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Columbus, OH---The Harness Racing Social Marketing Initiative conducted in partnership with Converseon, the New York City-based, full-service social media consultancy, has released the year-end results for 2015 activities. In only its second year, the initiative has achieved substantial growth and engagement across the board while exceeding its goals for the year. “By every available measure, this effort continues to surpass all stated objectives and we thank all the partners involved,” said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner. “I am heartened by the support and recognition we are receiving from many quarters, including from our colleagues around the world. While one tactic will not be a silver bullet, all these activities in aggregate and over time have already begun to move the needle. Success now is contingent on additional industry involvement and collaboration. We look forward to that happening in 2016.” Following are some of the key accomplishments of the initiative in 2015: • Impressions (the number of times audiences saw Harness Racing FanZone content or ads) grew 64 percent from 13.5 million in 2014 to approximately 21 million in 2015. • Engagement (the number of times consumers engaged, shared and reacted to the content and ads) increased nearly 300 percent (282,000 vs. est. 652,000). • Overall online buzz about harness racing grew 28 percent compared to 36 percent for Thoroughbreds (who benefited from a Triple Crown winner and have made a substantial investment in social and digital marketing). • Online buzz about this year’s Hambletonian grew more than 150 percent over 2014. • Videos generated more than 600,000 views, with the “Harness Racing in History” video alone reaching nearly 500,000 views in less than three months, making it the most successful promotional video in the sport’s history. • Generated more than 130 potential owner leads via a limited digital advertising test, which demonstrated great promise for an expanded campaign. On the development front, key highlights included the development and launch of the Harness Racing FanZone mobile application for both iOS (available for free at the iTunes store) and Android. Users of the mobile applications gained access to videos, photos, stories, the sport’s social Ambassador program, track information and more. Given the greater use of mobile technologies among key target audiences, enabling engagement with the sport through a mobile application was essential. With 2016 fast approaching, the initiative’s key objectives for growth in the coming year include: • Continue to rapidly expand positive visibility and engagement with the sport through more compelling content, engagement, promotions and contests. • Conduct a focused owner recruitment initiative to identify more than 2,000 new potential owners. • Expand efforts with horsemen’s groups and key tracks to enable better tracking of efforts to on-site attendance and handle. This will require deeper integration with tracks around efforts like online redeemable coupons and other activities. • Work more closely with key global partners for potential expansion and collaboration. Discussions have been already been held with countries ranging from Australia to Sweden to participate in efforts and expand the initiative. • Potential integration with a Harness Racing online channel to deliver key content more directly to audiences and help monetize the effort through subscriptions. • Conduct the updated, high profile Grand Circuit promotional challenge. Among media, production, content and other resources, the initiative spent approximately $331,000, of which $250,000 was provided by the USTA, $25,000 via a pledge from the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association with the remaining $56,000 contributed by Rob Key, CEO of Converseon. the USTA Communications Department

Hippodrome 3R Two-year-old pacing filly Alevala Hanover celebrated her first career win in a big way on Sunday afternoon at Hippodrome 3R for her local connections as she prevailed in the $31,600 Lucien Bombardier Stakes, which is co-sponsored by Standardbred Canada and the Quebec Jockey Club. Owned by driver Marc Belanger and trainer Stephane Beaudoin, both of Trois-Rivieres, Que., Alevala Hanover overcame early interference from post eight and made up her double-digit deficit by the half-mile mark. She then held off race favourite Champagne Shower (Dennis St. Pierre), who was a riding a three-race win streak in Quebecoise Series action, to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.3. Third-place finisher C L Infinite (David Pilon) followed nearly 10 lengths behind. The Allamerican Native-Armbro Odessa filly now sports a career record reading 1-2-2 in six starts with earnings soaring to more than $20,000. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Hippodrome 3R. Inverness Raceway Junebugs Baby closed out Sunday afternoon's harness racing card at Inverness Raceway with a victory in the featured $1,500 Frank MacInnis Memorial Pace. Junebugs Baby watched as favourite J B Bolt and Macnamarra battled on top through fractions of :28.3, :57.2 and 1:29.4 in the ninth race before flying by in the stretch to win in 2:01.4. Art I Special came on for second, finishing three-quarters of a length behind, while J B Bolt and Macnamarra settled for third and fourth respectively. The homebred son of Western Paradise was driven by Dominion, N.S. horseman Fraser Turnbull, who shares ownership with John Turnbull Jr. of Glace Bay, N.S. The Atlantic Sires Stakes graduate earned the second win of his four-year-old campaign and 16th lifetime. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Inverness Raceway. Holland Fair Outlaw I See Red wired a field of Open pacers in the $2,200 Murray Cumberland Memorial featured at Holland Fair on Sunday afternoon. Driver Ron Cullen steered Outlaw I See Red ($8.90) to the 2:02.3 two and three-quarter length victory with Playboy Killean (Dean Rey) and Outlaw Spider (Don Howlett) finishing second and third, respectively. Jodie Cullen trains the five-year-old Brandons Cowboy gelding for owners Derek and Fred Gilbert of Brandon, MB. The race was named in honour of horseman Murray Cumberland, who passed away in July 2012. The winning connections swept the late Daily Double with eight-year-old pacing mare Judges Discretion ($6.80), driven by Greg Manning, taking the finale. The Cullen combination paid $12.60. The Manitoba Great Western Fair circuit wraps up next weekend back in Miami with Saturday and Sunday live harness racing beginning at 1:30 p.m. each day. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Holland Fair. Fraser Downs Open pacing mare Prairie Illusion returned to racing action on Sunday after four months off and found herself right back where she left off...in the Fraser Downs winner's circle. The four-year-old Mach Three mare won the $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open back on May 3 in a career-best 1:52.4 and matched that mark in Sunday's feature event with another dominating score. Jim Marino, who won four races on the card, sent the favourite to the lead from post five and never looked back through fractions of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:25.2 en route to the six and three-quarter length victory. The winning time was just two-fifths of a second off Furious Five's track record for aged pacing mares. Early trailers Phone Terror (Serge Masse) and Jans Rich Girl (Scott Knight) finished second and third. Prairie Illusion has now won all three of her starts since being claimed by trainer William Young in mid-April for $30,000. She is now six-for-12 this season and has yet to miss a paycheque throughout her four-year-old campaign. While Prairie Illusion missed the track record for her age and sex, the Fraser debuting Need You So Bad established one for two-year-old geldings with a 1:56.2 three length romp for trainer/driver Bill Davis. The son of American Ideal was two-fifths of a second faster than the former record-holder Nobody Can. The J J J Stables owns the Horizon Pace champion who is undefeated in three pari-mutuel starts. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Fraser Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca  

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 16, 2011- A week-long Standardbred horse sale showcased Pennsylvania's strong equine harness racing industry, with Pennsylvania-sired horses earning top bids in the yearling sale, the largest component of the more than $55 million auction.

If anyone ever deserved their place in the American Harness Racing Hall-of-Fame it's the man they call 'Lightning Luke'. At 45-years of age Luc Ouellette has all the credentials to follow his grandfather Gedeon Lachance and Uncle Michel (Lachance) into trotting's elite roll-call of legends.

Just about everyone in the harness racing industry has an acquaintance or two or three who owns Thoroughbreds. Do the game a favor: Pick up the phone, call your friends and tell them they are in the wrong business.

Breeders Crown champs fared well in this week's Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 Harness Racing Poll. Rock N Roll Heaven solidified his hold on the No. 1 spot thanks to his victory in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace. He garnered all but one first-place vote.

Won The West's win in the Canadian Pacing Derby helped the older pacer move up to the No. 7 spot in this week's harness racing Top 10, but little else changed. One More Laugh, who posted a stakes- and track-record victory in the Cane Pace, edged past Muscle Massive to take over the No. 3 spot. The 3-year-old gelding also picked up two first-place votes.

Tim Tetrick takes his stake earnings over the ten million dollar mark once again and there are four horses on the verge of hitting the million dollar mark in earnings for the 2010 harness racing season. George Napolitano Jr. is the leading dash driver in the Country with 482 wins to his name 55 more than his nearest rival.

Thanks to Lightning Lou Pena, we suddenly have two horses at the top of harness racing's speed-record pyramid. We have the great Somebeachsomewhere and now we have a 4-year-old claimer named Real Joke. We have, in other words, a new co-record that speaks eloquently and accurately for the dubious era in which we race; brazen, ridiculous, uncertain, cynical, and loaded with doubt.

The New Zealand Racing Board recorded a healthy $119 million profit for the year to 31 July 2009, despite the effects of the global financial crisis and increasing offshore competition from internet gambling operators.

Jordan 'The Kid' Stratton on February 20 became only the second driver in harness racing history to reach 1,000 career wins prior to the age of 22. Stratton, who is 21, attained the milestone when he guided Iwannabesedated to a 2-1/2 length victory in the 13th race at Yonkers Raceway. Walter Case, Jr. also reached 1,000 wins at the age of 21 in 1982.

While it's nothing for stakes colts and fillies to accumulate earnings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars these days, it's still quite a feat for a horse to do that the hard way, racing week in, week out in the claiming ranks.

Harnesslink is running a poll to find the top Mach Three Horse of the Year. The contenders are Somebeachsomewhere from North America (originally Canada), and Auckland Reactor from New Zealand. You can vote for your pick using the poll at the top right of the article (voting closes closes December 31).

Over the past few days at Harnesslink we've been running a poll asking "Should Walter Case Jr. be allowed to drive at Plainridge?" The results are now in and they show that around 3 quarters of Harnesslink readers are in favour of Walter Case Jr. being allowed to drive at Plainridge.

1) Both Deweycheatmnhowe and Somebeachsomewhere were undefeated at two, and both named Freshman Of The Year. This year, they are-together-about to do something NOT done in 21 years! Back to back divisional honors-SAME two male horses-The last time was 1986-87 when Jate Lobell and Mack Lobell did this.

While he was hoping to achieve career victory number 1,000 on Saturday's Super Night card waiting an extra night did not diminish the excitement of reaching the milestone for 22-year-old Tyler Buter.

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