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Goshen, NY - Time is running out for members of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame to submit Immortal nominations for the Class of 2020. All Museum members have the privilege of nominating persons and horses who they feel have made a significant contribution to the sport of harness racing. The nominees must be deceased at least three years to be eligible for consideration. Nominations must include a complete biography of the nominee and detailed harness racing career statistics, when applicable. Nominations must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2020. They may be emailed on or before that date to or mailed to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924. NOTE: Nominees selected by the Immortals Committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in 2020 will be inducted in July 2021. From the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame

Stienam's Place retired from racing at age 4 following a Dan Patch Award-winning career. Now, at the age of 25, she is retired again, this time following a broodmare career that landed her in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Barry Guariglia, whose Green Mountain Farms shares ownership of Stienam's Place with Kentuckiana Farms, said the mare would sell her final foal during next week's opening session of the Lexington Selected Sale. Twenty-four years ago, Guariglia and his racing partners, Peter Goulazian and James Greenwald, purchased Stienam's Place under the name Tranquil Sands for $62,000 at the Kentucky Standardbred Sale. "She's officially retired and will stay at Kentuckiana for the rest of her life," Guariglia said about Stienam's Place, who was the sport's Dan Patch Award winning 3-year-old filly pacer in 1997 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017. "She's done well and gone a long time. It's time for her to just relax, eat some grass, and run around." Stienam's Place was from the first crop of Artsplace and the first foal out of Stienam's Girl. Her second dam, Stienam, was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3 in 1985. Bruce Riegle trained Stienam's Place and Jack Moiseyev handled the driving in all but several races. For her career, she won 18 of 31 races and earned $1.40 million. Her top win at age 2 came in the Sweetheart; at 3, her triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Jugette, Glen Garnsey, Helen Dancer, and Matron. She won 14 of the final 15 starts of her campaign. She raced once at 4, suffered a severe bone bruise, and was retired. As a broodmare, Stienam's Place has produced 10 horses to reach the races, totaling 108 wins and $4.67 million in purses. First foal Donkeys Can Talk was a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion, but her greatest successes came during the second half of her career as a mom. The filly Showherthemoney was a world-record-setting stakes-winner at age 3 whose victories included the Jugette, Nadia Lobell, Matron, Glen Garnsey and Miss New Jersey. She won 19 of 54 races and $871,161 lifetime. At the same time Showherthemoney was enjoying her big 3-year-old campaign in 2009, 2-year-old filly Put On A Show burst on the scene by winning seven of nine races, including the She's A Great Lady. The following season, she received the Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old filly pacer, with wins including the Breeders Crown, Nadia Lobell, and Valley Forge. She finished her career with 31 wins in 50 starts and $2.40 million. Two of Put On A Show's offspring have gone on to be stakes-winners, Come See The Show and Meadowlands Pace champion Best In Show. Following Showherthemoney and Put On A Show, Stienam's Place produced three more horses to earn six figures in purses: Good Day Mate ($597,623), Rockstar Stride ($173,240), and The Show Returns ($377,327). "She's had a big impact," Guariglia said. "It took her a while to hit, but with her pedigree and performance as a racehorse, we kind of figured it was just a matter of time before she clicked. Sure enough, she did. "As a racehorse, she was a little ornery in the stall. Bruce had to keep her with a goat (named Bunny) to keep her calmed down. It worked for her. As a broodmare, she's been a perfect lady." Guariglia, whose top horses since Stienam's Place include Dan Patch Award-winning trotter Manchego, said he always enjoyed following the horses produced by Stienam's Place. Her final foal, a colt by Somebeachsomewhere, is named Ponzu. He is hip number 62 and will sell on Oct. 1 at the Lexington Selected Sale. "Some people say, why did you sell Put On A Show?" Guariglia said, adding with a laugh, "Well, first of all, if I knew she was going to make $2.4 million, maybe I wouldn't have. But I wish people the best luck and I want to see them do well. People have a weird angle on that stuff; it doesn't bother me at all. I enjoy watching (her offspring). Absolutely. It's kind of neat. "She was my first great horse. She was good on the track and great in the shed. All the way around, it was a great experience." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

GOSHEN, NY - Results from the balloting for harness racing's highest honor, membership in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, and from the balloting for the Communicators Hall of Fame, have been tabulated and certified. Four candidates have received the sport's highest honor, election into the Harness Racing Hall Of Fame: Tom Charters, of the Hambletonian Society and Breeders Crown; Jeff Gural, racetrack executive and owner/breeder; Bill Popfinger, a respected horseman for over half a century; and Tim Tetrick, who has set new standards for harness racing sulky success before reaching the age of 40. In addition, Phil Pikelny, noted primarily as an author and a publicist for the U.S. Trotting Association and Columbus (OH)'s Scioto Downs, and Ken Weingartner, the USTA's Media Relations Manager, have been elected into the Harness Racing Communicators Hall of Fame. The Hall of Famers achieved their distinction by getting 75%+ of the "yes-no" ballots distributed in mid-summer; eligible for voting for the Hall of Famers were qualified members of USHWA and the existing Hall of Fame members. Those on the ballot were decided by the USHWA Screening Committee from the nominations of the Writers' chapters. Tom Charters worked his way through the ranks in harness racing, starting out as a caretaker (among his charges was Horse of the Year Delmonica Hanover) before becoming a racing secretary. In 1984 the Hambletonian Society hired Charters as executive director of the Breeders Crown, a newly-created series of season-end championship races, and his work in establishing the Crowns as signature events led to his being named executive director of the Society in 1994, then being promoted in 1998 to president and chief executive officer. Charters' tireless work in such diverse fields as increasing racing handle, simulcasting and television production, international racing, and brand name establishment, plus the temperament to juggle all of these jobs along with dealing the wide range of personalities at the highest levels of the sport, firmly established him as one of the captains of the industry. Jeff Gural was a longtime racing fan, owner, and breeder, associated with Allerage Farms, Little E LLC, and other equine partnerships, along with proprietorship of New York's Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs racetracks, when he undertook the monumental task of leading the privatization of the sport's flagship track in North America, The Meadowlands, away from a state-run operation of New Jersey. Enlisting the aid of many of the sport's top figures in addition to large investments of his own money, time, and expertise, Gural has been the directing force of the revitalization of the mile oval, with a new grandstand built on the old backstretch side of the track, a facility and the parallel racing program aimed squarely at maximizing revenue for all of racing's interlinked parties in today's changing, challenging gaming environment. Bill Popfinger has been a horseman for over 50 years, going from success at smaller tracks to operating a powerful Grand Circuit stable, and he continues his winning tradition today. Popfinger first hit the harness limelight 50 years when he guided Lady B Fast to an upset win over the great trotters Fresh Yankee and Nevele Pride at Yonkers, and he cemented his stardom with his famous daring early move to the lead with Happy Escort, "the lights on, the horn honking, and the pedal to the metal," to defeat heavy favorites Falcon Almahurst and Flight Director in the 1978 Little Brown Jug raceoff. That quote also cemented Popfinger's nickname of "Showbiz," and over the years he campaigned such marquee horses as Happy Motoring, Praised Dignity, Spellbound Hanover, Say Hello, and Spicy Charlie. Tim Tetrick, at age 37, has already become one of only four drivers to have driven the winners of over $200 million in his career, and few doubt he will contend for the top spot, John Campbell's $299M+ career total, before all is done - after all, any possible mishaps may not slow a man who already has two "bionic hips" after replacement surgery. Also the single-season money recordholder for a driver with $19.7M in 2008, Tetrick also produces quantity with quality, driving his 11,000th winner earlier this year, putting him ninth all-time, fifth among active drivers, and second in the 2019 dashwinning standings. The list of top horses associated with Tetrick is too long to mention here, but it is fairly safe to say that when it comes to Breeders Crown time and the selection of year-end awardwinners, the name "Tetrick" will be associated with several of the champions. To determine the Communicators Hall of Famers, chapter nominees were whittled down to five finalists by a blue-ribbon panel of USHWAns, and then the organization's directors selected two of that quintet for placement on the summer election ballot. They too were elected by winning 75%+ of the "yes-no" ballots returned, with all Active members of USHWA eligible to vote. Phil Pikelny was first noticed by harness executive Stan Bergstein while still at Northwestern University. He worked for the Horseman and Fair World, then at age 23 he became the youngest national publicity director in any sport when joining the U.S. Trotting Association. During that period he authored, with Don Evans, the book Rambling Willie: The Horse That God Loved, about the sport's first double millionaire, who had his earnings tithed to an Ohio church. He then was publicity director at Scioto Downs for a number of years. He was the president of the Harness Publicists Association, and the president of the Ohio Chapter of USHWA. Ken Weingartner first went to the harness races with his father "before I could walk," and upon returning to his native New Jersey after college and early newspaper work, his harness racing stories attracted the notice of the U.S. Trotting Association, for whom he now works as Media Relations Manager, writing stories about the leading horses and humans in the sport and conducting the national Top 10 weekly balloting. He received the Allen Finkelson Golden Pen Award for excellence in harness racing publicity, and also has been honored by Harness Horsemen International. The honorees will first be publicly honored at the USHWA Dan Patch Banquet, to be held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, where the Halls of Famers will take their first ensemble bow during the banquet honoring the top humans and equines of the previous year's racing. Then comes next July 5's formal induction to the Halls of Fame, at a dinner set just outside the building in which their likeness will be placed to immortalize their selection as harness racing's best of the best. From the United States Harness Writers Association  

Goshen, NY — On Sunday (July 7) 12 individuals and six equines were inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Six new members — Blair Burgess, Ted Gewertz, Joe Holloway, Jerry Silverman, Linda Toscano and Ted Wing — entered the Living Hall of Fame, while Mark Hall and Dave Little were enshrined in the Communicators Hall of Fame. Dr. Leroy Coggins, Charles Hinkle, and Allen and Connie Skolnick also entered the Hall of Fame as Immortal honorees. Burgess now resides in the Hall of Fame in both Canada and the U.S. He has captured many of the sport’s most prestigious contests including the Hambletonian (Amigo Hall and Triple Crown winner Glidemaster), Breeders Crown (Real Desire), Meadowlands Pace (Frugal Gourmet and Real Desire) and Little Brown Jug (Tell All). Real Desire and Glidemaster were both voted Horse of the Year. Gewertz was first exposed to harness racing in the 1960s and has participated in nearly every facet of the industry. He has co-owned three Hambletonian winners — Giant Victory, Windsong’s Legacy (Triple Crown winner and Trotter of the Year), and Deweycheatumnhowe — in addition to such horses as Huntsville and Housethatruthbuilt. He was owner of the year in 2004 and is a director of the Hambletonian Society and a trustee of the Harness Racing Museum. Ted Gewertz is welcomed into the Hall of Fame by former president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, Tom Charters and his wife, Claire Chappell. ---Ken Weingartner photo Holloway commenced his love affair with the sport as a child. He was responsible for developing Jenna’s Beach Boy, three-time Breeders Crown winner, twice Pacer of the Year, and a horse whose record for a race mile of 1:47.3 stood for a decade. Harness racing’s top trainer in 1995, Holloway has since guided the careers of standouts She’s A Great Lady, Shebestingin, and Somwherovrarainbow, in addition to world champion and Horse of the Year Always B Miki at age two and three. Silverman was one of the top Grand Circuit trainers for more than five decades. He instituted himself as a force to be reckoned with in 1966 with Triple Crown winner Romeo Hanover and followed up that success with a number of champions including Fame, Hit Parade, Masquerade, Saccharum, Die Laughing, and Glowing Report. Toscano, the first female trainer to enter the Hall of Fame, is the only woman to capture a Hambletonian trophy. She was named Trainer of the Year in 2012, a season which saw her oversee the careers of Horse of the Year Chapter Seven and Hambletonian victor Market Share. She has also conditioned champions Walner and Heston Blue Chip, with half-mile track world champion Jet Laag being another one of her pupils. Linda Toscano is the first female trainer to enter the Hall of Fame and John Campbell, president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, presents her ring.  ---Ken Weingartner photo Wing was an Olympic-caliber skier before sustaining an injury and shortly after setting his sights on a career in harness racing, established himself as one of the best in the sport. He served notice of his abilities in the early years of The Meadowlands and was also a leading reinsman at Roosevelt and Yonkers Raceways. Wing entered the New England Harness Racing Hall of Fame the same year as Bill O’Donnell and Jim Doherty, who are also in the national Hall of Fame. He was involved with such renowned horses as Skip By Night, Gallo Blue Chip, Butler BG, and Calvert. Hall, who has been employed by the U.S. Trotting Association for more than 35 years, joins his prior colleagues George Smallsreed and Ed Keys in the Communicators Hall of Fame. He has collected six Smallsreed awards for his work, which is more than any other photographer in the history of the sport. Mark Hall and his wife, Becky, hold his Hall of Fame image. Hall has won six Smallsreed Awards, more than any other photographer in the sport.  ---Ken Weingartner photo Little was employed for more than two decades as the racing editor of the New York Daily News. He is now an integral component of the team in publicity and TV operations at The Meadowlands. Not only does Little announce at several racetracks, including Historic Track in Goshen, N.Y., he is a director of the U.S. Harness Writers Association and helps conduct the Clyde Hirt workshop for aspiring journalists. Dr. Leroy Coggins is not only a legend in harness racing, but throughout the entire equine industry for the revolutionary test which bears his name and remains an essential veterinary requirement more than four decades after its introduction. Today, the Coggins diagnostic test remains the crucial element in reducing the occurrence of equine infectious anemia (EIA) and is a vital component to the health of the entire horse industry. Charlie Hinkle was best known as the radio voice of the Little Brown Jug, the Hambletonian and the Kentucky Futurity in the 1950s and early 1960s on ABC and CBS radio. He also announced at many tracks in the United States including Los Alamitos, Cal Expo, Maywood, The Meadows, Grandview, Seminole and Hazel Park. Founders of New Jersey’s Southwind Farm, one of the most successful Standardbred breeding facilities in the world, Allen and Connie Skolnick were active supporters of the harness racing industry for more than 30 years. Buyers and sellers at all the prestigious Standardbred sales, they owned many superb racehorses over the years. Southwind was home to stallions Valley Victory, Artsplace and Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill. The trio of horses selected to the Living Horse Hall of Fame — Art Major, Captaintreacheous and Foiled Again — are a diverse and worthy group. Art Major was nominated as a stallion and racehorse, while the gelding Foiled Again did his best work as an older horse. Captaintreacherous was a two-time Pacer of the Year as a freshman and sophomore. In 2002, 3-year-old Art Major finished on the board in 25 of 31 starts with 20 wins. Victories included the Breeders Crown, Hoosier Cup, Cane Pace, Progress Pace, Confederation Cup, James Dancer Memorial, Tattersalls Pace and Bluegrass. His earnings of $1,562,779 were the most of any Standardbred in 2002 and he was voted Dan Patch and O’Brien 3-year-old Pacing Colt of the Year. Four-year-old Art Major won eight of 11 starts with three seconds in 2003. Major victories included the Breeders Crown, Canadian Pacing Derby and U.S. Pacing Championship. Ranked fourth in earnings for all Standardbreds in 2003 with $1,082,930, Art Major was voted Dan Patch and O’Brien Older Pacing Horse of the Year. As a stallion, Art Major is the sire of 22 in 1:49, and has sired winners of more than $127 million with nine millionaires, including world champion Art Official p,3,1:47 ($2,082,885), winner of the 2008 Meadowlands Pace, Hoosier Cup and Cane Pace; 2014 North America Cup winner JK Endofanera p,3,1:48.2 ($2,049,580); world champion Hypnotic Blue Chip p,4,1:47.2 ($1,787,311), winner of the 2010 U.S. Pacing Championship; and 2007 Breeders Crown and Governor’s Cup winner Santanna Blue Chip p,1:51s ($1,666,701). In 2012, 2-year-old Captaintreacherous finished on the board in all of his 10 starts, winning eight and earning $918,253. Victories included the Metro Pace, Woodrow Wilson and Nassagaweya. The leading money-winning 2-year-old Standardbred of 2012, he was voted Dan Patch Pacer of the Year and Dan Patch and O’Brien 2-year-old Pacing Colt of the Year. Three-year-old Captaintreacherous earned $2,055,033 while winning 13 of 16 starts including the Breeders Crown, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Hempt Memorial, Cane Pace, American-National, Tattersalls Pace and the Bluegrass. He was voted 2013 Dan Patch Pacer of the Year and 3-year-old Pacing Colt of the Year. Captaintreacherous was the leading money-winning Standardbred of 2013. World champion pacing gelding Foiled Again is the leading money-winning Standardbred of all time. In addition to his 109 lifetime victories, he is the only Standardbred to have earned more than $1 million in three consecutive seasons, with average annual earnings of more than $585,000 over 13 years. He finished on the board in 225 of his 331 starts. In 2011, 7-year-old Foiled Again recorded victories in his second consecutive Quillen Memorial, the Molson Pace, Graduate final, Indiana Pacing Derby and American-National. The second-leading money-winning Standardbred of 2011, his earnings of $1,405,747 also made him the top single-season money-winning pacing gelding ever. He was voted Dan Patch Pacer of the Year as well as the Dan Patch and O’Brien Older Pacing Horse of the Year. Eight-year-old Foiled Again’s major victories included the Canadian Pacing Derby, his second consecutive Molson Pace and second consecutive Indiana Pacing Derby. The third-leading money-winning pacer in 2012 with $1,207,429 in earnings, Foiled Again became the oldest pacer on record to have a $1 million year. He was voted Dan Patch Older Pacing Horse of the Year. Foiled Again, the sport’s leading purse money money, leads the post parade at Historic Track prior to his induction into the Hall of Fame. ---USTA/Ken Weingartner photo. In 2013, 9-year-old Foiled Again became the oldest horse to ever win a Breeders Crown. Other major victories included the Ben Franklin and TVG final. In the Franklin elimination, Foiled Again set a world record 1:48 for all-age pacing geldings on a five-eighths-mile track. With $1,404,984 in earnings, he was the third-leading money-winning Standardbred in 2013, recording his third consecutive $1 million season. He was voted Dan Patch and O’Brien Older Pacing Horse of the Year. Three broodmares — Graceful Touch, Southwind Serena and Delinquent Account — joined their male counterparts. Graceful Touch and Southwind Serena entered the Living Horse Hall of Fame while Delinquent Account entered the Immortal Hall of Fame. Bred by Peter Eriksson of Soraker, Sweden, broodmare Graceful Touch was owned by Perretti Farms during her racing career. She is currently owned by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Maumee River Stables. Graceful Touch has 11 registered foals with six starters and $1,9 million in total earnings. Her most successful offspring are 2010 Hambletonian winner Muscle Massive 3,1:51 ($1,239,138) and 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner Thatsnotmyname 2,1:55 ($340,730). Son Muscle Mass2,1:53.4 ($229,000) is the sire of the sub-1:50 2018 3-year-old world champions Six Pack 3,1:49.1 ($1,461,165) and Plunge Blue Chip 3,1:49.4 ($1,031,284). Bred by Southwind Farm in Pennington, N.J., 2007 Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena was owned during her racing career by Andrea Lea Racing Stables. She is currently owned by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Andrea Lea Racing Stables. Southwind Serena has six registered foals with four starters and more than $3 million in total earnings. Her most successful offspring are the 2014 2-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year, 2015 3-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year, and world champion Mission Brief 3,1:50.2f ($1,599,587) and 2018 Breeders Crown winner Tactical Landing 3,1:50.2 ($812,300). Broodmare Delinquent Account produced 13 foals, including two-time Breeders Crown winner Artiscape, sire of eight millionaires including 2004 Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Rainbow Blue. Delinquent Account also produced Hall of Fame broodmare Arterra, dam of Breeders Crown and Messenger Stakes winner, world champion If I Can Dream.   from the USTA Communications Department

GREENVILLE – The Butterflies Junior Garden Club was asked to make a selection from the Pioneer Room at the Garst Museum and develop a theme to decorate a tree for the holidays. The club selected Greenville native Grant E. “Gene” Riegle and Gene Riegle Horse Stables. Gene was an outstanding American harness racing driver and trainer.  He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1992.  Riegle started his harness racing career in 1950 shaded by his father Roy Riegle, driver and trainer. At the 1972 Little Brown Jug, Riegle drove Jay Time who was the odds on favorite before the race.  Jay Time, who finished in a dead heat with Strike Out one month earlier in the Adios Pace, was scratched after the first heat due to a high temperature. In 1990, Riegle along with Bruce Nicells, was awarded the Glen Garnsey Trophy as United States Trainers of the Year. He trained 1993 Little Brown Jug winner, Life Sign. Riegle passed at his Greenville home on Oct. 17, 2011. Butterflies Junior Garden Club members chose the Riegle colors of red and chartreuse adding horse ornaments, ribbon to represent the race track, plumed top to represent a horse tail and the actual silk cloth tree skirt donated by Gene’s brother Jim Riegle.  A portrait of Riegle is on display next to the tree, also loaned by his brother. Decorating were Saige Fellers, Mariana Ramos, Brianna Fellers and Callee Moore. Reprinted with permission of Bluebag Media

Anthony T. Abbatiello, a harness racing leader for several decades who was a member of the sport's Hall of Fame, died October 19 at his home in Colts Neck, NJ, after complications from heart failure. He was 89.   Mr. Abbatiello was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1995 after a long career in harness racing as a trainer, driver, horseman's association president and a member of numerous other organizations. He joined his brother Carmine in the Hall of Fame, making them the first brother combination to do so.   He became a member of the New Jersey Racing Commission in 2005 by appointment of the governor.   He was co-founder of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey and served as its president for more than 30 years. Due to his leadership, the organization became a strong, motivating force in the success of harness racing in New Jersey. He also served as chairman of the board of the United States Trotting Association, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York, chairman of the New Jersey Sire Stakes Board of Trustees, a trustee of the American Horse Council and the Trotting Horse Museum.   In addition to his induction into the Hall of Fame, Mr. Abbatiello received the Proximity Award of the United States Harness Writers Association and was honored as man of the year by Harness Horseman International.   He was a decorated U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, rising to the rank of captain and receiving numerous commendations, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Valor, two Purple Hearts, Combat Infantry Badge, and Korean Campaign Ribbon with four Battle Stars.   Predeceased by his wife Kathleen, he is survived by three daughters, Jean Sardoni (Craig) of Colts Neck, Christine Whelan (John) of Colts Neck, and Lisa Locke (James) of Virginia; six grandchildren, Ava and Michael Sardoni, Shane and Jack Whelan and Abigail and Ian Locke; two brothers, Carmine and Matt, and one sister, Sadie Merillo, and several nieces and nephews.   Visitation will be from 4 to 8 PM on Tuesday (October 24) at the Higgins Funeral Home in Freehold. A military burial will be private on October 25 at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery in Arneytown, NJ.   From Leon Zimmerman

Freehold, NJ --- Jules Siegel’s successes as an owner and breeder led to his recent selection for enshrinement in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, but the 89-year-old proprietor of Pennsylvania’s Fashion Farms hopes to continue adding to his list of harness racing accomplishments. On Thursday, Siegel will watch three of his stakes-winning 2-year-old male trotters -- Crystal Fashion, Fashionwoodchopper and Patent Leather -- compete in International Stallion Stakes divisions at Lexington’s Red Mile. Crystal Fashion is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the second of five International Stallion splits while Patent Leather is the 5-2 second choice in the first division and Fashionwoodchopper is the 3-1 second choice in the final division. All three horses are owned by Siegel’s Fashion Farms and trained by Jim Campbell. “I love them,” Siegel said of the three trotters. “They’re all in the same category. After having a couple years with (two-time Dan Patch Award winner) Broadway Donna, to come up with something like that, it’s a pleasure. “That’s Jimmy. He was training them (Tuesday) morning and he said they’re such a pleasure to sit behind. And he deserves it. He’s put in so much work and so much effort to come up with three good colts.” Hambletonian Society photo Jules Siegel will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 1, 2018. Siegel, who will be 90 on Nov. 5, knows about good horses. He received the Owner of the Year Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association in 2002 and 2009, an honor he shared with his wife Arlene, who passed away in 2010. In addition, Siegel was Standardbred Canada’s Owner of the Decade for the 2000s and the Pennsylvania chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s Breeder of the Year in 2008 and 2009. He was named to the Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame in 2007. The Siegels and Campbell won the 1995 Hambletonian with Tagliabue. He was the first of the Siegels’ Dan Patch Award-winning horses, followed by two-time recipient Galleria, Broadway Hall, Broadway Schooner, Possess The Will, and two-time honoree Broadway Donna. Broadway Schooner, a daughter of stallion Broadway Hall bred by the Siegels, won the 2009 Hambletonian Oaks and is the dam of Broadway Donna. Siegel’s induction into the Hall of Fame will take place July 1 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. “I’m ecstatic,” Siegel said. “I never imagined anything like that would happen. I thought it was reserved for people who really accomplished something. But I’m very happy it all came about this way.” Arlene, a retired nurse, and Jules, a retired pharmacist who had founded and sold a chain of drugstores, worked together at Fashion Farms. Arlene was among the people who guided Jules through the early years of the farm’s operation, even getting him to assist with the mares when their foals were born. “She was the real inspiration,” Siegel said of Arlene, his wife of 55 years. “She bought the farm. She was great. When I was a pharmacist, I didn’t even know what a horse looked like. I became familiar by being with people who taught me everything. It’s a wonderful thing, to really be associated with so many people that I look forward to, that were my inspiration. “It’s not so much me, it’s the people in the industry. There are so many good people who have helped me and given me direction. Not only is it them, it’s the people who work on the farm back home. I’m just a cog. There are a lot of people on the farm who have been with me for over 20 years. I’ve got an extended family. It’s a great feeling. I just hope it continues for a while.” The trio of trotters racing Thursday could help it continue for a while. All three were involved in photo finishes in last week’s Bluegrass Stakes divisions, with Crystal Fashion winning by a nose, Fashionwoodchopper prevailing by a head, and Patent Leather finishing second by a nose. “Two out of three ain’t bad,” trainer Campbell said. “There are a lot of good trotters out there. Those three races, they were noses apart, and it could have gone either way. There is a lot of tough competition out there, that’s for sure.”   Nigel Soult photo Fashionwoodchopper prevailed by a head in his Bluegrass division. Fashionwoodchopper (by Donato Hanover out of Woodshopper) has a four-race win streak that includes the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He was purchased as a yearling under the name Big Wood for $100,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. He has earned $204,618 in seven starts. “He’s a colt we liked all winter training down,” Campbell said. “He just needed a little extra time to find his way at higher speed. I still think he’s going to be a better 3-year-old; he’s grown a lot since he started racing. But he’s the type of horse that knows how to win, and I’ll take that type of horse any day.” Crystal Fashion (Cantab Hall-Window Willow) is from the same family as millionaire Lolique and world-record-holder Farmer Jones. He was purchased for $100,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, under the name Watteau Hanover. A gelding, Crystal Fashion has won three of nine races, hit the board a total of eight times, and earned $130,442. “He’s been coming along really nicely,” Campbell said. “He’s gone some really good races. Even when he hasn’t won he’s been coming the right way at the wire. He’s gotten better with more racing. He’s kind of a big colt and he’s starting to put everything together.” Patent Leather (Broadway Hall-Designable) has two wins and has finished worse than second only once in six races. The colt has earned $63,142. “He’s been an overachiever,” Campbell said. “He’s a colt that’s got a lot of great determination. He’s not the prettiest looking when he goes slow, but when he goes behind the gate, he throws everything away. He reminds me a lot of Broadway Hall. He looks a little bit like him and he’s got the same attitude. He just loves to race. I have to give Jules all the credit; Jules bought him privately all on his own.” All three horses are eligible to the Breeders Crown later this month at Hoosier Park. Click here for Thursday’s complete Red Mile card. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Congratulations to the new Hall of Famers. Well, we just announced the newest inductees voted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, and the four individuals could not be more deserving. Congratulations to Jules Siegel and Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, who are going into the Hall, and to Carl Becker and Dave Briggs, who are going into the Communicators Hall. Jules Siegel and his late wife Arlene established Fashion Farms in eastern Pennsylvania, acquired first-rate broodmares and bred them to top sires to achieve successful racehorses.  Siegel has raced Hambletonian winner Tagliabue along with eight Dan Patch Award champions and five Breeders Crown winners including Broadway Hall, Broadway Schooner and Broadway Donna. Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg is the first woman elected to the Hall of Fame. She is the owner of Menhammar Stuteri AB, the leading breeder in her native Sweden, which has been in her family for 70 years. Wallenius-Kleberg also created a North America-Europe comingling of racing and breeding talent with her partner, the late Hall of Famer Norman Woolworth, headed by champion horses such as Mack Lobell. Carl Becker began his career in harness announcing in 1963 and became in-demand with major tracks like DuQuoin IL, where he called the Hambletonian and World Trotting Derby, and The Red Mile where he announced Niatross’s historic 1:49.1 time-trial. Dave Briggs achieved journalistic success through his award-winning work as editor of the Canadian Sportsman magazine. In the last couple years Briggs has been in charge of Harness Racing Update, the online racing newsletter. Briggs is also a nine-time Hervey Award winner for excellence in harness journalism; the next highest total for an individual is five. Siegel, Wallenius-Kleberg, Becker and Briggs will all be honored at the 2018 Dan Patch Awards Banquet, to be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, FL on Sunday February 25, 2018. They then will be enshrined at the Hall of Fame in Goshen NY on Sunday, July 1, 2018. USHWA helps to rebuild Goshen Historic Track After the devastating fire that completely destroyed barns and a blacksmith shop at Goshen Historic Track, the Executive Board of USHWA met and unanimously agreed to donate $5,000 to help rebuild the oldest operating harness racing track in the world, which is listed as a National Historic Landmark. The Officers wanted to take a lead role in the industry and help provide GHT a hand in getting the track back to where it should be, and we hope that others within the sport follow our example and donate what they can to keep this historic property open and operational for generations of racing fans to come. USHWA to be a sponsor of the Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park For the first time ever, USHWA will be a sponsor for the Breeders Crown, to be held at Hoosier Park in October. Because of the generosity of Hoosier Park, who was the title sponsor of our Dan Patch Awards Banquet this past February in Las Vegas, the Officers decided it was important to support them now as they host their very first Breeders Crown, along with showing our support for all the participants of the races themselves. Our name will be prominently shown on the grooms’ gear, namely the fleece jackets they will be provided with; our organization’s name will be on the chest and down the arms. We will also have a full-page color USHWA ad in the Breeders Crown program. Proximity nominations are due next month Please keep in mind that the first nomination deadline of the fall comes up on Tuesday, Oct. 13, for the Bergstein/Proximity Award (250-500 word biography per nominee, one per chapter). These nominations need to be reviewed by the Integrity Committee and the Directors before being returned to the membership for final voting. So it is important that the original deadline be met in order to keep in line with other year-end award announcements. … so Plan a Chapter meeting NOW! With the Proximity nominations due then, if your Chapter can mobilize for a meeting very soon, that may be best. If not, with all the year-end award nomination and voting activities just around the corner, it would be a great time to plan a Chapter meeting to get “all your ducks in a row.” Also make sure you let Secretary Connors know who your Directors are for 2017-2018 so we have a record we can refer to when it comes to reimbursements in February. New website is in trial mode We are literally days away from the release of our new website. It is up and running in a faux-domain until we get it tweaked and finally released. Look for a release as soon as we go live. 2018 Budget is currently being drafted Tom Hicks and the Budget Committee are currently putting together the final touches on the 2018 financial plan. This year we are on target to make a profit commensurate with the projections presented to the Directors – and, depending on what transpires with banquet sponsorships prior to the end of the year, could go higher. Our principal organizational functions this year have stayed on point, and we thank everyone involved for their work in that achievement. Dan Patch Awards host hotel reservation portal now open The USHWA-only reservation portal for the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando is now live on our website, and you can now make your plans to attend the National meetings and Dan Patch awards banquet the last weekend in February. Please keep in mind that as every year, a limited number of rooms will be available at the discounted rate, and making an early reservation may be a good idea. Don’t forget about Items for the DPA Silent and Live Auctions As was mentioned in my previous newsletters, you are aware that we annually hold a silent auction to help fund not only the business of USHWA, but also the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and the Clyde Hirt Workshop.  In recent years, the items that have been made available to us for this auction have dwindled severely, and we need your help and support to turn the tide.  This is a call to EVERY USHWAN!  Please take a minute of your day to call a business, hotel, sport team, industry outlet, race track, farm, distributor, anyone or anything you can think of and try to get donations for this auction, so we can more adequately support the worthy causes that the proceeds are put towards.  To date, I have only received a response from Dave Brower, Melissa Keith, and Matt Sparacino with offers of auction items. I know it’s early, but it’s never too early to help the organization. Whether you attend the banquet or not, it would help the functions of the organization immensely if everyone got just one donation of any value to put into this auction. I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming fall weather and all the great stake racing that is yet to come. I also hope I run into many USHWA members at the Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park next month as it promises to be one of, if not THE, best presentation of this stake ever.   Tim Bojarski President of USHWA

Harrisburg, PA - Jules Siegel, owner of Fashion Farms in Pennsylvania, twice national owner of the year in the U.S. and Owner of the Decade (2000s) as named by Standardbred Canada, and Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, an important breeder, owner, and board member of organizations on both sides of the Atlantic, were named ballot candidates for the sport's most prestigious honor, the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, this past weekend by the Hall of Fame Screening Committee of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Siegel, who will turn 90 this year, graduated from Rutgers with a degree in pharmacy, and operated a chain of drug stores for 40 years. When he sold the drug stores in 1995, his wife and partner Arlene, who passed away in 2010, insisted, "you cannot retire to nothing," so the Siegels' Fashion Farms soon became home to some of Standardbred racing's best broodmares and racehorses. Tagliabue won the Hambletonian the year Jules Siegel retired - the first of eight Dan Patch Award winners for him. He has five Breeders Crown victories to his credit as well, three of them homebreds with the farm's "Broadway" first name: Broadway Hall, Broadway Schooner, and Broadway Donna just last year. Wallenius-Kleberg is the owner of Menhammar Stuteri AB, the most successful breeding farm in Sweden for the last nine years; her family has owned the farm for 70 years, having been purchased in 1947 by her father Olof Wallenius. Menhammar Stuteri is noted for having stood the transcontinental champion Mack Lobell at stud, and also for standing two stallions sent to Sweden by Wallenius-Kleberg's business partner, the late Hall of Famer Norman Woolworth: Zoot Suit and Smokin Yankee. A tireless worker for the sport, Wallenius-Kleberg is a director of the Hambletonian Society in the U.S., and in 2011 received the Pinnacle Award for promotion of the sport. In Sweden, she was the former chair of the Swedish Breeders Association and of the organization operating Solvalla Racetrack, home of the famous Elitlopp, and is an honorary lifetime member of these two organizations and of the Swedish Trotting Association. If elected, Ms. Wallenius-Kleberg would become the first woman enshrined in the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Siegel and Wallenius-Kleberg were among nominees sent in by the chapters of USHWA for the consideration of the Screening Committee. After meeting with an Advisory Committee comprised of Hall of Famers, USHWA's Screening Committee made its decisions on the day of the annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, the first Sunday in July. Siegel and Wallenius-Kleberg will be joined on the midsummer ballot by Carl Becker, race-caller/auctioneer/pedigree authority, and Dave Briggs, nine-time winner of the Hervey Award for outstanding writing about the sport; they are the candidates for the Communicators Hall of Fame. If a nominee receives 75 percent of the yes-no votes cast, she or he will be elected. The results will be announced shortly after Labor Day. The new Hall of Famers will be first feted at the Dan Patch Awards Banquet, to be held Sunday, February 25, 2018 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, in conjunction with USHWA's annual meetings. The new Hall of Fame class will be formally inducted during the Hall of Fame Sunday Dinner in 2018 on July 1. U.S. Harness Writers Association

Goshen, NY --- On a sultry Sunday (July 2) midsummer’s evening in the Hudson River Valley, inductions for the Harness Racing Hall of Fame were conducted. The sole inductee into the Living Hall of Fame was Brian Sears, one of the sport’s elite drivers over the course of the last 15 years. Joining Sears were Communicators Hall of Fame inductees Steve Wolf and Gordon Waterstone; and Living Horse Hall of Fame inductees Mr. Muscleman, Rock N Roll Heaven, Artstopper, Benear, Fox Valley Monika and Stienam’s Place. Sears, 49, was inducted in to the Hall for his skill as a driver with 9,771 wins and $178,144,754 million in purses. Honored as USHWA’s Rising Star of the Year in 1991, the talented reinsman is the only driver to capture the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks on the same day, accomplishing the feat with Muscle Hill and Broadway Schooner in 2009 and again with Royalty For Life and Bee A Magician in 2013. He also won the Hambletonian in 2015 with Pinkman in the only instance he piloted the horse that season. The sport's Driver of the Year in 2009, Sears has won 26 Breeders Crown titles, good for No. 4 on the all-time wins list in the series. Horses driven by Sears have earned more than $10 million in the series, which is among the top five in history. Sears has also steered three winners of the Horse of the Year title: Rocknroll Hanover in 2005, Muscle Hill in 2009, and Bee A Magician in 2013. “It’s pretty amazing to think about being mentioned with people such as (Del) Miller, (Billy) Haughton, (John) Campbell and (Bill) O’Donnell,” said Sears. “My dad (Jay) is the one who puts things in perspective, It means a lot to my family, since I grew up around the sport. The horses come and go, but the people have stayed, and getting to drive for a lot of the same ones now that I did when I first started means a lot. I always appreciate the opportunities that are given to me, and I enjoy going out there and competing. “When I first started, I’d watch guys such as Bill Fahy (at the Meadows) and pick their brains. Today, it seems the new generation of drivers—Scott Zeron, Doug McNair, Joe Bongiorno-are getting chances to drive better horses at a younger age.” Communicators Hall of Fame It is only fitting Waterstone and Wolf, whose careers have essentially commenced and progressed together since their entry into the sport in 1979, were inducted into the Hall of Fame on the same evening. Both men have been president of USHWA and each has won that organization’s Member of the Year Award, with Wolf being the only individual honored in that capacity twice. Both have won the Harness Publicists Association's Allen J. Finkelson Golden Pen Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in promoting harness racing, and both have won the Clyde Hirt Media Award from Harness Horsemen's International. Both have also chaired several important USHWA committees and are also the presidents of their own respective region’s USHWA chapters. For much of the late 20th century, Wolf was a publicist for several tracks in the immediate area of his native New Jersey (Freehold Raceway, Brandywine Raceway and Liberty Bell Park) and for the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) before relocating to Pompano Park in South Florida, where he rose through the ranks to become senior director of racing operations, until he created his own consulting company. Wolf also was the president and served on the Board of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. "My main goal in harness racing was to attract new people to the industry and become just addicted to harness racing as I was," Wolf said. Waterstone was for many years the publicist for Hazel Park in Detroit, also working at other area racetracks as well as Northfield Park, before becoming associate editor of The Horseman And Fair World, for whom he wrote two John Hervey Award-winning stories. Waterstone also serves as an Internet editor and a popular columnist for that publication. He was also a member of the Breeders Crown publicity team. "If you would have asked me back in 1979 when I was a publicity assistant at Hazel Park if I would ever be here I would have said the odds were better for a reality star would be elected as president," Waterstone said. "It is humbling to be up here to be introduced for the Hall of Fame by Moira Fanning, my dear friend, and to be up on the podium with Roger Huston." Living Horse Hall of Fame Mr Muscleman t, 2, 1:59; 3, 1;53.3; 4, 1:53.1; 5, 1:51.1; 6, 1:52.1; 7, 1:52 qualified for induction into the Hall of Fame based on his career as a racehorse.The gelded son of Muscle Yankee-Meadowbranch Irene collected $1,178,115 in 2003, which was the most money ever earned by a 3-year-old trotting gelding. In 2004, winning the Maple Leaf Trot and American-National helped earn Mr Muscleman the title of Older Trotter of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. In 2005, 5-year-old Mr Muscleman's victories included the Breeders Crown, Maple Leaf Trot, Titan Cup and Classic Series, where he set his record 1:51.1. His season's earnings of $1,364,220 were the most ever by an older Standardbred gelding and made Mr Muscleman the only Standardbred to earn $1 million in two non-consecutive seasons of North American racing. He was voted 2005 Trotter of the Year and Older Trotter of the Year. He is owned by Adam Victor and sons, was trained by Noel Dailey and piloted by Hall of Famer Ron Pierce. Roll N Roll Heaven, p, 2, 1:50.2; 3, 1:47.3 qualified to enter the Hall of Fame on his merits as a racehorse. When the 2010 Horse of the Year and world champion was the 10-leading single-season money-winning Standardbred of all time, recording 20 wins out of 30 career starts. In 2009, 2-year-old Roll N Roll Heaven earned $592,626 and set a world record 1:50.3 for 2-year-old pacing colts on a five-eighths mile track. In 2010, 3-year-old Roll N Roll Heaven won 16 of 21 starts, banking $2,156,192, which made him that season’s leading money-winning Standardbred. The stallion was elected 2010 Dan Patch Horse of the Year, Dan Patch Pacer of the Year, and Dan Patch and O'Brien 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year. "I can't say thank you enough to all the people that supported him and bred to him," Joe Bellino said. "There were so many heartfelt people along that way that reached out to my family about his horse. We keep buying horses now to find another one like him." "Thank you for the people that voted for Rock N Heaven to enter the Hall of Fame," Saunders said. "He is a very deserving inductee and was the horse of a lifetime." In winning the Little Brown Jug in record time (1:49.2), Roll N Roll Heaven became the first horse to pace two sub-1:50 miles on the same day, while setting the world record for pacing on a half-mile track in a two-heat race and the record for 3-year-old pacers on the half-mile. In 2010 he paced a record 11 sub-1:50 race miles, including seven consecutive, with victories in 1:49.2 or faster on half-mile, five-eighths mile, seven-eighths and mile tracks. Roll N Roll Heaven, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Artistic Vision, is owned by Frank Bellino. He was conditioned by Bruce Saunders and driven by Dan Dube. Artstopper entered the Hall of Fame due to her meeting the criteria for induction. The daughter of Artsplace-Ain't No Stopn Me was born in 2003 and was unraced. Bred and owned by Roll The Dice Stable, the mare produced the fastest Standardbred of all-time and 2016 Horse of the Year Always B Miki p, 5, 1:46, )$2,715,368), Yagonnakissmeornot p, 5, 1:49.3, $(1,458, 850) and One Stop Deal p, 4, 1:50.4, ($114,549). "This is something that means more to me anything," Joe Hurley said. "This is all done for love of the Standardbred." Benear (Badlands Hanover-Veneer) is a Hall of Fame inductee although she was a very good on the racetrack. In fact, she earned $319,321 and set her mark of 1:49.3 as a 4-year-old. As a broodmare, Benear, who is owned by Geoffrey Martin and was bred by Susie Stafford, is the dam of 2014 Little Brown Jug victor Limelight Beach p, 3, 1:49.1, ($1,277,529), Momas Got A Gun p, 3, 1:50.1 ($509,844) and Manhattan Beach p, 3, 1:49.3, ($514,915). Fox Valley Monika entered the Hall of Fame as a result of her proficiency in the breeding shed. The daughter of Incredible Finale-Lady Kin (1998, p, 3,1:53.3 ($64,049), produced Glass Pack p, 4,1:49.4 ($1,002,820), Doubletrouble p,5,1:50 ($702,203) and Our Dragon King p,4,1:49.1 ($523,801). To date, Fox Valley Monika has produced three fillies and six colts, with seven starters and earnings of more than $3.1 million. She is owned by Duane Miller. "Legacy Farm only has between eight and 12 broodmares, so it shows you don't have to be a Hanover or Winbak Farm," said Miller's son Darin. "It has great feeling of accomplishment to our little farm in Indiana, as we bred and raised all of her foals and then developed relationships with all the people associated with them all the way." Stienam’s Place, despite being world champion and the 1997 Dan Patch 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year, entered the Hall of Fame because of her progeny. The daughter of Artsplace-Stienam’s Girl (p, 3,1:50.4, $1,402,301) was responsible for Put On A Show p, 5,1:47.3 ($2,406,628), Showherthemoney p, 3,1:49 ($871,161) and Good Day Mate p,3,1:49.3f ($503,349). To date, Stienam's Placehas produced seven fillies and four colts, with nine starters and earnings of more than $4.5 million. The 23-year-old mare is now owned by Green Mountain Farm and Kentuckiana Farms. "I have such great memories of Stienam's Place racing and as a broodmare, although it did take awhile for her to come around," said Barry Guariglia. "Of course I have to thank her and I have to thank everybody." 2017 Harness Racing Hall of Fame Amateur Driving Champion Hannah Miller, 25, was honored for the second consecutive year as leading driver on the Billing Series of races for amateur drivers. Miller’s success in the sulky has benefited the work of the Museum, as her contributions in lieu of commissions benefit its work. Last year Miller repeated her stellar season from 2015, again tallying 32 triumphs, which is the most ever by an amateur driver. In Sept., Miller represented the U.S. in the international amateur World Cup in Budapest, Hungary, and finished second by only one point. She ruled the 2016 C.K.G. Billings Series, as she was the combined points champion and captured the East Region Final at Pocono Downs and the $25,000 Billings Series final. USTA Communications Department 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (June 30, 2017) - It only seemed fitting that John Campbell, the greatest driver in harness racing history, would end his Hall of Fame career with a win. But since he's John Campbell, he did one better and won the final two races. Campbell lowered the curtain on his career by winning with Muscle High and Muscle Diamond in his final two drives on Friday night at The Meadowlands in front of family, friends, and generations of harness racing fans who packed the Big M to wish Campbell farewell. The 62-year-old Campbell first came to the Meadowlands in 1978. During his five decades in the sulky, he won a record six Hambletonians, seven Meadowlands Pace trophies, and 48 Breeders Crowns. After his final trip around the Meadowlands oval, Campbell's fellow drivers came to the winner's circle to shake hands and show their appreciation for the man who revolutionized the sport. Campbell will participate in two exhibition races at Goshen this weekend and at Clinton Raceway in Ontario at the end of July. He will assume his new role as President and CEO of the Hambletonian Society on July 1. While Campbell's career ended, a pair of 2-year-olds began their careers in impressive fashion. Jimmy Takter unveiled filly trotter Manchego in a maiden race. The daughter of Muscle Hill kicked home in :27 flat to win in 1:54.4. Later in the card, Takter's 2-year-old pacing colt Nutcracker Sweet, who posted a pair of :26.1 final quarters in his two baby races, posted another :26.1 final quarter to win a maiden event in 1:52. The $150,000 Harrisburg purchase is a half-brother to $3.4 million earner Sweet Lou and a full brother to $2.7 million earner Bettor Sweet. Takter won three races on the card with Tetrick driving two of the winners. Jim Marohn, Jr. also posted a driving double. Total handle on the 10-race card was $1,657,520. Racing resumes Saturday night. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

Marcia Louise (Bickford) Stearns of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, died Saturday, June 17, after a long illness. She was 76.   Born and raised in Wolfeboro, NH, she graduated from Brewster Academy and earned a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire.   Mrs. Stearns began her career teaching elementary school in Farmington, NH. Later she was elected Town Clerk of Hampstead, NH and served two terms until she moved to Newtown, PA. She then returned to teaching at St. Ignatius School in Yardley where she taught the fourth grade for nearly two decades.   She was married for 35 years to the late Bruce Adams Stearns, a prominent harness racing leader who served as executive director of the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program in the State Department of Agriculture before his passing in 2001. Previously, Mr. Stearns was publicity director at harness racetracks, including Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania and Rockingham in New Hampshire. He was elected posthumously in 2002 to the Harness Racing Communicators Hall of Fame.   Survived by daughters Christine Stearns and Catherine (Stearns) Medich, son-in-law Benjamin, granddaughter Elizabeth Medich, sisters-in-law Elaine Bickford and Gail Bird (David), and several nieces and nephews.   She was predeceased by her parents, Frank Lovewell Bickford Jr. and Eleanor (Kenney) Bickford; husband Bruce Adams Stearns, and brother Kenneth Bickford.   Family visitation will be from 4 to 8 PM on Wednesday, July 21, at the Orender Home for Funderals, 2643 Old Bridge Road, Manasquan, NJ. Burial will be in New Hampshire.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the George School and sent to the Advancement Office, 1690 Newtown Langhorne Rd, PMB 4438, Newtown, PA 18940, or to the charity of your choice.   From Leon Zimmerman, USHWA      

Columbus, OH --- is reporting that Communicators Hall of Famer Sam McKee, one of the most well-known and respected announcers in horse racing, died Tuesday night (March 7), as a result of complications after suffering a major stroke early last month. He was 54. Mr. McKee was the announcer and simulcast director at the Meadowlands, leaving his home state of Michigan in 1998 to work on a fill-in basis at the New Jersey racetrack. Soon after he was hired as full-time announcer, later adding the title of simulcast director. Mr. McKee was elected to the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association's Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2012, he received the sport's highest honor when he was elected to the Communicators Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. To read more on, click here.  

Harness racing's newest inductees to the Hall of Fame, driver Brian Sears and communicator Steve Wolf, will be the special guests on the top Thoroughbred radio show in south Florida Wednesday afternoon, It's Post Time With JJ Gracie. The program gets underway on the internet at 3:00 pm at It's Post Time With JJ Graci takes place seven days a week, live on Thursday from the studio and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday they are on location at Gulfstream Park. The show features sessions about the horse racing industry, including harness racing, handicapping, live race calls, trivia with prizes, and great guests! Sears, a south Florida native and graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School, won his first race at age 16 at Pompano Park and hails from three generations of harness horsemen. Both his grandfather, Gene, and father, Jay, are inducted in the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Currently, Sears has amassed 9,714 driving wins, purse earnings of more than $176,000,000 and has a very impressive career UDR of .329. Wolf has been living for 17 years in south Florida. Starting out as an owner/breeder in 1977 with his father, Manny, and their Leo Wolf & Son Stable, he was the Director of Racing Operations at the Isle Pompano Park for nine years and is now a horse racing consultant. "I really like and appreciate harness racing," said JJ Graci, "and it will be great to have two of the sports newest inductees to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on our show Wednesday." You can follow It's Post Time With JJ Graci on Facebook at From It's Post Time With JJ Graci      

HARRISBURG PA - One is a native of the heartland of U.S. harness racing, the Buckeye State of Ohio. One is a Swedish emigrant who is fiercely appreciative of the opportunities his adopted United States has given him. (Both do fine when they cross the border north to Canada, too.) Both are in their mid-50s. Both are members of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. David Miller and Jimmy Takter were the Driver and Trainer of the Year in 2015, respectively, their outstanding seasons cemented by quantity - six Breeders Crown wins for Takter, with Miller gaining five Crown sulky triumphs, including two for Takter. And in 2016, Takter and Miller are repeat winners in their respective categories as voted by the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA), both again having quality seasons up and down the board, but their highlight this time focused on quality - 2016 Harness Horse of the Year Always B Miki, author of the sport's fastest-ever mile, a 1:46 clocking at Lexington's famed Red Mile on October 9. "Miki" also had four victories in head-to-head matchups against 2015 Harness Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit, who had three in a months-long series of contests that had fans - and even "seen-it-all" horsemen - buzzing throughout North America. Of course, to earn top yearly accolades over their talented peers, both men accomplished much more than their successful collaboration with Always B Miki. Takter collected year-end honors not only with Always B Miki (also the Pacer of the Year) but with a repeat champion, the 3-year-old pacing filly Pure Country, and two 2-year-old fillies, pacer Idyllic Beach and trotter Ariana G (Takter also guided Ariana G's successful sophomore sister All The Time, and the two fillies' combined exploits earned breeders/owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz honors as the season's Breeders of the Year). That's four divisional winners in all -- no other trainer had more than one. Add in Breeders Crown-winning Bar Hopping, often right in the mix with Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder, among others and you see a powerhouse of a stable that earned Takter Trainer of the Year plaudits for the third year in a row, and sixth overall (1996, 2000, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016). While Takter is forthright and outfront with his opinions, David Miller, while no less insightful, by temperament would rather just go about his job quietly yet effectively - both factors showing up when he became only the third driver, behind John Campbell and Ron Pierce, to go over $200 million in career sulky earnings, as the feat came in May at Harrah's Philly with an undistinguished pacer named Hickory Chumley, who paid $82.80 to win. In this, his best season ever for earnings with more than $12.6 million bankrolled, Miller also had a large hand in the racetrack guidance of two other divisional award-winners: 3-year-old trotting filly Broadway Donna, a repeat champion, and the multi-major stake-winning 3-year-old pacing colt Betting Line. This is Miller's third Driver of the Year title: he won the inaugural award in 2003, and of course now has two straight in the category. Jimmy Takter and David Miller (and the many horses for whom they were an integral part of the road to success in 2016) will be honored at the "Night Of Champions," the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park, which will take place on Sunday, February 26 at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Information about the banquet and the entire weekend, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found on the communicators' website, - including links for making hotel reservations at special rates at Planet Hollywood; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake Souvenir Banquet Journal, annually one of the best chronicles of a year in North American harness racing. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

What is the measure of the man? Some in the sport of harness racing might say John Butcher will be best remembered for the horses he owned and trained: Susan Blue, Shanandoah, Val Averil, Gay Reel, Ponty, Lorator, Prince Polka, Tobias, Desiree, Mathias, Josias, Abdias, Onias, Sophanias, Count Isa, Smooth Performer, Tooraloo – to name but a few. Others would probably recount his wins as a driver – 305 at least, although no one is quite sure of the real total. Alternatively, perhaps, the measure lies in the 717 winners he turned out as a trainer in his own right or in partnership with his son David, an achievement that led to his election to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Then, again, perhaps the measure is the fact North Island Harness Racing this year acknowledged John and his wife of 60 years, Colleen, for their life-time contribution to the sport. However, those closest to him, proud as they are of his accomplishments, will tell you the true measure of John Butcher lay in his family: that he was a good man, an honest, loyal man. An introvert by nature, he had a quick and subtle wit. He worked hard and smart; he loved his family unconditionally, and was loved in return. John was born in Whakatane, named Stanley after his father, but always called John by his uncles. The name stuck and by the time he started school, he would answer to no other. Except, in later years, when Colleen would call him Stanley. "And if she did, it only ever meant one thing … he was not on her happy list," son David, himself a champion driver, told the more than 400 mourners in a packed St Peters Catholic Church, Cambridge. As a young man, John was a capable scholar and he liked to point out that his teachers thought he would make a good accountant. But an office job was very far from what he saw for himself. He had always liked horses and would go to the races from a young age, sitting on the fence near the "birdcage", as the parade ring is known, until the last event of the day. So in 1952 he left school at 16 and went to work for Norm Cunningham's galloping stable. Told he would get too heavy to be a jockey, he returned home to Whakatane to work for feed company Loan and Mercantile. That did not last long, either, and late in the year he made the decision that was to govern his life's path – he started working in harness racing with Max Allen in Pukekohe. He was with Allen three years learning his trade and it was during this time he was with a workmate who asked a girl out. That girl happened to have a friend with her and John, being a man of few words, plucked up his courage and, smooth as you like, gave the girl's friend a gentle kick in the leg and said "You'd better come, too." Colleen McCort agreed and the courtship started on what was to become a lifetime love affair. It was while he was at Allen's place that John got to drive a horse "with attitude" called Prince Polka. John was asked to work the horse, as no one else was interested. He accepted the challenge, on condition he got to drive it at the races. It was agreed, and he won five quick races with Prince Polka before going on to make the final of the Inter Dominion – a competition of the best trotters and pacers in New Zealand and Australia. Despite his many successes in later life, John remained proud of that first achievement. John then moved on to a harness stable working for Peter Stewart  in Papatoetoe. While there, he and Colleen married. Their new place was nothing flash. Son Philip, also a harness driver, told mourners at the funeral the couple's first home was "the garage at his dad's place". With no television, they produced their first child, Annette. During the 18 months he worked for Stewart, John bought his first horse, Shenandoah, with his father and Uncle Jim. John, now 21, felt he was not going anywhere, so he made the tough decision to go out on his own as a trainer, taking Shenandoah with him. He decided on his red with gold Maltese Cross colours by reversing those of a prominent parliamentarian of the time, Sir William Stanley Goosman, who had a few good gallopers. John trained at McKendricks, across the road from Alexandra Park. In January 1957, he took the plunge, started Shenandoah at the races, and won. His career as both a trainer and a driver was off and running. His next horse was a foal – Desiree. She became the founding mare to many of his good horses. She also paid for the land at Otahuhu where John and Colleen built their first home. But they still had no TV ... second child Pauline was born. In 1963 they bought a 55-acre property in Pukekohe where they lived for 10 years. They had TV by now (but only one channel) and child number three, David, arrived. And, according to David, "John decided he had worked out how to make boys" and, before he forgot, child four, Philip, arrived 15 months later. But it was not all smooth running. In January 1970, John had a catastrophic crash at Cambridge raceway, where he was catapulted into the air across the racing horses to land on the running rail, injuring his shoulder and smashing, rather than breaking, his leg. He was six weeks in Waikato Hospital. When the doctors took the plaster off, the leg had not mended. His options were two years in plaster or a painful bone graft. He opted for the latter and progressed from a wheelchair to crutches to a walking stick over the next nine months. Given the go-ahead to do "light work", he went out and shod five horses. (He had learnt the skill from blacksmith Andy Brown, who reckoned John had the longest apprenticeship of any farrier. Andy lived with John and Colleen for 11 years until he died at the age of 86.) In 1973, John moved the family to Cambridge, first to Peake Road, where he trained a small team, and then to a larger property on Pickering Road, where he lived the rest of his life. Daughter Pauline says the team of horses he trained at Pickering was small at first, until David and Philip were old enough and showed interest in the game, when he built it up to about 35 in work. He stepped down from driving to give David and Philip opportunities. John's was a life engrossed in horses and people in near equal measure. He was, by all accounts, very good at reading people but, perhaps, even better at reading horses. Whatever, he understood the individuality of both. John Butcher is survived by his wife, Colleen; children Annette, Pauline, David and Philip; 13 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Stanley John Butcher, January 27, 1936 – September 6, 2016 By Charles Little Reprinted with permission of The Waikato Times

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