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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- Seventeen 3-year-olds trotters entered today for the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the filly division of the Hambletonian. Hambletonian Festival week kicks off on July 28 with two $50,000 eliminations to narrow the field to 10 for the $500,000 Oaks final on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 4, at The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. The recent battle between Dan Patch Award champion Manchego and rival Plunge Blue Chip in a division of the Del Miller Memorial at The Meadowlands resulted in a near dead-heat with Plunge Blue Chip emerging a nostril ahead in a world-record 1:49.4. The two fillies were seeded into different Oaks eliminations, with Plunge Blue Chip receiving post eight in one and Manchego receiving post seven in the other. The other Del Miller Memorial winner, Phaetosive, will start inside of Plunge Blue Chip with post five in their elimination. Manchego has lost just two of 17 career starts, breaking against males in the Beal Memorial final on June 30, and the aforementioned nose loss to Plunge Blue Chip. Her career earnings stand at $961,170 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. Plunge Blue Chip, driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt, has a record of 5-3-2-0 in 2018 for an ownership comprised of Svanstedt Stable, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Zeron Racing Stables and Tomas Andersson. Her only losses this year have come in meetings with Atlanta, the top filly in the division, whose connections opted to race the males in the $1 million Hambletonian Open. The daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donut became the fastest 3-year-old of any gender with her recent 1:49.4 score. For the first time this year Plunge Blue Chip will face Phaetosive, driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer and owned by Purple Haze Stables. The daughter of Explosive Matter-Phaeton was a $65,000 purchase at the Standardbred Horse Sale in 2016 and has earned her connections $352,358 in just 10 lifetime starts. The Oaks elimination fields are as follows: $50,000 Oaks Elim for Saturday, July 28 Post Position Horse Trainer Driver 1 Blonde Magic Thomas Durand Thomas Durand 2 Lima Novelty Linda Toscano Scott Zeron 3 Winbak Noelle Lucas Wallin Andrew McCarthy 4 Perfect Summer K Andrew Harris Louis Roy 5 Phaetosive Trond Smedshammer Trond Smedshammer 6 Live Laugh Love R. Nifty Norman David Miller 7 Nixie Volo John Butenschoen Corey Callahan 8 Plunge Blue Chip Ake Svanstedt Ake Svanstedt   $50,000 Oaks Elim for Saturday, July 28 Post Position Horse Trainer Driver 1 What A Knockout Marcus Melander David Miller 2 Bill’s Lady John Butenschoen Corey Callahan 3 Lily Stride Mark Harder Tim Tetrick 4 Hey Blondie Chuck Sylvester Andrew McCarthy 5 Fly Fly Selena Dustin Jones Brett Miler 6 Courtney Hanover Rick Zeron Scott Zeron 7 Manchego Jimmy Takter Yannick Gingras 8 Piranha Fury R. Nifty Norman Tim Tetrick 9 Seviyorum Julie Miller Andy Miller The top five finishers in each elim will advance to the final on Aug. 4. There is no Lasix or any race day medication permitted in the eliminations or finals of the Hambletonian Oaks or Open. Elimination winners draw for inside posts 1-5 and all other finalists will then be placed in an open draw. The winner of the final on Aug. 4 is the Oaks winner, regardless of elimination finish on July 28. Post positions for the $500,000 final will be drawn and morning lines assigned on Tuesday, July 31, on a Facebook live post-position draw at 2 p.m. on the Meadowlands Facebook page and also streamed live on the Meadowlands YouTube channel. The $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $1 million Hambletonian will be featured on a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. [EDT] on Aug. 4. Hambletonian Day is closing day with a post time of 12:00 noon, and the zenith of the Championship Meet. Fans can follow the next two action-filled weekends at Hambletonian.com, meadowlandsracetrack.com and on Twitter at #Hambo18. by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society

With the annoucement that Atlanta will be taking on the boys in the Hambletonian, plus her unbeaten streak now at five-straight, has moved from #6 to #4 in the Top Ten Poll. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 9 – 7/24/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (34) 6tm 6-6-0-0 $233,338 349 1 2 McWicked (1) 7ph 8-6-1-0 $556,831 244 2 3 Ariana G 4tm 5-3-0-0 $346,675 235 3 4 Atlanta 3tf 5-5-0-0 $178,234 195 6 5 Courtly Choice 3pc 8-6-0-0 $453,615 177 4 6 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 6-4-2-0 $353,557 142 5 7 Shartin N 5pm 15-11-1-0 $575,040 130 7 8 Lather Up 3pc 8-7-0-0 $470,665 125 8 9 Six Pack 3tc 6-5-1-0 $359,198 113 9 10 Wolfgang 3tc 3-3-0-0 $200,415 96 10 Also: Manchego (49); Plunge Blue Chip (46); Jimmy Freight, Marion Marauder (4); Evenin Of Pleasure, Filibuster Hanover, Phaetosive (3); Crystal Fashion, Kendall Seelster (2); Dorsoduro Hanover, Fox Valley Gemini, Springbridge Sassy (1).

With a bold leap after winning the Haughton Memorial, McWicked has jumped from 5th place to 2nd place in this weeks Top Ten Poll.  Ariana G also climbed up the poll big time, moving from seventh place to third and Courtly Choice, who was not even in the Top Ten after winning his M'lands Pace elim two weeks ago, moved into 4th place with his Pace final victory. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 8 – 7/17/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (34) 6tm 6-6-0-0 $233,338 349 1 2 McWicked (1) 7ph 7-5-1-0 $543,911 245 5 3 Ariana G 4tm 5-3-0-0 $346,675 215 7 4 Courtly Choice 3pc 8-6-0-0 $453,615 164 -- 5 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 6-4-2-0 $353,557 155 8 6 Atlanta 3tf 4-4-0-0 $147,584 153 4 7 Shartin N 5pm 15-11-1-0 $575,040 147 2 8 Lather Up 3pc 8-7-0-0 $470,665 144 3 9 Six Pack 3tc 6-5-1-0 $359,198 116 -- 10 Wolfgang 3tc 3-3-0-0 $200,415 100 9 Also: Manchego (62); Plunge Blue Chip (45); Marion Marauder (8); Crystal Fashion (5); Filibuster Hanover, Fox Valley Gemini, Phaetosive (3); Springsteen (2); Bit Of A Legend N, Donttellmeagain, Dorsoduro Hanover, Foiled Again, Sock It Away, Youaremycandygirl (1).

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Ariana G, the 1-5 favorite driven by Yannick Gingras, led wire-to-wire before drawing clear late to a 2¾-length victory in the 27th edition of the $405,850 Hambletonian Maturity for harness racing 4-year-old trotters Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Ariana G completed the 1 1/8-mile distance in 2:05 and cruised to her third win in five starts this season, posting her 24th victory in 31 career starts. Coming off a world-record 1:50 2/5 score in the Graduate Series final just a week ago, Ariana G also joins 2016 winner and Gingras-driven Hannelore Hanover (who won earlier on the Saturday card in the Miss Versatility), 1964 winner Elma and 1963 winner Spry Rodney as mare winners of the Maturity and also hits the record books as the first mare to complete the Hambletonian Oaks-Maturity double. As the prohibitive favorite, Ariana G returned $2.60 to win. "I was so happy with her performance. I was a little nervous with her nine post. She cut it close a bit down the stretch, but she is just an amazing horse," said trainer Jimmy Takter, who took home his first Maturity win. "We should not compare great horse with others. She has been so good. She is just a perfect horse." Takter said Ariana G will next race on Hambletonian Day (Aug. 4) in the John Cashman Memorial. Bill's Man, driven by Corey Callahan, was second, with Top Flight Angel and Andy Miller grabbing the show dough.   by Lou Monaco, for the Hambletonian Society

The Hambletonian Maturity, a race exclusively for 4-year-old trotters, drew nine entrants and will go to post Saturday (July 14) at the Meadowlands Racetrack for a purse of $405,850. Ariana G, owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, fresh off a world-record 1:50.2 victory in the Graduate Series final, seeks to join 2016 winner Hannelore Hanover, 1964 winner Elma and 1963 winner Spry Rodney as mare winners of the Maturity. Ariana G, who won the 2017 Hambletonian Oaks on her way to divisional honors and $1.1 million in earnings, would be the first mare to complete the Oaks-Maturity double if she wins Saturday. Her stiffest competition comes in the form of Guardian Angel As, with three wins in three starts this year for trainer Anette Lorentzon. The son of Archangel authored a 4-year-old track record of 1:52 last month at Harrah's Philadelphia, but was ineligible to the Graduate final. Owned by ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson, Guardian Angel As has racked up $320,030 in his career, with most of his sophomore success coming on the New York Sire Stakes trail. This year he's a different horse according to Lorentzon. "Last year he was just unlucky most of the time," Lorentzon said. "He raced good but he wasn't as good on a half-mile track and that's where the New York Sire Stakes are raced. He was always better on a mile track. I thought he raced really, really good in the Hambletonian to make the final and everyone knows the story of him getting run into. (Guardian Angel As, driven by Jason Bartlett, was fourth in his Hambletonian heat and interfered with in the final, causing the first ever disqualification of a Hambletonian winner, when What The Hill was placed ninth). "At the end of the year I started to have a problem with his foot -- I'm still not sure what bothered him, but he had a lot of issues with it. He raced really well in Lexington but he was not paid into the Kentucky Futurity. Then the Breeders Crown, that didn't go as we planned either. I was happy in the elimination but the final did not work out as it should, so then I just turned him out." Guardian Angel As ended the year with a record of 19-8-3-1 and $259,280 in earnings. Lorentzon qualified him at Hoosier Park in May and won an overnight in 1:53, a new mark for Guardian Angel As that he subsequently lowered in winning a leg of the Graduate at Tioga Downs and lowered again by setting the track record at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:52. "When Timmy (Tetrick) drove him in Tioga he said he got away a little further back then he wanted but won as easy as could be. Then of course at (Harrah's Philadelphia) he was very happy with him," Lorentzon said. "We missed the Graduate because you have to race in half the legs and there are only three and I did not want to ship him to Canada because it's a long season with a lot of racing towards the end of the year. I am thinking about the future with him because we plan on racing him for several more years -- you never know what will happen but that's our plan. "Ariana G was very, very impressive and it's a tough race for everybody. I'll be happy if he races well and has a little luck." Also entered is Sortie, who was a surprise third-place finisher in the Graduate final at 53-1 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer; Canadian invader R First Class from the barn of Ben Baillargeon; a pair of contenders from trainer John Butenschoen, Don Dream and Bill's Man; as well as International Moni, Yes Mickey and Top Flight Angel. R First Class is driven by Trevor Henry, whose most recent of only three previous career appearances at The Meadowlands was in 2017 when he drove Classic Pro to a third-place finish in the Meadowlands Pace at 64-1. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Guardian Angel As-Tim Tetrick-Anette Lorentzon-4/1 2-Yes Mickey-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-12/1 3-R First Class-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon-15/1 4-Top Flight Angel-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-8/1 5-International Moni-Scott Zeron-Domenico Cecere-5/1 6-Don Dream-Brett Miller-John Butenschoen-20/1 7-Sortie-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-10/1 8-Bill's Man-Corey Callahan-John Butenschoen-10/1 9-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-7/5 Trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt won the first edition of the current incarnation of the Hambletonian Maturity in 2014 with Your So Vain and starts Yes Mickey from post two. Four of the nine entered were 2017 Hambletonian starters: Bill's Man, Guardian Angel As, International Moni, and Sortie. Created by the Hambletonian Society and the Meadowlands as a racing opportunity solely for 4-year-olds previously eligible to the Hambletonian and Oaks, like those events the Maturity racing conditions prohibit the use of Lasix, the only race day medication permitted in New Jersey and entrants are subject to out of competition testing. The distance is 1-1/8 miles. All starters in the race will receive money, with the winner receiving 50 percent of the purse. One percent of the total purse will be paid to the owners of the finalists finishing sixth through ninth. The remainder of the purse for the Maturity will be divided 50-24-16-10 percent for the horses finishing second through fifth. For the complete Meadowlands card, click here. For Meadowlands announcer Ken Warkentin's analysis of all the races, click here. by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society  

Ariana G, based on her amazing world record performance over the week, has surged aboard the Top Ten Poll in seventh place. There was no movement among the top six horses. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 7 – 7/10/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (32) 6tm 5-5-0-0 $218,338 346 1 2 Shartin N 5pm 14-11-1-0 $560,923 269 2 3 Lather Up 3pc 8-7-0-0 $470,665 228 3 4 Atlanta 3tf 4-4-0-0 $147,584 217 4 5 McWicked (1) 7ph 6-4-1-0 $324,850 174 5 6 Manchego 3tf 4-3-0-0 $55,740 131 6 7 Ariana G 4tm 4-2-0-0 $143,750 122 -- 8 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 5-3-2-0 $264,370 97 8 9 Wolfgang 3tc 2-2-0-0 $112,630 85 7 10 Marion Marauder 5th 5-3-2-0 $169,500 49 10 Also: Courtly Choice (42); Filibuster Hanover (27); Crystal Fashion (26); Bit Of A Legend N (23); Foiled Again (21); Stay Hungry (17); Keystone Velocity (10); Six Pack (9); Shower Play (8); Mission Accepted (6); Rockin Ron (4); Katkin America, Springsteen (3); Donttellmeagain, Emoticon Hanover, Fox Valley Gemini, Nutcracker Sweet, Physicallyinclined, Warrawee Ubeat, Will Take Charge, Youaremycandygirl (1). Foiled Again received 2 first-place votes.

Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 6 – 7/3/2018 While Hannelore Hanover became stronger as the number 1 pick in the Top Ten Poll with 34 of the 35 first place votes, there was a lot of movement of selections after this weekends racing. Shartin N moved to number 2 while Lather Up dropped to number 3. Altanta moved up to number 4 and McWicked moved up to number 5 and he was not in the Top Ten last week. Manchego dropped to number 6. Both Kissin In The Sand (#8) and Marion Marauder (#10) made it to the Top Ten. Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (34) 6tm 5-5-0-0 $218,338 349 1 2 Shartin N 5pm 14-11-1-0 $560,923 265 3 3 Lather Up 3pc 8-7-0-0 $470,665 243 2 4 Atlanta 3tf 4-4-0-0 $147,584 232 5 5 McWicked (1) 7ph 6-4-1-0 $324,850 159 -- 6 Manchego 3tf 4-3-0-0 $55,740 153 4 7 Wolfgang 3tc 2-2-0-0 $112,630 94 7 8 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 5-3-2-0 $264,370 77 -- 9 Filibuster Hanover 4pg 7-5-1-0 $235,975 55 6 10 Marion Marauder 5th 5-3-2-0 $169,500 54 -- Also: Bit Of A Legend N (44); Crystal Fashion (31); Keystone Velocity (23); Jimmy Freight (21); Six Pack, Will Take Charge (20); Shower Play (18); Ariana G (11), Courtly Choice, Rockin Ron (10); Homicide Hunter, Springsteen (9); Mission Accepted (6); Katkin American, Nutcracker Sweet, Split The House (2); American History, Emoticon Hanover, Fox Valley Gemini, Sintra, Stay Hungry, Youaremycandygirl (1).  

The first of five opportunities this year for fans to submit their own Top 10 poll arrives following this weekend's stakes action, highlighted by the Pepsi North America Cup card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Fans can submit their Top 10 rankings beginning at 12:01 a.m. (EDT) Monday (June 18), by emailing HarnessTop10@gmail.com. Voting will close at 5 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday (June 19). A total of 35 submissions will be selected randomly and points will be tabulated in the same manner as the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Submitted polls must include the fan's first and last names to be accepted. Rankings submitted as attachments will not be accepted. The results of the inaugural Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Fan Poll will be announced Wednesday (June 20), the day after the regular media rankings are released. Names of fan voters will not be revealed with the poll, but fans whose rankings are selected will be notified via email. Fans are encouraged to share their rankings and the poll on social media. Other weeks for fan voting will follow the Meadowlands Pace, Hambletonian Day, Kentucky Futurity Day, and the Breeders Crown. To view the current Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

No changes in Ken Warkentin’s Road to the Hambletonian Week 3 top ten list. ank Horse Driver, Trainer, Owner Ken Warkentin’s Comments 1 Fourth Dimension Brian Sears, Marcus Melander, Courant, Inc Won Dan Patch Award & Valley Victory in 1:53.3, owns a mark of 1:52.4, fifth [1:55] in a Big M qualifier May 19 on sloppy track, rallied in :27 to win a Big M qualifier in 1:53.3 on June 2 2 Met’s Hall Andy Miller, Julie Miller, Stroy, Inc. Andy Miller Stable, Inc. 1:52.4 Grand Circuit winner @ Red Mile & runner up in Breeders Crown, Team Orange Crush on board in last two Hambos, first qualifier was a fifth [1:55.3] behind Fourth Dimension on June 2 3 Alarm Detector Trevor Henry, Benoit Baillargeon, Thomas & Elizabeth Rankin, Claude Hamel & Santo Vena Chapter Seven colt set a Canadian record of 1:52.4 in William Wellwood Memorial, won two Mohawk qualifiers on May 14 [1:57.4] & May 21 [1:55.4], did not qualify/race last two weeks 4 You Know You Do Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, Howard Taylor, Order By Stable, Bud Hatfield, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, Sam Goldband Peter Haughton Memorial winner in 1:54.2, second in the Wm. Wellwood, has won three Big M qualifiers in 1:54.1, 1:55.3 on sloppy track & 1:53.2 on May 26, did not race last week 5 Six Pack Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt Inc, Little E, Stall Kalmar FF, Lars Berg NYSS champion @ two kicked off his 3YO season with three straight wins @ Vernon Downs, 1:53.1, 1:52.1 and a track record 1:51.2 in the EBC Final on May 28, did not race last week 6 Evaluate Corey Callahan, Marcus Melander, Stall TZ Inc Son of Andover Hall & stablemate to Fourth Dimension rallied to win PASS division in 1:51.4 @ Pocono Downs on May 26 in only his sixth career start, did not race last week 7 Captain Morgan Christian Lind, Staffan Lind, Lind Racing Stable, Bender Sweden Inc, Roy Holth, KemppiSuojalampi Stable Cantab Hall colt won his first two starts this season, including a PASS division in 1:54.1 in the slop @ The Meadows, then was second [1:52] to Evaluate on May 26, did not race last week 8 Samo Different Day Jimmy Takter, Christina Takter, Samo Partners Second in the Peter Haughton, third in Breeders Crown & Valley Victory, second in the Matron Final, second [1:53.4] in a qualifier on May 26, did not qualify/race week 9 Wolfgang Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, Brixton Medical, Goran Falk, Hatfield Stables, Fair Island Farm, Inc. Upset stablemate Samo Different Day to win Matron Stake in 1:55.3 & second in the Valley Victory Final, won his second qualifier in 1:54 on May 19 & did not qualify/race last two weeks 10 Moosonee Christopher Beaver, Winterbeary Farm Ltd. Explosive Matter gelding kicked off his 3YO season winning a PASS division in 1:54 @ The Meadows, then finished second to You Know You Do @ Pocono Downs on May 26, did not race last week, post four in first division of Currier & Ives @ The Meadows on June 6     KEY PREP RACES Date Stakes Site Winner Trainer Driver 2nd Horse 3rd Horse Time 05/05 Dexter Cup Fhld Lindy’s Big Bang Nifty Norman Dave Miller DON Perlucky 1:56.1 05/11 NYSS VD SIX PACK Ake Svanstedt Ake Svanstedt Voss Volo CRUISING IN STYLE 1:53.1 05/11 NYSS VD Helpisontheway Linda Toscano Tim Tetrick Clive Bigsby VIC’S WINNER 1:55 05/11 NYSS VD DON Julie Miller Andy Miller CLASSICHAP Seven Iron 1:54.3 05/18 NJSS M SHOSHIE DEO Deshawn Minor George Brennan U NEED STONES Brutal Storm 1:56.2 05/18 E. Breeders Elim VD SIX PACK Ake Svanstedt Ake Svanstedt Helpisontheway CLASSICHAP 1:52.1 05/18 E. Breeders Elim VD Seven Iron Linda Toscano Tim Tetrick On The Ropes Voss Volo 1:54.2 05/19 PASS Mea What’s The Word Janice Conner Corey Callahan HILL STREET DAWSON SPRINGS 1:54.1 05/19 PASS Mea CAPTAIN MORGAN Staffan Lind Christian Lind EVALUATE Im Your Captain 1:54.1 05/19 PASS Mea MOOSONEE Chris Beaver Aaron Merriman FASHIONWOODCHOPPER GEMOLOGIST 1:54 05/19 PASS Mea Donatover Trond Smedshammer Trond Smedshammer CRYSTAL FASHION MISSLE HILL 1:54.4 05/25 NJSS M SHOSHIE DEO Dewayne Minor George Brennan U NEED STONES Brutal Storm 1:53.4 05/26 PASS PcD EVALUATE Marcus Melander Corey Callahan CAPTAIN MORGAN Make It A Double 1:51.4 05/26 PASS PcD YOU KNOW YOU DO Jimmy Takter Yannick Gingras MOOSONEE Scirocco Rob 1:53.2 05/26 PASS PcD Whats The Word Janice Connor Corey Callahan HILL STREET Donatover 1:53.2 05/28 E. Breeders Final VD SIX PACK Ake Svanstedt Ake Svanstedt SOUTHWIND CHROME Clive Bigsby 1:51.2 06/01 NJSS Final M SHOSHIE DEO Dewayne Minor George Brennan U NEED STONES Brutal Storm 1:53.4  

The Meadowlands and the Hambletonian Society are teaming up to present the "Own A Horse - Hambletonian Edition." Registration opens Friday, June 1 and runs through June 30. On Sunday, July 1, twenty-five contestants will be selected and paired with a likely Hambletonian Heat participant. The contestant that is paired with the colt or filly that wins the 2018 Hambletonian Final will win $5,000! Over $4,000 was given away in Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment's May Own a Horse Contest. Five of the 10 contestants came out to the Meadowlands to watch their horse in person and brought friends and family with them. Montalbano Bi provided the most lucrative payout for one of his "owners" Michele Grusser, who walked away with $692. "This was really fun, I had a great time," said Grusser, of Edgewater, NJ. "I have told a lot of people about this wonderful promotion." Full Own A Horse - Hambletonian Edition rules and information can be found at http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com/index.aspx?id=13546 by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

The Hambletonian Society, which owns and administers the Breeders Crown series, will raise the purses of the four freshman divisions of the Breeders Crown races to $600,000 each for 2018, making them the richest harness racing events for 2-year-olds of each gender and gait in the country. All 12 year-end Championship events will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Given the Society's longstanding mission to support and promote the breeding of Standardbred horses and in a continued effort to address the issue of declining foal crops, an immediate boost to 2-year-old purses will benefit breeders, owners and yearling buyers. "This will be the fourth straight year we've been able to bump the 2-year-old Breeders Crown purses to $600, 000," said John Campbell, president of the Hambletonian Society. "With the spike in February and March payments we want to give owners an immediate return on their investment in young horses. Eliminations for 2-year-old races will be held Friday, Oct. 19, while 3-year-old and older eliminations will be held Oct. 20. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosted the Breeders Crown events in 2010 and 2013, setting new handle and attendance records each year. The complete purse schedule for the Breeders Crown is as follows Harness Racing’s Championship Series Presented by The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Twelve Events • $6 Million Estimated in Purses  Saturday, October 27 $600,000 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT $600,000 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE $600,000 2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT $600,000 2-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE $500,000 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT $500,000 3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE $500,000 3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT $500,000 3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE $400,000 BREEDERS CROWN PACE $250,000 MARE PACE  $500,000 BREEDERS CROWN TROT $250,000 MARE TROT  

Cranbury, NJ... March sustaining and nominating payments for Hambletonian Society harness racing stake events are due Thursday, March 15 and per USTA Rule 12 section 4, must be postmarked by midnight on Friday, March 16. The Hambletonian Society services 132 of harness racing's richest and most prestigious events and provides one-stop shopping for your staking needs. The website Hambletonian.org contains all the tools and information necessary to stake your horse yourself. Race conditions, payment forms and much more information is now available online. For additional information call the Society offices at 609-371-2211 or email davidJanes@hambletonian.org. March 2018 2-Year-Old Payments Due Delvin Miller Adios (and Adioo Volo Filly Division) Arden Downs Stakes Breeders Crown Cane Pace (and Shady Daisy) Currier & Ives Trot (and Filly Trot) Dexter Cup (and Lady Suffolk Trot) The Elevation Fox Stake Hambletonian (and Hambletonian Oaks) Hoosier Stakes The Horseman Kentuckiana Stallion Mgt. Filly Pace & Trot (for 2YO Fillies) Keystone Classics Landmark Stakes Early Closer Liberty Bell Early Closer Madison County Matron Series Messenger Stakes (and Lady Maud) Progress Pace W. N. Reynolds Memorial Early Closer Art Rooney Pace (and Lismore Filly Division) John Simpson Memorial Early Closer Tompkins Memorial & Geers Early Closer Ralph Wilfong Yonkers Trot 3-Year-Old Payments Due Breeders Crown The Carl Erskine Circle City Courageous Lady Filly Pace Jenna's Beach Boy Keystone Classics Landmark Stakes Early Closer Liberty Bell Early Closer Matron Series Monument Circle Pegasus Series Early Closer W. N. Reynolds Memorial Early Closer John Simpson Memorial Early Closer The Crossroads of America The USS Indianapolis Memorial Tompkins Memorial & Geers Early Closer Open Payments Due Battle of Lake Erie Breeders Crown Centaur Stakes Cleveland Trotting Classic Dan Patch Dayton Derby Trot and Pace Hoosier Park Pacing Derby (previously the Indiana Pacing Derby) Miami Valley Distaff Moira Fanning

Moira Fanning, Director of Publicity and Event Operations for the Hambletonian Society, has been named COO by the executive committee of the harness racing Society, effective immediately. Fanning has been with the Society since 1988 and will take over many of the administrative duties performed by former president and CEO Tom Charters. Earlier this year Charters announced his retirement and the board elected John Campbell, the sports leading money winning driver to succeed him as president. "This is a well-deserved promotion for Moira," said Campbell. "She has been a tremendous asset for the Society for many years and her professionalism, talent and commitment are unparalleled in our industry. It has been a pleasure working with and learning from her these last few months and I feel fortunate we will be working together for the foreseeable future." In addition, David Janes, who has been the staking assistant and IT Manager for the past year has been promoted to Stakes Manager, replacing the recently retired Callie Davies-Gooch. He will be responsible for the staking arm of the Society, which currently services 131 important stakes, closers and events across North America. Janes has been with the Society since 2009 and recently completed his B.A. in Information Technology and Informatics from Rutgers. He has gained experience in all facets of the harness racing business through his involvement in the VIP Internet Stable, one of the most successful and long-running racehorse syndication partnerships, which his father, Tom Janes, co-manages with founder Ed O'Connor. The Hambletonian Society is a not-for-profit organization which supports and encourages the breeding of Standardbred horses by sponsoring and administering stakes and other special events in harness racing. The Society was founded in 1924 to organize the Hambletonian Stake, one of 37 races it currently owns. These races are some of the richest and most prestigious racing events across North America, held at 14 different racetracks, involving the processing of more than 54,108 individual payments totaling $12.3 million and responsible for the disbursement of more than $16.7 million in purses.  

Standardbred Canada has organized an industry-wide initiative to review the rules of racing in hopes to create a rule book for every harness racing jurisdiction to adopt and enforce. The initiative co chaired by Dan Gall, CEO/President of Standardbred Canada and Hambletonian Society President John Campbell, will conduct a detailed and comprehensive review of the rules of racing with input from all stakeholders.   The initial goal of this effort is to identify rules that should be clarified, modified or expanded to enhance uniform adoption and interpretation and to more accurately reflect contemporary racing conditions. The group will ultimately work to incorporate changes to existing rules and seek their adoption with provincial racing commissions. "Our members have been asking for uniformed rules across the country for years and this was demonstrated overwhelmingly in a recent Standarbed Canada online survey that was conducted this past spring. I believe that we have put together an incredibly strong, credible group of industry leaders that can make what some might describe a 'pipedream' a reality, and it all begins with a goal, a vision and a great team to make things happen," stated Gall.   "We should have universal rules throughout harness racing, throughout North America," says Campbell. "That is something I've felt quite strongly about for a long time. I don't believe some of our rules are worded as well as they could be. That can make it difficult for the judges to rule consistently. If the wording were made more concise and definitive, it would be easier for judges. The beneficiaries are twofold -- this will benefit the gamblers betting on our game across Canada as well as for the participants and judges. It will be better for all involved to get this accomplished," said Campbell. It's anticipated that there will be some review and revision of rules completed this autumn with the goal to be completed in 2018.   While every aspect of the rules of racing will be considered, the initial areas of scrutiny will be driver safety and fitness, fair start, recall and starting gate rules, horses coming out of a hole, causes of interference, and in the era where so much handle is generated by simulcast wagering, conduct of post parades. Members of the committee include; Regulators from all provincial jurisdictions including; Mike Brown (B.C.), Doug Fenske (Alta.), Doug Schneider (Sask.), Larry Huber(Man.), Brent Stone (Ont.), Marc Bergeron (Que.), Dr. Paul Hogan (Atlantic region), retired Hall of Fame Driver and SC Director Bill O'Donnell, Bill McLinchey(WEG/SC Director), Judge Roger DesRoches (P.E.I.), Driver Gerry Hudon (Alta.) along with co-Chairs John Campbell and Dan Gall. Communications Manager Darryl Kaplan will serve as the Standardbred Canada representative to assist in coordination and execution of our committee agendas. In addition, there will be two non-voting members; Dean Towers, representing horseplayers (NS), and a horseman to be determined. The first meeting of the Rules of Racing Committee is scheduled for September 29, 2017.   Darryl Kaplan Manager, Industry Communications and Business Development Standardbred Canada Editor, Trot Magazine 905-858-3077, ext. 241 dkaplan@standardbredcanada.ca

At the Annual Meeting of the Members of the Hambletonian Society held in Rutherford, NJ, in conjunction with the 92nd Hambletonian stakes, two new members were elected to the harness racing board. Ann Straatman of Lucan, Ontario and Linda Toscano of Freehold, New Jersey, were elected to serve on the board of the Hambletonian Society. Both have diverse and long-term involvement in harness racing, and are deeply invested in the future of the sport in North America. Straatman is the Reproduction Manager at Seelster Farms in Lucan, Ontario. With more than 20 years in this position, Straatman and members of the Van Bussel family are the third generation to manage Canada's largest and most successful breeding farm. Seelster Farms encompasses over 600 acres and stands eight of the sports top sires. The farm stood the breed-changing pacing stallion Camluck until his retirement in 2014. Camluck passed away the following year at age 28, leaving an extraordinary legacy of more than $214 million in purses won by his offspring. Straatman is also the current Sale Manager and President of the Forest City Yearling Sale, which Seelster owns in partnership. Straatman has been a Director of Standardbred Canada and was the Chair of the Breeders Committee. Toscano, a native of Brooklyn whose introduction to harness racing came through the metropolitan racetracks of Roosevelt and Yonkers, worked her way through the ranks to become one of the top trainers in the sport today. She was the first female trainer to win the Hambletonian, sending Market Share to victory in 2012. That same year she was voted Trainer of the Year, and another of her charges, Chapter Seven, was voted Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year honors. Toscano has tallied more than $46 million in purses since striking out on her own in 1984. Her first divisional champion was Giant Mermaid in 1995, but she has had multiple stake winners of both gaits, including the free-for-all pacer Jet Laag, who set a world record in 1999 and earned more than $1 million. Most recently her two-year-old trotter Walner was named champion of his division in 2016. "Both Ann and Linda can provide valuable insight to the board," said Hambletonian Society president John Campbell. "They have been long-time contributors to the sport in the most positive ways possible. We look forward to having them assist the Society in our mission." Other business of the meeting included approval of the conditions of Hambletonian No. 95, the stake for the Hambletonian and Oaks of 2020, and the 2021 Hambletonian Maturity. The Hambletonian Society is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1924 to sponsor the race for which it was named, the Hambletonian Stake. The Society's mission is to encourage and support the breeding of Standardbred horses through the development, administration and promotion of harness racing stakes, early-closing races and other special events. The Hambletonian Society services 131 of harness racing's richest and most prestigious events at 14 different tracks, including harness racing's most prominent race, the Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters, a filly division, the Hambletonian Oaks, the Hambletonian Maturity, and the sport's championship series, the Breeders Crown. The organization was responsible for the disbursement of more than $14.8 million in purses last year. John Campbell is president of the Hambletonian Society and Jim Simpson chairs the executive committee.  

In addition to the race on the track, Hambletonian Day is a chance to salute harness racing champions of days gone by. This year, the trotters will be led to the post by four-time Hambletonian winning driver Mike Lachance. Lachance, 66, is now retired, but he won the race four times, between 1994 and 2003. He's fourth on the all-time money winning list with $190 million and 10, 422 victories. Lachance will also present the trophy to the winning driver of the Hambletonian. Lachance will be driving the four-year-old trotter, Chukkar, owned by the Arden Homestead Stable and Janice Connor. Chukkar will be competing in the Hambletonian Amateur Drivers race on Friday at The Meadowlands with Peter Gerry driving. Chukkar will be pulling a high wheel sulky from the collection of the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, N.Y. The Miller High Wheel Cart #1 was produced in about 1903. At the time of production, the manufacturer characterized it as, "in a class by itself." Jim Campbell, who trained 1995 Hambletonian winner Tagliabue, will present the trophy to the winning trainer of this year's Hambletonian champ. Sylvia Hovde, who cared for 2009 Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill, will present to the winning caretaker. Substituting for William Mulligan, breeder of the 2016 Hambletonian winner, Marion Marauder, will be the manager of Mulligan's Marion Farms, Lynda Barnhart. Barnhart will present the trophy to the person who bred this year's Hambletonian winner. From the Hambletonian Society      

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