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Chicago's leading harness driver for the past 30-plus years, Dave Magee, is retiring after his drives this Saturday night (Feb. 28) at Balmoral Park. Magee is a Hall of Famer and has been one of the classiest individuals the sport of harness racing has ever known. He has almost 12,000 career victories and more than $101 million in career earnings during his illustrious career. He is one of only 18 drivers in the history of the sport to eclipse that $100 million mark in earnings and is the only Illinois based driver to go over $100 million in earnings. Magee has had 10 seasons with $2 million-plus in earnings, 13 more seasons with $3 million in earnings and a trio of $4 million seasons. He won a whopping 630 races in 1994, which led all drivers in North America. Dave also proved victorious in the 1995 World Driving Championship, defeating drivers from Canada, Australia, France, Sweden, Germany, Italy and other European stops. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2001. On the local scene Dave has been dominant throughout his career, winning driving titles at every Illinois racetrack. His 12 Maywood Park driving titles and 11 Sportsman's Park titles are both records. He is also the leader in Super Night victories among drivers. He has also posted an amazing 36 straight seasons with more than $1 million in earnings and 38 straight seasons of 100 wins or more. The 61-year-old Magee is a resident of Big Rock, Ill. He will be moving on to a new career as a State Steward (Judge) at Hoosier Park in Anderson, Ind. "I'm happy that Dave has found a new challenge for his life," said Balmoral Park racing director and USTA President Phil Langley. "With his experience, integrity and plain old smarts he might well become the best judge ever. The Illinois laws prevented us from hiring him two years ago so Indiana gains him. "On the other hand it was almost with much sadness that I received an e-mail from him telling me of his decision. I was so choked up telling my wife that she thought something bad had happened. We will always be great friends and I wish the best to Dave and Cathy." by Tom Kelley

Jupiter, Florida – Harness racing Hall of Famer, Louis P. Guida, passed away on Friday according to family members. He was 81 and had been ill for a number of months. He had owned all or part of 21 harness horses that have each won a million dollars, not bad for a kid from Jersey City who first worked shining shoes in his father's barber shop, and wound up a vice president of Merrill Lynch, the first broker ever elevated to that executive position. Not bad either for an executive who did not earn an MBA at Harvard or a doctorate at Princeton, but instead dropped out of high school and worked days as a laborer and nights learning television repair.   That was 1952, and Guida, then 19, soon opened a TV repair shop with $800 he earned working the day shift. He soon expanded into multiple shops, and invested the profits into a state-of-the-art car wash. Both businesses flourished, and Guida sold them and founded Fidelity Finance, which ultimately employed a staff of more than 100. He sold Fidelity in 1966, after a customer whose Cadillac was damaged when another car jumped the track at his car wash and  injured Guida, told him he didn't need that kind of hassle and persuaded him to sell the wash and join Merrill's Trenton office. That was 1967, and Guida began in mergers and acquisitions. In 1970, his fourth year in that job, he got a $250,000 finder's fee for his work on the $90 million merger of Caesars Palace and Lum's Restaurants, and he began looking for a tax shelter. "I found the perfect one," he told Sports Marketing News years later. "I tried harness racing, and it was the greatest tax shelter in the world. I lost everything I owned." But not for long. Instead of buying cheap claimers or using 90-second decisions to buy yearlings costing hundreds of thousands, Guida formed Louis P. Guida Enterprises, applied sound business practices, and interested new investors. “I’m selling all my 5’s and 6’s,” Guida once said, “and I am only buying 9’s and 10’s from now on.” Then 35 years ago, with his stable dominating both the trotting and pacing gait in North America, Guida owned, partnered and syndicated horses that won 14 major divisional championships and most of the sport's major stakes races.  In 1979 Guida purchased half of the undefeated two-year-old pacing colt, Niatross, from trainer Clint Galbraith and co-owner Elsie Berger for an unheard of price of $1 million. At age three Niatross won the Pacing Triple Crown and Guida then stamped the term “syndication” in harness racing as the colt went on to breed numberous world champions. Guida and his associates won the Pacing Triple Crown with Niatross and then went on to become world renowned with champions Mack Lobell,  Chairmanoftheboard, Nihilator, Pershing Square and a host of other great horses. Over the years Guida was honored by the industry with the United States Harness Writers Association Good Guy Award, the USHWA President's Award, and the 1991 Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. He was then inducted in the sport’s Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY in 2008. He had been involved with various sports since childhood. As a young baseball player, he was scouted by the NY Giants and asked to join their farm team in Jersey City, NJ; however, due to his mother's disapproval he declined the offer. He claimed that the smartest move he ever made in sports was to purchase the Philadelphia Eagles football team, and his dumbest move was selling it. Guida also dabbled in in the Thoroughbred business in the US in partnership with Dr. Philip McCarthy, a prominent veterinarian. He also formed a group called the Laurel Guida Group, and purchased 50% interest in Laurel Racetrack and a percentage of ownership in Pimlico Racetrack, where the Preakness, part of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown, is raced. The group later sold their interest to Magna Entertainment; however, they retained rights to future gambling outlets. But Guida did not stop there, moving to Italy and taking young trainer Jerry Riordan with him, he began breeding and racing harness horses in Europe and his success continued. He owned Lisa America, who won 22 times, including the European Grand Circuit series and retired from racing with $1.9 million in earnings. Lou Guida is survived by his wife Rose, and three children; Mark (Sharon), Jayme (David Marad), and Cindy (Mark Deleo) and there are four granddaughters. Service arrangements will be posted when finalized. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

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

Pompano Beach, FL --- The history of one of the world’s most majestic sports, harness racing, is well over 200-years-old in the United States and, one of the most iconic facilities encompassing harness racing’s grand tradition, Roosevelt Raceway, is brought to life in a most succinct manner by authors Victoria M. Howard, Billy Haughton and Freddie Hudson. Now closed for more than a quarter century, Roosevelt Raceway is where night time harness racing began and flourished for some four plus decades. The authors have unlocked a vault of memories, not only reliving history under the lights as many of today’s “old-timers” witnessed, but unearthing occurrences that, heretofore, were kept “hushed up”--only known by a few raceway executives--now erased from this earth, either naturally or otherwise--and a few underworld cronies, also no longer in this world, again, either naturally or otherwise. The initial chapters deal with George Morton Levy, the founding father of racing under the stars, and his connections with the underworld and politicians, some of whom were as crooked as many of the numbers on the Roosevelt Raceway infield tote-board. The book also covers the introduction of the “savior” of the sport--the mobile starting gate--as well as the celebrities, fatal occurrences, riots and characters that made Roosevelt Raceway the subject matter in, literally, millions of conversations over the years. Great horses, like the artichoke eating French-bred trotter Jamin and the grand Su Mac Lad, who, literally, wore out three sets of “free-for-all” trotters over his career, are brought back to life in this book...as well as greats like Bye Bye Byrd, Adios Butler, Cardigan Bay and Bret Hanover. And, of course, the book completes its task with a tribute to many of the sport’s great drivers who competed at Roosevelt Raceway--Billy, Stanley, Buddy, “Loosh,” “The Red Man,” Herve, Benny “The Whip” and “Toothpick Del,” to name a few. One of my favorite chapters is the one entitled “Stories Remembered,” a hilarious recollection of anecdotes both on and off the track. This book is a “must” for racing fans. It will bring back great memories and lighten every day it is in your hands. An official launch date for the book has not been released but it is due to be on shelves before November 1. by John Berry, - John Berry is a long time harness racing publictist, an inductee of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicators, a past president of the US Harness Writers Association and a prior Hervey Writing Award winner.

Roger Huston, the iconic voice of harness racing, will call the action Thursday (August 28) at Northfield Park. The 15-race program will add to the tally of races he has announced, which currently stands at 167,200. Huston has been the voice of The Meadows since 1976 and will be calling his 47th Little Brown Jug on September 18. In addition, he has announced at 127 other venues. These include locations all over the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Wales and Australia. Huston, a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, has enjoyed an amazing career in the sport -- and it is a career that will continue -- as he has no plans on retiring from the job he still immensely enjoys. First race post time on Thursday is 6:00 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Westfield, IN- The Harness Horse Youth Foundation has named five worthy students as its 2014 scholarship recipients. The $2500 Curt Greene Memorial Scholarship went to Maja Bown of West Orange, New Jersey. She is a freshman at the University of New Hampshire where she is studying Nutrition and Dietetics. Maja graduated high school with a 3.7 GPA. The scholarship honors the late Curt Greene, who is a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicator's Corner. Krista Burkhart and Olivia Kimelman each received $750 stipends as co-winners of the Sweet Karen Alumni Scholarship, for students who have participated in HHYF summer programs. Both remain active as HHYF volunteers/representatives at HHYF activities across the country. Burkhart is a sophomore at SUNY Morrisville, where she is part of the Equine Racing and Management bachelor's program. She is a native of Rome, New York. Kimelman calls Wallkill, New York home but is a freshman at the University of Kentucky, where she studies Animal Science with an eye toward becoming a veterinarian. Lyndhurst, New Jersey's John McDermott was named a $15,000 Gallo Blue Chip Scholarship recipient, and Guadalupe Diaz earned a $5,000 Gallo Blue Chip award. McDermott is a freshman in Business Administration at the University of Florida. Diaz, from Middletown, New York, is a junior at Stony Brook University, studying Chemical and Molecular Engineering. The Gallo Blue Chip Scholarship is sponsored by Martin Scharf to honor his pacer, who retired as the richest sidewheeler in harness racing history. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation sponsors and administers several scholarships and also offers a clearing house of equine-related scholarships. For more information, or to have your organization's scholarship listed, contact Executive Director Ellen Taylor, ellen@hhyf.org, or go www.hhyf.org/hhyf-scholarships. HHYF is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. For more information on this release contact HHYF Project Manager Keith Gisser, keiith@hhyf.org or 216-374-1392. From HHYF      

A large crowd blanketed the apron for the activities and exciting race card on hand for the Back To The Track event. Carol's Comet and Aaron Merriman prevailed in the Saturday Night feature in 1:50.3. The John Pawlak $25,000 Open Pace was race seven on the eleven race card. John Pawlak is an Ohio native recently inducted in to the Harness Racing Hall Of Fame. He has worked at The USTA for many years in the communications department and has also been a track announcer. Scioto Downs held the race in his honor for his outstanding achievements and attributes to harness racing. Carol's Comet is a five-year-old gelding by Yankee Cruiser out of the mare, Modern Medicine. He's conditioned by Ron Potter for the connections, Whiskey Tango Stable, Martin Presser, Bill and Matthew Moore. He started from post eight in the field of nine, but that didn't stop Aaron Merriman from leaving for an up close spot. They pair found a nice spot, right on the front end and paced an opening quarter in 26.1. They had early company from Randy Tharps and Ardyne Ace, who cleared before the half in a quick 53.3. The pace didn't slow down much. A parked and pressing That'll Be The Rei applied the pressure to the three quarters and left Carol's Comet in a perfect pocket spot, again. The battling duo paced to the three quarters in 1:21.3 and Merriman waited patiently for the super stretch. Carol's Comet sprinted up the super stretch when given his command and just caught Ardyne Ace by a nose and a late rally from Special Forces and Greg Grismore rounded out the trifecta. Only three and a half lengths covered the entire field. From Scioto Downs Racino

Friday night (July 11) the 13-race card will feature a $25,000 Open Trot and a $25,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace. A full field of nine trotters will go to post in race three. The outstanding group is highlighted with a track record holder, JJ Hall and the Ohio Colt Champion, Final Breath. Additionally, Victory Is Coming is the lone mare in the group and Its Complicated, who has won three out of his last five starts, will start from post two. Its Complicated is the 3-1 morning line favorite for trainer Brent Davis and driver Josh Sutton.  The $25,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace is race five and is The Harness Racing Hall Of Fame Inductee Carol Cramer Pace. The impressive field of seven include money leader, Continual Velocity, an Ohio Champion, Igottafeelingfran and Tt’s Little Lass, who has won the Filly and Mare Open Pace the past two weeks. Also, every Friday in July, Scioto Downs is collecting items for The Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center. If you bring in three items for donation you will receive a Scioto Downs t-shirt. The last Friday of the month, July 25th, The Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center will be on hand to answer questions and pick up the donations. Saturday (July 12) is Back To The Track night at Scioto Downs. The 11-race program will feature a $25,000 Open Pace in honor of Harness Racing Hall Of Fame Inductee, John Pawlak. The activities for the evening will include, Driver Autographs, a Face Painter, Balloon Artists, starting gate rides, paddock tours, t-shirt giveaways and a cornhole tournament to benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Along with Back To The Track, it’s Ohio Lottery Night at Scioto and we will be giving away hats, courtesy of the Ohio Lottery. The night will kick off with a live performance of the National Anthem by 14-year old, Alexis Young. The Ohio Harness Horseman Association, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption and Ohio Standardbreds and Friends will also be set up in the grandstands for questions and comments.  From Scioto Downs Racino

Goshen, NY --- Owner-breeder William Weaver and driver David Miller, along with communicators John Pawlak and Carol Cramer, were the human guests of honor as 2014 inductees into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame at ceremonies on the Museum lawn in Goshen, N.Y., on Sunday (July 6). The annual induction dinner followed a full day of activities that included racing at the neighboring Historic Track, including the annual Hall of Fame race, the grand opening of the Roosevelt Raceway exhibit and a cocktail reception in the William R. Haughton Memorial Hall. he Meadows and Little Brown Jug track announcer Roger Huston, who served as emcee, called fellow Hall of Famer Bill O’Donnell to introduce the night’s first inductee. The former driver thanked Weaver for allowing him to drive Valley Victory and applauded him for his dedication to his horses. “Some of the old horses he raced, he still boards those horses and lets them live out their lives,” said O’Donnell. “He should be commended for that.” Weaver, who has enjoyed success with his Valley High Stable, said he didn’t expect this honor. “I’m humbled, happy and surprised to be here today,” said Weaver. “The last two years of my life, there have been some setbacks. I figured this was just someone throwing the screws in.” He thanked the Dancer and Duer families for training his horses over the years and acknowledged the big horse who got him to the Hall of Fame. “One of the main reasons that I’m here tonight is because I was the breeder of Valley Victory,” added Weaver. Huston’s superlative introduction of the next inductee highlighted a couple of his nicknames. “At the Meadowlands they call him Buckeye, but in Ohio he’s known as Purple Jesus,” said Huston before cueing the crowd to a resounding response of “Miller time” when he asked, “What time is it?” Miller can be a man of few words, but he was emotional as he talked about how important this honor is to him and the people who supported him along the way. “I think Roger said everything that I was going to say,” said Miller to open his acceptance speech. “I love horses and I love what I do. It’s more than I ever dreamed of.” He thanked his family for their support. “I definitely didn’t get here by myself,” added Miller. “I have the best family. I have to thank my wife Misty who does everything but drive the races.” The first communicator to be recognized spurred even greater emotion from everyone in attendance. John Pawlak, the USTA’s director of marketing known for his writing, broadcasting, announcing and editing of theTrotting and Pacing Guide, made his first industry, public appearance in a wheelchair since undergoing four surgeries for a brain tumor discovered last October. Well known for his humor, Pawlak used that talent to help his industry colleagues feel more at ease about his tribulations. “It was about the size of John Manzi’s head,” said Pawlak, referring to Monticello’s public relations man in describing his tumor. “The doctors told me it also had a moustache and toupee.” To conclude, Pawlak thanked many of the colleagues that he has assisted in his various roles at the USTA. “It is humbling and I have to thank all of the writers from USHWA for this honor,” said Pawlak. Former USTA employee Carol Cramer, known for her work as a long-time Grand Circuit steward and secretary as well as her involvement in the publishing of integral industry publications, especially the annual stakes guide, joined Pawlak in the Communicators Hall of Fame. “I love this industry with a passion,” said Cramer. “It was the joy of my life when I got to go work for the USTA and when I met Jim Harrison. We did the first Care and Training book.” She thanked the numerous race secretaries who attended to be a part of her induction. Also inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday were broodmare Hattie, 2007 Horse of the Year Donato Hanover and 1991 Horse of the Year Precious Bunny. The horses Green Speed and Windsong's Legacy were inducted as Immortals of the Hall of Fame. by Dan Leary, for the USTA

Goshen, NY --- It was a nearly perfect day for harness racing trainer driver Ray Schnittker. Schnittker drove in seven Landmark Stakes events at Historic Track on Friday afternoon and came away with six victories. Among the winners was 3-year-old male pacer Stevensville, who could be heading to the $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios at the end of the month. Other winners for Schnittker, who is based at Historic Track, were 2-year-old male trotter Gabe The Bear Dean, 2-year-old female pacer Shes Ready To Rock, 3-year-old female trotter Suegrabbitnrun, 3-year-old male trotter Derby, and 2-year-old female trotter Kaliska. Gary Messenger trained two Landmark winners, 2-year-old male pacer K J Ben and 2-year-old female trotter She's So Into Me, and Angus MacDonald sent out a winner in 3-year-old female pacer Misty Major. Stevensville, who was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Max C. Hempt Memorial on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, won the $19,340 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old pacers in 1:58.1 over a sloppy track. Rain fell throughout the afternoon on an unseasonably cool 66-degree Fourth of July. Owned by Schnittker, Paul Bordogna, and Ryan Miller, Stevensville has won seven of 21 career races and $185,079. He finished second in last year's Matron Stakes. "He's been real good," Schnittker said. "He raced real good last week and I think if he'd gotten through a little sooner he would have been maybe third. "We're going to go to the Adios, I think. I skipped the Meadowlands Pace. I think he's fifth to 10th best [horse in the division] and there's so much money later in the year, hopefully I can grab some." Derby, who finished second in the Dexter Cup in May, won the $20,640 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old trotters in 2:03.3. The gelding is owned by Schnittker, Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, and Ted Gewertz. He has won three consecutive starts after starting the season with six setbacks. "He's come around a little bit," Schnittker said. "He actually raced pretty good for Danny Cappello at Saratoga the last two starts. He had sort of an attitude problem, but it looks like he's starting to get it figured out now. Hopefully he'll end up having a good year." Schnittker also was pleased with Kaliska, who won in 2:05.2, and Gabe The Bear Dean, who won in 2:03. Kaliska (Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian) is owned by Schnittker, Thomas Spatorico, Pepin Stable, and Fam Alber Horse Racing. She is a full sister to stakes-winner Frank The Hands. Gabe The Bear Dean (Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch) is owned by Schnittker and Minix Stable. "[Kaliska] kind of doesn't know what she's doing," Schittker said. "She figured out to go by [other horses] finally; usually she's a little bit late that way. "Gabe The Bear Dean, I think he could be a real nice New York Sire [Stakes horse]. He's going next Wednesday at Buffalo. I think he's one of the better Lucky Chucky colts, so hopefully he'll be alright." Suegrabbitnrun won in 2:01.4 for Schnittker and Charlie Iannazzo, who also bred the filly, and Shes Ready To Rock (Rocknroll Hanover-She's My Belle) won in 2:04.1 for owners Schnittker, Frank Baldassare, and Mary Kinsey. K J Ben (Riggins-Winsmith Karen), driven by Jason Bartlett, won in 2:04 for breeder/owner Scott Woogen. In the next race, She's So Into Me (Conway Hall-In To Me) and driver Jim Taggart Jr. won in 2:07 for owners Woogen and Brenda Messenger. Misty Major, also driven by Taggart, won in 2:03.3 for owner E.J. Treadway. Friday's nine-race Landmark Stakes card was part of the Grand Circuit visit to Historic Track. Saturday features the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series and Billings Amateur Drivers Series. Sunday is Hall of Fame Day, which includes a race featuring drivers in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame along with 2014 inductee David Miller. Post time each day is 1 p.m. for the first race. Story and photos by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

East Rutherford, NJ - Saturday night brings one of the most anticipated Grand Circuit cards of the season to The Meadowlands. The racing centers around a pair of $50,000 eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace and the inaugural $484,500 Hambletonian Maturity four year old trot. The Pace elims are carded as races six and seven with the top five finishers from each to return for the $776,000 final next Saturday. North America Cup winner JK Endofanera is the 6/5 choice in the first elim for Meadowlands leading trainer Ron Burke for owners the 3 Brothers Stable. NA Cup second place finisher Tellitlikeitis, trained by Jimmy Takter for the Lothlorien stable, and He's Watching, third in the 'Cup, lead the charge in the seventh. He's Watching was last year's divisional Dan Patch champ and is looking for his best form for trainer David Menary who owns him in partnership with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. The Hambletonian Maturity, raced at a mile and one eighth, is a new concept designed to provide a stake restricted to four year olds as they transition into the aged ranks. The race has attracted both 2013 Hambletonian and Oaks winners Royalty For Life and Bee A Magician. It will be the first foray for 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician against males, a task made more difficult by the fact that she drew post 13 in the bulky fourteen horse field. Brian Sears, who drove both last season, has opted for "Queen Bee", conditioned by Nifty Norman for Hartman, Liverman and Mc Duffee. Royalty For Life races out of the George Ducharme barn and will be making his first seasonal start from post six with new driver David Miller (who will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday). His ownership consists of New Englanders Alfred Ross, Ray Campbell, Jr and Paul Fontaine. Rounding out the stakes is a single $25,000 elimination for the $212,000 Mistletoe Shalee three year old filly pace where ten fillies race to eliminate three. Those seven will meet the three fillies (Rock N Roll Xample Uffizi Hanover and Weeper) that were granted a bye into next Saturday's final. The WR Haughton Memorial FFA pace required no eliminations and the ten high powered pacers entered will go right through to next Saturday's $463,000 final. Also on the program is the second leg of the two year New Jersey Sires Stakes with the pacing fillies going as a single ten and the colt pacers split into a pair of eights. There is a special post time of 6:30pm on Saturday with a stunning fireworks display set to thrill onlookers after the races are completed. Reservations may be made for both this Saturday and next week's star studded extravaganza by calling 201-THE-BIGM. Further information is available by visiting The Meadowlands website. From Meadowlands Media Relations  

Scott Woogen's path to sitting behind racehorses began on a New York City basketball court, in a scene reminiscent of a Damon Runyon tale. Woogen, who will have two horses he bred and owns competing in Landmark Stakes at Goshen Historic Track in New York on Friday and will be driving there in amateur races on Saturday, was introduced to harness racing as a teenager in the Bronx when he was offered a job selling handicapping sheets outside Yonkers Raceway. The offer came from a police officer who spotted Woogen and his friends playing basketball in the school yard. "I was probably the youngest and smallest kid, but fairly aggressive, and I told him I could do whatever he wanted," Woogen said. "His moonlighting job was printing his own handicap sheet called the Top Trotter. I sold them for 25 cents and also sold programs for 75 cents. I got $5 a night. "I started reading the programs and taking an occasional bus up there to Yonkers Raceway and watched the races. I really liked it. When I was old enough, I got working papers and worked a little bit in the stable area on the weekends. If I hadn't been playing basketball that day, I wouldn't know anything about horses. It was kind of a quirk of fate." That quirk of fate has led Woogen, who now is a gastroenterologist living in Virginia, around the world. He began driving in races, even winning a collegiate event held at Roosevelt Raceway while representing Columbia University as a sophomore. He gave up driving to pursue his medical career, but returned to the track 17 years ago to compete as an amateur, often in the Billings Series, where he is known as the "Driving Doctor." He has won 127 races as an amateur and competed in Germany, Finland, Italy, Spain, Russia, Estonia, and New Zealand. "It's been a really nice hobby," Woogen said. "It's been a lot of fun; I really enjoy it." On Friday, Woogen will send out KJ Brenda in the $11,547 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters and K J Ben in the $12,520 Landmark Stakes for 2-year-old pacers. Both horses are trained by Gary Messenger. Last year, KJ Brenda - the "K J" is for Woogen's fiancée Kathy Jean and Brenda is Messenger's wife - finished second in the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. She has won two of 10 career races, hit the board a total of eight times, and earned $80,821. "She came back this year and her first couple starts she bled and we had to put her on Lasix and she's been getting better," Woogen said. "We're excited about her chances to go down to Kentucky and get some of that sire stakes money." K J Ben, named in honor of Kathy Jean's first grandson, Benjamin, is making his debut after winning a qualifier at Ocean Downs in 2:00.1. "We're excited about his prospects," Woogen said. Jim Taggart Jr. is listed to drive KJ Brenda and Jason Bartlett is listed on K J Ben. So why doesn't Woogen drive those horses in the stakes? "There's a reason why I'm in the amateur races," Woogen said, laughing. "It's a lot of fun and I think I can hold my own against the amateurs, but it's a little tougher to drive against the professionals. I'll leave that up to the professionals. I'm just excited that we have some horses that might do a little bit of good this year." Friday's nine-race Landmark Stakes card is part of the Grand Circuit visit to Historic Track. Saturday features the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series and Billings Amateur Drivers Series. Sunday is Hall of Fame Day, which includes a race featuring drivers in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame along with 2014 inductee David Miller. Post time each day is 1 p.m. for the first race. Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

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  

Last season amateur driver Steve Oldford reined 19 winners in 81 starts and finished with a lofty .355 UDR. He not only was named the 2013 National Amateur Driver of the Year by the United States Harness Writers Association but, for the third time, he was awarded amateur driver of the year honors by the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Oldford won 11 races last season in the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series considered by many to be the Grand Circuit of Amateur Racing, and as a member of four other Amateur Driving Clubs he won at least one race in each of them. This year, from a limited amount of drives, he has already won four races and currently has 87 career wins. Soon the Michigan businessman will be winging his way to Finland to compete as the United States representative in the prestigious World Cup of Amateur Racing which will be contested at three different racetracks there. As a member of the North American Amateur Drivers Association-the American affiliate of FEGAT, the organization which produces the World Cup-- Oldford is eyeing the competitions. "I'm really looking forward to competing," Oldford said. "This will be the first time that I have the honor of representing the United States in the World Cup although I have driven abroad in the past in Italy and New Zealand. "I'll be accompanied by my wife Gale and we'll be leaving on June 27th to stop first in Sweden and visit some training centers there. Prior to the World Cup getting underway I will be driving in the preliminaries on July 3rd and 4th. The World Cup festivities begin on Sunday, July 6 and continue through July 9th. Twelve countries will be represented in the international World Cup. Besides the USA they include Finland, Italy, Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Hungary, Spain and New Zealand. For three consecutive days beginning on Monday, July 7th there will be races at three different racetracks on each day; on Monday at small Riihimaki, a summertrack; on Tuesday at Tampereen Ravirata, the second biggest track in Finland, and on Wednesday at Vermon Ravirata, the main track in Finland. Along the way there will be many amenities for the competitors, including sightseeing and shopping. "I'm thrilled just to be able to compete against some of the best amateur drivers in the world," Oldford added. Steve Oldford is President and owner of Oldford and Associates, providing sales and engineering services to companies supplying the automotive industry. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He has been involved in the industry for more than 40 years as a breeder, owner, trainer and driver, although he didn't earnestly start driving until 2008. He is very active as an amateur driver, winning the CKG Billings point championship four times since 2008 and the Gold Cup final in 2010. Oldford is also president of the Great Lakes Amateur Driving Association, vice president of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Club, and a trustee and a vice president of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. by John Manzi, for the NAADA

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 11, 2014 - The famous blue and gold colors of Hall of Fame driver-trainer Stanley Dancer will be back on the track Friday night, June 13, 2014 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Dancer's son, Ronald, a former driver-trainer, will don his late father's colors in an exhibition race, the 2014 Legislators Pace, facing off against three other legislators. Assemblyman Ron Dancer [R-12th District] will take on Senator Richard Codey [D-27th District], Assemblyman Ralph Caputo [D-28th District] and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande [R-11th District] in a race for charity. The winner's charity will receive $1,000 while the charities for the other three competitors will receive $500 each. The one-mile competition will take place between the first and second races. The legislators will compete in two-seater jog carts with Codey, Caputo and Casagrande each teamed with one of the Meadowlands' top drivers. Dancer will race solo. "I am coming out of retirement for this race and will be wearing my dad's silks, which I am borrowing from the New Egypt Historical Museum, where there is a wing in honor of my dad," Dancer said. "When I was racing, I always wore dad's silks, and I am really looking forward to placing Stanley Dancer's blue and gold silks back on the racetrack." Ron Dancer posted more than 400 career driving victories in the 1970s and 1980s before switching careers. He has been a member of the New Jersey legislature since 2002 and was mayor of Plumsted Township from 1990 to 2011. Dancer noted that there were a lot of similarities to his current life as a legislator compared to his life as a horseman, especially in terms of long hours. "As a state legislator in New Jersey, you represent about 220,000 constituents residing in your district that want to meet and speak with you during the day, and you have to be at the State House Capitol for voting sessions," he explained. "In the evenings, legislators have events and speaking engagements to attend. Also, just as in horse racing, both professions are seven days and nights a week. The weekends are prime time days and evenings to be at your job. "Political races are so expensive and, like it is in horse racing, it costs thousands to prepare and compete in the race with no guarantees on the results," he added. The Dancer family farm, Egyptian Acres, was located in the Plumsted community of New Egypt. Stanley Dancer campaigned many of the top horses of the 1960s through 1990s. As a driver, he posted 3,781 career victories for more than $28 million in purses. Stanley Dancer, voted into the harness racing Hall of Fame in 1969, passed away on September 8, 2005 and was buried in his racing silks in a cemetery that overlooks Freehold Raceway. "Dad will be looking down with such a smile to see his still familiar blue and gold colors back on the racetrack and on his son," Dancer mused. Dancer is racing for the Hornerstown Baptist Church in Upper Freehold Township, NJ. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 5 - One of the few trophies missing from trainer Jimmy Takter's extensive collection is a Pepsi North America Cup. This week, the Hall of Fame trainer said, "I want to win this one bad." It partly explains why he's racing a horse in each of the three $50,000 Pepsi North America Cup eliminations Saturday at Mohawk. Takter will send out Lyonssomewhere in the first elimination (race three, post six, driver Corey Callahan), Capital Account in the second elimination (race five, post eight, Ron Pierce) and Tellitlikeitis (race nine, post three, Brett Miller). The New Jersey-based conditioner, who was inducted into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2011, came close to winning the NA Cup in 2012 when Tellitlikeitis' older half-brother Time To Roll finished second to Bob McIntosh's Thinking Out Loud by a half-length. In that same NA Cup race, Takter-trained Simply Business finished ninth less than a year after winning the $1 million Metro Pace at Mohawk. The Pepsi North America is in a much more exclusive club of harness racing stakes races carrying a seven-figure purse. "We have two million-dollar races. It's all we have left. (The NA Cup) is one of them," Takter said. It serves as a further motivation for the trainer to win it. Of his three entries, Takter said "both 'Tellit' and 'Lyon' have the ability to win it if they make the final. Otherwise, I wouldn't even put them in, of course. I really think both of those horses, if they have a good day, are two contenders in that race." Takter said this year's field is wide open. "So far, at least, there's not a Captaintreacherous in the field," he said. "It could be won by any one of those 23 horses that are in it." Canadian-owned Tellitlikeitis comes into the race with the best credentials and a stellar pedigree. The homebred owned by Sue Grange's Lothlorien Stables of Cheltenham is a son of Lothlorien-owned 2009 Pepsi North America Cup champion Well Said out of stakes star Kikikatie. Takter has trained all four of Tellitlikeitis' brothers. All four - Rockin Amadeus ($700,000), Time To Roll ($735,000), Grams Legacy ($165,000) and Rockin Image ($900,000) - are sons of Lothlorien's 2005 Pepsi North America Cup champion Rocknroll Hanover, who will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Aug. 6 in Mississauga. Lothlorien also won the Pepsi North America Cup in 2002 with Red River Hanover. All three of Lothlorien's NA Cup winners were owned, in part, by Jeffrey Snyder of New York City. Takter said Tellitlikeitis is "a little smaller than his brothers, but they all can go fast... He's a good horse, but he had a lot of problems when he was a two-year-old. We had problems with his front ankles. "He's a tough horse. He's as fast as Hes Watching, that's for sure. He has quick speed. Does he have stamina like Hes Watching has? I don't know, yet." Tellitlikeitis comes into the NA Cup elims off a victory May 17 in his 2014 pari-mutuel debut in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes event at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. As a two-year-old, Tellitlikeitis earned nearly $125,000 with two wins in eight starts. Lyonssomewhere is also Canadian owned. The son of beloved 2008 NA Cup champion Somebeachsomewhere is owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Burford. The colt sports a perfect four-for-four career record, though has yet to test stakes company. "Lyonssomewhere hasn't raced against this calibre of horses. It will be exciting to see how he is. The horse is undefeated and loves to race," Takter said. "I love that horse. I really like him He raced his last two starts (at the Meadowlands) and he really was super. I know he hasn't gone one of those :49 miles, but they are there. Capital Account is a homebred owned by Brittany Farms of Kentucky. The son of American Ideal out of Copywriter has won half of his eight career starts and was sixth in his Somebeachsomewhere division on May 31 at Mohawk. "He raced okay... He's a good horse. He's not bad. Unfortunately, he got a (poor) post again," Takter said of drawing the eight-hole. "It's going to be tough with that starting point." First race post time for the Saturday card is 7:25 p.m. by John Siscos, for WEG

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