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The Harness Racing Museum's Winner's Circle Gift Shop will be at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, PA, Monday, November 3 through Saturday, November 8, 2014. Our shop will be located in the "Tan Hallway" behind the Sales Arena again this year. Start your holiday shopping when taking a break during the horse sales. We are eager to show off many new items that will make shopping for the horse lovers on your list an easy task. A new selection of books, clothing items, house wares and toys will be in stock and ready to head home with you! We will hold your purchases until you are ready to leave the sales, giving you complete freedom to raise you hand and bid on the hip numbers of your choice. Purchase a brick or paver in memory of someone special; forms will be available for you to personalize your selection. If you have specific requests for merchandise, please let us know as soon as possible and we will gladly bring it to the sale. Also, we are always in need of clean packing materials for shipping catalog orders. Empty that closet full of bubble wrap and bring to the sale and drop it off with us. Your donation of packing materials is a large savings for the Museum. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thanks to USTA support the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and $4 per person for group docent-guided tours. For information on the Museum, membership, special events, gift shop services and educational programs the Museum offers, please call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. by Janet Terhune, for the Harness Racing Museum

The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame's popular traveling exhibit, "The Story of Harness Racing by Currier & Ives," will be on display at Historic Walnford Park in Upper Freehold, New Jersey, from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30. Sponsored by the CTW Foundation, the exhibit's 33 lithographs illustrate, in an artful way, the birth of the sport of harness racing and its early accomplishments. Prints depicting great trotting horses, bucolic mid-19th century scenes, and comedic adventures convey a picturesque view of Americana prior to the advent and development of photography. Visit the Waln family's large, elegant home built in 1774, the 19th century gristmill and the farm buildings, all set in a beautiful landscape. Learn about the Waln family and the evolution of Walnford over two centuries - from an 18th century industrial village and family farm to an elegant country estate. The site showcases over 200 years of social, technological and environmental history, and includes 36 acres of field, woodland and wetlands. Part of the Monmouth County Park System, the site is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Pets are not allowed. The nearby historic village of Allentown, NJ is an ideal destination for an autumn foliage excursion. For more information, visit Historic Walnford's website at: http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?Id=2541. Don't miss this wonderful opportunity for a glimpse at our sport's past in these colorful lithographs displayed in an ideal historical setting. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (last tour 4:00 pm). Thanks to U.S. Trotting Association support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, please call 845-294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. by Janet Terhune, for the Harness Racing Museum

Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff has been a force to be reckoned with over the past few years in the Billings Harness Driving Series. With his victory at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon(Sept. 20) the Executive Recruiter by trade, notched his eighth seasonal victory when he guided his own Tagmaster to gate to wire triumph in a 2:01.1 clocking. Alaric and "Johnny on The Spot" Kolkowski finished second some four lengths behind the winner while third place went to Sam's Honeybee, driven by the Billings Series president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso. Besides his eight wins Hechkoff's seasonal stats also include 12 seconds and four thirds in 38 trips to post for a whopping .421UDR. Last year he was the winner of the Harness Racing Museum's Amateur Driver of the Year Award and again this year , "the Headhunter" has a good chance of repeating especially if he can hold off Steve' You're Never Too" Oldford. Although Hechkoff currently leads Oldford in total points 125 -115, to become the Museum's Amateur of the Year it all comes down to the total amount of money donated to the Museum from the percentage earned by the horses they drive in the Billings Series. Still, there are plenty of chances for all Billings participants to add to their seasonal earnings with 10 series events remaining before the regional finales in November. And when the series preliminary legs are concluded the $25,000 Gold and $15,000 Silver Cup Finals will be contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on November 23. The Gold and Silver Cup finales are for the Billings drivers who earned the most points during the seven month series. Besides Hechkoff (135) and Oldford (115) the current leaders in points include Tony Verruso (81), "Marvelous Marvin" Raber (80),"Mighty Matt" Zuccarello (73), Dave" Yes it's True" Offenberg, (73), David "Steady As" Yarock (66), "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli (61), Peter "Sycamore Ventures" Gerry (61) and Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg (54). by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Driving Series

Joe Thomson, owner of Maryland-based Standardbred breeding operation Winbak Farm, has been elected to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) announced Tuesday. Thomson and his wife JoAnn started Winbak Farm in 1991. The operation has ranked No. 2 among all breeders in purses earned each of the last 12 years, totaling more than $205 million since the start of 2002, and produced three Horse of the Year Award winners. In addition, Bob Marks, the longtime marketing guru of Perretti Farms and a noted writer and handicapper, and Kathy Parker, the editor and general manager of the Horseman and Fair World publishing company, were elected to the Communicators Hall of Fame. The three honorees will be inducted during ceremonies at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., on July 5. Winbak Farm - which stands stallions in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario - bred consecutive Horse of the Year Award winners in pacing colt No Pan Intended, in 2003, and pacing filly Rainbow Blue, in 2004, and later saw trotting colt Muscle Hill claim the honor in 2009. No Pan Intended is the last pacer to win the Triple Crown. Rainbow Blue is one of only three filly pacers to be named Horse of the Year. Muscle Hill is one of two Hambletonian winning trotters bred by Winbak, joining 2005 winner Vivid Photo. Thomson, who lives in Phoenixville, Pa., is the president of the Pennsylvania Harness Breeders Association. He also is co-owner of The Red Mile, the historic harness racing track in Lexington, Ky., and serves as a director of the Hambletonian Society. In 2013, Thomson received the Stanley F. Bergstein-Proximity Achievement Award from USHWA, an honor bestowed by the organization that is second only to election to the Hall of Fame. Other honors for Thomson include being named to the Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame in 2009. Marks' work in harness racing spans 50 years, starting as a contributor to Trotter Magazine and later as a writer and editor for Trotter Weekly. He handicapped for Top Trotter's daily letter from 1966 to 1978 and was among the original chart commentators for Sports Eye, starting in 1968. Over the years, Marks was a contributor to Hub Rail, Times Standard, Hoof Beats, and Sports Eye. He also was host of "Accent on Racing," on Meadowlands Cablevision, from 1980 to 1985, and host and analyst for "Racing from Roosevelt" in 1982. In 1988, he began working as pedigree analyst and marketing director at Perretti Farms. He wrote more than 500 "Trotlines" for the farm's website and 1,000 advertisements, in addition to naming more than 2,000 horses. Parker started her employment at Horseman and Fair World, a Lexington, Ky.-based trade magazine, in 1980 while still attending the University of Kentucky, and rose through the ranks until arriving at the top by being named editor and general manager in 1995. During Parker's tenure, Horseman and Fair World has expanded its efforts to provide news and information, starting with the launch of a website in 1998, and then the introduction of an e-newsletter, "Harness Racing Weekend Preview," in 2009. As a writer, Parker has traveled the world to report on the sport's top events, including all major stakes races in North America, plus the Elitlopp in Sweden, Prix d'Amerique in Paris, and Inter-Dominion in Sydney. Among Parker's honors are a Hervey Award for excellence in writing, the Harness Horsemen's International Media Award, and the Kentucky Harness Horsemen's Media Award. In 2010, Parker's Horseman and Fair World received the Proximity Award from USHWA. From the United States Harness Writers Association

The Harness Racing Museum, in Goshen, NY, is packing up its gift shop and moving 550 miles west to the home of the Little Brown Jug, Delaware, Ohio. From Sunday, September 14 through Thursday, September 18, the Museum's gift shop will be in residence in the tent across from the second turn, and will again have tack supplies from Big Dee's, from 9 am until the last race each day. Items in every price range, all with a harness racing motif, will be offered, including $10 T shirts, hoodies for adults and children in a new range of colors, as well as sleepwear and toys for little harness racing fans. A limited selection of gift shop items including previous years Little Brown Jug shirts, hats and housewares will be available at the Ohio Selected Jug Yearling Sale on Monday, September 15 at the Eden Park Equestrian Complex in Sunbury, Ohio. On Wednesday and Thursday, Ellen Harvey will be signing her book, Standardbred Old Friends, featuring profiles, with the photos of renowned equine photographer, Barbara Livingston, of 43 Standardbreds of distinction, now in the twilight of their lives. 1997 Little Brown Jug winner Western Dreamer is among those profiled. Harvey will be at the Museum tent from 9 am to noon on both days, as well as after the races and periodically throughout the card. 100% of profits benefit the Museum's mission. The newly released Remember Roosevelt! book will be available as well as Halters For Hope. Halters available include American Ideal, Chocolatier, Continentalvictory, Malabar Man, Peaceful Way, Presidential Ball, See You At Peelers, and Somebeachsomewhere. The sale of these halters benefits horse rescue organizations that cater to helping Standardbreds. The popular clearance rack, with many one of a kind items, will be back for bargain hunters and $2 can koozies (3 for $5) will be offered for fans looking to keep their beverages cold. Historians of the sport will want to check out the selection of used harness racing books, the sale of which benefits the Peter D. Haughton Memorial Library at the museum. Shoppers who would like to purchase items in the morning can leave them at the gift shop for pick up after the racing card. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (last tour 4:00 pm). Thanks to U.S. Trotting Association support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, please call 845-294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. From the Harness Racing Museum    

Veteran amateur drivers, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff along with newcomer Robert "Big Bob" Kenney, each won their respective divisions in the Billings Harness Driving Series this past weekend. Oldford scored a 1:57 triumph with Bold Strike in Midwest Region action at Scioto Downs on August 29 while Hechkoff and Kenney were victorious in the east at Plainridge Racecourse on September 1; Hechkoff with Tagmaster in 1:56.1 and Kenney with Rev Up The Spice in 1:59.3. No stranger to the winners circle, Steve Oldford visited that revered ground again when he scored his seventh seasonal triumph with his newly purchased Bold Strike. "I bought him from June Du Russel, who over the years has generously supplied horses for the Billings Series. "This was the first time I sat behind him and I like him a lot," Oldford explained. "He's a pleasure to drive and (he) did everything I asked of him. " Oldford and Bold strike left from the four hole as "Lawbook Larry" Farley hustled Margarita Man to the lead and they had two lengths on the field as the timer flashed :27.4. At that point Oldford had allowed Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II to fall in second position in front of him with TK's Karma. When the leaders passed the halfway point in :57.3 Oldford was out and going with Bold Strike and they were nose to nose with Margarita Man at the three quarters in 1:26.4. Even though Farley's mount regained command on the final turn it was short lived as Bold Strike rallied back to score a two-length triumph over Margarita man. TK's Karma took home the show dough. "Now we're ready for the Billings at Delaware, Ohio, "Oldford added delightedly. Bold Strike paid $7.40 for win which was Oldford's seventh of the season and 90th of his amateur driving career. Meanwhile on Labor Day afternoon at the five-eighths mile oval in southern Massachusetts "Big Bob" Kenney scored his first lifetime pari-mutuel victory when he sat the pocket with Rev Up The Spice and then they trotted by 1-2 favorite CSI What's My Name and driver Dave "Steady As" Yarock in mid-stretch for a solid one length triumph to win the first of two Billings trots that day. Third place went to Catalyst driven by Mark "Wafefern" Schullstrom. Needless to say Kenney, who has driven just 27 times since he joined the amateur ranks in 2000, was a happy man and his fellow competitors were among the first to congratulate him. Bob and Linda Kenny co-own Rev Up The Spice who's trained by John Di Stefano. Sent off at odds of over 6-1 the 6 year old Revenue S gelding paid $14.40 for win. A second Billings division at Plainridge Racecourse was a laugher for driver Bob Hechkoff when his Tagmaster romped to a 1:56.1 wire to wire five-length triumph over Permanent Joy, driven by Bob "Rapid Rail" Krivelin. Third place went to Coin Collector and driver Jimmy "It's all In The Family" Marshall IV. Tagmaster, owned by Hechkoff's T.B.H Ventures Inc. and trained by James Hardy paid $9.60 for win. It was Hechkoff's sixth seasonal triumph and 50 driving victory of his career. A two-time winner of the Harness Racing Museum's Amateur Driver of the Year Award his competitors will have to hurry to derail him from that honor again this season. This coming weekend the Battling Billings Boys will head to the Canadian Maritimes for races at Charlottetown on Saturday, (Sept. 6) and at Summerside Raceway on Sunday. by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Driver Series

East Rutherford, NJ - The draw for the last weekend of racing for the 2014 Championship Meet at The Meadowlands meet will be the standard procedure of entering by 9:00am on Monday for the Friday card and by 9:00am on Tuesday for Saturday's Hambletonian card. In the interest of having the strongest possible line-up of races for Saturday, a few of the races may be used on either day. These races are designated by an asterisk on the condition sheet. For this reason the Friday draw won't be finalized and made public until Tuesday. The scratches and driver changes for both days will be due and final by 10:00am on Wednesday, July 30. The actual post position draw for the Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks and John Cashman, Jr Memorial trot will be conducted on Tuesday afternoon at the Hambletonian draw press conference in Victory Sports Bar in The Meadowlands grandstand. That will be followed by the 3rd annual Charity Casino Night to benefit the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Tables are still available for Casino night and information is available by following this link.   From the From The Meadowlands Media Department  

Goshen, NY --- Roosevelt Raceway, the most important harness racetrack and entertainment venue in New York between 1940 and 1988, is the subject of a new photographic essay and exhibit by the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. The exhibit “Remember Roosevelt!” is now open in the Museum’s main gallery and the book, Roosevelt Raceway, the Legacy & the Dream, Where it All Began, is available through the Museum’s gift shop. Visit the Museum’s Goshen, N.Y., store or shop online at www.harnessmuseum.com.  Despite its proximity to the urban populace of New York City, Roosevelt Raceway, in Westbury, Long Island, struggled during its early years dominated by World War II with fuel rationing, blackout rules and small crowds. But late in the decade the track, which was established on the site of the defunct Vanderbilt Cup auto racing track, began to turn a profit. At war's end Roosevelt Raceway was positioned to reap the benefits of a large population ready to celebrate. Soon capacity crowds were taxing the limits of the old wooden grandstand, prompting the $20 million trotting palace created by the track’s founder, George Morton Levy, in 1957. Considered harness racing’s lost jewel, night racing, the mobile starting gate, air conditioning and closed-circuit television were all innovations showcased by the “Dream Track.” Nightly crowds of 20,000 and more were standard fare for Roosevelt through the 1960s but in the 1970s with the introduction of Off-Track Betting and competition from other entertainment sites, attendance began to dwindle. By 1980 attendance averaged only 9,000 fans a night. The final race over the iconic oval took place on June 15, 1988, won by Majestic Andrew, driven by Rejean Daigneault. Although some among the Westbury and harness racing communities foresaw the end of the Roosevelt era, with the value of the property the track occupied outstripping racing revenue, the closing of the track so many fans and horsemen called home came as a great shock and a source of disappointment that continues to be felt by those who were lucky enough to have been a part of the “Dream.” The hum that once emanated from Roosevelt’s enormous crowds, however, has not been lost. Thousands of photographs created by the raceway’s press office document the great racing, celebrity sightings, and excitement that drew so many to the track. Twenty-six filing drawers of these priceless images were rescued from the raceway prior to its final demolition in 2000 by the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. With the aid of grant funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the generosity of individual donors to the Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Project, the meticulous work of preserving and documenting this photographic treasure trove is complete and the Museum has readied a beautiful exhibit and publication for everyone to enjoy. The closing of Roosevelt Raceway was a tremendous loss to the sport of harness racing; the loss of its history would have been devastating. The images published within this volume are just a small example of those preserved by the project. They bring to life the exuberant fans, elegant social events, superb racing and dynamic sporting drama that were the hallmarks of the track. Now, thanks to the dedicated support of the projects donors, Roosevelt Raceway will be remembered for generations to come at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Visit the museum, just 60 miles north of New York City, at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. Open daily 10 a.m.-- 5 p.m., admission, thanks to the USTA, is without charge. Please call 845.294.6330 for more information or visitwww.harnessmuseum.com. From the Harness Racing Museum

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands has been a proud host to The Hambletonian for the past 34 years as America's Trotting Classic has been calling East Rutherford, New Jersey home since 1981. This year delivers a new and exciting aspect to The Hambletonian as it will be the first to be raced out of the brand new $100 Million facility which opened November, 2013. Hambletonian week begins on Saturday July 26th with the eliminations for The Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship and Lady Liberty. The evening will be centered around the theme of "Ladies Night," including a concert in the Backyard by Lisa Matassa, Macy's Gift Card and Ladies Handbag drawings as well as a special Ladies' Night cocktail. Reserved seats and packages for Hambletonian Day, Saturday August 2nd will be on sale all week at a price of $10.00 for an outdoor seat. Indoor grandstand seating is already sold out. Please call (201) 460-4079 for tickets. Tuesday, July 29th will feature the post position draw for the 89th Hambletonian. Once again, the draw will be raced in "heat format", with same day eliminations. If 13 horses or less enter The Hambletonian, it will be contested as one dash for $1.2 Million. The post position draw will take place at Victory Sports Bar at 4:00 P.M. After the post position draw, Casino Night will follow in The Lounge and The Gallery, beginning at 5:30 P.M. Casino night will benefit The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame as well as the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Racing begins on Friday August 1st at 7:15 P.M. The racing program will feature the Townsend Ackerman, Duenna Invitational, Hambletonian Amateur Drivers, Kindergarten Classic and Hambletonian Racing Under Saddle event. Advance wagering on the entire Hambletonian Day program will begin at 12:00 P.M., Friday. Hambletonian Day begins with doors opening at 10:00 A.M, with admission of $5. All paid adult guests will receive a Hambletonian baseball cap, while paid children will receive a Hambletonian lunch bag. WFAN will be broadcasting in The Backyard from 10:00 through 12:30 P.M. For our younger guests, there will be Kiddie Rides, Face Painters and Pony Rides from 11:00 A.M. through 4:00 P.M. First race post time is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. Live music will begin at 12:00 P.M. as well. The Hambletonian national broadcast will be aired on CBS Sports Network from 4:00 - 5:30 P.M. TVG will be on-site and broadcasting live the entire afternoon. The Hambletonian Final is scheduled for race 13, with post time at 5:11 P.M. Following the 14th race will be the Horseplay Car Giveaway where someone will drive out of The Meadowlands in a brand new car. Guests have many options when it comes to dining. Victory Sports Bar will be open at 10:00 A.M. featuring a buffet at a price of $44.95 per person. The East Apron tent also features a buffet, with a carving station at a price of $44.95 per person. Trotters is members-only for Hambletonian Day and a reservation is required. Lastly, Pink will feature a prix-fixe menu at a price of $49.95 per person. For all things Hambletonian, visit playmeadowlands.com and hambletonian.org. From the Meadowlands Media Relations

MONTICELLO, NY- For the 31st consecutive year the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association has again made a donation to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Organization representatives presented a $3000 check to both Museum President Larry Devan and Museum Director Janet Terhune prior to the ceremonies at the Hall of Fame Banquet on the lawn of the Museum in Goshen, NY on July 6. Last November at a Historic Track Board of Directors Meeting the Monticello-Goshen Chapter also donated $3000 to that National Historic Landmark. And earlier this year the chapter made a $500 donation to the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame. Since the1980's the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum. Money for the donations was made possible from successful chapter banquets and the continued support of the chapter's charity journals. "We thank all those who participate in our annual awards banquet and charity journal and we are very fortunate to be able to raise the money..... and when we do.... it is our pleasure to donate the profits back to the industry; especially to Historic Track and to the Harness Racing Museum Track, which are not only in our own back yard but very dear to the hearts of everyone in harness racing," noted Chris Tully, USHWA National President as well as the president of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter. Monticello-Goshen USHWA vice president and USHWA National Second VP, Shawn Wiles, added: "Goshen is to harness racing what Cooperstown is to baseball." Prior to annual donations to the Hall and Historic Track the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA used to support a college scholarship but it was decided long ago that when the organization donates money it would be in everyone's best interest to support the harness racing industry. On Sunday evening, November 16th the chapter will hold its 56th Annual Awards Banquet at The Fountains on Sands Road in Middletown, NY. by John Manzi, for the Monticello-Goshen USHWA Chapter

Joe Thomson, owner of the successful Standardbred breeding operation Winbak Farm, based in Maryland, but whose impact is felt in every racing state and province, has been selected by the screening committee of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) for inclusion on the ballot for election to the sport's Hall of Fame, to be decided later this summer. Thomson's Winbak Farm operation is located in Maryland, while Thomson himself lives in Paoli, PA, not far from the state line. A portion of his harness operation is centered in Pennsylvania and he is the current President of the Pennsylvania Harness Breeders Association. Thomson/Winbak stands the leading trotting and pacing sire in another bordering state, Delaware. In all, Winbak has six horse breeding operations throughout North America. Winbak has produced three Standardbred horses of the year in the last dozen years: No Pan Intended (2003), Rainbow Blue (2004), and Muscle Hill (2009). Muscle Hill joins Vivid Photo (2005) as Winbak graduates who have won the sport's most prestigious race, the Hambletonian. This "mating" of quality and quantity has elevated Winbak to second place among producers of money winning harness horses, behind only Hanover Shoe Farms. In 2013, Winbak horses won over 2,000 races and in excess of $18.2 million, with $7.8M of the latter figure contributed by two- and three-year-olds. Thomson is a co-owner of The Red Mile, the historic track in Lexington KY. Among other important positions he holds in the sport, Thomson serves as a trustee and director of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and a director of the Hambletonian Society. In addition, Thomson was recognized with the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award at the recent Dan Patch Banquet in Dover, Delaware, considered the second highest honor in the sport. Chapters of USHWA nominate Hall of Fame candidates; these candidates are then discussed by the Hall of Fame Screening Committee of USHWA, separately and in conjunction with an advisory committee consisting of Hall of Famers. Thomson emerged through this process, and his name will appear on the summer ballot along with those of Bob Marks and Kathy Parker, who were nominated by USHWA directors as ballot candidates for the Communicators Hall of Fame. From the United States Harness Writers Association    

This Fourth of July holiday weekend will be one that a very special young lady will never forget, thanks to the generosity of the staff and management at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Sydney Weaver, the “little darling” of North American harness racing, and her parents, Lisa and Don Weaver, are driving down from their home in Ontario to the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The racetrack making this holiday weekend an unofficial “Sydney Weaver Guest of Honor” at the Meadowlands. "Over the winter, Darin (Zoccali) approached me about bringing Sydney Weaver and her family down for their first visit to the Meadowlands,” said M’lands GM Jason Settlemoir.  “After everything that happened with Sydney's horse, I thought it was a great idea.  Sydney is very popular within our sport and it seems there is a lot of buzz about her trip here.” Sydney Weaver is a phenomenal 14-year-old young woman, who just graduated eighth grade. She got her groom’s license at age 10, has won major youth writing awards and her stories are always about harness racing. She was given half of a racehorse, who coincidentally is named Sydney Seelster and the two have lived through the trials and tribulations of having the horse she loves claimed from her and then get her back.   Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, Sydney is always at the races, watching from the rail no matter what the weather conditions are. She roots for the horses, cheers and congratulates the drivers and trainers and has become a household name in harness racing because of her honest enthusiasm for the sport. Her true passion for harness racing is why some call her the “Shirley Temple” of the Standardbred industry. She is now a monthly columnist for the international harness racing website Harnesslink.com and is the youngest member ever of the United States Harness Writers Association. And throughout this all, Sydney battles daily with Cerebral Palsy and is usually confined to her wheelchair, but that has never stopped her from achieving whatever goals she has set before her. This includes jogging horses on the racetrack as she is working hard to try and get her trainers license. The Meadowlands is rolling out the red carpet in honor of Sydney’s visit. The family is driving down on Thursday. Then Friday morning they will head out to visit trainer Tony Alagna and Julie Miller to see their stables and great horses and tour the training farms in the Freehold area. Then back to the Meadowlands for dinner at Trotters, visiting the race paddock and a night of racing. There will even be a race named in honor of Sydney’s visit Friday night. Then Saturday morning it’s Breakfast with the Babies and at night dinner at the track at, of course, “Pink” which is Sydney’s racing colors. Sydney will be honored by being one of the co-presenters of the trophy to the winner of the $484,000 Hambletonian Matturity Trot for four-year-olds. After the races, Sydney and family will drive to Goshen, NY and then Sunday morning head over to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, one of Sydney’s favorite places to visit. Then an afternoon at Goshen’s Historic Track for the Grand Circuit races followed by the Hall of Fame induction dinner under the tent at the museum. Monday is visiting Tioga Downs for some live racing, visiting the local breeding farms and then back home to Ontario. And it’s the Meadowlands who is making this all happen for the Weaver’s and it’s the Meadowlands who is paying for everything, from hotel’s to dinners, transportation and Hall of Fame dinner tickets. “Jeff Gural and I try to do things like this for people whenever we can and it usually doesn't attract this much media attention,” Said Jason Settlemoir, “We typically don't like to publicize it.  But, I understand why so many people have taken an interest in this fabulous young woman.  That said, this weekend is all about Sydney and her family and we are just lucky to have them here." And what does Sydney Weaver think about all of this? “Shortly after Pinky got claimed I heard from Darin Zoccali at the Meadowlands,” Sydney said. “It was a few days after she got claimed and I was still in shock over it and Mr. Zoccali said that they wanted to invite me to come and see the new Meadowlands. I’ve always wanted to come and see the new Meadowlands. It was such a great surprise. “This is going to be so fantastic,” Sydney gushed with excitement. “I have read all about the track and watched the races and seen pictures and now I am going to see it in real life. It’s just too cool. “So many of my friends on Facebook has told me they are coming either Friday or Saturday to the Meadowlands to meet me,” Sydney said. “They want to get my autograph so I now have to bring some Sharpie pens with me. I can’t believe people want my autograph. It’s amazing all the people I will get to meet. I’m just a small time Canadian girl and this is so overwhelming and exciting.” And what is the most exciting part of the trip for a 14-year-old harness racing lover? Well for Sydney Weaver its pink racing equipment. “I can’t wait to visit some of the tack shops,” Sydney said. “It’s hard up here to get equipment in pink but the tack shops around the Meadowlands area they have lot of pink tack and I plan on getting some cool stuff for Pinky to bring back.” What Darin Zoccali and the Meadowlands is doing for Sydney Weaver and her family is way over the top and their generosity is very touching, especially to a deserving young lady who has made such an impact on the Standardbred industry despite her claiming of only being a small time Canadian girl. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

When harness racing driver David Miller headed from Ohio to the East Coast more than a decade ago, he thought it would be temporary. He was wrong. And it resulted in a permanent place among the sport's all-time greats. On Sunday, the 49-year-old Miller will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. Miller has won more than 11,000 races in his ongoing career, ranking eighth among all North American drivers in history, and earned $180 million in purses, which is No. 4 all time. Also being inducted on Sunday is William Weaver, who bred influential trotting sire Valley Victory as well as several division champions. In addition, longtime U.S. Trotting Association Publicity Director John Pawlak and retired USTA Stakes Director Carol Cramer will be enshrined in the Communicators Hall of Fame. Horses being honored are Donato Hanover, Precious Bunny, Hattie, Green Speed, and Windsong's Legacy. "It means a lot to me," Miller said. "The biggest honor you can receive in your profession, I think, is for people to think of you that way. To be put in the Hall of Fame with people that I looked up to, it's very special. I feel privileged. I'm sure it will hit me more once I'm there. I haven't been too focused on it yet." Miller was voted Driver of the Year in 2003 when he led North America in purses and guided No Pan Intended to the Pacing Triple Crown. He has won a total of 11 Triple Crown races (combined pacing and trotting) and 14 Breeders Crown trophies. He is a three-time winner of the Little Brown Jug and one of only two drivers to capture the Little Brown Jug and its filly companion race, the Jugette, in the same year. He has won at least $10 million in purses 12 times, the most of any driver in history, and trails only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance in career earnings. Miller was already a star in his native Ohio when he headed to the East Coast in the late 1990s. He captured multiple driving titles at the Meadowlands Racetrack in the early 2000s and has been a force on the Grand Circuit ever since he made the move. "I came out at a time when things kind of clicked for me," Miller said. "I was driving a lot of good horses. I didn't plan on it. You can't. I was very fortunate to hook up with as many good trainers that I have over the years. "Hopefully it's not over yet." Miller, who was enshrined in the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2010, shows no signs of slowing down. Last weekend, he won the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial with McWicked in a world-record performance and two weeks earlier captured the $420,900 Fan Hanover Stakes with Uffizi Hanover. "I've gotten to drive a lot of great horses," Miller said. "It's more than I thought I would do. The sport has been good to me, that's for sure." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

SILVER SPRING, Md. --- Sidney A. Alpert, a master innovator of raceway video and sound systems at a number of racetracks and a holder of a number of patents during the last half of the 20th century passed away at age 87. Born in Washington, DC, Alpert passed away after a short illness in Silver Spring, Md. On June 30. Alpert served in the U.S. Army during World War II as an x-ray technician, and early in his career was a successful photographer at The Washington Times Herald with Jacqueline Bouvier (later wife of President John F. Kennedy) as one of his protégés. He also was team photographer of the Washington Capitals of the Basketball Association of America (forerunner to the NBA). Mr. Alpert became interested in harness racing and seeing a need for improved filming of races, formed his company, Electronic Race Patrol (ERP). Mr. Alpert began his career in racing by filming races in the 1950's at Maryland tracks, Rosecroft Raceway, Laurel Racecourse, and Baltimore Raceway, among others. He teamed with the DuPont Chemical Company to develop a special film for use at night and was the first to film night-time races. Alpert was the first to introduce live closed circuit race-monitors at the tracks he serviced. He was first to show fans live races and replays on a split-screen. Next, he introduced color to showcase races on television. In the 1960's he was the first to bring live video broadcasting to racetracks in the mid-west, at Maywood Park and Aurora Downs in Chicago, IL. With high-quality equipment, Maywood was the first racetrack to broadcast nightly feature races on a live television newscast, at station WGN in Chicago. Alpert was the first to utilize in-house video production editing facilities, one of the many of Alpert's major racing industry advances. At Brandywine Raceway, more than 400 professionally-produced TV vignettes featuring horsemen, farriers and track personnel were among the videos presented during nightly racing programs. He was the first to install television monitors at every racetrack dining room table, where fans could watch live racing during dinner, or change the channel to view other live sporting events. Alpert's ERP Company also made noted television broadcast advancements at the ill-fated, burned-down Garden State Park thoroughbred track in Cherry Hill, N.J. In 1977, with the racetrtack burning, Alpert was high atop the blazing facility video-taping the disastrous fire directly beneath him. He was saved from the fire when a press box regular showed him a seldom used stairway on the far end of the roof, from which he escaped. In addition to television, Alpert was a master of sound at the track. At Brandywine, one standing outside the entrance could not hear the public address sound, but once the door opened, sound was loud and clear. There was state-of-the-art sound in Brandywine's famed track-side dining room from hundreds of speakers in the ceiling. At Brandywine, he wrote new bugle calls recorded by a team of professional trumpeters, with a different musical arrangement for each of the night's races. Following the demise of Brandywine, in 1989, Alpert fostered a remarkable project under his new company, 'Stars and Stripes' Stable, which proved too early and ahead of its time. He visualized making full-card racing a staple on cable TV. His concept was to race entire programs at a track in Chester County, Pa., and without any patrons in attendance. The races would be shown on an all-racing channel with wagering.  Alpert envisioned having a daily early evening harness racing TV program in the fashion of the popular late night shows (ala Johnny Carson etc.) featuring owners, trainers, drivers and fans as participants. Alpert's concept included transmitting wagering information to fans at home via fax machine. Unfortunately, after coming close to fruition, he had to abandon the project and then retired. During the 1980s, Sid and wife Lenore (who passed away in 2012), owned several successful stakes winners horses. Two of his favorites were pacers Stargell Lobell and Commander Bond, the horse on which Herve Filion won his 10,000th race - the most in the sport at the time. Alpert was an avid collector of fine arts and manuscripts. He accumulated the world's largest collection of Currier and Ives prints, which is featured in the Time-Life Series of books, Antiques and Collectables. His Currier and Ives collection of horse racing prints can now be seen at the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, N.Y. Other parts of his collections are on display in museums, including the Springfield Museum in Springfield, MA. Alpert is survived by a brother, Larry Alpert (Eleanor), a sister Delores Diamond, a son Mark (Sharon) and grandchildren Julie and Jennifer Alpert, and grandchildren, Adam and Stacey Rosenthal. Graveside funeral services were set on July 2, at Judean Memorial Gardens, Olney, Md. Memorial contributions may be made to Ohev Shalom-The National Synagogue, Washington, DC. by Marv Bachrad, for Delaware Valley Chapter of USHWA

Goshen, NY -- Harness racing enthusiasts have been envisioning sub-1:50 trotting miles for a long time. Prognosticators are somewhat relieved that Sebastian K has finally eclipsed the previously held record by trotting in 1:49 last Saturday night over Pocono Downs' three-turn, five-eighths-mile track.   Immediately following this "monsters" 1:50.1 US debut on May 10, many suggested it was not a question of "if" the Swedish-bred superhorse would break the lofty barrier, but a matter of "when." No one, other than the competition, has been disappointed as Ãke Svanstedt has managed the horse perfectly since crossing the pond. With the help of Bernie Noren and staff, they look to make the Svanstedt Stable a household name in the states, as it is in their native Sweden.   Some have also suggested that the previous plateau-breaking record of 1:49.3 set at Colonial Downs should have an asterisk, as the Virginia oval is a one-turn track. Standardbreds racing over that 1¼-mile track, start from a chute on the backstretch and travel an entire half mile before they enter a turn. The fact that Colonial is the only pari-mutuel track in the United States that still has a hub rail is another anomaly.   Also, Colonial's 11/4 mile track is second only to Belmont in length, which is very telling about the propensity for horses to make speed over this oval. Nonetheless, for Harness Racing aficionados, Pocono Downs is still light years ahead. The last two Saturday nights provided the two fastest race cards in the history of the Standardbred.   Although all eyes were on Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley for Sun Stakes Saturday and the nearly $2.3 million in purses, 18 different US tracks had racing on Friday and Saturday nights. With the Friday night debut of 2-year-olds in New Jersey Sire Stakes competition at the Meadowlands, I found myself surrounded by fans on the apron. However, not all of them had their eyes fixed upon the racetrack.   $7,500 in total prize money was plenty of incentive to attract a couple dozen beautiful women to the Meadowlands for the annual Ms. Hot to Trot contest. Of course, to go along with all those perfectly proportioned gals in string bikinis was several hundred very inquisitive men of all shapes and sizes. Several M1 staffers got the call to perform the duty of judging these bevvy of babes, including Nick Salvi who may have been the most experienced of the panelists. Justin Horowitz, AKA M.C. J-Ho, provided the ladies with thought-provoking questions to ensure that the contestants had beautiful minds to go along with their ample tangible assets.   Even Yonkers Raceway's "The Manager" made a special appearance. More than likely it was to cheer for Brian Sears in the early sire stakes events. Taking the subway from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to Port Authority, and then a bus to the Big M, he arrived early and was doing his iconic dance before each race. His plan was to catch the Route 120 bus after the third and be back to Yonkers by the eighth. Now that is dedication!   In between sessions of judging hotties, some great harness racing took place, with the babies having graduated from breakfast to supper time. Eddie Hart's Cam's Card Shark colt, Dealt A Winner, is now the fastest 2-year-old pacer in the country following a 1:52.4 romp with David Miller at the controls. The Jeffrey Snyner-owned, Hanover-bred lad was a $35,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase who looks every bit the bargain at this stage.   Wishing Stone, the double-duty sire/racehorse removed any doubt that his particular style of breeding and breezing suits him. Going off at 10-1, the betting public was clearly not anticipating this kind of opening-night performance as the 7-year-old son of Conway Hall cruised wire-to-wire from post 10. Yannick Gingras drove the $2.23 million earner like he was the best in a 1:52.4 rout for the powerful Ron Burke stable.   And when it comes to vintage horse power, Burke Racing may have cornered the market!   Sweet Lou, Bettor's Edge and Foiled Again finished 1-2-3 in the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday night. 5-year-old Sweet Lou's 1:47f performance was the fastest pacing mile ever on a 5/8-mile track and only a fifth off the mile-track mark. This was the most exciting horse race of the night, as Sweet Lou appeared headed by stable mate Bettor's Edge down the stretch. Dead game, he fought back like a champion and regained the lead in a mere two steps before the wire. Captaintreacherous finished fifth in that event. Leaving from post 8 he had a rough voyage, parked nearly every step of the way and still paced in 1:47.3.   Overall, the Sun Stakes card produced 5 world records and 11 horses set new lifetime marks. Needless to say, the awesome display of horsepower in a span of a just few hours was breathtaking. A horse that we are sure to hear a lot more about is the McArdle colt, McWicked. Trained by Casie Coleman and driven by David Miller, he set a new world mark for 3YO pacers in 1:47.3f and looks to start the "Jug three-peat" dialog.   Max J. Hempt and his wife Amy were on hand to present the Max C. Hempt trophy to the winning connections. A product of the "Keystone" legacy, Max C. runs the family's PA state-wide construction business, is an aspiring pilot, and was recently elected to the Vice President's post of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. One would be hard-pressed to meet nicer people in all of racing.   Although winning the Beal proclaimed Father Patrick as the evening's shining star of the Hambo hopefuls, it seems that his shed row disciples will be in close proximity. Perhaps Jimmy Takter has cornered the market on 3YO trotting colts this year as Trixton and Nuncio (who was second) both seem equally capable of sipping from the Hambletonian challis. Despite el Padre' lowering his seasonal mark by a full two and half seconds to 1:50.2f, it appears that the 'anointed one' has been blessed with enough speed to break the 1:50 barrier at three!   Ready to take on Godzilla himself, Sebastian K had the crowd buzzing all night following his track crushing performance. Now the talk is how fast he may trot on a hot Hambo day at The Meadowlands. Regardless of what transpires in racing between now and then, it will most likely captivate the trotting conversation until the first Saturday in August.   Speaking of New Jersey, Sunday's trek down the NE ext. of the PA pike brought this scribe to Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge for an open house featuring veterinary clinic tours with Dr. Patti Hogan, and another Svanstedt stable favorite, White Bliss. The rare 'white colt' returned to his place of foaling to dash around his paddock, much to the delight of onlookers young and old. It was a fun afternoon under clear blue skies that made the industry proud.   The festivities began with several local leaders addressing the crowd about their intentions to promote and garner support for New Jersey agriculture and the horse business. Assemblyman Ron Dancer has worked tirelessly for years to ensure that Trenton pays attention to harness racing. He plans on putting forth a resolution to bolster agricultural education in the Garden State through the Future Farmers of America.   Former mayor of Millstone Township, Nancy Grgelja, owned no horses when she originally took the oath of office. Subsequently she caught the bug, and ten years later she has had 10 Standardbreds, several of which are still racing. Lillian Burry, whose resume reads like a lady who never stops moving, is now the director of the Monmouth County Freeholders. Of course the always active Dr. Karen Malinowski of the Rutgers Equine Science Center helped coordinate the day's events, along with the gracious hosting of Mark Mullen.   With construction on the NJ Turnpike around exit 8, and Jersey shore traffic reaching epic proportions, it was my intention to complete the final leg of my 539 mile journey and make it back to the Catskills before nightfall.   by Chris Tully for Harnesslink.com

Acclaimed equine photographer Barbara Livingston will be at the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, N.Y. on Friday, July 4 at 11:30 a.m. to talk about and sign her latest book, Standardbred Old Friends. She will also sign at adjacent Historic Track starting at 1 p.m., when racing begins. The book, with 150 photos and stories about most of the living Hall of Fame Standardbreds over age 20, is the third in her Old Friends series of coffee table books about high profile horses, now in the twilight of their lives. The 216 page book also includes photos and stories, by Ellen Harvey, of some hard working blue collar horses, now enjoying a new career or retirement. Standardbred Old Friends is the culmination of a year of traveling from Sweden to southern California and Maine to Florida to capture images of the featured horses at their homes. The lush birch forest of southern Sweden surrounds Hambletonian-winning trotter Mack Lobell at home, while blue collar ex-racehorses Dreamy Starlet and McKeever Hanover are seen strolling through tide pools at Maine's Popham Beach State Park. Mother-daughter Hall of Famers Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie are depicted beneath the live oaks of their central Florida home. The oldest horse in the book, 37-year-old Waco Hanover, was photographed in an early winter snowfall in the foothills of Vermont's Green Mountains. Livingston, who is chief photographer for the Daily Racing Form, has twice won the Eclipse Award for her Thoroughbred racing photography. Her work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair and The Wall Street Journal. The book retails for $30. The museum is at 240 Main Street in Goshen and admission is always free. There is racing on July 4 at adjacent Historic Track at 1 p.m., adults $5 (includes program) and children under 12 are free.   Those who cannot attend the signing can purchase the book at www.harnessmuseum.com or by calling 845-294-6330.          

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