Search Results
1 to 16 of 792
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

MANALAPAN, NJ -- August 24, 2015 - Live harness racing returns to New Jersey's Freehold Raceway on Friday, September 4, 2015. The 44-day meet continues through December 12, 2015. Racing will take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays [plus a holiday program on Labor Day, Monday, September 7]. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Pre-meet qualifiers will take place on Friday, August 28 with the box closing at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 27. The initial draw schedule is Tuesday, September 1 for Friday, September 4; Wednesday, September 2 for Saturday, September 5 and Thursday, September 3 for Monday, September 7 [Labor Day]. Declarations are due at 9 a.m. for each draw. The standard draw schedule for the balance of the meet is Saturday for Thursday, Tuesday for Friday and Wednesday for Saturday. Opening Day features the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for two-year-old pacing fillies and eliminations for the Helen Smith for three-year-old trotting fillies. The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey is the sponsor of the Helen Smith [September 11], Charles Smith for three-year-old trotting colts [September 17], Harold Dancer for two-year-old trotting colts [September 17], Marion Dancer for two-year-old trotting fillies [October 9] and a quartet of New Jersey Futurity stakes [September 26, October 16, October 23 and October 24]. All are restricted to New Jersey-sired horses. The Lou Babic Finals for two-year-old pacers on September 26 are part of the New Jersey Sire Stakes program along with the Green Acres events, which will featured three preliminary legs and a final for each genders two and three-year-olds on the trot and pace. All the $25,000 finals are in October. Overnight purses will average $40,000 per day, according to Freehold General Manager Howard Bruno. Special events include a free t-shirt with a paid Freehold live program, while supplies last, on Opening Day. On Labor Day, there is a free cap with paid Freehold live program, while supplies last; 50-cent hot dogs and 50-cent sodas and drawings for season parking passes. The Fourth Annual Open Space Pace, featuring a parade of horses, petting zoo, exhibitions, food trucks and live music, will take place on Saturday, September 19, 2015. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

It doesn't seem to matter to Hannah Miller who she faces in harness racing amateur competitions, whether it's a field of NAADA drivers or a group of Billings participants, she often wins, usually convincingly, against all challengers, who by the way, are far and away male drivers. On Saturday afternoon at Freehold Raceway "Hot-Handed Hannah" reined Genius At Work to an easy four-length triumph over Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff's , No Recess, in a time of 2:01.1. Third place went to CSI What's My Name driven by David "Poppa" Glasser. And once again Ms. Miller was the only woman in the contest. Usually up behind horses from her boyfriend Nick Surick's barn on Saturday she got a mount behind a trotter trained by her aunt, Julie Miller. "I got a call from Aunt Julie (Miller) saying she had to go to Vernon Downs on Saturday and asked if I would I like to drive Genius At Work in the Billings. I said sure, I'll love to," Ms. Miller explained. Genius At Work was winless in seven starts and had drawn post position five. When the gate sprung Hannah found a spot along the pylons in fifth position as "Coach Paul" Minore and Wygant Prince led the eight-horse field by the quarter in :29.3. As the field headed to the halfway point Ms. Miller moved the Credit Winner gelding first-up and when they passed the second stanza the timer flashed 1:01.1. At this point Genius At Work was fourth on the limb some three lengths off the leader. Up the backside Hannah kept her charge going forward and they were just a long neck from the lead at the three quarters which was trotted in 1:32. "Going into the final turn I urged my horse at bit< Hannah said. He dug in and we opened up daylight on the rest of them and he trotted away to an easy win. I was surprised that he was that good today. He trotted the last quarter in :29 and piece. "Genius At Work is owned by Mr. (Jeff) Gural and I appreciate that he let me drive him." Although Genius At Work was winless this year still the betting crowd sent him away as the favorite in the race. Trained by Julie Miller, he paid $4.60 for win. Thus far this year Hannah Miller's stats show that she has 13 wins, six seconds and three thirds in 35 starts which equates to a lofty .495UDR. Last year she won six races and was on the board ten times in 12 outings. by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Series

Two trots in the season-long C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series were presented at Freehold Raceway on Saturday (May 16) and when the judges declared them official Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II and James "Jimmy Boy" Marshall IV each emerged victorious in their respective splits. Ehrenberg scored with Fuel Cell in 1:59.4 and Marshall won behind Flowing James in a 2:01.3 clocking. For Ehrenberg and Fuel Cell it turned out to be a laugher when a breaking horse on the outside interfered with two others in the race which allowed Fuel Cell to scoot away to an easy lead from the pole position. Once on top Fuel Cell encountered little resistance as Ehrenberg kept the pedal to the metal as they trotted by the first stanza in :29.1 as they rebuffed any early challenges. At the halfway point Fuel Cell had two on Stand Guard and "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello as the timer flashed :59.3. From there Ehreberg played catch me if you can and Fuel Cell opened the lead to nine lengths at the three quarters and coasted home an oh-so-easy 10-length winner. Tony "the Capo" Verruso came from far back to finish second with Sam's Honeybee, who was a length better than Ballagio Hanover, handled by Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford. Sent off as the favorite in the race Fuel Cell paid $4.20 for win. He is owned by his driver and trained by Bruce Lauer. It marked Ehrenberg's second driving victory of the season and the 47th of his amateur driving career. In the other division Flowing James had a new driver in "Jimmy Boy" Marshall IV but the youngster proved he was equally adept in getting the veteran trotter to the winners circle as were a couple of professional drivers who handled the lines in previous contests. As the wings of the mobile gate folded Marshall sent Flowing James to the lead from the five-hole and they easily had command early -on and they had a three length lead as the field passed the first stanza in :29.1. Heading to the halfway point favored Casanova Lindy and driver "Hot-Handed Hannah" Miller were on the limb and they got no respect from "Jimmy Boy" who kept them in the fresh air. Scott "The Driving Doctor" Woogen, with Sleek N Beautiful, were tight on Marshall's back from the get-go and refused to yield any room along the pylons. Up the backside Prince Lauxmont and "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo tried a three-deep move with Prince Lauxmont with hopes of circling Miller's steed but they barely got by Casanova Lindy. As the field headed for paydirt there was no catching Flowing James and he sailed under the wire a solid length winner over Doc Woogen's trotter. Prince Lauxmont. "Smokin' Joe" did however, end up third best with Prince Lauxmont. Flowing James, owned and trained by Tara Hynes, scored his sixth seasonal triumph and returned a $5.60 win mutuel. For Marshall, it was his second driving victory in eight starts this year and third in 14 career outings. Presently Steve Oldford's 38 points are seven better than Hannah Miller's 31. Tony Verruso's 24 is third best and James Marshall and Doc Woogen, each with 20 points,are tied for fourth on the Billings' leaderboard. John Manzi

Harness racing trainer Riina Rekila cannot explain it, but something compelled her to make her first trip to drive in a race in New Jersey with E L Love in the Lady Suffolk Stakes. Whatever forces were at work, it proved to be a worthwhile journey. E L Love, hailing from a family of stakes-winners that includes full-brother Appomattox and half-brother E L Titan, improved to 4-for-4 in her career by winning a $35,750 division of Saturday's Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old female trotters by 2-3/4 lengths over favorite Riley's Dream in 1:58 at Freehold Raceway. It was E L Love's first try in stakes company - she previously had won three conditioned races at three different tracks in Canada by a combined total of eight lengths - and a rare visit to the U.S. by Rekila, who during the past three-plus years made only 10 starts as a driver in the States. "I've had an idea - I don't know why - that I just felt like I had to come here at some point," Rekila said after driving E L Love to victory for breeder/owner Erkki Laakkonen. "I've had in my mind for a few years that I was going to win this race. I don't know why, but that's why I paid her and some of my other horses into it." E L Love is a daughter of Yankee Glide out of the mare Courtney Hall, a stakes-winning full sister to millionaire Cameron Hall. E L Love is Courtney Hall's fifth foal and the previous four - E L Rock, Appomattox, E L Rocket, and E L Titan - each earned at least $233,000. E L Titan, who also is trained by Rekila and won last year's Carl Erskine Trot, leads the group with $581,351. "They have a different style, but they both have unbelievable speed and how easy they can go," Rekila said. "She's a fast horse and she wants to do it." Rekila plans to race E L Love on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit in addition to a number of open stakes, but the filly is not eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks. Rekila has had previous success in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes with Christiana Hanover, who in 2010 won a preliminary round of the series in a then-track-record 1:53.4 at Pocono Downs. "She's the nicest horse, but she can be tough, tough, tough," Rekila said about E L Love, adding with a laugh, "I wouldn't make her mad if you want to be alive. You have to know how you treat her." Rekila also is preparing E L Titan for his 4-year-old campaign. E L Titan, who in addition to defeating Father Patrick in the Erskine finished second to Father Patrick in the Breeders Crown, Canadian Trotting Classic, and American-National Stakes, is doing stud duty while working his way back to the races. "He's training pretty good," Rekila said. "I've been taking my time. I've been to Mohawk a few times, a little bit faster but not very fast. I don't want to stress him too much. I just want to take my time, maybe race in late July or August and try to get him ready for later in the year." Rekila, a 33-year-old native of Finland, often drives the horses in her stable. She has won 163 races as a trainer and 140 as a driver. "I like to drive them, especially at the beginning, because then I know if I have to do some shoeing changes or if they are lame somewhere," Rekila said. "I know (catch) drivers can do it, but even when I win a race I'm thinking about things I can do for the next one." And maybe also thinking about places she can go, whether she can explain it or not. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

There was harness racing action in the C K G Billings Harness Driving Series in both the east and Midwest regions this past weekend and not surprisingly "Hot Handed Hannah" Miller got her picture taken in the winner's circle once again. She has hit the amateur driving ranks like a hurricane and Saturday afternoon (May 2) "Hot Handed Hannah" blew the boys away again when she guided Pembroke Snapshot to a gate to wire victory in a time of 2:00.4 in her east region division of the two Billings trots that were carded at Freehold Raceway. After she turned down a challenge by Sam's Honeybee and driver Tony "the Capo" Verruso at the halfway point Ms. Miller kept after her charge and he responded trotting away from Sam's Honeybee to score a two-length triumph. Mark "Shoprite" Schullstrom garnered the show dough with 43-1 shot Catalyst. The winner, a veteran 10 year old altered son of S J's Photo, trained by Nick Surick is co-owned by the Nick Surick Stable and the JL Benson Stables. Pembroke Snapshot was Ms. Miller's fourth winner in her last six starts and her ninth in 25 seasonal outings. Sent off as the odds-on favorite the trotter paid $2.80 for win. A second Billings trot saw Scott "the Driving Doctor" Woogen rally Sleek N Beautiful to a come-from-behind victory in 2:00.2 after finally wearing down the pace-setter Blazin Delores who was in rein to "Jimmy Boy" Marshall IV. Despite a two-hole journey, Swift Blizzard and "Coach Paul" Minore finished two lengths behind the winner in third place.. Doc Woogen also owns the 7-year-old CJ's Secret mare who's trained by Gary Messenger. She paid $15.60 for win. For the driving doctor it marked his 138th career victory. The first Billings trot in midwest region competition at Miami Valley Raceway was on Sunday (May 3) and when the dust had settled former USHWA Amateur Driver of the Year, Kelly "Sky" Walker, rallied his veteran trotter Rush N Supreme to a come from behind victory in a time of 1:56.4. They stalked and finally wore down Jailer and driver Richard "Don't Call Me Dickie" Bertrand to score a one length triumph. Third place went to the early pace-setter Y F Crasher, driven by Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II. Walker's journey with Rush N Supreme was made a bit easier when Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford's 3-2 shot, Bold Strike went off stride after the start. They did, however, finish fourth after trailing by 15 lengths at the first stanza. Walker also owns and trains the 11-year old SJ's Caviar gelding who recorded his 45th win. Rush N Supreme paid $4.40 for win. And since Walker began driving in 2004 he notched his 101st victory. by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Series

FREEHOLD, NJ - May 2, 2015 - EL Love went wire-to-wire winner and Northern Obsession tipped out three-wide in the stretch to win their respective $35,750 divisions of the Lady Suffolk for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. Riina Rekila, driver and trainer of EL Love, sent the Yankee Glide filly to the lead off the gate and repelled challenges throughout the mile to score a two and three-quarter length victory over 3-5 favorite Riley's Dream in the fifth race. It was four and a half back to Rules of the Road in third. EL Love [$8.20], who won both of her starts at two, is now two-for-two at three for a bankroll of $28,453. The mile in 1:58 flat was a career best for Finnish owner and breeder Erkki Laakkonen. Two races later, the seventh, 2-5 Jewels In Hock and 9-5 Blk Thai Optional broke stride in the first turn, leaving it to a trio of longshots to battle with 22-1 Northern Obsession [$46.20] who was a half-length winner over Southwind Cartier, the Muscle Hill filly who won the 2014 Marion Dancer Trot. Jewels In Hock recovered from her early break to finish third by a length and a quarter. Northern Obsession, driven to victory by Eric Abbatiello, picked up her second straight win for trainer Gilberto Garcia-Herrera of Columbus, NJ, who co-owns the daughter of Conway Hall with Barbara and Donald Arnstine of Sacramento, CA. Overall, the filly has two wins, three seconds and five third from 14 starts for career earnings of $50,813. By Carol Hodes for SBOANJ      

Freehold, NJ --- Habitat made life easy for harness racing driver Yannick Gingras in Saturday's $133,170 Dexter Cup, taking the lead after the first turn and cruising to a 3-3/4 length win over Divisionist in 1:56.4 at Freehold Raceway. "I like it that way; perfect for me," Gingras said about the uncontested trip. "I just had to worry about the first turn, but once he was through there I know there would be no catching him." The Dexter Cup, for 3-year-old trotters, is the first open stakes test on the road to the Hambletonian Stakes. The $1 million Hambletonian is Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands. Last year, Habitat won seven of 13 races and earned $534,407 in purses -- a total that ranked third among all 2-year-old trotters, behind only divisional Dan Patch Award winners Mission Brief (female) and Pinkman (male). Habitat's victories included the William Wellwood Memorial and Matron Stakes as well as divisions of the Tompkins-Geers, Champlain, and Bluegrass. A son of Conway Hall-Habit's Best, the colt is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables, and Weaver Bruscemi. Habitat was making his seasonal debut in the Dexter Cup. He led the field through fractions of :28.2, :58.4, and 1:27.4 on his way to victory. "On the backstretch, I could tell they were coming a little bit so I just opened him up a little so I wouldn't have to rush him in the last turn," Gingras said. "He was never in doubt." Gabe The Bear Dean finished third, followed by Apostles Creed, Sixteen Encores, Ha Taylor, Broken Record, and Bavaro. Apostles Creed, Divisionist, Habitat, and Sixteen Encores are eligible to the Hambletonian. Habitat made one start on a half-mile track last year, going off stride in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Buffalo Raceway. This time, he completed his task without trouble. "It was a waltz around, which is great for his first start," said Burke's assistant trainer Shannon Murphy. "He didn't have to get stressed out at all and he did everything right. A half-mile track, he only raced once on it last year and he made a break and we were a little concerned, but once Yannick scored him down he gave me the thumbs up. "He filled out (last year to this) and didn't get really much bigger, but he's matured mentally and we're hoping for a big year with him." Earlier on the card, E L Love and Northern Obsession each won a $35,750 division of the Lady Suffolk Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters. E L Love, driven by trainer Riina Rekila, won by 2-3/4 lengths over Riley's Dream in 1:58. Northern Obsession, driven by Eric Abbatiello for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, won by a half-length over Southwind Cartier in 2:01. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Harness Racing this week: Dexter Cup and Lady Suffolk, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J.; John Simpson Memorial Stakes, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; Meadows Maturity, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Chip Noble Memorial and Miami Valley Distaff, Miami Valley Raceway, Lebanon, Ohio. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features the $133,170 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters and the $77,000 (est.) Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters on Saturday (May 2). Meadowlands Racetrack offers the $39,416 John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers on Friday (May 1) and the $47,124 John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old colt pacers on Saturday (May 2). Also on Saturday, The Meadows will feature the $62,100 Meadows Maturity for older male trotters. The Sunday (May 3) card at Miami Valley Raceway will feature the $100,000 (est.) Chip Noble Memorial for older pacing mares and the $100,000 (est.) Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The George Morton Levy Series for open pacers and Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for open pacing mares wrapped up this past weekend at Yonkers Raceway. Domethatagain and driver Daniel Dube waited patiently for the last few yards of racing room to get ahead of the field to win the $529,000 George Morton Levy Series final for older pacers on April 25 at Yonkers Raceway in a time of 1:51.1. Domethatagain, by Bettor's Delight-Road Sign, is trained by Rene Allard and owned by Allard Racing Inc., Robert Hamather and Bruce Soulsby. The Levy win brings his lifetime earnings to $824,551. P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) went to the lead from post eight and held that lead to the quarter (:27.2) and the half (:55.3). Past the half, Lucan Hanover (David Miller) came first up to the three-quarters in 1:23, while Domethatagain was content to wait in the pocket and sprung from that spot to win. Take It Back Terry (George Brennan), who made a long sustained bid on the outside, was second and Beach Memories (Yannick Gingras) was third. P H Supercam faded to fourth. Venus Delight and driver Jason Bartlett let Yagonnakissmeornot and driver Brian Sears do the heavy lifting for most of the mile in the $261,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker final for older pacing mares. In the final strides of the race, they came up her inside for the win in 1:52.4 by three-quarters of a length. Carolsideal and Daniel Dube, who were first over from the half on, finished third. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Venus Killean had two earlier wins in the series and is trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr. for Bamond Racing. It was the third win in five starts this year for the 5-year-old mare. Her career earnings are now $424,268. Daylon Miracle (Aaron Merriman) stalked 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry from the pocket, then blew by the champ in the Lightning Lane to pull off a 5-1 upset in Friday's (April 24) inaugural edition of the $51,100 The Meadows Maturity for mare trotters. Daylon Miracle triumphed in 1:53.3, four lengths better than Cowgirl Hall, with the winner's stablemate, Anaffairtoremember, third. In the first start of her 4-year-old campaign, Shake It Cerry led the field through a snappy 1:24.3 three-quarters but tired late and faded to fourth, beaten five lengths. Classic Martine, the 2014 Mare Trotter of the Year, was buried from post nine and never got involved, finishing sixth. Bill Bercury, who owns and trains Daylon Miracle and Anaffairtoremember, called it the biggest win of his career. He had spoken of a 1-2 finish for his mares days before the race. It was a bold vision, and Bercury's mares nearly pulled it off with their 1-3 result. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Daniel Dube - 125; 2. Jason Bartlett - 123; 3. George Brennan - 92; 4. Brian Sears - 68; 5. Tim Tetrick - 62. Trainers: 1. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 154; 2. Ron Burke - 143; 3. Rene Allard - 105; 4. Mark Silva - 35; 5. Tony O'Sullivan - 32. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 138.5; 2. Allard Racing - 34.90; 3t. Burke Racing - 34.35; 3t. Weaver Bruscemi - 34.35; 5. Jeff Snyder - 30. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will again take place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack, with the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters, the W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers, and eliminations for the Arthur Cutler Memorial for older trotters. On Sunday (May 10), Flamboro Downs will host Confederation Cup eliminations for 4-year-old open pacers. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Hannah Miller, the 23-year old miss who has been the scourge of the harness racing amateur ranks, added yet another victory to her fledgling resume when she guided Rev It Now to a come from behind 2:01.4 triumph in the seventh leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Series held at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, April 25. And that accomplishment came on the heels of her win in the final event in the USA-French Friendship Competition the night before at the Meadowlands which vaulted the American team to victory over the French squad. Like she has done in all of her races, the daughter of top trainer Erv Miller, again remained undaunted while competing against her male counterparts. In Freehold's third race on the betting card Hannah started slowly with her trotter and got away sixth at the first stanza, some 12 lengths behind of the early speed duel between Blazing Delores (Jim Marshall IV) and Wygant Prince (Paul Minore). After the :28.3 first quarter Miller waited until the field headed for the halfway point before moving he trotter off the pylons. Still sixth at the half, but now nine lengths behind Wygant Prince's lead, Miller began to urge her trotter up the backside and at the three quarters the crowd could anticipate what was going to happen. On the final turn Rev It Now circled the leaders and took command in the homestretch and trotted away to a solid one-length victory over a fast closing 36-1 shot, Bellagio Hanover, driven by Steve Oldford. Wygant Prince held on for the show dough. The winner is owned by her driver, her dad Erv Miller, and her boyfriend, Nick Surick who is also the horse's trainer. Rev It Now paid $5.80 for win. With her victory Ms. Miller is tops in points in the NAADA trotting series. With just two legs remaining her 59 points is seven better than Alan Schwartz's 52. Rounding out the top five are;Bob Hechkoff (40),Tony Verruso (35) and Paul Minore (22). It's just a shame that the mainstream media doesn't pick up this story of a young woman defeating her male colleges in a sport completely dominated by men. Her triumph at Freehold was her seventh in 22 starts this season and the talented lady has been first or second twelve times driving along with a .460 average. By John Manzi for NAADA

With his first career win now under his belt, Divisionist heads to Saturday's Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold Raceway looking to build on his success. And harness racing trainer/driver Charlie Norris believes the 3-year-old trotter is ready to put his best foot forward. Divisionist was winless in 13 races last season, going off stride four times, but had on-the-board finishes in divisions of the Reynolds and Simpson stakes plus two divisions of the Kindergarten Classic and one of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. The colt broke his maiden on April 14 with a 1:57.2 triumph at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "He had an issue last year with breaks, but he's come back well this year," said Norris, who trains Divisionist for owners Carrie Norris, G And B Racing and Acadia Farms. "It was just a matter of maturity. He was really good there in his first start. Physically he's matured a lot and we're definitely on the right track for this year." Divisionist will start Saturday's single elimination for the $133,170 Dexter Cup - the first stakes test on the road to August's Hambletonian Stakes - from post five. He is 4-1 on the morning line. The three-horse Ray Schnittker-trained entry of Switchblade Hall, HA Taylor, and Bavaro is the 9-5 morning line favorite. Rounding out the field are Handover The Money and Southwind Mozart from the stable of trainer Ake Svanstedt, Jimmy Takter's Apostles Creed, and Oyvind Hegdal's Explosiveday. The top four finishers in the $44,400 elimination will join Broken Record, Gabe The Bear Dean, Habitat, and Sixteen Encores in the Dexter Cup final on May 2 at Freehold. Those four horses received byes based on lifetime earnings. Apostles Creed, Divisionist, Habitat, Handover The Money, Sixteen Encores, and Southwind Mozart are eligible to the Hambletonian. Divisionist, who has earned $44,612 in his career, is a son of Andover Hall out of stakes-winning mare Only Lonely. He was purchased for $40,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes former Ontario standout Beer Budget. "He's out of a decent mare and he showed a lot of athleticism in his video," Norris said about purchasing Divisionist as a yearling. "I thought he might be OK. He wasn't great last year, but at different times -- even at Lexington when he made a break -- he showed a lot of raw speed." Last year in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile, Divisionist went off stride behind the starting gate, but rallied from more than 20 lengths back to get within a length of the lead while racing three wide on the final turn. He was unable to maintain his surge, but finished fifth. "Hopefully he'll just keep getting better," Norris said. "If you're in the business, everyone has high hopes. That's why we're in the yearling game. I don't know if he's a (1):51 trotter or a (1):52 trotter, but I think (1):53 is not out of his reach at all. If he keeps in the right spots and gets his confidence up, I think he'll be alright." Norris raced Divisionist with trotting hobbles last year, but has taken them off this season. "I'm going to leave them off unless he shows me otherwise," Norris said. "He's really come around. He's coming into (the Dexter Cup elimination) good and he's fit enough. I don't know if he's top caliber, but in the secondary stakes and some of the earlier ones here, I think he can prevail a little bit." By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

By now Hannah Miller is used to competing against the boys. And since she's among the few female amateur drivers in the United States she more than holds her own against her harness racing counterparts. At Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon in a leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) trotting series Ms. Miller wore down the pace-setter and then held off a late charge by the betting favorite to score a hard fought head victory with Rev It Now in a time of 2:01.. After the race got underway Ms. Miller allowed Rev It Now to coast away from the gate and watched Tagmaster ( Bob Hechkoff) and Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) circle them on the first turn. At the first panel, which was trotted in :29.1, Tagmaster had command followed closely by Wygant Prince. Miller was content to be in third position at that point, but when Hechkoff grabbed leather she was out and moving while Minore chose to stay put in the cat-bird seat. Still third at the halfway point Miller's veteran trotter kept grinding toward the lead but they were second on the limb at the three quarters. However the only lead Miller's charge had came at the wire after Rev it Up trotted by Tagmaster in mid-stretch and then held off the late rally by Wygant Prince to score a head triumph over Minore's trotter. Rev It Now, a 9 year old altered son of Revenue S is owned by her driver along with the Nick Surick and the Erv Miller Stables. Sent off as second choice in the wagering Rev It Now paid $6.40 to win. Watching all the action in that contest while himself chasing the leaders and finishing fifth with Gimme The Loot, NAADA president Joe Faraldo said he is impressed with Hannah Miller's talent. "Being Erv Miller's daughter she has good breeding," Faraldo said jokingly. "I mean,she grew up in the sport and she has solid knowledge of harness racing. And she drives a horse really well, too. However, she'll be moving up in class later this month when NAADA hosts the French Amateur Drivers in an international competition. Hannah will get to compete against another top female driver and the reigning French Amateur Champion, Sophie Blanchetiere whose won over 350 races. We're counting on Hannah to bolster our NAADA team in that competition." John Manzi for NAADA  

The first leg of the three track trotting series sponsored by the North American Amateur Drivers Association was contested at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon, March 14 and when the judges hung the official signs Jimmy Marshall IV and Bob Hechkoff were each victorious in their respective divisions; Marshall IV with Blazin Delores in 2:01: 4 and Hechkoff with Pounce Hanover in 2:03. Blazin Delores had drawn the pole position and young Marshall gunned her to the lead and they got away with a soft first stanza when betting favorite Rev It Now (Hannah Miller) made a break after the start. As Blazin Delores trotted to the halfway point David Glasser with CSI What's My Name moved out to pick up the pace but they never cleared the leader. Marshall's mare still was in command and kept Glasser's charge at bay and when the straightened for home Blazin Delores was still strong and finished an easy two-length winner over CSI What's My Name. Keystone Sadie finished third for Peter Gerry. The winner is owned and trained by Laurie Molnar. She paid $6.20 for win. A second NAADA Trotting division was won in similar fashion when Bob Hechkoff took no prisoners and went down the road with Pounce Hanover from the pole position and rebuffed an early challenge from Bad I Am which forced driver Alan Schwartz to take a seat. Once Schwartz took the two-hole, Hechkoff's trotter was left alone in command and had clear sailing until the three quarters where challenges amounted. Schwatz moved alongside Hechkoff's charge and from far back came a hard-charging Windell Winkie and driver Tony Verruso rallying three- deep on the final turn. They were nearly side by side as they rambled through the lane and a photo was needed to determine the order of finish.The camera caught Pounce Hanover a head better than Bad I Am and Windell Winkie was another head back in third place, all three trotters timed in 2:03. Pounce Hanover is owned by Hechkoff's R.B.H Ventures, Inc and trained by Virgil Morgan. He rewarded his backers with a $4.40 win mutuel. The next leg will be contested at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, March 19. In the upcoming months the NAADA members will represent the USA in international amateur driving competitions against the French in April and the Spaniards in June. John Manzi for Naada

An important sustaining payment is due March 16 in order to keep New Jersey-sired two-year-old pacers eligible to the 2015 Lou Babic Memorial Paces sponsored by the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program. The deadline is extended this year because March 15 falls on a Sunday. Due on March 16 are sustaining payments of $700 for the Babic Pace open and $400 for the Babic filly division. These payments should be mailed to NJSS, P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625. The Babic Open Pace, with an estimated purse of $75,000, and the Babic Filly Pace, with an estimated purse of $50,000, are scheduled for September 26 at Freehold Raceway. Elimination heats, if necessary, are scheduled for September 19 for both open and filly divisions. For further information: Christopher C. Castens (609) 292-8830      

Freehold, NJ---Freehold Raceway reopens Friday, January 2 with an eleven race card to kick off the 2015 racing season. The 110-day racing schedule features racing Thursday through Saturday and also includes the addition of Monday racing the first seven weeks of the year. Post time will be 12:30pm throughout the meet. Eric Abbatiello and Nick Surick will look to defend their respective driving and training titles. The first qualifier of the meet will also be held on Friday with eight races beginning at 9:30 AM. Qualifiers will return to Thursdays for the remainder of the meet. The draw schedule will be as follows: Thursdays will be drawn on Saturdays, Fridays will be drawn on Mondays, Saturdays will be drawn on Wednesdays, Mondays will be drawn on Thursdays. Freehold Raceway is the nation's oldest and fastest daytime half mile harness racing track. From the Freehold Raceway Media Department

MANALAPAN, NJ – December 13, 2014 – Eric Abbatiello captured his fifth driving title and Nick Surick claimed his first training title when the 2014 racing season concluded at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, December 13, 2014. Abbatiello completed the 2014 meet with 190 wins, 185 seconds and 134 thirds from 995 starts and earnings of $719,339.  “It’s been a pleasure to compete at Freehold Raceway and win the driving title the last five years,” Abbatiello said. “A special thanks to all the trainers, owners and grooms who have given me a chance to compete with their horses.” Abbatiello, 46, from East Windsor, NJ, has 1,647 career victories and nearly $11 million in earnings.  The runners-up in the driving competition at Freehold were James Marshall III with 148 wins, Stephen Smith with 127 and Vincent Ginsburg with 117. Surick collected 54 training wins during the meet toward his career total of 466. His stable also lead the way with earnings of $199,465.  “Freehold Raceway is synonymous with harness racing, and Freehold is my hometown,” said Surick, 26, from Freehold, NJ. “There is no higher honor than one being bestowed on you in your hometown. Winning the training title at Freehold Raceway was once a dream; now it’s a reality.” Vincent Fusco with 41 wins, Karen Garland with 33 wins and Julius Czermann Jr. with 31 wins were his closest challengers in the trainers’ race.  The end of the meet also marked the end of the racing career of Newsam, a 14-year-old gelding, who was honored in the winner’s circle after he won the second race. He retires with 63 victories, 49 second and 49 thirds from 313 starts, and earnings of $393,732.  He has spent most of his racing career with owner Robin Hess of Burlington, NJ and trainer Ken Hess. His final campaign also produced his most wins in a year – 10.  Freehold’s live racing season resumes on January 2, 2015 with a 110-date meet. The first qualifiers will be held on Friday, January 2 before switching to Thursday mornings. Post time for qualifiers is 9:30 a.m. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

East Rutherford, N.J. (December 12th) - Thanks to a work share agreement between Meadowlands Racetrack, Freehold Raceway, and Vernon Downs, some new harness racing voices will be heard describing the racing action at those facilities during the 2015 season. Effective January 2nd, Ken Warkentin will become the full-time announcer at Freehold Raceway. Warkentin will still remain an integral part of the Meadowlands broadcast team as well as sharing duties with longtime Meadowlands announcer and host Sam McKee. "We're excited to begin our 2015 racing season with an announcer of Ken's caliber," said Freehold Raceway General Manger Howard Bruno. "We think our patrons will enjoy having Ken call our races on a daily basis beginning in January. We're fortunate to be able to work out this arrangement with the Meadowlands." Vernon Downs patrons will hear a combination of race callers including James Witherite, Ken Warkentin and Director of Racing Scott Warren during the 2015 season. Witherite will also be back as the regular voice of Tioga Downs. "We're blessed to have several talented announcers on staff at the three facilities operated by Jeff Gural," said Meadowlands CEO/GM Jason M. Settlemoir. "Thanks to the work share agreements now in place, we can maximize opportunities and further utilize our talented line-up to help provide guests with top quality announcers at multiple facilities. We appreciate Freehold Raceway working with us and see it as a win-win for both organizations. At anytime during the upcoming year, you could hear Sam McKee, Ken Warkentin, Scott Warren, James Witherite, Darin Zoccali, or myself calling the races at any of our three properties." Both Freehold and Meadowlands begin their 2015 season on Friday, January 2nd. Vernon Downs is scheduled to open for live racing on April 10th. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

1 to 16 of 792
1 2 3 4 5 Next »