Search Results
1 to 16 of 198
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Ray Hall aims to complete a sweep in the five-week Bobby Weiss Series for 3- and 4-year-old male trotters when he faces eight rivals in Tuesday's $30,000 final at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. A 4-year-old gelding, Ray Hall has won six of 11 races this year, with four of the victories coming in the Weiss. He starts the final from post four with driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer/co-owner Mark Harder. Tuesday's card also features the $30,000 Weiss Series final for 3- and 4-year-old female pacers. "He's just a nice little horse, doing everything right," said Harder, who began training Ray Hall in December and got a share in ownership earlier this month. "He's just hit a nice little groove. He came to me with a couple series in mind out here and it's just worked out. He got happy and a nice little schedule and he's racing good." Ray Hall, who also is owned by Ohio's Bruce and Patricia Soulsby, has won 12 of 28 lifetime starts and earned $91,144. He is a son of stallion Justice Hall out of the mare Comebyrail and his family includes standout female trotter Elaine Rodney, who won the 1960 Kentucky Futurity and later found success abroad. Last weekend, Ray Hall won his Weiss division by a neck over Time To Quit in a career-best 1:53.3. Time To Quit won the Super Bowl Series final in January, with Ray Hall finishing fourth. Ray Hall also finished fourth in the Charles Singer Memorial final in March, which was won by Perfect Alliance. "He raced good against some better horses, Perfect Alliance and a couple of those other ones," Harder said. "I think he's definitely improved since then with racing. He's got a lot of nervous energy, he's a little bit hot, and just with racing he's settled down and become more manageable, more drivable. That's made him a better horse." Sixteen Mikes, who won his first three divisions in the Weiss but was third behind Ray Hall and Time To Quit last weekend, starts the final from post five for driver Mike Simons and trainer Gail Wrubel. Time To Quit, who has one win in the series, leaves from post six with driver Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke. Ray Hall is not staked to any major races, but Harder hopes the trotter can still keep adding to his bankroll. "He's got nothing really, just overnights," Harder said. "We'll probably hang around Yonkers, wherever we can race him. He's not a top, top horse, but he's a nice little horse that can make money knocking around some conditions. A trotter that can trot a small track and tries and stays at it, they can make a lot of money." HARNESS RACING NOTEBOOK: THE RETURN OF ARCH MADNESS Renowned pacer Foiled Again is a perfect 10 this season - as in an undefeated 10-year-old - and now trotting star Arch Madness is getting ready to try to join him. The 10-year-old Arch Madness won a qualifier last weekend at the Meadowlands in 1:54.3 and will return to the Big M on Saturday for another prep for the upcoming campaign. Last year, Arch Madness won three of 18 races and earned $425,427 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and owners Willow Pond LLC and Marc Goldberg, who also were among the trotter's breeders. He won the Allerage Farms Open Trot at The Red Mile in Lexington, finished second overseas in Sweden's prestigious Elitlopp, and was third in the Breeders Crown. Arch Madness has won 34 of 107 starts and became the ninth trotter in history to surpass $4 million in career earnings when he won the Allerage. A week earlier, he won the Allerage elimination race with a 1:50.2 mile, a time that equaled his own world record for the fastest ever by a male trotter older than age 4. "He's going to qualify again, but I was happy with the first qualifier," Smedshammer said. "We'll go again on Saturday and then we'll start racing. He's a year older, but it doesn't seem like he's changed at all." Arch Madness' first stakes race is slated to be the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. Eliminations are scheduled for May 10 and the $180,000 estimated final is May 17. Another trip to the Elitlopp, where Arch Madness has twice been the runner-up, is not in the works. "He's going to need a start before the Cutler, a couple starts maybe, somewhere around here," Smedshammer said. "We have no plans at all (to go to Sweden). But he seems fine." * * * Two other trotting standouts are expected to head to qualifiers in the near future. Market Share, who was voted the sport's top 3-year-old male trotter in 2012 and the best older male trotter in 2013, is anticipated to qualify on April 26 and 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician is targeted for the first weekend in May. Bee A Magician was unbeaten in 17 races last season at age 3 and earned a divisional record $1.54 million. She became the first 3-year-old filly trotter to receive the Horse of the Year Award since Continentalvictory in 1996. Trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman and driven by Brian Sears for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, Bee A Magician's wins included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters, Hambletonian Oaks, Elegantimage Stakes, and Delvin Miller Memorial. Her $1.54 million in purses were the most ever for a 3-year-old filly trotter, breaking the record of $1.17 million set by Continentalvictory in 1996, and her winning time of 1:51 in the Miller Memorial at Meadowlands Racetrack is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly trotter. "She's in good shape," Norman said. "I'm very happy with her." Bee A Magician is expected to qualify twice and then head to Canada for the first round of the Miss Versatility Series in Ontario on May 19. * * * As mentioned earlier, Foiled Again remains unbeaten this year. Last week, he improved to 4-for-4 this season by winning for the fourth time in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The 10-year-old pacer, who has won 80 of 202 career races, had never before started a season with four consecutive wins. Since last fall, Foiled Again has been the richest horse in North American harness racing history, and his $100,000 in purses in 2014 have pushed his career earnings to $6.13 million for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and JJK Stables. Foiled Again leads the Levy series standings, but he will be back in action Saturday night for the last of the five preliminary rounds. He drew post seven in a seven-horse field and is the 3-5 morning line favorite for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. "He's just really getting his legs," Gingras told Yonkers Publicity Director Frank Drucker after his 1:51 win last weekend. "Give the other horses credit, but they're going to have to do better to beat Foiled Again." On Wednesday, co-owner Mark Weaver added, "He's the exception. He really hasn't been pushed that hard yet." Burke's stable has five of the top six horses in the Levy standings and all will be racing Saturday. Mach It So, from the barn of trainer P.J. Fraley, is second in the standings followed by Burke's Bettor's Edge, Itrustyou, Clear Vision, and Easy Again. Hillbilly Hanover, who is No. 11 in the standings, Special Forces (12) and Aracache Hanover (14) also will be competing for Burke in Saturday's three Levy divisions. The conditions for the eight-horse $567,000 final and eight-horse $100,000 consolation, both on April 26, limit Burke to two starters in each. For the full Levy standings, click here. * * * The last preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for older female pacers is Friday at Yonkers. Series leader Yagonnakissmeornot, who has three wins and a second in the event, is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first of two divisions. She will be driven by Daniel Dube for trainer Rene Allard. Somwherovrarainbow is the 8-5 choice in the second division for driver Brian Sears and trainer Joe Holloway. She skipped the third round of the series, but has two wins and a second in her Matchmaker starts. She is No. 5 in the standings, behind Angels Delight, Summertime Lea, and Rocklamation. Anndrovette, the three-time pick for harness racing's best older female pacer, is sixth in the standings, with Shelliscape and defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You rounding out the top eight. For the complete series standings, click here. The $371,400 Matchmaker final is April 26, along with the $75,000 Matchmaker consolation. * * * David Miller, who will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July, needs 23 wins to reach 11,000 victories for his career. Miller ranks No. 8 in wins among all drivers in North American history and was the sport's Driver of the Year in 2003. He has won at least $10 million in purses in a season a record 12 times and his $178 million in lifetime purses trail only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance. Miller, a 49-year-old native of Ohio, has finished among the top seven drivers in seasonal purses each of the last 15 years. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

In 1962, a young man named Jim Moran ventured from his home in Springfield, Massachusetts to central New York at the suggestion of his uncle Bud Hebert. Hebert, the Vernon Downs racecaller, would see his nephew assume the Clerk of Course position for that first season there. Moran then took on the role of assistant race secretary the subsequent season, and in 1964 would become the full-time announcer. Fifty years and 73,000 races later, Jim Moran will call his last race this Friday (April 11), as Vernon Downs opens for the 2014 season. In a half-century atop the Vernon Downs grandstand, Moran has seen some of the greatest horses, trainers, and drivers in the history of American harness racing through his binoculars. "We got to see Bret Hanover, who was probably my all-time favorite horse," Moran reminisced. "I didn't get to call Bret Hanover as a two-year-old, but the following year (1965) I did get to call his race. We drew 14,000 people, which was the biggest racing crowd ever at Vernon. He won the race, continued his winning ways, and came back as a four-year-old. He also had a world record time trial at Vernon." Fourteen years later, another young pacer graced the Vernon backstretch, and eventually proved himself as one of the few worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Bret Hanover. His name was Niatross. Moran continued about seeing Niatross develop as a two-year-old: "Then Niatross came along, and Clint Galbraith developed him on the Vernon backstretch. I crossed the paddock one night, saw Clint after Niatross had won a couple baby races, and said 'That's kind of a nice colt you've got there,' and he said 'Jim, he's gonna be something special.' Sure enough, he became Horse of the Year two times." Moran has seen many developments in harness racing through his time documenting the sport, namely in terms of safety and speed. "By taking out the hub rail and putting the plastic wheel discs on the racebikes, the sport became a lot safer, and in turn, faster through improvement of the breed and equipment," Moran explained. "In the first season at Vernon Downs there were only four 2:00 miles. Last year, 1,100 of the races were 2:00 miles, including two of the fastest miles ever here." In addition to calling a "Who's Who" of harness racing athletes, both human and equine, Moran has been feted for his efforts as a harness racing publicist and historian on numerous occasions. He received the North America Harness Publicists Association's Golden Pen Award in 1990, was elected to the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, and was inducted into the Communicators' Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2009. While Moran looks forward to more time with his wife of 49 years Suzanne, their three children, and three grandchildren, he has every plan on capping his career at Vernon on a very high note. "There are things I'm going to miss about the sport, I'm sure, and as far as calling the last race goes, I hope I can still do the job like I used to. I've told people in recent years that I may not be as good as I once was, but I can be good once as I ever was, and hopefully I'll be as good once on Opening Night." by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

Vernon, NY - Vernon Downs has named Michael Chamberlain their lead racecaller, as legendary announcer Jim Moran will retire after a half century in the broadcast box. Announcer Emeritus Moran, a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame's Communicators' Corner, will call his final race at Vernon Downs to kick off the Opening Night program on Friday, April 11. The evening, capping a 50-year legacy of Moran's describing the races at Vernon, will be a celebration of what Moran brought to the Central New York track, with a poster giveaway, tributes, and a meet-and-greet throughout the card. Moran's successor, Michael Chamberlain, is a 43-year-old New Jersey native who has established himself well as a sports broadcaster-in horse racing and otherwise-since earning a degree in broadcasting from Arizona State University in 1994. After a stint as the color commentator for the IHL Phoenix Roadrunners, Chamberlain served as the track announcer at Sam Houston Race Park for twelve years before assuming a similar role at Turf Paradise in Phoenix in 2009. He has also called races at Lincoln Race Course in Nebraska and Fair Meadows in Oklahoma. "I am incredibly excited to be coming to Vernon Downs," said Chamberlain, who will assume the microphone in early May after Turf Paradise concludes their season. "Succeeding a legend like Jim Moran will be difficult, but it will be an honor for me to follow in his footsteps."   With Chamberlain maintaining his winter base in the Valley of the Sun and returning to Turf Paradise for their fall opening, Tioga racecaller James Witherite and Vernon director of racing Scott Warren will describe the beginning and end of the Vernon meet in his stead. While he may be new to calling harness racing, Chamberlain has long been a fan of the trotters and pacers, and looks forward to bellowing his signature "They Are Off!" sendoff at the central New York oval.   "Coming to Vernon will bring me back to my eastern roots," continued Chamberlain. "As a Northern New Jersey native, I have always enjoyed harness racing and look forward to being part of it from now on."   Post time for the first of 90 cards at Vernon Downs is slated for 6:45 p.m. (Eastern time).   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs  

DOVER DE - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), harness racing's principal organization for media workers, held its annual meetings this past Saturday and Sunday at the Dover Downs complex, with the weekend culminating in the Dan Patch Awards Banquet held Sunday (Feb. 23) night, attended by almost 400 people and streamed worldwide for live viewing. During the Saturday meeting, the Directors of the Association voted for Bob Marks and Kathy Parker to be on the Communicators Hall of Fame voting ballot this summer. Marks has been a leading force in many harness dimensions over his 50 years in the sport, most recently as Marketing Director for Perretti Farms, while Parker, from a prominent harness family, worked her way through the ranks at the Horseman and Fair World weekly magazine until becoming editor in 1995 and later general manager of the Horseman Publishing Company, positions she maintains to this day. At the conclusion of the meetings, the membership voted in their slate of association Officials for 2014-15. Chris Tully, an MBA marketing specialist and writer whose digital literacy and social media acumen has helped bring USHWA to the cutting edge of communications technology, was elected President of the association, succeeding Steve Wolf of Harnesslink.com; Tully's "first official act" was to present Wolf, who now becomes the Chairman of the Board, with a gold Lifetime Membership pin. Tim Bojarski, writer/blogger for the USTA, moved up a chair to 1st Vice President, with the 2VP position going to Shawn Wiles, Monticello Raceway chief racing officer and a longtime USTA and USHWA director. Judy Davis-Wilson, who is based in Dover and worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the weekend, especially the banquet, was returned as Treasurer; Alan Prince, who attended his 48th consecutive USHWA meetings weekend, remains as Executive Treasurer. Also elected was Jerry Connors as USHWA secretary. Much of the discussion during the two days of meetings focused on the sport's Halls of Fame in Goshen NY, where plans for renovation and modernization are starting to advance rapidly, and where USHWA makes a significant contribution. In addition to the physical reconfiguration of the Halls of Fame area, the directors and membership discussed several by-law and rules change relating to the Halls, especially the re-establishment of a Seniors category for both. Debate was plentiful, lively, and well-reasoned on all sides, and some of these matters were tabled until a Committee, soon to be appointed, can focus on the merits - and the eventual wording -- of the varied proposed changes. The attendees heard reports from the many committees that keep USHWA functioning throughout the year, and were glad to hear from Davis-Wilson, voted the organization's member of the year, that the treasury was in a very good shape, pointing to future success in USHWA's upcoming progressive efforts. The Dan Patch Awards Dinner was as always the highlight of the gathering, with superstar sophomore trotting filly Bee A Magician "finishing her unbeaten season" by being elected Trotter of the Year and then Harness Horse of the Year; her contemporary, the pacing colt Captaintreacherous, took down overall honors for that gait after a brilliant campaign showing speed and courage in equal amounts. Also honored were the quartet to be inducted into the Halls of Fame Sunday, July 6 in Goshen: Harness Racing Hall of Famers David Miller and William Weaver, and Communicators Hall inductees Carol Cramer and John Pawlak. by Jerry Connors for USHWA

Monticello, NY - Tickets are going fast --- don't be shut out --- place your banquet reservations now!   The highly anticipated winner of harness racing's E. Roland Harriman Harness Horse of the Year trophy will be announced live by the United States Harness Writers Association on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at Dover Downs, Dover, Delaware.   Tickets for this gala event, the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Night of Champions, will only be available until this Tuesday, February 18.   In addition to the twelve equine divisional honors, including Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, Captaintreacherous and I Luv The Nitelife, a full field of the industry's biggest and brightest will be feted at the annual awards ceremony.   This year's inductees to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, David Miller and Bill Weaver; and Communicators Hall of Fame, Carol Cramer and John Pawlak will also be honored.   In addition, the U. S. Harness Writers list of human awards also includes the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award winner, Joe Thomson, as well as the Owner, Trainer, Driver, and Breeder of the Year, Rising Star, Breakthrough, Good Guy and a host of others, a list of which are available on the USHWA.org website.   Tickets cost $125 for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet and include a one-hour open bar, as well as a main course of Lobster & Filet Mignon "Surf & Turf."   Tickets can be reserved via telephone or Email by contacting Judy Davis-Wilson (302.359.3630), zoe8874@aol.com or Scott Warren (302.222.1222), voiceofrcr@aol.com by Chris Tully for USHWA  

Pompano Beach, FL --- The staff at Harnesslink is proud to congratulate our director of North American Operations, Steve Wolf, who was recently elected into the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into the Communicators Corner at the 23rd annual Hall of Fame awards dinner on Friday, March 7, 2014 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Deerfield Beach. The event is held by the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. Wolf, a resident of Coral Springs with his wife, Stephanie and sons Philip and Ryan, has been employed with Harnesslink for the past ten months. He has been a contributing writer to Harnesslink since the website first started in 2003. The Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years and who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry. Wolf most certainly fills those categories to the brim. He first came to Florida as the Director of Marketing for the Isle Pompano Park and over the years rose to the rank of Senior Director of Racing Operations. He ran the many great promotions at the track including driver tournaments, unique claiming series races, special family nights and most of all he is responsible for finding and bringing to the United States from Australia, the great Vincent Silvestro and his amazing horse, Hand Me Silver. Silvestro performed the world’s only horse racing fireworks stunt show called Hot To Trot and he appeared for eight straight years at Pompano Park, amazing crowds as he stood on the shafts of his race bike, held the reins in his teeth and set off more than 2,000 rounds of fireworks all while Hand Me Silver raced around the dark track. Wolf has always been involved in community service in the Pompano Beach area since he first arrived. He served on the board of directors of the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce for ten years and was Chairman of the Board from 2009-2010. He is a co-founder and has been the president of Pompano Has Heart, a disaster relief program in the city and was also a trustee of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation for 22 years. Prior to coming to Florida, Wolf was the director of marketing and publicity at Freehold Raceway and assistant director of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. Also being inducted into the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame are two longtime driver/trainers Lucien Fontaine and Mark O’Mara. There are also three horses being inducted. They are I’d Like To Win, Six Of Diamonds and Tweedle Dum. Tickets are $75 per person for the full course dinner that begins at 6:00 pm with a one-hour open bar with appetizers. Tables of ten are available. For more information, to purchase tickets, or place a congratulatory ad in the program book, please contact Rosie Huff at the Florida Standardbred Breeders Office at 954-972-5400.

Dave Briggs, writing for the Guelph Mercury newspaper, and M. Kelly Young, writing for Hoof Beats magazine, were named the winners in the 52nd annual John Hervey Awards for excellence in harness racing journalism, the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) announced Monday. Meadowlands Racetrack photographer Michael Lisa and Dave Witten of Horseman and Fair World magazine were the winners in the 14th annual George Smallsreed Awards for excellence in harness racing photography. Woodbine Entertainment won the 30th edition of the John Hervey Award for excellence in broadcasting for a feature on Sydney Weaver, a 13-year-old with cerebral palsy who is a licensed groom, horse owner, award-winning writer and public speaker. Briggs won the news/commentary category for his story titled “Horse barns at Mohawk ‘silent as a grave,’” which examined the shutting of the backstretch stables at Mohawk, and appeared in the Jan. 9, 2013 edition of the Guelph Mercury newspaper. Briggs has been awarded a record six Hervey honors. Melissa Keith received honorable mention in the news/commentary division for her story, “What Women Want; Can Racing Attract the Female Horseplayer?” It appeared in the April issue of Trot magazine. In the feature category, Young won for her story, “Win One for Ryan; Pacer races for stricken youngster,” which appeared in the November issue of Hoof Beats. The story recounted the chance meeting between Marc Reynolds and Marie Hunt and Reynolds naming a horse, River Run For Ryan, in honor of Hunt’s son, who has a rare genetic disease called Hunter Syndrome. Susan Higgins and Lauren Lee received honorable mention in the feature category. Higgins was recognized for her story, “‘Make Sure Things Go Right;’ Maine Cast fulfills a dying wish with sire stakes championship,” which appeared on the U.S. Trotting Association website on Nov. 21 and in the December issue of Hoof Beats. Lee was recognized for her story, “The Cornerstones,” about Meadowlands media duo Bob Heyden and Sam McKee entering the Communicators Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, which appeared in June 20 issue of The Canadian Sportsman. The writing categories were judged by a panel consisting of longtime horseracing writer Neil Milbert, Dorf Feature Service newsroom assistant/writer Lou Monaco and Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Editor John Quinn. In the photography categories, Lisa won in the race feature division for a photograph of driver David Miller heading onto the track on a snowy night at the Meadowlands. The photo appeared in the March 13 issue of Horseman and Fair World as well as the March 14 issue of The Canadian Sportsman. Witten won in the race action category for a photograph of the first turn of the Hambletonian. The photo appeared in the Aug. 15 issue of Horseman and Fair World. Claus Andersen and Mark Hall received honorable mention in the race action category; Andersen for a photo of Bee A Magician winning the Hambletonian Oaks that appeared on the Oct. 17 cover of The Canadian Sportsman and Hall for a photo of Pet Rock winning the Winbak Pace that appeared on the USTA website on Sept. 19. Dave Landry and Barbara Livingston received honorable mention in the race feature category; Landry for a photo of John Campbell driving with his great nephew Tyler McLinchey that appeared on the Sept. 12 cover of The Canadian Sportsman and Livingston for a photo of retired star Staying Together and Kentucky Horse Park Equine Operations Director Wes Lanter that appeared on the USTA website on Oct. 1. The photography categories were judged by Bill Denver, the track photographer at Monmouth Park and Parx Racing as well as a regular contributor to the New York Daily News and Wall Street Journal, and Phil McAuliffe, a longtime newspaper and magazine photographer who worked as a harness racing groom while a teenager. In the broadcast category, Woodbine’s feature on Sydney Weaver was written, voiced and produced by Paul Salvalaggio. It originally aired on June 26 as part of the one-hour North America Cup presentation on The Score television network. To watch the video, click here. The writing categories were judged by a panel consisting of award-winning longtime horseracing writer Neil Milbert, Daily Racing Form Programming Manager Lou Monaco and Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Editor John Quinn. Hervey Award winners will be honored as part of the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s Dan Patch Awards banquet Feb. 23 at Dover Downs. For more information about the banquet, visit www.ushwa.org. by Ken Weingartner for USHWA

LEBANON, OH - Hall of Famer Dave Palone, the winningest driver in the storied history of North American harness racing and the reigning Harness Tracks of America 'Driver of the Year', has accepted an invitation to compete on the inaugural three racing programs at the brand new Miami Valley Raceway in southeast Ohio. He will join Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and Dan Noble, also recent national dash champions, and a host of other talented reinsmen during the gala Grand Opening Weekend February 7 through 9. Palone has won over 16,000 races and horses he has driven have earned over $116,000,000 in purses in his illustrious career. The 51-year-old driver has won over 500 races every year since 1992 and has won the driving title at The Meadows racetrack in Pennsylvania an astounding 24 consecutive years. He has won the national annual dash championship four times, including 2012 with 674 victories. Among his most notable accomplishments are winning The Little Brown Jug, The Adios, a Breeders Crown, The Jugette and the Kentucky Filly Futurity. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York in 2010. Wrenn, who has only been driving for six years, burst onto the national scene in 2013 by winning the national dash crown with 714 triumphs. The talented 27-year-old didn't start taking the sport seriously until 2011 when he won 150 races, followed by a 437 win season in 2012. A nephew of Peter Wrenn, who ranks 13th on the all-time wins list with over 9,000 trips to the winner's circle, Ronnie was Northfield Park's leading driver in 2013 and raced at over a dozen other venues on his way to the national laurels. He is currently recuperating from wrist surgery he had January 6 to fix an old football injury, but reports the cast has been removed and he will return to the racing wars before the calendar turns to February. Noble, the son of Ohio Harness Hall of Famer Sam "Chip" Noble III-who recently passed away after a battle with esophageal cancer, won the national dash championship in 2011 when he recorded 773 wins. He has followed that record-setting performance with 537 tallies in 2012 and 421 more in 2013. At age 30, Dan has already amassed better than 3,500 victories and has averaged over 300 annually over the last 11 years. Raised in nearby Xenia, Noble has fashioned a Universal Driver Rating System (UDRS) average over .320 in each of the last five years. Owners of the horses he has driven have been rewarded with over $14 million in purse money to date. The three most recent national dash champions will sign autographs for patrons at the new Miami Valley Raceway from 5:00 to 6:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday nights, February 8 and 9. Beginning February 7 racing will be conducted every Wednesday through Sunday night until May 4. The first race each night will be scheduled for 6:30 pm. Submitted by Miami Valley Racing  

Columbus, OH --- Sam “Chip” Noble III, 60, one of the top driver/trainers in the harness racing sport and a member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame, died Jan. 13, 2014. Mr. Noble grew up in Xenia, Ohio, and learned about the sport from his father. Among the best horses he trained were Nobleland Sam, Concussion and Deal Direct. He was one of the top percentage drivers in the sport. He won North American UDR crowns in 1978, 1981 and 1983, and he was perennially among the leaders each season. Mr. Noble was chosen to represent the United States in the biennial World Driving Championship in both 2001 and 2003. He was the first two-time winner of the Jerry Kaltenbach Memorial Award as the top trainer on the Ohio Sire Stakes circuit, having achieved that honor in both 1993 and 1998. In 2003 he received the Buckeye State’s highest honor when he became the 30th inductee into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He was a director of the USTA and the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association and a member of the Little Brown Jug Society. Mr. Noble is survived by his wife, Debbie; and children, Sam, Dan (North America’s top dash-winning driver in 2011) and Meredith. Arrangements will be posted when they are available. From the United States Trotting Association

Monticello, NY - The much anticipated winner of the E. Roland Harriman Harness Horse of the Year trophy will be announced live on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at Dover Downs, Dover Delaware. Tickets for this gala event, the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Night of Champions, are now available. In addition to equine divisional honors, a host of the industry's biggest and brightest will be feted at the annual awards ceremony, including this year's inductees to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, David Miller and Bill Weaver; and Communicators Hall of Fame, Carol Cramer and John Pawlak. The U. S. Harness Writers list of human awards also includes the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award winner, Joe Thomson, as well as the Owner, Trainer, Driver, and Breeder of the Year, Rising Star, Breakthrough, Good Guy and a host of others, which are listed below and available on the USHWA.org website. Adding to the festivities will be the popular souvenir red carpet photo shoot during the cocktail hour followed by a main course dinner of lobster surf and turf. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet can be reserved via telephone or Email by contacting Judy Davis-Wilson (302.359.3630), zoe8874@aol.com or Scott Warren (302.222.1222), voiceofrcr@aol.com Substantial savings on hotel rooms can be attained for this event, which is being held at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, on US Rte. 13 (DuPont Hwy.) in Dover, Delaware. A special rate of $149 can be reserved by calling 866.473.7378 BEFORE January 22, 2014, and mentioning code: GHWA. The deadline for the Dan Patch Awards journal is Monday, January 27. To advertise in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully by calling 845.807.7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com All of this information and applicable advertising forms can be accessed via internet link: USHWA.org Dan Patch Horse Awards - 2013 Champions and Finalists* 2-Year-Old Trotting filly: Shake It Cerry 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly: Precocious Beauty 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt: Father Patrick 2-Year-Old Pacing Colts* -- He's Watching, Luck Be With You 3-Year-Old Trotting Colts* -- Royalty For Life, Spider Blue Chip 3-Year-Old Trotting Filly: Bee A Magician 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly: I Luv The Nitelife 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt: Captaintreacherous Trotting Mare: Maven Trotting Horse: Market Share Pacing Mares* -- Anndrovette, Rocklamation Pacing Horse: Foiled Again *Finalists, *Trotter of the Year, *Pacer of the Year, and the E. Roland Harriman Harness Horse of the Year* to be announced live Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014   United States Harness Writers Association - Awards and Honorees Harness Racing Hall of Fame: David Miller & William Weaver Communicators Hall of Fame: Carol Cramer & John Pawlak Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award: Joe Thomson Norman Woolworth Owner: Burke Racing & Weaver Bruscemi Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year: Ron Burke Driver of the Year: Tim Tetrick Breeder of the Year: White Birch Farm Lew Barasch Breakthrough: Heather Wilder Rising Star: Corey Callahan President's Award: Mary Lou Dondarski W. R. Haughton Good Guy: George Ducharme USHWAn of the Year: Judy Davis-Wilson Unsung Hero: Sam Landy & Open Space Amateur Driver of the Year: Steve Oldford Trotting Broodmare of the Year: Beehive Pacing Broodmare of the Year: Worldly Treasure January Davies Humanitarian Award: Donna Marshall HHYF Service to Youth Award: Janet Stevenson Davis Grand Circuit Awards: Owner, Burke Racing; Trainer, Ron Burke; Driver, Yannick Gingras USTA & USHWA Railbird Recognition Awards TBA Hervey & Smallsreed Awards TBA by Chris Tully for United States Harness Writers Association   

Ron Pierce has been busy this year, so busy he didn't realize he reached another career milestone Tuesday. Pierce got lifetime North American win No. 9,000 yesterday when he drove No Bu to victory in the 13th race at Harrah's Philadelphia. No Bu, trained by Rene Allard, won by a length over Sheer Brilliance in a $13,000 conditioned race at the five-eighths-mile oval. "I didn't even know," Pierce said about reaching the milestone. "I guess I've been out there so long that everything keeps going up. I'm lucky I'm still able to do it and I've been really busy. I've been doing a lot of racing, but it doesn't bother me. I'm in shape to do it. "Nine thousand is a lot of wins, but I would have gotten there sooner if I didn't mess up so many times," he added wryly. "If I could do every race over again, I'd have 20,000 (wins). But that's true for everybody." Pierce, 57, ranks No. 14 in wins among all drivers in North American harness racing history. Earlier this year, he joined John Campbell as the only drivers with more than $200 million in career purses. This year, Pierce has set career highs for wins with 519 and starts with 3,331. His victory total is eighth best in North America and he ranks fifth in purses this season with $11.3 million, giving him nine seasons of at least $10 million over the last 10 years. He just missed in 2012, by less than $10,000. Pierce, who was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2005, won three Breeders Crown trophies this year, pushing his lifetime total to 29. He ranks second in triumphs in the year-end championship series. He was the regular driver of two of the sport's top horses, Jimmy Takter's 2-year-old filly trotter Shake It Cerry and Chuck Sylvester's 3-year-old gelding trotter Spider Blue Chip, winning multiple stakes with both. Shake It Cerry's victories included the Breeders Crown, Goldsmith Maid, Merrie Annabelle and Matron. Spider Blue Chip's triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Colonial and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Pierce also won a Breeders Crown with 2-year-old colt pacer Luck Be Withyou, a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes title with 3-year-old filly trotter Frau Blucher (in a dead heat with Classic Martine) and the Credit Winner with 4-year-old gelding trotter Intimidate. "Looking back, it was a good year," said Pierce, who spent the early part of his career racing overseas in China. "For me, the highlight was getting to drive Shake It Cerry. When I first started driving her, I thought she was the best 2-year-old filly trotter I ever drove. The more I drove her, the more I thought she was the best 2-year-old trotter I ever drove. "We'll keep our fingers crossed she comes back (at age 3) good. With her gait, heart and ability, there's no telling what she could do. She was so impressive." Spider Blue Chip also will return to the races next season, following a campaign in which he was among four trotters to surpass $1 million in purses for the year. "I've been racing against Chuck all my life and never really had the chance to drive a good one for him," Pierce said. "When he asked me to go with Spider, it was quite an honor. I have, like so many people in the sport, a ton of respect for Chuck. It was a pleasure to drive for him." by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications  

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 25, 2013 — Tabulator was so wound up while scoring down that it took both trainer/driver Marvin Raber and Parade Marshal Missy Rothfuss to control him. But once Raber was able to redirect that energy to the matter at hand, the result was amazing — a 17-length victory for “Marvelous Marvin” and Tabulator in Friday’s $10,000 C.K.G. Billings West Final at The Meadows. Tabulator ripped off a string of front-end victories at The Meadows early this year but wasn’t on top at any point in his last two starts. “He’s been jogging good, and I’ve been swimming him a lot because of some soundness issues,” said Raber, who conditions the 4-year-old Cantab Hall-Mystical Taya gelding for Bert Dale Hershberger. “Now, he’s really good. Sometimes he quits at the end, but today he went right on. He gets fired up behind the gate.” Tabulator scored in a career-best 1:56.2 while “Trader” Bud Hatfield and GJ Photo Victory won the war of the weary for place. “Lawbook Larry” Farley and Rewrite The Rules saved show. The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association sponsored a “Pink Out” Friday to raise breast cancer awareness as well as funds for the Magee Women’s Hospital Foundation in Pittsburgh. The event included a $5,000 trot, featuring nine female drivers, that honored the late Mary McCune, who recently was named to the inaugural class of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Rachel Kaneoka captured the event, piloting R Big Ben to victory in 2:00.2 and helping him snap his 48-race losing streak over two seasons. Devan Miller (Earl’s Glider) was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Cherie Keith (Red Falkor) third. Scott U’ren conditions R Big Ben, an 8-year-old British Sterling-Gracious Pleasure gelding, for Debbie U’ren. Also participating were drivers Joelene Christman, Leslie Zendt, Sharon Donella, Kathryn Hawk, Danita Harvey and Nikki Harvey. The action-packed card also included two $18,000 Preferred Handicap events. In the race for filly and mare pacers, Sissy Bar scored a 16-1 shocker by pouring through the Lightning Lane and downing Pink Camo by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.4, matching her lifetime best. Early leader Darena Hanover was third. Eric Ledford drove the 7-year-old daughter of Aces N’ Sevens-Ocean Beach for owner/trainer Tyler Nostadt. In the companion feature for filly and mare trotters, Victory Is Coming made it two straight for Mike Wilder by exploiting a pocket trip and prevailing in 1:56. The rallying Trotslikethewind was second, missing by 1/2 length, while the first-over Jesse’s Messenger earned show. Ammon Hershberger trains Victory Is Coming, a 6-year-old daughter of Victory Sam-Norse Comer who now boasts $416,795 in career earnings, for Betty Shaw and John Red Shaw. by Evan Pattak for The Meadows  

We all need, no matter what your religious affiliation is, to say a little prayer. It was reported today by the United States Trotting Association (USTA) that John Pawlak of the publicity department, underwent surgery Friday evening at Mt. Carmel East Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, to have a brain tumor removed. While subsequent testing found that the tumor was benign, post-operative swelling required Pawlak to have additional surgery on Monday, October 21. According to his wife, Kris, Pawlak has been sedated and is resting comfortably but has a long recovery ahead of him. Pawlak, along with co-USTA employee, Carol Cramer, were both recently voted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicators Corner by the United States Harness Writers Association. Pawlak has been a long-time employee at the USTA and before that was the track announcer and publicity man at Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio.   He has done outstanding work over his career not only as journalist but also as a radio announcer and television broadcaster covering racing throughout the world. This season he reported from along with assisting in organizing the World Trotting Council Meetings in France, which he has helped run for many years. Since John is unable to receive gifts and cards in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital, it is suggested that they be sent to the USTA offices at 750 Michigan Ave., Columbus, OH 43215 and they will be forwarded to the Pawlak’s. By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com

HARRISBURG PA, October 15 , 2013 The Keystone Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association is pleased to announce the first inductees into the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Hall of Fame. They are: BOWMAN BROWN SR. ROGER HUSTON MAX C. HEMPT DELVIN MILLER DAVE PALONE ED RYAN LAWRENCE SHEPPARD JOHN SIMPSON SR. PAUL E. SPEARS MARY MC CUNE (veteran) All but Mary McCune were elected by the membership of the Keystone Chapter from a list of candidates prepared by the Chapters Hall of Fame Committee. This Committee also selected Ms. McCune as a Veteran honoree by the Hall for her achievements in the sulky sport before the modern pari-mutuel era. This format will be used for the first couple years of selecting inductees; after a large part of the sports modern pioneers have been honored, the intake each season will be smaller. A Keystone Chapter website, focusing on honoring this initial Pennsylvania Hall of Fame class, is currently under construction. There will be ceremonies at tracks and other important gatherings honoring Hall of Famers of a particular area in the next few months. A search for a place for a permanent display honoring the Pennsylvania Harness Hall of Famers would benefit from any and all suggestions. Here are brief biographies of the inaugural Pennsylvania Harness Hall of Famers (much longer bios, giving more idea of the depth and breadth these Hall of Famers had on Keystone harness racing, will appear on the shortly-following website): BOWMAN BROWN SR. President of the important trade publication The Harness Horse; vice-president of the sales company holding the huge annual autumn auction in Harrisburg PA; breeder of top sires Hickory Smoke (a Hambletonian winner) and Hickory Pride. ROGER HUSTON The Voice of Harness Racing; racecaller and TV host at The Meadows racetrack; announcer for the Little Brown Jug and Grand Circuit Week in Delaware OH; master statistician; probably the most-traveled and busiest racing announcer in the sports history. MAX C. HEMPT Founder and operator of Hempt Farms, the Home of the Keystones, with the likes of Horse of the Year Keystone Ore going on to be champions. Owned Hambletonian winner Stenographer. Influential and longtime member of the sports leading organizations. A 68 talented amateur driver, DELVIN MILLER Mr. Harness Racing, Harness Racings Good Will Ambassador. Master horsemen in eight different decades. Founded The Meadows. Stood Adios, arguably the sports most influential sire. Introduced many celebrities to the sport. Suggested Meadowlands be a mile track. Friend to all. DAVE PALONE - The leading dashwinning driver of all-time in North America, with over 16,000 visits to the winners circle, and fast closing in on the world record of the German Heinz Wewering, which will likely be about 17,000 when Dave goes even. Has led the Meadows driving ranks for over two decades. ED RYAN A leader in the home construction business, Ryan and business associate Joe Hardy purchased The Meadows in the 1970s, and under Ryans stewardship The Meadows helped usher in the eras of telephone wagering and television broadcasting. Also a noted amateur driver. LAWRENCE SHEPPARD The pioneer of the Hanover Shoe Farms dynasty, Simpson began with the 1926 purchase of the Cox disbursal to acquire the top broodmares and, later, stallions, to build the leading Standardbred nursery in the world. President (1950-1958) of the U.S. Trotting Association. JOHN SIMPSON SR. A top-level horseman when joining the Hanover team as trainer/driver, Simpson continued to produce champions, and then became Lawrence Sheppards personal choice to take on oversight of the entire Hanover dynasty. Sire of two national Hall of Famers, John Jr. and Jim. PAUL E. SPEARS Parlayed his entre to Hanover as an accountant into progressively-more responsible positions in Hanover administration, rising to the farms President and Chairman, and in the Sales Company management. The most successful high-level amateur driver of the last 50 years. MARY MC CUNE (Veteran) A driving force behind the promotion of amateur racing across the country for the first half of the 20th century. Set a world record to wagon for an amateur, the 2:05 with the trotter Mignola when Ms. McCune was only 17 years old. by Jerry Conners for the Keystone Chapter USHWA  

Dean A. Hoffman will join the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) in January, 2014.  Hoffman will teach racing courses as well as support the Program’s marketing efforts and its yearly conference, the Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming. The announcement was made by RTIP director Doug Reed. Hoffman, long-time executive editor of the United States Trotting Associations’ Hoof Beats magazine, brings a wealth of talent to the Program and greatly increases the depth of knowledge of national and international harness racing to the faculty. “We are excited to have Dean join the team.  He adds a tremendous amount of experience and greatly expands the diversity of the faculty here,” said Reed. After earning a degree with honors in Journalism, Hoffman started his career with advertising and public relations agencies before redirecting his skills to the harness industry and joining the USTA in 1981. Since then, he has written five books on harness racing and breeding including the recently published Harness Racing in New Your State, A History of Trotters, Tracks and Horsemen.  Hoffman has won numerous awards for his contributions to racing including Harness Tracks of America’s Messenger Award, the highest honor given by the HTA, as well at their the Dan Patch Award for “immense contributions to the literature of harness racing.”  In 2006, he was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame’s Communicator’s Corner.    Submitted by RTIP

David Miller, who has won more than 10,800 races and ranks fourth in lifetime earnings among all drivers in harness racing history, will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame next summer, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Monday. William Weaver, who bred influential trotting sire Valley Victory as well as several division champions, also will be inducted during the ceremonies on July 6 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. 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. Miller, a 48-year-old native of Ohio, 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 12 Breeders Crown trophies. He ranks No. 5 in career Breeders Crown purses with $8.5 million. 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. Victories in other top stakes include the Adios, Canadian Pacing Derby, Canadian Trotting Classic, Cane Pace, Hambletonian Oaks, Kentucky Futurity, Maple Leaf Trot, Nat Ray and Yonkers Trot. In 2011, Miller became the 10th driver in North American history to reach 10,000 wins. He has won at least $10 million in purses 11 times, the most of any driver in history, and trails only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance in career earnings. Weaver, 77, from New Jersey, has enjoyed success as a breeder despite breeding a small number of horses each year. Valley Victory was the sport's top 2-year-old colt trotter in 1988 and won 11 of 14 lifetime races before being retired at age 3 because of illness. His offspring include Hambletonian winning colts Victory Dream and Muscles Yankee as well as filly Continentalvictory. Victory Dream and Muscles Yankee also produced Hambletonian winners, with Muscles Yankee sons Deweycheatumnhowe, Muscle Hill and Muscle Massive winning the sport's top trotting race in consecutive years (2008-10). Other notable horses bred by Weaver include U.S. and/or Canadian division champions Chocolatier, Laddie, To Dream On, Was It A Dream and Wheeling N Dealin plus millionaire trotting mare Elusive Desire. The multiple award-winning Pawlak joined the USTA in 1985 after serving as an announcer and marketing executive at Raceway Park in Ohio. His work with the USTA has ranged from writing to broadcasting, in addition to compiling and editing the annually harness racing fact book "The Trotting & Pacing Guide." He also is known for his work coordinating the biennial World Driving Championship and the World Trotting Conference. When time permits, he continues to announce races on the Ohio fair circuit. Cramer retired as a fulltime employee of the USTA in 2007, but remains active as editor of the annual "Stakes Guide," a job she has handled for 45 years. She joined the organization in 1965 as project assistant to James Harrison in the publication of the first "Care & Training of the Trotter and Pacer." In addition, she was advertising manager for "Hoof Beats" magazine and a longtime Grand Circuit steward and secretary. Veteran writers on a screening committee, after discussion with an advisory committee of Hall of Famers, take nominations sent in by USHWA chapters and select nominees to go before the voters. Nominees must receive 75 percent approval from the voters, which are qualified members of USHWA and Living Hall of Fame members, to be elected to the Hall of Fame. The inductees will be honored twice; first at the annual USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet, Feb. 23 at Dover Downs, and for enshrinement July 6 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

1 to 16 of 198
1 2 3 4 5 Next »