstanding Groom Award, and the Special -Service to Harness Racing Award. In addition, the United States Harness Writers Association - Ohio Chapter annual awards will also be presented as will the Ohio State Racing Commission's Kaltenbach Awards. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio - Street Gossip was a model of consistency in 2020, hitting the board in all eight of his starts earning him 2020 harness racing Ohio 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year honors. Street Gossip, the son of Cash Hall out of the Yankee Glide mare The Young Princess won four out of his eight races and collected a pair of second- and third-place finishes for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owner Carl Howard and the Jesmeral Stables, earning $171,761. Street Gossip was purchased in July by Howard and Jesmeral Stable after a third-place finish in a leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes. "I saw him racing in his first sire stakes race at Northfield Park. He was very competitive," Morgan said. "I was elated once we got him. To see how good gaited he was and that we really had something to work with." Morgan credits the horse's consistency as the reason he was named the 2-Year-Old trotting colt of the year. "He was a model of consistency. His body of work throughout the year was the difference. He was ultra-consistent." Street Gossip will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16, 2021. The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio - For the second year in a row, Sectionline Bigry has been named the top aged harness racing pacer in the state of Ohio. Sectionline Bigry, the son of Pet Rock out of Aquatic Yankee, won eight of 19 races for owner Harold Lee Bauder and trainer Steve Bauder earning $181,000 in 2020. The highlights of the year were winning the Ohio Sires Stakes Aged Pacing Championship at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway and the Gene Riegle Memorial Open Pace at the Great Darke County Fair. Sectionline Bigry was bred by Bauder of Delaware, Ohio, Michael Dixon of Hilliard, Ohio, and Harold L. Bauder of Delaware, Ohio. "It's a privilege to win this award two years in a row," said Bauder. "It puts Bigry in the company of Dancin Yankee a three-time winner. He has big shoes to fill to try and win three in a row." Sectionline Bigry will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio – Penpaperpaige had a September to remember, winning the Ohio Sires Stakes Final and the Ohio Breeders Championship on her way to being named the 2020 Ohio 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year. Penpaperpaige, the daughter of Pet Rock out of Park Lane Paige won four of her 12 starts, hitting the board nine times winning $250,080 for trainer Jeff Smith and owner Shirley Le Vin.  As a two-year-old, Penpaperpaige won the Buckeye Stallion Series final.  In her three-year-old season, she jumped ranks to the Ohio Sire Stakes and was a champion again.  She won the $300,000 OSS Final at Eldorado Scioto Downs and then won the OBC at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Smith credits his son Tyler for much of the horse’s success.  “Tyler has done an excellent job driving her.  He deserves all the credit.  If it weren’t for him getting her around the track, she wouldn’t be where she is,” said Smith.  Penpaperpaige will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio – The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association (OHHA) has added three stallions to the Stallion Auction to benefit P.A.C.E.R. (Political Action Committee for Equine Racing).  Catch The Fire, Lather Up and Well Said join the list of 22 stallions up for bid.   The three additions stand at Sugar Valley Farm in Delaware, Ohio. P.A.C.E.R. helps the OHHA to support candidates and initiatives that impact Ohio harness racing. On-line bidding is available until Saturday January 16th at 5:00 p.m.  For information on how to bid visit https://hoofbid.com/OHHA. Bidders can create an account in the HoofBid app.  Phone bidding will also be accepted on the final day of the auction beginning at 1:00 PM EST.  The on-line bidding time for each stallion auto-extend in one-minute increments until the bidding activity stops for one full minute.  All contracts are subject to P.A.C.E.R. and farm approval and are not transferable to another mare or individual without the consent of both.  P.A.C.E.R. helps the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association to support legislative quests for expanding gaming and other issues that could positively impact Ohio harness racing.   For more information: Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio – The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association has awarded Steve McCoy the Association’s Maynard and Stella Hagemeyer Significant Contribution Award for 2020.  McCoy, who lives in Upper Arlington, Ohio with his Wife Brenda, has been involved in harness racing since 1982.  He joined the OHHA Board of Directors in 1994 and served as the Association’s president for seven years, from 2009-2015.  During his tenure as President, McCoy gave selflessly of his legal talent and acumen.   Among his accomplishments, too numerous to detail, McCoy was instrumental in developing and passage of the legislation resulting in VLT’s at Ohio’s pari-mutuel racetracks.  McCoy also led the negotiations and brought to final agreement, the four pari-mutuel harness racetracks’ VLT Horsemen’s Agreements from 2012-2015. As a past president, McCoy serves on the Advisory Committee for the OHHA and is the Vice Chairman for the OHHA Breeders section.  McCoy is also a member of the United States Trotting Association Board of Directors serving for District 1, a position he has held since 2015. McCoy currently works as the General Counsel for the Showe Companies of Columbus, Ohio. The Maynard and Stella Hagemeyer Significant Contribution Award is awarded to an individual that has made a significant life-long contribution to Ohio harness racing.  The individual must possess a passion and advocacy for Ohio harness racing.  The award is based on the importance of educating and involving local and state legislators to the importance of the harness racing industry. McCoy will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio – As a two-year-old, the connections of Ocean Rock knew he was special, but they did not realize how special until his first start as a three-year-old when he rallied down the stretch for his first harness racing win of the year on the way to being named Ohio 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year. Ocean Rock, the son of Rockin Amadeus out of Ocean Pearl hit the board nine times in ten starts, winning six and earning $363,360 for his owner and breeder Sandra Burnett.  Trained by Christi Noble, Ocean Rock won the $300,000 Ohio Sire Stake Final at Eldorado Scioto Downs and the Ohio Breeders Crown at Delaware, and the Ohio Fair Finals, earning the Ohio Triple Crown. “He’s kind of cocky, he has a presence about him.  He knows he is a good horse,” said Noble.  “He is very versatile.  He is quick off the gate, but he can also race from behind.” Ocean Rock will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM.   For more information: Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio – Summer Touch made sure there was no doubt who the top 2-Year-Old pacing filly in Ohio was, as she set a harness racing world record and won the Ohio Triple Crown on the way to being named the 2020 Ohio 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year. Summer Touch, the daughter of Well Said out of Real Touch finished second in her first start and then won her next six races for trainer Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services, Slaughter Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, earning $285,550. Summer Touch is an Ohio Triple Crown Winner, winning the $300,000 Ohio Sire Stakes final, the Ohio Fair Stakes, and the Ohio Breeders Championship.  She set a world record at MGM Northfield Park in the fourth leg of the Ohio Sire Stakes, covering the half mile track in 1:51.4.    “She’s a pleasure to work with,” said driver Chris Page.  “Summer Touch isn’t the biggest filly, but she is very slick gaited and gets over the track easily.”  Summer Touch will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM.   For more information: Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio – Noah Kenneth Newman of Streetsboro, Ohio has been named the recipient of the 2020 Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association Terry Holton Youth Award.  Newman, a sophomore at Streetsboro High School, has taken advantage of his opportunity to work with his family’s horses in 2020.  When Covid-19 shut down schools and high school athletics, Newman began helping at the barn. “He would wake up at 5:30 and begin work at the barn,” said his grandmother Melinda Bailey.  “His dad thought he would waver, but during the year he only became more determined.” Newman has been jogging horses since he was ten and he is enjoying the experience of working with his dad and grandfather.  “I enjoy being out of the house and working with the horses,” said Newman.  “I like training horses and getting more experience.”  Newman said he is not sure about his future but knows horses will be a part of it.  “I know I would like to drive at some point in the future.” In addition to working with the horses, Newman is active in other sports including baseball, football, and golf.  The award, in its 20th year, is named for Terry Holton, a 2005 inductee into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame.  Holton of Newark, Ohio, was the winner of over 1,700 races in his career.  He overcame many obstacles in his life, the biggest may have been overcoming pancreatic cancer. The Terry Holton Youth Award is awarded to a youth between the ages of 13 and 19 who has actively participated in harness racing during 2020 as a driver, trainer, groom, breeder, race office/publicity assistant, track maintenance crew or has provided outstanding service to harness racing.   For more information: Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio – After finishing second in her first two career starts, Merry Ann reeled off five straight harness racing wins on the way to being named the Ohio 2-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year.  Merry Ann, the daughter of Southwind Spirit out of Witty Girl, won three legs of the Ohio Sire Stakes for 2-Year-Old filly trotters as well as the $300,000 final.  She finished the season winning five of eight races with two second place finishes and earned $245,200. Merry Ann is trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Knox Services and Weaver Bruscemi.  She was bred by Knox Services.  “She had a great year, she’s got that grit to her,” said Chris Page who was in the bike for all eight of Merry Ann’s races.  “What I really liked was her look.  She had the size and good gait.  She was definitely a little headstrong.”  Page said Merry Ann has the versatility to win from the front, first up, or from the back and she showed it all year long.  Merry Ann will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association’s virtual award show on January 16, 2021.  The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM.   Frank Fraas

Grove City, Ohio - Bidding is underway for the harness racing 2021 Ohio Stallion Service Auction to benefit the Political Action Committee for Equine Racing (P.A.C.E.R.). Twenty-two Ohio stallions, 11 Pacers and 11 Trotters, have been made available for a breeding to benefit P.A.C.E.R. On-line bidding is available until Saturday January 16th at 5:00 p.m. For information on how to bid visit https://hoofbid.com/OHHA. Bidders can create an account in the HoofBid app. Phone bidding will also be accepted on the final day of the auction beginning at 1:00 PM EST. The on-line bidding time for each stallion auto extend in one-minute increments, until the bidding activity stops for one full minute. All contracts are subject to P.A.C.E.R. and farm approval and are not transferable to another mare or individual without the consent of both. P.A.C.E.R. helps the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association to support legislative quests for expanding gaming and other issues that could positively impact Ohio harness racing. Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650 The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) is a non-profit organization serving Standardbred horse owners, breeders, trainers, drivers, and fans who participate in the sport of harness racing in the Buckeye State.  

Grove City, Ohio - Guinevere Hall rolled off eight straight wins to start her 2020 harness racing campaign on the way to being named Ohio's 3-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year. Guinevere Hall, the daughter of Cash Hall out of Garbo Lane by Lindy Lane, finished the year with eight wins in 13 starts, earning $356,972 for owners M T Pocket Stables and David McDuffie. The filly was trained by Melanie Wrenn and bred by Alan Leavitt. For the second year in a row, a daughter of Cash Hall was named the top 3-Year-Old Filly Trotter in Ohio. The biggest win of 2020 for Guinevere Hall was the $300,000 Ohio Sires Stakes at Eldorado Scioto Downs, where she charged down the stretch to win by three lengths. "When she got to the races, she was game on," Wrenn said. "She doesn't like people in general and just assume bite you or kick you which was part of her grit that got her to the winner's circle." Guinevere Hall will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16, 2021. The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Grove City, Ohio - Tessa Koran of Stow, Ohio has been named the 2020 Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association Outstanding Groom for 2020. Koran works for trainer Kent Sherman and was nominated by Matt Watson, the owner of Sherman trainee Lucky King. Watson said Koran brings a positive energy to the track every day. "It doesn't matter if your horse is a $5,000 claimer or an Open horse, you can rest assured that when Tessa is taking care of it, it is in great hands and is being taken care of as if it was her own child." Koran's interest in horses began at an early age. Her grandfather owned horses with Sherman. "It's been a never-ending love affair with the horses. I started helping and learning everything about the horses when I was seven years old," Koran said. Koran also said she has had other career opportunities but loves working with the horses. "I left the business, but never totally left. I never dread going to work." She said the best part of her job is the one-on-one time with the horses. Due to Covid-19, the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association will not host an annual banquet but instead will feature all award winners during a virtual awards show on Saturday, January 16, 2021. The virtual awards show will air on the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. Frank Fraas

Grove City, Ohio - Grove City, Ohio – Grove City, Ohio – Charlie May started his harness racing freshman year with a bang by winning his first career start in the $150,000 Next Generation at Eldorado Scioto Downs and capped the year being named the Ohio 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year For owner Don Tiger he wasn't sure what he had with homebred Charlie May. "I sent the horse to Steve Carter and the first day he called and told me he was pretty talented, but that was way early in the game. I was hoping and praying that we would just make the races," said Tiger. After winning the Next Generation, Charlie May, the son of McAardle out of Stipple Hanover by Western Hanover, won two legs of the Ohio Sires Stakes, before capturing the final at Scioto Downs. He also won the Ohio Breeder's Championship at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in September. For 2020, Charlie May won seven of nine races and earned $328,627. Tiger, a Pennsylvania native, says Charlie May has that steelworker mentality. "Every time he goes to the racetrack, he gives it 110%. He has a little bit of attitude. He's gentle and playful but knows that he's good at what he does." Charlie May will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16, 2021. The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

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